Sunday, March 30, 2014

Star Performers

I am going with the "better late than never" philosophy today. Bear with me.

A few weeks ago (maybe a month ago?!) our church had another 'Family Fusion' event. It was the annual pizza and talent show night! We attended of course. But what is more shocking is that our two big kids performed in the show. This is shocking for a couple of reasons. First we aren't a very talented family. At least not in the talent show type of talent. But our church is very generous with their definition of "talent" so we qualified to perform. Second, Isaiah has never been one to like to get up in front of big crowds and perform, so we (wrongly) assumed Charlotte would feel the same way. We thought it would be painful to get them to participate. WRONG! Both kids loved being star performers.

Given the right subject Isaiah is more than willing to go on stage and be the center of attention...

His subject/talent was building Hero Factory guys. His own creations of course. The one he was showing on stage could transform from guy to spider to plane. And Isaiah took his sweet time showing it off...maybe too much time:) But our pastor was too kind and did NOT cut him off. On the screen (pictured above) was the video Joe created of Isaiah creating his guy. It turned out great and allowed Isaiah to truly demonstrate his talent. A sped up version of his talent that is.
During the intermission the kids had a great time singing and dancing to the live music.

And then it was Charlotte's turn to perform! This girl was EXCITED!!! She had practiced all week (with daddy). But the night of the performance she informed us that she would be going on the stage by herself. And she did. They called her name and the girl ran onto stage.


And then all by herself (without any music) she sang the cutest preschool version of "Jesus Loves the Children" I have ever heard in my entire life. The crowd loved her. But what's not to love? A three year old dressed head to toe in pink belting out "...all the little children of the world. Red, black and white. They are precious in His sight...". Yep. Cutest star performer of the night (in my non-humble, completely biased opinion).  Afterwards Charlotte was reliving the entire experience by describing the evening to me. She informed me that when it was finally her turn she "was soooo excitement!" And again I didn't correct her verbage, because three year old speak is too cute just the way it is.

Little sister tried to steal the show during the closing ceremony by going up on stage, but daddy kept her in line.

A few nights ago the kids decided to give Joe and I an exclusive (and very unique!) super hero show at home....

HYSTERICAL! I am not sure which show I enjoyed more. Both were good (cheap) entertainment. They are all star performers in my book.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Not much happening around here. I have spent much of the last 3 days parked on my sofa trying really hard to convince myself that I need to A) get up and B) get dressed. Since I am not a very persuasive person I will probably spend much of today the same way. These new sweatpants of mine are just too comfy and warm and I did not sleep enough at quilt retreat. Isaiah did enjoy the fact that I wore my pajamas ALL DAY on his school's pajama day. I am just that cool! Clearly, reintegration to life as a mom is going swimmingly. I best never leave for an entire week or I risk becoming completely incompetent!

Princesses and heroes continue to battle in our home. As do their masters.  

And this girl continues to ask for "Dada?" at least every 5 minutes from the moment she wakes in the morning until the moment he returns in the evening - which of course is her favorite moment of the day. (Mine too!) 

As the always-present-but-not-favored parent her seemingly endless requests for her favorite parent get a bit redundant and tiresome. How many times a day can I say "Dada is at the hospital"? Oh. About a bajillion! And she seems genuinely surprised by my answer every single time. 

But not to be outdone in the hurting mommy's feelings department, Charlotte informed me yesterday that I am "almost a grandma!" She thought this was good news. I disagreed. Strongly

Speech has also been happening. And sowly but surely we are seeing progress. Hannah has added two words to her limited vocabulary: dirty (in reference to the state of my van floor!) and eat (used when she wants to eat. Obviously.)

Charlotte has taken the role of apprentice speech therapist very seriously. At night after we tuck the girls into bed, we can hear Charlotte saying "Hannah say ____" and Hannah attempting to repeat after her big sister. It's sweet. And helping the speech situation (hopefully). Charlotte recently informed me that when she grows up she wants to be "a speech". I assume she means speech therapist, which I think is a great idea. 

Anything else? Oh yeah, the man of the house has started a new rotation...

Bahahaha! Should be interesting. Poor guy is not looking forward to the next six weeks at all! I on the other hand can't wait for the fun dinner conversations we will be having. (Yes our poor children already hear way too much medical stuff.)  But some of the stories might have to be saved for after all the little ears are tucked in bed.

And just for kicks. One last picture. Last week before heading out of town I took Isaiah on my last minute errands. As we were walking up to Target Isaiah informed me that "sometimes I just want to hug that ball". 

Me too Isaiah. Me too. But I wouldn't look nearly as cute as you doing it:)

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

a crafting haven

Quilt retreat was FABULOUS...

Sewing for days. Eating three meals a day prepared and cleaned up by someone else. Chatting the hours away. Snacking on an endless supply of goodies. Not sleeping enough. All tucked away safe and cozy in the woods without a worry in the world.

I mean if you like that type of thing. Which I DO! It was wonderful. Words won't do it justice so I will just let the pictures speak for themselves.

 [And all of those pictures were just us getting to camp! We shopped and ate our way there. And still managed to fit it all in the Prius on the way back.]


Even though I was just a lowly scrapbooker, I had such a great time and I am already scheming and dreaming of going back in the fall for more. It felt like I had to move heaven and earth to make the weekend happen but it was worth it! And I think my crazy craft-loving friends would agree...
I know this little girl loves the pillow I made her at retreat (with the supplies I bought at camp's "Bargain Barn"). BUT that doesn't mean she has forgiven me for leaving her behind for the weekend. She has been quite the stinker since my return. Kicking me during diaper changes, throwing rocks at her sister's face and just generally causing ruckus!

She's a stinker. But I love her:) And she will love the fact that I went away and made her baby book....someday!

Friday, March 21, 2014

528 miles

That's how far me + 3 friends are driving ONE WAY to go to quilt retreat this weekend.

Quilt retreat*!  We are just that cool:) 

We made the first leg of our journey today. We drove over 400 a Prius! Tonight we are sleeping at my parents' house and then in the morning we will continue (with my mom) on our merry way (with a few stops at fabric and crafts shops). 

4 women (+ 3 in utero babies) in a Prius. Doesn't get much cozier than that!

And Joe thought there was no way all our stuff would fit. Ha! We showed him! And saved a ton of money on gas too. Win-win!

We already are having such a great time. Uninterrupted conversation. Eating without feeding a small person/people. Using the bathroom alone. Getting in and out of the car without unloading small people. And walking around diaper bag-less. It's AMAZING! And it's only going to get better. It's kind of like a crafter's dream come true. 

*Earlier this week I was informed that clarifying that it isn't just quilting does NOT make it sound any better. But for the record, I won't be sewing. I am finally making Hannah's first year scrapbook. 

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Whats in a name?

From the moment I know I am pregnant until the time I give birth, I love to play the "name this baby game". I become obsessive! I read baby name books and websites (for far too many hours). I make name list. Lists of first names. First names + middle names. First names + middle names + last name. Lists of just initials. Lists of our names + potential baby names. And with each baby the lists become longer and more complicated. To put it mildly, I put a lot of thought into THE NAME! Probably too much thought. So much thought in fact that I have a hard time making a final name decision until after the baby has arrived.

So just for fun, here are the explanations of how we named our babies. Because a name is not just a name!  It is so much more. It is a story with meaning and a lot of thought behind it (at least it is for my babies). 

First, a little pertinent background information, during our first year of marriage we decided Joe would name all our sons and I would name our daughters. We of course would allow the power to veto names we disliked. However no hard and fast rules were established for veto-ing. And so far we have stuck to these loose guidelines.

Fast forward four years and we had our first baby...
Isaiah Michael
We did not find out the gender with this pregnancy. So we made our respective baby name lists. For a girl I had selected Teya Rose. I also really liked Lydia but Joe did not. So if Isaiah had been a girl he would have been Teya! And oh my goodness, I am so SO SOOO glad he was born a boy. Because Teya?! Really?!? Clearly my 24 year old self was not up to the responsible baby naming challenge! 

Joe's boy name list was short: Malachi and Isaiah. Both strong Biblical names. I liked Micah and Isaac more, but it wasn't up to me. We never discussed middle names for a boy. I kind of assumed Joe would use his first name, Joseph. It was just minutes after he was born that Joe held our new son up and declared his name "Isaiah Michael". I was caught off guard because I was sure he was going to use Malachi and I didn't know what to expect for a middle name. But I love it. He did a great job naming him and it suits him well. 

Oh and Michael. That is Joe's younger brother's name so Isaiah is partially named after his uncle.

Exactly one week short of three years later we welcomed our (first) daughter into our family...
 Charlotte Esme
At my 20 week ultrasound we found out we were expecting a girl. (I was over the moon excited once I got over my disappointment that Isaiah would not have a little brother.) Since Joe does not enjoy the name game he never created a list. We had no boy options. If the ultrasound had been wrong we would have been scrambling for a name!

Knowing the baby's gender ahead of time (somehow) made the decision even harder for me. I had a list a mile long! By the time she arrived one week overdue I had it narrowed down to three first names and two middle names, but no definite name.  First names: Hannah, Esme, Charlotte. Of the three Esme was my favorite and Charlotte was Joe's favorite. Middle names: Elizabeth, Rose. 

Shortly after her birth the nurse asked me what her name was and I couldn't commit to anything. I was worn out and feeling loopy (from the unplanned c-section) and I did not trust myself to make such an important decision in that condition. After a couple hours of gazing upon my new daughter I declared her "Charlotte" but would not commit to a middle name. A little while later I panicked (thinking this was my last baby and therefore my last chance to name a person) and threw both my middle name selections out the window. And from that point forward she was "Charlotte Esme". Esme was my favorite name because it is pretty AND it means beloved. So she received two of my favorite names, but no family name. Oops. I blame the pain meds:)

Surprise! Two years and two months later came...
Hannah Rose
I decided I wanted to be surprised by the gender this time around. Joe wanted to know. So he knew and I did not. It was a bit tricky but fun. I was convinced I was carrying a boy. Ha. So much for a mother's intuition! Joe's name list wasn't a list. Just a name. Judah Joseph. He still liked Malachi but I wasn't sold on it. Regardless it was a moot point and he knew it. 

The girl names I liked were: Olivia, Lydia, Amelia and Hannah. Of the three Joe agreed to Hannah although he was lobbying for Hosanna. While close, I felt Hosanna was too "out there" to be used as a name. Just minutes after SHE was born I easily and confidently named her "Hannah Rose". I was in awe of the fact that I had two daughters and was able to use ALL of my favorite girl names. I suppose it is worth mentioning that Rose is my middle name as well as my maternal grandmother's middle name and I am so happy to have passed it along as I have always loved the name.

So there it is, the really loooong explanation of how our children became Isaiah, Charlotte and Hannah. I love their names. But of course I love them even more!

This post was inspired by this fun link-up that I randomly stumbled upon recently. If you enjoyed finding out how/why we named our on over to find even more similar posts! You are welcome. Enjoy!

One year in the books.

Today marks my one year blogging anniversary right here at {The Long Days Archives}. Not sure why, but I felt it was worthy of commemorating.  So what has happened in a year?

For starters, 239 posts! Holy smokes...that's a lot of writing and rambling. Mostly a whole lot of oversharing and picture taking. There have also been 22,083 pageviews. Thank you friends (and strangers) for stopping by and "keeping me company" here on the big ole internet!

We are all a year older (and hopefully a bit wiser). But really it feels like much has stayed the same. Joe and Isaiah are both still in school. The girls and I are at home. Life just keeps on happening. And so I keep on writing about it.

I got a new camera. My pictures are better. So that happened I guess:)

While a whole lot of nothing has been written and shared on the blog, there are a few posts that I am particularly proud of. My favorites. They can be found HERE, HERE,  and HERE.

And for those that enjoy history, HERE is my first ever post. But don't get too click happy, its very boring. (Yes, there are earlier posts on the blog. Those posts are from my old blog. I transferred them over here for prosperity's sake!)

It has been quite the year. Filled with ups and downs. Most of those I shared on the blog. And I am glad I did. I really like having this space to look back. To see how far we have come...or more accurately how little we have advanced!

Ok. I guess it isn't technically "one year in the books" there is no book...yet! I am thinking about printing the blog for a family keepsake. Although maybe I shouldn't print this blog in book format. Maybe this isn't the type of stuff we want to look back on?!? Who knows...not I!

What I do know is that I like blogging. I like capturing the everyday moments. The good, the bad, sometimes the ugly and most definitely the funny!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Happy Saint Patrick's Day!

Before having kids I didn't celebrate this greenest of green holidays. I am not Irish. And I don't drink. So no real reason to commemorate it. Well I am still not Irish and I still don't drink BUT I have these three cute little kids that love celebrations of any kind. Total game changer. Nowadays we all wear green. We make leprechaun traps. Eat green food (and beverages). Have silly scavenger hunts. And I of course take too many pictures. A good time is had by all...well most.

The leprechaun trap was a school project for Isaiah this year. I love it. We pretty much let Isaiah do what he wanted with it and we just assisted on the hard parts. He knew he wanted a rainbow and a pot of gold and lots of shiny stuff to attract a little leprechaun. At the last minute he decided to add a 'DO NOT ENTER' sign because leprechauns are known for breaking rules. Ha! He brought his trap in on Friday. Now we are just waiting to see if he caught a leprechaun or not...

This is what the kids woke up to this morning for breakfast. Fun and easy! My kind of holiday celebration.

Full disclosure: this picture was taken last night. So the kids woke up to this scene minus the green milk. The milk was in the fridge because this momma does NOT wake up before the kids! Thankfully Charlotte was so excited to find the breakfast treat that she ran and told me before they poured their bowls of cereal SO I was able to tell her about the green milk in the fridge:) I totally lucked out! (Yes, the big kids get their own breakfast in the morning. Baby girl and I like our beauty sleep and they do NOT!)

I think they liked it! Before I could drop off a majorly sugared up Isaiah at school we had to get our green gear on and snap a few pictures. Hannah slept through all this excitement which made picture taking so much easier. It also means she didn't get to experience her first sugary breakfast cereal! Don't worry I ate two bowls for her:)

Once Hannah was awake and fed (a plain bagel), I attempted taking some festive pictures with her...

Clearly she was not liking this photo shoot. Maybe because I made her wear the same green shirt as last year?!? (Looks like Joe and Isaiah wore the same shirts last year too. Who knew?!) And apparently my camera had had enough too...

We called it quits and headed to the library. I can only torture my children for so long:)
Much happier at the library. This girl is NOT a homebody!
While at the library I was going to text Joe asking him for a selfie of him at the hospital to include in our Saint Patrick's Day photo fun, but I didn't. And lo and behold, upon our arrival home we found Joe in bed....festive-ish attire already discarded for the day! Apparently I passed on my very unpleasant GI illness (from Saturday) to him. I'm a real nice wife like that:)  Oops. Now I am just waiting (dreadfully) for the kids to get sick...

Looking on the bright side, because Joe is home early I won't have to load up the girls to pick up Isaiah from school. It sounds like such a small thing. But in my world that is HUGE. Also Joe woke up long enough to overhear this little pre-lunch conversation I had with Charlotte...
Me: Charlotte did you flush the toilet and wash your hands?
C: Yes mama. I washed my hands because there was poopy on them. Right here.
Me: Oh! Did you go poopy?
C: No.
Me: Then why did you have poopy on your hands?
C: It was Hannah's poopy. From her diaper.