Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Precious Prayers

Maria has really gotten into praying before bed these days.  She always asks if Gerry and I can pray first and then it is her turn.  It is hard not to crack a smile or even laugh out loud at some of the things she prays for.  She is so serious and it just melts my heart. Here is a list of the things she's been praying for over the past few weeks:
  • Thank you God for our Bible stories
  • I pray that we can go to the beach
  • That I won't hit Naomi
  • Thanks for dinosaurs
  • Thanks for my nose and mouth
  • Aunt Laura's freckle because she had to go to the hospital (My sister in law broke her ankle, not her freckle.  Maria got confused.)
  • For my friend Grandma Birdie
  • Thanks for our food
  • Thanks for my nose and mouth, again
  • Thanks for my library card
  • Pray for my daddy to be polite
  • For my friend Chloe (FYI- Chloe is her friend that no one else can see...hilarious huh?)
I love that little girl!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Turkey Day Celebrations 2010

On Tuesday, the girls and I worked very hard on the centerpieces for our Thanksgiving dinner.  We made paper bag turkeys.  They turned out really cute and were a lot of fun (even though I still had to do a lot of the work...the teacher in me still must be reminded it's the process, not the product!!!))

Maria and Mr. Turkey!

Wednesday, Gerry and Maria were both off so we spent most of the day cleaning and getting ready for Thanksgiving.  We hosted Gerry's family this year and we had a lot of work to do.  I was also able to slip away to the chiropractor (more on that later) while the girls were taking a nap.  We decided to start a new family tradition... making tacos every Wednesday night before Thanksgiving.  Gerry and I joked about when the girls were older and home from college, they could bring their friends over and fill up on tacos before going out that night (since everyone knows it's the biggest party night of the year, right?) After the girls went to bed, Gerry and I had our own party.  We were up way past midnight making the mashed potatoes and homemade stuffing. (I even cut the bread cubes myself.) After a bottle of wine (or 2) we called it a night! The house still wasn't as clean as we wanted it to be, but at least the food was going to be good!

Thanksgiving day, our guests arrived around 10 am.  We had bagels and coffee and hung out for most of the morning.  We ate around 1:00 because everyone had other places to be later in the day. All of the food was awesome!  I must say the turkey (which we bought already cooked from Honeybaked Ham Store) was delicious, as well.

We had a really nice time watching the snow come down while we ate.  The kids played and ate lots of pickles and the adults were able to talk and hang out.  Everyone was gone by 3:30 and Gerry and I were able to relax the rest of the evening.

(Unfortunately, I wasn't able to take as many pictures due to my camera battery being dead.)

A picture of the place cards I made everyone...aren't they a riot?

Mr. Turkey

Friday we celebrated with my mom's side of the family at my Uncle Marc's house.  I tried another new recipe, Gourmet Sweet Potato Casserole, which was a big hit.  There was so much food there I can't even begin to name it all.  Maria and Naomi had fun entertaining everyone by singing, dancing and eating cheese puffs all night.  We had a great time, although it was fast and furious. 

Even Gryphon had a feast, thanks to Maria and Naomi!
 My mom, me and my Aunt Carol

 Hailey, Naomi and Maria playing on the steps

Big Bro and Lil Sis

This year, Thanksgiving seemed very long, but in a good way.  Gerry was off work from Wednesday until this morning when he had to go back.  Aside from the few times we left the house for a quick trip to the store, or me going to the chiropractor, we were together, with our girls, the entire time.  And I loved it!  I loved having Gerry home and for the most part, the girls got along and were in great moods! This year will go down in the books as one of the best Thanksgivings ever!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Happy Birthday Uncle Jeff!

Yesterday was my brother's Birthday and Maria and Naomi were so excited to call and sing to him over the phone.  When we tried to call, he didn't answer and they were very disappointed.  So I suggested to Maria that we video tape it and email it to him.  So, she suggested they put on their party dresses before they sang.  You can't really see the dresses...but the singing is hilarious!  Future American Idols???

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Sticker charts, new car and eye twitching...

Yes, I know this is the most random title, but I didn't know what else to call it.  We've had a few crazy things going on around here.  I'll start with the most annoying:

The Eye Twitch

I almost can't stand being awake.  It all started a few weeks into my treatment on coumadin (which was the end of July).  I know this because I actually Googled "Coumadin and eye twitching" to see if there was anything out there that might make me feel justified that this was an actual side affect of the medication.  I think there was a few articles, but nothing earth shattering.  The twitch would come and go throughout the summer and it was kind of annoying but never lasted that long.  Fast forward to last Sunday.  My right eye started twitching the moment I woke up and continued even as I was trying to fall asleep that night.  My eye was getting irritated because I kept rubbing it every time it would twitch.  Of course it wouldn't really help, but I guess it was reactionary.  By Monday, I was in tears about it.  I know there are worse things and I feel bad complaining but it made me so crabby and I felt like I was going insane.  After a trip to the eye doctor, he told me it was really caused by stress or anything that could cause me to feel run down.  It's called Eyelid Myokymia and the only thing that may or may not work is antihistamine eye drops twice a day.  And he said they really don't even know why this works, but sometimes it does.  So for the past week I have been using the drops .  The twitch is still there but it is not as constant.  It gets worse when I am really tired or screaming at my kids.  Seriously. 

Which brings me to the most stressful part of the title:

Sticker Charts

Our sassy little 3 year old is, again, posing some really big challenges for us lately so Gerry and I decided we needed to take action. Obviously yelling and screaming doesn't work, neither do time outs.  So I guess positive reinforcement was worth a try. 

There are 3 main areas of concern: 

1) Her behavior during meal times -which is an extension of her EXTREMELY picking eating...she doesn't want to eat what's on her plate, so she acts out at the table...makes sense, right?

2) Her willingness to go potty all by herself -she makes no initiative to go on her own and when we ask her to go, it's a big fight.  However, she hasn't had an accident in months and will always tell us when she has to go #2... I can't figure it out.  I think know she just wants to be in control....all.the.time!

3) Her behavior towards Naomi- This poor child gets bopped on the head, kicked, pushed and tackled all day long.  Maria has a VERY hard time NOT hitting Naomi and it is ridiculous.  We are still trying to stick to a sensory routine, but even that doesn't always work.

So, the sticker chart.  She gets a sticker if she is good during each meal (no whining, complaining, banging fork, throwing food, etc.) one for every time she goes potty (this includes wiping, flushing, and washing hands all by herself) and then she gets one huge glittery puffy sticker at the end of the day if she doesn't hit, kick or push Naomi.  The deal was if she gets 3 of these big fancy stickers in a row (that's 3 days of NOT hitting Naomi) then she gets to pick a prize. I knew it would be difficult, but you know what?  She only needs one more sticker and she will get a prize. We shall see!

It is working so far but I don't know how realistic it is to think it will last forever. Something else I learned was that really cool stickers are expensive.  Damn stickers...you get 4 of them for like $5.  Oh well...if it all works out, it's worth the price.

Now for the coolest part of the post:

The new car.

Gerry finally got a a new car.  I am so excited for him because ever since I've known him, he's driven cars that were used, older and not always reliable.  It's been kind of a running joke that ever since we've been together, we've had nothing but bad luck with cars.  We owe so much to our many family members who have driven out to give us a jump, dropped us off or picked us up at the car repair shop, or let us borrow their car for a period of time. And for the past 2 years, Gerry has been driving a car without air conditioning or radio. (And summers in St. Louis are not mild...they are brutal)  So he definitely deserves this.  We are now the proud owners of a Honda Civic Si that looks something like this:

Only it's the darker gray color.

Hooray!  I hope Maria likes it because she will be driving it in 13 years!!!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Naomi - 18 Months Already!

Our littlest girl is 18 months old today! She's officially 1 and a half.

Naomi is a funny little thing. She is mild mannered and very easy going. She loves anything that involves playing, running, swinging and laughing!

She loves to play on her own, but knows exactly how to get someone's attention by weasling her way onto their lap, or with a giant hug.

She loves to dress up -she will wear anything : hats, headbands, socks, dresses and butterfly wings. (she even likes to walk around with a wash rag on her head, although I don't have a picture of that.)

She loves to shout "I did it!"

Naomi is using a fork and spoon appropriately along with eating off a plate.  Most of the time, the plate stays on the table.

She loves to dip anything in ketchup and/or ranch dressing.

She tries everything on her plate and eats most foods.

Her verbal skills are pretty awesome.  She is talking like crazy; labeling objects, some colors, numbers and shapes.  She identifies animals and people. And she loves to sing happy birthday!

Naomi is a snuggle bunny and will sit on your lap forever. 

She loves her babies and pushes them around in the stroller, feeds them and rocks them to sleep.

She also loves her sister and wants to do everything she does.  They run together, hug each other and tickle each other.  One of her favorite times is when Maria gets off the school bus and they sit on the couch together - eating a snack and drinking their milk. They just look at each other and giggle, their mouths full of goldfish crackers.

Naomi is not a baby anymore.  She is a little toddler with her own likes and dislikes.  She has her own personality and definitely her own attitude. 

I can't believe in just 6 short months, we will be celebrating her 2nd birthday.  Time files...even faster the second time around!

Naomi...you have been such a blessing to our lives.  You know just how to make us laugh by being silly.  We just can't imagine our family without you!

Happy 18 months, Naomi Hope!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Halloween 2010

The evening started out with snacks...even these little goblins couldn't resist the candy corn/peanut snack mix!

Laura made these yummy cupcakes to celebrate the 2 birthdays

This little witch couldn't wait to cast her spells...

as my drink of choice was casting a spell over me!

Raise your hand if you think we look alike!
(the jury is still out)

Little Pumpkin boy was ready for some candy!!!

All of a sudden this cute little puppy showed up to party with us!

Then, the nice lion showed her where to go (out the door)!

The alarm has sounded and the kiddies were ready to go!

The gang of cousins!

My hot husband could not wait to wear this awesome costume I bought him! (It glowed in the dark!)

St. Francis stopped by for some candy!  He told the best jokes!

Olivia and her aunt!

The only family photo we got...I really had to do some work to it because it was so blurry.
It still looks kind of creepy..

I hope all of your little goblins and monsters had a Happy Halloween!

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