Friday, December 11, 2009

O Christmas Tree

This is our rent to own Christmas tree. I was complaining to my friend Tracy about not really wanting to put up a Christmas tree and she mentioned that she had a 7' prelit tree they weren't going to use. I offered to buy it and she said we could take it home on trial to see if we liked it and then decide. In the past we have always used a hand-me-down 4 foot tree, but were planning to try and find something bigger (and pre-lit) after Christmas. I am glad we have it because Megan is enthralled with it.

Megan and Adam (but who are we kidding, Adam has no clue) have their own Christmas tree this year. Last year, I re-decorated the tree daily and let me tell you, I don't really like decorating the tree the first time. When I found the little tree for 2 bucks after Christmas, I decided to let her have a tree to do as she pleased with and it has worked out great. We made a paper chain and several ornaments for it and I also gave her some unbreakable ornaments from the stash. When we had 4 of her little friends over the other day, the tree got completely stripped and shown below is the "after" picture. It was apparently lacking an array of foam blocks (but no one touched my big tree).

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Year without Christmas Cards.

I give up. I made 2 valiant efforts to get pictures of the kids in matching gingham outfits. Well, matching considering they are different sexes. I got this dress for Megan after Easter last year for a ridiculous price and a few months later found a matching shirt for Adam for $2. I then spent the next 6 months (yes, I found the shirt before Adam was born) trying to find black pants for him. I was finally successful on Black Friday. I also found the red vest.

Back to the point, I got everything set up, Chad helped me bathe and dress the kids and from that point, nothing else went smoothly.

Megan started out sweet.

Adam wanted none of it however.

Then, when Adam finally got into it, Megan got squirly. In addition, since Adam is too little to sit by himself and Megan is too little to really hold him, I ended up having them lean up against a pillow on the couch. Well, static electricity took its toll on Megan's hair.

This is the best I got and Megan looks pretty weird still.

Today, I tried again. The sun was out and I put out a blanket and dressed them in their very cute winter coats. By the time I got the idea and got everything ready, Adam was overdue for a nap and crying bloody murder.

Thus, I have admitted defeat and have decided not to try and do cards this year. So here it is, Merry Christmas!!

The true meaning of Christmas...

The Christmas season has taken on a whole new level of interest now that I have a 2 year-old trying to make sense of it all. Up until now we really hadn't given much thought to the whole "Santa" concept and so we've developed our stance on big S.C. and tried to talk about the real meaning of Christmas, you know, the birth of Jesus, not scads of presents, as much as possible.

Even though we have tried not to empasize Santa, the dude is unavoidable. Megan has become obsessed with Santa. She is torn between thinking he is fun and thinking he is scary. He seems fun during the day, but apparently scary at bedtime. She lays there saying, "I don't want Santa to come." Tonight, after repeatedly saying he wasn't coming and he was just for fun, I finally said, "Why don't you pray about it?" As I left her room, I overheard her praying, "Dear God, please help me not to worry about Santa." Later, she needed a potty break and she told me, "I prayed to God and Jesus to save me from Santa."

She also interrupted the Christmas story several times to make the story a little better, when I talked about them not finding a room and sleeping on straw on the ground, she interrupted with, "and then a little girl came and said I have a bed for you." She also said, "maybe when Adam grows up he can save me"...Somehow I think we are missing something, but I guess it's a start...

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

What we are up to...

Adam is busy growing and rolling. He seems to crave mastery as every time he is on his back he almost immediately rolls to his stomach where he squirms for about a minute before he fusses to be flipped over. He continues to be the best baby ever. He doesn't need to be rocked (probably b/c I never really had time for him to develop the habit) and easily (usually) goes to sleep with a bink and a minimal amount of fuss. He is incredibly happy and has a very hilarious chuckle that makes you want to laugh when you hear it.

Megan continues to astound with her imaginings and vocabulary. Here's a little Megan story for you. My dad was here this weekend and he likes to teach her a new word. She apparently mastered it.
Megan: I have to go potty.
Me: Okay, let's go. (We go downstairs and she proceeds to go.)
Me: Oh, you're going poop too?
Megan: Yes, I'm defecating...(pause) and I'm urinating, too.
In addition to her usage of words that I have to run through spell check, she almost never answers to Megan. All day long, I hear the following, "My name's not Megan, it is_____insert one of the following: Amy, Leah, Angela, Soda, etc. Sometimes, I have to tell her that I miss Megan and can she please be Megan for awhile just for the sake of my sanity. I don't say the sanity part outloud.

Trick or Treat

Here is our family at Halloween. Megan was dressed up as a ballerina/Fancy Nancy. She skipped her nap that day and refused to wear any of the accessories and thus looked more like a ballerina. She absolutely loved Trick-or-Treating. She skipped up to the houses and knocked on the doors. I was expecting her to be shy, but she yelled hello to anyone on the street (unless they were dressed scary and then she said, "I don't like that scary boy in the mask).

We only went to about a dozen houses, but she thought it was great.

This is Chad and I at a Halloween party. We represent the classic battle between good and evil.

He is dirty laundry and I am a washing machine.

A little bit of family history

I recently started a little project for my family. I offered to convert all of our family slides to digital files using a slide converter. My dad, and I later found out, my Grandpa Warner, took all of our family pictures on slides. There are 5 big boxes that each hold 16 little boxes of slides each holding about 20-30 slides. For those of you doing the math, I'm guessing there are at least 2000 slides...I'd complain about the drudgery, but I am actually really enjoying it. My parents visited this weekend and I feel like I learned more about my family history in one weekend than in 20 years. I'm sure bits of it I knew, but it is different to learn these things as an adult.

Here is just a sampling of what I found.

This is my mom at probably about 25-26 years of age. Younger than me now and no kids yet. My sister looks so much like her.

This is my Great Grandpa Warner whom I found out was a farmer who raised pork, corn, and wheat in Hicksville, OH. That is my dad's childhood pet, Happy. Never knew my dad had a dog.

This is the car my dad learned to drive in a 1960(?) Chevy Impala 4-door hardtop. He told me that about 3 times this weekend, but I'm pretty sure I still got the year wrong. My dad is standing by the passenger side door.

This is a picture of my dad as a boy with his Grandma Warner (my great grandma). I've been told I favor the Warner side of the family, but I could never really see it. Probably because I've never seen pictures of my dad as a boy. I have a picture of myself making an almost identical expression. I couldn't find it, but I found another that the resemblance shows.

This is my dad and his brothers. My dad, being the youngest, is either being squashed by his big brother or acting squirly. Either one is possible.

I think this is one of my favorites. It is my dad, his brothers and my grandpa Warner. When my dad saw this he said, "Oh yeah, my dad always took us on hikes on Sunday afternoons" like I totally should have known that. I was 6 when my Grandpa Warner died and have very few memories of him, it was cool to learn more about him and my family.

Below is a photo of my 2 brothers. My brother Andy (the older boy) died when he was 6. I was only 5 months old. Over the years, I've heard bits and pieces about him, but I'd not seen many pictures. Since he was the oldest, there have already been about 100 pictures of him in just the first box. Seeing his pictures bring out a whole wealth of thoughts. I was obviously too young to have any memories of him, but it makes me wonder how my family would have been different had I had 2 big brothers especially since my mom says we were a lot alike. As a mother now myself, it also makes me think in a new way about the painful time it must have been for my family. Such a sweet little face.

Too end on a less melancholy subject, the picture below shows my dad during his, "misunderstood artist phase." He actually was an art major in college and apparently felt the need to look the part. He is in the far right hand side of this photo. Yep, the guy with the fu-man-chu looking goatee and the beret.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Another fall tradition

Two years ago, in October, Tracy, Kim and I thought it'd be fun to take pictures of the kids with the fall foliage. Little did we know that we were establishing a tradition or that in two short years there would be six kids in the picture or that it would be a little sad and a little happy to look at the old photos.

The kids did amazingly well this year. There was no crying (well, not much) and only a few escape attempts.
I think Adam is actually smiling in this one.

i'm not even sure what to say about the old pictures. Part of me wants to cry and ask what happened to these babies? But part of me is really proud of what amazing little people they are becoming. It is like my own little psychology study group. Each one of these kids has such a unique and defining personality. Looking at these pictures makes me realize again that I am so blessed to get to share this experience of parenting with Kim, Tracy and their families.
Here are a couple of shots of Megan and Adam. I didn't get any together in their regular clothes because Adam had had enough. He was woken up twice in order to get these pictures. Did I mention he is the most amazing baby?

After the pics, we went inside and painted.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Something productive

My life seems to be full of never-ending tasks: laundry, dishes, picking up toys. Many days, at the end of the day, I feel as though I have accomplished nothing. I was in JoAnn's a few weeks ago and something about the jewelry making supplies called to me. I think it was the pretty colors...anyway, I have the basic supplies from 5 years ago when they started doing beading at the scrapbook store where I worked. There is something rewarding about starting and ending a project in a relatively short time.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Fall Frolicking

I think we are establishing some fall traditions. Last weekend, we visited Cooper Farms and all the festivities it has to offer. Megan is going through a phase where she is scared of trains and loud things, so the only thing we rode was the hay wagon. Visit last year for a comparison:

Yesterday, we had a gorgeous afternoon and since Megan refused to nap, we decided to tempt fate by taking a cranky two-year-old hiking at Parker Dam. She did great and the weather was perfect. A little chilly, but otherwise great.

This was the view from our hike.

When we got home, Chad carved Megan's pumpkin while I made a seasonal favorite: pumpkin bars...

This is Jack.


I am starting to feel slightly safer leaving Adam on the ground when Megan is around. Usually, I ask her to play in her room, but last Friday I asked her to "read to" Adam while I was in the shower. When I finished (very quickly, I might add), this is what I found. She had "read" through about 10 books and made a little pile. She kept running back and forth to the tote we keep the books in to find another. She doesn't actually show him the pictures, but it goes something like this, "This book is called (whatever picture is on the front cover)" and then she names each picture and occasionaly describes the color or other detail. It is pretty sweet and I hope she continues to be such a good sister when he gets big enough to steal her toys and chew on her crayons.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Fancy Megan

Megan has been especially imaginative lately. She has a very intricate network of imaginary friends. They include her sisters Amy, Fancy Nancy (from the book series), Leah, and Angela. She also has her "neighbor" that is imaginary.

Fancy Nancy is a character in a book series we have been reading. Nancy is very fancy (obviously) but her fanciness is often her own creation (and not fancy by adult or fashionable standards), such as a blanket tied around her neck or waste as a robe/dress. Megan started wearing her own "blanket dress" several weeks ago of her own accord. I did help a little after she spent some time walking around trying to hold her dress on and still play. Megan has been very into dressing up lately, so I thought for Halloween she could be Fancy Nancy. I made a little pink skirt, bought a set of "fancy" shoes that came with a tiara and wand and waa-laa, "Fancy Megan." We will add some additional accessories (which is Fancy Nancy's fancy word for "extra little stuff).

Any given day at any given time, it is likely Megan will be wearing something out of the ordinary. She likes necklaces and her pink skirt. She would wear a dress everyday if I would let her and only wants to wear purple clothing. She also likes to change her name. Last Thursday, she was Uniqua (from the Backyardigans) and she spent the day calling me, "Tyrone" and Adam "Pablo." The following day, she announced she was, "Leah" and if I called her Megan, she very quickly corrected me, "No, I'm Leah." She spent some time that day calling me, "Babe" until I told her that I preferred to be called "Mommy." At least once a day, she adopts one of her alter egos. Everything in our house has at least two functions. Our red couch is not only a couch, but a bathtub, a car, and a house all in one convenient package. The brown couch is "Pittsburgh" and also grandma's house. The carpet in Adam's room is a beach and it's a nude beach at that. One second, I was playing with Adam and Megan was fully clothed, the next moment I turn around and she's naked (well, she had a shirt on b/c she can't get that off herself), laying on the floor, pulling herself around by arms "swimming."

Yep, it is always an adventure.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Adam's Room

Now that Adam is 3 months and 1 week old, I figured it was time to finish his room...I bought supplies about 5 months ago for this project, but somehow the time evaded me. The picture above the changing table I had done when he was about 6 weeks, but it took another month and half to put up.

The pictures above the bed were a major hang up (no pun intended). I am really happy with how they turned out. The only thing I don't like is that they don't have any transportation elements. I spent many hours trying to continue the transportation theme, but I didn't like what I was coming up with, so I decided to use something else.

This is the only picture of me with Adam (well, there are several other pictures, but they are all from the hospital.)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Labor Day

Over Labor Day weekend we drove to LaPorte for a few days. Tim and Mindy flew from Colorado to Elkhart so we spent Monday with Mindy's family at their lake house. It was great to see both of them.

Friday, Chad and I went on a date and played golf.

Saturday, Suzy, Nelson and the kids came up and we went to the Michigan City Zoo. It was pretty fun. It's not a big zoo, but Megan thought it was great.

We climbed the watchtower.

After the zoo, we went to my all-time favorite restaurant, Carlson's Root Beer Stand. As always, it was fabulous. Megan liked it too.

Sunday we went to church and went swimming at my Aunt Joyce's house. We also got together with a few of my old high school friends which was fun. I only keep in touch with a few people from LP, but it's always fun to see them and see that things seem to be going well for them.