Thursday, March 30, 2006

Telephone Poles

Some of you may be wondering about the new picture behind my title on this blog.

It is actually a painting, done in oils I think, by one Rachel Higgins. I think about this painting all of the time. It is huge and hangs in my parents' living room. I haven't actually gotten her permission yet to put it on the blog (what are the rules here?) but I am working on that. I put it on Flickr and within ONE MINUTE some dude had marked it as one of his favorites. So I checked out his photo gallery and he has good taste. So I think things will be okay. Bizarre to be so connected.

Speaking of Flickr, I think I've gotten the best of Henry's birthday party photos up without exceeding my monthly limit (thank goodness Saturday is a new month). Just click on the Flickr banner to the right of this post and you'll see them.


So there's this new feature where you can actually hear my kids talking. Pictures and words are just not enough, I tell you.

The first clip (the one immediately below this posting) is of Henry counting. Then he asks for macaroni.

The clip below that one is Svea talking but she won't talk until the middle of the clip so if you turn up your volume, she'll blast your ear. Just be patient.

More audio coming your way...

Monday, March 27, 2006

I Heart Arwyn

Arwyn came over to play the other day and...the pictures pretty much say it all.

And, yes, that is green marker on Henry's cheek and he put it there himself and we didn't wash his face until after his nap. Parenting awards accumulate.

All Cleannnnttttttt

is what Henry says after anyone gets out of the bath or shower.

We attempted to bathe them together the other night. By about 4:30pm, I am all about streamlining any process so I can be on to the NEXT phase of everyone-go-to-bed-so-I-can-catch-my-breath. So we joined them in the tub - and this is one of those things I dreamt about when Svea was in utero - one of those ultimate parent-of-more-than-one-child moments.

It was awesome.


This one gets me every time.

Svea has learn to "crawl" backwards and has popped two bottom teeth. They are big and crooked.

Henry's new birthday toys keep finding themselves bouncing off of Svea's head and Henry looks up and he's in "time out" again...but he will still kiss her when we point a camera at him and ask loudly 79 times, "Can you kiss your sister? HENRY?!? Can you kiss Svea? hmm? Can you kiss her on the head??? Quick!"

harper holder

Last week, we had the best visit with our cousins the Harper Holders.

Graham, who is almost 5, really loved Henry's pedal tractor and his new basketball goal.

Carter loved holding Svea and eating popcorn while we gawked at American Idol.

Reggie loved learning about Indiana and various spots unique to Evansville. Hmmm. I think Reggie may be happy anywhere if he finds this place interesting. Even though we aren't blood, I'm really hoping my kids have some of him in them.

Kristin got some good floor time with my kids, took great pictures, and even got a Sudoku or two done.
I loved them being here so much that I was grumpy when they left.

When Graham and Carter were appropriately dressed in their superhero pajamas, they posed with Svea and Henry who were stunned at their agility and strength.

They also brought some new toys for Henry, one of which was a box full of stacking blocks. I thought we were going to have to change Henry's diaper he was loving them so much.

The Harper Holders also brought a birthday gift for Henry from his Auntie PP and Moo Moo (Angela and Bess) and he has rarely taken it off. He wore it all day at "school" on Thursday and to church this Sunday. Ribbet.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Ngongaa Party

We are emerging from our post-two-year-old-birthday-party afternoon naps.

Henry turned 2 on March 16th, but the Ngongaa Party was today, complete with over 12 children and 22 adults. Yippee for balls everywhere in our house! As a reminder, "ngongaa" was what Henry called any round object he could hold in his hands and throw. Now he uses "ngongaa" and "ball" interchangeably - an emotional linguistic development for all.

We had mixed emotions about throwing a party in Evansville where we knew most of our family couldn't make it (yippee for Bobbie, Mimi. Aunt Merness and Neenee!) but in the end decided most of Henry's friends his height were here...
So we missed all of you we love who couldn't be here and we'll just celebrate all over again when we see you.
And also today is Aunt Neda's birthday so HAPPY BIRTHDAY NEDA ALL THE WAY OVER THERE IN LONDON!!

So here are a few fun pics from the day, an incomplete assortment as there was about one camera per person at the party and I haven't collected copies from everyone.

Here are three photos of the chaos that extended into the backyard:

Sweet Wyatt in the pool of balls:

And Svea with her Mimi and a basketball balloon:

Instead of gifts, we asked everyone to write a wish to Henry for the beginning of his third year of life. Here are the wishes:

And here's Svea the night before swimming in the pool of balls:

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

I Can't Stop Taking Pictures of the Animals in The Birmingham Zoo

Something happens when you go to the zoo - any zoo - even if you hate zoos and are all for the rights of animals and stuff. But something happens to you and you'll want to take pictures of all the animals, especially the big ones.

When we were in Birmingham, I was really glad to see the picture frenzy take over my sister-in-law Beth. And I was more than happy to traipse along behind her as she scuttled to see the giraffes and the elephant to take their picture...glad that I didn't have to whip out my camera. I was also glad that she was chasing Henry and talking to him about whatever creature was up next.

You can see all of Beth's Zoo Frenzy pictures here.

I've uploaded some new ones here.

Here are a few of my favorites from our perfect afternoon on the train, with the monkeys and on the Farmall tractor. Luckily Brooke's cell phone still worked in the primate house. Hee hee.

Monday, March 13, 2006

The Evolution of Our Day

This may be a long entry. So go get your drink or whatever because these kids are so cute.
We just got back from a whirlwind week that began and ended in Decatur, AL with a sandwiched trip to Birmingham in the middle. We are tired, but so so happy.

Henry is in a Happy Phase that makes our food taste better, our beds more comfy and our laughs deeper in our chests. Henry cooperates without asking and is sweet to Svea and is an atypical almost-two-year-old and I LOVE IT. Not only do I love it, I feel like I EARNED IT. So I'm cashing it all in this week when he hugs me for no reason and gets in his car seat without my knee having to shove him back into the sitting position so I can quick buckle the straps.

This morning, Henry drank from a hippo's tail. He calls it his "hippo-onamous" and pointed to his name that is written on the lid and named the letters. Granted, he was holding it upside down and he only got 3 of the letters right, but he's NOT EVEN TWO and he already knows how to find a hippo's rear and drink successfully from it. Skills, is all I've got to say.

Then we went to the Health Department to get Svea's immunizations and she did not even cry when she got the shots. Wonder Baby. Her legs may be a little sore tonight, but you wouldn't know it by the way she was acting after supper.

After lunch and naps (which coordinated today - hear the angels sing), we went to the zoo.
Henry ran the entire time until he stopped to point to the rhino:

and then Svea pointed to make sure I had seen it:

and then Henry stopped to feel the wind:

and then crawled into the stroller ON HIS OWN and didn't fuss when I headed to the car. He simply pointed to the lion on the coke machine and said, "LionTTT." Then he said, "Bye-bye zoo." Again, hear the angels sing.

Tonight after supper, Svea was playing with her water mat on a blanket and Henry decided to have yet another sweet moment and join his sister. When I asked him if he could give his sister a kiss, I think he heard me say "hickey" but I'm not sure. Luckily Svea's reflexes were not affected by her shots this morning.

It took Henry a long time to finish his supper tonight. He ate the first half before the water mat playdate with Svea. Then the second half he kept in his mouth for 20 minutes. So I told him that I would give him a Danimals yogurt with a straw if he would swallow his last bite of food. So he holed up in Brian's chair - horizontal to state his intention of sitting ALONE - and chewed for another 10 minutes. Whatever. Then he drank all the yogurt without ever removing his lips from his bendy straw.

After his bath, he crawled into his new choo-choo train sheets and went to bed on his own, without a peep. Magical. Angels singing everywhere.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Hola de Chile

When I was 7 months pregnant with Henry, Brian took a group of students from Birmingham-Southern to Chile for a Service Learning course. As in most Latin American countries, soccer is one of the most popular sports. So Brian, in effort to acclimate himself and to educate our unborn child, bought our child this soccer uniform. Complete with knee socks that cover Henry's first two thigh rolls.
True to form, Henry put on the outfit and immediately started kicking everything in site. He found this soft "block" and launched it across the room.

Before the Kick:

After the Kick:

The fabric of the uniform is like 150% polyester (I know because Brian bought me a jersey that's short sleeved and when i wear it outside in windy 19 degree weather, I still have sweaty armpits). Anyway, after Henry got done kicking, he settled down with some Brown Bear, Brown Bear. What would Bill Martin, Jr. and Eric Carle think?

BTW, Cristal is the yummy beer there.

Sweet Eilidh

Henry and Svea have a sweet friend named Eilidh (pronounced AY-lee). She is Henry's play mate during church on Sundays since the pews get a little hard and the silence, a little tempting. So Henry and Eilidh run around outside until it's time for the yummy bread of communion.

Eilidh is also sweet on Svea and made her own little purple playdough doll and named it Svea after she was born. I hope they stay good friends since they both will have to spell and pronounce their names to every single person they meet the rest of their lives.

That's Wyatt in the background waiting for the girls to turn their attention to him. About thirty minutes after this photo was taken, he fell asleep sitting straight up in his stroller. I guess he got tired of waiting on them.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Just Can't Stay Away

Henry has now invited some friends into his obsession with the baseball stadium ramps. Complete with beads for Mardi Gras and an african t-shirt from his Pops, we spent about an hour yesterday running up and down the ramps. Let me introduce you:

This is Arwyn Dae Horstman, the lone female friend in this play group. Not to worry - she can definitely hold her own with the boys.

This is Calvin Rhodes Josenhans, new to Evansville with musical parents and a little sibling on the way. Henry calls him Cal-noo.

This is Rafe Erik Nelson, also new to Evansville and the youngest of the group. Rafe can eat more food than any child I've seen and has awesome toys (including one of those Clip-Clop horses on springs in his bedroom.)