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Friday, April 30, 2010

Pink Puppy Party

Baby's first birthday. We have gone from midnight feedings and swaddling, to playing peek-a-boo and chasing the dog in what seems like the blink of an eye.

I remember giving away baby clothes and toys just a few short months ago. More than giving away things, I had given up hope for this little one. I truly came to the point of realizing that our family was probably not going to be any bigger than just the 4 of us. As soon I chose to be okay with the situation, guess what? Baby. God loves to keep me on my toes. :o)

The big kids decided on a pink puppy theme for their little sister's party because of baby's favorite toy rattle, generally referred to as "Pink Puppy." It seems to go everywhere with her. It has been doused with milk, dug through sand, and is completely and thoroughly well-loved. Conveniently, Pink Puppy is shaped like the letter O, making it perfect for spelling "one." Awwww ...

Thanks to this promotion from CVS and a little work in photoshop, I was able to print invitations, party decorations, pics to give the grandma's (which I forgot to hand out at the party), and more, all for free! I'm a HUGE fan of free.
I love planning parties, which will explain the obsessive use of pink in all of the pictures in this post. I'm the kind of person who looks forward to picking up a bag of valentines day m&ms 2 months early and feeding my family the red and purple ones so that only the right colors are in the bowl on party day. Yeah, it's a bit crazy, but I love the feeling of having everything coordinate - it makes the day special.
The party was scheduled for 4:00 which is right after nap time. Unfortunately, with all of the excitement, my little one didn't want to take her full nap, so I was playing with borrowed time. Expecting baby to loose it before the end of the party, I decided to start with letting her unwrap her gifts. Okay, let me rephrase that - we let everyone under the age of 9 unwrap her gifts while she sat nearby looking on and giving me sideways glances that seemed to say, "Woah!"

After everyone else moved on to other things, baby finally got her hands on her gifts. This grocery cart has been lots of fun. She pushes it at top speed across the room until she bangs in to a wall or piece of furniture. She will then stand there squeaking "Aah, aah" until someone notices, turns her cart around, and off she zooms to the other end of the room.

While the dads grilled hotdogs and hamburgers (Is it wrong to serve HotDOGS at a Puppy Party?). I pulled out the crafts for the kids: Finger puppets and puppy notepads. Too fun.
Baby's first birthday cake was the funniest thing ever. She took forever with it, slowing down with each bite. Remember that missed nap - well it caught up with her. Thanks to my helpful brother in law, I have tons of pics - literally almost 100 of just the cake. I weeded it down to the best 20 for you. Don't miss the last one, it is priceless.

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow: Birthday Cake

Phew! That is the last birthday for us until next year. Having 5 people with birthdays all crammed into 9 weeks is a bit frantic. Looking forward to watching these little ones grow up for another year.

Monday, April 26, 2010

The view from my window

Over the past few days our road and driveway have been in the process of being ripped out so that a drainage pipe can be placed under the road.
The drainage pipe is for the new road that they recent put across the street IN THE EXACT SPOT where we used to catch frogs. What was once wet, is now filled in. That water needs to go somewhere. This pipe is very necessary, but the process is a noisy, dusty mess.

The one good thing about it, is that it makes excellent entertainment for kids.

7 children lined up quietly on my porch happily watching the destruction = a few minutes of peace and quiet for me. Okay, not so quiet with the dump trucks, backhoes and saws all running at the same time, but sorta' peaceful in a way that only makes sense when you have small children underfoot.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Clean Up

I've always had kids who love to take things out of boxes. This one is the exact opposite. She loves to put things away.
Check out how fast that block is moving. This is serious business.
Very helpful. Thanks Baby!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Thursday Rhythm

It is early Thursday morning and I am in my rocking chair with my laptop and a cup of coffee. It is so silent in my home that it almost feels as if I am somewhere else. Somewhere relaxing. A resort with a sunrise view and no important tasks to be done. No laundry running, no bustling around the kitchen or turning the radio on. I don't do any of these things on Thursday mornings. Thursdays are for slowing down.

On Thursdays my husband gets to go into work 3 hours later than usual. This means that our entire family routine also starts later. If I time it right, all of the kids will sleep in later (although the baby was up early this morning with a wet diaper, she is now already back in bed like her siblings), we can have a lazy breakfast together, and the kids will get to help their dad with some small project or other before he has to leave.

I love Thursdays.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

1st Steps

Look who is on the move!

This is one first that I'm ambivalent about. It is fun to see her happy face when she accomplishes her goal, but a walking baby is a dangerous baby. From this moment on, our little girl will be independent, which means that she will be getting into things. Bye-bye books on low shelves. No more cups left on the coffee-table. Time to lock up the cupboards.

We will have to hold her hand to cross the street, chase her through grocery aisles, and search frantically when we loose sight of her at the playground.

Watch out world. Here she comes!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Mom's homework

I don't prioritize well.

I love to plan, to organize, to think about better ways to get things done, but when the rubber meets the road I really have a hard time getting the most important things done every day. Sadly I will often find myself thinking that I know what my values are, but my actions speak a different story.

Bible study is a prime example (housework is too, but that will have to wait for another post). I believe it is important. I really love it when I make time for it, but I somehow brush it off as "less critical" than the other busy tasks that fill my morning.

A few months ago I decided to scrap the Genesis study I've been working on for the past 2 years. It was well written, interesting, and in depth, but it was just too much me right now. I needed something that wasn't constantly distracting me with references, concordances, charts & timelines. I just need to study the Bible.

So then I tried simply sitting down each morning to read - which would work well if I didn't have 3 kids who seem to instinctively know that it was time to wake up at Exactly that moment. Despite my best efforts, they were perpetually pulling me away to resolve a squabble, for help in the bathroom, to clean up a spill, or a myriad of other urgent tasks. And when I wasn't distracted, I seemed to be reading through at lightning speed hoping to "get through it" before the next crisis, but not retaining anything. No, just reading wasn't going to work at this stage either - I needed something to help keep me focused.

So I decided to treat myself like one of my kids. I assigned myself copywork.


For the past 6 months I have spent time in the book of John, slowly working through each chapter as I copy it into a cheap-o spiral notebook. I mark it up when I feel like it, leave notes in the margin, and write myself questions. It is a fairly slow process, so I'm feeling as if I'm really paying attention to the words rather than just rushing through them. Occasionally I'll find a particularly baffling verse and I'll look it up, but mostly, I'm just sticking to the Bible. I can find my place when I'm pulled away, and I can see my progress every day.

Ha! This works!

But the truth still remains - I don't prioritize well, so it still isn't an every day habit. I wish it was because I really enjoy the process.

Those scribes really had a good thing going 2000 years ago.

Sunday, April 4, 2010