Saturday, December 26, 2009


Kevin surprised me with a Flip video camera for Christmas this year - SO exciting! It's a pocket-sized digital video camera that plugs easily into the computer for quick video uploads. Our old video camera uses tapes and has a lot more steps to get videos online.

My parents are equally as thrilled because it means that they'll be able to see videos of the grandbabies from afar.

So here's my maiden voyage with the camera. While, it's super easy to use, I've still got a bit to learn about taking good video and the editing process. Let's just say you're not going to see any of my work at the film festivals this year!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

I am Dumb

I took a 5 month old and a 2 year old to a craft store.

And I let the 2 year old walk (as opposed to making her ride in the cart).

Then I had to wrangle her into the cart because she kept running off.

Then when I left I realized I'd forgotten to pay with my gift card that I had (all $13 of it).

So I went back in.

And waited in line for 5 minutes holding a kicking 2 year old who was trying to rip buttons off of my coat and do backflips out of my arms. I arrive at the front of the line only to be told by the clerk that I'd have to return everything I bought (not just a few items) and did I really think my two year old would stand for that?

I inform her I have been standing in line for FIVE MINUTES just for that express purpose.

She moves me to a different clerk and I wait patiently with my daughter rolling around on a dirty floor walked on by who knows how many thousands of people as the new clerk returns my items and re-rings them for me. People in line behind me scoff and move out of line.

I then make a bargain with my toddler to go to Chik-Fil-A in the middle of the last-minute Christmas shopping hustle and bustle in the surrounding shopping area.

We leave the craft store after about a 20 minute return ordeal and head on to the mayhem at Chik-Fil-A and then to the grocery store.


I'm a glutton for punishment.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Her Inner Diana Ross

Hunkering Down

I just love Christmas. There's something about this time that brings out the "nice" in people. Well, it also has the potential to make people really snarky, but generally people get in such a good mood. Yesterday we got the BEST snowfall that I can remember for quite a few years. We got two feet and the word is that it probably wont melt for a while so we *might* actually have a white Christmas this year!

*the Hallelujah chorus is playing in my head at this very moment*

Things have been good around here. I realized the other day I hadn't blogged in quite a while and perhaps that's just because it's been busy, but it also could be due to the fact that I haven't had anything utterly profound to say (as if my blog is profound anyway!)

Liam is getting bigger (4.5 months now) and is rolling over both ways. He poops enough for everyone in the whole house - of course that could be because he's a big eater too. I've practically bought stock in Oxyclean and have been searching for the best diapers to put him in so that we dont have to change his clothes 4 times a day. Seriously, it's not uncommon to take him (clothes and all) and put him in the tub in the middle of the day.

Maybe I've gotten lucky, but Natalie has taken well to the big sister thing and really seems to love Liam. She's very concerned that we get him out of the car when we go to the grocery store (no... I've never left him behind) and is happy to entertain him if he's crying. He seems rather taken with her too. I'm sure I'll be breaking up many an argument in a couple years here, but I hope they'll always be close.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Just a Day in the Life of Us

Not much going on around here. Kevin had a good time on his annual hunting trip and got a deer. Whoo Hooo!! So we should have some meat in the freezer - so that's exciting.

We were definitely thrilled to see him back even if he had to turn around and hop on a plane this morning for a quick business trip. Don't worry, hon, I'll hide your keys when you get back. Ha ha ha!

No, seriously, if you think of it, say a prayer for me. Almost as soon as he left this morning, I got chills and body aches (NO!). Ibuprofen has helped somewhat today so hopefully taking it easy will fix things. We'll see.

I'll leave you with a couple pictures taken over the past week. Ah... these two kids are a LOT of work by yourself, but you just can't help but love them.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Worth A Try

If any of you know me, you know I LOVE to scrapbook. However, I don't get much of a chance currently. But, hey...that's just the breaks when you have a 3 month old and a toddler. I'll get back to it though!

Recently, I've had my eye on a pretty cool new scrapbooking gadget that would be the perfect fit for all of my scrapbooking AND geeky tendencies: a Cricut Gypsy. Trouble is, they're ridiculously expensive. I found a blog contest (at the Gypsy Spot) where one is being given away and all I have to do is put a link on my blog. So here goes... I'll let you know if I win!

Happy Black Friday

Well today was the first in a long series of Black Friday's where I didn't venture out to join the mass hysteria in the retail stores. Kind of a bummer, actually. It's always a lot of fun. There was just nothing I wanted that was on sale this year so I figured I'd stay at home and shuffle around the house in my slippers, just enjoying the time with the kids.

Kevin left this morning at o-dark-thirty to go hunting with some buddies. Let's hope he gets one soon. He's definitely got buck-fever.

Natalie and I decided to use up some super ripe bananas I've been holding onto in the fridge and make a double batch of banana bread loaves. Mmmm... We used this recipe (one I've never tried before) and amped up the spices a little like one reviewer suggested.

This afternoon we're off to a bouncy birthday party. It seems those are all the rage here now. There's several party places in town that are warehouses full of moon bounce equipment for kids to tire themselves out on. It should be fun - and I'm hoping that no nap + lots of bouncing = early bedtime. We'll see.

Liam hasn't discovered bouncing yet, but he should be successful at drooling his way through the party.

Monday, November 23, 2009


What do you have to be thankful for?

Last Sunday we had a sermon talking about Thanks-living (or living with a thankful heart). I'm typically annoyed by such light topics and want more depth, but interestingly enough something struck a cord with me. The pastor gave reference to Abraham Lincoln officially making Thanksgiving a national holiday where we give Thanksgiving to God.


I am not sure that I ever really think about WHO I'm giving thanks to when it comes to Thanksgiving. More just the things and people that I'm thankful for. Kevin and I launched into a whole converation about "how can you be thankful to nothing?" and I realized that I had been. In my mind, this has never been a religious holiday, but more of one where I eat lots of good food, remember my friends and family, and plan my strategy for Black-Friday madness. Which I guess is exactly the approach any non-Christian might have toward the day as well. It's definitely how it's marketed.

How have I missed the point all of these years?

Later that afternoon I ventured out with Liam to pick up a treasure I'd found on Craigslist (a favorite site of mine). The well-kempt woman that stepped onto the tiny porch (housing her kitchen table, also for sale) looked kind but perhaps a little nervous. The bargainer in me asked if she'd take any less for the item that I thought was a bit overpriced. She faltered, embarassment in her voice as she told me "No, not really. To be honest, we really need food." All of the sudden, it was ME who felt embarrassed. Embarrassed for having wanted to wheel and deal her down five measly dollars. Embarrassed for my SUV with heated seats that was going to take me to Target to peruse stuff that I didn't really need. Embarrassed for buying her stuff so she could put food on her table. Oh no wait. She's selling that kitchen table.

For food.

I found out a flood of other information later that day about her. She's got cancer and can't sit long so she's stopped attending church and listens to it at home on the internet. Her husband quit his successful home improvement business to take a job that pays $330 a week at Johns Hopkins JUST so he could have the medical benefits to pay for her care. They have 5 dollars to their name after all the bills are paid. And wouldn't you know it, but they don't even have a real fridge. They have two of those dorm room fridges with the teeny tiny freezers inside and one of the fridge's doesn't quite work right. All that she had in that one was a little bit of vegetables starting to turn. Between the two of them there was no milk, no bread, no cheese, no eggs.

As we talked I saw her love for the Lord and gratitude for His provision and it cemented in my mind that if SHE can be thankful to Him, I MUST be thankful to Him for all that He's provided.

So this is it.

This Thanksgiving marks the first of many God-focused Thanksgivings for me.

Because it's not about the STUFF I have or the TURKEY I eat or even about the PEOPLE I love, but more importantly about the source of all of that. God. And Him alone.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Blackmail Material

Yes, you've taken a bath with your sister.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

26 Months

I know 26 months isn't normally a big milestone worth celebrating. But, Natalie, I feel like I'm witnessing a transformation of baby to little girl right before my eyes. I saw a glimpse of the future you just yesterday when I fixed your hair in a neat little pony tail and noticed your face had lost some of its baby features. For a split second I could see you as a little girl and it made me instantly wistful as I realized that a chapter in your life was ending and a new one beginning. Just tonight you told me that you loved me, unsolicited, for the very first time. It's days like this that I wish I had a "pause" button and could just rewind and keep playing those moments over and over again.

This little face, YOUR face, grinning at me from the other side of the lens tonight tells me quite a story. There is the macaroni and cheese on your cheek from dinner out at Dennys. You and Liam and I went (despite my apprehension that your post-nap whininess would manifest itself into an all out war). Surprisingly we had the best time we've ever had out to eat. You confidently picked your meal from the kids picture menu. "Macaroni, please". And ate every last bite. We then went to Target where you informed me that the "A" in the Target sign was broken and I suggested that it needed new batteries. You must have told me 40 times after that "new baowees, A". You were very concerned.

Then there's the rug burn under your lip from the post-nap fall out of your crib. This is the second time this week that you've fallen out while climbing and I believe it might be time for the toddler bed. It makes me sad to think we'll be giving up this symbol of your infancy and also nervous about getting you to stay in place during time-outs and naptime. I'm sure I can't keep you in a crib until your 18 though so this time has to come at some point. Thankfully you weren't hurt more than what a popsicle ("popsollll") could take care of. And you seemed perfectly content to suck on that while you recounted to me that you "bussawip" (bust your lip).

The smile on your face and your bright eyes (despite being tired) speak to your interest in seeing how things work. You haven't looked at the camera (intentionally) for quite a while. It's a level of control you have over me, I suppose. You know I want you to look so therefore you don't. But, just recently I started showing you your picture in the camera right after I took it and you've been more interested in posing for me. We can call it an interest in how the camera works or just vanity... whatever it is, I'll take it!

Then there's the duct tape on your pajama zipper. Redneck, I know. But, seriously, it's the only way we can keep you from undressing yourself and taking off your own diaper in bed. It's happened a few times and I'll go to extreme measures to keep it from happening again. All I have to saw about that is... Ewww.

And finally, the Dora sticker on your pajamas. No, you didn't go potty, but at least you tried. I know you only agreed to try as a stall tactic for bed, but that's okay. I was convinced that we were going to have SOME success tonight, but no luck. I DO believe that I'll have the mental picture of you sitting on your throne in the middle of the kitchen scrunching up your face and trying to "squeeze" it out. Little girl, you make me smile every single day.

You're a good big sister for Liam and I think you two will be fast friends. He giggled for the first time BECAUSE OF YOU a couple weeks ago and is ALWAYS interested in watching you and seeing what you are doing. I know you two will be good buddies when he's a bit bigger and hope you can always be close.

Natalie, I love you so much. You are truly a blessing to your dad and me. I'm so glad I get a chance to be your Mama.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Happy Halloween... a little late

Halloween was fun this year. Natalie actually "got it" and enjoyed going around to the Trunk or Treat's at our church and a nearby church. She got LOADS of loot - most of which she couldn't eat. Yeah, we're evil and don't let our kids have sweets. She didn't really care though because we had plenty of her favorites ("bears" aka Teddy Grahams, Goldfish and a granola bar) to swap her for her candy. She really enjoyed carrying around the bucket and was very intent on carrying it all in her bucket - no matter HOW heavy it got.

Liam was the ever cool-and-collected slobbering dinosaur. Hey... I've got to take advantage of dressing him like I want now because this is DYNAMITE blackmail material for later on in life!

All in all it was a fun night. Kevin commented that it was too bad stuff like this didn't happen more often. It's nice to see the community coming out of their houses and interacting with one another - even if they are all dressed up like hoochie mamas.

Which is another thing...What IS up with the costumes these days? We were behind one young mom pushing a stroller wearing a super short skirt and thigh high stockings with her behind hanging out for the world to see. Seriously folks...what IS wrong with people?

But I digress.

I'll leave you with a picture of the fam right before we headed out to trick or treat. Don't the kids look enthused? They WERE having fun...really.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Past Week in Pictures

I'm behind on blogging, but dinner preparations are awaiting my attention and the kids are a little cantankerous today. So be happy with what you get!

Ok, maybe I'm a little cantankerous today too. =P

My mom came to visit last week while Kevin was off to western Maryland hunting deer. We took the kids to a Harvest party at church.

Poor Liam's dinosaur hat kept falling in his eyes.

I snapped a shot of Nana reading to Liam that reminded me of one almost two years ago. I think Natalie was just about the same age. So CUTE!

Liam in 2009

Natalie in 2007

Monday, October 19, 2009

Captain Underpants

I pulled out the Elmo undies to entice her yesterday morning. She decided she would wear them...

on the OUTSIDE of her clothing.

Poor kid's head is still healing. We're crossing our fingers for a boo-boo free week!

2 1/2 Months


How you've changed so much in the first 2 and half months. To think you're almost 3 months...where has the time gone?

You're SUCH a happy baby, cooing when you're held and SUCH a good sleeper at night. I think you're going to be social like your sister. You're definitely not content to hang out by yourself on the activity mat or in the swing if we aren't right there by you. You absoultely love the bath - which is a good thing because the rolls on your legs and neck can get pretty rank with all the milk that gets stuck there.

You seem to love your big sister almost as much as she loves you. It didn't even bother you last week when she almost pulled you all the way out of your swing and dropped you on your head on the tile floor of the kitchen. Thank goodness I stopped her in time because your forehead would have been flattened and you would have had to deal with caveman jokes the rest of your life.

Buddy Bear, it's a good thing you're 15 pounds because you're going to need some bulk to play with this rough and tumble little sister of yours. This is the same girl who's passing down to you her pink bumbo seat (that you are ROCKING, by the way) and all of her baby toys (which she's decided that she's not QUITE done playing with - especially when they're in YOUR hands).

Liam, you make me smile every day.

I look forward to watching you grow up and get taller than me and take on the world. But for now, I'm content to nestle you close to me, watch you flash me a dimpled, toothless grin and fall asleep (snoring) on my chest.

You rock my world, little guy.


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Oh My Word...

Last night Natalie and I were playing a game called "Chase you" that she begs for us to play every night. Liam and I were chasing her through the kitchen, into the living room, through the dining room and then into the kitchen again. We all were jogging pretty slow and she would stop and giggle when Liam and I caught up to her and then she'd get tickled. Then (out of nowhere) she tripped and did a head dive into the corner of the wall in the kitchen right on her forehead.

Completely bust it open.
I about DIED.

My neighbor (a doctor) looked at it (the second injury she's been called for this week) and said we didn't need stitches. And, although she said I didnt need to, I got up several times last night to just check on Natalie and make sure she was still breathing. Thankfully, she's fine.

Arghh!! I'm feeling quite the range of emotions right now:

- Terrible (as a mom). I burst into tears myself last night. Seeing her banged up breaks my heart.
- Hopeful (that the clumsy stage is merely a stage and ALMOST over). I'm rethinking signing her up for rec center ballet next year.
- Leery (of letting her do anything where a helmet/kneepads/etc aren't involved).
- Frustrated (three times in one week? what must the neighbors think???)
- Exhausted

They need some sort of air-bag clothing for toddlers that inflates upon impact to protect them. Hmm... maybe I'll invent that. I'd like to think she's learning to be more careful after all the tumbles, but the fact that she asked for the "chase you" game not quite 15 minutes after the head dive last night has me thinking she doesn't quite get it. OR that I'm going to be on a first name basis with the ER nurses.

And here I thought that I'd be spending most of my visits to the E.R. with Liam. After all, isn't it boys that are supposed to be the reckless ones?

Friday, October 9, 2009

Mother Of the Week Award

No, I'm not the winner. In fact, I think I came in last place. My daughter fell off a couch and we had a visit to the E.R. at the beginning of the week. And just TODAY she tripped while playing in this tent and bit almost all the way through her lip.

Do I get a gold star? I seriously turned my back for 20 seconds this time.

Thankfully I didnt have to take her BACK to the E.R. and explain to the doctors why we had TWO incidents in one week.

I swear, cuts in your mouth and on your head have the habit of bleeding WAAAAAAY more than is necessary and freaking every mom out that her child is probably dying or will need major surgery. Thankfully, as fast as the bloody faucet turned on it seemed to stop (with the help of some ice and a popsicle).

Liam helped cheer her up and told some jokes. (Okay, maybe not really, but it DOES look like he's thinking something funny here.)

It looks like it may have worked...

Lately I've been feeling a lot of guilt for putting chores ahead of spending time with her. This afternoon was my attempt at reconciling that so we could spend some quality time together. Argghhh!! I guess you could title my afternoon "Spend Quality Time with Your Daughter: FAIL!".

Who Needs Reality TV When You've Got a Front Row Seat?

This morning as I was getting ready to head out the door I heard someone pounding loudly on a neighbors door and lots of shouting. It sounded like a fight. The whole thing was strange, and totally out of place for this sleepy little street.

I went to the window and my mouth literally dropped open. 15-20 DEA agents were standing outside of the door to my neighbors house and one was shouting for them to "open up!". I watched them kick down my neighbors door and swarm inside.

Whoa...Was this really happening right in front of my house???

The neighbors weren't home (which was probably good as they have two little kids). This was something I hadn't expected to see on our street. Or at this family's house.

Needless to say we high-tailed it out of there. Good grief!

And I know what you're thinking, but we don't live in the ghetto... I swear!

Here's a shot after the swarm. Most of the officers are inside. Kevin told me to snap as many pictures as I could. He was dying that he wasn't there to see it first hand!

Monday, October 5, 2009


Natalie has been climbing a bit more. And with that comes a bit more anxiety for me.

Just yesterday I walked into her room after her nap to find her stark naked and hanging from the side of her crib. Umm... seriously? I'm going to have to start duct taping her diapers. Fortunately there wasn't anything disgusting in the diaper this time to smear around the crib. It did still warrant a wash of all of the bed clothes though.

And then last night she was climbing on the couch and apparently lost her footing - because we had to make a trip to the E.R. I suppose I thought my first trip with the kids wouldn't be until they had enrolled in team sports, but, hey, who can predict these things?

I'd been having a nice quiet evening at home with the kids. I was trying a new recipe (chicken enchiladas) and Natalie was sitting comfortably on the couch watching Ni Hao Kai-lan (one of her favorites). Liam was swinging away in his travel swing just about ready for dinner. All of the sudden (as I'm cooking) I heard a big thump and then a cry. I rushed in to check on her and she was on her side on the wooden floor. Mind you there's a big area rug in front of the couch (we're talking 8x10), but she must have been climbing on the side of the couch because she managed to miss it. I checked her over (apparently not very well) and she seemed fine. We cuddled for a minute and she was still "crying" but there were no tears. I coaxed her to stop crying and headed back for the kitchen.

It's only when she followed me a minute or so later and I tried to divert her whines with milk that I realized something might be wrong. Poor kid couldn't even lift her milk cup with her dominant hand (her left). Ugg...

Our neighbor (a doctor) recommended we take her in for an xray and fortunately took Liam for me (Kevin was at a wedding). So off we went.

I tell ya, Emergency Rooms are not very urgent. Maybe if you come in on an ambulance. But when I drove up to the drop off door there were several emergency vehicles (with their lights off) blocking the one-way drive. I sat for about 10 minutes waiting for them to clear. I can't imagine what I would have done if she was having trouble breathing or something more serious. Fortunately the hospital we went to had a pediatric ER so at least we were segregated from the rest of the ER patients and (I think) had a shorter wait time.

After an x-ray and a look by the doctor, it was determined Natalie had Nursemaids Elbow (or a dislocated elbow). They popped it back in place and hopefully any bruising will heal in the next couple days.

Meanwhile she's not really using it much. So maybe that means I'll have a few days of naptime peace with no duct tape required. We'll see...

Thursday, October 1, 2009


I'm pretty discouraged about the whole potty-training thing. It hasn't gone well. I mean, it's been a battle. One that I'm too tired to wage tonight. That's why she's in a pull-up right now.

I've cleaned up poop off the floor and big puddles of pee pee and I'm left wondering if maybe she's just not ready. I've tried bribing (with money and big girl undies). I've also tried reverse psychology. I think that I am more ready than she is. So unless I get a burst of energy tomorrow I might be throwing in the towel and waiting another 4 months or so.

Meanwhile, I'd like to suggest the past two days of following Natalie around as a possible episode of Dirty Jobs. Mike Rowe, look out!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Ready or Not... Here We Come!

Tomorrow I'm doing it. I'm throwing in the towel, er... diaper, and giving my little girl the push she needs to get serious about this potty thing. I'll be trying this tactic.

Will it work? I dunno. My strategy is to roll-up the area rug and cover the couch with plastic and give it a go. I'm hopeful that after a few days we might just be on course to a diaper-free 2 year old.

Or I might be declared insane.

Stay tuned. And say a few prayers for me if you think of it.

10am update
She's gone on the potty two times. But she just peed on the floor and didn't really seem to notice (even though she was sitting in it). She seems excited about flushing the potty and getting pennys for her piggy bank. Currently she's sitting on the potty in the middle of living room watching Sesame Street.

Happy 2 Months, Kid.

It takes a real man to sit in a pink Bumbo seat.

I can just see him showing off his biceps. It's *flex* THIS WAY to the gun show, ladies.

Liam, Liam!

Lately that's what Natalie has affectionately taken to calling her little brother. The way she sings it out always makes me smile and I've taken to saying his name that way too. I can imagine that if we keep it up, it could make for a bit of confusion for him later on in life. Ah well...

Thursday, September 24, 2009

I Feel Like Chicken Tonight

Does anyone remember the old Chicken Tonight commercials? Dude... where has that been in my brain all these years? All this useless information that I hold onto!?!? Why couldn't I remember how to do calculus or trig or speak Japanese? But a lousy Chicken Tonight commercial? Save that one for posterity!

If you have no idea what I'm talking about, read this and watch the youtube commercial.

But I digress.

I'm trying a new chicken dish tonight called Spatchcocked Chicken. I feel like I'm cussing someone out when I say it, so it HAS to be good, right? We'll see. I'll keep you posted...

Update: The chicken was VERY good. I should have let it marinate for all day (as the recipe suggested). I might try a bottle marinade next time too. This was an excellent way to make a whole chicken!

Kids Clothing Exchange

If you know me at all you know I love a great bargain. And with two kids growing faster than I can shovel food in their faces, it's good to pay just a little for the clothes they wear. It lessens the pain when I see it go in the "outgrown" bag. This weekend is a semi-annual sale that I look forward to to stock up on quality kids clothes for a fraction of the price.

If you live in the area, you should definitely check it out!


What's the price of a nap around my house these days? Waking up to find that your toddler has "helped you out" by partially removing her diaper. Add to that the lovely discovery that she's smeared the poop FROM her diaper on herself and the rest of the crib and you've got one BIG exciting time right right as you should be preparing dinner.


Monday, September 21, 2009

8 Weeks

Liam will be 8 weeks tomorrow. In some ways it seems like he's been here forever. He's sleeping 5-7 hour stretches at night (I'm amazed, really), only cries when he wants to be held a little or is hungry and is SO easy to take out. Figuring out how to get out of the house with BOTH kids is still a feat, but one that I'm getting a LITTLE better at as time goes one.

I snapped some pictures of him last Friday and then today with our sitter, Jody. He's SO content and it has me wondering just WHAT sort of personality this little guy is going to have.

He's still big. I think I might actually move to size 3 diapers at night because we've had some explosions in the 2's. He's moved up to 6 oz bottles a few times a day and is about the same size that Natalie was when she was 6 months old. But it's really a good thing that he's holding his own in the size department. Just the other day I caught Natalie straddling him and saying "horsie". Watch out girl... he's going to be able to fight back pretty soon!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

I Love Craigslist!

For the past several months I've been searching for a double jogging stroller that would fit our needs. I needed something taller than the single we have now and something that would be agile enough to jog with or take to the store. I'd researched and researched without a lot of luck. A friend of mine had recently turned me on to the Bumbleride stroller, but upon further investigation, I'd found that it cost a whopping $650 brand new.

Ummm.... not an option.

The twin (or double) also came out just last year so the chances of finding a used one on craigslist were slim to none. Still, this morning I thought I'd give it a try. I had $220 in gift money for Liam stashed away for just such a purchase.

God must have heard my stroller-woes.

Really, that's the only way I can fathom this would happen.

Because I found the stroller I was looking for (this years model even) listed under the wrong name in the title. (There was only one in the Baltimore/DC area.) After calling the owner I found out she had an extra.


I met her a couple hours later about 25 minutes from here and discovered that the stroller was in brand-new (PLASTIC STILL ON) condition AND she only wanted $300 for it. Dude... for $80 out of my pocket, I just walked away with a brand new $650 stroller. God is good...and I love Craigslist!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Happy Birthday to You.

It seems like just yesterday you weren't even here. And now you're two. Your favorite word is "no" and you like to read books "self" (by yourself). You purposely look away from the camera unless I'm acting like a complete fool to get you to laugh and you have started disliking things with skins (grapes, peas, lima beans). (Yes, you USED to like lima beans.)

When you rounded the corner in the kitchen yesterday morning to see the little kitchen set we got you for your birthday the first thing out of your mouth was "cool". Your dad and I are constantly looking at each other with amazement at the little girl you're becoming and the surprising things that come out of your mouth.

You and I went on a special "mommy-daughter birthday date" yesterday to Chik-Fil-A and then to the mall to ride the carousel. God must have been looking out for you because the cow was at Chik-Fil-A and you were completely enamoured. I'm not sure you ate much lunch, but you enjoyed the balloon they gave you and jumped endlessly on the seat yelling "cow cow!" across the restaurant.

We're so glad God gave you to us and pray fervently that He'll make you into an incredible woman who's so in love with Him in spite of our misfit parenting skills. We think you're the best little girl ever and cherish each day we have with you.

Lots of love,
Mom (& Dad)

We Survived!

Dad and Liam

Our time in Kansas City was so much fun. While I didn't get to meet up with all of the friends I had hoped to (lots of people were sick), I did get some much needed R&R. I took naps, slept in, didn't have to cook or clean and went shopping for myself. I also got to visit with my grandparents (Mommo & Poppo) and they got to see the kids for the first time. Ahhh.. with so much fun I debated on cancelling my return flight! =)



Natalie hamming it up in some new duds.

The flight home was an adventure, but much better than I anticipated. Much to my surprise, my mother was allowed to escort me on the plane since I had both kids. It was a good thing too, as I had the carseat, a roll-on bag, a diaper bag, a large purse and both kids. The plane was COMPLETELY full and there weren't two seats together so the flight attendant had to request that someone move. Thankfully, a stranger did and I sat next to a wonderful lady who understood the hazards of flying with a toddler.

You notice I don't mention "flying with an infant". That's because Liam was an angel and slept almost the entire way. Natalie, on the other hand, needed something new and exciting almost every 20 minutes. We ate, did playdough, read books, watched a DVD (for only 20 minutes), ate some more, did stickers, played with flashcards, played with the reading lights, tried the DVD again and probably ate some more. All while kicking the seat of the poor man in front of us.

Then we cried.

Okay... she's the only one that cried (and at the top of her lungs, mind you) but, fortunately, it was only the last 5 minutes or so of the flight. I was SO GLAD the flight wasn't any longer. I don't think I could have handled it without joining in the tear-fest myself.

A couple nice strangers helped carry my bag and carseat off the plane. However, I was dreading getting to baggage claim with everything by myself. You can imagine how shocked and grateful I was to see Kevin standing at the gate when I got off the plane. I was glad that in the midst of all of the post 9/11 security that he was allowed to come through and help me out.

Since we've been home, things have been fairly smooth. Liam moved into his own room and has been sleeping well. Last night was a record by far, though. He slept a cool 8.5 hours straight. I'm tired today, but only because I kept waking up to check on him. What a champ! And just in time for me to go back to work. Keep it up, kid... I expect great things out of you now. =)

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

We Made It!

Yesterday Liam, Natalie and I got on a plane (with my sister) and headed for Kansas City. I was so nervous that we were going to be one of "those families" that you see in the news that gets kicked off the plane because their child is throwing a tantrum. But, we only had ONE bout of screaming and even that only lasted for a minute or so. I had seriously been praying - so it was a big answer to prayer.

We're in KC for a week and then it's back to Baltimore with just ME as the chaperone for the kids. I was told it's a completely full flight, so hopefully I have a really nice (or at least understanding) person sitting next to me on the flight home.

On the agenda for the week in KC: meet up with a few KC friends, Schlitterbahn (if the weather warms up), a little shopping, sleeping in, visiting with my grandparents, naps and a whole lot of "Nana and Papa time" for Natalie and Liam.

Boy is next week going to be a wake up call. I might be crying along with Natalie on the way home!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

I Dunno, But I Think They Might Be Blue

4 Weeks

Right around 3 weeks his eyes changed from ultra-dark gray to more blue. I think they might stay!

Eastern Shore

Friday we got back from a week at the Eastern shore. Kevin's parents had rented a place on the water and had kindly invited us to stay with them. So we packed up the many, many things you need to accommodate an almost two-year old and a newborn and we hit the road! We rented a small fishing boat and took it with us. Sadly, we had the boat almost ENTIRELY full of kiddo gear (pack n play, swing, etc). It's amazing how much STUFF kids actually require to survive. Ok, perhaps we bring the stuff for them so WE'LL survive. Hmm...

We stayed in a sleepy little town called Crisfield, MD which claims to be the "seafood capital of the world". There wasn't much to do in town, but there was plenty of crabbing to be done as well as general relaxing. While my life was pretty much the "usual routine" with the kids, I did get some much-needed naps and enjoyed the fruits of the daily crab runs. We ate some form of crab (steamed crabs, crab dip, crab cakes) everyday and enjoyed every bit of it. Unfortunately, Kevin and I had a catastrophe the night before we left for Crisfield and realized that our entire deep freezer had thawed because a strap had kept it from shutting properly. So we also had about 8lbs of shrimp and some additional crab to bring with us. Talk about a feast!

We caught blue crabs every single day, either from our boat or from the dock behind the rental house.

Getting ready to steam 'em.

The view from our backyard.

Thursday we took a boat trip over to Tangier Island (in Virginia).

This island is really remote (it took us an hour and fifteen minutes to get there) and only has a few cars. Most people get around on golf carts and are fisherman. I can't imagine how one would build a house on the island as there's no big commercial businesses like Home Depot, Walmart, etc. In fact, the grocery store is a little ma and pa general store. They have one police officer, no jail, one school for K-12th grade and no hospital or permanent doctor on the island. We took a golf cart tour around the island (which took all of 10-15 minutes) and in wondering what the kids did for fun I saw a few chucking rocks into a marshy area. I guess that answered my question!

Crab shanty's just off the main dock at Tangier Island. These are sloughing houses for soft shelled crabs.

Walking down a "street" on Tangier Island.