Friday, April 30, 2010

Just Because

Because it's Friday, and because every time I see this photo on my screen saver, and because I think it's so funny I thought I'd share it with all of you today.

When people say they worry about giving young girls Barbies because then the girls might think they want to be Barbie, I'm not sure this is what they have in mind.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Thoughts From Today

One way to know if you grew up in the pacific northwest is some of the thoughts that may enter your head on a day like today. If driving your car anywhere on a day that is 70 degrees and sunny gives you the uneasy feeling that you just might be killing baby seals somewhere then you know. Also, if your daughter is playing in the bathroom sink and you tell her to turn it off because she's "wasting resources" (like she even knows what resources are!) then you know.

Both of these thoughts sort of made me chuckle when they passed through my head today. Apparently growing up on the rainy side of the state did sway me a little.

Also, on a completely unrelated note I can not wait for Greg to start walking. This urgency isn't brought on by the fact that it's sort of average for babies to walk around now (and by the way, he is standing all on his own for a good minute at a time). Nor is it that he would be much happier if he could get around on two feet rather than crawl. It isn't even because all the clothing that is getting ruined by having him crawl through everything. I want him to walk so I can stinking stop having to carry the kid everywhere. He is heavy. My knees hurt, my hips hurt, my back hurts.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

More Science

Because I can't stop bragging about my kids:

Yesterday Greg go a hold of my cell phone, that or I may have given it to him so he could be entertained while I did something else. You chose which one to believe. He opened it up and pushed buttons. Then he held it up to my face over my nose. Then he held it up to his face and started to make noises into it. Then he held it up to my face so I pretended to talk into it. Then he yelled out a belly laugh. It was so funny and fun to see him connect some everyday type things.


Last night Dan gave Charlotte a bath. Which means that she got to have lots of bath toys. I don't really let her have them because the length of bath time extends exponentially with every additional toy. Anyway, this is what I hear from the other room:

Charlotte: This ducky is floating, and this ducky is floating, and this ducky is floating, but this ducky isn't floating.

Dan: Yup.

Charlotte: Why do you think this ducky isn't floating?

Dan: Well, what do you think?

Charlotte: Well...maybe it has water in it maybe? (She really likes the word maybe)

Dan: I think you're right. How about you try getting the water out of it.


Charlotte: Now the ducky is floating!

If that isn't physics I don't know what is!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Messing Up A Science Experiment

About a month ago a mommy pigeon built a nest in our rain gutter. You could see it from my bedroom window upstairs. At first I wanted Dan to get it down. Then I decided that, although I loathe the pigeons in St. Louis, this one was a mommy and was going to hatch an egg and have a baby. This might be a good thing for Charlotte to experience. From behind the glass window. So I let the mommy and daddy build the nest.

Then the mommy pigeon sat. She sat and sat and sat. Charlotte would come check on her every day, multiple times a day.

Then one day the mommy pigeon was gone. She was gone and she'd left her egg. There it was, alone, abandoned. How do I explain this to Charlotte? What's worse is that she's read the book, "Are you my Mother?" about the dopey baby bird that hatches while his mommy is gone. So then she went to the window every morning to check on the egg. The poor little egg just laying there. She was so excited that she might get to see it hatch.

Great. Just great.

The good news was that in the last storm we had enough water in the rain gutter to float the little egg down the spout. Now it's gone. And she's convinced that the bird hatched and is now finding it's mommy. And I don't have the heart to try to tell her otherwise.

Sunday, April 25, 2010


Yesterday was our first tornado warning of the season. When the sirens went off we dutifully went downstairs to the basement, spread out a blanket, located the 72 hour kit, and waited for it to pass. Luckily we only had to stay down there for about 20 minutes. A few things I realized, we have to re stock the 72 hour kit. There's nothing in there for Greg. And also granola bars get eaten pretty quickly when you're just trying to get your kids to think you're having fun.

After a few minutes of listening to the weather radio Charlotte got really scared. I thought I'd done a pretty good job of being nonchalant about the whole thing, but I guess I failed miserably. When I asked her what the problem was she said, "I'm just scared of the tomato."

I ended up in the basement with both kids on my lap and Suzie, the cat, came and cuddled up right next to us.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Desitin isn't water soluble

This week is my week to host Charlotte's pre-school. I was actually looking forward to it because we do a lot of crafts when its my turn. After three years of teaching arts and crafts to 3-5 year olds that's my comfort zone. We had a good time.

After it was over we had one of her little friends stay over for lunch while her mom was at the doctor's office. I made lunch while the two of them played "sick person" upstairs. I thought to myself how awesome it is that my daughter is finally getting old enough that she plays with her friends. When lunch was ready I went upstairs to tell them to come down and found both of them putting on "lotion" which was actually desitin. A half tube of desitin was slathered over their two little bodies. Luckily that was the only thing they smeared it on.

Lesson learned: Never forget that there is always a consequence for a quiet stress free moment of getting something done by yourself.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Photos I Love

A few weeks ago I had the kids photos taken and I love them! Maren Johnson is a great photographer, especially with kids. She was great at getting Charlotte to relax (I'm sure it helps that she has kids about the same age). I would recommend her to everyone. Now I just have to decide which ones to get for our wall. Here are a few that I liked a lot.


Today Dan left for Texas where he will be presenting a research study he did with the head of the ortho dept at his school. It will happen on Friday. Until then he gets to listen to all the other studies, and gets dinners and a hotel room and I'm sure is having a good time. It's almost like he's a real doctor. Wont that be great? When he's a real doctor? In like 7 years. Yeah, that'll be awesome.

In the mean time, I'm so proud of all that he is accomplishing along the way. Go Doctor Dan!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


I've had a hard time thinking of things to relate to anyone lately, even myself. I feel just a tiny bit like I've just got to put my head down and endure to the end of this school year. I was realizing the other day how I haven't really been noticing all the wonderful things I've got lately, but rather looking ahead, behind, and away to see great things. I really do love what I'm doing right now so I thought I'd take a note of a few things that bring me happiness.

A few nights ago I couldn't sleep. You know how sometimes you're exhausted, but your mind keeps going when your body says stop? That's what was happening, so I got up and went downstairs. Around midnight I heard Charlotte wake up and go into our room and ask for me. I heard nothing more after that so I figured Dan must have taken her back to bed. We never sleep with her in the bed. There is very little sleeping on every one's part when she's in there. After a while I realized that hearing nothing after that probably doesn't mean that Dan got up so I went upstairs to check things out. She had decided to just crawl into my side of the bed and since she wasn't bothering Dan he didn't even fully wake up. I decided to just snuggle on in with her. I lay there in the quiet of the night with my little girl cuddled up next to me and my husband sleeping heavily on the other side of the bed. At that moment I was bursting with the love I have for each of them. It calmed me completely down and as soon as I put her back to bed I was ready to fall asleep.

The second story is about how I start my day each day. It starts with Greg crying. I wish it didn't and it didn't used to and I'm sure it wont when he's adjusted to the no pacifier, but for now, it starts with tears. But after I go get him I bring him into bed with me to nurse him. He happily snuggles right up to me and we sleep and cuddle and wake up together. While I'm doing that usually Charlotte comes into the bed with us. Then comes the golden time of the day. Both children are awake and happy and I have the ability to relax and just play with them. Greg crawls all over us and the bed and Charlotte makes up stories about what we're pretending to do. The sun is golden, the moment is golden, my life is golden.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Just Like His Sister

Greg tries to do everything that he sees his sister doing. Today we visited Daddy at school where he was studying. We met outside and did a small circut of the fountains on the med school campus. Dan was holding Greg's hands so he could walk. Charlotte trotted on ahead of us and then decided to "practice her exercises" which today means she was jumping. Greg stopped walking and bent over trying to figure out how she was doing it. He was unsuccessful.

There has been one thing he's successfully copied his sister in doing. When she was about his age she reached up and ripped a key off the keyboard of our laptop. We tried to fix it, but it was just a function key, which was seldom used so we didn't try that hard. Eventually my mom visited us and used her super powers of fixing things (because mom's have those super powers) and fixed it.

Greg has torn off the enter key.

My mom's coming in June.

Not sure if I can wait that long.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


All the answers to the question were very good, but none of them were right. Today is day three of a pacifier free zone in the Whiting house. Day one was rough. Day three seems to be fine though. We're still working through things, but he seems to be doing well and still taking pretty good naps. I think it helps that I'm running him down to the ground before I put him down for a nap, but either way he seems to be transitioning fine.

At first I was really nervous about this. It's a hard thing to give up something that seems to stop tears in an instant. It isn't a hard thing to give up something that wakes you up roughly 3 times a night though.

Thanks for all the participation. Better Luck next time.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Pop Quiz

Any ideas on how you turn this:
Into this:

Bonus points for the first correct answer.

He's Totally Right....And I Hate It

Last Saturday Greg crawled off the edge of the top of our stairs. The only thing that kept us from a trip to the ER was me pushing Charlotte over and grabbing him by is ankle before his plummet. The same fall that one of Charlotte's friends took that sent her to the ER. I've been telling Dan we need to install a mounted baby gate at the top of our stairs for a couple of weeks now since Greg has been able to crawl with some proficiency, but we've both just sort of procrastinated the issue. After that incident there was no procrastination in my mind. I talked and talked and talked about going to get a new one. Then Dan said we shouldn't go get a new baby gate. We need to use the one we have in our basement. The one we have in our basement we used in our apartment to gate off the entire landing at the top of the stairs. Its metal and heavy and it doesn't mount into anything. It wont mess up the woodwork. It was perfect for our old apartment, but I was convinced that it wouldn't work at the top of the stairs. The feet are too big. It will block the door to the toy room. Charlotte wont be able to use it. I wanted what I had in my mind as the perfect solution. I complained and complained until he brought the thing up and set it up.

It's too big and clunky. In order for it to fit at the top of the stairs it has to go into the toy room and push the table at the top of the stairs away. It isn't perfect. My first reaction was, "I hate it." I stewed. Then I realized that to buy a baby gate new will be expensive. Charlotte probably wont be able to work it anyway and we'd be making holes in the wood work in our house. So I fixed the part that Charlotte wont be able to control and moved a few things around and now I have to tell everyone.

Dan was totally right. This baby gate will be what we need for the landing. Plus, it keeps Greg from falling down the stairs so I guess I don't really hate it.

Saturday, April 10, 2010


My husband's family has a family history book published. Its a hardcover red book and goes back around 6 generations. It's got photos and stories and all sorts of amazing stuff. Stuff that I've never read. Dan gets it off the shelf every so often and reads all of us a story that is usually pretty interesting, but other than that I never really paid much attention to it. That is until the other night.

When Dan's brother and sister-in-law were here they brought the book down and we all just looked through the photos one night after the kids went to bed. When we got to the part that focused on our part of the family we saw a photo that shocked me. I always knew that Charlotte looked like Dan. I never have thought that Dan looked a lot like his father. When I saw this photo all of that changed though.

In the family group shot Grandpa Craig was a little boy being held by someone. He looked exactly like Charlotte. All you would have to do is put curly hair on him and it would be Charlotte. It was amazing. And a real reminder that my kids need to know about both sides of the family.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Loving My Family

I guess I shouldn't be amazed about all the things that I learn from the simple experience of being part of a family. Here's another one to remember. I always knew my aunts and uncles loved me growing up. There was no doubt in my mind because they were there in the family before I was and waiting for me with open arms when I came into the world. I never had the experience of adding on aunts and uncles until much later (Hi Aunt Sue!) and it was awesome.

You know what else is awesome? Being the aunt. It is amazing! When I married my husband his brothers and sisters already had kids so I wasn't there to greet my nieces and nephews into the family with open and loving arms. At first I thought this would be awkward and uncomfortable to suddenly be an aunt to so many. Thoughts kept flying through my head. How could I possibly feel the love that I know my aunts had for me? These are kids, big kids, I don't know all that well. At least I am around for the youngest niece to be born. I have a chance to give that to her.

This week my husband's brother and wife are in town with three of their kids and I learned something about myself. It doesn't matter that they were part of the family before me. I love them so very much. Somewhere along the line they went from strangers to dearly, dearly loved children (and the same goes for my brother and sister-in-law). I tried to contain my enthusiasm to get them to come here while they were deciding their spring break plans. The night before they got here I barely slept with excitement. And I will bend over backwards to make them happy if I can. And I will buy a $3 soda at the zoo if I know it will help them enjoy it more. I love their laughs, and smiles. I love how when they wake up in the morning with my daughter all four of them practically burst out the bedroom door.

I also learned that I feel this way about all the family that I married into. I love them all so dearly and fiercely. Yes, there are still differences in personalities that we have to work through, but that doesn't diminish all the love I have for all of them. I look forward to when I get to see them and I'm disappointed when opportunities are missed. I am continually amazed at how boundless the love a person can cultivate within themselves seems to be.

Friday, April 02, 2010

I'll Have To Reminder Her Later

Today while letting Charlotte help me clean the bathroom:

Me: You are such a good helper! Thank You.

Charlotte: Uh huh.

Me: I should have you help me clean the bathroom all the time. What do you think?

Charlotte: I think that's a good idea.

You can't back out now! Hahahahaha!

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Spring Inspiration

In case you are living where it might still be cold or snowing I thought I'd post a few photos I've taken recently so you can get a little spring inspiration!
This is the new garden in the front of our house. The back row is white azaelas then the purple rhodedendrons. I planted calladium bulbs just in front of them that obviously aren't up yet. Then there are the tulips I planted last fall and the day lillies I transplanted from behind the house. Right in the front are some blue star creeper. Clearly I like to plant things in rows rather than grouping. I guess that's something I'll have to work on.

Her are the front steps that Greg learned to climb up. We took out the pipe handrails and put in dwarf rhodedendrons in the same purple as the ones up top. The two rocks we acquired from the neighbors and around them is the blue star creeper again.
This is Charlotte at the Botanical Gardens. It was a lovely day and we got to see all the daffodils, hyacinth, and some tulips and pansies.
Here's Charlotte with the Easter Bunny. Despite this photo she really did enjoy the experience. It would have looked much better if I had been able to get her looking at the camera.