Sunday, March 28, 2010

Rockin' the Ivy

Laura and I made some good progress this week. This is a different area that we had working on previously. Two more weeks of this much progress and we will be about half done. I'm a little discouraged because the brush pile is enormous. We need to rent a chipper. Burning is too slow and we don't have a pickup to haul it away. It feels like I am cleaning up one mess just to make another big mess. I guess that is how progress works.

Friday, March 26, 2010

This Hat

Grandad's fishing and gardening hat. It lived by the lawnmower in the garage and Josiah loves it. On Wednesday he carried it around all day. When we left Grandad's house, he wasn't feeling very well so Grandad let him bring it home. On Thursday Josiah wore it all day--inside and outside. It even went to bed with him. On Friday it was still alternately worn and carried around all day. But it has now been loved to pieces. There was already a hole worn in the top, but now there is a big hole and it pretty well falls around his neck when he puts it on. It doesn't seem to matter to him. It is right beside him in his crib tonight.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Air Head

I decided that Josiah needed a few more short sleeve shirts for the summer. Very inexpensive shirts that can get outrageously dirty. I picked up 3 during our weekly trip to Wal-Mart for groceries. I brought them home and put them up on Josiah's dresser. The next day I looked at them. Apparently for the first time. Two of the shirts were size 12 months and one shirt was 5T! Neither of those sizes is the size that Josiah wears! Being the efficient shopper that I am, I picked up the top shirt on the pile instead of looking at the size. Style and color was literally everything in this case! I exchanged them for the proper size and all is well. It is certainly a good thing my head is attached.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Laura is Awesome!

I've mentioned the ivy project that I've taken on. It is a really ridiculous project to even attempt to tackle. Laura boosted my spirits by helping me twice this week! We only worked for an hour each time so I think we made pretty good progress for that amount of time.

The first picture is very early in the project. The strip of ground that looks deader than the rest is what I had already pulled back (all the way to the road).
This is our progress on the first day of Laura and I working together. It was pretty easy to pull up. We soon found out that this was an area of newer growth.

This is what we did today. At times we weren't sure if we were trying to pull up tree roots or ivy roots. The vines were HUGE! We ended up starting at the tree and working our way to the front. We became determined to make a path and that's what we did. It was enough for one day!We/I will keep working on it!

Friday, March 19, 2010

At Long Last

finally, Finally, FINALLY,

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

A Wonderful Day to be Alive

I'm not sure it was exactly warm enough to be barefoot, but nonetheless, Aliza and Josiah shed their boots and coats and played in the mud. They played and played. Aliza walked over to Josiah and gave him a big hug out of the blue which he returned with a kiss. So lovely. We topped off the day with green spring cupcakes for St. Patrick's Day. (I thought I had a shamrock Cricut die, but I didn't so I had to settle for stickers.)

I did more yard work. Picked up lots of branches. That will take a couple more days. I also made a little noticeable progress on the ivy. That will take a lifetime!

Knock Knock

Josiah came up with this on his own...

Monday, March 15, 2010

36 Hours

Jeremy and I. Alone. In our house. No agenda. For 36 hours. Luxurious.

My best memory is that we laughed together. I can't really remember when we just laughed. Some aspects of life are pretty tough right now and I know that I frequently forget to laugh. It was good to do some things together and have some time to ourselves.

We slept in really really late. Daylight Savings Time helped that. I borrowed some clubs and hit balls with Jeremy at the driving range. Unfortunately I did not instantly fall in love with the game. We ate leftovers. Jeremy watched a golf tournament. I did some scrapbooking.

A few hours alone would not be complete without some parental strategizing. We made a trip to the store exclusively for this DVD.
Our hope was that Aliza would want to watch it really, really so bad that she would want to poop in the potty. We have not found bribery to be a useful tactic with Aliza so I have my doubts about whether this will actually work. It seemed that positive reinforcement should be attempted before drastic measures of negative reinforcement are taken.

I was happy to pick up the children. I'm pretty sure that I was happier to see them than they were to see me. =)

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Unexpected Gift

After a couple birthday parties, my friend Chrissy, said you me, "I've noticed that your table chair cushions are stained." (Insert big swallow of my pride here.) Then she said, "Could I recover them for you?" I said, well...yes...yes, you may.

Chrissy bought the vinyl and padding, took our stained chair cushions home with her and returned them recovered with brown vinyl.


Aliza helped Chrissy reassemble the chairs. She handed Chrissy the screws, counted each one and after the 4th screw brought the next chair to Chrissy. Aliza stuck with Chrissy for the whole project....chattering away the whole time!


And now I've learned a lesson about pride. I could have easily become offended that someone thought my chairs were generally disgusting. But instead I allowed Chrissy to do something nice for me and I allowed myself to receive a very nice gift. As Chrissy said, she knew I would never do this for myself. She was right. It would not have made it to the priority list for a long time. I do love sitting on these nice clean chairs and I feel very excited that I will be able to wash them off and keep them clean.

Thank you Chrissy! I am very lucky to have you for a friend. =)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Warm Days

When I saw the forecast for the week, my agenda was instantly--Be outside as much as possible. We've had three glorious days of sun and 60 degree weather. The rain starts again tomorrow, but we will ignore that for as long as possible.

The swings and outside toys have received some love. The neighbors have heard numerous outbursts of squealing. We took a walk today. I started picking up some branches. I also started a very big project.

One side of our yard is covered with heirloom ivy. Heirloom because that ivy has been there a very long time. In the last couple years it has really taken on a growth spurt and needs to be controlled. I've decided to tackle the project. It excites me just to have the energy, motivation and freedom to take on an outside project. So far I have rolled the ivy back about 3 feet almost the length of our property. I really need to post some pictures. It feels good to have some sore muscles!

Aliza and Josiah are good helpers. Aliza likes to stand directly in front of me while talking or singing. Josiah hauls around a shovel or any other tool I allow him to have and keeps himself busy digging and exploring. I am constantly amazed by the inherent differences between boys and girls.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Happy Birthday

I'll do my best to help you have a great day! I suspect you have some golfing planned.
All my love and respect is for you alone!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Great Big Thanks

A great big thanks to my mother-in-law and father-in-law for helping me pull off Aliza and Josiah's parties. Karen swept and swiffered floors, cooked food, washed dishes, hung streamers, cut up tomatoes and onions, put away leftovers, washed more dishes and probably a bunch of other things I didn't even notice. Van took care of the trash (multiple times), blew up balloons and kept the coffee going. Thank you so very much. You are the best!

Friday, March 5, 2010

A Girly Party

A few minutes after I told Aliza Happy Birthday she looked at me real serious and said, Mommy, I'm not changing, just my number, right?

A very long time ago, Aliza told me that she wanted a purse cake for her birthday. A few months ago she told me that she wanted streamers and balloons. Then my Dad used birthday hats and noise makers in a children's story at church so, of course, she then wanted birthday hats and noise makers for her birthday. I sent her to my Mom's house for the afternoon so that I could decorate and surprise her.

She was very excited when she saw the decorations. She said, Mommy, give me a hug!

Her purse cake had to be blue--her favorite color. Everything else was princess pink.

Aliza had to concentrate pretty hard to hold up 4 fingers. She had so much fun at her party. She and her cousin, Caleb, played upstairs all evening. They had so much fun. It was neat to see them playing happily together. I think we all said, awwww, when we watched them walk up the steps holding hands.

Now Aliza is ready for her next birthday. She already picked out the cake. We'll see if she sticks with it.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Happy 4th Birthday

We did this impromptu birthday photo shoot one evening. Aliza thought she was on stage. We have about 100 pictures of her doing all sorts of dance moves, jumps and funny faces. I love all her expressions, energy and joy!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The New Story of My Life

Two children with opposing opinions.

Aliza has had definite opinions for a long time. In the last week Josiah has an increased vocabulary, has turned 2 and has learned to communicate strong opinions. Here's how it played out today...

Grocery shopping. Josiah sits in the front of the cart and Aliza decides that, today, she wants to push the cart. Josiah decides that he most definitely does NOT want Aliza's hands on the handle of the cart. He says, NO, tries to push her hands off, calls for Mommy and, as a last ditch effort, he bites her hand.

Aliza starts screaming. He bit her, but barely bit her. Much less of a bite than she has left on him in the past. Nonetheless she determines that she is not walking and not riding. Carrying is not an option. I console her (for what seems like forever in the middle of the store) and we continue on.

Aliza decides that she wants to push again. I have a little talk with Josiah and he cooperates. He then decides that he wants to walk. Not an option for him at this point. I end up carrying him while trying to help Aliza navigate without touching the cart. If I touch the cart, I get reprimanded!

We make it through the check out line and out to the car successfully. And I realize that this is going to be the story of my life. 2 opinions. 2 little personalities. 2 determined children with their own style of determination. (Aliza negotiates and dictates. Josiah screams and gets mad.) Yes, this will be a very interesting year. I'm sure there will be lots of stories to tell!

Monday, March 1, 2010

John Deere Party

If you follow this blog, it will come as no surprise that Josiah had a John Deere birthday party. He soaked up all the attention and his sister did an excellent job letting him open his presents. Earlier in the week we had taught him to say, "I'm 2!"

Showing everyone his John Deere plates.

John Deere everything. Plates, napkins, favors, fruit snacks and cake.

All of the children were excited about Josiah's tool set. Those tools kept Aliza and Caleb occupied all evening. Both of them had a turn crying over having to share. Josiah was perfectly content to play with his cars, tractor and wagon while they played with the tools.

After he opened the car and truck he couldn't put them down. He climbed up on Grandad's lap for some help.

Josiah blew out his candles. In fact the first time he blew them out while I was still lighting them. After Josiah blew the candles everyone clapped and he clapped too. The first time the clapping caught him off guard and after that he was ready for it. I think he blew them out 3 times and Aliza blew them once.

He loves cake!

He even snuck back to the table for a 2nd, 3rd and maybe 4th piece. Or at least frosting.

I really enjoyed watching him enjoy everything about the day. Josiah said Wow! so many times and said Thank You after he opened his presents. His vocabulary is increasing daily now!