Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Papa's Surprise

Who doesn't love a surprise party?! Well Papa certainly loved it when we showed up on his doorstep at 11:30 on Friday night (after a 3 1/2 hour car trip). We wanted to surprise him a day early instead of showing up on his actual birthday on Saturday. The girls were half asleep after our long drive but woke up long enough to say "surprise, Papa!"

On Saturday the cousins came over to join in the celebration. All of the kiddos had a great time decorating cupcakes for Papa themselves. Pippa was especially cute to watch because she wasn't sure whether or not to put the sprinkles on the cupcake or eat them!

Later on while the little kids enjoyed a movie, the big kids grownups enjoyed a few rounds of the game Catch Phrase. If you haven't ever played this game I highly recommend it - it is a hoot. I was much better at guessing the words than I was giving clues! Just don't guess after the timer goes off, or you will give the answer to the opposing team! OOPS!

We enjoyed a superb lunch (Thanks, Nana!) of turkey and homemade noodles and all of the works! It was like Thanksgiving in the summer time, but instead of pumpkin pie, we all enjoyed a yummy homemade cake dessert. Probably the tallest cake I've ever had and so delicious. I will have to go on a diet though just to lose all of the weight I likely gained over the weekend! We will also forever have arguments over whether Shelly's dish, a strawberry pretzel "salad", was truly a salad and not a dessert!

We really enjoyed our weekend and treasure these times when we can all be together. As we all get older and the kids get busy with activities, I know getting everyone together will become more and more difficult. I just hope no matter how busy we get in our lives, that we take time out for each other. Papa said just being with family was the best present he could ever hope for, so I am glad we could give that to him. Happy Birthday, Papa!

Papa's Birthday Celebration photos

Kiki and Orlando

Boo and Austin

Pippa's turn

Look at me!


Kiki with her toothless grin cupcake

Proud Austin shows off his masterpiece

"Look, Aunt Kristi"

"Aren't I cute?"

Papa cheers on the decorating crew

How many grandkids does it take to blow out the candles?

"Is this what I would look like with glasses Mommy?"

Papa's "tall" cake

Girls giving Papa his cards and present - homemade cookies!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Monday, July 14, 2008

Sleepless In Indy

Sleep. Such a simple sounding word, but it is not a simple thing at all. So many people I know have problems sleeping. Either going to sleep, staying asleep, not getting enough sleep; you name it.

Sleep is also an important topic for new parents and experienced ones. All throughout my pregnancy and after I had both of my girls, all I heard about was ways to get them to sleep through the night, whether or not I should co-sleep, cry it out, etc. People love to give advice about how to help your baby/child to sleep through the night and their advice is always "what is best". Ugh. There is so much conflicting information out there, it is overwhelming.

Sleep through the night? Seriously? Do YOU sleep through the night? I know I don't, and I often have many nights where I can't even fall asleep. So why is it so many people expect that infants and children should sleep through the night when most adults can't?

I can remember being a child and waking up at night. I had bad dreams, needed a drink or was scared of a thunderstorm. I can also remember many a night going to bed and not waking up until morning and feeling so refreshed. Those days are long gone. I don't think I've slept like that, except maybe once or twice, since college. And of course in college I remember staying up ALL NIGHT and sleeping most of the next day. Now sleep eludes me. I wake up several times a night for who knows what reason. I am the lightest sleeper and a pin dropping could wake me up, unlike Bill who could sleep through a tornado. Sometimes I just can't fall asleep. Maybe it is a snoring husband, my bladder or hormones talking, but I am awake for sometimes hours after I go to bed. The nights I do fall asleep quickly, I am startled out of my sleep by a crying child or a thunderstorm.

I get my best ideas for blogging, and just about anything else, when I am trying to fall asleep. I wrote this particular blog in my mind one night last week when I couldn't fall asleep. Once my mind gets going, I might as well forget sleeping for a while. I keep telling myself I should keep a notebook next to the bed so when I think of something I want to write, or need to do, then I can write it down. That way, I will put my mind at ease and hopefully be able to fall asleep.

I also have a child with sleep problems. Which brings me right back to all of that conflicting sleep advice people just love to give parents. I do appreciate the advice, but please let it be just that. Please don't criticize me when I chose to follow different advice, or better yet, my own instincts. Or maybe just give the advice when asked. Trying to follow society's pressure to have your child sleep through the night at a certain age, or at all, just adds all kinds of stress to an already stressed out new parent.

Every child is different, and what works best with one child doesn't necessarily work for everyone. One child may be a great sleeper from the get go, as my little Boo was and still is to this day. Or they might be like my Kiki, now 7, who STILL has trouble sleeping at night. We found co-sleeping worked the best for us and allowed everyone to get much needed rest. I realize it doesn't work for everyone. I always tell moms asking me about co-sleeping to do what works best for them and ignore all of the critics. I also make sure they know to follow safe co-sleeping practices so as not to put the baby in any danger.

My girls still enjoy coming into our bed at night, especially Kiki who still needs that extra security at night. I used to think, "will they ever sleep in their own bed?" And when they both come in, things get a little crowded. However I know they will soon outgrow the need to be close to us at night and I will miss the lazy mornings spent cuddling in the bed. I tell myself that on the nights the bed is crowded and I am getting kicked or covers are being stolen away from me. Before I know it, my girls will be teenagers and then I REALLY won't be getting any sleep.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Wordless Wednesday - Ice Cream

I scream

you scream

we all scream

for ice cream . . .

. . . and candy!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

(Sort of) Wordless Wednesday - Zoobilation

My first "Wordless Wednesday." I couldn't resist adding at least a few words to this one, but I will leave most of it up to the imagination of my readers. Enjoy!

Visitors from "Down Under" The San Diego Zoo

Close Encounters of a giraffe kind


Have you hugged a giraffe today?

"So cool!"

"Is it still there?"

How does this thing work?