Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Pop Rock On!


Remember pop rocks?
Thrilling, huh?

Evan had a birthday
party this weekend
and gave lollipops
that you dip in pop
rocks as one of his
favors.

Brody obviously
enjoyed it...

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Go Ahead ~ Air Out Your Dirty Floors

I hope you aren't the squeemish type. If so, just close your browser now.

You can pretty much tell what went on during our day by the dirt on our kitchen floors. I am completely embarrassed to admit that this dirt is from ONE DAY in our house. Really. I swept this morning, and then this is just from today...



Can you see the clues? Cheerios for breakfast. Stopped at the bank and got lollipops. Crackers and peanut butter for lunch. Some Peanut Butter Captain crunch for a small snack. Played with red and blue play dough. Kids pulled out their easter baskets from the closet, complete with the clear cellophane grass. Seth peeled apart a green crayon. Swept with an old broom that is shedding.

Pretty scary, huh?

BTW, all of you gasping at the amount of dirt in my house, I can loan you two small kids if you would like to do your own experiment in your house! :)

And the *In* shade for Spring is...

L'oreal # 840 ~ Nature's Blush

Need I say more?






A forewarning to all those I know who are about to have their first child... Don't turn your back. Ever. Not for two seconds. Not even to go to the bathroom. Consider yourself warned.

It All Comes Back to You

Having kids is quite amazing. They sing the same songs, do the same rhymes, and say the same silly things that we did growing up. The great thing is, they think it is all brand new material! Too funny.

Brody is becoming quite the performer. He loves to sing and do the movements. I hope we can get him in the church children's choir this upcoming year.


video

Some Gymnastics Photos

At Brody's gymnastics lessons, parents aren't allowed in the gym room, but there is a glass window you can look through. I tried to get a few photos, but my battery was running low and you can't use a flash. Here are just a few blurry ones, but you can see the kind of stuff he is learning.







Also, here are a few vidoes.


video
This is my favorite. For some reason, when Brody dismounts from the beam, this is his standard operating procedure ~to run in place and be a crazy lunatic. I am not sure that will earn points for him if he ever makes it to the olympics! :)

video
After my camera battery died, he actually swung around the bottom bar, then she helped him put his feet up on the bar and he jumped to the top bar. I was so excited and he is SO PROUD that he did that!

video
This is his favorite part of the whole thing!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Dear, Dear Sippy Cups

My kids are 2 and 4 now, and OH, How I miss the Sippy Cups! I was reading online about the problems with sippy cups and mouth/teeth formation, germs, cavities, speech problems, etc... when Brody just turned 2. At the time, I was still using sippy cups, on occasion. Well, I found out that initially the sippy cup was only meant as a transition from a bottle to a cup. They were never meant to be used for YEARS, but only for weeks or months.

So, when we found that out, we took Brody off the sippy cups and went to cups with straws. We did the same with Seth at about 10 months. The kicker, Seth doesn't like to drink out of straws. He always says he just wants to drink out of the cup. He is much better at it than Brody is, and I am sure that is because we waited so long to make Brody drink out of cups.

I am so glad we did. I don't know if it is related, but people always tell me that my kids are so easy to understand, that they speak very well. I wonder if that has something to do with how quickly we got them off the cups.

Here is the problem. With cups, you get SPILLS. So, we have started putting just a tiny bit of drink in each cup to keep from wasting all of the milk/juice/water. So, we still have spills which are relatively small, but we are having to refill drink cups about 10 times a day. *sigh* I don't know what is worse... malformed teeth with cavities, spilled drinks all over our kitchen floor, or having to stop working every 10 minutes to refill a cup!

There are days I *can't wait* for my kids to reach a certain milestone... like being able to keep all their liquid in their cups. But then again, when I really think about it, I think I can put up with a few more years of sticky floors. :)

For those of you hanging on to the sippy cups... I understand. I feel your pain. But start doing a little research online. I was amazed at all I found about the problems they can cause with cavities, crooked teeth, jaw problems, speech problems, germs, etc...

Here is just one link...

http://www.mindfully.org/Plastic/Sippy-Cups-Slur-Speech12feb02.htm

Sunday, April 27, 2008

If I Were a Butterfly

If I were a butterfly I'd thank you Lord for giving me wings.
And if I were a robin in a tree I'd thank you Lord that I could sing.
And if I were a fishy in the sea, I'd wiggle my tail and I'd giggle with glee.
But I just thank you Father for making me ME.

Because you gave me a heart and you gave me smile.
You gave me Jesus and you made me your child.
So I just thank you Father for making me ME.


video

Saturday, April 26, 2008

An Evening in the Great Outdoors

We knew it was going to be a nice weekend, and even though we had plans Saturday and Sunday, we decided to go camping for the evening on Friday.

I packed the car up and went down during the day to set up the campsite. When Kurt got off work, he drove down and I had dinner waiting. We enjoyed the evening, especially joining with an amateur astronomers club who was out at the equestrian area. We all got to look through an enormous telescope and see Saturn with the rings and it's moons! Kurt and Brody also got to see another galaxy while I went to the car with an extremely tired Seth.

We all slept together in the bed for the first time, as Seth was in a pack-and-play last time we went camping. It worked out well. The kids were so tired that going to bed was a non-issue.

It was a nice day and evening. The kids ran around the woods and played. We had a campfire last night with s'mores and another fire this morning. We took our time breaking down camp this morning and came home before lunch. We have some filthy kids who need a good scrub-down, though!

It was definitely some nice, much needed and deserved, family time. :)

Brody and Seth are helping Kurt pick out wood for the fire.


Seth is becoming quite the goof.


It is a running joke in our marriage that Kurt isn't quite the master firebuilder that he wishes he was. We have spent quite a bit of time while out camping trying to get a fire going. Here he is with a butane lighter AND a firestarter log. :) I love you sweetie!




This cracks me up how far we made Brody sit from the fire.


Thursday, April 24, 2008

Safety First

Okay... for ALL OF YOU who wrote me emails about Brody NOT wearing a safety helmet with his bike, these photos are for you!

Thanks for watching out for him! :)




Gymnastics is a hit!

Brody LOVED his first night at gymnastics this past Monday. He is a complete natural at it. He calls it "the place with all the fun stuff" since he got to do the rings, the bars, the beam, and all the fun gymnastics equipment. I will try to get a photo or two soon. :)

Monday, April 21, 2008

Beautiful Boys

Every now and then, I will look at my kids and wonder if they really are as incredibly beautiful (by society's standards) as I believe them to be.

Every mom simply KNOWS that her kid(s) is the most handsome, cute, adorable, fantastic, sweet child who has ever lived, and she is most certainly right. All kids are just that. So, it is hard to actually know if they truly ARE that good looking. I came to the conclusion that it doesn't really matter, anyway! :) We are all God's creation and he makes everything beautiful.

I mean, come on, seriously now, who could tell me that gets any cuter than this... ;)
It just doesn't get much better than crazy bed-head and chocolate all over your face!


Friday, April 18, 2008

Biking Brody!

Brody has "Bike Safety" day coming up at school, so we figured we would practice with him so he would have fun taking his bike to school that day.

I was so proud of him. He fell down and got a small scrape on his knee, but right after we put a band-aid on, he went right back out, got on the bike, and started out again. He has grown up so much!

Kurt was out riding with him today, so I took some photos and a video...






video

Finally, after all these years!

Every time I peel an apple, I think of the movie Sleepless in Seattle, as I am sure quite a few other people do. Well, I am happy to say that after years of half-attempting the perfect peel, here it is!



I did it! :) Silly, yes, I know. But oh so satisfying! (Could this REALLY be the most exciting thing that happened to me today? Please, pity me.)

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Every Christian Parent's Prayer for their child...

As Brody is eating his granola bar snack today, we had a conversation. He starts with:

I want to go and be with God.

Well, that is a great idea, but we can’t decide when we will go live with God. When he is ready for us, that is when we die and go live with Him and Jesus in Heaven.

How many people are in Heaven?

There are lots of people who love Jesus who have already gone to live with Him. Too many to count.

When I die and go to Heaven, I want to give God a big kiss and a big hug.

I think that God would love that. I bet he gives the best hugs ever!

And I think Jesus will be my best friend when I go to Heaven.

I think you are right, Brody. He is the coolest man ever. He would make a great best friend.

*sigh*

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

A New Endeavor for Brody

There is a lot of pressure as a parent. I understand that we put this pressure on ourselves, but nonetheless, it is still there.

A new pressure for us as a parent is to get our kid "involved". Apparently, any top of the line athlete/artist/musician/celebrity/whatever started doing whatever it is they do when they were 3 or 4. So, as a parent, there is this feeling that if you want your kid to succeed and be REALLY good at anything, you need to start them early while their brains are sponges. (I know, silly, but still seems to be partly true).

*sigh*

So, we are tasked with have to try and figure out what our child will be FANTASTIC at, will LOVE, will want to do THE REST OF THEIR LIVES, when they are 3-4, at a time when I can't even figure out which hand Brody will end up using most. Even better, while we are driving home from preschool, I can't even get him to tell me what his favorite thing was that day because he has already forgotten.

So, initially, we did what it seems every parent does. We started him too young in something that he had absolutely no interest in. :) A year ago, we started Brody in soccer. It didn't go well. He wasn't ready for the structure of a game. He wasn't ready to be told that he HAD to do something. He didn't like that kids were bumping into him, and he didn't think it was fun that he couldn't ever get the ball and that the other kids kept kicking it away. I mean, what is the fun in that?

Sooo.... soccer wasn't quite right for Brody. I decided to step back, watch him, see what his personality is, see what interests him.

We have noticed that Brody likes to do things by himself. He doesn't do well when there is a lot of kids around and a lot going on. He kind of shuts down and goes off to play by himself. He especially doesn't like any contact with other kids, probably because we have told him so much how to keep personal space and not to hit or bump other kids...

Brody also loves to move. He loves to dance, shake, shimmy, walk on his toes, tumble, hang upside down, etc...

So.... our next adventure... Gymnastics! I figure this way, he can be physical without bumping into anyone, be part of a team but do his own thing, and he can get all that energy out and build strength. And anyone who knows Brody knows he is the most flexible kid I know. He literally can still be put into the fetal position. Seriously.

We enrolled him in a program that will meet every Monday evening. Initially, it is a mixed class, but when he goes off to school at 5, he will be in classes with just boys.

They have all of the same equipment that the large gym has, the even bars, uneven bars, balance beam, horse, rings, etc... but it is smaller for their little hands. :)

I think he is going to LOVE this. I will keep you posted!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Daddy and Brody Time

I hosted our Bunco group at our house this month, so while all the ladies were hanging out and eating entirely too much food and drinking some really nice wine, our good friend Keith watched Seth while Brody took Kurt to see the show STOMP. Kurt won tickets to see it on the radio. :)

Brody ABSOLUTELY LOVED it. While they were leaving and walking to the car, Brody kept telling Kurt that the show was STUPENDOUS! I was so proud of him, sitting through a 2 hour show (with no intermission, Kurt revealed) and enjoying a theater show! Stomp is right up his alley, too.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with it, they do crazy rhythms using things like brooms, match boxes, balls, the kitchen sink (literally), you name it! Here is just a little snippet of what the show is (this was Brody's favorite part, when they "fighted with the trash can tops":



And here is Seth's favorite (from watching it on the computer):



This is the bit I remember most from the show (I have seen it 3 times, but it has been awhile):

Brody is Off and Out

We have reached a huge milestone with Brody. Let me caveat this by telling you that we live in a rather large neighborhood with only one entry in an out, so there isn't any "thru" traffic. Also, we live in the back of the neighborhood, on a cul-de-sac that is ALWAYS chock full of kids.

So, what has Brody started doing? He is now allowed outside to play by himself, as long as there are lots of other kids out there, he stays off of the black street, and only stays in the grass and driveways.

The other kids all love it when he comes out to play and they watch out for him quite a bit. It is SO FREEING to be able to let him go. We still go check on him and Kurt usually goes out after a while to play, too, but just the fact that he has reached such a big milestone is so fun! Oh, and another HUGE thing... he has learned to get on, make the swing go, and get off all by himself. We DON'T HAVE TO PUSH HIM ANYMORE! HaDeeDooDahDay! Before I had kids, I used to imagine going to the park, pushing my kids in the swings, and it was so wonderful. After the first 3 years of that, it can get pretty old, as you always seem to get dirty shoes bumped into your shirt and face and all you really want to do is collapse with the other mommies on a bench and not move for 1/2 an hour!

I remember going out and playing ALL DAY in my neighborhood as a kid, until you heard mom calling "Dinner!" out the front door. I love that we live in a neighborhood where all the kids play together outside.

Happy, happy days! Seth is pretty jealous, but we are realizing that he just needs to learn there are some things he still can't do yet, and one of them is go outside without Mommy or Daddy.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Another Virtual Redesign

When you don't have a budget for home decor, there seems to be a lot more "dreaming time". I find that it makes me feel better to redesign my rooms on the computer.

Our Master Bedroom is completely neglected. Little to no thought has gone into how it looks, so I did a digital redesign today. Here she is...

NOW


PERHAPS ONE DAY

Friday, April 04, 2008

I WANT ANOTHER COOKIE!!!!



Ever witnessed a 4 year old having a tantrum? Not pretty, as you can see here. Also, not too fun to hear "I WANT ANOTHER COOKIE" repeated about 200 times while trying to get some work done.

And again, I have found the BEST way to stop a tantrum... take out the camera. Seriously. It is my secret weapon!

Some of you may remember the Tantrum of '06. :) This amazes me. Our kids change so much and so quickly. Except, when you look at these to sets of photos... some things don't seem to change enough!