joon bug baby items in Silent Auction

Two of my joon bug baby creations are part of a Silent Auction this weekend. The auction is to raise funds for the Stephanie Nielson family. For more info click here.


Commentary on the Olympics, from the Mr.

Dana and I have been watching a little Olympics here & there. But the only way to watch is with a Tivo. I mean come on, 5-7 hours a day? Twice as long as a football game? How many high dives can one person watch? Anyway, a lot of it is fairly watchable. My favorite moments thus far have been:
· Listening to sour grapes Mark Spitz, who had 7 gold medals back in the 70's, talk about how he and Phelps would have tied in a swimming contest – even though Phelps is breaking world records
· 12 year-old Chinese girls posing as 16 year-old Chinese girls
· Track stars tripping on hurdles, pulling muscles, or dropping batons after 4+ years of hard work and preparation
· The US and Chinese baseball teams trying to start World War III
I guess I'm not your traditional Olympics fan. One of the things that I haven't figured out yet with the Summer Olympics is: what kind of an event is it? Is it an athletic event? A cultural event? Nothing more than a long, loosely choreographed show? I think it's kind of all of the above, and the word I would use is festival. It's a performance art festival. And contest. When you scan the events, the only thing in common appears to be that they are all contests. A large number of the events are not even sports as much as they are performance art that's judged in order to get a winner. I have a fundamental problem with any "sport" that's judged, and for that matter I find Table Tennis to be superior to, say, Syncronized Diving. And then there's Rhythmic Gymnastics?

Can we all just admit that the dancing and synchronized events are there to attract the American Idol/So You Think You Can Dance audience? And for that matter, why isn't singing a Summer Olympic event? Why not Darts? Rock/Paper/Scissors?

Here is my wish list for the 2012 Summer Olympics (feel free to add to this list):
· Fencing that doesn't stop after each point – let them keep sparring, like a boxing match. Go for 3 minutes at a time, hacking away at eachother. Winner gets the most hits in. Oh, and let's take off the bee costumes and wear more traditional or medieval outfits, a-la Pricess Bride. But with blunt rapiers, of course. In fact, why not combine gymanstics WITH fencing?....Fenctastics!
· Bullfighting. Seriously, who wouldn't want to watch a Jamaican dressed up as a Matador? Or a red-headed Irishman? I think this could sell on PPV.
· Chess Boxing
In case you haven't heard, it's a growing sport. And if we're doing a Pentathlon, don't tell me Chess Boxing isn't right in the same alley.

· Arm westling – as long as every contestant dresses up like SeaBass
That's all. Bring on the NFL season already.

2 1/2 years

Today our little Luce Goose turns 2 1/2 years old. I know, it's not really a birthday. But when you only have 2 years of life to chalk up on the board, another 1/2 year is something to blog about!Lucy is such a darling girl. I love her to pieces and I'm so happy I get to hug her, kiss her cute cheeks, and dance around with her whenever I want. Of course I also get to clean up her throw-up, deal with emotional rollercoasters, and teach her manners...but that's all part of the fun.

Here's what she's been up these past 6 months:

* She's become a parrot. She copies many things we say.
* She's obsessed with saying "I don't know" and it's adorable each time she says it.
* At 2 years old she hated it when I sang. I tried not to take it personally. Well, now...she LOVES singing! In fact I kinda miss the old days of listening to the radio in the car. But we have fun. She has a repertoire of requests for me to sing and other songs that she knows the words too.
* She LOVES the alphabet. Her favorite song is probably "A, B, C's"
* She can spell or recognize a few words: Dog, Cat, Lucy, Mom, Dad, and Owen

* She's great at playing Make Believe. She will honestly play for hours with her animal toys or any object she's holding and pretend that they are people who need to go to Target, or the mall, or the park, or church. She walks them around on the furniture. They talk to each other. They go pretend swimming. It's real cute to watch and especially funny to see her doing it with something as dumb as fruit snacks. The other night she was tucking each individual fruit snack into bed with one of her rags. And people wonder why she doesn't eat? Come on.... food is for playing, not eating!

* She's still a fairly obedient child. We have no fence around our front or back yards. But I know that she's always near the house. She often takes her animals and crayons on the front porch, sits on a cinder block and hides toys in that pillar to her left:

In the backyard she likes to play with rocks, look for sticks (we do actually have toys too. This isn't 1820). She hides (and finds) Easter Eggs. And often she likes to push things down into the bushes, ask "where did it go?" and then answer her own question by finding it:
* She's confused Thank you with You're Welcome. When I ask her to say Thank you, she smiles and says You're Welcome Mommy. It makes me smile every time.

* When she wants to watch something on TV she says "Whatdoyou wanna watch?" She then makes me rattle off a slew of options and basically waits for me to say "Super Why?" At which point she lights up and says "Super Why?!" It's a very educational show so I don't mind her watching it.

* She likes the Disney songs: Following the Leader and Let's Get Together

* She loves Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. Grandma Linda has the whole figurine set. Yay! Going to Disneyland this time around is going to be a whole new experience.

* She still sleeps about 11-12 hours at night and will take a 3 hour nap during the day if I let her.

* She HATES trying on new clothes and usually bawls when she has to. I just try to ignore it as she says "take it off? off?" Eventually she comes around and is fine the next time she wears the piece of clothing.

* She loves to be out and about doing things. We often go to the mall to walk around and play on the toys: Her favorite thing about the mall though is the "Doggie Store", and not because she wants to see the real dogs in their kennels but because she wants to play with these fake dogs and you know, do the normal make-believe routine mentioned above: * She's very agile, loves to jump, dance, and these days...swing from anything that needs swinging:
* She's become a bit prissy. Sometimes she enjoys playing in the dirt and water but at other times, it drives her (and me) crazy. If she gets something on her hands, she'll whine at me that she needs to wipe them off. If she spills water on her shirt she whines that it's wet. What kid notices these things?? She's even funny when it comes to playing in the water. She likes to gather it in a cup rather than play in it. But sometimes it's hard to avoid:
(she does own a swimming suit but she had thrown-up on everything at this point) Which brings me to....

* She still drinks WAY too much milk. That's a project for next week, teaching Lucy to eat. I dread it. * She's got energy, energy, energy but at the same time she's not exhausting. She expends most of it on her own, playing and having fun. In fact I often get that comment from people who haven't been around her very much. "She never stops moving does she?" Nope. Even in bed, she's still reading stories or singing songs to herself.
* She's such a joy. Any of her little quirks are greatly out-weighed by her cute personality and adorable little face. It's so exciting watching her learn to talk and put words together. I'm just now realizing that the fun has only begun.

We love you Lucy! Happy two and a half!


Willard Family Weekend

It's hard to believe that August is here; which means...summer's almost over?! As a kid, the three months of summer freedom felt endless. As an adult with no school-age children, July feels like December and March may very well be September (I guess the California weather is mostly to blame for that). I never know what time of year it is. But one thing that does make it feel like August is family vacationing. We were lucky this summer to have two family get-togethers. And this past weekend we spent it with the entire Willard family. We hung out in the great outdoors and had a totally great time. Nicole, my sister-in-law, did a fabulous job planning it all (HUGE thanks Nicole). We ended up here:
Lake Gregory, near Lake Arrowhead and Big Bear. The weather was perfect, the company was great, and we stayed in this fabulous house:
It was HUGE with 5 bedrooms, 2 balconies/decks, a stocked kitchen, billiard room, dining room (game room), and BIG screen tv (perfect for hours of Mario Kart on the wii). My kids were happy just to roll around on the carpet (something we don't have in our 1950s apartment):
We don't get to see all the Willard family very often since Jeff/Nicole are in Utah and Brady's in Tucson. So it was really fun to just hang out in the same house together and catch up. Here's little Jillian. What a cutie . Those gorgeous blue eyes and curly hair:When we arrived the boys went straight to work with a project. The balcony had a huge cap near the floor, perfect for a little child to fall through. So Parry and the boys went to the hardware store and came back with this fabulous solution:
Well done and thank you:
Since there are 4 brothers in the Willard fam, Grandma Linda is in love with her 3 granddaughters. She's never been able to buy little girl dresses till now. Here's the latest ensemble. Such cute girls! A little redundant with 3 pictures but they were all too cute. Lucy, Jillian, and Jacqueline:
Me and Casey hanging out on the deck:
Nicole and Jeff (Casey's younger brother):
The boys having a grand old time in the Billiard Room:
Jeff and Brady (Casey's youngest brother):
Things we did while lounging at the house....
Intricate puzzles:Coloring and crafts:
Bubbles with Grandpa:
And HOURS and hours of this fun:The last night there we had a Ticket to Ride tournament. Casey won the gold. Here we are with our best game faces:
Of course playing games late at night with Casey's silly brothers made everything funnier than it probably was and as idiotic as possible. We even discovered this magic water. As Jeff poured his water onto ice it froze immediately:

Chad and Lauren's two dogs, Mia and Otis, joined the party. And the girls couldn't get enough of them. Lucy called Mia, "Mina". And spent most of the weekend walking around saying, "Otis! Otis!" Or "I did it Otis!" (to whatever thing she was doing)
She never knew quite where to hug him:
Owen was a happy camper. He played, was held by aunt/uncles and grandparents, and took all his naps. Life was grand:
We spent most of our first full-day at Lake Gregory. It's the perfect small lake for families. There are paddle boats and other toys to rent, a "beach" area for lounging (with dirt not sand. Bummer but still fun), and some super fun old-school water slides.
Looks like they're trudging through the Sahara. It was only a 5 min walk from the car:
Jacqueline's ball immediately rolled down to the water's edge. Lucy quickly recovered it:

We set-up shop:
Time for the sunscreen. Aunt Lauren with Jacqueline:
Lucy calls all her aunts/uncles by their first names but for some reason she insists on calling Brady, "Uncle Brady". It's real cute. He was their favorite bubble man:
Then we jumped in the lake!
Aunt Nicole is adorably pregnant. She looks so cute. Only 2 more months till another little guy joins Owen in the grandson tally:
Uncle Brady:
Lauren and Chad (Casey's older brother):
The tent was a big hit again. Although this time around Owen rarely stayed in it. It was a clubhouse for the 3 girls:
I kept warning them that pushing on the sides would tip the thing over. Yep, it did. I guess it's kinda fun though when the world is upside down:
The highlight of the lake was the waterslide. Cool and old-school, there were two side-by-side twisty slides. We sat on mats going down and caught some pretty good height on a few of the turns. We all went down numerous times. Here I am:
The brothers, rushing back up to race each other down:
While we were sliding, the girls found an obsession playing with dirt. They were so focused on it for a 1/2 hour straight:
When I came back, Lucy looked like this:
She seemed to enjoy it but then again, I caught her looking like this:
We eventually jumped back in the lake and doused her off. But with no spare clothes left, Owen's swimming suit had to do:
Good thing she's a skinny kid and can fit 12 month size shorts:
The next day we mostly hung out at the cabin/house. It was really nice and relaxing. The kids got all their naps in, Grandma did crafts with the girls, and the boys played in the Billiard Room. Honestly, it was really fun. By 4pm though, we decided to get out and went to a different part of the lake; more mellow and perfect for everyone.
The kids fed the ducks:
Grandma and Grandpa watched their little grandkids:
We flew kites:It was much windier here than at the beach with the Sumans which made for great kite turbulence. At one point we looked over and the kite had flown out of Brady's hands and right into the lake. Jeff saved the day.

Otis was in heaven playing fetch in the water with large sticks. Cute girls watching:
Jacqueline picked flowers:
The last morning there we ate breakfast, packed up, and gathered for a family picture.
Here's the whole group. (Left to right, Top Row): Jeff, Nicole, Brady, Lauren, Chad, Lucy, Casey, Dana (Bottom Row): Jillian, Parry and Jacqueline, Linda and Owen. What a fun bunch!
Daddy's truck was packed. Lucy was ready to ride.
We had a wonderful weekend with everyone. The house was so comfy and easy with kids that I may have to mention this to the Suman family also for future vacations. Can't wait to see the Willards next year at an undisclosed location. Crazy to imagine all these kids being a year older. Here's to a great summer of family fun!