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Sunday, March 25, 2012

Spring break

This past week was spring break for Oklahoma schools. Since Jeff works in educational sales, this meant he got a little bit of a break, too. Our week started off great and ended pretty well, but the middle was kind of the pits, to be honest.

We began the week with an overnight camping trip. Some friends introduced us to the art of VW camper camping. I wish I would've taken a picture of their "bus," but I'll be sure to get some next time. While they set up their sweet camper bus, we set up our two-room tent. This tent seemed a little extreme when we first got it, but it's so nice to be able to fit two queen sized air mattresses and a portacrib inside with room to spare.

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We camped right on a lake just outside of town. It was a beautiful evening -- warm, but not too hot, and no wind. We roasted hot dogs and smores, then put the kids to bed while we adults talked into the wee hours. By the time we went to bed, the wind had started to pick up. I didn't think too much of it until I climbed into our tent. Wowsers! It sounded like we were in the middle of a wind tunnel! The wind blew all night, at times making me think our tent would blow away with us still in it! Needless to say, we didn't sleep much that night.

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The next day we packed up and headed home. Not long after we got home I noticed Isabelle felt warm. Savannah had a cough she'd picked up in the night, and soon she also had a fever. Turns out they both had the flu. The doctor seemed surprised when the test came back positive. He said we were probably the last family in the city to have the flu, since flu season is pretty much over. LUCKY US.

So our spring break was spent indoors, with lots of Tylenol and ibuprofen mixed in. Savannah developed an ear infection as part of the flu aftermath, so now we've added amoxicillin to the mix. To top things off, on Tuesday I received word that my aunt had passed away. To say it's been a rough week would be a bit of an understatement. The good news is we're on the mend now and school starts tomorrow (thank heavens!). We even made it out to the lake on Saturday where Jeff played with the kids while I had a nice, long, overdue run.

So that was our spring break. Jealous? Didn't think so.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Birthday girl

I really tried to make Isabelle's birthday special, but honestly it wasn't too different from any other Saturday at our house. I thought of going to the zoo, or the science museum, or out to dinner at a fancy restaurant, but I knew at 1 year old, Isabelle wouldn't really get anything out of those activities. In the end, we spent the morning at the gym, the afternoon at the mall, and ate dinner at a burger and shake place with less than stellar service but good food. I didn't even bother making a cake, since we'd all just had giant shakes, but we picked up a small cake for Isabelle.

Here she is waiting for her cake. She isn't too happy that we are making her wait.

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The cake. It was actually a cupcake with gobs and gobs of frosting. Sick. But perfect for smashing.


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Grandma and Grandpa witnessed the whole thing via Skype.

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She loved it.

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Popcorn popping

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Spring is here. "Popcorn" is popping everywhere we look. I explained to the kids the meaning of the song "Popcorn Popping" and they've been singing the song nonstop since each time we see a blossoming tree. Savannah even brings me branches with blossoms on them, saying, "Here, Mom. Some popcorn for you." Already most of the blossoms have fallen, probably due to the crazy 80+ degree weather we've been having. Spring also marks the start of tornado season, something we are entirely unaccustomed to. The next few months should be interesting.

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Saturday, March 10, 2012

Turn around

Where are you going, my little one, little one?
Where are you going, my baby, my own?
Turn around and you're two,
Turn around and you're four,
Turn around and you're a young girl going out of the door.
 -Harry Belafonte, Malvina Reynolds and Alan Greene

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A year ago today I held my sweet Isabelle for the first time. I want to cry when I think that this year is over. I have loved every single moment of her first 12 months. I've loved watching her grow and learn, just as I love watching all my children, but as the 3rd (and maybe last) child, Isabelle has made me realize that these days are fleeting and they'll be over too soon.

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From day 1, Isabelle has brought nothing but joy and delight to our family. Everybody loves her, and she loves everybody. She has happiest disposition, and even when she scowls or cries I can't help but smile at her. She has been such an easy baby to this point (knock on wood), so easily trained and so eager to learn. Whether it is sleeping through the night, drinking from a sippy cup, weaning off the binkie, or taking her first steps, Isabelle has conquered each milestone as though it were nothing.

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Izzy has many loves. She loves taking baths. I have to watch her when the other kids are bathing or she will try to climb in, even if she's already had her bath! She loves her blanket, or really anything she can cuddle with. When you give her her blanket, she immediately pulls it to her face and cuddles with it. She gives hugs and kisses on request, and I request them a lot. :) She loves getting into her brother's and sister's toys, especially the small ones that fit in her mouth. Isabelle loves to eat and is not picky (yet). When she isn't getting fed quick enough she lets out a shrill scream. I try not to encourage her screams, but they usually work.

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Isabelle is at the stage where she is into everything. Toilets, trash cans, cupboards, drawers, you name it. She loves the drawer with my measuring cups and empties it several times a day. She's unrolled multiple rolls of toilet paper and has been caught playing in toilet water more than once.

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Isabelle loves to "talk." She babble on and on and laughs at herself all day long. It cracks me up.

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Isabelle is becoming a steady walker. Even after taking her first steps, it took awhile for her to gain the confidence to let go and walk across the room by herself. But now she divides her mobility equally between crawling and walking.

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I took Izzy in for her first "real" haircut last week. She's had her hair trimmed several times (thanks Aunt Paige!) but it was getting out of hand (see evidence here). I gave in and took her to Fantastic Sam's. The poor guy that had to cut her hair was a real trouper. She screamed through the entire thing, but he did a good job and she looks SO much better (even if Jeff says she looks like a boy). At least now it will grow out evenly.

Happy birthday, baby girl! We love you! And for Pete's sake, stop growing up so fast!

One year stats:
Weight: 20.6 lbs (42%)
Height: 29.75 inches (72%)
Head: 18.5 inches (93%)

Friday, March 9, 2012

Our family

My kids spend a lot of time coloring. At least once a day the markers make an appearance, and we probably kill a tree a week with their paper use. Most of the time I can tell what Logan is trying to draw, but Savannah's masterpieces have always eluded me. Until now.

The other day Savannah brought me a series of drawings she had done of our family. And incredibly enough, they actually looked like people! I should have posted these without the names to see if you could tell us apart.

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I'm thinking she'll have her own art show by next month.

A spring picnic

This spring has been a-MAZ-ing. Which is funny because it's not even spring yet. But it feels like it. We had a few days last week that made it into the low 80s. There is a walking path and park behind our house, so we got out the bikes, scooters, and strollers and took a little walk.

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The next day was even nicer so we convinced Daddy to take a break from answering emails and go on a picnic with us. We miss Jeff when he travels, but it is sure nice to have him around more during the day when he is not traveling.

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There may have been a little tree climbing involved. Definitely a lot of laughing. A perfect day.

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I love these pictures of Jeff and Logan. Jeff and the kids love to rough house. It's something they only get from him (I don't tackle), so it's a special bond only they share.

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Tulsa

Two weeks ago Jeff had to go to Tulsa for a conference. At the last minute, I decided to pull Logan out of school and join him. The trip started out great: a room upgrade at the hotel and dinner at my favorite Italian restaurant, Carrabbas (if you haven't had their chicken marsala, you haven't lived). While we were eating, we found a couple of bugs crawling on the walls of our booth. We asked for a napkin to kill the bugs with, and the manager was so appalled she gave us our entire meal free!

We honestly didn't do that much other than hang out at the hotel and swim, but it was so fun to be together, especially when Jeff has been traveling so much. One day I took the kids to a park, but that outing ended abruptly when Isabelle got a mouthful of mud and Logan decided the world is his toilet. The other downer of the trip was when our car started leaking oil really badly and we had to quickly find a mechanic before heading home. $350 later, we were back in business.

My three-day impression of Tulsa was overall very positive. I think we could have been very happy living there, but I know now that we can be happy just about anywhere.

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Projects

I am not the greatest when it comes to projects. I'll have an idea, then I'll sit on it for months or years before ever starting it. Then I'll get it 99% of the way done and let it sit for another chunk of time. If I'm very lucky, the project might eventually get finished, but more often than not it never does. After the holidays, I had a small handful of projects that I was determined to finish. It's taken two months, but they are all finished! Woohoo!

The first two are things I had hoped to have done by Christmas, but it was not to be. The first was Isabelle's Christmas stocking. I should have had this done months ago, but November rolled around and I still hadn't started it so I knew it was a long shot to have it finished by Christmas. Oh well, at least she'll have it for next year.

Growing up my mom made all of us these felt stockings. I loved them so I've made each of my kids one. They take a loooong time and are definitely a labor of love, but they are so personal and unique that it's worth it. I especially love the details. In this one, my favorite parts are the argyle strip across the top and the ornaments and lights on the tree.

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The second Christmas project was a first Christmas ornament for Isabelle. I have always had a hard time finding these, and this year I was really struggling to find one I liked. Finally I saw a cute giraffe ornament for $2 at Target and decided to embroider it and make it a first Christmas ornament.


Project #3 was an apron for Savannah. I had the idea to make her one as a Christmas gift (never happened) but used it as bribery instead. She picked out the fabric and I made the apron in an afternoon. I forget sometimes how much I enjoy sewing, especially when it's something I can finish in a day!


Last comes a project that has been in the works for over a year now. I have always wanted a quiet book for my kids, but I've been very particular about what I want it to look like. I had the opportunity to purchase a kit that would let me customize each page, so I got it. And then the kit sat and stared at me for months. It took a sewing session with my mom to get it started, and then it still sat around untouched for several more months. I don't know if I can count this as done since there are at least a dozen more pages I could make, but for now it is far enough that we can use it now and add additional pages later.

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Page 1: Noah's ark. Complete with Ikea finger puppets and a zipper pouch.

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Page 2: Piggy bank with snapping coins.
Page 3: Converse lace up for practice tying bows.

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Pages 4 and 5: Paper dolls. Logan and Savannah claim these dolls are them. I think they look like Adam and Eve. This is definitely my favorite page. The mini clothespins are darling, but not so durable. I anticipate they will all be broken by the end of the month.

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Pages 6 and 7: Picnic basket. Maybe my kids will learn which side of the plate the fork goes on, because goodness knows I never did.

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Page 8: Button-on flowers.

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