Monday, September 21, 2009

Baby Library

Our neighborhood garage sale is this weekend. I've been putting a few things aside that I want to get rid of. The boys seemed to outgrow their Bumbos many months ago, so I got those out to sell. Well, wouldn't you know they are fascinated with them now? They wanted to sit in them, but I didn't think their chubby legs would fit. I was wrong. Emma Kate managed to get both boys in the Bumbos and then proceeded to have a "Baby Library." (that's what she called it) She picked out books about animals and read to them....
Then, she let them "read" the books....

and she helped them while they were reading....
And just like any good teacher would, she brought a real animal for them to touch and feel...
She is such a good, loving big sister to these boys. They are so fortunate to have her!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

My First 5K

Several of you know that I have been sloooooowly getting into the sport of running. I have been "training" (I guess you can call it that) for about 6 weeks. (It may be longer than that. I really can't remember. Since March or April, I have decided about once a month to be a runner. I would run for a week and then be done. But, several weeks ago, I really got serious about it.) So, I started off by running 2 minutes, walking 3mins until I reached 30 minutes. Then, week by week just kept increasing the run/decreasing the walk by 1 minute. Last week, Philip and I drove my running route (which has to change each week when I increase the run) and set the odometer on my car to see how far I've been going. I was SHOCKED to find out it was 2.8miles!!! I knew that a 5K was 3.1 miles, so I decided that would be my new goal. (The first goal was to run consistently for 5 weeks which I then rewarded myself with new running shoes).

On Monday of this week, I found a 5K set for today. I knew the area, so the "fear of the unknown" was eliminated. I also loved where the money went for. In short, in August of 2008 a 14month old baby girl, Hannah, was diagnosed with a rare malignant cancer. She fought a hard battle with many surgeries until December '08 when she lost that battle. (Please read her story here). So, a pediatric cancer foundation was started in her memory and that's where the money goes that is raised from this 5K.

Hannah's story touched my heart deeply for 2 reasons:

  1. My baby boys are the same age now as Hannah was when she was fighting her battle last year.

  2. A friend & sorority sister from college, Anna, is currently going through a similar fight with her little guy, Ian. Cute baby Ian is 4 months older than my baby boys, so my heart just breaks for her. (Please go to Ian's caring bridge page by clicking here).

Even though a 5K was going to be a bit farther than I'm used to running, I wanted to do it for those reasons.

I started dreading it yesterday. Telling myself I couldn't do it and why did I sign up in the first place? Philip sweetly reminded me last night that it wasn't about me. It was about raising money for pediatric cancer. That was just what I needed to hear!

I had 2 goals for this race:

  1. to finish

  2. not to be the last person to finish

I am SO PROUD to say that I accomplished both of those goals! I don't know what my time was but I am guessing somewhere around 36 minutes, which is completely what I expected. I got very tired around mile 2. I couldn't see the finish line. Also couldn't see my 4 boys who were cheering me on (Emma Kate was at gymnastics).... But I pushed through and did it!!! Around the last minute or two, I couldn't see any runners behind me, so I was fearful that I was going to be last so I kicked it up several notches! I trotted past 3 other runners to cross the finish line ahead of them. Found out later that there were many runners still out there who had yet to finish, but it still felt good to pass those other runners in the last minute!

I designated Eli as the photographer. I should have gotten all the settings on the camera right before I started (lighting, sports mode, etc...) but I didn't even think about that. So, these pictures aren't the best quality.

That is me in the back right of the picture. Brown shirt, pink skirt. (you can click on the picture to make it bigger)

Coming up at the end of the 1st lap. This was the first time I could see all 4 of my boys so that smile was in fact genuine! I was so happy to see them!
I thought this was funny. I also seriously wondered around mile 2.5 if I was going to need it....
Crossing the finish line....
Philip and Eli were so proud of me! Philip has been very supportive of me meeting my goals. I'm not sure Zane and Zander were proud of my accomplishment, but they were proud to see their momma! (I left this morning before they were awake).

Closing this post with Eli's comment to me as we were going home: "Mom, you did good the first time around but you were really slow the 2nd time around. It took you a long time."

Monday, September 14, 2009

Fun Steps

Zane started taking multiple steps by himself about 10 days ago. He started off really strong and then after a few days, he didn't try again. Now, today, he is trying it out again. Here's a short video sample. Other than him walking (which is the main point of the video), notice 3 other things:

*how proud he is of himself and how he smiles and laughs as he walks

*How Zander has to walk quickly in front of Zane every time

*Yes, that is Batman you see!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Bent Tree Drive

Bent Tree Drive is the name of the street we live on. We had never thought anything about the name's meaning until recently.

First here is some background on a beautiful tree that is in our neighbors backyard. It is very large and its branches are so big that they hang over our fence. I first noticed just how massive they were back in January when we were in the middle of the infamous "Ice Storm '09." I remember seeing the branches, which were then drooping low from the weight of the ice, and thinking I hoped they didn't snap. The house you see in the picture below in the left corner is ours. Notice the "Bent Tree" leaning and drooping from the weight of the ice.... The picture below is taken from another angle. At this point the branches were actually touching our roof....
The tree survived the ice storm and grew back into its full green color over the spring & summer. It also started getting loaded with acorns and met its breaking point. This morning as the kids and I were in the living/breakfast/kitchen area we heard a loud rumble. I looked out the windows (the whole back wall of that area is windows) and saw Bent Tree come tumblin' down. I started screaming because I didn't know where it would be landing. Praise be to God that it missed coming through those windows (where all 5 of us were) by about 2 feet. It actually wasn't the whole tree but only about 1/4-1/2 of it.
The picture below is taken from the same viewpoint as the first one in this post....
The damages to our house and personal property (that's my insurance lingo. Cause you know I've been on the phone with them a lot since this happened) were so unbelievably minimal. I've pictured them below. (had to take all these pics for insurance purposes) Trampoline:

Satellite dishes....

Patio furniture... (this one is a bit hard to distinguish. middle left is the long red patio umbrella. underneath that is a chair. middle back of the picture is the table and another chair. The other 2 chairs are also under the tree but out of this picture.)
The shingles had a couple of punctures but you obviously can't see those because the tree is still laying on top of them! Below is another view of the gutters and patio furniture....

A tree removal company was sent out 2 days later to get the tree off of our house. It took them nearly all day. I was so shocked when they told me that the part that had been laying on our house weighed about 3tons!!!! I was once again praising God that we were all okay and nothing worse had happened.
The workmen assessed the interior of the tree and found it had no disease. Their thoughts are that the tree was under tremendous pressure during the ice storm and it became really weak. Now that it has its full covering of leaves and lots of acorns, the weight caused those weak areas to literally snap.
Nice assessment but that meant out-of-pocket expenses for us. If the tree had been diseased, our neighbors insurance would've had to pay for it. But seeing as how it was no neglect of theirs, we got to foot the bill. (sometimes being the adult is not fun!)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

16 months

Today the baby boys are....

Zander loves food....

and Zane loves to dig through the drawers and pull everything out....

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Twin Things to Remember from Tuesday

My baby boys did a few things today that I wanted to write down ASAP before my over-loaded mommy brain forgot them. Nothing major. No milestones. Just some good Mommy memories!

*The first one actually started on Sunday at church. When we went to pick the boys up from class, they were both in the hall sitting in a wagon....kinda like detention for babies, I think :). I asked the wagon driver about it and she said that Zane was not happy in class (no surprise there) so she put him in the wagon to go for a stroll. She said that Zander had been fine in class but when Zane left, he wanted to go too.
So fast forward to today. Zander woke up from a nice long afternoon nap and was happy at first. I gave him juice and a cracker and he started walking around. He walked throughout the downstairs and then started being fussy and whiny. He went to the gate on the stairs and kept getting fussier. Zane was still asleep upstairs at this time, and I had a brief thought that maybe he was missing Zane. So I went to the stairs (where Zander was still waiting by the gate) and asked him if he wanted us to go get Zane. He immediately smiled, laughed and started bouncing up and down. So we got Zane out of bed and Zander was content as could be.
That is so sweet to me. He was missing his bestest friend.

*I have been taking the boys to Gymboree Music Class for the past 3 weeks. The class is 45 minutes long and throughout the class, they get to play and explore with instruments. Today one of the instruments that was out for them was plastic maracas. I've never really thought about what maracas look like before, but you know they are straight on one end and round on the other. I guess to a 15 month old boy who LOVES balls, that round end looks like a ball. And to that same 15 month old boy who has quite a good little arm on him, he LOVES to throw balls. sweet Zane picked up that maraca and hurled it across the room. Praise God that the only child the maraca hit was my own child. Yep, Zander got whacked in the head with a maraca by his own brother who was only wanting to play ball!

*If you know Zander at all, you know that he loves food. He knows where the saltine crackers are kept in the pantry (he can't reach them but he goes to that door and says "crack-or"). He knows where the HUGE box of animal crackers are currently sitting on the kitchen counter (and also goes to that location and says "crack-or"). The boy has a sense for where the food is. This afternoon I was setting the oven temp and timer to start dinner. He heard the beeping of the buttons as I was setting it. He promptly walked himself over to the towel drawer, pulled out an oven mitt and brought it to me. I was in shock! He thought the beeping meant that the food was ready. I explained (in only the way you can to a 15 month old) that dinner wasn't ready yet and I put the mitt back in the drawer. Apparently he didn't like my explanation because he then proceeded to scream VERY LOUD! Poor thing. He was probably starving. Have you noticed before how under-nourished his thighs are?

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Dress Code Needed

When Philip got home from work today, he wanted to go to Mad Pizza for dinner. For those of you who do not live in NWA, this is one of our favorite kid-friendly places to go. Its pizza buffet with a new twist. Lots of specialty pizzas. Some of our favorites are baked potato pizza, chicken fajita pizza and cheeseburger pizza. It is YUMMY! If you have kids and you ever come to our house for a visit, chances are you will be eating there during your stay.

Anyway, myself and all the boys were dressed to go. Emma Kate had on pj's so we told her to go get dressed. Imagine our surprise when she came downstairs wearing this....

A new shiny, blingy sparkly dress with silver shiny, blingy high heels! WOW. Philip and I didn't know what to say. We didn't want to hurt her feelings so I just told her how pretty she looked. And I let her wear it.

Today being a GATOR game day, Eli was wearing his Tebow jersey, which is totally acceptable for ANY situation. I guess we were so busy getting the baby boys in the car that we didn't notice what else he was wearing. As we were driving to the restaurant, Philip looked in the rearview mirror and saw this....

Philip and I both just started laughing. We had one child dressed for church and the other dressed to play in a football game and the only place we were going was out to eat!