Tuesday, August 26, 2008

ten smile tuesday

can it really be true that an entire week has passed us by....a week packed full of those ordinary moments i would simply like to savor....to gather up and store away for those "rainy" days. (mind you, this week has had its share of rainy moments--tantrums, broken plates, piles (errr....mounds) of housework--and on and on...but truly, we are blessed here in the "yak family".

1. the finale of "c" week...baking cookies (incidentally i experimented with the recipe and created something new and delish!--chocolate chip cookies with banana and peanut butter--moist, chewy, and yummy!--i used the toll house recipe+an extra 1/2 cup of flour, then i tossed in my two ripe bananas that needed to be used...and finally, i thought...hmm...what good are bananas and chocolate without a wee bit of peanut butter, so i threw in 1/4-1/2 cup of PB). however, keeping cookies in the house is never a good idea, so we made some cards, read one of our favorite books, "you can do it, sam" (about a bear who delivers cakes (a tasty surprise) to his friends....SOOO cute!), loaded into the van and headed off to drop our own little tasty surprises off to friends. elizabeth was absolutely enthralled by this adventure....toting her homemade card and plate of cookies up to the door, ringing the doorbell and saying, "here's a tasty 'prise!" kate was quite thrilled by the adventure, as she just loved seeing all the friends! we'll most definitely be doing this smile again! (oh how i wish we could pack up a plateful and drop them off to all of you bloggity friends!)

2. playing....especially watching daddy and his daughters play. one of elizabeth's favorite parts of the week was reading the comics with daddy on sunday afternoon. and kate...well, she loves just about anything involving daddy....as the grin reveals!

3. COOTIES! (and not the kind fourth grade boys have....) i picked the cootie game up at a garage sale for a buck. so worth it. as i opened the box and looked at the gameboard i have to admit i was a bit stumped. i don't know that i honestly remembered cooties being a game....i just remember sitting with my sister (or by myself) putting the cooties together in different ways and then playing "house" and pretending with them. i mean, really, cooties were just another verious of dolls and barbies around our house! this, however, was mike's first ever run-in with cooties (can you believe it!?)...he bashfully admitted this fact when i laughed as i recounted the story of a lady at the garage sale seeing me with the box and saying, "cooties...whats that?" (please, please tell me you all remember cooties!)

4. piggy pancakes...well, atleast that's what i was going for. in reality, elizabeth took one look at it and called it a cat, which actually fit well with our "c" theme...so i guess you could say we had "cat cakes" for breakfast saturday. (and yes...she did scarf down the chocolate chip eyes and nostrils first)

5. doll-making. you all have to know just how much i am loving elizabeth's newfound fondness for all things crafty. i must admit that i often have to step back though...i can get way too obsessive about the pieces being glued just right OR the big messes that come with the projects. this particular project was a wee bit above lib's independent ability though, so she happily requested "help mama!"...and i didn't even mind the glue EVERYWHERE when we were finished (and it was that SUPER sticky craft glue...that stuff could hold a house together!)....or the glitter (if you look closely the sashes are covered in glitter...as is the table...and the people in this house (still...even though the project was yesterday). gotta love glitter...

6. goggles. need i say more...

7. paint, paint, paint....i suppose this could go with smile #5, but i'll give it a smile all its own. so elizabeth loves painting. finger painting. brush painting. she. loves. painting. todays d project were daisies, which involved painting the middle of a muffin cup yellow (or a rainbow of colors if you're elizabeth) (by the way...i got this idea from moziesme), but i knew that simply wouldn't be enough in the painting realm. SO...i invented "daddy dollars" (which elizabeth will present to daddy this evening....and daddy can redeem for hugs and kisses and dates and other special moments) and let elizabeth have at it with the paint to decorate them. you know what i discovered...i like finger-painting almost as much as elizabeth does. the other thing i discovered is that i really need to make paint smocks for the girls!

8. dessert. ooey gooey and delicious rice krispie treats...made with the help of one eager (almost) three year old while kate napped. (which is also when we bust out the paint and glue...) this treat will be accompanying a dinner (chicken enchiladas) we are delivering to some friends who just got home after a year overseas doing missions. (and yes...you guessed it...elizabeth picked the colored, fruity flavored marshmallows...and they do give the rice krispie treats a bit of flavor). while we stirred and melted the marshmallows elizabeth danced around the kitchen twirling and singing (at the top of her lungs), "marshmallows...marshmallows. oh i love marshmallows! marshmallows...marshmallows. you taste so good!" hilarious!

9. faces. elizabeth has this new face. she calls it a daddy face...though we have NO idea why. it is too funny (and she knows it...and tries to milk it for all its worth). even funnier....the realization that apparently kate is picking up a similar facial expression. i truly believe the best pictures aren't always the smiley ones...these might be among my recent favs!

10. grace, grace, God's grace. grace for dinner time...which is definitely in one of those "not so happy" phases. kate, who just weeks ago would eat anything...is getting picky. ugh! and elizabeth, who had been on a positive streak when it come to dinner...is back to those stubborn, wants to take six hours to eat ways. ugh! in case i haven't mentioned it...parenting is hard. and yet, God is gracious...gracious to give patience when all around the dinner table is going haywire...gracious to remind me that just as i wish my children would just listen and realize what i want them to do is best for them, so this is how He sees me....gracious to forgive in those moments when i don't respond as i should....gracious.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

ten (okay...sixteen) smile tuesday...

i didn't intend to disappear from blog-land...we've had plenty of blog-worthy stuff going on. rather, i ended up taking a last minute (as in making the decision on saturday and leaving sunday after church) trip to the lake. the girls and i packed up the car and headed North...leaving mike to hold down the homestead (and get some much needed project and relaxation time!). we were able to coordinate with my mom and completely surprise my grandma when we showed up at my parent's house, and i'm so thankful for each and every hour we get to spend with her. what a privilege that my girls can know their great-grandma...how it fills my heart with joy to hear elizabeth talk about her GG (and, of course, so special that elizabeth so vividly remembers her Big Bapa as well!). i remember fondly the times i spent with my GG...visiting her in florida, anticipating her visits to indiana. squeezing orange juice from fresh oranges, riding her big three wheeler bike with my sister, learning to shuffle a deck of cards...such special memories. oh how i pray my girls are able to have these same memories of their GG!

but without further ado...here's what we're smiling about!

1. the chance to visit with mike's fam on saturday. aunt kim, uncle dave, grandma, and grandpa came to our house to hang out, and then we all went to a wedding together. though they don't get to see aunt kim and uncle dave very often, the girls warmed up quickly and had a wonderful time.

2. a "home date" with my hubby. mike picked up some dinner and a gorgeous, bright bouquet of flowers (sorry don't have a pic with me here at the lake!) at trader joe's, grabbed a redbox ("bella"...which was phenomenal!), we tucked the girls in an hour early...and voila...a cheap date and some great together time!

3. popsicles.

4. bubbles.

5. boat rides.

6. swimming...when we arrived on sunday elizabeth was so excited to play with her "tools" (her rake, shovel, and bucket) in the shallow water that she ended up with quite wet drawers. as for kate...well, she wanted to join her big sister...so she did some "skinny dipping"...while elizabeth swam in her undies. too cute!

7. canasta. those who have read for awhile saw this one coming and know that my mom and i have an intense rivalry going...the past couple lake trips have been quite hectic, so its been nice to have a chance to sit down, relax, and a play a few hands!

8. this is a bit belated...but a few thursdays ago my hubby came home with a wii fit (which we'd been trying to find in stock for over a month). can i tell you how great this has been. i've been able to get up early and "workout" (and yes, it is actually a great workout!) without leaving the house, paying for the gym, or paying for someone to watch the girls. i'm definitely seeing results...losing a few pounds so far, but definitely feeling a HUGE increase in energy and strength.

9. elizabeth's choo-choo. this week we are focusing on the letter "c"...yesterday we made a cat...today my mom and i put our heads together (and the random toilet paper rollers, tissue box, and paper towel roll that had recently been emptied) and came up with a craft elizabeth LOVED! i think tomorrow we'll make a clock. i also will have to post elizabeth's crafting pictures from last week when we made a boat and busted out the blue paint (i think elizabeth was definitely more thrilled by the paint than the boat!).

10. a wonderful hubby who was okay with "lending" his girls to my parents for the week. seriously..i'm sure the house is quiet and a bit lonely at times, and i'm thankful for a husband who is willing to let us go at times! and, i'm smiling at the thought of getting to see my hubby tomorrow. being away is a nice change of pace, but being away just makes coming home sweeter.

11. a bonus..because i can smell the sausage my mom just cooked...and i'm already imagining the tasty homemade pizza we'll be eating for dinner in a couple hours! yum!

12. a double bonus. a pedicure of sorts (i'll spare you the pic of my foot!) with my mom's foot spa while we canasta-ed...seriously...playing cards with my mom while soaking my feet. definitely nice!

13. kate's "teepee crawl"...this is mode of transport when she is wearing a dress or on a surface she doesn't like. hilarious...she gets her little behind way up in the air and goes like crazy. who needs to walk when you've got moves like this!

14. elizabeth is totally smiling about her "c" snack....a capri sun and crackers!

15. swinging. poppy (with the help of grandmommy) got the swing hung in the big tree (a two-in-one...as it can switch between kate's baby swing and lib's big girl swing). the girls were loving it...although elizabeth had to warm up to the big girl swing, as i think she was a bit overwhelmed by swinging over the lake. kate was all smiles and laughter...strawberry hair blowing in the wind.

16. hot rod kater. kate loved sitting on libs hot wheel...and later she was even standing on it like evil knievil. (can you see libs "riding" it in the background of the pic with kate swinging...her legs are just a wee bit too short!)

Thursday, August 14, 2008

$6.50...well spent!

the proof is in the pictures. we picked up a whole box full of princess-ish dress-up clothes, a castle, and a wooden rocking horse for just $6.50 at a garage sale this morning. look at all the fun elizabeth had...and mommy too! this was elizabeth first real exposure to "dress-up" (aside from trying on daddy's shirts while folding laundry...and wearing around our shoes...), and i was amazed how innate the "girly", "princess" mentality is...seriously, she was enthralled with the idea of the castle and wearing her princess outfits. so cute!

"princess libs" (with the castle in the background...so funny that at nap-time she insisted on reading "go dog go" (and i was amazed by how many words and sentences she could "read" from memory even though we haven't picked that one up in awhile...kids are such sponges) to the monkey figurine that came with the castle and tucking him into bed (its a dora castle, and while dora was missing, boots the monkey was included...it also cracks me up that she is in LOVE with the fact that it is dora's castle, though she has only seen the show like three times--then again, she does eat the yoplait kids dora yogurt ALL the time, so perhaps that is where it comes from).

the six sizes too big princess shoes she wanted to wear ALL day...there were actually 4 different pairs in the box, so she rotated throughout the day

riding on the wooden rocking horse we scored for a mere fifty cents...notice that she is trying to put the princess tiara on the rocking horse. kate even took a spin on the horse...i didn't get pictures since i was too busy holding her on!

i just love this smilin' face!

elizabeth SO wanted mommy to dress up in princess clothes too...so i put on the one thing that would fit...a hat!

in other "elizabeth news", we've been doing lots of "B" crafts...a bumblebee, a blue bird, a butterfly, bodies (i used sidewalk chalk to trace miranda and then elizabeth laying on the driveway...then we used the chalk to color clothes onto them). for some odd reason elizabeth calls sidewalk chalk "hot sauce"....she was riding her tricycle around the cul-de-sac and saw the neighbor's driveway that was sidewalk chalked with words and pictures and exclaimed, "look mommy, they have hot sauce on their driveway!" i didn't connect that she meant sidewalk chalk until she pointed to our driveway and said, "i do hot sauce on our driveway!" i LOVE this stage...the whole pretend play. this evening she wanted me to put on my shoes so we could go shopping...a trip that involved going to the bathroom, climbing onto the stool and reaching into the sink to buy some grapes and bringing them back to her room. i love (well, sometimes) seeing her mimick the things she sees going on around her...carrying her purse like mommy, changing her animals diapers, and on and on....precious!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

the birthday girl's stats...

we had kate's 12 month well child visit today. here are the latest "stats" (i better record them here since i can't currently locate her baby book. i know its somewhere around here...and the fact that it is missing is a bit boggling to me since the house is truly more organized than it has been in a long time! oh well...i know it will turn up in due time since i haven't really looked that hard for it.)

weight: 22 lbs. 11 oz. 75th percentile
height: 30 3/4 in. 90th percentile
head circumference: 18 inches 70% percentile (a handy fact if i decide to make her a hat any time soon)

the doctor was pleased that she has settled in and followed the same growth curve since 6 months (after all the weight gain issues in the first four or so months)....and pleased that she is quite proportional. i have always known that kater gator trumps elizabeth in the size arena (not to be overly comparison oriented...just the reality), but when i looked at elizabeth's baby book (yes...i do realize that i can find elizabeth's book quite quickly...if only i'd have put kate's book right back onto the shelf next to libs when i was finished with it!) just now to see the weight and height difference, i realized why i feel so exhausted when toting kate around. at 12 months elizabeth weighed in at 19 lbs. 11 oz. (4 whole pounds lighter than kate) and her height was 28 1/2 inches (2 inches shorter than kate). in fact, kate's measurements look much more like elizabeth's 18 month measurements of 23 lbs. 7 oz. and 32 inches long.

if you haven't already seen it, my ten smiles post is right below this one...chock full of pictures of kate's birthday party and elizabeth's "b" words.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

ten smiles...and the birthday party highlights!

what a week full of blessings around our house. this post is brought to you compliments of kate's first birthday and the letter "b"! if you missed it, check out my letter to kate on the occasion of her first birthday here.

1. my cake decorating assistant. seriously, elizabeth was extremely into helping get everything ready for kate's birthday party. here she is helping poke the "balloons (gumballs) onto the skewers.

2. the finished alligator cake. i opted against the alligator shaped cake (partially since it was my first "fun" cake attempt...and partially since kate is too young to remember it anyway!). i was extremely happy with the way it turned out though!

3. a fabulously gorgeous day. seriously...we couldn't have asked for better weather...especially considering it is august in indiana (typically this would be synonymous with hot and humid--kate was born on one of the hottest days ALL summer last year...i remember people walking in to visit us and commenting that it was stifling outside). but, no stifling heat this year...it was a beautiful mid to upper 70's and sunny...perfect for some pool fun. kate splashed and giggled and enjoyed all the fun the "big" kids were having in the pool with her. (elizabeth, on the other hand, was a bit overwhelmed by all the splashing and opted to play on the swingset while the kiddos did the swimming thing). the weather even allowed us to eat outside....gotta love the kid table (they stayed this way for all of 5 minutes...).

4. having GG here to celebrate with us! this was the first birthday party where GG was able to give her gift in person as opposed to sending it with grandmommy and poppy. how truly special to know she was able to celebrate this milestone with us! (she and my parents drove down for a "whirlwind" trip...not arriving back home until the dark, late hours of night...far past the time when our family was tucked away in bed...resting from all the excitement).

5. the big birthday cake moment. kate was enthralled by the singing...soaking in the attention. and when offered cake...well, you guessed it. no tears from this girl (well, except when she dropped a big ol' hunk into her lap and missed out on the tasty goodness!). in true "kate" fashion, she dug right in...first dipping her finger in for dainty finger licks...and finally digging her fingers in for big gooey bites. by the end of the experience she had icing in her eyes (which clearly wasn't phasing her a bit) and nothing but smeary trails of frosting left on the tray.

6. finally, the packages. kate wasn't so into opening the presents...she was content to let big sister help with that task. however, she WAS really into exploring and playing with all of her new toys and stuffed friends. she did score lots of "gator" stuff...a puppet and some books from mommy and daddy, the cute-o gator shoes from my sister (i think i showed these in last weeks smiles), three stuffed gator-ish animals from aunt jill and uncle nathan, and a cool gator toy from my parents that will teach her things like snaps, tying, zipping, etc... (of course, there were lots of thoughtful and fun non-gator gifts as well--including her first baby doll from GG...we sat the baby next to her and she promptly poked it in the forehead to knock it over and then giggled with a mischevious smile).

7. a sleeping baby.

8. baking...libs and i are working on the letter "b" this week. so yesterday we spent the entire morning baking. whole wheat bread...and some oh-so-scrumptious zucchini bread (thanks to a friend from flock group who passed on a home-grown zucchini....and to my auntie phil, whose zucchini bread recipe is fabulous!)

9. "b" is also for baby shoes...the project of the day today. a group of around 10 gals from my MOPS group gathered today to help assemble lots and lots of baby shoes to give away as our new baby gift for MOPS this year. what fun to sew and create AND spend wonderful time with other moms. some of the non-sewing moms were kind enough to hang out upstairs with the kiddos so we could make some great progress. i am SO thankful for this...much more efficient (and fun) than last year...when i sewed those billions (okay...thats a slight exaggeration) of receiving blankets all on my own! (the pictures are just a fraction of the over 30 pairs of shoes we will eventually have completed!)

10. "b" is for bicycle. elizabeth is loving her bike the past few days. and the weather has been so gorgeous to be outside to play with her bike. tonight we were able to take a nice stroll/ride up and down the street (and to visit the ducks...elizabeth REALLY wanted to show the ducks her bike!). she is actually getting quite good...starting to really do the pedaling by herself and steer enough to not run off the sidewalk.