Thursday, June 26, 2008

Fond Memories

When the girlies were little, probably 2 and 3 or 3 and 4, they would say to me, "You're my best Mommy!" and give me a hug. I would say to them, "You're my best Emma!" or "You're my best Abbie!" and we would know that something precious had passed between us.

Yesterday, I said to Abbie, "You're my best Abbie!" as I kissed the top of her sweet head. And do you know what she said to me? "I'm the only Abbie you have."


Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Quick Update

This week, the Snort has decided that playing Patty Cake is the coolest thing EVER. He will clap his hands at you, and then your job is to say the Patty Cake rhyme, roll his hands over each other when you get to that part, and make a big deal out of the "Throw it in the pan!" line. He giggles like a fool when we do that. It's great.

He can also blow a mean spit bubble. You know the kind, when a child says mmmmmwaaaaa and there is a bubble in their mouth? Very attractive, I must say. I had forgotten about this stage. It's pretty funny.

Still no crawling here, but boy, is he trying to pull up on things! I have informed him that I will in no way be encouraging his plan to skip crawling, but with little effect. He is a determined child.

Today, I was messing around with ring tones for my cell phone, not having been able to come up with anything better to do while driving, and decided that I should use the National Anthem for this week and next in honor of Independence Day. I told my girls that it was the National Anthem, and they said, "What, you mean the song they sing at hockey and baseball games?" Ahem. Yes. I even sang it for them, having been inspired by my new ring tone. Emma said I should be the one to sing it at the ball games because I sing better than most of the people she's heard there. Isn't she sweet? She earned some major cool points with that one.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Isaac Has Been Busy!

At 9 months old, my boy is still not crawling - not that I'm complaining, mind you! He has certainly been learning new things, though.

On Friday night at our small group, he went from sitting to his hands and knees - getting ready to go somewhere, for sure! - for the first time. Woo hoo! The girls have been putting him on his hands and knees for quite a while, and he loves to rock, but he's been "fixing to get started thinking about" crawling for quite a while. I don't remember when Abbie started to crawl, but I know Emma was crawling by 9 months. We are, however, on Isaac time here, and that's quite a different thing.

If you ask him to say "uh oh!" he says "ah ah!" It's terribly cute.

At the doctor's office last Tuesday, they asked me if he was playing patty cake yet. I had to answer honestly that no, he was not, but I had not asked him to, either. Heh. Yet another thing I don't remember about babies.... but, I digress. Abbie taught him that afternoon how to clap his hands. Go, Abbie-sister! It is just adorable when a baby learns to clap their hands, isn't it? Now, of course, it's old hat, and he won't do it on demand anymore. I'm hoping to get it on video.

Busy Weekend!

We had quite a busy couple of days. On Saturday, the girls had their end-of-year horse show at Macnair's Country Acres, where they've been taking riding lessons since last fall. WOW, was it hot. Miss Tonna came to cheer the girls on (and she did a fabulous job entertaining the Snort, too):

The girls got to give their instructor 3 ponies or horses that they wanted to ride, so that they had their best chance at doing well in the show. The girls normally ride ponies, but Emma did ride Babe, a horse, once, and that's who she got to ride. She placed first in her class! Here she is with Babe and her first place ribbon:

Abbie rode Vogue, a lovely chestnut pony. She was in the last class of the day, and those ponies were DONE being cooperative. I don't blame them a bit. Vogue was not of a mindset to do anything without a great deal of persuasion, but Abbie did an excellent job of using her voice and her leg (and finally a crop) to get Vogue to do what she was supposed to do. Abbie placed second in her class, but *I* thought she deserved the blue ribbon. Here she is on Vogue:

And here are the girls with their instructor, Miss Laura:

We had to wait about an hour in between the girls' show classes, and it was. just. so. HOT! The Snort was exceptionally well-behaved for a tiny boy who really probably didn't need to be out in the heat for so long. Emma helped keep him happy too. She's such a good big sister!

On Sunday morning, we went to church, and then had to hustle to make it to the girls' gymnastics show. We got to see them perform small routines on the bar, beam and floor, and "vault" - really a large piece of foam that they jumped onto, not an actual vault. Emma opted not to do the bars. Here is Abbie on the bars, her favorite:

Here is Emma on the beam:

Apparently the people at the gym had opted not to turn the air conditioning on - it was quite warm in there. They did turn it on about 2/3 of the way through the program, but still:


The girls both got medals for participation. Here's Abbie:

And here's Emma:

For next year, Todd and I have decided that the girls need to limit their activities to horses and one other thing. It's clear to us that Emma should stick with dance, and Abbie should continue with gymnastics. Emma, of course, wants to do it all, but she's afraid of the uneven parallel bars, so unless we decide to let her do a "tramp & tumble" class, she won't do gymnastics anymore. I asked one of the coaches how many times per week Abbie should take gymnastics to give it a good shot to see if she'd be good at it. She told me that Abbie had caught her eye, and we could have her evaluated to see if she's ready to participate in a more advanced class! I'm so proud!

This has been a fun year, watching them improve in their dance, gymnastics and horses. I know if we limited them to one thing, they would choose horses hands down, so I'm really grateful that we're able to afford dance and gymnastics as well, thanks to the girls' very generous Grammy and Papa.

For the summer, the girls will continue with their pony lessons, and they've decided to try the Scotts Mill Swim Team - the Sea Dragons. They seem to enjoy it so far. It's great exercise for them, and I'm delighted that they're really learning to swim. Swimming was Todd's sport, so it's fun for him to watch them, too. So far Abbie is best at backstroke, and Emma looks like a freestyler. Their first meet is in 10 days or so - gotta go find those swimsuits!

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Guess what I learned?

Camy from the Well-Trained Mind forums posted the following recipe:

Directions on how to have a great lunch that is healthy, delicious, fairly simple, and inexpensive:

1. Place pinto beans in a crock pot w/ enough water to cover by 3 inches. I normally use about 5 cups of beans. Soak overnight.
2. When you get up in the morning, turn the crock pot on high (check to see if you need to add more water. Sometimes the beans absorb much of the water). Cook for about 3 hours. Check for doneness w/ a knife by breaking a bean in half. If tender, they're done.
3. Warm your tortillas. We do this by either wrapping a stack of tortillas in foil and placing in the oven on 375 degrees until warm (about 15 minutes), warming them one at a time on a hot cast iron skillet, or popping them in the toaster one by one for a more crisp tortilla. Make sure to watch them carefully in the toaster. They can burn quickly if you are not careful.
4. While tortillas are warming, drain cooked beans in a large strainer. Put beans in a bowl or back in the crock pot (turn on low). Mash the beans and add a shake of onion powder, garlic powder, cumin, & a dash of salt. You could also add a small can of chopped green chillies for more flavor. Take note to add more of the spices if you use more beans. Keep taste-testing to get flavorful results.
5. Prepare any desired toppings (i.e. lettuce, cheese, tomatoes, onions, peppers, sour cream, guacamole, salsa, etc.) . We stay very simple.
6. Serve mashed beans in tortillas and top w/ your choice of the above.

Sounds good, right? And fairly simple? Yes, well, here's where the learning part comes in.

I learned:
1. Five pounds of pinto beans doesn't look like that much when you put it in your slow cooker.
2. Five pounds of pinto beans comes dangerously close to overflowing said slow cooker, once they've absorbed the water you put in to soak them.
3. You can't keep enough water in the slow cooker to cook all five pounds of beans, beacuse the beans expand past the top edge of the basin.
4. The ones on top stay crunchy. This seems to hold true even if you stir the beans several times.
5. Five pounds of beans will NOT be ready for lunch time.
6. This many beans fits - barely - into my Tupperware Thatsa Bowl. I still managed to make quite a mess while squishing them up. I quickly gave up on the potato masher and got out my hand mixer, which worked much better.
7. This many beans makes approximately enough to feed lunch to our entire church, with leftovers.

The moral of the story is, if you find a bag of pinto beans in the back of your cupboard, it's probably not the best plan to try to cook them all at once.

Anyone know if you can freeze squished pinto beans?

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

The Snort is 9 Months Old!

He officially hit the 9 month mark on Saturday, May 31, but we had his 9 month checkup today. He weighed in at 25 lbs 4 oz, and measured 30.5 inches long. That's a pretty big boy!

He has 4 teeth now, and likes to grind them (*shudder*). He is sitting up really well, and would very much like to be crawling! He can scoot backwards, and he rolls around to get anywhere he might like to go.

He's recently started getting upset when I leave the room, so I don't think crawling is far off - he has some motivation! Until the last couple of weeks, he's been a happy lump, content to stay where I put him and play. Now, though, he does not take kindly to being left out.

He's recently started some cute things - he will shake his head at you, and thinks it's quite funny when you shake your head back at him. He will play the head-shaking game for quite a while. He will also do it (less frequently) with lip smacking and tongue clicking.

Here he is lounging in the bath:

And here he is watching laundry spin in the washer:

Front loading washing machines: baby TV! Who knew?

Note that he's only wearing one sock. He LOVES to pull his socks off. He cracks me up.