Happy Valentine’s Day to me

The great thing about having a blog is that you can write whatever crap comes into your head, feel like you are talking to another adult, and get out of having to mail pictures of your kids, all at the same time.

And, if someone you know doesn’t care to listen/read what you have to say, or look at endless pictures of your kids, they can ignore it. And really, if they do, so much the better.

Today I am doing a plug for folk music. Mmmm, Folk music.

Ellis Paul makes husbands everywhere look bad. Really, really bad.

For Valentine’s Day Eric got me tickets to see Ellis Paul in concert in Ames. So, Thursday night we left the girls with Grandma and Grandpa (and Uncle Brant and Aunt Casey, too) and headed to the big city.

We saw him live 12 months ago when I was pregnant with Claudia, then 4 months later with her when she was a newborn, and then again Thursday when she was old enough to be left with someone else. Each time Ellis (I feel like I can call him Ellis) has played the song “Home” which he wrote for his wife. It is sad and sweet and he plays it live on these plinky sounding pianos and it just makes me want to cry. It is one of those love songs written about a lover (thus the name) that makes me think instead about how much I love my kids. Ah, hormones, where would we be without them?

“Home” lyrics: http://www.ellispaul.com/index.php?page=songs&display=236

Another great love (or love your kids) song is Cheryl Wheeler’s Ghandi/Buddha. Lyrics at: http://www.cherylwheeler.com/songs/musta.html

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For Emily, who has it rough

For Emily who:
a) feels that Claudia has more pictures on here than she does
b) jumps around yelling, “Take my picture! Take my picture!”
c) has no idea that we took a million pictures of her when she was a baby and that we’ve only taken six of Claudia.

The sad life of the firstborn.

She actually runs around singing, “It’s The Hard Knock Life.” Let me tell you, we never get sick of hearing that song.

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No one loves you like your sister…

On Thursday, Emily and I had a little heart to heart about the state of siblings in our house. As crazy as it may seem I am still always imagining how great another child would be even though we currently have a 3 1/2 year old and a ten month old.

We are lucky to have such great kids and I love them so much that I am sure that numbers three and four would be nice too. Eric is more able to live in the moment, and at this moment we are very busy with two.

Anyway, the conversation went a little something like this:

Me: So, Em, what do you think that the right number of kids is for our family is? Do you think that the two that we have is enough or do you think that we should have another one or two?

Emily: (After some thought) I think one.

Me: One more kid?

Emily: No, I think that one kid is the right number for our family.

Me: So, how, exactly, do you think that would work since our family already has two kids?

Emily: (After a little thought) We could get rid of one of them.

Me: Which one do you think that we should get rid of?

Emily: (After quite a bit of thought) I think that we should get rid of the one that can’t talk yet.

Me: Claudia? You just want to get rid of your sister? What would we do with her?

Emily: We could give her away. The Berryhills would take her. (This is, technically true. Our friend, Megan, and actually most any member of her family would be happy to take Claudia. But that’s not really the problem.)

Me: Do you think that anyone in our family would miss Claudia would miss her if she were gone? Wouldn’t you miss her?

Emily: (Thinks for a little while.) No. (Thinks again.) Well, maybe Uncle Brant would miss her. We should call and ask him.

So we did. Brant assured Emily that he would miss Claudia terribly if we gave her away, but Emily still asked to call Megan and leave a message on her machine. So Megan came home to this on her home answering machine.

Me: Meg? It’s Kate. Emily was thinking that one kid was the right number for our family and so she was wondering if you could take Claudia for us.

Emily: (In the background.) Can you come get her? Can you get her right after lunch? How about now?

Happily, although she offered, Meg never did come get Claudia and Emily has thought better of the plan.

For now.

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Feeding Claudia, take 1

How happy is this kid to see solid food? We are taking photos like crazy of her two, just got ’em a week ago, top teeth since she fell on Tuesday and hit them and the doctor says they may end up dying, turning black, and falling out.

I’m sorry to say that she gets her grace, or lack thereof, from me.

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The moving is over…

…and this is the one nice memory we have of having to move everything we own. Claudia got a huge kick out of being in the moving boxes. And why not? Christmas had just passed and the house was full of new toys and Mommy wanted to pack this particular box. What better time to find joy in a cardboard box?

Next Christmas, boxes for everyone! Trust me, we have enough for everyone because we are never moving again. Now all we have to do is empty them in time for the 2006 holiday season.

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A family portrait by Emily

Here is the whole Simonson clan. Although I’m sure you all know who is who, but just in case, we are (from top left to right) Claudia, Emily, Kate, and Eric. From left to right on the bottom are Jake (one of the cats,) Ben (the dog,) and Elwood (the other cat.)

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Eric’s 40th Birthday

Eric turned 40 last week. It was a clothing optional party as you can see.

Claudia was unimpressed with the Sheryl Crow cd that she and Emily got for him.

But Emily, and all the nepherws and the neice, loved the Iowa State shirt he got from Brant and Casey.

I guess that’s the reasoning behind not wearing clothes to the party: if you are already undressed you can steal and wear the birthday boy’s gifts all the faster. And really, isn’t that what birthday parties are all about?

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The last of Christmas, I promise.

Here is Emily at Christmas trying out a few career ideas. Should she be:
a) a veterinarian like her Aunt Lynn

b) an exotic latina dancer?

Emily’s a bit inhibited in this dance, but we have high hopes for her.

Special thanks to Aunt Casey and Uncle Brant for the very loud, very repetitive, dancing Dora doll.

Yea, thanks.

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