Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

It's Pie Time!

I'm a big fan of pie. I absolutely love to make and eat pie so I usually volunteer for pie baking duties on Thanksgiving. This year I'm making two pumpkin pies, an apple pie, and a cherry pie. Yesterday Grace and I made a pumpkin pie for David to bring to work with him and it just about killed us not to eat any. Grace had her little heart set on eating that pie and I confess that I would have liked to have dug in with her! This morning she helped me make two more pumpkin pies before losing interest. I measure out the ingredients and she dumps them in and helps me stir. I couldn't talk her into helping me out with the pat-in-the-pan crust recipe I used for the pumpkin pies even when I told her it was just like playdough. She wrinkled her nose and told me it was NOT playdough and that was the end of her pie making. While the pumpkin pies baked in the oven I put the apple pie together and rolled out the pastry for the cherry pie as well. After a frantic freezer search I realized that I had sent David to work with a cool whip container full of cherries and not the cool whip he needed for the pumpkin pie! So I have the pastry made but not enough cherries to make the pie. I'll have to bring the cherries and pie pastry with us up to Portland tonight and finish the pie up at my Mom's tonight or tomorrow morning. Whoops!

Counting Our Blessings

Most every night this month our family has thought about what we're thankful for that day and we wrote down our thanks on small slips of paper that we put into our Thankful Bowl. Each night we had to think of something new to be thankful for (otherwise Grace was thankful for her toys every night). Here's a small sampling of what we are thankful for:
  • Food to eat
  • Daddy
  • Our Parenting Group
  • Coffee Creamer
  • My Job
  • A warm fire
  • Ethan
  • Music
  • All of my toys
  • Soup
  • Boo (our cat)
  • Our Church
  • Watching movies as a family
  • Staying at home with the kids
  • Our camera
  • Painting
  • Good books to read
  • Indoor Park and MOPS
I like this exercise because it gives more attention to Thanksgiving which is my favorite holiday and one that seems to be more of a pit stop between the "bigger" holidays of Halloween and Christmas. We talk about being thankful all month long and about how important it is to tell God Thank You for all the blessings we have in our life. We are so blessed!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Princess Ballet Dancing

Perhaps by now you have gotten the impression that Grace has a fascination for all things princess and ballerina. You would be right. It should come as no surprise for you to know that the epitome of everything good in the world (according to Grace) is a ballerina princess. One of her current favorite movies happens to be the $5 Target classic Barbie's Swan Lake. Grace has no idea who Barbie is other then that she is a swan princess that does ballet. That is more then enough for her! She received this movie along with the purple dress up dress (hello Target clearance rack!) for her birthday and wears it every time she watches it. She just can't manage the lovely ballet moves without it.

Enjoy Grace's dancing as she watches Barbie's Swan Lake. It's really something to behold.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Princess Turkey

Bet you didn't know that there is such a thing as a Princess Turkey! Before this morning I had no idea there was such a thing either, but Grace set me straight. We went to Indoor Park this morning and it happened to be a craft day so we made toilet paper roll turkeys which turned out pretty cute. Grace isn't so good with the Elmer's Glue so she pointed to the spot she wanted the glue and then applied the eyes/beak/gobble thingy/wings/feet accordingly. She also picked out the turkey tail feathers and chose the order they were applied. That was when she told me it was a Princess Turkey.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Photo Session with Miss Gracie

I haven't done a photo session concentrating solely on Grace for awhile and when I asked her today if she would like to do one she was very interested! We waited until after lunch when Ethan had gone down for his nap and then we snuck outside to take some pictures on the front porch. The rain had stopped but everything was pretty wet which left our backdrops pretty limited. We started off by the rocks and flowers and did some warm up photos with the pink hydrangeas. That's where I got this photo which I think is my favorite of the bunch. What a personality!

I made sure to get some photos of her black "ballet" shoes that are her current favorites. I picked them up at the consignment store this fall and Grace fell in love with them. In her opinion they go with everything, sort of like her other favorite footwear the pink cowgirl boots. She wore those to Cubbies last night.

I finally talked her into sitting on the front door stoop since the red is a nice background and it was one of the only dry spots to be found. I was trying to get some photos of her looking towards the camera and smiling her real smile but that was not in the cards. It never really is. Grace is a happy girl but her natural smile is much more subtle then her brother. She also seems to know how to hide her real smile when there's a camera within sight and hams it up! I like these pictures because they're more real. More like everyday-not-so-cheesy Grace.

Christmas Card Photo Outtakes

Last week I gamely attempted to take pictures of the kids in their Christmas jammies for our photo Christmas cards. Last year the cards didn't happen because I couldn't get a decent picture of the two kids to save my life. Seriously, this is what I was working with:

Needless to say I was dreading this year's pictures a little bit but was hopeful that Grace might not look at Ethan with such a look of disgust and that Ethan might not be screaming his head off. It's been awhile since Grace has flat out refused to be in the same picture as her little brother so that was another good sign.

When the sun came out late last week I jumped on the chance for natural lighting and selected the best lit section of the house, the master bedroom. I taped a white sheet to our closet doors, made sure each child was fed/hair brushed/dressed in jammies/nose wiped and said a quick prayer. Thankfully the kids were in fairly good moods and even sat still for me! I still had to fix the sheet several times as the tape failed a few times. And then the camera battery died. God was smiling down on me that day because despite the short photo session I managed to get some good pictures, or at least good enough pictures for our Christmas cards!

So now you all can enjoy a sneak preview and a few outtakes. Unfortunately I have no decent photo editing software on the laptop at the moment so I'm making due with what I got.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Ode to my Diaper Bag

I love my diaper bag. I bought it with Christmas money the first Christmas after Grace was born and I haven't looked back. Yes it was expensive. No I generally don't spend so much on myself. But it was Christmas money and with Christmas money you can splurge on something you wouldn't ordinarily spend so much on. And thus, despite all of the teasing from David, I bought my Fleurville Sling Tote. It was totally worth it. I love that it's easy to get into and rummage around in, that it has a pocket just for my stuff, holds enough gear to keep two children reasonably occupied and clean for a day at a time, and even attaches to my stroller so I don't have to carry it. It's really a workhorse.

These days I no longer have to carry diapers for two children, and I've even stopped carrying extra clothes for either child. Instead I carry two sippy cups, two snack containers, lots more snacks, a cloth diaper that's used for wiping noses/mopping up spit up/cleaning "accidents"/and wiping crumbs off faces, a plastic grocery sack for any soiled clothing that might need to come home, and all sorts of other goodies depending on the situation. I still love the print and that it doesn't scream "diaper bag!" since I carry it on the rare occasion I leave the house without the kids. I've received more compliments on my bag then I can count and people are usually shocked to find out it's a diaper bag. In fact I'm not so sure I'll be ready to give up my bag once my kids are both out of diapers.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Typical Tuesday

It's a typical Tuesday at the Parry House. This morning the kids and I slept in a little after their late bedtime last night and attempt to night wean Ethan (thus lost sleep!). We sluggishly got ready for the day and managed to get to Walmart for the van's oil change by a little after 10am. After wandering the Walmart aisles for 30 minutes or so we paid for the oil change and swung by the library to drop off a big load of books and pick up the 8th book to the series I'm devouring. I forgot the library is closed on Tuesdays and it was pretty dissapointing to realize I will have to wait until tomorrow to get my hands on that book!

We ended our morning errands at Safeway where we did our weekly grocery shopping. I had already planned out the week's menus and had my budgeted list in hand. I attempted to put Ethan in the grocery cart "car" with Grace and some Cheezits which didn't work out so well. Grace pushed Ethan and he pulled her hair. Bringing children to the grocery store is always such a joy. I came in $.86 under my planned for budget even with a few extra additions I forgot I needed. I loaded up on baking goods since Safeway has good prices on baking basics and offered a $5 coupon if you spend $20. So for $20 I got two bags of flour, two bags of sugar, two bags of brown sugar, two bags of powdered sugar, vegetable oil, and four cake mixes. Not too shabby AND I got a coupon.

After unloading and putting the groceries away, making lunch, and putting Ethan down for a nap I started on the laundry for the day. Today I'm doing all the towels in the house and folded a ginormous pile of laundry. I find that it's much easier to fold laundry while Ethan naps since it's an excercise in patience to attempt to fold clothes and keep them folded if he's around to "help". While I folded clothes Grace busily decorated her princess notebook with her princess crayons and stickers and then proceeded to work on filling her Snap n Style doll's bag with all manner of pink and purple toys. She loves to collect pink and purple toys in bags for some reason.

David is working from home today which means he's wearing pajama pants and taking 300 meetings on the phone. The kids' folded laundry is still spread on the floor since I don't want to wake Ethan from his nap to put it away. Both the dog and the cat are snoozing on the couch, and Grace is wearing her Cinderella costume and shoes which is something she does every day. It really wouldn't do to not spend part of the day dressed up as a princess.

So there you have it. A typical Tuesday for the Parry Family.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

The Big Toy Clean Out

Today was a productive day for the Parry household. Today we dumped every toy in the house (save the big obvious toys like the toy kitchen, doll house, dress up box, blocks...) on the living room floor and weeded out some toys to get rid of. The toy pile was massive. It was the first time we've attempted such a big toy clean up and we managed to weed out lots of things with Grace's approval. We told her we would give the toys away to other kids to play with and she was fine with the idea. Most of the toys that we were able to put in the give away pile were toys that Grace hasn't played with in a long time or that Ethan had outgrown. We wanted to do this before Christmas and the inevitable glut of new toys overflowed our toy storage limit. We have two huge plastic tubs for toy rotation that are now completely empty since all the toys fit in the bookcase in the kids' room, in the toy basket in the living room, or in the living room bookshelf. I'll be saving the tubs to use for toy rotation after Christmas I'm sure.

I'm glad we had the kids help us sort through the toys since we had two goals in mind. One was to thin the stash and the other was to teach Grace that it's nice to share her bounty with others. With Christmas approaching and the talk about Santa Claus and presents already beginning it was nice to take a moment to talk about sharing the blessings we've been given with others.

Friday, November 7, 2008

A Perfect Picture

David had me take 3000 photos of him wearing his suit and tie this afternoon. He wanted to have some professional looking photos of him to use online for various business related sites. Of course David is super hard to please when it comes to liking photographs of himself and is never happy with the results. He's convinced he's not photogenic but I have to disagree. I think he looks pretty darn good! Here's the top 5 photos from this afternoon's photo session, which one is your favorite? Please vote!

Photo #1

Photo #2

Photo #3

Photo #4

Photo #5

Thursday, November 6, 2008

I see spots!

Poor Ethan just can't catch a break. Not only is he underweight, growing teeth, and getting over a head cold/cough/ear infection but he now has spots. That's right, spots. I first noticed his spotted nature this morning and let him run around in just a diaper for awhile to make sure it wasn't heat rash or something similar. The spots stayed so I called the pediatrician's office and talked to a nice nurse who told me that Ethan most likely has a viral rash. Whatever nasty head cold/cough is going around right now occasionally comes along with the lovely red rash that Ethan is now sporting. We're supposed to call if he spikes a fever over 101.5, shows signs of developing another ear infection, or the rash doesn't appear to be going away within 4 days. So for now Ethan has spots.

Ethan doesn't seem to phased by the whole deal. I wanted to take some pictures of his new exotic skin covering to share and so I handed him the Nintendo 64 controller that is "his" to play with and snapped away. As you can tell, he's still a pretty happy guy!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Sisterly Love

Lately Ethan has started to sleep through the night on occasion, though he still wakes up to nurse once some nights. Last night was one of those nights and I stood by the door listening to the tired cry and was hoping he'd put himself back to sleep so I wouldn't have to intervene. Listening by the door I expected to hear some tired crying and wasn't prepared to hear a tiny voice in the dark. I heard Grace say very softly and tenderly "It's ok Ethan, I love you" over and over. After listening to her try to comfort him a few times I went ahead and nursed Ethan so he wouldn't disturb Grace anymore.

But isn't that sweet?

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Pink Obsessed

This morning Grace industriously moved all of the pink toys in the kids' room into her bed and all of the non-pink toys into Ethan's crib. Yes she is obsessed with pink and yes this is what happens when the time change happens and Mommy and Daddy are too tired to wake up at the new 6am. If you're a parent of small children I bet you prefer the spring forward time change over the dreaded fall back. Gaining an extra hour only gains us big messes to clean up!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Trick Or Treat

We had our third annual Halloween with the Cresswells and this year Grace and Jordan were both Cinderella. Apparently Cinderella was a *very* popular costume choice for the 3-4 year old girl set. Grandma did some work on Grace's hair when she got here and managed to use a ring from the stacking toy to make a princess bun. Grace was very happy with her Princess Hair. This year their little brothers wore the same costumes they wore two years ago! Ethan donned Grace's pumpkin costume and made it his own. I don't think I've seen a cuter pumpkin then Ethan. Bennet was a super cute lion.

After a much interrupted homemade pizza dinner we piled the boys in the red wagon and the girls were off and running in their plastic glass slippers and clip clopped their way down the sidewalk. Jordan's shoes flashed blue which was ultra-cool but only lasted about 6 houses before she traded them for the much easier to walk in tennis shoes. Grace refused to take her glass slippers off ALL DAY LONG and thus developed a blister on each of her big toes. She's a total slave to fashion.

The girls were totally cute remembering to say trick-or-treat and then "Thank you!" and "Happy Halloween!" but their creative additions were the best. After a particularly good candy haul Grace made sure to call out "We'll see you next year!" which had us in stitches!

Once we got back to the house the girls dumped their candy out on the floor and inspected their loot. I raided Grace's candy and confiscated all the bubble gum and jawbreakers which I deemed inappropriate and noticed she lucked out and got a package of HoHos. Yum! We talked the girls into eating a chocolate cupcake before jumping into the candy and while they ate chocolate frosting the boys took their opportunity to inspect the candy as well. Grace's favorite candy is Smarties, she still hasn't eaten any of her chocolate candies which may not be smart. David and I are both eyeballing her stash!