Sunday, May 31, 2009

About the Kittens ....

Paige loves cats.  She always ALWAYS has.  We all know this.  

She was pregnant with a litter of imaginary kittens for just about seven of the nine months I was pregnant with Nate.  Keep in mind that she was only 20 months old when Nate was BORN.  After seven months of imaginary pregnancy she came to me and said, "Momma, these kitties need to come out!"  And so, Lollypop, Lollypop, Lollypop, Lollypop, and Suzie Snowflake were born.  

We had that litter of imaginary cats living with us for a very long time.  As a matter of fact, we still have an occasional mention of those cats.  

Now that she's older, she's moved on to reading books about cats.  She has lots.  She stays up at night looking at cat pictures and memorizing the names of the breeds of a bunch of cats that are on a cat placemat that's hanging on her bedroom wall (thanks, Grammie!).  She brings her books to me and tells me which cat she wants and why.

Until recent months, I've been able to brush off any cat-buying requests by explaining that I'm allergic.  It worked just fine.  I don't know what changed, but for several months she has been ignoring my allergies and really pushing the cat thing.  She's Paige, so she asks in a super sweet hard-to-resist way.  Please, Momma, Please can I get a kitty?  Momma, I would really love it if I had a kitty like THIS one (pointing at page 92 of her cat encyclopedia).  

We bought Sam Johnson and he seemed to help make her happy.  She carried him all around.  She slept with him.  She played with him.  She loved him.  

No more.

Now, she just really really really (I can't say it enough) wanted a cat.  A real live cat.

The other day I asked her why she couldn't just be happy with Sam Johnson.  She said that he is not REAL.  He is a stuffy and that's simply not the same thing.

I asked her what she would do with a real cat that she can't do with Sam Johnson.  She said, "If I had a real cat I would take care of it, I would love it, and I would name it Bob."

On many occasions I have taken her to Petsmart to look at the kittens there.  They are in cages and can not come out.  She doesn't care.  She will just kneel there in front of the cages and purr at them.  She talks to them.  She sings to them.  She learns their names and their ages and talks about how happy she would be to have one.  She was always willing to stay there as long as I was willing to wait.  It was sweet ... and sad at the same time.  Each time we left there talking about the cats and about how much she really wants one.

One day, my friend told me about how she is taking her daughter to volunteer at the Humane Society.  She said that it's a good way for her daughter to play with dogs and take care of them without actually having to buy one.  I thought it was a good idea.  

It wasn't.

On Friday, I took Paige to the Michigan Humane Society.  I thought that it would be a fun way for her to actually hold a cat (instead of staring at them through the cages at the store).  I also thought that I might ask about how we could volunteer to help out.

You can see where this story is going, right?  You know how this story ends.  It ends with a very happy girl.  It ends as the best day of her life.  It ends with Mommy and Paige sitting on the floor of a small room watching two small kittens romp around.  It ends with me looking at my girl's happy face and me hearing these words come out of my mouth, "So, Paigie, how would you feel about taking BOTH  of these kittens home with us?"  It ends with us BOTH being shocked at my suggestion.  And, then, it ends with my girl looking happier than I have ever seen her.  Then ... she buried her face in my belly and looked up at me to say, "I have never been so happy before that I had tears!  I'm crying tears of joy, Momma."

As we waited for the final paperwork to be completed and for the nice lady to bring us our kittens, Paige looked at me several times and said, "This is not a dream, right?  I'm not dreaming this.  This is REAL."

And now ... we have two kittens.  
Two adorable little kittens.  
Oh, happy day.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Introducing: Truman & Tucker

With tears of joy in her eyes, 
Paige declared today "The best day of my life!"  
Here's why....

I'll write more later.  Just thought you'd like to see them!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Everybody Hop on the Danger Parade

The kids made a bike train the other day.  
I didn't think it looked too safe.  
They didn't care what I thought ... 
until people started flipping over.

Buddy Gorman: Space Hamster

Buddy has moved from a boring old aquarium to this fancy new 'habitat'.  
It's a very exciting move for us all.

It's a Jungle...

My kids are crafty.  No arguments here.  

Yesterday, the girls found a package of foamy sticker letters and wanted to play with them.  Paige used her letters to make something clever and Sarah quickly hopped on the bandwagon.

What started as this .....

Ended up like this .......

Indy and the Professor

We all know that Nate loves Indiana Jones, right?  He has an Indy hat and whip and we recently bought a safari hat that looks like the one Indy's dad wears.  Nate calls him The Professor.

Nate and his friend Christian spent the afternoon yesterday being Indy and The Professor ... and eating popsicles.

These Birds Hate Me

My next door neighbor has a bird nest in her tree.  The babies hatched and I became obsessed with capturing their little fuzzy bodies on 'film'.  

Unfortunately, the mommy bird did not have a photo shoot in mind when she built her nest.  As a matter of fact, she built a semi-photoproof nest.  It was in a spot that always seemed to have the sun at its back and my pictures almost never turned out.  This did not stop me from trying!  I stuck my camera up in the tree and tried to get the right angle with my hand and camera held high in the air.  The result was tons of pictures of branches and (if I was lucky) parts of the nest.  

Finally, a few days ago, I had my chance.  The babies were big enough that we could see them without much effort.  I did what I'd been doing for the past week -- I stuck my arm up into the tree and tried to take their picture.  Only, this time, instead of a picture of branches and instead of chirping babies, those little suckers FLEW AWAY!  Right then and there!  I was mortified!  What if I scared them and they flew away earlier than they were supposed to??  What was I thinking sticking my arm into their tree??  Oh me oh my!  

Well, two of the babies flew out and just kept on flying all over the place.  The third flew to the sidewalk and didn't move.  He didn't seem to know how to get off the ground.  We gave him some space and he hop/flew his way to my friend's front porch.  His mommy came to his rescue and they all flew away.  What a relief!  

It was a big day for the little tweet tweets.  Now they are happy little birdies flying around town like the big boys.  Oh, happy day.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Taikyoku Sandan

Nate had a karate tournament today.  I knew from our experience last year that he had to know how to do his kata all alone in front of the judges.  (Last year, he didn't know it and he ended up doing a dance for the judges.)  

This year, I wanted him to have a better experience because I think that, this year, he knows enough to feel embarrassed if he messes up.  Last year he was just pleased as punch to get a trophy.  

Anyway, he had class on Wednesday and he really didn't know how to do his kata on his own.  He needed help.  I wanted to help him -- but I don't know the moves!  So, I did what any rational mommy would do.   I went to YouTube.  You can find everything there (I learned to make Eggs Benedict on YouTube).  I found a bunch of clips of people doing his kata and I spent the morning teaching myself karate.  It worked!  I am now a blackbelt and will be opening my own dojo in July.

Nate and I worked on his moves a million times a day for the past three days and today he got to show them off.  He was a little bit shy about being in front of the crowd, but he did a really admirable job.  We were proud of him and how brave he was.  He was mostly happy to have a trophy and a sucker (that I still owe him).

If you want to see more karate tournament pictures you can 

Following in Sarah's Footsteps

Paige planted a green bean seed in school.  When we went to open house at school last week she showed us her plant and, much to everyone's surprise, her bean plant grew taller than all of the bean plants in the whole kindergarten.  She was giddy with excitement!

Gardening Girls

I am not a gardener.  I like the idea, I suppose, but I don't typically bother to water anything.  We all know what happens to a garden when it is deprived of precious water, right?  

So, even knowing all about my black thumb, Sarah wanted to grow a garden.  I told her that I'd help her build it but then it was all hers.  I didn't want to be involved in the upkeep at all.  She was satisfied with my terms and we went to the nursery.

We put our plants in containers -- mostly because it was easier and I didn't have to actually dig any holes.  Sarah chose tomatoes, green beans, green peppers, hot peppers, cauliflower, cucumbers, eggplant, lettuce, and strawberries and we made quite a nice garden.  

I'm happy to report that, two weeks later, my girl is still garden-sitting like a pro.  She's taking very good care of her garden and her strawberries and hot peppers are growing faster than the rest.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Slappin' My Troubles Away

Frank has us all running around singing this song: 

Here's a picture of Paige slappin' her troubles away 
(and helping me make dinner).  

Doesn't it just make you want to run out and buy one???

Friday, May 15, 2009

Photo Shoot With Nate

I needed to hurry up and learn to use my camera for real because my friend asked me to take pictures of her son.  Here are some of the practice shots I did with Nate (the only kid home at the time).  

Also, you can see all of the pictures of my lovely little man HERE.


Help Me, Animoto, You're My Only Hope!

I've gone mad!  I can't stop making videos.  

I've run out of fifteen-photos-in-sequence shots.  
Now, when I take pictures, I'll have Animoto on my mind ... you just wait and see!

I Can't Get Enough Animoto!

This one is PAIGE'S video.  She was trying not to let me take her picture while she ate lunch ... but I'm fast on the draw.

Thursday, May 14, 2009


I happened upon a nifty website called Animoto.  

All I had to do was upload a few pictures and pick a song and this site turned it all into a spiffy little video clip!  

You can see my video here: Nate's Animoto Video

I hope it makes you smile!

Flat Stanley

Thanks to everyone who helped Sarah complete her excellent Flat Stanley project!  Her Stanley might not have travelled the farthest, but he certainly visited the most places!  

Thank You Thank You Thank You Thank You

Friday, May 8, 2009

Ahh...Thanks...I Think

This is why I am Mother of the Year......

Thursday, May 7, 2009

I'm the BEST!

In case any of you doubted my awesomeness ...

(Thanks, Beth!!)

Happy Early Mother's Day!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

My Boy

My boy wears these boots.  
Last year's boots.  
Too-small boots.  
Cook-your-feet-in-the-heat boots.  
Because he thinks they look like Indiana Jones' boots.  
He wants to be Indiana Jones.

Our Sad Horse Show

Sarah had another horse show last weekend.  She was all geared up to ride Sport and have a great time.  She had her eye on the gold ... but, instead, she got 4th place.  She was devastated.  So very sad.  

We tried to tell her that 4th is still good and as-long-as-you-had-fun-and-tried-your-best and blahbiddy blah.  She was not interested.  She wanted to know what she did wrong but no one could tell her.  She was sad.  Sad and mad.  

When we got home she was very quiet and then, finally, she asked me if she could just tell people that this was her first ribbon.  Poor girl.  

I still think she did a great job.

Sarah and her friend Sara -- before the show.

Paige ... ignoring the show.

Sarah on Sport.

Nate crossing his fingers ... hoping for a good result.

Fourth!  Even Nate felt sad.

Look at how sad she looked!  Breaks my heart.