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Posts Tagged ‘DCFI’

And why not? It’s not like I have a very expensive, super awesome Canon 7D to record my family’s precious memories with. Oh wait! I do! It’s just currently being pulled apart by some camera surgeon, or more than likely, sitting on a shelf until a time when said camera surgeon deems it acceptable to actually take a look at the thing. I don’t really know anything other than last Sunday at the pumpkin patch it would not turn on, as if the battery had died, only I had just charged it two days before and that battery is a total rock star, going weeks before having to be plugged in. I couldn’t even freak the eff out, which is what I wanted to do, because it was Bill’s birthday and I didn’t want to stress him out or ruin his day so I just said, “Let’s not talk about it, we’ll figure it out tomorrow”. Then, all of a sudden it popped on. Huh. And YAY. Annnnnd it’s off again. Um. Shit. By the time I tested it the next day {when it was officially safe to freak out as much as I wanted to} it wouldn’t turn on at all.

So! After asking around we realized there was only one Canon specialist anywhere near the Twin Cities so Bill dropped it off on his lunch break and there it still sits. I’m more than a little distraught as the technician’s best guess {after checking the battery, which was just fine} was a faulty wiring communication thingy {technical term!} that will be pretty spendy to repair and is fairly common in these cameras. Turns out, after a quick google search, I found that the 7D is lovingly referred to as Canon’s Lemon. I really wanted the 5D mark III, with the 6D being more probable, but both were a liiiiiitle out of our budget and Bill’s co-worker had only owned this 7D for 2 years, it was way cheap comparatively and in great condition so I went for it, figuring I couldn’t be picky. Now I’m really, really thinking I should have been picky. I am normally a giant snob about items like this being completely new, but situation as it was, I just really wanted a new camera and getting a used one made that possible. I just hope it comes back as an easy fix and soon, as I sort of feel like I’m missing an actual appendage.

The good news is that these are the very best cell phone pictures money can buy! I know this because the very next day after the camera broke, my cell phone drowned in an unfortunate toilet incident here-by to be referred to as “Bill drops and shatters his phone Monday morning, Christy chastises him {from her very tall, some might even say high, horse}, Christy drops her phone in toilet that very same evening and this foot is never ever going to come out of my mouth”. Or just “Christy’s a Big Fat Idiot” {CaBFI}, for acronym brevity’s sake. After following all the instructions the internet had to offer it was sadly determined that all the rice in the free world would not save this phone. Luckily my contract was up for renewal so the new phone came at the best possible rate it could, which is to say, it’s a freaking iPhone so still ridiculously expensive.

{Okay it’s taking a little too long to get to these damn photos.}

Here you go, Internet!!

Halloween started off right with some gore.

That’s a real live Jack-O-Lantern, folks!

Halloween started off right with some gore. While I was up feeding the baby, Rowan awoke and under the supervision of her father proceeded to yank out the 2 front teeth that have been loose for over one full year {I know it’s me so it’s hard to tell, but this is not hyperbole. She’s been tormenting me with wiggling these suckers since mid-October 2012}. I guess it was an extremely bloody extraction, one I’m thankful Bill had to deal with, not me. Teeth are gross.

Rowan was excited to dress up for school as Galadriel. Bill was excited he has thoroughly nerdicised our offspring.

Rowan was excited to dress up for school as Galadriel, the Queen of the Woodland Elves, from LotR. Bill was excited he has thoroughly nerdicised our offspring.

Keaton, or PJ Frodo, missed got sick on Tuesday morning with a crappy virus that gave him a fever and a sore tummy.

Keaton, or PJ Frodo, got sick on Tuesday morning with a crappy virus that gave him a fever and a sore tummy. He stayed home again on Halloween and studied up on his character by watching The Return of the King.

In case you missed it, this is the second time this kid has gotten sick on this holiday. Thankfully there was 100% less puking this time. He was feeling moderately better on Halloween but since he had to miss his school party I set up trick-or-treating in the living room which he thought was pretty cool. He seemed to be doing well that evening but he only lasted for about 25 minutes of ToTing so Bill brought him back and he laid on the couch and watched a movie with his candy bag close by. He was MUCH better today.

11.1.6

Getting Frodo ready. WHAT?! Hobbit’s have curly hair ERGO this was completely necessary! {Maybe I should have edited out that wine glass?} {NAH.}

You have to admit it was worth it.

You have to admit it was worth it. Big thanks to my friend Annie, who suggested it.

This guy was super good about keeping that lion head on for approximately 4 seconds.

This guy was super good about keeping that lion head on for approximately 4 seconds.

But it was an awfully cute four seconds.

But it was an awfully cute four seconds.

ready for Trick-or-Treating! Everyone thought Rowan was an angel and honestly who can blame them. Much to Bill's chagrin, most people didn't open the door and say, "Look it's Galadriel! The Lady of Light!". Weird, i know. It did happen to coordinate well with Ellie's costume since they looked like Devil and Angel.

Ready for Trick-or-Treating! Everyone thought Rowan was an angel and honestly who can blame them. Much to Bill’s chagrin, most people didn’t open the door and say, “Look it’s Galadriel! The Lady of Light!”. Weird, I know. It did happen to coordinate well with Ellie’s costume since they looked like Devil and Angel.

And there's my husband, who for whatever reason chose to dress up like a hotdog. Surprising that he didn't tell me about this beforehand, huh? Whatever. The DCFI was Frankenstein so Jen took to calling them Frank and Weenie all night which helped some. Also wine. The wine helped.

And there’s my husband, who for whatever reason chose to dress up like a hotdog. Surprising that he didn’t tell me about this beforehand, huh? Whatever. The DCFI was Frankenstein so Jen took to calling them Frank and Weenie all night which helped some. Also wine. The wine helped.

Til next year, Internet! Hope everyone had a happy, safe Halloween!

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Hello, Internet! Happy 2013! I have a holiday re-cap in the works but I know how much you like to see embarrassing pictures of my family so I just could NOT put you through the agony of waiting any longer. So!…

We were back at the Mallinger’s for their annual New Year’s Gala {this year it was a gala because three of us were in a dress, shut up, it works}. Bill and I really didn’t know how the night would go with the baby, and it was definitely a little different from our usual care-free night of debauchery, but it really went surprisingly well thanks to a very cooperative Ezra. After almost a year of a stone sober wife, it was Bill’s turn to stay sober {normally we spend the night but we weren’t THAT adventurous with a two month old} so I packed a ton of expressed milk for later, breastfed the baby at 9 o’clock, pumped and was ready to join in the fun {read: drinking} by 10pm. I had a few drinks and champagne at midnight and around 1am, knowing Ezra would be due to wake up soon, Bill asked me where the bottle was. Uh. Yeah. So I had packed approximately one thousandy ounces of breastmilk but nothing to actually get that milk into the baby. SHIT. {And this is why exhausted parents of very small babies cannot be trusted}. Thankfully Ezra slept peacefully through the transfer to his car seat and the ride home, so it was really a non-issue in the end, but ugh. Christy – sleep + packing = DUMBASS.

Anyway! Sometimes we do a theme for these nights, sometimes we don’t. This year Bill’s brother bought Ezra a tiny tuxedo onesie for Christmas so when my sister asked if we wanted to do a theme I told her Ezra would be dressing up for the occasion so maybe we should too. Everyone was on board! We thought it would be fun to hit up Goodwill/Savers for terrible promwear and Jen and Jay came across some great finds but Bill was looking for a bow-tie get-up which we had no luck with. I really didn’t want to go out and spend money on a dress, even a goodwill one, so I was planning to just wear my bridesmaid’s dress from Snoreface’s wedding but then I had an even better idea! What if I didn’t have to wear a dress at all! All I had to do was talk Bill into a dress… It was a super tough sell that went something like this:

Me: I know! YOU should wear the dress.

Bill: DONE.

And so commenced Fancy New Year’s!

The Fancy baby that started it all.

The Fancy baby that started it all. So handsome.

And here it is, Ladies and Gentlemen, my husband in a very pink dress.

And here it is, Ladies and Gentlemen, my husband in my very pink dress. It definitely helped that I was 7 months pregnant when I wore it but we still had to buy a similarly very pink shirt to bridge the gap in the back so it would fit him. And it did. Like a very manly pink glove. {I’ll have you know that the headband/bow combo was his idea.} {The eyeshadow and blush were decidedly all me though.}

Jen's dress looked fabulous and set her back a whole 8 bucks. I'd tell you all about the terrible green jacket complete with FAKE BROWN SILK OMGGROSS shirt but I still can't get past that awful facial hair he's been sporting since Movember. So wrong.

Jen’s dress looked fabulous and set her back a whole 8 bucks. I’d tell you all about the DCFI’s terrible green jacket complete with BROWN FAKE SILK-I-touched-it-and-died-a-little-bit-inside shirt but I still can’t get past that awful facial hair he’s been sporting since Movember. So wrong.

We jumped right in to Just Dance 4. My neice Ellie decided her dad and uncles needed to preform One Direction together,

We jumped right in to Just Dance 4. My niece Ellie decided her dad and uncles needed to perform a One Direction song together…

So they did, and it was magical.

So they did, and it was magical.

Snoreface with the night's youngest revelers.

Snoreface with the night’s youngest revelers.

Jorie wore her mom's Junior prom dress. That is straight up, unadulterated 1989 right there, people.

Jorie wore her mom’s Junior prom dress. You are staring at straight-up, unadulterated 1989 right there, people.

The boys were very serious about their Final Countdown performance. {Bill soon realized that strapless dresses and vigorous booty-shakin just don't mix, but he kept the headband on like a good sport.

The boys were very serious about their Final Countdown performance. Bill soon realized that strapless dresses and vigorous booty-shakin’ just don’t mix {so much man-nip-slip} but he kept the headband on like a good sport.

Even grandma got in on the fun!

Even grandma got in on the fun!

If you don't know what dance this is, I'm sorry, you're not allowed in 2013 because you clearly failed 2012.

If you don’t know what dance this is, I’m sorry, you’re not allowed in 2013 because you clearly failed 2012.

Jen and the Deps rounded out the night with a so bad it's really just awesome dance to "I've had the time of my life". Yes the lift at the end was attempted and No, no one was thrown directly into the fireplace {although it may have beeb a close call}.

Jen and the Deps rounded out the night with a so-bad-it’s-really-just-awesome dance to “I’ve had the time of my life”. Yes, the lift at the end was attempted and no, no one was thrown directly into the fireplace {although it may have been a close call and the headline would have been epic : Deputy Chief Fire Idiot Throws Fancy Wife into Fire in Romantic Dance Gone Horribly Awry}.

Needless to say we had too much fun for our own good, as it should be on this night. Happy 2013, Internet.

Needless to say we had too much fun for our own good, as it should be on this night. Happy 2013, Internet.

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You guys? It was so much fun. The Mallinger’s hosted another bang-up night filled with so much terrible{ly awesome} dancing and unnecessary loud singing, that that one time when your dog wouldn’t stop barking Saturday night? Was probably because he was trying to drown us out, poor thing. Added to the mix of various versions of Rock Band and Just Dance were Glee Karaoke and the real hero of the night {unless your name is Bill and probably everyone else in which case you would maybe switch out the word hero for horror} ABBA karaoke. IT WAS SO HORRIBLY AWESOME I CAN’T EVEN TELL YOU. Except I’m going to. Tell you it’s awesome. Because it is. SUPER AWESOME.

The night started out innocently enough…

Taking a nice picture of five little people is harder than it looks. {Especially when you're busy over-seeing the creation of your Flirtini.} IRREGARDLESS. Here's the kiddos that were present and accounted for at this year's celebration.

Awwww...{hurl}.

Pretty soon the Mario Kart tournament was on and although I didn't remember this at the time, my archives tell me that after beating almost everyone Jason used some sort of witchcraft to knock me off my game. That's two years' in a row, Deps. NOT COOL.

Soon after the dancing began. My brother joined us for the first time this year and was quickly introduced to the love and humiliation of dancing while the rest of your family heckles you.

Suddenly all those thousands we've spent on competitive dance were worth it when Rowan won at Just Dance. Sad but true.

We switched gears to Rock Band at some point, probably because while Just Dance is hilarious and fun? It's also a shit load of work. Here Snoreface is reminding us to Don't Stop Believing and also to Hold on to that Feelaaaaang. Streetlights and People may have also been involved.

At five to midnight we paused the game just in time to throw some champagne in some glasses and toast to the New Year with the people we love. {Again awww, and again HURL.}

By roughly 12:03am the new year was assaulted with so. much. ABBA. What was that? Yes my four year old DID know the lyrics to 75% of the songs already, thanks for asking.

After putting Keaton to bed we snuck out to light a small celebratory fountain. Unlike 2010, this one wasn't marked XXXRUNXXX. You really never know what you're going to get with my brother.

And there you have it! It was one of the best New Year’s Eve parties yet and trust me it took a good thirty-six hours to fully recover from it. I guess that’s really it, nothing else to see here- OH, WAIT!

Easter wouldn’t be Easter without the Bunny. Thanksgiving wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without the turkey. Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without Santa. And…

NYE wouldn't be NYE without the DCFI being...well...the DCFI. And it doesn't get much better than when he's outfitted with a pipe and a neon Polaris jacket from 1984. And now starts my campaign for this image to be included on the Mallinger's 2012 Christmas card.

Merry New Year, Internet!

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I know I joke a lot about my family but really? This thanksgiving I’m thankful I have a family to joke about. From my wonderful husband who on my whim re-does our whole downstairs and doesn’t even divorce me for it, to my sweet little gunterlings, to my strong, passionate sisters, to the DCFI, to my nieces and nephews, to my mom who cooked a humongous, fabulous meal for all of us crazy birds. We are big and we can be a bit messy but we are a family and we are love.

After a whole, long day of that though…I’m mostly thankful for this…

Happy Thanksgiving, indeed.

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Two parties, one trip to the zoo, 2 cakes, 12 candles, 6 pizzas and many presents later we are finally done with Rowan’s marathon birthday week. Technically we were done last Sunday but with the crazy whirlwind-i-ness of this week {more on that dilemma after I’ve sufficiently drank enough to deal with discussing it further} I’m just getting around to processing and posting what a BIG FAT HAIRY DEAL six is. Because it’s very big, fat and hairy, Internet. Especially if you happen to be Rowan J Gunterpants. So without further ado, here are one thousandy pictures of what it takes to turn your five year old girl-child into six…

We kicked things off on Sunday the 14th with a party for Rowan and her school friends. This butterfly cake was made at a local bakery, the detail was amazing.

I must admit, 11 little people running around was sort of ambitious for our first kid party but my in-laws graciously offered up their yard and the kids had a blast. We borrowed a bounce house from the DCFI, bought a pinata and some water balloons and beyond sitting them down for pizza and cake we just let the kids play and do their own thing. I’d post more pictures of this event but they all include other people’s children so all you get is this cake.

NEXT!

On the 17th, her actual birthday, we had birthday breakfast, which included the requested fried egg with strawberries and whip cream on the side. Then she opened presents from Bill and I.

Rowan was most excited about Kanani, her second American Girl doll {I KNOW. FOR I AM POWERLESS INSIDE OF THAT STORE}. Keaton was most excited about her getting the next few Oz books, because they're really presents for all of us.

Next stop was the zoo, where we spent our time with the seals, gorillas, giraffes and lions. Of course we needed to cool off with a gigantic American-sized Popsicle. {Seriously?! You can't really tell here but the things were freakishly, unnecessarily gigantic. My children would NOT admit defeat, so even though it took a good 40 minutes at which point they were melting down to their arms and dripping off their elbows, they finished them.

Then it was off to the adjoining amusement park where OMFG SWINGS! They were in heaven.

They climbed upupup...

And giggled downdowndown.

After getting her face painted Rowan was too tuckered out to go on our annual carousel ride, so we headed back into town for pizza and kiddie cocktails {with extra cherries, duh}.

Her last gift from us was delivered while we were gone, the movie Return To Oz. The kids jammied up and we snuggled in to watch it. It’s a fairly creepy movie, way more along the lines of Labyrinth and The Neverending Story than the original Oz. It’s much more true to the style of writing and illustration of the original books though. Afterward I thought we’d be in for some trouble with nightmares but the kids loved it, slept straight through the night with no wake- ups and requested to watch it again the next day.

Then for our big family party, there was this…

A pirate themed luau, just, you know, because why the hell not.

The cutest hula pirates you ever done did see.

Of COURSE Rebecca and Kanani were invited.

There were saucy wenches...

And pirates with dead rodents stuck to their faces.

Mia had a ball. Literally, figuratively.

And Keaton and his best friend The Bounce House were reunited after a long six days apart.

The Deps and my brother were in rare form while defending their title as champions of this ridiculous fris-beer game. {Shout out to the classic DCFI face!}

Erica! was there!

And it's always special when you get to hang with BOTH your grammies.

Pirate Kitty. Best cake ever.

Deep breath in...wishing...wishing...

And blowing out.

I think these two managed to have a good time. Here's to an awesome six and nine!

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Okay, where were we? Ah yes. Kids grow up, allowing you more time to drink, which is good because they shun you so much you need something to drown your sorrows in etc. etc.

Now. About the drinking.

There was no mob mentality this year, as there has been in years past, it being just the two families this go round. In my experience we need at least three of my siblings grouped together to bring about the competitive drinking that is most likely etched somewhere in our Felland DNA. However that didn’t mean that we all weren’t feeling the effects of that first drink by 11am most days because, PLEASE. This is still Cabin Vacation. This is why the Bloody Mary was invented, Internet. My cousin recently went on a cabin vacation of her own with her family, but they are not Fellands, and therefore drinking doesn’t fall under their “Pastime” category.

This conversation is paraphrased. Because I was drinking {duh} and can’t fully remember the exact dialogue.

Me: How was your vacation?

Erica: Really good! We just relaxed, read and enjoyed each others’ company. It’s not like YOUR family. I had maybe one drink per night.

Me: ##%????%##doesnotcompute###???%%

Huh?

Erica: And that one drink earned me the title of Booze Hound.

Me: But what did you do?

Erica: Like I said- I read a lot, rested and spent time with my family.

Me: But what did you DO???!!!

Erica: …seriously?

Me: I’m really confused right now.

Things were actually pretty tame except for maybe Tuesday night but you can go ahead and blame that on The Shirts. Tuesday was the only day that we had patchy, rainy weather for the most part. It was cloudy and thundery all morning so we decided to head into Longville and our first stop was at Old Man Shirt. Last year Bill had trouble finding the right fit for his ridiculous t-shirt purchase and while he was ultimately happy with Wild Stallions Running on Clouds, he ended up stumbling upon Old Man Shirt afterward and was so thoroughly impressed by his selection of terrible t-shirts that he purchased Moose Fight, which broke one of the cardinal rules of Cabin Vacation Ridiculous T-shirting, which is that you’re only allowed one shirt per year. This is why Moose Fight hasn’t received any blog air time because it is an Illegitimate T-Shirt. A Bastard T-shirt. THAT SHIRT DOES NOT COUNT. Even now it lies is shame, under all the other shirts, barely ever worn due to the scandalous nature with which it was purchased.

Ahem. So this year Bill went straight to the gold mine that is Old Man Shirt {the shop is actually called Marie Baker’s Shirts but it is owned and run by an 87 year old husband and 85 year old wife [presumably Mrs. Baker] and the husband in particular is very fond of his shirt collection, thusly: Old Man Shirt.} Bill went in with a solid idea of what he wanted which was something to do with pumas, only he pronounces it “pewma” in what I can only deduce is a strong and deep desire to be stabbed repeatedly in his sleep by me.

Here is the essence of a discussion we had regarding this before we even left on vacation:

Bill: I’m going to get a pewma shirt. I am already visualizing how awesome it will be.What do you think?

Christy: Um, NO. Because you will call it your ‘pewma shirt’ and if you do that I will have no other choice but to murder you and then divorce you posthumously.

Bill: What? WHY? Pewma is awesome. And fun to say. Come on. Say it…you know you want to.

Christy: Puma.

Bill: Pewma.

Christy: PUMA.

Bill: PEWMA.

Christy: PPPPPPPUUUUUUUUUUUUUMMMMMMMMMMAAAAAAAAAA….

This might have gone on for awhile, but you get the gist right?

Anyway it was thankfully all for not, as Old Man Shirt knew exactly what shirt Bill was describing and had to break it to him that the puma shirt had been discontinued earlier in the year {Jesus Christ I CAN’T IMAGINE WHY?}. The only other obvious choice was Eagle and they had a nice matching father/son set that Bill was happy with, so it was almost time to go and then BAM. It happened. Jay purchased his own eagle shirt, while Jen went with a nice, feminine loon and we were all but out the door when Jennifer and Bill joined evil forces and not-so-quietly remarked that I would probably ruin vacation if I didn’t purchase a shirt of my own.

Me: Nope! I’m good! Let’s head out!

J&B: Oh come on. You have to at least join the wolf pack. Look at this wolf shirt! It’s Mountain quality!

Me: Yeah, that’s real nice but I like my shirts a little less wolf- heavy and a little more fashion heavy. {For the purpose of this argument Fashion=a plain white, probably stained t-shirt. That maybe also has holes.}

J&B: You HAVE to get this one… look! It has FOUR wolves howling at the moon! That’s so much more sophisticated than last year’s measly three wolves. I mean FOUR WHOLE WOLVES? When are you going to get another opportunity like this? Plus, you’ll probably ruin vacation if you don’t get one. Don’t wreck it for the rest of us, Christy. Think of the children. And the wolves.

Me: FUCK. Rowan! If mama has to wear this shit so do you. Pick out a goddamn wolf shirt.

So after we returned to the cabin I made Bill mix me a drink and I donned my very own wolf shirt and since one drink didn’t seem to be enough I just kept right on going until that shirt actually seemed pretty awesome.

That came around drink number 5 or 6, I don't really know, things are a little fuzzy there but I had four motherfucking wolves on my shirt so it didn't really matter anymore.

The Wolf Packettes. Notice how Rowan's shirt only has three wolves. That's because it isn't as awesome as mine.

We played bean bag toss and bocce ball and ended the night with a game of Bullshit that determined who would go on to compete in this year’s challenge, which was pretty much the same as last year’s challenge except it involved 38% more monkey, 100% less dead fish and an artificial, artificial mustache. I was the biggest loser in Bullshit which by all accounts should have put me in the running for jumping in the lake but thankfully for me, drunk people aren’t so good at calling the stakes beforehand so I got out of it for the 4th year in a row.

FORESHADOWING.

So Bill, Deps and Jen played Jenga, with their personal self-respect and dignity at stake.

For a bunch of drunks I was really, really impressed with how long the game lasted but alas...

it had to come down sometime.

Poor Jennifer was NOT pleased that her husband, the one and only Deputy Chief Fire Idiot, did not fall on his own damn sword and knock the Jenga tower over and I can guarantee you next time he will, but for this year, Jen ended up in the lake. AGAIN. Since we neglected to bring a fresh supply of fake mustaches, we had to improvise with a fake, fake mustache.

With washable marker. Because that is not ghetto AT ALL.

Jorie dutifully noted that we were missing a sole patch which is key when jumping into a freezing lake at one-thirty in the morning.

Jen was thrilled of course. It's the details, really.

It was a fun night. The next morning was slightly less fun, as you can probably imagine. Not that we really had time to nurse any sort of hangover as…

There were giant fish to catch, by the tall...

And the small,

and very important games to play,

and lakes to jump into.

Thursday evening we planned to have a bonfire a little before dusk, but when we went to get things started we discovered that the garbage cans by the pit hadn’t been emptied and the horse and deer flies were terrible, which is saying something because they were really thick everywhere up there this year. Every time we left the cabin we were attacked; all of us were covered with bites by the end of the 1st full day and these suckers seemed to be immune to deep woods bug repellent varieties packed with {super great for you!} DEET-y goodness. Needless to say we went ahead and skipped the bonfire, but in an effort to appease the disappointed children who felt swindled of their right to gooey marshmallow, chocolate and graham cracker desert, a new and better tradition was born, BEHOLD:

Mini-Donut-Boat-Riiiide, ya'll!

This is AMERICA! Of course we brought our own mini donuts on vacation.

I think mini-donut-boat-ride sufficiently made up for the skipped campfire and smores.

And how can you go wrong with mini donuts on a boat ride, I mean REALLY.

It was very seriously one of the funnest {albeit most stupid} things I've ever done. The wine is of course optional.

But the crazy boat hair,

and the amazing sunset are not. I recommend everyone go on at least one mini-donut-boat-ride in their lifetime.

I promise you'll be a better, happier person for it.

And there you have it, folks! Cabin Vacation Elevensies is sadly just a alcohol soaked, 4 wolved, mini-donut encrusted memory, but surely one that will keep us warm and blissfully happy…

Until next time...

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As always, I’m late on my 4th of July post so I’m just going to get to the point here, shove some pictures down your eyeholes, Internet, and call it a day.

We had an AWESOME 4th of July weekend, full of all of the things summer weekends like this are supposed to include, like gin and tonics, locally brewed beer, some more gin and tonics and…maybe some more beer. {WHAT?! It was hot here in the MN! We need to stay hydrated and stuff.} Oh! The kids were there too. And something about a boat and maybe, possibly, for sure the most meat anyone has ever seen cooked at one time, for one meal, ever in the history of time. All in all? Perfection.

Saturday morning these poor, put-upon children are made to stand still and smile in front of the camera before being released into the wild to go have fun.

We went out on the Mallingers' boat to White Bear Lake which is where I grew up boating with my dad.

It was pretty cool to watch my kids play in the same place little Christy did so very many years ago.

The kids are old pros at tubing this summer, and had a blast riding behind the boat.

I was so impressed with Rowan, who jumped in {and when I say jumped I mean slowly slithered off the back ladder} to the deep water and swam out to me in the tube. When she made it to me the nervous look of concentration gave way into a big proud smile, and then she proclaimed that she was ready to swim right back to the boat where her feet properly touched the ground as all feet should do at all times. Baby laps, people.

Not to be out done, Mr. Sir showed up at my front door next and was thoroughly disgusted when I wouldn't let him climb up with me. Sorry, son~ mama doesn't want a Keaton shaped blotch ruining mah tan. Priorities and such.

After the afternoon on the lake we went back for a bonfire at the Mallinger’s which was fun but perhaps my earlier priorities regarding my tan should have been more focused on sunscreen as I got a little fried. I actually did put on 50 block before we even left the house and reapplied twice or more while we were out there but I got lazy and used the spray stuff for reapplications and it didn’t really do anything by the looks of me. Don’t worry though- I medicated with lots of aloe and booze.

Sunday we went to my mom’s house, which is lovely, and very shaded so we got a day to recoup. Here is where I should have a bunch of pictures of Keaton playing his new passion in life: The Almighty Frisbee, but he wouldn’t even let me take a break to get any photos. Kid loved it.

On the 4th it was back in front of the camera and back to being put-upon by the awful mother, only this time with MOAR PATRIOTISM. This is what you get from 5 and 3 year olds when you ask them to give you their most "overindulgent, American smile". Keaton's look of "Has mom been drinking already?" pretty much says it all. WHATEVER KID, this is AMERICA, and in AMERICA we drink on holidays.

Sisters!

More sisters!

And cousins. Maddy, almost 16 {!!!!}; Jorie, 13 with a newly be-metaled mouth; Ellie, almost 9; Rowan, 5 {and no I'm not putting 'almost 6' because that would mean I have an almost six year old and I'm not ready for that shit yet}; Keaton, 3.5 and Mia, 15 months.

Emmy and Giacomo. My sister really did not want to pose for a nice picture but I assure you this is better than the one where she's sticking her tongue out with her eyes crossed or the one where she's choking the living daylights out of her poor husband.

Susie and Vince, who whooped everyone in the ladderball tourney.

And Jen and Jay who graciously hosted 78% of our weekend activities. The DCFI really outdid himself by running three different grills at once; serving smoked ribs, bacon stuffed burgers and hot chicken wings. It's safe to say we all nearly died in our meat comas after dinner.

After completely indulging all day we sent Keaton home with Grammy as the boy still loses his shit if he hears a firework within 70 kilometers. And you think I’m exaggerating but I’m not. Earlier in the day at the BBQ he was playing out on the swing set and there was a faint POP of what had to have been the world’s most teeniest, harmless firecracker and faster than lightening, that boy hopped off and bee-lined for the house where he stayed the rest of the day. Would. Not. Come. Out. For anything. I had CAKE out there, people, and he wouldn’t even step 5 feet onto the patio for a bite. With his hands firmly planted over his ears, I had to carry him at a run to get him in the damn car when it was time to go.

So once again it was just Rowan with us for the fireworks, and clearly she didn't mind as she got a Powerpuff Girl ice cream treat and to run around with Ellie.

And I do mean run. Sugar at 9:30pm after a weekend of sun, swimming and very late bedtimes~ Just what the doctor ordered! Or would if you had a completely insane doctor or just really stupid parents. Needless to say she crashed when it was time to walk back to the car so I was tasked with the lovely job of carrying the 35 pound sack of exhasted Rowan a half mile. And I know 35 pounds doesn't seem like a lot but when it's all dead weight and whiney, trust me, it seems pretty heavy.

It was a really fun few days spent with family. It feels ridiculously good to kick back and just enjoy life, letting the worries that come along with it float by the wayside for a short while. Plus. All that meat. You really can’t beat it.

Hope everyone had a safe and happy 4th!

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