March 25, 2011

Clara: Four and a half years

Posted in clara, monthly at 10:00 am by jznewcombfamily

Dear Clare-Bear,

Wow, look how big you are!!!  You are growing up so fast.  You are becoming so independent, always wanting to do everything for yourself.  You like to make your own toast, sandwiches, drinks, and pretty much everything I’ll let you do.  I often find a chair pushed up against a counter in the kitchen where decided to “wash the dishes” or “make lunch” or “just cut some paper real quick.”  I must tell you to ask permission before doing ________________________, a few hundred times a day.  And you are getting better at it, but you have taken it to an extreme, asking me if you can ask me a question.  You say, “Mom, can i ask you something?”  But, i am glad that you asked me before you took a bath with your unicorn pillow pet.  (NO.)  Or, made Ike some juice. (YES.)  When you make yourself and Ike juice, you make it just like Daddy and i do, with mostly water and about 1/4 juice.  You just picked up on that by observing us all these years.  You are very attentive like that.  You are often pointing out things that i wouldn’t have thought you would even notice.  Of course, that means you never forget anything, so you are quick to remind us, “Remember yesterday (meaning any day before today) you said i could ride a horse.”  “Remember, you said my hair will be long.”  “Remember, we are going to see JuJu and Pawpaw and Boomer tomorrow (meaning any day after today).”  Boomer is a neighbor dog at JuJu and PawPaw’s house that you are obsessed with.  You ask about him all the time and wonder when you will get to see him again.  You have already started asking for a pet, but so far you want a horse.  It is pretty clear to you that it wouldn’t work out though, b/c we don’t have a stable, hay, or barrels.  You were the one who pointed that out, so i am glad that you realize that a horse is not very practical. :)

I love watching you run.  Honey, i love you, but you are NOT graceful.  I don’t care one bit, but i just want you to know that so far, you have no rhythym or grace.  You are precious and adorable, but i fear for your life when you run.  I usually have to turn my head whenever you are dancing or running so you don’t see me laugh.  We dance around together many nights, and it is one of my favorite things in this world.  I have some video of you, and i am already looking forward to showing it to you when you are a teenager.  :)

You still like posing for pictures, and you will come and get me sometimes to ask me to take your picture in a certain pose.  Here is an example:

Which, do you notice that you are in a tree?!  You have started enjoying the outdoors more than you ever used to.  You cannot wait for it to be warm enough to get out the swimming pool, and you have been climbing all the trees in our yard!  This is pretty much amazing for you!  Up until about two weeks ago, i have had to basically force you to play outside, especially if dirt was involved.  You have always liked playing on your bike, or pushing a doll in a stroller, but that is about it.  About a month ago, you and Ike each got to pick out a ball for outside and you picked out a soccer ball “because you wouldn’t have to touch it and get your hands dirty.”  Really, you told me that!  Anyway, we are hoping to go camping this spring/summer, so i look forward to finding out if you will enjoy it or not.  You are excited about the idea of camping, so that’s a start! 

We have been working with you on how to be a big sister, and loving on your brother.  You do a good job most of the time, but you are just old enough and girly enough, that you get frustrated with him sometimes when he comes in your room and messes up whatever you have going on.  Like a puzzle, or a “project” (usually something involving tape, scissors, paper, colored pencils and a stapler–I’ve never actually seen a finished “project”), or maybe you have all your dolls lined up just so, and he has messed it up.  So, we try to give you a certain amount of personal space, but mostly encourage you guys to play together.  Most of the time you guys prefer to be together, and you beg to sleep together every night.  It works out sometimes, but usually you just end up playing and talking and eventually getting separated.  We have stopped trying it on weeknights, and reserved it as a special weekend treat.  You guys really do love each other, and that just makes me the happiest Mama in the world.  You are so helpful to Ike, so much so that sometimes i have to remind you that you are not Ike’s parents.  :)

I am so blessed to be your Mom.  You make me work harder to be a better person so i can be the example that you deserve.  I love you, Clara.

Isaac: 37 months

Posted in isaac, monthly at 9:17 am by jznewcombfamily

Dear Ike,

You continue to be Mr. Go!Go!Go! and as you can see from the photo above, you are hard to catch on film.  You don’t like having your photo taken, and you have to be bribed to get a shot like this:

And it was clear that while you were posing for the pictures, WITH a smile, it was all but killing you!  I mean, what was i thinking?  We were at a park.  With trees.  And slides.  And a CASTLE!!!  It was pretty silly for me to think that you might want to stop long enough for me to capture your image.  But you know what?  You are growing up so fast.  You must know that in, like then minutes, you are going to be driving, and in ten more you’ll be graduating and off to college.  Before i can count to thirty, you’ll be married and having your first child.  So, you see, i need to document you right now.  I need to be able to remember how you grew almost TWO INCHES in three months this winter!!!  And how you have little chicken legs and the squeeziest little booty, that i just love to pinch right after bath time!  You laugh hysterically when i grab little chunks of flesh between my thumb and forefinger and proclaim, “booty, booty, booty!”  You say, “stop it Mom, that tickles!”  So, i stop and then you say, “Do it again!”

You are really into superheros this month, and your favorite story is David and Goliath.  We read it every night before bed.  You have a Goliath action figure and we use a “Daddy” doll from Clara’s doll house for David.  You find all three of the sheep figures that you own, and you set up a David and Goliath scene.  I helped you fashion a slingshot out of a hair tie, and we can put a small rock in it that will launch when you swing the hair tie.  You like to kill Goliath over and over again.  I used to try to sway you away from wanting to “kill” and “shoot” everything.  All the time.  But i have decided that that is part of who you are, so we have redirected your attention to who/what you should be fighting against.  Now you kill monsters and “bad guys” only.  You are very passionate, and i love playing with you and listening to your playing with others.  You go full force at everything you do.  And you do it on much less sleep than i would expect.  You like to be up before 6am most days.  Thank God for your Daddy, because he is the one who gets up with you everyday.  I know you guys enjoy that special time together.  But, Clara and i are happy to get in another hour! :)

I love hearing you and Clara talking together.  You are both talkers, so you have long conversations.  I find myself listening in on your conversations b/c i am so impressed with your relationship, and with your vocabulary.  Yesterday Clara was crying in the car b/c she was scared about getting her hair cut and you looked over at her and asked, “Clara, why are you scared about?”  “Are you scared of all the people?”  “They like you, Clara, they won’t hurt you.  It not hurt your hair when you cut it.”  You were being so sweet, and Clara was ignoring you and grunting at you, which she does whenever she is mad, and you just said, “OK, Clara, we talk about it later.”  I was driving with a huge smile on my face, so proud of how sweet you can be.  I continue to pray that you and Clara will always be great friends, and protect each other.  I know that you are a great brother. 

Son, you are a light in my every day, and you make life so much more exciting.  I love you so much!

February 26, 2011

Isaac: 36 months, that’s 3 years!!!

Posted in isaac, monthly at 11:17 am by jznewcombfamily

Well, Ike, we’ve made it another year, and this time you didn’t break any bones!  Yay!  :)

Three years old!!!

Ike, you are turning out to be such an amazing little person.  I love your personality, how you are so active and adventurous but still cuddly and loving.  I love that you are so talkative lately and you like to tell me all about what is going on at any given time, my little narrator for the day to day.

The above picture reminds me of that day when we went for a walk in the first of two eventful snows this month.  Once we were all bundled up and outside you started squinting and grumbling, “Mom, the sun is looking at me.  It in my eyes!”  And who knew that the tacky sunglasses that came in your kid’s meal 6 months ago would come in so handy! You loved how the orange tint on the sunglasses made everything look orange.  It was pretty stinkin’ fun!  Speaking of orange, you have become very good at identifying your colors.  For a while i actually worried that you would never learn your colors, b/c you called everything green.  But in the past few weeks you have been correctly calling things by color.  You like it a lot; it’s one of your favorite games right now for me to ask you the color of things.  Sometimes you say, “Mom, say what color is that _______________.”   I like when you tell me to ask you something.  You do that almost every night at bedtime.  You tell me to lay down with you and ask me about pre-school.  Then, “Ask me ‘What does the hippopotamus say?”

When we built this snowman you stopped and proclaimed, “Mom, we have a problem!  It’s a snowman problem!  We need eyes quickerly!”  I laughed so hard.  You were so serious when you made that statement and the whole time we were working on the snowman you were very focused.  You constantly instructed me on what the next step was, “now we need arms.”  “His head isn’t bigger enough.”  “…eyes quickerly!”  So cute.

You had a ton of fun sledding in the snow.  You were a machine in the snow for about 30 minutes at a time, refusing to go inside and just going non-stop.  Until all of the sudden in a split second the cold would become unbearable and you would start screaming and crying that your hands hurt and you were cold.  You learned to love my heating pad to warm you up once we were inside.

This month we received record-breaking snowfall for Arkansas.  We got 18 inches of snow in 12 hours at our house.  You were super excited.

Look closely, you can see your bikes buried on the porch!

in our cul-de-sac you were up to your knees and sometimes waist

I got to be off work with you guys for a total of 5 days due to the snow and we all loved it so much that we had a difficult time going back to school and work.  And this year President’s Day was on your birthday so i had a vacation day and we got to play all day in celebration of YOU!  Here are some birthday photos:

you woke up from nap to a giant dinosaur

You were a little confused for a few minutes, but you have been talking about wanting a dinosaur party for a few months.  Grandma and Grandpa came to Fayetteville and we had dinner and a party at Uncle Adam’s house.

I made you a fun dinosaur cake, by request of course!

Your 2 favorite toys: a dragon and Godzilla

Blowing out your candle=spitting all over the cake :)

fun times wrestling the dinosaur

decorating cupcakes

enjoying his "masterpiece"

Aren't they lovely :)

We also had a fun time at Chuck E. Cheese which you requested to be your “special birthday.”  You loved the game where you make balls go into a dog’s mouth.  You played it about 10 times!  Ms. Rachel was there to celebrate with us.  We had a chaotic, but fun time.  ;)  My favorite part was how much you liked the weird, mechanical Chuck E. as he was singing and dancing.  You kept wanting Rachel to bring you to see him.

Happy Birthday IKE!!!  I love getting you be your mom and sharing life with you.

 

P.S. We’re almost completely potty trained! WaHoo!

 

January 29, 2011

Isaac: 35 months; Clara: 4 years 4 months

Posted in isaac, monthly at 9:32 pm by jznewcombfamily

Well guys,  we have had quite a busy month!  Life hasn’t slowed down justs because the holidays are over.

Ike, you continue to be a busy little boy, full of energy and excitement.  I love your excitement for life, and how much you love learning about the world around you.  We have been streaming NetFlix through the Wii since we got it last month, and you really like to watch National Geographic documentaries about animals.  We have learned that we have to watch them closely with you though, b/c they don’t quite make them for almost 3 year olds, and sometimes they get a little graphic.  You don’t mind, but we do!

This is the only picture i took of you guys this month!  We have taken a lot of video though.  Clara, you are all about dancing.  You have declared Mommy and Daddy’s bedroom as the “dance studio” and you dance on our bed while watching yourself in the full-length mirror.  I have some cute video of you showing off your moves.  You are very animated, and quite the booty shaker which i am afraid you have learned from me.  Oops!  We all enjoy dancing around the house in the evenings.  Ike, you have an adorable dance move where you swing your arms back and forth dramatically while your arms are bent at the elbows.  It’s difficult to explain, but again, we have video.  I am happy to report that you are almost potty trained.  You can go all day at Day Care with no accidents, and you are only wearing big boy underoos all day.  We are so proud, and especially excited about the thought of never buying diapers again!!!  You will also move up to the big boy classroom once you are officially potty trained.  It’s hard for me to believe that you will soon be three.  I really don’t have any babies anymore.  You are talking up a storm now too.  You say some of the best things, and i am kicking myself that i don’t write down every word.  Your current obsessions are dinosaurs, dragons, and snow-related activities.  We just had 4+ inches of snow and you & I sledded down our steep driveway over and over.  You beat me up the drive every time and you jumped up and down calling out for me to hurry up.  Clara, you went down with me one time and decided it just wasn’t for you.  You are not our dare devil.  I am happy to know that you are cautious and at least one of you guys will have enough sense not to jump off a bridge. :)

Clara, you talk like a very intelligent adult.  Sometimes i forget that you are only four years old.  You are always my big helper.  You clean up without being asked.  You have started earning an allowance for doing chores and you picked out a shiny, purple piggy bank to keep all your hard-earned money in.  You love writing and you are learning to read quite well.  Anytime i am sitting down to write, like paying bills or writing a grocery list or journaling, you want to write too.  You can sit and have me spell words for you to write for hours.  You make me feel special when you tell me you love me.  You tell me out of nowhere several times a day.  It warms my heart.  You continue to be a sweet, sensitive young girl.  We do have to watch your crying and whining though.  You complain about being hurt every single day, and i have learned that my heating pad or an ice pack cures just about anything.  Also, you complain that your stomach hurts all the time which can always be fixed by suggesting that you eat something or go poopers.  :)

Both of you are snuggle bugs, which i love.  It makes it next to impossible to get anything done while you are awake, but i welcome all your affections.  You also both want me to put you to bed every night, so you have to take turns.  That is just because I rub your backs for about 5 minutes before i leave your room, but it still makes me feel special.  Daddy is great at the bedtime routine, but he just doesn’t stay and rub your backs for that extra 5 minutes like i do.  You both love this extra time, and you both tell me all about your day while i rub.  Ike, you like to tell me about all the kids that got in trouble and why.  Clara, you like to tell me about your worksheets (your favorite part of the day).  Ike, you also ask me about what different animals say, and i tell you, “they say, ‘close your eyes, go to sleep.'” about every animal you ask about.  Clara, you also ask me about my day.  You will say, “Mom, how was your day?”  “What did you do?”  “What were the kids names that you made feel better?”  I love that you are thoughtful enough to ask me questions too.  Often you start asking me before i have even started asking you!

Some of my favorite things that Clara is saying now: ” For real, mom.”  “I’ll be your big helper.”  “What can I do for you?”

Some of my favorite things that Ike is saying now: “I’m not a big boy, I’m Ike!”  “I need to go potty.”  “Shake your booty!”

We have so much fun around our house.  I have been having a difficult time the past couple of months with having to work full time.  I know it is what God has for me for now.  And I do like my job, but after having some extra time off with the kids over the past couple months i am reminded how much I love being with them all the time.  Maybe one day I will get to be back in part-time job mode.  You never know.  For now though i am just happy to have a Day Care that i trust and continually appreciate, and i see my children are smart, sensitive, thriving little blessings.

I love both of you so very much.

January 9, 2011

Christmas Edition

Posted in christmas card, clara, isaac at 9:13 am by jznewcombfamily

We had a great holiday season.  Once again we hand-picked a Christmas tree from the Spencer’s Across the Creek Farm and it was beautiful and HUGE!  I had that nasty stomach virus the day we planned to go pick out the tree, so Zach and the kids went on without me.  I was planning to pick out a tree that would be smaller than the 6 foot one we got last year, but i never got to relay that information to Zach due to being sick and not caring much about trees at the time.  Anyway, Zach and the kids came home with an 8 foot tree!!!

It took up a good portion of the living room, but we really did enjoy it.  Sadly, i think we are going to have to go fake next year because i am 99% sure that i have an allergy to cedar or something growing on the tree because i was a sniffle-y, sneeze-y mess the whole month we had the tree up.

The kids got to spend four days with the 2 sets of grandparents the weekend before Christmas so Zach and i could have a romantic staycation (oh yeah, i just said that) in celebration of our 11 year anniversary.  I was also off work, so i enjoyed 4 days without kids to run errands and get things done around the house.  I forgot how productive i can be when i’m not being interrupted every 2.5 seconds!  Also, my memory isn’t as bad as i thought, i’m just distracted a lot.

This was the first year that the kids have really gotten into Christmas completely.  They knew exactly what they wanted for Christmas.  Clara wanted Jessie and Bullseye from Toy Story 3, and a Rapunzel and Murdock dolls from the movie Tangled which we saw the week before Christmas.  Ike wanted Iron Man, Buzz Lightyear, and Woody dolls.  They were so excited about everything they received.  It is a real joy watching your children’s dreams come true.  It’s nice right now when their dreams are so easy to fulfill.  Zach and I were thrilled to get a Wii for Christmas.  The whole family has been enjoying it on a daily basis.  We actually got TWO Wii’s because both grandparents got the family one!!!  It was great because we were able to return one and get the Wii Fit and some extra games and accessories with the money!  When we returned home and unloaded the car into our living room I looked around at everything and reported, “It looks like Toy Story 3 and Wii threw up all over our living room.”  Truly.

the girls at JuJu & PaPaws house the boys at JuJu & PaPaws house

The kids were both very grateful for all of their gifts, and they did amazingly well considering they were out of town for a full week.  But we all let out a huge sigh of relief when we arrived home from our travels.  Hope you all had a very happy holiday season!

Some pics from the Lights of the Ozarks on the Fayetteville Square:

November 27, 2010

Quotable Clara: 4 years 2 months

Posted in clara, monthly at 5:27 pm by jznewcombfamily

Clara’s interpretation of Snow White.  I love the after Halloween sales, i was able to score this costume and one other for only $3 each!  Perfect for the kids’ dress up box.  Both of the kids greatly enjoy dress up.  Clara also really enjoys “modeling” the past few months, as you can see in the photo.  Clara continues to want to grow her hair long, so we are allowing it as long as she continues to let us wash and brush her hair without fussing.  But, i will miss her current shorter hair, i would LOVE to have her haircut:

serious face

The second picture here is Clara’s “serious face”.  She wanted me to take a picture of her “serious face.”  So, now we have it documented.  I am glad though, b/c this is the face we see whenever she is not happy with what someone is asking of her, but i wouldn’t normally get a pic of it.  She is a funny girl.  Lately we are really having to deal with issues like talking back and disrespecting adults/parents…when did she become a teenager?  Well, she is responding pretty well to correction, but we have learned that we have to keep a tight reign on her attitude b/c if we let anything go she knows it and runs with it.  Most of the time she is a big helper, and a great rule follower.  As a matter of fact, i think she may be a little too serious/strict sometimes.

Clara’s PreSchool recently had a few “Police Officers” come to her school and talk to them about strangers, how police are their friends, and obeying rules.  Well, I have always told Clara that she has to wear her seat belt in her booster seat or else the police will come and give Mommy a ticket.  A few days ago, I was starting to drive off and Clara wasn’t finished putting her seatbelt on (she likes to buckle herself) and she started crying and was genuinely scared that she was going to have to go to jail!  Bless her heart, she was so serious and so worried.  I had to pull over and help her get buckled b/c she was so worried.  Later she asked me what would happen if she was in jail.  I never thought I’d be having a conversation like that with my four year old! :)

Isaac: 33 months

Posted in isaac, monthly at 5:05 pm by jznewcombfamily

a walk in the park

Ike, you are so funny lately.  You are talking so much more, pretty much always using full sentences.  Only on rare occasions do we not understand what you are trying to say.  You are obsessed with Iron Man, Spiderman, and Toy Story 3.  We just took you to see Mega Mind the day before Thanksgiving, and afterward i asked you if you were a super hero and you answered, “No, I’m the BAD GUY!!!”  Mega Mind is a bad guy turned good in the movie.  I hope you won’t continue to insist that you are a bad guy!  You like to “save” people now, as if you were a real super hero.  You will tell me, “Mama, who do i save?”  I’ll say that your bear needs saved, or your tiger, or one of Clara’s babies, and you will say, “OK, I’ll save him!”  Then you will run to the bedroom and find the victim and bring it back to me.  Sometimes when i need something I’ll just say, “Ike, I think I hear my phone (or shoes, or drink) calling for help, will you save it?”  Most of the time you will comply.  Ah, fun times!

You are a snuggly sweet boy too.  You like to sit right on top of me on the couch, which makes playing on the computer or doing anything really, pretty difficult, but that’s OK, it helps me remember that sometimes i need to stop being so busy and just sit and hold you.  I keep watching as you grow up too fast and i want to take the time to remember the little things about you right now.  You almost always have a bruise on your face from where you have fallen.  You answer most of our comments to you with, “Oh.”   A common conversation with you goes something like this: “What’s that Mom?” “That’s a turkey.” “Oh, a turkey?”  “Yes, a turkey.” “Oh.  A turkey.”  It always ends with me smiling.  I LOVE how you talk.  You have the sweetest, loudest, monotone voice.  Your natural voice is loud, so sometimes i ask you to whisper/talk quieter, and you will make this really funny almost growling voice that is only a smidgen softer.  It’s cute.  A few weeks ago you used a word that i use all the time: actually.  I still remember the first time Clara used that word too.  She was probably about your age.  I guess i say it a lot, b/c you and Clara use it a lot too. But it made me laugh when i overheard you telling Clara, “actually, that’s mine.”

In other news, you are NOT winning any awards for sleeping lately.  You are starting to resist going to sleep, then you wake up every morning around 230am and jump in our bed like you are ready for the day, and once we get you back to sleep you usually awaken again for the day around 600am.  I’m sorry to tell you this, but we are about to make some changes in the bedtime routine.  You will probably resist for a few days, but you should catch on pretty quickly.

You have started having tantrums now too.  You are very much following the same pattern as Clara.  I remember with her i thought, the Two’s aren’t so “terrible” until she was a few months from turning 3 and then she started really overreacting to everything.  Well, right on time, you have started throwing yourself on the floor and crying uncontrollably in reaction to the simplest things, like Daddy telling you to sit down and eat, or asking you to wait just a minute for something.  The worst is when Clara or another one of your friends has something you want.  Oh, Ike, we are working with you.  You have been spending a lot of quality time in “time out.”  And i know that your poor sleeping patterns aren’t helping matters, which is why we have to address that right away.  It is so sad to watch an overtired toddler having melt-down’s over such small little issues.  We are doing our best to equip you with tools to help you deal with your emotions/reactions correctly.  You are a passionate little guy, so i know that we have our work cut out for us.  As always, we look forward to being there and being able to help you grow and mature into a man of control and governance over his emotions and reactions to any situation.  Your dad and i work hard to teach you by instruction and example.  We pray all these things for you.

I wish i had more photos of you to show off how handsome you are, but you are still in that phase when taking pictures is not your bag.  So, you will just have to trust me, you are so adorable that i can barely stop kissing your still slightly pudgy cheeks, and i find myself regularly admiring your long, dark eyelashes and deep, brown eyes.  You are getting taller.  Recently i have noticed how long your legs are, and how slim you are starting to look.  Thankfully you still have your chubby knuckles, your pooched out belly, and your pudgy cheeks; they are the only things to remind me that you are still my baby boy.  I love you my handsome boy, you really are my super hero.

November 6, 2010

Isaac: 32 months & Clara: 49 months

Posted in clara, isaac, life, monthly at 9:23 pm by jznewcombfamily

Well, kids, this is a catch-up post.  You should both know that October came and went in a flash.  It barely started before it was over.  But, it was such a fun month that i would never want you to forget it…so, this post will hopefully capture some of the highlights.

Early in the month we bought our pumpkins and carved them up so they could provide some much needed fall decor on our front stoop.  You guys loved digging the “guts” out of the pumpkins.  Then, Daddy made homemade pumpkin pies from the guts.  It was delicious and so much fun!  Clara, you really took up baking this month when your class went to Mazzio’s pizza and learned how pizzas are made.  We made homemade pizzas several times this month.

We have also enjoyed a few outings to the castle at Wilson Park in the beautiful weather we have been having.  Clara, you have started to want to pose for pictures, even telling me where you want to have your picture taken and how you want to pose.  It’s pretty cute, and we have been getting lots of good shots.  Here are a few of my favorites from this month:

The outfit you’re wearing in the last two pics is from Namma, and you picked it out on a shopping trip with her.  You really like clothes, and shopping, and “matching.”  You like to put together outfits and you always have an opinion about what you want to wear, and most of the time you will give unsolicited advice to others regarding their outfits.  Like, “Mama, i don’t know if i would wear that.”  And you are often concerned b/c my pj tops and bottoms don’t match like yours do!    You have a new favorite beverage: ice water.  You specifically ask for “cold water with ice, and lots of water, all the way to the top.”  I think you started that from taking drinks of my water.  You are sooooooo talkative, and inquisitive.  I feel like i answer “why” questions all day long.  I love it though, nothing is more fun that getting to be there as you learn about the world.  We have to correct what you have learned quite a bit too.  But, you definitely respect our instructions above all others which is so important to me while you at such an impressionable age.  I will continue to pray that you will always value my input (and your Daddy’s). I pray that you will always know that we only want the best for you, and that that is always our motivation for what we require of you.  You take instruction so well right now, and we thank you for that.  Not that we never have to discipline you, but usually you are quick to respond or even apologize/correct yourself before we even have to tell you.  I love that about you.  You are such a sweet, smart, and funny girl.  I love seeing you as your personality continues to bloom.

Ike, the degree which Clara has started to want her picture taken is equal to the degree which you will NOT agree to having yours made.  I have to bribe, beg and grovel in order to get you to even sit still long enough to snap a photo of you.  Which is fine i suppose, except that i would love it if i had more photos of you at every stage just to document how stinkin’ cute you are!  Although, I accidentally shaved your head this month!!!  I am so upset about it b/c i LOVE your hair.  I was trying to trim it, but you were hysterically sobbing and drooling and crying, “Stop Mommy, no haircut Mommy!” and Daddy was telling me to “just shave it!” over and over again until i finally just stopped trying to trim and put the 3/8″ clippers to your head and started crying myself.  After some therapy we should all be fine, HA HA!!  You continue to be really active and outgoing, very physical by nature.  You love playing dress up with Clara, and you regularly sport your spiderman, Max from WTWTA, and Razorback outfits, plus the occasional pirate, train engineer, or cowboy.  You love changing shoes.  You will beg for your spiderman shoes one minute only to see your rainboots and start begging to change.  We have had to set a strict rule in our house that you and Clara can only change outfits once a day, otherwise you would both change every hour or two.  You also have learned that your pockets are quite useful, so i can find all sorts of surprises when doing laundry.  My favorite is how much you like to hold on to receipts.  But rocks, berries, change, paper scraps, etc can all be found on any given day.  Ike, you are just so precious to me.  I don’t really know how to explain it, but i catch myself having moments when you are snuggling with me and my heart is melting b/c you will look at me and say “love you too Mommy” even if i haven’t just told you i love you.  Sometimes you say, “Mommy, touch my hair” or back, or ear…whatever it is, you want me to rub your hair, back or ear b/c that is how you are soothed/calmed.  And even though you are very go-go-go! you also require your down time.  And you are sleeping much better lately…by better i guess i mean longer…no more crazy 500-530 am mornings.  Thank God for that!

On that note, Ike, you have joined Clara in sneaking into our room at night and climbing into bed with us.  Somehow we don’t notice, and so we just wake up at 300 am with two little monkeys in our bed.  Clara is always on the edge on my side, and Ike is always right between me and Daddy.  At that time of morning i just can’t seem to convince myself to get up and put you guys back in your own beds, so instead i toss and turn until my alarm sounds.  We will probably soon be remedying this issue.  I must admit that i love how the two of you look when you are peacefully sleeping.  It’s tempting to just buy a bigger bed and let it go, but obviously that is not the right answer.  So, soon we will have a little discussion to address the coming to our bed during the night…soon.

Other October happenings:  Halloween, my trip to Baltimore, and painting a horse!

We had to split up b/c Clara wanted to take her time and slowly take everything in, but Ike wanted to dart here then there, then there...

Mama: Queen of Hearts; Clara: mermaid

Ike called me "Queen Mama" all day!

Visiting friends in Baltimore

The Cystic Fibrosis Conference that i attended in Baltimore was so good, but i mostly looked forward to this trip because i got to see these amazing friends, and their wonderful wives, while i was in town.  I was treated to a delicious home-cooked meal, and fun times meeting their precious boys and trying to catch up even though time was much too short!  The following day i enjoyed the Aquarium (which is definitely as amazing as Emily promises) with Ang and Em.  The only things that would have made the visit better: more time and having my family along too!  I think the sea turtle was my favorite.  Thanks for finding time for me, i carry you all in my heart!

Ang: pie making superstar & Em: baby girl in belly!

Little Hog fans enjoying some chili

We love having the Spencer family over for any reason, but it’s the BEST when Spence cooks!  Thanks guys!

If you live in NWA, check out the florist horse this month.  A small group of devoted TC’ers designed and painted the horse the last weekend in October and it will be on display all of November.

Cheesy photo with the horse and some random american flags.  We are quite proud of our final product:

If by some miracle you are still with me…

THE END.

September 28, 2010

Clara turns FOUR!!!!

Posted in clara, monthly at 12:17 am by jznewcombfamily

Clare-Bear, you CANNOT be four.

It just cannot be possible.  Yet, it is true.  I am not kidding when i tell you that it seems like yesterday when i was looking at you for the first time and memorizing your every little feature.  Daddy and i were amazed at your alertness, how you were studying us while we studied you.  There we were, our little family just looking each other over like we would soon be tested on the subject of “US.”

You have never made life easy.  Not when you scared me by running low on amniotic fluid in the womb and having to be induced, and then refusing to come out the “easy” way and insisting on a c-section delivery.  Then, refusing to nurse despite our two months of trying various ways of tricking you into learning, and instead taking your breast milk via bottle through painstaking pumping sessions by me for almost 9 months.  But you know what?  I never hated it.  I loved it actually, doing it all for you.  I have always loved being what you need.  You and me, we are together.  I always know that.  You always seem to know that too.  You’ve always known how to love me back.  Like being a super-star sleeper.  I love that about you.  Like being a girly-girl…i’m so glad that is who you are.  Like the time you picked out the pink converse tennis shoes out of dozens of options.  Like the time when you were only two and you taught another little girl what it means to obey your mommy.  Like how you take care of your brother.  Like how you adore your daddy.  I love how you have a sweet spirit, but you still have enough sass that we have to bring you down a notch every couple days.

Some of my favorite things you say:

You call litter, “glitter”–as in “we have to throw away all the glitter, Mama.  We’re recycle rangers, remember, i got that badger (badge).

Yesterday to you means ANY day that happened before today.  As in, “remember yesterday when i was a baby and i took a bath in the sink.”

Similarly to yesterday, tomorrow means any day AFTER today.  As in, “tomorrow I’ll be five and I’ll go to kindergarten.”  If i correct you and say something like “not tomorrow, but in a year you’ll be five.  And you’ll be almost 6 when you go to kindergarten, in two years.”  You’ll answer, “i know, i said tomorrow.”  Sorta  like, duh, mom.  You just said what i said.

You use words a lot that seem so big and grown up to me that i can barely stand it.  I want to say, you know you are four, right?  Not 40?

Sometimes you say things that make me think of the movie “ELF” which really makes me laugh.  Things like, “skipping’s my favorite.”  or “ginormous”, and your crazy sweet tooth.  Which, you inherited from me (I’m sorry.)

So, like every other four-year old birthday party I knew about this year, you wanted a princess party.  With a castle cake.  With pink and purple, your two favorite colors.  With Willow and River and Eva (but Eva couldn’t be there.)  You were asking for a pillow pet (the unicorn one), Zhu Zhu pets (with the babies AND the stroller), little mermaid dress-up, Polly Pockets, and a princess movie.  And that is all you said.  :)  Well, you are a lucky, loved little girl, because by the end of your second birthday party this coming weekend with the grandparents you will have received every single thing you asked for!  Willow and River stayed the night for a sleepover, and you had the best birthday ever (that’s what you told me.)  Due to your shyness in new/uncertain situations, it was a little difficult to tell if you were enjoying yourself at your party, but later you told all about how much fun your birthday was and how you cannot wait until you turn five (tomorrow!) Haha!  Here are some photos from your birthday…

Wake up, Sleepyhead!!!

Daddy made you heart-shaped pancakes!!!

Some of your guests

Almost all of your aunts, uncles and cousins were there.  We missed Aunt Lisa and Uncle Tyler!  It was a special treat to see Uncle Adam and Aunt Abby.

After pizza (your request) and presents, we sang Happy Birthday and you blew out your candles!

You got your castle cake...though it was leaning a little :)

Daddy and i made the cake for you.  What a fun mess!

Your party table

You and River laying down to watch your new princess movie.

Mermaid Clara

You want to be called “mermaid Clara” all the time now, and you ask me every 5 minutes if you can wear your mermaid.  The rule is that you can wear it around the house, but not to school until Halloween.  The next month should be fun!  Seriously though, you are beside yourself with excitement that you get to be a mermaid.  You are also so happy that your hair is growing, you are dying to have it long.  I am going to miss your super-cute (and easy) short, curly hair.  I love getting to be a part of your life as you grow up into a pre-schooler and a little girl.

Your dad and I thank God daily for the sweet spirit inside of you, and for the obedient little girl that you are.  We continually pray that you will grow up to be a strong, confident woman with a strong identity founded solidly in the knowledge of who you are in Christ.  We pray for the wisdom and creativity to raise you to be a leader and a teacher among your peers.  We pray for the strength and patience to correct you and lead you in the right direction.  We pray that we will always see the real you, and that you will learn from us what true beauty is, and what a real princess looks and acts like.  And we pray that you will always know how much you are loved.

Happy Birthday, Sweet mermaid Clara.

September 27, 2010

Isaac: 31 months

Posted in isaac, monthly at 11:00 pm by jznewcombfamily

Ikester!  Oh, my handsome boy, you are REALLY growing up lately.  So few things about you are “baby” and instead you are turning into a full-fledged little BOY!  You like to remind me that you are my baby though.  When i say, “Ike, are you my big boy?”  You answer, “Nooooo, Ike’s your baby.”  And you say it in a voice like, “No, silly mommy, what is wrong with you.”  It’s very cute, but there are a few ways in which i hope you will grow up a bit more.  Like potty training.  Really, can we just do this please.  You refuse all my efforts to encourage potty training.  Actually, you tease us every now and then by saying you want to go potty, but before you even sit down you are up again announcing that you are “all done potty, candy please!”  But you don’t get candy unless you actually “go”, so you haven’t had any candy yet.  Sorry, rules are rules. :)

Scaling the castle walls

Getting a little scared

You are as adventurous as ever.  You love being outside, getting into everything and anything.  You jump, climb, crawl, hit things with sticks, shoot at things with stick guns, fight monsters, and catch creepy crawlies.  You make life interesting for sure.  And we love you for that.  We love you for the adventure you add to our days.  I love how you repeat whatever we say.  You will ask a question then repeat our answer back, over and over again until finally you are satisfied with the answer and you’ll just stop asking and repeating. You say about a thousand new things a day, so i cannot keep up with them all.  But this stage you are in is one of my favorites because of how exciting it is to watch you discover all the new, extraordinary things that life has to offer each new day.  Like last night when we followed the moon through the window of the car, trying to find it as it “hid” behind trees and houses.  You would get so over-the-top excited whenever you “found” it.  And you would get so upset when it was “lost.”

Razorback Ike (in Clara's dress-up shoes)

Bedtime has evolved over the past month.  You have developed a little fear of being alone in the dark, so we tried a night light but then ended up leaving your door open about half-way at night.  Most nights it works out and you go to sleep without problem, but every now and then you cause trouble by sneaking out of bed to play in the hallway.  The look on your face when you know you’ve been caught is enough to make me want to bust out laughing, but of course i must keep my cool so i can be appropriately upset with you so you will know how serious i am about you staying in bed (or else i’ll have to close your door) and obeying.  You make THE MOST adorable faces a mother has ever seen, and it’s a miracle that i remember to follow through with my threats while you flash me one of your award winning smiles.  Luckily i have offered up hundreds of prayers granting me the wisdom and grace to be the mother that you need me to be in order for you to become the man of God that you were created to be…in order for that to happen i will surely have to see some of those smiles disappear behind tears when you need redirection and rebuke.  But, you will always know how much i love you; i will never let you doubt that fact.

Another fun change I’ve noticed over the past month: you play with your friends now.  For 2 1/2 years you have played alongside your little buddies, but over the past month I have watched you and Simey driving trucks around together and making up little stories together (well, the 5 minutes out of 60 that you aren’t fighting over the toys–hee hee).  This past weekend you and Sheppy followed each other around shooting guns and whooping together.  You enjoyed a late afternoon of playing with sticks in the cul-de-sac with Brayden, making our playdates with Brayden for you now instead of Clara.  I love when you ask to see Bearsy or Simmey, two of your favorite little playmates.  Last week I overheard you talking to yourself/a toy, and you said that you wanted to see your best friend, Simmey.  So cute.

Wooooo Pig Sooie!!!

Of course, your number one best friend (and your biggest rival) is Clara.  You guys have just become cuter and cuter together.  You let Clara get you ready for bed some nights.  She will take you to your room and show you different pajamas until you have picked out the pair you want to wear.  Then she will help you change clothes, even put you into a night pull-up.  I love to listen in and hear as she tells you, “Ike, honey, do you want to wear this one?  It has Spider Man, your favorite.”  And you will say things like, “Cwawa, i want juice.”  “Ikey, say please…”  “Please, thank YOU!”   I’ve also seen an increase in your opinions in response to Clara.  For a long time you have loved what Clara loves and agreed with Clara and wanted to do what Clara wants to do.  Lately though you will argue about what movie you want to watch (usually “gorilla” or “Stars Wars”–we let you watch small snippets of King Kong and Star Wars b/c you love the gorilla and some of the characters in Star Wars) and you like to pick the game sometimes.  You still follow Clara’s lead a lot, but you are making your own choices a lot more.

Love you Ikester!

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