Wednesday, March 28, 2012

What a toddler does after bedtime.

Zoe just came in after I'd put her to bed 20 minutes ago.
 "Zoe, back in bed!  It's time for sleep!"
  "Mom, I have something," she told me with a clever, glowing gaze, like she was giving me a precious gem that would be the greatest gift of my life.
I figured it was one of her baby dolls or something. I could tell it was wrapped up.
"Is it your baby?"
Her smile widened and she daintily danced over in the half dark to where I was nursing Zane, who was almost ready for bed.
She tenderly handed me her precious cargo.
"Is a binkie an' a shoe in tissue and a washcloth!" she proclaimed rapturously.
And that's exactly what it was.
And with one last glow of pleasure, she floated, queen-like, back to bed.

Family Hike at Audubon State Park,

Our family only recently discovered Audubon Park, just over the river in Kentucky. What a beautiful place! After the kids and I had a first taste, we couldn't wait to bring Dad back. Even though the trees and ground are still bare, it's still lovely. Look at the beautiful buildings:

Our goal for the afternoon was to go on a family hike.
First, however, we needed to have a "little something..."
Wrestle around a bit on the picnic blanket...

Then off on our hike!

"Poking sticks" were a big hit with the kids.

We made it out and back!  That's right, you're reading it properly - the trail was 0.16 miles.  :)  Only in Indiana does that qualify as a "hike."  But really it was the first time we've all been out on a real trail, so we're calling it our first family hike.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Sink Baby

Do these photos look familiar?  Here's why. What a change 25 months makes.

Saturday, March 24, 2012


Look at my handsome boy! I can see hints now of a young man ten years from now. Pretty cute, huh? Michael and I know how to make 'em.
Flying dad's little helicopter. He and his dad are crazy about all forms of aviation.

 Meanwhile, Zoe finished up a few chores leftover from earlier in the day.  She wants to be like her mommy and enjoys the "domestic arts" like washing dishes. (Definitely enjoys the dishes more than mom!)

Friday, March 23, 2012

Taking Flight

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Sittin' Up!


Jed's training for his future biking career.
He's got a few inches to go.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Horsey Rides!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Big Brother Jed

I love watching Jed grow up and into his personality.  There's a remarkable little man in there. A few days ago, at the park, Zoe wanted to swing really bad, but I was holding the baby and my knee was really bothering me so I didn't want to get up. I asked Jed if he felt like he could push her for me.  He thought for a moment.  "Sure, Mom!" and he ran over.  Zoe beamed.  He gave her a few awkward shoves before he got the groove of pushing. Soon she was flying high in the sky, giggling and shrieking with joy, and Jed had the biggest grin on his face.  He truly enjoys helping out with his brother and sister.

 He's at an age where he really, really enjoys any opportunity to participate in grown-up tasks. One of his favorites is babysitting Zane.  When Zane was a newborn, in the afternoon for "quiet time" I would be so tired, and Zoe needed a nap but wouldn't cooperate how that we had two rooms for three kids... So I asked Jed if he could babysit.  He screeched with excitement "YESSS!"  "Mom, I will take such good care of him and bring him everything fun he needs."  After some careful instruction, and strapping the baby in tight to his soft bouncy-chair, I went into the other room--just across the hall, where I could hear everything going on.  The first few days I checked in every five minutes.  Everything was fine.  I would tiptoe to the door and peek in.  Jed lay on the floor, quietly making motor noises and pushing a little toy truck back and forth, back and forth, in front of the baby. "Look, Mom, I'm teaching him to love blue and cars like me."

Today we had a books-picnic.  Jed and Zoe love eating lunch outside on a blanket while I read aloud our latest book.  We finished reading Winnie-the-Pooh (which Jed and I adored. Totally a classic.) I announced it was time to clean up.  Jed asked if he could play with Zane for me. I got up to run the dishes inside and when I came back out, Zane was sitting on the blanket under the tree and Jed lay in front of him, vrooming a little matchbox gently over Zane's fat little noggin', while Zane giggled and beamed at his big brother.

I've got the best job in the whole world.  Sometimes I feel guilty because I enjoy staying home with my kids so much.  Surely I should be doing something more hard and lousy like Michael has to at work.  But dang, it's fun, and seeing those kids loving each other makes my cup of happiness run over.

Spring Flowers

Two weeks ago, Zoe found our first spring flowers.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Tender Heart

Sunday, March 18, 2012

His Momma's Boy

Jed was helping me make pizza dough for dinner. I asked him to get the whole wheat flour out of the fridge, where it is kept in a large yogurt container. I turned my back for a few moments to check on the baby. I heard a muffled bump, a gasp from Jed, and then a muffled "It's OK, Mom! I'll clean it up Mom! Don't worry, Mom! I'm cleaning it up now Mom! Sorry, Mom!" There was Jed, turning in frantic circles and sputtering about in the midst of this mess:
Oh dear, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.
I know he feared the RAGE OF MOM, but I only laughed and told him to hold still while I got the camera.You can see in his face how relieved he was that I didn't get upset. Goodness knows I've done the same thing a hundred times myself. Bless his sweet little heart. We cleaned it up together -- I swept while he held the dustpan, and then he wiped down the cabinets while I fed the baby. He's his Momma's boy!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Monster Trucks and Giggles

In case you didn't know, my Hoosier Boy Jed loves him some monster trucks.
But even better than monster trucks he loves kissing his baby brother all over and making him giggle.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Tired Zane

After a long morning of church, Zane conked out in is daddy's lap.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Tall Boys

Jed and Zane: Best Brother Buddies
I've always appreciated what a fantastic big brother Jed is to his little siblings. He truly cares about them. For Valentine's Day I asked him why he loved Zoe, and he said it was because she always comes to him for kisses and hugs to feel better whenever she gets hurt. And he's right. Anyone who has seen him tenderly hold her hand as they cross the street knows how much he cares about her. And he's the same way with little Zane. He's always on the lookout for opportunities to have "boy time" together on the floor. He brings Zane offerings of cars and legos all the day long, laughs when Zane pulls the legos apart, politely making the vrooming noises for him, since he can't do it himself yet.

There's another thing the boys have in common though: THEY ARE HUGE! They are growing far too quickly for their mother's comfort.
Last month, I measured Jed on his 5th birthday and he hadn't grown at all since last November. I predicted a growth spurt soon, however, when Jed ate about half a family sized giant pizza and started waking up at night (seems like that only happens when he's growing quickly. He has bad dreams, which is particularly heartbreaking when you find him jumped up on top of his toybox, clambering up the wall and screaming about spiders on the floor.) Last Sunday we noticed his church pants seemed a little short. Then this Sunday they seemed ridiculously short and I had to go pull a next size up pair out to wear. Yesterday he seemed bigger than ever, so I lined him up against the wall, and sure enough. He's huge. He's grown more than 2 inches in the last 5 weeks.
Below is the funny picture I got when I tried to take a photo of him next to his height. Did I mention we are in full goofball phase?

Meanwhile, this little guy is determined to keep up.
I kept sort of subconsciusly feeling frustrated at how hard it is to carry Zane around in his bucket seat. Other women seem to perkily stride by, bucket seat over their arm swinging gaily as they walked. So why, when I do pushups every other day, does my seat just always seem so heavy I can barely walk with it? Am I really so weak?  Well, turns out that the problem wasn't my biceps. We did a general weigh in over at Grandma and Grandpa's house, and he weighs just under 20 pounds. When his fat little feet started sticking out the bottom of the bucket seat, making it hard to get in the car, I cursed the seat until I realized maybe it was the kid. So Jed and I measured him last Tuesday. Then we went and plugged his height into the online growth calculator. Stupid calculator kept giving me weird results. So then I tried another. And another... And then I realized that yes, Zane is like in the 120th percentile for height. And he has outgrown his baby bucket seat.

 I just can't keep up with these big growing boys!