Saturday, July 31, 2010

Last week of July

I saw school supplies out in stores this week, but I still can't believe it is almost time for school to start again. Next year Rylan will be in preschool and our lives will be scheduled around the school calendar, but we still have one more year of "freedom."

It still feels like summer here in Colorado. In January I will be kicking myself for complaining, but it has been too hot lately. We've had highs in the high 80's and 90's consistently this month. I have had to run the AC much more than any other summer. Our upstairs rooms just don't cool off much at night. Caroline wakes up sweating with her hair sticking in all directions. I laughed one morning at her "do" but Rylan was just confused, "Baby, what happened to you?" I broke down and bought a fan for her room this week. Poor girl had a fever all week. Between that and the heat outdoors, she needed something to cool her off. She finally started acting like she feels better and her temps were more normal on Friday.

I wanted to write a 20 month update for Caroline, but life has just been too busy lately so I think I will just wait and write a lot when she turns "2". A few highlights: she has started to play with her baby dolls by wrapping them in blankets, she is obsessed with snacking on dry cereal lately and will beg constantly for a cup to carry around, she has started speaking in sentences like "I want chee-os, pleeeaaaase...." She is in love with Rylan's friend Dain and sat on the top of the slide at the park this week, calling his name over and over. She cut her two top eye teeth this month, although I don't think that was a highlight for her. She loves to go for walks in the wagon and chase the wild rabbits. She has been more affectionate lately, giving hugs, real kisses, and blowing kisses. She runs now with an extra bounce that reminds me of when I was a little girl and used to gallop like a horse. She likes to steal Rylan's toys or tell him to "go away" just to make him mad.

Charlton started letting Rylan go without diapers at night last weekend, and he has been dry all week! What a great surprise! We take him to the bathroom once before we go to bed and then he can hold it the rest of the night. He is staying dry for naps also, so this is really exciting. I am so proud of him and he just glows with our praise.

Except for Caroline's fever, we have had a pretty good week. We've been to the park almost every day, once meeting Rylan's friend Dain. They played really well together and once we saw them talking intently about something at a distance, then throw their arms around each other and give each other a hug. I wish I could have heard that conversation.

On Friday morning we went to the zoo for a few hours. I decided to make it super easy on myself and didn't even go to the trouble of packing a lunch, just snacks. We just took our time, rode the carousel, played on the playground, and might have only seen about 10% of the animals, but it was such a nice, relaxing outing for me.
I needed that because I couldn't find my wallet on the drive home. I remembered taking it out to pay for the carousel and remembered thinking I needed to zip it securely in my backpack. Then I got distracted putting the kids on the horses and I couldn't remember if I had put my wallet away safely. While driving, I hate to say, I was frantically searching through all the pockets in my backpack and purse and praying like crazy. I was sure it had fallen out at the carousel. About 10 minutes later I found it! Relief. God must have known how much I could handle because, then...
Charlton left me a message on my cell phone. My father-in-law was coming into town....on Saturday. We knew he might be coming for a visit in August, but didn't realize it would be so soon.
I was thankful to get a nap on Friday because I have to work Friday and Saturday nights. Our NICU is the busiest I can remember since I started working there, so there is no chance of getting called off while we had our company.
I am looking forward to climbing back into my bed Sunday night. One more night of work, then Bethany comes for a visit on Thursday. Can't wait!
Oh, and pray for us on Monday. I am taking both kids to the dentist, together, for their first time. If it isn't too chaotic, I might try to get a picture of the "special" day. One cool thing, our pediatric dentist is a Kentucky grad. If only I had a short-sleeve UK t-shirt to wear....

Monday, July 26, 2010

Things to remember

I have been storing up some funny things Rylan has said or done and wanted to write them down before I forgot.

Rylan has been stalling a lot before bedtime lately and has also fallen into the routine of moving his bowels at bedtime. This usually means long periods of time sitting on the potty with a very tired mom praying for results, soon. Last week we didn't get any action before bedtime, so I went ahead and put Rylan to bed. About an hour later I just happened to walk past his room and heard him softly calling to me that he had to go potty. When I checked on him, I found him sitting in an enormous wet spot on his bed, surrounded by these weird white particles that looked like cottage cheese. I finally realized he had opened his sippy cup, dumped his water all over his bed, then picked the "popcorn" off the ceiling. Evidently the popcorn turns soft and squishy when wet. What a mess and what an ornery boy.

We have also been trying to teach Rylan how to dispose of his nose boogers properly. That means no wiping them on the car door or window or on the walls. The appropriate method is to ask for a tissue or wipe on the toilet paper in the bathroom. He is starting to get the idea, most of the time. I guess this is an issue where you are thankful for baby steps towards the goal. Now I am trying to teach him to actually throw the toilet paper away after he puts the booger on it. Otherwise you find nasty little surprises waiting for you on the end of the toilet paper roll. I was reminding Rylan yesterday to throw the t.p. away when he was done. His solution? Tear off the center of the square just surrounding his booger and throw that away. So if you ever come to visit my house and see these weird holes in the toilet paper, you will know why they are there!

Last week, Rylan stuffed scrambled eggs up his nose and had to sneeze them out.

Okay, I think I just have one more gross story. Last night Rylan asked Charlton to go without his diaper at bedtime. We haven't tried this very much but Daddy was game and willing to take him to the bathroom again twice before he went to bed. When I went to get Rylan this morning I found a suspicious looking brown ball on the floor. Rylan was dry, yay!, but had another kind of accident and cheerfully told me how he had a little poop and threw it on the floor. He also wasn't wearing any underwear, only his pajama bottoms. Hmm.. Not sure what Dad was thinking on that one.

Today I was helping Rylan change his clothes after church. I didn' t think we were having any problems with each other, but he told me, "Mom, could you please go out of my room. You are making me crazy." What? I don't even say that to him even though it is true a lot of the time these days with his 3 year old attitude.

We also had another interesting conversation today.
Rylan: Mom, we need to move to another house, ours is getting ugly.
Me: Really, what is so ugly about our house? (And I thought our house was looking good with all our new light fixtures!)
Rylan: We have too many ants and spiders.
Me: Oh, well we are working on getting rid of the ants and I haven't seen too many spiders lately. Where should we move?
Rylan: Next door to Ms. Yvonne.
Me: We already live next door to Ms. Yvonne. If we move, we won't be next to her anymore.
Rylan: Okay, never mind.

We rented 101 Dalmations from the library recently. We didn't realize Ms. Cruella DeVille likes to use the word idiot a whole lot. It's not the worst word in the world, but definitely one we would like to minimize in Rylans' vocabulary, along with "poop" and "sucker" his other favorite not-so-nice words. A few weeks ago, we were asking Rylan what he would like to be when he grows up, a doctor?, builder?, fireman? "I want to be an idiot!" he replied confidently. That was one of those times where you know it is best to down-play the behavior, but it was so hard not to laugh.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Goofy kids

Caroline's baptism

Sunday was a special day for our family, Caroline was baptized. As Presbyterians we don't believe baptism is for salvation, but we do believe it is a sign of God's covenant with his people. (It is a little more complicated than that, but I won't go into all the theology.) Rylan was baptized when he was 6 weeks old, but it took us slightly longer with Caroline. We had to officially join our church first and we were finally able to do that this spring.
It was pretty nerve-wracking sitting on the front row of our church waiting for "our" part in the service. Rylan nearly poked his eye out with a pencil, then announced he had to go poop halfway through the service. Caroline alternated between kicking and arching to throw herself off my lap and screaming "daddy". Both kids behaved pretty well standing in front of church for the actual baptism and Caroline didn't even seem to mind being sprinkled. As stressful as it was to keep two kids under control, there was a moment where Charlton and I were able to breathe, look at each other and marvel at how we are blessed. I am so thankful God loves both our children even more than we do and that we can depend on Him to help us raise them.

Pastor Mark reads the questions before Caroline's baptism.

Pastor Mark baptizes Caroline.

Praying after the baptism. Thanks to my friend Tricia for taking these great pictures for us.

The wonderful big brother. He is telling me some exciting story, hence the animated hand gestures.

I couldn't get Caroline to smile for me this morning, but she would stand in front of my lilies for a quick picture.

Maybe she was thinking about the seriousness of the day!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Home improvements

Now I am pretending to be a design blogger. Just kidding, I wish I had that talent or inspiration! I will show these great results from simply changing a few hideous light fixtures in our kitchen and dining area. Thanks to my handy husband for all his hard work. I am loving the new look.

The original kitchen and breakfast nook light.

The original chandelier over our table. I broke the light globe last Thanksgiving while taking the leaf out of the table. We put the light out on the curb with a note in case someone fell in love with it and wanted a freebie. Well, later that afternoon I was playing outside with the kids and noticed something familiar looking lying smashed in our street. Yep, you guessed it. Some kids probably had too much fun with our old ugly lamp.

New view from the living room into the kitchen.

Our pretty new chandelier. I love the wheat. It is going to look especially pretty with my fall decorations.

This new kitchen fixture is so much more homey and I love how I can angle the globes to shine on the places I need extra light.

Chocolate cake anyone?

I feel like I am pretending to be one of those "famous" professional cooking bloggers by posting this picture. This cake turned out too pretty not to photograph and show off a little bit. I made it for some company we were supposed to have Saturday night, but they weren't able to make it. What a bummer to have this whole cake to ourselves!

By the way, it was as delicious as it looked and the recipe is "Too Much Chocolate Cake" from

Basket full

When my kids disappear and I hear laughing, it makes me a little nervous. I went searching and this is what I found in my laundry room. No trouble this time... just cuteness.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Dinosaur Museum

Rylan has been dinosaur crazy lately, so I knew it would only be a matter of time before we would need to make a trip to Woodland Park to the dinosaur museum. I had wanted to go also, but when Charlton scheduled a massage for me on Tuesday morning and his mom was willing to help out, well, I'm not about to look a gift horse in the mouth. I had a wonderful relaxing morning and they had some fun chasing kids and looking at dusty bones.

Rylan "digging" for fossils.

Cool dude meeting his favorite dinosaur, T-rex.

That's a lot of teeth and a little boy!

Rylan and Grammy investigate.

Hands-on Caroline sporting the natural hair look.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Zoo with Grammy

On Monday, July 5th, we took Grammy to Cheyenne Mtn. Zoo. It was a little crowded, but the weather was beautiful and we had a great time together.
I think my kids are more interested in the zoo rides than the actual animals.

Rylan has no worries about his train ride.

For once, my fearless Caroline looks worried. She wasn't sure what we had gotten her into! I was afraid she would try to bail, but she stayed on the train the whole time and seemed to relax.

Charlton and Rylan went on a detour to the petting zoo and Rylan came back looking like this. I was shocked that he would even be interested in having his face painted. Once the paint dried, he wanted us to wipe it off, but I got a few good pictures of my "grizzly bear."

Rylan, the not-so-scary grizzly bear. Good try, though!

Caroline the lion tamer.

Happy carousel riders. This is one of the kid's favorite parts of the zoo.

Rylan and Grammy on the carousel.

Caroline looks apprehensive, but she actually enjoyed her ride for the first time this trip.

Caroline looking for giraffes to feed.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Independence Day with Grammy

Grammy flew in last Saturday and we had a wonderful visit, going to parks, dinosaur museum, the zoo, mall, and house shopping. She and Charlton watched the kids on Tuesday so I could get a massage and have a morning out. It was wonderful!
She also stayed with them Thursday night so we could get dessert to celebrate our 10th anniversary. We are praying her house in Atlanta sells soon so she can move out here for good.

The kids cooperated for a picture with Grammy. I had to bribe Rylan with letting him water my flowers with the hose afterwords.

The kids had fun playing catch with Grammy in the calm before the storm. We could hear thunder while we were outside and it hailed an hour later.

July 4, 2010 Hailstorm

We were planning to go see fireworks on Sunday night, but the weather forced a change of plans. We usual get hail every time it rains here in CO, but normally it is just pea-sized. This time...more like quarter to ping-pong sized. The sound was deafening and it was really crazy watching these huge balls of ice come flying off the roofs. We had some damage to our grill cover, my rose bush, and our roof, but not bad enough that we have to replace the roof, thankfully. It was a storm we won't soon forget.

July 4 hailstorm video


When I look at pictures of these precious children (albeit now that I am removed from all the noise and chaos :-), I couldn't help but get a bit teary. What a blessing they are to our family; all so healthy and beautiful with their unique personalities! We spend our last evening at Spindletop trying to take group pictures with all the kids in their 4th of July themed outfits. Here are a few of my favorites...

One of the best of all seven cousins.

Trying to get all seven on the picnic table.

And... this pose is over.

Cute 5 cousins on the lawn.

The four older cousins.

Being goofy on the grass.

Andrew Craig.

Andrew's fierce face.

Samuel's fierce face.

Love this one of the girls with my parent's summer home, Spindletop Hall in the background.

The girl cousins.

James Roland and Samuel share a silly moment.

Brothers, James Roland and Christopher John.

Caroline and Christopher.

Peek-a-boo Rylan.

Pretty Katherine.