And it begins

The other day we were waiting for a prescription at Wal-Mart and walked past the posters.

S: Mom, look! The Jones Brothers!!! (Jonas Brothers)

M: Yeah, they're neat.

S: No, Mom. They're HANDSOME.


The Very Fun Family Day

For months I have been planning this day. I kept it a secret until about two weeks ago, and then I couldn't take it anymore and told David.

We started the day with what we Rieske's like to call a "family cuddle"

That was followed by getting ready and going to Krispy Kreme for breakfast. Yummy! Of course, we couldn't go without Anastasia (Sydney's stuffed rabbit) who is sporting her new Mermaid duds in this photo.

Then, the pinnacle of the day, "The Very Hungry Caterpillar"

As soon as Sydney saw it in the Walton Arts Center guidebook, she was begging to go. We had tickets on the front row of the balcony which was perfect. They had booster seats for the kids, so Sydney had a wonderful view.

Here is Elle waiting to go in.

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We went in a few minutes before it started (we didn't want to push our luck on how long the girls would actually sit still.) It still took a while for it to start, so Elle occupied herself by attempting to eat Daddy's phone.

The entire show was done with puppets and black light. It was really cute and included: Little Cloud and the Mixed Up Chameleon. They said it was a non-shushing show and that the kids were free to talk out loud and help tell the story. Overall, it was a great introduction to theatre (which my girls need because mommy is a fanatic and will be dragging them to many show in the future!)

Afterwards, they came out and showed the kids the puppets and answered questions. Then, we went down to the stage to see a few of the puppets up close.

Sydney with the Mixed up Chameleon

Elle with the Very Hungry Caterpillar (notice the resemblance?)

Here is our attempt at a self-photo. We had a great time and will definitely do something like this again. Stellaluna is coming to the WAC in January and I may just have to take Sydney for her birthday.

Should we take pictures of all of her firsts?


Sunday night we had our usual pasta dish. Pasta is a nice, quick dish and we always have some on hand. This week we chose ravioli. For dinner, I usually remember to fix something for Elle, but last night I didn't. My baby LOVES her food, so she started the grunting sound that means, "I want some, and I want it NOW." I gave her a taste and the girl was in heaven. She ate a ton of it. Then, I look at her and she is sort of coughing/turning redish blue. Yep, she is choking. Since she is coughing my logic is to leave her alone and let her do her thing to get it up rather than sticking my finger down her throat. All of a sudden I hear this disgusting sound and I'm covered in puke. Yep, all over my church clothes there is a nice redish, vile smelling substance and one piece of ravioli that was obviously the culprit. I said to the husband, "Well, she has officially thrown-up for the first time." Mocking me (as the husband loves to do) he said, "Quick, grab the camera!" No worries, there are no pictures of the official first puke.
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What makes us us.

If you know us, you know we're who we are. We have our own little crazy family things that we usually do in private. One of our silly family traditions is dancing. We have the "shake your booty dance" (which even comes with its own song) and the "Oh, Yeah" dance.

Saturday was the "Very Fun Family Day" that I had secretly planned months ago (more on that later.) So, I was all giddy when we stopped by the allergy clinic to get our bi-weekly shots. When I went in the nurse said, "oh, you are on the green vials now" which means that I only have to go once a week for shots instead of twice. I was so excited I started doing the "Oh, Yeah" dance right in the middle of the nurses station. Then I remembered where I was (and that my family wasn't around.) Oops. David said he is totally embarassed for me.
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Don't I have cute kids?

Here are just some random photos we've taken over the last few weeks.

Here is Elle playing with her favorite toy (thanks Aunt Stacey!) Of course, she was under Daddy's care, so he had to put his hat on her (this is what happens when you end up with all girls.)

Here is Sydney showing off in her new dress and matching coat and hat. I think it is so cute on her and perfect for this time of year! I love it even more because I paid $4.69 for it in the middle of the summer. Gotta love the clearance rack at Kohl's.

Here is Elle in her newest winter dress. It looks so warm and cuddly - I wish it came in my size!

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Yes, I know it has been FOREVER since I updated (you all keep reminding me.) We've been really busy although I'm not really sure where all of my time goes. This post will be in the form of several posts because Picasa will only upload so many photos at once and it is a lot faster than doing them one at a time. So, without and further adieu, here are a few pics of what we have been up to:

We went to McGarrah farms in Pea Ridge and picked pumpkins and took a hayride. Sydney was pretty excited and finally chose a green pumpkin (that turned orange in one spot once we brought it home.) Of course, we had to pick a very heavy pumpkin from the patch that was the greatest distance away. Dad got the honor of pulling all three of us, plus two pumpkins in the cart. Sydney was really excited about the clippers she got to use to cut her pumpkin from the vine, and all of the pumpkin plants were well groomed when we left.

Elle enjoyed it too, and Sydney picked a nice orange pumpkin for her.

For some reason, Sydney was dead in this picture (how many smiling dead people do you see??)

These were my favorites- I just love them. David said he'd buy me one, but I said that it was ok and I didn't need one. He gave me a long lecture about how if I wanted one, get one because he would NOT be driving back. I took a picture and promised that would suffice.
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Pumpkin Carving

My mom and dad were here for pumpkin carving (after Mom locked her keys in her truck Dad had to drive the two and a half hours to come and get them out.) Good thing they were here, too because I'm pretty sure we never would've managed to carve two pumpkins with two kids. We definitely aren't parents cut out for a slew of kids - man-to-man defense is all we've got. Sorry girls, you're it.

Here is Elle's pumpkin, carved by yours truly. I traced her hands on the pumpkin and then cut them out.

Sydney and Daddy did hers and she decided it needed to be painted blue. We've never heard of painting a pumpkin blue, but Sydney usually picks the road less traveled.

And here, our "traditional" family shot. I'm not sure how we got into the habit of taking a family photo with our pumpkins every year, but it is neat to see how Sydney has grown from year to year.

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At our house, we definitely get our money's worth out of our Halloween costumes. We had our ward party, Sydney's ballet party, trick or treating at Wyeth, and of course actual Halloween.

At Sydney's preschool they did a fall celebration and the kids were supposed to wear black and orange. Well over a month before that I found a super cute candy corn print fabric that I just knew would make a really cute dress. Being the procrastinator I am, I started sewing the pillowcase dress at 9 p.m. the night before the party. But, Sydney loved it.

For Halloween Sydney decided to be a cheerleader (after going back and forth between Tinkerbell, a princess, and Mulan.) She loved her costume and loved trick-or-treating. For my little chatterbox, it wasn't so much about the candy, but about getting to knock on a million doors and talk to everyone.

Elle was a pepper, which went along great with her nickname since birth, "Ellepeno." She didn't mind her costume, and spent the actual night sleeping (I think she felt like she was in her swaddle.)

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Chilli CookOff

We had our ward chilli cookoff the weekend before Halloween. I finally was brave enough to try making chilli again after the "Cinnamon Chilli" fiasco of 2006. (Long story, but I grabbed the wrong bottle and added cinnamon instead of chilli powder.) So, Sydney and my mom helped me chop and add ingredients to the chilli. I have to say I was the proud winner of the "mild" category. Notice that Sydney is holding a chilli powder bottle, and definitely not cinnamon.

Here is our trunk all decorated for trunk-or-treat.

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Soccer ends

After six weeks of soccer, we are finished. I loved coaching and it helped me fill a void and make the transition to being a full-time stay-at-home mom. Sydney did great, minus a few pouting episodes (ok, two a practice.) It was so fun to see the kids learn each week, and of course I can't complain about the hugs either.

"Back up boys, this is my goal"

Soccer is hard work.
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Big Sister

So, Washington Regional has this silly policy that no one under the age of 12 can visit new babies unless they are a sibling. Sydney has been DYING for baby Caleb to get here, so we had to figure out a way to let her see him. Two days later just wouldn't work with her. So, Ben decided that just because Caleb was Chay's first baby, didn't mean that it had to be his first. Here is big sister Sydney with her half-sibling for the day, Caleb. Isn't he cute! She was so excited and she even got a button that says I'm a Big Sis. She even played along with Ben being her "pretend dad" for the day.

Elle is growing up so fast. She is closer to seven months than six, which absolutely breaks my heart. She is sitting up independently, which makes it much easier to move her from room to room with me during the day. This kid does NOT like to be by herself. She is perfectly content sitting and playing as long as someone else is in the room with her. The second she realizes she is alone she SCREAMS. So, she gets toted everywhere (which I totally realize is only encouraging this behavior, but what can I do?) Along with the joy of sitting up goes getting to ride in the grocery cart vs. her car seat. Can I just say that I am PUMPED about that?? I love not toting that heavy car seat. Most of the time Elle has been in the Moby wrap at the store and everywhere else we went. It makes life so much easier, especially when chasing Sydney. But, the one drawback is that I haven't built my arms up to carrying the car seat like I did with Sydney. I'm seriously such a wimp when it comes to carrying it, not to mention that Elle is almost the size at 6.5 months that Sydney was a 1 year. But, darn she is cute!

Finally, I got her bath shot. I have a cute picture of Sydney as a baby when bathing with bubbles all over and it sits in my kitchen. I told David that if you looked at the pictures around our house you'd never know that Elle is a part of the family. Finally, I printed this picture and it is on the kitchen counter next to Sydney. So, after 6.5 month, welcome to the family, Elle.

And here is one of my favorite pictures - Elle and Sydney curled up napping together. They really are best buddies and I dread the day they learn to team up against me, because I'm in for it.

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