Wednesday, June 30, 2010


Welcome Noah-we'll-get-around-to-the-middle-name-later-Helmers!
My first nephew!
7 pounds, 2 ounces
20 1/4 inches
Baby, mom and dad are all lovely.
From what I hear, there is more hair tucked under that hat than both the girls combined.

My Life

Loud, garbled, active, constant, and without helmets because they hurt your neck I think.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Just So

Were you busy with yourself long enough for me to grab the camera?

Don't EVER mess with Elaine when she is busy entertaining herself. First, it is rare, and second, the girl is particular. This little project took a while to get right, which gave me a breather from the constant "mommy" phase we are going through right now. Then she pulled it all down so she could cuddle with her note paper in bed. Whatever it takes girl.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Wet Weekend

Swimming on Saturday with Cynthia. I'll just say that I have three kids that once all water-winged (thanks for filling out our stock of wings Cynthia), were belly-flopping and dog-paddling all over the place like they belonged there. For once, I'm not too disturbed that Nicholas is the one who isn't naturally the best at something. He claims I let him sink and was still talking about it this morning. Ben put his wings on when we got in the car this morning, hoping we were headed back.

Then it rained. So we did what any responsible person would do and grabbed our umbrellas and hit the slide.

Then Sunday JB Anon came over to witness the chaos that is water play in our backyard. And now she must abandon us for retirement play in another state. She got in her last snuggle with Elaine, and Elaine got in her last iPhone lesson. Very symbiotic those two.

And Sunday evening at the mention of bath, for some unknown reason, they were all standing there ready for me to turn the water on before I even got up the stairs.

Friday, June 25, 2010

I Very Did It

Amazing how many time Nicholas came down that hose last weekend that I didn't notice.

(Some day I'll remember not to turn the camera sideways.)

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Go Ahead

But leave some for me...

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Oh Bother

Me: "Girl. You're not a boy. You don't go potty standing up."
Her: "Yes I do mommy. I can do anything."

Monday, June 21, 2010

Theology: Can you blame Him?

While discussing the downed tree a few houses up from ours that got zapped during a recent thunderstorm and then lightening vs. pirate ship; lightening vs. shark; lightening vs. car:

Ben: "...then we'd go to heaven." (because most all Ben interpretations of the world wind up with us in heaven)

Nicholas: "Yeah, Jesus wouldn't make us again 'cause he's tired of makin' all this stuff." (opening wide of arms to indicate all this stuff)

My Dad

The man who more than anyone probably realizes that I was so busy being a dad yesterday that by the time I had a chance to call I didn't even though I thought of him about 50 bajillion times yesterday.
The man who I would run down the street to meet on his walk home from work every day that I could.
The man who would allow me to fake falling out of bed every Saturday morning of my childhood so that I could get him out of bed to play with me. (Justice, thy name is Elaine.)
The man who would play like a horse and gallop me around the living room for what seemed like hours to me, never letting on that he was really keeping me out of my mother's way while she got five minutes to put dinner together.
The man who would eventually rise earlier than me and be in the basement with a fire going and an old Western on the television in the winter.
The man who would by great acts of bravery allow me to shave him with what I remember as a real razor.
The man who taught me to fish, garden, and try new recipes.
The man who taught me my faith and then allowed me to ask the most confounding questions about it that I could dream up.
The man who now plays the same games with my children that I remember from my childhood.
The man who will likely get calls every half hour today until he picks up so that I can pretend that it's still Father's Day.

In My Own Defense

What was fun last weekend, has begun the inevitable spiral toward make-it-into-something-new-and-dangerous.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Wearing Them Down To Useless

I'm looking forward to running them ragged again this weekend.
Below, they were singing the lollipop song, then when the camera came out, I got this:


Thursday, June 17, 2010

Kleenex Please

I haven't actually made it all the way through this yet, but can't wait for our own:

Can You Guess?

Which boy lives like this, and

which boy lives like this?

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Really Flat

Forgot one. Not too rambunctious really.

Flat Daddy

It took three adults to figure out how to put our large daddy sticker onto a board. The assembly wasn't as long as the swing set but sheesh!
Jennifer and Mark, once again, pitching in right after they got all of my children and their child to take a nap on a Saturday afternoon.

Flat Daddy is just that--a flat daddy.

We were gifted our life-size daddy by a friend of the Dukes, who I don't know.

Friend of the Dukes--thank you. I love the kindness of others.

The unveil went much more serenely than I imagined it might.

And much more sweetly I might add.

And they haven't kicked him around or broke him or used him as a sled on the stairs yet.

He's in the living room as you walk in the room from upstairs. In the morning the girls say good morning to daddy and stumble off to find their juice and milk.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Let The Wild Rumpus Start

Saturday afternoon:
Fill the pool.

With the slide dumping into it, and run the hose from the top of the slide.

And see what happens.
What happened was mostly without clothing; however, I finally got them all in suits and got the camera going.

And they were off.

Alida was not going to miss out.
Elaine got brave a little later.

And for you Sarah.

Alida was a little unsure at first and opted for sliding in her clothing.
That lasted one run.
Sorry for making you turn the computer sideways; I've just realized that my camera will take okay movies that load very quickly.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Update from Iraq

"Less than a month to go! I am going to head off to a Transfer of Authority rehearsal (sigh)... and it is hot as Hades. 118 degrees. I noticed that there was a sign on the hot trays at the Dining Facility notifying the serving temperature of food is 140 degrees according to Army Reg. Hey! Just another 22 degrees and we can start eating each other! Stupid."

The Saturday Outing: Summer Defined

Aunt Cynthia has a community pool she's been scoping out for a little while. Perfect time? Morning of course. I'll say. There was one woman swimming laps, and she didn't even flee in terror when she saw the 6 of us roll up to interrupt her morning work-out.

I hadn't unloaded the car with our breakfast yet when they were already lined up to jump on top of Cynthia, who was a very good sport about having four pre-schoolers jump on top of her.

Elaine was perhaps the most cautious.

With Nicholas right behind. I had two sets of water wings (two sets?). He didn't grab one fast enough and wasn't quite high enough to stand in the pool yet. He did however figure out the bugs were in these little things very quickly. And he inspected every one around the pool.

Alida and Ben got the water wings, and they were off in no time. It wasn't 15 minutes before Alida was flicking off any sort of help and paddling back and forth across the pool after her brother. I have some swimmers on my hands.

It wiped the little guys out by noon, but not enough to take a nap. It was enough though that everyone was asleep at 8, and for the first time ever (at least with just the five of us in the house), I was out of bed before the boys at 7:30 Sunday morning.

And Sadie, Cynthia's dog.
The girls are in love.
How couldn't you be? She's as gentle as she looks.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Conversations With Nicholas

To his brother: "Neener, neener, boo, boo. Stick your the TOILET!"
(Do I correct that?)
From their mother: "Cross my heart; hope to die; stick a needle in my eye."
From Nicholas: "Oh mommy, when we went to the doctor, they put a needle in me."
Me: "Yes they did."
Nicholas: "Mooooom, I don't want needles in me. Can you take them out?"
Me: "Nicholas, what do you want to drink."
Nicholas: "You'll never know."

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Mere Moments

After the neighbor boy arrived on the scene, the gang of three figured out that the rightful place for the water hose was shooting down the slide.

Next time we blow up the pool, I'm considering moving it so the slide dumps in.
It's the next natural step I think.

And poor thing. I thought two pieces would be a good idea for newly potty-trained/potty training girls. It's hard when you have no waist though.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The Fun Thing

JB Anon, who watched my children eat cereal off the patio without having an outright heart attack last weekend, has taught us a few lessons these past months. Such as how to use an i-phone because that is a skill that 2-year-olds should have...
She also helped us have fun when we were practicing (term applied very loosely) our lines for our big movie audition over the weekend. We lined up the girls and Nicholas and pretended we were Mae Mobley and Aibileen celebrating our third birthday, and it was funny. It was particularly funny when Nicholas did it. If you are familiar with the characters I'm talking about, you know that The Help is a great story. They happen to be making a movie of the book in our area. In the process of trying to convince an agency that my girls were not yet three and not identical (for their 3-5-year-old, identical girl call), I somehow got them invited to try out. So the only rule Patric and I had was that there would be no tears or it wasn't worth it. Well, Elaine figured out how to have a big drama over the whole thing practicing blowing out a candle, but that girl will find away to cry over the wind blowing wrong. So amended: no tears from Alida or it wasn't worth it. So we had fun with very little pressure.
JB Anon met us there with perfect outfits because our wardrobe does not include anything that matches, let alone anything that is solid in color.
And off we went to mingle with a set of 5-year-old twins and a set of 6-year-old twins waiting for the audition. The difference in age/ability/maturity/everything-you-can-think-of was not subtle. Bottom line: the girls are beautiful! They are just the right age for the character! I'm so glad you brought them in because now I can show the producer that I don't think the dialogue is right for the age of child they need. It will be interesting to see what they come up with. In the end though, I'll say that was kind of fun for four days.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Battle At Sea

Pirates of the Caribbean played all weekend at our house.
This was Ben's first pirate ship.

When I rolled my eyes at that, he got constructive and made this.

Then Nicholas got all competitive and made this.

So Ben made three pirate ships and staged epic battles that we all had to watch.

Everyone but Nicholas watched because he snuck away to construct this.
Sheesh. I can't wait until they're competing for the affections of a girl some day.