Monday, June 27, 2011

Birthday Cake Part One

It has become a tradition that when Joe heads off for his army annual training the kids and I head to California for a week and, while there, take the opportunity to begin celebrating Brendan's birthday. I'm a firm believer in having a Birthday Week (or two), especially for the kid whose daddy misses the real day every year. So we gathered for dinner, a round of "Happy Birthday" and a bite of caterpillar cake (Brendan's birthday cake choice #1.) Don't look too close, you will surely see all the imperfections as I got extremely frustrated while decorating this bad boy. But the frustrations melted away when Brendan took one look and said "it looks juts like the picture mommy!" and flashed his sweet smile.

8th Grade Graduate

A few weeks ago the kids and I headed to California to visit my mom and attend my niece's 8th grade graduation ceremony. I was 17 years old when she was born, she was only 20 months old when Joe first met her, she was 5 years old as the flower girl in our wedding, 9 years old with her hands on my belly, feeling baby Brendan kick. This can't seriously be happening. Look at her... she's a beautiful young woman now, time has flown by way too fast. But it was important to be able to be there for her, showing her how much love and support surrounds her as she enters the (sometimes ugly) world of high school. We'll always be here for you sweet girl. Stay strong and you'll survive these next 4 years.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

First Hair Cut

OK, so we've trimmed her bangs before. But never that sweet soft fine baby hair that had been growing since birth. I put it off for as long as I could. Once you cut it, you can't go back. But it was finally time. All those uneven layers were starting to drive me nuts. And since I was having anxiety at the thought of her first haircut anyway... it was only appropriate to go to the local kids salon here in Bend that offers a "First Cut Certificate" complete with a smiling picture and a lock of that baby fine hair. She looks like such a big girl now. My sweet baby.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Preschool Graduate

As silly as preschool graduation sounds, it truly brought to light how far this boy has come in the last 9 months. His social and academic skills have flourished and it's hard for this mama to believe her baby boy will be starting kindergarten in the fall. The ceremony was short and sweet and involved the kids singing a few songs that they had learned, standing up to receive their "plomas" (Brendan's interpretation) and hearing what it was that their teachers would remember most about them ("we will remember Brendan for his kindness to others... and we KNOW he prefers blondes...") He spent most of his time swooning over his friend Brooke (the cute curly blonde) and telling us all about how much he would miss going to school. Little does he know that it's only the beginning of the next 13 years of his life.

Like Family

Bend KAI Family

(left to right: Scott and Tracey Beaird with kids Kian and Emelyn, Casey and Kristin Bergh, Matt and Lauren Kittelson, Joe and Annie Bessman with kids Brendan and Aubrey)

It's amazing to me how close-knit a working community can be. It was one of the benefits we saw when we made the decision to move to Bend. We've all become so close that it's hard to imagine 2 years ago when this group was only two thirds what it is now (lacking the Kittelsons, the youngest Beaird and half of the Bergh couple :) Four working men with four intelligent (and beautiful) wives, it's no wonder it's always a party when we all get together. We seriously couldn't imagine better people to be sharing this journey with. We consider them family, because in so many ways they are.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Finally Some Sunshine

May 10, 2011. The first day in probably nine months that felt nice enough to venture out to the park. As evidence of our long lack of nice weather Aubrey asked when I put her shirt on... "I wear my swimsuit?" to which I confusingly replied "um.. no, honey, this is your shirt..."

She looked at me and asked "why you see my skin then?" and I had to smile. "These are called short sleeves sweetheart." And THAT is how long it's been since we've seen warm weather. So long that Aubrey forgot what short sleeves were. Of course she's also only 2 1/2 but still...

Needless to say, the kids were ecstatic and played hard enough to take 3 hour naps that day. How I long for the weather when every day can be park day.


I know. Here it is, early June and I'm finally posting about Easter which was over a month ago. This blogging thing has been slipping lately.

We decided this year to take the trip down to California to spend Easter with some of my family. Thinking we would be escaping the cold and rainy weather that had been plaguing most of Oregon, we were sadly surprised that the effort was useless. It rained there too...

There was a big family picnic planned for Easter day. Grandma, Grandpa, aunts, uncles, cousins and family I've never even met. But the backup plan was put into action and the picnic was taken inside. And what does the Easter bunny do when it's too wet to hide eggs outside? Well he hides them inside of course. Not the best photo options but we made do with what we had.

Had it not been for Aubrey feeling under the weather we may have gotten a few better pics of her with her brother. She spent most of the day sleeping feverishly in her daddy's arms. At least she was a good sport and put on the dress...


My friend Tracey came over early last month to visit and let the kids play. The weather was sunny but chilly... perfect for sending the kids out back to play while we chatted. It didn't take long before I heard my dear daughter wailing and delayed inquiring about the reason as she tends to be overly dramatic. So Tracey walked to the sliding door, looked out and stifled a laugh as she sighed "oh Aubrey..." and by the time I reached the door I had to turn my back so my baby girl wouldn't see the giggles. Had it not been for Tracey I wouldn't have captured the photo. But in between giggles I managed to whisper "is it bad that I kind of want to get the camera right now?" to which she replied (as only friends can) "do it... you only get one chance!"

And I only felt a slight pang of guilt as I snapped the picture while my sweet girl cried "I stuuuuck Mommy!! I put my chair on...!!!" I them promptly removed the chair which she dragged back into the yard and we all survived. Nothing but a little memory making.