Tiny Talk Tuesday

Not much to add for the week. Either my kids aren't that funny anymore or I'm forgetting the funny things they say (pretty sure it's the latter). I had to chuckle at this one conversation though that demonstrates a difference in the girls' personalities.

In the car going down the highway:
Kyra: Are we going fast?
Mom: Yes, we're going faster, but you can go faster on the highway.
Kyra: Are you being careful not to hit the other drivers?
Mom: Yes Kyra, I'm being careful (that's my cautious girl for ya).
Kyra: You also have to be careful not to hit the bigger puddles. You know that right?
Mom: Yes Kyra, I know.
Katie: GO Mommy, GO.....GO Mommy, GO!
(I guess I know which one to be worried about during drivers training)

If you want to read more Tiny Talk just visit Mary's.

Look, Smell, Taste

This weekend we had the kick off to our Bible Study group. We were new to the group last year and only had a couple of meetings before the year ended, so I was anticipating spending an afternoon with the group to get to know them better. When asked if I had the weekend free, I said sure! Then there was a pause in the conversation. What are we going to do to kick off the year I asked. She said, "ahh, what do you think about going on a wine tour? Would you be offended?" Offended? Oh, goodness. Is that what the lull in the conversation was for? Now I knew I was in the right group. What a fun way to kick off the year! And before any of you who don't know me well get the wrong picture, I am in no way a lush, but do enjoy the occasional evening of relaxing with a glass of wine.

Anyway, we had simply a wonderful day. The weather was sunny and warm, the leaves were starting to fall, and the group was full of laughs. We went to a place called Fenn Valley Winery. I was surprised to find out that the tour was free. We took a wagon ride out into the vineyard, tasted several types of grapes they use to make various wine. I have to say though, there was so much information, I didn't retain a lot of what the guide discussed (or was that just the wine?) I'll just say, making wine is quite the process. The sulfides, oxidization, what it takes to get the acidity out...the list goes on. It was very interesting though and I would highly recommend it to anyone.

After we left the winery, we went to Crane Orchards for some of their homemade food. They have delicious food. I had the chili and apple butter bread. Hmmmm...tastes of fall. Then we bought a pie to go and ate it at one of the couple's home. We got to know the people in our group quite a bit better (I think the wine helped!), so I was very glad for the opportunity to spend the afternoon with them. I think we are going to enjoy the year becoming closer to couples in our church. And of course it's nice to know that we have some common interests (shiraz anyone)!

Potty Talk

Okay, close to a month ago we took away Katie's binki. Which, gladly she has finally gotten to the point where she doesn't ask for everyday and does fall asleep without it. And with that being accomplished, I knew the next task would be to start potty training, I just had no idea how soon.

Kyra was potty trained pretty close to her 3rd birthday, and even at that I was the one nagging her about it all the time. She was never interested in learning, thus the several months we tried were a struggle (along with many unnecessary accidents on the floor....because I was bound and determined to have her in underwear even though she wasn't ready). So, with all that struggle I vowed I would wait for Katie to show interest before I pushed her (as long as her interest didn't spike until age 4!). And up until this point she has shown no interest. We've put her on the potty chair a few times just for kicks, but she's such a wiggle worm that she wouldn't sit still (kicking her legs every which way and bending her knees so she could put her feet on the rim of the potty). I was beginning to think when we started the training, we would have to call her the whiz kid for fear the potty wouldn't make it in the toilet! I have also been concerned to start training with her because of constipation issues, wondering if that would make her more scared to go.

Nevertheless, something in her brain triggered today. It was the funniest conversation really. Her speech has never been too clear, so unless your her mama or daddy it's often hard to understand some of the things she's saying (even I can't understand some of the time). Here's how the afternoon went.

During lunch at the table:
Katie: I poopy mommy.
Mom: Okay, just a minute and I'll change your diaper.
Katie: No, I POOPY mommy!
Mom: I know Katie, I'll be there in one minute.
Katie: MOMMY, I AM P O O P I N G! (with accentuation on the "ing")
Mom: Oh, do you need to go potty?
Katie: Yes.
Mom: (rather surprised that she was able to distinguish between tenses, I swooped her up and put her on the potty chair).
Katie: Go away mommy.
Mom: Are you sure?
Katie: Yes.
Mom: (I came back 10 minutes later, of course checking on her periodically making sure she didn't walk away or have her legs wiggling all about leaving a mess). Are you all done?
Katie: Yes.
Mom: (I check the chair, half expecting nothing, and yet found she had pooped and peed in the potty chair!) Yay Katie! Good job. I'm so proud of you. We'll have to go get a treat (she was going to have a brownie for lunch anyway).

I know that conversation was maybe a bit graphic and disgusting for some, but I couldn't have been prouder. I don't know if this will keep up, but I was so impressed she figured to do this all on her own, and was so persistent to ignore my lack of understanding her comment. She's a character that one and a keeper too.

Tiny Talk Tuesday

The short ones are chattin away this week. Here are some of the cute things they said (or have been saying):

While in the car:
Kyra: What does that sign mean?
Mom: What sign?
Kyra: The one with the deer on it.
Mom: It just means to be careful and watch out for deer crossing the street. There are lots of deer in this area and we wouldn't want to hit one would we?
Kyra: We eat them anyway (she said nonchalantly).

(Spoken by a true hunter's daughter. Forget the tender side here, we're focused on slappin some meat on the table!)

While in the car:
Kyra: Mom, look! That car is waving to me?
Mom: What car?
Kyra: That one! Hey those two cars are waving to me too!
Mom: (looking around to see what in the world she meant)
Kyra: Mom, almost all the cars are waving at me!!
Mom: (Then a light bulb struck. Ahhh...She was talking about windshield wipers.)

While looking for a parking spot:
Mom: Shoot, I can't find a single spot.
Kyra: Girl! Grab that one!
(You'd have thought she was just another girlfriend in the car. She's got my back.)

"Cue me" - Excuse me
"I bootiful mommy!" - I'm beautiful mommy
"Look, a quail!" - Look, a squirrel

For more Tiny Talk just visit Marys.

First Day of School

Well, she did it! Kyra began her first day of school. The past couple weeks I have been processing in my head how this day might go. I didn't think I would get all emotional, simply because I am typically not a very sentimental person (which sometimes leaves me with feelings of guilt because I think maybe I should feel more of a sense of loss for my first born to be leaving the egg nest and spreading her wings...alas more on that another day). I have been excited for her to meet new friends, learn new things, and gain more independence. But to be honest, I think my biggest worry has been getting everyone out the door in time for the 9:00 am class. I know to many that may not seem that early, but my girls are rather late risers and it is a struggle to even get to church on time (and that's with my hubby's help!) So, I laid out Kyra's clothes, set out her backpack and shoes, put the girls to bed on time, and set the alarm clock extra early.

Unfortunately, for what seemed like good planning to me, was still not enough. I was the last parent to drop off her child (and 2 minutes late at that). I don't know what happened! I used to be a very punctual person (before I had kids that is). I got up this morning at 6 am, worked out, dropped a quick email, took a shower, got the girls up 15 minutes early, fed them breakfast, got us dressed, brushed everyone's teeth, did all our hair, took a picture, let the dog out, and was late. I guess next time I'll have to eliminate the email (and of course I won't be taking a picture every morning too). It didn't help that the dog ran away or that Katie refused to eat her breakfast since I didn't let her wake up on her own either. So, we have a few kinks to work out, but all in all we made it.

And Kyra loved her first day. I knew she would. She made a crayon crown, made a new friend (the one with the green jacket...because she couldn't remember her name), read a book, and played on the playground. Because I was there a little early to pick her up, I was able to listen in on their closing time too. I had to chuckle because after their prayer time, the teacher asked if any of the kids had any questions. Kyra was the first to interject. "HEY teacher!" she yelled (that's my girl, such etiquette). "Are we going to the fire department tomorrow?" To which her teacher replied, "No Kyra, that's next month, and tomorrow we don't have school. We will meet again on Wednesday and then Friday." "Is today Friday?" said Kyra. "No, today is Monday, Friday is after Wednesday." "Oh." I love it. I had to chuckle out in the hallway. It's going to be a great year.

The terrible, no good, very good day

The hubs began the week by taking a class for a certain certification for work. That meant he would be gone from 5am to 10pm just about every day. And seeing as the girls and I are very blessed to see him every day, Kyra started going through a little withdrawal this week. Fortunately, he was able to do a double shift and take Friday off (yeah, a 3 day weekend in addition to the fact that the class was cancelled and he is done with that for the time being). Nevertheless we were looking forward to some good quality daddy time. Unfortunately that didn't happen. He ended up having to help his Dad with a project that has spilled over into 2 days of the 3 day weekend. To his defense, he has spent quite a bit of time with family lately and needed a break (not that this was really a break).

When I found out today that he had to spend part of the day helping his dad, and then later found out it was going to be more like the whole day....I pouted. Yep, I pouted like a little girl. I know, very adult of me. Maybe it was my attitude, but the day seemed to get worse and worse.

It started like this:
7:30am Got on the scale after eliminating desserts from my diet this week, and exercising 4 days this week only to not lose a single pound.
8:30 am Made healthy apple oatmeal muffins, ate one, and then the dog jumped on the counter and dropped them all over the floor.
9:30 am Tried to entertain two crabby girls who wanted to see their daddy or play outside, neither of which they could do because it has been raining cats and dogs.
10:30 am Realized one of the reasons Katie was cranky was because she had 102 degree fever.
11:30 am Took the laundry out of the wash only to find I had put a dark color in with the lights and had dyed half the load.
12:30 pm Found out the hubs wouldn't be back until close to midnight.
1:30 pm My recovering sciatica spasmed out again.
5:00 pm Made homemade pizza with a special request from Kyra to add no sausage. Then at 6pm neither of the girls felt like pizza and ate cereal instead while I ate pizza by myself (didn't feel like arguing with them).
6:30 pm Had a moment to fold laundry and thought about my day.

Then all of a sudden, God laid on my heart:
Sarah look how you've been blessed!
-You didn't GAIN weight this week
-You got to eat one of the muffins you made
-You have a warm home, that is dry, and shelter from the outside elements (unlike so many that have been displaced from their homes, families, and surroundings because of Hurricane Ike).
-Your daughter has a cold that will last a couple days, unlike so many families that have children in the hospital with cancer for months on end
-You have a husband that is normally home every day to talk to and share memories with. You have a friend and companion that is faithful and loves you very much
-You have two beautiful girls that normally try everything you give to them, and what's so bad about having a pizza to yourself!

I truly have been blessed. And when I think about so many people out there that are in crowded shelters waying out the storm and not knowing the condition of their home, I know that I have been blessed. I think of the general health of our family, when so many are deeply sick, and I know we are blessed. So, Lord thank you for putting my bad day in perspective.

Camping 101

This past weekend we decided to give camping a trial run. The hubs and I both grew up camping (him, in a trailer/me, in a tent), but neither of us have ventured out since we have had children. And seeing as how both our girls are at a tolerable age (aka: sleeping through the night, not grabbing everything in sight, able to follow basic rules), I thought it would go fairly well. Nevertheless, we did a trial run in our back yard. The girls did great too. Katie was a little excited, so it took about a half an hour before she actually settled down enough to stay in her sleeping bag, but she did sleep. So with that success it was off to a campground we would go!

Finding the campground was the tricky part. I remember my mom spending many hours looking through books from the library of different campgrounds. When she finally found what seemed to be the perfect one, she would call to make a reservation (and hope that all her siblings would be happy with her pick). Now of course, the internet makes it easy to take virtual tours and place a reservation online. However, I found with that convenience comes a price. Because everyone shops online, there are many people who make reservations 6 months in advance and race the hundreds of others who are in their pj's doing the same exact thing. With in minutes, popular weekends are booked. Needless to say, my lack of experience was evident. I had to call several campgrounds only to find they had been booked months ago.

Fortunately, we were flexible in our times and just picked a close private campground on a weekend after school started. We went to Hungry Horse campground. It was a 90 acre campground, that had themes for kids, trails, 3 playgrounds, and 2 pools. The lots were all wooded and the bath houses were very clean. We were very impressed. I would have liked to have been closer to a beach, but it was nice to have such a kid friendly campground when the girls are this young. And the girls couldn't have done better. They simply had a great time and didn't want to leave. They enjoyed being able to ride their bikes in the "street," and living next door to their cousin (oh wait we do live next door to their cousins! Okay, we lived even closer). Katie got her baby fix with her cousin being in the adjacent trailer. The girls loved playing with the flashlight in the tent. We enjoyed a hayride and fed horses. And of course had smores and hobo pies (not to mention the warm cup of coffee in the brisk morning breeze). The experience brought back many fond memories along with creating a few new. I loved watching the girls have fun with so many of the things I loved as a child while we camped.

This will definitely have to be more than a one time occasion. I forgot a few items, but now I know what we need for next year. Now, if I can just remember to make my reservations a little more advance next time.

Top Ten of the Summer

Well, summer (although still warm, with our scorching 90 some degrees out right now) is coming to an end. It seems that many fellow bloggers are getting back in routine mode and returning to that disciplined life style that is so imperative for the school year. Although Kyra hasn't begun school yet (and even when she does it will only be for 2 1/2 hours, 3 days a week), I am reluctantly accepting that summer is coming to an end and that I need to get my rear in gear and get my life in order. We have had such a wonderful summer, but bad habits have certainly set in. We have been eating ice cream almost every day, going to bed entirely too late (I don't think the girls ever went to bed before 9pm this whole summer), and staying in pj's till close to 10am on many days. So, while I have enjoyed the relaxed lifestyle, it is time to put it to bed and shape up. I want to get back to exercise, regular bed times, and a schedule of sorts (for cleaning, getting kids going on time, etc.) It's not going to be easy, but change is good, and I'm determined for it to happen.....tomorrow!

For now though, I would like to reflect on our top moments of summer.

1. Eating fresh veggies (corn being the best) from the garden
2. Relaxing at the beach with family/friends in the UP
3. Kyra catching her first fish
4. Vacationing with my family at the cottage
5. Eating at various ice cream shops in MI (my there are a ton)
6. Jumpin in the waves of Lake Michigan with my daughters
7. Picnics at the beach
8. Bike rides with the family
9. Party for my parent's 40th wedding anniversary
10. Bonfires at Tracie's house, with feet in the sand, and a wine glass in hand

We have truly been blessed to have had the opportunity to go on a couple of wonderful vacations, and be so close to so many wonderful beaches that the kids can enjoy. The girls have come to like the beach and lake more than ever. And the best part of summer has truly been to watch them laugh in the company of their little friends and cousins. It is a joy to watch them take in the essence of summer and love the gift of creation that God gave to us to enjoy.