Saturday, March 28, 2009

crafty music bag

Using my handy-dandy glue gun and felt remnants,  I made this music bag for my one, very sweet and wonderful,  piano student to hold all of her music supplies.  I just used one of my bags to create a unique one for her.

Making something out of things in my house felt good.  I hope I get to do more of it in future days...  

reasons to love a rainy day

Snuggling in bed and watching Pinnochio
cute umbrellas and rain boots
the sound of the rain on the roof
long naps

Thursday, March 26, 2009

dr. doom

My daughter loves to sing.  Not necessarily songs that we all know.  She loves to make up her own songs.  And amazingly they have catchy little rhythms and this happens with a two-year old,  I'll never know.  

Her favorite little ditty is:

"We're all alone.  We're all alone.
So we have to go to the hospital.
We're all alone.  We're all alone."

Now,  she has never been left all alone so I have no clue where this song comes from.

But her newest song keeps me laughing, even now as I type it.

I've been trying so hard to get her to sing it for my video to post,  but that will never happen.  Instead she sang it at 6:30 in the morning when I really had no desire to get up.  To preface the song story, I'll have to tell you about the previous day's events.  After my children refused to listen.....even with my new discipline plan (which I promise to post later) I pulled out all the stops.  NO TV for a day.  Now I know many parents don't even show TV to their kids at all but I do,  I find it highly entertaining for the kids and myself.  And to be totally honest,  the NO TV punishment,  seemed to punish me too.....because that is the only way I get my much needed shower in the day. the sake of punishment and making a stand....I took away the TV.  And the kids hated that punishment.  They hated it so much that Kaya woke up the next morning and decided to jump in my bed and wake me up with her newest song...

The ALL CAPS words are the most dramatic,  loudest ones in her song.

"Dr. Doom.  Dr. Doom.  Doctor. Doctor.  Doctor Doom.
Mommy took my TV AWAY........
Because she is NOT bery, bery, NICE.
Dr.  Doom.  Dr. Doom.  Doctor.  Doctor.  Doctor Doom.
Daddy didn't take my TV AWAY.............
Because he is BERY,  BERY,  NICE."

I suppose I should have been mad about the fact that obviously I am NOT Bery Nice.  And that Daddy is.  And I should have been mad because 6:30 is way too early to be up and singing about your problems.  But I laughed.  And I'm still laughing.  Because Kaya is a Bery,  Bery,  FUNNY LITTLE GIRL......

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

he loves everything about cars

Zander has loved cars since he was a little baby.  Loves them.  Loves them more than anything.  He loves looking at them, playing with them,  talking about them.

Now he loves working on them.

Here is the big guy helping daddy change the oil.  He loves helping work on the car and now pretends he's fixing cars with his "tools" constantly.  

I think I must have the cutest two "mechanics" in the world.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

lucky drinks, lucky flowers, lucky money

Happy Saint Patrick's Day!  My kids were so confused this morning when I told them we all had to wear green to go to gymnastics class.  That then led to the unending questioning,  "Is she wearing green for the holiday?  Why isn't he wearing red his favorite,  just like mine,  but I wore green?"  

But after we went out and about in the world,  we did have some fun with the holiday.  After naptime we had green drinks for our snacks.  Zander had green sprite,  Kaya had green water,    

and of course, to keep in spirit with the holiday.......I fixed green beer for Matt and I.
The day was absolutely gorgeous.  We went outside to play with some neighborhood friends and I was even lucky enough to receive a flower (picked from my garden) from Zan-Zan.  I really did love getting my first flower from him that someone else didn't persuade him to give to me.
After we played,  the "lucky leprechaun" visited us.  If you didn't know (which you may not,  since I thought of the "lucky leprechaun" while the kids were napping) the "lucky leprechaun" slips into your yard on Saint Patricks Day to leave money.  The kids were so excited to go looking for their treasures!

I hope each of you had a very lucky day too!!!

Friday, March 13, 2009

parenting 101 (according to Jenny)

Yep,  here it is.....part three of the Jenny series.  

Last weekend,  while Jenny and I were lounging on the patio watching my incredible husband play with the 4 kids ( because regardless of how "cool" of moms Jenny & I are,  Matt is 1000 times cooler) she said, "You guys are great parents."

Great parents......hmmm......I had to see what I was doing right.  So I asked her,  "Why do you think so?"

And she simple answered,  "You enjoy them."

I've read several websites,  books,  relied on past educational experience to figure out how I could be a little better.  Why can't this just be the piece of cake I envisioned it was?

And not one of those said,  "Just enjoy them."  When Jenny said this I answered,  "I know Matt always does but I get stressed out when I'm trying to get things done and they won't cooperate.  I'm sure he loves this weekend too because I'm just nice,  and enjoying watching my kids have fun."

That is why she is going to be an awesome marriage/family counselor one day.  She just gets the important, simple things.

So this week,  I've tried to remember her voice,  "Just enjoy them."  For the most part I do.  It is only when I go to un-fun places like the grocery store, or returning library books that they truly drive me to the brink of crazy.  Or when I'm just wanting to clean the kitchen and they can't just play nicely......that I want to pull my hair out.  When I take them to the museum,  or to go out and play, or when I simply stop all of my chores to PLAY with them, they really make me happy.    

I'm trying really hard to enjoy them.  After Jenny left,  I went on a crazy shopping trip for enough groceries for two weeks by myself.    I always said I wouldn't let my kids decide on my schedule but this was actually for me.  I didn't have any breakdowns in Publix this week,  and I didn't spend a whole day trying to put away groceries while they kept getting under my feet.

Instead.......we went to the park (3 times!).  We went for walks.  We danced to silly music.  We built "Vegas Baby" buildings with lego blocks.  I did enjoy them.

I hope I remember this a few weeks from now when they are driving me insane.  Because isn't "enjoying them" what it is all about.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

falling in love.....again

So this is part two of the I love Jenny chronicles.  

This weekend I fell in love again with so many for so many reasons.

I fell in love again with my dear friend and am thinking our next reunions should be in five weeks not five years.

I fell in love again with my family because my kids were so sweet and my husband won the best husband of the year award.  Instead of acting like it was an inconvenience to have so many extra people in the house, he embraced it.  He watched all of the kids most of the time while Jenny and I just sat in the background and caught up and talked about all of life.  

And I fell in love with her precious, wonderful children.  Spending time with them made me remember why I loved teaching so much.  Watching them interact with my kids,  have such interesting observations on life,  and seem truly interested in the things I like to do......was so special.  
We had many special, simple moments.  Staying up late to have the slumber party (which failed miserably,  mainly due to Kaya) but it was fun while it lasted.  Having a huge breakfast of many choices.  Playing out in the backyard.  Making crafts.  Going to the nature trail.  Walking to the park.  

Both Avery and Brandon are such special,  unique kids.  I just hope that mine are as funny,  sensitive, and kind at that age.  I miss them.  The kids miss them.  Matt misses them.  We look forward to meeting again and falling in love with A & B all over again.  

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

now and then

This past weekend was remarkable.  After 5 years apart I finally saw one of my favorite friends in the world.  There is so much I want to blog about that you may well get sick of hearing about my friend Jenny and I and what a wonderful friendship we have.

What is amazing to me is that after all the time apart, it still feels the same to be with her.  Jenny has a gift for making me want to be my best.  After seeing her I'm always ridiculously happy and in a great mood.  It has always been that way---I'm so glad she hasn't changed.  On the back cover of her new book, her co-author writes "she makes every one she comes in contact with feel like they are the most special person in the world."  That pretty much sums up Jenny.  

I did have a moment this weekend that made me feel so old however.  Jenny said,  "We have known each other for 14 years."  Then I thought,  yes,  I guess we have.  For some reason it seems like we just met a few years ago......then again I often forget that I'm 32, not 22.

Thanks Dear Jen,  for 14 wonderful years of friendship.    Thanks also for a simply perfect weekend.  

Monday, March 9, 2009

crafty shower

The fruit punch it not so cute with the rubber duckies?

The hanging clothesline..............this is such a cute way to display the clothes you bought for the mom-to-be.......

A very fun game for the baby bags for the game "Baby ?"

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

growing up so fast

I know it sounds so cliche but they really do grow up so fast.  

It seems like not too long ago that I was feeding this little boy every 3 hours while singing "Winnie the Pooh" over and over until he drifted off to sleep.  

I was almost in shock when I walked in the kitchen the other day and saw him on his step-stool poring cereal.

And now my baby girl,  is in a big girl bed.  She loves it and has done very well in it.  

Sometimes I'd love to freeze time and just keep them little forever but I also love seeing their minds develop,  their curiosity grow,  their vocabulary expand.   There is so much to enjoy (and sometimes endure) with each and every age.  

Monday, March 2, 2009

an almost snow day

As I've said before,  it rarely snows here.  Much more rare is snow on March 1st.  But to our amazement,  big flakes were falling from the sky.  We were expected to get 2-4 inches accumulation!  The excitement was in the air!!!

I rushed the kids outside so they could experience the snow falling before they jumped into the big cushy white stuff.  They had a blast catching the flakes on their hands and on their tongues.  I'm glad that I took them out when I did because within an hour the ground was covered but then the snow stopped falling.
Not only did it stop falling,  the "accumulation" melted away within an hour.  Oh well......maybe next Winter.  

when life won't hand you snow....

...just make mud.

Can't you just see from this face that she is encouraging her brother to join her with some mischief fun?

They truly had a blast playing and splashing around......the lack of accumulated white stuff didn't dampen their spirits.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

meeting baby kara

This was a week of excitement here at our house.  After patiently waiting for months,  our sweet friend, Baby Kara has arrived.

We had the extra pleasure of watching Big Brother Connor while his mom and dad were at the hospital.  Zander,  Kaya, and Connor love playing together and are the closest of friends.

Here is Zander and Connor snuggling on the couch the morning Meaghan went to the hospital.

Yesterday,  we finally met the baby girl.  Z & K were amazingly sweet and gentle around her.  I think Baby Kara already has them wrapped around her little fingers.

After meeting the new baby,  the boys decided it was time to play however!