Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Reading, Writing, & an Advil

It really is neat to see your kids start to read and be able to write their letters and form words and what not. However, I think we all know by now that I'm not in the running to win the "Most Patient Mother of the Year" award anytime in this century.

So, yes, it is neat to hear my kids start to spell out words like, "Y-E-S" instead of simply telling me "Yes". But they also pick the most inopportune times to ask me how to spell stuff or on the flip side of that, recite some random letters to me and ask me what they spell.

For instance, after I've just rushed home from work to get dinner on the stove (hey, it happens) and all my pots are boiling over and the dogs are barking to be fed, I may hear a little voice call from the dining room, "Mommy? How do you spell laminectomy?" as they are bent over a piece of paper with pencil poised in midair. (Ok, so you do realize I just pulled that word out of nowhere...but they do ask how to spell rather long words like "birthday" or "congratulations" while I am in the middle of 12 different tasks.)

Another common scenario is when I'm driving like a bat out of hades trying to get somewhere on time and 2 of my van occupants are having a loud disagreement about the other one looking out their window, and the third occupant will calmly ask, "Mommy? What does R-S-Q-U-G-T-S---no wait, R-F-Q-U-G-T-S-J spell?" and I have to try and figure out if they are combining more than one word together at a time, or if they are actually seeing an abbreviation for something that they think is a word, etc.

Oh, and Drue, especially, can't understand why just slapping letters together doesn't automatically make a word. "Mommy? What does R-O-M spell?".


So she repeats herself thinking I must not have heard her correctly. "R-O-M???".

"Nothing. It doesn't spell anything. R-O-A-M spells roam. Like where the buffalo roam. R-O-M-E spells a city I wish your Daddy would take me to. But R-O-M doesn't spell anything."

Reese is able to help out with telling Drue how to spell words now too. The other day in the van Drue asked, "How do you spell hella?".

Reese quickly said, "That's not a word."

To which Drue corrected her, "Yes it is...hella copter.".

Monday, September 28, 2009

5 Years Old




Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


The newest member of our family.

Henry Hamilton Hollaway

We have actually had him for one entire week now. So David's prediction of "he'll be dead in a week" thankfully did not come true.

The kids have been wanting another pet for quite sometime. Gerbil, guinea pig, bunny, snake, baby sister...you name it, they've probably asked for it. But David and I weren't quite ready to take the plunge.

Last Wednesday, after Tate and I dropped both the girls off at school I drug him on a few errands. Lowe's was on our list. Which happens to be right next to the pet store. He was being such a trooper that when his eyes lit up at the sight of the pet store and he asked to go in, I said yes.

I'm not quite sure what came over me at that point. I watched him go from tank to tank and cage to cage excitedly showing me what was in each one. But he never once even asked to get one. And I made my silent decision right then and there that we would be leaving that store with a fish. I did text David first simply because I would want him to ask me before bringing home an addition to the family, no matter how small.

I was prepared for him to give me a barrage of reasons why we didn't need a fish but he simply texted back, "ok". So Tate and I set to work picking out a bowl, some pebbles (he picked orange of course) and some food. Then I got another text from David, "Can we name him Henry?".

I laughed as I thought about David in his all day conference thinking about a name for our new fish. I figured he must have a reason for picking that name so I wrote back, "Did you have a fish named Henry as a child?".

He responded, "Just sounds right...".

So Henry it was. The kids asked why Daddy was the one who got to pick out the name. He said, "Give me one. Give me the fish. That's the first thing I've gotten to name in this family!". He also added, "I wonder how long it will take us to get to Henry VIII?".

The girls were pleasantly surprised when we picked them up that afternoon and they heard about Henry. Tate is always telling them about little snippets of our day and they are very sweet and patient to listen. So when he said, "We got a fish!" Drue said, "Ohhhhhh a fish?" and then looked to me for clarification, "A real fish?".

Of course I sounded like a monotone tour guide as I kept repeating instructions to the kids about Henry.

Don't stick your hand in his bowl.

Don't put anything in his bowl.

Don't push his bowl off the counter.

Don't push his bowl around on the counter.

Don't feed him unless an adult is present.

About 10 times a day for the first few days I would hear, "Mommy is he dead?", because Tate gets concerned when he's not swimming.

The kids get excited about feeding him, cleaning his bowl, and showing him off to guests. Welcome to our family Henry...you were well worth $3.99.
Posted by Picasa
Yes, more fish pictures! He's very photogenic....


They kept going in to check on Henry until it was pitch black outside and time to go to bed...night night little guy.
Posted by Picasa

And, yes, if you're keeping track...Drue wore three different outfits in the same day...no wonder I can't keep up with the laundry!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

That's my Girl

Drue is very blunt.

Yet very sweet.

And her bluntness cracks me up because she is still so innocent. Whatever is in her little mind...just goes ahead and comes out her little mouth. In a sweet way.

We have begun the preparation for Fall at our house. The decorations go up tomorrow. We have been lighting a pumpkin spice candle for a few weeks now. And, well, Fall is just a week away.

I have been curious to try one of those diffusers that have become so popular. With the scented liquid and reeds. So I picked a Mulled Cider scent up the other day and placed it on the dining room table.

Of course, the kids were instantly captivated. They notice the tiniest new additions to our household and must explore them at length. No one has tried to drink it yet, so that's a plus. I did save the ingestion warning label from the box just in case...

Drue was sitting at the dining room table this morning propped up on her elbows peering curiously at the diffuser and said, "How does this smell good if it's just water and sticks?".

Later this morning we were running errands and listening to a new CD I just bought. The girls and I like a couple of Taylor Swift's songs so I went ahead and bought her CD so we could all sing our little hearts out.

Our faves are "Love Story" and "You Belong With Me".

So I was excited to show the girls that both of those songs were on this CD. I went back and forth between the two knowing that they like familiar songs to sing to.

Finally Drue piped up from the back seat, "Mama, does this only have two songs on it?".

Sunday, September 13, 2009

We'll Keep Working

Tate is old enough this year for AWANA Cubbies. That just seems so strange to me. I guess because with the girls' having Fall birthdays, they were both almost 4 when they started Cubbies. And with him being my baby, it just seems strange that he is a Cubbie now.

(I will post a picture of all of them when he gets his little vest in a few weeks.)

Drue started learning Cubbie verses right along with Reese even before Drue was old enough to go. My mom remembers Drue sitting in the bathroom one day and saying softly, "This is my Son whom I love" out of the blue!

It is just hard for me to fathom Tate's little mind being able to memorize and recite scripture. I'm not sure why. He has memorized, and can recite, his ABCs. He has memorized, and can recite, his numbers up to 20 (skipping 15 from time to time...Reese did the same thing).

Through most of the Summer we have worked on one of the Cubbie key verses, "All have sinned". He has that one down pat.

Tonight on the way home from church I opened his little pamphlet and we started going over his verse for next week. Drue is in his class also so it will help that they will both be learning the same verse each week.

Next week's verse is "God loved us and sent His Son". I recited this a few times out loud on our trip home. But Tate was kind of hyped up from his class and wasn't in a learning mode.

Reese said, "I know what will help Tate! Break the verse up into little pieces and then put the pieces back together." That is how they teach her age group to learn their verses.

So I broke it up into two parts for him.

"God loved us..."

"...and sent His Son."

Tate's version came out completely contradictory to that truth but it was still sweet to hear his little voice attempt his new Bible verse, "God loves sin!".

He was quite proud of himself.



It was a special day when I led Reese in her prayer to invite Jesus into her heart. And it was a special day today to watch her get baptized.

It is amazing and humbling that God has entrusted this precious little girl to David and I.

We love you Reese!
Posted by Picasa

I will post the video clip in a few weeks when we get it from the church.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

First Day of Preschool

I'm getting better at this, I really am. Although Drue looks like me, I sometimes see more of David's personality in her. She just waltzed right on into her little classroom ready for a new adventure. I had to chase her down to give her a good-bye kiss.

Her little memory still amazes me. As we were walking into her preschool building she said, "Remember that time Tate's hat kept flying off?". That was when Reese went there...two years ago! Drue had just barely turned 3 when that incident occurred.

At Parent's Night a couple of weeks ago I had to fill out an information sheet about Drue. The last question was Is there anything else you would like us to know about your child?

I almost thought I was going to have to ask for an additional sheet of paper to fit all the info I wanted to put on there. I started off with, "Drue is VERY sensitive to the way her clothing feels on her....". I went on to explain her aversion to tags, seams, and all things kooky. I told them how she wears her socks inside out and heaven help them if they have to take her shoes off during class. Because they may never get them back on to her satisfaction!

I tried to envision Drue in her day to day activities and predict how she may react just so they would have a little forewarning. They do have a rest time after lunch so I added that if her beach towel doesn't get laid exactly so on her mat she may go ballistic. (I didn't actually use the word ballistic on her form, I think I just said there may be tears).

I didn't tell them all this to imply they should BEWARE OF DRUE. I honestly want to protect that sweet little hazel eyed girl and can't stand the thought of her being upset about something when I'm not there to help her or protect her. So I wanted to try and give them a little insight into what makes her tick so that they, in turn, will be extra sensitive with her during those times.

Tate and I made a quick stop at the grocery store on our way home from dropping her off. I had to get two items, just two. I tossed him into the cart and we were in and out in about 5 minutes. Gone are the days when I had to coral three of them around town ages 3 and under. I RARELY ventured into the store with all of them for just two items! When we did go to the store, I would balance Tate's infant seat on one hip, while desperately trying to hold Drue's little toddler hand and would make sure Reese either held onto the infant carrier, or my back pocket, or Drue's other hand. I'd then hoist Tate's seat up and balance it precariously onto the back of the cart sideways and pick up both Reese and Drue and buckle them into the front which left hardly any room for my groceries. Those days were long and seemingly endless at times.

But there's actually a part of me that misses them...

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

The Whole Tooth and Nothing but the Tooth

Reese's two front teeth have been a teensy bit wiggly for some time now. Her top two teeth, I should clarify. She lost her bottom two earlier this year.

I get a kick out of how much these little white enamel covered structures define our child's development. When they're infants, we are so excited to see them start popping through the surface in their little gumless mouths. And we proudly show them off to anyone and everyone who will pay attention. "Reese cut her first tooth!" I remember sharing happily.

And I would keep everyone informed from then on as to how many teeth she had. "Reese has 7 teeth now!" I'd report.

And now, as she begins to lose them, it is once again a topic of discussion amongst my mommy friends and I. "Reese has lost 2 teeth and has some loose ones on the top. How much does the tooth fairy pay at your house?".

Losing these precious little things I so eagerly awaited to come in.

So this one had been wiggly for awhile. Then last week or so when she was talking to me one morning, there was a noticeable gap between her loose tooth and the one beside it. I asked her about it and she said nonchalantly, "Oh yeah, my loose tooth got looser last night when I hit it on the bedpost while Daddy was putting us to bed."

Yes, rough housing is one of David's way of "settling them down" right before bed.

Try as we might, that darned thing wouldn't come out though. It finally got more loose over the weekend. So much so, that it looked as if it were just barely hanging on. But David and I both tried with no avail to pull that sucker out. I have yet to witness Reese pulling her tooth out. The first one fell out as she was running to my room to show me how loose it was one morning.

The second one came out while I was in the shower.

And this third one finally decided to come out Sunday morning...during the church service...while we were praying! We were getting ready to walk to the front of the church during the invitation time because Reese was ready to make public her profession of faith and be baptised. So as she urgently patted my leg while our heads were bowed, I thought it had to do with that. I peeked my eyes open and there was her little tooth in her hand!

But the tooth drama doesn't end there. The tooth fairy leaves golden dollars at our house, but the only person I know of who has these lying around is...Reese! So I snuck into her money bucket and pulled one out just to have on hand.

Then she threw us a curve ball and decided not to put her tooth under her pillow that night. She wanted to keep it to show her children someday. Of course, we have her other two teeth safely hidden away but I couldn't very well tell her that. I assured her that was fine and had her place it on top of her dresser in the little plastic container she was keeping it in.

"Don't keep it too near your pillow or the Tooth Fairy might get confused and take it," I warned her. I was just afraid she may wake up in the middle of the night and change her mind and place it under there after all. In which case, I wouldn't be prepared.

The next night she was torn between keeping her tooth and finding that golden dollar. She kept saying, "I wish there was a way I could keep my tooth and get the golden dollar.".

For now, she has decided to go ahead and keep it and put the next one under her pillow. I think I will casually bring it up each night for awhile just to be on the safe side that she doesn't put it under her pillow without telling us. Who knew playing the Tooth Fairy could be so stressful?

I leave you with one more cute shot of her new smile.
Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Leisurely Bike Ride in the Woods--Not Exactly


I'm not a very outdoorsy person. I want to be, I really do, but I'm just not. But even I couldn't ignore this beautiful 70 degree morning so I psyched myself up to take Drue and Tate bike riding.

I do not enjoy bike riding. I really want to, but I don't. We have a bike trail just down the street from our house as well as another paved loop that encircles the playground at Reese's school.

We always start out with good intentions of taking the kids up to one of these bike trails to ride their little hearts out. But it never ends happily. Getting them there is half the battle. In one direction there is a hill that none of them can get up. The other direction is pretty flat but is on a sidewalk right next to the street and I freak if they get too far ahead or lag behind and they freak if their sibling gets too far ahead and they can't keep up.

One, or all three of them, usually ends up crying or tossing their bike aside and walking the rest of the way which leaves me and/or David to lug the abandoned forms of transportation alongside us. And since both trails are next to parks, they quickly lose interest in pedaling and choose, instead, to play on the playground equipment.

All of the aformentioned reasons are probably why Reese just now got her training wheels off.

Today, while she was at school, I decided that I could probably handle taking the other 2 out for a ride. So our mission wouldn't begin on a sour note, I tossed their bikes in the back of the van and drove them up to the bike trail 2 blocks from our house.

Drue needed a little encouragement. Tate was ready to go. I got their little helmets on (which almost ended our trip right then and there because Drue's helmet felt "kooky" on her) and they climbed up on their bikes.

Drue has grown five inches since her last checkup at the doctor. Her bike is less than a year old. She has outgrown her bike. Her long skinny legs were all over the place as she tried to pedal.

She was in the lead but kept stopping every 2 feet to look back at us. I encouraged her to keep going and to pick up some speed. The bike trail goes through a little patch of woods and no one else was around so it was ok if she got a little bit ahead. But she feels she has to be right next to one of us so that wasn't going to work. I put Tate in the lead instead, and off he went. I had to walk briskly to keep an eye on him which took me away from Drue's side, which she didn't care for too much but finally became ok with.

We had gone about 20 feet when one of Tate's training wheels flipped upside down and wasn't touching the ground anymore. I was able to unscrew it with my hand, which wasn't a good sign of its' sturdiness. It was either end our journey right there and head home, or screw it back on with my hand and take our chances. We took our chances.

We made it a little further down the path when Tate stopped abruptly, hopped off his bike, and came running back to me with something in his hand. That "something" was one of his pedals that had fallen off. I screwed that back on as well.

We did stop to play at the little park for a bit and then went riding a little longer. I was on the phone with a friend of mine when I realized Tate's little red helmet was getting farther and farther ahead in the direction of the street. I hollered out to him but he kept going. I hollered again, then had to abruptly end our conversation as I took off in a sprint to catch him.

Drue didn't approve of me running that far ahead without her and she began to protest loudly. Tate finally chose to heed my warnings and came heading back in our direction. I turned around to find Drue running towards me with her pedal in her hand.

Who bought them these piece of junk bikes?!

As I was screwing her pedal back on she decided to stick her duct taped warty finger in one of the holes on the top of her helmet where, of course, it got stuck.

After stopping 3 more times to screw their pedals back on, we made it back to the van and drove the two blocks back home. These two may just keep their training wheels on until they can drive....
Posted by Picasa

Site Meter