Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Happy Birthday Katie!

It's my China friend, Katie's, birthday. Her birthday is really on Thursday, but I'm posting on Wednesday, since it will be Thursday morning in China when it's Wednesday night here. So, before I tell my favorite Katie story, I need to fill in some background information on her. Katie always has everything you possibly might need with her at all times. She's like a walking contestant on Let's Make a Deal. Me, on the other hand, I don't even have my purse half the time I leave the house. Anyway, we were on the train on our way to Shanghai, and JR and I were sleeping on the top bunk. About 3:00 A.M. JR sat straight up in bed and threw up all over me. Before I could even finish telling everybody what had happened, Katie had handed me an airplane barf-bag, and a damp washcloth! I didn't even have an extra change of clothes for my poor child, but Katie, of course, had everything to remedy the situation. Jason, Allison (who was on the trip with us since she was in town visiting) and I couldn't stop laughing about it. Who has a barf-bag and damp washcloth in arms reach at 3 in the morning....Katie does!
Whenever I get off from the house without something the boys need (which could be anything from bibs to diapers) I always say to Jason, "What do you expect? I'm not Katie." I wish I had Katie here with me in Houston. She's so great to go anywhere with...need a snack, drink, hand sanitizer, hair clip, paper clip, or barf-bag...don't worry, Katie's got it.
Happy Birthday, Katie!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Maw Maw and Paw Paw's House By The Others

Babies: We didn't get to go to Africa with our big brother and Daddy, but Mommy was nice enough to stay home with us and take us on a trip to Lovelady to see Maw Maw and Paw Paw. Since JR got to tell about his trip, here's what we did on our trip:

Reed: Here I am sitting in one of our bouncy chairs. Paw Paw calls them the Shaky Pans.
Kyle: Whatever, you'd sit in that chair for about two seconds and then you'd start crying so Maw Maw would hold you and rock you.
Reed: Well yeah, why would I sit in the chair when I can get Maw Maw to hold me and rock me? Duh!

Kyle: Here's Mommy holding me and that Red Fox thing. Maw Maw kept making that thing sing and dance for us.
Reed: That was pretty funny, though. It did make us both smile when we would see it.
Kyle: See it?! How could you miss it? That thing's florescent orange...why those crazy people kept calling it "red" I'll never know.

Reed: Here we are taking a good nap in our bouncy chairs. Maw Maw's got us all bundled up.
Kyle: I know, I think she must be Chinese the way she kept covering us up. Did you hear her saying how we'd sleep better if our feet were warm?

Reed: Maw Maw and Paw Paw bought us a new swing because they didn't want us to have to share the swing we had.
Kyle: Do you think we can work that angle with Mommy too?
Reed: I don't think so, she seems to think that sharing thing is something we're supposed to learn.
Kyle: Um, Okay Mom, we'll get right on that...sure thing....

Kyle: Here we are one night sleeping in our Pack 'N Play.
Reed: Dude! That was the night you kept pulling my pacifier out of my mouth...that was SO not cool!
Kyle: Whatever Dude, that was hilarious. You were the one being a baby and tattling on me to mom by crying out every time I did it.
Reed: Lots of good it did, it just made mom push us farther apart in the bed.
Kyle: Yeah, but we showed her, we just scooted right back beside each other.

Babies: So, as you can see we had a fun time, and Mommy is totally paying for it now because we are both so spoiled and think we are supposed to be held 24 hours a day. Okay, now we have to give the computer to Hunter because he is being super annoying and wants to tell about his trip.

Hunter: I don't get noticed much anymore, so I was really excited when Mommy let me go for a ride in the car. I even got to sit in the front seat. Then, I was even more excited to see us pull in at Maw Maw and Paw Paw's house. So here's what I did:

I hung out with Foxy. We took every step Paw Paw took. He gave us treats and let me sleep in the bed. Foxy and I could really bark loud. Every time she would bark, I would bark. We seemed to get thrown out of the house quite a bit for that...especially if the babies were sleeping.

And here is a picture of the best part of the trip. I went down to the pond to feed the fish with Paw Paw and on the way I spotted a new, fresh, wet pile of cow poo. It smelled SO good, and I thought I needed to try out a new perfume. So, I rolled in it and it was so awesome. I did such a good job too, I got it all the way from my head to my tail, and I got it all over both sides too. But, by the time I got back to the house, the day quickly went from the best part of the trip to the worst. I really didn't understand why I heard Mommy screaming from inside when she spotted me from the kitchen window. She came outside, and for some strange reason started screaming and ranting and raving about how bad I looked and smelled. (Obviously, she has no idea what's cool.) Anyway, the next thing I knew Paw Paw was scrubbing me down with a cow brush in a big tub of water. And then the worst part, they made me sleep in the barn! I'm still thinking about calling C.P.S. over that.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Africa According to JR

They got home about 3:00 P.M. today. It's good to have them back!
JR wants everybody to know about Africa, so he talked and I dictated. Here's the Africa trip according to JR:

"I shot a lion, daddy shot a lion, and they killed an ostrich, and I shot a black wilderbeast and a blue wilderbeast. They made pizza for me and it was special. We shot 3 springbucks. We had a house, actually 2 houses, and they had a sign and it said 'Big Woods'. I had 3 airplanes to go on to get to South Africa. They made hamburgers for me. They had candy, and I ate candy. And my dad gave me candy if I was so good. They had a bucking bull and a tent for a party, and they had cowboy hats and a sheriff hat. I sat on everything and I saw 2 rhinoceroses and I give the 2 rhinoceroses a shot and took a picture. They had Fanta Orange and Sprite. They made spaghetti for me. Did you know that they made spaghetti? I saw an ostrich, I ride on a horse, and I saw a 'baboom'. In Germany I went on a tour. I toured stuff you don't know. I go on a boat ride and I saw castles too, I saw a bunch of them, but not any of them had knights. I came home to America. I stayed for Africa for 10 days."

Friday, April 25, 2008

A Note From Jason-Part 2

I've saved up all Jason's emails from the week. Since I only get a sentence or two a day, I figured I'd bundle them all together. I don't have any answers to questions you might have. I haven't talked to him, and as you can see, descriptive writing is not Jason's forte. I can promise you that if I had been on the trip I would have pages full of blogs for you...but instead, you only get a few sentences. I have put my own comments in red to fill you in on any background information.

Tuesday, 4/22
I wrote the wrong animal. She was going after the rhino. (He had written that his stepmom, Elizabeth, was going after a lion in his previous email.) She got her rhino and I got mine this afternoon. It was unbelievable, I was within 10 yards in thick brush and he could not see us. We were crawling on our stomachs. Dad was really excited with the picture of all 3 of us. It even brought back memories for me. We miss you and JR was really excited about sitting on the rhino.

Wednesday, 4/23
Well we had another good day. Dad got a copper springbuck and I got a black wilderbeast (now we have a blue and a black to hang on the wall). JR did really good today, elizabeth said she could not believe how good he was. Tomorrow we are going to look at lions for JR. I would love to shoot one.

Thursday, 4/24
JR wanted me to email you and tell you that he got all of his words right with no help. (I made them take JR's sight word flash cards that he is supposed to know for school.) JR goes hunting with us every day. He stays in the truck until I shot then they come to the animal for pictures. He likes sitting on them and touching them. Dad usually watches him in the truck if I am not there but elizabeth watched him while dad went with me after the rhino. He watches his dvd's or plays his games. He seems to love hunting so far he got to shoot the rhino dart gun and hit the bullseye both times.

Thursday, 4/24- second email
Well you will not believe this. He is going to let me try for a lion. Can you believe it? I have 2 days to try and get one. Tomorrow could be exciting.

Friday, 4/25
Well we have a lion. I shot a big male. You will not believe the hunt.How are you and the boys hanging in? Have they been good? We have to figure out where to put the lion when we get back. It is really big. JR wants you to get everything ready for his birthday party, that is his main concern right now.We miss you.

Any suggestions on where I'm going to stick a lion in my house? Sigh.....

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Toy Trilogy Part III

Final Edition: Toys That Aren't Around Anymore

As you can imagine today’s edition is super short since none of my toys were really ever thrown away. But, there are 2 items that made the list.

Toy #1- My Kitchen
Here’s my kitchen in its day. I believe I was around 3 in this picture. I always say that I’m not a cook now because I “burned myself out on cooking when I was little”. I would “cook” all day long, and when my parents got home from work I would announce whose birthday it was and then we would have a birthday party and “eat” everything I had cooked all day. What happened to my kitchen you ask? Well, when I outgrew it, my cousin, Kristi, inherited it…and then her little sister Sarah. (They must have practiced cooking on it just the right amount, because they are both great cooks.) After Sarah outgrew it, it was just worn out. The kitchen wasn’t strong enough to make the trip back to my parents’ attic.
And, yes, I know today’s toy kitchens are way more fabulous. They have microwaves and burners that light up…I think some even speak to you in English and Spanish. But, that was a great kitchen in its day. And it brought 3 little girls lots of fun times. (Kristi, if you have pictures of you and/or Sarah playing with the kitchen post them on your blog and I’ll add a link.)

Toy #2- My Big Wheel
I don’t have a picture of my Big Wheel; I only have a picture of the replacement big wheel type toy that my parents got JR. (He also has a regular Big Wheel at home that Granny Sherry got him.) I know what you’re thinking… What could have possibly happened to the Big Wheel? It must be a story of catastrophic proportions! Why, yes, it is. One day after riding my Big Wheel around, I chose to leave it in the driveway behind Pam-Pam’s car (Pam-Pam was my aunt.) instead of putting it away in the garage. I went in the house and completely forgot about my Big Wheel, until I heard a loud crunch and squealing tires. Yep, my Big Wheel had been run over. I know all my family members are laughing right now because they know that there is no way my Big Wheel could have ever survived being run over by one of Pam-Pam’s car. (She always drove a big tank of a car.) So, the Big Wheel was no more. And I guess I probably should have learned a good lesson about putting things away when you’re finished with them, but as Jason (and anybody else who has ever lived with me) will tell you, I’m still not so good at that.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Toy Trilogy Part II

Today’s Edition: Toys That Were Worth Saving All These Years

All of the toys you see here today have been enjoyed by JR, and were some of my favorites when I was growing up.

Toys #1-5 Mayor Fox’s Town Center Puzzle Town, Constructo Straws, Play Family School, Weeble Wobble Tree House, Puzzles

By far the best of all these toys is Mayor Fox’s Town Center Puzzle Town. They had one of these at the library and I loved it so much that my mom got one for me. It’s so much fun and still has all the pieces. The other really great things they saved were my old puzzles (I took a picture of just one, but there’s a bunch of them.) I sound like an old person when I say it, but it’s so true…they just don’t make ‘em like they used too. JR loves to do all my old puzzles with my dad. And out of all the puzzles, only one piece is missing (it’s a fork from a puzzle of a place setting). When JR gets to that one he loves to say, “Mommy lost this piece!”

Toy #6- All my riding toys

This is just a sampling of them, but JR has ridden them all. My tricycle you see in the picture still has a Sea-Arama bumper sticker on it…How many of you Houstonians remember Sea-Arama in Galveston? There’s even a “Remembering Sea-Arama” website!

Toy #7- Spring Rocking Horse

My dad did give it a small makeover, and JR loved it. He could really get that thing rockin’. And I’m guessing they probably don’t make these anymore due to safety reasons…and if they do make them, they probably come with a 3-harness seat belt and a helmet.

Toy #8- Milky The Moo Cow

I still remember getting Milky for Christmas one year. To get Milky to make milk you would unscrew her utters from her body and put these white tablets in there. I’m sure water was also involved somehow, but I don’t remember how. After you put her utters back on you would pump her tail up and down and…WaaLa…milk! Now to be fair, Milky isn’t really used as a toy…as you can see, she’s a decorative item on the top of my parents’ fridge. But, she is still in use!

Tune in tomorrow for: Toys That Aren't Around Anymore (this edition will be very short!)

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Toy Trilogy Part I

Jason gets a big kick out of how my parents save everything, and when I say everything, I mean everything. My mom does go through spurts where she tries to throw things away, but my dad would never get rid of anything. In fact, when we were moving Jason’s mom to Katy, my dad showed up with his truck and took everything she was getting rid of to his house. So it was no surprise when I had the following conversation with them on the phone the other night. (Yes, they were both on the phone with me.)

*If you don’t know my parents the part of my dad should be read with an East Texas accent and the part of my mom reads best with a Deep East Texas/grew up an hour from Louisiana accent.

Me: “The babies are really enjoying JR’s swing. I’ll have to bring it with me when I come.”
My dad: “You know we have that old swing of yours up in the attic. I can get that out for them.”
My mom: “Oh, John! We can’t put the babies in that old thing. I wouldn’t even let Foxy sit in that!” (Foxy is the 3 pound Pomeranian)
My dad: “Well, that was a really nice swing. I know it’s up there, I bet it still works.”
My mom: “I saw that thing the other day, it doesn’t have a seat belt or anything, I can’t believe we would put you in that thing. It’s a wonder you didn’t just fall in the floor.”
My dad: “Well, that was the best swing they made. Remember how we would wind it up, I think it even played music.”
Me: “That’s okay, Daddy, I’ll just bring the one we have here.”

This is not an unusual conversation, since everything has been saved for all these years, seems like all my old toys get brought up at one time or another. So, for your blogging enjoyment, today is the first day in a new trilogy of…. “Jan’s Old Toys”.

Today’s Edition: Toys that Shouldn’t Have Been Saved All These Years:

Toy #1- The afore mentioned swing.

Here it is in its prime. Obviously this picture was taken around Halloween. For those of you who have known me since our Kingwood days, you can see the swing was in the kitchen and that's the dinning room in the background. Check out that chandelier, wall paper, and red shag carpet. Woo!
And here's the swing today. Not kidding, my dad started winding it up to prove to me that it still worked, and how he could brace the legs so the swing wouldn't be so wobbly. I have to agree with my mom on this one...I wouldn't let Foxy swing in it.

Toy #2-Radio Flyer Wagon

Here it is today in my dad's barn. When we were in China and JR was a baby my dad kept telling me how he couldn't wait to get out my wagon and pull JR around in it. We came home from China and went to the family Easter party where my parents saw Cousin Caleb had this....

Brand new, nice, shiny, plastic wagon with back rests, under seat storage, and cup holders. JR got the same wagon later that week. But as you can see from the previous picture, we still kept my wagon.

Toys #3 and 4- Baby This 'N That and Dancerella
I tried to add Baby This 'N That to the list because I couldn't actually find her, I could only find the box. But I was quickly told that Baby This 'N That was with the Christmas decorations. Then, I wanted to add Dancerella to the list because she had a dead bug and spider webs in her hair. Nope, my dad started cleaning her up as fast as he could. So, then, I said I was adding them to the list because I have 3 boys, and none of them are going to be interested in playing with them. My dad had an answer for that too. I'm not kidding, he said, "Well, you never know they might have some girls of their own."
Well, even so, I'm still adding them to my list.
Tune in tomorrow when we discuss the toy that were worth keeping.

Monday, April 21, 2008

A Note From Jason

One of the great things about Jason is that he is a fabulous story teller...Unfortunately, he is a very unfabulous emailer. I got a note from him yesterday afternoon and about the same time about 9:30 PM their time. If you're wanting details, sorry, I have are the unedited emails....

Hey, not sure if you can get this. In certain areas my email seems to work. We are at the ranch and completed the first day of hunting. I shot a blaesbuck for meat and tried to get a shot at a springbuck but we could not get to them. JR is having fun and for the most part he has been really good. How are the boys doing? We miss you. Let me know if this comes though
Love jason and jr

Today I shot a springbuck and a blue wilderbeast. Jr was good again today. Tomorrow Elizabeth will try for her lion.I will email again tomorrow.Jason and jr.

There it is, folks. That's all I got. Well, it's definitely better than nothing. But don't worry, blog audience, I'll come up with some stuff around here to keep you entertained!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Red Fox Resurfaces

I haven't heard from Jason, so it looks like I won't have any JR stories for this week. Instead, you'll have to settle for our exciting lives up here at the pasture. If you are one of my blog regulars, then you'll remember me writing about Red Fox. (If you don't know who Red Fox is, check out my blog titled "Everybody Loves Green Frog".) Well, I found Red Fox. It wasn't hard, I walked into the attic and he was right there with some other stuffed animals. He was easy to spot because he's really more of a florescent orange fox than a red fox. So, here's Red Fox in his prime. That's my dad and I'm the one in the green dress holding Red Fox. The other girl in the picture is Tracy who was actually at our house this year for Thanksgiving. Her mom and my mom were suitemates in college and they are still great friends today.
And here's Red Fox today. I sent him through the washing machine twice and I think he looks pretty good. He's missing a lot of stuffing so he's pretty flat. My dad even asked if I wanted him to restuff Red Fox. I told him I didn't think that was necessary since I really don't think Kyle and Reed are going to be playing with Red Fox. So, without further he is...Da Ta Da Da....RED FOX....

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Geography With Jason and JR-Part 2

So I owe Jason a, "you were right, I was wrong". JR, did in fact, do a lot of sleeping on the plane(s). I got a text from Jason about 2:30AM that they had landed in Johannesburg. He said he thought it was going to be a rough trip to Johannesburg with JR, that he was pretty hyper and refusing to eat, but that 3 hours into the flight he looked over and JR was passed out. He said he woke him up after they landed. When I talked to him at 6:45 AM, they had found a KFC in the airport and JR had finally eaten a few chicken nuggets. When I talked to JR he said, "Hi Mommy! I'm in the airport, I'm on my way home!" Jason said, "He's just delirious." Jason called back at 10:45 AM and they had made it to Port Elizabeth. He said that JR fell asleep before the plane took off and he had to wake him up when they landed. He said JR looked out the window when he woke up and said, "Daddy, we haven't left yet!" Jason also told me I would have freaked out on that flight. He said it was raining as they were landing and at about 10 feet off the ground the pilot gunned it and they took back off to try and re-land. Yep, pretty sure I would have been hysterical over that situation. They were getting their bags when I talked to them and were gearing up for the 3 hour car ride to the ranch. Jason's email is NOT working in Africa, so I won't be getting email reports from them. His phone worked at the airport, but we have no idea if it will work on the ranch or not. (I'm guessing not) So, as Jason put it, I will either get a phone call from him later telling me that his phone works and I will be able to talk to them while they are gone... Or, I will hear from them next Sunday when they get back to Port Elizabeth. This is going to be a pretty boring blog for a week if I don't have any JR stories to share!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Geography With Jason and JR

I got a text message at 1:30 AM that they had made it to Frankfurt, Germany. I called Jason when I was feeding babies at 3:30 AM and he said they were about to start an all day tour that would take them down the Rhine River. Some news that might make you feel better about gas prices here...Jason says gas is $9 a gallon in Frankfurt. I talked to JR and he said he watched 4 movies on the plane and that he didn't color. Jason said JR was good and only got upset because he didn't like the food. Being that JR is the pickiest eater on the planet that doesn't surprise me at all. BTW, the child who was supposed to just "sleep on the plane" slept 3 hours. They leave Frankfurt tonight on Lufthansa at 10:35 PM Germany time (that's 3:30 in the afternoon here) and should be in Johannesburg about 2:00 AM our time. Then it's another layover to catch their flight to Port Elizabeth. I'll keep you updated with their progress.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Packing, Bugs, and The Pope

I'm here "watching" JR at karate. They're punching and kicking at scarves, which is actually quite hilarious. I've been trying to get things washed and packed up for the big trip. I told JR I was going to miss him while he was gone and he told me, "Don't worry Mommy, I will be gone 10 days and then on the 11th day I will come home." All the while he's telling me this, he's petting me like I'm a dog. Awww, he can be so sweet. I talked to his teacher and his bus driver today so they know what's going on. His teacher told me that JR hadn't even mentioned the trip. I said, "yeah, he's not really understanding the magnitude of it". He's been much more worried about his lunch kit that he lost. Luckily for all of us, the lunch kit was found. He had mistakenly taken it with him when they went to see "Bugs on Wheels" since they went right after lunch. Best I can tell, "Bugs on Wheels" is a mobile bug demonstration. He was telling me about all the insects he saw, and quickly informed me that "we also saw a spider, but a spider isn't an insect because it has 8 legs and only 2 parts to its body-a head and an abdomen, no thorax". At least he's paying attention in class!
I'm going up to stay with my parents while the big guys are gone. The babies are super excited since PawPaw says he's got his rocking chair ready. They do have Internet access up there in the back woods of East Texas, so I'll be able to update my blog. You can keep up with us out on the pasture, and the big guys out on the Savannah.
As I close today, I would like to say a huge thank you to The Pope. Mr. Pope, I'm not a Catholic, but I have enjoyed your trip to the US more than you can imagine. I can't tell you how refreshing it has been to have you as the top news story of the day. I actually watched almost a whole newscast before I had to look at O-what's his name or Hillary. I even saw President Bush on TV since you were with him. Thank you, Mr. Pope! Do you think you could stay a little bit longer?

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Say It Isn't So

My eyes are getting a little misty around here these days. Jason and JR are leaving for South Africa on Thursday. I can't believe he's taking my baby from me for 10 days! They're going with Jason's dad and step mom and will be staying on a ranch a few hours from Port Elizabeth. Obviously I was supposed to go on this trip (it's been planned for way over a year), but even my husband who has drug me all over the world and back, admitted that it would be best if we didn't take 3 month old twins on the trip. So, I will be staying here while my 4 year old's passport accumulates more stamps than mine. The one thing I'm glad I am missing is the flights. Because of their all day layover in Frankfurt, it's going to take them a full 48 hours to get there, and 48 hours to get home! Jason's convinced that JR is just going to "sleep on the plane". Um, okay...and how many times have you flown from Beijing to Houston with JR by yourself? Oh that's right, none. So, just in case JR doesn't just "sleep on the plane", I have a whole arsenal of activities lined up for his backpack. I've got activity books, coloring books, crayons, markers, notepads, Old Maid, Go Fish, magnets, trucks, and a Transformer...all brand new of course. Any mom that has ever traveled with a kid before will tell you that the "brand newness" of the item is in direct correlation with how long the item will be entertaining.
So why take JR to Africa when he's 4 you might ask? Well, because Jason went to Africa for the first time when he was 5 (and JR will be 5 in May). Here's Jason and his dad (and their fabulous heads of hair, although Gary is wearing a cap, so it's hard to see its fabulousness...but he does have his shirt unbuttoned to his bellybutton in true Gary Ingersoll fashion) in Kenya in 1976.

I think Jason was actual gone for 36 days, or something crazy like that, but at least his mom was with him. Sherry, I still don't know how you endured living in a tent for that many days!
So do I want my baby to be going off to the wilds of Africa? Of course not! But Jason and his dad have been talking about this day since JR was born. And to JR it's just another day: "Oh, yeah, and on Thursday I'm going to Africa. I'm going to see a lion, but I hope I don't see a bear. I'm scared of bears." JR, I hope you have a wonderful time. And Jason, You better take care of my baby!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Easy Rider

It has been perfect weather here in Houston this weekend (and we never have perfect weather here). Beautiful blue skies, and it was cool enough to go outside and enjoy it. We pretty much moved the whole family outside all weekend.
Jason and I had been noticing that JR wasn't really using the training wheels on his bike, so we thought we'd take them off and see what happened. Besides, with JR's Chinese heritage you'd think bike riding would be instinctual. As Jason put it, "the child's been on the back of more bicycles than most kids ever have". So, of course, before he can even think about riding the bike he has to get on all the safety gear. I would just like to stop a minute here and ask the fine people at Disney if they could tone down the show Lou and Lou: Safety Patrol. Aren't we safe enough? And also, my husband and I are really tired of our son giving us "safety violations" every time we turn around. Anyway, since we're living in Houston and not Beijing, we own every safety pad you can find to cover your body...And JR was insistent on wearing them all! Thanks again, Safety Patrol. Here he is: helmet, elbow pads, wrist guards, and knee pads. He hit his foot on the pedal when he was getting on the bike and actually told us he needed some "foot pads". I was telling him how when "Mommy and Daddy were little we didn't have any pads, and when we fell off our bikes we might hurt ourselves, but we just got back on the bike and kept on going." He just couldn't believe how bad we had it back in the "olden times". But, the good news is, that the riding without training wheels was actually very easy and non eventful. The first few times he tried he would just let go and fall off when he saw that Jason wasn't holding onto him. But, he got the hang of it really fast and is now a no training wheels bike rider. Here are a few pictures and a video of the rider in action.

Babies enjoying the bike show.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Everybody Loves Green Frog

When I was little I had a stuffed animal named Red Fox (yes, it was a fox and it was red). Red Fox was special because my parents had just come from a doctor's appointment where the doctor had told them that I was "allergic to everything" and to get rid of all my stuffed animals. As the story goes: We stopped off at the drug store on the way home, I saw Red Fox, I squealed for Red Fox, Red Fox went home with us, none of my stuffed animals were thrown away, Red Fox still lives at my parents' house til this day. Fast forward to JR's birth. Somebody gave him a green frog. JR really liked his green frog, and in honor of Red Fox, I of course named him...Green Frog. Here's JR at 3 months old enjoying Green Frog. Green Frog did make the move to Beijing, but he was replaced a few years ago by Buzz Lightyear. (On a side note, the Buzz that JR sleeps with had a trip to the washing machine the other can only imagine what poor Buzz was smelling like...Whheew!) Anyway, I got Green Frog out the other day and left him beside the babies' chairs. It was funny to see JR come home from school and immediately grab up Green Frog to watch TV with him. When Reed was crying today for no apparent reason I put Green Frog on his stomach. And he stopped crying. I told Jason, "Look at Reed holding Green Frog; he likes him." Jason: "Umm, no, you've laid Green Frog on Reed's stomach." Okay, but he did stop crying and go to sleep. And then I tried Green Frog out on Kyle, and he started chewing on Green Frog's eyes. Look at those sleeping (Reed) and happy (Kyle) little faces! So, yes, Everybody does love Green Frog!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

To Reed From Kyle

Dear Reed,
Being that I'm a whole minute older than you, I thought I would play the big brother card here and fill you in on some things. You see, Mommy and I really like to catch a nap after JR gets on the school bus. And it gets really hard for us to nap when you're kicking me and fussing so loud. There's kinda a rule about these things, Bro. Take it from me, if your stomach is full, and your diaper is clean, then your supposed to just chill. Now that doesn't mean you have to sleep, you're perfectly welcome to just hang out and look around the room with those big eyes of yours. But when you fuss for no reason, then that messes with my sleep routine. And, Dude, by the way, when you were sleeping this afternoon because you wouldn't sleep this morning, I totally talked Mom into rocking me in the rocking chair. So, I hope this note has helped you with the morning schedule. Remember, a rested mommy is a happy mommy!
Love, Kyle

Tuesday, April 8, 2008


Isn't my new banner cute? Allison made it for me. Any changes you see in my banner in the future, just know that Allison is the creative mind behind it. The babies had another good night last night....they slept til 4:15. Woo-hoo! I have them on a 3 1/2 hour schedule now that they are 3 months. I know it's only an extra 30 minutes, but I feel like I have all the time in the world between feedings.
I have a funny JR story to share today. On his way to bed last night he wandered through our room. The TV was on, and since it was 8:00 PM on Monday night it was tuned to TLC for our favorite show Jon and Kate Plus 8. Now I know I've blogged about this show before, but I just have too again. JR was drawn to the TV like a moth to a flame. He screamed, "Mommy, 'The Bad Kid Show' is on!" He jumped on our bed, started watching, and was mesmerized. I don't think I could have forced him to bed if I tried. What's funny is JR doesn't like ANY television shows that aren't cartoons. In fact, any TV show that doesn't have cartoon characters he calls an "Adult Show". He hasn't watched "The Bad Kid Show" that many times, but he already knows all the kids' names. I still get confused on which one is which since they are part Korean, but of course JR has no problem telling them apart. He was giving me the play-by-play on the show during the commercials. "Mommy, It's Lex-us (Alexis) and Toll-in's (Collin) days." (The parents are trying to take each kid out individually and spend some time with them.) This really upset JR because the kids were being really good since they were one-on-one with their parents. But then, hallelujah, they cut to poor Aunt Jodie's house where she is babysitting the 7 other kids. JR really perked up then. JR, in a very serious and animated voice : "Mommy, Madeline hit and punched and kicked Aden. Then she shoved Hannah and threw the stroller!" Cue my time to talk about how she is really bad and we don't do those things, and she is going to get in a lot of trouble. Later in the show, they show the kids "napping". This consists of the kids running around the room with covers on their heads and them jumping on, off, and across the beds. JR then discusses with me how bad these kids are being when they should be napping, and how he, perfect JR, lays down quietly and doesn't talk during nap time at school. (That part is actually true because they don't get to watch a movie on Friday during nap time if they aren't quiet the rest of the week). So, Jon and Kate, yet again, thank you for your show! It is an invaluable teaching tool in proper behavior for a 4 year old.

Monday, April 7, 2008

We Are 3 Months Old Today!

Since we are 3 months old today, Mommy said that we could write the blog. Thanks, Mommy! We are really enjoying hanging out with Mommy, Daddy, and our big brother JR. When we were in the NICU Mommy kept telling us to hurry up and come home because she and Daddy were lots of fun. And she was right! It's pretty loud at our house, especially with JR and Hunter there. JR is pretty funny. He's always running around, jumping, punching and talking. Hunter seems to always get in trouble for being loud. His bark is so shrill that it sometimes makes us jump and cry when we are sleeping. Mommy gets really mad at him then! He tries to get as close to us as possible, but Mommy usually makes him move.

Mommy and Daddy have lots of nicknames for us. Mommy has always called JR ,"Muffin". I guess Mommy and Daddy aren't too original because lots of times they call us "Big Muffin" and "Little Muffin". They also call us "Mine" and "Yours". For some reason Daddy always feeds Reed and Mommy always feeds Kyle. So that has spilled over into which one of us they are responsible for. If Mommy is here alone, she takes care of both of us. But when Daddy is home, Reed goes to him. So we will hear them say, "I'll get Mine, you get Yours". We also get called "This One" and "That One" quite a bit too.

We both really loved to be held, which can be a real problem when there is only one set of arms in the house. Mommy tries to hold us together which we don't like. We want full attention, and Mommy isn't big enough for us to spread out on when she is holding both of us. If Daddy is by himself he makes us take turns. He will hold one of us for a while and then the other one gets a turn.

We like to eat and are growing up fast. Our favorite food is milk, but come to think of it, we haven't been offered anything else. We'll have to talk to Mommy about that! Well, it's naptime for us. We still do lots of sleeping and eating. And as soon as we wake up, we'll be looking for somebody to hold us!
Kyle and Reed

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Austin Trip

Okay, so I know my family is going to be super upset with me that I don't have more pictures on here. But, Unfortunately, something crazy was going on with my camera because all my pictures are blurry. I was able to salvage these, but hopefully everybody else's gift shop disposable cameras worked better than mine. The Family Land Heritage Ceremony was held in the House Chamber so that was really neat. My parents got to sit on the floor of the house and then we all sat in the balcony. Here's a picture of them on the floor that I took from the balcony. I didn't get to see the actual ceremony. Nobody told us we had to have a seat to stay in the room or that we couldn't have our stroller in the room until the program was starting. Jason took Reed and found a seat across the room from me. I had JR and Kyle...JR on my knee and Kyle in my arms. As you can imagine neither of them was comfortable so that didn't work so well. Kyle started fussing just as Rick Perry (he's the governor for all you non Texans) started his speech. Kyle and I went outside and I came back in when they started presenting the awards. I got to see my mom and dad accept their award, and then the kids and I went back outside...Jason wasn't too far behind me. The presentation of the awards was nice. My parents accepted their award from Todd Staples, the Texas Agriculture Commissioner, and then had their picture made with him. Jason and JR had never been to the Capitol before, so they looked around while we waited outside.

Here we are inside the Capitol and then Kyle waiting on Daddy to bring Reed to join him.

JR proud to be a Texan

My cousins Quinn, Angie and Lu and my parents. (Check out my mom's pose, now you know where I get my flair for the dramatics.)

A picture of us where you can see the babies, and their first night in a hotel room.

That night we all went to Salt Lick and ate yummy, yummy BBQ. It was a really fun day and I was so happy that so many of my cousins made the trip.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Family Land Heritage Award

We are leaving tomorrow morning for Austin. My parents are receiving their plaque from the state of Texas as our land has been in the same family for 100 years. Needless to say, my dad is thrilled. I think there's about 13 of us going up for the presentation. The day starts with a BBQ lunch on the front lawn of the Capitol and then there's a ceremony starting at 3:00. JR is excited about spending the night in a hotel, and the little boys will be thrilled when we get there and see all the family arms for them to sit in. Here is the oldest picture we have of the land. My dad thinks it was taken around 1898. The Reynolds were tenant farmers until they could afford to buy the land in 1907. My grandfather (my dad's dad) is the kid on the far right. If you have ever been to my parents' house, their kitchen table is made out of some of the lumber from the original house that is pictured in the background. And here's what the place looks like today...It's come a long way in 100 years! (Don't worry, my parents' house isn't crooked, it's just my bad picture taking.)

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Mini Matthew McConaughey

Now that it's 80 degrees everyday, I've noticed that my oldest child is always shirtless. Sunday I looked out the window and found him washing his 4-wheeler. He's SO Jason, he washed that 4-wheeler for an hour.
But, he's not just shirtless when he's playing in the water. One of the first things he'll tell me when he gets home from school is, "Mommy, I'm hot." and off comes the shirt. I looked out the window today, and here he comes down his slide, shirtless and wearing his "fireman" was definitely a look. But I just had to get the camera out when I saw him riding his bike. Training wheels-check. Spiderman helmet-check. Shirtless-check.

So does this mean I don't have a Mini Me, but a Mini Matthew McConaughey? Is my child going to start coming home from school and telling me, "You just gotta keep livin’, man. L-I-V-I-N.” Is he going to demand we start taking road trips in an Airstream RV? Will JR start taking bongo lessons? I guess only time will tell.
BTW, when I googled Matthew to find out how to spell his last name, I came across Matt Damon's impression of him. It is hilarious. Check it out if you haven't seen it. Too funny!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Picture Day Results

How hilarious is this picture? First of all, this looks like it was somebody's first day on the job as a class picture taker. Where are the risers? Don't we all have class pictures of us on risers? And where is the little sign in front that says who the teacher is and what year it is? And what about poor Mateo having to sit in the teacher's lap?! That poor child is going to be scarred for life. I asked JR why Mateo was sitting in the teacher's lap and he said, "that's where they told him to sit." And then they have the teacher's aid standing, making her look totally out of place. I guess it would have looked okay if Hassan, the 7 year old posing as a Pre-K student, was still in their class. He would have at least come up to her shoulder. I also have to point out Miracle's hair. JR said, "Mommy, Miracle sure had big balloon hair that day." Why yes, JR, she sure does! So, I'm not loving JR's hair (remember I even used hairspray that morning) but it looks the same as all the other boys, so I guess it's okay. At least he has a normal smile, sometimes he contorts his face while saying "cheese" into something that I can't even describe. One final note on this picture, how many crowns have these 2 women earned in heaven having to teach 13 Pre K boys everyday? I can hardly handle add 12 just like him, Agh!

Okay, so I got out Jason's kindergarten class picture to show what a class picture should look like. I would have posted my own, but all that kind of stuff is at my parents' house. I labeled Jason so you can find him easily. And I'm not being biased because he's my husband, but I must say, he is the cutest and by far has the best hair in the class. Check out his teacher, she looks so young! And skinny! BTW, Jason, love your shirt...I can totally see your dad wearing one just like it today!