Monday, March 31, 2008

book meme

I just saw this on a random blog and it looked fun...

The rules of the meme are:
Pick up the nearest book of 123 pages or more. No cheating!
Find page 123
Find the first 5 sentences
Post the next 3 sentences
Tag 5 people

Since my computer is in our "library" i'm surrounded by books. but the one that is actually laying on the desk is "The NEW Language of Toys: Teaching Communication Skills to Children with Special Needs" (i just pulled it out b/c i'm going to start a speech therapy tip blog for moms--> check it out soon ).

Anyway, here is my book meme:

"'Let's see if you can tell me what they are. Great-that's her eyes and her mouth and that one is her nose.' (You repeat them only after your child has already told them to you)."

For context the above quote is from the 24 to 36 month section on tips for using Mr. Potato Head to work on expressive language.

I tag:
Erin M.
Sarah N.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

My Pride and Joy

(i've been processing this topic over the past weeks but today's sermon put it together for me...)

Most parents take pride in their children. right?
BUT...Can pride in your children be wrong?
Do we take pride in our children b/c they are extensions of us and we are really taking pride in ourselves?

Matthew 20:1-16 is the story of a landowner who pays the same amount to workers whether they worked all day or only an hour. Of course the workers who slaved away all day were upset at the "unfairness" of the deal. Some of the workers work less but were paid the same. The ones who worked the longest were unhappy b/c they thought they deserved more. Their pride collided with the grace of the landowner.

As parents we often do the same...we compare our children against other children. We take pride in them if they do something better than another child. We get unhappy if our kids don't measure up to other kids.

In Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis he discusses pride...He states that pride is essentially competitive, you always have more of something than someone else.

We compare our kids to others and are proud that they are smarter, sleep more, eat better, develop faster. Unfortuntely comparison, and the pride that results, makes people miserable. Any mom knows that it feels horrible to be in a conversation with another mom who is bragging about her child and your child doesn't measure up.

Comparison always leads to sin...either pride b/c your child is better or jealousy b/c your child is worse.

I realized in potty training Quade that i was so determined in him succeeding that i was ignoring his needs. As a parent my job is to love and to train him up in the way he should go. It's not to have him perform so i can look good. Once i relaxed and let him be who he was the process was so much more enjoyable.

If i walk in grace, not pride, I will rejoice when other children succeed.

If i walk in grace, not pride, my children can be who they are instead of being who i want them to be so others will be impressed.

If i walk in grace, not pride, i can be happy!

I'm not saying i have this all figured out or that i am walking in grace just yet, but fortunately God has grace on me. I can be happy b/c God is more than fair, He is in charge and generous to all!

Friday, March 28, 2008

Pet Shop Boys

Here are a couple of clips of my boys giving love to our poor, deprived kitty, Lincoln. She is usually attacked by our male cat, Jackson, and doesn't receive any attention from the adults in the household.

She has decided that Price is her new best friend b/c he just sits there and lets her rub up against him. Several times she has pushed so hard against him that she's pushed him over. They have a good reciprocal relationship...they each need the extra attention.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

I've been tagged...

7 things about me...
1) i'm currently completely sleep deprived.
2) i have eaten almost an entire bag of snack size milky ways...delicious!
3) i'm excited about the weather getting better so i can play some tennis. I started playing the end of last fall, after price was born and i loved it! Also, b/c i'm from the midwest i HAVE to be outside when it is's a compulsion. AND Bruce wants me to say that i'm obsessed with the weather and fully believe what the weather man says.
4) my favorite movie is "pirates of penzance"(with kevin kline), which most people haven't even heard's fabulously funny!
5) I started dating my husband when i was 18!! he was 34! (just kidding!)
6) a few of my nicknames include: "heater", "chloe", "lil' bottom" and "silly bottom"
7) my husband is the most beautiful thing in the world, after chocolate. (hmmm...i wonder who wrote this one).

Monday, March 24, 2008

source of fiber?

we went to the zoo last saturday with bruce's family and stopped to take pics of the grandkids with the gorilla sculptures. little did we realize at the time that price was picking up dirt and mulch and putting it his mouth! at least we've already started solids...

I didn't bring a swimsuit for the river area in the kids part of the zoo b/c i didn't think it would be warm enough...but ended up being beautiful and what kid can resist the water.
So...quade decided he wanted to strip down to his new undies...but he didn't appreciate me taking a picture. =)

Easter Egg Hunt

Bruce's family was in town for the holiday weekend. His family tradition is a big easter egg hunt. It used to be a bunch of adults battling it out over easter candy in small plastic eggs.

Now that there are 5 grandchildren the scene is slightly calmer and a lot cuter. =)

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Very little league?

last thursday price had playgroup at the cassells. Quade joined us b/c he didn't have mother's day out. I captured some pics and video of quade teaching the boys about baseball...precious! Quade: "this is called a bat. you use it to hit baseballs not babies"
Jack Henry, Price and Mason...excited about playing baseball (someday)
Jack Henry: "Hey price, can i be the pitcher?"
Price: "well, i don't know. i'll put in a good word for you with the coach."
Mason: "hey price, i was wondering if i could be catcher?"
Quade: "okay team this is what we're going to do..."

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Can i borrow a pen?

I realized today that i have too many things i need to remember. Most of these things are related to time. For instance:

  • Did price last eat?
  • Did price last sleep?
  • Did i give price his dose of pain med since he had vaccines yesterday?
  • Did i last take quade to the potty?
  • Was quade's last "accident"?
  • did quade last eat?

I use the microwave timer a lot...but come on! my brain can only remember soooo much!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Travel Tips

I have been planning on writing a post on this topic since our trip to florida, but this weekend's trip to San Fran gave me the final push. Before i forget all the things i've learned i want to write them down.

Buckle your seatbelts, here we gooooo!!

Bring an extra outfit for an infant...a long one-piece is good, doesn't take up a lot of space

  • Bring at least 4 infant diapers and 3 toddler diapers for a 2 1/2 to 4 hour flight
  • LOTS of snacks
  • early morning flights are best; take them straight from bed, keep them in their PJs!
When it's time for the infant to take a nap (or for red eye flights), make a bed under the seats. When you have to buy a seat for a toddler it's great b/c you can use the room under the toddler's seat to make a bed (don't have to worry about kicking the baby).
Bring your stroller with you to the gate and check it at the gate. If you're lucky you can have your toddler push the stroller (get his energy out and allow you to carry the luggage)
  • Have medications with you (tylenol, motrin, etc) in a plastic ziploc bag, to make it easier when you have to get it out for security and to reduce risk of spillage in your diaper bag
  • Have a diaper bag for infant's stuff and small backpack for toddler with his toys and snacks
  • To help entertain a toddler buy a couple new little toys, books or a new movie
  • Bring a DVD player or computer
  • Color wonder markers are awesome! They only mark on crayola colorwonder paper, so they won't leave marks on the airplane, but they can still color.

Getting through airplane security:

  • Have to take all liquids out of bag. they will let you take a sippy cup with milk in it and breast milk. make sure you just take them all out and put them in the tray.
  • Where shoes that slip on and off, when trying to hold a toddler and manage the bags you don't want to have to bend down and have to mess with getting your shoes on.
  • be prepared to take off your toddlers shoes. Also, we've been ask to take off quade's coat when he was a year old!


  • try to get a suite! (so you don't have to go to bed when the kids do)
  • Bring a sound machine
  • bring a monitor--especially if you don't have a suite. That way you can sit out in the hallway if you want to stay up and read
  • If you are giving bottles--> bring a bottle warmer, bottle brush & dishwashing soap. I put the brush and soap in a large ziploc bag to prevent spills.
  • Call ahead to request a crib, so you don't have to bring your pack 'n play. Also, we requested an extra crib mattress to use on the floor as a toddler bed.
  • If you need to store breast milk or other food, you can request a fridge at most major hotels (sheratons, hiltons, marriotts)


  • If you are renting a car, check into renting car seats as well. It costs $10 a day per carseat. So you have to make the decision based on the length of your trip whether it's worth hassling with bringing your own carsesats.
  • If you bring your own carseats make sure to get a carseat cover bag (you can get them at Toys'r us)


  • You may want to buy your diapers and wipes and baby food when you arrive at your destination.
  • OR you can have family/friends buy things for you.

That's all i can remember for now. Please feel free to add your own tips in the comments section!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

what's in a name


I'm not potty trained!

I'm Quade!!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Building great cathedrals

My mom just sent me this in an email and it is the perfect encouragement to burnt-out moms, enjoy.

For mommies who cry inside,
smile outside,
and somehow find time to fold clean socks in the middle of it all.

I'm invisible.

It all began to make sense, the blank stares, the lack of response, the way one of the kids will walk into the room while I'm on the phone and ask to be taken to the store. Inside I'm thinking, 'Can't you see I'm on the phone?' Obviously not. No one can see if I'm on the phone, or cooking, or sweeping the floor, or even standing on my head in the corner, because no one can see me at all.

I'm invisible.

Some days I am only a pair of hands, nothing more: Can you fix this? Can you tie this? Can you open this? Some days I'm not a pair of hands; I'm not even a human being. I'm a clock to ask, 'What time is it?' I'm a satellite guide to answer, 'What number is the Disney Channel?' I'm a car to order, 'Right around 5:30, please.'

I was certain that these were the hands that once held books and the eyes that studied history and the mind that graduated summa cum laude - but now they had disappeared into the peanut butter, never to be seen again.

She's going ... she's going .... she's gone!

One night, a group of us were having dinner, celebrating the return of a friend from England . Janice had just gotten back from a fabulous trip, and she was going on and on about the hotel she stayed in. I was sitting there, looking around at the others all put together so well. It was hard not to compare and feel sorry for myself as I looked down at my out-of-style dress; it was the only thing I could find that was clean. My unwashed hair was pulled up in a banana clip and I was afraid I could actually smell peanut butter in it. I was feeling pretty pathetic, when Janice turned to me with a beautifully wrapped package, and said, ' I brought you this.' It was a book on the great cathedrals of Europe . I wasn't exactly sure why she'd given it to me until I read her inscription:
'With admiration for the greatness of what you are building when no one sees.'

In the days ahead I would read - no, devour - the book. And I would discover what would become for me, four life-changing truths, after which I could pattern my work:
* No one can say who built the great cathedrals - we have no record of their names.
* These builders gave their whole lives for a work they would never see finished.
* They made great sacrifices and expected no credit..
* The passion of their building was fueled by their faith that the eyes of God saw everything.

A legendary story in the book told of a rich man who came to visit the cathedral while it was being built, and he saw a workman carving a tiny bird on the inside of a beam. He was puzzled and asked the man, 'Why are you spending so much time carving that bird into a beam that will be covered by the roof? No one will ever see it.' And the workman replied, 'Because God sees'

I closed the book, feeling the missing piece fall into place. It was almost as if I heard God whispering to m e, 'I see you. I see the sacrifices you make every day, even when no one around you does. No act of kindness you've done, no sequin you've sewn on, no cupcake you've baked, is too small for me to notice and smile over. You are building a great cathedral, but you can't see right now what it will become.' At times, my invisibility feels like an affliction. But it is not a disease that is erasing my life It is the cure for the disease of my own self-centeredness. It is the antidote to my strong, stubborn pride.

When I really think about it, I don't want my son to tell the friend he's bringing home from college for Thanksgiving, 'My mom gets up at 4 in the morning and bakes homemade pies, and then she hand bastes a turkey for three hours and presses all the linens for the table.' That would mean I'd built a shrine or a monument to myself. I just want him to want to come home. And then, if there is anything more to say to his friend, to add, 'You're gonna love it there.'

As mothers, we are building great cathedrals. We cannot see if we're doing it right. And one day, it is very possible that the world will marvel, not only at what we have built, but at the beauty that has been added to the world by the sacrifices of invisible women.

Friday, March 7, 2008


SOOOO excited to wake up to snow
(chicago friends...yes, this is considered a "big snow" in Dallas. schools are closed.)
unfortunately...not snowman today
Price's thought..."it's cold out here"
Quade's thought..."snow is cold"
But our hearts are still warm!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

9 years

March 6, 1999 ...we were babies!

It snowed on our wedding day. It's snowing here in Dallas 9 years later.

On this day i'm feeling nostalgic and want to remember some of the notable things of the past 9 years of marriage.

In 9 years we've lived a lot of great places: wheaton, san fran, chicago and dallas.
Chicago life...good times

Valentine's Day in Dallas 2004--i was soooo excited to see snow

We've also been able to travel to lots of wonderful places in the last 9 years: Hawaii, carribean, europe, south africa, south america, costa rica.

But our biggest accomplishment in the past 9 years was having two beautiful boys.

This year we celebrated our anniversary at lunch while Quade was at MDO. We went to Trulucks by bruce's work. We ordered our favorite dessert...the chocolate sack:
mmmm...chocolate, cake, nuts, fruit, chocolate chips...delicious!

These are the flowers that arrived at my door this afternoon. what a sweet husband.

Tonight...well, Bruce and my nephew are at the Mavs/Rockets game. Don't worry it's okay, we're going out tomorrow night. AND Bruce treats me like a princess pretty much every day of the year, so i'm not missing anything. =)

Sunday, March 2, 2008


The past week it has seemed likes the boys have experienced some major milestones...i want to make sure to document them.

Price starts solids!

child labor at it's best

Quade's 2 1/2 birthday!

Price sits up!

doing good!


that's better

Quade's 1st real painting

He told us it's a "dragon"...once he said that i can't stop seeing a dragon when i look at this picture. bruce and i agree it was unintentional, but we still found it amusing.

Price uses the exersaucer (aka "overstimulation station")

I saved the best for last:

Quade went poo-poo on the potty! (only a parent can understand the significance of this event...all my non-mommy friends are disgusted at this point in the post). WARNING: Yes there is a picture! =)


The boys checking out the river

I realized i am way behind in my "blogging" (a new verb). So here we go...

so sweet! we love this stroller, btw

Last weekend I had my BIG EVENT of the year...the 3 days in which i am not a stay-at-home mom. It's the convention for all Texas Speech-language pathologists and audiologists. I spoke 2x and was in charge of our grassroots booth (signing convention attendees up in our new software and sending emails to our legislators).

Anyway, this year the TSHA convention was in San Antonio. Since i am still nursing Price we decided to have my mom come and watch the boys with me down in San Antonio.

my mom took the boys to the San Antonio children's museum, quade loved it

She needs to receive a reward for all she went through over the weekend: cancelled flight, lost baggage (staying up until 3 am waiting for it), long drive to and from San Antonio, watching a toddler and an infant for an entire day (7:30 am to 6 pm) and THEN getting food poisoning and having to watch a toddler and an infant between bathroom visits.

Quade enjoyed his room service breakfast...especially the 'hat'

Price enjoyed rolling under the bedskirt

Fortunately, the convention was a huge success. It revived a desire of mine to work in a university, teaching and working with students. It also felt soooo good to use my brain again and discuss research, etc with my "collegues".

Enjoying our free riverboat ride

THANK YOU MOM for letting me get my break in the series of 362 days of staying at home! (363 days this year i guess...leap year). This is the only pic I got of mom the whole weekend: