Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Last minute shopping and holiday cards

Yesterday we headed to a big superstore to finish up some shopping (you know the one... starts with a W, ends with mart). Considering this is the last weekend before Christmas - what could make this trip just a little more bearable? I know - dress like a cowboy! That is exactly what brother decided when he appeared ready to go after we told him he had to go get dressed. The outfit started out normal enough; long sleeve sky blue t-shirt, red warm-up pants with grey stripes (ok - not a great combo - but not horrible), but then... cowboy boots, leather-fringed vest, and cowboy hat. Of course - no one at the store blinked. He fit right in.
I think most of our Christmas cards have gone out - so here are a couple shots that made the card. If you haven't received yours... I most likely don't have your address or else I just tracked it down and it was mailed on Friday. My laptop crashed and I lost all of my addresses a few months ago. Or - perhaps I have never had your address - just email me and I'll send you a card. ;)

Friday, December 14, 2007


Overheard last night as Brother got dressed after his bath:

Brother: No, no [Little Bitty] - you can't touch that. That's my penis. You don't have a penis. You have a DIVINEJULA (said very slowly and carefully as if making sure she got the correct pronunciation).
We have made an effort to teach Brother the correct names for things, including body parts. However, I didn't correct him on this. 1) I think his word for it is rather nice. 2) I don't think I'm ready to hear him repeat the actual word for it.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Ah, December is here...

I wish I could post pictures of our children today (our camera is on the fritz)... they are both in jammies for the second (or is it third) day straight. They are sick with fevers, coughs, runny noses, vomiting here and there, and some scoots (my euphemism for a different bodily function). It is not pretty around our house. For some reason the nights are much worse. Why is that? Daytime comes and it would be nice if they would hunker down on the couch and watch movies. But, instead they muster the energy to want to be superheroes (Brother) and clean out cabinets (Little Bitty). Then night comes and they are again listless little hotboxes with an occasional coughing spasm or puke. Bless their hearts.

In other news, we are busy preparing for Christmas. We took our annual "Walk Through Bethlehem" this weekend which is a very cool production that a local church does here one day each December. It is very elaborate and an amazing amount of work for one day. We all look forward to it and Brother has learned a lot about Christmas (ok, so have I) from this event. However, I'm not sure he completely understands yet. I have a feeling that he thinks Bethlehem is located on the corner of Hillsboro and Woodmont. I also have a feeling that one of the other "travelers" is the source of this nasty virus in our house. I'm tired of always blaming it on daycare - I'm going to blame this one on Bethlehem.

Finally, is it wrong that Brother keeps talking about what he's "ordering" from Santa? Yes, I think it is. We are definitely working on the concept of the Season of Giving, which I think he actually understands. But his 4 year old self can't help himself when he starts thinking about what he wants Santa to bring. Yes, the list does include rubber lizards.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Just life stuff...

Little Bitty and I had a "Guatemama" playdate yesterday. We are so lucky in that there are a lot of adoptive families here and so many with children born in Guatemala. We met a couple new friends and saw some that we hadn't seen in awhile. They are all very cool mommies with adorable kids. However, within an hour of leaving the playdate - Little Bitty's cold had progressed to thick, green goo coming from both eyes and her nose and she was visibly miserable. The doc put her on a strong antibiotic - which is helping, although she's missing picture day at school. I say all this really in a long apology to any other mommies at the playgroup. I HOPE that we didn't infect any of your kids - I would not have brought her if I thought she had more than just a runny nose! I really don't want to be that nasty mom who drags her kids around sick.


What else is new? Let's see... Little Bitty has started loving being read to. It is so cute, she has her favorite little books that she brings me each night (Elmo's So Big, Backyardigans Hide and Seek, Pat the Bunny, Animal Parade). I love that she is enjoying books so much. I do find it strange that her favorite page in the animal book is the vulture and hyena. ?

The other thing is that Brother has started reading to Little Bitty. He'll only read the books that he's SURE of the words - and we aren't allowed to smile or comment how sweet it is... but it is really sweet.


Daddy has been at a conference this week - we have been missing him very much. He'll be back tomorrow and we have big plans of decorating for Christmas. Brother has already gotten his stocking out and filled it with his rubber lizards* and it now accompanies us everywhere. It's waiting in the car right now so that we'll have it when I pick him up from school this afternoon.

*I have had an inquiry as to where to find rubber lizards. We've had luck at Walmart, Walgreens, Publix, the Orlando Airport and my sister in law got some really cool ones at the Rainforest Cafe.


Lastly, I told Brother today that in January Grammy, Nonno, Zia and Uncle Pete are all coming for a visit. I commented that Uncle Pete had never been to our house before. Brother replied, "Well, he's in for a treat". I can't tell if my four year old has already mastered sarcasm - or if I'm doing an even better job at this mommy-business than I realize.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Good Times

Brother (calling from the bathroom): Mommy, can you come check on me?

Mommy: Why? Are you done?

Brother: No, but I have a surprise waiting for you.

Mommy (somewhat reluctantly): Ok.

Brother (sitting on the pot, as Mommy opens the door): Look...I can wiggle my nostrils now.

Mommy (relieved, watching the accomplishment): Oh, that is a surprise. Good job!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving - more pics

Happy Thanksgiving.
Well, let's husband is the best spouse and daddy that I can ever even imagine. My kids are so stinkin' cute and unique and loveable (I don't care if I'm biased - I'm just glad I feel that way). Our extended family is all happy, healthy, supportive and loving. That's all that matters. And I am thankful.

More pictures ~
Family hiking at park in our town - beautiful fall day!


Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Some pictures...

Not a lot to write about - but some pictures to share. Not much going on for Thanksgiving... but our little family will have a good one (if Mommy gets to the grocery store today). I've been twice this week already - but haven't felt like tackling the Turkey, etc. shopping. But, as we've previously determined, I work best under pressure.
Now - for the pictures! Edited: more pictures to come in another post. Blogspot is being persnickety right now.

Daddy and the kids making Snoopy Snow Cones, how fun is that?!

Brother's newest addition, "Stubby". Yes, each rubber lizard has a name.

Eating spaghetti - always a challenge...

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Another hectic Mommy Moment, but all is good.

Yesterday Brother and Little Bitty and I had a delightful play-time at an indoor play area after we picked Brother up from school. They both played hard and had a lot of fun. But - have you ever stayed somewhere about 5 minutes too long? First, had we left a little earlier - I would not have seen that one of the other play area attendees had po-po'd her pants (she was like six or so!) And the subsequent chicken buying experience may not have been so unbearable. It was hot, crowded and after I ordered and paid I saw the 83% rating on the wall - it was stamped "Follow up Scoring" - apparently 83 was an improvement. (And this was not some run down KFC, people. This was the "nicer" chicken place with the cute cows..."eat mor chiken", no thanks.) I had told the kids we would get the food to go - so we stood in the cramped waiting area with me holding Little Bitty because she's at the stage that you can't set her down unless you're prepared to chase her and pry other people's chicken out of her hands. They gave us our drinks and condiments and we waited and waited for the food. Finally, as they are setting our bags of food on the counter, Little Bitty had had enough and she began to wrestle the open bottle of milk I was letting her sip on away from me. At that point, it somehow slipped and flew through the air landing and bouncing - completely spraying and giving a good milk bath to the man in front of us (seriously, all up the back of his pants). As I apologized all over the place and tried to lamely clean the milk up (off the floor - not off his pants) with napkins and my foot (Little Bitty is still in my arms)... Brother yells from across the eating area, "Oh oh, Mommy - something spilled." He has squeezed a mayonnaise packet until it popped and has mayo all over his shirt, hand, table and glass divider. I think said chicken place should thank me for distracting all the customers to the point that most of them may not have noticed their low inspection rating.

I know my last post had a similar waiting-in-line-and-the-kids-are-so-hard-to-handle story... and I really am not one of these people that think being a mom is SO HARD and dread taking them anywhere. When we got home I was mainly laughing as I told Daddy about it. I have two beautiful happy, healthy kids - and honestly - they didn't spill milk or mayo on ME - so, it's all good. :)

On a completely different random note - does anyone find it odd that every time I listen to the radio here I hear the song Funky Cold Medina? Sure, I like some Ton Loc as much as the next girl - but really - every day? Does he live in this town or something? What is going on?

Monday, November 12, 2007

Work-life balance

It has been 2 1/2 years now that I've been working from home. I appreciate the fact that my company does this SO much - so I try not to complain about having to actually do the work. However, the biggest adjustment - or risk - to working at home is that it is hard to separate the two (home and work) and devote complete separate time to both. I find myself procrastinating on work projects because I know I can cram and get it done at some point - since it is all right there at my house. Case in point - I was up until 2am last night finishing something that HAD to be done by this morning and should have been done a week ago. Some of the "work hours" over the last week have been instead devoted to reorganizing bookshelves and making some cute hand-stamped Thank You cards for Brother's b-day gifts.

I had a professor in grad school tell us to think about our study habits from our undergrad years... and then realize that these will also be our study habits for grad school because just because we were now older, it didn't mean we had suddenly changed our ways. He was so right - and apparently now that I'm even older, I still haven't changed my ways. Ah well - I'm perfect in other ways. ;)


In family news we had a nice weekend. Brother and Little Bitty had a date with Daddy on Saturday (while I "worked") and went to the Nature Center and then to see The Bee Movie. Our Little Bitty did great at her first theatre movie - Daddy said the only time she fussed was when Brother wanted a sip of the shared soda.

Daddy worked on Sunday but Brother, Little Bitty and I joined him for lunch and then went to Michaels for some baskets to help organize some of my shelves that suddenly jumped to the top of my "to do" list with my looming work deadline. Michaels was packed for some reason and we entertained the whole mass of waiting people by Brother telling me a long, involved superhero story (think Neverending Story with Spiderman, Woody from Toys, and a donkey somehow involved) - all the while Little Bitty yelled "Dada!" into my cell phone and ran from rack to rack "gently" touching everything she could reach then placing most items on the floor then laughing as Mommy scrambled to replace them, tried to catch her, not lose the place in line, and feign interest at the very animated story being shouted at me. Times like that make me laugh so much - I feel like I'm in a movie about a busy mom and I admittedly get a little stressed at points with it all... but really I LOVE IT!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

I found a chicken nugget in my purse.

That was about two weeks ago. So, this past week when I was traveling for work - I'm sure I looked pretty nervous when the airport security guard told me they needed to search my purse. They had run it through the scanner twice and couldn't figure out some object showing on the screen. I mentally reviewed the list of things I had recently removed; before-mentioned nugget, magnifying glass, three pacifiers, rubber lizard, drug samples from my MD sister, tiny hair brush, multiple tiny hair accessories... the list goes on. This was after our trip to Florida. Now - on my way to Charlotte I was sans kids and having these random things in my possession may come across as bazaar. I told the guard - "there is no telling what you'll find, last week I found a chicken nugget". She laughed - and pulled out an apparently threatening looking ball-point pen (coated in nugget-type crumbs). Shew - that was close.


A couple pictures from the Pump It Up Birthday Extravaganza (we have many more - but I don't want to post publicly because they all have other people's kids in them):

Saturday, November 3, 2007

A good read

Wanted to share this link to an article in the Washington Post. Most of you reading have probably already heard this spiel from me or others and know not to listen to the one-sided media coverage on happenings in Guatemala adoptions. But, if you're interested or want a good article to pass on about the threat to international adoptions...Slamming the Door on Adoption -
check this out.

Four years ago today...

I woke up, five days overdue, determined to meet our son. I had been having pretty consistent contractions since the night before and was doing all I could to keep them going. We headed on foot to the local coffee shop at about 6:00 am and after walking about 1.5 miles we arrived back at the house, contractions still coming... but not in a way that I thought would birth a baby. But maybe - I speculated - this isn't as bad as some people make it seem.

Fast forward about 8 hours. We were at the hospital, checked in and waiting for our son to make his arrival. It felt surreal - it still does as I remember it. We had been to ALL the classes, and taking what we learned very seriously, we had packed our bags with games, magazines, music, movies - we were all set to have a delightful birthing experience. I thought that perhaps I'd even do it without pain medication. HA!

The surreal feeling continued as I agreed to an epidural relatively early on in the process - and as I developed complications that would require an emergency c-section. The memories from this part are somewhat disjointed, scary, a little panicked - and then, finally, the most intense relief and emotion I had ever felt (similar to getting that OUT of PGN phone call for those of you in the Guat adoption world). "Is he OK?" I cried, "Yes, he's perfect. He's huge. And he's perfect," my husband kept replying.

And he was - perfect. We had a couple names picked out - but when we met him - we knew right away which one was for him. He stared up at me when I held him that night. He was all swaddled up with a little hat on and about all I could see were his incredible blue eyes that looked so wise for this newborn baby. Now at four years old - he can still look at me with those eyes and capture my heart and attention in a mere second. I look back at him with wonder and I ask myself how I got so lucky. My little guy's answer is always, "God must really love you." I have struggled some with religion - but our two children are all the evidence I need to know that miracles happen and that, yes, God must really love me.

Happy Birthday, Brother! We love you, snuv you all the time.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

A Halloweeny Day

Preparing the pumpkin

Getting down and dirty, Daddy and Griffin create a masterpiece.

Dressed for the big day - MiniMouse and "Batman dressed as Superman"

Ready to head out for the Trick-or-Treating - check out Daddy and Brother's finished pumpkins! Pictures don't do them justice...I think we may take our show on the road soon (I'll cook the chili - they carve the pumpkins).

Little Bitty caught on pretty quickly to the Trick-or-Treating and was soon leaving the rest of us in her dust as she headed to the next house!

A Princess and her little treasures.
The Ghost of Red Sox Past and Brother. Yes, Halloween was a family affair this year.
Back at the bat-cave, Daddy demonstrates to brother the correct way to eat a pixistick. Note the ghosts hanging throughout the house in the background - this was one festive Halloweeny place.
Little Bitty demonstrates the correct way to eat a lollipop.

Little Bitty has just brought me her wet diaper. She laid it on my lap and then took off. Bare bum and all. That's my cue to stop blogging and start parenting.
One last question - on a scale from 1 - 10 how bad is it to oversleep and miss your scheduled parent-teacher conference? Is the offense reduced if your child is not quite 4 yet and you know he has many more conferences to come? How about if you took time off yesterday to participate in the class Halloween party?

Sunday, October 28, 2007

A Red Ribbon Night

Well, the night of the Festival started out with high hopes - my chili was gone within a half an hour while the 20+ other pots were still full. I thought I had the blue ribbon in the bag. Ah well, second place isn't bad. It will give me something to strive for next year. I joked with one mom that I only have about 3 more years to get the blue ribbon - otherwise we'll have to hold Little Bitty back from Kindergarten so that I can keep competing at their preschool. Luckily, she knew I was joking. Another mom who suggested I enter in the State Fair - to which I replied, "Oh yea - maybe I can work my way up to a National Championship" - did not respond with a laugh. She merely nodded in agreement. My friends who remember the days when fixing the rice for our dinner "parties" was more than I could handle - would see the humor in this.

Mommy, Brother and Little Bitty posing with our Red Ribbon

The pumpkin muffins that Brother and I made to sell at the bake sale. Thanks, Michelle!

Little Bitty the morning after the big Festival @ Shoneys. She reminds me of a college student the day after a big party. ;)


On a completely different note and tone... the following goes under "speculations of an adoptive mommy". It has nothing to do with chili or muffins. Thankfully, right?

Since Little Bitty arrived home I have put her to bed by lying down next to her. This routine started off in Mommy and Daddy's bed and then I'd move her to her crib once she was asleep. Then, since we've moved her to her twin mattress we do our snuggle routine in her room. It has been so interesting to see the way our snuggling has progressed. In the beginning, she always wanted me there - but she would face away from me and not really want to be touched at all. At the time, I didn't think this had anything to do with bonding - I just thought it was how she liked to sleep. Then, several months ago - she started backing up into me right before she was reading to drift off to sleep. She would wiggle her way into a "spooning" position and then be asleep within a minute. I cherished this little change of habit. I rocked Brother to sleep for at least a year when he was a baby and it felt a little odd to have her fall asleep out of my arms. Well, this past week or so - she's decided to get even closer. Now, she hangs out on the bed until she's about ready to fall asleep and then rolls over facing me and wraps both little arms around my neck. She's even started trying to use my face as a pillow at times. It's like she can't get close enough. Looking back on the progression - I think it has been part of her bonding process. And it is so cool. There is nothing better than being next to someone and realizing, without a doubt, that they love you as much as you love them.

Friday, October 26, 2007

From the mind of a Supermom

Yesterday was one of those days when I marveled (for a short time) at what a wonderful mother I am. I was productive at my job during the day - all while caring for Little Bitty - who played nicely with her toys, did some drawing, and actually watched very little TV. Then, we picked Brother up from school a little early and went to a cool local toy store that has a haunted hallway. I escaped the store only spending $1.12 - we bought one sour gummy lizard and one lollipop (you guess who picked out what). Then, we came home and Brother and I made homemade pumpkin muffins for the bake sale at the Fall Festival at their school today. Then, I baked some chicken and gathered ingredients to start the crock pot full of chili that we're entering in the Chili Cook-Off at the Fall Festival (I was robbed and got 3rd place last year - I think I have a shot at the blue ribbon this year). Then, after getting Little Bitty to sleep - I designed and printed off some very cute invitations for Brother's upcoming birthday party at the local Pump It Up. Right when I felt a little too good about my Supermom-ness I took one of the invitations up to show Brother (who was reading in bed with Daddy). I waited for his little face to light up with excitement at my creation. His reaction? He burst into tears and told me he didn't like them. He wanted Backyardigans invites that you color yourself. ?! Who knew. We reached a compromise (something he is learning very well - or am I the one learning it?) and his school friends are getting the cute-custom made ones and I'll get some Backyardigans ones for some neighbors we're inviting. It's fine... but if anyone bursts into tears after trying my chili tonight - I'm done.

Here are some random pics from the last week.

Brother added a new lizard to our family. This one clips on a key chain which is then fastened to his belt loop. He actually scored 4 new lizards total -
those deserve a post of their own. coming soon.

This is Little Bitty waiting for our train in Mt. Dora - I like this picture because she's double-nutzering. One in mouth - one in hand.

Family Train Photo. Here is Brother helping me make the pumpkin muffins. See his happy face? This was before I showed him his heinous birthday party invites. See Little Bitty in the background? Go to next photo.
Little Bitty was caught very carefully pouring her milk (from McDonalds - I left that part out of my Supermom story) into the muffins papers. She was so focused on it - I just let her do and cleaned the mess up later.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Out Of Sorts

Brother: Mommy, I'm feeling all out of sorts.
Mommy: You are, sweetie?
Brother: Yes... I think I only have about one or two sorts left.

I had the brief conversation above with Brother a couple months ago. Last week - I only had about one or two sorts left - and then Little Bitty used them up Wednesday night when she would only be consoled by the singing of Pablo, Uniqua, Tyrone, Austin and Tasha (on the mini-DVD player in our bed) until 4am. Note that this wasn't a spoiled toddler situation - her ear infection was apparently causing her pain that was alleviated only by the sweet voices of The Backyardigans.

Luckily, we left for Florida Thursday where we had a delightful visit with family, an awesome time at the wedding and a lot of great food and drink. So, we returned Sunday night with all of our sorts and ready to get back in our groove. Thank goodness that groove has included Little Bitty sleeping all night (whether it is mostly on her little mattress or in our bed is unimportant - it's sleep!)

Today we visited the pediatrician for Little Bitty's 15 month check-up. She's still on the small side of average (except for her big melon), but growing well and very healthy. Plus, the doc assured me that shh, dkk, and brrrr are actually words when used consistently. So, I guess she is talking quite a bit. She has mastered "DADDA" - and it is usually followed by a squeal and laugh - which is about all that anyone could ask for. I even got a couple "mama's" last week - although they were followed by sobs and outstretched arms... but I'll take it. ;)

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

On the mend and off to Florida

We are leaving for Florida tomorrow. We are lucky that Brother and Little Bitty's grandparents all live in pretty cool places. Therefore trips to go see the family are also vacation-like. So, tomorrow we will be arriving at Grammy and Nonno's house for some R&R and a lot of fun. We will also get to spend the weekend with a lot of extended family as our cousin is getting married (and his fiancee is also a good family friend)! Fun weekend ahead!

So, we're busy packing. So far, we've packed the usual; wedding attire, poolside attire, shorts, t-shirts, pajamas, comfy travel clothes... and 7 or 8 costumes. Because it's close to Halloween? No, just because costumes are awesome. I loved overhearing Daddy convincing Brother that with all the costumes he already had in his little suitcase, the cowboy hat just would NOT fit.


Little Bitty is finally using walking as her primary mode of movement again. I think her five-day ear infection and fever slowed the healing process down a bit since she just did not feel like moving anyway - let alone with a hurt leg. But, today she was showing signs of being the little firecracker that she is.

Nutzer? Check. Cowboy Hat? Check. Red Lollipop from several hours ago? Check.

Red cape to be a superhero like Brother? Check. The Little Bitty is back in business!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

The Never-EVER-ending Story

We checked out this movie (The Neverending Story) at the library last week. For those who aren't familiar with it, it is an early 80's (I think) kid's adventure movie. I thought Brother would enjoy it - he did. Despite having to have Daddy or me help him cover his eyes at some parts, he was totally engrossed with the whole adventure. And now - Atrayu lives with us. He fights wolves with knives. Valcor, the flying luck-dragon joins us everywhere we go. Artez, the warrior horse is also in our home. Daddy and Atrayu have had some ferocious wrestling matches as they try to save the world. The good in all this (other than the joy and excitement of Brother having a new adventure to act out) - I get to be known as "Empress" now. I'm kind of getting used to it.


In other news, Little Bitty is still not walking. She has resumed crawling and will pull and stand holding on to stuff - but the leg is still obviously giving her pain. Yesterday after a dose of Motrin she did take some steps and walk a little... but this morning she hasn't used her leg at all. The doc said to give it until Tuesday. She was also up for A LOT of the night last night very fussy and with a slight fever. I think it is a teething thing. The great thing about being a parent?
This is all just part of it and when she was wide awake at her usual early hour this morning - grinning, laughing and wanting me to get up and play - she was completely irresistible. I think we love each other even more today after our rough night together. Our Little Bitty is a joy even when she's not at her best.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

The immobile Little Bitty

She didn't want to go down the twisty tunnel slide but since we like to "foster a sense of adventure in our kids" - I put her on my lap and away we went anyway. She stuck her leg out part way down to try to stop us.

The x-rays didn't reveal any breaks in her leg, but the doctor said at this age it sometimes takes several days for a break to show on the x-ray. Hopefully, it is just some sort of strain and in a few days she'll be walking (or at least crawling!) again and we won't have to get more x-rays. Our poor Little Bitty.

Interestingly enough - it seems that Brother experienced the most trauma from the injury. He was not at all happy when the radiology tech told him he couldn't stand with Little Bitty and me while she got the x-rays taken - and when they had me don the rubber and lead vest he proceeded to scream and sob repeatedly from the other room (he could see us as he was only about 8 feet away standing in an open doorway), "DON'T WEAR THE VEST MOMMY, DON'T WEAR IT!!!" I still haven't figured out if he thought the vest was somehow going to hurt me... or if it was just that offensive to a little man with such keen fashion sense (you've seen the wardrobe). At any rate, his meltdown was really something to behold and the three radiology techs (and Little Bitty) all gave me sympathetic little smiles and pats on the back as we left. I kept saying things like, "geez - he doesn't usually act like this... wow, he must be tired... hmmm, someone must really be ready for lunch...etc." They weren't believing a word of it, they obviously thought that my sweet little guy has some real issues - which he doesn't - he just REALLY didn't like that vest.

Carla - you about ready for that FedEx shipment? ;)

No pictures to share at this point. I'll try to take some tomorrow of Little Bitty and myself lounging on the couch eating bon bons. Which reminds me of the good news - at 15 months - our Little Bitty finally topped 20lbs!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

My stroke of genius and some pumpkins

First - my stroke of genius. Brother is what some may call a picky eater. I'm still hoping it is just his age. But for now, it is a real struggle to get him to try even a bite of many of the things I make for dinner. I recently offered him $1000 to eat one green bean. He declined. (I know that he has no concept of a $1000 yet - hence the offer.) We've also tried the "you will sit here until you try at least a bite" and "yum... this broccoli is really great dipped in ranch, try it... just one bite" none of this has really worked. The ploy that DID work last night - we pretended that each bite of dinner was something that either "Survivor Man" or "Man vs. Wild" might have to eat. So, broccoli with ranch - gross. A chicken beak cooked over an open fire - not bad. I gloated over my "stroke of genius" as Brother ate several bites of his dinner. My husband's reply was "yes - if that's the route we want to take... trickery and games." Umm - yes, it is!

Our trip to the pumpkin patch was great. Brother and Little Bitty had a lot of fun despite the 90 degree heat. Thankfully, we did get to skip the hayride because Brother had no interest in it... I think he's catching on that the thought of a hayride is really more fun than the ride itself. Kind of like horse-back riding - or skiing. Now - a bunch of pictures highlighting the day.

Little Bitty on a little bitty John Deer
Brother on a tire swing
The best picture out of about eight tries in this pose
This one taken by Brother!
Picking some good ones
Brother and the outhouse
Little Bitty taking playing in the corn very seriously
This is my favorite - Brother is the best big brother anyone could ever ask for!