Monday, January 28, 2013

Or shaped like a blogg or a garden hose

Guys, I miss blogging.  Not that I even enjoy writing or have a knack for it and my photography (lack of) skills hardly deserve a guffaw, but still.  Probably it's just guilt then.  Guilt or this nagging fear that if I don't blog, after the six of us die there will be no evidence that we ever did anything with our lives.  Also, someday after all of my children are grown and finally leave me, I fully intend to blurp all of this nonsense (isn't that what it's called?) into indestructible hard-cover novels.  I guess that's due to aforementioned fear of obscurity.  

Several times I've pulled up blogger and even uploaded some photos.  I get stuck about there.  With eight plus months of unblogged happenings, the big O settles in (that would be overwhelmment, which is a word), and shortly thereafter we're watching Office reruns again and my heart does a little frowny face.  

Here comes my pep talk to myself.  All I can say is that Done is Better Than Perfect.  I think I'm finally giving up on creating a comprehensive record of our lives here.  Um, I actually never did anyway, so what's the big deal?  So, sorry you missed out on Ellie 6th birthday party, but you'll get to see her 7th.  (Next post!)  And maybe I only took one picture on our three-week vacation with beloved family and friends.  But look!  Here's half of the hedgehogs we made last week.  Aren't forest animals the cutest these days?  

Our Craft Hope group here in Oklahoma made these and four other just like 'em to send to kids who survived Hurricane Sandy.  I was thrilled to use up eight rectangular pieces of unbelievably soft, furry material I bought for Ellie's 3rd birthday for a monkey activity.  See, sometimes hoarding pays!  Anyway, the day of the activity one of the peeps on the email list wrote me a note saying Charitable agencies have received millions of stuffed animals, so many that they have no idea who to give them all to.  Super.  We made them anyway!  Some of the limbs turned out really gimpy so maybe we'll find some injured kids at the hospital who'll appreciate them more.  Or Ming.  She's pretty much obsessed with every last stuffy in the land.

Kjerstin saved the day (and the Christmas season, for that matter!) with a mid-December visit.  She seriously saved my heine because I was wigging out with all the Christmas chaos and I needed her to pull all of it off.  She arrived with strep and left the day after heaving her guts out, and still managed to save Christmas, Oklahoma edition.  Yay!  Everybody should have a Kjerstin!

My cousin Jeff and his wife Sukyoung live a couple hours away in Texas so while Uncle Paul was visiting we lured them to us with second-rate dim sum (actually I'm not Chinese enough to be discriminating-- quite liked it) and free holiday festivities.  Such a great fam!  And I hadn't seen Jeff for 13 years and actually this was my first time talking to him ever, so yeah.  Pretty good stuff.  We loved our visit with them.

Charlie's been dressing himself since he was about 18 months old.  I've long given up on intervening.  Sometimes he wears superheroes capes and suspenders.  Other times a tutu (no it's a tool belt, Mom!) and a lizard mask.  He wore a sweater and swim trunks to Target recently and I got a lot of hard glares for that move, given the wind chill.  What can I do?  That's right, absolutely nothing.  I try to dress Ming and myself cute when we go out so we don't all look like white trash storybook characters.  I think I took this photo because this was one of his better ensembles.  Monochromatic, at least.  He was so pleased to chance upon a fire hydrant to accessorize his look.

Apparently pulling the camera out threw them off so just take my word for it that seven kids hunched over a single popcorn bowl shoveling into their faces at top speed was pretty darn funny.  

Haha, I really was thorough in my uploading.  I didn't weed too many photos out from the past month.  These were part of a series of love notes we used to make calendars for the Gramps' and Grans for Christmas. 

Oh yeah, this was Kjerstin saving Christmas.  She wrapped every last ditty under the tree and bought gifts for the kids that they actually wanted.  Thanks, Keesaw!

This was that lone photo I took on our three-week trek through Arizona and California.  It was Christmas, for goodness sake!  So much goodness in edible and non-edible forms.  And all I bothered to capture was crying cousins clutching our makeshift baby gate.  Ah well, tomorrow Ma's bringing a photo cd with my name on it so perhaps I'll attempt to remedy my negligence with her photos.

I understand that some certain sisters of mind find "babies having babies" a tad disturbing, but Ming freaking loves that baby... and she has enough hair for pigtails now!  A Larsen baby with hair!  She could be kissing a rat baby and I'd forgive her, just for having pigtails.  Okay, I actually think babies holding babies is endearing, not gonna lie.  So maybe rats have nothing to do with it.

Five months later, I decided to start knowing where any of my food was.  Here's the "before" of my pantry.  I really let the floor get this bad.

Much worse than it looks.  Nothing is clumped by category and half of the bottles are empty.  Okay, not half, but they might as well all have been when I would whisk in there searching for an ingredient in a hurry, often coming up empty handed.

Ming helped me reorganize strands of spaghetti.

Okay, we're out of order here.  Santa was unfortunately unable to deliver on Ellie's request for a hermit crab.  (As it turns out, swiping crabs from the beach is illegal now???  And without ocean water they supposedly die?  Plus there didn't end up being tide pools outside the beach condo where Santa was staying.)  A real trooper, she used her savings to purchase them herself.  Copper and Spotlyn, she calls them, and loves them with all the maternal affection that she'd otherwise have to direct toward brothers.  

Funny story about the pet habitat there.  Erik picked it up full of mini dino figurines at a free stuff event.  He loved it, and I didn't love it's bulkiness and odd shape for housing toys.  After he left for Minnesota and I was clearing stuff out in Arizona, I tossed it in the dumpster at Kjerstin's apartment complex.  A couple days later we saw the same one at Target selling for $20, and for the first time I realized the air slots were intended to keep real animals alive, not plastic ones.  A pet habitat we could for sure use!  I literally dumpster dove every last piece of it, even the small, clear ones.  In Phoenix.  In August.  Love conquers all.  That would be love of bargains.

Thirteen months later, Ming decided she doesn't actually loathe being bathed.  About time, you redonculous baby head!
Charlie not smoooshing the living daylights out of his weak, nearly defenseless little sister/prey?  A rare moment of gentleness had to be documented.  

Oo here we go, back to the pantry.  Ta da!  

Still crammed in there, but I know where every last grain of rice is located now!  

Okay, riveting photos, I know.  Can you tell I was proud?

This little Houdini can and does escape from every restraining device she encounters, excepting her car seat.  But it's only a matter of time...  So I have to hold her at stores because no safety belt can rein her in.  And she eats standing up in her high chair.  Well, we put it on the lowest setting so it's more of a low chair now.  And immediately after freeing herself she attacks us with all manner of cheesy grins, unrelenting until the very moment we give up on scolding her and bust up laughing.  Works like a charm.

Whoo, that was not a succinct blog post.  But it's over!  Yeah, we did it!