Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year!




It is 9:00 pm and we have already been to our New Year's party, rung in the New Year, launched fireworks, had a balloon drop, caught up with friends, driven home and put all four kids to bed. This is how you celebrate New Year's Eve when you have small kids and all of your friends have them too.

It is amazing how things change. Gone are the days of going out to celebrate. Gone are the days of having the party at our house because we are the only one with a child that needs to go to bed - so that way we could still enjoy the celebration until midnight with our friends. Gone are the days of ringing in the new year on East Coast time because most of our friends didn't have kids. Now we ring in the new year with some yet to be discovered island in the Atlantic! Yes the new year for us began at 7:00 pm CST on 12/31/07.

Thanks James and Tracey for a very, very fun evening. And thanks for sending the kids home with noisemakers - they made the ride home memorable!

May you all have a wonderful 2008!
Jenn

PS. No, Rehm had not been sneaking adult beverages. He just can't say Happy New Year without looking goofy.

PPS. No, Eliza Claire does not normally walk around with a paci in her mouth. We have a only at nap or bedtime rule. But when it is an hour after her normal bedtime and there are loud, bright fireworks within 20 ft it seemed only fair.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Merry Christmas


We are having a wonderful holiday. We have spent lots of time with family and friends doing lots of fun outings and just hanging out at home. I promise to update everyone on it all but for now I just wanted to say Merry Christmas. Now I'm going back to enjoying my family for a few more days. I hope you get to do the same.

Jenn
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Friday, December 21, 2007

What was THAT?

That was Charlotte's room after quiet time. At 3:00 I told her she could come out of quiet time when ever she was ready and had cleaned up the things on the floor (a few blankets and pillows). She informed me that she wanted to stay in her room a little longer. I of course was thrilled.

The twins were actually napping for the first time in a week or two, Rehm didn't have homework and was happily parked in front of the TV, I felt terrible and just wanted to sit down! I enjoyed an hour of surfing the web and watching TV. When the twins woke from their nap I was surprised to realize I had not heard anything out of Charlotte in the last hour. I should have known at that point that something was up. Silly me thought maybe she had actually fallen asleep on all the blankets she had arranged so carefully on the floor.

Charlotte came into the hallway and informed me that she had gotten out a little too much during quiet time and needed help picking up. I opened her door and was shocked by the sight that met me.


How had one little girl done all of this in one hour? What was she thinking? Where did it all come from? Does she have any clue how long this will take to clean up?

She had decided, for reasons I do not know, to empty several boxes of hand-me-downs and the box containing all her special mementos and pictures.

I surprised myself. I did not yell. I did not lay down in the floor and cry. I did not run screaming from the house. I calmly told her that this was unacceptable and I was disappointed. I told her I could not deal with her right this minute and closed the door. As I walked down the hall I heard her start crying. Apparently what I said was effective and she understood the gravity of the situation.

Now, several hours later. All of the mementos are back in the right box, all of the clothes are piled in boxes and sitting in the hallway. In my spare time this week (because I have nothing else to do) I will need to sort and fold them all. Before going to bed Charlotte cleaned up all of the blankets and pillows instead of having story time.

So you ask was it worth it? I'll let you know after I get all the hand-me-downs re-sorted, folded, and stored.

Jenn

Monday, December 17, 2007

Fashion

Last week Charlotte and I were putting away clean clothes in her room. She saw a pair of black tights in one of her drawers and the following conversation took place.

Charlotte (holding up the tights): Mommy! I want to wear my black tights. I haven't worn them yet this year!

Me: That is GREAT Charlotte! You're going to get to wear them soon, on Christmas Eve with your Christmas dress!

Charlotte: No Mommy! I CAN'T wear them on Christmas! I need to wear white tights on Christmas!

Me: Charlotte, white tights don't match your Christmas dress, they wouldn't look pretty. You need to wear your black ones. [Her dress is black with red bows embroidered on it and the shirt that goes under it is cream.]

Me thinking: Didn't she just say 30 seconds ago she wanted to wear black tights? Isn't that how this conversation started?

Charlotte (almost in tears): But Mommmmmmy! I wore black tights LAST year with my Christmas dress! I can't wear them again THIS year!

OK she is four! First of all I'm shocked she remembers what color her tights were last year. Second, she's four! How in the world can she know these things matter. Third, do they matter, it isn't like I'm asking her to wear the same Christmas dress two years in a row! They are tights for crying out loud.

I'm crossing my fingers that I have her convinced to wear the black tights. Though I do have a pair of cream ones just in case...

If these are the issues I'm dealing with at four, just think what my life will be like in ten years...
Jenn

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Bandy Snatcher Catcher


Rehm came home a few weeks ago and announced he was making a Bandy Snatcher Catcher in QUEST (one of his classes at school). The conversation went something like this

Rehm: We are making Bandy Snatcher Catchers for QUEST!

Me: What is a Bandy Snatcher Catcher?

Rehm: Something to catch a Bandy Snatcher!

Me: What is a Bandy Snatcher?

Rehm: Something that catches a Bandy.

Me: What is a Bandy?

Rehm: I don't know!

OK so you don't know what a Bandy is, but you know it is caught by a Bandy Snatcher and you must build something to catch said Bandy Snatcher? Did I get that all? Yep that was the basic idea.

So the kids had a worksheet where they had to decide what a Bandy was and draw one. Then they had to do the same for a Bandy Snatcher. After that they had to devise a trap using exactly 17 items from a specific set of items (including a specific number of things like paper clips, straws, cups, paper plates and string). Any broken or lost items could not be replaced but broken items could still be used.

Rehm's Bandy had a bunch of different shaped heads, had wings and a stinger. He said it was a sea bee. The bandy snatcher looked basically the same but it could change shapes and colors (like a chameleon). He thought he should use a fake bandy to catch the bandy snatcher.

Today they presented their Bandy Snatcher Catchers. They had to describe how the Catcher worked and then read the book they had made about the Bandy Snatcher.

Here is Rehm's presentation and his book.







The book can be viewed here if you can't see the slide show.

Jenn

Monday, December 10, 2007

Wind Blowing


Today Charlotte came into the room and said, "Mommy it would be OK if you called my the wind blowing name today." I had no idea what she was talking about and asked her what she said. She repeated, "I want you to call me the wind blowing name." I was stumped, what in the world had we played that had a wind blowing name in it? No I don't go around calling her my little fart muffin or anything so I just didn't know what she could possibly be talking about. Then she said something about the lady on the Christmas tree...Aha! She wanted me to call her Scarlett! I have several Hallmark ornaments from "Gone with the Wind" and she loves to look at all of them and admire Scarlett's pretty dresses. In her world "Wind Blowing" equals "Gone with the Wind."

Later at lunch she was looking at a kid cookbook. She announced that we needed to have Kid Cook Night more often because Mommy and Daddy Buffet was getting BORING! She didn't want to go to Mommy and Daddy Buffet anymore she wanted more variety and Kid Cook Night is much more better!

Ah, what will she think of next?
Jenn

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Camping

I can now officially say I have been tent camping. I made it 34.5 years without having the experience. And well, while I'm sure I'll go again, I'm not sad it took me this long to go.

Michael, Rehm, Charlotte and I went with Rehm's Cub Scout pack. We went about 1.5 hours from our house to Canyon of the Eagles. We had to take two cars because I needed to come back today and Michael and the big kids are staying until Sunday morning. Last night driving down a winding 2 lane road in the dark in the middle of nowhere following Michael I was sure we were lost and crazy. When the road ended, luckily we were at the right place! In the process of finding our actual site we stumbled on the Lodge - I told Michael I would happily go back and stay there :)

We found the rest of the pack and picked a spot to pitch our tent. Everyone was headed to the Observatory so we sent Rehm off with another family and Charlotte, Michael and I started setting up camp. The first thing we discovered is we had forgotten the adult flash lights. Our only source of light were two kid flash lights - one a lion that roars and the other a zebra that giggles. Oh, and they turn off every two minutes.

About halfway through setting up the tent I mention to Michael that the lights on the van were dim. I went to start the van and yep, it wouldn't start! We had drained the battery! Luckily we had our other car and jumper cables. However neither one of us could find the latch for the hood. I had to get the owner's manual out and look it up, using a roaring flashlight whose batteries died in the process.

Back to setting up the tent. We got the first two poles done properly in no time but the second two just weren't doing what Michael remembered when he had set it up with our friend John (who we borrowed the tent from). Of course I asked where the directions were. Of course we had none. After a few more minutes of fiddling with it we figured it out and had the tent ready to go.

I looked around us at all the other tents and then looked back at ours and asked Michael where he was planning to sleep. It was tiny! He assured me we would all fit and it would be fine. I knew we wouldn't have to worry about staying warm as we were going to be very on top of each other.



From there things started smoothing out. We put the kids to bed and sat and talked to some of the other parents for a bit. When we went to bed it was well, comical. We were completely squished. I swear at points during the night Charlotte was taking up 1/3 of the tent. How can someone so small take up so much space?

When I left today Charlotte was in a tree and Rehm was off with his pack on a spy mission. At least I know they will sleep better tonight as everyone will have more room.

I'll definitely go camping again but only with a larger tent and an air mattress! Oh and a couple of flash lights that don't make any noise.

Here is a link to all the pictures if you can't see the slide show.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Don't Expect a Christmas Card from Us!



I had high hopes that I would actually get Christmas cards done this year. But alas it is already December and I still don't have anything that resembles a decent picture of my family! So now even if I get a decent picture soon, I still have to order them, get them in envelopes and mailed. Then they have to get to everyone...It starting to look like the Mahams will be sending Valentines Day cards again this year!

Here is a sample of my attempts at a Chirstmas card. Can someone tell my kids to stand/sit still for a minute or ask Santa to send me a digital SLR camera. Otherwise, I may never get a good picture of all of them together.



Jenn

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Dada!

Today when I opened the girls door after nap time that tell tale smell met me, you know the one, that someone pooped! Eliza Claire had been babbling for about 30 minutes before I went to get them so I assumed she was the culprit.

I got her out of her bed and was talking to her telling her "you need to learn to say 'poop, mama, poop' so Mommy will know you have poop in your diaper and come change you!" She giggled and babbled back to me. Then I said, "Eliza Claire, can you say 'poop?'" to which Eliza Claire said, "Dada!" Again I said, "Eliza Claire can you say 'poop?'" Again Eliza Claire said "Dada!" with a big satisfied smile. I wonder what her father will think of that...

Once I got to her diaper I realized she wasn't the one with poop after all. So I guess she thought I was pretty dumb to be telling her she needed to let me know when she pooped when she hadn't actually pooped. She was probably thinking "Duh Mom, don't you think I know that all ready?"

Apparently it doesn't bother Ruby to sleep with a poopy diaper but it does bother Eliza Claire to try to sleep while smelling someone else's...I guess all that babbling was "hey, it is stinky in here, can you get me out now!"

Don't you just love reading about 'dada'?
Jenn

Friday, November 23, 2007

Jello


Rehm just asked me if we could make Jello this afternoon. I asked him if he was really going to eat it (since usually when I make it he eats a little and I end up throwing the rest out.) His response, "Well, it's just squishy animal parts!"

So tell me would you make Jello for him? I mean doesn't that just sound super appetizing. I know we all know what Jello is made of but I don't need the reminder.

Ah the joys of being a six year old boy!

While talking about silly things Rehm says. Last weekend we had a big family dinner with my parents, Michael's parents, both of Michael's brothers and their families. Right when we started fixing plates the power went out. We rushed around finding candles and flashlights. The kids all started eating and Rehm piped up with "Well, at least we have each other!" Indeed we do!

Jenn

Thursday, November 22, 2007

I'm Thankful



Today I'm reminded of just how much I have to be thankful for. We hosted both sets of our parents, Michael's brother Dallas, sister-in-law Cathi, nephew Griffin, and Cathi's parents and sister. It was a full house. It was family at its best, complete with a couple of melt downs from the kids.

I'm thankful to be part of a family where not only do I get along with my in-laws but my parents and my husbands' parents can get along and we don't have to have two thanksgivings. It was nice to have my sister-in-law's family here as well. I am so glad we all got to spend the day with both sides of our family. I am so blessed.

I'm thankful for the five special children God has blessed us with. I love getting to watch four of them grow up. Rehm was having a hard day today - he was super tired from staying up too late last night. He bonked his nose very hard while wrestling and had several other upsets today. Several times today only I could make it better. Eliza was also all about Mommy today, she is not a big fan of a lot of people in her house. Charlotte enjoyed being the hostess and greeting everyone. She also spent a lot of time trying to be the peace maker. Ruby was the social butterfly. She has yet to meet a stranger. She loves anyone who will give her attention. They are all such different and fun children. I am so glad I get to be their mom.

I'm blessed that I got to spend an enjoyable day with family, having fun, making memories and just remembering how much I have to be thankful for.

Happy Turkey Day,
Jenn

Friday, November 16, 2007

In Her Own Time

Eliza Claire continues to prove that she is her own person and will not be lumped into the family mold. She does things in her own time and in her own way. And this means not like any of her siblings.

Wednesday evening she decided she was ready to walk. But no clumsy couple of steps for Eliza Claire and then falling down. We went to church for dinner. When we got inside I got her out of the stroller and stood her up. When I let go she took off walking! Six or seven steps. Then she looked at me and smiled and walked 12 or so steps. Withing just a few minutes she was walking half way across the room with no effort at all.

Did I mention that prior to walking yesterday she has never even stood without holding on to something? Never taken a step or two. None of that! Silly girl. Oh, but for a couple of months she has been walking on her knees.

I guess when you wait until 16.5 months to walk this is what happens!



Enjoy,
Jenn

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Our Newest Addition


Rehm announced about a week ago that he could not ride his bike to school the next day. He gave no further information and his father and I were a bit confused. I could not figure out what he had done to lose the privilege of riding his bike. I knew I hadn't taken away the privilege and I knew Michael hadn't. I assumed if he had done something bad enough for the school to tell him he couldn't ride it that they would have notified me. So I was a little stumped.

Upon questioning him we learned that he needed to bring Grass Man home from school and he couldn't do that and ride his bike.
We didn't know what Grass Man would be and Rehm wasn't very forthcoming with information. All he would tell us is that he couldn't bring him home on the bike.

Once Grass Man arrived, we needed to find a proper home for him. He resides on the window sill above the kitchen sink. This seems to be a good fit as Grass Man is growing by leaps and bounds. He's already had one hair cut since he joined the family and it looks like he needs another one.


I wonder how long he'll survive...
Jenn

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Lots to Report

Make sure you keep reading. I finally had a chance to catch up.

Technology Girl

Fall Leaves

Before and After

Monster Shoe

Enjoy!
Jenn

Technology Girl



Charlotte has always loved music and now she has a new love, my ipod shuffle. She begs me to let her use it and will run around the house for an hour listening to my music. She would really like to have one of her own. It would be nice to have mine back and not find soggy earphones when I go to use it. Santa, please bring Charlotte her very own ipod, please.

Jenn
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Fall Fun

All four playing in the leaves



Happy Fall!
Jenn

PS if you can't see the slide show all of the pictures can be viewed here.

Before and After

Before

Rehm has not had a real haircut since late June. We decided it was time to let it grow a bit and see what we could do with it.

Rehm with a "2-4"

I should probably explain that for the last 5 years I have been cutting his hair with clippers. This is not because I'm really good at cutting hair or anything, just simply that I'm cheap. Once I realized that for the price of one haircut I could buy my own clippers, well you can figure out the rest. So for the last 5 years he has has a "2-4." That means I've used clipper guard no. 2 on the sides and clipper guard no. 4 on the top. Very simple, very easy. Just a matter of getting him to sit still for the 10 minutes to do it. Over the course of five years I've saved between $600-$1200 by giving him a "2-4."

During
For the last 5 months all I have done is trim around his neck and ears about once a month but otherwise just let it grow. I decided it was time to let a professional give him a new hair style. So here it is. Now I have to admit I still won't take him to get it cut regularly, I'll just trim it until I can trim no more and the break down and take him to have it cut. So still probably only looking at 2 to 4 haircuts a year.

Doesn't he look handsome?
After

Jenn

PS the last time I cut all the kids hair Charlotte told me that I should be a hair cutter when I grew up.

Monster Shoe


Rehm has been working on a project for one of his classes at school. He had to start with a shoe, add ten items to it to make it into something else and write a story about it. He also had to have one movable part. When they were done the did presentations to explain their Monster Shoe.

Here is Rehm's presentation.



If you caught the part about the sharp nose that fell off. Apparently the UFFF had a toothpick for a nose but at some point before the presentation it fell off.

Jenn

Monday, November 05, 2007

Retro Charlotte



This is Charlotte in an outfit my grandmother made for me when I was around Charlotte's age. It is one of her favorite things to wear right now. It makes me smile every time she puts it on because I remember wearing it and how cool I thought it was. I did notice that it needs new elastic in the skirt and the hem needs to be fixed in a place or two, but not bad for a 30 year old outfit.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

We're Presbamaterian


Yesterday was Michael's Godson Liam's baptism. Before the baptism we had to go to Covenant so I could set up for Sunday school. When we saw Paster Rick Rehm informed him"we are going to a different church!" And had to go into the whole story of how one of Daddy's friends' wife had a baby and we were going to see him get baptized at a different church that was not presbamaterian. He repeated this whole story to anyone we saw at Covenant. Apparently the the concept of a non-presbyterian church was fascinating to him. Which is funny as he goes the the baptist church with my parents when we are at their house.

We got to St. David's Episcopal and saw some of the others coming for the baptism. One of the ladies said hi to Rehm. His response - "We're Presbamaterian!" No hello or nice to see you just "We're Presbamaterian!" Then we took the little girls to childcare and the Director of Children's Ministries introduced herself and welcomed us. Again Rehm immediately chimed in with, you guessed it "We're Presbamaterian!" Apparently he really likes Covenant and being presbamaterian and doesn't want anyone to try to convert him to a different religion!

The baptism and service were beautiful. Rehm and Charlotte did a great job sitting still through the service (well the first hour of the service - then I decided it was time to give them a little wiggle room).

Afterward we got to enjoy brunch with the Letton-McCabe family. It was so wonderful and all the kids played well together, were polite and used their good manners!

What a nice day!
Jenn

And yes I know how to spell presbyterian, but my son doesn't know how to pronounce it :)

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Appliance Repair

The dispenser on my refrigerator has had problems for months. About two weeks ago a piece actually fell off so I decided I had to call someone to fix it. I didn't have anyone specific to use for this as I haven't had an appliance problem in several years. I decided to just call the number in the fridge for the Sears Repair Center though I really didn't want to.

For some reason I just don't like Sears. I think it is because their sales people in the actual stores always remind me of used car salesmen - they just seem less than honest - especially the guy who sold us our vacuum - I will not buy from him again. Love the vacuum but do not like the man - story for another day. [If you are a honest used car salesman please ignore the previous statement. I don't really have any first hand knowledge of used car salesmen, I'm going with the stereotype here - bad I know.]

When I called I had the number wrong and couldn't get through so I asked Michael to call. I wasn't at home where I could look the number up. He did an online request. Three days later we still hadn't heard when the appointment would be, so I called them.

Of course, I was dealing with an automated system and not a live person. When I said I wanted to schedule service the system told me I already had service scheduled and asked if I wanted to know when. Well, duh, of course I want to know when. How do you expect me to be home if I don't know when you are coming? The system proceeds to tell me that a person will be coming 8 days later and the window in which they will be there is from 8am to 5pm. Um, I don't think so! Sorry I have a job, four kids and well, a life! I'm not sitting at home for 9 hours waiting for someone to show up! It's just not gonna happen. By this point the system thought it had taken care of my problem and had hung up on me.

I decided to give them the benefit of the doubt and assume that it was scheduled so far out and for such a long window because the request had been made on-line and called back to talk to a person. When I got to a person she tells me that is the earliest date they have available. I ask about the call window, she proceeds to tell me that is the standard call window in my service area. So I tell her she can cancel my appointment as that is completely unacceptable that I will call someone who can arrive in a more timely manner. She then asked me if she could help me with anything else? Hello! If you can get someone to repair my refrigerator this week and give me a four hour or less call window, sure! Otherwise, you have helped me immensely by making sure I never call Sears again for appliance repair!

But now I'm back to square one, the door is falling off the dispenser, making the fridge run too much and I still have no one to repair it. [Just a note here to say we weren't using the dispenser and were keeping the door manually closed but every once in a while one of the kids would forget and try to get ice and the door would then be hanging open until an adult happened to notice it.]

Luckily when I asked some friends I got a couple of recommendations. I picked one and called at 3 pm. They said they would be happy to come out the following morning between 9:30 and 11:30! Now that is what I'm talking about! That is service! After I described the problem they asked for the model information so they could bring the part with them! And proceeded to say they would be happy to call me about an hour before they came so I wouldn't have to wait for them!

Not only did they show up when they said they would, they were extremely courteous and well just pleasant! I will definitely call them again when I need appliance repairs.

For those of you who live in my area it was American Eagle Service at 341-9111. I will say I have no idea how their prices compare. My only reference point is that Sears would have charged me $65 for the service call if I decided not to have them do the repair and American Eagles service call fee was $45.

I guess the good news is I didn't have to buy a new refrigerator!
Jenn

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Spooky!


What a fun day! Michael had a costume contest at work today. He decided to go as the Cat in the Hat since Ruby and Eliza Claire had Thing 1 and Thing 2 costumes. This morning I asked if I needed to bring them by for the costume judging and he decided that was a good idea. Thanks to his ringers he won the overall best costume prize! Ruby and Eliza Claire were a under impressed by this though. I had to laugh the entire time we were there Eliza Claire made mean faces at anyone who spoke to her. I don't think she understood just how cute she was!


For trick or treating tonight Rehm was a ghost, Charlotte a monkey, Ruby - Thing 1, Eliza Claire Thing 2, Michael the Cat in the Hat and me, well nothing. You see in the frenzy of finding costumes for all the kids it never occurred to me to be anything. At one house we went to a neighbor asked what I was supposed to be. Charlotte piped up with, "she's Big Mama. She is very Mommy-fied tonight!" OK so how am I supposed to take that one? Cici - you don't need to answer that question and you can quit laughing now!


At bedtime Charlotte told me I was just Mommy again, I was no longer Big Mama - I'm not sure what changed but I'm very happy to just be Mommy. Please, please don't let her start calling me Big Mama on a regular basis! And if I catch any of you encouraging that idea it will spell big trouble for you! Cici and Papa, that means you!

Everyone had a great time trick or treating and I am thrilled to say all of the blue really did wash out of the girls hair! I was afraid it wouldn't but not enough so to forgo the idea!

For more pictures click here!

Happy Halloween!
Jenn

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Authority

A few weeks ago at What-A-Wednesday (Wednesday night programming at our church)Rehm was making noise with his water cup during story time. Miss Stacey had already told the kids that if they kept making noises with their cups they would lose cup privileges.

Of course that meant Rehm was the next one to squeeze his plastic cup and interrupt the story. Miss Stacey promptly removed Rehm's cup from his squeeze little hand. He looked over at me in the "are you really going to let her take my cup" way. I nodded in the "you bet I'm gonna let her take your cup!" way.

About 45 minutes later, after What-A-Wednesday was over, while I was cleaning up I told Rehm he could go get some water. He looked at me horrified and said "No I can't! I lost that privilege!" I told him it was OK he really could have water now but he insisted he couldn't and would not go get a drink.

I guess the good news is that even though he doesn't listen to his parents, he apparently listens to other authority figures.

Jenn

Finally Almost an Austinite


I've lived in Austin for 10 years. And for several of those years I've complained that I have never seen most of the tourist attractions in the city.

Michael and I had a date Saturday afternoon. He asked me to confirm the sitter and said he would take care of the actual plans. Of course I was thrilled with this arrangement. So when we left the house on Saturday all I knew was that I was supposed to wear comfortable clothes and shoes and that I was not supposed to eat lunch.

We started out at Flip Happy, a crepe place, for lunch. It is a little silver airstream parked in a lot downtown. It has been featured on Throw Down with Bobby Flay on Food network. It was so good. I had a roasted chicken, goat cheese, caramelized onion and garlic aoli crepe. Dh had a ham, Gruyere, and scallion crepe and we split a cinnamon sugar, pecan, cream cheese frosting dessert crepe. It was so good.

Then we went to the Texas Capital and walked around. We didn't do a tour because I knew I would have at least 4 opportunities to do the tour over the next 10 years. I have never been inside before. It was very cool.


Next we went to the O. Henry museum (his house for about 2 years). Cool thing was O. Henry spent the first 20 years of his life in Greensboro NC (about 20 miles from where I grew up and I've been to his birthplace museum). DH didn't know that is where he was born. I joked with Michael that O. Henry and I seemed to be following the same migration pattern. Unfortunately that means I'll end up in federal prison before I become famous for my short stories! I'm not sure I like this plan so much.


Then we went to Mt. Bonnell - the tallest point in Austin - overlooks the river - really pretty - "the" Austin tourist place you must go. There Dh had packed a cooler and we had wine, fresh bread and two fab cheeses. We sat looked at the river and talked about the last 10 years and the next 10 years.

So now I can say I have done the tourist circuit of Austin - but he forgot the Oasis (restaurant with fabulous views of the lake but known for horrible food - most people just go for cocktails at sunset) and the LBJ Library, maybe by our 20th I'll have been to those :)

While we were having a wonderful date the kids were having a fun day with Miss Jenni. Here is the play they put on for us when we got home.



Jenn

Sixteen Already

Well, at least in months. Yep, Ruby and Eliza Claire are 16 months old. How did they get so big?



Ruby is walking. She has two teeth - one on the top and one on the bottom. She says dada, mama, uh-oh, all done, Eliza (Eeee), Grandma (ma), hi, bye-bye, please, cheese, shoes and thank you. Ruby is a very emotional girl and is very vocal in her opinions. She is either really happy, really mad or really sad. Those are her only three moods. She still doesn't have enough hair for a pony. She loves shoes and purses!


Eliza is walking on her knees - I told you she wasn't mine. She will take 6 or 7 steps this way and then start crawling or pull up on something. She cruises furniture but does not ever let go and just stand. She has 6.5 teeth (2 on the bottom, 4.5 on the top - the half tooth is part of one of her molars). Eliza loves food. And will eat pretty much anything. She is typically a very happy girl and very even tempered. She say dada, mama, hi, uh-oh, all done, bye-bye, Rehm (mmm) and I'm sure some other works I'm not remembering at the moment. She has lots of hair and thinks it is lots of fun to have her hair fixed.

The girls are really starting to enjoy each other and like to give each other hugs and kisses. They really look out for each other when they aren't fighting :)

video

video


October Pictures can be found here!
Happy Day,
Jenn

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Echolocation


Apparently I didn't give birth to twins but to dolphins!

Monday night Ruby got cold during the night and had Eliza Claire and both of her parents up for the better part of three hours. During that time every few minutes one of the girls would make a little noise and a few seconds later the other girl would make the same noise back. They were making sure the other one was there! Michael was sitting in the recliner with Ruby and I was in bed with Eliza Claire so they couldn't see each other.

Let me just clarify, the girls were not in our room for the entire three hours. Ruby would scream and scream. Then we would go get her. Then Eliza Claire would get up too. So we would sit up with them for about 15 minutes, while they practiced their echolocation. Then they would get squirmy. At that point we would decide to put them back in their room. Then they would cry. Then maybe they would go back to sleep or maybe the screaming would go on enough that we knew they weren't going to sleep. If they went back to sleep they would be back up in 15-30 minutes. Every time we got them up we would adjust something - turn off the fan, turn on the heat, give motrin in case it was teeth, offer milk.

Now can someone please tell Ruby to quit being such a princess and sleep. She can't sleep if she is too hot, can't sleep if too cold, can't sleep if too much noise, can't sleep if too quiet...This is NOT OK! I like my sleep and I'm sure Eliza Claire is getting fed up with being awakened by her sister screeching. Of course it doesn't help that the girls' room is small had has 4 windows in it. Which means their room is always hotter or colder than the rest of the house. If anyone has any suggestions I'd love to hear them.

I guess this is just one of the many "twin things" we will discover.
Jenn

Three Little Pumkins


All four of the kids are thrilled to have Halloween shirts. Here are my three girls in theirs - Rehm didn't have his on yesterday and was already at school.

I promise a more detailed update soon and more regular updates thereafter!
Jenn

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Happy Birthday Charlotte!


I know her birthday was 2 weeks ago. I was waiting until after her party to write about her birthday so I could include it too. Of course her party was a week ago. But both of the twins have had croup since then so I've been a little busy.


Charlotte woke up on her birthday so excited to be four. She said she felt just a little bit older that morning. Rehm kept trying to tell her she wasn't really four yet because she wasn't born until 5:00pm. Charlotte rushed through getting ready so she could go downstairs and open presents. She got a art desk and some furniture for her doll house. She also had really fun new shoes from her cousin Griffin. She insisted on wearing them to school even though they are not approved school footwear (we took other shoes to change into after she showed them to her teacher).


Then it was off to school with birthday cupcakes. And her Mommy and Daddy were both going to be co-oping at her school. Mommy had the 9-11 shift and Daddy had the 11-1 shift. Usually one parent would do the whole time but the twins had to be picked up from their class at 11 since they were still on their graduated schedule. Charlotte got a special birthday crown so everyone would know she was four!

That night for dinner Charlotte got to pick what she wanted for dinner. She decided she wanted Texadelphia. Michael and were pleased with her choice because it was one of the Kids Eat Free nights there. We did wonder if that made us bad parents since it was her birthday that we were so thrilled to not actually pay for her meal.

Charlotte's birthday party was the following Saturday at Chuck E. Cheese. She had a blast! She got to see her friends from school, plus a few dance friends and a few friends from the school she went to last year. Rehm was a little envious that she got to have a CEC party when he has never had a party there.

At Charlotte's annual checkup she measured 43.25 inches (97th percentile) and 45 pounds (95th percentile). She had to get three shots but she was as brave as she could be. She only cried a little bit. OK she was really quite dramatic and started whimpering anytime someone came in the room. And screamed when the started the shots. But she did calm down right away when they were all done.

At four here are some of Charlotte's favorite things:

Color: Pink

Food: Enchiladas

TV Show: Little Einsteins (This is a complete lie. She always refuses to watch this show. She really likes Pinky Dinky Doo, Max and Ruby, JoJo's Circus, and Sesame Street.)

Toy: The new rocking toys from Ikea (She does like these but her favorites right now are her art desk, her little tykes vanity, her doll house and Baby Caroline.)

Game: The Wiggles

Song: Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star and You are my Sunshine



Here is the Charlotte Birth to Four slide show. If you can't see this all of the pictures can be viewed here.

Happy Birthday sweet girl!
Jenn

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Football

I should be working. I should be straightening the house. I should be doing any number of things and if I'm going to blog it should be about Charlotte's birthday. But I'm going to talk about one of my biggest football pet peeves instead...

Hair! Yep your read that right, hair! If you are going to play football and have on that hot, tight, sweaty helmet, why in the world would you have long hair? I swear it seems like every time I look up during a game, I see some guy pull off his helmet and his hair will be longer than mine. Of course it is extremely gross looking at this point because it has been stuffed up in the helmet getting all funky. And how in the world do they get the helmet on with all that hair? And how do they keep all of that hair out of their faces? I just don't get it. It is just down right gross! Do they really think it looks good? Do they really think people see them on TV and say "Oh man, look at that guy's hair! Wow it is awesome! I want hair like that!?"

OK, just to clarify, I'm not a huge football fan. I don't come home and think "man, I can't wait to turn on some football!" But I'm married to a man that thinks there are 3 sports in this world. They are college football, spring training and recruiting. So I see a lot of nasty football hair because this time of year that is what is going to be on TV if I don't have control of the remote.

Yes, I do have other football pet peeves but I'll stop with just one today.

If I was going to wear a helmet that much I'd shave my head!
Jenn

Sunday, September 16, 2007

The Stuff Mart

We went to the Stuff Mart today - Ikea. This was our families first trip to the Stuff Mart. Appropriately as we are pulling into the parking lot the Veggie Tales song "The Stuff Mart" came on. The parking lot is huge and it was full. It took us a few minutes to find a parking space and then a few more to walk in the store.

My goodness! I who like shopping and was the one who wanted to go was totally overwhelmed. I could spend 24 hours straight in that store and still not know half of what is in there. It was complete overload for me. The twins were mesmerized. Their eyes were big and they were just staring. I'm sure it was the store and not the fact that it was 4 pm and they had not had a nap today. Now let me just say they were put down for a nap and chose not to sleep - I don't want you thinking I was a bad mom and not letting my 1 year olds nap. Charlotte and Rehm were in heaven. They both loved the store and can't wait to go back. Michael was the least impressed or phased by Stuff Mart. He did say they have to sell food because it takes so long to get out of the store.

I went to Stuff Mart for one reason. I wanted to buy some of their kid plates, cups and bowls. I didn't have enough plates and such now that the twins are eating real food and knew from friends that the ones at Stuff Mart were the perfect size and of course cheap. I have been wanting to go to Stuff Mart for months but have not found a good time to go. I finally decided I would just order them online and have them shipped since it didn't look like I would ever get there. Unfortunately when I went to the web site I discovered they were only available in the store! So if I wanted these items I had to go to the actual store to get them.

After we had been in the store 30 minutes and still had not seen the famed plates, bowls and cups I was starting to think they really weren't worth the effort. Alas we found them and a cute little rocking toy and after 15 more minutes of winding through the store were able to check out and leave. Now I do have to say we bought 12 plates, 12 bowls, 6 cups, and 2 rocking toys (they stack so storing 2 is as easy as storing one) and spent less than $30.



For those of you who don't have preschoolers the Stuff Mart is actually the subject of a veggie tales movie. It even has its very own title song. The moral point of the this Veggie Tales is contentment - that more stuff will not make us happier. The Stuff Mart is the store in the story that has everything. I really did feel like I was at Stuff Mart today.

As Veggie Tales put it "Happiness waits at the Stuff Mart...All you need is...lots...more...stuff!"
Jenn

PS I just spent 10 minutes on the Ikea website trying to find the rocking toy so I could add a link. I couldn't find it. It finally dawned on me that I have two of them and I own a digital camera, duh!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

The Blanket Fairy

Today at school Rehm's class read a book about the blanket fairy. Then they did a worksheet where they wrote what they wanted the blanket family to bring them (and drew a picture). Rehm's sheet says "I want $600.00" and the picture is several green rectangles. Obviously the all that money he wants. I'm sure most of the kids wanted a kitten or a puppy or some kind of new toy. Not my kid, he wants cold hard cash! And not just a little bit, but $600!

I asked him about the worksheet. It went something like this:

Me: Did you do this at school today?
Rehm: Yes.
Me: Did you read a book about the blanket fairy?
Rehm: Yes.
Me: So what did you want the blanket fairy to bring you?
Rehm: $600.00
Me: Why do you want $600.00?
Rehm: So I can buy a Wii for the family!
Me: Do you know what you do with the Wii?
Rehm: Yeah, you buy Wii games and play them.
Me: Do you know anyone with a Wii?
Rehm: Yeah, Seth and Kyle (boys in his class)
Me: Do either of them have older siblings.
Rehm: Yeah they both do.

Of course my first reaction when I saw his answer was, "how have I raised such a greedy child?" But then after he explained he wanted to buy something for the family I had to reconsider, but it's not like he wanted to give it to his favorite charity or something. If we actually had a Wii he would not like sharing it with his siblings I'm sure. When I called Michael to tell him about this his response was pure giddiness that someone else in the family also wants a Wii.

Ah joy, video games.
Jenn

PS I was going to scan the worksheet for everyone to see but I'm having technical difficulties and my tech support person is not available to help me out a the moment.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Charlotte's First Day of School



OK Charlotte was supposed start school last Wednesday, but she had a fever and couldn't go until Friday. On Friday I forgot to do the interview (oops), so we did it yesterday.



In her interview she talks about having music in my office. I have a desk in one end of a large classroom and that is where they have a little movement class everyday. She thinks it is very funny that she is in my office. There are 10 kids in her class - not six. Parents do help in the class most days. She is very excited that next week her Mommy and Daddy are going to help

Enjoy,
Jenn