Sunday, June 28, 2009

Grant's Quote of the Day

"I love Rhett more than frogs!"

It was supposed to be a compliment, I am assuming, because he said it with "love" in his voice. However, the comparison is confusing because Grant does not like frogs in any way, shape or form. So the literal meaning of his "love" statement is not very loving, is it? ha ha

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Friday, June 26, 2009

Spoonfuls of Sugar - Literally

It's late. Really late, and Grant should be in bed asleep right now. And actually, he WAS in bed. I put him to bed at 8:00 p.m. and laid there with him for two hours just praying he would fall asleep as he was in a FOUL mood today and I was doing all I could to protect tomorrow's mood. I should've known it would all go wrong as most of my plans that involve Grant do: The child was still wide awake after those two hours, and since I had not yet had dinner and was starving, I let him get back up while I ate. No, this is not normal for him, but today was not normal. The main problem is that he fell asleep on the way home from Tomball this evening as I loaded up the boys and went to see my x co-teaching partner, Angie's, new baby. You don't have to know much about kids to know that a nap at 6:00 p.m. is NOT good for bedtime - thus the reason why he did not sleep at 8:00 p.m. and why he is STILL not asleep.

Moving on to my story - so I'm sitting at the computer going over emails and blogs that I follow when he comes up to me and says in his guilty voice that he gets from his Aunt Jessica, "Is it bad to eat a lot of sugar?"

My immediate thought: WHY is he asking me this at 11:00 p.m. when he is supposed to be on the couch watching "Curious George"?

My immediate gut feeling: CRAP!

You guessed it - he got the bag of sugar from the pantry and according to him, he ate three spoonfuls of it. (Who knows. It could have been MUCH more than that. He probably lied to protect his own hide.)

So, I'm off to put him to bed for the second time tonight - with three spoonfuls of sugar going through his system.

Why me? All I wanted to do was put him in bed early tonight so that tomorrow would be a better day, eat a No Pudge Brownie and watch an old black and white movie. And thus the saga of my life with Grant continues... I love the boy, but he's gonna cause me to go gray waaaaaaaaaay too soon! That's okay. Someday when he's a successful lawyer or doctor, or even president, he WILL be buying me a five carat diamond ring as a thanks-for-putting-up-with-me-and-not-selling-me-to-Gypsies gift. And folks, I sure have earned it! ;)

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Thursday, June 18, 2009

Sewing Splendor and Monogramming Mehem

**WARNING: Whitney K. = if you are reading this - - -STOP.
You can not read it until Sunday afternoon...

I've been as busy as a bee sewing and monogramming this summer. It truly gives me peace and makes me feel like I'm home, ALONE, enjoying being ME. Reality is that the kids are chasing one another as they run the circular path from the office to the kitchen to the living room to the front hall over and over again while laughing hysterically and throwing in an occasional high pitch scream that only the neighborhood dogs could hear. But thanks to my mom and dad, all I have to do is turn on my machine, and I am immediately whisked away to Happy Sewing World where somehow all loud noises and stresses seem to dissipate and all I hear is the perfect hum of my sewing machine.

I have a customer that just boosted herself to the top of my happy list. She needed gifts for one of her friends whose daughter is due with her first grand babies. And to make it ever more fun - they are twins: one boy and one girl. She wasn't in the mood to do any shopping yet wanted something extra special for these babies. She gave me a few guidelines, but after that, I was allowed to run free with the order. One guideline was that she wanted them to have corresponding outfits with their names monogrammed on them. The other guideline was that she also wanted coordinating hooded towels. And that was it - the rest was up to me, and cost was not an issue. ROCK ON!

Leave it to Janie and Jack to have the perfect outfits, and leave it to Joann's to have the perfect fabrics - let's get started!

Talk about perfect outfits for twins! I think my favorite part is that the girl's outfit is monogrammed in blue, and the boy's outfit is monogrammed in red. I think it helps to give it an extra finished look.

These are the parts of the hooded towels. There are not put together yet, but you get the idea.

Closer view of what will be the hood parts of the towels.

I made this pillow for a special two-year-old little girl, Ingrid, in Texas Children's Hospital here in Houston. She is awaiting a bone marrow transplant, but until that day comes, she continues to be a very sick little girl as she struggles to deal with her disease. My special friend, Alicia, who is one of Ingrid's nurses, (I mean - one can only imagine what Alicia has seen. She rarely discusses work and her patients: It is too painful for her to go back over her day, and she tends to change the subject quickly. But, every now and then she opens up and gives you a small and heartbreaking glimpse into her job. She has seen lots of children and babies die. She has seen insurmountable suffering. She has seen parents struggling for answers as their hearts were breaking over their dying children. May the Lord bless her as she tends to these special patients.) asked that our small group's summer Bible study to pray for Baby Ingrid (you know it has to be extra bad for Alicia to talk about it, so I awaited anxiously to find out this little girl's story). Ingrid is so ill as she lies in her hospital bed. She has extreme diarrhea, which has given her the worst diaper rash Alicia has "ever seen" - and that's saying a lot because you know she's seen a lot. Ingrid is too ill to play or sit up for that matter. To quote Alicia, "She has zero quality of life right now!" After hearing Alicia talk, I felt the Lord pulling at my heart. I wanted to do something for this poor baby girl - SOMETHING. But what?? After further exploration, Alicia told me that Ingrid is a big fan of Dora, which led to a lightning bolt of ideas racing through my brain. I thought about making her a Dora blanket or shirt, but Alicia said that both would probably be ruined due to the diarrhea, so that idea was out. Then I decided that perhaps something that could stay at the top of her bed would be best, hence the idea of the Dora pillow was born. Alicia also shared that Ingrid's room has a T.V., but it can only play VHS and the hospital does not have any VHS copies of Dora. They have DVDs, but no VHS. No prob! Amazon has LOTS of Dora VHS to choose from, and Grant and I had a good time going through the list as we placed the videos we thought she might like the most in our virtual shopping cart. Since she can't play and basically lies around feeling horrible all day, we are hoping the Dora tapes will help her pass the time... The most recent update I received was about two days. Alicia told me Ingrid has been moved to the ICU, but that we could still bring the pillow and the tapes. All that's holding me back is the tapes haven't arrived yet. HURRY UP, UPS! As soon as they do, we are off to the hospital with goodies in tow.

Lastly, I made these shirts for a brother and sister that attend our church. It hit me that I never bought a baby gift for the little girl, Ella, so I decided to make coordinating shirts that she and her big brother could wear to try to make up for my slight oversight...

Do you get it?? Their names are the exhaust coming out the back of the vehicles... And of course there are three Swaravski crystals in the middle of Ella's wheels. A girl needs a little bling, ya know?

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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Crazy Monkeys and Hungry Pigs

We have had such a fun summer thus far. I'm really thankful for that because I was very worried that the summer would be dull and drag on forever as time seems to do when you are home all day - every day - with kids. But for the most part, this summer has had one fun day after another. Today we went on a playdate to Chick-fil-A with one of Grant's favorite church friend, Hanna. (He kept calling her Gabby. I hope that didn't hurt Hanna's feelings.) Grant and Hanna played like crazy monkeys, and both my boys ate like hungry pigs. In all, they ate 18 nuggets. Count them: 18! And they aren't even in high school yet!

Grant and Hanna
No, I do not know WHY he HAD to hold the "bow tie" of napkins up in the picture.
That's Grant for ya...

And this picture is mainly for Uncle Garrett:

I told ya Rhett loves his BaBa BeeBee! He came to Chick-fil-A with us!

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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

And the free blog makeover winner is...

My friend, Heather!! Can you believe it?? Out of what was surely at least a hundred entries, Sharon (the girl who designed my blog) pulled Heather's name! How fun! And to make matters even cuter, Heather has chosen to give the prize to our friend, Rachel. I can't WAIT to see what Rachel and Sharon come up with!! And to think, it all began with Jane's cutie-pa-tootie blog...

Congrats, Heather and Rachel! And thanks for introducing us to Sharon, Jane!!

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Sunday, June 14, 2009

Day at the Museum (without Ben Stiller)

My friend, Andrea, suggested that we take the kids to the Children's Museum (click on the blue link and watch the video) here in Houston. GREAT thinking, Andrea! The kids get to play happily indoors while we get stay out of the heat? You get a high-five for that idea.

As expected, the kids (along with Andrea and myself) had a GREAT time despite the hoards of people that were there. One would think that if technology can replace a human heart and make cars run off of cow poop, they would be able to figure out how to make strollers move well in masses of people. But alas, since that has yet to occur in the science world, Andrea and I did our best at maneuvering our buggies. Andrea gets an extra pat on the back though because she was pushing one of those more cumbersome double strollers. She gets a second pat on the back because she just happened to load her car with two strollers - one of which I ended up borrowing since I left the house without packing our stroller. But moving on - - - folks, the Children's Museum was incredible! I mean, I had high expectations, but I never imagined that it would be sooooooooooooo awesome and 100% hands-on. Let's just say that if you are looking at moving to Houston, the Children's Museum is a PERFECT reason to do so - really!! It was so big and so full of activities that there was NO way we could see and do all of it. We tried to hit some of the big attractions/exhibits, but I digress... Let's get on to the pictures for the grandparents, shall we?

***Warning: Although I am sure it will come as a surprise, Grant would not pose for any pictures. Maybe I can get Andrea to teach my kids how to pose for pictures... her kids seem to have it down.

There were old cars that had clear plastic over the doors and hood so you could see all the parts of the motor and what the inside of a car door looked like. (I could care less about that, but Grant got a big kick out of it.) It was also very fun to sit in the old car... (I don't understand this either.)

But Gabby, Alex and Grant thought it was a blast!

We experimented with elasticity... (Who knew that could be soooo fun?!)

And we experimented with gravity...

But then Alex figured out that the flat colorful maze pieces were really fun to play with on the floor.

We tried to lift ourselves using a pully system. Go, Gabby!

There were computerized sorting activities, but the two-year-olds (Alex on left and Rhett on right) had a better time removing the blocks from the rotating conveyor belt...

Rhett is going through a stage where he likes to tell us to be quiet. I guess he thought this area was getting a little too loud because I looked down and found him doing this while while making a "lispy" shhhhhhhh sound...

We experimented with density...

And other science properties that end in "itsy" that I can't quite recall at the moment...

Scientist Gabby playing with atoms...

Grant enjoyed playing with a simulation of molecules.

I mean, who doesn't enjoy playing with molecules???!!

Are we sure this kid is mine??

After that, we headed over to the pretend diner where chefs Grant, Gabby, Alex and Rhett prepared some amazing dishes. Who knew you could fry up so many kinds of foods??

Gabby is "cooking" a delicious meatball sub in the "wood burning pizza oven".

(bummer about the random green stripe in this picture)

Grant and Gabby

I mean, really, this pretend diner had it all!

Including a crazy chef!

After our great meal, we headed over to the vet clinic. Both boys really enjoyed this area. Wonder if they'll be following in their Great-Grandfather Martin's footsteps and become veterinarians??? Grant went straight to work and found a "Mommy Dog" to take care of...

Rhett also found a puppy in need of veterinary assistance.

This is when Rhett went around to anyone that would listen and say, "My puppy!" whilst squeezing it tightly to his chest. Although possibly annoying to some, I thought it was very sweet.

But the most fun thing about the veterinary clinic were the cages you could take your dogs in and out and in and out and in and out and in and out of...

Off to face painting.

Reflection of Gabby painting a lightning bolt on Alex's arm. I take full responsibility for this one - it was my idea. Sorry, Alex...

And how cute is Alex and his kitty face paint??

"Heil Hitler!?"

I thought it would be funny to paint a mustache on Rhett.
He ended up looking like Hitler... ooooooops!
I'm pretty sure this could earn me Mother of the Year.

Baby Hitler (I mean, Rhett) building in the construction area...

Never fear: Project Manager Grant is here!

So much for staying inside; Next we stumbled across "Flow Works", and oh-how-FUN that was!!! It was so fun, we forgot it was 97 degrees outside. There was shooting water and water to shoot. There were tubes and damns and boats and canals and whirlpools and waves and bubbles and big tubs that dumped water and buckets of water to pull up to the big tubs of water via pulleys and... (Whew! Let me catch my breath!)

Rhett and his "boot" (boat).
If only he was a few inches taller...

Alex and Grant experimenting with tubes to change the flow of water...

Look, Mom! I can make an underwater tornado.
(Sorry about the bad picture quality. He made a tornado inside the tall cylinder.)

Grant making waves...

But the coolest part of Flow Works

was the

aqueduct you could experiment with...
Grant would've spent every moment in this one spot if time had allowed it. And I really enjoyed watching these kids who were absolute strangers to one another come together and make the aqueduct work. As you can see, there were many parts and many doors, but with patience that allowed time for the different "steps" of the aqueducts to fill up (that had to be timed with the big tub of water being dumped above them) and a loud count of, "One! Two! Three!" the doors were opened and the water flowed!

The lesson of manipulating the water's path might have been lost on Little Rhett, but he still had a good time playing with the tubes and the trickles coming from them.

What museum experience wouldn't be complete without a lunch consisting of good table manners and friendly conversation?
(I gotta be honest = This CRACKS me up every time I watch it! As you can see, Alex and Rhett are two peas in a pod!)

And all this time, what was sweet baby Mackenzie doing?
She was chillin' in her stroller,

enjoying some one-on-one time with her mommy,

and sleeping like the perfect easy-going baby she is!!!! Wow! What a little trooper!

And what busy day at the museum doesn't end with the gentleman helping the tired young lady to her car? (I mean, the sweet young lady pushing the I'm-to-tired-to-walk "gentleman" to his car. Hmmmmmmmm - I think he owes Gabby for this one!)

What a FUN day! Thanks for the idea, Miss Andrea!
I'll always look at this picture and remember three things:
1. What Grant's hair can look like even though I really DO fix it WITH GEL.
2. What Rhett's forehead looks like.
3. That Gabby tried really hard to take a stair-stepping picture of us.

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