Sunday, January 26, 2014

messes, exhibit C

During Ellie's nap a few days ago, Nicholas got creative with the bowtie pasta he found in the pantry. (This was following mess, exhibit A.)

He lined them all up, along with a plastic spoon he split down the middle and one of Ellie's hair bows.  
Then he scattered elbow noodles across the tile opposite the bowtie pasta ranks.

Two teams, Mama.  You be on my team and we'll get those bad guys.

Did you know that when you take a bowtie noodle and press the edge of it against a hard surface, the spikes fly off in every direction?  Kind of like shooting?  

I didn't either.  
That's why I adore having a son.  Boys are so much fun.  

I love both of my children equally, but the way I love my girl does feel different from the way I love my boy.  
Equal amounts of love, but love that is unique and personal.  

And this kid? I fell hard for him as soon as I met him, and I love him more and more each day 
or rather, most days.  Some days end with me peeking in on my sleeping boy and being relieved to know that I'll love him better tomorrow.  
The days we have noodle battles on a quiet afternoon are the kind of days 
my love for him grows the most.

Even if it means making one of our glorious messes.
Maybe because of the glorious mess.

And in case you need a visual on how to shoot with noodles, here's a quick video,
complete with sound effects, silly faces, and made up words ("grat" and "zchoom.")

Thursday, January 23, 2014

messes, exhibit B

I wish I could give you an explanation for this, but I cannot.
All I can tell you is that my children insist we do not put this away--ever.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

messes, exhibit A

Because this is my life.  I'm starting a series to show you the glorious messes that are made around this house on a daily, hourly, minutely basis. 
When it comes to making messes, my children move at warp speed.  
When it comes to getting them to go potty, find their shoes, put on their socks, and get out the door when we need to leave (because we're going to be late!) 
I might as well be talking to sloths.  I think they actually grow mold while they stare at me as I ask them again to please put on your shoes!

So, since messes is something we excel at, why not display it proudly?

Messes, Exhibit A

A few days ago I took a shower.  (I do this most days.)
When I got out, Ellie came in to "help" me "organize" my drawers. (She does this most days.)
And I noticed that she smelled like sesame oil.  Really really smelled.  (This has never happened before.)

When we came downstairs, I found this:

 The contents of my two lower pantry shelves.
A few hours later, I found the sesame oil bottle.
Minus it's lid.*

I think they noticed how excited I was about this creative pantry mess, 
because just yesterday, they did it again.
Also while I was showering.
Luckily, their competitive nature has been helpful in cleaning up these pantry designs.  We make it a race to see who can pick up the most cans.
We don't count, exactly, and Nicholas insists he always wins.
Sometimes Ellie's okay with that. "Yeah, Nickus wins!"
and sometimes, she's not.

But it doesn't take long for her to forget, because they've moved on to making the next glorious mess.

*We still haven't found the lid.

Monday, January 20, 2014

fresh walls

Not only are my ceilings almost completely painted, but now my walls are too.  
Josh and Alicia have been helping.  
Because it has taken me over seven months to paint the ceiling,  (wow. That sounds awful.  What do I do with my life??) and the thought of doing the walls on my own was just too daunting.

We've finished the living room dining room, kitchen, and most of the hall and bathroom.  It looks fantastic. So fresh and bright and open.  
We had a beautifully sun-soaked main floor anyway, but the new paint colors and the white on the ceiling have really brought in that natural light even more.  
I love it.

We're going from a main floor that looks like this:

 To this:

And here's the true contrast between painted and original:
We've had the carpet people come out and give us the estimate; now we're just trying to decide between our two favorite carpets.  I think I might actually sleep on the floor once that carpet is here.  

And I'm not a girl who does well sleeping on the floor. 

Interesting family fact you probably don't know:  Kent actually will ask me every so often if he can sleep on the floor. I like having him in bed next to me.  He sleeps best sprawled out on the ground.  

Thursday, January 9, 2014


Ten happy things from the beginning of January 2014:

  1. Our ceilings are just about painted (about 90% done now!)
  2. The Christmas fish are still alive, thanks to a new fish tank for them. Today their names are Loose and Clamfish Gold.  
  3. New fish tanks are shipped with mountains of packing peanuts. Indoor snow angels did happen.
  4. As I type, we're receiving a fresh blanket of new (real) snow; perfect packing/snowman making snow. Tomorrow? Snow-play day.
  5. Kent built me a new shelf unit for my food-storage room on Saturday.  No more cans stacked dumped on the floor!
  6. Josh and Alicia have agreed to let us hire them to help me paint the walls.  My new carpet is so close I can almost smell it already.
  7. Our brand-new air popper and our new griddler/panini press have seen LOTS of use so far. 
  8. Ellie is thinking she doesn't need to nap every day anymore, so now I have a chance to run errands and do my shopping with only one monkey in tow while Nicholas is at preschool.  Shopping with a chatty (this girl can talk your ear off!) two-year-old is no simple task, but it's WAY easier than shopping with two kids who tend to disagree about who is "helping" me the best.
  9. Looking forward to starting the first of the Year of Dates gift I gave Kent (a package of preplanned monthly dates for the whole year.) January is the anniversary of our first date. We're going to attempt to reenact it. (minus all that first-date awkwardness)
  10. I've read four books since Christmas.  The kindle Kent gave me was a complete surprise and by far my favorite gift.  Now I just need to figure out how to read while organizing/updating/taking advantage of the beginning-of-the-year-motivation burst.
Happy January!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

new year

Happy New Years!  I know you're all jealous of my green cardstock party "badge" Nicholas made.  Our celebration began with making badges for everyone at the party to wear.  They were a big hit. (The others were wearing badges when we started, I promise.)

Because Ellie was sick, we stayed at my parents' house longer than we'd expected and were there for New Years.  I'm so glad! Ellie was better and we had a fun extra couple of days with them.

Kent had to come back to work for a couple of days (no more unlimited paid time off....I'm not super excited about that part of his recent job switch...) so he drove up after work on New Year's Eve to celebrate with us.

As soon as he arrived, it was time for fireworks!

I honestly thought it was going to go better this time. Nicholas was hesitantly excited about them. He wanted to watch, as long as he could watch from inside with Grandma.  

And I think it would have gone well 
if it weren't for the little mishap we had with the very first firework.
Three of the six cannons fired correctly, shooting up in the sky and exploding, like they're supposed to.
Cannon number four exploded a hole in the side of the box, and shot straight towards the house, and exploded in spectacular green sparks, 
right next to the window Nicholas was watching from.

He spent the rest of the show in the basement, in our bed, huddled under the covers with his ears plugged.

Ellie, however, loved the fireworks. We bundled her up and took her outside, she ooh-ed and ahh-ed and told us how pretty they were.

After the fireworks we played a few minute-to-win it games.
The move-the-cookie-from-your-forehead-to-your-mouth-game:
 My son may have used his fingers to assist.

We played a game where you race a bouncy ball across the floor by fanning it with a book.  
And a game where you take a paper lunch sack and try to pick it up off the floor with your mouth--not letting your knees or hands touch the floor.  As the game continues, you cut inches off of the sack little by little and try again, to see who can pick up the bag when it is the shortest.
Jonah dominated.  He can literally pick up a flat piece of paper (the very bottom of the lunch sack) off the floor with his tongue.  

Then Nicholas invented a few games for us.  
We ran around the rug in circles while he watched.  I won.
Then we stood in a circle and he judged which of us could puff up our cheeks with air the best.  Grandpa won. 

We played apples to apples, scribblish, and ate a smorgasbord of appetizers, including these tropical and heavenly lime-coconut white chip cookies:

photo from

We did our countdown real-time with New York.  The kids went to bed at 10.
My parents and siblings went down to watch a movie, and Kent and I cuddled on the couch while he watched Walking Dead on his laptop (I will never watch that show--I can't even handle Jurassic Park), and I read Divergent.
At midnight, we kissed and went to bed.

Happy New Year, everyone!

the Christmas of outfit changes

 At about 4:30 am Christmas morning, Ellie woke up.
And threw up.

I hoped and hoped it was just a one-time event; maybe she hadn't eaten enough the day before and was just hungry? (Nicholas does this sometimes....throws up in the morning if he didn't eat dinner.)
But then, 5:00 am and another puke. And then again at 5:30. And at 6:30. 
At 7 she was sleeping soundly when the other kids all got up to go do Christmas morning.

We let her sleep while she could, and brought her up an hour later when she woke up.
She was sick all Christmas day. She'd perk up a for a bit in between being sick, and she was sort of able to enjoy the day.
But looking through my pictures of the day reminded me how many times we had to give this girl a bath, change her clothes, and do laundry that day.

Outfit #1: right after she woke up. She had been sleeping in this because I couldn't find her extra pajamas in the suitcase in the dark.

 An hour or so later, here's outfit #2:  
While she discovers her new tent! (From her Grammer and Papa, but we set it out with the stuff that Santa brought to balance out the fact that Nicholas got real live fish and all she was getting from Santa were some books and a stuffed rabbit.)

And outfit #3, while we opened our wrapped gifts:

 This little ceramic baby Jesus from my mom's nativity was the only thing that could calm her down when she was crying about her tummy hurting.

And here's the aftermath of the present opening when you have 11 people in the same living room:
 Notice Nicholas trying to thread his way through the box towers that are taller than he is.

And outfit #4, that afternoon while we decorated gingerbread men:
The poor girl was sick for four days.  We had planned to go home that weekend, but we didn't feel like braving a two-hour car ride with a two-year-old who actually tries to miss the bowl when she's throwing up. (Yeah, it's awesome.)  

So, we got to stay until New Years!