Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Merry Christmas!

We had planned on spending Christmas Eve and Christmas morning in California. However, due to weather, we were in Spokane. It was our first Christmas "alone" and we decided to make it special. Though sad that our plans had changed and we wouldn't be able to be with family, I was a little excited to be able to create our own Christmas, and perhaps, some of our own traditions. On Christmas Eve, I cooked my first turkey. We ate on our fine china -- turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce (basically a Thanksgiving meal) and drank apple juice from wine glasses. For dessert we had delicious apple pie. mmmmm I love apple pie!

But our family activity revolved around creating a family movie. This was so much fun, and I believe was the first year of a new tradition in the Marcus and Jenny Green household. After the kids went to bed Christmas Eve, Marcus and I got to work editing. We were laughing so hard we were crying. I'm sure your kids are funny, but man were our little girls hilarious. This isn't the original video. Long story short, I had to re-edit it, but this is pretty close to what the first was like. Take a few minutes, enjoy the video, and Merry Christmas.

(Click on "A Green Family Christmas")

A Green Family Christmas A Green Family Christmas

Monday, December 22, 2008

Early Christmas

A couple days ago, we got a little Christmas package in the mail from my sister and her family. We were supposed to fly out to California tonight, but we are among the hundreds of flights that were canceled. Thinking we wouldn't be here Christmas morning, we opened the package. Thanks Adam, Leese, Ian, Lindsay, and Alex. It was a big hit!


video video

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Dancing Queen in the Making

That's right. Callie's a dancer; she must take after me. When music comes on, she starts doing her little side steppin'. I don't think it'll be long before she starts shaking those hips!


video

Friday, December 19, 2008

So Much Fun

A long time ago, my mom bought me a yoga ball, with the intention that I'd use it for exercise. Good intentions. But though I don't regularly use this ball for yoga, we have found many other uses: I use it for therapy exercises for Samantha, it's our computer chair, and it has become a much beloved game of our kiddos. The laughing goes on and on when Daddy hits this ball with all his force! Who would have known that this ball could bring so much joy to our family?

video video

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow

For those of you who do not follow Spokane news and weather, Spokane has been hit with a record breaking snow storm. We have received 24 inches of snow so far. Yesterday I was on the roads quite a bit and boy was it getting bad. It's all the hills around here. I couldn't get up one, but luckily there was a group of 5 men and a woman standing in the median ready to push people up. The city is shut down -- buses are stopped except a few, all schools, universities, city buildings, etc are shut down. Today they plowed our parking lot and our car is completely packed in. We'll have to get a shovel and take care of that if we want to get out ever. I was told today that if there is a hault in the weather, the city suspects it'll take 4 days to clear the roads. Chains are required in the South Hill area, luckily not by us because we don't have chains, and we don't have the hills. I called Marcus yesterday at work to tell him to come home early if he could. It took him about 2 hours to get home when he left at 4pm. Poor guy. But he sure is cute.



Here are a few pictures from outside our back door.


Yesterday around 3:30pm



Last night around 9pm


This morning around 10am. Notice the huge snow mass in the middle of the picture. That's a car.


Being a snow day and all, we decided to make it fun. So, Sammy lounged...



got dressed in winter gear...


ate some snow....


played with Daddy......


and measured the snow in Sam - eters. Yes folks, Spokane has been hit with a 1/2 sameter of snow. (As is indicated by the level of snow on Sammy.)

Piggy Tails

It's been awhile since I really posted about things going on, so I apologize and here comes a big catch-up.

Last Saturday I gave Callie a bath. This alone is not worthy of a post. However, the following is. I decided to try a new product in her hair. Awhile back I bought a conditioning styling hair lotion. An African American woman had suggested it to me, so I just bought it. I haven't really used it because I haven't done much along the lines of styling Callie's hair. As the weather gets drier, so does Callie's hair. So, during Callie's bath, I thought, "Why not try this conditioning lotion?" I often use quite a bit of conditioner for Callie. Most white folk would think it's insane the amount of conditioner Callie's hair uses, since we aren't used to lathering our hair in conditioner. So, it seemed fitting that I would use a lot of this new conditioning lotion. Well, I got it in her hair, and the stuff would not rinse out. Her hair was white and greased up. I was worried that she'd look funny for church the next day, but what's a mom n0t trained in black hair to do? With her towel, we absorbed as much of the goop as we could, but her hair was still a little crazy looking. And, we decided to try what has not yet been tried before: pig tails for Callie. She's not a fan. Getting a part is hard enough on Samantha, but try getting a straight part through a jungle of curly, thick, CURLY hair. Not easy, and I obviously didn't succeed.


Callie has such a mass of thick hair, it looked quite strange when it was all pulled up. Her head seemed so small of a sudden. We took pictures to remember her first piggy tails, especially because it may be some time before it happens again.


As her hair dried, we realized that these piggy tails weren't going to stay in very well, so we took them out. And this is the crazy hair that remained.


Better luck next time I suppose.

Keep Dreaming

Do you all know something that I don't? Because in the period of 5 days 3 people have told me that they have had dreams about Marcus and I being pregnant. Straaaange. Just to clarify, we're not. But keep dreaming! :)

Monday, December 15, 2008

We Won!

How fun is it to win?! A lot! We won the 11th day giveaway at Simply Sweet Marriage! Wahoo!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Sweet Marriage

Dear Sweet Friends,

Do you want a Simply Sweet Marriage? hmmmmm? During this holiday season and during these financially rough times, why not win something for free! Yes F R E E ! ! ! It doesn't get much better than that. Simple Sweet Marriage is having a giveaway and you could be the lucky winner of some pretty awesome stuff. Check it out here!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Another Hair Cut

But this time it was for Samantha. Her hair was just getting too long. We wanted to cut it awhile ago, but Marcus wanted to be able to show his family Sammy's french braid over Thanksgiving. Well, that never happened, unfortunately. The little one was just too squirmy. So then, I thought I'd do it last night. That didn't happen because I was at an Enrichment Committee meeting until 9:40pm. Tonight wasn't lookin' too hot either. Sammy was really tired and not cooperating. But I decided, I had to do it. No matter what. So, after her bath, I took the scissors and took off a good inch or so. It was rather difficult because I don't know what I'm doing and she wasn't too fond of sitting on our little table.

I had wanted to take pictures, ya know, to remember this event, but that too was rather difficult seeing that I was cutting her hair, Sammy was sitting on the table, Marcus was jumping around doing a mini circus act trying to keep her attention (keeping her from wanting to just turn around and see me), and Callie was...come to think of it, I'm not sure what Callie was doing...knowing her probably picking up things off the floor and eating them. We did take this after shot. Sammy was giving me a hug and Marcus took a picture of the back of her. Where my hand is placed is approximately where her hair was when it was brushed flat. You can see the difference. There was quite a bit of hair cut off.

"Baby"


Callie has officially said her first word: Baby. Sure, she says "mama" and "dada", but that's just babbling we think, because she has never, to our knowledge, called us mama and dada respectively. So, baby it is -- her first word.

I was putting her back in her car seat after Sammy's physical therapy, and Callie was squirming all over the place. She hates going in her car seat. To distract her, I gave her her doll and said, "Callie, here's your baby." She looked at me, looked at the doll, and said, "Babeeee." It was so so cute. Echo (Sammy's physical therapist) was there to witness the event.

And she just did it again! Yeah! How fun is that?!



Callie also held her own bottle today. She's a girl who knows what she wants. For instance, she knows she wants to feed herself. She knows she only wants big people food -- none of this pureed baby food business. And, she ONLY wants to feed herself. Unless, that is, it's her bottle. She wants someone else to hold the bottle for her. But today, Samantha hurt herself so I was attending to her needs. Callie was hungry and crying. I handed her her bottle and she tried to drink from it, but it just didn't work sitting up. I leaned her over with my one hand, she dropped her bottle, picked it back up, and started drinking. We could be on to something here folks...something that may change my life!

AND, her 5th tooth came in today as well. What a day it's been.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Cutting Hair

Marcus has often asked me to cut his hair. I have always lovingly refused. His hair isn't an easy buzz cut. But, last night I did it. For those of you who know the clipper lingo, we didn't go shorter than a 5, so it wasn't too short. But, there was a surprising amount of hair that was on the floor when I was done. It wasn't a disaster, so we may invest in some clippers. It'll save money in the long run. Marcus is really excited because he now believes I can be his official barber. I think he's happier just thinking about the fact he doesn't have to schedule haircuts anymore -- something he feel is a waste of money and time. Now, it's not perfect, that's for sure. But I didn't really mess anything up too badly. That's the key. This means his hair is now in the mercy of my hands. Oh the possibilities!


Before
After
It doesn't look like there's much change here, but I really did cut off quite a bit.



Before

After




Before


After

It looks a little crooked at the bottom, but I assure you it's not -- I think.
He's got a small cowlick there, so it goes up in the middle. Actually,
I'll have to double check that when he gets home today from work.



Before
Crazy Jenny with the clippers. This was my before shot.
I was preparing to hear a lot of this at Thanksgiving:
"Marcus, what happened to your hair?"
"Jenny cut it."
"Ohhhhhhh."


After
Here I am feeling a bit more confident with the scissors
and clippers in hand. Who's next?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Open, Close

This is what Sammy does all day long. If it's not the cupboards, it's the bedroom doors. (Please excuse the mess. Samantha and Callie got into some boxes of stuff I have to put away. That was Monday, and I still haven't done anything about it. I'll get to it, tomorrow.)


video


This is also a picture that I took of Samantha yesterday. There's something about it that I just love -- a certain glow, a certain angelic essence to it. She's just walking to me from the hall, but in that moment I feel like something else was captured. Maybe it's her eyes, or her hair how it perfectly frames her face and the cute little curls at the end, or her pretty little rosey lips. I just think, as her biased mom, that she looks so pretty, so pure and absolutely delightful. The other picture of Sammy that I really like is on the right hand column -- in her striped sweater. Marcus's dad had said something about that picture that, of course, made me cry. I hope he doesn't mind me sharing it, but he had said that that picture was a glimpse of what Sammy would look like perfected. I guess I feel a little that way about this picture. Her perfect spirit shines through those eyes and little grin and this is a glimpse of what our little Sammy will look like when her body is perfected. We are so blessed to have her. What a sweetheart.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Water Therapy

Yesterday Samantha started water therapy. For 10 weeks, she'll be in the pool every Tuesday at noon. She loved it. Samantha loves water, so I wasn't too concerned about that. Unfortunately, the little boy she has therapy with wasn't so thrilled about the water at first. But he warmed up to it and started smiling before long. The water is very warm and cozy. I didn't go in the pool, but I may in the future. We'll see how I feel about getting in a suit. Leanne, her water therapist, is working on the same thing that her physical therapist is working on -- on land. Trunk strength and flexibility. Sammy has abs of steel. We all know that. But her core is almost too strong as it dominates every movement. Because of that, she doesn't have much back strength and she doesn't allow herself to rotate from side to side. If she wants to see something, she moves her entire body instead of being able to just twist. So, they are working on that.


The water has a natural calming affect which allows the body to relax a bit. The added buoyancy also helps when making movement. People can easily correct a movement without falling or stumbling as much.

One thing that Samantha is in constant need of is bodily input. That is one reason she is always bouncing, jumping, and loving hard, physical play. That also explains why she can't keep things out of her mouth. She's in constant need of oral input. So the wrestling, the chewing on everything -- not only is that fun for her, but it's what she needs. I don't quite understand it yet, but every therapist we've met and worked with has discussed that with me. Water gives her that constant input on her body -- and all over her body, which is possibly one reason she loves it.


Leanne said the session went really well -- that she saw big improvements from the beginning of the session to the end. Meaning: When Leanne began putting Sammy in certain positions, she would fight it at first. By the end of the hour, Samantha was responding immediately the positions, as she should. Yeah! Water therapy has been known to have dramatic results, while, of course, some take much longer to respond. Hopefully this will be a therapy Sammy continues to enjoy and that will help her in her progress.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Amish Grace -- by Donald Kraybill, Steven Nolt, and David Weaver-Zercher

Amish Grace was introduced to me by from friend Amanda. When we moved to Spokane, I realized that our women's organization in my church did not have a book club. I thought this was insane. Every Relief Society needs a book club. So, I took it upon myself to start one. (Of course I had to do that didn't I?) Not knowing the personalities of the women in our congregation, I spoke to Amanda. She suggested a book she was currently reading, Amish Grace: How Forgiveness Transcended Tragedy. I am quite glad we read it -- and now am nervous because I know many other women read it as well and will be coming to the afore mentioned book club. (I really hope I can pull this off.)

The book discusses the Nickel Mine School shootings, which many of you will remember. On October 2, 2006, a 32 year old man who was clearly upset and disturbed, entered a one room Amish school house. He demanded that the adults and boys leave the school house. After some time, he then shot 10 girls execution-style, killing 5. I clearly remember watching the news during that week and one Amish grandfather struck me deeply. He spoke about forgiving the man who shot his granddaughter. There was also a story of a man telling his children, as they stood next to their sisters coffin, that they shouldn't have hate toward the man who killed their sister, and his daughter. I heard that and cried. The book is about this -- forgiveness. It discusses the events that occurred that tragic day, but it more thoroughly discusses how the Amish could forgive in such a time of pain. It explains some history and their doctrine.

Amish Grace was interesting, but more importantly, it gave me the opportunity to reflect on me. How willing am I to quickly forgive? And do it sincerely? I am a Christian. How Christian-like do I live my life? Though I felt that some of the book was a bit repetitive, I really enjoyed the affect its words had on me. I recommend it.

Watch Bill Moyers here. He has a great book review with images and video. It's well done and shows the spirit of the book better than I can.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Therapy and Walking


Callie all smiles.

This is more of an informational video here. The first is of Samantha in physical therapy yesterday. She is wearing Theratogs. This is the suit that I've told you family members about. It helps her stand up straighter and use the right muscles. She is going to be getting one to wear at home all day. Hopefully I can put it on correctly. It really seems complicated. Echo, her PT, has been so good with Samantha. Echo tried a bigger suit size on Samantha yesterday because she wants to get one for her that will last -- even though Samantha's growth rate is really slow. I like the smaller one better because it fits more closely to her body. It was like a baby wet suit. This one seems to gap a little by her shoulders, so it may be more visible under her clothes. But, oh well. The video is dark because I was taping through a tinted window. We have found that when I'm in there with Sammy, she gets upset and wants me. But, if I'm standing outside and watching, she can't see me through the window, and she's much more compliant. At this moment they are working on shifting weight from side to side. This isn't an exciting clip, but my other option was of Echo making Samantha crawl up the stairs properly and Samantha starting to cry. She really enjoys her therapy, so I didn't want to have her on our blog crying, as if she were being tortured!


Callie likes playing on the physical therapy equipment while we wait for Samantha. There's a room across the hallway that she always wanders into. It's a fun little play room for her while I watch Samantha's therapy and try to learn what to do at home. Luckily this room is pretty baby safe already, so no worries. And the ground is padded all the way around, so if she does stumble, there's a bit extra cushion for her.

The second video is just of Callie walking around while we wait for Samantha's PT. Callie has been extremely, EXTREMELY fussy the past couple days, so I'm glad I got some happiness from her. She's getting hit with a few teeth coming in and it's really causing some problems for her. Poor girl.

video video

Thursday, November 13, 2008

FREE Photo Books!

In case you missed it, yesterday on Oprah Peter Walsh was on talking about how to clean up the clutter in your home. I love those episodes because it always motivates me to throw out some more stuff.

Here's the great news. Snapfish.com is offering a FREE, $30 value, photo book that you create yourself with your pictures. Check out this website and get on it. You only have until midnight tomorrow. The holiday season is right around the corner and this is a great gift idea. Quick quick quick!

All is Fair in Love, War, and High School -- by Janette Rallison

Overall, I would have to say that All is Fair in Love, War, and High School was a fun book. It was extremely light. E X T R E M E L Y light. This was one of the authors at the BYU Writing Workshop that I attended this past year. I bought 2 books from Janette Rallison because I really liked her. She was very engaging and down to earth. I also felt, based on our discussions, her presentations, and her reading that she had a similar style to my writing. Or, so I thought. I thought it would be easy for me to write chick lit. And not just easy, but fun. I had started a few things with this type of voice -- stereotypical high school cheerleader-esque. That's when I took the workshop. After the workshop, however, I began writing more and realized that is NOT what I'm interested in. So, I have these 2 books that I felt I had wasted money on. Happy was I when I discovered it wasn't a waste of my money. It was fun. There's not much more I can say about that. I was happy with the ending -- there is definite change in Samantha, the main character, and there's a good lesson learned. Along the way, funny things happen that make you feel for her. And it's good because it's funny stuff, and perhaps a bit over the top, but not too much. I mean, you can really see it happening. It was a fun read. Would I rush out and recommend it to all to read? Nope. But it was clean, funny, light, fast, and enjoyable nonetheless.

Your Inner Physician and You -- by. John E. Upledger

Your Inner Physician and You was first introduced to me in January 2008. While in Michigan with Callie, we visited a doctor for Samantha. He recommended trying craniosacral therapy. This, of course, was an alternative therapy. No promises were made, however, it was strongly recommended. I figured, it couldn't hurt.

I set up an appointment with Michelle Mintz, an OT turned CST (craniosacral therapist) and life coach. She suggested doing a session with me so I would understand what she was doing with Samantha. I did that session. It was very relaxing, calming, emotionally purging experience. I can't really explain it, but I felt a rush of emotion leave me. It was, I don't know, very refreshing.

Samantha began her sessions. While we were in Michigan, Samantha did 2 sessions a week. I immediately saw changes. She was calmer and more attentive. Even if this new therapy didn't help with the seizures, I liked the fact that she seemed to be able to concentrate better.

I became increasingly interested in this therapy. Michelle suggested, and gave me, this book. It gives the history and explains it all in very conversational language. Of course it's an overview, so there are other books with a lot more detail that goes deeper into the science of it all, but it was a very interesting read. Though I read the book in January, I hadn't posted about it because I was kind of embarrassed. Some, like Marcus, may consider it all to be "weird." Normally I wouldn't care too much, but I really did care about this.

We have been doing CST with Samantha since January. Over the course of 10 months, we have seen a change in her seizures. They come far less often and are much less severe. Because of this, we have been able to decrease her medication to where she is only on 2 medications. We haven't had to use her emergency medication in 8 months (which at one point we were using at least once a month). Other things have occurred as well. She sleeps better at night, is progressing cognitively, and is in an overall better mood and is more independent. I don't believe that her CST is the only reason for some of these things. Over 10 months, of course we would hope for Samantha that some of these things should naturally occur anyway -- sleeping patterns, development, etc. But, I do believe that the CST has helped her. It most definitely has made a difference with her seizures -- and even Marcus believes that. In March I am taking a class from the Upledger Institute to learn the basics -- Craniosacral Therapy I -- so I can do maintence work on Samantha. I'm not telling everyone to rush out and start doing this therapy (though I do believe everyone can benefit from it) or buy this book. I just stating that this has greatly helped Samantha and our family, for which I feel blessed.

The Last Lecture -- by Randy Pausch

I thought I had done a review on this, but apparently I haven't. I read this awhile ago and absolutely loved it. This is what I call a "trendy" book, but with lasting influence. A trendy book to me is what everyone is reading at the time. It's all the rage in literature. This was definitely the case. Sometimes trendy books, however, don't have a real strong impact as much as it's just a good ready. For instance, the Twilight series. Everyone was reading them, including me, but there's not much more to it than a fun story. And it was a fun story. But The Last Lecture not only drew in thousands of readers, but it also changes lives. I really believe that. I wasn't as much impressed with the eloquent writing or anything truly literary, as much as the content of the book. I feel like this book made me a better person because the book is packed with real life lessons that everyone can apply to their lives. I loved this book. Loved it. Yes, of course I cried. And I later cried when I heard on the news that he had died. He was a beautiful man with a beautiful spirit.


the lecture in its entirety can be seen here

Monday, November 10, 2008

Callie's Walking

Callie's been taking steps for a long time now, but as of yesterday, walking is all she does. It's like she decided she was done with this trying business and just went for it. She's very deliberate with each step. It's pretty cute. This isn't the best footage of course. (It never is. You can try all you want to get the best shot, and it never happens.) And, her first top tooth came in yesterday too. 3 teeth and walking. What a Sunday.

On another note, Marcus got 2 kisses tonight from Samantha. So, he now believes me that Sammy gives kisses. Oh ye of little faith. He had to see it to believe it. Actually, I have to admit, I was pretty happy to hear she kissed him too. I was starting to believe that her kissing me was a one time deal (though it did happen once yesterday and once today).

So, without further ado, here's Callie....(with a Sammy attack at the end)


video

Saturday, November 8, 2008

When was the last time...


you paid $20 for a full tank of gas? Well, I did -- TODAY! You heard it folks. Gas was $2.10 at the local Costco! How great is that?! I mean really, how G R E A T is that?!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Follow Up

Thanks for the comments so far in terms of getting Sammy to sleep. Can I add a bit more detail?

She sleeps great through the night. That used to be an issue, but we got that taken care of and she goes to bed great and sleeps through the night.

It's the nap. Naps are tough. I did the cry it out thing at night...and that worked. But for naps, she has the determination of a 2.5 year old with the development of a, perhaps, 10 month old. If I do the cry it out method for a nap, she can be in there for hours. Seriously. Do I let her stay in there all day? That just seems cruel to me. Or maybe I should just tough it out longer. I mean, she'll eventually stop taking naps all together anyway. But, I know she can do it. We've had periods of wonderful napping. Anyway. That's all. It'll all get figured out. In the meantime --

Get out there and vote!
If you haven't done so already, be prepared to wait in some lines.
It'll be worth it.

Monday, November 3, 2008

How long?

How long do you let an almost 2 1/2 year old cry in her crib when she's tired but won't sleep?

Situation: When I hold Samantha, her eyes are heavy and she'll fall asleep. I lay her down, and she is awake and won't sleep. Her room is extremely dark (thanks to a black sheet I pinned up over her window) and she is -- or at least was -- swaddled. I know she's tired, but I'm not sure how long to let her go. Taking naps have become increasingly painful as I've been holding her until she falls asleep. Advice anyone? Please?

8 Things

Here goes....

8 shows I enjoy watching:
1) The Office
2) House
3) Extreme Makeover Home Edition
4) Oprah
5) Samantha Who?
6) Heroes
7) The Biggest Loser
8) Rachael Ray

8 things that happened yesterday:
1) stayed home from part of church with Samantha
2) taught a lesson in Relief Society
3) got Sammy vomit on me
4) almost took down Halloween decorations but decided to wait one more day
5) starting planning my talk for next week
6) took Sammy to the ER
7) watched Extreme Makeover Home Edition
8) discussed serious future plans for our family with Marcus

8 things I'm looking forward to:
1) Samantha calling me "mama"
2) Callie playing house
3) more kids (in time, believe me, in time)
4) Marcus finishing his dissertation
5) Marcus getting a job
6) becoming more settled in one place
7) having a home
8) reading at least 12 books in 12 months (some of you do way more, but this is my realistic goal)

8 things I love about fall:
1) colorful leaves
2) sweaters
3) jeans
4) Thanksgiving
5) hot chocolate/hot cider
6) the prelude to Christmas
7) no need to turn on the heater, no need to turn on the AC
8) chili/soup season

8 things on my wish/dream/goal list:
1) 3 bedroom apartment
2) washing machine and dryer
3) a couch
4) play the guitar easily without putting in the work
5) become a bonafide author
6) be a really good mom (this includes being able to do Callie's hair when she's older)
7) start a non-profit organization with Marcus
8) a new pair of jeans

8 people I'm tagging:
1) Kirsten
2) Marci
3) Reagan
4) Arielle
5) MaryIrene
6) Ashley
7) Rose
8) Thad and Julie

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Halloween



In true Halloween fashion, this is how I saw Samantha when I got her out of her crib on Friday morning. I couldn't believe it. This picture is NOT doctored at all. This is pure Samantha work. In the crib, I found no hairspray or comb. How she got this to work still baffles me.



Samantha and Callie were both pretty cranky Friday night. They both were starting to get sick. I just got back from the ER with Samantha because she had excessive vomiting. Luckily it wasn't that bad on Halloween. But, she was feeling crummy enough that we couldn't get a really good shot. But here's our little Princess Leia chasing the vacuum cleaner.



And our wise little Yoda. It was a bit big for her. Maybe she'll be Yoda next year too.


We were going to do Star Wars characters too, but costumes for us weren't quite in the budget -- so based on what we already had, we went with the era that Star Wars first entered...1977.


For our Halloween party this year, we had 3 other couples over and they had some pretty fun costumes. The Wagner's were CIA agents. Andrew Border was a Fisher Price doc while Christy was his patient. And the Peer's, well, they were quite a sight -- a dead bride with her newsie. (Too bad my head is covering Marcus up. And, though it clearly looks like it, Samantha isn't grooming me as the monkeys and apes do. Just wanted to make sure we were all on the same page here.)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Don't Mess




Don't Mess With Callie



Monday, October 27, 2008

The Last of the Pumpkin Patch

I swear. This is it. The last bit from our trip to the pumpkin patch. When we took our hay-ride, we sat right behind the tractor that pulled us. Samantha loved it. Callie was intrigued, but Samantha immediately loved it. I think it was a combination of the rumbling sound and the vibration from the tractor. This is a small clip, but it gives you an idea of her simple joy during that hay ride.


video

Not So Pretty


Oh so sweet.



And we do think Samantha is sweet, but this ain't so pretty! (But it sure does make us laugh pretty hard.)

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Pumpkin Patch

In my attempt to start a new family tradition, we drove up to Green Bluff yesterday looking for a pumpkin patch. My idea was to pick out a pumpkin, have apple cider, donuts, and a fun hay ride. We got the hay ride...and good pictures. Where was the apple cider and donuts? No where to be found I tell you! Oh well, probably better anyway.

Marcus with his girls.




In the hay maze.




With those half-crazed eyes, it's as if she knows something that we don't know -- something scary.




Mommy and Sammy



Callie enjoying her throne of pumpkins.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

First Steps

And....not only is Samantha kissing us on command, but Callie is really taking steps! What an evening of firsts. She's been playing around with steps for a while, moving one foot and shifting weight. But tonight it's the real deal. When holding on to the couch, she'll turn to walk to Marcus. 3 real steps! Oh what a night.

Sammy's First Kiss

Today is a big day ladies and gentlemen! That's right...this is a call to everyone to pucker up because Sammy Lee is officially kissing. This is very exciting stuff because not only is this very cute and delightful, but this is the first time that Samantha has done anything when asked. This is a huge cognitive development and we are thrilled. Here's the story:

I was sitting on the couch, Callie to my left, Sammy to my right. Callie was rather fussy, so I was keeping her entertained by sticking my tongue out at her. She thought it was pretty funny. Then I thought I should probably pay some attention to Samantha. So, I look to my right, smile, and say "Hey Sammy. Give me a hug." She leans in to me and presses her open lips against my cheek. Cute. For the past...oh, long time...every time I kiss her I say "kisses" as to put a specific word with a specific thing. Well, I wasn't thinking that this "first" kiss was a real kiss. Nonetheless, I thought it was important to reinforce her action. So I cheered and said, "Oh thank you Sammy. Thank you for the kiss." Then I kissed her back, because really, I can't resist kissing Sammy. (I think Marcus is embarrassed by how much I kiss our children.) Then I followed up by asking her to kiss me by pointing to my cheek and saying "Sammy, kiss." Sure enough, she leans and puts her open mouth against my right cheek. Wait. Was this really a kiss? So I do it over and over and over again. Every single time, I cheer, clap my hands, she smiles and kisses me more. At this point Callie is pretty tired and getting fussy, but this was prime kissing time. She had to wait for that nap. This went on for about 15 minutes. When Marcus got home, Sammy was a little distracted. She was excited to see her daddy and just wasn't quite into kissing anymore. However, she did give Daddy the last kiss before quitting for the evening.

I really hope she keeps this up. Once again, not only is it super cute, but I want to be able to show all her therapists! This is HUGE people and we couldn't be more proud of our little kisser.

Monday, October 20, 2008

I Love My Girls



Meet our one-legged daughter, Sammy.






Callie won't be Cinderella for Halloween. She'll make a great Yoda. BUT, come on, I couldn't pass up an adorable photo op. I had to pull Sammy's old costume out.

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