Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Picture this.

Hair time from a brother's perspective:

A new purpose for old an shoe cubby means more spontaneous reading for a boy, more fun for a girl and more clean up for a mom:

A mother's view, about five times a day:

Technically for runners, but a perfect solution to manage thick baby curls:

A brother loves his sister:

Flying and Fire Breathing

On Saturday we surprised Simon and took him to see the How to Train Your Dragon Live Spectacular (or "show" as a normal person might call it). On the way there he asked about 47 times where we were going and why. He clearly knew something was off because he wouldn't quit with the inquisition and no answer seemed to pacify him. Bryan and I both just kept quietly laughing at his persistence and eventually we let him play Angry Birds to distract him.

When we finally got in the Bradley Center he saw a poster for the show and yelled, "How to Train Your Dragon!" and then very quickly spotted the merchandise booth and yelled much more animatedly, "HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON!" He pulled us over to the booth and begged for a dragon tail. He was about to burst. For better or worse, we decided to spoil him and bought the dragon tail.

At this point, I still don't think he really knew what we were doing there, but he started to figured it out once we found our seats. He asked if we were there to watch the movie and I tried to explain what was in store. He said, "So the dragons are going to be real? I'm super scared." From that moment on, he was snuggled up to one of us for the rest of the show and we didn't complain.

The most memorable part of the show, perhaps, was when the father was "swimming" to save his son and a dragon from drowning.

{It's difficult to explain, but in this show they used the same concept used in simulator machines. The back drop was an ever-changing image, and in this scene the back drop looked like water. The actors were hooked on to cables and "dove" in from high up and swam down towards the ground.}

The father got about 5 feet away from his now-limp, drowning son and just kind of hung out there treading water. Bryan and I looked at each other and wondered if that dad was just going to watch his kid die or what, but the guy started looking around in an unscripted sort of way and soon a voice boomed, "Ladies and gentlemen, we are experiencing technical difficulties..." Once we saw a giant, full sized crane emerge from behind the scenes we figured it was safe to get up and walk around for a bit.

It was during this impromptu intermission that Bryan caved and bought Simon another item from the merchandise booth....sucker. 


Sunday, October 28, 2012

It continues

Last week we continued the Halloween hullabaloo with trick or treating in the downtown of our little village. Most of the businesses were handing out candy and since we only live a few blocks away we figured we should check it out. We wound up accumulating a lot of people to go on this little adventure...my sisters, my neice and nephews, my mom, my neighbors, some close friends and our own family all braved the precarious weather. My in laws came in town also, but only in time to see us all returning from this little adventure soaked and numb. In other words, "precarious" eventually turned into freezing cold wind and a downpour.

But the kids got some much needed candy (ha) and we got some memories so I suppose it was worth it :)

Adia the Chick and Cecilia the Giraffe were checking each other out. I can't get enough pictures of these two together...

This was the whole group of kids: Max, Kaiya, Adia, Simon, Korvan, Anna, Clara, Cecilia and Jackson...

Simon the Vampire Bat and Kaiya the Pea Pod...

A Vampire Bat on the run...

Then later over the weekend, we finally got the house decorated. I'm a one trick pony when it comes to decorating for the various holidays. Aside from only having a handful of things, they mostly get hung in the kitchen from the old window treatment screws I lazily painted over when we moved in (proving to Bryan that this was actually a good move). This year we wound up with a giant spider (from where I honestly have no clue...maybe my mom?) and I spiced things up by hanging it from the light over our kitchen table....gettin' crazy, I know.

We also got our pumpkins carved (with Tiffany, Danielle and our neighbors). Simon and the other kids lost interest after about 5 minutes of de-gutting, but he left us with a request for a vampire bat on his pumpkin.

How hard could a bat be? I figured not very so I just dove in. What resulted was the beautiful masterpiece on the right. He very seriously and sadly said he was not happy with the job I did so I actually thought about it for 5 minutes and tried again. The one on the left was slightly more to his liking. Every time I look at the one on the right I can't help but laugh...seriously, not my best work.

Danielle gets credit for the spider and the mummy...not bad, but that UFO-Bat is the clear winner I think :)

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Twist Update

I know y'all have been waiting with bated breath to find out whether the twists in Cecie's hair earlier this week passed the longevity test. Well, they did not. By the next day they were a sloppy mess (oh how I can't wait put a sleep cap on her to help protect my handiwork at night). I took note of the areas that seemed to fail the most miserably and decided to try again.

This time I got even fancier...she has two twists going horizontal on the top of her head, two going vertical on her left side and one that is going both vertical and upside down on her right side. That's right, upside down. Damn I'm good.

Ha :)

I've finally wised up a little bit too. I've learned to have the containers of clips, rubber bands and hair products open and accessible only to me (why this in particular has taken so long to learn I'm not quite sure). I've learned to put her high chair on the ground so that I don't have to fight with the high back of the chair to gain access to her head (a new seat for this purpose is on the horizon). I've learned that when I am really going to need her to be still, I can get prepped and then give her a bottle and I'll have a few minutes of stillness that I can try to maximize. And finally, I've learned that Simon is my best asset in getting her to focus on something other than her own desire to head bang (literally, she head bangs like a rocker making it very difficult to get this job done at times).

Anyway, here is the fruit of today's labor!

The Coughs Continue

Last night around 3am Simon came into our room and said with a hoarse, broken voice, "I have the coughs, can I please have a cough drop?" I heard him hacking away prior to this so I told him to drink some more water while I looked for something else to help. When I got back to him I suspected a fever, and sure enough, a fever.

He was asleep about a half hour later, but of course I was up researching "cough and fever" on my trusty iPhone. As I suspected in early September, I think Simon has croup again. Plus, remember when he lost his voice a few weeks ago? I predict a visit to the doctor in our near future (I wish I predicted a nap for me too).

Before he went to bed, he seemed okay. He was coughing a little, but nothing too concerning. I got him and C new jammies and he was very excited to show them off for the camera. {The truth is that Bryan got me a bad ass flash for my camera and I thought I should actually attempt to use it one of these days. So I said with enthusiasm, "Simon, don't you want me to take your picture in your new jammies?!" He couldn't refuse and I couldn't help but marvel at my own puppet mastering skills. Ha.}

I can't quite figure out what her face is saying in this first picture...

Look at Bryan's face in the last picture. This is a pretty typical occurrence around here...much more comical when it's happening to someone else :)

Monday, October 22, 2012

Veil and Twist

This past week I tried out two new styles on C. I'm always trying out different looks for a few reasons. One, practice makes perfect for mom and baby - I need to practice doing her hair and she needs to practice letting me. Two, I want to find a couple of styles that are both easy to put in AND to take out. You might be surprised to know that the removal of a style is almost as challenging as doing it in the first place because those little rubber bands are stubborn and I don't want to compromise her hair while removing them. So this in and of itself is a big to do. And three, we need go-to styles that will last a while before having to redo them (some get fuzzy really quickly, while some last several days).

The "veil" style I attempted failed to meet my aforementioned needs...

Strike one: It took forever to put in.
Strike two: It took forever to take out.
Strike three: It lasted less than a day before getting extremely fuzzy.

It was pretty cute while it lasted, but not cute enough to make it worth the effort. I will definitely try it again when her hair is longer.

So today I took out the veil and my fingers finally figured out rope twists. It just clicked in my brain and made sense, so if this style lasts a few days it will definitely be going into a regular rotation. It was super fast, only required a few rubber bands and is super cute. Only time will tell if it will last, but I have high hopes!

And since it's always fun to see "before" pictures, I took a few of those too. I parted her hair on the side and it stayed like that while it was wet. These just crack me up. I feel like she looks like a woman, rather than an 8 month old baby. Ha :)

Saturday, October 20, 2012

It Begins.

The Halloween season has officially begun. There is a lot of fall fun to be had still, but we got lots in this weekend starting with a visit to a pumpkin farm/apple orchard with Simon's class on Friday.

The most unexpected part of the trip was a talking Johnny Appleseed. Picture a mannequin from the Gap in an old abandoned barn. Then extend its arms out to the sides like a very uncomfortable scarecrow and dress it like a farmer with a cooking pot on his head. Then slide the door to the barn closed so it's nice and dark. Then (with a 75 year old contraption) project the image of a face onto the mannequin's face and have it talk to a bunch of kids. I'm completely confident you have no idea what I am talking about right now, but trust me, it was creepy (and by creepy I actually mean pretty cool). If you are confused and really want to picture what I'm talking about, I found a link to something similar on youtube because I'm just that nice.

It was a rainy day so I didn't want to risk getting my nice camera wet, but my iPhone did a great job capturing some of the day (outside of the weirdo barn).

 We brought this bag to carry our pumpkin in and it was a little too big for him to carry over the shoulder so I suggested wearing it like a backpack, which also didn't work. Next thing I knew he put it around his neck and was on his way. I love the way his little mind thinks, which is apparently much better than mine. Not sure if I should be proud of him or scared for myself. 

Here he is with his teeny tiny little pumpkin, gazing at the forbidden field of big pumpkins with longing...

At one point, another mom asked me to take a picture of her and her son, and I said, "Great idea! Can you do the same for us?" So I bent down to get cozy with Simon and he decided it would be a good time to lean dead weight onto me and stop standing independently. This did not work well. We both almost toppled right over...maybe that was his intention because he thought it would get a laugh? 

Much to my chagrin he had his eyes closed in the picture so I told him to stand like a normal human (in so many words) and we tried a second time, but he did the same thing. With more gusto this time. Real funny, kid. Reallll funny. Thankfully we did not fall over, but it was close...

When walking back to the bus, this little girl was struggling to carry her pumpkin and apples so I offered to help (you caught me, she reminded me of Cecie so I paid her a little extra attention...sue me). But Simon, being the chivalrous gentlemen that he is, wouldn't have it. He would have me carry his bag without a second thought, but not hers. He wanted to be the one to help her so he asked me for her bag and carried it all the way to the bus. Cutest. Thing. Ever.

The Halloween fun continued this weekend with a party on Saturday. We all dressed up (not pictured sadly) and found ourselves at the coolest Halloween party ever. They had a real fortune teller, fog machines, huge pieces of spooky artwork on the walls, a glass of eyeballs on the shelf, a giant spread of food and an even bigger selection of drinks at the bar in their basement (which Bryan familiarized himself with right away). There were decorations everywhere and everyone was dressed up, adults and kids alike. Seriously, though, a fortune teller. Who does that for a party? It was pretty amazing.

Also, this has nothing to do with Halloween. I just think this gal is pretty cute...

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Sweet Boy

Simon can be a really sweet kid sometimes. Being the complex child that he is, we do get bitter sometimes as well, but that makes the sweet even sweeter right? Right?! :)

I posted this on facebook today, but thought it was worth a blog entry as well...
Simon found an index card and decided he wanted to write a letter to Grandma Berta. He wrote "thank you" (with my help on the spelling) and I wrote the rest for him in his exact words:

"Thank you for the angry birds hat.
Simon Michael Hermus, Riptide Junior, 4 years old"
Aside from thinking it was pretty comical, I actually thought the gesture was so very sweet. His grandma got him a gift that he really liked and he wanted to go the extra mile to thank her. It really made me think I must have done at least a few things right as his mother so far!
On this same topic of Simon being a sweetheart, I thought I was going to burst the other night when I was giving him a hug goodnight. He put his arms around my neck, squeezed tight and said with this sad, hopeful little voice, "I want to keep you. I miss you when I'm sleeping." He wants to keep me?! Oh my God, does this kid know how to schmooze me.  


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Fancy Pants

So that's five miso soup, four seaweed salad, three soy burger dinner, two tofu dog platters and one pasta with meatless balls....


Way back in college my friend Laura introduced me to what became my favorite musical of all time...RENT. The show is basically about a bunch of bohemians in New York, and the above sentence is a line from one of the songs (that I conjured straight from my brain thankyouverymuch). All those years ago this line didn't mean anything to me...what the hell was miso anyway?

Now I can't get the song of my head because I made miso soup this week. And in order to get this soup made, I had to wear a baby on my back because she wouldn't tolerate life anywhere else. And with her still on my back, I washed the food processor that earlier helped make a snack using homemade granola.

I definitely felt like a bit of a hippie in that moment.

To balance out the universe, however, I wore real pants, blow dried my hair, wore make up and watched a lot of prime time tv this week. And I learned something from all these anti-hippie gestures...it's pretty gratifying to change into pajamas at night when you haven't essentially been wearing pajamas all day, plus it's nice to go to the grocery store without worrying that I'm going to see someone familiar because I know I look downright frightful.

I've tried a lot of new things in recent years (hello miso soup and baby-wearing), and I'm ready to add to the list...I'm going to try to wear pants that are not of the sweat or yoga variety most days of the week. Oh, and I'm not going to scare the greater Milwaukee area with my air dried hair.

I'm getting fancy, folks. Ha :)

Simon wanted a turn in the carrier, but it didn't last long. Kid is heavy.
She loves when we look in the mirror while she's being carried around...loves it.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Doing their thing

I bothered Simon with the camera a bunch this weekend...

He wanted us to paint these little pumpkins so I got him set up and immediately got out my camera. This wasn't what he had in mind. He said, "stop bothering me and go paint your pumpkin, would ya?" Ha. I obliged...after it was well documented of course.

It took a LONG time to dry.
Just when I think he's getting so big, I get a picture of his chubby little hand and I'm reminded that he's still just a little guy.
He was very annoyed with the camera and me at this point, but trying his best to ignore us.

Grandma Berta got him a trident and an angry birds hat today. I thought the combination was pretty cute and kind of reminded me of a time when he looked silly every single day. He was in costume for probably over a year of his life and I do miss those days. This took me back a little bit...

I walked downstairs and into the kitchen to see this. Who wouldn't reach for their camera?
He was trying to block me from taking his picture. Too bad for him, I got one that I find pretty cool :)
He really wanted to wear that trident through his belt loops...
He had to dismount the horse to make it happen.

And let's not forget Cecie. She has two favorite spots in the house...the coffee table and the tv stand. I prefer the empty coffee table of course, but she has equal love for the old tv stand that is literally falling apart. One of the doors always comes off and she makes sure to do this multiple times a day along with monkeying with all the dvds and various tv/internet boxes...

On her way to trouble.
Being naughty.
Looking for fallen objects.
And there's the door...on the ground where she likes it.
And here's Simon charging me with the trident and my foot stopping him. Like I said, he is really sick of the camera. He looks scary, but I promise we were having fun :)