Tuesday, July 31, 2007

That's just great

When you wake up and your husband is out of state, your own children plus your daughter's two friends visiting from out of town are here, your list of out-of-the-house to-do's is long, and one of the first things you see is this:

You're tempted to just go back to bed.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Thank you God for Keaton!

For ten years of unique, dry wit.

For ten years of selfless giving (even when she didn't want to).

For ten years of little and then big sister-ness.

For ten years of making your mom so proud.

Happy Birthday Keaton. I love you very much.

Keaton's birthday candids

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Things I know now that I am three months old

I don't want to sleep in my chair, on my pallet, or in my bed; I want to sleep on my Mommy all night long.

I like to watch "Baby Einstein" videos with Reagan because she holds me up to the TV and tells me the name of everything we see on the screen.

Keaton and I talk a lot. She asks me about my day and if I'm having fun. She's even asked me what I wanted to be when I grow up. I think, some day, I want to be just like her.

The warm water in my baths make me tinkle every time.

Daddy's whiskers scratch my face, but I still snuggle with him and smile at his silly noises because I know it makes him happy.

Every time I fall asleep during the day, Landon wakes me up. Someday I will so be getting him back.

When Sutton, Mommy, and I go out, people seem to think Sutton is my mother. I think that's just weird.

I like spending time with Hayden in the early mornings when no one is up but us and Mom. He gives Mommy and me lots and lots of kisses.

I'm not sure why, but when I really start cooing and smiling and trying so hard to tell her something very important, my mommy's eyes always fill with tears.

Best of all, if I grunt the least little bit, people come running from all over the house to pick me up. I love being in charge.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Our baby's an Oompa Loompa

Look Ma! No training wheels!

Progress keeps being made at our house. Yesterday Hayden learned to ride his bike like a big kid and he's a little proud.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Happy Blogg-iversary To Me

My adventure into blogging began a year ago yesterday with this post and the following picture of the kids.I never could have imagined then that one year and 446 posts later, our latest picture would look like this:I've documented our highs and lows, ups and downs, and the wonderful addition to our family, who, unfortunately, was less than thrilled with having to take a picture atop her siblings for this year's photo:

Here's to another great year filled with lots of cheers and few tears.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Big man on campus

This picture is of Landon coming home from his first day of pre-school. He was so proud he could hardly stand himself. He said about his day, "I saw my teacher, we played outside, we ate lunch, I ate peas and puddin', I tinkled, and we wested (rested)." Actually, he napped at home but it must have felt good bragging about "westing" someplace else. He added with pride, "I a big school man."

His new classroom:

Growth Spurt

In the last ten days Landon has decided to potty train, is staying dry during nap and night times, and wants to go to sleep on his own in his "big boy bed" without holding Daddy's hand. We have been reeling from the unexpected progress. However, the big shocker came this morning when he woke up, asked for his clothes and announced that he was going to school with Hayden.


I quickly made sure he was dressed, packed his backpack, attached a pillow and blanket, and then kissed him hard and hugged him tight on his way out the door.

Currently he is at school, and aside from a few tears (Daddy's, not Landon's) all is going well. What happened to our baby boy?! (sniff, sniff)

Below are a "few" pictures of the big day. Please indulge a proud mommy.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Makes you feel anything but blue

Jimmy and I have been on a diet for about three weeks now, both of us trying to lose the baby weight from three babies in 5 1/2 years. In an effort to improve our overall food choices, we have sworn off fried foods, white flour, refined sugar, bad carbs (basically all the good stuff) and have replaced it with whole wheat products, natural sugars, good carbs and so much grilled chicken I'm starting to cluck.

Another required change has been from that uber wonderful, fat and calorie-laden buttermilk Ranch dressing we like to make, to this completely delicious and a-little-better-for-us blueberry vinaigrette.

Do yourself a favor and try it.

Blueberry Vinaigrette

1 cup fresh blueberries (I used a little more 'cause I love, LOVE blueberries)

1/3 cup balsamic vinegar

1/3 cup water

1 teaspoon onion powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

2/3 cup vegetable oil (I use extra virgin olive oil as it is much better for you.)

Rinse and drain the blueberries well. Place them in a blender or food processor and pulse to chop finely. Add vinegar, water, onion powder, salt and black pepper. Pulse to blend.

Turn the motor on low and slowly drizzle the oil into the vinaigrette through the feed tube or top of the blender. Blend only until all of the oil is incorporated. Stir in additional water (up to 2 tablespoons) if a thinner consistency is desired. Serve immediately.

Start to finish: 5 minutes

Per tablespoon: 53 calories (90 percent from fat), 5.6 g fat (trace saturated), no cholesterol, trace protein, 1 g carbohydrates, trace dietary fiber, 45 mg sodium.

"Seriously Mom..."

"...a hat?! How embarrasing."

"Okay, that's better."

Monday, July 23, 2007

"Only those who look with the eyes of children..."

"...can lose themselves in the object of their wonder."
-Eberhard Arnold

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Maybe we need name tags

Dad (reprimanding the too-loud Landon): "Landon, I need you to sit down and quit being so loud. You are going to wake up um....um.....(long pause)...whatever her name is!"

Mom: (generating a loud, disapproving gasp.)

Dad: "Well, baby, how many kids do we have around here anyway?!"

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Hooray for Hairspray

Last night ended up being movie night for us with the boys, Jimmy, and Uncle Dave seeing Ratatouille, while the girls, Aunt Miranda and I saw Hairspray. Miranda and I gushed over the fact that, even at our age (and I am quite a few years her senior), this is the first time either of us had seen a movie the day it opened.

The girls, without a doubt, picked a winner as the toe-stomping, hooting, and squealing heard in our theater was definitely coming from our group. Little Miss Keaton, a true musical theatre buff, was completely engrossed in this film and I so enjoyed watching her wiggle and giggle as she "experienced," with every ounce of 9-year-old giddiness, the cotton candy-colored spectacle.

While I am certainly not a professional movie critic and I have no idea how the rest of the world will respond to this film, I know this will be a family favorite in our home for years to come. Keaton and Reagan have already chosen "parts" and I'm sure they will have the lyrics, as well as the dance moves, memorized soon after the video release.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Big boy upgrade

We started our potty training journey here almost a year ago. I updated here and then pretty much decided to remove all potty pressure from the little guy.

With all the changes that came with the new baby "stister," life has been tough for Landon as he struggled to hold on to the limelight, often overshadowed by the newest member of the family who has been lavished with attention once earmarked only for him.

We've had setbacks, stumbling blocks and major mishaps. We had no luck even when we bought new gear.

However, today the whole family is on celebration high-alert. Our newest inductee into the Big Boy Hall of Fame is...........(drum roll, please)................LANDON!

I won't go into detail (even though I'd love to), but suffice it to say that all jobs, big and small, have been done in the correct place. Our new big boy is shown here proudly modeling his big boy underwear grasping the reward that finally encouraged success...jelly beans (that we have our fingers crossed will continue to work. PLEASE! PLEASE!)

Congratulations Landon! We are so proud of you (and quite thankful.)

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Beautiful bargain

Guess. Go ahead and try to guess how much I paid today for this brand new, tags still attached, $150 formal dress from a department store.

Okay, I'll help you. It wasn't $75. It wasn't $50. It wasn't even $30.

Give up?

It was $1.58! Yes, as in one dollar and some change.

I've got to find someplace to wear this thing.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

We need to observe a moment of silence...PLEASE!

Reagan, shown here with Peyton's Boppy on her head, returned home from church camp yesterday. She walked in the front door sunburned, dog-tired, and nearly completely hoarse. But true to form, her barely-there voice didn't diminish her intense will to converse.

She began speaking the second she spotted me across the room, hardly taking the time to breathe as she detailed each and every aspect of her trip:

-who was there.
-who wasn't.
-what they did.
-what they didn't do.
-who got hurt.
-how they got hurt.
-who helped the hurt people.
-how they helped the hurt people.
-new people she met and where they are from.
-the menu for each meal they had.
-what tasted good.
-what didn't.
-what people wore.
-what they should have worn.
-and a thousand other very important facts it was absolutely necessary for me to know.

I continued listening even when she started insisting that I view (up close!) every mosquito bite she has...even the three on her bottom.

I was patient (oh, so patient), loving and calm. I listened until my ears bled, and when I had reached my limit I suggested gently that it was time to let her voice rest. She agreed and left the room, only to return moments later to tell me about the new boy she likes.

I will listen today, tomorrow and every day after that because if she's anything like another teenager I know, someday I might be missing our conversations... when I am the dumbest person on earth and the last person she wants to speak with.

Monday, July 16, 2007

I'm dreading his teenage years

Landon (yelling from the back seat): "Go faster, Mommy, go faster!"

Mom: "I can't Landon, the policeman will get me."

Landon: "Well, he won't get you if he can't catch you."

Oh my.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Don't rush back...we're doing fine!

Sutton is at volleyball camp, Reagan is at church camp, and Keaton is here in her own little heaven. Going from the middle child who, when compared to her sisters, has had little power and even less time alone with the baby, to "large and in charge" sister who has been Mom's right hand man for four days, has been a real ego-booster for Keaton. While not quite ten years old, she has proven that she is capable of many of those big girl jobs once relegated to her older siblings. She's been patient, helpful, calm, and mature...it's amazing what a little responsibility can do to make a little sister feel (and act) so big.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Keep workin' Daddy

Baby Girl needs some shoes to go with her sundress.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Rules for surviving a shopping trip with six children

1. Take Button-Pusher son (AKA: child #4) to school for the whole day. He won't get into near as much trouble there which will provide him with a sense of accomplishment. So you're actually boosting his self-confidence by not taking him with you. Make sense?

2. Never, ever, skip rule #1.

3. Always check to see what kind of undergarments (i.e. diaper, pull-ups, big boy underwear) Tinkling Toddler (AKA: child #5) is wearing. If you do discover said son is wearing underwear and you have no change of clothes for him, don't panic. Simply start praising him for being such a big boy and remind him to tell you when he has to go.

4. Pray (really, really hard)

5. When Tinkler Boy gets "the look" during lunch, run him straight to the restroom, hurdle over other patrons if you must, but do not stop for any reason. You are on a very important mission.

6. Hesitate long enough during this mad dash to see if you are running your child into the Men's or Women's room. I neglected to verify our position today and didn't notice the urinal until we were on our way out...no wonder the "lady" in the next stall got so quiet while we were there.

7. In the stores, put I-Hate-Shopping daughter (AKA: child #3) in charge of toy-looking with You-Better-Not-Tinkle boy.

8. When Chatty-Cathy daughter (AKA: child #2) gets too talkative, send her on phantom searches. ("Honey, please go find me a pair of pink, size 6 long, blue jeans with a blue pocket, and animal print trim.") It keeps her busy.

9. Grumpy-'Til-I-Graduate daughter (AKA: child #1) can't be pleased, so don't even try. You'll just end up with headaches.

10. When child #3 brings Already-Tinkled boy to you from the toy section with very wet pants, you are then allowed to panic, but only for 30 seconds.

11. Walk Tinkle-Now-Running-Down-My-Leg-And-Into-My-Shoes boy to the kids' clearance section, grab a pair of shorts, send Grumpy to the front to buy them, send Chatty to the restroom with Tink (remind her to check the restroom signs first) to change his clothes, put Shopper-Hater in charge of the buggy, and you nurse (standing up, mind you) Sweet-Baby-Girl (AKA: child #6) who has now had all that she can take.

12. Try to wipe off the exacerbated look from your face and be friendly to the cashier who must comment on how full your hands are, and question how you do it. Smile convincingly when you tell her how much fun a large family is, even though you aren't feeling it right then.

13. Go home, put I-Really-Love-My-New-Shorts Boy and Sweet-Baby-Girl down for a nap. Give Grump, Chat, and Shop jobs that must be done right away.

14. Sit back, close your eyes, and dream of lying on a secluded beach somewhere while sipping a cold beverage.

15. After returning from your five minute vacation, remind yourself how wonderful it is that you have these children, how easy it is to laugh at yourself, and how truly lonely that secluded beach would be after those five minutes were up.

16. Plan your next shopping trip...kids and all.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Just checking

Landon (running to mom in the kitchen): "Mommy, I in trouble?"

Mom: "No sir, you're not in trouble."

Landon (relieved): "Okay, thank you!" (runs to dad in the living room)

Landon: "Daddy, I in trouble?"

Dad: "Nope, not in trouble here."

Landon (again relieved): "Okay, thank you!"

(runs out of the living room squealing) "WHOO! HOO! I not in trouble!!"

Monday, July 09, 2007

There was a little girl who had a little curl...

...Right on top of her head.
And no matter what her mommy did
To try to smooth and calm it,
Nothing worked, it wouldn't lay,
So she stuck a bow upon it.

And that didn't work either...sigh.