To market, to market

Posted October 18, 2012
Posted by Michele

October 16, 2012

I have noticed lately that I do a lot less supermarket shopping than I used to.  My massive coupon-filled weekly Meijer excursions have been replaced with small trips to the local grocery store or farmers market a few times a week. I'd like to say that I have made the switch for noble reasons, such as to support local growers, or to buy more nutritious food for my family.  But let's be honest.  The main reason I do it is because its easier with two kids!

This morning was a cold but beautiful autumn day.  We bundled up and headed out to the farmers market for one last chance to get fresh tomatoes.  There were lots of other goodies there, too.  Luke had a blast helping me pick out produce, especially the decorative gourds (which he calls "my pumpkins"). Then it was on to the tea shop, which just happens to be right next to my favorite consignment shop, so I just had to have a look. :) Since I consign with them I didn't have to pay anything for the gorgeous Boden sweater I found - score! Happy kids, happy mommy!

Here are the boys posing with all of our treasures!

Every time we go to the farmers market, Luke wants to see the animals. I guess that's what I get for teaching him that animals live at farms.  He is always so confused.

Judah's first haircut

Posted October 17, 2012
Posted by Michele

October 15, 2012

For some reason it just seems wrong to cut a baby's hair.  Maybe its because most babies have so little hair as it is.  After all, who would want to mess with this adorable look?

Judah was born with 2-inch-long locks of red-blond that have mostly fallen out by now and have been replaced with short soft white-blond hairs. However, we have a few stragglers.

Those little hairs finally got to me. So tonight it was out with the scissors to give Judah is first haircut at the tender age of one-day-shy-of-four-months.  

He seemed a little taken aback to see scissors coming right at his head.  But in the end he did great!


Posted October 16, 2012
Posted by Michele

October 9, 2012

The first question I always get after "How old are they?" is "How is big brother adjusting to baby?"  Thankfully my response is always the same, because Luke has never had a problem having Judah in the house.  It's quite the opposite. I'm starting to wonder what he did with all his time and affection before Judah was here.

The reason I know that Luke loves Judah is because he declares it about ten times a day. "I love Judaahhh! I love Judah and Mommy and Daddeee!!" These proclamations are usually accompanied by several hugs and kisses to each of the aforementioned beloveds.

I bottle up each hug, kiss, and "I love you". I'm storing them away for my personal use during his teenage years.

Creative Cowboy

Posted October 15, 2012
Posted by Michele

October 8, 2012

One of the most fascinating things about being with kids all the time is watching the level of their play grow as their brains develop. Luke has become very imaginative in his play (a clear sign of brilliance in my opinion).  Usually he acts out scenes involving the usual cars or trains.  But he also has a special affinity to two little guys called Buzz and Woody.  

Today Luke toted Woody around as his special friend. Woody had to have breakfast. Woody had to hold Judah. Luke and Woody rode horses and played cowboys.  Woody was even about to use the potty when I remembered that it was still filled with pee, but thanks to my timely rescue Woody was saved from a drowning that would have very likely been followed by some uncomfortable time in the washing machine.

Howdy, cowboys!

Too Much Cuteness

Posted October 12, 2012
Posted by Michele

October 5, 2012

If you think pictures of Judah are boring, well then you should probably just stop checking this blog.... Because I just can't keep myself from sharing them!

Just try and resist that smile...

ArtPrize 2012

Posted October 12, 2012
Posted by Michele

October 1, 2012

Another year, another ArtPrize!  We are blessed to have this fabulous community event year after year, and we try to enjoy it as much as we can.  With three weeks and plenty of good-weather days, we made several trips downtown to see lots of awesome art. On top of many trips with the boys, I did get one night out with some girlfriends (without kids), which was a definite must.  Viewing art with a 2-year-old is very tricky business.  (Thankfully Luke did not ruin any art, but it was not for lack of trying.)

Luke talks about the penguins with my former student, Mayra, who went downtown with us one morning.

Luke and his friend Sierra show off a BIG dragon!

Back at the penguins for a family photo. (They were a big hit with Luke).  

See you next year!


Posted October 11, 2012
Posted by Michele

September 26, 2012

I've had to get a little creative around here lately as Luke's strong aversion to time-outs has started to wane.  Thus we introduced a little positive behavior support via sticker chart, to much success.  His reward? A trip to Frederik Meijer Gardens.

The weather was looking promising today, and as this is my week to host our friends' child care swap, I offered to take Logan and Ian with us for the day.  I was slightly apprehensive about touring a crowded park with three toddlers and an infant in tow, but really the hardest part of the whole day was installing all of the car seats into our car!  Once we got to the Gardens, we had a blast.

"Wow ma'am, you have triplets AND a baby??"

Tea time: its not just for girls anymore.

Luke's favorite activity is the boats in the Great Lakes, so I always save that for last.  And good thing I did - look at these three soaked boys!

While we've started another sticker chart for Luke, I'm thinking I might need to change the reward.  I don't think we've got many warm days left this year.  So long, FMG children's park, and thanks for a great summer!

Sammie's favorite sweater

Posted October 10, 2012
Posted by Michele

September 29, 2012

When we were pregnant with Luke, Sam's mom went through her old stash of baby clothes and gave us a few of "Sammie's favorites".  Most of the clothes he doesn't remember because he was too young when he wore them, but there was a particular sweater that Sam recalls loving as a child because it had two little mittens sewn into the front.  

When I pulled out Luke's 3T clothes from the attic this afternoon, look what we found.

The string from the hood is long gone, but besides that its in perfect condition!


See any resemblance?

Goodbye, Toby

Posted October 10, 2012
Posted by Michele

September 19, 2012

I remember clearly that chilly afternoon in late November, five years ago.  I was standing in the school office when the bus driver walked through the door, carrying a large brown cardboard box. "Look what I found in the parking lot," she said, beckoning me to peek inside.  What do you think I saw?

Sam received a picture text from me that afternoon.  I think it said something like, "Can we keep him??"

We loved and cared for Toby for many years, but that love and care slowly waned away as our time and attention was drawn to bringing up two little boys.  I began to regret adopting that cute little puppy as his behaviors became a daily source of stress and frustration.  We knew the breed, and we knew that, even if he had proper exercise and attention, Toby would never be a suitable pet for young children.

So we spread the word to all of our family and friends, searching for a new home for our little dog.  But none came.  And we wrestled with the idea of bringing him to a shelter when we knew that he really could be a great pet if we found the right person.

After many prayers and lengthy discussions, last Sunday night we gave ourselves a deadline.  Find a home by Friday, or bring him to the shelter. That was our decision.

So Monday afternoon, I went on Craigslist to put up an ad as a last resort.  But as when I searched for "Miniature Pinschers", something else came up.  It was a post from a family in search of a Miniature Pinscher, "preferably male". This seemed way too good to be true.  I sent an email and said a prayer.

This family lives in the country and wanted a Min Pin to call their own. I told them everything about Toby, and they seemed to think he'd be perfect for them.  Within 2 days we had settled everything (as in, you're really taking him, right? and, I'll give you everything for free, please just take him!)  We met at a park and we handed over 1 rambunctious dog, 1 bark collar, 1 choke leash for walking him, 1 bottle sedation pills for cutting his nails.... Despite everything we said, they seemed thrilled to have him.  And at last, Toby is in a new home!

Here are the final pictures I took of Toby, on his last afternoon with us.  I think the last picture captures the true essence of why he had to go. (And it's way too creepy not to share.)  Praise God for his faithfulness to our family!


Posted October 09, 2012
Posted by Michele

September 17, 2012

Luke's Aunt Bekah is baking at Robinette's this fall, giving us a fabulous excuse to drive out there and sample their fresh doughnuts. We also picked up a chocolate bacon doughnut for Sam, which he claims was really tasty.

After a few minutes chatting indoors, Luke was begging me to let him "play on the bus".  Thinking he meant the preschool bus in the parking lot, I told him we probably wouldn't be able to, but that we could ask the driver. 

The "driver" didn't mind at all!