Friday, November 28, 2008

Thanksgiving Madness

We had a wonderful time at Auntie Paula and Uncle Jon's house. The food was great, the company fantastic, and the sounds that came from the joyful children were the best part. Irish Grandpa brought all the kids Santa hats, so of course we had to get a picture of all seven of them...
I don't exactly know why Allie makes the crazy face for most pictures now, but it is really getting old. She will do it even when you try to get a nice photo. I think she thinks it's funny, and it was the first fifty or so times, but come on! It is really hard to get eight people to look good all at the same time. This would have been close, but Allie and her insane face...Oh, and the best part? Even better than Allie's face...look at how closely Maya's lower legs resemble turkey drumsticks! Appropriate for Thanksgiving, No?

I think this was the best of all of them...and it is not even really passable, but it is a true representation of time with seven children from age ten to two. It was Jack's birthday, too and so we celebrated that as well as Thanksgiving. Happy Birthday Jack! We had a blast, Collin (all the way to the left, holding Allie, who is for some reason holding the crotch of her tights...not sure what's going on there) took a whipped cream pie to the face, which was probably the funniest part of the day. Actually I laughed harder at Paula who had gone to make a cup of coffee from the best coffee maker in the world..the Keurig. It makes one cup of coffee when you push the magical one cup button...and had forgotten to actually put a cup underneath to catch the delicious coffee...and went about her kitchen business and I proceeded to watch and laugh so hard that I could only point to the source of my joy. I didn't get a video, but wish I could have. We had a wonderful time and are really going to miss having them close by when they move to Japan in February. Maybe we will get to visit someday.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Our Foster Dog (who will probably end up ours)

Our foster dog arrives on December 13th. We are all very excited. I really like the idea of fostering to see if she works out, but barring any serious issues, I think she will be ours forever. Who am I kidding. The girls wanted to pick out a leash and collar for her, so we went to browse at Target today. Lilly picked out an orange leash and matching collar. It has polka dots and is really cute. We didn't purchase it, but it is their number one choice so far. So, the dog's name is Sully, she is three years old, mostly black with a white chest and chin, and extremely cute. We are not loving her name (I think it sounds too much like sullen) so we are in search of a new one. I sort of think something holidayish would be fun, but it is not a requirement... Lilly likes Lola, but we already have a lot of L sounding parts of names. I am the worst at picking names, so I am really no help. Allie wants to name her Naysa, and Maya wants to name her Robin Hood... I like names that are sort of quirky, a little different, and sort of funny for pets so we'll see what we end up with. Maybe Robin Hood isn't so bad. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. (oh, and she doesn't know her name, they just assign her one to identify her at the rescue)

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Raisin Patrol

Upon exiting the tub this afternoon, Lilly took one look at her fingers and toes, saw the wrinkliness, lined them all up together and proclaimed, "It's the raisin patrol!"
The raisin patrol it was.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Chocolate Cream Pie

My Mom brought us a chocolate cream pie today. As soon as Maya saw it she said, "I have pie now?" I told her that it was for after dinner. She (surprisingly) agreed to eat dinner first. After dinner, all three of the girls were ready for pie. Will and I decided that we would do something different. We told the girls to get five spoons. Lilly quickly retrieved them and got ready to eat. We told them that they could go ahead and eat it. Allie said, "what about the plates?" We told them they could eat the pie whole. They were so excited and immediately began skimming all the whipped cream off the top. They actually probably ate less pie than they would have if they had just had a regular piece. It was so funny to see their eyes grow huge at the thought of eating an entire pie. I am sure they will remember that for a long time. I am just hoping they don't expect a repeat invitation at Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Sticker Face

Upon returning home, this is what I found:
She has the best Nana ever!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Animal Shelter

One of the girl's favorite places to go is the animal shelter. This shelter is not a sad place. It is a no kill shelter where the volunteers actually sit inside the dog's kennels and read to them. Seriously. It is a really nice place to visit. We usually go and buy a few cans of cat food or some dog food or something to donate. The kids ask to go there almost every day. We usually go at least twice a week. We are actually thinking of adopting another dog, which is what led us there originally, but I think we are going to foster first to make sure the dog will be a good fit with our family. We found a rescue group that goes down south and gets dogs from high kill shelters, moves them up here, and has foster families lined up to take care of the dogs until they find homes. I have always wanted to do that, so now we are going to. It is nice to be able to do something I have always been interested in. We have a wonderful dog and a cat already and they love the kids so much. It is so good for the girls to be around animals, I think it teaches them to be gentle and compassionate. The trick is going to be letting the foster dogs go when it is time.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Overheard in the playroom

Maya: "... we can work togedder, okay Ryleigh?..."
Ryleigh: "Ok, My my" (My my is what we call Maya as a nick name)
Maya: "I need my balloony"
Ryleigh: "ok, here ya go. I need balloon too"
Maya: "Oh... we can shaaare Ryleigh"
Ryleigh: "Alright"

Sharing, quite a concept.


When we woke up this morning it was 28 degrees outside. Twenty. Eight. Degrees. Seriously. It's not winter yet, it is fall. I am not looking forward to the cold coming. On a positive note, gas is at 1.95 down the street from us! I never thought I'd see that again. $20.00 got me 3/4 of a tank in the mini van!

Monday, November 17, 2008

She Sleeps With Gloves On

Allie has a slight obsession with gloves. Winter gloves to be exact. She wears them all the time. We insist she take them off to eat and to go to the bathroom (although one day she actually asked me to accompany her so I could wipe for her so she didn't have to remove the gloves. I declined.). She wears them to school, to play outside, and to bed. Yes, she wears fleece gloves with grippy palms to bed. I don't get it. She doesn't have any tactile issues, she just really likes gloves. Specifically a blue flowery pair from L.L. Bean. I suppose I should buy her another set. At least it is getting cold now so she won't look so strange...outside.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Does it get any sweeter?

I was putting Maya to bed and after all of the snuggling and reading I leaned in for my final hug of the night and Maya threw her little arms around me and said,
"Mommy, you my best frien."

I love that little girl.

Playing Boats

When I was little, my friend Chelsea and I used to play on the columns in my parents dining room. We used to pretend they were boats and we were sailing on the ocean. I don't know where we came up with this game or why they were boats, but we spent hours playing boats. Now, we have them in our dining room too and the girls play up there all the time. Maya hung out up there for twenty minutes. I love seeing them play the same games I played as a kid.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

I Love Trickery

The girls have been given the task of cleaning their play room. They do this every day, but some days they resist and some days they do it with not much effort. Today is a day filled with resistance. They are arguing about the amount of things they are each putting away, they are yelling about one side of the room being dirtier than the other, they are hollering because Maya is not helping. I just called them in here and used a bit of Mommy trickery, some people would call it a bribe, but some days it has to be whatever works. So I told them that there was a contest and the winner gets a dollar. The contest is whoever cleans up the most items wins. They think it is a race with a prize, and I get a clean playroom with no loudness. Everyone wins and it only costs me one dollar.

Friday, November 14, 2008

They Really are Great Friends

This is how the girls arranged themselves to watch their show before bed. They stayed like that through the whole show. We are so lucky to have them and I think they realize how lucky they are to have each other. Now if it will only last...

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Star Light Star Bright...NO NO ALLIE STOP IT RIGHT NOW!!!!

Allie was sitting on my bed reciting Star Light Star Bright and I heard this:

Allie: Star light, star bright, first star I see...


Allie: tonight, I wish I may I


Allie: wish I might, have this wish


Allie: Oh, I didn't know that, thanks for telling me that.

Lilly: You're welcome.

She was really trying to save Allie from a lifetime of inability to wish on that first star. That's what sisters are for.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

One of my Favorites

Although it's not the best picture from a photography standpoint, this is one of my favorite shots of Maya and Lilly. This was totally spontaneous, and they both look so true to how they are with each other. I am almost tempted to try and photo shop out the busy background...

Monday, November 10, 2008

Hula Hooping Around the House

The girls have discovered a new improved use for the hula hoop. It involves one hula hoop and three (or more depending on how many kids are around) kids. They all get inside the hula hoop and run circles around the coffee table. Things get really funny when one kid decides to go in a new direction without announcing her intent. One goes one way while the others continue in another direction. Mayhem ensues followed by giggling and collapsing. It is their favorite after dinner activity. You know, a nice relaxing choice before bed.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Disney World

Some nights when Will is putting the girls to bed and they are having trouble settling down, he takes them on a trip to Disney World. They lie there in the dark and he describes all the sights and sounds of the park. He tells them about the roller coasters, and then they get on and go for a ride. He points out Minnie and Mickey and all of the princesses and their friends. He talks about the sun shining and the warmth of the day. He lets them actually see the place. If I walk by the room, they say, Mommy, we're going to Disney World...TONIGHT!" I can't wait for the day we can go there and they can see it for themselves, but if you ask them, they've already been.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Time for Bed

Will usually puts Lilly and Allie to bed while I am putting Maya to bed. We all snuggle and watch a show together before bed and then we say our good nights. I usually go say goodnight again to the big girls after I get Maya settled in. Tonight they asked for me early, but by the time I got in there Allie was asleep and Lilly was almost there. I kissed Lilly on the cheek and whispered that I love her, then she looked up at me and it went like this;

Lilly: "Mommy, will you lie with me?"

Mommy: "Daddy already snuggled with you and it is waaaaaay past your bedtime so you need to go right to sleep."

Lilly: "but momma, I need you."

Mommy:"okay, but just for one minute."

I lie down, wrap my arms around her and she rests her face in my neck. Her eyelashes flutter on my skin for moments, and then she is asleep. I am not usually a softy, but when they are so sweet and say, "Momma. I need you" in that totally loving, sleepy, non whiny way, I simply cannot resist.

Friday, November 7, 2008

It's So Much Easier Now

I keep remarking on how much easier life in general is now that the girls are older. It is amazing how different things feel lately. I can tell them to get their shoes and coats on and they do it. We can leave the house spur of the moment without much thought, and now that Maya is no longer napping we can make a day of being out and about. I am needing a baby fix lately, though. I just miss the snuggy baby lump that sleeps peacefully on my chest, and that baby smell. I kept thinking I wanted another baby, that someone was missing from our family, but I realized almost a year ago that I was just used to having a baby around. I loved every moment of each of the girl's infancy, they were some of my favorite times (three times). Now, I really feel like we can focus on doing more. We have family game night, and now we can all play together. We can go on car trips without timing feedings, Best of all more diapers! We have been diaper free around here for almost a year now and I definitely don't miss diapers. I also find it really entertaining when they assert themselves and test the limits of what they can do. It is funny to me when Maya tries to tell us that she is not going to do something we tell her she needs to do. She doesn't do it too often, but when a situation arises that we haven't dealt with yet and she feels like her way is better and tries to convince us that her way is the way to go, I think it is really interesting to watch her work that out. I love watching them work things out with their friends too. Lilly has made some really good friends at school, and is realizing that friendship doesn't always mean that you get your way. She has learned quickly that it is a give and take and that you have to do both sometimes. I have also finally figured out a more effective use for space in our house, that allows me to keep the place clean with much less effort and stress. I feel like everything is working so well now and I am definitely enjoying it.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

A Basket of Kids

They all sat here for half an hour while eating a snack and watching a show...and nobody got hurt.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

So Thankful

I am feeling extremely optimistic today about the change coming to our country. I believe that people have been inspired to believe because they feel like there is hope now. I am beyond happy about the results of the election and was moved to tears by Obama's speech. McCain's speech was amazing as well, and I think if he had showed that side of him more during the campaign (and picked a decent VP) he would have had more of a shot. I am glad that he has taken the high road and chosen to support Obama and to work with him to make this country better. It is amazing to see the impact this election has had on the rest of the world. It looks like we are going to start heading in the right direction very soon, and for that I am thankful.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Go Vote!

We voted at around 7:30 this morning. Everyone went together. The lines weren't too bad, the A-K line was about three times longer than the L-Z line. I told Will I was glad I married down in the alphabet. When it was our turn, Lilly went in with Will, and I took Allie and Maya with me. Will lifted Lilly up so she could read the ballot along with him. (Note the dangling feet!)

Allie and Maya watched as I filled out my choice, and seemed pretty unimpressed. I, however felt really proud to be a part of such an historic election.

After we voted there was a petition to support gay marriage which we gladly signed. The petition worker seemed amazed and overwhelmed that so many people were showing support. He kept exclaiming, "we're out of pens! I can't believe all of our pens are being used at once! This is so exciting." And it was.

As we were walking out, Allie turned to me and said, "Mommy, where is Barack Obama? I thought we were going to see him." I explained that he was probably out voting in his neighborhood just like we were. She kept saying how she really wanted to see him. I have to be honest, I would have loved to see him too and to tell him I am proud to have someone like him on my side and to thank him for restoring my faith in the hope for our country, and to wish him luck.
After we left our polling place. we headed to McDonald's...clearly the favorite location of the morning. The girls were so proud to show off their 'I voted today' stickers. It was quite a morning. I can't wait to watch the returns come in tonight. We have enough food and drink to make it well into the wee morning hours. I am hopeful we will have the outcome we need.

Monday, November 3, 2008


Yesterday we had a painting project to do. All of the girls chose a wooden decoration to paint, and we finished a family hand print project. I am super happy with the way the family project turned out, and now we have a huge canvas with all of our hands all over it. All five of us are in there, and all of the grandparents too. I really like how it looks and like what it represents even more. We are making a smaller one for Irish Grandpa for Christmas, one of all the grand kids. He liked the family one so much, we thought it would make a great gift. Maya had the best time painting and got slightly out of control.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Gearing Up for Tuesday

I am getting really excited for Tuesday. I have decided to take all of the kids to vote with me. I am aware that we will probably be in line forever, and will go well equipped with entertainment and snacks. I am feeling hopeful, like we may have a good change coming, but can't allow myself to think to far ahead for fear of jinxing something. I keep explaining election day to the girls and telling them why it is so important for everyone to vote. I am also telling them about how historic this election will be no matter which side comes out on top. I know who I think will provide my children with a better, more safe, stable future and they know too. I know for sure that I am proud that this voter turn out is likely going to be the biggest in history. I am proud that so many young people have gotten involved. I am proud that my girls want to go to the polls with me to see what it is all about. I am proud that Maya recognizes and yells out, "Barack Obama!" whenever she sees him in pictures or on television. I am making shirts for all of us to wear Tuesday with this quote on the back;

“…But in the unlikely story that is
There has never been anything false about
For when we have faced down impossible odds,
When we've been told that
We’re not ready, or that
We shouldn't try, or
That we can’t,
Generations of Americans
Have responded
With a simple creed
That sums up the spirit of a people.
Yes we can.”
-Barack Obama

Saturday, November 1, 2008


Snow White, Cinderella and Super Girl all went trick or treating down the same streets I did as a child. It was amazing. The sights, sounds and smells of Halloween from many years ago, back before us. It was like being little again, but better because I had my favorite people with me. It was magical on a whole different level. Everything looked the same, only smaller...