Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Too Soon

Today was the first time ever that I thought to myself, "I'd really like it if these girls never get any older." Normally I find myself anticipating the next stage or eagerly looking forward to future life with 3 teenage girls or even 3 adult girls and their husbands and children. I guess part of it is that having little kids is hard, time-consuming, all encompassing, frustrating work. Work. Seems like it is more work than not work. As always, the grass looks greener on the other side - when they're older they'll be more independent, they'll be easier to talk with, we'll be friends, we'll enjoy hanging out like Dave and I enjoy hanging out with our parents. You know - life will be perfect when they're just a little bit older and I don't have to carry anyone, dress anyone or wipe anyone's bum. However, today while all three were swinging on the swings I thought about how incredibly adorable they are right NOW and how much I love them right NOW and how much I would really like to stop time and keep them like this for a long time.

Nora is innocent and sweet. Sometimes I feel she is a bit oversensitive, but for the most part she is such a sweet little soul. She just fills my heart with joy.

Ryann is so cute and not so innocent:) She is full of mischief. She's got that look in her eye that she knows exactly what she is doing and what reaction will result from it. She is a clown and is soooo busy. The Fulmer's call her Hurricane Ryann. And a hurricane she is. She is into everything. Yet she is so snuggly and affectionate. And she adores her big sis.

Georgia is 5 1/2 months old. Do I need to say anything more? She is adorable and sweet and smiley and cuddly. She is wonderful.

Do I really want them to grow up? Shouldn't I just bask in this for a while - it won't be long before they are in the midst of junior high cattiness, crushes on boys, the devastation of failed relationships, etc. I have such a hard time living in the NOW with my kids. Why do I always think it is going to be easier when... ? Balance. Balance is my issue - I have a hard time finding it and keeping it.

A few shots that inspired my thoughts:

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Waited Long Enough?

Alright... in an effort to relieve the suspense for some of you, I am quickly posting to let you know what my pictures are. Obviously I should be taking more pictures since it has taken me this long to sit at the computer for long enough to do this:)

1. I have been shortening the chords to all of the new shades and blinds we bought. I didn't even know that one would have to shorten the chords to new shades and blinds. Dave put them all up and now my job is to shorten the chords. Great job Melissa! I would never have guessed that one - because I didn't know that chords needed to be shortened:)

2. I have been switching (ahem) out light switches in a few rooms of the house that have not yet been done. We changed everything from almond to white in the last couple of years, but we had a few switches that weren't done yet. This particular switch is in my laundry room and now it doesn't work... so I will be doing some more electrical work soon. By the way, I have also spent some time redoing the laundry room but couldn't take a good picture of it. We took off the old self-adhesive vinyl floor tiles, sanded the subfloor, patched the subfloor, sanded the subfloor, laid new self-adhesive vinyl floor tiles (which I bought at Aldi for $23 and they're really ugly, but they were $23), painted the trim, painted the walls and painted the doors. I have a brand new laundry room!!!

3. These are Thank You notes! Aren't they cute? I have been trying to write the thank yous for the gifts I received at my birthday party. However, as much I as I think they are important and want to get them out, I always find something easier to do:) I WILL get them out soon, though. Aren't they cute?

4. This one stumped everyone. Bedding? No. Sewing new curtains? Doni - you obviously have quite a high opinion of my craftiness LOL! Nope, that picture is of a small portion of the pile of shirts that are waiting to be ironed. And guess what? They're still waiting. And they are very patient:)

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

What have I been doing?

Remember that picture game that we played when we were younger where you see a close up picture of an everyday item and try to figure out what it is?

Although I could not take pictures of everything that I've been doing for the last week, here are some pictures of a couple of the ways I've been occupying myself. Can you guess what I've been doing?





Thursday, April 13, 2006

Five Months

Georgia is 5 months and getting big! She's doing so much and is having so much fun... Her list of accomplishments include:
*eating rice cereal twice each day (noon and 7pm feedings)
*eating 4 times each day (8, 12, 4 & 7ish)
*going to bed for the night at 8/8:30 and not making a sound after I leave the room
*sleeping until 7am
*taking 2 decent naps each day and really wanting a third short one, which I'm trying to eliminate
*staying awake for short car rides (so she's not messing up her nap schedule - we all know how I need my schedule:)
*playing with toys - holds a rattle or other toy for a long period of time, shakes it, reaches deliberately for certain toys
*putting everything in her mouth
*has rolled from front to back, but not back to front yet
*playing in her exersaucer and can turn herself in the chair to find other toys
*holding her pacifier and can take it out of her mouth and put it back into her mouth
*having long, serious chats with her White Sox bears in the morning before she gets out of bed
*looking for Nora, Ryann or Daddy when she hears them come into the room
*smiling and giggling at any one of them when they talk to her
*loving her mom more than anyone else, but will allow other people to hold her

She's such a big girl:) And within a month or two she's not going to be such a baby anymore... you know, the kind of baby that doesn't play very long and needs to be held after a while, the kind of baby that isn't too distracted by everything else to cuddle with her mom and dad, the kind of baby that isn't mobile enough to know that there is something better on the other side of the couch. I'm getting a little sappy, eh? Never thought I would be like this - never thought I would like having a baby so much, but I do.

H-anyways... some photos of the big girl:

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

The escapades of the Monkey

Ryann took a tumble on the treadmill this morning. I was running and she had come down to say good morning and quickly became distracted by all of the toys that are stored in the basement. She was showing me toy after toy after toy. I kept asking her to go upstairs because I was running and I couldn't (or didn't want to) watch her. I should have just gotten off and taken her upstairs, but I didn't. I suddenly felt a tug on the treadmill track, heard a boom, then a cry. I jumped off and looked and she was on the floor.

It seemed like she hurt her hand because she was holding it and complaining about it. I immediately brought her upstairs and she calmed down when she saw that Dave had breakfast on the table (food has a calming effect on Ryann? Go figure). So I went upstairs to shower. Dave came up after breakfast and told me that she was still complaining about her hand but that he had looked it over several times and had felt all of the bones and joints and it was fine. Whatever - she's 2, we both thought. Five minutes later Dave calls me to come downstairs and tells me that she's hurt more than we thought - she has big scrapes on her head and nose. Dave and I didn't notice them before this AND she didn't complain at all about her head or face, just her hand. I looked again later and saw that she had scraped off about a 1/2 inch of skin on the inside of her ring finger - so her hand was hurt.

She's okay and hasn't complained since then. I got the camera out to capture her first major injury and you'll laugh at the pictures I got. I spent 15 minutes trying to get a picture of her...
I guess it's fairly obvious that this child does not sit still for even a brief moment. I tried so hard to capture her smile, her impy look, her cuteness - okay, really I would have settled for anything that might be somewhat clear - but she just does not sit still.

I was able to capture these two very sweet moments, though:

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Speech Therapy - WaWa

Ryann had her first speech therapy appointment on Thursday. The therapist, Sue, came to our home and did her magic... Since this was our first appointment I think she did more observing than teaching, but Ryann had fun nonetheless. They played together for 45 minutes - anything Ryann wanted to do - puzzles, shape sorters, books, anything. Ryann was in her glory, I think, having undivided attention from someone and also learning at the same time. She was soooo happy:)

Sue asked me if Ryann always speaks with her mouth really tight and virtually closed. I never realized it was a problem, but yes she does. We have always found this to be an incredibly cute and endearing little thing that she does and have labeled it her "impy look". Apparently its not a good thing. Sue believes she is having trouble coordinating the muscles in her mouth to make the proper sounds. Because of this we'll probably have to start from a very basic level in teaching her sounds first, then words. For example, she won't try to teach her to say Water, but instead we'll have to start with the basic sound and teach her Wa Wa.

(Note: I am very much NOT a baby talk person. I do not speak like that to my kids. I have never called an object by anything other than its proper name - bottles are not baba's, water is NOT wawa, dogs are not doggies, birds are not birdies. I won't speak that way and I don't really want my kids to learn to speak that way. I understand that it might be difficult for Ryann to say Nora, and she may begin by saying Nona, however, I will do everything in my power to not reinforce that word in her life. A conversation may go something like this: Ryann pointing to a picture of Nora: "Nona." Jana: "Right, thats Nora." and we go on. I don't demand correct pronunciation, however, I will not speak like my 2 year old - make sense? So because of this, I struggle with the fact that I may hear someone actively teaching Ryann to say WaWa instead of Water. I do understand what Sue is saying, however, and will go with the flow.)

Ryann was not verbal as a baby or even as she became a toddler. Right now at 5 months Georgia babbles and chatters in her crib or at her toys. Ryann never did that as a baby. At 7 months the doctor asked me if Ryann was babbling a lot - my answer was "not at all." Last summer we were at my in-laws house with Greg and Michelle and Tessa. Tessa was 6 or 7 months old and was making mamamama and dadadada sounds. Ryann was just over a year and was not making any sounds at all. Since she did not develop (verbally) in the same timeline as a typical child, we need to start with the basics and help her develop along that same timeline now - in other words, we can't just pick up where she should be now, we have to start from the beginning. Sue also reassured me that she sees no other developmental issues to be concerned about - which confirms what the previous evaluators have told us and what my observations have been.

So we will begin with WaWa - or Sue will begin with wawa. And I will grit my teeth and be patient while my Sweets learns to speak:)

Come on...

If you need to send me something in the mail, please address it to:

It will get here, I'm sure of that.

We're minus one tadpole.

Sunday, April 09, 2006


In case you're having trouble keeping track, here is a list of our current pets:
*1 dog - Brady/Guy/Fuzz/Dopey/Barkley/SirBarksALot/Fuzzaroo/Brader
*7 fish - I think, they keep coming and going and I just have lost track. I've stopped looking in the tank, to be honest
*? Racoon OR Squirrel (we're hoping not both)
*Many - Ladybugs - they're all over and Nora catches them and puts them in containers as her pets. Its great (she said with a hint of sarcasm in her voice).
*2 tadpoles

Re-read that list. Did you notice anything new? Yes, we now have 2 tadpoles and they are not in the fish tank. They live in their own little Planet Frog aquarium. Are we nuts? Um, yes, as a matter of fact, we are in more ways than one:) Actually I had bought this thing for the girls as a christmas gift - its a frog habitat, but you can send away for tadpoles and watch them turn into frogs. I thought this would be a wonderful little thing for all of us to watch together and since we have a book, From Tadpole to Frog, that we have been reading for years I thought the girls would really enjoy it. And quite frankly, I wanted to see a real tadpole turn into a frog. So we sent away for the tadpoles. They came in the mail on Thursday - and they are really icky looking. I was pretty creeped out by them at first and kind of regretted this fun decision that I made. However, we will have fun with it and when they turn into frogs, we will feed them 1 round of crickets and then let them loose in a pond somewhere.

And by the way, we haven't caught our racoon yet. Every morning at 6:00 I go out to check the trap and nothing is there. This is a good sign - it means that there are NOT babies in the house that the mom has to come back to feed every night. Whew! Life is good, eh?

Friday, April 07, 2006

Critter Control (4/6/06)

My friend Ray from Critter Control is up on our roof as I type. He is setting a trap for our racoon guests. I called Critter Control yesterday in tears - sobbing tears - hoping someone would help us. Marty, who sounded like he was 16, was very calm and very helpful and assured me that it was probably racoons and they are probably in our attic, but THEY will come to my rescue (I was certainly expecting Ray to show up in some sort of superhero costume, but no such luck - he is in jeans and a sweatshirt).

According to Trapper Ray we have quite a few vulnerable spots in our roof. I climbed up there and he showed me 3 places where squirrels and/or (AND/ or? - I think one or the other is enough) racoons are getting in. Thats it - we are going to stop heating our house in the winter nights... see if they can find a warm place to nest in our house next winter:)

They have quite a business, I suppose. What a money making venture - people like me call them in tears and desperation begging them to "Just get the animals out of my house!" They can charge whatever they want, because we will pay it. Hmmmm.

We are on 'coon watch my friends. I'll be eagerly running outside tomorrow morning to look at the roof and find out if we've caught anything...

Don't we have enough pets already? (4/5/06)

A few weeks ago Dave noticed that a big chunk was missing out of the side of our house. He figured it was wind damage from one of our many high-wind storms that we've had recently.

Last week we had two guys come out to prepare estimates for us for a new roof and new siding or repair of the siding. Both of them thought that the hole was due to animals - not wind.


We had figured that we would get the roof and siding done in the fall, HOWEVER, one of the guys told us that we needed to do it as soon as possible because the animals are getting to it because the siding is rotting near the roof (it is wood siding) and if we were to get it repaired AND get the new roof it would fix the issue of it rotting where the two meet (make sense?). That guy also stuffed some stuff in the hole to temporarily keep the animals away, but told me to keep an eye on it.

Last night, 2:30am: Brady is barking, barking, barking. Not just a simple "woof" - BARKING, like there is a person or something outside. Then we hear banging - not car door banging, not like something hitting something else, Banging, like thumping. Thump. Thump. Bark, Bark, Bark. The chorus went on for 5 minutes. Dave went downstairs to find out what was going on - he didn't see anything. Sleep. 4:30am: The chorus begins again. Thump. Thump. Bark, bark, bark. 5 minutes, we're back to sleep.

I looked in the attic this afternoon - there wasn't anything there (the guy told me that it was probably squirrels getting into our attic). I went out onto the roof - the hole is bigger and they've started taking insulation out. The hole does NOT go to the attic, but is right on the other side of the Georgia's bedroom wall - the wall where her crib is. I'm sick to my stomach. We don't know if there is anything in the wall or if they're just trying to get in. I also suspect that it is racoons - I don't think squirrels can pull things away from the wall and make the kind of noises we heard last night. So I'm upset and a bit frightened - can they dig through to the other side and get into Georgia's room?

I called the roofer and asked for the quote asap so we could get it taken care of right away. I'm sick of animals - the dog barks non-stop in the afternoon. The fish are dying left and right (just lost another one yesterday), and now we have unwanted racoon guests... No More Please!!!

Monday, April 03, 2006

30 (4/3/06)

Happy Birthday to ME!

I turned 30 on Saturday. Nice. It was a good day - a really good day. We had breakfast with Dave's parents, then I went for a massage (part of my christmas present from Dave and the girls), then to church, then to my surprise party!

I knew about the surprise party and I knew about the guest list, but it was still fun to walk into the room and hear everyone yell "Surprise!" It was also fun to hear Raegan set the whole thing up throughout the week... it was being held at her house so she had to get me there somehow and it was fun to witness all of it. I really wanted to torture her and try to mess all of her plans up, but I was good and I just let her work it out properly.

They did such a good job with the party. Great food. Great guest list. We had such a great time! My parents drove in. Dave's parents flew in. MY SISTER FLEW IN! And a bunch of friends from CCC came. I cannot even put into words how much the entire thing meant to me - that Dave and Raegan thought I was special enough to plan this, that everyone who came thought I was special enough to come and celebrate with me. I think everyone needs to have a party thrown in their honor... It was awesome and I feel very, very loved and very, very grateful for the blessing of my friends and family.

And Cara rearranged the stuff on my new bookcases so they look good! What a great sister I have:)

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