Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Better get used to disappointment kid!

When Sam turned three, the only thing he wanted was a fisher-price garage. It cost $30, which was a lot for our law schooling selves. But it was all he talked about for months. So that's what he got.

When Benjamin turned three, he wanted a car cake and a batman toy. Easy. Very easy.

When Nicholas turned three, he didn't want anything but a Wall-E cake. He didn't want a party. He didn't want presents {but he got them anyway}. He just really wanted a Wall-E cake. The pressure weighed heavy on my non-cake decorating skills, but he was happy.

Eliana turns three in August. {How is it possible that my tiny baby is turning three?} And what does our little girl want for her birthday? A pony. Not a my little pony. Not a fuzzy stuffed pony. She wants, as she puts it "A real pony. That makes noise and I can ride on it and it breathes."

Good luck with that one, Eliana. For your sake, I hope the birthday fairy is real.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Just so all four are represented

I've been taking an on-line photography class. It's fun for me, but not so much for the kids. Eliana absolutely refuses to pose for pictures any more. And Nicholas will only do so if he can pick his pose.

So here are some of Nicholas' ideas of a good pose.

Piano Recital 2010

Sam and Benjamin have been taking piano lessons for a while now. It makes me happy to see them play the piano. It does not make me happy to have to remind them to practice. I've told them that when they are adults, they'll be glad they know how to play. But that doesn't mean much to an eight and 10 year old boy.

Still, we keep plugging along.

Because I'm the mom and I said so.

My Ballerina Bunny

I signed Ellie up for Ballet in December. She wasn't sure if she wanted to do it, but I knew that she loved it and really wanted to be a little ballerina. Watching her every week is so fun! She had her recital on Saturday and it was perfect! I, of course, had to bribe her with a new pony and a pink cake - but it was totally worth it.

If this video does not make your heart melt, you are not human.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Will wonders never cease?

There are three - count them - three new posts below this. Amazing, I know.

Reader's Digest Version

Dear Sorry, Neglected, Pathetically and embarrassingly lame blog,

I apologize for forgetting about you. I promise to {TRY} to be better about updating you. I hope that we can still be friends.

Here's what you missed in the long four months you've spent pining away for me:

Nicholas turned four.
Nicholas got potty trained (after a year and a half of trying!)

Benjamin turned eight.
Benjamin got baptized.
We went to the Great Wolf Lodge to celebrate.

Sam turned 10. YIKES!

Eliana grew slightly more hair. Still rocking the mullet, though.

Kenai . . . who knew a dog could be so much trouble.
Broke his elbow. Had to have surgery to have pins put in. Pins fell out. Had to have pins re-inserted, and a cast put on. While in the cast, re-broke his elbow. Vet got very, VERY angry about that. Spent 10 days at the kennel so the vet could be in charge. Came home good as new - although slightly more of an investment.

Everyone did the annual bluebonnet pictures.

Josh and Rachel spent a week in Hawaii.

Whew! Just the dog alone is reason enough to keep me from blogging.

Pictures may or may not follow. You can't expect things to change all at once. I'm just saying.


For Valentine's day, Josh surprised me with a trip to Hawaii. We had to wait for his schedule to clear, so we didn't go until last week. It was fabulous! We spent five days on the island of Molokai. It's a smaller island - no stop lights, no chain restaurants, one grocery store - island living at it's best. We had a condo right on the beach - it was perfect!

We had fresh mangos and pineapple. We had macadamia nuts right from the tree. We walked the beach for hours every morning. We drove through a rainforest (and I freaked out when the one lane road dirt road high on the mountain had no guard rails to protect us from the bazillion mile drop). We saw whales as we sat on the beach. We saw a Hawaiian Monk Seal (not as well groomed as they are in a zoo). We collected hundreds of shells an coral. It was the most amazingly perfect week ever!

There is nothing better than a vacation to Hawaii! I'm still trying to convince Josh we need to move there. Keep your fingers crossed!

Please forgive the picture overload, but you have to see it all. Besides, I only pick a few from the 500+ pictures we took. Consider yourselves lucky.

The view from our Lanai.

Papohaku Beach. I think it's three miles long. And we only ever saw one other person on it.

Hawaiian Monk Seal.

The grocery store in Maunaloa Town. So cute!

The view down to Kalaupapa - the Leper colony.

Josh exploring the tide pools at the Moomomi Preserve.

The island of Maui in the background.

The scary price of gas. And only two gas stations on the island. But have no fear - you can also buy diapers, ice coolers, big screen TVs and fresh fruit while you fill up.


Organic Papaya grown at Kumu Farms.

The royal coconut grove, planted by King Kamehameha V in 1860.

The view from the back of the condos.

One of the whales we saw from the beach.

Bluebonnets 2010

How could we call ourselves Texans without bluebonnet pictures? {Not that we call ourselves Texans. I'm not quite sure what we are. Except Texas trend followers}.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

On the subject of animals

I am not a pet kind of person. We had pets when I was growing up - guinea pigs, rabbits, and cats. I even had my own cat, Sabrina. But then I went to college and promptly lost all interest in animals. I have nothing against them -- they are fun to look at and fun to play with. I just didn't want to live with them. So it was fate that I met Josh.

Here's how our first conversation went:
Me: Hi I'm Rachel.
Josh: Hi I'm Josh.
Me: I don't like pets.
Josh: Me neither.
Me: I never, EVER want to have pets . . . especially stinky dogs.
Josh: Me neither.
Me: Want to get married?
Josh: Sure.

For years we lived happy in the knowledge that our house would be animal free. But then we met these guys:
And all they did for YEARS was ask for pets. Thankfully we had perfect responses to their constant badgering. . .
"Why can't we have a dog?" {Because Mom and Sam are allergic to them} Hallelujah!
"Why can't we have a cat?" {Because Dad and Sam are allergic to them} Take that!
"All my friends have animals." {We are not your friends!}

But then came the kicker . . . "I'm not going to ask for anything else for Christmas but a dog." {You've got to be kidding me!}

So Josh and I did what any kind, caring, loving parent would do - we told them we would NEVER get a dog. EVER.

And then we went out and bought this:
Meet Kenai. He's a 11 week old Yorkshire Terrier, which happens to be a hypoallergenic breed of dog. {There goes the allergy argument!} He pees on the carpet occasionally. He cries A.L.L. night long. And the smell of his food makes me want to throw-up every morning. But the kids all love him. LOVE. LOVE. LOVE. him. They take him for walks. They make sure he visits the puppy pad every hour. They get him fresh water. They play with him. They fight over who gets to snuggle him when he's tired. Never was there a dog so loved. Never were there kids so happy. And never were there parents so glad they changed their mind.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Reflection contest

Here is Sam's entry for the 2009 Reflections Contest at school. The kid's got an eye for photography. I think he could teach me a thing or two.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Halloween 2009

Late. Late. Late. But here are the kids in all their spooky splendor.

Sam as Mr. Headless Horseman. A creation of his own {although he was in such a hurry to get candy, he couldn't be bothered to find his black pants. At least it was dark.}

Benjamin as Indiana Jones.

Nicholas as a scary dragon

Eliana as a ghost. {Originally, she wanted to be cookie monster. And I made a cute cookie monster costume. But once I added the eyes, she wanted nothing to do with it. So, I scrounged around the house and came up with this ghost costume. Not as cute, but it did the job. She didn't want to take pictures either. She just wanted to get candy! Eliana has already decided that next year she wants to be a mean witch or the big bad wolf. Hopeless.}

Monday, October 26, 2009


As a mother, there are times when I am caught completely off guard. Like Benjamin picking broccoli over french fries. Or Nicholas' ability to climb. But nothing could have prepared me for Eliana this morning. In her cute little voice she said, "Mom, I have pockets in my pants. Pockets can hold things. Where's my weapon? My pockets need a weapon!"

Friday, October 23, 2009

The funniness of Benjamin

Benjamin is a very unusual kid. He is overflowing with book smarts and he's very proud of this. One of the things that makes Benjamin unique is his love of words. He loves to learn new words {sometimes very large words} and use them regularly. For example - Josh and I were having a conversation about the cost of something - maybe taxes. And Benjamin piped in with "I'm not sure I understand all the facts you have been talking about, but I do understand the money issue and I think that is outrageous!" {word for word quote}

The kid is seven.

Benjamin's word of the moment is assume. He uses it so much that I find myself wanting to say "You know what happens when you assume . . ." Instead I pointed out that he uses the word a lot and asked him to cut down. He said, "Mom you have no idea how hard it is to come up with new words to use to impress people."

Today after school, the boys wanted to have friends over. Our rule is there are no friends over until the bedroom is clean. Sam had already cleaned his mess and told Benjamin, who was unloading the dishwasher, that he would clean Benjamin's mess. Then Sam said Benjamin would owe him big time. This, of course, made Benjamin ask me if it was true. I told Sam that Benjamin didn't owe him anything. And Benjamin said, "Yeah Sam. Goodness is it's own reward."

And lastly . . . no offense is meant by this comment. And I promise {just like the other three examples}, I have no idea where he gets these things. . . So Sam was decorating a pumpkin for a school project. The theme was "Favorite Book Character." Sam choose to decorate his pumpkin like a Bugger from the book Ender's Game. He made a preliminary sketch to follow. Benjamin took one look at the sketch and said, "I'm not sure this is the look you are going for Sam, but your drawing looks like an ant mixed with a Mexican Robber."

You be the judge.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Eliana's dreams

The other night, Eliana woke up crying. She was just terrified of something, so I let her sleep with me. When she woke up, I asked her if she remembered what she was scared of. She said that there were geckos dropping from the sky and crawling all over her back. "Too many geckos got on me!"

The next morning, as I was changing her diaper, she looked at me and asked "Why?" I asked her what she was talking about. She said, "Why were you squishing my poops last night? Poops are gross. We don't play with poops mom."

And the next morning, she woke up and said that she had a dream about hurting her eye at the jumping place. It was so real for her, she had to look at her "owie" in the mirror to be convinced she was fine.

So to sum it up - Eliana's dreams are filled with geckos, poops, and bruises.

Where are the princesses and sunshine and butterflies?

And what does she want to be for Halloween?

A vampire or scary monster.

Lucky me.

{I'm going to make these and shove girly down her throat!}

Thursday, October 08, 2009

We raise 'em sassy here

Nicholas hung a "no girl's allowed" sign on his door. I told him Ellie was a girl and asked if she could come in. He said, "No girls allowed." I told him I was a girl and asked if I could come in. He said, "The person that cleans my room can come in when it's messy."

Nicholas and Eliana were fighting over her pony toys. I told him to give the pony back. Nicholas told me, "I don't want to hear any more of your noise in my ears."

Eliana has a disgusting habit of drinking the bathwater. This morning I told her that drinking bathwater would make her tummy sick. She told me, "Oh yeah? Prove it."

At two and almost four years old, how can the innocence be gone? And how am I going to survive their teenage years?