Thursday, December 31, 2009
Sunday, December 27, 2009
Monday, December 21, 2009
Monday, December 14, 2009
Friday, December 4, 2009
Thursday, December 3, 2009
jill is coming into town this weekend, and she's going to spend all day sunday with us. i'm so looking forward to it! she's josh's twin sister who lives in wichita falls; we get to see her five or six times a year. while she's here, we're going to put lights up on the house, put up and decorate the tree, and go to santa's village. it should be a super fun weekend. :) the only thing i'll miss is knitting group - it'll make two whole weeks since we've met! waaahhh!! i'm going to bind off my scarf tonight, and i'm making progress on josh's scarf and hat, which will be his christmas presents from me. next i'm planning on starting mittens and socks for micah (not sure which of those i'll do first), and a hat for me.
Sunday, November 22, 2009
nothing too earth-shattering has happened over the past few weeks. josh got a bump up to full time and a 75 cent raise at work. he's still enjoying school, and is planning his classes for next semester. he doesn't have much time for his hobbies lately, but he and i are excitedly planning a vegetable garden for next fall, and he plans to start bicycling every friday night with our neighbor, poncho, at white rock lake. he really needs some "him" time in the midst of work, school, family time, and making sure i get a break on the weekends. we're hoping he gets a drafting job after he completes this semester. we're looking forward to being able to get the jeep running, pay back some family members who've so generously helped us out over the past several years, and get some things for the house that we've been wanting for a while.
micah will officially be 4 and 1/2 on saturday. she's really turning a corner as far as her obstinate and defiant behavior. she seems to be channeling her fierce will and determination into learning new tasks. she incorporates it into her pretending, too; i hear her playing with her dolls, and sometimes she sounds like a drill sergeant! but i prefer her ordering her dolls around to her being bossy and demanding with me or rowan. and she doesn't seem to act that way with her friends, except on occasion, and then we talk about it. she's quick to correct it when i explain that her friends won't enjoy being around her if she's bossy. her tantrums and meltdowns have almost disappeared. when they do happen, they're over quickly, and she's able to talk about it immediately after. i'm so amazed at her ability to understand why she's feeling a certain way. she seems very self-aware for her age, to me. her letter and number recognition is moving right along; we don't sit down and actively teach her with flashcards or anything, because so far that has not been enjoyable or effective for her... and results in the teacher (me) getting a little impatient and frustrated. i've just been following her cues as to what she'd like to learn, and how she'd like to practice it. she now recognizes letters and numbers on clothes, signs, buildings, packages, anything. she randomly surprised me yesterday by spelling her name out loud - something i'd been trying to teach her for a while, and had been getting very irritated about her refusal to even try repeating the letters after me. turns out, she was listening and taking it in the whole time, she just needed to show me on her terms. we've also been doing simple adding and subtracting, using tangible objects like blocks, spoons, hot wheels, etc. she really seems to enjoy this, and asks to practice sometimes. maybe she's going to be one of those people for whom math comes a lot easier and more naturally than reading and writing. she does not seem to be at all interested in arts and crafts. we decorated christmas ornaments with our friends a few days ago, and she enjoyed painting and decorating her little wooden stockings and wreaths, but she goes for weeks and weeks without touching paper, paint, brushes, stickers, markers, or anything of the sort. she occasionally asks to paint, but hardly ever wants to color or draw. her favorite activities lately are reading books, pretending with her dolls and playing dress up.
rowan celebrated his 2nd birthday a couple of months ago, and he is an absolute joy. he is a climber (just like micah was/is), is into everything, and the word "no" does not yet register in his big, beautiful world! he is very active, playful and outgoing, as was demonstrated for me yesterday morning when i took the kids to one of those bounce house party places for a friend's birthday. rowan practically leapt out of my arms, disappeared into the array of bounce houses, and never looked back to see if i was nearby. ha! he can count up to two things, brush his own teeth, kick a soccer ball around with me, and ride his tricycle. he's had a huge language explosion over the past week; he can say all sorts of things, and seems to learn a new word or combination of words every day. right now he adores hot wheels, his little farmhouse and animals, and playing dolls and dress up with his sister. he's not too crazy about books; when we do sit down to read, he wants it to be short and sweet. if i drone on too long (more than two pages) he takes the book, flips to the end, and hops up to find something else to do. i have dreams of reading "the hobbit" aloud to my kids every night at bedtime, so i hope a love of stories grows in rowan over time!
i've been staying really busy with the kids, knitting, volunteer work, and typing home study reports for my dad. the extra money i'm making working for daddy has been a huge help! i also really enjoy the work, and getting to chat with my dad just about every day. : ) five of my good friends are expecting babies right now, so i've got baby fever to the max. josh has agreed to keep the subject open, and to talk about it more in the future when he has a good drafting/designing job and we're not struggling so much with money. sounds like an excellent compromise to me.
Sunday, October 25, 2009
Saturday, October 3, 2009
Sunday, September 27, 2009
micah has been delightful lately. she has VERY few meltdowns these days, and they're short-lived when they do happen. she's learning letters and numbers, and even did a little subtraction with me the other day. she loves to be read to; i could read her 50 books a day, and she would want more. she also loves to sit and "read" her books out loud to me. what's funny is, she has an excellent memory, so if it's a book she and i have read together, she'll often tell the story almost word for word. micah's been enjoying doll play, dress up, and reading the most lately. she also loves to play outside, but seems to enjoy getting lost in an imaginary world in the playroom even more.
Thursday, September 10, 2009
Thursday, September 3, 2009
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Saturday, August 15, 2009
Sunday, August 2, 2009
Friday, July 24, 2009
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Sunday, July 12, 2009
micah and her favorite cousin, hope ann, having fun in the pool!!
Monday, July 6, 2009
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
- rowan is communicating a bit more. he says owl, bagel, mama, micah, and bye-bye on a very regular basis. he has certain sounds he makes for certain needs/wants, and he signs "milk" and "all done".
- micah and rowan both are both becomming fantastic little swimmers this summer! rowan can jump off the steps or the side and go completely underwater, before being swooped up by me or whoever is playing with him. sometimes my dad and i play "catch" with him: i dunk him under and push him through the water to my dad, and my dad brings him up to the surface. he voluntarily dunks himself underwater all the time, then pops back up smiling. micah can put her face underwater and hold it there for several seconds, and can glide from your arms to the steps several feet away with her hands out in front like a torpedo. she also loves to kick around in her 'dora the explorer' inner tube.
- micah is loving her dress-up clothes these days. she spends a lot of time wearing her beautiful dresses, skirts, headbands, crowns, purses, etc. we recently got some princess dresses and high-heel shoes from my friend alison, and they've been a huge hit!
we are all still adoring our new house!! the backyard especially is so fun for me; we have one of those little fisher-price cars (also from my friend alison - thank you!!), a small slide, and an airplace swing for lina. my grandparents have a blow-up pool for us, but they haven't brought it over yet.
we've been enjoying the summer so far, at home, in my dad's swimming pool, and going on several outings with my la leche league group. earlier this month we went to owen's farm in richardson and got to feed some goats, see and learn about many different farm animals, go on a barrel ride, and plant a pumpkin seed! today, we went to the flight museum at love field in dallas and went on a guided tour, got to see tons of vintage aircraft, climb aboard a real plane (some of the kids were nervously asking, "are we really gonna take off?!") and enjoy a nice, big, air conditioned play area! we also got to hear one man's first-hand account of WWII, including his memories of normandy and omaha beach, and the loss of his best friends. his story was very moving, and i had a hard time keeping it together in front of all the kiddos. at the end, when he was talking about how many men died on D-Day, he pointed to all the kids and us and said, "and each of you are worth every bit of that sacrifice." i thought about how blessed i am to have two grandfathers who served in the Korean War and lived to see their grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Friday, June 19, 2009
micah and rowan are loving the new place! they love the backyard, even though we don't have a swing set or anything out there yet - again, hopefully christmas! we do have a small toddler slide that they're enjoying in the meantime. and of course, the sprinkler is always a hit. my grandparents have a blow-up kiddie pool they're going to bring over sometime next week; i'm excited about that!
josh and his twin sister, jill, turn the big 3-0 on monday, the 22nd! we had a birthday party for them at their oldest sister, melanie's house this past wednesday night. it was such a blast. i will post pictures soon. we swam and listened to music and ate brisket sandwiches, and had the yummiest cupcakes you've ever tasted for dessert. josh got a charcoal grill with all the accessories, a new wallet, a stainless steel water canteen, a drafting pen set, a gift card to hobby lobby (which he's already spent on some brushes, paints, mineral spirits to use with oil paints and to clean his brushes, and a sketchbook), and an awesome t-shirt with a record on it (his younger sister, katy, made it).
before the party, jill and katy stayed with us for one night each, which was wonderful but - our A/C was broken for part of the time! our landlord came out to the house four differet times to try to fix it, and he finally determined what was wrong and got it repaired. but, ugh... it was kind of a pain having it broken while we had company. i love, love, love it when josh's sisters come to stay with us.
Thursday, June 11, 2009
we had some excellent thunderstorms this evening! all day long it was overcast and humid as anything, but the rain didn't start until around 6:30 pm, i think. the kids and i were over at my dad's eating dinner, and josh was here at home working on a painting. the rain started coming down, then started pouring down, followed by lots of strong wind, thunder and lightning. the warning sirens came on at one point, and we were a bit confused because the news channel we were watching was telling us the tornadoes were south of us, in hebron and cleburne. we found out later that a wall cloud had moved through our area, and tornadoes can drop out of wall clouds, so hence the reason for the sirens. it was a little nerve-wracking being separated from josh during all this excitement, but i knew we were all right, and at least we were both inside strong, safe houses. i was glad he was here with mia; she is terrified of storms. micah and rowan weren't too frightened at daddy's house. i went out back with rowan at one point to watch the storm, but he was really nervous, so we came back inside.
i'm looking forward to having jo ann and sheridan, my gandparents (daddy's parents) over for pizza and to see the new house on friday night! they're also being kind enough to give us an extra printer of theirs, so we can finally have a printer hooked up to our computer. i don't think we've had one since we lived in the house on greenville ave., right after we got married. i know printers are fairly cheap, we've just never felt the need to go out and buy one. but i will so love having one and being able to print directions to places, random information, and ... this one prints quality pictures, on photo paper. : ) yay!! speaking of pictures, my grandmother is also bringing with her on friday some picture frames and some old photos that she's going to let me look through to see which onces i want. my other grandmother, mama's mom, also has some family photos she said i could look through. i need to do that soon... there's nothing i love more than looking at old familiy pictures and listening to all the stories!
every time i visit my grandparents, i try to get them to tell me some old family stories. grandmommy, mama's mom, recently told me a really interesting one. her oldest brother, wayne (she had seven brothers, and one sister), was in the european theater in WWII, in france. he went missing over there; apparently, he went AWOL and went to live with a french family, and ended up marrying a young girl. well, back home, memaw and pepaw (grandmommy's parents, my mom's grandparents) of course didn't know this, and they were frantic when they found out he was missing from his unit. at that time, lyndon baines johnson was in some sort of government position in florence, tx, where they lived (my grandmother couldn't remember what his title was exactly). memaw and pepaw asked him for help, and LBJ personally tracked wayne down in france, and let his family here know where he was and that he was all right. so, grandmommy said, her mom and dad thought LBJ was "the savior of all the earth." wayne ended up coming home unharmed (sans his young french wife) and started a family here, but grandmommy said he was never really the same. i'll bet a lot of families had/have the same feeling about their sons, fathers, husbands, etc. returning from war.
Monday, June 8, 2009
ahem. micah is ill right now, and i hate it. i wish i could take her tummy bug out of her body and swallow it into mine. i can take it. she's so skinny already... she (and rowan) had fevers all day long on friday. then late friday night, micah finally threw up, and did several more times throughout the night on saturday. all day sunday, she seemed fine; we even went over to my dad's to celebrate her birthday. she wanted to get in the pool and everything. then sunday evening she seemed to be feeling really yucky again... and then began the diarrhea. the kind where she wasn't able to make it to the bathroom every time. my poor sweet baby... she's sleeping well right now, and i hope this doesn't last long.
her birthday party yesterday was so fun, though. my sweet, wonderful, loving stepmom, vesta, made her a "my little pony" birthday cake.
doesn't it look incredible?! this was vesta's first attempt at decorating a cake! it was absolutely delicious. micah got two beautiful summer dresses, and a kid's cookbook is forthcoming from my grandparents. she will be so excited about that. she really loves to help me in the kitchen lately.
our house is so much fun. we have the living room all arranged except for paintings that will go on the walls, and a cool piece of furniture we're getting in a few weeks from josh's sister jill and her boyfriend. the bedroom is almost all unpacked. the office only lacks the futon assembly, and then the kids' room will be the last. we have determined that we have a major chigger infestation in the backyard; i left a message with the landlords this morning to see what we can do about that. we figure any future pest control issues will be our responsibility - like ants or roaches, since it'd be a direct result of our habits, like leaving food out and whatnot. but the chiggers were well established before we moved in, so... we're hoping the landlords will just send someone out to spray the yard.
micah has developed a fear of the wind. one day last week, we were out enjoying the backyard and i had the kids' tent set up for them to play in. a strong breeze came through and knocked the tent over. micah flipped out, thinking the tent was about to float away - just like a balloon of hers floated out the car window weeks ago (that's what started it all). since then, she and i have had many talks about what can and can't float away in the wind - leaves, feathers, little bits of trash vs. play tents, chairs, dogs, people, houses, etc. she's having a difficult time relaxing outside, though. i'm hoping she gets used to it soon. right now, whenever the sliding glass door in the kitchen is open, she whines until we close it. it puts a damper on our backyard enjoyment. i'm trying to be patient and help her get to the bottom of her fear, but sometimes i just want to sit in my backyard without someone complaining and begging me to come back inside - especially since the backyard was one of the things i looked forward to the most about living here. i know it will pass, and i just need to be patient and understanding...
josh hasn't painted since we moved in, and i know he's missing it. i can't wait until he gets the garage organized so he'll have space to paint out there. the smaller canvases he says he'll work on in the office; that's why we put the child-proof door handle on the office door.
mia is loving her new yard, although she has tons of chigger bites too. i hope we get rid of them soon...
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
we had a fun, educational day today! we spent the first part of the morning at the pediatrician's office for micah's 4-year-old well visit (she weighed in at 29.5 lbs, and is 3 ft 2 in tall!) and shots for both, so that was neither fun nor educational... but then... we went to the richardson fire station for a fire safety talk with wesley! our neighborhood friends joined us, and we learned all about fire safety in the home, deciding on a place to meet outside your home if you have to use different exits during a fire, etc. we also got to tour the fire station, and see inside the ambulance and fire truck. but the coolest part, i thought, was getting to see one of the firemen in full gear, with his mask, helmet, oxygen tank and all. the kids got to listen to him breathe like darth vader through his mask, and talk through the little speaker attached to it. this was all to make them comfortable with the ominous-looking uniform, and the scary-sounding mask, so that if we're/they're ever in a situation where a fireman is there to help them, they'll run to the firemen instead of away from them! we also each got a free dual-chamber smoke detector out of the deal.
after the excitement at the fire station, we got home and micah promptly fell asleep on the couch, so after samantha left with lina i ducked out with rowan for some groceries. we got back, rowan gently woke his sister by pouring ice water onto her from his sippy cup (gotta get ones that work), we quickly fixed and ate dinner, then the kids and i were back out the door for a dallas symphony orchestra concert in the park, at the fretz recreation center in dallas. except that we did not plan for approximately 2 million people being there, so instead of parking a block away and hiking across a big field of grass to sit way in the back of the crowd to hear the music, we parked a block away and walked a short distance to a little playground by an elementary school, where we spread out our picnic blanket, ate some cashews and dried fruit, and could hear the music just fine! we enjoyed the playground and the sunset, and the kids grooved to the long-distance performance. the air was nice and cool, and micah and rowan were so cute and fun. it was a heavenly evening, though not quite what we'd planned. : )
tomorrow, for micah's birthday, my mom and maya are joining us for lunch at kalachandji's (i pray they have burphee, it's all micah wants!), then we might go get micah a bicycle helmet for her birthday, then go to dinner.
Friday, May 22, 2009
we went for a walk around the neighborhood earlier today, because due to the fevers we've missed out on several planned activities, and we all needed some fresh air and a change of scenery. while we were out we passed my grandparents' house, and my grandmother gave me a flier for some free kids classes they're offering at my church this summer. i think micah will really enjoy them, if i can get her to participate! they're free, so even if she spends the whole session watching from my lap, at least we won't have spent money.
after our walk we went to target for some odds and ends. i found a fun toy for our friend joshua, who turns 4 on monday and whose party is on sunday; it's a truck with a trailer attached, pulling two motorcycles. i took it out of the bag at home to go ahead and wrap it for the party, and rowan saw it and went nuts! he hadn't seen it at the store, when i put it in the cart. anway, he got so excited about it, we decided to give it to him and go back to target tomorrow to get joshua a new one. he's been playing with it nonstop! it says 3 years and up on the package, and i suppose that's because he can't get the trailer on and off without help - and also because of small parts that could come off and present a choking hazard.
i've found so many things on craigslist tonight! first of all, i found a new, clean-looking white fridge for sale for $75 in mesquite, and i am really hoping the lady calls me tomorrow so we can go get it. the lady and her husband bought it, then decided what they really needed was a deep freezer. i also found a lawnmower with a bag (so josh can put the clippings in the compost) for $65. hope they contact me tomorrow, too. then i found a wooden swing set for sale in lewisville that looks awesome and perfect, and if that person gets back to me soon, i'm going to ask all the family members to pitch in for it for micah's birthday gift. then i found a red bike and a trailer for the kids that i really want. : )
yesterday was sort of a long, demanding day for me - micah, rowan and lina were all in needy moods - so when josh got home from work, i put rowan down for a nap and micah and i went out for some one-on-one time. first we went to the park - i walked, she biked - and played for a while. then we walked back home, got in the car and went to braum's for ice cream cones. we had a blast. i love going out with just her, and talking with and listening to her. while we were at the park and she was on her bike, though, i had a funny thought. you know how when you're little, some things seem really huge, and then you revisit them as an adult and you can't believe how small they really are? there's a very small, gradual little hill in the pathway that goes over a concrete drain pipe, next to the baseball diamond at our park. micah loves to ride up one side of it and coast down the other. she calls it "the hill." and as i was watching her gleefully ride down it yesterday, i wondered if she'll see it when she's older and say, "man, i used to think that hill was HUGE! i used to be so proud that i could ride over it by myself!" i wonder if she'll even remember...
the only thing i'm sad about regarding our move next weekend is the fact that we won't be within walking distance of my mom, my grandparents, some of our friends, and terrace park and pool anymore. this summer, on thursday mornings, my la leche league group is planning on meeting at terrace pool. i wonder if i'll be able to join them, with my kids and lina. my kids really enjoy that pool - i have the fondest memories of taking them there last summer - but i'm not sure how samantha and christian will feel about me taking lina to the pool. my friend kim reminded me that i could use a water sling with her, but i still don't know if her parents will be comfortable with the idea. it's worth asking...
there is a playground and a pool within walking distance of our new house. it'll just take some getting used to, because it's... different. : ) i don't like change. but i am so incredibly excited about our new house.
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
we were supposed to go to a birthday party for one of micah's friends this morning at a really cool playground downtown, but micah woke up with a 99.0 temp. we went to the zoo with friends on monday and had a blast, but micah got in the little wading river in the children's zoo and got her clothes dripping wet, then wore only a shirt and her socks and shoes for the rest of the visit. i saw her wet hair sticking to her face and the goosebumps on her legs, and felt the cool breeze that day, and thought... i know she's going to get sick. and she may not have gotten sick because of that; we have been playing at various parks and playgrounds nonstop lately, and she could've picked something up anywhere. she's been laying around all day long, snacking lightly and wanting to be held a lot (which i love). she says she feels "a little yucky."
food moment: i love, love, LOVE mandarin oranges. i could eat a can of them every day. they are so juicy and sweet and bite-sized and PERFECT. i wonder how they would taste baked into a pie, or made into homemade marmelade.
if micah is feeling better by this friday, we'll meet with friends at amigo's, the yummy neighborhood mexican restaurant, for a surprise birthday party for dustin, my friend temple's fiance. they're getting married at the end of july. i can't wait!
i also cannot wait to move. i can't wait to plant three rosebushes on the east side of the house, and i'm already thinking about what i want to plant in the front beds. i also want to make a corner bed next to the driveway in the front yard, and there's a small shelf outside the kitchen window that we'll line with potted plants. the backyard will be the kids' zone, except for a small patch at the far end of the yard, in the southeast corner, which will be a vegetable and herb garden.
Friday, May 15, 2009
we had fun at the reunion! the family had rented a small recreation center on lake madisonville (a very small, manmade lake) next to a cool little playground. the kids (mine, plus about 4 other young ones) were only able to enjoy the playground for about an hour before it began to rain - and it proceeded to rain and thunder and lightning for the entire remainder of the day. we had fun indoors, though. we got to meet many of vesta's family members about whom i'd heard plenty of stories, but had never even seen any pictures of, so it was nice to see everyone. the kids amused themselves by running/crawling/skipping around the rec room, watching the rain through the windows, and spying on a nest full of baby birds in the eave around the building, right outside one of the windows. we watched the mama and papa birds (really pretty - some kind of swift, i think) fly back and forth with bits of food. as for what the people had to eat, the event was catered and we had BBQ, beans, chips, dip, etc. some folks brought dessert, and there were these incredibly yummy lemon shortbread cookies with lemon creme sandwiched in between. i ate sooo many of those!
after spending the day in the rec room with all the family, we adjourned to our motel rooms at around 8 pm last night. it took forever for micah and rowan to settle down, but they finally did, and we all slept like rocks. we woke up early the next morning, had mcdonalds and coffee for breakfast, then hit the road! we were back home by noon. we took some cute pictures, which i will post here (along with the long-overdue pics from our weekend trip to wichita falls earlier this month!) as soon as possible.
we are slowly but surely getting packed up around here and ready to move to our house! although, i'm finding we packed some stuff a little too early... micah is asking for some of her dolls and toys that we've already boxed up, and i needed a band-aid earlier and it took a little while to find one. but i'd rather be mildly inconvenienced now than in a mad, hectic, stressful rush at the end of the month!
i am having a heck of a time trying to figure out when and where to have micah's birthday party! a lot of our friends are going out of town in early-mid june, and i can't have it the last weekend of may, because that's when we're moving. i don't mind pushing it farther into the month of june, but i'm still not sure where i want to have it. i don't know that i want to have it at the new house, because we won't have anything fun to play on in the backyard yet, and besides, i don't really like having parties at my house... it's too stressful, and i work myself all up beforehand because i have this fear that no one is going to have fun, or everyone will think my house is messy and dirty, or that everyone will be bored... i don't know why. i really want to have her party at the little splashground at heights pool in richardson, but i don't know if we'll be able to afford it. we'll see... if anyone has any suggestions, let me know! this is the first year i've stressed out about this; maybe we'll just end up at a neighborhood park as usual. : ) that's always so fun and relaxed for me.