Wednesday, December 16, 2009

School Time





Ivey can climb onto the dining room chairs, which makes school time a little more interesting. I was very pleased to see that she loves to color! She doesn't push down hard enough to make much of a mark, but she sat with us for two hours coloring, sorting crayons, putting them into bowls of various sizes and playing with her peg board. Asa and Addison found it hilarious and Ivey felt like a big girl! Who knows, maybe this trend will continue. It was much easier than the usual school day (trying to keep her happy with snacks, prying her off of my legs as she whines, chasing her across the house while the boys complete assignments, etc).

Being able to climb on the chairs also allows Ivey to get a great view of the screen when the boys are playing their computer games. This game of Mancala must have been extremely exciting.




Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Tis the Season...

To be busy!! I haven't posted in a while because I've been going like a mad woman! Between school and Ivey and doctor's visits and laundry and dishes and laundry and dishes... and all with a big ol' belly... I'm swamped! When I added in gift shopping it tipped my well balanced scale and I've been in a whirlwind of crazy. Crazier I mean.

Thanksgiving was fabulous and flew by. We had lunch at Randy and Linda's and dinner at Mom and Roland's. The kids had a blast... as usual! Down at Mom's, there were enough people for Addison to play Foosball all night long. I don't think he'll ever forget that he beat Hal, Roland, Scooter, Marisa.... "even when they paid Papa to cheat by shining the flashlight in my eyes!" I am sure Scoot will want a rematch at Christmas! (**Correction** Addison did not beat Hal. My apologies to Hal for the mistake!)

Last weekend, Mim and Papa took 6 of the grandkids (all but Brittanie and Ivey) for an overnight stay. I drove the kids down so I could help with Mom's Christmas card picture (which turned out FABULOUS and I will post later, after all the cards have been mailed!). I must say, I was worried about how the picture would go. It was freezing, it started to drizzle and all the kids had just gotten together and were hyper. It went like a dream! Even Ivey stood still and happy, with her cute little smile present in each shot!

The kids had a couple days of Christmas crafts and activities. They went down to Minter's Farm and cut down a tree. From what I hear, the six of them even hauled it up to the truck. I know it must have been insane over there for Mim and Papa, but what wonderful memories to have with their cousins! Ivey may have missed out on the party, but she had a great time as an only child!

Now, it is a week until all the Christmas festivities begin and I really wish I was finished with all of the shopping. My goal is to get it all done tonight after Jeff gets home. The idea of hauling all three (plus the belly) to multiple stores sounds like a nightmare... so perhaps I can stay motivated enough to get all of my running around completed while I'm free tonight!

Oh, and our elf returned after Thanksgiving. It appears he has a sweet tooth, as he opened up our box of candy canes and proceeded to munch down during the night. Asa and Addison missed him terribly and wake up each morning on a mission to find the little bugger!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Santa Baby

I did it! Today, I packed up the kiddos and we went to the mall to sit on Santa's lap. Well, first, we went to Chuck-E-Cheese for the boys' monthly homeschool incentive. I have that place down to a science. First, print out the coupon for "buy 60 tokens get 40 free". Next, go in the MORNING. No one is there. It's like a ghost town. The place is cleaned and all of the winter germs that can survive for hours outside the body have all died the horrible death they deserve. The other thing that is great about going in the morning is that, well, you don't eat pizza in the morning. We bought the refillable plastic cups on our first venture, so when we go all we pay for is the $15 for 100 tokens. Period. Not a bad deal for a great school incentive.

Okay, so I said monthly incentive, truth be told, we missed last month. This was the first time we have gone when Ivey was a walking, running, opinionated toddler. After I fed her breakfast, she was down and running all over the place. The only real problem with this was that she thought she was a skeeball. I kept having to drag her down the skeeball ramp by her feet. Beyond that, she was great. She found the big animatronic Chuck-E-Cheese, waved and danced her little tush off. Not only was she not afraid, she wasn't shy. She shook her groove thing all over that place.



When we head to Chuck-E-Cheese, and interesting (and predictable) thing happens. Asa spends all of his tokens in a fury. He can blow through all 50 in 10 minutes flat. Addison, on the other hand, is very careful about where he puts him tokens. He doesn't always base his decision on token to ticket ratio. Sometimes he opts for the "video game" style games that don't pay off at all. It always takes him at least an hour to go through his tokens. In the end, each boy ends up with about the same amount of tickets. Addison usually chooses to spend a small amount and save the rest to add to his stash for next time... trying to get the bigger better prize. Asa spends more and saves less, but is learning for Addison's example. I say nothing. Not my tokens, not my tickets... and by speaking I would wreck a perfectly wonderful learning experience.

On this trip, Asa blew through his tokens in a flash and then got to do something straight up Asa's alley. Because we were there in the morning, there was a man working on one of the pinball machines. He had the glass top removed and he was making adjustments and such. Asa had a chair and was standing right beside him, watching and helping when asked. The man showed him what he was doing and let him try things out to see if things needed further adjustment. Asa was in heaven.



After we left, we headed to the mall for Santa pictures. I had clothes in the car, changed everyone in a flash, and had a pretty darn successful meeting with the big man. Ivey was nervous at first but quickly warmed up. It helped that I was behind the camera, jumping around like a crazed lunatic. After many shots like this, I realized that all of my attention was focused on Ivey. The boys were off in space... with nervous expressions that screamed, "I'm on someone lap... I don't know this guy... How much longer do we have to sit like this." After redirecting my attention to all, we made eye contact with all kids involved and I am totally pleased with the shot!

Asa told Santa that he wanted a remote controlled mouse (which he invented in his head... and has been asking for for over a year now) and Addison told him that he would like the new Star Wars Lego game and a particular Star Wars Lego set. Santa said he'd see what he could do. Now, they just have to be good for two more weeks!


Monday, November 23, 2009

One Man's Trash is Asa's HEAVEN

My vacuum cleaner has been on its last leg for a while. I had to lean the handle in a certain way to get the spinners to spin and the button to let me detach the head came off so I had to stick a screw driver down in the hole when I wanted to use just the hose. But, I was still shocked this weekend when it died a very dramatic and smoke-filled death. The house smelled like a car fire and my vacuum cleaner was so hot it melted the plastic. Not good. A month before Christmas and I was most definitely not expecting a vacuum cleaner purchase.

Addison said in a sorry kind of voice, "It was a good vacuum cleaner". Asa, however, danced around excitedly and said, "Can I have it?? I'm going to use the parts for the T.V. I'm making!" and spent the entire day breaking it down on the back porch. He used various screw drivers to reach the circuit board, motor and all sorts of wonderful bits and pieces. The rain was coming, so he had to move his endeavors into the utility room, where it made an enormous, but very entertaining, mess.

Yesterday, Asa brought the motor and the vacuum component in to show Jeff... and he recruited an accomplice. The two of them spliced the old cord to the motor... and found that it worked crazy well. They are both trying to figure out just what they can do with it now. They spliced the vacuum part in and plugged it into the wall. It not only worked, but but it was impressive enough to have the two of them scouring the web for project ideas. I hear a hovercraft may be in the future... I guess Asa gets it honestly.



Friday, November 20, 2009

I am toddler, here me ROAR!

Ivey has entered the realm of the toddler. I loud place, full of squeals and screams and pulling glasses of tea off of the table and onto her head. In the course of a single day, she hid my cell phone in the DVD drawer, put the beaters from my mixer into the diaper bag, throw everything in the bathroom into the bathtub (whether there is someone actively bathing in it or not)... I could go on and on...

In the grocery store the other day, we hit this all new phase of full blown toddler. For the last year, we would go to the store and the boys would take advantage of the free cookies in the bakery. No big deal. Well, on this trip, Ivey was completely offended that she would be left out of the yummy treats. We made it half way down the isle before she realized what had happened. They had cookies! In an instant, she was pointing to their cookies, signing "more" and squealing a very loud squeal of disapproval. Needless to say, we made it back to the bakery in no time. Luckily, there were also samples of sweet potato bread, which made her perfectly happy. Silly mommy, what was I thinking leaving her out?!



Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Fermentation Lesson, Little (and big) Boy Style.

Jeff has been reading the Hobbit to the boys at night. They are more than halfway through, and are absolutely loving it. The other night, they were at the point where Bilbo freed his dwarf friends from the wood-elves' capture, smuggled them to the dock, and hid them in the empty wine barrels. One by one he sent them all down the river, hopping on the last barrel himself. The talk of wine and ale led to lots of conversation. The boys wanted to know what it was and how it was made. Jeff explained to them that they both were made with yeast, which was like a little bug (I later explained that it was a fungi, as they thought yeast must have legs and eyes, etc). According the Asa and Addison, via Jeff, the yeast eats the sugar and pees alcohol in the wine, and the yeast poots in the beer and makes it bubbly. (The yeast poots also make the little holes in bread, of course). Jeff warned me that I would be hearing a lot about how yeast makes beer, wine & bread... and he was right. Bright and early the next morning, they both excitedly explained their new knowledge. Any excuse to talk about bodily fluids and flatulence is never ignored.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Better late than never...

It only took me a year, but Ivey's crib bedding is finished. I had purchased the super cute material when I was pregnant with her, but just couldn't seem to get motivated. (The fact that she didn't have a bedroom when she was born I'm sure played a part!) Since she slept in the co-sleeper for the first 5 months, it was easy to put it off. I tried to sell the boys' crib bumpers in a consignment sale, but they didn't sell. So, I thought it would be fairly easy to make a sleeve to cover them and make new bumpers!

Well, Ivey may be 13 months old, but the time has come for me to get my act together and make her bedding set. My little girl loves things that are fluffy, puffy, fuzzy, cushy and soft.... pillows, blankets, stuffed animals... So, I figured she would enjoy a little cushiness in her bed. Boy, was I right! She loved the flowers and she rolled all around in her new bed! Luckily, I had enough material to cut out pieces for a matching set for Olive. I didn't have the energy to sit and sew both sets, but set #2 is cut out and ready to assemble. I guess I should hop to it before I forget all the mistakes I made this time!







On another note, it's getting awfully chilly outside! Last night, we went for a walk in the park... and it lasted about 10 minutes before we all ran back home for some hot chocolate and snuggling on the couch! Brrrr....



Tuesday, November 3, 2009

"Tut, Tut, It Looks Like Rain"

After the drought of 2008, it seems crazy to be complaining about all this rain, but good grief! It has been raining more this fall than it has in a very long time... leaving cooped up kids and muddy feet... and a crazy momma! You can only do so much inside... and since the swine flu has scared us silly, we are avoiding all indoor play areas (like Chick-Fil-A and McDonalds). The combination is maddening! Hopefully, the kids will survive the excess movie watching and computer-game-playing with little loss to their IQ!



On a sunnier note, Ivey is walking really well now! In the last week, she has decided that it is her preferred method of transportation. We officially have a toddler! Yesterday, she spent the day babbling on the phone and walking around the house. I think she learned it from her daddy (and Asa), who cannot possibly talk on the phone and sit still at the same time.



Oh, and ever since she has located her belly button, she stops at least every hour to make sure it is still right where she left it...


Monday, November 2, 2009

Love is all you need...

Ivey was in a fabulous mood this morning. Her walking has really improved, and she is now toddling all over the house. I think her new talent has contributed to her cheery attitude. Hugs and kisses for all! I don't think I'll remind Addison of what he said when I was pregnant with her. He told me he wanted to kiss my belly to give Ivey all his kisses while she was still inside... because babies are way too slobbery when they're out to kiss!





Saturday, October 31, 2009

Who Ya Gonna Call?

With homemade costumes for all, we had a great Halloween night! Now, I sit here, various costume parts strewn throughout the house, with Asa, Addison and Ivey all doing laps in a sugary frenzy. Their costumes, which I finished this afternoon, were a hit. Ivey didn't notice her kitty cat ears (mounted on barrettes) and the boys proton packs sat on their backs nicely. Success!

In the past, I put a limit on candy intake, and we dished out a piece at a time after dinners from Halloween all the way until Christmas or later. This led to a constant candy supply. A perpetual never-ending bag of sugar. Now that I have two 6 year olds, I tried a new approach. No limit on Halloween night. They can eat candy until they puke it all up. At least this will put some sort of a dent in their supply. Will they vomit? Maybe. Will they be up all night bouncing off the walls in their room? Maybe. But, it's a small (and non life threatening) price to pay to have a huge jumpstart to reaching the bottom of those bags!











Thursday, October 29, 2009

Leaves

The boys have been working to memorize a Fall poem. They both know the whole thing, inside and out, so I told them we could make a fun video!

We fill up a whole sheet!

Asa and Addison had to write the first and last names of our family members... and it appears we now fill up a whole sheet of 1st grade writing paper! Maybe the boys taught you something you didn't already know, eh?

Monday, October 26, 2009

Whew.

These pictures definitely make it look easier and more fun than it actually was to take these!