Friday, February 27, 2009

Cousins - Yes, They Are Related

We have the Whitt side of the family and the Sullivan side. These children look nothing alike. My kids are so pale you can see every vein they have. My nieces were born with tans that I have only imagined in my dreams.

My sister, Maddie, and Ruthie came up to visit last week. Jamie and the twins are only four months apart so they are fun to watch when they are together.

They go up.
They go down.

I should edit that - they were fun to watch until Jamison decided it was time to tackle them. Both twins were victims to his tackles which always started out as hugs. He was humored. They were traumatized. He only meant it in love. But this time, it took a nasty turn on him...

He goes in for the tackle.

Oh oh...the balance does not seem to be going in the right direction...

SURPRISE! Ruthie got ya! Look at the shock in his eyes! How did I get here? Wasn't I tackling her?!?!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Elmo Round Two

Jamison has never been a child that has had many interests. The few things that he loves...HE LOVES. His Sooner's blankey that Nana Karan made him, food, books (although only for 37 seconds, but it's a consistent 37 seconds), food, airplanes, food, and most recently, Elmo.

When Jamison was three months old I offered him his first Baby Einstein video. I was rewarded with screaming. Point taken - this was not something he was interested in. If Jamison was my first child I would have patted myself on the back that my child has never watched more than 10 minutes of tv. But by the time that my child is one year old I'm DYING for him to just watch 30 FREAKING minutes of tv so I can make dinner in peace for crying out loud!

Jamie's interest in nothing is incredibly frustrating. He has the attention span of my father...which also bonds them but now I'm tortured on both fronts - at work and at home. Happily, Jamison is more easily distracted than my father so I can offer him some pots and pans and I can get a good 3 minutes of freedom.

But most recently, Jamison has realized that we have Elmo DVD's. He will sit and watch 30 minutes of the 45 minute video. It's a three part video and he will sit and watch the family and mail part but the minute that the bath portion starts he is out of the room. Typical boy - doesn't like to bathe.

So we're in a new phase and I am thankful. But I also know that this will not last long. Luckily, Jamie's love (let's be truthful - infatuation) of airplanes and helicopters is always something I can fall back. The only problem is that I can only spend so many hours watching planes land and take off at the airport. Stay tuned as you follow me on my quest to find the perfect airplane DVD that will keep him occupied.

Friday, February 20, 2009

The Rippin' Dress

So Lily's obsession with princesses has not diminished an iota. Her biggest enjoyment is putting on "shows" in which she dresses up a as a specific princess and plays out the story. This show includes various costume changes. Sometimes these shows will take 20-30 minutes. It actually has gotten to the point that we have told Lily we will not sit through these shows if she does not practice - the costume changes were taking up most of the time.

Anyway, about a month ago she randomly told me that she could not do a Cinderella show because she did not have a ribbon dress.
Me: "A ribbon dress?"
Lily: "NO - a rippin' dress"
Me: "I have no idea what a rippin' dress is."
Lily: "The dress Cinderella wore when the stepsisters ripped it."
Me: "You mean the dress the mice fixed up for her?!"
Lily: "Yes, I need it to do a Cinderella show and I can't do the show without the dress."
Me: "You have got to be kidding me. They don't sell that dress so you'll have to make one."
Lily: "Do you know how to sew?"
Me: "No."
Lily: "Nana knows how to sew. She can make my dress."
Me: "Well, I want nothing to do with this. Talk to your father."

And so it began. My biggest fear was that Karan would put all this time, effort, and money into this dress and then Lily would find the littlest thing wrong with it and she wouldn't wear it. For weeks I heard about "the rippin' dress." Was Nana working on it now? Would she have to wait until she turned five to get it? When would she turn five again? Could she have another princess party? Who would she invite to the party? When was Nana going to mail the rippin' dress?

This went on and on and on and on and on and on and then one day.........

This dress is absolutely perfect. I know Karan is talented but this dress is exactly like the dress in the movie. Lily lives in it now. She brings it with her whenever I drop her off at my mother's and she brings it back home with her. Karan, not only have you created a beautiful dress but you have saved me from one more endless conversation about princesses. Now I only have to be involved in 79 other endless princess conversations.

Jamison also received some gifts from Nana and Poppa for Valentine's Day.

A Valentine's Day cookie.
And his newest interest - Elmo. More on that "interest" in another post. He received an Elmo train that he likes to roll across the table and watch as it crashes to the floor.

But of course it needs to meet his standards - can the truck fit in his mouth?

Thank you so much Nana and Poppa for the dress and the Valentine's Day gifts! We miss you!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Not Supervised

**NOTE-If my sister had not stolen my USB cable I would have been able to upload pictures of an amazing dress my mother-in-law made for Lily. I wrote this post instead. Kristen, I need my USB.**

The first week in February I was abandoned by most of my family and left in New York alone with my kids. I loved staying at home with them. We had some interesting conversations, times spent just sitting and reading, and I attempted some molding moments.

During snack one day Lily finished up quickly and went to work in the living room. I stayed in the kitchen helping Jamie slather fake cheese on his crackers. I looked up a few minutes later to see what I thought was a mess in the next room....

Lily had created a timeline of The Little Mermaid on the floor using Ariel's wardrobe. It starts off with her as a mermaid, moves on to when she became human (for some reason Lily decided on Jasmine's outfit for that one), next is the dress that Ariel wore as Eric took her on a tour of the kingdom, followed by a Belle nightgown that Ariel wore one night in the castle, the pink dress (which is actually Sleeping Beauty's gown) is for the "kiss the girl scene", and it wraps up with the wedding gown Ariel wore to marry Eric.

Notice that there is a star fish in Ariel's hair and a purse where her arm should be. A stuffed Sebastian is on her other side. I am really investing in Lily being able to apply this attention to detail to mathematics or maybe a musical instrument.

It took Lily about 10 minutes to explain her thought process to me that I got in about 10 seconds.

And then she told me to follow her interactive Candy Land mat path that she created. Ariel followed me.

Tulip contemplated following us but realized that the stairs would require effort. And at 10:30 in the morning she just didn't have that amount of effort into her. And, by the way, the path led to no where. I mentioned this to Lily and she said that sometimes that happens. I really felt that I had a teachable moment there with her about how sometimes life does that when I realized that I had left Jamison ALONE IN THE KITCHEN WITH FAKE CHEESE FOR MORE THAN 10 MINUTES.

And I totally deserved this. Completely my fault.

This cheese is disgusting and the only reason my kids like it is because my mother served it to Lily at her house.
There are a few people who know that I have a passion for cheese. An undying passion. I order cheese plates. I buy cheeses with weird names just to try them. At this moment I have twelve different types of cheese in my refrigerator - including this CRAP. I am so ashamed that my kids eat a fake spreadable cheese that is an unearthly color. Even crayola has no name for this color.

And now you all know too. You are free to judge me. I deserve the judgement for being stupid enough to leave my son alone with the cheese in the first place.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Trip to the Dentist

This was actually Lily's third time at the dentist but you don't know that. So pretend that I was diligent and took pictures of her first trip.

This was truly Jamison's first trip but this was as close as he got to having Ms. Diane (our dental hygienist) look in his mouth. I lie. At one point he did climb on the chair with Lily but only to play with the water and with the spit sucker thing. Ms. Diane lets the kids play with everything in the room so that they are comfortable. Little does Ms. Diane know that Jamison would completely take her up on that if he wasn't frozen in fear.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


Everyone came back from Florida on Saturday and Brian made sure that he brought home a souvenir for me! There were four packages of fresh strawberries!

My dad stopped in North Carolina on his way home from Florida to have lunch with my grandparents. Mammy made sure to give him some tomatoes and oranges for me - I'm assuming they are from Florida since Mammy and Grandpops just returned from Florida as well.

You might ask yourself - why is everyone in Florida BUT Katie and the kids? Why, indeed? Blame the economy.

The four of us devoured one of the packages of strawberries right away. The kids went crazy over them...which made me feel like a horrible mother since they acted like they haven't seen fruit in months. (and let's be honest - with the exception of apples, bananas, and fruit cups, they have been deprived of fruit.)

Friday, February 6, 2009

The Kids Were Being Cute So I Took Pictures

I am still trying to grow her bangs out. They are starting to annoy her so I once casually mentioned that if she hadn't cut them, it wouldn't be a problem. Now whenever she says something about them I give her a look and she laughs so hard and says "I KNOW mama, I should not have cut my hair, even if it was with safety scissors." She still thinks that the fact she used safety scissors justifies the action.
Each night, when I cook dinner, Brian is a horse or a monster so that the kids stay out of the kitchen. Jamison has better balance than Lily so he is always on the back. He just holds on for dear life with his legs. Brian says that it's genetic since Paw (Brian's grandfather) used to ride bareback on the farm. I think we need to put him on an actual horse and then we'll see what a natural he is.

Tulip was confused as to why Brian was walking on all fours and wanted to check things out.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The Worst Christmas Present Ever

Early in the fall I had a hunch that we would need to get gross-motor skill activities for Jamison during the winter. So after spending hours looking at online bouncy-bounces and even creating a spreadsheet of all the bouncy-bounce contenders, I ordered the bouncy bounce pictured below.

I asked my dad to blow it up in his basement to make sure there weren't any holes. The next morning he told me that there was a huge hole in one of the sections. So I returned that one and ordered two more. My thinking was that if one of those didn't work then the other must. How could I go wrong?

The second one arrived and was inflated in my parents basement. It stayed inflated for over a week and just in time for Christmas. (question: why isn't it "flated" why is it "inflated"? I would think that "in" would be a suffix for "flated". anyway, just a thought.)

Unfortunately, about a week after Christmas the tunnel that the kids crawled through to get into the bouncy bounce itself became a safety hazard. The kids actually couldn't crawl through it at all without having to wiggle through the deflated tunnel.

So I wasn't sure what to do but I knew we had to get rid of this thing that Santa brought. At one point Lily and Jamie were actually throwing their bodies at the sides of the bouncy bounce in attempts to climb in it without having to use the death trap of a tunnel.

Here was my idea. Santa would write them a note explaining the error. And then he would leave a replacement. The replacement was much cheaper and didn't take up as much room. And there was minimal possibility of suffocation.

This part of the note ended up sounding a little threatening, but luckily Lily didn't interpret it like that. Do you like my Santa handwriting? I'm thinking of making it a font. I'll call it "Santa".

So here is the replacement ball pit. It does like pitiful. But actually I think they like it better. Jamison uses it as a place to lounge with the stuffed animals. Lily uses it as a collection bin for all the balls we have. That's good for me because at least they're all in one place.

Last week I received a catalogue from the company that sold me the first bouncy bounce. They were advertising a NEW! and IMPROVED! bouncy bounce. I was tempted to see if it would stay inflated. But then Brian threw it into the fireplace and we went back to watching tv.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Snow Play

We've had a bit of some weather issues up here these past two months. Most winters follow this pattern: huge snowstorm slow us down for a day, rain or warmer weather comes our way and melts most of the snow leaving a muddy gross mess, repeat pattern again until April or May.

But this year has been a tad different. December was as expected - we got 27" of snow but temperatures were not unbearable. Then January arrived. It has snowed ANOTHER 20" and it has been slightly frigid. We haven't received a single drop of rain or a warm enough day to melt the snow at all. There have been only 6 days this month when it was over 32*.

These has caused one big complication for me (in addition to the aforementioned fresh produce problem).

The kids are stuck inside - I don't let my kids outside unless the temp (and windchill) is above freezing. Jamison's cheek actually split open as I was walking him from the car to the church building one Sunday morning when the windchill was -125*...or something like that. Once it gets below 20* it all feels the same to me.

So Lily has overloaded on princess videos and princess coloring and princess dress up and princess books, and get my point...and Jamison has taken to literally climbing walls. He also climbs bookshelves and cabinetry - he does vary his routine occasionally. It makes it all that more exciting for me when I'm trying to find him in a room.

Luckily, we did get them outside in December and that's when I took the pictures below.

Snowy day in the neighborhood.

But I still asked Brian to take Jamison with him to get he mail. Jamie was clawing at the door and I was afraid he would escape into the storm.

I didn't take a picture today (Jan 31) but now the snow is at the bottom of the mail box itself. I actually had to move snow out of the way to open my mailbox the other morning.

It took four hours, but we finally got the kids dressed for the outdoors and headed into the snow. Winter apparel is exhausting. There is so much of it! And it's so heavy and cumbersome!

Jamison found out firsthand how difficult it is to walk in snowpants. He face planted as soon as he stepped outside of the garage. This was upsetting to him. What he didn't realize is that this happens to most of us who have grown up in the snow and it's a better thing that he did it at such a young age. (He refuses to wear his gloves so please don't think I didn't attempt to put them on him)

So Brian held him while Lily swam in the snow. I know it looks like we were outside at night. It was actually 4:00 in the afternoon. That's how early it gets dark up here in December. It actually comes in handy when Lily asks if it's bedtime at 5:30pm because the sun isn't out and I just tell her - yes, go on up and get into bed. No, I don't. But only because I know she'd wake up at 4am ready for breakfast.

He's getting happier after that "unfortunate incident".

And then he hears a plane and all is well with the world again.

Lily actually wears her mittens. She has three pairs of gloves and rotates them regularly.

The next day Brian and Lily decided to make a snowman. I didn't want to burst their bubble about how difficult it is to build a snowman. I just brought out a bucket of water to help the snow form better.

Brian quickly realized a normal sized snowman was not going to happen. So they made it Lily-sized. Actually, it was Jamison-sized but I won't tell them that because that would just embarass their snowman-makin' skills.

We didn't exactly have the proper equipment ready for the snowman. So this guy had Ritz crackers for eyes and a mouth and a baby carrot for a nose.

Then they made snow angels. It was very idyllic. But once she did it she finally stopped asking to go outside and make snow angels. And actually, the kids haven't been allowed outside since then so here's to a warmer February and hopefully more days outdoors.