Thursday, July 31, 2008

A Walk with Charlie

The other day, as I "dumped" my photos from my point-and-shoot camera onto the computer, this is what I found. I like to call it "A Walk with Charlie."

He starts in the kitchen.

Taken by Charlie

Then to the living room. I see the foot of the piano in the upper right.

Taken by Charlie

Then he sees his trains, which I must say, he's quite good at putting those tracks together in neat configurations. Although you can't tell here.

Taken by Charlie

Then he steps on a blanket. You can imagine how hard it is to keep laundry clean around here.

Taken by Charlie

Here's the living room rug. I'm glad it's a little blurry - you can't see all the stains that way.

Taken by Charlie

And now he's heading toward the dining room.

Taken by Charlie

Hey Charlie, must you reveal our unhealthy eating!?! What can I say, Costco pizzas are yummy. ;)

Taken by Charlie

One small step for man, one giant leap for...oh nevermind.

Taken by Charlie

Ahh, now he's in our bedroom.

Taken by Charlie

And here's the other foot, just in case you were wondering if it was missing.

Taken by Charlie

Now he's in the master bath (aka my oasis). See that toothpaste on the rug? More about that later.

Taken by Charlie

Oh look, Chandler! What a way to end your walk, Charlie! Chandler's waiting anxiously for his ever fabulous splash fest (or bath, whatever.)

Taken by Charlie

About the toothpaste on the rug. Here's what the whole scene looks like. This is what happens when Charlie and Chance brush their teeth.

This is what Happens

And lastly, Charlie decides to keep it real with this picture:

This one makes me wanna cry

This is my life: laundry and dishes. But I need to teach my budding photographer to capture something prettier, cleaner, and less depressing, ya know? ;)

4th of July (point and shoot)

Ahh, that'll do, Charlie!! That'll do...

Another Day at the River

In the summer, my dad's schedule revolves around Saturdays at the River. The Guadalupe River. The River, that many people sit in tubes and float down. The River, that those tubers tend to flip into as they go over waterfalls. The River, that has lots of loot on the bottom from tubers flipping out. The River, that needs a SCUBA diver to keep its bottom clean. The River, that is my dad's treasure island. Ya followin' me?

And I have to quantify that, with this: My dad doesn't just dive for the loot. The thrill for him is to find the owners. His greatest joy comes at the various thank you cards he's received, and stories of how the personal items (watches, rings, wallets, etc) meant so much to the owners, and how much they appreciate Dad for finding them. There are other divers that would knowingly keep something even if they meet the owner, who's begging to know if their item was found. But not my dad. I don't think there's a greedy bone in his body. It's all about the hunt for him.

Anyhow, there are plenty of items that he doesn't find owners for, which he gives to us. Sunglasses, tshirts, towels, etc. And the occasional scary mask.

It's a scary Charlie!
(Can you guess who's wearing it?)

The exciting thing for us shore-lovers is watching the water for Dad's bubbles as he dives below.

People watchin'

But occasionally we get bored with that and decide water gun fights are better. In tubes, of course.

A Day on the Guadalupe

Although sometimes we just cuddle up in the tube and pretend we really don't need a nap.
A Day on the Guadalupe

Sometimes we just soak up some Nana love.

A Day on the Guadalupe

And some Daddy love.

A Day on the Guadalupe

And some Mommy love.

A Day on the Guadalupe

But the best part of the Big Daddy himself.

A Day on the Guadalupe

A Day on the Guadalupe

A Day on the Guadalupe

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Hey Look, I found some funny stories!

Amusing Moments

Still small enough for the dryer

Yet another snapshot

Chance has a new thing, where he lays down by Chandler, puts his head near Chandler's feet (which are always moving and kicking), then says "Wook, Mommy! You see dat? Baby Chanwer kick Chance!" Then he laughs because it's just the funniest thing ever.

Chance also still likes to poke Chandler in the eye. But lately he will poke him, and say "Baby Chanwer (took a) widdle nap!" because Chandler closed his eye.

When the cousins were in town, Chance, of course, got possessive. Chalk it up to being 2 years old and the second child. Anyhow, when someone would be in the vicinity of Chandler, Chance would give Chandler a protective hug and tell everyone "My Baby Chanwer!"

The boys have been watching Toy Story 2 lately. So today Chance asked to ride the "horsey" (ride on my back), then proceeded to say "Yoda - lay - eee - ewww." He's yodeling like the Yodeling Cowgirl, Jessie.

Charlie's Bible Class teachers have been on break lately, which means he "gets" to go with us to the big church service on Sundays. A couple of weeks ago, our pastor was talking about the many times that Israel faced unsurmountable odds, in a time when people would've said "No way are they getting thru that" yet the Israelites had Yahweh on their side and were victorious. So he would say "No Way!" and have us say "Yahweh" in response. I had no idea Charlie was paying attention until he asked me the other day if we could play the "No way - Yahweh" game. He has me say "No way" then he exclaims "Yahweh!!"

It's been droughting here, as you can see by the boys reaction to the much needed rain shower:
Rain! Glorious Rain!


4th of July (point and shoot)
Charlie's self portrait.

Charlie can now recognize every letter of the alphabet, and almost all of their sounds. He is getting closer to reading every day!

Charlie has begun to compare things. Like who got more croƻtons in their tomato soup. And how many cups of kool aid Chance got compared to him in one day. He has suddenly decided that if he can keep score on everything, he'd get more of what he wants. And if he doesn't, he has an excuse to sulk, pout, growl, fall to the ground, and cry, "You give Chance more than me!" I guess he's tired of having to share and has decided jealousy is the best way to get back.

Chance is saying more words. When I take the time to really decipher it, he is very descriptive. Once his annunciations catch up with his vocabulary, we're going to have quite the linguist! (Say that sentence three times fast, I dare ya!)

So in love

Chandler is loving the jumper and saucer now. He's also eating a jar of baby food a day. He's practicing sitting up by himself. And he's starting to tell stories - baby noises plus motorboat sounds. He also recognizes the tylenol bottle and gets excited. Sad, huh? All three boys were lil druggies at that age.

Chandler has had the painful reflux that Charlie dealt with, and he spits up more than any baby I've ever seen. It's a wonder he can even gain weight! And he has the recurrent ear infections Chance suffered from, yet his disposition is so sweet and happy. We are truly blessed.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Girls Versus Boys

I apologize for the lack of funny stories lately. Unless you count the 3 hour marathon of spankings the other day that led to the boys finally going down for a nap (and their momma too), we've been a little short on funny stories. I'm hoping to laugh about the spanking marathon someday. But the point is, the boys are pushing boundaries right now, and discipline is in high demand. And if you don't mind, please pray for Chuck and I - that we don't lose our minds!

But there is one observation that I have found quite funny.


Last week, when the cousins were in town, I got to spend the day with my one and only niece, Ruby. She just turned 3, so she's 6 months older than Chance. I thought I'd know how to best entertain this age... what I didn't think about is how different girls are!

So I handed her a box of sidewalk chalk and led her to the porch to so we could draw. She carefully took the pieces out of the box, arranged them in groups by color, and would draw a little bit. Then she'd carefully organize them back in the box. She even found the loose chalk laying around the porch and added them to her collection.

Watching her made me accept my own cleaning and organizing ways a little more.

Then a few days later, I handed Chance a box of sidewalk chalk. He promptly broke them all into pieces, then had a contest with Charlie to see who could throw the chalk the farthest off of the porch. Needless to say, he never even drew on the ground with the chalk.

I think it's a little obvious that there's a big innate difference between boys and girls. And watching the boys made me accept Chuck a little more. Ha!

This Post Is Not for Men

Early in our marriage, due to learning about the risks of losing a fertilized egg each month on the pill, we decided to get off birth control. I know this is a controversial issue, which I don't plan on delving in here, but what did it for us was learning that an obstetrician in Austin was refusing to prescribe birth control for any sexually active patient in his office due to the abortifacet properties. We did the research, and found that we couldn't deny that there was that risk.

But then we wondered "Where do we go from here?" I was more than a little scared about getting pregnant. That's when I read this book:

Your Fertility Signals

It was so easy to read, I wondered if it could really work. Wasn't health stuff supposed to be more complicated? But I knew of a few women who said it worked for them, so I gave it a shot. It enabled us to not get pregnant for over 2 years, then to be able to conceive fairly quickly when we wanted to. Even with our "surprise" pregnancy, I knew ahead of time that my body was fertile, I just didn't heed the signs.

But the reason I'm blogging about such a personal matter: this book has helped me with more than just birth control. It's taught me so much about how my body works.

For instance, yesterday I went to the OB and told her I suspected a cyst just because of a few signs like mood swings. I had a feeling the OB would say "You're crazy if you think mood swings are because of a cyst. You just had a baby! So of course your hormones are going to be imbalanced." But thankfully she didn't say that, she just checked and what do you know? A cyst! I knew with each cyst that something was going on (this is my third in the last 2 years). It's nothing worrisome, but it's nice to know why things are happening, and enables me to deal with it.

My OB has said to me before, "You are very in tune with your body." But this knowledge shouldn't be a secret. It's quite simple, yet it has a big effect on my expectations of myself.

So, if you read it let me know. I'd love to hear your thoughts on it.

Friday, July 18, 2008

My Faves

It strikes me that I've posted a lot of photos on this blog lately. (What's new, right?) But I have to show you my faves of each person. I've really enjoyed the opportunity to catch these shots! And now, in case you don't know, you'll be able to tell who the various family members are (all 2 dozen of us!).

Our trip to Austin
First up, there's Luke. He's Mitsi's first born, the first grandkid, and our inspiration for having kids. Charlie owes his life to this boy, ha!

Enchanted Springs Ranch

Grandpa Thier's 70th Birthday Bash
Then there's Ethan, Mitsi's second born, who will be 5 this month.

Our trip to Austin

Enchanted Springs Ranch
"You feeling lucky, punk?!"

Grandpa Thier's 70th Birthday Bash
Here's Mitsi's third kiddo, the only girl among many boys, Ruby. She's a breath of fresh air, after living with a bunch of boys!

Our trip to Austin

(The nice thing about a girl - she doesn't mind a camera in her face!)

Concentrating faces

Upside down Sunglasses

Ok, Ok, moving on....

Here's Beau, Mitsi's fourth and last. He'll be a year old this month. Which means he can't run from the camera yet ;)

Enchanted Springs Ranch

Enchanted Springs Ranch
He even got to ride a horse!

Our trip to Austin

Natural Beauty.
And here's Mitsi, one of Chuck's beautiful sisters.

Enchanted Springs Ranch

They clapped'em them varmints in the jail!
And here's Paul, Mitsi's husband. (I know I showed this yesterday). He got thrown in jail for trusting his GPS which got them lost on the way to Enchanted Springs Ranch. Ha!

Our trip to Austin
Then there's Melanie. Another of Chuck's sisters.

Our trip to Austin
She's about 4 months pregnant with our next niece or nephew.

Our trip to Austin
And here's her firstborn, also a year old, Kaleb.

What are you doing, Chuck?!
Oh wait, how'd that get in here?!

Our trip to Austin
Ah, that's better.

Grandpa Thier's 70th Birthday Bash
And here's Melanie's husband, Kaleb's daddy, Jason - with Chandler. He was on Uncle duty while I took pictures (thanks, J!).

Happy Reunions
And here's Chuck's youngest sister, Tammy, getting a happy reunion hug from Meesh.

My what nice earrings you have.
Check out the earrings - they were once napkin holders.

Grandpa Thier's 70th Birthday Bash
And here's Tammy with her husband, Brandon.

70 years young.
And here are the originators of this beautiful bunch- Chuck's Dad and Mom.

Whew the photography monster is so full! :) It's been a fun couple of weeks. Tammy has already headed back, and Mitsi is leaving in the morn. We're so sad that our time together has had to end. It's been so great. Makes me look forward to Heaven, where we can all be together all of the time...