Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Growing Girls - January

"A daughter is a bundle of firsts that excite and delight, giggles that come from deep inside and are always contagious, everything wonderful and precious, and your love for her knows no bounds." - Barbara Cage

Yep. That about sums it up for me! It's the last day of January, and it's time for an end of the month wrap up on my babies. There were so many times this month that I thought, I can't wait to write about all of the new things the girls are doing! Of course, now I'm trying to reach back in my brain to remember every single thing they've done. I'm sure I'll leave so many details out, but here are a few things I never want to forget....

We had fun playing with paper mustaches and lips yesterday. The girls couldn't get enough of them all day and night, haha.

Oh, Evelyn. Evie, Evie, Evie. My firstborn baby prides herself on being a little adult. She is slowly but surely inching up into the ranks of second mommy in command. She corrects her little sister, tries to get Grace down when she climbs up on things, and Evie is the best little helper in the kitchen. She has recently taken the job of retrieving things from cabinets for me when she knows I need something, even if I don't ask. Her favorite self-given job is opening the drawer and grabbing a spoon while I pour her morning cereal. The first time she did it, I thought it was the cutest thing. :)


Evelyn is oddly polite for a two year old. She says "yes ma'am" and "please and thank you" in several ways. For example, if I ask her if she wants something and she doesn't, she'll say, "No, but thanks for asking." I never intentionally taught her that, but it makes me smile. And Evelyn remains the ultimate compliment giver. "Mommy, you're so wonderful." "You're so beautiful mommy." And she'll say these things as she walks up to stroke my face. Melts my heart!

Of course, she uses this to her advantage sometimes. If she says something she knows she's not supposed to and I quickly look her way, her expression instantly changes, she smiles, and then says, "Oh, you're so smart mommy." I hate to admit this, but it night have gotten her out of trouble once or twice. ;)




Evelyn and Grace definitely have that "I can mess with my sister, but you can't" sort of mentality already. If I'm getting on to Grace for something, Evelyn will get very concerned and say, "Be nice to Gracie!" Then five minutes later she'll push her sister and that's supposed to be okay. Haha. If Evelyn does something really bad which warrants a paddle, it hurts her feelings more than it hurts her bottom. She cries and says, "Say I'm sorry, mommy. You have to say I'm sorry!" And she will cry and cry until the word 'sorry' is uttered. I of course never apologize for a deserved punishment so instead I say, "I'm sorry you disobeyed me. I don't like to punish you, but that's what happens when you don't listen." And that makes her stop every time. Haha.

But more often than not, it's not punishment being doled out but lots of hugs and cuddles and whispered sweet nothings. She's in a really sweet time right now, and I'm cherishing it while I can. :)



Grace has reached the stage in her life in which we treat her as if she is a parrot, asking her to repeat everything we say. Our favorite catch phrase of hers at the moment is when she throws her hands up in the air and says, "I did it!" which actually sounds more like, "I dee!" But we know what she's saying, and she knows what she's saying, and she is well aware of the belly laughs which will ensue each and every time she says it.

This phrase also acts a great "Gracie's making mischief" alarm, because if she proclaims "I dee!" in a room where no one else is residing, then she has either a) climbed precariously high on something b) filled the toilet with random household objects or c) spilled, dumped out, or knocked over whatever was within reach.



Other curent Grace-isms:

"Thckle thckle thckle" - Means watch out, cause you're about to get tickle-pinched.

"Ahh-ahh!" - Means duck, because you're about to get head-butted

"Yaay!" - Means take a bow, you've just delivered a musical performance worthy of praise and toddler adoration.

I hope I'll never forget the way she talks with her hands when she's in deep conversation on the "telephone." I hope I'll never forget the way she crinkles her nose when she smiles. I hope I'll never forget the way she enthusiastically kisses right on the mouth, sometimes for uncomfortably long periods of time...haha...but I hope I'll never forget the feeling of never wanting it to end.


Random Gracie facts worthy of noting: (Cause my memory stinks)

-The ABC song puts my daughter into an instant trance. She loves it. Guaranteed"Yaay!" every time.
-Grace's current favorite food: noodles
-Grace's current favorite toy: anything to ride on
-Grace thinks blowing belly raspberries is the funniest thing in the world.
-And no drawer in the house is quite as tempting as the one that holds mommy's makeup. (Grrr!)

In January 2012 I had a lot of fun being a parent, and I had two great kids to have fun with. Some days are insane, and I feel like I'm going to lose my marbles. But some days are so wonderful I wonder if I really lived it or if it was all a dream. With Gracie's burgeoning vocabulary and Evelyn's need to do more grown up things, I can't wait to see what the next month brings!








Monday, January 30, 2012

Rebel Without A Cause

Hey, all. Whew, I'm back from an absolutely exhausting weekend. We laid around and rented movies, shopped, ordered take out, shopped again, laid around some more.... Yeah, okay. Not exhausting at all. But AWESOME.

You wanna know what happens when you're a Gymboree-aholic? You get invitations to after-hours box sales, and you go. Because you can't resist. (Box sales are when they pull all of the boxes of leftover inventory from the back room and let you have at it.) I was in heaven last night. And my darling husband uttered the following words to me, which I will never forget: "Get whatever you want." Wahoo!



He's lucky he's married to a frugal gal, because I think I showed great restraint, considering the circumstances :)

I also picked up a mom suit on Saturday night, which is what I officially call one-peice bathing suits with pseudo skirts on them. Cause nobody wants to see a grown woman chasing toddlers around in a teeny-weeny bikini. Well, that's probably a false statement, but let's just say I certainly don't want to worry about hanging out all over the place while I'm rescuing my child from the deep-end. :D

This is what I ended up getting from Target. I wanted red, but they don't sell it in stores, and since I need this for next weekend I couldn't wait. 


It comes with a strap around the neck (which I will definitely be wearing) and the skirt comes down a lot further on me. It's a good mom suit if you're in the market for one. They have lots of different colors here

***

MARK YOUR CALENDARS!

It's officially official. We've acquired the materials, we have registered our class online, and we have set the date for Financial Peace University!

Our first class is Tuesday, March 6 from 6:30-8:30pm.


Every single person from our area is invited to join us! The cost for newbies is $93 - which is the same for singles or couples. And if you've been through before then dig up your workbook and bring yourself over, cause you're getting in for FREE, baby! :) 

Because we will need to order materials ahead of time, we ask that payment be due no later than Monday, February 27. That's four weeks from today, so save up your pennies and nickels and let us know if you're able to make it! (Also give us a heads up if you've been through before and would like to go through again. We'd love to have a headcount so that we can plan accordingly.) FPU is a life-changing experience. You won't regret it.

(More specific information on a location will be given once we have a set number of participants. I guesstimate that 12-14 people can fit in our living room, but if our numbers grow larger - which is highly likely- we will probably move to a conference room in FBC Red Bud's new church building.)

***
Today's ABC Blog Challenge is I: Illegal Past

Bahaha. When I first saw this one I thought, "What in the world is illegal in my past?" I did swipe a candy cigar from the store once, when I was like five. I've been questioned by the police several times for other people's crimes. (Like when I tutored the girl who set our elementary school on fire, for example.) But my criminal past is pretty bland, as far as criminal pasts go. 

But there was that one time....

It's something that burns my buns to this very day. I'm not sure if it's actually illegal, per say. But, it was definitely against the rules. :)

It was a bright and sunny Spring afternoon. I was a Senior in high school, and it was a typical lunch hour at RBHS. Eric and I were standing around with our friends when a thought just randomly jumped in my head from nowhere. "Hey, Eric," I said nonchalantly. "Wanna skip class for the rest of the day?" I expected him to scoff at me, call me crazy (cause we were "good" kids, ya know). But he didn't do either of those things. He said, "Okay." And we began to set our plan into motion. 

Because when you're a "good kid" you can't just skip school. You have to have a plan.

Somebody should have told us not to plan so hard.

We decided it would be a good idea to not just leave school, but to have an excuse to leave school. So Eric and I walked together to the office where I chose to just sign out and be done with it. Eric however put on a theatrical performance for the secretary, telling stories of a "spastic colin" and how he just had to go home, because he was having a flare up. (You have no idea how hard I was trying not to laugh.) So she nodded in a concerned sort of way, and Eric proceeded to sign himself out of school as well.

TIP #1 FOR SKIPPING SCHOOL: Never leave a trail of evidence behind. (Strike one for us.)

So we got into my car and said, "Sianara Suckas!" and drove to Eric's house. Where we proceeded to do a whole lot of nothing for the rest of the afternoon. In fact, we stopped trying to keep it a secret pretty early on and actually sat at the table and had a conversation with Eric's mom. Haha.

TIP # 2 FOR SKIPPING SCHOOL: If you're going to skip, at least have a worthwhile reason to. (Strike two.)

Three o'clock came and went, I drove home, acted like nothing had happened, and then I went to school the next day. I thought we had gotten away with it. Whew! No one would ever have to know that little Adrien was a rule-breaker. But then of course, in my last class of the day, I was handed a slip of shame - I was summoned to the principal's office. Uh oh.

As I walked through the empty halls of the high school, I saw Eric from a distance, and he was on his way to talk to our vice principal, too. We knew we were busted. 


Eric took a seat in the office, and I was called in first. Let me just make a long story short. Mr. VP asked me where I was the day before, and I sorta kinda stretched the truth a bit. To keep up Eric's masterful story, I said that my boyfriend's spastic colin was flaring up and he needed a ride home, so I took him. Oh how little white lies can grow. 

TIP #3 FOR SKIPPING SCHOOL: If you skip and you get caught, just admit that you skipped and you got caught. (Strike three for me.)

He saw right through my little story. He gave me a week's worth of detentions and a looong lecture on lying. I stood there and took it like a man. Oh the horror; the humiliation. I was a good kid, remember Mr. VP? I don't do these sorts of things. Ordinarily.

Meanwhile, Eric was right outside the door listening to the whole conversation. He had NO CLUE what the heck he was going to say when his turn was up. Finally, I was dismissed to leave, and as I passed Eric we exchanged looks of shock. 

And this is Eric's most favorite part of the story. 

When he walked into the vice principal's office, Eric sat down, and do you know what that little turd Mr. VP did? He handed Eric the phone and said, "Do you want to call your mom?"

And that was it. Eric's mom gave him a dismissal, and Eric and Mr. VP sat and talked about guitars for the rest of the period. Eric got no lectures, no detentions, no nothing. And you know why? Because Eric and the vice principal were pals. Makes. Me. Sick.

But my punishment wasn't over yet. 

Because when I got home that day, both of my parents were sitting on the couch in the living room facing the front door. They were waiting for me to get home. I could sense their eyeballs burning into me when my mom asked, "Do you have something you want to tell us?"

Oh no he didn't. He called my parents. Not that he was out of bounds to do so, but seriously?? Eric got nothing, and I got lectures, and detentions, AND a phone call home? AY YI YI. 

Eric thinks this is hilarious, of course.

I was grounded for a long, long time. My car was taken away. My favorite teacher was the one who handed me my detention reminder slips every morning for the week I served time. (To which he replied each day, "Tisk, tisk, Adrien. You need to start getting to class on time." I never revealed that my detentions weren't just for tardies, haha.)

And all of that for a boring afternoon of doing nothing. This whole thing still burns me up inside. Double standard much? I need to learn to be a better butt-kisser, I suppose. :D

So that's my story. It's as close to illegal as you're going to get from me. If there are any high school students reading this blog today, let this be a lesson to you. Stay in school, kids. All day. Haha.

***
This week looks pretty promising weather-wise, if I do say so myself. I'm looking forward to the potential of going outside and being FREE. And also organizing closets, because our closets have been getting on my nerves lately. This post was random and jam-packed and is about to end abruptly, but sometimes that just how I like 'em. Hope ya'll have a hap-hap-happy Monday!!


Friday, January 27, 2012

Confession Friday 1-27!

Because my children have no time for "taking turns...."


Hop aboard the double-decker cycle!

I confess that I FINALLY found a pair of shoes to fit Gracie's chubby feet...and they're water shoes. But I don't care - I nearly cried when they went on. Those things might as well have been glass slippers for the celebration they caused!

I confess that I am the biggest baby when it comes to frying food. All I have to say is, I'm glad my life is not a reality TV show, because I would look a fool with my arm wrapped up in dishtowels while I stand three feet from the stovetop trying to flip stuff. I have a fear of being grease-popped to death.

I confess that I have so many Facebook friends vacationing in Florida this week, and I have just two words for all of them: You. Stink. :) Love you; but you stink.

I confess that we had a big tax scare this week. (Raise your hand if you work out of state!) Luckily the crises was averted, but for about thirty minutes we thought we were going to have to sell one of the kids to the government.

I confess the photo wall that I put up two weeks ago still does not have a single family member's picture in the frames. I'm thinking about giving the lady in the stock photos a name and making her a relative. Then when people come over I can say, "Oh yeah, that's cousin JoAnn. We obviously like her. A lot."

Remember this picture from eons ago?

Look who I caught following in her sister's footsteps....

What is it about the dryer?? Haha.

I confess that if Mattel made a doll of me, when you pulled my string I would say, "You have got to be kidding me!" "You're driving me insane," and "GRACIE! Get out of the toilet!" All expressions I have used entirely too much this week.

I confess that I ordered some kitchen curtains that are on their way, and I'm nerdily excited about it! Except that I just received word that the ROD that I purchased to hang them on is backordered for a month. Seriously? Way to steal my joy.

I confess that I'm going to look like a walking grandma couch this spring, because I am in love with all of the floral prints in fashion this year. Slap on a gardenia and call me Ethel!

I confess that I already know the theme of Evelyn's 3rd birthday party even though I swore I wasn't going to go overboard this year. I'm not. I'm still not...but maaaybe...no, not.

I confess that I ate an entire pan of brownies practically by myself in 24 hours. When Eric diets I have to pig out for the both of us. :)

I confess that I just watched Gracie waste a dozen baby wipes, because she pretended to blow her nose as she pulled out each one, and it was super cute. But I think it's time to intervene.

Back to the mommy grind!
Have a swell weekend, dolls and daddy-o's. 
Dontcha go getting zozzled.
Ha.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

The Newlywed Game

From Southern Illinois,
The newlywed capitol of the world (not really, roll with me)
Heeere come the newlyweds!!


And now let's meet our one and only couple of the day!

Married for three-and-a-half years, here is Eric and Adrien Robert!
{Applause, applause.}


Haha, I'm joined today by my handsome husband who has willingly agreed to answer a few questions as a "guest" blogger. (More like a co-blogger, really.) All of the questions asked were answered by both of us, and were done so completely separately. I'm just now seeing his answers. Eek! Alright, back to the show....

With the wife secluded safely off stage it's time for some zero-point questions. So listen carefully, Eric, each correct question gets you closer to that grand prize.


1. How will your wife say you would complete this sentence? This is you talking: "Our marriage has the good, the bad, and the ugly. When we go on a date, it's good, when we fight, it's bad, and when we _______, it's just plain ugly."

Eric's Answer: When we both haven't slept, for sure. Particularly on Saturdays, when I've been up since 3:45 a.m., we can both be grouchy stress balls. Most of the time a good late afternoon nap helps quite a bit.

2. In two words, how will your wife describe her exact feeling after your honeymoon? 

Eric's Answer: "I'm pregnant."

3. What will your wife say is the one home appliance the two of you need the most?

Eric's Answer: A new stove.  For some reason our current stove will shut off randomly when baking. It drives Adrien insane.

4. If your wife won $1,000, what would she say would be the first thing she would buy for your house or apartment?

Eric's Answer: New bedroom furniture of some sort. Probably a new bed and side tables, since I doubt $1,000 would get the entire job done.

5. What will your wife say was the most unusual location the two of you ever kissed each other?

Eric's Answer: I'm pretty sure the statute of limitations has passed on this one: Once I definitely planted one on Adrien in the church basement in high school. In a dark room. With a whole bunch of our friends less than ten feet away. I think we were playing hide-and-seek or something, but I can't remember for sure.



Same questions! Here we go....

1. How would Eric complete this sentence? This is Eric talking: "Our marriage has the good, the bad, and the ugly. When we go on a date, it's good, when we fight, it's bad, and when we _______, it's just plain ugly."

Adrien's Answer: When we play Dr. Mario. You've never heard such smack talk in all your life. :)

Eric's Answer:

UUURRR. Wrong.

2. In two words, how would you describe your exact feeling after your honeymoon? 

Adrien's Answer: Blissful (then) Pukey 

Eric's Answer:

Aw, same idea. :) But UUURRR. WRONG.

3. What is the one home appliance the two of you need the most?

Adrien's Answer: Hmm, I need EVERY appliance, haha. I'm going to go with: Dishwasher. We dirty SO MANY dishes every day; I couldn't live without it. 

Eric's Answer:

UUURRR. WRONG.
We've never been good at this game. :)

4. If you won $1,000, what would be the first thing you would buy for your house or apartment?

Adrien's Answer: A new bed! There is simply not enough room in the inn.

Eric's Answer:

DING DING!

5. Where was the most unusual location the two of you ever kissed each other?

Adrien's Answer: At church! Haha.

Eric's Answer:

DING DING!

Two for five! Glad to see we at least remember the important things. ;)


1. What is your husband's most prized possession?

Adrien's Answer: His iPad! Oh my, I think he tinkles with that thing. :) Eric has a lot of sentimental items, too, but I think he would cry if something happened to his beloved iPad.

2.  If your husband were home alone for an evening, what would he feed himself for dinner?

Adrien's Answer: Taco salad. If he answers anything else, he's wrong. Wrong, I tell you.

3. What is the character or sound that your husband imitates the best?

Adrien's Answer: Eric cracks me UP with his JFK impression. Anything that anyone says is instantly funnier spoken as a Kennedy. :)

4. Will your husband say he would be more upset if he lost *his hair (or) *his job. 

Adrien's Answer: I think he'd be pretty upset with either, but his job would definitely be the worst. Luckily, I don't think he'll be losing his hair anytime soon. All of his mom's brothers have full heads of hair!

5. Where did your husband take you on your first date?

Adrien's Answer: I'm in trouble. Eeee....I don't know if I remember. So I'll answer what I think he'll say. The movies. Am I right??


1. What did your wife say is your most prized possession? 

Eric's Answer: Gee, this is really tough. The good thing about not having a ton of money is that you aren't too attached to specific possessions. If I had to pick one I would probably go with my 1964 Fender Jazzmaster guitar. My dad bought it new in 1964 and I found it in our storage shed when I was 11 years old. Finding that guitar gave me an opportunity to learn to play, which is something I'm very grateful to have done.

Adrien's Answer:

URRR. WRONG.

2. If you were home alone for an evening, what would you feed yourself for dinner?

Eric's Answer: Taco salad.

Adrien's Answer:

DING DING!


3. What is the character or sound that you imitate the best?

Eric's Answer: JFK. It's actually a really bad imitation, but it's the only one I do.

Adrien's Answer:

DING DING!

4. Would you be more upset if you lost your *hair (or) your *job. 

Eric's Answer: My job, definitely. If you don't have a job you can't afford a haircut, anyway.

Adrien's Answer:

DING DING!

5. Where did you take your wife on your first date?

Eric's Answer: Our first "date" was at my house. I'm pretty sure. Adrien came over and we watched a movie. The only thing I remember is Denny (my brother) and our now-mutual friend Mike busted in to pick on us. Mike kept saying, "Your hand is a butterfly! Your hand is a butterfly!" as he motioned me to become much too friendly (for a 14 year old) with Adrien.

Adrien's Answer:

URRR. WRONG.
He was so right on that last one. And Mike...that was totally humiliating, by the way. :D

Congratulations, kids, you got exactly HALF of the questions correct! Now let's tell them what they've won. 

Why, it's a lovely avocado green kitchen set! Sure to make all of your retro dreams come true! And look, there's that new stove you've been needing. Enjoy!

***
Haha. Do you have any idea how odd it is to talk about yourself in the third person on your own blog? It's odd. :) But this was kinda fun! Thank you to Eric for being a good sport!

Today's post was part of the ABC Blog Challenge - Day H: Hello Guest Blogger.  Hope you guys have a great day. (One more day til the weekend!)

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Memory Lane

Does it ever cross your mind how people grow? I mean, physically grow. When you have little kids you can't help but think about stuff like that from time to time. Children start as these itty bitty helpless things, and then their bones elongate, their skin sheds and stretches, their hair gets longer, and suddenly their morphing into big people. It's kind of bizarre if you think about it for too long.

It's the bones that get me. Thinking of bones growing just blows my mind.

Anyway.

I've been so thankful for the ABC Blog Challenge these past two weeks. January is one of those stretches of time where not a lot is going on in our world. It's not as if we do nothing all day, but I don't suppose anyone cares to hear about how we read "Mr. Brown Can Moo" for the twentieth time or how I'm becoming an expert at fitting more dishes in the dishwasher at once. Wahoo. We're just in the hum-drums right now, and I'm thinking that with February around the corner there is an end in sight. This picture was taken last February:


So there is hope for a brighter tomorrow! 
Or at least more random nice days. :)

By the way, our magic carpet is washed and fluffed and waiting patiently for another year 'o fun. I seriously debated NOT washing last year's filth out, for nostalgia's sake, but then I accidentally dumped a whole cup of gooey liquid detergent on it, and our trusty friend had to take a spin in the Whirlpool.

Speaking of last year's memories and growing children...what could today's ABC Blog Challenge possibly be about?


Why it's G: Growing By Leaps and Bounds!

I wanted to do something really cool with this post today. I wanted to show you some pictures you've never seen before, or make a slideshow or something of the girls through their first years. But...I'm having computer issues again. Honestly, I'm the one with the issues, not the computer, haha. I'm having problems figuring out this external hard drive thing where all of our photos are stored. So instead, I had to swipe from my own blog and try to come up with a few pictures of my growing babies. 

I think it's so funny how much the girls looked alike when they were born, but now I don't think they look alike at all. Do you see a resemblance between the two? I tried to track down some pictures of Evie and Grace around the same age to put them side by side during their first year. (Or top to bottom!)

Our bouncy seat babies:

Evie was always so giggly, and Gracie was always so serious. :)

Our Bumbo Babies:



Love how they both have a deer in headlights expression. :D

Here are both girls at around 4 months old. Our pretty babies....



And here they are getting too big for their own good. 


Obviously my children were born in two very different seasons!



Gracie is a few weeks older than Evie in these two pictures, but Grace already had a mouth full of teeth here, and Evie was toothless!

And finally, both of our girls at their first birthday parties. I am NEVER having a night time birthday again. It was fun, but I'm still kicking myself for not having any good pictures of Grace at her first birthday.


Wow, it takes a lot longer to track down pictures than it does to scroll through them! Kind of a metaphor for life. While you're going through it there are times it can feel like it's taking fooor-eeev-eeer to get through. And then when it's all said and done you realize it wasn't long at all!

***

Last Sunday Grace was being a booger butt in church, and she isn't fond of the nursery, so I got to spend a lot of time bouncing her around and walking through quiet parts of our old church building. I spent most of that time walking through the maze of our old fellowship hall, which has now become a big storage space while we wait to make the move over to our new building. It was a little sad, to be honest. I grew up in that fellowship hall. I spent my childhood eating cookies at Vacation Bible School and going to classes in that room. We've celebrated babies and marriages down there. My fondest memories are learning songs for our big Christmas productions, or going to Team Kids with all of my friends and learning the ABC's of becoming a Christian.

Ack. Even as I write this I can't help but tear up a little bit. I am SO excited for the future and the things we'll be able to do at our new church, but my heart aches when I think that my own kids will have no memories of the place that meant so much to me. They have their own memories to make, I suppose. :) 

See what happens when I start looking through old pictures? I turn into a big ball of mush! It's good to look back, I think. Every once in a while you need to remember where you've been to see where it is your going. And a nice sob fest is good for ya.  ;)

Make sure to check back in tomorrow! I'm going to be joined by a special guest whose name rhymes with smerick. Even I don't know how that one is going to turn out....

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