Friday, November 30, 2007

Growing Pains

This evening in the car:

Nathan: Mama?

Cherith: Yes baby?

Nathan: Asks a question that I cannot remember due to the trauma of the next 15 seconds.

Cherith: Answers question that I cannot remember.

Nathan: Mama, can you please not call me baby anymore?

Cherith(while LITERALLY choking back tears and sobs of grief): Yes Nathan, if you don't like it I won't call you baby anymore. I am sorry, I did not know you don't like it. I don't call you baby because I think you are a baby, it's just what I have called you ever since you were born. You will always be my baby, but I won't call you baby anymore if you don't like it.

Nathan: No, I don't like it mama.


Mama needs a hug.

I seem to be suffering a LOT more pain over Nathan's growing up than I did over Isaac's and than I think I will over Anna's.

Even though Anna is my last baby, I have been able to really savor every second of her babyhood. I have memorized how it feels to rock her and read to her and hold her. I will have very fond memories of those moments with my baby girl.

Isaac was my baby all by himself for 18 months. I spent 11 weeks prior to Nathan's birth on bedrest so it was just my Isaac and me, able to spend lots of time together. I have such vivid memories of rocking him, reading to him and playing with him.

But with my Nathan, my dear sweet, kind hearted, easy going little Nathan, I just don't have many clear memories of his baby years. I have thought a LOT about why that might be and there are many reasons, but two specifically that really stand out.

I was so busy when he was an infant, caring for a newborn and a toddler, that I don't think I ever really took the time to slow down and savor his baby moments. Then we were in that awful car accident and it completely wiped out a lot of my memory of the year before and the year after. Years that I can never get back, the years when my Nathan grew and changed the most. It brings tears to my eyes even as I type this, I so desperately wish I had more vivid memories of him as a baby, a toddler, a 2 year old.

He is growing SO fast. He is going to be FIVE next year! He is going to start kindergarten in the fall of 2008! I would not wish him back to a baby, he is an utter joy of a little boy. I just so wish that my memories of his infancy and toddler hood were clear.

I will admit that I also worry a lot about Nathan's well being. I do not want him to sink into the neglected middle child role. With a rather high maintenance, though also dearly loved, big brother and an adorable baby sister, easy going Nathan can very easily get lost in the shuffle. He is just such a sparkling little personality, that grin just lights up the room.

I could probably ramble on for at least another 12 paragraphs with very little point or direction so I will cut this post off for both your benefit and mine.

SIGH I don't remember signing up for this part of motherhood, why didn't some one warn me?

Thursday, November 29, 2007

What's Cooking?

Apparently Anna requires variation in the daily menu in the S house. She frequently pulls out the not-so-much used cookbooks and plops down on the floor to study them. I don't know what the problem can one possibly get tired of smothered burritos, fajitas, something made with chicken, eating out and the rest of the time when mommy is so exhausted that everyone gets a bowl of cereal for dinner??

Monday, November 26, 2007

It's Beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

The traditional post-Thanksgiving leftovers feast. This event always precedes or follows the decorating of the Christmas trees.

Anna putting snowflakes on the windows.

Decorating the kids' tree. Yes the kids' tree. We always have two Christmas trees, one for the kids and one for the grownups. We dearly love the Christmas season so multiple decorated Christmas trees fit nicely into our plans.

Watching the Christmas train.

We had a great visit with Santa. Anna and daddy were not intentionally excluded. She was sleeping and Jesse graciously agreed to stay with her so that I could zip the boys over for a quick photo and chat.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Cick on the Link

No really, click on it. You won't regret it. No really I swear.


Wednesday, November 21, 2007

What state do we live in again?

This post is actually overdue, I am writing about this past weekend, but I have been crazy busy wrapping things up before the Thanksgiving break so I am just now getting to it.

The weather this past weekend was FABULOUS! Mid 70s for highs, mid 40s and 50s for lows, utterly gorgeous. We took advantage with a trip to the zoo and dinner on the patio of a lovely restaurant where we watched the Symphony in Lights set to the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. Ok, so they only have 2 or 3 REALLY good arrangements BUT...those particular arrangements are REALLY awesome.

We requested a seat on the patio, asked them to fire up the enormous gas heaters and then kicked back with the kids to watch the show. It was SUCH a nice evening. Yes, I realize it was a tad early for a Christmas themed light show but we figured that we had to take advantage while the weather cooperated and oh how right we were. As I type, Wed night, I believe we are in the teens. Jesse is walking the dog. That man is a seriously dedicated dog owner I tell you.

Sunday night, the night of the light show, we dined at Ling and Louie's, a rather upper scale Chinese/American sort of fusion restaurant. I think they bill themselves as an Asian Bar and Grill. Well whatever, the food is FABULOUS. I am not a PF Chang's girl. I don't see much a difference between what we order there and what I can get from Mr. Wong's around the corner for 1/8 of the cost. Ling and Louie's however, is REALLY tasty. When the ribs* we ordered for an appetizer arrived, Isaac dipped his finger in the sauce, took a quick taste and then announced in what I can only assume was a perfect imitation of someone from the movie Ratatouille, "This sauce is FANTASTIC." Jesse I burned more calories trying to restrain our laughter than we consumed during the entire meal. Anna insisted on tasting a long mushroom with pepper sauce from my entree, chewed thoughtfully for a moment and then happily announced, "Hot dog!" Nathan pretty much ignored his food, opting instead for the bag of M & Ms which I assume was supposed to be his dessert. As much as I like this restaurant, they probably need some education as to what will happen when they simultaneously serve a meal and a dessert to a 4 year old . He also announced twice that he needed to go poop. SIGH Fortunately we were the only people seated on the patio so there was no one to offend.

We had a fabulous weekend and we are terribly happy we got out this weekend, given the current weather.

Pictures of our day at the zoo below.

Many, many thanks to those of you who supported me through my "issues" on Friday. In case you are not already aware, the events ended favorably and I am very excited. If you haven't the foggiest idea what I am talking about, and I realize how aggravating and cryptic I am being at the moment, shoot me an e-mail and I will explain what I am talking about as well as why I am being so cryptic. Unless of course you belong to the group of people for whose sake I am being cryptic, in which case I will just have to apologetically tell you that I can't tell you what I am talking about.

Wow, I have kind of a headache now.

It is almost time to mail Christmas cards! I am a sucker for Christmas cards, I love sending them and receiving them. If I do not currently have your address and you would like a card, please send it to me. B.D. I don't have yours but would love to send you a card. I am particularly excited about this year's card as I took the pictures myself, designed the card with Jesse's help, and then ordered the prints. I am sure it is not perfect nor as good as it would be if we had opted for professional photos, but I am pretty happy with it anyway.

Love to all and a VERY Happy Thanksgiving to everyone. I will be back with a Thanksgiving post at some point, not your typical smarmy, "We are thankful for food and our house.." post...not that we are not thankful for those things nor to imply that anyone who writes such a post is necessarily smarmy...but a post regarding the differences in our lives this year as compared to last, how we have grown and what we have learned from those experiences. Or on second thought, maybe I won't be back with that post. It is pretty personal. Hmm...I will have to think on this for a day or two. But I WILL be back at some point. :)

*I have a dietary weakness. Typically I am a whole grains, whole foods, fruits and veggies, cook from scratch, anti partially hydrogenated oils, artificial colors, and high fructose corn syrup kind of girl. But put a plate of well prepared ribs in front of me and all bets are off, stand back or you might get hurt. It is all Candace's fault. I was secure and happy in my food snobbery when she FORCED me to taste the ribs her hubby prepared one weekend. And the rest was history.

PS Oh yes, the two pics at the top. This is an expression that we have been trying to capture on film for several months. I believe that dear Auntie Esther taught Anna to furrow her brow and get her lecturing finger going in this manner. Anna now lectures me, the dog, the boys and whoever else happens to be in her line of sight like this several times a day. Thanks a bunch Auntie Esther.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Need a laugh?

This week has been monumentally stressful for oh so many reasons that I will not go into.

In an effort to distract myself from my somewhat self absorbed thoughts of fear, anxiety and insecurity I would like to share a few videos that I absolutely CANNOT watch with out laughing out loud. The best cure for self doubt and anxiety is to just flat out get your mind on something else, in my not so humble opinion.

In the event that you are having a week like mine, I hope this distracts you for just a minute or two and makes you laugh.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Nana's Boutique

Nana has been at her sewing machine again. WAHOO!!! She made these DARLING jumpers for Anna, note the faux purse on the brown polka dots. Nana has also started dabbling in hair bows. Can you just imagine my glee??? Check out Anna's Fall/Thanksgiving hair bow collection! I am going to have to invent a TON of places to go so that we can make good use of all these pretties!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

First Updo

Last week we celebrated the birthday of Anna's Grandpa Jess. We experimented with her very first updo hair style. Totally adorable, if I do say so myself. I have to keep practicing for her Christmas picture.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Oh for the days...

I have to say that I have LOVED every single age my children have thus far achieved. Honestly, there is something about each stage of their lives that is my "favorite."

The one thing I do very much miss, however, are the days when they were all so young and oblivious that we could birthday or Christmas shop right in front of them.

Jesse and I don't get out to often without at least one kiddo in tow. Well, ok, we DO get out, just the two of us now and then, but those are NOT occasions we want to spend strolling through toy stores.

The boys currently believe their most important mission in life is to inspect every single item that enters a grocery cart and ask as many questions as possible regarding the reasons for the purchase. Perhaps they are concerned about our spending habits? Or maybe they are just plain nosey. Who knows. This little obsession does make it a tad difficult to sneak gifts in under their noses, thereby avoiding an extra trip back to the store we or I was just in to purchase the desired item(s).

Tonight, however, we succeeded in sneaking a whole cart load of Christmas presents up to the register and out to the car without too much notice.

I am now finished Christmas shopping for my kids and all of our nieces and nephews with one exception.

And oh how good it feels.

As tough as it is to sneak something to a register now, it becomes doubly so when the stores are crammed full of parents with young children who are ALL trying to sneak something to the register and who ALL have nosey youngsters wanting to inspect every item in their cart.

All you parents of oblivious young ones out there, SAVOR THE DAYS! Occasionally I even have to recruit a sister to act as personal shopper in order to get the job done. Lucky I have so many sisters, eh? Thanks mom!

I don't plan on being online much this weekend. I attended a meeting out of town on Friday, left in a hurry and in the process of frantically packing up and running to my waiting ride, I left the power cord to my laptop behind. SIGH. A kind hearted coworker snagged it and has shipped it back to me, but if it does not arrive Saturday, unlikely, I will have to wait until Tuesday since Monday is a holiday. Please contact me by phone this weekend rather than IM or e-mail. I am currently typing on Isaac's Dell and I DON'T LIKE IT. The battery on my beloved HP only lasts for about 45 minutes so I guess I am unplugged for the weekend.

I have a question.

How many lovies/comforts does your child regularly carry around? Just curious. This week, Anna has not gone ANYWHERE without her blanky (bit), her stuffed cow (moo) and her tattered copy of "Guess How Much I Love You?" (Bo). Nursing has become quite the challenge since all of these items MUST be included in the ritual. I will try to snap a picture of Anna and all her treasures this weekend.

Oh yes! Inquiring minds have asked for an actual height and weight of pipsqueak, 21 pounds and 32 inches. She sort of fits size 18 month clothes. They are the correct-ish length but they have a tendency to fall right off of her little tiny tushy. We occasionally just go with a size 12 months in an outfit that runs big.

Phantom is getting shots tomorrow, then off for neutering and then obedience school as quickly as I can get him there. Oy-vay the trouble that dog can cause!

Love to all! Have a great weekend!

Thursday, November 8, 2007


Today we took all three kids to the ped for flu shots and for Isaac's 6 year check up and Anna's 18 month check up. Hey, we saved on gas money, ok?

Actually, it was not too bad. Unlike last year, Isaac did not tell the doctor that when he misbehaves he gets sold to the gypsies nor did he tell her that his only beverage of note is Dr. Pepper. Everyone cried hysterically over shots, but that is to be expected.


After the appt Jesse went back to work and I took the kids to the toy store. They earned it, after all. Anna selected a large stuffed cow which she totes around the house whilst repeatedly saying Moo! Moo! Moo!

And then, because I AM the bravest woman on the planet, I took all three of them out to lunch. Just me and my kiddos. And it was a lot of fun. We had a great time, they all behaved well and we received several compliments on good behavior from several cute older ladies.

Next we went to the grocery store to load up on Honeycrisp apples. Have you had one of these things!?!?!?! Perfection in fruit I tell you. Liz has me hooked.


Isaac is HUGE. We all knew that though. 90th percentiles for height and weight, growing well, learning new things every day, happy as a clam, etc.

Pipsqueak, I mean Anna, is NOT huge. 65th percentile for height, 10th for weight. head circumference...90th percentile. How do you this she holds that thing up??

Amazingly enough I did NOT receive a lecture for the fact that she is still nursing and the doctor LOVED my Ergo carrier. She even wrote down the name so that she can get one for her own son. Our Ped is actually a group of doctors and it is kind of hit or miss on who you will get and if/how they will judge your parenting decisions.

Not that I care. Judge away, we are still going to do what we do.

Poor Nathan was none too pleased about his flu shot. I had to physically restrain him. Poor baby.

Esther, they have now implemented a screening process for possible autism at age 18 months. She gave me the checklist to fill out and I calmly explained that my kids have been more than screened. Anna then proceeded to scribble all over it.

It was a good appointment.

Love to all!

Monday, November 5, 2007

In Remembrance of.... youth.

Today I turned, I don't know, some age that has a 3 in it. Do the actual numbers really matter after a certain point?

My darling husband treated me to a WONDERFUL weekend full of rest, relaxation, good food and fun with our kiddos. It was a lovely birthday.

He capped it off by taking the day off from work, letting me sleep in and making a yummy chocolate layer cake with the help of his eager offspring.

Pics of my tasty birthday cake below. I have also posted the last video taken with my dearly departed old digital camera. That's right. Until we learn how to use upload video from the digital video camera there will be an absence of video clips on the S Family Blog. So very sad. Honestly, I suspect all we need is a particular cable and we will be good to go. We will be working on that, I promise.

Ah yes, in answer to those of you who e-mailed with concern for Isaac's mental health, knowing how sensitive he is, he WAS very upset that he broke the old camera. Jesse and I did our best to restrain our annoyance but he is a sharp little cookie and I am sure he could tell that we were less than pleased.

However, we did reassure him that it was an accident and that accidents happen. I let him take a few pictures with the new camera today, the strap was securely around his neck to prevent another catastrophe.

Fear not as we have already consulted with Santa and the dear old elf is in possession of a Kid Tough digital camera that just happens to have Isaac's name on it. Come Christmas morning all thoughts of broken cameras will be forgotten as he tears through the house repeatedly dropping the amazing digital camera that cannot break. Or so we hope, anyway.

Love to all!

Sunday, November 4, 2007


I planned to cleverly start this post with a picture of my AWESOME new digital camera, taken with my old, beloved but nearly obsolete digital camera. We told Isaac that he could use the old camera to take pictures since mommy has a new camera. Anyone care to guess how much time elapsed before the old camera bounced off the pavement? The old camera is dead. We are sad. While old and slowly fading, it was a good camera and it served us well. Rest well old friend.

{moment of silence}

My darling, fabulous, wonderful, amazing husband presented me with a new Pentax [insert string of meaningless numbers and letters] FANTABULOUS digital camera. I AM IN LOVE.

As you are well aware, I love to photograph my children. I have many times swiped Mary's camera in an effort to snap better pictures. Mary and James generously contributed to the new camera and also did some leg work in order to land Jesse a GREAT deal. THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!

I understand this was a group effort courtesy of not only my husband but also my incredible sibling group. You guys are THE BEST! I cannot tell you how excited I am!

After rocking my world with the camera, Jesse loaded up the kids and took us to the Botanic Gardens in search of some scenic backgrounds. It was a BEAUTIFUL Autumn day and we had a blast.

I took around 200 pictures. I tried desperately to narrow them down to my personal favorites and created the slide show below. I LOVE THIS CAMERA! I might just have to take some photography courses, I would love to learn some more tricks of this trade.

Take special note of the bow in Anna's hair. To my utter glee, Nana has taken up bow making. I actually have a "Nana's Boutique" post in the works and I cannot wait to share some of her latest creations with you.

Did you know that cinnamon ice cream is THE most fabulous dessert on the planet, second only to Starbucks pumpkin scones and my mom's pumpkin spice cake? Yum.

Along with the wonderful camera I was also treated to delicious breakfast of pumpkin pancakes. YUM!

I might weigh 300 pounds the next time you see me.

Love to all! I hope everyone had as wonderful a weekend as I did!

Saturday, November 3, 2007


Seriously, is it? This picture represents a very small sample of the toys that our darling boys have in some way shape or form mangled and/or destroyed over the last few months. Honestly, we spend HOURS discussing respect for property, taking care of their possessions, the cost of said items, we have enforced consequences, thrown toys away, the list goes on and on.

Truly, the boys do not break their toys simply for the sake of breaking them. This kind of carnage is usually the result of some epic battle during which a good guy or a bad guy suffers terribly at the hands of their captor. The trouble is, the boys don't seem to understand that when they play this way, the damage inflicted on that unfortunate soul is permanent. They come sorrowfully to us, bearing the broken body of the battle looser, and ask us to repair the gruesome injuries.

What is a parent to do? What else can we possibly do to help them understand that this damage is permanent? In answer to the obvious question, no we do not replace these toys unless they are damaged or destroyed in a legitimate accident.

PS: The second picture. If you back up a bit you should see the imprint of two little hands. These prints grace the carpet just inside our bedroom door. How dirty do you think her hands were to leave such clear prints in the carpet?

Friday, November 2, 2007


The S house has been battered by an evil virus this past week. I called dibs on getting sicker than Jesse and thus far I have come through with flying colors. I have mostly been able to just barely maintain but am now starting to feel a bit better and able to do more than just the absolute necessities.

I have more pics to share but I did not want to leave anyone hanging without pics of our ADORABLE trio on Halloween.

The boys are ninjas, Anna is Little Bo Peep. Her costume was lovely made by Nana, of course.

More later, love to all!