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Friday, September 28, 2007

Spiders and Wizards

Here is a conversation I had with Maggie in the car today. These kinds of conversations happen everyday but today, I just thought to write it down. I love the way kids' minds work!

Are spiders mean or are they nice? Sometimes I wonder why God created spiders if they're just gonna bite us. Mom, the other day, daddy had a spider web on his face and I helped him to get it off....it's nice to help people if they need our help, with spider webs or anything. Except for mean people, I won't help mean people. Well....maybe if we help the mean people, a magic wizard will come and turn them into nice people.

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Thursday, September 27, 2007

New Shows and Old Favorites

If you don't know this about me already, I'll fill you in...I love Fall Premiere week! This has been a week of TiVo overload for me. It seems like everything that I want to make sure and watch is on consecutively on different channels. Thank goodness for being able to watch one and TiVo the other. Here are the shows that I'm most excited about this season:

First and foremost...The Office
The first season got me totally hooked. How in the world could one human being (Michael Scott) make me SO uncomfortable. He is just so pathetic and awkward that sometimes, I have to look away. But the one thing that has kept bringing me back is, of course, the relationship between Jim and Pam. I appreciate that they've written them as passing ships but now that there are no obstacles standing in their way but themselves, I'm dying to see what develops tonight and with the rest of the season.

The next is Grey's Anatomy
I have to admit that I was a little bit frustrated with this show last season. All of the drama wore me out. I'm looking forward to more humor than drama this season. We'll see...

Which leads me to Private Practices
I am actually giving this one a fighting chance. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that I have always had a little crush on Tim Daly since his "Wings" days. I find myself routing for Addison and the 1st episode was pretty good. What did everyone else think about it?

And of course, my list wouldn't be complete without mention of Dancing with the Stars
I am a dancer at heart even though I have two left feet, I can live vicariously through the non-dancers on this show. Julianne and Helio are already my favorite couple to watch!

I'm also excited to catch back up with "Men in Trees". It's not on my MUST SEE list but I do think that it's cute and fun.

Did anyone catch "Pushing Daisies"? That show looks interesting but I forgot to add it to my season list. Is it worth watching episode 2?

I will also include Lost on this list even though it won't be coming on again until February!!!
I can't believe that they are making us wait that long before we can find out what happens next but as big, fat pregnant as I'll be in February...I'll be tuning in. Maybe I can have a viewing party in my hospital room if I'm there on a Wednesday! :o)

I'd love to hear what you're addicted to!

***I have to make an addition to my list after a few of you reminding me. I do like Monday nights for How I Met Your Mother. This is a recent addition for me, but I loved last season so I'm interested to see how this season develops.
and I'm excited for the next season of Project Runway.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Prayer and Strength

Please pop over and read the Farleys blog. What an amazing young family who is going through a horrible situation and praising God all the more for the journey! Their baby was born with something called Trisomy 18 and was told that she should have resulted in an early miscarriage but that there was no way she'd live far beyond delivery. She is at home and just celebrated her 1 week birthday. Wow.

Boothe's father is in the music industry and he crossed my path periodically when I lived in Nashville and she is a member of the church where a few of my friends attend but I feel like I know her and am agonizing with her with each passing day. I have to admit that it's difficult for me to read because I am projecting all kinds of possible "what-ifs" on my current pregnancy but am gaining such encouragement from her words of faith.

God is miraculous and I know that they will continue to give Him glory no matter what unfolds in the days to come.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Neuschwanstein, cacophonies and other 4-year-old chatter

Say what you will about kids and tv but I have some proof that it's not all bad. Now, don't get me wrong, I do know that there are limits and boundaries that need to be set when it comes to what and how much our kids are exposed to and to borrow a couple of classic cliches that I heard growing-up:



  • Garbage in, garbage out (GIGO was big in the Stone house when I was little)

  • All things in moderation

  • Just because a little is good doesn't mean a lot is better


See Dad, and you didn't think that I was listening.


But I must tell you that there are some kids tv shows that have truly helped me to mold my children into creative and intelligent little human beings! I'll touch on two that we really like at our house (yes, you can include Casey and I in that WE because we've been known to plop down and watch or whistle the theme songs around the house!).





The first is Little Einsteins. Maggie really liked Baby Einsteins and I've read some studies recently about how those videos can actually stunt a child's development but with Maggie it was quite the opposite. When she was out-growing them...along came Little Einsteins for toddlers. I remember watching episodes with her snuggled up in bed in the morning and being so impressed that they were teaching important geographical locations, art, and of course (being a music major) classical music. Before long, she was going around the house humming Dvorak's, Symphony No. 9, and Bizet's Les Toreadors from Carmen. I put a couple of classical pieces on my iPod and she requests them now and we pretend to conduct while we're driving places. Her all-time favorite is Edvard Grieg's In the Hall of the Mountain King. She sees art and can recognize it and wants to know more about Monet and Van Gogh. Once, when she was about 3, she told me that she wished she had a castle like the "Noosh-vine-stein" (Neuschwanstein) one in Little Einsteins. When I was taking a trip to New York, she wanted to know if I was going to see the Statue of Liberty or the United Nations. She saw an ad in a magazine once and told me that the building in the picture was the Leaning Tower of "Pizza". She was right!


I'm not exaggerating folks! These are not bad things to know at 3 years old and I would have never thought to introduce them to my kids.



Maggie and Rory's new favorite show is Pinky Dinky Doo. A very cute show about a little girl with a little brother who likes to make up stories, teach valuable lessons and uses a big word of the day. Why else would Maggie have started incorporating words like: exasperated, calamity, apprehensive, engrossed and cacophony into her vocabulary? I remember watching the one with cacophony and thinking, "I've never heard that word!". We used to read 2 or 3 books at night before bed but now she wants to make up stories on her own. I love the creativity that this show encourages her to have!



I swore when I was pregnant with Maggie that I wouldn't be one of those moms who parked her kids in front of the tv and allowed it to babysit them. I do still feel like there should be a limit to the time spent on the couch, just vegging out. But I will admit to those busy days when I've said..."Can you guys please just sit and watch tv for a little bit while I get fill in the blank done." If this is what they're learning while watching...I guess I'm okay with it.




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Wednesday, September 19, 2007

What Next?

I blogged a while back about Rory and attempting the whole potty training thing and asked for some suggestions. Well, the first weekend that we did it, everything went over like gang busters and he was wearing undies by the end of the week.

That was three weeks ago and he is FULLY aware of when he has to go but sometimes will just say "Uhhhh......tee tee." and I'll watch him pee himself. What's the deal!? Is he potty trained and lazy or do we still have some work to do. I wouldn't dare take him out of the house at this point without a pull-up on. He tells me he has to go and we make a big deal of how proud we are of him about 55% of the time, but the other 45% is really frustrating me. I have done a load of tee tee'd clothes about every other day and am about to just say, "Okay, he gets it and I suppose he'll do it when he's motivated to but until then, just keep him in the pull-ups".

Suggestions?

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Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Masterpiece

Maggie has been a bit under the weather for the past couple of days and I don't know about your family but when anyone isn't feeling well in the O'Quinn house...we make pallets in the living room and veg out. It is 4:15 in the afternoon and we are all still in our pajamas. I must say that aside from being sick, I need "PJ Days" from time to time.

Maggie likes to spend our days at home busy with markers, puppet shows, tent pitching in the living room and painting. I spend most of my time trying to find something else for Rory to do because he doesn't understand why he can't color on the couch!

Maggie & I tackled a masterpiece today. I pulled up some Vincent Van Gogh paintings on my computer and let her pick which one she wanted to paint. She helped me mix colors and tapped her paint brush on the sunflowers and told me when I wasn't doing it like the real one. She is going to make a fabulous Art Director for a company some day!

Here's the original Van Gogh and our Sick Day version of "Vase with Fifteen Sunflowers"

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New Design

I love being married to a computer nerd! I mentioned the other day that I wanted to redesign our blog (he laughs when I refer to it as our blog) and he got right on it. I sat next to him as he changed all of the code for the template and I was in awe that he does this everyday. What a foreign language! Anyway...thanks, babe. I love you.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Yee Haw, Cowgirl!

Maggie and Rory were invited to their sweet friend, Lexie's Cowgirl Birthday Party this weekend; complete with horse riding and a hay ride. Maggie has been talking about it for so long that when her allergies started acting up on Saturday, I was afraid that we might have to call and say we couldn't come. Maggie NEVER naps but I told her that if she could take a good nap before the party, then we could go. Well she did, so off we went to the party!

She got to be the first one to ride the horses and she couldn't have been more proud of herself! I didn't think that it was such a great idea for her to go on the hayride so we stayed behind and Lexie's grandma took Maggie for an extra ride on the horse and taught her how to steer the reigns. She hasn't stopped talking about it and is now asking for a pony for Christmas!

One of Rory's favorite things is tractors and much to his delight, there was one just sitting on the farm so he got to pretend to drive it for a bit. He loved the hayride with Daddy, too.
Barrel riding!

Go, Cowboy!

No hands, Mom!

TRACTOR!

Pinata candy

Cowboy Rory, riding the fence

Hay ride

Maggie riding with Diane

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Thursday, September 13, 2007

Update on The Watsons

Please continue to pray for my friend Lindsay, her husband Neal and their baby Luke. They got in relatively quickly to see a pediatric cardiologist but left with a wide array of 'possibilities' of how this condition may affect the baby.

I know her very well and could tell that she had a peace and a calm about her today even in the midst of this uncertainty and I know that she appreciates your prayers.

Please continue them.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Baby Mine

Let me start this post with an apology if I'm coming across as a 'stage mother'...but then again, it is my blog and isn't that what it's for? To share and brag a little bit?

The back story on this video is as follows-
One of my favorite movies when I was growing up was (ok, still is) Beaches. I can remember watching the scene where Hilary aka Barbara Hershey is about to have a baby and CeCe aka Bette Midler is helping to get ready for the baby and singing the song "Baby Mine" (originally from "Dumbo"). I thought, "What a pretty song...I'm totally going to sing that to my babies". And I have sung this song to Maggie and Rory since the day they were born. They request it when they're sick or sleepy and Maggie has started singing it to her baby dolls or to us when she wants us to go to sleep! I have been trying for a while to get it on camera and after bribing her with a big bowl of ice cream, she did it for me today.

Notice that half way through, she gets a little sleepy from her own lullaby! :o)


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Sleeping Lizards!

Maggie and I were watching Ellen the other day and saw an 11 year-old girl who could hypnotize lizards. She thought that it was so neat and asked if we could try it! Of course, I had to do the lizard catching, the lizard hypnotizing, and the lizard wardrobe changes but she takes full credit for the process.

Here's how it works...if you can catch the lizard without pulling it's tail off and you can get it's belly exposed, you rub it slowly and gently about a dozen times, it becomes very still. We chose to dress the poor thing up like Sleeping Beauty and take it's picture. How humiliating for the lizard but Maggie was cracking up the entire time.


We did finally let the lizard go and it ran off into the grass...with a great story to tell his little lizard friends!

Singing While She Works

This is a video of Maggie from the other day. She literally sang the whole time that we painted!

video

...and yes, I will always like this song! :o)

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Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Pray, pray, pray...

My dearest friend Lindsay got some bad news at her 20 week ultrasound today. Please go and read her blog about Baby Luke and lift her and her family up.

God is so amazing and I have seen Him give babies to couples who had been trying for SO long, make miracles out of pregnancies when they were told that there was no hope, and even comfort and give strength to mom's who have had to endure miscarriages. I know that He can work a wonderful miracle in this situation as well.

Leave her a comment, if you're so inclined, so she can know how many people are praying for her.

Monday, September 10, 2007

My Little Helper


I had a painting project to do today and of course, Maggie wanted to help. I've always given her the standard, "You're too little" answer but felt like maybe she could handle it. She did a fantastic job and even sang to entertain us while we painted. I'm working on how to upload a video so you can all hear how beautifully she sings.

She also took this belly picture of me so I could post it on my blog...

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Sunday, September 9, 2007

Fun Sunday

It would seem with all of the commercials, Fall decorations and back-to-school hoopla that summer is over, but here in Texas...summer goes well into September and sometimes on into October. We took full advantage of the lingering heat today by going out on the lake. This is Maggie's second summer to ride on Grandpa's wave runner and she shouts "Yee Haw! Ride 'em, Cowgirl!" EVERY single time we take off from the dock. But today was the first time we've ever taken Rory. He always asks to go and Daddy has never felt comfortable about taking him. Today was no different on the apprehension but I think I wore him down with the idea of a fun family activity, so he agreed and we had a blast.


In addition to the pictures, I thought I'd share a priceless conversation that I had with Maggie this afternoon that still has me giggling:

Mom, sometimes when I laugh REALLY hard....I toot.

That happens to everyone, Sweet Pea.
(I said with a slight smile trying not to laugh)
But not grown-ups, right?

No, baby...everybody.

[She smiled really big and kept on playing!]

Friday, September 7, 2007

Home from Work

I need to enlist some help from some of you other stay-at-home moms.

I love my job! I get to be the first-hand observer of my kids' learning and growing everyday and maybe even play a part in that learning. I love that my daughter's favorite thing to do right now is to have me sit and do 200 piece Princess puzzles with her. Rory just likes to find me in the middle of the laundry room and bear hug my legs. I couldn't imagine a more rewarding paycheck at any job.

But...(did you see that coming?) why is it that when my husband walks in the door, all I want to do is the proverbial kid hand-off and go have some quite time in a different room of the house.

This bothers me for a couple of reasons:

1. Am I sending them the message that I'm tired of them or that I don't love them anymore come 6:00?

2. I feel like our family is run in shifts instead of the ideal partnership that I had always envisioned when I thought about being a parent.

3. My husband works so hard so I can stay at home with kids. Isn't it totally unfair of me to ask him to work all day only to come home and take over my job the second he walks through the door?

Casey has only recently taken his at-home business to an office so this is fairly new for me. We used to all be home all day and so dinner and bedtime was merely an extension of seeing each other all day long. Now, I feel like I get about an hour with him after the kids go to bed and we're both too exhausted to get into meaningless chit-chat about the comings and goings of our day.

How do you and your family handle this? I think I just need some other "Mom perspective" to make me feel like this is normal or a way to cope with it better.

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Welcome, Toni!

My friend, Toni just started a blog and as intimidating as it was for me to start putting my thoughts out into CyberSpace, I thought some traffic and comments might make her feel welcomed.

Go check it out!
The Amends Blog

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

I've Gone Slideshow Crazy!

Thanks to Lindsay who figured out how to embed slideshows into your blog...I'm slightly obsessed with what I can present next. I did get some feedback recently that it's the blogs that contain pictures that get the most hits as opposed to the one that are just thoughts, opinions or stories! (You know who you are that said that--I won't call you by name) I can totally relate to that, though. I'm a visually stimulated person and am drawn to books, recipes, and magazines first by the images.

My sister is so embarrassed right now, by the way! She is the intellectual type who is very verbally retentive and words do not overwhelm her :o)

So, I will, from now on try to accommodate both the right and left brainers with my posts with both images as well as text.

My Kids' Books

How strange to think of a time when I only had one baby to tend to and chase after. My terribly creative sister came up with this idea and I ran with it. For a couple of weeks, when Maggie was taking her afternoon nap, I would go around the house and collect objects of a certain color and get my stage all set for a happy & rested child. I would get her dressed and plop her down and shoot away! I printed them all out and made a book for her that she loved looking at and helped her to learn her colors.



Then her little brother came along and I knew I had to do something equally as time consuming and meaningful for fear I'd hear about how unbalanced my affections were later in life. I came up with his counting book and got a bit more involved with Photoshop.



If anybody has a good idea for Baby #3, I welcome your suggestions.

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Meet My Sister

I would like to pay tribute in this post to my fantastic sister who lives too far away.

Robin and I are two years apart and are closer now than we've ever been. We were complete opposites growing up and didn't really get along but somehow, our lives aligned and we got married a year apart and were pregnant together...twice! She is a creative, talented, compassionate, caring, supportive and incredibly wise individual. Let's just say that she was the 'smart' one growing up and I always seek her counsel when I'm in a predicament. She's one of those people who gets an idea and executes it later that day, whereas I think about it for a month and then maybe get around to starting it, but of course, don't finish it. She and I love playing games together and her knowledge of tv/movie trivia is almost as good as mine! She has a fantastic sense of humor and makes me laugh like no one else can--and ALWAYS laughs at my jokes too!

Thank you, Robin, for never being more than a phone call away. I love you very much and couldn't ask for a better sister.

Go and check out her blog too!


Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Sweethearts

I have had the discussion several times recently about how Casey and I really did go to my High School Prom together! We started dating the January before and have now been married for 7 wonderful years. I love him more and more each day and felt like he wasn't very well represented on this "O'Quinn Family" website. So here are the ever-so-glorious pictures of us in our youth. Enjoy!

Prom-1997

Engaged- 1999

2000

2007

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My Virtual Refrigerator

My daughter drew this picture yesterday and I was so proud of it, I thought I'd post it here instead of just on my refrigerator for all to see. She told me that she had drawn a picture of our family. I am the one wearing red lipstick, she is next to me and next to her is a box of tissues (she's had the sniffles the past few days). There are some balloons in the sky (so she said) and some rocks on the ground and she made sure that we all had 10 fingers and prominent ears! So here it is...
Our Family

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