Wednesday, January 27, 2010

why not Wednesday

Jackson's first words upon waking this morning:

Hey, I have some dance moves and food raps to lay on you guys.

Followed by a performance featuring the carrot rap that was all about a carrot that was too cold and so needed

to get BACK inside the
BACK inside the
BACK inside the

(Obviously, his muse visits him in his sleep.)

Monday, January 25, 2010

Kira in action!

We spent a good chunk of time this afternoon soaking in some sun before the weather turns cold again. I was watching the kids running and playing when I suddenly realized, "Wait a minute! Kira is climbing up the slide! And sliding down! On her bottom!"

She loves to slide, but has always needed a little help with the ladder and has always slid down on her belly. And there she was, acting like she's been doing it this way forever. She would slide right down and land with a thud on her butt. I wanted to catch it on video.

So, I started filming and then she landed on her feet!! For the very first time!! I think we were both surprised and I love, love, love the look of surprise and pride on her little face.

Jackson said, "Mom! We should have a celebration, tonight! To celebrate Kira being such a big girl!" Most definitely.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

trying to be a better human and a disclaimer

So, one of my New Year's Resolutions is to try to be a better human. First up - if I don't bring my own bags, it's either paper or me carting it all out unbagged. I'm doing pretty good with this one, so far. I'm ok with the paper bags because the kids and I use them for painting, etc.

I'm also trying to creatively repurpose stuff we already have instead of buying new. That one goes hand in hand with my Out of Debt Before Christmas 2010 Resolution. We're over halfway there already! And yes, that one means you'll have to look at project pics.

And now for the disclaimer. I hate doing the dishes. And my hands are always cold. So, I run hot water while I do the dishes. I know. It's not efficient. It wastes energy and money. BUT my hands are warm and the dishes are done, man. (10 pts if you can name that movie.)

Baby steps.

Love, Wendy

P.S. A big ol' AMEN for jobs secured for my Mom and for Dave, husband to my DR buddy and all around lovely person Mary Ellen.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Thank you

A couple of weeks ago I heard a guest on NPR say something along these lines: Evil is something that happens in a second, but Good is something that must happen again and again and again.

That really stuck with me and I wanted to write a post about how that's our job as parents. To fill our kids up with as much Good as we can, so that if they are hit with Evil or even just when the plain old Bad hits, they are armed, equipped, and ready. And hopefully, they'll rarely have to use that armor of Good.

But today, something really bad happened. A police officer, here in Arlington, lost his life this morning. I don't know the exact details, but it was really a freak accident involving his motorcycle and a school bus.

And I thought about how he got up this morning and took a shower. He had breakfast, maybe with his spouse and kids, maybe not. And he walked out of his door and that was it.

And the thing is, there are so many people, every single day, who voluntarily do jobs that guarantee that they will be in direct contact with the bad stuff. Police officers, fire fighters, EMTs, the dispatchers who take the phone calls across 12 hour shifts. They do such Good and help to insulate us from the bad.

I guess I just wanted to make sure that I publicly say, "Thank you." Thank you to that police officer and his family. Thank you to all of those service workers. Thank you.

Yes, it's our job as parents to fill our kids up with Good over and over again. It's our job as people to do it for each other.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

son of random

Jackson: "Mom, if you go to Walgreens later, I've been needing a few things."

Me: "Like what?"

Jackson: "Well, a transformer that turns into a truck. And also, a rubber chicken."

Monday, January 11, 2010

good morning!

I'm almost scared to say anything about it, but I'm happy to report a fever-free, back-to-as-normal-as-we-can-ever-get household! And, it's supposed to reach the 50s sometime today!! I know we didn't get anywhere close to the yucky cold that the rest of the country got, but I am so done with this weather. Hopefully, the kids and I can get outside for some sunshine this afternoon.

A couple of quick pics:

Kira looked like such a big girl before school this morning, I had to take her picture. It's not a great shot, but you can see her new purple frames. This is our second pair of frames from specs4us. They are made especially for kids with Down syndrome. The bridge is set lower, the glasses are a little wider, and the arms are a little shorter. Kira is slightly far-sighted and her left eye muscles are a little bit weaker than her right. She's been seeing a pediatric opthamologist since she was about 6 months old (I think).

And, of course, one of the most popular "new toys" around here has been this box:


Hug your babies, y'all!

Love, Wendy

Friday, January 8, 2010

a little hard won advice

Stop what you're doing right now and go look up the 24 hour pharmacies in your area.

That way, you'll already know where they are when your kid spikes a 104.7 temp at 11:00 pm and proceeds to immediately vomit up his dose of ibuprofen, leaving you no way of knowing if his fever is going to go down, and when the on-call nurse sends you out in the coldest night of the year to get Tylenol suppositories, you won't have to take twenty minutes to figure out where you need to go.

Better yet, just go ahead and get some of those suppositories the next time you're at a pharmacy.

Said child seems to be doing ok today. And the pedi's suggestion that Kira may have been battling a virus along with her ear infection seems to have been an accurate assumption.

(And thank you, Mom, for taking my 15 middle of the night phone calls and making the scary part of parenting a little less so.)

Thursday, January 7, 2010

right now

This is one of those posts that will make no sense to most, but I will smile when I re-read it later.

Right now the kiddos are supposed to be "resting". Instead I'm hearing one voice sing "Old black crow, old black crow goes..." Then two loud voices "singing" ACK, ACK, ACK, ACK.

Earlier today, I heard T. Berry Brazleton on NPR quoting a study that says that interaction between siblings may be more important for a successful adult life than parental interaction.

I think I'll let them rest their way for a little bit longer.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


Kind of in a funk today. Kira has an ear infection. Her first in over two years. I kept her home from school yesterday and today. She's doing better today, but obviously isn't 100%.

So, I'm drowning under a mountain of laundry, toys that need to be rearranged/sorted/removed from the house to make room for the new stuff, Christmas decorations that need to be put away, etc. It's cold and kind of gray today and I'd really like to just curl up with a cup of coffee and a book.

If y'all see our fairy nanny, housekeeper, and cook, could you let them know we need them stat?


Love, Wendy

Monday, January 4, 2010

and now back to our regularly scheduled programming

Back to the routine this morning. Kira's at school and Jackson is sleeping in, so I get some blog time. Derek took the week off following Christmas and it was so lovely to have an extended holiday. I am glad to be getting back to our regular flow of things, though. (Although, if we were independently wealthy and he got to be home all the time, you'd better believe I could go with that flow!)

I've been debating if I want to do a series of handmade Christmas posts or just one marathon one. I'm going with the marathon. I didn't get pictures of quite a few things, but I do have several pics for y'all.

All in all, I'm really glad that I did a mainly handmade Christmas this year. Crocheting into the wee hours snuggled up on my couch with a beer and Craig Ferguson on the TV is WAY more pleasurable than battling the mall.

I think everyone sincerely liked their gifts and I know I thoroughly enjoyed making them all. I'm already planning for next year, so if you're on my Christmas list, start dropping hints. (And yes, Dad, I'll have your longer scarf done soon.)

Now for the pics. First up, gifts for the kids from us.

I had originally planned for Santa to handle the puppet stage, but he totally wussed out on me. Since I created it from 12:30am to 4:45am the night of the 22nd, it was most definitely from me. It's a doorway stage that you hang from a tension rod with dowels above and below the stage opening for stability. It all folds up into a storage case. The pattern is from Bend the Rules Sewing by Amy Karol. It was super easy to follow. It calls for cutting the dowels down, but I wanted our stage to be a little wider for our doorways. Of course, middle of the night sewing doesn't lead to very good math skills, so I didn't even think about making the case longer to accommodate the longer dowels. You'll notice they stick out. Big-whoopty-freakin'-do is what I say.

Front of stage:

Back of stage:

Poorly measured (but still cute) case:

For Jackson, I did a double sided game quilt - checkerboard on one side and tic tac toe on the other. I just made it up as I went along, so no pattern really. I made a simple drawstring bag to hold the folded up board and the checkers. He loves it.

Kira's baby received a mini wardrobe of crocheted and sewed things - two outfits and three flannel/velcro sided diapers. We use sposies round here, so Kira changes her baby and then proceeds to throw the diaper in the trash. I don't know how many times I've fished those suckers back out. You'll notice that Fancy Nancy is also sporting a new sweater. I was trying out a pattern for my nephew and it was a little too small.

Santa brought painted things made by the elves, in addition to art supplies, books, puzzles, games (Twister - hilarious to watch them play this!), a scooter for Jackson, and a baby highchair for Kira.

It was a wonderful Christmas morning. My parents visited in the morning, lovely in itself, but they also totally rescued us by bringing food. In all my Christmas preparations, I neglected to think about getting to the grocery store before we left for a couple of days with the in-laws. Christmas morning found us without eggs, and almost out of milk and coffee. Derek improvised some yummy pancakes and Nana and Poppy brought cheese ball, crackers, and pies, and full tummies were had all around. Crisis averted.

Some pics of other gifts:

wrap for my grandma

various scarves and hats for my parents, cousins, and niece

Derek and the kids took over making our gift for his parents (love. him.) - he made collages of the kids' artwork, handprints, and pics through the year. We had them laminated in ledger size laminate so that they could use them for placemats. I didn't get a shot of the post-laminate creations, but here's a pre-laminate collage.

Several gifts not pictured:

My niece's dress-up kit was a big hit. I ended up doing a tutu, reversible cape, and crocheted crown. She, of course, wore them all at the same time along with 8 Christmas bows and about 79 layers of the lip gloss my MIL bought her.

I crocheted a baby blanket for our nephew. I started it before I re-learned how to crochet, so the whole thing was in half-double herringbone. It. took. for. ever. But it's really thick and great for this crazy cold winter we're having.

Ok, Jackson's up, so I have to wrap this up. Have a great day, y'all!

Love, Wendy