Saturday, November 25, 2006

Deck The Halls

The stable from the manger scene.

A Santa who reads "Twas the Night Before Christmas" aloud (over and over and over again).

A mini snow globe.

What do these three things have in common? They are all Christmas decorations that have been broken by little hands so far this season. The sad part is our "season" only just begun 24 hours ago. We decorate our house the day after Thanksgiving. I'm thinking perhaps more than just our halls will require some "decking" this year......(just kidding....I wouldn't want Santa to switch me to the naughty list at the last minute).

David and I used to go to a Christmas Tree farm and chop down our own tree. Then we started having kids, and it just got to be too much to bundle them up and work around feeding schedules. We plan to revisit this tradition when the kids get a little older and can all walk around on their own and get excited about picking a Christmas tree for Daddy to chop down....and, yes, we'll continue on through their teenage years and try to ignore the eye rolling accompanied by the pleas of "Do we have to go help pick out the tree?". That will be a sad day. This year we piled the kids in the van sans coats because it was a crazy 65 degrees outside, went to Lowe's Hardware Store and found the perfect tree in 3 minutes flat.

It is so exciting to see Christmas through our childrens' eyes. It brings back that same magical feeling it once did when we were kids ourselves. Since Reese has no concept of time yet, now that all our decorations are up, I'm just sure she's going to wake up every morning from now until Dec. 25th asking, "Is this Christmas Day today?".

It really has been quite humorous listening to the new fights that have been occurring over our decorations and the admonitions that ensue:



"DRUE, IF YOU TAKE ONE MORE ORNAMENT OFF THAT TREE......" stern parent walks swiftly towards her as she covers her little tushy pleading, "Don't 'pank my bottom."


I'm afraid there'll be no Peace on Earth or Goodwill Towards Men at the Hollaway house this season.....

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving!

Harvest Time has come again
That's how the story goes,
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving
From our 3 little Scarecrows!

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Wednesday, November 22, 2006


I've mentioned before about the differences in our attitudes about parenting/child rearing with each child. Crazy- overprotective- overreacting- first- time- parenting vs relaxed- been-there-done-that-they're-not-as-fragile-as-we-thought parenting. One other difference I've noticed during our 3rd go 'round at this is that, while I am truly thankful for my healthy little boy and thrilled that he is developmentally on track......I WISH TIME WOULD SLOW DOWN A LITTLE BIT!!!

I think it must be a case of "Thisisourlastplannedbabywewilleverhaveitis" or something. You would think I'd be prepared for all his milestones and take them in stride. However here are some examples of my reactions to his development thus far:

- I eagerly awaited the day when I could start Reese and Drue on cereal and solid food. Both started cereal at 4 months, then solid foods a few weeks after. Our doctor once again gave me the green light to start Tate on the same regimen at his 4 month appt. At his 6 month appt the doctor asked how it was going and I admitted I hadn't started him on solids yet. I bought the food, but just couldn't bring myself to feed it to him. I wanted to continue to be his only source of nourishment for awhile. (In fact, in my plot to keep him a baby forever, to David's horror I announced to him that I would be nursing Tate until he went to offense to you mothers who actually do that, but I was totally kidding about it and actually plan to wean him at about a year).

- A few weeks ago I did a double take when I looked up and Tate was on his hands and knees rocking back and forth. "That's odd," I thought to myself. "The girls didn't crawl until they were at least 7 months. Must be a fluke. He's got at least a month or two before he really gets going." Wrong. He is all over this house now and is only 6 months old. I keep watching him thinking, "He's too little to be doing this. He's just a newborn." With Reese we were shouting on the rooftops when she started crawling rejoicing at her newfound independence. I keep trying to talk Tate out of it, telling him it's much more fun to cuddle with Mommy and have her carry him everywhere in the house.

- Also at his 6 month checkup, the doctor informed me it was about time for a new carseat. He is getting too tall for his carrier. What? Too tall for his carrier? Now I will have to come up with an entirely new gameplan for running errands with the kids because I won't be able to just whisk him out of the van into the cart via his convenient carrying case. When it was time for the girls to graduate to a larger seat, I rushed out that very day and excitedly installed it in the car.

- And instead of eagerly looking forward to the night my sweet little bundle sleeps all the way through, I rather enjoy our midnight meetings together and will be sad when they are no more.

Somewhere deep in my subconcious, I must think that if I don't encourage and give into his natural growth progression patterns (i.e. not feeding him solid foods, being in denial that he is indeed a crawler now) that I can somehow pause the hands of time and enjoy the days of having a baby around the house a little bit longer.

Poor little guy. I promise I won't try and hold you back too will definitely be potty trained before you start Junior High.

Monday, November 20, 2006

'Atta Girl

I swear strangers are breaking into our house at night, wearing our clothes, then putting them in our hampers. There is no way my family is going through as many clothes as are needing laundering each week. This weekend was "catch up" weekend on the laundry that had begun to spill out over onto our closet floor.

I did find one surefire way to enlist David's help without asking though. There was a pair of pants that he was wanting to wear, and when he asked where they were I said, "In the washer", (which had finished its' cycle). He quickly took the load of clothes that had been in the dryer up to our room and transferred the washer load and started drying them.

After a busy day and dinner at his moms' house, we returned home and got Drue and Tate down for bed. I piddled around downstairs picking up and at about 10:00p Reese, David, and I headed upstairs for the night. I think you can guess what was hindering me from collapsing into my nice cozy bed.....THE ENTIRE PILE OF CLOTHES DAVID BROUGHT UP EARLIER!

I didn't scream. I didn't shout. I didn't even berate him on the woes I endure as a worn out housewife. I simply said, "Dear, whoever brings the load up....folds the load." I would like to tell you that David saw the error of his ways, ushered me to a nearby chair, propped my tired feet up, and folded the laundry. But that wouldn't make for a funny story.....he went to brush his teeth while Reese offered to help me fold.

Without any prompting from me (honest) Reese said, "Daddy! These aren't magical clothes. These are just regular clothes. They aren't going to fold themselves!".

And you men thought we took a class on Sarcastic Nagging's just inate.

Friday, November 17, 2006

I'll be one busy Grandma......

Reese is always talking about things she'll do when she's a mommy. Today we were on the floor playing with Tate and here is how our conversation went:

Me: "Reese, how many babies do you want when you're a mommy?".

Reese: "78".

Me: "78?!?! How are you going to take care of 78 babies?".

Reese: "I'll say, 'Babies, let's take turns now'. And I'll also call 'Daaaddddyyyy!' because everyone knows there's a daddy around if there's a mommy and he can help me."

Sunday, November 12, 2006

That's the Spirit....(well, not quite)

Our church participates in one of Franklin Grahams' ministries called Operation: Christmas Child. The idea behind it is to fill a shoe box (or similar sized box--we had to buy plastic container boxes because David makes me throw out all shoe boxes and other items I don't have an immediate use for) with small gifts for children living in poverty stricken countries so they will have something to open for Christmas. They are also provided with little booklets in their own language that tell the Gospel message.

This was the first year our family took part. You are supposed to pick a girl or boy and specify what age group your box is intended for (2-4, 5-9, or 10-14). My first question to David was, "How are we going to decide what gender/age to buy for?". He had the great idea to do three boxes, one for each of our kids....and buy for 2 girls and a boy. (Yes dear, you actually have it in writing that I gave you a compliment and admitted that, once in awhile, you really do have a great idea....I may regret this later).

We hope to make this one of our holiday traditions and as our children get older, get them involved by getting to pick out the gifts that go in the shoeboxes. This year, however, I was rushing around at the last minute, and during a solo trip to Target, I just picked out all the gifts myself. When I got home, I dumped them all out on the floor and started separating them into the appropriate box.

Reese happened to be the only child not taking a nap and was quickly lured over my way out of curiosity. Her eyes got wide as she surveyed all the neat little treasures that came out of the bag. David started explaining to her how we were going to send these toys to children who probably wouldn't be getting any other gifts for Christmas this year.

A little while later, as I was wrapping the last box, Reese appeared at the kitchen table where I was working. I again used this opportunity to talk about why we were sending gifts to these children who don't have a nice house to live in, or many clothes to wear, or toys to play with. One of the neat things about getting your gifts together, is that you are supposed to say a prayer for the child who will be receiving your shoebox. I asked Reese if she would like to say a prayer with me.

I went first and asked God to bless the children who'd be receiving our gifts, etc. and then nodded to Reese that it was her turn to pray. She bowed her little head and prayed, "Dear God.....I like sending these gifts to those children.....and I hope that they will send me some gifts also....."

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Move over Gerber....

One day a week on my days off, I treat the girls (and myself) to lunch from Sonic or McDonalds. It's normally on an errand day and is their prize (aka bribe) for them not causing me to check myself into a looney bin. The routine usually errands, grab lunch, go home and set them up at the kitchen table, turn on Family Feud (I'm actually getting used to the new host....I was sad when Richard Karn was replaced) and nurse Tate while I eat.

Today our culinary delight was from McDonalds. (We got back too late to see Family Feud--BLAST!). I perched my bag up on the arm of the sofa and started nursing Tate. He would eat a little bit, then stop, lift his head up, and stare intently at, stop, look up, stare intently. What in the world? He usually only does this when the girls are in the room.

After about a full minute of this, he finally stopped one last time, sat himself up on my lap, and reached out with BOTH HANDS towards my quarter pounder, sitting in it's box, apparently beckoning him this whole time!

Poor little guy. I removed the distracting dish to the kitchen, and outta sight outta mind, he contentedly finished his milk. Perhaps it's time to move on to bigger and better things besides rice cereal....

Delicious & Nutritious

My keen Mommy senses alerted me this morning that Reese was eating something, and I knew I hadn't given her anything at that time. I looked a little more closely and it appeared she was actually licking something off her finger. Uh oh.

"Reese, what are you eating," I casually asked.

"Pepper," she replied.

Now as gross as that sounds, she was sitting by the TV in the living room, which is not normally where our pepper shaker is I peered over her shoulder, and, sure enough, there was an undeniable finger sized trail right through the DUST on the entertainment center.

"REESE!!! That's not ate DUST!"

I decided to look on the bright side of all of this.....Reese, our child who never eats anything, apparently likes dust.....hey, it's cheap, and there's certainly enough to go around at our house! (Honey, I found one way to cut back on our grocery bill....)

Monday, November 06, 2006

"Do Unto Others...."

After weeks of passing a cold between them, Tate and Drue decided to pass it along to....ME! Colds normally don't phase me too much but this one knocked me on my (still larger than I'd like) patootie Saturday. I left for a Girls Night Out at the Cheesecake Factory Friday night and gave David a quick peck on the cheek because I told him I felt like I was coming down with something. My colds are so predictable....they always start with that cruddy feeling right in that little space between where my knobby collarbones almost meet.

That night, I hacked a lot and sort of felt bad thinking I was keeping David up. I woke up the next morning sounding like an old man who had smoked a pack a day for 50 years. After I'd been up about 30 minutes, David finally made the observation that I sounded sick. (I resisted the urge to jump up and down on the couch screaming "NEWSFLASH!". I just didn't have the energy). Instead I said, "Um....yeah, I coughed all night long." "You did?", he asked. So much for worrying about my poor husband not getting any sleep.

We ran errands and went about our day but by 7:30 that night I collapsed in the bed. I felt like I'd been pulled through the wringer, hung out to dry, but had somehow fallen from the clothesline and been run over by a Mack Truck.....yet I wasn't sleepy. Reese came up in a bit and watched TV with me in the bed until we both fell asleep. At one point I looked over and she was staring at me. "What?", I asked. "Mommy, I think you look pretty." Then she added, "Even though Daddy doesn't think you look good like that, I think you look pretty." (She was referring to earlier in the day when David commented that I looked "awful".)

During my "downtime" this weekend, David picked up the living room multiple times, picked up the girls' room, loaded and unloaded the dishes all weekend, made supper, and even did a few loads of laundry complete with folding and putting away the clothes. My first instinct was to say "Thank you, Sweetheart".....but I stubbornly held myself back because, normally, I do those things around the house EVERYDAY without getting a thank you. (Note: Obviously I have been a mother long enough to know it is mostly a "thankless" job filled with silent sacrifices, so I don't go about my day expecting to get thanked, but it would be an added bonus every once in a while.)

So today as I mulled over our weekend and would start to feel bad for poor David because I never thanked him for taking care of the household stuff, I would remind myself, again, that nobody thanks me when I do it. But then this thought popped into my head....."And how many times have you thanked David for working so hard at his job, never slacking off or calling in sick when he wasn't, working so diligently that he's gotten numerous promotions since starting there, all so he could support this family and make it possible for you to stay home with the kids 3 days a week?". Ouch.

Yesterday our Sunday School lesson was about the Golden Rule. Yes, the same Golden Rule that we are trying so desperately to teach our 2 and 4 year old. Basic good behavior. Then we got to talking about how our spouses were actually the easiest people in our lives to get angry with, the easiest ones to get annoyed by, etc. because we feel safe around them and know that they will still love us tomorrow. Double ouch.

While I'm not going to unrealistically declare right here and now that I will never again take the husband God gave me for granted.....I do at least want to say THANK YOU, David for all that you are and all that you do for this family. We appreciate you more than you know. And if the girls' bedtimes and schedules get thrown out the window (once in awhile) because you are spending time reading them one more story after a long day at the lab.....I will try and silently go about gathering up all the crusty rags from the bathtub and throwing away the wet diapers that somehow haven't made it down to the trash yet. WE LOVE YOU!

Sunday, November 05, 2006


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Moms of little boys who would see me out and about with my little girls would always comment to me that little girls were so fun to buy for and dress up, there are so many more cute clothing choices for girls, etc. But I am having just as much fun dressing up our little man as I did/do with the girls! My "Momma's Boy" is going to be a heatbreaker I'm afraid....

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Date Night Pictures

Reese, wearing everything except my dress itself. And Drue in the background, not wanting to be left out, wearing David's shoes....

Little Muslim Drue....

My delicious "Beef Veronica" leftovers that I was so excited about taking a picture of, that I forgot to put them in the fridge and they sat out all night on the dining room table!

Scroll down for the accompanying story of Date Night....
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Date Night Recap

Alright already....I have been reprimanded by 2 people for not posting anything about my much anticipated "Date Night" last Saturday. One being my sweet husband who took me on said date, the other being my friend whom I turned to for advice on what to wear under my new fancy dress to hide my post baby bulge (she had a baby a week after me and looks great by the way).

Sad to say, David and I spent most of Saturday not speaking to each other due to some silly squabble. But I was determined not to let that take away from my night out. Speaking or no speaking, I would still get to eat a delicious meal. I went ahead and painted my nails, bought some new hose, and decided I would be able to put aside my pride for a few hours and enjoy our evening. Reese had me paint her nails too and she put on a fancy dress up dress. She kept eyeing my dress saying, "I wish that came in my size. Maybe I could borrow that when I'm a Mommy." She also kept asking us if we were going to a ball.

When we got out to the garage David grabbed my hand, and with an amused twinkle in his eye (the same one I was ready to poke out a mere hour earlier) said, "Let's pretend we love each other for our date tonight." Of course, that broke the ice and we laughed about our petty little tiff and were genuinely able to relax and enjoy each others' company.

Our dinner reservations were at 7pm at the Peppercorn Duck Club. So first, we headed down to the Plaza to walk around. Thankfully, it was a beautiful evening and I didn't even have to wear the coat David brought for me. We spent most of our time at Eddie Bauer and came away spending a small fortune on some new clothes for both of us. I can't remember the last time I didn't purchase an outfit either off the sale rack, or one that didn't cost more than $20 at Target. I felt a little guilty about it.

The saleslady who helped us commented on our attire. "You two sure look nice. Are you going somewhere or do you just like to dress up?". We explained to her how we were simply out on a date without our 3 babies. It turned out, she had an 8 month old little boy so we ended up chatting for a few minutes about life with kids. We agreed that it was fun to look forward to a needed night out once in awhile, but, inevitably, during the date itself, whenever we see a family with small children, we immediately miss our little dears at home.

Dinner was lovely. It was nice to eat at a restaurant without a larger than life Mouse and his motorized band playing on stage. I was a tad self conscious since I normally like to blend in with my surroundings and not draw attention to myself, but that is hard to do being all fancified. The quiet romantic atmosphere was shattered when a group of conference attenders were seated at a table for 10 right next to us. As we finished up our entree the waiter came by and informed us that we could visit the chocolate bar whenever we were ready. I jumped at the invitation exclaiming that I'd been ready since the moment we stepped into the restaurant.

Our leisurely night out lasted a mere.....4 hours! But we are both homebodies at heart and couldn't think of anywhere else we wanted to go so we were home by 9pm (which was really 8pm for DST). I no sooner plopped down on the couch when Reese came over and began extracting all my accessories for herself. First went my shawl, then my headband, followed by my necklace and shoes. I felt like Cinderella as her stepsisters stripped her of her carefully put together outfit for the ball.

It was then that it dawned on me, we hadn't had our picture taken like I was wanting. So I whipped out the camera and took some snapshots of the girls dressed up.

I did enjoy my time with David all to myself, being able to actually finish a conversation all the way through without having to stop 15 times to pick up a crying baby, referee a knock down drag out fight between our 2 loving daughters, or let the barking dogs out the back door that someone inadvertently closed. And I'm already looking forward to our next date. (Which we agreed would have to be a trip to Steak & Shake and the Goodwill Store to even out our upscale rendevous).

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