Friday, 14 February 2014

Asher on the phone

Yesterday I was at my desk working and Asher was playing. Candice was out, and Asher came over to the desk and grabbed a tiny little remote control about the size of a credit card—he held the remote to his ear and said, “Hello, mama!” A few seconds later he said, “Good… at home… okay!” Then it was “and… and… and… mine car…”—as he was pretend talking to his mom on his new “phone” I turned around to watch him. When he saw me staring at him, he stopped talking, lowered the phone to his chest and put his other hand over the face of it as if to “block the microphone”, then he said to me in barely a whisper, “hold on a sec, dada, on da phone.” I about lost it I was laughing so hard. I pulled out the camera and started videoing him. At one point he goes over to the stairs and picks up a little gold “pirate coin” that goes with one of his toys… see what happens… be sure to turn the captions on (the “CC” button).

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Asher says

Asher is now 2 1/2 years old and growing so quickly! He's quite the little chatterbox lately. Mostly he says, "I play toys... with you!" or "I read books... with you!" and "Talk about my day (or Emme's day or Oliver's day or Daddy's day)." Here are a few recent blurbs from the mouth of our babe:

Collin was working and I was puttering around cleaning up the house. Asher, in a rare moment of independence, was playing by himself. I watched as he stacked up two pillows, ran to the bed for another, then another. When he had a pile of 5 pillows, he stood back, looked at the tower, and said, "Amazing." :)

Asher was playing with my yoga mat. He had it all rolled up and was looking through the hole and said, "Mama, I see you with my yogurt mat!"

When Asher does anything that requires an apology- hurts me on accident (or on purpose!), spills something, etc.- he says, "Oh, I really sorry 'bout that."

Asher is obsessed with books right now. He wants us to read him one book after the other all day long. Collin and Asher were reading a book called Olivia Goes Camping. When Olivia is setting up camp, she hits the tent stakes with what the book calls a hammer. Asher kept shaking his head vigorously saying, "It's not a hammer! It's a mallet!"

Asher is super sweet just before sleep times. Collin was putting him down for a nap a couple of days ago. When Collin picked him up to put him in his crib, he said to him, "Tygee looks tired." Asher looked at Collin and whispered, "Me too," and went right to sleep. One night I picked him up to put him in the crib and cradled him in my arms. He closed his eyes and whispered, "I not a baby." Anytime I attempt to hold him like this or rock him he reminds me that he is not a baby.

Several months ago we went to visit friends in St. Louis and stay with Matt. While we were there Tiffani gave Asher a book called Elmo's Beach Day. When she read it to him, she got to the page with the crab with pinchy claws and then she pinched Asher's nose. That was in November, and even now, months later, every time we get to the crab page, he covers his nose so you don't pinch him. 

Things in Asher's world are quite simple and straightforward: play, eat, sleep, hang out with mom and dad. I'm so glad we are past the baby stage of worrying about eating and sleeping habits and being exhausted all the time. We are in such a fun stage right now and we are soaking it up! 

Monday, 23 December 2013

Thanksgiving

Well, the way I see it, if you don’t post about Thanksgiving by the time Christmas rolls around then you’ve pretty much let the moment pass. Since it’s not Christmas for another couple of days, I figured I’d go ahead with the Thanksgiving update.

We had a great time seeing family for Thanksgiving. I’ve already mentioned in the last post that my brother and his family came in from Nashville and stayed with us… but what was also very cool was that Candice’s sister and her family also came to stay with us, so we had a wonderfully full and joyous house for a few days. It was awesome. Asher loved spending time with his cousins, and one of the highlights for him was being introduced to a little thing called the Nintendo Wii…

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The seriousness of Asher’s face in this picture makes me laugh every time… I’m not sure if he actually thinks he’s playing or not, but he definitely punched those buttons on his controller like his life depended on it! Here we are snuggled up on the couch for a little Thanksgiving reading. Notice the wildness of my hair is beginning to match that of Asher’s!

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One afternoon when the kids were getting particularly restless in the house, we got everyone bundled up and I took them all outside for a little activity.

This is our quaint little house, and next to it is a gigantor pecan tree—I’m not sure how tall it is, but I figure you could stack about three more of our houses on top of one another before you got to the same height. I mean… just look how huge!

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The “activity” that I had in mind for the kids probably wasn’t exactly what they had in mind. This huge tree was shedding pecans like crazy, and we would be fools (fools, I tell you!) to let them all go to waste! Although we don’t have any footage of the actual event, the culmination of the pecan picking was my own expedition to climb high enough into the tree to shake some of the branches and, quite literally, “make it rain”! The problem, of course, is that this tree is a beast, and it was not easily shaken. I got about 10 feet higher than our house before thinking, “okay, this was a seriously crazy idea.” I was nowhere near high enough to be able to legitimately shake the tree… though this didn’t stop me from trying. And I’m told it was quite a sight seeing me up in the tree violently vibrating my whole body in an attempt to shake the tree—youtube really missed out.

In then end, though, there were no broken bones and we ended up with a heck of a lot of pecans. This season we’ve picked about 35 pounds of pecans off that tree. We took them to the nut house in town to have them shelled, and we cashed out with about 17 pounds worth of pure, unadulterated pecan halves. A beautiful thing…

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At Candice’s Papa’s house, her family got together for their yearly affair, and it was good fun to be a part of it for the first time in a long time. Here’s a shot of some of the boy cousins…

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Candice also got together with all her sisters… and when this happens, craziness ensues… poses are struck…

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… staring contests are had…

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… and memorable moments are captured…

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As soon as Thanksgiving was over, we began the process of decorating for Christmas. We were especially eager to get all our decorations out of the top of the closet because we hadn’t seen them in four years and opening up all the stuff was kind of like opening a time capsule with lots of memories inside! It was fun and now that we have an extra helper, it was even more joyous.

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The Christmas tree that we bought at the hectic Wal-Mart Thanksgiving sale looked pretty good with all our ornaments on it. We put our advent calendar next to the tree and prepared ourselves for an awesome Christmas 2013 season. I love it!

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This is Candice’s face after I had tried to convince her for a few minutes that our Christmas decorations would not be complete without a giant inflatable baby Jesus and Bethlehem star atop our roof.

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Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Black Friday is on Thursday now

There are a few things I wanted to post about our Thanksgiving week… for example, a definite highlight of the week was the day Candice baked four homemade pies! Two apple, one cherry, and one pecan—all made from scratch. They were all fantastic, and each in their own special way made my life everything it was meant to be.

Cherry

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Apple (the black bit is my fault, btw)

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And pecan

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As I was taking these pictures, I was literally singing to myself: http://youtu.be/b07-yKnKRMQ?t=39s

Also a highlight of my Thanksgiving was getting to see my long lost brother… well, he’s not that long, just a little taller than I am, and he’s not lost, he just lives in Nashville. I think this is the first time I’ve ever seen Chris grow a moustache… so that was weird, but also cool. Everything he does is cool, almost nothing I do is cool—we’re very different, except that we’re pretty much the same—it’s a very strange mix of sameness and differentness when we’re together.

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In any case, we had quite an adventure on the evening of Thanksgiving when some of the “Black Friday” sales were actually starting on Thursday night. Wal-Mart is the local piazza (town square) in Ardmore, and since absolutely nothing else is going on at 6pm on Thanksgiving, we drove the two blocks down to Wal-Mart just to see the spectacle. And, oh man, what a spectacle to behold! Never in my life have I seen anything like it. Before we even got to the parking lot, I could see cars flooding in and out of the entrance from the main road… I could see lines of cars circling the parking spaces… time was of the essence so I pulled into a bank parking lot that is some distance from Wal-Mart thinking, “I’ll just park way out here to avoid the hassle in the Wal-Mart parking lot… boy am I a smart one… I should do a Ph.D… oh wait, check!”

You know where this is headed… of course, the bank parking lot was completely packed. People were parked everywhere; on the grass, on the sidewalks; the adjacent business parks were full; the bank parking lots were full, the mall parking lot was full (not really that close to Wal-Mart). It didn’t take me long to see that quick action was needed; I whipped to and fro deftly making my way to where a man, a dear man, was loading up a giant box no doubt filled with some special treasure that this man could not live without for another minute so he had to come to Wal-Mart at flippin’ 6pm on Thanksgiving to get it at 90% off.

But others noticed this man as well… I was in good position, but I was being crowded by a lightweight pick-up that was creeping up in my rear-view mirror (get a real truck, man, lightweights are for wimps). I had the line of cars behind me blocked, but this truck somehow got around me, turned to the right and began trying to turn his truck around to get into position directly behind the car that was pulling out. I was perpendicular to the row of cars, and the “leaving-car” began pulling out of the space just ahead of me on my left. The “competing-truck” was lined up right behind the “leaving-car” ready to block me out as soon as the “leaving-car” pulled away. I couldn’t let this happen, but what could I do? It all hinged on how far the “leaving-car” pulled away from his space before turning to exit the lot… would there be enough space as he reversed for me to slip into the space just as he was pulling away from it? I saw my window of opportunity, a split-second when the “leaving-car” was far enough out for me to slip in, but hadn’t started pulling forward to turn towards the exit… I stepped on it… vroom-vroom, and I whipped my little car right through the gap to everyone’s amazement… I had conquered the quest for a parking spot on the busiest day of the year. Mission accomplished.

Inside was mass chaos. Thousands, literally thousands of people were packed into every square foot of the Wal-Mart. The sales were staggered throughout the evening with certain products going on sale at 6pm and others going on sale at 8pm. They had 32” TV’s for $98… $98! King-size 700 thread-count sheet sets for $25!! I headed for the sheets. My brother and I waded through swarms of Oklahoman humanity with some measure of success for about 5 minutes. But at some point the capacity reached a tipping-point. By about 6:15 there were just too many people crammed into the Wal-Mart for any of them to move, especially because so many people were trying to move around with shopping carts. There were Wal-Mart employees trying to figure out how to get people moving through the gridlock. Literally the mass chaos had turned into a single, motionless mass of people just standing, unable to move. The next 20 minutes or so consisted of Chris and I just trying to press through the crowds to get to the front of the store. I showed up at the register with a set of sheets tucked under my arm feeling quite accomplished. And there we met the girls in our crew—who had somehow managed to snag a 7.5 foot tall Christmas tree (still in the box) and get it all the way to the front of the store… unbelievable! Women have magical shopping powers. This is what the store looked like at the point.

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This doesn’t even begin to capture it, you really have to zoom in to see that these are actually continuous lines of people that go as far back in the store as the lines of lights at the top of the picture reach.

I’m tired just reliving the adventure. Next I’ll have to tell you about me climbing into our 40 foot tall pecan tree to try to shake loose the pecans for us to pick! That will need to wait for another day.