Wednesday, August 31, 2011

A Rose By Any Other Name

The punk has recently developed a fascination with names. Full names. His own, and those of his loved ones. He calls his daddy Timothy Michael Bell. His brother is Asher Junah Bell (or sometimes "Asher Basher"). When his dad teases him and says, "What you talking 'bout, Willis?", the punk says, "I'm not 'talking 'bout Willis!' I'm Calvin Timothy Bell!" He thinks his Uncle Davey's name is Davey Arthur Johnson Bell because everyone else's last name is Bell. But somehow, I have managed to keep my own name a bit of a mystery to him. Either he can't pronounce it, or, like an elementary school teacher who has no other identity to her students, I have no first name.

He calls me "Mama Johnson Bell."

Tuesday, August 30, 2011


This is the basher. He sleeps with elevated bum.

Waking up is hard to do.

But after a little companionship...

... and a yummy lunch...

...things are looking up.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Miso Hot

I joined my great-grandma, grandma, their roommate, my mom, aunt, and two cousins (whew!) for sushi and a movie. As our sushi rolls were brought to the table and we all dug in with our chopsticks, my 97 year-old great-grandma (whose eyesight is failing her, but whose spunk is still very sharp) asked to no one in particular,

"Is someone down there eating raw fish? Yuck!"

Oh Grandma. (She ordered the egg fu yung.)

Me and my grandma and great-grandma. 2009.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Teddy Bear Picnic

Behold, a lively song to jump-start your weekend!

[If you go down in the woods today, you're in for a big surprise.]
If you go down in the woods today, you'd better go in disguise.
For every bear that ever there was will gather there for certain because
Today's the day the teddy bears have their picnic.
Picnic time for teddy bears! The little teddy bears are having a lovely time today.
Watch them, catch them unawares and see them picnic on their holiday.
See them gaily gad about. They love to play and shout. They never have any cares.
At six o'clock their mommies and daddies will take them home to bed
Because they're tired little teddy bears.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

B&A: Bedrooms

When we bought our house two years ago, we loved the location, the floor plan, and the potential of the home. But we knew there was much room for improvement. We have been trying to update the look and feel of the home, one room at a time. The bedroom remodel began last October. We have finally put the finishing touches on our master bedroom (mostly) so I thought I'd share my before and after photos of this area of the house.

The punk's room BEFORE

The punk's room AFTER

The hallway BEFORE

The hallway AFTER

The master bedroom BEFORE

The master bedroom AFTER

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

2nd Time's The Charm

During last year's Ragnar Relay, I ran 5.5 miles around Rockport Reservoir minutes after puking my guts out. (See my blog post here.) Today, I had a much more enjoyable time at the reservoir. We joined my man's parents, brother, and his girlfriend for an end of summer water party. We packed yummy sandwiches, fresh fruit and veggies, and brownies. The basher wanted some of that action, but was not allowed to indulge in the chocolaty goodness because, as the punk says, "He doesn't have any teef!"

There are very few times in my life these days that I don't acutely feel the weight of motherhood pressing down on me (literally and figuratively. The boys are getting heavy). Even when we are having fun as a family, my primary role is to bring all the right things, make sure the little ones eat and wear sunscreen, and manage their safety and enjoyment. So when my man and I left the boys on the beach with their grandparents and took the Jet Skis out on the lake, I was surprised at the euphoria I felt when I squeezed that throttle. Pure bliss! Wind in my braids, sun on my face, cool water spraying my legs, and two free hands to steer the Jet Ski? Ahhhhh...

Monday, August 22, 2011

Q is for Quilt

My sweet little sister is moving to Virginia for college this week. I saw her for the last time tonight. There were tears. But enough about that. This is a happy post about the gift I made for her. Several weeks ago, I asked each member of my immediate family to donate 2 shirts to the cause. I ruthlessly slashed through them in order to make 20 cloth squares, 18 in. x 18 in. I sewed them together to make one side of the quilt and attached a black and white gingham print on the other side. It's not the most stylish quilt and it's not going to win any awards for precision. But it's something in her dorm room that will be a little piece of all of us at home.

Here come the tears again. I'm going to miss that girl.

Monday, August 15, 2011

12of12: August (Friday)

Today's 12 is brought to you by my man's parents' new place in St. George! The 4 of us went down for the weekend and had a lovely (very hot) time.

[Click on the block of photos to enlarge.]

1. The view from my morning run. 2. Jessie and Buzz Lightyear. The punk is running "superfast!" in the background. 3. My man says that someday, he'll teach the punk how to scream like a man. 4. Animal style! 5. "Reading" the pool rules to his bro. It's all about safety, man! 6. Hot. 7. Blastoff! 8. Big smile. Lots of drool. 9. Snack time. 10. The backyard. 11. The boys are finally in bed. 12. Ahhhhh...

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

B&A Backyard

This is what our backyard looked like in June. Cinderblock tiers and steps and a dirt/weed garden.

Then we paid a guy to do manly things.

Ta da! Rocks. A dirt ramp. A level dirt pad.

Then my man laid sod on the ramp, planted a few things in the rocks (more to come), and built an awesome swing set for the punk (and the future basher)!

There was, however, the small matter of the 16 sharp screws sticking through some places.

So even though it's against my religion, I went to a craft store. I bought wood blocks, wood glue, and wood pirate things. The punk helped me with the gluing. Et voilĂ !

Who wants to play?

Monday, August 8, 2011

Book. Camera. Me.

Grumpity grump grump. That's what I was feeling this morning. I don't hide my emotions well. Never have, never will. So of course, my family was feeling the frowny vibes that were emanating from my very soul. My man is off work today. He likes living with me when I'm nice, but when I'm a grouch face like this morning? Not so much. So he volunteered to take the boys while I did... whatever I wanted!

And I wanted THIS!

After spoiling myself with two hours of falafel, books, and SILENCE, I returned home to these guys, refreshed and recharged.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

A Saturday List

1. We've been putting together a swing set this afternoon. And by "we," I mean "Tim." I helped him hold this piece though.

2. It's hard work.

3. The punk helped his dad by placing this fat piece of grass on the plank. See? We're all very helpful around here.

4. I'm grumpy today.

5. It may have to do with my lack of exercise and bounty of treats this week. Nah, that can't be it. I'm never hard on myself about that stuff.

6. While the boys were napping and my man was being manly, I went shopping for a new swimsuit because my giant boobs broke my old one. It's being held up by 2 safety pins, and who knows how long they'll hold?

7. I hate swimsuit shopping. Almost as much as I hate red licorice and PBS telethons.

8. I get to go on a date with my man tonight! Asian Star (my choice) and Captain America (his choice).

9. I think I'll get myself gussied up! And by that, I mean wipe the slobber off my shoulder and brush my teeth.

10. Remember when I used to fit into my clothes? Good times.

Good times.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

I've Been Burgled!

When my man is out of town, I get tired. So when the punk came into my room early this morning, I let him watch a couple cartoons while the basher and I dozed. After he finished his second episode of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, he asked if we could get up and get some breakfast. I opened one eye and grunted. He knew he wasn't going to get the response he wanted, so my sweet punk quietly left my room and shut the door. I was pleasantly surprised that he didn't do the normal thing, which is to get louder and louder in his protests until the baby wakes up, thereby putting an end to my repose. No, he almost seemed to sneak out as quietly as possible so as not to wake his overworked mama. What a thoughtful little guy!

About 2 minutes after he left my room, his motive was revealed. I heard Talking Carl coming from the front room. The sneaky punk had stolen my phone!

The phone burglar.
If he is cute enough, he won't be punished.
Okay, he's off the hook.
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