Friday, August 26, 2011

Quick 5

And another month bites the dust.

1.  I'd like to start this week's Quick 5 with a few cute pics of my cute girls.

Alaina really wanted me to take a picture of her drinking her juice.

2.  You'll notice that I have Joya's hair up Pebbles-style.  I have to do something.  Her hair is growing in quite nicely, except for that weird long tuft on the top of her head.  I don't really want to cut it, because I don't see how you could, so I've had to figure out how to pull it back out of her eyes.  It's super-fine, but I've finally made a few bows that hold it up.  The only problem is she likes to pull out the bow.  The other day I watched her pull out the bow, look at it in her hand, and then put it back on her head, as if it would just stick there.  It was so cute.

3.  I'm afraid that Alaina is moving toward dropping her afternoon nap.  I've known since she turned three that the Day would be coming, but I'm really starting to see the signs.  She goes down for her nap okay, but she's starting to wake up within an hour and half, rather than sleeping for 2 1/2 or 3 hours.  I have no idea what I'm going to do with her once she drops that nap, because she usually just follows me like a puppy.  I guess I'm going to need to prepare myself to say goodbye to my Long Afternoon Break.  He was a good friend.

4.  I feel like I reached a new level in parenting this week.  It was my week to take Alaina to Cubbies.  (Lee has a men's Bible study he goes to every other week at the same time as Awana; he'll take her those weeks, I'll take her on the off weeks.)  Since I'm only going every week, I didn't join one of the adult studies that goes on during that time.  So I dropped Alaina off at her class, went to the lobby and read as I waited for her to finish.  I'm beginning to get the taste of motherhood that moms experience when they have kids in dance class or pee-wee soccer or something.  It's a new phase: parents taking their kids to something that will enrich their lives, and patiently acting as the taxi driver.  It's a strange feeling.

5.  I'm really looking forward to an honest-to-goodness Girls Night Out tonight.  As in dinner and movie with some ladies from church.  While Lee stays home with the girls.  I haven't been on a real Girls Night Out in a really long time.  We're going to see The Help, and I loved the book, so I'm excited to see the movie.  Daddy has never been fully in charge of putting both girls down to bed before, and I'm sure it will go just fine.

Stay cool, everyone!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Quick 5

Holy Fast Week, Batman.  August always used to drag for me, but not this year.  I haven't even had time to feel nostalgic over the (lack-of) start of school.  On to the Quick 5...

1.  Joya is starting to be goofy.  She knows when she's making us laugh, and will continue to do the trick for as long as we laugh at her.  She gets a twinkle in her eye and wrinkles her nose and repeats whatever it was she just did.  One of my favorites is the way she plays peek-a-boo.  With her limited motor skills, she covers her mouth when you say "Where's Joya?" and giggles as she pulls her hand away from her mouth. 

2.  Alaina has entered the "Watch Mommy!" phase.  About a third of her 25,000 daily words consist of the words "Watch Mommy!"  She says it constantly, even if she's not doing something interesting.  Sometimes I'll obediently watch, only to see her blink.  I refuse to believe she's starved for attention; trust me, she gets plenty of my attention throughout the day.  I can't even pretend to watch, either.  She knows, and will re-insist that I watch her at that very moment.

3.  Alaina started Cubbies at AWANA this week.  I think I'm more excited about it than she is.  Oh, she of course loves to be in any class-type setting.  She wouldn't care what the reason is behind it.  I never did AWANA, but I love the whole concept of it.  She's so great at remembering her verses from Sunday school that I know she'll do great.  So far she really likes that her teachers are "Miss Corstina" and "that Pandamania girl." 

4.  On Wednesday we ran into all four of the Gillett girls at Wal-Mart.  I rarely see anyone I know at Wal-Mart, so it was fun to run into actual friends.  Alaina, however, was terribly distracted the rest of the time.  We said hello and chatted for a few minutes, and Alaina and the girls ran up and down the aisle.  Then we went on our way while they went on theirs.  But Alaina kept saying, "Where are the Gilletts?  The Gilletts need me!  I lost the Gilletts!" And once, after hearing a little girl (who was not a Gillett) scream, Alaina said, "The Gilletts are screaming!  I have to find them!"  I almost put her in the cart just to keep her from running to find them, but she did okay staying close to me. 

5.  Yesterday we went to Hobby Lobby (where I scored using the 50% off wall decor sale).  While I was paying, a lady stood behind us in line.  Alaina introduced her to Joya and then promptly sang the dear, patient lady a song.  Alaina then turned to me and declared, "I'm singing for the people!"  That dear lady was so gracious, and I've learned that if Alaina isn't hurting anyone, then I let her just go with it.  The song was actually Hebrews 13:6, so I'm sure that lady was only benefited by a dose of Scripture in her day.

That's a wrap!  Hope your school year gets off to a great start!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Quick 5

The hot winds of August are swirling around outside and visions of clear, crisp autumn are dancing in my head.

1.  Last week as the Quick 5 was posting, my sister was giving birth to her baby boy.  I talked to her on Thursday afternoon and all was well.  She called me on Friday morning as I was in line to check out at the grocery store. (I know, rude of me to be on the phone, right?  I totally shouldn't have answered and I am so glad I did.)  She said, "Guess what?"  And I said, "You're in labor!"  And she said, "YOU didn't get my message, did you?"  And I said, "YOU HAD THE BABY?"  And the check-out girl nodded in understanding and completed my transaction while I was on the phone.  I was so shocked to hear that baby Oliver James was already born and cleaned up at that point.  It had been only about 18 hours since I had talked to Jamie. 

2.  On Tuesday my mom, the girls and I trekked down to Colorado Springs to meet the little man.  We had actually been planning to go have a play date with Naomi then anyway, so we turned it into a meet Oliver party.  I don't think the girls were impressed, but I was.  I've never held a baby that tiny.  (Oliver was 6 lbs, 8oz...both of my girls were 8 lbs at birth.)  He's just a little peanut that is so sweet and so easy to hold.  It was so good to go see him.
Alaina meeting Oliver with Grammy

He was so alert!
 3.  Alaina has found a new way to torture her daddy.  She's always singing something, but the other day at dinner she sang, "Baby, Baby, Baby Oh!  Thought you'd always be mine, mine."  Her daddy stopped eating and asked her why she was singing Justin Bieber.  He told her he might cry, so now she takes every opportunity she can to sing Justin "Beaver" and ask Daddy if he's going to cry.  For the record, we do not listen to Justin Bieber in our house.  I don't even know if that is truly how the song goes, but I've sung it before because mommies are always singing every song they can think of with the word "baby" in it to their babies.  This one popped in the mix one day, and for some reason Alaina remembered.

4.  On Wednesday we went camping.  We go up every year when the Gilletts go camping to have dinner and smores.  Then we go home and sleep in our own beds.  (Spare me the lecture of "It's Not Camping."  Don't be a hater just because we live in such a place that allows us to go have dinner in the mountains and still make it home to sleep in comfort.)  It is becoming one of my favorite summer traditions, so I hope they keep inviting us. 
One of the cuter things in life: two three-year-olds playing together.
They were making "soup."

Joya watching Macy dig in the dirt
Joya was so good.  She had a great time, even though she got carsick on the way up.
Two three-year-olds eating smores

Our friends the Singletons went up too.  This is their youngest Josh.
 5.  And finally, a shout-out to my little sister Carolyn, whose birthday is tomorrow.  She's creeping up on 30 by turning 27.  I'm not sure how they celebrate in Canada, but hopefully it involves either a pinata or a rousing rendition of "For She's a Jolly Good Fellow."

Hope you enjoy these last days of summer!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Quick 5

Home again, and back to life.

1.  The girls actually did pretty amazing during the car rides to and from Kansas City.  On the way there Joya fussed quite a bit, but in her defense she and I were on the hot side of the car.  The temp was over 100 in Kansas that day, and even with the window shade it was terribly hot.  Rear-facing car seats do not get the benefits of a/c either.  She was drenched in sweat by the time we got there.  The ride home was much better, since she wasn't on the sunny side.  She screamed every time we put her back in her seat after a pit stop, but only for about two minutes.  Then she just seemed resigned to her fate and stared at her sister the whole time.  Alaina was pretty grumpy on the return trip, but she didn't freak out or anything.  All in all, I feel like we can take long road trips and survive.

2.  We took the girls swimming for the first time this year in Missouri.  There was a delightful, mostly deserted little pool that Melonie had access too, and it was so fun.  Alaina loved playing on the stairs, and we all coaxed her out into the water to swim a few times.  Joya loved the little floaty, except she kept trying to crawl out of it.  Last summer Alaina and I went swimming a lot, but we haven't gone once this summer, since I need another adult to help me.  It was great to have Lee there to help with the girls.

3.  I think I need to own the fact that Joya is a messy eater.  About a third of her cheerios/puffs/whatever she's eating ends up on the floor.  If she's eating a cracker or something larger, she feels the need to touch it to her head (much like her Aunt Carolyn does to find out if something is made of plastic or glass.)  And just yesterday she started a habit of ripping off her bib and throwing it on the ground when she's finished eating.  Actually, it's kind of nice to know when she is done, although I would have preferred the sign-language version.  I suppose I could invest in bibs with snaps so she can't rip them off, but I just bought these velcro ones.  Anyway, Alaina was never like this.

4.  You've all known for awhile how friendly Alaina is with strangers at stores.  Lately, if someone makes eye contact, she'll launch into a whole dissertation that her name is Alaina and that she had a birthday "just last week" and that her sister is Joya, "J-O-Y-A."  Most of these strangers don't really know what to say after all that, and I can tell they are trying to politely move on.  I usually just smile at them and lead Alaina away.  I think it's great that she can spell Joya's name.  She cannot spell her name, though.  She's tired of spelling by the time I try to work with her on that.

5.  Finally, here is a little video that always makes us smile.  WARNING: this song has the potential to run through your head for the rest of the day.