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Yearly Archives: 2010

Minute to Win It.

What do you do when you’ve got two kids who are:  (1) extremely bored, (2) hyped up on Christmas cookies and (3) waiting not-so-patiently for the first wave of grandparents to arrive bearing gifts?  Desperate times call for desperate measures, and I did the only thing I could think of.  I re-created their favorite game show and made them the contestants.  It was Minute to Win It, Thomas Style.  Torin went first.  She had a Kleenex box filled with about 15 marbles strapped to her bottom, and her mission was to empty the box in 60 seconds or less, without using her hands. 

When you don’t have much junk in your trunk, it takes an awful lot of wiggling, shaking, and jumping to complete the task, but she did it with about 10 seconds to spare.

Parker did a great job, too.  When he finished, he wanted to know if he had banked $75,000.  I told him that unless he saw Guy Fieri walk through our front door, the answer was no.  It was certainly an entertaining way to kill some time, though!

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Snow day #1.

I just have this sinking feeling that we’re going to be blessed with lots of school cancellations this winter, so I’m going to keep a running tally here to remember exactly how many snow days we end up with.  The kids have brand spanking new sleds from Lowe’s, so when Carol Birdsong gave us “the call” last night to announce the first official snow day, they were thrilled.

Their new sleds are tie-dyed with some psychedelic colors swirled in, so they add a lovely splash of color to our garage.  No more sledding redneck style on beach rafts and cardboard box lids!

We have a tiny little hill in our backyard that is the perfect size for the kids to navigate on their own.  They can push themselves down the hill and then climb back up with no parental assistance.  Score!

The fact that they can do it on their own leaves me free to stand back and take pictures, or better yet, watch from inside the house.

After one of them threw snow in the other person’s face, leaving the victim in tears, it was time to come in for hot chocolate.  While sipping her drink, Torin asked me if I ever had snow days when I was in college back in 1853.  I guess I at least have to give her a little credit for paying attention to detail.

And finally… this is what my kitchen floor has looked like for the past two days.  Lovely, isn’t it?

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On with the snow.

This is what he looked like after spending 1 minute in the snow.

Here he is again – after about 10 minutes.  Maybe the hat underneath the hood was overkill.

It’s not much, but they couldn’t be happier.

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Catching up.

A lot has happened since I last blogged, and I just want to post a few pictures here for posterity’s sake (and so the grandparents can stop going through withdrawals).  I have been so busy this season with the photography work that my personal blog took a backseat.  The other thing that took a backseat was kindergarten homework.  That’s right.  Parker’s first big project of creating a storefront for the Wee Willie Winkie town was turned in a day LATE.  [Let's pause for a moment while I hang my head in shame.]  We got ‘er done, though, and he was pretty proud of it. 

The next big project was creating a costume for the nursery rhyme parade.  We nailed it.  Right on time.

And most recently, he had to disguise a turkey so it wouldn’t get eaten for Thanksgiving.  Dave helped him with this one.  It looked awesome.

Meanwhile, Torin has been sailing through 2nd grade.  She scored an A+ on her Social Studies test that covered the three branches of government (and yes, I scooped her up and did the happy dance right in the middle of the kitchen… she is just starting to learn how passionate I am about that particular subject).  She has also been busy with her little fold-out thingy.  I don’t know the official name for these things, but I had them when I was in grade school.  Remember these?  Pick a number… fold back and forth… pick a color… fold back and forth… open the flap and answer a random question like “Would you rather ride a pony or swim with a dolphin?”  Let’s just say that I’ve learned a lot about myself in the past few weeks.  More updates to come soon! 

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The Big Apple.

 I have had a long distance romance with New York City since high school.  When I was 18, my grandparents sent me there as a graduation gift, and I fell in love.  For the past 17 years, I have dreamed about returning.  The energy of the city is addictive.  Yes, it’s a little dirty and very expensive.  But the people, the lights, the noise… I just love it.  Finally, my dream came true and Mother & I went back over the weekend.  Only this time, we had one extra person with us.

Torin did amazingly well on this trip.  We walked her skinny little legs off.  Just when we thought she was completely out of gas, she would surprise us with a burst of energy and start skipping ahead.  We checked into our hotel Friday night and went straight to Times Square, where we ate pizza and absorbed all of the sights and sounds.  Torin’s favorite part was seeing a very interesting man dressed in what looked like old curtains.  He was wearing a rainbow tutu on his head.  (Don’t see that everyday in Brentwood.)  While we were in  Times Square, we rode the giant 3-story Ferris Wheel inside Toys ‘R Us.  After that, she was hooked.  Torin loved NYC as much as I did.

On Saturday, we saw the Empire State Building, went to the Top of the Rock in Rockefeller Center, shopped 5th Avenue, visited the Plaza Hotel and saw where Eloise lives, walked to FAO Schwartz and danced on the piano from the movie Big, and made ourselves sick at Dylan’s Candy  Bar.

On Sunday, we took the subway to Chinatown, ate in Little Italy (pretty sure our server was a mob boss), saw the Statue of Liberty from Battery Park, visited City Hall where my grandparents were married, walked on the Brooklyn Bridge, and then spent the evening at South Street Seaport.

On Monday, we covered most of Central Park, chased pigeons, filmed a scene for a t.v. show, did some more shopping, and ate at American Girl.

On Tuesday morning, we woke up at 3:00 a.m. central time and drug our tired buns to the airport.  Dave asked me if I had gotten New York out of my system.  Not a chance.  I’m already mentally making a list of everything I’ll do next time I visit.  :)

One more thing.  I have to give a big, BIG thank you to Dave and PaPa who planned lots of “boy stuff” with Parker while we were gone.  While us girls were living it up on 5th Avenue, PaPa and Parker were sleeping in Uncle Matt & Aunt Kristen’s backyard.  It’s not quite the Plaza, but I know Parker loved every minute.

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How many pumpkins can you balance on your head?

One pumpkin was a piece of cake.  He didn’t even break a sweat.

Torin even did a little dance while balancing hers.

Two pumpkins proved to be more of a challenge, but he pulled it off for a split second.

Leave it to the boys to think of something disgusting.

The mums looked good when we left.  My goal is to keep them alive on the front porch for at least a week!

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