Friday, June 26, 2009

Birthday Party Montage

Jamie! Jamison! J.MA.SON. Over here. Show people your shirt! Show them how old you are!

AHHH! Gotcha! He's TWO!

Pop was invited to eat at the kiddie table.

The guests....Brian's mother, Nana, was up visiting as well as my grandmother, Mammy, my sister and her girls, and my Aunt Linda and Uncle Loren. We keep it small for the parties that the kids will never remember.

The presents....Emerson is being helpful with Jamison's gift.

Lily was being, um, not so helpful. But she's so sly about it that my mother and I were the only two that noticed what she was up to.

The cake....

At least he's keeping his hands clean. Baby steps. I have to focus on baby steps to stay sane.

Patiently waiting for Aunt Linda to cut the cake.

And then I decided I wanted a picture of all the kids. I know it was crazy and we all were not expecting perfection.

This was the best one. The only reason it won that award was because only one child (Maddie M) was not looking at the camera. Smiles would have been a pipe dream. And while it looks like Emerson has enough happiness to share, it didn't spread.

This was right after I freaked out at my sister for yelling in my ear.

And this picture just cracked me up. Lily and Emerson are in their own worlds and Jamison is just waiting for instructions.

Happy Second Birthday Jamison! Stop growing up, please.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Almost Summertime

We had a few brief days that were warm and despite the humidity it still doesn't feel like summer.

When the days are warmer we quickly get the kids playing with water. Why? I have no idea. I guess because they just like playing with the hose.

Here they are cleaning cars at my parents house. My mom borrowed a second one for when the twins come to visit. That way only two are screaming that they want to play in a car and not three.

I love my camera. I love my daughter too but I really love how my camera takes such detailed pictures.

Jamie randomly decided to wear mardi gras beads. He doesn't get why we thought it was so funny.

And one day Lily found a caterpillar. It didn't take much effort since there have been caterpillars everywhere for some reason.

And what's that you have there, sister? Is it a snack?

And thankfully he didn't try to eat it or kill it. So that's always a plus.

Monday, June 22, 2009


June means fresh strawberries in New York! I cannot remember the last time I went strawberry picking and it's probably because it took a lot of work and was messy. I do remember when my mom took Lily in 2007 right after I had Jamison. Within 5 minutes of Lily's return she was soaking in the bathtub in my attempt to get all the strawberry stains off of her skin.

So I decided this would be a perfect activity for the kids to do. Mainly because I love strawberries and if they picked them for me then I wouldn't have to do any work.

I gave them each a pint and instructions to pick the red strawberries. Jamison interpreted this as "eat any and all strawberries whether green, black, brown, or smooshed on the ground and collect none."

You might notice an odd smudge in the upper right corner of this picture. The whole time I was out there I thought the smudge was in my contact. When I finally downloaded the pictures on the computer I realized it was on my camera lens. Please try to ignore it. I can't, but I hope you can.

I dressed my kids in clothes that I wouldn't care about if they were destroyed by dirt and strawberry juice. Jamie was wearing a Halloween shirt and Lily's said "If you think I'm cute you should see my aunt." I'm 99% sure this was a hand-me-down and not really from one of her aunts.

Why bother walking up and down the rows when you can just sit and eat? They should have weighed Jamie before and after and charged me for all the ones he ate.

Lily, can you TRY to take a normal picture?

We went with our friends Nathan and Maddie and my friend, Michelle. I thought it was funny that they were all dressed in bright colors - Maddie in red, Jamison in orange, Lily in purple, and Nathan in yellow.

Near the end it was getting a little warm so Jamison made do.

In the end it wasn't nearly as messy as it should have been (thankfully). Left to right - Jamison (topless at this point), Lily, Nathan, and Maddie.

Before we left we bought cider donuts for the kids. When we got home Jamison was comatose from the fructose and sucrose. Stupid blur.

While Jamie took a nap I went through the strawberries to throw away the bad ones and wash the good ones. Lily's basket had strange looking strawberries in it. Apparently she tested hers before deciding if they were worthy or not to be kept.

I quickly realized we had too many strawberries. I found a random recipe for a strawberry cake and thanks to Jamison's extra-long nap was able to finish this in time for dinner. It looks better than it tasted - the Grand Marnier in the frosting threw off the whole thing.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


Two years ago we bought Lily this tricycle in exchange for us bringing home a new baby boy from the hospital. She was so excited about this bike (and whenever I called it a bike she ALWAYS corrected me that it was a tricycle) but so horrible at coordinating her legs to pedal.

Last year, at the very end of the fall - we're talking maybe 9 months ago - she finally was able to pedal on her own down our very short street. But it was still incredibly awkward and no matter how I write it nothing can compare to her dramatic pantings of how exhausted she was from pedalling 200 yards.

But this spring when the temperatures finally burst over 32* she got on that tricycle and was off. She rode that bike as if she had been planning on it all winter and she was finally able to execute. And ever since then we've realized that she looks ridiculous on such a small bike.

We did not want to buy her a princess bike. We are princessed out. We're done with anything princess but we are trapped in a four year olds world of royalty. After hours of research it appears that all the affordable bikes are either pink or purple for girls or blue for boys. There are no budget-friendly unisex color bikes. So if we were going to buy a pink bike we might as well make her and the executives at Disney happy.

I probably should have expected it, but I thought she would struggle a little on the new bike. She got on it and took off. It was one of those mother moments where my stomach dropped and I couldn't figure out how my baby was able to maneuver that bike on her own.

And then my other baby immediately got on the tricycle. No one had to explain to him that he also got an upgrade. His feet don't reach the pedals so he just scoots along. The only reason he touches his other riding toys (in background) is to push them into things. He thinks that's fun. My son, who I want to grow up to be an intelligent young man, thinks it's fun to ram toys into garbage cans and recycling bins.
We only have about 4 months left of warm weather and I can guarantee that we will be using the bikes about 3 months, three weeks, and five days of that time.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Nana and Poppa Visit!

For the past two weeks Brian's mom, Nana, has been up visiting us from Texas. For the last four days of her trip Brian's dad, Jim, joined us as well.

We made it a very relaxing and easy going visit - no major events planned with the exception of Jamison's birthday party.

Karan always has activities planned for the kids, usually arts and crafts. This, of course, is right up Lily's alley. One of Karan's ideas was to paint with pudding. We had to wait for the weather to be warm enough since we definitely were not going to attempt this indoors. The night before Jim and Karan left we made the pudding, brought the picnic table outdoors, grabbed some poster board and hearded the artists outside.

The media was pastacio, chocolate, and butterscotch. The artists were not starving...but ate the pudding as if they were. They were timid at first and Lily asked for a paper towel three times. We've told Jamison not to eat his coloring materials so often that we basically had to put his face in the pudding to show him it was ok. Yes, this you can eat. We're honestly doing our best to confuse this kid.

At one point I told them to high five and paint splattered everywhere, mainly over Jamie since Lily high-fived so hard. I wish I had recorded their laughter.

Afterwards, Lily asked for me to turn the hose on so she could wash her hands. There was no way I was not going to drench her.

Jamison did not want to get wet unless it gently misted on his precious toes. I drenched him anyway...(only once, don't feel so bad for him.)
Right before we took them to the airport we got a nice picture of Poppa and Nana with the kids. We had a wonderful visit and the we all miss them already.