Monday, November 23, 2009

Not Me! Monday


It's Monday again, which means it's Not Me! Monday. Thanks to MckMama for creating this awesome way to get all those Mommy-mistakes and wifely-woops moments that I'd rather just forget off my chest, and for the chance to laugh at myself. Shall we start?

This week, I have not been staying up way too late doing nothing. I have not been too lazy to go up to bed three nights in a row, and I have not been feeling the effects of my choices. I am not about to pass out here at the computer, and it is not after midnight again... Why do I do this to myself?!?

I did not spend all night long working on my soon to be 3-year-old's birthday cake. I have not shamelessly posted a photo of my work of art, even though I truly cannot take credit for the awesome idea. I am giving credit where credit is due, though: This cake idea is 100% stolen (borrowed?) from my creatively awesome cousin, Jenney (who has her own blog - check it out!!)
I am not totally playing into my child's obsession with the movie Cars. I should not confess that almost each and every birthday and Christmas present this year has something to do with Cars.

I did not go to Target this week and stock up on canned green beans and corn just because they were on a good sale. I did not buy 12 cans of each, and I do not have rain checks for at least 35 more... I am not that desperately excited about a good sale.

I have not been procrastinating about cleaning my house for the guests we have coming for Thanksgiving. I have not put it off for this week, when I know that I have about 1/2 a million things to do including a doctor's appointment, a birthday party, a MOPS meeting, amongst other things. I have not wasted cleaning time plotting my dominance over Black Friday this week. I am not wasting precious cleaning time right now!

So, what have you done that you'd rather forget? Hop on over to My Charming Kids to get in on all the Not Me!Monday fun!

i {heart} faces


It's that time of the week again!
This week's theme is "sun flare". I read the tutorial they published, and ironically it said that with a Canon (which I use) I would not be able to properly capture a sun flare. Turns out, that is correct. I had one that was pretty cool, but it was all washed out/white-ish. This is the closest thing I could come up with. I think that sun spot at the top the photo would qualify as "sun flare," right??


As always, go check out i {heart} faces for more fantastic shots (you know, those ones that actually have proper sun flare!).

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Library

Last week, we had our last Library Laptime until the new year. Because it was going to be the last time in a while, I took my camera and snapped a few photographs. Ms. Betsy always has every one's attention when it comes time to see what's in the box. Do you recognize the small child to the right of the photo?
Yes, even Grayson is at attention when the box comes out. Grayson is usually pretty distracted during the story and song time. But as soon as Ms. Betsy has her box that has an item in it that correlates with the theme for the day, Grayson is right there.
Jayce is pretty into it too. Although he doesn't really understand the concept of the item changing to correlate with the story every time. Lately, all he wants to guess is a cow, because a cow was in the box several weeks ago. Hopefully after the holidays, we can work on the concept of the box time.
Jayce was acting like a goofball that Monday, so I had to add in one of those pictures.
Because the theme for the week was fish/ocean, Ms. Betsy and her co-teacher set up an "aquarium" the kids could get into. They had a folding table that there was glittery fish, a yarn octopus, and streamer seaweed attached to the underside. There were blue blankets draped over the table. The teachers provided flashlights and the kids would crawl inside and shine the flashlights to "find" the creatures under the sea. Great idea, teachers!
Jayce especially enjoyed fishing with a magnetic fishing pole and fish.
Grayson didn't respond well when we told him that we wouldn't be back for Laptime for another month and a half. Well, it was that or it was me taking the toys away from him because it was time to leave. Either way, he was upset to go.
And now I'm looking forward to January when we will once again have something fun to do on Monday mornings!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Robinette's

On Sunday morning, we were feeling quite ambitious, and we managed to get out the door early enough to make it to the first service (well, five minutes after the first service started, but for us, that's terrific). That gave us a couple of hours to burn after church and before lunch with the family, so we took the kids to Robinette's, a local apple orchard that we pass weekly. Every time we are near the area of the orchard, Jayce always yells out, "Watch for the big apple!" On Sunday, Jayce got to see it up close and personal.
My overall goal for going to Robinette's after church was to get hot cider and fresh doughnuts, and for the kids to be able to play, of course. Unfortunately, we were only able to do one of those things because they didn't open until noon. It's a good thing the kids had a blast climbing on an old wagon that has been transformed into a slide!
Yes, as I've previously confessed, I may have gotten too involved in taking pictures to actually catch Grayson when he went crooked on the slide. No, he didn't get hurt. He actually enjoyed it.
Jayce was all smiles climbing up, sliding down. Climbing up, sliding down. Then he took off to run around the apple a few times.
Meanwhile, Grayson explored each and every inch of the wagon. I don't know if it was being so tall, or all of the stuff to look at, but all he wanted to do was walk around the wagon while I snapped pictures.
Before we left, I tried to snap a cute picture of the boys on the swing. Jayce was not happy about it. While it was sunny and bright out on Sunday, there was frigid breeze that made it miserable after about ten minutes. I think between the cold and the tiredness from being up early, he was just in a foul mood and I was not going to get a good shot.
This was the final photo of the day. By that point, I was in agreement with Jayce, we had fun at Robinette's, but it was time to go.

Monday, November 16, 2009

i {heart} faces


Look at me!! I guess this week is "throw yourself back in" week here at The Meyers Chronicles. So, I'm entering into this weeks photo challenge over at i {heart} faces.


This week's theme is "Autumn Beauty." I searched through some of the recent photos that I've been taking of the boys outdoors, but nothing really struck me as "worthy" of an i {heart} faces photo challenge. That's when I remembered this picture I took of Jayce with my crappy point and shoot camera (at the time it was awesome, but now I know soooo much better!), but I've always loved it.


As always, check out i {heart} faces for more great shots this week!

Not Me! Monday



Wow, it feels like it has been months since I've gotten in on the Not Me! Monday action. I must admit, I have really missed being able to come here and admit my faults as a mother, wife, and person. After all, if you can't laugh at yourself...

Yesterday, I did not take my kids out in frigid weather to visit an apple orchard, and get hot cider and fresh doughnuts, that was not open for the day. I did not insist on them getting out of the car regardless, and take several pictures of them freezing their bums off while playing on a slide. In fact, I did not miss catching Grayson on the slide because I was too busy taking pictures. I definitely do not have photographic evidence...

I have not been my 3 year old's personal toothpick on more than one occasion (ok, at least five that I can think of off the top of my head) over the past couple of months. He does not come to me when he has something stuck in his teeth that he cannot get out on his own. I do not comply, because, well, that would be gross! Speaking of gross... I did not catch my 1 year old's puke after he choked at dinner tonight. Oh what fun it is being a mom!

I have not resorted to bribery to try to keep my 3 year old out of my 1 year old's crib. We have not had a very difficult time keeping Jayce out of Grayson's crib. They have not managed to break the crib (Although my wonderful husband was able to fix it! I have a fix-it man for a husband. I love it!) already, and I have not given out punishment after punishment without success. I am not currently bribing Jayce with trips to the park and movies and special treats if he'll stay out of Grayson's crib (you know, that thing he should just be doing!).

I did not immediately think of taking pictures when my kids made a huge mess with cheerios this week! In fact, I often do not immediately reach for my camera at moments like that. I would never put pictures ahead of getting a mess cleaned up...

Lastly, I am not completely craving and looking forward to Thanksgiving dinner tonight because of a program I watched on The Food Network. I do not regularly watch The Food Network and desire to cook just as well as any of the celebrities featured. I do not often call my husband and work and tell him I want to visit a specific restaurant in a certain town. I have not often aspired to prepare something similar to what I've seen, but completely and totally destroyed it. And tonight, I am not really thinking of making Thanksgiving dinner for tomorrow. Does anyone know how to make a turkey?

So, what have you not done this week? Do you have anything to confess? Head on over and check out MckMama's and many more Not Me! Monday posts.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Cheerio, Ol' Chap!

Whenever I offer Jayce and Grayson Cheerios for breakfast, I always say that - "Cheer-i-o, ol' chap!" with a British accent. I'd put a video up to show you, but my British accent is bad! Apparently, this morning Grayson wanted to hear it.
Grayson, in all his talented glory, decided he wanted a little snack as I was getting the boys and I ready to go out this morning. As I was helping Jayce with his shoes, I heard that distinct sound of many little, lightweight pieces of cereal hitting the floor. I turned and saw Grayson standing with the box upside down, and cereal pouring on his feet. We literally opened the box just days ago, so it was pretty full. Then Grayson sat down, right in the middle of the mess, and started eating. Yum!
I quickly moved both of the boys off to the side and gave them each a pile of cheerios and a stern warning to not move (lest the cheerios be smashed into the floor!). I tried to salvage whatever cereals did not end up directly on the floor, and swept up the rest of the mess.
Moral(s) of the story: Grayson will help himself to any snack that is somewhat accessible to him. Grayson will notice when the floor needs sweeping and will create a situation that requires it to be done. The next time you are at my house and I offer you a bowl of cheerios, it might do you some good to ask if they are the ones that were on my floor.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Miracles

It should be no doubt to anyone that I believe in miracles.

After all, the past few years have been full of miracles that were visible every day.

Dad Meyers is a perfect example of a miracle in every day life. Modern medicine and doctors told him that he wouldn't survive more than just a few months, and he was able to live a full life for nearly three more years. I believe that God worked a miracle in his life, giving his doctors wisdom on how to fight his awful disease. He led Mom Meyers to many different alternative treatments that allowed him to live a longer, more comfortable life. God allowed Dad Meyers time - time to walk his daughter down the aisle, time to hold brand new babies, time to be there for his family. For Dad Meyers, time was the miracle that so many had prayed for.

Even in the past few days, Mommy-bloggers have been able to witness a miracle for little Stellan. This miracle baby had surgery recently to fix a problem with his heart. During the surgery, it was looking like it would be much more complicated than anticipated, and that the doctors would have to damage his heart to fix it, and God gave the physicians the wisdom to try something a little different, a little risky, and the perfect idea of how to fix this baby's heart and heal him from a persistent heart condition that was slowly killing him. It was unconventional, and it worked. A miracle, given by God, that is going to allow this baby a lifetime with his family, a miracle that tens of thousands have prayed for.

Today, I am coming to you with a request for prayers that will hopefully lead to another miracle. I received a phone call, telling me of a pseudo-family member that is very ill. He's recently been diagnosed with throat and tongue cancer, stage 4. There will be doctors and tests, possibly surgery, chemo, radiation, the whole 9 yards. There will be a fighting spirit. There are friends and family who will be affected in the most heart-wrenching ways. There will be tears. There will be prayers, many prayers. Please be keeping my family in your prayers. Please pray for healing, for wisdom for the doctors, for peace for the family, for a dependence on God that can only come from a tragedy like this, for hearts to change. Prayers can certainly elicit miracles, especially in the hearts of those talking to God. Please pray for a miracle.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

What a Crappy Day. I Am So Blessed.

Someone asked me today, "Hi, how's your day going?" Naturally, I gave the obligatory reply, "fine." But, do you want me to be honest? It's not going well. Here's why:

** Jayce (and Grayson) had a very difficult time sleeping last night. He was up and moving around in bed until for at least an hour after he went to bed. Around 11:30, he woke up screaming. I went in to check on him, and he'd pooped. I changed his diaper (he still wears diapers to bed because, well, he's not really potty trained at all - but that's beside the point), and tried to get him back to sleep. Then, Jayce woke up at 12:30am screaming. I went in again, and he told me that he'd had a bad dream about a tall, scary man. Ok... I tried to get him back to sleep, and he told me that his teeth were hurting him. I finally decided to give him a little bit of Motrin (you know, in case his teeth were actually hurting, and so that the kid would sleep!!), and left him to go to sleep. I finally went to bed at about 1:30 in the morning. At 3:45am, I awoke to the sound of children giggling and jumping and pounding on our shared wall. I was mad! I went into the boys room and I found Jayce IN the crib with Grayson, along with a myriad of things from around the room. I have no clue how he got in there, I just know they were standing at the end of the crib jumping and laughing. A spanking, a firm talking-to, several hugs and kisses, and many tears later, the boys were back in their respective beds, and I was sleeping somewhat-soundly in my own. (Thank God for a wonderful husband who allowed me to sleep in much later than I should have because he did work last night...)

** I decided to run some errands this morning, including an intended-short trip to WalMart. If you choose to shop at this store (and I do because it's cheap for certain items), do not go there on a Saturday morning! The place was packed with (rude) people, and it was nearly impossible to navigate with one child riding, one child walking.

** With my lunch today, I decided to have a large glass of caffeine-infused Diet Pepsi, because, well, I needed a little bit of a pick-me-up. Jayce had finished his lunch, and I got him down and sent him to the back room before taking a nap. While I was trying to get him to come over to me, so I could help him get dressed for bed, he ignored me and pulled a library book off of the table. The very book my full glass of soda was sitting on (with a coaster, because I didn't want to get the book wet, you know). The cup spilled all over the table, soaking ads, coupons, paperwork, and library books. I was livid! Not only because of the spill, but because of the direct disobedience that led to the spill.

** While I was cleaning up the mess that Jayce made, Grayson kept on giving me the sign for "all done". I went over to help get him cleaned up, and he went back to eating. So, I left him to clean up the rest of the mess. All of a sudden, I hear a gagging sound, and I look over at Grayson, and it would appear my bulimic baby is back. His hand was down his throat, and he was gagging. I told him to stop, just one second too late. Up came his lunch, macaroni and cheese with corn, green beans, Craisins, and milk. I really hate to give you a description of what it looked like, but it really makes the story: it looked exactly like cheesy-broccoli soup. Bet you can't guess what I was having for lunch today... Cheesy-broccoli soup!!

** So, I sit down to my computer to write about the horrible day I've been having, and what do I read about? Sick babies in need of dangerous surgery. Cowards who used guns to settle problems they had, and the heroes who rallied to save those around them. A mom struggling with taking care of her preemie baby and the financial problems that surround her family. A precious little girl who is dying of cancer.
Really, my problems aren't that bad. I can deal with the lack of sleep, the messes, the cranky kids. I am so blessed to have my children healthy and safe. Here, with me. I am so blessed because I have my health. I am so blessed to have a wonderful husband who often puts my needs before his own. I am so blessed to have wonderful family and friends. I am so blessed. I suppose seeing a little bit of reality for others has really put things into perspective.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Leaves and a Little Bit of Slave Labor

Have you been enjoying the beautiful fall weather we've been having? The other day, the boys and I decided to take advantage of a sunny and dry day by playing/working outside. My goal was to burn off a little energy the boys had stored up and to get a little bit of raking done (as you can see in the pictures, we have a lot of leaves to clean up). I managed to accomplish one of those tasks. I also tried to get the kids involved in the raking and cleaning up of the back yard. Jayce was not excited about it.
He also wanted nothing to do with my camera. That child was in quite the mood that day.
Grayson, on the other hand, was thrilled to be able to help out. He grabbed hold of a rake and started dragging it all over the backyard.
After seeing his brother at work, Jayce decided to get in on the action too. I would argue that a snow shovel is not entirely useful when trying to rid your backyard of leaves, but he was willing to help. That was a step in the right direction, at least.
Grayson "worked" at his "job" for quite a while.
So did Jayce... Again, I'd argue that the shovel was not entirely useful, but he was being helpful. For a few minutes, at least. He quickly ditched the shovel and gathering of leaves right after I took this picture.
Grayson saw that as an opportunity...
... to be two times as helpful! Or to try.
He tried to be just like Jayce and shovel the leaves. Grayson is constantly trying to be just like Jayce. It's cute, until Jayce gets frustrated or Grayson gets frustrated and then the fighting starts... That part isn't so cute.
Apparently both of the boys figured out that the shovel wasn't really worth using on the leaves, because Grayson soon dropped it and crawled off in the leaves.
Jayce noticed some of the leaves falling out of the trees because of the wind. He kept on saying that it was "raining leaves!"
So what a near-three-year-old boy to do? Make it "rain" more leaves! Jayce thought it was hilarious to throw the leaves up in the air. Toss, laugh hysterically. Toss, laugh hysterically.
We had so many leaves in our yard that Grayson had a hard time staying on his feet. Either that, or Grayson has really taken to the yoga Ms. Betsy is teaching at Laptime (library). Here's his downward dog:
Because of the beautiful, sunny day, I thought I would take some time to try to get a cute picture of the boys.
This one was my favorite!
Even though I didn't make any progress on the leaves in the yard (notice they are still there in the background of the picture above!), I did get quite a few cute shots. I'd consider the afternoon a success.

Happy Belated Birthday, Papa!

We met my dad for dinner on his birthday last week. Jayce sang him the "happy birthday song" and asked when he could eat papa's happy birthday (I'm pretty sure he meant cake). Jeremy and his mom were able to come with us. We had a great visit with my parents and grandma.

Happy Belated Birthday, Papa!!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Hysterical

Sorry it's really dark... But it's funny!!

video

**FYI** That's not Grayson sitting next to Jeremy, it's a friend's son who we were watching for the night.

That Post I Had Promised About ArtPrize

Do you remember a couple of weeks ago when I "previewed" our ArtPrize excursion around the city? I'm finally making due on my promise of posting our photos from our ArtPrize exploration.
Here's the boys enjoying a quick snack before we took off for downtown.
Our first stop. It was a replica of a house boat. There were room dividers in it too, along with a view hole.
A steel sculpture that Jayce may or may not have tried to climb on...
Outside of the museum, there was a huge park bench and was a part of ArtPrize. It was fun feeling like a little kid again!
There was a huge table and chairs set sitting on top of a bridge downtown. We tried to get a picture of Jayce "sitting" at the table.
This neat sculpture was out in the middle of the Grand River. At night, it was lit with colorful lights.
This is "Nessie on the Grand," one of the finalist for ArtPrize 2009. The boys really enjoyed looking at Nessie because she came complete with sound effects!
A better view of the table and chairs that sat on the Blue Bridge, from just below it.
Here's a few pictures of some of the ArtPrize entries from the Blue Bridge. The one on the far left was also a finalist.
This moose was another finalist. It was pretty impressive at first glance, but once you got up close to it... WOW!! The moose was made entirely of nails that had been welded together. So cool!!
This was outside of The BOB. In the background, you can see VanAndel Arena. There were several entries located here.
This was one of the entries, along with the moose, that was outside of The BOB. This was a mosaic made of tile or glass...
This was a huge painting on the side of the building, and it had3 bubbles that had various things in them. One was a mirror and one was a TV screen. Jayce loved it because the TV screen had a fish swimming in it for a little while.
This was a pretty neat entry. The artist is someone who works with glass in liquid form. He actually had a heater that he brings on site, and he melts down used glass and creates a piece while in public. It was pretty cool.
This was Jeremy's favorite entry. It was a canoe made of various types of wood. I believe that there was no paint used, so those musical notes were crafted with wood while he was making his vessel.
This is a picture of that sculpture out in the middle of the Grand River, while lit at night. Grand Rapids makes such a beautiful nighttime skyline.
While we were walking downtown, we happened to run into Aunti Kalena! She was a huge help in getting us to the museum that housed many more ArtPrize entries.
This was a really neat display - origami! There were two piles of origami that were attached by a string that was on some sort of motorized pulley system. One side would stretch out and unfold, then the other side would. It was mesmerizing.
These were free-standing steel sculptures - they reminded me of a dandelion when they are fuzzy.
Apple sponsored this interactive display. If you look closely, you will recognize the people in two boxes - top row, 1 in from the left; bottom row, 1 in from the right.
This was another finalist. It was a very strange-looking sculpture, hanging from the ceiling. And once we got up close, we could see that it was made of balloons! I've never seen a balloon animal/sculpture that was so HUGE!!
This is a mosaic that was installed on the side of the Grand Rapids Children's Museum. When Jayce first felt it, he tole me it felt like chicken. Seriously, though, it was really interesting, and it's exciting because it was a permanent installation.
Introducing the winner: Open Water No. 24 (in the background). While it looks like a picture, it is a painting - very detailed, very realistic. Awesome. In front of that is "Field of Reeds," another finalist. Honestly, not that interesting.
Bowls made of uncooked rice. In a really interesting hall. It felt artistic. I took a picture.
The last thing we saw was my favorite and the entry that got my vote. There were three "Portraits"....
... and when you looked closely, you could see that each of the portraits were made of push pins! Jeremy is convinced that the artist must have used a computer program to make these, but I don't care! Hands down, the best entry. It won 3rd place.
We had a blast exploring our city and getting involved in the art that was available to us. I'm already looking forward to ArtPrize 2010!