Sunday, May 29, 2011

Day Care Easter Egg Hunt, 2011

On Thursday, April 21st (I know, I'm really far behind with my Easter posts!), Ivie and Macie's school held their annual Easter egg hunt. It's always in the early afternoon, so I generally miss it because of work. But, since I was working from home that week before Bryce's arrival, I was able to go and take some pictures. And Mom came along with me to catch some of the fun on the Flip Video.

First here's a shot of them that morning before they left for school, ready to go with their bunny ears!

You all, there is no way to describe how many plastic eggs the teachers "hid" for the kids. Maybe a picture could help - this was Macie's playground...

The schoolkids were lucky to get a visit from the Easter Bunny. And, as you can see above, they also each got their share of eggs. And candy. Which we're still eating in our house (making it slightly more challenging for me to lose the baby weight).

Anyway, I got a few shots of the girls during their respective hunts...

And a few of them with the Easter Bunny...

And here are a couple of videos showing the fun they had!

After the hunt, Ivie hooked up with Emerson for a quick photo opp...

And Macie posed with her teachers, Miss D and Miss Madison...

And, with ME!!!

A fun afternoon was had by all - a great beginning to a very eventful, memorable, and amazingly wonderful Easter weekend for the Herman family!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Ivie's Random Thoughts (#20): Car Conversation

On Tuesday afternoon, while Sarah and Macie ran into the Scrubs and Beyond store to find Sarah some work pants, Ivie, Bryce, and I waited in our car. As is typical these days, Ivie didn't stop talking the entire time. Here are some bits of our conversation:

Ivie: Mom, am I gonna be dead when I'm 80?

Me: I hope not!

Ivie: Man, I'm gonna be TALL!!!!

Me: Ummmm, you're not going to keep growing the whole time, Iv.

Then, about 5 minutes later, after seeing the UNC, NC State, Duke, and NC Central banners hanging over the door to Best Buy:

Ivie: Mom, what's THAT banner? (Referring to the NCCU one, which she didn't recognize.)

Me: That's North Carolina Central University. It's another school in Durham. They're the Eagles!

Ivie: Does Lance cheer for them?

Me (intrigued by the randomness and eager to share this story with Lance): No, I don't think so. He cheers for Carolina. Like us!

Finally, 2 minutes later, after moving on from Lance's apparent allegiance to NCCU...

Ivie: Mom, why did God make people who cheer for Duke?!?

Me: Good question, Iv.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Macie's (A)Musings (#7): A Big Week

(As told by Macie. Or at least as it WOULD have been told by Macie if she could spell and write stories.)

Wow. What a last week and a half I've had! Let me just start at the beginning so I don't leave something out...

I've been working on potty training at school for a couple of months now. I say "at school" because, to be entirely honest, I haven't had much (okay, ANY) interest in showing Mommy how I can go potty and poopy in the potty at home. Mommy's not sure why, other than she thinks that I just like Miss D and Miss Madison more than I like her. Truth told, it's just that when I see my friends at school going to the potty, I want to join in! Sometimes it's okay to be a follower, right?!? Mommy says that Miss Rosa was the one that trained Ivie, so I thought I would just follow suit.

So, anyway, as I've been wearing the SAME PULL-UP all day at school, I've been coming home and refusing to sit on the potty for Mommy. And, since Pull-Ups are expensive and Mommy has a new baby that she has to take care of non-stop, she has been in no mood to deal with me and force me to potty train. So we took a break from potty training at home for a while to give me time to "warm up" to the idea.


Enter Nina.

While she was here visiting and helping Mommy with Bryce, Nina had the great idea of starting a potty sticker chart. I LOVE STICKERS! I mean, who wouldn't go potty in the potty if it meant getting a sticker for it! And guess what I get if I go poopy in the potty? THREE STICKERS. Jackpot!!! I'm in.

So, by the time Nina left last Monday, I was doing much better. And earning my way toward a new toy (which is what I got when my sticker chart was filled up). Fast forward to today, and I've had only one accident in the last 10 days! It was yesterday, in the hallway upstairs, right outside of the bathroom. Mommy came out of her room to me standing in a puddle of potty right in front of the bathroom door. In my defense, Aunt Sarah was taking a shower and the door was shut. So, in hindsight, that's the excuse I'm going with, even though, when questioned by Mommy about why I didn't come find her to go to the bathroom, my immediate response was a pretty lame "Because my belly hurt.". What can I say? It was the best I could come up with on short notice.

So that's the first cool thing that has happened this past week. The next thing is not really cool. In fact, it's plain awful, though Mommy doesn't seem as stressed out about it as I am for some reason. In fact, she seems kind of happy...

On Sunday morning, Mommy and Daddy told me we were going to Target, and that I could get a new toy. They said I could pick out whatever I wanted. It sounded too good to be true. I should have seen right through their little game, because then they dropped the punch line on me. In order to get a new toy, I had to pay for it myself.


WHAT?!? My pacis aren't money! Who do these knuckleheads, also known as my parents, think they're dealing with?

But I played along with them, knowing that the cashier at the register would look at them funny and then give my pacis back to me after I handed them to her. By then, it would be too late for Mommy and Daddy to put my toy back on the shelf. And I'd be heading home with the toy AND my beloved pacis. So I was pretty happy at first...

My plan was going really well until THE CASHIER DIDN'T GIVE ME THE PACIS BACK. Turns out she actually let me pay for my toy with them, though, now that I think about it, I wonder what it was that Daddy was whispering to her before it was my turn to pay... But since I only really NEED my pacis when at nap and bedtime, I just let it ride. Surely Mommy and Daddy had kept some at home for me to use when I got tired. Because they love me bunches, right? And they wouldn't want me to be sad over a silly paci. What's the harm in them, anyway?!? Besides, as we walked out of Target, at least I had two new very soft stuffed animals to show for it...

But imagine my dismay when it was nap time and I asked for my paci, only to be told that I had "sold" them all to Target in exchange for my new stuffed animals. WHAT?!? This was NOT going to work. I promptly threw a big fit (heck, it works sometimes!) and told Mommy that I didn't want my new stuffed animals any more. Please return them to Target and get my pacis back. STAT. For good measure, to really make my point hit home, I threw the animals down the hallway. As far as I could.

She said that no matter how mad I was, I wasn't getting the pacis back. So I refused to take a nap. For the first time ever. Boy, was I a pill (that's what Mommy called me, though I have no idea what that means) THAT night!

Anyway, it's been 3 days, and I'm slowly getting used to life without my paci, though I still don't give in easily at nap time. See? In this picture, it looks like my body ultimately just refused to fight anymore. I guess that's what actually happened, since I don't remember ever falling asleep.

That's enough about the paci. I get sad just thinking about it. But really, Mommy, did you have to pull the paci trick the same WEEK that I got potty trained for you?!? Cruel.

The last thing I have to tell you about from my week is something Mommy has been trying to get me and Ivie to do since January. I don't really know my months very well, but Mommy says "it's a long time coming", so I'll take her word for it. You see, when Mommy and Daddy found out that Bryce was coming, they evicted me from my room! Not sure why they thought that was a good idea, but they started telling me that I was too big for my crib (even though I wasn't) and that I would have a great time sharing a room with Ivie (even though I wasn't so sure).

But when I tried to sleep in bed with Iv, she and I couldn't stop talking to each other. Mommy and Daddy did all they could (short of spanking us - I'm glad they haven't ventured down that path yet!) to get us to stop talking and sleep, but we didn't cooperate. The only way they could get me to go to sleep was to put a crib mattress on the floor next to the bed. So that's where I've been sleeping since January.

But last night, after a long day with my cousins and no nap, I asked Mommy if I could try to sleep in bed with Ivie again. You see, she usually lets me try every other week or so, and then has to come into our room after about 30 minutes and boot me back to my bed on the floor. So when I asked her last night, she looked at me sideways for a few seconds and then said we could try it! I could tell by the look on her face that there was no way she thought it would work.

So you know what I did?

I climbed into bed with Ivie and fell asleep (although it might have had something to do with the fact that I was so tired I couldn't even see straight). But I did it, nonetheless, and stayed there the whole night, not waking up until 6:53a (which is sort of a record for me lately, since I'm usually up around 6 or 6:15).

Mommy was ecstatic when Ivie and I came out of our room after our first successful night in the bed together. I think she's grown tired of hitting the closet doors on the crib mattress on the floor each time she tries to open them. She even told us that we could have a sticker on our "Sweet Girl Charts" on the refrigerator. You know, since I don't need a Potty Chart any more.

All-in-all, it's been a pretty good week for me. Now if I could just find that cashier from Target and get my pacis back. I'll be on the lookout for her next time we go...

Wordless Wednesday (#57): A Visit From the Andersons

(In mostly Blackberry pictures... Because who has time with 6 kids and 2 moms to grab the real camera?!?)

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

A Slice of Bryce (#4): One Month!!!

Bryce was one month old yesterday! For someone who has likely averaged 5 hours of sleep a night since April 23rd, I can't believe that I can sit here with a straight face and say that "time flies". But it really does! Aside from gas pains that get him squirming, whining, and painfully grunting a few times a day, Bryce is a very sweet baby who loves to cuddle. And I'm quite happy to oblige!

Today was his one-month doctor's appointment, so here are his latest stats:

Weight: 11 pounds, 12 ounces (95th percentile)
Height: 22 1/8 inches (75th percentile)
Head Circumference: 39 centimeters (50th percentile)

Woo Hoo, Dale! His head isn't humongous! And he is continuing his crazy weight gain. As a nursing mother, I love it!

To commemorate Month #1, I took the below pictures. Thanks so much for the "month" stickers, Megan! This is going to be a fun way to show his growth throughout his first year. Provided I can remember that I have them. One month down!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Macie's Turn (#11): Daisy the Dog

Another Bryce-related gift went to Show-and-Tell this past week with Macie. Except this one was actually a gift for BRYCE to which the girls have latched on...

This gift came from our neighbors, Bill and Sue. They have a beautiful dog named Daisy (see below picture - sorry it's so small!), whom the girls adore.

So, as part of Bryce's gift, they gave him a stuffed animal that resembles Daisy. And they even wrote "Daisy" on her tag!

Very thoughtful gift that Bryce will likely have to fight the girls for someday...

Show-and-Tell, Round 64: Zoobles

Ivie got these Zoobles as a "big sister" gift in the past few weeks. The girls think it's pretty cool that when Bryce was born, all of a sudden our friends started sending THEM gifts, too!

If you haven't seen Zoobles before (which I hadn't before we got these), they're pretty nifty. They start in a ball, but then, when you put them on their "Happitats", they pop open (caused by magnets). Pretty cool. Ivie loves them!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Making a Ponytail

Dale, admittedly, has no clue how to make a ponytail. He says his fingers are way too big for those little rubber bands. So if the girls' hairdo needs to involve anything other than a barrette or a headband, he's out.

Which, obviously, leaves me to fill that role. Knowing that I can't do it forever, I've often thought about how in the world I was going to teach the girls how to make their OWN ponytails. Since I had really short hair until the 6th grade, I really didn't know when it was that I should start trying to teach Iv.

Turns out I didn't have to worry about it. Chalk it up to something else she apparently learned at school, since she came home one day and told me that she could put her hair in a pony by herself. I didn't believe her at first. I mean, that was definitely something we were going to have to practice on for DAYS with her Barbie dolls, right?!?


After she showed me that she could do it, I sent her immediately to brag to her daddy that she learned how to make a ponytail before he did. Then, she told me that she wanted to teach Daddy, so could I please video her making a ponytail so Daddy could learn?

So here you go, Daddy. Sorry it takes me a few times to get it right. But at least it means that Mommy was able to give Bryce a cameo appearance in the video!

Oh, and Daddy? Let me know if you want to practice on one of my Barbies...

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Fishy, Fishy

On Nina's last night with us, we decided to sit outside and enjoy our hasn't-been-this-clean-since-the-day-it-was-built screened porch (thanks for your hard work, Nina and Papa!).

Macie and Ivie were in singing moods, so I asked Mac if she would sing one of her (and Nina's!) favorite songs for my Flip. She happily agreed!

"Fishy, Fishy, In The Brook": Sung by Macie Herman (with minimal assistance from Mommy).

Ivie's Random Thoughts (#19): Birthstones

Several years ago, for Christmas, Dale got me a sapphire ring and matching earrings. Not only is sapphire my birthstone (September), but it's also blue, which is my favorite color, so it was a no-brainer! I'm too lazy to take a picture of it for this post, but visualize a sapphire stone with small diamonds on either side. I love it!

Fast-forward to a couple of months ago, prior to Bryce's birth. A co-worker stopped by my office, and we got to chatting about our kids. She showed me what she called her "Mother's Ring", which was pretty much identical to my sapphire ring! She explained that she had three children, one September child (the sapphire) and 2 April children (the diamonds).

It didn't take me long to realize that, if Bryce arrived by his due date, I would already have my Mother's Ring! And, not only that, but my stones would be in the correct order on the ring: Ivie (April), Macie (September), Bryce (April). Perfect!

So Bryce cooperated, and the ring has now officially been dubbed my Mother's Ring.

The other day, I was explaining this to my mom, and Ivie happened to be listening, as well. We got into a conversation about birthstones, and I explained to her that diamond was a GREAT birthstone to have (ha!), and that Macie and I had the same birthstone. I told her that it was sapphire, which didn't mean much to her, so I just told her it was blue and she was satisfied...

Ivie didn't mention it again until yesterday morning when Dale was taking the girls to school. I'm not sure what brought it up, but, while I was feeding Bryce, I got the following text from Dale:

"Ivie just said that your and Macie's birthstone is 'campfire'."

Close, Iv. Very close.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

A Slice of Bryce (#2): Three Weeks

It's already been two weeks since my last Slice of Bryce post! Crazy. Time for an update...

1) Bryce still eats every 2.5 to 3.5 hours. And sometimes every 2 hours, particularly if it's nighttime (or at least it seems that way!).

2) Proof that he is a very good eater can be found in his weight gain over the past 3 weeks. Here are the stats:

April 23rd (Birth): 8 pounds
April 25th: 7 pounds, 14 ounces
May 2nd: 8 pounds, 13 ounces
May 9th: 9 pounds, 12 ounces
May 16th: 10 pounds, 11 ounces

So he has gained exactly 15 ounces each week. The mathematician in me loves the pattern in these numbers. The mom in me loves that he's flourishing! The organizer in me wonders if I should just go ahead and change his closet over to the 3-6 months clothes, since he's already filling out the 0-3's!

3) Bryce really struggles with gas pains. And, unfortunately, it's proven to be the worst during the night. He's quite a grunter! And when he tires of grunting he moves to screaming. I don't really know what hyenas sound like, but I imagine Bryce could give them a run for their money. I wish I could say that his cry is cute. But it's not. It's actually pretty annoying. Good thing he's my baby, which makes everything about him amazing. Too bad that doesn't translate into sleep for a tired mommy...

4) I've discovered that the best naps are the ones B takes in his car seat. He will sleep for HOURS in there. I feel guilty leaving him in there when he's sleeping upon our return home from an outing, but he just looks so peaceful. And quiet. Ahhhhh, quiet.

5) Seriously. Is this not the most perfect baby you've ever seen?!?

6) And one more picture, just for kicks. Doesn't he just look CHILL here?

Saturday, May 14, 2011

School Pictures: Spring, 2011

Spring is here, and, along with it, another round of school pictures.

Dale picked out the outfits this year, getting the girls matching dresses on his trip to the Masters several weeks ago. Ivie's was a little short, and Macie's a little long, but the photographer worked her magic and made them both appear identical for these shots.

I always worry about Macie smiling for the camera on picture day. Probably because she hasn't always been the best when it comes to being photographed! But, based on this round of pictures, I needn't worry any more. Macie is all grins for these. It's Ivie that doesn't seem to pull out her best smile for all of the pictures (namely her graduation one), but I guess I can't really blame her, since it probably felt weird having that cap and gown on...

Without further ado, here are the 5 shots from this year. (Dale picked the girls up from school on picture pick-up day. Instead of worrying about me being upset at him for not picking out the best pictures to purchase, he decided just to buy them all. Smart man.)

Spring, 2011
(Ivie, 5 yrs)

And the Preschool Graduation shot...

Spring, 2011

(Macie, 2 1/2 yrs)

And, the duo shots. First, the one with the not-so-great Ivie smile...

And now the best duo picture they've ever had taken!

Another round of successful school pictures! It makes me sad to think that this is the last round of pictures for Ivie at daycare. Her next school picture will be from Kindergarten! And it will be Macie and Bryce in the daycare pictures in the fall... Pretty sure it will be Bryce that I'll have to worry about not smiling!!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Naked Baby Photo Shoot

Aside from the twice-yearly pictures they have taken at school, none of my children have had a professional photo shoot. There are many reasons for this:

1) I'm too cheap.

2) I have a (slightly) elevated opinion of my own photography skills.

3) The thought of putting together picture outfits makes me sick to my stomach.

4) I keep delaying it, telling myself that if I'm going to spend that kind of money, I want my kids to be out of the "baby stage" so that, years from now, they will at least resemble the people in the pictures.

5) Have I mentioned that I feel like I take decent enough pictures myself?!? I mean, for someone who snaps as many as I do, some of them are bound to turn out...

So, since Bryce (like his sisters) will not have a professional newborn photo shoot, Mom and I staged our own version on Wednesday morning around the house. Using shots I found on professional photographers' Facebook pages as our guide, we staged as many pictures as we could get Bryce to cooperate for. And we discovered that it's not as easy as it looks to get a sleeping baby to hold a pose!

We'll call it a success, though, since the one time he urinated was when he was covered up, resulting only in a wet blanket and a lot of laughs. And, amazingly, we got a few decent shots. For free. Score.

I know this sweet boy is only 3 weeks old... But my heart overfloweth.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Wordless Wednesday (#55): First Family Picture

(Only with my husband would it take a girl 2 weeks to get a first family picture taken of the five of us. And, for kicks, I've thrown in one of just me and the kiddos. Pictures taken on Mother's Day - 5.8.2011.)