Wednesday, October 31, 2007


About 10 days ago MacGregor came home from school and saw Ainsley painting. She was painting big wooden letters pink that we have of Piper's name (for her wall). She was almost done the last letter when MacGregor asked if he could finish painting it. I answered "NO" that it was Ainsley's project but that since I know he likes to paint I would look for something at the craft store for him to paint. The next day I went to AC Moore to find paint and cement for Chase's model car that we are trying to work on as a family. While I was there I saw these wooden masquerade masks, but I thought since they were mounted on a stick that we could paint them and put them in our front garden.

So when the boys came home from school, Ainsley, MacGregor, Chase and their friend Vic all painted a mask. They all had a lot of fun and really enjoyed being creative. I felt good too because I am not usually the crafty mom. I'll have to look for more opportunities!

They look really pretty in the garden, especially Chase's pumpkin. He used an orange glitter paint on his and it really catches the sun and sparkles. Ainsley did the bat, MacGregor the witch and Vic the ghost.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Side Smile

So this poor baby has NOT gotten that other front tooth yet. She still only has her central and lateral incisor on her left side, and yet she finds a way to grind these off center teeth. And when she does it gives me shivers all over. I hate that sound. Here are a few pictures.

Then last Wednesday, we were eating dinner and I happened to get a glimpse insider her mouth and it looked like she had something gray. So I grabbed her cheeks and squeezed to get a good look and her gum where the other central incisor is coming in was all gray - like a rotten tooth. My stomach dropped out and I thought she was cutting a rotten tooth or that her gum was necrotic somehow. I was thinking how did this happen? Daniel was witnessing my somewhat stressful reaction and laughing. I said, this isn't funny - what do you think it is? He said it is called an eruption cyst. He said it is similar to a blood blister, in that it is a collection of blood in the area where a tooth is ready to erupt. I asked if she would be dripping blood as she cut that tooth. He didn't seem to think so. Well now we are almost another week down and she has NOT cut the tooth, but it is no longer gray/purple. She was NOT very cooperative but I tried to get a picture of the gray gum - seen here:

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Curious Cutouts

Some of you know that I keep little spiral notebooks for all the girls in my Miamaid class. I take quotes and scriptures from the lesson and copy them to Word and shrink them down to fit in their notebooks. Then they can follow along with the lessson, help read, have a place to write thoughts, goals, answers etc... And when they move on to Laurels, I'll give them their book. On Sunday I was cutting out the material and had scraps left over from the 8 1/2 by 11 sheet of paper. I save the left over scraps for Ainsley to color on.

That night after dinner, Chase says, "What is this Oklahoma cut out for?"

I said, "That's just a scrap piece of paper"

Chase - "Well, it looks like Oklahoma"

Me - "Oh my gosh, yes it does!!"

He then gets the other piece and says, "And this one looks like Pennsylvania.!"

Me - "Oh my gosh, yes it does!!" Isn't that wierd? What are the odds?

What do you guys think?"

I Was Tagged

Five things I was doing 10 years ago:
1. Clipping Coupons
2. Doing Laundry at my Moms house
3. Getting used to being a mom - nursing, changing diapers, cleaning lots of spit up, rocking in the rocking chair, never sleeping in - Chase was only 3 months old.
4. Working part-time.
5. Living on the 3rd floor.

Five things on my to do list today:
1. Laundry
2. Balance the checkbook
3. Quilting with the missionaries
4. Pick up boys from school
5. Drive to and from piano lessons and while I'm waiting - sew on patches and numbers to MacGregor's cub scout uniform.

Five things I would do if I were a millionaire:
1. Take my kids on international vacations.
2. Pay off all our debt.
3. Help other people.
4. Get an inground pool.
5. Shop at Talbots when things are NOT on sale.

Five things I'll never wear again:
1. A side pony tail.
2. Cuffed and rolled up pants.
3. Big fat neon shoe laces.
4. Leg warmers
5. My wedding dress

My favorite toys:
1. Digital camera
2. Computer
3. Sewing Machine
4. Rotary cutter, cutting table and mat
5. Calculator

Five people to tag:
1. Lara
2. Bethany
3. Sarah
4. Catherine
5. Emily
(*Wow that was easy)

Monday, October 22, 2007

Sparkly Shoes

Last Tuesday we went to the shoe store to buy Ainsley a bigger pair of tap shoes. Her shoes from last year were getting too tight. We went to Payless where they sell ballet and tap shoes and I realized they were having their BOGO sale. (Buy one get one half off) I also realized that it was October and the only pair of church shoes that Ainsley had was her white sandals. I thought this would be a great time to get a pair of winter church shoes (half off). So I picked out several black pair. The first two slipped on her heel. The last pair looked like it fit pretty well. BUT then she saw these. And they are Disney princess shoes and they SPARKLE. So I humored her and let her try them on. She walked proudly down the aisle exclaiming, "These don't slip, they don't slip" Then I tried to use logic - "Ainsley these won't match very many of your dresses." And then some divine intervention - ok maybe marketing intervention - but none the less, a worker was shelving shoes nearby. She told me that kid's shoes was her department. She used to LOVE it but now she HATED it. She said she has seen way too many little girls leave the store crying. She said she just wants to remind all those moms out there about when they were little girls - what kind of shoes would they have picked out? Sparkly ones probably. And you know what? - She's right! And then I got to thinking - If someone picked out everything I wore each day or whenever we went to the store, would I like that? And what if I liked something else? And I've seen a lot of moms that have to have their kids dressed just so. But what if their kid would feel so much prettier or so much more confident if they wore sparkly shoes instead of perfectly stylish adult looking stuff? If Ainsley feels beautiful in her sparkly shoes, then so what if she wears them with a blue dress or a peach one (the color dresses we have right now)? Maybe I need to buy dresses to match her much loved shoes instead of shoes to match the dresses. I'm not going to let what I think other people might think about me and how I dress my daughter affect how she feels about herself and what she feels beautiful in.

I will continue to try to teach my kids about matching. My boys love to dress mono chromatically especially in unmatching reds. I will insist they wear collared shirts for picture day at school and I WILL choose their clothes for family pictures. But that's where it stops. I will advise but they will choose. And so Ainsley chose these hot pink sparkly shoes and she has proudly worn them to school and church. (Incidentally, her sneakers she picked for school this year are also bright pink and glittery) She feels beautiful and her spirit is bright.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Love Wrestling

Of course I didn't have my camera when this all started. Anytime someone is laying on the floor, Piper likes to crawl over to them and then she crawls on them, pulls their hair, slaps them, laughing all the while. A basic attack. So that is how it started. Poor Ainsley was just trying to lay there and watch TV.

I ran and got my camera and when I came back the little attacker came over again, this time Ainsley grabbed her and hugged her tight and wouldn't let go. Both were laughing on and off but Piper did start getting upset that her movement had been restricted.

Friday, October 19, 2007


Here I am doing what I do best -

1. Talking on the phone

2. Taking pictures (even if I am taking them of myself)

3. Holding my baby

Thursday, October 18, 2007


It's alway fun to enjoy a good book together.

Some people have trouble paying attention. That same person also has some hair issues.

Monday, October 15, 2007

I Don't Want Braids On My Teeth

I was braiding Ainsley's hair today. It was only the second or third time I've ever braided it. Her hair has always been short we haven't done much with braids. But yesterday in church I began braiding little braids throughout her hair and it looked cute. So today I put a few tiny braids in her hair for school.

As I'm braiding she says"I don't want braids in my mouth."

I say, "Sure - I won't put them in your mouth." Her hair is so short that we'd never be able to get the braid in her mouth anyway.

Then she says, " I don't want braids on my TEETH!"

I say " What are you talking about? You put braids in your hair, not your teeth."

She says, " Well you had them on your teeth when you were growing up."

I say, " AHHH, no those are called braces and maybe you'll get your daddy's straight teeth and never have to wear them" (I hope so)

Braids? Braces? Doesn't matter to Ainsley - she still doesn't want them on her teeth!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Lovin It Loaner

Recently the power locks in our van quit working. Daniel had the van in twice to fix it and each time they'd tell us it was fixed and within 24 hours the locks didn't work again. So on Friday, Daniel called me around 8:30 am to tell me he called the service center and they could get it back in if I would drop it off. This was NOT in my plan for the day because I had to host playgroup at 10am but Daniel said if I didn't get it in early they probably wouldn't be able to get it back to us before the end of the day and it was Friday etc.... So I grabbed the girls and headed to the service place. I left the girls in the car right outside the door to the service place and walked inside to give him the key to the van. I didn't want to have to move carseats more than once and the place is all windows and I parked right next to the door so I just left them inside the car for a minute. Meanwhile the guy gives me the paperwork to sign and hands me a key. He said that bright blue car across the parking lot is my loaner, and he'll call me when it's done. OBVIOUSLY, he didn't know I had TWO children in carseats no less, when he gave me the TWO door sports car as the loaner. Daniel had received a FOUR door car each time he got the loaner - a Ford Contour and a Ford Taurus. But I get the Mitsubishi Eclipse with a spoiler so big you couldn't see anything else out your rear view mirror.

It was nearly impossible to get Piper's carseat back there. I had to move the front seat all the way forward then fold the handles all the way back on the carseat and tilt it at a sharp angle to fit into the back seat. Luckily once I got Ainsley's seat buckled in, she could snap herself the rest of the way. Of course Piper fell asleep on the way home and I couldn't exactly just grab the whole carseat in one clean swoop and carry her inside to finish her nap in the carseat like I would have in the van. No I had to try to maneuver her out of the seat without taking the seat out of the back and transfer her to her crib. Nope - that nap didn't last!

So it was an interesting day driving that tiny car that could accelerate really fast and hug curves so tight you never had to slow down. It was nice pulling out in front of cars, I never would have with the van, and zooming on ahead so they never had to touch their brakes. It was interesting unloading Ainsley at her pre-school drop off where the teachers open the car doors and help the children out.

It is CERTAINLY not a family car - just look at how the kids are packed in that backseat like sausages - but for a brief moment I thought to myself ..... perhaps when the kids are all grown ...... just maybe. Vrrrroommm Vrrrroommmm!

Saturday, October 13, 2007


Piper is HORNY!! The question is ....




Or Light socket?

Which do you prefer?

Daniel prefers 3.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Honk Honk

Our school district starts band and stringed instruments in 4th grade so Chase had the chance to pick an instrument this month. He chose a horn - but it does NOT say "honk honk" it says "Baaarrruuummp-ump-ump-ump-ump" or it can say "Bah-rah-rump". Chase joined the ranks with his Papaw, uncle Brian (for a few years), cousin Brent and his mother's cousin Rich when he chose the TROMBONE.

He came home after the initial demonstration saying he wanted to play the trumpet, trombone or the clarinet. Each day I asked him if he had narrowed it down because of course he couldn't play all three. Each day he'd say he still didn't know. I didn't exert any pressure in any specific direction because I wanted him to choose what HE wanted to play. Chase came with me to the parents meeting where we had to hand in a slip with his first 3 choices on it ... in order. So I asked again - "What's your first choice Chase?" He replied "the trombone." (I think my Dad was secretly thrilled) Because there aren't many kids that sign up for trombone he was immediately granted his first choice. Of all the 4th and 5th grade students (about 200 kids) in Chase's elementary school, only 3 (including Chase) play the trombone.

He had his first 2 lessons this week and has been so excited to show us what he has learned. He has been excited to practice too. I bought the beginning saxophone book when I bought Chase's trombone book. Since both books are from the same series they have the same songs and exercises (so all instruments can practice together). I thought it would be good motivation for Chase to practice if he can do it with me and hopefully some of the learning I gained from 4 years on the sax will come back. Time will tell.

Crooked Smile

More progress... Piper cut her second tooth on top yesterday, but was it the other central incisor? NO, it was the left lateral incisor next to the left central incisor that she already cut. No sign of the right side breaking thru yet so this girl is going to have one crooked smile!!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Making Progress

Piper is making progress all over the place! She began standing comfortably about a week ago. She would always buckle her knees and sit down if Daniel and I tried to make her stand, but since I got back from Idaho she has been doing it of her own initiative. She stood along the table that holds the TV the other day and took one step back and let go with her hands. The kids all noticed and were thrilled with her progress. Then last Saturday she took her first two steps before she got too off balance and leaned forward. Since then she has repeated the two step many times and today got in just about 4 when she brushed against my leg and lost her balance. I wonder how many steps she would have taken if she hadn't hit my leg.

Her other big progress is that she cut her upper left central incisor on Sunday (or tooth G as Daniel would say). Her top gums have been big as balloons and so red over the past two weeks. I am so glad it finally broke through. We still haven't seen any sign of the left one. I hope the other one doesn't wait so long that they are totally uneven and she looks like "Baby Snagletooth". It's interesting that Ainsley cut her bottom teeth at 10 months and exactly 2 months later at 12 months her top teeth broke through. Piper cut her bottom teeth at 8 1/2 months and exactly 2 months later at 10 1/2 month her top tooth broke through.
Oh and she did gain some weight. Her nine month visit she was 16 - 2 and the doctor thought that was too light. At the ER in Idaho she was 17-2 1/2 . She had been drinking a ton of bottles in 48 hours prior (on the airplane etc...) but not eating much. By the time we got back to PA she was having some diarrhea and I think her gums were really sore and she wasn't eating or drinking much. Her weight check was 2 days after we arrived home and she was 16-10 but the doctor was pleased and said she is now finally following a curve (the 5th percentile) and not dropping to a lower curve like she had been on all the previous visits. Its just that my babies start out so high because of their birth weight and it seems to take them about 9 months to a year to find that low percentile curve that they will be on the rest of their lives. :)


I told you how Piper was the "live action" model at our youth activity last week as the girls learned and practiced photography.
These are just the few photos I snapped during that lesson. She does make a cute subject.

Sunday, October 07, 2007


Our Idaho trip was great! Even though we missed our flight on the way out because I set my alarm for PM instead of AM and we left the house an hour late and then on our way home we were delayed 2 and half hours which meant we missed our connection (by 10 minutes) and they wanted to us to stay and spend the night in a strange city with two babies by myself and get up the next day and start the whole airplane travel thing again, in which I replied "Can I go to Dulles? (the VA side of DC) I see this plane is going to Dulles." They got us on a flight to Dulles which landed at midnight and by the time I made my luggage claim and drove 2 1/2 hours home it was 3:30AM. But at least I made it home and slept in my own bed and didn't have to do the whole find a taxi and hotel in a strange city and get up at an absurd hour to start the day on an airplane again with two little ones.

Yes the trip to Idaho was great even though Piper ended up in the Emergency room our second night there with wheezing (croup) so bad the hollow in her neck looked like a cave every time she inhaled and she wouldn't sleep more than 20 minutes at a time so therefore I didn't sleep more than 20 minutes at a time for the first 48 hours. The steroid they gave her at the hospital was magic and we all slept a 6 hour stretch after that. (Although she never did sleep thru the night the whole time)

Yes the trip to Idaho was great even though they got their first snow on Sept 29th.

Yes the trip to Idaho was great even though Kamden was bossy and Ainsley was defiant and sometimes mean and they fought like cats and dogs when they weren't getting along and having a great time. We had a lot of fun for Kamden's birthday. She took Ainsley to "Build a Bear" and they got to build any animal they wanted. They both choose the triceratops and both picked the fairy costume. Ainsley gave Kamden the "Barbie Island Princess" DVD and Kamden loved it!

Yes the trip to Idaho was great even though I babysat for Brock and Brielle so they could go to breakfast for their 5th Anniversary (Sept 28th) and 10 minutes after they left I went to get Aspen up and her whole room smelled like vomit. Yes she had vomited all over everything in her crib so I got her up and gave her a bath and started her laundry.

Yes the trip to Idaho was great even though the day of our hike it rained. Yes it rained only during the hour and half we were hiking. It didn't rain any other time of the day - only during the hike. (more on the hike in another post)

With all seriousness - I did have a great time. I think these pictures speak that loud and clear. It was great to spend time with my sister and her family. It was great to spend time in another part of the country and appreciate it's beauty. It was great to have my girls get to know their cousins better. You can't control when someone is going to get sick or if the weather is going to be bad and delay your flight. Life happens! I'm glad I could spend time with my sister building memories while life was happening.