Sunday, July 31, 2011

The Pool

We spend everyday during the summer at our clubhouse pool. David plays with the kids in the pool and I usually hang out in the hot tub ready to supervise if they need to warm up.

Noah has gotten really good with floaties. We tried them a month ago and he just couldn't figure out how to balance his body and kept swallowing water. But he seems to have gotten the hang of it and loves to cruise around the pool by himself.

 David spends lots of time throwing the kids in the pool.

Noah likes to get in on the wrestling action.

But he doesn't really stand a chance...yet.

Noah has perfected this little stand in the water.

We call this move the Heisman after the trophy.

He has absolutely no fear of the water and goes crashing right in.

Ms. Emily is a great swimmer. I really wish there was a swim team close by as I think she could really excel at swimming.

For now, everyone is just content to hang on Dad.

And that about sums up our weekend.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Flashback Friday

Today I pulled a disc of Emily as a baby. She was colicky and not very good for the fist few months. The night she was born, we put her in the nursery so we could get a little rest and she got kicked out for crying too much. She was at the nurses station being held and then they brought her back to us early. So much for sleep.

But she was cute, so she's forgiven.

She's always been a Daddy's girl.

The you tube videos are such a hit that the kids want to make more. Well, they are a hit to them and maybe Grammie Gwynne. Other than that, I can't imagine anybody watching them once, let alone all day long on the TV like I've been doing. The countdown is officially on for the first day of school. Let's hope I can make it that long.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Stars Are Born

It's the end of summer. I'm not quite ready for the kids to go back to school. Emily is excited and wished school started 2 weeks ago. Ben is not so excited. Ben is content to play in his room all day long. I started singing, "It's the end of the world as you know it" last night as really it is. Other than summer vacation, he will be going to school or working now for the rest of his life. And for a boy who prefers costumes to school clothes and action figures to teachers, he was a little upset. He says he wants to stay a kid forever; actually, his words are "I don't wanna grow up!"

For that reason, I'm sad for him to be entering the milestone of Kindergarten. There's a part of me that wants him to stay 5 and stay with me at home everyday. But, I know he's ready for bigger and better things and at the very least, I entice him into being interested in school by telling him he'll learn to read all those superhero comic books in just a few years all by himself.

We have 10 days left of summer break. The kids have spent time this summer on the computer. They love the regular kid sites, but they've also discovered you tube. They'll watch all sorts of videos and some are really catchy. Like the video of spiderman done to a version of the piano man..."sling us a web your the spiderman" can watch it here but I warn you, you'll be singing it all day.

Emily sticks to videos of dolls and will show me every one claiming that's what she wants for her birthday. Um, that's a Baby Alive from 1989 sweetie. I don't think so.

In any case, some videos are rather basic and are of kids just playing with their toys. Really? That's entertaining? They think so. I told them anybody could put up a video like that, so they wanted to make their own. And that's what we did today. I stayed out of it and let them come up with everything on their own. We had to film in shifts. I filmed Ben first while Emily watched Noah on the other side of the house and vice versa. Otherwise, all we'd hear is Noah complaining. So, here are their videos.

Warning: If you are not their parent or grandparent this will be 15 minutes of your life that you will never get back.

I think they did pretty good. They even came up with their own titles. I don't know if they'll ever walk a red carpet one day, but it was a great effort.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Emily's 20 Questions

Emily is my smart, attentive little girl. Nothing gets by her. She likes to be challenged and she likes to challenge me. She's really changed in the past year into a confident little lady. Gone is the girl who was so quiet she wouldn't speak in class. She makes friends easily now and is up for anything. She's beautiful, nurturing and sweet. She's my girl.
Last year, I played 20 questions with Emily. I thought it would be fun for her to answer the same 20 questions every summer. So, here are the same questions for summer 2011. Her answers are first with what I thought she'd answer in parenthesis.

My favorite time of day is __________.
at night (night time)

The last thing I do before I go to bed at night is __________.
get tucked in and snuggle with Porky (kiss my dad goodnight)

I wish that I could go to ____________.
Florida because it's so fun (the beach)

The first thing I do in the morning is ___________.
drink coffee (drink coffee)

Do you pray?
No (yes)

Favorite TV show?
Hell's Kitchen (The Bachelorette, geez, both are bad parenting decisions, but she only watches a few minutes of both when we are watching it)

Favorite thing to wear?
comfortable clothes (pajamas)

Do you get embarrassed easily?
no (no)

If you are in the backyard, what are you probably doing?
playing with Ben on the slide or swinging and looking at our garden (ditto)

What are you scared of?
nothing, wait wait don't write that. I think there are monsters in my room that's why I ask Ben to come with me. But, that's just my imagination. (monsters)

What is something fun you are going to do today?
nothing (go to the pool)

Would you rather be in a cold place or hot place?
medium place because it's not that hot and not that cold (cold place)

Who is the boss in our house?
Ben. I'm joking. Daddy. That's a terrible question. (Daddy)

What do you recycle at our house?
milk, plastic bottles, empty yogurt, plastic boxes were raspberries are and regular boxes (water bottles, paper)

Favorite animal?
I like elephants, monkeys, iguanas, lions and yak.(What? She found an animal for every letter of her name. I thought she'd just say kitten.)

Favorite food?
roasted carrots with mashed potatoes and beef, and daddy's pea soup, and daddy's club sandwich (roast beef with carrots, potatoes and rolls)

Favorite drink?
cold water (coffee)

Favorite dessert?
cookie dough ice cream (pumpkin roll)

Favorite song?
Don't stop Believing (Don't Stop Believing, by Journey)

Favorite movie?
Ramona and Beezus (Annie)

She definitely has a lot more to say this year.

Monday, July 25, 2011

My Poor Little Lamb

I call Noah my little lamb sometimes. I'm not sure why exactly, but it's been a nickname for him for over a year. In any case, he's been battling a cold for over 2 weeks. Noah's colds usually develop into an ear infection which sometimes take 3 different antibiotics to find a cure. He's always had this problem, but it's getting better with each year and the antibiotics are fewer. It still wouldn't surprise me if one day he is getting tubes in his ears, but I'm hoping he outgrows all this stuff.

Now Noah always complains, so we can never really tell when something is wrong or he is just being a pain in the butt. At almost two, he can point to his ear and say hurt, so you think he'd let me know when he has an ear infection or doesn't feel good. Yesterday, he was really fussy. I mean I could hardly stand to be around him. Between his crankiness and Emily walking around pretending to be speaking (and singing) in Spanish, I wanted to run away from home.

David I talked yesterday that maybe I should take Noah to the doctor. We both suspected another ear infection. When Noah woke up this morning and looked like this, I called as soon as the doctor was open.

They had an appointment in 30 minutes, which meant we all needed to be out the door in 15. We managed and got to the appointment with time to spare. Noah coughed and sneezed and fussed and I went through about 10 kleenex. And I waited for the doctor to tell me he had an ear infection, this would make his 9th I think in 2 years. But guess what? His ears were fine! I couldn't believe it. No infection. None. Zero. I almost wanted her to check again as I really couldn't believe it.

So, we spent an hour of our Monday morning and a $15 co-pay to find out that Noah is fine. Apparently there isn't a medicine to cure his crankiness. Darn it.

Sunday, July 24, 2011


***I'm trying a new layout, so that I can have bigger pictures. I may have some issues for a bit while I make adjustments.***

Our dog Rocko is a great dog. He's a beautiful golden retriever who doesn't have issues or bad habits. Well, he has one bad habit. He chews up toys. Now, Ben is very fond of his action figures. He plays with them everyday. A few weeks ago, Rocko ate Ben's best Dark Knight Batman and he hardly has any spidermen figures who have all their appendages. The great thing is Ben is like, "oh well, he's still good". It doesn't dawn on him that maybe spiderman can't spin webs when the dog has eaten off both his arms.

In any case, after the death of the Dark Knight which Ben still doesn't know about, it was seriously just a torso left, so we quietly threw him out. I went shopping on ebay and found him a 50 piece set of action figures for $23 and that included shipping. Quite a steal since one guy goes for $10 in the store. I almost saved them for Christmas, but he has two weeks left of freedom before Kindergarten starts and I want him to enjoy ever second. Yesterday, Emily and I gave him each toy, one by one. He was in heaven.
That was followed by 49 more smiles and oh's and ah's.
He shared with his brother and sister and even let Emily pick out a few to keep. Well, he gave her the 2 girl superheros and a few others.
Emily loves them as much as Ben. She even set up a shoot out on her dresser. Poor Cinderella doesn't stand a chance.
The kids have been playing with all these toys for the past two days. They take them in the car with us and they've set up camp in Barbie's dream house. Best $23 I ever spent.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Flashback Friday (er...Saturday)

I was so impressed with Noah's Picasso Potato Head yesterday that I forgot to do a Flashback Friday post.

Today I grabbed a CD of photos from before we had kids. This disc is very special to me as I thought at one point that everything on it was wiped out. We put it in the computer a few years ago and it was blank. All my honeymoon pictures, our trip to Canada to meet David's Grandmother (who has now passed), I was devastated that we lost all of these special memories. Then, we put the disc in our new computer and the pictures were there. I was ecstatic.

These are photos from our weddingmoon. That's what they call it when you combine a wedding with your honeymoon. We went to the Caribbean, St Lucia to be exact. We stayed at a gorgeous Sandals resort. It's one of those all inclusive deals which meant lots of drinks, food and fun. Eat, drink and be merry was the theme for the 10 days that we were there.

I had traveled quite a bit through the States in my 20's. But, I'll never forget the first time we walked through the lobby and saw the view of the ocean. It was so blue, the sand so white, the trees and grass so green. It was perfect. We were greeted with cold wet towels to help with the heat and a beverage from the bar.

We'd play on the beach during the day and go to one of the many restaurants at the resort at night. Never a dull moment.

Some days we did off site excursions. This was a bike ride through the jungle.

We also went horseback riding on the beach. Riding bareback on a horse while waves are crashing into your legs with your new spouse, seems like a fairytale, but David will tell you that it was one of the worst experiences of his life. His horse was bony and sway back and David almost didn't recover.

A month later, we were pregnant with Emily and life as we knew it was forever changed.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Poor Potato Head

Noah is growing up fast. With an older brother and sister in the house, toys for 2 and under hold zero appeal. He wants superheros and squinkies and I'm ready to sell a giant lot of baby toys on craigslist.

Yesterday, he discovered Mr. Potato Head. He was so proud of his creation. He showed me with a big grin on his face. When his Dad came home from work, he showed him too. Maybe it's a Picasso Potato Head and Noah is a child prodigy...

...or not.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

He's Italian

Noah is by far our pickiest eater. The kid won't even eat corn. Have you ever met somebody who won't eat corn? No. Everybody likes corn. He won't eat a strawberry or a grape. His diet consists of grazing on carbs from a bag...cereal, goldfish crackers, chips. He won't even try foods. We force it in his mouth and he complains until he makes himself vomit. Mealtime is an adventure.

But, the one thing that he will always eat is pasta. And he loves his pasta.

I usually keep some in the fridge as back up at all times. I give him chicken nuggets and mashed potatoes. He feeds them to the dog and then I feed him pasta.

I pick and choose my battles and fighting with him and cleaning up vomit at mealtime is not a battle I want to fight. Basically because I will lose every time. It is what it is and the rule around our house is if Noah is happy, everyone is happy.

The doctor says it's a texture issue that usually goes away when they are around 2-3 years old. I'm praying she's right.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Piano Cake and Cowboy

Emily's piano teacher is one of our good friends. It makes it nice that she is learning from someone we already know and trust. To keep piano fun and the girls interested, Mrs. Stacy had her three students over to make piano cakes. We are all good friends, so it was a giant fun play date.

Emily took her job of placing the black keys (kit kats) very seriously. Notice her tongue out. This is becoming more and more of a habit.

Here's the finished product. They tasted as good as they looked.

Caleb and Ben are best buds and they got to have some cake too. Ben is so good about wearing his eye patch everyday. He maybe complains about it for 5 seconds if at all. Then, he (and us) forgets about it. Most days, I go over the 5 hours because I forget to take it off and he never says anything.

And this little guy is turning into a cowboy. Every morning, he screams until I put him on the rocking horse and he starts bouncing away.

He even knows to pat the horses belly so that I'll know to turn on the music. If I hear "give me a home where the buffalo roam" one more time, I may just lose it.

But that smile makes it all worth it.

Monday, July 18, 2011

We Finally Did It

All summer long, we go to the community pool at our clubhouse. The kids love it. We all do. Sure, I could do without the crowds and strangers, but for the most part, the people there have become friends. Well, maybe not friends, but we are all friendly and it kind of makes it even more fun.

The clubhouse also has barbecue grills and lots of outdoor seating. We've talked about bringing food and having a cookout for years, but we've never done it. Last night, we finally did and our friends joined us. We had a great time.

First we swam. Emily was teaching her doll how to float. Just when I think she is growing up on me, she wants to bring a doll to the pool. Love it!

David and Ben wrestle the whole time in the water. Ben has become such a good swimmer in a month.

We kept it simple with hot dogs, chips and fruit. The kids were toasting to summer.

This little man had chips for dinner. He still won't eat anything.

I don't know why we didn't do this sooner.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Flashback Friday and Movies

I'm not flashing back very far here for this photo. A week. Emily and Ben took my old camera last week after we got home from vacation and took some pictures. I thought this one was too cute of Emily wearing Ben's glasses.

This week has been busy. It seems getting back into the swing of things after a week off is hard. Today was movie day at Harkin's. We've been to about 5 movies so far, and this is the first time I remembered my camera. It's a process to get all the kids in the theatre, out of the bathroom, through concession, grab booster seats, divvy up popcorn and finally sit down. But, they look pretty content, don't they? Ben still needs a booster seat as he doesn't weigh enough to keep the seat from folding up with him in it.

And this little guy fell asleep in my arms during the last 20 minutes of Shrek. I didn't dare wake him as I didn't want to walk around in the lobby. He was actually really good today and with the exception of a 2 minute walk in the lobby, he was great in the movie. His new favorite snack is orange tic tacs, so they are my back up plan when all else fails.

He looks like he couldn't possibly be any trouble, but he's a handful.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

We're Home

We are always sad to leave Idaho. The kids miss the outdoor fun. We all miss the cabin, the river and my Dad and Suzy. And Suzy cooks great meals for us, proof is in the scale that we both gained weight. But reality calls, and we are back to our life.

On the plane ride home, the kids got mouthy with me within the first few minutes of taking off. They usually aren't like that, but a week of not enough sleep had taken it's toll. They were punished by not getting a movie on the plane home. But I realized that may be more punishment for me instead of them. Much to my surprise though, they didn't even need a movie. They colored pictures.

Emily drew a picture of her Fourth of July in Idaho. Fireworks in the sky (or on the side of the house), a campfire, and Grandma Suzy's marshmallow roasters which have little snowmen on the bottom.

Ben drew himself as a Superhero. Notice the glasses and big ears? That's my boy. All his superheros have glasses on now.

Then, Emily wrote a little note on what she is thankful for.

I'm thinking they don't need movies on the plane anymore. I like the pictures better.

We got to our van which was parked in a covered parking lot off the airport. In case you haven't watched the news in the past week, Phoenix was hit with a major dust storm last week. No rain, just dirt. Our van was disgusting. I shut the side door for the kids and choked on a plume of dust. Nasty.

We got hit with storm after storm up here in Prescott. The grass is nice and green and we have a new pet in the backyard.

David has already ran 3 miles this morning, washed the van, mowed the lawn and went to the store. Yep, we are back into the full swing of our reality. But, you know what? It's pretty great. Well, I could do without the frog.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Idaho - Day 8

On our last night, we made a campfire and smores. The kids sat on the bench my Dad made from old wagon wheels. It's awesome.
I tried to get a picture of them looking at me, but after 17 tries, I gave up and went for the candid of them looking at the fire.
Emily and her Daddy.
My Dad put his foot up on the bricks around the fire and Noah copied him. Monkey see, monkey do. No wonder we call him monkey.
Ben enjoyed his smore.
My Dad got the end of some sticks hot and let the kids twirl them. A different setting on my camera got some cool pictures.
Ben was so into seeing these photos. He thought he looked like a superhero throwing laser beams.
It was a perfect ending to a perfect week.
The kids are out on one last jet ski ride before we leave for the airport in an hour. We all had a great vacation. Thanks Dad and Suzy!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Idaho - Day 7

Last night we were treated to a beautiful sunset and a little rain. It was welcome after the hot week we had.
Grandma Suzy bought this thing called babycakes and you make these little donut holes that you can frost the next day in melted chocolate.
The problem was the little donut holes were so good, we couldn't stop eating them.
We woke up this morning to cooler temperatures, about 20 degrees cooler. Noah is making himself right at home on the trampoline.
Suzy took Emily for a tractor ride. She stayed in that trailer for 2 hours!
Ben joined her for about 20 minutes.
Then, it was time to dip the cakes in melted chocolate. Oh my, so good.
We were all digging in.
Even this kid ate them and he normally just likes dog food and rocks.
The kids jumped on the trampoline some more. I almost have David convinced to let us get one.
My Dad was breaking some fire wood and Emily and Noah would cheer with every swing.

David and my Dad took Em and Ben on a jet ski ride today and were met with 3 foot waves. They came back freezing and the kids were a bit freaked out. We usually chase the waves on the jet ski, but it was a bit rough for them today.

Making smores tonight! Our flight leaves tomorrow at 3:00, so we might even pack in a few more jet ski runs in the morning.