Monday, January 26, 2009

Winter Wonderland

We've learned a valuable lesson about our very own central Oregon meteorologists... you just can't believe a word they say! The forecast literally changes by the minute. So just tell us the truth... OK it's going to snow sometime in the next few days! Rain? HARDLY! Sunshine? Only when they say it's going to be cloudy! I think we get a more accurate forecast from looking out the window. :) In any case, we got an unexpected 3 inches or so of snow Saturday night and it was just beautiful. I was beginning to wonder where all that snow was that central Oregon is known for. We had been experiencing such wonderfully sunny days for so long. I suppose we were due.

Always the helper, Brendan wanted to shovel the snow like he saw daddy doing. Ingeniously, Joe found our gardening trowel and was able to convince Brendan that it would work just as well as daddy's BIG shovel. So while Joe shoveled the sidewalk and driveway... Brendan shoveled a path into the street. :) And after watching their dutiful shoveling from the warmth of inside the house, I was outside and into the snow for a second attempt at getting Brendan on the sled. After realizing last time that he couldn't hold on to the handles due to lack of dexterity with his mittens on, we decided to try the tandem tactic. I sat on the sled and let Joe pull me around the street to show Brendan that it would be safe to ride as long as mommy was riding too. After a few runs up and down the street with Brendan on my lap I was done but Brendan wanted more. We had to persuade him back inside with the promise of a snack. But no worries... we are, after all, in snowy central Oregon. I'm sure there will be more snow adventures to come!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

The Help of a Child

It has come to my attention that when you are stuck in the house all day with a toddler and a newborn, you have to become creative with ways to keep said toddler occupied. Yes, I am talking about my dear son Brendan. Although he would likely be perfectly content playing cars and trucks all day... I begin to feel guilty around about the 5th time I have to say "no sweetie, mommy doesn't want to play cars." So I've begun trying to include him in several of my every day activities whether it be in the kitchen, cleaning or doing laundry. And I finally told myself... "who cares if it takes me twice as long? as long as he's occupied." But then something happened as I was watching him put the laundry from the piles into the laundry basket. I couldn't help but smile and it nearly made me burst with love for my son. I watched him pick each piece of clothing up one at a time, naming each item as he went ("this is daddy's sock... this is daddy's OTHER sock... this is daddy's underwears... this is mommy's... um... for exercising...") and the way it took him a few tries to finally get daddy's entire pair of pants in the basket (never mind that there were two more pairs...) And each time I told him what a big helper he was being he would smile so big and say "I helping mommy!" It was the look of determination on his face and the pure excitement of being a part of mommy's big world that made my love for him pour out like a waterfall. It's these moments in that small little world that I just want to hold onto forever. My sweet little helper...

Friday, January 16, 2009

4th folder, 4th picture

So, in following with the trend I have seen lately on friendly blogs, I have dutifully found my 4th (open the 4th folder in your photos, pick the 4th picture and blog about it!) I'm not sure how this one ended up being there. I suppose it has something to do with the way we name our folders. I expected something from long ago... something I could reminisce about. But actually this is relatively recent (located in the folder titled "Brendan 2 years".) It was a fun filled weekend spent in the company of good friends not long before Aubrey was born (November 14th, 2008)

I like to call this "beautiful!" A picture of the beautiful place I live, with my beautiful friends, and our beautiful children (and my beautiful pregnant belly that is being hidden by a baggy sweatshirt!) From left to right there is Kian and Tracey, Joey and Stephanie with baby Andrew, Brendan, myself and my unborn baby girl. Missing in this picture are the three jogging strollers that we used to push the three toddler boys up the mile long hill to the picturesque top of the beautiful Pilot Butte. And as I look at this picture I think of the value of friendships. These girls mean the world to me and without them I would be lost. The bonds that have been created between both ourselves and our children will hopefully last a lifetime and I truly believe that it was God's purpose for us to be a part of each other's lives.

As far as the beautiful view. I stand in awe each time I come to this place, at the beauty that surrounds us. The hard work and effort of pushing yourself to the top truly pays off when the sun shines on your face as you bask in the beauty of the surrounding mountains, hilltops and trees. I am truly blessed that this is the place I live... my home... and I have no desire to ever leave!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

For those of you with small children, I had to post this book and I highly recommend it! Bill Martin Jr. is the son of Bill Martin, author of the popular Brown Bear, Brown Bear (and all of Brown Bear's friends...) We went to story time at the library yesterday and this was one of the featured stories. Brendan was not only completely intrigued by the story, but truly enjoyed each time the catch phrase was repeated (the story teller would point to the audience and we all would reply with "chicka chicka boom boom!") The story is a creative take on the abc's as each letter climbs to the top of the coconut tree, falls down, and climbs back up again. A fun and silly way to get your kids started on the alphabet. I am contemplating either buying it or checking it out from the library as Brendan keeps reminiscing about the story and the phrases. It's such a joy to see him at this age of discovery and learning!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Big brother Brendan

I finally captured the photo I had been waiting for. Not quite picture perfect but it may be the only time this happens! Aubrey was sitting in her bouncy chair as Brendan reached down and said "I want to hold her, mommy." I thought I had heard him wrong, but as I looked over, he was already attempting to pull her out of her chair and into his arms. I quickly persuaded him to let mommy pick her up and put her on his lap so he climbed onto the couch as I ran to get the camera. Keep in mind that the last time he told me he wanted to hold her, the moment I got her close to him he started screaming bloody murder. So I consider this photo a HUGE accomplishment! And a step forward in Brendan's acceptance of his baby sister (and it only took 6 weeks!!)

It's been quite the challenge these last 6 weeks. I'm only just now finally feeling comfortable leaving the house with the two kids. Leaving the house is usually a family affair since having Joe's extra hands is a great necessity. Aubrey is already growing and changing so fast. I had this crazy thought that she would be so much like Brendan but she is very much her own person already. She's been quite fussy so getting good pictures has been a challenge (not to mention the insanity that ensues when you've exhausted all options and the fussiness prevails!) But she's absolutely precious and I'm trying to enjoy every moment, knowing that time flies and those moments are gone in the blink of an eye.


OK so I know this is a little late in being posted and I haven't been keeping the blog updated, but what can I say? Things are a little crazy having two kids now! But Christmas was wonderful. A littel sad though... it was the first time ever that we spent it without our families. It was a very quiet day here, just the four of us. Joe took off from work early on Christmas Eve (a Christmas miracle!) He came home and played with Brendan while I prepared the infamous traditional rice krispy treats and egg casserole for Chritsmas morning. It was probably about 7:00 when Joe asked if we had made cookies for Santa. Of course the thought had slipped my mind and all we had in the pantry was a package of Oreos that would NOT be adequtae for Santa! So I got busy in the kitchen again making a quick batch of peanut butter cookies (because Santa whispered in my ear that it was the kind he would prefer.) After Brendan went to bed Joe got busy putting his tricycle (from Santa) together and we both dutifully munched on Santa's cookies.

Christmas morning was a little anticlimactic. I think we had envisioned Brendan being overly excited about all his presents when in reality he seemed a little indifferent. He wanted to sit on the tricycle then wanted off because he couldn't reach the pedals. Then after opening his first present, he proceeded to throw a fit when we told him he had to wait to play with it because there were more presents to open. But it all turned out great. Brendan was thrilled with the toys he got and they kept him entertained all day long!