Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Hey good lookin', whatcha got cookin'

Last night Grace dragged a chair over to the counter so she could look at the cookbook. That girl loves the kitchen.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

One topping pizza

Kendall earned a pizza coupon from school for reading. It wasn't a "Book It" coupon like days of old so don't start walking down memory lane just yet. I told her she gets a one topping pizza for reading a book every night last month. She gave me the strangest look but then just walked away. She came back a few minutes later and told me "Mom, daddy can have my pizza coupon, I don't want it. I have never seen a talking pizza and I don't think I want to." I cracked up because I knew right away. She had heard "one talking" not "one topping". When I explained what a topping was she seemed to feel a lot better.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Cookie Monsters

The girls and I made sugar cookies this morning and they had a blast. Grace kind of had her own thing going on as you can see from her picture. Kendall had no help from me and she did pretty well. The decorated cookies pictured are hers.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Stereo naughtiness.

I've got one toddler at one end of the house kicking her foot against the wall and singing some song that I can only title "This song will probably drive my mom crazy so I'll sing it.". She's suppose to be taking a nap. I've got a baby on the other end of the house "talking" up a storm in her bed. I think she might be having a fight with the animals hanging from her mobile. She's not crying, but her tone is very displeasing. I actually think one of the animals that hangs on her mobile irritates her. I don't think she likes the little blue lion that hangs down. I don't blame her. Since when our lions blue? Nice message to kids Graco company.

Monday, December 15, 2008

My husband's new career as a fortune cookies writer

Byron just emailed this to me and I'm posting it exactly as he emailed it.

"Frickin’ Chinese Fortune Cookie,,,,,

'An unexpected event will soon make your life more exciting.'

Uh,,,,we don’t need that. ;-) We need a healthy dose of expected and boring events…..


Amen to that!! What a year!

Does it seem drafty in here?

Okay you can't really tell from the picture but those two black pieces on the porch are the cover to the grill. You may be wondering how the grill cover ended up in two pieces on our porch. Wild animal? Freak grill accident? No...it was the wind. The wind was so strong last night it ripped the grill cover in two. Seriously? Yes. It was SO COLD and windy here last night and this is our second of many casualties of the winter weather. It was -5 with a wind chill of -20 when Kendall went to the bus stop this morning. I spent 15 minutes layering her and still when the bus pulled up and she stepped out on the porch she looked back at me like "Are you kidding?" Sorry honey!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

The Torch is Passed

The kids were "helping" me prepare dinner tonight and we let Grace in on the action. She's a natural chef. She is now our official stirrer. That used to be Kendall's position but she has moved up to pourer and measurer. Of course it took twice as long and just as much food ended up on the floor as in the bowl, but that is expected. Eventually Byron and I will achieve our dream of having the kids do all the chores while we sit back and relax. Ha, yeah right!

Friday, December 12, 2008

The Carrotonator

Well, the toothless wonder has decided to skip an important developmental milestone. For weeks I have been trying to get this child to eat baby food. She'll take a couple of bites and then be completely done with the whole experience. Out of frustration one night, I handed her a cracker to chew on while I finished dinner. When I looked over, she had eaten half of it. Oh I get it. We're skipping baby food. I started giving her soft table food and she loves it! What a strange child. No complaints here, it saves me a messy step.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Happy Birthday Grace!

Yes our little glow worm is 2 years old. She had a great birthday that included a Mickey Mouse toy that she is currently sleeping with because she wouldn't let it go. When Byron brought the cake home I said I thought it looked familiar. Byron thought we had got Kendall the same cake when she was 2. Then Kendall came in the kitchen and said, "Hey, that's the same cake Grace had last year!" Sure enough, I looked back through pictures and it is the same cake! Whoops! I guess I better check old pictures before I order cakes. The only bad thing that happened to Gracie today was she got a wet foot coming out of the store! The poor thing was following me in the parking lot because I was carrying Maddie. She was being SO good and doing exactly as I asked but she kept saying "shoe, shoe." I said, "Yes you have pretty shoes Grace." But the poor thing was trying to tell me her shoe had come off! Here she is walking in the cold parking lot holding her little shoe in her hand and she can't even get her mommy to listen to her!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

The First Snow

Ahhh..the first real snow of the year. It causes my kids to shout "Snow, snow!!!!" It makes Byron and I shout it too, but in not such a positive manner. I'll be honest, I do not care for snow. I would as soon just move to Arizona for the winter with all the old people. The kids love it and it is Grace's first winter where she can really get out and enjoy it. So here are pics of our first snow. If you look closely you can see where Grace's thumbs are always pointing the wrong way. Mittens on a two year old never work out.

Friday, November 28, 2008

The Thanksgiving Story according to Kendall

There were these pilgrims and they lived with a king who was very mean. They wanted to get on a boat and go away. Everyone told them not to do it but they did it anyway. It was hard on the boat and there were lots of storms. Some people got sick and died. The ones who didn't die had to drink yucky water and bread with worms in it. They ate that everyday for breakfast. Then they went to Africa. In Africa there was good water and they drank that. Then they got back on the boat. They went somewhere else and met a man there that lived in the woods. The man was wearing his bathing suit. The man learned to speak English which is what pilgrims speak. The man taught the pilgrims stuff and the pilgrims taught the man stuff. I don't remember what happened next but I think it had something to do with a deer. The end.

Friday, November 21, 2008

What's the deal with hands?

There is something terribly wrong with my hands. I can pull and push around the skin on the back of them. It's loose!! I bet I can pinch a good inch of skin on the back of my hand and not even wince. What's up with that? First I thought I hadn't noticed it before. Wrong! After checking the hands of people younger than me, I noticed they don't have this problem. However, people older than me do have this problem. It seems the older you are the more skin you have back there. It's like rings on a tree. First my nails don't grow like they used to and now this! Unbelievable!! Then Byron and I went to see a movie about a week ago. After the movie when I stood up, I noticed my legs were a little stiff from sitting still so long. What is that about? I guess I better get off here and go sign up for a good nursing home. If Ed McMahon sends me an offer for insurance I am done!

Warning!!! A clear thought is coming followed by adult conversation.

So if you are currently changing a diaper or playing peek-a-boo you might want to come back later. I just finished the best little book and I had to recommend it to everyone. It's called "Assaulted by Joy" by Stephen Simpson. It is the journey of a Christian who battles with the sarcasm and cynicism that so many of us live with in our every day life. This is NOT a feel good lovey dovey God will solve all your problems if you just pray and go to church and try to be good. This is a real life journey with mistakes, screw-ups, blessings, disappointments and well: joy. If you want to borrow my copy, you are welcome to it. I think we can sometimes get a little down in the mouth during the holidays and this book really lifted my spirits. Okay, that is my adult conversation on this board. Check back for another one is maybe 3-6 months when I get around to finishing another book. If I think I don't have time, the author of this book has 3 year old quads!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Another baby at the Hall house?

Yes it's true. There is officially another baby at the Hall house. Luckily, this one is Grace's baby. Grace spent the week with my parents and got an early birthday present. A baby that has a potty and "wets" in it when you give her a bottle. These dolls are super cute for the kids BUT the last thing I need around here is to change fake diapers on fake babies. Not only do I have two kids who have real dirty diapers now I have a fake kid who can produce a real dirty diaper. This tops the gift they got Grace for Christmas last year. A toy that shoots plastic balls up in the air that scatter all over the room. Sounds fun except at the time Grace wasn't walking. Guess who got to retrieve the balls? Yup, the same one who will be changing the dirty diapers on this fake baby, ME!! Mom and Dad, I know you're reading this and don't worry, I'll be sending all these toys with the kids when they come visit so you can enjoy them too.
Amendment: After posting this, I received a phone call from mother informing me that she/dad did not show Grace how the baby really works and had never filled the baby's bottle with water so if we want to show Grace how to use it that is on us. Sorry Mom and Dad. I will ground myself for the weekend and take my ipod away from myself.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween

If you are reading this and don't live in the Des Moines area you are probably wondering how I got these pictures up before Halloween arrived. In this neck of the woods they have something called Beggar's night the night before Halloween. That's when the kids go trick or treating and "beg" for candy. Anyway, it was a super night for it and the girls didn't even have to wear coats. In own town you can trick or treat around to the businesses on the town square before you go trick or treating house to house. We had never gone before but we went this year. Oh my goodness at the crowd!! I didn't know that many people lived in our small town. Turns out when everyone comes out of there homes all at once it makes a pretty good crowd of us. Here are some pics of the girls.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Hair raising.

I snapped this pic of Grace after her nap yesterday. The best part of the story? When I showed it to Byron he said, "What was in her hair?" My answer, "Nothing, she just woke up that way." If you can't find humor in that, then you've never cared for a toddler.

Also, isn't this pic of Maddie cute? I love babies in little jeans and sweaters. Luckily I snapped this picture 30 seconds before she spit up all over herself.

The runaway president

Today Kendall came home and announced that she had voted at school. Here's how the conversation went.
Kendall: "I voted today, just like you mom."
Me: "Voted for what?"
Kendall: "I don't remember."
Me: "Was it president?"
Kendall: "Yes, I voted for who is running away with the president."
Me: "Who did you vote for?"
Kendall: "I don't remember, but it is supposed to be a secret. (Pause) I guess I can tell you though, but no one else. Keep it in the family."
Me: "Okay, was it John McCain or Barak Obama?"
Kendall" "I don't know. I picked a picture."
Me: "Did he have white hair or brown hair?"
Kendall: "Brown hair. I picked the brunette one because I am a brunette too."

Decomracy is process people. The scary thing, I'm sure some adults use the same criteria.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Raingate...Day 3

Yes, it has been raining for three days here and Mommy is at the end of her indoor entertainment rope. Kendall didn't have school today so I had three to entertain instead of two. We've done it all. We made scary pictures for Halloween. Pretended we lived in the jungle. Fed, changed, and carried around babies (real and pretend). The kids played in their tent and I served them lunch in it. We made a cake to look like a pumpkin. We watched cartoons. We played mermaids. When Byron is not here I get to be King Triton which is nice because I'm usually Ursula. I used to be Sebastian until Madison came along. Kendall wanted to glue leaves to Madison's diaper and make her a "jungle baby" but I said the leaves were too crumbly to bring in the house. (thank goodness). I would be up for smearing lipstick on our faces for war paint and gluing leaves to ourselves and doing some kind of no more rain dance. I would actually be up for smearing lipstick on and leaving the house without the children. I let the kids stay in their PJs today because what is the point of changing? We won't be going outside and they'll just have to get back in their PJs in 14 hours anyway. Sigh....I know the rain will stop soon, but this is sucking up the last few days we can play outside without spending 30 minutes layering clothes to fight the elements. Oh well. Maybe it will be a mild winter. Ha!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Those little pink things

This is my super busy time of day but I have to blog about this or I will forget. Kendall has to bring snacks to school tomorrow and so she brought home the snack bucket from school. I had bought rice krispie treats but had forgotten to check for peanut oil. (There is a child in her class that has a peanut allergy.) I told Kendall that I was checking the label for peanuts. After reading I said "No peanuts, just milk. I guess the milk is from the marshmallows." Kendall said, "No mom, milk comes from cows, not marshmallows! It comes from those little pink things that hang down on them." I said, "Utters". She said, "What others? Milk only comes from cows."

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Yummy, yummy, yummy...

Hey! No one told me about clean up time!

Fingers and toes taste better.

Maddie has taken her next big step toward leaving the nest, eating cereal!! Okay, so we may have a few more steps to go before we're dropping her off at college but you gotta start somewhere. She seemed to like it pretty well. Like her attitude with most things, she could take it or leave it. If anyone finds a onesie or t-shirt that says "whatever" then snatch it up for Maddie because that is her thought on everything.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Festival Time!

No Iowa Festival is complete without a big sandbox full of corn.

Maddie just enjoys taking it all in.

The most interesting thing to Grace was this tree bark she found.

Kendall making a beaded necklace.

There was a guy making balloons for charity. Kendall asked for a cat and he made the pink panther. He was very good except Kendall didn't know who the pink panther was.

It is our county's Covered Bridge Festival weekend and like any good citizen we went to support our community; mainly by shelling out cash! Here are some pics of the kids at the festival.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

"Maybe the dingo ate your baby."

That's what I think of when I look at these pictures of Grace. Where did my baby go? She's not a baby anymore! She is starting to look so grown up. She is the funniest kid and so good natured about everything. Of course she is like an F5 tornado and destroys everything in the house. That will pass someday (I hope.) She always wants to help with Madison and she loves to play together. Whenever I give her a sippy cup, so gives all her stuffed animals a drink. She is very into sharing right now. I hope it lasts. She loves to dance and has what her father calls freak outs. She starts hollering and stomping her feet and laughing until she falls on the floor. We don't know what triggers them but they can come at anytime and anywhere. It's so funny. Yesterday she was riding in the cart at Wal-mart, but the cart got too full. She had to walk in the store and let me tell you, I've never seen someone two feet tall walk so proud in my life. She loved it. She did a good job. We only had one incident when she brought a box of cupcakes to me she wanted to take home. She is something else.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

If You Give a Mom a Cookie

For all you moms out there who have read If You Give a Mouse a Cookie countless times.

If you give a mom a cookie, she'll ask you for a napkin.

When you give her a napkin, she'll want to wipe her kids' mouths.

Wiping the kids' mouth will remind her that she hasn't packed their school lunches yet. So, she'll ask you for the peanut butter.

When you give her the peanut butter, she'll remember she needs to clean that sticky stuff on the refrigerator handles. So, she'll ask you for a sponge and some kitchen cleaner.

She'll clean the refrigerator handle, and ask you to hold the door. She'll clean the shelves, the vegetable crisper and the stuff oozing out of the duck sauce jar.

The duck sauce will remind her that she forgot to make dinner reservations for Saturday night. She'll ask for the phone.

When she reaches for the phone, it'll ring. So, she'll answer it.

Someone will ask her to volunteer for the upcoming school fundraiser. She'll agree and ask you for a pen and paper. Then she'll hang up.

Hanging up will remind her she forgot to put the dry cleaning away. So she'll go upstairs.

In her room, she'll forget why she went there in the first place. So, she'll go back downstairs.

On the way downstairs, she'll find the phone message about helping with the fundraiser. She'll pick it up, and ask for the phone.

She'll call a friend, who promises to donate plates to the fundraiser. The plates will remind her she needs someone to donate napkins. She'll ask you for the napkins. And chances are, if you give her the napkins, she'll want a cookie to go with them.

Except, someone else already ate it.

Taken from 14 Hours 'Til Bedtime by Jen Singer

Monday, September 29, 2008

Our Scientific Day

We went to the Science Center today and had a wonderful time. All the kids were angels and I think Kendall and Grace learned quite a bit. Here are some pics of the kids expanding their minds.

True Blue Blood

It is homecoming week in Winterset. You can tell a small town because EVERYONE seems to get involved. I was in town today and kids were decorating the front store windows for homecoming. There is also a parade on Friday and the schools are having school spirit activities all week. One of the days Kendall is supposed to wear her favorite team jersey. When I told her this she asked "Mom, what is my favorite team?" I said, "It's the Kentucky Wildcats. We all bleed blue in this family." She paused for a minute then looked down at her arms and said, "I wondered why these lines on my arms were blue!"

Friday, September 26, 2008

Sleepy time Maddie.

Here's some adorable pics of Maddie sleeping. She does the cutest thing in her sleep. Here she is sucking on the sheet while laying in our bed one morning. I guess she lost her pacifier. The other one is her toes sticking through her blanket. She loves to stick her toes in her blanket. I'm beginning to think she couldn't sleep any other way. I don't know what we'll do when footy PJs come into play in a couple of weeks.

Mommy physics.

We learn in school that every action has an equal reaction. That's proven science. However, any mother will tell you about Mommy science. Just when you begin to have a thought in your head that you're getting things done and actually getting ahead of your list, bam!!! Mommy science steps in and throws a monkey wrench (and sippy cups, and peanut butter sandwiches, and pacifiers) at your head. Case in point. Last night I went to bed feeling good about what I had accomplished this week. I planned to spend today cooking spaghetti sauce and having lots of extra play time with the kids. Mistake one was thinking I would have lots of leisure time today. It started when Madison got up an hour earlier than usual. Not a big deal. Then I forgot to pack Kendall's lunch and was throwing ham sandwiches and fruit cups into her lunch box two minutes before the bus came. I still haven't realized mommy physics is at play. Then the mother load. Twenty minutes after Kendall left I saw the snacks she was supposed to take for her class sitting on the counter. Now if you know Kendall I'm sure you can predict my thought process. The second she realizes she has forgotten the snacks she is going to freak out. I am now on a mad dash to get up to the school before her teacher unknowingly sets off a bomb by saying, "Where are the snacks?" I threw some clothes on Grace and Maddie got jerked out of her morning sleep and had to go in her PJs. She's young, she can pull it off. I usher both kids into car seats, drag the double stroller into the back, and we're off. We're halfway down the road and I'm feeling pretty good. We're going to make it! Then I realized I forgot the snacks. Dang!! Back home to get the snacks. Now I know I'm not going to make it. To school, both kids in the stroller and I realize Grace has kicked her shoes off in the van. Back in the van to get the shoes. Up to the school where I am praying that when I get around the corner all the kids will still be standing outside. They're not there. I go to open the door. It's locked. Are you kidding me? Now I am in the black hole of mommy physics. I slow down now because I know Kendall knows by now she's forgotten the snacks. I walk back around the building and go through the front door. Sure enough, I found Kendall with a tear streaked face and her teacher trying to tell her it was no big deal, that she would just call me and I could bring them up. Kisses are given and tears are wiped away and I'm out of there before I make it worse. Fast forward to this afternoon. I'm finishing up dinner. Maddie is in the kitchen being fussy. Kendall is asking me to look at the picture she's coloring every five seconds. Grace is playing in the living room, or so I thought. One minute after I saw her I hear a heart-stopping crash and a scream. I found her in her room and she had fallen while climbing on her dresser! Hello, that kid will be lucky if she makes it to two. But here's the best part of Mommy physics. After our crazy day, we all snuggled up on the couch tonight and stayed up late watching a Disney movie. It was peaceful and cuddly and the perfect end to a mommy physics day.

Friday, September 19, 2008

My dirty little secret.

I have an addiction problem. It's so bad I have to set a timer or I could spend the whole afternoon nap time feeding it. I'm addicted to craigslist!!!! If you don't know what craigslist is let me share. It is like being at the world's biggest garage sale without having to leave your home!! You can buy and sale stuff on-line which appeals to my inner bargain shopper AND to my inner get rid of stuff you don't use personalities all rolled into one. Ohh, I just can barely stand it. I think I could be on there all day if I let myself. I currently have about 7 postings up of things I'm selling and I've already bought toys and clothes for the girls for Christmas. It gets worse. I have another website addiction to a website called paper back swap. You can swap books with other members and all it costs is postage. They have everything!! I must have half a library in my basement and now I can swap out my old books for someone else's old books. Yeah, more stuff to bring in the house. Ha Ha. At least I'm doing it during nap time, but when I think of the time wasted when I could be doing something productive, yikes! Oh well. Here's a picture of Maddie laughing at my problems.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Red Roper, Red Roper

Kendall has been cracking me up with her new school vocabulary. First she tells me that I should make a pictograph of the boys and girls that live in our home. Everyone morning she asks me "What day is this?" At first I would say "Wednesday" or whatever day it was. "No mom, what number day is it?" The school is on a six day rotation and she already has memorized what number days equal what she will be doing at school that day. Now I have to mark the calendar with the "days" of the week. Other phases include "I'm a cold lunch kid" (She's taking her lunch to school). "I'm a checkered flag kid" (She followed all the rules at school that day.) "In PE, we played Red Roper" (Not to be confused with Mr. Roper from 3's Company.) This morning at breakfast she said "I hope I'm top dog today!" (Line leader) I went to pick her up from school for gymnastics on Monday and I met her in the wrong place. She was so put out with me and said, "Mom, all the other moms know to meet the kids by the big K!!" Sorry!

Grace has really taken to this big sister thing while Kendall is at school. She is a little mommy. She takes care of her "baby" while I take care of mine. She feeds him, puts him to bed when Maddie takes a nap and even changes his diaper with a little wipe and old diaper I gave her. She also carries her baby around and pats
him on the back going "shhh...shhh" So cute. Did I mention her baby is a Care Bear? They've even taken to sleeping together at night. I hope she's not rolling over on him. Ha Ha.