Friday, November 13, 2009

Sweet boy and growing girl!

Ingrid can read! And not even just books that have been read to her over and over... She picked up a book at Kindermusik the other night and read most of it herself! :) There was a point when I thought she'd never have the attention span to actually sit and read. Now, her favorite thing is to write her letters OVER AND OVER again in a couple of notebooks we've given her. She draws pictures, too, but mostly just asks us how to spell things and writes them over and over in her notebook. :)

It all started when she kind of taught herself how to write the letters and showed me one day... It was crazy! I didn't even know she knew how to do it! I had tried and tried to get her to write and read, but she is so active that it was hard for her to want to sit and figure things out. Then, I gave her a spiral notebook one day and she started writing in it for long periods of time. Then, I drew the elementary lines -- you know, the blue lines with the red dotted middle line? I wrote one example of letters and she was supposed to practice them by writing the letters after the one I wrote. She did this for 3 hours straight!! ?? THREE hours! Now, you can seldom find her without her notebook nearby. She knows how to spell her name, Rowan's name, Mama, and Papa! I'm so proud. I got some "sight words" for Preschoolers at the dollar store and I've posted them on her bookshelf tonight. I hope she finds them in the morning... :)

Rowan is talking up a storm! He's one of those kids who should be on "Kids Say the Darndest Things." Here are a few examples:

The other morning, he had crawled into bed with us and when Ingrid woke up and came in, he looked at her and said, "Good morning, Sissy! What's up?" (even funnier when said with a paci in the mouth...)

The other night during nightly prayers, Rowan thanked God for feet. Then, he proceeded to thank God for EVERYONE's feet. Everyone. :) He probably listed about 20 people's feet to thank God for... :) Made me really think about how thankful I am that my feet work. Out of the mouths of babes....

On another morning, Rowan took Ingrid's face into his hands and said sincerely, "Sissy, you bootiful." AWWWW! :) Now, he says it to all the women in his life... He's learning the art of wooing. It works. When I told him that he was beautiful, too, he said, "No, Mama. I'm a prince." I guess princes aren't beautiful. Apparently, princesses are...and Sissy is a princess. Thumbelina to be exact. Sweet....*sigh...*

The other day, I told him that he needed to do something, and he said no. So I said he couldn't have the thing he wanted (I don't remember what it was...). So he went over to the corner and knelt down on the floor and put his forehead on his hands in front of his knees. When I asked what he was doing, he looked up and said, "I'm angry." and promptly put his head back down. So I asked him why he was angry. He said, "Eeecause I like to." OK then.

He's big into emotions right now. He's labeling emotions very well. Ingrid still isn't always able to label how she feels. Rowan knows absolutely. His favorite game right now is "happy face-sad face." He loves to make different faces for emotions -- he's got quite the repertoire. I'm afraid he's an actor......but I'm sure you knew that already.

One last story on the boy... The other night, we wanted to have "family fun night" and Ingrid wanted to play Candyland, but we couldn't find it. So instead, Andrew decided we could all try to play charades. So, we chose animals as our category and Andrew pretended to be a gorilla. Ingrid guessed right, so we told her she was next. She went up and pretended to be a monkey. With a little encouragement, Rowan guessed what Sissy was trying to be, so we told him it was his turn to pretend! Would you believe that he went right up to the "stage" and got down on all fours and said, "BAAAAA" ;) When we guessed right, he started hopping around and saying, "Ribbit!" :) When we guessed that right, he turned around and ran around on all fours saying, "Nnnneeeeiiiiggghhh!" I could NOT believe my eyes! Do 25 month olds understand charades?? I guess mine does. And the animals he was pretending to be weren't even related to his two examples before! He did this 3 more times before we quit the game to go to bed. It was amazing to watch.

We went to the doctor for their well-child check-ups last week. They saw a new doctor in Oakland (a nurse practitioner named Danny Moon -- he was AWESOME.). Here are their stats:

Ingrid: 75% in weight AND height -- This is very unusual for us. She's been 10%-20% since she was born! ?? It's crazy that she's above average in height... She got two shots and needs two more in a couple of months. That was an unhappy surprise, but we got the meds in her--and she got a baby doll that afternoon! She also got a HUGE welt from her chicken pox shot, but she's feeling fine now. We also talked to her doctor about helping us get permission from the landlord to have an animal at our apartment. She seems much calmer around animals, and I think she could benefit from having something to take care of. She very seldom sits and rests when we're at home, but at the farm, she will sit quietly for a long time with her cat or with Bella. I hope it gets approved.

Rowan: 95% in weight......and 20% in height! Oh well. He's always been a bit of a bruiser, but I don't think you'd look at him and think that those were his stats. I think he's on the verge of hitting another growth spurt. Kids always beef up and then stretch out. We'll see how long he fits into his 18 month pants... He's already out of most of his 18month shirts. :) He's also 33.5 inches tall! Growing boy... He ended up needing a booster shot too that day, however, he didn't seem to care! He squinted his eyes and whispered, "Ow." and that was about it. A bit different when Ingrid followed him with hers. Andrew and I both had to hold her while the nurse gave her the shots. Rowan just willingly gave the nurse his leg. Oh, boys. :)

Well, that's what's going on here. I've got lots of pictures and stuff to post at some point, but my computer is pretty slow uploading pics, so I'll have to do that another time. Until then, take care!!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Grandad and the boys
Crystal and Addie
Ingrid singing on the stairs
Rowan in his suit
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Melanie and Dave's Wedding

On Oct. 4, 2009, Melanie Roberson and Dave Collins got married in Morgantown, WV. We were blessed to be a part of their special day. Here is one of a couple of posts of our memories. Congrats, Mel and Dave!!

Aunt Sue and Bec
The Bride and Groom
My voice student Stevie and Crystal's littlest one, Nicholas

Grandad and the boys in their darn cute suits! ;)
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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Our Minnesota Trip

I know it's been a long time since I posted on here... It's been a crazy summer! Andrew and I acted with the TOTL theatre company again, but this time, we did 2 shows together and I did 3 total! It was a fun time. Very fulfilling for me, although the kids missed us. They stayed with my parents at the farm, and since Rebecca was in 2 of the shows with us, Isaac also stayed there a lot. It was great with the cousins romping around the farm and driving the tractor with Granddad! ;) Facebook has been the medium of the summer, so find me there and you can see pics of the summer!

On to our next journey...

We just got back yesterday from our yearly family tour of MN. What a blast!! We got to see everyone (except Susan... :( ) and felt like we spent some good, quality time with all. Here's a picture journey of the first part of our trip. More pics to come soon!
Think the ice cream got to her? :) Thanks, Grandpa Jack. ;)
Here's Rowan on a boat ride with Great-Grandma Jane on Turtle Lake
Ingrid and Kristi at The Old Spaghetti Factory. We got an Italian Cream Soda and took home a new glass from this dinner! Fun...
Uncle Eric became a riding toy for the kids on the FIRST day. Andrew had them "give him the spurs." Not such a nice thing considering where their heels dug into the "horse." What a good sport Uncle Eric is!! He's going to be an exceptional Daddy starting in January!
A sleepy Uncle Eric and two sleepy kids...
Here's the kids and Grandpa Darrell's sister, Great-Aunt Katie. What a good day at Forest Lake.
Here's Papa giving the kids a ride in the canoe on Forest Lake. They loved it!
Off Grandpa Darrell's dock, there are fish and turtles of all kinds. The kids look forward to feeding them when they visit. This year was no different. We throw the pellets into the water and watch the fish and turtle swim up and eat them. Papa caught a painted turtle and we got to pet it! It was beautiful. Now, Ingrid wants a pet turtle... Geesh. :)
Here's Grandpa Darrell playing with Rowan. They're throwing the frisbee for Maggie, the border collie. Rowan thinks it's hilarious to run after it, too! ;)

It was Great-Aunt Trudy's birthday while we were there, so we had a family birthday party at Grandpa Darrell's. Here are Ingrid and "Trud-o," as Ingrid calls her, having a deep conversation. :)

The kids are lucky to know their Great-Grandpa Bud. Here's Ingrid making him laugh...something the stoic Swede reserves only for especially funny things. :)

Ingrid at Grandpa Darrell's house feeding the fish and turtles in Forest Lake.

Gramma Camra lives in Turtle Lake, WI. Here they are on her beach playing in the sand. Gramma Camra doesn't hesitate to get her hands dirty with the kids!! They love her.

Here's Gramma playing princess show with Ingrid. Love the costumes!!

Uncle Eric and the kids...

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Ingrid's Preschool Music Program

Last Wednesday afternoon, we had a little end of the year music program at Ingrid's preschool (Sacred Meadow Montessori Children's House--kids aged 2-5 in my little choir) where I teach music classes (my own class cirriculum, not Kindermusik...) every Wednesday throughout the school year. Boy, was it cute! :) Ingrid did a great job, and I was very impressed at the job the children did listening and singing. I left feeling like maybe I taught them a little something... :)

Here are a few video highlights (sorry it's so was a dreary day--and in a couple of these you can't see Ingrid very well, but there are some where you can...if you look hard--she's wearing a white shirt in the front row all the way on the left end...):

1) Here's the intro and the kids singing "Do-Re-Mi" from the Sound of Music using sign language.

2) Here are the kids singing our version of "Singing in the Rain" :)

3) Here are the kids singing their "5 Little Snowmen" song--we teach math with music too!

4) Here are the kids doing their last song--in FRENCH! "Alouette"

Thanks, Carolyne and all the staff and parents of Sacred Meadow Montessori for lending me your children each week! We'll see you again for class in September! :)

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Our New Little Arrivals!

We've got a Mama Robin who has made a nest on our front porch light. She's sweet. She bounces around in our yard and sings to us from her cozy little spot. We've been pretty sure she's sitting on eggs. She flies away if Andrew and I come around, but the kids don't seem to bother her. She lets them play around wherever they want, but she keeps her eye on Andrew and I. It's been great having her there. She feels like a pet, although we try to leave her alone as much as we can, and opening and closing the door as carefully as possible, so as not to scare her too much. We leave the light turned off, too... :)

Yesterday, Andrew and the kids were playing outside as I came home from voice lessons. We were watching our Mama fly back and forth from the nest, marveling at her deftness, guessing which tree she would fly to next.

Andrew said sadly that he saw one of the little blue eggs broken on the porch that morning....but he didn't see a yolk--

He stopped in mid-sentence and smiled as he hushed me from sighing...

From the top of the light, in the cozy little nest, we heard the faintest "cheep, cheep"! We have babies at our house!

What a cool thing to think our family's energy would attract a nesting Mama Robin and her chicks! It warms my heart. Easter is more than a story. It's a way of life... Thank you Lord, for this very tangible reminder of that.

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Spring Has Sprung!

Spring has sprung in WV/MD! :) We enjoyed a picnic of carrots and strawberries out on our beautiful green grass carpet in the front of our apartment the other day! The strawberries were sweet, the breeze was cool, the sun was hot, and we were all home at the same time! -- a rare occurance at our house lately. It was a great afternoon.

After our "meal" of berries and carrots and juice, we all decided we were still hungry--and went to the Creamery for ice cream by the lake! What a FANTASTIC afternoon!! :) Mom and Dad enjoyed the treat as much as the kids! :)

I LOVE Spring in WV/MD. It takes its time... It stretches and yawns to wake up instead of bursting out of bed. It gives you time to savor the resurrection of the Earth...and gives you time to remember how you fit into the equation. Sometimes, the world doesn't give you the chance to find the resurrection happening inside of you. At least here, it's like Nature understands you need some time to stretch and yawn and remember that you are coming to life as well.

And I appreciate it.

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Sunday, May 10, 2009

Computer Blues and Little Boys

So, I haven't blogged much lately because I'm ending month TWO of not having a laptop. I've started to dread going to the computer. I've been using our desktop computer for Internet, and it's pretty slow...and not everything is on it that I use...anyway, it's been more than frustrating. Luckily, I have some wonderful students at Fairmont who have helped me out. I've had lots of work done on it for nothing! (Well, I bought the kid who's been fixing things a gift card, but just because I'm soooo grateful!) So, anyway, here I am. No pictures, but I hope to get one from my Mom about this next story...

Today, we went to my Mom's church for Mother's Day (Andrew took me out for really yummy Japanese food and gelato and book store time last night while Nicole and Julia took the kids! Thanks, hon!). Of course, the kids woke up WIRED. Not sure why, but Rowan COULD NOT sit still in church this morning. Usually, if I pack a drink and something to munch on, he's OK. I may have to talk in his ear to keep him quiet, but it usually works... Well, this morning NOTHING was working. He went from one person to the other, asking for a "bobble" and refusing anything that might have ordinarily worked. Andrew even had to take him out for a while, which we try not to do so he learns to sit quietly. That worked for about 10 minutes, and then he was back to whining and trying to climb under the pews...

We passed him around, and he finally ended back up on Andrew's lap. By this time, everyone around us was watching him. He decided that he was making a big enough scene that he could perform. He then proceeded to stick his finger up his nose and snort. I don't mean little snorts. I mean big, long snorts. Everyone around us was laughing as quietly as possible, but I felt sorry for the pastor (of course, he was a visiting speaker...) because our family (anita and her family were there too) made up probably a quarter of those in attendance today! Geez...

It doesn't end there...

Later, we went to the farm for the day. After lunch, I was eating a piece of triple chocolate cherry cake (yeah. It was as good as it sounds.) and couldn't eat the whole piece because it was so rich. I put it on the TV tray by the couch where I was sitting, and of course, at that moment, the kids came in and wanted some. I said no, there was some crying...well, who am I kidding? Lots of crying, dramatics, and rolling on the floor. Finally, they got distracted with some toys and books. In the mean time, I forgot about it and accidentally left it on the TV tray. You can probably predict what happened...

About an hour and a half later, we see Rowan coming into the kitchen from the family room with chocolate ALL OVER HIS FACE. ALL OVER. And he was so happy! :) The happiest he had been all day. It had been a bit of a trying day for him...clingy and whiny. Not now! He was in rare form...

Mom asked him where Mama's chocolate cake was, and he opened his mouth as wide as he could! Geesh...

Then, she asked him what he did in church and he stuck his finger up his nose and snorted.

Day over. I'm ready for bed!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Easter 2009

We had a great Easter this year!

We made it through our first Easter where Ingrid understands what's really going on... Rowan, on the other hand, not so much...but he had fun, too! :)

Ingrid was very disappointed that she didn't get to meet the Easter Bunny. She's a bunny-lover! :) At preschool, they have a bunny that the kids get to take care of, and she's in love with this little guy. When we started talking about the Easter Bunny, she gave both Andrew and me the 3rd degree. She wanted to know what he looked like, when he came, how he got the candy, where he came from, and why she didn't get to see him. Shew! It took some creativity, but she was enjoying the stories.

Don't worry...she got just as grilled on the REAL meaning of Easter. She's actually pretty sound on that story. ;)

When the kids got up, we found the eggs the Easter Bunny had hidden and the kids proceeded to stuff their faces with candy (we have no chocolate in our house on account of Ingrid's personality change after eating other words, she turns into her evil twin...). It was hilarious watching them eat piece after piece, looking at us suspiciously sideways, wondering when they were going to get into trouble from eating one more piece...and then another...and another... ;)

Finally, it was time to get ready for church, and I made them eat some real eggs (that Andrew made, wonderfully...since I was busy in the shower warming up to sing for church...) so they could at least partially metabolize all the sugar and avoid sugar shock in the middle of the church service...

I was invited to sing at St. Matthew's this year for our Easter service. I sang I Know My Redeemer Liveth from Handel's Messiah. It went pretty well, although the lilies made it difficult to sing with allergies despite Claritin, ibuprofen, and mucinex-D. :? It made me have to live what I preach to my students about singing with good technique and letting muscle memory take over... It's kind of nice to know I may know what I'm talking about... :)

Another side note: all throughout Lent, I did prayer stations to illustrate the lectionary readings and make the sermons more tangible. Despite the small size of our congregation (and the older average age...), everyone seemed to enjoy them. I came up with them each week and set them up for the congregation to take part in on their own accord. By Palm Sunday, our priest was in on it. For a climactic ending, on Palm Sunday, along with waving palms, when everyone came up for communion, we each got a nail and put it into a cross with holes in it, symbolizing our sins' part in Christ's death. Then, on Easter Sunday, the nails were replaced with beautiful daisies. (The backdrop of our Easter photo above.) Pretty cool.
After the service, they had a little egg hunt for the kids. Ingrid was definitely into it. ;) Here she is showing me her bag full...

She ended up giving some away to a couple of other boys. She was sweet. Rowan, on the other hand, just liked running around. :) He was just fine with Ingrid finding eggs and bringing them to him, and he would open them right away to see what was in them. :) He got the hang of that part...

Then, we went down for coffee time with homemade hot cross buns and fellowship and then some attempts at pictures by the lilies. We got one family shot and several of Rowan trying to get away and Ingrid making silly faces.

This is the best one we got:

When I said, "Say cheese!", I actually meant for them to say it to the camera! :) But kids will be kids... It's actually really cute, isn't it?

Here are pictures of each of them. Cute, huh?

After church, we headed back to Mom and Dad's where Aunt B and Isaac were waiting. Uncle B had to work, so he wasn't able to be there, but Bec and Isaac were able to stay. Then, the WHOLE family came over for dinner. It was fun with all the cousins there with the kids. We let them all gorge on candy and then run around and play all evening while I made cappuccinos for us adults. Fun! ;)

Here are cousins Joshua and Katie with Ingrid (the 3 musketeers...):

Here's Rowan and Isaac romping around on the loveseat:

We all tried to have a hand in making dinner. Melissa and her girls made lemon chiffon pies (YUM!) and hot cross buns, Anita made sweet potato/leek fritatta, Mom made the turkey, ham, potatoes, gravy, and dressing, and I made the kids cupcakes (from scratch, thank you!). Here they are decorated. I don't know if you can see what I was trying to do, but if you look closely (and use your imagination...), you can see the grass with easter eggs hidden in them and bunnies going down holes in the lawn (you can only see their white tails and orange feet...see them?).

I know...they're not professional, but we got a kick out of them. And I got pretty good reviews on how they tasted from the kids. ;) Fun.

The kids actually went to sleep last night, even with all the candy! Rowan woke up nasty, but he has been doing that lately... Today, we limited the candy, and we had a good day at the farm again! :)

Now, it's off to help clean up the place after a day of inside fun...

Happy Easter, everyone! Praise the Lord, Jesus is alive! :)

Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Nelson's 20/20 Interview

I got this from another mom's blog... Thanks, Heather...

This is an interview with Ingrid. I thought I might get some interesting answers...I wasn't disappointed.

Here are Ingrid's answers (with my thoughts in italics):

Questions about Mom

1. What is something Mama always says to you?
To feed the goldfish (actually, most of the time I forget...)
2. What makes Mama happy?
Funny faces
3. What makes Mama sad?
when we do rough things (yes!)
4. How does Mama make you laugh?
playing CandyLand
5. What was Mama like as a child?
Like me
6. How old is Mama?
7. How tall is Mama?
As tall as when you reach your arms up (I mean, hello...)
8. What is her favorite thing to do?
Work (great.)
9. What does Mama do when you’re not around?
clap your hands (I think she actually meant it as an action, not a reaction to her not being there...)
10. If Mama becomes famous, what will it be for?
I don't know.
11. What is Mama really good at?
teaching (awww...)
12. What is Mama not very good at?
getting out of bed (does my child know me or what?)
13. What does Mama do for her job?
14. What is Mama's favorite food?
vegetables (nice. That's exactly what I want them to think...)
15. What makes you proud of Mama?
when you work (maybe this redeems the fact that she thinks my favorite thing to do is work?)
16. If Mama was a cartoon character, who would she be?
Clifford the Big Red Dog
17. What do you and Mama do together?
play CandyLand
18. How are you and Mama the same?
our faces look a lot the same
19. How are you and Mama different?
We don't have the same shirt on
20. How do you know Mama loves you?
because Ms. Carolyne taught me (she had just come from preschool when I did this...I think it was still on the brain...)
21. Where is Mama's favorite place to go?
to church (I don't think the first year and a half of her life is lost on her...)

Questions about Papa

1. What is something Papa always says to you?
Be careful. (actually, I think that's me...)
2. What makes Papa happy?
When we're so good.
3. What makes Papa sad?
When Rowan does something like hitting or biting or pulling hair or hits the windows or hurts the chairs or boxes...
4. How does your Papa make you laugh?
make funny faces (true.)
5. How old is your Papa?
6. How tall is your Papa?
2 inches
7. What is his favorite thing to do?, play.
8. What does your Papa do when you’re not around?
9. What is your Papa really good at?
making up stories (very true.)
10. What is your Papa not very good at?
I don't know. (I could have prompted her on this question...but I didn't.)
11. What does your Papa do for his job?
does sign language (it's not easy to explain Positive Behavior Support to a 3 yr old...)
12. What is your Papa’s favorite food?
broccoli (really. Hmmm...)
13 If your Papa were a cartoon character, who would he be?
Mickey Mouse
14. How are you and your Papa the same?
We both have silly faces
15. How are you and your Papa different?
We don't have the same shirts on
16. How do you know your Papa loves you?
Because he loves me (said very matter-of-factly.)
17. Where is your Papa's favorite place to go?
fishing (I believe this child might know her Dad pretty well, too...)

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Lenten Sacrifices...

I'm following the blood type diet during Lent (always remembering that Sundays are a reprieve...did you know that? yep. ). The first week didn't go so well...Ash Wednesday was 2 days before my birthday and Andrew and I went to Pittsburgh for my birthday and for that Saturday. (More on this another post...) So, needless to say, I didn't stay on my diet then. Also, Andrew left town for the following Monday and Tuesday, leaving us without my "BloodType A" diet staples (and me with no money in the bank) I ended up eating Mac n Cheese with the kids (although the mac n cheese is loaded with veggies...I NEVER serve plain mac n cheese in our kids are going to be going to friends' houses to get plain mac n cheese like I did when I was little...). So, the rest of the week, I did pretty well, but with the time change, I still feel tired instead of better like I usually feel when I do the diet... :(

But then, this morning as I was driving to school to substitute teach for Mom--in the dark--after being awakened 3 times during my short 5 hour night of sleep--downing coffee to keep from driving off the road--that my willingness to sacrifice (albeit not a large sacrifice, but enough to make it sting...) this morning and make it to school despite my many excuses not to -- is partly because we fast and give things up--not only for Lent, but as a discipline in the Christian Church. Apart from its parallel meanings to Christ's life and journey, it keeps the feeling of uncomfortability from feeling too foreign, giving us strength at times when life is, well, uncomfortable. And who isn't feeling uncomfortable right now?

Of course, I knew these things, but several points were driven home today as I listened to NPR news and the droning on and on about how we need a "quick fix" for the problems we face. This "practice" of feeling uncomfortable is such a radical idea in our world! I'm sure that if there were studies done during hard times on stress levels in people who fast and people who don't, I'll bet that the stress levels in people who fast are lower... Of course, I've never done such a test, but I know that from my own experience that once I took the whole sacrifice thing seriously (anyone with a child has done this to a point....), when hard times hit, I know I felt more prepared to handle them... Of course, you never get rid of the pain, but at least you know a little something about being uncomfortable and can say that you've been there. And at the VERY least, you find that the daily things you thought were uncomfortable, aren't anymore.

It's hard to remember this, though, when you're in the midst of sacrificing. A teacher/author I admire (Brian McLaren) once said that when he fasts, he "doesn't feel closer to God," he "feels closer to pizza!" :) But this week at church, our priest gave a sermon about dying to yourself...and how we immediately feel the effects of it. It's like living the Easter story! It's much easier to sacrifice when you believe that every time you deny yourself those comfortable things, you are dying to yourself so that new life can spring in its place! We are Easter people, after all! What a different end to the story than we are told on the news every night...

I'm still trying to stay true to my sacrifice, and even today, I failed a bit, eating cheese when I was supposed to avoid dairy... But the next time I put something in my mouth, I have a new chance to die to myself...and remember that new life will spring up in me where the old life ended. And who doesn't need a second chance now and then?

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Super Why! (oh why oh why...)

The other day, I was telling Rowan to "get out, get out, get out!" of the bathroom. :) We usually make it a fun little game where I kind of chase him out of the room he's not supposed to be in and he chants "out, out, out" with me. Cute. ;)

However, this day, instead of chanting the cute little "out, out, out!" with me, after I told him "out, out, out!" he looked up at me and said,


Oh my Lord. I don't think I can handle TWO "super whys" in my house!!!!! I was completely bewildered.

Now, it's MY turn. "Why, Lord, why?"


Friday, February 6, 2009

Words, words, words...

After posting yesterday's post, I started to wonder just how many words Rowan knows... I was worried that my estimate of 40-50 words was way off, so Andrew and I listed them out--and I was right on! Here's the list along with his pronunciations:

1. excuse
2. me (together with #1 - "mu-me." - used in context!)
3. hello ("hewo" -- soooo cute!)
4. mama (unfortunately, he's replaced Papa with Mama...hmmm...)
5. bye-bye
6. night-night ("nigh-night")
7. bottle (usually "bob-bull")
8. Bella ("ba-ba" - same as Ingrid used to say!)
9. bites ("bies" - replaced "more")
10. please ("peeeeeees" - usually accompanied by the sign)
11. no
12. yes (so cute--actually sounds like "yes" with a nod of the head)
13. phone ("bone" - but he usually says "hewo" when he sees a phone)
14. juice ("doooos")
15. knock-knock (as in the joke-"kno-knock")
16. Pooh
17. hat (usually says "a-hat" - he's really into hats right now!)
18. Grandad ("dan-dad")
19. Granny ("nee-nee")
20. Elijah ("ijah")
21. Sissy ("iss-iss")
22. Papa ("ba-ba" - with the "b" between a b and a p sound)
23. outside ("ut-sigh")
24. eyes
25. ear ("air")
26. nose ("news")
27. ah-choo!
28. Pee-hew! ("b - hugh")
29. wild
30. west (together with #29 in a song "Wild-wild west" - he sings it all!)
31. Elmo ("mel-mo")
32. on
33. in (sounds a bit like "on")
34. uh-oh
35. shoes (not sure how to write this, but it sounds like all "ssss" with a bit of a lisp. So cute!)
36. push (his favorite thing to do is push things around -- especially if it has wheels!)
37. horse ("howse")
38. baby (as well as yo-baby - his favorite yogurt)
39. paci (sounds like "a-pass" or "patti")
40. read
41. book (together with #40 usually -- sounds like "wee-a-boo")
42. toot-toot (means "train")
43. gentle ("den-too")
44. diaper ("bigh-poo")
45.'s cold! ("'s toll!")
46. table
47. help ("hep!" - usually sounding quite dramatically desperate)
48. rock (as in the rocking chair--he says "wot, wot...wot, wot")
49. Isaac ("eyes-iss")
50. What's that? ("whas-at?")

These are new words from just this morning!
51. lights ("ights")
52. cup ("bup")


Ingrid is starting to read! She recognizes most of our names and several others. She sounds out almost any "at" word and can read some other words (not just memorized) in the story "Green Eggs and Ham." She can count to 20, too! Next is working on writing her name and how to spell it by herself... I'm sure it won't take long... :)

I'm so proud of my kids. They're just really good people...

Thursday, February 5, 2009

It's February already!

It's February. And it's still snowing. It's been pretty snowy and cold this winter. Several days in the past month, school has been cancelled due to below zero wind chill. This morning, I cancelled my morning Kindermusik class due to cold! :}

It's Thursday, and Andrew had to go to Fairmont for work today and Ingrid goes to preschool on Thursdays, so it's just Rowan and me home today. I'm enjoying my Thursdays. I can get caught up after a marathon day on Wednesdays (preschool music classes and Fairmont voice lessons). We're starting a new Kindermusik class on Thursday evenings. Rowan gets a morning Kindermusik class with Mama and Ingrid gets one in the evening! I'm enjoying alone time with both of them, playing music and dancing in class. I feel blessed to be able to do this for them and their little friends! :)

Before Andrew took Ingrid to preschool on his way out this morning, I took a video. She was making up really funny songs, but once the video started, she forgot what she was doing. But it's a cute video anyway. Here it is:

Rowan is so funny. He's still an easy-going guy, although he sure knows what he wants! Not sure if that's easy-going, now that I think about it, but he's so easily re-directed and so happy about life that his self-assuredness isn't pushy... He sure knows how to tear things apart, though! He can trash a room in RECORD time!! But he's sooooo happy about doing it, it doesn't make me too crazy. :)

The other day, I was getting him out of the car for Kindermusik class, and he looked at me and said, "Knock, knock." He even got the "k" sound! :) I laughed and said it back to him in disbelief. He frowned and said, "Oooo's dere?" I laughed and laughed!

Later, he looked at me and said, "Knock, knock." I said, "Who's there?" He said, "Pooh." I said, "Pooh-who?" And he crinkled up his face nose-to-nose with me and laughed!! Ever since then, that's his signature joke. I'm trying to get him to say, "Don't cry!" as a punchline, but he doesn't seem to think it needs one. :)

I can't wait to hear what else he has to say to us... Hmmm... Or maybe I can... :)

Anyway, here's a little video of just a few words he can say. He has a vocabulary of probably 40-50 words right now. And he has a new one for us every day! He surprises me daily. Here he is saying a few:

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

A Video of Rowan in the Snow

This is a video of last weekend like I promised...

We have had lots of cold, snow, and ice this winter! It seems like every time I'm scheduled to substitute teach, it snows and we have a snow day! AAAAAAHHH! I'm not in control, though, so I'm trying to stay calm about it...

Today, there's been so much ice and snow that almost every county in WV closed schools--as well as a lot of Maryland. Even Marshall University is closed today, so Andrew has a paid day off! ;) Too bad we're snowed in and can't go anywhere... We can only think of things to do that require driving somewhere! Except cleaning...and NONE of us want to do that on a day off! :) So far, we've taken the cushions off the couch and jumped on them, tickled each other, danced around a little, ate butter sandwiches, caught up on Facebook and Blogger, walked on the treadmill, and asked each other every 5 minutes, "What do you want to do today?!" AAAAAHHH!

And tomorrow's prospects aren't looking good, either. I'm supposed to go to Fairmont for my first week of lessons at the college, but not sure I'm going to be able to get there--or get back... AAAAAHHH!

Really, though, it's kind of nice to be with each other with no agenda. I'm sure that the first day we can get out, we'll think of all kinds of things we could have done today. Hindsight is always 20/20... :)

Monday, January 19, 2009

A Snowy Holiday!

Today was a great day! It snowed beautiful "snow globe" snow and was around 20 degrees. Perfect for sled riding with the whole family! Julia, Elijah, my Mom (Granny), Papa, Rowan, Ingrid, and Mama! Rowan's first sled ride and Ingrid's first that she can remember...
Good times. Here's a picture journal of our family day....

Rowan looking mischievous...

Rowan & Eli having fun

Rowan had his own runner sled. It used to be Aunt Anita's...and before that, it was Granny's!

Papa being a Papa--or a sledhorse! :)

The whole gang...

A Snowy Day in Aurora...

Stay tuned for some videos...