Saturday, November 15, 2008

a day to remember

I'm only a week late in posting pictures from our birthday bash last weekend...With Ella turning 5 and Chloe turning 1 within 2 days of each other, we decided to combine their parties while neither one of them care.

It was your typical late fall/early winter day, with it being partly cloudy and a bit chilly. But the weather was perfect for our "fall-themed" festivities, all planned for the great outdoors.

The hayride was everyone's favorite part of the afternoon. We live in the city, but we're blessed with a big backyard that backs up to a private city easement. We took advantage of this by pulling the kids in a hay-filled trailer behind my husband's John Deere lawn mower all around the back easement.

The kids all took turns piling in the tractor for their rides.

This birthday girl loved the hayride more than anything...
...while this little birthday girl despised it more than anything.
But fast forward 20 minutes and she was as happy as a clam chowing down on her pumpkin cupcake.*
It was a great afternoon, but a week later, I think I'm still recovering from it. Let's see...Only about 15 more years of throwing these parties!

* My wonderful and very talented friend, Amy, made and decorated these cupcakes for the party. There is no way I'm capable of doing something so creative! Thanks, Amy!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

there's a reason... girls and I don't do bangs. And here it is:

This was Britten at 1 1/2 years old. I remember the precise moment I got the itch to cut her bangs. At the time I thought she looked positively adorable, but now I understand why my husband got so upset when he walked through the door from work that day.

It looked much cuter styled with piggies...

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

extreme measures

Ella's response to Chloe's bout of constipation today:

"Mommy, should I press the fire alarm on the security system so the fireman can help Chloe?"

Monday, November 10, 2008

and this is precisely why...

...I rarely answer my phone during the day.

Unless my kids are napping or completely preoccupied, I refuse to answer my phone...especially if it's an unknown number. I. I've learned that it only creates a situation where a disaster is imminent. What might have been a controlled environment instantly turns to chaos.

Take the above disaster, for instance. At 11:00am my phone rings. It's an unknown number. Chloe's napping and the older two are snuggled together on the brown chair eating a snack and watching a favorite cartoon. I think I'm in the clear for answering the phone, as long as I make it quick, so I do the unthinkable: I answer my phone while my girls are in the next room.

Within seconds from answering, I realized I should've let it go to voicemail. A mother from my MOPS group was calling and really needed to talk and needed my full on attention. I decided to take my call into the other room, to have a little more privacy.

40 minutes later...I'm finally off the phone. Mentally fried and completely overwhelmed by the fact that I have 20 minutes to make lunch, get Ella dressed and ready for school, do her hair pretty for school pictures, and get my own self ready for a lunch meeting I had that day, I walked into the living room to find this...

Our entire game cupboard was emptied and every single game was strewn about my living room floor, millions of different pieces had been mixed together. All in one big pile.

I seriously didn't know what to do. What I wanted to do was walk back to my bedroom, crawl under the covers, curl myself into the fetal position and fall into a deep, dreamless sleep. Instead, I just stood there. Without words, without emotion. I was completely at a void of what to do. I was blank.

And then I did something you're never supposed to do in front of your children when they do something naughty --- I started laughing. Laughing uncontrollably. My girls, who had been sheepishly standing there amongst the mess, eyes darting all over the room, instantly looked at me as though some strange alien creature had inhabited my body. Relief flooded their little faces as they, too, started to laugh. Once I composed myself I made it very clear that "even though Mommy was laughing, this situation is NOT funny. There were going to be major consequences for not behaving while Mommy was on the phone."

My husband and I spent nearly 2 hours organizing the pieces and putting the games back together. We then had the girls help us pack all of the games into 3 large garbage bags. We told them we were putting their games into a 7-day time-out in the garage, and if this...

...ever happened again, everything would be donated to children who cared about their toys, listened to their parents, and of course, let their Mommy's talk on the phone.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

i'm all grown up now

Apparently turning 5 years old means Ella thinks she's old enough to take care of herself.

Being the early riser she is, there are mornings she wakes up long before anyone else. On these particular mornings, she'll come into our room to let us know she's awake, but then she'll proceed to go into the living room and plop herself down in our big brown chair. She'll grab the remote, turn the TV to Channel 5-3, and from there, sit and watch a couple of her favorite Disney cartoons until the rest of us roll out of bed.

There are times she'll wake me up because she's hungry. I'll quickly make her some toast, pour her some cereal or scramble her an egg, but I'll almost always head back to bed for a few more minutes of zzz's.

Today Ella decided she didn't need my help anymore. Since turning 5 a couple of days ago, Ella is convinced she is independent enough to survive on her own sheer will. Most days, that's probably true.

My husband was second to rise this morning. As most mornings, he goes into the living room to find Ella in her chair eating cereal. But unlike most mornings, she was devouring her cereal from a large tupperware container. Odd, he thought.

He walks into the kitchen to find a pot of coffee brewing. Grounds are strewn about and water is spilled on the countertops. He turns around to see Ella standing behind him, a big smile on her face.

"I made coffee, Daddy. All by myself! And I got my own cereal, too! I didn't even ask Mommy!"

Andy looks around the kitchen...The cereal had been put back in the pantry with no crumbs to be found on the counter. The milk was put back in its' place in the fridge, the cap tightly screwed back on. And believe it or not, the coffee tasted great.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

it's a miracle!

UPDATE: Apparently the sleeping through the whole night thing was a fluke. Last night she was up to her old antics of getting me up 2 times. A lot of nights it's still 3 times, so maybe I should be thankful for this?

ORIGINAL POST: Guess who slept through the night last night?!?!

It only took a year, give or take 2 days, for crying out loud! But believe you me, I am NOT holding my breath that this will be the new trend. I'm thinking it's a fluke, but only time will tell.

five years

Ella-bella, you are 5 years old today! Look at you, growing up so quickly and turning into such a beautiful little girl! Just today I was told by another mom at preschool that her son had a MAJOR crush on you. As she was tucking him into bed the other night he said, "I like Ella. I don't hafta love her, I don't hafta kiss her. I just like her. " You'd never in a million years allow him to kiss you, anyway. You despise getting kisses, particularly yucky, wet kisses!! You only let me and Daddy kiss you, but not before we've begged you and wiped our lips off first! You are very particular about certain things. In fact, you're very particular about a lot of things, but I think that goes along with being the oldest sibling.

I love that picture of you, Ella. You and Daddy. Two peas in the pod. You have been a Daddy's girl from day one, always preferring him to anyone else. I think it's because you understand each other so well. You take after your Daddy in almost every single way. You're very tall and will outgrow me before your 10. You're smart, coordinated, creative, senstive, intensely stubborn, incredibly musical, process things internally, you have a goofy sense of humor and a smile that could charm a rock. The only quality you've inherited from your mother is that you LOVE having your feet tickled.

I can't believe it's been 5 years already. Before I know it you'll be dating boys (gulp!), driving a car, graduating from high school...I'm not sure I should think about this right now. I already have tears in my eyes.

I love you, sweetie, and I hope you have a fantastic birthday!

Monday, November 3, 2008

birthday girls

Two/thirds of our girls are turning a year older this week.

Our baby is turning ONE in four days. I'm amazed by how quickly this past year has gone. It's almost a blur...Or, maybe that's just sleep deprivation. I can never tell anymore. I can vividly remember what it felt like being pregnant with her, so much so, that at times I can almost feel her kicking. But in other ways it feels like it's been much longer than a year. We can't remember life without this little girl or what it was like having only two children. Chloe, you complete me us.
Oh, Ella. Our little dare devil diva. Remember this? Ella turns 5 on November 5th - her golden birthday. Ella is an amazing little girl with talent and intuition that blows my mind. But anyone who knows our Ella knows that with her sweet and very sensitive nature comes an intensity and strong will that continually challenges us in our parenting. But I'm so thankful for her and the dynamics she brings to our home and our family.

I can only thank God for all he has given us over the past 5 years. It's been an amazing journey, and I'm sure this week of birthday parties and craziness will be no exception!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

a revelation

Britten: "Mommy, Chloe always calls you "Ma-ma," doesn't she?"

Me: "Yes, honey. She does."

Britten: "Who am I, Mommy?"

Me: "Well, your Britty, aren't you?"

Britten: "No, I'm the competition."

I don't even think Britten understands the meaning of that word. She only hears it in the context of when her and Ella are trying to beat each other at something and we're having to explain to them that not everything in life has to be a COMPETITION!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

some halloween memories

Halloween 2008

Ella - Princess
Britten - Princess
Chloe - Frog

Let's check out last year...

Halloween 2007

Ella & Britten - Oh, the same princesses as last year!
Chloe - Mommy's Tummy (a week from entering the world!)

Halloween 2006

Ella - You're kidding...she's the same princess! Poor girl.
Britten - Wow. That frog costume looks a little familiar...Oh yes, it's the same costume Chloe wore this year!
Chloe - a twinkle in the good Lord's eye

In all reality, I love the fact that we've been able to reuse our costumes every year! Our girls always WANT to be princesses, so we've really lucked out that their costumes continue to fit them...Hmmm...I wonder what they'll be next year? I guess you'll have to stay tuned!