Friday, October 18, 2013


Tonight Ryan cashed in his m&m jar earnings of staying up one hour past bedtime.  Bless the kid's heart.  He's so much like his dad, and could barely stay awake that full extra hour.  All day he remind me of this great upcoming reward of staying up later than his sister, describing to me all the things he planned to do during that hour, and how lucky he was to have been given such an opportunity.  Yet, over the remaining 30 minutes of what was meant to be party time, he repeatedly asked me if it had been an hour yet.  When I finally asked him if he just wanted to go to bed, he looked at me sheepishly and nodded his head.  This kid knows when he's tired, never fights it, and is out almost instantly as soon as his head hits the pillow.  He plays hard, hard, hard all day long, and then sleeps hard, hard, hard all night long.  What a little boy.  His sleeping habits (and needs), so much like his dad's, are incredibly endearing to me.

When I finally tucked him in tonight (with 5 minutes to spare before his postponed bedtime), I asked the same question I ask several times a week:

"Ryan, will you stay little?"

"Moooom, I've already told you!  I don't know how!"
"I know, I know.  I don't really want you to stay little.  You're just so sweet to snuggle with when you're little, and I know that as you get bigger, you're not going to want to snuggle with me as much."

"I'm NOT little!  I'm a BIG boy!  ...  But Mom, you can still snuggle with me, even when I'm five, and then six, and then seven!  ...  And eight!  You can even snuggle with me when I'm TEN!"  

WHERE did this sweet boy come from, and HOW did I get lucky enough to be his mom!?  I ask myself these questions sooo frequently.  Truly, he has the most tender heart of any little guy I've ever known.  He is my mellow, go-with-the-flow, affectionate, willing-to-crawl-in-my-lap-any-time kid, who really truly loves his mama just as a boy should.  That's not to say he doesn't enjoy doing BOY things.  The kid knows how to roughhouse, assume the role of Super Hero, and demonstrate his vast array of Ninja skills.  I just love watching him be rough a tough one minute, and then sweet and tender the next.  He balances it all out rather well.

I can't believe he'll be FIVE in 3 weeks.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Still alive...

Well, it's been a while, hasn't it!

I'm not even sure where to begin.  Life has changed just a touch since I last blogged.  Chloe finished first grade.  Neil sold his Jetta and got a company car.  Oh yeah, and we bought a house!  It's 11 miles East of Land Park (where we were for 10 months), putting us in an entirely different area of Sacramento, ward and school district.  Like I said, a touch of change.  It amazes me to think back to a year ago, when we still lived in Ripon and were awaiting word on Neil's job.  His company had just been bought out by Johnson & Johnson, which was resulting in major territory re-alignments nationwide.  To complicate matters more, Neil had been covering Sacramento's largest account for the past month due to the main guy up and quitting the day of the buyout, and it was looking more and more like Neil was going to be replacing this guy permanently.  Of course we couldn't say anything or act on the assumption until we received final word from management.  Our lives were basically on hold from the beginning of July to August 16th when Neil finally learned his fate.  It's amazing to reflect on the many changes that have taken place in this short year, and to compare where we were last July to where we are today.  In some ways it's felt like three blinks of an eye, and in others, an eternity.  I feel very mixed about all the changes, but have grown tremendously and know we are where we're supposed to be today.

Here are the kids in front of the new house.  

We signed papers June 7th, got keys the 11th or 12th (can't remember now), and officially moved in the 15th (day before Father's Day).  This picture was taken on Father's Day, just before we took our first neighborhood walk.  Ryan was still in his church clothes, while Chloe was much more comfortably dressed.  They make me smile.  Such honest little expressions.

We are slowly getting settled and filling empty spaces.  It's going to take time, but we are excited for the projects and challenges that lie ahead.  More later! 

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Project Life: Week 1 (Utah)

Well, here is my Week 1 layout.  This was a tricky week to start Project Life because it wasn't an average, low-key week.  We drove to Utah to see my family, so I took more pictures than usual, and had A LOT to journal.  I am actually going to end up inserting a 6x12 sheet between these with January 5th's events, including a story about Ryan and my Grandma (see below), as well as Grandpa's birthday, which we celebrated together in his honor.  Anyway, I am mostly happy with this, but definitely need to come up with a simpler system to keep things consistent.  To me, this is too busy.  But again, there was a lot to squeeze in.  Week 2 and so forth should be a little easier to process. 

Here's half of the 6x12 insert. The other half (Grandpa's birthday tribute) is still in production.

A closer look...

This Utah trip was truly like no other. With all the recent developments relating to Grandma, my main priority was to spend time with her and to help my parents. It was an unforgettably sweet and humbling five days.

Monday, January 28, 2013

A week in pictures

My posts tend to be wordy.  So here's one with fewer words and more pictures.

Monday, Jan 21
Mohawks and giggles...
Swimming with JD...
...yes, in January.

Tuesday, Jan 22

Sweet, miserable, croup-coughin' boy...
...and some Fruity Pebbles with sprinkles to ease the pain.
Wednesday, Jan 23
Trains.  Enough said.
Thursday, Jan 24
34th birthday celebrating.
We love you, Neil/Daddy!
Friday, Jan 25
Crocker Art Museum field trip...
...with these rockin' first and second graders...
...and the Norman Rockwell exhibit {AMAZING}!!
Saturday, Jan 26
Sudden Toy Story kick.
Sunday, Jan 27
...and some good old-fashioned entertainment to finish the day.
I'd say it was a good week!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Project Life!

Well, I've finally started Project Life, after contemplating, researching, and admiring the concept for two solid years.  I am using the digital system to document the every day of 2013, and also received a couple kits (in paper form) for Christmas from my parents to complete the kids' baby books.  Sadly, it isn't so much that I've put off doing their books all these years as I've just never been excited about any particular system I've seen out there.  I've wanted to do traditional scrapbooks for each of them, and have purchased goodness knows how many sheets of card stock, cutesy embellishments, brads, and other silly, unnecessary things.  Yet how many pages have I actually completed for either of the kids?  Might I remind you they are 7 and 4?  Two pages!  Total!  Yes, TWO.  It's pathetic.  I came to the conclusion long ago that traditional scrapbooking was not for me.  As much as I still love and appreciate it, I don't have the patience or time. 

Upon discovering Project Life, I was instantly smitten.  The concept of clean and simple, the ease of filling in 4x6 and 3x4 slots rather than tackling a blank 12x12 canvas, not to mention the inspiration it immediately triggered were all answers to prayer.  I know that must sound terribly cheesy, but it's simply the truth.

Last year, they came out with their Baby and Childhood Editions, and, that was pretty much it for me.  Between this and finally getting Chloe's baby pictures back (off our crashed hard drive), I knew it was time to make the plunge. Just after Christmas, I spent one evening going through all the kids' baby documents - hospital papers and bracelets, birth announcements, cards, stats, and other precious (and silly) keepsakes, which up to that point, had been sitting in a box.  It felt so good to finally be doing something with it all, and I have already started transferring some things into their books.  The kids ADORE looking at my blog.  They could spend hours sifting through old posts and giggling at the various pictures and updates from years past.  And since I've started filling their albums, Ryan hasn't missed a day of thumbing through his.  It's certainly something we will all enjoy and treasure for years to come.  And aren't books so much more enjoyable to look through than a glaring computer screen?  

Here's my title page for 2013.   

Currently, I am working on Weeks 1, 2, and 3, and will share them as soon as I'm finished.  Ultimately my goal is to print a book at the end of the year, encompassing all of my Project Life spreads and blog posts.  I'm leaning toward capturing more in my PL, and doing less blogging.  I am still finding my groove with it all, but I am so excited to have finally stumbled upon a system that I am confident will actually work for me.  Head over to Becky Higgins' site to learn more about Project Life.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

New Year, New Goals.

Well, so much for 30 days of gratitude, or any December posts for that matter.  Sadly, all those gratitude posts are still stowed away in my draft folder.  Perhaps I'll get around to finishing, polishing, and sharing them soon.  In the meantime, let me apologize for my two month absence.  Life's been busy, what can I say?  I haven't had a lot of free time, and I haven't been in much of a blogging mood.  Even the few times I've attempted it, I've had an immediate writer's block.  Thankfully, said block appears to have passed, so here I am!

It's hard to believe we're now living in 2013.  Time flies, especially when you're an adult.  The Andersens are well, and looking forward to another productive year.  After a peaceful Christmas at home with Neil's mom visiting, the kids and I made a quick drive to Utah (on the 1st) to see my family.  We came home the 6th, and the following morning life was back in full swing.  Christmas break felt more like two days than two weeks, which makes me a little sad.  But I'd be lying if I said I wasn't happy to see the kids go back to school.  Breaks from one's children are healthy for relationships, and this mama most definitely needs hers.  :)

In honor of the new year, we focused our family home evening this week on goals and resolutions.  Cliche?  Absolutely!  But I really think the kids caught on to the concepts discussed.  I read the kids a story about a little boy who had resolved to keep his room clean but after only four days was failing miserably.  When he went to his mom, unsure of how to get back on track and stay there, she suggested that rather than be overwhelmed by the job as a whole, to break it down into steps.  We talked about how sometimes our responsibilities seem like too much to bear, but when we take a step back and analyze the breakdown of how to get from point A to point B, it becomes much more plausible.  At the end of our lesson we took a few minutes to jot down some of our individual goals for 2013.  We then shared those goals and resolved to not only maintain/achieve them, but to help encourage one another along their journey as well.

Chloe's goal sheet doesn't require much explanation.  It's clear she drew an illustration to accompany each goal (#3 is my favorite).  :)  Ryan's piece on the other hand... well, let me explain.  To start off, I must applaud him for writing out his goals all by himself.  I spelled the words for him, but he wrote every dot of ink you see below.  Then he drew a picture of himself with his remote control car.  He's apparently putting it away, thus fulfilling one of his goals to clean his room.  Oh, and the little blob off to the right side?  That's his baby, "Elisabeth."  ???  He and Chloe are both quite enthralled with the name.

Here are Neil's and my goals.  Doable, right?

It was fun to share our goals and talk about our plans of execution.  And ever since Monday, both the kids have seemed motivated.  Chloe in particular, has made her bed every morning first thing, and today, invited me out of her bedroom when I offered to help.  She's really taking this seriously!  :)

I stumbled upon this quote last week and LOVED it.  President Howard W. Hunter, though only our prophet for a short time, has always been one of my favorites.  I had a special experience involving him less than 24 hours before his death, and have always felt a unique connection to him as a result.  It's hard to explain, but he's very special to me, so naturally whenever I hear mention of his name, my ears perk up.  I love these sweet and gentle words of advice, and how timely to share them with the new year upon us.

“This year, mend a quarrel. Seek out a forgotten friend. Dismiss suspicion and replace it with trust. Write a letter. Give a soft answer. Encourage youth. Manifest your loyalty in word and deed. Keep a promise. Forgo a grudge. Forgive an enemy. Apologize. Try to understand. Examine your demands on others. Think first of someone else. Be kind. Be gentle. Laugh a little more. Express your gratitude. Welcome a stranger. Gladden the heart of a child. Take pleasure in the beauty and wonder of the earth. Speak your love and then speak it again.”                       

- Howard W. Hunter

Happy New Year, everyone!


Friday, November 16, 2012

Gratitude Day 16

Today I am grateful for:

1) The events of 7 years ago today, which forever changed our lives for the better.

2) Feeling emotionally lighter and more at ease than I have in a while.  Since the results of the election, I have found myself more invested than ever in reading and educating myself on our president, his administration and the many issues and challenges our country is facing right now.  Unfortunately, of the hours I have spent researching, the most valuable lesson I have learned is that there is a fine line between educating yourself on politics and allowing it to consume you.  In the end, I found that it was doing more damage than good; making me bitter, resentful, cynical and just plain negative!  And worst of all, I felt very separated from the Spirit and from the sweet values I hold dear and rely on for strength.  Yesterday I had an unpleasant discussion with some friends, some of whose views differ from mine.  It was such a rotten feeling to have opened my mouth when I should have practiced tact and then to watch what unfolded, all due to my heat of the moment anger.  THAT is when I decided it was time to replace the garbage with something uplifting.  What started out as awful, though, actually ended up being good when one friend and I found common ground and were able to talk pleasantly.  My heart was softened and I was greatly humbled by her example to politely disagree but not tear me down in the process.  This morning I woke up feeling a weight lifted, and a greater desire to be like that friend: to not pass judgement so easily, to give others the benefit of the doubt, and more than anything, to be Christ-like.  Another thing I have learned in all of this, as I've really searched my soul, is that sometimes it is best to just say a prayer and move on!  :)  

3) My morning with Ryan, again.  I am positive I have been grateful for this before.  :)  He is just such a joy to have around that I can't help being grateful every single day!  Today I was determined to make every minute of our morning count before preschool.  We came home from dropping Chloe off and immediately played Yahtzee, followed by Ants in Pants.  Then we put together two puzzles.  Of course, Ryan lost interest about a third of the way into the second one.  He also helped me vacuum, and put the apple juice boxes into a bag to take to preschool for their Thanksgiving feast.  I so enjoy hanging with that cute boy.  He is my little buddy, and I honestly don't know what I'm going to do when he enters kindergarten.  At one point this morning I asked him, "Would you stop growing already?"  He replied, "I can't!"  When I asked, "Why not?", he replied, "Because Jesus would be mad if I stopped!"  Love him.  Here are some pictures of the fun he and I had today.
Caught red-handed!!
He wanted his hair to be "silly," so we spiked it.  Love his boots and honest expression.
Doing show and tell at preschool.  This is definitely one of Ryan's favorite things.
My view leaving Ryan's preschool to drive home.  Isn't it heavenly?  LOVE Land Park!!
This photo speaks a thousand words.  What a little stink.  But how can you resist that smile?  Oh, I love him.
4) Talking to my grandma on the phone, which is something I have not had a chance to do in almost two months!  She took a fall back in September and spent several weeks in a Rehab facility.  Since then she has had virtually every type of therapy you can imagine.  Physical, occupational, speech.  It was quite traumatic for her (rightfully so), and given the fact that she's about to turn ninety-six, I'd say she's handled it pretty darn well!  So, long story short, she moved into my parent's house on Tuesday.  She had finished her time at the rehab place but wasn't enough improved to go back to the assisted living place where she lived.  It just made the most sense that she move in with my parents, and they have been WONDERFUL with her so far.  I am so amazed and impressed by their goodness.  It makes me cry to think about what loving hands Grandma is in.  It kills me that I'm not there to help, but I think about her and my parents constantly, and am praying that all continues to run smoothly.

Among other things, Grandma has struggled with talking on the phone, and outright refused to do it.  I think part of it stems from being on oxygen 24/7.  That cannot be comfortable!  Anyway, I was chatting with my mom tonight and suddenly I heard grandma's voice!  Somehow my mom had convinced her to talk to me.  We weren't on the phone long, but it sure was wonderful to hear her voice.  I have MISSED it!  She is such a sweet soul, and has brought me many moments of comfort.  She sounded a lot weaker than she ever has before, but I could still sense that sharp and determined spirit in there, which I so deeply love.  Chatting with her was definitely one of the highlights of my day.  When my mom came back to the phone, she said, "Do you know how special you are that she'd talk to you!?"  I had to chuckle.  Pretty special, obviously! :)
This was taken at the end of August, just before Grandma's fall.  We took this just before saying goodbye.  Hope I get to see her again very soon.

5) A late night board game with Chloe.  Apparently, she decided to catch a cold just in time for her birthday tomorrow.  She was pretty miserable when I tucked her into bed, and I listened from across the house, to her sniffles and even tears over the next 45 minutes.  I came in a few times to check on her, give her medicine, etc., just hoping that at any minute she'd fall asleep.  Finally, when all else had failed, I decided to try one last thing.  So I went into her room and asked if opening a birthday present a day early might help her to feel better.  Boy did that work wonders!  She proceeded to open a board game we'd gotten her, which naturally led to us playing the game!  It was great, and so spontaneous.  She was in much better spirits when we finished the game and said goodnight, and now she's sound asleep on my bed. :)

Can I also just quickly say that I am grateful for Instagram!!  What a fast and easy way to share photos!  I am using my big camera less and less for the every day stuff because this is just so much easier!  The quality doesn't compare, of course, but with how little free time I have anymore, convenience plays a huge factor.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Gratitude Day 15

This one will be short and sweet.  Today I am grateful for:

1) 30 darling first and second graders and 1 awesome teacher!  Ryan and I brought blueberry muffins into Chloe's classroom today in honor of her birthday this Saturday, and Mrs. Winston had the kids figure out Chloe's age based on a mathematical problem.  The problem involved the less than/greater than/equal to concept.  I swear those kids are smarter than I am!  I loved the way she made something "fun" educational as well.  She is SUCH a wonderful teacher.  Chloe adores her, and so do we!

2) My Uncle Alfred and Aunt Grace.  You can read some background on them HERE.  One of the reasons I was excited to move to Sacramento was so I could be closer to them.  They have been in my life since before I was around!  David "Alfred" met my dad in the military even before my brother was born, and they were instant friends.  It has been so cool getting to see them regularly, and watching their bond with the kids develop and grow.  The kids just assume they're family, as they should!

Alfred and Grace came over last night for dinner and it was perfect.  Grace even helped Chloe with her homework and gave the kids baths.  She looked like she was having just as much fun, if not more, as the kids!  That meant more to me than she'll ever know.  It is so nice having them just a short five minutes away.  Living hundreds of miles from family makes me especially grateful for this.

3) Soup!  Any kind!  There's just something about it that makes me feel warm and cozy and home!
Corn chowder with chilies & good old chicken noodle.
4) The rain.  The scent, the cleanliness, and its sign that a California winter is near.  We've had a little rain  throughout the week, and are expecting quite a bit more going into the weekend and early next week.  Call me crazy, but I wouldn't care if it rained every single day.  I love it that much.

5) A washer and a dryer.  Enough said!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Gratitude Day 14

Today I am grateful for:

1) This little man, a.k.a. walking fashion statement, who always insists on helping me pump my gas.

2) The alone time I spent with Chloe between 1:05, when she got out of school (minimum day), and 2:30, when we had to pick up Ryan from preschool. It amazes me how much better Chloe behaves when it's just the two of us. It was very pleasant, indeed. After we picked up Ryan, the kids played at the park for a while.    

3) Love notes to piano teachers, written in unexpected one's theory book!

4) Facetime with Neil during Chloe's piano lesson.

5) The generosity and talent of Chloe's piano teacher and her husband, who painted this canvas for her birthday. It meant THE WORLD to Chloe, and to me. Very thoughtful. She will treasure it forever.  Thank you, Brother and Sister Rook!

That was our day in a nutshell!  And I'm grateful for it.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Gratitude Day 13

I'm not gonna lie.  Today was a pretty frustrating day.  The kids were rotten, didn't listen well, whined, bickered, lacked gratitude; the normal things that I'm sadly accustomed to, but not to the extent I experienced today.

Chloe had her well-check up this afternoon with a new pediatrician.  Her appointment was at 3:00, but we had to be there at 2:45 to fill out paperwork.  By 3:30, with paperwork long completed, the wait was beginning to get old. And it showed by the kids' behavior.  What started as poking each other and giggling quickly transpired into the two of them circling me, while chasing one another, exhausted and out of breath, yet still managing to squeak and squeal just enough to capture the attention of those nearby.  Most who noticed the kids just smiled and gave me an expression of empathy.  But one man took it upon himself to tell Chloe and Ryan that this was a waiting room, and that they needed to stop running.  Oh, joy.  I wonder if he knew we'd been sitting for 45 MINUTES STRAIGHT!  Thankfully, it was only five minutes later that Chloe's name was called and we were FINALLY accompanied back to exam room 9, where we waited some more!  By the time Dr. Grace finally made it in to see us, I was in a pretty foul mood.  The kids would not keep their hands off of anything, including each other, and it seemed like none Chloe's responses to Dr. Grace's questions were in my favor.

Dr. Grace (while asking Chloe about her eating habits): "Do you drink a lot of milk?  Or do you eat cheese or yogurt?"
Chloe: "Um, not really."
Me (surprised and appalled by her response when she eats a TON of cheese and yogurt and drinks a couple glasses of milk a day): "Well, Chloe, to start, you have cereal every morning.."
Chloe: "Today we had pancakes."
Me: "Okay, MOST mornings, you have cereal for breakfast, then a string cheese, sliced cheese and/or yogurt for a snack, not to mention milk at dinner."
Chloe: "I don't like the yogurt you just bought at the store."

Not only was Chloe speaking inaccurately, but she was making me out to be a desperate, positive-recognition-seeking mother who wasn't giving her child enough calcium.  Dr. Grace smiled through Chloe's remarks, so hopefully she didn't think I was a complete lunatic of a mother.

When the exam was over, Dr. Grace asked if I wanted the kids to have their annual flu vaccine.  I agreed, but of course that meant I now had to register Ryan as a new patient, which took another solid 15 minutes.  By the time we finally got out of there, it was 4:52.  That's just over 2 hours for a basic well check-up and two flu vaccines!  Needless to say, all three of us were grumpy.  And hungry.  So we stopped at Noodles and Company because it was relatively close, BOTH of my kids will eat it without a fight (and I desperately needed no fights), and, well, it just sounded good.  I was already irritated with the kids due to their rambunctious behavior and disregard for my authority, which I suppose I couldn't fault too much considering the 2 hours we spent sitting for practically no reason.  Still, I was irritated.  When we pulled into the parking lot and the kids started spouting off what they wanted, I told them that they would each get the entree of their choice, but that they would NOT be getting their own drink.  Sorry, but spending $1.79 for a small soda per child just doesn't appeal to me, and I wanted to establish upfront that it wasn't going to happen tonight.  Either they would share a drink, which I was perfectly happy to provide, or they could EACH have THEIR OWN water.  Immediately Ryan announced he wanted Sprite, while Chloe demanded that they have fruit punch.  I quickly concluded that unless they could agree on one or the other, they'd both be drinking water.  Ryan wasn't happy, but got over it before we'd even walked into the restaurant.  Chloe, on the other hand... Well, let's just say she did NOT act like a seven-year-old for the next twenty minutes.  Oh yes.  We had the whole crying match, complete with stomping up and down and almost (one tone down from) screaming at me that she wanted fruit punch, NOT water.  By this point it had become an issue of principle.  What kind of mother would I be to reward this ridiculous behavior, to give in and say, "Okay, go ahead and have the fruit punch after all," just to get the kid off my back and/or escape public humiliation.  I tried explaining this to her, but it only made things worse.  Just looking at her made things worse.  She clearly just wanted to be left alone, with a cup of fruit punch.  

After ordering our food, I brought the kids their waters, to which Chloe scowled and then cried out, "I. DON'T. WANT. WATER."  When after another 2-3 minutes things were only continuing to get worse, I decided it was time to leave.  So I had our food made to go and we walked out.  I don't know how I managed to stay calm all this time because I was honestly ready to beat my daughter senseless.  But as we pulled out of the parking lot and drove away, I explained that her behavior was unacceptable, and that it would have been a poor parenting decision on my end to let her have the fruit punch after the toddler act she pulled in the restaurant.  During the next 5 minutes we sat in silence.  Then, suddenly from the back seat I heard a faint and pitiful voice say, "I'm sorry, Mom."  Chloe then acknowledged her poor choices - really seeming to get it.  This brought me some comfort.  We talked a little more and I reassured her that she was loved and that there would be plenty of chances to show me that she could make much better choices.  By the time we got home, everyone was back to his/her happy self again.  We ate our dinner, did homework, practiced piano, read for 30 minutes and prepared for bed.

Wow, I was not planning to go into all of that.  I am positive I have put my readers to sleep, and for that, I apologize.  Let me get back on track now with my gratitudes of today.  They are as follows:
1) A healthy daughter, who weighs 46 pounds (25th percentile for weight) and measures 46 inches (25th percentile for height). :)

2) Pancakes.  These are the very pancakes which today took the place of the milk-filled bowls of cereal Chloe couldn't seem to remember that she eats for breakfast about 98% of the time.

Last night, Chloe asked if she could make pancakes in the morning.  So I let her.

3) Clean, crisp air and beautiful Fall weather.

4) Technology of today, which allows me to get where I need to go, be reminded of my to-do's, most of which I'd honestly forget without them, and facetime with my husband, who is in a different country.

5) Ryan's sweet little voice and the way he says, "Sure!" and "Thanks!"

And the other "cute" things he does, like this:

This is what happens when I leave the powdered sugar and this four-year-old darling unattended at the dining room table.  Have some powdered sugar with your pancakes, Ryan.

And finally, here are the best quotes of the day:

While at Walmart, I was asking Ryan if he'd given any thought to what he might get Daddy for Christmas.  When it became apparent that he might need a little coaxing for ideas, I added, "Is there anything you think daddy might like?" to which Ryan replied, "No, I think kids are the only thing that like toys.  Not grown ups." :)

Tonight, after pouring what was left of Chloe's milk into his glass of milk and Chloe overreacting (she must have been really sensing that milk-neglect she gets at home - ha!), I said to Ryan, "Please tell Chloe you're sorry," to which he replied, "
But Mommy, I'm tired of talking."

Then later, after I'd tucked the kids into bed for probably the third time, and was walking by Chloe's room, where both she and Ryan lay, the kids did what they do virtually every night: found any excuse possible to prolong the time before they dozed off to sleep.  They are relentless!  Here was one attempt documented:

Chloe: "Mommy, I know 3 synonyms!  Bye, goodbye and bye bye!"
Ryan: "Mommy, I want to tell you a question!  When I wake up, can I sleep in for a long time?"
Chloe: "Can we have ice cream for breakfast?"These 3 announcements were made in the order above, one right after the other.
Then a few minutes after that, upon Ryan deciding he now wanted to sleep in his bed and Chloe now wanted to sleep on his floor, Ryan asked me to heat up his rice bag.  We're talking 40 minutes after we have said family prayer and I have kissed them goodnight.  Very much fed up by this point, I say, "NO, Ryan!" to which he replied, "But my tiger is cold and needs a rice bag!"

Oh, my life.  It is not an easy one.  But it's a wonderful one.