29 December 2008

The List

I just love lists - I use them all the time for everything!! I thought I would put together a funny list of the "Top 5 Reasons You Know You're a Parent." Here goes:

1. You catch yourself saying to your child, "Be careful - you'll put your eye out with that!!"...and you mean it.
2. You look forward to bedtime on Christmas Eve, not because of the holiday, but because you know it's the one night of the year your kids will go to bed without a fight.
3. You respond with the phrase you despised as a child - "We'll see" - just to avoid an argument with the question at hand.
4. Again, you find yourself using another easy excuse to avoid an argument, but this time it's "Because I said so." Usually this phrase sneaks in at the end of a long workday like its cousin phrase in number 3, stated above.
5. Finally, you find yourself thinking back to the days before you had kids and can't believe you ever lived a single day without any of them!

28 December 2008

No Teeth Yet, But Almost Walking...

Baby Aedan has been teething now for months but has no teeth yet. We think they will pop out soon, though!!!
He is just about to walk on his own, thanks to PLENTY of practice with his big brother, Elijah. This evening Aedan was pushing around Callan's new baby stroller, using it as a walker. His balance and strength were both intact, and we can tell that he'll be walking on his own very, very soon!!!
We cannot believe he will be ONE year old in less than a month!!!
Aedan brings a multitude of joy to each of our lives with the endless curiosity shining in his big, blue eyes.

26 December 2008

"Very" Christmas to You!

Last night, as Christmas Day was coming to a close, we were wishing each other a "Merry Christmas." As we went around saying this to one another, Elijah wished us all a "Very Christmas!"
Just had to share...

19 December 2008

Watch Out! Don't Get "Scrabbled!"

The other day Elijah said to me, "Mommy, I just scrabbled Callan!"
"You what?" (I looked at him quizzically.)
"I scrabbled Callan!"
Okay, I'm confused...
I must have looked very bewildered as Elijah said with exasperation, "Mommy, I scrabbled Callan. You know, I hit her!"
Then it dawned on me that he was trying to say "I clobbered Callan." He had watched The Christmas Story this past weekend and heard that word on the movie.
Needless to say, I just couldn't punish the little chap due to his blatant honesty and the hilarity of "scrabbling" his sister.
By the way, she was not even phased by being "scrabbled."

17 December 2008

Advent Blessings

Elijah, Callan, and Aedan have been enjoying our nightly Advent prayers out of a special children's Advent prayer book. So have Mommy and Daddy!! It has been a wonderful way to reconnect with each other at the end of the day. We gather around the Advent wreath and read a short Bible verse and prayer out of a children's Advent book given to Elijah by his godparents, Jane and Robert. After the prayer, a small Advent activity related to the day's topic is suggested. We have been doing the suggested activities each night, and it has been very meaningful to everyone. After the reading, we turn to the back cover where a window to the corresponding day waits to be opened!!! This is the highlight for Elijah and Callan!!!
Blessings on all of you this Advent.

09 December 2008

St. Nicholas Day

This past Saturday, December 6, was the beautiful feast of St. Nicholas. Traditionally, children set out their shoes by the fireplace on the eve of St. Nicholas' feast day. They awaken in the morning to a shoe full of surprises!!
Our family loves this tradition and looks forward to it each year. Elijah, Callan, and Aedan sat out their shoes by the fireplace Friday night. Saturday morning, they awoke to see that St. Nicholas had put a candy cane in each shoe, along with a Christmas book and pajamas next to it. As they ate their candy canes (with the exception of Aedan who has no teeth), we read each one of the books together. It was a heartwarming celebration!!!

05 December 2008

The Gift of Cousins

Has anyone ever stopped to think about the wonderful blessing of cousins?? They're friends and family all wrapped up into one!!
Elijah, Callan, and Aedan spent a wonderful Thanksgiving in Chicago playing non-stop with their two cousins, Reina and Lola. Each one of them enjoyed the other's company for three entire days - playing, coloring, hiding-and-seeking....just plain, old-fashioned fun!!!
Cousins rock!

19 November 2008

Clap, Clap, Clap Your Hands!

This past Monday, our "little man" (aka. Aedan) learned to clap his hands. His big brother taught him to do this, and both boys are as proud as can be! Aedan has continued to utilize his newfound skill over the past couple of days, and we are delighted to watch him. He looked so proud Tuesday morning when he "re-discovered" his latest achievement!

17 November 2008

Puppets and Pennies

What a fun afternoon we all shared yesterday on the Plaza!! Elijah and Mommy attended the puppet show he had been so long awaiting. It was based on the book Blueberries for Sal by Robert McCloskey. Full of witty humor, yet maintaining the integrity of the story, the show was as enjoyable as we expected!!
While we were watching the show, Daddy took Callan and Aedan around the Plaza to enjoy the shops and beautiful weather. We joined up with them after the show near one of the Plaza's many fountains. Elijah and Callan were each able to toss in two pennies...and they loved it!!! Just the act of watching where their pennies fell was pure joy for them.
As I have said before, and will say again, what joy we can all behold in such simplicity.

14 November 2008

Looking Forward to the Weekend!

This coming weekend, Elijah is thrilled about attending his second puppet show. Our first puppet show was about one month ago, and he is still talking about it!! The shows are put on by Paul Mesner Puppets, a long-time puppet studio here in Kansas City. They are mostly classic children's tales with a funny, sarcastic twist - very, very funny for kids and adults alike!! I really enjoy watching the artistry and creativity of the puppets!

13 November 2008

"Roger That"

Elijah has discovered the joy of walkie-talkies after watching the movie Big last Friday night. He and Daddy have been communicating via walkie-talkies lately, and one would think that we handed Elijah the moon!! What joys to behold in simple things!!!

06 November 2008

Tar Beach

Yesterday, the morning after our great country saw its first African-American elected for President of the United States, my heart was overflowing with hope for my children's future. I read them a book called Tar Beach by Faith Ringgold. Folks, run, don't walk to your local library to check out this fantastic book.
Whether or not you have children, and whether or not you voted for Mr. Obama, this book will bring tears to your eyes. It's about an African-American little girl and her dreams for both herself and her family, despite the fact that her family lives oppressed by segregation and racial barriers. The optimism of a better future for her family is exuded not only in the text, but through breathtaking illustrations.
What an exciting time we are experiencing now...and what hope the future can, indeed, realize!


All 5 of us headed out to the polls Tuesday evening just before 6:00 pm, expecting long lines and LOTS of whining. Elijah and Callan packed a bag before we departed and were prepared for a long wait. Unbelievably, we walked right into the polling station, signed in, and voted. The entire process took 10 minutes!!! What a blessing!!

04 November 2008

Halloween Adventures

Our three little goblins enjoyed a memorable Halloween this past Friday evening. Elijah was dressed as Mr. Incredible (who could have seen that coming?!), Callan dressed as a princess, and Baby Aedan was a bat. Of course, all three were simply too cute for words!!!
We enjoyed the annual downtown Halloween festival and trick-or-treating in our little town - it truly was a picturesque, small-town event. Families gathered to share food, fun, and candy. The little ones walked beautifully up and down the main street, which was blocked off for the festivities, and all had a ball!
After the downtown celebration, we headed back to our neighborhood, which was a festival in its own right. Every year, some of our neighbors build a haunted tunnel through which the children walk to have fun and be spooked. Let me tell you, I think our Mr. Incredible jumped out of his skin at the surprise sight of some gorillas in the tunnel. Gorillas might not sound too scary, but in the dark tunnel, combined with the sights and sounds of Halloween in a four-year-old's mind, well...you can take it from there!! Mr. Incredible did, indeed, make his way through the tunnel, despite the kick from his fight-or-flight response to the gorillas!!
We departed for our home after this, eating candy and watching It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. We had a wonderful time.

03 November 2008

Kite-Flying Allowed

Yesterday, Daddy and Mommy took our three little ones to the park for a kite-flying adventure!!! Elijah was given a dragon kite by his grandparents and, so far, has not had the best luck getting it to fly. Yesterday, though, the dragon was a-flyin'!!!! Elijah and Callan both tested their hands at kite-flying, and both did beautifully!!! Aedan sat in the grass, surveying the scene, and had a blast!
After the kite-flying, we took the kids to the playground at the City Park, and Aedan enjoyed swinging on a playground swing for the very first time!! Big brother, Elijah, proudly helped push him.
A fun time had by all...

30 October 2008

Pumpkin Patch Adventures

This past Sunday evening, we took our three little goblins to the pumpkin patch out here in the country!! We have visited this same pumpkin patch every year since moving out to Louisburg in 2004.
Anyway, the evening was windy and cool - perfect weather for a fall evening out. We had each of the kids dressed in their costumes, which made the event even more "hauntingly" fun!!!
We began with a hayride, huddled together to keep each other warm and cozy. The tractor took us out to the middle of the patch, and we spent some time wandering the patch and picking pumpkins. We chose some unique ones this year - one was white, several were orange (of course!), and one was a beautiful, dark green.
After hopping back onto the hayride, we were able to see the rest of the farm, complete with corn stalks and scarecrows.
We all had a great time! Can't wait until next year to go back!!!

28 October 2008

Look Out!!

Our littlest angel, Aedan, is on the go these days!!! He is at the stage where your eyes literally cannot move off of him for even one second, or he disappears...completely. He is such a fast crawler and definitely ready to walk. As soon as he gets his balance under control, he will be off and walking on two feet!!! His big brother and sister can't wait!! (And neither can Mommy or Daddy, of course!)

Elijah, My Superhero

Elijah got his stitches successfully taken out yesterday afternoon at his pediatrician's office. He was a little champ about the entire experience!!
He had a very sweet moment with our pediatrician. When the doctor walked in the room, Elijah said, "Hi, I 'miss-ted' you." Our doctor smiled and said gently, "You did?! Well, I missed you, too!" - very tender moment - just had to share!!!

26 October 2008

Family Fun Night

For the past two Friday nights, our family has gathered to do something very simple, yet very fun!! We pick out a movie to watch as family, and on the way home from work, Jeremy stops at the store to buy candy and popcorn. Then, after dinner, we gather in our family room to watch the movie and snack on our treats!! It has been so much fun and so relaxing, too. The kids enjoy eating as they view the movie, and Mommy and Daddy enjoy the end-of-the week "veg-out" on the couch.
I know this sounds ridiculously simple, and it is, but I have found myself looking forward to it each week!

24 October 2008

Stitches, Part 2

Okay, family and friends, you're not going to believe this (we sure didn't!), but this past Wednesday morning, our little Mr. Incredible (aka Elijah) wound up getting stitches.
Just tell me this - we have gone 4 1/2 years with no ER visits, stitches, etc... of any kind, thank the Good Lord above, and in the span of one week, two of our three precious children proceed to place themselves in such peril that they need to be put back together again with the physician's needle. I guess, indeed, when it does rain, it pours (or in this case, splits open and requires stitches).
Here's how the injured party found himself in harm's way: Choosing to wear his Mr. Incredible costume in the morning, Elijah was fully wound up and nearly at the end of many motherly warnings to calm down. (Any correlation between the wild factor and Mr. Incredible costume? I'm surely not suggesting that...wink, wink!) Anyway, as my superhero bounded across the kitchen floor, he slipped and fell right into the edge of a low toy shelf, making a casualty out of the side of his left eye. Ouch!!! By the way his cry sounded, my mommy radar immediately signaled, "He's gonna need stitches!".
Thank goodness this happened during doctor's office hours (i.e., no ER co-pay!! Yea!!), so his very own pediatrician was able to stitch him all up in the comfort of the office and make him better! He was, indeed, a superhero throughout the entire experience, and we will return to the doctor's office on Monday to have those stitches removed. (We now hope the scarring isn't too bad...)
By the way, Callan is healing beautifully from her stitches and back to her daring deeds!!! All in a day's work for a 2-year-old...

Dancing Queen

I just had to share Callan's latest dance class adventures with everyone!!!
She had missed her dance class last Saturday (due to Elijah's final soccer game!), so Baby Aedan and I took her to a "make-up" session this past Monday. The class, luckily, was taught by Miss Sarah, her regular teacher, but was in a different room (gasp!) and, of course, with different girls than her Saturday class (double gasp!!).
Now for a little background info...the class is 25 minutes long and intended to take place without mothers, fathers, and any other family members remaining in the room with the little dancers!!! So far, our precious little Callan has not agreed to this rule, and Mommy or Daddy has had to remain in the room with her, due to many tears and apprehension on Callan's part.
Anyway, I am proud to say that, despite the above obstacles imposed by the Monday class, Aedan and I were able to leave the room for the ENTIRE class, and Callan did not object!! Yea for her!!!
Though her participation was minimal, she never once cried for Mommy - what a big girl!!!!

Check back to my blog later for the continuing invasion of the stitches monster... :)

21 October 2008

Climb, Climb, Climb

Our little baby, Aedan, made his first true attempt last night at stair climbing!! With Daddy's help and careful eye, he managed to get up a stair or two!!!
We were so proud of him, but not half as proud as his loving big brother, Elijah!!!! Elijah was thrilled beyond measure and cheered his baby brother on with much fanfare.
Elijah loves his little brother more than any older brother has loved a younger sibling...ever!!!!!! Aedan is the center of his world - it is very sweet to watch the two of them interact.

20 October 2008

Our Soccer Player

I am so proud to say that Elijah completed his very first soccer season this past Saturday!!! He had an incredible time playing his first team sport, learning everything from how to be a team player to dribbling the soccer ball down the field and into the goal!!!!
He even scored a hat trick (3 goals) in his last game!!! Yea for him!!
His father and I are so proud of our little athlete who never missed a practice or game and gave his best effort all the time.
Go, Elijah!!!!

18 October 2008

Evening Visit to the ER

This past Wednesday evening as we were finally getting the children wound down (yes, wound DOWN, not wound UP!), our dear little Callan (age - 2 years) took a hard spill off her bed and encountered the bottom portion of the chest of drawers with the back of her head. Ouch!!! Tears and blood followed suit, and, after a call to our pediatrician's office, Callan and I were off to the emergency room.
I must say that I thought our first visit to the ER on account of our children would have been with our rambunctious, 4-year-old boy who (truly) believes he possesses superhero powers! I was certainly mistaken!
All joking aside, sweet little Callan was a real trooper, never crying even once during our ER stay. She was the perfect patient, complaining only once to me as we waited alone for the local anesthetic to take effect on her head, sternly informing me, "Mommy, we need help. You're NOT the doctor."
Our emergency room visit was over in record time - we arrived at 8:40 pm and were pulling out of the parking lot by 10:00pm...I was thrilled!!!
Callan was as happy as can be as we departed, lovingly cradling her new teddy bear given to her on behalf of the hospital. She sucked her thumb with the utmost content as we drove home.
Upon returning home, I gave her some ibuprofen for the pain, tucked her in bed, and a good night's sleep followed.
A happy ending for the whole family!!!!

15 October 2008

Baby Aedan

I am on borrowed time at the moment, so this will be a quick update!!! I just had to share it!!
Our little 8-month-old baby, Aedan, had pulled himself up to standing in his crib for the first time this morning!! I went in his room to get him up, and I was greeted with his sweet face smiling at me over the crib railing - what joy!!! He smiled and cooed at me - he was so proud of himself!!!
I cannot express in words how blessed I am...I can only thank God.

14 October 2008

Tales of a 4-Year-Old Superhero

Yesterday was, well, a bit challenging for my four-year-old son, Elijah (and me, too!).
Elijah has a Halloween costume of a certain superhero that he's worn A LOT since its purchase in September - more than any costume should be worn, let's just say! (Double-check your calendars, my friends, it's not even mid-October!!!!)
Due to the overuse of said costume, Mommy made a rule that it could only be worn in the morning OR afternoon - not all day, much to my son's chagrin...
Not too happy with this rule, Elijah presented his case of all-day costume wearing by arguing, crying, and fit-throwing. Consequence? No costume for the entire day. (FYI - consequence in 4-year-old's mind is equivalent to no food, water, or shelter.)
So the all-day battle began. Between crying, begging, and, yes, more fit-throwing, I asked myself: Should I be fighting this battle? Is this worth it?
All signs pointed to "yes," so we forged ahead. I marched forth with plenty of ammunition in the form of the word "no", and he proved to be a formidable opponent with plenty doses of: "Pleeeeeeeeeeease, Mommy, you can trust me. I will be a good boy."
I have to be honest here, folks, the day was miserable, but I stuck by my decision. And he stuck with his battle cry.
I am proud to say he did end up going the entire day without his beloved costume, bless his heart.
He suffered the consequences and, I think, learned his lesson.
It was a hard day for such a little guy, but he got through it. And I couldn't be more proud of him!

11 October 2008

Busy Saturday

Busy, busy day!!! My three little ones were whisked all over town for a wonderful, fun-filled fall day....which explains why they're all peacefully sleeping and the bedtime ritual this evening only lasted about 20 minutes! Yea!!
Our day began with our 4-year-old's soccer game - we were rushing out the door at 8:59 am for a 9:00 am game... not bad for us!!! At least we beat the chime of the nine o'clock hour... My son did score a couple of goals, bless his heart, though in the other team's goal!
After the soccer game, we piled back in the mini-van (what else would we possibly be driving?) and were off to our 2-year-old daughter's dance class. I think we earned bonus points for actually arriving on time (this includes time spent getting three children 4-years-old and under out of the van - no whining, crying, or any other various verbal input involved)! Extra bonus points earned for my daughter's full participation during class - all 25 minutes of it!
After dance class, lunch was on the horizon...hmmm....we treated our little ones to a hamburger joint where a toy train delivers lunch DIRECTLY to the table! I don't know who was more fascinated by this concept - our 4-year-old boy, 2 year-old daughter, or almost 9 month-old baby boy...The joy on each of their innocent faces was, of course, captured on digital camera to later be printed and scrapbooked.
After lunch, the kids were entertained at a fall festival, complete with face-painting, basketball shooting, and an inflatable slide. This part of the outing did, indeed, include crying and a diaper change, but can easily be called successful. Oh yeah, and fun!
The final outing of the day was a puppet show especially planned for myself (the mom!) and my 4-year-old son. The puppet show was not only entertaining in its own right, but aforementioned son was an exemplary audience participant during the puppet show.
Exhausted, we headed home, a drive which took no less than 40 minutes, complete with over-tired baby crying for at least 35 of those minutes.
Naptime was still scheduled upon our return home, but was apparently NOT on the older children's list of activities. Thus, the reason I was now able to enjoyably write about my beautiful Saturday with my wonderful family.