Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Sweet and Silly

Today I'm writing about our sweet and silly Gwyn. She has such a sparkling smile, and showed signs early on of a sweet love and concern for her siblings. Lana used to wake up later than Maddie and Gwyn from naps, and when I brought her down Gwyn would usually come to the bottom of the stairs and say "Hi Lana.” Gwyn was the first of the girls to name her siblings when she saw them in pictures. (It took a while for her to say her own name though.) One day when she got up from her nap, she looked around and realized that someone was missing. "Erett?” she asked.

Another time, Maddie was wearing a backpack, and Gwyn decided that she wanted one too. She asked Grandma for a “packpack.” Grandma told her to go to the toy box and get one, and she would help her put it on. Gwyn quickly went to the toy box and brought back two backpacks—one for her, and one for Lana. What a sweetie!

She loves tickles, has some great bouncy dance moves, and gives the most wonderful hugs. She has a little impish streak too, but her thoughtfulness shines through most of the time. Thank you for being a little sunshine Gwyn!

August 2007

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Cary is ABD

I just realized that I forgot to post Cary's exciting news:

Cary is now ABD! For those of you who are normal people and think that sounds like some form of disorder, it actually stands for "All But Dissertation" in nerdy scholarly circles. This means that he has finished all of his coursework, his prospectus has been approved, and he has been formally accepted as a PhD candidate.

Though I never expected his studies to take this long, I'm very proud of what he has accomplished. We celebrated his success with a nice dinner at the Longhorn Steakhouse. (Yes, an actual date, and we had a great time.) Cary thinks they should make a steak-scented candle. Mmmmm

So he had one brief sigh of relief after his defense, and has now buckled down for the long haul of actually writing his dissertation. I keep trying to dicker with him to cut down the time for completing the degree, but I guess it doesn't really work that way!

The kids LOVE helping me open the mail...

And yes, they love cleaning up afterwards too!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Another use for packing tape

I am becoming ever more convinced of the usefulness of packing tape. Most recently, I have used it on one of the most obnoxious toys ever created--to reduce the volume by a couple of decibels! Now every instrument our little band is, if not very musical yet, at least tolerable.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

And the winner is...

Drumroll please: I have chosen a winner for the caption contest. Cary thinks that I chose this one because we share a brain (and perhaps it's true). My mom will receive a candy bar for her "Aqua-footed Gwynny hen" entry, and Cary received one of the rubber gloves for his effort in submitting not one but six captions for the contest. Thanks to everyone who submitted an idea!

(If you'd like to see the entries, just look at the comments under the post "Call for Captions".)

Friday, January 25, 2008


Something beautiful and perhaps miraculous happened today:

All four children played with the same toy for about 5 minutes without screaming!!! For some time, I have been hoping that they would all discover that it was fun to share, and was just starting to doubt that it would ever happen.

Here they are, with "Lucky Ducks"

Don't they all look angelic with the sunlight on their hair?

Thursday, January 24, 2008

We've got cabin fever!

I think we may all be getting a little bit of cabin fever. Today we needed to go to Petsmart and Lowes, so we grabbed two of the racecar carts from Lowes, strapped the kids in, and raced across the parking lot to Petsmart. The kids loved it, of course, and enjoyed looking at all of the animals afterwards. (I think it did us all some good.) Does everyone go just a little crazy in the winter?

Also today: Lana ate almost a whole slice of bologna! Though she is not consuming large quantities of anything, she has made great improvement in what she will chew and swallow. Unfortunately, her little tummy doesn't seem to be able to handle some of the new things. She threw up most of the bologna 13 hours later. We are still encouraged by her progress, and hope and pray that her new GI doctor will be able to help us sort out her digestive issues.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Call for Captions

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to come up with a caption for this photo of Gwyn:

Please post a comment with your idea for a title! Whoever comes up with the best caption will receive one of the rubber gloves as a prize (not really--but maybe a candy bar).

Friday, January 18, 2008

Everett's "Asparagus"

I thought I'd post about some cute things our little guy did today. We had the special opportunity to go to the doctor's office together--just the two of us! It was nice and calm and peaceful, unlike most of our visits to the pediatrician. (At those appointments we have all four children with us. The nurses weigh and measure the girls, and put us all in a little room to wait. The room seems nice at first, but by the time the doctor actually comes in to see us, we are all melting down, there are books all over the floor, and we've changed two messy diapers so the atmosphere in the room is uncomfortably warm and stinky.)

We knew that Everett would be getting at least one shot today, so we had prepared him a little bit by telling him why he needed shots and telling him that it would hurt a little bit. On the way to the doctor's office, Everett decided that he was a car, and that cars don't get shots. As the doctor examined him, he told her that he had four wheels and showed her where they were.

When the time actually came to get his three shots, I held him and he quietly laughed and cried at the same time and was very brave. As the nurses left the room, he said "Thank you for my shots." I think they almost fell over. What a trooper!

We have a wonderful neighbor friend who comes over to help out and be with the kids for a couple of hours on most weekdays. She is 85 years old, and has recently had some knee pain. She explained to Everett that it was arthritis.

This afternoon, Everett said that his leg was hurting a little bit. He said that he had "asparagus".

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Little Fashionistas

Already, the girls are attempting to influence local fashion trends:

Here we see Lana looking cool and collected in her pink plastic sunglasses,
kerchief scarf, and mardi-gras beads. (Nov. '07)

Next we see Gwyn looking spunky in her flowered summer hat,
and big brother's winter boots. (Jan. '08)

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Our Latest "Childproofing" Measures

For a time, we thought our house was pretty childproof... We are learning, of course, that there really is no such thing! Everett is, for the most part, a very obedient, helpful boy, but he has discovered some creative ways to make a lot of work for Cary. Once during a family picnic (summer of 2007), he came out of the bathroom and said to me: "I don't like Spiderman anymore." I assumed he was referring to his underwear, and that he had just changed into another pair.

Well, a few hours later I learned that my assumption was incorrect. Apparently he had decided that he no longer liked a spiderman toy, and had attempted to flush it down the toilet. This being the day of a family picnic, the bathroom had heavy usage, and by the time we discovered the problem... well, I guess that would be TMI. Cary spent a couple of hours that night taking everything apart and mopping things up, and the next day Everett helped retrieve spiderman from the pipe and replace the toilet.

A couple of months later, we discovered that the vent in Everett's room was not apparently not attached securely enough. I had let all four children play with stuffed animals in there for a few minutes while I vacuumed another bedroom. They removed the vent and proceeded to drop interesting objects into the ducts. That night Cary spent some time opening the ductwork and retrieving an interesting assortment of little treasures.

Our latest childproofing efforts have involved the kitchen chairs. For a while it was quite effective to lay the chairs down on the floor under the table, but the girls have recently discovered that they can still move the booster seats around and use them to reach all the neat stuff on the countertops. This is our most recent (temporary) solution:

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

What happens when I stretch

At dinner time, Cary takes care of the girls so that I can enjoy a little bit of a break. Everett and I sit on one side of the table, and Cary and the girls on the other. Once I looked over, and noticed that all three of the girls had their arms in the air. Then I realized that I was stretching.

As I changed my movements, their arms changed almost in stereo. Since then, I've had a lot more fun with this of course, but it also serves as a caution to me: Be careful--your children are watching your every word and action! They have their own personalities, to be sure, but example is a very powerful teacher. I have especially learned the importance of keeping careful control of my emotions, because I have four little ones who will copy me without even realizing it.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Two Peas in a Boat?

It looks like Everett and Gwyn have
come up with a new use for our play tunnel.

Sunday, January 6, 2008


We LOVE books at our house! Cary and I have hundreds (including a large collection in French), and the childrens' collection is growing as well. The kids like to EAT books...

(Lana - Oct. '07)

... carry them around all day, and occasionally read them.

(Gwyn, Maddie - Nov. '07)

(Gwyn, Lana, Maddie, Everett - Oct. '07)

I have heard of many uses for duct tape, but I find that I use packing tape a lot! Aside from the normal uses (such as sealing packages), I have repaired many books with that stuff, and it's the preferred tape for diaper turban prevention measures!

PS - Although Lana does not enjoy consuming many solid foods, she does seem to have a taste for cardboard, paper, and candy wrappers!

The Diaper Turban

Unfortunately, the title of this post refers to a dirty diaper! Lana has become very adept at removing almost any article of clothing we put on her. First we tried using only shirts with snaps at the bottom, and snapping them over her pants (so she looked like some kind of little superhero). She managed to put her arms up through the neck of the shirt and take it off without undoing a single snap. At first that wasn't so bad--until she decided to take her diaper off too, and put it on her head!!! After a few of these "diaper turbans", we now tape her diaper on every time she goes down for a nap and at bedtime!

Saturday, January 5, 2008

More fun than a boxfull of kids...

We had a great visit with Linda, Sam and Lydia. It took Lydia a few minutes to warm up to the kids, but before long she was running around with the rest of them! Unfortunately, we were so busy visiting that we only caught Sam on camera. He and Cary assembled our new grill, and the kids (all nine of us) had fun playing in the box.

P.S. to Sam - We'll hide the salt shaker next time you come!

Friday, January 4, 2008

The Scowl...

This is a toned-down version of "the face" that a male stranger will get from Gwyn.

A friend of ours stopped by one evening, and was greeted with Gwyn's unflinching scowl. At one point Cary made her laugh, and for a minute she forgot to give the man "the look", but she recovered almost immediately. (I may not discourage this too much--maybe she'll keep it going through the teenage years.)

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Our Guestbook

I decided to make a new guestbook so as to avoid using a third-party service, and have transferred all of the previous entries.

Please stop by and say "Hello"! Just add a comment under this post.

We'd love to hear from you!