Sunday, August 28, 2011

How to Annoy TLC During Summer Vacation

This is the time of year that kids bemoan the start of school and full-time Moms shout for joy. I doubt any mother will celebrate as much as The Lovely Cynthia (TLC). Having a newborn the entire summer, and trying to entertain two rambunctious boys has proven to be too difficult.

The boys' solution for all the extra games! The boys (and I) have enjoyed bonding through a number of games on the Wii and computer throughout the summer months. Only one problem: TLC hates video games. So this list shows the games that have ticked off Mommy the most.

Angry Birds

Die, pigs, DIE!!! Most have this one on their phones, we have it on the PC. We got this just about a month ago, and I'm sure it will take a while to get through the 900 or so levels. We paid 5 bucks, and have probably spent 30 combined hours on it.

Kirby's Epic Yarn

This game is undeniably cute. Everything is drawn in a way to look like textiles; every level is like a work of art. Kirby's typical vacuum abilities are replaced by the ability to transform into various vehicles and it's a refreshing change. I was slightly disappointed that the game is solidly aimed at kids, but the boys LOVE it. We bought it for $25, and the boys have probably spent a combined 100+ hours. Kirby has replaced Scooby-Doo as the most played Wii game.


Tinker is a simple puzzle game with great classic visuals and soundtrack. A tiny robot overcomes a variety of obstacles to reach a goal with a limited number of moves. I've liked this game because the boys really test their problem solving skills. Sometimes the boys come up with the solutions before I do. We got this game from the Xbox Marketplace (previously Games for Windows Marketplace) for the low, low cost of $0, and have so far spent about 18 combined hours.

Viva Pinata
This game is the inspiration for this list, principally because IT NEVER ENDS! I can't tell you how many arguments TLC has had with 'the men' over this game. It's an open-ended game where you build gardens full of candy-filled-anthropomorphic-animal pinatas. As the game involves 'romancing' pinatas to produce babies, the boys have had fun educating us on the birds and bees. All the pinatas are named after candy so a bee is called a Buzzlegum, a lion is a Roario, a bat is a Sherbat, etc. This is the first game that I've gotten all the achievements on's fun! We bought it for $1 on the Xbox Marketplace, and have probably spent 150 combined hours.

Civilization V

Civilization is one of my weaknesses in life. I have owned all five and have wasted many an hour on them all. I still remember one summer that I was playing Civ II; I played until 2am one night when I passed out and then woke up at 6am and immediately resumed play. I'm not that bad anymore, but geez, I love this game. Civ V is greatly streamlined over its predecessors, which works well for me because I don't like all that micromanaging anyway. I do miss a few elements of Civ IV, but this is by far my favorite in the series. Cost was $40, Steam tells me I've played 61 hours. (To my credit, most of that time was when the family was away last summer)

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Brexton and Davis

Davis is two months old now. I guess I should start posting some pics of him, especially because I've had requests for more baby pics.

We have had a very busy summer 'round these parts. We have had visits from Gpa & Gma, Craig & Terrisa, and Mark & Celeste. At one point we had 12 people sleeping in our 2-bedroom apartment. Yowza. We all really enjoyed seeing so many's a rare treat that won't happen again for quite some time.

One cousin in particular, Brexton, seemed to be ecstatic to meet baby Davis.

There they are together. Brexton (who is just under 2 years old) was all about giving "hugs" to Davis. I say "hugs" because Brexton would just put his hands on Davis' shoulders and call it good. Any time Davis cried and someone picked him up, Brexton would hold both of his arms up to Davis in an attempt to give a comforting hug; it was pretty cute. Brexton will be getting a baby sister in January - I'm sure he'll be a good big bro.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Kids Say the Darndest Things, Part IV

Whenever we collect 12 or more sidebar quotes from the boys, the oldest ten are archived into a post. You can find the previous editions in the following links: Part I  Part II  Part III

Carter - "I'm rich with cookies!"
Carter is always thinking about money and wealth. It's kind of bizarre. We made a batch of chocolate chip cookies and this was his way of saying that we had a lot of cookies.

Carter - "My watch isn't water-proof; it's dry-proof."
I love the way kids think in terms of opposites.

Jordan - "What if meat was meant to make strong buildings?"
Jordan is a little philosopher. 'What if' is one of his favorite games. I really wonder where he was going with this one though. Doesn't sounds very pleasant...Carrion Tower?
Jordan - "Mommy, sometimes I'm having such a good day that I like to think about my life and how special it is."
I think this quote is an older one - maybe as old as two years ago. But it made us happy enough to write it down on a sheet of paper in our car when it happened...and here it is.
Carter - "If we have a kid I would name him 'Plain Jane' "
Jordan and Carter had lots of opinions on naming Davis. Jordan HATED the name Davis for a while. Carter wanted to name him "Carter". When we shot that down, Plain Jane was his next choice. This was before we knew that we were having a boy; when Carter says 'kid', he means a boy. Heaven knows what his choice was for a girl.

Jordan - "Did you know if you eat a real eyeball it would be pretty gross?"
Jordan the philosopher, again. He'll usually say a statement like this and then open his eyes really wide while nodding up and down, as if to say, "I know exactly what I'm talking about!"

Jordan - "The caterpillars will turn into raccoons!"
Hmm...Biology 101, according to a first-grader. I'm sure he meant cocoon, but it was still perplexing.

Jordan - "Eeek! He rains toys and stuff."
Carter and Jordan were playing. Carter filled his pants and shirt with small toys. He then walked over to Jordan and opened his shirt and pants to make everything fall out. This was Jordan's honest (and slightly stunned) reaction.

Carter - "Marshmallow power is REAL!"
Every little boy believes he has super powers. Apparently Carter acquires them when he eats Lucky Charms.

Daddy - "Do you want chicken or gnocchi for dinner?" Carter - "What's chicken?"
We've probably had more positive responses to this quote than any other. What's really strange about this exchange is that Carter doesn't like gnocchi and chicken nuggets are his favorite! It was just one of those funny 'brain fail' moments that will never be duplicated. Also, how many 5-year-old boys know what gnocchi is? Good eats at the Hedgecock's.

Niner, Niner

I'm starting to get the distinct impression that Cyn and I are starting to age. We marked our ninth anniversary last week (hooray, us!). It doesn't seem that long ago that we met...unless you compare the pictures...

August 2002

August 2011

I know that second picture isn't very formal, but we (for whatever reason) don't have very many pictures of just the two of us. Carter took this one, and I'm honestly surprised at how well it turned out. I think we showed more of our natural personalities for the pic because we didn't think the pic would turn out.

We had family over during our anniversary and our initial plan of seeing Les Miserables was unreasonable because of Davis so it was hard to celebrate this year. However, when I came home from work, Cynthia had a cute little dinner set up for us on the balcony. There are nine tea lights on the ledge, one for each year. The idea was to have a private dinner, but Jordan and Carter were intent on foiling that plan. Still, it was a nice family dinner.

For the record, I made a wonderful choice nine years ago. I can't imagine a better lady to happily work through life with. I am deeply in love with her and grateful for the happiness she brings to all around her.

Memorable 4th - Lost at Lost Lake

Yes, this entry is about the fourth of July; I am that far behind.

Be careful what you wish for; it's a true statement. And after our Fourth of July this year, I doubt TLC (The Lovely Cynthia) will ever pray for a 'memorable day' ever again.

TLC's parents were still in town to enjoy Independence Day with us. We lit our fireworks on the 2nd, so we had the entire day to do what we wanted. My Mother-in-Law wanted to go to Mt Hood as it was the last tourist location to mark off on her Oregon list. We decided to find Lost Lake as we'd never been there before and we'd heard that it was a nice spot. Before leaving, TLC said a quick prayer that we would have a memorable trip. Oops.

First mistake: not buying a GPS. Instead, I was burying my head in the Google Maps printouts trying to figure out where my next turn was. This took my attention away from the speedometer, which apparently showed a 45 zone. The ticket was $400, which I tried to get reduced, but couldn't because it was in a Safety Corridor which Oregon law is very strict about. That's two tickets within 6 months; both of which could have been prevented if I had owned a stupid GPS. Guess what I want for Christmas?

Second mistake: approaching Lost Lake (which is on the North side of Mt Hood) from the West side. We had to go though back roads in the forest to get to the lake and we were never quite sure if we were on the correct road. I think we traveled for 12 miles on unpaved and unmarked roads. We were probably lost, but we had to keep pressing on. You could feel the tension in the car. Everyone was doubting whether I'd get them to the destination safely - especially after the speeding ticket I just got.

We did eventually get to Lost Lake though. It was much later in the day than we planned, but we made the best of it.

Jordan and Carter went fishing,

we walked around with the family,

and took some photos of the view. 

Third mistake: not bringing instructions for the drive back home. We thought it would be pretty easy, but as we didn't come in from the North side, we didn't know which roads to take. So, naturally, we got lost AGAIN. I'm pretty sure this is why the lake is named Lost.

This is the video we took when we were lost the second time. It's not extremely interesting, but it does show the kinds of scary roads we were lost on.

One bright spot though was that we got to see Mt Adams for the first time. What a beautiful place we live in.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Tooth Fairy Knocks Twice

Carter lost his first tooth. I can't tell you how excited he has been for this day. Ever since he saw a certain episode of Tiny Toons where Dizzy gets cash for a tooth, he has realized that losing teeth can be a lucrative source of revenue. I think he secretly wishes that every tooth would fall out today; Carter is extremely financially minded and would do almost anything to gain the filthy lucre.

I made a big mistake this time. In our home, we have to "call" the Tooth Fairy on the phone and 'schedule a delivery' to appease the boys (it's a long story). I "called" the Tooth Fairy but then I FORGOT TO DELIVER! Carter was absolutely distraught the next day. I must do better next time.

Well, that makes two boys actively losing teeth. Those orthodontia bills are so close it scares me.

Money, money, money, moneeeeeyyy! MONAAAA-aay!


This is my paternal grandmother, Cinda Lenore Hedgecock, or "Ma" as I grew up calling her. She passed away July 11th, and I miss her. I haven't seen her in many years and I regret not having a chance to show her my young family again.

In 18 months I have lost both my grandmothers and I took Ma's passing especially hard. Two notes to all you readers out there: Facebook is a terrible way to spread news of someone's passing, and ALWAYS have a funeral to provide closure for loved ones.

My favorite memories of Ma are all times when we had one on one time; a day birdwatching together, a long chat over the phone when I was 16, the many times she pointed out my good qualities, etc. Though the distance in miles was great between us for most of my life, I know she cared about me and my development. I guess that's why grandmas are so wonderful.

I wish I had a chance to pay my respects to her. But this post will have to do. When I heard the news, I went home early and picked up peaches, Oreos, and Fig Newtons - all items that remind me of Ma. We ate them together as I shared stories to the boys of their great-grandmother.