Friday, October 29, 2010

A Year's Growth and Change

I'm just going to put this photo in a post here before I switch it out to my new header photo for the blog. The photo currently on the header was taken a year ago. Wow, these kids have changed so much in the last year, in so many different ways. But you can really see it when you look at the photos!

Here's last year's:

One of the biggest changes is that he's SO much taller now. They used to be a lot closer in size than they are now. And a quick peek at the "How tall in Fall" height chart at our local pumpkin patch shows him closing in on 6' (or at least trying to stretch as tall as possible to look that way!). One look at those huge puppy feet though says he might now be done growing yet!

Asa was having fun stocking up on the small pumpkins from the bin at the pumpkin patch. "Wild Walt" takes everyone on his hayride on a crazy ride, doing donuts in the mud and climbing up the sides of embankments while everyone screeches. Then he takes you through fields with scarecrows and other targets that you can throw the small pumpkins at. What fun!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Can't Help But Laugh

I can't help but crack up every time I hear Asa's new ringtone. Mackenzie used some text-to-speech converter on the internet and then recorded it and downloaded it onto her phone as a bit of a joke. But she loved it and has kept it as her ringtone.

Now when someone calls, her phone says "Hi, this is Asa. I cannot come to the phone right now because I have lost it somewhere and I am dancing and singing in my room."

Why does it make us all laugh so hard? Because it's absolutely true!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Overheard: Sure Proof That I Have a Tween and a Teen

Teenage Boy wants me to purchase ultra-cool Halloween costume that includes mask with recirculating fake blood that drips down the front, a voicebox that turns his voice into a ghoulish creepy voice, and a gory fake axe. This exceeds my budget so he pulls the following out of his arsenal:

"Mooooommmmmm, it's probably the LAST time I'll EVER go trick or treating. Since I'm GROWING UP and all."

Sniffle. Sniffle. He knows how to play on my last little nostalgic mommy nerve, doesn't he?? The last time he goes trick or treating? How can that be? Of course I can't refuse him the costume of his dreams. Of course not.

And this was overheard from the backseat of the car while driving Tweenage Girl to dance class.

Back story: It's "Spirit Week" at her dance studio. Which means every day is something different, like Pajama Day, and Crazy Sock Day. Kind of like Spirit Week in Middle School, except without all of the anxiety of whether or not other people will actually wear their pajamas or whether you'll be the only one and the bullies will beat you up and call you a freaky nerd for actually believing in spirit week. Or whether you won't wear your pajamas, but then all of the popular people will, and so you'll be an idiot for not wearing them. Thus the only safe option is to wear normal clothes but bring your pajamas in a paper bag just in case you should put them on.

But I digress. Spirit week at the dance studio is fun because all of the girls who go there are super-enthusiastic types who just love this stuff. Thus my Tween was calling on the way to class, talking to another girl who was also on her cell phone, about to leave for class. Asa's side of the conversation went thusly:

"Okay, I'll tell you what I'm wearing. But you've got to PROMISE me that you won't steal my style, okay? No, I won't tell you unless you promise. Uh, I'm sure. 'Cuz mine is really cool and I don't want to wear the same thing. Okay, you won't steal it? Okay. I'm wearing one long stripey sock and one short sock that's green with little scotty dogs on it...." (lengthy description of every minute detail of clothing ommitted for brevity).

Yep. I'm the mom to a Teen and a Tween. Entering entirely new universe now. I hope I have a road map, or a star map, or something to guide me...

Saturday, October 16, 2010

A Birthday for a Peach

I always call Asa my peach, because she's just such a sweet little thing (most of the time, except when she hasn't been to too many sleepovers in one week, but I digress). And now, as she informs us, she is leaving her childhood behind and is now a "tween".

Her birthday week was fun, and filled with all of the things she loves. Her dance classes started, the weather was lovely and we rode bikes around, she had a birthday party at the bowling alley with her wonderful group of friends. She even got to go to an audition for a film company who is thinking of filming a project here in our city on Friday, We had less than a day for her to prepare a monologue and for me to take this photo of her to put on her acting resume. As you might imagine, she wowed the casting directors and they called me in to tell me "We hope you know you have something special here." Why yes, we do.

So for the whole week, we celebrated the wonderful gift that is Asa in our lives. She's grown up so much this year, turning into a little lady who is independent and spirited. Sometimes she's gone so much with all of her many activities (seven dance classes a week for starters) that I can see the quiet that our house will be when she's grown up. As it is, she brings an energy to every room she inhabits that fills the house (sometimes with more noise and chaos than we can almost handle, but that's just her).

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Etymology: You Learn Something New Every Day

I just started reading The Girl Who Played With Fire (sequel to The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, which I enjoyed) and in the very first paragraph of Chapter 1, a person sits down on a chaise longue. I thought "how strange! a typo in the first paragraph!". Now I have to say, I pride myself on being a bit of a wordsmith and etymology always fascinates me, so I was surprised to find out that this isn't a typo at all. Though the word has been Americanized to chaise lounge (dating as far back as the 1850s), implying a chair that one might lounge in, the original French word was chaise longue, meaning a long chair (which also makes sense).

If you're interested in slightly more background on this interestingly amended phrase, I found a great site called World Wide Words that offers this explanation. And if you're an etymology junkie like me, I'll warn you that this site might just suck up a bit of your time!

Friday, October 08, 2010

Sesame Street Strikes Again

I have to admit to being an unabashed Sesame Street fan. One of the very first generations to be raised counting with The Count and thinking that Kermit the Frog was a real reporter, I have always loved the muppet's approach to life. So this is just, well, the bomb!

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Time Machine Pranks and Other Random Conversations

One of my favorite times with the kids is when we get to walk someplace together and just talk. No distractions, just hearing what's on their minds. When they were little, it was about puddles or frogs or their new umbrella, very concrete stuff. As they get older, it gets more abstract: plans for the future, questions about bigger topics, musings on life and the universe.

One day on a walk with Mackenzie, we started discussing what sorts of pranks we would play if we had a time machine. Here was our top few:

1) Arrive on the summit of Mt. Everest slightly before Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay. Have already planted a flag and be lounging around eating a sandwich. Casually say "Oh hey guys, what are you doing up here?"

2) Hide on the moon just before Neil Armstrong steps out. Just as he's reciting the whole "One small step for man" speech, jump out wearing a green alien costume.

3) Build a hotel at the site where Columbus will land. Serve him a margarita with a fancy umbrella

4) Become the seer that tells Julius Caesar "Beware the Ides of March". Then we could get stuck in a time paradox where we would have to continually go back in time in order for that to occur in order for history to be correct in order for us to be born in order to travel back in time...

5) Alternately, show up and tell Julius Caesar "Beware St. Patrick's Day"

Yes, this is what we spend our time doing...