Friday, February 22, 2013

boy in a toy

I have seriously contemplated whether or not to post this entry, for fear that a letter might arrive in the mail someday nominating me for a "'worst mother of the year" award. However, I just can't resist, so I suppose I will take my chances.

On a day when the kids were out of school--probably one of the last days of winter break, we had to run an errand or two and ended up at Target (which happens to have a nifty mall entrance).

As soon as we enter the store, Joseph sees the mall play structure and of course wants to play. Being the great brothers that they are, Porter and James plead to take him to the structure while I grab the four or five items we came for. The mall is pretty quiet on weekdays and the play area looks relatively empty. Seeing as there are two of them to keep an eye on one child, I decide to let them go ahead. Brooks and Mae want to go as well, but I insist that this would be pushing it a little.

So, fast forward ten minutes. I quickly buy my items and step out into the mall area just in time to see J and P look at each other and then look at me with a look no mother wants to see: the "he-was-just-here-a-second-ago" look.

Immediately, I head into the neighboring arcade--the one I had warned them repeatedly Little Joe likes to try and escape to. He is nowhere!! Attempting to avoid complete panic, I instruct the big bros that they'd better get shaking it down the mall corridor until the child is found.

They haven't even taken five steps, though, when some 14-year-old boy in the arcade says,"uh, you lookin' for your little brother?" Before we can respond to the obvious, he points to a ball machine.

This ball machine to be exact.

So, the shocker is that the child is not playing WITH the game/toy, but is actually INSIDE of it!! Yep, inside.

Apparently his little body is a perfect fit for this prize door.

As well as this little walled area in the bottom left corner (he never quite made it into the actual balls--although I'm certain that was his intended destination).

The worst part of the story is that as I'm telling all of my kiddos, who want to burst out laughing, that this is not even a little bit funny, I'm secretly contemplating how terrible a mother I would be if I pull out my camera and snap a few shots before rescuing my two-year-old from this hilarious predicament (hilarious only because he's safe and entirely oblivious to the fact that little boys should not actually be inside arcade toys).

Turns out, though, I don't get the chance. The 14-year-old must have ratted us out, and the manager (presumably) is at our side unlocking the front entrance to the toy ... in complete silence. Apparently he doesn't even want to know how this whole mess occurred.

Moral of the story?? I'll let you come up with that on your own. I'm sure there are dozens!

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from india with love

This year we spent Valentines Day without the dad of the house. Kevin had to leave a couple of days before the celebration of LOVE for a ten-day work tour in India (India post to follow, I'm sure!).

So, that said, knowing K would be gone on the actual day, Mae started off the holiday very early--as in February 1st--with a full-house heart attack (small paper hearts all over the walls and cupboards), and this little beauty at the neighborhood park ...

Close ups:) ...

The actual evening of V-day, we had our traditional heart-shaped pizza dinner, and then P and J took off for a 3-on-3 b-ball tournament, while Mae stayed home decorating cookies and playing with a friend she'd been wanting to have over for quite some time.

Kevin and I are not huge Valentine's Day people. I really consider it to be more a day for the kids then anything else. However, Kevin does always have something thoughtfully delivered to me. I figured with him gone oversees this year, he would get a break from having to arrange a gift. But lo and behold, a ring at the doorbell and a heavy square package later, I had a large tin full of some fifty Mrs. Fields mini cookies to munch on (and share with the kiddos) during the week-and-a-half he would be away. Yum-O.

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Friday, February 15, 2013

wrestling collage

Well, some wrestlers are still gearing up for state tournament, but we at the Dueck house are officially finished with stinky gyms and early-morning weigh ins (albeit, just for the season). So, I thought it was time to throw up a montage of pictures from the last few months.

Warm up time ...

Individual shots ...

This one of Brooks has given us many moments of intense laughter. His look here kind of sums up the season for him. Love this kid!

Wrestling bros.

The kids all did a really good job!

James took first in the intermediate category of every tournament/round robin he entered (next year ... time for advanced group).

Never thought I'd have a daughter wrestling, but Mae did great for her first year! Took first in the beginner's category of one tournament as well (the only one she entered in this category). Now she's just wondering how much longer we're going to make her do this;). Sorry, Miss. The things one is subjected to in a family of boys!! And with a dad who loves wrestling season:).

Awesome medal!

Porter made it on to jv and was able to continue wrestling through divisions! Good job, bud.

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Thursday, February 14, 2013

brother love

Just a couple of cute shots of cute brothers doing cute things.

What a good big brother to get this little guy all dressed up!

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daddy dates

One thing's for sure, we love our daddy! He's just plain fun ... and funny. The kids especially love their turn for a date/one-on-one with Dad whenever the opportunity arises.

So far this year, Brooks opted for a trip to the Spaghetti Factory. Kev and I brought home Italian soda glasses for the older boys after our trip to San Diego, and ever since then, Brooks has wanted one pretty badly. He was even sweet enough to bring a glass home for his sister.  Not to mention the not-so-fun parking ticket he brought home this date too...oh well, it was worth it!

And Mae went for lunch at Panera Bread ...

And some time at Build-a-Bear workshop (to use a gift certificate from our lovely Isabelle). I hear she got some serious compliments on her rockin' red beret!

Dads are the best!!:)

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to: dad and mom:)

Speaking of ms. creative, I suppose I should have included this with the last post. Kevin and I headed out for a quick dinner date a few weeks ago, and arrived home to this little bit of sweetness ...

Love it!!

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ms. creative

Mae is one creative chick. She is always drawing or making something, and definitely has the skill of her Auntie Heidi, G-ma D, etc. Last year she won second place in the primary division of our school district's PTA cultural arts competition (Reflections), and this year came out with first place. So proud of her!

Here she is in front of several of the top pieces from our school, including her own (happy couple on the right).

Out of all that she creates, though, my favorite pieces are her many sketches of our family!

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new years

We finished off 2012 with a family party and sleepover at Grandma & Grandpa's house. They returned from their trip just in time to celebrate the new year! We had a great time watching movies, eating lots of yummy food, and, of course, staying up late. Probably not as late as most, though. I think by 10:00 we were all (that is, the grown ups were all) pretty ready for bed, so 12:15 or so was definitely our limit.

Here's to a great new year!!

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Wednesday, February 13, 2013


After OMSI, we cruised back "home" and quickly dropped off the three youngest (Grandpa was busy at work, but Grandma was so nice to babysit!), so we could rush back into town to watch the Blazers play the Sacramento Kings.

Blazers had a great game. Kings, not so much. But let's face it, we were really just there to see Jimmer anyhow, so who's keeping track??:) Other than the obnoxious (yet, slightly amusing) Jimmer-hater a few rows over, we had a great time!!

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Tuesday, February 12, 2013


Day two in Portland: we got up and ventured to OMSI (Oregon Museum of Science and Industry). Super fun place with sooo much to do. We knew we wouldn't have time for everything (big plans for that night), but we were able to spend a few hours exploring and having a great time--mostly in just a few areas of the "museum".

Ball thingamajig section ...

Tornado Alley IMAX show ...

Grossology exhibit (super gross;-) ...

And hands-on Discovery play zone.

So much fun! Really a great place to visit. Gotta love the grandparent season pass!!

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