Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Halloween!

Today was a busy day full of sugar highs and lows. We started the morning off with a "parade" at the YMCA. Baileigh kept asking "Where is the parade?" "You are the parade!" I kept explaining to her. The kids got to march around the Y to various staff members who were dressed up and passing out candy. I think Baileigh had fun and enjoyed getting the candy but was a little disappointed that the "parade" I mentioned didn't include any floats or marching bands!

Afterwards the kids had an opportunity to work off some of that sugar in the gym. The girls always love their huge swing. Brooke had her first turn on it and she enjoyed it, too.

Mckenna's favorite activity is always the trampoline.

After the Y we went straight to preschool where the girls were allowed to wear their costumes for the day. They kept telling everyone they were "USA Girls" and insisted they didn't want to hold their pom-poms...I was so proud of them!

Monday, October 30, 2006

Let The Celebrations Begin!

Yesterday began Baileigh's 5th birthday festivities. I say that because over the course of the next two weeks she is going to have a few different celebrations. Last night was her official party with some girls from church and preschool. Baileigh did a lot of the planning for this party so it was pretty eclectic. It was a butterfly-costume-pumpkin party. This week she will have the official birthday day spoiling and then her special day at school and a gathering of friends at Chuck E. Cheese with Daddy when he returns.

Since I mentioned costumes it is now time to admit/confess that I am letting my daughters be cheerleaders for Halloween. If you know me well you would know I am the anti-cheerleader and I will do everything in my power to encourage my girls otherwise as they mature. They are already learning our family mantra..."The Halls don't cheer, we're cheered for!" Despite my feelings on the "sport" of cheering I had a moment in Target where I was convinced otherwise. Baileigh saw the USA costume and got all excited and said, "U.S.A."...so I responded by saying, "Yes, Baileigh, the United State of America, our country that Daddy serves in the military for and the reason he is gone." Baileigh's response was "The United States of America, and to the Republic, for which it stands, one nation, under God, indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for all." I stood there with my jaw on the ground. I had no idea she knew the Pledge, "where did you learn that Baileigh?" "At preschool, or AWANA, I forget which one." Then, to soften my heart even more, she says, "Mommy can I be a USA girl and wear that to see Daddy when he comes home from protecting our country?"

What kind of mother would I be if I said no to that!? Unfortunately, the tenative arrival time for Brad's return is about 1am and I think the kids may be sporting pj's instead of "USA girl" outfits...but I'm sure we can wear them around the house for the next few months!

Decorating pumpkins the 5 year old girl way...with glitter and jewels!

This birthday game was a big hit since it allowed the girls to do something they normally are not allowed to do, unravel a roll of toilet paper!

Baileigh "helped" me make her butterfly birthday cake. Just as I was trying to convince her that it's a lot of fun to pick them out at the bakery and maybe we should do that next year she says, "Thank you Mommy for making my butterfly cake, its beautiful!" I decided I would be willing to make her another one again someday with the nice compliment!

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Final Soccer Game

Baileigh's soccer season concluded today. She was pretty disappointed to finish so soon to Daddy's return...she really wanted him to watch her play. I made sure I documented the event with some video and pictures. Considering she had no concept of the game 8 weeks ago, she has come a long way.

Baileigh used to seem really clumsy...I think her body was just ahead of her mind. I can actually see glimpses of athleticism developing.

The league made it a fun morning for the kids with face painting, clowns, medals and cookies. With the exception of the 8:30am game times on Saturday mornings, I think we all enjoyed soccer season.
Baileigh with her buddy, Madison.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006


Mckenna used to be pretty trustworthy with the markers. Used to be. We've had 2 face coloring incidents in the past week. I need to be sure to hide the Sharpies!

Look at her expression, she is worried that punishment is coming. I think she was trying to keep from smiling so I would think she was remorseful. I've noticed that Baileigh finds this highly entertaining. I'm pretty sure she was encouraging her sister to try coloring her face.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Preschool Field Trip

Today the girls school went to Sholtz Pumpkin Farm. It's a good thing I enjoy fall so much because we have had our share of pumpkin farms!
Today was pretty cool (temperature, that is) but the rain held off so we couldn't complain. Baileigh's growth spurt continues and the height difference between her and Mckenna is increasing.

I know I'm bias, but I think she looks pretty darn adorable!

More pumpkins to add to our collection. I just hope they don't expect Mommy to carve all of them!

Sunday, October 22, 2006

It's a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

Mr. Rogers was singing about today! It was a perfect fall day in the NW. Temperatures around 60, a few big puffy clouds in a rich blue sky. Mt. Rainier looking majestic with her snow capped peak. We took advantage of the day and went for a walk looking for fall leaves to collect for a craft. That was exciting to the girls for about 5 minutes and then they started advocating to return home to play in the back yard.
On our front porch with Sam the Scarecrow, according to the girls.
Brooke sits in the swing and laughs. She thinks everything is funny...her sisters, her swing, the wind in her face...everything except Ranger barking, that makes her cry.
I'm scared that Brooke's near perfect personality at 7 months of life is going to bite me in the butt in her teen years. I'm enjoying every moment of it now...I've learned that I'm not too anxious for my children to talk...it just expedites the time frame in which they are going to start disagreeing with me.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Too many previews!

Today the girls were running around the house pretending they were getting ready to go to the movies. This is an activity we've done a few times and I think seeing the Curious George movie for sale in the stores has reminded them of our last movie outing. Mckenna keeps asking if we can go to the theater to see it again when Daddy returns. She doesn't really grasp the concept that movies change.

Mckenna runs by and says "Excuse me Mommy, I have to get some popcorn before the movie starts."

Then Baileigh runs around the corner. "Guess what, Mommy?" "The movie will be available for release on DVD this fall!"

I think we've seen a few to many videos lately and watched one too many previews.


This is what happens when I leave the kids unsupervised for 20 minutes to run outside and cut the grass...

Friday, October 20, 2006

verclamped in the milk isle

So there I was...positioned slightly between the skim milk door and the soy products. That is when it hit me. I stood, staring, speechless. Could it really be? I rubbed my eyes and looked again. In big blue print it just looked back at me. The reality began to set in. The obnoxiously loud voices of my girls faded into the background like Charlie Brown's teacher. I felt my knees getting a little weak. I admit, I became a little verclamped as the emotions of the moment culminated.

The expiration date on my milk is after Brad's return!

I heard angels begin to sing, "HAAAAALLELUJAAAAHHHH, HAAAAALLELUJAAAAHHH, HA-LAY-LU-YA, HA-LAY-LU-YA, HA-LAAAYYY-LU-YA" and then I saw a bright light...I think it was the light at the end of the tunnel!

I Want That

You may think that my title refers to Brooke reaching for the water. It doesn't. What I mean is the look of awe and excitement and amazement in her eyes as she discovers and explores a new element like water being poured through her hands. She is fascinated and completely consumed by the experience.

I want that.

I want to have that childlike sense of wonder and awe as I look at the magnificent snow covered peak of Mt. Rainier tomorrow against the morning sky. I want to be excited by the little things my children accomplish. I want to face experiences with focus and see them through new eyes. I want to discover something new that excites me and consumes my attention.

I want to look at something I've seen before with a new appreciation. I want to find joy in the simple things.

I want that.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Fiscally Retentive - Sometimes

Sometimes I can be really cheap. I didn't want to pay $5 for Halloween shirts at Old Navy...so I waited long enough and got them for $2.50! Now we're going to wear them every day until the 31st to get our $7.50 worth!

The girls enjoy wrestling with Brooke.

Monday, October 16, 2006

A Day In My Life

Normally my Mommy tells the stories, but today I decided to tell you what my days are like. After I had my morning bottle I got to play with my toys. Mommy hides them at night in this basket but I always find them! I have learned to crawl over to it and turn it over and all my toys fall out! I think this is a lot of fun and it always excites me!! Playing with my toys in the morning is fun, too, because my sisters are still asleep and they don't take my toys away.
Later in the morning I get to eat. I love to make a big mess with a cracker. I'm trying to learn to drink out of this cool cup but for the most part I think it is fun to make a lot of noise with it when I hit it on my tray.
After I took a little nap my sisters wanted to play with me. Mckenna loves to give me hugs and I think it is funny!
When Mommy isn't looking Baileigh always picks me up and moves me. Sometimes I think this is fun and I laugh. Other times I get mad and I scream so Mommy knows Baileigh isn't obeying.
I get to do some other things like ride in the car, go to the store, and take baths. But this is what I did today and it made me really tired and ready to suck my thumb and go to bed.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

I'm a Desperate Housewife

Last night I felt like Mother Hubbard. I went to my cupboard and realized we had nothing. No milk. No fruit. No cheese. No eggs. No noodles. No peanut butter. No bread. No chicken tenders. I happened to be on the phone as I was contemplating dinner and when I shared with my friend my situation she sent her husband over with some food. I was embarrassed but thankful for Eggo waffles and eggs.

So today we set out for the Commissary. Over $300 later we returned home. $80 of that is baby formula and dog food...just think how wealthy we would be without babies or dogs. The bareness of my fridge emphasized its need for a cleaning. So as a car payments worth of groceries sat on the floor thawing to room temperature something came over me and possessed me to unassemble my entire refrigerator. You may think I'm exaggerating but if there was a piece of the refrigerator that was removable I had it in the sink in soapy water. An hour later and a close call with a slippery glass shelf my refrigerator looked like it had just rolled off the Sears show room floor and into my kitchen.

Not only is it clean but it is organized. All my coffees and creamer sare on one shelf. My condiments are nicely organized in the door according to category. Apparently I should have done this awhile ago as I realized I have 4 open mustard containers. I could go on about how nice and new my refrigerator looks and how I can't decide what to make for dinner because there are so many choices...but that would just emphasize the other side of the coin...how pathetic it is that I'm this excited about my clean refrigerator and how much I enjoyed the process.

The fact that I spent my afternoon engrossed in an activity that Bree Van de Kamp would be proud of is rather unnerving to me. Have I lost myself to this degree as a result of four months of evening conversations with three children under five? Is this what a 120 can do to an otherwise relatively sane stay at home mom. Perhaps my clean refrigerator is a mental safe zone. It's my area...free from little ones that tear through a room leaving destruction and debris in a previously spotless environment. I feel in control, of something...even if it just is how I organize the yogurt and whether or not I put the juice in the door or on a shelf. The food cooperates, I don't have to tell it twice, and it stays that way until I decide further!

I'm not sure if I'll color my hair red but I am sensing a greater need to reconnect with the me inside the Mom, too. I'm afraid further hair coloring would damage whatever remaining brain cells I have after three pregnancies in the past five years...so I may have to find another way to stretch myself. But as my friend Lisa so eloquently wrote,

"I love being a mom, but that's not the sum total of who I am. There's so much more to ME than that. I am starting to see a light at the end of the proverbial tunnel, flickering ever so slightly as the girls get a little bit older. I never want to be less than a mom, but I certainly want to be more than that. My girls deserve to grow up with a good example of what it's like to be a whole person."

Ditto girlfriend. Do you need a back up singer?

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Can this be true?

I gained a lot of insight to my friend's personality in her recent blog post. I decided to take the same surveys and see if we have anything in common as friends. Not much...but maybe it's the old opposites attract.

You Should Get An Asian Inspired Tattoo

Mysterious and expressive
You like to show off, but you also like to keep some allure

You are Sneakers!

You're an active girl, who's all about function
You dress for the occasion - comfort comes first
Your perfect guy? Someone who can keep up with you.
You'll find him - but you might have to slow down to see him!

Your Dominant Intelligence is Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence

You are naturally athletic and coordinated, good at making your mind and body work together.
Sports are fun and easy for you, especially those requiring good hand - eye coordination.
There's also a good chance you're a great dancer, or good at expressing yourself through body language.
You learn best by doing, and you feel like you've always got to be moving (even if it's just your hands).

You would make a good athlete, physical education teaches, dancer, actor, firefighter, or artisan.

You Are Bobby Brainy

Ultra competitive, you will do almost anything to win. From pull ups to pool sharking, you're very talented.
And while everyone is aware of your victories, they still (affectionately) consider you to be a little brat!

Spooner Pumpkin Farm

This is our third October visiting Spooner Pumpkin Farm. The girls always love it and every year they add something new like this years corn maze for little kids. The weather was beautiful, dare I say almost too sunny for our photos!

"I want a pumpkin THIS BIG Mommy!"


Brooke enjoyed being able to stand up with the assistance of a pumpkin.

Bed Head

Could she really need a haircut at 7 months?

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Brushing What?

I can't really say Brooke has started to brush her teeth yet since she doesn't have any...but perhaps we're establishing good habit early. Every morning she sits in her Bumbo seat in the bathroom on the counter and watches me help the girls with their hair and brush their teeth. A day or two after we started this she grabbed a toothbrush and joined us. I don't know if its ideal for her to be sucking on the toothbrush, but I figure at least it's supposed to go in her mouth, unlike my car keys.
Nice bed head...this is actually very tame, I'll have to get a good picture of her bed head one morning!
I hope she wants to potty train early, too!

Getting Away

Changing Brooke's diaper is very much like wrestling an alligator. She doesn't protest or object, she just doesn't cooperate with the process. If you flinch for a second she flips over and heads off. We almost learned this the hard way on the changing table!
Why is it that all those chubby fat roles are so adorable now...thirty years later, not so pretty!

Sunday, October 08, 2006

7 Months Old!

It's ironic how slowly this deployment is going, yet how quickly Brooke seems to be growing! This is the stage of the baby phase that I really begin to enjoy. If it weren't for the size of a this age (which that factor alone is enough!!!)...I think I would give birth to a 7 month old if possible.

Baileigh and Mckenna are totally into Brooke, almost to a fault. Every time I turn around they have picked her up or are harassing her (playing) in some fashion. Frequently I'm about to tell them to "Stop" and I hear a belly laugh from Brooke that can only be elicited from playing with her sisters. They almost always mean well, they are just getting a little too confident in her abilities.

Brooke has developed quite the fondness for a little zebra blanket that is about the size of a burp clothe. When she pulls it up to her face and pops her thumb in her mouth it means bedtime. Frequently I'll come into her room to get her out of her crib and she has it over her face waiting for me to pull it off and say "boo!" This game never seems to get old!