Thursday, July 22, 2010

Dallin comes!

I have a real camera again!! (Not just the little dinky 8-year-old camera I've been jury rigging for the past month. Oh, my little heart is filled with happiness. And maybe my happiness shows itself in this post with too many pictures. Sorry!)

My youngest brother Dallin turned 16 last week, and by a stroke of fabulous good fortune, we got to enjoy him here in Indiana for the week. We picked him up in Chicago Monday afternoon, and headed to Giordano's (which Dallin treated us to--what a gentleman, eh?). My girls were so excited to see Uncle Dallin.

Bella was so excited that nothing out of her mouth was even intelligible, except for the occasional, and very high-pitched, squeal of "Uncle Dallin".

We took Dallin to some of our favorite places in South Bend, like the chocolate factory. . .

. . . and the pet store in the mall. (Where we found chinchillas. What are chinchillas? Are they big mice? Or mouse/rabbit hybrids? Intriguing.)
But then it was B-DAY, and we had to work ourselves up to fever pitch. Dallin was laughing at us as we were pulling out our big drawer of birthday decorations, but I think we won him over to our point of view by the end of the day.
We started with lunch at Five Guys Burgers and Fries, where we were given an entire brown paper bag full of french fries to go with all the delicious (I took their word for it) burgers. We swam (as we do most days) all afternoon, and returned home to find John waking up from his post-call nap, and everyone ready to begin the party.

So, we started with a birthday parade, organized by Olivia. As Dallin chose a "Princess Birthday" theme (we love that boy for making my three little girls so happy!), we were all bedecked with crowns of sheer gorgeousness.

The parade was concluded, as parades should be, with a birthday bodyslam.

Bella dressed up in her fanciest favorite swimsuit, to add to the festivities.
This is the only photo evidence that I attended the birthday party.

We followed with a treasure hunt. Clues were studied with deadly earnestness,

and searched for in tricky places.

Dallin was teamed with Annabel ("Wait-a-me, Uncle Dallin," she would say as everyone would race to the next clue.)

The treasure box did not disappoint, being filled with Reese's Peanut Butter Cups and glow bracelets. (And that facial expression of Mimi's is a perfect illustration of why I love that girl so much!)

Then the highlight of the party began--a death battle (again, an obvious part of any Princess Party) with foam weapons from the Dollar Spot at Target. Our warriors began with complete weapons and much fierceness. (Bella was given a long balloon as a sword stand-in. It didn't last long.)

They raged at each other for nearly half-an-hour, until every single weapon had been reduced to plastic tubing and flakes of foam.

The first video is of the fresh warriors with intact swords and maces. The second video shows the fighters at their most desperate, using whatever shards they can find.

Whereupon, a truce was called and saddened warriors showed off their broken weapons. (Bella was unable to show both her sad face and her balloon fragments, so she went with the sad face.)

We ate dinner, followed by delicious birthday cake of Dallin's design (layer of chocolate cake, layer of chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream, layer of oreo cheesecake filling, layer of cake, chocolate ganache). YUM!
(Dallin was allowed to light his own birthday candles, after a determination that he was certified to use the lighter.)
We love Dallin, and we love a good birthday! Happy Birthday, Dallin! Thank you so much for visiting. You'll have to come again soon.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Do you appreciate cows?

I love Chick-Fil-A. They always have some sort of crazy free promotion going on, and the last one was Cow Appreciation Day, where you can dress up like a cow and get a free meal. We couldn't pass that up, but we don't have cow costumes on hand (like Leisy, here), so we had to get a little creative.

First we each colored our own masks. (Is there anything that can't be Googled? Seriously, four seconds on the internet gave me at least 17 options in the way of cow masks.) Olivia went traditional, white with black spots. Mimi went with the Red Angus, I was a Jersey (or a Guernsey? I don't really know my cow breeds), and Annabel colored herself up something exotic in blue and purple.

Then I ironed irregular freezer paper spots onto our outfits (Mimi's fell off in the car, and Bella refused to wear her prepared spotted shirt) and made us felt bells on ribbon necklaces. (This is why everyone needs both a felt stash and a ribbon stash. Who knows when one will be called upon to make a cowbell?)
The "chikin" was delicious. (Free makes it more delicious, don't you think?)

Monday, July 19, 2010

How Sweet!

John loves to tease about the "residency patient population", and he has a point. Patients who have a resident for a doctor are often people who have burned their bridges with many other doctors. However, there are bright spots. One of John's sweet older patients showed up at the clinic last week with an enormous gift bag full of darling things. John had mentioned to her at her appointment that we were having our fourth little girl, and she kindly contributed this generous gift of new things to the stash of hand-me-downs we have already.
That afghan is hand crocheted--that's a lot of work for a baby she is not likely to even meet. I was stunned and touched.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Do you think this girl likes raspberries?

We picked a total of 18 pounds of red and black raspberries over the past couple weeks, and someone has discovered a new favorite food. She can easily eat a large bowl of berries with (or for) a meal, and we had a couple days there where her hands, her mouth, and her little bum were stained purple with black raspberry juice (and um, processed juice). Doesn't everyone need more fiber in their diet?