Sunday, January 27, 2013

My Faye is two.

This spunky little thing turned two today.

There is something really, really fun about a just-turned two-year-old. It's like suddenly this little thing who used to walk around and make messes and cry is having full on conversations with you. (Not that she doesn't make messes or cry anymore. Let me assure you, she can scream with the best of them.) But the new words and funny conversations with a two-year-old voice are just too precious.

Sometimes Faye tells me something and then leans forward and says, "I'm seeweeous (serious), mom." Whenever Rick is home, every five seconds she is demanding, "Watch dis, daddy!" She might want him to see her take a big bite of her dinner, or it might precede her flying off the couch onto the ottoman. A lot of times, when I go to get Faye out of her car seat, she is pretending to be asleep. I play along and act like I have whisper and carry this sleeping girl into the house. She usually has a little smile curling up on her lips while she's trying to fake the sleeping. Faye received a baby doll for a gift today. She immediately got out the wipes and a diaper and spent some time wiping, changing, etc. She also frequently can be found "nursing" dolls, stuffed animals, and even the rocking horse one time. She thinks she can nurse them with her belly button. When we put Faye to bed, she usually has a few demands. As I'm trying to leave the room, she gets a little frantic and says, "I need a tissue! I need a dink! I need a go potty!" (She wears a diaper.) I've been trying to teach Faye colors, letters, numbers, etc. for a while, but she's not terribly interested. Whenever I ask her what color something is, she responds incorrectly. However, the other day while she was playing I heard her correctly identify all the colors of the markers she was using. She knows more than I think; she just chooses when she wants to say the right answers! Faye is quick to say sorry and thank you. I love serving her a drink, helping her out of the car, etc. when she says, "Tanks, mommy!" Whenever I stub my toe or say "ouch" about anything she quickly says, "sowwy mommy." Faye is not potty training yet, but some mornings when we stay home, I have her go without a diaper, and she will pee for Skittles. She sits on her little potty clutching the Skittles bag until she earns one. When Faye is in a really silly mood, she runs around like crazy, falls down, laughs her head off about it, wrestles her brothers, etc. When she throws tantrums, she jumps up and down, throws her head back and really screams. She's getting much better at getting over the tantrums now, and usually stops suddenly, sniffs, and says, "Faye stop crying."

Faye's birth two years ago was one of my favorite moments ever. I will never forget finding out that I was finally the mother to a GIRL! She definitely turned out to have more spunk than I thought my sweet little daughter would, but I wouldn't change it for the world. I can't wait to hear what she has to say tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Dinosaur Stampede.

We had been trying to get over to the Botanical Gardens to see their dinosaur exhibit since it opened in September. When I realized it closed at the end of the year, we finally made the trip! The way they set up the exhibit was great. They had replicas of dinosaurs and other pre historic creatures spread all around the gardens, so you had to walk around to find them. Each of the kids had a map and a list with a description and a question for each creature.

We sort of just jumped in the car and went, forgetting our stroller and not really bundling up enough for the unusual 50 degree day here. But we had fun anyway!

I thought the stroller was in the trunk. Oh well; we got to carry this sweet little thing all over, and walk at a Faye/Everett pace.

Studying maps, looking for dinosaurs!

One of the first species: a giant cockroach.

Most days, I am walking around with white stains down my arms, back, back of my pants, etc. etc.

Everett with the Nile Crocodile, looking for the Meganeura.

Carson and Everett were both really nervous to enter the Tropical Room. It was really foggy and loud because of the water. But we had to find the Quetzalcoatlus and the Bambiraptor!
Writing down answers to the questions.
You can see the Camarasaurus in the background. This is the point where we got a little lost. Let's be honest, neither Rick nor I have a very good sense of direction. We're hoping one of the kids does so they can help us someday.
50 degrees, and no shoes of course. There were some Asian tourists all bundled up there who were just shocked that a little girl would be running around like this! I promise I put shoes on her, but I never force my kids to wear jackets or anything. I figure it's their choice if they want to be cold!
I thought this cactus wreath was fun.
The Allosaurus.
They spotted the very last dinosaur! It was a Hypsibema with its nest of eggs. (Yes I am using the brochure to write the captions. I figured the boys would want to remember the names.)
Once we found all the dinosaurs and answered the questions, we got to turn in our brochures for a prize at the gift shop. Each kid picked a tiny toy dinosaur out of a basket. Everett was taking forever to choose his. I finally had to tell him if he didn't pick in five seconds I would choose for him. Well, I chose for him and then carried him out of there throwing a major fit. Erase that last part of our visit, and it was a great day!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Christmas morning!

Is this picture of the cute kids in front of the tree magical or what? Thanks to Jeanel for their Christmas jammies. They love them, and Everett often puts his sleeper on for his nap or just to hang out around the house. 
(There were actually 19 pictures taken like this in front of the tree where someone is crying/running away/hitting someone else, etc. This good one was the very last attempt.)
Stockings first. Carson is excited about his Gatorade. That's what he wanted for his special food item. Everett's was "Monkey Brains Oatmeal."
Each kid woke up to one "big" gift hidden under a sheet or blanket on Christmas morning. Carson is unveiling his new lego table. (Actually an $8 IKEA Lack table with lego bases attached to the top. Santa is so smart.) 
Everett has been asking for a "cool construction site" for a year now. He was slightly disappointed to not receive one for Christmas last year. For his birthday last April, he got a construction truck that I thought might satisfy him, but he kept on asking for that "cool construction site." On Christmas morning, his dream finally came true. He got a bunch of little toy trucks, a crane, little worker men, etc. that can all go on a play mat that looks like a construction site. (Actually a piece of viny fabric drawn on with Sharpies. Again, that smart Santa!)
Faye got lip gloss. "Yips! Yips!"
Everett with his dream come true.
Ahhh Christmas morning! I have to add a thank you to possibly the nicest man in the world, Michael Clemens. You see, Rick did not have a single day off for Christmas, or any other holiday. (Well, I guess I mean night off, since he was working nights.) I told myself it was ok, but I was pretty sad about doing the whole Christmas Eve thing by myself, and then having an exhausted dad awake for just a few minute with us on Christmas morning. Well, Michael VOLUNTEERED to work for Rick on Christmas Eve night. I know, who does that?? So, thank you a million times over to him for this magical Christmas morning!
Faye's big gift was her kitchen. I love watching her play with it! She often comes downstairs in the morning, gets out her pots and pans, and asks me, "What you want?"
Rick even got a couple of little fun gifts. And I was very happy that there was NOTHING under the tree for me from him. If I want something I will pick it out myself, thank you very much.

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

more catching up.

Just playing. That credenza back there is the best thing ever for storing all these huge Tonka trucks.

The neighborhood people put on this really fun Christmas party at the clubhouse down the street.  Lots of bagels, juice, etc. and crafts for the kids to do.
It's always at events like this on a Saturday or something when I look around and realize I am the only parent there without a spouse. And that I have the most kids. I sort of want to wear a sign that says, "I am married, and we meant to have all four of these."
She's a really nice baby.
Yep, here's our table. One adult, four kids. Notice there are no donuts here. I didn't let the kids have any, but then they spotted them on the way out and we did all split one. I think I called the donuts "nasty," and now anytime I use the word nasty the kids aren't sure if it's something that really is gross, or something that is actually yummy.
I think this is our second Santa meeting this year.

After that Christmas party, we played at the neighborhood park next door. The party favors included bubbles and stamps, so we had fun using those. I let Faye stamp all over my legs. It was a fun morning.
Everett really really wanted to do a gingerbread house, so I caved and just bought a kit. Apparently this is the only picture I took, right before we started decorating. Whoops.
Cheeks! This was a few weeks ago; I think she's actually thinned out some since then.
I found these hats for a great deal and sent them to my nieces as gifts. I should have gotten some for my own kids! They actually do have some cold weather here!
The always want Isla to lay in bed with them!
I live with a lot of guilt and worry that I don't do enough crafts and learning activities with my kids. This is just to document that occasionally we try.
They love the bath! Especially since Aunt Jeanel gave them some cool tablets that turn the water different colors.
The week before Christmas, we were ALL sick (except for Rick) with the flu. It definitely put a damper on things!
Sometimes we pack up sandwiches and have dinner at the park.
Playing with Isla after church.

I used to think I would be the kind of mom who always has here baby girls in matching headbands. I am not a headband mom. Oh well.
More playing.
Every year we make home-made gifts for the Otto side of the family. This year, the boys were actually old enough to participate in making theirs! I did the stencil, and they painted some T shirts for their cousins. We love the tradition of making and receiving hand-made gifts!