Thursday, January 28, 2010


Yesterday we had two cats and a parrot. Today we have two fish and a snail.

When Matt and I had been married for 2 years we decided to get a pet. We did a little research and chose to get an African Grey parrot. Tucker joined our family in 2002. He was our baby for a long time. He talks a little bit, imitates a lot of sounds and actually "cuddles" with me while I watch TV.

Tucker eating a grape.

In 2005, we decided to add some fur to our family so we got two kittens. Those big boys were a lot of fun. They were so good with the kids. Joey and Claire picked them up, layed on them and chased them and they were always good sports about it.

Jake and Jesse

Unfortunately, Joey has developed allergies to cats and birds. We found a great home for the cats next door to Matt's parents. It was hard to give them up but, hopefully, it will really make a difference for Joey. By the way, he doesn't know that's why we gave them away. When we arrived home last night, cat-less, Joey was very frustrated and sad. After a few minutes of running around the house smacking things with a reflex hammer, I asked him if he would feel a little better if we got some fish. He perked up immediately, said yes, and was totally fine after that.

Today we dropped off Tucker at a friend's house for one month so we can thoroughly clean the house and see how much of a difference it makes for Joey. Afterwards, we stopped at PetsMart, as promised, to get some fish. I didn't want anything fancy for right now so I asked the PetsMart fish lady to point out some low maintenance species. We looked at a couple and decided on Glofish. Joey chose a green one. Claire, who had been in a bad mood all day, emphatically declared that she didn't want a fish. I chose a pink one. In the tank with the fish was a snail. I asked the employee about the snail and she said it would eat the algae and help keep the tank clean. And it only cost $1.99 so I was sold. I told the kids that it would be Daddy's snail. Since Claire didn't want to chose a fish, she got to chose the color of the aquarium rocks. She was pretty happy about that. So, without further ado, meet Light, Car and Water (all names chosen by Joey).

Light (green fish on the right), Car (pink fish near the bottom of the sign), Water (suctioned to front wall of bowl)

I have to say that I have never been a huge fan of snails but this little guy is pretty cool. He hasn't stopped moving since we brought him home 3 hours ago. Since the tank isn't dirty yet I was told to put some kind of veggie in the tank for the snail to eat. It is hard to see but there is a piece of lettuce in the rocks in front of the sign. He did find it and took a few nibbles, I think. He can also pick up rocks with his foot.

The kids seemed excited about their new pets. The novelty will probably wear off in a few days but maybe not.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

A Fun Weekend

This weekend was really fun for us. Friday night Matt and I had a date night. Matt's sister Karen came over to watch the kids for us. Thanks Aunt KC! First, Matt and I went out to dinner. Then we went to SCC to watch Stephen's music concert. He played the piano in some jazz songs and he played the keyboard and danced in a group called Funk and Groove. It was neat to see him perform. After that, we had the brilliant idea of going to see the Sherlock Holmes movie. We both ended up dozing towards the end because of fatigue, not boredom. Matt says he knows what happened but I have no idea. It was good to be out together, though.

On Saturday night we had family (some of Stan's kids) over for the evening. We had dinner and then had a little concert of our own.

Today we made the trek up to Bellingham to visit our good friends. They have 5 boys ranging in age from 8yrs to 4mo. Despite the fact that the 4mo old was the only one to nap, we had a good time. Here is a picture of everyone decorating/eating some cookies.
Claire and their 2yr old, Sean, discovered each other this trip. They copied each other's silly faces, actions and words at the dinner table and then played together a little afterwards. At one point, I caught Sean showing Claire his room. While pointing excitedly at his new big boy bed he said, "Look. Mine. Sleep." Then he pointed in another direction and said, "Window." Claire countered with, "Curtains." After that I got out the camera and this is what I captured on video. They didn't know that I was making a video so they are saying "CHEESE" for the camera.

We had a nice weekend

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Quick Update and Another Video

Here's another fun video.

The kids went to Matt's parent's house today. They had fun.

Claire is doing pretty well without her pacifiers. She takes a bit longer to go to sleep at nap and bedtime but is sleeping well after she does get to sleep, except at her grandparent's house. She has been saying the saddest thing when she wants one. She says, "Be nice for ya-ya." I tell her she is nice but she is a big girl now. It's hard but she is really doing quite well.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Bad. The Good. And Bathtime Fun.

The Bad.
Yesterday was not so good. We met Grandma Seely at Alderwood Mall to do our semi-annual shoe shopping for the kids. My children, who have been rather well-behaved lately, decided to be disobedient rug-rats. They ran through Sears hiding in all the clothing racks, didn't listen to directions about which way to go and wouldn't hold hands. Once we got to Stride Rite, things did not improve. Claire tried repeatedly to run out the door. Joey hid in the display window, purposefully kicked over boxes of shoes and refused to try on any new pairs. On our way out I told them they did not get to play in the play area or get candy out of the quarter machines because they hadn't obeyed while in the store. This sparked new fits and my grandma and I ended up carrying two screaming children out of the mall. We got some really interesting looks for the other shoppers.

The Good.
As a contrast to yesterday, today was quite good. Joey went to school in the morning so Claire and I had a girl date at UVillage. We made some art at Paint the Town, played on the playground and got bagels. Then we picked up Joey and played at the little park for a while. They took naps and played nicely most of the afternoon and evening.

Bathtime Fun.
The kids took a bath together tonight and had a blast. They were also up for showing off for the camera so I got these cute videos. Enjoy.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Bye-Bye Ya-Ya's

Look at this little girl and her new Princess dolly. Isn't she cute?

Well, she wasn't so cute in the car on the way home from Snoqualmie Pass yesterday. We were headed down the mountain right at nap time. She had her pacifier (they are called ya-ya's in our house), her special little blankie and was toasty warm in a moving vehicle. It seemed like the perfect recipe for a nice nap. About 15min into the trip she, somehow, dropped/threw her ya-ya and cried for it. We couldn't reach it while driving on I-90 so I waited a few minutes and then pulled a spare out of the diaper bag. When I handed it to her I told her not to drop or throw it again because, if she did, we weren't going to be able to get it. A few minutes later she threw that ya-ya during a fit. We couldn't reach it and told her we were sorry but she shouldn't have thrown it. She proceeded to scream for it all the way from Issaquah to our house. At some point during those 30 minutes, I decided she was done with ya-ya's. She has cried for them in the car in the past for the same reasons but the ride wasn't as long so it didn't seem so bad. When we got home I tried to lay her in her bed because, by this time, she was about 2hrs past due for a nap. She cried for a long time and when I went down to comfort her she said she was hungry so I decided she wasn't going to nap that day and brought her up for a snack. We had an errand to run in Bothell so I put her in the car again and we stopped at Snapdoodle Toys. I wanted to get her something she could cuddle in her bed when she was missing her ya-ya. We found a "big girl dolly" (her first Groovy Girl) that she liked. *Don't tell Claire, but it was in the 50% off section.* I happened to tell the lady what was going on as I was purchasing the doll while Claire was playing at the train table. She said another boy had "bought" a big boy toy with his pacifiers. I thought this sounded like a good idea and asked Claire if she wanted to do it. She said yes so we went to the car and got all the ya-ya's I had in the car. We passed them off to the lady and she gave Claire her doll. Claire seemed very pleased with herself all afternoon and evening until bedtime. By then, of course, she was missing her pacifier. I gently explained to her that she was a big girl now and that she had her big girl dolly instead. Upon hearing this she threw her dolly to the ground and cried for a ya-ya. She got some extra cuddles at bedtime last night and fell asleep after only 15min and needed attention only once last night. Nap time wasn't too bad today either but it took 1.5 hrs to get her to sleep tonight.

She is trying to be a big girl now but it is a hard process for both her and Mom. Hopefully, she will not start sucking her thumb or biting her nails.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Funny Quotes

Since I'm just starting this blog, I thought I'd catch up on some funny quotes from the last few months.

Me: Tomorrow you are going to Pete-Mete's (an abreviation for Papa and Grandma Crouthamel that Joey made up months ago) house.
Claire: I go to Pete-Mete's in 5 minutes.

Her new counting method is as follows. She never veers from this order.
1, 2, 14, 11, 2

"Ooof dat"= What's that?

Tonight she woke up crying at 9:45. I assumed that her teeth were bothering her (she's cutting eye teeth) so I went down to comfort her and giver her a little Motrin. I picked her up out of her crib and she said, "I want popcorn."


His version of the 23rd Psalm: "He maketh me to fall down in green pastures."

Me to Joey: You're my favorite little boy.

Joey to me: You're my favorite little mommy.

While cleaning the toilet:
Joey: Yes, you may use that toilet brush, mommy.
Me: Thank you for your permission, Joey.
Joey: Nice job cleaning, Mom.
Me: Thanks.

"I like Grandma Seely. She nice. She not bite me. She not have sharp teeth."

"I love you, Mommy. You are cute."
Here are some more pics for your viewing pleasure.

Thursday, January 14, 2010


Ponder possible dinner options.
Look in fridge to check for available ingredients.
Ecstatic to find ground turkey already cooked.
Also discover chips in cupboard.
Cheese: Check... Salsa: Check... Sour cream: Nope (Oh well. Sorry Matt.)... Avocados for homemade guacamole: check.
Nachos it is.

Serve kids leftovers from yesterday.

Kids playing nicely downstairs.
Put preliminary guacamole ingredients into cup and turn on Magic Bullet. Instantly, kids appear to "help".
Joey spoons some avocado into Magic Bullet Cup then turns it on.

Guacamole done. Counter a mess.

Grate cheese. Kiddos magically appear again and request a "really big" slice.

Put meat in skillet. Add water and seasoning while carrying 28lb, almost 2yr old, on hip. Open can of beans and rinse. Leave kitchen to read to said almost 2yr old.

Get up from reading to help Joey with computer. Hear meat sizzling. Catch it just in time.

Put kids in bed. Preheat oven. Assemble nachos.

Pop nachos in oven for 7min. Matt arrives home. Dinner is served.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

A Cute Christmas Video

Yesterday wasn't too interesting. Matt worked again all day. Poor guy has been on call the past two weekends in a row and they have both been very busy. The kids and I went to church then came home for lunch and naps. My mom came for a bit in the afternoon so I could visit Bob in the hospital. He seems to be doing OK and will be coming home today.

Today I downloaded the pics from Christmas onto my computer. There are some cute ones and some fun videos. I am going to attempt to put a video on my blog. We'll see how it goes. Tell me if it works ok or not. It may be too long and slow things down. I just don't know how this works yet.

Update: The video thing didn't go so well last night so I tried a shorter one.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Nervous and Excited

About a year and a half ago I started reading blogs. I have a few that I keep up with almost daily and think that it can be a way to journal about your life. I would like for this to be something my family can look back on in the years to come and see what life was like for us at various points in time. So I am Excited to start this blog and also Nervous because I have never been a very good writer and having my writings read by others is something that I have always disliked.

Just to get things started I will give you a brief recap of today. Matt left for work around 7:30am. The kids and I lounged around most of the morning. Claire went down for a nap around noon and Joey and I went outside to dig in the dirt (real fun). We found a few worms as we were digging in the damp earth and decided to keep them in a plastic container. Towards the end of our digging we found a giant earthworm. It is about 6in long and 1/4in thick. Joey likes to watch the worms wriggle when he touches them. It is currently in the plastic container, along with the other half a dozen worms we found today, on the porch. After nap time we took advantage of the 50 degree weather and went to the Northgate Park. Two firsts occurred there today. Number 1: Joey pumped for real on the big kid swings. Number 2: Claire had to bring a dolly with her to the playground. Both were pretty cute. Joey also asked if we could go to U Biwage (U Village) tonight. He loves to go in the toy store, play on the little playground and eat at World Wrapps. We do that semi-regularly in the winter months because the playground is under-cover and lit so that makes it a good place to go on dark and rainy winter afternoons. I was sick of World Wrapps so I made them eat at Pallino's instead. Yum! I loved eating there after my OB appointments when I was pregnant.

Well, I guess that's enough for my first post. Hope it wasn't too boring. But I guess I should also add some photos because that makes blogs so much more fun.

This is a picture that Joey took with his new V-Tech kid's digital camera of Claire holding her new "baby Micah"(she named it) on Christmas Eve. Baby Micah cries when you take out his/her pacifier.

Here is a picture of me taking a picture of Joey taking a picture of me.

Ok. Hope you liked it.