Monday, August 26, 2013

A Fond Adios

 The end of every school year is traumatic when you live in student housing and in comes the great and terrible day of graduation.  This year some of my closest friends moved and I don't want to forget that they were part of my grad school adventure. 
Cue the sappy music and watch my short slide show.
Christina (in the middle, not Kimberly who has Rocky popping out of her head).

The Bustos Family
Amy, Logan, Garret and Emily Gillas

The Swensens
This place just won't ever be the same without you.

The Last Few Moments of Summer

 We have been trying to make the most out of the dog days of summer.  This means that our diet has basically become blackberry smoothies.  No complaints from these two.
Cute and Scary
 Daisy's favorite activity of the day is to watch "Daniel's Tiger Hood"  I have tried to explain that it is really Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood but she thinks that if she sticks with her way it will give her more street cred.
Rocky has been riding her bike.  It turns out of you are patient enough to wait until your kids are big enough to take their own training wheels off that teaching them to ride without them takes about 5 minutes.  That's not to say that she hasn't had her share of falls, but so far nothing that a glitter band-aid can't fix.

You already know what Rosy has been up to.  Basically she divides her time between attacking her dad and avoiding attacks from her sisters.
 Brandon is back at school teaching and working on his paper but we still make time to go to the pool almost every day.  We also have nightly dance parties.  One of my favorite parts about having three young daughters is that I can totally jam out to Party in the U.S.A. without feeling even a little embarrassed.  I just tell myself that I'm doing it to be a super fun mom, not because I'm a dork.

Rocky was in music camp for a week.  I was scared to have her gone from 9 until 3 but it turned out to be good for both of us.  I'm not sure if she actually learned that much about music but she had a blast improvising with her teacher who is an amazing jazz pianist.
 And the highlight of the past couple of weeks was Anhiel Valverde's wedding.  It was the perfect night in Brownsville with an amazing view, great food, and even better company.

 The dessert buffet caught the eye of these two (and their mom.)
 We love Anhiel and Alex and it was great to celebrate with them.

The Baby Dragon

 A couple of weeks ago Daisy started referring to Rosy as the Baby Dragon.  She does it consistently and will correct us if we have the gall to try and use her actual name.  It seems hilarious to me because at this stage of her life Rosy really does seem more animal than human.  She is our little pet.
 She just sort of crawls around and eats stuff.  She'll come if you call and sometimes when she gets excited she'll bite you.  Most babies bite when they are frustrated but she does in when she is trying to play.  It used to be cute but now that she has these teeth it is kind of terrifying.

 She sure is cute though.  Just watch your shoulders.

We love our baby dragon.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

This Post Ends With Something a Little Gross

 Now that we are back home we are doing the whole regular life scene.  Well, not really because Brandon hasn't started teaching yet so we are more in the enjoying summer mode. 
 We had to say goodbye to Cadence who has been Rocky's BFF in the red doors.  I was going to let Elena be in the photo too but she wouldn't stop picking her nose so she only got to show her elbow.  I know that probably sounds rude but I took like 7 pictures.  She had her chance. 

Now since her gal pal has moved Rocky gets to hang out with these jokers and wait to see who else moves in.  Muhammadou has his buddy Samba and his DS so he doesn't really need his frenemy right now.  The upside of this change is that she has learned to ride her bike sans training wheels.  There are times when being alone really ends up being awesome.
 We have been showing up for lunch in the park almost every day.
 They like it because everything comes in a brown bag.  I like it because it is free.  
Tire Swinging with Mac
 We found that Rosy and her dad share more than the same face, they also have similar taste in reading material.
 We partied hard at Aurora's quincenera.  Everything was elegant and so much fun.  Rosy is already starting to plan hers.  Look for an invite in September '28.  I would promise for Rocky and Daisy too but at the rate we are going, and at the rate those things cost we will probably need the the extra 5 years.
 We went out and picked blackberries and this years batch is amazing.  They are incredibly sweet.  The first day that we went out Brandon stayed home to work and I took the girls.  I filled my bowl and then grabbed a second bowl so that I could get a few more and when I came back up the hill the first bowl was empty.  Nobody would confess to the crime but all three of them had purple faces and stained hands.  By the time we got home there were only a few left.
The second time I got smart and brought Brandon.  He is a pretty stellar picker anyway and now we've got a bunch to freeze to give a little bit of summer to our oatmeal on the cold winter mornings that will be here too soon.
Before we left I told them to make sure and dress themselves in appropriate picking attire.  They obviously took the challenge seriously.
 I'm not sure what they thought we would be picking.
 I told Rocky that if she kept that grumpy face she would regret it later when she saw the photo.  When I showed it to her a minute ago she agreed that her face looked silly.  Then she said, "At least I look really good, you know, in the fashion way."  She thinks this outfit is pretty much the shiz.

 Rosy was irritated that she didn't get the berry feast that she and her sisters participated in before. 
While Brandon was picking he kind of let out a yelp.  I ran over to see what was going on and he showed me the biggest and baddest spider I have ever seen.
 I am not a scared-of-spiders type of person and I wouldn't scream or anything like that, but when I saw that spider my heart started beating fast and I got the shivers.  Brandon put his hand up next to it for a photo, which didn't work out but just to give you an idea, the legs stretched the length of his pinky.  Go ahead and look at your own pinky and picture this spider on it, I'll wait. 
Its body was so fat and round and bright, it truly was beyond description.  There were a bunch of beautiful blackberries right underneath, which is where they remain at this moment because there was no way either of us were going to get any closer to that web.

And as promised, something gross.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Howards in Astoria

My family made the trek all the way out here to the west coast so we could explore Astoria together.  We hit the usual hotspots and found some surprises along the way.
First stop, the Goonies jail.  How could we resist?
You probably have no idea how many times I wish I had a cell like this in my own house for this very purpose. 
 Chunk is the best character in the movie by a long shot.  Brandon and I got to see the actor when he came to Weber State for convocations.  He pointed out that he set cinematic history by being the first fat kid to wear a Hawaiian shirt and plaid pants simultaneously.  In order to prepare for our trip we re-watched it with the girls and Daisy was completely terrified.  She couldn't care less about the skeletons but Sloth got her.  Once again I am reminded of the fact that I have no business being allowed to raise children.  I hope she won't be scarred for life. 
And on the topic of being traumatized, I think that this Chunk in the photo is one of the scariest things I have seen in my life.
While the rest of us explored the Flavel House across the street and marveled at the opulence Brandon worked on making a movie on the mini sets on the other side of the jail. 

 It was the weirdest thing, the back of this car had bullet holes the size of matzo balls.

 We enjoyed our downtime at Fort Stevens State Park which just happens to be the largest campground in Oregon, and apparently the most popular because even though we made the reservations months ago we couldn't get campsites that were next to each other.  Due to some confusion we had to switch campsites by carrying our tents across loop K, much to the interest of our fellow campers. 
 Rocky got people started on scary stories and then she told one of them herself.  By the end of the night we had to outlaw the phrase Jake the Alligator Man so that nobody would have nightmares.
 Even though we just barely saw them all the kids were super excited to see their Oma and Opa. 

We stumbled upon a pinball bar/shooting gallery that turned out to be a hit.
 Rosy was pretty annoyed that she was wearing this babyish strawberry jacket the whole time but it was the only warm thing that I brought for her.  Every time we go to the coast I think to myself that I should make sure and be prepared for cool and wet weather.  I even called my mom to make sure that everyone knew it would be cold.  Then I went ahead and packed nothing for any of my children.  Once again, stellar parenting.

 The view from the Astoria Column makes it worth the terrifying ascent up the stairs.
And this moment with the planes was my favorite.  I never would have guessed that those little balsa wood gliders could be so much fun.
 And here it is, another truffle shuffle at the corner of the Goondocks.  Too bad that Brandon is so svelte these days and doesn't compare to the original.

 Hiding out at Fort Stevens.
 There was also a lot of this...
 and this
 which paid off because we saw whales, sea lions, and a bunch of birds which included puffins.
We also saw this rare breed of adorable little girls.
My camera ran out of batteries at this point so you will have to imagine Haystack Rock and the tide pools.
Thanks family for coming.  It was truly a blast.