Tuesday, November 25, 2008
"water beads" Blue refreshes, soothes and induces meditation; it lends the feeling of protection to the frenzy of daily life.
"al fresco" The greens of Al fresco are inviting; they comfort, soothe, and restore.
What are you?
Thursday, October 16, 2008
(Ben thought she learned some new euphemism for that bodily function, but honestly I could tell she actually thought Lauren had produced thunder like she hears when there is a storm outside!) Ahh...the things that child says.
Monday, September 15, 2008
Today I found my beloved watch that Ben gave me when we were dating. I thought I had lost it around the holidays last year when he gave me a sporty/waterproof watch that is "kid-friendly." I cannot express how surprised and delighted I was to come across my old watch. I wasn't looking for it (isn't that how it always happens?) but was doing some cleaning in our room. (I found it in the box that my new watch had come in. )As much as I love my new one, I was SO disappointed to lose my old watch nearly nine months ago. Anyway, it is found and I am thrilled!
Also today and on a sillier note - Lydia was playing with two of her Pups. Quite a while back I stopped being concerned about her knowing we had more than one of her favorite stuffed animal. And she loves having multiples out at a time. So this morning she calls to me over the railing, "Mom, can you throw Pup's sister up to me?" I almost laughed out loud. So now Pup has siblings. He may never have a brother though, since Lydia thinks all siblings are "sisters" =)
Thursday, August 28, 2008
I was at Target with some returns a few weeks ago when the cashier decided to engage me in casual conversation. My girls were with me per usual, and while they weren't being disobedient or rambunctious, their behavior was....childish! (They are after all, children!) If I recall, Lauren was probably doing her best to convince me to unbuckle her from the cart and hold her and Lydia was likely dancing around talking to me non-stop about basically anything and everything. Our conversation went something like this:
Her: "Cute girls."
Me: "Thank you."
Her: "How old are they?"
Me: "Three and one."
Her: Do you stay home with them?
Me: Yes, I do. They certainly keep me busy, but I love being home with them.
Her: I have one kid. He's in daycare. (Lauging) That way someone else gets to chase him around all day!I hope I didn't appear as bothered as I felt my her glib remark. I walked away wondering why a person who feels that way about her child even has children... This is not meant to be a diatribe against mothers who work outside the home. Her comment just caused me to think...."Do strangers (or even friends) see how I interact and react to my children and wonder if I am happy with my life?"
I can get too focused on "my agenda" and what I need or want to get done in a day. I've realized it's not enough for the kids just to be happy or entertained during a day while I check things off my list. I want to engage them more and spark creative thoughts and ideas, even while they are very young. Sometimes I stop and really think about all that my three-year-old is learning and absorbing and I realize that I have an opportunity, a choice really, to influence her to teach her in so many ways. Of course this means managing my time better, spreading out my daily tasks and maybe even letting go of "me time." ("Me time" could warrant a whole other post!!)
Well, this week I have endeavored to do better, and I can see a difference in the girls, especially Lydia. I have made a concerted effort just to get down on the floor and play with them more. Not that I haven't done that previously, but this week, instead of watching and waiting for them to "need" me, I took a more active role. We have built forts and tents in their rooms everyday.(A huge hit with both girls.) We have played hide-and-seek (usually under Lauren's crib - her fav. little "spot"). I have had every non-deadly bodily injury I can think of to keep my little doctor busy. We have cooked many, many meals in the play kitchen including detailed discussions of what foods are most healthy, what foods are most yummy, and what foods should only be treats. We have worked on counting and addition and subtraction, using our stash of beaded necklaces! We have built castles and towers with the blocks. The Little People family and farmers have been introduced to a whole world on the floor, under the desk and in the cubbies of the girls' rooms.
I have also begun putting Lauren in her crib for a mid-morning "rest." She has become unusually fussy around this time and I finally just decided this is how I would deal with it. Amazingly, it seems to calm her down and in a way, adjust her attitude. Regardless of how fussy she might have been while we were all playing, she never cries when I put her in the crib. She seems fairly content with her newfound "alone" time. I have used this opportunity to do "schooling" (this is Lydia's term for it) more regularly with Lydia. She LOVES learning to write her letters, which is the bulk of what we do. Sometimes we do a little craft too. I have made it a priority to sit there with her to do the crafts along with her. She has enjoyed it, and so have I.
Like my cousin, I too occasionally read the blogs of people I do not know. Some posts are so insightful, some quite crafty and creative and others are just so eloquently and succinctly written that I can't help but enjoy reading! I realize that my blog doesn't really fall into any of those categories, (sometimes to my chagrin!)but today, I just thought I'd share something that has really made a difference in our day to day life. I guess when you boil it down, it is most simply, a different perspective and a change of attitude for me!
Friday, August 01, 2008
Megan, Lydia, Kate, Lauren, and Anna
We love you Aunt Becky and Uncle Elias. And we miss you!
Ben's relative, Brad, just moved down to be the head librarian over the theological division of a joint library for several colleges in downtown ATL
Monday, July 07, 2008
Monday, June 02, 2008
She loves to eat table food. She will allow me to feed her some foods with a spoon, but she prefers to feed herself anything she can pick up. Bread is her favorite. She can spot it on someone else's plate and she starts her "happy" hands and feet -kicking and banging her tray until she gets her wish.
A couple of weeks ago, I had her weighed and she was just a few ounces shy of 17 lbs. She is growing faster than her big sis was at this same age.
She is so active and wants to be able to do everything Lydia does.
She has a very strong-willed, stubborn personality and it is quite obvious even at this young age. She has shown us her temper!!! yikes!
Every day she gets more confident standing on her own. She makes it very clear by pushing my hands away that she doesn't want me to hold her up or help her. She can maintain her balance even if she gets excited and begins waving her hands or shaking a toy. Today she took three steps toward me all by herself!
She loves hair. She likes to play with mine, especially while nursing. She has a very bad tendency to pull Lydia's hair. Let me say, it hurts!!! Lauren is also really bad about pinching. She likes to pinch and grab you whenever she is in the mood. I'm convinced she does it on purpose to get a reaction.
She loves riding in her stroller and it doesn't seem to matter if it is while on errands or outside for a walk. She loves to be outdoors.
Lauren is a Mommy's girl, no question.
It is so neat to be able to have a conversation with your little child. Lydia learns new words all the time and it is so funny as she experiments with how to use them in a phrase or sentence. As an example, I usually say "bless you" if someone sneezes. I don't think Lydia knows the word "sneeze." When I asked her in the car the other day if Lauren had her paci in her mouth, she responded, "No. She blessed it out." -- meaning Lauren sneezed and the paci came out.
There aren't many words that Lydia pronounces incorrectly. Latest favorite: sun scream
Lydia is extremely observant. Today at the grocery store she was (loudly) pointing out all the women she saw who were wearing lipstick! Then, our cashier was a woman with very short hair. Lydia asked, "Is that person a boy or girl, Mom?"
She has an excellent memory.
She knows the letters of the alphabet by sight and the sounds the letters make.
She LOVES to change her clothes during the day. She goes into her closet and tries on several outfits AFTER she is already dressed for the day. She also loves to dress up in leotards, and ballet accesories that have been given to us.
She is cautious in new situations and is by no means a fearless daredevil.
Saturday, April 12, 2008
1. I am a little fanatical about brushing my teeth. In college, I kept a toothbrush in my backpack and in my car so that I could brush whenever I wanted!
2. I love to read. It is my favorite way to relax and unwind. When I was younger my absolute favorite genre was mystery/suspense! I read every Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys, and Trixie Belden book that our library had. I used to finish one in an evening. Now I have little time for reading and it takes quite a bit longer to finish something. The last three books I have read are a Sherlock Holmes mystery, a Jane Austen novel, and a Christian parenting book.
3. I took private violin lessons for twenty consecutive years. I wanted to begin, but several times along the way I really wanted to quit. My mom would never let me! It was to be my choice when I was out of high school. When that time arrived, I had decided to make music my major in college. I even ended up with a masters degree. I am very thankful to my mom for the sacrifices she made in order for me to take lessons as a child and for her insistence that I continue, even during the rough times.
4. I am very competitive. I played soccer for many years on co-ed teams and perhaps that influenced my natural tendencies! I also have a blue belt in TKD and would LOVE to get back into it someday. I have mellowed a bit ( I think!) over the years, but especially when I was younger I never wanted to be viewed as weak or wimpy. I wanted all the same chances as a boy and no excuses or concessions because I was a girl. I thought I was just as strong or as tough as a guy. That was probably true for a while, but eventually, no matter how determined I was, it just wasn't the case any longer!
5. I love to find a bargain. It pains me if it is ever necessary to pay full price for things like shoes and clothing.
6. My least favorite household chores are cleaning my wood floors and the stovetop. =)
7. I have seen The Phantom of the Opera in Atlanta, New York and England -- all expenses paid.
Wednesday, April 09, 2008
Lydia has been wrapping her brain around the fact that there are boys and there are girls. She is also learning about familial relationships. She doesn't know what a brother is and always calls other people's siblings their "sister." Of course she doesn't know what a husband or wife is -- adults are all just Daddies and Mommies. So, I am Ben's Mommy as well as her Mommy ;) Lately an added twist is the argument between Lydia and Ben about Pup's gender. (Go ahead and chuckle.) When you ask Lydia if Pup is a boy or a girl, she insists that "he is a girl." So we worked on he/she and now she will say it right and with extra emphasis - "SHE is a girl!" Anyway, Ben likes to tease her that Pup is a boy. She denies it every time. Yesterday she waltzed into my room and said this: "Mom! Pup has big ears, so Pup is a boy." I laughed heartily and wondered who put that idea into her head. (Daddy of course!)
Lydia has trouble being scared at night. We also go through periods where she wakes up crying about being scared. She has mentioned that "the birds are scary" but I don't know where she got that idea from. (We haven't been watching Hitchcock lately!) Anyway, we've been working on some short Bible memory verses and including ones like Ps 56:3 and others. I remind her that God is with her and that she doesn't need to be afraid. He loves her and cares for her. At the same time we've also been talking about how God does not have a body like we do. We can't see Him, but he sees us. Probably quite hard for her to grasp very well, but she usually accepts my explanations readily. Well, tonight she was whimpering at bedtime saying she was afraid. We'd already done the storytelling (she has to have a story every night about Curious George and Jeremy Monkey--Kate's stuffed animal is cousin to George, for those not in the know). We had also done the singing and the cuddling. So I reminded her that God was with her and she need not be afraid. Then, as I gave her her final kiss goodnight, she said, "Mom, will you go get my Bible so God can be here with me?" I haven't looked in at her, but I expect that she'll be cuddling Pup and her little bible tonight.
Monday, March 24, 2008
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
So my curiosity regarding Lauren's weight was satisfied. Almost seven months, she weighed close to 16 pounds. I was a bit surprised as I guess I was expecting a little less. I seem to remember Lydia weighed 19 lbs at 1 year. (My mom always reminds me that I weighed only 17 lbs at 1 year. I must have been a sickly looking child!) I do think Lauren looks a little more filled out than her sister did at this age. I love it! Baby chub is great! (I wish Mommy chub was also great.) I don't remember Lauren's length, but it was in the 25 percentile.
Lauren is a happy baby. She smiles a lot with her big grin - her tongue usually sticks out and her eyes nearly closed. Lydia is good at making her grin and laugh. The girls like to play "chase" where Lydia runs and Daddy zooms Lauren around after her. This can produce belly laughs from both girls.
Lauren loves the johnny jump up we got from our cousins. She is quite good at bouncing around. If Lydia is nearby, she will "swing" Lauren. I have to remind her not to be so exuberant in the swinging!! Lauren thinks it is great though, and she always gets a big smile on her face when big sis swings her.
Lauren is proficient at the inchworm crawl and has been for about 2 months now. Occasionally she gets on her hands and knees and does it the "right" way. When she is a few inches from her goal (be it a toy or Mommy!) she gets so excited that she goes spread eagle on her tummy and stars waving her arms and legs.
She is enjoying her food and likes to eat 3-4 times a day. Nursing is not waning either! She eats rice cereal, sweet potatoes, avacado, banana, pears and peaches.
She has been working on cutting a tooth for about a week and it finally broke through her gum. Just this morning I noticed that it seems to be both bottom teeth that have come through and not just one like I thought. (I recommend Hyland's Teething Tablets for fussiness and soreness that often accompanies teething.)
Well, that's all for now. The girls are calling!
Edit: Add to Lauren's latest stunts - When playing on the floor she can maneuver herself into a sitting position AND we have seen her pull herself up to a standing position!
Thursday, February 07, 2008
"I sink so."
"I need to tell you a question."
"We need gwoshees from Pugwix."
"Look Mom, I'm running around like a boy!"
"I need to milk (nurse) Pup."
"Lauren doesn't want to nurse. She wants to play with me."
"I need to match baby sis. I'm the big sister and Lauren is the little sister. She likes to match with me." ( I hear some variation of this story every day!)
When she is being silly I often tell her she is a "nilly" - basically derived from part of a nonsense nickname given by Gramma. She responded the other day with, "I'm a big nilly and Lauren's a little nilly."
New nickname for Lauren: baby sister-li-la
New name for Daddy: Mister Dad or Ben-Dad
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
I cannot think of Oreos without also thinking of a particular woman at our church. She is an older lady and is very much into all things natural (which I am certainly not against, but she is on a whole other level than I am!). Anyway, whenever she mentions junk food she equates it with coke and oreos. She cannot imagine how anyone could crave such things. (I've had this conversation with her more than once.) She is very direct and will look you right in the eye and ask, " Do you REALLY enjoy cokes or oreos?" =)
Here is the recipe for Oreo Ice Cream Dessert. It is always a hit with young and old alike. Don't expect to have any left-over!
1 - 1/2 gallon vanilla ice cream, slightly softened
1 carton of Cool Whip, thaw to spreading consistency
24 Oreos, crushed
1 stick of butter
4 oz of unsweetend chocolate
1/4 C butter
2/3 C sugar
2/3 C milk
dash of salt
Make the chocolate first so it can cool while you put the rest of the ingredients together. Over med-low heat, melt the chocolate and butter together and then add the sugar and stir. Add the milk and a little salt and cook for a few minutes stirring constantly so the chocolate will thicken but not burn.(You can use other types of chocolate -german, semi-sweet, etc. Just taste it to be sure the proportions are right. I never measure the ingredients for the fudge sauce, so I'm only guess here!)
Crush oreos in a bag and sprinkle in a 13x9 pyrex dish. Pour melted butter over the cookies. Scoop ice cream evenly onto the cookie crust. Pour cooled chocolate over the ice cream. (It doesn't have to be completely cool, just not too hot.) Spread the cool whip over the chocolate. Sprinkle nuts or oreo crumbs on top if desired. Store dessert in freezer. Allow a few minutes to thaw before cutting and serving.
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
Monday, January 14, 2008
Thank You Abby!!!
(There are lots more pics and I plan to post more on my dropshots site...check under December 1.)
Friday, January 04, 2008
We're still plugging away with potty training Lydia. The novelty of getting to go when the kitchen timer buzzes has totally worn off. She protests every time I require her to try. She does prefer to wear her "underwears" though, so I hope we're done with pullups and diapers really soon. We've had several completely dry days -- and even a few dry naps. She has recently decided that she prefers to be alone when she is in the bathroom, proclaiming to me "Don't come in, Mom." Last week I did follow her into the bathroom soon after she had climbed onto the potty and this is what she said (nearly verbatim): "Mom, I told you not to come in. You did come in. You did not obey. Now you need to get a spankin'." I wanted to laugh, but I held myself in check while trying to explain that she must obey me while I do not have to obey her.
Lydia is quite the nicknamer! She gets it honestly, I must say. Her Papa (my Dad) is the king of nicknames -- and the ones he creates have no basis on reality! A few I remember from childhood that he gave to us kids: chili-down-chookus, slim R muscle bullet, low, lobus-tootmo....you get the idea. So Lydia has come up with a few of her own. I am frequently Maman (but the last few days she is testing out Mom-puh), Ben is Dad-o, Lauren is baby sis-a-ler, Kate has morphed from Katie-boo-boo to Katie-boob to Katie boob-a-loo, Liz is usually Auntie Liz or sometimes Aunt Lizzie. Lydia got a kick out of hearing someone call her Elizabeth, so she decided to try it out... "Uh-wizz-a-biff." While Ben's parents were here for the holidays she finally decided to drop their proper names (Grampa Rob and Gramma Kaffee) and called them just Gramma and Grampa. That was nice to hear. She did decide to try out Grampa Robbie once or twice and even called him plain "Robert" once. That was funny as no one calls him that -- we don't know if she heard it or if it was another example of a nickname she thought she was creating!
My baby has started solids and is crawling!!!It is by no means a coordinated crawl, but she can maneuver herself really well. She gets on all fours and begins the rocking motion. Then she usually launches herself face first and begins that inchworm crawl. She is one determined baby. Lydia was playing Memory the other night and Lauren really wanted to get some of the cards. She spied them from several feet away and decided to go for it. Just as she reached her prize, Lydia grabbed the cards off the floor saying, "No baby sis, no no no. Those aren't yours!" We removed Lauren and she immediately headed for the game again. On her third time making it over to the game and her third time being thwarted, she began her "I'm mad" cry. Feeling a bit sorry for her, I relented and let her play with a couple of cards. =)
Well, I've forgotten whatever else I was hoping to record here! Oh well =)