Thursday, December 18, 2008

Yesterday, drawing at the table-
Anna: Excuse me, sir. Would you like to draw?
Chris: Sure! (picks up the red pencil)
Anna: Oh I'm sorry, that's my favorite pencil.
(Chris picks up the blue pencil.)
Anna: I'm sorry, that's my favorite blue pencil., you can have yellow.

Today's lunch-
Anna: What's Anna going to have for lunch?
Me: Probably peanut butter and jam.
Anna: Hmm. Howabout lobster? Can we have lobster?

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The night before last, Chris and I were both working on projects. He at the table, me at the desk. Sonja was crawling around under the table and, to our surprise, also being creative:

Friday, December 12, 2008

Sonja is eight months old today! To mark the occasion, she started crawling up on her hands and knees this evening. She still has some kinks to work out though and is much speedier by army crawl.
What else does she do? She pulls herself up on things.
Just started making this face when I point the camera and say "smile!" Nice, eh??

Bundles up into a pretty cute fuzzy bear.And today, she was playing with Anna in their room. Anna came out to go potty, then we both went back into their room, maybe a minute later, to see what Sonja was up to. She was nowhere to be seen. How? I looked in our room and back in Anna's room, struck as to where in the world my child could be in our little house and how she could get anywhere far in seconds. Then it came to me...I took a quick peek and then ran for the camera:

Why she's under the bed, of course, along with more than a few toys. Eight months and keeping me on my toes...she reminds me of a certain uncle, but I say no more out of sheer terror.

My very favorite family tradition each year is going to cut our Christmas tree. This year we headed up to the Mason-Dixon line to a little place called Applewood Farms. Straddling the state line, this farm has reindeer on the PA side! (Apparently reindeer are illegal in MD. That law must have been enacted by grandmas.) Their reindeer "herd" was only three strong, but still, it was neat to see them. They also had a barn with ducks, pigs, goats and donkeys to pet and a little pony for riding! This was Anna's kind of place for tree cutting.

After lots of fun, we remembered about the tree. Here we are being pulled out to the field:

After some searching, we found a skinny tree to suit our spot and Dad went to work.

The friendly farmer folk hauled our tree back to the barn for us and we took another spin in the John Deere. We warmed up with hot cider and cocoa and made for home just as the snow started to fall. It was very nice. =)

Monday, December 08, 2008

I can't make this stuff up.

Here it is.

This morning, I make my list of dinners for the week, check out the grocer circulars and decide to go to Superfresh. It's twice as far as my usual Giant, but it's in the same shopping center as a Post Office and I need to buy stamps. Sonja wakes up from her nap and we head out the door. I feel pretty accomplished as we left the house in perfect order and I remembered my coupons.
We park in between the grocer and the Post Office, purchase our stamps and then trek over to Superfresh. Both girls are getting hungry for lunch but Sonja is less reasonable about those things and is starting to squawk loudly. We check out and I push the cart back to our car, unload it quickly because Sonja is really getting impatient, swing Anna into her seat and Sonja's carseat into its base. The sole cart corral is three aisles over and I'm not comfortable walking that far away from the girls in the car. So, I park it neatly next to another cart alongside a curb, hop into the car and head for home.
We pull in, I shuttle the kids and bags in and sit down to nurse Sonja. Anna takes off her shoes and socks. And it hits me. The stamps! I left the stamps in the grocery cart! Five books- $42 worth sitting in the bottom of a cart, like the rock sitting in the bottom of my stomach. Okay, we'll just go back. The cart was not likely to be taken back to Superfresh, right? It was halfway across the parking lot. Surely it would still be right where I left it and the stamps would be there too. So back we go. Anna wasn't excited about another trip, especially as lunch was still to be had, but she cheerfully reminded me every 12 seconds, "Mama, you forgot the stamps in the cart."
We arrive on site and survey the parking lot. The cart is gone. Okay, what now? I drive around, feeling miserable. At the entrance to Superfresh, I debate going in to see if someone turned the stamps in. Anna has no shoes and socks on though and it's cold out...I don't know how I could take them both in. And there is no way that I would leave them in the car just to run in real quick. (I NEVER have left the girls in the car.) Then I drive past the entrance to the Post Office. It's a glass front building. If I leave the car right in front, where I'm sure parking is not allowed but there are two other cars there, I'll be like 14 feet from the girls with a clear window between us. It will take me ten seconds to just ask so I pull up. I turn the car off, then push the remote start button so the heater stays on, lock the doors and dash in. The lady says nobody brought anything in, that I should ask at Superfresh and if no luck then to come back to her. I thank her and run back out. A policeman is arguing with another man, but seeing me he comes over. I start to apologize for parking where I knew I shouldn't have. He cuts me off asking why I left my children in the car, didn't I know there are crackheads who would steal the car not caring about the kids in the back? Didn't I know that it is illegal to be out of sight and sound of small children in a car?
On the verge of tears, I respectfully plead pointing through the window to the Post Office desk 14 ft away, "Sir, I was RIGHT there. I could SEE them." I started to say how I was just running in to ask about stamps I had left in the parking lot, but my words were getting warbled. In my head, some voice was lecturing, "You NEVER leave kids in the car!"
The policeman starts to yell. He's saying something about Maryland's laws, about how he could take me to jail right then and there. Jail? I dissolve in tears. He lets me get in the car with a final remark about children being much more important than stamps. In unintelligible sobs, I tell him that he's right. I close the door and rest my head on the steering wheel, trying to regain composure before I turn around to tell Anna everything is okay. That bit about jail still echoing, I take a breath a look up. A man in an orange vest is walking around the front of the car, looking at me. He comes to the window and I timidly roll it down thinking that he's probably parking security here to give me a ticket for parking in a fire lane- the policeman told me about that too. Being an older man, with old fashioned manners, he takes off his hat and says, "Excuse me ma'am. Are you looking for stamps?" He said he saw me driving around and figured I was looking for the stamps he had found. Through pouring tears I make out "Superfresh" on his vest as he hands me my bag of stamps. He smiles and says that he's glad I came back. I can't thank him enough for his kindness.
I'm about to drive away, when the policeman pulls up beside me in his car. Rolling the window back down, I try to look reasonably emotionally stable. He apologizes for making me cry. He'd noticed the PA plates and realized that I might not know MD laws. He reminds me that I very well could have been taken to jail for even a quick breach of the law. He also reminds me not to park in fire lanes.

I drove away, humbled. I'm thankful that God works on me. Sometimes I wish that the lessons might be a little lighter, but I probably wouldn't learn them well.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Big girl Sonja.
I think we have a winner.....
No timers today. No reminders every 15 minutes. No mandatory sittings.
And Anna stayed dry!!! All day!!!

Friday, December 05, 2008

Okay, the girls are both asleep so let's see how much I get posted.
Firstly, Roadtrip with a toddler and an infant....surprisingly fun. Really, we were surprised. We were expecting some drama, but it was pretty calm and quiet. Anna's favorite things to do are read, talk, listen to music, play dolls, and all these things can be done in the car so she was fine. Sonja had it a little rougher, (no nursing in a moving vehicle), but her carseat faced Anna so she was mostly content when awake, and she slept the majority of the drive anyway. My favorite thing is to talk to the husband so I was happy. And Chris' favorite thing is to drive really fast so he was thrilled. JUST KIDDING. He likes hanging out with us so it was a fun trip for him too.

On our way down we stopped in NC for an extended lunch with the Hughes- our retired pastor from college days and his wife- and that was just wonderful.
And in Georgia, we had a great time. The girls just love their aunts and uncles:

On Thanksgiving day, we were all intrigued by the deep-fried turkey experiment:
The skeptics.
The crazies.

For the record, that bird was real good.
And these two set a lovely table
Alright the girls are up. More later.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

We're here, I have pictures to post from GA, but we are currently living in fifteen minute increments. The Institute of Potty Training Arts had a grand re-opening yesterday. Even as I type, our star pupil is in the hot seat...hence the brevity.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Last night, I was all by myself. The girls were asleep and Chris was spending the night at the Normans, catching up with his bud J. I spent the evening watching The Office and looking at craft blogs. Once I was thoroughly stocked with sewing ideas, I got ready for bed, slightly resentful that nobody put toothpaste on my toothbrush. I couldn't fall asleep for awhile and got to thinking about Anna. It's been a very long time since she's asked me to hold her. I still do of course, but she doesn't entwine herself around my legs when I'm cooking dinner and whine to be picked up anymore. Not that I miss that...but, actually I kind of do. And she plays by herself or with Sonja all day. She still likes when I play with her, but she doesn't require me in the room to be content. It's just slowly dawning that she is growing more independent everyday. Good thing her daddy is never going to let her get married. I would sure miss her.
Anyway, enough melancholy.
Today is packing day. Tomorrow morning, earlier than bright, we are embarking on our first road trip ever to Georgia. We are leaving without a dvd player, but I won't say we will come back without one. It's a 12 hour drive says Mapquest, 10 hours says Chris, 18 hours says Sonja. We shall see how this goes.
Alright, I need to change over laundry and wrap up a dolly, papoose style.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Pictures of the girls with some Philly friends-
Patton kids and the hilarious Winnie the Pooh viewing:
Livingston kids from a few weeks ago:
And last week, the Kirklins came back from OH and we had a grand reunion for the kiddos. This picture is missing three kids, but there were five baby girls within 9 months of eachother.

Cute Amelie, tolerant Janie, possessive Sonja.

Exersaucer mania:


Sonja getting her duplo on.

Lot's of fun, but now we're all spread out again...sniff.

Viking lady is safe, for now. Tuesday was our roughest day yet; I was on the verge of drafting a craigslist post- 'Rotten machine, cheap.' After a good cry though, I admitted we needed counselling. Perhaps Joann Fabrics had a session for troubled relationships like ours? Viking lady was hesitant to leave the desk and travel across town so we talked things through- that is I stared at her cryptic manual- and finally, at very long last, discovered the source of our tension. I'm too embarrassed to say what the problem was...technically, it was my fault, but she could have said something! Anyway, we're on the mend now, piecing things back together, seeing eye to needle eye. We worked together yesterday for several hours without a single fight! A first in our eleven month relationship. So I think we may have turned a corner seam.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

I'm seconds from throwing this viking lady out the window. Five...four...three...

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Today we visited a wonderful little town called Storyville, an adorable preschooler world in the Rosedale Public Library. My friend, Heather, read about it online (and you can too) and we made plans to check it out this morning. It was supposed to be about 25min from us, but a treasonous act by Garmin left us in an unsavory area of Baltimore- Anna: "What's that?" (pointing at a blinking neon sign complete with silhouette on the side of a building) Me: "Uh...a misnomer. Gentlemen do not go there." Yes, that kind of unsavory. At this point, we dispatched an SOS to Heather and she got us out of there quick. FYI: there are two Kenwood Avenues and the one in Baltimore is not the one you want. The library's website lists the address as Baltimore, but GPS considers it Rosedale, and you should too.
Anyway, this place was AWESOME. It is only for children up to five. There must be a parent with each child. The kids have to pick up the things they play with so the place isn't wrecked. Library workers walk around with Clorox wipes, sanitizing things. There are relevant books incorporated with every play station. Only 60 people are allowed in at a time so it isn't crowded. You can stay in as long as you want. The coat room had a glider for nursing and a family bathroom. It is the ideal place for the half neurotic, semi-germophobic, fully overprotective parent. In case you know anyone like that. =)
Here are some pictures:
This is the kitchen of 1 Storyville Lane. Anna was pulling the highchair over to feed the doll from the table, just like mom. And then she's checking on dinner.
Living room wall decor in 1 Storyville Lane. Also featuring Anna's friend Isaiah.

This is the construction zone. No hardhat required.And here is the grocery store.

The bin for oranges is empty because this shopper was intent on weighing all of them.

Over at the harbor: Anna knocked these birds from their buoy......rocked out in this dingy......and climbed through the driftwood.During all the above, Sonja surveyed from the baby bjorn. Now for the photo shoot in the Baby Garden:
Two little flowers- Sonja and Amelia.

Round inlay mirrors- endless entertainment.

It really is a great place for the kids. We were there for almost two hours, only played in half of the areas, and took 71 pictures. If you're anywhere close, you should check it out. And if you do, we're up for going again anytime!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Advice for the day from Sonja-

First of all, don't get all wrapped up in politics, or blankets. Try to be level-headed.

Second, get out and vote. If you don't, then you can't complain when they stick it to you. Thirdly, when you do vote, don't drink the Obama koolaid. Be responsible, please.
And finally at the end of the day, just sit back, read a good book and watch election coverage, like this!