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Monday, June 30, 2008

(Belated) Friday Fill-In #10

Since I was out of town on Friday, I figured I'd post my fill-in now. Better late than never, right?

1. Birthdays are a cause for huge celebration. Up until adulthood, my birthday was always my favorite holiday.... and it really is a holiday, because I was born on Veterans' Day! Now I try to make a big deal out of my girls' birthdays, as mine have ceased to be very exciting.

2. Either spring or fall is my favorite season because I love when the weather changes from cold to hot, or vice versa. Spring is pretty with all the trees getting green, but I also love watching the leaves change color in the fall. I don't like hot or cold weather, so I'd be perfectly happy if it was 60-70 degrees year-round.

3. I feel my best when I have been able to sleep as long as I want and wake up without an alarm. Often I will actually wake up earlier this way and feel fully rested, as opposed to when I know an alarm is going to go off and I feel that I must keep snoozing until the last possible moment, yet I am still grumpy when that infernal "beep beep beep" sounds.

4. Pizza is my favorite food! Sad but true. So many varieties, thick or thin crust, selection of toppings. Yum. This is why Fridays are Pizza Night at our house.

5. First impressions are usually incorrect.

6. The best piece of advice I ever received was "do everything your way. But let others' ways become your ways if they are the right ways. Be true to yourself and you will never fail."

Home Safely

We are now all home safely following our Ohio adventures. Bryn ended up not napping for the entire time we were in Columbus. Truth be told, I'm fairly certain that she didn't nap yesterday either, even though we timed our entire day around making sure that we were home in time to throw her down in her own crib. I, however, got a lovely nap yesterday, so I'm feeling in a much better mood than before!

Lack of sleep aside, we did have a good time. We got to visit with Krysten and Adam, as well as Gwyn and David, who drove over from Dayton on Saturday. It was really nice to catch up with college friends, and of course Andrea and I had tons of bonding time. :) Bryn asked for "Nana" (which is apparently how she now says "Hannah," as well as her word for "banana," as well as what she calls Ben's mom) the whole way home, so it seems she had a good time with her friend as well.

Andrea and I drove home yesterday morning with the girls, and Ben and Rob came home last night after the convention. Ben was really happy about how the con turned out for him, and he's looking forward to a repeat performance at InConJunction this weekend in Indy. The girls and I will be spending today, tomorrow, and Wednesday here, and then we'll be taking off for Peoria on Thursday morning. We figured a long weekend was in order, partially to visit friends, partially to celebrate my mom's birthday, and partially to clear out of the house while Ben hosts several friends here for the convention.

Right now, I'm off to get up a crying Shay (stupid teething). Speaking of teeth, this morning's activity is Bryn's first trip to the dentist, so wish me luck! Mostly just hopped online this morning to let everyone know that we made it back okay. More to follow when no one is crying and we're not trying to get out the door!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Who Needs Sleep? (#200)

"Who needs sleep? Yeah, you're never gonna get it.
Who needs sleep? Tell me what that's for."
- Barenaked Ladies

The trip to Ohio has been fun but exhausting thus far. Bryn has long since given up napping in the car, so she did not take a nap on Wednesday, as we were driving over naptime. We drove through a colossal thunderstorm to get here. Seriously, it was like someone had turned a fire hose full force directly on the car. Between the scary storm and the lack of a nap, Bryn was in quite a state by the time we got to Columbus. The only thing that placated her while I navigated the local rush hour was allowing her to listen to "The Mickey Mouse Club March" about 20 times over. All in all, we were quite glad to arrive at the hotel.

I was completely beat, so we ordered in pizza and settled in for a quiet evening. We put the girls in the bath around 8:00, read some stories, and then tried to go to bed. We'd already had to rearrange the room to accommodate two Pack 'n' Plays--will Bryn never learn to sleep in a bed?!?! Upon putting them in their beds, however, Bryn started to cry hysterically and demanded to be allowed to sleep with Mommy. So we moved her to the big bed, where she rolled over, burrowed into my side, and repeatedly rearranged herself over and over again for the next hour. A bit after 10:00, Ben finally gave up and moved her to her Pack 'n' Play, where she cried herself to sleep while I worried alternately worried about her waking Shay and her waking the people in the next room.

Over the next few hours, we awoke to Shay crying several times but were able to continue soothing her back to sleep. At 3:00, Bryn woke up again, sobbing hysterically and demanding to be let into the big bed. We gave in, and she spent the next hour and a half pummeling us. At around 4:30, we completely gave up. We moved her Pack'n' Play so she could see the television and turned on Nick Jr. with no sound. We thought that she would watch for a bit and eventually fall asleep. This theory did not work out, as by 7:00, she was still standing in her crib, staring wide-eyed at the screen. At least she had been quiet enough for us to sleep for a bit.

I figured that this meant she would nap really well on Thursday, so we decided to have a relatively quiet day. Rob, Andrea, and Hannah had arrived after we went to bed on Wednesday night, so Rob and Ben took off for the convention, and Andrea and I herded the girls to the lobby for some breakfast. We then went over to our friend Krysten's house, which is about 15 minutes away from our hotel. Bryn and Hannah gorged themselves on the cookies Krysten was baking and then proceeded to terrorize her three cats by chasing them around the house. Okay, really it was Bryn who harrassed the cats; Hannah was more just chasing Bryn. Krysten, who is expecting a baby girl of her own at the end of August, watched them with amusement. Shay, sweet little girl as always, napped in her carseat and then sat on my lap.

When we got in the car to come back to the hotel, Bryn promptly passed out in her carseat. Andrea kindly brought both Shay and Hannah inside the hotel so that I could carry Bryn in with her head down on my shoulder. I was incredibly hopeful that she would just go back to sleep and that we could all enjoy some nice long naps, but no such luck. Bryn cried and cried and cried, thus preventing Shay and I from sleeping as well. Eventually Andrea and Hannah woke up from their naps, and Andrea, being the wonderful person that she is, volunteered to let me take Bryn and Shay up to her room. They watched Elmo videos, and I came back to our room and took a nap. Ahhhh.

The boys returned around dinnertime, and we all went out to TGI Friday's. Bryn cried through the entire meal and insisted on sitting on my lap. We ate quickly and got out of there. Ben and Rob brought the kids back to the hotel while Andrea and I did some grocery shopping for baby food and kid-friendly snacks.

Warning: This is the point where I reveal that I am a bad mother.

When we got home, Ben and I decided that we were at the end of our rope. Bryn was displaying no signs of going to sleep in the next milennum, so in an effort to preserve our sanity, we dosed her up with children's Tylenol. Shortly thereafter, she peacefully curled up in her bed and went to sleep. I then passed out as well. However, Shay woke up once an hour all night long, so our sleep was neither so consistent or so restful as we had hoped it would be.

I guess I forgot to mention that Shay celebrated our trip to Ohio by simultaneously cutting her first two teeth. It's the two in the center on the bottom. She'd been working on them for a while, and they finally broke through.

This morning we were able to sleep in a good bit later than yesterday, as the boys did not need to be at the convention until a little before 10:00. Andrea and I packed up the girls and went to the local mall with Krysten. They had a very cool indoor playground, which Bryn and Hannah seemed to enjoy. We then had some lunch with Krysten and returned to the hotel. I was very hopeful that the sleep strike was over, but no such luck. I imprisoned Bryn in her crib, but she refused to nap. She sat quietly and looked at her books for about a half an hour, but then she started yelling and woke up Shay, and then there was no turning back. So she's been watching cartoons, Shay has been playing on the floor, and I have been blogging as we've been waiting for Andrea and Hannah to wake up from their naps. Oh, the jealousy. Anyway, Andrea just called, and they're up, so we're going to do snacktime and then take the girls to the pool. We're scheduled to all do a cookout with Krysten and her husband Adam tonight. Then, perhaps, some sleep??

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Readying the Blocks

It has been a bit of a crazy week for us, and tonight is probably the craziest bit of it.... which is, of course, why I am sneaking away for a few minutes to blog. :) We depart tomorrow morning for the Origins gaming conference in Ohio, where Ben and his company, Higher Ground Games, will be hosting their first booth ever. For those of you that don't know, Ben makes hand-crafted gaming terrain, mostly involving plaster blocks to build into game boards, models, etc. At any rate, my crazy husband has only been sleeping like 3 hours a night in order to prepare a fully stocked inventory to take over to Ohio with us. Our friend Rob is going to help him run his both, and Andrea and I will be watching the girls and playing with our friend Krysten, who lives very close to where the convention is being held. Tonight is pretty much madness, as Ben is trying to finish everything up, and I am trying to pack up me and the girls for our 5-day trip. Of course, if you have ever tried to get anything done efficiently and on a time schedule with two cute little girls underfoot, you will understand why this is a challenge. :) So, I'm off to continue the packing. My next post will be live from Ohio! :)

Friday, June 20, 2008

Friday Fill-In #9

1. A smile is a friend saying hello.

2. Bang or Bohnanza is my favorite board or card game right now, but I tend to change often.

3. I would love to have more free time or "me time" to just read and relax in my life and less chores.

4. When I think of the Summer Solstice, I think of the fact that it has "really" already been summer for almost a month.

5. I just remembered I need to be somewhere in an hour, and I need to get both girls ready first (this would be easier if Bryn would not keep requesting Cheerio refills).

6. One of my favorite song lyrics (or at least the one that has been stuck in my head since last Sunday) goes like this: Oh praise the one who paid my debt / and raised this life up from the dead.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to checking several items off our "to do" list (such as putting up our hammock, doing some ebay posting, and writing our wills.... you figure out which ones are more fun!), tomorrow my plans include garage saling while Ben helps Mike deconstruct his deck, going to the Saturday night church service, and having a cookout with the Juliuses, and Sunday, I want to work for two services at church, then maybe get a nap and relax with the family!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Wordless Wednesday #6


Leave thoughts on captioning in the comments section, please.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Cinderellas

So I know I need to get back to blogging. After writing every day in May, I actually miss it. But, as the past few posts have demonstrated, we've had kind of a lot going on here. But I was acutely reminded how out of it I've been when I logged into my Google reader last night. This is how I stalk all of your blogs..... I have them all plugged into my Google reader, then I log onto that once a day (okay, sometimes more than once a day) and read all the posts that it shows me as new. Very nice to have it all in one place. At any rate, last night I logged in for the first time in ages and saw that I have 72 new posts to read from all of you collectively. Ouch. So look for comments from me over the next few days as I attempt to get caught up. :)

As you all know, this past Sunday was Father's Day. We celebrated by playing board games with the Willman and Julius families, which, oddly enough, was what Ben, Eric, and Mike all wanted for Father's Day. Bryn also "helped" me bake Ben's favorite caramel brownies for him. She helped unwrap the carmels, poured in the milk (after I measured it), put in the walnuts, and even stirred for me. Quite the little assistant. She was incredibly proud of helping make Daddy a "treat." And last but not least, Ben also received a frame from the girls with their picture and the lyrics to the following song. If you've not heard this song, watch out--it will make any daddy or daughter cry!


"Cinderella"
by Steven Curtis Chapman

She spins and she sways
To whatever song plays
Without a care in the world
And I'm sitting here wearing
The weight of the world on my shoulders

It's been a long day
And there's still work to do
She's pulling at me saying, "Dad, I need you
There's a ball at the castle and I've been invited
And I need to practice my dancing
Oh please, Daddy please"

CHORUS:
So I will dance with Cinderella
While she is here in my arms
'Cause I know something the prince never knew
Oh, I will dance with Cinderella
I don't want to miss even one song
'Cause all too soon the clock will strike midnight
And she'll be gone...

She says he's a nice guy
And I'd be impressed
She wants to know if I approve of the dress
She says, "Dad the prom is just one week away
And I need to practice my dancing
Oh please, Daddy please"

REPEAT CHORUS

Well, she came home today
With a ring on her hand
Just glowing and telling us
All they had planned
She says, "Dad the wedding's still six months away
But I need to practice my dancing
Oh please, Daddy please"

REPEAT CHORUS

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Reaching.... for Angie

It has been a hard few days. One of my childhood friends, Angie Samuelson, just passed away after losing her battle with cervical cancer. She was diagnosed less than a year ago. She was engaged before she was diagnosed, and she was married less than a month ago, in a ceremony in her own backyard, because she was too weak and sick to make it to the church. I just spent a couple of days in Peoria, attending Angie's visitation and funeral. So incredibly sad.

Angie and I went to church together growing up. We, along with our friend Ashley, were "the 3 As," the only members of our class still active in the youth program and the church by the time we reached our senior year of high school. We planned our senior Stronghold retreat together, focused around the theme of Kaliedoscopes and gave talks regarding the five senses. We also gave talks on the topic of "Roots and Wings" on our senior Sunday. For four years, we spent Sunday nights eating Papa John's pizza at First Federated Church in Peoria, IL. Before that, we shared Sunday school classes, Christmas pageants, confirmation class, our first communions.

I was able to sit with Ashley at the funeral. We sat just a few rows back from where the three of us had once joined that church and then taken our first communions together. Angie's coffin stood over the area on the floor where the three of us had sat through countless children's stories together before being dismissed to Sunday school from "big church." Her sisters delivered her eulogy from the same lectern where the three of us had once given "sermons" on our Senior Sunday. All of the assembled mourners rose to sing together a song chosen for its part in our Stronghold retreats. After the funeral, Ashley and I wandered the church. We went back to our old senior high youth group room, where, the summer before our senior year, everyone in the youth group had each painted and personalized one of the cinder blocks that made up the far wall. They were all still there, joined since then by students who came after us. And there was Angie's, faded yellow paint proclaiming that "friends are friends forever."

I lost touch with Angie after high school. We saw each other a few times at church when we were home during the early years of college. But then I started spending my summers at camp, so I wasn't around to go to church except on school breaks, and then my parents both stopped attending that church, so I no longer went there either. After that, we lost touch in the shuffle of life. And now, she's gone. It just seems like too much to take in.

Growing up, Angie was just so perfect, but far too nice to be jealous of. She was beautiful, with her long blond hair, her sparkling eyes, her fabulous smile, her tiny stature, and her mischeveous giggle. She sang like an angel. She loved children, and they flocked to her, so it was no surprise that she later became a preschool teacher. She was incredibly close to her parents, and both of her younger sisters adored her. During our senior year, Angie was named prom queen at her school, in the next town over from the school Ashley and I attended. Back then, we all looked at Angie and just knew that she was going to have a wonderful, perfect life. But that life was cut way too short. 29 years old, and gone.

After hearing of Angie's death, I spent an evening looking through my old scrapbooks from high school. There, she and Ashley and I appeared arm in arm, year after year, smiling in our Sunday finery, laughing in the youth group room, lined up on the stairs at Stronghold. I came across my notes for the planning of our last retreat with the youth group, which we, as seniors, led. We had each chosen two songs for our peers to remember us by. Angie had chosen "Pray For Me" by Michael W. Smith. While that song is still appropriate, even now, it was the words to the second that echoed in my head during my drive to Peoria for her funeral.

"Reaching"
by Carolyn Arends

There's a time I can recall
Four years old and three feet tall
Trying to touch the stars and the cookie jar
And both were out of reach
And later on in my high school
It seemed to me a little cruel
How the right words to say always seemed to stay
Just out of reach
Well I should not have thought it strange
That growing causes growing pains
'Cause the more we learn the more we know
We don't know anything
But still it seems a tragic fate
Living with this quiet ache
The constant strain for what remains
Just out of reach

CHORUS:
We are reaching for the future
We are reaching for the past
And no matter what we have we reach for more
We are desperate to discover
What is just beyond our grasp
But maybe that's what heaven is for

There are times I can't forget
Dressed up in my Sunday best
Trying not to squirm and to maybe learn
A bit of what the preacher preached
And later lying in the dark
I felt a stirring in my heart
And though I longed to see what could not be seen
I still believed
I guess I shouldn't think it odd
Until we see the face of God
The yearning deep within us tells us
There's more to come
So when we taste of the divine
It leaves us hungry every time
For one more taste of what awaits
When heaven's gates are reached

REPEAT CHORUS

I believe that's what heaven is for
There's a time I can recall
Four years old and three feet tall
Trying to touch the stars and the cookie jar
And both were out of reach

We will miss you, Angie. And we look forward to the day when we will see you again. Until then, as we used to say, Grace and Peace.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Potty Woes

WARNING: Please be aware that the title of this post is "Potty Woes." If you should choose to read further, you will be subjected to information about my children's bowel habits. The words "poop" and "pee" are used frequently in this post. Continue at your own risk.

Well. Our girls have completely beaten us down. We give up. Bryn's intro to potty training did NOT go well, and to top it all off, Shay decided to give us some problems of her own.

We got up on Saturday morning, completely determined to master this potty training thing. Bryn, however, seemed to have other ideas. She has always been excited about the potty before, often telling people that she wants to sit on the potty. So when she woke up on Saturday, I said, with as much enthusiasm as I could muster, "Bryn, do you want to learn to use the potty today?" And she replied firmly, "No, Mommy. Brynie no potty." And thus began our struggle.

We set an alarm and set her on the potty every half an hour. Each time she sat, she was on there for at least 5 minutes, often more like 10. We pulled out all the stops. While on the potty, she got to eat chocolate chips. We read her stories. We painted her finger and toenails. She got to watch "Finding Nemo." But by noon, she had peed exactly zero drops in the potty. She had, however, peed through four pairs of training pants. She had also cried incessantly for four hours, culminating in the final hour of heart-wrenching sobs while choking out, "Brynie want diaper!"

We agreed to put her in a diaper for her nap. When I went to get her up, she told me in no uncertain terms that she would not be getting out of bed. Ben's parents were waiting for us to go to dinner, so I told her that she could wear a diaper instead of "big girl pants," at which point she turned into all sunshine, said "okay!," and got right up. Following dinner, we took her to a water park with the rest of the volunteers from VBX, so she had to wear a swim diaper there. And then she had to wear a diaper overnight. Then she was in the nursery at church on Sunday, and I didn't want to make the childcare workers deal with the potty training, so we let her wear another diaper. And then naptime, so another diaper. And then, to be honest, we just gave up. Apparently Bryn is just not ready for the potty yet. Plus, we are weak. So it's back to all diapers all the time in our house.

Meanwhile, since Shay has started eating solid foods, she has had some problems with constipation. She didn't poop at all last week from Sunday to Thursday. I worked VBX at our church all week, and by Thursday, the ladies in the nursery actually said to me, "Your child looks like she's from Bangladesh, her belly is so distended. You've got to get this taken care of." So we pumped her full of prunes and apple juice and hoped for the best. She had a large, solid poop late Thursday night, and another one Friday morning, and then she seemed worlds happier, so we figured she was all taken care of.

On Friday night, all four of us were in the car together, and suddenly, I was overtaken by the most extreme stink I have ever experienced. Ben still claims that he smelled nothing, but it was bad enough (at least for me) that I had to put down my window and stick my head out to breathe, in spite of the fact that we were in the midst of a thunderstorm bad enough that tornado sirens were going off (for the third time that week, no less). I could not imagine what could possibly have made a smell that big and that bad.

To my horror, when we got home, we discovered that the stink was coming from Shay. Apparently the large poops she'd had so far were just the "plug" for a week's worth of grossness. She was literally covered head to toe with poop. In her hair, her armpits, her feet, you name it. Her clothes (and it was the first time she had worn this particular outfit) were so coated that after Oxyclean and two washings, they still had chunks of poop adhering to them and had to be thrown away. The bottle that she had been holding at the time of the explosion was covered completely in brown slime. And worst of all, her entire carseat was covered with poop at least an inch thick. As in, it was bad enough that when we managed to pry the carseat out of its base, we discovered that poop had leaked through the carseat lining, through the interior foam, and through the plastic seat and had taken up residence in the base which is strapped into the car.

In simply trying to get Shay from the car to the bath, we also managed to heavily stain a changing pad, a sheet, a towel, and her bath mat.

I know--and she looks so little and innocent.


Five days later, we are still dealing with the repercussions of this event. For starters, this generated a LOT of very disgusting laundry, which then led to a sanitization of my washer and dryer. It has also caused us to be very careful in monitoring her intake and output, as so to avoid future explosions.


The worst part, though, is the car seat. After Oxycleaning and two washings, all the poop and its smell were removed from the fabric car seat cover, but brown stains remained behind. I didn't want my sweet little girl sitting in stains, so we began a lengthy debate as to what to do. Could we buy a car seat cover online? Yes, but most ran $80-$120. Okay, how much would a new infant car seat cost? Oh, $80-$120. So should we buy a new car seat? Perhaps. After all, we want to have more kids someday, so it wouldn't be a terrible investment. Ben pointed out, though, that if we went out and bought a girly carseat, it would guarantee that our next child will be a boy, since we've spent 2 1/2 years now toting our little girls around in a navy blue bucket seat. We actually even went to Walmart to buy a bucket seat after pricing them online, but unfortunately, the only one they had in stock was hideously ugly. So back to the drawing board.

We then searched on ebay and discovered that a woman was selling homemade car seat covers. There was really only one of a girly design, and we put in a bid of $20. Within 5 minutes, we were outbid and subsequently decided that we didn't want to get sucked into a bidding war. This gave me an idea though.... if some ebay lady can make car seat covers herself, why can't I? So I called in reinforcements (meaning my friend Cathy, aka the bobbin master). It turns out that for some unknown reason, Cathy actually already had an unopened pattern for an infant car seat, so I took this as a sign that we were in business. Ben and I loaded up the girls and went out to buy supplies. I managed to find a very cute feminine flower pattern and spent $3.55 on fabric and $0.97 on elastic. This, I figured, was a great investment.

I then spent many hours hunched over my kitchen table with Cathy, cutting out patterns, cutting material, loading and reloading my bobbin, and piecing things together. Eventually Cathy went home, and I continued bravely on my own. By midnight, I was completely done except for reinforcing the stitching around the buttonholes that the straps go through. And it looked darn good. I was incredibly proud of myself.

So I went and put it on the carseat for Ben to admire........ and was again overcome with the smell of poop. Ben had washed and rewashed the actual carseat as many times as it was physically possible to do. We had used every kind of cleaner in our possession. And there was still poop. Because the car seat has foam on it, we couldn't run it through the shower or the dishwasher. So we had to accept that the old carseat has bit the dust.

This led us back to the original question: a new carseat--to buy or not to buy? After further deliberation, we decided to move Shay up to Bryn's convertible carseat (rear-facing for Shay, of course) and buy a convertible booster for Bryn to use. We managed to purchase that yesterday--I even managed to convince Bryn that she "wanted" the gray one instead of the pink princess model. But now our very nice friend Caroline is working on convincing me that we should just use their infant bucket until Shay outgrows it. And as you can see, my newly sewn cover is pretty darn cute on it.
So that's the news here--pleasant, huh? :)

Friday, June 06, 2008

Friday Fill-Ins #8

1. Idle hands are a waste of time. I'd better get to work on my knitting.

2. I love to get clean in the shower. Seriously. I love being clean. I'd shower more than once a day if I had time.

3. My favorite time of the day is when Ben gets home from work and plays with the girls, and there are these gorgeous peals of joyful laughter coming from all three of them.

4. The last tea I drank was probably some yummy chai tea from Cathy.

5. I like to sleep in, take the girls to free movies at the local theaters, go to the library, play with friends, watch Ben's softball games, go on road trips, swim at the pool, and take evening walks in the Summer.

6. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to going to bed (as I'm typing this right before doing that), tomorrow my plans include beginning my kamikaze effforts at potty training Bryn, and also visiting with Ben's parents and tackling some outdoor projects (assuming that the tornado-like rain stops), and Sunday, I want to continue to sit Bryn on the potty every 30 minutes, and hopefully have some down time to just relax with Ben and the girls!

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Wordless Wednesday #5

What are these kiddos saying to each other?
Leave your thoughts in the comments section.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

May in Review

I know I've been absent from the world of blogging for a few days; I figured that I deserved a break after being so dedicated for the entire month of May. So, before launching into the world of June and summertime (which the girls and I have spent almost entirely at VBX at our church), I figured I'd give a recap of May in the form of the girls' calendars....

Bryn's May
1 - likes to tickle Shay and make her laugh
2 - playes princess dress-up and has a tea party with Bekah
3 - 2 1/2 years old; Nana, Papa, and Grammy visit
4 - Shay's dedication ceremony at church--Bryn cries and squirms through the whole thing
5 - plays outside with Leleia (our next-door neighbor)
6 - chases a bunny through the Neals' yard during small group
7 - has a great time playing in her "princess rom" with Kylee
8 - watches "Lion King"--scared of the end, but still wants more "King Roar" afterwards
9 - Libby M comes to visit; Bryn thinks she's funny
10 - attends Aunt Kristin's college graduation dinner in Bloomington, IL
11 - plays at Grammy's house
12 - loves playing with her tea set while in her bed
13 - consistently naps in toddler bed, but still sleeps in crib at night (editor's note: this really only lasted for about a week; now she's back in the crib all the time)
14 - Uncle Dan and Great-Grandma Meyaard visit and spend the night
15 - thrilled about her "pink toes" (Mommy painted Bryn's toenails for the first time)
16 - goes to Dr. Z because she keeps saying that her "pee pee hurts"--turns out it's a sensitivity to bubble bath (editor's note: won't she be thrilled later in life to know that I posted this on the internet?). 35 inches long, weighs 33 1/2 pounds
17 - plays with Nate and Chris at Taylor's graduation party in Peoria
18 - Aunt Lindsay's high school graduation and party
19 - relaxing day and long nap to recover from the weekend
20 - eats sweet and sour sauce with her bare hands at dinner
21 - while at church, says she needs to potty--and then pees on the bathroom floor instead of the toilet (editor's note: bet the childcare workers loved her for this!)
22 - wants to wear dresses (aka "rounds") every day
23 - last day with Bekah and Levi
24 - spends Hannah's entire birthday party playing with Hannah's toys--won't even stop for cake!
25 - likes to sort cards into matching stacks
26 - loves her "doggy backpack"... with a convenient leash for Mommy to hold :)
27 - zoo and dolphin show with Andrea and Hannah
28 - loves stacking Daddy's dice, all facing the same way
29 - frequently sobs "Bryn need Mommy now!" (even when Mommy is already holding her)
30 - loves playing games and "spending" tickets at MOPS carnival
31 - big day! garage sales, swimming, and Connection Pointe carnival--all worn out at the end of a long, fun day!

Shaylee's May
1 - laughs when Bryn tickles her
2 - sits up in the "tripod" position unsupported
3 - Nana, Papa, and Grammy visit
4 - dedication service at Connection Pointe Christian Church
5 - plays outside with Liana (our next-door neighbor)
6 - Chris loves to "help" Shay with her bottle
7 - Ian loves lolding Shay and giving her a bottle
8 - wakes up with a cold
9 - meets Libby; Libby thinks Shay is the happiest baby ever
10 - attends Aunt Kristin's graduation dinner in Bloomington, IL
11 - Grammy loves cuddling Shay
12 - sits in high chair for first time
13 - loves to hold her own bottle
14 - Uncle Dan and Great-Grandma Meyaard visit and spend the night
15 - working very hard at rolling from back to tummy, but her arm keeps getting in the way
16 - 15 lbs and 5 oz with all clothes on
17 - meets all her Parkhurst relatives at Taylor's graduation party in Peoria
18 - Aunt Lindsay's high school graduation and party
19 - sleeps a lot; doesn't seem to feel very well
20 - feverish from teething
21 - cries all day with teething pain
22 - sleeps all day, up all night
23 - wants to be held and rocked all day; up every half hour all night
24 - head is 17" (75th percentile), length is 27" (90th percentile), and weight is 14 lb 10 oz naked (less than 50th percentile)
25 - starts amoxicillin prescription (juicy cough, rash, fluid in ears) and seems to feel better right away
26 - triest sweet peas--and loves them!
27 - 6 months old; sees dolphin show at the zoo--seems fascinated
28 - likes laying on tummy when she can look at herself in the mirror
29 - eats green beans with no complaints
30 - all the MOPS babysitters want to cuddle Shay "one more time before summer"
31 - first time swimming! (really just dips legs in a few times)