Saturday, April 28, 2012

Book Review: Motherhood Matters by Connie E. Sokol

You know how at the beginning of the movie, The Incredibles, Mr. Incredible says, "Sometimes I just wish the world would stay saved! I mean, didn't I just clean up this mess?!" I can sympathize Mr. Incredible! I think being a mom is just like that! Didn't I just wipe that nose? Can it really be time to nurse the baby again? Sunday again with no clean church clothes? OUCH! I swear I just picked up those legos so that I wouldn't step on them (is there anything other than childbirth more painful than stepping on a lego?)? Motherhood Matters is for the mom who's feeling like they just cleaned up this mess! It is for me as I sit here trying to type up this review with my 6 year-old reading to me, my 6 week-old alternating between smiling at me, falling asleep, and filling her diaper when she's supposed to be eating, and my 5 year-old entertaining my 19 month-old, who is still in his crib, until I can go get him out. This book is for me. Honestly, it's for any woman. And fortunately, it's small enough that it's easy to hold while juggling a small child, short enough to read that anyone make it through it, and inspirational enough to encourage without making you feel like you're not measuring up. (You know how sometimes things that are supposed to make you feel better about yourself really just remind you of all you should be doing that you're not? Thankfully, this book does not do that!) The chapters are super short; most are about two pages long. Some are actually over too quickly, which can't be said about most of the books I read. But it makes it perfect to pick up, put down, pick up, and put down however many times you need to, which I've really enjoyed doing as I've fed my baby. It's aimed at encouraging women of all ages, at reminding us why we continue cleaning up this mess, and would be a perfect Mother's Day gift to any mother or mother-to-be in your life!

You can learn more about the author here and purchase your copy here.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Creative kids

If you were to take a walk around my untidy house, you would find that people leave pictures and notes around like Hansel and Gretel left breadcrumbs. Okay well people leave breadcrumbs (and cracker crumbs, and pretzel crumbs, and ...) around our house too, but not for any useful purpose. Here are a couple of notes and pictures that I found today:
Not a book report. Just done for fun. I think after watching a Planet Earth DVD on Sunday afternoon. Love the spelling. And she's quite thorough.
This is clearly Rapunzel after she contracted elephantitis on this lovely tropical island.
And that is must beher twin brother who contracted a similar disease affecting his hands. Making them look like very large feet.
I have a couple of questions here. Who is Sarah? And where is she being held prisoner? I haven't seen her I swear. Oh and please tell me I'm not the evil Queen ... again.
And this one takes the cake. Though I should probably explain she meant to write, "I Love Grace." Miss a letter here or there and it really messes with your meaning!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Showing off the T-Ball Skills

Ready Position
What to do with your mitt:
 Or maybe it was like this:
 No ... pretty sure it's to use as a shoulder pad.
 Oh wait I got it. It goes out in front of you like this, more or less (pretty sure J's having social hour at 2nd base):
 What Happens When A Ball Is Hit Anywhere On The Field
Everybody, no matter where you are on the field in relation to the ball, run for it and throw yourself on the ground if you don't get to it (where even was the ball in this one?)!
 Run! Run!
 More running (M picked up on the fact that the ball seemed to always get hit to the same place, so despite the fact that she was playing shortstop, she kept inching closer and closer in and farther and farther towards 1st base)!
 More falling (Love the kid at 1st in the background. Doesn't it look like he's trying to keep the runner from leaving, despite him being like twice his size?)!
Dog pile!
 M finally got the ball!! Throw to first, throw to first! Or sure, run it until you're close enough to have a chance at making an accurate throw (less than 5 feet away) ... and then chuck it over his head. And yes, that is Papa and our little man in the background, far enough away that his monumental tantrum could not be heard by anyone other than dogs. Dude's tantrum that is. Not Papa's. 
 And despite whatever crazy shenanigans are going on (like what's with this guy? Is he trying to do a face plant onto the pavement?), always look cute!

More random cuteness

Since the birth of baby G, Dude has decided he's one of the big kids. For example, he totally refuses to sit in a highchair. The very idea is highly offensive. So we got a little booster seat so he can join the gang at the "big kids' table." And then he needs his own bowl of cereal, with milk. No more sprinkling some dry Cheerios across his tray. No siree. And make sure that comes with a spoon please (If he's really hungry, he'll let us feed him. If not, we're back to questioning the sanity of anyone putting carpet in the dining area).
I thought this was so cute. M was just catching up with Aunt Ninnie on Skype, and baby G got in on the action. Love the cute smile looking down at her sis. Please ignore the mess (we do)! 
Getting bigger but still so sleepy!
And remember the cute little curled-up peanut shot from two short weeks ago? Now we like to stretch. Still gotta put some meat on those ankles, but no doubt about it, we are getting bigger!

Monday, April 16, 2012

BIG news

Many of you know that Cooper's job here in The Dalles has been a wonderful experience, but was only for 12 months - ending in July. So we've been looking and applying for jobs for awhile and, drumroll please ... He is going to be the executive director of the Chamber of Commerce in Dickinson, North Dakota!! So that is definitely a long car ride from home (18 hours), and can't say I ever expected to live in North Dakota (never known someone who did), but it's a really great job and we're excited! We'll definitely be bringing our snow clothes, because I'm pretty sure we're going to need them year-round :) We're going to miss The Dalles - we've got comfortable here. And we're definitely definitely going to miss being so close to family. And everybody we know. But it's a great opportunity in a nice community with wonderful schools, and we'll let you know what there is to do there later :) Coop starts May 14th, so we have a little bit of packing to do. Okay, a lot of packing to do. He's going to head out there to get started, and we'll go join him as soon as we have housing (because of the oil boom, it's actually really hard to find - who knew?!). Until then, we'll be at my parents' house, spending as much time with grandparents as we can!

Time with our little man

Since we only had the two youngest on Saturday, we decided to go for an incredible scenic drive to take pictures of the breathtaking Columbia Gorge. While I was feeding little G for the umpteenth time, Daddy and little dude explored this waterfall. He wasn't too sure about it. Here's what he had to say (or would've said if he ever said more than truck or cracker).
Hey dad, would mom be okay with you having me stand on this table?
Holy cannoli! Did you see that noisy thing over there? WHAT is that about?
I'm not too sure about it. Let's get out of here.
This is a little better but I'm still going to keep an eye on it. You can never be too sure.
Oh blast, I got my hands dirty climbing up here. I hate that. 
I can still see that crazy white thing! It's over there! Come on slowpoke dad! Let's get out of here before it gets us.
Phew! Safe. Now I give permission for you to take a cute picture of me. Cheese.
And I don't have a clue what he was thinking/saying in this goofy photo. But it cracks me up.
Other words he doesn't say but definitely gets the gist of:
No (we're going to enjoy that as long as we can)
Mine (same as above)
I want or I don't want (though he definitely lets us know)
I'm stinky (he smacks his crotch and gives a sad face to let us know when he needs to be changed. Although yesterday at church when he wanted out of there, he lied! He made it up so Coop would take him out to change him but there was nothing there!)
Life's not fair
Don't look at me I'm a cranky toddler!
Please put me out of my misery and get me to bed!
Words he does say:
mama, daddy, Gracie, tractor, truck, dragon, cracker, uh oh (more like uh oooooooh), shoes, cheese, again, duck, applesauce, car, a ton of animal sounds and other sound effects, and Cooper swears he said "excuse you" yesterday. Clearly he could say more if he wanted to, but he has yet to see the point. Either that or he's stubborn. Or lazy. Or a third child. Or just being a boy.

Saturday, April 14, 2012


Thursday, April 12, 2012

For cuteness

Our cute little peanut. She's a doll. Love that she still curls up into such a little ball.
Already flexing! Even peanuts can be tough, and this one will have to be if she's going to want to play with big brother!
Although sometimes he is calm and sits still. For example, he LOVES doing this old puzzle. Course he MUCH prefers it if I'm sitting right there at full attention telling him the names of all the pieces, without getting distracted by say, a baby sister, but you know. He's awfully cute when all's going well! His new trick this week is jumping. You know, actually getting both feet off the ground instead of just that exaggerated toe lift thingy that kids think is a jump before they can actually manage it. He gets down in this low squat, holds it while he thinks about it, does the tiniest little jump and then looks up to make sure I saw it. Hilarious.
Getting a closer look. And giving a sweet little kiss. Good thing G has no personal space issues.
And funny, when she got tired of tummy time I picked her up to feed her. I turned around and dude was like thus, exactly where she'd been when I'd been making sich a fuss about how cute she was and taking her picture and all. Funny boy. I think I satisfied his vanity by taking his picture too.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

4 weeks!

 Already a month! That happens altogether too quickly - all in a rosy sleep-deprived haze. She's outgrown some of the newborn outfits (or she would be too big for them if she ever stretched out fully, which is pretty rare for our little froggy), and with each passing day I feel like my excuses for not getting around to cleaning the house or you know, getting dressed before noon are getting weaker. But we're still resting any chance we get. When she is awake though, we get a lot of looks like these. She looks at us with these huge surprise eyes like she's wondering what on earth we're doing here. You'd think she'd be starting to get used to us by now.

 But most of the time, our sleepy girl looks like this:
 The other kiddos are enjoying an unhealthy dose of tv while I feed baby G. But they look darn cute watching together. When did he get SO big??? He's definitely getting closer to being 2 as he's started asserting independence in various ways like refusing to sit at the high chair/insisting on being at the table with the big kids, or demanding he have his own fork to use on anything he eats. Even if it's apple slices.  Or applesauce for that matter. He's really into forks.
 And this isn't our best Easter photo (I'll post that later when I get to an Easter post), but it is the one that cracks me up the most. That is so typical of our little man. It's so him. And again, baby G just wondering what on earth is going on. And why she didn't get the memo that she was supposed to wear blue or green.