Wednesday, January 30, 2008

THROW ME SOME MUD, MISTER!

Mardi Gras season is here in southern Louisiana, and the parades are in full promenade! Laurel participated in her first parade today at her preschool. She was officially a part of the Krewe of Royalty. Her class has been learning about kings and queens and the letter "K" this week. Mom and Brant came to watch the festivities and catch a few beads. They did not anticipate the crowds, though, and arrived a little too late to avoid trouble. By the time they pulled up to the parade route (the school parking lot), most visible spots were taken. Maren turned into a grass lot across the street already occupied by at least 20 parade goers with the same idea. While driving in the grass, or more appropriately, "mud" lot, the van stopped well before the desired destination. After a few useless attempts to get the van out of the mess, Maren put the van in park and headed to the parade.

Laurel did a great job throwing beads and candy, as did all the other participators. Brant was tired, but managed to muster some energy to pick up the scattered tootsie rolls and Hershey's kisses. After the fun, Laurel's teacher graciously allowed Brant to follow the rest of the class to the classroom, permitting Maren time to deal with the quagmire. Thank goodness for a group of strong construction workers and a friend of the family. Maren stayed mud-free in the van, while the charitable men sacrificed their clean clothes to push the van to drier ground. Apparently, after the Cupit ordeal, a truck dropped into a sinkhole in the same area. A bad day is certainly relative to perspective, isn't it?Seen above: The van on dry ground. Two car washes later, it's still not completely clean!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

GROOVE GOES STIFF

At a recent wedding, one of Maren's worst fears seemed to be happening before her eyes...her groove was gone. Once upon a time, not too very long ago, she approached the dance floor with self-confidence and energy. Rhythm was easy; dance was easier. In fact, while dancing, she seemed to forget about other insecurities while the music lightened her mood. Maybe it took a few songs to warm up, but before long, she felt at ease. So now she wonders, where did it go? Where is that blithe attitude? Where is the smooth movement? Surely someone came in the night and snatched them away as an unavoidable payment for momdom. Maybe this is evidence that any talent, no matter how innate, can fall to the wayside if left alone. In the absence of church dances, occasional dance club outings, and even Jazzercise, the dance fever has been replaced by stiff awkwarditis. Maybe it can be cured. Maybe more daytime dances with toddlers to Wiggles songs will help. If that fails, Maren says she will resort to radio dance parties when no one else is watching.

Monday, January 28, 2008

MEGA STAR TAKES LEAP OF FAITH

Superstar Brad Pitt has spent a sizable amount of time and resources in the hurricane ravaged 9th Ward of New Orleans, attracting plenty of media attention. But let the Chronicle be the first to break the news of his leadership in the local 1st Ward of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Yesterday, a new bishopric was sustained. The stake president announced, "Br. Brad A. Pitt" as 1st Counselor. The congregation laughed heartily, certainly wondering how such a good-looking, media-adored heart throb with several small children and a GORGEOUS companion, could possibly commit to the requirements of the calling. Perhaps Br. Pitt's new position will increase the attendance records and conversion rates. But ladies beware, Pitt's wife pledges to take out anyone who gets too close!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

FOOD: DINNER SAVORED BY DAD

For those of our readers looking for a fast new recipe, give this easy one a try. It was certainly loved in the Cupit house. Maren had a hard time saving some for Brad's later arrival. The tomato paste is a little difficult to mix in, so just keep stirring or add a little water. "If you add the salad dressing in early with the tomato paste," Maren says, "just add a few more splashes at the end."

Sunday, January 13, 2008

FATHER FEARS FUTURE

Several evenings ago in the Cupit house, family story time was underway. The book of choice for the night was a new truck book, a Christmas present from Aunt Jane. Things were moving along. The children were taking turns peeking in the windows of the interactive pages. On the last page, the book instructs the reader to match a picture of a real person to the correct truck. For example, there is a picture of a female police officer that matches a police emergency truck. One of the pictures features a fireman. Laurel pointed to his picture and said, "He's cute!" Brad perked up in a flash. "What did she say?!?" He admitted that he did not like the way that made him feel. The teenage years are going to be rough on him. Thank goodness that's more than a few years down the road.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

TWO BETTER THAN ONE

After an unusually long struggle to get him to sleep, Brant finally settled down in his sister's bedroom last night. Maren hopes this becomes a permanent change, so that the crib can relocate to the attic, and Brant's room can adopt all the toys currently in the living room. It figures that one of the only nights that Brant has ever been difficult to put to sleep was the night the LSU Tigers played in the BCS National Championship. When Maren was in the bedroom rocking Brant (for the 3rd time), she heard whisper-shouts and dancing feet coming from the TV room. A series of quiet "yeah-baby"s followed. Brant heard it too. He has learned a new phrase now.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

SNOW ACTIVITIES DRAW SMILES

The Rocky Mountains received a good helping of snow over the Christmas holidays. Apparently, Salt Lake City got more than they have in a LONG time! Some visitors from Louisiana learned new skills in the driving-in-snow department. Laurel and Brant did some great snow-only activities. The short squaty snowman was harder to make than it appears...powdery snow just doesn't pack well. However, it packs well enough to throw a few sneaky snowballs at the snowman makers! A mother just can't resist.

Laurel, Brad and Maren all made it down a few hills on the sled. Judging by smile-size, Laurel and Daddy had the most fun. Laurel was super brave and had the biggest shriek when she caught air over a man-made bump on the run. Brant was enjoying himself until a face-plant in the snow scared him, and he decided that was enough.




CHANGE OF ADDRESS REACHES SANTA IN TIME



Santa came to the right house for the Cupits this year. Thank goodness! He sure did make two little Cupit kiddos happy. The loot included Laurel's never forgotten skates (seen below in demo by brother), snow suits and boots, a fairy princess dress with musical light up wand, an elephant with sound, a motorcycle, a large Elmo, and lots of books and magnetic playsets. Someone must have told Santa that Mommy needs help occupying the kids at church! Santa also brought Surf's Up, but upon parental review this one might be stored out of reach for a few years. Surprisingly, Brant's favorite gift was a set of Pixar figurines that don't "do" anything. All week on vacation, Brant had them within sight. The whole family heard him ask throughout the day, "Where's Woody? Where's Sully? Where's Incredibles?" Santa, along with mom and dad and aunt and grandparents blessed the Cupit kids with wonderful new toys and plenty of joy.

PLANE TRIP SUCCESSFUL

To begin the Christmas vacation to the maternal grandparents' house, the Cupit family painlessly survived a long set of plane rides. Thanks to new Christmas presents received the night before at the paternal grandparents' (including a portable DVD player for Mom), the day was adventurous and full of smiles. Laurel especially loved riding the sky link at DFW. Brant was mesmerized by his favorite DVD, The Incredibles . He also played a very long time with a Thomas the Train clingy stickers book. Maren was thrilled with his enjoyment of removing the trains and accessories and putting them back again. Finally, near the end of the plane ride, both kids conked out. A few minutes later, they were wide awake and begging to go out in the snow outside the luggage carousel. It seemed to Maren like the snow continued the entire week long visit. What a great experience for the kids!


SANTA AND MRS CLAUS SPREAD LOCAL CHEER


The powers that be in the Cupit neighborhood have some impressive connections. Saturday morning before Christmas, the Cupit van drove by the neighborhood entrance and saw Santa and his sweet wife waving merrily in the median. The family pulled off and parked to let the kids have a face to face visit. Laurel still mentions that Santa came to the grass on the street in her neighborhood.