Friday, January 28, 2011

Photobooth Friday, National Western Stock Show Edition

On the occasion of the afternoon when we watched our first born compete at the National Western Stock Show, 2011.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Don't Be a Jack Ass

If you had the following conversation with a 4-year-old, I believe you would come to the same conclusion I have.

"Do you know what happens if a person gets touched by a donkey?"


"If a person gets touched by a donkey they turn into a donkey."

"What is a donkey?"

"It's a person that doesn't know how to change back into a person. That's why you should run away from donkeys."

Oh I whole-heartedly agree. Only here's how I would issue a warning about touching donkeys.

People who hang out with jack asses turn into jack asses. Jack asses are people who used to be good, but now are just plain jack asses. So you should steer clear of the jack asses.

I'm just saying. Four-year-olds know their stuff.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Rodeo Champions and the Chic Magnet

The rules of this game:

1. Hang on tight.
2. If it stinks, hold your breath and hang on tight.
3. Have fun and hang on tight.
4. Hang on tight, and when you can't, let go but get out the way.
Tonight Coop rubbed shoulders with National Western Stock Show Rodeo Champions and Queens. Seriously. As a contestant in the mutton bustin' competition his game plan was simple.

He checked in with the other contestants, even the grown up guys who wrestle steers, ride broncs, and get thrown from bulls. Then he shopped the John Deere tractors for a minute or two. After anxious prodding, he convinced his dad to take him back stage to wait for his event. And before we knew it he was clinging to a sheep who was skeedaddling it's way into the center of the arena.

I nearly tipped off the top of the stadium seats when they marched him out and handed him a trophy as tall as he is. And was even more amazed when the Rodeo Champions and Queens came out to lift them up and have all the crowd cheer for them. He was proud as punch when his kindergarten teacher showed up at his side to congratulate him. And honestly nothing surprised me more than the two cute young women who stopped him after the show and asked for his picture! If she'd had a Sharpie and he could write in cursive those girls would have asked for his autograph. I'm not kidding.

Now I acknowledge there are organizations who discourage mutton bustin' because it might not promote kindness to, or respect of, animals. And I also suppose there are others who will judge me for permitting my gorgeous little boy to compete in such a "dangerous" event. But I don't care. It was wildly entertaining and frankly I'm proud of my child for showing virtually no fear in the face of 8,000 screaming fans. I'm hoping it doesn't lead to a life of rough stock riding, but it was good 'ol fashioned fun nonetheless.

Thanks to everyone who helped us get ready for this event. From the grandparents who flew out to see him to the clothes and boots donations to the sponsorship of his entry and the late night notary -- it was a red letter day thanks to you. For the record: He was contestant no. 8 (pretty lucky, huh) and scored an 87 -- unofficially second place (facebook video). Not bad for a city kid.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Letting it Slip

"You must have been warned against letting the golden hours slip by. Yes, but some of them are golden only because we let them slip." -- J.M. BARRIE

Surrounded by folded laundry screaming to be put away, toys scattered on the ground, beds to be made, dishes to be washed, and homework to be done, my sons and I played hookie. Nothing truly serious. We didn't have anywhere to be, per se. And so, we didn't make anything up.

That's right, I said it. Sometimes we make things up to be busy. To get things done. To say we did. It's all nonsense. And today we didn't. We made a huge mess with half a bag of confectioners sugar. But we did nothing else. We didn't even frost half the cookies we baked. It was golden.

Something melted in me when Mason bit into his heart-shaped cookie heaped with nonpareils and let his eyelashes flutter in enjoyment. Then he sighed, "I just love hearts." Cooper ate his gingerbread person just as you should, one limb at a time -- saving the head for last. And I, well I ate far more cookies and pudding frosting than I usually permit myself. Which is really saying something.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Black Phase

My children have always shown an intense interest in some of the arts. Coop had his Vivaldi phase, and his air violin phase, and then there was the Ed Emberly phase (actually we're still in that one). Mason has had the humming John Williams symphonies phase (also, still in that one), and now has entered the black phase.

Please note Cooper's version looks like a LEGO, down to the yellow face. And Mason's is, well, black.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

A Strike!

Not once, but twice!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Tumbling for Daredevils

Mason still hasn't shaken his interest in Shaun White. In an effort to channel that energy and to try to prevent major injury I signed him up for tumbling.

How this relates to my pondering yesterday, I do not know. But for now he is thrilled to be in a tumbling class with his best little friend -- who is also a boy -- and spend the afternoon balancing, somersaulting, and hanging from rings. Did I mention he's freakishly strong?

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Cooper Karateka

A hiatus from photobooth Friday is in order (will return 1/20, I think).

The Coop has taken up a new interest -- Karate-do. I have a sneaking suspicion it had something to do with a very cool, older boy who lives up the street and is occasionally a helper in Cooper's classroom. But it seemed a healthy interest, so I caved. After all, there is a highly respected Shihan at our local recreational center of all places and half the kids on our street are enrolled there.

Already it is wildly popular and an improved success compared to other sports we have tried. So, I am pleased. It seems the old man is pleased, as well. And most importantly Cooper is pleased. There you have it. New pursuits.

But it's got me wondering. What makes a particular sport resonate with an individual? Why are some of us compelled to run, others to swim, and still others to bowl? As I've aged I have learned one thing for sure, some things you are meant to do. While I was never a highly disciplined runner as a youngster, it has stayed with me and I can still run an easy 7 minute mile pace for at least four miles. I'm not bragging, I'm just saying some of us are made to do certain things. The trick is finding out what you're suited to do.

And here's the question that really has me thinking. Is it body types or brains that keeps us in our endeavors? It seems most of the people in this house excel at sports that do not involve others, a.k.a. teams. Golf, running, cycling, swimming, racquetball. On the other hand I failed at soccer as a child, was never a star on ANY court. And I can't really speak for my husband, however, to my knowledge he didn't belong to a single team. But hand him a golf club, an ample ante and he'll win. He just will.

Before I forget, let me jar this line of thinking with another enigma... are these traits inherited or nurtured? I believe the seal on our informal family survey will be when Mason makes his declaration. As the youngest he has served as a great spectator, but is approaching the age where activity is calling to him. Will he pick football (not if I'm paying for the registration) or ...

Stay tuned, time will tell.

PS -- I am considering one of 2 half marathons and I'd like to hear from some of my runner friends. Have you heard of either of these? And which one should I do?

1) Tacoma Narrows Half


2) You Go Girl! Half Marathon & 10K

Friday, January 7, 2011

Photobooth Friday, Mason is Missing

You may wonder why Mason is missing. In this particular case, he's the one snapping the photobooth shot.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Good Luck

How long do you think a 4-year-old can hold out while staring down the foil wrapper of a chocolate bar?

Sadly we'll never know because I snatched this sucker up and ate quite a bit of it myself before stashing it in my chocolate hiding place. That's right, I've got one. It's right by... on second thought... where it is, is none of anyone's business.

There is also a hiding place -- known only to my husband -- that conceals the candy that was in my Christmas stocking. He graciously lets me open my stocking, eat a little bit, and then hides the rest for me. He knows I want him to hide it. In fact, I accidentally found the stash the other day and screamed for him to save me and re-hide the stash before I inhaled it.

Then I also have piles of candy in plain sight. This is for my own torture. Mostly it's Crunch bars and Tootsie Rolls left over from Halloween. No one around here wants them. But they mysteriously disappear in a moment of weakness. Here's the thing with my will power. It is absolute. As in, if there is something I want I eat absolutely all of it.

If you have a resolution to eat or drink less of anything this year -- I wish you good luck. I really do.

PS -- I've actually tested the self-devised theory of eating so much chocolate you make yourself sick and then never touch the stuff again. Theory is built around the same concept of people waking up after a night of drinking WAY TOO MUCH and swearing they will never drink alcohol, again. Or those folks who can't see or smell J├Ągermeister, Goldschl├Ąger, or Midori without turning green. It's a great theory. Turns out, try as I might, I cannot seem to meet required consumption threshold to sicken on chocolate.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Last Day Blues

School resumes in the morning. It's been a wonderful winter break full of sunny days, holiday shopping, sugar eating, and a little pop of snow at the end. But now the dreaded day of return.
I can feel that my heart rate has gone up, my mind is racing, and I have to keep reminding myself to take a deep breath. Surely I'll remember the backpacks, the lunchboxes, the coats, the mittens, the scarves and the hats. Maybe I'll even get folks where they are supposed to go. And with a little luck, they'll even be on time.

Tomorrow is a big day, a new day, a full day. I'm worried.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Come One, Come All

Announcement: Coop will be a contestant in the 2011 National Western Frontier Airlines Mutton Bustin' Competition. (!!!)

Obviously we want his cheering section to be huge. So, if you're in town, plan on attending the PRCA Rodeo on Jan. 23, 2011 at 2 p.m. Seriously. (We'll be sitting by the chute.)