January 31, 2008

Davi Unplugged

I never in a million years thought I'd be serenading ya'll tonight(with John as my backup singer), but I figured, what the heck!

video

If you listen closely, at the end you can hear Calvin mumbling "do twinkle wittle star". Unfortunately, I am not that advanced yet, because it requires 3 notes: g, c AND d. John just taught me the d chord tonight, but it is a little more involved, so I will just save it for this weekend. I did manage to get Calvin singing a portion of "row row row your boat" in the following snippit, but since he's so easily distracted, you only get a tidbit of his little songbird voice.

video

January 30, 2008

Shock

I walked into my 4:00 hair appointment yesterday without any game plan for my hair. My hair guy Mark looked up at me and asked "the usual?" I said "Probably. I eventually want to do something different, but I'm too chicken today." I guess that was all the prompting he needed and before I knew it, they were mixing up some concoction and applying it to my unsuspecting head. I've been going to Mark for a few years now, and it was like he couldn't wait to do this to me. When they rinsed me out and spun me around to the mirror, there is only one word to describe my reaction.

****Shock****

It was very hard getting an accurate picture. In some lighting I like it, but in other lighting I'm ready to run out the door to get some highlights/lowlights, ASAP.


Here is a picture taken in completely different lighting. It's much darker in real life, but it may eventually fade to this. Who knows. Sorry Jess, I did my best to take some accurate pictures!

At dinner last night Finn said that my new hair color was brown and that his hair color was tan. When I told him that I was not too sure about my new color, he suggested that I go back to Mark and get my hair painted tan like his. Hm. Maybe if I'm tired of being a raven after a month, I might just go back and request some tan hair:)

January 28, 2008

Guitar Lessons

A few years ago, I asked John to teach me to play the guitar. If you've ever attempted music lessons from your husband, you might know what I'm talking about. It did not go well, to say the least. Our lessons would go something like this:
Me: So, how do I play the g chord?
John: Well, how do you think you should play the g chord?
Me: Well, I DON"T KNOW. That's why I'm asking YOU.
(Yeah I know, I was a pain)
To make matters worse, I refused to chop my nails off. Despite these setbacks, John still managed to teach me Amazing Grace, which I see now was fitting. Now that I'm a little older and much more patient, I decided to give it another whirl. We started off much the same as before, with John talking WAAAAY over my head. It took a while, but I finally convinced him that I was not the musical genius that he thought I was. He got out a crayon and drew some guitar tablature to teach me the g chord and c chord.
A dozen questions later, and I finally understood how this trixy tablature related to the actual strings on my guitar. Poor John. However, my new found patience(and his) helped a lot and I can now play 2 chords on the g-tar. Yee Haw!
I even got out the nail clippers and chopped my nails off. Long nails are only good for scratching backs anyway, so I will not miss them. I must say though, my fingertips were a little sore from the tight guitar strings. John says it will take some time for them to toughen up. So, guitars hurt your fingers, drums hurt everyone else's ears and horns involve way too much spit. The piano is the only instrument that does not seem to inflict pain or gross-ness. With my 2 chords, I can now play row-row-row-your boat. My goal is to eventually play Edelweiss and Princess Bride's Storybook Love. My little buddies are happy that I can play with them.

Hey Lorie, check out this shot taken by my 2nd shooter, Finn!

January 27, 2008

mini-trip

We ended up going out of town after all. We took a walk on the wild side, gambled with the weather and won. John even got interviewed by a newscaster when we stopped for gas at the Flying J. She asked how the weather was traveling through the passes. Seriously, can you believe all the fuss over a little snow?
When we got to my folk's house, we had some yummy oreo cake to celebrate dad's birthday. Afterwards, John and I watched The Gladiator. Eddie Grover showed a short clip at the BBI last week and so we had to see it again(BTW, Eddie did a FABULOUS job). I was a little shell-shocked by some of the violence, since I am accustomed to the likes of Clifford these days. However, I give two thumbs up for Maximus and the barbarian hoard.
The next day we went to Barbara Ellen's bridal shower. The highlight for me was when we got to interrogate Barb with a *nosy* question when she opened our present.

Barbara Ellen, the beaming bride to be

Brittanie, Barb and Jennifer

We then rushed back to mom's house so I could meet Lindsay's boyfriend Jim. He's perfect! A total doll! I then got summoned outside by Finn to see his latest production.
No backyard is complete without a drumset.

Everything, including the kitchen sink, was used to make this drumset(actually it was a bathroom sink). Dad is remodeling Lindsay's bathroom, so that explains the sink in the backyard... and a mirror:)

Auntie Lindsay with Ollie

Lindsay and Jim, the cute little couple.

Calvin had fun climbing some funky metal steps.
I wanted to take them home with me.

I could have stayed outside all day--mom and dad live by the mountains. However, mom made us leave by 3:30 sharp so we did not get stuck in another storm. We crammed so much in, it's hard to believe we were there for less than 24 hours. And now, I must unpack:(

January 24, 2008

The Middle Child

John went to Walmart tonight to buy some chains for our van, because we *might*could* go out of town this weekend. That is, if the weather allows. When there is snow in CA, the entire civilization as we know it collapses. I had big hopes for this weekend.. a bridal shower, meeting my little sister's boyfriend for the 1st time, and celebrating my dad's birthday. But, we may be stuck at home due to road closures, etc...

So anyway, John took Finn and Ollie to Walmart with him, leaving behind a very disappointed Calvin Jack. After changing Calvin into his hockey pj's(or aj's, as he calls them) I dished him out some ice cream to cheer him up. He immediately dragged out his little blue table like he's done this a hundred times. I guess I was not the 1st person to bribe this child. Regardless, me and my middle child had ourselves a nice little "ice-sreem" date. I am a middle child too, so it was fun hanging out with one of my kind. They say us middle children have all sorts of quirks and dysfunctions, but I think we are a rather well adjusted breed.

Poor Calvin. He had a rough start today. He fell backwards out of his chair at breakfast and smacked his head HARD on the kitchen floor. THWOK. My heart sank as he screamed bloody murder. I knew I would have to get his head checked, because he was not acting himself. So, off to Dr. Shah's we went, along with the rest of our town.The doc said he looked fine, but to keep an eye on him. So after some ice cream and Jay-Jay, I think Calvin's day ended better than it started.

January 23, 2008

drum update

Meet the man who has taken up permanent residency in our house the past 2 days.

His name is Tommy Igoe and he is Finn's new drum instructor. Finn finally parted with some of his precious pennies to help pitch in for the Groove Essentials DVD. As soon as it arrived, Finn began frantically scurrying around the house, gathering up all his drum paraphernalia. After a few minutes of the movie, it was clear that Finn was rapidly acquiring some new head bobbing technique. A whole new level of groove has hit our house. It wasn't long before Calvin was shaking his shaggy mane with the best of them.


Who knew a stroller would make an excellent stand for a high hat cymbal??

Instant Poindexter watches on.
Yes, the exploitation has already begun.
While tethered to the couch today feeding Ollie, I was forced to take a few drum lessons myself. Did you know there are like 47 popular drum patterns? They are actually quite interesting and I particularly enjoyed lesson 33 on the Brazilian Bossa Nova. 1&2&3&4&..Maybe I should pick up drumming too. If you can't beat them, join them.
So the day is getting closer. John found an incredible deal online for a slightly used drumset, that is a waaay better set. John ordered the drumset and shipped it to his parent's house, where it will stay till Finn raises the rest of his money. The drumset is black(not blue or green)so I am happy. John sealed the deal on the phone tonight, with an Irish fellow who said "good day Laddie" and "ta-ta!" In honor of this momentous occasion, Finn drew a picture of the UPS truck the drums will be arriving in.

January 22, 2008

Curtain Woes

So apparently, I have not learned how to properly write Haikus. My little sister Lindsay wrote a *meaningful* Haiku on her blog last week(She has a friend, who funnily enough, writes wrath Haikus that point out the sin in his life). Being a good sport, I wrote a haiku of my own in response(revised):
curtains so matchy-match
puke in the night
vomiting 4-evermore
Since I am not a natural poet, I was pleased with my scathing Haiku of wrath. Until my older sister Jessica so kindly pointed out that mine was not even a Haiku at all, since it didn't have the 5-7-5 syllable construction. Good to know Jess! So, even though this is so yesterday, here is my less dramatic 2nd attempt:
curtains matchy-match
their yuckiness surrounds me
I don't like them much
Basically, my sisters and I are having curtain woes right now. Lindsay just moved into her new place and curtains elude her. Jessica moves all the time so her curtains must always accomodate new settings. I really have no excuse, since I've been stationary for the last 5 years. Yet, my family room has been through 5 different sets of curtains, all of which I don't care for. My current ones are too girlie and matchy-match. Some people give me grief for being so wishy-washy over my drapes, but I'm the one who has to stare at them all day. My next curtains are going to be simple medium-length panels. I would love to find some funky fabric to work with though.

Kind of like the fabric from this purse


or this one

This purse? A mere $200(that's 2/10 of a horse Lin!)

The designer made these purses from vintage furniture upholstery she found in an abandoned warehouse, so it is unlikely I am going to find fabric like this anywhere. Hence, I think curtains shall elude me too Lindsay!

OllieBaby

Lorie and Ellie were playing around with my digital elf today. Here is a shot they took that was rather sweet.

Why don't my pictures ever turn out like that? I guess that's why they are the pros and I am not. I decided to practice a little today and here are a few pictures I took of Ollie.



I had no idea what I was doing, but had fun anyway. I tired to photo-edit and once again, had no idea what I was doing. I just wish I didn't feel so clueless. It all seems so mysterious. Photography is a trixy business.

January 20, 2008

the orange sheep

There always seems to be a black sheep in every family and in our family it just so happens to be an orange sheep by the name of Calvin Jack.
John, Finn and I are a bit analytical. When Finn was a baby, my MIL would often comment on how he would turn a toy over in his hands, inspecting it from every possible angle. Since Finn was my 1st, I thought nothing of this....until the other day when I handed Ollie a toy and I watched him examine it at every possible angle for almost an hour.




I sometimes joke that Ollie should have been named Finnegan, since it's like having Finn again. Not so with Calvin. Early on, I could tell that Calvin was going to be un-serious. Finn would get so upset that Calvin would abandon ship right in the middle of practicing instruments together. John jokes that Calvin is going to be the band member that never practices and never does his homework. Calvin is the type of kid who will run into the wall with a bucket on his head--love it:) Just yesterday, he came into our room with his shirt stuck over his head meeping "help..I can't see". And then he woke up late from his nap yesterday and got dressed in the dark, emerging with Finn's shirt and jeans BOTH on backwards, with his boots on the wrong feet.
Today the boys were taking a walk on the bike trail and there were 2 ladies, one of which was wearing a bathrobe(lovely, I know). When she stretched out her arms, Calvin gasped "look Daddy, an angel!" If it weren't for Calvin, the rest of us would have totally missed this angel sighting, being too busy inspecting this lady for curlers and slippers.

January 17, 2008

embroidering fireworks

It was 1/2 hour till daddy got home, and 1/2 hour till Curious George was on. All day Finn had been asking me to sew his raggedy white blanky back together. He seemed so interested in sewing, that I decided to let him try his hand at embroidering. I figured some fireworks were right up his ally. He drew fireworks on some fabric and stitched along the lines, pretty much all by himself--though there were times he made me hold the fabric off the ground because he was afraid he'd stab the carpet... and the earth and he did not want to break the earth with his needle. Instead, he stabbed me once, but was very apologetic.
you know Finn is concentrating when his dimple appears


ta-da!

Later on, he tried to stitch up his white blanky himself,
with his own needle and thread

don't mind the hat, he was also chef pig today(from Word World)

And then there is Calvin. He got stuck in a bar stool today, and yesterday(keep in mind, he is 2).
all smiles at first

Soon after this picture, he dissolved into tears till I rescued him.

That pretty much sums up my boys:)

January 16, 2008

tape-happy:)

For months now, I have been the boys' personal tape dispenser. Left to themselves, the tape quickly ended in a twisted mess. Just recently, Finn figured out the trick, and boy was he tape-happy. He told me he wanted to be a tape-cutter for his new job. With his new skill, he started making his very own wrapping paper from scratch.

Finn's designer paper


The boys started wrapping every toy in sight. Nothing escaped the wrath of these two tape monsters. Finn even learned the corner technique:
The boys host many parties for us at night, where the day's presents are unwrapped and "oohed and ahhed" over--a kitty? For me? Ooohh just what I've always wanted!

Even Ollie got in on the action.

Hm..wonder what this could be.

Hey Finn! Would you like some paper with your tape??

After a few days of this "stitch-style" taping, we were FAST running out of tape and paper. I took Finn out on a hot date to the dollar store and let him select some cheapo wrapping paper. The next day, Santa Finn and elf Calvin were hard at work.
Well, maybe elf Calvin was less than ambitious,
but Finn was no shirker and more than made up for it:
Mass production , presents galore

Before we knew it, the boys were requesting tupperware and gathering blocks. What were they up to? It took a few seconds to remember the beloved dice game we play every Christmas with the Erickson clan. Each team has a pair of dice in a pie tin and whenever you roll doubles, you steal a gift(unless you are Calvin, and then you are giving your presents back to everyone).
dice game, Finn and Calvin style

With all the ruckus this masking tape caused, I can hardly wait to see what the boys cook up when they discover duct tape.