30 April 2010

Probably the last post about The Gilligan

Here's a link to the image I put in the last post, which maybe you couldn't view: Inspiring photo of sporty young man jumping while wearing a bucket hat.

Also, Hairloss.com says that the bucket hat is one of five must-have hats regardless of whether you're bald: for real!

I'd have to buy a few more items for Matthew to round out this look.

Maybe you like the bucket hat look, but with a harder(?) edge. See here (click on the image for the full effect).

Now I think I better go make dinner. Silly silly.

28 April 2010

Provence, part 2: Al fresco dining, haberdashery, etc.

The weather was lovely in Provence, cool enough for light jackets and scarves, but sunny and blue, and we enjoyed eating some lunches outside:

pizzas, or olives and meat and cheese and bread from whatever market we were visiting.







Back at the house we rented, the big kids shared a bed,

just as they did two years ago in London.

They could fit in a smaller bed then, even with all the chub in those cheeks.

Matthew's parents have a Gilligan's Island bath toy from when Matthew was little. It has multiple pieces: the island, a raft, a palm tree, Gilligan, the Skipper, and Mary Ann. Our kids have enjoyed playing with this at Grambie and Pops's, and it came up during this last visit, with especially Soren full of questions about the toy, G & P singing the theme song, everyone viewing the opening sequence on YouTube. The tune continues to be hummed throughout our days.

I bring this up now not only because of its dominance of the past month, but also because the person or persons who gave Matthew the hat he's wearing in the second photo above said the gift was in response to his "Gilligan" hat that had appeared on the blog.

(I will let the giver of this gift choose to reveal his/her/their identity(ies) at his/her/their own discretion(s).)

Here is "The Gilligan."

Whomever bought "The Gilligan" for Matthew (he didn't buy it for himself) perhaps didn't fully grasp the shape of it when viewing it, say, online, and didn't anticipate the peculiar flare to the brim that gives it that distinctive "Gilligan" look. Maybe said giftgiver only knew that her husband Matthew wanted a bucket hat and gave it her (or his) best shot.

Matthew has embraced his new hat, but still has affinity for "The Gilligan." He says, "I like it. I like its goofiness."

200128876-002, Darren Robb /Photographer's Choice

I'm waiting for Matthew to select his favorites of the many photos he took in Provence, at which point, I can only hope, subsequent "Provence posts" will feature Provence more heavily than this silliness.

26 April 2010

Provence, part 1: To market, to market

I laughed when I opened my in-box last Friday and saw an email from Baby Center entitled: "Can you have kids and a vacation?"

Yes, you can! But it might be better if you called it a "trip." The term "vacation" implies not-doing -- vacating one's roles for a week. And with small children, you can't just not-do. They need a lot done! I'd like an occasional vacation with my husband, and lots of trips with my kids.

We had a great trip to Provence the week before last, with Matthew's parents. If a map of France looks like a man wearing a hat, cape, and boots (a Musketeer!) walking with his arms spread wide so that his cape is flowing all around him (maybe? see this map), Provence is his left foot.

We visited a lot of markets (in Lourmarin, Apt, Aix-en-Provence, Isle-sur-la-Sorgue).

Lily did some translating for Matthew's mom and dad when they were trying to purchase some antique bobbins. The vendor was asking them a question they didn't understand, and Lily piped in, "She wants to know what color you want."

She's been kind of shy with her French in the past, not comfortable talking to her French-speaking teacher in front of me, for example. We all praised her up and down for her help in the market, and she has been using it more, mentioning the French name for a certain animal or food.

Please note Soren's Star Wars t-shirt. He recently told me that Star Wars is his favorite movie. He has not seen it. Friends have had some influence. Lily has been playing Star Wars at school. She is Princess Leia. She has not seen it either. I'm not sure how she gets in character. The two of them talk about that short wrinkly green character: "Yogi," they call him. I was thinking Star Wars was an over-age-twelve sort of film. Am I wrong? [OK, maybe not 12, but 8 or 9?] And that I'd let him see The Wizard of Oz for high school graduation.

Clara Bean Imogene Jelly Bean, the Wombat, is a lucky turkey to have these two older sibs. I tell her that a lot. Then when she is wounded by one of them, I remind them that they are lucky to have her, and they ought to act like they know it.

But a lot of the time they do act like they know it.

19 April 2010

Ashes, ashes

Matthew's parents arrived just before Easter for a visit. We went to Provence with them! We didn't have A Year in Provence, just A Week in Provence. It was beautiful (photos to come) and relaxing. It also provided an opportunity for us to expose more of our extended family to our less-than-ideal family functioning while traveling via car (please see here for further explanation), but Don and Deb were graceful to us in it all.

Now they have the great joy(?) of experiencing extended exposure to our home life due to the volcano. They were scheduled to leave last Saturday, got their tickets switched to tomorrow (Tuesday), and learned tonight that that flight has been canceled. They'll be leaving Friday morning at the earliest.

I joked over the weekend that they should check the blog for my most recent post, titled, "Please pray for me! My in-laws' visit has been extended!", but, good grief, I'm shushed away from sinkfuls of dirty dishes and scooted out the door for a bike ride (including cafe stop) with Matthew for what was, I believe, the only bike ride just the two of us have taken since having kids, and definitely the first time I've even been on a bike since we did a triathlon in 2007.

(The bike was my least favorite portion of the tri. Afterward, we were sent to a website with photos of us along the route. I thought I looked borderline tough finishing the swim, but then I saw the bike photo. I was smiling broadly, seemingly unaware that a competition was occurring. I should have had a basket and a bell on that bike.)

We haven't seen them in a year so we are just enjoying the extra time with them. I had to laugh when I read to the kids tonight a chapter in the Little House books about a really rude hostess. Mrs. Brewster slammed dishes, shouted at her husband, and flat-out ignored horrified, shy Laura. I'll take this as a message and mind my behavior here.