Monday, August 30, 2010

Sometimes we just brave the heat

And I use the term "we" very loosely, in this case meaning the rest of my family.

After all, I am still in hybernation mode...until October.

Luckily for the kids, there's a new skate park very close to our neighborhood.

Unluckily for the kids, it's really busy early in the day on the weekends.

Luckily? Unluckily? for the kids, there's little traffic there in the middle (read, HOTTTTTTest) part of the day.

When it's 107 outside, this concrete park warms up to 130ish. Emphasis on the "ish." They were all enthusiastic troopers though and hung on through the heat.

Oh, these photos just don't properly represent the level of heat they endured.

I think this gives a better visual of the heat index.

And the color of their faces when they got home.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Another family double-digit birthday

Mary Kate certainly milked this year's birthday for all it was worth.

It started on Saturday with our neighborhood August birthday gathering.
Sunday was the only birthday day of rest we had!
Monday, she got her ears pierced.

On Tuesday, she offered birthday cupcakes, watermelon, and lemonade to her neighborhood friends when they got off at the bus stop (at the end of our driveway).

But on Wednesday, her for real birthday, she really lived it up!

We played at the pool for an extra-long birthday swim.
Sweet potato pancakes for breakfast was her request.
She went to lunch with Dad, got new swim fins, and visited a couple of pet stores that had biting bunnies, sugar gliders, pygmy possums, snakes, and a sloth.

Then she went to her birthday piano lesson...and got a jolly rancher from her teacher.

Dad took off work early, and by that time the kids were ready to climb the walls

...until their arms were shaking with fatigue,

they had no more grip strength,

and they became mentally confused and started doing gymnastics.

Just look at this Jello-y blob.

Kathleen, after climbing the advanced wall for 20 minutes.

Thankfully, they regained enough function in their arms to feed themselves dinner.

Miss MK got a set of bigger skates to keep her busy for a while. (These were even too small, so I think I'll have to let her use mine now.)

The sibs gave her Chinese checkers.

Her cake request this year was a beach cake.
I think every spatula, bowl, and measuring cup in the kitchen was used.

We love when someone has a birthday because we all get to have a fun-filled day--

when each of the kids is extra sweet to their sibling,
when they think of special gifts for each other,
when they have such a visceral anticipation of the day's activities,
and when we all end up with a visceral sense of too much sugar in our bloodstream.

Happy birthday to our little MK-Mimi-Cocoa Butter-Carrot-Flibberaloo!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

MK's New Bling

The reason for our trip to the mall.

She knew her eyes would water.

Birthstone posts: white gold with sparkly peridot

Then she got to pinch all of her siblings (and they didn't get mad)

...because they asked what it felt like.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Changing Play :: Phases of Youth

We don't go to the mall very often at all. I require a really good reason (some call it desperation) to get me there. It might even be a phobia of sorts.

Anyway, we went. And I did have a good reason (and that's why I had my camera).

As I was resting, due to the tremendous toll such a venture takes on me, I was trying to ignore the fact that my kids were embarrassingly ruthless in their attempt to find coins--even if they were wedged between a concrete pillar and its base requiring tools to pry them out. (Tools=wooden skewer + straw)

Since our children have outgrown their interest in taking a spin in the mall ride-on machines, they now look at that kind of area as a gold mine of coinage.

Unfortunately, this is nothing new for us. Here they are last fall at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon enjoying its natural beauty and splendor.

Yep--soda machines tend to be good coining grounds too.
Hey kids, let's go look at some 200 million year old rocks. Kids?

As I observed the general area at the mall, I also appreciated the differences between some of the phases and ages of the kids there.

There were a couple of male teens who probably would have been too embarrassed to search for a few coins, so instead piled into this "bus" and started making urgent calls on their phones.

Afterwards, one proceeded to, uh...fall out of the bus (a long, agonizing tumble) onto the floor.

Which was followed by a set of claps coming from female teen onlookers. (Oh, that lovely awkward age!)

Our kids didn't even notice the scene.
Because they were busy finding loads of coins.

Who could blame them really? Between all four of the kids, they found nearly $3--a small fortune to them.

Refreshingly, there was the token youngster who still gets thrills from actually riding the machines. She has yet to learn about coins and cell phones...and growing up.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

2nd Annual Block Party :: August Birthdays

Since there are 9 people in 7 neighboring homes on our short side of the block with birthdays in August, we figured it was good reason to celebrate!

The birthday crew

We love our great group of neighbors...and the big bunch of kiddies that come along with it!

Our little cupcake will be celebrating her "real" birthday soon!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Getting Wet :: Staying Cool

It's about the only thing we can do outside these days to stay cool--

Go out early and stay wet!

Well, besides putting on this gargantuan snorkeling mask--I guess I wouldn't classify that as "cool" per say.

Even at 7:30 or 8:00 in the morning, the unheated pool water can feel pretty tepid.

So we have to hope for a little breeze when we get out.

We can also hope for a little inspiration--maybe synchro swimming?

Or not so synchro...

Getting their wiggles out early least for most of the morning, that is.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Under Construction

During this hot time of year, when we're not at the pool we're mostly either doing school or playing...with things like this.

Joe got out a few of his vintage Girder & Panels sets, his favorite toy as a boy.

And now, he's a structural engineer.

Hmmm...might there be a connection?

Oooh, a highways and bridge set.

Right up Dad's alley.

Jimmer thinks the elevator feature is pretty nifty.

He worked hard on the elevator shaft to make it work just right.

Their new city.
The 1/87 scale version anyway.

Here's the company that still makes girder and panel sets. They're sold through Amazon as well.