Monday, January 31, 2011

Hooray and Boo

Or perhaps, Boo and Hooray?

Boo because: the boys are sick and E is coming down with it, too. I should've wondered when they all were sleeping soundly on the way home from an Ikea trip on Friday! Z started first with cold symptoms and quickly progressed to the beginning stages of croup and sounded SO bad yesterday (but actually didn't go into it last night, hooray!), Samuel started with a nasty headache Sat night and started the cold yesterday and tonight E woke up from a 4 hour nap screaming and refusing to eat:(

The joys of small apartment living and family love. Boo.

Hooray because:

After almost 1 1/2 years (due to illnesses, moving, babies, school, etc), we finally finished our alphabet books!! Yea! I haven't reset up the alphabet wall due to lack of....a wall:) But the boys kept asking to finish their books and I kept putting it off until it seemed like the perfect project while stuck inside yesterday.






Finally, mommy! I've been waiting and waiting...

He wanted to cover up his bones with gray:)



Banana was the one thing he could think of in the house that was yellow:)


I hope I never see a zebra with orange eyes in real life. Creepy! But sort of cute....:)
My anti-picture taking dude

Love the green face!

Because he yells a lot?
The most colorful zebra I've ever seen!
And even though she didn't get to do an alphabet book, Eliana wanted to say hello!

Okay, maybe not. (don't worry, she got lots of love and cuddles 2 seconds after the picture was taken!)

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Way to Go, Samuel!

Our buddy's been working so hard on learning how to read that I decided to sneak video him the other night reading to us:) I love that he "gets" what he's reading and enjoys the stories. It's starting to become less work for him and more fun.

I even caught him reading the comics today:) I'm so proud of him!

video

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Pics of My Li'l Lady!

I may or may not be obssessed with taking pictures of this sweet girl! And sometimes I don't have my camera near by..so my cell phone's the next best thing. Here are a few shots of a precious little girl!
E "helping" me (or distracting me, I should say) with laundry the other day:) She's got the stink-eye!
Saying hi to daddy in the car yesterday. (we were parked, don't worry!) She loves her daddy!

Sucking her cute little fingers! Samuel started with the same two fingers...
Pretty girl, wearing her handmade hat from our much-loved friend, Miss D!
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We are having a quiet weekend so far which is probably good since it seems like Z is fighting a cold and Samuel went to bad with a nasty headache. We got to spend some time with our good friends today, who came over to hang out with us for a bit and now the hubs and I are in for some movie watching (We have having a Bourne marathon this weekend;) and chocolate chip cake! mmmm....
Ciao!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

For Your Amusement

Today's stories:

Zakkai was turning up his nose at our soup last night and refusing to try any of it, which is unusual for him. Samuel complained for a minute and then started eating, knowing, by now, that we wouldn't give in:) After forcing down an unwanted bite, he laid his spoon down and said,

Samuel : "Zakkai, Zakkai, just eat that soup. It is soo good!"
Me, suspicious: "Did you like the soup, Samuel?"
Samuel grins sheepishly and shakes his head , "No."

Good try, son!
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At lunchtime today, I had to leave Zakkai finishing his lunch at the table to go feed Eliana. I heard Zakkai muttering to himself and then he came and stood in the doorway of my room and said, "Mommy! The avocado seed has an arm!"

Then he ran away and I heard him rummaging around in the silverware drawer. Minutes later, he appeared around the corner holding the offensive avocado seed on a spoon straight out in front of him, with a plastic knife (a kid's knife, don't worry!) in the other hand. He had such a comical, revolted look on his face that I started to laugh.

He was not amused.

"Mommy, look! It has an ARM!" I asked him to come closer so I could inspect the offensive seed only to see a small protrusion at the end. As he stepped closer to me, he tripped and the seed bounced off of his spoon and rolled away.

He jumped back towards the bed as fast as he could and exclaimed, "Uh! I don't want it to touch my foot!" And then he proceeded to crouch down and very carefully try to prod the seed into the spoon with the knife. I was laughing so hard at this point because he was so serious and so disgusted over this seed. After a couple of minutes, he finally succeeded in getting the seed into the spoon and turned for the door.

In between fits of laughter, I suggested that he go show daddy. He turned around, with his disgusted face and said very solemnly, "No. I can't. I just need to frow it away."

And he did:)
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At dinner, Ben asked me if E was asleep and I told him she was...until I dropped my phone on the way out of the bedroom, which led to a discussion of how he thinks I should never own expensive equipment (I am still offended...sniff!)

I protested and said, "Well, I really do want to own a nice camera someday! I would take good care of it!"

Zakkai, who was listening while he ate and who just happened to have our old broken camera-turned toy right in front of him, piped up and said, "But you didn't take good care of this one!"

Ben about peed his pants laughing so hard and choked out, "From the mouth of babes!"

I can't win.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Things I have learned...

While living in the city:
(this post was totally inspired by this:http://www.rantsfrommommyland.com/2011/01/domestic-enemies-of-urban-mom.html and any mom or anyone who has lived in the city will probably totally relate!)


1. How to parallel park. Supposedly you learn this when you do driver's ed when you're 16. Remember those orange cones you crushed as you were weaving through them while some underpaid, really angry driving instructor sat next to you? Let me tell you, you don't really learn how to parallel park until you live in the city and you have no garage or car port to park your nice car (or golf cart...ahem, Gma!) in. I'm getting pretty darn good at judging just how small of a space I can squeeze our van in.

2. How to ride the train/bus. Not that I am very good at it. I am still afraid when we get on the metra that one of the boys (or me) is going to fall through that gap between the train and the platform. Shudder! And how can you get used to the awful smell of bus riding? Urine, cigarette smoke, overwhelming cheap cologne. It's really an adventure. Poor Ben has to experience it every week...

3. How to drive on/merge on the highway~Chicago style. And by that I mean, you take a deep breath and gun your engine and artfully weave your way into the oncoming traffic full of crazy, very angry, agressive, and dangerous might I add, drivers and you don't relax til you...get home, basically:) And then you drive to...I don't know...Ohio and you start honking like crazy at the SLOOOOOOW people who try to merge going 25 mph and then you realize you have possibly a little city road rage. Possibly.

4. How to sleep through noise. I visit my mom in the country and Ben and I lay wide awake listening to the...crickets and...the wind blowing, maybe a cow mooing. And I think, "Why is it so darn quiet out here! Where are the buses, crazy people who sing and talk to themselves at all hours, the ambulances?" And then I get used to the peaceful quiet of the country only to have it become a distant pleasant memory in my mind once I come back here....and then my country family comes to visit and lies wide awake here all night wondering what happened to their happy little cricket noises. What a life.

5. How to do laundry at a laundromat. Everything the lady said in that post is true (even the being pregnant, dragging 40 lbs of laundry and your children to the laundromat. Good times.) I was terrified of laundromats before I came here. It seemed so intimidating to drag your personal belongings into this place full of rows and rows of big hulking machines that eat your quarters half the time and to have strangers stare at you while you fold your underwear! And to try to keep your children from making a game of slamming dryer doors shut as hard as they can only to watch them bounce open again. (not that mine have done that. ahem.)

6. How to meet new people. One thing about living here is that you meet new people all the time. There are people everywhere, for heavens' sake! The sad part is, you meet great friends and they move away allllll the time. I can't wait to settle down someday and not have new neighbors every year!

7. How to save money. You don't know how to save money until you don't have any! And living in the city is EXPENSIVE! I have learned so many ways to cut down our budget until I can cut no more! I want to move somewhere cheap. And by cheap I mean not paying the same amount for rent on a small apt that people are paying for mortgages on 2 story houses!

8. How to survive. It's been tough to live here so far away from family and having to learn to do everything ourselves the hard way. But it has caused me to grow stronger and more independent and savvy. But I still want to live closer to my family:)

9. How to be tough. Now this is the hard part (no pun intended:). You have to be tough to live here with so many different (a.k.a. crazy) people! You get besieged on all sides for money and yelled at if you don't give it, people scream at you on busses, announce ridiculous things to the world through their bullhorns downtown that make you want to give them a piece of your mind, so many calloused, hard people. And it's so hard to find a balance between protecting yourself (and your family) and hardening yourself a bit but also maintaining compassion for people. We often find that our guard lets down automatically once we drive out of the city. Vacation, anyone?

10. How to appreciate the "someday." Don't get me wrong; there are some great things about living here! The awesome museums, downtown being a quick bus ride away, meeting so many different, wonderful people, learning to be savvy....But I personally am not a city girl and I know I will really really appreciate all the things I may have later in life that are on my "someday" list. Like a dishwasher, a garage, a washer and dryer, a backyard, a house, I hope. Little things and big things!

But for now....I'm a chitown mama living in a crazy city!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Dear Samuel,

I don't tell you often enough how proud of I am of you! You have had to work harder than most other kids to get where you are now because of the struggles you have had (with SPD) and sometimes I lose sight of that.


You and I are a lot alike, very emotional and very sensitive! It's funny that we can bug each other even though we are the same:) But I really really love your sensitive heart and I pray that it stays soft and loving.


You have learned SOOO much this year! We were really nervous about how you would do in kindergarten but you are a rock star! You have learned to read and it is getting easier all the time (I LOVE to hear you read at bedtime:), you have learned to count to 100 by 2's, 5's and 10's. You are learning addition and subtraction, how to sound out words on your own and write them. For example you wrote on a HW paper "I ate a samwech today." I love that you keep trying even when it is hard for you!


You are an amazing big brother! You call Zakkai your "buddy" and always watch out for him and make sure he is making good choices. You have a very strong sense of justice and right/wrong and even though your tattling can drive me crazy, I know it is because you want to follow the rules and you don't want your little brother to get in trouble! (again)
I can hardly keep you away from Eliana:) I love that you are old enough that you will probably remember her birth. You help me SO much with her; bringing me burp clothes, her pacifier or diapers. She gets a million kisses from you and smiles at the sound of your voice. You are wonderful!

Today I found a picture of daddy as a teenager and I could NOT believe how much you look like him! It was really fun to see what you will probably look like in about 12 years:) Not that I want you to grow up that fast!

You are such a handsome, bright and very funny boy. You have a really great sense of humor. I love that look on your face after I make a joke, that studies me for a moment trying to decide if I am being serious or trying to make you laugh. Then your face breaks out in that beautiful smile and you say, "You're teasing!!"

You love big, you feel intensely, you take in your world quietly, you have a wonderful laugh and you make me so proud!

I love you, Samuel!!

Monday, January 24, 2011

She

is.....

sleeping through the night!!! Hooray!!

I feel like I have waited years for this...although it's only been 3 months:) I know that 3 months really isn't that long but it sure feels long when you are up several times every.single.night and falling asleep over your cereal in the morning!

She has gotten better and better with sucking her fingers over the past week (middle two on right hand) and comforts herself right back to sleep. She started on Thursday night with 9 hours and slept 11 hours last night! Woohoo!

And she laughed tonight for the first time! I was kissing her soft belly as I was getting her dressed for bed and she laughed! I think it surprised her:)

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Samuel had a playdate this afternoon with his best buddy Peter. They were wild and had such a good time together that Samuel was exhausted at dinnertime. They had such a hard time saying goodbye that you wouldn't think they are going to see each other tomorrow!

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And Zakkai has been boosting my ego (haha) by telling me at least 13 times a day, "Mommy, you look so pretty!" And then when I say thank you, he says, "Isn't that nice of me?" What a kid!

And last but not least; need a nice biscuit to go with your homemade soup on a winter's night? I've got a yummy one!

Fluffy Biscuits:

2 cups all-purpose flour

4 tsp baking powder

3 tsp sugar

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 cup shortening

1/4 cup butter (cold)

1 egg

2/3 cup milk plus a couple TB for brushing

Preparation:
1. In a small bowl, combine flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. Cut in shortening and butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Beat the egg with 2/3 cup milk and stir into dry ingredients.

2. Turn out onto a well-floured surface and knead several times. Roll to 3/4 in thickness; cut with a floured 2 1/2 in biscuit cutter (or small cookie cutter!). Place on a lightly greased baking sheet. Brush tops with milk or cream for a shine.

3. Bake at 450 degrees for 8-10 minutes or until light golden brown. Serve warm with butter and/or jam! mmmmmm...

Friday, January 21, 2011

Friday

What a day, what a day! I have been running non-stop til now!

We got our van back last night (goodbye forever, Dodge Caravan!) and I had to take it back in today because the sliding door wouldn't shut. Turned out to be ice in the lock because they washed it before giving it back:)

This morning it was about -200 degrees and the doors of the van were frozen shut so all three kiddos (carseat and all) and I had to climb through the passenger door to get to school! Fun times.

Then, Zakkai (who had no school), Eliana and I checked out our new library for lots of books and came home in time for a fun lunch of hot chocolate, quesadillas baked in the oven and oranges:) Eliana had 2 major meltdowns today (Note to self: do NOT allow her to get overtired!!) that took forever to calm down. She really has to tell you when she is tired! The only thing she complains about:)

Then we rushed back to school to get Samuel, took the car by the autobody shop, went to HP to get Ben from school, came home to meltdown #2, made dinner, got kids in bed and now we are finally ready to have a little peace and quiet!!!


My lunch buddy:)

I shall leave you with a new favorite recipe!!

Southwest Chicken (in the Crockpot)

2 (15 oz ea) cans black beans, rinsed and drained

1 can (14 1/2oz) reduced-sodium chicken broth

1 can (14 1/2 oz) diced tomated with mild green chilies, undrained

1/2 lb boneless skinless chicken breast

1 jar (8 oz) salsa

1 cup corn

1 tsp ground cumin

3 cups hot cooked rice

Preparation:

1.Combine all ingredients except rice in a crockpot and cook on Low 6-8 hours or until a meat thermometer read 170 degrees.

2. Shred chicken with 2 forks and return to slow cooker; heat through. Serve with/over rice.

*We ate ours over the rice and IN homemade torillas(actually Indian Chapati bread but taste like homemade tortillas)! It was SOOO good! So good that I will even share the tortilla recipe with you:)

Homemade Indian Chapati Bread (or Tortillas:)

1 c. whole wheat flour

1 c. all-purpose flour (I was out of whole wheat and used both cups white this time)

1 tsp salt

2 TB olive oil

3/4 cup hot water

Preparation:
1. In lg bowl, stir together flours and salt. Use a wooden spoon to stir in the olive oil and enough water to make a soft dough that is elastic but not sticky. Turn dough out on a floured surface and knead until it is smooth.

2. Divide dough into 10 parts (or less if you want bigger breads) and roll each piece into a ball. Let rest a few minutes.

3. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat (I have found that some olive oil works better than just a spray) until hot. Roll balls of dough out on lightly floured suface until very thin like tortillas. When pan starts smoking a little, put a chapati/tortilla on it. It will bubble up; cook until underside has light brown spots on it, about 30 sec and flip over. Repeat with remaining dough.

*These are also really fantastic when you cook the second side with some parmesan or a pizza cheese on it and brown:)

Enjoy!!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

3 Months

Today our sweet girl is 3 Months old!

How in the world can it be 3 months already?!! (pretty sure I said that at 1 month and 2 months:) She is changing so quickly!

In the past month she has/is:

1. Rolled over (1.18.11)

2. Started staring at her hands and following their movements

3. Watching toys, talking to them and now starting to grab them!

4. Settling into more of a sleep routine (taking longer than her big bros but she will get there!)

Sleeps about 5:30pm-12 or 1am, then til 5:30-6am (on a good night with a few regressed nights here and there)

5. Following in the footsteps of her brothers by sucking on her fingers! Woohoo! (1.16.11) I woke up in the middle of the night to some serious slurping/sucking noises only to find her sucking on the fingers of her left hand. She is getting better and better which is helping her nighttime sleep! She alternates between hands:)

6. Become more aware of all of our movements and watches us, especially her busy brothers!

7. Talking (cooing) more. Soft sweet noises and sometimes sharp inhales when she's really excited.

8. Smiling sooooo big that her face scrunches up and her dimple shows so sweetly!

9. Breaking out of her swaddle (we call her houdini baby) so now we don't swaddle her arms anymore (which helps with the finger sucking!)

10. Loving nakedness! Since she was born, she has loved bathtime/diaper changes and that continutes strongly. She was in a serious fit yesterday and calmed down and smiled immediately when I changed her diaper. Stinker!

11. Getting more emotional~smiling and talking, then crying really hard the next minute when overtired, wanting to tell us (talk-fuss) when she is upset (so cute!), almost laughing but not quite.

11. Loving when her feet are kissed. She loves to be touched and kissed! (and we love to do it!)

Happy 3 months to the sweetest, most lovable little girl in the world!




video

(the camera is to the side at first because she ALWAYS stops performing (smiles, talking, etc) when she sees the camera or phone!)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Me An' My Boy

Today I had another random terrible, horrible migraine that rendered me useless and sickly and grumpy. And, feeling bad enough not to be able to drive safely, I couldn't get the boys to school this morning (Ben took Samuel when he got home), so the Z-man and I got to spend a little extra time together.

That boy, this boy, this craaaaazy boy is a nut! And I'm sure you believe it by now. And if you don't, please see any entries regarding Zakkai in the past 3 months and you will be converted.


This boy looooves his sister. He asked me very nicely if he could hold her the other day. She lasted approximately 2 min and 43 seconds before she decided she'd had enough but at least I got a good picture to document their love before she's old enough to fight with.

As soon as Daddy and Samuel left for school, Zakkai came to entertain me with his wild notions and happy personality. He brought out some blocks and told me he had some broken arms.

And broken legs:) Oh, and I had to have some broken arms, too. Thankfully, my legs were too big to be broken and casted.


And then he showed me how sad he would be if he really had a broken leg. Very convincing!

And then he as he watched me take pictures of him, a little memory tucked away in the back of his incredibly busy mind came rushing to the front. And he remembered that we had told him he could have our broken camera. I directed him to its safe nesting spot where it was resting in peace before being clutched in the hands of a dangerous almost 4 year old.

And he was happy for the rest of the day.

And at bedime, I discovered the camera hidden in the deep recesses of his covers for some sneaky nighttime play.

He's a crafty one.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Take a Good Look

At my (staticky) hair....



because it's all falling out!

Oh the wonders of pregnancy and all of it's effects (during AND after!) It's so gross. I have to pry hair out of Eliana's fingers at least 7 times a day. Not to mention those really drive-me-up-the-wall moments when a hair drifts down and settles between my shirt and my skin (usually on my back in a hard to reach place!) and wreaks havoc on my senses!

I have even been reduced to asking the boys to scratch my back. Which they think is hilarious. Hey, why not train them early?! Their wives will appreciate me someday...

Miss Eliana had a big day! She rolled over for the first time AND did it during the 20 minutes that I was out of the house without her! Silly baby. She is starting to grab toys. I peeked in her carseat today to find her hanging on to her colorful links. She also has really started to stare at her own hands. Have you ever seen a baby do that? They stare at them like they aren't sure whose hands are waving around!

She was a happy girl today while we grocery shopped together. I had to remind myself to pay attention to the people around me so I didn't crash into them while smiling like a goon back at her!

Samuel must be going through a growth spurt as he has suddenly shot out of any remaining 5 or 5T clothes he had. Zakkai just as suddenly has a larger wardrobe!

And before I get myself some much-needed sleep...today's recipe!

Baked Oatmeal

1/2 cup oil or applesauce

1/2 cup white sugar

1/4 cup brown sugar

2 eggs

1 cup milk

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 tsp salt

1 TB baking powder

3 cups quick-cooking oats

fruit to add in (I added in frozen blueberries!)

cinnamon/sugar to sprinkle on top

Preparation:

1. Beat together oil/applesauce and sugar. Add in eggs, milk, vanilla, salt, baking powder, oats and mix well. Stir in fruit.

2. Spread in a greased pie pan and sprinkle with cinnamon/sugar mix. Refrigerate overnight. (So nice to wake up to a breakfast ready to pop in the oven!!)

3. Bake at 35o about 35 minutes or until firm. Very yummy with a little butter (or in my case...fake butter:) on it and a glass of milk!!

*I am not a big oatmeal fan but I really liked this!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Funny Sayings and Yummy Food

"A laugh is a smile that bursts." -Mary H. Waldrip
Zakkai:
"Mommy, mommy, my bruvver named Samuel won't share. He won't give it to me for-ever!"
"Can we read 'Crumplestiltskin'?"
(In the midst of a tantrum about who knows what) "I won't EVER! Never ever ever ever!"
Samuel:
(watching me eat half a chocolate donut) "Is that donut good, mommy? Now you can make chocolate milk for Eliana!"

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I have made (and am going to make) some fabulous recipes lately that I would like to share throughout this week!

We still have our weekly Sunday tradition of Breakfast for Dinner, that is a continual hit with the boys. The great thing about it is that you can whip up something so simple even when you don't have a lot of time!

Last night's meal? Some quickly whipped up Lemon poppy-seed pancakes and since we were out of syrup, some Homemade Syrup and a side of fruit. SO good!!

Lemon poppy-seed Pancakes

1 1/2 cups milk
4 TB lemon juice
2 eggs
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 tsp poppy seeds
2 tsp lemon zest

Preparation:
1. Stir milk and lemon juice together in bowl; let sit 10 minutes. Whisk in eggs, butter and vanilla.

2. In separate bowl, mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, poppy seeds and lemon zest. Pour milk mixture into dry ingredients and stir a few times until most lumps are dissolved.

3. Heat a skillet over medium-low heat and spray with skillet. Pour 1/4 cup batter into skillet for each pancake. Cook until small bubbles appear on surface, flip and cook another 2 minutes.

4. Serve with butter and syrup. Yum!! So light and fluffy and tasty!

*I did not actually add the lemon zest as I a) did not have a lemon b) do not have a micro-zester c) am still in the process of becoming a zester!

Homemade Syrup
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
3/4 cup buttermilk (or milk with added lemon juice)
2 TB corn syrup (I was out so added a little bit cream of tartar)
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp vanilla

Preparation:
1. Stir together all ingredients except vanilla in a large saucepan (very large because it doubles/triples its volume) and bring to a boil. Let boil 7 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.

*Store leftovers in fridge. Reheat leftovers to liquify.
*Could probably reduce sugar probably to 1 cup or less and not affect taste! I think I will try that next time..

And there will be a next time:)

Friday, January 14, 2011

Who Does She Look Like?

People keep asking, "Who does she look like?" We know but I'll let you decide!!

Eliana

Samuel

Samuel

Samuel

Zakkai

Zakkai

Zakkai

Eliana

Eliana
Your Guess?

Thursday, January 13, 2011

In Which I show you the Cutest Baby in the World

Before I show you my beautiful princess (!!), I have a hilarious Zakkai story to share! I have a feeling that Zakkai stories will become legendary in my family:) I know I will certainly enjoy regaling his future wife with stories of his orneriness!

So, I was making dinner tonight when I noticed that the boys' door was shut and I didn't hear any noises inside. Immediately, knowing Zakkai's propensity for trouble, I headed over to find out what mischief he was up to this time. I walked in to find him sitting on his bed with his footsie jammies unzipped below his belly button, holding my hand pump to his belly trying to pump!

I tried really hard to control my burst of laughter but failed miserably. He had such a guilty expression on his face which turned to laughter once he saw me. I said, "Zakkai, you can't make milk!" He looked at me and said, "Why? I drink milk!"

This kid. What can I even say...
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I am doing much better today than yesterday! I woke up this morning to find a ticket on my sweet rental van (Yeah, Dodge Caravan.....) because the tags were expired! But I am happy to report that I now have new tags on my temporary (thank goodness) white van so I don't get any more tickets from the hawk-eyed chicago revenue workers.
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And now to show you the sweetest baby girl ever!










God sure knew what He was doing when He made her!!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

My Very Bad Day

So, there I was driving along to pick up Zakkai, running a few minutes late when all of the sudden...

BAM!!! If you have ever been in a car accident, you will know the terrible sound that rocks your car and stops your heart for a beat. That almost dreamlike moment when you wonder if it really happened and if you can go back and erase the last 30 seconds of your life.

It happened to me today.

Where my passenger mirror used to be.

Just as I was passing a truck parked alongside the road, the driver flung out his door without looking and hit my mirror. The mirror ripped off, scraping alongside the car as well as his door, causing a lot of damage.

My passenger door that now does not open. Pieces of the mirror are stuck on the edge of the window and there are deep scratches and dents.

I couldn't believe it was happening and glanced over to see the passenger mirror gone. "Oh no, oh no, oh no," was running through my head as I flipped on my hazards and pulled over. I just sat there numb for a couple of minutes before I got the courage to get out of the van.

Continued dent and crack in the sliding passenger door.
Ignoring the passing traffic, I walked around my car only to discover damage along the whole side that made my heart sink. I started crying and my hands were shaking as I called the school to tell Zakkai's teachers what happened so they could keep him there and then called the police to report the accident. I looked over to see the driver of the truck coming towards me. I was so thankful to find that he was kind and thankful that he even stayed to see the damage he caused! He apologized and asked if I was okay since I was crying and shaking.

Dent continued along the whole side.

I opened the sliding door, which thankfully worked, and checked on Eliana to made sure she was okay. She was still sleeping, thankfully. I called Ben, who was so worried as soon as he heard my voice and then we waited for the police. They didn't show up for awhile and my hands and feet were freezing so when the other driver suggested driving to the police station, just down the street, I agreed. I waited until he was in front of me, just in case he decided to run.

He didn't. He waited for me and walked in with me. The report took over an hour to file. Eliana stayed asleep the whole time! I kept tearing up and felt so shaken, as it was my first accident and in our new van!

The other driver admitted fault and I can only hope that his company's insurance company cooperates and covers the damage. Our insurance agent was so helpful and got us into an auto body shop right away. The van will probably be in for about a week while the mirror, door, stripping and handle are replaced and the dents and scratches removed and repainted.

I came home with a pounding migraine and was met with a big hug from Ben and happy smiles from my sweet baby this afternoon. Ben let me go rest for a bit during dinner since I was feeling so bad. Nothing like a day like this to give you a terrible headache!

I am incredibly thankful, despite the damage, that it wasn't worse. That no one hit us and no one was hurt. And so thankful that every person in this situation was so kind from the driver to the policewoman, the insurance agent to the autobody worker and the rental car man.

But it will be awhile before I drive without a little fear when I pass parked cars.



Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Bunny Story

Tonight's bedtime story is brought to you by Ben, Heidi, Samuel and Zakkai:

Heidi: Once upon a time there was a brown bunny who lived in the woods. His name was Twinkle and he was very lonely so he decided to look for a friend!

Zakkai: And then he met a friend and he was a white bunny named Twinkle Little Star! And then they went home.

Samuel: And then they drank hot chocolate.

Ben: And along came a bunny named Big Star. And he pounded on the door and told them he wanted to drink ALL their hot chocolate!

Heidi: (saves story from downward spiral) And Twinkle and Twinkle Little Star were afraid. They were trembling and closed their eyes, afraid of Big Star. But they realized it was quiet and they peeked open one eye to find Big Star smiling at them. He was a very nice Grandpa bunny!

Zakkai: And then they went to Big Star's home and went in the garage and there was an old car.

Samuel: And then they drank hot chocolate because it was snowing. And then it was summer and they played on the playground.

Ben: And along came old Grey Star and he was meeeeann...

Heidi: (saves story again from downward spiral) There was no old Grey Star. It was winter time again and it was snowing so Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star and Big Star decided to have a winter snow party! They popped popcorn and had peppermint ice cream and watched "The Three Bunnigo's."

Zakkai: And then they looked at the fan and turned it on...and then-

Heidi: And then they had a wonderful time at the party and were wonderful friends and lived happily ever after!!

Samuel: Wait! I didn't get to go. And then it was summer again-

Heidi: The story is over now. You can start a story tomorrow.

THE END.

Monday, January 10, 2011

The 3 Amigos

This boy has a guardian angel. With gray hair.




January 2009~almost 2 years


Today Zakkai electrocuted himself. You heard me. We have warned him over and over and over (need I say it again?) not to touch the outlets or plugs. But he has this insatiable curiosity about life and we have learned that he has to learn by trial and error.


Well, today he trialed and he error ed. He tiptoed away in a sneaky moment (any time he is quiet it is BAD news.) into the kitchen where seconds later I heard him shrieking hysterically. He was sobbing by the time I got there, clutching his hand. I thought he had touched the crockpot which was on but he kept saying "I don't know" in between crying "Ow, ow, ow!" I took him to the bathroom where I washed off his thumb which had a white mark/cut on it and put vitamin E on it and there it came out that he had touched the plug or outlet.


He got a very very long time out. Did I say very? I can only hope and pray he has learned his lesson. Because if he hasn't, I just might get gray hair, too.


And I'm too young for that.

*On a good note, he stayed dry last night! Hooray!


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This kid has an addiction.








January 2006~6 months old


He has an addiction to wii. So much so that he instituted his OWN rule that we should only play wii on Saturdays! I've got to get this kid to loosen up! The boys got a wii game for Christmas and B and I got a couple games, too and S wants to play all the time. He has always loved tv, computers, and video games so we really have to limit him because he could sit there for hours if we would let him. Which we don't.


He had a ridiculous meltdown over being done with wii today (overtired after school?) which led to him getting a wii little punishment (haha~couldn't resist!) of no wii for possibly a week.


I know, we're mean.

In good news, he has been incredibly loving to his little sister and protective of both Z and E. He has been calling Zakkai "his buddy" lately and Eliana "his sweet little sister" . He has a sweet, loving heart!

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This kid is an angel:)

January 2011~2 months

She's just sweet and wonderful and I adore her and that's all I have to say!

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