Monday, December 14, 2009

Our crazy lives

Here's where I try to recap the last 2 months of our lives and then some. Let's get right to it. Maxwell Scott and Henry William were born on October 28, 2009...in that order weighing 6lbs 13oz and 6lbs 12oz...respectively .....and things haven't been the same since. We were told they're identical so technically I only need to post a pic of ONE of them right? Here's a picture that shows both a front view and a profile shot. Daniel would argue he shares the same hairline with the twins.



Here's a front shot...of I think Henry. Usually I can tell the difference ...Henry seems to have a longer forehead.


What's life like with 5 kids 5 and under?.....it's what you'd imagine and then 10 x's harder. Daniel and I sleep in shifts to survive. He gets the 7 pm-2am shift and I sleep from 2am-8am. If we're lucky we get some sleep during the other one's shift...if the babies happen to sleep at the same time....a rare thing. It's not all bad though. These little guys are adorable....and sweet....we love them....we just wish we had a little more time to enjoy them.....we're running around with chickens with their heads cut off usually(I later noticed I wrote...we were running around WITH headless chickens instead of LIKE....and thought about correcting it...but it provides some hilarious imagery I don't want to rob anyone of)...from one crisis to the next....everything is a "crisis" with children you know. As I type 3 of our 5 children are crying....we're getting ready to go to the store and this guaranteed will be an ORDEAL. I can only imagine what people will be thinking when we come rolling in with 5 under 5....requiring at least 2 shopping carts to carry the children and food we'll be purchasing.

What could be crazier than having 5 kids under 5? Trying to homeschool them. Yeah that's right...after lots of thinking and research we're leaning towards homeschooling. I'd be happy to defend this decision to anyone who's thinking...oh great they're going to raise a bunch of social weirdos. I disagree. Anyway that's all I can manage for now.....things are melting down.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

twins at 30 weeks

The following will be a glimpse into the life of someone who will soon have had 5 kids in 5(yes that's right 5) years. So I'm at the point ...let's be honest I have been for a while....where everyone I meet looks at me with pity and says something along the lines of "Any day now, huh?" In fact a lady at church today told me I "look miserable"....I'll just assume she meant that I look like I FEEL miserable. I told her I'd try to look more chipper in the future. Anyway, after going through the speech about no I'm not due anytime soon but I'm having twins and oh yes I already have 3 ages 5, 3.5, and, 20mos.....the pitying looks turn to .....you are completely crazy and I get a lot of "I know you can do it...but there's no way I could/would do that to myself." Then I feel I must reassure whoever it is that "Yes,it'll be crazy....but we'll make it"....(I can't say for sure that I know how at this point....but I still feel obligated to reassure these poor pitying souls) So on top of these endless encounters as far as how I'm physically feeling let's just say I'm seriously considering using the motorized carts at the grocery stores. I feel like a big slug and it's quite possible I will lean over for the last time one of these days ....I simply won't come back up.....my toes have become very coordinated and serve me well. A good gift idea at this point would be one of those pincher things with the long stick attached for reaching things on high shelves or for people who can't recover from leaning over like myself. On the upside people say you can't tell I'm prego from the back. In fact, while placing sprinklers around the lawn the other day I was honked at by some classy construction workers....who I'm sure as they turned the corner and got a profile shot realized they got more than they bargained for...perhaps they sped up at this point. Anyway, I'm so excited for 2 adorable little babies to come but I'm also scared...and I do appreciate words of encouragment.....however no one honestly knows whether I can do it and do it well....not even me till I get there...but then what else are you going to say?...something like "gee you'll probably have a nervous breakdown....or yeah you may not be able to handle it with the 5 there....sure glad I'm not you". Each week I think...can I really get any bigger?...sure enough ....I do.....The babies are approximately 4 lbs a piece right now....that's a good size single baby right there. Did I mention I'm only 30 weeks. :) So there're my crazy thoughts for the day. We're in for quite an adventure to say the least. I just have to hold on to that original feeling of winning the lottery that I had when I first found out we were having twins....I do really feel that way....it's just mixed in with lots of other thoughts.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

As promised

Here Andrew is on his first day of kindergarten. Everyone asks "Was that hard for you?" No...not really because he was sooo excited to go....he loves school....I was busy just being happy for him. Sure I miss him and all of his questions....but just look at that genuine smile ;)




And of course here is my little trooper Holly with her dirty(we've had a dirt yard for the last week or so) purple cast. She never whines about her cast and acts as if she always had a purple arm of steel....what a girl!



Here's Ashley in what I think is a great color for her....she's gorgeous. So, I decided not to have her go to preschool this year. I thought I should ask her first before officially backing out.

Me: Ashley, would it be okay if you stayed home with Mommy this year and went to preschool next year?

Ashley: Why?

Me: Because Holly and I would miss you and I need your help with Holly and the new babies.

Ashley: Okay, I'll go to preschool next year.

That's seriously how it went...no sugar-coating whatsoever. What a sweetheart huh?....thanks Ash.




Here's the front of our new house...and newly sodded lawn(Yay!)


A kitchen shot



A dark family room shot





Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The many things life brings

I know....I've fallen off the face of the earth....but without regular internet access I just don't blog anymore. I thought though there were a few things of note worth mentioning. First, Holly fell last Friday and had been sort of favoring her right arm....though she had really no other symptoms...hardly any swelling....no constant whining....etc. But, here we are one E.R. visit later with a daughter who has a broken arm....fracture on both her ulna and radius. Needless to say Daniel and I were shocked and felt horrible for waiting 5 days to take her to the doctor. So just a heads up....toddlers/babies....don't usually get sprains...and when they do ...they don't usually complain after 5 days or longer....news to me. It seemed like any other fall and so after this I'm wondering how my other kids have survived this long without any broken bones....they fall all the time. Luckily Holly is a trooper and her only complaint seems to be about the big cast she's lugging around....a perfect weapon in case her brother or sister gets out of line. :) Also, Andrew, Ashley and I have a virus that makes our eyes bloodshot. So as a family we look pretty run down these days. The kids also have runny noses. Imagine us walking into...well anywhere...the toddler with the arm in a cast the 3 of us with bloodshot watery eyes.....noses running wild....me looking like a cow that ran away from the farm.

In other news I signed Ashley up for preschool at a local church...it will be 3 days a week for 2 hours at a time. I'm conflicted over this decision...since she still has 2 years before kindergarten based on her bday being in November. Any advice? I AM about to have twins and I have a toddler....so I'm afraid I won't have the energy to provide her with playgroups and entertainment like Andrew and Ash used to get....but I realize now's my chance to influence her the most and do I want to hand that off to someone else? I think I might try it for a week or 2 and see how she seems to like it and respond to it. They assured me I can back out at any time. Well that's all I have time for. Our house will be done in 16 days...and it's gorgeous so far....I love it. I'll post pictures soon.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Wii fit...or Wii fat?

Today was a low point in the old twin pregnancy. I periodically get on my Wii fit...only when Holly's not around....she fancies herself a Wii fit master and won't let anyone on the board when she's around. Anyway, anyone who has tried a Wii fit knows that the Wii fit can get pretty sassy. For example, when you haven't been on in a few days or weeks it asks stuff like "Too tired to work out yesterday, Erin?" It also doesn't have a pregnant setting and so it can't seem to understand why I keep gaining weight. It usually weighs you first thing and every time I get on it asks me to explain why I keep gaining weight...some options are....eating too much....not exercizing enough....being lazy...etc. Back to today....I weighed myself in the morning and was pleased to see I had lost a few pounds since last time...this never happens. Then around 12 I decided to get on again and the Wii fit started flipping out and asked if I was holding a heavy object. Apparently I had gained so much weight since the morning that it didn't think it was humanly possible and assumed I was holding a cat or something. I hoped it was broken but then Daniel's weight was perfectly normal and all my hopes were crushed. I'll chalk this one up to water weight ....but I mean my goodness. Slowly watching your figure go down the toilet is no fun at all....wondering if you'll ever find it again...even less fun. It'll be worth it....I know.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Am I crazy?

In an attempt to save money and to force myself to spend my time doing something more fulfilling we're canceling internet and cable. Daniel still has internet at school...which I will use once a weekish.......but this will be a huge change for me. I'm going to give it a week and see how it goes. I watched an Oprah recently about "What can you live without?".....where a family was forced to give up all of their technology for a week. They freaked out at first but actually started spending time together in meaningful ways...etc. I always think about things like this but never actually go through with them. I'll keep you informed on how my life has blossomed into this new more fulfilling life starting this week. That's the only outcome right?....not me being cut off from the outside world and pulling my hair out with 3 small children alone at home..right? Here's hoping.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

An obvious mistake

Ashley: "You sure have a BIG bum."
Me: "Who does?"
Ashley: "You do."
Me: "That's not a nice thing to say...We don't say that."
Ashley: "Ohhh....uhhh you have a BIG brain."

obviously what she meant to say....a clear mistake on her part. That doesn't make me even more insecure about the amount of weight I've put on in this pregnancy. It does build my confidence about how big my brain is and how smart I am. :)

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The cutest NO you'll ever hear

I think Holly's first and most deliberate word was "No!" I have of course told her "No No" several times as she's started to test her boundaries and she's certainly picked it up. I admit it's the cutest thing to me. She seems so proud to have that kind of power. To just be able to say no to anything. Since the first time she understood what a hug was I've constantly asked her for hugs and kisses. She used to do this happily and willingly. Now, she usually squints her eyes and simply says "No"...in her Holly nasally voice. Like all things this behavior is cute now....as I still know I'm the boss ....but later it might not be so darling. Daniel has reminded me that I pretty much praise and encourage this because it's just so darn cute to me. Little people....thinking they're big people and asserting themselves as such. Love it!

video

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Thoughtless things people say

Lately I've been on both ends of thoughtless statements...giving and receiving that is. I'm sure these people(and I) mean no harm and are kicking themselves later if they realize or are on the receiving end of a thoughtless statement....so no hard feelings. Here are a few examples.

"Wow, I just saw you...what..a week ago?....I can't believe how big you've gotten in a week!"

"Wow....so you didn't have your baby yet?"......out comes baby in the carseat from the car. "Ohh uhhh I wasn't even looking at your stomach....I just..."

"When I was pregnant with twins...I pretty much lost my mind....and then once I had them I would have given anything just to be pregnant again...that was better than having newborn twins.".....said to someone who is newly pregnant with twins.

"So you're only 6 months along?....I thought you were due like tomorrow. You're just so big!"

Even when you're pregnant you don't want to hear that you're as big as a dumptruck....contrary to popular belief. Maybe they think all tact goes out the window when it comes to pregnancy. That reminds me of how people will touch your stomach which is always unwanted....or they'll stare...and I mean STARE...like you're a freak of nature. Anyway, I thought I had more ideas but that's all that comes to mind at the moment. Anyone have any thoughtless comments to share....either that they've said or been the recipient of?

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Spring fun

Turns out Andrew actually perforated his eardrum....which is painful right before but not too bad after they say. So, we got him his meds and he should be good to go. Instead of going to school today we went to the doctor....to Mcdonald's for a bribe to get Andrew to go to the doctor and then finally played outside with a tiny swimming pool. Perhaps, I should upgrade. Anyway, fun was had by ....well at least those 3.






I love this picture of Holly...despite the fact that you can't see her eyes. She's such a jolly girl...I love it!


Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Don't judge a book by its cover

Below is what looks like a sweet and innocent brown-eyed little girl. Don't let her fool you. Terrible twos...meet horrific threes! She's not all bad...more of a Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde....especially nice when there's candy involved. We love her still.



Andrew's "Graduation"

This morning Andrew's school had a little graduation-like ceremony. First, the kids in the class sang a few songs for us. Then one by one their names were announced and they got a certificate stating they had completed a year of pre-k. I got a little choked up but managed to hold it in and not look like the odd man out....many of the other parents were like "WHY aren't you singing?!...yadda yadda!"...while I was busy thinking...."he's getting so big." It's amazing to see how much he's grown and learned in just a year. Afterwards we had a little party in their classroom with snacks and juice. I would've taken his picture in a cap and gown but Andrew's ear was bright red and he started crying. Poor guy has an ear infection...but is feeling better he says now that he's had some Tylenol and Land Before Time. He's the little guy just below his teacher Ms. Hope in the blue shirt.


Next, I just wanted to share a video of Holly. A favorite hobby of hers is running around with things on her head...buckets, lampshades, hats that cover her eyes so she runs into things. We think it's pretty cute.

video

Finally, can anyone tell me why my pictures/videos are such low quality. I admit I don't have the best camera, but it's supposedly 10.3 mp and it's a kodak. How can I improve the crispness of my pictures and videos?

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

A little Change

As I'm pregnant with twins and slowly but surely losing my mind....I thought naturally it's time to change the blog completely. We'll see how this works. I just think it's more user friendly this way. Also, don't let the 0 comments fool you. I used to have a chat box which took the place of comments. Anyway, with this craziness don't be surprised if I post a pic with me and my new pixie cut....mm not just yet.

Monday, May 4, 2009

A special surprise in the mail. Everyone likes getting unexpected things in the mail. Over the last few weeks I've been surprised time and again by what I find in my mail box. A few weeks ago I found a couple spiders crawling up my letters. Then, last week I found a big roach scuttling around and happened to notice before he became our new in-house pet. Finally, today was the biggest surprise of all. I found hundreds ...if not thousands of ants and little ant babies all over my mail. I had had enough to say the least. I don't really understand it either. It's not like I eat cookies in the mailbox and leave crumbs all over in there.....it's not like there's a warm light/neon flashing light inviting all the who's who of bugs. Either the mailman is smearing my letters with honey or all the bugs in town have decided that my mailbox would make a good hotel. As of now there are thousands of dead little ants in my mailbox(sorry for all of you Animal Rights Activists...I invite the ants to live in the dirt where they belong...but as soon as they cross that line...) as well as deadly chemicals splattered all over the inside. Can't wait to get the mail tomorrow! :)

Thursday, April 30, 2009

A friendly guy. These days Andrew amazes me with how outgoing and friendly he can be. Whenever we go places it seems he finds an opportunity to introduce himself....his sisters....and then of course his parents...Erin and Daniel. :) When I was his age if I saw a stranger whether young or old I'm pretty sure I hid behind my parents or a tree or whatever was close by, but not Andrew....he's so eager to meet new people and he seems proud to introduce his family. I love this about him. Most of the time he is received warmly by others and brings smiles to their faces, but not always. Yesterday we were at the park and a group of 4 kids ranging in age from 5 to 9 showed up and immediately Andrew was excited to go and play with them. He walked up to them and said "Hi, I'm Andrew what's your name?"....."This is my sister, Ashley, and there's Holly....etc. They gave their names and then Drew asked if he could play with them. They said sure and then ran up the stairs to the slides. Andrew quickly followed...and they appeared to be playing together until it became apparent that they were trying to ditch him. Another quality I love about Andrew is his innocence. While they were busy running away from him he was unaware and thought they were playing tag or just having him chase them. Daniel and I however were aware and I said to a few of the kids that "He only wants to play...you don't have run...or at least be nice" They continued however to try to run from him and after a while he seemed to be losing interest in playing with them. So, what do the kids do?.....they say "Hey Andrew we're over here on the slide...and we're waiting for you!" With an excited look on his face he runs up to the slide only to find them quickly sliding down and then running away. At this point I was livid....so I told Daniel I'd be right back and that I had a few things to say to these rotten heartless children. Usually I'm the one to speak out and say things that I might regret later in these situations but as I approached them Daniel passed me up and I heard him say "You're MEAN kids! That was horrible what you did and you know better! You don't have to play with him, but at least be nice and leave him alone! You owe my son an apology!" ....and he made them apologize. The galling thing was their mom was like 6 ft away the whole time and said nothing. I would have been so embarrassed if my kids treated another kid that way. The only thing scarier than a world with rotten kids....is a world with apathetic parents. Anyway, I know my kids aren't perfect, but I have an obligation to help teach them how to treat others and not just say "kids will be rotten kids"

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Earlier tonight Daniel, I, and kids were playing on the driveway when I noticed a clump of hair on Ashley's back.....then another and....then another. Then we found clumps of hair in the kitchen and front porch. At this point I started to panic thinking Ashley's hair was falling from some rare disease or malnutrition. Then Daniel casually mentioned he had seen Ash outside earlier with the scissors cutting Dandelions....and apparently her hair...we then concluded. I was so relieved that it wasn't due to an illness that I couldn't be very upset. After a while though I began to wonder just how you deal with a big patch of 2 inch long hair in the back of your 3 year-old's foot long hair. I know this is typical...seems like it's rare that little girls get through childhood without giving themselves a stylish haircut or 2.....and I'm glad it wasn't in the front...but still....do I have to give her a bowl cut now and wait for it to grow out? I escaped giving myself a haircut as a little girl....but that was made up for by my dad who let me get a "spike" when I was 5.....not necessarily the best look for me.

In other news Daniel nearly ran over Holly while driving the gator. And....what does it mean when someone says...yes they suspected you might be pregnant.....perhaps that you look really fat?....or that you've been particularly jerky/moody?

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Party of Seven. I had my first doctor's appointment on Thursday which started out with an ultrasound to make sure there was a viable pregnancy and to determine the actual due date. After the lady took some measurements and recorded the heartbeat she turned on a tv screen so I could see what was going on. "Notice anything different?" she asked. "Ummm....no"...I can never tell what's going on in those ultrasound pics until they point things out. "There's two", she said. "WHAT?!.....Are you SERIOUS?!"....I was in shock. That's right we're having twins as some of you already know. Daniel and I have briefly talked about having twins....in like a wouldn't that be cool...but never going to happen to us sort of way. Well here we are....expecting twins. With this new news comes a wave of feelings. First, Daniel and I feel like we've won the lottery or something....we're really excited and know that the odds of this although better than I thought were still against us. Daniel has often said that with twins you're getting 2 for maybe the price of 1 1/2...we'll see how right he was. Second, I'm worried that there will be problems or complications, but am hoping since so far my pregnancies have gone smooothly that this will be no exception. Third, we'll be having FIVE kids in FIVE and half years!!!....that's just a little terrifying....so yes although we're excited ...we're aware that we've got our work cut out for us. Thankfully, I happen to be moving to my home town where all of my family lives... 4 months before these babies are due. So from now on we'll be a Party of Seven............we're going to fill a minivan the second we buy one. Should we buy bigger?....not for future children...but I mean for more room? Anyway, that's our crazy news for the week....I'm still in shock and think about this constantly. At least I have a reason for eating so much....I thought I just had no self control. :)

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Ashley: I have 2 Grandmas and they live in Illinois
Me: Actually you have 3.....what about Grammy?
Ashley: Grammy is not my grandma....she's my uncle's mom.

She got me there.

Monday, April 13, 2009

So the word is out to most of you.....I'm expecting....due in November around Thanksgiving. It's a little early to tell but it's hard to keep it quiet when it pretty much consumes my life these days. I mean that I feel like I'm losing my mind and my stomach most days. That's not to get sympathy...it's mostly to vent. So I have the usual nausea....but that could be worse....my sister-in-law Jessica has it much worse in terms of being physically sick....so I'm grateful for how relatively well I'm doing there. However, my mind plays tricks on me when I'm pregnant that it seems no one can relate to....so maybe I'd like to hear who can relate to this or to hear more.."hmm you really are one of a kind". Anyway so when I was pregnant with Holly there were certain shirts I bought during the first trimester that I could hardly even look at then without throwing up and now still shudder a little when I think about them.....the smell of the Abercrombie/Hollister store made me sick. In addition, songs that came out during those 3 months made my stomach turn and still bring back sickly memories. Now that I'm pregnant with PTBNL(Player to be named later....named by my dad....and what I will call this baby until it is born).....it seems that all of my old addictive habits make me nauseous. To name a few....being on the computer, watching tv, and even sleeping seem to make me think of puking. It's the weirdest thing....not necessarily a bad thing since those habits aren't the most fulfilling ways to spend my time. But, I find that when I don't feel well...I tend toward doing any one of those 3 things and that just makes it worse. You see my dilemna. The worst part of it all.....I was so excited about building our new house when I was first pregnant...nausea just taking effect....and now I can barely stand to think of our new house! So, I try to think about it as little as possible so that when I move into my new house I don't associate it with feeling sick. I tell Daniel this and he's baffled....and so are most people...even those who've been pregnant before. I have an addictive personality...I can get obsessed with things....and it seems as though....the things I'm "obsessed with" around the first trimester.....will be the things thats keep me carrying a bowl around with me. Weird huh? Sorry, I think I mentioned throwing up way too many times in this post. I promise the next one will be less disgusting.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Andrew: "Mommy, how much do I weigh?"
Me: "You weigh 44 pounds."
Andrew: "44 pounds for fighting?!"
Me: "hmmm."

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Ashley: "Mommy, you're not a loser."
Me: "Thanks Ashley".....I think
Ashley: "Andrew called you a loser but you're not."
Me: "Hmm....so Andrew called me a loser?"
Ashley: "Nope.....he did last night"
Me: "Andrew did you call me a loser?"
Andrew "No....well I did last night"
Me: "Do you think I'm a loser?"
Andrew "Umm well not right now"
Very reassuring. Ahhh kids.....I'll tell myself that Andrew still doesn't understand what a loser is.....and that'll work for now. :)

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Something not right at school. Over the past few months I've noticed Andrew saying things about school that leads me to believe it's not the best school in the world. The first thing he came home saying was "Mommy........ Brandon, Dimitri, and Caleb belong in Jail!" I'm guessing he didn't come up with that on his own and now he and Ashley say this regularly.....telling all who will listen about these boys misbehaving and how they will end up in jail. How sad that apparently their teacher is telling them they belong in jail...and will end up there. As if kids need someone to tell them they are doomed to fail. Then, recently Andrew came home and said "Jaun, caleb, and Brandon can't count.....they always mess up!" But, he said it in a way that I knew he was repeating what an adult had said. Andrew doesn't usually even notice things like that unless someone points it out and makes a HUGE deal out of it. Even sadder that his teachers are announcing to the class who can't count. I asked Andrew if he can count and thank goodness he said he could....it would have broken my heart if his teacher seeing him struggle would label him as the kid who can't count or "the slow one". And today he came home and said "Brandon and Caleb were actin like fools today". This, I know, did not come from Andrew's brain. His lovely teacher again apparently announced to the class that these kids were actin like fools. Finally, Andrew has asked me several times what nerves and frustrating mean...from "you're getting on my nerves and frustrating me". His teachers say this regularly to a select few he tells me. Kids are sponges and soak this stuff up....sometimes ....too often we think of them like rubber..."they won't even remember or they aren't even listening"...but as you can see not the case. You might be thinking at this point....."Why aren't you doing anything about this?!" Oh, don't worry I have plans to, but as long as Andrew isn't in the line of fire I don't want to make him a target and so I've decided to wait until either Drew tells me something about him or the end of the school year.....whichever comes first. Anyway, his teachers are nice .....I don't want to paint them as monsters....but sometimes they say things without thinking. I can't say that I never do that....I'm not a perfect mother....and it would be hard to control what I say when trying to watch 17 3-5 year-olds.....but I think they can do better.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Ashley ate a glazed donut this morning and I just told her to get a baby wipe to clean her face. After I was done giving it a good scrub Ash said " I don't think my face can take any more donuts."...cute.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Random happenings. On our way to Bloomington a few weeks ago we stopped at a grocery store to go potty, stretch, etc. Andrew, Ash and I went inside while Daniel circled the parking lot with Holly. When we came out of the store Daniel was still at the back of the parking lot so we had a minute to hang out while we waited. I was looking for Daniel when I happened to turn back around and see Andrew holding and playing with a dead bird....moving its body around and pretending it was flying. I screamed at this point thinking of all the diseases he was most definitely catching and sort of scared him I think. He said sorry and I just explained that it wasn't a toy bird and that it was a DEAD bird and DEAD birds are ...well....less than clean. Later that week we were meeting with a builder and the builder's wife offered to play with the kid while we chatted. While playing with the lady Ashley decided she should tell her that Andrew plays with dead birds..........needless to say we made a very good first impression on that particular lady.....gee and where was that dcfs airport lady....I can hear her saying..."If you loved them you would never let them play with dead birds!"....that would've been fun. Then I would say...."It's because I love them so much that I let them play with dead birds!"...so maybe not.

Next, lately the weather has been nice...well until now...it's in the 30's but last week the weather was nice enough that we got to play outside lots. Andrew and Ashley have gone for cruises on their Gator several times.....If I'm being honest I was worried that would be more of a stressful present than anything just because I thought Andrew would needs lots of direction. But, he's a natural and drives around the neighborhood just like the big people. Holly loves to ride in the back but whenever Ashley hops out she works her way to the front and usually prefers standing while Andrew drives. She loves living on the edge. When Holly's not in the Gator she's in her own car. Because Holly gets bored with the usual way of doing things she likes to drive her car backwards and in circles. Here's a video of her in her car.

video

Next, Daniel has a method of keeping Holly happy that I don't subscribe to and soon you'll find out why. When she's whiney or just isn't happy with the usual toys he hands her valuables....such as his wedding ring, watch, the remote to the tv(soo very valuable), his cell phone, and his keys. Well recently most of these things have gone missing....go figure. Today we found his wedding ring deep inside a toy basket.....our remote deep inside a trunk filled with stuffed animals and other various toys, his watch buried in the couch and finally we found his keys swimming in garbage at the bottom of a tied up bag of trash in the garage...all ready to go for tomorrows trash pickup. So you see now I think he'll think twice about handing her whatever to keep her quiet....we'll see. I remember a time in North Carolina when my wallet had gone missing and was found in the trash in the bathroom a few days later. Come to think of it all of my kids have gone through a phase where they think most things ought to go in the trash....fun times.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Good problems to have. So last week we spent the week in Bloomington, IL which by the way is where Daniel got a job which starts in August. We planned to spend the week relaxing with my family, but things didn't go quite like that. We made a couple of appointments with builders which led to several appointments with those builders....which consumed our week and made it fly by. Our poor kids...they were drug from office to office....from spec home to spec home instead of getting spoiled by their grandparents constantly. Don't feel too bad for them....by the end of the week they'd been to the children's museum which is so awesome....a.k.a...has more than a computer chair and a rabbit.....no but really I'm so excited to go there at least once a week when we move there. They'd also been to Chucky Cheese's and taken on a few rides on a tractor. They'd been to mcdonalds.....and many other restaurants. Anyway back to building. So Daniel and I never knew there could be as many decisions to make at one time...or factors to consider as there are when choosing to build. Where to build?....granite tops or not?.....wood, tile, or carpet?....location?...all the factors to consider for not only what you want but what would be good for resale. Then...trying to get the best deal....we have to talk about all of this with 4 builders and try to compare their house plans and offers. So, sort of stressful ...but a good stressful.....as I said in the beginning these are good problems to have. Surprisingly between the two of us...never would have guessed this....Daniel is the spendthrift when it comes to picking things for our house. He wants the tiled shower with the glass doors....he wants the home theater system and 5th bedroom in the finished basement. He wants hardwood floors in the family room and study. Finally, Daniel keeps going back to the idea of a rain showerhead in the tile shower....one that comes from the ceiling.....12'' diameter....that's luxury. That guy has some rich tastes....who knew? Anyway, I think we're narrowing things down and coming to an agreement with one builder. We'll keep you posted.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

The many happenings. I have quite a few things to post about..so here goes. First we'll start with Holly....who loves to climb on and in everything. We recently caught her doing this...




Next, Andrew's class recently had a field trip to a local Science Center...or that's what they like to call it. I usually refer to it as the small room with the dirty toys and a rabbit. But, you know it's not their fault.....they just don't have the funding. I hope to one day be able to help places like this ....that are trying to promote fun educational activities for children.....if you have a chance to donate...I say go for it. Really....do....this place brags of its chair that spins...we're talking a computer chair....that kids just spin around in....this is supposed to be a science center. Anyway, Ashley and Holly got to come along and so below you'll see a picture of them with a girl named Amaya in Andrew's class. He says when he gets older she'll be his honey.....his words...not mine. She's adorable so we'll see....so if when he's in his 40's and ready to get married ...and if she's still available...



Also, due to a shortage of competent gorgeous people to report the news at a local news station.....Ashley and Holly had to step in and show them how it's really done. Questioning whether this is true? Just look below to see proof of my two beautiful talented daughers working hard to deliver important news.



Finally, on the field trip Andrew got to do what he dreams about day and night. He got to dig up dinosaurs.....He was born to be a paleontologist. He's constantly impressing his teachers by pointing out the names of dinosaurs they've never heard of.



Andrew's recently become very picky about his bedtime rituals and settings. For instance, He has to have his nightlight on.....the closet light on with the door cracked at about a 45 degree angle....and the hall light on with his room door at about a 30 degree angle. To make sure all of these are the case...he sleeps sitting up....yep that's right sitting up in his bed. Think after he's asleep he won't notice if you adjust any of these settings?...think again. If I so much as close the door a little within a few minutes he's awake and yelling....OPEN THE DOOR!....pretty crazy. All I have to say is...it doesn't come from my side of the family. ;)

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Because I'm sick of seeing my last post. Yes, I'm writing because one who has their own blog should have written something new by now right?...even if they think there's nothing sensational to write about. We're all back on the healthy train again...everyone but me recently had a cold...Daniel completely lost his voice for a bit which of course makes it hard to lecture to 120 students 3 days a week...but he managed. He was born to teach...entertain...and he gets to do both. Moving on....today I went and saw Confessions of a shopaholic with a friend for a girl's night out. Here's my review. It was a little over the top...everything a bit too unbelievable...but a cute story that Erin(being me) could relate to. I admit it and pretty much everyone who knows me must know ...or be somewhat aware of the fact that I'm a shopaholic. All of the feelings she describes about shopping and the highs she gets from buying something cute and new that of course never lasts and must be sought after time and time again....I can relate. Now, do I buy prada...gucci....that kind of stuff?....no. But, I do like to shop nonetheless and can be snobby about it...just can't afford to be that snobby. So, in the end...each time she's out shopping she has to say to herself "Do I need this?".....and use the real definition of need instead of the one shoppers use....like in the movie when she says...."I need these cashmere gloves because it's winter and I have hands" I plan on following her advice.......and as for the movie....I'd say shopaholics will enjoy it more than others....who might find it incredibly hard to relate to such irrational behavior. Although more and more these days I think most Americans are shopaholics in some form or another...may not all being buying clothes but we all seem to love consuming. So much of our time is spent on buying things...or coming up with new things that we have to have.....the neverending list. I have one of those...always on the hunt for something...never quite satisfied. Anyway sometimes I think it's sad that so much of my life is wrapped around consuming....shouldn't I be doing more important and fulfilling things?....yes I have a family and I watch my children and help them learn...and I believe that's a great way to spend my time....but shouldn't I be helping others instead of looking for the new trendy shoes I saw in my People Style Watch(a new magazine I subscribe to)? I could talk about this forever so I'll end here. When I die I don't want to regret how much time and money I spent on consuming and how little I spent on making someone else's life better.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Another one bites the dust. It's true. Our laptop was recently infected by a crazy virus that left it totally unusable....in fact we had to order a special cord to get the needed files off of the hard drive. So my message today is simple.....keep your anti-virus/spyware stuff up to date on your computer...pay the 30..40...50...bucks a year. It's worth it. And...if you refuse to do that....back up all of your important files(i.e...photos of your children). We'll be fine but I wish someone had told me a week ago this very thing...so here I am telling you. Don't feel too sorry for me...I get a new computer out of it. Andrew or Ash had stepped on our old one...and the monitor part was about to become detached from the keyboard....so a blessing in disguise?....I wouldn't go that far. Protect your computers...from viruses....children using them as stepstools...etc. :)

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Blogs are supposed to be little highlights from your life right?.....it seems like something is wrong if the highlights are all about the throwup flu going round and round your family. But....thanks to anti-bacterial hand soap and prayers we're all flu free for now....so thanks. Also, Ashley's doing great potty-training....piece of cake compared to how Andrew did......she still potties on the floor occasionally but it's more out of laziness than anything...anyway less diapers to change....YAY! Holly on the other hand has become quite the night owl. As I type in fact....Daniel is in bed about to pass out from exhaustion....and I'd be right there with him if our toddler weren't in the kitchen right now emptying our cabinets of all the food within reach.....oh wait no.....she wandered into her older siblings room and is playing with toys.....her favorite is to climb the bunkbed ladder...usually without success so we have to hide it. She does however give hugs upon request which is enough to keep me going....makes it all worth while.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Round 3....fight. I hear those words in my head from a nintendo boxing game....as I think about the fact that my son Andrew has the throw up flu for the 3rd time in 6 weeks......which as you all know means so will the rest of the family. Pray for us.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Ashley has finally decided potty training isn't the devil. We'll see how long this lasts. She often runs up to me and says "Mommy...I'm so proud of you".....since she's hearin it regularly coming back from her trips to the potty. Also, we're all better now...feeling like a million bucks....so thanks for the sympathy.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Unfortunately he didn't make it. He's got the flu as I type.....poor little guy. It's nice to be able to comfort him though without the fear of getting it myself. In other news we had an ice storm last night that has closed his school and Daniel's.....hooray!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Ashley asked me this morning..."Mommy, why do you look like an evil dragon?" Normally I might be shocked by this but since I spent Saturday night throwing up for hours in the bathroom and all day Sunday in and out of sleep ....I think perhaps she's justified. ANyway, since Saturday night Daniel, Holly, and I have all gotten the flu. Andrew is the last man standing....here's hoping he makes it. :)

Saturday, January 24, 2009

What do we do in our spare time? Hard to believe we have any spare time what with all of the flus we're constantly fighthing off.....but when we get a free moment here are a few things we apparently like to do.

We take the occasional trip to the moon...without any oxygen or protective gear.


Having spent all our money on trips to the moon.....we look for other cheaper ways to entertain ourselves......for some it doesn't take much.
A new hobby for Holly inlcudes crawling under our bathroom sink and ripping up toilet paper rolls....it brings her hours of joy.

When those don't satisfy us we try to look really cool....hence the following TWO pictures.

Living in a small town in IL has deluded some into believing a Fu manchu is cool.

Finally, Andrew got a John Deere Gator for Christmas....and is running into less and less these days. Holly enjoys riding along in the back....and in fact is a great rider. It can go up to 18mph in 2nd but sticking to my stepdad's advice....We haven't told Andrew about 2nd geer....maybe when he's 30. ANyway, we have a back up car now.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Just when you think you've rid your whole family of the flu....your daughter wakes up at 2 am with a horrible scream followed by puking all over. Some day....maybe not now....maybe not soon....but some day we'll all be healthy and well rested. I won't hold my breath. :)

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

A quick rant. Yesterday was our trip home from Idaho Falls. We had 2 flights with 2 hour drives before and after the 2 flights and a 3 hour layover in between. All went relatively well considering we had 3 kids under 4 and 7 carryons to avoid paying more for the extra bags...until we got off the plane in St. Louis. At this point, Ashley, having concluded she'd had enough, decided that she'd flop down and throw a major fit unless we carried her. Keep in mind we were carrying Holly and many other carryons and coats. In times past and on this particular occasion I decided to let her lay there and tantrum and said "We'll see ya Ash......you sleeping here tonight?"....and pretended to walk on as if we'd leave her. Well Daniel and I got 15 feet away when a very concerned 50-year-old woman rushed up to Ashley's side....at the same time another woman came up to me and said you hang in there....my daughter did the same thing yesterday...to which I replied thanks, but looks like she's calling our bluff. Anyway so Daniel goes back to tell Ash again to get up when the concerned old lady says "Anyone could have taken her....I can't believe you left her like that....If you don't want her ......I know lots of people who do.....I'll take her....I suggest you pick her up right now....etc...etc." Daniel replied "Do you have children?"...she said no.....he said"Obviously........and we love our daughter which is why we're trying to raise her right". Anyway....it ended with her walking off yelling "ILL REPORT YOU" and me giving her the evil eye. Needless to say this was a very frustrating experience for me. I guess I'm tired of people thinking that the way to show your children love is to give in to their every demand and let them walk all over you. I can tell you from experience that children don't know what's best for them and if it were up to them they'd never sleep except for when they pass out...they'd be fulll of sugar all the time..... they'd never wear a coat outside....and apparenlty they'd be carried everywhere ....never learning how to walk. In my opinion that is not loving them. Do I have all the answers?.....no of course not, but I want people to know that discipline does not equal negligence.....I think just the opposite does.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Christmas fun. We've been in Idaho Falls for the last 3 weeks enjoying our holiday with Daniel's family. It was a lot of fun and a very white Christmas....which I appreciate. A few highlights(meaning interesting things not necessarily good things) from break include....Daniel and I made a family game called the Ames Game which was essentially a toned down version of cranium which centered on family memories......we played it on Christmas....fun was had by all. Next, every member in the family got the stomach flu.....except ME.....over break....it seems as though it's not a family vacation unless at least one of us gets really sick.....but we're all better now and life goes on. We also played insane amounts of rockband II.....I'm not very good and it makes my eyes burn since I refuse to blink in order to become a rockband master.....but it's a lot of fun. Also, with the crazy amounts of snow....surprisingly I only got the car stuck like 3 times and once was in the neighbors yard...all I can say to that is...when it's white....it all looks the same to me...the road...the neighbors yard...whatever. There were so many more memories made this break but I'll end with this one. We got to spend some time at Daniel's sister Jessica's house in Provo( I miss Provo and the beautiful mountains). It was a great time ....we chatted lots and played games and talked Daniel's brother Tyler and his friend Jen into taking Andrew and Ashley to the world's largest Dinosaur exhibit/museum. All who know Andrew know....this was a blast for him. Tyler had an awesome time and so did Andrew and Ash. They got to see tons of dinosaur skeletons and even got to dig up dinosaurs like real paleontologists...sp? Great way to wrap our vacation. So all in we had a wonderful break and are so glad we got to spend it with Daniel's fam. That said....we're excited to have 2 more Christmases with my family over the next few weeks. Hope you all had a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Here are a few pics from the dinosaur museum adventure.