Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The Dog and Cat Party

Here are some pictures from the girls' birthday party. It was ADORABLE...probably the best party we've ever had. We played "Dog House"- kind of like musical chairs, only whoever ended up in the doghouse was out. We had a dog bone scavenger hunt, with numbered dog bones being the winners. All the kids danced to "Who Let the Dogs Out" and "How Much is That Doggie in the Window?" We had a "Catwalk" fashion show. We played "Dog/Cat" which was a game where you passed the stuffed animal around a circle and the dog had to catch the cat. Instead of cake, we had "pupcakes" that Jeff and the girls decorated. (They had licorice whiskers!) There was an adoption center, and every guest got to adopt an animal, and they got an "offical adoption certificate." When each kid came into the house, they got dog or cat faces painted on, and received dog or cat ear head bands. It was so cute and so much fun!

Mermaids in the Tub

Mermaids in the Tub

Emma and Grace are in the tub. I can hear them imagining/playing. They are playing mermaids.

Mermaid Grace- "My mother is poor. All she buys me are rags to sew clothes for myself. All I ever get for my birthday are rags and milk and books."

Mermaid Emma- "Well I'm so poor that I have to make my own toothbrushes. I make them out of hermit crab shells."

Mermaid Grace- "I have shiny rainbow sparkle hair. Every time you see it, you are just amazed."

Mermaid Emma- "Let's say I don't care about your hair. I just have raggy hair"

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


As of tomorrow (1.24.01) I have 7-year-olds.

I just LOVE those beautiful girls.

Grace arrived first- screaming, with painted doll lips and a mohawk. Tiny but mighty. :)

Emma, ever the drama queen, came second, holding her breath. Her hair- duck fuzz. Her rosy cheeks and sweet cry.

I'm in awe of them.

It seems that I brought them home yesterday, bundled up. "It'll never be the same," I told Jeff. "We were two, now we're four. There will always be two more people here."

And there are.

And they are loud. And funny. And crazy. And genuine. And selfish. And loving. And creative. And silly. And beautiful.

I am so in love with them.

And I can't believe they're turning 7!

Yesterday Emma said, "Mama! I'm 7!"
I replied, "No hunny, you're 6! Give me one more day of 6 before you turn 7. You'll never be 6 again. Enjoy it!"
"No, Mama. I'm 7!"
"You're 6."
"I'm sssssssssssseeeeeeevennnnnnnnnnnn."
"Emma- You're six. Be six. One more day."
Sigh. "But six is so borrrrrring."

Grace is not AS concerned about the moment her new age will take effect. Instead, she is my Martha Stewart party planner. She is constantly revising her dog and cat party in her head. She presents it to me like we are collaborating on a 5-course meal for business executives.

"I'm know how we were going to have the 'Who Let the Dogs Out' song during our game? Well...I'm thinking we should get more songs on your i-pod to play during all the games. songs too."

"Do you know any cat songs, Grace?"

"No. But...I'm thinking there must be some. And Mama... Breemember (I love how she says "remember" and I never correct her even though I should....) Breemember when we thought of painting everyone's face? Well, I'm thinking we can let them choose the color for their whiskers." When Grace is serious she always says "I'm thinking...."

Seven. I don't think there are many ages I like more than (almost) Seven.


Love notes: "Mama- You are the best Mama EVER. I love you so so so so so much"

Loose teeth.

Stuffed animals that are REAL.

An incredible compassion for anyone or anything in pain. (Unless it's your sister and you're the one inflicting it.)

Using your dad as a jungle gym.

Pretend. Mermaids in the tub. Horses on the grass. The car? A boat. The loveseat? A stage.

Conversations with the pets.

Santa? Yes. (Duh....)

Tooth fairy? Maybe...

Easter Bunny? No way.

Big questions about clouds, the sky, and flying.

Belief that it would be perfectly fine to marry your dad and live at home forever.

Endless stories that go on and on and on (even-like in that commercial- if you get OUT of the car and walk all the way around to the other side to open the door for them....they're still talking like you can hear them.)

A TOTAL sense of humor (tonight it was for a strange and particularly bad singer on American Idol.)

The absolute need for your parents during a nightmare, a new situation, or any illness.

Tight hugs that really MEAN it.


Sunday, January 13, 2008

Oh, January!

Pictures: #1-Jeff Smith, circa 1989. Credits to Stephanie Wallace, who lured all the cute punk kids to her house for youth group. (What a baby face!) #2 Grace and me took dozens of pictures like this. We're just sharin' the love! #3 Emma with one of her best friends, Olivia, who turned one on January 9th!

Lots of important dates this month...

Tomorrow is my anniversary. Jeff and I got married 13 years ago! I can hardly believe it. Even more random...I met him as a junior in high school in January, 1989, which was 19 years ago. (He was new to my school.) My classes got switched at semester, and I was put into Jeff's history class. He sat in front of me and I had the hugest crush on him with his long bangs, partially dyed black hair, and ratty t-shirts. I hung out with him until that summer, and he moved away. For the longest time I thought about him, wrote poems about him, and missed him, although I didn't really know why. (We just hung out a lot and kissed a couple of times. Why did his image stick with me?... I wondered.) Now I see it future husband was sitting there with his black converse and skater bangs! Our girls were probably humming through the air like pixie dust around us in that stuffy history classroom. The story had a happy ending...although we didn't "find each other" again until 1993 when that boy finally got it right and called/found me. :)

On the 24th, Miss Emma and Miss Grace turn 7! Yowzas! After Jeff and I got married, I was ready to have kids any time. It took us years, 3 or 4 REALLY stressful ones (doctor's visits, adoption plans...yikes.) And it seemed like once they arrived, that first year was just HARD. We were exhausted. Now...those ladies just crack me up every day. Grace tells me she wants to drive a car with "a convertible top with flowers all over it" and that her middle name is "Adorable." If I crack a joke, she says, "Good one, Mama!" Emma, tells me she is going to live next store to me until she's old, looks at me with her serious eyebrows furrowed, asks me about things she's seen on Animal Planet, and tells me she's "not as creative as Grace." :)

I used to despise January. The comfort and coziness of Christmas packed away, the harsh reality of returning to school in Bishop in the dead of winter, when they MADE you go out to recess even if it were FREEZING, and I used to go into the bathroom stall and my legs would be shaking and goosebumpy! The endless second semester. In high school, I was always in trouble in January, grounded from my car, made to stay home.

Now, January is marked with celebration. I feel melancholy, hopeful, and ambitious. Mostly, I feel excited for the two dates that commemorate my favorite people in this life...Jeff and my girls.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

The Interview

The Interview


You are about to turn seven. Tell me how you feel.

Grace: Excited about I'm going to be seven and about the dog and cat party and my presents and I'm excited thinking I'll get dog and cat stuff, like littlest pet shops. And the cake. And the dog and cat ears. And face paintings. And the cake I drew.

Emma- I feel so glad that I could scream. And I'm so excited. It's our seventh birthday and it's a dog and cat party. Those are two of my favorite animals. My very favorites are horse, dog, and cat.

Explain what love is.

Grace: Being nice to people and being joyful. It means you're happy and that person is in your heart.

Emma: Love is your heart. It about people, snuggling with my mommy, snuggling with my daddy, and snuggling with my snuggle pug. Most of all having my whole family around me.

Favorite treat?

Grace: lollypops

Emma: cookies

Favorite kinds of kisses?

Grace: Eskimo kiss

Emma: Mommy kisses

Favorite way to act crazy?

Grace: Run around the house and jump around and make Livvy chase me and then go outside and go down the slide backwards on my back.

Emma: Let Livvy wrastle me.

What are your plans for the future?

Grace: Own a horse ranch.

Emma: I want to be a zoo owner.

If I granted you one wish, what would it be?

Grace: To fly.

Emma: I would have a whole ranch with every animal in the whole wide world.

What is something you worry about?

Grace: Somebody robbing the house.

Emma: When Dad puts Marty outside cuz he goes poopoo in the house.

Describe your perfect day:

Grace: Christmas.

Emma: In the morning it's bright and sunny and I get to go to pony and ride. Then I get to play in my house and play with the dogs. It's a bright, bright day. We have popcorn and watch a movie before bed.

What's the grossest food you can think of?

Grace: Spinach!

Emma: Onions!

Anything else you want to let me know?

Grace: I'm trying to work on a project here.

Emma: I like playing with dogs. I like going to my pony and riding her. I like playing with Livvy. I like to play with Marty, Sophie, and Acer.