Friday, April 29, 2011

Another Week Gone...

Okay, when a friend sends you an e-mail that starts with "Have you fallen off the face of the earth?" You know it's been a busy month. You also now know why I try to keep myself to Tuesday and Friday deadlines - it's too easy to skip a post. Or two...

So what has kept me away? Oh, I'm so glad you asked. The Munchkins allowed daddy and I to tag along with them the last two weeks while they did the following:

Well, there was Easter of course. Not many pictures though, as Mark chose to sleep through the egg hunt, and Grace was a whirlwhind. Here's what I managed to document:

Faster, Grace! Faster! Surely there are more eggs somewhere!

Finally a moment of peace. Until that sugar kicks in...
We also visited the zoo for the first time:

Mommy and Gracie had lots of fun.

Grace laughed out loud watching the monkeys. Silly girl.

Look! I'm sitting on a giant turtle!

Mark: Um... I don't think so Grace. I'll stay right
here thank you very much.

Mark is quietly watching the lion as Grace reminds
every one to "Shhhh... maow is sheeping."

Despite not wanting to ride the turtles, Mark was
still very interested in the action!

He was also thrilled to be able to walk around for once!
You could just feel how delighted he was to be free.
Next we played at the park (apparently I only got pictures of Mark):

Mark really has a handle on the swinging thing!

He also thought he would brave the stairs - but he didn't.
And of course, there was excitement around the house as well:

I'm pretty sure everyone eats with two spoons. Right mom?

When I told him we only use one spoon, and that
he was eating from the wrong end, this was his response.

So we use our spoons like this and make sure to smear
the food everywhere, right mom?

When I told him we preferred he would NOT
smear food all over himself, this was his response.

When we put him in the tub, this was his response - and
apparently Grace is catching on. Hmph.
 Speaking of Grace, imagine my surprise at finding this upon walking into the dining room after breakfast on Wednesday:

Now mom, before you say anything... I wanted to tell
you that I was SHARING! Sharing! Isn't that nice of me?
Yes, Grace had given my coffee cup to Mark. And yes, there was still some lukewarm coffee in it. But not anymore...

After this Mark declared it "Good to the last drop."
And then he dropped the cup on the floor and it shattered.

I hope your April wasn’t half as busy as mine! We sure had fun this month, but I’m ready for life to slow down a little. Hopefully we’ll be back on track next week and back to our regular blogcast schedule. If you missed a few posts because I didn’t have time to put them on Facebook, here’s a friendly reminder that you can enter your e-mail address on the upper left and you’ll never miss another post!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

A Contribution to the English Language

Did you know that some of the words we use were only created because a new invention or technology required an adjective be created to distinguish the old technology from the new?

Have I lost you already? Okay class, let's give some examples.

Analog is a word that was only created after the invention of digital. No one defined a clock, phone or other such devices as "analog" until digital technology was introduced. "Land line"? Who had need to distinguish that your phone was actually connected to the wall prior to the invention of wireless? Lastly, due to a recent trip to the post office on tax day (stupid, stupid, stupid...) I point out "snail mail". Had this term been used just two decades ago, your friends and family would have placed a salt shaker by the mailbox, in case you made good on your statement.

After the celebration of my son's first birthday, I feel compelled to comment on another string of adjectives making its way into the mainstream: frustration-free packaging. Unlike the aforementioned words, this phrase was not invented to distinguish it from a newer technology. No, this phrase is the latest "technology". What I would like to comment on is the lack of a moniker for its predecessor, which - trust me - is still alive and well.

Since I appear to be the only one aware of this enormous gap in the English language, I would like to present some options for the current packaging.

Frustration Inducing Containers: Known as FIC. I enjoy this name only because it would sound wildly appropriate when opening such a container. Imagine the following:

Wife: "Honey, why is your face so red?"
Husband: "Because I'm trying to open this FIC-ing container and the kids are so impatient to get at the toys they've begun to chant and beat drums while circling around me! I think I've got about two minutes before they throw me to the wolves and tear at the packaging with their teeth!"

Hmmm. FIC-ing container? Maybe it's not as appropriate as it sounds when you put twelve party attending two year olds on the scene.

Multiple Object Container: Shortened to MOC (pronounced "mock"). So named because of the myriad of devices needed to unlock the prize within the package. Why is it that a toy for a one year old takes three adults, two scissors, one multi-tool and three hours to open? Yes, MOC has potential.

Hazard Inducing Instruments of Death: Pronounced "hide", HIID is probably the best description for the current wrappings the industry moguls have dreamed up. In an effort to prevent theft, danger to children, and any chance that parents may actually relax after their children receive a gift, packaging has now become so ridiculous that our lives are in danger.

You've seen it - the large gashes in fingers and palms from that terrible hard plastic encasing a toy so perfectly that Saran wrap could not have formed any closer. One of my son's gifts had so many twist ties, small screws placed through tiny plastic washers, and minute pieces of invisible tape, that once we finally retrieved the toy from it's oppressive surroundings, the "safe for under age 3" product had left so many choking hazards in its wake I wondered if we should move the party outside until I had a chance to properly vacuum! The worst part? The gift was from me.

Yes, I believe HIID is a wonderful description for these contraptions. Decades from now, when HIID containers are just a distant memory, our children will recall how their parents screamed in horror, running from the room, trying to "hide" from the awful packaging that awaited every knife, screwdriver and blowtorch in the house.

Of course, the irritation of opening a package is only a precursor to the next stage of terror:

But I'll leave that for another time.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Another Week Gone...

We've been a bit busy in the Sunshine household lately...

Grandma and Grandpa came all the way from Florida to visit us:

Yay! A week filled with spoiling and fun!
Daddy had the 21st anniversary of his 21st birthday:

This was a lot more exciting on the first
anniversary of my 21st birthday...
And of course, my baby boy had his first anniversay of his 1st birthday!
Where's the cake? They said there would be cake.
THIS isn't cake... hmph.
Here are some of the highlights from the last two weeks:

We took some formal family photos...

Mark was thrilled to wear his first tie.

Daddy and Grandpa put together Mark's
birthday present...

Look mom! No hands!
...and I'm a little frightened about it!

Mark approved of the birthday gift.

Gracie did too!

On Mark's birthday, we went to an indoor fun house...

Mark wasn't feelin' the "fun" at first...

But he put his big boy pants on and tried out
the big slide anyway!

Excuse me little girl, but if you think you're gettin'
any of my birthday cake, you're crazy.

Okay, so you squish it like this... and then...

...put it everywhere but your mouth. Right?
Mark was so tired from all the festivities, by the time we served the cake, he was exhausted! A better caption to the above photo might have been "Look mom, no matter how many pictures you take, I'm not going to eat anymore cake - unless it's in my crib with my blankie!"

None of the other boys seemed to need a nap.
They were ready to roll!
You boys sure are messy! Clean, clean, clean,
I feel like Cinderelli!

Since Mark was sleeping, Gracie reluctantly
stepped in as gift opener...
Grandma and Grandpa said goodbye the day after the party:

"Gracie, why are they smiling when they're about to leave soon?"
"I dunno Mark, I can't find anything to smile about!"
We miss you Grandma and Grandpa! Come back soon!
We had some of the usual shenanigans this week too:

Mark helped me with the dishes...

...and Gracie and I played a rousing game of hide and seek.
Mark may have had the biggest milestone, but Gracie had one yesterday too! She counted to ten. I didn't even know she knew her numbers! She said "One, two, three, two, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten!" I was pretty impressed. After all, two two's does make four ya' know.

We've had lots of fun with family the last two weeks. I hope you've had some fun too. Life sure gets busy sometimes, but don't let that get in the way of enjoying every minute!

My little Tigger.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Happy Birthday Baby

Happy Birthday Sweet Boy!

Scrapbook at
Photo Tinks by

All I can say is: "There'd better be cake."

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Another Year Gone...

As I was cleaning the grape jelly out of Mark's hair this morning, I began to think about where I was this time last year. I was nine months pregnant, and we had been living in this house for exactly eight days. I was wondering when my baby would decide to make his appearance, and how many boxes I could unpack before that happened. I wondered if Grace was ready to spend every day with mommy, instead of with her friends at day care. I wondered if I would ever be able to see my toes again.

Easter 2010, 4 days before Mark was born
As two chubby fingers smeared oatmeal across my glasses, I had a hard time believing an entire year had passed. We had moved from a small home on a few acres to a slightly larger home in a densely populated neighborhood. At our old house, Papa and DeeDee lived next door. Now they're forty five minutes away. Of course, daddy's work used to be forty five minutes away, and now it's less than ten minutes. Sometimes he even comes home for lunch.

I took Mark out of his high chair and chuckled to realize I'm still not used to the fact that when I put him down, he stands. I still expect him to him plop on his bum and then crawl off at lightning speed. This time last year I'd never even kissed his sweet baby face.

My sweet baby boy, one week old
Grace pulls on my hand saying "Pay momma, pay!" as she drags me toward the play room. It's so fun to hear her thoughts and see her excitement at finally being understood. Last year at this time, I still did almost everything for her: putting on clothes, brushing teeth, putting her in a high chair and changing diapers. Now she says "I got it, I got it, I got it" as she does these things by herself. Except the diaper part of course. That's turned into "Yucky poo poo." Yes, yucky indeed.

My sweet baby girl, 20 months old
As we settle in to play "hide in the box", I close the last flap over a small red head and realize that a year ago, I had only stopped playing "hide in the cubicle" for a few weeks. I was excited about not having to punch a time clock, but also worried about what that would be like. You know what? It's been hard. And fun. Crazy. Unexpected. Adventurous. Challenging. And so many other things that are hard to put into words.

My favorite moments are when they laugh and play together...
 Two little voices burst into laughter as a big sister entertains her brother by popping up out of a cardboard box. I love that sound. I love those voices. I love those faces.

...even if I suspect the joke is on me.
 Life is not marked by boxes on a square of paper hanging on the wall. Life is measured by events. A move to a new city, a new job, a new baby. Our family has been through a lot of change this last year, and it's all gone by so quickly... I look into the eyes of my baby, who is not such a baby anymore, and I can't help but wonder what the next year will bring. Whatever it might be, I want to cherish every day as my children are growing right before my eyes - far too quickly.