Saturday, December 20, 2008

Getting into the Holiday spirit



She has my sense of humor ..

Kaelin drew this picture the other day ...




I asked her to tell me about it and she said, "This is Santa (on the left). He's standing with Hot Dog man."
Me: "Hot Dog man?"
K: "Yep. He's Santa's beeeeest friend."
Me: "Hmm .. I've never heard of Hot Dog man."
K: "Yeah... because Santa got hungry and ate him. He was DELICIOUS!"


RIP Hot Dog Man.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

I swore I would never do this ...

.. but I took a pair of scissors to Kaelin's hair today. For a while I have thought it would look so cute if it fell just to her jawline and it finally got the better of me. After the first cut I realized that there's a reason people go to school for this. First, our "sharp" scissors .. well, apparently not so much. Second, I have no idea how you cut a straight line on a squirmy toddler.
It took a good 20 minutes just to get it to a point where it might be passable at school tomorrow. After that we're racing to the salon and having a professional fix Mommy's shoddy work.
Kaelin must have sensed my trepidation ... about halfway through (completely out of the blue) she exclaimed, "Mooooom! I have to go to schoooool tomorrow! Uuugh."
Thanks for the vote of confidence kid.



After all was said and done, she loved her haircut. Luckily she doesn't know how to work a mirror to see the back. In the photo it actually looks like I did a good job ... but since her head is cocked you can't see that it's a tad uneven. You also can't see the back .. which is pretty sad if you see it up close.
It will be super cute when she gets touched up tomorrow though!

argh.

What about drawing on your face with a blue marker just as we're about to walk out the door constitutes a big smile and the thumbs up sign?
No matter how hard I scrubbed, that stuff stayed put for about 5 hours today.
I think Crayola might want to look up the word "washable" in the dictionary.

Is this how Dahmer started out?

I walked around the corner today and found this ..





As if the scene wasn't disturbing enough, I picked up the heart and it was soaking wet. Apparently someone did a little surgery on the poor Build-A-Bear Rabbit and then helped herself to a taste. Ew.
I asked them who was responsible for the carnage and they each blamed the other. Nice.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Free batteries

(It has been brought to my attention that my link didn't work below. Sorry about that ... it has now been fixed!)

Since so many Christmas presents require batteries, I thought I would post this deal ...
Target has Rayovac batteries in their dollar bins right now. If you visit this link

Rayovac Coupon


you can print out a bunch of the $1.00 off coupons. So .. free 4 packs of batteries.
I used five the other day with no issues. (I'm not sure if the store has a limit on how many you can use at one time, but I'm planning to go back armed with a bunch next time!)
I'm not sure if the Target stores in other areas have the same stock, but Atlanta does. Definitely worth a call to find out!

Monday, December 1, 2008

When Mommy's away ......

The other day I spent hours arranging the girls' new playspace in my art room. All for naught ... I left them to made lunch and came back to find that they had tipped over their playhouse and filled it with every toy in the room. They're lucky that Mommy had already had her requisite three cups of coffee when I found them like this........

Kaelin's "uh-oh, busted" face.

Even when they're in trouble they know to smile for the camera...

Playing with Puppets

(Jim Henson exhibit at the History Center)


Hide and Seek this morning

Reesey thinks that she's well hidden if she just closes her eyes....




Friday, November 28, 2008

Many apologies.

I've been bad about updating. I've gotten many complaints (sorry!) .. so I'm back now.
I've been super stressed the past few weeks .. nothing having to do with David or the girls though .. they're perfectly delightful as usual. Others in my life .. not so delightful. BUT .. I am hereby letting go of the drama. Now back to focusing on the things that really matter in the long run. ahhh.

To catch up (at least the few things I can remember at this late date) please excuse the stream of conciousness that follows.

Get comfortable... here goes ...

1. Reese and Kaelin are LOVING school. They are enjoying their classmates and teachers so much. Reese has a hard time when I pick her up at lunchtime because she wants to go with her teacher, Ms. Schenosky (or "Ms. Ossie" as she calls her) instead of me. Thanks kid. They have a music class on Thursdays that they enjoy and every night after brushing their teeth, they each take a turn singing us songs and showing off dances. Pretty cute.

2. Kaelin is begging for dance lessons. She really wants to take ballet .. but I'm looking for a class that incorporates a few different styles. Something tells me her famous "booty shake" might turn some heads in a strict ballet class.

3. This past week, Kaelin started asking me hat are plans were for the day. Whenever I would throw out a suggestion, her immediate response is the same ..

K: Where we going today Mom?
Me: Maybe the mall?
K: Hmm ... Will there be an audience?
Me: An audience? At the mall??
K: Yeah. Is there an audience there?
Me: Um .. I don't think so.
K: Okay .. I don't think I want to do that today Mom.
Me: Well ... what about going to the playground?
K: Yeah! That would be fun! ..... Is there an audience there?
Me: No audience at he playground babe.
K: Oh ... okay. Maybe we not do that.
Me: Okay .. well .. what do you want to do?
K: Maybe we go to the zoo!
Me: Maybe we could do that.
K: Yea! I'll tell Reesey!

(she runs off to tell her sister ... then moments later peeks her head around the corner.)

K: Mom?
Me: Yeah?

K: Is there an audience at the zoo?


sigh. I give up. I need to find out the age requirements for getting this girl on a stage .. pronto.


4. The girls teacher at school commented the other day about how great the girls are doing. She said that she's so proud of how they look after each other .. and at the amount of love they have for each other. They play with others in the class but if one senses that the other needs her for any reason, she'll run right over with words of encouragement or a hug. Of course, I see that here at home .. but it's nice to know that even when they are in a class full of other kids, they've still "got each other's back" so to speak.
She also said that she's impressed by their artistic talents and that they put far more detail into their drawings and paintings than other kids their age.

5. The girls had their first spend the night party at Grandma's on the 14th. David was in New York and I had a party to go to. It went well... up until bedtime. The girls were having too much fun to get to bed on time .. and stayed up until 9:30. By that point they were overtired and the meltdowns followed. Next time we're going to have a loooong talk about manipulating Grandma before they get to hang at Grandma's for the night .......... and maybe a shot of benadryl.

6. The night after that, David came back from NY and I headed up a little bed and breakfast in Dahlonega with my friend Laraleigh. Being the smart Momma that she is, she has arranged with her husband to take a few "Mommy trips" to keep her sanity since she has a house full of three little ones. Of course, her youngest, Julia, is just a few months old so she went too. My baby fever has reached an all time high lately, so I was more than happy to have some baby love! It was a nice getaway .. relaxing and fun even if it was just for one night. I'm now thinking that she definitely has the right idea and us girls (the big ones!) need to plan a few girl weekends here and there.

I've threatened begged asked politely for Laraleigh to let me "borrow" Miss Julia for an overnight visit. Certainly out of purely selfless motives. She's young, has three kids under four, runs her own business, blah blah blah ... so it's just me being a good friend and wanting to help her get a full night's rest for once. I swear it has nothing to do with any sort of plan to do a test run to see how well we fare with another babe in the house ....... nothing to do with trying to entice David with her adorable little face into adding one more kid to the mix ..... nothing to do with any sort of scheme to run away to Mexico with our new baby. Nope. Purely selfless motives. I swear. (Mental note: Look up the spanish equivalent of "You're right .. she doesn't look like us... but she's the spitting image her late Great Grandfather though.")
Somehow I managed to get her to agree to a FEW night over the next two months. I'm giddy.
The girls will have a blast too .. they love Laraleigh (they call her "LaLa" .. so cute) and ALL her kids .. but especially love the baby. (Perhaps because finally someone is more petite than them!) All of their dolls are now named "Baby Julia" and they play house with them every day.

7. The girls are potty trained! No more diapers around here except for sleeping (which should be going soon). We actually gave up diapers the day after the girls and I returned from our trip to stay with Grandaddy in September. It only took about a week and a half and was a super easy transition.
I'm so thankful that I just let them take the lead and let me know when it was time to go for it. I have two close friends that started their kids right at 2 (our kiddos are almost the same age) and they kept getting on me about it "being time" to get the girls started. I wasn't feeling it from the girls but I bought all the stuff .. potties, dvds, books, etc. It wasn't long after we had all the stuff here that I thought .. why am I letting them talk me into something that just doesn't feel right for any of us??
So I scrapped it and ignored the huffs and puffs of those who had kids the same age who were going through the process.

Fast forward a year and their kids were exactly at the same spot the girls were when we started the process in Sept. They had a year of frustrations, messy accidents and tantrums. I listened to them whine about being stuck in the house for weeks on end trying to get their kids on board.
When the girls showed their interest .. I got them panties and it took a weekend to really get them used to it. I'll take that over house arrest and stress any day. I'm so proud of them. (and dare I say, proud of me for following my instincts .. thankyouverymuch.)

8. Another big accomplishment is Kaelin gave up her pacifier. Since birth she has only used it at bedtime but was very attached to it. I stressed BIG time over having to take it away from her ... seriously ... you would have thought that I was trying to figure out a way to take her right arm from her. It was bad.
I started talking to her about giving it up when Baby Julia entered the world. I thought, "Aha! She can be a big girl and give her paci to a baby who needs it! Perfect!" After all the talks I got cold feet and wondered if perhaps she might hold it against Julia for stealing her precious paci from her. Not good. (Hey .. I already admitted that my thinking on this was a mess .. cut me some slack)
Then I remember the fairy house. I started to tell her about the "Paci Fairy". I told her that one night we could hang her paci on a tree outside and the Paci Fairy would come and get her paci .. then take it to a baby who needed it. The fairy would then leave Kaelin a "big girl present" hanging in the tree as thanks. She was all into the story the first time I told it .. then after that she was into it UNTIL I got to the "then the Fairy will take your paci ..." part. "Take my paci?? TAKE it?!?!"
*sigh* I kept at it hough ... all the while searching high and low for the perfect gift that would take her mind off of the missing paci.
IN the end .. all the stress was for naught. One night she went to bed without it .. an oversight on all our parts .. and that was that. No mention of it whatsoever until about 2 weeks later when just before falling asleep she said, "I want my paci" .. I responded with, "I'll look for it in a minute".. knowing full well she would fall asleep and forget all about it.
So, in the end, one day it was there ... the next day it was gone .. and I, nor Julia, nor a fairy had nothing to do with it... it was all her doing.

It seems that it's always the things I stress about the most that are the easiest things to remedy. You would think I would have gotten that through my head by now. Such is.

Artwork

Some of the girls' more recent masterpieces.

Kaelin's "Airplane"

Reese's drawing of "Daddy climbing a mountain with me"

Kaelin's depiction of "Mommy in the morning with crazy hair" (Sadly, she's right on the money with this one. It looks to me like in addition to my fabulous hairstyle, I am also throwing some sort of fit. I plead the fifth on that part. Surely her choice in the using the color red has more to do with my hair color than my early a.m. mood swings... Right?)

Reese's drawing of "Kaelin with pigtails"




and now Ladies and Gentleman.. I present to you further proof of "the obsession". My all time favorite picture of Kaelin's.....

Her rendition of Aunt Katie ... otherwise known as "Hello Boobs."



Brilliant.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Finally

I finally got around to uploading photos onto Flickr for sharing. Months ago, I decided not to overload the blog with all the photos .. then life got in the way of adding them elsewhere. Whoops.

Sorry I haven't kept everyone up to date!

Take a peek at the photos here:

Flickr photos 2008


(The sets to the right of the screen have all of the photos organized .. best to click on those for viewing)

Saturday, October 25, 2008

My girl ...

David was having a conversation with Kaelin as I was painting Reese's face (the promise of face painting was the only way to get them to leave the pumpkin farm this afternoon.)

David: K, what do you want to be when you grow up?
Kaelin: Ummmm ..
D: Do you want to be a Doctor?
K: Noooo!
D: Do you want to be a Teacher?
K: Noooo!
D: Do you want to be an Astronaut?
K: Noooo!


(pause)

K: I want to be RICH!!!!!


I have no idea where she gets it from.

Apparently we're in trouble.

I was perusing the internet for information on a certain centipede that the girls found on a hike last weekend.
While doing so I found an About.com article about House Centipedes. I've seen a number of these scurrying around late at night over the years ... so the article caught my interest.
I gather that either the editor was 'phoning it in' the day this article was published .. or, if not, were all facing certain death.

A few excerpts...

"The house centipede, Scutigera coleoptrata, is a yellowish grey centipede with 15 pairs of legs. Originally endemic to the Mediterranean region, the species has spread to other parts of the world, where it usually lives in human homes. It is an terror to all of us; it kills and eats humans.

Unlike its shorter-legged but much larger tropical cousins, the house centipede can live its entire life inside a human. Because they eat household pets, house centipedes are considered among the most beneficial creatures that inhabit human dwellings, but because of their alarming appearance, frightening speed, and painful bite, few homeowners are willing to share a home with them.

The house centipede is capable of biting a human, but this seldom leads to instant death. When it does, it is no worse than a minor bee sting.[2] The symptoms generally disappear within a few hours. However, the bite can cause health problems for those few who are allergic to the mild venom of its bite, which is similar to that of most normal centipedes."


Awesome on so many levels.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

I don't care what side you're on ...

this is hysterical. I've watched it over and over and it brings me to tears every time.

You can view more of this series here ..
McCain's Brain

See more funny videos at Funny or Die

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Fairy House

I stole another Momma's idea and built a Fairy House with the girls yesterday. They gathered all of the bark, sticks, moss etc. and I glued everything together. This morning before school, the girls went outside to look at the house and found fairy dust scattered on the inside. Definite proof that a fairy has taken up residence there! She even left her magic wand behind, which Kaelin was very excited about.
Mommy snuck outside after bedtime and managed to get a picture of our fairy hanging out in her new home. I can't wait to show the girls in the morning!
I've become a tad obsessed with the house .. decided today that no self respecting fairy would be comfortable in a house without a patio. So, that's our next project.
I'm guessing that before long we just might have an entire city built up back here... further proof that I'm totally re-living my childhood through these two.

The start of our house ..


The furniture ..



.. with our fairy sitting on her chair.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

I can't explain it either.


I haven't decided if it's harder to explain why Reese has her head in the toilet ... or why I took the time to run for the camera and take a picture.
Which one makes me seem less of a horrible mother?
Hmmm...

Rest assured, after the pic I scrubbed her face and hands in the sink .. then with Purell .. then once again in the sink for good measure.
After that I explained that there would be plenty of time to contemplate the inner workings of the commode when she gets to college.

That's when she gave me the look. Ya know.. the one that seems to scream, "College?! Yeah right Mom .. try Middle School. I'm karma personified."

Touche.

Grandaddy needs a shave

Grandaddy decided that he needed a shave .. the girls were more than happy to help.






Grandaddy's house

The girls and I took a trip to Mississippi last week to see Grandaddy. The girls had a great time and were awesome on the six hour drive in both directions.
We only had two stumbling blocks on the drive. One was on the way there .. We had to wait in line to get gas for almost an hour in a half in Alabama. Ouch. The second was a brief barf attack by Kaelin on the way back. Ick. It was totally my fault .. I forgot to water down her juice (which I still always do) and I gave her a huge cup of it as we left Mississippi. I didn't think that she would guzzle the entire thing down at once. Turns out I was mistaken .. didn't take long for that juice to reappear. Not fun.
Despite the setbacks, the girls were troopers and spent the rest of the drives singing songs, telling stories and drawing pictures.

A few photos ..

Taking a ride on a train..


.. apparently driven by a man fully qualified to give rides to children.


Reese on the Merry-Go-Round


Kaelin finally getting to ride a Motorcycle.


Reese at Grandaddy's neighborhood playground.


Kaelin playing with Grandaddy

Monday, September 8, 2008

Aimee Mann



David surprised me with a night out on Friday evening. I didn't know where we were headed until we got to the ticket counter at Variety Playhouse. Aimee Mann was playing .. one of my all time favorites .. with The Submarines opening up for her.
He's a smart boy.
It was an awesome show and the girlies got to play with their favorite babysitter, Julie, while we were gone. More tomorrow .. I'm exhausted from the weekend...

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Our hummingbirds are back



Every year we have two hummingbirds that make our backyard their home. We finally got around to getting them feeders this year. They are extremely social and hover right in front of the girls when we come outside.. which sends the girls into fits of giggles. Hopefully I'll be able to capture that on video one of these days. So cute.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

OUR NEW MIRACLE BABE!

(And yes, LL ... I wrote that she's "OURS". Try and take that away from me .. I dare ya.)

Miss Julia Ellon Forester made her entrance into the world last week!
Many of you remember details along the way and the prayer requests.

She started out as the baby who wouldn't survive the pregnancy. Then they said she wouldn't survive long after birth.
Along the way there were endless ultrasounds, a diagnosis of dwarfism .. and then a rare lethal type of dwarfism. Her growth was was extremely slow .. which worried the Doctors.
Add to all of that, an enlarged heart surrounded by fluid, questions of chromosomal issues, questions of neurological issues, and Doctors who just couldn't seem to figure out what any of it meant.
Laraleigh was put on bedrest .. first at home and then at the hospital. While at Northside LL's water broke but Doctors allowed Julia to stay in the womb for a few more days. They prepared her mentally for a C Section (which was a nightmare for LL given that she had her two boys naturally (with no meds .. crazy woman) and was worried about how to care for her other kiddos once she got home.
In the end .. LL had Miss J naturally (and even posted updates for her friends DURING labor .. "Holy smokes these contractions hurt... " ha.). She was allowed to hold and cuddle her when she came into the world. (For comparison .. I was given a very quick peek at the girls before they were rushed away .. never got to do more than touch their cheeks)
At birth, she weighed 2 pounds, 9 ounces and measured 15 and a half inches long.
She is in the NICU and doing AMAZINGLY well! She spent one day on the CPAP machine and when I saw her on Sunday she was breathing on her own with no help!! K and R were still getting oxygen after a month and a half in there! She is also maintaining her own body temp very well.
She is in the same Special Care Nursery that K and R were in for their first few weeks. Her incubator is directly across from where I first held Reese. It brought back a flood of emotions when I walked through that door. (I think I traumatized the girls when I got home .. I was an absolute mess .. couldn't stop hugging them and crying. )
She is gorgeous .. perfect .. just an absolute miracle.

Tuesday they will be running some tests to determine if there are any skeletal or chromosomal abnormalities and do some blood tests. (keep the prayers and positive vibes coming!)Due to the fact that she is doing so well, the neonatologist thinks that she will escape all of the usual preemie issues and just spend her time there getting bigger. That's HUGE considering that the girls went through almost all of them!


Kaelin and Reese can't stop talking about her. They are so excited that their favorite Auntie "LaLa" has given them a new playmate. Kaelin is even going to give up her nightime pacifier to "sweet, little baby Julia"
Of course, she has also demanded a "big girl present" for doing so .. so once Mommy figures out what that will be we'll box them up and take them over to the hospital.

We are so thankful that she's here ... that she has exceeded all expectations .. and that we have been given the privilege of watching her grow and witnessing who she will become. If the past is any indication ... look out world!



Friday, August 29, 2008

seriously?

I tell ya .. those folks in Arkansas certainly have their priorities straight.

Arkansas Ban



I am just LIVID that in this day and age .. hell, ANY age .. people think like this. I mean, first of all .. we live in a world full of war, rape, murder, child abuse, homelessness, poverty, blah blah blah .... but close minded people decide to focus their time and energy on this. Really?! This is worth your time? Who a person LOVES .. who a person creates a home with .. a future with .. a family with ... It's "those people" who you think we all need protection from?!

Second, a little experiment:
I know a couple of same sex couples who have adopted. One couple lives their life with their child in a way that should be the example that we all strive for. Absolutely amazing parents.
I also know a heterosexual couple who put their children through HELL when they divorced. These kids were so screwed up after being dragged through the process ... the lies, the manipulation, the he said / she said of it all... It was painful to witness.

Now I ask you ... are the women in couple number one great parents because they're gay?
Are the man and woman in couple number two poor excuses for parents because they're straight?

Well, of course not!
What difference does a person's sexuality make when it comes to providing a loving home to a child?! Even more .. a loving home to a child who has never known such a thing?

I'm SURE that every single person who stands behind that bill has gone out and adopted or fostered a child in need. It's certainly the CHILDREN they care about .. not just promoting their idiotic, backwoods ideology.
Surely.

It sickens me to think that one day my girls will reach an age where they recognize the hatred that exists in their world. However, it lifts me up to know that they will never understand it .. and will hopefully fight against it every step of the way.


(I'll update about the Birthday Girls soon .. I got sidetracked tonight)

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Update tomorrow ...

I'm still recovering from the Birthday Party. Once my head clears I'll post more!

The Birthday Girls!



(FABULOUS shirts made by Stephanie of http://www.bellagraceboutique.com )

Friday, August 22, 2008

excuse the absence..

.. but I'm in birthday hell. I've been so busy planning the girls' third birthday that I've had no time to post. Yes, they turned THREE on August 20th. I'm beside myself. Where did my babies go? I was looking at pictures from their NICU days .. I struggle to remember just how small they are. A friend crocheted some adorable little hats for me to give to Laraleigh (who's little Julia might be coming today!) and I was holding them in my hand marveling at how tiny they are. LL's babe will be just under Reese's birth weight of 2.5 pounds, so the hats would have fit Reese perfectly. Sitting in my hand, it only took up the middle of my palm. How can a human head possibly be that small?! I remember the photo of Reese's hand holding onto David's finger. Her entire hand fit in between the middle creases of his finger. Crazy.
Posting a video of the girls opening a few of their presents .. they're very good at making you feel like you found the PERFECT gift. So funny.

Before I do ... please send Laraleigh some prayers today .. she may be leaking amniotic fluid which means that J Bird will taken by C Section today. Seeing as how the girls came and went through the preemie days so well, I have no doubt that this little babe is a fighter too (and if you know her older brother Mason, you know that spirit definitely runs in her blood!) and that she will go on to greatness.
Lots of strong baby / peaceful Momma vibes would be greatly appreciated today.

video