Thursday, May 31, 2007

Finally! Sea World!

We have been trying to go to Sea World for months. We were supposed to go over Spring Break but Michael had Pneumonia. We were supposed to go over Mother's Day weekend but Rehm had T-ball Play-offs. This past Saturday we finally made the trip, despite the weather forecast for a 90% chance of rain. Yes, we drove two hours to go somewhere outside when there was a 90% chance of rain. I know it sounds crazy but we already have season passes so even if the weather was miserable we would have only been out our gas money and time. And we knew as hard of a time as we had finding a time to go if we didn't go last weekend we wouldn't get there until August or September.

Grandma and Grandpa went with us. Grandpa thought we were crazy to go with the rain chance but was a good sport and went anyway. All the way to Sea World every time we would run into rain Michael or I would say "I bet Grandpa is pointing this out to Grandma" and every time the rain would stop we would say "I bet Grandma has mentioned that the rain has stopped."

By the time we arrived it was overcast but not raining. So we went to the rest room, bought tickets, sun screened everyone, got a map and started making plans. The first stop was the Steel Eel. Yes I said the Steel Eel. Rehm had discovered that he was tall enough to ride it and he wanted to do that first. Michael and I both decided to ride with him. He sat next to Michael and I sat behind them. I was OK with the fact we were letting him ride a big roller coaster until we crested the first hill. Then I thought, "what were you thinking? This ride scares you and you let your six year old get on it! If he freaks out there is nothing you can do, he has to ride the whole thing!"

Luckily, while a little scared by the whole experience Rehm seemed to enjoy the ride. Not enough to ride it a second time but he was smiling when he got off and very proud of the fact that "he" had ridden the Steel Eel!

I, on the other hand, decided that maybe we really weren't responsible enough parents to have 4 children. What were we thinking? The rollercoaster has a 15 story drop and goes approximately 65 mph! And we put our six year old on it! Maybe not our best parenting decision.

After the Steel Eel we took Charlotte to ride the Texas Splashdown. Then we went to the Shamu show. After lunch we checked out Viva. Then Michael took the kids to ride the Texas Splashdown again and Dallas, Helene, the twins and I went to see the Cannery Row Capers. Following that Charlotte rode the Shamu Express with Michael while the rest of us went to the shark aquarium. We all met back up at the Touch and Feed Dolphins. Then it was time to go.

Our favorite show was definitely the Viva show (known as the Silly Man Show at our house). It was great as always.

Click on the picture and you can see the dolphin in mid air

Everyone had a fun day and Grandma and Grandpa decided to upgrade their tickets to a season pass so they could go back with us in the fall. I'm thinking this is to make sure we don't do anything stupid like let our six year old ride inappropriate rides.

Off to try to be a little more responsible,

PS I've updated the May pictures to include our Sea World trip.

Eleven Months

Ruby: Weighs 21.5 lbs, crawling army style, pulling up on everything, says "uh, oh," "hi," signs "all done," "more," climbs stairs, plays "so big," waves, claps plays "where's the monster."

Eliza: Weighs 23 lbs, crawling on all fours, pulling up to knees, says "hi," "mama," signs "all done," has two teeth, plays "so big," gives bonks, claps with one hand on her leg, plays
"where's the monster."

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Oh Boy, Now the Fun Begins!

I was working on the computer a few minutes ago when Charlotte calls me to say that Ruby is on the stairs. When I get in the living room she is on the fifth stair! Yikes! I sat behind her to catch her if she fell and she made it all the way to the top. Way to go Ruby.

I don't have pictures yet as I couldn't leave her to go get the camera for fear she would fall. I did however think about possibly getting it and decided it wasn't a good idea. So hopefully soon I'll have my camera handy when she decides to go for a climb.


Where Did Those Come From?

Sunday morning Eliza Claire and I were playing. She put something in her mouth off the floor and I went to fish it out. (Now I do have to say this child finds anything and everything on the floor. No matter how small she will find it and it will go in her mouth! ) Guess what I found? Two bottom teeth! Where did those come from? She hadn't drooled, fussed or had any swollen gums. Just all the sudden two teeth. She really is going to be my child that does everything different!

Sorry no pictures yet. She isn't quite ready to debut her new pearly whites.
Way to go Eliza Claire,

Thursday, May 24, 2007

School's almost out!

Rehm on the first day of school

Rehm at the end of the school year

I can't believe that tomorrow school will be out for the year. Wow, our first year of big school is over. What a great year it has been. Rehm had the best teacher in the world. I just don't know how she did it everyday. What a big job to have.

Here are some things Rehm has learned how to do over the course of the year.


Tie his shoes

Walk to school by himself (though we don't let him - someone always follows him)

Addition and subtraction

Writing and sentence structure. He is all about punctuation.

Lose teeth

He has made lots of friends and learned how to do lots of things for himself. I just can't believe how much he has grown this year and how much he loves school. He is very sad that it is time for summer. I think he is going to miss his teacher.

We went this afternoon for a presentation by his class. The kids got their teacher a plaque with their class picture and all their signatures on it. This was her first year teaching. She cried when they gave it to her. I did too. I really love this woman and really felt like God purposely put her in our families life this year. I will miss her so much next year. I guess the good news is I have three more kids who will go to kindergarten so we have a chance to have her for a teacher again.

Here is Rehm's part of the presentation from this afternoon. I'm sorry it is sideways. Not sure how I managed that but I can't get it to flip.


Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Ah, the Grocery Store

The grocery store had gotten easy, very managable, even enjoyable. And now preschool is out.

When we got to the store Ruby and Eliza were asleep. I thought if I got the stroller out then maybe they would go back to sleep in it. No luck. Of course having the stroller means I have to do the old push the stroller, pull the cart routine. And having Charlotte with me meant finding a place for her. We decided to use the buggy board (it attaches to the back of the stroller and gives her a place to ride).

What I forgot until we were in the store is I can't push the stroller one handed when Charlotte is on the buggy board. The stroller is too heavy. But I must push the stroller one handed or I can't pull the cart. I muscled through for a while and then Charlotte decided she wanted to ride in the cart. Much better. But of course then she had to go to the bathroom and we were on the other end of the store. Then she wanted out of the cart but wouldn't stay with me. And then she wanted to know if we were done yet. And then she had to go potty AGAIN!

We made it, got everything we needed and I managed to get home with all three girls.

And next week, Rehm will get to go to the store too! Oh joy, I'm so excited I don't know if I can wait till next week! Won't that be so much fun? Hmm maybe I won't need to go next week. I bought a whole lot this week...

Happy Shopping,

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Whose Child is This?

Because she sure can't possibly be mine. You see my children don't crawl like normal children, they army crawl. They do this for months and months and ruin all their clothes while cleaning my floors. Then maybe around the time they figure out how to walk they'll get up on their knees and crawl.

Eliza must have been switched at the hospital. She army crawled backwards but she started crawling forward on all fours, no army crawl! What is up with that? Hmm, she looks too much like the rest of us to have been switched in the hospital, what could it be? Ah ha, she is making sure to stand out from the group. So she is going to be my kid that has to be different. Or maybe she knows how frustrating I find all those dirty shirts and she is just being helpful. Whatever it is it sure is cute to see her crawling around and she sure is proud of herself.


Monday, May 21, 2007

Ruby's New Trick

Ah the joy of two babies. Here is Ruby's new trick. She crawls over to Eliza Claire, pulls her hair and then sits up, claps and says "yeah!" Of course Eliza Claire cries and cries. So what does Ruby do? Goes over and does it again!

Off to referee,

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Rehm and the Rhinoceros Beetle

A couple of months ago Rehm came home and said he wanted to look at insects on the computer. He informed us that he needed to decide what his favorite was for Quest. He and his daddy looked and he decided his two favorites were the Giraffe Beetle and the Rhinoceros Beetle. He finally picked the Rhinoceros as his most favorite. So he printed a couple of pictures of the Rhinoceros Beetle to take to school to show his Quest teacher.

For several weeks nothing was mentioned about the beetle. Then Rehm came home one day and informed us he needed to make a beetle out of stuff found around the house. And he needed to take his materials to school the next day so they could start working on them. Oh boy! Of course we had t-ball practice or What-A-Wednesday and choir or something that night.

We decided he could make the beetle out of a soda bottle, straws, and a funnel. Of course we had none of these things actually at home so Michael had to do a 9pm grocery run. But Rehm went to school the next day with all the stuff he needed to make his bug. I was glad he was making the bug at school as it kept me from micromanaging the process as I'm sure I would have done if he had made it at home.

A week or so later his teacher sent home a sheet of facts about the beetle that he needed to learn for his presentation on the bug. We worked really hard and he learned all of his facts.

For the presentation they invited three kindergarten classes and parents to attend. There were four students giving presentations. Rehm did a great job! He told everyone all of his facts and only had to ask the teacher one question. He even personalized the presentation by telling everyone that if he were a rhinoceros beetle he would be able to lift a whale shark! His whole class laughed as they are all used to Rehm's love of the ocean.

The other presentations that day were for a lady bug, tarantula and black widow. All the kids really did a great job.

I videoed the presentation (while holding a baby and Charlotte and trying to keep the other baby from pulling a little girl's hair) but have not been able to figure out how to get the file size small enough to upload it to the blog. I'm still working on it.

The beetle is now living on top of Rehm's book case.


The Princess Show

Was it magical? Was it spectacular? Was it amazing? Yes! Yes! Yes! Especially if you were three and a half and in love with all things princess. Charlotte and three of her princess friends went to Disney on Ice - Princess Wishes Sunday. Before the show all the friends had to dress up in their princess costumes, complete with their high heels and get their make up done.

Then it was off to the show to see all of their favorite princesses while eating popcorn and cotton candy. The show really was well done and featured 7 different Disney princesses.

There were fun special effects including a dragon that really breathed fire (which scared Charlotte) and fireworks at the end. Fun was had by all.

Do I sometimes get concerned that Charlotte is obsessed with the Disney princesses and dressing up in the most sprarkly outfits she can find (complete with jewlry)? Of course. But you know girls will be girls and no one forced Charlotte to play dress up or like princess movies, she came that way. For all her girliness she is one smart girl who knows what she wants and stands up for herself. So at the end of the day I think she'll turn out just fine. Well assuming her father and I don't scar her for life.

And they lived happily ever after,

PS I've added more pictures to our picasa web album.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Doesn't this Look Comfy?

This is how I found Eliza Claire in her crib today during nap time. This is actually the second time today I found her this way. I don't think I could even get my body in this position much less stay in it for a nap! Silly, silly girl!

Eliza has gotten really good at getting to sitting from laying down but apparently has a little trouble doing the reverse. So when she sits up in her crib I think she plays until she literally falls face forward and goes to sleep.

It sure doesn't look comfy to me but she slept this way for over an hour this afternoon and would have slept longer if I hadn't had to wake her to go pick up Ruby's prescription.

Tomorrow I promise to post pictures of Charlotte from Disney on Ice - Princess Wishes.

Happy Sleeping,

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Mother's Day - What is really means

Traditionally, my family celebrates Mother's Day on Saturday and then celebrate with Michael's mom on Sunday. This year was no different.

We were originally planning a trip to Sea World for the day but Rehm's T-ball team had playoffs today and we couldn't miss those. So hopefully we will get to Sea World soon. It seems every time we plan a trip something comes up to cancel it.

Michael wanted to know what I wanted to do.For some reason continuing to tell him I wanted to go to Sea World didn't seem helpful to him. Finally I told him I wanted to go out to breakfast as a family before the T-ball craziness started. So we went to Kerbey Lane and it was yummy as always.

After Kerbey Lane we went to check out the new swim center where Rehm and Charlotte will have swim lessons. They received their swim suits and caps, which of course they both wanted to try on immediately.

Charlotte modeling her new swim gear

After a few hours at home it was time for T-ball. If we won our game then we didn't play again until Monday, if we lost we had another game immediately following the first. Of course we ended up losing. Unfortunately we thought we were winning but then the scorekeepers for both teams huddled and found that the other team really had one more run than the umpire thought and that made us lose the game.

Charlotte during the first game

We won our second game of the day. There was some drama in one inning when it looked like the other team was going to make a triple play. However, one of the coaches from the other team interfered in the play so our team only ended up with one out instead of three. Whew! Rehm batted in the winning run! He thought that was very cool. The boys were thrilled but that meant we had to play a third game today! Yikes three games in one day with six year olds!

We had a two hour break so we went to grab some dinner. Apparently we forgot to feed the kids lunch! I guess it is a good thing they had a big breakfast! At dinner Rehm got too much mozzarella stick in his mouth which made him gag, which made him spit it all out in my hand! Yep, the joys of being a mother :)

Then back to the field to play the third game. Unfortunately we were all tired and they just couldn't pull it off. We lost. The boys were sad. The parents were sad, but also kind of glad they wouldn't have to come back Monday and possibly Wednesday for more games. So the season is officially over for us. I think Rehm had a great time playing and will want to play again next year. And apparently, I don't dislike T-ball and baseball as much as I thought. Surprisingly, I really enjoyed the season. Now granted there are still times that I think they all take it a little to seriously...

So apparently the pampering mother's on TV commercials enjoy on Mother's Day is a TV myth. At my house Mother's Day looks a lot like any other day. And you know I wouldn't have it any other way!

Today was the perfect Mother's Day as I got to spend it with my kids having fun! (OK so the dinner incident wasn't really fun, but hey I think getting thrown up on and peed on were in the job description so who am I to complain? Oh wait, no one shows you the job description! Hmm. I think there is a conspiracy out there...)

I am just so blessed to be the mom of five wonderful children! And so thankful that I get to watch four of them grow.

Happy Mother's Day,

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Funny Faces

Eliza Claire posing for a picture. She really doesn't like flashes!

Eliza Claire's first up-do. Her hair was in her eyes so I decided it was time for a pony.

Rehm in one of his many "sleeping hats" Cici has made for him. I think he looks like one of the Seven Dwarfs. Any guesses on which one?

Ruby being happy, smiley Ruby

Rehm trying to show off his lost tooth.

Charlotte in her cradle that Papa made when I was a little girl

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Chain Foot

I decided I have made you wait long enough. I'll tell the story of chain foot. If you are family or friends you have probably already heard this story as it is one of my favorite growing up on a farm stories. Remember, I was probably four when this happened, so I'm telling it 30 years later (read I don't remember all the details) and from a four year olds perspective.

Chain Foot was our pet chicken for a short while. She lived at my grandparents house. No one intended to have a pet chicken. You see Chain Foot found us. She some how got her foot caught on a chain on a truck (this is where I'm really unclear and don't remember the details so bear with me) coming from another city about 7 miles away. She got rescued at my grandmother's. Me, my sister and two cousins thought the chicken was the coolest thing ever. So we decided we should keep her and that she needed a name. Low and behold Chain Foot seemed to be the perfect name.

Now I'm not sure why my grandparents agreed to keep the chicken. They had raised chickens and had an egg delivery business several years earlier but didn't currently have any chickens. And they weren't the type to indulge their grandchildren. So I can't say why we got to keep her.

Of course we thought she was the best pet ever and she would follow us around like a dog would and I guess let us play with her. I don't know how long we had Chain Foot. I'm guessing a couple of weeks to a month, maybe two months tops.

So my family has a tradition that everyone goes to Granny and Papa's every Sunday for Sunday Lunch. So one Sunday we go to Granny's and she had fixed one of all the kids favorites! Chicken and Dumplings! Yum! We all loved chicken and dumplings. So we all ate with our usual kid gusto and after dessert went outside to play. Unfortunately we couldn't find Chain Foot and wanted to play with her. So we got the bright idea to go ask Granny if she knew where Chain Foot was. Granny's response, "You ate 'em for lunch!"

Yes ladies and gentlemen, Granny killed Chain Foot and cooked her up and served her for lunch! Yes, tears ensued. We were very, very sad. And also quite mad that Granny would kill our beloved pet. Apparently Chain Foot was making a mess in Granny's flower gardens and she got tired of it. So off with the chicken's head!

All of the kids refused to eat chicken and dumplings for so long that Granny quit making them. In fact, I heard that she actually made them last weekend and my sister still wouldn't eat them because they "might be someone she knew!" And to this day I'll only eat chicken and dumplings I make, and I've only ever made them once.

So if you have a pet chicken you better watch out or it may end up being lunch!

PS Does it surprise you to learn that I named my daughter after a chicken killer?

Monday, May 07, 2007

How to make Chicken

Today was a crazy day. Ruby and Eliza Claire had to go to the doctor, then Charlotte had to go to dance. So we stopped at Sonic to grab lunch in between. As Charlotte was eating her chicken strips the following conversation took place.

Charlotte: Mommy, how do you make chicken?

Me: (OK what do I tell her, do I tell her you have to kill it? Do I not tell her? I grew up on a farm. I knew you killed things to eat them by this age. This is about the age I was when the Chain Foot incident occurred and it wasn't nearly this gentle of an introduction. She has to learn it sooner or later.) Charlotte, I'm not sure how to answer that question.

Charlotte: How do you make chicken?

Me: (Here goes.) OK Charlotte, chicken comes from the chicks that hatch from the eggs that grow up to be the big chickens that say "cluck, cluck." You have to kill the chicken and then you cut it up and cook it. (Cringe. How is that going to go over?)

Charlotte: Mommy it is not nice to kill things! You can't kill the chickens that will make the farmer very mad! They are his chickens!

Me: Charlotte there are only two reasons the farmer has chickens, to get eggs from them and to kill them to eat.

Charlotte didn't respond to that. I think that was about the time we arrived and dance and she got distracted. She did finish eating her chicken so obviously I didn't scar her too badly.

Cluck, Cluck,

Thursday, May 03, 2007

I Don't Like Corn in My Peanut Butter!

Apparently Charlotte didn't like her lunch today. When I picked her up from school her teacher informed me that she refused to eat her lunch because she didn't like "corn in her peanut butter!"

Michael packed her lunch last night and made her peanut butter sandwich with chunky peanut butter. It appears that Charlotte had never had chunky peanut butter and decided that the chucks were corn and well she didn't like corn in her peanut butter! Of course her teachers tried to explain that the chucks were peanuts in her peanut butter but she was having none of it! Literally!

Not only did she tell her teachers about her preferences she also had to inform me and later her father. So if you are ever making Charlotte lunch, don't put corn in her peanut butter!

Off to make lunches for tomorrow - no corn please,

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Michael's Trip to Singapore

Michael left for Singapore on March 13th and returned on the 28th.

The kids had lots of questions about where it was, what language they spoke, what it would look like, etc. Of course Michael got their globes out and showed them where it was and told them as much as he knew about the place.

Charlotte wanted to know, "Who is going to take care of us? One parent is NOT enough. We need two people taking care of us."

I have to admit I wondered the same thing. Who was going to take care of them. One parent was not enough! Luckily Grandma and Grandpa are awesome! They helped keep me sane and made sure everyone got everywhere they were supposed to. And then there was Miss Jenni. She came over 4 times to allow me a break and for me to go out to dinner with friends. She is wonderful and all four kids love her so much.

Of course both the little girls got sick while Daddy was gone. And of course Charlotte didn't sleep well. But overall it went well and we all survived!

One of the biggest challenges was the time difference. Singapore is 13 hours ahead of Texas. So of course the two times of day that were even possible to talk were bedtime or before breakfast. Of course these are the two worst times of day as they are the most hectic. We used skype to call each other which was great! Gotta love being able to talk to each other on the other side of the world for free! One day Michael called on the phone. Rehm was shocked! "I didn't know you could call from Singapore on the telephone! I thought you could only use the computer!"

Michael connected in Tokyo both directions. Rehm kept asking when Daddy would get to "Kentucky." I kept saying "he isn't going Kentucky." Then he would say "I mean Kentuckyo." At which point I would say "Oh you mean Tokyo!"

Charlotte called Singapore, "Seen-a-pork" or "Soon-a-pork."

Everyone was very happy to see Michael when he returned. And I think he was happy to be home. Now hopefully he'll write a bit about his actual time there.

Here are pictures he took while in Singapore. There are no captions yet so you kind of have to guess at what you are seeing. Enjoy