Easter 2011

This year, we spent Easter with my brother, Kevin, at his home near Los Angeles.  The girls were worried about the Easter Bunny knowing where to deliver their baskets and since I forgot to bring the baskets (doh!), I had to tell them the truth about Ol’ Mr. EB.  Luckily, the disappointment was mitigated by Aunt Cindy who hid eggs all over her backyard!

blog IMG_6632 kevins house Maddy loves the thrill of the hunt and quickly scored big bowl of candy-filled eggs.

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With the help afforded her after donning her pink super-hero cape, Gwen did pretty well for herself too!

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Three dogs and one slimy green tennis ball sure can be fun!

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Kevin, Cindy and Moi

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My neice, Kaelee, with her sweet pup, Sophie.

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This is Kay.  I’ve called her Mom since she and my dad married (when I was somewhere around Gwen and Maddy’s age).   She and Dad divorced when I was in my early 30’s and our relationship took a detour sometime around that time too.  This weekend was the first time I’ve seen her in more than 15 years but I really hope it’s not the last.  Oh, and the pretty dog is Lady.   She barked her head off but her wildly wagging tail betrayed her intentions.   She’s as harmless as she is photogenic!

Tonight, we’ll take Daddy to the airport so he can go back to work tomorrow and Gwen and Maddy and I will head down closer to Disneyland for the rest of our Spring Break.

Gappy-Tooth Gwenny

Seems like I should create a whole new catagory just for Gwen and her various dental issues.  Not that she has anything incredibly aggregious going on in her mouth but because I seem most inclined to blog about the little bit of excitement that does go on in there.  I'm sure I can't top the Lego Stuck On Tooth post of last year but here's a little pic and a brief update anyway.

Gwen cluster frames missing tooth

Yesterday, Gwen's baby tooth was finally loose enough for her to yank out.    It was loose for several weeks but for the last two days, it was twisted grotesquely sideways and hanging on by just a tiny flap of something.   It was obviously uncomfortable but she was excited about it and insisted on showing me how close it was to coming out.  She'd say, "Look Mommy!" and push the tooth sideways with her finger and it would easily swing 90 degrees on it's fleshy hinge before meeting resistance.  Then she'd push it a bit further and wince in pain while I offered a congratulatory smile and a pat on the head and fought back the urge to puke.

I can handle most childhood medical emergencies:  febrile seizures, major knee and elbow scrapes, gaping flesh wounds that require stitches, even situations involving homemade fireworks that explode in my 12 year old son's face.  I can deal with all that but I can't handle loose teeth.   Nope.  Can't do it.  There's something about the way they squeak when you wiggle them.  The way they feel like a foreign object in your mouth that you just can't keep your tongue away from.  Arrrrggghh!  It's a childhood memory that I'd be happy to forget!

My brother is a year an a half older than I am so, by the time I started losing my own baby teeth, I had a pretty good idea about how our (usually compassionate and kind) mother would deal with it.  In other words, I'd already suffered the trauma of watching her "help" him.    

I've seen a noose made of sewing thread placed around a loose tooth with the other end tied to a doorknob.  Mom would slam the door and out the tooth would come.   It might have been fast and efficient but it freaked me the hell out and it must have freaked out my brother too because he eventually started to approach her more cautiously when she sweetly said "Come here and let me see how loose that tooth is."  Of course, his trepidation only served to make her more creative.  

I remember seeing my brother running down our driveway with his loose tooth tied to the bumper of our 1965 black Plymouth Valiant.    The image of a six year old boy with a crew cut and wild eyes running as fast as he could behind our family car (in a futile attempt to keep slack in the thread) is forever etched in my mind.  I kid you not.

Well, anyway, I'm happy to report that Gwen pulled her own tooth and spared her Momma all that emotional angst.  That alone is worth the two shiny quarters the Tooth Fairy left under her pillow this morning!

The December Blog Post

Hmmm... we did lots of stuff in December but none of it made it to the blog.  I'll just touch on the highlights:


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Daughter date night continues to be a success.  The girls love taking turns dressing up and spending an evening alone with Mommy and Daddy. 


In early December, we added a 2nd kitty to our household.  This is Ralphie.  She's a one year old female from a local animal rescue.  Like our other kitty, she's small -- just 7 pounds.  She's super sweet!


1 girls holding reindeer cupcakes

We saw these adorable reindeer cupcakes on M3's blog and just had to make some of our own.  I think they came out pretty cute!   Tootsie roll ears, Nilla Wafer  snout, m&m nose....

3 gwen and maddy eating reindeer cupcakes

It seems they taste good too!

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Kitty #1 is the guardian of the presents.

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Our Christmas Eve homemade donut tradition continues (ohmygosh they're insanely DELISH!)

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We brushed the donut crumbs from our hands and face and posed for our 2010 family portrait.  Always a funny endeavour because we have to put the camera on the tripod and use the timer so all of us can be in the photo.   Lots of trial and error and silliness!  I should post the outtakes!  Oh, and you might have noticed that I cut my hair.  :)

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I guess Santa must have bumped into the tripod and accidentally set off the camera timer because look at what we found on our camera on Christmas morning!   There were a couple of other photos too and Gwen and Maddy were really shocked and amazed when I handed them the photographic evidence that Santa is real!  It was more than worth the time I spent on <this site> at 3AM! 

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Christmas morning was the usual mixture of joyful shrieks, hugs, and shredded wrapping paper and we all played with our new toys through the weekend then hopped on a plane and flew to Santa Fe to spend the rest of the year with extended family.   Beautiful sunny (cold) days to start then lots of snow!

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So, that's our December! 

We're hanging out on Facebook more than here in Bloggerville so join us over there too!

Happy New Year everyone!

A White Thanksgiving... {updated}

So much to be grateful for this year!  A beautiful white Thanksgiving holiday at my brother's house in Northern Idaho.  We bundled up the girls in snow pants, fluffy jackets and insulated boots and gloves and they spent hours outside playing in the snow, sledding and building a snowman with their big brother, Michael.

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Gwen quickly ducked outside (into the falling snow) so I could snap a quick photo of her without all of the overstuffed snow attire. 

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Maddy loved the way the soft snowflakes felt on her upturned hands!  A few minutes later, we all pulled on our snow pants and fluffy coats and gloves and built a sled run!  Then we played on that for the rest of the day!

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Michael built this cool snowman.  More about that later.

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David and Barbara have this beautiful mural painted on the wall  near the stairs to the master bedroom loft.  A perfect backdrop for our handsome family!  From the left:  Barbara, Michael, Andrew, Gwenny, David and Madeline.

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This is Maddy and Gwen with their Aunt Barbara.  My brother had the good sense to marry this very special woman almost 23 years ago (he knew her his entire life).  I never had a sister so it's incredibly cool to have a Sister-in-Law that is so easy to love! 

When we weren't outside playing in the snow (or eating!), we were watching the Harry Potter series or playing "Angry Birds" on our iphones/ipod.  We're big fans of H. Potter and A. Birds!

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Here's a fun artsy "Hallmark Card" version of Michael's snowman creation.   Uncle David tried to find some coal for his eyes but the coal sack was buried under several feet of snow so he offered up some big buttons to use as eyes instead.  And what to use for buttons on his body?  Well, Dibs ice-cream bites of course!  In the 18 degree weather, they'll probably last until spring (if the deer don't decide to eat them first).    The carrot nose froze quickly and was so heavy that it hardly stayed attached to the face!  Who knew making a snowman was so challenging!?  ;)

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This is Gwen and Maddy with sweet playful Zorra.  She's a hunny of a dog and a solid member of the family.  My brother thinks she's a Rottweiler/Border Collie mix but I think she might  be a Rottweiler/Labrador mix.  What do you think?

I hope everyone had many blessings to count this Thanksgiving holiday!

Bye Bye Ear Tube!

After more than two years, Maddy's one remaining ear tube finally came out.  They're only supposed to last for 4 to 12 months but this one held on with annoying perseverence.  She's had lots of trouble with it because it makes her ear itch and her skinny little finger can easily fit much too deeply into her ear and she hurts herself when she tries to scratch the itch. 

Over the years, I've kept an eye on this ear and I could see that the tube was still in her ear drum.  But when I checked last week, I saw that it was in a different position so I suspected that it was out.  A quick Dr appointment confirmed that it wasn't in her ear drum any longer and they easily removed it from her ear.

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I took it from the Dr and showed it to Maddy and she seemed confused.  All this time, I think she was imagining that it was more "tube" like.  She said she thought it would be long and thin - like a long skinny straw.  I think she was disappointed that it was only this teensy little white thing because it's been such a BIG annoyance for the last year or more.  I slipped it onto a sewing needle so you could see the size comparision.

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Maddy had a cleft palate and some recurring ear infections so we had the tubes put in when they did the cleft palate repair.  While they were in, they worked like a charm - no ear infections at all.    It's amazing to me that the ear drum repairs itself when the tube falls out and we're hopeful that we'll never have to get tubes again!     


For more Black & White Wednesday fun, check out The Long Road to China.
More of our Black & White Wednesday posts here:  Black & White Wednesday

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