Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Oh no, allow me.

Ingrid is so pleased that Daddy rearranged the pantry for her so she can now reach the canned goods. I mean, how seriously thoughtful of him. Sometimes parents just surprise you with their thoughtfulness.

So appreciative she is that she even decides to lend her own input from time to time on where these cans should be placed. Its just her way of showing appreciation.

Ingrid, realizing that this discovery could go either way,

quickly pulls out the smile that ensures it will go "her way".

(When I caught Ingrid in this activity, she shot me the "deer in the headlights look" you see above, then she broke out into her adorable smile, and began industriously piling the scattered cans back onto the pantry shelves, telling herself "good girl" all the while. I love her.)

Monday, December 7, 2009


(I actually composed this post about 6 months ago, but got side-tracked and never finished it. I just came across it among my drafts and decided to finish and post it, even though its old.)

I have a 30-second rule about running water in our hall bathroom. If I hear it for any longer than that amount of time, I have to drag myself over to investigate. Handwashing is not a simple activity, you understand. It is so easy to become side-tracked. I'm sure we've all experienced the urge to fill the sink with suds to make squishy hand noises with, or give our plastic fruit a bath, or draw dirty soap-circles on the mirror with our fingers.

But Theia is obviously beginning to understand that the bathroom sink is mainly for hygenic purposes. This was demonstrated on my most recent trip to the bathroom when the 30-second rule was broken. I rounded the corner to be greeted with, "I'm just makin' my hair beautiful, Mom".

And isn't it... ...beautiful?

Friday, November 20, 2009

Theia on Theology

I was cleaning up our back yard when Theia came out and stood on the back patio with a thoughtful expression on her face. I was placing the sand buckets on the girl's picnic table when she asked me, "Mama, are we gonna go to God's house soon?". I answered something to the effect of, I didn't know exactly when we would go, but that it would be wonderful, much better even than where we live now, and, best of all, we would be able to be with God all the time and see Him, instead of just knowing He is with us. She pondered this for a moment, then cocked her head to one side and said seriously, "I think I might be a little bit shy of God."

I love moments like that.

I told her we don't have to be shy of God. He wants us to know Him really, really well.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Froggimus Optimus

I have a new task master in my kitchen. Well, not IN my kitchen, but on the windowsill above my kitchen sink. This solemn fellow joins me just about every night while I wash the dinner dishes. He fixes me with his unblinking gaze and I just know what he'll think of me if I don't load the dishwasher before going to bed.

I'm pretty sure he has strong opinions about the condition of my screens and window tracks too.

Last night, after withering under his reproachful gaze for long enough, I pulled out the camera to see if it would faze him. He pretended not to notice at first, but after being flashed one time too many, he shot me a look of utter contempt, and hopped disdainfully back into the bushes.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Sounds of Sickness

Theia: "My frope hurts." "I need to frop." "I'm gonna go frop in the toilet because I don't want any frop to get in my bed." "{wailing, completely mortified} I wetted in my b-e-e-e-e-d!" (we heard that two nights in a row before reverting back to nighttime diapers until she's completely over this) "That toast won't help my frope. I need some candy for my frope." And, most recently, since jealousy is setting in because her younger sisters are now sicker than she is: "My fever hurts." and, "I think I have a sore frope, I need some mestidin too."

Eliza: "I want a drink of water!" "No, I don't WANT a drink of water!" "I want my covers on!" "{kicking} No, I don't WANT my covers on!" "Can I have some juice?" "No, I don't WANT my juice!" "Daddy, can you come hold me in my bed?" "Get out of my bed now, Daddy." "Mommy, I want you to hold me." "No, I don't want you to hold me!" "I want you to stand up and hold me." "Don't talk to me, Theia!" "Ingrid's looking at me!" "{tearfully} I'm too sick to eat that."

Theia is very analytical, and into self-diagnosis when she's sick. You can tell when she really doesn't feel well because she becomes painfully polite. Its kind of funny, but pathetic too, how she suddenly remembers her manners when she's sick. She LOVES taking medicine (a little too much), and frequently tells me when she thinks its needed.

Eliza, on the other hand, is equally pathetic, but definitely NOT polite about it. Its kind of good, actually, because I always know how she's feeling. If I give her Motrin for her fever, her behaviour and disposition does a complete 180 so I know its working. Getting the Motrin in is the difficulty though. That girl is a fighter.

And Ingrid is just the most pathetically patient, long-suffering martyr of a sick baby you'll ever see. During her two worst days she just burrowed her little face in mine or Jessie's shoulder most of the day while we went about our business while holding her in one arm. She kept Jessie in bed late yesterday morning because she was sleeping so soundly on his chest for several hours, and she pulled away from me every time I tried to move her.

Thankfully they are all improving, although not completely over it yet. My days have been filled with sprinting across the room at top speed, trying to get to the twin streams trickling down the upper lips of my daughters before they take care of it themselves with the back-of-hand-across-the-cheek (and sometimes all the way up to the eyebrows) method.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


Theia: "Yep, we ALL have blue eyes. Except for Mommy. She has tan eyes."

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Saturday Sick


Sick Kids.

Sick Husband.

Thankfully not Sick me.



Sore Throats.


'Cept me.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

A Few Nuggets.

I gathered these up from our facebook statuses since that's where I record many of the cute things the girls say/do on a daily basis. My mom is always saying "I hope you are writing these things down somewhere other than your facebook status". So here I am, dutifully recording them elsewhere:

We just left the mall, where Eliza begged every two minutes to ride the "alligator". It took us awhile to realize she meant "elevator".

I was told by Eliza that I’m "like a princess" today. I think that's about as high a compliment as you can get from a two-year-old girl.

Eliza loves all the princesses, Cinderella, Cinder-White, Cinderbelle, and Cinderaura.

Ingrid is skilled at walking into a room and immediately identifying which object will freak out her Mom the most when tampered with.

Theia: (flexing her arms) "Look how big my whistles are!"

We try not to laugh whenever Eliza sternly tells Theia to "Go lie down in your bed!" after one of us scolds her, but its really hard.

We never tire of hearing Theia and Eliza sing Jesus Loves Me; can't wait till Ingrid joins in.

We had fun shopping in spite of the fact that the outing ended with our daughter christening the floor of the Gymboree outlet store. (Yes, we cleaned it up.)

Theia is telling us a very scary story about an animal called "Chick-fil-a" who was "broke" by an alligator and bitten by a wide variety of other animals.

I was surprised to find a spool of thread in my hand after convincing the 1 year old to release whatever it was that was causing her cheeks to bulge and her front to be covered with drool. (I appreciated my big brother’s comment on this update: “Its nice to know you can still be surprised.”)

I was making pancakes this morning when my 3 year old came out and instructed, "Mama, put a big lot of syrup on mine. I'll come back and check on you in a few minutes." What does one say to that?

I give Eliza a fork so she can spear her food and then pluck it off with her fingers and eat it.

Theia asked Jessie earlier, "Daddy, did you ever see Mommy's wedding dress? Its SO beautiful."

We wonder when Eliza is going to stop calling both of us "Moddy".

We just had breakfast at Hardees in Jellico, Tennessee, where small packs of roving senior citizens terrorize families with small children.

We were just interrupted doing tae bo exercises that involved slow hip movement, by Eliza standing in our doorway (at 11 pm). We didn't notice for a few minutes and when we saw her she looked like she wasn't sure if she should laugh or run back to bed and pretend she didn't see. After we busted up laughing she decided to laugh with us.

Theia comes into the bathroom and says in a very patronizing voice "Mama, are you okay there in the shower?.....Okay, I was just checking on you."

We don't know how many times we've said "Eliza, that's Uncle Josh, not Robin, not Grandma" in the last 24 hours.

Dry cheerios were meant to be eaten one at a time, pinched between the thumb and forefinger, right? Then why do Eliza and Ingrid both eat them by the fistful, ensuring that only 3 out of 7 will make it into their mouths? (until later that is, when they eat the ones I missed with the broom off the floor).

Our children must not watch enough TV. Theia just handed an Elmo doll to Jessie and said "Here, Daddy, hold my little red baby for me".

Monday, November 2, 2009

Vote for Pedro Holly

I was really going to get around to doing a Halloween post, honestly, but I'm getting around to it sooner than later since there is now a competition that is forcing me out of hiding. Who could pass that up?

I sent a picture of the Girls over to Jen at 4tunate when I saw she was having a little costume contest on her blog (Wonderful blog by the way. Jen is a very godly and sincere woman, and her boys look like more fun than a barrel of monkeys). Their picture was among the 5 finalists so I am now unashamedly asking you to go over to 4tunate and vote for Bo Peep! It only takes one click, and I would get free personalized jewelry out of the deal!

We had so much fun putting costumes together this year. I borrowed this dress for Theia from my sister Robin. Our own mother made this dress for Robin when she was Theia's age, over thirty years ago (sorry, Robin). I should mention that my mom never taught me to sew and I now have an irrational fear of sewing machines.

Isn't this a sweet dress? Mothers, if you know how to sew, teach your daughters! They will thank you some day (at least, they should).

Jessie and I made Eliza and Ingrid's sheep costumes out of white sweater dresses that we've had since Eliza's first Christmas. We fashioned lamb ears with pink lining out of old cloth diapers and a pink onesie, then sewed black felt "hooves" on the inside of their cuffs. Finally, we sacrificed the arms of an old (unfortunate) white teddy bear for tails. The girls LOVED their costumes. Ingrid pranced around like she just knew she was the cutest thing in 4 counties the whole time she had it on.

Unfortunately she did a lot more prancing than standing still, so this was the best we could do for a group shot.

I love this picture of Theia and Eliza. Mostly because of Eliza's expression. This is a very typical Eliza expression. She always throws her head back and laughs over just about anything. Its also the only picture that shows a lamb's tail.

And while we're on the subject of costumes, take a gander at Jessie and me too. We had the bright idea of having Jessie dress as Billy Mays when we saw how many people were doing Michael Jackson tribute costumes. We thought Billy Mays deserved a tribute too, and how much easier does a costume get? It only took Jessie five days of growth to turn out quite a respectable beard. With a little help from some mascara and an Elvis wig with a hack job he turned out to look rather more like Billy Mays than I even wanted. And since we went as a couple, he had a little arm candy in the form of a devoted insomniac senior citizen who is addicted to the Home Shopping Network. I had "As Seen On TV" stickers on my checkbook, telephone, and slippers.
Doesn't he look frighteningly like Billy Mays? And don't I look ...just... frightening?

Friday, October 30, 2009

Because it would be rude not to.

I have been so far removed from blogging for the last six weeks or that its hard to know where to pick up. But, since I spent so much time talking about trying to get this photoshoot done, I figured not posting the results would just be the height of rudeness. I won't wax eloquent about the actual experience. You can make your own inferences just from the captions.
I love this mosaic bench.
What a gluttony of colors!
My favorite picture ever of Just
Eliza and Ingrid.
Probably the one that will end
up in Christmas cards.
I don't know what was so funny.
Neither does Ingrid.
Theia's a bit excited, and showin some leg.
Ingrid was pulling her hair out by this point.
My favorite of Eliza
After the wardrobe change
we had to pull out the big guns
to get any cooperation.
Bribery is a wonderful thing.
So much happier than they all were 5 minutes
before this.
She can't believe...
This is really happening...
...to her.
Ingrid was a pretty
inexperienced walker
when these were taken.
Melts my heart.
Makes my heart thump.
So blessed.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Labor Day Weekend Part II (alternately titled "Never Trust County Websites")

You would think after our first failed attempt at getting the girl's photoshoot done that we would realize that Labor Day weekend was created for less stressful things, like playing Parcheesi, and eating food that doesn't require stovetop preparation. But, never ones to be discouraged by trifles, we rebounded and decided that Monday would be the perfect time for a retry.

We had chosen some botanical gardens run by Pinellas county to be the spot of our photoshoot. Theia's and Eliza's 1 year pictures had been taken in the middle of beautiful gardens, and we wanted the same look for Ingrid's. We had driven around, asked around, and googled around for weeks looking for some place in Florida that actually had flowers (and didn't charge highway robbery for the privilege of seeing them). Florida has its high points to be sure, but its only colors are blue, tan, and dingy green. Finally some friends tipped us off to these awesome gardens that have FREE admission.

I'm sure all of you with multiple small children can understand and appreciate the meaning behind my words when I tell you that the entire day revolved around getting the girls photoshoot done. We knew we wanted evening lighting, so we had to leave by 4:15 in order to get there by 5 and have two hours to do our thing before the gardens closed. Everything had to be timed perfectly. Morning activities had to be cut short in order to get the girls lunched and down for a nap so they would be in a frame of mind conducive to being photographed. Six little ruffled and ribboned outfits (two changes each) had to be ironed while they slept. I won't even mention that this was my second time ironing them since they had to be rewashed after the bean fiasco. We woke the girls up promptly at 3:30 and put them through an assembly line bath before buckling them in their carseats and setting out for Ye Olde Botanical Gardens.

We drove the 30 minutes to the gardens and were greeted by a closed gate through which we could see a decidedly uninhabited parking lot. Undaunted, we said to ourselves there must be another entrance, since the website boldly boasts "Open every day of the year" (if you don't believe me, check it out for yourself HERE). We drove out to the road and around the corner and found another entrance, padlocked with a sign that said "Use other Entrance". Our friend Jenni had kindly agreed to come and be an extra pair of hands since she lives near the gardens. She arrived and informed us that she drives by that entrance all the time and it is always open. She even stopped a cop and asked if there were any other entrances. After driving around stupidly to the other entrance a few times, we concluded that there was probably a group of mutinous county employees off enjoying a Labor Day barbecue somewhere, or perhaps a bean bake.

Jessie and I were so frustrated that we could have cried, or maybe bitten something. But Jenni was there, so we couldn't do either. *

It turned out to be a good thing that Jenni was there, since she helped us salvage our evening and actually enjoy it. She suggested that we take the girls to a nearby park so they could play since they had been cooped up in the van for quite awhile by now. Once there, she even convinced the now surly parents to get the camera out for a few shots of the girls. These are not to be considered their official pictures, but Jessie managed to get a few shots that are worth posting while we wait for the real thing.

As I was writing this post, I recalled that we actually had a similar experience last year when we tried to do this. I posted about it HERE. I guess we should have expected that the number of attempts necessary to achieve success just increases with each child. When it was just Theia we woke up one day and said "How bout we head over to the the gardens and take Theia's pictures?", and we did it. When we added Eliza to the equation it took two tries. Now we have three, and we are planning our third attempt for tomorrow afternoon. If that fails, I might just have to bite something and call it a day.

*Jessie would insist he never thought of crying, or biting anything.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Labor Day Weekend Part I (alternately titled "Burnt Beans")

There is a new saying in the Wert household especially for Labor Day. It goes something like this: "Come to us all you who labor and are heavy laden, and we will give you... burnt beans".
We went into the three day weekend giddy with anticipation of a leisurely, revitalizing time. Our only finite plans were to get the girls 3, 2, and 1 year pictures done. We have been planning this for weeks, and a three day weekend seemed the perfect time to attempt it. So, accordingly, bright and somewhat early on Saturday morning we set out to find the perfect little white dress for Ingrid to wear in her pictures. Being the economical and efficient woman that I am, I put a pot of chick peas on to boil as we were preparing to leave the house, with the intention of turning them down to simmer while we were gone, thus having lunch half made by our return.
We spent two hours exhausting every children's store at the nearby outlet mall with no luck, since retailers have this deluded belief that people only want to buy brown corduroy jumpers, orange sweaters, and striped tights in September, regardless of the 97 degree temps that are likely to stick around for another two months. But, I digress. We decided to head home and put the girls down to nap while I made a run to our trusty flea market where a used children's clothing booth never fails to please (why didn't I think of that in the first place??!).
On the way home I suddenly drew my breath in with a gasp that caused Jessie to tap the brakes and frantically scan the traffic ahead since such a sound (he surmised) could only be caused by one who was witnessing a catastrophic accident unfolding before her eyes. But, the catastrophic accident was only unfolding in my mind's eye, as I suddenly remembered the beans.
I told Jessie about my cause for alarm, and hoped while I was speaking that perhaps he had seen the boiling beans and had thought to turn them down before we left. He informed me that he had seen the beans boiling, but had not turned them down. He had cocked the lid and yelled to inform me that they were boiling, so I could do with them whatever women do with boiling beans. I of course never heard this, so we then both walked out of the house with the knowledge tucked back somewhere in the cobwebby abysses of our brains that there was a boiling pot on the stove.
By now we were really worried. We scanned the horizon for billowing clouds of smoke. We were relieved to see our house looking quite ordinary from the outside when we pulled onto our street, but I could see the hazy gray through the window in the doorway as I was coming up the front walk.
The entire house was filled with smoke. Every closet, nook, and cranny. Jessie and I ran around opening windows and turning fans on. Jessie removed the accursed pot of beans, which by now was nothing but a pile of nearly disintegrated glowing black embers, and we high-tailed it out of there. After eating lunch out and visiting the flea market together (although we realized that pictures were absolutely out of the question by now) we headed back to our house. We were greeted by a powerful wave of eye-watering stench when we opened the door.
We put the girls down for a nap but quickly realized that we could not stay there. I was developing a headache and was feeling quite nauseous from the smell. Fortunately for us, Luke and Lesley's family are in New Mexico right now and they had given us permission to use their house while they were gone. I packed up enough food and clothing for a few days while Jessie ran out to buy some odor-eating stuff.
I'll skip to the end for now. We came home Tuesday night to find that our house does not seem to be a biohazard threat, and no longer smells like all the chimney sweeps in Mary Poppins had held a bean-bake here. It now only smells like several chain smokers might live here. But, we have hopes that the smell will be gone entirely before too long, since we are systematically cleaning everything that can be cleaned and spraying Febreeze pet formula on everything else (that stuff really works).
I do have more to say about our weekend (notice that this post is titled Part 1) but I will save it for later. I just might go and do another load of smoky wash right now.

Part 2: http://jessie-james-gang.blogspot.com/2009/09/labor-day-weekend-part-ii-alternately.html

Friday, September 4, 2009

Sunset is...

Sunset is
our favorite time to
go to the beach.
When the view
up the sand
is mostly unbroken
by the sight of
throngs of

When the waves lapping the sand
are gentle enough for
little people to
without fear
of being knocked over.
When the horizon shows off every shade in God's majestic palette over the space of only two hours. And with the
as a backdrop
you can be sure
to catch
some breathtaking images
very little effort.