Sunday, November 30, 2008

The fashionista and foot germs

Jessa has had on quite the outfits today. Spencer has worn very little. In my haste to get this house unpacked and in order, their attire is the very least of my concern. As long as I get them fed 3 times a day, to the potty as needed, and to sleep, I am happy. They are being GREAT helpers and have been getting along. We pulled a "Smurf" unpack last night. (picture all of the smurfs in a line passing a bucket of water down the line to put out a fire) I would open a box of toys and they would take what I handed them and hurry to the play room. It worked out very well!

Anyway, unpacking is always an adventure because you never know what you are going to find. We found Jessa's dress-up shoes and jewelry last night. This was very exciting. They have been having to make-do with just the dresses and no "slippers!" What a fashion faux pas! Jessa even slept in a lovely plastic necklace all night. Fashion is of the utmost importance to her, even in sleep.
This morning, the ensemble was this:

Not sure what the deal is with the hat, but it has been a fixture today.

Later in the day, she was reunited with her favorite pair of Belle Shoes. She LOVES these shoes. I have been scolded several times over the past few weeks for allowing the packers to pack them. As soon as she found them, she had to put on her Belle dress and dance! And when she plays dress up, Spencer plays, too. Bless his heart. Here he is after she dressed him as Sleeping Beauty with matching pink slippers, waiting his turn to dance. He eventually had to be the wicked stepmother. Don't worry, David will be home soon to "man him up!"

(The picture is grainy because I had to sneak up to catch it.)

So after we ate supper tonight, Jessa and I were still at the table and Spencer had wandered away.
J: Oh no, he is putting on my shoes! (the beloved Belle ones)
Me: That is OK, isn't it? (trying to encourage her to share willingly)
J: But mom, they already have MY foot germs.
S: Where? (looking in the shoes)
J: Oh they're in there.
Me: Well, it is true you cannot see germs.
S: I don't see them. (he is now turning the shoes upside down and concentrating trying to find them)
J: They are in there and they are crawling all around and they're going to get on you.
S: No they not. (checking out his shoes and now his feet, just to be sure)
J: I am warning you, you are going to get my foot germs.

"Beware of foot germs!"

Much to her dismay, Spencer apparently unfazed by the threat of Jessa's foot germs, threw caution to the wind and proceeded to put on the Belle shoes. He was very happy and proud that he was wearing her favorite shoes. I was also happy because she did not have a dramatic episode as he wore them (great progress!).
He thought they looked GOOD!
You cannot blame a girl for trying, right?

He wore them, foot germs and all for about an hour until she somehow coaxed them off of him.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Jessa's Important Job

*****UPDATE *****
After I posted this, I went to WSB/ and saw that the story was already posted, so I guess it ran earlier. . .
There is a link to the story on the home page and you can briefly see Jessa with the Spider Man Punching thing. Oh well!!

My baby brother works at WSB/Channel 2 in Atlanta. He has been there since he interned there his Freshman year of college. I am always impressed when we visit him at his job - he is a Director and Technical Director. For those of you who live in Atlanta, you may watch Channel 2's news. (and if you don't, you should! Ha!) Clark Howard is a consumer reporter who does a cool special every year called the "Toy Test." Lucas has always wanted my kids to be a part of this, but it has never worked out before. We were either not close or not the right ages. Finally, this year, Jessa was the right age, AND we were in town! Perfect! Don't worry, we are already planning to make sure Mr. Spencer gets to do it next year!!

It was a Saturday morning and 25 kids aged 3-10 were asked to show up at 10 AM. They did a count down and released the kiddos into a room filled with toys. This year, the theme was economical toys, so all of the toys were under $25. Jessa had so much fun! It was so funny to watch them all play together and check out the new things.

5-4-3-2-1 GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The wonderful lady who ran the whole thing told them all what an important job they had because they were going to help kids and parents everywhere decide what toys to buy. They all seemed to take it seriously!

She did not want to give up the hippiy hop,
so she will play with both, thank you very much.

I wanted to post this today because this afternoon on the 5 o'clock news, the story on the toy test will air. I am not sure if Jessa was ever on camera or not. They try to catch candid moments, so if the kid looks up, they leave. They never asked Jessa a question, but she did not mind at all!

She made herself at home coloring with blendy pens-
at one point, Lucas swore she fell asleep.

So if you are around a TV in the Atlanta area at 5 today, please check out Jessa and all her new friends performing their important job!!
Multi-tasking at its best - she said her daughter made a mess.
Where has she heard that before?

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

I'm Back. . . And Happy Thanksgiving!

I have not had a second to sit down and even check my e-mail the past week or so! From the trips to Ft. Stewart (3 1/2 hours one way) to the unpacking to everything else, I have been so busy. Plus, my darling "carrier monkeys" have given me one heck of a cold. And that is why I have been up and on the computer since about 6:45 this morning. I could not breathe, which impeded my sleeping somewhat. The kids are mostly feeling better, but Momma and I are taking it harder. Mom does not even have a voice! They always do this to us, they bring something home from school and then I make sure they rest, drink, etc. No one ever makes sure grown-ups take it easy, thus when we get a cold it lasts longer. . .
We had a crazy week last week, so I will hit the high spots, OK? I will be as brief as I can, but you know I am long-winded. Sorry!

First, I tried a new photographer to take the kids' pictures. I have always gone to Sears. I like the on-line sharing and the 20% military discount. But Spencer had gotten to where he would burst into hysterics when we walk in the door. Not conducive to treasured family portraits. So we went to the lady who took their school pictures this year. And I LOVED her! And more importantly, the kids LOVED her! I was relaxed. I laughed. I did not sweat, cry, or get high blood pressure. It was awesome! And the pictures are great! I am not sure if I am allowed to post them since they are copyrighted, but I will check and see. . . This was a huge event that I was dreading, and it is now over and it was actually fun! Who knew? I did take a picture of the kids in her front yard as we were leaving. I am so pleased with their outfits this year. . .
The other big thing last week was the Thanksgiving Feast at school. I got to cook and eat twice, once for each child. I liked this a lot that they had 2 feasts because I got to go with each child and let them be the center of attention. Jessa always craves this one on one time. Bless Spencer's heart, at his feast, he kept asking, "Momma, where Jessa?"
Jessa's feast was on Thursday. And she has gotten to where she NEVER behaves well when I am at school with her. She is clingy and doesn't listen well. I have always told them that at school the teacher is the boss, not me. But lately, she acts ugly when I am with her. I told her I may not come anymore if she does not straighten up, so I am hoping the Christmas Party will be better.
Her class made Indian (or am I supposed to say Native American, not sure, but they do not call the way they sit "Indian Style" like we did, it is "Criss Cross Applesauce") vests out of paper bags (Remember those?) and little headbands with feathers and even a necklace out of colored pasta. Jess did not want to cooperate. Photographic evidence:
notice her holding my hand - CLINGY!

So, her feast was not terribly enjoyable. Although she is famous for being able to turn the drama on and off, she eventually acted a little better. . .

Spencer, on the other hand, was thrilled to see me and had the best time at his feast. I could eat him up with that sweet face!

He ate well, and he even got an extra cupcake to take to Jessa. He loves her so much and is just so thoughtful. . . His class made turkey hats, which he was reluctant to wear, but agreed to a few pictures.

Spencer's feast was on Friday, and we left right after to head down here to Ft. Stewart. We are skipping Thanksgiving in order to have an uninterrupted week of unpacking. Mimi and Poppy spent the weekend helping, but they went home. I am not a huge fan of Turkey, so no biggie for me, but my poor Daddy (with Abby) is driving to Atlanta on Wednesday from Illinois (9 hours) to pick up Momma (and Cooper) to drive another 3 1/2 hours here to help me. I am planning to cook David a turkey when he gets home - maybe we will all celebrate Thanksgiving in the new year? We have had it in February before when David was deployed. . . So here I am. At Ft. Stewart, swimming in boxes and paper, trying to makes us all fit in this tiny house.

I am thankful for so many things this year. I am thankful for phone calls and e-mails from Iraq. I am thankful that David will be home in 2 months! I am thankful that no matter how small, we have a place to live. I am thankful for everything I unpack because of the happy memories that are attached to each item. I am thankful for my family who always comes through for me when I need them. I am thankful for all my friends. I am thankful that my baby brother is cancer-free! And I am thankful for my sweet and precious babies who continue to entertain themselves so well in the midst of all of this chaos:

Here's is hoping you all have a happy holiday full of family, friends, food, and fun!
A wish from me and my turkeys:


Sunday, November 16, 2008

10 ways to make unpacking interesting

Jessa and Spencer are very resourceful little people. We are spending almost all of our weekends at Ft. Stewart trying frantically to get every little thing unpacked, organized, and put away as fast as possible. I do not want the kids to miss school since they have to leave in January, but I want the house to be as settled as possible before the wonderful return of our David.

Unpacking is not that much fun for anyone, but it really not fun if you are a small person who does not understand all this moving stuff. BUT my precious children are creative and imaginative and for the most part are taking it all in stride. AND we still have not had the TV hooked up, so besides a lone DVD player in my bedroom, they have had to find things to do that were not TV related!

The only funny problem we had was when I told Jessa to get dressed to go to Wal-Mart shortly after we arrived on Friday. They had their school shirts on, which she did not want to wear Friday morning. I told her to put the dreadful thing back on after I had cruelly made her wear it all day. What is my problem? She sighed and as she was dragging herself down the hall to get it she hollered out, "Mom, this outfit makes me look RIDICULOUS!" Can't wait until she is a teenager!

And now for the list of ways to amuse yourself and make the drudgery of unpacking more interesting: (please pardon the occasional lack of clothing - sometimes dressing is just too much trouble, know what I mean?)

1. Pretend that the packing paper is snow and roll in it, throw "snowballs" with it and make snow angels with it.

2. Take advantage of the fact that all of the cooking pans, utensils, and pots are all out and easily accessible.
Voila, a pretend bakery is born!

3. Play dress up with oven mitts on your feet or wear your sister's princess dresses or even a towel (at least he is temporarily dressed. . .)

4. You can always roll around in the paper.

5. There is all this paper around, hey, why not color it?

6. When you are tired of playing, take a rest and catch a movie.

7. Chair spinning anyone???

8. Did I mention PAPER, CRAZY PAPER!?!?

9. You can always "help" mom and may unpack by sorting, yeah, that's it, sorting. . .

10. And after a long, hard day of unpacking, nothing is nicer than laying down to take a rest on an oh so comfy pile of . . . you guessed it
(seriously, I almost fell asleep!)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Out of the mouths. . . (2)

I am constantly amazed with the things that they say and do.
Here are a few funnies before I forget them. . .

So I have mentioned that Jessa thinks that you "order" things from Santa instead of asking for things. And she and Spencer think that they want everything that is advertised, so I wanted her to give me some ideas. She spent an entire afternoon going through catalogs to cut out pictures of things that she wanted to "order" from Santa and then glue them to her list. The craziest things she cut out were from an FAO Schwartz catalog. She cut out some Madame Alexander Disney Princess Dolls that were $170 and a life size doll house that was $700. My favorite was a make your own ice rink! She said she really wants it. She just does not get it that we live in the south!! I said, it does not even get cold enough to snow here, and she said, "It does at Bay's house." She has a point. . .

She also cut out 6 or 7 different doll houses. She does love the one she has, so I asked her, "Why do you need more doll houses?" She replied, "Mommy, I want 38 doll houses. I want to make a whole street. I am obsessed with doll houses!" I guess she is!

Then there is Spencer. The other night he needed Jessa and me to be with him in the bathroom. I guess he needed moral support. So we were sitting on the side of the bathtub, supporting him, when he finished. So we started to cheer. We were clapping and dancing, and Jess said "hey mommy, let's do the gator chomp." So we did. And she said, "Look Spencer, we are gators!" To which my literal son replied rather loudly, "NO! YOU NOT GATORS! You HU-MANS! You MOMMY and JESSA!"

Spencer's use of prepositions is so funny. He always uses them, but never quite in the right context. Like when he goes to touch something of Jessa's, he will say, "If I play with it, Jessa will be mean at me!" Or "I want to sit to May."

Spence has also picked up on several phrases Jessa likes. My new favorite is "What's all the ruckus?" And Jessa likes to borrow phrases that I say like, "I have told you several times, mommy."

Jessa is very selfish and possessive of her things. He knows this. So on days when she is at school and he is not, he is in heaven because he can touch her stuff all he wants and she is not around to be "mean at him." But he always busts himself because the first thing he says is (in a nee-nee-nee-boo-boo voice) "Jessa, I played your. . ." and proceeds to tell her what he did. So the drama queen falls apart in the car on the way home. I try to get him to keep his mouth shut, but he is not into that. So yesterday, on the way to school,
Jessa said, "OK, Spencer, here are the rules. You cannot touch or play with my doll house. Say OK."
And he dutifully replied.
J: "And you cannot touch any of my barbies."
S: "OK Jessa."
J: And you cannot get on my bed or touch my things."
S: "OK Jessa."
J: You can play with trains and all of your boy stuff, but not my girl stuff, OK?"
S: OK Jessa
And the poor child did not even look at anything that was not his! He minds her so well. Maybe I should ask her what her secret is. . .
Then last night, Momma and I were talking about a miscommunication. And Jessa said, "Mommy, be nice to your mom. She is just an old woman!" Then she told Spencer, "Be nice to Mommy's Mommy, she is old." Momma was not even offended!

And the last one for now,

Last night, they had baby towels, you know with the hoods. They were pretending that it was raining and running around like crazy people. I herded them into the kitchen for their snack before bed. They both were sitting at the table while I was fixing their snacks for them. I was not paying much attention until I was headed back to the table with their goodies. And I was shocked to see that despite our best efforts at vaccination, the children had contracted a very serious case of chicken pops. Well, Jessa was worse than he was; she had a full blown case. He was just in the very early stages. I guess modern medicine cannot protect them against everything, right?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Happy Veteran's Day!

I would like to wish everyone a Happy Veteran's Day - most especially all of the Veterans and their families!
We had a special day today because my Daddy (Bay) flew in last night from Scott AFB to speak at a Veteran's Day Ceremony in McDonough. He has to go back tonight, so we have been soaking up all the time with him we can. He is currently "resting his eyes" on the couch next to me!

The ceremony was really nice. It was a little windy and chilly, but we enjoyed it very much. There was a JROTC unit and color guard from a local high school, a middle school band, lots of flags, families, and quite a few Veterans. There were Veterans from WW II, Korea, Vietnam, Desert Storm, and OIF and OEF. And of course, the best part was the talented and handsome speaker, MG Bil Johnson!!!! (I am not biased AT ALL!)

The children were there, of course. They were nice most of the time, although toward the end, Spencer did say in his outside voice, "Can we go? This is boring." Nice! And even after I asked them both many times and even offered to go to the bathroom BEFORE the ceremony, as the announcer was introducing Daddy, we had to rush off to relieve two small bladders. Unfortunately, we did miss part of Daddy's speech. Luckily, I heard him practice several times this morning!

And as usual, Jessa was attached to her Bay once he was finished with his speech. I am thinking we may need to get a doctor to figure out why she loses the use of her legs in his presence. (HA!) They got to talk to lots of people, including some of the WWII Veterans.

Spencer was just happy when the "boring" part was over, and he could run around and make friends with nature.

Our Daddy Doll came with us, also. He enjoyed the festivities, too!
I am trying to raise the children the way Lucas and I were raised. I want them to have a great respect for our country, our flag, our armed forces, and our veterans and their families who have selflessly served our country since the beginning. Veterans like their great-grandfathers, great grandmother, grandfather, uncles, and most importantly, their daddy.
Happy Veteran's Day!