Friday, July 31, 2009

Tooth #7

I'm getting pretty good at predicting when teeth are going to cut through. Yesterday, I could "see" Macie's bottom left lateral through her gums, and mentioned to Dale that I thought it would pop out in the next day. And, sure enough, when we picked her up from school today, there it was!

So here's the updated tooth chart. The left side is working to catch up...

Day 3: Guys' Golf Day and a SHOW!

On Friday morning, the guys took off to play golf at Branson Creek. And Sarah had to drive to pick Sam up at church camp, so that left Mom, Bobbie, Carla, and me with the 6 kids until nap time. We put the little ones in the strollers around 9:30a and ventured on a short walk (though it WAS up a pretty big hill!) to McDonald's. Turns out that everyone on the strip in Branson had the same idea, so it was slightly chaotic. But we managed. And, after leaving Mickey D's, we went to the neighboring Wal-Mart, where Nina surprised each kid with $10 to spend on the toy(s) of their choice. Here's a picture of Olivia and Ivie, very proud of their Disney Princess cell phones.


The guys returned to the hotel during the kids' naps. After dinner at The Pasta House, it was off to a show. Can't go to Branson without going to a show! We chose Presley's Country Jubilee, mostly (okay, entirely) because my dad knows the mayor of Branson, who also happens to be the wife of one of the original Presleys (the drummer) on the show. So she hooked us up with seats in the second row (for 17 people!) and even got our names announced during the "special guests" portion of the show. Big-time!!

The show STARTED at 8p. Nothing wrong with that, right? Other than the fact that both Herman girls are generally IN BED ASLEEP at 8p. And I'm sure that all of you are shocked to learn that neither of Amy Herman's girls are very good with handling sudden changes to their ingrained routines. So I was a bit concerned going in. Also surprising, I know..

True to her while-in-Branson form, Macie fell asleep in the car on the drive to the show (who chose the Yellow Route, anyway?!?). And she slept on the walk inside and through the first 5-10 minutes of the show. Until something really funny happened on the stage, causing my dad, who was sitting 1 seat removed from me, to ERUPT in laughter. I mean loud. And Macie, of course, awoke with a start.

And she wasn't happy. Started screaming her head off. In fact, the guys on stage took a break from their lines, looked over at us, and said, "Don't cry, baby, we're doing the best we can up here!". GREAT. Can't tell you how much I wanted to be a punch line for the jokers on stage in front of several hundred people! Now you see why I was concerned going in?

So Macie and I headed quickly out of the auditorium, and were saved by a Presley's staff member who casually mentioned that they had a cry room. SWEET! So we ended up in there, all by ourselves, in a very dimly lit room that had speakers so I could hear the show but noone could hear Mac. She gave in pretty quickly and went back to sleep, and I laid her on the floor in the cry room (it was dark, so I couldn't tell how dirty the carpet was, but figured if she was sleeping, she didn't care, and neither did I). She ended up sleeping through the first act, intermission, and nearly all of Act 2.

We did, however, end up having to leave the show about 15 minutes before it was over, as Macie woke up and realized that she was NOT in her bed. And the screaming began again. And while Ivie had been really enjoying herself and behaving very well (or so Dale told me via the various texts that we sent each other throughout the show), it turns out that about this same time (10p), she had pretty much reached the end of her rope, so it was good timing for us to leave.

But we made it much longer than I thought we would going in, so I was proud of the girls for venturing out of their routine. That's what vacation's all about, right?

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Watch Out, World...

I interrupt the vacation blogs to bring an exciting Herman Family announcement. Macie is officially walking! Now, she's been taking some I'm-falling-forward-please-catch-me-before-I-break-my-face-on-the-hardwood-floor steps for a couple of weeks now, but it wasn't until our trip to Missouri that she actually took some that might be considered "controlled". So I'm marking down 7/24/09 as the date on which she officially took her first real "step".

For the record, I think my mom and dad are good luck. They were out visiting for Ivie's birthday and saw her take her first steps (ON her birthday, mind you, as if she KNEW that it was a milestone she was supposed to hit by age 1). And now they've seen Macie's first steps, too. If only they lived closer, maybe they could help with getting Mac to potty-train early...

Anyway, tonight I was able to get some video of how far Macie's come since those first real steps just 5 days ago. At this rate, she'll be running in a couple of weeks! So here you go. Some video of the cutest new walker around...

video

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Day 2: Silver Dollar City

So I'm counting the dinner and hotel surprises as "Day 1" of our vacation, even though all we did was eat and crash. Any surprise that good has to have its own "day", right?

On Day 2, Thursday, the entire clan (minus Sam, who was at church camp until Friday) headed to Silver Dollar City for the day. The park opened at 9:30a, and knowing that we had several small kids, we planned to get there when it opened so that we could get in a full day before the lack of solid naps ruined the moods in the late afternoon/evening.

There aren't really many stories to tell about the day that can't be better told in pictures. So I think I'll let them do the talking...

Family Pictures


Hanging Out



American Plunge = WET!!!


Just Plum Tired...


Kids' Rides


Black and Whites (Just because I love 'em!)


When we started the day, if you'd have told me that we'd end up spending 8 1/2 straight hours there (9:30a until 6:00p), I'd have laughed hysterically in your face. But we made it! And, although we had a very tired group of kids, I don't remember ANY major melt-downs during the day. In fact, I don't think I've ever seen so many smiles on so many happy kids.

We topped off the night with pizza in the hotel, since no Schaeperkoetter vacation would be complete without a pizza night...!

I Need Water!

I lied. Quick story from last night before getting back into the vacation blogs.

At bedtime, to procrastinate, Ivie has a tendency to call us back in to her room, time after time. So to try to ward this off, Dale will often say, "Okay, Ivie, this is the LAST time I'm coming in here."

This happened again last night. And, in response, Ivie said...

"Yes you will, Daddy, if I say, 'Daaaaaaaaaddy, I need some more waaaaaaaater!'."

Gotcha there, Daddy. She's right, and we all know it.

Wrapped around her little finger, I tell ya. And it's very cute - when you're not the one making the repeated trips into her room, that is...

Monday, July 27, 2009

The Surprise

For a couple of years now, the Jeff and Jane Schaeperkoetter clan has been attempting to pull off the impossible - an outing with the ENTIRE family at one time. We discovered a while back that the holidays are NOT the time to attempt this feat, given that our family of 6 has expanded to a family of 17, and get-togethers of in-laws don't always fall at the same time. So we moved on to trying to find a time in the summer that would work for everyone.

So when we started to talk about it for this summer, we weren't originally optimistic. But, lo and behold, after discussing it for a while, all 4 siblings found a long weekend that worked! And since we were lucky enough to find a date, we figured we'd take a chance on making it even MORE exciting for Mom and Dad by not telling them that the entire clan was going to be there...

So here was our conspiracy: Scott (my younger brother) and Sarah (my older sister) were going to plan a long weekend in Branson, MO with their families and Mom and Dad. Unfortunately, though we tried our best, Matt (my youngest brother) and I were not able to find a weekend that worked for us. Or so we told our parents. There. The story was set. And Matt and I each had our little white lies as to why we couldn't come. Matt had a wedding that he had to go to for a co-worker. And Dale had a meeting in Myrtle Beach, so the girls and I were going to tag along and stay at our condo there.

Now, my parents might be the most gullible people alive. In a sweet, fun, wonderful, small-town-Missouri sort of way. The kind of way that makes it so very exciting to surprise them, especially given the fact that we've never tried to surprise them before! But it was definitely a challenge, as evidenced by the multiple phone calls, including a 3-way call between Sarah, Scott, and me on the drive to Branson Wednesday evening. Dale commented that it was more difficult to hash out how this surprise would go down than it would have been to schematize a Jack Bauer plot for 24. I hate to admit that I probably have to agree with him...

Anyway, my crew had flown into Springfield (what a lovely little airport!) and rented a car. The others were all driving down from Jeff City. Turns out that we masterminded it such that everyone (sans Matt and Carla from Oklahoma, who wouldn't arrive until later) would get to Lambert's and wait in line for dinner and then, once they were all there, Dale, Ivie, Macie, and I would make our appearance.

When we arrived, I had my trusty Flip Video with me, and Dale managed to get the surprise on film. I wish it had a bit of a better zoom lens, because the look on my dad's face as we walked up was priceless. But you'll get the picture from this...

video

What a fun surprise! We finally made it inside to eat. For those non-Missourians out there, Lambert's is the "Home of Throwed Rolls". Here's why...


video

So it was quite entertaining for the kids, and there was more food than you could possibly imagine.


After dinner, we were off to the hotel. If you noticed in the first video, Mom offhandedly asked "so is Matt gonna show up, too?!?". We did a good job of lying, again, and had her and Dad convinced that the Hermans were the only surprise. So it was just hilarious to see both of their faces at the hotel when Matt and Carla walked into Mom and Dad's packed hotel room (already 15 people strong) and said, "Is there room for us?!?" Mom's jaw fell to the floor in amazement. I wish I'd have had the video camera again, but it might have given it away.

It doesn't get much better than that, folks! Made every second of the air travel (including a connection in Memphis) with two small kids worthwhile.

Note: The next several blogs are going to read much like a journal entry of our fun during the trip. So for those of you who read for the short, quick, and sometimes funny blurbs about life with the Hermans, it might be a bit boring. But for those of you that read only to see the pictures (you know who you are, Stacy!), you won't be disappointed.

The Inevitable Pumping Story

When leaving for vacation last week, I mentioned to someone that I was taking all necessary precautions to make SURE that I didn't have to post another story to the blog about pumping. In hindsight, I'm surprised that they let me on the plane carrying 24 AA batteries, given that I could probably have created some sort of bomb with them. But then I figured that they were so tired of doing the liquid test on the 40 ounces of breast milk and 7 containers of baby food that they just let the batteries slide, realizing that with a toddler and an infant, I probably wasn't going to have the time or the energy on the plane to figure out how to make 24 batteries into something harmful...

We're back from vacation now (MUCH more on that later, don't worry), and I am admitting failure. Because I have to post a pumping story. Bummer. But I'm really hoping it's the last one. As is Lance, as he has probably already stopped reading this blog, wary of too much detail...

So we're almost done with 11 months of pumping for Macie. Only a month to go, and I'm officially (as of today) cutting down to two (instead of 3) pumping session per day, since I have enough frozen to make up the difference for the next month. Until this vacation, I had made it without having to replace a SINGLE pump part this time around. I was actually thinking about this fact before vacation, and was trying to pat myself on the back (hard to do while pumping).

But I spoke too soon. When all was said and done, there were 3 casualties on the trip. Here's the story:

On the first night, Dale was washing the dishes in the bathroom sink in my mom and dad's hotel room. Not an easy task, particularly when there are 17 people in the room, which meant that a few of them carried over into the small bathroom on occasion. And some of these were toddlers who needed to go to the bathroom. Immediately.

So Dale was a little flustered, it was late at night, there was one sink (and it was small), and there were a LOT of pump parts and bottles to wash and rinse. Put these things together, and you have a casualty. In the form of a "membrane". For those of you who have never seen a breast pump (lucky you...), these are the flimsy, nickel-sized, white plastic pieces that fit into the yellow pieces that connect to the clear pieces that screw into the bottle. Got that? Here's a picture to help you with the visual.


Well, without the membrane, you don't get suction. Without suction, no milk. So to say it's a critical element to the pump's performance is an understatement. Trust me. I've forgotten them before and tried to do it without. Doesn't work.

That night, as Dale reached at the end for the 4 membranes he'd laid on the counter (have to save them until the end - can't put them in the sudsy water or you'll lose them and they'll slide straight down the drain, as we discovered when we were rookies with Ivie), he saw only 3. Desperate to find the fourth (knowing the wrath of Amy was imminent if he didn't), after only briefly letting the water out of the drain before realizing it was missing, Dale began frantically searching, including sticking his finger down the drain, hoping like crazy that it was miraculously sticking to the edge. He didn't find it. The only thing he DID find was a sharp spot on the drain, which managed to find his finger and give him a pretty good cut.

So Dale came out of the bathroom with a bleeding finger and only 3 membranes. The first pump casualty of the trip.

Numbers 2 and 3 came on the trip home. After a successful airport bathroom pumping session, I pulled out the two yellow pump bottle lids, sat them on the shelf above the toilet (it's sooooo nice when bathrooms have shelves and hooks!), and reached for the cooler in which to put the milk. Seeing the 5 bottles and 1 sippy cup already in there, I questioned whether there was going to be room for these 2 additional pump bottles. So I instead decided to pour the milk into the existing bottles. Great idea! Except I forgot to turn around afterward and pick up the two yellow pump bottle lids off the shelf. And I, of course, didn't notice that I'd left them until this morning when I was packing up the pump to take it to work and had only 3 of the original 5 lids.

So it's a good thing pumping is almost over. I think I can make it 1 more month with only 3 membranes and 3 bottle lids. Pump parts, rest in peace. It was good knowing ya.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Ivie's First Movie

It's almost hard to admit, but, until this afternoon, Ivie had never been to see a movie. For a couple whose "date nights" (pre-kids, when every night was date night!) often revolved around the latest release, I'm ashamed. But given Ivie's very short attention span, we weren't sure how she would do.

So I had found online that our theater supposedly (note that word for future reference) did free movies at 10a on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays during the summer. And this week, they were showing "The Bee Movie", which is one of Ivie's all-time (and that's a long time, folks) movies. What a perfect way to see how she'd handle a movie theater, right? Free, at 10a (so you know it's going to be primarily kids), and with dollar popcorn and drinks. So if it went poorly, we could skip right out of there, not spending much money and already knowing how the movie ended. (Which, by the way, have I ever mentioned on here that I love Sheryl Crow's version of "Here Comes the Sun" from the end of the movie, but that I'm very upset that you can't buy JUST THAT SONG on iTunes? You have to buy THE WHOLE SOUNDTRACK. Annoying.)

Anyway, back to the movie story. Dale planned his meetings today around the showing (sure is nice to be in sales sometimes!), and the 3 of us (with Macie happily at school) headed to the theater in plenty of time to get our snacks and settle in (and maybe take a few pictures for the blog). Only to get there and find a very dark theater. Noone there. We finally happened upon an employee, who said that the free movies we read about online were only in the Myrtle Beach theater. So get it off your website, people!

We had one very sad little girl. And a sad mommy and daddy to boot.

So, being the suckers for sad little girls that we are, we decided to check the movie schedule and hit up the next kids' show that was playing. Dale rearranged his schedule (thanks, Daddy!), and, at 12:20p, we entered the theater eager to see "Up". In 3-D, no less (thanks to the $2/ticket surcharge to pay for the glasses).

So we went from free with cheap snacks to $8.75 per ticket and expensive hot dogs/popcorn/soda...

But as you'll see below, it was well worth it. Ivie wore the 3-D glasses for a while, but soon grew weary of having to "dodge" the various things that appeared to be coming right at her face (I even flinched a couple of times). So she took them off and watched the rest of the movie without them. As a result, I wonder if she'll go into her next movie wondering if it's going to be as blurry as her first one! She might start shouting for "HD already, people!" if we're not careful! But aside from not wanting to wear the glasses, she was a sweet girl, spending a bit of time on each of our laps, and pounding her hot dog and Sprite.

My favorite part of the experience was when Ivie, in case there was every any doubt, proved that she belongs to us. At the end, when Kevin the bird is saved and returned to his home and babies, she started weeping. I asked her why she was crying, and she said that she didn't want them to leave Kevin! She wanted the bird to stay with them. So she's definitely inherited our sensitive gene - Dale and I have been known to shed a tear or two in the movie theater ourselves. But the good news is that at least I knew that she had followed the storyline!

Successful day. I think we can look forward to many more fun movie dates with the girls...

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Swimming (after T-Ball)

As if an hour of t-ball wasn't enough excitement for one Saturday, we decided this morning to head straight to the pool with the Beales and Gwaltneys (did I mention that t-ball is an excuse for the parents of the kids to connect and hang out?!?).

Combining the two outings meant that Macie entirely missed her morning nap. And by 11:30a, it caught up with her. As she sat in her float, being led around the pool by her friend, Caroline, she literally started nodding off, head bobbing up and down. I wish I'd have had my video camera with me in the pool (do they make a water-resistant Flip?!?), as it would have been something funny to show her someday. It took her about 10 seconds to fall asleep on my shoulder once I pulled her out of the float. (Side note: Have I mentioned how much I LOVE to have one of my babies asleep on my shoulder? I'm pretty sure that's never going to get old.)

So Mac snuggled into her car seat under the umbrella for a late morning nap while the rest of us had lunch poolside, followed by a bit more swimming before we headed home. Is July really almost over? Weekend days at the pool are going to be gone before we know it...

First T-Ball Game

As you all know, Ivie's started playing t-ball this summer. Yes, she's only 3, and yes, it's probably too early for her to be playing t-ball (as the description of her first practice seems to indicate). But she's on a team with the kids of a bunch of our friends, so it's more like a family fun outing than anything, a chance for us to get together and chat while laughing at/with the kids. And, as we've discovered, when you're playing t-ball with a bunch of 3 and 4 year-olds, you don't really expect anything close to perfection. Or even understanding or recognition. More likely, it's a lesson for the kids that not EVERY ball is going to come to you in the field, and it's not ALWAYS your turn to hit and run the bases.

So today was the first game, after 2 weeks of practice. Ivie made it to practice #1, but we missed practice #2, due to prior commitments (2 birthday parties, woo hoo!!!). Since she refused to even put on a helmet during the first practice, I wasn't expecting much. But, as you'll see, we actually got her to put one on (though she was selective and would ONLY wear the one that had the interlocking NC sticker - her daddy has sufficiently brainwashed her!).

I think Team "Thunder BOOM!!" (the kids added the "boom" part for the cool sound effect it makes) came out with a victory today. You know why? Because we had more players. In the 3 and 4 year-old division, everyone bats every inning, and everyone scores. And the kids' favorite part, if you ask them when they wake up from their afternoon naps, is that they got to have an Oreo snack cake and juice box, and their mommies and daddies let them play on the swings at the playground before they left the park. Or, wait. Maybe that was just IVIE'S favorite part! It's possible that some of the other children might have actually remembered enjoying something semi-related to the game of baseball? Hey, the Hermans are starting with the helmet and taking it from there. Baby steps.


video

Friday, July 17, 2009

Show-and-Tell, Round 30: Alphabet School Bus

Ivie loves to sing her ABC's. And her Sesame Street School Bus provides the music, sung by Elmo, for her to do it, over, and over, and over again.

Another great learning feature of this toy is that there is a game on it where you try to guess what letter various words start with. We've had the bus in the car with us a lot lately, so, while driving, I try to help Ivie learn what letters the words start with, without being able to actually point to the letter. We've discovered some tricks, such as the following:

1) "Ice Cream" is the word for the letter I. Obviously Ivie knows what letter HER name starts with, so this is an easy one.

2) "Monster" is the word for "Macie's letter".

3) "Dog" and "Daisy" are words for "Daddy's letter".

4) "Apple" is the word for "Mommy's letter".

5) "Wagon" is the word for "Macie's letter upside down". (I know, really stretching on that one - I was driving, for goodness sake!)

5) Apparently Ivie also knows the letters that start her friends' names at school, which is how she's able to identify "Violin" (Violet's letter) and "School" (Samuel's letter).

So slowly but surely, she's learning the alphabet...

Show-and-Tell, Round 29: Chick-fil-A Cows

Chick-fil-A is running a series of kids' toys that are really cute - miniature plastic signature Chick-fil-A toy cows, each with a different cute saying. I mean, you know it has to be cute for me to keep the toy instead of trading it in for the coveted ice cream!!!

The two that she has (one was hers, the other was a gift from Emerson), say:

CHIKIN: WEER BIG FANS and SMART KIDZ EAT CHIKIN

So these two cutie pies, along with a mini-stuffed version of the cow she's had for a while (that says EAT MOR CHIKIN'), traveled to show-and-tell last Friday. Ivie knows the show-and-tell "theme" rule very well by now...

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Show-and-Tell, Round 28: "Lily"

"Hi, I'm Lily, and you can count on me... How many flowers, tell me do you see?!?"

I'm a few weeks behind in posting this one. Actually, now that I look, the date on the picture is 6/19/09. So I just barely beat the 4-week mark. Falling off my game...

Lily's been an able companion for Ivie since her 1st birthday - she was a gift from the Devers, and she's still going strong. Lily has taken on various roles as Ivie's grown older. At first, Iv just liked to listen to her sing, so she would push her belly over and over. Next, Ivie started looking at the pictures in Lily's book and seemingly connecting them to the song. Then, she started counting along with Lily.

And now, as you'll see in the picture, Lily has reached every frog doll's ultimate goal of having Ivie wipe her bottom/change her diaper, since she has started "poopin' on herself," as Ivie so concisely and delicately explains, while shrugging, tilting her head to one side, and displaying a look on her face that looks frighteningly like her own mommy's after Ivie still (even at age 3 and pretty well potty-trained) pulls the same "nasty" (which Ivie also repeats) stunt.

Ah, to be a doll belonging to a pre-schooler. Every day a new and exciting adventure...

Monday, July 13, 2009

Pump It Up!

Saturday was a day of birthday parties for the Herman girls. First stop was Sydney's party at Pump It Up, a popular arena filled with various inflatables. Ivie's been to a couple of parties here before, but this marked the first time that she was able to maneuver ALL of the various bounce houses, including the obstacle course that apparently (or so I've been told, since I've never been in it) has a pretty tall climbing wall at the back that you must master to get to the slide (and avoid having to backtrack your way out). I must say that as Ivie headed into it for the first time on Saturday, I held my breath, thinking that I was probably going to have to go in and save her (as Dale has had to do in the past). But next thing I knew, she was coming down the slide, all smiles.

Macie had a blast, too. If she could talk, she would have said, "What?? A really big room that I can scoot around in and climb up on a bunch of soft things, without sharp edges? Does it get any better than this?!?"

Here's some video of the party.


video

The Community Push-Up

A family in our neighborhood invited all the families with little kids over for some popsicle, bounce house, and Slip-n-Slide fun last night.

I didn't get any video of Ivie on the Slip-n-Slide (what was I thinking?!?), but I did get Macie's first taste of a push-up. After her initial reaction, she was a big fan. Should I be feeding a 10-month old a push-up? Later in the video, Ivie shows up with her melted popsicle and climbs aboard the push-up bandwagon. And you'll see that Macie's not too happy that Ivie's taken it away from her.

Ahhhhhh, summer evenings...

video

Thursday, July 9, 2009

"Milk Maker"

I sent another 156 ounces to IBMP today. Had to make room in the freezer for the gallon of ice cream that I bought last night. Priorities, right? So I'm now up to a total of 372 donated ounces. And with only 2 months left before Macie's big switch to whole milk, there's a good chance there will be at least one more shipment to clean out the freezer for good (or at least until the on-going, good-natured, and pleasant debate referenced here in #3 is resolved). After pumping for 10 months, the end is finally in sight...

Anyway, my co-workers get a kick out of the donation process, because the huge box (with the cooler packed inside) sits next to the front desk on the first floor of our 3-story building all morning until Fed Ex comes to pick it up around noon.

This morning, Clara (one of the aforementioned co-workers) came to my office and said, "You're sending milk again, huh?" with a laugh. It's quite obvious, since the box, in huge letters, says, "Prolacta Bioscience: Advancing the Science of Human Milk". So you can imagine the comments it gets from folks who pause to talk to the receptionist.

Clara and I then began an amusing conversation about my ability to produce large quantities of breast milk. Here's a tidbit:

Amy: Maybe they'll put on my tombstone: "She was great at making milk".

Clara: They should do a movie about you and call it "The Milk Maker: The Amy Herman Story".

Clara's got an idea there. This would probably be the only reason I would ever have a movie done about me. Definitely my claim to fame...

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Eating and Sleeping

Just a couple of pictures so, when I'm old and gray, I don't forget how cute Macie was when she was eating...


and sleeping...

Monday, July 6, 2009

Bibs

In my 3+ years as a mom, I've developed a love-hate relationship with bibs. Being a bit of a clean freak, I love that they kept, and now keep, me from having to change Ivie and Macie's outfits 47 times per day. But I hate the pressure of having to find a bib in our stash that matches the outfit. Yes, of course, I KNOW that bibs don't technically have to match the clothes. But there's something deep down inside of me that punches me (HARD!) in the gut every time I pull out the orange outfit and, again, have to come to grips with the realization that I DON'T HAVE A BIB THAT MATCHES AN ORANGE OUTFIT.

That's why today is a big day. Today, with Macie just days away from turning 10-months old, I've made the very conscious decision to not put a bib on her for everyday living. Sure, we'll still use them when she's drinking her bottle/cup or pounding food in her high chair. But not when she's just hanging out around the house. And if that results in an occasional outfit change because she still, on occasion, decides to projectile spit after a nursing session, then so be it.

What a liberating feeling in the life of a Type A mommy.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

The Bottle Float

We spent our Fourth of July at the New River in Boone, NC with Dale's mom (Emma Jean), brother (Doug), sister-in-law (Jennifer), 2 nephews (Luke and Rod), and several members of Jennifer's family. Dressed as though I was going to be in Durham, I actually was cold for most of the morning, even into the afternoon. I'm only slightly jealous of the 75 degree temps and cool breeze in July!

Doug and Jennifer own a piece of property along the river, where they're only a ladder away from being in the water. This was our first visit, and they sure did have it decked out for a great weekend of camping! THIS Herman clan isn't much for camping, though (especially Macie!), so we spent several hours hanging out and then headed back to Hickory with Grandma.

There were a variety of floats lying around for folks to use. I snapped a picture of Ivie with a couple of them, the second of which will probably give you a little laugh (well, some of you, at least...):




Ivie took quite a liking to this particular float and dragged it around the campsite for much of the afternoon (when she wasn't in the river). We all thought it was quite cute, though I found her attraction to it a little odd, since she obviously had no idea what it was... Finally, after I'd almost given up on figuring it out, she made a comment that explained it all. She was playing with Rod, the bottle was nearby, and Ivie claimed ownership: "That's MY honey!".

Ahhhhhhhhh, the connection. Apparently Ivie thought that the bottle of Jim Beam was, in fact, Ray Liotta Honey, from The Bee Movie, which is her movie of choice on the portable DVD player in her room when Dale is out of town at bedtime.


I see the resemblance. Don't you? We'll let her go on thinking that she was holding a honey bottle. Until she's, say, 30. Or at least until she can read for herself that it doesn't say "honey". That buys us some time to figure out another explanation...

Just for kicks, unrelated to the bottle float, here are a few more pictures from our fun at the river.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Fun at the Pool

We haven't gotten to the pool as much as I'd hoped we would so far this summer. But with 2 full-time jobs, 2 kids, and busy weekends, I guess I shouldn't be surprised.

We did make it to the Club a couple of weeks ago and managed to remember to bring the camera along. So here are some shots of our fun. After this trip, we decided we needed to get floats for both of the girls so we could venture out of the 1-foot-deep water with Mac! Maybe will have some pictures of them in their floats before the end of the summer...

Proof...

When I said yesterday that everything's a push toy to Macie, I wasn't joking.

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Double Whammy

So not only is Macie fighting off some sort of random virus (she's doing better today, but woke up still with a hint of a fever), but she's also got another tooth coming in! Bottom right lateral. So the right side of her mouth is off to a head start...

Big Boy

We often times will encourage Ivie to assist us with something (getting ready for school on-time, using the potty, coming in from playing outside) by asking her to "be a big girl". She's at that age where it's really important to her that we see her as such, as opposed to being a baby, "like Macie", so it usually works.

So last night as we were drifting off to sleep, Dale recounted his conversation with Ivie as they were going through the bedtime process:

Dale: You sleep like a big girl tonight, Ivie, okay?

Ivie: Hold my hand, big boy.

Dale: (after pausing to digest what she'd said), Did you just call me, "big boy"?

Ivie: (giggling), Yes, Daddy!

For some reason, I found that insanely funny. Maybe it was because it was 10:30p, after a long last 24 hours with a sick baby... Either way, I couldn't stop laughing.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

A Day with Mommy

Apparently Macie was interested in spending the majority of her day with Mommy today. Because she woke up at 1:30a with a fever, and proceeded to hang out with me on-and-off for the next couple of hours, until we both finally fell back to sleep in our respective beds at 3:15a. I wasn't surprised by the fever, since she'd been feeling a bit warm to Dale and me the last couple of days, along with being a bit grumpy and not having much of an appetite.

We just got back from the doctor's office. The good news, and the bad news at the same time, is that it isn't an ear infection. The doctor said she has "2 beautiful ears." That might be the first time I've ever heard that phrase. So she's not following in her sister's footsteps when it comes to bum ears. But we also can't give her antibiotics and have her feeling better in a jiffy. So we'll just wait it out, as the doctor said it could be a very mild case of the flu (she said it wasn't even severe enough to test for it, since their flu tests aren't really very good this year), or it might just be a virus that we have to wait out.

Anyway, once I got alternating rounds of Motrin and Tylenol in her this morning, she started acting more peppy. So I shot this video of her. You'll note that everything is a push toy to Macie now, regardless of its intended purpose. Which is entirely fine, as long as it cooperates and lets her walk. The music table in the video? Perfectly fine. The little chairs that go with Ivie's kitchen table? Not so great. Can't even count the number of times she's pulled them back on herself and fallen over backwards, with the chair landing on top of her. OUCH!

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