Sunday, May 31, 2009

What $9.99 at Target will buy you

I just love that red bulls eye. For less than $10 we were able to get a little inflatable pool that produced these smiles:

At first, Amaya wasn't so keen on the idea of being plopped down into the icy water. She cried and clung to my arms. But then Chase decided to splash around her while acting completely silly. As he aimed a spray of water in her direction, he said, "Don't worry Amaya. It's just water." Well, little sister thought that was hilarious. After that, the two of them laughed and laughed as Chase continued dancing around the pool's circumference. I would have paid $1000 to hear them giggling so much, so $10 bucks was the bargain of the century.

I know that you might have already overdosed, but

I just couldn't resist sharing a few of my favorite pictures that David took during our lake weekend. I must have been extra good this year because it took very little whining on my part before he gave them to me. Now, before you scroll down to see the photos, I want to just go over one tiny disclaimer. David is a skilled photographer who has won major contests, and I am not. So yes, these pictures are of a much higher quality than the pictures that I took. They're sharper, more engaging and the composition is far better. I know this. You know this. But let's never speak about it again, ok? And don't go bemoaning the lack of quality pictures on future posts either. You can't eat caviar everyday you know.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Lake Saga Volume Three: Rescue on the Water

There we were lounging by the lake sipping sangria and watching the kids play on the dock when all of the sudden we heard Aunt Ozzie unleash a surprised shriek.

Certain that one of the children had fallen into the chilly water, we raced down to the water's edge to find...
that instead of losing a child, she had lost a shoe to the greedy water. The possible drowning of a shoe is not so scary as that of a loved one, but it is perhaps a close second. As rescuers vainly attempted to retrieve the shoe using various implements foraged from the docked boat, the rest of us watched as the shoe continued to evade capture.

But hark! What could that sound be? We all turned our heads to the shore to find the source of the sound.

Help had found us! Our heroes had arrived to begin the mission of shoe retrieval. Surely with fishing skills as great as David's, the shoe would soon be returned to its rightful place on Aunt Ozzie's foot.

But wait, aren't these the same fishermen who failed to bring us lunch?? Our hope was fading until we noticed that the sandal was making its way toward the dock next door. A quick jog down that wobbly suspension, and the boys were able to bring the leather foot covering to safety. Joy unparalleled.
I was of course too busy laughing to remember to take the victory picture...maybe someone else has one?

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The Lake Saga Volume Two: Perils of Easy Living

While it may seem that lake living is just one long relaxing day after another, the truth is that a lot of work goes into achieving that perfect zen glow. To prepare ourselves for the torturous day's events, we always begin our morning with a hearty breakfast.

After fueling ourselves, there is no time to just laze away the morning. Oh no. The children must quickly begin their chores. First up: securing dinner.

Despite valiant efforts, the fishing team was unable to catch a suitable dinner. Somehow, we suffered through. There was much gluttony involving hamburgers, pulled pork, potato salad, banana pudding and zucchini bread. Many mouths received quite a workout on this day--all in the name of lake living of course.

After lunch, some were scheduled to continue their industrious ways lakeside. There was much to be done including digging...

and rock skipping.

There were a few however that were forced to lounge about on the deck and take in the mountain air.

What can I say? It's a rough life.

Monday, May 25, 2009

The Lake Saga Volume One: Oh Captain, My Captain

Did you know that David is an officially licensed recreational boat operator in the state of Maryland? I was fairly impressed with this little nugget until I found out that any old tom, dick or harry could obtain a license by simply taking an online safety course and exam. When it was disclosed that a person need only score an 80% to pass, I was more than just a tad leery of putting my life and dry clothing into the hands of Captain Dave especially when I remembered how he cackled with glee every time he soaked us with an icy burst of lake water last year. So, given that I was wearing white and had a haircut scheduled next week thus requiring that I remain alive for a bit longer, I decided that the prudent thing to do would be sit out the maiden voyage so that I could observe first hand just how well that online course had prepared David for the challenges of Deep Creek Lake on Memorial Day weekend. I sat down by the lake shore with Amy & Mandy and scanned the horizon looking for signs of the boat's return.

Hmmmm is that Chase sitting there on Grandpa's lap? Apparently, I had no qualms about sending my first born out on the lake with an untested driver. No worries, I am sure that Uncle Rob would have saved the tyke if he had fallen overboard.

Aww...the padawan has improved his docking skills. Either that or Andy improved his navigation skills. Surprised, I am.

The only casualties I can identify are Danielle's shorts. I never took David as the passive aggressive type, but I wouldn't be surprised to find out later that this soaking of the wife was not entirely accidental.

Yep, seems like everyone is still in possession of all vital organs and appendages. Captain Dave had officially earned the right to chauffeur me around the lake. Can you imagine how thrilled that must have made him??
Our ride was so smooth that Tyler could have balanced a Dorito on his nose, but he adamantly refused to try. 14 year old boys can be so disagreeable.

Nothing but smiles after the ride. Truly our Captain has earned his boating chops as it is no small feat to make four women happy. Some might even say he's a miracle worker.

Sunday, May 24, 2009


Mellon and family are all super tired after our wonderful weekend at the lake. It's a good thing tomorrow is a holiday so we can have time to recuperate. Synopsis of the trip to follow in a day or so. Until then, just picture us all as relaxed as the noodle is here:

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Will grunt for peas

I thought you might enjoy watching a short video of Amaya enjoying her chicken & peas. She's not above singing for her supper. Be sure to keep your eyes and ears peeled for her lip smacking enjoyment near the end there. Drama queen.

PS--I didn't ever compress the video into a smaller file, so let me know if it's really slow or choppy. I'm not promising to fix it or anything, but I would like to know.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Where shall I place my trophy?

 Chase falls down several times a day--mainly because he gets too distracted to pay attention to where his two feet are landing. One of his falls today had him landing on his bottom with enough force to make a thud, but not enough to cause any real pain. Of course, falling down scared him a bit, and so the little tyke broke into a mild crying fit. With tear-rimmed eyes, he looked at his father and said:

"Kiss my butt Daddy. Kiss it."

While Daddy was busy laughing his own tookus off, guess who got to pick up the clumsy, 30 pound child and plant a big smacker on his bum? In case you missed it: this would be why I am Mother of the Year. 

The Faces of Amaya

 This child of mine makes great use of every existing facial muscle. The various contortions that she twists her mug into are hilarious. There's no hiding one's emotions when you have such an expressive face.  Andy says she gets this particular trait from me, but we all know it originated with her Grandma.
 Here are just a few of the myriad of visages that I was able to capture this week.

 First up: Guilt

Looking for forgiveness

So sad


Silly Slobbering Raspberry Blower

Happy Tongue Lapper

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Zoomin in between the rain showers

Last week was nothing but rain, rain and more rain. Just one dreary day after another making everyone lethargic and apathetic. We did pull ourselves out of our gray funk long enough to go outside for a quick romp between rain showers on Tuesday. The yard was so saturated that Chase and I both wore our Wellies. Amaya wasn't allowed to get down on the grass not that she minded that one little iota since her preferred mode of travel is in Mama's arms. I think we got an hour of playing in before another round of precipitation urged us back inside. It was enough to chase away the doldrums for a bit at least.

In other happenings, Amaya had her 9 month well baby visit. The weed was 30.25 inches tall taking her completely off of the charts. Now where did that come from? Andy and I are both fairly average people--must be from whatever stock made Uncle Rob so tall. She weighed 20 pounds 12 ounces which placed her in the 80th percentile. That is easier to explain as it probably has something to do with her seemingly insatiable desire to eat. She devours all food placed in front of her in a manner that would put Henry VIII to shame. She'll eat anything--which is good because it means that she gets a well balanced diet. It's not so good because when I say anything, I do mean anything. If you look away for just a moment, she takes it as an opportunity to find some treasure on the floor to cram into her mouth. The latest examples of things she's decided look tasty include dog hair, dirt, and dryer lint. She's worse than Chase ever was about trying to swallow all kinds of undesirable paraphernalia not that he was completely insusceptible. Nope, I haven't forgotten the little Noodle's penchant for the occasional taste of dryer lint. Mama has a long memory for tidbits that she can use to embarrass her children when they're teenagers.

Swing back...

Swing forth...

Practicing for his egg race?

Chase reminds me of Andy in this picture.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Uh Oh Spaghetti-o's

Both of my kids really love spaghetti and meatballs which is great for Mama since it means no fights about eating one's food at meal times. However, like most things children thoroughly enjoy: it's awfully messy.

When I factor in the washing of the dishes, faces, chairs, benches, and laundering of the tomato sauce splotched clothes, I can guarantee that it takes three times longer to clean up after the meal then it did to prepare and eat it. The lil cherubs certainly don't intend to create so much extra work for Mama. They are in fact quite embarrassed and remorseful over their untidy eating.

Were you wondering why I failed to mention the cleaning of the floor earlier? Well it's certainly not because that surface evaded the path of the pasta explosion. Nope, it got hit all right.

I didn't mention having to scrub the floor because I don't ever have to do that. I have this magical, furry creature who comes along and takes care of that particular chore several times a day.

God bless Iverson.