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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

What I Learned This Week

This week I'm joining Jo-Lynne's carnival - with a list!

I learned...

...quick weekend trips are never quick!

...our life never seems to go as planned - why do children always get sick when you are out of town? And have to travel 6 hours in the car to get home?

...I don't dread Daddy going away on business - I CAN do this all on my own!

...it feels really good to crawl into bed at 8:00 and watch TV!

...I need a cleaning lady!

...two-year-olds love the praise they get for using the potty but still refuse to do it own their own! Come on, Bruiser Boy...we want to stop buying diapers!

...Miss Wiggles will NEVER give up her bottle!

...the sweetest thing ever is watching your baby take her first step...to you!

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Thursday, September 24, 2009

Welcome to Boot Camp!

We always joked that when Tater went to visit it Mimi and Papa she was going to "Mimi Boot Camp" - because, you know, Mimi teaches preschool, has raised three children, knows how to get little ones to follow the rules, gives THE best hairy eyeballs!, etc. But over the course of several visits, we've come to discover, "Mimi Boot Camp" involves videos, kid shows, wearing jammies all day long, and snacking on Tasty Cakes...not exactly what we had pictured!

But "Boot Camp" has come to the House of Sprout! My little angels have had a bit too much freedom for my liking over the summer. The result has been a lot of not listening, a lot of screaming, and a lot of stress for me and Daddy. So, today it begins! The behavior charts are on the cabinet. The stickers are ready. The reward system is in place. And the nest part...eight hours into it all...it's working! Tater loves doing the right thing and earning stickers. She loves being able to choose her own rewards. And Bruiser is tagging right along, as always. Now, we'll see how it progresses over the next week or so as the honeymoon comes to an end. But so far, so good!

And on another note ... Bruiser, who I thought was going to get married in diapers, has decided he is ready to use the potty! *insert screams of joy here!* He made the decision himself, and although he doesn't always make it and doesn't always want to go through the process, he is doing awesome and earning stickers! Gotta love this big boy stuff!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

What I Learned This Week

This week I'm re-joining Jo-Lynne's carnival!

I learned...

...its really hard to work, take care of three children, clean the house, cook real meals, do the laundry, and try to enjoy quality family time...and Daddy's really don't get it!

...it's the little things that matter to little one - like taking snack to preschool and bringing home a new Matchbox car!

...there is nothing better than enjoying a crisp fall day with your family and good group of friends!

...four-year-olds love to bake and create...

...and four-year-olds know how to lie! Oh, yes! Tater was "doing art" yesterday and cut her nightgown accidentally. Instead of telling me what really happened, she fabricated a story of Shadow biting her "really hard!" I quickly caught on when I realized Shadow wasn't even in the house during the event! I think Daddy and I are in for some really trouble in the years to come!

...babies grow up WAY too fast! And they think its okay to learn how to motor on two feet. And they know just how to upset their older siblings and sit back enjoy the screaming they create - which happened about five seconds after this picture was taken!

...it's so much fun to win a blog contest (Thanks, Muzbeecrazy!)

...boys can be potty trained...with the angle of bribery!

...parents of three toddlers need to have a really good sense of humor, unlike most of the world!

...children's excitement about going "up the hill to Papa's house" is contagious!

Monday, September 21, 2009

In Honor of Fall (A Day Early!)

A rare family picture - that to our photographer, Robin!

A few quotes to make you giggles:

Last night, Bruiser got out of the tub and we were sorely lacking in the towel department. They were either in baskets waiting to be put away or still in the multiple piles of laundry in my laundry room (We miss you, Dana - in more ways than one!). So I grabbed the last towel I could find (knowing full-well that Tater and Bruiser were going to have to share it that night!), and called for Bruiser to get out of the tub. I quickly wrapped him the towel hoping Tater wouldn't see what I was using, but no such luck! As soon as Bruiser saw the towel, he quickly announced, "I a princess!" - starting the screaming from Tater and deflating Daddy's male ego.

Then this afternoon as we were driving to preschool, Tater was chattering away - like she always does from the way back of the mini-van where I can't hear half of what she says - about the show "Lazy Town." All of sudden I hear her loud and clear, "I want to get that grown-up stuff and change my hair to pink!" (FYI: The main character in "Lazy Town" has pink hair!)

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Dear Santa... (to be read in a mean voice!)

I woke up at around 6:30 this morning (yes, on a Sunday - can you guess how happy I was?) to hearing an argument between Tater and Bruiser. After the fact, I gathered that Bruiser did something that Tater didn't like - it might have had something to do with touching her lovie...but here is the first thing I heard when I woke up:

"I'm going to write a mean letter to Santa and tell him what you did and he won't bring you any toys!"

Oh, the threats!

Apple Picking, Part II

After last weeks trial run, we returned with a group from church to continue our apple picking! It was a great afternoon on a beautiful day with great friends! We wore them out - you'll see lots of sleepy, dirty faces! Enjoy the pictures!

There was lots of tasting this afternoon!
Miss Wiggles rode in style!



Love this expression!

Tater and her friend, H
A family moment
On the free hayride...before Bruiser became mesmerized with the tractor - he couldn't take his eyes off of it!

Miss Wiggles' first hayride almost put her to sleep!
We had fun remembering the hayride we went on last October when I was pregnant with her - I had hoped the bumpy ride would kick start her arrival but no such luck!
Caramel apple for dessert!
Bruiser was confused by the caramel - took too much chewing for his liking!
Can you see the layers of dirt on his face?
Yummy!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Friday Night at The House of Sprout!

Yes, my two-year-old and four-year-old are playing X-Box 360 with Daddy while I'm chatting it up on Facebook with those far-away-friends! Not my proudest Mommy moment - but all's quiet and that's all that matters right now! Ooo...there come Miss Wiggles' squeaks!

A Girl's Gotta Have Shoes!

So Miss Wiggles got another new pair of shoes today - squeaky shoes!

When Bruiser started walking, I couldn't wait to get him his squeaky shoes...and they were great! I could always find him...by following the sound. And his were cute - little soft brown leather things. I think he wore them out!

But there is nothing cuter than these! And she already knows how to make them squeak!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Naptime ... House of Sprout Style!

I really don't understand why my children don't value the concept of nap time! I live for that time to recharge and make it through the rest of the day. They live to scream and fight sleep with every last ounce of their energy! In fact, Bruiser usually ends up passed out on the floor of his bedroom, after succumbing to the inevitable fatigue!

So today we had the usual battles. I probably made five or six trips up the steps to remind them (at first nicely, but then not so nicely towards the end!) that they needed to sleep during rest or they couldn't get up. I believe there were threats of losing Taggies and lovies...its a bit of a blur! You know...all those mindless threats you make as you desperately try to make them fall asleep so you can rest too...although Miss Wiggles wasn't napping so there was no real rest in my plans for the day!

I think it was on my second trip upstairs...when I ripped the wooden toy hammer out Bruiser's hand before he put an actual hole in the wall...that the EVENT happened. I removed the afore-mentioned hammer, changed his stinky diaper (#2 for the day, thank you very much!), when I heard Tater trying to open her door. She announced that she needed to use the bathroom, ran in, did her business, and headed back to her room. I pulled the door shut and proceeded to call Daddy to tell him that I hoped he didn't expect to come home to 3 children because someone might not make it through the day! While I was complaining to Daddy, Tater started calling my name again. I quickly told her to settle down and go to sleep but she persisted. "Mama, you forgot something!" I reassured her through the closed door that no, I didn't. "Yes, you did! It's a puppy! And it's real! It's Shadow!" That's right...in all the door opening and closing, Shadow ended up in Tater's room!

Don't you hate it when your kids are smarted than you!

"I Go Texas!"

If you have been following our little blog, you know that we have had the summer of all summers! Between illnesses, goodbyes, and general fiascoes that befall families with toddlers -- I'm surprised we survived!

One of our biggest transitions was losing our babysitter from last school year when she and her husband moved to Texas. We were very blessed to inherit our current sitter (from our minister who moved to Minnesota!) and couldn't be happier! The kids love Jane and are happy to see her every day. Tater actually asked me this morning "When is Jane getting here?" - with an exasperated voice!

So when Jane went to leave today, Bruiser ran to the door to say goodbye and point her in the direction of her "far" (aka "car")...just in case she forgot! Then he stood there for a moment, looking out the door, before he turned me with a very puzzled face. He said "Where Na-Na?" (aka "Dana" our previous sitter). I responded with "Buddy, she moved to Texas to her new house." His puzzled look cleared up and he immediately responded, "I go Texas!" If only it was that simple, Bruiser!

See, Dana, you are missed!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

A Quiet Sunday (Revealed to You on Tuesday!)

After our busy and wet Saturday, we spent a quiet Sunday, resting after church and grocery shopping and football watching!

Miss Wiggles giggling as she peaks out the door!

Wonderful noise makers - notice they are outside?

"Is my food ready yet?"

Building with Daddy!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Happy Grandparents' Day!


Saturday, September 12, 2009

Fall Days Are Here!

We've only been back to school for a few days, and those fun fall activities are already kicking into gear! Today was Tater's first day of soccer practice...in the rain! And then we ventured out on an apple picking scouting mission! Tons of fun (and I mean that a little bit!)

First up, apple picking!

Next Sunday, our church will be having an apple picking outing that I am kind of leading. So today we test drove the directions from the Internet (since our GPS is somewhere in Texas at the moment!) and checked out the arrangements so we'd be prepared next week. The farm we went to was great! Rustic, walk out into the orchard, pay by the pound, pick them right off the tree kind of experience. If it had been a bit less wet, I might have been happier...so pray for dry weather for next Sunday!


Love these classic pictures!

And our other adventure of the day - soccer!
Now you have to know that I always swore that I was not going to be a minivan-driving soccer Mom - never, ever! Well, Tater was born and after our first trip home to Mimi and Papa's in a regular car, I caved and we bought the mini-van. I still promised that there was no way I'd do soccer! So for the past few years we watched our friends and neighbors traipse off to games and practices and Tater has drooled over the prospect of the uniform and the shoes and her own ball. Finally the Easter Bunny brought her and Bruiser a soccer goal, and I think she got a soccer ball a couple of Christmases ago. I was beginning to lose my battle!
It was all over when I signed her up for the U5 division back in the spring. Then we went in August and picked up her uniform, searched for cleats, shorts, and shin guards...so not in my element here! Then today arrived...and with a lovely misty rain. But soccer was still on!
I woke all three kids at 7:30 - on a dreary morning when they probably would have slept until 8! - and we dressed warmly and headed out to a wet, muddy field filled with three-foot tall clones in red shirts and black shorts. We went to our assigned spot and waited...and waited...and waited. The team was there - four cute little girls with little patience! - and no coach! After about 30 minutes we discovered there had been a lack of communication and our coach was at the opposite end of the field. So here are the pictures after we found the coach. It actually was pretty cute! They stretched, did a few drills, and then did a mini-game. Hopefully next week will be drier!





This was before we left and everyone still wanted to be in bed!

Note: We've also decided that soccer will not be a family event! Miss Wiggles did great in her dry cocoon of the backpack, but Bruiser had a few temper fits and couldn't understand why he couldn't play too. Not a fair situation for him or his parents!



Friday, September 11, 2009

Dinner Time!




Wednesday, September 9, 2009

First Day of Preschool

My beautiful baby girl went to her first day of preschool as a 4-year-old! She was so excited and looked so cute in her pigtails! I'll have to look - I think there is a first day of school picture of me in pigtails too!

But don't worry, this will be the last "first day of school" picture for Tater. Daddy has determined that she is not allowed to go to kindergarten. And he says that even though other parents may say the same thing, he really means it! We'll see what next September brings!



Notice our new goofy smile? Who knows what's up with that!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Weekend In Review

We've had a busy, fun, relaxing family weekend and here are a few photos to show you!

Lazy Labor Day morning!

Can you see Miss Wiggles grabbing him? She's trouble!

Miss Wiggles first hair fountain!

A new kind of hair bow that Mommy made last night

Pretty girl!

Miss Wiggles

Our two new paths we (yes, we, as in Daddy and me!) installed yesterday afternoon. Now I can walk from the front door to the driveway without walking in the mud! Thanks to wonderful neighbors and their personal "quarry" of previously-used stones, this project cost us NOTHING!!!!

Bruiser coloring!

Princess Tater!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

A Family Kind of Day

With a three-day weekend looming, back to school on the horizon, and looking back on a stress-filled summer of tough news and many good-byes, we decided to head out to the beach for the day. And we thought it would be fun and relaxing? HA!!!! Remember growing up and hearing your parents say "Why do we try to do anything nice for them?" We now understand completely! No one was happy at the beach...including Daddy. Then there was all the work it took to get there and back. Then, when everyone had a nice quiet ride home, and we decided to stop for ice cream to bring home, all Bruiser did was scream that he wanted "right now!". Then we get home, eat our ice cream, watch a DVD while Mommy goes food shopping, and everyone complains that the fresh, made from scratch meal (more on that in another post) isn't ready soon enough! But we (or should I say the children!) survived dinner and baths. Tater is watching a kid show, the other two are in bed, the laundry is going, the kitchen is waiting for clean-up #2, and I'm tired! That was our escape from reality...not so good, but right along our standards!


Spotlight on Miss Wiggles (although I'm not sure how appropriate it is!)

Miss Wiggles took the spotlight on Dana's Dirtworks yesterday! Check it out!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Who's the Big Girl With the Big Girl Shoes?

Someone has decided to explore by foot these days...and those independent steps aren't that far off! So this weekend, Miss Wiggles was fitted for her first pair of walking shoes. One would think that in our house, we would have a pair of shoes that she could wear...but oh, no! Miss Wiggles has discovered fool-proof ways to guarantee that she doesn't have to survive on hand-me-downs! First she refused to drink from the hundreds of bottles that I already owned and struggled until I bought those expense and silly-looking Dr. Brown's. Now, she has decided to have long, narrow feet. No shoes fit her...none! Not even the Robeez...they slip right off! So off we went to buy the expense shoes that she'll only wear for 2 months...but they are so darn cute and she is so proud of them!

Love that smile!