Wednesday, January 26, 2011

I Love This Girl

I have to say, so far having a four-year-old has been WONDERFUL!! I love the stage Tralee is in. LOVE it! She's so clever, so funny, so full of life, so smart, so sensitive, so bright, so beautiful (inside and out), so opinionated, so stubborn, so vigorous, so snugly (when she wants to be), so ready to learn about the world around her, and I feel so lucky to be her mommy.
The night before her birthday, I let Tralee sleep in my bed. Jim was out of town, and I like having sleepovers with my kids when he's gone. I did the same thing when I was little when my dad traveled. I eventually out-grew it, and my kids will too (probably faster than I like). Anywho, before we went to sleep I turned to Tralee, and while tracing the features of her face with my finger, I told her about the day she was born. I told her how excited we were to have a baby girl, and how she was the most beautiful baby we'd ever seen. I told her that her daddy and I cried happy tears when we first saw her, and that she was a feisty little kicker. As I told her all about her birth day, Tralee's big brown eyes looked into mine as she took it all in. I loved that moment. Then, as her eyelids opened and closed in the lazy way they do before you drift into dreamland I whispered "have sweet dreams my baby girl." I knew the next time Tralee awoke, she would see the world as a four-year-old.
So far my four-year-old has been cracking me up. When I went to fill out some insurance information with our new agent. Tralee and Hunter came along for the ride. While in our new agent's office Tralee was saying the craziest things. First the agent asked what her name was, and how you spell it. Tralee surprised me when she answered, "T.R.A.L.E.E." We'd been working on spelling her name, I just didn't know she could actually do it!! At another point Tralee turned to our agent and said, "You would be really sad if your husband died." All I could do was laugh since I have NO idea where this topic came from. A few minutes later Stinks added, "I would be really really sad if Hunter died. I don't want him to died." The agent and I both tried to keep straight faces. I really wish I remembered what else Tralee said to our agent, because it had us both in stitches.
Tralee had me snickering again today while we went grocery shopping. As we were waiting in line to check out Tralee turned the woman behind us and said, "I have lips, do you have lips?" The kind lady answered, "Yes. Yes, see, here are my lips." Next Tralee pointed to me and said, "This is my mommy. She has lips too. See, here are my mommy's lips." I smiled and nodded to the stranger Tralee struck up a conversation with. Since the whole lip thing went over well, Tralee decided to carry on the conversation by saying, "This is my body, Jesus gave me my body." I'm not sure the lady knew what to do with this so she said, "Oh! Alright." I kind of got the feeling that stranger lady didn't share our particular faith, and wasn't ready for a four-year-old missionary to come preaching. However, I was pleased to hear that what Tralee's been learning in Sunbeams (and at home) is sinking in.
I started talking to Tralee about stranger danger, seeing as she's ready to strike up a conversation with just about anyone. I've been giving her quizzes like, "What if someone you don't know comes up to you and says, 'I have the cutest little kitty in my car, but it's hurt and needs your help. Want to come see?' What would you do?" Tralee usually answers, "No!" Then I tell her to run away as fast as she can and come find Mommy or Daddy. I don't like these kinds of conversations, but I do want to make Tralee aware of the whole stranger danger concept.
On the same topic, Tralee also knows how to unlock the front door. She loves to answer the door whenever someone knocks, or she hears the doorbell ring. We've had talks about only opening the door if we know who is on the other side. She seems to get it.
Tralee's also starting to understand that she's having some difficulties with her speech. If you've read my blog for a little while, you know Tralee is in speech therapy. She has some problems saying certain letters. S is a big one she struggles with. She can pronounce S if it's at the end or middle of the word, and even if it's at the beginning of the word if a vowel comes after it. But, if it's an S word with a consonant right after it, it becomes the most difficult word for Tralee to say. After all of our talks about strangers, Tralee was trying to ask me what a stranger was, but it kept coming out, "hang jes." I couldn't -- for the life of me -- figure out what she was saying. "Mom, what are hang jes?" I kept guessing, "Hangers? Anxious? Hinges?" Tralee was getting frustrated and tried so hard to say it right. Finally she looked at me with tears in her eyes and said, "Oh! My voice doesn't work right. I give up." That my friends, broke my heart! It was the first time Tralee vocalised the fact that she couldn't say words the way they sound in her head. It was also one of the first times Tralee gave up. She hardly ever gives up! She's stubborn like her parents. Luckily, my stubbornness kicked in when Tralee used all hers up, and I worked even harder to figure out what Tralee had been saying. Finally I guessed, "Strangers?" Tralee's little face lit right up, "Yes! Yes Mommy! That's it!" Tralee's speech gets better and better everyday, but we still have some work to do. I want her voice to "work right" for her.
Her cute little voice sure works right when she sings. I love to hear her sing, make up songs, dance and sing at the same time. It's all quite magical. One way she likes to sing that cracks me up is when she sings while plugging her nose. She starts, I laugh, then she laughs. By the end we're both cracking up. I tried to get it on film to send to Jim (he's still out of town), here's the video I took:

And just for good measure, I took a video of Tralee dancing her way to Petco. Just so you know, Tralee picked out her outfit in all these pictures and videos. I LOVE the crazy ensembles (she calls them costumes) she comes up with.

Cabinets and Dream Big Question

Jim recently finished a cabinet job for some rich guy's garage. Here's the finished project. I'm grateful Jim got the bid, and was able to build this kitchen but I have one question: Who would put a kitchen in a garage? I guess some guy who has a 15+ car garage filled with such things as Ferraris, Dodge Viper Convertibles, half a dozen Harleys, and too many more "toys" to count. Maybe the rich guy was planning ahead, and knew he would get hungry while tinkering with his toys, so to save himself some time from walking to his massive house, he would just put a full kitchen in his garage.

I wonder what I would do if I had so much money I didn't know what to do with it? Probably no garage kitchens, but who knows!
What would you do if you were overflowing with wealth? If you want to play, don't leave a comment like, "I would invest it wisely." I'm talking about after all your debt is paid, you've invested in everything you could possibly imagine, you have a dream house, you've donated to a million charities, helped out all your family and friends, blah blah blah, and STILL you have butt-loads of cash laying around, what would you do with THAT?
I would travel with my family, of course. But the CRAZY thing I would do would be build a super fun play area/house on our property. I'm talking wall-to-wall trampolines, slides that twirl you down forever and go outside the building, the coolest swing set play area EVER complete with a zip line, a foam pit, there would have to be a basketball court and hockey rink for Jim, rope swings, mini golf, laser tag, trapeze area, you get the idea! We would spend hours jumping, playing, running, and laughing together. I bet I'd get my figure back REALLY quick too. :)
So. . .what would you do?

Cousins or Sisters? Whatever, they're cute!

Here are more pics from Jim's phone. We took these over Thanksgiving vacation while we were visiting Jim's sister Sue and her family. Sometimes we think Tralee and Colleen are long lost sisters instead of cousins. There's only about two months age difference between them and they get referred to as "the twins" whenever our families are together. Do you see the resemblance?

Pimpette and Picker

Here are a few photos from Jim's cell phone. There's not a whole lot going on in this neck of the woods. There will be soon. . . but we're kind of at a lull at the moment. So, until we have more news:
Enjoy these pics.

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Saturday, January 22, 2011

We're So Proud of You Tralee!

Here's Tralee's fourth Birthday video. I've been waiting to use this song in Tralee's birthday video for a long time, I LOVE it! The artist is Frances England, and Tralee, Hunter, and I listen to her songs all the time together. If you have kids, and want some fun (non-annoying) kids music to listen to, check her out! I've actually used her songs before in videos, cause they're SO perfect! You and Me is one of my favorites, and pretty much sums up how I feel about my big birthday girl. Enjoy.

I love you so much Tralee!!! Happy Birthday (tomorrow)!!!!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Missy Missy's Birthday Party!!!

Jim's going to be out-of-town for Tralee's actual birthday, so we wanted to have a fun day for our little Stinks before Jim left town. We made a plan, and then called up all of Tralee's friends (okay, their parents) and invited them to join us for Tralee's birthday party.

The plan was we would go eat pizza first, and then go to Jump Time (a place full of trampolines and inflatables). Everyone had a B.L.A.S.T. Most importantly, we celebrated Stinky Tralinky's 4th birthday. She felt loved, and I couldn't believe I have an (almost) four-year-old! CRAZINESS!!!

We started the festivities by hanging Tralee's Birthday Banner, tying a balloon to her chair, decorating her cupcakes, and making the party gift bags. I found some fabric is my stash for the bags, ribbon for the handles, and started sewing. The boys' gift bags had a hero theme for the goodies, and little men on the front. The girls' bags had a princess theme for the goodies, and little women on the front. The bags were really fun to put together. I used my Silhouette cutter and iron-on transfer paper to put the little men and women on the front.
Tuesday morning came around, and all of us got spiffied up and ready for T's party. I made Jim and Hunter these t-shirts for Christmas. Jim's says, "Hosehead" on the front. Hunter's says, "I'm with Hosehead." It was more of a joke than anything else, but Jim loves them. Hunter's is a little too big, so we decided to take it off him. He FREAKED and kept pointing to it and saying, "On! On! On!" We think we made such a fuss about him matching his daddy, that he was sad when he didn't anymore, so we put the shirt back on and Hunter was as happy as a clam. He actually looked pretty cute in his way-too-big shirt.
Tralee picked out her outfit, (fake) pearls and everything! I think she did a pretty great job!
We ate at Idaho Pizza, and they treated us SO well. They got all the kids balloons, sang "Happy Birthday" to Tralee, and gave her a little gift, as well as a gift certificate for free pizza. We sure appreciated it, and recommend this place for all your pizza needs when you're in Idaho!
Here's Stinks right before blowing out her candle. She wouldn't let us get it lit before she blew out the flame. We tried to light her candle half a dozen times, but she blew out the flame every time. In the end it was just a big game, one of which had me laughing.

Another group shot.
I think Tralee liked her birthday cupcakes, what do you think?
After we were done eating, we made our way over to Jump Time. Everyone had so much fun!

Look at Hunter's face in the picture below. He was coming down from a bounce, and gravity had its way with him. Look at his face!! Makes me laugh.

My kids started melting down towards the end. They had had too much fun for one day. At one point Hunter climbed the inflatable slide and slid down the whole while crying. It was kind of funny, so you know, I took a picture. When he got to the end of the slide he just fell over and didn't move for a few minutes. It was SOOOO past his nap time.

Shortly after Hunter's slide meltdown, we decided it was time to get the kids home. We thanked all of our guests for coming, and made our way home. I think all of us took a nap that afternoon. It felt so good! After a few hours, we all woke up, ate dinner, and then Tralee opened her gifts from us (pictures of that soon to come).

It was a PERFECT day!

Happy 4th Missy Missy!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

What do you want to be?

We had a little birthday party for Tralee today (pictures soon to come).

While having some nice lunch conversation over pizza and salad, Tralee's friend Jovie announced that she wanted to be a "crafter" when she grew up. I suppose this is something in the artist field. I then started asking the rest of the kids what their ambitions were.

Grayson said, "I want to be a firefighter when I grow up."
Braden announced, "I want to be anything that's a driver that goes really really fast."
I forget what Oakley said, I'm sure it was really cute.

So far all the kids had normal-ish answers for me. Then I came to Tralee.

"Tralee, what do you want to be when you grow up?" I asked. Her answer was not at all what I expected:

"I want to be an old man."

Well, there you go. This little (almost) four-year-old never ceases to bring a great big smile to my face.

DON'T Look at this post if blood grosses you out!!!!!

Here's my wound from cutting my finger on a broken piece of glass. I took this pic the day after it happened.
I'm quite proud of it -- thus taking a picture and putting it on this here blog.
It was the best wound I've had in a while (pitiful, I know). I should have taken a picture of my room right after it happened, blood everywhere!
I kind of like looking at wounds and crime scene photos (ok, I've only actually seen fake crime scene photos from various crime shows). I always thought it would be interesting to be a detective of some sort. Again, this is coming from someone who's only detective knowledge comes from the likes of watching The Closer. I think if I REALLY had to deal with looking at horrific scenes I wouldn't love it so much. So, I'll keep getting my kicks from Kyra Sedgwick, and when I do something stupid, like cut my finger on a broken piece of glass.

Thursday, January 13, 2011


The kids and I went to cheer on our number one basketball star tonight. Tralee cheered her little heart out. Hunter just wanted to get on the court and play. He was ticked right off every time I blocked his way onto the court. After the game Jim took Hunter to go shoot some hoops. Check out the vids of our wild and crazy basketball night.

Jim played awesome, as usual. He was the high scorer on his team, but even with his star-power and Tralee's awesome cheers, his team lost with the final score of 58-51. It was a close game just not in our favor. Maybe next time the basketball gods will be smiling down on Jim's team for a win. Either way, we're proud of our daddy.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

More Things

Today Tralee told me, "Mom, I have a frog in my eye." I explained to her about having a frog in your throat a few days ago. Today she was blinking and rubbing her eye. I think she had an eyelash in it. . . or as Tralee says, "a frog" in her eye.

Jim and I have to be REALLY careful about what's on tv around the kids now. They're picking up on EVERYTHING. I was watching something about animals the other day, and thought it was innocent enough to have on around the kids when one of the characters said, "Oh damn!" Tralee looked up and asked, "Mom, what's 'oh damn?'" I promptly turned off the tv and explained to Tralee that that's not a nice word. Then I felt like the worst mom. At least the lady didn't say "oh shiznit" or worse!

Tralee has started sounding out letters now. Hunter likes to try too. It's really fun to see their little minds learning. Whenever we're reading stories together, I like to stop at an easier word and have Tralee sound it out. Sometimes she needs a little help, but sometimes she surprises me and figures it out on her own.

Yesterday Hunter smacked me in the face. I pretended to start crying and he ran and hid behind the toy box. He looked so worried and cute I laughed. He ran over to me and said, "Sorry Mama." Melted my heart right into butter.

I cut my finger on a piece of broken glass on New Years Day. It hit a vein and it kinda looked like a crime scene in our bedroom. Luckily, Jim was right there, and as a trained EMT he knew just what to do. It was so sweet to see him look so concerned for me. I was also surprised at how calm I was. The cut could have probably used a stitch or two, but I didn't want to go through the hassle of a trip to the ER. So, we just bandaged it up and prayed for the best. My finger doesn't look all that bad now. The scar won't even be as cool looking as I hoped.

Those are all my scattered thoughts for the moment. I'm sure I'll come up with more later.

Monday, January 10, 2011

More Morsels

Tralee is now in the stage where she dresses herself. Not only that, but she changes outfits AT LEAST four of five times a day. Not only THAT but she calls her outfits her costumes. I usually hear her say, "Oh! I need to go put on a new costume" several times a day. The world is a stage for this little being.
Check out her ensemble today:
I went to do a little couponing today. I got some GOOD deals, and added bonus; the kids were SUPER well behaved! What luck!

When we were in line the kids each grabbed a sucker at the little sucker stand thing. I told them each to put them back. Tralee said, "Oh! Bummer city!" Then Hunter tuned in and kept grabbing a sucker, then putting it back while shouting, "BUMMER CITY!" Luckily it was really cute, and everyone around us was laughing. Even me. Anywho. . .back to my deals:
All of this without coupons would have been $130.90.
I got it all for $25.74 plus I still have $3.00 in register rewards to spend.
That's a total savings of $105.15 without the $3 RR or $108.15 if you include the RR.
I saved about 80%. Not too shabby.
My favorite score of the day were the two Rembrant 2-hour whitening kits. Originally $23.99 each. I got them each for $4.99 with coupons and deals.
Jim doesn't really care about all the details of my couponing. Just as much as I don't really care about all the details of his golf game. So, sorry if you think my couponing is boring, I just want to share it with someone since my hubby's eyes glaze over when he hears me mention the word coupon.
Something Jim and I both care about is finding good deals on furniture and fixing it up ourselves. We got this entertainment center from craigslist last year. I'm kinda sad I never took a before picture. It had a natural wood finish and some 80's glass doors that were falling apart. We removed the doors, sanded it, added some crown molding, painted it black, distressed it, and now Jim just finished the new doors for it. I LOVE the finished product. The whole project cost us around $90, that's including the price of the entertainment center. I still need to find knobs I like for it. I'll probably just wait for Jim to get a good deal on some, or until he has some left over from a cabinet job. Oh. . . and do you like our old school tv? We're not really electronic-y type people around here. We even still pull out VHS tapes from time to time. Maybe someday we'll get a fancy flat tv. Like, when this one breaks. :)

Lastly, today while we were driving around Tralee said to me, "Mom, I don't want to be a Sunbeam anymore. I want to be an elephant. Can you tell Jesus for me?" Will do! :)
So. . .there you go. More info on our uber exciting life that's just dripping with juicy details. I bet you can hardly wait for the next blog entry. :)

Some Blog Hors D'oevres

Here are a few morsels about our comings and goings.

- Tralee has been in Primary for two weeks now. I teach in Junior Primary so I get the privilege of watching my little Sunbeam during Sharing Time. Oh how fun it is! The first week she was a little apprehensive and kept turning to me across the room saying, "I want to come sit by you mom!" Oh how I wanted to open up my arms and say, "Come here!" But, I restrained myself. I answered back by telling her to stay by her teacher, then blew her a little kiss so she knew I still loved her. The second week in Sunbeams went much better. Tralee does so well following directions. She does everything the leaders ask, and even sings along to songs -- whether she knows them or not. There was one point yesterday that Tralee slipped into her own world for a second. She jumped up, started twirling around, and flapping her arms like a bird. I tried to get her attention and tell her to sit back down, but another teacher got her back on track before I could. Tralee seemed a little embarrassed, but payed attention again and seemed perfectly happy after a few seconds of returning to reality.

- Hunter is a little talking wizard. He repeats everything you tell him. He answers questions, and even sings songs now. His favorite songs are the clean up song, and the rainbow song. Not bad for a 20 months! Some of my favorite conversations with Hunter go a little something like this:

Hunter: In a corner, under the table, or behind some furniture grunting
Mom: Hunter, are you pooping?
Hunter: Yeah Mama, I poopin'
Mom: Giggles and smiles

Hunter: Farts I farted Mama.
Mom: Starts to laugh

Mom: Hunter, are you hungry?
Hunter: Yeah, I hungy.
Mom: What do you want?
Hunter Quwalkwet. (also known as Chocolate) or he might say, "Cackes and mik" (also known as graham crackers and milk)

- As you can tell from the above, my kids have started calling me Mama, and I love it. Not sure when or how this came about. I think Tralee started it first, and Hunter followed suit. Hunter says it after almost everything he tells me. Melts my heart every time to hear that little voice say "mama".

- Hunter has been sleeping through the night for a few weeks now, and going down for naps without a fight for a week. It's heaven!! HEAVEN!!!!!!! Now, if I can potty train him in a few months I won't know what to do with myself!

- Tralee started writing actual letters and numbers. She's really good at 0, 1, and 3. She also knows how to spell "cot" and "cat" although the letters sometimes get mixed up. Other favorite letters she writes are, "a, h, and i." She loves to trace all the letters and her name, but so far no luck on spelling out her own name be herself. Maybe by her fourth b-day, which is coming up!

- Jim got me a freezer for the garage. Now I need to clean out the garage so we can put it in place. That's going to be a huge chore. I wish my mom were here to help. Plus, it's cold outside right now and I hate being cold. It's just not a job I'm looking forward to. However, I am looking forward to filling our new freezer with items.

I could probably think of more things to fill you in on, but Tralee has been asking me to read her a story for a few minutes now. So off I go.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Happy Birthday Dad!

I can't think of a better way to start this year's posts than to wish my dad a
Happy Birthday!!

Dad, I've learned a lot about you through the years. . .

Your mom tells me you were the cutest baby

and a great son and brother.

You've always been a lover of books

a sports fan

and the life of the party.

Mom always says how good looking you are

and I can see why she fell for you

There's also your outdoorsman side

With many a hunting and fishing tale to be told

But even with all the fish you've caught, jokes you've told, and games you've won

I love you best for being a loving husband to mom, supportive dad to us kid-os, and caring grandpa

We love you lots!! Happy Birthday Dad!!