Friday, July 31, 2009

Life As a Little Brother

Someday I'm sure they'll tell tales of how their big sister tortured them... but today they loved it.



The fun did suddenly turn to a lot of screaming. Brian and I I went into the room to see what was going on and Matt was desperately trying to get his shirt on (which was really upsetting Kirsten). Brian told her to let him get dressed and huge tears rolled down her cheeks as she cried, "If he puts on his shirt I can't get the tutu on! He won't look like a real ballerina!" (Brian had to leave the room because he couldn't stop laughing and it wasn't helping the situation.)

Finally! Our Friday Fun

At the end of July I declared to everyone I know that I would be at the beach every Friday morning for the rest of the summer. "The more the merrier! We'll be there so feel free to join us!" Except we never made it. Kirsten got sick, the boys had shots, there were swim meets, vacation, and rainy days. Yesterday I realized I only have TWO more Fridays of my summer left. (That does NOT make me happy.) BUT today we finally made it to the beach with a large group of friends. That does make me happy.

I think this picture should be captioned "Little Men At Work". I think it is so cute. I love all the little boys surrounded by trucks and shovels. The moment we arrived they all got to work. It was so cute and they all played so nicely together.

Our little blondies also had a great time together.

We were determined to get a group shot of the kids. Finally, we decided to just drop them down in the sand and run out of the way. I think this one came really good!

...and this one just cracks me up. I took about seven of the group shots and most of them are much more like this :)

If you are looking for me next Friday I will absolutely, positively be at the beach! Really. I promise.

K. Love

This is your newest nickname. I've been calling you this quite a bit recently and your brothers have quickly picked up on it. Danny is often found outside your bedroom door yelling, "K. Love! K. Love! Home, K. Love?"

You turned eight this month, something I'm still having a hard time wrapping my head around. Eight is big. It's the age of reason and accountability, the beginning of "middle childhood", and a 'tween. I feel like you are on the brink. You are examining things and figuring them out... teetering between intellect and innocence. For example, last week we had a very serious discussion about God. You told me that when you pray, you aren't sure if God is "really talking" back to you or if it is your imagination. We had a long talk about listening to your conscience and being quiet and faithful. At the end of our very serious discussion you told me, with twinkling eyes, that you think God is telling you to ask for some ice cream. I love you so much.

You and Daddy have enjoyed many summertime slurpees over the past few weeks, a new treat and a new little ritual for you two to share. Daddy and I take great delight when you pronounce them as "shooshies". At first I think it was a legitimate mispronunciation and we so love these last "baby" moments. Now you seem to be humoring us each time you say it. Whatever, we'll still take it :)

Your joy and kindness is infectious. You took every bit as much delight in the birthdays of Daddy and I as you did in your own. Each day was met with a before dawn wake-up call because you can't sleep when you're excited. You squeal and jump up and down when others open gifts and make every moment more special. You pray for Sarah each morning and each night and used your birthday wish to hope she would "get better and not be scared,". You're already trying to grow your hair for a wig donation again and you keep offering it to Sarah. It is so, so precious.

You can't wait to start third grade and you are thrilled with the idea that the boys will be attending "baby school". You've enjoyed every moment of being outside this summer and make sure that I plan "something fun" for us to do each day. You can't get enough of the water and have really developed your swimming skills this summer. You are obsessed with the weather channel and can sing karaoke like a little rock star.

While you are "too big for princesses" you are not to big to cuddle in my lap and demand "rubbies". I hope you always feel and know my love for you, sweet girl. Sometimes I feel guilty that I don't really know what I'm doing as a parent... I feel like my motto is "Fake it until you make it,". I'm learning as I go with you and I pray for patience and guidance each night. Please know that every word I speak to you and every breath I take is filled with my unconditional love for you.

You, my sweet K. Love, are everything to me. I adore you always.


Thursday, July 30, 2009

...So if Matthew is My Sweetness, What Does That Make You Daniel? laughter. You are such a funny, strong-willed little boy. It's interesting, that while Matt is your twin, you and Kirsten seem to be the kindred spirits. You both have more energy, more opinions, and get into more predicaments than I ever imagined possible... but, oh how you make me laugh!

And while everyone says you are "all Taylor" and look "just like Daddy" this month you made it clear that you've got some Mommy in you as well. Everyday I get to greet a new freckle on your nose and you never stop talking. You use full 4word sentences and new words all the time. Usually to tell me exactly what you want me to do.

Me: Danny would you like a banana?
You: No Mamma... no banana. I want plum.
Me: You want a plum? (I had no idea you knew that word)
You: Yes Mamma. Plum. I like plum. No banana mama. NO banana! PLUM PLEASE!

You are constanly calling, "Mama, come here" in a sing-songy voice, but whenever I call you, you answer "One minute. One minute Mama okay? Okay one minute?"

You love to pretend you are talking on the phone and toy phones have become completely unacceptable. You grab any (real) phone you can find and have entire conversations. "Hello? Hello Mimi. Hello Grandpa. No. No Grandpa. Hello? Bye bye." Repeat. Over and over and over.

I've been trying to teach you and Matt to share for several months now and we have a little system that really works great. We all count to 6 (I don't know why it's 6 it just is) and then declare "Time to share!". It works every time. I don't know why but it's the best made-up parenting technique I've come up with yet. Anyway, you've really taken it to heart and if Daddy tries to keep his cell phone out of your reach you calmly begin counting, "One, Five, Six... Time to Share! SHARE Dada!!"

While we were on vacation your cousin Erin babysat with Brenna one night. After Kirsten and Matt were asleep they turned off all the lights and handed you their cell phones. They said you spent 45 minutes with a phone in each ear chatting away until you fell asleep. (Obviously not ALL Taylor :)

You love to sing in Kirsten's karaoke machine and get very annoyed when she won't let you use the loudest microphone. You think it's hilarious to pretend to bite me and to run away from me when I'm trying to get you dressed. After your bath each night I wrap you in a towel and spend a moment snuggling you and singing a sweet little song in your ear ("The Best Baby in the World"). I've been doing this since you were just a few months old. This month you've began singing along with me. You sing LOUD. It is so funny to hear you belt out this sweet, soft lullaby in your crazy toddler voice.

You are so funny and so adorable. You are growing up much too fast. I can't believe what a little boy you are now. Where did my baby go?

I love you so much, little buddy. More than you'll ever be able to imagine.


Pure Sweetness

That is how I think of you, my sweet Matty, sweetness personified. You are full of dimples and delight and I love you so.

This month you seem to have become even more affectionate. You've always loved to snuggle but now when I hug you, you stretch your tiny arms around me and squeeze back. To say you melt my heart is a major understatement.

You've always been "Daddy's boy" and if I ask you if you are "Mommy's baby" in his presence you insist, "No mama. No mama baby. DADDY." BUT when he's not around you cuddle into my lap, touch my face, and say "My mama." I'll take it.

In addition to being my sweetness, you are also my water baby. You LOVE the water. You love to go to the beach, jump into the pool, and push in everyone sitting on the edge. You still love to sing and dance and you are starting to really enjoy books. I love when you chose one of your favorites (often one that has musical buttons) and climb into my lap.

You and your brother talk so much now. It's really amazing to watch your language develop. Your favorite songs are "The Wheels On the Bus", "Row, Row, Row Your Boat", and "Old MacDonald" (or "Eee Aye Oh with a duck" as you like to call it).

You love to play with blocks and build some very impressive structures. Whenever anyone asks you what your building you say "Mamma's house". The moment Danny glances in your direction you start yelling "NO! Danny no!" but it never does any good. He can't resist knocking down your houses and happily puts himself in timeout afterwards. Although, you get him back by taking his pool toys (which he is very serious about) and flinging them as far across the pool as you can.

I'm enjoying watching the relationship between you two build so much. I love the way you call for him, "Da-eee". You woke up from your nap before Danny recently and kept asking for him. I told you we were going to go play and let Danny rest, to which you replied "Oh no!" with the most broken-hearted look. You continued to call for Danny every 2 or 3 minutes and finally decided to 'make a break for it' and run to the stairway screaming "Da-eee! Da-eee! Up! Please Up!". Slightly frustrating. Incredibly endearing.

You've learned to open the refrigerator, which has led to some interesting snacks. You often help yourself to some cheese, a tub of sour cream, or an entire tomato. How you are still so tiny I'll never understand. You NEVER stop eating.

We have been potty training this month and you've become quite accustomed to walking around without pants on. In fact, you often downright refuse to get dressed. However, you like to wear shoes. So it is not at all uncommon for someone to drop by the house and find you wearing nothing but sandals.

You make me laugh so often. Daddy accidentally called you by the wrong name yesterday and you turned to him, rolled your eyes, pointed to your chest and growled and said, "MATT. Dada me Matt." So funny.

Thank you for bringing joy to my life every single day. You are my sweetness and my love.


Our Chunky Monkey

There is nothing cuter that a chubby baby. I love it. I love the rolls of fat. I love the gigantic cheeks and thighs. Until recently Isaac was my favorite "little" guy. But then Tiffany let him become a toddler and he started thinning out. It was very, very sad.

Luckily, Luke has taken his place... And has he ever! My "little" nephew is four months old and a whopping 17+ lbs!! My boys weighed 16 lbs on their first birthdays! There is no danger of this chunky monkey winding up in the first percentile on growth charts like all his cousins!

As Chelsea Handler (my favorite late night talk show host) would say, "Now, I will leave you with 'Fat Baby'!"

**FYI: The pictures do NOT do him justice. He is wayyyyyy squishier in person :)

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

My Dream Job

Have you heard the saying, "If you do what you love you'll never work a day in your life,". It always makes me roll my eyes. Isn't that awful? I'm not a cynical person at all. But let's face it work is work.

I'm thinking a lot about going back to work... the countdown is on. It's been a good ride for over 2 years now and I know it's time... but I'm nervous. I'm nervous in that way that I always get when things are about to change. I don't like waiting. I wish the change would just get here already.

Then Brad Pitt said something stupid. I don't even remember what it was, but I was watching E! in the middle of the night (because that's what you do in the middle of the night if you can't sleep) and he said something stupid. I don't even remember what it was now... but it really irritated me at the time and led me to my epiphany.

I really like teaching. I really do. I find it fun and interesting. I enjoy being a part of the lives of these little people. I really like it. (But it is definitely work.)

So, anyway, Brad helped me figure out my dream job. I want to be a nanny... but, here's the kicker, I want to be a nanny for my own kids. Think about it for a minute. It's brilliant.

I was a nanny in college. I loved it. My job was to play. To sit on the floor and sing and play. To give my undivided attention to two tiny people. I got paid for it.

If I won the lottery the last thing in the world I would do would be to hire a nanny! I want to hire someone to be me. I want someone to pay the bills, plan the meals, do the shopping, clean the house, fold the laundry... you get the picture. I want my only responsibily to be sitting on the floor playing with my children. I want my job to be laughing with them and soaking them up.

So, I guess I'll probably never be one of those people who will "never work a day in your life" but I'd like to thank Brad Pitt for saying something stupid and helping me put things into perspective... I'm going to make an effort to "play" nanny more. I need more moments of just soaking them up. I'm going to pretend that's my job... because really it is. Everything else will wait. (Seriously, it will. My dirty dishes are not going anywhere) ...and I'd like to put my nanny resume out there... if anyone would like to pay me to play with my children while they do my cooking and cleaning please let me know :)


We just got back from our family vacation to Orlando. We are exhausted and tan (well, at least Kirsten is... I'm pink). It was a really fun trip. The packing and planning was intense and I came home with no voice and serious sleep deprivation... but it was worth every minute :)

In addition to the Ward/Taylor crew the Maloneys were with us as well. I'm very bummed that I didn't get a picture of the whole group. Kirsten had a wonderful time with Erin and Brenna. They are such beautiful, sweet girls. ...And Danny had a great time taunting and chasing Uncle John. Good times.

There wasn't much rest... I think this may have been the only restful moment of the week. It's good I have proof that at least once I had a sleepy child :)

I snuck in a nap Sunday afternoon while my little ones sang "Rain, rain go away" 500 times.

When the sun came back out, so did the dimples.

We had a great time visiting with Baby Luke. Since we've been home Danny keeps asking "Where Baby Luke? Baby Luke? Baby Luke and Maureen?". My crazy ones sure love that baby!

Grandpa is so funny

I like this shot of me and my wild ones. They are so silly. This was during one of our many trips to the resort's playcenter.

This playcenter was awesome. It was very, very clean and very well run. The big kids were measured when the arrived and had to be under 52 inches to play. It was never too crowded or too wild.

As always, Kirsten was a great help with the boys. She was very helpful during the first run-through... after that the boys were off on their own!

Kirsten showed off her karaoke skills in a poolside contest

Her cheering section got a little rowdy ;)

Here are a few more pictures of our poolside fun!

...And my favorite picture of the week. I snapped this picture of my view pushing the stroller. My sweet boys love each other so much. It makes my heart smile.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

More Summer Fun

Last week (while my parents were in Orlando) I had a spur of the moment pool party at their house. My "go to the beach every Friday" plan hasn't been working out. Last Friday Kirsten had an afternoon swim meet and there were some very dark clouds... this made a pool date seem like a better idea. Corrie and her little cuties joined us and we played until all the kids were cranky and ready for naps :)

My dad likes to call Danny a "mad scientist". He LOVES to pour, fill, and empty his little bowls and pails. He does it for so long and is so content (until Matt steals one of his bowls and throws it across the pool. He does NOT like that.)

Corrie with Malia and Noah

Snack time... a huge hit and the perfect ending to a fun morning in the sun!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

My Best Friend Has Cancer's that for jumping right in? That's a weird, awful name for a post... but there is no other way to start.

7 weeks ago Sarah was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma. She went to the doctor because she thought she had a sinus infection. She had one swollen lymph node.

Thank God the cure rate is excellent. She is going to be okay. In the long run it's all going to be okay. But this is my BEST friend. My college roomate, my sorority sister, my road-trip buddy, my bridesmaid, my son's Godmother. My BEST friend.

I can't write this without asking everyone who reads it to pray for her. I know she'll be okay but prayers always help. That's not why I'm writing this though. I'm writing this because my best friend has cancer and she is hilarious, amazing, and inspirational. That's the part I want to remember about all this.

Since being diagnosed her Facebook statuses have included:

"I have cancer. That toooootally beats your case of the Mondays."
"When life gives you Lymphoma make Lymphonaide"
"Port was "installed" today. Unfortunatley it does not charge my Ipod."
"Bulking up for chemo... one slice of pizza at a time."
"Round 1 of chemo today. Hey cancer are your ready to ruuuuuumble?"
"Sarah - 1, Cancer - 0"
"I hope I beat the other teams in trivia tonight as good as I beat cancer today."

She let me sit with her for the entire 8 hours of her first chemo treatment. She texted, teased her sweet nurse, and ate cookies.She laughed, gossiped, and told jokes. During chemo. She's my hero :)

Last Friday night she celebrated the first step toward her recovery with a "Chemo Crawl" through several South Tampa pubs. She got a huge group of people together to dress up, dance, drink too much, and "show cancer who's boss." It was AWESOME.

No one loves a costume more than Sarah. The disappointment of the night was that the monogrammed scrubs she ordered didn't arrived in time. She had to settle for "generic" scrubs. Poor girl.

The pre-party

Me and my BFF (I'm not so into costumes...)

I was the only one though... even the beer dressed up. Ace bandages served as coozies for the night.

Who knew cancer could be so fun?

There is no better excuse to air-guitar at 2 am than kicking cancer's a**

I'll always be your back-up girl. I love you!

You'd Expect Me to Be Skinny...

because all three of my children are so tiny! All 3 kids had their annual physicals this week. They are all very healthy and very, very tiny!

Here are the Team Taylor Summer '09 Stats:

Kirsten: 48.5" (20th percentile) and 42 lbs (1st percentile)
Matthew: 32" (1st percentile) and 22.5 lbs (1st percentile)

...And the Chunky Monkey of the group

Daniel: 32.5" (4th percentile) and 23.5 lbs (3rd percentile) Ha!

You sure wouldn't guess how much these kiddos eat! They never stop eating! For breakfast today Kirsten had a breakfast protien shake, a scooop of peanutbutter and some crackers. Matt and Danny each had an adult-sized bowl of oatmeal, a bananna, 1/2 a cup of blueberries, and crackers. I would KILL for that kind of metabolism!!

The doctor assured us that, while they are all "officially" underweight, they are all perfectly healthy and perfectly proportional. She commented that they twins' language skills seemed very advanced and that they seemed "very smart"... but I could have told you that ;)

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Party Like A Rock Star

Since eight year olds are "too old for princesses" (how sad is that??), Kirsten celebrated her birthday with a Disney Rock N' Roll party. It was the perfect way to combine Hannah Montana, the Jonas Brothers, and High School Musical into one group!

The girls started their celebration with a toast of pink Sprite. Cheers!

The girls each had a rock 'n roll makeover (which they LOVED). They covered themselves with body glitter and lip gloss, were given manicures by Grammy, and had their hair colored pink, purple, and blue.

Danny LOVED watching the hair coloring. He kept saying "Me too! Me too hair!" It was so cute :)

After his coloring one of the girls gave him a "Baby Hawk". ...Nothing says happy birthday like a blue Mohawk!

The girls came up with some very unique costumes and performed a show for us using Kirsten's new karaoke machine.

For weeks Kirsten has been talking about a Jonas Brothers cake. However, when she saw this Hannah Montana cake at Publix she was sold. It was so cute and so delicious.

Because I'm a little neurotic and because the main ingredient in the hair color is propane I had all the girls help Kirsten blow out her candles and made them all stay far away from the fire.

Kirsten's friend Haylie stayed for awhile after the party. I love Haylie. She is so so sweet. I like all the little girls that Kirsten is friends with but Haylie is the PERFECT match for Kirsten. She is very calm and patient. She brings out the best in Kirsten. I just love when they spend time together!

I also love this photo of the sweet, snuggling that went on at the after-party.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Take Me Out to the Ball Game

How cute are Kirsten and Grandpa in their matching Rays hats? Love it.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

I LOVE being 29! (again)

My family is so sweet. I had a wonderful 29th birthday! (Maybe because I've practiced it a few years in a row now ;) Brian got me the greatest chocolate, chocolate cake. Mmmmmm. I got to sleep in, woke up to breakfast, beautiful flowers and gifts, and a packed car! We headed out for family day at the beach, cake at my parents house, and date night at my favorite restaurant. Perfect, perfect day.

What's a girl to wish for when she has such a wonderful family?

(... a housekeeper. I wished for a housekeeper.)