Praying for Ansley

Saturday, December 5, 2009

It's Beginning to Look A LOT Like Christmas!

Wow - two months since the last update and it's already Christmas time! How time flies!

Today, we went to a show called ICE! at Gaylord National Convention Center at the National Harbor. It is 2 million pounds of carved ice in various winter wonderland scenes. We were late as I got dreadfully lost... so, sadly, we kinda hurried through it trying to catch up to one of Maia's friends we were supposed to meet there. We did see some of the sites and she went down an Ice slide... but the event was actually MUCH shorter than I thought it would be, so that part was dissappointing.

They keep it at 9 degrees - so it was a tad chilly. Reminded me of my time in Kazakhstan. Ice and all! Because it was raining/snowing on our way there today... we had to carry umbrellas to walk from the parking garage to the event. They provided us with parkas inside, which I thought meant they would take our coats (and umbrellas) until we returned their parkas... but that wasn't the case. So, we had to carry our coats, and soaking wet umbrellas, which quite promptly froze in the exihibit with all the rain/snow on them. If I knew then what I know now, I would do things MUCH differently. I'm glad we went, but I likely wouldn't do that part of the show again - the pictures on the internet are almost as good as being there in person!

We never did find her friend in the exhibit, but walked over the the hotel/convention center which was all decked out for Christmas too, and we caught up with them, and one other friend of hers as well. Then we had brunch buffet (which turned out to cost like a weeks grocery money!! Geez!!) Once there, I didn't really feel like I could leave... so we ate, and ate and ate! Great food... and I guess worth the price, but NOT what I expected! I thought we'd get the kids some nuggets or something. Yeah... right! Not that kind of place. So, shrimp coctails and prime rib meals later.. among many other things... we were well fed. At one point he said he was full - I said, I don't care - go get some prime rib! LOL. He didn't - but I did!! I told Matthew no dinner tonight.. or tomorrow... or Monday. :) We'll eat toast and water. (just kidding... but I had not planned on that meal expense.) Luckily, my kids have expensive taste, so I atleast feel like we got what we paid for! The other parents were amazed that Maia sat so well and ATE while their kids squirmed around and ate nothing. Let me tell you, put a plate of shrimp in front of Maia and I don't think you can get her down until she says so!

The bonus to this was the Mr. and Mrs. Claus were there at the restaurant too, so I got Maia to meet the Clauses without a line and I got to take pictures and video of her with them, seated between them, as she wouldn't sit on Santas lap. He also had stopped by our table a few times - so that made up for some of the expense - no line to see Santa! Awesome!

We were going to go get our tree this afternoon, but frankly, by the time we got home, the roads had gotten surprisingly bad and we decided to stay in and not risk it as it was going to get dark (and colder) soon. They called for some snow today, and so far I'd say we have about 3 inches, but it DID stick to the roads, which they didn't think it would... My driveway has a hill and it was not easy to get up by the time we got home. So, home we will stay for the evening - as we enjoy our gourmet dinner of toast and water. :) It is still snowing quite hard now, but since it's almost dark, I won't get to enjoy watching it fall for much longer. We didn't get to PLAY in it today, so hopefully it will remain for at least a little while tomorrow morning so Maia can play a bit in it.

I'm sitting here in my nearly dark living room with a candle burning and a Christmas tree lit (and partially decorated) in a nice quiet house with snow falling outside. Can you say perfect? Of course, it's also great when the kids are running around making noise, but just not quite as peaceful!!

I'll post pictures now from today's fun. If I remember how, I'll even post some short videos. (One video here - others to come in the next post by themselves.)

Sunday, October 11, 2009

My baby is THREE today!

Happy Birthday Sweet Maia! It is truly amazing that you are three years old today. I met you 20 months ago today... and even that is hard to believe!

You have grown up into a beautiful little girl now - no longer a 'baby' or even a toddler. I see big differences in you in the past month or less - and you are a little lady now! Mommy is sad in some ways that her precious little baby girl is growing up so fast - but at the same time - I love that you are such a beautiful and special little girl! I love you Maia Caroline!!

We celebrated your birthday yesterday at home with Grandma, Grandpa, and Uncle Bobby visiting us. It was a great day and you got lots of nice toys and things that you loved. It was really neat to watch you know what to do with the presents, and after each one you were actually excited and wanted each one opened right then so you could play with it. I'm not sure there is a clear cut favorite yet, you really liked everything!! One of your favorites is definitely the Dora couch you got from Grandma and Grandpa which folds out to a little bed with a blanket zipped into it, so it's like a built in sleeping bag. You love it! You also love your Disney 'boom box' with little CD's you can change out to hear different songs. You love your Princess Back-Pack from Grandma B. You loved the pink bathrobe I gave you - and when you put it on over your party dress, and then laid on the new Dora couch... you looked like royalty in your plush robe, kicked back, relaxing... Quite cute!!

We had yummy cake and ice cream for dessert - you really liked the ice cream the best. You didn't really want the cake on your plate, but prefered to dig your hand into a piece that was left in the cake pan instead...

We also celebrated your Grandma's 65th birthday and your Grandpa's 67th birthday. They let you get most (read... *ALL*) of the attention, but we tried to fix them a dinner they would enjoy, rather than serving Mac'roni and Cheese, as you would have preferred. :) Your Aunt Regan has her birthday tomorrow, and we are sorry we couldn't celebrate all together with her too!

You are still a petite little thing... just now going in to any 2T clothing, some of which is still too large! Your shoes are a size 7 (and you love your shoes - and many hand me down pairs from Kake (as you call her... this is your cousin Kate...)).

You love to be a helper and are actually becoming helpful in some things! It used to be that you would unfold things I had just folded, or take things out of drawers that I had just put away. But now, you carry things to your room or throw things in the trash when I ask you too, and you do a great job!!

You bring joy to our lives and laughter to our days. You awake with energy and happiness I only dream of at that hour of the day! You are a good girl even when I keep you up too late, and you behave so well in stores and restaurants (almost always!). This past week, we went to dinner with some friends of mine and as they dimmed the lights right before we were leaving... you exclaimed with much anxiousness in your voice, in a very high pitch for all to hear... "OH NO MOMMY!! It's gark. Oh no! Mommy! It's gark! Night night Mommy, it's gark!! Oh no... " as you looked upwards towards the lights trying to determine what happened to them!! It was simply precious and has brought a smile to my face MANY times the past 4 days.

You love to watch Dora the Explorer and Go Diege Go. You like the movies the Jungle Book, Finding Nemo, and Toy Story. You like to eat Macaroni and Cheese, and that's about all. (*Not really, but that is by FAR your favorite and something I can get you to eat, without doubt, no matter how many times you've eaten it that day, or week, or month.) You love your school and are busy learning your numbers and colors and shapes. You are learning them more and more each day.

I love you Maia, and I am so lucky to be your Mommy!! You are a special little girl and God blessed me for sure when He let me be your Mommy! Thanks for being such a wonderful daughter to me and sister to Matthew! We love you!

Maia enjoying her day as royalty... plush robe, kicked back on her new love seat...

Mommy and her precious Maia!

I love this picture - she doesn't even see the cake and candles yet, and yet the excited on her face is priceless!

I'm not quite sure what she was doing here... but she had gotten so excited - it's like, talk to the hand, I can't catch my breath I'm laughing so hard!

I can NOT wait for you to give me my plate with ice cream... I'm just going to take a taste from here...

Dig in! Two fisted!!

Looks like she's sipping soup! Nice a lady like...

Now I'll use my fork...

I think it might just be easier to use my fingers...

Full fisted - like Winnie the Pooh!

Even that took too long - maybe just put it straight in my mouth!!

I may eat like a puppy dog... but aren't I am ANGEL mom??? :)

I'm pretty cute too, aren't I Mom? (except if he were actually asking, it would be more like, yo, mmmfffgh, hhhffff, gggghhh, huh?) Lots of mumbling at this age, but I still love him! :)

I think the sugar is kicking in!! Or maybe it's because it's 9:30 at night??? We started to get a LITTLE silly now!

Saturday, September 12, 2009


The truth is - I lost one camera over the summer and the other one wasn't working... so I have few pictures of Maia, (or Matthew) for July and August. At the end of August, I got the one camera working (sort of) so I have some pictures from the end of summer - but they aren't the best. Sometimes they are just with my cell phone - and those tend to be blurry for me. In any case - this gives you a glimpse at Maia this summer and now that I have a working camera and a working router, I should be all set. (Famous last words.)

Maia enjoys playing the piano. Recently, she has taken her stuffed animal 'stack' toy (like the plastic ring kind) and taken the top three rings (this is piglet, eeyore and tigger)... She stacks them on the piano bench, hikes it up there, and then plays. She has very good balance, so the first time I was a little nervous she might fall as she climbed on the bench, and then scaled Mount Pooh. I really don't worry about that anymore, at least not on the piano bench.

Matthew has these boots for scouting/camping, etc. Maia LOVES to wears other people's shoes, including these! As you can see, they go up to her knees... but they are rather light weight, so she was able to walk in them... sort of!

Did I tell you Maia can read?? These two pictures are from Matthew's birthday celebration. She took one of his new hats and starting reading one of her books - I swear, she is a GENIUS!

Now on to what I like to call Maia-isms. Sometimes when Maia does something we say it was just 'so Maia'. She makes us laugh and it really quite funny. Let's see what I can remember! :)

Just today Maia came up to me and said ... ooooo ooooo, aahhh, aahhh... and then she said, MONKEY. I didn't know she could do that. A few times today, she was just walking around saying, ooooo oooooo, aahhh, aahhh. Made me smile.

Recently, she has gotten in to Dora the Explorer and Diego. The way she asks to watch it is so cute. I wahch Dorwah. I wahch Dego. All the while nodding as if to convince me so I won't shake my head no. :)

Now she also likes the movie Finding Nemo. I wahch Nemo. Fishies!

When we are leaving the house and I grab my purse, she says, "My purse". She doesn't ask it like a question, but what she wants is her purse to take with us. Sometimes I know where it is, and sometimes I don't. I try to just leave it in the car now so we have it and if she ever wants it in the house, then I know where to find it! Once we get to the car, she also wants her Gasses. Her sunglasses. Word to the wiser-than-I. Don't buy kids sun glasses at the dollar store (actually, 4 pair for a dollar....) they fall apart when you look at them. Really. I bought some Kids safe glasses at Target and she hasn't broken them yet. I am quite confident she COULD, but she is learning to be a bit more gentle these days and so far they've survived a few months of Maia.

We call Matthew "Chew". Additionally, his middle name is Ryan. Nickname - Chewchi Ryan. Maia now goes around calling him Chewchi Ryan but it sounds more like Chewchi Whyan.

She also wonders where he is when he is gone. Where'd Chew go, she'll ask? Now, what I find so cute about this is... does anyone know the movie Top Gun? When they are lost in a bogie fight and Tom Cruise asks Where'd he go, where'd he go? And Goose says, Where'd WHO go??

Maia says, Where'd CHEW go JUST like Goose says in that scene - I love it! It cracks me up!

She would live on Fruit Snacks if I would let her. Right now, she has Dora Fruit Snacks. She says Fruit snack like this: BOOT SNACK. Dorwah boot snack, while nodding her head to try to convince me again...

She can HOP now. Before it was one footed and sort of like a weird skip. Now both feet leave the ground at the same time. She's JUMPED off things for months... but actual hopping has just occurred. Neat!

She loves to 'help. She says, I helper. Of course what this really means is she 'helps' UNFOLD the laundry and hand it to me, and take it out of drawers, and throw things in the trash can that are NOT trash... There are times she actually does help - but more often than not right now, it's something that really isn't helpful, but it's cute nonetheless. :)

She realizes now when it's getting dark. She'll say, dahk Mommy. It's dahk. Jammies. Night night. Like, she's telling me, it's dark now, get me dressed and put me to bed! And when I ask if that's what she wants, she'll run for her room for her jammies! She's in for a shock when it starts getting dark at school before I ever even pick her up after work!

And one of my all time favorites... we have a pretty standard 'night night' routine. One of the last steps of this routine is me singing Jesus Loves Me to her after we pray. We've sung this since Kazakhstan - so it's really a nightly thing. If she really doesn't want to go to bed... a newer phenomenon... and I start singing Jesus Loves Me, she'll rather violently shake her head while saying... No Jesus, No Jesus.

She has also done this once or twice when I sing it in the daytime - and she thinks it means night night time. (Even though I explain it's not bedtime...) Once or twice she has flat out refused to let me sing it, mid-day, for fear of bedtime.

Update from earlier. :) Last but not least... I just wanted to say - my earlier post today may not have been exactly what I wanted it to be. If I sounded ultra mad, I really wasn't. I hate wasting money on something so silly, but it's really just a day in the life. Life happens, which is why there's never enough money, the house is never clean enough, I never have enough time, my best laid plans may never happen, or take much longer to happen than I anticipate.

Here's an example - I left for the grocery store to buy balloons, etc. for Matthew's birthday. I left Maia home with Matthew, my brother and my dad. No problem. Grocery store - 2 miles away. I realize at some point early in the short trip to the store that my cart was vibrating. I check my phone. 3 missed calls from home. I assume they want me to get some chips or soda or something we hadn't talked about - so I got to the front of the store for reception and called home. Matthew starts off... "OK, I had to call poison control... but she's OK." What??? She had gotten hold of a Silicone Packet, torn it open and eaten it/some before Matthew could get to her. (You know the drill.. Maia put that down! So, she moves faster and popsit in her mouth all the faster.) Matthew had been on the computer in the same room as Maia, and I have no idea where my brother and father were - but it only takes 2 seconds with Maia... she is FAST.

All this to say, today was no different. Just another day in the life of Matthew, Kristen and Maia!! Something new and exciting all the time. I don't like silly mistakes, and I hate money spent like that, but otherwise, it was no big deal. Live and learn - and I think, Matthew now knows what can and can't go in a toilet. LOL.

And lastly, I said Matthew started high school - but didn't mention how well it has gone. I am pleasantly surprised at how great the first week has gone - even the getting up wasn't as hard (YET!) as I thought it would be. Homework is always interesting - but we'll get through that too!

Enjoy football season everyone! GOod fall weather!


Wow - it's been a while. Let's try to catch up! We had a great summer - and now fall is in full swing!

Maia and Matthew went to visit my parents last time I blogged, and although I missed them terribly, that week went so quickly. Then August flew by. That's when we went on our vacation for a week to visit my parents all together. It was awesome to have a week off from work. It took me about 3 full days to really, truly relax. But, when I did - I DID. It was great! Matthew and I even went out one night while my parents watched Maia and we had an awesome dinner at our favorite retaurant and a close game of Putt-Putt. It was a great time. It was the first time I've had any kind of tan in years (but compared to Maia's DARK tan, I look like Elmer's glue.) Anyhow - it was a good time had by all and I'm glad we had the opportunity for a whole week to unwind. I needed it!

August also brought Matthew's birthday... now he's 14. Geez, I must be OLD. Here he is at age 12....

Age 13.....

Age 14...

I love to see the changes... it's obvious at age 12... but between 13 and 14 the changes are less obvious. I can tell though by looking at the endo of his sleeve compared with the piano... I know the angle is slightly different, and the shirt is different, but it gives an idea. The obvious change is his desire to let his hair grow at this point rather than keeping it buzzed.

As always, I take a first day of school picture. That was at 6:30. It literally was a pitch black picture, so I re-took it that night when I realized it didn't work out that morning. Here is my boy, on the first day of high school, Tuesday, Sept. 8, 09.

I can not believe he has started high school. Our whole schedule has changed... my alarm now goes off at 4:45 a.m.. Matthew has to leave the house to catch the bus at 6:30 a.m. I figure I might as well be ready too so all I have left to do is get Maia ready to roll after Matthew has left. So far, so good. But we're only 4 days in...

Going back a little bit now - last weekend we went to Matthew's aunt and uncle's house (my sister-in-law) for Labor Day. It is actually the third time we went and visited in a month! They have a pool and we enjoyed keeping cool. Maia is a dare devil and loved jumping in and dunking under the water and seemed to get more and more excited each time we went. Here are pictures of Matthew, with Maia, and Matthew's brother, Evan, and Evan's Mom, Stephanie. You can see, Evan and Maia are a little more timid as Matthew and Stephanie are trying to coax them to jump off the raft here.... As the pictures progress - look at the JOY on their faces as they fall, jump, splash and dunk more and more each time. This went on for some time and it was awesome to watch and take pictures of it all!!

Winding down....

Here is a picture of the birthday boy - up close.

So, today, Maia was a big girl and went potty on the potty... When she was done, I realized the potty wasn't really flushing... so I asked Matthew is he had noticed that it wasn't 100%. He said, yeah, maybe.... So, he went and got the plunger and I started plunging. (This usually works wonders...) I started plunging - and it started overflowing. (Without details, I will just say, gross...) So, I plunged and plunged and plunged, and it kept spilling and spilling... *gross*. At this point, I wasn't happy and realized my Saturday would be spent waiting for a plumber and not having a fun girl day with Maia. Happy, I was not.

I was telling Matthew that next time he thought it might be backing up to tell me BEFORE anyone else used it so maybe the less in there, the better chance of fixing it myself. I told him I'd have to call a plumber and have it snaked out and he asked what that meant. I explained it to him and he said, Does the stuff go further IN or does the snake pull it back out?.... Knowing Matthew as I do, I KNEW RIGHT AWAY he wasn't worried about 'gross stuff' but something that had OBVIOUSLY gone down the toilet that wasn't SUPPOSED to. I said, "WHY? What went in there that wasn't supposed to??" He responded... "A plastic cup... " "A PLASTIC CUP????!?!?!??!" When I asked him why he didn't reach in and get it out before flushing, he said he didn't want to get dirty. I explained that since HE stayed 'clean'... the bathroom FLOOR, etc. was now NOT clean, and it was going to cost me a good bit of money to get it working.. not to mention time on a gorgeous fall day. He was apologetic, and I believe learned a lesson, but, Mamma was NOT happy. (BTW, $263.84....)

As it turned out... the plumber (who is featured in a post last November...) was able to get here in less than an hour. He said he's seen worse - an iPod, cell phones, and the worst DENTURES (that the woman insisted was her best set, and she wanted back... in fact, the snake didn't work, so they REMOVED HER TOILET and she bought a new toilet, etc. to save the dentures.) I won't say another word... but *gross*.

So, now, Mom, Dad and Matthew are in Baltimore until tomorrow... so after that morning, I needed to go do something FUN! What did we do with only and hour before nap time??? We went SHOE SHOPPING. Yup, Maia got some new fall shoes. Buying shoes always makes me feel better - and I just love these for her. I must say, I was tired of pink shoes, so she got these instead:

Her new sneakers... I love the BLUE for a change, but still girly looking...

And her boots - These have sneaker like treads so she can wear them to school and still go outside with them - but give her something other than athletic shoes to wear to school. Spending money, especially on shoes, always makes things better, at least a little bit!!

I wanted to post some pictures since it's been so long and catch up in general. I will post more soon - now that I have a new router that actually ALLOWS me to load pictures without crashing my internet. :) Maia will be up any minute though so I will have to do more soon. I'm sure I have some Maia stories to tell - she does something new and crazy almost every day. :)

In the past three days... Matthew has lost his cell phone, lost his house key, and flushed a plastic cup down the toilet, which resulted in money spent and messes made, as you are well aware.

I love my boy, but I'm glad he's gone with my parents until tomorrow night... :) Gives me a chance (and I mean, CHANCE) to calm down a little. :)

FYI - we did find the cell phone at least... he knows I'm not buying him a new one.