Charlie: 7.5, Jackson: 5, Lillian: 10
1: What is something mama always says to you?
Charlie: Have a great day
Jackson: Goodbye, I love you when I'm going to school
Lillian: Clean your room
2: What makes mama happy?
Charlie: Having a date with me
Lillian: When the house is clean so she can relax and have fun with us.
3: What makes mama sad?
Charlie: When I get a yellow, orange or red
Jackson: When she lost her camera
Lillian: Us not cooperating with her or us getting hurt.
4: How does mama make you laugh?
Charlie: Telling some jokes
Jackson: Tickle my armpits
Lillian: Says funny things, tells me jokes and she says some things in this way that just makes me feel happy.
5: What was mama like as a child?
Charlie: Her Teddy bear. Oh wait, the middle kid - like me.
Jackson: I didn't see her when she was a little girl, I don't knoooooow
Lillian: Strict parents but a very happy child who usually did well in school and was very creative.
6: How old is mama?
7: How tall is mama?
Lillian: 5' 50" um... wait, that wouldn't work, probably 6'. Like 6' 5".
8: What is mama's favorite thing to do?
Charlie: Play with me
Jackson: Playing with me
Lillian: Hang out with us and be with family - play games with us.
9: What does mama do when you are not here?
Jackson: Go to Trader Joes
Lillian: Exercise, work and shopping
10: What is mama really good at?
Lillian: Photography and music, singing especially
11: What is mama not very good at?
Charlie: Drawing the best picture in the world
Lillian: Art - I mean she's good at it, but not amazing
12: What does mama do for a job?
Charlie: Runs this company called Marie Taylor Photography
Jackson: Cleaning the house
Lillian: She is a singer
13: What is mama's favorite food?
Jackson: Sweet Potatoes
14: What do you enjoy doing with mama?
Charlie: Having a date
Jackson: Playing Angry Birds with mama, but now it's going to be legos
Lillian: Eating sushi and watching Harry Potter
Yesterday started out as a normal day...well the new normal Jack and I are getting used to-bigs go off to school and we are left to our own devices. Breakfast (or greh-kest as Jack calls it) and a Target run. We returned, Jack settled down for Sesame Street (which he loves thank goodness as Charlie never really was a fan and I have missed it) and I went to work.
And then there was a knock on the door.
A package! Always a very exciting day when one receives a package-especially when you can see the FedEx guy pull up outside your window but know you haven't ordered anything. Today however was exciting, and a little scary as we have a bee problem. Like, a big bee problem. I don't really like opening my front door as they are zooming around, crawling behind my porch light, flying into my door and generally making me nervous for anyone who needs to come onto my porch for any reason.
But I got the package in and SCORE! Someone had gifted me coffee! Ok so it was in cans and not K Cups, but I have the ability for either and, my crafty brain started working, in cans of a lovely fall shade of yellow. A little burlap and ribbon and now I have three matching vases for some fall flowers. What a fabulous day.
Ok write a note to myself to see who could have possibly gifted me this coffee, go back to answering emails and editing and...
There was a knock on the door.
Ok so the bees aren't swarming like crazy, lets see if I can drag this package...oh wait, kind of heavy package into my house (heavy door, heavy package, frantic woman trying to not allow bees in ridiculousness ensued and GOT IT.) This package contained two books perfect for Lillian, a dinosaur book that the boys would love, and egg cooker...wow this person is very, very generous, and, Act mouthwash. Well. This is suddenly turning a little odd. Very odd.
So off I went to FB to see if I could figure out who could have possibly gifted me these nearly perfect items. Katherine! The day before we had received a beautiful leather bound journal with a horse on it. No note, but I could only assume it was for my horse loving daughter (who now believes she will write about adventures with HER horse in the pages.) So I said in my status, we received a package and who is our benefactor, and Katherine claimed responsibility.
Thank you Katherine! Charlie LOVES egg salad SO MUCH! He will be thrilled! I can only imagine the confusion when one gifts a leather journal and the response is egg salad! Yea for egg salad. So she asked the contents of the package. I listed them. Her response was "Do you really think I would give you mouth wash??" As not to hurt the feelings of my generous benefactor and shut down any further comments on this interesting choice of gift, I responded "I DO NOT KNOW WHO GAVE ME THESE THINGS."
And then there was a knock on the door.
The bees are now more active so I decide to go all the way around to get this third package. Good thing cause this one was heavy. Very heavy. I get inside, the bigs are home by now begging to get into the treasures that lay on the table and I open the box to find an ice cream maker. Now one may think that my danger senses may have been triggered by the mouthwash...but this is when it didn't get fun. I have a stalker. A stalker who knows WAY too much about me and my children...and perhaps is a little iffy on my breath. A STALKER I tell you! No random RAK is going to include an ice cream maker.
So finally the truth came out-for some reason my address was set as the default, thus sending me what we should have received (books) and all the rest. We had a laugh, Elizabeth angrily erased every address in her Amazon account and we said goodbye. Then suddenly, without warning, I begin laughing. The kind of laugh that you don't know if I am laughing or sobbing. The screeching laugh. Everyone came to check on me. So of course the only thing you can possibly do in this situation is call your sister, laugh uproariously on the phone while neither of you can understand a WORD that is being said because of said laughter and your children all look at you like you have lost. Your. Minds. Just another moment in the history of The Willis Sisters.
Yes, you read that right. I have finally, FINALLY taken the plunge (like the other four Willis family members) and started working out. My goal at the moment is to RUN in the Color Run (probably should start by signing up for it...) Anyway, it has been a while since I have worked out, but so far so good.
So last night I finished my 30 minutes of cardio and I went to stretch. Eventually a guy comes walking up, sets down a mat and two of the cutest little two pound purple weights. I thought to myself, huh. Now what, pray tell oh muscular man, are those adorable little weights going to do for you? Will you be bench pressing? Will you do some curls? I just could not figure it out, but all sorts of "awww how cute" thoughts went through my head.
He proceeded to put those two adorable two pound purple weights vertically, position his hands just right, and do push-ups. Spectacularly difficult push-ups. And I had to get up and walk away due to my building laughter over the juxtaposition of what I originally thought and the actual reality of a serious gym goer. I believe I just got schooled.
When I originally posted the picture of Lily in her lion costume, I didn't notice the, ahem, inappropriate hand placement. This time, I am well aware, and it has been placed in the Hall of Fame of HA. Mmmmhhh-I think I just came up with another mini album theme :) Go to the old blog to read the comments in reaction to this photo. Quite humerous I must say :)
Today we heard the doorbell and (if a knock could be annoying) a knock on the door. I looked out the window and saw that it was "The Meat Guy." I whisper-yelled down to Bj and said "Don't answer it! It's the meat guy!" Immediately after I said that, Charlie said "RUN! It's the MEAT GUY! Jack-Jack? Are you the meat guy? Here he comes! HIDE from the MEAT GUY!"
Needless to say, Nonnie, Bj and I were laughing hysterically at this point. And it reminds me of a similar moment from my childhood...hiding under the kitchen table, from...the Avon lady.
And I now fear the day we are playing outside and the meat guy comes a-calling. He will quickly learn of the new game called "Run and Hide from the Meat Guy."
Completely unrelated, but I have to figure out a way to get more photos of Lily in p365. This whole school thing is getting in the way. And because I have a plethora of pictures to share right now, me and my youngest boy-curled mohawk and slight smile on his face. Love.
Yes, it is yet another review-and for those of you who haven't seen it yet, spoilers are abundant, so you might want to check back later...
I LOVE The Sing Off. Last year Bj and I started watching it because of Ben Folds-well, I wanted to see if for the music too, but Bj, was all about Ben. Let's just say that Bj is NOT a fan of any kind of reality show (the only member of the Willis/Dillow/Pershey/Taylor clan to NOT watch Project Runway) but this is different. We have more fun watching this show than any other.
Nick Lachey may be Bj's new Robert Goulet. He really doesn't like "smug" people and his da da da dah? da da da dum. up and down speech patterns drive him crazy. But of course Bj can add another impersonation to his resume'.
We quickly realized last year that we are not fans of Nicole Scherzinger. We actually ended up fast forwarding last year any time she spoke because 1. there are no musical comments that ever come from her mouth and 2. there are no intelligent comments...ok maybe a bit harsh, but really Bj gets me laughing anytimes she speaks.
Shawn Stockman is totally the therepist. If someone in the group has an inkling of a human interest story, he is sure to make them feel better and worthy of being on the show. And, some decent musical critics.
Now Ben. Oh how I love Ben. He is witty, intelligent, and gives real musical knowledge. Sometimes he doesn't say exactly what he is thinking I assume, but for the most part he is spot on. Now for a few thoughts...
After Ben identified who sang which part and talked about the tightness of the moving chords and the troubles with the static chords during The Eleventh Hour's performance, Nicole said... "When the beat dropped in and you guys did your thing, I felt the groove. Definitely." Wow. That's really helpful.
The only way Jerry Lawson & Talk of the Town should and could get knocked out is when the public starts voting (and this is all Bj) and their fans can't figure out how to text from their rotary phones. I really don't know what is going to happen with them because they are in another league. Plus, they were on Jack's Big Music Show so really, no competing.
Ummmm-Berklee? Your professors are all embarrassed that you called yourselves "Pitch Slapped." You deserved to go home solely based on your name, but really you all were trying WAY too hard.
Ben, you are hilarious. "The cymbals...It's not against the law or anything but in the bridge, when some dude walks in and goes pssssshhhhhhhhhhhh...it's the only thing that takes down the perfect score" Then I loved at the end when the beat boxer and Ben shared a moment after he "cymbal crashed" again.
So all in all, my current picks are
Jerry Lawson & Talk of the Town because they are amazing. They won't win, but I hope they will have some new interest and have some new gigs.
Committed. Wow. Their sound was incredibly rich and their bass was AMAZING. Their balance was a little off-perhaps a little too much bass overpowering the lead, but seriously, those guys are good. Not just thrown together for this show, but adapted their sound for this show.
Groove for Thought. Although I am not the biggest fan of their lead, their accompaniment is awesome. So nice to hear real jazz. Reminds me a bit of Manhattan Transfer which will always be one of my all time favorite groups. But diction lead singer, diction.
Street Corner Symphony is Bj's choice. Mostly because their bass looks so much like Mitch Hedberg but they were good too. But mostly because of Mitch (rest in peace...)
Ok so I probably won't do a review everytime, but we do really, really enjoy this show and I am so excited that the overall quality of the groups is so improved. And hello? Whiffenpoofs? There is some amazing history there. Let's just say the whole thing makes this former music teacher and performer very happy...and sad that all I am doing is watching from my comfy chair.
I can't remember exactly when Lily decided on The Statue of Liberty as her costume, but I know she has been excited about it for months and months now. And I have been too. She wanted to bring her torch into school for Show and Tell but as they don't exactly have Show and Tell anymore, I decided we needed to learn some facts about Lady Liberty to share with the class to make it a bit more educational. (And that folks is how nerds are created ;)
Lily now knows 1. The Statue of Liberty was unveiled on October 28, 1886. 2. The Statue of Liberty lives in New York. 3. She was a gift from France. 4. Her fingers are taller than a man. 5. Her eyes are about the size of a child. I also learned the Joseph Pulitzer was intrigal in finishing the base when they ran out of money for materials and labor. He used his paper The World to ask for donations from the public because he felt The Statue of Liberty was a gift to all the people of America and he wanted to Nationalize the project. I also found out that she gets her color from the thin layer of copper applied that has patinated.
When she brought in the torch she began telling her facts and her teacher asked "Do you have any more facts?" and she said "Yes. I have TONS. I think I need to get a chair." hee hee.
So without further ado, I bring you The Statue of Liberty. So I kind of like to have a bit of a theme when dressing the kids up so I was very excited when my friend Adela came up with the idea of dressing Charlie as an immigrant. YES. PERFECT. For the record I had every part of his costume in my posession except for his bow tie which I found on Etsy. I didn't realize that I actually dress my son like a Swedish Immigrant on non Halloween days too :)
Here they are together I think Charlie thought this was the way he should pose-just like his sister. I think his face here is SHOCK at his Mama telling him to STAND on the picnic table. For the record, Lily did ask "Do I have to hold my arm up all night?" Yet, she did for most of the night :)
So this was right before our MOM's Club Halloween party where Charlie won the award for cutest costume for the 0-2 category. Lily won a special award as well. Ah proud Mama and Daddy.
On Saturday we decided to do a little trick or treating downtown. And then I heard there was a costume contest downtown. So we entered. And they won! Oh Lily was soooooo excited. (And Charlie too, but it was late and he was done with this whole contest thing.) Oh yeah, she was SUPER excited. We will most definitely remember this Halloween for a long time to come.
Some other notable moments
Charlie running around at the MOM's Club party with his certificate yelling "I won a costume!"
Charlie running around with one of the pipe cleaners at the party yelling "I have a fuzzy caterpiller!"
Charlie running around before Trick or Treat yelling "TRICK OR TREAT! HAHAHAHAHAHA!"
Lily running around with her school friend Michelle-even eating dinner with her. So good to see her with friends.
Hanging out with friends during downtown Trick or Treat including a very cute Hamburger Who may just have a crush on Charlie. Well he is the cutest immigrant in town :)
So now the big question...what in the world could we do next year that could top this. Mmmmmhhhh...
I believe I have established by now that Charlie is really, really cute. Also a bit of a monster, but mostly really cute. This week he has done two things that made me melt just a bit with this cuteness. First Lily and I were talking about what she wanted for her birthday. She said a camera and a Spiderman Find-it book. Yes, I know, interesting combination. So we were talking about whether she wanted a party, or if she wanted to go on a trip. She said a trip-to get a Spiderman Find-it book. (hee hee) So while Lily and I were talking, Charlie ran to the playroom and found a Spiderman book we own. He ran over to Lily saying "Sister! Sister! Happy Birthday Sister!"
Next up, Charlie was climbing all over me. Now I am not normally a fan of being a human jungle gym, but especially not when I have Baby Bean to protect. I said as he was laying on me "Charlie you are scaring me!" He looked up at me, looked me in the face, and roared.
As many of you know I am a musician. A musician on hiatus, but a musician just the same. I have spent thousands of hours practicing, listening, singing, performing. I miss it. A lot.
Last night there was a show on called The Sing-off. Bj and I watched it together (a miracle in itself as Bj hates all form of Reality TV.) We totally watched it for Ben Folds. Although I really do love A Capella singing, I really could just listen to Ben Folds talk/sing/play the piano for two hours for the next three nights. Seriously. I even love the way the man talks.
So many of the groups were eh, some were just plain screaming and out of tune, some were just entertaining, I totally called the Mormans, and the Puerto Ricans should totally win. They were the tightest and had the best harmonies. We both agreed that the girl from the Pussycat Dolls is kind of a complete idiot who was completely passive aggressive all night. "For a group of just girls, that was good." "For a group of housewives, you did pretty well." And on and on. We were also in agreement that we were so glad that Shawn Stockman from Boys II Men was part of the judges because they were really are the epitome of a quality sampling of A Capella music. For a pop group at least. We both laughed out loud at his comment "It's going out of tune-hey look over there!" Funny.
But again, Ben? I could listen to him talk all day. He seriously sings when he speaks. What a great voice. There wasn't a "mean" judge so he did sugar coat much of what he said, but there was real constructive criticism there, perhaps a little poetic and watered down for people those who probably haven't really spent a whole lot of time in music classes, but still, good solid critics. I hope those groups actually take what Shawn and Ben say and apply it. And I hope they realize they should completely ignore everything what'shername said. Again we found ourselves laughing out loud when he told the Mormans "Yeah it was good, but there could have been a little more cussing." Solid critic Ben.
So this brings me to Straight No Chaser. I can't remember who tipped me off to them-Daddy perhaps? I absolutely love this arrangement of The Twelve Days of Christmas. And I was very excited to see they have come out with a full studio album of Christmas music. You can listen to the whole album here. It's entertaining, funny, and really, good A Capella singing. Check it out.