Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Not THAT peanut

First two things:
1) We use correct names for our anatomy around here. No "hoo-hoo" or "weenie" or whatever - we call them by their proper names.
2) We don't tend to use "peanut" as a pet name - probably because Caris is deathly allergic so "peanut" doesn't seem all that endearing.

I changed Canaan's diaper the other day and once I was all done I said, "what's up, peanut?" Canaan looked at me for a second and said, "huh?" I repeated: "what's up, peanut?" He pointed to his diaper zone and said, "that one? Peanut?" I literally LOL, emphasis on loud.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Picture Overload

It's so heartwarming to see my Dad interacting with my daughter - like reclaiming a bit of my own childhood.

Oh my GOSH I love my kids. :*) We were leaving for my Dad's on Christmas Day in this picture. We looked high and low and couldn't find the shoes that went with Caris' dress so she wore boots. LOL

Have you ever played Mexican Train? It is FUN!

I was telling Graham this year that the year he was born, he was 3 weeks old on Christmas Day. That year, when we went to my in-laws' house, I laid him on their couch, put a big ol' santa hat on him, and snapped a picture with a throwaway camera. As I told him this, I wished I had kept up the tradition every year. Better late than never!

Caris, soooo sweet in the little church performance. The kindergarten class told the story of Jesus' birth, each child speaking a line. Caris' was "a King would be". So precious!

Canaan is one cute boy - but can you see his rascalian look here? This is the expression he has when he wants to do something he's not sure I'll let him do. "hold it?" "have it?" etc.

Weight Watchers week 4! Down 4.2 pounds this week for a total of 12 so far. 62 to go!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008


When my Grandma went to be with the Lord eight months ago, she left a hole here on Earth. We miss her so much. Sometimes it's the big things, like Christmas, and remembering all the ways she made it special. Other times it comes in a fleeting moment - just some small way she impacted my life. Some of these memories make me smile. Some make me laugh. Some bring stinging tears to my eyes.

Right after she died, I wondered to myself whether I would actually want to leave such a big hole. Would I want my kids and grandkids to miss me so desperately?

I realized something today, though. Yeah, my Grandma left a hole. A huge one. And when I think of her, sometimes I feel sad. But then there's this: impact. She didn't really leave a hole, did she? She taught us all so much through her love, her laughter, her way of doing life. In a big way, she made my Mom who she is - she made my sister and my brother and I who we are. Her ways have trickled down through three generations already.
That's not a hole. That's a life's purpose - fulfilled. Still, if I ask the Lord to hug my Grandma this Christmas season and tell her that I miss her hands, her sparkling eyes, her sweet words, her singing next to me in church, her juice in the morning, her green beans, her egg basket, her green thumb? If I ask Him to let her see me singing her lullabies to my children at night, to see me bouncing them the way she used to? I think it's ok to cry a little.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Fanatical Friday

Who's fanatical? What are we fanatical about? Is fanatical even a word? Anyway, here's our week in review:

Canaan wasn't sure about the big ol' tree in our living room at first. I'm sure he wondered what in the world we were up to now, and he didn't like the "sharp" feeling of the needles. We encouraged him that it's ok that there's a tree and it isn't really sharp, just a little poky, and he likes it now.

Here I am on Week 1 of this WW journey . . .
and here I am now, week 3, down 3.2 more pounds for a total of 7! Yay! My bodyguard back there is fierce-looking, isn't he?

Just - you know, toddler cuteness.

Caris was in a play this last week called Christmas Around the World and she represented Belgium: "Christmas breakfast in Belgium is a special sweet bread what's called coognoo. The shape is s'posed to be like the baby Jesus." How cute was she?? Oh my gosh. And by the way, my Mom - GORGEOUS!!

Canaan entertaining himself while he waited for the play to begin.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Squeamish Reptile Update

I wonder if there's a way for non-reptile-lovers to opt out of my reptile posts. I understand the need to not hear about them. I would not be housing reptiles if it weren't for the passion of my second-born son.

So last night was the opening night of Caris' Christmas play, and it was great. Totally delightful. Alif and the boys stayed home since they are all going to attend tonight's performance.

When I got home, Alif pulled me aside. He had some bad, bad news. Nancy had had an accident. I'm sure you can see where this is going. She has lost her tail. The accident was caused by a child. Let's just say that I had 10 points left to eat for the day and I was so not hungry.

Once I got Canaan to bed I signed on and did some research about gecko tail loss, and I found a lot of information. Apparently it's really, really common. I got tips on how to care for her and passed that along to the boys and they did exactly what I told them to do.

Poor Nancy. Who knew my heart could hurt so much for something so disgusting?

Friday, December 12, 2008

It's Friday Again

Warning, reptile pictures ahead. Ok, you've been warned!

Meet Nancy, so named after the Fancy Nancy books, since she's very colorful. Please, take my parenting advice here, ok? DO NOT GET YOUR CHILDREN REPTILES AS PETS. You see Nancy there - she's really cute. Do I want to hold her? No, I do not. But she's pretty cute to look at. Don't even let her cuteness fool you. Lizards = somewhat cute. Their food = DISGUSTING. I won't even go into it, to spare you the grief, but they eat live insects, ok? It's gross. So gross.
Here I am at the end of Week 1! I lost 4.6 pounds! Hip-hip-awaaaaay! They changed things up this week and now I have fewer points per day than I did last week, but it seems realistic to me and still pretty darn generous. I really did not feel deprived this last week at all, just like I needed to pay attention to what I was eating. I laughed today when I calculated the point value of these cookies I'd been eating all the time before I started WW and they are three points each. Ohhhh my gosh. LOL So ok, I look awful in this picture but there it is, week 1! Thank you for being so supportive of me!!

Last week when I dropped the kids off at enrichment classes, Caris' first period teacher pulled me aside. She was asking questions about her peanut allergy and the more I told her, the more uncomfortable she became. I don't blame her - Caris' allergy is very stressful. Bottom line, she asked if I would keep Caris with me during 1st period because it was a baking class and there was a lot of stuff with nuts. So after I walked her to her second class I grabbed this picture of Canaan with a sleigh on the museum grounds.

But during period 1, Caris, Canaan, Alif & I watched Graham's puppet show. It was so cute!! Here's Graham peeking out before the show started.

Oh - here's Miss Piggy, so named because though she's quite a lot smaller than Nancy, she can really EAT!! And that is all I will say about that. You're welcome.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

WW Day 3

I'm on day 3 of Weight Watchers!! DAY THREE! Go ahead and laugh but this is a major accomplishment, sister. I really cannot wait to weigh in on Friday, and if I haven't lost at least 2 pounds I will be one unhappy camper. Last time I did WW I lost 7 pounds the first week. I would be shocked to have that sort of loss this time since I get an extra 10 points a day for nursing. I will have to see how it goes - if I'm not losing like I want to (2 lbs a week) then I'll have to cut out the extra nursing-mom points. Graham's birthday party was a challenge. We served chips, soda, cake, ice cream, cookies and candy. Yeah babuy. I had some of the candy and a piece of cake, which cost me a total of 15 points. Not that bad for a special occasion.

Speaking of Graham's Birthday party, here's the main man himself!

He had a nice little party! I wrote up a shhhedule a couple years ago that gives each child a big party and a little party on alternating years. With four kids, one starts to feel a little guilty inviting all the friends and family over every couple months for a party. I thought it would be good to change it up a bit so there are usually only 2 big parties a year. So this was his little party, and it was just lovely. He collects nutcrackers, so he chose a nutcracker theme. Sure made my decorating job SUPER easy!!

And to top it off, he seriously received all the gifts he'd asked for. He's wanted a lizard for years, so we got him a setup and he got a couple pet store gift cards. Alif & the big boys are out now procuring the creature. I'm sooo excited. :-X He got not one but two cool watches, not one but two awesome nutcrackers, a guitar, a book that looks right up his alley, fabric to sew with, money for a camera - he is really a happy little guy today. And nine - I'm still in disbelief.

Friday, December 05, 2008

The Week in Review

Canaan rockin' the nerd glasses at Tony & Rabae's house for Thanksgiving dinner

Is it possible that Alif has boob envy after seeing me nurse our babies for the last 10.5 years? I have seen him trying to latch a baby on, after all - and not just once or twice, either. And let's not even wonder what my brother-in-law Tony is thinking here.

How happy do I look to have weighed in at a whopping 224 pounds at Weight Watchers today? Pretty dang happy, to be honest. It's my absolute highest ever, pregnant or not pregnant, and it's all down from here. My precious mother bought me a membership to Weight Watchers after we tried a TOPS meeting and it was less than motivational for us (though a very, VERY nice group of people). On our way to the meeting the kids were trying to get a picture of what it would be like, and Caris asked if it was going to be like Biggest Loser. I said it kind of would - I was thinking of weighing in, you know? And she said, "so will they drop you into water or anything?" I LOL and told her there wouldn't be any challenges or anything and explained what it would actually be like. It must have seemed pretty dull compared to Biggest Loser. My first goal is to lose 22 pounds - 10% of my body weight. That would put me below 200 which would be MOST motivational, I think. I will tell you that I sure have some bad habits to change. Last night I mentioned that to Alif and he asked what I meant. I said, "well, I'm used to eating whatever I want whenever I want - (laughing) I guess that's why I'm in this position to begin with." :-O Wish me luck!!

I just had to include this because it cracked me up. This is so not typical Caris! LOL

NINE (as of yesterday) year old Graham in the pajamas I made him yesterday.