Monday, November 23, 2009


Those of you who are up on news might be aware that there is a certain holiday coming up. I know, it's not very popular so it's possible you don't know about it. We call it Christmas. Ever hear of it?

Lily's been slightly obsessive about Santa. She needs him to understand, in no uncertain terms, exactly what she wants. So much so that I've had to answer multiple questions on the reliability of Santa's helper in the mall and my own reliability to remember each item specifically.

On Wednesday morning I mentioned in response to one of her cross examinations that some children write letters to Santa so that he sees everything in written form and no mistakes can be made with the top-notch quality control at the North Pole. She was amazed and stunned that this was a possibility. Her eyes took on an odd light which I realized was relief that finally, this whole asking Santa for gifts problem would be solved.

So she took the her pictures from the bigillion toy magazines that have bombarded our mail box and circled all the key items. Brian was enlisted to write the letter which, oddly, was incredibly brief. She then stuffed the items in an envelope and (following the pattern I gave her) addressed the letter.

It is one of my most favorite things in the world to watch her work on something with all her effort. And this was serious effort, no joking around allowed. The amount of concentration that she exhibits when she really cares about a project is captivating to me.

So now I've just had to answer questions on if Santa received her letter and if he is working on fulfilling her requests. I told her that Santa doesn't like to be questioned and can hear every word so she better not speak about it again unless it's to the helper in the mall. Hopefully that will quiet her up.

Saturday, November 21, 2009


A few weeks ago Kristen flew up from Tennessee and she, mom, Lily, and I drove to Rochester for my cousin Denine's baby shower.

I love the place where we had her shower. It was the same place that we had her wedding shower a little over 2 years ago. It's a former mill called The Rabbit Room Restaurant in Honeoye Falls. (pronounced Honey-eye in case you ever need to say it out loud)

Introductions from top to bottom:
Lynn & Denine
Me & Kristen
Jessica & Jill

Lynn lived with our family when I was in high school while she went to pharmacy school. Someone in our family had to be a legal pharmacist to make up for the others who just think they know what you should be prescribed.This is Denine's daughter Myria. She was the lovely hostess of the shower for her mom. Myria will be 19 when the baby is born making her closer in age to Denine than to the baby. Bet that doesn't happen very often.

You know these two.
And this is my mom and my aunt Sheila (Lynn's mom). My mom is in the middle of a very important discussion on WHY IN THE WORLD WON'T DENINE FIND OUT IF SHE IS HAVING A BOY OR A GIRL?!?! This is driving me crazy and Denine is all - it's the best thing in the world not to know. She honestly feels that way. I honestly feel like she needs to have her obgyn give us the sex in a sealed envelope and we will keep it a secret. (as if any of us would be able to not let on in any way. please.)

And there's Aunt Linda (standing) who is my moms sister, Denine's mom, and Myria's Nana. Aunt Linda is what people call "a character". Some others might call her crazy but that's just semantics. She is definitely one-of-a-kind. I could post multiple entries on things that Linda has said or done that you would think I'm making up. She was under control the day of the shower so things were pretty calm. I do suggest this - if you are having a party or small get-together, invite my Aunt Linda. She will keep the conversation flowing for hours. I love you Aunt Linda!

I love the room!! Stone walls, huge wooden beams, glossy, wide wooden planks on the floor.

Whenever we are in Rochester we stop at my grandparents graves. My Nanny passed away when I was 17 and Pop Pops passed away just about 5 years ago. The cemetery they are buried in is um...special. Most of the newer graves are very well taken care of by their loved ones. There is plenty of LED lights, little statues, birdhouses, and random holiday flags. Or just flags of a cat.
Obviously my mother is not happy with something about the graves. Maybe the lack of tackiness that the other graves have?

Mom decided it was time to show Lily where her great-grandparents are buried. We've explained a few times that mom's parents are not alive and Lily gets it. Side note - my sister LOVES the cheesy french fries with extra cheese from Sonic. This picture captures that love in a way that only she, my mom, and I would understand.

I thought this was such a sweet picture. But later mom said that Lily wasn't very impressed by the graves. Of course, we don't make them pretty with gnomes or scarecrows so I can understand.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


Now that fall is almost over I thought I should get around to posting about it. Brian kindly got on the roof to clear off some stubborn leaves and debris. I had to stop taking pictures at this point because a certain two year old boy decided to climb the ladder.

Lily and Jamison wanted to help Brian with the leaves but only until they were bored. So they helped for a good 2 minutes and 12 seconds. And when they did "help" it was to create piles of leaves for themselves to jump into. Lily decided to rake leaves on the driveway because it was easier than raking the lawn. If only there were leaves on the driveway originally to rake. She solved that problem by just raking them off the grass and onto the driveway. So helpful. Now Brian got to move them back to the lawn to suck up with the lawnmower.

I caught this football action one Saturday. Unfortunately, I was inside so the pictures didn't come out so great. Jamie is very good at saying "Cowboys" so Brian has him going down the right path.

It's not about technique at this point, apparently.

But it is all about the effort.

Thursday, November 12, 2009


Your guess is as good as mine. I have no idea what Lily created here. I've allowed play dough back in the house after months of banishment.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


This is typical behavior each night between 6-7pm. Sometimes the game is called "Monster." Sometimes the kids just tackle Brian and other times, like in the shots below, they tag team him.

Rarely does a night go by where either one of them don't ask for daddy to play with them. And that usually involves running throughout the house and screaming at the top of their lungs. Brian loves it. Admit it, honey.

And what am I doing while they are tearing apart the house? Either preparing dinner or cleaning up dinner. Nothing exciting. I'd love to tell you I get a manicure or I soak in the tub for an hour. Possibly read another book? No, I prepare or clean. But (to tell you the truth) I'd rather be doing that then fending myself from the toddler terrorists.

And yes, Jamison is pants-less. He is completely potty trained if he isn't wearing anything on the bottom so he is usually neked from the waist down. Put a pair of underwear on him and he reverts back to a 1 year old. It's all about control for him now and I'm about to let him have as much control as he wants because that's the only method I have not attempted.

Part of the fun of playing with daddy is the pain he is put through. He gets choked, pinched, bruised, and is usually deaf by the end of the whole ordeal. As you can see, the kids aren't really bothered by the pain they inflict.


In a exactly three weeks the four of us will be on our Oklahoma Adventure! We are traveling to Okmulgee to celebrate Grandma's 80th birthday and Thanksgiving. I'm pretty sure all their kids, grand kids, and great-grand kids will be there (except for one grand kid who has to work Black Friday in Nashville).

We love going to Grandma and Grandpa's house and so we can't wait to go back with Lily and Jamison. We haven't been to Okmulgee since Lily was 11 months old - on Grandpa's 80th birthday. Yes, Okmulgee is not exactly a hotbed of activity but they have a Braum's. And if you have no idea what I'm talking about then you need to get yourself to one of the following states that have a Braum's - OK, TX, KS, AR, or MO. I will be eating ice cream everyday. I hope they're open Thanksgiving.....oooooh maybe I'll just buy a few gallons to carry me over in case they aren't open! Now I'll be prepared on TWO fronts - kids and ice cream!

While we've seen Grandma and Grandpa one or two times a year when we traveled to Texas, I wanted to prepare the kids for the amount of people that we will be around. If I don't prepare Lily for this it will quickly go downhill once the house gets crowded. There will be (more) attitude. There will be the fake "shyness" she claims when she just doesn't want to talk to people. There will be whining...well, that will probably happen regardless.

So far Jamison doesn't seem to be bothered by strangers or large groups as long as we're with him. He just sees them as new sources of snacks. Watch your plates! He is sneaky!

So we had a little family project and made a pictorial family tree. Brian and I explained that Grandma and Grandpa had four babies and those four babies had babies (well, to be exact, only the girl babies had babies and actually no babies had babies. but you understand) and then those babies had babies.

There are 23 people on this chart that only exist because of Grandma and Grandpa.

We look at the chart a few times a day and review some of the names. Both are confused that they can have an Aunt Linda on Brian's side and an Aunt Linda on my side. I also had to explain that while Maddie and Ruthie are girl twins, Ayleen and Ayden are boy and girl twins. Also, due to marriages, there are two Phillips and two Jeremy's. All the single cousins should make a pact not to date anyone who shares a name with anyone else in the family. It would make our reunions so much easier. Plus, Grandma and Grandpa have labeled cups for everyone and if we keep using the same names we'll never know who's cup is whose. (actually, I can bet that Grandma figured that one out already but we can try to make things easier on her!)

To any Reeves who are reading this - I tried to make the tree as nice as possible but all the pictures came out different sizes so it was hard to make it exactly right - please don't be offended if your picture is smaller or larger than what it should be. Ask Brian - I try my best to be perfect and continually fail. How dare I?!

So now I'd like to do this for the three other branches - Whitt, Meeks, and Blankenbush. It will be difficult to get all the pictures but I think it will be worth it! (so either send them to me now or be prepared for an email requesting them)

Friday, November 6, 2009


Frequently Lily gets big ideas that turn into chaotic creativity. And we usually let her create whatever is in her head as long as it doesn't disrupt everything. Sometimes this means she paints an 8 ft mural of a roller coaster on an extremely long piece of paper in the basement. Other times it means that she builds a mobile of the solar system (or her version of it) with floating fairies. Little did I know that she enlisted Brian to hang it in her room. So when I went in at 11:00 one night to make sure she was warm I had no idea what was hanging from the ceiling and it scared the pants off me.

So yesterday she tells me she wants to make maracas out of my empty diet coke can. She says it will be a great way to recycle. Sarcastic Katie wanted to inform her that recycling the cans in the machine will get me my 5 cent deposit back but I decided that wasn't appropriate and I let her think she is saving the environment one diet coke can maraca at a time.

Who knows where she came up with this idea and frankly I wouldn't be surprised if she came up with it on her own. First, she wanted to draw a wrapper on the maraca. That was completed easily enough. The she asked me if I had any "old, small, noisy things." I had to beat back Sarcastic Katie again as she was begging to say - I have one 4 year old, small, noisy thing, would that do? I showed her some dried beans I had in the pantry. She wanted me to open my new bag of rice instead. I explained that the beans would be just as authentic and if authenticity was the issue we wouldn't be using a diet coke can.

I helped her tape the wrapper on the can and she took care of the beans, all the while singing that rice would be better. Making Maracas: The Musical. Thoughtfully, she decided to make one for Jamison too. It was about that time that Jamie woke up from his nap so I didn't really pay attention to her maraca.

Later that night Brian and I were about to head upstairs to bed when he saw her maraca on the table. He asked me if I looked at it. I casually said, not really, I was trying to keep Jamie from eating dried beans that feel on the floor. He told me to take a look. And OH BOY.

So this was my and Brian's interpretation of her wrapper:

Brian: Are those three crosses?
Katie: Did she draw Golgotha?!? What are they teaching in that toddler Bible class??

Katie: That couldn't be....
Brian: Yes, pretty sure it's an angel.
Katie: I'm not sure I like where this is going.

Brian: Well, it appears our daughter has drawn the crosses with an angel pointing at an empty tomb.
Katie: I can pretty much bet that this is not the case but what else can it be?

Why did I think she didn't draw the Crucifixion? Of course she knows about it but when she was first told about Jesus dying in Bible class and at home she was very disturbed. As in, she wanted to understand how nails in a hand could cause someone to die, why was it on a cross, etc..And for months her favorite Bible story and favorite Bible picture was Jesus on the cross. It was incredibly morbid. She has been over this for at least a year but maybe it's coming back? If only it were Easter, then at least it would be seasonally appropriate.

When I asked Lily what she drew she told me it was an angel (well, we got that one right) on stage with three stars (ohhhhhhh, ok, I guess I can see that). I asked her what the angel was pointing to. She told me it was the stage curtain. Glad it hear it wasn't an empty tomb. Although, I'm very glad the tomb was empty - it saved my soul, I just don't necessarily want my daughter drawing the scene on a diet coke maraca.

Monday, November 2, 2009


Halloween has been the subject of 2,857 conversations for the past 7 weeks or so. Lily was insane about the whole idea of Halloween and Jamison got dragged into the excitement without any idea of what Halloween was. To add fuel to the fire, my mother bought a Mickey Mouse Haunted Mansion musical dvd of some sort that the kids fell in love with (this is the biggest understatement of my life but there is no way I can adequately express their obsession with this stupid dvd). So we were more than ready to go trick or treating.

Lily already had princess costumes so she was set. We really wanted Jamie to wear a superman costume but Target only had Spider Man and I wasn't willing to put that much more effort and financing into it.

The weather on Saturday was sunny and windy. But the forecast showed that it was going to pour rain at prime trick or treating time - between 4-6pm. This was going to be a delicate situation with the Halloween fans. We decided the best precaution would be to go trick or treating in the mall during Malloween.

Don't ask why Lily brought a stroller and a doll. It was an issue.

We invited our friends from school - Ella and Claire. Ella and Lily have been in school together for three years and Claire and Jamison have been in the same class for two years. Ella and Claire decided that they didn't want to wear their costumes but instead their costumes would be their pajamas. Gotta love the rain boots!

This was near the end and before lunch. Lily looks how we felt. The mall was packed with crazed-sugar-high kids.

There we go. Jamison is at least turned around. He was on the verge of a meltdown the entire time. Apparently, in all his Halloween education he was never informed that the candy is not all consumed during the trick-or-treating. He was not a happy Spidey. He improved once we gave him some pizza but the whole day was a struggle.

After naps and dinner. Jamison didn't like the mask but I made him wear it for the picture. To get back at me, he refused to smile.

Me: SMILE. Jamison: Candy? Me: Fine. Now SMILE. Jamison: See candy in my teef? Me: Mama is done with Halloween.

Then he did something hysterical. You may have thought that we put Jamison through extensive training in order to make his physique in prime condition for the Spider Man costume. But no, the costume has fake muscles in it. That's actually the main reason I ended up buying it. What is more funny than a two year old in a costume with fake muscles? Answer: When he thinks the muscles are his.
This is his muscle shot. "Look at my muscles!"
Girls have muscles too! Especially princesses who have spent most their lives in the woods collecting berries.

It rained steadily from 4-8pm - but Lily and I snuck out of the house during Jamie's nap and were able to hit 5 house before rain dared to drop on the costume. The kids had a blast giving candy to the kids who came by our house although Jamie did have issues giving the candy and not eating the candy. The older girls loved Lily's costume and she ate that up.
So I thought the insanity would end with the holiday. But no. Daylight Savings Time has caused such incredible havoc with Jamison's sleeping schedule. He is exhausted but still getting up at 6am instead of the preferable 7am. Since he's not allowed out of his bed until I come and get him he lays in bed and kicks the wall or sings for an hour. SUCH A JOY.