Sunday, January 25, 2009

Alligators

Things on the homefront are pretty much the same as usual. Eric left for Atlanta today and will be gone until late Thursday night. We make it through when he goes on trips, but there isn't anything to look forward to at 5:30 in the evening. You should see the precision timing I get the kids to bed with when he is gone! I joke that sometimes it is easier when he goes because I don't cook as good of meals (so I don't have to clean up as much by myself) and I do enjoy a little more "me" time after the kids go to bed, but it's hard to not have that extra support when it is something I'm so used to. Elia cried halfway home from the airport which, let me tell you, made it SO much easier to have him leave! :) I can't really complain though, I know he has a job that he really enjoys and his job lets him be around for a lot more than some other jobs allow. Also as a bonus, his company informed the employees that they weren't planning on doing any lay-offs, but that they were using this time to evaluate their employees' performance. So, we feel pretty blessed to have what seems like a stable job and great friends to boot.
Anyway, here are a few pics from the week:
Elia was talking to me in the car one day about Ethan climbing into bed with her. She said that sometimes she lets him and sometimes she doesn't. I was unbelieving and questioned her -- probably something like, "He really does that?", to which her reply was, "I'm SERIOUS Mom". Well, one morning, when they didn't wake up at their usual 6:30 time, Eric and I went in and found this:

Hey, if they sleep an extra 45 minutes when they sleep together, I might as well get rid of Ethan's bed! :) Ethan sure is being a pain in the middle of the night. He climbs out of bed and quietly walks into our room. We hear the door open, but we've watched him just stand outside our door for 5 or so minutes. Another time, Eric went in in the middle of the night and found Ethan sitting between Elia and the wall, drinking water from her cup that she keeps in a little basket by her bed. He climbed over her to get back into bed when Eric went in and she didn't even stir! What happened to our soundly sleeping boy?
I'll tell you what happens... when he gets in comfortable places such as the bike trailer he does this:
We had just finished dropping Elia off at a friend's house where he had gotten a graham cracker on our way out. I ride the short (less than a mile) distance home and find him asleep, graham cracker uneaten and still in his hand. I've started making sure I bring gum on any car trip because it is a lifesaver to keep him awake!
On Friday, my friend Lynette and I went with our kids (she has two too... a girl and a boy each a little younger than Elia and Ethan) out to a place called Brazos Bend: a State Park with alligators. Our walk around the swampy lakes turned out very unfruitful (we saw a total of one alligator), but in the visitor's center we got to pet a baby alligator and learn a lot about them as well as some of the other animals in the area. All was certainly not lost. It was so great to be outside. The day couldn't have been more perfect. It was about 70 degrees, sunny and just gorgeous. This weather is why people stay in Houston... because I can tell you, I don't think they stay for the May-September months.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Kung Fu and Jumping

First off, my favorite sayings from Elia this week:
Mom: "Elia, you're exhausting!"
Elia: "I'm not a stocking!"
A different time:
Mom: "This is great!"
Elia: "Grapes? I love grapes!"
Gotta love four-year-olds!

Here are two fun videos for your enjoyment. Ethan is working on jumping... being tutored by Elia who can do a standing jump of about 5 feet! It is amazing! video

We have some toy storage furniture in the playroom. One day Ethan crawled to the top, acted like he was king of the mountain and then did these funny kung-fu-ish moves. I said, "Are you doing your kung fu?" The next couple of times he would do it at random times, but when I was video taping the jumps he climbed up there and I prompted him to do his kung-fu... and he actually performed! What are the odds of that?

video

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Close to Home

An older, tired-looking dog wandered into my yard.I could tell from his collar and well-fed belly that he had a home and was well taken care of. He calmly came over to me, I gave him a few pats on his head; he then followed me into my house, slowly walked down the hall, curled up in the corner and fell asleep.An hour later, he went to the door, and I let him out. The next day he was back, greeted me in my yard, walked inside and resumed his spot in the hall and again slept for about an hour. This continued off and on for several weeks. Curious I pinned a note to his collar: 'I would like to find out who the owner of this wonderful sweet dog is and ask if you are aware that almost every afternoon your dog comes to my house for a nap.' The next day he arrived for his nap, with a different note pinned to his collar: 'He lives in a home with 6 children, 2 under the age of 3 - he's trying to catch up on his sleep. Can I come with him tomorrow?'
I got this on my e-mail and I hardly ever forward stuff on, but this was just hit too close to home not to share. If I feel like this now with only two kids and one on the way, how is it going to be with three preschoolers at home? :) Will I ever be caught up on sleep? One day I went to bed at 9:30, woke up at 7:00 when the kids got up and still felt tired!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

The Cat and The Bag

So now the 'cat' is really out of the bag. A few posts ago I wrote: "Did you know that Celine is the youngest of 14 kids? Man, we are only working on our third... we still have a long way to go to catch up to that." That was my way of trying to sneek in the announcement. As my sister-in-law pointed out, it was so subtle that no one except for our immediate family understood what was going on. Looking back, I can see how that phrase might have meant many different things.
We were going to wait until the twelfth week or so, but I've been feeling nauseous and I didn't really have too many excuses for being sick every day when my mom came for Christmas, and once you tell one person you really just have to tell everyone. So, there it is. The third Petty peanut will join our family near the beginning of August. Each of our children will have been born in a different state!
I still haven't chosen a doctor... something I need to do ASAP, but things have been going just fine so far. Eric and I plan on keeping the gender a secret again. For all of you who are expecting and haven't found out or for all of you who will someday have more children, we highly recommend not finding out the gender. We did that with Ethan and loved it!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

To Christmas and Beyond

So much has happened over the last two and a half weeks. I guess that is why I shouldn't wait so long to do a post!
My mom came for a visit over the Christmas break and she kept us busy! Some of the highlights (in Reader's Digest condensed version) include playing about 10 (or more) games of Settlers of Catan and several variations of it, visiting Galveston beach (on about the coldest day we could), going to several farmer's markets, going to "First Noon" at the Children's Museum, spending 12 hours recoloring the grout in our kitchen, getting curtains made for our kitchen and dining room, and swimming in our friends' pool and hot tub. Eric was completely amazed at my mom's motivation to get things done! We know we probably still wouldn't have done our floor (especially if we knew how long it was going to take) and most likely, we wouldn't have curtains either... but I had told my mom I wanted to do those things and she pushed to get them done. Thanks mom!
Now for the fully illustrated encyclopedic version:
On December 10th it snowed! I hear it happens once every five years or so. This is about the extent of what we got, but it was still fun. I love going outside in shorts and t-shirts still, but part of me missed the white snowy mornings, sledding and having a real reason for hot chocolate!
One of the guys Eric goes riding with invited him to come swimming the week after Christmas. They had heated the pool while family had been there and he invited us to take advantage of it while it was still warm. We all loved it. We all went as a family once and then Eric took the kids one afternoon while my mom and I were on our hands and knees for twelve hours re-coloring the grout on our kitchen floor. About that, I had no idea it would be that time consuming or difficult. I woke up the next morning with sore muscles and bumps on my elbows and knees! I felt bad complaining because my mom and spent about 3 or 4 hours starting the project the day before! The floor looks amazing, but I'm not sure I would have started had someone told me I would be at it for 12 hours!
My mom also motivated me to put up some valance curtains in our kitchen. I finally picked out some fabric and hardware (that process was like pulling teeth for me). She cut, measured, ironed and sewed all the curtains and Eric and I hung up the rods. I'm going to take some pictures of the kitchen and living room soon and post them... I just have to put away all the Christmas stuff still :! I know, not too many people still have their tree up, or the stocking re-hung :)!
Another highlight for Elia was her hair cut. Eric took her to this cute girly shop where they spray glitter in your hair when you are done. We were tired of the stringy thin hair that Elia never wanted to put in a pony tail anyway: On January 1st we went to the Children's museum for 1st Noon. They had a parade and a ball that you counted down to noon with. I made this hat for Eric, which he graciously wore. Ethan got soaked at one of the exhibits:After naps we all went out to Galveston to see the beach. It was amazing how much rubble was still around from the Hurricane. Of course, just our good planning, we picked a completely freezing day to go, but being around water is still always fun:
We went out to eat after and Grandma ordered Elia a special ice cream sundae. Elia love putting the m&m's, sprinkles and chocolate sauce on top (or rather just dipping her fork in the sauce and licking it off).
On Saturday, my mom took the kids to the park where I was doing a photo shoot. Lucky me, Elia asked to have her picture taken after I was done with my clients. She hardly ever wants to have her picture taken.
Even Ethan cooperated...
...for a little while:
Then it was off to play again:
We sure had a nice break! Eric didn't have to work much and we got to do a lot of relaxing. Of course Christmas was fun. The kids had a great time with their stockings and presents. We made cinnamon rolls for breakfast (sorry no fried chicken (that's what Eric's family usually does for Christmas morning) and a traditional Christmas dinner with turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, ham, pie, etc.
I can't believe it is 2009! How time flies! I love the idea of new years with all the emphasis on setting goals. Let's just hope I become a better person every year. Then I think I'll be OK. Cheers!