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Sunday, 28 July 2013

Happiness is....

Turning the corner and finding an unexpected water fountain on a hot and humid summer day.


Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Gone Fishin'

This 4th of July, we were lucky enough to spend a few days with my in-laws at the beautiful Lake Geneva, WI. We had a wonderful time doing American things, like eating and swimming and boating (I guess these things aren't really 'American' per se, but they were done in America, so close enough, right?) Our favorite pastime done over the long weekend was taking the kids fishing for their first time ever. They LOVED it. Of course, it helped that all of the big kids were enjoying themselves and that fish were being pulled out of the lake left and right. Adrienne caught her first fish with the help of her big cousin (and by 'help' of course I mean he did everything except take the picture shown below) and made herself useful by picking worms from the dirt boxes. Happily for the fish (but not so much for the worms), she was throwing every other worm overboard unhooked and watching as the fish gobbled them up. Nate was fascinated by the whole event and eager to help his dad out with the fishing. Luckily they caught several little fish, making the experience very rewarding. When I later showed Nate the pictures of him fishing, he pointed straight at the fish and said, as clear as a bell, "Shark!". And so we now know with certainty that the male art of inflating the catch is rooted somewhere in those Y genes because it is definitely not something that we could have taught to Nate yet. Despite no official invite yet, we are planning the same time same place next 4th of July!

Sunday, 30 June 2013

Silent Spring

It has been quiet around Trouble's Tribune this spring. Like everything you enjoy, the time comes where you need a break. A few days off; maybe a week. Time to regroup, refresh. Then weeks turned to months and you started avoiding coming here, much like avoiding someone that you made a promise to that you still haven't gotten around to fulfilling. And yet, the only person promised anything was you and hence you are the only one cheated as well. Finally you came back to have a look, a trip down memory lane, and were reminded of the reason that you were here in the first place: to give a home to special memories that otherwise exist only in your heart.

So where to begin again? Much has happened in the last few months yet little out of the ordinary. Nate's 2 teeth have grown to 8. Adrienne's hair has been cut into a cute bob. Nate's vocabulary has evolved from "ball" into "basketball" into "Go, go, white sox". Adrienne now includes words such as "colleagues", "bougainvillea", and "anthropod" into her conversations. Nate has stopped trying all foods put on his plate, but still loves to throw them on the floor. Adrienne has become extremely motivated by chocolate and other special treats. Nate plays soccer or basketball throughout the house. Adrienne's world is a ballet stage. Nate pretends he has boo-boos to get extra kisses. Adrienne likes to hold Nate's hand. Nate thinks everything Adrienne does is cool, except when she snatches his toys. Adrienne introduces Nate as her "best friend, even though he hits me sometimes". 

A few months have come and gone, and just a few missed milestones, right? Just a few funny stories, some laughs, a few tears, perhaps a flu or two, but nothing major. Then one morning you check on your kids and find there are feet sticking out from the baby blanket. A baby blanket which apparently can no longer contain the growing body that lies beneath it. You realize suddenly that the sleeping body beneath that blanket is not a baby anymore; that your baby is not a baby anymore. It occurs to you how fast he has evolved into a little boy and that he is growing up much too quickly just like his big sister did. As this realization of time and its funny ways dawns on you, it seems your eyes, much like the baby blanket, are suddenly too small to contain the tears welling up in them. So you take a picture to capture the moment and wonder how fast it will be before those little feet are sticking out the bottom of a full-sized bed. 

So while you regret the silent spring of Trouble's Tribune, change has certainly made its mark anyway. A kiss on the biggest of those sweet little toes brings you back; 10 soft, pink, little reminders to enjoy what you have right now. And a memory to live on.

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Modern Day Guilt Trip

Thanks to Adrienne for my lesson in a modern day guilt trip. Here is what I found on my phone after refusing to go home and get Bear-Bear to bring along on our errands. There are about 50 of these. Doesn't she look SO sad. I think there might actually be tears in her eyes in one of the photos!

I think she took these paparatzi-style just to iterate and reiterate how absolutely heart-broken she was about leaving Bear-Bear behind. I was actually feeling a little bad about my parenting choice until I got to the second half of the photos. I think she has forgotten the Bear-Bear debacle by now. I don't know where they perfect this art but kids are amazing manipulators!

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Happy Father's Day!

This Father's day came without too much fanfare. I was arm-twisted into not buying any presents so that the hubby could pick out a few of his own without my complaint. This arrangement generally works well for us, with the caveat that said-presents typically cost just a little more than I would normally want to spend (but, hey, I am a cheap-skate so what can I say?).

In an effort (albiet a weak one, I admit) to do something special-but-doesn't-cost-any-money for father's day, I had a bright idea that we could make some personalized cards for dad. I probably should have went the way for crafting, but was un-inspired by my 5 minutes of internet searching for ideas in addition to the fact that Nate is way more of a destroyer of crafts than a crafter these days. So I opted for a personalized card, probably subconsciously swayed by the gorgeous pinterest photos of small children looking adoringly and wide-eyed into the camera whilst doing something totally sweet, like holding a flower and giving their sibling a hug. I am sure I can totally get my children to do something like that, right? Right!?

So, on a hot Houston June afternoon, I packed the kids up for a post-work photo shoot. It must have been 90 degrees (which feels like 110 due to the million percent humidity it is now) and sunny... so perfect for taking photos. We were sweaty after 10 minutes, which was mostly just the drive to our destination in the car while it cooled off. Then, as with everyday, the kids were so excited to be doing something that they were wild and unruly. They were running everywhere and picking flowers and throwing rocks and generally having a wonderful (if sweaty) time. My pictures, however, were terrible. Not to say that they are normally great or anything. They certainly are not. But these were really bad. Probably because my expectations for this were so high. Anyway, needless to say that I deleted 99% of the photos from that day. Most of them were of blurry limbs and heads, or little backsides running in different directions.

I did, however, manage to salvage this project into something...well...printable, at the least, for a father's day card (even if I did have to stretch the cheese-factor to make this work!). The photos weren't what I was imagining, but at the very least they capture an essence of who we are right now: playful, silly, active, joyful kids. They illustrate, importantly, that the kids are happy. To me, this freedom to be happy comes in large part from a lot of back-stage and thankless chores of love and support from their wonderful father. So, for this father's day: a big thanks to my hubby, for being a wonderful dad to our two amazing kids.

Sunday, 30 December 2012

Christmas Elf

I have to admit, I was leery over this outfit when my mother-in-law brought this home. You know, leery in the way that I thought this outfit was cute, like, 100 years ago. But Adrienne wanted to wear it and there is no stopping a 3 year old who knows what she wants. Ta da! Clearly I was wrong. Seriously, have you ever seen a cuter Christmas Elf?!


Does anyone else find it impossible to take a decent picture of their little ones?? Well, here's to trying and many more attempts in 2013.