Saturday, July 31, 2010

Birthday Party Central

Today was a day of birthday parties for the Herman girls. Many thanks to Nina and Papa for being the stay-at-home-with-the-non-partying-kiddo crew today.

For Ivie, her friend, Violet, celebrated her 4th birthday at Monkey Joe's...

... and Macie went to her very first birthday party for a school classmate. Or, in this case, two, with twin brothers, Nicholas (with the boo-boo on his forehead) and Anthony celebrating the big number 2.

Ivie loves bounce houses. Today was no different.

Her main partners-in-crime were Violet and Kenzie, as they giggled and ran from one slide to another. Her buddy Samuel was there, too, as was Caroline (not pictured). And, just because it was too cute of a picture to leave out, Caroline's mommy, Kristie, and her 4-month old baby boy, Baylen.

Can you tell Ivie had fun?!?

Meanwhile, Macie skipped the bounce house this morning so she could be well-rested for her solo birthday party debut. Meaning the first one she's been to without her sister being along!

While she missed Ivie (she asked "Where's Ibie?" about 15 times), she, too, had fun playing with toys other than her own. Oh, and eating strawberries.

I don't think I've had reason to mention it here before, but Macie is scared of dogs. Each time we visit the Devers, poor Hogan has to get locked upstairs. And today, Nicholas and Anthony's dog met the same fate during the party. But not until Macie had spotted her. Which meant that she spent the entire party pointing at the stairs, scrunching up her face, and saying, "Ruff?" in a concerned voice.

Like this:

But all-in-all, she was a pretty happy camper. SUCCESS at her first party! Many more to come, I'm sure!

Mommy, for one, will sleep good tonight...

Grandparents' Visit

Dale's in Oregon on a golf trip, so my parents have been in town helping since Wednesday evening. Work is a bit crazy for me right now, so the timing of their visit is perfect. In anticipation of their visit, I made a mental list of chores that Mom could help with while they're here (they don't leave until Tuesday). I shared the tasks with her Wednesday night, ticking off item after item, including sharing my embarrassment that I couldn't remember the last time I'd washed our bed sheets (should have saved that for a "Not Me Monday" post, I know).

Anyway, when I got home from work Thursday night, it was as if Super Woman had shown up overnight. Every chore was complete. And a couple that I hadn't even mentioned.

My mom is amazing. But most of you knew that already.

Then, yesterday, Grandma and her best friend, Nancy (whom Ivie calls "Lancy", for some reason!), made the drive from Hickory to spend the afternoon with us. We took the girls to Rudino's for lunch, and then hung out at home. Ivie, of course, couldn't pass up the opportunity to dress up for her visitors. And then she had the idea of "sharing the love" with the dress-up fun. I couldn't resist taking a picture, although I'm pretty sure 3 of the beautiful ladies in the photo would have preferred that it not appear on my blog. Don't worry, gals. You represent one-fifth of my readership, anyway, so it's really no big deal.

Thanks for making it a fun Friday!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Wordless THURSDAY (#23): Her Latest Trick

(Better late than never...)

Monday, July 26, 2010

How I Know That I'm Addicted To Blogging...

Saturday after t-ball, Ivie rode home with her good friend, Caroline, for her second weekend play date in a row.

This morning, I got an email from Caroline's mom, describing a conversation that had taken place during the girls' dress-up time (I know, seriously, does the kid do anything other than prance around in fancy dresses?!? At least she'll be able to walk in high heels as an adult.).

Here was the reenactment, as told to me by Caroline's mom:

So the girls were playing dress-up and something was said about a wedding dress or a Cinderella dress.

I said, "Ivie, your flower girl dress was beautiful on you - the one you wore in your uncle's wedding.".

And Ivie said, "How did you see me?!? Oh, no, did my mommy blog about it?".

And then Caroline's mom, in her email to me, said:

"I find it so funny that a 4 year-old knows about a blog???!!!"

And I didn't really know how to respond to her. I admit that "blogging" is a common verb used in my house, and that Ivie oftentimes will say, "Mommy, can you take a picture of me and put it on your blog?".

Just a final side note to wrap this one up. I called Dale to tell him this story, and after I read him what Caroline's mom had said about finding it "funny that a 4 year-old knows about a blog", his response was, simply:


Sunday, July 25, 2010

Macie in Action

We went to the mall last night to spend some Gymbucks at Gymboree. Macie wanted to carry the bag, but it quickly became too heavy for her. She was too stubborn (wonder where she gets that from?!?) to let Dale or me carry it, so this was how she adapted:

Backing up a bit to yesterday morning... While Dale and Ivie were at t-ball, Macie and I played with basically every toy in the living room. Among them, the stacking blocks. And I caught a bit of our "game" on the Flip.

Another reason why I love being a mommy?

2. Always having someone to tickle for a belly laugh.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Why I Love Being a Mommy

For Dale's first Father's Day, I gave him this frame:

And since the writing's pretty small, here's a shot of just the words:

So, you wonder, how does this have anything to do with why I love being a mom?!? Give me a second. I'll get to that part. You know by now that I get long-winded when I tell stories sometimes!

Today, Macie laid down for nap at 1:30p or so. Ivie followed shortly thereafter around 2:15p. And I, in my favorite Saturday afternoon ritual, played online for a bit (planning for Macie's 2nd birthday party) and made it to my bed around 2:45p (I'd say, although I didn't really look at the clock).

Except for a brief cry-out by Macie around 3:15p (after which she fell back asleep), the three of us slept peacefully until 4:15p. I'm not sure why (because there wasn't any noise), but that's when I opened my eyes and glanced toward my door. Ivie was peaking in at me. I said, simply, "Hey, Iv.". She didn't say a word. Just came to my side of the bed and crawled in under the covers alongside of me, snuggling up against my chest.

She still didn't speak. Which, for those of you that know Ivie, is really strange. About a minute later, her breathing calmed into a regular pattern, and I could tell she'd drifted back off to sleep. And I'm not joking when I tell you that this is the first time that she has snuggled and napped with me in my bed (we're afraid of starting a habit we can't break, so we've never allowed it). And, to make it crazier, it came AFTER a 2-hour nap in her own room!

And this, I experienced for the first time today, is one reason why I love being a mommy:

(taken with my cell phone as proof, since I couldn't get up and Dale wasn't responding to my texts to bring the camera upstairs)

(taken after I'd successfully crawled out of the other side of the bed and gone down to get the camera)

So, back to the reason why I started this post with the picture of the frame I gave Dale. The 10 reasons why Ivie loved her daddy 4 years ago could have easily be re-phrased into reasons why Dale loved being a daddy. As we go through daily life, there are so many experiences when I think to myself, "This is why I love being a mommy.". But, until now, I've never written them down. So they bunch all together in my brain and become fleeting thoughts, pushed aside by the "here and now".

So I'm planning to start an ongoing series on my blog. Like Wordless Wednesday, Simplify Sunday (haven't done THAT one in a while!), and Show-and-Tell. A place to record, "for the history books", all the reasons why I love being a mom. Starting now.

1. When your pre-schooler crawls in your bed after her nap, snuggles up against you, and falls back to sleep.

I'm warning you, my numbers might literally reach into the millions. Because I don't think there's any title on earth I'd rather have.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

"Surprising" Daddy

Dale's been gone since early Tuesday morning. So when I told the girls when we got home after school today that he would be home in time for dinner, they were both really excited.

Ivie looked at me with her raised eyebrows and exclaimed,

"OH! I'm going to SURPRISE Daddy!!!"

Not sure what that involved, I asked her how she planned to surprise him.

Her response?


Ummm, Iv? Given your nightly dress-up routine, I'm guessing Daddy's not going to be too surprised to walk in and see you in a princess dress. But at least you went out on a limb and chose a new dress. You know, one other than the Snow White dress you put on every evening. Right?

Nope. Never mind.

Oh, well. Surprise, Daddy!!! Welcome home - we sure missed you!!!

(But, as you can see, not much changed on the home front while you were gone...)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Our Morning Routine

The last 6 work days for me have been, well, trying. Although I slept in my own bed every night, I didn't see the girls in the morning at all last week, as I left for work before they woke up.

Which means that Dale was in charge of the morning get-ready-for-school chaos.

I've written before about it not taking long for Ivie to learn that Dale is more easily swayed from our routine of eating a fruit cup for breakfast before moving on to the more carb-heavy-and-less-healthy items, like Pop-Tarts (as a side note, while looking for the blog post to link above, I did a blog word search for "pop-tart". You don't even want to know how many of my posts include that word. It's unacceptable, really.). And while Dale and I never specifically discussed it last week, each time I talked to him and asked him how the girls had been, he regularly answered "They were great! Angels!". So I surmised that he must have been giving in to some of their demands.

Fast-forward to this morning. Dale had to leave the house early, so I had morning duty to myself.

Here is what I had on the table for them when they both came downstairs:

And these are the reactions I received from our "angels":

Accompanying these very sad faces were the following comments:

"Where is Daddy?"


"I don't waaaaaant fruit!"

"You're being MEAN, Mommy."

And, finally, as if they just couldn't keep it to themselves any more:


Guess you better work on making sure the girls don't rat you out, Dale...

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Play Date with School Friends

After Ivie's t-ball game this morning, Ivie and Macie's friends from school, Caroline and Cameron, came over for a play date. Dale had the idea for them to finally paint the "Color Me Rocket" we'd won, so, while he and Iv were gone to the game, I pulled out the paint. The paint that I admit to having previously told Ivie we didn't own (so that I could postpone the painting of the rocket).

But since the rocket has been put together, boringly-devoid of any color, in our foyer for a couple of weeks now, I figured it was time for me to get over the fact that it was probably going to be a bit messy for a 4-year-old and an almost-2-year-old. So why not just take the leap and do it with 2 4-year-olds and 2 2-year-olds?!?

The girls had a lot of fun painting. And it wasn't as messy as I thought it might be (best of all, it stayed true to its "washable" name and did not permanently stain Dale's khaki shorts or my shirt!) But, as you can see from the "finished product", this is going to have to be a multiple-session paint job to get the entire surface area covered!

After about 15 minutes, the girls were ready to move on to something else. So off came their "smocks", and the big girls headed into the living room for some princess dress-up time, while the littles played with the various push toys.

Next came the playground. Pretty much every day when Dale or I pick the girls up at school, Caroline makes it a point to tell us that she wants to come play on Ivie's playground. Ivie must talk about it a lot! Since it was really hot and almost lunch time, though, we only spent about 15 minutes outside. But there was a swing for everyone, so they all got their fill.

When our 15 minutes was up, we came inside for a Chick-fil-A nuggets lunch. And don't forget the all-important juice boxes!

Then, sadly, naptime arrived. Ivie and Macie were sad to see Carolina and Cameron go, but I have a feeling another play date together will be in their future soon. It was activity-filled morning. Let's hope that translates into a LONG NAP. (And maybe a little one for Mommy, too!)

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Movie Quoter

We went grocery shopping at Target this morning before church (still trying to get used to our church switching to only one service during the summer, held at 10:25a - LATE for us!).

We entered the store at the produce section, and Dale mentioned that he had a "$1 off" Target coupon for "berries". I asked him if strawberries counted, he said yes, so I ventured in that direction, pushing Ivie (Dale had Macie's cart).

When I got to the strawberries, I exclaimed, "Oh, good, they're on sale, too!". (Gotta love a bargain!)

To which Ivie responded:

"It's on sale? I'm gonna get on the bottom of this. I'm gonna get on the bottom of ALL OF THIS."

I'd never heard her say this before, so it took me a while. But then I almost fell over laughing.

Does anyone know the movie she quoted? I couldn't find it on YouTube, so I just filmed it myself with our Flip. She didn't do half-bad with her quote - only got one word wrong!

I'm still laughing at the randomness of it...

Saturday, July 10, 2010

T-Ball: Year #2, Practice #1

Those of you that have followed this blog for at least a year know that Ivie's first experience with t-ball wasn't that great. (If I may digress for a moment... Who am I kidding? My blog following right now is pretty much exactly the same as it was from the day it began. I have 10 followers, and about 15 others that are forced to read any updates I send because the blogger email system sends them an email each time I submit a post. That makes a total readership of about 25, not counting the random hits that I get from those on Facebook who click over every once in a while when I do a status update saying that I've done a blog post. And THEY only click over because they know it's the only way to get to see updated pictures of the girls. At least I'm putting this blogging experience into perspective. In other words, I'm pretty much just doing it for myself. As a way to be able to write something unrelated to NCAA regulations. And maybe as a way to someday entertain my children, and their children, and their children...)

Anyway, where was I? Oh yes. T-ball.

Today was Ivie's first practice of her second season of t-ball. I've been cautiously optimistic (I know you don't believe it, Dale!) that being a year older would dramatically improve her attitude toward the game (which, last year, really only meant a reason to hang out with the cool sno-cone cups at the water coolers).

So this morning, I sent Ivie and Dale off to the baseball field (I stayed home with Macie, who was recovering from a sore throat) with exclamations of "Have FUN, Iv!" and "Listen to your coaches, okay!?!".

Now, if you haven't done so yet from the hyperlink above to the first t-ball post from last year, click over and do it now. Because the rest of this post is not going to be as funny to you if you don't.

I'll give you a moment...

Alright. So when Dale and Ivie got home from practice, and I asked Dale to "fill me in" on how it had gone (I was ready to take mental notes for the blog I would need to craft later), I got the following response.

"It was fine. She did pretty well. But her hitting is actually worse than last year, so we'll need to work on that."

That was it, folks! I asked several times for some stories. I got nothing.

Which is why I guess I'll need to drag Macie to the field from here on out so that I can experience (and document) t-ball for myself. Because I'm apparently not going to get anything out of her daddy...!

Except for some pictures, that is. He DID agree to take the camera (since it was team picture day, as well, and I wasn't about to pay $16 to get the version offered by the professional photographers), and he got some cute shots.

In other words, it wasn't a total bust in terms of a blog post. And I should look on the bright side. At least this way I don't have to write a long story. Not to mention that my friend Stacy might actually READ this whole thing, instead of just skipping to the pictures.

The Preparation/Practice at Home

Waiting for Some Action

Time to PLAY!


Dale's Version of the Team Picture!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Her Last Day

I can't believe it's over. Amanda's been here for 7 weeks, and she's leaving tomorrow. The Hermans are officially in denial.

I know it's crazy, but we didn't do a "photo shoot" with Amanda and the girls the entire time she was here. So tonight, on her last night, we gave it a shot.

As you'll see, it didn't turn out as we'd hoped. Macie, particularly, was "done". School continues to wear her out on a daily basis, so getting her cooperation after 5p is no easy task. And we pretty much failed at it tonight.

So this is more of a photo shoot of hilarity than anything else. But it's the best we could do!

We'll miss you, Amanda. Thanks for spending your summer with us! You can come back any time. Just to hang out. And wash sippy cups, of course.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Monday, July 5, 2010

Show-and-Tell, Round 55: Ice Cream Scoops

I saw these adorable ice cream scoops (and 2 accompanying cones) on one of the social shopping sites that I frequent. So I checked on Amazon, found them cheaper (and with free shipping!), and ordered them to help teach Macie her colors. Then Ivie promptly latched on to them for Show-and-Tell last week. The story of Macie's life.

My Movie Monday (#7): I Sowwy

Week 7 of joining Chrissy, over at Traveling Light, for...

My Movie Monday @ Traveling     Light

I'm not sure what's cuter. This video of Macie saying "I'm sorry"...

... or watching her watch herself on the video and repeat her lines in unison with it.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Back to the New River

Year 2 of the Herman Fourth of July tradition of spending the holiday at the New River in Boone, NC, with Dale's mom, Emma Jean, his brother, Doug, and Doug's family, Jennifer, Luke, and Rod. Also joining us, again, were many members of Jennifer's family.

The bottle float made another appearance. And, yes, Ivie still thinks it's honey.

There was no fishing this year for Ivie (and she was quite disappointed). But we DID (against my better mom judgment) let her swing on the "big kid swing", which appeased her.

Before I gave in, though, I had Dale test it out. He's scared of heights, so I was sort of surprised that he did it...

And I was even more surprise that I gave in to his "encouragement" (read - goading) to check it out, myself! I'm not scared of heights. But I'm not a fan of doing things that are in the least bit dangerous. I mean, what if the rope had split, or something? Go ahead, call me a scaredy-cat. I've come to accept that about myself...

But since I was out there "on a limb", I thought I'd make some good faces for the camera, at least!

So, anyway, the rest of the day was spent just lounging around. At the badminton court, on the hammock, under the tents, in the floats.

Dale and Ivie took an hour-and-a-half float down the river, during which Dale pretty much had to walk the whole time because the river wasn't really "flowing". Macie snagged a short nap (the duration of which I'm unsure, since I dozed off myself!) in the camper, and then was pretty happy just hanging out with the adults. Looking cute and making for a good photo subject... Oh, and snacking on pretzels.

Another great holiday with family. Thanks for hosting the party, Herman clan!