Wednesday, January 30, 2008

not what i needed before my first cup of coffee

You can now add "dead ladybug" to the list of things Ainsley has tried to put in her mouth. Do they make Clorox wipes for baby mouths??

Monday, January 28, 2008

state of the union

No, I won't be talking politics...

It's just that the next couple of weeks are going to be a little hectic and I'm not sure how much posting time I'm going to have, so I wanted to take a minute to fill you in on all the things going on around here!

Ryan is sick. We took him for a rapid strep test yesterday because he's had a very painful sore throat since Friday. The test came back negative, thank goodness, and we were hopeful that he would start feeling better this morning, as he's had no other symptoms. And then he threw up after his shower this morning and it's been downhill from there. Poor thing has been in bed all day today with a fever and not wanting to eat or drink because of the sore throat. He's drinking enough to stay hydrated, and as long as he doesn't throw up anymore I think he'll be fine. In the meantime, we're doing damage control...disinfecting every surface in the house and keeping Ryan as far away from Ainsley as possible, because...

Ainsley and I are leaving for Indy a week from today for her second surgery. We're flying out Monday morning, and barring any complications, flying home the following Sunday evening. For this surgery, the plastic surgeon will harvest bone cells from her rib and the oral surgeon will use them to fill the gap between the two pieces of her upper gum. The oral surgeon will also be closing the communication between her mouth and nose, which is incredibly exciting as it will make her meals a much more pleasant experience...for both of us! And, as if there isn't enough going on, an ENT will be putting tubes in her ears. We're very grateful for this as well. Ainsley had a hearing test about 2 weeks ago and failed all three parts, indicating she does have fluid that just isn't draining from her ears. This could be the reason that she hasn't been sleeping well and still wants to eat so often in the middle of the night. If her head is filled with fluid, she would want to suck on her bottles to help relieve the pressure. The audiologist told us that the sooner this gets resolved, the better, otherwise she could experience some speech delays. And given all of the amusing things that come from the mouths of the other three, we're ready for her to start talking! We could use the comic relief!!

Emily is going to be playing soccer again in the spring. Registration starts this week and I think practices start in March. She had a lot of fun playing in the fall and I think she's really looking forward to playing again.

I think we're all looking forward to some warmer weather. I know, we don't really have room to complain about what little cold weather we've had, but one of the perks of living here is knowing that there isn't supposed to be much cold any cold is too cold! Before the cold snap a couple of weeks ago, we had a really nice weekend and discovered a great park. I've been meaning to post the pictures, so here they are. I'm sure you'll be able to guess what Jack's favorite part was!!

And lastly...a cute photo!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

a dozen years

And our amazing family has gone from this:
to this:

Happy Anniversary!

Friday, January 25, 2008

be my guest

Ryan has expressed an interest in having his own blog, but I'm not quite ready for that. So, I've let him know that he can post on here occasionally. One of his first posts will be describing his experience singing the National Anthem (with the entire 5th grade) at a Charlotte Checkers hockey game!! Seriously, how cool is that?? The game is in early February and I'll miss it because Ainsley and I will be in Indy for her surgery, but I'll ask Doug to take lots of pictures to post along with Ryan's firsthand account of the evening!

emily's room

I've had a few requests to see pictures of Emily's room now that it is finally finished. Well, almost finally finished. We still need to paint the vanity, but other than that, it's finished! Here are the pictures of what it looked like when we moved in and what it looks like today. (Well, not today, because she left all her dirty clothes on the floor before she went to school.) Here's what it looked like yesterday!

for posterity

I had to take this picture, if for no other reason than to remind myself that there was actually a moment of her babyhood that was not spent giving me gray hair...

Here is Ainsley with an actual, age-appropriate, lead paint-free toy in her mouth! Not a piece of paper or part of a plant or the mini-blinds or an electrical cord or the hot water knob of the bathtub or Jack's pj pants or Jack's crocs or a Wii remote or her socks.* But an honest-to-goodness baby toy. It was really nice to be able to watch her play with something that I knew I wouldn't have to take away from her!

(* All things that have actually been in her mouth. Really. I couldn't make this stuff up if I wanted to!)

Things quickly went back to she is about two minutes later trying to figure out how to slide down the car ramp.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


Ryan came into the living room and sat down next to me:

"What 'cha reading?"

"It's a book called Garlic and Sapphires. It's written by a very well-known food critic, and she talks about how she used to wear different disguises so restaurants wouldn't recognize her."

"What's her name?"

"Ruth Reichl."

"She can't be too famous. I've never heard of her!"

"Really? And just how many food critics do you know?"

"Well, there is Anton Ego, from Ratatouille."

"Any that aren't animated?"

"Good point."

Friday, January 18, 2008

welcome to eye roll central

Or, as we like to call it, life with a fifth-grader.

Ryan has always been a bit of an eye roller. Like the time I told him I was going to be really annoyed if he didn't do well on his Social Studies test because he "forgot" to bring the book home so he could study. EYE ROLL! (He ended up getting the highest grade in the class). Then there was the time I told him he needed to start brushing his teeth better or he was sure to come home with a mouth full of cavities. EYE ROLL! (You guessed it...not a cavity to be had). I suppose it's no wonder he truly believes that he knows way more than us, his totally lame parents.

Now this attitude would be incredibly annoying if it weren't for the fact that it has led to some rather amusing conversations. For example, this one on the way to the library the other night:

Emily: So I discovered that my CD player has this really cool thing. It will play the first couple of seconds of a song and then skip to then next song. It's called intro. It's like magic.
Ryan: Yeah, when Emily first showed me, I thought it was a malfunction.
Emily: A what?
Ryan: A malfunction.
Emily: Is that even a word?
Ryan: (EYE ROLL!) Yes, Emily. It means breakment.
Emily: What's breakment?
Ryan: (Urgh) Emily, it means to be broken.
Me: You know that "breakment" isn't really a word, right?
Ryan: (URGH! EYE ROLL!) know what I mean.

Ah, good stuff.

And then there was this one the other night:

Emily: I can't believe you're still eating.
Ryan: That's because I enjoy my food. I don't just hork it down like the rest of you!
Me: I'm sorry, hork?
Ryan: (EYE ROLL!) It's a word.
Doug: Says who?
Ryan: (smirking) It's a word. I heard it on Ratatouille.
Doug: I'm going to have to look that one up. (leaves the room to go look it up).

Doug: Well, according to Webster, hork is not a word...
Ryan: (EYE ROLL!!)
Doug: So I looked it up in the Urban Dictionary and definition #3 is, "to eat very fast."
Ryan: (jumping out of his chair, hands waving in the air) I told you! I told you! Ha!

There will be no living with him now...

Thursday, January 17, 2008

snow day

Not just as in it snowed last night, but also as in the kids are home from school and the entire city has shut down! I know what you're thinking..."Wait a sec, I can see the grass through the snow! There can't be more than a half inch on the ground!" And you would be correct. Actually, there was a little more snow on the ground earlier, and had I been a little more lucid at 1:30am when I was up with Ainsley, I would have taken a picture because it really was quite beautiful. But about an hour later the rain/ice/sleet started and it has continued off and on throughout the morning. Guess this explains why I couldn't find a parking spot at Trader Joe's late yesterday afternoon...everyone stocking up for the blizzard.
About an hour ago I told the kids they could watch a movie. You would think that of the 500 DVDs we own (give or take a few!), they would be able to find ONE that they could both agree to watch. But it took them 45 minutes to decide. Seriously. 45 minutes. The only thing that motivated them was that warning that if they hadn't decided by 12:30 I was going to let Jack watch Thomas & Friends and then Bob the Builder on PBS. So now I'm going to put Ainsley down for her nap, pop some popcorn and snuggle up to watch Star Wars with them. I think I deserve a snow day too!

Friday, January 11, 2008

plotting her escape

I'd be willing to bet that she's also pondering which will taste better - the grass or the bushes.

no rest for the weary

So, we haven't been sleeping well lately. And by we, I mean me and Ainsley. Everyone else in the house would have no problem sleeping through anything. And by anything, I mean everything, including (but certainly not limited to) tornadoes, a Mack truck running through our living room, or even an alien abduction. But I digress...

Ainsley and I aren't sleeping well, because Ainsley is still infected with the world's longest cold, making it almost impossible for her to sleep longer than 2-3 hours without waking up because she simply cannot breathe. And I suppose it wouldn't be so awful if I could count on her to take a couple of good naps during the day, so that I could coerce Jack into snuggling in bed with me to watch hours of Thomas and Friends so that I can sleep, but she's really not sleeping very well during the day either. I've tried telling her that if she wants to be a beast at night, then she has to be on her best behavior during the day, but she doesn't quite get the message. Kind of like how she doesn't understand that she's not supposed to be almost WALKING at 8 months. So, if you talk to me in the next few days or weeks (or months) and I babble incoherently or ask you to repeat yourself 3 or 4 times, please be patient and repeat my mantra..."This too shall pass," (Thanks, Mom!).

Now, you'll have to excuse me. I need to go rescue Ainsley from eating an electrical cord, cleaning my oven door with her tongue or some other situation that is bound to resemble this:

Friday, January 4, 2008


Emily was so excited to come home from school on Wednesday, her first day back, and tell us that she had won her classroom spelling bee and that she would be going on to compete in the school-wide spelling bee. On Friday.

She was given a list of 100 words to study and she spent all of her free time, even getting up early this morning, looking over her words. She was hoping she would get the word independence because she had figured out the trick - all e's.

The spelling bee was this morning at 9:30...Doug worked from home today so he could stay home with Jack & Ainsley while I went to school. In her first two rounds she spelled reptile and answer, and then, in round three, her word was independence and she spelled it perfectly. After three rounds there were only 9 contestants left, Emily being one of them, and her fourth round word was ballerina. Which, unfortunately, she spelled b-a-l-l-a-r-i-n-a. I was really so proud of her, not only for making it as far as she did and being one of the last third graders in the competition, but for standing up straight, speaking loudly and clearly and not even once looking nervous, even though the spelling bee was being broadcast over the tv's in each classroom and she knew the entire school was watching. I hope she always has that kind of confidence.