Friday, June 28, 2013

Quick 5

Joy is...noticing that the forecast for the Fourth of July calls for 69 degrees and rain.

1.  When I took this picture, Lee asked me why I thought the moment was picture worthy.  I answered that it was because I don't have a picture of Lee and his youngest daughter.  That's a crime.  (Of course, Lee is pretty elusive when it comes to snagging him for a picture anyway.)

2.  Last Saturday we broke out the sprinkler for the girls to run through.  They've never done it, and I was at a loss at how to keep them busy.  Saturday IS our allowed watering day (although we did violate the rule of not watering between 10:00am and 6:00pm.  You can report us if your conscious demands it.)  Clearly you can see that Alaina had a blast and Joya was more than a little freaked out. 
 P.S.  No, that is not the normal sprinkler we use to water the lawn.  We have a much more efficient one for that, in case you were wondering.

 3.  This week was VBS at our church.  Lee took Alaina every night, while I stayed home with the two littles.  I'm a little sad about that, because our church puts on a fantastic VBS.  The decorations alone are incredible.  But since I'm nursing a baby, and the little girls are both down by 7:15, I got to stay home.  Alaina loved it, of course.  Just like she loves every community setting.
Apparently Alaina is the only girl in her group.  Good thing she likes boys "because they are handsome."

 4.  Perhaps the most amazing part of our week happened yesterday day as a part of our Great Tribulation.  Maybe it started on Wednesday, when I managed to catch Joya just as she was beginning to do some serious business in her diaper.  I asked her if she wanted to sit on the potty, and surprisingly she agreed.  Even more surprisingly she actually piddled.  She was handsomely rewarded with a few jelly beans.  That day she didn't manage to have any poop successes, but then yesterday she asked to go potty again, right after breakfast.  She sat up there and piddled like it was no big deal.  THEN she pooped.  Right in the potty.  Like she had been doing it her whole life.  I remember that Alaina was a little freaked out the first time she pooped, but not Joya.  Then Joya was dry for the rest of the day (except during nap time, but that doesn't count yet.)  I put some reusable training pants on her, and she continued to earn her jelly beans the rest of the day.  I feel like this has come out of nowhere.  Sure, she's been sitting on the potty for some time, but to have a whole day of successes after never having actually gone is amazing.  I'm trying not to get my hopes up.  Maybe it was a fluke.  Or just maybe I'll need to save that whole box of size 4 diapers for Bria.

5.  In Bria news, she effortlessly is weaning from being swaddled.  With Joya was had a good four weeks of awfulness as I tried to wean her from it.  But Bria has been a champ.  It makes me wonder if I just caught her at the right time, or if I should have tried this weeks ago.  Oh well.  My girls are growing by leaps and bounds these days.

Goodbye June!  I hope July brings us more rain that you let us have.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Quick 5

"It's a sure sign of summer if the chair gets up when you do."
— Walter Winchell

1.  Last Saturday we went to my parents' to celebrate the summer birthdays.   There are five of them in five weeks: Naomi (5/31), Alaina (6/2), Lee (6/11), Dad (6/27) and mine (7/2).  Toss in Father's Day and you've got a whole lot of celebrating going on.  So we smashed it all into one day.  Right now the little girls are cool with it.  They may not be in the future.
Blowing bubbles at Grammy's.  Alaina hijacked Naomi's birthday helmet.

2.  Father's Day was low-key around here.  But I did get Alaina to do one of those interviews about her dad.  Here's how it went (Alaina's answers in red):
My daddy's name is Dad
He is 13 years old, 39 inches tall and weighs 14 pounds
His favorite food is Daddy's cereal
My daddy is really good at mowing the lawn
He loves to grill and watch his favorite grilling show
My favorite thing(s) to do with my dad is going on walks
I'm just like my dad because I like sleeping
What I love most about my daddy is he hugs me and pats me on the back when he hugs
It makes Dad happy when I hug him
Dear Daddy, I'm so excited to go to your work.  I've never seen it before.  I remember feeding the ducks and eating on the bench in the little tower.  Love, Alaina

3.  Lee got this idea to take Alaina to work with him one day.  I must admit I was very skeptical about the whole plan.  She's only 5 and sometimes has the attention span of a goldfish.  AND she asks hundreds of questions a day.  That didn't seem like a very conducive work environment to me.  But he planned it for when he would only work in the morning and take the afternoon off.  He packed a bag with crayons and a coloring book, snacks, and my Kindle.  And the morning went just as he planned.  They worked for the morning, then had a picnic lunch and fed the geese that have taken up residence around the complex.  Alaina is already asking how many days until she can go back.
Alaina was proud to have her own desk

4.  Our 9th anniversary passed in low-key fashion too.  I'm absolutely not kidding about this: to commemorate the occasion we made Doggy Mac.  That is, mac and cheese with hot dogs in it.  I threw in a slice of pepper jack cheese to make it fancy.  It's just where we are in our lives right now, and I don't want to forget it (not that I could.)  Alaina was most impressed that Lee and I made the meal together.  Apparently she's never seen us cook together.

5.  I finally got a good picture of all three girls.  Joya is usually the hardest to nail down, but she was feeling especially cooperative this day:
Alaina was perfecting the art of the photo bomb
This might be the only picture I have of just Joya and Bria
 Happy First Day of Summer!  May your summer be filled with thunderstorms, cool nights, s'mores and burgers on the grill.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Quick 5

It's always a sad day when your backyard smells like a campfire, and it's NOT because your neighbor is using their fire pit.

1.  Last Saturday Alaina, Joya and I went swimming as a part of our good friends' birthday party.  We went to the indoor pool at the Ridge, which has one of those zero depth entry activity pools.  There are fountains and slides and the girls LOVED it.  It was the first time I had taken Joya swimming, and the first time that Alaina has gone swimming without floaty gear.  And I have no pictures because it was a TON of work for me.  Alaina did fairly well, gallivanting all over the place, even into the three-foot depth.  That made me a little nervous because I had to stick to Joya like glue, but Miss Leah and Mr. Kelvin were around.  But it was hard work keeping an eye on two little girls.  Joya never went deeper than her waist, but I still stuck very close to her.  I'm sure the girls would love to go more often, but I'm just not up for all that work.  Maybe as they get older and get a few years of swimming lessons under their belts.  (Where was Lee, you ask?  At home, putting Bria down for her nap.)

2.  The main event this week was Lee's birthday.  I told the girls to go tell him Happy Birthday when they woke up on Tuesday, and Joya now seems to think it is the appropriate morning greeting for him every morning.  We had chicken kebabs for dinner (or Chikn Bobs, according to Joya) and I made him a pie that had an oreo crust, chopped brownies and those tiny Reese's peanut butter cups, chocolate pudding, whipped cream and mini-M&Ms on it.  It was delicious.

3.  Speaking of Chikn Bobs, the marinade I used was FANTASTIC.  I need to share it with you, just so you can never say that I didn't share.  (And I'll cite my source so I won't get accused of plagiarism.)
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (from about 1-2 lemons)
  • 1 ½ tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2-4 chicken breasts
Seriously, folks.  Get yoself some chikn and MARINATE.

4.  Next week is our 9th anniversary.  That, along with Alaina's 5th birthday, has made me consider the concept of time lately.  I'll be honest; I absolutely do not relate to the people who crow "Oh, it goes by so fast!" when they talk about their kids ages or whatever.  It does NOT feel like it has gone by so fast to me.  It hasn't crawled by either; it just is what it is.  Yes, Alaina is 5.  It feels like she should be five.  Yes, we've been married for 9 years.  It feels like it has been 9 years.  We've earned every day of those years.  It's an unromantic view, but that's how I see it, I guess.

5.  Look who's getting stronger!

Happy Father's Day to my dear ol' Dad, and to my husband, who has won his daughters' hearts.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Quick 5

1.  Alaina's birthday party was a huge success, in spite of the stomach flu that plagued our family during the two days before it.  It has been so fun to watch the evolution of her parties, as she and her guests (whom we invite every year) grow and mature.  Alaina did me proud as she thanked each person as she opened their gift or card.  And all the little girls simply sat back and watched, which was a marked change from previous years when the parents had to really reign in the excited partygoers.  It was so lovely to have a backyard that we could have the party in too.
Thank you Gramma & Grampa!
Thank you, Singletons!
Thanks, Aunt Mindy & Uncle Josh!
Apple Ben had the honor of reading all the cards to her

 2.  This gets a point all its own.  I am so proud of this cake.  It is by no means professional, but I had fun making it.  You can see prettier ones on Pinterest, but behold the birthday cake:

3.  On Tuesday Alaina had her 5 year check up at the doctors.  I made the mistake of telling her about it the day before.  Because of course her first question was if she was going to get a shot.  I couldn't lie to her; she did need a couple of boosters before kindergarten.  We're also a little behind on the chicken pox vaccine.  So when I said yes, she just cried really sad tears.  But then was pretty brave about it for the rest of the day and the day of the doctor's visit.  I didn't tell her she needed THREE shots, so of course she cried hard during the first and second shot.  Then we told her to hang in there, because she just had one more left.  "ONE MORE????" she cried.  Breaks a momma's heart.  But now she's protected, and we all got Chick-fil-a for lunch that day.

4.  The first week in June is a magical week, because it's the week that Alaina's and Lee's birthday burgers at Red Robin coincide.  So it is the one time a year that our family gets to go to a sit down restaurant.  We went on Wednesday, and it was actually a fairly pleasant experience.  Joya was old enough to be entertained by the crayons, and Bria only cried after I was done eating, so I could manage her until we were ready to leave.  It's the good thing about being a poor young family; going out to eat really IS a big treat.
Waiting patiently!

 5. And one last picture of Joya to make her daddy proud disgusted:
I really was watching her the whole time she ate her chocolate pudding, and I still am not quite sure how she managed to get it all over her face.

Welcome summer, eh?

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Happy 5th Birthday, Alaina!

Oh Alaina.  My sweet question girl.  I never knew a girl could ask so many questions.  Your thirst for knowledge and ability to see beyond the easy answers is amazing.  You are so friendly and willing to engage anyone you meet.  You are so ready for school!  You are such a big help, and a great big sister to Joya and Bria.  We love you more than we can tell you.  We are excited for what this year will bring!

We pray that the Lord protects your life, and draws you to Himself.  We pray that you will hate sin and get caught when you are guilty.  We pray that you will be a great influencer for God's kingdom, and not easily influenced by the world. 

Happy Birthday, Sweet Girl!

Mommy & Daddy

Alaina - Age 5

Favorite Color - Red
Favorite Toy - Whatever I'm playing with
Favorite Fruit - Strawberries
Favorite TV Show - Qubo
Favorite Thing to Eat For Lunch - Peanut Butter and Banana Sandwiches
Favorite Outfit - Purple & White Birthday Dress
Favorite Game - Zingo
Favorite Snack - Ants on a Board
Favorite Animal - Skully
Favorite Song - Lost in Space theme song
Favorite Book - the Bible from church
Best Friend - Avery
Favorite Cereal - Daddy's cereal (Cocoa Puffs)
Favorite Thing to Do Outside - Play in the playhouse, play on the swingset and play with the basketball hoop
Favorite Drink- Juice
Favorite Holiday - Christmas
Favorite Bed Buddy - Skully and Beaver
Favorite Thing to Eat for Breakfast - Milk and Cereal
What do you want for your birthday dinner? Pizza
What do you want to be when you grow up? A teacher