Thursday, September 20, 2012

Family Reunions

Well, it was the year for reunions, apparently! We hit three of them, and we missed two others... Five! Five reunions in the same year. And you know what? I was a little bummed to miss the other two, because I LOVE REUNIONS! I do! I have heard that they're not for every family, and that makes me kinda sad for those families. Our family reunions--on all sides--are just lovely and nostalgic and happy and hilarious and tender and really, really great. So this summer full of reunions brought us much joy! Can't wait to do them again in a couple of years. Hooray!

....Well, for some reason, I just can't get the slideshow to work today.... So here's a smattering of pics from the three reunions. What a blast!

Reunion 2012

Just click that title up there, and enjoy!

And some reunion highlights:
-LOTS and LOTS of water time--pools, lakes and beaches
-Having lots of cousins around for my chickens to hang with
-Family sing-alongs and solo performances
-Tubing behind a motorboat
-The "Nursing Tent" with my fellow cousin-mommies
-Running into smiling faces anywhere one turned
-Telling fairy tales to my son on an inner tube, and hearing him say, "I want another awesome story!"
-Delicious food and treats around campfires
-Staying up till all hours with my siblings
-White elephant exchanges
-Catnaps and mellow visiting time
-Being gathered in one place (or three consecutive places) with all of my greatest blessings around me!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

My Girl is Two!!

 Yes, my BerMiss is two years old! And yes, that was back at the beginning of August, but I'm documenting it, at least. And that's what counts, right? A little hard to fathom, and a little bit amazing at how their growing-up seems to accelerate right before their second birthday--is it not so?? Curiouser.

So we had a little shindig here at the home. Invited a few friends and neighbors. The usual. Nothing big. She actually got excited about her gifts this time, since she actually understood what was happening. And she loved her cake and being sung to. Loved it! And every day the following week, she asked me to sing "Appydo" (which, being translated, is "Happy Birthday to You").

And she's definitely my girl--A girl through and through. Living proof that gender roles are not completely the result of nurture.... There's definitely nature in there, too, because I never taught her to cuddle dolls or accessorize with purses and hats or any of that! (Yes, I will take the blame for the bracelets--that was all me, I'm sure.) It's really a source of delight for Chad and me, when she steps into the room in whatever getup she's dug up from the corners of the house: bags, scripture cases, necklaces, my heels, Coren's snow boots, beanies, scarves, Coren's underwear.... you know, whatever's handy. She just isn't ready for the day without a few stylish accents....even if the accents make up the entire outfit.

And she's recently started quoting, something she's picked up from all three of us (yep, Coco's just as bad/good as his parents with the movie quotes). I suppose this is simply going to be a character trademark of the Chad Brooks family: Something happens, anything happens, and we inevitably have a quote for it. And Coren's really gotten quite clever with them. Risa's not there yet, but she has caught the quoting fever. And it's common to hear her walking through a room saying, "Muh. Muh! Cookie, cookie, cookie, cookie, cookie" (which is the Risa-tized version of Rango's first line in the film of the same name). Or she'll repeat the ape noises Tarzan makes when he's teaching Jane to say "Jane stay with Tarzan." Or sing snippets of songs from Dora or Diego. So fantastic!

She's our stone-faced stoic.... in public. It's rather a hilarious predicament, because everywhere we go--without fail--someone tries to engage her and is met with absolute aloofness. Never shyness--our girl isn't shy. It's almost like she lives on a higher plane and is unmoved by us mortals. She refuses to stoop to our level and actually reveal her emotions. The Gods forbid! A bizarre phenomenon, when at our home she is the melodramatic child, prone to diva-standard tantrums (not screaming fits, mind you, but a controlled and demonstrative display of sorrowful/infuriated/offended feelings) and an impressive array of goofball faces.
Always a good show, this one.

Now to some of her most recent favorites:

Food: watermelon, blueberries, pizza, ice cream, hot dogs, beans (black, kidney, pinto, etc), salad and applesauce

Songs: "Star Shining Brightly", "Frog", "Church" ("Here is the church...."), "Pumpkins"

Movies/Shows: "Yeehaw" (Toy Story, preferably one with Jessie), Dora the Explorer, My Little Pony, Ruby Gloom, Curious George, Leapfrog

She's still a water baby, all smiles in the pool or the bath. She loves to copy everything her brother does. And she holds her own when they get into their battles--a feisty one, this girl! And she's got the best mop of hair ever! 
Makes me want to sing "R-A-G-G-M-O-P-P, Rag Mop! Do de li do do do do!" Just like my dad sang to me as a little girl. Poor child--you will despise me for your hair until college, probably. And then you will make an uneasy peace with it. And then a boy you love will fall in love with it, and finally so will you. I apologize now for that. But trust me--your hair is a glory!

And she still has the most impressive thighs in the universe! How can you not love those??! Impossible to resist, I tell you! Impossible!

And she's still the girl that won me over to girls (of course). And the little buddy I can have tea parties and snuggle-time with. And the girl who brought the rain. My Risa. How you take my breath away!