Wednesday, July 30, 2008


We were very excited to host our cousins Paul, Connie, Lydia, Rusty and RuthAnn last night while they were en route to Wilmington. I think Rusty has a new biggest fan in Josh, who was extremely distressed when he realized that Rusty was not going to be staying at our house longer, even though Josh was begging for "three more days." Molly also was thrilled with all of the attention she got from Lydia and RuthAnn--too bad I'm not such a fun playmate!

We also learned yet again the futility in taking group pictures of children.

With all these fun cousins here, I think Molly forgot I was her mom!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Happy Birthday Chris!

We celebrated the beginning of the last year of Chris' mid-30s today with a pool party with Steph and the Finks. Josh is continuing to hone his skills in blowing out other people's birthday candles before they get a chance.

Church marathon

Today our church small group volunteered to set up for the worship service, which is quite an undertaking because our church meets in a YMCA gym. We had to arrive at 8 a.m., two hours early, to unload and set up everything from chairs to the sound system. Luckily the YMCA gym is a great place for kids, and Josh and Molly made it one piece through set up and the service.

Here are Josh and some buddies playing on the suspended track over the gym:
If I could just get one of these suspended tracks installed in my house, we'd never had a problem getting Josh to nap.
We brought Molly's push toy for entertainment, but unfortunately forgot to put it back in the car during church. It caused a bit of a distraction near the end of the service when another little kid found it parked in the corner and started pushing it around the gym.
We'll also take a moment here to mourn Molly's cute outfit, which she drew on with a Sharpie she found on the name tag table before church. If anyone knows how to get permanent marker out of clothes, please send me your tips!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Packin' on the Pounds

We learned the shocking news at Molly's 18-month appointment this week that she has gained two pounds, a 10th of her previous body weight, in three months! She is now 34 inches tall and 22 pounds. Maybe she's just been a slow gainer in the past, or maybe we need to be more prudent with the chocolate chips. Either way, we're glad that her shorts and pants now fit properly, and hopefully sagging will be a style of the past.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Anything for Chocolate

Josh was not interested in having his picture taken this afternoon, but as soon as I offered chocolate chips in return for a "nice picture" with Molly, he was all smiles. Of course both kids took off for the kitchen as soon as we took the last picture. These pictures also show both kids' disproportionately large feet--it's not just the camera angle.

Here's Molly saying one of her new words, "ball."

Friday, July 18, 2008

There has been much rejoicing

Disclaimer: If talk of bodily functions and potties makes you squeamish, skip this post. I'll put more pictures up this weekend.

For the stronger of stomach, this picture illustrates what our week has been like. Crazy things have been happening!
The worst of it has been that Molly is going into day seven of a bout of the trots. Take my word for it, it's been gross. So gross that we've stayed close to home all week because of the frequent diaper and outfit changes.

Two days ago I just didn't feel like changing yet another diaper, so I sat Molly on the toilet and told her to poop. Magical fairy dust must have filled the room, because she did! We cheered and clapped and ran in circles around the bathroom to celebrate this momentous occasion. For those of you who listened to my weeping and moaning and gnashing of teeth during the record-setting eight months of potty training with Josh, you can imagine my elation at our 18-month-old using the john. The best part was it wasn't a fluke. She will pretty much go any time I put her on the potty. It's probably too good to be true, but for now we are overjoyed that Molly might potty train before she's four years old. Please, please, please let that happen.

So while we've been hanging around the house, we got out the old tunnel, which doubled as a somewhat scary movable pillar.

Molly finally had enough of being chased around by the tunnel, so she headed to the bedroom with the phone. Occasionally we get glimpses of life in 15 years, and I'm sure this was one of them.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Weirdness abounding

As part of Josh's therapy, he spends an hour a day listening to modulated music (i.e. Muzak). We're not sure how this is supposed to work, but there is plenty of research showing that therapeutic listening helps with sensory issues. We're up for anything, so Josh's "listening" has become part of the morning routine.

This morning he made himself comfortable in a plastic box on our bed to do his listening. Chris and I could only gape at the weirdness, then make a run for the camera.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

A year of blogging, or 5 kids + 1,500 square feet = crazy.

It is fitting to celebrate the first anniversary of my blog with a picture of the people who started it: Maggie and Alex from Iowa. My very first post was this time last year when we spent the day with them in Iowa, and this year they came to us (via a very long drive around the East Coast).

Shelley is on her way to earning an award for sainthood or craziness for her month-long driving tour of the Eastern U.S. with three kids, and we were very glad that they made our house one of their stops. We met baby Sara for the first time, and Josh had a great time reconnecting with Maggie and Alex. Things got a little crazy with five kids in our small house, but we all thoroughly enjoyed their visit. The only person missing was Corinne, who decided to attend her graduate school classes rather than join us this year.

We spent most of our time at the park, the YMCA (where we managed to get five kids into five different childcare rooms so we could go running) and the pool.

A word from Molly

At last, we have an official first word from Molly (not counting "uh-oh," "Mama," "Dada" or "woof").

And the winning word is . . .


Or, as Molly pronounces it, Djosh. We're very excited to be making progress in our communication with Molly, as words will hopefully replaced the high-pitched screeching that I'm sure has permanently damaged my hearing.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Yet another milestone

On Saturday, we made a last-minute decision to take five children under the age of 5 to the wedding rather than leave adults home to babysit during the ceremony. I'm proud to say that Josh is the only kid who lasted through the entire 40-minute service. Other than (quietly) asking me what to do with a large booger he had dug out halfway through the ceremony, he was very well behaved. We're glad to check off "sat through a wedding" from Josh's list.

Here is the bevy of little girls in my family that surely are going to make Josh crazy at future family gatherings. We have yet to determine a ringleader.
From left to right are Allie (my cousin's daughter), Elizabeth, Abbey and Molly:
We're learning that one of the impossibilities of life is getting a decent picture when the adult-to-child ratio is less than 2:1.

Swimming on the farm

We made the big drive to Florida this weekend to attend a family wedding, and we stayed at my grandmother's farm with my parents and Jon and Amy and the twins. When we were kids, swimming at the farm involved a water hose and a wash tub. Molly, Josh and the twins were upgraded to an actual pool, which they seemed to enjoy.
Here's Josh "diving" as he called it, which really meant a long running start before stopping and jumping over the edge into the pool.
This is how we wash the kids' hair in the bathtub, and it was twice as much fun to pour water over each others' heads in the pool.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

The aliens have landed

As part of our ongoing quest for late afternoon entertainment, I sent Josh and Molly outside today with a box of chalk. Half an hour later, it looked like a UFO had landed on our driveway and its passengers had been smooshed into the sidewalk.

I asked Josh who these creatures were, and some of you will be pleased to know that you are now represented in chalk on our driveway. For, example, here's Chris:

Molly served as the assistant to the artist today, carrying the chalk box and picking up the chalk pieces Josh left in the wake of his drawing frenzy.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

From the beach to . . . bubble wrap

I must admit it's been a bit of a downer to get back into daily life after our week at the beach. Yesterday's excitement peaked with the arrival of a large package (Steph, Em and Randy--RB is here!) wrapped in bubble wrap. After the kids played in the big box, they got great amusement out of popping the bubbles. Molly would cackle while Josh jumped on the bubble wrap. It's a regular party around here.

A side note: The green shirt Josh is wearing, which he refers to as the "YMCD" shirt (it's from YMCA camp) has now superseded Gator shirts. He wants to wear this shirt every day, and he's even pulled it out of the dirty clothes hamper and the washing machine to show me it's wearable yet again. Mom and Dad--if you want to retain Josh's loyalty, you're going to have to step it up.