Saturday, June 30, 2012

Just stuff I wanted to document

Sweet Melly.

Did I tell you that my youngest sister, Kirsten, is having another baby?
Look how cute she is with Melly.
She is having a boy and Sister is so excited about it she can
hardly wait the 18 more weeks there are left! 
The kids love to sit out on Grandma and Grandpa's front porch eating apples and reading books.

I am so proud of this picture. I did NO editing on this at all and I LOVE how it turned out. 
Some other new things I haven't even mentioned:

My brother Daniel and his family are here from Florida for a month while they wait to start his new job!  I am going to try to hog him as much as possible. I can't believe that he and my mom and my Sister, Jessie and my brother, Aaron have not seen him for a year and half. We are so happy to have him and his sweet family here for a while. I can't wait to document all the fun things we are going to do.

And, not only are we adding to our family with Kirsten having another baby, but Marc's brother, Aaron got married to an amazing woman, Julie, who has 2 children.

We haven't met her kids yet, but we are so excited to have these additions to our family.

I love addition. It's definitely my favorite math concept.


Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Don't forget their hands

I don't know quite what has gotten into me, but it is as if, all of a sudden, I am trying as hard as I can to savor every moment that Baby touches me with her chubby, little hands.

Maybe it is because when Brother comes up and holds my hands when he is excited to see me or excited about something I realize that he is not a little boy anymore. His fingers are long and actually wrap around my hand when he holds on.

Maybe it is because I am realizing that the similarity between Sister's and Baby's hands are no longer similar in size nor texture, just shape.

Baby has been communicating her needs by grabbing my finger and leading me to where she wants  or to what she wants and, all of a sudden, one day, I felt tears well up as it hit me that I won't be able to feel those tiny little hands in mine after she grows up. 

Those soft, pudgy-ended fingers sneaking their way into the palm of my hand, the sweet little knuckles grasping my finger, the palms of her soft little hands holding my face as she stares deep into my eyes to see what my soul has to say, clipping her teeny fingernails, tiny finger pokes in the frosting or newly cooked loaves of bread, baby prints all over my new fridge and clean windows...


Only to be captured in pictures and memories.

I tend to get annoyed when she grabs my hand to lead me around several times within a few minutes dragging me and whining to get what she wants.

I want to try to savor the moments that her hand touches mine.

Because those moments don't last long enough.

Monday, June 25, 2012

They call me mellow yellow...

I've said it before and I'll say it again. My mom has so many costumes in her costume closet.
She finds something new every week. But, it is always our favorite
when the kids pick something out to wear while they are there at Grandma's.
Melly, although, a cute redhead, really looks great as a blond.

I was a little jealous of all the attention the kids were getting for dressing up so I had to join in on the fun. I was so excited to find some hair that matched my outfit.

Some girls like to match their purses and shoes to their outfits. I am all about the hair. That's where the statement is.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Weight lifter, Movie Star or a Vampire

Baby watches Daddy a lot. These are not weights, but they look like it. They are just cushions that are part of his weight bench. She was doing her hammer curls when I snapped this shot. She was even grunting when she would lift them up. Ha! It sure made me laugh.

She looked so cute with these big sunglasses on so I snapped a few shots.
The way she looked made me feel like the papparazzi.
(And don't worry, Marc was driving and I was in the passenger seat when I took these.)
And, ya, this is creepy, funny, and cute all in one but I just had to take a picture because I was laughing so hard. Our friends treated us to pizza and red velvet cake while we hung out in our back yard and Baby really, really enjoyed it. Sometimes drooling really can be cute, but, hmmmm.
It looks like Arial was her victim. But the grin on her face is really what makes this whole picture.
I just can't stop laughing.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Divide to be Conquered

These pictures make it look like we had a great time at the local carnival.

Pictures can be deceiving.

Even without Photoshop.

You see, it was only during the rides that the smiles ensued.

In between was, well... let me narrate:

All children on the short walk from the car to the carnival, "I don't wanna goooooooooooooo!"

Parents, "But you told us you wanted to come. You LOVE carnival rides, remember?"

Brother, "I don't wanna go, I don't wanna go, I don't wanna... ah, look, mom," pointing to the fun rides, "I wanna go. Can I ride that."

Me, " Ya, lets get there and get some tickets and then we can go on it."

We get there but the girls want to go to the playground before we hit the rides so we oblige even though the sun is pounding down on my back as I push Baby in her swing. Sister isn't doing too bad at staying around the play area but, Brother has disappeared.

Quickly I scan the nearby area and see that Brother is sitting under the shade of a big tree watching the rides.

I figure I better go buy the ride tickets so we can get him going on one. He happily comes with me to get the tickets with Sister in tow while Marc stays back to keep Baby happy in the swing.

I don't know that dividing is always conquering... from a parents point of view. Often it ends up being the children conquering their parents while divided. The whining prevailed and I bought more tickets than usual because they were so excited and of course I wanted to appease them (OK, I wanted people to stop staring at me while my children cried and screamed).

Then I happily went to tell Marc to come go on a ride with Brother while I watched the girls, but when I looked behind me I saw that Brother was hiding under "his" tree again. He was completely freaking out--hiding his face, rocking back and forth, whining... I think he was torn between being overwhelmed by the crowd (which was very small at the time of day we strategically went) and his decision of whether or not to try a new ride. He wouldn't budge from the tree, Sister and Baby wouldn't stay by us, they wanted to either play on the playground or walk around the booths.

So we made the obvious choice...

we divided so we could be conquered.

While I watched Marc from a distance struggle with Brothers dilemma I tried to keep Baby from mauling the dog from the local adoption shelter (she wanted to lay on it - it was as big as a bear skin rug and looked like one too) and Sister from independently striding from one booth to the other, people giggling as I politely made excuses for my daughter hopping up and down and humming while smiling and chattering with nervous excitement, and getting a literal work-out trying to pry Baby's death grip from the dog so that someone else could pet him (Seriously would have loved to take it home as he just sat there the entire time he was being mauled as if he were made for tough love).

I decided that I would go help Marc with Brother and have him take a turn helping me with the girls.

When I got there I had learned that Brother did get on the ride he had been longingly watching but, then got scared and got off before it even started. Therefore he was now upset because he was disappointed in himself for not riding.

The girls really wanted to ride on the merry-go-round which was on the other side of the park. Brother was still so upset that it was quite a scene getting all 3 children over there. I am surprised no one called the cops on us for kidnapping, it takes a lot of strength to drag a 12 year old boy across a field. Anyway while Marc took the girls on the merry-go-round I was able to help calm Brother down and we were able to talk it out a little bit and he was able to tell me, "This is just too much for me."

We talked about it and he decided he could stay for a bit. Luckily, too, Sister's friends came to join us, which helped all the kids feel more at home in the situation. In fact Brother felt so much better that he decided to get on the rides with the girls... but he was too tall for these rides. So the frustration came again and it was hard to watch him struggle with the situation.

The fact that all the carnival ride workers didn't speak English didn't help me out either:

Me, "Can he ride this ride?"

Worker, "?"

Me, "Is he too big?"

Worker, "?"

Me, pointing to the ride, then my son, then making the hand motion of going around in a circle.

Worker, "?" then routinely pointed to a tape line on the gate.

Then we came to the giant slide and Brother, Sister, Juju and JJ all had a couple rides there.

Baby wasn't able to ride the slide so she was wandering and running and squiggling so I finally divided from Marc and took her back to the swings.

It was hot.

I was tired.

I was sore from physically handling children from ages 12 - 2.

I was conquered.

We went home in the car in a crumpled, sweaty heap of over-stimulated, over-worked, and over-heated messes.

But, we had fun, the pictures prove it.


Saturday, June 16, 2012


Like I've said many times before, my girls LOVE to swing.

Baby has discovered how to ask you for a swing when there isn't one around.

She grabs you by the hands and then hangs... until you swing her. Grandma Lynne  and Grandpa Gary came for a visit and Baby put them right to work.

I have to laugh at the sheer look of terror on her face... she loves swinging but it also scares her if you get a little too high.

This all started because Grandpa Gary was horsin' around with Sister and standing her up on his hands... I didn't get my phone out in time for the stand but I still wanted the memory.

This  next picture really gets me laughing. Why? Well, it was all in Sister's dismount.

Tee hee hee!!

Baby wanted to try it but once she got up on Grandpa's knees she got scared.

I love that, the whole time, Sister is just giddy with happiness!! Of course, so is Grandpa (smile).

Friday, June 15, 2012

Hair today, Gone tomorrow - the short story

I have always loved doing hair. When Sister was younger she let me do her hair all kinds of crazy ways:

Then toward the end of last year she wouldn't let me do it in anything but a pony tail or bun. that was tough for me but I tried to make it fun and different as much  as possible.

But, then about 4 weeks ago she started with an anxious habit of twisting pieces of her hair to the point of it breaking off. We tried to help her stop but she just couldn't. I would brush over the snarls to cover them in a pony tail but it was getting to be really habitual for her and I knew it had to be cut off short. Short enough for her not to twist it or to freak out about when it touched her neck or face.

So after a discussion with Marc and then a discussion with Sister we got on the internet to look for short hair cuts on little girls so Sister could choose one she liked. There weren't any little girls with pixie cuts like she was describing to me and the only little girls with short hair had bobs or a-lines and she didn't like those. So we had to choose what she called a mom's haircut. She was bothered that the picture was a "mom" but she liked the hair.

I couldn't bring myself to cut it quite to a pixie so I just did my thing and cut away.

I did shed a little tear and a few sighs of "I can't believe I am doing this" but after I sawed off the ponytail there was no going back.

After her cut was done she bounced out of the tub as if she had a new lease on life. She was so happy. I was sad that I hadn't cut her hair sooner seeing how happy it made her. It has given her a whole new attitude. It just goes to show you how much sensory she can be affected by for good or bad.

She looks like a little Tinkerbell and it fits her feisty little personality.

These were fresh out of the tub wet do's but she was so excited to show everyone.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

The Odds and Ends of a Post

There's just something about being a kid in the summer and eating a popsicle... Baby tries so hard to be like me (smile)

We trade off  Sundays with each of out parents houses. This last time we got to go to Marc's parents for Sunday dinner. It was such a nice day, you know a nice enough day for pospsicles and mermaids...

So did you catch that I said "mermaid" at the last of that last sentence?

Brother will show you how to be a mermaid using only a yard rake and the grass.

yard rake
mermaid, oh, I mean, merman

And what is summer without a nice pony ride?

This my mom's newest purchase for the grandchildren. She, of course, bought it at a yard sale. It's those kind like you find in front of the stores that you pay a quarter to ride. Coolest toy ever! Man I wish my mom shopped like this when I was a kid!

Baby is looking like she really wants to get on

So J-man helped her on

it was love at first ride

We taught her right

Even Uncle Joel wanted to get in on all the fun
I have so much to catch up on and so much to write down. I hate being behind because then I forget the little things like with Baby repeats us saying things like "Chicken, bawk, bawk." or "Rachael, come here."

Ya, her and Sister now call me "Rachael," It's pretty funny to hear two little girls call their mom by her name. I am Rachael but Marc is always "Daddy." Tee hee. Brother still calls me mama. Love it.

Sister has been doing well out of school for the summer but, only because she has best friends to play with her every day, all day.

It is heaven. I love having friends over for the kids everyday.

It makes me feel like a "normal" mom.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

I love taking pictures

There is something so addicting about capturing moments in time. Not just posed moments but real, actual, in the moment moments.

Here's a few of the moments I wanted to freeze in time.

Kids and sprinklers always show moments you just have to capture. All kids love water.
For my kids it is, literally, therapeutic.

She wanted to try to get a drink just like Brother

deep in her book

love her rosy cheeks

Sister likes to read anywhere, anytime. So after her and her friends were done with the water she brought out her books.

Sister's friend Juju really wanted to get into Sisters shot

Sister was so happy that her friends wanted to listen to her read

Sister loves Juju and I love JJ's face in this one.

Baby really wanted to get back in on the action

She finally made it in

sister love