Monday, May 12, 2014

Winter/spring 2014: Catch-up

Hollie took swimming lessons a few months ago!  When I'm in the pool with her, she won't leave the steps.  With her teachers, she swims like a fish - no hesitation.

She is doing well at school...she recognizes almost all her letters (some trouble with M and N) but really loves working on numbers, and she brings home some really great art.  I taught her how to draw a five-pointed star, so that is turning up everywhere.  One of her favorite thing to do is make things to give to her friends, sometimes even just cutting shapes out of paper.  I'm trying not to discourage her generosity but we've had to have some conversations about this.

She received these shoes from a neighbor friend who outgrew them, and learned to tie them surprisingly quickly...and then got frustrated with the process and won't wear them anymore.  Figures. 

This was her very first try:

Allen loves to eat!  Eggs are the undisputed favorite, but he's at the point where I just mash/dice/blend up whatever we're having, and he likes pretty much everything. 

He is probably the happiest baby in the history of the world.  Always smiling, never bothered by his sisters playing with him, making new friends anytime we go anywhere...I can't imagine a happier, friendlier child.

He is very, very talkative; always gabbering.  There are a few distinct syllables that he says a lot:

The easy one is: "dada"
The other one sounds like: "gothic-gothic..." or "gah-dah-gah-dah..."  I don't know where he picked that up, but he sure likes to say it!
He also rolls his R's a lot, which is ridiculous because nobody else in the family can do it!  Whenever I buzz my lips, he just starts "rrrrrrr"ing away. 

The girls enjoyed some warm January weather.

Blake is my little enigma (much like any two-year-old).  
Such a lovable, mysterious child.

I get the feeling that she is very hard to read if you don't know her well...she doesn't communicate very well verbally (again, like many two-year-olds) but also doesn't seem to express herself non-verbally very well either (her default is a mistrustful glare).  I feel very fortunate that I feel like I "get" her - know what makes her tick - and that I can communicate with her on her level, only as a result of spending every day of her life getting to know her.   She definitely cannot be pushed and will work only at her pace, or not at all.  

I would really like for her to start preschool in the fall, but I've been giving a lot of thought to what the best situation will be for her. We will have to wait and see how potty-training goes this summer, too.  At the moment, she uses the potty when she feels like it, and doesn't when she doesn't.

One day I put Allen down for his afternoon nap, and when I got back to the living room I reminded Blake that we need to be quiet.  A minute later, she took my phone from the counter, wrapped it in a towel, and held it to her shoulder, patting it gently, and told me, "Quiet, Mama.  Phone s'eeping."  Then she carefully placed the towel bundle in a tupperware container and carried it to Allen's room, where she set it down and covered it with a blanket.

She has the strangest way of mispronouncing words.  Hollie did it too, and it was very cute, but some of Blake's versions are just bizarre...

Zebra = "zree-bah"
Sandwich = "swam-ich"
Computer (isn't that always a tough one?) = "peer-id" [uncanny resemblance to Hollie's toddler version: "com-peer-git"]
Yogurt = "yor-git"

On a regular basis, when any of the kids are acting up, I'll call them a "silly willy"...Blake changes it to "silly billy", which, in her giggly toddler voice sounds like "selly belly"...I love it!

Mostly she prefers to use a "T" sound whenever possible: okay is "oh-tay", cucumbers are "too-tummers", and in December we had "triss-miss" trees and "triss-miss wights", and my favorite: "tanny tans"...candy canes!

Sledding with neighborhood friends in February

Dads towing tired kids home from the hill

Classic toothy Allen grin!

My FIVE-year old!!

Allen fell asleep on this blanket in the living room, so Blake very carefully wrapped him up with his caterpillar!

I have a premonition that these two are going to be partners in crime...

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Houston, we have granite.

And it's pretty.

Feeling incredibly fortunate...for my handy (and nothing-if-not budget-conscious) husband who did so much of this work with his own hands, for having the means to make our vision into our reality, and for our resilient children who have taken this enormous upheaval of our routine in stride.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Kitchen Renovation (for people who don't use FB) (lookin' at you, Dad)

First demolition: Gutting the pantry (2/23)

Cabinet delivery on Hollie's birthday!

Removed that top half of the pantry to look at the electrical.,,and the real work begins! (3/7)

Can't lie...we had a little fun...

Even found this little guy...

Calling it quits on 3/7...

This is how it looked for a while, while Daniel worked a lot of overtime...

My temporary kitchen...

Our "eat-in" playroom!
Hollie's paper says "shark"

Back to work... 

Tore out the pantry/linen closet and built a new wall...

Putting together the first cabinet!

Two more done!

Island and all lower cabinets done!

It was a team effort.

As of today...
More upper cabinets done, and one light moved and another added.

New counters go in TOMORROW!!!

Thursday, November 7, 2013


We went to the pumpkin farm with Hollie's school.  Blake and Allen were both not fans of the cold, damp fall weather.

Thankfully Hollie still had a great time!

And a tractor makes everyone happy, of course.

Halloween blue banana bread muffins!

Halloween day at school

Our pumpkins from the farm (Blake loved the green ones)

Grandma sent us Halloween stickers!!
Blake ran out of room on her paper and had to improvise.

Ready for trick or treating!

Blake's crazy sugar high.  Oooooh boy!