Sunday, August 30, 2009

happy plate

Yes, this is my child licking her plate. Do I think it's good table Do I think it's harmless and highly entertaining.....yes. I made pancakes for breakfast and she wanted to get every last drop of syrup. I can't really blame her, syrup is delicious! :) She has the rest of her life to have perfect table manners. Every once in a while I let her get away with licking her plate clean! Oh, to be two. (3 in thirteen days!)

You say tomato.....

My tomatoes have finally started ripening up! I've gotten about 45 so far!! My romas are not doing very well.....I've gotten 2. My better boy plants are producing large, red tomatoes, but they are slow and I'm having a slight problem with bugs getting to them before I can pick em'. I don't use any kind of bug control other than spraying my plants....I guess I better get to pickin' them faster! :) My best plants are the heirloom peach tomatoes. I have tons of fruit, they ripen fast and are oh-so-sweet. Strangely enough I haven't gotten one black pineapple tomato which leads me to believe that either they were the two plants that died, or I accidentally didn't bring any of those plants from the old house. Oh well. I have a bunch more seeds and I can try and grow them next year. Having all of these delicious tomatoes is making me realize that the tomatoes you buy in the store are crap. They may be big, and perfect looking, but they do not taste like a real tomato should. The bounty growing in my backyard may be less than beautiful, but they taste like perfection!

Saturday, August 29, 2009


Everyday I am amazed at what comes out of Charlotte's mouth. Everyday. I have no idea if she is ahead of the game with her speech or if she is at a normal level......I never read those "this is what your child should be doing at this age" kinds of things. In my head I compare where Charlotte is to where Maddie was at the same age, and I also pay attention to what other kids I know are doing developmentally, but as long as my kids are moving forward, I could care less about the pace. With that being said, I feel like Charlotte is a big talker for such a young age. Of course a lot of what she says needs parental translation and often times needs context, but seeing how I am with her almost every second of the day and know her through and through, I almost always know exactly what she is talking about. Everyday she surprises me with a new word, and recently she has started saying 2-3 word sentences!! It also amazes me that she gets her pronouns correct. You would think that if she always hears me say "you did it!" that she would repeat, "you did it," but she says, "I did it!" I'm not a professional or anything, but that seems pretty awesome to me! :) I may not be a linguist, and Charlotte may very well be average in her talking, but to me she is amazing and I am one proud Mama!

Here are a few of her most recent words......It's hard to sit down and try to think of them all......I'm sure I'm missing lot's......oh well!

Charlotte (Yes! she can say her name)
help me
I did it
paste (toothpaste)
uh-uh (while shaking her head no)
I want (usually while pointing at something)
knock knock
thank you
This picture is of Charlotte's first time out!

Friday, August 28, 2009


We went to the museum fact, we bought a membership so we'll be going a lot more frequently!! I chose not to take my camera for this trip just because the last 2 times we went I had it, and it just kinda gets in the way. Everything is very hands on and lugging a big ol' camera makes it more difficult to get down and dirty! There will be other trips with pictures. The girl's really love the museum and it is a great activity for hot summer days, and I imagine for icy winter days as well! One of the highlights of yesterdays trip was the face paint. They had washable paint and long q-tips for the kids to paint their own faces.....or anything else they wanted to paint. Maddie and I painted our own faces, I painted Dan's and Dan painted Charlotte! It was a lot of fun, and the girls really got a kick out of the fact they could paint all over themselves.

There were two little girls that showed up to the station when we were finishing up, and they were SO excited to paint on themselves. At first their mom told them that they couldn't paint on themselves at all, and then she relented and said they could only paint on their arm, and it had to be something really tiny. The girls looked so disappointed. The older one was trying to convince her mom to let her paint her face, but the mom just kept telling her no, and that she didn't want her to make a mess. It made me really sad! Mess is what kids do. It's how they learn. Yes, it is inconvenient at times. Yes, as the adults we have to bear the brunt of their mess, but isn't it worth it? Those two little girls wanted so badly to paint their faces, they would have had so much fun doing it, and from personal experience (with four faces to clean off) it was really easy to clean up. The whole thing reminded me of Kate from Jon and Kate Plus Eight. She is insane about her kids getting dirty or ruining their clothes. I remember watching an episode (this was back when we actually had cable) where they took their kids to the Crayola factory and they made clay figurines. They were supposed to pain their figures when they were done and Kate wouldn't let them do it. She didn't want them to get dirty. Almost all of the kids cried. Whats the point? So what if they made a mess? So what if they dirtied their clothes? So what if the stains wouldn't have come out? It seems to me that happy, smiling, content, paint covered children would be a far better than disappointed, angry, crying kids!

My girls have stains on their clothes that don't come out, they have scraped knees and dirty faces, but they earned all of that by having crazy fun! They know that they can jump in the puddles and squish mud through their fingers and Dan and I will be there with smiles on our faces to clean them up.....maybe exasperated smiles, but smiles none the less. Ask yourself if the fun that they will miss out on is worth a clean outfit? More often than not, I think the answer is no! :)

15 months and naked

15 months is apparently the age for taking off diapers! Charlotte can not be without pants because the first thing she does is rip her diaper off so that she can be nekkid. Maybe it's just the age for body discovery, or maybe she knows that it irkes me to have to chase after her to put her diaper back on?!? Who knows. But the child likes to be naked. I don't get mad, because it is just too darn cute watching her run around the house sans clothing.....I just wish I didn't have to worry about her peeing on the floor. So, for now we have a mandatory pants rule for Charlotte!

Here is Maddie at 15 months
She liked to take her pants off too,
but usually only had her butt hanging out!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


The blue cast is officially gone! Well, I guess it's not completely gone since I currently have it in my bedroom, but you know what I mean. I feel the need to tell you that I am not one of those weird people who saves my toddler's cast until they go away to college or get married.....yes, I thought about saving Maddie's umbilical stump, but only because it was funny, and I didn't actually do it!! The cast will be going in the trash tomorrow. Maddie did okay at the doctor today. It was way more traumatic getting the cast taken off than when she got it put on. She was really upset and cried hysterically through most of the cast removal and all of the x-rays. The fact that she didn't take a nap today probably made everything 100 times worse, but she also didn't want the cast to get taken off in the first place. She kept telling me that she was going to get a new cast, a pink one, at the doctor....even though I had explained repeatedly that the cast was coming off and she would have no cast. The ring pop didn't even work very well. The doc said that her arm looks great and healed wonderfully! She is a bit stiff and it will take a little while for her to get the full range of motion back in her arm, but I was told that little kids jump back to normal fairly quickly. We have an apt. in 3 weeks just to make sure that everything is good.....if it's not she'll need some physical therapy, but I doubt that will be necessary, she already started using her arm normally tonight......babying her right arm, but still using it. There will be no hanging, climbing or pulling with her arm for another few weeks but that is do-able. At least we can get back in the water for the last bit of summer left. Goodbye blue cast, we won't miss you!!

She looks SO sad here.
Her eyes are all puffy from crying!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

cast off

Tomorrow is the big day. Maddie gets her cast off! Doesn't it seem like it was only yesterday that she broke her arm? These three weeks have flown by. I am not holding my breath, because she may get her arm x-rayed and then have a new cast put on if her arm isn't completely healed, but I have high hopes! Maddie has dealt with having a broken arm with patience (as much as a toddler can have) and grace. I am really proud of her! I have no doubt that getting the cast taken off will be a tad bit intense for her but hopefully she will enjoy her regained independence.....and the joy of bathing! If the cast actually comes off for good tomorrow we are planning on going to the lake on Thursday to celebrate! The girl could use some water fun! Hopefully it will be a while before our next broken bone! (we're expecting more....she is a fly by the seat of her pants kinda gal) Cheers to Maddie!

little miss independent

Charlotte is my little miss independent. She wants to do it herself, do it her way. She has never been one for sitting and cuddling.....always on the move, always busy. I think it may have something to do with having an older sibling. She wants to be a big girl like Maddie. Her newest "do it herself" task is feeding herself. She is getting really good with a spoon, and she doesn't want me to feed her anymore. It seriously takes 3 times longer for her to eat, and there is always a bigger mess, but she is a big girl and wants to feed herself. It is so much easier, faster and cleaner if I feed her, but I can understand her need to accomplish it on her own. So I am backing off, walking away and cleaning up the mess when she is finished. It amazes me how fast she is growing up. She hardly looks like a baby anymore to me. I better get my fill of kissing those chubby baby cheeks while I can, because they will be gone before I know it!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Denmark and dolls

Hooray, hooray, hooray!! Traveling Dan is home from Denmark! I had a tough week, and it really made me realize how much I depend on Dan. Even if he's at work all day, he is still here in the evening to give me a break from the girls, and let me vent about my day. I missed him a lot this trip. I like having a partner in life, and I like having my best friend around to talk to. In anticipation of his arrival home Maddie, Charlotte and I blew up a LOT of balloons, tied them to string and hung them up around the house. I think Dan was surprised!

Needless to say, I'm glad that he's home! It doesn't hurt that he let me sleep in yesterday and when I woke up at 9:30 he told me that I had the day off. He promptly packed the girls in the car and headed off to his sister's house so the cousins could play and I could decompress after my long week. I am spoiled!

Before they took off, he gave the girls their presents from Denmark. Charlotte got a baby doll that has hair.....all of our dolls are bald for some reason. Maddie got this doll head with long blonde hair that came with hair accessories and makeup! Dan's thought was that maybe Maddie would get into doing the dolls hair and thus not mind us doing her hair (right now she will NOT let us put her hair up) but so far the "head" has just made Maddie makeup crazy. I'm not really very into young kids wearing makeup, even if it is just for play, but as long as it stays on the "head" and not on Maddie I'll be okay. And at the rate we're going, the "heads" hair is going to be completely knotted and the makeup will be gone within a week, so it won't be an issue anyway! :) For now they are having fun and enjoying the presents! Oh, and they are enjoying Daddy being home too! These girls love them some does the Mama!

P.S. I got a present too! An amber necklace. I guess Denmark has good amber. It is beautiful!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

minus one bath buddy

Since Maddie broke her arm, she has been taking really short baths. We put the plastic bag on, she cries, we put her in the bath, she cries, we wash her as fast as we possibly can, she cries, we snatch her out of the bath and get her jammies on, the crying ends. I can totally understand how she feels, bath time is supposed to be fun and relaxing and it just isn't with a big cast and a plastic bag on her arm. Good thing we'll be getting the cast off soon!

I also feel bad for Charlotte because she lost her bath time buddy. Normally we have both girls in the bath together for 20 minutes or more. There is usually a lot of splashing and quite a bit of arguing over toys, but they have fun! Charlotte has been taking baths all by herself and she isn't happy about it. I can tell that she misses Maddie! There is less yelling during bath time, but there is less joy too. Only 6 more days and then water activities can resume. Hang in there Charlotte, your bath buddy will be back soon!


The day that Dan left for Denmark, we went to the park. Thought we'd get some good family togetherness time before he went away for a week. Amazingly I got pictures of both of my girls smiling!! Charlotte is usually an easy sell and gives her smiles away with little effort on my part, but Maddie has been less than enthusiastic about my camera for about a year now. I usually get action shots of her that involve the side of her face. Maybe she's coming around?!? We had fun at the park for a little while until we had mosquitoes swarming us and our legs were itchy with bites. The downfall of having a creek running though the park! So we left and went to Barnyard (Maddie's word for McDonalds) and we ate lunch and played on their playground.....mosquito free. As we were leaving the park, Dan found a teeny tiny frog. It was actually really cute although it didn't want to be held at all and kept jumping out of Dan's hands. If we had an aquarium or some other habitat already set up I would have taken Mr. frog home and added it to out growing collection of random creatures. But alas, we left little froggie at the park. By the way, Mr. Caterpillar is still alive. He even escaped the other day, but I found him....almost gave me a panic attack! :) Maybe we will get to butterfly stage!!

Monday, August 17, 2009

The foodie

I don't know if I've mentioned it before but Charlotte LOVES food. All of it. She seriously will eat anything that you put in front of her. She obviously has favorites (green beans, cheese, grapes and chicken) but she isn't picky at all. The other day I got dinner ready for the girls. I set their plates on the table, settled Charlotte in her chair and then went to change Maddie's diaper before she ate. I was seriously gone 2 minutes and when I came back Charlotte had not only finished her dinner, but she had grabbed Maddie's plate and was working on that food as well! She is such a crazy child! I wonder if she will continue to be an enthusiastic eater or if toddlerhood will make her more selective? I'm gonna have to keep a close eye on my youngest at meal time, she is a little foodie thief! :)

Our new pet

We have a new pet. Mr. Caterpillar. Dan and the girls found him this afternoon and when I got home from the gym he had already moved into his new home (a mason jar) in my kitchen! I don't really know how I feel about this new resident......he's kinda cool looking and pretty harmless, so as long as he stays in his home he'll be a good roommate. I have a feeling that he won't make it to the butterfly/moth stage, but maybe he can survive two curious girls! Charlotte pretty much has to be held anywhere near him because she is not so gentle, but Maddie has touched him, and was very concerned about him getting too close to the edge of the table and falling off. We'll see what happens.....maybe we'll get lucky and in a week or two we'll have a pet butterfly!!

The house

Mr. Caterpillar

"Mama, he gonna fall off da table. He gonna fall off!!"

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Love is.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

I've always loved this passage from I Corinthians....apparently a lot of people do as well because you can find anything from pillows to coffee mugs with these words emblazoned. But how often do we really take these words in and scrutinize our lives, our actions? When I read this passage I immediately think not of myself, but Dan. Maybe at times I demonstrate these definitions of love, but more often than not I am lacking, but when I look at Dan, I see it all. He is patient and kind, he is not self seeking, not easily angered, keeps no record of wrong and being the eternal optimist (that I am not) he always hopes and trusts. The two of us are a perfect match because he is strong in the areas that I am weak. I am so blessed that God brought Dan into my life, but it's so much more than that because God created Dan for me. He knew each of us as we were being formed and his plan was for us to grow together. For us to learn from each other, and be strengthened by our love and commitment. I am a better person because of Dan. Don't get me wrong, I still have a long way to go, but every day that I go through life next to my husband I become a better woman, a better mother and a better child of God.

With all of that said, here is my annual list of reasons why I love you, Daniel!

* You eat everything I cook....even when it's not so good
* You work hard to provide for your family
* You always have coffee brewed when I wake up
* You can fix anything
* You put up with my need to plan everything
* You love your kids
* You don't keep facial hair because I don't like it
* You encourage me in my hobbies
* You are kind to and care about my friends
* You would give anyone the shirt off your back if they needed it
* You let me sleep in on every one of your days off (till 10:00!!)
* You are an equal partner in raising our children
* You are super smart in areas that I know nothing about
* You are a good listener
* You make pancakes on the weekends
* You explain things in ways that anyone can understand
* You give great advice
* You have goals and work towards making them happen
* You always give people a second chance....sometimes a third and fourth chance too!
* You read to the girls with funny voices
* You like to watch the wood working channel
* You make me cakes from scratch for special occasions
* You tell me you love me a lot
* You watch lame reality TV shows that I like even though you hate them
* You make smart investments for our future
* You make me laugh, out loud, often
* You are tender....certain songs have been known to make you shed a tear
* You let me tease you mercilessly
* You always unload the groceries and put them away
* You let me have the right side of the bed even though it was your side
* You wrestle with the girls
* You always deal with conflict in a level headed calm manner
* You are good at figuring out plots
* You handle blood, broken bones and barf because I don't handle it well
* You take on a lot of burden so that I can stay home to raise our children
* You can do a mean butterfly stroke
* You have padded bicycle shorts :)
* You set your bedside clock 10 minutes fast so you can snooze
* You aren't afraid of hard work or getting your hands dirty
* You weren't afraid of me cutting your hair (it turned out pretty bad!)
* You will do something embarrassing over again just because I think it's funny
* You let me go crazy with Christmas every year
* You take the girls out to buy me random surprise presents
* You always put your family first, even before yourself
* You have always allowed me to be myself and loved me anyways
* You are a fine lookin' fella
* You are my best friend
* You will keep our girls off the pole :)
* You trust me with your heart

I love you more than words can even begin to say.
Cheers to you on your special day.
Welcome to 29.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

She walks in beauty

She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that's best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes:
Thus mellowed to that tender light
Which heaven to gaudy day denies.

One shade the more, one ray the less,
Had half impaired the nameless grace
Which waves in every raven tress,
Or softly lightens o'er her face;
Where thoughts serenely sweet express
How pure, how dear their dwelling place.

And on that cheek, and o'er that brow,
So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,
The smiles that win, the tints that glow,
But tell of days in goodness spent,
A mind at peace with all below,
A heart whose love is innocent!


County McCounterson