Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Snow Days

We've gotten quite a bit of snow here in St. Louis for December, including a white Christmas. Kurt commented one day as he looked out of the window, "there's something so peaceful about snow." It's true, something about snow brings peace. Maybe it's the vast sprawling of white, maybe it's how it forces this crazy world to slow down, maybe it's the recollection of fond memories. Whatever it is, we like it. And here we are enjoying it...

Ahh...snow on snow on snow.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


This is what it looks like when croup hits our house...

Lily had her first trip to the ER for a steroid to ease her non-ease-able stridor. Just she and I went since Kurt had to stay home with Weston. After a snow storm. No fun.

Please don't return you pesky virus. You are loud, scary and unwelcome. Thanks.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Just the Two of Us

About a month ago Kurt and I took a little weekend trip to Branson sans children. My parents have time share there and said, "Hey why don't you two get away for a weekend and we'll watch the kids?" To which we replied, "Okay!"

You probably think we took in a few Christmas shows on the strip and shopped our little hearts out at the outlet malls. We did not. You know why? We were sleeping. Rest was the theme of the weekend. In fact, I was so sleep deprived upon our arrival that I slept until 10 a.m. the next morning. The last time that occurred was 1996.

We did accomplish a few fun things during the waking hours. Like Kurt totally demolishing me at air hockey after I bragged about how great I was (however I DID do a pretty nice job with ski ball). We had some great BBQ for lunch at our favorite place down there. We had a business (read finance) meeting at this coffee shop with our laptop...

And had our favorite drinks at Macaroni Grill...

Kurt also sweetly endured me popping into a few shops, trying on clothes and telling me I looked cute.

It may sound boring, but it was AWESOME. We talked and laughed and did not change any diapers. Sometimes it is nice just to be "we". And I like us.

Of course, we were more than excited to return and see our other half. I think they got cuter while we were gone...or maybe it was just my vision adapting to adequate sleep.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree Part 2: Decorating the Tree

I love getting everything out for Christmas decorating. Our house wears Christmas well. I've told Kurt several times that if/when we ever sell our house we should do it during the holidays. Another bonus is the packed away Christmas books and toys that provide new excitement for Weston and Lily.

Here we tried to distract Lily with the Little People nativity long enough for Kurt to get the lights on the tree...

...it wasn't quite long enough.

Weston helped us put the ornaments on. We still haven't fixed our whompus star...

He loved playing the french horn ornament...which led to the rule that once ornaments are on the tree we don't take them off to play with them. Otherwise I'll be redecorating the tree every last day of 2010.

And a few little quotes I would like to remember this year...

Weston (playing with the nativity for first time this year): "Oh, here's Jesus. Ope, there's Mary. Hey...where's Jerry?"

Kurt (explaining to Weston why Little People Mary would not stay on top of the donkey to ride): "Weston, she doesn't have any legs sweetheart."

Hopefully this will be the last post about the tree. But if there is another, be assured it will be "O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree Part 3: Lily Takes Down the Tree."

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree Part One: Securing the Tree

We had such a fun time cutting down our tree last year at Heritage Valley Tree Farm that we decided to do it again this year. They are super-friendly, the place is so cute and they have hot chocolate, cookies and fun sleds to ride in for the kiddos. And the fact that our tree lasted twice as long pretty much sealed the deal. Somehow a near dead tree on the day (we celebrate) Jesus' birth seems a little oxymoronic.

Here we are last year. As I look back at the picture I'm wondering why I'M not the one being pulled around in the sled. Pregnant ladies...they think they can do everything.

And here we are this year. Miss Thing included and somehow our smiles look a bit more complete.

It was pretty chilly, but the kids did great. Weston was torn about which he wanted more...gloves on to keep his hands warm or gloves off to have the dexterity to eat his chocolate chip cookie. Tough call.

We picked a little tree with a cute shape. We're not the family that lingers at the lot for hours looking for the perfect tree. Once the chocolate chip cookie is gone, we have a short time frame to work with.

Kurt and Weston did all the work while Lily and I shot self portraits.

And isn't this the sweetest picture ever as we headed back? .

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree Part Two: Decorating the Tree will hopefully be up tomorrow.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Given a Box of Cheerios...

...here is how Lily usually polishes it off:

60% are thrown on the floor to either be swept up or stepped on.
15% are somehow captured on her body and found later...like in her diaper or socks.
10% are still missing, perhaps never to be found.
10% are stolen by her brother.
5% are actually ingested and digested.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A Little Trip to the Grocery

Scene: a cold, rainy day the morning before Thanksgiving.

10:30 a.m. I decide that even though it is blustery and pouring down rain and I will have two small children in tow, it would be better to do my grocery shopping this morning than fight everyone after work this evening.

10:35 a.m. Stuff Lily in a down fleece number making her extremely angry.

10:40 a.m. Weston stands on porch yelling something at me while I try to get Lily (who is now 5 times her normal size) into her car seat in the rain.

10:42 a.m. Lily has gone from seriously to critically angry. I ditch down fleece number and put her in car seat without it. Turn car on for heat.

10:50 a.m. We're in the car on our way to a grocery store 15 minutes away so I can use a coupon (you know I like my coupons). Albeit wet, everything is seemingly fine.

11:05 a.m. Arrive at grocery store and realize that I cannot find my wallet and I think its on the ledge in the living room.

11:06 a.m. Turn car back on, head back home. Call Kurt for moral support.

11:21 a.m. Arrive home, dash inside to grab wallet. Not there. Back out to car. Check diaper bag. It has indeed been in there the whole time, just in the wrong place.

11:22 a.m. Send Kurt a text with the awesome news.

11:23 Head back to the grocery store. Weston is confused and asking where we're going. I take a different way to the grocery store for a change of scenery which confuses him even more.

11:35 Arrive back at the grocery store. Since Lily is not in winter outwear (and I'm not about to go through that saga again), I take off my coat in the rain put her in the front carrier and put on my coat over me and her.

11:37 Inside grocery store. Wet, but we made it. And we have money. Which we had from the beginning, but whatever. Take coat off, put Weston in cart. Realize I left coupon in car.

11:38 Kindly ask customer service if it is necessary that I actually HAVE the coupon in my possession. It is. Curse under my breath.

11:40 Put coat back on. Zip it up. Bundle Lily's head. "Ma'm hold on, we're going to get you a coupon so you don't have to go back out to the car." Try to take coat off. Zipper is stuck. Lily (still in front carrier) is getting mad. Weston is also becoming disgruntled. In desperation I give one more fatal pull which breaks the zipper of my favorite REI parka.

11:41 Begin grocery shopping...approximately one hour later than planned. Get items on my list...minus jelly which I forgot.

12:00 Check out...saved $5. Worth it? Questionable.

12:05 Unload groceries into car. Unload Lily. Zip coat back up...oh wait, no zipper.

12:20 Arrive home. As I'm pulling up I see that I have left my front door wide open in all the wallet mayhem. I have the thought that Kurt will be really excited if someone stole our t.v. since he's been wanting a flat screen since 2005.

12:30 Groceries and children are inside. T.V. is still in place.

2:00 Lunch has been consumed, babies are sleeping and I am now laughing. Laughing because although I almost lost my mind, these things are so trifling. I have food on my table. I have healthy, sweet children. I have a husband who listens. I have a roof over my head. I have family to visit tomorrow. I live in the land of the free. I know the God of the universe. I am rich and I am blessed.

And next time, I'll opt for the evening grocery trip.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Inviting Disaster

Over the past year or so since Weston has gotten "helpful", I have been learning how to invite him into everyday activities. Most of the time he is eager to help with a task. I know it is good for him to feel a part of daily household chores. It is fun for him to play/pretend. It is bonding to work side by side with my kids. I enjoy the company of my children. For all these reasons, I continue to find ways to include him in what I'm doing. However, I must be prepared for inviting disaster.

It is pretty much guaranteed that when you ask a two year old to help you it will:

1. Take twice as long.
2. Be three times as messy.
3. Quite possibly not even accomplish what is supposed to get done.
4. Even more possible that it will accomplish the exact opposite of what is supposed to get done.

For someone who likes to cross things off the list these are tough things to swallow, but I do because I need to learn how to slow down and be patient. And because there is nothing better than watching your child have the satisfaction of accomplishing something seemingly "grown up."

Next up...scrubbing toilets.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Books, Books, Books

We love books around here. Who doesn't love books? I think I get more excited to get new childrens books at the library than Weston. There are TONS of good ones out there, but here are some of our favorites:

Lulu The Big Little Chick by Paulette Bogan
Cha Cha Chimps by Julie Durango
Good Night Train by Julie Sobel
Moose on the Loose by Kathy-Jo Wargin
Jesus Story Bible
Blue Hat, Green Hat by Sandra Boynton
Five Little Monkeys Wash the Car by Eileen Christelow
Llama, Llama Mad at Mama by Anna Dewdney

What are your favorites?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

And I Quote...

Last night it stormed and Weston was fascinated. It brought up the subject of the things God has made (i.e. thunder, lightning, etc.).

This morning at the breakfast table, he drops this line:

"Jesus made poop, Mom."

Ya'll can go ahead and jot that in the "Notes" section of your Bible for free. Right next to where God created the sound of farts.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Weston at Two

Weston was 2 1/2 this month and I find myself pondering over his second year so far. There are so many things I want to remember about him at this age.

Here are a few...

Weston is obsessed with animals. He knows the names of critters from yaks to triceratops. He also has quite the collection of animals figurines and plays with them like a girl would dolls. They have conversations and go places and sometimes I have to remind one of the animals that his voice is getting a bit cranky or unkind. When we're out and about, everything looks like an animal, whether its the clouds or a blob of mud. You can imagine what our trips to the zoo are like.

He has a sensitive spirit.

He is fairly uninterested in balls, throwing, catching, kicking, etc. This makes dad a little sad sometimes, but I think he'll come around eventually.

He is a good friend.

Weston was a really early talker. At least once a week someone in public will comment on his speech. He talks a lot and is articulate and has a pretty nice vocabulary. Someone recently asked if I thought Lily would be as verbal and my response was, "if she can get a word in edgewise."

He loves books. Which may explain the talking. And we LOVE reading to him.

He is so curious. I would say 80% of our day is spent answering questions.

Weston has a contagious smile. And eyelashes that make every woman jealous.

He hates leaving places. This sometimes involves me leaving a playground or friend's house holding an infant in one arm and a screaming toddler in the other.

Weston has a healthy fear of feathers, fuzzies and shadows.

He's getting better at climbing.

Weston is a great big brother. He hugs and kisses Lily, brings her toys, keeps her from danger and is on 24 hour spit-up alert duty.

He thinks that everyone that is "at work" is with Daddy. Like its a big party or something.

Speaking of Daddy, Weston loves him. Most of the time when we pull up to the house, even if it's 11:30, he asks if he's home. He also thinks Dad knows everything (which is mostly true). If he asks me something and I say "I don't know.", he will often reply, "We'll ask Daddy." or "Daddy will fix it." And, of course, there is much glee when he arrives home.

His favorite foods are yogurt with honey, fruit, PBJ's and treats. No vegetables.

Weston is really good with names. He knows his friends names, their siblings and their parents and knows who goes with who. He remembers little Donovan who we met at the library a month ago and he will probably wake up from his nap today talking about Bruno, Max and Mason who we met at the playground today. I forget someone's name one second after shaking his hand so this trait must be inherited from Dad.

He's a great sleeper. I am reminded of this every time Lily wakes up at 2 a.m.

He's pretty organized for a two year old. Kurt blames me. I just like things in their place, you know?

I think he's the sweetest kid ever. Because I'm his mom. And because he is.

(photos courtesy of Erin Duggin Photography)

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Checking in With Lily

Lily has been busy lately and its time we checked in to see what she's been up to.

The biggest news is that she started crawling at 7 1/2 months.That's a good 5 months before her brother, so I'm a little unsure of how to deal with her.

So far I've caught her chewing on television wiring, pulling apart the underside of an ottoman, trying to get her hand stuck in the air vent and generally getting into whatever her brother doesn't want her to.

She likes to attack most things with her mouth. Especially your face.

She's puffin' it up finger food style...

She pulls up to her knees...

And her favorite game is to play peek-a-boo through the cube-shaped shelf in our kitchen cart...

Overall, she's the sweetest thing since chocolate cake and is melting our hearts with each passing day.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Jesse Bear

My crafty, creative friend Allison led me to a book called Five in a Row which is basically reading activities for tots using already published books (you can buy or wisely visit your local library). Anyway, Jesse Bear What Will You Wear is the first book. You can read about Allison's experience here, but I also had to post about Jesse Bear because it was such a typical toddler activity progression.

We started here with the initial thought of playing a matching/sorting game of clothes on Jesse Bear (yes, I realize the shortcomings of my teddy bear making...cardboard is difficult to cut, yes?)

But then Weston wanted to color on the bear. Having worked perilously on the cardboard cut-out, I decided to trace a different one on construction paper for him to color. So here we are...

However,when I got into the craft drawer to get the construction paper, Weston saw our package of balloons. So now here we are...

From matching/sorting to balloons in less than ten minutes. That's pretty much how it goes!