Monday, August 31, 2009

Every woman's dream!

A man with a vacuum!

I am grooming him right! He is obsessed with the real vacuum and cleaning tools (i.e. broom and mop.) Funny! He also loves hair brushes. Go figure!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Sunday Sibling Talk

One of my more specific goals that falls under several of my aforementioned overall goals is that my children grow up with good relationships between themselves. From the moment I knew I was having a girl for the second time, I started fretting over this. I immediately read the Birth Order Book by Kevin Leman, which I highly recommend. (I am a worrier and a plan ahead kind of girl. I have to have something to be "worried" about and try to learn about it and "fix it" all the time it seems. Motherhood is a perfect place for that!) Anyway, since those pregnant days when this was all just theory I have had many opportunities to encourage the girls to love each other and be the best of friends. The dynamic between the two of them is very similar to my sister and me as we grew up. I was the bossy, my way or the highway one, like Hannah, and my sister was the laid back, whatever you want as long as you'll play with me one, like Genna, until ages 7 and 5 that is. At 5 years of age, my sister got a mind of her own and friends of her own at school, and let's just say, I was history. The days of my manipulations came to a screeching halt, and she turned on me! For the next 20 years (give or take) I paid for every mistake I made in those early years. I am desperate to avoid history repeating itself with my own little girls.

Some of the things I do as a sort of preemptive strike are listed here, because as I mentioned before I L-O-V-E lists!

1. Never have them compete for anything against each other. Don't get me wrong, I am a competitive girl and love competition as much as the next gal, but here in this family we are all on the same team. We help each other in running "with endurance the race that is set before us" (Hebrews 12:1.)

2. I brainwash them with the mantra, "You are best friends!" This may sound like a joke, but I am as serious as a heart attack. To kids this age, especially girls, being best friends is what it's all about. They make a best friend in about 5 seconds at the park without even learning the other kid's name. So, I figure if I say it enough, they will accept it and believe it. I guess we'll see. I constantly remind them that their siblings are the playmates that get to move with them where ever we go. Our lifestyle consists of all too many sad Good-byes to dear friends, but their sister is someone we will always pack up and take with us. :) A friend for life!

3. Explain constantly about how to love each other, why we love, where that love should come from, and what it means to love. Another mantra of ours when they have done something unloving to each other is, "We don't____ our sister, we love our sister." They have been finishing this sentence for me since they could talk. This is obviously something we are all commanded to do to everyone, but all these valuable lessons start in the home!

4. Encourage sharing and discourage the word "mine." Since they are so close in age, they play with pretty much the same stuff. There are a few things that are precious to them that I allow them to keep to themselves if they choose, but mostly everything is shared and nothing belongs to any particular child. Hannah has a harder time with this than Genna, but it is usually a momentary thing that passes. When faced with a "Mine," I usually just say that none of the toys are actually own by them and everything under the sun belongs to God anyway. If it belongs to God then what would God want you to do with it? Share it! Plus, don't forget the ever important timer. Five minutes for you and then five minutes for you! If none of this works then I throw my hands in the air and put the item on top of the fridge until the next day or whenever I notice it up there again.

5. Apologies followed up with a physical sign of regret and forgiveness, like a hug, kiss, high five, a tickle are required around here. I have noticed that if they are required to kiss or tickle each other after a disagreement that the mood is lightened and many times all is forgotten amidst the giggles.

I have to admit that I do get involved in their disagreements instead of letting them "work it out on their own" as many have recommended. The reason for this is what actually prompted this post in the first place. Hannah manipulates Genna so that Hannah ends up with exactly what she wants every time. She is so good at this, in fact, that if I then step in and state how the solution they came up with is unfair to Genna, Genna insists that it is fair and that she is happy with the new plan. Wow! Mom, was I that good too? Here is an example.

They were fighting over a doll. I thought I would try this whole work it out on their own thing and sent them off to do just that. They come back and tell me that the plan is that Hannah will play with the doll for 31 minutes and then Genna can have it for 3 minutes ("Three cuz I'm 3, Mom, "Genna insists.) I say no that's not fair lets just do our regular timer thing for 5 minutes. Hannah and Genna insist that they have a better plan AND they forgot to mention that Genna wants Hannah to tell when her 31 minutes is up. Well, what do you do then? Genna is suddenly not interested in the doll and wouldn't have taken it if I had tried to force her to do so. Another way this goes down is that Hannah just simply says, "Well, then I don't want to play with you," and Genna instantly backs down at the thought of losing her playmate.

Well, bless her heart, Genna doesn't have a clue here! This is the kind of thing that I am afraid will lead to a rebellion once she gets older and gets a mind of her own and friends of her own.

Here's another scenario that bothers me. Hannah sends Genna on errands for her and Genna happily complies. Just last week, Hannah forgot her backpack as we were getting in the car and I told her to go back and get it. What does she do? Snaps her fingers and Genna brings it right to her before I can even stop her. I explained the whole thing about how Genna won't always be like this and that one day she may even be angry with Hannah for manipulating her. I even busted out stories from my childhood, like the time I ate the top half of the cupcake when my mom told me to eat half and give my sister half or the time I didn't want to play with her so I put her in time out during our pretend play so I could play dolls in my room alone. After all this Hannah turns to Genna and asks her if she will be mad at her one day like my sister was, and Genna says,"No, I won't Hannah." Hannah turns to me and says, "She said she won't, Mom" with a shrug of her shoulders. (Sigh.) It's just like looking in a mirror.

If anyone has anything to add to being involved in the disagreements versus letting them work it out, please, lay it on me!

All that said, there is nothing sweeter than when they show love to each other! I wouldn't trade it for anything! My favorite loving moments will have to wait since this post is entirely too long already. Perhaps, I will make Sunday Sibling Talk a regular occurrence!

Friday, August 28, 2009

“The secret of your future is hidden in your daily routine.”

Upon hearing a Homily this summer (mid July) I decided I needed to reorganize a bit. I felt I was getting buried in the muddle of the daily chores and to do lists and had lost site of my ultimate goals for my family. The homily was just about slowing down and yet somehow getting more accomplished, somewhat like the Germans seem to do here. I went over it and over it in my mind and just couldn't figure out how that is possible, but I did decide there are things I do need to change in our lives. I need to simplify and get rid of extra stuff that is not helping us achieve our goals. I guess this year we have just been in survival mode a lot and that's okay from time to time but we need to stop, reevaluate, and re-prioritize when those times end.

So to start off I made a list (because I L-O-V-E lists!) of our priorities for raising our children. Keep in mind these are very broad categories that include so much detail that I am not mentioning here. With the exception of the first two, the order is arbitrary.

#1 To get our children to heaven and help them learn to be the saints God intended them to be.
#2 To teach them our morals.
#3 To teach them financial responsibility.
#4 To help them to find their vocation and career.
#5 To educate them.
#6 To teach them responsible nutrition and eating habits.
#7 To teach them safety.

Then I took a look at our day and tried to nail down wasteful activities and frivolous free time.

On weekdays, the girls are in German kindergarten from 8:45am-12:30 or 1pm. I have flexibility on pick up and drop off times, but that is usually what I do. Isaac takes a nap at 9am and usually sleeps for 1 and 1/2 to 2 hours. This is the time I think I was wasting the most, although I can't say exactly how. Then errands can be run after his nap at 10:30 or 11am. Daily Mass here is at 11:30 (half an hour away) or noon (15 mins away) which I was rarely making it to. :( This is a big problem. No matter how many times I went over it in my head, I could not figure out how to get necessary errands accomplished and attend daily Mass everyday, so I decided 2-3 times a week would be a serious improvement that we could start with, at least while Brian is away and I have no free time to do my errands unless I hire a babysitter. After I pick the girls up, it is time to start winding down for nap/rest time. This is another part that needed work because somewhere along the way we stopped reading before nap/rest time. Many days this summer, Isaac and I walk to get the girls from school which is something I do like and want to keep up while the weather is good.

During the rest of the afternoon, 2-4pm, is nap/rest time for all the kids. Hannah has rest time in her room from 2-3:30pm. Genna either takes a nap the whole 2 hours or she has rest time like Hannah in her own room. Isaac goes down for a nap at 2pm and he wakes up anywhere from 3 to 4pm. For now this is also working for us, but when Isaac transitions to one nap, it will have to change. The only thing that I have yet to work out here is Hannah's reading lesson. In the past we were trying to do her 20 minute reading lesson at 3:30 after her rest time, but this was not working because Isaac is awake by then most days and it is his crankiest/most demanding time of day (when he wakes from nap until dinnertime.) So I am still working on that. I get housework done, make phone calls, check email, blog, etc during this time.

I decided our evenings were one time of day that we seem to have down a good routine, with good use of our time, and we don't usually have to rush to get it all done. This is because when Brian left I focused on this time of day and getting the kids to bed on time. So from 4:30pm-8pm we are set.

After much planning and thought, here is the new and improved schedule!

Our Schedule
(improvements are in italics)

5 or 6am Isaac wakes up and we cuddle on the couch while I watch the news and he drinks his milk cup
7am breakfast (Han and Gen wake up at this time and get dressed first) Girls watch Peep and the Big Wide World for 20 mins while they eat
7:30am Han and Gen do their activity sheet for the day (details in another post)
8:30am take girls to school
8:45-9am sing songs and play with Isaac
9-10:30 or 11am Isaac naps (I have my prayer time and read from the Word Among Us, then exercise or clean)
10:30 or 11am run errands, play outside, or free play for Isaac
12pm lunch for Isaac and me
12:40pm walk to get the girls from school
(2 or 3 days a week we go to Mass and then eat, and then we do not have time to walk to get the girls from school; so we drive)
1:30pm religious readings or stories and prayer time (usually Angel of God prayer or the Angelus depending on time and moods of kids)
2-4pm nap/rest time for all three (Hannah is allowed to get up at 3:30 and Isaac usually wakes up at 3:30 and typically I have Genna stay in her room until 4pm even if she is not asleep)
3:30pm planned activity for Isaac while Hannah usually colors
4pm the girls play together and Isaac "helps" me with anything I have not accomplished through out the day that I needed to do
4:30-5pm cook dinner (I am putting an educational 20 min video on for Isaac at this time because he suddenly decided to hang on my leg and cry during this time)
5-6pm eat dinner and clean up kitchen
6:00-6:30pm family time (sometimes we go outside/watch short movie/play game/have sibling play time/have special dessert)
6:30pm clean up down stairs and head upstairs to get ready for bed
7pm prayer time then story time (Han and Gen choose one book or chapter each) in Isaac's room while Isaac plays
7:30pm girls head to their rooms to read while I read and sing to Isaac and give him his last blessing before laying him down in his crib
7:45pm tuck in Genna and sing to her
8pm tuck in Hannah
after 8pm I clean up anything I didn't get to in the kitchen and make the girls lunch for the next day, then I lay out their activity sheets for the next day
Then comes my free time!

Although I still feel that there are not enough hours in the day, I do feel like I am doing a better job of managing our time and working towards important goals. I certainly do not keep to this schedule perfectly everyday, but I am trying to during the weekdays as many days as possible. Weekends are totally different and are much more flexible.

Over the next few weeks, I hope to expound upon our goals and go into more details about how I am working towards those in our daily lives.

(Blog title quotation by Mike Murdock)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Backyard Fun

Hannah is my responsible rule follower and enforcer, super helpful, smart as a whip, social butterfly girl. Sweet when she's sweet, but watch out when she's not! :) I love the little girl she is growing into! She is an excellent big sister! Definitely not camera shy!

Vieve is my tenderhearted, sensitive, abstract but very bright, friendly, comic relief girl who frequently visits another planet. :) She definitely has the middle child syndrome and works so hard to get noticed! She's not camera shy either, but she is often too busy in her own world to bother with pictures. And keeping eye contact with this girl is near impossible for some reason, so I have to be fast to get her looking at the camera.

Isaac is my eater of all things inedible, game playing, rough and tumble, cuddle bunny of a boy who is completely smothered with love and direction between myself and the girls. He is hard to get to smile when I pull out the camera, but today I managed quite well! He gets more pictures because we have to catch up with his sisters and their thousands of pics.

I love this smile!!!!

Isaac in action! Hannah always knows what motivates this guy.

Here he is answering my question..."Isaac, how old are you?" Really, I am not lying! I taught Hannah this when she turned one too while we were at Walmart just by asking her over and over and showing her the answer. She learned it in one hour, but Isaac and I have been practicing for a few weeks and he just now got it. I don't remember Genna ever learning this, but she kind of learns what she wants when she wants. I call it accidental learning. She is most likely to learn something if I am teaching it to Hannah, specifically. I can think of a million things off the top of my head that she learned because I was teaching it to Hannah, like buckling her own car seat, our address, a couple different jokes, how to put on a coat, how to sit on the big potty alone, drinking from a regular cup, pouring a cup, washing her hands alone. All of these things, she learned about the same time as or faster than Hannah. Must be that whole middle child trying to get noticed thing. I digress, here's the picture of Isaac answering me.

A funny thing happened while we were outside playing. I was practicing throwing the football into the baby swing and the girls were cheering me on. Then I told Genna to put some pressure on me and run at me like she's going to tackle me. So she runs up to me and starts tickling me. I guess she's like my mom and thinks if the word sounds like another word then it must mean the same thing! LOL She cracks me up!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Hand sewing is a lot more time consuming!

Since my sewing machine went kaput in the middle of a project for my cousin, I decided to hand sew the rest. So, needless to say, it took a bit longer.

Beach Bag/Toiletry Bag
I didn't use a pattern of any kind for this and that is a first for me. It is a beach bag or a toiletry bag for my cousin who is starting college this year. I used to babysit her and her sisters when we were young. Well, I am probably spoiling the surprise for her, but I just get so excited when I finish a project that I can't wait to post it. Anyway, I used hand towels, wash cloths, and cloth ribbon to make this. The strap is what gave me trouble. I made three straps before I found one that I liked. I also embroidered her initial on the front. Here is my very own Hannah modeling it for you in her swim suite and cover up. The bag is going to eat her up! She's so petite!

Personalized Baby Blanket

Here is a baby blanket that I personalized for someone who works with my husband. The elephant was already there. I just embroidered the name.

Night Owl Blanket

This is also going to spoil a surprise, but who cares! This is for a dear friend of mine back in the states who just had her first boy. It is also a sort of creation of mine based off my nursing cover that has a towel on one corner for spit up. This is a blanket that I embroidered an owl on, and I needed something to cover up the back side of the embroidery. So I used a white wash cloth and hand sewed it onto the back corner of the blanket.

Blueberry Purses

For the two big sisters I made these matching purses that I have been wanting to make ever since I saw them on another mom's blog (I can't remember which because it was so long ago) and here is where to find the directions. I do have a few surprises for this mom though that I won't post. :)

Boy, do I feel like I accomplished something in the last month!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Sign of the Cross

The girls have really just now learned to do the sign of the cross perfectly. Genna would just touch all the right places, but not in the right order before. Hannah would get confused on the order of the shoulders. They wanted their daddy to see their perfect signs of the cross for Jesus so we took a video of it.

Notice the little jibber jabber at the end. Isaac has been doing that a lot. The other day Hannah said, "Isaac really thinks he's telling us something, Mom!" It sure seems that way!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Refreshing Summer Recipes

This summer we have been trying out a few new recipes.

Home made Ice Cream in a Bag
It was delicious, but I think one of the girl's bag leaked into the ice cream because it tasted a little salty. So mybe I will double bag the inside one next time. Do this outside, because it will leak water everywhere


1 tablespoon sugar

1/2 cup milk or half & half

1/4 teaspoon vanilla

6 tablespoons rock salt

1 pint-size plastic food storage bag (e.g., Ziploc)

1 gallon-size plastic food storage bag

Ice cubes

How to make it:

  1. Fill the large bag half full of ice, and add the rock salt. Seal the bag.
  2. Put milk, vanilla, and sugar into the small bag, and seal it.
  3. Place the small bag inside the large one, and seal it again carefully.
  4. Shake until the mixture is ice cream, which takes about 5 minutes.
  5. Wipe off the top of the small bag, then open it carefully. Enjoy!
Cucumber Melon Limeade

1 English Cucumber, peeled and chopped

1/2 cantaloupe (or equivalent of another kind of melon)

1 store bought limeade (if frozen, add most of the recommended water, but not all)

sprite or club soda (optional)

How to make it:

Blend it all together and serve over ice! Add the club soda or Sprite if you want it a little fizzy. The kids just drank it without the fizz. They loved it!

Summer Sipper


Lemon Sorbet

Any Flavored Sparkling Soda or Sparkling Juice

How to make it:

Fill glasses halfway with the sparkling juice and add a scoop of lemon sorbet on top with an optional lemon slice for garnish. Since I don't let my girls have soda, we substituted with juice.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

On a roll now!

I got him walking a bit on film. I am so very proud of him! It's amazing that this would be exciting to me again with my third child who learns to walk, but it so is!

And I took this video of him showing off some of his knowledge and his "Round and round" game that he does. I took advantage of him being so camera friendly today!


I thought it might be fun to interview the girls every once in a while to record their favorite things and see how they change.

Hannah: age almost 5 years old

Favorite Color- RED
Favorite Animal- TIGER
Favorite Book- BLACK BEAUTY
Favorite Song- THE DAY IS DONE
Favorite Game- CANDYLAND
Favorite Food- PB&J SANDWICH
Favorite Dessert- ANY KIND OF CANDY
Favorite Flavor Ice Cream- CHOCOLATE
Favorite Part of Mass- ALL OF IT
What do you want to be when you grow up? "I WANT TO BE A NUN AT MIMI'S SCHOOL OR A NAIL PAINTER."
What is your favorite thing that you do with your daddy? "WATCHING FOOTBALL WITH HOT CHOCOLATE IN FRONT OF THE FIRE AND GOING ON A BIKE RIDE."
What is your favorite thing that you do with mommy? "CUDDLE WITH HER."
What do you think you are good at? "REMEMBERING STUFF."
What do you wish you could do that you are not old enough to do yet? "TO WEAR DANGLY EARRINGS."

Genevieve: age 3 years old and some change

Favorite Color- PINK
Favorite Animal- KITTY
Favorite Movie- SWAN LAKE
Favorite Game- HI HO CHERRIOS
Favorite Food- GRAPES
Favorite Dessert- PUDDING
Favorite Flavor Ice Cream- STRAWBERRY
Favorite Prayer- DINNER PRAYER
Favorite Part of Mass- GOING TO THE ALTER
What do you want to be when you grow up? A MARRIED GIRL
What is your favorite thing that you do with daddy? PLAYING GAMES AND WALKING TO THE BAKERY
What is your favorite thing that you do with mommy? SINGING SONGS AND HUGGING
What do you think you are good at? COLORING IN THE LINES
What do you wish you could do that you are not old enough to do yet? DRINK SODA (THIS MADE ME LAUGH!)

Friday, August 21, 2009

I knew you could do it!

After I got the girls in their rooms for quiet time, I was spending a few minutes with just Isaac. He was begging to go outside, signing outside and saying "Out" over and over again. So I thought we would sit on the step where we would be covered and he could stick his hand out and feel the rain. The baby pool was still out and filled up on the patio from yesterday, and he kept reaching for it. I stood him up and held his hands out to feel the rain. And he took off...WALKING! He walked all the way into the baby pool without stopping or falling, about 7 steps! I praised him and caught him before he sat in the cold water. I stood him back at the door again to see if I could get him to do it again, and he did it two more times before he realized that he was walking and sat down to crawl. Until this, he had only taken one step at any given time. I wonder how long it will be until he tries it again.

What a stinker you are, Isaac! All this time I knew you could do it, but no matter how hard I tried to get you to walk you always sat down and crawled instead. You just needed the right motivation.

edited after bedtime***Later on today, he walked between 5 and 8 steps over and over again to me or one of the girls. Yea! I was really thinking it wouldn't happen again for a while.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

National Embarrass Mommy Day

We are at the library for story time, and the librarian begins to read the last book of the day called Words are Not or Hurting. I think to myself, "Oh, Genna needs to hear this book today" recalling the episode earlier in the day when she called her sister a very mean word that we do not use in this house. You're wondering what the word is. Hold your horses, I'm getting to it.
When the book is finished, Genna says, "Sometimes I say stupid and hate, and I get in trouble." My head drops into my hands. Thank you, Genevieve! She is so nonchalant about telling people about her wrongdoings or her punishments. Very embarrassing! I guess the silver lining is honesty, what do you think?

Then we are at daily Mass, and they were all being excellent (silent prayer of thanks). Then Isaac lets out some seriously loud gas. Always embarrassing! Hannah and I exchange one of our looks. It's kind of a smile with a slight eye roll thing we have going here. She is my clone, after all.

So did anyone else celebrate National Embarrass Mommy Day?

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

One Year Old Buddies

We went for a day trip to visit some friends today since the girls are out of school for the week. Isaac and his friend are about two weeks apart in age even though our due dates were only days apart. (You know the story, my not so little stinker wouldn't come out easily). They are the exact same height and head circumference, but Isaac has four pounds on him. (See it in the legs?) My little heavy weight champ! To be fair, he had quite the head start, weighing in at round one at over 10lbs. And his friend is, after all, running circles around his crawling self.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Well, paint me green and call me a pickle!

Last night I read that toddler boys are 50% more curious than toddler girls. Hmm. Interesting, because only a million people told me that boys were easier than girls when I was pregnant with girls! Both times! I guess they mean later in life, right??? Who knew curious meant climbing in the dishwasher to explore, desperately trying to see exactly what that thing is that stands by the toilet with bristles on the end (without success, mind far,) or pulling on wires just to see what falls on him this time.

To all of you having your first boy after having sweet innocent calm little girls (you know who you are), Beware! :) Good thing they are so cute!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Power of Music

Isaac hasn't really seemed to enjoy me singing to him or picked out a favorite song like the girls did (Genna's our true music lover)until recently. He now seems to favor EIEIO a bit. But I have noticed him calming down with music from a CD or the radio more and more often. One long car ride in a friend's car, he was screaming (forever!) and some soft music came on and he chilled out a bit.

What is making me think of this today? He is getting to that age where he is no longer content to sit quietly in my arms for and hour or more during Mass. I always hold him in the sling so that I can have free arms to deal with the girls. Everyone knows if your arms are full, the kids notice and start trying to get away with things, right? The sling also serves as a sort of leash if I loosen it a bit he can stand next to me on the pew and not go anywhere. Anyway, I digress...I noticed that he would stop fidgeting or "talking" as soon as the music would start up. He would suddenly start to sway to the music. He particularly favored the flutist and her responsorial Psalm (so did Hannah, by the way.) I was thanking God today for the music throughout Mass!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Too old for this?

I went to my first Powder Puff (flag) football practice today, and, boy, am I hurting. It is for a fundraiser for this group that I lead, so I pretty much had to do it. I probably would not have agreed to this if it wasn't for money, but it ended up being really fun despite the pain. I actually learned how to play football too! Well, enough that my husband will be super proud! Before today, Friday Night Lights was the extent of my football knowledge. LOL! And, knowing that, can you believe at first they wanted me to be the QB1, but I got lucky and am QB2 instead. QB1 is too much pressure! I can throw, but not necessarily when everyone running at me. :)

Thursday, August 13, 2009

A Pleasant Surprise

One of our sunflowers finally bloomed!

Small blessings!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

“Saying ‘Good bye’ is hard”

That’s what Genna told us when we were preparing for this day, the day we would take Daddy back to the airport. However, we did pretty well, I think. It was a lot better than the first time he had to go.

After he walked away, Hannah burst into tears (and Genna followed). I leaned back and gave Hannah a pep talk (Genna was not listening and wasn't crying as hard.) I told her again that it was okay to be sad, but that to remember that he won’t be gone as long this time and then he’ll be working from home again for a long time. I reminded her that I am staying with her and we made it before and we can do it again. She started nodding her head by the end of my speech like she was gearing up for it. I turned on a Veggie Tale movie for the trip home to get their poor minds off of it. The rest of the day went smoothly! Praise God!

Now for the countdown, not till his return yet because that is still too many days, but until the next big fun event…going back to the states for the feast of family weddings. Here is our chain, 37 days left after today!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Hannah’s Patron Saint’s Feast Day

St. Clare, of course! I couldn’t let this feast day slip by again without a celebration!

St. Clare Sandwich-Apparently there is a Swiss cheese named St. Claire, and so we made sandwiches with Swiss cheese (and pretended it was the real thing) on Ciabatta bread since St. Clare was born in Florence, Italy.

Eclair Cake- I got this online and it was so easy and so very tasty! Layered Graham crackers and vanilla pudding with Cool Whip mixed in, topped with homemade chocolate frosting.

Dates with Daddy

Brian took each of the girls on individual dates today to get ice cream and pick out a little gift from him. Hannah came back with an ear to ear smile and was so very grateful for the gifts. Genna came back happy as a clam from her date as well. He gave them tissue box covers (that I had picked up in Belgium) because they are both obsessed with having tissues beside their beds and these soft dog covers were too cute! They each picked out a necklace and a kind of purse. I got a picture of Hannah when she came back, but I totally forgot when Genna came back to snap a picture of her too. In my defense, I was busy cooking dinner.

While Genna was gone, Hannah and I fixed up her room. She didn’t want the mosquito net anymore so we hung a quilt in these quilt clips that I made when she was a baby. We also hung her new heart shaped photo holder, but we need to get some more pictures to go in it. Here’s her bed.

She no longer needs the rail, but we are keeping it installed just in case. She also moved to a high back booster seat finally (she is tiny, but she is almost 5 years old and just barely under the weight and height limit for car seats)! She is growing up! Sniff sniff…

Monday, August 10, 2009

No day at the beach!

Isaac got 5 immunization shots today PLUS had blood drawn! Bless his heart, he was a mess! He screamed for the ten minutes in the waiting room after the shots. I told him we were “All done” and then he grabbed on to my shirt and was whimpering “All done” over and over as we left the office. Poor baby!

He is not off the charts anymore, about the 80th percentile in both height and weight. He is thinning out a lot. His stats are: 30 ¾ inches, 25 lbs, and 47 1/5 cm for his head circumference.

His vocabulary includes 22 words. This is about the same number as the girls at a year, but as I recall they were clearer and talked a lot more. Here is the list of his words:




All Done

Uh Oh


Mur (for Murray)



Thank You


Bye bye


Night Night

Around and Around

Tickle Tickle


No No, Uh Uh


Ow (usually says this as, not after, he hurts someone)



Peas (for Please)

He is quite the signer. He signs 9 words, which is more than the girls at this age. Here is the list of his signs:

All Done








Thank You

Physically he seems to be capable of walking, but he’s just not ready to try. I can get only one step out of him if I really try. His balance is excellent and he can literally run with a push toy, but his head isn’t ready. He is climbing a lot, on furniture, up our little slide, on small chairs, and on the couch. We thank his Guardian Angel everyday for saving him again!

If climbing is his most dangerous past time, then his most disgusting interest is eating everything including bugs, sand, mulch; anything he discovers will fit in his mouth. We have had two close calls with poop! I barely reached him before his hand made it to his mouth! Once was dog poop that I had missed, and the other was straight from the toilet. Oh, I am a bad mother! He’s really fast! I do watch him closely, I promise!

He is drinking much better from a sippy cup and can even tilt it up on his own. He is down to only one nursing a day now when he wakes up in the morning. He is definitely active and curious! He is a joy! He is very expressive with his face. He makes sure you know how he's feeling. He is super cuddly and is now giving the girls spontaneous hugs and slobbery kisses too. So sweet!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Happy first birthday Isaac!

It seems like only yesterday that I was in labor with him, and now he is a one year old! We just had a family friend and their kids over for a small birthday celebration for him.

The Menu

Reuben Dip with Fritos

Pulled Pork Sandwiches

Baked Beans

Sweet Potato French Fries

Cucumber Lemonade and Regular Lemonade

Football Cupcakes

He didn’t really just love the cupcakes, but he enjoyed mashing it and spreading it all over his head.

He got a couple books and a stuffed Pinocchio from us.

The shirt he wore the day after his birthday (pictured below) came from Aunt Leah and Uncle Kent. He got more clothes and books from them as well. It was a nice and simple. I love my boy!

My one year old!

A Braveheart Adventure

Stirling Castle was very worth the money and the time to get there. The tour guide was enthusiastic and interesting even for a non-history gal like myself. The highlight were the Scottish dancers (Canadians, no less) inside the chapel.

Hannah is up on in the wind above the town of Stirling.

Here are the Canadian Scottish dancers. The kids loved this part too!

The bagpiper for the dancers did a solo. The bagpipes are totally growing on me, by the way!

The Canadians gave out Canadian flags and tattoos to the kids.

The girls sat on the king and queen thrones inside one of the castle halls.

A picture of Superdad with his girls. Hannah looks exhausted!

The kids take a photo with daddy and Robert the Bruce outside the castle.

A sheep adventure and the Kelso Abbey

We had an interesting sheep experience on our way down south of Edinburgh. There were sheep everywhere just free for the most part. We were way out in the middle of nowhere and there were not many cars at all. I only remember seeing one or two. Anyway, as we drove by them we would slow down and Brian even stopped the first few time to take pictures of them. Then Brian came up to a fenced area with a bunch of sheep near the fence. We thought they were inside the fence and so we did not slow down quite as much. Well, there was one sheep on the outside of the fence for some reason. The sheep got spooked and panicked. He was trying to force his way through the fence and got stuck half way for a while there. It was so very sad! At first I thought it was barbed wire, but, thankfully, it was not. I thought Brian was going to have to pull over and sew up the sheep for a second there. Just kidding!

Forgive me! I just couldn't narrow down these pictures of the kids at the Kelso Abbey. It was a small abbey, but so serene and peaceful. The kids enjoyed getting down and running around too. This was a big fishing town and Brian explored a few of the fishing bate shops.

I love these group ones! They show their personalities a bit.

Here's my big boy giving my back a break. (I still have the sling on in the picture that he rode in so much of the time since his sisters hogged the strollers.)

Here I posed the kids for a couple of cute pictures.

I like the ordering of them here from big to little with the perspective.

Daddy and Isaac

My big boy showing off his standing skills in the midst of the abbey.

The girls posing for me as it started to sprinkle a bit.

Kelso was in the south and so was Duns. Neither of them were exceptionally interesting except for the fishing (which Brian did not get to do since we were very limited on the luggage we could bring, and this was a trip meant to spend together as a family.)

One more post of Scotland pictures to follow. We were there for 8 days, you know!