Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Shaking Things Up A Bit

If you don't live in northern California, you might not have heard about the 5.6 earthquake we experienced at 8pm last night. Really, at 5.6, it was not significant. Nothing fell. Nothing broke. We didn't even get under a table or doorway. It was long, but just a bit shaky is all. No big deal.

Except for Padyn. It was the first earthquake in her known experience.

She did pretty well. We were all sitting on her bed going through our bedtime routine. We had just finished stories and were praying when the room began to move. I started to react and Joel wisely (and non verbally) told me to chill. So the four of us just sat there and rode it out.

But despite our relatively calm reaction, Padyn was not fooled. I wouldn't say she was freaked out, but it did take some convincing and praying to get her to go to bed. She was very concerned that the ground would begin to shake again. In fact, she was up a couple times last night, and I'm sure it was a direct reaction to the quake. But it could have been worse. We could have had complete freak-out-melt-down-refuse-to-be-calmed-down kid, which we didn't. All things considered, she handled it well.

Oh, and Kate? Didn't notice at all. Absolutely no reaction.

The first thing she said to me this morning was, "God didn't make the ground shake again last night!"

The best part of the entire experience is the phone call I received from Owen's Mommy at 8:15. She was calling on behalf of Owen, who had just returned from our church's harvest carnival where he had been dressed up as a superhero. Owen wanted his Mommy to let me know that what we experienced was not an earthquake. It was just him flying around. His super powers made the ground shake.

Good thing. I might have started thinking too hard about plate tectonics if I hadn't been informed. I must remember to tell Padyn that it wasn't really an earthquake. It was just Owen. She'll feel much better.

Monday, October 29, 2007

New Accomplishment

Now, Kate is doing something these days that she has never done before. It's one of the few things she is very late in developing. Padyn could do this at 7 or 8 months. I've known other kids who had this mastered even earlier than that. It's the one thing Kate has really been behind in.

Are you ready?

Here's Kate...sitting and watching TV. She will actually stay seated on the couch and watch a whole 8 minutes of television! Whoohoo! I can get my makeup on without her trying to rifle through my hairbrush drawer.

Currently, "Curious George" seems to be her favorite. Sometimes she likes to look at Clifford for a few minutes, but he can't hold her attention as long.

Me? Not that I want my kids to be obsessed with TV. Really, I don't. But most mornings, I just need a few childless moments to get myself ready to get out the door.

I'll take what I can get.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Sorry to Disappoint

Currently I'm sitting in a hotel room in LA. Yup. LA. Why on earth would anyone voluntarily come to Southern California while it is burning to the ground? Because I have a training to attend. And since it's a statewide organization, it was scheduled to be in LA long before the Santa Ana's starting kicking up. So here I am, talking to other teachers about academic language and comprehension strategies, breathing only filtered air-conditioned air, and enjoying a couple days of solitude.

What this all means is I have no Photo Friday for you. I apologize in advance. I promise there will be a Photo Sunday, or Monday, or some other day of the week that isn't tomorrow.

Until then, have a good weekend.

Monday, October 22, 2007

So Many Photos

Wanna know what 380 photos taken at the pumpkin patch looks like? If you go to my Flickr account now, you'll see. I can't believe I took that many. Really, how much pumpkin can you really stand? But there they are...all 380 of them. Enjoy.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Happy Birthday Grandpa Lane!

We took these yesterday just for you since you already had the picture we sent you on your birthday card...
We miss and love you! Have a great day!
A, J, P and K

Friday, October 19, 2007

Photo Friday-Pumpkin Patch 2007

You may remember from last year how much I love going to the pumpkin patch. I can't explain's just fun and easy. Plus, it makes for some really nice photos. All that orange and green...yummy.

Well, today's trip to a patch/farm in Livermore was no disappointment. We had never been there before, but it was certainly worth the 45+ minute drive through the East Bay hills draped in morning fog. Even packed with school groups, it was worth it. (That's high praise considering my slight phobia of crowded places.)

Our pals Abbie and CJ joined us for the outing. Four little blondies running around the sea of orange balls. Quite a sight. Here are the pics to prove it. Unfortunately, I can't post them all in this batch, so I'll put more up tomorrow. For now, enjoy these first few. Happy Friday.

Kate wore this expression for this entire series of photos. Whatever. At least Padyn looks like she is enjoying herself.
On our way in we grabbed a wagon. We managed to get all four kids in it for a photo op (check it out tomorrow), then CJ and Kate caught an easy ride down to the pumpkins.

All this hunting for pumpkins is exhausting.I like this one, Mommy. Oh, is that my belly button sticking out?Padyn really thought she could pick one up.Doesn't see look as if she is contemplating distant horizons?

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Working For Peanuts

You'll never believe this. I was able to get Kate to try vegetables tonight. Real ones! Cauliflower and broccoli! And she swallowed most of it!

How did I do this, you ask? What amazing mommy skillz did I pull out to accomplish this amazing feat?

Peanuts. Yes....peanuts. Kate can't get enough of them. And if she ate something I wanted her to eat, she got a peanut. First, I did it with the chicken. I was thought she would eat the chicken anyway, since she did it last week a couple times. But, tonight it was chicken from my orange stir-fry, so I wasn't extremely confident. But man, when I whipped out those peanuts and gave her a half peanut after each bite of chicken, she quickly got the idea. If I eat what the crazy lady is trying to stick in my mouth, then I'll get a small nugget of salty crunchy goodness.

I gave it a go for the veggies. It was not as successful as the chicken, I admit, but she still willingly put vegetables in her mouth. After a few bites she flat out refused more of the tree-like things, so I offered her the veggie and the peanut together. She put down a few more bites this way, but it didn't last long. Soon she was done with the veggies. But still! Vegetables!

I think this was also the first night she has ever actually eaten rice.

These peanuts are some heavy magic. Gotta get me another bag of 'em.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Get Ready...'s coming soon to a blog near you.

Little Surprises

Katelyn is continually surprising us. Just when I think we have her figured out, she'll say something or do something that shocks us. Sometimes the surprises are pleasant, like her ability to say, "I love you, Mommy/Daddy/Padyn" unprompted. Other times, these new little gifts make me want to pull my hair out. Here's a short list of new accomplishments.

She can stand on her toes (without holding onto something for balance).

She clicks her tongue.

She can touch her head and toes when you sing, "Heads, Shoulders, Knees and Toes."

She knows most peoples' names and recognizes them on sight.

She hits other children in the face when they are trying to play with the same thing she is.

When I say "No hitting Mommy" she looks right at me and hits me even more.

She somersaults.

She climbs on the kitchen table.

She introduces strangers to us. When they look at her, she'll point to me and say, "Mommy." Then she'll point to Padyn and say, "Payee."

When entering the bathroom, I turned on the light..."Dank doo, Mommy, light on."

She doesn't like her sleeves rolled up. When I tried to roll them up this morning to keep her sleeves out of her peanut butter, she had a fit. I promptly unrolled them..."Dank doo, Mommy, wroar (roll), Mommy."

When Padyn is napping (or if she thinks the phantom baby in our house is sleeping)...""

I left my coffee cup on her dresser while I was putting her clothes away. I heard behind me "Copee (coffee), Mommy" and she was carrying my cup to me. You can guess that it ended up splashing on her and the floor. Fortunately, it was not hot anymore.

When playing in the tunnel, she sticks her face up against the fabric and says, "I tee (see) you, Mommy."

When she's trying to get my attention and I'm not looking right at her, she'll put her hands on my cheeks, forcibly turns my head, looks me in the eyes and say, "MOMMY!

There's more, but I didn't write them down, so that's enough for now. Eighteen months, and she's already quite a little girl.

Monday, October 15, 2007

New Photos

Have you noticed? I just uploaded a ton of new pictures onto Flickr. I know you haven't looked yet...there are no views. So go! Look! Comment! And just to get you interested, here's a preview. These are a few of my favorites.The pictures aren't labeled yet on Flickr, and some need a bit of an explanation. Here's a general rundown of what's there(but not in order) can match the label to the photo group. Like a game! Or a worksheet!

-Highway at Camp-Our church had it's annual weekend "camp" in the Santa Cruz mountains last weekend. These would be the photos with the extremely large soccer ball and me, running around with a chefs hat and oven mitts on.

-Kate eating meat. Yes...that is hot dog. I had to document it.

-Kate sticking her tongue out and/or closing her eyes.

-Kate being cute. (lots of Kate this past week. She's the only one that will smile for me.)

-The girls playing at the park last Sunday evening.

-Padyn showing off her new love of tights and watching her favorite TV show.

-Kate building with Megablocks.

-The girls at Emily's house last Monday, playing with Ella and Emily.

Ok. That's enough. Go look. If you can't figure out how to get there from my Flickr badge, click here. That will get you where you want to go.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Photo Friday-18 Month Comparison

Here we go. Kate turned 18 months (OH MY GOSH! She's already a 1 and a 1/2 year old!) last week, and I finally took a few photos so we could compare the two girls at this age.

I don't have many new things to add concerning non-looks comparisons. The big differences between the two angels at this age continue to be movement, social interactions, and eating. At 18 months, Padyn had only been walking for a little over a month. Kate, on the other hand, is now running, trying to jump, climbing everywhere and everything (did I tell you I found her standing on the kitchen table yesterday?), and doing somersaults. Yes, somersaults by herself. She can do them better than Padyn can and Padyn is almost four.
Both girls are advanced in their verbal skills for an 18 month old. I know Padyn could say many many words at this age, but I wish I could remember what kind of language she was using. Kate loves repeating what everyone says, and then saying it over and over again. Today she kept repeating "bad girl" while we were walking through IKEA. I have no idea where that came from. I don't think I ever call either one of them a bad girl (that would be against my very careful use of language)...maybe I've called some dog that in the past. But really. She also loves to say, completely unprompted, "I love you, Mommy/Daddy/Padyn." It makes your heart melt. I mean, once you understand what she's trying to say. She loves stringing words together to make two and three word phrases. Really, I think she adores hearing her own sweet voice. Fortunately, we do, too. Especially her super long lazy "Yaaaaaaaahhhhhh."
At 18 months, both could point at various body parts, stick out their tongues, and close their eyes on command. Both LOVED (and still love) looking at themselves in the mirror, dancing around to the music in their head, singing classics like "Itsy Bitsy Spider" and "Wheels on the Bus." Unlike Padyn, Kate also knows the words to popular hits such as "Hollaback Girl" by Gwen Stefani and "Carry Me (Dead Man)" by Jars of Clay since her big sister is such a fan. Got love that older sibling influence. Although, one thing Kate doesn't seem to be influenced by is Padyn's love of TV. By 18 months, Padyn could sit mesmerised in front of Baby Einstein or Elmo for as long as I'd let her. She couldn't get enough. It was great for when I wanted to shower or needed 30 minutes to make dinner. Katelyn couldn't care less. She has no idea who Elmo, or any other Seasame Street character is. Not a bad thing, no. Just different. Although, over the last couple days I've noticed this changing. She'll say, "Kurs Joge? EE EE EE." for Curious George when Padyn is watching it and watch a few minutes of it before she wanders off to find me. Usually she wants me to come watch with her.
I've been realizing that there are things I was doing with Padyn at this age that I haven't done or don't do much with Kate yet, probably due simply to our busy life. At 18 months, Padyn knew the local library almost as well as her own house. I don't think Kate has been to the library in over a year. I finally have Kate in a class-at 18 months, Padyn had taken at least 3 little classes with me and was already starting to hone her dancing skills. But, somethings are different for Kate, too. Take french fries for example. With Padyn, I was adamant that she would not eat them until she was 2. Somehow, I managed to stick to that. Kate has been offered french fries for a few months now. See didn't actually eat them until last week, but still. Priorities shift.

I just can't get enough of these girls whether they are 18 months or almost 48 months. I need to start keeping better track of Padyn so I can better compare them in the future. Fortunately, in a few months, Kate will be at the age Padyn was when I started this blog, so it will be easier to compare the two.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Shoe Fetish

We D girls seem to have a thing for cheap, yet great looking shoes. Kate already has shown signs of it, pulling all the shoes off the rack at Target and Payless to try on. Currently, Padyn's fetish takes the form of dress-up shoes. Specifically princess dress-up shoes.

On Monday we drove up to the Wood Hood (our old stomping ground) to visit Ella, Emily, Hana, Susan and Jackie. Emily had just had her 2 year old birthday and had been gifted a box of new princess dress-up shoes. Padyn thought she'd died and gone to heaven. She had to try them all on, then she had me take a picture of them on. Kate even tried a few on. They were so huge on her tiny feet, but nonetheless, she wanted in on the action as well. She even ceased in her quest to feed the cat a fake french fry in order to give them a go. I don't remember Ella and Emily being as excited about the shoes as my two girls. Ella was more into the little desk and Emily was crazy about the parachute.

Thanks, all the ladies, all the ladies in the house. We had a great time visiting. Can't we all live closer?

Oh, and Emily, Padyn can't thank you enough for the pair of shoes you let her take home. She's been wearing them non-stop. The purple really accentuates all her outfits.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

She's a Carnivore!

As many of you know (because you hear me whine about it all the time) Kate seems to have some aversion to meat. There have been only limited times where she has actually consumed it. Very few times have we gotten her to take a bite or two of chicken nuggets. There was that freak incident in Chicago where she ate turkey lunch meat. Sometimes she seems to like bacon. But she has never eaten it consistently enough for me to feel confident she is getting enough protein. Hence, she eats yogurt EVERY NIGHT for dinner. Every single night. That has to get boring for her.

Well, over the last week or so we've noticed a slight shift. Every few days she decides she does indeed like turkey lunch meat and will eat a far amount of it. Then last week when I made a pretzel coated chicken breast. (I know, it sounds weird, but that Rachel Ray does know what she's talking about.) As I do every night, I offered Kate a sample from my plate. And she ate some. Then some more. And still more! She consumed almost as much chicken as her sister did. There was a catch, however. She would only eat it as long as I fed it to her. OK...I'll take that.

Last night she ate about 4 bites of hot dog. Absolutely unheard of in the past.

And tonight I grilled up some chicken. She ate it again! Twice in a row! That's completely unheard of in our world.

I see the light...she will eventually eat a variety of foods. It just might not be until she's in college.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Pick-Me-Up for Grandma

Here, Mom. These photos of your granddaughters doing random things are posted just for you. Hope they brighten your day.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Photo Friday-Seattle Style

*Disclaimer: I know the lack of pictures of the girls this Photo Friday will highly upset some of the fan base, but I just don't have enough interesting ones to constitute an entire post. I'll get some good ones over the weekend (hopefully some where Kate is actually wearing her shirt, and/or not closing her eyes when the shutter clicks). For now, I hope you'll find amusement in a few photos that don't highlight the main feature of this blog.

What do you take pictures of when you leave your children at home and go on a trip?

Random stuff, of course...
Like your pre-lunch snack and airplane reading material.
Or flat sheep painted on the ground at the Seattle Center that are apparently leading the way somewhere, if I could only figure out to where.Maybe produce behind bars.
A spaceship preparing for take off.How about an inexplicable giant boot?Weird buildings that someone paid way too much money for, but look really cool in the sunlight.A picture of your loved one taken through a window so that you can also see your own reflection.Yourself holding up an entire city.Definitely pigs that have coffee cups painted on them. It is Seattle, after all.
And, of course, as many random signs possible.