Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Eating my Texts

Shortly after I blogged about not having a cell phone, I got one. I knew I would, since I was about to depart for my little trip to visit Grandparents who don't really believe in unnecessary expenditures, such as long-distance phone calls. Please note: I knew they would be happy to let me use their phone, but since they themselves don't use it for such frivolous things like conversations to see if the baby took a decent nap or to request brownie recipes, it would be inconsiderate for me to take advantage of their generosity. Plus, I think it's optimal when traveling alone and at night to have a cell phone. Airport pickup alone makes it worth it.

The cell phone I got is a pre-paid, you pay ten cents per minute and 5 cents per text. Your minutes last for a certain number of days before they expire. The phone itself looks and operates like a toy- nothing too tough or fancy. It has very few features and is not attractive in any way, shape, or form. What is the point when I lose or break everything anyway?

But I'm finding that the best part about having a cell phone is something that I complained about earlier. This is it: since people are so glued to their phones and so responsive to texts, I have finally discovered a world wherein I can get an immediate response. Because Mark goes to many long (and probably boring) meetings, he can't be contacted for hours at a time on occasion, which drives me crazy when I need a simple question answered. However, everyone takes their blackberries into said meetings, and since it is culturally acceptable to be looking at/typing on one's blackberry at any given time, he can text!!! Finally, I have broken the barrier. You'll see this next on The Office or in Dilbert.

A White Christmas

This year for Christmas, we couldn't travel anywhere, because Mark's job has been very busy and informed all employees that there would be no time off this year. That was pretty sad news to the children, and Felicity was especially heartbroken. She had hoped that we could go to Utah to see family there and to play in the snow. So she kept wishing aloud that we'd have snow here instead. I told her that was very unlikely, since it snows just a couple times a year in North Texas, and to time it with Christmas would just be too lucky.

On Christmas Eve, we decided to head to the local Bass Pro store to see the fish, ride the carousel, and make requests from Santa. It's all free, and provided a good diversion from boredom and distraction from impending events. Before we left, my friend we were meeting there called and reported that it was supposed to snow, which made me scoff at the weathermen, since it was in the mid-70s the day before. However, before we left the store, snow was falling pretty thickly and rapidly all over the ground. I was sure that it would stop by the afternoon and melt by evening.
Katrina, Max, Santa, Matthew, and Felicity. Katrina decided to make a last minute request change.

I was wrong about the snow- it kept falling, even past six, when Mark got home. My cousin's family came for Christmas Eve dinner and got into a fender bender on the way thanks to the weather and the limited shoulder space (construction), but they were all safe, fortunately. We broke away from the turkey tradition to have ham instead, but Mark and I both missed it. Afterward we had our traditional Nativity play:

2 Wise men (one in soccer socks, couldn't find the tights) riding to find the Christ child

Max sending off the dinner guests, and saying goodnight to the snow

But although the snow eventually stopped, it was cold enough to stick around for several more hours, and when we got up in the morning, it looked strangely wintery:

Despite very little sleep, we all got up to open gifts and we were all very excited:

Kids peering down from upstairs railing, trying to catch a glimpse

Max's new wheels, traded in for one with a handle (hey, I have a bad back)

Mark and Matthew fishing for stocking stuff

The girls went out to play in the snow before we could even have breakfast or open gifts under the tree.

Katrina in her pjs and coat, playing in the snow

Felicity shows her loyalty for Alabama Football, a gift from Aunt Rewa. You might notice the short hairs all around her head, she cut her hair a few days before "because it was too tangly."

So for the first time in several decades, TX had a White Christmas. I guess Felicity really did get everything she wanted this year!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Snow and Santa

Here are the boys outside one morning after we got some snow. It was about 33 degrees and very wet snow, so I opted to take pictures instead of playing in the cold damp stuff. It warmed up and melted before the girls got home from school.

Santa made a surprise appearance at our ward party. Matthew made sure that everyone knew it was really Brother Hall and was very proud of himself for outing him. Max didn't care and ran right up to him for hugs and candy canes. He will do just about anything for candy canes. Maybe he's part elf?

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving with the Morris extended fam

This being the first holiday following Mark's father's passing, we thought it might be nice to invite some family members here for Thanksgiving. I titled this as the Morris extended family, but really it was Mark's mother, sister, her husband and their 2 kids- which without us, totals up to fewer people than are in our little immediate family. Usually a true Morris gathering involves his aunts, cousins from either side, some friends, some other distant cousins that I can't keep track of and invariably embarrass myself not remembering, and kids that Nana tutors. Which is still smaller than my family-of-origin gatherings are now.

So it was a small group. The children had a great time being together and Uncle Kelley was the hero of the day for playing kickball while we cooked and cleaned. Actually Mark was the true hero for working like crazy at his job weekdays and weekends, and then when he finally got a day off, he worked like crazy in the kitchen with me, and then after dinner, when the rest of the adults collapsed from stuffage, he enlisted the children to help him out. They actually did a pretty good job!

'Twas the night before T-day, and the children could not tear their eyes away from a movie to say "cheese". Even Max pretends to love it. (Don't be fooled! He won't watch more than 15 seconds of Elmo)

Max and Kayla giving hugs. This looks contrived, but it's really not. Max is very huggy. Kayla consented to hug him by the end of their visit here.

The dinner: mashed potatoes, rolls, turkey, greens, gravy, green bean casserole, salad, cranberry jelly, cornbread dressing, potato salad, fruit salad, and macaroni & cheese. It was a merger between North & South.
One thing I realized is that Thanksgiving favorites are almost always what you're familiar with- not so much about taste as about tradition. My favorite part of Thanksgiving dinner is mashed potatoes or a yummy fruit or green salad. But others did not even take those items because they were saving room for their favorites: collard greens and potato salad, which I'll take more to be polite than out of preference. Some basics are popular with both groups though: rolls.

I accidentally deleted the picture of the desserts. Much woe. Dessert is really the best part. We had pumpkin, apple, and german chocolate pies, as well as 7 up cake (with strawberry frosting, a new Rewa addition) and Oreo Cake.

The group. We brought in the kiddie picnic table so we could all eat together.
We had a good time with Mark's family and watched more football than I've seen in the past ten years, but it was a good weekend for football. The children really enjoyed each other and the weather was great, so they dug holes in the backyard and filled them with mud. Good cousin memories.

My sister-in-law Alice and her son Charlie Choo were here visiting her parents for Thanksgiving, and they came to dinner on Sunday. We had fun with them- my kids would not leave her alone, though. Here's Katrina showing off her nightgown my mom made for her and a matching one for her Julie doll as a birthday gift. Julie's not in the picture- that's Charlie.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Soccer girls

Another soccer season has come and gone. On one hand, I am excited for my girls to get some exercise, time with their friends, outside at that, and to learn a new skill. On the other hand, Saturday games seem to take up a whole lotta time, and weeknight games make life way too complicated, what with teaching piano lessons, making and serving and cleaning up dinner, bedtime for Bonzos, and Daddy invariably working late. But the first hand obviously overpowers the second in the arm wrestle, because we keep signing up for more seasons.

I really appreciate the time and efforts of the coaches, and am exceedingly grateful that Katrina's practices are in the field directly behind out house. Fire ants or not, it is much easier to send her out when it's time for practice and join her when we're ready or watch from the backyard, than to feed everyone early, pile all the kids in the car at dinnertime and "entertain them" (keep them out of trouble) at the field where her sister practices.

This season was rained out a lot- we had a surprisingly cool and wet fall. I actually was sad that so many of the games were canceled; I really wanted the girls to get a chance to play. It seemed like they were just getting it when the season ended. I guess that's why so many places in TX are year-round with their sports- they don't want players to lose any skills. Still, I like the break between seasons, even though it's only about 2 and 1/2 months.

Katrina throws it in as her teammate Gabby springs into action.

Action shot of Katrina, unfortunately pretty blurry, but at most games I was trying to keep track of Max or keep him (or his siblings) from throwing/kicking balls into other games.

Katrina is puzzled why that one didn't go in. She like playing forward as opposed to sweeper.

Felicity's game changed a lot this year, their field size nearly doubled and so did the number of players on the field. They also acquired the official goalie position and had the complicated offsides rule that I don't pretend to understand. Her games are on fields that are quite the hike from our house, so Mark and I had to tag-team those events.

Felicity running- Coach Dan said she's always eager to play, begging him to put her in.
Unfortunately, she doesn't always know what to do... but she's improving and she enjoys it. And that's the point of her playing at this time in her life. Their team had a "learning season" so here's hoping the next season is more of a "winning season"- this girl likes to win!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Solo Flight to Davis

Recently I took a quick trip to Davis, California to visit my grandparents. It seemed like traveling in time and instantly I felt ten years old, walking through the door to the familiar smells and sights. They built their house in 1955 (partly with their own hands) and have not changed it a whole lot since I visited it with my family of origin in younger days, although it is still very clean and in surprisingly good shape. It had been over 14 years since I'd been back to 821.

Although I have taken long-distance trips away from my children, this was the first that Mark wasn't with me or meeting up with me. Somehow I felt like people treated me differently, with neither a husband nor several small children along. I got lots of reading time, which was nice. This was my first time ever spending time with my grandparents without other relatives along, which changed the pace and conversations quite a bit.

I had hoped to be useful and whatnot during my trip, and I guess I was, minimally. My grandparents have always stressed the importance of being self-sufficient, and they are no exception. Mostly my contributions seemed to be with food- preparing and cleanup. It is interesting to see how much has or hasn't changed with them through the years. It's also interesting how spending time with relatives teaches you much about yourself. I discovered that my mother is actually a lot like her father: quiet, hardworking, interested in books and learning, and averse to small talk and superfluous conversation; yet sentimental in relationships. My grandpa has not slowed down as much as I thought he might in his 9th decade- older people are reputed to be slow, but he managed to be swifter than I in many things and kept up with traffic on the roads. He says that they have attained the perfect relationship- a deaf husband and a blind wife.

A few weeks from her 90th birthday, Grandma continues to be a great storyteller and likewise tries to maintain independence, despite her failing physical capabilities. The irony that I had the hardest time reconciling is her loss of interest and appetite for food. This is the woman who is most famous of all in my acquaintance for producing vast quantities of delicious food, then persuading even the most engorged eaters to have just a little more or risk offending the cook. The rules no longer apply, and it is just a little too ironic for me to swallow, mentally. She told me lots of tales from her youth, preparing food at the bakery before going to school and trying to scrub the doughnut frying smell out of her hands before class. She also talked about her time as a Navy WAVE during WWII, while Grandpa was overseas with the Air Force. Grandma still likes to look her best, even if she can't see herself (or anything else, for that matter). Sunday, she had me fix up her hair that a church member had arranged the day before, but Grandma still puts on her own lipstick.

I really enjoyed looking at the vast quantities of pictures they have collected over the years, from old ones of ancestors whom I have never met, to recent pictures of my cousins in their adventures, many of whom I hardly recognize now. In particular I enjoyed the older ones of my very youthful grandparents, mother, aunts, and uncles. Some of them were shockingly good looking (and not always modest!) and many photos have weathered well despite the lesser technology. I loved the one when my grandparents wore their wedding clothes on their 20th wedding anniversary. They traveled all over the world and lived in some exotic locations, always serving others and devoting much time to their faith.

We attended church on Sunday and I couldn't help but get a little emotional as I met people who have been blessed by my grandparents' service through the years. It was also sad to say goodbye, knowing that it might (really) be goodbye for many years yet.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Super Sevens

Our Bean recently had a birthday. She is now seven, which was my favorite age as a child. I don't really know why, maybe I was superstitious? I do remember really being excited to turn 11, because statistically I had the least chance of dying at that age (that's what happens when you combine a child's irrational fear with a mathematician father's response).

But anyway, about Katrina. She was very excited for her birthday. Bet you can't guess why there are army men on the table.

It's because her birthday is on Veteran's Day! So Felicity arranged them in a smiley face for her, mixing irony with mirth. Matthew and Max are opening something of their own, something very exciting (Sunday socks):

Katrina has been hinting toward a dollhouse for some time now. It was one of my favorite toys as a child, so I was excited that we gave one to her. It's the kind you put together, so she gets to pick out the decor. Unfortunately, it's turning out to be quite a bit of work as well, and consequently it is still not completed.

The day was lovely outside and by the time we returned home from her choice of restaurants- Texas Roadhouse (this is our "family party" year, where we skip the friend party and do something fun as a family instead), and by the time I finally finished her cake, it was past the boys' bedtime (so they missed it) and nearly mine. Can't believe I never took a picture of the inside of this cake. She requested a checkerboard cake, which was a rather complicated recipe involving beating 9 egg whites and gradually adding 1/3 cup sugar, then folding it into....blah blah blah. And it wasn't even very good. We had to eat it with tons of ice cream. She was thankful though, which is just like Katrina- extremely gracious. Also for the guacamole I made her, that's her favorite food. It has been for some time.

Happy Birthday Bean! We love you and look forward to many more years with your sweet and thoughtful self. Even when you no longer fit into your cute froggy pajamas you made at sewing camp last summer.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Halloween is OVER

I have to keep reminding Matthew of that fact since he seems to want to celebrate it indefinitely. Just yesterday we drove past the pumpkin patch (which is readying to be a Christmas tree lot) and he asked if we could go. I'm sure that it's because I never blogged about Halloween; he needs some closure to this holiday.

October turned out to be a very wet and surprisingly cool month for our neck of the woods. Hence, I only made it to that pumpkin mecca once. Mark took all the kids on Halloween afternoon after he came back from work, but the Family Photographer (me) was not in attendance, so these are our only pictures.

Matthew wanted to buy all of the pumpkins and make sure they fulfilled their measure of creation.

Max, pre-mud stage. Matthew is blurred in the background, on the go as usual.

The measure of their creation (nothing fancy here, just freestyle w/ knives).

Look at this cute bee! He almost didn't make it trick-or-treating, since he took a nosedive from a crazy standing position in his stroller (what a surprise) and cracked yet another tooth. He still knew his lines though: "Beeezzzzz, Happy 'aleen!" and "Chickacheek!"

Our neighborhood had a picnic on the front lawns before the candy begging commenced. In the corner of the picture is that cute bee you saw earlier, probably running for the keg again. Don't worry, he never got any of the contents to match up with his mouth at the right time.

Our attempts at decorating outside. That cobweb stuff is a pain!

A witch, a vampess, the bee, and a pirate. Ready to be done with pictures and to start with candy.
The M&Ms and their oh-so-attractive garbage bag costumes. (You know it's bad when you have to use a trash bag to dress up.) I think Mark is the dark chocolate kind- do they even have white choc M&Ms?

OK, now that we've gotten that out of our system, we can officially get ready for Christmas.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Park pics

One afternoon in early November, the weather was perfect and so was the lighting, so I brought my camera to the park and took some pictures while the children played. Matthew had a friend there, so it was a little harder to capture him, since little boys don't generally like to stop and smile for the camera.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

I don't have a cell phone

Usually, I have to repeat that line, because this news is revolutionary. That's right folks, I don't have a cell phone. I used to have one, until one day I dropped it (after several previous drops) on its end and it smashed into several pieces. I was able to revive it for one last call to my sister on her birthday, but that was The Last Phone Call (ooo! Now doesn't that sound like an intriguing title for a future BYU/Easter film!), and ever since, I have been left wireless-less. So for all of you who are wondering why I haven't called you back, it's because I'm not getting the messages.

By now I'm sure you're wondering, Is this really worthy of a blog post? Well actually, this is not so much to talk about my lack of cell phone, but about how crazy of a concept this apparently is. Whenever someone gives me a number or asks me for mine and I tell them said fact, the reaction is: A-Pure Astonishment, 2-Pity, and D-Rapid backing away. Okay, okay, so maybe my cell phone fiend-friends aren't really ready to drop me like a hot potato (or in my case, like a cell phone) as soon as they discover that not only do I not have an iPhone/Blackberry/Supercool Trendy Expensive Object to access email, internet, and any number of other distractions on me at all times, I don't even have a free-with-2-years'-commitment flip phone with which to text or converse. (It turns out that actually I am commitment-averse, if you want to know the truth.) But they are definitely surprised and wonder just how I can function.

True, there have been some dashed inconvenient moments without a phone, like when I got stuck in a traffic jam on the way to Max's Pediatric GI appt or when I couldn't find my church buddies on the way to our RS Broadcast meat-fest. And I must admit, there's some sense of security to have a working phone when I'm driving with nearly no gas in the tank late at night in a TX rainstorm, with a weak battery to boot. However, it's also a little bit liberating. -Not that I was one to constantly be on the phone anyway, I have few friends that like to actually speak to me in person- they all seem to find that email, FB and voice mail are much more efficient. But it's actually nice to just do things the old fashioned way: talk to the person... later... when I'm at home and not in the company of other people who really don't need to hear my conversations.

Hey, I'm not trying to offend anyone. But have you noticed how much cell phones have permeated life? Has anyone else noticed that people check their phones constantly, mid-conversation? Sometimes they answer a phone call or text while you're chatting, and you get the feeling: "Hey, it doesn't matter who YOU are, this person contacting me is more important and whatever they have to say has GOT to be better than what you're droning on about." It's permeating everywhere- the menu of the restaurant Mark and I tried out last week had "No cell phones please" along the bottom, which seemed superfluous since it was a rather fine eating establishment. However, I saw more than one that evening despite the request. And in church situations, too...and I'm not just referring to Sunday meetings. Have you been visit taught by someone who is texting as you're talking?

I know it's a tricky balance, since many people (like Mark) use it for everything: alarm clock, notebook, phone and address book, etc. Don't get me wrong- They're great devices, and I'm confident that I will have one again before much longer. It's wonderful to have it when getting off a plane and trying to meet up with someone, getting directions in a new neighborhood, and when finding out specific ice cream requests. Or some validation or assistance, right when you're needing it. A cell phone is also great for sending a quick message when it's late at night or when there's no time to talk. However, we all managed to live full and productive lives, pre-cell era. Can't we just put it down for a few minutes- or hours? I really don't need to hear that you're getting email while I'm trying to sleep...

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Columbus Day 2009- Exploring Murphy's Law

Some days, it just seems like fate is out to get you. Usually, it's not for anything big. Just to annoy you until you throw your hands up in the air and say something to express your exasperation. For example:

The children had Columbus Day (October 12) off from school to go see Oprah at the state fair and U2 in concert that night. Mark did not have the day off, so our plan was to skip those other crowded, rainy, costly, educational venues, and go visit him for lunch. After lots of last minute running around, we realized that the communication was amiss, and the time for driving there before his Important Meetings had lapsed. We were all bitterly disappointed. As it was a Monday (Laundry Day), I was trying to wash our clothes, but the dryer refused to work. -What's this about time and a half for holidays? Yuk Yuk Yuk.

So we entertained a dryer repairman for lunch instead, although he was much timelier than I'd anticipated and also cheaper, but it unfortunately meant that we were going to be quite late to the outing our friends had invited us on to celebrate Rainy Mondays and Bored Kids. Finally, we were ready to go, and I had all children dressed and smelling appropriately, buckled into their proper spots in the minivan- when the car would not start!! Since we have a jokester toddler who loves to turn on the little tiny lights above our heads without our noticing, I was actually hoping it was a dead battery. However, the neighbors couldn't find their cables. We did find some other helpful neighbors who did have cables, vehicle, and (bonus!) advice for us. So eventually we were on our way... to the Auto Zone. Fortunately, it checked out as just a baby prank and got to go bounce like crazy at one of the local jumpathonaramas. When Katrina bounced out of one, landed on her leg, and partially knocked out her front tooth, I was sure we were headed for the ER, but Fate decided it had dealt me enough hassles for one day.

You better believe we got rotisserie chicken for dinner that night when we stopped at the store for Max's medicine. Making rice and frozen corn was already enough work for me. Yes, I freely admit that I am a wimp when it comes to irritations. Better not throw any real trials my direction.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

The things we do for lovies

This past week we had an incident with a missing lovie. Max has these little blanket/bear animal mutations that were given to him shortly after he was born, the likes of which we'd never owned before. I don't really know what to call them, and one of the Givers dubbed it a "lovie," so that's what we call them. One of them has large brown polka dots, which Matthew dubbed the "coconut lovie," and it disappeared a couple months ago on Laundry Day when I was trying to wash it (the nerve!). So although the silky lovie was less preferred, Max has been resigned to just clutching that one as thumb-sucking moments require. He is at an age when he's becoming more and more attached to it, and calls for it when he needs it: "Wuhvie! Wuhvie!"

Unfortunately, another laundry day came in which I needed to launder a lovie. With errands to run and children in and out of the house, sometimes the things that start in the laundry room do not end up in the laundry room. It's my die-hard habit after 6 and 1/2 years of going to laundromats or laundry rooms in apartment dwelling to do all of my laundry on one day, so after washing, drying, folding and sorting 7 loads each Monday, I get to bed on the late side. Max had gone to bed hours before, without a lovie, because no such lovie could be found. He went to sleep okay with some other distractions, but in the middle of the night (approx 3 am), I heard:

"Wuhvie! Wuhvie!" (sob sob sob)

Such a sound is heartbreaking to hear, so I got up and went downstairs to hunt, and to find a sippy cup for consolation in case my hunt was futile. I even wrenched open the back door and crept out into the damp, still, night to see if I could spot anything on the lawn, although the visibility was minimal and bugs maximal so that was short lived. Combing the laundry room for any signs, I finally spotted Coconut Lovie- behind the dryer, wedged between hoses and wires. I climbed up on the dryer to grab it, but ultimately had to get the grill tongs for the long reaching powers. Brushing off the dust, lint, and who knows what else, I was happy to have something for my baby. He was so grateful, my sore knees did not mind one bit.

And Mark snored through the entire event, so if someone ever creeps into the house at night, it will just have to be me and my Grill Tongs defending the family. But don't you worry- I've got lovies as backup.

A Most Unusual Trip to WalMart

Matthew learned how to ride a 2-wheeler a couple months ago. We knew this day was soon in coming, because he'd been riding a 2 and half (of a tiny) wheeler for about a year prior to this. To explain: I backed over his bike-plus-training-wheels the summer of 2008, and one of the training wheels was bent beyond all possibility of repair. So we removed it, and he learned to ride with the slightly warped one that remained.

Why, Cheapskates (ahem), didn't you just buy another set of training wheels? you may be asking. Because this was already the 2nd set of training wheels of that bike we had backed over, since Mark backed over it the year before. Not to mention, the first set put up such a fight that it tore out the rather expensive tire of our minivan. No more $ on training wheels was going to be spent for this thing!

But I digress. You may notice that Matthew was rather big for his bike. We were grateful for this bike, which the former owners of this house handed down to us a few months after moving here, and it has definitely served its purpose. Since the kid gets everything he owns (except socks and underwear) passed down to him, we told him at his birthday last January that we'd buy him a bike this summer after he learned to ride the bike he had without that crazy on-again, off-again training wheel. Matthew fulfilled his end of the bargain, but sometimes it takes his procrastinating parents a little bit longer.

A couple weeks ago, he and I were dragging the recycling & trash out to the curb and noticed a bike in our neighbor's trash pile. We decided to add it to our "treasures" in the garage and see what we could do with it. I talked to Matthew about getting the new bike or fixing up the old one, and he wanted to fix up the old one. Knowing that the day will soon come when that will absolutely not be the response, I decided to throw it in the van and drive to the cheapest bike shop I know to see if it was worth fixing.

I don't typically shop at WalMart much- there's a shiny new one in our area, but that area is constantly congested with construction traffic and frankly, Target's closer, which I'm more familiar with. However, the WalMart has a bike shop in the back and the guys there are extremely nice. I went and parked about 5 feet from the door and we went in to hand off the find and ask what they thought. There's a man who works there who looks just like Santa- long white beard plus mustache, old-fashioned spectacles, tummy that shakes like a bowl full of jelly, etc. The royal blue vest looks odd over his red coat, but whatever. I handed it over to him and he immediately started working away in the workshop- pulling out the weeds, taking off wheels, etc.

Max was about to Lose It so when Santa told me he was going to put in a innertube, I asked the other guys there if we could walk around and come back later. When we returned, the chain was functioning again, the tires were plump and rolling, the brakes tightened, etc. Santa even took it out for Matthew to test drive. Of course, it's a little awkward driving a bigger bike, especially when you start 2 feet away from a brick wall and pointed to connect with said wall, but Matthew was absolutely thrilled. And you know what the bike repair cost us? With tax, $3.07. For all of the labor, no charge. I'll just have to take some milk and cookies by another time.

The other thing that made it a surprising trip will have to wait for another day, but other than Max screaming his head off in the store and throwing fistfuls of crackers at me, it turned out to be a pretty good trip to the store.

Such a big shot on his bike! He's pretty happy about it, riding around in his Spider Man slippers. And he was really pumped when Mark and he went on a ride together Saturday- "Mom, even though it's old, my bike went faster than Dad's!"