Thursday, July 30, 2009

Our First Fort

Today the rain came. Not just your average thunderstorm. It was the rain that Forrest Gump talked about - "Little bitty stingin' rain... and big ol' fat rain. Rain that flew in sideways. And sometimes rain even seemed to come straight up from underneath."

Seriously, I was almost s-c-a-r-e-d. (I am so used to spelling that word so that I don't translate that to my children, one of which is a born scaredy cat.) Turns out that a tree snapped in our yard, I know Wes is anxious to be the lumberjack he's always dreamed of being.

Anyway, at about 3:20 today, we lost all power. It was the third time this week. And while I've gotten used to it, I had two kids who were stir crazy about 4 minutes into it. It wouldn't have been that big of a deal, but it was so dark outside, we couldn't see a thing inside without the flashlights.

Since I have been feeling 100 times better today, I morphed into "fun mom". I asked the kids if they wanted to build a fort. You probably could hear their hooray's wherever you live. It was a mighty fine fort, if I say so myself.

So there we were, crammed into the fort with blankets, pillows, three of Jack's bees, an enormous Hello Kitty, three flashlights and a couple books. When I noticed the lightning, I covered all four little ears and then waited for the thunder to come and go. As they were all cuddled up, Jordan Ann asked if I would rub them. So I did and then started singing Christmas carols. I think I sang every song that came to me - Away In A Manger, Rudolph, Jingle Bells.

Right as I was finishing up Deck The Halls, Jack proudly let out a huge fart. (Poot, pass gas, booty noise, these words do not describe the noise this child made. So, I'm sorry if you are offended by "fart".) He started belly laughing. JA was in hysterics. I was laughing at them laughing. Why are bodily functions so funny for a two and four-year-old? I'll never know.

But it was funny today, that's for sure. We played, fort until the lights came back on at 5:00. A very long afternoon, but so, so much fun!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

It's Not Swine Flu

If you read my post yesterday and the subsequent comment or two, I don't want you thinking I have the swine flu. I don't. I went to the doctor this morning and the strep test came back positive! At least I know what it is, causing all this white stuff in the back of my throat. They gave me a shot in my tush and sent me on my way. Please pray the shot takes effect quickly, as there is no time for mommy to be sick.

I'll be posting again soon. Until then, I'm getting better. And wading through the accumulating laundry.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

One Sick Momma

Me, that is. I feel like I've been run over by a bus. Several times. My prayer today is to survive until naptime. And that my children will play quietly and cooperate. I'm not holding my breath.

So since I have nothing to offer, I'll direct you to a blog I have recently discovered and LOVE. If you have a few minutes, check her out. I think you'll love her, too.

It's Almost Naptime

If you find yourself with a lot of time, read through her archives. I'm telling you, this girl is hysterical. Tears were pouring from my eyes when I read her post where she details her husband's swollen ear after a trip to Vegas. Priceless.

And if I didn't feel so rotten today, I'd re-read it purely for the laugh.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Proverbs 31 Ministries

Are you familiar with Proverbs 31 Ministries? Over the past 7 or 8 months, I have been receiving a daily devotional from this site and it's wonderful. If you enjoy short snippets and applicable scripture, consider signing up for this email. I truly think you will be blessed.

Today's devotional is especially good.

Monday, July 20, 2009


Ahhh, the clock method. It's genius. Pure genius.

Saturday morning, both children woke up around 6:15. And started calling out for me. I went into their rooms, reminded them that they needed to wait until 7:00. Neither child was too excited about this. I went back to bed. Wes and I just laughed at ourselves as we listened to them hollering in the monitors. Humor makes everything better, right? We decided to go into their rooms a few minutes before 7 and have a New Year's Eve countdown. They were allowed to get up right when the clocks switched to 7:00. Day One - a small success.

Sunday morning, Jack woke up at 6:45 or so. Started calling out. I went into his room and told him to can it until 7:00. Nicely, of course. At 7:00, Wes went into his room and I went to check on Jordan Ann. Still sleeping, but woke up when I walked into the room. She and I even cuddled in her bed for a few minutes before Bulldozer Jack steamrolled us with sugar. So fun! Day Two - an even better success.

Monday morning, Jordan Ann woke up at 6:55. Started with her 6-syllable-momma. Wes was in the shower, so I didn't have his peer pressure to go into her room before 7:00. I waited. And at 7:00, she got up. We went to get Jack at 7:00, who had been quiet all along! Day Three - perfect.

But what made today so wonderful? Jordan Ann woke up with a dry pullup!! We have been talking about this for weeks now, trying to convice her to stay dry. We are even dangling a mighty fine carrot out there - a new bike. Today she finally did it. And boy is she proud of herself!

So tonight after swimming lessons, we are off to get JA new princess bicycle and "hamlet". (Helmet for those of you who don't understand kid-speak.)

Just a couple but major accomplishments around our household.

Friday, July 17, 2009

One of Those Weeks

Let's first say that I was on my way to the gym this morning desperately wishing for a nap-room instead of rows of treadmills and elliptical machines. I just wanted some peace and quiet in a dark room away from the world. Even 10 minutes. But no such thing. So onto the treadmill I hopped, listened to fun music and read a People. I suppose this is almost as good as a nap-room.

This week of swimming lessons, twice a day has been...exhausting. And I'm not even the one learning!

Day two of swimming lessons for JA was cancelled due to thunder and lightning. Which was fine for us because my two children were basically hiding under the covers in my bed most of the morning. Scaredy-cats. We made banana bread, played a sort and matching game that I've created and went on a safari through the house, complete with hats (thanks Carrie!).

Day three for JA was a disaster. She sat on the edge of the pool for 9 minutes (I watched the clock) and screamed. Turns out that Miss Brittany was a sub for Miss Joanna. For those of you who know my child, you realize that a change in teachers is never a good thing. She finally decided to quit wasting everyone's time and participate. And ended up having fun and did a good job. So off to Kroger we went for a little reward. (I don't usually use bribery. Just for big things. Like waking up in the morning with a dry pullup, more on this later. But in this case, a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do.) She selected a tacky Strawberry Shortcake baby with a bottle that you can fill with water, give the baby, and then watch it tee-tee. She doesn't know about Strawberry's tricks. I don't plan on cleaning up another booty around here.

Jack got a dinosaur. It's name is Rex. It doesn't tee-tee, thank goodness.

Wes has been out of town for the past few days and on the days he was here, he has left the house before sun-up practically. As a result, I've had a chance to work with Jack on his wake up habits. Mmmm, that sweet child. He is definitely his father's child when it comes to waking up. I think I've decided --- Jack and Wes are soul mates. Jack has an innate ability to call "my dahhhh-deeee" the very second his "dahhhh-deeee" leaves the house. Particularily very early in the morning. And I'm so far beyond caring if it disturbs Jordan Ann.

So Jack has been screaming. After a little while of fussing, then hollering, then crying, I'll go into his room, calmly reassure him that it's TOO EARLY to wake up and that he can get up soon. I'm on day four. It's getting better though. This morning, I was thrilled to see 6:40 when the child began waking up the world.

Tonight, I've implemented an alternate plan. I hear it's supposed to work wonders. We ate together as a family and went out for ice cream. Afterwards, we ran into Walmart. (As if you can "run" into Walmart. Ever. Much less with two small children and a husband.) We left with two digital clocks. I came home, plugged those babies in and my children are so excited! I got a sharpie and a stickie note and put a great big blue 7 on it. Stuck it next to the hour and instructed each child in no uncertain terms that when they wake up, they may call out only if it says 7 NOT 6. I'll let you know how it goes.

This week, I've also eliminated TV in the mornings. No Wiggles, no Playhouse Disney, or Sid the Science Kid. What a difference that has made! Plus, it is just much more pleasant with music on and no background noise from all those random characters. I have enough "characters" around here without adding in the cartoon variety.

Instead, they are playing their own games. I'm reading to them at breakfast. JA was singing to me this morning.

Maybe this is why I'm so tired tonight. But a small sacrifice to make, for happier, well-rested and therefore, well-behaved children.

It's been a good week, but one of "those" weeks that I'll remember forever.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Fall Kelly's Kids Party

You, particularly if you live nearby.

Kelly's Kids Party, adorable children's clothes

Sunday, July 19 2:00-4:00, come & go

My house (Let me know if you want to come and I'll get you directions.)

Because we love to dress our children and enjoy cute clothes. Plus, no one's looking at us anymore, so why not dress your children instead?

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

A Child-like Perspective

Swimming Lessons - Day One
When JA's teacher walked over to us, I couldn't help but notice how incredibly TINY she was. And tan. And pretty. And when she spoke to JA, she was nice. JA was set. She likes these types. But when Miss Brittany said, "Are you ready for swimming lessons?" I was fully expecting JA's natural reaction to new things: to turn away and bury her face in my lap/legs/shoulder, etc. Not this day. She reached out, took Miss Brittany's hand and didn't look back. My heart jumped for her.

She did everything the teacher asked of her. Willingly. Although, I will admit, she wasn't crazy about being dunked under the water. All three times. But she survived. And when the 30 minute session was over, she said, "Mommy I did it. I'm so proud of myself!!" I was too.

Fast forward several hours to 6pm and it's Jack's lesson. He's in the Water Babies class. All the other children were, in fact, babies. Comparatively, Jack seemed like a first grader. He was the oldest one and most opinionated, for sure. Wes went in the water with him and had a rough time holding onto him. Poor Jack kept saying, "I do it myself." Yeah, he definitely NEEDS the swimming lessons. He's fearless.

But watching my children conquer the water yesterday was very eye opening for me. It all started when JA and I were sitting on a bench waiting for it all to begin. The pool was filled with "older people" going through their daily routine of socializing and pool walking. I noticed a banner on the wall outlining an aquatics arthritis program. These folks were easily in their seventies and eighties, some frail and some still quite active. None of them looked good in their swim suits. Most were wearing rather unattractive swim shoes. None were tan. None were too proud. They just were doing their best to keep going.

So we were watching them. And Jordan Ann leaned over to me and said, "Look mommy at all those big kids. They are having so much fun."

Oh, how I long to be able to look past the surface to see what is truly on the inside. I pray that the Lord will continue to give me reason to have a child-like perspective. What a blessing it was yesterday to hear JA say that, just as a reminder that we all start young and when we're not anymore, we are still young at heart.

Just like all those pool walkers yesterday.

Monday, July 13, 2009

To Recap My Week With Two Four Year Olds

It was a wonderful week last week. I should have posted about it sooner, since Campbell left on Thursday. But it's been a busy few days since then with a family trip to the zoo, Wes's birthday, swimming and splashing outside, a baby shower, a children's clothes party, not to mention the regular stuff like eating and sleeping.

So now I'm sitting down to tell you how much fun we had. The Tea Party was a tremendous hit. The girls had a delightful time (as JA kept telling me). Luckily, Jack slept right through tea time, so we didn't have to worry about him bulldozing the dainty dishes. I moved our wooden kiddie table from against the wall in my kitchen to the middle of the room. I covered it with a white table cloth and added placemats with pink and green flowers embroidered on them. While they were napping, I went outside and got an arrangement of pink roses and fresh basil to make a tiny centerpiece. Our tea set is pink and green so the colors were perfect. I filled the teapot with tea and put little pink sugar wafer cookies and apple slices on the tray. Since it was a celebration for Campbell's half birthday, I had a little present next to her name card, wrapped in pink and green paper.

When the girls woke up from their naps, they walked into the kitchen to see their tea party and instantly, they started jumping up and down. I knew they would love it, but I was very excited myself to see how much they loved it all. The funniest thing - they carefully picked up their tea cups with both hands and BOTH of them held out their pinkies. They were such ladies, for sure.

Since Courtney wasn't able to be here, each night I would send her an email recapping our day so she could at least feel like she was a part of it all. Here's the email I sent on Wednesday night, before we said our goodbyes on Thursday morning:


i just peeked in on them before going to bed. i would give anything to have a camera right now. they are laying side by side in the MIDDLE of the bed. JA's forehead is touching Campbell's cheek. the covers are pulled up to their waists and both of them have their arms are on top of the covers. they look like peaceful baby dolls. they seriously don't look like they are real. it's the sweetest thing.

i'm not ready for campbell to leave. neither is JA. it's been such a fun time. we had a Half Birthday Tea Party today and they were such ladies. they poured their own tea (campbell drank lemonade because she didn't like the tea. what???!!) and ate little pink sugar wafers and apple slices. we gave campbell a half birthday present - a new My Little Pony, Sweetie Belle. Sweetie Belle and JA's Pinkie Pie and Rainbow Dash are somewhere in the bed with them tonight.

each night, the bedtime discussion has been what we would be having for breakfast. tonight, they were so excited that they were having one more breakfast together.

also, i'm sure your mom mentioned the fact that campbell has a little bit of a runny nose. i have given her Benedryl and it seems to be doing better. she didn't ask for as many tissues today. i realized that we needed to break out the Benedryl when we were driving and i heard campbell tell me that my car was "the best". i was thanking her, telling her how sweet she was. and poor Campbell said, "no, it's a mess!" she had a case of "bum in and boop on the botty bop" syndrome.

i just finished washing and folding campbell's clothes. she's sleeping in a nightgown tonight - hearts, I think, so that's the only thing you'll need to throw into the wash when she gets home. thought you might appreciate less laundry than more laundry, if you're anything like me!

i've rambled enough. just know that we're going to miss having her here with us!!


PS: if she comes home saying "booty" instead of "tushie", i'm really sorry. booty is our word of choice around here and i didn't find out that you call it tushie until today. whoops. please, don't wash her mouth out with soap or anything.

If you ever get the chance to "host" a cousin, niece, or nephew, do it. It was some of the most fun we've had all summer. And what memories these girls will have together. I can't wait to do it again soon.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Not One, But Two

Four year olds, that is. My cousin's sweet little girl, Campbell, is here to stay with us for a few days. She came back in October for the weekend and we're thrilled to have her back. She said to me tonight, "Do you remember the last time when we were here? We painted those bags like pumpkins." Yes, we did! She said she wanted to do it again. I told her to just wait, because I have lots more fun things planned.

You see, Campbell has a Christmas Day birthday. Pretty tough, I would think, to share a birthday with Jesus. So, we're having a Half Birthday Tea Party this week! They don't know it yet, but Jordan Ann and Campbell will be such ladies at this party.

And we have a special treat we're making tomorow. And we're riding horses at my uncle's house. And let's see? What else. Oh yes, of course, lots and lots of dress up for these two.

What fun it is to have two little girls wiggling and giggling about everything! And don't worry, Jack is still here. He's the token tag-a-long brother.

PS: Still no camera. So, since I can't post pics of all this fun, you'll have to think back to your best and most fun memory as a little girl and know that this is 100 times more fun!