Thursday, April 30, 2009

Who Could Resist?

Such sweet chubby sausage fingers covering his eyes to play peek a boo from the back seat of the van.He can't resist peeking through his open fingers and I can't resist indulging him in playing this game endlessly.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

It Isn't Spring

In my world I live for milestones and markers to guide me. And as much as the calender can say it is officially Spring, it isn't until a couple of things occur. First the kids have to be able to be wearing t-shirts and summer gear, the sun has to shine for a couple days in a row uninterrupted, also I have to be able to let my windows open in my house both day and night with the chill in the morning that makes you excited for the day to warm up, drive with the car windows down and sing my heart out, and the last marker we hit just this week. It was to go to our first official baseball game. This week we went to the high school baseball game played less than a half a block from our house. I walked all the kids over and Travis met us there after work. It was family day and they once again had all these freebies. Did I mention how much I love free stuff?
Although we had already had cotton candy to mark Spring a little extra never hurt anyone. It was even cotton candy flavored cotton candy. Also they handed out popcorn, lemonade and iced tea, ice cream, and frisbees, t-shirts, and other random prizes.

It was a perfect day. The kids even watched with enthusiasm as the players went to bat not really caring who won but always cheering for the batter. Issac at one point looked at me and said, "When I get big I play this." And I feel pretty confident he will because the boy is passionate about it and he sat and watched with a quiet intensity rarely exhibited in a 3 year old.

Monday, April 27, 2009

I Like Cheese

...is what Kody would say if he could talk really well. While making lunch today I ran downstairs to get crackers
and I came up to find this.
Kody had helped himself because he likes cheese.
A LOT.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Date Night Art

For date night this week Travis and I went to gallery row in Lancaster to look at art. One of the pieces we looked at was a photograph.
Do you all remember Pat from Saturday Night Live and her questionable gender? Well the photo was of a naked person. And I was quite sure it was a boy. Travis on the other hand felt confident it was a girl. We sat and debated for a few minutes until I deduced that perhaps that was the art.
Crying shame to not be able to distinguish with definity the sex of a naked person. And it wasn't from lack of effort. At one point my face was mere inches from the picture examining it with intense scrutiny.
In the end neither of us could be convinced the other was right. And the rest of our date night was spent giggling as we debated it.
Oh how I love me some "good" art.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Less Than Glamorous

I've had people comment that it seems like I am really happy and my life is really happy. And I can't deny these things. They are true, but that being said any mother's life has some less than glamorous moments. For instance today as I was ready to head to the store after lunch I told the boys to get their shoes and socks on. Lunch by itself is a less than glamorous task as cups of water and juice are spilled, peanut butter and jelly is often smeared on the table, and kids ending up looking like they could use a bath just from the process of eatting.

As they started to get their shoes and socks on I looked at Kody and realized he had disrobed down to his onesie shirt. This is a boy who loves getting undressed and any clothes easily dismantled will be. I sent Wyatt who was already ready to go in search of the pants and socks Kody had been wearing. Wyatt couldn't find them and I was convinced it was because of my kids' somewhat indiscriminating searching habits. I set out to find these pants and socks. Sure enough they weren't in the usual places, not even the unusual ones. I had checked floors, laundry baskets, drawers, in the basement, main floor, and upstairs. As I am finishing up my more thorough search I find his socks, but still no pants. As I am leaving the upstairs I take a peek in the toilet to make sure they aren't there.

And this is when I thought what has my life come to that I am looking in the toilet for pants that may have been stuffed there and/or potentially flushed. It wouldn't be the first non biodegradable material to make it down our hatch. And after the boys' behavior the past few days I wouldn't put it past them. These are the boys who came down to lunch with wet hair. When I inquired as to the source of moisture I was rewarded with the answer that it was spit. They had found a water can and knowing that they couldn't play with water inside they had actted out pouring water over one another's heads by repeatedly spitting on one another. Imaginative yes. Disgusting. YES! But alas the pants weren't even in the toilet. I went to the store just leaving the pants to reappear later.

And of course they did. Shortly after being home, having the kids pee, read books before naps, and while walking them up the stairs I see a glimpse of something stuffed under the recliner. I was rewarded with a pair of green cargo pants that had been missing for three hours. These are the less glamorous moments of my life. Take it or leave it if you must.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Dueling Emotions

Kody, my little bitty baby but not so much anymore, just moved from his crib to a big boy toddler bed last week. The same bed that Travis slept in when he was a toddler. The same one that Isabella, Wyatt, and Issac slept in. He was so happy to have a bed and gave me one wide mouthed grin after another. He posed as if he knew exactly what to do. He then showed me how he laid in it and slept at night. And I have only been awakened to a thud of him falling out of bed once or twice. He actually takes naps much better in this bed than the crib realizing that if he isn't tired he can play for a bit before climbing back in and finally snuggling down to business. But mainly when I lay him down he flips from his back to his stomach, pokes his butt in the air, and smashes his face into the mattress waiting for me to throw his blanket over him. See the pose below for a visual. Sometimes in the night or early morning hours though he will sneak over to the other bed in his room, the guest bed. I guess he sees it and thinks that this bed is even bigger and better. And I love that he is growing up and becoming independent and hitting milestone after milestone cruising past them at the speed of light. But sometimes I will stop and watch trying to remember every moment, smile, sound - freezing this picture in my mind. So that when he is older and no longer snuggling down, butt up in the air I can still remember it fondly. Because these are my favorite moments and I have no gaurentee that the teen years will be filled with such cute ones.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

I'm In Love

The longer I live here the more I find I am in love with Manheim.
Sure it's a little far off the beaten path but I've found that is what makes it both a small town and so fabulously charming.Saturday we had Community Days and the town just got together to have fun. They had clowns, games, activities, and free stuff galore along with the fabulous food vendors. Amish homemade ice cream machine.
All my kids got their own free cotton candy. Wyatt enjoying it immensely even though it unraveled on him.
A little kid train made from metal drums. The kids loved being driven around. We had worked hard all morning, the weather was beautiful and we spent the afternoon here playing and eatting our hearts out. The day ended with another get together with our friends and the first ice cream cones of the season. Yum.
I love this weather. I love this town.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Finally

It's about blimey time. This first loose tooth has been the death of me. It was a constant chorus of ouches at every meal time. Plus I was so excited I just wanted to yank it out. I mean this is a first for me as a mother too.
I can't say that she was particularly brave in the face of pain because she wasn't which is what made this process such a long and painful one.
She does drive a hard bargain and because of that Dad finally was allowed to pull it out with the promise of taking her out of school for a lunch date, letting her stay up late last night, Wyatt too, and other minor details.
And I love how each smile is so big, so filled with pure delight that her eyes disappear. I knew she would be happy once the fear was gone.
And of course she wrote a note to the tooth fairy describing the ordeal. And the tooth fairy brought her a dollar and left a note of her own. And this morning when she found these items excited soft chatter filled our morning routine and the smiles continued as she told me that Landon from class was wrong that the tooth fairy does exist and that maybe the tooth fairy didn't come get his tooth because his mom did instead and left a pack of gum.
The innocence and joy in a small child are worth more than any priceless gift.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Could I...

Could I love my kids any more?
Last week they told me to relax they would make their own lunch. And then they surprised me with this, they had made my lunch too. And they weren't sure what all I put in my sandwich but there was a picture on the Mayo Jar.
I'm pretty sure the answer is no because
I love these kids more than I ever thought I could love anything.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Change

Times are changing. I am going from a night to a morning person. At 27 this seems like an odd time for it to happen. I thought that after I became a mom it would happen naturally, but seven years of motherhood and only now has it started. Travis has always been a morning person and when we were dating it was the source of a conflict or two as he explained to me I was wasting my day with sleep and I explained to him my day was as long as his but just different hours. In our early married years I showed him the joys of sleeping in and he became a sort of convert. He loves Saturday mornings when he sleeps until 8 am.

For many years I continued to sleep in though, really sleep in. I trained my kids to sleep in. It was after nine before they woke up for the first few years. And still around time changes I get to relive these years. But for the most part they wake up shortly after 8 now. But Bella and I get up at 6:40 for school and the day. And at first I dreaded it, hated it, counted the days for summer vacation more than when I was in high school, or at least that is how it felt. And then with naps my kids are excellent but where other mothers have naps between 1-3, I pushed mine back as far as I could getting them from 2-4:30. This was a habit that worked for our family. And once the kids were back in bed by 8:30 Travis and I would spend the night on the couch cuddling to our favorite DVR'd shows until falling into bed between 11 and midnight. Well for an early person this wasn't working. He does fine and claims it doesn't bother him but what he is really saying is that I'd rather spend time with you than sleep. A great sentiment and as the reciever of such a compliment I glow with the attention. But if he intends to be awake every hour I am awake I know what he needs and I know what I need to do. I need to become a morning person. And because I love him it's an easier transition.

I realize that I have been becoming a morning person all these years but instead of embracing it I have been fighting it. Because each early hour I am awake is just an additional hour I am awake without Travis. And that hurts. I hate when he goes to work and I hate when we are away from one another. I love playing with our kids, but playing with our kids when it is the both of us is an ethereal experience. He makes everything better. And when I needed naps to survive little babies and nighttime feedings I found that when I woke up I was upset all over again knowing it would be hours before Travis got home. Where when I had pushed naptime back I had enough time to wake up, make dinner, and he would be home. Never before have I needed someone like I need him. He makes me someone special and so spending waking hours without him just seemed miserable. But now...I know he needs me. He needs me to force us to go to bed early. He sleeps about four and a half hours a night. Has been doing it for the past year. And I want to be the wife who takes care of him even when he doesn't realize what he needs. So rolling out of bed a little after seven Easter morning wasn't that big a deal. And doing it again yesterday and today is just a little easier because instead of having a reason to sleep in I have a reason to get up. This guy is my best friend and I would rather him feel great than me avoid dealing with a little lonliness when he is gone. Twenty seven years and only one true love will change this girl and her sleeping habits after all.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Easter

Although Easter brings mixed feelings for me because my love for the Savior is often overshadowed by egg hunts and candy baskets I still can't help but smile as I watch my kids enjoy the holiday. This year we woke up before eight, miracle of miracles, but that was the only way to fit everything in. The kids explored the loot the crazy bunny had brought them. And after a few minutes were ready to do the hunt that Travis and I put on. We went outside still before eight o'clock and found our eggs. It was still chilly that early in the morning despite the day being beautiful. We returned to the house to eat breakfast, a few pieces of candy, and to start the getting ready for church. The kids were decked out in pastel colors and beautiful clothes that color coordinated with one another. At one point they were all neat and my good intentions of taking family pictures turned out to be just that an intention that was cut off. I rushed out the door by 9:30 to get in a last practice for the special music numbers. When the kids arrived at church Wyatt had caramel on his sweater, their hair was all unkempt, but they were glowing with smiles a mile wide from the excitement of all that candy. We got through church and I survived my singing which I thought might really be the death of me. We headed home where I embarked upon the food and feast for that evening. Nothing is more holiday feeling than the feast and friends and family that gather around it. We had some great friends over and they always make me laugh. Plus she brought the most amazing dessert of Strawberry Pavlova. Oh my melt in my mouth goodness. Then the men took the kids out back to burn some steam off on the trampoline and play. Soon it seemed like the whole neighborhood had come to play. And I was just thanking my Heavenly Father that my happy family would be an eternal one because of what he and Jesus Christ did on this day defying death and helping us overcome sin. My reverent feelings for this holiday might be measured in minutes throughout the day but the intensity of that gratitude is forever.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Little Bit Of Heaven

Forecast: Rain Feeling: Glum
Travis did have work off after all and I just wanted to play all day as a family.
Going to the park is a family favorite and since the rain hadn't come we were heading out with high hopes for it to hold off for just a while.
I love weather that cooperates and kids that play with zest and innocense simeltaneously.
Playing at the park with my family: Perfection
The closest thing to heaven I can imagine.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Dye Job

Last night we did all our egg dying. Having learned my lesson from previous years I just had all the kids strip down to their undies. Dad managed one side of the table and I managed the other. This year Bella got very into it. And took her egg making to a whole new level. She was practically making Faberge Eggs. She had her face inches from one egg coloring away with such precision before the dipping began.
Wyatt had lots of fun but couldn't be bothered to be ornate. Instead he huddled into me to see what I was doing and jumped in excitement while watching. Who couldn't grab such a cute boy and give him "loves".
Kody has become the consummate Daddy's boy. And he is never more than an arm's length away. I was thrilled to catch such a tender moment exchanged between father and son. And who would have known it started with Kody headbutting Travis.
The finished product is always my favorite. I love the colors and you know me I have to place them in the carton evenly distributed as to be the most visually pleasing. If only you could display these babies at room temperature without spoiling them.
But it turned out the nakedness was in vain becuase this was the first year we made no spoils. Hooray. The kids really are growing up.
Happy Easter Everyone!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Blue Period

Just like Pablo Picasso in 1901-1904 had a Blue Period where blue dominates his paintings so has Issac had a blue period in which everything is a source of angst to him and reduces him to a blubbering mess of tears.
Since three weeks old, that I can remember, he has cried easily and often. Many times over no particular thing or at least that is how it seemed to me. But he has always been so sure of what he wants and often not getting it he crumbles under his intensity of emotion and hurt feelings. But just like any period this one too is coming to an end. In the history books it will probably be recorded from 2005-2009 but truly it has significantly decreased so far this year. As his verbal skills have exponentially expanded we have been able to take preventative measures against it. And I think that by the end of this year it will have ceased altogether.Sure there will be the typical child crying shot but maybe not quite so often and with the intensity to which he has so far. And so in the spirit of remembering a legacy I give you what will hopefully be the close to Issac's Blue Period in time. Issac crying at the Easter Egg Hunt.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Easter Egg Hunt

This was our first egg hunt of the season. It should have been our second because our first was at the Manheim Sportsman Association. But we left late, forgot to snag the GPS from the other car, and basically got lost. Hey I haven't lived her that long yet. I thought we had gone too far on the road it should have been on and so gave up, but when I got home and checked we hadn't gone far enough down the road. But we had our neighborhood Easter Egg Hunt. We had like 22 kids and each kid could claim up to 19 eggs in varying sizes, color, and candy. The kids had a blast and then Jen, our fabulous host, had food and drink for the kids and adult. She had this yummy zucchini pizza with real mozarella chunks, oh my word.

So in the spirit of marital harmony I let the first hunt slide without too much fuss knowing we had this one later the same day. And truthfully because I had no one to blame but myself. I'm trying to learn to be flexible - go with the flow. It's a hard concept for me the control freak.

The weather was spectacular for the hunt. And once again I got a little sunburn on my face. Oh I have to find my blasted sunblock. Kody became so intent on his loot. He is really starting to enjoy the festivities. And this was his first ever free for all with chocolate. And yes he did jerk while I was cutting his hair and so there is a weird cut by his ear into the hairline.

Best of all I met some new neighbor's although some names may allude me at least now they will look familiar, arranged some playdates loosely, and got even more geared up for the spring and summer. I love the four seasons.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

A Chapter Closing

Well as Bella's trial dance lessons come to a close I am forced to decide how much ballet is worth to our little family. It is a little chunk of change each month that I am just not sure we have right now. But after class while talking to Bella's teacher she said to me referring to Bella "She is crazy good." Yeah the teacher is younger and that explains the language but the sentiment was not lost on me. She is really good and I would have never known without seeing for myself. She then told me about the place where she teaches and about a competitive ballet team she has that she wants Bella to participate in. She told me how she picks things up quickly and how she naturally has good lines. And Bella loves it. Oh the choices we must make. And I have a ton of pics and videos and this might not be the best but it was from her last night during warm up and I love it.

video

Then we continued on to Bella's parent teacher conference. Her report card was impecable so I didn't have much to ask the teacher. But she told me how smart Bella was and what a joy she was and she told me about different sides of Bella that I don't get to see. I am just filled with gratitude to have such a wonderful daughter. Two incredible feedbacks from two totally different people makes me buzz with excitement. You always love your child and think they are wonderful and perfect in everyway but it's always a thrill when other unbiased bystanders think so too.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Food - Isn't It About Time

Truth be told I love to bake, cook, saute what have you. But I don't enjoy doing it while being rushed which means during the week and the bulk of my life cooking just isn't that fun for me.
But the holidays and conference weekend give me a respite and I cook my heart out. Homemade lasagna. Yum. Goodbye Stouffers. And one of my personal favorites Lemon Cream Cake. This was a new recipe. I like it but it could use a little tweaking.
But then the way life always goes I decided to continue the extravaganza. But between Bella's ballet class and parent teacher conferences it just didn't work out as well and I should have known better. Because while trying to make a Happy Birthday Jesus Pie I ruined two different pie crusts. How can I not be able to get a pie crust right. And this is what rushing does to me. So hello Weis and store bought frozen crusts. Store to finished in less than fifteen minutes. I don't know why I bothered.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Bring On the Rain

Fact: I love the rain. I adore thunderstorms.
Fact: It was raining like crazy today and thundering a little too.
Fact: I was at WalMart.
Fact: People act like rain is deadly toxin that can't touch them.
Fact: I love to be out in the rain when it is warm; it's cleansing.
Fact: I walked three boys and a shopping cart bursting with groceries to the car through a hard downpour while others watched from the overhang of Walmart for the rain to let up.
Fact: The two inches of water all through the parking lot seeped in my shoes.
Fact: When I closed the trunk of the van after putting all the groceries in, the water the door had collected sloshed on me.
Fact: My fastest windshield wipers weren't really cutting it on the drive home.
Fact: I was going the fastest on the highway at 45 mph.
Fact: I still dig the rain. Bring it on.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

At Home Aerobics

At home aerobics checklist:
Energy - check
Excitement - check
Lots of Jumping - check
(who knew there was no check mark on a key board?)
or
Tom and Jerry
video
On a totally different note, today I grabbed our leap frog refridgerator magnet set to teach Wyatt one of the last five letters he doesn't know yet. He grabs a letter and says, "This letter starts fart. Let's learn it." He was correct it was an F. This boys favorite words are all potty humor oriented.

He is just my silly boy. On Monday night at ballet he says mom take a picture of me and I'll act surprised.

Are you buying it?

Yeah me neither.

He just looks goofy.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Texas...Oh Hail The Mighty State

Texas...here we come. It's been a while since we as a family have visited.
Regardless as every Texan believes it really is
bigger and better.
San Antonio where Travis is from is really the best city.
And we just purchased - finally - five plane tickets, Kody still being a lap baby.
Best Part - They were $160 a ticket. Eat your heart out.
I am the deal finding queen.