Thursday, September 30, 2010

Best-Loved Boys (Part 2)

When Shay got up this morning, I jokingly asked her, "So, are you going to kiss any boys at school today?"

Even in her sleepy state, she nodded that little blonde head of hers and unabashedly said, "Yep!"

"Who?" I demanded.


Because apparently she needs to finish her hat trick.


Ben drove the girls to school today, and as they arrived, they saw Billy walking in. He says that both girls started cheering. "Daddy, Daddy, Billy IS at school today!" As if he's usually not? But apparently it would be easier to kiss him if he was there.

I was surprised that Bryn wasn't upset that Shay was planning on stealing her boy. Or maybe she was just excited to see Billy and not been informed of Little Sass's plans.


When I picked them up, the first thing I did was whisper to Shay, "Did you kiss anyone during school?" I'd had visions of her bringing chaos down on the classroom by chasing down Billy and kissing him, thus throwing at least Bryn, if not also Grant and Alex, into total tailspins. Thankfully, no kissing had occurred.

On the playground after school, both Bryn and Shay chose to play with Billy.... and when I say "play with," I really mean "follow around." Shay was far more outgoing, whereas Bryn kind of hung back adoringly. It's funny, because that's really how I see their personalities growing as they get older too--although of course things may change.

Anyway, I did fill in Billy's dad on the girls' dual crushes, which he found to be pretty amusing. So at least now the poor kid might get a heads-up on the power struggle being waged over him between the Pfan sisters. We also have five days before it's time to go to school again, so hopefully the hotbed of preschool hormones will cool before then. ;)

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Best-Loved Boys

I was reading a magazine article the other day that warned that around 5 or 6 years of age, kids are likely to start developing crushes. Really? Because Bryn has had crushes for.... well, forever. And I really noticed it in Shay over the summer as well, particularly at VBX. So maybe my children are just advanced, but each of them now has a list of "best-loved boys."

Bryn's "best boy" is, of course, her friend Christopher, as is evidenced here. A little over a year ago, she also developed a huge crush on a 13-year-old named Brenden who helps out in her Sunday school room. And there's also another little boy in her preschool class, Billy, who she talked about sometimes last year because he was so "funny," which is a very high compliment. This year she talks all the time about how "silly" he is (and she loves that "silly" and "Billy" rhyme), and she always tries to sit next to him during circle time, and we mommies even caught her winking at him on the playground today. Oh my....

By all of that is nothing compared to my brash little Shay. Immediately upon starting preschool, she decided that she like Grant. Please bear in mind that Shay is only 2 1/2 years old and one of the youngest in the class. Grant turned 5 right after the start of the school year (making him the oldest kid in the class), and Shay thought it was awesome that he had cookies shaped like dog bones at his in-class party. Clearly, it was love--at least on her part.

The next boy to catch Shay's eye was Alex, this cute little blondie who she loves to play with on the playground. I thought two crushes (thankfully both on very nice boys) was quite ample for the two-year-old's first month of school, but then Shay got wind of Bryn's crush on Billy. Apparently she thought that if Bryn liked Billy, well then, it must be the cool thing to do, so Shay should like him too, and she added him to her own "list." The other day, when she laid down for her nap, she told me that she "wanted to have a dream about Billy." Oh dear.

As a side note, please let me mention that all three of these boys were in Bryn's class last year (Grant for the last two years), and Shay didn't notice that any of the existed then. Nor did they notice her. I bring this up because I think this is pretty much going to be the way it's going to go from here on out..... sweet Bryn paves the way, then vivacious Shay sweeps in and steals all the boys' hearts. I think Ben and I have a rocky road ahead of us.... which brings me back to the scene on the playground today.

Billy left shortly after the winking incident, and Bryn was playing contentedly by herself on the top of a piece of playground equipment, singing, dancing, and just generally being a girlie-girl in her own little world. Shay, meanwhile, was running and screaming with the boys (Alex and Grant). After a while, they sat down and started playing in the rocks and jabbering away like kids do. I didn't catch the conversation, but it somehow led to Shay going over and giving Alex a big old hug. He got this huge grin, stood up, and threw a handful of celebratory pebbles in the air. You could practically hear him thinking, "Yeah! I got the girl!"

But then Shay gave him this disapproving little look, like either "Don't flaunt it!" or "I refuse to be tied down!" And she marched her little self over to Grant, said something in a conciliatory tone of voice, and, I kid you not, started giving him a backrub. Yes, my two-year-old gave her crush a backrub. Oh. My. Goodness.

And it gets better. Or worse, depending on your perspective. Alex exited to another part of the playground, Shay continued with the backrub, and Grant allowed himself to be won over. He grinned up at her (he was sitting on the ground), she smiled back down at him, and she leaned down and kissed him.

This was the point when all the mommies decided it was time to go home. So we all did, but there was much "Bye Grant!" "Bye Shay!" "Bye Alex!" going on. Sigh.

In the car on the way home, I pointed out to Shay that she had hugged one boy and kissed another. She did not seem to think this was an issue. I asked her which boy she liked best, and she replied, "I love them both!" At least Bryn only winked at one boy. Of course, that may be because Christopher went home before all the real romancing started.

I told Ben this whole story at dinner, and he about spit out his rice when I got to the backrub/kissing part. He turned to Shay and said, "You kissed a boy?!? No way! You do NOT kiss boys!" And then Bryn piped up from across the table and said, "Yes, Daddy! Shay can kiss boys if she wants to!" And the two of them got into a big debate about how Bryn thought it was okay for Shay to kiss boys, because after all, Shay liked to do it.... at which point Ben freaked out even more.... particularly when he learned that the reason Bryn was defending Shay was because Bryn, too, likes to kiss boys and didn't want him to prohibit her from the activity as well.

Did I blink and miss my daughters turning into teenagers?

Dreaming of Pizza

An actual conversation during Shay's first diaper change of the the morning...

Me: What do you want for breakfast today, Shay-Shay?
Shay: Pizza!
Me: No, sweetie. How about some cereal?
Shay (happily): I want to eat pizza!
Me: Sorry, pizza isn't a breakfast food.
Shay (still happy): Yes! I do eat pizza for breakfast!
Me (slightly under my breath): Sorry, kid, not until you're in college.
Shay: Okay, I be in college!
Me: What?
Shay: I use my 'magination to be in college!
Me (silence, staring, then laughter)
Shay:.... So I eat pizza now?

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Shopping with Grandma

My brother visited this week from California (more on that in a later post), so Dad and Diane drove over to see him. While Brian and Dad went golfing, I figured that Diane and I would take the kids on some big outing. But she had the idea to take them shopping instead, to get ideas for birthdays and Christmas... and maybe pick up a few small goodies along the way. Yeah, I'd say they had fun!!

A note to dentists--only ONE package of this candy was purchased, and shared by Mommy and daughters.

No, Shay did not come home with these boots, which were about six sizes too big for her.

Sweet Boy

All photos courtesy of the paparazzi known as Grandma Diane. :)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

6 month stats

Liam had his 6-month appointment this week. He handled the shots very well, hardly crying at all and not even needing Tylenol. Tough little guy!

Dr. Z was very impressed with all of Liam's physical skills. He's an incredibly active baby, and he definitely showed this off during his appointment, grabbing at everything within his reach and attempting to roll off the table. He's also quite the charmer, full of smiles and happy noises.

However, it does seem that my little hoss is slowing down with the growing. He's at 17 pounds and 4 ounces, which puts him in the 50th percentile for weight. Nothing to worry about, obviously, but that is down from the 75th percentile at his last visit. When I asked why he might have dipped so much, Dr. Z said not to worry, it's probably just because he's so active. The doctor pointed out that some babies his age aren't even rolling yet, whereas Liam crosses entire rooms, so he's definitely burning some calories. He's also been on just breastmilk, rice cereal, and oatmeal cereal up to this point--so bring on the fruits and veggies!

At the appointment, I was also kind of concerned about his length. He measured at 26 inches, which put him in the 25th percentile. The nurse looked at me, at all of 5'2", and told me that this was nothing to worry about. But I knew, with my 6'2" husband at home, that this was highly unusual for my kids, who had never been that low on the percentile charts before. I also knew that Liam had been in the 80th percentile for length at his last visit. When I asked about the sudden dropoff, the doctor just told me not to worry, that all kids go through growth spurts, and that he would even out. That made good sense, so I stopped worrying. However, when I got home, I did look up his stats from last time and saw that he measured 26 inches at 4 months as well. That basically leads me to the conclusion that the oh-so-precise method of "stretch the kid out, mark the white paper, and hope for the best" did not yield accurate length results this time around, as I know that Liam is longer than he was two months ago, since none of his pants fit lengthwise anymore. So really, I have no idea how long he is.

His head measured at 17 3/4 inches. But since it measured at 18 inches two months ago, I'm thinking that measurement was off too. Apparentently it was a rough day for the tape measure. Really, though, his noggin is still in the 80th percentile. When it's that big, who quibbles about a fourth of an inch?

We also measured the girls while we were there. Bryn weighed in at 41 pounds and 6 ounces and measured 3 feet and 7 inches. Shay was 30 pounds and 4 ounces and measured just over 3 feet. My kids are definitely growing up!!

Catching Up: Butler Band Day

I think this is my last "catching up" post, as everything else I have to say has actually happened within the last three days or so.... assuming that I can get it posted in a timely manner. :)

This past Saturday was Band Day at our alma mater, Butler. Since Ben and I met in the marching band, we decided to go. This year, Band Day featured the clarinet, and the director put out a call for alumni clarinets to come and play with the band. Thanks to my recent return to my instrument, I was able to do this. We met up with our fellow band alums Mike and Kathleen(also the one who talked me into joining community band). Our kids played, kind of watched the football game, and cheered wildly for the band.... and a good time was had by all.

Bryn, Shay, and Emily check out the football field.

Clarinet feature--that's me and Kathleen on the end of the front row--

Ben and me in front of the newly renovated football field. It's very, very nice, but looks nothing like the Butler Bowl of our time.

Two couples of BUMB alums..... and six kids between us.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Catching Up: Tiny Dancer

As promised last week, here are a few pictures of Shay actually in her dance class. She's pretty easy to pick out, as she's the one goth chick in with all the other cuties in pastel pink. She picked her own ensemble--but I approved it, as between she and Bryn, I've had about enough pink to last me a lifetime. LOL!!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Catching Up: Band Concert

As I have discussed here each month, one of my resolutions this year was to join a band and perform in a concert. A couple of months back, I joined the Zionsville Community Band. Last Saturday was the first concert that I performed with them. We did a September 11 concert. I don't pretend that I played every note perfectly, but I'm still pretty proud of myself for having gotten this far. Here's a picture of the concert:

And Bryn and Emily congratulating me and Kathleen at the end:

And the girls' favorite part--getting to go on rides at the adjoining carnival afterwards:

Catching Up: Dinner with Parker

I'm clearly a long way behind, because it was over a week ago now that we had dinner with Alicia, Suellen, and Parker. Shay had been asking for her friend Parker for weeks. And while Parker does love Shay, she may love Liam more. Like, more than anything. Check out this cuteness:

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Catching Up: A Day at the Zoo

While I feel like I have pretty much lived in front of the computer this past week, I have somehow not managed to find time to blog. I have, however, spent a lot of time learning about ready reference sources and how to evaluate databases, librarian style, for my two graduate courses. I'm taking both of them online, and I definitely think that I like the old physical style classes better. While my program is actually at a university here in town, the classes I needed this semester were offered either online or at times that absolutely did not work for me, so I decided to go the online route, thus resulting in me spending huge amounts of time staring at the screen. Combine that with my recent writing project (more on that at another time), my MOPS publicity stuff, and the bare minimum of keeping up on email, and I have basically no desire to do anything else online unless I absolutely have to. As a result, I'm way behind on blog, so here's my effort to get caught up....

Last week, Andrea and I decided to make the most of the gorgeous weather by taking the kids to the zoo for one last outing before our opposing preschool schedules prevented us from playdating for the rest of the fall. The "big girls" had a great time, as always, and were relatively good about letting Shay tag along.
Our lone boy had a great time with all his ladies. He's loving the cooler weather, as it means that I can take him out a lot more without fear that he's going to melt.

And check out this sweetness! Shay, Bryn, Hailey, and Hannah--
All in all, two thumbs up on the day. Fall is definitely the time to do the zoo. There was basically nobody else there, and the animals were more active than I've ever seen them--apparently they enjoy the cooler weather as well!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Two Dancers

It kind of got lost in all the excitement about the first day of school, but I should mention that both girls did start dance class last week as well. Shay cried her way through most of her class, but I attribute that largely to her intense exhaustion at the end of her first day of school. Once she stopped crying and started participating, she had a great time and talked about it for days afterwards. And Bryn, as might be expected, has been practicing the moves that she learned in "ballerina class" all week long. (Please note that it's actually a ballet/tap/tumbling combo.) We've got class again tonight, so I'm hoping to get a few "action" shots, but here's what we got after the craziness last week, so you can at least see their cute ensembles.

Monday, September 13, 2010


I've got several posts running through my head right now, but these are the pictures that are most accessible, so this one wins. :)

Last night we went to Fall Festival--where, among other fun, I played my clarinet in a public performance for the first time in nine years (woot woot!) and Bryn, in an effort to take commemorate the event, accidentally "took a picture of someone's bottom" (our director's). It's hard to say which caused more excitement among the kids.

But both of those events were topped by the absolute elation that ensued when the girls played the duck pond at the carnival and won these (ahem) gigantic, gorgeous plastic dolphins. Two of them, one for each daugther. I blame their friend Emily for the entire incident, as she picked both the game and the prize.

They insisted on taking baths with their dolphins last night--because clearly, dolphins love water. And there was much weeping when we would not tuck their dolphins into bed with them. But first thing this morning, the dolphins were back in the game. Their mission? To take some baby dolls for a ride.

Bryn was very discouraged that her baby doll could not ride on the dolphin without assistance. Bryn wanted to use both of her hands to steer the dolphin (and run through the house like a crazy person), not hold on to the baby doll. It was fascinating to watch the little wheels in her head turning as she tried to come up with a solution to this problem. First, she dug through her closet for her Horton the Elephant puppet, which she tried to stick on top of the dorsal fin. This was actually a really good idea, except that the puppet was slightly too small. Undaunted, she moved on to other ideas.

In the end, she dug around until she came up with this ribbon/scarf thing, and then, with no assistance from a parent, she tied her baby doll onto the dolphin's tail to ensure a secure ride.

What's perhaps even better is that when Shay caught sight of this set-up and wanted one too (as Little Sister wants one of everything that Big Sister has), Bryn promptly found a belt and provided an even more secure rigging for Shay's doll on Shay's dolphin. Bryn is really quite the little problem-solver. I'm very impressed with her methods!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

August in Review - Amy

I realize that this is, oh, about 11 days late in being posted. That seems to be the theme of my life lately--barely able to keep up. I'm sure you'll see that theme several times in this monthly check-up. I'm actually kind of embarrassed to post this, since I made such little headway in August, but here goes....

1. Read the Bible.Sadly, even further behind than I was last month. Still working on it though.

2. Read at least one pleasure reading book per month.Utter fail. I started several books but did not finish any of them (in the month of August). I've already finished one in September though (thank goodness for my Book Club; I'd never finish anything if it weren't for them), so at least I can check this one off for next month.

3. Join some kind of musical group and perform with them.I missed two weeks of rehearsal, one due to my terrible salmonella poisoning and one due to parents' night for the girls' preschool. So I haven't been a terribly good band member either. That being said, we have a concert tonight! So technically, I'll be able to check this goal off after today. :)

4. Blog daily.I'm sure that many of you loyal readers have already noticed my "falling farther and farther behind" theme on this one. But I'm doing what I've got time for.

5. Get back down to (at least) my pre-pregnancy weight.Holding steady at 15-20 pounds less than pre-pregnancy weight.... and pretty interested to see if anything in my winter wardrobe is going to fit!

6. Get involved in some kind of theatre group and help out with at least one production.This goal is officially on hold until sometime that I can breathe without having heart palpitations about how many things I already have to do.

7. Teach Bryn to read.She's actually really into math lately--and good at it! And she's "reading" in the sense that she has her favorite books memorized and can repeat them verbatim, complete with page turns at the proper moments. Quite the memory on that one!

8. Potty-train Shay.Slow and steady wins the race, right? She loves to "pee pee on the potty" and is doing so with more frequency, but largely just does it in response to our prompting. She will occassionally tell us on her own that she has to go, but not with regularity.

9. Frame our portraits.I framed our newest portrait; now just waiting for Ben to hang it.

10. Finish up some of my murals.Still working on Noah's Ark.

11. Paint the kids' bathroom.This is a sore subject. It is still sitting there with one pitiful stripe of blue edging. Does anyone want to just come over and do this for me? ;)

12. Get Shay into her big girl room.Achieved in January.

13. Breastfeed Liam.Me and my breastpump have now officially been together for six months. I'm hoping to keep Liam on breastmilk for a year, although we have enough frozen that this doesn't necessarily mean pumping for the whole year. So I am starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. And he's now eating rice cereal and oatmeal cereal, and soon to be on fruits and veggies, so I will soon be able to slow production as well. ;)

Shay's FIRST Day of School

My little big girl! After spending all of last year begging me to lift her up so she could "peek" through the classroom window at the "big kids," Shay finally got to enter the hallowed halls of learning herself. She has high expectations for this year, including, "I make friends with all the boys and girls" and "We learn every day." You get 'em, baby!

Our requisite front porch picture:

Shay decided she'd rather sit than stand:

I have a very similar picture of Bryn and Mrs. DeBoer from her first day of school. I love the individual attention the kids get at St. Andrews.

This is what Shay says was her absolute favorite part of the first day of school. A dad was reading The Cat in the Hat to a little boy (actually not his own little boy) and let Shay join them. This is her favorite book, so combining that with the much-anticipated first day of school sent her over the moon.
Shay and her friend Lilly (who she knows from last year) enjoying the playground after school.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Bryn's (Third) First Day of School

Now that Bryn is in her third year at St. Andrew's, she's an old pro. She seems so assured and confident in comparison to my baby from the first year or even the little girl she was last year. Click on those links to see how she's grown, even just by way of comparison in our annual front porch picture!

This was actually the first "porch picture" we took this year... as you can see, she's feeling confident!

"Oh Prince Charming, will you help me with my shoe?" :) I actually posted this because it's the only one I got of Bryn and her friend Chris, who has been at school with her all 3 years.
Hard at play...

My "artiste" exploring the theme for the year--sunshines.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

First Day of Preschool x2

It's official--we are a household of two preschoolers! The girls LOVE being in the same class as each other. Shay was totally exhausted by the end of class today--I'm thinking the anticipation wore her out! Here are just a few of the very cute shots we got this morning:

Monday, September 06, 2010


Remember the opening scene in "Finding Nemo," where Nemo awakens his dad by jumping on him in bed (okay, coral), shouting, "First day of school! First day of school!"?? I think our house might look a lot like that tomorrow morning.

After a summer of waiting, Bryn gets to return to her beloved teachers at St. Andrews for her third (and final) year of preschool. And after two years of peeking longing through the windows of big sister's classroom, Shay now gets to join the class and have a carpet square of her very own. That's right, the girls will be in the same class at the same school. They are both over the moon with excitement about this. Bryn has been prepping Shay on every single detail of what to expect, and Shay has been eating it up. I hope they're always this excited to start the school year! :)

Sunday, September 05, 2010

In Search of a Study Spot

With one thing and another, I did not get much of my grad work done during the week, and in short, I had a heap lot of homework to do today. I was actually really worried about getting it all done and submitted by the midnight deadline. (Don't worry, I did get it done before writing this blog.) I have learned that effective studying is darn near impossible to achieve with three kids clamoring for my attention, so around 11:00 this morning, I packed up a bag and headed out, in search of a location to study.

Since it was almost lunchtime, I decided that I should go somewhere to eat. Somewhere that I could sit, linger over my food undisturbed, read my assignments.... I then started having all these fond memories of college and late-night studying at Denny's. Lingering over my food? Sure. Undisturbed? Absolutely. And it would be a great trip down memory lane. So off I went, full of fond memories of my college friends.

Upon my arrival, I discovered my first mistake. Late nights at Denny's are ideal for college students because the place is basically empty. But apparently there are actually people who go there for Sunday brunch. So I actually had to wait for a table. Craziness! That was clearly not study time well spent. But I amused myself by contemplating how I'm just as tired at noon now as I was at midnight in college.....

Once I got settled in, I actually did get all my reading done while dining on my traditional platter of buffalo chicken strips. I also had an extreme confidence-building moment when my server, noting my textbook, binder full of notes, and the Butler t-shirt that I just happened to throw on today, asked me if I went to Butler. Um, no, I'm 31 years old and have 3 kids, thanks. But it was VERY flattering to be mistaken for a college student. :)

So I had a pretty good hour before running into two more problems. #1 - Denny's does not have WiFi, so I could not complete the rest of my assignments. #2 - my stomach does not handle buffalo chicken strips as well now as it did back when I was in college for real. Ugh.

I then decided to relocate to the Speedway library, which was just a couple of streets over. Upon arriving, though, I discovered that it is closed on Sundays. Grr. Back in the car, back to Brownsburg. I then headed to the Brownsburg library, which I knew from previous experience was open on Sundays.... and which I learned, upon arrival, was closed for Labor Day weekend.

I got back in the car, did some intense grumbling about how it was ridiculous that I couldn't actually find a library where I could study for my library classes, and drove to Starbucks, where I drowned my sorrows in a $5 frappucino, used their WiFi network for many hours, and did lots of productive work.

Ah, for the good old days of college, where all the distractions were of my own making!

Friday, September 03, 2010

A Family Album

I would have to say that "The Freshman" by The Verve Pipe was easily one of Top 10 Definitive Songs of My High School Years. It was a great song. Still is. But I hadn't really heard anything about the Verve Pipe since then. Come to find out, they've been around all along and have actually done several albums that I missed. But what makes me wildly over-the-top happy is their newest album, appropriately titled "A Family Album," which my SIL Jill and BIL Jim introduced us to this past weekend.

I love it. Ben loves it. Our kids love it. I seriously cannot wait for Tuesday, when the girls start preschool, so that I can start waking them up every morning to the song "Wake Up." The other day in the car, I actually caught both Bryn and Shay headbanging to "Be Part of the Band" with no prompting from me whatsoever. Bryn, like her aunt Jill, is rather partial to "Cereal," while Shay's favorite is "Suppertime!" and my favorite is "When One Became Two."

For anyone who loved "The Freshman" back in high school--you've got to check this out. For anyone who has young kids--you've got to check this out. For anyone who is looking for a breath of fresh air--you've got to check this out. Yeah, that's you.

You can listen to all the songs and read the lyrics online. Let me know what you think! Here's the link:

Thursday, September 02, 2010

6 Months

I can hardly believe it, but my little man turned six months old yesterday. He decided to finish out five months in style, and within the last week, he has moved up to size 6-9 month onesies, cut his first tooth (bottom right), and babbled "da da da da da" so much that this jealous mama can no longer deny his first word (even though he doesn't seem to say it any more often in reference to Ben than to anything else). He's eating (and loving) both rice and oatmeal cereals, and we're just waiting for the official green light at his six-month check-up before starting fruits and veggies. He's pretty consistent about one short nap in the morning and a good long one in the afternoon, although he does occassionally take additonal short ones on top of that. He's a very laid-back kid and tends to just roll with the punches--exactly what we need with two little drama queens as older sisters! He's our smiley boy and really is just the best little guythere ever was. We love you, Liam!

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Trip Highlights: Storytime

No matter what attractions or outings any trip may hold, the best part of any visit with family is always seeing the kids get some good, old-fashioned cuddle time with grandparents, aunts, and uncles. And if that cuddle time happens to involve reading, then all the better! :)

Trip Highlights: Where a Kid Can Be a Kid

With that title, I think you can all guess where we took the kids for dinner...
Who knew that chanting "Chuck E. Cheese! Chuck E. Cheese!" from the backseat was actually an inborn skill?"

Trip Highlights: Visit to the Zoo

As I said earlier, I neglected to pack my camera cord on our trip to visit Ben's family, so I'm just now getting around to loading pictures. I thought I'd put up a few posts today with some pictures. Here are a few of my favorites from our trip to the Potowatomie Zoo.

Riding a statue of a giant turtle:

Wishing he could be out running around with his sisters:

Girls getting loved on by their Aunt Jill and Uncle Jim:

Me and the girls with the sleepy lions: