Thursday, December 31, 2009

rowan had his articulation test here at the house with his speech therapist, maria, this past monday. we won't know how he scored for a couple more days. rowan did very well and was very cooperative during the test, which took about an hour. maria said that she was impressed he was able to get through it in one sitting. she said usually she has to split it into two sessions with children rowan's age. anyway, after the test, he crawled up in my lap and promptly fell asleep! before maria arrived, i was fretting about doing the test right at his naptime... turned out not to be an issue at all.
tonight is new year's eve, and we are spending it at my dad's. we're eating dinner around 6:30, then playing poker and watching movies till the ball drops at midnight. i kinda wish we were doing something more exciting and "grown up" this year. the kids still aren't ready to go to bed without us, so i guess we'll try for next year.
i am still fervently enjoying knitting!! i cast on a pair of basic cabled fingerless mitts last night. i can't wait till they're done. i'm nervous about doing the thumb, but i know mama and katherine can walk me through it.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

merry christmas!!!!!!
we had a wonderful, joyous, WHITE christmas this year! josh and i got some money and gift cards with which to buy goodies for his bike, and clothes for me (and quite probably a spa pedicure). micah and rowan got everything that was on their lists, and some surprises too. our big present to the kids was a bike trailer like this one. we can't wait to take them for a ride in it! if it's not too cold, we'll take it out tomorrow. there's space in the trailer behind the kids' seats for a blanket and picnic lunch. josh and i are so excited to use this a lot this spring and summer!
i'm so thankful that christmas fell on a friday this year and we got to enjoy a three day weekend! thursday night we had some family time and yummy food at my mom and stepdad's house. then we woke up early on friday and opened stockings and gifts at our house. this was the first year that we've put up a tree and lights and put the kids' gifts under the tree after they'd gone to bed, so it was REALLY fun and exciting. after that, we headed to my dad and stepmom's house for breakfast and gifts. i got to give my grandparents their handknit gifts (the only ones i did this year): an infinity cowl/scarf like this (pics of the one i made to come) for my grandmother, and a neck warmer like this for my grandfather (again, pics of his to come, as the ones in the picture there are more feminine than the steel gray one i made for him), to keep his neck warm on the golf course. it was really fulfilling giving handmade gifts to at least two people this year! after my dad's, we drove to rowlett to celebrate with josh's dad, stepmom and family. we ate a late lunch over there and hung out all day. around 5:00 we went to plano to see josh's mom. we ate dinner with her, visited for a while, then finally took our sleepy, overstimulated babies home and put them to bed. this morning we slept in (yay!), then went back to my mom and stepdad's for stocking stuffers. see, christmas is all over the place when both you and your husband's parents are divorced and remarried! i just think that makes it more fun. anyway, after stockings at my mom's, josh and i took the kids to run a few errands before going to my other grandparents' house. we all hung out and chatted and knitted for a while, the ate a delicious early supper, sang christmas carols and hymns (my favorite part of the evening), and played the traditional several rounds of catchphrase. if you've never played this game, you must. it's a riot. anyway, then we ate dessert, cleaned up, and left around 11:00. micah and rowan fell sound asleep in the car on the way home. phew! what a fun, busy few days! i love it so much and am energized by all the social activity, but i think it's a bit trying for josh and the kids. i'm a complete extrovert, while josh and micah are introverts, and rowan is just two. he can only share and play nicely with others for so long! : )
this week i'm bracing myself for the usual upheaval of emotions that i experience after a major holiday or event. it's kind of like an endorphine withdrawl - the anticipation and excitement of the upcoming event wooshes away and leaves me ever so slightly blue. it happens every year after christmas, sometimes after my birthday, and it happened after the births of each of my children. it never lasts that long, but the older i get, the better i get at readying myself for it.

Monday, December 21, 2009

yay, we got to go to santa's village on friday night! the weather was perfect. i got the kiddos all bundled up, and micah had a blast - she didn't get cold. i was soooo happy. we met several friends and family members there - some we had planned to meet up with, and some just happened to pick the same night to go. micah was a little wary of going inside all the different little houses at first. they ended up enjoying the petting zoo, the bakery (where they got a green, sprinkly sugar cookie from mrs. claus), the music house, the fire dept. house, and the "beary" hospital, where they got weighed and measured. we also heard some great live music and danced, and got to see santa leaving for the night. the line to sit in santa's lap is always ridiculously long, so we didn't do that - BUT, they have a clown to entertain the kids waiting in line, and he was a riot. it was the same clown who does the garland library summer program. we missed him this summer, but now that i know how much the kids loved him at santa's village, we'll have to catch him next year.
rowan has un-potty trained himself now. he wore underpants for two days with no accidents, then on the third day decided he preferred diapers. it was a bummer for me, but as several people have pointed out, when he actually is ready, it will be a complete breeze because he already knows what to do.
i was only able to get two handmade christmas gifts done this year, and one of them isn't even done - it's only begun.

Monday, December 14, 2009

still haven't made the kids' dentist appointment. i really need to do that today. i've been feeling extra lazy lately, and just haven't wanted to do anything but knit and watch movies all snuggled up in bed! luckily (or unluckily, depending on how you look at it), that's pretty much all the kids have wanted to do lately, too, since they've been feeling under the weather. the weather is SO gorgeous, i wish we were feeling better so we could enjoy it!
rowan potty trained himself a couple of days ago. he refused a diaper, and began telling me he needed to go to the bathroom. i went out and bought him some underpants and everything. he's been going all day long, with almost no accidents. yesterday he wore his underpants from the time he woke up, over to my mom's at 1:00, back home asleep in the car, and for an hour at home while he napped - and he stayed dry the whole time! i was amazed he could go that long without peeing. when he woke up from his nap, i was SURE he needed to go... but he didn't want to sit on the potty. i kept asking, but he kept saying no. so a few minutes later, micah made him mad in the dining room and he started to cry, and he peed all over the dining room floor. i guess he got a bit overwhelmed! today, so far, he's been a little hesitant to go. just now in the bathroom, he was standing on the step stool and started to pee. he's getting the hang of it, definitely. i'm just amazed at how this has all his been his idea and initiation! i wasn't even thinking of trying to potty train him yet.
hopefully this weekend the weather will be okay and we can go to santa's village. i'm so excited!!

Friday, December 4, 2009

i took the kids to the pediatrician this afternoon. rowan had his 2-year check up, and they each got shots. they each had a really hard time today. i guess it's because they haven't been since may. for a while there, we were going once a month to get them caught up on immunizations. then our medicaid lapsed when we moved because i failed to give the HHS office our new address quickly enough, and our recertification letter went to the duplex. we just now got coverage again, so we're getting back into the routine. they'll need some time to get used to it again. micah was so brave beforehand - she said she wasn't going to cry or be scared, and that she "loved" getting shots. haha :) when it came time to actually sit down and hike up her pant leg for the nurse, she lost it. it makes me sad to see them so scared and uncomfortable.
i'm curious to see how they do at the dentist (haven't made that appointment yet, but i'm going to tomorrow). since that visit won't involve any pain, i'm hoping they'll do much better!
micah is 32 lbs, and rowan is 28.5 lbs. i can't remember how tall either of them were! it's funny to me that they're so close in size. a lady at the grocery store today asked me if they were twins.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

we had plans to go to christmas on the square in downtown garland tonight, but it was just too chilly out. micah is really sensitive to the cold and gets really cranky, and the moment we got out of the car to walk over to the festivities tonight, she said she wanted to go home. i knew it wasn't a matter of her just warming up to the idea... i could tell she was cold and uncomfortable, and that it would only get worse. so instead we drove around our neighborhood for a little while and looked at christmas lights (one of my FAVORITE christmastime activities!), then came back home. oh well! :) i'm hoping like crazy that the temp sunday night isn't quite as low, because we're planning on going to santa's village with jill, alison, and possibly mel.

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.
a few weeks ago i called an 'early childhood intervention' program and set up an intake and assessment for rowan, to see if he needs speech therapy. i'd noticed him making some different noises when he tries to talk, and not trying to sound out too many words. a few different friends mentioned to me that i should have him assessed for speech services, and since we have medicaid and it's free, i went ahead and set it up. they came out yesterday morning and did his assessment. the ECI assessment team is made up of three people: a teacher, a nurse, and a speech therapist. i really liked all three of the women who assessed rowan. they were all really friendly and open with me and josh, and had a wonderful, nurturing way of talking to and working with rowan. i was worried about him cooperating for the tests, because he gets really shy around strangers, but he warmed right up to them. the speech therapist, maria, was primarily the one working with rowan. she sat on the floor with him and showed him different pictures - for example, she had him look at a picture of three non-food items and three food items, then asked, "can you show me all of the things we eat?" the test took about an hour, and maria kept commenting that he was focusing and participating remarkably well for his age, and that she was having to go further and further into the material with him because he had surpassed what was normal for his age and kept going higher! that made me happy and proud. on the 'receptive development' - his cognitive skills - part of the test, and he ended up scoring at 30-32 months, i think. he scored at 22 months for the 'expressive development' part - his language. he is 26 months old, so that's not TOO much of a delay... but enough to qualify him for weekly speech therapy. maria noticed during the assessment that he drops the beginning and the end sound of a lot of words, and sometimes when he talks he puts the sound in the back of his throat instead of in the front of his mouth where it ought to be - which is what i had been noticing too. he makes a sort of gutteral sound in his throat sometimes when he tries out new words, kind of like gollum (i told micah that and she got the biggest kick out of it. "rowan talks like gollum!" luckily he's not old enough to take offense...). so, they told me rowan has to have his 2-year check up at the pediatrician's office before the weekly therapy sessions can begin, so both the kids have an appointment tomorrow afternoon. rowan will have his 2-year well visit, and they'll both have a vaccination. then i get to take them to the dentist next week - yipee. not looking forward to that.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

okay, that's it. no more ignoring my blog because my camera's broken.

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.

today was thanksgiving! i loooooove this time of year. we went to josh's dad's house in rowlett this afternoon and had turkey, ham, stuffing, cranberry sauce, etc., including these awesome sweet potato empanadas josh's stepmom makes. i ate... oh, i don't know, twelve of them. i was kind of embarassed when ellen (josh's stepmom) went to send the rest of the empanadas home with her mom and grandma as they were leaving, opened the basket and exclaimed, "oh my god, they're all gone!" i didn't say anything; i'm hoping she took it as a compliment. anyways..... i'm excited about the kids' christmas presents this year. i think they're going to love what we got them. i'm also excited about decorating the house for christmas. this upcoming saturday we're celebrating thanksgiving with my dad, vesta, jo ann & sheridan. the day after we plan to put up our tree and lights. i'm hoping naomi will come over and help out, so we can spend some extra time with her.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

BAH! not having a camera makes me lazy about posting on my blog. our digital camera broke; the screen got smashed in my purse, somehow. i feel foolish for having it in my purse without the carrying case. oh well... perhaps we can get a new one for christmas.
speaking of christmas, i wish like heck i'd started my knitting hobby earlier in the year so i could give everyone handknit gifts!! i'll have to settle for PLANNING everyone's gifts for next year, which is just as fun for me, but slightly anticlimactic for the recipients. i love my knitting group, aka mama and katherine. we met today at starbucks, where i drank a pumpkin spice latte, shared a piece of banana walnut bread with mama, then for round 2 had a blackberry izze and a pumpkin cream cheese muffin. holy cow, that muffin was good. before knitting group, wesley fed me a yummy spicy lentil burrito!! i have eaten gooooood today. back to knitting group... i look forward to it all week long! today, i get to the end of one of my skeins of araucania chacabuco multy yarn on my long scarf for myself. i also made some progress on my malabrigo poncho for rowie. the colors are looking so incredible together... i might ask mama to take some pictures of my projects for my ravelry page, and here on my blog. in fact, i will definitely do that. tomorrow.
this weekend has been so much fun! on friday we met some friends at the mary heads carter park in carrollton - the most awesome playground i have found, and so worth the drive. i don't know if our friends agreed, though; they got lost... anyway, after playing at the park, we met them for dinner at cici's pizza in richardson. they have two young kids just about micah and rowan's ages, so it was a lot of fun. on saturday, we went to two birthday parties for two of our most favorite kiddos! my best friend, alison's middle child, gabriel, turned 3 on october 6th, the day after rowan's 2nd birthday. they had his party on saturday afternoon, and it was pirate themed. the kids wore costumes (though mine didn't, because i forgot), and ate yummy homemade cake and vanilla frozen yogurt, and got to swing a bat at a pirate pinata. micah was in kind of a funk and preferred to observe the pinata goings on, but rowan got right in there and took a swing. we stayed till late in the afternoon, and THEN headed back to richardson for miss lina bean's 1st birthday party! now, i love lina, and thoroughly enjoyed kissing her and wishing her a happy 1st... but the highlight of this party was the food. seriously. lina's dad, christian, is an excellent cook, and he made the best brisket and mashed potatoes. lina's mom, samantha, followed it up with THE BEST banana pudding you have ever put in your mouth. EVER. come to find out, it was paula deen's recipe, so... you know, DUH. and i was just kidding, lina was totally the life of the party... she was so cute, playing around with her aunts and grandparents, and ripping into her gifts with 1-year-old gusto. now, on to sunday... i went to starbucks to knit while josh took the kids to the huffhines art festival. then we took the kids to trunk or treat at church! micah was NOT into it at first... she didn't want to walk up to the people by their decorated trunks and hold out her basket, but she definitely wanted candy, and did not want to leave. so it was kind of frustrating there for a while. but she warmed up, and made the rounds with her brother. rowan and i tried some homemade root beer, which was good, but it ain't had nothing on A&W. the kids collected lots of candy, which they sampled on the way home and before dinner... oh well. more to come next weekend!
i love knitting. i love the thunderstorm that's going on right now. and i love working for my dad so i can make a little extra money. and did i mention i love knitting? i'm going to go knit myself to sleep right now...

Saturday, October 3, 2009

today we celebrated my sweet boy's 2nd birthday with friends and family! he officially turns two at 3:28 pm on monday, october 5. today was his party, at terrace park (which is starting to feel like "our" party place... earlier this morning i imagined showing up to set up for his party and finding another group of people there, and getting all territorial on their asses... "this is OUR park, i've been having my kids' parties here for the past FOUR YEARS!!"). i was nervous about the rain, but the sky was kind enough to wait until the kids had gotten some good time on the playground before opening up on us. some folks left when it began to sprinkle, and some waited it out with us under the covered pavillion. we sang, cut the cake, and rowan opened his gifts while it drizzled, then the rain let up and the kids ran back out to play some more. all in all, it was such a wonderful day. after the party was over, we went home and played with all of rowan's awesome new toys, games and books. my precious boy was sooooo tired, he crashed on the way home from the park (around 6:30 pm - his first nap of the day!!), but woke up as soon as we pulled into the drive. he knew he had new stuff to play with. he and micah both ended up staying up pretty late. i'm so grateful for all our wonderful friends and family who helped us celebrate!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

a lot has gone on since my last blog post! josh lost his job the day after we returned from orange beach at the beginning of the month; he has a third interview at staples in richardson tomorrow. they really like him and are excited about the experience he had at kinko's. so if you're reading this, say a little prayer for them to hire him!
in other news, my childhood friend, courtney, had her first baby on the 21st! he was lotus born (they did not cut the umbilical cord; baby and placenta remained connected until the cord naturally detatched from him yesterday, day 4), and born at home, unassisted! i haven't talked to courtney yet, but i can't wait to hear all about it!!
rowan has started talking! he says: mama, dada, micah, rowan, mia, dog, cat, owl, hop, walk, up, help, banana, and milk. he still signs a lot for milk and "all gone" or "all done". he's starting to make sentences; he says "i want to go on a walk", but the only word that's really discernable to anyone else is "walk". : ) he loves to go on walks in our neighborhood and play with sticks outside. his other favorite passtimes are playing with all his little matchbox cars, and playing elaborate pretend games with micah, involving dolls and doll strollers and pots and pans and pretend food. she is the director of the game, and he does whatever she says. : ) for now...
rowan falls asleep so easily these days. when he's tired, we lay down, he nurses to sleep, then i gently roll him onto his tummy and give him his paci, and he's out. if he wakes in the night while josh and i are still awake, i go in to him and lay down next to him, snuggle him up close, and he goes right back to sleep - i usually don't have to nurse him. he really likes his paci (i'll deal with that later; for now, it's nice). he wakes up happy and energetic and playful in the mornings - though not always from his naps. if he gets a nice, long nap, he does, but if micah wakes up him before he's ready, or he just wakes up early on his own, he's usually on the cranky side for a little while. he is starting to demonstrate his little 2-year-old will; he's been experimenting with hitting and kicking, and shouting "no!" but it's so mild compared to micah. when he hits, we gently take his hand and show him "gentle", and sometimes he hits again... but we just show him a gentle touch over and over, and eventually he moves on. and when we ask him to do something and he yells, "no!", we just say, "yes, please" and he does it. : ) i get the feeling he's going to be more joyful and pleasant in general than micah was at this age, but a more physically rowdy and rambunctious. which figures; he's a boy.

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

orange beach, AL pictures!

our second trip to orange beach, AL was amazing!!!! we had such a blast; our time in the sun and on the sand was so peaceful and relaxing, and the water was wonderfully warm. i actually got to dive and swim in the ocean, which thrilled me to no end. the trip over there was really perfect; we made excellent time (the trip without stops is 10 and a 1/2 hours, and we made it 11 and a 1/2 - which we thought was pretty darn good, considering we were traveling with six children under the age of 7), and the kids did great. the ride home was a little bit of a different story... unbeknownst to us, there was an LSU/AL football game on september 6th, the day before labor day, and the day before our return trip. SO, when we left the condo around 11 AM on the 7th, we hit traffic. and when i say "we hit traffic", i mean that we traveled 54 miles in 6 hours. !!!!!!!!!!!!! it was horrendous. it was a nightmare. in the middle of all that traffic, it started to rain... and one of the windshield wipers on alison's van flew off. we pulled off the road and into a shell station, where two very nice men (i think they were brothers - they looked just alike!) helped us fasten it back on. we continued on down the road... having no more mishaps (other than being about 7 hours behind), until later in the day, when a man driving next to us on the road signaled that one of our tires needed air. we pulled over and tried to use alison's portable air pump, but it wasn't cooperating... so we got out the spare change and tried to use the gas station's pump, but the little needle thing on the thing that goes on the tire valve was missing and we couldn't get a good seal on it for the air to actually go into the tire. a nice man tried to help us, but he didn't have much success either. we shrugged, said "i hope it holds!" and got back on the road. then later that evening during another patch of rain, the other windshield wiper flew off!! ?!? this time, we just let it go - the rain let up right after that. UGH. it was rough going there for a while... i called my dad to let him know what was going on, and he made me swear we would stop for the night somewhere, so that we wouldn't get too sleepy driving at night. however, once we reached monroe, LA and saw that shreveport was only another 2 hours away... and from shreveport, only 4 and 1/2 hours till home... we talked ourselves into pushing on through. i didn't call daddy because i knew he'd make me stop (funny how i'm 28 years old and would still do whatever my dad told me, even from 300 miles away), and we just kept on driving until we got to garland - at 3:45 AM!! for a total of 17 hours driving, with, i think, three short stops. BLAH!!!
for some reason, i'm anxious to go on another road trip. i think i'll go to austin for the weekend, after naomi gets back from maui.
we've been back to our regular routine since we got back. micah and rowan have been playing together very nicely. rowan started talking a little more on the trip, probably because he was surrounded by talkative kids. he said "i want that", "i want dada", and since we've gotten home, he's said "bath" and "october". it's exciting to hear him trying out new words!! every once in a while i get anxious about the fact that he's not talking much, but then i calm down and remember that boys usually talk later than girls, and he is completely engaging with us, making eye contact, playing with other kids, playing with toys, etc. (in other words, i'm not concerned about anything on the autism spectrum) he even answers our questions in his own way, and it's obvious that he understands everything we're saying. i can ask him to go get me something from another room, and he'll do it. i can ask for his help cleaning up the living room, and he'll happily oblige. he's such a sweet little guy... i can't believe he'll be 2 in less than a month. i've already got some ideas for his party...
speaking of parties, it's ridiculous that we never had a 4th birthday party for micah moon. we moved into this house the weekend of her birthday, and we were so busy with unpacking and getting situated over here, that we just never got around to it. LAME!! i feel so bad. i hope she doesn't remember how we neglected her... : ) we'll just have to make up for it by making her 5th birthday party extra special. earlier tonight we were talking about what kind of cake to make for rowie, and she suggested he might like a hello kitty cake. i grinned and asked if that's what she wanted, and she said, "yes, with a dora the explorer candle on it." perfect! i think i might attempt to make her cake and frosting from scratch next year. i may even try that for rowan's birthday next month... we'll see how brave i'm feeling.
our cat, sara, is about to pop. anyone wants a kitten or knows someone who does, let me know...

Thursday, September 3, 2009

we're off to orange beach, alabama this morning!!! i'm excited for a repeat of our spring break trip. it was so fun hanging out with alison and her kids on the beach, and this time the weather should even be a little warmer and more pleasant for us. i packed last night, and went to the stupid grocery store at midnight because i had to wait for our EBT card to be loaded with this month's benefits. that was annoying. i was sooooo sleepy by 10 PM and wanted to go to bed (of course - had i not needed to do something later, i would've been wide awake at 10 and probably would've stayed up till midnight or later anyway). now i need coffee. when alison picks us up, we're going to stop at a gas station for a bag of ice for our little cooler (necessary to keep the A&Ws cold), and i'm going to get a cup of coffee for the drive.
i hope i have plenty of snacks and stuff for the kids in the van. when we made this drive for spring break, the kids did amazingly well for a 13-hr drive. alison and i were impressed. i hope this trip goes as well!
i'm sad to be away from josh, though. he's pushing himself really hard right now with work every day and school 4 nights a week, and while i'm sure he'll benefit from a nice stretch of quiet and low-energy time at the house by himself (he plans to work on the garage and get some painting done - and feed the neighbors' dogs), i know he'll miss us like crazy. his new schedule is taking some getting used to, but we both knew it would be difficult, and it's completely worth it so he can get his degree and get into his dream career. i can't wait to see him living his dharma!
i jammed my toe really hard on a leg of the hutch last night. it HURTS. hope it doesn't bother me too much on the trip. be back monday...

Saturday, August 29, 2009

i'm annoyed with myself for not utilizing this perfect outlet for my random thoughts and activities. part of the reason for my chronic blog neglect has to do with the fact that for months now, our memory card for the digital camera has been M.I.A. it's fun to post recent pics of the family and our shenanigans on here, so i guess since i've not been able to do that, just journaling hasn't been a priority.
tonight was awesome. josh and i went on a much-needed date. we dropped the kids off at daddy and vesta's at 4, then we went to addison and had dinner at sweet tomatoes. i'd heard about this place from several friends, and had been told it was like souper salad, but a notch above. it was delish! i had an asian salad with crunchy wontons on top, a baked sweet potato with butter, some bread, and i tried two kinds of soup: corn chowder with potato and bacon, and yellow curried split pea. both were awesome, but i slightly preferred the corn chowder - the split pea had an aftertaste that i didn't love. for dessert, i had a warm blueberry muffin with butter. yummm!!! not the healthiest, i know - i could pretend i had "salad" for dinner and feel super healthy, but i ate a ton of carbs. and butter. after dinner, we met my brother, caleb, and his girlfriend, beth, at adventure landing for a game of miniature golf! it was josh's idea, and it was so relaxing and fun. not one of us has a competitive bone in our bodies, so we just played around and had a blast. i got three holes-in-one, josh and beth each got one, and my stinkin' brother got three also, including one which he achieved single-handed, with his LEFT hand, AND while talking on his cell phone. show-off.
in between dinner and golf, while we were waiting for my punctuality-challenged brother to arrive with his girlfriend, josh and i went down the street from adventure landing to super target to get josh a 3-ring binder, spiral notebook, and usb flash drive for his drafting class. i also picked up a new memory card for the camera, and a cute shirt for micah and a two-piece outfit for rowan that were on clearance. i fell head over heels in love with all of the autumn boys clothes that were there, and wanted to buy everything for rowan. i can't wait until i start making extra money typing for my dad and i can get him his fall wardrobe! as much as i love buying cute clothes for my kids, i'm glad my aunt and mom have micah pretty much outfitted in oilily for the rest of her life (until she becomes a teenager and decides she only wants to wear white, black and brown), because two wardrobes to purchase might be hard on the wallet. i still can't keep myself from buying cute stuff for micah at target or old navy. it's just too fun.
my latest hobby, knitting, makes my heart so warm, and hopefully one day soon it'll make my head warm, because i'm trying to knit a hat. i say "trying" because i've attempted this hat three times now, and it keeps coming out too enormous for my head. mama, katherine and i are going to dunn bros. in addison tomorrow to knit together, and to cast on our first "knit-a-long" - this booga bag. i'm so excited about this! i don't get to sit down and focus on knitting too often during the day, so i'm sure i'll be tagging along at the tail end of the knit-a-long, but that's okay. i'm just so excited to have a bag that i can actually use, that i MADE, at the end of it!
micah has been asking me to read to her non-stop lately, and i love it. we have gobs and gobs of books, a lot of them from my childhood, and looking through them gives me warm fuzzies. she wants me to read them all, every day. rowan likes books, too, but he seems to want to look at the pages on his own, quickly, moving from book to book. he's not too interested in sitting in my lap and being read to. he makes lots of sound effects to accompany the story, and doesn't like how long it takes me to finish each page. the super early-reader board books are right up his alley - the ones with a picture and one word on each page. he digs those.
in other kid news, rowan has sporadically been using the potty! usually before his bath, or right after. the other day, while he was naked in the playroom, he actually stopped playing, found me in the computer room, led me to the bathroom, climbed on, and peed - twice! i was impressed. josh and i briefly discussed buying him some training underwear, but quickly realized, upon turning and finding him sprinkling the hallway carpet, that he's not there yet. he just likes to do everything his sister does.
ahhh... that's enough for now. i have so much more to ramble on about, but i'm very sleepy, and i'm reading a great book, and am anxious to snuggle up in bed and read until i can't keep my eyes open.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

i love to knit. i love to knit. i love to knit!
i haven't posted in a while; i've been busy knitting. :) we've been doing the same old things around here; taking care of baby lina (who is 10 months old now!), playing in the sprinkler out back and at the splash parks and swimming pools as often as possible, hanging out with friends, and doing fun family stuff. josh has been working and getting ready to attend classes and richland community college so he can get a drafting job. today he went and got a new driver's liscense, and returned some books and paid a fine at the college, so he's all ready to register for his two classes on monday! he'll take developmental math and auto cad 1 (don't know what that is exactly, but he's excited about it). i can't wait for him to be working in the field he's so passionate about. i'm guessing it will do wonders for his overall happiness and health.
he continues to be a sweet, supportive husband, even in the midst of really hating his job. tonight he took the kids to his dad's to swim while i went to my mom's house and indulged in my latest, greatest hobby and passion... knitting! mama taught me to knit when i was 7, and when i was 10, and naomi was in her waldorf kindergarten, i learned to knit mittens. i actually completed a pair, and mama has them somewhere... i will hopefully post a picture of them on my ravelry page soon. anyway, katherine, my dearest friend, has become something of a knitting prodigy since teaching herself (!!!) how to knit last thanksgiving. she's made all this neat stuff for me and the kids, and is always working on something... so when i ran across this baby blanket pattern online, i forwarded it to her, thinking she'd probably love to make one for, i don't know, me. she wrote back and said, "this pattern is super simple, why don't YOU make it?!" and as of that moment, i've resumed my knitting, after a 20-year haitus. so far i've made a little doll blanket and pillow, a doll scarf, and am currently working on a doll dress. after i finish the dress (and either a skirt or pants to match), mama, katherine and i are going to do a "knit along" - we're all going to make a booga bag at the same time! since i started up again, mama, katherine and i have been having "knitting dates" where we just get together, chit chat, and knit! it is so fun and relaxing and rejuvinating. we've met a couple of times at coffee houses, but tonight we all had some skeins of yarn that needed winding, and mama has a swift and a ball winder at her house, so we met there. it's so fun for me, the novice, to listen to mama and katherine talk about different yarns and projects they're working on. it inspires me to get better and better so i can do what they're doing! i have all sorts of things in my queue on ravelry - projects i'm going to do as soon as i can. this... is so much fun. :)
tomorrow i'm going to a blessing way for one of my oldest, sweetest friends who's expecting her first child next month. there are all sorts of reverent, meaningful rituals planned, and i wrote a poem to read during one of them. i'm a bit nervous, and i'm sure my voice will be all shaky... but i hope i can be calm, and deliver the words with the spirit with which i wrote them.
earlier today, before my knitting night, josh dropped the kids and me off at terrace pool (our favorite!) while he went to run his DPS and richland errands. we had lina with us, and samantha met us there. alison and her crew, and laura, eli and chase were there as well. it was such a fun afternoon! the kids had a blast, had some yummy snacks, and played hard. by the time we were ready to leave, josh was still an hour away from being finished at the DPS office, so alison was nice enough to drive us home. as soon as we got our wet suits off, we piled in bed and promptly fell asleep - but when josh got home minutes later, micah and i woke up. i was disappointed - a nap sounded sooo nice. rowan got a nice one, and micah and i got up to eat carrot cake. then the kids got to swim again at josh's dad's community pool in rowlett. they came to pick me up at mama's house around 11 tonight, we got home by 11:30, and both kiddos were sound asleep by 11:45. i was almost asleep in bed, but had to get up and upload some cute baby pics to facebook. and i miss my blog, so i had to post here. i've been neglecting it.
oh, and sara the cat is pregnant. : ) for sure, this time.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

i just noticed that rowan's picture on the side of my blog here is a little outdated... he looks so different now, but i can't stand to remove that one!! i'll leave it there until his second birthday.
rowan and micah are awesome little swimmers! i really need to take some pictures and video of them swimming before the summer is over, and post them here and on facebook. i'm pretending it hasn't happened, but the huge memory chip for our digital camera has been misplaced (i'm not pointing any fingers, but rowan was the last one seen playing with the downloading component) and all i have are two really small ones that only hold about 15 pictures each. i have no idea how much memory chips cost. we may be buying a new one later this month, because we cannot find the old one. sigh...
tonight i did some reorganizing of the hallway linen closet and the medicine cabinet in the full bathroom. there was tons of stuff in the medicine cabinet that we don't use regularly, and it was taking up too much space - it's a pretty shallow cabinet. and the linen closet was not arranged in a way that made sense. so i waited until the kids were asleep tonight, and went after it. it's fun to get organized, especially in a new house. sometimes i still feel very unsettled... mainly because the kids' playroom has no storage or organization in it at all yet, because i haven't bought the stuff i want from target or IKEA, and the computer room shelves are all still mainly empty, and what is on them is just clutter that's been put there temporarily. i can't wait until those two rooms are finished, then i'll really feel like we've unpacked and moved in completely.
a couple of weeks ago we planted some pink periwinkles and some blue daze in the little flower bed by the front porch. it looks so neat and pretty! i'm so proud of our yard and our little house. i cannot wait until we have a swingset in the backyard for the kids. i'm hoping to get that by spring, so we can be out there playing and enjoying the gorgeous weather.
i have finally decided to start reading the harry potter books. it's ridiculous, i know, but i've never read a single one of them. my dad, brother, sister, and grandfather have all read them and are huge fans of the series. i just always reach for my crime dramas when i get a chance to sit down and read.
micah's cousin, sydney, is coming over to play with us tomorrow while my aunt susan attends some meetings at work. sydney's staying with susan and my uncle, tony, for a week and a half before school starts for her up in oklahoma where she lives with her mom, my cousin julie, and her dad, stephen. sydney and micah get along really well together, even though syd is 5 years older. my aunt's dropping her off at 8 AM, right as lina gets here too, so i am going to have my hands full tomorrow! i told myself i'd go to bed before midnight, so i better keep my word...

Friday, July 24, 2009

the last week has been fun; we've just been hanging out at the house, running errands, and meeting up with friends and family. last week my friend sarah and her two boys, who are close to micah and rowan's ages, came over for a play date. the kids got along great and had fun, and we all had a new, yummy snack: raw milk and raw cheddar cheese! sarah is always discovering new foods, and is also inclined to notice the natural and alternative. she bought some raw milk and cheese at a co-op and brought it over for us to try. it was awesome!! the cheese was wonderful, flavorful and mild at the same time. and the milk tasted just like the milk i buy at the store, but it was so cool to know that it was raw and unpasteurized. i wish i could afford to have raw milk in the house all the time, but it's on the expensive side, and the co-op doesn't take food stamps, of course.
last night (thursday) mama and maya came over for dinner, which was really fun because it was the very first time i've had my mom over and cooked dinner for her at my house. sounds weird, but it's true. i made meatloaf, broccoli rice & cheese, and cornbread muffins - three things i know she loves. she and josh both liked the meatloaf, but i thought it turned out a little bland. i need to practice that more... after dinner, my aunt shannon and cousins emma and audrey came over to play, and they ended up staying until almost 10 o'clock. the girls all had so much fun together. the next morning (this morning) they all left on a little weekend trip with grams & sweep to mississippi. i hope they're having fun, and i hope we get to see them again on sunday night, when they get back, before shannon and the girls have to head home to austin.
today (friday) i had lina with me - i usually don't have her on fridays, but her mom needed to finish a project at work. we bummed around the house until lunchtime, then ate leftovers with josh, and drove him back to work when his break was over. then we picked up caleb and took him to work. we arrived about half an hour early, and i'm so glad we did! they were having a 50% off sale, and i have been anxious to plant some pretty, colorful flowers in the front flower bed. so micah and i went in, found what we wanted, and ended up getting 80% off on our purchase because the cashier gave me caleb's employee discount! SWEET!! i'm going to get up early tomorrow and work on getting them planted before it gets too hot. i'll take pictures and post them as soon as i can. : ) tonight (friday) daddy and vesta came over for dinner! i looooove having people over for dinner at my new, pretty house. : ) anyway, i made this chicken enchilada recipe that i got from my friend, jessica, and they turned out soooo yummy. the ONLY thing i'll do differently next time i make them is bake them for a slightly shorter amount of time. the corn tortillas were very soft, and i think i would've preferred them a little less... mushy.
naomi was supposed to come home this weekend, but she forgot that it was a friend's last weekend before going somewhere, so she stayed in austin. jill is in town, though, babysitting melanie's kiddos, so i think after we do yard work tomorrow, we're going to head up to mckinney and swim with the boyle children (josh's nephews and neice). then i hope to make a stop at half price books to get a copy of roald dahl's "the witches" for micah, and dr. sears' "the birth book" for me, for my LLL leader application. i want to read "the witches" to micah because she got two rats as a late birthday present from me and her daddy, and i think she'd enjoy the story of the boy and his trained, pet rat. : ) i also hope to pop in the old navy by mel's to see if i can find a dress to wear to temple's wedding tomorrow night!! which is also in mckinney, so we will pretty much be there all day long. i can't wait for temple's wedding. it's going to be so much fun, and honestly, it will be the first wedding i've been to in a long time in which i'm not a bridesmaid. so it'll be a nice change to sit in the chapel and enjoy the ceremony. : )

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

we were supposed to go on another LLL field trip to old city park in dallas this morning. but my morning did not go as planned... and i can't seem to do anything right today. first, i neglected to inform christian and/or samantha last night that i'd be taking josh to work this morning, so i could keep the car. so this morning at 7:24 i called samantha and she was already on her way here to drop lina off. i told her i'd meet her at belt line and 75, but soon realized i wasn't going to make it in time. so she ended up being late to work because of my poor planning - UGH! then, i headed north to our bank with my check from samantha for this week, with the intention of depositing part of it and cashing part of it. when i was about two-thirds of the way there, i realized that, since our account is overdrawn at the moment, they wouldn't let me keep any of it. so i pulled off the highway and drove around for a while, trying to find a bank of america branch where i could go in, cash the check, then take $100 of it to our bank in mckinney and deposit it. when i finally found a BOA branch, the sign on the door said the lobby would be closed for another 15 minutes. my stomach was cramping like mad, and i knew sitting in my car for that long would result in an accident the likes of which i haven't had since i was about 3 years old. and by this point anyway, i had grown so accutely irritated by the fact that we live in GARLAND and our bank's nearest branch is in MCKINNEY, that i angrily drove out of the parking lot and all the way back to richardson. i went to the BOA branch by my supertarget (the bathroom had stopped calling me for the time being), where i went in and cashed my check (NEVER, and i mean NEVER take three children under the age of 5 into a bank; you're just askin' for it). after that, i was hungry and annoyed and suddenly needing to poop again, so we went next door to chick-fil-a and resolved two of those three issues. even after that, i had one more errand to run: for several days now, my fingernails have been in desperate need of clipping, and i can't find our clippers anywhere. so we stopped in at the CVS right by our house for a new pair. THEN we went home, and my annoyance level has decreased since i was able to get the two younger babes down for naps at the same time. so, needless to say, we skipped old city park (it was, what, 100 degrees by 10 AM anyway), and have had a quiet afternoon here at home.
micah is hungry all... the... time these days! i bet she's going through a growth spurt. i'll be anxious to see how much she's grown by the end of the summer. rowan's appetite hasn't changed, but his crankiness has upped a bit. i don't know if it's because he's getting some molars in, or if it's just the slow march towards 2. he's also giving lots of unsolicited kisses, and is "talking" and make some new gestures to get his message across.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

the big 3-0!

here are some cute pictures we took at josh and jill's 30th birthday party last month.
josh and rowan in their matching hats. so cute!
rowan, me, katy (josh's youngest sister) and hope, josh's neice (a year older than micah)

micah and her favorite cousin, hope ann, having fun in the pool!!

Monday, July 6, 2009

i have baby fever! a good friend's sister had her first baby, a girl, at the end of june. i've been spending time with my friend, jessica, and her sweet 7-month-old boy. one of my LLL friends had a baby boy in mid-june. my friend in pennsylvania is pregnant with her first, and another friend here is pregnant too. gosh... i want another baby. : ) and the cool thing is, josh no longer winces when i bring up the topic! we even have names picked out for #3. shhhhh...
we had SUCH a fun 4th of july in wichita falls with josh's sister, jill, and her boyfriend, richard. we stayed at their house and slept in their wonderfully comfy guest bedroom with a roomy king-size bed. josh didn't want to come home and go back to sleeping on his stiff, creaky twin trundle bed mattress!
on friday we arrived pretty early and played rock band at the house, then went out for a nice dinner. on saturday josh and i took the kids to a flea market, then in the evening we all went to a fun kids event at the civic center where micah got to ride one of those spinning carnival rides (with her aunt jill; those things make me barf) and eat cotton candy. the fireworks turned out to be a bust... it started pouring down rain, and we were waaaaaay too close to where the fireworks were actually launching from, and the noise was overwhelming for micah and rowan. they had fun running around inside the civic center, though, listening to the booms and pows from a distance.
the next day, sunday, we got up and had an early lunch, then went roller skating! it was micah and rowan's first time to do this, and they both had fun. rowan wore his skates for about ten minutes, holding my hands or josh's hands and scooting around, then he sat down and pointed to his laces and said, "uh, uh, uh!" translation: get these crazy things off of me so i can walk normally again! micah stood perfectly still on the carpet next to the rink in her skates for a long time, maintaining perfect balance and watching people zoom around in a circle. after about 45 minutes of watching me, her daddy, aunt jill and richard skate around and have fun, she decided she was ready to try it - and she did very well! : ) she held my hands first and skated forward with me behind her, then held one of jill's hands and one of richard's hands and skated in between them. it took her a while to get the hang of centering her body over her feet so her feet wouldn't shoot out from underneath her, landing her on her tail bone (that happened several times - ouch). once she got the feel of how she needed to balance a little differently, she enjoyed it. i love watching her learn how to do something brand new. it gives me the neatest feeling, and i hope i remember all these moments forever.
from the skating rink, we went to an early dinner, then josh and the kids and i headed home. we made really good time, so once we got to richardson we stopped at the grocery store for some stuff we needed for the house. micah slept the whole trip home, so she was a bit wired, but rowan, for some reason, stayed awake and whiny the whole trip home. he had a weird burst of energy once we unloaded the van (we borrowed joann and sheridan's van for the trip), then crashed at his normal time.
micah and i stayed up watching the dog whisperer. wesley, my stepdad, has us hooked on this show. it's got me totally psyched to be a better pack leader to mia!
today my aunt and cousins came over to play, and we had so much fun! micah always has the best time playing with them. then tonight we all ate dinner at my grandparents house. ahhhh, heaven. : )
and rowan signed his first sentence yesterday: he signed "milk" then "all done", to tell me he was done nursing. : ) : )

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

catch-up time

i've been really bad at updating my blog lately!!
our A/C has been partially restored... a small, used unit was installed last week to tide us over until sometime this week when the new unit is supposed to arrive. the landlords are replacing the entire cooling and heating system in the house. it'll be about a 3-and-a-half hour job. meanwhile, the unit we have is struggling to keep the whole house at a comfortable temp (80), so i've been keeping the vents and the doors closed in the playroom and the office during the day. that way the bedroom, living room and kitchen get all the cool air, and the unit isn't running nonstop all day long to try to keep up. i am not looking forward to our utility bill next month...
kid news:
  • 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

i... can't... believe... my A/C seems to be broken again. it's not blowing cold air, and it won't get below 83 degrees in here, even though i have the thermostat set at 75. i'm going to scream, or cry, or maybe both. and we're supposed to have company again tomorrow night. lovely... at least tomorrow is saturday and i know my landlord will come over here to check it out. geez...
josh, the kids and i played with maya at her house tonight while mama and wesley went out on a date for their anniversary. we had fun dancing to music, molding things out of beeswax, and playing with dolls and wooden food. i took some cute pictures of maya and micah dancing, and will post all sorts of pictures from the last couple of weeks very soon...
i was frustrated this morning because i didn't get up to drive josh to work, and was stuck at home without a car until noon, which meant that i missed two fun playgroups with my LLL friends. alison and laura and their boys were at the splashground, which is where i really wanted to go, and vicky and others were at a shady playground in dallas, which sounded like a bit of a drive but still would've been fun. my other friend miranda was also at the dallas playground, with her 3-yr-old son, jack, and her brand new baby girl, lily! i'm sad i missed out on seeing her. she's having a "meet lily!" party tomorrow afternoon, but we won't be able to go because we've got a full day tomorrow already. i'm also super excited for my other friend, marina, who had her baby boy last week! i can't wait to meet and hold these precious, new babies!!
i'm looking forward to getting some plants and flowers for the small bed right next to the front porch tomorrow. i have an idea of what i want to put there, but i don't know the names of the plants or the flowers. we're also going to go buy a cheap weedeater tomorrow. we'll worry about buying a lawnmower next year; my dad said we could borrow his whenever we need it, and it fits nicely in the back of the station wagon.
we are almost completely settled in and unpacked over here on archery lane! a few boxes remain in the kids' room, and the office needs artwork hung on the walls and the shelves loaded up with books. there are a lot of boxes of books and DVDs in the office closet that need to be unpacked. i am trying to come up with storage ideas for the kids' playroom. i want one of these storage systems from IKEA to house all their small toys, dress-up clothes, etc. maybe i can get them this for christmas.

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.

we've also had my dad and vesta over for dinner, and my grandparents (jo ann and sheridan, my dad's folks) over for pizza, my friend alison and her boys over to play and help unpack, and last night katherine came over with smoothies and hand-knitted gifts! she made me a dishtowel with the breastfeeding advocacy symbol on it (i will post pictures of this very soon, and can't wait to take it to my next LLL meeting to show it off...) and she made micah two knitted chocolate cupcakes with pink frosting and chocolate sprinkles!! they are amazing. she also showed me pictures of some of her other projects... she is so incredibly talented, and she's only been knitting a short time. she just has a knack for it.

in other news, rowan is still not saying much at all, but has no trouble communicating. he uses hand gestures and little sounds to get what he needs, and he's started to sign more. he signs for milk, all gone, and thank you (sometimes). and of course he waves bye, and stretches his arms out for a hug. it's really cute. : ) he has his pacifier in his mouth a lot, and i've wondered if that might be contributing to his speech delay... so maybe this week i'll try to keep the paci away as much as i can. i'm not worried about it; i'm sure he'll talk when he's ready.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

our landlord, gary, came over last night and sprinkled some bug killer on the lawn out back. hopefully that will take care of the chiggers and the little black ants that have been plaguing us.

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

I LOVE MY HOUSE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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, June 4, 2009

it's official!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

happy birthday, my sweet micah moon!!!!!

i can't believe you are four years old. you mean everything to me. you are my soul-mate, and i am eternally grateful that you chose me to be your mama. i love you!!!!!!!!

we've been in the process of packing for weeks now, and all my pictures are on my laptop. i can't figure out how to download pictures to the new computer, so until we move and get everything set up at our new house, i will continue to be REALLY bad at uploading pics on my blog. : ) but... check out this incredibly beautiful picture of my mama. isn't she awesome?!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

i can't believe my baby turns 4 tomorrow morning... at 7:24 am, to be precise.

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

the kids have both had low-grade fevers over the past couple of days. micah really seemed to feel under the weather, but rowan is running around the house like normal. they're both asleep right now... which means it'll be a late night. but i don't mind, on the weekend.

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

moving day is getting closer and closer! today i arranged for our utilities to be turned on at the new house on may 29th, and disconnected here on june 1st. we are continuing to pack things up slowly, but it's still proving a little annoying - i was just looking for the laptop to upload some pictures onto my blog and FB, but can't find where josh put it.

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 enjoyed playgroup so much friday morning. the air was warm - almost hot - but there was a nice breeze. micah and rowan wore themselves out in the sun, then we went home and had a nice lunch and spent the rest of the day indoors. josh had planned to spend saturday night at his friend, brandon's house learning how to paint with oils... but, my dad decided at the last minute to join my stepmom, vesta, the kids and i in madisonville, tx for a bishop (that's my stepmom's maiden name) family reunion. originally just vesta, the kids and i were going to go, but vesta really wanted daddy to join us, so he decided to come along, but he needed someone to take care of callie. my brother already had plans, so josh was nice enough to switch his saturday-night plans to friday night, and he spent last night at my dad and vesta's, keeping callie company.

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.