Thursday, April 30, 2009

What To Do On A Rainy Day

We woke up yesterday to thunder, lightning, and a downpour of rain. It stayed dark way later than usual, and the girls slept really late. It was actually quite a peaceful start to the day. So what to do on a rainy day with two four year olds, you ask? Why make a fort of course.....

The girls played for a long time under this fort or tent or whatever you want to call it. At one point it was a house for the "two little pigs" while I was the Big Bad Wolf. Later it became a house with a festive tea party going on inside. It's amazing what two chairs and a blanket can do!

After lunch the rain finally stopped, the clouds parted ever so slightly, and the sun peeked her head through just enough to beckon us outside.

Can two four year old resist splashing their bare feet in a rain puddle? I think not.

And the footprints that follow are still amazing and worth giggling about.

A flower for Mom. Thank you, Leah.

I love the innocent bounce in their step.

I think Ellie and Tundra wish they were outside playing too.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Morning Routine

I really love a good routine. Something deep in my DNA craves order and scheduledness (is that even a word?). And I've found that my kids function well in a routine too. Now, don't get me wrong, I am not a time nazi barking out orders and scheduling time for "fun". I can be a flexible, go-with-the-flow, carefree mom too. I do believe in balance, but for the most part I like knowing what to expect. One of the things I'm looking forward to as I count down to summer is a chance to start a more consistent routine at home. Right now our week looks like this:

Monday: 9:30 to 2:30-- girls at school; 3:00 to 8:00-- me at work
Tuesday: 9:15-11:15-- girls and me at my women's Bible study; 4:00-8:00-- me at work
Wednesday: 11:30-12:30-- girls to ballet class
Thursday: 9:30-2:30-- girls at school
Friday: FREE DAY

It seems like our mornings are a little crazy these days with having to be somewhere at a certain time. So I'm ready to have more days like Friday-- completely open and free! Even with no set place to be, I'm a fan of making the most of your time at home. I have found one thing that works for me is to make myself get up before my kids so I can take a shower (equivilent to morning coffee-- can't function without it) and have a little quiet time to myself before those sweet little voices say, "Good-morning, Mom!!" The girls usually either help me make breakfast or watch some cartoons while I make breakfast. Then we sit down and eat together. At this point, I usually start them on some sort of project. Watercolor painting, play-dough, or simply crayons and blank sheets of paper are popular around here. So is "playing office" which involves a notebook, pencils and pens, a calculator and an old cordless phone. Whatever the project is, the girls dive into it which gives me a chance to clean up the kitchen and maybe fold a load of laundry (maybe). Afterwards we are usually ready to either go outside if it is nice or use this "before lunch" time to run an errand or meet up with a friend for a playdate. The girls' overall attitude is much better at this point in the day than say around 4:00 when the tiredness starts to settle in.

Some of the girls watercolors during a recent morning painting session.

So this is the usual morning routine that we enjoy when we don't have to be somewhere. And I'm really looking forward to having all of our days be "free days" soon.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Spring Things

Our front tree finally has leaves and the grass is turning green!

We spent the weekend planting petunias, geraniums, and begonias (not pictured).

My dad came over and helped us add a stone border to our front flower bed.

We sold our guest bed and moved in our first official piece of baby furniture: a glider. We've got our crib and changing table still to bring down from the attic. The room is currently a mess, but we're working toward being baby ready.

I've been in a baking mood lately, and today I decided simply upon some oatmeal bread. One of my favorites.
As you can see I've discovered some energy lately (yay!) and have felt more like my old productive self. I had another doctor's appointment last week and my doctor told me that we'd schedule my c-section 7-10 days before my due date of August 3rd. She looked at a calendar and mentioned July 24th or 25th as possible delivery days. That's just three months away from today! We've got so much to do, and May is looking so, so busy. We've got the girls' school music performance, tickets to The Lion King, a surprise party for some dear friends, the girls' ballet recital, and a short vacation in the works. Once June hits, I'm hoping to slow down and really take it easy. I have to remember that this baby will be just fine, whether we're officially "ready" or not! =)

Monday, April 20, 2009

Three Pregnant Ladies

Oh the weekends go too fast don't they? We had a great one though. Saturday night we had the chance to go out with two of our closest friends (you may remember a trip we took to Lake Tenkiller back in October?) All three of us ladies are pregnant now, so it was fun to have all of our bellies together. All three of us girls and our hubbies met up at a restaurant for dinner, then headed back to our house as a perfect Oklahoma storm moved in.

Looking up at cotton ball clouds.

An evening sunset and storm.

Angie, Nikki and Emily back in October 2008

Angie, Nikki and Emily in April 2009

Angie is having a girl in May, Nikki is having a girl in July and I'm having a boy in August!

Three crazy pregnant ladies all trying to "stomach bump" unsuccessfully. I love these girls!!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Outside Inside

Today clouds are rolling in and the forecast is predicting rain for the next few days. I do enjoy a good rainy day, but we've had a lot lately! And I'm ready for the soil to dry out so I can start planting some flowers and possibly tackle a small vegetable garden. As I fell asleep last night I was planning out where I would plant a few pansies and whether or not our budget could allow us to buy a few bigger trees for our backyard.

One thing I do enjoy about rainy days is the chance to snuggle up and read. The girls and I just went through a stack of our favorite books. One of my absolute favorites is a book called Outside Inside by Carolyn Crimi.

The story follows a little girl named Molly as she wakes up to a rainy, stormy day. "Outside, black clouds sink down to the bottom of the sky. Inside, Molly stretches and yawns in her red flannel robe. Outside, tree leaves flap in the crying wind. Inside, Molly's slippers whisper down the hall." Back and forth it goes from outside to inside. This is such a good teaching book too. You can work on comparing and contrasting as well as many types of figurative language: personification, onomatopoeia, etc. I love the way the wind cries or her slippers whisper.
Later lightning scratches the sky and maple syrup slips down a pancake mountain.

So if I were writing my own "Outside Inside" book today, here's what I'd say....

Outside, gray clouds shift and swirl over the horizon.
Inside, Hannah and Leah build a wooden block castle.
Outside, the wind moans as it whips around my front porch.
Inside, the washing machine gurgles and churns as it washes a full load of clothes.
Outside, a small oak tree opens up its early spring leaves to the sky.
Inside, Mama enjoys a quiet moment to type out her thoughts.

What would your "Outside Inside" look like today?

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


I have never relied on Mountain Dew or Red Bull to give me energy. First off, I think they taste gross, and second of all-- I've never felt like I really needed it. Even a cup of coffee (which I do enjoy) doesn't really give me an energy buzz. In fact, I've always sort of prided myself on the fact that I am a pretty industrious person. The name "Emily" actually means industrious. I like waking up and diving into whatever tasks need to be done. I enjoy checking things off a "to do" list. And at the same time, I have always felt that I could balance productivity with a healthy dose of relaxation. Reading before bed or watching a movie are two of my favorite methods to calm down at the end of the day. Energy has always been my friend......

until recently.

Maybe I blocked out this stage from my pregnancy with my twins, but I'm feeling drained lately! Yesterday the thought of making my bed seemed so overwhelming that I just about burst into tears. And the piles of laundry on my bathroom floor almost sent me over the edge. I just couldn't bring myself to bend down and pick them up! Instead I spent most of my day on the couch. The girls probaby watched more television than I normally allow, but it was all I could do yesterday! And there have been other days like this as well. Thankfully, it's not everyday, but more often than not, I am losing the battle with my dear friend, Energy. I know I'm pregnant. And this time I'm 32 (not 27), and I know I've got two four year olds to chase after, but I am ready for my productive old self to return!

Today was a good day, however. The breakfast dishes were cleared away before lunch, all beds were made, a load of towels was folded and put away, and I managed to get the girls to their ballet class on time. I think I need to start focusing on the little things and be thankful when they are accomplished. And I need to also remind myself that the most important things that happen during the day are not items on a household list, but rather the time I spend with the two most important little people in my day.

Good reminder.

Being silly with my Leah-Bee. No, I'm not drunk.

Hannah and mom.

I love this Mom job!

Monday, April 13, 2009


It's the day after Easter and although we had a great day, I'm glad to see the Easter Grass from my girls' baskets go in the trash. Even more, I'm sure my vacuum cleaner is glad to see it all go. That stuff was everywhere!

We had a wonderfully cozy Easter at home yesterday. The weather forecasters had been predicting 100% rain and chilly temperatures for the big day, so with that in mind we went to church on Saturday night instead. Afterwards we took the girls to go eat pizza. We decided that going out to eat at 8:30 is not a good idea-- especially when your children normally go to bed at 8:30. This made for two cranky children, but we survived. Sunday we woke up to the sound of rain lightly falling and it continued to fall all day long. We gave the girls their Easter baskets which contained art supplies and some candy. We also gave them a new picture Bible called The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones. I would highly recommend this one! It covers the main stories from both the Old and New Testament, but with each little story weaving the big story of Jesus within. We read several pages and the girls listened very intently.
Later my parents came over for lunch and afterwards we hunted Easter eggs in the house due to the inclement weather. We also did some egg races (where you carry an egg on a spoon in a relay-style race) and fit in a few games of Memory (the girls' favorite game at the moment). I love creating holiday memories for them that aim to focus less on the commercial side of the holiday, but rather the real meaning behind it. And hopefully when they are older and look back at their childhood, they see it full of family, comfort, laughter and love.

Saturday night before church.

Hannah posing

Leah looking like "a big girl!"

The cute bunny cake my mom made for the occasion.


Thursday, April 9, 2009


I thought I'd introduce everyone to our other feline family member:  Ellie.  Ellie came into our lives about a year and a half after Tundra.  And her story went something like this:  Mike's co-worker (at the time) said that his wife's friend found a litter of abandoned kittens in a field behind her office.  The friend took them home and was bottle feeding them as they were still so little and needing a "mommy".  Mike's co-worker asked if we would be interested in one of the kittens when they were ready.  We had been thinking that it was time to get our Tundra a companion, so we said, "Why not!"  We went and picked her up a few weeks later and she was this absolutely tiny black furball with big green eyes and a sweet disposition.  We named her Eleanor, but have always called her Ellie.  Sidenote:  I love it when animals are given "real" people names. My parents' four cats are named Zachary, Lucy, Gretchen and Heidi.  Cute. 

Well that skinny, little kitten of ours grew into a skinny, little cat. She is built like Siamese--sleek and slender, so she doesn't quite have the presence of her rotund cat sister.  But she is loving and quiet, and she follows our girls around the house and even sleeps with them at night. She is a great balance to our Tundra-girl.  

Here are some recent photos of Ellie.  She's harder to catch on camera, but I think managed to get a few, for better or for worse.

I checked on the girls one night around 10:30 pm and found Ellie snuggled up with Hannah.
Here she is refusing to look at me.
And here she is giving me a one-eyed glance.

Finally, here's a good picture of our sweet, little Ellie.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


Tunny. Tunder Bunder. Rotundra. Tundachu. And even Tootsie. These are all nicknames we have given to our cat Tundra over the years. And this year, Miss Tundra turns 10. Shortly after Mike and I were married in 1999, we went to a local no-kill animal shelter called Pets 'n People. Each kitten we looked at tugged at our hearts, but when Mike reached into a cage and pulled out a sweet faced, green-eyed, fluff-ball of a kitten, we both knew it was the one we wanted. We took her back to our apartment and she immediately made herself at home. She is playful, yet cuddly. She has a sassy personality, but she is loving too. We named her Tundra after a song by Havalina Rail Co. by the same name. Also, she has a lot soft, fluffy white fur in her coat perhaps like the snow in Siberia? Regardless, the bottom line is: she is such a good cat!

Here are some recent pictures of our Tunny Cat.

This is where I find her every morning: basking in the morning glow.

An afternoon on the porch. Notice this cat's wide girth. She could probably stand to go on a diet. Sorry, Tundra. It's true.

This is her evening spot. She loves these bath mats in our bathroom. They are quite soft really. Maybe they bring back some memories of her real cat mother long ago.

This one is just funny. I caught her yawning, but she looks a little scary with her green alien pet eys and her mouth wide open. Oh Tunny, we love you anyway.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Highlights and Updates

First off, sorry it has been over a week since I last blogged! I don't think anyone is shedding tears over this fact, but I just thought I'd say that anyway.

Second, here are some highlights of the last 10 days or so:

* Work has been busy: even though I only work 8 hours a week, I had a lot of high school students coming in to prepare for the ACT (which was 4/4/09). By the way, I work here.

* I had a doctor's appointment: I always enjoy hearing the baby's heartbeat. And I learned that at my April apointment I'll be doing the glucose screening. Yuck. Oh what we go through for these little beings....

* The girls had a dentist apointment: It was just a 6 month check up, but no cavaties, so hooray!

* Mike had two movie screenings to go to for their newest documentary called The Grandfathers: One was at Oklahoma Christian University and the other was at a local movie theater. He had to work late a few nights which made the week seem extra long.

* I helped my friend Nikki clean a 3600 sq. foot house: She's been cleaning this house for over six years, but like me, she is nearly six months pregnant and asked if I could help her out and she's split the check with me too! It's always nice to have some extra cash. I've been helping her every week since February, but next week is our last week. Two pregnant ladies look pretty funny cleaning together.

* I scored a few good deals this week: I'm fairly new to the couponing/CVSing/deal-seeking world, but I'm really trying to be better at saving money. Like this week I scored six big boxes of Kellog's cereal and two gallons of milk for $12.00! Some of my favorite blogs on the saving money topic are: Money Saving Mom, Deal Seeking Mom, and Christi's 2 Cents (OKC area).

* And finally, I leave you with a picture of two of the cutest little girls in the whole world (in my opinon!!) This was taken before church last Sunday. And I'm throwing it in there just because. =)

Any special highlights or updates from your last week?