Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Under my umbrella, ella, ella...

These were taken at Evan's soccer game. It had stopped raining and was actually a bit sunny but Spencer insisted that he needed his umbrella. He was loving twirling around and playing with it, so I had to take a few pictures. He was not in the most cooperative mood and did not want to pose for me at all, so the pictures are not great.

Photo note: I used my "big" lens on these and am just not sure about it. The pictures don't seem very clear on here and I don't know if it is the lens or a blog thing. He was running around like a whirling dervish when I took them, so maybe that is the issue. They seemed to be clearer in the editing program. Ugh...maybe I am losing pixels...I need to ask Santa for a new lens.


The other night in the car after telling the kids they had to settle down a little.

Spencer: Evan, do you know what settle down means?

Evan: What?

Spencer: It means that you don't do any of the things you would do if you were a monkey.


The kids after eating "Spartan" cupcakes to celebrate the BIG victory!

That was the most intense green frosting I think I have ever seen. It was more like greasepaint than frosting. Hailey's poop was even green the next day!


This morning while Hailey was helping me bag the cans to take to the store.

Her picking up a Diet Coke can and putting it in the bag: "Mama"

Her picking up a beer can and putting it in the bag: "Dada"

Another Diet Coke can: "Mama"

Another beer can: "Dada"

It could have been a coincidence, but I don't think so. The girl is a genius - and apparently very observant.


Evan looking for a snack in the snack box.

Evan: I think I want Diego fruit snacks. No, I want a cereal bar. Oh - now I see what I want....Cookies Ahoy! (actually Chips Ahoy!)


Spencer out of the blue on a Saturday morning.

Spencer: Mom? Who do you think our next President of the United States will be?

Mom: I am not sure honey. I think it is going to be a really close race.

Spencer: I think it is going to be that Rock Obama.


Evan after finding out that school was cancelled.

We were upstairs brushing his teeth when we got the call that school was cancelled because they had no power or heat in the building. Most kids would be jumping for joy, but Evan ran into Spencer's room on the verge of tears and hid in the corner with a bongo drum. The promise of a donut from the grocery store helped him to slowly ease out of his funk. The kid LOVES school!


Evan after soccer practice on Thursday night.

Evan: There is Emily riding on her Daddy's shoulders. Her Dad is kinda like Uncle Mark.

Mom: Why is he like Uncle Mark? (though I knew what was coming...)

Evan: Because they are both balded. But that is OK because that is how God made them.

Sorry Uncle Mark!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Kickin' it Evan style!

Evan's last soccer games were held on Saturday. The first one at 9:45 in the morning in the wind and pouring rain. Let's just say that was not a very fun experience for anyone. The only things that made that game worthwhile were watching about five kids trying to huddle under one umbrella with the only soccer mom who remembered to bring one and the fact that the kids got their trophies after the game. They were afraid that if the rain continued the afternoon games would be cancelled - so the trophy ceremony was held before they were actually finished with the season.

Evan really enjoyed playing soccer. He isn't super fast or aggressive but he did manage to get his foot on the ball quite often and even scored a goal once. He is the youngest (or close to it) on his team so with that considered he did very well. He says he wants to play again in the Spring so I would say his first experience in the soccer realm was a positive one.

My proud little guy with his trophy. You can see the rain drops all over his shirt.

Big, fake, happy smile.

It cleared up beautifully for the afternoon game. It was still a bit chilly, but NO RAIN and when the sun peeked out it you could really feel the warmth.

E & E - little buddies.

Running it down the field!

In the last game, he tried harder than I have ever seen him try. He did such a great job of hustling to the ball.

You did great Voov! We are so proud of you!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Thirty six +

I had to post a couple of pictures of Hailey wearing this sweater. The sweater is actually a dress and yep, you guessed it - it was mine. Another little gem that Grama managed to hang on to all of these years. Hailey wore it to Evan's soccer game last Saturday and looked so cute and got so many compliments on it. At one point my Mom was just laughing and when I asked her what was so funny, she told me she was just roaring at Hailey running around in a thirty seven year old shirt! It is pretty funny!

In the pictures you will notice that she is also wearing a cute little knitted scarf. The scarf was just given to her by Grama Lyn. Grama made it for her boys to use when they were little - so the scarf is getting up there in age and longevity as well. I love it - it is the perfect size for a little girl.

The photos of her vintage ensemble did not turn out so great. Evan was my assistant and she was much more interested in him then me. She did not want to look at the camera and when she finally did - I ran out of memory card. Time to clean out the camera!

Speaking of clothes and cleaning...I finally organized Evan's closet this morning. For some reason, packing up and putting away my kid's clothes is so hard for me. I just packed it all up. Even the worn out and not so cute stuff. As far as permanently getting rid of it via garage sale or consignment shop, I am resorting to the Scarlett O'hara mentality "I'll just think about that tomorrow!" Baby steps. The pile of too small stuff in his room was enormous. Evan asked what we where going to do with it and I told him that we were putting it away because it didn't fit him anymore. He was very bummed out about me taking his clothes. He asked me if Hailey was going to get them. I told him that Hailey would probably get some of them, but she is a girl and his clothes were boy clothes. The boy/girl part must not have registered much with him because later when he was helping me put them into the tub he was telling me about each item. Hailey gets this cute dog sweatshirt. Hailey will love these softpants. Here are some jeans for Hailey. Hailey might be scared of this T-rex shirt. It was very cute and I loved to hear him telling me about his outgrown clothes. When we had the tub filled (to the brim - I don't think another thing could fit in it) he looked at it and told me "Wow! Hailey is sure getting a lot of new clothes!" He is such a sweet little guy. is a photo of Hailey's mommy in the "dress". The info on the back of the photo says that I was seventeen months old. Look at the difference in HAIR! I had probably even had a cut by then.

Our fifteen minutes (or seconds) of fame?

Evan and I are famous! A picture of us from the Pumpkin Roll was published in the paper. After we had finished painting his pumpkin the photographer came over to us and asked our names in case he printed the photo, so it wasn't a total shocker. We don't get the Beacon so we actually found out we were in it when a co-worker of Trent's told us and brought the paper to him. Looking at the photo, I am actually surprised that he used it. Half of Evan's face is covered by my big lard arm. At least the lard arm is covering my double chin! I just can't believe he didn't have a better photo to run - and it was one of the largest in the section! Anyway, kind of fun. My real wish is that I was on the other end of the camera with a published photo.

Trent is famous as well. He was on Fox news this morning. I am going to try to attach a link, but I don't know if it will work or not. RP is the school of the week this week and they featured him and a student of his talking about their upcoming play.
The following link will get you to the page. Scroll down past the nomination for the school of the week and look for the video clip with Trent on it.

Friday, October 17, 2008

And MORE beach pictures...

A walk to the beach on a brisk Fall day. How could I pass up that sky?

When I was proofing these at home I was bummed to see that one piece of beach grass running through the front of the photo. I tried some Photoshopping techniques but have not mastered it enough to get rid of the offending grass and have the picture still look normal.

So Hanna Andersson? Do you need any new models? This little ensemble was one that Evan wore - not enough of course. I am glad that Hailey will be able to wear it.

The "cheesy" grin!

Evan with his hands full of his beach "loot"!

I found this sweatshirt in Evan's closet (that is still not sorted). It is a 5T and I thought it would be big for him but it fits him perfectly and is so darn cute! So yeah - the clothes in his closet range from 2T to 5T! Maybe I should get off the blog and get to work!

The evil grin! She is up to something!

Yeah - THAT sky!

Hailey SO done with the beach and the camera! I know the "weed" is back but this picture made me laugh because she seems like she is saying "What do you want from me?"

OK...Are you ready for this?


"I'm always ready. I won't let you out of my sight!"

All he is missing is the red bathsuit and life ring!


"The lullaby is the spell whereby the mother attempts to transform herself back from an ogre to a saint."

James Fenton

I know my last post was a bit on the negative side. Things are better now. It seems there is nothing that can't be remedied by some fresh air, exercise endorphins and the sound of Josh Groban singing Paul Simon's "America". That day was a "bad Mom day" and we all know we have them - if we didn't we wouldn't be human. I want this blog to be something that my family can look back on and see our "real" life, not a sugar coated version of it. Some days are tough - you just gotta get past them.

After re-reading the last post in my more positive state I remembered the above quote that I had ripped out of a magazine years ago. I found these pictures of the kids sleeping that were taken over the summer and decided to post them along with it.

The last thing I do before I go to bed is tuck the kids in. I can't go to sleep without arranging their covers and giving them one last kiss. When I stare into their sleeping faces, I can see my babies. During the day they are growing and changing before my eyes, but at night while they sleep - their faces are still their baby faces. Does that make sense to anyone but me? I don't know, but I do know that I could look at those sweet sleeping kids forever.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

By a thread...

I don't feel like I have been a good Mom lately. I have gone through the motions and done what has needed to be done. The kids are washed, clothed, fed and have gotten to school with all of their necessary papers filled out and checked over. I just feel like my heart has not been in it.

I am on edge. I am quick to yell. I am easily irritated by the noise and the too loud voices. I hate to be this way with them because I know that they sense it and it just makes everything worse. I try to keep it pushed down but inevitably it will come out - magnified by the fact it was squashed down too long.

I am exhausted. I am tired of feeling like everything around here is one step forward and three steps back. I feel like I can't get a handle on anything. Cleaning, laundry, Evan's closet still has clothes for a two year old in it, switch the coats around, financial stuff to update on the computer, pictures to order, pictures to scrapbook - the "to do" list is never ending.

A lot of it is Hailey. She is approaching the terrible two's ready for action. She is always in to everything. She is constantly ON me. If I am not carrying her around, she is right under my feet. I can't count the number of times that I have almost fallen and landed on her because she is RIGHT THERE! What makes it even more frustrating is that she cannot communicate to me what she wants or what her problem at that moment is. She just whines and cries and then whines and cries harder when her needs are not met. She is extremely defiant lately and I know that she is most likely acting that way just to get my attention. Attention that she already has ninety eight percent of the day. I am on my last nerve with her - I just know she is going to get hurt with her jumping and climbing monkey act - I just don't know how to stop her. I don't remember the boys going through this "phase" or perhaps they did only I didn't let it bother me as much because there were not so many of them to deal with. I feel outnumbered and spread very thin.

Last night I told Trent that I was so tired but I didn't want to go to bed because then I would wake up and it would be morning and I would have to do it all over again. It was so nice to just sit with a grown up and watch TV and talk without having to be everything to everyone else.

Lord, beer me strength! (At least I still have my warped sense of humor!)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

As good as it gets...

I love to have an excuse to photograph my kids. When Grandma Lyn said that she needed a recent "good" photo of the three of them for a secret project...there it was.

Photographing the three of them together is never an easy task. They never seem to look at the camera at the same time. One is for sure not smiling. Another might be on the verge of scowling or tears due to the fact that they don't want to be in the picture. To even attempt to photograph the three, I need help from a second party - i.e. Trent. He is always happy (maybe a better word would be willing) to help but sometimes does not share my vision. He is more along the lines of "OK - you took one, good enough!" Where as I am more of the "Let's switch angles and backgrounds. Let's try one with flash! OK - no flash! We are going to keep on shooting until they are all crying or I run out of memory card!" Even after all of that, it is a rarity to actually get a shot that I am happy with - let alone one suitable for framing or enlarging.

Here are some of my favorites from the latest shoot.

This last one, the one I am sending to Grandma for her secret project, was the first picture I shot. Maybe Trent is on to something...

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Twenty one months

It has been a while since I have done a monthly Hailey update. I know this isn't really a "milestone" month but I needed an excuse to post these pictures of her - some of my newest favorites.

Her favorite thing to do lately is test her limits. She has been driving me crazy on a daily basis. She will climb up on the couch and jump around like a monkey. When I tell her not to jump, just sit on the couch - she will plop down and give you a big grin like the one in the photo to the left and wave at you and say "Hi" and then get right back up and start jumping. I have tried to take her off the couch but she climbs back up. I have tried to put her in time-out but she just doesn't really get the concept. I have tried yelling at her but she just thinks that is funny. I am out of ideas. We have battles everyday at mealtime because she wants to stand up in her highchair. She will just stand there and shovel food into her mouth. We thought we had remedied the situation by finding the chair straps and strapping her in the chair. If she is "contained", she will furiously try to Houdini out of her straps and when she can't she starts to throw whatever is on her tray all over the floor. The ants LOVE her! Another fun high chair trick she has learned is to try to climb the highchair when she is hungry. My warnings and worst fear were realized last week under Daddy's charge when she attempted to climb up and pulled it over on herself. I just realized a moment ago that you can see her battle scar above her right tooth in the top photo. You would think she would have learned her lesson, but she is even more determined.

For my kids, twenty one months seems to be the time that napping starts to be an issue. I don't know what to do about her naps. If she sleeps in the morning she will not sleep in the afternoon but she still seems tired in the morning. If she doesn't take an afternoon nap, she is completely psycho from late afternoon until bedtime. Recently I was looking through the journal that I kept for Evan and found basically the above statement word for word about him. So I know that it should get better, at least it did with him. I just wish I would have written down when and how it got better. I think she is most likely going to have to live without a morning nap and adjust her body clock. I will miss the two naps - nap time is my only bit of peace during the day.

She has become a book lover! She will sit and listen to books until your eyes can't focus on another word. Some of her favorites are books about animals, anything she can lift the flap of, Peekaboo Kitty, No More Monkeys Jumping on the Bed (with this one she LOVES to do the finger shaking, pointing doctor part) and her soft books (Goodnight Farm and Good Puppy). She also enjoys looking at her God Bless photo album with pictures of the family in it. She reminds me a lot of Evan with her book fascination. Evan has been a book kid from day one. Spencer always liked to be read to at bedtime, but never during the day. Oddly, I think there may be some sort of correlation between books and vocabulary since her speech is starting to develop a little more and faster. (I am totally kidding! I know it most likely has EVERYTHING to do with her having more exposure to books. Books are very important in our house.) Words she has totally mastered are: dada, mama, baba (sippy) ball, car, oh-oh, bye, hi, deer and Mirabel. (How random is it that she knows deer? And that she can't say her brother's names to save her life but she can say her cousin Mirabels! And today she saw a picture of Aunt Dana and pointed right at it and said "DayDay" - which is what the boys call her.) She says lots of other words that are not really clear to anyone but me but she is consistant in their use, for example: please, thank you, juice, pretty (which refers to anything in anyone's hair), nose, eyes and there are more but I am drawing a blank. I am sure that she is still a "delayed" in the speech area, but I am not too concerned at this point. Evan was considered to be a slow talker and he is right where he should be now.

She is starting to point to her various body parts. Her favorites are nose, feet and belly button. She knows the sounds that many animals make. Her favorites are dogs and cats. She barks and meows whenever one is anywhere in a two mile radius of her. She knows the sound an elephant makes and raises her arm like a trunk. She crinkles her nose and purses her lips to make a sound like a rabbit. Bird sounds including owls and ducks are another big favorite. Oh, and dinosaurs - she has their ROAR totally down pat.

She loves to give "high fives" and Daddy taught her "the rock" and she loves that as well. For Daddy's birthday I taught her the Daddy hand rub. Now if we ask "What does Daddy do?" she will rub hands together and grin like a maniac. I tried to teach her the "thumbs up", but I just laugh when she does it because she does it exactly like Evan with her two pointer fingers up instead of thumbs. Evan still gives the thumbs up that way.
I am amazed at her ability to comprehend complex commands. I will tell her to do something and think that I am just talking to hear myself speak or buy some time and she will do it. The other day she came to me carrying her shoes and I told her that she wasn't going to wear those shoes she needed to go and get her brown shoes. She walked away and a few minutes later came back with the brown shoes. I have serious doubts that her older brothers would be able to do that! Heaven knows, they can't find ANYTHING!

She is big on kisses and hugs lately. It is the sweetest thing. She wants to kiss everyone before she goes up to sleep. She even kisses the pictures in the frames on the way to her room.
She has even learned how to use her sweet little pucker as a stalling technique. When we put her in her crib she will stand back up and hold out her arms and pucker at us wanting one more kiss. How can we resist that?

I am starting to notice similarities with her brother's in her emerging personality. The latest is when we put her down to sleep she will scream and cry for a couple of minutes and then finally lay down. Spencer used to do the same thing. She is starting to show a little bit of a temper very reminiscent of Evan. I already mentioned the book thing which is all Evan. She doesn't "play" by herself very well - a Spencer trait. Unlike either of the boys, she has no interest in TV. Which I guess is a good thing, but sometimes it would be nice to turn on the "sitter" for a half hour without a little girl following me around.

We joke that you are a bottomless pit. Your brother's say that you want to eat whatever anyone else is eating - they are right for the most part. You still eat things that I would never in my wildest dreams think of feeding to you. Spicy enchilada casserole - you devour it. You have yet to meet a fruit or vegetable that you don't like. Bananas and grapes are slurped up as fast as I can cut them into pieces. A new thing this past week is that you will take a whole apple and bite into it and continue to eat the whole thing down to the core. You just seem too little to be doing that, but you love it. You also think it is cool to take a few bites and then go get another apple -so we have had some issues with that.

You are definitely your own little person Hailey Marie, and we are learning who that is little by little. These days you are learning new things on a daily basis. It is so rewarding for us to see your triumphs and celebrate each new discovery. I am so excited for these next few months. I can't wait to see how you experience the upcoming holidays - Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas. I look forward to seeing the wonderment through your eyes.

I love you my sweet (and sometimes naughty) little Wee!

Photo note: The elephant in the pictures with her is one of her favorite toys. It's name is Frankie and it used to dance and sing sort of a "Frankie rap type song". She got it for Christmas last year and it worked fine and then when we changed the batteries, it shorted out or something. Now when we turn it on it moves for a second then won't do anything else. She doesn't understand why it doesn't do the dancing and singing anymore so it kind of bums her out that I won't make it work for her. I tried to contact the company to try to get a new one but I can't get through on the email. She still loves Frankie even though she is defective.