Wednesday, September 23, 2009


While I was cleaning up the kitchen after dinner the kids were going wild in the living room. They pulled out every toy from the toy bin. By the time they were done, the room looked like it had been hit by the world's tiniest tornado. I'm sure every mom has been through such a storm and knows exactly what I am talking about.

Great, I thought, one more chore to add to my list. Half-heartedly, I asked Avery to help by cleaning up the living room while I finished up in the kitchen. A few minutes later, I went back into the living room to find it completely clean. There were no clothes, books or toys to be seen. It was like a magic fairy had flown into my house and cleaned while no one was watching.

Just as I was congratulating myself for having a 3 year old and a new pet fairy who can now work together to clean my house, I noticed the fireplace screen looked weird.

Turns out, good house cleaning fairies are hard to come by these days. I give Avery an A for effort and creativity.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

For The Record

I interrupt my regular schedule of not posting updates lately to bring you Jack's 18 month stats. My friend Rona recently told me that I need to have more pictures, which was perfect timing because I just so happened to have some new ones.

Here's my big boy on Friday, when he officially turned 18 months. (Or a year and a half.)

(The thing is, there is a big difference between being 1 and being 2, so generally, people refer to their children's age in months during this time of their life.)

(But if you are one of those people without kids or if you are one of those parents that isn't a fan of counting by months, this is incredibly annoying. And I get that. So being the moderate that I am, I stop counting by months at the 18 month mark. From now on, this kid is one and a half.)

(That is, until he is 2.)

My happy guy is still off the charts when it comes to height and now he has added weight to that category as well. He is now 36 inches tall and 33 pounds. He is solidly in a size 2T, which is unfortunate for us because it means he completely skipped the 18-24 month clothes that we bought for him. And, even though it is still very warm here, the stores are all selling long sleeve clothes and pants. Which puts us in quite a pickle. Basically we don't let him eat any food that is 1. colorful 2. messy 3. could potentially stain or 4. has any oil in it of any kind. That way, we'll be sure to keep the 7 sets of clothes that still fit him until we cool off a little around here.

Speaking of food, this kid can really eat. I would say that he generally eats more than I do at most meals. We'll start him off with a normal size plate of food for a one year old and then he'll beg for more. He'll desperately plead for "MORE PLEASE" by both saying and signing the words. (Just in case we are feeling non-verbal when he asks, I guess.) It is the saddest thing I have ever seen. So, of course, we give him more. And more. And...more.

At least he is great about letting us know when he is done, which is nice. Except that usually he shows us by throwing his food at us. I could do without that. Knowing how much he eats now already makes me scared for our future. This kid is going to eat us out of house and home.

I tried to get him to hold my little homemade sign to show how old he is but somewhere along the way he developed a mind of his own. Cooperation is not his strongest trait right now. But here are some of the things he likes to do: like his sister, he loves to read. He also loves dancing and watching Yo Gabba Gabba. He still sucks his thumb and rubs skin on my neck for comfort. (I try and try to get him to use a lovie or attach to a stuffed animal but he just won't.) He says about 20 words but I think about 12-15 are clear to everyone. His laugh is the best sound you'll ever hear. He is quick to crack up and when he likes something he says, "again! again!" If he can imitate what Avery is doing, he will, which I see becoming a problem in the future. For now, though, the two of them are great friends.

Jack wouldn't hold the sign for me so Avery stepped in to save the day. She was such a good helper.
Grammie was also quite willing to hold the sign for me. She was under the impression that I had some photoshop skills. I don't.
We thought maybe if we put the sign next to Jack we could snap a quick picture. The key to that, of course, would be making sure to actually get the sign in the shot. I fail at life. (Avery, in her pajamas already, was happy to jump in to the picture to try and distract Jack from jumping up. It worked for 1.3 seconds.) You'll notice that Jack is almost as big as Avery is. Sigh. We are going to be so poor.

Monday, September 14, 2009

I'm Going To Need About 4 More Hours A Day

Oh man. I am so behind on my updates. I want to continue with the Labor Day weekend post because we had such a good time seeing friends there. The thing is, Avery has decided to turn into a Difficult Child at bedtime and our nights have gotten way more complicated. Any advice you want to give is very welcome.

Here's the rundown.

My normally very consistent, routine-driven child is changing the rules in the middle of the game. Rather than watching about 15-20 minutes of Barney and then turning the TV off herself, she is freaking out when the timer goes off and refusing to move.

And then instead of leading the way into her room so we can read 2 books before we rock in her chair and then go to bed, she screams and kicks from her chair in the living room until we have to pick her up and take her to her room. Meanwhile, she wakes up Jack with all the screaming, which doesn't stop once we are in her room.

After that we usually don't read any books at all because that is her "punishment" which just serves to further escalate the situation. Even on the nights that she does get a book or two she still freaks out when we are done and refuses to go down quietly.

Then we are just in for more screaming, kicking, crying, and thrashing around. Matt and I usually leave the room and then we can hear her talking/crying/whining/calling out to us on her monitor for another 45 minutes to an hour.

It's lovely. It really is.

So that leaves me with about an hour less at night to get my own things done. It has really thrown me off. I can't even manage to keep our room clean because of it. ha!

I just keep hoping tomorrow night will be better but so far, it just hasn't been.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Oh Hi! We Were Out Of Town

Avery had to go through the additional screening at the Lexington Airport yesterday. I hope you all feel safer now! Your Homeland Security Department at work for you.

On a lighter note, we had a fantastic time on our weekend trip to visit friends in Kentucky and Cincinnati. It was even worth the total lack of sleep we all got thanks to Jack battling some stomach troubles (due to teething!) and Avery learning to sleep in a new bed. I think Matt and I got a combined 4 hours of sleep on Thursday night, which wasn't a lot of fun for us since we had been up since 4:30am to make our 7am flight. I seriously think that the airlines increase the price of tickets by at least $100 for the flights that aren't early in the morning or right during nap time. Especially when you have to enter the criteria that you are traveling with 2 kids under 4. Brilliant scam, though. Wish I had thought of it.

I am just going to start with the weather because Oh My Goodness, you guys! I had no idea that there was an area of the country that had temperatures below 100 degrees every day. It was in the 80s there! And low humidity! I couldn't believe how wonderful and refreshing it was to be out of the oppressive heat. Matt and I even had a picnic lunch on Sunday and felt...dare I say it...a little chilly! It was such a wonderful experience. We missed the nice weather immediately upon landing in Austin when it was already in the mid 90s at 11am.

In most places Labor Day signifies the end of Summer but here in Austin it is more like Groundhogs Day: it normally means only 6 more weeks of 100 degree temperatures. If we are lucky.

Of course, we didn't go just for the weather. We actually went to visit some great friends and to see Matt's parents. We met babies and marveled at big kids that were babies when we moved away almost 6 years ago. It was amazing to see the transformations of our friends who are almost all married now and have children running around all over. We kept laughing about how our get-togethers used to be a lot less complicated when we didn't have to worry about all those kids hanging around us.

Here are some of my favorite pictures from the trip. More to come in a later post. After I get some sleep. Sweet, sweet sleep.

Jack at the airport on Thursday. Bright and early but still in a great mood. He was perfect on the flights there. I actually have nothing to blog about related to the kids behavior on the flights. I believe this is God's way of paying me back for the AWFUL way that Avery acted on our earlier flight this summer.
Alaina, Jack, Avery and Lilly. Getting 4 kids to all look at the camera at the same time is tough. But even tougher is getting 5 kids in one picture. Poor Norah isn't even in the shot. 10 month olds just totally have minds of their own.
This is one of my favorites because that is my extremely conservative friend, Joe and his wife Christy. Matt banned me from talking politics with Joe even though it is one of my favorite things to do. Since I wasn't allowed to say anything I made sure to dress Jack in his Barack Obama t-shirt. Technically, I followed the rules.
I love this one because Jack is totally giving Jaden the "stink eye" in this shot. Clearly Jack is still angry about the loss to the Irish in 1995. I know I am. Ruined a perfectly good Saturday in September.
This is a shot of almost all of our gang of friends with their kids. We have a picture of these exact people at our wedding reception. At the time there were only 2 kids in the group. Now there are 12...I think. Amazing. (also, I love that Michelle is totally hiding behind me in this picture. I am on to you, Michelle. I know your game!)

More to come...