The Preslar Family

The Preslar Family
November 2013

Monday, January 23, 2012

The Wristband


I'm trying to think of how this got started.  I'm remembering that my friend Krista invited Bitty to her son Luke's 5th birthday party almost a year and a half ago, and that the party had a pirate theme.  Krista did a great job putting together these cute little cardstock treasure boxes with booty for each party goer inside.  The treasure that was the most contested at our house was a black terry cloth sweat band with a skull and cross bones stitched into it.  And when I say "contested," do you really have to ask by whom?  Bitty brings it home, Stomper sees it and desires it; she, in a moment of love and kindness hands it over and then later feels sorry and wants it back....sheesh.  It was the topic of their bickering for quite some time.  I think it only took about six months for Bitty to finally give in and just forget about it.  And Stomper has worn the thing nearly every single day since then.  Every. Single. Day. He often takes it into the shower with him to get it clean though that is having less and less affect these days; it is now starting to dissintegrate and the pirate skull is certainly white no longer.  It's more of a dingy grey color but as long as the jolly roger is still recognizable I think he'll keep it up.

I wonder if this has anything to do with the fact that the wristband arrived in our home just days before Stomper started second grade with the revered Mrs. Lloyd, who, on every child's birthday, dresses as a pirate and leaps into the class room so the birthday child can battle her with a saber.  She loves pirates.  In fact, for about the first three months of the school year she has a pirate theme to every stitch of homework the kids have.  It's kind of great; the kids sure love it.  So I think I need to let her know that her love of pirates has rubbed off on my child and doesn't seem to be wearing off. She'll be so proud.


I do not know what is going to happen when Stomper's permanent accessory finally decays and crumbles into dust from off his wrist.  I've tried getting him replacements - that was one attempt at solving the tug-o-war over the wristband between Stomper and Bitty, but both of them wanted the original, don't ask me why.  But at some point, he is going to have to let it go.  I am curious to see how long this lasts and what state the wrist band is in before he finally sends it to its final resting place.

I have to mention one other current passion of Stomper's.  It's called Hero Factory. It's a series of toys made by Lego, bless their expensive little selves.  They don't appear to be anything spectacular at first - basically they're these guys made up of a bunch of pieces that can interchange with legos but more importantly they interchange with each other.  This means, as long as your child picks up a few (or a ton) of them through various holidays, birthdays, prizes and earned cash, you can get quite a collection of them and then you know what you get?  Hours and hours of little boys playing happily together building, imagining and creating.  It is quite amazing.  I highly recommend obtaining a few characters and setting your boys free with them.  It's awesome.

Hairstyles and Sing-a-Longs

Bundle.  What a gal she is.  Troy and I have been watching her every day just getting to be such a big girl.  Most of the time we're enjoying her various antics, although I have to say that she is proving to me once again that there is no such thing as the terrible two's - the hard part doesn't come until the threes, that's for sure.  Okay, I guess she isn't three quite yet but we're getting closer and her mood swings and power struggles are gaining momentum.  She especially loves to cross her arms across her chest, look at the floor and scowl to express her anger and displeasure.  How do kids learn that?  Is it just instinctual?  How they figure out that pose is beyond me but I sure laughed my head off at her today as she was doing that and also telling me that she was "still very very mad about me."  But like I said for the most part we just eat her up.

I do have a little bit of a love affair/constant battle with Bundle's hair.  Even before she was born she had quite the head of hair - I had an ultrasound late in her pregnancy and it was so funny - there was something blurry waving around her head as she floated lazily in her little pool and when I asked the tech what it was I was surprised to learn that it was her hair.  She was born with a head full of this caramel colored curly hair, and I have never been able to bring myself to cut it.  Thus, as she is now 2 1/2, it is half-way down her back.  Mostly it's a big fuzzy mess all the time, but after she gets out of the tub it falls in the most wonderful ringlets down her back and I just love it.  And then she spends the rest of the day with it floating in a haze around her head except for the one little bit in front I've been able to plaster back in a rubber band.  Basically if I take the time to do it it is adorable, other than that she looks slightly like one of Orphan Annie's friends.

Best of all, Bundle loves to sing.  Troy has managed to capture a little of her singing, which I have not been able to do because when she sees me with a camera of any kind she instantly stops what she's doing and demands to see pictures of herself.  Troy, as it turns out, is much more sly.

Sunday, January 08, 2012

My New Favorite



The kids and I can't stop watching this. Check out the making-of video too.  Wow.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Delightful

I may have mentioned before that one of my favorite things from my childhood is all the books my mother read aloud to us.  I am sure I’ve already mentioned my fondness for hearing Danny the Champion of the World, (Roald Dahl), but there was also Stuart Little and The Trumpet of the Swan, (E.B. White), The Secret Garden, (Frances Hodgson Burnett), the Ramona books (Beverly Cleary) and the Hobbit (Duh) among so many others.  One of the very best was The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis.  I remember being completely enthralled by every moment of that book – it seemed to be the greatest adventure ever.  Funny, now that I’ve gone back and read it again I’m surprised by how short and simple it is, thought it still remains completely magical.

I think one of my clearest memories from the book is that of Edmund eating the Turkish Delight given to him by the White Queen.  I had never heard of the delicacy before and in my mind I imagined a treat so heavenly that I myself would have accepted it from the evil Witch.  How else could Edmund have succumbed?  It had to be the stuff of heaven, undoubtedly involving chocolate and possibly raspberries or toasted almonds and just got better from there.  Then one day my mom brought some actual Turkish Delight home in a little cardboard box.  Imagine our surprise when we saw the powdery little cubes and discovered that they were just these little squishy-jelly things with stuff in them, sort of like a cross between jello and fruitcake.  Horrors.  How could Edmund have been tricked with something as awful as that?  We were all disappointed and could only assume that C.S. Lewis had made a mistake.

Well.  Time has passed and now my  husband and I are the ones reading to our own children.  We also constantly listen to story CDs in the car as we putter along on our errands.  I find the distraction of great literature a tremendous help in staving off bickering. We are currently in the middle of Harry Potter 2, the Chamber of Secrets (my least favorite of all the books – my anxiety level gets elevated as we listen but we’ll persevere).  We just finished The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe and my kids, as judged by their rapt attention, were just as drawn in as I had been.  I loved it all over again.  And then last night we attended a party to celebrate the graduation of our friend Cullen.  Guess what was on the table.  Turkish Delight!  I was so excited to show my kids and see what their reaction would be!  Certainly they would be as shocked and horrified as I had been.  However, it turned out that the only shocked and horrified person was…me.  My children were indeed excited to see what Turkish Delight really was.  And they ate every last piece and asked for more... 

Oh, my little Edmunds, perhaps I can procure an additional supply of the stuff and see if I can tempt you to do my bidding by offering it to you as a great reward.  (Cue menacing chuckle…..)


The Last Night

All alone, dark, quiet.  For a few minutes, anyway - I'm sure Bundle will be waking up and wanting snuggles soon.  In the meantime, I am sitting on the couch by the fire, enjoying the last night with our dear Christmas Tree.  Probably the last night, that is.  I don't think I've ever loved a tree like I've loved this one - it's so beautiful and I'm not sure I'm ready to take it down.  Of course, our living room has been full of Christmas stuff for more than a month now and I can't deny that even when I'm sad about saying goodbye to the holidays it is nice to clear out a few of the decorations and bring a little peace and space to the room.  Maybe we'll give the tree one more day, though.

It happens every year that I do my best to keep up with my blog posts all month long, and I do pretty well until the last week and then I'm done for.  There's no way I can celebrate Christmas and write about it too, and that's how it should be.  But I always find myself trying to remember it all a week later.  I'm so exhausted - mostly in a good way - I do love Christmas and we had a lot of wonderful times.  But it's hard too to have the kids home and over excited for so many days in a row.  No one should talk to me about summer vacation right now.

So let's see - where did I leave off?  I think I need to report first on Christmas Eve.  We were lucky enough to do something completely new and different this year - we've never celebrated Christmas ON Christmas with a member of Troy's family before - we always have a big family gathering the Saturday after Christmas.  But this year we found ourselves with no plans on Christmas Eve, plus we knew my brother-in-law Sam and his wife wouldn't be with her family like they usually are.  So we decided to spend the evening together.  I'm so glad we did.  In some ways we thought that it might have been fun to have a quiet evening at home with just us, but in my mind that would be happening after a long day of sledding and playing in the snow.  I don't think we've ever had such a green Christmas before.  Not a flake of snow in sight for days and days.  So we had already had a long day at home and I was so glad to head out that evening.

Kathleen, my sis-in-law, really worked hard to deck out her house with Christmas cheer - it looked so great. We had a wonderful time - we ate soup and yummy appetizers, we played games and made cookies.  Curtis, their oldest kid, spent the evening wearing his pajamas, trying to get us all to be quiet so he could go to sleep.  That was funny.  The 12 year old insisting he was exhausted so he could sleep. Anyway, it was a fun night and a great way to spend Christmas Eve.





On Christmas morning the girls slept in just great.  Until 7:00 or so.  This is only considered late because their older brother had already been up twice.  Stomper apparently got Troy up at 4:00 but was convinced to go back to sleep. It wasn't until 5:00 that I felt someone grab my finger and start waggling it until I woke up just enough to send him back to bed again.  So yes, I'd say getting him to wait until 7:00 was pretty good.  Then we had a lovely morning opening gifts, watching Bundle get excited about getting "a baby named Niney," which she has been telling us for a month that Santa would bring her.  Stomper was excited about the additions to his lego collection and Bitty was greatly blessed in the Playmobile department.  So basically about 1000 new little tiny plastic objects were brought into our house.  Yahoo.  Actually the kids have been thrilled with their gifts and have played with them constantly, so that's a good sign.








I myself was blessed in the footwear department as I received the most beautiful pair of boots known to man. They've been on my wish list for a very long time and my husband was very nice to insist that we get the real pair I really wanted instead of a cheaper pair that looked a lot like them.  They've hardly left my feet since.

I also would like to claim a victory.  Troy and I decided long ago that a surprise is not what he wants for Christmas.  What he wants is getting something that he really wants, and that always means that he has already carefully decided what that is.  I gave up on surprising him long ago.  However, this year, I finally did it.  He doesn't have anything hanging on the walls of his cube at work and he spends a lot of time at home looking at pictures of his children and family.  So I made him these collages of the best pictures of his kids and framed them.  He had no idea.  I know it's just a simple little gift, but when he opened them he was delighted to the point of tears.  I finally did it!



After some awesome breakfast of sausage and eggs we got ourselves together and headed off to church.  Some people really don't care for church on Christmas day but I really enjoyed it.  Beautiful music and a great speaker.  Then we came home and the kids played while I cooked up a storm before we headed off to meet my parents and my sister and Troy's parents for dinner.  Roasted pork, perfect mashed potatoes, wild rice stuffing, peppermint ice cream.  A real treat.

After that it was time to scoop up our exhausted kiddos and tuck them into bed after a long and wonderful day.



By the way, it ended up taking me three days to finish this post due to the above mentioned "children," "excitement," and "wanting snuggles."  And our tree is still up.  That's next on the to-do list.  Probably.