Friday, March 27, 2009

Another trip to "The Bad Place"

The Bad Place is a place I never knew existed before I became a mother. Sure, I had down days and hard days. I thought those college days were pretty gnarly at times. But I never realized there was such a place until I became a mother. At first, you just visit the bad place...very rarely. But the more children you have, the more frequent the visits become and the longer the stays in the bad place. Any mother out there knows what I am talking about. Some women describe it as "I snapped" or "I lost it". It's all about the same. There are varying degrees of The Bad Place. I have seen pretty much all of them. I actually am the self-declared mayor of The Bad Place. Quite a few of my friends are on the city council. My best friend, Juliann, is the City Manager last time I checked.

So, today, I have pretty much set up camp in The Bad Place. The kids' school threw me for a loop and decided to not have school today. Of course, I didn't realize this until late last night. That's when I had that "Oh crap!" moment. I usually try to really prep myself for no school days. I get done all that I need to the day before so I don't have to worry about doing it with all of the kids home. But because I didn't realize it was a no-school day, I wasn't prepared at all. To make matters worse, my children have apparently been posessed by some unseen demons that have made them do things that are completely unexplainable.

So, here is my day at the bad place. I went into the day very sleep deprived. Sadie has a bad cough, cold and ear infection which kept her up a lot last night. So in addition to being 5 months pregnant, anemic, major back pain today, etc. I had to add sleep deprivation to it. My motivation to clean my house was clearly not anywhere to be found. But I had to will myself to do it.

By 10:00 am, the kitchen was trashed, Sadie had done some lovely Crayola "artwork" all over the kitchen floors, and Cayden and Ashlee got in a heated altercation which ended in Ashlee's glasses breaking.
By 11:00 am the girls had decided to look "stylish" (their word, not mine) and of course they needed some of Mommy's make up to achieve this look. When Ashlee couldn't get the right look with just make up, she decided that markers would do a great job. So, yes, she used markers to do her make up. Somehow whiskers were a part of the look she was going for.
By 12:00, the older kids had woken up Sadie but the good news is that I had the whole downstairs cleaned, dusted, vacuumed, swept, and mopped. I think it was about this time I started hobbling due to my back. This is also when Cayden & Ashlee get into altercation #2 after Ashlee wrote Cayden a note telling him she wishes he weren't her brother. This ends with Ashlee in a time out and Cayden grounded for the day after he pounds on her. (This is complete payback from me and my brother when we were younger.)
By 1:00, I had loaded all of the kids into the car so we could take Ashlee's glasses to get fixed. Luckily, they didn't have to replace them and could fix them on site. As a reward for them being good at the eye doctor (and let's be honest, to save me from messing up my clean kitchen and having to fix lunch), we stopped at Wendys. They actually did okay...until we spilled not one, but two full drinks. At this point, people looked at me, looked at the chaos surrounding me, and then looked at my pregnant belly. It's as if I could hear them saying, "Seriously? She's having another one?" I wanted to yell out, "Yeah, I know. Trust me, I know."
By 3:00 we make it back home. I beg and plead that the kids cut me a break and just finish cleaning their rooms, no more fighting, etc. They seem to listen. They even seem to empathize a bit. That all ends as soon as we get in the house. Within a matter of minutes Cayden points out to me that there is a lot of water in the side yard. I think it must just be the melted snow. But alas, no. It is the hose...spraying all over the yard. Completely flooding it. Not quite sure how that happened.
By 3:30, I am changing yet another poopy diaper of Sadie's. It is finally a little bit quiet and peaceful and foolishly, I think that my children are giving me the requested break that I had asked for earlier. I should have known better. Experience has taught me that a little quiet is heavenly...a lot of quiet is dangerous. As soon as I get Sadie all cleaned up, I head into the loft to find that my 3 adorable older children have decided that it is completley fine and appropriate to be having a full blown water fight IN our house. Cayden is wielding a fully loaded water gun and Ashlee is literally dripping. They have little teacups filled with water that they are throwing on each other. Sadie somehow gets in the crossfire and is soaked. At this point, I give them "the look". They know this look. It is a look that comes after being in the bad place for so long. The look means, "If you value your life and your safety, you better get your little behinds in your rooms before Mommy totally loses it." I do my counting exercises so I don't lose it. I also call their father at this point. He promises he will try to leave early.
By 4:00, they are all still in their rooms and I am hoping the worst has passed. But alas, my day in the bad place can't be over quite yet. McKell comes running out of her room to announce that Ashlee has swallowed a magnet marble. I have warned them all that they can't swallow the magnet marbles because they will make them very sick and some children have even died from swallowing them. (I saw that on a Grey's Anatomy episode...I'm sure it's legit information.) McKell is hysterical because "Ashlee is going to die now!" and Ashlee follows her out of the room, throws her arms in the air in victory and exclaims, "See, Mom! I'm still alive!" Again, I send them back to their room and call the doctor. Fortunately, the marble she swallowed isn't magnetized so she should be okay. We now have to try to watch for it to "pass". Oh goody!

So, it is now almost 5:00. The kids are still wet (I wouldn't let them change...I'm such a mean mom). Their dad should soon be home and can take over. And as for me? I am hopefully making my way out of The Bad Place. Hopefully, I won't be back any time soon.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

"The Talk...Part 2"

So, when we last left you, we had just heard the question that every parents cringes at, "How does a baby get IN a Mommy's tummy?" As you may recall, we had discussed how a baby grows, anatomy 101, and how a baby gets OUT of the mommy. But we didn't have time to get to the real question that they had initially asked. So last night, another dinner conversation emerged about S-E-X. I was actually more concerned about this discussion, but it actually went really well. We were very matter of fact about it, and they responded in a like manner. Just matter of fact. We kept it pretty general and decided the details can come out as they get older and ask more questions. But apparently, what we told them was enough to answer their questions. Most importantly, Rob and I survived the whole ordeal. I just hope they remembered it well enough...they can tell Sadie and the new baby what S-E-X means when they get older!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

"The Talk"...part one

I knew this day was coming. I have thought about it for quite some time. So you would think that I would have been more prepared. But nothing prepares you for when your FIRST grader hops in the car from school and this is the conversation:
Mom-Hey guys, how was school?
McKell - Fine. Mom, I have a question. I heard a word today at school that I am concerned about and I don't know what it means.
Mom-What word?
Cayden - I know. She told me. It is C-E-X.
McKell - Not CEX, Cayden, S-E-X! So what does that word mean, Mom?
(Mom begins to panic at this point.)

Apparently, McKell overheard some third graders in the bathroom talking and one of the girls had a dictionary and was giggling because the word "sex" was in the dictionary. When McKell asked her what it meant, she told McKell, "It's gross. You don't want to know." Well, this is the last thing you ever tell McKell - the inquistive one. I bought myself some time by telling them that I wanted to talk to them about it when Daddy was home. They weren't happy, but said okay. I immediately called Rob upon getting home and told him to brush up on his best Fatherhood Sex Ed talk. (Keep in mind, my parents never had "the talk" with me and Rob learned about it from a book called, "You Were Once Smaller than a Dot". So, neither of us had a whole lot of experience of how to talk to your kids about sex to draw from.)

So we decided to make it a very casual conversation. We did not want it to be a weird and formal thing, because we felt it would make everyone uncomfortable. So, as we were eating dinner, I just brought it up.

One thing that was in our favor was that we have used the real anatomically correct words for body parts, so we didn't have to start from square one and explain all of that. We also spent a lot of time explaining that this was something that we discussed as a family, and not something they should talk about with their friends or anyone at school. Not because it is bad, but because it is something that kids should talk to their parents about, not other kids. They seemed fine with that. (We'll see...I'm waiting for the phone to ring from the school!)

It also didn't hurt that I am pregnant so they had a very real model of what was going on in our family. That is mostly the angle we took. We talked about how a baby grows in a Mommy's tummy and that S-E-X is how the baby got there. They had SO many questions just about how the baby grows, eats, etc. that it kind of sidetracked the main subject. But we wanted them to ask the questions that they had and make sure they got answered. So of course, the next question was, how does the baby get out of Mommy's tummy? We explained this to them, very clinically and matter-of-factly. I firmly believe that if the parents act uncomfortable and squeemish about it, then the kids automatically pick up on it and do the same thing. They were a little shocked about that, but actually did fine with that concept. (Although, Cayden's comment was classic when we told him where the baby comes out. "Oh, come on! You have GOT to be kidding me!" I had to crack up at that one!)

At this point, it was WAY past bedtime and they really needed to get to bed. Ironically, we had discussed so many different things, that we ran out of time. But of course, we couldn't get off that easily. As we tucked them in bed, McKell and Cayden both asked, "One more question, how does the baby actually get IN to Mommy?"

Hence the title of this post..."The talk...Part ONE"...looks like we have another interesting family dinner discussion tonight. Wish us luck!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Wrong on so many levels...

Okay, so anyone who knows me, knows a few things:
1. I do NOT deal well with change.
2. I do NOT deal well with extended periods of cold weather
3. Spring is my favorite season (along with fall)

So, with all of that being known about me, you may better understand why THIS upsets me so much!

Yep, this is what the first official week of SPRING in Utah looks like! It maybe wouldn't be quite as bad if we didn't have such beautiful spring weather last week...I'm talking in the high sixties and even seventies. But that all ended this weekend when we took a THIRTY degree drop in temperatures. Yesterday, I was battling horrible winter weather as I took the kids to school and last night we ate hot soup and grilled sandwiches to warm up. To make matters more depressing, I just heard this morning that this Thursday's storm could be the worst snow storm of the whole season! WHAT!?

So, there is my rant for the day. I refuse to pull out my warm clothes, so I am literally tromping through the slush and snow in my flip flops. I guess the only positive aspect of all of this, is that I can legitimately put off spring cleaning for a while...heaven knows it's not spring yet!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Sweet Cayden

So, I just found a piece of paper that Cayden used on the day we went to the Draper Temple Open House. I had to post what it said.

To The Temple!
I am going to the temple today. I was soo excited that I said to my mom 10 times! So we went to the temple. I could imagine what it would be like, it was so beautiful. I could see the Captain Moroni statue up close and...well I do not know what it would be like, but it will be pretty and it will have gold, silver, and copper. I will see pictures of Jesus and the pictures of Heavenly Father. It will be soo fun. So I am going to see the temple today right now.

Later at the church in the chapel before going into the temple...
I just saw a movie about the temple about the rooms. The baptismal font and lots of other stuff. Thomas S Monson said there is nothing like the temple. There are 100 temples built today all of them are different in ways, like the people who built the temple said they put stuff in different rooms that others don't. But all of them are different in different ways. Some are small, some are pretty tall, some don't even have a Captain Moroni on top.

After going through the open house...
I just went to the temple. It was the most cool trip I ever imagined. But was awesome! I saw the 12 oxen of the baptismal font and I saw the wedding room and some of the lights spinned and it had beautiful colors. I saw 6 altars and saw the dressing room of the marriages and the marriage room. It was short. But it had the coolest mirrors and it reflected. It was so cool, happy, and excited. Well, I have to close now. Maybe I will go to the temple someday....this is what the mirror does...I will go to the temple someday!

Pretty insightful for a 9 year old.

Catching Up...

Sadie loves her "Papa" - She actually said his name for the first time last week. It made his day!
This is Sadie and her cousin Katie. Sadie thought it was marvelous to have another little person her same size running around Grandma's house! The girls are about 4 months apart (Katie apparently got in line first for the hair in heaven!) This picture above is of Sadie trying to imitate Katie who sucks her thumb. It was hilarious!

Sadie just could not get enough "ah....loves" from Katie.

I have been a blog slacker! I have been so busy, so pardon my catching up today. Check out all of my new posts.

Here are just a few random updates from the Peacocks.

Rob's pay cut has slammed us hard! We know, we know, we know, we are very blessed to even have a job. I really do know this. But it is still difficult, especially with baby #5 on the way, 2 kids in braces, ear tubes needed, etc. The good thing is that we know we will make it through it and be blessed. It has been a good opportunity as a family to discuss the things that are really important and realize how wasteful we can be.

Cayden is doing great and hitting the pre-puberty stride already. Big time attitude these days! We are practicing patience on a daily basis. But he is a great kid and we are proud of him and his great work in school, piano, and scouts. He is very excited to get to start soccer this week again. He loves soccer!

Ashlee & McKell did their ocean life unit in school this past month and had their big 1st grade culminating event this week. This meant that I got to do not just one, but TWO full blown ocean dioramas! Lucky me! The girls loved doing this and did a great job. Yesterday, the parents got to come to school and view all of the kids' dioramas and then vote on which one they liked the best. I'm sure everyone voted for their own kid. I did. McKell was so sweet because she mostly wanted Ashlee to win. I assured them that it didn't matter who won. But that they both did a great job.

Sadie has had a rough week, but has smiled through most of it. Last Friday, I finally took her in to the doctor and she has yet another set of ear infections. It has only bee a few weeks since the last one. The doctor recommended that we start looking into tubes for her. Ugggh. We hoped that we would get past that with Sadie, but I guess not. The good news is that she made it miles longer than any of our other kids. Sadie also started nursery this past Sunday. I stayed in there with her the whole time and she did GREAT! She has darling nursery leaders that just got put in. She was mostly fascinated with the bubbles and the crying kids. It was like she just couldn't figure out why they would be crying! She is our little climber so we had to pull her off the table quite a few times. She loved snack time with a real cup and loved coloring and singing time. It was so strange to see my baby already old enough to be in nursery! Unfortunately, she has been sick ever since with a bad cold and cough. It has been a very sleepless week for us.

I am doing okay. I am definitely feeling pregnant! As forseen, I am starting to have real issues with my back from the car accident. As the baby continues to get bigger, it will continue to put more and more pressure on the disc in my back that is messed up. I honestly don't know how I am going to do this for another 4 months as it gets worse. OUCH! I also have come down with Sadie's cold and feel pretty lousy. Pregnancy colds are the worse because you already can't sleep, and you can't take any cold medicine, so you're kind of stuck. BLAH! The baby is doing great and moving around like crazy. He is a kicker! Rob and the kids should be able to start feeling him kick now.

I did finally get my hair done this week. Juliann is the BEST! Well worth the trip to Kaysville! It was funny because when I got home, McKell immediately said, "Mom, it sure doesn't look like you got a haircut to me!" (Unless there are 6 inches hacked off, it isn't a true haircut to McKell!) She then said, "But I can see she definitely 'striped' it." - This referring the new highlights, weave etc. The next morning, McKell woke up and looked at me and said again, "Yep, she definitely 'striped' it!" Oh my funny girl!!

So, that is the update for this week.

Ashlee & McKell and their ocean life dioramas. Aren't they GREAT!?

Ashlee and her wonderful teachers, Mrs Riches and Ms Matheson

McKell with her awesome teachers Mrs Stoll and Ms Bond.

Draper Temple Open House...according to the Peacocks

Our family went to the Draper Temple Open House. The kids had been looking forward to this for SO long! We talked a lot about it, what to expect, etc. We were lucky that Rob could take off early from work so we could go during the day when it was less crowded. It was a really wonderful experience to go to the temple with our whole family! The kids really were fascinated by all of it. Here are some comments and thoughts that we heard throughout the day:

-"Why do they have their swimming pool on a bunch of cows, Mom?" - Ashlee when looking at the baptismal font.
-"Mom, you said the temple would make me feel warm inside, but right now I am freezing!" - McKell, after we told her to leave her coat in the car.
-"This is a really special day. I think it is so cool that 'Captain Moroni' is on top of the temples!" - Cayden
-"Hey, this room looks just like Fish Lake!" - All of the kids, when we entered one of the ordinance rooms with the murals painted on the walls.
-"Mom, that light looks like a giant disco ball!" - McKell, when seeing the chandelier in the Celestial Room. The scary thing is that for some reason, it was actually spinning. I'm sure there's has to be a little disco in Heaven, right?
-"Oh, that is SO romantic!" - Ashlee, when we went in the sealing room and told her how Daddy and Mommy were married in a room like this over the altar.
-"I like that there was a harp and cookies at the temple." - McKell after we had refreshments in an adjoining church. We quickly had to explain.
I'm sure there are more...I'll add them as I remember them...

It's not easy being green...but it's sure fun!

Okay, so for the record, I am not Irish. Not a stitch. Definitely a mish mash of Scottish, English, Danish, etc. but no real Irish blood going through these veins. So one might wonder why St Patrick's Day is celebrated so highly at my house. The answer? I have no idea. Maybe it's because there is no major holiday for Scottish people. Maybe I like green. Most likely it's because we like to do fun things with the kids.

Every year, the St Patrick's Day Leprechaun sneaks into our house. He turns our food green, plays tricks, and even pees green in the toilet. (A definite highlight for the kids!) This year we had green pancakes with green milk. Then for their lunches, the kids got green mac and cheese, green apples, green juice, and green chocolate chip cookies. For dinner? I made homemade hot pockets with green dough. We also had green Jello, green juice, and green frosted cookies. After dinner, that sneaky leprechaun left them a surprise on the door. Green cups filled with gold chocolate nuggets, green bubbles, green pencils, and rings.

You would think that at some point I would really celebrate this holiday like the Irish and get stone cold drunk on green beer...but alas, we'll just stick to the Peacock traditions for now.

Poor Rob - He pretends to understand me and my craziness on the holidays. He even picked out his own green shirt without any prompting from me! Now that is progress! (Plus he had already been pinched numerous times by the kids before he even got out of bed, so I think that helped encourage him to wear green.)

The kids' lunchboxes

Green Macaroni and Cheese....YUM!!

The green chocolate chip cookies

Green pancakes and green milk for breakfast!

My little Irish wanna-be's! They wear uniforms to school so I had to be creative with the green. The girls got green hairbows and Cayden got a green frog sticker on his shirt.

Our green dinner - green hot pockets, Jell-o, and juice. McKell actually said to me, "Mom, I usually don't like these sandwiches, but they are MUCH better when they are green!" Amazing how a few drops of green food coloring can COMPLETELY change the whole taste of a meal! :o)

Friday, March 6, 2009

Proud Parents

So we had Parent Teacher Conferences last night and I am a very proud mama! We heard nothing but great things from ALL of the teachers. We really are blessed to have kids that are working hard and loving school. It has been quite a challenge, but we are grateful. Here is the rundown.
Cayden - Cayden's teacher, Ms Anderson, LOVES Cayden. (We tend to hear this every year from his teachers. They all LOVE Cayden!) She is a big "The Office" fan, so I did some Photoshop magic and made her an awesome little poster of her and the men from The Office. It was hilarious. Anyway, she said that Cayden is just an amazing student. He LOVES to learn and learn and learn. He is getting great grades and always turns his work in. He is really loving writing poetry lately and is also great at math. He really excels in science (this would be something he gets from his dad.) And he is an really good friend to everyone.
McKell - McKell has made huge strides since the beginning of the year in her confidance and independence! This according to her first grade teacher, Mrs. Stoll. She said that McKell is just a super student and she loves having her in class. She said she has a thirst for knowledge and a true love of learning. She has never seen ANY student at this age who has such a deep desire to know things. (Again, we'll give this one to her dad). She said that McKell is especially fascinated with History and asks really deep and thought out questions that prompt a lot of good discussions in their class. She is very sure of what she believes in and stands up for it. She can tend to be a little bit social and chatter a little too much (oops, here come Mom's genes!) One thing that we found really interesting is that Mrs Stoll pointed out that McKell is incredibly sweet and kind to others and she fears it borderlines on being naive and she worries that as McKell gets older, that the other kids might recognize this and take advantage of it. That was really interesting to hear. How do you work on that one? McKell really is very trusting and sweet and kind by nature. I guess we'll just have to work with her in those social settings. We were also told that McKell is an incredible reader!
Ashlee - Ash is always our wild card, but we are happy to report that she is doing GREAT! She has the sweetest first grade teacher, Mrs Riches who truly truly loves Ashlee. In fact, she got kind of teary eyed last night when we were talking to her because she said she is already dreading the thought of not having Ashlee in her class next year. Wow, that is nice to hear. But not too surprising...Ashlee can have her challenges, but by darn, she is endearing for sure! Mrs Riches said that Ashlee is a star when it comes to anything where she has to present something to the class like an oral report etc. She said she is amazing at it! She is doing so much better in everything and they are seeing huge strides. This was a big relief after our middle of the year "slump" that we hit. She said that Ashlee is doing much better on staying where she is supposed to be, raising her hand, etc. which are all things that she struggles with. I asked how she was interacting with the other kids and she said that she does great. And she is with a group of kids that really look out for her and praise her etc. That makes me feel so much better. We were told that there is a kid in the class that is new this year so he didn't get to have Kindergarten with Ashlee to warm up to her and he is struggling with her a bit. He apparently has a bad case of "little man syndrome" and is really mean to Ashlee. But luckily, the teachers picked up on it right away and are in constant talks with his parents, who of course, sided with their son for whatever reason. Her teacher said that she finally really let them have it and told them that this was not ever instigated by Ashlee and that he needed to stop. She thinks the parents finally clued in that their little "angel" isn't so innocent in all things. YES!

So, that is our report from Navigator Pointe. When I have an evening like I did last night, it makes ALL of the hours I spend in the car going back and forth to that school worth every bit of it! I just can't put a price of time, money, gas, etc. on my kids' education and for us, this is THE best option. I know Charter schools aren't for everyone, but for us? Yeah, we'll keep it!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Random Thoughts...

Not a whole lot to post on, just some random thoughts and happenings. I am completely annoyed with the weather right now. The last 2 nights have felt like our house was going to pick up and move with the awful winds. Our house backs up to Rose Canyon, so those winds come right down the canyon and boy do they howl and stir up trouble! The wind knocked over the Basketball standard, but hopefully it will be okay. None of us have slept well the past few nights because it is so darn noisy! What really annoys me is that this wind is bringing winter back to Utah. We had a nice little teaser of spring and it has been SO nice. But leave it to Utah to be 64 degrees today and snow by tomorrow. UUGH! Have I mentioned that I need a nice warm tropical vacation about now?
Things have been a little rough as we have had our first taste of life after Rob's big 'ol pay cut at work. It is pretty substantial and it really isn't fun. I am the first to admit that I hate a budget, so this is really annoying to me. I know that we are blessed to at least have a job right now, so I can't complain too much. But it is annoying. I have been trying to work again, against doctors wishes. I am trying to get some things made and listed on ebay, but even that is slow and go with the economy.
I am officially past the halfway point with this pregnancy. I cannot believe it! Time has flown. I am starting to finally feel a little relief from the every day-all day sickness. But watch out, if I don't take my Zofran at night, I am a mess the next day. I learned that the hard way this week. This little guy is moving all over and making his presence known for sure. I feel like I have "expanded" quite a bit in the past few weeks. I can't wait until Rob and the kids can feel this little guy kick. We haven't come up with a name yet. Unfortunately, as he has gotten bigger, I have started to feel it more and more in my back. I am growing increasingly concerned with how I am going to do this with my back as I continue to grow larger with this baby. In addition, I still carry Sadie quite a bit, and she is not the smallest child around, so it takes its toll. I still sometimes cannot believe that we are having a baby in July (or June, if Iget my way! :o)
Cayden is continuing to do well in school, scouts, and piano. He really is such a good kid. We've had a lot of "growing pains" with him lately, but we're adjusting. I went into his room last night and for the first time, it smelled like BOY! UUCH! I am not ready for that boy smell yet. I made him change his socks and sprayed with Lysol. I will be happy when spring really is here and I can open all of the windows every day.
Ashlee is doing great at school...finally! She still has her days, but overall is doing much better. She unfortunately broke her glasses yesterday which is a set back for school, but luckily, they can rush us some new frames. She is LOVING dance class! She is pretty good and loves it more than I ever imagined. It is so good for her. She will do her "Lollipop" dance for anyone who will watch. A funny Ashlee-ism this week. My dad is always teasing Ashlee that she is his girlfriend. This is their little banter that they do every time they see each other. So on Sunday, she walks in their house, goes right up to my dad and says very seriously, "Grandpa, I have some news for you and I'm afraid it is going to make you very unhappy...Daddy is actually my boyfriend." And she walked off. It was hilarious. McKell has has a rough week. Last week she came down with Pink Eye which is never fun. Miraculously, we were able to contain it to just her. But it is never fun to do the eye drop routine, etc. She no sooner started feeling better from that, than she came down with a nasty ear infection! She is doing much better after being on meds for a few days. Hopefully that is the last of it. Sadie keeps us on our toes and keeps us laughing. As I have said before, she is just a joy to have in our family! I have cherished the time during the day that it is just her and me while the older kids are at school. Every day she helps me unload the dishwasher. She stands on the open door and hands me the dishes off the top shelf. She "grunts" as she leans over as far as she can to reach me and if I don't respond quickly, she just throws them at me. Needless to say, I empty the breakables and knives before she gets in on the action. She is filled with hugs, kisses, and attitude! She is driving me crazy with the climbing lately, but thinks she can just give a hug or a smile and get out of trouble. She is killing us lately with her looks that she shoots at us, especially when we tell her no. My favorite is when she grabs my whole face and pulls me into a hug. She can now say "Hi" and "Mama". We are working on "Da Da" but it comes out more like "Na na". She did give my dad the thrill of a lifetime this week when I let her talk to him on the phone. I told her to say hi to Papa and sure enough, for the first time, she said, "Papa". It was adorable!