Sunday, January 31, 2010

sledding brothers



loving brothers.

The relationship between C&H has really come a long way. Let me take you back a few months:

late summer 2008 - Clayton doesn't really notice Hudson. Hudson lays around, drinks milk from mommy, and is held a lot. He's also really loud and "cries all the time." Clayton wished he would stop. Makes comments like, "That baby is crying again..."

winter 2008 - Hudson is now noticed more. He's a rolly polly and can sit up and grab toys. Clayton's toys. Clayton takes on role of Protective Big Brother and doesn't want Hudson to touch his things because Hudson "might swallow them." Yes, Hudson might have even swallowed his beanie babies, trucks, and trains. Right then.

spring 2009 - Hudson is definitely more mobile. He's crawling everywhere and will follow Clayton anywhere. Mommy takes showers while Clayton "watches over" Hudson, and they play together. Clayton takes his role very seriously.

summer 2009 - Hudson discovers that he's really a boy and he has a brother. He begins to wrestle with Clayton, which no one taught him to do. He leaps on his back, bites his back, and latches on for dear life. Clayton runs around and taunts Hudsie. Their relationship blossoms :]

fall/winter 2009 - They become best buddies. Clayton recognizes that he has to be gentle with Hudsie, but they duke it out all the time. Hudie crawls all over Clayton, finding satisfaction in sitting on C's butt. Hudsie does, and plays with, whatever Clayton has.





This last picture speaks volumes. Six months ago, Clayton would have died if Hudsie had drank from his sippy cup [if you look closely, there is a rubber band contraption in the middle of the cup which reads "Clayton" engraved]. Now? By winter 2009? He holds his baby brother and lets him sip on his drink.

Undeniably precious.

Clayton was crushed when he found out that his new baby sibling was not a girl. He prayed and prayed, and he was sad about it for days. But we're all thrilled that Clayton will have another brother. And the three of them, each about two years apart, will be close for a lifetime. I'm anxious and excited to see the brotherly love between my three sweet nephews.

But I do fear for my sister's house and refrigerator. You know how boys are: loud, noisy, and messy.

Good luck to you, my brave sister! Tune in later tonight for sledding brothers!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

what IS this?! close, but no cigar!

You all must think our dog is HUGE!
She's just a little teeny thing, remember!?

Why, we were


..children in..


..a blanket..


..of course!


Blanket Swinging is an all-time favorite at Grandma & Poppy's!
Whoever gets the head-end of Clayton is in big trouble!

Who's up for some newborn-swinging come this June?!
Huh huh!?

Watch out, Baby G! Your big brothers are WILD!


Original Post:

What on earth is going on in this picture?!


and this is the whole picture
nothing's been cropped!

Can you figure out what's going on?!

Saturday Snapshots: Photograph Your.. PET!

I love love love this blog carnival! It's so much fun to test your limits with photography. This week, Brittney decided that it was PET WEEK! We're huge dog lovers, so this came natural to us! Scootch on over to her blog and check out precious Lily Bug!

Today I decided to photograph her in the snow, but I also wanted to capture one of my favorite parts of Piper: her puppy nose.









Next Week:
Photoraph: The Outdoors!!

Join in - it's too fun to miss!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

interview two


Because just one interview wasn't enough.

I had so much fun interviewing Clayton yesterday that I immediately came up with more questions to ask my sweet oldest (what what?! Now I can officially use oldest and youngest since there are THREE boys!) nephew.

If you're "familiar" with child development, you know that it's difficult for young children to "pull things out of their head." (Ex. Saying "What's your favorite food?" And not giving any options or ideas. Some kids might need you to prompt them by giving options: pizza? hamburgers? spaghetti? etc.) So, on some questions, we got lots of "Ummm.... I don't know..." but eventually he came up with answers for all of them on his own!


So I now present: Interview Part II

what makes you happy? Shannie

what makes you angry? Mommy makes me go in my room

what's the most important thing you know? how to play golf

tell me something about God. God loved us before we did

if you had $10, what would you buy? the big dinosaur in the store


what can you do that mommy can't? run

at what age are you an old person? 5,000 (he said "fifty hundred")

what are you good at? jumping on the trampoline without falling

if you had a dog, what would you name it? Rocker

tell me a joke: knock knock, who's there? moofie. moofie who? moofie too.

what's the best food in the whole wide world!? peanut butter & jelly sandwich

what's a happy color? red

what's a sad color? black


The following question/answers did not happen:

What will you do with Baby G when he gets here? Nothing.
~~You won't hold him and sing to him? NO! I might drop him!!!

What's the best thing about Hudson? He shoots me with guns.


I love learning about child development. So when I researched stages of humor development, I found this interesting info:

The preschool child's verbal humor reflects attempts to create fantasy from reality. The show their understanding and control of words, they playfully distort them. The child's delights in misnaming objects, or creating new words with nonsensical endings, or endlessly rhyming real or nonsense words. By the conclusion of the preschool years, scatological humor becomes a source of please. Now the child uses "taboo" words or repeats jokes about elimination or body parts. This reflects their concern about cleanliness and sexual interest. In general, their humor is rambling, silly, and repetitious.

BINGO! This is where Clayton has been for the past year. He often says "You're a poopie!" and giggles his head off. During Christmas break, his new thing was "You're a mugger." And thought it was the funniest thing ever. Now, seeing him think "moofie" was hilarious shows him distorting words & using nonsense words!

If you have a child/babysit a child/have one in your family, interview them! It's so funny and exciting to hear their responses!

interview with a five-year-old


I can't believe how grown-up Clayton is. It seems like yesterday that I was catching projectile spit-up in my hand and lathering his butt with Desitin. Like yesterday when he followed me everywhere and insisted on always being around me. Like yesterday when I babysat him and tiptoed in his nursery every 10 minutes to make sure he was still breathing.



But here he is: going to school, working on his first school project (more on that later!), and telling his mama, "You know... we don't have to talk all the time.." He's five years old, going on 16, and it breaks my little heart.

Yesterday, I called my sister and had her ask certain questions to Clayton while he was taking a bath.

Here are his answers:

What's your favorite thing about school? Playing at recess

What do you not like about school? Nothing

What's your favorite center? (after much thought) Legos

What's your favorite thing to do at home? Play with toys

What's the best thing about mommy? Cooks me food

What's the best thing about daddy? Playing video games with him

What do you like to do with Husdon? Play in the bubbles


What do you want to be when you grow up? Builder & football player

If you could go anywhere in the whole world, where would you go? Virginia*

What's your favorite Bible story? When Samson gets his hair cut

What do you miss doing with Shannie? Playing toys, building Legos, playing with her

Who's your best friend? Shannie*

Who's your best friend at school? Caden.


*No bias. I swear. He really just loves me more than anyone. I can't help it.. :)

ten tidbits about this toddler

July 2009

You and I have something in common: We're both missing out on Hudsie turning from a baby into a toddler. So much has changed since this little ball-of-rolls was one year old (see photo), but I'm here to update you on Sprout's other brother!

1. His favorite foods are: peanut butter & jelly sandwiches, bananas, oatmeal

2. New words: chocolate, cookie, brownie, "It's cold/hot," calls Clayton "Cate," he can look at pictures of family members and say their names.

3. He lives to climb on anything -- couches, chairs, on bath tubs, ledges

4. He wants at least 2 blankets with him when he goes to bed or during naptime.

5. Hudsie backs up and sits on top of Clayton and wrestles with him.

6. He hates being left by his parents. He cries and cries when you leave him.

7. If he spots donuts in the kitchen from the living room, he points and says "I donut! I donut!"

8. He loves to run from you and be chased around.

9. He now weighs about about 30lbs.

10. He goes to bed at 8pm and he is woken up at 6am. He always takes a 2 hour nap around 10am.

July 2009

Stay tuned for tomorrow -- I interviewed Clayton over the phone, and I'll post his responses!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Life's good.

Life really is good:

-I now own seasons 1 &2 of I Love Lucy - which I got for only $15 at Target. Life's good.

-I'm laying in bed with the fan blowing on setting 2. It feels great. Life's good.

-Mark's falling asleep next to me, and Piper's licking/grooming herself between us. Life's good.

-Tonight I had guacamole & chips from Chipotle. It was so tasty. Life's good.

-I got a free cookbook in the mail today, which I applied for a few weeks ago. Granted, it's all about the usage of raisins, which I never eat, but regardless... Life's good.

-I "got out of" cooking tonight, which I'm pretty excited about. Man oh man, Life's good.

-I'm caught up on laundry and dishes. Our bedroom and bathroom are clean. Our living room is looking pretty good! And so Life's good.

-MckMama commented on my blog today -- a joyous, exciting occasion! Life's very good.

-Mark came home 15 minutes late today. I expected the worse, but he popped in with a cleanly-shaven head. Now he looks like a soldier. Life's good.

-I spent the night laughing and chatting with my buddy, Tara. She's great, and life's good!

-I finished Exodus today. I'm, like, 2 days behind on my Read the Bible in 90 Days thing, but I will catch up! I just need to read the entire book of Leviticus tomorrow. Youch! The Bible's great, and life's good!

-Tonight I'm going to "wind down" by watching a few of the first episodes of I Love Lucy, one of my most beloved shows. Life's good!!!

-I'm super duper happy. I have a hott husband who serves our country and a ridiculously cute (and obedient) puppy.

Life's SO GOOD!

the gun.

When Clayton came to visit me in October, we took him to Williamsburg. There, I bought him a wooden gun that was really cool (and really expensive.. ). A gun that little boys in the 1800's would have definitely played with. He was so excited. He toted that thing for hours, aiming at trees and making it pop. He refused to let one me or my parents carry it for him. And, when nap time rolled around (and he was exhausted), he dropped it multiple times on the ground out of exhaustion.

But he flew to see me, and you aren't allowed to take guns on planes. So I promised that I would return it to him for Thanksgiving.

But I forgot it at home.

Now it sits upon our bookshelf. And he still hasn't forgotten about his gun. He's flying with my parents again in April to visit me. He called me this morning,

"Shannie? I'm driving to see you so I can bring back my gun."

"Clayton? Is that you?? You're flying with grandma and poppy, remember? You aren't driving."

"Yes I am. I'm driving so I can get my gun!"

"Um, ok.. "

He refuses to believe that he really is flying. I don't know how he's going to get his gun back home.

I just wanted to let you know about our little situation. Carry on now.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

elementary memories

Elementary School. Ahh, the good old years! My librarian saved all the pictures from all the years, and she (and my mentor) gave me copies of the ones of me! The first picture dates back to 1994.. what a long time ago!

Without further ado, I now present my top 10 memories from elementary school:

1. Making really nice puppets in the 4th grade during a drama unit. We cut foam, designed a face (on our own -- mine had a long neck and nearly no jaw.. ), brought in clothes, bought doll hair, and glued on eyes. Mine had curly hair, and I dressed her in my teddy bear's clothes. So much fun!

2. In the 6th grade, we had an "Adventures of the Bailey School Kids" week. In celebration, I came up with the idea of dying our hair green to honor "Leprechauns Don't Play Baksetball." My mom bought me green hair dye, and it was so much fun!

3. Each year, during Book Fair week, I would save 25 cents each day so I could go to the book fair. Of course, I could only afford a bookmark or an eraser (good enough for me!) so I could get out of class. I had a serious obsession with Clifford erasers. No really. I would buy those character erasers @ the Book Fair and they would "live" in my desk as "pets." I was a weird child.

4. In the first grade, my teacher came up with this "beach week" or something. I barely remember it. On the Sunday night before beach week, I sprained my ankle doing who-knows-what. I couldn't walk at all. My dad had to bring me in the class, and my teacher got me a wheel chair. For some odd reason, she had a little box of sand sitting in the doorway that we had to cross over. I obviously had to hop over it, and it was terrible. Then I went to recess and sat in a wheelchair. It was horrible.

5. Struggling with telling time, multiplication, and cursive. It took me forever to learn double digit multiplication. Because of my 2nd grade teacher, I learned cursive a year later than my peers. And telling time was like a foreign language. Yikes!

6. Winning goldfish at the fall festivals. FUN! My absolute favorite thing ever!

7. Square pizza and corn on Fridays... really, is there anything better in life? I think not.

8. Playing house at every chance I got with my best friends. We had elaborate make believe stories about our children, husbands, and our pets. Once I even had a horse named Starburst (which was really a swing in real life). And, in the 3rd grade, my friend and I gave birth to babies when we were stuck inside for recess one day (due to rain). Looking back on it, I'm positive my teacher must have seen us pushing out imaginary babies. Wow.

9. Dissecting frogs in the 6th grade. We were given the option of dissecting them or going to recess. I, obviously, chose dissection. It was the highlight of my elementary years. I'll never forget it.. that cold, lifeless frog in my hands. It was unbelievable.

10. Open response writing. The Four Column Method is forever ingrained in my brain. Those "writing workshops" were the pits, but now I am a good writer -- so maybe I have my old writing teacher to thank. Who knows?

And, Natcher Kids -- let us not forget: Kids On the Block, Mr Sweeny, Jump Rope for Heart, library time with the world's best librarian, the awesome zip slide, playing "State Tag" during recess on the US map, chili suppers, and playing those xylophones during music class!!

1994 Fall Festival

3D on jumbo computers!!

drama skit in the 6th grade
we were the Spice Girls!

Man, I miss elementary school.. don't you!?

Monday, January 25, 2010

Not Me Monday!

It's Monday!! Time for Not Me Monday! I'm joining in this week in celebration of MckMama finally coming home from the MckCruise. By the way -- I really wanted to go on the MckCruise. It would have been the perfect first anniversary trip for us. We could have hung out with MckMama, played games with her, and joined in with her photo sessions. Sigh. It would have been great. (Not to mention I could.. you know, watch her from afar.. )

Anyway. On with the show:

Yesterday, I totally did not oversleep and miss church. I always set my alarm, get up, and head to church like a good wifey! So I didn't have to attend the 6pm service to make up for it. Our preacher is insanely hilarious (and also an amazing preacher!) so when he cracked a joke, I was not the only person to laugh. I didn't laugh so hard, for so long, that my face actually hurt from smiling. I mean, I'm pretty modest, so my laugh did not fill up the entire gymnasium*. Definitely not!

This past weekend, I did not discover that my younger nephew, Hudsie, affectionately calls me a cuss word. He would never call me %*#$ in place of Shannie. He did not see a picture of Mark and me and say, "There's s*it & Moc!" Nope, not my nephew!

Earlier this week, while Skyping with Chris & Brittney, we lost the television remote. When Mark lifted up the couch cushion, he did not find a pair of fuzzy socks in our couch. I mean, really. Just who do you think I am? I'm a great housekeeper, and our couch does not eat things. I've also never been known to find magazines, chapsticks, and plates in our couch cushions.

Okay okay. I really was kidding about that last one.


On Saturday, we went to a mall in Portsmouth for the day. There, I walked into New York & Co and saw the most gorgeous orange purse. I rubbed my hand over it and my eyes got big. Then, I definitely did not say to Mark, "When I wear orange, I feel a little bit like MckMama.." Uh, that would be creepy and weird. I would never say something like that. Sheesh!

And, finally, our kitchen cabinets aren't stacked with dishes because our dishwasher is broken. We don't keep holding out to see if our dishwasher will miraculously come back to life and do the work for us. Nope. I always wash dishes right after I use them, so my dishes would never pile up.

And, if it were true, I would definitely not blog about it.

Nope, NOT ME!

*Our church has 5 services - 2 in the sanctuary and 3 in the gym. Which is why we were in a gym.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

the day Mark got red carded

On January twenty-fourth,
a cold and windy day,
I drove to the soccer field
to watch my husband play.







too bad we had to leave the game early
because of that stinky red card* & all ;]

*It really wasn't his fault. Promise.