Kyra Chat

The other day we were going to drop off some groceries to a church member who had just had twins. That church member also had a 3 1/2 year old boy that was in Kyra's Little Lamb class in Church. I told her we were going to his house and she left in a flash. Curious why she left so fast, I followed her into her room.

Mom: Kyra, what's wrong? Why did you leave so quickly?
Kyra: I have to find a dress to wear mom. Boys like it when you wear a dress.
(okay, we seriously have to stop watching princess movies)
After coming home from a dance lesson:
Kyra: Mom, guess what?
Mom: What?
Kyra: The teacher said for our dance recital, our mom's HAVE to put makeup on us. So this time when I ask, you have to do it.
(Of course, because her dance instructor knows best, right?)
And finally, at the park the other day Kyra and her sister were playing on the slide when some kids came along and started playing on the same slide. Because they were older girls, I thought Kyra would be intimidated and slide down right away to get away. But she just lingered there with the older kids. I'm guessing, there were two 12 year old girls, and an 8 year old girl. I just stood there, quietly watching the whole situation unfold. It's like I could see her wheels turning. It is so much fun to watch them, and wonder what their little minds are thinking about.

Anyway, after there was a pause in the girl's conversation, Kyra slowly walked over to the 8 year old and asked if she would be her friend!! Now, almost every time we go to a park, she is scouting out the vicinity for a friend to pal around with, but an 8 year old? That's pretty gutsy. No holds bar here. I started zoning in, waiting for the rejection, when the girl said "YES!" She mentioned that her name was Katie. "Oh, that's my little sister's name," Kyra remarked. And they headed out. Only with in moments the older two girls asked the 8 year old if she wanted to play tag. She said "yes," but they invited Kyra too. While I was thrilled that they were sweet enough to invite my little 3 year old girl, I was a little concerned how this would turn out. I told Kyra she didn't have to if she didn't want to, but she was determined. After a minute or so of beginning, two older boys joined in the fun. Kyra was clearly outnumbered by big kids.

The girls were so sweet to let her play and even guarded her, showing her where the safe zone was and summoning her to come close to them if the tagger was near by. When Kyra was finally tagged as "it," they even told her that she didn't have to be "it" if she didn't want to. But she said she would. Of course the event finally ended when one of the boys was tagged and he went full force for the meek little 3 year old. She after all was an easy target, and he wasn't about to have the grace and mercy of the older girls. He was in for the kill. The girls were yelling, "Kyra, RUN RUN RUN." She looked at the boy, she looked at the girls, she looked at me. And then she burst into tears. She was torn as to what to do, and this older kid game had finally met her match. For a short while, she had grown up in a matter of minutes, but that couldn't last forever. Because for the time being she is still my little girl. And thank goodness for that.

Heebie Jeebies

**warning, warning, content might give heebie jeebies**

Yesterday morning, I sat on the couch to watch the morning news, and grimaced at the TV as they commented on the frost advisory that was out for the the umpteenth time in May (yes, it is 3 days before June and we still have to cover our flowers for fear of frost. Actually, I think half of my flowers have died already. Crazy). Anyway, Rudy (our dog) stretched his way over to the couch to say his morning "hello." He leaned in for a scratch, and headed to the sliding door so he could be let out for his morning call. However, as I got up to let him outside, I noticed something at the base of his tale. It looked like a growth of some sort. I immediately sighed at the thought of a growth, because last year he had a growth that had to be surgically removed that cost us a pretty penny. And I certainly did not want to pay more money to have another skin tag removed on a DOG. What boggled me even more was that I hadn't even noticed it before, because it was a pretty good size.

I went ahead and started to prob it, only to realize it was just barely hanging on. I could practically pull it off myself, and he wouldn't even notice. Only, just before I did, I noticed something funny. That skin tag had LEGS! I immediately yanked my arm away, and did a little squeamish dance. I had been poking and probing a bug. I called the vet, and she said to bring him over right away, because it was most likely a tick. That thing was huge. Like the size of a beetle! I didn't even know we had tick's in our yard. I seriously couldn't get my skin to stop crawling. I would share a picture, but I didn't think most viewers would like to get a good look at my dog's rear end. However here is a picture from the net. The enlarged tick is close to the size of the one that was on poor Rudy.

So we went to the vet and Rudy had his little friend removed. They actually had to shave a spot on his tale to get to it. It was one of the bigger ones they had seen. So, of course they are sending it to somewhere like the DNR to get evaluated (and make sure there isn't any disease in it), but in the mean time I am supposed to monitor him for signs of infection. And to think I touched the thing without any gloves on. I felt like spraying the house with Lysol, taking a shower, there had to be something I could do to calm my nerves.

Anyway, today is a new day. I've calmed down a bit, and Rudy is no worse for the wear. I honestly don't think he even knew anything went on. Oh, the life of a dog, without worries, fears, or anxiety.

Katie - Spring 2008


Age: 2

Personality: Whimsical, full throttle, expressive, guarded, defiant, fearless, sly, playful


Food: Ham & Cheese Sandwich, CHIPS, French Fries, Carrots, Brocolli, Cereal, Bananas, Grapes, did I mention chips?
Songs: Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, Where is Thumbkin?, Jesus Loves Me, Baby Bumblebee, Pony Boy
Books: My Big Animal Book, Jamberry, Baby Cakes, Time for Bed
Movies: any Baby Einstein, Toddler Action Songs
TV Shows: Sesame Street
Games: Water WOW Doodle Book (painting), building towers w/legos or blocks, races with Kyra
Toys: Magna Doodle, Dolly, Stroller
Activities with Dad: riding on the 4 wheeler, playing at the park, reading
Activities with Mom: reading, cuddling


You are a determined little girl, who constantly wants her way right NOW. But with that, comes lots of hugs and slobbery kisses. You still love to cuddle (and what Mom wouldn't eat that up). In the past week, it seems like your vocabulary has exploded. You are speaking more clearly, and using more sentences to describe what you want and what is going on. It is a joy to hear your little voice. You love your big sister (for the most part), and often copy things she does. You adore little babies, and stop people with strollers just so you can see their baby. You are fairly social (saying hi to almost any stranger), but guarded if someone comes too close to something you hold dear (ie: dolly, swing, book). You love animals, and make sure to pet and give Rudy (our dog) treats every day. Your blue eyes still capture our hearts, and we love you dearly. You are our dear Katydid.

Love, Mommy and Daddy

Kyra - Spring 2008


Age: 3 1/2

Personality: Thoughtful, cautious,
prim and proper, independant, social, imaginative, inquisitive.


Food: PB&J, Pizza, Grilled Cheese, Mac & Cheese, Grapes, Canteloupe, Bananas, Cauliflower, Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream, and Oatmeal Teddy Grahams mixed with Raisins
Songs: Hail Hail to the New Born King, The Ants Go Marching Two By Two, I've Been Working on the Railroad, Little Cabin in the Woods, Bear is Now Asleep
Books: Duck and Goose, Enchanted Tales, Baby Tamer, Town & Home, When Sophie Gets Angry
Movies: The Little Mermaid, Homeward Bound, Bambi, Tarzan, Toddler Action Songs
TV Shows: Caillou, Super Why, Dragon Tales
Games: Memory, Little Pet Shop, Chutes and Ladders, Candy Land
Toys: Polly Pockets, Dress Up, Blocks, Play doh, Bike
Activities with Dad: Riding on the Tractor, helping in the Garden (as long as you don't get too dirty), Riding on the 4 Wheeler, walks
Activities with Mom: Coloring, painting, helping in the kitchen, computer games, tag you're it, red light/green light


You constantly have us in stitches with the funny things you say. You like trying to use big words (even if you don't always use them correctly). You always have a grin on your face. And you enjoy being outside more than ever right now. You seem to be well rounded, enjoying things from dancing to tee ball - dress up to frisbee. You test the limits with bed time, using every excuse in the book to prolong the inevitable. You are a beautiful, caring, and gentle individual and we love you oh so much,

Love, Mommy and Daddy

Friday Fun: Photobucket Meme

I saw this at Shortstops blog today and thought it was a fun Friday activity. So here's my version.

Here are the directions:

2. Type in the "answer" to each question in the search box.
3. Use only the first page!
4. Insert the picture on your blog.

1. What is your current relationshiop status?

2. What is your current mood?

3. What is your favorite movie?

4. Who is your favorite band/singer?

5. Where do you live?

6. Where do you work?

7. What do you look like?

8. What do you drive?

9. What is your favorite T.V. show?

10. Describe yourself.

11. What are you doing today?

12. What did you do last night?

13. What is your name?

Now wasn't that fun!

A Visit to My Hometown

As I mentioned, last week we traveled to Chicago to visit my parents for a 4 day stay. Although my family lives only a few hours away, I do miss them dearly, and cherish the trips I am able to take to their house. I began going solo when Kyra was just 3 weeks old. I would nurse her first thing in the morning, with the car already packed, and head to the big city, hoping that she would make it 3 hours before she would need to be fed again. After a few times there and back, I became quite confident traveling with a child. Soon after, there were two, which was a little more challenging, but still manageable (as long as I had a stash of binki's and snacks in the front seat). Although I enjoy visiting my family with my husband, he is only able to do weekends. Traveling alone allows me to stay for longer periods of time and also an opportunity for my hubs to get projects done at home (in other words time without kids and a wife to distract him from his love of farming!)

As we approach the school age, I am realizing that these cherished trips are going to become few and far between. Life is only going to get busier, so in reality this will probably be my last year to take longer trips to Chicago. So I try and pack it all in with my favorite restaurant, stores, and time chatting with my parents and siblings.

This trip included many of my favorites. We looked through many of my childhood pictures, sat up late watching movies (mom is the late night movie queen, and a shared passion), ate at Sweet Tomatoes (thanks Dad), went garage saling with my sis in-law and mom, shopped at Trader Joe's (LOVE that place), and went to Brookfield Zoo with my parents.

Although the day at the zoo was very cold, the girls still had a great time. There were several new baby animals, and playful ones too. The baby giraffe stayed close to it's mama, the camels were cuddly, the gorilla's were wrestling, and the polar bear tried unsuccessfully several times to get out of the water. Katie was pointing at everything, and is becoming more and more enamored with all of the animals. It is such a joy to watch them get so excited by simple activities. Yes, it was a great trip. Thank you, Mom and Dad for your hospitality.

A Zoo

The polar bears
so white and strong...
The spot neck giraffe
with a stance so long...
Monkey that swing
by their tails in trees...
The big grey elephant
with the wrinkled knees...
Let's take pictures
of one or two,
Oh, please,
let's go to the Zoo
-author unknown

Tiny Talk Tuesday

The little ones are chatting away this week, here are some of the cute things they said:

While waiting to ride on the tractor with her father:
Kyra: Mommy, don't get too close (with a bold tone).
Mom: How come?
Kyra: Because you could get hurt. You don't know how to drive a tractor. Only daddy's do. So, be careful and stay back.
(I guess she's right, because this mommy doesn't have a clue how to drive a tractor.)

After receiving a FREE mini smoothie from Starb*ucks:
Katie: Mmmm. I wuv moomies.
(And I especially love free moomies!)

While in the car:
Katie: Keeewa! (pause) Keewa! (pause)
Mom: Kyra, why aren't you talking to Katie?
Kyra: Moom, I can't talk. I'm not real. And people that aren't real, can't talk!
(oh, my mistake)

While at the kitchen table in Grandpa and Grandma's house:
Grandpa, say nap eez.
Grandpa: Nap eez. Do you want a nap ee?
Kyra: Grandpa, those aren't called nap eez... those are napkins! Silly Grandpa.
(this is an ongoing conversation between the grandkids and grandpa. And although it may not seem funny to most, I thought it should make the book since Kyra seems to bring it up EVERY time she sees her grandpa. She just thinks it's hilarious that he calls napkins..nap eez. Of course, he only does it for their sake.)

If you want to read more tiny talk just visit Mary's.

"Sending Out An S.O.S."

It was kind of an odd Mother's Day. I spent the last few days in Chicago. You could say the trip away was a little gift from my hubby. I was able to spend the day before Mother's Day with my Mom, and then planned to come home on Sunday so I could spend the special day with my hubby. You see, one of his gifts to me, were tickets to "The Police" concert. I was just a little excited, seeing as how "Sting" is one of my favorite singers. I know, I'm a lucky girl.

Anyway, the night before I left, Katie began to fuss and cough in her sleep. I woke up on Mother's Day only to find out she had a fever and seemed only to get worse. I quickly got in the van, and hoped for the best as I took the 3 1/2 hour trek home to Michigan. Fortunately she slept most of the way (something I was very thankful for, seeing as how she's not the best traveler and I was the lone caregiver in the car). I played out the rest of the day in my head. I would get home, eat lunch, unpack, shower, and prepare for the concert. Wouldn't it be nice if the scenes in our head matched reality? Riiigght. It went a little more like this:

1:00 PM Got home, hubby had made lunch, grocery shopped, and planted all my flower beds while I was gone as another Mother's Day gift (yeahh....he is good!).
1:20 PM Put a very cranky Katie on the couch to watch Baby Ein*stein, took her temperature, while she screamed her way through that- 103.3
1:30 PM Scarfed down lunch, while intermittenly going back and forth to bring drinks, binkies, blankies, etc. to a wimpery little girl.
2:00 PM Consulted the pediatrician as to what I should do, since she seemed short of breath. He said we should take her to a pediatric clinic that didn't open till 5pm (2 hours before our concert).
2:10 PM Contemplated what I should do, since our babysitter was both pregnant, and has a 17 month old. Figured we should give the kids to Grandma and Grandpa instead.
3:00 PM Took a shower, got ready, unpacked a little, sat a little in our new chairs that arrived while I was gone, packed kids pjs and snacks to go to G&G's.
4:30 PM Went to clinic, registered, and Katie vomits all over Dad (who by the way was dressed for the concert).
5:40 PM Doctor diagnosed her with Bronchitis and said she would be no longer contagious after Tuesday!
6:00 PM Made some phone calls to quick decide what to do (G&G don't need bronchitis). My hubs decides he'll stay home. I have to decide who to bring with me to the concert in the next 15 minutes. Two friends are 9 months pregnant, one works on the weekends, one lives 40 minutes away....there was only one friend left to ask (sorry Christy, almost called you). Fortunately, my brother in-law pulled through and said he'd be willing to deal with possible tossing of cookies, wheezing, and crankiness.
6:40 PM Went to 3 pharmacies to get antibiotics, they were all closed. We'll have to get it in the morning. Shot to fast food restaurant for Kyra, and headed out the door.
7:29 PM Arrived at the concert, with one minute to spare!!!!

How appropriate that the first song Sting sang was "Message in a Bottle" a.k.a - "SOS". I felt like I was the one in need of the S.O.S. But we made it. The concert was fabulous. I felt a little young in the crowd, after all I was really going to see Sting, not the whole band, but it was still fabulous. I felt quite guilty leaving our sick little one at home too, but what are you going to do? Sting/Katie/Sting/Katie. I think she forgave me today. And I had my day with her today filled with snuggles and hugs...a true mother's delight. Yes it was a memorable day.

Spring Walk

Last night was a beautiful night. It is one of the first nights of the spring season where the weather has been pleasant and I have had time to go for a walk on the bike path. One of my favorite things to do in the spring and summer is to go for an evening stroll. I love having the opportunity to get in a little exercise, reflect upon the happenings of the day, sometimes even pray as I walk. And every spring and summer since I have had children, this has been possible. I strap them both in, we sing songs, point at the foliage, and unwind our weary bones. It is both a great relaxing time for me, and bonding time between my daughters and I (and sometimes my hubby).

However, this spring I was curious how I would handle going on the path, when I have a 3 1/2 year old that just won't tolerate staying in a stroller anymore. Sure, we could just let her walk, but let's face it, those little legs just can't seem to keep up with my long legs. And while it is okay to go on a slow walk and make it 1/2 block every once in awhile, I wanted to go farther. I decided to see if she was up to taking a walk anyway, and she wondered if she could ride her bike. Immediately, I thought it was a bad option. Afterall, she doesn't know to stay on one side of the path, her whimsical personality could decide she is tired after a block, or she could become plain tired. But how was I to know, unless I took her for a trial run. So, we did!

My hubby explained to her that she had to stay to the right side of the path, and that we had to look out for roller bladers and bike riders both in front and in back of us. It took a few reminders in the beginning (because of course she forgot about the people behind her and kept thinking it was clear to ride in the middle), but she caught on quickly. Then we kept asking her if she was getting tired, because I sure didn't want to carry that bicycle back. The answer of course was always "no." Soon, we decided to start heading back, because even if she wasn't tired now, our venture back was going to take us as long as we had already gone. Before we knew it, we were back. And we had traveled 2 miles! That is quite a hike for a little girl. She was so proud of herself, and so was I. In her own words, "I am doing a great job Mom, I really am doing great. See I can do it!" Yes, you can, Kyra. You are certainly growing up fast.

And if that weren't enough, Kyra and her sister played at the park for 20 minutes immediately following our trek. Let's just say she slept well.

Tulip Time

This past weekend some friends from out of town visited, who wanted to attend Tulip Time in Holland, Michigan. Even though we live in Michigan, we have never visited the annual festival. We are either out of town, weather looks dreary, or just plain didn't want to deal with crowds. I know, excuses..excuses. Anyway, upon some rave reviews and coercing from our friends, we decided to go. The weather was supposed to be windy, mid 50's, with a possibility of rain in the afternoon, but we chanced it.

And boy were we glad we did. Although it was a little chilly, and our hair on more than one occasion whipped sharply in our faces (not that I'm complaining, no), we had a great time! The flowers were absolutely beautiful. I would look at a patch of tulips and tell my hubby that those were my favorites, until two minutes would pass and I would find a new favorite. We walked up and down the many streets and parks filled with tulips. There was also a craft show, along with Klompen dancers who danced in their wooden shoes every hour. Kyra enjoyed watching the people dance in their wooden shoes and Dutch garb. I'm surprised she didn't ask for a pair of the shoes, because she almost got up and danced with them. We proceed to have lunch at one of the concession stands, were we had a polish dog in one of the best buns EVER. It reminded me of the warm flat bread I had had once in New Mexico. They had a play area for the kids too, but we were nearing the end of our tour, and the kids had just about had enough (seems like 3 hours for little children is usually the limit). We will definitely have to go again next year.

Design Time Carnival

Design Inspiration Carnival Mary is hosting a design carnival, in which people can post pictures of their favorite designs, pictures, paint color, etc. in their home. I am not the most creative person out there, but we have been trying to update our living room a bit and have made some changes that I am pretty proud of. Eight years ago we moved into my the house my husband grew up in. It was outdated and had wood paneling in just about every single room. Therefore we have pretty much gone through every room and repainted and dry walled (it has the old lath board). We did that in the first few years of our marriage, however we never really decorated the walls. My hubby and I are pretty indecisive people and can't decide on what to put on the walls, hence we kept them blank. As of recently, I have been studying our rooms more closely and decided that we don't look fully moved in. So, we tackled the living room. The color isn't exactly what I love (neutral beige), but it works with the carpeting we have. So here are some of our recent updates:
New furniture. Actually, we are still waiting for the chairs, so the living room isn't completely done, but it's getting there.

Was this:

Now this (the tricky part being, to keep the dog off):

New wall hangings, where the wall was blank. We still want to put up a mirror and some shelves, but it's a big improvement.

And a valance on our bay window.

Was this:

Now this (I made the valance myself!):

It has been fun updating our room, and spicing things up a bit, but I am definitely glad that we are nearing the end, because I want to be outdoors to enjoy the warmer weather (although I guess I haven't missed much so far - seeing as though it's mostly been in the 50's this week). Have a great weekend everyone!