Sunday, December 28, 2008

Wet kisses

Something I'd hoped I would never walk in on....Wyatt, standing over the toilet with a wet chin, wet hands, wet binky, and a BIG smile on his face! And to top it off, it happened twice in the same day! It's a good thing he's so dang cute...

Friday, December 26, 2008

A belated present to be shared with all :)

For Christmas I got John the Rabbid Rabbits game for our Wii. We played it Christmas night, and as I watched my honey groovin' to the tunes I could not stop laughing!! It is freaking HILARIOUS!! I love this game! The video is 3 minutes long, but seriously is worth the time it takes to download. I could not even hold the camera still I was laughing so hard! Enjoy!
video

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

What a difference a year makes!


Christmas 2007


Christmas 2008


I found this picture from our visit with Santa last year and I'm amazed at how much each one of our kids have changed in this last year. One thing is for sure, there's a lot less hair in our house! (although it is starting to grow back and look "normal" again).
Saige is succeeding in 1st grade. She LOVES to read the Magic Treehouse books and Junie B. Jones. Her teacher recently tested her on the second grade word list, and she already knew 93% of those words! She also loves crafty projects of any kind. Saige started taking Dance class and she became a Brownie scout. It's definitely been a big year for her! She continues to be a great big sister and is a good helper around the house too.
Micheala is succeeding in Kindergarten too. Last week she finally "got it"! The lightbulb finally came on! Most parent probably know what I mean by that. Micheala has learned all of her letters this last year, and letter sounds, but just wasn't quite getting that letters make up words. But the lightbulb came on and now she is learning how to spell all kinds of new words! We're so proud of her!
Mariah just started preschool about 2 months ago. She's very glad to be a "big kid". She takes every opportunity to tell you that she goes to school, has teachers, and a classroom, etc. She's very proud when she gets to do things by herself. Dress herself, brush her teeth herself, etc. She is definitely a 3 year with a 13 year old attitude at times, but a sweet girl too!
Wyatt also started preschool 2 months ago. He is making great progress at learning to sit for circle time, complete tasks, and participate in activities. It is definitely making a difference at home too. His attention span is MUCH better and he enjoys playing with others more.
Not much to report for John and I. John survived a round of layoffs at his work and we are greatful his job is secure. I'm still working weekends as a nurse and still loving it (most of the time).
We wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

A Rare Occasion

On Sunday we had a wonderful early Christmas with ALL of Mariah and Micheala's siblings (yep, 5 altogether). We went to their baby brother Ashtyn's foster family's home and met up with their other siblings Starla and Serria to celebrate an early Christmas. They very, very, rarely get to all be together in the same room, and have never been all together without it being some sort of supervised visitation with a family member, or in front of the judge when we go to court. It was so exciting to get to see them all together in a relaxed, fun environment. Thanks to Kimberly and Micheal, we had a wonderful time filled with great food, crafts, gifts, and even a visit from the real Santa. I'm not kidding...this guy was the real deal, beard and all! The reindeer must have been resting up before the big night because Santa pulled up in a PT Cruiser! The kids were in awe that Santa came to THEIR Christmas party! We had a great time!


Left to right: Serria (4), Micheala (5), Ashtyn (almost 1), Starla (7), Mariah (3, going on 13)

All together again!









Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Thank goodness for snowdays!

Upon hearing that school was getting let out a few hours early yesterday I drove through the slick snow to Target to get boots and snow pants galore! It's not often that we have enough snow to actually have some good old-fashioned "sledding/snowball fighting/snowman building/freeze your tail off in" .....fun! $150 later, we had an incredible afternoon filled with tears (Wyatt and Mariah wouldn't keep their gloves on, and didn't really like having their fingers frozen into popsicles), and cheers!



This is how Wyatt spent most of the time. He's not diggin' the snow yet!






My Angel! (The tears started shortly after this picture was taken).


Quick survey, how many times this month have you used the threat, "If you don't stop (fill in the blank), then I'm calling Santa. Am I the only one?

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Christmas chain

Saige has her own tradition that she MUST do every year...making a Christmas chain to keep track of the days until Christmas. The kids all had fun decorating each link in the chain, even Wyatt got in on the crafty action! By the way, anybody have suggestions for getting rid of "Binky Rash"? (Besides getting rid of the binky!) Wyatt's rash is getting pretty fierce now that winter has set in!






Saige's dance recital


Saige had her very first dance recital on Saturday. They danced to a song from the Nutcracker and did a great job! She is really enjoying dance and I have seen her self-confidence increase since she started this past fall. John repeatedly tells me he doesn't see the point of dance, he would much rather see her in t-ball, soccer, basketball, etc. We do those sports too, but there is just something special about little girls all dressed in tutu's! What can I say....it's a girl thing!




Friday, December 5, 2008

Christmas decorations are.....DONE!


We had some fun decorating the tree this year. The girls were posing by the tree that they are so proud of having decorated!

Lighting ceremony







Last weekend we decided to go to the Zona Rosa Christmas lighting ceremony. The kids had a hard time understanding exactly what a "lighting ceremony" was, but when we told them Santa would be there, they were excited to go! We had a great time, and boy do the lights make it look beautiful there! We also saw Mrs. Claus and the Snow Fairy Princess, very exciting night!


Thursday, December 4, 2008

HOLIDAY SHOPPING ALERT!

So, I was in the car the other day listening to the John Tesh radio show. Unusual...yes...but between songs he actually shares interesting, sometimes important information. A few days ago he mentioned a website www.retailmenot.com You know all those "coupon codes" you get emailed to you from the stores you shop online? This website has all of them! 10% off here, 20% off there, free shipping...etc. I checked it out and it is awesome! This could be a dangerous find for me. More reason to shop online! Just thought I would share this great find! Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

DDR Showdown!


What a fun Thanksgiving we had! My brother Peter and his wife Laura had a DDR Showdown, not sure who actually won. But I think Mariah gets the best dancing award of the night. This video shows her very kind cousin Savannah trying to tap the mat for her while Mariah danced in her own little world in the middle! Groovy moves!

video

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Micheala's day to shine!


We are so proud of Micheala for winning the "Caring" award this month! Her school focused on this character trait during the month of November, and then Micheala was chosen as the person in her classroom who best exhibited this quality. Congratulations Micheala!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Ode to the red car...




It was the end of an era this past week, we donated our trusty red Sentra to the Autism Society. Although some may have thought it was an eyesore (myself included), it did have a lot of memories. We bought that car almost ten years ago, a few months after we got married. It was the first car I ever owned. It took us on several trips to Utah and two trips to Florida. Even though it had 200,000 miles on it, it NEVER once broke down! John and I shared this car for several years including during the time we were students in Warrensburg. It has moved with us everywhere we've lived. Our first apartment by UMKC, our townhouse in Warrensburg, our lovely trailer in Warrensburg (yes I said trailer), a short stay at my parents home, our first home in NKC, and finally our current home here in Smithville. The paint may have been peeling off, the air conditioning no longer worked, there was some pretty significant rust developing, and it definitely had a "used car smell", but it still held a lot of memories for us. So many memories that I thought it deserved a post on our blog! Enjoy the pictures!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

First Day of Preschool







Today was Wyatt and Mariah's first day of Preschool. It is all Mariah has talked about for the last week. We traditionally take a picture of the kids by the front door on the first day of school (I don't know why, I just always have:). Wyatt was less than cooperative to stand by the door by himself as you can see! Their teachers said they both did great and both kids had big smiles on their faces when I picked them up. It was a good day!






Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Happy Birthday to Wyatt!

Our little baby turned two on Saturday! It's hard to believe it has been two years already. We celebrated Wyatt and John's birthdays at my parents house on Sunday(John turned 30-something on Monday). Wyatt loves his new toys, and so did all the cousins.


A trip down a smiley memory lane....




Yes, Wyatt came out smiling!



Smiling at about 3 months old...




Smiling at the zoo...









Smiling in the backyard (about 18 months old)...


And still smiling today...okay, maybe not in this picture, but I thought it was a cute picture anyway! He's adorable even when he's crying!


The top 5 things we love about Wyatt:



1) He makes us laugh every day

2) I burn way more calories chasing him than I could ever burn in any aerobics class!

3) He is curious about EVERYTHING!

4) He gives the best hugs!

5) He is so determined! When he wants something, he lets nothing stand in his way!




HAPPY BIRTHDAY WYATT!






Monday, November 3, 2008

Happy Halloween








We had a great halloween. Saige decided to be a witch, Micheala was a princess, Mariah was a bumblebee, and Wyatt was our wiggly pumpkin. What great weather we had! This was the best halloween in many years!

The weather was so warm that the all the kids in the neighborhood were playing outside all evening. Saige set up a table on our driveway and handed out candy from there.




Friday, October 10, 2008

I could listen to this all day!

Turn up the volume on your speakers and get ready to laugh! On the way back from the Pumpkin Patch today, Wyatt and Mariah were watching Open Season in the van and he was CRACKING UP! There are a few movies that he absolutely loses it on: Open Season, any Looney Tunes, and Ice Age. I always wonder, what is it exactly that his little 2 year old mind thinks is so funny? I really could listen to this giggle all day!

video

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Wyatt and his many hats







For some reason, Wyatt has a compulsion to always have something on his head. He has several hats around that he wears quite frequently. But when he can't find a hat, he uses whatever is available!


Thursday, October 2, 2008

Literal kids

Just a reminder of how kids' minds work. Everything is very literal! Before Saige's first Brownie Girl Scout meeting tonight I told her we may carpool with another mom in our neighborhood. Here's how the conversation went down:

Saige: Oh, so where are we going to go?
Me: To your Girls Scout meeting.
Saige: And we're going to swim there?
Me: No, carpooling is when you just share the driving to or from somewhere.
Saige: So we're not going to swim at Girl Scouts tonight?
Me: nope.
Saige: Are we going to a pool?
Me: No.
Saige: What are we going to do in the car again?
Me: Swim. (I gave up at that point!)

Then after her Brownie meeting she asked:
"When are we going to eat brownies there?"

Too cute!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

A Special Award



Every month at our Elementary school they focus on a different quality/character trait. This past month it was "Respect". At the end of the month they have an assembly that is centered around the trait of the month and a child from each class who exhibits that quality is given a special award. We are so proud that Saige received the "Respect" award! Way to go Saige!
(Just FYI, it was also pajama day at school. That's why they all look like they just rolled out of bed!)

Birthday Girl!



I have ignored my blog for far too long I know, but we've had a lot going on. Including Mariah's 3rd birthday! Yes, our littlest girl is now a big girl. In the weeks leading up to her birthday she kept saying, "I'm about to be bigger". She is definitely relishing in her new found "grown-upness"!


Wednesday, September 17, 2008

What do you think?


I always thought that the "leashes" they make for kids were so unusual, so cruel, so unnecessary. Then....I had a boy! I was at Babies R Us today and saw this "Kinderkord" product next to the leashes. It actually was developed by Joan Lunden who has two sets of twins ("Necessity is the mother of invention" is printed right on the box). I decided to buy it and try it out. I'm terrified though that the first time we use it in public we are going to get many disapproving stares from strangers. Stares that I'm sure I have given to many parents over the years when I've seen their children wearing the traditional kid leashes. How nieve I was!
This Kinderkord system has two wristbands, one for the parent and one for the child with a small retracting cord in between that extends to a maximum of 3 feet. It can easily be unlatched if we want to give him the freedom to go where he wants, but easily be latched again when it's not safe for him to wander.
We have gotten to the point that Wyatt knows how to wiggle out of any stroller harness, he knows how to wiggle out of the grocery cart harness, and he of course knows how to wiggle out of our arms if we try to carry him. Darn him being so smart!
I just thought I would see, have any of you every used a product like this? Did it help?

Friday, September 5, 2008

New piano, new haircut



Two new things this week...we bought a new piano which I am very excited about. We haven't owned one in several years, so my skills are a little weak. But honestly (and I'm totally not meaning to brag here) I've picked it up a lot faster than a thought. A little like riding a bike I guess, you never forget!


Wyatt also got a haircut. Although this is not his "first haircut", this is definitely the one that makes him look like a little boy rather than a baby. I think he looks sooooo handsome! Why do they have to grow up so fast!?

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Labor Day at the Zoo



We rarely have a whole day that we get to spend together as a family, so on Monday, we decided to make good use of the holiday and went to the KC Zoo. Although we had a great time, every time I go there I am reminded of why I don't really like to go to our zoo. Having been to such wonderful zoos like the St. Louis zoo and the Omaha Zoo (both of which are top notch) the KC zoo pales in comparison. And SeaWorld....forget about it! Who can compete with that!? I think my biggest complaint (and I'm sure many of you who have been will agree) is ALL THE WALKING! I should have worn a pedometer, but I'm guessing we walked somthing like 10 miles. That's 10 miles of walking up and down hills in 90 degree Midwestern freaking humid heat! That's 10 miles while either pushing a double stroller with 80+ pounds of "kid" in it or pulling a wagon with 80+ pounds of "kid" in it. Not easy, and my body hurts today.




I'll stop being so negative now, because we did enjoy much of it. Saige and I got to ride a camel which we had never done before. And I'm pretty certain that Mariah and Micheala had never been to a zoo before, so they had a great time getting to see animals we had only read about in books. All in all it was a great day.



Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Cheetalicious!

We watched the new "Cheetah Girls: One World" movie this past week. Micheala just couldn't stop dancing every time a new song came on. She's got some groovy moves, don't you think?! I love seeing my kids dance because they could care less what they look like, who's watching them, or whether or not they have any rhythm. They dance like nobody is looking!
video

Monday, August 25, 2008

An update

Just thought I would update you all, we are currently at a 50% success rate with the bus company. Still a failing grade, but after having such problems the first two days of school, it has certainly been nice that the second two days of school both of my children have been on the same bus and dropped of at the correct stop! Keep it up Coulter Bus Company!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

I need to vent!

Reference the post from a few days ago, what cute girls, setting out on their first day of school. How exciting. What anticipation! They innocently got on the bus that morning, fully trusting that they would then be dropped off in the same spot without incident that afternoon after a full day of learning and fun. At dismissal time on the first day of school, Micheala was placed on bus #10 instead of bus #1, a mistake by the bus company who added in a random zero on the bus sheet they sent to the school. Not a huge deal, she still got home, an hour later than she should have and on a different bus than Saige, but at least she got home safe and sound. After talking to the office and her teacher we thought it was all resolved.....so they get on the bus the second day of school after much reassurance from me that today would be better. They would both be on the same bus coming home and please make sure you are on bus #1 this time. Apparently, partway through the day Saige's teacher is notified that she is to ride bus #18 instead. Micheala gets no such note. So, AGAIN, they are placed on separate buses. Saige is let off at our bus stop.....but no Micheala! I stop the bus driver and explain that I am missing a kid. He radios bus #1 to make sure she is on that bus. The driver radios back that yes she is. She is then told that she need to be dropped off at Dublin and Killarney (our bus stop). The driver makes her move to the front of the bus, then proceeds to make her get out at a bus stop on the opposite side of our neighborhood!!! How did I find this out you ask?!? While waiting at our stop for bus #1 to come, a lady driving an SUV comes around the corner, looks in her backseat, then looks at me really oddly. She rolls down her window and says, "Do you know who this girl is?" I look in her backseat, and you guessed it, MICHEALA! She proceeds to tell me where she was dropped at and that she found Micheala running down the sidewalk crying, picked her up, and drove her around until she found us. Micheala does not know her phone number, doesn't know our address, and I don't even think she could point out our house to someone! Thank goodness she was picked up by a very nice, good samaritan.

So, the next two hours I spent on the phone with the school, the bus company, her teacher, and finally left a message at the superintendents office demanding a call back in the morning. I was FURIOUS!!! It takes a lot to get me to the point of yelling at someone, but I WAS FURIOUS! The bus company was very unsympathetic and unapologetic. I wanted to reach through the phone and strangle the lady! I actually thought (sorry if this shocks you mom), "I wish I knew how to cuss someone out, because I really want to, but I know it wouldn't come out right out of my mouth!" I was fired up, it took hours for me to calm down last night. And Micheala, she went right upstairs and played with Barbies all night. She is so sweet, and has a really short memory I guess, because she got on the bus just fine this morning.

So today I'm thinking, "Am I a fool for putting my children on the bus for the third day in a row considering all of the mistakes made the past two days?!" Unfortunately, I didn't really have a choice. To drop off and pick up kids at school you actually have to get out of the car, show photo ID, sign them out, etc, etc. And with two little ones in tow that often run opposite directions...I just can't do it. I have learned my lesson for next year though. My kids will NOT ride the bus the first week of school. NEVER, NEVER, NEVER, again.

This morning I spoke with the superintendant and relayed to him all of the above. Of anyone I talked to, he was the most sympathetic, apologetic, yet least responsible for the whole ordeal. I feel better now having voiced my concerns to him, and I have been guaranteed that they will be on the right bus today, and will be on the same bus. If not...............