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Thursday, December 10, 2009

I'm One...

-Laughing at me means "do it again," so unless you're prepared for me to stick my finger up your nose a million times in a row, you better keep a straight face
- I get enough energy out of eating a half cup of milk, a chunk of styrofoam ball, carpet lint, and a handful of cheeri-os to fuel me for HOURS, so no need to keep trying to feed me that crap you eat all the time.
- I do not have time for diaper changes, so you may as well let me go commando or your going to have to have the energy to put up a good fight. Maybe you should go chew on a styrofoam ball a bit first, Mom.
- I think veggies are best for decorating the kitchen walls.
- I confidently defy gravity (as long as Mommy is there to catch me by the leg) as I launch myself off couches.
- If you pass a door, you better be prepared to take me outside or I'm pitching a fit.
- When you kiss me, just remember, I just licked the diaper pail, so that's what that funny smell on my lips is.
- I am the cutest human being alive, and don't you forget it!

Why I need to work harder at teaching the kids...

We've been working on a unit on trees for school, and it's been great. There's just so many interesting lessons that can come from this subject, like learning about all the neat things made from trees. I thought things were going swimmingly, until Ryan asked the kids a review question tonight at dinner...
"What are some things made from trees?"
"Plastic!," my not-so-attentive darlings shouted.
Ryan's response, "Baby girls, next time Mommy teaches you something new, maybe we might want to fact check her first." (As Mommy rolls her eyes at Daddy)

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

New Photos




Mom took these photos recently. I think I'm in love! I could look at them all day with stars in my eyes over how cute my kids are... gush, gush.

Happy Birthday to My Sweet Boy!!




























videoMy baby is 1 today... time has flown by so swiftly. He's gone from a squirmy ball of diapered squeals to a silly, smart, sweet little boy. He toddles around the house now, so proud he can walk, and even talks a little. No, he doesn't say "Momma" or "Daddy," but you show the boy a dog or a duck and he'll shout it from the mountaintops that he knows what they are. And for his first birthday present to me he decided to sleep thru the night... all the way thru from 7 to 6:30, and he's even playing happily in his crib right now rather than fussing for attention right away. Let's pray that one sticks. Thankfully, despite the day, he's still a baby to me in so many ways. Like in the video, he still prefers Mommy over most foods, he's still baby-cuddly, and he's still got that adorable innocence I want to hold onto with everything I've got so it won't slip away. Bubby-boy, we love you with all our hearts and ALL of us are so glad you're a part of our little family. Happy first birthday, little man.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

New Recipe

Tonight I set out to make spaghetti for my little brood while waiting for Ryan to get home from work. I chopped the onions and peppers, opened the can of mushrooms, and defrosted the beef, only to find out that we're out of crushed tomatos for the sauce. Sooooo, I got out the kidney beans and stewed tomatos and cheese to add to the mix instead to make a concoction we've put together before which is served over macaroni noodles or penne... then I found out we were out of both noodle staples. Sooooo, out came the rice. Ryan phoned a moment later to say he was just getting out of work and going to be late. I told him what I was putting together and warned him not to get his hopes up about dinner because I was inventing a new dish. I described it and said I thought it was going to probably be nasty, but it was a hodgepodge of all the ingredients we had left in the cupboard until he can get to the store. He then replied, "Oh, I know what that dish is called!"
"You do?"
He said "Yes, it's an old recipe that has been made by mothers for children all over the world... it's called, 'shut up and eat it and pretend you like it'."
When the dish was served, the kids asked what it was called, and rather than tell them what Ryan suggested, I told them the dish has no name, and offered to let them name it. Hannah brightened, "Let's call it 'Frank'!"
And so, Frank it is.

Who's da Man?!


Caleb has finally learned how to get the upper hand on his sisters... yesterday Sarah decided to play in the laundry basket, and before you know it he had crawled up on top, and perched himself proudly. He was tickled to death at trapping big sis beneath him. Did Mom swoop in to save her little darling girl? Nope, I grabbed the camera :)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Suuuuper Hannah!

On the ride in the car heading toward home:
Hannah: "Look Sarah, I made the sky blue!"
Sarah: "How?"
Hannah: "You just wink your eyes like this" (Squinting)
Sarah: "I can't do that"
Hannah: "It's neat... look, see the sky is blue now"
Sarah: "GENIUS!" (Laughing and shaking her head)

Hah!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Bizarre Foods


This month seems to be Ryan's month. He just cracks me up when he's in charge of the kids. He's an awesome daddy, but he does things very differently than I would. Food, for instance. Me, I make mac n cheese when I want my kids to have a special lunch. Meanwhile, Daddy had the kids yesterday, so he did it his way. He took them to the Asian market, purchased some bluefish, then served it to the kids. Not so wierd... but wait... he served them the WHOLE fish. Head and all. I got home and was regailed with stories of how my sweet babies ate fish eyes, cheeks, and head parts... EWW! And to top it off, I had to look impressed rather than disgusted because who am I to disdain a dish often considered a wonderful delicacy in other countries? I want them to have varied palates, but this is just SICK!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Growing up


Caleb had a banner day yesterday. He said his 2nd and 3rd words (1st was Dog, but only because Daddy heard it... it's never been repeated for me), which were "Kix" and "Ball"... my son practically lives off the breakfast cereal Kix, and while the girls were playing keep away with their ball with him, he said "Ball" over and over, sending the girls squealing with joy at their having taught him a word. Also, he started standing on his own unsupported and even tried to take a step (unsuccessfully). He's getting so big and reminds me more of a boy and less of a baby every day. He has 7 teeth now, going on 8. What a sweet, cool kid, and so self entertained. Sometimes I have to go looking for him during the day when he's downstairs because he'll just head off on his own to play. It's really so neat to see him growing!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Why Ryan Rocks...

My hubby is batting a thousand these days. We celebrated our 7th anniversary on Friday night (our anniversary is really on Monday, but who celebrates on a Monday?), and he took me out for a lovely dinner at a fusion tapas-style restaraunt in Portsmouth that served the best food EVER (called Still, for the local readers). We got to take a nice walk downtown afterwards in the beautiful fall air, then after getting into the car we noticed the radio was playing our wedding song- too cool. The night could not have been more perfect.
Then, on Saturday I had my first day back at work... I was sooo nervous about leaving Caleb for the day since he's super attached and still won't take a bottle. Then, when my workday extended from 6 hours to 8 hours due to unexpected evaluations I needed to write before leaving, I was so worried I'd come home to a screaming baby and a frazzled Daddy. Moreover, when I got in I found my kitchen spotless, fresh home-made donuts on the table, the kids were getting out of the tub while Ryan was dressing a freshly-washed Bubby-boy (what we call Caleb). Come to find out, the day went perfectly smoothly... so much in fact that I had to ask myself if it's just me imagining that my days with the kids alone are really that hard (to which I answered myself, "duh, yes!"). Ryan ended up making a pudding (as only Ryan can) out of Caleb's formula and feeding him that mixed with fruit, which he apparantly loved because when I got home looking forward to feeding him he only wanted a snack from Mommy, leaving me asking for someone to find me another hungry baby so I could get the milk out (I detest pumping!). The girls said they had a great day, too, and loved making donuts with Daddy. I had to laugh because my Hubby can't just settle for simple things- no, he goes all out and makes donuts, and not just the frosted ones, but frosting-filled gnasch-topped ones and cinnimon twists. So way to go Daddy, you get several gold stars for taking excellent care of my little ones and letting me come home to a clean house, too! Add dessert (donuts) to the mix, and you had a happy Mommy on Sat. night.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

How an engineer dries hair...


Ryan bathed the girls tonight and dried their hair afterward... I caught this pic - Ryan's commentary..."I was just trying to speed up the drying process"

He said Sarah's hair dried twice as fast after Hannah's hair was dried. It was a really cute moment. Look at Hannah's face, like a puppy trying to figure out something strange it's seen- "Mommy, what's the deal here?"

Friday, September 25, 2009

Cookies


My kids really know which side their bread is buttered on. This morning we've been really busy, so I wanted to take a nice break and have some fun, and offered to bake some cookies with them. They got really excited, but then paused. "Mommy, are you going to make cookies like Daddy does?" "Yeah, sure... sorta. Well, I can't promise it'll be as good as Daddy's, but I'll try."

So we baked the cookies and they had a great time. Unfortunately, though, 3 out of the 4 dozen had to be thrown out because they were terrible! I'm not sure if I forgot an ingredient or just haven't calibrated the oven right to change over to convection oven settings, but they looked like flat soupy-in-the-middle and burnt-on-the-outside-and-bottom messes. They actually had holes after baking... what kind of cookies have holes in them?! The girls' follow-up commentary: "Mommy, can we make cookies with Daddy next time instead?"... sad thing was, I couldn't take offense because they were sooooo right. I need to leave the baking up to Daddy.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Sandy Screamers...















































We headed to the beach today. I had promised the girls they could go all summer, saying that once it cooled down and the big kids went back to school they could head to the beach. Well yesterday I gave them a choice; they could head to the beach or the Botanical Gardens, and they enthusiastically chose the beach. Thus far, they've been to the beach less than a handfull of times, and each time they refused to even approach the water and screamed bloody murder each time we attempted to creep near the shore. Since the last time was over a year ago, though, I hoped for better luck. NOPE.
We met with my buddy Holly and her preschool age gang of cuties, Linda, Ryleigh, and Jack, who all LOVED every minute of their time there. Caleb enjoyed himself, too, and I learned that to babies, sand must taste much better than their baby food, because he was loading it into his mouth hand over fist! First we played at the park structure at tenth street, but we headed to the shoreline at all of the kids' insistance (including mine), so I was hopeful. Alas, as we approached the water, they dipped their toes in for a moment, showed a fleeting smile, and then Hannah lost her balance and landed on her butt in an inch of water. They then BOTH then proceeded to scream bloody murder and throw a hissy fit as if we'd dipped them in acid. We never did get Hannah into the water (except for the few moments I tried the "just throw her in and let her see it won't kill her" approach... unsuccessfully), but Sarah did allow me to hold her hand whilst she clutched my leg for dear life... she stayed in for about 2 minutes and then announced she was done, too. They sat there in the sand watching their three friends and Holly and Caleb and I play for about 20 minutes, after which time we ate lunch up on the boardwalk.
So all told, they spent about 30 minutes at the park structure, much of which was spent in either time-out (Hannah) or begging to go in the water, less than 3 minutes in the water, and the rest of the time either eating or sitting watching others have fun. After loading them in the car to go home, their first comments were:
Sarah: "Mommy, I wish we could spend all day long at the beach"
Hannah: "Yeah Mommy. Someday we can go back to the beach again?"

Huh? We're these the same children sitting screaming on the shoreline just moments ago?

Fat chance, kiddos... as they say, fool me once...

Maybe next year. Thanks to Holly and the kids, though, for meeting us. I don't think I could have managed the three without their help, and I'm really glad her kids had a great time :)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

First day of school!!


Those of you who know me really well know I am so stinkin' excited about this... we started homeschool preschool yesterday for the girls. We're using the Horizon's curriculum by Alpha Omega and so far, I love it. It centers the entire week's learning around a bible lesson and a key bible verse... this week, it's Genesis 1:1. The girls are learning about creation, the letters A and B (this is more of a refresher... we get to the phonics lessons in a couple weeks after a quick breeze thru recognition of the letters), the no. 1, as well as learning their address, 911 procedures/safety lessons, and lots more. We're having a blast so far. I think the girls really enjoy the focused attention from me and the special activities that go with each lesson. They (unprompted) thanked God for school yesterday before dinner, and that just made it all worth it. I really hope they continue to enjoy learning and school. So far our only trouble spot has been keeping Sarah's energy under wraps during circle time, as she fidgits most of the lesson more than she listens. I'm going to try to incorporate that energy into more action/drama during stories and explanations, though, and hopefully that will help. Hannah, who is normally a stubborn learner, seems to really enjoy this format so far, too. Above is a picture of them with one of their first projects, a letter A formed out of kix and cheerio cereal.

dualing hypochondriacs and other silliness

So Sarah is sick with a cold, and yesterday Hannah bit her tongue badly and so it's been a little sore. Now, they're competing with each other to see who is more pitiful, and each has decided to have the same exact ailments as her sister when one complains. Sarah claims her tongue hurts if Hannah should happen to complain... Hannah says her nose is "tuffy" if Sarah says she doesn't feel well, and manages a few very fake coughs as if to prove to me she's sick. If Sarah gets cold medicine, Hannah MUST have some too, and when denied, throws a fit of hysterical fake coughs to convince me she needs it (with a few fake wheezes to try to get a breathing treatment on top of it, too). I keep warning them, be careful what you wish for, knowing that Hannah will likely soon have the same cold anyway. Pitiful.
On a lighter note, Sarah yesterday asked me the best question: "Mommy, why can't we have a merry go round in our house?"...
Hmm... why, indeed?

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Camping
















Here's a few photos of our most recent trip to Lake Gaston. We call it camping, but it's not really camping... there are no saggy tents, only air conditioned trailors; no leaky canoes, only high-style bass boats; no leafy wipes and piddling behind a tree, but a trailor bathroom with "real" flushing, and a pump out service; no swarms of mosquitos, only hourly baths in bug spray (ok, the mosquitos are still there, but highly pissed at having NO FOOD, with the exception of poor Hannah, who apparantly can't get bug spray to stick to her skin and makes delightful bug fare); no stinky dirty campers, only freshly washed, slightly sticky and overly full-from-too-many-smores faces after visiting the posh bath house; and if you need, there's a laundry facility a short walk nearbye; and did I mention there are not 1, but 3 pools, a baby pool at the "campsite", and a big pool and a children's pool at the campground's center. Am I complaining, NO WAY! I love it. The part that makes it camping for me is there is no TV, no cell service, and we are forced to (gasp!) talk to entertain ourselves in the evenings or play games. And, much to my delight, there is fishing. Here fishy fishy... Mommy needs to land a big one! And no matter what my Dad says, he did not land a 20-some inch bass until he can evidence video or photographic proof :)... next time remember your camera, Dad.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

More fun photos of our weekend...
















Just some more cute pictures... I love how the babies decided to make Uncle Dave their standing platform. Caleb was scared to death of him, but he wouldn't let go because he wanted to stand up and play with Arianna. She just kept trying to play and he couldn't get over touching Uncle Dave. Cute!

Family Fun
















We had a blast this weekend with our family. Ryan's sister Holly, her hubby Dave, and their kids Aiden (2) and Arianna (12 mo) were here visiting, and we got lots of quality time with them. We spent time at the pool at Grandma Judy's house in Sandbridge and went to Norfolk Botanical Garden's children's garden with them, and I think everyone had a wonderful time. Here are some photo highlights... enjoy! I think my favorite is Caleb floating seemingly alone in the pool ("Hello? Any adults out there! Someone must be in charge here?! Can I get a little hand here?"), and sacked out in the stroller after a tough day playing in the water fountains.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Happy Birthday Ryan!!!







Today Ryan turns another year older, and to celebrate, the girls worked to make him lots of fun decorations. We made cards with pictures and stained glass picture frames inside (made of wax paper and crayon shavings), party hats, and a banner that read "Daddy" or "Dabby/Dabdy/Dadby/Aabby" depending on how the air conditioner blew the letters :)... here are some cute photos of the decorations they made. Sorry, Daddy was not available for photos. Caleb's card contained his first finger painting, which was, um, fun/interesting? (Imagine an 8 month old on the bathroom floor with blue fingerpaint living it up while Mommy just tries to contain the damage). We hope you had a great birthday Ryan, you are very loved by your family!!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Why I need to be clearer when communicating with Ryan...


My grocery list this week stated I wanted baby food, with the quantity specified as "5 jars each fruits and breakfast entrees, and 10 jars dinner and/or veggie entrees." I expected to get 5 jars of different fruits, 5 jars of breakfast entrees, and 10 jars of dinner-y stuff, all totalling 20 jars of baby food. Instead, he decided to buy 50 jars of baby food, stating, "I tried to get 5 jars of every fruit, 5 of every breakfast combination, and 10 dinners... you need to be clearer on those lists!" I guess Caleb is set for baby food for the next month or so. I still chuckle every time I see my desk, with baby foods all lined up and categorized like a grocery shelf so that I can easily see and find what I want when I want it.

Sick Day??
















We were supposed to be camping this weekend, but the girls woke up with sniffles yesterday, and then full fledged coughs today. Hannah has been requiring breathing treatments most of the day. Sounds tough, huh? So I called off the camping. We spent the day watching tv. ... they love The Jungle Book, and watched Curious George, Sid the Science Kid, and Clifford all morning long, so they were in seventh heaven. For dinner, we made our own homemade pizzas and they loved every minute of it. Then after dinner, I shot these pictures... they look real sick, right? Well, lets just say I'm glad they were feeling much better (though still not well yet), but I really wish we could have gone camping, too. It was a much nicer day than I expected, though, and I'm very grateful for that.

Monday, July 27, 2009

On Safari


Today we had an imagination safari while waiting out a thunderstorm outside. My bed became the van, and I told the girls to bring along their binoculars. I told them to stay in the van because there are alligators on the ground that will bite their toes. We spied giraffes, leopards, tigers, and lions. When the girls got antsy and wanted to get down, they even figured a way around the alligators. Hannah said, "Look, it's God and Jesus coming this way!" "What are they doing on our safari?," I asked. "They're coming to save us from the alligators!," Sarah said. I replied,"Really?! Cool!" "Yeah, don't you remember that Jesus Saves?... like the song in church, Mommy!" Cute, huh? Needless to say, all the alligators were vanquished.

Friday, July 17, 2009

A quote I could have written myself (if I was any good at writing)

I saw this on one of the blogs I follow, credit Texan Momma at www.whoputmeinchargeofthesepeople.blogspot.com and it reminded me of the way I think of myself each day. It made me remember that I'm not the only one who feels I need to regroup and ask for a new measure of patience, etc. at the end of each day. The gist of the topic of the day was that Texan Momma had a tough time at the grocery, and was apolizing to anyone who may have encountered her or her 4 kids that day, and the last paragraph summed up my thoughts at the end of each day pretty well...
"I don't know if I saw you today or not, since everything in the blog world is so anonymous. But would you have known me if you saw me? Maybe. I hope that the reality of who I am is not as harsh as my perception of who I am. But I fear that I am exactly what people see. That the inside me is too close to the outside me. I'd like to believe I have some inner softness, some peace at the core of my being. I think my peace has been drained out of me like a flower pot with a hole at the bottom. I'm praying for peace. Patience. Love. Tolerance. And forgiveness."

Thank goodness God, and our family (usually), gives forgiveness and each day is new every morning!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Another day at the Garden







We had another nice day at the Botanical Gardens today. We met up with 3 of my speech therapist friends and their kids. The little guy in the picture with Caleb is Sam, the closest thing Caleb has to a buddy at this age. Sam is my friend Nicole's son, and he's about 2 months older than Caleb.
It was a lovely day... the kids really enjoy romping around in the fountains and playing in the gardens, and we put Caleb in the fountains for the first time. It was really funny seeing him freak out over the teensy little fountain spray we positioned him near. And the poor little guy, he always seems to be stuck in the goofiest hats. We're still trying to sort out whether that's a cry of fear you see, or a cry for help for a new hat. I've got to macho-up his headgear!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Our weekend trip to NJ
















We had a wonderful time with Ryan's family this weekend. The kids stayed up late every night playing with cousins and enjoying themselves. On the fourth of July they were up till almost 10 watching fireworks and toasting marshmallows by the fire. It was neat to see Caleb with his 2 cousins his same age, Skylar and Arianna. The drive was tough, with Caleb crying alot of the way, but other than that it was a great weekend!