Monday, August 31, 2009

Day 243.

Jason and I celebrated our anniversary with a gift of a new camera - a small Canon Point and Shoot because that's what we'd actually use. We had a bigger, slightly nicer camera that we never took anywhere because it was too heavy and bulky. Now, we take a lot more pics because we can carry this almost anywhere. I love it.

I am grateful for a new camera.

Today I put a bunch of pics on my computer from the last few weeks and I found this gem, made possible by the Canon Powershot. I love this one as it just captures what my kids usually look like most of the time, and I don't always get "normal" faces.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Day 242.

After five weeks of almost nonstop traveling, we are finally home. And today we finally went back to our church. I felt a huge dose of comfort, just sitting amongst my own congregation, breathing in the genuine worship. It was hard not to be happy - feeling at home, my dad was visiting with us, and it was gorgeous outside.

I am grateful for "fall."

It's not really fall yet - but it sure feels like it outside. It was 60 degrees and sunny today and so wonderful to wear long sleeves and pants. We actually had to shut the windows tonight because it was too cold inside! Weirdness in August. But I love it. It makes me feel warm fuzzies for my favorite season. Bring on fall.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Day 241.

Dylan, Noah and I went to the Hyde Park Suzuki Institute concert on the lake today at noon. It was a gorgeous day - 60 degrees and sunny, and we wore our jeans and brought sweatshirts. We heard some great music from the students at the Institute, bought some baked goods and signed Dylan up for Suzuki violin starting in 2 weeks. Yes, 2 weeks. WOW.

I am grateful for my violin roots.

As a former Suzuki violinist, I have great respect for the Suzuki method. I know I learned in a way that was invaluable to me as a lifelong musician. No, I don't really play violin anymore, but that may change - I feel inspired to pull it out and make beautiful music with an instrument that I once was pretty gifted.

As I sat and watched these 3-16 year olds playing violin, I found myself unexpectedly tearing up. At first I thought it was because Dylan was old enough for this - and she could actually be doing this next year - performing with her own wee little violin. That would have been enough to cry about. But then I realized it was deeper. The tears stemmed from my childhood, and really were about my gratitude for being trained as a Suzuki student. Gratitude to my parents, who made it a priority to pay for Suzuki lessons, even though it is dang expensive (I know that now!!). Gratitude to my whole extended family, who encouraged me, listened to me screech through my initial practices, and came to see every concert faithfully...even though they probably really only cared about my 30 second performance.

I guess that's why I find it really important to give Dylan this chance since she is really interested in it. I am so grateful that I played violin, even though I quit in middle school, when I could have really gone far with it. I guess a piece of me feels like this is a second chance for me. I'm going to get out my violin with her and remember the great feeling of making beautiful music. And how cool that we will be able to do it together.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Day 240.

A facebook friend gave me a good suggestion for backtalk yesterday, so I tried it out.

I am grateful for facebook advice.

Dylan and Noah were playing together when Noah did something she didn't like, so she yelled at him. I told her, "Dylan, he wants to read books right now."

"I'm talking to NOAH!" she snapped at me.

Wow. Time to try it.

I told her calmly, "That kind of talk is unacceptable in this house. Come with me." I walked her to the back door (where we have our own porch - which has a private lock on it - no one call Child Services on me) and told her to go outside. I shut the door, and she whined back dramatically, "Are you going to leave me out here FOREVER?"

"No, not forever. For two minutes. That talk is unacceptable in this house." Still calm.

And that was it. After two minutes (and me standing two feet away from the door watching her the whole time), I went and got her, and she was standing calmly looking over the edge of the railing. It was done, and the point had been made. I love it.

Day 239.

Thursday, August 27, 2009.

We're having two big discipline problems with Dylan right now. Backtalk and biting. The two B's. The backtalk is out of control the past few days - I feel like I'm dealing with a dramatic preteen or something. I remember backtalking to my parents, and the struggles they had with how "mouthy" I was, and gosh, I'm in for it.

I am grateful for a dose of humble pie.

Didn't your parents ever tell you - you just wait til you have your own kids and they talk this way to you?! Uggghhhh...I am chewing, swallowing and choking on those words.

The biting is also another trait that comes charmingly from me. Dylan has been getting so frustrated with Noah lately (he has his own mind all of a sudden and isn't going to just be her robot playmate), so she ends up getting physical occasionally and biting him. Sweet. The tough thing is - sometimes it's not TOO rough, and he just ends up with a bite mark on his arm that we see later and never hear any cries. I'm not sure if that is better or worse...

But today, I heard her running out of their room in terror - "Mommy! I bit Noah's eye!" She was already starting to cry in fear of what she had done, and he was obviously already crying from sheer pain. (Seriously Dylan, his EYE?!?!?!?!)

My anger could not be stopped and I growled at her, inhumanely - "Get in your room!" (btw - since when did I become an ape?) I was livid.

I scooped Noah up and assessed the damage...sure he was going to be blind in one eye. Honestly, it could have been that bad. Sure enough, his left eyelid was swollen and bloody - blood blisters spanning about a 1/2 inch over the whole eyelid.

I'm still pretty shocked my own flesh and blood did this to another of my flesh and blood. Sibling rivalry is pretty hot stuff. I sat and stewed over this for quite some time. I don't do corporal punishment, so what is there that conveys the severity of this act? Biting your brother's eye?!

I won't go into detail over the whole reconciliation, but let me tell you, just her having to look at his eye all swollen and bloody, was enough to throw her over the edge...I don't think there will be any eye biting any time soon in our house, unless Noah takes revenge...

Day 238.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009.

I am grateful for play.

Playing with my kids outdoors is something I enjoy almost more than anything else I do with them. I don't have anything else to do but play, enjoy nature, and enjoy them. We spent the morning at Smith: The Kid's Playplace at the Park in Philly. What a wonderful outdoor playground they have there - truly inspirational and FUN as all get out. Anyone with kids MUST go here if you are close to Philly - it is a gem and I totally felt like a local checkin' it out. Thanks, Cookie Mag, for filling me in on this really cool, really off the beaten path, place.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Day 237.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009.

Growing up, I can't say I was that into museums all that much. I really didn't like history, and social studies/history were usually my least favorite classes. But, something about growing up that makes me want to know more about the past, more about the people that came before me, and more about the world in general. You know, stuff that is in museums. And history books.

I am grateful for history lessons.

http://hphotos-snc1.fbcdn.net/hs147.snc1/5450_160061327984_754227984_3542914_6594226_n.jpg

We visited/hiked up on Hawk Mountain this morning. Beautiful views, good exercise, and the kids were troopers. Dylan "Quit" within the first minute of the hike, but somehow Jason saved the day by making up a game of smashing mushrooms on the trail's edge with a big stick. Something I would never have thought of. So, thanks J. I'm grateful for your made-up games too.

Back to the history lesson, Dylan loved learning about the mountain and having me read about why everyone was killing the hawks many years ago (and why they created the Hawk Mountain Sanctuary). She's pretty fascinated by death lately, so the huge 10 foot picture of the hundreds of hawks dead in a big pile was right up her alley.

Learning history with your kids is way more fun than by yourself.

Day 236.

Monday, August 24, 2009.

Still in Pennsylvania, we had Matt and Emily's nieces (and sister-in-law) over to babysit all four of the kids so we could have a double date.

I am grateful for date nights.

They really do renew relationships. It's one thing to admire your husband, the love of your life, as he's changing a diaper or putting dishes in the dishwasher (both amazing things that make me love him more). But, it's another thing to admire him across the dinner table, hold his hand and share bites of a yummy dinner out. Seemed like old times.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Day 235.

We had a BBQ with friends from the good ole' days of Goshen College. It was wonderfully refreshing to see their faces and indulge in some good home-cooked BBQ food: hot dogs, hamburgers, baked beans, corn on the cob (my fave), and grilled zucchini. A case of beer, a bottle of wine, and a kiddie pool and we were all set.

I am grateful for old friends.

College friends will always have a special place in our hearts, and now seeing them playing with our kids is super fun. The kids loved meeting them too, and it didn't take but 5 minutes before Dylan and Noah were taking watering cans and "watering" everyone's body parts. Fun.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Day 234.

I was just thinking the other day how Dylan is very interested in asking questions about God, Jesus, heaven, etc. and that Noah hasn't really entered into that verbal spiritual realm yet. Yes, he knows The Lord's Prayer. But he never brings it up on his own.

Today my college friend Emily (we are in Pennsylvania, did I get that across in the last entry?) gave some grapes to Noah. He shortly after asked for some more.
"You like grapes?" she said.
Noah replied, "I like grapes. They make me grow strong, like Jesus."

I am grateful for the spirituality of children.

I don't recall ever calling Jesus "strong." I do talk about grow foods, and eating your good grow foods to grow strong, play hard, have energy, etc. But to put the two together was pure Noah. Jesus is strong. And he knows it.

Day 233.

Friday, August 21, 2009.

I am grateful for patience.

I'm pretty sure that I've used that one before, but it seems the only thing appropriate for today. Today, patience allowed me to:

• listen to "Jesus Loves Me" played over and over again on the Play-Along-Sing-Along press buttons book
• say "no it's not time for another surprise bag" 1,042 times
• wait 61 more miles for a bathroom break
• listen to Dylan yell, "Noah's blowing bubbles with his mouth!! EWWWWWWW!!!" Noah proceeds to blow more bubbles. More yelling. More blowing. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.
• comfort Jason as he spilled HOT green tea all over his crotch
• be OK with neither of them taking a nap this afternoon, when I thought they would sleep for a good 2-3 hours each, giving us a break
• take deep breaths when Noah kept crying and calling out "I want YOU!" to me as I was driving and I Couldn't. Do. Anything.
• just exist in the car for 12 hours. Make that 15.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Day 232.

After 4.5 years of breastfeeding, babywearing, constant picking up children, leaning over to care for them, leaning over to play with them, and just general tiredness and slump posture, I now feel like I'm learning how to stand up straight all over again.

I am grateful for good posture.

I have been going to Physical Therapy for a month now, and I have been really impressed. I have been dealing with chronic neck, shoulder and back pain, coupled with bad headaches. It seems to have gotten worse in the last year, so I needed to do something about it. My primary care physician, bless his heart, gave me a prescription for PT, not medication, and I am so much better for it!

I have learned what terrible posture I have developed - most of it probably in the last five years. My pecs have gotten incredibly strong, while my back is incredibly weak. So, five weeks of shoulder exercises, back exercises, core work, intense muscle work, and good ole stretching, and I am feeling a lot better. Most importantly, I'm keeping an eye on my posture throughout my day, and I can't describe what a difference that has made. I seriously want to encourage every one of my mom friends with young kids - go get some tips from a physical therapist about posture! Have them give you some exercises to increase your ability to have good posture...you will not regret it. Motherhood is hard on your body, thank goodness for Physical Therapists!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Day 231.

Cousin Michaela came to stay with us for a few days, and I took her back to the suburbs today so she could go home to Iowa tomorrow. It was a sad goodbye for Dylan, who is really very attached to her, and would like to just adopt her into our family for good.

I am grateful for Michaela.

Michaela, you are so patient with Dylan and Noah. You are such a wonderful cousin, friend and babysitter to them. You play so vibrantly with them and don't really ever get tired of it (although I think we did wear you out after three days!). Thanks for being a special cousin - we are so blessed you are in our family. You are growing into a wonderful, kind, beautiful young woman.

Day 230.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009.

I am grateful for Kiddieland.

At the end of September, Kiddieland (Melrose Park, IL) will close it's doors for good, after 81 years in operation. It's so sad, because it's an amazing park, especially for Dylan's age. She was the perfect age - especially being the daredevil that she is. She's tall enough to ride the big kid rides, but small enough (and interested enough) to ride all the kiddie rides too. They had a BLAST. B.L.A.S.T. We would get off one ride and they would say immediately, "I want to ride something else!!"

Other Kiddieland highlights: Free Pepsi products throughout the park. Log ride - which Dylan did say afterward, "I'm glad that is over." Clean rides, clean floor, clean everything! Nice employees that were running carnival-type rides but were not Carnies. Not throwing up after going on the Tornado, a ride which Dylan loved, and I seriously almost lost my popcorn.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Day 229.

I had a church meeting tonight, and so I left home about 6:30 to drive out to the suburbs. As I was driving out there, I was thinking about Dylan, her impending preschool start, and how lately she's really been excited about it. I haven't heard any negative feelings coming from her, and she doesn't seem to be as clingy lately. I was feeling pretty optimistic.

Then, in strange coincidence, I got a call from home, and Jason said "Your daughter wants to talk to you." He put her on, and she couldn't say two words without bursting into tears. The rest of her conversation was basically inaudible from her sobs, but I know I heard "I just miss you" and "I love you" a few times. It was heartbreaking, and I couldn't do much besides tell her I loved her too and that I would kiss and hug her when I got home.

I am grateful to remember the importance I have as a parent.

When I get a call like that from her, sobbing just because she wants to cuddle me, I realize how important I am to her. The comfort, the love, the stability, the dependence at this age. Sometimes I think more about getting her to be independent. Sending her to preschool. Getting her involved in activities. Having her grow into a confident young lady. But she's still so little, and she needs her parents.

I can remember feeling this way. I've always been a homesick kid, and being away from my mommy was often painful (heck, I cried for three solid weeks when I went to college). To think that the way I feel about my mom is the way Dylan feels about me is knock-me-off-my-feet stunning. So, it's good to realize this. Not to get high on myself or pat myself on the back for being so loved. But to remember how seriously to take this role of nurturing. This is amazing work.

Day 228.

Sunday, August 16, 2009.

I came home this evening to find my home in good condition. Jason had a fantasy football guys weekend where a few college guys stayed over. Usually after this "draft weekend" I come home to a smelly, messy house.

I am grateful that my house did not smell like sweaty guys.

It's the small things in life, right? On top of the sweet smell, the dishes were in the dishwasher and everything was pretty well picked up. Thanks honey!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Day 227.

We are downtown with Aunt Jeanie this weekend - her treat.

I am grateful to be a tourist in my own city.

It's fun - for a bit. We drove up and down lakeshore drive during the air and water show and watched it form our air conditioned car while the kids slept. It was amazing! I'd like to go for real some year, but this really was a nice way to do it.

The guy on the elevator in the hotel helping us with our bags asked me, "So where do you guys call home?" I'm sure he expected me to say "Ohio" or "Florida" or something. "Chicago," I said with a smirk. He laughed, "not what I expected you to say!"

Friday, August 14, 2009

Day 226.

My sister-in-law and her three kids came down to spend the night last night after our long day at Millennium Park. We got up this morning and leisurely hung around the house, before heading out for a walk to the Point and then onto the beach to dip our toes in.

I am grateful to live so close to a great beach.

57th street beach is awesome. I really underestimated its value. And our "dipping our toes" turned into Dylan and Michaela all out swimming in their clothes. So fun for them. And then there's typical Noah beach-style which is staying in the sand and barely getting his toes in the water for the last 10 seconds of our beach trip. They definitely are their own people!

Looks like we'll have to come back again soon. And why shouldn't we? It's only 3 blocks away!

Day 225.

Thursday, August 13, 2009.

Spent the day in Millennium Park with the Rhodes clan. So much fun, a beautiful day, and I just am in awe of the Target Family Fun Tent. It is such an incredible free resource to us here in the city each summer!

Dylan is very interested in hula-hooping. They have a spot for doing just that (and jump roping) there in the Target Family Fun Tent. My kids always enjoy playing with the hula hoops, but neither of them can actually hula hoop for real (well, I guess I can, but that's really not that enjoyable to watch, is it?). Well, today that changed.

I am grateful for determination.

Often I worry about the laziness of Americans and I think consciously how I don't want to raise lazy kids. I don't want them to need to be carried everywhere. I want them to be good walkers. And I don't want them to give up if they can't figure something out right away. THAT, is the hard one for them. Often they both get so frustrated so quickly, and they won't problem solve on their own. They just want me to fix it, or do it for them. Well, I can't hula-hoop for you.

There was an amazing twinkle in her eye as she did it for the first time this morning. It was like she had performed magic and she just couldn't quite believe it! I hope that her determination only gets stronger as she grows into a girl and eventually a young woman.

video

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Day 224.

Both family reunions are done now, and we have other exciting trips and family visits on the horizon - in fact this afternoon/evening the kids and I spent time in the suburbs with some more Rhodes fam. But this morning, we were home, and the kids were playing so nice together. I got some cleaning done around this pit we call home, and life was simpler.

I am grateful to spend a few nights in my own bed.

I love traveling, I love visiting, and I love family. I am NEVER one of those people longing to be home, to be in my own bed. And yet, here I am. We are doing too much gallivanting around this month. I miss my church, I miss my neighborhood, and I miss my bed.

So, for now, I'll enjoy it - for two more nights at least.

Day 223.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009.

I am grateful for the bond of cousins.

Today's entry will be in pictures. Anya and Dylan had to say goodbye to each other today, and it has been so great watching them play and interact with one another these past four days. They will surely miss each other deeply.




Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Day 222.

Monday, August 10, 2009.

I am grateful for legacy.

Today was the last day of the reunion, and we all said goodbye outside of the Monical's Pizza in Princeton. Monical's was a favorite spot of the Massanari family and I grew up eating there more often than any other restaurant.

Joe and Frances Massanari left an incredible legacy to their descendants. One that my husband and children are just now beginning to understand. One that I weep over every time I think of the details of their life filled with integrity and faith.

The two people who I am proud to call my grandparents are such an inspiration for me. I can't really put into words what they both have meant to me in my life - both growing up alongside them - going to their house after school, playing games, counting on them to bring me my forgotten homework, and now as an adult - remembering their integrity and faith as a guideline for my own life. What shoes to fill, what stories to pass down, what a life I want to live in honor of them.

Thanks Grandpa and Grandma, for believing in me, supporting me, loving me, and showing me what a good life is. I want to be the very best person I can be, in large part to your example.

Day 221.

Sunday, August 9, 2009.

My dearest Jason,

Six years ago today I walked down the aisle staring at your smiling face, and took your hands in mine. Six years ago today we read each other our original vows, and cried for the joy that was our union. Six years ago today we promised each other a life of happiness, a life of working for love, in good and bad times.

I am grateful for my marriage.

What I didn't understand then was how deep love can be of too adults who vow to love each other for life. For LIFE. And how this love can grow, even when it gets common, even when we have kids who take over our lives for the time being, even when our priorities seem out of whack and we don't seem to have the right time for each other.

I will always be here for you, no matter what the circumstance. There is no one I would rather share the rest of my life with, looking forward to success, bracing for failures, celebrating happiness and riding out disappointments.

"I do" all over again.

Day 220.

Saturday, August 8, 2009.

This camp is amazing. It brings back many memories for me, going here as a little camper in grade school and junior high. I was oh so very homesick, and even got strep throat one year - my mom had to come and pick me up.

I am grateful for Camp Menno Haven.

This is a magical place, and something about this space makes me feel so close to God, so close to my past, and so in tune with my future. Everything seems clearer here, and life is so simple. Who cares about all the materialistic details of city life...camp is where you see yourself in the most true form.

We have had a wonderful day of boating (we did both row boat and paddleboats - and the kids were hilarious in their life jackets - they loved it), swimming (whoa, the water was freezing and yes, I was even brave enough to go off the diving board), and fun together as a family. It was so great, for all generations, and I can see my kids making memories (I hope at least Dylan remembers these times) here just as I did 20+ years ago.

The coolest part was that my mom reminded us that my grandpa (who is the deceased patriarch of this reunion, essentially) was one of the founders of this camp - he helped find this land himself. He was a apart of this vision that is Camp Menno Haven. How cool to be enjoying the fruit of his labor and love, right here, right now.

Day 219.

Friday, August 7, 2009.

I have been on a hiatus of blogging - not intentionally, but I was at Camp Menno Haven, where there is no internet (or cell phone service for that matter), so I was off the modern grid for several days. Now, I'm catching up and doing several entries at once, looking back at my days there.

I am grateful for the Massanaris.

As we gathered together tonight at Camp Menno Haven retreat center, I had such a sense of warmth come over me. We are together again, almost complete in this branch of the family. Everyone has come (minus one cousin who had surgery TODAY - thinking of him!). Life is good.

Day 218.

Thursday, August 6, 2009.

I finished teaching my last Bradley class tonight of this series. And while I love it and am so grateful to be doing it, I am also in need of a break.

I am grateful for a month of vacation.

I am taking a month off of teaching and will resume in September. And while I will miss seeing the wonderful couples each Thursday night, I will also enjoy having one more night free. Life is seeming to get too busy around here, and I just need to revel in having one less thing on my to-do list.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Day 217.

I made dinner tonight, a typical dinner I would say, and I knew going into it that it might be touch and go whether or not the kids would dig in. It was Sweet and Sour Lentils on brown rice (with a little cheese sprinkled on top to look more enticing), Green Bean Salad with Toasted Walnuts and Parmesan and Pluots. Yes, pluots (have you had them? SO GOOD!)

Anyhow, I knew the pluot was a shoe-in, but the other dishes, questionable.

I am grateful for "The Harbey"*

How to make The Harbey:
1. Rip up your green beans and parmesan and put them on top of your lentils, rice and cheese.
2. Sprinkle the remaining parmesan on top.
3. Take your fork and mash it all down together so it makes one smashed mess.
4. Eat and enjoy.

Honestly, I'm amazed at The Harbey's power. Dylan kept saying (and Noah kept following), "Look, I'm making "The Harbey!" Noah wouldn't TOUCH the green beans by themselves. In The Harbey, they not only got touched but eaten and LIKED! "I like these!" he told me.

Thank you Harbey, for getting my kids to eat healthfully.

*Note: The Harbey was created one night about a month ago when my mom was here, she and I were talking a lot at dinner and Dylan got bored, started mixing everything on her plate together, and actually started eating more than she would have otherwise. This was it's second appearance, I think because the last time the Harbey was here, I had made this same Green Brean Salad with Parmesan.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Day 216.

Dylan has been making up songs for as long as I can remember - at least a couple of years. Noah has made them up on command - "Ok Noah, YOUR turn to make up a song." But it was never by choice or independent thought. Until today...

I am grateful for Noah's original compositions.

As we drove the 4.5 hours back to Chicago from Iowa today, we got to hear a special gem coming from the backseat. Noah made up quite the little ditty. And of course I can't remember one word of it now, just his sweet little face is imprinted on my mind, beaming and singing and not worrying about a thing in the world. So simple. I hope there are more Noah songs to come.

Oh yeah, and don't think about looking at him or smiling during this musical moment, or it will be abruptly over...from embarrassment.

(Note: Dylan was also listening to Noah's song, and was quick to chime in, "My song is even better than that song." Oh geeeshhh...it's not a competition! We had a little discussion about how all the compositions have merit...)

Day 215.

Monday, August 3, 2009.

Iowa sunshine is the best. Out here at Mo & Dwight's house in the middle of the cornfields (literally, their backyard is surrounded on two sides by the natural fence of CORN), you just feel more at peace with where your food comes from. Today was the perfect hot. It was low 80s I think, and so we played outside, went swinging (what is the past-tense of swing?) on the big wooden tree swing, and then hit the pool post-Noah's nap. It was delightful.

I am grateful for an afternoon at the pool.

For a summer that has been relatively cool and mild, it felt nice to be hot enough to take a dip. I loved seeing my kids in the water - and it reminded me how much they need swimming lessons. Dylan is a fish at heart, and Jason always attributes that to her waterbirth. :) We all had a great time, and unfortunately, I did not bring my camera, so no pics. I was too busy having fun.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Day 214.

When you meet new people, or spend time with old friends or relatives that you don't see very often, you want them to see your kids like YOU see them. As the creative, intelligent, free-spirited but well-mannered children that they are. You want them to see their fabulous-ness and not their whiney-ness.

I am grateful for letting go of behavioral expectations.

My kids were tired and cranky for the duration of this reunion. Granted, they had been sick this week, and are just not at the top of their game. But, I'm going to stop making excuses for them and just realize that's part of who they are. No, they aren't this whiney usually, and yes, I was embarassed a few times when Dylan talked to me like I was a 5-lb. bag of dirt. But, I don't have to come across as the perfect parent, nor they the perfect children.

At some point (maybe it was when Dylan was five months old and I desperately tried for her to do "So Big" for others - and she would never perform in front of an audience) - I realized...it wasn't about me showing her off. Oh yeah, remember how they aren't circus animals, dogs for us to train, or robots? They're actually little people with minds of their own, decisiveness, crankiness, and bad moods included. They aren't perfect, nor am I. And if family gets to see THIS side of them instead of the other more charming side, well that's just life. And the great thing is, family loves you both anyways (even if they are talking amongst themselves how whiney and needy and clingy and annoying Hilary and Jason's kids are...) :)

Both kids fell asleep last night in my arms at the end of a long reunion day. Unheard of. They were O.U.T.

This picture is kind of self explanatory. How cranky!

Another good example of the weekend.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Day 213.

Reunions are fun. Even though this is the Rhodes Reunion, and is technically not my ancestors, but my husband's, it still gets me all excited. Afterall, now that I have children, this is THEIR heritage, their ancestry. It's fun to show them how families are connected, and how they specifically fit into this larger family tree.

I am grateful for the Rhodes family.

Even though these are not my blood relatives, I have been whole-heartedly accepted into this family. I belong now, and not just because I have the official last name. Thank you to all the Rhodes who have opened their arms to me and told me I fit in. It is an incredible blessing to be loved (and love) your in-laws.

Day 212.

Friday, July 31, 2009.

Noah has a fever today, and I'm sure it's from the cold that he's been battling all week, which he got from me, which I got from Dylan. She had the fever on Wednesday, and now I guess it's his turn.

He's so miserable, clingy and hot. And so I'm hot, as he clings to me miserably.

I am grateful to be called mommy.

In his miserable voice, sniffling his snotty nose, he calls out "mommy...I want YOU." I've heard that about 85 times today, and I can't always oblige. I'm trying to get ready to travel to Iowa for the Rhodes family reunion. But I'm trying to stop what I'm doing and just sit with him a little more. And I carried him around in the Ergo for awhile...something I haven't done in a long while - and he use to LIVE in that thing!

It's good to baby him a little bit. Lately I'm not sure if we'll have another kid, and without going into details why or why not, I'm finding myself really enjoying these two that I already do have. So, if I have an excuse to bring out the baby, in what may be my last baby, heck, I'll do it.