Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Bikes, binkies and more

I am sorry that I don't think I have much to say. (Well, I probably do have a few things to say, but not many pictures to show.)

This is our fun new bike trailer. Yes, the kids have helmets. They seems to like it, especially Abby. The straps were a bit too big for Briton so it wasn't until we got them properly adjusted that he also decided that he liked it. Another garage sale success story!

Abby is doing very well in potty training. When my friend Stephanie from the branch potty trained her daughter she posted that not only do the little girls and boys deserve the congrats, but that the moms do too! I agree. Once we really committed ourselves to it, it wasn't too bad, but the lead up...that was pretty tough on us. (How well is she doing? She is in panties at home all the time and in diapers while she sleeps and sometimes when we go out, depending on the destination and the duration. Oh, and I don't have to remind her to go potty. She does it all on her own. Yeah!)

Abby sleeps with her binkie. (For anyone keeping track, we did take it away from her several months ago but decided it wasn't worth the sadness it was causing her a couple months later.) The last week or so she has woken up at 3am-ish crying out that she can't find her binkie. We go upstairs, find it, give a hug and she's back to sleep. It is a pretty easy process, but not our favorite time of day to be up. Last night we told her that we'd put an extra binkie on her desk so that if she lost her binkie she'd know where another was. She replied, "Or I can say a prayer to find my binkie." Excellent idea! This morning (after a sleep filled night for all/most of us) she woke up and told me that the binkie was lost but that she had just said a prayer. I decided to build on this one and went upstairs to help her quickly find the binkie. She was so excited. We said a "thank you" prayer together. I was so proud of her for praying on her own when she needed help. (Incidentally, a hour or so later as I was searching unsuccessfully for my cell phone, I took a lesson from my 2-year-old. And, you know what? I found the cell phone.)

By the way, I turned the heat on yesterday. I think I'll miss this beautiful summer weather.
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Thursday, September 17, 2009

All About Briton

It has been a while (I think) since I have done a post just about Briton.

Here it is:

Briton really wants to crawl. He won't stay sitting up for long because he tries so hard to be on the go.

He can get onto his hands and knees with the belly off the ground (that is a new development) but we're still trying to get moving from there.

Speaking of moving, he rolls all over. I have never seen a kid get to where he wants to go so well (and accurately) just by rolling.

Briton is very well loved. He puts on such a show in public. His smiles and laughs are quite irresistible. If he ever cries or even whimpers in front of our friends, they are so surprised, because he is such a smiley baby. (I, on the other hand, have heard him cry and whimper many times, but I still think he is a good baby.)

He loves to eat. I know other children/another child (ahem) who are/is much pickier than he is. He'll eat just about anything (especially if it has been "bland-ized" by rice cereal). Thank you, my child!

Some (Long) Stories of our Week - starting with today

This was part of our morning. Homemade bubbles. We had lots of fun, but they were pretty messy. (I suppose that bubbles always are with a 2 year old.)

The background of this picture though shows what we have really been doing today. It's going OK. It could be better, but also could be much, much worse. (And she's happy, at least.)
A few days ago, Abby built this swimming pool in our living room. (She has also started rolling her socks in a similar fashion.) Her imagination is so fun. She told me where the stairs were and we got to jump in. Here are a couple exchanges:

A - "Get in, mom. The water isn't too deep."

A - [After she got in, she had a look of surprise when she said this] "Mom, there is sand in here. It is like the beach!"

M - "Do you want to keep playing in your swimming pool while I go and take my shower?"
A - "Yes, you need to go wash all the sand off you."

A - "Mom, the water is cooled off. It is warm."

On Tuesday, Abby had her first day of preschool. (It will be Joy school-esque). We had so much fun. Briton and I hung out as helpers. Next week we get to be the "teachers". The kids are great! Here she is with our neighbor who is in her little class.

On Saturday, our branch went on a canoe trip. Both the kids came out dry (as did we). It is such a pretty river.

Finally, we really like MSU's farms. (We need to go more often.)

Here is a photo essay of Abby warming up to a horse.
Briton is very happy just to have a sock in his mouth. (I appreciate how easy it is to keep him content - the cute little cocked to the side cap doesn't hurt either:)
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Friday, September 11, 2009


This is a beautiful video in remembrance of 9/11. What a day that was and I hope that I have learned something from it. I do know that God lives and can make more of ourselves than we can - despite what happens in the world.

On another note, Marian wrote some fabulous stories we learned about on our trip to Kirtland. They were more reminders that there are lots of sources of inspiration in this world. (Thanks, Marian! We had a such great time.)

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


Here are a couple posts about our weekend vacation.

Not long before we left on our trip, as I was finishing up with the food packing I found Abby in the kitchen doing this:

(In case you're wondering, she did not go camping in church clothes - although she would have liked to. Also, Mike didn't open the big cooler, but it had plenty of treasures in it as well.)

Trip to Kirtland

We had a great Labor Day weekend. We met up with some NY friends in the Kirtland area - great place, great company! (I hope my captions are accurate. We learned a lot and I hope I remember things correctly.)

Here we all are in the John Johnson home in Hiram. This is the room where the 76th Section of the Doctrine and Covenants was received. Abby and Briton on the stairs in the Johnson home - stairs that Joseph Smith would have climbed many times
Abby spent some time flirting with sweet Ethan:)
Marian had some very fun activities planned for the kids - like making boats to float in the lake!
Briton just ate a lot of sand.
This is the room where the School of the Prophets took place in the Newel K. Whitney store.
The wildflowers at the Historic Sites in Kirtland were beautiful. This is the ashery.
The Kirtland Temple

Abby and Briton sitting on a rock in the temple quarry
Marian planned a treasure hunt for the kids. (The silly straw was a hit at breakfast this morning.) The kids got along with each other so well and I know that Ethan and Addy made for a great weekend for Abby!
The kiddos in front of the Isaac Morley farm
The kids did very well on the trip. They are good little travelers.

What an inspiring place! Our hearts were touched by the stories we heard and the spirit we felt. I feel a renewed appreciation for the sacrifices and incredible devotion of the early Saints.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Some Stories about Abby

I'd like to bottle up all the cute things that my kids do and say. (I'd also like to say that I have written it all down and remember all the good stories, but that would probably be a lie. Do you think that in the next life we'll be able to relive our children's childhoods? That would make me feel better about not getting it all into the journal.) Here is a simple sampling...

Too much TV

This morning when I called for Abby to come downstairs to go on our walk, she called back that she was busy writing her "letters". She promptly told me that the letters said, "W-I-B East Lansing". I was very perplexed as to what that meant and where East Lansing came from. It occurred to me that she was more or less copying the commercials on the local PBS station (it isn't W-I-B) that says their call letters and then East Lansing. I found it a unique thing to pick up on.

An interesting obsession

Obsession might be a strong word. Abby likes pits - peach pits, cherry pits, nectarine pits and now, avocado pits. Whenever we are cutting said fruit for her she asks to see the pits. She always wants to be the one to throw them away. If she is eating the fruit and it still has the pit in it she makes sure to both show it to us and to tell us that she won't eat it because she might choke on it.

What makes mom sad
Today Abby came upstairs from the basement with her hands and arms black and some black marks on her clothes (brand new hand-me-downs, I might add). We asked her how she got black and she said something about paint. I asked her to take me downstairs to show me. She readily agreed, but on the way down she turned to me on the stairs, points her finger firmly at me and said, "Don't be sad, mom. Don't be sad. You not be sad." I found it kind of cute. I think that when she is in trouble, I use the phrase, "That makes me sad" a lot. She was determined to convince me in advance not to be sad. Hearing her use these tactics made me realize that our 2-year-old is growing up too fast.

When mom really was sad
Tonight I had a minor meltdown (they aren't just reserved for 2-year-olds) about toys - the typical "How many times do I have to pick up this toy and put it away?" Abby likes to pack her purses full of random toys and when the purses are full she moves on to gift bags. Bags of toys are in every corner of my house! I really don't want to stifle creative play and after Mike and I discussed this (and I melted down) I held up a basket and said, "Abby, this basket has Briton's toys in it. You must leave these toys here so that we have toys to give to him." She said, "OK, mom, but this one is mine and, uh, these are too. And, mom, I am going to put this toy over here. OK? It is just fine for me to have this toy, also." I incredulously watched her empty that basket down to 2 or 3 toys. Somewhere during it all I couldn't stifle the laughs and both Mike and I laughed hysterically while she continued to take all the toys out of Briton's basket because she was sure that it was "just fine" for her to take "this one too". It was a lot funnier than I was able to write it, but trust me...

I don't think there are many things cuter than little kids using big words and grown up phrases. Today I said something (don't remember what) and she replied, "That's absolutely right, mom." Nothing fancy, but it sure came out cute.

Bunny bedtime
Abby can have a difficult time falling asleep. She has gotten much better, but every once in a while she'll lay awake for quite some time after we put her down. She is good to stay in her room and knows the expectations. She'll fall asleep reading stories oftentimes. Naps are usually easier for her. The other day I heard her in her room waking up from her nap. I went in and she had laid her stuffed bunnies on her pillow and covered them up with her blanket. She then told me, "Mom, the bunnies are having a rough time. They are having a rough time closing their eyes." I found it interesting that she was transferring her own bedtime "issue" to her toys.

And now, a sad story about Briton
Yesterday Briton had a rough day. He woke up with a runny nose. During breakfast he played with a spoon and somehow scratched the roof of his mouth. It bled. Due to those things, he wouldn't eat all day and was very hungry and rather grouchy. In the evening he (gasp!) fell off my bed. Oh, it was sad! Briton was terribly unhappy and I was rather traumatized. It was a tiring day. Today wasn't perfect, but better.

Now for some pictures:

This is Abby's way of dealing with me vacuuming her room. She's not a huge fan of the vacuum, but instead of leaving the room, here is her solution.
These are a few cute pictures from our trip to the park this morning.