Sunday, May 29, 2011

To Remember

It was about 7:15 on Saturday evening when we pulled in to our local National Cemetery.  It's a tiny piece of land on the outskirts of town, that we just happened to drive by several weeks ago on one of our "let's drive around because the kids fell asleep" rides through the country.  On this night, we didn't just drive by, we drove in.  We drove in with a purpose...

To Remember.

As Camdyn hopped out of the car she asked me if she could go play.  "No, you may not.  This is not a place to play, this is a place to remember the soliders that died for our freedoms.  This is a place where we pay respect to our soliders."  "What soliders Momma?"  "The ones that are memorialized, or buried here." 


And then we began to walk down the wide aisle in the middle of the grounds.  She asked me what each solider's name was and which war he fought in.  "His name was Edward, and he was born in 1939, and he fought in the Korean war...he had a long life."  She carefully looked at each stone that lined the aisle, careful not to walk between them.

She learned today that our freedom is not free.  She learned that soliders make a sacrifice and that sometimes they don't get to come back home.  She learned how to pay respect today.

As we turned to leave, with tears in her eyes she said, "I'm worried for these soliders, Momma."

"Yes, my love.  We worry for them and we are grateful for them."

Saturday, May 28, 2011

SOOC Saturday - Remembrance

Dancing in the Rain

I've been trying to participate in my girl Sassy's weekly meme, but just haven't quite gotten it together enough to remember to blog on a Saturday.  So, it figures that this week she's taking the holiday weekend off, and here I am ready to finally link up. 

This evening we went to our National Cemetery to Remember....She doesn't remember, she doesn't even know the significance of Memorial Day, yet she gets it...

SOOC (Straight out of the camera):


Thanks, Sassy for the opportunity to see beauty in my photos just the way they are.  It's a wonderful thing when you can appreciate a photo without feeling the need to edit it into perfection. 

Join Sassy next week for SOOC Saturday!


Thursday, May 26, 2011

When the Blanket Obsession Evolves

Chloe has always been my binkie and blankie baby.  We have two copies of her treasured pink and multi-colored polka dot blanket that you saw in yesterday's photos. 

But sometimes playing with blankie just isn't good enough, and playing with a queen sized flat sheet is more fun. 

Chloe spent 20 minutes (and I'm not exaggerating here) laying this sheet out on our dining room floor.  Yes, there is a playhouse in our dining room instead of a table.  The playhouse gets more use than a dining room table would at this junction in our lives.  Momma dreams of a beautiful day.

Anyway, with the utmost care, Chloe spread this sheet out on the floor.  She walked around it and smoothed all the wrinkles, only to reposition is slightly, and have to re-wrinkle smooth.


And, then it was nap time, and she decided the sheet should accompany her instead of her blankie. 

When I look at this photo, I see bride, and wedding dress train, instead of baby and blankie.

She gathered it all up in to a big giant ball of Jersey Cotton sheeting and she heaved it in to her crib.

Where she slept on top of it until 3:30. 

Happy Thursday, everyone!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - When Dads Grow Up

Well I'm a grown man but as strong as I am,
sometimes its hard to believe,
How one little girl with little blonde curls,
Can totally terrify me.
If you were to ask my wife would just laugh,
She'd say, "I know all about men,
And how tough little boys grow up to be Dads
They turn into be babies again."


Well I know one day I'll give you away,

And I'm gonna stand there and smile.
But when I get home and I'm all alone,
Well I'll sit in your room for a while.


Well I didn't cry when Old Yeller died,

At least not in front of my friends.
But when tough little boys grow up to be dads
They turn into be babies again.
~Tough Little Boys by Gary Allen

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Something Good - Sleepovers!

Last Friday night, Camdyn had a friend sleepover for the 2nd time.  They swam, they played, and at eleven o'clock I had to convince them to unwind and settle down for bedtime.  We pulled out the bed that was hiding in the couch, and made them a cozy and fun place to sleep.  We brought the nightlight down from Camdyn's bedroom and we tucked them in.  When I left them for the night they were huddled around the night light singing the Tangled theme song, like the light was a lantern.  (CUTE).

They woke with the sun and immediately started playing while Tastefully Simple Cinnamon Muffin Melts baked in my oven. 


As she grows and her baby years tumble further down memory lane; with every tooth lost (we are currently at 4) and every vivid and accurate memory she shares with me; I become even more keenly aware - raising children is a dynamic and evolving experience; with every milestone I am sad to see pass, there is a new one emerging from around the bend. 

It simply gets better all the time.

The Life of Rylie...and Bryce too!

You can link up your Something Good with LeeAnn over at the Life of Rylie...and Bryce Too.

Monday, May 23, 2011

In Love with My World

This weekend I had planned to dress the girls up and take them to the park for photos.  It has been on my to-do list for a few weeks now, and I'm trying to squeeze it in before the weather becomes deplorably hot. 

Once again, I wasn't able to follow through.  I favored being at home this weekend, relaxing on the couch and watching the Preakness with my girls, who love horsies and who watched and cheered them on with intensity. 

We played with our toys, swam in the pool, and ate dinner together at home - TWICE - as a family.  I can't remember the last time we didn't eat at least one weekend dinner out. 

And, as much as I would love to take photos of the girls at the park, when it comes down to it, I think I want more photos that remind me of moments like this:

A tiny tot sitting at a high top table, legs too short to even come close to touching the footrest.  A snack time where Mrs. Potato Head is the honored guest, as well as a doggie who is waiting patiently for a Cheerio to hit the floor.  A moment that is real, a moment that was made at home, a moment that is just a day in the life of a toddler...a moment that I will miss desperately 10 years from now. 


And, although, I still want to take pictures in the park, I am finding that the simple photos of simple moments taken in our most treasured spot in the world, have much more meaning and value to me than photos taken in a park.

I am in love with my world (and the glorious natural light that flows through my house).

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - My Girl

Armed with a Popsicle in the Light of the Setting Sun,
She Melts My Heart




Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Something Good - They're Back

The Life of Rylie...and Bryce too!

Ah, Tuesday, the sweet spot in the week where I get to focus on something good.  This past weekend we spent time with Auntie Liz and Abby who were in town visiting home for the weekend.  We spent a part of everyday day together from Wednesday through Saturday. 

We ate out at our favorite cafe, we indulged in late night (okay, it was only 8 o'clock) ice cream together. 

We had a swim date, that also involved pizza, and Popsicles. 
Here Abby & Chloe show off their Puddle Jumpers. Chloe really liked Abby's turtle Puddle Jumper
 and after Abby took it off, Chloe asked to wear it.

They enjoyed the heat and the water, sleeping in their own beds, the sweet tea, and just being home.


We enjoyed their company, the conversation, the opportunity to switch baby dolls and share (which the girls did a pretty good job with), and having friends over.

Note:  This photo was wrecked, and it still kind of is.  Before I edited it, the top half of the photo was completely blown out due to the bright sunlight.  I found a button in LR that said Filter and I ended up filtering the top half of the photo and dropping the exposure and brightness.  This made the water turn black, but hey, you can see faces now.  One day I'll figure this steps.  Tips anyone?

It was so nice to have them home for the weekend.  To have some adult time together on Saturday night, without kids and to enjoy a ballgame, a concert, and a great meal with new and old friends. 

And, I think the Littles enjoyed it too.  They are too little to communicate that they miss each other, but Chloe has been asking for Abby and her baby doll every day since Friday. 


Our friendship has bloomed... and theirs is blossoming.

Link up your Something Good with LeeAnn at the Life of Rylie...and Bryce Too!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep

I Pray the Lord My Soul To Keep


Guide and Guard Me Through the Night


(she's patting my back and saying "Lay Your Head Down Mommy"

And Wake Me With the Morning's Light


(She's telling Sissy to SHHHHH.  Mommy's sleeping)

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Eyes

"For I dipped into the future, far as human eye could see, Saw the vision of the world, and all the wonder that would be."
~Alfred, Lord Tennyson



Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Something Good - Target Brand Diapers

The Life of Rylie...and Bryce too!

About a month ago I wrote about Chloe using the potty for the first time.  She did it unprompted and unassisted and pretty much took us by surprise.  I decided I would follow her lead.  In the past month she showed minimal interest in going potty on the potty...until Thursday.  On Thursday, she wore undies to school all day and had one accident.  On Friday, she had no accidents, on Monday she stayed dry all day and during nap time.  Say What?  Yeah, I know.  I can hardly believe it myself.  So, at 2 years and 6 weeks of age, Chloe is about 50% potty trained.  She still needs to get the No. 2 down (I fear she is holding it).  And I don't expect that staying dry all night long will happen anytime soon.

I credit two things with Chloe's keen interest and quick adaptation to the potty:

1)  Her Sister - nothing like a pint sized role model to set the example
2)  Target Brand Diapers

At the suggestion of fellow blogger T. Bird. I decided I would try Target Brand Diapers.  I used Swaddlers until Chloe was about 6 months old and then I thought, hey, why not switch and see what happens.  So, I purchased one tiny pack of Target diapers and a case of Huggies Overnights.  I worried that Chloe would get a rash at night if she was sleeping in a less than a PREMIUM diaper.  It worked.  Chloe never got a rash during the day, and I was saving oodles of money - 148 diapers for $ have to be kidding me!  As Chloe got older I got more adventurous and she started sleeping in them too.  No leaks, no rashes to speak of (well, that were the diapers fault anyway - if you have explosive poo it's going to leak out Pampers or not).  Granted they feel funny to the touch when they are full, but Chloe didn't seem to mind. 

I believe now that she is 2, she is starting to mind.  She doesn't like the sensation against her skin and she doesn't want a diaper.  She wants her teeny tiny Hello Kitty undies, and she wants to potty on the potty.  SA-WEEEEEE-TTTT!  I'm going to get to stop buying diapers sooner than I expected.  These Target diapers are saving me money all over the place!

If you haven't tried them you should :)

So, that's my something good!

Monday, May 9, 2011

My Kid Flashed the Congregation...on Mother's Day

And I couldn't be prouder. 

Sunday morning was the last day of Children's Choir at Church and also the last time the children sang in the traditional service.  The last time Cam sang in this service I had to bribe her to wear the out-dated and musty choir robe.  I can't say I really blame her.  She didn't want to cover up her cute little dress with a hideous white cotton robe with blue lapels and huge blue cuffs at the wrists. 

Yesterday, she donned the robe on without me having to ask and as hideous as it was, she still looked so cute in it.  I was asked to help out in the Pre-K class, so I stayed in the chapel and watched the children rehearse their song and then assisted in walking them over to the sanctuary.  Cam held my hand the entire time.  As I directed her to her spot on the stage, I took my spot stage right, and out of view of the video camera (this Momma does not need to be on TV) to watch the children sing.

All was going as planned and the children were almost through the 2nd verse...they were singing...

"Jesus loves, Jesus loves, me, me, me, 
It's written in the bible you see, see, see,
The bible tells me so,
And I know, I know, I know
Jesus, loves, Jesus, loves, me, me, me."

Camdyn was sailing through it.  She was standing there with her hands at her sides and she was paying attention to the choir director, and then suddenly she became possessed with the spirit of Marilyn Monroe.  Think white dress, standing over an air vent, only it's a white choir robe and she's at the mercy of her own hands.

During the last "me, me, me" Camdyn takes her hands, which were griping the sides of her choir robe...and her dress....and makes a big ole rainbow with her hands,
From left, to right, to left, in perfect rhythm with the song.  It was like she was doing the "can can" for a moment.   Everyone in the congregation let out a HUGE, collective, chuckle. 

Now, I was watching from the side view, so I don't really know how much the congregation saw of Camdyn, but gathering from their response, I assume it wasn't totally indecent (good thing we make it a practice to ALWAYS wear shorts under our dresses), and the cuteness factor was definitely off the charts.

Honestly, there is just no containing her personality.  She tried to stifle it but at the very end it comes tumbling out.  As we walked back to the chapel I praised her and made no mention of the slightly indecent, but hilarious mishap. 

I might, however, have to re-think how much Dancing with the Stars she watches.

Happy Monday!

Friday, May 6, 2011

The Doggy Paddle is My Best Stroke

Quite literally. 

I grew up in the MidWest.  Our opportunity to swim and engage in water activities was pretty much restricted to 2 1/2 months of the year.  Even with a giant in ground swimming pool in our backyard, I never did quite master the concept of holding my breath under water.  I flail.  I struggle.  But, I certainly can get myself from point A to point B...usually holding on to a noodle, but whatever. 

The hubs is a water baby.  He grew up on the coast in San Diego.  Water was an everyday part of his life.  He played water polo and made the All American Water Polo team in college.  The man can swim.  He can do egg beaters in the water endlessly.  He can do flip turns, and he cuts through water like a dolphin. 

My kids got his athletic ability.  I didn't realize how great my 5 year old is at swimming until I watch her with other children her age.   She holds her breath, she retrieves matchbox cars from the bottom of our pool, she dives in headfirst.  The hubs chucks her in the air and she canon balls to the bottom of the pool.  She is fearless and comfortable in the water.

Apr 2011_0090-1

Of course, Chloe Belle watches big Sissy and she wants to do everything just like her.  We recently purchased Puddle Jumpers for her at our local Target.  After she began saying "MYSELF" in the water and refused to let anyone touch her, we decided that she needed some sort of floatation device.  The Puddle Jumpers rock our world.  Daddy now has freedom to play with Camdyn in the water, and Chloe has the freedom to float and kick and get out of the pool on her own.  She also jumps off the side on her own too.  She holds her breath, disappears under the water, and then surfaces with the proudest look on her face.  Getting her to put the thing on is sometimes a struggle, but she sure is happy once she is swimming all by herself in the pool.

Apr 2011_0085-1

This is how we will be spending Mother's Day this year and that suits me just fine! 

I hope you enjoy your Mother's Day weekend!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Wordish Wednesday - When Bloggy Friends Meet

"You can pick your nose, and you can pick your friends, but you can't wipe your 
friends on the couch."
~Ryan Seacrest

Apr 2011_0374-1

Ha!  Nothing like a photo of a 2 year old picking a gorilla statue's nose to get the day started right.

Last Saturday, we met up with LeeAnn and her adorable family at Busch Gardens.  LeeAnn and I met through blogging and being that we live in the same state, we had a connection.  I love that she always responds via email to every comment, and through that means we found out that we have quite a bit in common.  We met for the first time last summer, and just a few months ago we began planning another meet up.  We decided that Busch Gardens would be a perfect place to meet and enjoy some family time.

Apr 2011_0376-1

We visited the gorilla/monkey exhibit while we waited on our friends to arrive.  I love the early morning sun in this photo. 

When our friends showed up we saw the elephants and then headed to the carousel.  Rylie has the most beautiful blue eyes and she was a big fan of the ride, while Bryce was not. 
Apr 2011_0386-1

Then, Daddy took Cam to ride the loop-de-loop roller coaster, and Chloe & Rylie rode this little airplane.  I was a bit freaked out that Chloe would get anxious and try and climb out, so I buckled her in tightly and she enjoyed her ride.
Apr 2011_0390-1

We ate lunch, saw the tigers, and then headed to the splash pad so the kids could get wet.  This is the only photo I have with all 4 kids in it.  Amazing how hard it is to capture kids with the chaos of a theme park swirling around them.
Apr 2011_0403-1

Bryce was in his element in the water.  He splished and splashed and appeared to be loving it.  Somehow the one year old was the only one who stood still long enough for a decent-ish photo.
Apr 2011_0407-1

Before I knew it the afternoon was drawing to a close.  LeeAnn and I did manage to squeeze in a few conversations and the kiddos were really well behaved all day.  We decided that we should try and meet up a little more often.

Several weeks ago I received an email from my girl Sassy.  She has a beautiful blog, family, and faith, and I have been reading her story for well over a year.  I was drawn to her writing style, her faith in the Lord, and her story.  I read about her 2 lb miracle baby, O, who is now a thriving 3 year old.  I read about her testimony, her trials, and her decision to leave the Mormon faith.  I followed her pregnancy with her 4th child in 6 years, and we developed a friendship. 

So, imagine my surprise when she emailed me and mentioned that she is in town on vacation!  Eeekk!  What are the odds???   So, I invited them over to swim.  I figured with 6 kids total, it might be easier to have them confined to a house/pool versus chasing them around a park or the beach. 

It worked out well, Camdyn and Sassy's oldest boy got along really well.  They enjoyed holding hands and jumping in the pool together over and over again. 

Apr 2011_0103-1
And much to my surprise, Chloe got along brilliantly with O.  We all know that Chloe can be feisty and high strung, but she wasn't that way with O at all.  Chloe even SHARED Baby's stroller with her...and we all know that Chloe doesn't typically share anything related to baby. 

Apr 2011_0107-1

I joked to Sassy that Chloe must feel O's sweet and gentle spirit and it must calm her.

And, then there is Sassy's youngest boy, who did nothing but smile and look adorable the entire afternoon.  I could have eaten him right up!
Apr 2011_0104-1

If you want to read more about Sassy's vacation and our meet up you can go here. 

I believe the Lord sometimes works people in to your life for different reasons.  Whether I've met my friends the conventional way or through the the wide world that is blogging and Internet social media, they all have a place and a purpose and just like the rest of my IRL friends, I'm thankful for them.

Happy Wednesday, Y'all!