Sunday, January 25, 2009

FATHER BANISHED FROM HOME

"Whoa, here she comes. Watch out boys she'll chew you up!" She seems so precious and pink. Such a sweet little princess not capable of uttering words meant to find their target like a heat-seaking missile. But, oh, beware.

Tonight, after playing a tug-of-war game with her father and landing on her bottom after Daddy let go, she let out some fighting words. "When I get married, Mommy can come to my house, BUT....NOT....YOU!!!!!!!!!"

Hard to believe that innocent little girl pictured at left could have so much fire inside. What words will she choose in the teenage years?

Friday, January 16, 2009

SPOTLIGHT TURNS ON BRANT

Brant equals love. One morning a week he plays with his buddy Dawson, and two days a week he goes to his preschool. The rest of the time he spends with his mom reminding her how much fun it is to have a little boy.

He is a social boy. He and Laurel often play in the backyard while Mom cooks dinner. The driveway gate is closed so the kids stay close. Around this time, some of the older neighborhood kids ride their bikes or walk past the house doing what older kids do. Brant climbs on the gate and shouts to the kids (often while they're still a few houses away), "HI! HI! I'm Brant! I'm two!" HI! HI!" Sometimes the kids try to ignore Brant, but he persists until they return his salutation. Laurel seems to forget about her shyness in these situations and can be just as friendly as Brant.

Brant adores his school and his teachers. They report to his mommy that they adore him, too. However, they also report that Brant has picked the rowdiest kid in class as his best friend. He's been put in timeout a few times by his teacher for following Christopher's trouble-making when it's time to settle down. One day, he and his buddy Christopher were put in time out at the same time. Apparently, the teacher learned that they can't face each other during punishment because they make "monkey faces" at each other and giggle instead of learning their lesson. Brant missed school this Tuesday due to a stomach bug. Upon return on Thursday, the teacher said, "Christopher was gone on Tuesday, too. We had a (pause) quiet day." Ha!

Brant's parents are encouraging him to follow the good kids and listen to his teacher. At the moment, the most effective threat (of course rewards are used as well) is taking away Woody for the night. It works instantaneously.

Brant and Laurel love to be with each other. They like to tell each other secrets. Sometimes Brant tells Mommy and Daddy a secret too. The secret is always the same. He whispers, "Ring the doorbell." Are you curious about the origin of the secret? Laurel is famous for telling Brant to do things that will get either of them in trouble. In addition to the doorbell request, she tells him, "Say poo-poo, Brant." "Say pee-pee." There are plenty of others. The problem is that Brant can't resist. Laurel knows it, too. If she tells him to do it, he's probably going to do it. The next challenge for the parents is trying to keep a straight face during discipline.

Brant is the subject of several nick-names. From birth, the family has loved to call him Brant-i-boo. They've tried to drop it realizing the embarrassing implications to him as an older child, but it's a tough habit to break. The other day, Maren teasingly called him Brant-i-boo-boo. He responded, "Don't call me that Mom. I am just Brant-i-boo." Correction noted. The other favorite nickname is Sausage Biscuit.

Brant wants nothing more in life than to make those around him happy. He asks his mom at least a few times a day, "Are you happy Mom?" To which she sometimes says, "If you give me a hug, I will be happy." Brant is the best hugger around.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

FRIENDSHIP SURVIVES DISTANCE, TIME


Two girls met long ago at Dommerich Elementary School. Though at first just acquaintances, placement in the same fifth grade classroom created a spark. The friendship blossomed and grew. It grew and grew and grew. It grew over bike rides, car rides, even plan rides. It grew from hugs, laughter, tears. The girls went on many adventures together. They went to baseball games, football games, music recitals, tennis lessons, sewing lessons, beach trips, and birthday parties. Now they see each other less often, but the friendship remains. In fact, the love has spread to a new generation. A little girl loves her Aunt Cissy like a family member. She would be so lucky to find her own best friend one day. One as special as her mommy's.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

BOY WORKS LONG AND HARD FOR REWARD

After a way, way, way too long effort, the Cupit boy earned his all-day-with-no-accidents reward tonight: the soccer ball. He was so excited that he asked to sleep with it in his bed tonight. An easy request to grant for the boy that even told his nursery leader he had to go!

Next challenge...can he do it at school on Tuesday?

Saturday, January 3, 2009

TO-DO LIST GETS ATTACKED


The biggest task on the list was marked off today. Brad, under the instruction of Papa K, replaced the kitchen sink faucet. Brant had the chance to use his new Handy Manny tools to help Daddy for a while.

Friday, January 2, 2009

CHRISTMAS HIGHLIGHTS

The season of giving left lots of good memories at the Cupit house. Presented here in no particular order are a few to share:

1. A new tradition of Papa John's pizza on Christmas Eve.
2. Santa brought stocking stuffers for the first time in Maren's life. An old Clifton family tradition stuffs stockings with freebies collected throughout the year from random places. The family always opens the jokes on Christmas Eve.
3. Laurel and Brant's first words upon seeing their Christmas gifts on Christmas morning were complaints about something Santa did wrong! And Maren thought she had it nailed! Oh well, lesson to be learned :)
4. The Woody doll sold on e-bay before Christmas for up to $150 is now available (post-Christmas) at the Disney Store for $19.50!
5. Brad took Maren to see "A Gift for Lyman Burke." It was their first experience at a one-man show, and it was great! He also took her to Celebration Under the Oaks in City Park...wonderful!
6. Laurel and Brant both learned how to sing "Christmas Bells Are Ringing." So cute, especially the Bef-ef-la-hem part.
7. Brad and Maren broke their vow to go to bed early on Christmas Eve. Perhaps it's impossible with anxious small children and the to-do list doesn't get started until 9:30 pm.
8. Per Brad's request, Christmas breakfast was cinnamon rolls.
9. Laurel left reindeer food outside for the reindeer. No one else in the family even knew she had any. She reminded her parents before she went to sleep that she had it in her backpack from school.
10. Sometimes toys with moving, battery-operated parts are not as good as stationary, use-your-imagination toys.
11. Maren had a great experience with her friend Allison on the eve of Christmas Eve secret Santa shopping for a needy child. It was hard work and exhausting finding the right items, but completely rewarding knowing that she would have something to wake up to.
12. Laurel was so excited about her new Sleeping Beauty costume that she wore it almost all day, even to family dinner down in New Orleans. What a princess!

13. Brant played equally with all of his new toys, even bringing as many as possible into his bed with him at night.
14. The Tom-Tom was the perfect gift for Maren.
15. Papa K and Gigi's homemade puppet theater was outstanding and completely over the top.

16. Between Brad, Maren, and Papa K, at least two family members were able to be at each child's school Christmas party on the same day. How do parents with more than two children do it?

17. Daddys still like boy toys and may accidentally break one in the excitement. Don't worry, he replaced it the next day. With a little repair for Darth Vader's sword, there can now be daily light saber battles between good and evil.


Surely, there are plenty more things that would come to mind at a more thought-conducive hour, but for now enjoy a couple more photos from Christmas day.


The bottom two pictures were taken at the night's end at Mamie's house. Laurel had fun scooting around in the wheel-chair. It's always a hoot when the Cupit boys get together and start reminiscing about stories of mattresses on the front lawn and bicycle trips across major highways to pickup a pizza.