Nov 29, 2010

Conversations

Me while driving- Fall is when the leaves turn pretty colors.
H- Is it fall?
Me- Yes.
H- No it's not.
Me- Yes it is. Look at all the pretty trees.
H- Well, it's not fall in our yard.
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Me during lunch after Hannah refused to eat- I'm sorry.
You need to eat all your turkey before you get a cookie.
H- Mommy? I think my water will be turkey. Turkey (sip) turkey (sip) turkey...

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H- Chloe, you're driving me crazy!
C- No I not.
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Anytime Chloe gives another child her toy at the library, she runs over to me and
says, "Mommy, I nice!"

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C- Look, Mommy. Wawa! (her water cup)
M- Ooooh, yummy.
C- No, me!

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We finished trimming the tree and Hannah crawled under it- "Look, I'm a present."

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We explained the idea of Santa Claus to the girls- how he's based on St. Nicholas, and how he gives toys to kids without asking for anything back. We should all be giving like that and give things to others in need and toys to kids who need them. Hannah said, "But I need some toys."

Nov 21, 2010

Life Moments


Little Colin has rolled over a few times.


Something has intrigued him.


I gave Hannah a page of stencils the other day, showing her how to trace around them. She dutifully watched and then colored all of the stencils themselves and called them her "collection."


This year we decided to make an Advent Wreath! I feel like we attend church and say our prayers, but it's a challenge to reach little ones with such complicated information. We have made our evening prayers, "Thank you Jesus for our day and our night. Help us to be good girls tomorrow. Help Mamaw get better. Amen." Now that's something a 2 and 3 year old can understand! Hannah even said tonight that she got scared and crossed herself and then she felt better. : ) So back to the Advent Wreath, for the first week, we lit the green candle symbolizing faith. We read a passage to go with it and then went to the piano to sing "O Come Emmanuel" appropriate since advent means "to come." It was so sweet the girls singing nonsensical words and notes as we played and sang. A great family moment!




These are the statues outside our most frequented library. The girl looks so much like Hannah. She always says, "There's Hannah! And there's Daddy" (the little boy). Chloe's trying to peek in his book and Hannah's giving him a friendly pat. In typical adult fashion, I lament over the fact that this is the only bench outside the library and it's occupied by fake people!






Daddy is always good for an elephant/dinosaur/animal-of-the-day ride.


I found munchkins in my bed.


Very goofy ones.


First bite of food! Even a few days later, he's still working on how to actually swallow this stuff. He usually lets it sit on his tongue forever. He likes the spoon part, though.


I finally completed a little piece of artwork for Colin's room to match his bedding. I kept procrastinating thinking it would be too hard, but it took only an hour.


Can't remember if I've shown you this, but I took some of the bumper fabric he would never need and made tiny window treatments on the blinds.


Thrift store find! The cutest little bomber jacket sized 306 months for 2 bucks!


This fun flower jar for $1. And some Lincoln Logs for $5 for the girls for Christmas.


The animals decided to have a garden party.


I'm finally using the quilt frame Anna got me forever ago. My other projects were too small to fit in here. She also got me a great lamp that's been in and out of the den. I think I might set it up again for some better light.

Lastly, I don't think I posted this video yet. This features Colin's little chuckle, but be warned, he never thinks the same thing is funny twice! I've tried this fish face many more times and he doesn't crack a smile- "Give me something new!" he says.

video

Nov 20, 2010

Shutterfly!


This year Shutterfly is asking bloggers to share what they love about their Holiday Card selection!

Post to your blog/facebook/twitter and get 50 Free Holiday Cards!

I personally love getting photo cards in the mail for the holidays. I post them all up near our living room windows to see everyone's smiling faces. It's especially nice to get cards from those families we rarely see. One of my favorites last year was a card featuring my friend's 2 kids, one smiling like an angel and the other pitching a fit!

If you go to Shutterfly you'll find a selection of over 800 cards!! Here are some of my favorites.


If you've got three kids like I do, here is a way to include their best shots.


Of course this card could feature the whole family too, but I like that the photo takes up the whole card, with just a little holly detail in the corner.

My personal favorite is the "whole family" card. That's because I love comparing the kids to their parents- who looks like who?


This is a great one if you've had lots of adventure throughout the year and want to share them with everyone. It's fun to use your card as a mini-scrapbook!


This one's really nice. It allows a family picture, shots of individuals, and even a short message- which is handy if you don't go for the folded card, but like the stationary card better like myself.


Another whole family shot with a great classic footing. This would look great as a photo with Santa, too!


Last but not least, another card to feature individuals. I like the simplicity of this one. Can't find the perfect holiday outfits? Can't get them to sit together and pose? Close-ups allow you to give the holiday spirit even when things don't quite work out the way you planned.

Of course with 800 choices, you can find tons of combinations to fit your family.

We've ordered from Shutterfly many times. I've got "black and white" albums in the works for the kids, and Shutterfly is really easy to navigate when I'm trying to crop and use special effects.

Need a holiday gift? How about a Holiday Calendar? My family loves getting these! Grandparents especially love to see their grandkids all year long : )

Well, we plan to take our Holiday Photo soon, and we'll probably use one of these choices. It depends on how a 2 toddlers and an infant do in front of a camera! We may have to copy the "pitching a fit" shot. You'll have to wait and see : )

Nov 14, 2010

Mid-November


Our poor little bumpkin hurt her arm the other day. I was holding her hand at the mall and she made herself go limp to the floor (2 yrs. old remember?) and I pulled her to her feet. I didn't feel anything happen, but she cried and cried. She held her hand to her chest, wouldn't let me touch it, and wasn't even interested in a juice box I offered. They are few and far between around here so when she wouldn't take it, I knew she was definitely in pain. After a call to the doctor who said to wait and put ice on it, she watched Dora for literally a few hours. She was so still and happy, I didn't want her to be in pain anymore. Finally when it was time to move again, the pain was back so Dax took her into the after hours clinic where they labeled it "nurse-maid's elbow" in which a ligament pops itself over the elbow bone. The doctor twisted her arm a bit and she was good as new. I was so happy to see my cheery Chloe when she came back home!!


The Nativity Fast begins tomorrow, so Dax took us out for a barbecue meal as a last hurrah.
We are such good patrons, they put up a special sign marking our spot...or maybe we made a mess.


Can't say no to the free ice-cream!




I got seconds.


Oooh! What's that?


Weekly picture attempt infringed upon again by Chloe.


Us too!


Sisters are so sweet to watch. The chasing, tickling, arguing,
hugging, hand-holding.

Following, you'll find some videos as promised.
1. Colin working on his hand-eye coordination : )
2. The girls singing a song- Tick Tock
3. Chloe's piano performance
4. Hannah's piano performance in Spanish

video video video video

Nov 8, 2010

Day in the Life


5 Months old!! He's growing into the little man we've been calling him.
Dax got him this outfit before he was born.


Chloe's always trying to sneak into the weekly photo.


I made something good! Saturday night is usually the night Dax and I have to ourselves and we usually gorge on Taco Bell. We call them our "Taco Bell Dates." I decided to go slightly higher class (no offense to the tasty gorditas) and we had caprese salad, stuffed peppers, and oatmeal, cherry, white chocolate cookies (care of Anna).



Day in the Life Of...

There are two schools of thought on what a stay-at-home-mom's day is like. The blogs out there call them SAHMs. Some people think it's a day of lounging and playing with toys. Others believe it is a never shower, food in your hair, collapse on the floor kind of day. I think it's in between, leaning a little more towards the latter : ) The truth is, every day is completely unpredictable no matter if you even make plans for every day to be the same. Today was a pretty typical day, so I decided to document it for the kids later in life. Of course you all can read it for fun : )

7:15am- Dax tells me he's leaving for work. I haven't even heard the alarm or the shower and I just grunt at him.
8:00- I hear loud playing, arguing, and laughing in the monitor. I head for the shower and get completely ready so I won't have to endlessly dole out lotion, blush, hair dryer puffs, etc. to curious little ones.
8:30- I open their door and say good morning. This morning Hannah asked me if it was Christmas yet. I get Chloe dressed, answer a thousand questions from Hannah, and she gets dressed.
9:00- Have you noticed how much time has passed? That's how long it takes to put on pants and a shirt apparently. Time for breakfast. This morning we had eggs, bacon, and raisin bread (Thanks, Raina!). I promised ONE mini-muffin for those who finished their eggs.
9:30- I hear Colin and as I go to get him, Hannah says, "Um. I think while you are gone, I will get another muffin." I say, "Um. No." I get Colin dressed and the girls are calling. They get cleaned up and the kitchen gets cleaned while they play.
9:45-Time to feed Colin. The girls destroy his room while he eats. Then they play while I put very dirty sleeper if you know what I mean, very dirty bed cushion, and a bunch of other laundry in the washer. Time to empty diaper trash cans and Febreeze everything!


10:30- We settle down to read some books. About halfway through, Colin needs a nap. His bed stuff is soiled so he has to sleep on the real mattress and he's very unhappy about it so he screams and falls asleep. I change over the laundry. We finish our stack of books.
11:30- Time for Chloe's nap. Hannah entertains herself while I spend some time with Chloe. We read a book of her choice, laugh, cuddle, etc. and I put her to bed.
11:45- Time to spend time with Hannah. We get out some markers and crayons and color some cartoon dragons, working on staying inside the lines.
12:15- Once she's settled I lie down on the couch and close my eyes. I open them to find Hannah has drawn all over her legs with pink marker and dotted her nose with blue marker. She has also dug through a Halloween bucket of toys and goodies and discovered a sucker I promise she can have tomorrow while Chloe naps since we only have one.
12:25- Colin's awake. I feed him and then he and Hannah and I peruse a photo album. She did a good job sounding out "TRAVEL," we talked about the map on the front and how maps show you where to go. Dora has a map and she remembered how we looked at the zoo map to find the animals. Looking at the pictures, we point out people we know, she learns what a gondola is and we sing, Row Row Row Your Boat. She learns what a stream really is. I change Colin's diaper, help Hannah with the potty, and Colin plays on his mat.
1:00- Time to make lunch. PB&J, veggie chips, and yogurt.
1:15- Chloe wakes up, gets changed, and at the table, informs me she does not want any food. Colin entertains us by wrestling a chip bag.



1:30- I decide to check my e-mail while they are eating. I log on, Colin spits up on me, and Hannah wants to be cleaned up. I wipe them up and sit down again. I click on the first e-mail, Colin spits up again and Chloe wants down, upset that Hannah revealed the sucker plan for the next day. I get up again. They both get a tootsie roll. I sit down again and read the first e-mail. I smell something....Chloe gets changed and I abandon the e-mail. They help me move the laundry and argue over who gets to push the buttons.
2:30- The girls want to go outside and it's surprisingly pretty outside! We spend forever finding shoes and putting on shoes. I grab my quilting book and we all sit on the swing and enjoy the breeze. The girls laugh. They play with dirt, learn how to swat bugs off their playhouse with their toy broom. Colin laughs and plays. Chloe pours water on my book and Hannah is disciplined for throwing dirt.
3:00- Naptime for Colin. I return outside and play with the girls.
3:45- Daddy's home!!! He hugs the girls and we catch up on each other's day. He changes Chloe's filthy clothes.
4:15-Chloe gets some time with Dax alone. They go to Walmart and peruse the Christmas decorations. Chloe is fond of a purple tree. He takes her to Sonic for a free ice cream cone.
In the meantime, Hannah spends some quality time with Dora on the computer. She's getting so fast at working her way around the website, pushing on tabs, dragging icons, you name it! I clean the kitchen, pick up the den, put up the laundry, and reorganize the dress-up bin- interrupted by a few "Help, me Mommy!!"s.
5:15- Daddy and Chloe are home and tell about their trip. Colin is awake and very fussy. The computer boycotted Hannah and shut itself off! I finish the next bit of laundry, clean Colin's crazy room, and put away some of the girls' summer clothes while Dax heats up a pizza for dinner. Everyone eats while I feed Colin. He seems to like it that way ; )
5:45- I join everyone at the dinner table as they finish and clean up.
6:00- Not quite time for baths, so I grab the seat at the piano before Dax can and play Lo How A Rose is Blooming with Colin in my lap. Today, he's been very angry when he's put down, and extremely dramatic with his crying! I explore some jazz and it's not going so well...




It usually turns into this...

Lo How No Music is Blooming.

6:30- Everyone is corralled to the bathroom. They play in the tub with glow-in-the-dark sticks from Megan's party.

Next is getting dressed, getting cold waters ready, brushing hair and teeth, saying prayers, gathering books for bed, telling a story and lights out. Colin gets dressed and put to bed.
7:15- Whew! Everyone is in bed.
7:30- Chloe needs a water refill.
The rest of the evening, Dax and I check e-mails, tell each other funny tidbits, catch up on a show or two, and I work on a project. I might read a book, cross-stitch Chloe's stocking, work on a quilt, update the family budget, look at coupons, run an errand, work on my writing assignment, etc. It's rare I can just sit and do nothing. Tonight Dax and I are looking through toy catalogs and saying, "Ooooh!"
10:30- If it's a chilly day, I make a "bathscape" named after a "tablescape" when there is schmancy decor all over the table for an occasion. And named after "escape" where you get to be alone. I will take in a book, a candle, maybe some music, and always a dessert and glass of milk.
12:30- We crawl into bed, satisfied we've had lots of time to ourselves. We or may not be up all night with crying kids. We'll have to wait and see!!


I finished the quilt top for my lap scrap quilt. It's my first project with my machine. I have to say I still love doing it by hand, but I learned alot through successes and mistakes. Still need to quilt it. I've thought and thought about who to give this to, and I've finally decided. Someone will get it in the mail someday...

Nov 5, 2010

A Week Gone By

Well, nothing much happened this week. Since we've had so much activity lately, I decided to mostly stay at home this week with the kids so we could relax. Little did I realize that staying home for a week with 3 small kids is the opposite of relaxing. The house is in shambles, laundry everywhere, and I got nothing done! A child's demands and needs seem to multiply by 10 when you are sitting at home, and everyone wants something at the same time. Don't they know I just want to sit down with a nice book in silence? I guess not : ) It was too chilly outside to let them play out back, and now the little neighbor kid has been shoving pointy sticks through the holes in our fence (just being playful) so I can't trust the girls out there alone and just keep an eye out the back window. We took a couple of quick trips to the library, and that's about it. It's Friday night and I'm so tired!!! We decided not to worry about making dinner tonight and took the kids out and met Nana at Chili's. I'm not even sure I spoke more than a few words. Well, time to put the house back together and move along. Staying here all week also confirmed my suspicions that once again, we have too much stuff! Little does Dax know the purging storm that is to come.... In the meantime, I did take some fun videos for the kids that I will try to download when it is not almost midnight and the kids are at bay. Have a great weekend! I'll leave you with a couple of quips from the kids.

"Hannah, see those little white rocks you are walking on? That's called gravel!"
"Grathel?"
"Gravel."
crunch...crunch...she scoots her shoes along the path
"Look, Mommy! I'm graveling!"


"Daddy, I don't want to wear those jeans."
"You have to wear them tonight."
"Okay."
2 hours later in the car on the way home.......
"Daddy, I still don't want to wear these jeans."

(don't know if I've posted this one yet)
"Here Hannah. This pizza is neat. It's shaped like a rectangle!"
"Where's the tail?"

After watching her build the 5th block tower in a row....
"Chloe, you are so diligent."
"Thanks."

Nov 1, 2010

Costumes Galore


We had a successful end of October. Saturday night we attended the Benton's Halloween party for all the kids. At the last minute I was advised to dress up as well- so I am a gardener and they are the bugs in my garden. Not the pesky kind : ) Yes, Colin is dressed as peas in a pod, which could also go in a garden, but we called him a caterpillar.


The lost sheep....


...and Little Bo Peep.


And a scary costume with the scary part not allowed at the little kid gathering : ) Thanks for the sacrifice, Murphy!


Murphy and Colin having some one-on-one. Eventually all the kids wanted to play with Colin on the bed and Megan had to rescue him.


Wait- where did Megan go? She was replaced by this sinister witch!


She did a great job with the party. Here is the haunted playhouse.


They handmade a bean bag toss! And handmade the beanbags!


Chloe was very diligent with it and put every last one in the mouth. I like the trash bag pumpkins, too. There was also a ring toss spider but I mainly saw the actual spider being tossed around more than the rings. I also eyed some cool plants I have to get for our yard.


Everyone got great party favors. The older kids enjoy their silly string. Chloe loved the glow-in-the dark bracelets.


The "Flash" family! I loved it. Little Ronan was nicknamed "Flash" before he was born so they wore the appropriate attire.


And our other set of costumes. On actual Halloween night, our church held a little gathering for those who weren't into trick-or-treating. The kids all dressed up as their favorite saint. I admit for a little bit I wasn't sure they weren't going to look all exactly alike. Saints tend to be covered in simple drape like fabric. We decided Hannah could be her patron saint, Grand Duchess Elizabeth, whose favorite color was white. She gave up a life of royalty for a life of monasticism after her husband was murdered. She founded a monastery and was martyred by the Bolsheviks.
A grim story, but with much to admire.


Grand Duchess Elizabeth


later, Elizabeth the Monastic


Colin was Saint Euphrosynus the Cook. I had never heard of him, so this was Dax's idea. Colin held a little rolling pin : ) I was also feeling a little behind in my religious education when the 10 year old of the group guessed who Colin was simply when he heard "cook." So I decided to learn! In short, Euphrosynus was the cook for an Amorean monastery. The spiritual father of the monastery had a dream that Euphrosynus offered him 3 fragrant apples (as seen in the icon). When he awoke, there lay the 3 apples. When the spiritual father told the others of this miracle, Euphrosynus fled from attention and vanity, and lived his life alone in the wilderness. Many saints lived this way- not to flee from responsibility, but to flee from the influences of the world and temptation, and to be alone with God.


Last but not least, Chloe went as St. Mary of Egypt, one of the most popular (if you can say that) of the Orthodox saints! She lived a very "pleasured" life if you know what I mean, until she decided she would visit a church. When she tried to enter, an invisible force prevented her from going further. She recognized her way of life was unholy and lived 47 years in the desert in repentance. Now that's dedication!! We had some guilty fun making Chloe's hair wild like hers.




We also had an Empress Theodora, an Archangel Michael, and St. John the Baptist among others.


After some pizza, the kids stood on "stage" and told about their saint while the other kids took guesses on who they were. They did a great job!




Today, Dax came home sick from work so with the other kids settled and sleeping, I took Hannah out on her own. She was scared of this bridge last time we were here. She is happy to master it now.


We ventured out on a new trail at the park. She ran like the wind!


We found a cool canopy.


She fed berries to the ants.


We found a picturesque scene. Well, I cared about it a little more than she did.
She was begging to return to the playground!


Weeeee!


We returned home with some pretty fall leaves and the girls made collages.


I wrote the "N"s and Hannah wrote the rest!


Chloe's work in progress. Happy November!!!!