Thursday, November 25, 2010

...And More Birthdays!

With three birthdays back to back and Halloween in the middle, October and November are one big sugar rush.  What are we to do?

Morgen's birthday comes first.  She turned seven, which is a pretty big milestone.  You are all grown up at seven, you know.  I, for one, am pretty excited to push her out of the nest a little so to speak, let her spread her wings and see what she can do.  She is fully embracing friendships (especially the Sleepover) and practically worships her first grade teacher, always gifting her with little found treasures.  She's apparently an artistic genius (which I desperately need to foster more) and has a great imagination.  And something I take for granted most of the time: this girl puts herself together every morning, and has for years.  Her outfits are awesome, even when they are colorfully layered creations, and complete --socks and shoes and jacket-- and she'll brush her hair and even put it in a perfect ponytail.  I'm sad she doesn't need or want me to do her hair, so sometimes she obliges me and lets me brush and braid.  Morgen is a unique member of our family in that she is so capable and practical and easy-going.  Her biggest complaint is that we don't scratch her back enough.  Or feed her box mac 'n cheese every meal.  But mostly she's very low-maintenance and a totally amazing little girl.  I often wonder what she'll be when she grows up, because when you're content and capable, isn't the world your oyster?  (I read a blog that pointed out that oysters are nasty, shouldn't it be "isn't the world your pancake breakfast" or something NOT a slimy oyster?  So true!)

And by the way, that's what we had for Morgen's birthday breakfast: pancakes with whipped cream and fruit toppings and bacon (emphasis on bacon)...

 Taylor always makes very meaningful cards that he works for two days on.  He reads it to Morgen: "You are my favorite little sister.  You play with me a lot and you are so fun to play with.  I picked to do this [a magazine picture collage] because I know you like it.  Love, Taylor"

 Then we proceeded to have the funnest birthday day!  We started off at Michael's doing Halloween crafts. The girls were partners and the boys were partners.

 Love this.  Totally sisters.

 Heh. Google-eyed goofball.

 This is very serious.  It was sweet to see them work together.

 "OooOOOoooh!"  Noble is so much fun to discover with!

 Then we went to the toy store because Morgen and Micah had this epic plan to buy Barbies.  They've been saving up for about a year.  We go to the toy store like...NEVER so this was a blast for all of us.

 Then we had lunch at our favorite sandwich shop.  I'm so thankful for big brothers and sisters who help with our little handful Noble.  That kid just never stops moving and it's great to have extra hands helping, extra silly faces to entertain him.

Then we went to the mall so Morgen could get her ears pierced!  SeewhatImean?  All growed up! 

 This is what boys have to do in the girly accessories store.

 Her big sister, her cheerleader, her ear-care coach, her...bunny ears?
Morgen took the opportunity to snuggle with the teddy bear, who got her off the hook for wearing the Birthday Crown.

 SO trepidation at all.  Some watery eyes, but that's it!
"Now can we get ice cream?"

 And then, of course, the free sundae at the 50's diner.  These kids love a free sundae.  It's what they've got comin' to them, right?  It's your DAY, shouldn't everything be free??  People everywhere should just be handing you gifts as you walk through the mall!

 The whole lot of us!

 What a sparkly, pretty girl!

Then we blinked twice and Noble turned TWO!  Noble is a riot.  Like I said, he doesn't sit still...unless he's eating.  But even then, he doesn't have time to finish his last few bites before standing up and mumbling "all done!"  He's got things to do!  He's a total baller...he's been dribbling a ball since he could walk.  And I mean dribbling.  He practices like 10 minutes a day and he's getting pretty good.  He can run and kick, catch, throw across the room, and toss a frisbee too.  It's insane.  He wants to be right there in the middle of everything, and tries wholeheartedly to ride the dog, holding on as long as possible while Blue carefully gets up and walks away.  He has been overcome with the show-and-tell stage of life and is constantly demanding we observe his mad skillz.  Usually it's jumping: off the stool, off the couch, on one foot (that one's funny).  Even though he can say "Dada" he relentlessly addresses both of his parents as "MAMA!  MAMA!  MAMA!"  He fiercely protects his exclusive right to his parent's laps.  He knows he has to yell above the rest to be heard and has perfected the use of "MY BALL!"  He has no idea that we can't understand what he says and tells us all about everything.  Dang, this kid is a precious little ham.

We started him off right with his special gluten-free pancake breakfast.  Fancy pancakes:

  Rainbowy GF cupcakes, yum!
(So Port-landish!)

  The best gift for Noble: the big kids blew up a bunch of balloons and dumped them all on him and he was so excited!  Fun for DAYS, I tell you!  What more does this little guy need?  Nothing!

Micah's birthday was full of fun adventures too, but wouldn't you know it, the camera ran out of batteries and I didn't get to immortalize it at all!  But in a way, that's ok...sometimes it's good to just put the camera down and enjoy the moments!  I did manage to get these photos of his birthday celebration in his kindergarten class:

 His teacher tells a beautiful story about how Micah was waiting in heaven and we were waiting on Earth and how he was chosen to come to us at just the right time.  I blinked back tears as "his guardian angel came to Micah's parents and whispered 'Micah' and that was what he was called."  If there's anything that makes your heart swell with love for your child, it's the story of how they were chosen for you, and you for them.  And her Brazilian accent just makes it all the more magical!

Then I got to tell one thing about Micah for every year he's been alive, and he blew out the candle for this year.  He got a little book with picture from each of his classmates, and Micah shared a special snack with them.  He truly is a wonderful little boy with a contagious, happy joy!

In the evening, we all ran up to McMenamins to see Despicable Me (hilarious!) and then took our gifts over to "Red Robins" for Micah's traditional birthday sundae!  I think he's the only one who has a "tradition" like that, it's just worked out that way.  Again, Taylor's card, replete with tic-tac-toe game boards and a little pocket holding a candy (SO exciting!), was as sweet as can be: "Dear Micah, I love you and I like how you wresle with me and you play with me.  You are very kind to me and everybody.  I also think you are funny.  Love, Taylor"

Be still my heart; I am a lucky mama indeed.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

We Have Birthdays...

This one and the next one are for the grandmas and aunties out there who wish I would post more timely pictures of our birthday celebrations...

You'd think we would be having birthday parties all the time, right?  But really, they're kind of all at once...or twice.  Three in April/May.  Three in October/November.  Dave gets spoiled with the August birthday that doesn't compete with anyone else's, and it's usually a good excuse for a last hurrah before school starts.

Waaaay back in May, Korah turned eleven.  I keep expecting to feel shocked or nostalgic about her getting older, but I mostly love it so much it's hard to be sad.  She was an awesome baby and toddler, but she's so cool now, too. She's growing into a beautiful young lady (and now I sound like my grandma) and I don't know how it's happening.  It has nothing to do with me, that's for sure.

We started the day with a scavenger hunt for presents, a clue on each one that led to the next one.  See, this is how she is: a little frustrated that she had to water all the plants before opening her presents, but swallowing her complaints, obliging nonetheless.

Look!  There's something else up there!
Birthdays are never without a captive audience here.
"Noble wants you to read to him!"
There's even one in the fridge!
...the shower...?
She loves it!

Later, we had a fun little skate meet-up ("we'll be there, you should come too!  And by the way, it's my birthday and that's why I'm going skating!"  That is what you say when you can't pull off a huge birthday party.  You get all the friends and fun without any of the pointy party hats.  Those things can poke an eye out!).  It was so much fun; Korah and her friends decided they had to dress oldies 80's:

She is funny and creative and loyal and smart...

...and I love her!!!  We all do!  The kids looked great and we had so much fun!  I always seem to forget how much I love-love-LOVE the roller rink.  HAPPY BIRTHDAY, KORAH!

Sixty-four wheels = a ton of FUN!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Flaxen Waxen I Am Not

I got tired of hearing my own voice say over and over again:


So I cut it all off.


I really don't have time for hair.

And when I look in the mirror, I don't see the back anyway.
What I don't know won't hurt me.