Sunday, January 23, 2011

Happy First Birthday!

Miss Lilyanna at her first birthday party.  She invited all of her most adoring fans over to share in the day with her.

This was when Lilyanna stole the lid of the jar of the other baby's food.  She was crouched down, licking the jar, behind the table.  We call this picture "Guilty!"

Stealing more of Katie's food.  This may inspire Katie to learn how to walk.

Daddy and Daughter!  So cute.

Sugar coma has begun!


The fruit bat and Evil Mr. Kevin.

Happy Birthday!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Veterans Day 2010

My blog is a little erratic lately with the dates.  I'm posting more, but just with what catches my fancy.  Chronology Shmonology is what I always say!  (Actually, I've never said that before.  But now is an excellent time to start!)  ANYWAY.  Here are the Webelo 2 scouts from our pack.  You can tell which one is my kid because he has NO patches sewn on his shirt.  That has since been remedied.  Ya know.  Just in time for him to cross over to Boy Scouts and not need the shirt anymore.

These boys did the flag ceremony for the Veteran's Day assembly held at the elementary school.  I cried pretty much the whole time.  Something about lots of old men in uniform telling war stories combined with patriotic music.  I can't handle it.  I take an entire box of tissues to the Memorial Day parade in our town each year.  It's the cars full of former POWs that get me every time.  

This group of boys, though small, is good.  I've been pleased with the experiences Benjamin has been able to enjoy while associated with our neighborhood Cub Scout Pack.  It's weird to think he's almost a boy scout.  My BABY!!  

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Nathaniel's Baptism!

Nathaniel and his Dad
Nathaniel turned 8 years old this summer and was baptized out in Wyoming by his Grandpa Bradshaw.  Benjamin and Grandpa Smith spoke at it, and Todd confirmed him a member of the church.  It was fun to have so many relatives there to participate with him.  We are really proud of Nathaniel for making the decision to be baptized.  
Nathaniel, Grandpa Bradshaw, and Benjamin
Lilyanna getting acquainted with her Great Aunt Julie and her Great Grandma Bradshaw.  She seemed to really take to Great Grandma Bradshaw.  It was very sweet.

The whole gang:  Smiths and Bradshaw and Hales and Clays and Christensens and more!

conversation about hair

Me: I can't tell if all the color from the highlights I got a year ago is out of my hair or not.  Is this all my natural color now?

Todd: That's easy.  Is your hair gray?

Monday, January 10, 2011

We Got Weather.

This is a common phrase in Ohio.  It baffled me a little at first.  Weather?  Everyplace has weather.  In fact you don't have it.  It just is!  But when they say it here, it never means anything good.  To say, "There's going to be weather this afternoon."  means there is going to be a tornado/blizzard/wind storm/pouring rain/flooding.  And all of those will cause our power to go out.  I didn't know it was possible to lose power as often as we lose power.  We live in well established suburbs of a well established city.  But the wind blows and we lose power.  Maybe that's why so many Amish people settled here.  We're all pretty good without electricity around here...

Anyway.  I just found these pictures from a summer afternoon this past August at our town's swim club.  We love it there.   Tonight there is weather in the forecast.  (This time weather means snow.)  These pictures make me happy to look upon to remember warmth and summer and a lazy afternoon with my kids in which I didn't have to pick up after them.
Benjamin learning to dive off the board.  He is finally doing much better off the block, but the diving board seems much further away from the water.

This one is probably going to hurt.

And this one.

But the splash isn't too bad.

Lilyanna doesn't mind Benjamin learning to dive.  It means she gets to sit longer in the grass and eat bugs.  Mmm...bugs.

All done with the bugs.  The thumb isn't so crunchy.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Speaking of Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice...

This.  This is why it is fun to have a little girl.  I had no idea the fun I was missing!  Getting little boys dressed for church just isn't fun.  Oh, you can have little handsome outfits for them.  Tuxedos, even.  With Converse.  It's cute.  You giggle a little when you look at them all day.  But that is NOTHING compared to dressing a little girl in velvet, taffeta, tulle, and patent leather shoes!!

Friday, January 7, 2011

More Conversation

Nathaniel:  Lilyanna's bum smells like gingerbread.

[She had just been sitting on a squished piece of gingerbread, so this comment wasn't quite as bizarre as it sounds.]

Me:  Why are you smelling her bum?

Nathaniel:  I wondered what a girl's bum smelled like. [I do find it humorous that the answer here happened to actually be "like sugar and spice and everything nice"]

Me:  I wouldn't mention that to any other girls if I were you.

Nathaniel:  Yeah.  They'd probably strangle me.

Good to know he's figuring these things out.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Dinner Conversation

One of my favorite things about teaching middle school age kids is that they understand sarcasm, but are still relatively obedient.  Benjamin, who is in 5th grade, is beginning to discover how sarcasm can be used in humor.  (We try to discourage it in other forms, like to be mean.)

And here is a brief glimpse into last night's dinner conversation:

Nathaniel:  Mom, why haven't you finished reading the Pokemon Ultimate Handbook yet???  You've been stuck on the "E" section for weeks now!   All of us read it in like 3 days!!

Me:  Nathaniel, the difference between you reading and me reading it is that you care about it.

Todd: [snort]  (he was drinking at the time, but it wasn't quite funny enough for him to get it up his nose.)

Nathaniel:  Well, that's mean.

Me:  No, it's not.  I have lots of things that I'm interested in that don't interest you guys.

Benjamin:  Like what?

Me:  Like Pride and Prejudice.

Nathaniel:  I like Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.

Me:  I mean regular Pride and Prejudice.  How about you sit down with me one night and we can watch all 4 hours of the movie together. Pride and Prejudice (Restored Edition)

Benjamin:  What is Pride and Prejudice about?

Me:  5 daughters.  Who talk.

Todd:  For 4 hours.  [Can you tell he's not such a fan?]

Me:  Well, sometimes they walk.

Benjamin: [fist pumped in the air] Woo hoo!  Action!!  That's MY kind of movie!  Walking???  Excellent!

Nathaniel:  Can we have popcorn and movie candy and drinks while we watch it?

Me:  Sure.

Nathaniel:  Okay.  I'll watch it.

Benjamin:  Action movies are awesome!

This is a fun age!  I feel like I have to capture all of the wonderful and fun moments now in preparation for the gathering storm of teenager to come.  I have seen it in action.  It ain't pretty.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving/Merry Christmas/Happy New Year!!

This is how those holidays looked at our house.  Just imagine all members of the family taking turns on the couch.  Again, not so impressed with the results of the flu shot.  (Although, to be fair, Lilyanna and Todd had the shot and didn't get it.  Todd got all sorts of other fun sickness, but not the flu.)  Now, if we'd all gotten sick at once, this could have been our Christmas card for next year!!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Baby Eczema

Is lame.

I've been struggling since July with a nearly debilitating version of dyshidrotic eczema.  After a gazillion visits with "the premier specialist in the field" (in several fields, actually.  The doctors can't decide whose problem it should be.) and all sorts of wacky tests that last for days and days, still nobody knows why.  You can see why having hands like this would be little tricky for anyone, but especially a mom who must wipe away tears and change diapers and do dishes oh, and be a piano teacher.  (warning: that link leads to a gross picture of somebody else's hands, but is a fairly accurate representation of my hands at their worst.)

Last month, Lilyanna developed regular garden variety eczema all over her face.  It is so sad and she's so uncomfortable.  (And yes, we're doing all the stuff you're supposed to do to help.)  And I know it doesn't work like this, but there is a part of me that keeps trying to strike bargains with the world.  "Look, I'll take this nastiness on my hands for another year, if she can just get better, please.  PLEASE!!"

Apparently given my struggle with eczema my whole life, and the fact that Todd has asthma and allergies, it's something of a miracle that all of our children didn't struggle with it as babies.  For that, I am very grateful.  I am also grateful that she will happily play for long periods of time.  But then it's like it all comes back to her how itchy and uncomfortable she is and she has a little meltdown.

Did I mention it's so sad to see her so uncomfortable?

You can see it looking not so bad in this picture, but it's definitely spread more since this picture was taken a couple weeks ago.
Baby eczema is lame.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Boston in the Fall!

Do you see that gorgeous lady and her gorgeous baby?
Not me and Lilyanna, the OTHER gorgeous lady and gorgeous baby, silly!  ;)
They are some of my favoritest people in the universe.  The husband/dad that go with them is in that category, too, but he was too busy taking pictures to be in the pictures.

I had a plane ticket to use before December, so when I thought of who I could go visit who lived in the same time zone, Liz and her family jumped right into my mind!  We haven't seen one another since right before we moved to Ohio back when Caleb was a baby!  And when I emailed Liz, whom I've known and loved for more than two decades now, and suggested that my baby and I should come invade their life and home for a weekend, she said, "YES!!"  Because she is wonderful and warm and welcoming like that.  To hear her tell it, she's not like that with everyone, but I don't know if I believe her... 

Here is Lilyanna showing Mr. B how the walking thing is done.  

Here is Mr. B being not so sure about Lilyanna invading his space.

It was very sweet to get our kids together to play a little, and even better to have a relaxing weekend visiting with old friends.  Being with old friends always reminds me about all the stories we could tell our children about one another that for now we don't.  I'm sure someday we'll share some, but for now, these kids wouldn't appreciate hearing about our wilder days anyway.  (I have a 10 year old, though, who would LOVE to hear the socky-time story...  See?  This is what I mean.  Some things people don't need to know.  They should just stay buried in 1986 where they belong.)

  And, we went to the beach!!  I have no pictures of that because it was really very cold.  However, I discovered that Lilyanna enjoys sand, water, and chasing seagulls.  I find all of these likes very encouraging for future beach going!  And I was able to visit with my beautiful, brilliant AND nice cousin.  (Seriously, is it really fair to have ALL of those qualities.  Almost Dr. Jen, can't  you share a little with the rest of us??)

Many thanks to my wondermous friend, Liz and her husband and baby for a delightful and relaxing weekend!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Mr. Footsteps

2011: Must blog more.

With this in mind, I found this picture from last June when Benjamin was literally crowned "Mr. Footsteps" at his recital.  His studio gives this award to one of the boys at the studio each year who they feel has exemplified some quality that "makes Jesus smile".  Benjamin was selected for last year because of his incredible individuality.  Mentioned by the studio director were some of his fearless fashion choices, but also how he remains true to what he knows is right.

We already know these things about Benjamin, but it's nice to get a crown, scepter, and sash as proof that other people see them, too.

I promise that's a costume under the sash and not further proof of the fearless fashion choices.