Sunday, July 31, 2011

Strike a Pose

Have you ever noticed how celebrities always pose for the paparazzi in the same position? Some turn ginormous booties toward the camera and then look back over their shoulders. Others cross one leg in front of the other with one hand on a hip.

You get the idea.

How do you strike a pose?

This is how it's done 'round here:

We'll start with the men, shall we?

Men strike manly poses of course. Chest out, stomachs in, abs tight, with manly scowls or like my brother-in-law, in a very manly rock star position.

Sometimes the "extra manly" pose comes out.

Man with spear. Can't get much more manly than a man with a spear, can you?

Yeah, OK. Show off.

Shall we move on to the kids?

Here's Paige in her favorite pose: The "I-will-grab-grapple-pick-up-smother-annoy someone" pose.

And yes, it really is this annoying to be on the receiving end of her go-to pose. She's a strong, persistent little thing!

Ah, yes. Phoebe and her funny face pose. I don't really find this face all that funny do you? I love it because I love her, but really child, just say "HONEY!*" like the rest of us please!

*If you say "honey" instead of "cheese", you will avoid that fake smile thing you see so often in photos. Saying "honey" uses more of the same muscles you use when smiling than saying "cheese".

**100% of you will now say "honey" and "cheese" out loud to test this. Go ahead. I'll wait.

(Told you so!)


Let's move on to the ladies:

Here's Mandy. She always strikes a good pose. She was a dancer.

'Nuff said.

Here's me. I have a problem with posing. I end up making weird faces like I'm too embarrassed to stand for a picture.

And more recently I've been sporting this muscle-woman pose. Why in the world do I do that? I'm not that strong, I'm not in the best shape, so why do I pop this pose all too often?

It's a problem with what to do with my arms. Like that guy from "Talladega Nights", my arms just feel all wrong in a photo. What do I do with them?

Here's one of me all kind of limp and non-weird. Well, kinda weird.

Alright, that's enough. Now you see why I don't pose for too many pictures?

But what about Josh? you ask. You mention Paige and Phoebe, but what about Josh? What does he do?

Oh. He's a mess.


Josh. Is. A. Mess.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Awesome Company Vehicles

Some people have company cars. A Toyota Prius, Honda Civic, or maybe a Ford F150.

This is Jerry's company car.

It's a T-38. They use this to train fighter pilots. That's what he does. Train fighter pilots for the Air Force.

It goes faster than sound. It rockets through canyons, along rivers, and higher than the clouds.

It's a pretty cool job. An awesome company vehicle.

Sometimes I get jealous of him and his cool job/work car. Especially after spending oodles of time in an old and kind of stinky Suburban.

But then I switch and start taking the kids around in MY company car. My OTHER work vehicle.

This is MY work vehicle.

My minivan.

Wanna race?

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Spoiled Rotten Angry Birds

The iStuff game, Angry Birds, is really popular in our house. On Saturdays and Sundays when the kids are allowed to play iThings, they spend a good hour each day sling-shooting birds at green piggies wearing helmets. (Sling-shotting? Sling-shooting?)

The kids have even begun playing "angry birds" imagination games, and have gotten as a completely undeserved present a stuffed angry bird of their own.

One morning they asked me face paint angry birds on their cheeks. So I spent a good 30 minutes of my busy morning painting blue, black, and red birds on their cheeks.

As you can tell from their very happy faces, the kids were not happy with me. After spending said 30 minutes painting their faces, I asked them to let me photograph the paintings for my face paint website (

Oh my word you would have thought I'd asked them to give up their eyelashes in exchange for snarling pitbulls!

I had to cajole, order, threaten, and fuss at them to get them to spend 30 seconds of their completely not busy morning to pose for two photos.


Apple, Inc., if you're reading this, please hire one of these app companies to make a game for us parents to play called "Spoiled Children".

In the game, please have whiny, spoiled children poised precariously on stacks of destroyed and messy toys, and then let us sling shoot things at them trying to blow them into smithereens.

We can shoot things like vacuums, mops, sponges, toothbrushes, school books, and dirty socks at them. All the things they hate.

Ahhhh. That would be a super fun game!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Stupid Air Force Signs #1

When you run into a convenient store, what do you normally need to pick up?

How about milk? Bread? Eggs?

Well, on an Air Force base, apparentely people also need bread and milk quickly. But not eggs.

Oh, no!

We don't need eggs in a hurry, we need KEGS!!!

Hurry! There's a party I need to have right now! Quick! Somebody run to the shoppette and get some milk, bread, and kegs!

Phew! Emergency supplies of kegs!

Thank goodness!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

It's Hot. Did You Know?

It's hot. Did you notice?

All over the country people are baking like an oven. Scorched lands are burning, dust storms are covering crops, giant grasshoppers are invading Oklahoma, etc.

You people on the East Coast are burning and yet somehow soaking wet at the same time.

For real, you all can keep that humidity to yourselves. Thanks.

We're pretty hot here, too. We're getting to that stage where in the shade it's still not too hot, but the second you step into the never-ending sunshine your skin immediately feels like it's burning. Like, really burning. Like, flames should be erupting from your skin as it slowly melts through burn degrees one through three.

Here's a shot of my normally correct in-car outdoor thermometer. 113∘. A minute earlier when we first got in the car it was 115∘. I don't know where those 2 degrees went, but whatever.

I didn't start out taking this picture solely for the high temperature. What didn't show up at all in the photo is the driving range in the background FULL of golfers smacking and hooking their balls in the middle of the afternoon in the middle of a heatwave.

Golfers are tougher stuff than me.

I just don't get it.

I'm not that tough. Later that same day, while watching "Wipe Out: Nerds vs. Hotties", (yes, my mothering skills are FABulous!) ((BTW, it's really hard to explain to a precocious 7 year old what a "nerd" or "hottie" is, though by the look on Josh's face when the "hotties" were on the jiggle machine, he understood PERFECTLY what a hottie is.)) (((Boys.))), I realized we were all red-faced and sweaty while sitting on our couch at 8 in the evening.

Dang, kids, why is it so hot in here?

The air conditioner had stopped working. The fan was blowing warm air into the house as the AC unit outside had become quiet as a mouse.

Did I mention it was still 96∘ outside? At 8pm?

I made an emergency call to the housing office that manages our on-base house, and within an hour the techs were out to the house, and within ten more minutes the problem was fixed.

Our house had gotten up to 86∘.

AHHH! Sweet relief of cold, cold air!

Dear Lord,

I would like to thank you for air conditioning and technicians who make late night house-calls.


Monday, July 25, 2011

Swim Goggles

What is it with kids and goggles?

Phoebe just started swimming with her face in the water, and so, has to absolutely positively must have goggles on at all times while in the water.

Paige and Josh are happy with their fancy-pants expensive racing goggles, while Miss Independent will only wear one of those high-quality 2 for $1 goggles from the Wal-mart.

She'll wear them for twenty minutes without once putting her face in the water.

She'll wear them while playing in the backyard baby pool. For twenty minutes without putting her face in the water.

Phoebe, honey, I think those goggles are too tight on your face. Come here, please, and let me adjust them some more, (again for the millionth time), for you.

Awww, Moooommmmmm! They're fine! Why on Earth would you think they were too tight?

I always have deep purple gouge marks around my eyes!

Jeez! Stop being to over-protective!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

How Not to Document a Haircut

Phoebe, Queen of the Wild Hair, was finally ready for her first ever haircut. As she has curly hair, I've had 1000 hair cuts as experience, and I'm cheap, I decided to cut her hair myself.

It's OK. This is not a messed-up-hair-cut story. I'm pretty good at giving haircuts. I've been cutting Paige's hair for years and I have even mastered doing long layers!

To document this momentous occasion, that is, the dethroning of the Crazy Hair Queen, I asked Paige to photograph the event.

I would like to share her photographs with you.

They are superb.

OK, here we are. I've got Phoebe up on the step stool so she can hold on to the top bar and keep the squirming to a minimum.

Paige managed to get us centered. That was good. I particularly love that the center focus of the picture is the kitchen chair.

Here's the chair again. Nice finger prints and smudge marks on it, don't you think?

Hey, there we are! Behind the chair. Look! She got one of Phoebe looking AND smiling at the camera!

Maybe these photos are better than I thought.

This is my favorite. Now there is a napkin in the foreground, again the centered image of the chair, and in addition, a tiny, blurry view of her thumb!

While you're looking at these photos, go ahead and study the layout and styling of our kitchen.

I know you're totally jealous of my circa 1970 kitchen cabinets and industrial vinyl flooring!

You can hate me for my kitchen. It's OK. I'll forgive you.

So overall, Paige does not seem to have come by photography skills naturally. She's gonna have to have a lesson or six about lighting, framing, focus, and action.

I guess I'll have to teach her as I am the BEST photographer in the world. Just look at this last photo! I mean it's blurry, the focus is more on the lollipop than on Phoebe, and the angle of her outstretched arm leads your eyes directly outside to our disgustingly cluttered back patio.

I mean, I am so bad it's GOOD!

(If you want to see truly good photography, head on over to my friend Patti's blog. She's a master!)

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Bad Word

I can't believe I'm posting this wrinkled-face photo of myself. Oh, my am I showing my age.

Jerry took this photo while we were on a rare date while vacaying at Myrtle Beach last month.

Look around and see why this photo stands out.

There are some words all women would not like associated with them.

Can you find it?

HA Ha. VERY funny, Jerry.


(FYI, we were at an Irish pub.)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Shoulder Rides

As I've gotten older, I have developed a very real appreciation for heights.

OK. Heights scare the heck out of me!

(I once walked up to the first level of the Eiffel Tower, and when the elevator broke and we were forced to walk back down, I hyperventilated, dug holes into Jerry's back with my nails as I walked directly behind him holding onto his shoulders, and almost fainted.)

It's pretty much a fire escape kind of fear. I'm OK on roller coasters and looking out of tall buildings. I'm fine on an airplane. But it's those open-air, see-through steps and railings that really make me want to puke or swear or shake like a Chihuahua.

(And even though the stairs on the Eiffel Tower were completely enclosed, like a cage, and there was absolutely no possible way for me to fall out of the stairway, it was the open mesh of the steps, railings, and barricades that made me whimper like a husky.)

I try to keep my big mouth shut about this new-ish fear of mine. As you can see, my kids must NOT be afraid of heights.

Jerry is 6 feet 5 inches tall. He likes to carry the kids on his shoulders in that manly sort of way. So when the kids are up there, from their vantage point, they are 8' up in the air, with only Dad's firm grip on their ankles and their tiny hands holding his head.

Oh, my.

I need to lie down.

But don't tell the kids why!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Phoebe's 3rd Birthday

How Phee Came to Be

The story of Phee actually begins with Paige. Well, in a round-a-bout kind of way. After laboring forever, a c-section, and days of stress giving birth to Paige, our smartypants OB nurse in the hospital asked me this question within 3 hours of delivery:

"I bet you won't want to go through this again any time soon?"

My answer shocked me as well Jerry in it's what-the-heck, off-the-cuff, random-response-ness of it:

"Yes. I'm ready right now. It will be a girl and her name will be Phoebe Elena."


Totally out of the blue, I had never thought of the name Phoebe for a child of mine, let alone with an accompanying middle name.

But the name was forever burned into my head.

And then I got pregnant again with #2, and like a girl with the perfect dress but no date to the prom, we had the perfect name with no baby girl to go with it.

Instead we got THE BOY. (He's a WHOLE different story.)

When Jerry and I decided to go for baby #3, I knew, just absolutely KNEW that she was a girl and her name was going to be Phoebe Elena.

Jerry was not convinced. But obviously I won that argument!

There is she! Phoebe Elena! Just waiting her sweet time to make her VBAC appearance!

One minute she wasn't there, the next minute she was. Breathing and screaming and pink and wonderful. She was my middle weight baby at ONLY 9 lbs. 5 oz.

She stole our hearts instantly. She was a great eater, slept through the night from day one, laughed and smiled early, and became the apple of all of our eyes.

Here's Pink Baby. She's still on Phoebe bed or in her arms. (Shh! Don't tell her that she's actually on Pink Baby #3 as #1 was lost on an airplane and #2 was lost ironically at the Toy Story 3 movie.)

She's lived a pretty exciting life so far. She first went swimming in the cool waters of The Bahamas.

And got to go for hip rides on Grandma!

Like her brother and sister, she has bright red hair, though she never was bald like Paige or Josh.

She has striking blue eyes that fade from dark blue to white around the pupil. (Daddy is already cleaning out the shotgun.)

She had, and still does have, the best fat-baby tummy. EVER.

She also has the wildest hair on the planet.

Dad thinks she's a clown. A worthy opponent for his insatiable quest to mess with everyone around.

Aren't tushies just adorable?

She's almost ready for those training wheels to come off. She's eager to keep up with the big kids.

She's been known to break out in spontaneous dance.

She makes every view better.

She's my grown up baby.

She even got her very first hair cut last week. (This photo KILLS me. Doesn't she look so grown up now?)

Happy 3rd birthday my sweet baby crazy girl! You came for me long before I came for you. It was worth the wait.

We love you sooooo much. You are a dufus. A lovely child. A temper-tantrum in waiting. A blessing to us all.

My last baby is 3.

Oh, my.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Big Shoes

39 years ago, my husband was a baby. A small, pink, bald, cone-headed baby. He cried, drank from a bottle, soiled his diapers, and chewed his toes.

32 years ago, my husband was a boy. A brave daredevil, a smartypants comedian of a boy. He laughed, rode and crashed his dirt bikes, made messes, and chewed his gum.

25 years ago my husband was a teenager. A driving too fast, tennis-playing, class clown teenager. He laughed, made others laugh, rebuilt his own car, smashed tennis rackets, and gnawed on his parents nerves.

13 years ago my husband was an Air Force Officer. A loud, brilliant, slightly cocky, master skilled pilot. He laughed, made others laugh, flew faster than sound, found his thrill, and chewed up the competition.

3 years ago my husband was a father, again, for the third time. A playful, disciplining, lead-by-example, loving father. He hugged and kissed, laughed and loved, and stole the hearts of his children.

Today my husband is still his mothers baby, a never-to-grow-up boy, a teenager trapped in a man's body, an Air Force Officer, and an awesome father. A loud, caring, patient, fast-driving, racing fan, air jockey of a man. He makes complete the joy of our house.

And I am the luckiest wife in the world.

Josh, my son, my baby, my boy, you have some HUGE flight suits to fill when you grow up.

But you're on your way, my husband's own Mini Me!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

A Wonderful Sight

How do you find happiness?

Children peacefully playing or sleeping?

A big box of chocolates?

The feeling of a clean house?

The few hours after the kids are in bed and you are not?

Yes, me too.

This doesn't hurt, either.........