Saturday, May 29, 2010

Taking the Leap

About a year ago (okay - 9, almost 10 months ago), Jack did something he never had done before:
He took a leap into the pool without the support of anyone but his floaties. He would only let Sam and Nate help him put on his floaties, and they were the reason he took that plunge. Before then, he was content with using us as his support. Since then, he's never looked back.

Fast forward to today. Amazingly enough, this year everything in the pool has worked and we were able to swim as a family this morning for the first time. (Note: we did swim together as a family for like 5 minutes on Thursday, but that doesn't count!). It was just a normal swim time too....until Zoey wanted to put on Jack's floaties.

Then she took that same leap Jack had made. This photo was taken at the EXACT moment that she first let go and started to swim!

What a big girl!

I think she even surprised herself! One added bonus to this new discovery: this little girl tires out even faster than before!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Rare Moment

In our daily life, we're busy.

And loud.

Mainly loud.

Zoey has a very distinct way to getting what she wants. It's usually a three part process:

1) Ask nicely. "Mommy, more milk please!"

If we don't act fast enough, we'll get this:

2) High-pitched, ear-piercing scream

I don't even bother making it sound like a yell. It's a wail, if anything, and usually includes tears.

AND if we still don't act fast enough (you know, in case we're doing something else like making dinner), she'll

3) Take one of our hands and lead us to the task she wants us to complete. Seriously. She's bossy!

Anyway, that's the usual day for Zoey. Jack, on the other hand, doesn't yell. He just acts like a big brother who knows how to annoy the snot out of his sister and get her to scream. He also has a skill of bouncing off of the walls and telling a lot of really, really bad knock-knock jokes nearly all the time.

He's also a talker. I remember going to the store once and having him talk for the entire trip. When we approached the check out, both kids grabbed for the lollipops (THANK YOU HYVEE). Silence. When the cashier asked how I was doing, I could honestly say that I was doing better now than I had done in a loooong time because it was quiet. I could actually think!

So why does this include you? Well, I have some good news.

Jack is quietly cleaning is room.
Zoey is quietly watching a "They Might Be Giants" dvd.

Did you catch it?


It's very peaceful right now. I may paint the wall. Or write some thank-you letters. OR I may even edit more photos! Oh the possibilities!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Just a Walk in the Park

Earlier this year, the flu hit our household hard. Both Trav and I were down and out with different stages of the infectious disease. When it was time to do something for the kids (i.e. cook dinner, give baths), we always took the same approach and compared symptoms (okay, you have a fever and chills, but I have vomiting and a headache. Who gets to give baths tonight).

Thankfully, a friend of ours stepped in and took the kids for a few hours so we could do our thing. In this case, rest.

Anyway, last week she had to take a final for a class, and we repaid our debt from the winter. Her two kids, Slade (3 yrs) and Riya (2 yrs) really get along well with our kids too!

Here's our happy bunch!

Amazingly, it wasn't hard to get them to look our way and smile!

The "brothers"


Since this was the first non-rainy day in a LONG time, they were out mowing the sides of the path. Cue Zoey's fear of lawn mowers.

We played in the very wet rugby field that's about 1.5 miles from our house and had a blast!

Go long! Go long!

Even Riya got in on the excitement!

Hi Slade!

On the way back, we actually saw some wildlife - a turtle!

They named him "Turty" the Turtle, which when said too quickly doesn't sound as innocent.

Hi Turty!

The poor thing was fleeing from us but not doing a great job of avoiding our questions.

Another walker and her son stopped by to look a the creature too.

Bye Turtle!

In the end, we walked 3 miles with these kiddos and they did so well!


So...I'm taking a break from posting photos on here. Heck, I haven't even uploaded photos from Saturday and Sunday! Instead, we're going to focus on my latest addiction:

Red Wine Vinegar!!

I know, I know. Anyone reading this blog is going to be scratching their heads and looking at me like I have three heads of my own.

I understand the confusion, especially considering that I can't stand alcohol.

But there's nothing quite like a sandwich - let's say turkey and swiss - with a few splashes of this wonderful liquid. Yummy is just a portion of it. I love it. I love it, I love it, I LOVE IT!

I just had to come clean about this addiction. I think I would seriously go through a bottle of it a month if we had sandwiches more often!

The Princess & The Frog

No I'm not talking about


Or this.

But I am talking about our little princess who was happy and smiley until she saw...


Yup! Papa Don brought it over to all of the kids, which is when it hopped under the rock. Jack and Audrey took a fine go at it, but Zoey finished it off and managed to get it out.

She loved that silly toad.

She's just so incredibly funny.

She's our girly girl. Nails painted. Hair done. Clothes matching.

Yet she loves toads (and worms and bugs).

She has no problem kissing them either!

Unfortunately, there's no prince here!

She still gave him a big ol' hug though.

That's an air kiss, for those of you who may think that she's trying to eat our poor toady friend.

See? Air kiss. MUAH!

Eh, that's not an air-kiss. That's an old-fashioned lip-to-lip smacker.

Sadly, our journey ended. I'm sure there are plenty more toads in this little girl's future!

FIELD TRIP - Iris Farm

Who knew that flower farms could be fun? As I mentioned last night, we've been in a bit of a random weather pattern. Last week was very, very wet and pretty darn chilly, with temperatures sometimes not climbing out of the 50s. It was VERY March weather instead of May! Regardless, Friday looked promising (NO RAIN!!) and we trekked out to Dearborn, MO to see an Iris Farm.
Yes, it was overcast, cloudy and very, very wet. Of course, when we went into Weston the clouds parted and we actually saw some sun. Go figure!

Anyway, despite being wet we all enjoyed ourselves. These flower buds were determined to be "broken" by all the kids, despite our best efforts to teach them that they will indeed become a flower!

There's our little princess, AKA the TuTu Queen.

Here's our Jack. When I first took this photo, I was worried. He wasn't looking at me AND he wasn't in the mood to take photos. Uh-oh!

Zoey helped her Papa Don pick out Irises that will be sent to him in bulb form.

Well, my worries about Jack were short-lived.

Isn't he just incredible? He's really turning out to be a great kid!

Awww! We love flower farms!!

And...with that he's off again.

Hi Audrey!

Hmm. Yes. This is an example of all the mud we encountered. You can imagine the state of her jeans right about now!

They even had chickens.

Oh man, Zoey loved those suckers!

Looking out at the fields. What you don't know is that I told her I saw an airplane. Deduce what you will.

I just wanted a picture!

Audrey and Jack really are quite alike. If Jack is going to do or try something, I betcha Audrey will soon follow.

AHA! There's my smiling girl!


...and Zoey love their Grandma Suzie!

Hi again, Jack!

Sitting on a bench just isn't enough fun.

You have to tackle your sister with a hug!

And possibly even attempt to tickle her!

BUT WAIT! What is this?

Oooo...Audrey thinks it's hilarious!

Jack lost interest, but Audrey is still be involved here.

Zoey wanted to know what the heck was going on.

Well, what is it? Tune in to this blog in about 30 minutes to find out more!

Audrey took the way of Jack and left when it got too boring.

AND...she's off!

She just looks so innocent here, right?

That little stinker was actually DRINKING from the fountain!

Hmmm. I will say this - for being a farm, they sure had cranky dogs. Two old, very cranky dogs.

I think Jack had fun!

And I think that Zoey ended up a wee bit on the dirty side! Actually, we all did. It took up to 36 hours for some of our shoes to complete dry out!