Thursday, June 30, 2011

3rd Birthday

Birthday brunch on Saturday with G & G, Uncle Ben &
the Tanners!
Thanking Daddy for breakfast
MaryAlice was oblivious to the overload of her birthday.  Not only do we share a birthday, which I was okay with before my grandpa died on "our" day.  The day was already overloaded being the girls last day of school and a carnival to celebrate.  I cleverly decided to call the carnival MaryAlice's birthday party, but it ended up being far more than I could handle on one day.  I told Andy a few days ago that I officially moved my day to July 2.  It's possible to share with my baby, but not with that and Grandpa's birthday.

Andy took MA and I out to breakfast and then dropped us off at the mall while he got a haircut.  MaryAlice was  a spectacle with her "birthday girl" shirt and skirt.  She did surprisingly well since I quickly hauled her into Younkers to pick up a black dress for the funeral and a card at Hallmark... w/o a stroller to lock her in place.  It was an act of God to find a dress on sale for $20. I needed to get a card for Grandma, so I had to take her to Hallmark... not a kids store as it's over half breakable!  I whisked her in, picked up a card and was trying to distract her while I paid by talking to her about her party.  She got super excited, so I had to calm her by telling her she needed to take "a little rest" (nap) before we could go to her party.  This is when she laid down in the middle of the store and commenced fake snoring as she said,  "I rest here so I go to my party!"  We gathered a crowd and brightened a tough day!
Lying down on the floor in the middle of Hallmark

I know I have pics from the party somewhere, but I can't seem to find them.  The whole day was such a emotional day that I barely remember any of it except for the card several of the ladies (moms/faculty) at school gave me with a gift certificate.  It was so unexpected and thoughtful that it moved me immensely.  What sweet ladies!  I needed to tangibly feel loved that day and they sure did that for me.  It got me through the carnival with a smile and home before I crashed in my bed...

"You can stay with me now"

check out the outfit... she has Annabelle's tank
under her shirt

got to love the pose


too cute!

She refers to this piece of  tupperware as "the baby-sitter"
b/c she can sit in it

Belle was climbing over her to get into her seat,
but she wouldn't let go of "Anna-B" as she calls
her... much ot Belle's dismay

Playground fun

she climbed up on her dresser

She walked around like this for at least an hour!
This child kills me!!!  We stopped by McDonald's for ice cream after watching Gretchen's soccer game.  Of course the closest one had the playground, so MA was off to play!  We ate while she played, and of course at three, we've been working on coming when called.  We've spent a lot of time at various playgrounds and we've progressed from full on losing it to short protest.  We're improving albeit slowly and no where near perfect.  We actually did the whole call for her last week and head to the car.  When she spotted us ready to pull away she came running.  We "high-fived" our excellent parenting knowing we had to celebrate our successes to get us through all the humiliations :)  We thought our walk away approach would stick, but boy were we wrong!

You will not believe this one!!!  We walked away and left her in the playroom while a host of McDonald's guests waiting in astonishment at the brilliance of our parental skills... We stopped outside the door expectant that she'd come running, but saw a man and his family burst out laughing hysterically.  Without skipping a beat, she turned to that family and said, "Now you can stay with me,"  and headed back up the slide!!!

We are amazing parents!  Nothing like a good dose of humility to finish the evening!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

quotes of Christmastime 2010

"Who's that MaryAlice?" Daddy asks as she points to Santa? 
"That's Noah," she says without skipping a beat.  (Annabelle called him Moses when she was that age)

While holding the shepherds from my breakable figurines of the nativity scene...
"You need to go potty?  I help you, otay.  You have panties on?  Good.  (While suspending them over the toilet seat) psssst. Oh! Good job.  You get treat.  You get M & M.

Pointing to santa in the mall we ask MA who it is and without skipping a beat she says, "That's Merry Christmas."

"Smile Mommy, I take picture... of your butt"  (I'm fully clothed sitting on the bean bag chair)

"Mommy you want to go in a fish with me?" she says.
"What are you, Jonah?"  I ask
"yes, I Jonah.  Can I go in a fish when I get older?" she asks. 
I don't respond right away.
"Oh, I older. I can go in fish.  I Jonah," she says with a giggle


June 2011:  3 years old
MA:  "There's something not right in my room"
DAD:  "What's not right?"
MA:  "Something jumped into my tummy"
DAD:  "What?"
MA:  "A little punk.  I can't sleep with a little punk in my stomach"

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Daddy dates

Check out that arm!

Bright 'n beach...perfect date place for an unruly kid
Daddy got started a bit younger with MaryAlice since she's heard about Belle and Mommy's dates.  She's been asking to go on a date for quite some time.  Andy decided to take her out, but we've kind of switched to everything being a date lately. 

We go on "Shopping dates" and she goes on dates with a bunch of other friends too.  She got picked up one day by Mr Steve and Mrs Teri.  They spoiled her for a few hours.  Now she thinks everyone should take her out.  She went up to Mrs Alana in church and said, "I can go on a date with you... we can go in your bye-bye (car)."  She also had the pleasure of going out with Ms Danielle when Andy and I went out of town for a few days.  She got to meet a bunch of Ms. Danielle's friends (which she's claimed as hers now).  She asks about going to visit them on various days.  She met Ms Amanda's boyfriend one night and she's been talking about him as if we see him daily. 

This morning she came down the stairs and said, "I want to go see Mr. Beau."  Yes, she did just spend Sunday after church with Beau as he played the piano with her, but it's so funny how she seems to think they are peers.  Today was Ms Jessica's birthday and she had to call her.  We also made a video for her. 

Some "Great" days

Most kids don't really know their grandparents let alone their great grandparents!  I consider my kids so fortunate to know their great grandparents.  Abby and Annabelle actually met all four of them.  My grandpa Eddy died only a few years ago.    He would've gottena a kick out of our baby, no doubt.  Grandpa always had a bit of a "stinker" side.  Well, the rest of the grandparents enjoy MaryAlice thoroughly!  She also loves to visit which makes it all the more fun.  We still have yet to get grandma "Sorely" as MA calls her in a pic... maybe next time.  

A day with Great Grandpa "Owie"

Not really afraid of the hospital as she asks grandpa,
"Can I sleep in your bed?"

MaryAlice got into grandma "Sorely" (Shirley's)
hats and did a fashion show for us!

"What should we do Grandpa?"

Another hat from the closet... don't tell grandma :)

Posing with great Grandma Lu

Monday, March 14, 2011


MaryAlice in what she called the "baby- sitter"
(a large round tupperware)
Belle didn't want her pic taken
This has been the first time MaryAlice had a bad bug and ended up on antibiotics.  She's had stomach bugs before and a bit of a cold, but nothing like this.  All three girls are on antibiotics and sick.  They originally had the same virus, but it developed into different stuff in each of them.  Abby with her weak lungs got pneumonia which was scary for her to be so sick.  She's just not very strong and stuff like that is so scary.  That was Monday when we took her in.  By Wednesday it was time to take Belle in and she had a sinus infection.  She was out of school the entire week and I thought twice about sending her today, so she went in late so she didn't over do it.  Friday was MaryAlice's turn.  On Thursday her fever went up and she was so pathetic!  She's been such a strong trooper in the past that I thought she do this lying down and be fine, but the cold was a new one and she's been a bear.  She's been attached to Mommy... anymore than usual means she was connected to me at all times.  She would burst into tears if I left the room let alone put her down.  She just kept saying, "Mommy, I sick.  I don't feel dood (good)..." until we saw the doctor.  When he came in the room and asked how she was she said, "I dood."  He laughed and said, "That's why you're here because you're feeling so good?"  She's not used to the doctor because she never goes there, so I wondered how she would do, but we actually got to see her doctor and he's amazing.  The funny part of the appointment was when he wanted to look in her ears, but she wasn't so keen.  He said he was checking for frogs.  Her reaction to that was priceless!  "I don't have frogs in my ears," she stated rather calmly.  He wanted to check anyway and found out why she didn't want him in her and swollen.  We've never really had any ear problems around here, so it's kind of off my radar.  I guess she's kind of a toughy because she wasn't having trouble sleeping or really complaining about it all that much.  After a week of this mess, I've got a bug but it doesn't seem to bad yet.  I've had an infection myself while caring for them, so it's been a straining week.  It's been nice having Andy here to help.  A brighter side of unemployment.  Ethel has also been here some which has been a blessing. 

Abby getting some love from Miss Ethel...
Cuddly Abby is the one benefit to sick Abby

sick girlfriends

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Great Grandpa "Owie"

My grandpa is dying of cancer. 

Grandpa "Owie" she used to call him

There, I said it.  He battled prostate cancer over a decade or two ago, but it is back and holding at the inoperable/untreatable status.  He's been doing really well overall, but has taken a more rapid downturn as of late. 

I know my grandpa.  I grew up with him only about fifteen minutes from our house.  I went on walks with him and grandma. As Andrea and Grandma raced ahead of us, we would take our time and shoot the breeze in the process.  We dug in the garden and walked through the woods (despite the "pickers").  My junior and senior year of high school I returned to finish up my high school career at Esko and spent even more time with them.  I'd go there for an early dinner between school and practices or games.  Grandma would always feed me or I would clean out her fridge and finish leftovers.  We had a rhythm together in those days where I'd volunteer to clean up and grandma would insist I go rest, so I would go upstairs and lay down on the big bed and grandpa would take the recliner next to the bed.  We'd visit for a bit until one of us nodded off, and before I knew it grandma was calling us down so I wouldn't miss my game.  Grandpa would drop me off early and then go back and pick up grandma before coming back to watch me play. 

A few months back when we found out the cancer was back, one of my cousins who isn't in town asked if all the grandkids/kids could write letters to grandpa.  He said that it was foolish to wait until he passed to recount all the good memories we have had so we should write them now so grandpa could be blessed by them.  Being someone who likes to write I readily agreed, but no matter how many times I sat down to put thoughts on paper... I just couldn't.

She always tells Grandpa that he's funny

I guess maybe writing all the memories made it all feel too "over" for me.  I didn't want to act like he was dying when he looked fine to me.  I didn't want to encourage him to go either or give my blessing as I somehow thought that would make him... go sooner. 

It's so cute how she likes to climb up and cuddle with both grandpa & grandma...

I saw him today and yes, he is losing strength; but he's still my grandpa.  I still love to see his eyes light up when he sees me and the tear reflecting mine as we talk of those days in high school.  I'm sad as his days here with me on this earth are numbered, but I'm greatful that we share the same faith in God that will bring us back together someday.  I'm blessed to have grown up with four grandparents.  My first grandpa died only a few years ago.  My kids know their great grandparents and not many can still say that today.  I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that someday we'll walk again down the streets of gold together.  I don't mourn for where he's going, but for our loss of him here with us. 

now that she's not Aiya, it's Grandpa Howard

Maybe I'm getting closer to that letter and what is should look like.  It may take me some time, though.  He knows I love him, so that's what matters.  Memories may have to wait until I can't see him anymore.  My time is better spent with him than writing about him.  My other grandpa died only a few years ago and I still miss him and can't go there to write about him just yet either.

My girls love playing with Grandma Shirley's pretend candles!

This is the only pic grandma would allow since she wasn't fixed up :)

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Christmas 2010

She liked to look at the characters as long as they didn't get too close

the highlight of her Bentleyville trip was the ice cream sundae after dinner
MaryAlice's favorite part of Christmas is by far all the lights and decorations.  I moved the tree to the "cold room" as we've named the closed off porch area.  It was to best suit our space, as well as keep me from losing my mind trying to keep MA from tearing down the tree one decoration at a time.  Both the wise men and shepherds (after they were potty trained, of course) lost their heads this year, along with one of the wise men's gifts and a shepherd's staff.  Thankfully during clean-up they were recovered and glued back on, but I couldn't think of a way to justify yelling at her all season to "stay away from the nativity".  So I let her play.  It all was glued back into place and is ready for next year.  I thought it was funny to say that one of the wise men went back by Herod's... thus, losing a head :)  I let her have the nativity, but whole tree would've been dangerous, right?
MaryAlice does love to go, so all the extra partying also suited her just fine... like her big sisters.  MaryAlice likes the added attention and ate it up except for the part where she was sick.  She was sick for Christmas day and the next day which would've of been fine if it hadn't been a Sunday.  And not just any Sunday, but the first one that Andy ever preached!  I had a hard time not being their, but feld peace after I was reminded in my prayers for him that he didn't need me there as much as he needed Him there :)  Humbling reminder for both of us.  Andy did a marvelous job with his first sermon.  In hindsight I would've preferred it not fall the day after Christmas as Andy was so preoccupied with preparation, but I was so proud of the job he did!  You can listen for yourself here.

MaryAlice actually ended up sleeping clear through the whole gathering at Grandma and Grandpa's house.  She reluctantly opened her presents after the Pavolas had already gone.  When asked what happened at Christmas, her cousin Selah, will report, "Aiya was sick and couldn't open her presents!"  On the bright side we were able to spend some time visiting friends.  A friend I grew up with was in town with her family and we were able to meet her family and actually visit for a bit.  Abby spend the night with Grandma and Grandpa which ended up being a huge blessing as MaryAlice just wanted to be held all night and the next day.

loving Mrs. Terri

We finished the week by having lunch with the Tanners after they came to church to hear Andy speak.  Uncle Ben was also there which was extra nice to hav them all there especially since I had to be home with a sick MA.

grandma & aiya

nativity taking naps... note the headless wiseman

MA had too much sugar and was bouncing off the walls

she had to join the Kindergarten girls on the floor w/our friend Jaana for Belle's Christmas program at school

she was so sick she didn't even care about her presents...she just wanted to cuddle

she kept asking Mr. "Teve" to dress the baby they gave her

Belle got a baby for MA in hopes that she'd leave hers alone