The Terrible Two's

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

My Inner Chef

My Pampered Chef order came in on Thursday - four whole boxes of kitchen bliss! I made a huge mess while unpacking and putting all of the individual orders together.

At the end it all came down to my stuff. Oh what fun I am going to have!!!

Meet the Blockers

On the Sunday of the 26th we decided to co-ooooor-di-nate! The theme was red, black, and white. Rodney would not cooperate for the picture because he thought we were late for church. He still doesn't get it that our church service starts at 11:30 not 11:00. We didn't get any really great shots, but it was worth the try.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Help me, I am being stalked!

Once the kids had tuckered Daddy out. He brought them back to the salon. I can't even get my hair done!!!! They are always there, always watching! They really disrupted my ability to check out some of the super fine dreadlock men that were in the salon while I was there. Always with the camera!
But I love them dearly!!!! Max is trying to figure out the nuances of the hair dryer while enjoying a snack of crackers. He kept stuffing them into his mouth like he had not just had lunch at PF Chang's. He was much entertainment for the shop and Sherrill loves to see Maddy.

Happy Birthday, Shana!

Saturday was my best friend, Shana's birthday and boy did I blow it! After 21 years of friendship, a husband, live-in mother, and two babies - I missed it. I didn't forget, I just don't what day it is - literally. Her birthday is July 26th; I thought the 26th was on Sunday. Because another friend has been saying for two months that she is having a housewarming party on the 26th. So last week when she kept saying that the party was Sunday, I thought that was the 26th. Still no excuse, but sleep deprivation does weird stuff to your brain.
After she chastised me over the phone for several minutes and a few ugly messages we decided to go to lunch at PF Chang's. Our tradition, since I got engaged, has been for Rodney to personally deliver her flowers wherever she was during the day, and then we would have dinner. A long way from our club hopping all night party days - more like party months! When we arrived Max said, "Mommy, I need to ride horse." Upon further investigation he tunred that into, "Horse too big."

All of the Blocker's, minus one got together for the celebration. Max was excited to see Auntie Shanie! Maddy does what she does best - look cute, smile, sleep, and request food when my dinner gets to the table.

Even though I forgot - we still had a good time! Yes she is that much shorter than I am. She is 4'9.5" and I am 5'10.5" - we like our halves. I cropped the bottom of the picture off because Rodney didn't tell me my belly was out.

New Park on Riverfront

After lunch with Shana, the family dropped me off at the salon and off to the new park they went. It's riverfront park revamped! It has a really cool water feature with spouts that shoot out of the ground and a stone waterfall. Max had a blast!!! Do I have a future all-star or what? Check out that physique.
Maddy napped in the sunlight! Soon there will be fun stories about her. Right now she sleeps through everything.
The park also has traditional items like this slide, but it's super steep and long. There is also a system of tubes for them to climb through.
This is the hill he had to climb to get back to the top of the slide. I could definitely see the signs of sun exposure when he and his sister got back to me. He was three shades darker and Maddy was rosy checked!

All and all they had a fun outing with Daddy!

Father's Worst Nightmare

Last Friday when I got to the daycare to pick up Max I found him in a very unusual state. See below . . . . Yes, he has on girl's pants. You can't tell from the picture, but they are knit walking shorts with pastel green and white horizontal stripes with a little frilly lacy thing on the edges. Another fashion atrocity brought to you by Max. It was my fault, I forgot to tell them that his extra clothes were in his backpack on "Splash Day," so they sent them back home. "Splash Day" is on Wednesday's and I found them on Friday morning, but thought he had enough to get him through till this week. Boy, was I wrong!
He was totally unaware and extremely comfortable. I was told by the daycare worker that one of his male classmates pointed and laughed at him and said, "Max, you have girl pants!" Clearly, he was unaffected. He spent the rest of the evening in the pants. I am happy to report that the pants have been washed and returned to their rightful owner.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Here Comes the Bride

My brother and his wife are going to renew their vows in a few weeks and they are doing it in grand fashion!!! We went for her fitting this week. She is going to look so pretty all dressed up. She is so excited and I am very excited for her. Plus I just get excited when I get to plan a wedding or help plan a wedding.
Max and Maddy were doing their usual!

The Pampered Chef - My Party

I had a Pampered Chef party last Friday and boy was it fun! Our demonstrator was April Dumond from Maumelle. She showed us some handy gadgets they offer and shared some really neat kitchen tricks as she made us dinner and dessert to enjoy while we perused the catalog. Madeline was totally comfortable with Phyllis. I heard later that Max had been upset with Phyllis because she had his baby and was sitting in a chair int he kitchen that was supposed to be in the living room. He actually tried to physically remove her from the chair. She is skinny enough (Size 0) for him to have accomplished that if Maddy hadn't been weighing her down.

Juanenna brought her new baby girl Jaila to enjoy the festivities also. She is super cute!
When I finally resolved to the fact that I could not work my new phone and that any guests trying to phone me for directions was just out of luck, I started to enjoy the show. I got to use their juicer to squeeze the lemon juice into the sugar for the glaze for the lemon dessert.

See the Heavenly Lemon Glazed Angel Food Cake. I also got to do the little whipped cream swirly thingys on the dessert. It was so good. And the best part was that it was fat free and low in calories. Below is the Colossal Pasta Chicken Salad. It was layered with penne pasta, lettuce, tomatoes, squash, black olives, chicken, and fresh Parmesan cheese. It was served with homemade Italian vinaigrette dressing. Yum-O!
The party was a huge success, I am closing my order today or tomorrow. I can't wait to get all of the stuff so I can uh and aw over it. And then get to cooking!

The Fishing Derby

Every year MacArthur Park hosts an annual Fishing Derby where children under the age of 12 can come and fish with cane poles in their freshly stocked pond. They provide the cane poles and bait and certain fished are tagged so that the child who catches it wins a prize. The children get to keep all of the catfish they can catch!

Rodney has been talking about going fishing lately, so this year, I thought it would be a good idea for he and Max to get in some father/son time at the fishing derby. As an added bonus I asked Rodney if my nephew Kamron could tag along; his father would be working that morning. He agreed so I picked Kamron up the night before and the next morning Gigi (KWK) got him dressed for the excursion.

Unfortunately for Kamron, Gigi didn't remember the proper attire for a fisherman in the middle of an Arkansas July. Her intent was to protect him from sunburn, but instead she made him susceptible to heat exhaustion. In his words poor, "I'm hot, Taki," said the poor little sweaty child.

The festivities started at 9 am. Since I didn't have Max that morning I decided to take Maddy into the office with me. More like I missed my turn and just decided to keep going so that everyone could get a look at her. Around 8:45 am I got a call that there was no bait could I go to the local grocery store and get some chicken livers. During the second call I heard crying the background - Max was upset with putting the livers on the hook. After I dropped Maddy off at daycare, two more calls, and a trip to the store, I made it to the park. Where is Max I ask when I finally get to the far end of the pond they have chosen for their prize fishing spot with a cooler, hot dogs for bait, and snacks. Rodney started looking around. "What the hell," I couldn't help it. I found Max standing in the spot above looking mortified by the entire experience. That spot was behind and off to the left of where Kamron and Rodney were having the time of their lives below. I gave him some Cheetos and we walked around a little bit.
There were swarms of people out that day. Hooks were flying, fish were flapping around, and children were running everywhere. Before I left Kamron caught a fish!

Kamron was really excited about his fish. Max ran the opposite direction when they pulled the fish out of the water.
I think Rodney did more of the fishing than Kamron did. I decided to take Max to daycare before I had to get a divorce because my husband neglected to properly supervise the child because he was too busy having father/son time with someone else's child at the pond.
Later that day Max was going to Chuck E Cheese so I asked Gigi to keep him a little while longer so that he could go. When I got home I asked him if he had a good time, he said "Uncle Rodney took me fishin'!" They caught three fish.

Congratulations, Pastor Diggins!

KWK's most recent photography job was for one of her teacher friends at Parkview who is also a pastor at a church in Malvern. We all loaded up in the Expedition and traveled along with another family friend to attend the celebration in his honor. He told us that it was just a little old church in the country, but we arrived to find quite a spectacular facility that seated a little over 300 people. Little, yeah right! Congratulations, Mr. D, for 23 years of service!

Max was his usual rambunctious self! This is an hour (felt like 3) before he feel asleep.

This woman was a jack of all trades. She was the event chair, program MC, a part of the praise team who performed three numbers, the decorator, the caterer, and she baked several homemade desserts, including a German chocolate cake, for the head table in the dining hall.

Pastor Yarborough gave a really good sermon and said lots of great things about Pastor Diggins and the influence he had had on his life starting form when he was just a young boy.
I ran into my Goddaughter, Skylar, who now resides in Chicago. Her grandmother and aunts attend the sister church (also in Malvern) that performed during the program. She is in Arkansas visiting for the summer and I hadn't heard from her yet. So it was a delightful treat to run into her at church. I hope she has time to come visit a few nights before she goes back to Chicago for the school year.
Skylar and her new God sister. This is the first time she's seen Maddy.
This is another pastor who spoke during the program from Little Rock. I included this picture because I wanted to get everyones opinion as to whether he also reminded you of Neno Brown from the New Jack City movie.

RIP Mr. Redden

One of my brother's closest friends (far left) lost his father to a freak accident a few weeks ago. I had never met Steve's father, but I heard a lot about him when Kobi and all of his friends used to hang out at my house during their late high school and early college days. I guess it pays off to have a older sister who has a house where you can eat, drink, and party. Kobi and Steve used to compare notes on the inequitable treatment between them and their little brothers. Mr. Redden sounded like a hard man, at least he was on Steve. But it worked out for him, he was so responsible and mature that at one point I wanted to date him - probably not a good idea. He did end up marrying an older woman though, so I am not embarrassed to admit that. Turns out his father wasn't as hard as I thought he was; he was just hard working!
Steve has been like a part of our family over the years so I wanted us to be there for him. I certainly know how he feels having lost my father by surprise also. And he was there for our family at our time of need. The Blockers plus one (KWK) spent the whole day with their family. Fortunately, but unfortunately, I finally got to meet his mother and the infamous little brother.

(l to r) Steve, Lynn (his wife), Mrs. Redden (his mother, and Cory (his little brother)
Kobi and Don (another one of their crew)

On a side note - my brother needs a haircut!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Pinnacle Mountain Picnic

The Saturday before I went back to work, I decided to do something I had not done in a long time. It is actually a tradition from my early twenties, but every summer right before the Fall semester would begin I would go to Pinnacle Mountain for a picnic lunch and a hike. I know it's not Fall and that hiking is out of the question with my debilitated foot and that I was not starting classes. But I gathered up my little family anyway and off we went to Subway to pick up sandwiches and chips; our spin on the traditional picnic. Unfortunately there was rain in the forecast, but it was still a really nice outdoor outing and we finished up right before the rain.
We ate our sandwiches and then hit the playground.
There were quite a few children out that day.
I ended up playing tag team with this man and his granddaughter.
Little Maddy slept through the whole outing. This is her in the stroller as we walked the small trail that they have created across from the mountain. I think I am going to try to strap her to my back and tackle one of the smaller trails up the mountain next time.
Max is hard to keep up with these days so we have to come up with creative ways to keep him contained. This is our most recent method. It doesn't last for long though. I think we are too tall, plus, he doesn't like to be unsteady on his feet.
For some reason Max was mortified by this tree. We saw Shrek the Third earlier that week and it starred some wicked enchanted trees. Maybe that is what had him spooked; he totally freaked out when I tried to get a picture of them standing in front of the tree.
No trip to the park is official without a good swing. It was a really nice outing. I wish we had more time to spend with each other to do things like this more frequently.