Monday, November 30, 2009

If You Really Want to Know....

If you really want to know, Life with the Lewallens the past couple of weeks has been wild, crazy, fun, insane, adventurous, frustrating, extremely busy, trying, and all together memory making.
I'm not even sure I can remember it all and I've even jotted down some notes to help me remember things like Kade deciding it would be cool to shorten his words...the first to be shortened was humongous. It turned into "humongo". Then C.G. turned into "Ceej." And after that his blanket became just "blank." I wonder what will be next?
When you....well maybe I should say "if you choose to" endure the craziness of this post you will see why notes were important in the production of this edition of Life with the Lewallens.
Remember I am the mother of these guys:

My memory doesn't always serve me so well!

And this was one crazy couple of weeks in our world. Sometimes a good crazy and sometimes a not so good crazy.
And sometimes all I could do was take a break and lay in the floor with my silly boys and play.

Yep, can't beat a good ole wrestling session with a couple of the cutest little boys in the world.

And then I must say that this flower was so kind and bloomed so beautifully for me:

It must have known there was going to be some days that I really needed something to make me smile.

Okay let me just jump right in there and I will try to go at this in chronological order if my notes will help me out.

We will begin with last Saturday.
I decided that I wanted to paint the living room. Okay, let me clarify....I decided a long time ago, as in October 08 when we moved in, that I wanted to paint the living room. Picked out a paint color about 5 months ago and that was as far as we had gotten. I really had a strong desire to have it painted before the holidays and asked Kyle if he thought we could get it done. So, we did. Kyle went and bought the paint and supplies and brought them home. After the boys went to bed we got to work with the paint brushes and stayed at it until the job was done and we were exhausted.
(You can check out the new color in Thanksgiving pictures later).

Moving right along to Sunday:
Church, nap, dinner....Christmas decorating!
We don't usually decorate for Christmas until after Thanksgiving. However, this year we decided to get the ball rolling early for a couple of reasons. One, we are going to be gone for a couple of weeks during the holiday season and if we were going to decorate we wanted it to be out long enough for us to enjoy it. Two, Grandaddy, C.G. and Monk Monk were coming for Thanksgiving and were going to do an early Christmas with the boys (you'll understand why later...their gift wasn't something we could quite pack in our suitcases and bring back on the plane).
Of course we had to wait for the boys to go to bed before we could get started so we got a late start. And then I realize that the rest of my week is completely full and I have to get this job finished before I can go to bed. That meant a 3 am bedtime for me! Boy was I tired on Monday!

Okay so now we are at Monday:
It was grocery shopping for Thanksgiving dinner day. I chose not to go on the weekend because the stores are always so crazy on the weekend. Somebody forgot to tell the world where I live that Monday was not Saturday or was CRAZY busy and apparently there was a convention of people who need to ride around in the motorized carts going on that day as well. Now, that would have been okay had my two boys gone with Daddy's plan let me wait until naptime to go to the grocery store while they slept at home in Daddy's loving care. But....oh no, Kade got wind that I had to go grocery shopping and he just had to go and not only did he have to go, he insisted that Ryne must accompany us as well. I thought, no big deal, I can handle a trip to the grocery store with them I've done it before and then Kyle will have the afternoon to do what he needs to without being tied down to the home office. WRONG! It was a big deal!
Let's see if I can even put this all into words.
Everything is going pretty good. The boys have been quite cooperative. We have two buggies full of groceries (planning for a big thanksgiving) and there is a boy in each buggy. We are all ready to check out and as Kade is helping me put the groceries on the conveyor belt he says "Mom, I've got to potty." I assess the situation. Two buggies, middle of putting groceries on conveyor belt, customers in line behind us, not enough room to empty even one buggy to put both boys in to get to the bathroom, can't take Ryne and sit him on the floor while I hold Kade to potty, super yuck!, nothing I can do. So I say "Kade there is no way we can go to the potty right now, you have to hold it." Then his is "dancing" like never before, the whole time helping me get groceries on the conveyor belt. Then he starts to scream, not super loud, but loud enough that it was a definite scream, about having to go to the potty. I just know that they are going to have to call for "clean up on aisle 12" at any time now. Then the sweet girl checking out in front of me, all cute and pregnant, turns to me and says, "I have a six year old and I totally understand, I'll stay with your groceries and baby if you'll let me while you take him to the potty". Dilemma! What is a Mom to do? Leave her 10 month old with a stranger in the check out line at Wal-Mart or let her two-year-old be traumatized for life because he had an "accident" in the check out line at Wal-Mart? I only had moments to make the call before the "accident" would be our reality. The restroom was right in front of us so I took her up on the offer. Slung my purse on my shoulder and grabbed Kade out of the buggy. Ran to the restroom. Only one stall open. As we enter and I am getting Kade's pants down I realized the auto-flusher must not be working because the water has a nice yellow tint to it. No time to concern myself with that because my little Kade is about to wet his pants. As I hoist Kade up over the potty my purse slings over my shoulder and went my camera! Hurry and swap Kade to a one arm hold and fish out my camera with the other hand. As I scoop up the camera wish is obviously water logged, followed my phone. I managed to scoop it out more quickly because I already had a free hand. Then new pack of Pina Colada Orbit gum with only one piece missing slides under the stall and right under the feet of the person next to us. (Hope they took it with them). Kade is now realized what has happened and is saying "Mom, yuck, I'm all wet." Yep, the camera and phone has splashed him while he was just busy taking care of his business. I am trying my best to get the camera dried off ,the phone dried off and Kade's pants pulled up because if you remember, I left my 10 month old with a stranger in the check out line.
Get back to the check out and thank the sweet lady for watching my baby and groceries and try not to cry because I am certain that my camera and phone are both goners. Then I realize that Ryne has lost his little Razorback hat. It was in the buggy with him last time I checked but not any more which means that once the checkout process is complete then we will be making run through the store to try and locate a lost hat. Fabulous! Then my phone rings. I couldn't believe that it was working.
It was Kyle and he said "how's it going?"
I said, "you don't even want to know" and tried to relay the events of the past 15 minutes without crying. He told me to just come home and he would go finish the rest of my errands for me later. What a sweetie! But at this point I was determined to finish my surely couldn't get any worse. So, that's what we did. Strolled back through the store and found the lost hat. Made our way to Safeway to finish up our list. Grabbed the boys some lunch at Safeway because I didn't want to have to make an extra stop. Kade picked Italian wedding soup and he and Ryne ate it like it was their new favorite food. Finished up our shopping and headed home. I was very sad driving home because the two things that I lost were important to me. One helps me record memories of my precious boys and the other lets me keep in touch with my family and friends so far away. Then I realized that even though my phone and camera were important to me, they are after all just "things" that can be replaced and my boys who mean the absolute world to me and cannot be replaced were safe and sound and healthy and happy and at the end of the day that is what really matters.
Kyle was waiting at home for us and helped me get the boys down for naps and groceries unloaded and put away. Then I went down for a nap...not on just happened and my body must have needed it after the late night and the very unhappy day I'd had.

So here it is....the very last picture that my camera ever took:

Kyle tried drying my camera out but to no avail. It is definitely a goner.
The phone works for calls and texts but the camera on it is a goner and it refuses to stay charged for more than a day even with minimal use....but hey, it works!

I know, you are probably thinking right about now that you might not making through the rest of this week with me because Monday was just too stressful. Don't worry...that was as bad as it gets...everything is uphill from here. But I completely understand if you give up and just scroll down to look at the pictures. My feelings won't be hurt!

Had to clean house and do a bit more shopping because we had to find Monk Monk's birthday present before she got here and we had her surprise early birthday party.
The boys were pretty good for me and that was helpful.
Ryne busied himself with things like book reading:

And learning to walk! That's right, he started walking on November 24th. 6 days before his 11 month birthday. Kade started walking 10 days before his 11 month birthday. It amazes me how much alike they are and still so different at the same time.
Well, that wasn't all Ryne decided to do on Tuesday, he also decided it would be a good time to learn to say "Grandaddy" since he was coming to visit on Wednesday.

So let's just move to Wednesday:
Grandaddy, C.G. and Monk Monk flew in and Kade and I went to pick them up.
Kade was super excited to see them. One because he loves them and two, because there were two humongo boxes in our garage that he knew were his and Ryne's Christmas present from Grandaddy and C.G.
They told him that as soon as we got to the house he could check out what was in those boxes:

Surprise! They were empty.
Kade was very disappointed and confused.
So we took him to the backyard to find that Daddy had already opened the boxes and found this:

A new playhouse!

It gets dark here at about 4:30 in the afternoon now so the boys didn't have much time to play.
I did get a couple of pics of them checking their new place out...

Don't feel bad for them, we let them go out in the daylight to play...

I think they are going to have lots of fun in their new playhouse. Maybe they can practice keeping it clean so that they can help me with our real house :)

That was the beginning of early Christmas with Grandaddy, C.G. and Monk Monk.
After supper there was more to come.
Monk Monk stocked them up with dishes and play food for their new house:

And C.G. brought a whole bag full of other goodies.
Movies, clothes, shoes, pirate things like this umbrella:

We aren't superstitious...can you tell?
Ryne's favorite was this:

A new Jack-in-the-box!

In C.G.'s bag of goodies there was a "Bob and Larry" cookie cutter. That meant that we had one project that must be completed before Kade could go to bed.
He had to put on his new apron and hat and we had to make cookies:


With all the Bob's and Larry's decorated Kade headed off to bed.

Then the serious cooking began. Mom, Monk, and I stayed up and made as much stuff for our big Thanksgiving dinner as we possibly could make ahead of time. Peanut butter squares, cranberry salad, four layer delight, sweet potato pie, fruit salad, prepped for hashbrown casserole, chicken and dressing, sweet potato casserole and I can't remember what else. It was a crazy but fun night in the kitchen. And then Mom and I had to make a run to WalMart for some things that they had confiscated at the airport like deoderant, shaving cream, etc. Can't believe that Mom forgot and put that stuff in a carry-on! I think she must enjoy getting "pulled over" by the airport police. ha ha!

Happy Thanksgiving!!!
Up early to get the ham in the oven. The corn casserole ready. The broccoli casserole ready. The tea made and the table set. We were super excited because not only did we get to have family with us at our house for thanksgiving but we were also having some neighbors over who weren't going to get to be with family for the day.
Thanksgiving dinner for 15!!!
And 6 of those 15 were kiddos. It was a fun day at our house.
C.G. read books to Kade and Will:

Ryne and Carson had a big time playing together:

We ate lots of yummy food:

Our neighbor Sandy fried up a turkey and brought it over along with homemade rolls, pistachio pudding, and deviled eggs.
Our neighbors Dave and Michelle made lumpias, Filipino eggrolls.
It was all so scrumptious!

Kade and Will made sure to sample the Bob and Larry cookies!

Monk Monk had some bonding time with the kiddos!

And of course Kade had his personal Monk Monk time.

And so did Ryne!

We had a fabulous Thanksgiving. Lots of food and fun and such a sweet day to be reminded of all that we have to be thankful for. I had planned on doing an "I'm thankful for..." blog post but obviously that didn't quite fit into my crazy week.

Had leftovers for supper and played some cards. Made our "black friday" gameplan and headed off to bed for a few hours of sleep.

Black Friday:
Up at 3:00 and out the door at 3:15...A.M. that is!!
Old Navy, Toys R Us, JC Penney, Target, WalMart, KMart, Home Depot and home at 8:30 a.m.
Got almost everything on our list...just missed out on the folding table at KMart that we were going to get for Life Church and Kyle decided the $5 t-shirts at Old Navy weren't worth the wait in line. Even got a good deal on a replacement camera for my precious pink pal that took a swim in the toilet earlier in the week.
Of course there are lots of fun details that go along with our black friday adventures but I'll spare you those and just let you know that Monk, Kyle and I had a great time in spite of the chaos. Mom and Dad were so kind to stay home with the boys and then even kinder to let us nap for a few hours when we got home Friday morning!

Friday was a great day.
Look at this view of the mountain that we had:

The boys had fun playing with C.G. and Grandaddy and Monk Monk.
Steak and Potatoes for Monk's surprise early birthday dinner.
Ryne had fun at Monk Monk's party:

He entertained everyone with his charming game of "peek a boo".

And of course Kade had a good time because a birthday party means:

So of course he had to sit in Monk Monk's lap to get a good look at the cake.

And to help blow out the candles.
Happy Early Birthday Monk Monk!!!
See, her birthday isn't until December 13th but next time we see her will be when we are having Ryne's birthday party at her place at the end of December. We certainly didn't want her to get skipped. Celebrating early was fun!
Kade even got to stay up a little bit later than usual but he was all ready for bed when the time came:

Here he is sporting his new dinosaur night-nights from Monk Monk and carrying his big book of Disney stories that Monk Monk also got for him. He was ready for story time and bed time!
And I am now ready for bed time too!
Wow, I didn't realize how recounting the events of the past few days could wear me out all over again but it sure did. And I didn't even get to Saturday's return trip to the airport to drop of the family or Sundays trip to church and then out to eat, Kade's treat, as he paid with the money that C.G. left in his wallet. He was so proud to buy our lunch and to get to tell our sweet waitress to "keep the change."
And to put a cherry on the top of our wild and crazy week....I took our neighbor to the emergency room last night while Kyle took care of her two kiddos and our two kiddos and got them all in bed.
(She will be fine...vertigo was the diagnosis)

Now, I feel like I can sleep peacefully because you are all informed on the happenings of the Lewallen world. Congratulations if you made it to the end of this post! You must have really wanted to know~

11 Months Old

Today Ryne is 11 months old!
I really can't believe we are only a month away from his first birthday.
Just look how this little guy is growing...

And I think someone told him within the past two weeks that he had better get busy growing up because he is about to be a one year old. So, that's just what he's been up to. Growing up!
He completely gave up (aka refuses to eat any longer) baby food.
He started walking!
He added new words to his vocabulary: book, ball, Grandaddy, and girl.
He is already transitioning into 18 month clothes.
And he likes to eat more "grown up food" at meal times than his big brother.
Yep, we are well on our way to having another toddler in our house.
I just love watching my babies grow and change! It is such a blessing and such an adventure.
Happy 11 months, Littlest Man of Mine!!!

Monday, November 16, 2009


I am a bit sleep deprived today so I figure I will probably just ramble along until I get everything said that I want to say and I'll probably end up adding things that I'll look back later and think, "why did I tell everybody that?" Yep, one of those sleep deprived kind of days. The boys are napping now and this would be my opportunity to nap but for some reason I feel the need to blog before Ryne wakes up and tries to take over my computer. I cannot do any computer work in his presence these days....for some reason every time my computer is open he attacks it. Maybe he likes the sound of the keys being pecked away at or then again maybe he doesn't like the computer at all and is simply trying to destroy it. I may never know. What I do know is that his obsession with an open laptop makes it hard for me to do my online teaching work, my blogging, my emailing, and my facebooking...what other choice do I have but to forgo the nap in order to enter the wonderful land of blog?
So, why do I need that nap? Well, Ryne didn't sleep well at all last night. I am blaming in on teeth but I'm not really positive. He was easily consoled and back to sleep within minutes but the episodes occurred almost every hour. Kyle was out of town for a conference to I was the solo Mommy who got up every hour. Made me so thankful that he is such a great Daddy and would have taken his turn had he been home. On top of Ryne's sleeplessness add Kade to the mix. Somewhere around 2 am he decided to come get in bed with me since Daddy was out of town. That's all well and fine except for the fact that he wanted to chit chat! I don't know how many times I had to tell him to quit talking and go to sleep...each time was followed by, "but Mom, I just need to tell you something...."
I think I finally managed about four hours last night and that is on the generous figuring scale. I averaged four hours of sleep all through college and seemed to truck right on as if that were normal. Guess I've gotten old since then because 4 hours just don't cut it anymore for me.

Big news:
Friday afternoon I got to go to the grocery store alone. That's right I said all by myself! I asked Kyle if he would watch the boys because I wanted to take advantage of a couple of good sales that were happening at Safeway and Albertsons. You see I don't do "two grocery store shopping trips" with my boys in tow so this was going to be an exception if Kyle would watch them. He agreed and you would have thought that I was very thankful. I was so happy to be getting out alone that I might as well have won a day at the spa. But no...even better....88 cent Ragu....1.00 shredded cheddar....1.67 Captain 1 sarah lee oven fresh pie get a second free along with two free tubs of bryers ice cream!
It was nice and I really enjoyed some "me" time even if it was "me and a shopping cart".

On to another topic. I keep journals for Kade and Ryne. Started the both when the boys were born. I did a pretty decent job of keeping up with Kade's until Ryne was born and since then I have really struggled with keeping up with either of them on a very regular basis. I like to write to them about what they have been doing, what stage of development they are in, what kinds of food they like, new skills they've learned, trips we've taken, how they are growing, and what I've been praying for in their lives. Well, I decided last night would be a good night to catch up since Kyle was out of town. I opened Ryne's journal first because I wanted to be sure to get an entry in for him...since I did so good with Kade his first year. I was ashamed. I hadn't written since May 30th! I had the whole summer to try to document for him and I did my best to remember everything. Six or seven journal pages later I moved on to Kade's journal. Real shame hit me! I hadn't written in Kade's journal since January 18th..the day after his second birthday. I was overwhelmed and didn't know how I would possibly get everything caught up for him. If you keep up with our blog, you know Kade is one very busy little guy who is constantly into something new and one of the funniest 2 year olds I know. Then it hit me that somehow I'm going to figure out how to print out my blog for both of them. It may not be written to them like their journals are but it definitely helps me document their lives. So in the words of Sid the Science Kid that was my "Uper Duper Super Shmuper Big Idea" for the night. Now I've just got to figure out how to make it happen.

So let me move right along and stop all the rambling. I know what the Grandparents are on here looking for anyway. PICTURES!

Here's what I've got:

Kade built a giant sandwich for "D" when we went out to eat the other night.
He was really into building that day because when we got home he built some giant towers and ships out of his blocks. Of course this was after Ryne went to bed or they would have never gotten this big. Check them out:

Maybe he's going to be a builder? I think he has skill.

Guess what else we learned works out well after Ryne's bedtime?
Haircuts for Kade!
He can sit in a chair watching a movie and let me cut away without the worry of little brother crawling through the hair and tracking all over the house.
Here are the haircut results:

Still a little wet from bath time but you get the idea. He always looks so grown up to me when he gets his hair cut. It is going to be Ryne's turn before long. I'm trying to hang on until that first birthday mark before we cut it. I just know he won't look like a baby at all anymore when he gets his hair cut. And he is still my baby!

We went pre-hair cut for some pictures at the park last week. Mostly because I wanted some ten month pictures of Ryne....why?....well, because I missed getting nine month pictures. Here are some of the results. I won't bore you with commentary on each picture so just take a look:

And here is one of just me and my best friend:

It is so good to have a best friend who will grant you a solo trip to the grocery store every now and then! I love him!

So, until I have time to ramble again....hope you are enjoying life!