Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween


Thursday, October 30, 2008

No to Pumpkin Guts, Yes to Real Guts

I guess you'd say that we live in "the city" of Houston. We aren't in the suburbs, and we don't even live in a neighborhood. Our street is a horseshoe shape and has about 30 houses on it. Out of those 30 houses only one of our neighbors has a kid. Needless to say, Halloween is pretty limited around here. I was shocked that our church wasn't having anything this year, so I have been trying to find things for JR to do to distract him from the fact that there won't be much door to door trick-or-treating going on. I took him to the Health Museum today for their Halloween festivities (which were super cute, and I personally enjoyed the Health Museum much more than the Children's Museum). Most everything was traditional Halloween stuff: face painting, balloon animals, games. But they also had RN and MD students from UT Medical School who had different booths. Now I really wasn't sure how JR would react to their displays since he had just gone into absolute hysterics over "pumpkin guts" on Saturday. Honestly, I was in total shock when he became completely enthralled in the difference between the healthy lung and the diseased lung. He reached up to grab them so fast they couldn't even get a glove on him before he touched it. (Real lungs...ick!) He was very happy to learn that he has nice, pink lungs...since he doesn't Popeye. The next booth was a human heart. I told him. "JR, that's a real heart. It's not pretend." Oh yeah, he was happy to hold it. He won't touch pumpkin seeds, but a human heart, no problem! (Luckily, we got the gloves on him this time.) He was more worried about how hard it had to be for them to cut the heart up into 4 pieces than anything else. What can I say, he's JR. So here he is in all his Halloween glory...JR as Optimus Prime, the heart surgeon!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

It Must Run in the Family

This morning my cousin, Kristi, wrote on her blog how she had tripped over a dry-erase board at school while teaching her class and was now at home nursing a badly hurt foot. Well, I guess gracefulness runs in the family because today, I too, had a run in with "the mis-step" leading to bad results. You'd think "Boogie Down Productions" (my nickname in certain circles) would be able to navigate her way around the house with a nimble ease. Of course I'd never admit to being, dare I say, clumsy, so I think it best to just lay the blame on Jason. All I was trying to do was walk across the office to plug in my computer to charge up. Now, in normal houses that's quite an easy task. But when your home office decor is courtesy of a big game hunter, it gets a little tricky. In trying to avoid 2 ducks that sit on the floor I tripped over the zebra rug. Being me, I was most worried about saving myself, so I dropped my laptop on the floor. And when I say dropped...Yeah, it slammed on the floor. The screen is totally busted, and after a lecture about why we should have bought the service plan from the Geek Squad at Best Buy, we found out that it would cost almost as much to fix my 6 month old computer as buying a new one. So I'm writing to you tonight from "JR's computer", my good old HP computer that's 5 years old, been around the world, and survived JR's oh so gentle touch. Guess what I'm asking for for Christmas?

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

More Spa-ing at the Mall

With Jason watching the kids at home this afternoon, I ran up to the mall to get my hair cut. They told me I'd have to wait 20 minutes, and since my back is hurting again (I know, I really need to see a chiropractor) I thought a mini-massage sounded like a great idea. The Chinese massage was located on the other side of the mall, so I thought I'd give the Aquamassage a try . If you haven't seen the Aquamassage, it looks like a big tanning bed with a car wash in the top. I thought I would feel kind of claustrophobic in it, but since my head was out, I really didn't. It was supposed to be a 10 minute massage, but I guess the guy working the machine thought I was as cute as the Chinese masseuse did, because he gave me an extra 5 minutes for free. The machine is heated, so it felt like a plastic electric blanket on top of me. That was probably the best part of the whole thing. The massage was just okay; the water beating on me got annoying after awhile. And I really started wishing I could just have some good old "butt flaps". After it was over my body felt like it would have if I'd been in the massage chair at the nail salon. Kind of tingly, but not loose like after a massage. So if you're planning a spa day at the mall, go for the Chinese men. There's no comparison. I'll take the Icy Hot over the "electric blanket' any day. And aren't you glad you have crazy/adventurous me to try it all out for you!?

Monday, October 27, 2008

Food Network

I can honestly say with 100% certainty, "JR is the pickiest eater in the entire world". The child eats nothing that isn't in the "pizza" or "quesadilla" family and won't try a new food if his life depends on it. He eats NO fruits or vegetables. (Although Jason would holler out "he eats corn," but I don't consider corn a vegetable.) He won't even eat foods he actually likes if they aren't made just the way he wants them. Yes he eats corn (if he's starving and the barometric pressure is just right) but if his corn-on-the-cob has one minutia string of "corn hair" on it, it's over. He'll eat cheese, but if you melt the cheese on pizza or a quesadilla where it hangs off the food, it then becomes "hanging cheese" and is suddenly inedible. Things he will eat like eggs, rice, and dumplings have to be covered (and when I say "covered" I mean "dripping with") Ayi sauce (soy sauce). You'd think we'd have no problems with him eating dessert. He won't eat any kind of pie, any kind of dessert with a fruit that might be hidden somewhere inside it, and he's still pretty leery of Cool Whip. He doesn't even like having fruits and vegetables on the table. When healthy food is anywhere on the table he'll sit there and hold his nose. One time he told my dad, "Paw-Paw, Get those strawberries off the table so I can sit down."
I've tried everything to get him to eat:
I've tried calling a fruit smoothie a "milkshake".
He won't go for it, or takes one sip then says "No, thank you."
I've tried "this is what we're having, and if you don't eat it, you won't eat".
He doesn't eat.
I've tried bribing him, "JR, if you take a bite of that I'll drive you to Toys R Us and buy you anything you want in the store."
He won't do it.
I've tried "hiding" food in other food.
He inspects his food so closely he sees things that aren't even there.
Needless to say, Jason and I have failed miserably in making sure JR eats the food pyramid. Since we were such nutrition failures with JR, we're taking the absolute opposite approach with the babies. Anything we eat, we'll give them some too. Reed loves to eat, and squeals whenever he sees us put anything in our mouths. Jason's stepmom, Elizabeth, is a gourmet cook and she's thrilled with Reeds culinary tastings. She always puts him on her lap during dinner and comments on his "refined palate." The babies really love grapes and bananas and since I've never seen JR have a piece of fruit near him, I had to take a picture. For those of you with children who eat, I'm sure you think I'm crazy, but I couldn't be prouder. Look! My babies are eating fruit!!

Bungee Trampoline Video

I promise those are happy squeals from JR. And yes, that's Jason laughing hysterically as his child is catapulted into the air.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Never Too Young or Too Old

We spent the day at the Renaissance Festival today. Jason was quick to teach the babies a lesson about the all important sausage on a stick. Seems there's no such thing as being too young for Renaissance sausage. Reed loves to eat and screams for everything we put in our mouths, so he was thrilled to get his first bite!

Kyle enjoyed eating, but was more worried about what was going on behind or underneath him. This is the view you get of Kyle while pushing the stroller. He's always leaning out looking back or hanging as close as he can get to upside down.

JR's favorite thing this year was the bungee trampoline. His squeals were a combination of fear and pure delight. He had to go on the bungee trampoline twice this year.

Check out his face!

JR told Granny Sherry that she would really enjoy the bungee trampoline too. So of course she was up for the challenge! She loved it and said she will do it again next year.

Go, Granny Sherry, Go!

I videoed JR on the bungee trampoline and it's hilarious, I'll get it posted soon!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Halloween and Christmas Decor

When I was at Target the other day I noticed that they've got their Christmas decorations on the same row as their Halloween decorations, so if that's what Target's doing...well, I'm guessing it's the thing to do. So today's post will feature both the Halloween and Christmas decor going on around these parts. We've been putting off the carving of the pumpkin after last year's debacle (the Houston heat rotted the pumpkin and Harley ate it), but since Halloween is only a week a way, we figured it was time. JR acted super excited when we told him it was pumpkin carving day, then refused to participate in any way that involved touching the pumpkin. I believe he said he didn't like the way the pumpkin guts smelled or looked, and it was all over from there. Of course JR was more than happy to pose with the carved pumpkin since no pumpkin guts were touching him. Great looking pumpkin, Jason.
In Christmas stocking progress news, today is day 11 of stocking making. Jason informed me last night, "there's no way you're going to have those finished by Christmas". While JR said, "Look! Mommy's almost ready to turn the page." Which means: I'm almost finished with page 1 of the instruction sheet. (There's 3 pages of instructions.) I've only been able to work on after all the kids are in bed, so I think I've done as good as could be expected. Unfortunately for me, this is the easy stocking. The other one is Santa riding a motorcycle! Here's what I've got so far...

Thursday, October 23, 2008

I Wanna Be In That Class!

At 5 years old JR is already keenly aware that his daddy is the math, engineering, mechanical parent and I'm the literature (as in reading to JR, not for myself), artsy, creative parent. So he's always up to give me a little lesson from the technical realm. In the car today we had this conversation:
JR: Mommy, did you know that a marz-mello is a see-ander?
Me: What, Baby?
JR: A see-ander. A marz-mello. It's shape is a see-ander.
Me: Oh! A marshmallow is a cylinder!
JR: Yes, a see-ander. It has a circle on the top and a circle on the bottom and its smooth in the middle. (He tries to make a cylinder shape with his hands in case I still don't get it.) A cup is another example of a see-ander.
Me: Wow, that's great JR.
JR: And Whoppers are spheres. And pieces of square cheese are cubes.
Me (giggling): Yes, Whoppers certainly are spheres and I love cubed cheese.
JR: I ate my marz-mello first, because I didn't want something so sweet first thing, and then I ate my Whoppers and then the cheese.
Me: Did you have those for snack?
JR: Yes, they were delicious see-anders, spheres, and cubes!

If only my teachers had been filling me up with yummy snacks....maybe I'd be better at math!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Baby Talk 10

Kyle (on left): Hey Everybody! We've had some exciting stuff happen around the toy room lately. Don't you think so, Reed?
K: Reed? Reed?!
Reed: Ummm? What? Oh sorry, I'm busy playing with your pacifier I just stole from you. Uh, yes, exciting stuff. Did you tell everybody we're in these silly outfits because Mommy still hasn't changed us out of what we slept in?

K: After we tore up Granny Sherry's house, Mommy knew that she needed to get our house ready for us.
R: She got the toy room baby proofed for us. All of JR's super fun toys with all the teeny-tiny pieces went to his room. We can put everything in our toy room in our mouths.
K: She even took the shelves and put them all on the floor, she figured we'd climb the shelves and pull them down on top of us...She's right, we would have definitely tried to climb them.
R: And even though Mommy got the toy room all fixed up for us, we preferred to do other things.

K: Pulling up, standing at, and shaking the baby gate is a total blast.

R: And climbing up the steps that lead into the toy room is a real workout. But the part we really love is when we roll down them head-first. Kyle will even hang off the top step upside down.

K: Mommy's friend, Miss Amy, has a really cute daughter, Kendall, that has outgrown some of her toys. So Miss Amy is letting us borrow them for awhile. These are even better than the steps and the gate! Look at me in the jumperoo.
R: You're just trying to impress Kendall! You know all the hot older girls like me best! Didn't you see her checkin' me out when they were dropping off the toys?

K: Whatever, Dude...Let's show them what else she brought us.
R: It's a house! We can open the door and go inside.
K: And it even has a doorbell. How fun is that?

R: Kendall, Babe, drop by the house and see me sometime.
K: Or me! I know you like guys who know their way around the jumperoo....

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Traveling Ingys and Southern Sports

We've been spending so much time in the Midwest that Allison thought we needed to get back to the business of being Southerners. And what's more Southern than a day at the racetrack?! Allison took us along to Ennis, Texas (which is just south of Dallas) to the Fun Ford Weekend Drag Racing World Finals. "Drag Racin', Y'all! (Say it in your best Britney Spears voice for the full effect.) Allison's husband, Geoff, races a Ford Cobra GT 500 Shelby. As you can see we started out in the stands, but we quickly worked our way up to some serious action.

Check us out in the pit! I don't really like to get my clothes dirty, so I let the boys handle the mechanic stuff.

The pit wasn't fast or dangerous enough for my boys, so we hit the race track in Allison's new GT. Look at us go! Weeeeeeeee!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Traveling Ingys Love the Midwest

We seem to really be enjoying the Midwest these days. (Michigan is considered the Midwest, right? You know us Texans, we think we're an entire country unto ourselves.) My favorite, opera singer, ex-student, Joseph (AKA: JD), took us to a corn maze in Ann Arbor. What's funny is that JR had just seen a corn maze on TV and asked me if I would take him to one sometime!

Look JR, It's a corn maze!

Do you think we're lost?
JD, I'm absolutely positive that you're the best dressed corn maze participant ever!
Fellow Texans, Can you believe trees actually look like this? No wonder you Midwesterners brave those cold winters, look how gorgeous fall is!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Pacified at the Pumpkin Patch

After our lack of success at the pumpkin patch, we thought we'd give it another try. This time we hit the Methodist Church here in Houston. (The Methodists definitely have the lock on the church pumpkin markets.) We didn't get any pictures of Reed without his thumb in his mouth, but we didn't have a repeat of the hysterical screaming episode. JR picked out a big pumpkin for himself and two teeny pumpkins for the babies "so they don't have to share".

Friday, October 17, 2008

Spa Day in the Middle of the Mall

If you've spoken with me in the last two weeks then you've undoubtedly heard about how bad my back hurts (if you've spoken with me in the last week then you also know I have a bad crick in my neck). With the babies on the go it seems I'm always hunched over grabbing them up. Sometimes it's one, sometimes both, but in general I have at least one baby on my hip most of the day. The babies still don't weigh very much, but they do get heavy after awhile (especially if I'm balancing them both) and lately I've noticed my back really aches. After lunch today I decided to load up the babies and push them around the mall until it was time to get JR from school. We looked around for awhile and then I saw it. The Chinese massage men in the middle of the mall. Normally, I'm not interested in a 10 minute back massage in the middle of the mall, but today, I was like a woman possessed. I marched straight over to the massage "chair", rolled the babies up next to me, and plopped myself down. I then began telling (in detail) the masseuse about all my aches and pains. When I was finally finished he said, "I don't think 10 minutes is enough." I said, "I know! But I'm worried the babies might start crying." It was only then that I started thinking about how I must look to the rest of the people in the mall. There I was, plopped down for a massage, while my twin babies just sat there looking on. I wanted to post a little sign on their stroller that said, "I know! Please don't call CPS. My back REALLY hurts, and the Chinese LOVE babies, they'll watch them for me. He can massage me and entertain the babies. Really, he can." During my days in Beijing I had plenty of massages, so I know what to expect from Chinese masseuses. In China it was standard for the masseuses to massage your glutes. My friends and I even referred to that part of the massage as the "butt flaps" since they would make a big show of clapping their hands after each rub across the glute. However, I did find it odd that "semi-butt flaps" were part of the 10 minute middle of the mall massage. Is that normal? Did he just think I was cute? As my massage continued I soon figured out that I'm probably not their typical customer. My dad always gets a middle of the mall massage so I'm thinking he's more their typical client. My masseuse must have thought that I, too, was a 220 pound man. He literally was pushing so hard on my back that my "chair" started tipping forward...he had to reach out and pull me back before I landed face first on the floor! As the massage neared its end, I became certain that I was not their typical client. I again started thinking that maybe he thought I was cute when he put his hands down the neck of my shirt to rub my upper back and neck. But then it happened, he broke out....the Icy Hot. Yes, the Icy Hot. Of course it would have been super fabulous to be in a shee-shee spa smelling lavender rose pedals and listening to plinky-planky music. But what I needed today was good old Icy Hot. And you know what? The Icy Hot was great! The whole massage was great! My back feels great! Yes, I admit it. I had a middle of the mall massage, I am not ashamed. Next thing you know I'll be doing the middle of the mall teeth whitening!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

What Time?

I had the day all planned out for JR's parent/teacher conference:
Noon: Pick JR up from school
12:15: Arrive home and feed everybody lunch
1:00: Have all children appropriately distracted so I can shower and look presentable in public
2:00: Granny Sherry arrives to babysit. I leave for school and have plenty of time to arrive for my 2:20 appointment.

I was working on Kyle's stocking while the babies napped when my friend, Amy, called around 11ish. We were chatting and I mentioned JR's parent/teacher conference. I went downstairs to check my calendar to see if it started at 2:20 or 2:40. When I looked at the calendar I noticed I had written down 12:20. I thought to myself, "Um, I must have written it down wrong." Luckily, I hadn't thrown the original teacher note away and double checked it. It said "12:20". I looked at it again. "12:20". I looked at the clock. 11:25. Frantic calls to all grandmothers were made, cookies and juice were slung into the diaper bag, babies were slung into car seats, and a baseball cap was slung on my head. We arrived at school in time to pick up JR, and I told his teacher what had happened and offered to reschedule. She was really sweet about the whole thing and said JR could sit outside the classroom while we talked. (That's where the cookies and juice came in to play.) During the conference Reed sat in my lap and Kyle played with my cell phone, so both were perfectly happy. Crisis averted. The conference actually went really well. She said, "JR comes bouncing into class every morning". Wonder where he gets the bouncy walk from? And she showed me his handwriting books to which I said, "Oh look, his handwriting is already as good as his dad's." She commented on JR's good sense of humor and his ability to give lots of detailed information. She said his speech issues are still age appropriate and that he has a large vocabulary. Basically, JR is doing just fine. Way to go JR! You're doing great...much better than your mother....since I couldn't even remember the right time for the conference!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Christmas Crafting Day 1

Okay, so I'm going to semi-toot my own horn and say that I'm somewhat crafty. Actually, if you're talking "artsy-crafty", I'd say I'm better at the artsy than the crafty. It never fails that my attempts at crafting always leave me with third degree hot glue gun burns. But nevertheless, I can whip up a kid's school project or an Easter bonnet with the best of them. Now cooking- that's a different story. But thank goodness I'm not talking cooking! Today I broke out my needle and thread and started working on Kyle and Reed's Christmas stockings. You might be thinking, "Stockings? Really? So Early? And Why would you put yourself through that" Well, I've got to start early since there's no way the babies would ever let me work on them while they were awake. They're the masters of crawling, grabbing, touching, and pulling things on top of them, so that leaves nap time and after bed time to work. And I really want to make them because my mom made ours when I was a baby (I know! Can you believe it?!) And I always thought our family had the prettiest stockings of any I had ever seen. I know I have a house full of boys who probably won't even be aware that they have stockings, but it's just something I want to do. So I actually got started on Kyle's stocking today and I'll keep you updated on my progress...We'll see if I can do it!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Minnesotaians Take The Traveling Ingys Even Farther North

When I started doing the Traveling Ingys I thought we'd get to go to a few neat places, but I never dreamed of all the great places and cool things we would see and do. Today's trip is certainly one of them. A little family background before I get started: Jason's mom, Sherry, is originally from Minnesota. (She's a Norwegian Minnesotaian to be exact...Thank goodness for those Norwegian genes...all my babies wound up with blue eyes.) So, today we'll be focusing on family members who wear coats and jackets 10 months of the year, instead of the family members down here in Texas that wear shorts 10 months a year. Meet Sherry's niece, Nancy. And Nancy's daughters, Beth and Nykkole. Nykkole came to live with Nancy's family and is now their adopted daughter. Nancy and Beth accompanied Nykkole to the North American Shaken Baby Syndrome Conference in Vancouver, Canada and we Ingys got to come too. And if you'd like to read more about Nykkole, she has her own blog.

Here we are in the Seattle/Tacoma airport waiting to get on our puddle jumper plane to go to Vancouver.

Registering for the North American Shaken Baby Syndrome Conference

Outside our hotel, Westin Bayshore. Look at those things everybody is wearing...I believe they're called long-sleeves....Yes, that's it...long-sleeves. We won't be seeing those in these parts for another month or two!

The view from our hotel room!

Hanging out in the hotel room, all packed and ready to head home!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Auf Wiedersehen

As Heidi Klum would say, we've been "aufed". Sunny, Mirsad, Melissa, and Uma headed back to China on Sunday night. We had a blast visiting with them and were sad to see them go. We promised that we would make the trip to Bosnia to see them for our next reunion. Here's a little trip down memory lane...I can't believe how much the kids have grown!
This is the oldest picture I have of JR and Melissa. This was taken in the playroom at the clubhouse in our neighborhood. That's their other friend, Hong Lee, with them. I could always count on Melissa or Hong Lee being at our house at some point during the day every day.

This picture was taken right before we moved back to Houston. That's Uma on the end, and they're sitting on one of the couches in our house. And no, I didn't pick out the couches!

And here they are 2 years later! Bigger, but still cuties!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Panic at the Pumpkin Patch

We concluded our Tour de Texas with a trip to East Texas to visit my parents. On the way back to Houston we stopped off in Huntsville for a quick photo-op at the Methodist Church's pumpkin patch. As you will see by the video, Reed was less than thrilled with his first pumpkin encounter. I guess it says something about us that we think this video is hilarious. JR has asked to watch it a million times. And don't worry, we didn't torture him with the pumpkins. As soon as the camera stopped rolling he never got back out of my arms.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Cute Purse!

We got home Thursday afternoon from a mini-trip to San Antonio. We're trying to give Sunny and Mirsad the best "Texas experience" we can. Of course they wanted to go to Dallas and see South Fork Ranch (especially since our first born is named JR) but since Dallas is a 4 hour drive, we just don't have the time. Instead we decided to show them what Tex-Mex is all about, and drove up to San Antonio. We did all the touristy things: The River Walk, boat ride down the river, ate Mexican food, listened to mariachis and of course went to The Alamo. Mirsad wanted to have his picture made with the police at The Alamo since they were all wearing cowboy hats. He wasn't sure if they would be okay with him taking a picture of them, but Jason was quick to set him straight. Jason told him, "Mirsad, they obviously know you're not a Texan. You're walking around in your tight shirt and man don't even have to open your mouth for them to know you're European." So here's the picture of Mirsad with The Alamo purse and all. And I've also included some more pictures of us being great San Antonio tourists.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Is That MY Baby?

Kyle and Reed have added two new members to their fan club. We first discovered Reed was a ladies man when we went to see Gary and Anita. Their youngest daughter, Madison, loved Reed and would tell me that he was her favorite. Then when we went to San Antonio with Jay and Sheryl, their oldest daughter, Allison, also would tell me that Reed was her favorite. Now it seems he has another girlfriend. Melissa says that "the little one" is her baby. Uma, being the little sister, had to take the leftovers, but has taken on Kyle full force. Every time she sees me holding one of the babies she asks me, "Is that MY baby?" Today she was saying, "This is MY baby. Not Melissa's baby!" The girls beg to hold them and want to pet them all the time. Baby boys, hope you're enjoying this! And for some reason, Melissa and Uma aren't holding their babies in the pictures. Melissa is holding Kyle and Uma is holding Reed.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Rollin' With The Homies

Houston isn't known for its world renown site-seeing, but I do have to say that Space Center Houston/NASA is actually pretty good. We went today and not only did the kids LOVE it, we adults had a good time too. But the real "party" was the drive home. I was the driver so Sunny sat shot-gun so we could chat. That left Mirsad sitting next to the twins with JR, Uma, and Melissa behind him. I don't think he's ever worked so hard in his life. Mirsad spent the whole drive home (which took us about an hour and half since we were in rush hour traffic) trying to keep the back of the car happy. He fed the babies a bottle, fed them food (which they screamed through since his feeding skills aren't as fast as mine), tried to comfort Uma who would cry because he was feeding the babies, had his eardrums burst from JR screeching in his ear, and thoroughly enjoyed JR and Melissa's game of counting to 100 over and over again. Being moms, Sunny and I were able to tune the whole thing out and quite enjoyed our front seat conversations. I've never seen somebody as happy as Mirsad was when we pulled in our driveway!

Monday, October 6, 2008

A Bit of China in Houston

Our Bosnian/German friends from Beijing, Sunny and Mirsad, arrived yesterday to spend the week with us. Their daughter, Melissa, and JR were BFFs. Melissa talked WAY before JR ever did and she would always call for him in her Chinese/Bosnian accent "JAY-RRRRR". When JR finally started talking he called Melissa, "Mei-Mei (May-May)" then was finally able to say "Miss-A" by the time we moved. JR has been so excited about Melissa coming to see him. He's been counting down the days and even told us, "I'm Melissa's girlfriend." Jason was quick to correct him on that one. When he woke up yesterday we heard him over the baby monitor say, "It's Sunday! Melissa comes today!" It's so great to have them here, and even though it's been 2 years since we've seen them, we picked right up like we had seen them yesterday. It's funny to hear Melissa speak perfect English without any accent. And she has been speaking English the whole time they have been in the U.S. She told Sunny, "Mom! Speak English. We are in America!" JR was a little taken aback by Melissa's little sister, Uma. When we left Beijing Uma had just turned a year old, now at 3, JR wasn't quite sure what to think of her not being a baby anymore...As you will see by the video.

Friday, October 3, 2008

He's Got My....Squeal

Reed is our youngest (by a minute) and smallest (by at least a pound) twin, but he's also the toughest. You've seen his pacifier stealing trick, his wrestling moves, and he's also been known to take the toy Kyle is playing with and then beat him with it. But Reed has now started showing his softer side for his brother. Seems he doesn't care about Kyle's well-being if he's doing the hurting, but if Kyle accidentally hurts himself, Reed screams louder than Kyle. We've seen it a couple of times now and it's sweet, funny, and ear piercing all at the same time. Reed is able to pull up and stand on his own, but Kyle is still getting the hang of it. He can sometimes get himself propped up to stand or kneel, but inevitably he looses his balance and usually pulls something down on top of him. Kyle usually gives the standard baby cry that says, "That was scary, but I'm okay. If you'll come pick me up and give me a kiss, all will be right with the world." Reed's cry,(about Kyle's falls) on the other hand, is a squeal I've given many times myself that says, "Oh my goodness! He's hurt! We must run to the hospital and have X-rays! CPS is going to come to the house! Will my baby ever be the same again?!" Just last night Kyle and Reed were standing at their Elmo play center when Kyle toppled over. I think Kyle might have let out a little whimper, but Reed started squealing at the top of his lungs. Jason and I had to run over and comfort Reed that his brother was okay. Jason looked at me and said, "Well, he's certainly got your flair for the dramatics. He hollers out just like you." How sweet, he's got my....squeal.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Has JR Met Me?

I'm a little worried about my eldest child. I've either pulled the wool over his eyes better than I could have ever imagined or he doesn't know me at all. Today he asked me:
JR: Mommy, Can we open a restaurant in our house?
Me: Um...JR, Who would do the cooking?
JR: You would.
(Yes, you may burst out laughing. I almost did.)
Me (with a straight face): You want me to cook?
(At this point I'm thinking, Wow! That lunch of Chef Boyardee raviolis and Doritos must have been awesome.)
JR: Well, I could help you. (Okay, so he has tasted my cooking.)
Me: What would we serve?
JR: All the foods in the whole wide world.
Me: I don't know how to cook all the foods in the whole wide world. (Understatement of my life.)
JR: Daddy can. Can't Daddy cook everything?
Me: Pretty much, but Daddy has a job.
JR: Daddy can cook when he gets home. And we have a cooking book (he goes and gets my cookbook that has about 10 recipes in it). We could put tables downstairs and upstairs.
Me: But if we have a restaurant at our house we won't be able to go out to eat.
JR: When we want to go out to eat we'll just put out a sign that says 'closed'.
Me (Seeing that he's really set on this crazy restaurant idea): JR, I don't think we can have a restaurant in our house.
JR: Okay, so we can put the tables in the backyard. Everybody can eat there.
Me (Seeing that he's really set on this crazy restaurant idea): Well, you'll have to ask your daddy when he gets home.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

So You Think You Can Dance

Things are finally getting back to normal around here after the hurricane, so Monday was our first day back at Tiny Tots since the inappropriate laughter incident. I was so busy “marching for Jesus” last time that I didn’t notice that one of the other songs was actually a rendition of a classic party tune. Those of you who don’t know me may not know about my ability to boogie-down at a moments notice. Luckily, I have a group of sorority sister friends that also have a fondness for “breaking into routine”. And when I say, ‘break into routine’, I mean it. Check out this picture from my wedding…And yes, it was my wedding. Jason was just the last piece of the puzzle ;-)

That’s a shot of our I Will Survive number, but we have others. Including one to the tune we were singing at Tiny Tots. I wouldn’t have thought much about it if I had been someplace like Gymboree, but sitting there in the Baptist church I almost had another case of inappropriate laughter. We were sitting on the floor bouncing our babies on our legs (I had one baby on my legs, my other baby was crawling around the room “visiting” with everybody else) when we started to sing:
Ride, Baby, Ride
Ride that pony, Ride

All of a sudden I realized what the real song was; I had visions of my girlfriends and I hitting the dance floor to perform our stylized routine to....
All you want to do is ride around Sally
Ride, Sally, Ride.
I couldn’t believe it! I had just marched for Jesus and now I’m teaching my kids a song to the tune of Mustang Sally. Tiny Tots really is the best entertainment in town...We Baptists rock!