Thursday, August 31, 2006

Sorry, Try Again!


Atticus is a creature of habit. Every morning he wakes up, gets himself dressed, drapes his green blankie over his head and comes down the stairs, saying, "Whooooo. . .Whoooooo. . ." Every morning I shriek, "Oh no, a scary green ghost!" He then reveals himself and says, "I'm not a ghost, I'm Atticus! I wub you!" and then he gives me a hug.

Immediately after the ghost scenario, he then requests the exact same breakfast every morning: "Trix-is-for-Kids-Yogurt please!" Every morning I hand him a cup of yogurt with his Spiderman spoon. And every morning he lifts open the foil lid of the Trix-is-for-kids yogurt to see if he won the contest that they're holding (truth be told, I don't even know what the contest prize is.) And EVERY morning the lid reads the same thing, "SORRY try again!"

And so every morning Atticus laments, "Oh no, Sorry, try again!" But being his happy-go-lucky self, he licks the lid and continues with his breakfast delight, renewed by tomorrow's hope that he could actually win this longed-for, unknown prize.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

First Day of Second Grade!




Hatfield is back home and thrilled to report that her first day of second grade was GREAT! "My favorite part of my day was organizing my chair and table." Her teacher, Mrs. J., is "really nice and fun." All the kids remembered Hatfield from the two weeks she spent there at the end of first grade, and already tomorrow she has her first playdate of the school year set up at her friend Sarah's home!

Keeping with family tradition, Atticus and I made a special cake to celebrate Hatfield's first day of school. Many moons ago, "Jimmy" (aka Sarah's mom) began this tradition with a special Cookie Monster cake on Sarah's first day of kindergarden. I'm so proud of Atticus because he managed to keep the cake a secret the entire walk home, and he presented the cake to Hatfield with a loud "Ta-Da!" and flourish of his arms!

We'll keep you updated about Hatfield's Second Grade Adventures as the school year progresses. . . it's a big year: more homework, cursive writing, and her Holy First Communion!

(A quick side note about the photos: the first three days of school are "non-uniform" days. Next week the plaid jumpers will be back!)

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Oops!


Why you should never, never, never go to an 8-year old tattoo artist. Not even if they are a straight-A student in school!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Like Father, Like Son


Atticus has many titles in our house. . . "Cliff's mini-me," "Little Cliff," "Baby Cliff," and so on. . . Not only are my boys similar in looks, but in facial and vocal expressions, and bodily gestures as well. Often I feel like none of my DNA transferred to this child, and that I was merely the carrier for Cliff's clone.

The true and only difference in Atticus and Cliff lies in their eating habits. While Cliff is infamous for his voracious appetite and willingness to eat just about anything (bat and two-week old tacos included), it takes "considerable" effort to convince Atticus to venture from his tried-and-true favorite foods. The above photo is a great testimony to this difference.

The setting is Paul Bunyans, a famous all-you-can-eat breakfast place in the Wisconsin Dells. Huge steaming plates of buttermilk pancakes, ham and sausage, scrambled eggs, and homemade donuts are heaped upon the mess hall-style tables, a manly man's breakfast dream-come-true. Well, not Atticus! He sat there the entire time pouting, the only empty plate in the place perched before him, refusing to take a single bite (we did get some sausage into him, but not without a few tears and several pleas for yogurt and cereal).

Atticus's pout in the photo is real; Cliff's, a father's desperate attempt to get a smile out of his mini-me.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Jen's Baby Shower



Well, another busy weekend has come and gone, and with it the last baby shower of the summer. My long-time and dear friend Jen is expecting a baby this October! I am just tickled that I FINALLY get to be an auntie, even if it is an honorary one. I can't wait for the little one to be born. . . this is the first time where I'll have the luxury of holding and playing with the little darling, and then being able to just hand them right back when they're fussy or stinky ;)

The shower turned out to be a very lovely affair, and the cake was so darn cute that I can't help but post a picture. I had ordered an identical one for Melanie's Mommy Shower, and both earned rave reviews from all the guests as it tasted as good as it looked. Thanks, Sam's Club!

This upcoming weekend is our last weekend before the start of the school year for Miss Hatfield, so we'll be certain to make it a good one for her.

Monday, August 21, 2006

A Little About Hattie


Here we have it! Our 8-year old Hatfield Louise's FIRST all-exclusive interview . . .

Mommy: So tell us a little bit about yourself. Do you like to be called Hatfield or Hattie?
Hatfield: I like to be called Hatfield, or Hattie, or Hattie Lou. Sometimes my mom calls me LuLu and that's okay with me too.

M: Let's learn a bit about your favorite things. I'm going to rattle a list off and you tell me the first answer that comes to mind. Ready?
H: Ready!
M: Favorite Computer Game?
H: Zoo Tycoon! The green sea turtles are my favorite.

M: Favorite animal?
H: Bunny!

M: Favorite food?
H: Soup!

M: Favorite dessert?
H: Cherry Dilly Bars from Dairy Queen!

M: Favorite movie?
H: High School Musical

M: Favorite Song?
H: So You Had a Bad Day. They play it on American Idol and I love it!

M: Favorite Sport?
H: I like soccer because it's fun to pass the ball to my teammates and to try to score goals.

M: Favorite Flower?
H: Daffodils

M: Favorite fun thing to do this summer?
H: Going to Wisconsin Dells and Bay Beach!

M: How do you like being a big sister to both a brother and a baby sister?
H: It's fun to play with them because I love to play with little people.

M: Do you like your new house and living in Green Bay?
H: I really like my new house because I have the second biggest bedroom and the biggest closet.

M: What excites you most about second grade?
H: You get to bring a water bottle to school this year. I get to learn to write in cursive. I'm excited to make new friends.

M: What makes you proud about yourself?
H: Being the oldest in my family. I'm a really good helper to my Mom. I'm a good reader too.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

He sees dead things. . .


"Ugh. . .something died in there."
-Atticus Cruz, age 4, future paleontologist. Quoted upon viewing this showcase at the N.E.W. Zoo on Tuesday.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Chipmunk Chaos!


My lord, did we have the excitement in our house yesterday morning!

It all began when I noticed that Ernie, our 3-legged, thyroid horomone-deficient beagle, and Ezra, our cat with "emotional issues," were acting much crazier than normal in the living room. They were scampering about one particular corner of the living room, and I just assumed that they were chasing about a housefly (one of their favorite activities) or an errant moth that somehow snuck in during the night.

I knew that wasn't the case when I suddenly heard them race into the kitchen, and in exact unison, slide headfirst into my stove. Ernie was barking, hair standing on end; Ezra was hissing; they were both going berserk trying to get under our stove! No, I knew right then that it was something much bigger, and in all likelihood: a mouse.

There are two great fears I have in my life: one is rodents, and the other is dead rodents. Ezra, a renowned mouser, has left many a "present" on our doorstep while Cliff has been away on business, and I have never found it beneath myself to bribe some neighborhood kid who I've never met before with five bucks to get it off my front porch.

Of course, luck would have it that Cliff was 6 hours away in the far reaches of the Michigan's Upper Peninsula. So what did I do? I called Josh, my close friend's husband and our good family friend, who I knew was on vacation for the week after the birth of their beautiful daughter, to come over and rid the house of this unwelcome pest.

With great kindness, he soon showed up with two of his girls, great chums of Hattie and Atticus's, in tow. He opened the stove's large bottom drawer and reported that sure enough, he saw two little rodent eyes peering out at him. At his request of a grilling tongs, I sent one of the kids in with that and a Target bag, while I held Paloma outside to make certain that a rodent wouldn't try to climb over her in an attempted escape ;)

Moments later, I heard loud screams. Suddenly 4 small children streamed into the backyard, shrieking that it wasn't a mouse, but a chipmunk! Just the thought of a rodent even bigger than a mouse made my knees go weak (yes, I realize what a huge baby I am, but for the sake of the blog, I will swallow my pride and report the truth). I herded all the children out to the side yard to play on the tree swings.

Crash! Boom! Thump! Thump! Crash! were the noises coming from the house over the next few painfully slow minutes. I paced about with panicked thoughts. Would our homeowner's insurance cover the cleanup of rodent blood on our carpet? Would Josh sue us if he got bit and needed to go in for a tetnus shot? What if it was a pregnant chipmunk and had babies behind the piano? My imagination was going haywire. . .

All thoughts were quickly diminished however, when our house hero came outside and reported the the house was rid of the chipmunk! The chipmunk was still alive, but quickly retreated to the safety of his outside home. In all likelihood, he entered the home when one of the kids probably left the screen door cracked open, and it was just a "fluke" that he had ventured into our abode.

So we have a new hero in the house: Josh! Thank you, Josh! The kids can't stop talking about the excitement and how brave Josh is and how mom "wanted to die." I'm just happy the rodent is gone!

Here's to hoping that today proves to be a very, very boring day!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Exclusive Interview


Paloma's agent offed 5 Frozen Chamorros an exclusive, first-time ever public interview. As we always strive to bring you the most accurate reporting possible, we jumped at this chance . . .

MOM: So how does it feel to be one?
PALOMA: It feels great. It's hard to tell people that you're Zero Years Old. . . it can give any baby an inferiority complex. . . I'm sure it would have given me one too, but since our household revolves around me and my demands, I felt pretty secure in my role as a baby.

M: What do you think the best thing about being one will be?
P: I can now legally drink cow's milk. And ride forward facing in the Mommy Van.

M: Any worries about turning one?
P: Well, since I didn't get any teeth in my first year, I'm expecting to get a bunch this year. I hear that can be fairly intolerable.

M: Why don't you tell us a bit about yourself. What's your sign?
P: I'm a Leo: ambitious, courageous, dominant, strong willed, positive, independent, self-confident. It describes me to a "T."

M: What's your favorite food and restaurant?
P: I'm a big fan of Mexican food, especially the guacamole and refried beans. Very easy for a toothless kid like me. My favorite restaurant is El Maya. . . I flirt shamelessly with the cute waiters, and they bend over backwards to entertain me.

M: What's your favorite song?
P: I really like it when my mom sings Simple Gifts to me before I go down for naptime or bedtime. My next favorite song is "Pump It" by the Black Eyed Peas.

M: I hear that all of you kids are given chores at a very young age. What are your favorite chores?
P: I love to help with the dishwasher, and I find it fascinating to unload all the laundry out of the washer and dryer (even when Mommy is trying to load them).

M: What makes you smile?
P: Every morning I wake up before my brother and sister. I get so excited when they come downstairs each morning to play with me! I also really like our 3-legged dog, Ernie. He always runs away from me though, except when I'm in my booster seat at the kitchen table, and I give him my food. Then I'm his favorite person.

M: How are you like your Dad?
P: I'm a very happy person. I love to veg out on my Care Bears couch and watch Baby Einstein in the same way that he likes to veg out on our big couch while watching The Twilight Zone. I love music, and I love to dance with him.

M: How are you like your Mom?
P: I have a lot of energy and enthusiasm. I do best when I'm on a daily schedule. I wake up at the slightest noise.

M: What is the best part of your family?
P: Everyone loves me tons and kisses me all the time!

Monday, August 14, 2006

Paloma's First Birthday Party!


Hard to believe, but our little Paloma will be turning one tomorrow! To celebrate, we held a Big Birthday Bash here at our home on Sunday afternoon. We were so touched at how many members of our family traveled quite a distance to be here with us for this special occasion! The most special part of the day was that Great Grandpa Tony, Great Grandma Marian, Great Grandpa Joey and Great Grandma Fran were all here!

We had a great lunch prepared by Sarah and Jimmy, and topped it off with a yummy Noah's Ark birthday cake. Paloma received many adorable outfits and fun toys, but truth be told she was most entertained shaking the box holding the beautiful Rosary beds that Aunt Dorothy brought back from Europe for Hatfield.

Turning one is such a momentous occassion, but there is also a sigh of relief along with it. . . while we so very much miss the sweet baby who loved to snuggle in our arms, we are happy to say goodbye to the sleepless nights and early (4 am!) morning wakeups. Miss Paloma entertains us with her sweet disposition and love of exploring. She took her first steps this past week, and while she is still a bit wobbly, she'll no doubt be keeping up with Hatfield and Atticus shortly!

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Welcome!


Welcome to our family blog!

You may be wondering how our blog got its name, so we'll start with the creation story of how Cliff and I met. . . (nostalgic music playing)

Cliff is Chamorro and a native of Guam. At the time we met, he was living in Seattle, Washington and I in Green Bay, Wisconsin. We flipped a coin (just kidding), but it was decided that he would move to Green Bay after we were married nearly six years ago. Although we had a brief stint living in Milwaukee, WI, we've been in Green Bay the entire time.

I always tell people that you know it's true love when someone who has tropical blood running through them is willing to live in Wisconsin!

We hope you enjoy reading the posts about our family . . . Hatfield is now a beautiful 8-year old girl about to enter 2nd grade; Atticus is now 4 and will attend afternoon preschool, and our baby girl Paloma will be turning 1 (ONE!) on Tuesday!