Sunday, September 28, 2014

Hats hats hats (part 2)

I asked Milo what kind of hat he wanted, because he's been feeling a little left out with all this girly knitting and crocheting I've been doing here lately. I mean, it's been legwarmers, frilly hats, and headbands galore, so I'm not surprised at all that Milo requested something ALL BOY - a tiger hat. I had to comply, and he hasn't taken it off most of the day (except when I commandeered the hat to correct the lopsided ears that I sewed on at 1:30 a.m.).

So photogenic it's ridiculous.
One more shot of the girly hat.
While I'm talking about these little punkins, I have to pass on a few Milo-isms and a few Lucy words.

Smooky - spooky. As in, "Mommy, I think they were trying to make that episode of Penguins of Madagascar a little smooky, but I wasn't scared."
Fancy Stick - a Pixie stick. I'm not sure why he heard "fancy" instead of "pixie," but I couldn't be happier.
Coco Stick - a pogo stick. Again, not sure why he heard this, but I love it.

Ahh-boooo - open. I keep Lucy's kitchen toys in a Tupperware bin with a lid, and she's constantly grabbing the bin and asking me to "ahh-boooo" it.
Moo - cow. For obvious reasons.
Buh-buh - book. I know that Lucy loves books, but I've never seen her face while I'm reading them. The other day I had her sit facing me and put the book up against my chest. She was the model of concentration, tiny brows furrowed, lips puckered...
Mow Mouse - Mickey Mouse. Adorable.

So there you go. Cute pictures, cute stories. You're welcome.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Hats hats hats

It's bound to happen. You make your daughter an adorable, girly little hat...

Does this hat need little pom-poms at the bottom of the ear flaps? I'm thinking yes...

 ...and she decides it's much cooler to wear her brother's hat(s) instead. We are, indeed, a hat-loving family, so it's good to know Lucy fits in so well around here.

Had to play around with this one a bit.
Yes, they literally hang around here with random hats on, despite the hot weather.

Good thing Lucy looks so cute in every hat.

Have I mentioned how much these two adore each other? It's getting easier to have them both in the same picture.

And then there's this hat-wearing little man. So sweet, so funny, so handsome. And looking FAR too old.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Growing up

My little people are growing up before my eyes. I was just thinking today about how Milo used to hide his hands and inexplicably say, "He's in town" every time I tried to wash him up after meals. Or how Lucy said, "Uh-uh" when she cried for a while after she was born. Now they're busy wrestling on the couch and sword-fighting and teasing each other and saying things like, "Mommy, I just don't want to deal with this." (guess who?)
All that to say, little people growing up is beautiful and tough at the same time, and I'm working on enjoying every moment.
Milo saw this picture and said, "Ooooh, Mommy, I just LOVE that picture of Lucy." So I had to post it.
I am completely enraptured with this gorgeous profile.

This pretty much sums up life as we know it right now.

Milo refers to himself as "the captain pirate - you know, the boss pirate."

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Cranky mornings and late nights

The older I get, the more I appreciate routine. I always thought of myself as a spontaneous, carefree, fun-loving person... I have this sneaking suspicion I was wrong. Maybe it was just having Milo and Lucy that made me appreciate a schedule, but I am used to having things a certain way, and I don't love having the flow disrupted. The amazing thing about kids is how good they are at changing the routine.

If you've ever read my blog before, you know how much I adore my little people. You may also know that I am, for the most part, a morning person. I've always loved getting up before everyone else, having a bit of quiet, a morning run, a giant mug of coffee and some quiet time to read the Bible. This has normally worked out really well for me because my little people have tended to sleep a little on the late side - usually until 9 or 9:30 (bliss). And then summer happened and now Milo is in my face before I even wake up, right around 7 or so... That's a two hour time difference, people, and I am growing weary of being startled awake by a tiny nose touching mine. Usually Lucy sleeps a little bit longer, but nobody around here is sleeping until the 9:00 hour anymore, which means I can no longer get up at 7 and still have my time. My old routine is out the window, and if I'm going to craft a new one the way I like it, I'm going to have to start going to bed a lot earlier.

That said, I'm a little on the tired and cranky side today. It's not my little people's fault - it's my own nighttime-downtime-loving-tired-of-my-baby-teething self staying up late. So I'm posting one of my favorite songs for you and I both to enjoy. Here you go!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

2014 Forest Festival

It's that time of year again - the Texas State Forest Festival has come to Lufkin. You can watch a lumberjack competition, get fried alligator on a stick, pet a yak, and ride yourself dizzy on an assortment of carnival rides all in the same night. We did none of these things (although we did gaze pensively at a yak, for the record), but we did still have a good time.

I was pretty excited about taking the kids this year because Lucy is at the age where she loves to look at everything and can toddle around. I thought she'd be pretty impressed with the animals, love the high school cheer/dance competition, and maybe even ride a pony. And Milo has always loved festivals and carnivals, so I figured we were set.

Can I just be honest? The kids were not super impressed. They were really tired and pretty zoned. They both danced a little at the dance competition, but we were there at the wrong time for much excitement (no offense, middle school pom and dance teams...).

Yay, family selfie.
Those are two handsome men right there.
We did purchase the largest mango I have ever seen in my life, and Lucy and Milo devoured it. And then we tried a pony ride. Milo, of course, hops up there like a pro every time and rides the pony like he was born on one (he wasn't). Lucy tends to be the more adventurous of the two, so I thought she would ADORE it. Hmmm. Not so much. I walked alongside her and held on to her, and she tried to climb off the entire time. In fact, I just pulled her off after a few minutes and the man working the exhibit gave me my money back. Oh wait. Did I mention she screamed the entire time? Milo saw the pictures and said, "Oooooh, Mommy. I liked how you wrestled Lucy on that horse." That's pretty much how it went down.

Milo - delighted. Lucy - screaming.


We almost didn't ride the ferris wheel, which is Milo's favorite, for lack of cash. But we found an ATM, and despite the fact that it had started to rain, Nate was determined that it was happening. So while Lucy, Pegs, and I looked on, Milo and Nate rode the fastest-moving ferris wheel I've ever seen. And sweet Milo told Nate, "Daddy, I can't even believe it. I wanted to do this all night." And that makes everything worthwhile, right?
Best. Dress. Ever.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Parenting 101

Oh, my son. My sweet son Milo. He is truly my son, and here's how you know it - this boy loves a craft. So when I told him that not one but two of his favorite aunties have birthdays coming up, he knew what time it was. Birthday card craft time. It was ON.

I got out Milo's craft bucket and he went to work, he and his supplies perched on the dining room table. He had a plan, and I didn't even have to do more than supervise from the kitchen counter. I cooked, he created. And then he said it.

"Mommy, my underpants are a little damp."

"Milo, why are your undies damp?"

"Well, because I pee-peed a little in them."

Ugh, potty training. Have I mentioned before that it has been the least favorite part of parenting for me, even beating out letting them cry themselves to sleep? But I try to remember that Milo is three and that accidents happen, so I let it slide.

"Okay, Milo. Go put your undies and your shorts in the laundry room. Is there more pee-pee in there? Do you need to sit on the potty?"

He declined a trip to the potty (and there was my first mistake), got himself changed, and got back to work on his crafts. At this point we was gluing googly eyes all over a card and wouldn't have even heard me if I had spoken to him. Maybe ten minutes passed, and then he said, "Mommy, there is pee-pee running down everywhere." Keep in mind, he was sitting on my dining room table.

"Excuse me, Milo? Why is there pee-pee running down everywhere?" I could already hear my voice going up in octave... "Go sit on the potty right now."

So yes, he had "dampened" another pair of shorts and undies (although there was not, as he had stated, pee-pee everywhere, so at least he had that working in his favor). I told him he had lost his shorts privileges for the morning, but that he was allowed to wear a pair of undies, and you'd have thought the world had ended. This is truly the worst punishment I could have meted out, because this boy loves his clothes. He immediately started wailing.

"Moooooooommmmmmmmmyyyyyyyyy! What you said hurt my feeeeeeeeeeeeeelings!"

I let him get it out for a minute, and then we had a serious conversation about how his decision to pee his pants twice had disappointed me, and how he needed to listen to his body and go to the potty instead of trying to finish his craft, and blah blah blah blah blah. I add the blah blah blah because I'm fairly confident that's all Milo heard, and what he interpreted was, "And now you may wear shorts and finish your craft." Imagine his surprise and disappointment when I told him that no, he did not get to wear shorts after all.

Commence wailing. Huge tears streamed down his face as he explained to me, "But Mommy, if I can't wear shorts, I just can't sit on the table, and then how will I ever finish Auntie Jen's card?"

I couldn't quite follow this logic, but it almost made sense considering how particular Milo is about certain things, so I sighed, and made him a deal. He could wear shorts, but if he peed his pants again, he was getting a straight-up spanking. We shook hands and he went on his merry, craft-finishing way. And he didn't pee his pants again.

So, two parenting lessons at work here. #1 Crafting is always more important than peeing on the potty. #2 Bargaining with your kids works at least 1% of the time. You're welcome. Have a nice day.

Jen and Dede, here are your birthday card previews.... Don't look too hard!

Add caption

Saturday, September 13, 2014


A piece of vital information for you - we got a bike trailer. And actually, Bryan got us this bike trailer at the beginning of the year, but Nate's bike was broken. And then Nate's knee was broken. And then it was the hot of awful summer and we didn't use it, but it is together and we are living it up. Our little people love it. All is well.

Working it (and by IT I mean yarn)

I have been desperately trying to knit/crochet Fall in. Today's weather is at least in the 70s, so maybe it's working? Anyway, I have knit my entire life (that I remember). It is one of those amazing stress-relieving skills that I don't have to think much about. Until recently, I've only dabbled in crocheting - mostly because it was just plain outside of my comfort level. I made flowers to put on knit hats, and that's about it. But I found a pattern for a pair of adorable crocheted slippers that I was determined to make, so I bought the pattern and hoped for the best.

It took me a little while, and a lot of research on YouTube (how did people ever learn to do anything before YouTube?), but I figured out the slippers. And then I tried a pair of legwarmers for Lucy. And then I found the cutest little cowl/bandana pattern that I decided Lucy and I both needed. It took me an entire day of crocheting rows and pulling them back out before I got the technique down, but I'm proud to say that Lucy and I now have matching cowldanas. I only took pictures of Lucy's because she's WAY cuter than I am. Case and point...
Seriously. The most beautiful little girl alive.

I'm sure she was giving a thumbs-up on purpose, right?

Little asymmetric button-up on the side.

Friday, September 12, 2014

No means no means no.

Don’t be offended if I tell you no.

You might not be used to hearing this word from me. I’m actually only good at saying it to my kids, and even then not as often as I should. But I’m making myself a new habit – saying NO. And just plain no, without explanation. This has been a long time coming, and now is as good a time as any.

You see, I have spent my entire summer frazzled over one commitment or another, constantly doing so much for everybody else that I have worn myself ragged. I have permanent dark circles under my eyes, and even when I can sleep, I often wake up in the middle of the night with a list of things to do. I haven't blogged in weeks because I've had so much going on. It’s a problem, and the thing is, I did it to myself.

What I wanted to do yesterday: snuggle with my kids, take them to the library, maybe do a little knitting, and make my family a nice dinner. Heck, I wanted to stay up and drink a glass of wine with my husband. What I DID do yesterday: bake three cakes, mash them up and add frosting, freeze them, roll the cake/frosting mix into 150 tiny little balls, freeze them again, dip each one into white chocolate individually and sprinkle with the proper amount of sprinkles, cut a ton of tissue paper into little squares, and stuff individual cake balls into tiny boxes that would. not. shut. for. anything. In the midst of all this, I still managed to make and feed my children three meals (one of which was a thrown-together dinner soup that was so icky Nate and I had to make a Taco Bell run…), care for them, bathe them, etc… I was so exhausted that I accidentally fell asleep on the bed before 9:00 and left the house a horrific disaster that I had to deal with first thing this morning. Ugh.

I’m not saying I didn’t whole-heartedly say yes to making said cake balls. I adore the person I said yes to on this one, and I didn’t think through the logistics of how long the project would take me. But it’s the story of my life – I say yes to everyone and then live with the consequences of fulfilling my promises (and it was pointed out to me recently that I don’t even always fulfill my promises – how much did that sting…). So my new plan is to say no to everyone, and then if I change my mind and do something nice, it will be a lovely surprise.

So, NO. No no no. No a hundred times over, and if I have to say it more, no again. And not no because I don’t want to (although, I really might not want to at all), but because I prefer to be happy, sane, and doing what I stay at home to do – teaching and caring for my own little people. Keeping my house clean and cooking healthful food. Spending a few minutes every day just sitting still if I want to.
So don’t be offended if I tell you no. I’m telling everyone else the same thing.