Monday, April 30, 2012

It's All Fun and Games Until...

 ...someone gets hurt.  Rocky and Daisy were being treated to a super fun ride in the bike trailer and they got dumped.  They earned matching road rash which was pretty traumatic at first, but grew into a great way for them to get attention for themselves.  After it stopped stinging they seemed proud of their war-wounds.

And now for something completely different.

Brandon made this Spanish meal for us on Friday and it looked as awesome as it tasted.  Moros y Cristianos is part of a traditional celebration that takes place around this time each year.  Technically the rice is supposed to be more white (i.e. the Christians) as it surrounds the Moors before kicking them out during the Inquisition.  Apparently being politically correct still isn't big on Spain's list of to-dos. 
 While the population of Eugene swings the completely opposite direction when it comes to cultural sensitivity, in the end the palette wins at the Rigby home and I hope that this form of beans and rice becomes a permanent staple.

And once again it was marathon time.  I love the Eugene marathon and the way this town feels all weekend.  I couldn't coax Rocky out of bed but Daisy braved the early morning in her footie p.j.s to cheer on the runners.  We were too late for the beginning but we caught them at around mile 9.  I, as always, had to get a blubbery and tear up.  I can't blame this on pregnancy this time because my eyes always get all watery when watching marathons.  This time the thing that really hit me was how excited the spectators get when the person they are cheering on passes.  There they are all standing along the road with looks of anticipation, scanning the faces of the thousands of runners, looking for someone that is special to them.  And when they finally see that one they jump and cheer and then you see the big smile of some poor exhausted person who has a new spring in his step.  It just made me think of the whole worth of souls idea, that each one of those runners is extremely valuable and inspiring to the people in his or her life.  
It also made me think about how nice it is to have the support of friends and family, especially when you are feeling worn out.
This is the kind of sentimentality that long races bring out in me.

By the way, the reason I have been able to write so much this morning is that Brandon got called in to perform his civic responsibility and serve jury duty.  It was a bummer for him, but he left the computer so his loss has turned out to be my gain.  But, alas, Sesame Street is over and I've got to get back to that whole parenting thing that I'm supposed to be doing. 

Hot Rockin' 4th

 For Rocky's 4th birthday we tried to do everything she wanted.  I figured we might as well do it now while she is young and her big dreams are still easily fulfilled.  Since it fell on a Sunday we opted to celebrate all weekend long.
For months she has been begging to go to "Old McDonald's" to play and eat.  I hope they got their fill for the year. 

 The next stop on her wishlist was the movie theater.  We saw The Pirates! Band of Misfits which was hilarious.  I like this picture because it shows how those of us who live in Oregon aren't used to seeing the sun.
 She also got her first bike.  She was thrilled, along with all the other kids in our complex who might actually get to ride their own bikes instead of always sharing with her. 
 She was so excited that it was her birthday that she was bouncing around all day.  I bet by the time she finally went to bed her calves were exhausted from all that jumping.
 She chose spaghetti and meatballs for dinner and polished off about 4 helpings.  Sorry for the skin but the kids at our house eat spaghetti sans clothing.  At first it was because we were trying to keep their clothes clean, but now I think that the fact they get to take off their shirts is one of the reasons it is consistently the favorite meal around here. 
 Daisy always tries hard to avoid the paparazzi.
 The Peep sunflower cake that Rocky found in a magazine a year ago and asked for ever since.  I made it after she had gone to bed and I felt kind of dumb when I finished.  I told Brandon that I thought it looked like it was made by a 4th grader.  When Rocky got up the next morning she looked at it and cheered.  She was so sincerely excited with it and I realized that to a 4-year-old a 4th grader is pretty cool. 

 I asked her if she wanted to invite some friends over to eat cake, thinking that she would pick a couple of kids but instead she said she only wanted our neighbors Brandon and Jody to come.  I don't blame her because Brandon and Jody are really fun and they are always so loving to her.  Since she doesn't get to be with her blood aunts and uncles they have graciously stepped in and she adores them.

She got some great presents from her grandparents and a treat at church.  She also had some cute signs that her daddy made to decorate the house and all the cake she could eat.  All in all I think it was a success. 

Saturday, April 28, 2012

The Rise and Fall of Pony Ride

Yesterday, during a long run along the riverbank trail Pony Ride the beloved stuffed mouse was lost.  We still had her when we crossed the footbridge because I remember glancing down and seeing her hanging by her tail from Rocky's mouth.  By the time we got to Skinner Butte Park she was gone.  I was so far into the run and my legs were so burned out that I wasn't sure we were even going to be able to make it home and turning back was out of the question.
When we got home I pulled everything out of the jogger to look again to no avail.  I was devastated.
Rocky was pretty mature about the whole thing and was trying to cheer me up.  "I bet that someone will find her and take her home so she will be safe," she said.  Her voice sounded reassuring, but I was thinking about how bedraggled and slobbered on that mouse was and knew that nobody was going to touch its chewed on tail.  I sort of toyed with the idea that maybe one of the homeless dudes that wander the trail might think it was interesting and add it to his shopping cart, but I'm not sure that could really be considered a home.

I got in the shower and cried.

At this point I need to justify the surge of emotion by noting that not only am I pregnant, but I had just finished a completely exhausting workout.

Pony Ride was a gift from Jill and was originally meant for Daisy.  But, while her little sister was napping, Rocky got the first choice and immediately latched on to the little white beanie baby.  It took her almost 2 days to come up with the name...which still has no explanation.  Since then she has been carried around either by her tail or in Rocky's shirt.  When we last saw her she was no longer white, but that dirty kind of grey that really loved stuffed toys become.

I need to reiterate that Rocky didn't even seem fazed.  I mean, I'm not sure if she has even realized what has happened.  I, on the other hand, couldn't get over it.
I kept waking up all night long until I decided that first chance this morning I would take my bike and go look along the trail.  This, by the way, is not my style.  I generally try to stick to the philosophy that toys come and go and our kids need to learn that they aren't that important.  The kids already knew, but their mom needed more convincing.

So I headed back to the riverbank trail which turned out to be a disaster.  The March of Dimes were having their fundraiser with hundreds of people walking along the trail.  I joined at the EWEB building which put me in between the runners and walkers, and I was going the wrong way.  I was trapped and desperately trying to maneuver my way through the throngs of baby carriages and tutu wearing dogs.  I knew immediately that it was a lost cause because even if Pony Ride was still out there, there was no way that I was going to see her with all these people everywhere.  I gradually worked my way through the walkers, and avoided the runners completely.  I even came across a table where they were giving out cowbells and even though I knew I shouldn't, I took one.  The lady clearly knew that I wasn't one of the walkers, but she smiled at me anyway.  Once I made it past the do-gooders I became surrounded by college students that were wearing green and yellow and carrying cases of beer.  I'm not sure what was going on at the stadium but it looked like it was going to be pretty lively.
I eventually found a little bit of open space and was able to do some pondering while I enjoyed the beautiful morning.  All of it, the race, the students, the river and everything reminded me just how much I love this town.

As I rode along with my new cowbell making tinkling sounds in my pocket I started thinking that maybe this breakdown I was having has less to do with the toy and more to do with the fact that Rocky is turning 4 tomorrow.  I know I just basically slipped myself onto the couch at a therapist but I think that Pony Ride is acting as a stand in for the stress I have about my baby growing up.  Once again, this is not my style.  I always make fun of moms that cry when they drop their kids off at kindergarten.  I always thought they were pansies, but here I am publicly admitting that I was bawling my eyes out over a lost mouse.

I think it may have been the weather this morning that helped me find my peace while I was out there on my bike.  Pony Ride was only around for a small time, but she was loved harder than most toys in our home will ever be.  Four years ago I was just starting the adventure of raising an amazing little girl and even though it feels like seconds have passed she has already grown so much.  In a way that little baby is just lost forever.  But the thing that makes me feel better is that there will be other Pony Rides, and all kinds of new adventures as my kids grow and learn.

The other lesson that I've learned is that we had better steer clear of ever getting an actual pet because I just don't think I can handle it.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Easter Time

 As I walked out the door with the camera to try and take the Easter Sunday pictures Brandon gave me a look and said, "This is always the moment of our undoing."
I had to agree that he was right because my girls are notorious for refusing to cooperate when it comes to taking a nice dressed up shot.  I figured that since I was going to church and had to teach in Young Womens and Spanish that my day was already headed down the tube and I might as well risk it.  While we still didn't get the perfect angel scene that I had in mind, this rebellion was cheerful and much closer to reality. 
My Little Angels

Some of the families in the neighborhood put together a little egg hunt and I was glad to get a picture of all these little jammers who have become a big part of our lives. 
After being coached by Indee, and then taking a second practice round at the church breakfast the Rigby girls were putting up some fierce competition.  Earlier in the day Daisy had hunted out 4 pieces of candy and could not believe her luck.  This time she knew what she was in for and wasn't going to let anything get in her way.  That is why she took off at a sprint...well it was kind of more like a waddle-ish type of fast walk, but it was her fastest, and she did it before the hunt had officially started.
 Rocky took a more subtle tactic and just tried to scope out the best eggs while the others were distracted.

 They both came out with full baskets.
And we thought that was the end of our hunting for the year, but the Valverdes had a surprise up their sleeves and on Sunday night they were hunting again.

Now every time we leave the house Daisy wants to take her basket with her and she just in case she finds candy-filled eggs randomly outdoors.
We had a great time and are so grateful for all the people who filled those eggs with candy and with support for our family. 
And, thanks to my assignments at church I also had a chance to spend a lot of time thinking about the true meaning of Easter.  Before church Brandon asked Rocky what he thought they would talk about in Primary and she didn't have any idea.  When he suggested that they might focus on Easter she made a confused face and said, "Dad, they don't talk about that kind of stuff at church.
I was worried that we had given her only half of a perfect Easter.  Brandon fixed it by showing her a bunch of videos on the church website.
 I usually like to keep things light on this blog but I do want to say that I feel especially grateful this year for the life of our Savior.  I love the hope that lies in the symbol of an empty tomb and appreciate that because He lives that we can be together as a family forever.

And now for a couple of bonus pictures:
 We had a bunch of really cool missionaries around and we all especially bonded with Elder Camacho who is in the middle.  This picture just really made me happy and I wanted it saved.
 I probably should feel sad that my kid is so absorbed in Shaun the Sheep but I just thought she looked so cute.

The More the Merrier

It is way more fun to stay home with Abia and cool tios.  We colored eggs and just hung out.

Indee even made an Easter egg hunt with tons of candy that Brandon and I later confiscated and ate. 

 Daisy actually kept pretty good track of her candy.  She knew how many of each kind she had and would belt out a screaming alarm if anyone even came close to it. 
We didn't take a lot of photos during their visit but it was a blast to have such fun visitors.  We were sad to see them go and miss them already.

A Sunny Day on the Coast

The newest in Rigby style
Those of you not living in Oregon might not know how lucky we were to see some sun on our trip to the coast.  Kathy, Hayden and Indee came out for a visit and most of what they saw in Eugene was what we've been seeing a lot of the past few weeks...rain.  On our drive out to Newport the forecast called for rain and hail, which we did experience, but it was accompanied with a lot of glorious sun.  While I was trying to bask in it as much as possible, Rocky, who was clearly raised here, just kept saying, "My eyes are burning."  

We did a little hiking and a little tide-pooling and had a nice day enjoying the ocean.
 Rocky was either thrilled or disgusted with this big hunk of junk that she had collected.  Either way it didn't stop her from picking it up.


A preview of a future teenage girl?

Monday, April 2, 2012

Spring Break

 We didn't travel anywhere for spring break this year but we had a lot of fun hanging out in Eugene.  We spent a lot of time spring cleaning which in this state means working on our un-ending battle with mold.  We also took a bunch of bags of junk to Goodwill.  It always feels like a renewal when you can de-clutter and make room for the new junk that we will eventually fill the empty spaces. 

We also went to check out the Raptor Center which is very cool.  There are all kinds of huge and beautiful birds that are being rehabilitated there and others that have injuries that keep them there permanently.  I didn't get many photos but I did catch a glimpse of these this rare and dangerous breed.
 We for once were the cool kids on the playground when we busted out this kite.  I've had it for like two years and kept pushing it to the back of my closet.  I figured that I might as well actually use it so that it would get stuck in a tree or something and I wouldn't have to keep storing it.  But it turned out to be really fun and the girls along with about a bazillion kids from the co-op were thrilled.  There were a few close calls where some of the more rambunctious kids were "accidentally" almost hit with a low swooping kite, but in the end everyone went home in tact...even the kite.

 We went to breakfast at a local place called Brail's which was a big hit.  This time when the girls walked in wearing their pjs and slippers it wasn't by accident.  I'm already looking forward to the next time we can go back.

Overall it was a fun break just being together as a family.

Bonus Story:  Yesterday Rocky was pretending to be Abby the little fairy on Sesame Street.  Abby is always poofing things, which is to say that she will do a little spell and 'poof' whatever the spell called for will appear.  She didn't know I was watching but I heard her say,
"Handsome, handsome, handsome...
And my age!"  Poof!
Lucky for me nobody appeared this time, but I fear it is only time until someone does.