Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Oh these girls.

Five posts in July. I am something else.

I have some sweet moments with the girls today to record. Every Tuesday this summer, our friend Hilary keeps the girls for six hours (!) so I can get some things done. It has been an incredible blessing and one I will continue with our friend Danielle, once Hilary goes back to school in Austin.
Today I was able to take Zoe to Kindermusik and back, drop some clothes of at the local mission, buy a cheap frame at the hobby store for my tree picture for Greta's shop, stop by my latest favorite deli for sandwiches, and get in two good hours of planning/work at Brandon's office. I came home early and was able to sleep a bit while the girls were both still napping.

Today was a first for Piper, in a not so good way for me. I awoke to the pitter patter of little feet. This in itself is a beautiful dream and one for which I am extremely thankful. And yet, before today, Piper would wake up in her bed, and shriek for me to come. That seemed better. She would get up, take a toy, and get back in bed then wait and wait, shriek and shriek. Today, the pitter patter means that she is now confident enough in herself to get up, OPEN THE DOOR, and WANDER. I knew this day was coming. And yet I think we should train her to stay put until we come get her. I'm not sure what to do. This is not the whole story.
Pitter patter pitter patter.
Me: Piper? Come here baby.
Piper: Oooooh! Mommy! (as if she was settling in to a quiet afternoon by herself and was
surprised to be sharing the house with me. In walks Piper, in the bathing suit that she'd
talked Hilary into dressing her in before her nap.)
Piper: Mommy-nay. Have poopy. (She means herself).
Me: Okay, let's change you.
Piper: Ahwan changing table. (She means as opposed to me asking her about trying out the
Me: Well, Zoe is still sleeping so we need to change you in the living room with the diaper bag.
(We go and I start to pull down the one piece bathing suit.)
Piper: NOOOO MOMMY, Piper's looking at!!!!
(When Zoe is trying to take a toy away from Piper, or any child in this situation, I usually say "the kid is looking at that toy, let's wait, here's another." So, in this instant she means "No, I'm wearing this bathing suit right now, get another toy Mommy."
We discuss changing her diaper, she agrees that a clean diaper is welcome. But she doesn't want to lose the suit. I'm whispering as she is escalating insisting that "Piper is looking at", me aware of not waking Zoe, Piper thinking I just don't get it. After five minutes of GIANT tears, I can hear Zoe completely awake, so I strip the suit. It was terrible. She was grateful for the clean diaper, and my promise kept to re-dress her in the swimsuit.
All of that, and we go get Zoe. Then to Piper's room to play. Piper in her bathing suit, begins some "Space Ranger" talk: her latest term for Buzz Lightyear. Buzz is in bed. I turned to see her clutching him, and realized that Buzz (God bless Hilary) is outfitted in a neon green polka dotted 12 month old girl sized bathing suit. Piper and Buzz had a wonderful day together in their bathing suits. I assume this will be the space ranger gear of choice for a few days.

The only picture I could take is on a disposable Walgreen's camera that we bought on our anniversary trip to San Francisco; then and today our cameras were loaned out to other photographers. (I'll figure out a way to get the picture here whenever its developed. I think that process takes about 6 weeks. I can't remember because that was a long time ago, when people used film.)

And sweet Zoe. This little one cut a top tooth today, giving her 2.1 teeth. B is working late on a big deal project so I got the girls down with the help of a friend and her 5 month old. It is always a bit stressful, on my own. I find that 15 minutes alone close to dinner time can get me recharged for the bed time routine, but days like today don't provide that. And I was ready for the girls to be in bed. Everyone was quiet by 8:15. At 10:23 Zoe woke up really upset. Screaming. Its her tooth. Teeth. I sighed and dragged myself to her room. I changed her diaper and the sweet thing just layed there, giggling at me. Usually she screams and flips over. We talked and flirted a bit together. She took some baby Tylenol, then I restarted "Sing Over Me" one of my favorite lullaby Cd's. We were able to dance in the dark for as long as my arms could take it. Zoe snuggled up under my chin. It was such a fantastic moment, one I am so thankful for right now because in about six months I won't have the figure to hold her in that way, as the baby grows beneath her, forcing us both to readjust. She went limp after a song and a half and I was able to lay her down sleeping, which doesn't actually happen a whole lot. Thank you Father for these delightful babies and these precious moments with them. They are more than we could have imagined.

Also in honor of Jamie's post, I wrote down some of the funnier things that Piper is saying right now:
-I have no idea why, because we don't eat them often, but Piper calls hot dogs "dinner." Yep, it makes me feel great. Every time we are at the grocery store and pass any type of processed meat stuffed into a casing she points and yells loudly "Dinner! I want dinner Mommy!" We aren't against hot dogs, I like them, we just get the kosher ones when they are half price. The half price thing doesn't happen very often.
-If Piper wants to be held or needs something while we are holding Zoe she will come close, point next to us on the floor and say" Zoe on ground. Right here, Zoe on ground." Once that is under control she presents her request. Today she asked me to stand in a certain spot (on the heart drawn in chalk actually) because she wanted to sit in my lawn chair. "Mommy stand here, on ground."
-"That's so cool, Daddy! So cool!"
-"gorgeous" and "beautiful" get used a lot. "Its a gorgeous turtle Mommy." "So cute" was the favorite adjective but has been dropped as she discovered syllables.
-"What you talk about Daddy?"
-Piper sometimes says things very clearly in a startling way (usually requests/commands.) We and other adults around her get lured into her web. We will (shocked) repeat what she just said in an asking tone. She responds with "OOOOkay." ex: "want chocolate." "what? did you say you want chocolate?" "oooookay."
-also as far as food, if we agree to give her chocolate, or macaroni and cheese, she defines the request further for us, so as not to be confusing: "In my mouth. Chocolate in Piper's mouth." And she points to her mouth. To be clear.

Oh these girls.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

toddler games

Piper plays a game with her pacifier. Its just sweet, and I know we're crazy but we're okay with its use right now, even though she's two. She only gets it in bed. The game is that a few times during the day, everyday, she comes out with it and this big, silly grin on her face. I laugh and say "go put that back in your bed," and she runs from the room giggling and puts it back. I think the game has less to do with the paci and more with interacting with me in trying to pull one over and LOVING getting caught. Oh dear.
This morning she comes out with it. I tell her to go put it by her bed. She runs off. Piper then comes in with the guilty smile, and has her blankie wrapped up funny near her mouth. I laugh and tell her to go put her paci back by the bed. It was just a guess, but she was grinning really big, and I was right: the paci was hidden in the blankie. She runs off. She then comes back in with this giant fabric box from her room, that (until right then) held toys. The box is over her head, the paci is in her mouth and she is giggling hysterically. Repeat direction, repeat running. The game ended here, she knows not to push it. The box stayed out as today's "cowboy hat" of choice.

Friday, July 25, 2008

dancing queen

Some ladies from church organized a night out to see this movie. I love musicals and this one is one I haven't seen. Those new to musicals should probably skip it. There are often painful moments in musicals where the audience just has to say "but its a musical." Lots of people like them, its just not a SuperHero movie.
Anyway it was sparkly, and ridiculous. I'm sure at some point in the next 15 days I will be caught practicing some of these dances. That's how these things seem to affect me. See that girl, watch that scene...

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

For the Display of His Splendor

I have great Hope. There seem to be lots of people around us right now who don't have hope at all, or just tiny glimpses of it. I realize that I am in one of the most beautiful stages of our experience here. We've welcomed two lives and have great Hope for a third in a few months.
But I've also chosen Hope and the more I choose it, the more I seem to have. That is so hard to explain to others who are struggling to have any at all.
I have great hope that the five of us are becoming Oaks of Righteousness.
We've had a terrible few years as well though. But the more we choose Hope, the less terrible these circumstances become. And the more whole we feel because of them. This is very vague I realize, but I wanted to record this time of life, of great Hope and Joy too. I pray that this abundance will always be as tangible. Hallelujah. Amen.

** Chuckle. I'm editing this after I posted it. I finished this thought and was feeling introspective, and a bit melancholy and tired. I retreated to find my husband watching the remake of Planet of the Apes, I can only hope out of curiosity. Now that's a Funky Bunch.
Brandon's only comment: "this is a really bad movie." Off to observe "ape"/horse/"human" wars...

Monday, July 7, 2008

immeasurable blessings

Portraits I made of my babies and me, the weeks I discovered I was expecting another. I'm due March 1st, I think...

Friday, June 20, 2008

If you come for guacomole, mister

you'd best jest bring yer own.

I been feeling the inner cowgirl in me, since I finished Leif Enger's Peace Like A River. Our church book club read it. I wasn't actually able to go, but I've been swaggering ever since.

I lost the stand over the guacomole. Time was I could finish one of these:

They are too sweet once the chips and dip are gone. But all natural!

My girl cleans up.

Monday, June 9, 2008

sweet Sweet

We love nicknames. Piper has had about 100 since her birth, and Zoe is quickly catching up. We string together any combination of compliment and the child's name that pops into our head at the time and viola, a nickname. Around our house its constantly "boogie, boogie doo, boogie bear, baby boogie, Piper boe, Zoe boey, bunny, sweet baby, pretty baby, Piper baby, angels, sweet Sweet, Zoe zos..." Anyway, that's not the point of this. The point is that being a people of nicknames, we are raising little people of nicknames and our newly two year old daughter has begun inventing sweet tiny nicknames for her family. What a beautiful sound they are to us! It makes me wonder how pleased the Father is with us when we call him by our own term of endearment. Anyway, one day after naps I heard Piper calling to me through her monitor. "Mommy-nay! Come here!" And she kept calling me Mommy-nay that afternoon. Soon she added Daddy-day for Brandon and Zoe-nay for Zoe. It is really very very extremely sweet to me. And now she knows I like it, so when we are having lots of fun, or dancing, or she wants something I'm Mommy-nay. (satisfied sigh).

Photos: once I saw these, poor little Zoe got a haircut too. My babies are born with gorgeous heads of hair and between five and seven months it all falls out in very disappointing patterns. Poor Piper suffered my uncertainty about cutting her long lock. Seriously, LOCK. Tiny Zoe is benefiting from a more relaxed and decisive mother. And yet, those pictures will have to show up another post. They are still on my camera.

We bought this doorway jumper on EBay from a grandmother who bought it from an Amish family. It is Zoe's favorite toy and it fits on the framing on our porch. Now that is living.

That last one is called "To Infinity and Beyond." Piper loves Buzz Lightyear. Autumn and her family sent Piper a Buzz doll for her birthday. Once he entered our home (in the fuzz,) he was immediately plopped in the middle of the room and presented all of Piper's best toys. I don't have a picture, dang it, but there was Buzz with a half circle around him of cars with faces, My Little Ponies, and various dishes from her kitchen. She was all three wise men for about three minutes. As far as nicknames go, he is sometimes Buzz, sometimes Buzz Lightyear - nothing fancy. Although, as far as art goes, he has become an inspiration. I guess art direction though, because art right now is scribbling and asking me to "draw a cat Mommy, draw elephant Mommy, draw monkey Mommy," and today (ba ba ba bah!) "draw To Infinity and Beyond, Mommy." To satisfy your curiosity I drew Buzz, or an angel, sadly I can't tell. I guess they are one in the same to a two year old.

Our documentation of little Brynn visiting with the Jones girls (Notice row 2, columns 1 and 2 where it looks like Piper is giving Brynn a helpful little whack.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


Whoa- so I edited a post that I started in February turning it into something new. The program didn't change my date. Proof of my intention to post on February 27th! Regardless, the 2.27 post should be considered from the future, say, May 13th. Also, I can't seem to get my spacing right below. And lets all say it together "its too late to think or see straight."

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Where to start?

Today has been a long day. Brandon is in Houston tonight with his dad, mom, and brother awaiting his dad's emergency heart surgery. The news that he was having a triple bypass came as a shock and we are all a bit nervous. But I also feel peaceful and hopeful about it. Anyway, its tomorrow.
So I'm at the computer. It seems like I'm not here until its too late to think, or even see straight. It is relaxing for me to write but relaxing is happening in a lot of other ways right now. A lot of wind-down time is spent in the backyard (which has had a major overhaul this spring) after dinner, enjoying our flowers and vegetable plants and playing with the girls. But, I really need to write more. I feel like writing is kind of like eating vegetables for me: it makes me feel better and I like the idea of it, but when I'm tired, and that's a lot lately, writing and eating vegetables get shoved. Today (and I am embarrased to admit this) we are out of groceries, waiting on paychecks and Piper didn't want oatmeal for dinner. Brandon is gone and I wasn't that hungry so Piper and I shared (cringe) Movie Theater Buttered Popcorn. For Dinner. And that's it. She also had diluted apple juice and I had water. Since we don't have any vegetables in the house and our little plants aren't yet producing, I'm writing to feel better about that decision.

And I want to finally post all of the pictures of the girls that I've thought I wanted to post for Autumn and the Whites to see over on the other side of the world, and haven't for the last five months. So here we go.

Back to January -we made a trip to the Faulkner's ranch to see baby cows. The littlest cow that we saw was only a few hours old. That's Piper, Zoe, and an obviously very pregnant at the time, Brittney.

Zoe's four month photo shoot. Also from January/February.

In March I took engagement photos for Stephanie and Dave. They got married this past weekend, and sadly I didn't have my camera with me. I wasn't sad to leave it when we went to Dallas, but as always, was sad I didn't have it when I got there. While we were there for the wedding, we took the girls, Billy and Janice to see the Dallas World Aquarium. It was incredible - the best aquarium I've been to (out of maybe three - but one was in Spain). We saw SO many animals: monkeys complete with babies riding on momma's backs both caged and not, otters, a leopard, penguins, tons of gorgeous fish, flamingos, sharks, bats, and all kinds of birds. We want to go back.

We also dug up our yard and got some free dirt from the camp.

To the detriment of our neighborhood the pile of dirt took five weeks to leave our driveway.

Piper helped us in the backyard by watering and throwing dirt. She also followed me and carefully transferred all mulch that I'd spread to the grass. One of my favorite pictures from the spring time weeknights spent in the backyard:

Easter egg hunt:

Planting vegetables, Piper encounters a cow, Giddyup, Tractor Tractor, Zoe on the lawn:

Our beautiful girl turned two on April 24th. We had a party. The party was wild with 17 kids, and that many adults in all in our house avoiding the cold drizzle.

Sweet Zoe at seven months. This child is competeing with Jude K. for the most difficult to change a diaper. She is crawling and won't quit. So when I lay her down to change her diaper she immediately flips over. I've got her feet in the air trying to keep poo from smearing everywhere and today she literally was doing a head stand twisted in the air, while I tried to clean her up. She wouldn't lay down and kept flipping up into her head stand with her face on the table. She bolted after I took this picture.
Its now too late to think or even see straight so I have to leave. I promise to come back here before October.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

is this thing on?

Well. That was a nice nap.

Today Zoe laughed, really laughed for the first time. Its already midnight, so I should say yesterday Januray 9th, 2008 for the record. She's been giggling for awhile, even in her sleep since she was a few weeks old. But today I held her on the couch and Piper ran up, grabbed Zoe's pacifer and propelled it backwards from the couch, in an experiment I assume. And Zoe laughed! She made this loud gasping laugh and did it over and over as I laughed which made Piper laugh. She really only laughed at Piper, I tried to recreate it, and soon Brandon tried, but she laughed at Piper.

Piper's first laugh was at our church retreat, the last weekend of August 2006, for the record. I was holding her on a swing while some of the church kids played on the playground. The kids were running in front of us back and forth swinging and just as suddenly Piper was making the same gasping laugh. I'm glad I still remember that to record it.

So back to Halloween. We went to the Oelzes party for all of an hour before our tiny flower children wilted. Actually they were a pink leopard of some variety and a ghost (its what Walmart had last minute - I had a 3 week old and a toddler/baby.)

Thanksgiving went well. It was Thanksmas as we celebrated the two big holidays at once with Brandon's parents. They then left for South Asia in mid-December and will be back next week. Piper ate at the kids table for the first time. Zoe enjoyed the baby papasan.

I'm not sure how these are the only pictures we have of Christmas. Brandon tells me that we've got video. Piper got a shopping cart. Zoe got some blocks that she is not yet old enough to enjoy. We have new floors!

Piper also told her first story. She and Zoe share a nursery. Its worked out really well at night. I'm still not sure about naps. Zoe woke up from her nap early and obviously cried. Brandon went in to get her and left Piper in her crib. She was awake and played for awhile. When I went in to get she she smiled, grabbed the crib rails to stand up and proclaimed "Zoe! Cry! Daddy!" Pronouns and verbs!

I feel better having finally posted. I've got to go bed, what am I thinking staying up this late?