Sunday, June 24, 2007

Wedding Mania -- THE dress is here

Yes, in the "unrealistic expectations" section of our childhoods we are about to embark on the biggest one of them all -- at least for girls. The Wedding...

Now I know what you are thinking, how can this be coming up already when our oldest child is only 4? Well we all have forgotten about the little girl wedding initiation process -- the Flower girl. And this is not just any flower girl, this is THE flower girl event of the year. This is the flower girl event that in the imagination of a 4 year old is bigger then any wedding you can imagine -- you don't even need a groom to be a flower girl -- just an amazing dress and someone else to do the vow part.

In fact I'm pretty sure that the vows are not even reaching consciousness, its all overcome by the ability to wear this dress and have people gasp in delight. Really is there anything else to a wedding? Certainly not when you are 4!

So what is the job of "mother of the flower girl" -- hmm.. never thought about this before -- in fact NONE of the parenting books I had other people read for me ever mentioned this dilemma.

And yes it is a dilemma of vast import

1) How am I going to control the expectations? I guess that will need to be a discussion, or several discussions over the course of her life -- no I do not plan to pay for your wedding -- I *might* consider purchasing your wedding dress as long as it doesn't cost as much as that flower girl dress...
2) What are we going to do with "the dress" after its over? Clearly you can't wear it -- do you realize what 4 years olds do in a day?!
3) What do we tell your sister when she wants her own dress event -- hmm... I'd suggest we block it out of family history forever (hey it worked for the Pharoah) but I'm SURE that isn't possible when the older sister will happily rub it in for the rest of their lives

and speaking of missing out of a dress opportunity I would like to bring up the fact that I never had an 8th grade graduation dress or necklace Mom & Dad. Yes I'm still keeping score -- I'm sure my girls will be much more evolved then I am with things like that.....

Makes you say hmm......

No pressure Shannon but Jacqueline's future happiness is in your hands ;-)

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Father's Day weekend

A great weekend but a bit of a rocky start. On Sat. morning we got up to find out that our refrigerator had quit working and it was a nice 64 degres inside. (This was very helpful to know I must add -- excellent electronics on this machine!).

It was also especially nice that this happened AFTER we had just got new groceries including a new ice cream (of course the freezer went out too). We quickly called to schedule a repair vist for 4pm, unplugged it, added blocks of ice and left for our day.

The big event for the day was the Cast Iron Family picnic at Great America. The girls really enjoyed themselves and our "crazy baby" was actually pretty tame. She even let me hold her hand while walking in the crowds. Sadly we forgot her cute backpack/leash -- I was really looking forward to having people glare at me for child abuse with that one (and having the opportunity to suggest that they figure out what to do with a baby that wants to ditch you at every turn in a crowd). We actually wished we could have stayed a bit longer since Ashton was really enjoying the kids rides (and baby was sleeping in the stroller) but alas we had to go to meet our repairmen at 4.

Of course when the nice repairmen arrived they quickly plugged in the fridge and it worked perfectly. I really should have just set fire to $45.00 myself and saved everyone the hassle on that front. It is excellent to know that we have another opportunity to spoil newly purchased ice cream some time in our future -- maybe we'll get lucky this time and it'll happen when we are on vacation so that we can come home to a nice smelling experience as well.

Sunday we had a BBQ at the house with Suzie, the cousins and Grandpa Bob. It was a beautiful day so that made it especially nice, for a change we didn't put Grandpa Bob to work but instead just visited and chased the kids around the yard.

As you can see everyone had a nice relaxing afternoon. We also managed to buy some new ice cream as well so we are all ready for our next meltdown... stay tuned for that fun event.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Bear's on Bikes

Took a quick bike ride with the girls this weekend. It's actually getting easier riding with Jaq on the back of the bike. While I'm still too wimpy to take a long ride, (both b/c I haven't biked for "real" in a very long time so I'm out of shape and b/c I'm always dreading the GET OUT moment that comes somewhere along the trip) I am enjoying the short trips we have been taking. I even feel that there is a decent probability that I wont fall -- even though Jacqueline seems to have way more trust in my abilities then she should and is prone to leaning over in her seat.

Saturday was "Art in the Park" so we took off with the idea that we'd go see the sights and maybe hit the park along the way. About 2 miles in I feel something pushing on my back... hmm.. turns out it's Jacqueline's head as she has fallen completely asleep. After pushing her head back a bit and taking off again she flopped forward a second time. I then remembered that the bike seat has a recline position, we rocked her back a bit and took off again.

After finding out that Art in the Park was pretty busy, loud and crowded (hard to navigate with a sleeping baby on the bike) we decided instead to just make good on our promise of the actual park visit. Of course, as soon as we stopped at the park the baby decided to wake up and run around as well.

All in all a happy time for everyone. I did realize that this park was no place for the two girls without two adults as they immediately went in opposite directions. Good thing that both Bob and I were there as its a fairly busy street close by.

Ashton demonstrating the "proper" way to take a rest in the bike seat (note this is file footage from 2006)

Friday, June 8, 2007

Can't give it away

Now I know what you are going to say, you are going to say you could have warned me -- and to that I say "thanks for nothing"! So instead you are going to have to listen to the rant about our couch. How does this relate to the Bear girls -- well very vaguely but they are in the photo so deal.

Anyway here is the story -- I found a new couch, that was slightly smaller then the old couch and a bit less squishy. As you probably know, our family room is the size of a napkin and I'm always looking to find the smallest things to fit in it. So I found this new couch, it was at Costco, it was cheap -- I said what the heck -- and bought it. I then called St. Vincent's to pick up our old one. I specifically told them I had a leather sectional. They gave me a 4 hour window and I stayed home to wait for them.

The two guys show up -- we'll call them "Mutt" and "Jeff" -- and they see the couch and say "we don't take sectionals". I, of course shared a few nice words about how telling me that AFTER I had taken a day to work from home to meet them (in their four hour window) wasn't particularly helpful.

Now, I am looking forward to meeting additional people all weekend to come look at it to see if they want it. Why bother? I wonder myself. I guess b/c I can't seem to get comfortable with throwing out a couch that is still useful -- lord knows there were several times in my life I would have loved to have a couch this nice. But as I said sometimes you just can't give it away.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Water time

Finally, had a slow weekend. Girls were happy to get soaked in the back yard on the Dora hop scotch sprinkler mat (yes that is our most excellent fake grass).

I've finally figured out that the character is called "Dora" correctly by Jacqueline, but the show is "Do-Do-Dora" which isn't really too far off of the theme song in her defense.

On other song updates, I'm still struck by how cute the ABC song has become in our house. She gets the whole thing right until the end where it goes "QRS... Y.. and Z.. Now I know.." and so on (essentially in Jacquline's world "TUV, WX" are missing from the alphabet song).

The other big event for the weekend was the arrival of our new sofa in the living room. Its actually a pretty cheap one from Costco, but it fits nicely in our tiny family room and with some pottery barn pillows we think it will do. Of course within hours of the arrival it had things hidden under the seats and had cheerios crushed on top.

We also got a cool zen trellis to go on our new deck area but we're still waiting for the patio chairs before I'm going to post a photo of that. In the meantime our old family room couch is on the deck waiting for the nice people from St. Vincent de Paul to come and pick it up next week (a comfortable if not exactly appropriate place holder).

All in all a nice and relaxing weekend (finally).