Saturday, January 29, 2011

Musical tales from a car ride

On a long and boring car ride, Kylie decided that she was tired of listening to her Laurie Berkner CD. She and Eve normally listen to the CD at least once a day. It's their favorite and it's actually kids music that I don't mind listening to multiple times a day. In fact, I sing along.

A lot.

Moon Moon Moon, anyone?

Earlier in the car ride, I was singing along to "Fast and Slow" and Kylie told me to stop singing because the song was dangerous. I asked her why she thought so, and she replied because the song has poop in it. I'm pretty sure it doesn't. I know all of the words.

(We listen to it enough times.)

But after hearing the CD three times in a row, Kylie decided that it was time for some new music. So I decided to scan the radio (I really need to find some more kids music but I'm afraid they will love something I will not love as much as our dear friend Laurie Berkner.) Kylie hated everything except for the classical music. She was so excited to hear it and called it "Andy the deer music." I think it's because she is thinking of "Bambi" instead of "Andy". The movie Bambi has a lot of classical music. I know this because it used to terrify my younger sister, Rachel. Kylie hasn't seen the movie in over six months, but I really don't know what else she could be referring to.

It was so funny because she was noticing all the different instruments that were playing. So she decided to call the music "lots of instrument music" instead of "Andy the deer music." I was impressed when she correctly identified the trumpet and the piano. She also said she heard the drums when the cymbals played. I'm no musician (unless I'm singing to Laurie Berkner of course) so that was close enough to impress me. Plus, I know enough to tell you that they are both percussion and don't drum sets usually include the cymbals?

The classical song we were listening to magically then turned into an opera song. The singer had a deep voice, so Kylie asked me what the giant was singing about.

The whole time, Eve was very mad because she wanted her old music back. Every single time we get in the car, Eve asks "Song? Song?" and when good old Laurie starts singing, Eve exclaims "Yay! Song!" Of course if it's not a Laurie Berkner song, Eve gets mad and starts screaming and demanding "Song! Song!" But Kylie explained to Eve that "lots of instrument music" was good too and you could sing along to it with any song. So they tested the theory out and the rest of the car ride was filled with cute little voices singing "Row Row Row your Boat" and other classics accompanied by the likes of Beethoven and Chopin.

(Please don't ask me to tell you who the real composers were of the songs we listened to. I have no idea. I shouldn't have to remind you that music class was not my favorite.)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Meet Orange

Kylie had been wanting to build a snowman ever since the first snowfall this year. The first time we tried, the snow was too fluffy and it just wasn't packing. Yesterday, it was perfect snowman building weather. We finally finished our snowman which Kylie named "Orange." He is a Chicago Bears fan and enjoys shoveling. Kylie knew that snowman had carrot noses so we gave Orange the perfect one. On a whim, I colored his eyes, mouth and buttons in with sidewalk chalk and it worked wonderfully. Then we took a family library trip to borrow the Frosty the Snowman movie and watched it before bedtime. I love that the library lets you check out DVDs. Kylie and Eve picked out some books too of course, but that really isn't blog worthy as our library trips are always recurring. But yet, there I went and blogged about it anyways.

This is the first year in a long time that I have really enjoyed the snow. I don't like the cold and have seen the snow as a nuisance when I need to drive places. This time around, however, I have enjoyed watching my girls enjoy it. And I have enjoyed it as well. I especially love throwing snowballs at Jason. The last year I probably enjoyed it this much was 8th grade when we lived in Northern Indiana where the amount of snow each Winter is simply extraordinary. We lived right next door to our church's parking lot, which was ideal for fort building. This was no ordinary fort building either. We had multiple forts in the parking lot connected by secret snow tunnels. I also had a friend who had a lake in her backyard, which would get covered in ice and was perfect for us to act out scenes of the Titanic movie. But ever since that year, I have hated the snow until now. My only other fun snow memories was when we lived in France when it would *maybe* snow once per year and would melt by the next day. But it was just the right amount of time to enjoy the snow and then move on to other fun things.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Blast from the past

As we have been packing up at our old place, a copy of this picture surfaced. Kylie has been carrying it around and proudly reminding us that it is a picture of her as a baby with her beloved daddy. She was about a week old here. Someday, we will look back at this picture and comment on how young Jason looks. Even though that's down the road, I'm still amazed at how long ago this seems. I miss these "cuddly baby days." (I also miss Jason's long hair.)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Animal Science Book

Thanks Diego for giving Kylie the idea that she needs an animal science book! It's been a new project in our house and it's been a lot of fun. I gave each of the girls a spiral notebook, started working on animal fact sheets and coloring page and we have been hard at work learning about animals. With my biology background and organizational tendencies, it's been hard for me not to create a book organized by the class, order, family and genus within the animal kingdom (I don't care about the phylum, I hate dealing with phylums.) In fact, the animals Kylie picked out so far have been such a broad category (Frog for example). I managed to sneak in a spider monkey because it was bugging me that we didn't have any specific species in our oh so very scientific study (Technically, there are seven species of spider monkeys but we are getting less broad.) My girls are just one and three years old. They don't care. And I'm not in college anymore. I don't care either. We are talking about animals and making a book. It's cool enough. Plus, I don't have to stress about it. They don't know any better. That's nice too.

I'm hoping this project is an ongoing thing and that we have a finished product we can admire years down the road. Maybe not for scientific purposes, but just for the sake of cuteness.

Here's a peek inside Kylie's book:

This page is my favorite so far. I love how Kylie drew lines at the bottom and asked me to write "frog" on the first line and "bugs" on the second line. The bugs are for the frogs to eat of course.

I love the three humped camel!
 And here's a little peek inside Eve's book.
Oops, Kylie "helped" her little sister out with this page!

Five animals down! Can you tell my handwriting apart from Jason's?

Run, run as fast as you can... can't catch me I'm the gingerbread man!

One of Kylie's new favorite books is the gingerbread man. Jason decided one day to make gingerbread men with her to show her what they are like. He found this recipe and they were really good and chewy. All the gingerbread men I've had in the past have been hard and crunchy (meaning not tasty), and so I wasn't as excited about this project as Jason was. Once I tasted the final product though, I was glad Jason and his little assistant had made them.
I'm sad this picture turned out blurry because it's so sweet.

This is the cookie Jason decorated (and staged.)

This is the awesome cookie I decorated.

Thankfully, the rest of the gingerbread men were happy.

Eve just wouldn't smile at the camera. Little stinker.

They still tasted good the next day.

I don't know what's up with this pouting pose. I guess she was trying to be like her mommy when she was little. I was always pouting in pictures hoping to someday be discovered by a modeling agency.

Kylie making her gingerbread legs take a little walk.

Monday, January 17, 2011

A look back at 2010

2010. No pregnancy. No new babies. No Wedding Day. No wedding reception/anniversary celebration. No emergency room visits. No ambulance rides. No car accidents. It sounds pretty boring compared to all our previous years as a family, doesn't it? Maybe, but it was still a good year. A year in which we grew together as a family. A year in which we were constantly reminded to trust God as he is ultimately in control. The year started off with us moving to a new apartment. It was just down the street from our old apartment, but a much better deal. The year ended with us getting ready to move out of this apartment. No big deal. We are used to moving by now. I think I have moved
every year since I graduated high school and moved out of my parent's house. This time though that' where we are moving back to. Yes, as a family. Why? Because we would like to make a big dent in our student loans and this is the best way for us to do that quickly. As long as we find jobs in my old hometown of course. We are working on it.  We have actually been throwing this idea around for a long time. Not only because it is a good idea financially, but also because it is hard to find a job with a mission board while in debt. This will be a good thing. As we were only throwing around the idea for a while and praying about it, God gave us a big push to put it into action. Jason lost his job in December, and we figured it was now or never.

Speaking of Jason losing his job, here's a recap of his year:
The most exciting thing he experienced this year was his first visit out of the country. He was able to go on a trip with the seminary to Germany, Switzerland and the Czech Republic this summer all while earning credits for his masters and visiting tons of Martin Luther historical spots. Although he claims he missed me a lot, he had a great time. Even though he traveled during father's day and our three year wedding anniversary, it was a wonderful chance for him to experience a new culture and learn about such an exciting time period in Christian history. My favorite part was when he came home with Kinder chocolates, a little teddy bear for Eve, a wooden toy moose for Kylie, a French flag just for fun, a pretty painting from the Czech Republic and my favorite: postcards from all the cities he visited with fun and personal messages for me to read.

Shortly after his trip, Jason found a new job as an admissions coordinator for an online school. It sounded perfect until we realized too late just how the turnover rate was. We weren't surprised when he lost his job in December although still disappointed. But now it has given us a big push to do what we had been praying about for some time: making serious progress on our student loans. And through it all we have been blessed to see that God still takes care of us. Always.

My year was very simple. This was the first year I was able to be a stay at mom the entire time from January to December. My last subbing job was in December 2009 and I decided I didn't want to return after Christmas break. It was a good experience overall, but not very rewarding. I definitely prefer
teaching/support positions where I see the same kids every day. And of course seeing my own kids every day is even better. 

This was the first year I didn't have a baby to take care of, just two active toddlers. It's been a little sad since there is nothing sweeter than caring for a little baby and I miss it. Still, it's been fun. My favorite part has been watching the girls learn to interact together. Most of the time. There have been some fights to break up, but also lots of positive interactions. I've loved being a stay at home mom because I've been able to pick out lots of fun things for us to do. We've spent countless hours at parks, fountains, the library, the zoo, wading pools, nature walks and various play dates.
Now that 2010 is over and we are moving, it is time for me to go back to work. I'm still working on finding employment, but I'm excited about it. I'm not even worried about leaving my baby girls behind because Jason is going to be able to stay home with them full time while working on his schoolwork (He is taking online classes and commuting to the seminary once a week.) That's our plan. I just need to find a full time position for it to work. Jason is going  to make a fun stay at home dad; our daughters are lucky to have such a great father.

Now on to the girlies:

Kylie spent most of the year as a two year old, but then she went ahead and turned THREE in December. I think that officially takes away the baby/toddler label and just leaves her as a "kid". A kid who says things like: "but mom" in four long drawn out syllables if she doesn't agree with my choices. A kid that needs clear, logical reasoning for everything. A kid who asks a lot of "why" questions and is trying to figure out the world. A kid who remembers everything and who is quick to remind me of the promises I've made her. Although she definitely likes things done the exact way she wants them done, she's just such a sweetheart. She has a great imagination and a very active body. She still won't sit still to watch a movie more than ten minutes but she will let me read books to her for an hour.
Eve, on the other hand, is our "little lounger" as we call her. She will lounge on the couch and watch TV for hours if we let her. She spent most of the year as a one year old, as she had her first birthday in March. She's turned into a very assertive toddler this past year. Last year, I thought she was the easiest baby in the world. As a toddler, she's not quite as easy. Cute as a button, but a complete mess at time. She's a mess figuratively and literally: Not only is she ornery, loud and crazy but she is also the messiest eater I have ever seen. No meal is complete without Eve wiping her hands in her hair and
throwing what she doesn't want on the floor. But she's just so loveable, gives the best kisses and hugs, is a really good sharer and asks me all the time to "cuddle" (one of her favorite words)   

So now on to 2011. This should be interesting.