Sunday, June 27, 2010

The Proposal

04-17-07 Playdate with Isaac

Over three years ago, Kyla and Isaac became friends, or at least the first born children of women who were to become good friends.  This is the first picture I have of the two together; they are almost 8 months old here.

Well, a few weeks ago at playgroup, Isaac officially proposed to Kyla.  I was not witness to this event, but Susanne (Isaac’s mother) related that Kyla looked not particularly excited and told Isaac that she couldn’t get married because she was not a grown up yet.  Isaac replied that of course he didn’t mean before growing up, and then they went back to playing on the swings.


Pretty idyllic, huh?

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I like this series of shots when Isaac twists Kyla around in circles. June 025

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I have a bit of crush on Isaac myself….

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Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father’s Day

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Thanks to the nifty function that allows me to change the date of my actual posting, there is NO WAY to tell it’s taken me three days to get to this.

Father’s Day was as good as Mother’s Day at our house. Dwayne wanted to go out to breakfast before church and Dad was happy to have Thai for dinner. If you are reading closely, you know that means no cooking—or kitchen cleanup-- in this household today!

Dwayne’s real gift for Father’s Day was a wife who didn’t argue when he ordered extra cable (with DVR) so he could catch all of the World Cup. Go USA!

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This is Dwayne getting his “World’s Best Dad” stickers from Kyla.


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Janet holds Wesley..


June 2010 027 .Dad gets his “Grandpa” car.

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Piper reaches out to get the camera so she can see what she looks like.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Six Days

God reportedly created the world in 6 days—I merely survived a 6-day cabin/camping trip with the Little Bambinos. We met up with my parents, aunt, and siblings (and their respective tag-alongs) at one of the tagalong’s family mountain cabin on Friday and stayed until Sunday.

Day 1:

Keith with the remote controlled-boat that he constructed himself. Just before it died. 003

Brian with his very pretty and super-great girlfriend, Sandi.


A small pond that the girls first whetted their appetites for getting wet in icy water.


Gramma holds Wesley, wrapped in a sister’s jacket.


The scenery. This doesn’t do the area justice, as the perfectly blue lake reflecting the beautiful day isn’t shown here.


This is the lake on the first day, before we give up and take off Kyla’s clothes. Piper is sound asleep in the stroller and is disappointed later to find she has missed out on all the hypothermia. My resolution to be in the lake with Kyla was to 1) prevent her from drowning, and 2) keep tabs on how quickly our legs were going numb.


It’s pretty clear to the average blog-follower on what happens to Kyla’s clothes between these two shots. 024

Uncle Keith tries to warm Kyla up by engaging her in a soccer-game….

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But she gazes longingly at the lake.

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Day 2: Back at the lake

I don’t remember much else about that weekend, or the rest of the camping trip, because right after I took these pictures, Piper ignored my frantic callings and kept walking straight into the water until she tripped, went completely underwater and struggled to come up (the frigidity of the water made it worse). So I dashed in behind her, grabbed on to her with both hands and carried her back to land and the extra towels I had packed. Sadly, my camera was strapped to my wrist when I went in after her and it didn’t recover from its icy plunge as quickly as Piper did.

A moment when Piper is, surprisingly, not trying to drown herself.

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All those scabs, cuts, and bruises on Kyla’s sweet little legs? Just a down payment for the rest she would get over our little camping trip. She’s come to me with a huge cut on her elbow and not even notice it, but if her sister takes a swipe in her direction, she screams for revenge! But she is kind of cute…

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Once my camera was in a coma, so was my memory. I need those pictures to remind me of what we did. Luckily, Dad was able to send me a few he took, so I know that they got their first s’mores around the campfire. (Piper just wanted to eat the chocolate.)

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Days 3-6: After leaving the cabin, the kids and I followed Gramma and Grandpa a few hours down the road and camped in a gorgeous new tent. I do not recommend putting it up on a windy day, if you have a choice in the matter, and you’ll need at least 2 adults and 0 kids to get it standing. BUT, once the queen mattress, the two kids beds, a potty, and all our bags were in, more than half of the floor space was still available to strew all sorts of toys, clothes, and food over. It was great!

I don’t want to record much else here, in fear that it will keep me from ever taking the kids camping again, but I did finally read two good books during that time.

The Whistling Season by Ivan Doig: Book Cover

I have read his Dancing at the Rascal Fair, and it the ratio of pleasure of reading it to number of pages was low, but this one was still entertaining by the end. We’re reading it for book group and I read it over about two days. It is good historical fiction, but unlike The Help or Prayers for Sale, it didn’t transport me there and submerse me in the setting.

The Hunger Games (Hunger Games Series #1) by Suzanne Collins: Book CoverSheryl from book club recommended this to me months and months ago. I put it on hold, didn’t pick it up on time, blah, blah, and finally, I got hold of a copy last week. I should never wait so long for a Sheryl-book—she’s always right about what I would like. This one is certainly a YA (young adult) novel, which is a genre I especially like to read as they often have to be pretty compelling to have any staying power. This is the first of a trilogy and the third will be released this August. There are rumors of it being made into a movie, but I can already guarantee the book is better. This took just a smidgeon over a day to read (and yes, I did read the ending before I finished the rest of the book. I couldn’t wait.)

To Brag

Many of you know where Dwayne works, and a few of you (though not necessarily his wife) actually understand what he does.  For several years, now, he has been working on WPF (Windows Presentation Foundation).  Somehow, he connected to someone writing a book about the software and Dwayne was asked to be a technical editor for the book.  It was a huge job (just a little something he did for dozens of hours in his nonexistent free time) and he brought others in from his team to go through some of the book.  He finished up his share of it a few months ago and I have been trying to put it behind me ever since.

Yesterday, an unexpected package was left outside our door. Inside were two copies of:


(Actually, this was the last version.  The latest looks exactly like this but is titled WPF 4 Unleashed.)

Opening it to dedication and acknowledgment page, it reads

I’d like to sincerely thank Dwayne Need, senior development manager from the WPF team, for being a fantastic technical editor.  His feedback on the my drafts was so thorough and insightful, the book is far better because of him. 


Isn’t my husband awesome?

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

This is the Child….

6-6 Piper 2 6-6 Piper

…who, when I went into the kitchen to answer the phone, was using a sharp knife to open a box of matches.  I kid not at all.

This is also the child who I had a Battle of Wills with the other night about eating a banana.  It was a draw.

Friday, June 4, 2010

It’s Like Sputnik!

We have been roughing it in a cozy 5-person dome tent since we were married.  Last summer, it was getting a little crowded with our queen mattress, Kyla’s bed, the Pack-N-Play for Piper, and all the necessary gear needed when camping with youngsters.  Actually, we had no space on the floor to even walk, let alone room for our latest addition.  So, our latest addition  (Wesley)  prompted us to upgrade to the latest addition (the Montreaux).

It doesn’t take long on to find that the trend toward McMansions has also hit the REI crowd.  This 37 pound monstrosity measures

17.5 by 14 feet, the large Swiss Gear Montreaux Family Dome Tent will sleep up to ten people. It features a generous 177 square feet of space with sewn-in room dividers creating two distinct living areas and two side rooms with divider curtains for extra storage.


We think it will be big enough.  We hope the tent sites we are registered for this summer are also big enough.

The tent arrived late this afternoon, so after dinner we went down to the basement to set it up as a family.

It’s wasn’t so intimidating at first.



But as we spread it out, we had to move aside a few big pieces of furniture.  For those of you familiar with our basement, the door of the tent opened right next to the fire place, and the back reached almost all the way to the bar.  We were able to move one of the chairs enough to set up the west wing, but the east wing remains incomplete.



This girls were beside themselves with excitement and loved putting 16 poles together.



Someday, Son, all this will be yours (to set up).



Piper got lost in the west wing before it was fully constructed.



So just how tall is this tent?  Dwayne can’t quite touch the top.



This doesn’t even begin to give you a feel for the scope of this thing.  But it’s big.  Really, really big. 



Come camping with us this summer and get a tour.  We’ll be the tent that is set up partly in the road because the site isn’t big enough for us.  Just come in—we’re in the back and can’t hear the front doorbell.


I realized that I haven’t posted as many pictures of our firstborn, so made an effort of finding unpublished pictures of Kyla actually wearing clothes.  I had a dig a bit, and crop some, but here they are:5-11 Zoo

My baby birds get ready to hatch at the zoo.



5-12 Zoo all done

We have to leave the zoo when their clothes get too wet/dirty/muddy.  Well, they’re mostly clothed.



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Well, at least she is wearing a smile.


5-10 Swimming Lessons 1   Swimming Lessons.


He hasn’t quite decided if he prefers fingers or a thumb, but he definitely digs driving his father batty!6-2 Wesley 2

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