Monday, August 31, 2009

Choking Back HAM

It's been a little while, though certainly not for lack of hammy material to write about.

More like the abundance that has practically made us choke during dinner, run off the road on the way to church, or absolutely have to call daddy in the middle of the day... we're having some trouble keeping up.

From the Bathroom
Just the other day, while at a thrift store looking for bed rails, Hope spotted a Dora doll unlike anything she's ever seen. She stroked the "Mama Dora's" hair and whispered to her, "You are pwetty. I love you and you love me." I glanced at the price tag, smiled, and worked up a little potty mouth. (The number oneness-- going swimmingly well! The number twoness-- irrational fear out the wazoo!) So Hope and I came to an agreement about going home... while she napped I'd clean up the big Dora, she'd discover the joys of full potty training, and "Mama Dora" would be hers. She didn't even wait until after her nap to try, especially since I pulled out all the stops with a "vidyo" and everything.

But she had just gone that morning, so no luck. After nap, it was back to business. I strategically fed her raisins for a snack and then went upstairs to change Maddie. When I came back down she held up her potty bowl and exclaimed, "Yook! I did it!" Floating in a small bit of water were a couple of the raisins or, should I say, poop impostors. I choked back my laughter for a little discussion about honesty.

From the Backseat
Me: Let's all get ice-cream; it's Friday!

(long, thoughtful pause)

H (gleefully and all but shouting): Well, I'm just gonna share my ice-cweam with all of you because you're pwetty and I yike you!!

Daddy: Being pretty isn't the only reason you should share, you know. God made everyone and He thinks everyone is pretty.

H: Umm, yes.

Then, as an afterthought.

H: You're pwetty too, Daddy!

What a relief.

H (holding her Baby Renee): Oh Mommy, pwease hand me a wipe!!!

M: What's wrong?

H: This baby has a dirty diaper.

M: Oh, no! Well, here you go.

H (peering into the diaper): No, no, no... it's a nasty diaper.

M:Well that--

H (holding it up in disbelief): No, no, no... it's disgusting!

M: Well--

H (wadding it up and throwing it my way): NO, NO, NO... it's super nasty! Slimy! It's a slimy diaper! Super nasty, slimy, disgusting diaper!

Alrighty then. We've always wished Hope would tell us how she really feels.

From the Bedroom
After scaling her crib rails, thus the reason for needing real bed rails, Hope climbed into bed with me one Saturday morning. As usual she had her stack of library books and she flopped them one by one beside me with the request that I read them all. I told her (one of those things you swear you'll never say) that "I just needed to rest my eyes for a few minutes." Maybe she could read to me? "Just hold my hand then," she replied and closed her eyes as if to snuggle back to sleep. A second or less into this sweet moment she changed her mind, "Uhh... just hold my feet, Mama... I don't need those to read."

Choke... gag... gasp... and those are only the ones off the top of my head! :)

Friday, August 28, 2009

Come Away with Me...

... to the Land of Procrastination. Where dishes, floors, loads of the l-word (laundry...shh, it might hear you!), and more are waiting. Where little ones are catching a round of zzz's before all of the above becomes nothing but a hope and a prayer.

Where, I'm happy to say, it's a lot more fun to look at pictures of those now snoozing babes anyway. So, that's precisely what I'm choosing to do.

To help you be the best procrastinator you can be :), here are some photos taken in a favorite, little downtown area near our home just after the camera arrived. I still have a lot of reading and learning to do, both about snapping and editing, but in this land of mine that's part of the fun!

Have a great weekend being productive... or not. :)

Monday, August 24, 2009

Just Another Day...

Just another chance to get dressed "all by myself" while making a fashion statement around town.

And, speaking of chances, head on over to Three Simple Girls for our first ever giveaway. Leave a quick comment (or three!) for your chance to win some handmade goodness for you or for someone you want to bless! Ahh, the sound of for free... :)

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Moments with Maddie- ONE YEAR!

I suddenly realized I never did that twelfth post. I know I got out her birthday pics, but I never put together all the months in that little brown glider. The brown glider that I keep meaning to girly-like distress since we got a Madison, not an Owen, thirteen months ago yesterday. The perfect addition to our family, sweet cheeks and all.

Before I give way to my chitchatting mood, just how have we made it without such closure? :)

I can hardly even believe how much she's grown as I look back to the beginning! Seeing these photos together now, I can't help myself but to hum a little tune.

Isn't she lovely...

Shine on, Maddie girl!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Field of Dreams

I'm not really a techy, gadgety kind of person. My vocabulary alone probably just gave that away.

But, there is one such item that I have been secretly drooling over for... years! It is possible my husband will tell you that the whole thing hasn't been quite so secretive. Either way, I've been wishing, hoping, and really drooling.

I have always enjoyed and admired photography. I laugh now because even Hope gets albums off the shelf almost every day, begging me to tell her what's happening in every photo; then I watch her recount it all with her baby. It's in our blood, I guess.

This all brings me to the river from a couple posts below. When my camera tragically met its end that day (though the memory card did give me the gift of Maddie's first birthday pictures--thoughtful, little thing!), I was pretty sad. Then for my recent birthday, both sides of our family worked a miracle of mega pixel proportions.

I got the camera. The entry level one that promises to teach me how to begin taking the pictures I've always dreamed of.

The one that, in my still VERY amateur way, gave me my first shot at a field of dreams.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

In This Together

Hope’s first words to her sister upon arriving home were, “Maddie, I wuv 'ew!” Followed by the biggest of smooches. The sweet, sloppy kind that only an eighteen month old can perfect.

That was just about more than we could handle, and we are so thankful to have captured the memory on video.

A year into this bond of sisterhood, we also admit there are a few memories that have thankfully not been memorialized. Like the snatching of toys, the subtle or not-so-subtle moments of “I want most of the attention… like right now!,” and the day that Madison realized she’s also got a touch of spunk after all. Actually, it was a Sesame Street remote with a little something called whopping one’s big sister upside the head.

Ah, me. I have visions of closet snatchings, phone hoggings, and the “But, she hurt my feelings!” to come.

Were it not for the loyalty. The fierce loyalty already surfacing from their little, big hearts.

Every morning, almost without fail, I get Maddie up about an hour before Hope. Soon as I finish nursing her she looks up at me and in her careful Maddie-way asks, “Hooope? Hooope?” This continues until we hear the voice coming out of the room next door. That voice used to call, “Mommeee! Daddeee! I’m up!” But this week it greeted us differently.

“I neeeed my Maddie! I neeeed my Maddie!”

When we’re out in public and someone asks Hope for her name she typically replies with, “That’s my sister, Maddie.” When we’re playing or driving in the car Hope will randomly announce, “Maddie’s my sister. Did you know? My sister.”

And when I put Maddie in a time-out of sorts for bopping Hope, the older of the two had an immortal fit with wails of, “My sister! Don’t put her in time-out! She'll be vewy, vewy sad!”

Already they seem to get inside jokes that we don’t quite understand. When they exchange knowing kinds of smiles I’d like to think they’re saying, “I get you, old friend. In fact, I don’t even remember life without you. Whether we hug or have it out, we’re in this thing together. Yep, I love you.”

I’d like to think those are the kinds of smiles they’ll be giving each other from 1 and 2 to 81 and 82.

I'd like to think that's the kind of sister and friend I will be from 31 on up.

Long as we mostly steer clear of things like button covered Cookie Monster contraptions, maybe just maybe, that's exactly how it can be.

Please, please , please help us pray! Our pastor's son was in a terrible car accident and sustained a serious head injury. The prognosis does not appear to be good; he needs a MIRACLE! Please remember 19 year-old Josiah and his family right now. Thanks to you all!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Simply Excited

Today is a good day.

I should be hearing any minute now that my best friend safely returned from an amazing medical missions trip to Thailand.

My camera died, may its memory card rest in peace. To be more accurate, it drowned, and this was its last faithful contribution to the Martins' collection of memories.
That really is a happy thing, in the long run, but more about that later.

And, drum roll please... we'd love for you to pop on over here to check out a project that's been in the works for a couple of months now. We designed this site ourselves with the sincere hope that it will bless, encourage, and maybe even inspire along the way. It would be great fun to hear what you think!

Simply excited,

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

How Does My Garden Grow?

Since she's somehow figured even her booster seat to be too babyish, we've told Hope umpteen million times to ask permission before getting up from the table. Sometimes she remembers. Many times she does not. Always, she needs bunches of reminders.

The up and down from the chair coupled with the ever looming face plant. The darting to and fro to"do it all by myself." The busying herself to sweep, feed Maddie, or do just about anything other than finish the last of her meal.

Well, it can from time to time drive me a bit... bonkers.

So it was on an early morning just after breakfast. As both of the girls finished their oatmeal, I headed out to our garden to quickly spread a bit of scraps. Not a few steps into the backyard, I heard them. Those bare little feet.

I reminded her again where she was supposed to be, but she protested.

"But, but, but... I just neeeed to come help you, Mommy!"

Something about the earnest look on her face, the urgency of her request, the way she just couldn't help herself. We walked through the dewy grass hand in hand until we reached our destination. I lifted her up onto the side of one of our beds when she spotted it first.

"Yook! Yook! It's not a baby anymore!"

Sure enough, one of our first tiny squashes had gotten long and fat, perfect for the picking.

I helped her bend over and gently pluck it from the vine. We celebrated and then walked back to the house to show Maddie, who thankfully doesn't yet see her highchair as a total insult. Both sisters broke out in a second round of applause, and we placed it on the breakfast table as almost a small badge of honor. This ordinary morning made me see.

Look! Look, Katrina! They're not so much babies anymore.

Sometimes, especially when blogging, I remember that. Many times, in real life, I do not. Always, always there are bunches of reminders.

On this ordinary Tuesday morning I am glad just to notice, to see beyond the tables and chairs that sometimes get in the way. I am thankful to just enjoy another morning of watching all my babies grow.

For more moments unwrapped, be sure to check out Emily's place and the rest of her chats at the sky.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

In Season for Every Season

While traveling we found a place that has in season at its best.

A place where you can walk all over their beautiful farm. In the end, you are simply trusted to pick from the bounty and to do the right thing.

They trust you, and they give away free sunflowers.

They're basically saints.

Hunting for ripe enough blueberries was a treat.

Just like Nana's from scratch biscuits.

I will not even try to do them justice here since I know of only six people in the world who have ever possessed such skills. I can tell you that if you ever have the chance to meet up with one of my Mamaw's five daughters please grab yourself a homegrown tomato slice, a dab of mayo, and a few dashes of salt and pepper.

A cold glass of sweet tea doesn't hurt either.

(Oh, and pants with elastic waistbands. Not that I'm speaking from experience).

Whatever you choose to eat, share it with someone that you love. Someone that you trust.

Maybe even someone who needs to feel loved or trusted.

Is it just me or does that sound like every season at its best?


Since there are no real recipes this time, I'll give up a little secret from another trip. Here's some super simple *gockcamowey-cheese goodness. The sample tempted a friend and I to get the two-for-$10, and now I'm about tempted to buy some stock. In fact, we're trying this this weekend (substituting mild feta for the fresco thing).

*Hope should work for Webster, don't you think? Just don't ask her to tell you her creations with a straight face. The likes of which have never been attempted before. :)