Tuesday, December 30, 2008

7 years

Andy and I have been married for 7 years now. Wow!! That makes me feel a little old really to say I've been married for so long. We did get married fairly young I guess, a year before we even graduated college. I tell Andy all the time I'm glad we didn't date in high school or we would have been married way too young!!



We didn't have a sitter to watch the kids, so we decided to do something fun with the kids. We considered ice skating or roller skating, but that seemed too dangerous and that was not something we could hold Alex and do (neither of us are proficient at skating to say the least). So we decided to try bowling. This was the 1st time the kids have been bowling(unless the Wii counts). Old Orchard Lanes in Savoy is very kid friendly!!! We entered our names into the computer, and then the kids names, and you could pick whether you wanted bumpers or not for each person. They would pop up for the kids, then go back down for our turn. I think I should have used them, as I first bowled a 96 and then a 102. Andy was not a whole lot better, I think he bowled a 121 and then a 111 or something. It has been awhile since we last bowled, but I'm not sure that really makes a difference at our skill level.



The kids had a great time bowling. They used
the 6, 7, & 8 lb balls, depending on their mood each turn up I guess. Or it was more likely the color, as one was orange, one yellow, and the other pink. Faye would walk up there and throw the ball as hard as she could. She would sometimes drop the ball about 3 times on the way up, maybe miss the lane altogether (how is that possible?), then try again. She was watching how Andy and I threw the ball, so she'd get the ball behind her and then try to throw it. Not a good idea for a 4 year old!!! About 2 minutes later it maybe had made its way down the lane to knock over some pins. This was not our fastest game of bowling - it was probably the slowest ever played, but it was one of the most fun. Drew on the other hand would run up as fast as he could, throw the ball, and run back. Now his ball did not make it much faster down the lane. He had time to run up to the chairs and tables and eat a handful of pretzels before his reached the pins.




We eventually went up and asked for the ramp. The open bowling ended at 5pm and we weren't sure we would have time to finish our 2nd game the kids were so slow. They used it a few times, but they preferred to throw the ball themselves. It did make the game go much faster when they did use the ramp though.



Andy bought me a 3 legged pig for our anniversary. Huh? Well, he also got me a necklace, earrings, and a bracelet made in Kenya. The 3 legged pig, or 'chanchito' was made with clay from the mountainside near Pomaire, Chile, and is supposed to bring me love and good fortune. Lets hope so!!

Monday, December 29, 2008

dada

Alex started saying dada tonight. It is so cute... but I do wish he were saying mama. That will be soon enough I'm sure, and then it will be nonstop mama this and mama that, just like Faye and Drew do sometimes.

He started saying dada at dinner. We had some takeout Chinese and he had carrots for the 2nd time. He loves them by the way!! Andy gave him a bath while I cleaned up the dinner mess, and he just would not stop saying dada. He's said it about 20 times now and it is cute every time. He knows its cute too...

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Go Vegan

We've been vegan now for 4 1/2 years, and I don' t see that ever changing. It was actually Andy's idea to become vegan, which is surprising to some people, as he was a huge meat eater. I was never a huge fan, and I was actually vegetarian for about a year in college. But one day while I was in the hospital, pregnant and on bed rest with Faye and Drew, he came in and told me he was going to be vegan now. He watched a show on factory farming, then did some research on the Internet, and he decided that was it!! I didn't have a problem with that. My only thoughts were,"no more M&M's?"

I was reading Reader's Digest the other day, and came across an interesting article. It was about a guy who started a 'simple till six' diet, which basically means he ate vegan until 6pm and also didn't eat any simple carbs either(white flour products or sugary junk food). At dinner he ate his regular meal. He felt better, lost a ton of weight, and solved his blood sugar and cholesterol problems. Go VEGAN!!


There were also a few statistics from Animal Planet about the consumption of animals. They say that eating a steak dinner for a family of 4 is the energy equivalent of turning on every light in your house and driving around in your SUV for 3 hours. Does that make sense to anybody? Consuming animals is not good for your body or for the environment.
There are tons more facts about why going vegan is good for you and the environment - I don't have time to list them now, but I"m sure I'll add some more later. Go Vegan for a week or a month (or forever), and see how you feel. I bet you'll lose weight, feel better, and have lots more energy!!!


We don't eat carrot sticks and celery for dinner- buy a vegan cookbook or borrow one from the library. You might be surprised at what you find inside! We had BBQ seitan sandwiches with coleslaw and lemony potatoes for dinner. Yum Yum!!

Friday, December 26, 2008

A new little one coming soon....

After all the family and friends have been told, we can finally announce that a new little one will be arriving soon.... Billie Jo Henson is pregnant!!! I visited her at her new house a few weeks ago, and she broke the good news to me then. She was just beaming and grinning from ear to ear when she told me, and I was so excited for her I smiled all day and could hardly sleep that night!! But I couldn't tell anyone just yet. She was waiting until Christmas to tell her family. What a great Christmas present for her family!! She is due July 10th, 2009 which just happens to be Andy's birthday.

Billie Jo and Mike - We wish you a healthy and wonderful pregnancy and a healthy, happy baby!!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Early Present


Andy gave me an early Christmas present on Sunday. It was an extremely cold day and I hate hate hate being cold. He gave me a new pair of warm up slippers! You put them in the microwave and then they warm your feet for up to 3 hours! Yeah! I had a pair a few years ago, but I wore them out and exploded one in the microwave.

We've been married for almost 7 years now, and I don't think I've yet received a gift from him that has been wrapped nicely, but he is inventive. Here is his duct tape bow he made!




Sunday, December 21, 2008

Cute kids



The kids were being cute yesterday. We finally started baby proofing our house a bit. We cleaned up the kids 'toy room' and removed all the little toys so Alex can safely play too. Alex was playing with Drew while I swept the after lunch mess in the dining room. I look out there and they were lined up playing choo choo trains. It was so cute! They all just had the biggest grins on their faces, so I ran upstairs and grabbed the camera. They actually stayed there and let me take their picture.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Velvet is ready for Christmas!!

There is nothing more that Velvet likes than opening presents. Well, maybe corn on the cob or going for rides in our van, but opening presents has to be one of her favorites. I was very careful to not let her see her presents this year. I didn't talk about them; I wrapped them while she was sleeping and put them under the tree. Somehow, she still knew they were there. The next day I saw her pawing under the tree looking for them. She knew which ones were hers even! They must smell different? I don't know how she can tell. I wrapped them the same as I would any other present and used the same paper. They are just toys and a new collar, so they are not snacks. If they were dog treats I could understand it.

Well, I was washing dishes last night, and I hear some rustling over by the tree. I figured the kids were probably getting anxious and starting to mess with the presents or the tree. Nope... it was the dog. She had finally dug out one of presents and was opening it. She decided she couldn't wait a bit longer and she was just going to open one. What a dog...

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Cookies

The kids helped me make Brownie cookies on Friday afternoon. They love making desserts, mostly because they love licking the bowl when I'm done. This is one advantage of being vegan... no eggs in the batter to worry about!! So we can all eat batter till we have tummy aches!! They've been helping me for years, but they have just now really started helping. They count out how many cups of each ingredient, and they patiently take turns. They know if they help nicely they will get to eat the batter when we're finished! Faye really gets into the batter! She does not care if she is covered from head to toe in a mess.


Drew on the other hand is a very neat little boy and does not want anything on his hands, face, or clothes. He barely even needs to wash his hands when he is finished. Here he is waiting patiently for the cookies to bake!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Alex Alex Alex


Alex is so ready to crawl! He pushed up on his hands and knees yesterday. Uh oh!! This morning I had him on his tummy in his room, and he was inching forward and trying so hard to get where he wanted to be. He knows it is possible, it is just figuring out how to actually accomplish this. Velvet was laying in his room and he really wanted to get over by her to grab and pull her hair. I really hope crawling takes some time for him to learn. I am really not ready for him to be moving yet. It is much too early!! Andy and I will be baby proofing the house over Christmas break!

He is still not sleeping in his own bed yet. He seems to think that our bed is his bed. Oops! I have to admit I am probably to blame for this. When he was real little he'd wake up every 1 1/2 hours to eat, and I didn't want to get out of bed so much. I need some sleep or I really lose my patience with Faye and Drew. Now it is cold and it is really hard to get up. We have our thermostat at 60 degrees at night, and I hate, hate, hate being cold so getting up and going into another room is really impossible for me! I can at least lay him down in our bed and he will sleep, although I feel like I have to stay in the room and watch him as our bed is probably not the safest place for him to be. Here he is sleeping in our(his) bed:


Parent -Teacher Conference

I attended my first of many parent-teacher conferences yesterday. Kids sure grow up fast. It seems like just yesterday I was pregnant with them, and then they were little babies, and now they are growing up and going to school!

I met with Ms. Angie, Drew and Faye's preschool teacher. She is a great teacher and you can tell she really cares about the kids and spends a lot of time with each of them. She really knew Faye. She said Faye loved learning new things and had no trouble trying new things, but was not daring either. Faye has just now started easily talking to her teachers, and when in group circle time if nobody answers her questions, Faye is jumping in to answer them. She also said Faye loves story time. Really? I can't imagine that. She only wants me to read 50 books a day to her. So she is doing well and adjusting well to school.

Drew is very shy at school and really wants to fit in. The first word he spoke at school was 'cubby'. If they make a drawing or painting at school, when they are finished they get to walk out in the hallway by themselves and put their picture in their cubby. I guess this is 'the thing to do'. Ms. Angie said Drew discovered he could do this the day before Thanksgiving, so she told him if he wanted to do that, he had to say cubby. So he did and ran out and put it in, then rushed back in to draw some more. Then she made him say, "I want to put this in my cubby", and he did! She said it was awesome and she was so excited she nearly started crying! Then he was talking to her the rest of the day. But then was Thanksgiving break and now he is back to not really wanting to talk much. They have family style snack now, where they sit at the table and they have to put their hands in their laps and thank the person who brought the snack. Then they have to ask, "please pass the juice," or "please pass the snack," before they get any. She said that has been hard for Drew because he really wants the snack but doesn't want to talk , but it is helping getting all the kids talking! Apparently it is a quiet bunch of kids this year!

Drew is trying really hard to fit in and do the right thing at school. He will look at Ms. Angie before doing anything to make sure it is right. Sure wish he'd do this at home sometimes! But when it is time to do a potty, wash hands, clean up toys, etc. he double checks. She just thinks this is part of being shy and not wanting to stand out from the other kids. But he was playing with Jack at school and talking to him - they were building with Lego's together, so that is promising! She is not as worried since he seems comfortable talking to some of his classmates.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

1st Tooth

Alex got his first tooth today. I knew he was going to teeth soon, but not this soon! He just turned 5 months old, so it seems really early to me. The past week he's been waking up nearly every hour or two hours at night. So he's been making us a little loony to say the least. He's been his happy baby self during the day, but at night he has been fussy and even crying. That is something considering he hardly ever cries.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Shower curtain troubles


Andy put up our shower curtain rod Monday night. I hung the shower curtains, and they did not go all the way around. So I had to buy another. We now have 3 shower curtains! We took our first showers last night, and the curtains are way too long, so now we have to take down the rod, cut it shorter, an
d put it back up higher! We considered cutting the curtains and hemming the ends, but with my poor sewing skills we decided that may not be the best idea. Plus Andy is much taller than me, so he was spraying water out the top! It would have been put up higher to begin with, but as you can see in the picture, our bathroom ceiling slopes quite a bit and that was as high as it would go. Maybe someday we'll be finished with this project!



I've been trying to get a picture of the kids to send out for Christmas cards this year. I've taken about a hundred pictures, and there is always one kid looking away from the camera, or eyes closed, or something. This is an impossible task! And in order to get Drew to even consider sitting still, I've had to bribe him with twiz
zlers and a cookie last night, and a muffin this morning!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Our Christmas Tree

Usually we get a real tree every year for Christmas, but this year we decided to try an artificial tree. We don't have as much room in our house now that we have a baby - all that baby equipment. We have a swing downstairs and a swing upstairs, and a highchair, and an exersaucer, and I could go on and on about all the baby stuff. I saw a flyer for Menards and they had some 'slim' trees. That might work. We took the kids last night and picked one out. Andy thought it was a little weird looking, and it probably is, but I liked it and it will fit in our house. The real trees we usually get are huge, and they do make a large mess, but they smell so good. I'll miss that!

I got the tree out this morning and Faye and Drew helped me put it together while Alex was napping. Faye really enjoyed helping, while Drew brought over the branches to us or watched. Drew was not even going to let me take his picture, but I did bribe him with a Twizzler if he would hold Faye's hand and take a picture. He agreed to that!




We'll decorate the tree later once
Andy is here to help. They get a little carried away with decorating and last year knocked over the tree several times while putting on the ornaments.



Here is Alex e
ating a cracker. I can't believe he is old enough for that already! He'll be 5 months old tomorrow. Of course most of the cracker ended up on the floor, but he really thinks he is big stuff when I give him something he can feed himself. He also learned how to use his sippy cup today! I've occasionally been giving one to him to try, and he usually just chews on it, but today he figured it out! He's never yet had a bottle, so we'll probably just skip right over that, but that will be easier later anyways.