Thursday, August 27, 2009

Fairies all around

When we were kids, the only kind of mystical beings that came to visit were the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny, and Santa. And to be honest, those three kinda freaked me out a bit. I mean, come on, a six-foot-something rabbit hopping around? Creepy!

These days at the Ralph house, we've upgraded. Yes, we still get visits from the Easter Bunny and Santa, and someday I'm sure the Tooth Fairy will swing by for a drink, but we have NEW fairies too.

Remember the Pull-Up Fairy?
Well, she has a sister. Didn't you know? She's the Paci Fairy. And she is planning a visit to my house very, very soon. She was supposed to come last weekend but turns out, Mommy and Daddy are big fat weenies and couldn't deal with the whining.

We did however limit the pacis again this week to bedtime only. When Addi comes downstairs we make her hand them over (usually with lots of waling and gnashing of teeth) and she gets them back at bedtime. That seems to be working but the tears do get old.

A downside to this is the sneakiness that Addi is picking up because of it. Case in point: this morning I ask her to hand me her paci, the only one she had. She said, "OK!" and happily handed it over. Then skipped out of the room.

That could only mean one thing - she had one hidden somewhere else.

I followed her into the playroom where she unzipped a bag and pulled out another pink paci. I confiscated that one and the tears began to flow. That's when I knew I had them all.

Or so I thought. After buckling Sam into her car seat I went to buckle in Addi and saw this:

At first glance I thought, "Is she hurt? Did she sneeze?"

Nope. Take a WILD guess what's behind those grubby little paws.
So, this weekend we are expecting a visit from the Paci Fairy. Addi is quite aware of this and has been scared for weeks. She is excited because, like any good fairy, the Paci Fairy will leave special surprises behind when she comes to visit. Candy, stickers, crayons... you know, fairy basics.
I asked Addi what kind of surprises she'd like best from the Paci Fairy. In case I run into her before she stops by.
She said, "Oh yes Mommy! She can bring us MORE pacis!"
Girl ain't dumb, that's for sure.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Pink, Teal, and Poo

After showing up to the girls' school this morning, we found out that Addi is not alone in her new room endeavor... Sam also moved rooms today! Sam moved from Infant Pink to TODDLER Teal!

Sam's new room is a HUGE change, mostly for me. She's truly not a baby anymore, at least not at school. She now goes outside for recess twice a day, can eat at a little kid table instead of a highchair, and naps on a cot instead of a crib.

For some reason, that just makes no sense to me. She's a baby... Babies don't sleep on cots.... Do they? I just can't admit she's not tiny anymore. I need to get a grip.

Luckily when I picked them up they were both ecstatic about their new rooms. They of course did great and were happy to tell us all about it. Well, Addi anyway.

The night SHOULD have ended on a high note after my relaxing massage, but my plans were foiled when I got home. Addi and I headed outside to play on the swing set, then I came inside to pack the kids junk for tomorrow. In that brief amount of unsupervised time, Addi tried out her pottying skills. In my backyard.

All in a days work.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

She's singin' the "Blues"

Addison loves school. She likes to play with her friends, she loves music class, and she loves all the art projects they get to do. And believe it or not, she's learned over the past 8 months how to color inside the lines! But no matter what, her favorite part of school is DEFINITELY her teacher, Miss Maryann.

On Friday my Mom and I (she was in town for the night) went to pick the girls up from school. When we got there, I got some news I wasn't expecting for at least a few more months. Tomorrow morning Addi will move from her current Green Room (for 3 - 4 year olds) to the Blue Room (3 1/2 - 4 1/2 year olds). Since it's the beginning of the school year they are moving all the kids around as needed and Addi is one who will be bumped up.

We told Addi she'd be moving to Blue and she said, "NOOOOO!" But once we told her several other kids from her room are also moving with her, she was a little more receptive to the idea.

Although I know this is just the beginning of 15+ years of this kind of thing, I have to admit I am a bit sad. We will all miss Maryann and the Green Room kids!

Friday, August 21, 2009

The dog formerly known as Kiki

Addi has a great imagination, much like any other 3 and a ½ year old. She loves to play pretend, make up silly stories and jokes, and tell us all about her day, usually with assorted details that could not possibly be true.

She is NOT creative when it comes to names, however. If she is going to name something, you have two choices: Kiki and Oodie. That’s it. Done. It doesn’t matter what species, their names are Kiki and Oodie. If there’s only one animal, it’s name is Kiki AND Oodie. Pronounced OOO-DEE.

Case in point: Kiki the Goat:

Oodie the Shark:

Kiki and Oodie the fish (at the doctors office during the Strep Throat Debacle of 2009):

Anyway, you get the idea. Considering for a brief moment HER name was Kiki, I couldn’t be happier. I shudder just thinking about those days.

Well, yesterday morning we had a major meltdown in the garage. Addi was already strapped in her car seat and she had to have “Button Puppy” right now. He’d miss her SO MUCH and she would be SO SAD if he stayed home with Smokey all day.

The issue was I had no flippin idea who the heck Button puppy was. No clue. I finally released her from her seat so she could get Button Puppy (BP for short) and she came back with this remote control guy.

I was assuming the dog had buttons for eyes or something to be named BP but “NO, Mommy, he has buttons on his remote. Duh Mommy.” [insert eye roll here.]

BP rode with us to school where more drama took place. Since I’m a tyrant I wouldn’t let her take BP into school, knowing kids would fight over him. First she cried. Then, she yelled. Then, she threw herself to the ground and proceeded to throw rocks at me. Kinda (exactly) like this.

I offered for BP to stay and protect my car all day but that wouldn’t do… he would miss Addi TOO MUCH. Finally I said I would bring him into my work and that brought out the most unexpected response.

“No Mommy! He won’t like your friends and will bark at them all day. He might even bite them! Don’t take him into your work!!!!!”

After a few tearful goodbyes (pictured above with her hugging BP), BP and Addi parted ways and he stayed in my car all day. After school I got grilled by her– “How was BP all day?”, “Did he bark a lot?”, “Was he mean to my friends?”, etc.

Luckily I could give an honest report and tell her that he was great all day. In fact, he sat SO quietly I almost thought he wasn’t real.


Monday, August 17, 2009

Never stop learning

Yesterday was NOT one of the top ten best days in the Ralph house. It rained off and on all day, which would not be a big deal on any other day, but when the entire family has been cooped up for seven days with strep throat and for once actually have energy, you want to burn that energy off however you can, mainly outside. Since that wasn't an option we tried to keep the kids busy with learning activities like art projects. And of all of us, I think Mommy learned the most.

During our “Playdoh” time, we learned about mixing colors when Sam taste-tested the blue and pink. So fun. Who doesn’t love purple poo?

During our “let’s color” time, we learned about Magic Erasers when Sam ran away with a pink crayon and colored my tile.

During our “let’s make hand puppets” time, Sam surprised us by climbing up onto the kitchen chair, all by herself. She looked pretty darn proud for about 10 seconds, then she channeled her new found climbing skills and climbed right on up to the top of the table. And my heart sank. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the last year and a half where I didn’t have to constantly worry about a kid falling from a 4-foot table onto ceramic tile, undoubtedly knocking out a tooth or breaking a limb. But, as all good things come to an end, so does my sanity.

While the girls colored, Playdoh’d, and climbed, I worked on a few wall hangings for my friend. Aren’t they cute?

And I learned that I should only do MY crafts when I am alone. Because not only did I accidentally let the dog out the front door, I lost track of Austin the hermit crab for about 35 minutes. He crawled under the couch and took a nap.

I’m living the dream people… just living the dream.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Just between you and me...

I did chuckle to myself a tiny bit when I realized Sam had mastered taking off her own diaper today.

Well, I chuckled, then I put my head in my hands, groaned, and grabbed the camera.

And so it begins.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Love Letters

Dear Sleep,

Hey, old friend! I just wanted to send you a quick note and say hello. It's been a long time since we really got to hang out and I really do miss you. Let's try to keep in touch, OK?



Dear Sleep,

It was great to see you last night! I just wish it had been for more than just a few short hours. I'm hoping tonight's the night we really get to spend some quality time together. Here's hoping!



Dear Sleep,

It's not nice to mock me. I tried to see you last night, but my kids are sick. No, it was not a pitiful excuse, I really tried. You'll see, tonight will be different. See you soon.



Dear Sleep,

FINE. Be that way. I come to see you and you totally blow me off. Nice. I thought we were friends. Seriously, I've been doing everything I can to get us some quality time together. I even thought about checking into a hotel, just so we could hang out. But that seemed wrong, so I guess we just have to try harder to make things work out. Maybe tonight?




Dear Sleep,

I MISS YOU! I'm sorry I got so upset and yelled. Please come back. I need you.


Friday, August 14, 2009

In a few short months...

It's hard to believe that three months ago today, Sam turned one! On her first birthday she was just getting her first tooth and just taking her first steps on her own. Now, a few short months later, she's her own independent person!

She walks... she runs... and as of last weekend, she swings on the big kid swing.

She eats whole fruit, skin and all, with her full mouth of four teeth. Here, she's enjoying a Pluot... our new favorite fruit. It's a combination of a plum and an apricot... We LOVE them!

Instead of just letting Addi bug HER all the time, she takes time to bug Addi right back, even when Addi is sound asleep in the stroller.

She started driving. OK, so maybe her ride was made by Fisher Price, but with her parents' driving record we need to start the practice as early as possible.
She still follows her sister around everywhere and stares at her adoringly, doing whatever Addi does. And when I say she follows her everywhere, I'm not kidding.

Of all the things that have changed in the last three months, I'm so grateful that her loving, sweet, adorable personality is still the same!
We went yesterday for her 15 month checkup and all is well, aside from her also having strep throat. (With Jay's diagnosis this morning that is Strep Throat = 3, Ralph family = 1, but who's counting?). Her check up stats:
Weight = 21 lbs, 9 oz = 25th percentile
Height = 29.5 inches = 30th percentile
Head = some enormous size = 80th percentile

Happy 15 month birthday, Sam!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Our little penicillin-filled blogging hiatus

On Sunday I blogged about our anniversary weekend and went to sleep, thinking about our busy week ahead.

Now today, four days later, Jay's been to work one day this week, Addi's been to school one day, I've taught two full days of class and missed one day of work, Addi officially has strep and Sam has an unexplained fever and snotty nose. G-L-A-M-O-R-OUS!

Addi stayed home with Jay today and I was a bit worried when I talked to him on the way home. She took a three hour nap and barely left the couch all day, and by the time I got home Jay also had a fever.

But, when she disappeared during dinner only to run and hide in the dining room, I knew Addi was on the mend.

She likes to mend with markers.

I hoped she'd wait till she was a teenager before wanting to get "inked."

Sunday, August 9, 2009

2190 days ago....

This adorable couple tied the knot.

To celebrate our sixth wedding anniversary, Jay and I headed to Indianapolis on Friday night with the girls. First thing Saturday we met our friends Mandee & Jack and Bethanne & Wilton for brunch, then left the kids with my mom for the night.

To start our date off right, we stopped at some random bar and had a few margaritas. Isn't he hot?

For dinner we went to the Melting Pot. Such a great meal! My favorite was definitely the brownies dipped in chocolate.

Then we headed to Deer Creek (aka Verizon Wireless) for Dierks Bentley and Brad Paisley. Dierks was great and Brad impressed us with his guitar skills.

Sunday morning we met back up with my mom and the girls and went to our friend Quentin's Baptism. It was nice to be back in the same church we got married in on our actual anniversary, even though I spent the entire mass in the cry room with Sam.
Here's to the next six years!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Sleeping Beauties

I'm a big fan of sleep. I could pretty much take a nap every day for the rest of my life and be totally OK with it. Jay, eh, he doesn't understand the need but he tries to accommodate me when possible, usually letting me nap while the kids nap. I dread the day that they don't do that daily.

Addi shares my passion for sleep. She likes to stay up late and sleep in each morning, and would take a nap everyday if she could, I think forever. Some days she'll even ask if she can go to sleep because she's so tired. Love that! She also wakes up like me... Just don't get within arms reach in the first few minutes after waking us up. And, she can sleep anywhere.

Case in point - Addi when I went to wake her up this morning:

Sam is a bit more like Jay. She sleeps because she needs to and is happy when she wakes up. Last night she had a bit of a rough time (after an unnamed three year old woke her up) so she ended up next to me.

But two minutes after I woke her up, she was as happy as can be!

Sam knows how hard it is for me to wake up Addi, since she has to help me almost every day. This morning was no different. First, Sam gave her a nudge:

Then she tried the sneaky "steal your sister's paci from her mouth and gift it to mom trick":

Neither of those worked so we went ahead and got Sam ready for the day. When we came back Addi was still sound asleep so after several more attempts to rouse her, Sam gave up and laid down with her:
20 minutes later Addi was awake, swinging at my blindly, and crying about everything. I finally got her into the car and to school with minimal tears and we all started our days.

Don't think my entire morning was a waste, though. I did learn an important lesson. When an unnamed three year old spits toothpaste at you because you had the audacity to choose BLUE paste instead of PINK paste, don't assume that those marks on your navy pants are just water spots. Once you get to work and those spots dry, you will have an entire pant leg covered in white marks. Imagine what it would look like if you got pooped on my 30 pigeons. Try explaining that in your staff meeting!

Monday, August 3, 2009

An open letter to my daughter, Sam


You are my sweet, sweet girl. In the last 15 months you have changed our family so greatly, so much so that it's hard to remember life without you. One of my greatest concerns with having a second baby was that I wouldn't have enough time for two. That my relationship with Addi would be strained or changed or that I wouldn't know YOU the way I got to know Addi before you were here.

We spent the first few months mostly cuddling. With nursing, we got to be best buds. You'd hang out with Daddy but you were definitely your momma's girl. You were so tiny and would lay on my chest with your feet barely touching my lap. I can still close my eyes and smell your sweet head, cuddled on my chest. You fit so perfectly with your head in that perfect spot on my neck.

Over the next few months, your personality really came out. You smiled, cooed and were just happy. And you loved your sister. You started to scoot, then crawl, then finally walk. Through it all, I've been able to hug and love on you each day and still see that beautiful baby girl that I love so much.

Now, 15 months later, there's little 'baby' left. You have teeth and eat real food. You run and play and express your independence daily. You follow your sister around with a look of complete adoration, even when she is not being very nice to you. You give hugs and kisses and feed your "babies" bottles. You grow up more and more every day and it seems like every time I blink you are so much older than you were yesterday.

But, each night before bed you spend a few minutes cuddling. You don't fit on my chest anymore and instead of your feet touching my lap, it's your knees today. But, you put your head back in that perfect spot in my neck and I can close my eyes and take a deep breath and still smell my perfect little baby girl.

I love you!

Gotta... chew... on... something!

1. Man, this toe tastes awesome! Gotta get it in my mouth!
2. Uh, oh!
3. Hey, fingers work too!

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