Thursday, April 29, 2010

I've been busy and tired and non blogging for a few days. And it's been an eventful and somewhat life changing week for us.  Our good little pal, Gabe, passed away on Monday after his short battle with a rare lung cancer. He's the little boy I blogged about a few months ago and asked for people to send Christmas cards.  He ended up getting over 5000!!  He was given just a few weeks to live at the beginning of December but with a round of chemo he amazingly survived quite healthily for another four and a half months!  Over the past four months we've gotten to know him quite well and he's taught our family a lot.  That's why I wanted to blog about it.  He has made an impact in our lives for the better.  Today was the funeral and it was a great celebration.  His family shared lots of corny jokes (he loved them) and there were lots of smiles. Gabe was happy and smiling and cracking jokes up until the last few hours of his life. Every time we went and visited gabe and his family- my kiddos would come home with a toy or treat or surprise of some sort that he'd shared with them. He was such a great little guy.  I am so grateful for the knowledge of forever families and so blessed to have the understanding that I do.
Sometimes (okay- A LOT of the time) I complain about motherhood and my children and how crazy they make me.  And while they do make me crazy and I don't always enjoy motherhood- I am so grateful for my kiddos and for the chance I have to raise a family.  I love the little rugrats to bits.
I can't complain about their messes or tantrum throwing or nastiness or how they keep me up at night when I think about the fact that my friend Wendy would give anything to be dealing with a tantrum or cleaning up gabe's messes. Or that she'd be more than happy to be up all night with her little boy tonight.
Thanks, gabe! for that lesson learned- amongst zillions of others. We'll miss you.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

This kid is dead serious about pushing his babies around in this stroller.  He takes very good care of them and freaks when Zeb touches them or tries to push them around in the stroller himself.  He even lets all of the babies take turns having rides.  You may be wondering where he's getting all of these babies to push around...
Here's his favorite.  But, he still lets the football and basketball in sometimes.  Thanks, Auntie Melynda- he still loves them.
And speaking of strollers and babies-  this is what we were met with on our run this morning.  I asked Zeb if we should cross.  He responded: "we could try it, mom".  We decided against crossing.  It was pretty cold this morning still and there was lots of water on the other side of the bridge!  I really don't mind the coolness- but I'm sick of packing up and then pulling out winter hats and gloves OVER and OVER again.  This morning we definitely needed them!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

the health fair

Yesterday we went to the YMCA family Health Fair and the kiddos had a blast. Zeb was most excited that he got to go to school/work with Kent (the fair was on campus) and that his favorite "teacher" from the kidzone, Miss Erin, was there.  She calls our kids "Z-e-b" and "I-k-e" because Zeb is very particular about making sure their names are spelled correctly on their name tags every day.

The kiddos did crafts, played games, ran through obstacle courses, and had snacks.  The event was pretty educational and successful except for the argument Zeb had with the "safety booth lady" about crossing the street.  He insisted that he does it by himself and never crosses with me.  He was not about to step down or concede that he needed to cross with me.  Finally, I at least got him to tell her that he always looks both ways first.   In my defense- I do not let him cross busy roads without me!  I think he's a little stubborn and likes to be right. I'm not sure where he gets those traits.

I can't get him to look at me.  ever.

This kid loooovees markers.
I think at least half of all Ike pictures are of him in this position. He loves to crouch down like that.  It must be lots easier than just sitting.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Our last few mornings have been somewhat of an adventure. I call them "adventures" because that sounds better than "mornings from hell".  Really- they haven't been all that atrocious besides the exhausting hour at which they begin.  Yesterday both kiddos woke up and walked into seminary in these lovely outfits.  One of my girls asked "why are they dressed like that?".  The haphazard dress job is compliments of Kent. I, however, am NOT complaining!  he had them fed, dressed, and in bed by the time I was home from my meeting the night before at 7:30.  They could have been naked in bed and I would have been happy. The fact that their pjs are mismatched and wrong sizes is not an issue.

They sat and enjoyed cheerios through our class.
This morning both kids got up at 4:45.  Around 6:30 Zeb told me he had to go poop- so I sat him on the toilet and returned to teaching.  Once my class left (6:45ish) I went to see how Zeb was doing.  He was washing the mirror with our toothbrushes and hand soap.  He was trying to be helpful so I just laughed- and told him NOT to use toothbrushes for anything but toothbrushing.  I would bet that they've been in the toilet at some point and we just don't know it.
At least most of our "adventures" are semi humorous and non destructive.  Yesterday at Walmart we were approaching a woman in traditional Muslim garb (full veil and robes) and Zeb SHOUTED out: "Look, mama!  there's a ghost!".  Kent took him to the bathroom at meijer this week and he approached a man using the urinal and asked:  "Are you a big boy? you pee standing up like me!"

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

i love toledo

I am far too busy for my own good right now. Tired too.  I had work training tonight and when I got home dinner was made and the kids were in bed. I think just a few hours out of the house like that are going to help me stay sane.  It's definitely something that I need. Although cutting out late nights when I have to be up at 5:45 every day would help too :)

Here are two more pictures from our Sunday outing. Zeb is such a goofball right now.

I promise to post something of substance sometime soon.

Monday, April 19, 2010

We play a lot of hide and seek around here lately.  The rugrats only have three hiding spots- and the hall closet is one of them.  They are so so funny when they play together well. Ike just waddles around behind Zeb and tries to do exactly what he does.
Let's hope he doesn't try to match Zeb's battle wounds, though. Zeb gashed himself pretty bad on the bridge of his nose today on a toy and I thought for sure he'd need stitches again- but Kent says he thinks he's fine. I'm sure there will be a small scar.  It will match the other 213 of them all over his body.  The other kids zeb plays with DO NOT have this many gashes and bruises all over their bodies. I'm a little concerned but I figure unless I bubble wrap him, there isn't much I can do about it.

Sunday, April 18, 2010


I think at least 50% of blog entries about my children begin with a scream.  I've really really got to work on patience.  And they've really really just got to work on doing what I want them to do.  If those are our solutions we may be stuck like this forever. 

We decided to go for a "walk" today and I forced them to sit still for a few pictures.  Neither wanted ANYthing to do with it.  The few pictures that involved smiles also ended up being blurry or too bright.

Oh- and let me include a dinner recipe along with this post.  I'm too lazy to start a new one.   This is a crazy conglomeration of three different enchilada recipes that we tried out today.  I'm going to call it sweet and sour creamy enchiladas.
Bring to a simmer on the stovetop:
1 can cream of chicken soup
3-5 tablespoons sour cream
1/2 can green enchilada sauce
1/3 c honey (if you don't love sweet-reduce to 1/4 or even 3tbs)
1/4 cup lime juice

Add to that and let simmer a few more minutes:
1 can black beans (rinsed and drained)
1 can diced tomatoes (rinsed and drained)
shredded seasoned chicken

roll in tortillas and place in casserole dish.  add remainder of green sauce to any leftover filling and pour over top of enchiladas. Bake for 25 minutes at 350.  Sprinkle with cheese with 10 minutes left. 

Friday, April 16, 2010

these are for you, laney.

I'm opposed to boys in pink (for a plethora of reasons that I won't get into here) but this is for Laney. I know how much you love the shirts you let Ike borrow- so here's a picture in the pink one.

The rugrats have been playing out on the deck with their tractors and a bucket of dirt I got for them.  It was 82 degrees yesterday but it's back to cold and rainy today (which I prefer) so this was the best outside playing we could do.  Ike kept falling on his face while pushing around the dumptruck and that's why he's got the dirt glob on his forehead.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

toilet troubles.

This week has been so crazy busy. With working and my art class/homework and exercising and playing and church stuff I just haven't had the time to sit and blog!  I'm trying to get it in this morning before we head out running!

So I'm assuming it's a normal thing for kids to love the toilet, right?  don't all kids play in it? and throw things in it? and try to drink it?    Or are my kids totally disgusting and uncivilized?  Because both of them have this crazy fondness for the toilet AND toilet paper. At least they haven't thrown any Ipods or phones in yet, though.  That would be pretty angering- right, Taylor and Laney? and maybe it's not all bad that they love the bathroom.  Perhaps it was zeb's love for toilets and the paper that made potty training so easy.

But, seriously, it can get really annoying.  At least a few times a day one of us forgets to shut the bathroom door and Ike finds his way in.

 Here's Ike shaking his finger at me while saying "nooooo.  noooo."  Check out his fat double chin and that strange little smile.  He looks like a goof in this picture.
And then he realized that I was serious. I tried shutting the toilet and he kind of freaked.
 And here he's just plain ticked once the toilet is closed and he knows it's over.  The classic Ike face.

You can't tell from these pics- but he's in mismatched pjs because last night right before bed Kent found him with his entire upper body hanging over the edge of the toilet playing.  Head, arms, and all! just splashing around with wads of tp he'd thrown in.

Monday, April 12, 2010

the baby,

Ike is no longer the baby.  He's a toddler. He throws fits, chucks toys with harmful intent, and is very deliberate in everything he does.  He also has the funniest new face. He gives it to people when he's confused, irritated, angry, and bored.  People in the grocery store wave- and he always waves back- but now he accompanies the wave with this face.  It's like he's asking- "who in the heck are you?"
And here's his new best friend since he and Zeb aren't on the best of terms (they can't figure out the sharing thing lately). Ike takes "teddy rabbit's" ears and rubs them against his cheeks as he falls asleep.  He bites him on the nose and waddles around the house with him in his mouth.

He rolls around the floor with him and hugs him constantly.  We got teddy rabbit in an Easter package two years ago from yaya. Little did we know what was in store for the little animal.  Ike thanks you, yaya!

Saturday, April 10, 2010


I keep asking Kent if he's sure he doesn't want to be a psychiatrist when he grows up.  He's doing Child psychiatry right now and the hours are just plain fabulous.  The weather has finally figured things out and is also just plain fabulous. 68 degrees, medium humidity, and cold nights.  Spring and Autumn around here are heavenly.

Today we played, played, and played some more.

Have I mentioned that this kid loves balls?  Here he is winding up for a pitch.  Kent was at bat.

Thursday, April 8, 2010


I've eaten 17 clementines in the last four days. They've replaced my m&ms. They are sweet and juicy and were on crazy sale.  Plus, Ike LOVES them.  But only because he thinks I brought home a box of orange balls to throw around the house. I wanted to get some pictures of him with the bright clementines- but turns out he's a terrible little muse for picture taking in low light. He NEVER stops moving so there is always some body part blurred in every picture.

 His nonstop movement is also contributing to a gazillion scrapes, cuts, and bruises.  I went to pick him up at the YMCA kid zone last week and apparently he'd fallen and cut his lip and had bled some. Ms. Erin told me they didn't come and get me because she knew I wouldn't want to be bothered and that I don't worry about cuts and bruises. I think she knows that because all of the bruises he comes in with!  No pain, no gain- I say. He's got to fall over to learn how to get around in life.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.  Somebody help me, please! I'm on a major sugar detox and it's so much harder than I thought it would be.  Today is day two of no candy or super processed foods (cakes, cookies, granola bars, crackers, etc).  I have eaten soooooo terribly the past month (or three) that I just felt like I need a junk detox.  And these very m&ms are just screaming at me to be eaten.  Our house is still full of easter leftovers- and really the m&ms are the only things I have a really really hard time resisting.

In just these two days I've realized just how much junk I've been eating lately.  Yesterday to try and keep my munchies under control I ate three clementines, one banana, one apple, and two large carrots.  And those were JUST my snacks between meals.  And I was still craving sweets afterwards!  what other alternatives are there?!?!
Don't worry- this isn't going to last forever- just long enough to help me focus on healthier alternatives. As an "extreme" person I'm always trying to balance out my life and I found that lately I've been behaving like a left wing crazed candy liberal.  No regard to cost or consequence of the crazed consumption :)
Wish me luck. I'm sure you'll see me with junk food in hand shortly. And if you have any suggestions- please feel free to comment.

Monday, April 5, 2010

This monkey tried so hard to get his basketball up in the air.  He's actually got one heck of an arm- but he's much better at distance than height.
He absolutely loves basketballs and baseballs and footballs and any other type he can get his hands on.  Zeb was entertained by balls but Ikey is obsessed.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

happy easter.

What's Easter without the Starkeys?  thanks for hosting us again!
We had a splendid easter egg hunt, a fabulous dinner, and the best company.

           and now life returns to normal. Kent goes back to school and I go back to days without him.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

our friday.

We had good weather on Friday so we decided to head downtown to walk around and check out the imagination station.  It was nice to walk along the river with warmer temps but low humidity.
 Here are the kiddos with Kent and M down by the river.  Toledo has such potential! Why can't we pull something together downtown?!?!
The fact that the children's science museum has reopened does help a little bit.  It's definitely gotten us down there more than we would have been otherwise.
And the kiddos LOVE the water zone.  We stripped Ike down to his skivvies so he could play to his heart's content. By the end of the his water time his little lower lip was shaking and his teeny teeth were chattering- but he still squawked when it was time to go.
 It was nice having M around so that Kent and I could have some of our own fun, too.  really- it made all of spring break great. We stayed here in toledo but had buckets of fun! I think Kent and I went out kidless at least four times.  Pure heaven.
  This room is my very favorite. The floor is at an extreme crazy angle while all of the counters and whatnot are situated so that they look straight but really aren't. The room is insanely nauseating.  I loved it.  Zeb couldn't even walk through it without my help.  And M couldn't go in it at all because it made her sick!
 Here's a family picture down by the river. Zeb was concerned that Ike was going to fall in and kept sticking his arm out in front of him telling him to be careful.    Sorry we're all squinting- we still haven't adjusted to having the sun out.

Friday, April 2, 2010

okay. it's too hot now. please go away.

I can't handle the nighttime heat. Our apartment got all stuffy and warm last night and I kind of panicked thinking about what the summer has in store.  Luckily it's supposed to cool down to normal temps by tomorrow.

Yesterday we spent the day playing like crazy. Ike tried desperately to carry all of his new toys at the same time. He could only hold two of the balls at once.

Kent and Zeb sidewalk chalked, played on the swings, and just ran around.  

Kent also shot Zeb's helicopter thingy way up into a giant tree.  He tried climbing the tree to get it out but couldn't get to the end of the branches without killing himself. He was making me terribly nervous- but the kiddos loved watching him.
And last night we went to WICKED!  it was sooooooooo wonderful. The music is so so so great. And since the theater is right next door- we walked to and from the show!  Really- if you haven't seen it yet, you MUST.  There are still tickets available for the shows here through the 17th of April!  I'm so glad that Melynda came and gave us a good reason to go. Thanks, M!
Here's our trashy camera picture.  We've been to a few different shows at the Stranahan but this time we had the best seats yet.  We were on the SECOND to the last row instead of the last.  Our binoculars did wonders    and luckily it was the music (and not the costumes or set) that makes Wicked so great.