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Sunday, July 27, 2008

Emma in action!

Emma just looked so cute in this outfit with her little ponytail, that I just had to grab the camera and snap some pictures! As she kept crawling toward me with excitement, I thought it would make an even cuter little video! So here she is on the move...quite the little firecracker on all fours!

My talented hubby...

Check this out...Joel is not only a wonderful husband, father and friend...but also a talented artist! This a drawing he did of a picture of Emma. Is it not the most beautiful thing, ever? Next, he is going to work on a drawing of Jack and Emma together...I can't wait!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Such a proud, happy girl!

Everyday it seems she does something new! Babies are amazing that way. I just have to share this adorable picture. I had just changed Emma's diaper, and Jack needed a clean one, too, so I put Emma in her crib to keep her from crawling away, and went into Jack's room to change his diaper. When I came back to get Emma, she was just standing there in her crib looking so proud and happy that she had pulled herself up there! It was too cute not to share! I really do think this girl will be walking before she's a year old...and that is just two months from tomorrow!!! My favorite thing about watching my children grow up is seeing how proud they are of themselves when they accomplish new things. It makes me so proud as their mom!

Creative Jack...

One other thing worth mentioning...Jack is now at that age where he is getting very innovative. If something is not going as planned, the little wheels in his head start turning and he devises a plan in there of how he is going to make things go his way. For instance...Jack has this obsession with the camera...as the photographer. God forbid he smile nice when I am trying to take his picture, but you put him on the other side of that lens, and he is totally in his element! So I let him use the camera to nurture his creativity, but only when I can watch him. Well, yesterday morning while I was at this work class, Joel tells me a story about Jack. Jack was downstairs eating breakfast, and Joel had gone upstairs for a quick second to grab something. Jack saw the camera up on the kitchen counter where he couldn't reach it...and obviously decided he was going to get his hands on it. Joel said when he came downstairs, Jack had the camera and was just clicking away. Then Joel said he saw Jack's breakfast still sitting on the table, and the chair he had been sitting in had been dragged into the family room for use as a step stool so he could get to that camera! We are running out of safe spots in this house to put things we don't want the kids to get!! As Joel told me the story, I was sooo wishing I had been here to see Jack so proud! Joel reassured me not to worry...there were plenty of pictures Jack had snapped in those moments he was alone with the camera! This picture cracks me up because you can tell that Joel is so confused as to why he is having his picture taken!

Family Day!

Yesterday was a great one...although I did have to get up super early to attend a class at work! It was actually nice starting the day so early, despite the fact I was so tired! Once I got home, Joel and the kids were up and ready to go. The four of us went to the zoo. We left about noon, which made us a bit nervous since it was so close to naptime. And although Jack looked sleepy, his excitement over seeing all the cool animals seemed to keep him from turning into a tired terror. When we pulled into the zoo, Jack was yelling "yay!!! yay!!!" and clapping his hands. It was so funny! The 4 of us hadn't been to the zoo together since Halloween, so Joel was very excited to see how much more the kids enjoyed the sights now that they were a bit older. The first thing we saw was a wolf. Jack was not impressed. He looked so bored with it and he said so simply, "go see different animals." As we continued through the North America part of the zoo, we came across the petting zoo...something Jack had not yet experienced. It was only goats walking around in there...and they look so dirty and gross! But Jack seemed interested in being up close to them, and they did appear so laid back considering all the little people running and screaming around them! So Jack walked up to the first goat he saw and was like "hi goat". He was very gentle and kind towards all of them, which made me proud. As he was standing there talking to this one goat, another one walks right over to me and starts taking a poop! Jack turns around just in time to see this spray of pellets shoot out the goat's butt and barely miss my feet! I tell you, I can not get away from poop! So we move Jack along to some goats that are just resting and pet them a little and then we move on to our next adventure. Jack didn't want to ride in the stroller so he walked some of the time, and Joel carried him the rest of the time, which they both love. So I moved Emma to the front of the stroller, and she looked so cute sitting up there...like such a big girl! She found most of her entertainment that day in chewing on the stroller straps and her hat. I kept trying to keep that hat on her head to keep the sun off her face, but she is too smart and she figured out she could take it off her head and make a chew toy out of it. So 4 hours and tigers, lions, elephants, snakes, penguins, monkeys, gorillas, manatees, and alligators later...it was time to go. We had two hot, tired and grumpy children on our hands!

Once we got home, Emma got her bottle and Jack played inside for a little while. Then we went to pick up our pizza at Papa John's. They don't deliver out here so we hardly ever get it. It was sooooo good, Joel and I agreed it was totally worth having to drive to pick it up! Jack loved it, too! And we let Emma try a little garlic sauce...she seemed indifferent about it!

At that point, everybody needed a bath, so to save time and water, all 4 of us hopped in the shower together! And no, we do not have a big shower! That was whole adventure in itself, but in the end, everyone was clean! We put the kids to bed, and then Joel and I had big plans to stay up and watch a movie. It seems like forever since Joel and I were able to spend some quiet time together. We were so tired by the time the kids made it to their beds that we decided to skip the movie and go to bed, too! Yes, we are getting old. What a great day we had, though! And, of course, the best part being that we all did everything together!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

A nice end to a long day...

Monday was the longest day ever! I got up around 8, got ready for the day, got my cuties up and got them dressed and fed so we could make it to my 10:30 dentist appointment on time. We were all in the car ready to go when I spilled my coffee all over the car! Then as we were backing out of the driveway, I looked about 100 times over my shoulder to make sure there were no kids back there and failed to notice the big green garbage can that Joel had set out already! So I hit the trash can and knocked a weeks worth of garbage into the street! At this point I was thinking, oh, no this is not a good way to start a long day!

So we end up getting to the dentist right on time, and I had asked when I made this appointment if it was okay that my kids tag along since it was only a 10 minute appointment, and I was told that was fine. Well, as it turns out, it was not fine! Jack and Emma were perfect angels there in the waiting room, but once we got back there, I think Jack got really scared by all the unfamiliar equipment. So, like any 2 year-old who is scared, he cried and clung to me. Well, this crazy, neurotic receptionist comes running back there and she's like "do you need help? I really need him to be quiet." Well, that pissed me off. And then she got in Jack's face and said "do you want to come with me and get a toy?" and I was like, yeah right like I'm going to let my child go anywhere with this nut! And Jack obviously sensed she was crazy and didn't want to go with her anyway. So I was trying to comfort Jack, who was basically trying to climb me and cut off my airway in the process, as this dental assistant is trying to force these new retainers in my mouth. She said "go ahead and try these out so we can hurry and get you out of here." This office staff was so put out by my crying little boy that you would've thought I had walked in there with a crack pipe hanging out of my mouth! I mean, come on, he's 2! And I had even asked when I made the appointment if it was okay to bring them and they said yes! Did they think I was going to bring my kids with duct tape over their mouths to keep them quiet?

So anyway, the dentist checks out my new retainers and how they fit for all of 2 seconds and literally did not say a single word to me! Then the assistant person ushers me and my kids up to the front desk where that crazy lady is sitting and she's like "you don't need another appointment, you can just go." Great customer service in that place. Well, being the polite and considerate person that I am, I say "please apologize to your staff and the other patients here for the disturbance. I am so sorry, I think he is just really scared." And she says "oh, thankfully, there aren't very many people here right now." Ok, so if anyone needs a referral for a dentist, I can tell you where not to go! I am mad at myself now that I even wasted my breath to apologize. Because you know what Jack said when I asked him why he was scared there? He said, "hurt Mommy". That little doll was so upset because he thought they were going to hurt me! So then I wanted to go back in there to take back my apology and say "I don't apologize, because I am NOT sorry that I am doing a good job at raising this little boy to be a caring and loving young man!" But of course, I did not do that. I'm over it now...for the most part. And I would so much rather have the love and concern of that little boy than common courtesy from that uptight office staff anyday!

So then I took the kids to the park for some well-deserved play time! Once we got there, I was mixing up a bottle for Emma in the car...and I spilled that darn thing, too! In the same place where I had spilled the coffee! I just laughed at that point. So I fed Emma what little formula was actually left in the bottle as we watched Jack play. He was having so much fun! And I was so glad...I was really hoping that he had forgotten that dentist office drama already, because I certainly didn't want him to feel like he had done anything wrong. While he was playing, I chatted with another mom there, and I always enjoy that.

Once we left the park, I was so happy to be heading home because I was so tired and it was almost nap time! I had to pick up all my garbage that was still in the street and put it back in the can (yes, I had left it there in hopes that the garbage man would come while I was gone and do it for me! I was not so lucky.) So we had some lunch and then all laid down for a nap. And everyone actually slept, thank God! Joel got home from work after we woke up and then it was time for me to get ready and go to work. I enjoyed my quiet time in the car on my way there, despite the smell of spilled coffee and formula mixed with the mulch we hauled a few months ago and a rose scented air freshener. Yes, if you want to experience a real treat for your nose, take a ride in my car! As usual, I was busy at work, but I really liked my patients and enjoyed taking care of them. I picked up charge at 11, which is always a huge headache, but I told myself "just make it til 7:30, you'll survive it, you always do." And I did. I didn't actually leave until 8, but I am much happier leaving a little late and knowing I took great care of my patients and all the things I was responsible for, than clocking out right on time, regardless of how tired I am.

So I finally get in my car to leave the hospital. Oh, how I love that stinky car after being up all night! I just had to stop at the grocery store on my way home. We were almost out of formula and coffee...two things we cannot live without in this house. So I go into Kroger and there is hardly anyone shopping, so I was just walking along, enjoying the fact that I was alone, that I was not at work, and that I was not in a hurry (my mom was here with the kids because Joel had had to be at work at 6:30 am). I ended up buying a lot more than was on my list because I was starving! And then I chose the check-out line with the chatterbox cashier, but I didn't mind, she was cute. She saw I was buying baby food so she was asking me all about my kids, and I love talking about them! :) And the lady bagging my groceries was so cute. She was probably in her late 70's and she took so much pride in her work...sorting all the like items together, tying the bags closed that had the little things in them, and then putting the bags in the cart so perfectly so that there was no wasted space. Of course this strategy of hers took FOREVER! But I enjoyed watching her, because she was so happy to do it her special way. So, I was trying not to fall asleep and I could see the lady behind me was looking a little annoyed. When the sweet bagger lady was done, she said, "thank you for shopping at Kroger. Have a great day!" So cute.

So finally, I get out to my car with my perfect cart. I hated to unload it! And the lady that had been behind me in line came out while I was unloading my groceries to her car that was parked right next to me. I smiled at her and she said "are you a nurse?" I am sure she assumed I was as I was wearing scrubs and looked like a zombie. And I said yes, and she said "thank you for all you do." She was so sincere when she said it, it was so sweet! I said "thank you for saying so! It is my pleasure always." And that is the truth. And then I cried all the way home. Needless to say, by the time my head finally hit the pillow at 11:00am, I slept great...for a whole 5 hours!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Road Trip to Spencerville.

After our fun day at the zoo, we had more fun plans to take a road trip to Spencerville to see my grandparents. My mom came along, too, since she is on a hiatus from work. :) It was a beautiful day for a drive, and Jack and Emma are just the best little travelers! We got to Spencerville around 12:30 and had a yummy lunch of pizza and salad with pudding and fresh raspberries for dessert! Jack was being difficult...wouldn't sit still in his chair, and wouldn't eat his pizza because he didn't recognize the black olives that were on it! Then he insisted on having pepper on his pudding. I think he was just really excited about being in a new environment, and couldn't concentrate on eating. So Jack had raspberries and tomatoes he picked out of the salad for lunch.

After that, Jack got to go outside to the fruit and vegetable garden with Poppy to pick some raspberries himself! I, of course, tagged along with the camera. Jack had so much fun picking raspberries. I had Poppy and Jack pose in front of the apple tree for a picture and Poppy told Jack not to pick the apples because they weren't ripe yet...do you think Jack listened? Of course not!

We could only stand the heat for so long before we went back inside. Nana got out a deck of cards for Jack to play with, which was a great idea, and Jack had a blast naming all the numbers! Aunt Babette came over for a little while, too. Poor Emma has been working on some more teeth for some time now, and she started to get quite upset that her little gums were so sore. Wonderful mother that I am, I had not even brought a teething ring with us! But I brainstormed a little bit and finally decided that we could put an ice cube inside a hanky and let her suck on that for awhile...and it worked like a charm! Thank goodness for that!

After some coffee, it was time to head back home. It was such a nice day. I am so happy that my grandparents are able to enjoy my little ones so much! And Jack just thinks that they are so cool. He is still talking about our visit to Nana and Poppy's!

After our 2 busy days, I thought for sure that these kids would sleep like logs that night. And Jack did. But poor Emma was in a bad place with her new teeth trying to poke through! Once she went to bed, she woke up 3 more times crying and gnawing on her little fist. I got her out of her crib each time and put the Orajel on her gums, which helps for all of 10 minutes. I gave her a cold teether and rocked her til I thought she was asleep. But each time I went to lay her down, she would open her eyes and look at me as if to say "you aren't going to leave me here, are you?" Talk about tugging at your heartstrings. So the third time I laid her down, I sat on the floor right next to her crib and looked at her through the bars. She seemed to like that. She smiled her soft, sweet little smile at me as her eyelids got heavy. She looked so adorable laying there with her wild hair, in her little boy hand-me-down jammies, just sucking away on her little teether. Each time it looked like she was going to fall asleep for good, her heavy eyelids would shoot open and look right at me as if to say "oh good, you're still there". It didn't take her long to slip into dreamland, but after she did, I sat there for a few more minutes and just watched her sleep. I felt so much success as a mom in those moments. It was nice. As much as I had wanted to crawl into my own bed after our day of travel, it was so much sweeter to have rocked that little girl, quiet her pain and watch her fall asleep. I am sure it is obvious, but I love being a mom!

Trip to the Zoo!

Such a busy week we have had here...Monday night I had picked up an on-call shift at work from 3-11. So on Tuesday morning I thought my feet were going to fall off from how busy I had been, but we already had plans to go to the zoo with some friends. We had a total of 4 adults and 7 kids in our zoo group! It was me and my two babies, Julie, Arin and Henry, Rebecca, Tyler and Samantha, and Jamie and Brady. Of course, as moms, we tried to get a picture of all our kids together...yeah, not so much. As you can see above, there was little cooperation from the kids!

Despite the heat, we all had sooooo much fun! Tyler and Arin walked through the zoo holding hands like a little pair of lovebirds. The coolest part of seeing them walk together was that I remember so well when Julie and Rebecca were pregnant with the two of them at the same time! And now they are 3 years old and such good little friends! I tried to get Jack to hold hands with them, as well, but he wanted to hold my hand! Go figure. Jack never wants to hold my hand, but, of course, when I am pushing a double stroller in 85 degree heat, then he wants to hold my hand.

We saw lots of neat animals at the zoo. It was extra fun this time because Jack's vocabulary has grown so much since the last time we went and he had soooo much to say. I love that I can have a conversation with him now, and it really makes sense most of the time.

After we made the long trek back to the car, Jack was rubbing his eyes and yawning and I said "you tired, honey?" and he said " I not tired, honey!" He always calls me whatever I call him. Anyway, he tried to convince me that he was not tired, but by the time I had Emma back in her carseat (a whole 30 seconds later) Jack was passed out cold! Emma had been sleeping in the stroller, and she fell right back asleep once she was in the car, too. I absolutely love, love, love driving the car, glancing in my rearview mirror and seeing two precious sleeping angels in the backseat. I think when you watch your children sleep, you simply forget that they can sometimes be so rotten. You completely forget all about how they whine and scream, color on your table and poop in your bathtub. When they are asleep, they are perfection.

So we came home, had some dinner and told Joel all about our zoo adventures. What was funny was that when Joel asked Jack what animals he saw at the zoo, Jack told him that we saw pigs, cows and a camel. We did not see any of those at the zoo. We did see elephants, lions, tigers, turtles, snakes, penguins and flamingos, to name a few. But as far as I remember, there were no pigs, cows or camels! Oh, sweet imagination!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Funny poop story.

As a nurse and a mother, I probably see more poop than a toilet. Such a glamorous life, I know. Well, tonight was no exception. I was giving Jack and Emma a bath, and Joel was downstairs watching some TV. After I had the kids clean, I called Joel upstairs to help me finish up. He held Emma up in the air so I could wash her butt and legs. As my soapy hand went under her butt, I felt a lovely surprise in my hand. I yelled, "she's pooping!" and Joel was like "what do I do?" and I said "put her on the potty!" So as Jack stands in the tub looking confused, Joel whirls a wet, naked Emma over to the potty...but not before a turd leaves her butt, smacks Joel on the leg, and lands on the floor I had just cleaned! Emma finished her big poop in the potty like a big girl...though she did not like it! I had put a hooded towel around her so she wouldn't get cold. So if you can just imagine that tiny little thing on the toilet! I wish I would've had the camera! Sometimes I think I should just keep it in my pocket all the time to catch unexpected funnies!

So once the pooping had ceased, I finished washing her and then she and Jack got all lotioned up and in their jammies. We asked Jack if he was proud of Emma and he said yes. So maybe seeing his baby sister use the potty will inspire him to do the same!

As gross as it sounds, it was funny...and one less diaper to change!

Monday, July 7, 2008

My Big Girl!

Check her out! Emma has only been crawling for about a month, and just like that, she has learned to pull herself to stand and cruise along the furniture! I think she will be walking soon! She is such a fast, mighty little crawler already...exploring...and eating everything in her path. Joel found her exploring around the front door the other day with a bug in her mouth. It about made me gag, but little Emma was just happy as can be!

I got this little video of her standing against the ottoman, and as you can hear, she also had a lot to say. She loves the sound of her own voice! I have no idea where she got that from. :) When Jack realized that I was making a little video of Emma, he jumped in to start making her laugh. I don't know when he figured out that growling and roaring at her would make her laugh, but that is what he does, and she just loves it!

Jack's 1st Movie!

Jack went to see his first movie in a theater this past Sunday morning! Joel and I took him to see "Kung Fu Panda". It was such a cute movie...Joel and I loved it! We were a bit nervous about how Jack would do in the theater...he did great!!! He was a little scared at first because it was dark and so loud in there. But he sat on Joel's lap the whole time, totally engrossed in the movie! We got him popcorn and candy so he could have the complete theater experience. He sat on Joel's lap and occasionally he would reach over and rub my arm, just to make sure I was there, too, I think. He even held my hand for a few minutes! It was such a fun experience! Emma hung out with Aunt Melissa and Grammy Kim. We'll take her when she is older, too. I think Jack also really enjoyed having Joel and I all to himself. When we walked back to the car from the theater we each held one of hands and let him "fly" through the parking lot. He thinks we are so cool. Of course I had to take the camera and get some pictures since this was a first for Jack. I really wanted to take pictures of his little face while he was watching the movie, but I don't think the other movie-goers would have appreciated my camera flash in there!

Not only did we have a great time at the movie, but we had a great weekend all together. On Saturday Grammy Linda, Aunt Janey, Gabe and Katie came over and we had such a nice visit! Katie is the best cuddler, and Gabe is so well-spoken and smart! It was so fun to see them all together in one place. I really wanted to get a picture of all 4 kids together, but that was merely a wishful thought that did not happen! Jack and Gabe colored a picture together while Katie and Emma decided to reorganize the toilet paper rolls in the bathroom! They're always up to something!

Later on that night, Jack and I ran to CVS and he was such a good little boy. He got to pick out some stickers for being so good. He picked stickers of M&M characters playing musical instruments. Very cool on their own, but even cooler plastered on his shirt. He wore them to the movie on Sunday.

I had to work last night, but it was not a bad night at all. My favorite thing about work is coming home to see my little sweeties in the morning! My mom was here this morning to watch them because Joel had to work early, and Jack had us rolling with laughter. I was hanging out with them for a little bit before I went to bed and Jack was reading me a book. Well, there was a picture of a cow in the book and you could see it's pink udder, and Jack pointed to it and said very simply "cow take a big poot." He thought the udder was a big turd!! It was sooooo funny! I corrected him and told him that is actually where a cow makes milk and that poop comes out your butt. So now he will point at my butt and say "you poot out your butt?" I hope he doesn't ask any strangers that out in public!

Friday, July 4, 2008

My favorite hug yet.

Yesterday I got an idea for Jack and I to do something special since Joel had to work late. Joel had to be downtown to cover red, white trash, and boom, so he wouldn't be home until around 2 am. So I told Jack early in the day that after we put Emma to bed, he and I could watch the fireworks on TV in the big bed (our bed). And he talked about it all day! I'm not sure if he really even knew what fireworks were then. I think he was just excited that we had plans together. So all day I got him to behave by saying "only good boys get to watch fireworks in the big bed" and he was a perfect angel. So we put Emma to bed around 9:30 and then Jack got ready for bed. We crawled into the big bed to watch fireworks at 10. Jack was more interested in reading his little books, though. I watched the fireworks and I kept saying "oooooo, look at that one!" He was not impressed. So I was a little bummed that I had got him so excited all day and then he seemed ho-hum. After the fireworks, we watched an Elmo video in my bed, and I figured he would fall asleep. No. He kept looking over at me and smiling. Such an onry, yet adorable little smile. I told him he could sleep there with me since Daddy wasn't home yet. But Jack said, "no, I go to Jack's bed." So I took him to his room once Elmo was over.

Now, usually at bedtime I have to ask for a hug and a kiss, and when I say "I love you", Jack says, "ok". It is funny, but I so badly always want to hear him say those words back! Well, last night, as I stood by Jack's bed holding him for the last time that day, he put his little arms aroung my neck and squeezed me so tight! I never wanted him to let go! And when I said "I love you", he smiled real big and said "I love yooooooooou." My heart about exploded. I remember when I was pregnant with Jack and I bought the book "Chicken Soup for the Expectant Mother's Soul". I love all those books. But anyway, I would read from that book just about every night and just cry...at the thought of being a mother...at the thought of having a child that I would love more than anything in this world. There was one story called "The Hug", and it was about a mom who had a very trying day with her daughter. One of those days where nothing makes them happy, they throw a fit about everything, and you feel like the worst mom ever because you get so impatient with them. So this mom in the story was so exhausted that she went to put her little girl to bed early and when she stood her on the changing table to get her in her jammies, the little girl initiated her first hug ever! And the mom felt so lucky that despite her hard day, she had earned that little girl's first hug! So I read that story over and over and I just cried and cried every time. And I remember thinking then that I couldn't wait to know what that was like...to have your little child hold you in their arms. And now I do. Of course, I've probably hugged Jack thousands of times...but it was different last night. It was like Jack was saying "thanks for making a special memory for just me and you tonight, mommy." He is such a sweet little guy.

So that was my favorite hug yet, and I know there will be lots more to come! It's moments like that that I try to remember on those challenging days of parenthood, and remind myself how lucky I am. This picture is Jack and I on the day we brought him home from the hospital. It is one of my favorite pictures of all time...in fact, I have it framed right here by the computer so I can look at it at least once a day! As he grows up and I have more and more pictures of him, I think I will always keep this one on display where I can see it every day. Ok, now that I am going on and on about my little man, I have to go look at him sleeping...so cute.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Sticker-mania...the movie.

Here is a little peek at a typical conversation with Jack. He is still obsessed with those alphabet stickers! He wears them everyday! I really do think that they are helping him learn letters, though, so if he wants to wear stickers in his hair or up his nose, so be it...I just hope I don't find any in his poop. That will put an end to the sticker fun.


I got these alphabet stickers free in the mail from some new magazine that wants me to buy a subscription. I gave them to Jack because he looooooves stickers! Everytime I go the store, I buy him some cool stickers and he puts them all over his toys and playroom. Well, these alphabet stickers seemed more appropriate to wear, I guess. I was at work and Joel called me to say that he went upstairs to put Emma to bed and when he came back down he found Jack covered in stickers! I said, please tell me you got the camera! And, good little hubby that he is, had grabbed the camera and got some cute pics! I was so glad...I hate when I miss cute things! This picture is my favorite...Jack's like "What? You've never seen a 2 year-old wear stickers before?"