Tuesday, November 30, 2010

10 on 2sday

1.  I can't believe tomorrow is December.  Well, I can, because the calendar says so, but really... where did this month go!?!?!

2.  The girls are everywhere.  The crib/pack-n-play will no longer contain my two little monkeys.  In fact, the girls think it's fun to climb IN to their cribs.  And out.  And in.  And out of their highchairs, and over the gate, and through the woods to Grandma's house...  I'm having a pity party, because this means toddler beds (and far more freedom than I'm ready for), is coming 'round the bend... (as in, probably this weekend)



3.  Yesterday marked our first ER visit for a non-illness.  Evan and Brynn had a slight disagreement with a toy, to which I was told (by Evan) that Brynn hit him first, so he retaliated and hit her back.  Except, when he hit her, it left a mark.  Well, a gash.  On her forehead.  It really wasn't that big, but I couldn't see how deep it went, and my efforts to clean it up and 'glue' her forehead together with New Skin didn't totally work.  2 hours later (and the Dr's offices closed) it was still oozing blood around the 'glue', so I took her in.  No stitches, just dermabond.  But I will say, Brynn was a champ ~ even through what I can only imagine must have stung horribly, she never flinched.

4.  I love my camera phone.  The quality is certainly not my preference, but I almost always have my phone within arms reach, so I can capture moments as they are happening...  even if I don't exactly remember why I took the picture, or the story behind it...


...really, not a clue...

5.  The day after Thanksgiving I went dress shopping with my friend, Kristi ~ I get to be her maid matron of honor in her wedding next year, and I'm pretty excited!  We found a gorgeous dress for her, and I don't mind saying, the dresses we bridesmaids get to wear are pretty awesome too.  I took pictures of Kristi in just about every dress she tried on (but I'm not going to post in the completely off chance her fiance might see...), but I did not get any pictures of our dresses.  However, I did get a picture of one of the flower girls that I will post, who is totally adorable, and loved having her dress on...


6.  Dan got all the Christmas lights put up outside, and the kids enjoyed watching...  But I don't have any of our indoor decorations up yet.  We decided not to put a Christmas tree upstairs this year.  I'm a little sad about it, but I really don't want to stress myself out trying to keep the girls from dismantling it.  So I'm really kind of procrastinating putting up the other decorations, as much as the girls climb all over I'm not sure I have enough spaces high enough to keep things out of their reach!


7.  Avery has been practicing pulling her clothes off all by herself.  She tries to put them back on, and most of the time is partially successful. But I must admit that I was pretty impressed by her ability to get her pants on by herself!


8. Brynn is still my little book worm...

9. Evan has switched his obsession from Lightning McQueen, to every Toy Story character ever made. Yes, it's an obsession.  His favorite toy has long been replaced by Woody, but it's been made very obvious that we have been sucked in by Disney's marketing scheme...

10. I can't explain this...

Monday, November 29, 2010

best plans...

This was supposed to be our family picture for our Christmas card this year...

Fall family picture

But then I had an opportunity to scope out a new indoor location for some upcoming photo shoots, so I thought, well ok, we can try for a more Christmas-y style for our pictures, and attempt to get a shot of the girls where they aren't flipping out...

Christmas family picture... attempt

Um... yeah, that's our family. Ok, there was a slightly better picture that we ended up using for our Christmas card... but I seriously thought about using this one. It's a little more real, totally us at this point in our lives... crazy, frazzled, and the girls want NOTHING to do with sitting still for a picture!

It's frustrating.

The wannabe photographer can NEVER get a decent picture of her own kids...

I've also been desperately attempting to get a good shot of the kids together. I try every chance I can get...

...and this is as good as it's gotten so far:


I'll just keep trying!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

I am Thankful for...

...moments like these:

Evan asked me this week if he could write a letter to Santa.
My response was that if he thought he should, then he could.
He said, "Ok, but just one letter."
I said writing one letter would be fine.
"I'm going to write the letter, S, Mom... 'cause Santa starts with the letter, S"

She will say something like:
"I wah-a wass-a haeands" (translation: I want to wash my hands)
So I repeat what she said, "Oh, you want to wash your hands?"
She replies: "oh-kaeee"
(So, words don't quite do justice to how her "ok" sounds... it's pretty darn cute, and it's her way of getting what she wants, 'cause she knows we are going to repeat everything she says, and she figures agreeing with us will do it...)

I took her to the grocery store last weekend, just her and me ~ so she sat in the cart right in front of me.  It was fun (and rare) one-on-one time with her.  I tossed a bag of marshmallows into the cart behind her, and she reached back and grabbed them.  She kept asking me to 'heylp" (translation: help) her open the bag.  I replied that we couldn't open the bag while we were in the grocery store, we had to wait until we got home.
So the entire time we were walking through the store she would hold out the bag to everyone who passed by and with her cutest, most pathetic voice kept asking "heylp me", "heylp me."  Um, yeah, it was hard to resist tearing open the bag for her...

I am thankful for those moments...

...because it makes these types of moments bearable:

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Thursday, November 18, 2010

I had a moment

A few years ago when Evan was a baby, there was a weekend that we were with my Aunt & Uncle.  As we were saying our goodbyes, my Uncle Gary turned to me and Dan and asked if he could pray for us in any way.  Dan's response was yes, please pray for patience.

My Uncle told us that he normally doesn't pray for that type of thing, but ok, and he prayed with us.

Fast forward over 4 years later and God has answered that prayer in many ways, and many times over... in fact, I can count three very distinct ways right off the top of my head...

...but not even close to the way I thought he would.

You see, God doesn't give you patience, he gives you opportunities to learn patience.

Fast forward a little more, to this morning.

I had a dentist appointment this morning ~ the dreadful kind, that left me with a sore mouth that I could barely speak out of.

I was sitting with the girls on the kitchen floor, and I had a moment...

One of those moments where I was overcome with gratefulness for what I have in my life, I had kissed both girls on the head (one of my favorite things to do), and I could barely feel it on my lips.  And I was grateful.  Grateful for the times that I can feel it.

Because so often, when something is gone, that's when we realize how thankful we are.

And I said a little prayer.

I've had so many opportunities lately to learn patience, my prayer revolved around asking God just to GIVE me patience, I was tired of trying learn it.

And I had another one of those moments where I felt this wave of hopefullness that God was actually going to give me some of the patience I so desperately need right now.

So leaned over to give Brynn another kiss...

...and she spit her apple juice in my face.

I guess I got my answer...

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

10 on 2sday

It's the Arizona edition!!  We flew out to AZ for a family reunion to celebrate my Grandma's 80th birthday.  It was a great trip, stressful at times, and worth every moment!  Here are some of the highlights and shenanigans...

1.  We made a few discoveries about our children (mostly Brynn):
a. Brynn likes to dip her fries in ketchup... and eat the ketchup.  And now she likes to dip everything into anything.


b. Brynn no longer appreciates the confines of her crib/pack-n-play... it became a really fun game at nap time and bed time to keep climbing out...

c. Brynn was more comforted by strangers while on the airplane... the flight out she sat in the lap of a perfect stranger during our decent, she wanted nothing to do with me or Dan, but was totally content sitting on the lap of a very kind lady looking out the window ~ and on our flight home she was so tired, but wanted nothing to do with us again, and thankfully our flight attendant was wonderful and held her until she fell asleep, and a little longer after that! 'Cause this peace & quiet didn't last long...


d. Brynn has zero problem with taking off and leaving us.  (which, I might add, is completely frightening)  My brother told me he watched her push the (heavy) double doors open, walk out, check every door that would have led to the great outdoors, and never once looked behind her to see if anyone was following her.  I am so thankful my brother happened to see her... Then when we were outside, she made her escape attempt again, although this time I was watching her like a hawk.... through the lens...

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e.  Avery DOES NOT like getting pictures taken where she has to sit down... (so we got creative to make sure she made it into some of the pictures)

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f.  Evan was more than happy to let his new friend learn how to share toys (and he was GREAT at it!)...

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2.  I got to meet an "old" friend for the first time ~ she wrote a blog post about it too, which was super sweet ~ you should check it out!!

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3.  We realized how much we truly love our minivan when we borrowed my Grandma's car during our stay... kids being able to touch each other in the car is SO overrated...



4.  The weather was a little funny, when we arrived in Phoenix, it was a bit toasty (aaahhhh!) ~ and we spent our last few days in Sedona, where it was colder than if we would have been in Iowa at the same time... (which may have been why we got some funny looks while being outside in the pool/jacuzzi... crazy Iowans)



5. This is just strange and funny to me... makes me glad I don't have to deal with this problem...


6.  Chasing 3 children going in different directions through an airport when one person had to stay with the bags... a logistical challenge!  'Cause the novelty of watching the planes didn't last very long...

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7.  Having 5 out of 7 days with no regular nap time for our kids... a parental challenge!

8.  We have a very polite family... and instead of saying, "Wow, your kids are obnoxious!"  Everyone said, "Wow, your kids never stop running, do they?"  Nope. They sure don't. (see #1e & #6)

9.  Family, fun & fellowship ~ although, Dan and I realized we had very few truly meaningful conversations while out there (refer to #8), very challenging when the only quiet time we get (nap time) was either spent in the car trying to drive our kids to sleep (refer to #3 & #7), or in a separate location from family... but the time we did spend with everyone was such a treasure that I will never forget.  We had all 31 family members in the same place at the same time, and it was awesome!

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10.  My Grandma ~ an amazing lady, to say the least.  My cousin, PJ, took this picture of her - and I adore it.  I think he perfectly captured the love and compassion in her eyes...  and she made this whole trip worth it and then some!

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Friday, November 12, 2010

Happy Friday

Just a random picture I took during our recent trip to Arizona... more to come later, but I thought I should post something, since it's been so long!  This kind of beauty was everywhere, so how could I NOT take pictures of it...

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Tuesday, November 2, 2010

10 on 2sday

1.  This weather lately has been CUH-RAY-ZAY!  I can't believe the gorgeous weather we've had!  Dan told me I jinxed it though a few weeks ago by trying the girls' snow pants on... but aren't my little pink & purple marshmallows so cute!?!?!


2.  Speaking of crazy weather, last week we had some ridiculously windy weather, case in point ~ it blew our fence to the ground!! Yikes!


3.  Even though the weather has been gorgeous lately, our mornings have been quite chilly - I said last week I was gearing up to run in the morning when the temperature was in the 20's.  Did it, never thought I'd do it, and I'm really glad I have a running partner to keep me accountable!

4.  The weather has been nice, but not nice enough to warrant Evan asking me when swim lessons start again... it's going to be a long winter if he keeps asking...

5.  We got rid of cable a couple weeks ago.  I have to admit I was nervous about it, but so far ~ I'm pretty glad it's gone.

6. Evan asked me to define the word "already."  I attempted to define it, and I really couldn't off the top of my head.  Mostly because I had to use the word itself in the definition.  Luckily by the time I finished my explanation, he had moved on to a different topic. 

7. There was a story about this picture, although I don't remember what it was...


8.  A very important woman in my life is celebrating a milestone birthday TODAY... and I get to see her VERY soon!  (Happy Birthday, Grandma :)

8.  In order to visit this very important woman, we will be loading up our family of 5 and hopping in a plane... The logistics of getting 3 small children packed, and into a airplane is going to be tricky, but SO worth it...

10.  I keep thinking to myself, once I get to this point... things will slow down.  And they don't.  Then I think, once I get to this point... things will slow down.  And they don't.  Then I think, once I get to THIS point... things will slow down.  And they don't.  Noticing a pattern here?  Given the fast pace of life right now, I'm feeling pretty happy that I got a 10 on 2sday post done today! 

Hope your November is off to a GREAT start!

Monday, November 1, 2010


Surprise, Mom!! I posted pictures sooner than I thought... :)

More picture-disappearing drama for me... the girls' Kindermusik Halloween pictures are gone, and Evan's preschool Halloween pictures are gone. I was moving pictures over from my camera today and they just weren't there. Nothing. I am so sad. I'm hoping they can still be recovered, though, so we'll see. I must be honest, I was REALLY glad my family photo shoot was still there from yesterday!! That would have been a BIG bummer!

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Evan was SO excited to be Mr. Incredible this year! And I was SO excited to be able to borrow the costume from a friend!!

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Avery LOVED being a cow, I had to go out and buy her costume, and I wanted it to sort of "match" Brynn's costume - and when I say "match" I mean; have the cute little bubble butt, and be some sort of animal.

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This was Evan's costume from 3 years ago, and I was very happy that Brynn wore it so adorably! I let Brynn have this one because of the banana (which you can sort of see on her right side)... I thought it would be kind of mean to let Avery have a costume with a food item on it that she can't even eat...

Although, if you look back at Avery's picture, you can see her holding a Snickers bar, which was kind of mean... peanuts and chocolate... a BIG no-no!

And last but not least...


Totally free, Dan's Dad is a big hunter, so I borrowed some of his gear, I borrowed one of Evan's nerf gun things (which is actually broken), and Dan finagled some deer antlers into a hat.
Yeah, we're awesome. :)
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