Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Black & White Wednesday

It's been so "Dog-gone" busy around here of late that I have not been able to play along with Lisa's Black & White Wednesdays for some time. But I just had to share a pic ( or 2! ) of our furry girl, Lexi, as she really & truly is......both black AND white, photo treatment or no treatment!

Here are the vitals on our furry baby:

Age: 10 1/2 by Dog standards that makes her a genteel lady, one in her upper 60's. BUT absolutely NO ONE believes that's she's anything other than a puppy due to her boundless energy and sass!

Breed: Lexi is a Maltese and was considered a "teacup" at birth. By the time we first glimpsed her it was clear she was going to exceed the expected 4 pnds. most teacups average. We laughed, scooped her up and called her our "cappuccino mug"! Nowadays at 9 pnds. we've dubbed her "our platter". We love our furry girl so!

A bit about her: Hmmm....loves chicken & ham. Heart of a lion and I don't honestly believe she knows she's tiny. What she lacks in size she more than makes up for in tenacity. The big dogs on the block are both fascinated and a bit intimidated by her....LOL........she loathes water & shakes & shivers if she knows its her day at the groomers. :) She's fiercely loyal, playful, sweet as sugar and most definitely is a Mama's girl. (which I LOVE ) A bit neurotic about being left alone for too long.......and still a touch indignant about these 2 fur less kids that invaded her scene. ;) Nonetheless she adores and guards those very kids as if her life depended on it, day in & day out.

She made co-sleeping fashionable long before it was, tolerates Halloween costumes, doggy sweaters and dresses at Christmas ( at Lauren's insistence ya know!) :) and takes so little, while giving us all SO very much.

She's a bundle of contradiction and we couldn't adore her more!

I love this last one.....I call it, "Kissy Face"......Tyler is so intent on kissing her, all puckered up and ready.....and Lexi....well, she looks a bit me??

And just in case I don't make it back on to post again before Easter ( company, etc. ) Wishing you all a grand Easter and I'll be anxious to check back in with you all when I can!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Spring Has Sprung.......

Spring HAS sprung, or at least for now! Will it last? Naw...most likely not ~ I suspect that we will see a bit of chill return before Spring finally settles in for a modest stay, BUT given this gift of almost 70 degree temps and blue skies recently, its hard to begrudge Mother Nature her fickleness here in the Midwest!

Of course I'm behind once again in staying current and since Tyler tackled my blogging duties for me last week, it didn't seem right to expect someone else to do so this week ~ besides my bribe for Lauren didn't work out! LOL But I have to say that he was so tickled with every one's kind comments and each day pointed eagerly to our "putish" to see if there were any new ones for Mama to read aloud. ;)

I'm a wee bit behind on all things green too........but don't worry, because just like previous years our home was once again selected to be visited by those merriest and mischievous of leprechauns. AND whoa boy, did they leave a whopping mess behind this year! O' yikes & O'lley cow! Toilet paper chains adorning the chandelier.......puzzles dumped.....books found in the refrigerator......and lipstick on a pig! naw...not really...not the last one anyways! ;)

In return for their mayhem and mischief they were gracious enough to leave behind a sprinkling of chocolate coins and a trinket or two for each kiddo. Every year Lauren fears they might not choose our home, so she always makes certain to leave a welcoming note and this year several chalk drawings on the sidewalk. Extra insurance I guess! Sadly as it was a hectic school a.m. I didn't get photos like in previous years, but I probably won't ever forget the look of joy on her face when she discovered several small toys stuffed into the sleeve of her jacket or his face, gazing about in wonderment and awe, all the while whispering, "uh oh". Uh oh indeed.....a fresh mess for Mama! :)

And with Spring....even pseudo early Spring comes the return of our neighbors and the sounds of children screaming with delight while dashing through the neighborhood. While I can't claim this is my favorite season of the year, I do relish hearing what is new with the many neighbors who hibernated for the bulk of the winter and I never tire of hearing our doorbell ringing and seeing anxious little faces peering in to see if Lauren can out to play.

Its a bit exhausting too......knowing you need to squeeze in as much as possible while it lasts......3 trips to 3 different parks, with 3 different friends in 3 days! Hmmm....try saying that 3 times fast! *grin* Almost like getting your "baby arms" back, you need to work that sun kissed, wind chapped stamina right back up ~ and honestly its a pleasure to do so again after a snowy winter.

Today I watched Tyler chase an old leaf ~ a remnant of Autumn ~ while it tumbled and danced in the breeze. He was was I, witnessing such pure child delight. Each day he has studied the bugs with such intensity and spotting a spider today prompted raptures of glee and a requests for "ishy bishy" ......spider! He has no fear and bends right down for a better look......I'm looking too, sighing with contentment as another season begins to turn.

Here are a few photos all taken yesterday on St. Patty's Day! Happy weekend to you all!

Poor quality picture BUT he actually smiled and looked my way! He's been turning his head when the camera peeks out.....ack! I need a better toddler bribe!

Just before going down the big slide and into Daddy's waiting arms.

O' Lauren and O' 2 wee O' Cheeseballs. LOL This was the best I could get of the two of 'em together. I'll take it! :)

Soaring to new heights all the time!

He was mystified as to why these bells hardly made a sound. Then he plucked up a stick and began playing his own tune. I love that about this baby!

My O' Girl seems to be growing in leaps and bounds ~ soon I'll need to wear high heels to stay an inch or two ahead of her! When did that happen? And I can't walk in heels......(sob)

And my favorite of the day..............Irish eyes a' smiling for certain.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

From the Mouths of Babes......

Shhhh.....hey, can you all keep a secret? Yup, thought so! Kay, its like this Mama's been real real busy ( I consider it a point of pride that I'm able to keep her so distracted) and since she completely missed out on sharing the finer points of me turning 19 mos. AND she's already 2 days late on announcing my status as a 20 month old ( is it just me, or that does that sound pretty old? Hey, does this qualify me for borrowing the car?) I decided to take matters into my own hands and bring you all up to speed on......well, on....little ole me!

Wow, lots has changed since her last update ~ it is after all my job to keep this family on their toes! What self respecting toddler doesn't mix things up now & again? I guess the biggest change would be my explosion of words. I've always been of the chatty sort, but lately I've gotten a charge outta sprinkling in new words (sometimes 2 or 3 ) every day. I know, I know.....there I go spoiling the "fam" again, but honestly you should see how goofy they get when I spring one of my zingers on 'em. AND whoa.....if its 2 or 3 words put together......hold onto your hat cuz its a riot of joy around here. I mean what fella doesn't like a bit of clapping and attention from time to time? I mean, its not like I've split the atom or anything, but they sure do get a charge out of me hollering out, "no, get own(down)" to the small kid with fur or, "yesh(yes) more, peash(please)". Oh, I know what you're thinking, that I only pepper in those pleasantries like "peash" and "ank you" to curry favor. Puh-lease! Would I stoop to that? Well, yeah, probably....but seriously it makes my Mama so darn tickled when I say "ank you" that I just can't NOT say it. I mean, have you seen her goofy grin? Then there is the added perk of usually getting what I'm requesting when I add in "peash" & "ank you"......I mean its a no brainer, really.

Hmm...what else, what else. OH YEAH.....I busted outta that high chair last month! Whoooo hoooo! No more trays and sticky cushions for this fella. That's right folks........(wait for it....wait for it....) I'm in a booster! I mean, O.K. yeah, it does have straps and straps to the chair also, BUT surely this means I've graduated up to some kind of special big boy I right? Am I right? :) It has HUGE advantages too......cuz now, if I'm quick ( and OH YEAH, I am!) I can sometimes snag a dish right from the table and help myself, just lickety split! AND I sit between Mama and Lauren now........clearly a rose between thorns! LOL Ummm...hey, don't like tell them I said that, k? Other perks include being able to toss things down discreetly to that furry kid (she'll eat ANYTHING!) and ham it up for the whole table to enjoy! In fact just the other day I threw my napkin right down on the floor.....oh yes, I did......and then pointed to it and said, "garbage" in my best big boy accent. I tell ya, I had the whole table in stitches. And the best part? Hmmm mmmmm.....Daddy had to pick it up and snag me a fresh one! Booo-yah!

What else, what else? Oh, I run pretty fast now and Lauren taught me how to attempt somersaults....I almost got it! You might call it a work in progress. And once in a while ( oh, alright, everyday) I can be found dancing up a storm to my fave songs ( I like an eclectic mix of Barney's Greatest Hits, Nursery Rhymes, Elmo's Song, The Beatles and anything on Mama's Ipod) ohhhhhhhhhhh.....that Ipod, the emphasis being on the "I" in, I wanna have that thing all to myself! Oh sorry.....where was I? Ah yes.....I dance, I sing (yes, I do) I walk up and down the stairs all by myself ( well, in the interest of full disclosure, someone always follows behind or beside me, but still.....) I can jump and actually get both feet off the ground at the same time and I love to walk backwards if and whenever possible! I don't need to know where I'm going, just where I've been......or that what my Sis taught me to say if questioned! Course when I say it, it comes out sounding more like, "I don et tu going, est whet I bin"......but you get the drift! *wink*

Course lots has stayed the same too. Still "lika" the grub and now I will eat meat. Not crazy about it, but it has its place. Luv juice, but rarely get it and then its watered down when I do.....blech! I use a spoon and fork like a pro and prefer to feed myself. But sometimes I still let Mama help me seems to make her happy & all.

I'm still a voracious reader and just the other day Mama clocked us at 30 whole minutes of reading before I got restless. Course it helps that I had a snack handy and she let me select a few gems from Lauren's reading basket to compliment my normal faves of :The Big Red Barn, Elmo's Animal Adventures, The Hungry Caterpillar, Mr. Brown Can Moo, Anything Thomas The Tank Engine & The Foot Book. And don't think for one minute that people can skip pages in a book with me around. No sir ~ not with me, thank you very much! Busted!

Oh, and I can count now. This is just how it goes.........Mama, Daddy or Lauren says one and then I say "two", then they say 3, 4, 5, and I chime in with "ix", then they say 7, 8 and I holler out "ninish" and so on. This seems to please them a great deal.....honestly I've had quite the learning curve with these folks.......they get tickled at the littlest of things I tell you! I'm still working on colors, but I can usually find things that are purple and yellow. And I know that Mama's favorite color is "pinksh" and I think its my big sister's too! She's pretty cool by the way(my big sis)......she plays with me and teaches me all kinds of nifty things like making my bottom lip pouty to get extra attention and how to build neat forts. Course she's not so keen on the destroying of the forts thingie I have a penchant for....but, well, at the end the day a guys gotta do, what a guys gotta do! I always give her extra hugs just to let her know there's no hard feelings & all. AND hey, she likes to pick out my outfits so I'm not gonna get on her bad side! Plus.......yeah, wrecking forts and toppling over block towers amuses me. It really does.

Course I still love my cuddle time and enjoy a daily belly laugh.....or 12! People amuse me and I love meeting new people...most of the time. On Mondays me and Mama hang out with some of my peeps at story time and I like that a lot. AND don't even get me started about my passion for the arts and playing outside. Actually I do have more to say on that, but later......

At my last check up I remained super healthy and I'm still a tall drink of water! Hate those shots though........almost done with 'em! (chest thumping here people!) Oh and I could spend all day in the bathroom brushing my teeth . Love that stuff! this what bloggers do all the time? This is exhausting. All this banging on the keyboard is wearing me out, so I'm gonna share a few recent pics and bid y'all goodnight. Thanks for stopping by and remember.....this is our little secret!

All tuckered out........momentarily that is.......
That's right people.....I can undress myself! ...taking on the world one tiny "onesie" at a time!

So we woke up one day it was almost 60 degrees! The "no"(snow) was melting and that bummed me out at first....but I found a few big drifts left over AND discovered something magical happens when snow melts.....that's right ~ puddles...and lots of 'em! I a picnic table....patiently waiting....wha? No food? Oh yeah, I've also started giving Mama the stink eye when I've had enough of the camera thing. I'm still working on my disapproving head nod.

Kinda messy....but that's no problem for me. There is NO job to big to tackle.

Did I mention there were puddles??? Giant, wet, glorious puddles.....a bit frosty, yes....but puddles here people.....puddles!

Remember my love of the sidewalk chalk? I'm back baby, I'm back(!) and my canvas is larger than ever! Plus, check out my sweet ride......yep, I'm a leftie too!

Places to go, people to see. I consider it a job well done if my family is pooped by the end of the day. I mean, someone has to keep them on their toes, right? Plus, did you notice I used the word "poop"? (devlish grin and giggle) Yeah, that tickles me.....
Oh, props to S-man over at 12,450 Miles for giving me this clever idea. Sometimes his Mama is tuckered out at the end of the day (week?) too, so its extra nice when we pitch in and help. But don't worry, our Mamas love it ~ every last minute of it......and my Mama will be back soon with some other installment or something or whatever it is she does on this blog! :)

xoxox Tyler

Monday, March 8, 2010

Beautiful Blogger

Thanks SO much to Kelli at Life With My Little Prince for nominating me for this award! In the past, I admit that I have sometimes neglected any award duties that have come my way(not that I receive tons or anything...LOL) and usually its been due to lack of time to play along or fear of leaving someone out who I wish to honor. But this award is too juicy to pass up and though I would very much like to award ALL the bloggers who I know, frequent & love with this honor, its my hope that by sharing it with a handful, it will trickle onward and find its way to all the amazing blogs and bloggers gracing the blogosphere!

I've made no secret of my admiration for the many talented, compassionate, thoughtful and incredible bloggers I have had the pleasure of "meeting" and not surprisingly I always take something.....something pretty gosh darn wonderful, from each & every blog that I visit. I have been privileged to follow along with your families and your adventures and feel richer for it!

I also wish I could give this award to all the many folks who take a moment in their busy days to peek at our daily happenstance and leave a friendly or supportive comment ~ they mean so much and truly help to keep my blogging perspective fresh and fun! AND thanks to absolutely everyone who emailed me or left a comment sharing tidbits and tips about our Disney trip! They were all SO helpful! Yup, I loved the well wishes too! :)

Soooooo....without further delay, here are my nominations: ( cue Oscar music please....)

Jen of Bringing Home Baby #2 ~ Beautiful Mama (and blogger) extraordinaire to the gorgeous Simone & Sam and absolutely my bloggy BFF and sounding board! Sometimes you just meet someone that you feel like you have known forever & could share anything free of judgement. That's Jen! I *heart* ya my friend & value your amazing perspectives!

Wanda of At Last....Milana's Comin' Home ~ because she enchants me with her breathtaking photos(lovely lovely girls and sweet Milana IS home!!), artistic soul and beautiful Mama's heart. She makes blogging look easy even when its not!

Tiff at Blessed with Sweatpeas ~ oh gosh, I just adore everything about her blog. I guess you could say, "she had me at hello". And those sweatpeas? So beautiful! Truly a beautiful Mama with BOTH hope & faith......

Amy at She Writes ~ if you have not stopped by her blog please run, don't walk and take a peek. Hers is a rare gift ~ a magic weaver of words with a champion's heart of gold. A courageous Mama in all the important ways! (Yes, you really are!!)

Rachel of Wherever You Go, Go With Your Heart ~ I smiled to myself just typing this. Rachel has a way of sharing that makes you feel like you are seated across from her sharing a cup a tea. Talented, beautiful, patient and just home with the breathtaking Baby Evie from Ethiopia!!(plus 2 more cuties at home!!) AND she can sew!!

Lisa of Red Thread to our Daughter ~ Lisa and I go way back, at least in the bloggy sense. Lisa always keeps it real and I value her insight into all things family. She's got 2 fab. boys and a diminutive beauty home from Taiwan. Lisa faced a twist in the adoptive road(once upon a time) that would have left even heartiest shattered ~ she handled it with both grace and faith ~ a beautiful blogger indeed.

Staci of Two in Taiwan ~ Beautiful inside and out and a Mama I greatly admire. Gorgeous kids and an infectious love of life! And her photos? Stunning! (private blog)

Tracy of Anna Banana and Baby Pancake ~ Beautiful girls, beautiful family, beautiful spirit ~ always graces a blog she visits with THE sweetest comments and spreads a bit of sunshine with each post or comment she shares. (private blog)

Jules of Pink Velvet Baby ~ our babes share a special connection and in Jules I see a loving Mama and lovely spirit. Her journey to Mama hood was long and winding but she never lost faith. Beautiful Miss H. has brought such a flourish and delight to her days and I know this because she never fails to share her incredible blessing and feelings of incredible joy in her creative and oh so pretty blog! And she's got incredible fashion sense!

AND please note that I would have liked to have given this to a few other gals too(Christine, Sarah), but alas they were already nominated by other bloggers. Drat! :) I have a few new bloggy friends too I would love to honor, but don't wish to scare 'em away! LOL AND a few who are taking a small hiatus ~ maybe I can catch them next time!

AND I know I should be embedding the appropriate blog links for sharing, but by golly I must be the last blogger on earth who just does not know how to do that! :( Anyone care to give a gal a quick tutorial sometime? :) But all of these spectacular ladies can be found on my blog roll with the exception of the private gals! Please stop by and leave them all some sugar! :)

Finally and yes, this is turning out to be quite long (sorry) the final part of this award is to share 7 things about.......well, ME. (gulp) Its always so much easier writing about the kids! Here goes....

1. I love to workout and get crabby if too many days go by without exercising.
2. I rarely drink milk ~ ugh ~ hated it as a child, but LOVE yogurt. Go figure! :)
3. I have a small scar on the left cheek of my face from having a birthmark removed as a child.
4. The birthmark was pink and roundish and was called, "an angel's kiss". Doctors feared it could become cancerous, so it was removed in grade school. I don't think of it often, but I also rarely touch that part of my face.
5. If I like a song, I REALLY like a song. I would rather listen to one or two favorites on my Ipod than a huge mix of songs.
6. In 6Th grade I played one of the "Buzzards" in the Jungle Book play. LOL I was beyond proud and I think my Mom earned an extra set of wings by feigning enthusiasm for her daughter, the buzzard. :)
7. I can barely choke down coffee. LOVE the Diet Coke (but am trying to quit!)

Wishing you all a great day!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Mickey Fever

Thanks to the incredible generosity of a friend & coworker at Scott's school, we will be heading to Disney World this summer and staying for free at their lovely timeshare resort and condominium. I can't even begin to express how fully we appreciate this and it will be a first visit for both kiddos! I don't honestly know who is more excited........Lauren or her Daddy and I! LOL Tyler will be tickled too, but honestly right now he's just happy pushing his Tonka truck around! Oh, and he's ready for Mama to be done with this "blogging biz-ness" for the day!! ;)

We are staying for 7 nights but only plan to spend 2 or 3 days at the actual parks. We also plan to spend a day or more at the beach(the gulf side is our favorite!) and visit one or two other attractions. We absolutely wish to take in the Magic Kingdom as we believe both children will adore it, but are not completely certain about what else is a must see.

From following along with other fabulous blogs out there, I KNOW many of you visit Disney yearly or just about yearly and I am hoping that you might take a moment to leave a comment with any tips or must see attractions we should plan to do while visiting the park(s). We are hoping to schedule a "Character" breakfast or lunch and have heard that Epcot might be best for dining with a larger range of Disney characters? We do plan to rent the double (big kid) stroller as we know Tyler will probably get worn out long before he's ready to leave for the day! :) And what about those Fast Passes? I've heard they are lifesavers!

Any other tried and true tips or suggestions? I welcome them all and appreciate them SO MUCH! Disney World or bust!

Happy Friday to you all and happy weekend!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Black & White Wednesday Once Again

In their eyes..........

~ I see dozens of multi-hued sunsets, both here & in far away lands......

~ I see the innocence & joy of childhood......

~ I see beauty in even the smallest of moments.....

In their eyes, I witness the miracle of God each day.

The top photograph is one I've cherished for some time. Lauren's eyes are so expressive and the quote, " eyes are truly the window to the soul" seem to resonate so readily within those peepers. They also reflect so clearly her beautiful, diverse and blended Kazakhstani heritage.
And our sweet boy, whose eyes always seem to hold a moment of laughter or barely suppressed mischievous glee ~ you have to peek carefully to see his eye peering out from behind the tiger and I almost missed it myself the first time! In fact at first glance I thought this photo (taken the day before the CNY) was a miss......I'm so tickled I looked a bit closer!
Happy Wednesday my friends! Wanna play along? Join us at Lisa's Black & White Wednesdays at The Long Road to China.