Wednesday, July 21, 2010

lucy and annabelle

A few weeks back as I was walking past Sydneys bedroom, I caught a whiff of unpleasantries, took a peek at her sleeping hampster, and told her it was time to clean the cage. Summer busyness got the best of us, and a day went by before I reminded her to clean it again. It was then that I realized her dear hampster April was still sleeping in the exact same spot.

Sydney received April for her 5th birthday in 2008. She had wanted a pet sooooo badly, so we agreed she was ready and responsible for a hampster. I can still remember walking through Pet Smart on that Friday, with my 5 day old baby Stella in tow. I can remember looking at all of those beady little eyes and twitchy little noses and thinking to myself

What on earth am I doing, we have a brand new baby, and i'm buying my daughter a rat.

Well, my internal debaucal was cut short by the familiar ring of my cell phone. It was Tim telling me to get home, because Austin cut his hand and needed stitches. I quickly picked out the cutest hampster in the bunch, and all of her new household accomodations, and was on my way.

Sadly, the little rodent spent it's first night in a cardboard box in the basement because by the time the boys got home from the hospital it was too late for Sydney's party. Leave it to your older brother to wreck your party!

Over the years, Sydney and April became fast friends. Syd made her toys out of toilet paper rolls and fabric scraps. She took her responsibilities very seriously, and rarely did we need to remind her to feed and clean her. April made visits to Sydneys pre-school, kindgergarten and 1st grade classrooms.

When I bought her that cold February day, I was informed that hampsters have a 2 year life span. After 2.5 years, she had a good long happy hampster life. Syd understood this, but was devestated nonetheless. She decorated a shoe box and we buried her out back.

Because she was such a good hampster mom, I promised Syd we could get another. Going to PetSmart with 5 kids is nothing short of a field trip in and of itself. Dyl convinced me to buy him another hermit crab, Stella screamed at every single dog walking through the store, and Austin left ticked because I wouldn't buy him a parakeet.

Meet Lucy Kay...out new domesticated rat :)

Every Wednesday the kids and I visit the farm down the road where I pick up my weekly share of produce. It always goes the same. We get there, the kids stop in the barn and say hello to the dog, turkey, chickens and goats, and then they disperse. Dylan and Sydney head to the pond out back to catch frogs, and Austin takes Stella by the hand and they visit the horsebarn. Eventually Sydney meanders back, and the 3 of them chase the cats and kittens around.

Well, last week, each of the kids came out of the barn holding kittys. The farm owners told them that they were abandoned, and that the kids could have one. I must have been in a really good mood that day, because we now have a little kitten that lives in our garage.

Meet Annabelle....

Saturday, July 10, 2010

another fantastic fourth

We spent an amazing long weekend on Lake Michigan at Hoffmaster State Park, just south of Muskegon. It was wonderfully refreshing to have 4 solid days work, no tv, no house projects, no internet, no laundry, no Mario....only cooking :)

Our days were filled from sun-up to sun-down with quality family time and memories. We beached, biked, hiked, fished, played all kinds of ball, and Tim and I had much heart to heart conversation and togetherness. It was lovely.

On Friday, we started our day at Michigans Adventure. The kids had a blast and were able to go on a majority of the rides. We took turns sitting off with the younger 2, who did a great job considering they spent the day in the double stroller. Stella wanted no part of the kiddy rides.

I wore my bikini as promised, and have lost 5 lbs. so far!

Dylan was obsessed with the pond in the center of the park, because it was chock full of overfed fish circling around waiting to be fed. I can't even count how many times he said "I shoulda brought my fishing pole."

We climbed to the top! That's the lake behind us....hard to tell in this picture.

The only set back in our trip, was that I screwed up our reservation. When I doubled checked the dates the week before we left, I must have looked at our confirmation from last summers trip that never happened because of my bedrest situation. Anyhow, we had a happy ending, because we were surprisingly able to get another nights lodging.

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We love Hoffmaster because there is a creek that meanders around through the park, and dumps out into Lake Michigan. Dylan spent most all of his time hunched over with his net looking for crayfish. The ones he caught we kept in a bucket, and then brought them over to the nature center to feed to the turtles.

This little lady enjoyed splashing around in the shallow water.

It's fascinating taking all 5 kids to the beach. Every last one of them has different interests. I can't even imagine taking them all by myself!
Austin likes to jump the waves, play frisbie, and run down the sand dunes. Sydney also likes to jump in the waves, but would be happy to sit on the beach and make a sandle castle with her daddy. Dylan could spend the entire day looking for little creatures with his net. Tim forced him to take a break and play in the lake before we left. Stella loves to just run back and forth between the shallow water and the sand, and Ellery prefers her shade under the umbrella.

This little lady is a daddys girl.

Friday, July 9, 2010


Thursday, July 1, 2010

7 months

Ellery is 7 months old!

Her absolute favorite place to be these days, is in my arms... facing out... and walking around at such a speed that the scenery changes ever so subtly.

She is a mama's girl. She doesn't mind being held by other people when I leave the room, but as soon as we make eye contact, it's over. While I love this, I've learned some stealth moves to sneak by her :)

She is sitting up well on her own now, and enjoys playing on the ground with her toys for a bit. Stella is intrigued by her new skills, and can usually be found dumping piles of toys on her. Just trying to be helpful I suppose.

She is still on the soy. She also thoroughly enjoys pears, sweet potatoes, squash and oatmeal. Beans literally make her gag, which provides some comic relief for the big kids at the dinner table.

She usually takes 3 naps a day. She is waking up in the middle of the night again, but only needs her pacifier to go back to sleep. She usually has a bottle between 5 and 6am, and then goes back to sleep for a few hours. She loves her cradle and pink pig. Sadly, she will no longer sleep in my arms. She will kick and arch her back when she is tired, because she just wants her bed. This proves to be a bit tricky while we are out.

showing off her sitting skills, and her adorable cloth diaper that you can purchase here :)

Tim and Ellery's favorite pastime.