Sunday, December 19, 2010

Adventures in parenthood

Charlie... might be the death of me.

Seriously, if he doesn't kill me, I'm not entirely sure what will. The upside of that is that if he doesn't kill me, I will believe myself to be invincible, which could come in handy from time to time.

Not a single one of you who has boys every accurately communicated the amount of energy and patience that's required to manage a two year old boy and I hold you all personally responsible for my current state of emotional instability.

To anyone who might, at some point in their life, find themselves responsible for managing a two year old boy, I would like to take this opportunity to inform you that he might be the death of you. There, I warned you. Don't blame me.

Case in point... The other day, Charlie was quietly upstairs playing with his sister while I visited with a friend downstairs. I should have know. I SHOULD HAVE KNOWN! Never, I repeat, never let your two year old boy play quietly upstairs. Two year old boys don't play quietly. They play very loudly and get into mischief quietly. This is a fact of life.

He finally came downstairs covered in his sister's special order, not cheap eczema cream.
It was deluxe.

First, I gasped, then I may have cried a teeny bit, then I just started laughing and grabbed my camera. I figured it was the healthiest way to deal with the whole situation.

And considering the amount of shame he displayed, I imagine he probably didn't need me to get mad at him. Look at him, he knows what he's done.

Let us pray that he's learned his lesson because he generally uses up all the patience I've got for him and the girls before we get to the end of Monday. This week, I've cleaned up wet dog food out of the heating vent, taken him to the ER when he fell out of shopping cart at Costco, prevented him from running out of Wal-mart into traffic (again) as well as all the little things like cleaning up mud off my wool rug, waking up at 5:30 every morning and dealing with endless temper tantrums.

Lucky for him, he's got his looks to fall back on.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Think Pink!

Lizzy was invited to a Pinkalicious birthday party today, so we got her all dressed up in as much pink as we could find...

It suits her well, if I do say so myself.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

It's dancy dance time!

So, I believe that during the summer, you all were tortured with my rants over dance - my dance rants, if you will - and how my unnecessarily strong opinions would ultimately effect my daughters and their happiness.

Well, I finally got over myself and signed my girls up for dance. Funny how that worked out.

Actually, it's worked out really well for us. I mean, we had to get over Jane being determined that she wasn't ever going again and that she hated ballet and Lizzy screaming and crying and spitting and hitting and crying and not getting out of the car and not letting go of my leg for several weeks, but ever since we pushed through that, it's been great.

Last week, we finally made it to their winter recital and I had to post our pictures.

I haven't been the biggest fan of our costumes in the past, but this year, we totally scored.
Jane got in the car and said "mom, my costume is the most beautiful costume I've ever seen!"
There were a lot of princess costumes at the recital, so we're thinking that the spring recital theme is something princess related.

Buster had to get in on the action.

Lizzy has a Cinderella costume this time and although I had to fork out a small fortune for the Cinderella costume, at least it will make an awesome dress up or Halloween costume later on.

I think that she liked it too.

Aw. Sisterly love. We don't see much of that around here, so let's take another picture to remind us that it exists.

There we are. I'll pull this up and look at it next time they are upstairs pulling each other's hair and screaming for my intervention.

This is Jane with her buddy, Abby. They did so great in their dance together. They are getting old enough that they can actually dance and do it well instead of just adorably stumbling around on the stage.

Lizzy also did great on the stage. I was fairly certain that she wouldn't even put that costume on. And if she DID, I was very certain that she wouldn't let me do her hair. If she'd let me do that, I was positive that there was no way she'd keep those ribbons around her neck and head and if she would, I knew I'd never get her to go backstage peacefully. If somehow I managed to get her backstage, I was prepared to be called back to get her because I knew she'd throw a Lizzy fit. If by some miracle she got on the stage, I was expecting to watch her curl up in the fetal position or stand there staring blankly and sucking on her fingers.
Shockingly, none of the above happened. She trotted up and did her dance like a pro. I knew that she knew the whole thing because she would tell me all the choreography. She wouldn't show me, she'd just tell me.

"you put this arm up in the air and then you turn around and then you put your hands by your tummy and shake"

I never saw her do a single step until the recital.

Leslie and Ben came. Ben is a big fan of dance recitals and likes to come if he possibly can. I forgot to get a picture of him, but he was also very proud of the girls. I let him pick out a rose for each of them and Leslie brought them candy. The dance studio gave them a little gift bag too, so I guess no one noticed that I didn't really actually do anything for them, you know, other than all the stuff I did.

That's kind of a weird photo, girls. Let's try again. Look at mom! Say cheese!

No, Lizzy. Look over here! One, two, three....

Oh never mind. I give up.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

I'm an American Girl

I haven't been around much lately. It happens. To catch you up, I've been planning Thanksgiving dinner, cooking Thanksgiving dinner, eating Thanksgiving dinner, shopping after Thanksgiving dinner and getting up the next morning to shop some more.

Now that Thanksgiving is over, I'm really excited for Christmas and most of my shopping is done at this point. I feel like a fantastic parent because I got my kids all the latest and greatest toys and I got them all on sale, which makes them better than other people's. Come December 25th, they'll be the proud owners of Pillow Pets

(it's a pillow AND a pet!)


(the Today show proclaimed them the Cabbage Patch Doll of 2010)

and Zhu Zhu Pets,

which I guess were last years toy of the season, but whatever.

I've put a lot of thought and energy into my children's Christmas presents and after some careful deliberation, I've decided that the one thing that I am absolutely NOT buying is an American Girl Doll. If I were to buy those things, that's ALL I could afford to get my kids for Christmas and I like shopping way too much to do that to myself. In fact, I've worked very hard to ensure that my girls don't even become aware of American Girl Dolls and I was successful, until a few short weeks ago when this arrived in our mailbox.

And in that moment that Lizzy saw it, everything was ruined.

"Look, mama!" Lizzy exclaimed, "they have these dolls that you can buy me."

Oh no.

"Oh, Lizzy!" I had to think fast... "how nice of the people to send you a book about little girls and their dolls that look just like them."
"No. mama, you can buy those dolls and get one for me."
"I'm sorry Lizzy, but those dolls aren't for sale. They are special dolls just for that book they sent you about dolls."

She's too smart. She wasn't buying it, but neither am I.

We've spent a lot of time perusing that catalog over the last several weeks and I have to commend the American Girl people for working so hard to make sure that every little girl, no matter what color her hair or her skin is, can find a doll that makes her feel included. Yes, it doesn't matter what shape her eyes are or whether she likes pink or purple or blue, she'll find a doll that she can identify with. Girls with freckles, girls with glasses, you name it. And now, the American Girl people have been so kind as to add buck toothed, beaver girls that have to wear head gear all the time to the catalog.
I'm serious. Check it.

After further deliberation, I am now officially prepared to say that this... is dumb.
Ya, I said it.

Yes, I know. I sound mean. There's a logical reason for this... I am mean. But for those of you who don't know, I am a buck toothed, beaver girl and my dad still has the mold of my teeth to prove it. I wore headgear for several years as a young child. To bed. Around the house. To school. To get a drink from the drinking fountain. I'm not kidding here. I had two rounds of braces, the first started in 3rd grade and included the dreaded headgear. Fixing my disaster of a mouth was a multi-staged process, so I had the braces put back on when I was a little older and lived my life with rubber bands pulling my buck teeth back into their proper place until I was 17. It sucked.

Take it from me, DON'T let your kids suck their thumbs.

When the orthodontics started, it was the 80's, which just weren't a flattering period in general for me and I spent most of the decade with my hair permed and running around in jumpsuits and units. I also had a large cyst on my face that eventually grew into a force to be reckoned with. My mom finally took me to have it lanced and drained and now I have a hole in my face where it once existed. I do. I'll show it to you next time I see you. I went to the dermatologist a couple of months ago and she was eager to cut my cheek open and stitch it back up to get rid of the hole. I'm still considering it, you know, to erase the painful memories.

Fortunately for me, my parents kept all the old photos so that I never rid myself of said memories and I ran across one a few weeks ago. Wanna see?

It's so perfect. The perm! The jumpsuit! The braces! The growth! The cold soar!
This, my friends, is how I lived my life for many, many years. Oh, the other photo is Jane. Leave her out of this. She's just unfortunate enough to have to share the corner of the cabinet door with me.
It makes me laugh so hard I can hardly breath.
Remind anyone of a Liz Lemon flashback? Me too.

It was an.... awkward time for me.
Where were you then buck toothed American Girl doll?
Where were you when I needed you?
I never felt the comfort and joy in knowing that somewhere there was a doll that looked just like me and suffered just like me and knew all my pains, and neither will my girls. It just ain't happening.

p.s. - if some of the text is bigger on your screen, like it is on mine, this is not because I'm making a point. It's because I don't know how to fix it. That is all.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


Because everyone is sick of looking at the photos of Ben in the yellow pants, I've decided to replace them with ones of Ben in a Captain America costume. At least I think that it's Captain America... Leslie?

And Lizzy is Alice in Wonderland.

I'd also like to take the opportunity to bear my testimony of the 75% off Halloween clearance sales at Target.

As a result of said clearance sale, Lizzy has been enjoying dressing up as Alice, Little Red Riding Hood, a fairy, a fairy princess, a princess and a ladybug fairy. Ben has been rejecting my knight costume (to go with the princesses) as well as the garden gnome and zoo keeper in favor of the Captain America and Iron Man costumes his mother provided for him. I'm feeling really lame.
That's me.
'Lame Aunt Lou'

Ben doesn't call me Lou. He calls me Laura and he pronounces it perfectly and it's really adorable except that I kinda wish he'd call me Lou.

That is all.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

things that bring me joy

I found these pictures on my phone the other day and they made me so very happy.

I knew that Ben's daddy would like them too, so I decided to post them for us both to enjoy.

That is all.

Friday, November 5, 2010

capturing the memories

Leslie and Cameron brought dinner over to my house this evening. I like it when she does that. We kinda switch off a lot on dinners. Last night, I made dinner, tonight was her turn. It's a good system, we should all be so lucky.

Anyway, as I mentioned before, it was Leslie's turn to make dinner tonight and I took her responsibility very seriously, so I stayed outside with the kids and took pictures of them in our back yard while she cooked alone in my kitchen. She kept harassing me to come in and pull my weight and I was working hard on ignoring her.

Sometimes, you just have to ignore people because otherwise, you loose opportunities like the one I had tonight.

Our kids (and their friend from across the street) were experiencing the glee of jumping in an enormous pile of leaves on a warm, delightful fall day.

And Buster was happy to join them, although I'm not entirely certain how he saw them.

And Lizzy was charming and adorable, as always.

And Jane loved every moment of it.

And I would guess that she's probably got leaves in her underwear.

And her hair. And her ears.

And Davie was about the cutest thing I've ever seen.

Holy cow, that child kills me. He spent most of the evening trying very hard to fall into a ginormous pit that will soon house our trampoline, but he looked darling the entire time.

How did I only get one photo of my Benny Boo? At least it was a good one.

So you see, it was a good thing that I ignored Leslie, and instead made Cameron go down into my cold storage to look for a box of Jiffy Mix Corn Bread, because if I had been inside making Jiffy Mix Corn Bread muffins, who would have been there to capture the memories?

Sunday, October 31, 2010

I have created cuteness!

It's boutique season again and I've been spending a lot of quality time up at my desk working on hair clips. I'm actually kinda excited about what I've been working on this time around and so I made Jane go outside and hold still long enough for me to take a couple of photos.

She kinda fell in love with this one. It might find itself a permanent home with us.

What do you think? Too much?

By the way... Jane got a haircut this morning before church.
Brent didn't notice. He's not what we would refer as "observant."

This one is for Christmas. Would you put this on your child or yourself this holiday season and then walk around like that?

I totally ripped this one off of someone I saw on etsy. Don't tell them. I'm not planning to sell it on etsy and they aren't going to be selling at Oh Sweet Sadie, so it's ok... right?


Thank you for agreeing with me.

I've got more. Lots more. Many, many, many more. Chances are good that they will find they way onto my blog, so I will advise you all prepare yourselves for that.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Pumpkin Patchin' it up

It is the custom in our family to make several trips to pumpkin patches in the month of October. I can't ever help myself. I just love me a pumpkin patch. And I love bringing my camera with me. Fortunately for you, I only got one photo that's worth sharing from our first visit...

I love it.
Please take into consideration that this is the same girl that didn't go to school ALL WEEK LONG because she was too far too sick to function. It's amazing what kind of energy she can muster up when pumpkins are involved.

Fortunately for you, I didn't go to the second pumpkin patch because I was legitimately sick as a dog and therefore, we have no pictures... yet. My sister in law informed me that she got some of the girls and intends to send them my way.

Fortunately for ME, I got to go to another one today and I got tons and tons of photos.

I know, Charlie. I get the same way every time I find myself surrounded by hundreds of pumpkins.

My mom is always getting on my case because I post unattractive pictures of Lizzy all the time. It isn't as easy as she thinks to catch that girl looking adorable. It might be the hair. Or the clothes. Or the absent minded looks she walks around with, but she just isn't the type of kid that's ready for her glamor shot at any given moment. It was a good day for my camera, though...

Take THAT, mom!

On the other hand, Jane is always ready for her close up.

And another.
She looks slightly annoyed here. That might be because I was forcing her to pose for a picture before she went through this:

That is what one would refer to as an awesome maze.

Charlie was the only one who would hold still long enough to take a picture with me, and he wasn't happy about it. He didn't seem to mind having his picture taken with Brooklyn, though.

Sometimes I think my kids like her more than me.

And sometimes I know it.

But even Brooklyn couldn't compete with the tractor.

Nice try, Jane. I'm not buying it.

And I'll leave you all with another adorable Lizzy photo just to let it sink in.

Happy Pumpkin Patching!