Tuesday, August 31, 2010

My Girl Wants To Party All The Time

Did my girl have a great sixth birthday?
I'd have to say YES!
She had party after party, so she celebrated all weekend long.

Aunt Pam (my BFF) came up from Phoenix and brought gifts.

We all love a visit from Aunt Pam. She dotes on the kids and they eat it up.

Next was Emily's birthday party at Peter Piper Pizza. That's where she wanted it, so that's where we had it. I originally thought we'd do a water party in the backyard and it's a good thing we didn't because it was cool and windy that day. Besides, messes that happen at Peter Piper stay at Peter Piper, and that's just fine with me.

Emily started her party with a ride on some weird horse. One token down, 59 to go.

Kids (including my husband) love video games.

Emily liked the roller coaster simulator.

She got to make her own pizza.

And we had cake.

Even Noah.

Then, it was time to open presents. My girl loves presents.

I think she had a fun birthday party with 12 of her closest friends.

She went to school on Monday with a bag full of stuff as she was the "person of the week". She also had a snack to share with everyone for her birthday. She got a crown and everyone sang to her. She said it was a good day.

Then, I tried to round out her day with a meal that she requested.

First, comes the licking of the potato beaters.

And what did she want for her special dinner? Hot carrots. That's right, not the steamed ones dipped in ranch, the hot ones that I put in with the pot roast. So, I made it all for her complete with potato rolls.

Presents were next. Emily loves presents. She rarely cares what she gets. She just likes to open gifts. So, I wrapped her about 7 boxes inside one another. She had never seen this trick before, so she was a little confused. She opened the first box and thought that we actually bought her a humidifier. And she said, "I love humidifiers!" Isn't that sweet? She would've been okay with a humidifier.

Then, she realized there was another present inside and so it went...

In the end, she got lady bug earrings, a book and some Whimzy Pets. These little animals that you can attach to stuff, so she attached them to her headband.

All 3 sets of grandparents sent her gifts or cards, so she opened those too. She is just like her Dad and they both smell things. She opened her new shirt and smelled it.

Since we already had cake and leftover cake, and she brought Swiss Cake Rolls to school, she wanted Lofthouse sugar cookies for her birthday treat.

Then, the kids played in the boxes and wrapping paper.

All I wanted was for my girl to feel special and loved on her birthday.
After all of these celebrations, I'd say mission accomplished.

Monday, August 30, 2010

She Rocks Our World

Emily turns 6 today.

I don't know where the past 6 years went.

Just yesterday we were doing this:

And now we are doing this:

Emily came into the world right on time, on her due date. I love that she was punctual. That's my girl. Oh she tested us in the beginning. She didn't want to sleep and spit up all the time everywhere. I brought her to work with me when she was 4 weeks old. I had a pack and play in my office and I'd strap her to me in a sling and take inventory. She was up for anything and still is.

And even though she is always ready to explore the world, she likes to come home. Much to my surprise on our vacation to Idaho, she was the first to say she missed our home. She feels the most comfortable here. She thrives in other settings, but her roots are here with us, with our family.

She is loving and sweet, especially with Noah.

And she always makes Ben laugh.

She'll play Batman with Ben and blocks with Noah. She is nurturing and mature for her age. When I go in our bedroom to workout on the treadmill, she holds down the fort for me. She entertains Noah and gets Ben snacks. I could leave her in charge of them for hours and everything would be fine (not that I ever would). She's kind and helpful.

A few weeks ago, David had a furlough day on a Friday. Emily was in school. We ran a few errands with the boys. It felt strange to not have her with us. Our family isn't complete without our girl.

She inspires me to be a better Mom and a better woman. Martina McBride has a song called "In My Daughter's Eyes" and I remember listening to it before I had a daughter and thinking it was a great song. Then, I had a daughter and the lyrics took on a whole new meaning.
In my daughter's eyes I am a hero
I am strong and wise and I know no fear
But the truth is plain to see
She was sent to rescue me
I see who I wanna be
In my daughter's eyes

In my daughter's eyes everyone is equal
Darkness turns to light and the
world is at peace
This miracle God gave to me gives me
strength when I am weak
I find reason to believe
In my daughter's eyes

And when she wraps her hand
around my finger
Oh it puts a smile in my heart
Everything becomes a little clearer
I realize what life is all about

It's hangin' on when your heart
has had enough
It's giving more when you feel like giving up
I've seen the light
It's in my daughter's eyes

In my daughter's eyes I can see the future
A reflection of who I am and what will be
Though she'll grow and someday leave
Maybe raise a family
When I'm gone I hope you see how happy
she made me
For I'll be there
In my daughter's eyes
My sweet brown eyed girl means everything to me.
Happy Birthday Em. You're simply wonderful.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Fruit and New Tricks

We buy a lot of fruit. We go to Costco or Sams at least once a week and get the humongous containers of berries, peaches or whatever else looks good. And we eat it all. On the rare occasion, we don't finish something before it starts to go bad, we freeze it for smoothies. We usually always have fruit in the house. But this morning, David tells me he is eating the last orange and only has one semi-rotten apple left. I guess he'll eat around the rotten spots. We do have grapes, but I'm finding out that my family is not all that into grapes.

So, I go with the last resort and pack Emily applesauce in her lunch box. Then, Ben asks for fruit. Ummm, ummm, he doesn't like applesauce (me either). Ummm, we have grapes. Nope, he wants blueberries. Don't have any. How about raspberries? He's happy about that idea. So, we went outside and picked a bowl for him. And we even got 3 strawberries. It was a good morning.

I tell him not to smile because when he does a fake smile his eyes get all squinty and he looks like he's in pain. So, this solemn expression is the look I get and I just have to roll with it.

And Noah has learned a few new tricks like how to climb up on the sofa and where the tupperware cabinet is.

What this means for me is that I will no longer be able to shower unless he is asleep.
And I actually have to pay attention to what he is doing now.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Karate Kids

The kids started Karate yesterday. Emily wanted to do Karate instead of tap or ballet. It makes it easier for me if they both want to do the same activity and can be in the same class, so I went with what they both wanted. I was debating on keeping them in gymnastics too, but decided they can do both. I don't worry about Ben, but Emily is in school all day and I didn't know if she'd have the energy (mentally and physically) do to an activity 3 days a week after school. Karate is every Tuesday and Thursday. Gymanstics is every Wednesday. She had no problem yesterday. After all, other than recess, there is no physical activity in school except 40 minutes of PE once a week. And yesterday at recess, Emily told me they watched an ant. So, I can't assume that recess is always physical.

The class started with some basic moves.

Ben was getting into it. Sorry the picture is a little blurry. I was pretty far away, holding a baby in one hand, the camera in the other and I hadn't eaten since breakfast.

Then some stretching.

I love that Emily is stretching perfectly with knees loose and toes pointed.

And Ben looks like he's about ready to tear his ACL.

Emily is such a good listener and was one of the best kids in the class. Ben, well, he's still slightly in his own world and had to do pushups once for not focusing. As in this video when the sensei says "face forward" and Ben's faces backwards. He'll get it though.

They both did great for their first class.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Ben: The Brave And The Bold

I love the summer here in Prescott Valley. It gets warm during the day, but you are always guaranteed a pleasant evening. And people flock outside after dinner to soak up the last remaining rays before the sun sets.

We are some of those people.

We always check the garden when we go outside. We found two gigantic cucumbers which I didn't even know were growing. We planted them, but thought the squash choked them out. We are getting bowls full of tomatoes every few days and raspberries too. Our strawberry plants, well, they need some help.

Ben posed for a little photo shoot.

Here he is as claw man.

I think this means he's had enough of my picture taking.

As you can see, Ben is still going strong with his superhero obsession. It's been over a year now. Our friend gave Ben a Joker figure that was in his happy meal and we looked it up and saw all 8 Batman toys that they are currently giving away. Ben says he is making a collection of Batman and he wanted all of them.

There is only one problem. We don't eat at McDonalds (unless we are on a roadtrip). Even if we did, I'm not going back once a week for 2 months to get all the toys. Then, I'd have to buy Emily a happy meal too and I'd get one of those carmel coffee drinks and I'd end up spending $100 for 8 little toys. Today while we were out running a few errands, I decided to call McDonalds. Did you know you can call 1-800-goog411 for free info on your cell? It's provided by Google and they even connect you for free. Anyway, I spoke to an awesome lady who actually helped me. She went through all their boxes and pulled out the 7 toys we needed to complete Ben's collection. Did you know that you can just buy the toys? Yep, $1.50 each. Much better than the $3.49 for each happy meal.

When we pulled up, we had a conversation that went like this:
Me: Do you know where we are? (Golden arches in plain view)
Ben: No
Me: McDonalds. Do you know what they sell here?
Ben: No
Me: Food and Batman toys!
Ben: Cool!
Me: Do you want to get a happy meal too?
Ben: What's a happy meal?
Me: Fries and a burger or chicken nuggets.
Ben: No, I just want the toys.

So, we spent $11.00 and got the rest of the set to Batman: The Brave And The Bold.
And Ben was thrilled.
This is his thrilled expression.

And he will play with them for weeks and sleep with them too.

It doesn't take much to make Ben happy.

He's a sweet boy who often under estimates himself. He will flat out tell you "I can't" do something even if he's never tried it.

He's been swimming all summer with floaties on. We have to hold Noah because our lame clubhouse community pool won't allow any toys in the pool. Not even a floatie tube for an infant. They suck. So between holding Noah and having to keep an eye on Emily (this is her first summer of swimming on her own), we just kept putting floaties on Ben so we wouldn't have to worry about him.

We decided to take them off and see what he could do. He started crying saying he needs his floaties and he'll drown without them.

His very first try, he made it the width of the pool without David's help.

He does a mean doggy paddle.
I'm so proud of him.
He's braver than any superhero.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Oh Nuts!

This morning, I packed Emily her lunch for school. The peanut butter was almost out. I know before you recycle the container, you are supposed to scrape the insides with a spatula. I'm a busy Mom. I don't have time for spatula's. I went the easy route.

While Rocko was cleaning that Jif container better than a spatula ever could, I was fixing Emily's hair. Then, we walked out and saw this.

My first response was to gag. But, he'd already been at it for several minutes, so what's a few more seconds. I grabbed my camera because that's just the kind of Mom I am. I've given Noah a little bit of peanut butter on a cheerio, but he was fully enjoying this. Lip smacking good.

About 5 minutes later, his face looked like this.

I'm praying it's not a peanut allergy and just a reaction to the massive amount of dog saliva. He started to get fussy and the rash was on his hands too. It went away after about an hour and he seems fine now. I'll have to do a little peanut butter experiment some other time. We've already had enough excitement for one day.

Sunday, August 22, 2010


This weekend we went to a birthday party for Emily's friend Alanah. It was a gymnastics party at the YMCA. Two years ago, we did a quadruple birthday party for all the friends with August birthday's, Emily included, at the Y. This year, Emily said she wanted her own party. In short, she didn't want to share the limelight with anybody else. So, we celebrated only Alanah's birthday on Saturday.

And man, did these kids have fun.

They had a freeze dance competition and Emily won.

Even the little monkey had fun.

And the big kids had fun too.

I have to say, I'm almost 37 years old and I was having so much fun. No photos to document it, but I was swinging on the rings, walking on the beam and doing front flips on the trampoline. Maybe I should have my birthday party at the Y.