Sunday, March 21, 2010

Spring is finally here

Spring officially arrived this weekend, but where has our spring weather gone? Actually, I don't mind the dreary day too much today. We had so much fun outside in the last several days that a lazy Sunday was good for us.

Here are a couple pictures of our fun in the sun. These were from Thursday. It was quite warm in our back yard, which lies on the south side of our house. We have no shelter from the sun back there (no exaggeration--none at all) which is brutal in August, but so perfect for these spring days. It was warm enough for the kids to have shorts on and even get a little pink. They spent most of their day in the sandbox, and after about ten tries, I got a picture of all three of them looking at the camera. Most of the time, when Lizzie would look I would tell Scott and Anna to look. All I was getting from them was an un-enthused 'cheese' without even looking. They are so over smiling for the camera. Finally they obliged.

Aside from digging in the sandbox, Anna spent a lot of time playing tee-ball. That was when she was demanding I take her picture. She had some good shots and burned off a ton of energy chasing down her "bird's-eye singles." I have no idea what that means. :)

This bouncy-horse was a birthday gift for Scott some time ago, but of course Anna has now claimed it. She assumes everything is just hers. Lizzie was desperate for a chance to play with it and when Anna was busy, little sis seized her opportunity. You can see how pleased she was with herself.

Saturday, March 13, 2010


So it didn't take long at all for my resolve to post something ever day to fade. I completely forgot to write a post Thursday and Friday.

It's just been a normal week around here. After such beautiful warm weather to get things started, it sure got dreary, didn't it?

Today I enjoyed a fun "girl's day out" with my mother- and sister-in-law. We went to The Cheesecake Factory for lunch and it was sooo delicious. I can understand why their food is always on those "worst offenders" lists. It's so flavorful, it must have tons of fat and everything bad for you in it.

We had planned to peruse some of the shops in the strip malls on the north side, but because of the rain, we stayed inside and walked around the mall at Keystone. I came home with a cookie cutter set from Williams Sonoma that my mother-in-law kindly got me. We will have her over one afternoon to help with the cookies. I'm sure the kids will have fun. It was really nice to get out and enjoy a meal and just browse around without kids. Next time we'll try to get out when it's not raining though.

Thursday, March 11, 2010


This afternoon, it was so warm and sunny in our backyard that I let the big kids play in the sandbox while Elizabeth was napping. For those who don't know, Anna loves the sandbox, but this has not always been the case. When we first got it, she was about 18 months old I would say. Those first months, she wouldn't get in at all. She did not care for the mess, so she played at arm's length. One day she suddenly surprised us all by climbing in. Within minutes she was pouring buckets over her head, and even laying in the sand. That's how Anna is--there's not much middle ground with her. She dives into everything full of gusto, or she refuses completely.

We opened the lid and started digging around and were quite pleasantly surprised to find her collection of Little Green Man erasers. She bought them for herself at the Disney Store last year. They are so cute. There were about 10 of them and they came in a plastic space shuttle. Well, we have only had a couple of those green men in the house all winter. I've looked for them, but they never turned up. Anna was so excited to see those little things. Poor guys--they were taken out to the box for some fun in the sun one afternoon. Little did we know that would be the last time all season.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Good evening

This Tuesday brought a little change of pace for us. We usually drive up to Waynetown so Chris can play basketball at a local church with my brother. However, Chris sprained his ankle last week. So, we opted to stay at home, but my sister and her family came down here to hang out.

We had a nice dinner, played some games and watched Lost together. My sis loves Lost as much as I do, so it was nice to watch together. Although, with six kids running around the house, I'm sure she is looking forward to rewatching this episode as much as I am. :)

Now that I have mopped up dripped Kool-aid off the floor, tucked the two older kids in to bed (Anna was already asleep; she just got moved to her own bed), I'm going to curl up on the couch and watch last week's season premier of The Locator.

If you've never watched this show, you are missing out. It airs on the We station Wednesdays at 10 (I think, but it used to be Saturdays, so you should check). It is super heart-wrenching. Usually there is some kind of happy ending for people that Troy Dunne (sp?) reunites. Hopefully. But, of course, it is life, so it is not always happy. Each episode deals with a different case (or two), so you can jump in any week. However, once you start a program, you can't turn yourself away. And you better have some Kleenex nearby, cause more often than not, you'll need it.

Monday, March 8, 2010


I was going to write about the beautiful, warm even, afternoon we had. We played outside, opened the windows, and soaked up the sunshine. But I was just checking my email and read this from my updates:

"Don't be surprised if your toddler already seems to treat you and your spouse differently. Whichever parent he spends the most time with will be the one he demands more of and is hardest on. If Mom's around more, Dad will be treated like someone special, and vice versa. While this may make one of you feel jealous, know that it's normal and is your child's way of testing out his relationship with each of you. Family dynamics, and your child's shifting loyalties, will be more and more evident during the next few months as he becomes increasingly independent."

I couldn't help but chuckle to myself. You see, Chris is upstairs right now putting Lizzie to sleep. It's not that I don't want to, I would love to cuddle with her and hold her just as she drifts away, relaxing, breathing heavily. Nothing is quite so peaceful as holding a sleeping baby.

But, it seldom works like this for me. Elizabeth will relax, but just before she lets herself go, she pops back up. Suddenly she's ready for Mommy-playtime: wrestling, wallowing, jabbering, even hitting crying. But, almost always, Chris can go up there, hold her, and even do whatever he wants (watch tv, play a video game) and she'll just pass right out. It's just not fair at all.

So my weekly babycenter update was a little comforting. She's just harder on me because we spend too much time together, and she thinks Daddy's special. I suppose I can live with that; I know she'll grow out of this stage too fast.

I want to add that I am tickled by the reference to "shifting loyalties," as if we are talking about political party alliances.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

End of the weekend

Good evening! It's been a pretty normal Sunday around here. I was disappointed that we didn't make it outside to play today (due to my laziness this morning in not getting out of bed) before the rain started. But I am thankful for the rain since the pile of snow in our front yard has shrunk considerably. If it rains again tomorrow, maybe it will be completely gone.

I had to run to Wal-Mart this evening as our diet soda level had reached crisis point. There was only one left and that would have caused a problem tomorrow. I went ahead and picked up more milk, a couple of snacks, and treats for the kiddos, so I should not really need anything the rest of the week. Hey, I can dream can't I? :)

We watched the movie 2012 this evening. It was completely ridiculous, but if you like that kind of thing, it's entertaining enough. We do sort of like the USA miniseries, disaster movie genre, so it was fine for us. The whole scene with the limo driving through downtown LA as the pavement bulged and crumbled underneath was a bit over the top. They could have least blown a tire or something, to acknowledge that they are aware that the car's axles and wheels could never have survived that. But it was fun to laugh about it. Be prepared to sit in front of your tv for a while if you're going to watch it: it's over two hours long. And once you get into it, it's kind of hard to stop watching!

Saturday, March 6, 2010


After an anxiety-filled couple of days, Scott's second tooth has finally fallen out. I admit I helped it along. He hadn't eaten all day and then took a bit of a nap this evening. (This is highly unusual for him and confirms what I suspected--that he got almost no sleep last night because he was so worried.) He woke up during dinner and after some convincing, he took a bite of actual food and the chewing loosened up the tooth a bit more. He was upset and as I was trying to calm him down, I pulled it out. Now, I do not really advocate doing something like this. But He was soooo stressed out about this loose tooth, and I knew it would be upsetting to him when it came out anyway. He didn't even realize it, until he went off to the bathroom and looked in the mirror. Hopefully, he can get back to his normal self tomorrow.

Anna will be very glad to have her big brother back to normal, as well. She was pretty miffed all day because he would not play with her at all. And he didn't want to spend more than 10 minutes outside with us this afternoon.

Other than dental troubles, the last couple days have been really great. Yesterday was the big birthday party for my nephew. The cupcakes turned out really cute (and yummy) and he had a fun day with lots of cool presents.

This afternoon we played outside for a bit. Scott tried to play catch with Daddy, Lizzie tried to steal her big sister's tricycle, and Anna pouted about losing her trike. It was a nice day.


Oh, I almost forgot. On a side note, I had to drive us home from the birthday party last night up in Waynetown (around an hour from home). It was very late (we left for home just before 1 am) and we drive the last stretch home down a county road since the highway is closed for bridge repairs. Well, anyway, I got pulled over. :( Not cool, because I've never been pulled over before. Ever. I was sure it was for speeding, although I was only going maybe 5 over. But I was being tailed closely (it never occurred to either of us that it was a cop; we just figured someone was being a jerk and wouldn't pass), and I was nervous about that and checking my mirrors a lot. My speed had just crept up and then his lights came on. Big bummer. We waited and waited and he finally came to the window. By this time, it was about a quarter-til-two. (I promise that we don't ordinarily keep our kids out this late, and anytime we do, it is truly just with family.)

The officer first asked how I was. I said I was fine, but apparently did not sound convincing. To be honest, I wasn't really fine; I was soooo nervous. And a little tired. So he asked if I was sure if I was fine. I answered more reassuringly so he moved on. He told me that I had crossed the center line. I honestly never realized I had actually crossed the line (Chris didn't either). I guess maybe I wasn't driving perfectly straight, with all that mirror checking of the person riding my bumper. And I don't care for the non-existent shoulders on the county road. And (not to sound like I'm just making excuses, but I am) to add to that, the yellow center lines on this road are relatively new.

I was actually relieved when he said that was why he pulled me over because I was fairly certain that I would not be getting my first ticket. He then asked me if I had anything to drink and I could honestly answer that I had not. So he left and ran my info and came back and told us to be careful. He promptly got in his car and turned around and drove off. He must've been hiding somewhere because we never saw another car driving at all until he was behind us. And he was really mostly just doing a routine traffic stop since it was the middle of the night.

He was quite pleasant about everything. And I'm very glad I wasn't alone. Not that I would have been driving around in the middle of the night alone. So, what was initially so alarming turned out to be nothing at all. Not even a warning.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Tooth troubles

Scott has only lost one tooth. And he really does not want to lose any more. He so strongly disliked losing the first one that he has been in denial that another was loose (apparently)--until a little wrestling session with Daddy at lunch time loosened it enough to bleed. Scott was immediately in tears. No amount of explaining that it has to come out will soothe him. No amount of money offered as payment for a lost tooth sounds exciting.

When asked, he responded, "No, it doesn't hurt." But we have heard him wandering around moaning "oooowwww." He wants it out now, but I don't want to pull it. Chris offered to go grab the the pliers, but this terrified Scott (naturally). So for the next day or two we will be waiting anxiously for it to finally fall out on its own. Hopefully it's that soon. He refuses to wiggle it or help it along. How long can a tooth hang in there??

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Rough start

This morning got off to a rough start for little Elizabeth. Anna left her breakfast poptarts out (mostly uneaten by the way) and Lizzie must have had her eyes on them. I picked up the plate and threw them away after no one had touched them for at least a half an hour. This crushed Lizzie. She went from playing happily to chasing me in the kitchen, hysterical. I couldn't resist snapping a picture of her. I'm glad I did because seeing the camera calmed her down a little.

The big alligator tears are so sweet and pathetic aren't they?

In case you had any worries about it, the rest of Elizabeth's day went on with little to no trouble. :)

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

A Better Day

Thanks for all the encouragement! Today was a better day!

We got four subjects of school done before lunch, which is quite unusual for us. I'm am a real slacker in the morning!

I felt really good about myself for accomplishing that much in the morning, so in the afternoon I got to work on the fondant decorations for my nephew's birthday on Friday. (I can't believe he's going to be 6!) I am making Mario-themed cupcakes, and I think they will be pretty cute! Thanks to my friend, Erica, for the idea. I will definitely post pics once they are done, no matter how far from perfect they turn out!

All of that occupied most of my time today. I aimed to get the laundry started, but I really got caught up in the cupcake work, so the laundry is still piling up. I will be tackling that tomorrow.

Our one excursion for the day was to Wal-Mart.

It just occurred to me that this daily blogging challenge will probably reveal that I go to Wally-World waaaayyyy more times than a reasonable person ought to!

My trip out this evening was an absolute necessity though; we ran out of cat food last night (for some reason I never could remember to buy that either time I was at Wal-Mart over the weekend). Our three cats were practically in a panic this afternoon when their food bowl was still empty. Poor kitties. They are satisfied now, so hopefully they'll leave us alone while we sleep.

Growing Pains

The last couple of days have been rough Mommy days. I would say that we are definitely feeling some growing pains as a family. The kiddos are getting older and the problems are getting bigger.

My son is half-way between 7 and 8, and all the way into big kid back-talk, ignoring, and arguing. My older daughter is just 3, and let's say, feisty.

From bedtime yesterday through this evening, we've pretty much dealt with it all: disobedience, defiance (with a strong "NO!"), dishonesty, screaming, kicking, and slapping.

I love the children so much and I know they love me (and Daddy and each other), but as they say, "growing up is hard to do."

I'll definitely be praying tonight for more a more patient and loving spirit for each of us!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Crisis Averted

Friday is my nephew's 6th birthday, and I volunteered to make the cupcakes. I saw these that a friend had made, and thought they were so cute I'm going to try my hand at them. I know the kids will pleased if they turn out.

Anyway, after browsing supplies at Wal-Mart, I thought I'd run up to Michael's just to see what else might be available. We were leaving home around 2:30, so traffic was sure to be a pain. Michael's is up in Avon so I made my way up Raceway Road. It is narrow and, at that time of day, the intersections are all bottle-necked.

The straight-only lane was backing up behind the left-turn lane (I needed to turn) so I slowly followed the car ahead of me as we made our way around and past the cars in the middle (straight) lane. I really was not watching my right side very carefully and as I proceeded, my mirror clipped the mirror of another vehicle.

I heard the noise and did not immediately realize what had happened, but then deduced it must have been my mirror. I was already stuck in the turn lane and past the last entrance to the nearby parking lot. The other car, or rather giant SUV, was stuck in the straight lane, so we couldn't even have made it into the same place. I immediately formulated a plan in my mind to go ahead and turn once the light changed and them turn right into the shops across the street, hoping the other driver would see me and turn into it as well after they crossed the intersection.

Well, apparently the other driver was not interested in waiting for the light. He (I soon found out it was a he) started honking repeatedly. As I was not about to get out in the middle of traffic with my three children sitting in the van, I really didn't know what to do. Well, I guess my lack of response was not to his satisfaction. I then heard some guy start yelling, "Hey!". I began trying to see where he was (all this time and the light had still not changed; it's no wonder traffic was all backed up!), and then heard knocking on one of the windows.

So I rolled down the passenger window. I still could not actually see him, so I don't know where he was knocking, or why on earth he would have knocked on one of the back windows. He finally showed up at the passenger window and demanded to know if I was aware that I had hit his mirror. I was aware and quite embarrassed and sorry about it. I apologized to him sincerely and inquired as to whether there was any damage that he could see and whether we needed to exchange any info. Fortunately, my mirror collapsed, so he could see none, he said; he promptly returned to his vehicle.

And that was that. In a couple moments the light turned and I watched as he drove through the intersection, apparently not feeling a need to gather any more information from me. Which I was thankful for. I do not handle those situations very well. I probably would've cried and offered to write him a check on the spot just to get it over with.

The rest of our trip was very uneventful. Which is a relief because I was quite worked up over this little near-incident. I definitely couldn't have taken anything else.

March 1

Today March begins, finally! I was just out to the mailbox and I think you can feel spring coming in the air. It's still chilly. And it would be ever so much nicer if the sun would peek out, but there's definitely something in the air signaling that warmer weather will arrive. Someday.

So lately I've been feeling the need to do....something. Anything really. I've been wishing I had a project or a hobby. One that I could actually do that babies and toddlers wouldn't be able to ruin.

I was inspired a little by all the things my sister has going on, mainly this. And, trust me, even though her gallery may not be up to date, she is on top of things. Now I am not a photographer. Not that I wouldn't like to be, I just haven't really been bitten by that bug and don't really have the equipment to try.

But I've been thinking and I'm going to try my own version of this project. One blog entry per day. You may be laughing, because, well, let's be honest. I'm not the most consistent (or interesting) blogger out there. But that's o.k. I'm doing this mainly for me. I want to challenge myself to do something and see if I'll stick with it.

And I've been feeling kind of bored, and sorry for myself that I don't have anything going on. So I thought, maybe my life isn't as boring and uninteresting as I think it is. Maybe I need to just look at things in a new way. That's what this will be all about. Even if I don't think I have anything to say, or anything worth sharing, I'm going to try anyway. Since it's the first of a new month, one that brings a new season even, I thought it was the perfect time to begin.

I'm not even going to count this post. I will mostly be updating in the evening, so stay tuned for an upcoming post about our super-interesting Monday!!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Solo. Again.

So, I'll be flying solo this week. Again. Thankfully, Chris hasn't been traveling since the end of November. But that stretch was a long one. And, thankfully again, he had today off and isn't leaving until tomorrow afternoon. So, hopefully, the week will not seem too long.

We usually keep pretty busy during the days with school work, playing, cleaning up the debris after the constant tornado of active children, and meals. But I am dreading the nights to come this week.

For about 3 weeks now, Elizabeth has not been sleeping well on a regular basis. I think that initially she was bothered by teething and then a minor cold. So naturally we wanted to cuddle her at night and help her feel better. I know we have no one to blame but ourselves that now she does not want to sleep alone.

Lizzie falls asleep quite easily (most of the time) once big brother and sister are in bed and it's quiet and dark. It used to be simple to lay her down once she was out. Even if she would arouse a bit or roll over, she would stay asleep fine. And then if she would awake at night, often she would fall back asleep on her own with only a little fussing.

That has all changed. Once she falls asleep, we carry her to her room, and she wakes up and starts crying immediately upon going through the door. Usually we still lay her down, but she just works herself into a full-blown screaming tantrum within five minutes. So we just get her back up and we have been taking turns sleeping with her in bed or on the couch.

This is what is worrying me about Chris being gone this week. If I'm here alone, the evening time after the kids are asleep is my time. I can take an hour and get a lot of real house work done, and then have an hour (or more) to just relax and catch up on some recorded tv or browse the internet. Or even just go to sleep early.

Chris is still here tonight. In fact he's upstairs holding Elizabeth right now. But I am already stressing out about how rough our nights this week could be.

Friday, January 8, 2010


Well, the lasagna dinner wasn't quite as bad as I dreaded, I mean anticipated. Scott ate a little and only complained a couple times that he didn't want to. Anna didn't eat, but she was not feeling that well (she's usually a good eater). It was fine with me because she just simply said she wouldn't eat, and didn't. No filibustering or crying about it. So, we survived that, and last night's fried chicken. Tonight will probably not be an issue because I'm not feeling well. I frankly wouldn't care if they ate cookies and peanut butter (straight from the jar) for dinner.

In other news, we ordered and received Wii Fit Plus for our Wii this week. It came Wednesday, but I've only had a chance to use it once (babies at your feet and virtual-exercising don't really mix). I really enjoyed myself, though, and actually felt a burn and an increase in heart-rate. I'm sure I would've felt more if I had done the strength or yoga activities instead of just the fun ones! I'm really looking forward to trying out the feature that lets you build your own routine and using it regularly. Chris has used it a bit more and he really likes it as well. If you have a Wii, I would highly recommend it.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Dinner Time

Ugh...I hate dinner time. Don't get me wrong--I feel strongly that it's important to have dinner as a family. In our house, a pleasant dinner time does not come easily.

There is a perfectly lovely lasagna baking in the oven right now. Yes, I did make it. No, I'm not trying to toot my own horn. :) So, it's still 45 minutes from the dreaded time of sitting down and having food in front of us. For the next 45 minutes, I will be asked countless times some assortment of the following questions:

"Can I just have a hot dog for dinner?" Never mind that a hot dog was absolutely unacceptable at lunch time.

"Do I like lasagna?" Well, let's see, you like spaghetti, and lasagna is basically just spaghetti with sauce. And mozzarella cheese. Which is wonderful when it's on pizza. Oh, and speaking of pizza, there's that red sauce again. Although spaghetti and pizza are two favorites, I'm betting I can't convince the child asking the question that yes, they probably will like lasagna.

"I'm not hungry. Do I have to eat dinner?" Well, honey, that's fine if you're not hungry. Do you anticipate being hungry for a snack after dinner? Oh, you do? Then maybe you should eat dinner first. Oh, you're not hungry again?

Once dinner is actually served, I imagine that family conversation about the events of the day will be replaced with some combination of the following statements:

"I really don't like it. No, I didn't try it, but it doesn't smell good."

"It tastes different." Different than what? I can't tell you; there's never an answer for that.

"If you're not going to eat it, fine. Let's just stop whining about the food through the whole meal!"

"Can I just eat 3 bites? Ok, how about 4?"

"Can I get up now? I"m full?" This often comes after the second bite.

"No snack later?!? Fine, I'll eat more bites."

And I'm sure there will be more.

How do you handle dinner challenges in your house? Even if your dinner is absolutely peaceful and your children are always appreciative of the food, you can make something up, just to make me feel better!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Where does our food come from?

We had a fascinating conversation with Anna the other day about animals and the food we eat. She began by asking us if we knew that there are real pet shops. She had apparently just realized that a pet shop was not a place made up by Hasbro for the sake of a toy line. We responded that we do, in fact, know about pet shops. She proceeded to list the kinds of animals one could discover at a pet shop. Among others, these included dogs, cats, cows, and chickens.

Just to tease, her dad told her that this was where we went to get the chickens we eat. I expected her to be upset about this, but she wasn't at all. She was sure this was a joke. After all, she says, those are chicken animals, and we don't eat animals; we eat food! She said, 'See, I'll show you,' and ran off to get her Leapster. She brought up a picture of a chicken, and said, 'See that's a chicken.' I asked whether that chicken was an animal or food; she laughed and said it was an animal. I guess it was supposed to be obvious. In a way she's did not look at all like the chicken we buy in the grocery store!