Friday, April 30, 2010

Katelyn's 4th Birthday Party

Last Sunday was Ivie's friend, Katelyn's, 4th birthday party at Bull City Gymnastics. I wish I could say that I have a ton of great pictures to share of Ivie and her friends bouncing, jumping, rolling, parachuting... You know, all the fun and active things you do at a Gymnastics party! But, I don't. Sadly, they all turned out pretty blurry.

I certainly can't blame it on my camera. I've got a pretty good one.

Which means I either have to blame it on the mode (we primarily used the "sports" mode that day - made sense to me at the time!), the lighting, or the rookie camera operators (Dale and me) that pretty much turn the thing on and start snapping. If the "Auto" function doesn't appear to be obtaining outstanding results, we just start guessing.

So I admit at the outset that these pictures pretty much stink. But I'm going to include them anyway. For 2 reasons:

1) This first one shows, wonderfully, how Ivie approached the running-and-jumping-into-the-block-pit activity, which was the first station of the day. See in the first picture how she is so eager, sprinting down the runway? Next, in shot two, as she's nearing the edge, she starts to think about what's about to happen. Then, in shot three, she comes to an abrupt halt at the edge of the pit, not ready to take the plunge, and seemingly angry at whomever put her in this awkward position. Finally, in shot four, with the instructor by her side, she takes the leap into the very soft blocks. And loves it. And goes back and does it again, over and over (although she never got to the point where she would run full steam into the pit).

So the first reason is because I love how this string of not-so-great pictures still manages to show certain aspects of her personality. Excitable, yet reserved, hesitant, and maybe slightly overly cautious. To the point of getting too stressed out about something that turns out to not be a big deal at all. Remind you of anyone else you know? Like maybe her MOTHER?


2) If you thought that set of pictures was bad, take a look at these! I even had to make them black and white to make them a little more stomachable! But, even still, there's something about them that just make me smile. And make me want to think that I'll enjoy looking at this grouping again someday in my printed blog book. Just a 4-year-old, without a care in the world, jumping down the trampoline.


Actually, now that I've had time to think about it, maybe the only reason I include these far-from-stellar pictures is to remind myself every time I see them on my blog that I really need to take those photography classes for which I received free admissions tickets when we purchased our new camera. Before Ivie was born. Because these sure would have been adorable pictures had they been in focus.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Dancing

As you know, the girls love to dress up. And, occasionally, they love to dance. I remember Ivie used to dance all the time. But, as she's gotten older, it's dropped off a bit. Maybe because she's starting to get a little self-conscious about it? Who knows. But she still loves to dance with her sister. Last night, I asked them if they wanted me to record them dancing so they could watch it on my computer. Ivie was "all in", since she gets a huge kick out of watching herself on video. Macie was happy to join her.

You might see the camera shaking a couple of times. It's because I was laughing so hard watching them! Especially Macie. The "shoulder shake" and "tip-toe'ey stutter feet" just cracked me up. And Ivie singing. I didn't understand many of her words, and certainly couldn't make out an actual song - I think she was making it up as she went along.

And while I'm talking about the parts that made me laugh, how about toward the end when Ivie sits down to help Macie with her shoes and calls her "honey"? Or at the VERY end where she gets visibly sad that Macie might be bagging the dancing altogether?

After I filmed the dancing, they both climbed into my lap and I plugged the Flip into my computer. Ivie just laughed, and laughed, and laughed. Her favorite part was when she was singing and she put her face really close to the camera. She made me show her that part about 5 times before I told her we had to stop and go upstairs for bathtime.

These are going to be some great blackmail videos someday...

video

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Monday, April 26, 2010

4 Year Check-Up and a Quick Funny...

Doctor's Visit

Just a quick update after Ivie's 4-year check-up this morning. Ivie's not a big fan of doctors. Not sure if any 4-year-old is, really, since they hear doctor and immediately think shots.

I was certain that at her 3-year check-up, Dr. Joe told me that she wouldn't have to get shots again until it was time to go to Kindergarten. So I thought we would get off the hook today, which was how we finally convinced Ivie that it was okay to go in the door...

Turns out, we lied.

Dr. Joe broke the news early, telling us that we could go ahead and get the shots out of the way at age 4, instead of waiting until 5. He made a good point, saying that 4-year-olds are more apt to forgive and forget. While, at 5, they tend to hold grudges. Then, too, we would be able to be "in and out" at her 5-year visit, with everyone happy and smiling about the upcoming transition to Kindergarten.

So I read Ivie a Nemo book they had in the room and we waited for Mr. Brian to come in with the shot tray. 3 of them, quickly, in her thighs. She handled #1 like a pro, with just a slight flinch. Then she realized what was happening. But at least she didn't break out into an all-out wail until the third needle went in...

But then it was over, and she had her 3 sparkly band-aids to show for it. Also, we agreed let her bring her pillow with her to school for naptime. So she was happy.

Quickly, here are her stats. Apparently, folks that muse, "Ivie's tall, isn't she?" are spot-on...

Height: 42 inches (90th percentile)
Weight: 37 pounds (75th percentile)


Jesús

I'm not really sure how we met Jesús. But, since the time Dale and I moved into our house almost 6 years ago, Jesús and his "crew" (sometimes his brother, sometimes his buddies, sometimes his son) have been helping Dale with our yard. And our backflow (whatever that is). And, as luck would have it, Jesús now spends his workweek working for a plumber. So he fixed our dripping shower this weekend, too! He's just an all-around handyman that we're so thankful to know (especially since he "takes care of" the snakes he finds in our yard!).

So, anyway, Ivie and Macie are familiar with Jesús and are used to him being around. But it's only been recently that Ivie has asked us what his name is (she's in that stage now where she is intrigued by people's names). Since Jesús is not a common name in Ivie's world, it's been a bit tough for her to get her arms (and pronunciation) around. We're working on it.

In the meantime, Ivie will continue to refer to Jesús as:

"Hey Moose!"

Friday, April 23, 2010

No GOOD Reason

I've got ten reasons (that I could think of in the 15 minutes I had to write this before leaving the office) why I'm doing this post today. NONE of which are good ones. Oh well. Here they are, anyway:

1) Tomorrow is Ivie's 4th birthday party. So I have a feeling I'm going to be knee-deep in pictures of Ivie and her friends. For, well, probably several weeks, given that our friend, Brooke, has agreed to don her camera for the event. And she has a tendency to, well, let's just say she likes to take pictures. So Macie might not get much blog time for a while. After this post, that is.

2) I love this hat (which Rameses signed for Ivie on the day of the Spring Football Game). GO HEELS!

3) I love this t-shirt (which Dale and I brought home for her from our trip to New York).

4) I love how her eyes match her hat.

5) I love how her curls stick out from beneath her hat.

6) I haven't had a "normal" blog in a while. You know, besides the "Wordless Wednesdays" , "My Movie Mondays", and "Show-and-Tells".

7) There was a brief time yesterday evening after dinner when Macie was happy and smiley. These times rarely occur in the evenings after long days at school. So I took advantage and pulled out the camera.

8) Macie is learning how to smile on cue. And the resulting grin is oh, so cute.

9) These pictures make me forget (for a few minutes, anyway) the fact that Macie, over the past several weeks, has become a little, no-real-way-to-say-it-nicely, "difficult". Dale calls her a "nightmare". I refuse to be that mean. (So, Mac, when you read this in several years, it was YOUR DADDY THAT SAID IT). She wants what she wants, and if she doesn't get it, immediately, then someone, or something, is going to have to pay. And it's usually our eardrums from the screaming. Or her plate of food when she throws it on the ground.

10) It's Friday afternoon, and I needed a pick-me-up. How can looking at these pictures not do the trick?!?














Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Monday, April 19, 2010

My Movie Monday (#3): Macie Practicing Her Words

Week 3 of joining Chrissy, over at Traveling Light, for...

My Movie Monday @ Traveling Light

I never got Ivie on video with her cute, toddler pronunciations of various words. So I don't think I have any evidence of her calling milk "moo" for the longest time. I sure wish I did, particularly because Macie hasn't followed suit, and it was the cutest thing.

So Saturday afternoon I filmed a video of Macie practicing her first words. Both Dale and I think that Mac is a bit slower with talking than Ivie, so she doesn't have many. But our doctor isn't concerned (neither am I, but Dale was, so I told him I'd bring it up to the doctor at Mac's 18-month appointment) - she told me that it's very typical of second children to lag behind in this area. I'm not surprised, given that we can't ever get Ivie to stop chattering. There's no down-time for Macie to pipe in!

You'll see from the video that I decided to record it just after Macie's 3-hour nap today. She was in quite a chipper mood, which is when she's most talkative. But she was also just diving into her afternoon snack. So I had to stop and start again after I was sure that I wasn't going to cause her to choke by simultaneously asking her to talk...

My favorite word of Macie's is "outside". Not really because of how it sounds. More because of the action it generally illicits when I say it. If she thinks that we're going outside to play, she goes crazy! Running to the door, pounding on the window, repeating "OUTSIDE!" at a shriek-y level. The kid loves to be outside.

Anyway, enough stories. Here's the video. Macie's words, in between bites of Chips Ahoy cookies (at least it was just one of those 100-Calorie Packs)...


video

Friday, April 16, 2010

Show-and-Tell, Round 50: Princess Bath Toys

If it's princess AND bath related, it's a pretty sure bet that Ivie Schae Herman will like it.

That's what I told my mom before convincing her that these princess bath toys would be a hit for Ivie's birthday present this year. I'm a big fan of bath toys, since the girls will end up playing with them AT LEAST every other night, unlike all of the other really cool toys that sit, idle, around our house (particularly this time of year when every waking play moment is spent outside on the playground).

The bath toys arrived from Disney.com just in time to be frantically wrapped before Ivie got home from school on her birthday. And they've been in the bath with us each night, leaving the confines of the tub only one time - this morning to trek to school with Iv for Show-and-Tell!


While I had the camera out, Ivie wanted to take a picture. And she loves taking pics of Macie and me, for some reason. Here's today's version... Me with my blue-eyed beauty!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Wordless Wednesday (#10): Cake and Candles

(Who says you can't have 2 "Wordless Wednesday" posts on the same day?!?)


(Video included only to show how extremely difficult it was for Ivie to blow out these four, no-trickery-involved candles, not so that the world can hear my awful, I-know-I'm-a-horrible-singer-but-my-4-year-old-doesn't-care-so-neither-do-I, rendition of "Happy Birthday". Given the performance you're about to witness, I doubt that any of you will be surprised to learn that she can't blow her nose yet. And, yes, before you bring it up, I believe that if words are italicized and placed in parentheses, then they're not really "words" and can be included in "Wordless Wednesday" posts. Besides. My blog, my rules.)

video

Wordless Wednesday (#9): After a PASTA Dinner...

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Happy 4th Birthday, Ivie!!!!

Today is my FIRST baby's FOURTH birthday. I can hardly believe it's been 4 years since I was lying in that hospital bed wondering what Dale and I had gotten ourselves into! I think it was both the happiest and the scariest day of my entire life. All possible emotions rolled up into an adorable, innocent little bundle that weighed only 7 pounds and 7 ounces...

Love you, sweet girl! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!


Monday, April 12, 2010

Counterproductive and Uninvited

One would probably say that this would not be the suggested pre-bedtime snack for a 33-year-old mother of two who seemingly (and inexplicably) gave up exercise as a New Year's resolution but who has managed to get on the treadmill for a 2-mile (gasp!) run two days in a row. At least there are strawberries in the mix. See them? No? Try looking under the chocolate syrup.


And one might also say that this would not be the playmate that Ivie or Macie would choose to have peering in our front door wanting to know if the girls can come out for a frolic in the yard...

School Treats for the Birthday Girl

Tomorrow is Ivie's 4th birthday, and I feel obligated to take a birthday snack of some sort to school, even though most of her classmates will be at her party on the 24th. But, of course, since I still have 2 weeks before the party, her ACTUAL big day kind of snuck up on me and I found myself without a treat idea as of Saturday evening.

So when we went to Harris Teeter on our weekly grocery shopping trip after church yesterday morning, I bought supplies to make Rice Krispie Treats. The teachers would like that they aren't too "messy", and what kid doesn't like a bar full of sugar?!? And, since Ivie's favorite color is pink, I got some pink (and green for the boys!) food coloring, too.

So this is what happens when I come up with treat ideas "on my own"...


Yes, the "neon" green actually came out looking pretty boring yellow'ish. And every mother of Ivie's friends that reads this blog (on second thought, I don't think any of them do, so I guess I'm safe!) is wincing at the SIZE of the squares that I cut for each kid. Plus, my penmanship with the glitter gel leaves a bit to be desired.

But when Ivie came downstairs from her nap yesterday afternoon and saw the finished product, she flashed me the same proud smile she gives when I finish "fancy" treats.

Here's to a continuation of Ivie's apparently very low standards.

My Movie Monday (#2): Jumping!

Week 2 of joining Chrissy, over at Traveling Light, for...

My Movie Monday @ Traveling Light

Ivie loves to jump. So I got some footage of her practicing yesterday.

Macie joined in the fun. Really, is there anything cuter than a toddler learning how to control her body when she "jumps" and actually DOES get a little air under her feet for the first time?!?

video

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Ivie's Bible Verses (#1): Genesis 1:1

After having been inspired by this blog post of MckMama's, I've started Ivie on some bible verse memorization. We decided to start, well, at the beginning. I'll let Ivie tell you about it...

video

Nina and Papa Easter Gifts

For Easter, Nina and Papa sent Ivie and Macie each a $5 gift card to Target, with instructions for them to both pick out something fun! So, yesterday morning, we used the promise of a trip to the toy side of the store as a lure to get them both to behave while Dale and I did our much-more-mundane household shopping.

They took the bait, behaved, and off we went. Nina and Papa, I thought I'd post a couple of pictures with the girls' choices for their gifts. They both want to say "THANK YOU!", too!

Ivie with her approved-for-the-bathtub Sleeping Beauty


Macie with her TWO babies (what a bargain!)


Saturday, April 10, 2010

Friends

One of Ivie's best friends from school, Kenzie, had her 4th birthday party today. I didn't go crazy with the camera (had to keep Macie from tumbling down the semi-steep stairs inside of the McDonald's PlayPlace intended for 3-year olds!), but I did get a few cute pictures of Ivie having dinner with her buddies.


And, when I asked them to make "funny faces", this is the reaction I got from (moving clockwise) Ivie, Kenzie, Micah, and Jack...


Friendships are sweet, even at age 4...

Show-and-Tell, Round 49: "Katie" the Doggy

Yesterday, Ivie took her Pucci Pup: Cave Dog to school, which she received as a Christmas gift from her favorite teacher. Until yesterday morning, her doggy didn't have a name (as I've mentioned numerous times, Ivie's not the best with coming up with normal-sounding-and-therefore-memorable names for her dolls). So I was actually surprised when I asked her for the doggy's name and she responded quickly with "Katie". Very normal! So Katie it is...



And, since Mac was feeling left out yesterday morning when I snapped Ivie's picture, I took one of her, too. With her crazy hair in full force and mandarin oranges everywhere!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Apparently I'm Pretty "Cool"...

Tonight after dinner, Ivie, Dale, and I wandered over to Jasper and Janice's house (our neighbors on the OTHER, non-Dever, side of our house) to chat with them before they jumped in their truck to go out for ice cream (yum).

Macie had been playing around in the garage, and, when she saw us at Jasper's, she sauntered our way. With a piece of sidewalk chalk.

Now, I've mentioned before that Jasper abhors sidewalk chalk. So he was not thrilled when Macie knelt down on his driveway and drew a purple line! I immediately stopped her, and she willingly gave the chalk to Ivie, who, at this point, decided she, too, wanted to "chalk". So I told her that she needed to go back to OUR driveway if she wanted to draw.

Off she went.

After Dale, Macie, and I said good night to Jasper and Janice, we headed back home. When we got close, Ivie ran over to me and said, "Mommy, I drew something for you! Come see!".

When I got to our driveway, I saw this:


I was at first very impressed by the fact that she wrote out my name with absolutely no assistance! Then, Ivie explained what the three circles were after my name.

"Mommy, it says 'Amy rock, rock, rock'."

Ohhhh, how sweet! This was her way of writing "AMY ROCKS!".

(Or at least that's what I'm going to choose to believe.)

Wordless Wednesday (#8): The Girls

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The Good and the Ugly (Skipping Right Over the Bad)


GOOD


Ivie's book of choice at bedtime tonight was Clifford's Birthday Party. At one point in the story, it talks about one of his gifts being a pinata. Interested in Ivie's take on that, I initiated the following conversation:

Me: Ivie, do you know what a "pinata" is?

Ivie: Yes.

Me (surprised at her confident response): You do? What is it?

Ivie: Like on the Lion King!

Me: Hmmmm. I don't remember a pinata on the Lion King. Can you tell me when you saw one?

Ivie: You know, Mommy, "a-coooooo-ma nataada"!

Close, Iv. Very close.


UGLY

Generally, when Dale is home, he reads with Ivie at bedtime. Not only does he love this quiet time with his little girl, but it also seems that Ivie handles going to bed much better when it's Dale that is in charge. (Dale says it's because I'm "not firm enough" and I "give in" too easily to her requests for a longer hand-holding session. I guess I can't argue with that.)

Anyway, sometimes I feel guilty for putting this responsibility on Dale every night. Particularly when the bedtime process for Macie literally takes 11.8 seconds from start to finish.

Tonight was one of those nights. When Ivie asked if I would read her a book, I said "Sure!" and asked Dale if he was okay with swapping kids for the night. He didn't balk...

Book-reading went fine. So did the first 3 minutes of hand-holding. Until, that is, it was time for me to leave. At which point she broke down into a sob, climbed out of her bed, and literally chased me to the door, screaming, "Noooooo, Mommy! I want you! Don't leeeeeeeeeave me!!!".

Trying to be the "firm" version of myself, I left.

But 3 minutes later, when she was still crying out my name, I went back in to calm her down (this usually works, as she wears herself out and is ready to go to sleep).

Didn't work this time. And, 5 minutes later, I was again walking out and closing the door on a weeping 4-year old. Then, for the next several minutes, I listened to her cry herself to sleep.

There's something about ME putting Ivie to bed that just isn't working right now. I envision bedtime being pleasant, snuggly, and sweet. And it's exactly the opposite these days.

MAN it makes me sad.

Monday, April 5, 2010

My Movie Monday (#1): Easter Egg Hunt

My Movie Monday @ Traveling Light


A friend of mine, Chrissy, over at Traveling Light, has started a weekly feature she calls "My Movie Monday", wherein she features videos each week of, well, whatever happened the previous week that was worthy of recording!

So, this week, I'm joining her with a video of the girls on their Easter egg hunt at our house yesterday morning... Macie receives the majority of the footage, since she's the one still "learning the ropes" when it comes to egg hunting. Although you can rest assured that Ivie makes a few appearances, as well!


video

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Easter, 2010

I think the best way to organize this year's Easter post is to do it by location of the hunt. Because there were a total of FOUR. Which is, admittedly, a little much. But Ivie had a blast with each and every one, and, by the end of her last, Macie was a pro, too.

School

Thanks to Brooke, who attended the festivities armed with her camera, I've got a few pictures of the girls at their first egg hunt at school on Thursday. Ivie's was outside in their play yard, while Macie's was a smaller-scale version in her classroom.



Neighborhood

Saturday morning, we had our annual egg-dyeing session at home and then headed up the road to the Kelly's for our first neighborhood egg hunt. Macie's interest in the eggs was minimal, which might have had something to do with the fact that there were bigger kids there who quickly scooped up the easy-to-find ones. But she "found" 3 or 4 with my help, and then moved on to something much more interesting - the play car in the driveway, which belongs to Hudson Kelly (who, interestingly enough, was born just hours after Macie, both at UNC Hospitals).

Ivie, though, stuck with the hunt long enough to find some of the more difficultly-hidden eggs that the bigger kids had overlooked. She was most excited about the two Spiderman eggs she found!




Chapel Hill Country Club

After a quick lunch, Dale and Ivie jumped in the car to get to the country club for the 12:45p start to THEIR egg hunt. Though, as you'll see below, it wasn't much of a hunt. There were a lot of kids, but hundreds of eggs on the driving range.

I stayed home with the Mac-ster so she could get a solid afternoon nap, but Dale filled in admirably with the camera at the club. Complete with a shot of Iv with the Easter Bunny!



HOME!

By the time Easter morning actually got here, one might think that the girls would have grown weary of all of these egg hunts. Ohhhhh, not so! When we told Ivie after church that we had one more egg hunt at home, her reaction was almost as if it were her first of the year.


And the practice earlier in the weekend was good for Macie. By the time the home hunt rolled around, she actually knew what she was supposed to DO with the eggs lying on the ground!


After the egg hunt was over, all three girls (Ivie, Emerson, and Macie) stole some playtime on the swings. This, along with our evening hamburger and hot dog dinner cookout, was the perfect way to conclude our Easter celebration with the Dever clan.


Yes, the Easter holiday for our 3- and 1-year old girls this year was centered around finding plastic eggs and trying to convince their parents to let them eat the candy hidden inside...

But I can't wait until they're old enough to truly UNDERSTAND what the Easter story really means for all of us. Thank you, Jesus, for giving us such an amazing reason to celebrate!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

North Carolina Zoo (Asheboro, NC)

Since we all had off of work and school yesterday for Good Friday, the Herman and Dever clans decided to trek to Asheboro to take the girls to the NC Zoo for the first time (though Dale and Brooke both remember going on school field trips there as kids).

The drive is a bit long (~1.5 hours), at least by Ivie and Macie standards (who clearly aren't growing up in Owensville, Missouri, where you have to drive at least an hour to get anywhere!). So we popped Snow White in the DVD (which is used only on long trips, usually to Grandma's house) and off we went. All was well until we hit Asheboro around 9:45a and realized that everyone else in the state of North Carolina had our same idea... Traffic was slow-moving getting into the zoo, but our good spirits prevailed and, once we got inside, we headed immediately to catch the tram to the carousel and the 4-D Dora and Diego show at the "Junction" (the area of the park between "North America" and "Africa").



The girls were happy to be OUT of the car and in the midst of "lions and tigers and bears, OH MY!".

We then headed into "Africa", where we saw chimpanzees, lions, elephants, giraffes, ostriches, and a zebra (from afar), along with a few chimp sculptures made for climbing...




And I probably shouldn't include this next picture, but I don't want to forget how funny the scene was when we happened upon it. When Ivie peered through the fence and turned to ask me what the lions were doing, I told her they were "just playing!". Then we sat back and listened as many parents around us were coming up with other answers, as well. Although a couple just steered their older children in a different direction. We were glad that our young girls took "playing" for an answer and thought nothing else of it...


Following our quick (though it didn't seem quick, since it spanned almost 3 miles, the second half of which were all uphill) trip through Africa, we headed back to the Junction to eat lunch and make our way to North America. And that, my friends, is when our "plan" went awry.

It was noon, and everyone at the zoo was trying to dine at the various cafes in the Junction. We ultimately decided that it was in our best interest (mostly that of the three hungry and tired little girls we had on our hands) to pass on lunch followed by "North America". So we, instead, bought a couple of frozen strawberry lemonades to share, stood in a very long line for the tram, headed back to our cars, and grabbed lunch at the-first-fast-food-restaurant-with-chickey-nuggets-we-could-find (turned out to be Chick-fil-A) in Asheboro on our way back home.

So, while we had fun in our short 3-hour stint at the zoo, we certainly won't be returning on Good Friday in future years. And we might also try to pick a day that isn't going to be 88 degrees, since there's a lot of sunshine and a lot of walking. But we continue to live, learn, and have fun along the way!