Sunday, February 28, 2010

For THIS Child I Have Prayed??

Kevin and I were in the car yesterday with two kids who were fighting and screaming and arguing -- over a DVD player, no less and I looked at him and said, "I prayed for this, you know." He smiled, and I pondered and then we had the following amusing conversation. I think when our kids are older they will get a kick out of it -- when they have their OWN kids, that is. If you have or have ever had kids, I suspect you'll get a kick out of it too.

I said, "You know, Kevin, I think all these years we've all be interpreting Hannah's line in the Bible all wrong."

Kevin: "Hannah? Huh?"

Me: "You know, where she says, 'For this child I have prayed and the Lord has given me what I asked of Him.' You know, where she thanks God for Samuel and agrees to give him back to God for His service?"

Kevin: "Yeah, so?"

Me: "Well, she had raised him until he was two (same age as Ellie) and she had HAD ENOUGH and was taking him back to God and was saying, 'For THIS child I have prayed???' I can almost hear her saying, 'Oy! What was I thinking? Why didn't someone mention this terrible twos phase? Yeah, I prayed for him, but hey, you can have him back until he's, oh, twenty or so. What was I thinking?' I am CERTAIN there was a question mark and not a period after that statement she made."

We had a good chuckle over it. I'm pleased to report that later in the night when Ellie flunked out of the bed onto the floor, her "Bubba" beat me to her to pick her up, hold her, stop her crying and get her back to sleep. There is love between the two of them after all!


My kids are so spoiled. Yesterday we went to visit Nana. It's a hour trip and you'd have thought we were going on vacation. Josh took his bed tray table so he could read and work models and Ellie had her DVD player watching The Incredibles. I had to snap a picture of the two of them. "Back in the day" I was happy to have a book and a pillow on a road trip.

Glued to her movie ...

I know Nana was excited to have us up because we haven't seen her for a long time. She cooked the most WONDERFUL meal and we all ate until we thought we would bust: roast, mashed potatoes, mac and cheese, lima beans, pinto beans, squash, coleslaw, sweet potatoes, corn bread, biscuits and peach cobbler and ice cream for dessert. YUM!!! Ellie thrilled her by running around and calling her, "Nona" (instead of Nana) constantly. My parents were there too and Ellie was in hog heaven having lots of people to cater to her. Nana, MeeMee, Josh and I got in a couple of fun games of dominoes. I lost both games. Oh well. It was a fun time.

We signed up Josh for baseball yesterday. We think his team will be the Yankees. Prepare to see some cute red/white/blue photos this season!! Ironically, the first team Josh ever played for was the Yankees. We've come full circle, I think.

This is Josh in May 2004 getting the game ball when he played for the Yankees, his first year. [Kirstin, if you are reading this, note you are in the photo in the back -- look how little you were!!] Sweet times!!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Priceless Just Got A Bit More Costly

Remember the chalkboard? Remember the chalkboard paint? Remember priceless?

I was on the phone yesterday and decided it would be a good time to put a coat of chalkboard paint on Ellie's easel. I took the quart of paint out and gave it one good shake. I say "one good shake" because that's really all it took. Apparently, "Mr. Home Depot" didn't put the top back on very well and "one good shake" landed blue chalkboard paint all over me, my clothes, my shoes, my shirt, my kitchen floor, the kitchen cabinets, the high chair and Ellie's princess ride-on toy. I'm sure the person I was talking to thought I had lost my mind. When I explained, he said obviously his bad luck was rubbing off on me over the phone. I told him not to call again. *smile* After having a moment or two trying to figure what to do about this, I called my mom who had the forethought to ask if it was water based paint. Since it IS, I was able to run a sink of hot, sudsy water and get to work. Not wanting to lose any of the $12 I spent for this paint, I broke out the roller and used the paint from the floor to paint the chalkboard.

Luckily, all the paint on everything came out. The clothes were washed and all but a few spots on my tennis shoes came out.

Needless to say, I have learned a VALUABLE lesson about shaking paint. You have to admit, though, it's a pretty pattern!!

What IS IT with me and paint/markers???

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Permanent Marker Tips

For those of you parents who've ever experienced permanant marker-itis (another disease we are battling around here), I got a very, very handy tip at church on Sunday. Apparently, Susan (the tip giver) and I were the only people in this greater area who did not know that you can remove permanent marker with ALCOHOL.

So, off I headed to pick up a bottle of alcohol to test this theory. RUBBING alcohol. *smile*

Armed with cotton pads and alcohol, I attacked the hot pink Princess chair that had been colored ALL over with BLUE permanent marker. It is a very slow process -- mainly because there is SO much of it -- but it does come out. I suspect all of it might not come out due to the fact that it has set for a while and there's just SO MUCH of it (did I mention there was a lot??).

We have now hidden the permanent markers from both Ellie AND Daddy as this happened on Daddy's watch. *smile* We won't mention what happens on my watch.

I now have two shirts I need to try to tackle cleaning as well.

Excited about Puddin'!

My dear friends, Allison and Stuart, are currently in China picking up their newest addition, Pudding (not his real name, but his bloggy name). One of Ellie's BFF's, Hotdog, is from Kyrgyzstan, and this is going to be her new "big" brother. I am SO excited for them. Check out their blog here. They should have Puddin' (I'm from the South, those "g's" always fall off for me) any time now!!

$10 Easel - $20 Makeover -- Bargain???

So, I bought Ellie an easel at the consignment sale last week. Apparently, I should say I bought an easel for Ellie AND Josh because I think he enjoys it as much as she does -- maybe more. I had been looking at them at Christmas and didn't want to pay $40 for one (least expensive one I could find). SO.... bright me, I think, "Oh, I'll just get one at the consignment sale." And I did. I paid $10 for it. It's a Little Tykes that looks like this ...

... with the exception that where you see red above, ours is blue. It was kind of dirty, but nothing a sponge and some cleaner (bought for $.25 a bottle, you know, with coupons!!!) couldn't tackle. The only thing that was substantially wrong with it was the chalkboard side had some permanent marker type writing on it. Obviously, this family had a little Ellie who went through a permanent marker stage too. However, knowing that they make chalkboard paint and that I have nothing else to do, I decided I could just whip a coat of paint on it and be done.

Why are things never that simple for me?

First off, I stopped at {my least favorite place} Wal-mart and they only had black and it was $9 for a can. I decided I could certainly find it in another color and cheaper elsewhere. Stop two was at KMart who listed colored chalkboard paint on their website, but did not carry it in the store. At least not in Bowling Green where I stopped. Then, I contemplated Lowes and some other places but was never around them. Tonight Josh and I made it to the Home Depot (Daddy would be proud).

And it got even more difficult.

APPARENTLY, one can get either black (quart) for $11.96 OR a tintable one that you can make one of twelve colors (quart) for $12.96. *sigh* I was all for black. Actually I was all for scrapping it, but Josh was with me, so I had to be brave about spending THAT KIND OF MONEY for a quart of paint. Then the decision ensued about color choice. Color, yes. No, black. No, color, for sure. Which one? Twelve choices. I can't decide what to eat for breakfast; PLEASE do not make me do this. Josh finally decided on blue. Mr. Paint mixed it all up for us while Josh and I browsed the interactive paint display and chose colors for his room "makeover" that I have promised him either during spring break or summer time. After Mr. Paint was done, he told me (creative salesperson that he was) that I needed to buy this small roller and plastic tray because it would give it a "manufacturer-like finish". Oh, yeah, right. Listen, you have to consider the painter before you make those kinds of blanket statements. But then he added, "They are only $5." and I snapped it right up. Grand total to re-paint a chalkboard - $21. *sigh*

HOWEVER, the up-side is that Josh is going to paint a chalkboard on the wall of his room with the rest of the paint -- sort of a bulletin board of sorts, so it's dual purpose.

Consignment store easel - $10

Paint to refinish chalkboard - $21

Artwork for the refrigerator from two very happy kids = priceless

(Oh, a retail for a new Little Tykes dual easel -- $69.99 -- so, still a bargain at it's final cost of $31).

Sunday, February 21, 2010

That's our ... uh, girl??

Ellie is going to be such a tomboy -- I can feel it in my bones. But, she will certainly do it in the most girly way possible.

Today after church, she wanted to enjoy the beautiful weather so she took off her boots and set to playing in the yard -- rolling, tumbling, chasing the cat, playing with the dog and picking mama some flowers. This was the first time she had ever picked a flower for me. I remember how sweet Joshua was at this age, picking flowers for mama all the time too.

She also likes to "take time to smell the roses".

Bear is always "standing guard" when Ellie is outside playing. He's such a good protector.

The kitties, surprisingly, like Ellie fairly well.

Ellie was just so happy to get outside and burn some energy.

My girl ROCKS!!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Getting Some Stuff Done -- Warmer Weather

For a few days, here in Tennessee, we are going to have unseasonably warm weather. Today it was mid 60s and tomorrow it's supposed to be the same. Granted, we are supposed to have a cool week again next week, but just a few days of sunshine have made me just happy, happy. I'm just more productive when it's warmer.

Today I got our taxes filed. I'm so glad as that was one of those big project looming over my head that I just wanted DONE. Tomorrow, I hope to get to go see my Grandmother at the nursing home. I haven't been to see her in a while and I feel awful about that. I've been cleaning tubs of stuff out of the attic a little at a time. I've gone through six or seven tubs of Ellie's clothes and have dropped off some at one consignment sale that's currently running, dropping more off on Monday, picking all the "leftovers" up on Sunday and then re-tagging and dropping them off at yet another sale the following week and repeating one more time to my favorite sale Encores and More North. I'm taking most of my "bigger" items to E&M North. I've now started going through SEVEN tubs of clothes that were Josh's. I suspect quite a bit of that will end up at the Goodwill, but I have found several outfits that are appropriate for consignment so I'm going to get those tagged and ready as well. We are certainly TRYING to get rid of all the clutter and stuff at our house. BUT... since it took years to accomplish, I'm not trying to do it all at once. I've found that I can usually work about an hour a day on it and I'm beginning to notice a little improvement.

I'd love to be able to paint the living room and kitchen in the next few months -- we'll see how that works. I have some colors in mind ... stay tuned.

Promise to take some pictures tomorrow!!

A Little Midnight Excitement ...

Not what you might be thinking, I'm assuring you!

Last night, Josh and I were volunteering at the Encores and More consignment sale in Franklin. We had both agreed we wanted to shop early and found that we could shop on Thursday if we volunteered a six hour shift. We signed up for consignor pre-sale night because we wanted time to pass quickly!

The night was pretty fun and it was really enjoyable working alongside Josh. About fifteen minutes before we were done, Josh said his nose was stopped up and I told him to go back to the bathroom to blow it. He was gone a while, but I figured he was whiling his time away until it was time to go. Then I got a phone call from Josh telling me that his nose was bleeding and wouldn't stop. I went back to the bathroom and it looked like someone had slaughtered a pig back there. I had a brief moment of freaking out and then got tissue, told Josh to pinch his nose and started to clean up blood from everywhere -- the counter, the floor, the sink. Yuck. We couldn't get it to stop and it was literally dripping from his nose. I called Kevin, got him to look up on the internet how to stop a bloody nose. Finally, we decide we are going to have to take him somewhere.

When we went back up front, there was a paramedic also volunteering and she sat with Josh and talked him "down" (as he was really starting to freak out) and worked on getting it to provide pressure to his nose to try to stop the bleeding. Thirty minute later, it hadn't stopped totally so she said we should go the the ER and see if they needed to cauterize it.

We arrived at Vanderbilt's Children's Hospital ER at 12:30. After going through triage and accounting, we were told we had arrived on the "busiest night of the year" (great) and to go back to the waiting room and they would call us. The clock ticked and ticked and TICKED by. Josh's nose continued to bleed and we went through TONS of tissue as he continue to put pressure on it. He finally fell asleep around 2:30 and I suppose at that point it might have stopped bleeding (almost three hours after it started). At 3:00, I woke him up and asked if he wanted to just go home and we'd see his doctor later in the day. He mumbled, "No" that he still needed to see the doctor. FINALLY, at 3:30, they called us back. The doctor looked in Josh's nose and said it was "irritated" and that it didn't need to be cauterized because it had "stopped bleeding" (uh, yeah, right ...). He was in the room for at most 2 minutes and went out to write a prescription for Afrin.

We made it home at 4:30 and headed off to bed where Josh stayed until 2:00 p.m. and I stayed until 12:45.

Today he has been in good spirits with no nose bleeds. I'm hopeful it was just a one time thing.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

New Bed

As promised, photos of Ellie's "new" bed. She continues to do fairly well in it. She doesn't get out on her own -- not sure why -- once she's in it. Little Kitty seems to like it too. And, yes, she sleeps with ALL these animals and dolls in her bed. She has to kiss them all regularly. The pink monkey is "Mona" and she holds her pacifier when she needs it held. There is also "Glo" the worm whose face glows and who plays music; Dora who says nighty-night phrases and plays a lullaby -- and, best of all, whose eyes open and close; the bear whose tummy lights up and changes colors; an Asian baby doll, an "Ellie"phant; a giraffe that says night time prayers and a couple of pull toys that play music. Before we took one side off there were more. Girl likes her some company in her crib.

I am still contemplating a toddler bed. Pros? Cons? I know one thing. Her mattress is LESS than comfy now that I've sat on it. I think this might be why she sleeps better in our bed than hers -- well, that and she certainly likes to snuggle up to her mama!!

Wordless Wednesday

Those who know me KNOW I can't be truly "wordless", but this is such a sweet moment I snuck up on this afternoon, I had to capture it. Apparently, she just crawled up beside him and he didn't complain, letting her stay and snuggle.

This is a rare moment where there is no fighting -- only sweetness. God knew I needed it.

Monday, February 15, 2010

How DId I Get So Far Behind???

I posted this as a status on Facebook today and not surprisingly got the correct answer from Josh's teacher: SNOW DAYS!!! The boy has not been at school a full week since before Christmas. I added it up one day and he'd been to school something like five days in three weeks. AND... surprise, today was a holiday and tomorrow?? You guessed it: another snow day.

Thus, the lack of blog posts. Couple the snow days with Kevin being out of town four days and me trying to get things ready for consignment, find my house, work, deal with a continuing bad case of "Princess-itis" and a twelve-year-old boy who is just B.O.R.E.D. and you get the picture. My house is a wreck; I'm behind at work; I need to file taxes; I need to finish the consignment stuff; I need to start and finish the 2009 (yes, 2009) football books; I have a photo to restore; I need to go see my Grandmother, and on and on the list goes.

Josh has also had a stomach virus (thankfully, only 24 hours) but it caused him to miss his final (tournament) basketball game. They lost by 6 points. I'd like to think they would have won if Josh had been there, but honestly, that's just the mama in me. It could have certainly gone either way. I will miss watching him play basketball. Maybe he'll try out for middle school next year.

I'm pondering looking into whether Ellie might be lactose intolerant. Those of you who are "Constant Readers" might remember that she had to be on soy formula due to her inability to take milk based formula. Lately, we are having lots of sleep issues where she wakes up screaming and passing gas. I'm wondering if it's related to that last milk she has before going to bed. I'm considering switching her to soy milk for a while to see if that makes a difference.

Ellie has certainly begun talking up a storm in the last few weeks. The grandparents are SO happy because she recently said, "MeeMee" and "DeeDee". We haven't seen Nana in a while, but I'm sure she'll say that next time she sees her. She loves to ask, "Is it?" while pointing to something, meaning, "What is it?" When you tell her she says, very matter-of-factly, "Oh." She's putting a few words together occasionally too. This week's new words were BACKPACK (from Dora the Explorer, of course) and BISCUIT. She mimics Josh all the time and I'm certain he's going to teach her some really interesting things!! She loves to poke your "Tickle Button" (belly button) and for you to poke hers so she can giggle. She continues to take her diaper off and go get a new one when she is wet, but hides when she is dirty. She sits on the potty fully clothed or with a diaper, but NOT when it's time to go. I'm sure we are getting closer and we continue to watch videos and talk about the concept of pottying.

I'm preparing for the season of consignment sales. I've dropped off my first batch at a sale starting this weekend. Josh and I are going to work one shift so we can shop the pre-sale early. There is a kitchen I'd like to get Ellie for her birthday if it's still there. Josh has his eye on (another) guitar. We need lessons or to open a guitar store -- either one will do.

I have two other consignment sales that I'm going to take things to as well. I have WAY too many 0-12 month clothes sitting around this house that need to go. Can't imagine why. I have learned a lesson though about moderation in dressing Ellie. *smile*

Josh and Kevin are doing set-up and take down for one of the consignment sales, our favorite, and I'll be working several shifts there during March. I'm really looking forward to seeing my friends from the last sale and seeing all the cute/fun stuff for spring.

Kevin and I are continuing to really enjoy teaching the sixth grade boys and girls Sunday School class at church (which is Josh's class). They are a bit loud and rambunctious, but I am hopeful that we are helping them learn, teaching them to think, exposing them to things of the world and the Bible that they might not know -- from a Biblical perspective -- and giving them opportunities to serve others. This week we made Valentine's baskets for the deacons/pastors to take to area hospital waiting rooms with things like pens, notepads, tissue, candy, books, etc. The kids had great fun doing it. They want to volunteer at an animal shelter next. We had a great conversation about euthanasia and will pets be in heaven this week. Most didn't have a clue what really happens with euthanasia and why it's important to spay/neuter pets. I was a bit intimidated by the pets in heaven question, but answered that MY OPINION was that yes, our pets WILL be in heaven. I think there will be animals there. I'm not so sure that we will know them as our pets, but I think we will be aware of a special connection. But, that's MY OPINION, and that's what I told them. Great dialogue. We are currently studying the miracles of Jesus and trying to help them understand that it's more than just "stories". I'm certainly enjoying them!!

Ellie has passed a milestone this week. We took one of the sides off her crib and turned it into a three-side bed. I've contemplated this bed or a toddler bed and haven't made my mind up yet. I suppose I'll see what kind of deals I find at consignment. I know we will use the headboard from her crib when it's time to convert to a "real" bed, but we are not there yet. I'm surprised that Ellie pretty much stays in her bed at bedtime. When she wants out, she calls out, "Mama!" or cries. I thought she'd just jump out and go play all the time. I took some photos of this big event, but they are somewhere unknown to me right now. Maybe tomorrow??

So much more to "talk" about but I need to get to sleep. I am continuing to pray for the families who are waiting to bring their children home from Kyrgyzstan. There are delegates there right now who have been meeting all week trying to make some headway. My prayers are with each of them.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Diagnosis: Princess-itis

Today, at the near end of my rope with all the crying, I called Ellie's doctor's office to rule out any medical malady I might be missing. We had an appointment late this afternoon and we got the official "once over" and diagnosis. It's official, Ellie has Princess-itis. Symptoms include: foot stomping when we don't get our way; crying endlessly when things are not going the way we want them to; massive temper tantrums when we can't get someone to meet our need immediately. The cure (according to the doc)? T.I.M.E.

And, of course, she was the PERFECT ANGEL the entire time in the doctor's office, even letting him check her ears without crying. Of course.

I must be psychotic psychic because you'll remember I called her a Princess a LONG time ago.

To that end, Ellie sat on her princess chair and posed, saying, "Cheese" to have her photo made to capture a photo of her with the disease.

Doesn't she look happy? :-) Can you say: IRONY??? And, as an added note: the "Princess" now weighs in at a whopping 22 lbs, 4 oz. Whooo hoo!!! UPDATE: I was terribly excited about this until I checked her weight when we came home 15 months ago and realized she's gained exactly [only] 10 pounds. Of course, she is a petite chicken, so....

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Girls Who Wear Glasses

What's the old saying about girls who wear glasses? Well, I remember, but I still thought it was a cute title for this little photo shoot of Ellie this afternoon, working on tearing up, errr, trying on her daddy's reading glasses (shhhh.... don't tell her daddy, ok?)

Is the girl a HAM or what??? At least if she needs glasses later on, we know she will be stinking cute with them!!

After tiring (quickly) of the glasses, she moved on to combing her hair then realized that maybe Joshua's hair needed combing.

After tiring (again, quickly) of that activity, she moved on to working the puzzle. This lasted longer (although not much) as she got much enjoyment when the pieces went in where they belonged because we clapped with her. Speaking of clapping, have I mentioned that Ellie HAS to clap after we pray -- every single time. She now reminds us -- all the time -- to "pway" by folding her hands, closing her eyes and saying, "Pway?". One night at bath time, we "pwayed" about 20 times.

And because we have another post placement visit tomorrow, I was trying to get my pictures in order to send to our agency. I was going to try to make a copy of the family photo we had made at Christmas and I took it off the wall. Ellie came running over and had to hold it and "pat pat" everyone's face. Funny!!

I would have LOVED to have had pictures of Josh in this post too (other than his head), but this is the result of my attempts.

I don't know which age is more challenging. I think 42.

Two Year Old Development

In search of answers to Ellie's recent behaviors, I found the following information on a website from the National Network for Child Care, and it was really good -- especially the section on Ideas for Caregivers. I wanted to share it for other parents of two, almost/near two-year-olds. Ellie pretty much perfectly fits the model here. So, if you wonder how Ellie is doing -- this is pretty much right on target for where she is.


weight: 22-38 pounds
height: 32-40 inches
has almost a full set of teeth
walks up and down stairs by holding onto railing
feeds self with spoon
experiments by touching, smelling, and tasting
likes to push, pull, fill, and dump
can turn pages of a book
stacks 4-6 objects
scribbles vigorously with crayons or markers
many children (but not all) will learn to use toilet
walks without help
walks backwards
tosses or rolls a large ball
stoops or squats
opens cabinets, drawers
can bend over to pick up toy without falling


enjoys simple stories, rhymes, and songs
uses 2-3 word sentences
says names of toys
hums or tries to sing
enjoys looking at books
points to eyes, ears, or nose when asked
repeats words
interested in learning how to use common items


plays alongside others more than with them
acts shy around strangers
likes to imitate parents
easily frustrated
affectionate - hugs and kisses
insists on trying to do several tasks without help
enjoys simple make-believe like talking on phone, putting on hat
very possessive - offers toys to other children but then wants them back
needs considerable time to change activities
capable of frequent tantrums, which are often a result of his inability to express himself even
though he has ideas
can show aggressive behavior and the intent to hurt others
can be extremely demanding and persistent
destructive to objects around him when frustrated and angry
possessive about caregiver's attention; show feelings of jealousy
has fears and nightmares
has sense of humor; capable of laughter
shows interest in dressing, brushing hair and teeth
cannot sit still or play with a toy for more than a few minutes


Baby-proof your house again. Two-year-olds are taller and more skillful at opening doors and getting into mischief.

Read aloud to children every day. Encourage toddlers to look at books with large pictures and sturdy pages. Simple story lines are best.

Try to expand a 2-year-old's knowledge of words and sentence structure. Let her hear the correct word order, but don't demand that she imitate you. For example, if she says "more juice," say "Anna wants more orange juice."

Encourage them to identify noises like vacuum, tap water, dogs barking, thunder, airplane, and car.

Let toddlers help you with simple chores such as picking up toys or putting clothes in the laundry basket. Encourage them to name things that you are using.

Add new information to what a child is saying. "Yes that's a blanket, a soft, warm blanket."

Give toddlers clear and simple choices. "Do you want to drink milk or juice? Do you want to wear green or blue socks?"

Know how to handle a temper tantrum:1. don't yell or hit the child,2. remain calm,3. talk in soothing tone,4. put your hand gently on child's arm if possible.

Provide newspaper, flattened grocery sacks, and computer scraps for drawing and painting.

Color books, workbooks, and ditto sheets are not recommended.

Avoid making models of clay or drawing pictures for children to copy. They learn more by working out their own ideas, and adult-induced items can actually hinder learning.

Do not expect toddlers to share or take turns. Right now they are focused on learning how to physically handle themselves and on learning to talk. Learning to share will come later.

Provide spaces where toddlers can spend time alone. An old cardboard box or a blanket over a card table works great.

Avoid pressuring children to be right or left handed. A few 2-year- olds will begin to show preference for one hand, but many children will continue to use both hands for a few years.

Provide safe outlets for physical activity and space exploration like small steps, boxes, barrels, tires, pulling and pushing toys, ride-on and ride-in toys.

Provide opportunities for learning about cause and effect by giving toddlers many opportunities to fill, dump, collect, gather, give, hide, and seek.

Play "parade" or "follow the leader." Sing sequential songs like "Old MacDonald" to explain sequences.

Encourage verbal skills by giving simple directions like "Close the door, please" or "Would you pick up the doll?"

Encourage a toddler's love for imitation by teaching fingerplays and songs. Play "you are a mirror." Stand or sit facing the children and have them copy everything you do. Reverse roles and let the child lead while you mirror the actions.

Encourage sand, mud, clay, and water play. Toddlers enjoy messy play and learn a great deal from mixing, sifting, pouring, stirring, and shaping.

"Ellie STOP IT" ~ Josh

These are the words I'm hearing echoing through the upstairs as Josh yells to tell Ellie to stop her screaming and crying -- it HAS been going on for QUITE some time. Kevin is upstairs "putting her to bed" with the same method we've used since she came home. Except now, she's MOST unhappy about the whole deal.

I do NOT know what's going on with her as of late. She SCREAMS and cries when you put her to bed. She SCREAMS and cries when she wakes up. She SCREAMS and cries if you don't do exactly what she wants/get the right food off the counter/give her the right drink or cup/pick the right movie from the stack (she says NO! to all of them)/come when she pulls your hand to come/go outside ... ok, you get the drift -- basically if you don't do what SHE wants. :-)

And I'm talking TERRIBLE tantrums.

Anyone want to offer advice because we are ALL exhausted with the "scream and cry" method of communication going on with her as of late.
I'm thinking of putting this on her door:

Monday, February 1, 2010

100,000th Visit

I THOUGHT my 100,000th hit went to my friend Allison, mom to one of Ellie's BFFs, Hotdog. I called but she had already gone to bed. Turns out, though, that I got an email shortly after that it was my online friend, Julie, who has been a Faithful Reader for a long, long time.

She asked if she at least got a candy bar and sent me this picture. Thought readers would get a kick from her sense of humor:

WWE - Royal Rumble 2010

Last night, we hosted seven of Josh's friends for a WWE-Royal Rumble party. I knew it would be fun, but I never figured that some of the kids would get "into" it so much. Here's a photo essay of the night.

We started out with pizza. I was blessed to them FREE from Sams because they forgot to cook them after we had ordered them. Can't beat free, huh?

Ellie loved the Cheetos and attention (someone pull that girls hair out of her eyes!!)

Several kids really "got into" the event and tried to recreate some of the action they were watching on TV.

Half the kids went upstairs to Josh's room where they could do picture in a picture and watch both WWE and the AFC/NFC football game. They eventually came back down toward the end and joined in the fun downstairs.

There was a little horsing around:

Everyone had their favorites and their "not-so-favorites."

But the one thing everyone could agree on: they LOVE John Cena.

Ellie was particularly fond of the John Cena action figure from Josh's cake:

We were all distraught when he didn't win.

All in all, though, I think everyone had a great time!!

This included Ellie who found a new accessory to compliment her Princess crowns. She was seen sneaking off with it at the end of the evening (someone wipe that girl's mouth!).