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Thursday, January 29, 2009
After our wonderful discovery of our tree in the yard, Brad went on to work and the kids and I curled up on the couch, happy to have electricity, food, and water. I had just said that I wish it had snowed instead of all of the ice, because it would have been so much fun to play in. Low and behold, we looked out the window to see the largest snowflakes falling from the sky. It fell so fast - about an inch an hour for a few hours. It made everything much more beautiful. And it made it possible to go out and play. Brad came home at about noon and the kids and I got bundled up (taking about 20 minutes) to go out and play in the snow.

I had to keep the kids near the porch - I kept hearing the trees cracking, as if they would fall over, and I was concerned that they'd get crushed by a falling limb or worse. So, it wasn't as fun as it could have been, but they enjoyed it nonetheless. Here are some shots from the day.

Bailey and Jake watching it snow.

If you look closely, you can see the huge snowflakes!

My favorite one of Jake from today.

Scratch that... I think this one was my favorite.

The swingset covered in ice and snow.

Bailey was chasing me... trying to hit me with snowballs (they wouldn't really stick together though).

Another shot of Bailey trying to get me...

The kids' favorite part of playing in the snow... hot chocolate with LOTS of marshmallows. Yes, they drink hot chocolate with a straw. Disgusting? I think so, but this keeps the hot chocolate from burning anyone if they spill it. Yes, we know this from experience.

And last, but certainly not least, my all-time favorite photo from today. My husband, after a bottle of wine and scraping the entire driveway, was exhausted. He was supposed to lay down with Jake to help him go to sleep. An hour later, I went to check on them... Jake was awake and Daddy was asleep. An hour after that, I couldn't resist this adorable photo.

Firewood anyone?

Wednesday, January 28, 2009
The snow quickly became ice and we spent all day on Tuesday cooped up in the house. No playing in the snow - we tried for about 5 minutes, only to show the kids that it was ice instead of snow covering our yard. We had hot cocoa, marshmallows, and popcorn, all favorites of the kids. And, Brad and I enjoyed soup beans and cornbread... so cozy. :) I'm so happy we had electricity and food and that we were safe and sound.

This morning, Brad ventured out to go to work. I was still asleep in bed when he went out to start his car and begin the de-thawing process. He woke me up to see our next home improvement project. This is what you see when you open up our door:

Yes, that is our tree, the beloved tree, that stands (or I should say stood) as tall as our house, giving us wonderful shade in our front living room, a sense of privacy, and leaves for jumping in during the fall. I'm sad to lose her. But, I couldn't be happier about how she landed - she covered our entire yard (a few branches in the road) and was able to keep from damaging our house. It was close at the front door... her top limb is touching the door and that's it. The funny part is that I heard it last night while I was sleeping. I thought someone had hit one of our cars, but when no one rang the doorbell and when I didn't hear anything else, I assumed that the noise had come from ice sliding off of our roof. Thank goodness it didn't come through our windows!!

Anyway... here are a couple more pictures of our wonderful ice storm.


Monday, January 26, 2009
I can remember just a year ago when my daughter would pretend to make snow angels on our carpet, throw fake snowballs at us, and beg for us to pretend to make snow men. It seemed like I was always promising that it would snow one day and she would get to do the real thing. Last winter, she only got to play in the snow once (I think it might have even been on her birthday).

Brad and I have always loved the snow, especially when we get to go skiing in it. So, I'm not surprised by her love for the snow. I can remember having the same feeling of excitement she gets when she sees the snow... I still get it, unless I'm driving. As kids, my brother, Cory, and I would play out in the snow for hours and hours. It was great growing up in the country on snow days. Not only did we not go to school for weeks when we got a lot of snow, we were able to go out and play in it without much supervision, sledding down hills, having huge snowball fights, and making up tons of games (typically scenarios involving one of our dogs pulling us on a sled through Alaska - the poor dogs just looked at us like we were crazy when we would tie a leash to them and yell for them to run while we sat on a sled). Those were some great times that I wish I could hand over to my kiddos. I'm sure that with Bailey's creative imagination and Jake's ability to copy everything his big sister does, they will most certainly have their own fair share of games in the snow. It will be different though - there are no hills to go sledding down (also no trees, briar patches, or fences to dodge!), there's not a country store to ride their go-cart to, and there are no grandparents living in the same house or nearby to fix hot chocolate, sandwiches, and oatmeal cookies. There are things that I am sure my kids will grow up and reminisce about that I never had. Those things will be the city things that we didn't have access to - dollar theaters, gymnastics classes that included bars, beam AND tumbling, soccer, cable television, and every toy imaginable. It's good, but it's different.

Here are a few shots from the dusting of snow we had today. Yes, the kids were absolutely not going to be told no about playing in the snow. It wasn't enough to put together a snow ball, but they enjoyed it for the short amount of time we were playing in it! There might be more on the way, so there's a chance they'll get to play in more. We shall see!

Bailey and Jake in their snow gear... Jake looks like a little blimp!

Jake saying "Cheeeeese" for the camera.

Bailey attempting a snow angel amidst a small amount of snow. She was not happy with the result.

Gloves are hard to come by for a kid Jake's age... they always come off or he doesn't get his thumb in the right spot. No matter what, he always gets mad about wearing them.

Bailey was trying to make a snowball to throw at us. Nice little evil look she gives us when she's scheming...

A closeup of Jake.

Another complaint about these gloves - the snow sticks to them and makes them look dirty. No... our OCD man truly can't handle that.

And Bailey loves it that the snow sticks to her gloves... she can lick it all off and tell me how yummy it is. Only thought going through my mind is that I saw rabbit poop out in the yard last week. Great... hope that's not the area she's stuck her hand in to get snow. :)

A little too liberal?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Well, all of you know that I'm constantly laughing off my ability to be a little too liberal with the kids. You know, I let them sleep in the bed with us, drink too much juice and sometimes pop, and spend too much time in front of the tv and computer. Well, here's a new one for you... I guess.

Bailey has been saying for the past two or three weeks that she wants to take a movie in to day care because they get to watch tv for a few minutes while the teachers get ready for lunch (it's a full total of maybe 15 minutes). I kept denying Bailey. Day care has a rule against bringing in toys from home. So, Bailey has lamented that her friend, Olivia, brings in movies to day care and that she wants to take in a movie. I promised on our last trip to day care that we could take in a movie, but that I couldn't promise that they would let her watch it. So, this morning, Bailey decides to take "How the Grinch Stole Christmas." I worried that it was too scary, but seeing that I wasn't feeling well (thanks to Jake and Bailey spreading their little sickly germs), I didn't argue. Of course, I told them at day care that I understood that it might be a little too scary for the kids, but that she had insisted on this particular movie. So, tonight, I asked Bailey if they watched her movie at day care. She started telling me that they told her no because it was a "PGS" movie. My translation... it was rated PG. Yes, mommy doesn't think about these things... I'm sure they all think I'm terrible at day care.

As a matter of fact, I don't even think about movie ratings for my kids. Sure, I'm certain that other parents think I'm awful and would criticize me for letting them watch things dubbed inappropriate for children. However, I have grown up without censorship, probably knowing too much for my age, but always feeling comfortable talking to my parents about everything. I have always known that I can ask my parents anything and they will give me an honest answer. So, yes, I know that some think I'm terrible when my kids know the characters from "Family Guy" or they are terrified of the Sandman from the Spiderman movie. But, I see it as a teaching opportunity to explain reality from fiction... the real world from fantasy... and to show them that no question is stupid and that there is nothing that they have to keep from me.

Sicky boy...

Tuesday, January 13, 2009
As usual, Jake did come into our room last night to get in the bed. This time, I realized something was wrong as soon as he was beside of the bed. He was crying and when I picked him up, I realized that he was burning up with a fever. I placed him in the bed and tried to console him, hoping that he'd sleep it off (OK... so I know that never happens right now, but at 4 in the morning, it made sense). A few moments later, I heard a choking sound and rolled over to see that he was trying to prevent puking. I jerked him up and woke up Brad. Time to change the sheets. Got everything cleaned up, got him some water and some Tylenol... 20 minutes later... a repeat. So... on our last set of sheets and three or four towels later, I came to the conclusion that we'd have to work out our schedules. He had to get sick on the day that I would be going into the office. Selfishly, I wished he could have picked another day. But... that's just how it goes. Fortunately, Jake's illness is just a virus. The doctor says it goes through families a few times before it's killed out. So, let's hope that she's wrong. :)

Sleepless in Lexington?

As I mentioned last night, my little baby boy is growing up and becoming a big boy. During my time off in December, I painted Jake's room and converted his crib to a toddler bed, giving him the chance to officially be a big boy. He was so cute about his new room. I thought he'd glance around, jump up and down on the bed a few times and be done with it. But, he's still pleased. He likes to tell me about the colors of the wall and remind me that its new by telling me it is "pwetty (pretty)." His mamaw got him a little tv and dvd player for his room (yes, I know our kids have WAY too many electronics!). He absolutely thought he was big stuff when we hooked it all up. He was so excited... running around his room and saying "See... t-b." I was shocked by how much he liked it. I think more than anything, he was excited to have stuff like Bailey and to be able to show her that he is a big boy, too. Yes, we are going to have competition issues in our house. It's nothing we didn't expect... Brad and I have our own issues with competition. :)

Anyway, the point of this tirade is that Jake is now sleeping in a big boy bed... well, he is at least starting out in his own big boy bed. Our nights typically go as follows: I get Jake to sleep in his bed. Brad or I lay down with Bailey in our bed, where she falls asleep quickest and then we move her to her bed. About two hours later, we get in our bed, comfortably sleeping on our own side of the bed - my blankets tucked neatly in and not being touched by anyone and Brad sleeping with one leg out and his side of the sheet halfway pulled off of the bed. All is well. Then, in the midst of dead sleep on child will show up and either climb onto the bed without regard for where I am sleeping and weasle his/her way into the most comfortable spot for him/her. Not long after, the second child will find his/her way into the room and will also position him/herself into the next most comfortable spot they can find. Our night typically ends as follows: Brad and I lying on literally less than half of the queen-sized bed. Bailey and Jake sleeping most comfortably and soundly on the other half+ with our blankets halfway off of the bed, pillows falling in the floor, etc.

And while I always swore that this would never be us, and while I wake up very pissed off some mornings, I really wouldn't have it any other way. Yes, they get up too early. Yes, they beat us to death to wake us up on the weekends. And, yes, I usually end up wishing I had it in me to lock them in their rooms when one of them shoves their elbow in my face in the middle of the night. But... I still love those rare mornings that I'm awake before them and they are sleeping peacefully in the bed, all cuddled up and sweet. It will pass way too quickly.

And the time has come...

Monday, January 12, 2009
We have been telling Bailey for about a year that she had better be nice to her little brother... that the time would come when he would fight back, would bite, hit her, and pull her hair, and he would be strong and/or fast enough to do it and get away. Well, that time is here. I now rush into the room where one of my children is screaming and crying to find that Bailey is all too often the injured party. Jake has figured out her weaknesses, especially the long flowing one that seems to always be easiest to grab when he feels the urge to lash out. Poor little Bailey (we used to say poor little Jake) is now getting her hair pulled on average about 5 times a day. And many times, it is simply because she is in the room when Jake gets ticked off. It doesn't even have to be something she has caused. Today, he fell down and landed on a toy... guess who got paid back for that? Maybe he's convinced himself that she left that toy for him to fall on... I'm not sure. But, I can tell you that this is one of the many signs that our sweet little boy is turning into a mischievous terrible two-year old. Take, for instance, the stiffening out and screaming that we receive when we have to drag Jake out of the tub after a 30-40 minute bath, in which the water has turned cold, his skin is shriveled, and the floor is soaked. Yes... that time is here. Hopefully it will pass by quickly.

Finishing up Christmas...

So, as it grew closer to Christmas, my incessant need to bake and sew kicked in. Yes, I think I'm crazy most of the time too, so it doesn't hurt my feelings if you all share that sentiment with me. :) About a week and a half before Christmas, I decided that I should make the kids some outfits for Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. I had already purchased some truly adorable outfits for one of the two days at the Holly Day market. Yet, I guess that wasn't enough in my mind. I started staying up late at night working on my projects. The first couple of nights I would crawl into bed at about midnight, thinking that I had lost all sanity for trying to do this amidst a heavy concert season and shopping. By the end of that first week, I was staying up until 3 or 4 a.m. trying to finish up projects. And, while I was exhausted and realized how ridiculous it was, I continued. It was as if I couldn't get enough. So, I continued and made Jake a pair of pajama pants and Bailey a nightgown (which I actually finished on Christmas Eve!!). I also decided to bake cookies and pies and try out a few new recipes for Christmas Eve at my mom's. Oh, and there was the night that I volunteered to be one of Santa's helpers at the Kentucky Horse Park. The three days before Christmas, I averaged about 3 hours of sleep at night. I guess I should not have been so insulted when everyone kept telling me that I looked exhausted on Christmas Eve.

It could have also been the drive to eastern Kentucky on the evening before Christmas Eve that exhausted me. Many of you might recall that the roads turned icy that day and the Interstate was closed in spots throughout central and eastern Kentucky and West Virginia. It typically takes us about 2 hours to get to my mom and dad's. On this day, it took me a little over eight hours. Yes, you read it correctly, EIGHT hours. INSANE! I was by myself with Bailey and Jake and absolutely no form of entertainment for them. I had refused them all but one toy each (which they had grown tired of before we were out of Lexington) because I knew they would get so much for Christmas and didn't want to have to pack it all back. It was the most miserable trip ever. I was a nervous wreck, tired from all of the late nights I had pulled prior to the trip, and Brad was about an hour behind me, leaving me feeling vulnerable and insecure in traveling with our kids alone. At one point, traffic actually stopped on the Interstate. It was simply too slick to move without sliding and we did nothing but sit on the road. Of course, that would be the moment that Bailey would need to go to the restroom. After about 30 minutes of sitting, hoping we could get to the next exit, I got out of the car and let Bailey pee on the side of the road. We slipped and slid until we got back into the car and waited at least another half hour before moving. I was completely frustrated. But, while sitting there, I realized that it could be much worse. I had passed at least 20 car accidents on my way. And yet, I had made it so far - only 30 miles from my parents' house - without any major problems. I could be sitting on the side of the road with injured children or worse. Instead, Brad and I met up on the next exit (Olive Hill), parked in a parking lot since we couldn't re-enter the Interstate, munched on some crackers and waited for the roads to be cleared and re-opened. Our babies slept through most of that time, giving us time to just chill out and wait without any major complaints. All we wanted to do is get home to our families, all of whom were safe and sound, happy and healthy. Despite the horrible trip and frustration, I am so thankful that we were safe and that we weren't among the many accidents that night.

Fortunately, the rest of our holiday wasn't as frustrating as that night. It was actually one of the easiest holidays we've had - not as rushed as usual. I cooked on Christmas Eve at my mom's (she had to work until 1) and we spent our evening visiting at both of my grandparents' and opening gifts with my mom, dad, brothers, Angela, and the boys. The kids had a great time - they got way too much for Christmas and really enjoyed the anticipation of Santa Claus. They went to bed at about 11 and I fell asleep with them, only to have Brad waking me up at midnight to get the Santa stuff out and ready. It was about 3 a.m. when we went to bed. At 7 a.m., they were ready to see what Santa had brought. And let me tell you, it was all worth it. They were so excited about everything... a little overwhelmed at moments, but so excited. Bailey went straight to the swimming puppy that she had made a song and dance of telling us about (which has yet to be really played with). Brad and I had used the puppy when she was being bad by telling her that Santa would not bring it if she was bad. She took a long look at the puppy, pushed her hair out of her sleepy little eyes and said, "I must have been a really good girl." Priceless. :) In their sleepiness, she and Jake walked right past the two Power Wheels Jeeps that they received (thanks to Black Friday sales). When I pointed them out, Jake jumped up in the pink Barbie jeep and Bailey jumped into the blue Hot Wheels jeep. Clearly, they were not awake. lol... We spent Christmas Day with Brad's side of the family. I really enjoyed Christmas at Kathy's this year. It usually feels like we are so rushed to get from point A to point B, but this year, we were able to relax and take our time. It was nice to really get to spend time together. And, we totally racked up. :)

In any case, the holidays were crazy busy and so much fun. We were all spoiled to death - I don't know how we made it home with everything in one trip. Brad apparently missed his calling... or maybe after moving me so many times throughout college, he got lots of practice. :)

It took me almost my entire week off to get caught up, but I don't regret a moment of it. I think that's what I always love about the holidays - the crazy hustle and bustle getting everything ready and then the total crash that is Christmas Day and the few days following. :)

Here are some of my favorites from Christmas. The tan outfits that Bailey and Jake are wearing are the ones that I made. Bailey's blue nightgown is the one I made and Jake's red pajama pants are the ones I made him. :)

Catching up...

Tuesday, January 6, 2009
I've neglected my writing way too long... it's going to be tough to catch up now... making me only procrastinate even more.

Here's an overview of the last month or so.

December held so many Christmas and holiday celebrations and traditions, I can barely keep track of them all. The kids had a fabulous Christmas program at day care. They did great. Bailey was our little party girl and danced and sang. She was so happy to get to sing her Jingle Bell Rock song. Jake was his typical calm self and stood on stage, staring blankly at the crowd. If I could have read his mind, I would imagine that he was saying something like, "What the heck do they have me doing now... stupid people."

Here are a couple of shots from their program:

At the Philharmonic, we have an annual Family concert for Christmas. It's so much fun - we have Ronald McDonald, tons of Christmas arts & crafts, Santa Claus, and a great holiday concert. Bailey enjoyed it a lot last year and it was great to see that both of the kids are beginning to enjoy it more and more. Jake was restless by the end of the concert, but they both did a really great job. I was a proud momma... not that that's really unusual. :)

Here are some of my favorite pics from that day:

One of my truly favorite things about the holidays is decorating the tree. Jake's truly favorite thing about me decorating the tree is that there are little round balls on the tree. The most fun thing to do with those?? Throw them, of course! And see if they bounce on hardwood floors. You can see where this is going. Yes, almost immediately, Jake took a bulb and threw it on the floor. Fortunately, when he saw it shatter, he realized that it really wasn't meant to be bounced and didn't try it a second time.

Here are some attempted shots of joint pictures in front of the tree. They were dressed to go to Bret & Cilla's Christmas party. :)

More soon!!!