Monday, December 28, 2009

Third and Final

Our Christmas #3 on Christmas Day was very merry!  Jessi, Charlie and Ethan were in town to celebrate with us.  On Christmas Eve we made our traditional trip to the bowling alley.  After coming home from mom's annual Christmas Eve party, we got the children all nestled in bed.  Hope could not fall asleep until after 11:00 for one, she was not feeling well and kept coughing; for two, she got a brief worry that she might be on the naughty list; and for three, she was SO excited! so Santa had to wait awhile before he could deliver the gifts.  EJ woke up to tents and tunnels, Hope to a digital camera, and Ethan to a Wii.  They were all very excited and grateful to Santa!  After opening MANY more gifts, Mom, Doc, Kristen, Jill and her family and Rob and his family all came over for Christmas brunch and more presents.  That night we continued our Christmas tradition of going out for Chinese food.  It was great to have Jessi and her family join us this year.   
A 'few' pictures:

We had a great day as we celebrated Christmas, the birth of Jesus. We feel blessed to have had the time with family and greatly missed those that were far away!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Celebration #2

Mimi and Pop came to town last weekend for a Christmas trip. We had lots of fun hanging out and visiting. We, well, the kids, went ice skating with Jill and the boys the grown-ups took lots of pictures! On Tuesday, Jessi, Charlie, and Ethan made it into town, so we got to have one night with everyone here before Mimi and Pop had to head back on Wednesday. So Tuesday night we had a Christmas Celebration! We had a great visit and we hope they can make it out again soon!
Ice Skating Fun!

Present Time!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Back in the Saddle

Last March we had to say goodbye to our "Sammy Girl". At that time, I thought it would be a long, long time before I was ready for another dog. The pain of losing an animal is something I didn't want to face again. I didn't think my heart could take that.

Fast forward to this past Wednesday. That's when "Thunder" wandered into our yard. Thunder is just the opposite of any dog I'd ever thought I'd own. He's little, he has long hair, and he's, well, a "he". Despite all this, I became attached immediately. It's not a good idea to become attached to a dog that is not yours. This is what I kept reminding Hope as we were hanging up "Found Dog" signs in the neighborhood. We talked about how Thunder's family was probably very sad because they couldn't find him and how he probably missed them too. I must not have been listening to my own words, because I got a pit in my stomach everytime the phone would ring, thinking it was his owner calling to claim him. I didn't want him to leave. Hope had come up with her "best case scenario" in her little 7 year old mind: "Mom, I know his owners are worried, so I hope we find them. But when they come to pick him up, I wish they would just decide to let us keep him". I told her that I agreed, but prepared her that that's not something that would happen.

Well, guess what???? Hope's wish came true - that's exactly what happened! His owner called after 2 days - she had gotten our information from our "found report" at the Humane Society. When she realized how sad we were to see him go, she decided he would get more attention here and would love to live with a family with kids. Tears filled both our eyes as we discussed it. I felt guilty accepting her offer, but I do know we will be a good family for this little guy. Meet Thunder:

Yes, this is second dog we found we found in one week. I didn't have such an immediate attachment to Hot Carl. He did serve his purpose, though. He got me thinking about another dog. He may have opened up my heart just enough to make room for another dog. I think God was trying to tell us that we were ready!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A Friend Like Me

Hope's acting class performed the play Aladdin last weekend. Hope had the role of The Genie and she did a fantastic job. The role fit her well - part sassy, part sweet and very funny! Here she is singing "Friend Like Me".

She's done with her class until the spring but is already making guesses at what her next play will be. She can't wait to start up again!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Wonder Pets - Part 2

You may remember our very first Wonder Pets Adventure - the one where we saved a very cute, tiny, small, little, petite baby bunny stuck in our window well. Yesterday's adventure was not so small. No, yesterday's adventure involved something much larger. Yesterday we set out to save . . . (please scroll down)

Hot Carl

Hot Carl was no little, tiny bunny rabbit. Hot Carl was a dog. A BIG dog. And our Wonder Pets team was down to 2, since Tuck, aka, Hope was at school. This was not going to be an easy job!

Hot Carl was wandering the streets of our neighborhood when we were on our way home from Storytime. Now you may be wondering where I got the name Hot Carl. Though I'd like to take credit for such a ridiculous creative dog name, "Hot Carl" was the name on his blue, bone-shaped tag. The name written just above the disconnected phone number. Since I was not able to reach the owner through his disconnected phone number, and it was -5 degrees outside, I had no choice but to put the dog, the BIG dog, in my car and take him home while I tried to figure out what to do. No big deal, right? WRONG! Not only is Hot Carl a BIG dog, he is apparently unable to lift his back legs more than a few inches off the ground. He hopped his salad plate-sized front paws right up into the back of the car with no problem, but the other half of his 200 pound (plus) body, was still on the ground. 10 minutes later Hot Carl was in the back of my car and I was dripping with sweat (in -5 degree weather) from trying to lift and shove him in.

Getting Hot Carl out of the car was almost as big of an adventure as getting him in. He WOULD NOT stand up and WOULD NOT turn around. I finally had to go to the back seat and push him out, hoping he would not run off before I could get back out of the car and grab his collar. Turned out that wasn't a problem, as he just stood there, with no desire to move. I drug him into the back yard so I could get a towel laid out before I let him inside.

Remember that I said Hot Carl is unable to lift his back feet more than 3 inches off the ground? Here is what happened when I tried to get him to come inside -

I know, you're thinking "Why don't you just grab his collar and pull him in?" Trust me! I tried! I tried pulling on his collar, his body, everything. He kept slipping on the floor and I think that scared him even more!

Once Hot Carl finally got in the house, got warm, and drooled on my couch . . .

. . . I called the number on his City and County registration tag. Animal control came and got him and had an "alternate" phone number for the owner. The owner promptly met animal control in front of our house and explained to them that Hot Carl is able to open a sliding glass door and a gate all by himself! Really??? The same dog that couldn't even get up my back step? Maybe he was just really cold?

Well, Hot Carl is now back in his own home and, once I got the drool cleaned off of everything and the dog hair vacuumed up, our house was back to normal.

Although I could do without the drool and the hair, I DO miss having a dog. :(

Monday, December 7, 2009

Christmas Celebration #1

On Friday we bought our tree and got it all decorated.  It's always so much fun to look at all of the ornaments and remember where each came from as we put them on the tree. I was reminded that I need to get a "Baby's First Christmas" ornament, as there wasn't one for EJ from last year.  Either that, or I can take one of the 3 from Hope's first Christmas and just change the year.  It's tough to be the 2nd child.  EJ was very into decorating this year and, amazingly enough, is leaving all the ornaments on the tree!  She loves to look at them, but has only pulled one off which got such a dramatic reaction from Hope, I doubt that she'll even attempt it again. It was definitely a fun family night . . .

. . .until Mommy dropped the pickle ornament!

I had no idea that the pickle ornament was so special!  Hope was in hysterics as soon as she saw it in a hundred pieces on the floor.  As soon as she started, EJ joined in - for sympathy, I guess. 

Luckily we were able to move on eventually and get it finished.  Just in time too! 

Big Pappy, GT, Ben, and Bryce came to town on Saturday and we had our first "Christmas Celebration" of the season on Sunday morning.  The kids had all the anticipation of Christmas morning as they woke up bright and early.  They first had to get all of the gifts from Hope's closet and return them to their spots under the tree because the night before, they had snuck them all upstairs and told us the Grinch had come and taken them.  Thankfully they were returned and we had a great time opening them all.  The kids played and played with their toys until it was time to take them all back to the airport.  It was a short, short trip, but lots of fun!

Now I'm off to see where I can find a new pickle ornament.  And a Baby's First Christmas ornament from 2008.

Monday, November 30, 2009

As if I were still in the running . . .

I officially lost the "Mother of the Year" Award today.  When the friend that we carpool with pulled up in front of the house to drop off Hope I anxiously rushed out the door to greet my daughter, as any good mother would.  Or I could have been rushing out to chat with the other mom.  Little did I know that EJ was right behind me.  I figured it out several seconds later when it clicked that she was crying. I assumed it was because she wanted to come outside with me.  When I turned around, I realized the real reason for her tears.  I had let the door close on her finger - not the normal "close your finger in the door" part of the door, but the other side.  The same side that the hinges are on.  The door was closed, and until my brain was able to process what was going on, her finger was stuck in there, and she was looking up at me with her sad little eyes, crying in pain, wondering why I was letting this continue!  I finally figured it out, opened the door as quickly as I could and scooped her sad little self into my arms.  Here's the damage and the pictures really don't do it justice . . .

Poor thing.  She cried for 20 minutes straight and then off and on for an hour. And this is the girl who fell all the way down the basement stairs and barely shed a tear maybe that's the day I lost the award.  This one must have hurt!

And in other news . . .

Thanksgiving was fun, fun, fun!  We spent the day at Mom's with aunts, uncles, grandparents, brothers, sisters, cousins (1st, 2nd, and 3rd) and dogs.  We ate a lot and enjoyed spending time with everybody.  I can honestly say we do not have one of those "let's make it through the holidays so we don't have to spend time with these people anymore" families.Thank goodness!  It was a fantastic day!  Somehow I ended up with no pictures.

Hope had the entire week off school.  We enjoyed not having to get up early and rush out of the house in the mornings.  A few of the activities that kept us busy . . .

We made pies.

Justin slept over . . .

. . . and we ate turkey shaped pancakes for breakfast.

Hope took pictures of herself . . .

and of Ellis.

We put up lights . . .

. . . and Christmas decorations.

We "built" bears . . .

. . . and visited Santa.

Now we'll try to rest for the next few weeks before Christmas Break!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Is Ketchup a Vegetable?

And if a 25 pound child eats close to half a cup, does it count as her 5 servings for the day?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Calgon, take me away!

Remember those old commercials?  It's the first thing that popped into my head this afternoon as I was trying to help Hope figure out a song on the keyboard she was getting VERY frustrated as she tried to pick out all the right notes and trying to help Ellis use the potty.  I mentioned in my last post that Ellis might be ready to potty train, but me, not so much.  She still just enjoys the novelty of it - and the M&M she gets when something "comes out".  Anytime we're at home, she wants to be naked.  Quicker access to the M&M, I guess.  She gets very upset when I try to put a diaper on her, unless we're leaving the house or she's going to bed.  Anyway, I digress.   It went something like this:

Hope: You already showed me that part, Mom!  I need the next part!
"Do Do Do Do Do Do Do Do Do" - Ellis' potty singing to her because she's "done something".
EJ: I go potty, Mommy!
Me: Good job EJ, hold on.  I'll come dump it out in just a minute.
Hope: Mom!  What's next?
EJ (walking into the room where Hope and I are at the piano, carrying the potty seat): My dump it out, Mommy!
Me: No, EJ.  Give that to Mommy.  Pee running out the potty seat and down her legs.  Only Mommy and Daddy can clean out the potty.
EJ: No,Mommy!  My dump it out! No! No! (crying screaming) My dump it out! more crying, more screaming
Hope: Ugh! (laying upside on the keyboard bench)

A few minutes later after the potty seat is cleaned out, Hope and I are at the keyboard and Ellis is wiped down and supposedly looking at books in the other room . . .

Hope (still very frustrated and has now turned the keyboard up very loud because she can't "hear myself play over Ellis' screaming!"): I can't do it right! 
Me: Try just this part.
EJ: Mommy, come 'ere.
Me: Hold on EJ.  I'm helping Hope right now.
EJ (loudly, crying screaming): No!  Mommy help EJ!
Me: What do you need help with?
Hope: Mom!
EJ: Mommy, come 'ere!!!!!
Me: Go back to the family room and get a book, I'll come in there in just a minute. EJ slowly walks into the other room, crying.
Okay, Hope, try this part.
"Do Do Do Do Do Do Do Do Do" - potty seat again
EJ (running back to Hope and I): I go potty one more time!
Me: Good job, EJ!  Stay right here, I'll go get it cleaned out!
Hope: MOM!
Me: Okay, let me show you real quick . . ."
Hope: EJ, no!  Mom - EJ has her potty seat again!
Me: Okay, hold on Hope.  Ellis, only mommy and daddy can empty out the - EJ! NO! pee all over the bathroom floor.
Hope: Ugh! (upside down on the keyboard bench again. Now with the keyboard playing some "demo" song turned up as LOUD as it could go)
Me: Hope - turn that down!
Hope: Come help me then!
Me: I need to clean this up - I'll be there in a minute!  Just try it on your own.
Hope: I need you to help with that part again.
Me: Try ANOTHER part.
Hope: I already KNOW the other parts.  I need help with the NEW part!
Me: Okay, hold on.  I've got the potty seat clean, I just need to clean up the bathroom floor.
EJ: Mommy, come 'ere!
Me: Just a minute EJ, I need to clean up the bathroom floor.
"Do Do Do Do Do Do Do Do Do"

Some form of the last 2 scenarios literally played out 3 MORE TIMES within the next twenty minutes.  I was about ready to throw that d*$# potty seat away!  Seriously, how can anyone pee 6 times in a 30 minute period?  What did I give that child to drink?

Chaos takes many different forms in my house on a day to day basis.  In the midst of it, I wish there was something that could just "take me away".  But in reality, I wouldn't trade it for anything.  I know this precious time with my babies is short.  The heartwarming, funny, memorable times outweigh the bad most days.  And I just try to remind myself that all of our experiences serve a purpose - we're learning.  I'm learning to be a better parent, a better wife, a better person.  They're learning about themselves, and how to find their place in a great big world. 

Usually the chaos is short lived. Sometimes we learn something from it. Today the lesson was patience . . . for all of us.  The girls were reminded that they can't always get what they want, right when they want it.  I was reminded that I do have the ability to pull out the patience when I need it. At least sometimes.  

I was also reminded that I am not ready for potty training.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Maybe I take too many pictures . . .

This morning EJ spent about 5 minutes getting her blanket spread out and getting her "things" piled on just so.  As soon as it was all to her liking, she sat right down and said, "Awwight ewrybody, tate my pitcha!" Translation: "Allright everybody, take my picture!"  Well, I couldn't say "no" to that:

To top it off, she was completely naked -she thinks she's ready for potty training.  I'm not so sure I'm ready.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

H - A- double L - O - W - double E - N . . .

. . . spells Halloween! 

Am I the only one that remeber this song?  This is one of the only songs I remember learning in elementary school music class. I still love to sing it every Halloween!  When I do, however, people just look at me funny!  Nobody else seems to have heard of it.  I taught it to all my kids when I was teaching kindergarten, so hopefully it will never die out completely! :)

Here are some pics from our Halloween!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Let it Snow!

I'm sure this is not the first time I've used this title for a post, but I wasn't expecting to use it in October!  I live in Colorado, I know it can snow in October.  But it's not supposed to SNOW in October.  This storm was more like something that happens in March around here.  23 inches and 2 snow days later, we have lots of fun "playing in the snow" memories, and cute pictures to boot!

We made snow angels, we shoveled, we made "real" snow cones, we shoveled again, we sledded, we drank hot chocolate, we made snow pumpkins and we shoveled some more!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

What a Day!

As a school fundraiser prize Hope got to ride in a limo to lunch at a local pizza place.  And not just any limo, a HUMMER limo!  The kids thought it was the coolest thing ever!

I had the "opportunity" to go along as a chaperone.  I have to say, limos lose some of their appeal when you're riding in the middle of the day.  With a bunch of second graders. And only drinking water.  :)

The fun didn't stop there!

After school, we finally made it out to the pumpkin patch.  With Halloween just 4 days away, we knew we better get there quick!  Hope, Jared, and Justin had to search hard for good pumpkins.  So many of them were mush becuase of the freezing temps a couple of weeks ago.  They had a great time though!

And with a foot of snow on the ground today, we made it just in time!!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Restaurant Night

Tonight Hope decided that she and Ellis were going to set up their own little restaurant.  Usually this involves me sitting and having to read a fake menu and give a fake order and pretend to eat fake food.
One of the things I would love to change about my parenting is my desire or lack of thereof  to play "pretend" games.  So, while I would have participated out of obligation and Mommy guilt, I didn't have to! 

Hope made up a whole menu and was sure to put spaghetti as "Sunday's Special", since that was what we were having anyway.  They got out their little table and put on and I quote "a fine tablecloth", and sat and waited for dinner.  All I had to do was serve which I would have been doing anyway and they thought it was great to sit at their own table!

Brandon and I kind of enjoyed having a table to ourselves too!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

It must be Fall!

We're doing things like playing in leaves . . .

and making caramel apples . . .
Getting ready!
So, we didn't make the caramel from scratch :0)
Goofy girls!

The finished product. Yummy!
. . . it must be fall!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Easy Fix

EJ just bit the wheels off a little foam police car she has:
EJ: Mommy ix it.
Me: Mommy can't fix it.
EJ: Mommy ix it, peese?
Me: Mommy can't fix it.
EJ: Yeah, Mommy ix it wit new bawees.
I want to live in a world where new batteries can fix anything . . .

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Life is Rough

I got a loaner car today because our car is having some stuff done to it at the dealership. Our loaner is a cute little emphasis on the word "little" red Mazda 3. Like I said, it's a "cute" car, but definitely a very basic model. When we picked Hope up from school today she asked, "Why do you have to unlock all the doors by hand?" And as soon as we got in the car: "What's this? Oh, it rolls down the window - you have to turn it!" And as I opened the trunk at the store: "The trunk even needs a key????"

When I was exactly Hope's age my parents got divorced and I moved to Colorado with my mom and sister. I remember being amazed that a garage door could be opened without a garage door opener, and that ice cubes could be made using 'trays', rather than an electric ice maker.

Funny how our perspective can be so warped because of life's "little luxuries". I tried to explain to Hope that we should feel lucky that we have any car at all. That some people don't have the ability to buy a car and have to walk or take a bus everytime they need to go someplace.

She was quiet as we pulled into the garage and I turned off the car. I started to think that maybe my little lecture had an affect on her. Then she exclaimed, "Cool! You can roll the window up after the car is turned off! At least there's something good about this car!"

Monday, October 5, 2009

Naptime Fun

This was how I found EJ when I went to get her up from her nap on Saturday:

One arm pulled out the top of her shirt and her socks on her hands. I'm not sure how much sleeping was going on!