Friday, September 29, 2006


Exersauser: Take I

Exersauser: Take II

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Celebration Time

Here are some pictures of Drue's birthday celebrations. Weeks ago I started asking her what kind of birthday party she wanted. Each time I asked, she would enthusiastically say, "MELMO POTTY!!" which translated to.....ELMO PARTY!! So, that's exactly what she got.

I couldn't wait to get home from work last night so I could wish her a Happy Birthday since she was still sawing logs when I left that morning. I came up the stairs and excitedly said, "Happy Birthday Drue!!". And she just as excitedly replied, "Happy Birthday Mommy!!".

We went to Chuck-E-Cheese for supper. It is the perfect combination of her two favorite pasttimes....eating....and playing. Reese sat down for 2 seconds to eat some sausage of her pizza and was off again. Drue kept hollering, "Reesie....come eat!". When she realized her sister probably wasn't coming back to the table, she scooted over, grabbed the plate, and said, "I eat Reesie's". That's our girl......

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Thursday, September 28, 2006

Time Flies...

2 years ago today we were blessed with our second precious little baby girl. Two days overdue, I was scheduled to be induced at 7am on Sept. 28th. (I was growing more and more uncomfortable with each passing day. I dropped Reese off at daycare on the 27th and the director smiled at my large frame and inquired "When are you due?". "YESTERDAY!!" I growled back through clenched teeth.) Drue decided to trick us all, and instead, arrive at 6:06am that morning all on her own! When most mothers finally get to see the face of the sweet bundles of joy they have been carrying around for 9 months, they usually have an endearing exclamation such as, "What a sweetie" or "Hi (insert loving nickname)". My first words upon seeing Drue were......"SHE'S BIG!!" which was followed by gasps from the other hospital personnel in my room and my doctor agreeing, saying "Yeah, she is!".

Weighing in at 9 lbs 5 1/2 oz, she was a whopping 3 pounds larger than Reese was at birth. Nobody could figure out where I had been hiding her during my entire pregnancy. It's always fun calling family and friends to tell them the joyous news of the arrival of the long awaited little one. But it was even more fun making everyone guess her weight. We got guesses from 7-8 pounds and everyone was so shocked when we'd blurt out her actual weight.

I thought I was being so smart by buying a preemie outfit to bring her home in. Reese was way too tiny to come in the 0-3 month outfit we brought to the hospital so I had to send David home to get a smaller one. This time, I bought one that only went up to 8 pounds. Once again, David was sent home to get a different outfit, only this time, a bigger outfit.

We were so much more relaxed the second time around during the newborn/baby stage. It has been so neat to watch Drue's little personality evolve and see the differences and similarities to that of her big sister. Drue (affectionately nicknamed "Druebie") is a spunky little spitfire who keeps us on our toes. David jokes that he didn't really get to interact, or get to know her, for the entire first year of her life since I nursed her and I was the only one who could settle her down if she got fussy. It was so nice to have a "mommy's girl" since Reese was, and still is, such a daddy's girl. However, as soon as Drue became mobile and was able to rough house and play, she was won over to the dark side.....the Daddy side. (I fear for poor Tate, since I now have 2 daddy's girls, I am determined to make him a "momma's boy".)

Happy Birthday Drue! We love you. You are such a joy and light in our lives. We will do our best to raise this special young lady God has entrusted to our care.

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Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Gender Roles

I was starting my second load of laundry this morning when Reese asked, "Mommy, what are you doing?".

Me: "Laundry."

Reese: "Why?".

Me: "Because it's part of a Mommy's job.".

Reese: "Oh".

Me: "What else do mommy's do?".

Reese: "Clean the house."

Me: "What else?".

Reese: "Cook supper and play with their little ones.".

Me: "And what do daddy's do?".

Reese: "Take care of their little ones and they can also play dress up with them I think."

Me: "What else do daddy's do?'.

Reese: "They can cook meat."

Me: "Anything else?".

Reese: "Put the trash out.".

And that about sums up our household......(although I will add that David was the primary cook in our family for the first 7 years of our marriage).

Monday, September 18, 2006

Give That Girl Some Claritin

It's been a trying morning.....errands to run + 3 kids who aren't particularly that interested in errands to be run + minor sleep deprived mother = NOT MUCH FUN!!

We had planned to only run 2 errands: the grocery store and Hobby Lobby. However, when I checked my e-mail this morning, there was one from my dear, sweet husband asking if I could pick up a baby gift for one of his co-workers. After a failed attempt to try and figure out how I could fit this into my already planned errands, I reluctantly decided to add a trip to Old Navy in the mix. (I didn't think the new parents-to-be would get as excited over, say, a cantaloupe from the grocery store, as they would a cute little cuddly outfit from my favorite kids' clothes store),

Errand running wasn't a complete fiasco, just mildly so. A complete fiasco might have been holding a screaming Tate in my arms as I one handedly tried to finagle the cart Drue is so desperately trying to scramble out of, all the while keeping an eye on Reese who likes to run ahead of us an aisle or two or just giving up altogether and leaving the store in mid-shop and leaving all desired items I came for there (BOTH scenarios of which have been survived by me previously).

Evidently, the listening fairy must have come in during the night to render Reese incapable of listening to ANYTHING her mother said to her the first time. That darn fairy. She seems to visit our house often. We actually have quite a few fairies of such who visit our house on a regular basis. (That didn't come out sounding right). For instance, from the time David and I were dating, if one of us wanted a refill on our drink and were too lazy to get it ourselves we would say, "I wish the Kool-aid fairy would come in here." Somehow, this always made the other person laugh and instead of berating each other for our laziness, we would get up and get a refill on the kool-aid for the other person.

The crazy hair fairy is VERY popular at our house. She also comes during the night and twists mine and the girls' hair into such crazy contortions, we get a kick out of seeing how crazy our hair looks in the morning. She turns the girls' angelic curls into a matted mass of puffiness, the likes of which I've never seen before.

So what does any of this have to do with Claritin I'm sure you're wondering....

After telling Reese time and time again in the stores to keep her hands to herself, quit pulling clothes off the wracks, don't come to a dead stop right in front of the stroller I'm pushing, stay where I can see you, no we're not getting our Halloween costumes today....AAAAHHHHH I'd had enough. I kept my cool though throughout the whole ordeal. My kids may push me closer and closer to the edge sometimes, but I'm no fool, I don't want to end up on the 6:00 news as the woman who swatted her innocent child's hand in the middle of Hobby Lobby because it kept coming dangerously close to knocking over the entire display of glass teacups. No sir. I quietly took away privelege after privelege until there was almost nothing fun left to take away from Reese.

By the time we headed home, she had lost the following privileges for the day: NO cookies, NO doing Sesame Street stories on the computer, NO wearing a dress or shorts, and she was teetering on the edge of having to take an actual nap, instead of her regular "rest time" on our bed while watching a movie in the afternoon.

We made it back to our house (I was just thankful it wasn't the Big House) and the girls sat down to eat their lunch. Part of their lunch was strawberry applesauce. Whomever came up with the brilliant idea of strawberry applesauce, never sat down with an almost 2 and 4 year old to eat it. Because, let me tell you, they would have quickly rethought their invention. I was half listening to the girls' conversation in the next room, while I was tending to Tate. My ears perked up, however, when I heard Reese's voice turn to a whisper and she instructed her sister, "Like this Drue....just wipe it on your shirt".

Well, I flew in there like a bat outta somewhere to find Reese's WHITE shirt covered in red applesauce, the kitchen table covered in red applesauce, and Reese's spoon covered in....nothing. It was completely hadn't once been dipped into her applesauce. She decided her fingers hadn't had enough of a workout touching everything in the stores, and they now needed to expend some energy feeding her!!!

I corrected them, in a rather loud voice, that a few of our close neighbors may have heard, that applesauce was not a finger food, nor were the shirts their father and I bought with our hard earned money napkins!!!! The last straw was when Reese smeared the rest of her pizza all over the table as well, then spilled her milk onto the floor. (My mother's intuition makes me 99.9% sure the milk spilling wasn't an accident because, after it happened, Reese's voice didn't have that element of true complete surprise that I've come to recognize when she really does accidentally knock something over).

Of course, it was because of that .1% that I didn't give her a spanking, I decided to take away her last privilege of the day. She was sentenced to take a good old fashioned nap without getting to watch a movie. I was almost at the end of my rope and explained to Reese how I was sad about the way she had been acting today and I really didn't want her to act this way when Grandma Judy came to stay with her tomorrow.

This was her explanation for her actions this morning....."Mommy...I think I know what the problem is. Maybe, I am just allergic to you. So, when you are here I act naughty, but when Grandma Judy comes tomorrow, I'll act sweet."

AAAAAHHHHHHH!!!!! I do love that ornery little towhead.......

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Determination Pays Off

Look hands.......

....nevermind that the achieved item is upside down Posted by Picasa

Monday, September 11, 2006

New 'Do's & New Boots

The youth of our church are trying to raise money to help dig wells in Zambia so the people there can have pure water. One of the ladies who works with the youth, is also a hairdresser, and donated her services on Saturday. All the money she raised that day went to the pure water cause. So we signed up our two scraggly haired darlings. Here is a "before" picture of them. I took a bunch of these because this was Drue's first haircut and I was afraid we'd never see her curls again.

And here they are "after". Drue did keep her curls, but the lady said she wasn't sure if this would always be the case.

Evidently Drue had enough of all the picture taking, or Reese looked at her the wrong way, or something, because she lashed out. So much for sweet family picture time....

When I'm out shopping, I inevitably see cute items I want to get for the kids. Since my last name isn't Rockefeller, however, I usually just admire these items then go on my merry way. I couldn't pass up these ladybug boots the other day at Target though. I will definitely get my money's worth out of these since I doubt the girls will be taking them off any time soon.....

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Friday, September 08, 2006

Our Three Ringed Circus

I have seen our Family Traveling Roadshow (more commonly known as the Ringling Bros Barnum & Bailey Circus). We went opening night. I have either never been to a circus, or was too young to remember going, so I was actually more excited about it than the kids.

We got there early in hopes to see the animals beforehand, but we didn't realize there was a separate tent for that. So, we mistakenly got in line at the arena itself, whose doors didn't open until 6:30. David looked at his watch and, wouldn't you know it, it was only 6:18...twelve minutes to wait! (When you are standing in line with 3 children under the age of 4.....twelve minutes may as well be twelve hours).

I was holding Tate, which left David to corral the other two. Drue wanted up, no down, no up. She wanted to hold the diaper bag which David actually started to hand her but I put a stop to. Again, our visions about this differed. David envisioned Drue politely standing there holding the diaper bag. I envisioned Drue systematically pulling out each and every diaper, wipe, extra outfit, pacifier, etc. and strewing them across the dirty cement floor. Reese decided she'd entertain herself by walking in circles around and around and around all four of us.

If I hadn't been able to smell the popcorn and elephant droppings, making it all the more evident how close I was to seeing my first circus, I think we may have bailed right then and there. (And the fact that we had spent a small fortune on the tickets also was a good motivator to stick it out.)

Moving right along...the doors finally opened, and we headed down to the pre-circus show where we got to actually go down and see the performers up close. Tate just stared in wonderment at the clowns. (And no, I don't think it had anything to do with the fact that he thought they resembled his mother).

After awhile we headed up to our seats. Up, up, up, and up some more. They were still great seats, because we were able to see everything that was going on. We were exhausted by the time we made it to them, however. David was carrying both girls, which is eqivalent to about 70 pounds. 70 squirmy pounds. We had gone ahead and purchased 4 tickets, even though Drue could have gotten in free. We got the extra seat as more of a buffer zone, to hold our stuff, and, because, if we hadn't gotten it, sure enough this would have been the very night Drue would have wanted a seat all to herself.

I just wish the arena seats came equipped with seatbelts to strap the little dears in. This was the best picture we could get, because at no time during the entire show, were Reese and Drue both sitting still, facing forward at the same time! Half the time they were both on David's lap and he later said it felt like he was trying to hold an octopus the way their little arms and legs kept flailing about. (Tate slept peacefully through the 2nd act in my arms).

We finally all got situated and settled for a bit after David and Drue went and got popcorn and water. As David plopped into his seat, I asked the girls, "Aren't you excited? We're at the circus!". "We live in a circus," he piped in. Thus I couldn't help making the following comparisons to our household and the circus:

There was so much going on at once, it was hard to keep track of everything. Clowns, horses, trained dogs....three separate circles of activity....three rings....wait a minute...that's when it dawned on me why people compare crazy, busy, insane places to a 3 ring circus!!! Sort of like when Tate is crying, Reese is calling for me to come help her in the bathroom, and Drue is yelling that she wants to get down from the table but is covered in yogurt....SIMULTANEOUSLY!

I watched in awe and fear as two men performed on this huge apparatus that resembled a hamster wheel, flipping around on top of it seemingly oblivious to the fact that they were 2 stories high with no harnesses to keep them from plunging to the ground. I will probably have the same feeling I had watching them when the kids ride their bikes for the first time without training wheels, or as I watch them pull out of the driveway in the driver's seat of a car! It will be scary, and I'll be a bundle of nerves, but you gotta let them go sometime and just pray God will protect them.

And my last observation about the similarities between the circus and our life, was during the finale. I couldn't believe it was already over and was almost 10:00pm! I realized that no matter how crazy our life with three little ones feels at times, it will pass by so quickly....I need to enjoy every minute of it. As we pack Tate off to college, I know I'll long for the days of squirmy kids and sticky cotton candy kisses.
I thank God for blessing me with a wonderful husband, and three amazing kids, and for allowing me to be a part of .....The Greatest Show On Earth!
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Monday, September 04, 2006

Out of the mouths of Babes....

My girls crack me up with some of the stuff they come up with. It is so funny to see how their little brains work and to hear what comes out of their mouths. Tonight, on 2 separate occasions, the kids and I were waiting in the van while David ran into the grocery store to pick up a few things. It is so much easier to get shopping done that of us runs in, while the other holds down the mobile fort.

At the first grocery store, I said something along the lines of, "What is taking Daddy soooo long in there?" (he only needed to get a few things). Of course, I said it out loud as a rhetorical question but Reese thought about it a minute and then said, "Maybe he choosed another woman."

"What?!" I asked her, trying not to sound too shocked. (If I sounded too shocked, she would have thought she was in trouble and would have made something else up.) And I really wasn't sure if I had heard her correctly in the first place. So she repeated, "You know...maybe he choosed another mommy."

Now where on Earth had she gotten that idea? No telling.

At the second grocery store (Price Chopper) a few hours later, Reese looked out the window and excitedly said, "Look....'R' for Reesie".

"Very good honey", I replied. Then, not to leave Drue out, I asked her, "What does your name start with Drue?".

Drue: "R".

Me: "No.....'D'".

Drue: "R".

Me: "No sweetie. 'D'. D-R-U-E.....spells Drue".

Drue: "Ohhhh.....good job!".

Ye Olde Family Fun Day

We spent our Labor Day morning enjoying some great Fall weather at the Renaissance Festival. There was a lot to take in and I'm sure we didn't see the whole thing, but we hit our outing time limit after a few hours, so we headed home with tired kiddos. The girls had a fun time, but were a little wary of all the strange characters coming up to them bidding, "Good Morn my Lady".

David's favorite exhibit was the privies (the johnny on the spots for you 21st century lads and lassies). He was impressed with the progress they've made sanitationwise. He excitedly explained to me how they now have built in hand sanitizers and deoderizers so they hardly smelled at all. That's great we spent $50 + on tickets, lunch, and rides, and all you are taking away from the whole experience is how cool the bathrooms were???

I had one minor anxious attack when it was time for Tate to eat and there was nowhere to feed him, without trekking all the way back to the van. (I ration out his bottles for when my mom comes to stay with the kids or my Bunco nights when David stays home with them.) So we found a shaded picnic table, complete with overhanging vines, behind one of the shows going on. I sat there pondering what makes those women dressed in Renaissance garb feel free to parade around the grounds with their buxom bosoms hanging out of their dresses, while other super modest gals like myself, try their darndest to nurse discreetly under the vines, terrified that someone may glance my way and get a glimpse of.....2 blankets draped around my shoulders.

Here's little froggy Reese waiting for a handsome prince to come and kiss her.... (I know, that's backwards, but it made for a cute picture)

Daddy and his girls.....ahem, his little princesses......

The Hollaway lassies getting ready to ride the mighty dragon swing. Drue held on to me for dear life the entire time until her chubby little knuckles turned white, but it was all in good fun....

Tates' first solid food.....the festivals' famous turkey leg. (I wish he really could have nibbled on it...thus bypassing our little nursing fiasco).

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EXTRA! EXTRA! Read all about it.....while I was downloading these pictures, Tate rolled over successfully for the first time from his back to his tummy! (Of course, I missed it because I was facing the computer!!). Blast! You go little buddy.....

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Our Little Guy

As Daddy (David) so accurately pointed out from my last post.....we neglected to take any pictures of Tate when we went to Science City. Yes, he was there with us, but he mainly just "chilled in his dope ride" (slept in his stroller). But here are some dandies I thought I'd share.

This first one is just cute and colorful and that's a good enough reason for me to post it.

This is him in his "little old man nightshirt". (David won't let me get him a matching one to wear for some pooper)

The next two pictures were taken after I had been upstairs putting Drue down for her nap. Poor little Tate will definitely have the "3rd Child Syndrome". Let me explain. With Reese we had to buy Pampers, wash her paci off every 15 seconds...(if it happened to hit the germ ridden floor...we'd boil it for 5 minutes) and we picked her up at every whimper.

When Drue came along, we started off buying Pampers, but we had 2 in diapers at this time, so we gave the Costco generic brand a try, and lo & behold, their cotton blend material held the pee in just the same for less money. SCORE! We followed the 5 second rule if her paci hit the floor, and we'd try to get her as quickly as possible when she cried. If David was home, we had "man on man" defense with one parent per child. If I was home alone with them, however, "quickly" might mean, "after I scoop Reese out of the bath, dry her off, and put her in her pjs" then I could tend to Drue.

Then we added Tate to the mix. I predict he will learn to change his own diaper at 6 months, simply due to the fact that he will get so tired of waiting for Mommy to take care of it. He started off wearing Pampers, because Costco doesn't sell newborn diapers, but then I discovered Target has a generic brand in all sizes. Hope you enjoyed your super soft namebrand covered bum while it lasted kid. In a frantic attempt to get him to stop crying (which he doesn't really do all that often) if we happen to find a paci under the sofa cushion, we just shake off the crumbs and pop it in his mouth (not really...I just added that for effect).

And finally, we get to the whole point of my story about these last 2 pictures. I was upstairs putting Drue down for her nap and left Tate playing happily under his little gym in the living room. I was right in the middle of her story when I heard him kind of start to whimper. (While we're speaking of birth order complexes, I am also worried that Drue will have the "middle child"/Jan Brady syndrome, so I try to make a conscious effort to make her see that she is special and unique). So, I didn't want to just jump up in the middle of my only 1:1 time with her to tend to Tate. He wasn't wailing, just whimpering a bit.

After storytime and nap songs, I tucked Drue in, and headed downstairs to check on my youngest. No whimpering, no legs kicking his chimes...he had put himself to sleep! Now if he could just learn to hoist himself up into the kitchen sink and give himself a bath, we'd be in business.........

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