• The Magical Floating Leaf

    09.22.14 | Permalink | | Comment?

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    Every Wednesday our kids have an early release. The most recent one was spent exploring the park and seeing the wonder of the world we live in. They trampled through the valley, explored stumps, and even suspended leaves magically from their hands!

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    Have you ever been walking outdoors somewhere and seen a leaf just floating magically in the air? When we go to St. Edwards, we see them all over the place, so rich in spiders and falling leaves, and Bradley has taught the kids how to capture them and make them their own.

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    This is a worthwhile way to spend our time. This is the homework that is important. This is knowing our world.

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  • School Days

    09.21.14 | Permalink | | Comment?

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    Almost every morning I get a text a little after 9:00, when Bradley has left the kids at school, of the kids. It’s our last ‘see ya later’ of the day before we all come together again after I get home. It’s really nice. This year, with the added commute and shift in my start and end times, I’m leaving the house at the same time, 7:30, but my return home time isn’t until around 5:00, compared to the 4:00 time over the last decade. Little things like my daily kid pic help to keep me connected and in the loop. I love this little Littlejohn tradition!

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    And if you’re wondering how the little one is doing with this transitions into full time first grade, here is what he looked like at the end of this last Thursday:

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    Someone is worn out, tired out, exhausted and ready for more time with his Papa Bear. I think the papa misses the boy just as much. He drew this the other day as a response to missing his lil’ buddy:

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    We miss them too, as they go off into this big, wide world.

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  • Back to School

    09.20.14 | Permalink | | Comment?

    Jude and Guinevere started 1st and 5th grade this year…

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    First day fun

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    Gigi’s seat (at meet the teacher)

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    Jude’s seat (at meet the teacher)

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  • Disneyland 2014

    08.09.14 | Permalink | | Comments Off

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    We went to Disneyland again this year. I had to admit that, while we love Disneyland, we also recognize that each trip is fairly different. There is usually one theme that we remember- the trip where we ran into that guy, Ben, over and over, the trip where Jude was a baby, the trip when the kids couldn’t stop talking about spending money, the trip we realized was too long for Jude, the trip when we were too tired- you get it.

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    This was the best trip we’ve ever had. That’s this trips theme- sheer awesomeness! I said it it was our best since before we had Jude, which makes it our default best because everything is better with a lil Judelbop added in. We were like a well- oiled machine this time. We knew what we wanted to do, we’re faster now and we know how to work the day (get there as the gates open and leave around 1:00 when it gets hot and crowded, play at the hotel pool lthen go back for the shows).

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    This was the first time we didn’t stand in all of the lines for the characters. It was close to 100 degrees for most of the time we were there, so we would see Mickey, get excited, then observe the line that wrapped around the corner and the kids decided to skip it. It was a little weird, a little less magical, but a lot less sweaty and we felt like we accomplished a lot while we were there.

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    Jude was super cute as a dancer while we were in Disneyland. When asked if he wanted to dance for the Mad Tea Party, he said, “Don’t mind if it do!” Then proceeded to school us all in the art of floor work and expert level moonwalking. Whenever Phinneas and Ferb’s dance parade would make its way past us, Jude would scurry through the crowd to score and up-close and centered spot where he would showcase his acumen of their dance steps. By the end of our trip, he had partied with Phinneas and Ferb enough that he knew all of their moves!

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    Gigi was a pleasure to watch as she un-grew up. She’s at that interesting age where at one moment, she is clearly a teenager- attitude, intelligence, sense of humor and all right there I my face, and the next moment she seems lie, she’s about four years old, a little mewling toddler with big eyes, wonder and a desire to purchase and wear a Jasmine princess outfit. In Disneyland she let her little girl out to play, wore a Jessie hat from Toy Story and it was so fun to play along with her and remember when…

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    Bradley got to be the rebel spy on the Star Tours ride. While this may not seem like too big a deal, to us it was tantamount to meeting a celebrity or something. We’ve been waiting for years for one of our brood to be chosen, then it was our kind who got it! How perfect! Afterwards, Jude was making some decisions about which Star Wars cars he should buy, and he used his own saved-up allowance to buy his dad a Wookie/Chewbacca car as a birthday gift. We were both blown away by his generosity.

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    As for me? I finally took Henrietta and the Lurid Giraffe on a real tour of Disneyland. Henrietta is an extremely appropriate English hippopotamus and the Lurid Giraffe is exactly the kind of character he sounds like. Anyhow, they have relatives that live at and work on the Small World ride and have stowed away before, but this time I photographed them all over Disneyland and it was a really fun ending to our trip. I felt foolish, at times, but the memory of taking them with us was pretty unforgettable!

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  • Living is Good

    07.18.14 | Permalink | | Comments Off

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    Our kids are just amazing, thus life is amazing of late. I’m in thrall with the beauty of these people I’m surrounded with. Gigi had to go away the other night for a birthday party and, while I missed her, having Jude all alone is such a unique thing. His kindness shines when he is not competing for attention. He is a gentleman, a clever boy with a million ideas and stories in development, but mostly he is a tender little love-bug. We curled around one another, sang songs, watched tv, tickled, swam and rubbed noses all night and morning long, and when I had to go back to normal us, it was weird and I missed just boy and us.

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    Then, today, the same thing happened with her. He happened to be occupied with a Calvin and Hobbes treasury and little missy sneaked up into our room where a cat pile of mom, dad and Gigi occurred. We laughed and giggled and hug-o-warred for an hour or so while we pondered life. At one point, I realized that this moment was reminiscent of life before Jude. We had a special chemistry when it was just the three of us, just as we do when it’s just Jude, Bradley and me. It’s good to know I like my kids as much when they are apart as when they are together.

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    We’ve been spending a lot of time outside this summer. We call it training for Disneyland, but really it’s just training for an active, healthy life. I wonder how often my family gets tired of me talking about an ‘active, healthy life’! Ha ha! But it’s true. I feel like our kids are learning the building blocks of how to upkeep this amazing machine that is our body. While we are out, we are also learning to appreciate our world. Jude considers himself a nature lover and is often talking to critters he sees in the forest (“Hello, friend of the forest!” He kneels down and says to a native, PNW, banana slug.) Guinevere gets irate when she sees trees being leveled for new construction. They love hiking and ask to go almost daily. I’m proud of their capable bodies!

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FRESH /POSTS

Gigi Said

  • Topless Tapas 2012-11-03 18:44:52-

    Tami was leaving to go out with her friend and the kids begged to go with her. I said, "you don't want to go with mom, she is going to the Tapas bar and we are going to stay here and play games."

    Gigi stiffened, "That's weird", she said as she blushed. I processed fast and realized the problem. "TAPAS bar. It means 'small plate', not TOPLESS bar!"

Jude Said

  • Nicknames 2013-01-04 21:30:33-

    The checker at the store asked our always conversational little boy what his name was. He replied "Jude" then added "but sometimes they call me pumpkin brown". LOL.

    And they are right. We call him that after the folksong that we sing sometimes.