Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Bad Cat!

This afternoon our cat Diesel bit Chloe. I was mad and I yelled at Diesel: "Bad Cat! NO Biting!"

And 5 minutes later this is what I was witnessing ... (Diesel is to the left of the screen and partially obscured by the pillow)

Are they sponges or what??? Yikes. It starts young!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Darn Country Music

Yesterday I had one of those days where I just felt irritated. You know, how things get on your nerves that might not normally do so? Well, lately it feels like I live in a toy landfill. I wanted to pick up every blasted toy on the floor and pitch it in the garbage can. I am so tired of tripping on, climbing over, or stepping on all those little toys that seem to multiply in their toy boxes. (Bottom line is that little whozit is at the "dump everything out" stage, so it doesn't matter how much I clean up, it can look like it did before in about 2 minutes flat). It doesn't help that over the weekend everyone is home all day to make a mess (plus a few other kids were over to add to the disaster)!

So this morning while little whozit napped and the other 2 were at school, I ran around the house trying to re-organize/put away/get rid of all the "stuff" that had accumulated over the weekend. Yeah, still not looking much better. I kinda felt discouraged about the losing fight it is to keep tidy.

Lately I have really been trying to look at things with a more positive attitude and a more thankful mindset. I feel like God is wanting me to grow in this area ... to be satisfied and content with the reality that is my life rather than wish for things to be different. To enjoy the day for what it is and take what I can from it. To not wish time away but squeeze all I can from today.

Then as I drove to pick up Carter and his friend from preschool this song came on the radio. I don't normally listen to the radio much, but today I happened upon this song. Coincidence? I think not.

And that darn country music - it sure can make a mama cry.

[I don't normally like to post vidoes or what not to the blog but this song is worth it, esp. the end. Very convicting.]

Now go run and blow your nose. I know you at least got a sniffle listening to it! :)

Friday, September 17, 2010

14 Months

Yeah, yeah, I missed 13 months. Oh well, can't be on top of it ALL the time ...

I was just looking through my pictures from the past month and surprisingly - don't have too many of Chloe. The last month has been more about her siblings really - Audrey had a birthday, both older kids are starting school this month, etc. We also took the older two kids on a few outings where we left Chloe home with my mom.

But don't you worry, Chlo-Chlo has been getting plenty of attention too.

I have to say - she is at such a GREAT age. I can't believe how much she has changed from just 2 short months ago when she turned one.

For example -

She is communicating SO MUCH now. Not really with words much, but she definitely understands what we are saying and lets us know what she wants. You can give her a simple command, and she will do what you say. She goes over to the counter where I keep the cups and raises a ruckus when she is thirsty, and to her chair when she is hungry. (Last night she even went over to her crib when she was tired!)

She is so steady on her feet now - practically running sometimes! I especially love watching her run around with all the older neighborhood kids like she's one of the gang!

She is busy, busy, busy and into everything. It has its down side in that you can turn your back and she is eating something gross off the floor or unrolling the entire toilet paper roll or emptying a laundry basket full of just folded clean clothes ... but the upside (which for me WAY outweighs the down side) is that she entertains herself for very long periods of time. AAAAHH! Every day is a new adventure when you're one.

She is a tough little chick. She wipes out a lot (see previous comment about running) but she usually gets right back up without a whimper. She LOVES to play tackle. And she also attempted going down the tube slide head first but I got her ankle before she went hurtling facedown into the mulch! But she did go down the tube slide on her bottom about a zillion times.

She now has all 4 of her molars! Holy cow am I glad that is over. There were some hairy days back when they were coming through. My very happy girl was WAY unhappy. :(

And of course - the piggy tails are a cute addition. :) So is the way Chloe has taken to carrying around a baby doll. This morning she was walking around with her baby slung around her waist, kinda like I would be carrying her!

A few 14 month Chloe pics:

Audrey is teaching Chloe the joys of playing dress-up.

Our cat Diesel is endlessly fascinating to Chloe. Much to Diesel's chagrin.

Chloe now has 3 mornings with Mommy ALL TO HERSELF while Carter is in preschool!
Oh the fun we are having! :)

Although this is how Chloe & Carter usually feel about each other.
So far they are the best of friends. :)
I so love this picture.
And I am going to pull it out when they are 13 & 15 and ready to kill each other ...

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

First day of school - Carter edition

Today Carter-Boy had his first day at Preschool in the Valley. He had a visit to his classroom on Monday and got to meet his teachers (and see the playground!) but today was his first full day. He was very excited to go!

All ready to go with his tote bag.
He decided he wanted to wear his excavator shirt to his first day of school.

Daddy came to preschool with us this morning to see him start his first day.

When we walked in, I could tell Carter was a wee bit nervous. I asked Teacher Lisa if I could take a picture of her & Carter together ... and just as I snapped the photo, Carter stuck both his fingers up his nose. Just keepin' it real here, folks. I am sure we will look back at this picture and have a good laugh someday!

Carter quickly found his neighbor friend Rebecca so he was all smiles.

When I picked him up later on, I asked him what he thought, and he declared: "I love, love, LOVE preschool!"

I would say that is a good day for a three year old little boy. :)

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Birthday Girl Fun

Just a little recap of some of Audrey's birthday fun. We usually have 2 parties - one for just family - us, my parents, brother & uncle - (usually on Labor Day) and one for friends.

Here are some pictures from Audrey's family party:

Audrey and her new jewelry box. She also received some earrings to go in the jewelry box! She was so excited.

We actually found something with Audrey's name on it!
(We look everywhere we go, and there is never an "Audrey") And even better - it was a license plate from Ocean City!
Which was great because it went perfectly with this gift:

A new bike!

Carter & Chloe celebrated by having a wrestling match on the deck.

Blowing out the candle on her butterfly cake.

Next up: Audrey's Pajama Party with her friends.
The girls made their own pizzas, played some games with sleeping bags, ate cake, and then watched an American Girl movie on the "big screen" with popcorn! It was definitely a giggle fest!
WOW, can 10 little girls make a lot of noise!

I don't have too many pictures because I was so busy keeping everything moving and chaos to a minimum :)

Audrey told her friends to bring their American Girl dolls. These are just a few that lined our couch.

All the crazy chicks! :)

Eating and giggling

More silliness!

The girls had a great time and we all survived the craziness of 10 wound-up girls!
But let me tell you - I went to bed at 10pm that night. And I NEVER go to bed that early...

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Back in the saddle...

So this morning I took Audrey to day #1 of her gymnastics class at the Y. As I was about to get in the shower beforehand Chad said - Aren't you going to exercise while you're there?

Oh, yeah, that's right ... I was planning to use that time for exercise.

How soon I forget.

SO, I ditch the shower, and put on suitable exercise attire instead (which for me equals an old t-shirt and shorts). Audrey asks me why I am wearing my pajamas to the Y. Nice. Obviously she has not seen me in my "workout attire" (if that is what you could call it) before. :) Perhaps I should buy some of those cute workout outfits that other normal people wear?

I take Audrey to her class, stay to watch for awhile, and then head out toward the track. At this point I am too intimidated to try out the "wellness center" equipment. (Haven't we all seen someone try to get on the treadmill and end up flat on their faces? Yeah, I don't want to be that person.) I need to just swallow my pride and go in there and ask someone to show me how to work everything. Baby steps, baby steps.

So I went up to the track, stretched, took a few laps walking, and then started at a slow jog.

Once upon a time, before I was married and had kids and my life was still my own, I was actually a jogger. I wouldn't call myself a "runner" but I jogged 2-3x a week regularly for a few years. I even splurged and bought myself a good pair of running shoes.

And today as I jogged, I looked down and guess what. Still wearing that same pair of running shoes. How pathetic is that? I have owned them since BEFORE I met Chad... and we will be married 10 years at our next anniversary. While I'm out buying those cute workout clothes, perhaps I should also invest in a new pair of shoes?

Don't know where in the budget that will come from though. The Y membership dues alone are enough to break the bank!

But I digress. As I jogged I kept thinking - why do my feet feel like they have LEAD in them? But I managed to jog about 2/3 of a mile and walked for a ways after that. Again ... baby steps. Soon I will be running marathons, LOL!

I also signed up for a fitness class on Mondays ... but it is right smack when Chloe usually naps so I'm not sure how many classes I will actually make it to over the next couple months ... but soon enough she will stop the morning nap and I will be able to go regularly! Well, one can always hope! And if I can get Carter to be comfortable at his pee-wee sports class on Thursdays without me there, I could also work in a THIRD workout! Amazing!

Anyhow ... I'll keep you posted. Meanwhile, you can encourage me by periodically asking me - "So ... how are the workouts coming?"

And hopefully I will have a good answer for you. :)

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

7 years ago today

... This little bundle of preciousness entered my world.

It took her awhile, but Miss Audrey Grace finally joined us on September 7, 2003 at 3:20 a.m.

It only took 42 weeks, a few gallons of pitocin, and almost 30 hours in the hospital ... and finally she was forced into this world by c-section. So much for my high hopes of a natural childbirth. But as I often say - It is what it is.

As I reflect back on that time, I recall that in the weeks leading up to Audrey's birth, I was often unable to sleep as the days crept farther and farther past my due date. I spent a lot of {worthless} time worrying that Audrey's birth would not go as I "planned." (haha, just writing that makes me laugh) I distinctly remember praying about it fiendishly and at one point God just spoke to my heart and said "Quit worrying (!)... However Audrey is born is how I ordained it to be." Isn't it wonderful that we can take comfort in the fact that nothing, absolutely nothing, takes God by surprise? He isn't up in heaven wringing His hands over the events of our lives. He knows what will happen, and He will use the events in our lives to help us become more like Him and to reflect His glory ... if we let Him.

Thankfully God knew all Audrey's days before she was even conceived and knows all that is to come. That gives me such peace as she grows older and farther out from our sheltering wings. Sending her off to school all day has given me some anxiety about who is influencing her and what she is learning and taking in, but she doesn't go alone. God is with her! {repeat to self, repeat to self .. :)}

Once again as we celebrate her birthday we are grateful for another year of health, happiness, and growth in our not-so-little-anymore girl. May God bless you richly and draw you to Himself over this next year. We love you!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

The last hurrah

Well, school has started around here. BUT, we already have a four day weekend, so what do you do but make the most of it? Earl, Shmearl ... that hurricane ended up being no big deal around here, so Friday my Mom came over to watch Chloe for the day and we headed out to Dutch Wonderland in Lancaster County. We missed Chloe but I am really glad we did not take her along. We were able to move at a much faster pace and we could all enjoy the rides without someone having to sit out with her as she is too little to go on rides anyhow. The kids had so much fun, and every morning since then, Carter has gotten up in the morning and asked if we can go to Dutch Wonderland again. Sorry, Buddy, but you'll have to wait til next year. :(

I have to say - I thoroughly enjoyed this whole day with the kids. Every. Single. Minute. They were so happy and so excited... and didn't complain about anything ... and they rode every single ride, including the rollercoasters! WHEEEEEE!

The kids at the entrance to the park

Sky Ride

A perpetual favorite, the carousel.
New tradition: Every time we rode we decided to name our horses!

Carter clapped REALLY enthusiastically during the Frog Prince water show

Riding the little train

Riding the big train

Mommy & Audrey

This photo is for Uncle Matt (the hunter of the family....) :)

My own little knight and princess :)

DW also has a really great water park section that we spent some time at as well. It was pretty humid in the afternoon so it was a great way to cool off!

Now on to the rest of the weekend.... tomorrow we are having a family birthday party for Audrey. I can't believe she is turning seven in a couple days!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Peanut Butter Oat Chippers

Things have been all over the place the last few weeks, which is evident in my blogging, or lack thereof. So many things are changing at the moment that I just can't quite comprehend it all -- sick kids, school starting, a daughter turning seven, routine TOTALLY changing, etc. I'm sure I'll have more to say about it all at a later date, but I am still in processing mode. And I am an "internal" processor, so until I've figured out my own feelings in my own head, you probably won't see them here on this blog.

I think this last paragraph probably only makes sense to me as I reread it. But in summary: I feel all topsy-turvy.

So instead of blogging about all the meaningful things going on around me, I am turning to cookies, my own personal little coping mechanism. Plus baking is so much more fun and rewarding than cleaning my bathroom. :)

I made these cookies a couple weeks ago and Chad declared them "awesome." Now, Chad doesn't normally say much about my cooking good or bad, so if he does make a comment, I know it really means something! Although really, how can you go wrong with a recipe that utilizes both chocolate and peanut butter??

So... thought I would share the recipe.

Peanut Butter Oat Chippers
(courtesy of some magazine that I got in the mail and threw out, only I ripped out this recipe first...)

Start with:
3/4 c. butter, softened
3/4 c. chunky peanut butter
2/3 c. granulated sugar
2/3 c. light brown sugar

Cream these together on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.

Then add 3 eggs, one at a time. Then add 2 tsp. vanilla and continue to "cream".

Meanwhile, whisk together
1 1/2 c. flour
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt.

Gradually add to the peanut butter mixture.

Stir in 3 1/2 c. oats.

Then fold in 1 1/2 c. chocolate chips and 1 1/2 c. peanut butter chips.

Drop onto cookie sheets and bake at 350 for about 10-12 minutes. Cool completely before storing or they will become a crumbly mess!

I am eating one as I write and I can vouch for the fact that they are "AWESOME"!!
Let me know if you make them and what you think.