Friday, January 30, 2009

My snow baby

Last year Liam HATED the snow. The few times we went out he cried because he couldn't walk well in his boots and he couldn't keep up with his sister or her friend as they played. So far this season we have just had about an inch of snow and another 1/2 inch or so of ice on top of it. Liam begged to go out the other morning to help Mark shovel the driveway. He had a little trouble walking on the ice, but he didn't seem to mind. He had to be convinced to come back inside!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Snow Day

I love how Randy is checking out Liam's Spiderman slippers!
Watching Mary Poppins for the first time
Finally wearing the Batman outfit that Nonna bought him
Playing doctor/ patient with dad

We had a snow day yesterday. The snow was falling when we woke up and it slowly began covering our trees and sidewalks. I think we probably got about an inch total, but then the sleet began to fall. Now we have a lovely crusty crunchy pile of snow/ice mix. Mark and Liam went out this morning and shoveled the driveway and spread some de-icing chemical on it. Liam was sliding all over the place because he's not heavy enough to break through the ice. He fell a few times but was mad when they came back inside. JMU was closed yesterday but is only on a 2 hour delay today. The city has not scraped our street, so I'm not sure how bad it's going to be for Mark to drive to work. The forecast is calling for more ice/ rain so it could get really nasty as the day goes on.

Peyton has a wretched cold. I took her to the pediatrician on Monday for a flu test, which was negative, but her cold is wearing on her. She got up at 6:30am and asked if she could watch PBS. I was doing my Bible study at the time and told her to go lay down on the couch. She fell asleep and didn't get up until 9am! Now she and Liam are watching some PBS and hanging out in the playroom together. It will most likely be a slack day of TV watching, coloring, resting, reading books, etc. My library books are due today, but Mark is going to return them because I don't want to haul the kids out in the weather.

Monday, January 26, 2009

I Heart Faces Kid Submission - Joy

Week 3 - Joy. Can you just see the joy in Peyton's face? We let the kids decorate their cupcakes as little or as much as they wanted. They used every single sprinkle in the house!

Go visit I Heart Faces for more joy submissions!

I Heart Faces Adult Submission - Joy

Mark and I had the honor of shooting Azim and Noelle's wedding reception in 2007. They are such a handsome couple and it was evident from their expressions just how much they love one another!

Go over and visit I Heart Faces to see other great photos for this 3rd week of competition.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Mr. Bananas #2 has taken up residence

Peyton was sick on Friday night and threw up many times. We changed her sheets and jammies a few times before she fell asleep. Before Mark and I went to bed, we checked on her again and she had puked in her sleep and was covered in it. We had to change her sheets and since the washing machine was already churning with pukey laundry, we left a pile waiting for later, a pile that included Mr. Bananas, Peyton's stuffed monkey, constant bedtime companion, travel buddy, friend. She woke up at 1:30am to throw up and then asked me for Mr. Bananas. I had taken all of her "friends" out of the bed because most of them are not machine washable. She was really upset when I told her he was waiting to be I caved and pulled out Mr. Bananas #2, the spare we bought once we saw how attached she was to B1. (Mr. Bananas was a gift from Aunt Jane and he quickly became Peyton's favorite friend.)

We used to switch back and forth between the two Bananas until Peyton chewed holes in B1's ears, chewed off the end of his tail, and pulled the string that makes up his mouth halfway off of his head. We then pretty much stuck with B1 and left B2 in the closet, hidden with P2 (Mr. Peanuts #2, Liam's spare elephant. I like to think of them having a party together in the closet when we're not home.) As soon as I handed B2 to her, she curled herself around him and went right to sleep. We washed B1 the next day and I asked her what she wanted me to do about the two monkeys. I was sure she would give back pristine B2 in favor of B1, who has been "loved" to pieces. She decided she wanted to keep B2 and asked me to put B1 in her stuffed animal barrel. We ended up putting him on a shelf. She really wanted to have both in her bed, but I can't be responsible for traveling with two Mr. B's! It's too much work to keep track of one sometimes.

I think I am sadder about this than anyone in the house. Somehow I feel like a chunk of her babyhood is gone and she's turning into a kid, and she's not my baby girl anymore. The day will come when she'll want to empty her room of all of the toys and stuffed animals in favor of books and other more grown-up things. I love to see how she is growing, but I'm not quite ready for her to be grown up.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Indoor Bonfire

When it's too cold to head outside and your daughter wants to roast marshmallows, what's a dad to an indoor bonfire! Mark got a good fire going in the fireplace last night and then we all roasted marshmallows for s'mores. What Peyton really meant by wanting to roast marshmallows was just to eat some plain, untoasted ones! She and Liam had great fun with the marshmallows. I enjoyed my s'more and ended up with perfectly toasted 'mallows! YUM!

We took a trip to the Children's Museum today. Peyton wanted to stay home and watch movies all morning, but I said no way and off we went. It is only getting up to around 30 degrees today, but I'm so tired of just sitting around the house. We stayed there for almost 2 hours and the kids had a great time. It's almost lunchtime now and then rest and then Peyton's dance class tonight. I'm also waiting excitedly for news of my first nephew's birth. He is coming sometime today and I know his tired mama is ready!

Monday, January 19, 2009

I Heart Faces Adult Submission

Here is my first adult submission for I Heart Faces. I love this picture of Mark on the beach. It was fairly early in the morning and the beach was quiet. Our kids were in bed at the beach house (with my mom) and we had some time to walk and enjoy the scenery.

I Heart Faces Week 2

Here is my week 2 submission for the I Heart Faces website. Go visit their site and see the beautiful faces.

Friday, January 16, 2009

My poor I get it

My brothers and I used to drive our mom crazy with the whining, bickering, arguing, fighting, etc. and now I get it. It seems like every 5 minutes I am breaking up a disagreement, dealing with rotten behavior, and trying to make Peyton and Liam work it out by themselves. We have very cold temperatures so it's hard to get out and play. The kids are cooped up inside and although they are doing a pretty good job of entertaining themselves, every few minutes someone is yelling. UGH! I'm really glad it's Friday and that Mark will be home all weekend. We may have to brave the weather and force them to go outside!

It's a jammies day for the kids. They are both still in their pj's and loving it. I don't let them do that often, but today I just didn't feel like making them change. I need to think about lunch and then put them down for rests/ nap!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Button craft

A few Sundays ago we were sitting in church near a young lady who works with our youth. As we were greeting each other Peyton noticed her bracelet, a cute one made of buttons. Peyton sighed and said, "I want a button bracelet." I bought some stretchy craft cord and used a bunch of old buttons that had been sitting around the house. This was a fun and fairly easy project. The hardest thing was that my buttons were all different sizes which made it a bit curly in places. Peyton was so excited when she saw it and keeps pointing out her favorite buttons.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

My new obsession

Since learning how to crochet, I have been thinking about all of the projects I want to make. I am working on a felted bag right now and then a hat for Mark. I also have leftover yarn from making Peyton's hat and so I might make another one like that one to give away. I just finished my first big project, one I'll reveal later. It was a labor of love and I had such fun making it. It's interesting that the women of my grandmother's generation sewed, knitted, crocheted, etc, and that I never had to learn these skills. I wish I had learned them, but I had no interest until recently. One of my friends keeps telling me that I could learn how to sew, but I think that may be beyond me. I get flustered trying to read an "easy" crochet pattern. I can't imagine how hard learning to cut out and sew an item of clothing would be!

So sweet

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Some silly faces

My children are just plain silly. Their dad calls them "weirdies" and it's true. Peyton used to really cheese it up for the camera and then she got really annoyed when I tried to take her picture and she would turn her head or run away. Liam had a very short ham-for-the-camera phase and now he either gets mad and wants me to put the camera away, or he wants to take a silly picture and see it.

Liam has a really nasty cold. I took him to the doctor today to make sure it wasn't anything serious and it's just a cold. I can't give him anything but Ibuprofen and Benadryl. I just gave him the Benadryl and he fell asleep for his nap in about 30 seconds! I hope he gets some restful sleep so we can get up and go get Peyton. I have a baby shower tonight and then Peyton starts her second dance class tomorrow!

Monday, January 12, 2009

"Beat your family up"

"Beat your family up" is a quote from Elizabeth George. I am currently doing a 10 week Bible study that is based on her book, "A Woman After God's Own Heart." She suggests spending early time in prayer and Bible study. I am NOT a morning person, not at all. In fact, I have been known to be incredibly cranky and ugly first thing in the morning. I heard her suggestion and promptly ignored it. I figured as long as I was doing my Bible study sometime during the day, well that was good enough. I had been spending the kid's rest time reading and praying, but one ear was always listening for the kids.

SO after feeling convicted and thinking a lot about "beating my family up" in the morning, I decided to give it a try. I got up early Friday and spent some time in prayer and Bible study and it was great. Yes, I was tired and yes, I wasn't particularly thrilled when my alarm went off, but it was such a peaceful and calm way to start my day and I noticed that the day went better. So as much as I hate getting up, I am going to try to make this a daily appointment that I can't miss. I don't think I'll beat myself up if I miss once in a while, but if I can focus on going to bed a bit earlier than 11 or midnight, then I think I can make this last!

I Heart Faces Submission

Here is my submission for the weekly contest (iheartfaces). I am excited to see everyone's pictures!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Fun new toy

My neighbor, Jan, has two daughters who are in elementary school and she likes to hand down the things they are not using. Of course, I LOVE hand-me-downs. In the past she has given us an art easel and a Little Tikes outdoor car. She called last week and told me that she had some fun collapsible playhouse things that she wanted to give to the kids. We set them up in the basement and they are a HUGE hit with the kids. They spent several hours this weekend crawling through the tunnels, dragging toys into the tunnels, chasing each other through the tunnels, etc. Such a fun toy and the possibilites are endless!

I have finished a few projects since I learned how to crochet. I have made the kids and myself new hats, and I made a granny square scarf. I love making things and have a bunch of patterns ready for my next projects. Mark wants a hat, so he's next and then I'm going to try a simple felting project. I told him the other day that I may have to get a job to afford all of the yarn I need/ want!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Hats everywhere

I have worked my way through the crochet book and have done all of the projects in it. My favorite project by far has been the hat. This is the first hat I did, a turquoise one, made from yarn that came with the book. Peyton is my lovely model! I really like this hat and used the pattern to make one for each of the kids. They went to Michael's with me early this week and chose their own yarn, with no help.

Is anyone surprised that my girly girl picked pink? She loves the hat and especially the flower.

Liam insisted on blue yarn and also asked for a flower. I told him that I would put a pom pom "flower" on it because I did not want to put a girly flower on it. I mean, the boy already wears a purple dress around the house and occasionally angel wings! I had to bribe him with candy to wear the hat in a picture. He HATES having his picture taken (sound familiar, Uncle Craig?)

Ah Peyton. I asked her to please model Liam's hat for one picture (before the bribery). This was her reaction!

Little boys and trains

What is it with little boys and trains? Liam got two different ones for Christmas, a wooden one from Nonna, and another one from his cousin, Amanda. The wooden one fits perfectly onto the train table, so it has a permanent home. The other one is a lot bigger so we have to set it up on the floor. It also has a remote control that moves the engine along the track, forward and backward. I wasn't sure Liam would be able to figure out the remote, but he did and loves it. I should have known. I think boys are hard wired to be able to use remotes, game controllers, etc.

It is a rainy and dreary day today. I had thought about taking the kids to the Children's Museum, but I do not want to venture out in the rain, so we're just hanging out at home. They spent a good part of the morning stringing beads onto pipe cleaners and now they're watching a movie. They moved some chairs into the family room to make a movie theater! After the movie we'll probably head to the playroom for a while. I finished Liam's hat last night and I'll post some pictures of both kids in their hats later. Liam is reluctant to pose, so I'll have to be sneaky!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Simple pleasures

My children have always gravitated toward the more simple/ real toys, things like boxes, cell phones with no batteries, old Tupperware, bowls, cups, etc. Mark's mom got Peyton an "office" for Christmas and it has been a HUGE hit. That's not to say that she is not loving her Cinderella horse and her new dress up clothes, but the office has been a great source of imaginative play for her. We set up her office in the basement guest room and she will go in and play doctor's office, store, etc. She wrote a thank you note in children's church on Sunday and asked me to please "run down to my office and get a seal for the envelope."

While Mark was at work yesterday I took down all of the indoor Christmas decor. We wanted to leave it up until Ephiphany (today), but the city was collecting trees and I figured it was easier to leave it by the curb than to find time to get to the landfill. The city recycles all of the trees into mulch that they use in local parks. We do have our outdoor lights and candles in the windows. We'll leave them up for a few more days.

It is raining and only in the low 30's today, after reaching almost 60 yesterday. The local weathercasters were calling for an icy mix and a few area schools had delays today, but the delay we were sort of hoping for didn't happen. Oh well, I'm still hopeful for some good snow this winter!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

I have never been a Christmas-lights-in-the-yard sort of girl. We didn't do it growing up, and Mark and I never put them up at the old house. We did candles in the windows and a Christmas tree, but never lights in the yard. We moved to this house in 2006 and that Christmas, and every Christmas since, Mark has strung lights on the outside bushes and the porch rails. This year he let the kids help, so the lights were all wonky and crazy. As we drove around looking at lights this year, the kids got exited about seeing the deer in people's yards. So we got one! They were crazy on sale at Ollie's and I spent $5 on this one. We put it in the yard and the kids were so surprised when they saw it. He has been named Rudolph, even though he doesn't have a red nose (as Peyton reminded us).

We bundled up the kids today and went to the park for a hike and a picnic. We even took Randy, who spent the whole time sniffing everything she could sniff! The sun was shining and it wasn't too cold. It was a great way to sort of wrap up our holiday time. We have church tomorrow and I have Bible study, so the lazy go to bed late, get up late time is coming to an end.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New's 2009

I remember being in elementary school and figuring out how old I would be in the year 2000. Now it's 2009 and I feel like time has been flying! We had a very laid back evening last night to ring in the New Year. I made two dips, buffalo chicken and spinach artichoke, and we ate veggies and dip too. It was a finger food meal and the kids loved it. We also did jiffy pop on our stovetop. We ate and then dressed the kids in their jammies to watch "The Berenstain Bears." They stayed up until about 9:30 and then crashed. Mark and I finished the final Star Wars movie and then started the documentary on how they were made. I didn't realize it was midnight until we heard the fireworks downtown. We went to bed around 1am and then got up at 8:30 and went to The Little Grill for breakfast.

The kids wanted to play outside when we got home, but it was only around 30 degrees so they didn't last long. They spent the morning playing and hanging out with us. Peyton is at our neighbor's house now and Liam is asleep.

I bought a how to crochet book yesterday (thanks Grandma for the birthday money) and spent last evening and this morning learning some stitches and making a few projects. The book came with a few skeins of yarn and 6 projects. I knew a tiny bit from my Nan. She taught me how to crochet when I was around 10 years old, but I had no idea how many things I was doing wrong! I have now learned more than just the one stitch I used to know...woo hoo! I made a little bag to carry jewelry, a soap loofah, and two flowers. I'm going to tackle a little purse next and then a granny square scarf. I'm excited because I've been wanting to learn for so long and had no idea how to do it. Not sure if adding another hobby is such a good thing (I'm already busy with photography, scrapbooking, etc), but it should be fun!