Saturday, January 30, 2010

Photo Shoot

I thought that when Julianna was in the bath, and her hair was wet and out of her eyes, would be the perfect time to take pictures of her little bump from her gymnastics down the stairs. She, on the other hand, didn't agree. She just wanted to see the picture on the screen of my camera.

I got this shot, then she wanted to see. Then she didn't want play along.And started to let me know.Louder... and louder...
and madder...
and madder. (I call this one "Dang Paparazzi!")But then I realized that when I showed her the picture of herself, she would crack up laughing. So I would turn the camera around as fast as I could to capture it.

Sometimes it worked. Sometimes it didn't.

Right in between laughing and not.Totally laughing. Don't you just love her crooked, little mouth?
And mad again.

The shoot continued after the bath, too, in her puppy towel. She ran around and kept saying, "I a puppy! I a puppy!" Oh my goodness, it was cute.

Have I mentioned lately how much I love having a baby in the house? And not just a baby, but a baby girl? And not just a baby girl, but the cutest, sweetest, funniest baby girl ever? Well, I do.

Friday, January 29, 2010


So there will be no show and tell today since there are no students here today. It is a teacher work day. I just finished my report cards, which are actually pretty easy to do for kindergartners since there aren't any grades to average. It's mostly just "yes, your child can recognize the letters of the alphabet" or "no, your child is not an attentive listener." The hardest part is the teacher comments on the back. I try to be creative, but sometimes I just want to write, "A pleasure to have in class." Or, "Really, you expect me to teach this kid?" But I don't. I write something about each child's progress and how they are doing in class. Even if I have something negative to say, I don't put it on the report card. Mostly because my sister still remembers when her kindergarten report card said that she talked too much in class. (Really? Ada?) I save those kinds of things for conferences. Not put them on something that will follow the kid around for the next 12 years.

I'm very happy to be finished with report cards for one more quarter and can hardly believe that we are halfway through the school year. Amazing. Now I just have to plan for the second half. Can you say weekly field trips?

Thursday, January 28, 2010

10 Things Thursday

10 foods I wish I had right now. (I guess I should have eaten breakfast.)

1. Mom's chicken and dumplings (Or her biscuits and gravy. Or her lasagna.)
2. Toro Viejo appetizer sampler
3. Arrty's homemade french fries
4. Long John Silver's fish and chips
5. Dad's prime rib (Or his grilled salmon. Or his hamburgers cooked over an open fire.)
6. Aunt Cathy's loaded mashed potatoes
7. Ada's white cupcakes with white frosting (Or any of her yummy desserts. Or her poppers. Or her chicken ranch cheese ball.)
8. tomato basil soup and garlic bread from Tomato Street
9. chopped salad from Outback
10. homemade pizza with pepperoni, mushrooms, olives and lots of cheese

Hungry yet?

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Overheard... my kindergarten class.

"I care about everyone. Especially God."
"You don't care about the devil."
"Or Obama. He's bad."
"Yeah, he smokes."

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Big Brother

This week in Bible class, I have been teaching the kids about the childhood of Jesus. We hear a lot about Jesus the baby and Jesus the man, but I told them that he was a child, too, just like they are now. He played and laughed and skinned his knees. I also told them that he had younger brothers and sisters. One little boy in the class asked me if his brothers and sisters were ever jealous of Jesus since he was perfect. Good question. Can you imagine? "Why can't you be more like your brother?" Really? That's a lot of pressure. But my answer to the question was this. I think that even though Jesus was perfect and he knew who he was, he didn't make his siblings feel anything but loved. Did they feel pressure? Maybe. But not from him. And even more so, can you imagine having Jesus as your big brother? The whole "my brother is stronger than your brother" thing would be brought to a whole nother level. He was there to protect and watch over them like no other big brother before or since. And do you want to know the great part? The wonderful, amazing, unbelievable part? He does that for me, too.

Monday, January 25, 2010


So here's what happened. Julianna was turning around to back down the stairs like she's been doing for a while now and was a little too close to the edge and rolled down instead of scooting down. Josh caught her about halfway down so she didn't fall far, but still ended up with a little bump on her head. I'm of the parenting thought "better safe than sorry," so I called the urgent care center to ask if there was anything I should be looking for. The nurse said that the doctor suggested that I take her into the emergency room for an evaluation because of her age and the fact that she couldn't really tell me what she was feeling. Okay, fine. Then the nurse freaked me out by asking a little frantically how far we were from the hospital. When I told her 30 minutes, she told me to make sure I had a cell phone and call 911 if anything happened. What!!! Julianna was eating and drinking and talking and dancing and putting her puzzle together faster than I could. But this nurse had me convinced that something terrible was happening. So I loaded her up and headed to town.

I couldn't believe how many people there were in the e.r. Zero. Yes. Zero. I checked in at the desk and before I could even have a seat in the waiting room, we were called back into the exam area. They asked a few questions about what had happened, weighed Julianna (22lb 6oz), took her temperature (normal), and blood pressure (which she did not like, but was normal), and took us back to a room. A few people were in and out to do paperwork and check on us, but mostly the staff of about a dozen stood in the nurses station and chatted. It was a slow night, after all. Finally after about 20 minutes, the doctor came in and shined a light around in Julianna's eyes, checked her ears, and felt around on her head. Then he said she was fine but that he was glad that I brought her in because so many parents don't when they should. And then he left. It took about a minute. Then a few minutes later I signed discharge papers and we were done. In and out of the emergency room in less than an hour. And with a perfectly clean bill of health for the little gymnast.

And they didn't even give me a certificate for being the world's worst mom...even though I felt like I deserved it. On the way home, I thought about what had happened and said a prayer of thanks. And I realized that although being an older mom this time has helped me be more relaxed, that maybe I'm a little too relaxed. We've lived in our house for 9 years, since Josh was 11 months old. And neither of the boys have ever fallen down the stairs. So maybe this little incident will help me be more diligent. And help me remember that my daughter, who wants to do everything herself, might not be ready to do everything. Next time, and for a thousand times after that, I will be there, holding her hand.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Blessed Sunday

I am blessed to have access to health care. More tomorrow.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Show and Tell

"This is my Barbie. I got her 30 days ago and I really love her and this is my other girl that I got for my birthday when I was 5 and I really love her. And this one can do the splits."

"A pirate teddy . He's a pirate because he has a sword and a pirate hat and a shirt and some pants. And he's a captain. And I got him a long, long, long time ago."

"This is my frog. I got him from my grandma on my birthday. I really like him. He's a Webkinz. And he's a tree frog. And my brother really likes him and he wants to trade but I don't want to trade because he's a cute little frog."

"This is my mouse and this is his book that goes with it. My grandma who lives in San Diego gave it to me and we read it every single night. And his name is Sparky."

"This is my other lion (it's actually a leopard) and I like her and I can dress her up whatever I want and she's the cutest lion (umm, leopard) in the whole world and her name is Mittens and yesterday was her birthday and she turned six."

"This is my puppy and I really like her and I got it from my birthday and I like to play with it and it's special and her name is..................Sarah."

"This is my Barbie and it's really special and I used to play with her a lot but I don't now and I like my other Barbies."

"This is my Bakugan and my Batman and that's all."

"This is my dolly. My mom put her in a ponytail and I think she looks really pretty that way. She's kind of a Barbie. And I have a really cool room. If you want to come to my house you can and if you want to play with my toys you can. I used to have a castle but I got rid of it but you could build a house of paper or if you want to pet my pet chicken at home you can. What I love about her is her house but I got rid of it because I had too much toys. I really saw a door that had animals on it too so we got rid of a lot of toys. She's really special. I got all of the brat dolls when I was a very little girl. And I have flowers on my walls too. And there was a big box with a lot of girls and boys in there. If you want to make them that way and you can play with this one or a boy one too or build them a house. And I love her so much and I got her as a present. And my mom got her as a present and they decorated my room and there was more girls than boys so she doesn't change her hair to another color but if you want her hair curly I can make her hair curly and if she wakes up that morning she'll have curly hair. She has curlers, pink curlers, and it curls your hair and you look pretty when you wake up in the morning. We don't have strawberries but we have a garden that will have watermelon and watermelon is this big and when it's little it gets this little in your garden and it grows and grows and grows and gets this big. I love her so much and she's my favorite Barbie in the whole entire world. And I put her in the bathtub with me today and my mom put her in a ponytail. And that is the end of the story."
(Seriously. This is pretty much word for word what she said. Seriously.)

Thursday, January 21, 2010

10 Things Thursday

10 things Julianna has reminded me about being a mom...

1. My kids are cute. They are cute babies and toddlers and the boys are still cute at 8 and 10. At least most of the time, anyway.

2. My kids are smart. They have all amazed me at how quickly they learn and how much they know at such an early age. Miss Julianna is super smart. She understands everything I say and can say probably 100 words. Not that anyone outside the family knows that since she gets shy around people and won't even say "hi."

3. My kids hit the terrible twos at 18 months. All three of them have. Complete with a stubborn streak, tantrums, and "no."

4. My kids make me laugh. They are silly and sweet and hilarious. Like the other night when Julianna said, "Mama. Mama. Mama." And I answered, "What, Julianna." And she said, "Umm. Umm. Umm," like she was thinking of something to say. I just had to laugh. Which made her do it over and over and over.

5. My kids can drive me crazy. The big ones with their arguing with each other and me. And the little one when she doesn't get enough sleep and turns into a crabcake.

6. My kids are strong willed. They each have moments when they won't budge. Won't give up. Won't give in. I have no idea where they get it.

7. My kids are loved. There are so many people in our lives who adore them. They are never, ever lacking for love.

8. My kids make messes. Our floors and tables and couch are often covered with lightsabers, books, backpacks, and now dolls, blocks, and more books. Our house always looks lived in.

9. My kids are gifts. I thank God everyday for each one of them. They are an answer to prayers.

10. My kids are my purpose. They are why I'm here. Yes, I am a wife and daughter and sister and aunt and friend and teacher. But for now I am mom. And I'm glad.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Just So You Know

A, e, i, o, and u are VOWELS. Not BOWELS. I had to teach that lesson to my kindergartners today.

Monday, January 18, 2010


I have a confession. I hope that what I'm about to tell you doesn't affect the way you feel about me. It's something I've been doing for a while now and I did it again last night. So, here goes.

I watch awards show.

I know. I know. What kind of person sits through 3 hours (less than two if you dvr it and skip the boring parts) of silly one liners and weird dresses? I do. And I like it. Last night was the Golden Globes. It is my favorite (along with the SAG awards) because it covers tv and movies. And it's fun to see who is sitting with who at the tables (Julia Roberts was sitting by Paul McCartney). Here are some of my observations from last night's show.

How funny is Ricky Gervais? I think he did a great job (aside from a few off color jokes). He made just enough fun of the actors in the room and himself. He brought up the whole Conan/Leno thing, of course. He made fun of NBC's low ratings. He accused Steve Carrell of taking all the credit for the character he created. He shamelessly promoted his own work. He made jokes about Mel Gibson's drinking when he introduced him. Mel played right along, by the way. And he made fun of drinking, swearing Irishmen when he introduced Colin Farrell who had the best comeback of the night when he said, "I used to be such a cliche."

Then there were the winners and the speeches. Monique's speech was so sincere and real and lovely. Sandra Bullock was very gracious and well spoken. And she made Jesse James tear up, which seems like quite a feat. Robert Downey, Jr. was hilarious with his completely sarcastic speech. Drew Barrymore was funny and sweet and lovable as usual.

And there were losers. Why, oh why, do they show the losers as the winner is walking to the stage? Not only did they just lose, but now they have to act like they're happy for the winner. Some really might be. But some are not. And you can tell. Just look at their eyes.

Second only to the nominees themselves, were the dresses. Most of them were fine. A few were beautiful. And some were, well, not my taste. And since I prefer to spend my days in tee shirts and pajama pants, that's all I'll say about it.

Over the past year or so I've discovered for the first time, that I have a favorite actress. Meryl Streep. She is always entertaining and often brilliant in the roles she plays. She's funny and open and nice in interviews. But what I love most about her is that she's fearless. She seems to put her heart and soul in everything she does and makes no apologies about it. She won last night for Julie and Julia (and was nominated in the same category for It's Complicated). She was lovely and sincere and solidified her place on the top of my favorites list.

Oh, yeah. There were also a few movies mentioned. Of the ten nominees (five for comedy or musical and five for drama), I've only seen one. Julie and Julia. The winners were The Hangover and Avatar. But now I want to see them all. The clips made them all look good. I have, however, seen three of the five animated nominees, including the winner, Up.

I can't believe that I've written this much about an awards show. See. I told you I liked them. Please don't hold it against me.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Blessed Sunday

Right now, at this very moment I am blessed to be listening to music with my family who are all singing or dancing or clapping to the beat...or all three. Now I'm going to join them.

Saturday, January 16, 2010


I stayed home from school yesterday to take care of a sick baby. She was up in the middle of the night sick and still couldn't keep anything down yesterday morning. But she didn't act sick. She still giggled and played and bugged her brothers. She took two good naps and two baths and helped me clean her room. We snuggled and read books and sang songs. The only thing that would have made the day better would have been if she wasn't sick at all.

But today is a different story. She was up sick again last night, just when I thought it was over. And this morning she is just sitting on my lap or lying on her blanket. Not herself at all. Still no appetite, though she has kept her juice down so far. Poor little sick baby. Say a quick prayer for her if you would.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

10 Things Thursday

10 movies I've seen multiple times...

1. Grease. Gotta love some Grease. T-birds, Pink Ladies, Greased Lightening, Summer Lovin'. Poodle skirts and white sneakers and bobby socks. I always wanted to be Sandy. Especially in those leather pants at the end.

2. The Outsiders. My favorite movie when I was a teenager. I loved it even when the cast was a bunch of unknowns--Tom Cruise, Patrick Swayze, Rob Lowe, Emilio Estevez, Matt Dillon, Diane Lane, Ralph Macchio, C. Thomas Howell. Also, my copy of the book is falling apart from being read so many times.

3. Clueless. I don't own this one, but whenever it's on tv I watch it. It's just fun.

4. The Wedding Date. Another one I don't own, but love. Debra Messing and Dermot Mulroney are really good together. She is just funny as the desperate older sister who hires him as her date for her little sister's wedding.

5. Top Gun. I can't even begin to tell you how many times I watched Top Gun in the late 80's. "I feel the need...the need for speed."

6. Ice Age, Madagascar, Over the Hedge, Hookwinked, Cars, The Incredibles. And pretty much every other kids movie out there. But the thing is, even though I've seen them all a hundred times, there are still scenes I've never seen because it's when I went to get juice or change a diaper or make lunch.

7. 13 Going on 30. Fun movie with a great soundtrack. And the Thriller dance scene is one of my favorites.

8. P.S. I Love You. Gerard Butler. Ireland. Great movie when I need a good cry.

9. Dirty Dancing. "Nobody puts Baby in a corner." Patrick Swayze was so good as the rebellious dance instructor. And I love Jennifer Grey before the nose job.

10. The Wizard of Oz. How do I not own this movie. I watch it whenever it's on tv though. And have to, just have to, sing along. "Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain."

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


So for the last two days I've been writing in my head this post about how my family's job situation stinks instead of being stable and secure. And how my house seems to always be a mess instead of the neat, orderly place I desire. And about how I'm tired of robbing Peter to pay Paul instead of having sufficient funds always at hand. And about how someone else is living the life I want instead of me living it.

Instead, I am going to send out to you these prayer requests...

The mother of one of my students (and two others at our school) is lying in a hospital bed and has just been told to get her affairs in order. Please pray for her healing if that's God's will and for her and her family's hearts through it all.

A dear sister in the Lord is awaiting test results that she shouldn't have to be waiting for. Please pray that all is well with her and that all her dreams will come true.

One of the ladies who is in our Bible study group has had a great loss this week. Her son's girlfriend died of a brain aneurysm when he was driving her home this weekend. She was 19. And her dad lost his mother last week. Please pray for that family.

Now you see why my Whiny Wednesday post isn't getting written. Who in the world am I to whine?

Monday, January 11, 2010

Monday Shmonday

This morning on the way to school Josh was telling me how much he doesn't like Mondays. Of course I asked him why. He said that he doesn't like to get up early after the weekend and that nothing special happens on Mondays like some of the other days of the week. He's right. Monday's just, well, Monday. So I told him that he should make Monday special somehow. When he asked how, I told him he could make someone else's Monday better and that would make his day better, too. Again he asked me how. I suggested that he give someone a card or note. Or say something nice to someone who wasn't expecting it. Or clean the house from top to bottom for his dear mother. (Okay, I didn't say that, but I wish I would have thought of it.) He didn't say anything more about it and I don't know if he'll do it, but it is a good idea don't you think? Not just for a 4th grader who didn't want to get up and get ready for school, but for all of us. Now I have to go put a note and treat in my kids' lunchboxes. Just because it's Monday.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Blessed Sunday

Today Julianna is 19 months and 8 days old. That is the exact age that Josh was when Adam was born. To think back to that time seems crazy now. Two babies. Tons of diapers. Very little sleep. You wouldn't think, with the ages of my children, that they were all planned. It seems wild even to me. But each one was not only planned, but prayed for. Yes, Adam came a little sooner than we expected. And Julianna a little later. But now I know that they all came at the perfect time. Any earlier or later and they wouldn't be who they are. And even with the challenges of strong wills, wild emotions, and, well, more strong wills, I wouldn't trade them for anything. I love each of my children more than I ever thought possible. I loved Josh when it was just him. I loved Josh and Adam when I had two babies. And I love Josh and Adam and Julianna today with one pre-adolescent, one littleish boy, and one toddler. Is it a challenge? Yes. Do they drive me crazy? Sometimes. Would I change a thing? Nope. Not one. Because even on the hardest mommy day, these three little people are my greatest blessing.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Happy Birthday, Abby Mae!

There are two little girls in this world that I love more than any others. Julianna and this one.

My sweet, sweet niece Abby.

She turns one today.
Happy Birthday, sweet girl!

Friday, January 08, 2010

Show and Tell

"This is my build-a-bear named Katie that I made at Build-A-Bear yesterday. She has a little purse and shoes. We play together."

"This is my puppy. I feed her really much and I give her a bed and take her for walks and she does that thing again and she barks and I take good care of her and if she bites you I'll just take care of that and if she gets around you she might bite your skin off so be careful around her. She hides in here (sweatshirt pocket) and takes her rest time and sometimes I put her in there to play and she's going to grow up to be a big wiener dog."

"This is my pet. This is my kitty. I can turn her on and her name is buttons and she likes to cuddle with me and sit in my own rocking chair and then she sleeps with me at night. She bites."

"This is my doggy named Meadow. She's very special and I found her yesterday. She was in my toy chest and she's very special."

"This is my stuffed kitty. I really like her and she likes to snuggle with me and I really like her and she's really special and I really really love her and she likes people she knows and people she doesn't know. And she bites."

A. is more of a show-er than a teller. He took his Etch-a-sketch and sat in the show and tell chair and said nothing. After asking some questions, we found out that he got if from the store, he found it when he went home, and he drew an octagon on it.

"This is my puppy and I really like her I play with her a lot."

"These are my transformers. I got them for Christmas aaaaaaand...that's all."

"This is my sister's teddy bear. When I brought her other toy somebody broke it so I brought this that cannot break."

"This is my Barbie. She's really special and I really like it and it's super pretty."

"This is my phone and I like to play with it and it's really cool and I like to play with it and I call my dad and mommy and I like to take pictures."

Thursday, January 07, 2010

10 Things Thursday

10 things I love...

1. my family
2. my friends
3. sunshine
4. butterflies
5. hearing children laugh
6. making children laugh
7. books
8. good movies
9. hope
10. God

10 things I do not like one little bit...

1. icy roads
2. raw onions
3. asthma
4. confrontation
5. being cold
6. insecurity
7. bad dreams
8. losing
9. chaos
10. uncomfortable shoes

Wednesday, January 06, 2010


Yesterday, the preschool teacher offered to take my class to give me the afternoon off. After about half a second, I agreed. I had some errands to run and the boys do not like to run errands. So I went to the post office and the bank and Costco and the grocery store while they were still at school. When I went to pick them up, they told me about some kissing that was going on during afternoon recess between a first grade boy and a girl from my kindergarten class. The first thing I thought was, "Great, I'll have to deal with an unhappy mom tomorrow when she finds out her little girl has been involved in kissing at school." I was very relieved to find out it was just on the cheek. And thankfully I haven't heard a peep about it from anyone except Josh and Adam. Later in the evening Adam brought it up again and said, "I can't believe Romeo* and Juliet* are in love." "Well," I explained, "they are too little to really be in love." "Mom," he exclaimed, "They KISSED! That's love!"

*names changed to protect the not so innocent

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Blessed Sunday

What a blessing it was today to look at the bank thermometer and see 50 degrees. 50! On the third of January! I love God's amazing creation that can give us spring like days in the middle of winter. I'll take 75 more days just like today...until it's really spring.

Friday, January 01, 2010

Happy New Year!