Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Snippets of June

Ah, summertime.  What's not to love?  The heat, the bugs, the allergies...just kidding.  I really do love summer! For the first time in several years Billy is not teaching summer school, and unlike last summer we are not preoccupied with remodeling and selling our house, and we are not preparing to take in another baby (that I know of).  What we ARE doing is spending quality time with friends and family, preparing for a 3170-mile road trip (!), and taking time to enjoy simple summertime pleasures like:

Backyard adventuring and playground frolicking...
Checking on our grapes...
Lending a helping hand...
Evening hiking...(I love how Mikea insisted on wearing her sunglasses at night!)
Running with nets and of course, silliness with nets...
Reading together...
And being robots!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

500 Pirates!

It all began with a giant box...

and a wonderfully creative and enthusiastic husband...
It took many helpers...
and lots of paint...
But soon enough a pirate ship was born.
Would you like a tour?  It has doors that open...
a wheel that turns...
telescopes for telescoping...
and portholes for all!
So come on all you scurvy pirates!  Arrrgh!
There's treasure to be found!
Ahoy mateys! What's that you see?
Why, it's only a scurvy pirate pug!
So hurry up and join our crew- adventure awaits!!!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Backyard Beauty

Pictures of my little cutie... just because!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Potty Training the Wonder Twins

Let's just get the cuteness out of the way and start with a photo of the Wonder Twins back in the day:

All together now, "Awwww!"

Ok, on to business:
I try to keep the bathroom stories to a minimum around here.  Really, I do.  If you're relatively new to my blog and you're not squeamish, you might want to read about the time the contents of a diaper went missing or the time Dan exploded.  But it's entirely up to you.  I refuse to claim responsibility if you're grossed out.

Anyway, a year ago while Joe was learning how to use the toilet I remember thinking what a circus it was going to be when Daniel and Mikea would be potty training together. (It really was pure madness back then.) I'd been making half-hearted attempts every now and again, but a few weeks ago I finally decided enough was enough and we just had to get serious about this potty training business.  And you know what? We've actually had a lot of success.  I think the success if due to two factors: The kids are truly ready for it now and I reward them with M and M's.  Forget the sticker charts.  M and M's are the ticket.

However, there are still many days where the madness takes over again.  Let me set the scene from a couple of weeks ago . . .

There are five of us all crammed into our downstairs half-bathroom.  The kids have just finished lunch and have been taking their turn on the toilet before they go down for naps.  Joe is standing on the stepstool at the sink washing his hands: I am reminding him the proper washing sequence and technique.  Daniel is perched on the toilet: I am coaching him on how to "aim" and not make a mess.  (I am sitting on the floor directly in front of him so if he misses, I am toast.)  Mikea has already finished her business and is wiggling around on the floor:  I am trying to put a clean diaper on her.  In the middle of all this Baby A. is crawling on top of me:  I am trying to keep him from climbing onto the toilet and getting in the way.  And they're all talking/babbling/screeching at once.  And I think to myself, "I am going to remember this moment for the rest of my life.  And now I will laugh just to keep myself from crying."  And I did.

I must confess that now I get a kick out of how proud the kids are when they put on their underwear or how cute it is when Mikea asks for her "W".  (For some reason she started calling M and M's "W's" and although I'd love to think it's because she recognizes that an upside-down M looks like a W, I don't think that's why.)  And I should add that even though Joe's a master at using the toilet, sometimes he likes to bypass the hand-washing so we give him an M and M if he remembers to do it on his own.

All-in-all it's pretty easy to forget the headaches of it all and see the big picture:

Oops, not that big picture . . . the big picture that the 500 Babies are growing up and I'm simply beyond blessed to guide them through these precious days!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Ready for Summer!

The Memorial Day weekend was just a taste of what's in store for summer...a relaxed pace, family fun, and a rested and calm mother.  There are just 5 more days of work left for my husband and then the 10-week weekend begins!

After a morning of shopping together in which all 3 toddlers got new underwear (Daniel for the first time!), we treated the kiddos to a cold treat. Have you ever seen a child look this unhappy about eating ice cream? 
In Daniel's defense, he wasn't really unhappy - just hot and tired.  Plus his ice cream was left off the order so he had to wait a little longer to get it.  Poor Daniel. 

Joe and Mikea were a good deal more enthusiastic about eating theirs.

Oh the joys of eating ice cream on a hot summer day!

Now Baby A. would like me to tell you two things.  First, he's happy to report that our family is now officially the adoptive placement for him and in less than 3 months I can show you his gorgeous face.  (I'm not bragging, but well, yes I am - he has the most beautiful eyes and beaming smile you've ever seen.  He gets compliments every time we go out!)
Second, he wants you to know that he's been working very hard this past week learning how to walk! 
He can even hold an object and walk at the same time.
Each little step towards independence - whether it's wearing underwear for the first time or walking - is cause for celebration!  And yet it also makes me just a tiny bit sad because before I know it, my baby birds will be going to school, driving cars, and then leaving the nest...and I don't think I'll ever be ready for that!