Thursday, April 30, 2009

How wonderful is this?

Don't you wish you were there? Ah, love it! Jen

The words they say, they're new every day.

I never record the babes new words/phrases on the blog (mostly b/c I think we mamas compare development too often, so just know that though I do hear all of these words from them I also hear a lot of "du du" which is their universal word for everything and what they say to strangers most often:) but I better start recording them somewhere! So, here is a little "baby book entry" about the language development going on in this house.

Phrases that I am hearing frequently,
" Sister's bed, Sasa's elbow, Daddy's shoe "
" Daddy heart" (Daddy drew that heart, etc.)
" Brother cry"
"Daddy work"
"Baby eat, baby owie, baby come "
"Plane, hug." (Amelia always holds her arms open wide to hug and kiss planes as they fly by"

Phrases for asking
" Vera, come?"
"Home, go?" (Can we go home?)
"Kitty, go?" (Where'd the kitty go?)
" Treat, eat?"
"Flower, pick?"

New words:
Puter (computer)
Sad (only signed before)
Hunt (as in "Sambo Hunt" "Mommy Hunt" "Daddy Hunt" "Sister Hunt" when I ask Sam our names. So adorable.)

Lots, lots more I'm sure. Also, letters are all the rage around here. Just all of the sudden you know. Our car rides are now FULL of letter sightings, as are trips to the grocery store. "Letters!" they shout as we pass bill boards, highway signs, or the big M I L K above the dairy section. Sammy is actually learning his ABC's pretty quickly, while Amelia is only in it for the thrill of the "letter hunt" right now. She doesn't really care what they are yet:) I'll try to get a video of him singing, but right now he knows "A B C D F I K M P Q R T U W" and can identify A, O, S, and L with relative consistency. Go Sammy Go!

And here, by popular demand (his Auntie Shanyn:), is more of Sam rolling around on the big ball in the back yard while we all cheer him on:)

All for now, Jen

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Tuesday afternoon...

I don't know why, but this little glimpse into the most normal Tuesday afternoon ever at our house just makes me laugh and makes me teary and want to savor it forever. Joelie mowin accompanied by his ever present music and Sam yelling "NOO!" at who knows what and flipping over that ball over and over again, Amelia just breezing through the whole scene wearing some crazy combination of clothes. Oh man. Classic us. Hope you enjoy it too:)

P.S. I just have to say that after watching this video with Sammy several times, he would smile at himself flipping over and such but mostly he just said, "Share, share." I think he was really disturbed at seeing himself not sharing the ball with Melia. He is, afterall, usually the one that makes sure she gets every treat or fun thing that he does. "Sister, sister" he will say as I hand him a cookie or something and run to share the loot. Amelia? Not so much. Anyway, it was so sweet to see his reaction tonight.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

More little pieces of Texas...

Picking up where I left off....

There was Grandma and Grandpa Hunt's home, where Grandpa works in his wood shop making trains and little chairs and other wonderful things and Grandma cooks yummyness in the kitchen and reads lots of stories. There were squirrels galore in the back yard, "pane!" after "pane!" flying over head, and even a construction project going on right behind the house! Pretty much toddler heaven:) I look so forward to our next stay in that wonderfully homey home.

And, yes, Amelia was there too:) These just happen to be my favorite pics from this group. More to come! Jen

Sunday, April 19, 2009

On the homemaking front: Part 3

Here, dear friends, is a little update on my journey in being the keeper of my home.

In the Kitchen:
So, menu planning took a nose dive during our last round of winter illness and is just now getting back up to speed. One thing that is working in the kitchen department is making this lentil bake often. It is filling and healthy and the babes love it as well. It has become a staple around here. The recipe is from the cookbook "More with Less".

Baked Lentils with Cheese.
Preheat oven to 375.
Combine in shallow 9x13 baking dish:
1 3/4 c. lentils, rinsed. 2 c water, 1 whole bay leaf , 2 t. salt, 1/4 t pepper, 1/8 t. each marjoram, sage, thyme. 2 large onions, chopped, 2 cloves garlic minced, 2 c. canned tomatoes.

Cover tightly and bake 30 min.
Uncover and stir in:
2 large carrots, sliced 1/8 " thick, 1/2 c. thinly sliced celery

Bake covered 40 minutes until vegetables are tender. Stir in:
1 green pepper, chopped. 2 T. finely chopped parsley.

Sprinkle on top:
3 c. shredded cheddar cheese (or less:)

House Cleaning:
I am happy to report that this area has continually been improving--praise the Lord! The Motivated Moms Chore List is still a great tool, though I can now mentally check off all of the daily chores and just use the chart to look at the extras for the day (I do not, I repeat, do not try to do all of the extras every day. They are like icing on he cake so to speak). I have a binder that holds my weekly chore lists, my current Bible study, and weekly plans for learning with Sam and Amelia. That binder is a lifesaver for me.

I am about ready to make another batch of cleaning supplies. Here is the link for everyone who asked where I found my recipes. For you die hard cleaners, I'm not sure how they will stack up to your favorite store bought cleaning supplies. They work fine for me, but what can I say, I am most certainly not a cleaning supply connoisseur. I am, however, thankful to be able to clean the tub and put the babes right into it without being worried that they will be exposed to toxins and such.

Besides having a more simplified and tidy home, I can't think of any new atmosphere projects that I have completed. Atmosphere making still kind of seems like a far off dream. Oh, but one day. Probably a day in July when my mama is here:)

I have to say, the biggest thing that has influenced my homemaking since the last post that I wrote has been my computer breaking. I swear it was a gift from God. Or maybe an admonition. I guess sometimes they are the same thing. Anyway, it may sound a bit melodramatic to say that it feels like I was in bondage to my computer, but it certainly felt like it. So, now I feel free. Free to actually put all of those things I was reading about online into practice!! Free to be more intentional during the babes nap time and after they go to sleep. You know, we have never had "TV" during our married life. It is a fact I used to be a bit prideful about until I realized I was at the point of wasting far more hours on the Internet looking at blogs and watching TV online than many, many, many people who have hundreds of cable channels. I have been humbled for sure. So, now I am able to use Joel's lap top when he gets home from work and on weekends, and truly, everyone in our family is benefiting from that.

You can see my first two posts about homemaking here and here

All for now,

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Peppermint oil and sunshine...

"It's a happy day, and I thank God for the weather...!" That is the song that kept running through my mind throughout this gloriously sunshiney day. I try to be thankful no matter the weather, but boy does sunshine make it a lot easier:) We were outside for 90% of our day I think, looking at ducks and playing in the back yard, riding down the side walk on their radio flyers:) The day breezed by, and while inside we kept the windows open and the even from there the neighborhood smelled of freshly mown grass. Oh, and all day long the floors and the sinks and the tub started to smell of peppermint. The last batch of cleaning products I made I put in a dash of peppermint oil and boy does it make a clean house smell delightful.
Oh, peppermint oil and sunshine, you made my heart happy today. Jen

Thursday, April 16, 2009

In the evening time...

Ah, the evenings. When rest comes. This evening, as I finally heard the squeals and bouncing in the nursery subside, I went downstairs to finish my Bible Study for mom's group tomorrow and to put a load of diapers in the wash. I finished and came up to return a phone call. As I was leaving a message I heard Amelia crying and was sure there was poo poo to be found. I went in and as I was changing her diaper I went in to kiss her cheek and it made her giggle got it...Sam sat up in bed and within seconds was wide awake (this is a new phenomenon--where is my super sound sleeper?) I was just pooped and didn't feel like trying to put them down again and knew Joel was due to be home early and so I just let them up for a bit. We came into the living room, where I was intent on finishing a book I was reveling in. I put a honey muffin with butter on their little table, fresh out of the oven. I laid on the couch reading, but distracted by their adorableness. They were feeding each other bites of muffin and giggling. Amelia soon got up and wandered over to me, "Up? Hug?" I pulled her up onto my chest and gave her a squeeze. Then she wiggled down and said, "Sambo? Hug?" Then she started walking over to him and he looked straight ahead, smiling, knowing she was on her way. She headed towards him, arms wide open and gave him a quick hug. They giggled and then she ran back to me. "Back!" She announced. "Sambo, kiss? " Again, he looked straight ahead and smiled as she came up from his side and pecked his cheek. "Back!" She yelled as she was again at my side. Sam got up from the table and brought me some muffin, thinking it was hilarious to give me bites as if I was the babe. He then started slowly bringing me all of the play things he could find. At last count on my outstretched body lay 2 trucks, a bunny, a bear, a harmonica, and a yellow play scarf. I was determinedly still looking at the pages of by book, but I'm not sure why. My mind was on the two little ones whirling around in the late evening light, pushing their wooden choo choo train across the floor, laughing, talking, fussing. Sam was trying to ride Amelia like a horse and she didn't think it was funny. He started coughing and I was like "noooooooo" as I knew what was coming. BLLLLLAAAAH. All over the floor. Then he came to me. He always gets as close to me as he can when he throws up. And dare I confess that I just hold him to me and let the throw up go where it may? It's that mama love, you know? How can you push away a scared little throwing up boy? You just can't.

Anyway, the point is that after this I just start laughing. A little manically. I mean, this is the evening. The evening resting time. And here I am wiping mounds and mounds of throw up off the floor. Again. (Yes, we have seen our pediatrician and Sam is on a five day round of oral steroids that we hope will do the trick). So, I just laughed. And they laughed. And then looked at me a little bit concerned. And then laughed some more. Oh these little ones. These most precious, most challenging, most endearing little companions of mine. How I love you. How I thank the Lord for you. Because I know, and all the mamas in the world will tell you, that these years will fly by. Yes, days are long and all too often our evenings are not full of rest. But to see you love each other, to see you become more independent, to watch you awaken to this world like little blossoming flowers, to sing with you and paint with you and read with you and take walks with you, to hopefully guide your hearts towards a God that loves you totally and without abandon, it is my privilege. My spirit doesn't always show that to you, especially towards the end of the week, but I hope you know it to the depths of who you are as you grow. It is my privilege to be your mama, to partner in raising you with your sweet daddy and with our God, even when that means I am kneeling over the floor wiping up mounds and mounds of "Mess!"

So, that is what I wanted to say this evening as I go off to bed to finish the book that I set out to finish hours ago. I will probably close my eyes as soon as I hit the pillow, and really, the book will always be there tomorrow.

Easter Sunday...

*"We'll weather the weather whatever the weather whether we like it or not."

Yesterday was rainy and snowy. Ahem. So, I tried to make things fun inside by doing a few new projects, one of which was finger painting! Not surprisingly, Amelia immediately started rubbing it all over her body while Sam carefully worked on his masterpiece. I was a bit surprised he wanted to do it at all considering his aversion to "mess!" Fun was had by all, followed by water play in the sink and then a bubble bath. And then chase around the house which led to throw up from Sam and another bubble bath. Anyway, here are a few pictures of the little artists:)

* Truth about weather from Little Bear.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Dreaming of Spring...

This is how I found Amelia when I went in to check on them last night .Don't you just love going in just to look at their sweet sleeping little selves? I just melted seeing her little hand clutching that favorite book of hers.

Speaking of Spring, here they are eating a snack on the front porch on the BEAUTIFULLY warm spring day that was yesterday. Oh, and don't they just look 2?

All for now, Jen

Saturday, April 11, 2009

And then you were two!

Happy birthday little ones! It was a fun morning of celebration, eating muffins at Paradise, opening special cards and books from Mammy and a big art easel from Grandma, reading your new books and taking a long walk to the bookstore to play with trains and ride the escalator:) Then it was back home to snuggle with daddoo and watch Little Bear before taking a nap. Looking forward to a fun afternoon with you two two year olds!


Friday, April 10, 2009

Sometimes you just have to cry. And then laugh.

So, last night I was so proud of myself for going to bed early. By 9:30 I was snuggled under the covers, excited to get a long nights rest. Fridays are always, always, the hardest day of the week for me and I wanted to be fully ready when it arrived. Of course, that did not happen!

At 10:45 I heard Amelia crying and went in to check on her. I was greeted by a horrific whiff of some awful smell that in my dazed sleepiness I thought was poo poo. So, I grabbed a diaper and wipes and brought her into our room. No poo poo. Then it dawned on me that the smell was throw up. Where was it? Not on her clothes, not on her face. No, it was her ear that was full of throw up along with her hair. Um, disgusting. I whisked her into the kitchen (I didn't want to use the tub because someone had pooped in it earlier and I had cleaned it but not as thoroughly as I wanted to before using it again) and laid her on the counter to wash her hair and ear in the sink. Then, I went into their room to get her dirty linens and of course, despite my pleas for her to be quiet so that brother didn't wake up, she immediately ran to his bed yelling, "Sambo! Sambo!" He sat up, completely disoriented and so I grabbed her linens, grabbed her and ran out of the room hoping he would go back to sleep. He did. I got the linens in the wash and brought Amelia back to bed with me, hoping (beyond all reason) that she would go to sleep in our bed. After 30 minutes of craziness I grabbed some blankets and took her back to her bed. When I opened the door Sam sat straight up and started wailing and was hysterical asking for me. Did he not ever go back to sleep?! I put Amelia in her bed, grabbed Sam and headed back to our room, hoping (beyond all reason) that he would go to bed in our room and not keep her up. I called Joel, who was having another late night charting session at work and told him to come home immediately:) Amelia was quiet, Sam was laying so still beside me, and for a moment I thought things were going to go uphill from there. Um, no. First, I caught Sam smiling to himself ad then he let out a big, happy squeal and then started rolling around, playing peekaboo with the covers, and on and on. Then, oh then, he started coughing and coughing and then BLAH BLAH BLAH, throw up all over our bed! I ran to the phone, crying, called Joel and said, "Where are you? Things are going crazy!" " I'm in the house." Oh. Once Joel was there, I seriously felt fine. I always feel like we can handle anything with we are together. Anyway, by the time we got everyone and everything cleaned up it was 12 and they were wound up. So, we just let them play. This picture was taken at 12:45 am.

Joel and I caught up on our days, the babes ran around in glee, and then at 1 we called it quits and they actually went to bed just fine.

All in a nights work, right mamas?

They are just waking up from a very long nap and so I'll go for now. They seem to feel fine, so I guess the throwing up was just from this lingering cough they both have! Jen

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Due to the violent nature of this video, viewer discretion is advised.

When we tell people that Sam and Amelia wrestle, I don't think they can quite imagine toddlers really, truly tackling each other, head locking each other , etc. all in good fun. So, here is your cold, hard proof:)

And yes, it usually does end up with an accidental bonk in the head or something, but there are no hard feelings and they usually start right back up! And yes, Sam was borrowing Amelia's purple PJs one night because all of his were dirty:)

All for now,

Monday, April 06, 2009

Amelia is in a new phase where she wants two of everything. For example, when she is playing with her farm animal figures and is holding a baby pig she will say, "two, two" as she scans the group of beloved animals to find the other baby pig. She absolutely does not want to play with an animal unless there are two of them! Thankfully we have a least two of every animal except for the poor baby goat, and after I have convinced her that there is only one she will chuck the goat to the side and move on:)

So, it was without surprise that she has taken to only wanting to play with "two babies". After watching her sway and shhh and rock her two babies to sleep, I have no doubt that she could handle twins any day! Here is the little mother herself,

Though I am sure it will be another of her odd, fleeting phases it does kind of make you wonder if being with another person in the womb and almost every single moment for the two years since has anything to do with this obsession with double everything! They are pretty inseperable these days, by the way. I watch as they follow each other's lead in play and show great concern for the other and so on. Sigh, I can't believe our babes are turning 2 on Saturday. How we love them more and more!

Hoping you had a most beautiful spring day,

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Sammy, he has a sensitive soul.

We often describe Sammy as sensitive. He has been this way from the day he was born. Sensitive to light, sound, textures, chaos, transitions, change, feelings, people. Not in the extreme, but enough to really challenge me and often to bring me to my knees in prayer. Most of all I want to help him funnel those sensitivities into positives. Because, let me tell you, when you are awarded one of his knowing glances or smiles, little "for no reason" kisses, a song in the sweetest voice, a giggle of excitement or a snuggle from his very core, you will feel the depths that is Sammy's heart and it will make you glad.

It is our job after all as mamas and papas to study these little souls, to know them deeply and help them with their challenges, isn't it? I have to remind myself of this often. When all I want is my own comfort or to be seen as the mama who has obedient children or when I am about to throw up the white flag of surrender if I hear one more, "NOOOO!" , fight one more diaper or clothes change, or try to deal with a day of enduring, seemingly constant melt downs. When he is slow to warm up to people, overwhelmed or over is all just what makes up his being. Not that knowing these things means I don't hold him responsible for his reactions, but I hope to be a more compassionate, understanding mama and not push him over his limit if it is within my control.

I guess this is all just raw on my heart as I see the babes, and especially Sam, learning (I mean really learning) what it means to obey. Just lately as he yells out a "No!" it is often followed by a quiet "Bey, bey" (as in obey, obey) and he quiets himself. Not always, but sometimes. And it makes my heart break for him a little, as I think of my own "NOOOO!"s and how painful it is to learn that obedience, in the end, brings joy. It's a life long lesson I guess.

I'm kind of getting off of the subject. I wanted write about how Sammy reacted to seeing Joelie for the first time after being apart for about a week and a half. Joel walked into Shanyn's house and Amelia squealed with delight and they both ran over to him and started peppering him with words, "Truck! Sky! House! " etc. Then after things had calmed down a bit Joel was sitting on the couch and Sam just stood in front of him and then climbed up in his lap and dug his head as deep into Joel's chest as he could. I could see Sammy's face from where I was sitting and saw his little chin start to quiver and then he just silently cried for a few minutes as Joel held him tight. It was like all of his little emotions just came out. A few days later he did that same thing again. Joel was strumming a little tune on a guitar and Sam was watching and all of the sudden his little chin started to quiver and he started crying. Joel said it was like he loved it so much he didn't know what to do and it came out in tears! THEN, yesterday when we went to see Anne and Vera for the first time since our return, Sam leaned deep into Anne and just stayed there for the longest time. I think Anne and I both got teary because it was so precious. All of this to say, that his emotions run deep and wide and in many ways that is a wonderful, beautiful thing and I want to always remember that along the way.

Today Joel leaned down to him and said, "Your a sensitive little guy Sammy. That's a good thing. We need more strong, sensitive men in this world." I agree whole heartedly.

So, here is to our sensitive, spirited children. May God give us the wisdom to love and guide them effectively and intentionally.

All for tonight,

Tea for two and two for tea...

..Or cookies:)

We visited Joelie's (twin) cousins Lisa and Teresa at their wonderful cafe in the Heights. Needless to say, the babes basically inhaled their sugar cookies:) Thanks girls for another great visit to delightful Decapos! Jen

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Every year when I was little we would go into the big city (Houston:) where my Granny and Papa lived and Granny would take her little ragamuffin granddaughter shopping for a fancy Easter dress. This year she and my Aunt Susan and I went shopping and this time it was Amelia that was on the receiving end of a beautiful Easter dress (and Sammy a handsome outfit as well--pictures will be provided for sure:) . Sniff,sniff. It was so special . Really just being with them was enough for me. I said to Granny, "Even just walking through Target becomes really special when I am walking with you." And I meant it. Thank you Lord for Grandparents and Aunts Uncles and cousins and all of the family that you give to us--what a gift they are!

It seems like it was just yesterday that I was sitting on Papa's lap, facinated with the pens in his pocket and his Trident gum:)

All for now,