Thursday, July 30, 2009

Practice Makes Perfect

The morning of the girls' actual second birthday fell on a National Guard weekend. When we all came roaring downstairs at 6:30 in the morning, I asked them what they wanted for their birthday breakfast.

I was entirely expecting them to say "Apple Juice." I already had it ready. I would smile and hand it to them and big hugs would follow along with a quiet watching of cartoons.
Alida said "Pancakes." Elaine looked at me with the big brown eyes and seriously nodded her head, "pancakes." This was settled. Great, they actually agreed on something. I got to work making pancakes.
I now curse the book, If You Give A Pig A Pancake, which I blame on my early morning baking that day. These opinions weren't supposed to arrive for a couple of years.

Meanwhile, Elaine practiced her tea service.
Don't you know that ketchup does make everything better?

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


The sweet sound of silence, minus the roar of the television.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Dude We're Done

Attached please find the result of your third attempt to fix our laptop computer, which obviously failed. My husband, who is in graduate school and works full time and travels often for the National Guard, has spent more than three day’s worth of his personal time in online chats trying to fix this, waiting at our home to receive packages for this, and traveling to drop-off centers to return this computer and pick up replacement parts. The final return of the computer with two notes, one that said it had been fixed and another that said it had not been fixed along with some piece of the computer floating around in the box was particularly aggravating. But it was not nearly as bewildering as the part where one of the notes said that the repair center we sent the computer to did not have the necessary equipment available to repair the computer.

Please do not call our home or our cell phones or our work numbers any more unless there is some actual news to share with us. Along with having to deal with this problem, by escalating it we have apparently been put on a call list to be pestered, which is also aggravating the situation and wasting our time even more fully.

The only acceptable solution we can imagine at this point is either the arrival of a repair person on our doorstep with all of the necessary tools to fix this particular computer or the arrival on our doorstep of a new computer to replace this one.

Sincerely, blah blah.

Since Dell's solution was to have someone call and try to teach us how to re-image our computer, we are now done with them. I was particularly impressed with the four messages they left on our home phone during a work day because, you know, we hang out at home during the work week. We are now officially Mac people.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Happy Second Birthday: The Party

We were finally awake enough to throw a birthday party in the Stuber house this weekend!
Here we are the morning of practicing with our tea party hats, which we entirely forgot once the party got started.

And mom and dad's gift came a little before the party to lure people out of the house for a few minutes.

It was well received.

And Alida is very picky about visitors, but it may be the roaring fire raging on a back-to-the-90's weekend that is stopping her from inviting more people into her cottage increasing the temperature even more.

Did you really turn two already?

The cottage was a hit, and Emily even came by for the housewarming.

And Aunt Cynthia was there to give love--even in the midst of an on-going house debacle of her own.

And nanny Jenny and Aunt Anna came with Georgia. And Aunt Kate drove all the way from Kansas!

The ladies weren't particularly sure what to do with their cakes that were on fire, but Nicholas and Benjamin helped them out.

And then at the end, we remembered that we actually had some tea party stuff...

And Nanny Jenny's Georgia was a peach.

And Emily was an old-hand at dressing the part and being a lady.

And not that we celebrated or anything,

but then the party was over. And we sat down for a few minute in the wreckage of every one's good wishes.

Grandma Cheri even sent some things for the boys.

And Nicholas relaxed in what we are now calling the hot tub.

...before donning his superhero garb of course for the next adventure.
It was a hot but lovely day, thank you to everyone for making it so much fun.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Monday, July 20, 2009

The Saturday Outing: Pushing Boundaries

Off to Hobby Lobby to look for tea party hats, which we didn't find.

But we did find the isle with all of the cheap little toys. That entertained everyone long enough to get through the store. We saw fall decorations and my heart skipped a little beat there for a minute. Then we ran across the Christmas isles. Yes, the Christmas isles plural. I'm not the type to get incensed about seeing Christmas stuff in the middle of July in the South, but I just can't imagine there is anyone buying this stuff right now.

Then we got donuts and headed to the park where my children took off for the big kid playground where you would expect that the little people would have killed themselves. But they did fine here. It was the part where Elaine ran under the swings while Nicholas was going full bore where we ran into trouble. He got her on the back swing, and when I picked her up she literally had rubber in her teeth.

Then, since we were going public so well all by ourselves, we hit Burger King where Transformer toys live. Four kids meals. Three of one toy. One of another toy. I spent the remainder of the weekend telling people they were mistaken that I cared and that I would throw it away if anyone complained about sharing. That tactic actually worked for most of the weekend.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

And Then My Second Set of Two Turned Two

Two years ago today, the party really got started.

Three months into it we were still moving by sheer will power alone.
But goodness you were cute little things.

Six months into it, we would have been dead if it hadn't been for the daily shine of new things and wonder that we were all teaching each other.

Nine months into it, we were resigned to just throwing french fries at you.

By the time you were a year, we began managing to make it out of the house even though we could hardly get you to wear shoes when we did.

And then you walked and said words and got into a few things. And you know what? You are a perfect addition to this our life in chaos.

And here we are in the summer of the year you turn two, and I'm unclear how we got here so very fast.

You amaze me.

Happy Birthday Wonder Twins.
I cannot wait to see what the next year brings.

Happy Second Birthday Alida

A year ago you turned one. And you were still giving us a run for our money at night.

I'm not sure where you draw your energy from, but the well is deep girl.

But who can resist?

You hang in there with the boys in nearly every antic.

And you aren't shy about exploring on your own.

The smile helps melt the weariness for sure. Although you are learning to flash that smile when we catch you doing something wrong. (sometimes it works.)

You do things I can't even imagine my youngest baby should be doing far before I'm comfortable with you doing them. I watched a woman shadow her boy--one of your former classmates--around the toddler playground this morning ready to intervene at every.single.step. You meanwhile took off for the big kid playground and proceeded to climb the creepily open bars to the very top without help.

You entertain us.

And you demand from us.

And you pay us back.

You are my only child who does not ask to be carried up the stairs.
"I do it myself."

It was interesting this day when you waited for everyone to be out of here before you went in. As if you needed to test it by yourself before you were comfortable.

Now you just take off down the block.
Happy Birthday Alida.