Sunday, December 11, 2011

Finals and a New Friend

I haven't had much to say since Thanksgiving because we have been in the limbo that is finals week.  Probably some of you think that it is pathetic that I said that 'we' have been dealing with finals because it was Brandon who actually wrote the papers and took the exams, but the three ladies of this family also had a pretty rough go of it.  The extra stress combined with stagnant air quality and freezing overcast days had us all ornery, impatient and grumbling at each other.  I only mention it because I have a tendency to only write about the fun parts of our experience here in Eugene and I can see myself in the future reading back about our dear days at the U of O.  When Brandon I get too nostalgic and miss this place too much I'll have to just whisper 'finals' and we'll have at least one thing that we feel good about leaving behind. 
While we were stuck at home the girls came up with a bunch of ways to stay entertained.  Here they were tying to figure out a way to get Pony Ride back after she was thrown over the back of the bed.  Now that I think about it, she may still be there.
 Daisy always stays up on her reading.  I told you that she was born a foodie.  She looks at this cupcake book about 10 times a day. 
 Rocky watched Mickey's Christmas Carol on the i-pod over and over and when it got to the scary part she would hide under the covers.  We started reading the Charles Dickens version after Thanksgiving and we finally finished it.  She will tell anyone she sees about the long chain that Jacob Marley carries.  She is especially taken with the idea that Scrooge changed from being mean to being nice. 
 I don't know what they were watching here but I took this picture because I thought that Daisy's posture looked so grown up.  She looks like an old man resting his arm on his beer belly.  She's not sucking her thumb, but instead appears to be pondering something deep.  It was probably Gnomeo and Juliet which is the new favorite of both the girls.  Daisy likes the music and Rocky likes that Juliet dresses like a ninja. 
To celebrate the end of finals we went to Salem and watched the light parade.  It was so much fun to be all together and just able to have fun. 



Okay, so now for an unrelated story.  Brandon was reading on Wikipedia about this guy, Krampus.  In Austria and some of the other Alpine countries he is a well-known character that is the foil for St. Nicholas.  At the beginning of December St. Nicholas is seen on the street walking around giving treats and looking to greet the good little boys and girls.  But for the not-so-good kids, instead of a saint, there is Krampus.  He is a demon who is out and about looking for naughty children to take back to his lair to eat for Christmas dinner.  We thought that this sounded like a pretty good parenting technique so we showed the picture to our daughters.
  I figured that if she is hiding under the covers because she is afraid of Goofy dressed like a ghost that she would be terrified by this dude.  Heck, I was terrified. 
She seemed unfazed and she laughed a little because she thought he was funny.  Then, later she started talking to her new imaginary friend...who just happens to be a demon named Krampus.  She talks to him all the time and asks if he can go with us everywhere.  I told her that he is mean to kids and she said..."He is nice now, he changed."
She was telling my friend Katie about it at church today (of course he came with us to church) and Katie said, "Isn't he kind of ugly?"
Rocky was all flustered and said, "Don't say ugly.  He is my friend."
Yesterday Rocky walked in the room obviously in a conversation with him and kind of giggling said, "Oh Krampus, you are so craaaazy."
Part of me is proud that she is excited that she isn't fooled by the outward appearance, but the other part is already getting nervous for the bad-boy boyfriend of the future that she swears has 'changed.'  Maybe we'd better hold off on Ebeneezer Scrooge for the next couple of years.
For now I guess we'll take our little demon friend along and hope that he doesn't find any naughty kids while we're out.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Lots of Thanks to Give

 We had such a fun Thanksgiving with the Valverdes.  We are so lucky to have our Oregon family to celebrate with.  Rocky was especially excited to taste test the mini-pies that Andrea and Anhiel made.

 As always, Thanksgiving is a great chance to reflect on all the blessings I have.  I'm super grateful for so many things but this year I'm especially feeling lucky to have such an awesome family and the best friends.
  
While Rocky and I did the cooking Daisy was working on her conceptual art.  She is pretty tight-lipped about the inspiration behind this particular piece, but I think it has something to do with the intrinsic price of materialism.  I guess to know for sure we'll either have to decide the true meaning for ourselves, or wait for her to learn to talk.  She's made over a hundred other works that are similar to this one, but they unfortunately have all ended up back in the pantry...and some have been eaten.


And now I have for your reading pleasure, several random pictures that I've been collecting.  They fit together only in the fact that they are a reflection of our day-to-day entertainment.  Now that the days are rainy and the sun goes down early we all have a little bit of cabin fever which brings out the crazies in each of us.

Many of you don't know that we had a special event in our home.  Pony Ride the mouse and Mu Shu the moose were joined together in holy matrimony.  The groom looked handsome in his brown suit and the bride, as always, wore white.  Rocky insisted that they kiss and that I take a picture to document.  Now I guess we'll just wait around and see what kind of offspring they produce.
 
 For Family Night we made these little turkey crafts that Kathy sent.  We had a good time and got pretty creative with the foam.  We've gone to a couple of playgroups where there are crafts like this and Rocky prides herself on thinking outside the box.  Why make a turkey when you could make something like this?  Maybe she was trying to imagine what the moose/mouse baby would look like.

Brandon is such a great dad and he always thinks of creative ways to get the girls to cooperate with things that they don't want to do.  Daisy wouldn't let him brush her teeth until he let her brush his hair.  All of a sudden it became a game.  I usually just wrestle her down and pry open her mouth...which, now that I think about it, explains why Daddy is the favorite.  It's okay though because he's my favorite too.

I know I've mentioned it many times before but Daisy is a little foodie.  A bunch of the words that she says are food or food-related.  The newest word is mushroom but it isn't because she likes them.  We were eating pizza and when she would take a bite and find a mushroom she would pull it out of her mouth, hold it toward Brandon, and say mushroom over and over again until he took it from her.  She won't even let them sit on her tray, they have to be completely removed.  I know that there are a lot of anti-mushroom people so she'll probably still be able to make it in the culinary field, but this could be a big setback for her future dreams of becoming the next Jose Andres.

Rocky lately has started talking like a robot which means she will use a choppy monotone voice for everything she says.  The other day I told her that we were going to go out to play and she was so excited that she forgot and used her Rocky voice to say, "Yeah!"  Then she changed it to a robot monotone, "Yeah," and added, "Beep Boop Beep Boop," which apparently is how a robot expresses joy.  She also likes to pretend like she is a cat and sometimes she will be a robot cat, which is pretty cool.  I like it because when she is a robot she will do everything I ask.  Sometimes when she isn't listening very well I ask her if I can talk to the robot so that she will pay attention.  I hope this doesn't lead to some kind of split personality disorder.  If it does Rocky can always submit this blog to her therapist and it will probably explain a lot.
BFFs
 The other day I was getting out the Christmas stuff and I was telling the girls that this was one of my very favorite things.  I like it because it is really simple.  Just as I finished saying it Daisy chucked it on the ground and it broke in half.  I was already kind of in a sour mood and I started lecturing (yelling) right away.
Me:  You need to leave my things alone.  I'm sick of having everything broken. These aren't toys.
Rocky:  Jeez Mom, she's just a baby, she doesn't even know what you are talking about.
What could I say?  She was right.  I calmed down and pulled out the super glue.  My mom says that when I pull this decoration out in a few years I'll like it even more because of the crack in the G.

Bonus Video:  This video contains nothing but Rocky and Daisy dancing which is a daily occurrence that I don't think I'll ever get sick of.  If you don't speak Spanish I'll just let you know that Brandon tells them first to dance and then later he asks Rocky to show him one of her moves.

video

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

She Got Her Hair Did

 I don't know if this girl has learned her lesson because after a visit to Michelle at Supercuts she looks completely adorable.  She said that she likes having short hair except that it makes her head feel "wobbly."

Daisy wanted her picture taken too so she put on her model face.
Since it has gotten so cold outside the girls have found some creative places to sit.  I was on the computer yesterday and I found that Daisy had pulled her favorite toy, the doll bed out to the front room so she could tuck herself into it for some reading time.
Bonus Video:  Brandon always sings songs to the girls at bedtime and Rocky has taken a special liking to this one.  I just wanted her recorded because I never want to forget how sweet it is when she sings along.
video

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Rocky Cuts Her Hair...It Could Have Been Worse

While playing with a friend Rocky thought it would be a great idea to cut her own hair.
I always wondered why some parents let their kids have mullets...this may be a clue.
She did a pretty fair job with the bangs, leaving them long enough to still look cute.  When you just glance at her it actually looks like it is a specific hair style...not just the regular chop-chop that most kids do.  Unfortunately however, it is a really crappy hair style that wasn't even cute when it was popular 25 years ago.  I'm taking her to have someone try and adjust it so it looks less white-trashy.
I get a little twist in my heart when I think of those little blond ringlets that were left behind. 
Brandon's comment was, "Good think she didn't do this until after she was Thor for Halloween."  Good thing indeed. 

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloweenie

 Brandon worked really hard turning our family into the Avengers.  He was Tony Stark, otherwise known as Ironman out of the suit.  The camera didn't pick up his arc reactor but it looked great.
Captain America

The Incredible Hulk

Thor
 These two little superheroes brought in quite the stash.  They are adorable girls but in costume it lifted their cuteness off the charts.  Daisy was stuffed so big with muscles that she could hardly walk but when she would get a piece of candy she would do her excited dance and people would just give her more.  Rocky was very proud of her Thor costume and was especially particular about her beard.  We had to fix it before we left the house because she was looking in the mirror and felt that I hadn't drawn enough on the chin.  
 We also had a lot of other Halloween style fun this past week.  We went to see all the Jack-o-Lanterns at Kesey square and carved a few of our own.


 We also ate pumpkin pancakes for breakfast and then later had the Howard family traditional dinner in a pumpkin.  Rocky begged and begged to watch a really scary movie so I tried to think back to the thing that I thought was the most scary when I was little and I kept going back to the Garfield Halloween special.  We pulled it up on youtube and now I know that the scariest thing about it are the awful musical numbers.  Rocky was pretty spooked by the ghost pirates but it wasn't enough so we also watched Disney's version of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow which pretty much scared the pants off of her.  She is a little thrill seeker though and when it finished she just wanted to start it over again. 
All in all it was a great day and a great season.  I'm sad to see October go because this has been a good one.  Don't worry though because while we were eating our pumpkin dinner we already started brainstorming about our costumes for next year.  Rocky said that she wants to be a dead mermaid..........hmmm....we'll see.


Bonus Video:

video

Go Ducks!

 We went to another Ducks game and had a blast.  Puddles body-surfed his way up to our back row bench again. 
 Luckily this game wasn't as crowded so the girls stretched themselves out to take a little rest.  I didn't think it was possible with all the noise at Autzen but I guess Rocky made it work. 

I love that stadium.

Fall and Such

 Eugene is a beautiful place to be during the fall.  The leaves are amazing....but don't be fooled, it gets pretty cold.

 
 The rain is probably on its way but for now, we'll enjoy what we've got.

 Bonus Video:
video

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Too Fun and Too Short

Last weekend we had a visit from Oma, Opa, Jill and Jared and it was one of those special times that I hope I never forget.

We went to the Sweet Life and Rocky and Daisy each got to pick out one of the beautiful petit fours.   
Of course we had to stop at Voo Doo Donuts too.  Rocky shared hers with her new pet mouse.  She tells everyone that she got her pet from Jiwwy and that her name is inexplicably Pony Ride.  Pony Ride has only been here for a short time but she has already been carried around to all the best places in Eugene. 
 Jill told Rocky to make a scary ghost face and this is what she got.  I'm scared.


 We went to the pumpkin patch which of course provided for a bunch of great photo ops.

 She looks cute, but watch out goats, she's trying to feed you rocks.
 Rocky was just soaking up all the attention she could get...and making a pretty cool fashion statement. 
 She insisted that I take this picture of the corn because some of it was purple, but now I see that she was just trying to get away with a vulgar hand gesture.  Oh well...it wouldn't be the first time that a Howard woman got caught flipping somebody off.  I won't mention any names, but we'll just say that it must be something that has been passed through the blood.



 We also went to the Saturday Market and it was the perfect morning.  I wish we could have stayed there all day.
I also took a bunch of pictures of Jared reading with the girls and Jill playing games with them but there was something wrong with my camera.  It was just such a fun weekend I wish that I had it all recorded so I could watch it again. Thanks for coming all the way out here.  The whole trip was like a treasure to me.

Crazy Bonus Picture: