Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Holy Moly

It's been almost 2 weeks since my last post! We've been very busy- the kids and I were sent off to Marshalltown for a couple days while our kitchen floor was being torn up and refinished, then we came home on Christmas Eve afternoon, went out for a fantastic Christmas Eve dinner at Perkins (I'd like to pretend here that I don't like going there, but I love their breakfast potatoes and pancakes so I can't even do a winky smiley), came home and put the kids to bed, wrapped every present for the kids and my family, put together Catie's new kitchen from Santa, and finally fell into bed at about midnight. We were awakened by Will next to our bed telling us that Santa had come and that he brought Catie a kitchen. When Dave suggested that maybe the kitchen was for both of them, Will answered, "I didn't ask for a kitchen!"

We opened the few presents the kids had and got packed up to leave for Chicago. We had a wonderful time with my family, I got some fun time in with friends, and then we headed home on Sunday.

We've spent the week downsizing and reorganizing and getting the kitchen back in order and all our things back in the basement where they belong. Because the kitchen floor is now its original fir, and fir has a very orange hue to it, we've decided that we're going to have to change the wall color from my beloved orange to a lighter yellow/gold color. My very dear mother-in-law loves to paint and will be doing that for us!

Catie's practicing for a future as a stay-at-home mom with her new baby doll on her hip as she cooks in her new kitchen. Will is spending hours with his Legos, creating space stations and rockets and airplanes.

I need to send Dave out into the Tundra (our 3-season room) to retrieve my USB cable so I can upload some pictures from Christmas. My next post promises to be more visually interesting!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Holiday Spirit

Will's been walking around this morning singing...

"DE-corate with balls of fa-la! Fa la la la la la la la la..."

Sunday, December 14, 2008



Who, do you suppose, is a Lego FREAK?

(clue- While Will really enjoys the Legos, he's not the freak.)
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Some of the sweet things Catie says that I hope never go away:

O mohnin!- Good morning!
faffles- waffles
shashage- sausage
Tapee- Thomas (the tank engine)
sapo- spider
beekee- book
ohnjenge- orange (which I think Will said too?)

OK, so maybe it would be strange, at age 15, to tell me she wants "faffles a shashage a yoget" for breakfast. But it is SO CUTE right now.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Catie Bug

We have an awesome friend Molly who sent this adorable ladybug costume for Catie. Catie couldn't wait to put it on, and we're having a bit of a struggle getting her to take it off for her nap. She's also pretty protective of it- Will's been chasing her around the house trying to touch her wings and she shouts, "NO Widdy! NO WIDDY!"

Monday, December 8, 2008

How Giants Count



Wednesday, December 3, 2008

She's My Girl

"Pees more chockeet." (Please more chocolate)


Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Starting December Right

I haven't forgotten about you, dear followers. We had a long weekend in Chicagoland and a very long trip home on Sunday. I'm listening carefully to the chillins for something to brighten your day, but so far all I've heard is "no", "I don't want to" and "Go away, Catie!". Joyful!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Getting Crafty


The kids and I made these cinnamon ornaments the other day and they smell incredible! They're not quite dry yet, so I don't know how they'll really work on the tree, but I thought I'd share.

Cinnamon Ornaments
non edible

3/4 c. ground cinnamon
1 T. ground allspice
2 T. ground cloves
1 T. ground nutmeg
1 c. applesauce

Combine spices, blending well. Stir in applesauce; blend well. Dough will be stiff. Roll dough out to 1/4 inch thickness on waxed paper. Cut out with Christmas cookie cutter shapes. Peel away dough and re-roll as necessary. Make holes for hanging with wire hangers. Let dry uncovered for 4-5 days.

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Monday, November 24, 2008

Sunday, November 23, 2008

No Trees, But Giant Piles of Leaves

Looks fun, doesn't it?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

"Your Dad"

This morning Will said to me, "Your dad has a funny laugh." And I said, "YOUR dad, or my dad?" He said, "YOUR dad." Uhhhh...ok. So I said, "You like your grandpa, don't you?" And he answered, "I LOVE my grandpa!"

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


Since I have to post daily for the rest of the month, I'll share a couple Florida pictures at a time. I'm crafty like that.

We had a great time! If you were to ask Will, his favorite part of the trip was swimming in the pools. But guess what? I don't have any pictures of that from my camera (my mom does and she did send them to me, but I haven't downloaded them onto my computer yet), so you'll get some Disney Magic Kingdom pictures today. We did have a good time, but the kids didn't have as much fun as I would have hoped. Will's favorite part of the day was the Monorail. We could have paid $12 to park, then rode the Monorail all day and he would have been happy. Anywho...

The Bower family in front of Cinderella's castle

The fam on the It's a Small World ride (I realize Catie's not looking. She was there though)

Catie and Aunt Tina waiting in line for the jungle cruise ride

Will and Grandpa Curt (or, as Catie named him, Pumpkin)

Monday, November 17, 2008


C: Waaahhhhh!
W: I'm so sorry, Catie. Come over here so I can kiss you. Is that better?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


In case you're sitting there thinking I'm a total slacker for not posting every day this week after having told you about NaBloPoMo, I should tell you that the Bower family is vacationing in Orlando! I'll be back at it this weekend with pictures from our week!

Friday, November 7, 2008


After getting over the embarassment that was the behavior of my children, I have come to realize that I really cherish these photos that Yana got of us/them last weekend. Clingy as Catie was...that's Catie! Weird Smile Willy...that's him right now! So thank you, Yana, for capturing us as we are. :)

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Germ Revisited

As requested, I asked what Germ looks like. He is "squishy and like a germ." There was some gesturing going along with this description- fingers up and kind of bent and haggard and wiggly.

So there you have it.

Perhaps I can get Will to draw a picture of Germ? Yes, I'll try that.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


I've waited a little while to tell you about this because I wasn't sure if it was going to be another "Skunky" episode, but it appears that Will now does have an imaginary friend named Germ. Germ lives in Will's pocket and he has the flu today. Puking AND diarrhea. And a sick voice.

In unrelated news, Will was sick this weekend. Puking AND diarrhea.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


Catie has a very stubborn, very independent streak. So just this week she's decided that she'd like to put her own shoes and, today, her own shirt on. She really doesn't have the dexterity to do it herself, but when I try to out! Things take quite a while now, but once we get her dressed she gets all excited, claps and shouts, "I did it!"

Monday, November 3, 2008


Thanks to my friend Sarah for the heads-up-

Apparently it's National Blog Posting Month. The challenge is to post daily. So I'm going to try it...but I'll warn you, I think some of my posts may be pretty lame.

Today's post:

We had some photos done on Saturday and we didn't have the best of luck. Will wasn't being very natural (he was posing and "smiling" (wincing?) for the camera) and Catie was being very contrary and clingy, but Yana did capture a couple of good photos. We'll try again in a couple weeks.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Longest Post Ever

Beggar's Night

I don't get it, but in Des Moines and the surrounding areas we trick-or-treat on Beggar's Night, the night before Halloween. We invited our friends Amy and Matt and their two older boys, Elliott and Henry, to come T-o-T with us around the neighborhood. A good time was had by most (Will wanted to give up completely when I told him he couldn't eat any candy until we got home...he wanted to eat it NOW and was ready to be done 3 houses in. He wasn't able to conclude that more T-o-Ting = more candy. We were able to keep him out a bit longer.) Beggar's Night is a bit more strict about having a joke or trick when asking for candy. We kind of forgot to teach Will a new joke this year, so he used his fallback:
Knock Knock!
(Who's there?)
(Boo who?)
Don't cry, it's only a joke!

Although that morning he told me he was going to say:
Knock knock!
(Who's there?)
(Banana who?)
Banana William!

Will LOVES these 11-year-old twin girls who live right around the corner. He met them a couple months ago when we were at our block party and he hasn't stopped talking about them since. He and Dave go for a walk around the block almost every evening, and every evening Will asks if he can go visit "The Girls". Dave took both Will and Catie over there on Wednesday evening and they spent about a half hour at their house. They're obviously a very nice family. Anyway, the girls told Will that they had a special treat for him for Beggar's Night. They baked some (delicious!) pumpkin-decorated sugar cookies for both Will and Catie. How cute are they?

Catie was her darling self in her Catie Cat costume. Since she still lacks the vocabulary for telling jokes, we had her meow for her candy. It was way cute. People loved her. Oh, and she did have another trick...she just walked right into people's homes. Luckily it was only into a choice few and we know the people who live there.

So after T-o-Ting around the 'hood, I took Will to visit Grandpa Bud. GB called yesterday afternoon to tell me they were having a big Beggar's Night celebration at the retirement community, complete with T-o-Ting and games in the rec room. When we arrived, there were paper pumpkins taped to the floor to lead us to where we were to go. We started in the dining room where they had a bunch of ladies sitting around handing out candy. It then took us downstairs where they had a really cool setup! There were probably 7 games with prizes, one of them being bowling, which Will LOVED. Grandpa Bud was all dressed up (see above) and was doing a little fishing game.

Other Stuff

Last weekend Catie and I participated in the Race for the Cure here in Des Moines. We did it with my YUM (Young Urban Moms) group and had a lot of fun! We only did the 1-mile walk, but I think a couple of us are planning to run the 5K next year. (I now realize that perhaps it wasn't tasteful for me to be wearing a pink skull cap with a scarf around my head- I hope no one thought I was "dressing up" for the race! It was just really cold.)

We also went to a Halloween costume birthday party for Will's friend Gia last weekend. It's the only time I will dress up this year, and as you can see, I used my old standby cat costume. But I thought it was cute that Catie and I were both cats. Catie's friend Drew was there, but they have a bit of a love/hate relationship. Catie seems to tease him by calling his name, then when he gets near her she cries and whimpers. Drew doesn't know his own strength and occasionally knocks her over when trying to hug her. I captured a love moment on the stairs, though:

And finally, just a couple other cute photos from the week:

So there you have it. The longest post ever. I haven't even gotten to Catie's new favorite saying ("oh my!") or Will making ponies out of Play-Doh. Another day.

Thursday, October 30, 2008


Sorry for no new posts this week- it's been really cold here, and because of that, the computer room is virtually unusable. And if I don't get in here right away to write down the cute things the kids say, I forget.

It's supposed to be in the mid-60s to low-70s for the next couple days, so I'll be back at it. And tonight is Beggar's Night, so I'll have Halloween costume pictures to post soon.

On top of cute pictures from tonight, my friend Yana is doing our family photo shoot on Saturday. Hopefully I'll be able to share some of those too. I know they'll be fabu. We're even going to attempt a wardrobe change for Catie so I can get our Christmas photos too.

Until I have real updates: Catie's cute. Will's cute. The end.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Feels Like a Photo Friday

A few from this week:

Will decided to make himself and Catie look like cats. Washable markers are amazing!

Will's school field trip to Iowa Orchard-

The class

Camo Boy checking out the pumpkins

Volunteering to sing with Grandma Jo

And a quick cute story:
There is a little boy in Will's class who was crying yesterday when his mom dropped him off. Will went to him and said, "It's OK...sometimes I have trouble when my mom leaves too." Which is actually a lie (he's never so much as batted an eye when I leave), but so super sweet nonetheless.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

I Forgot!

Will is now wearing big boy underpants to bed at night. :)


It's a good thing my mom was here to witness this stuff, because I always forget the cute things the kids do.

1) My mom has nicknames for her granddaughters- Autumn is Buttercup and Catie is Sunshine. Catie sees my mom about once every other month or so. On Will's birthday my mom sent an email birthday greeting with her picture embedded. I showed the kids and Catie immediately said, "Sunshine!" Then, this whole weekend she was calling my mom Sunshine...and even now that Mom is gone, Catie says "Sunshine!" when she sees the flip flops I let my mom wear in the basement.

2) We went to visit Grandma Hazel at the nursing home on Saturday morning. A woman was there singing songs to the residents, so of course Will had to go investigate. He made it known that it was his birthday, so the woman sang "Happy Birthday to You" to him, and after that he requested "Bingo". After "Bingo" was over, the woman started singing "My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean" and my mom told Will the song was about her (her name is Bonnie). Will encouraged her to go up to dance. :)

3) We've started to have a little problem with lying. One example: Will's been forbidden to chew gum because he keeps swallowing it. The other night I was out with friends and Will asked Dave for a piece of gum. Dave said, "Didn't Mom say you're not allowed to have gum?" and Will told him I said he could have it when I wasn't home. Dave offered to call me to clear up the misunderstanding and Will shouted "NOOOOOO!"

Monday, October 20, 2008

Night Eyes

We went to an event called Night Eyes at the zoo yesterday with one of my moms' groups. The kids get to dress up in their Halloween costumes and trick-or-treat around the zoo. Here's a little teaser for our real Halloween pictures in a couple weeks!

Cool Cat in her costume

Will and his friend Kaiya

Someone who is really mad that she's not allowed to have "MORE CANNY!" (more candy)


We just got home from Will's 4-year appointment with Dr. Uthe. He weighed in at 46 pounds (with clothes on) and is 43 inches. That's the weight of an average 6-year-old and the height of an average 5-year-old, and the 95th percentile for 4-year-olds.

He got 4 shots and the flu-mist vaccine. He did well with the first two shots, only saying, "That hurts!" Then, with the third and fourth shots, got mad and cried and said he never wants to see Dr. Uthe again. He's fine now and has changed his mind about the Dr. Uthe boycott.

He got his first eye exam and didn't do so well. We're not sure if he was playing around, but the test indicated that his eyesight is 20/40. We now have an appointment with a pediatric ophthalmologist on November 17 to check it out. Dave thinks Will will get beat up if he has glasses...I think it'll be unbelievably cute.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Party Day Photos

From top: Will's 2nd choice cake- The Red Line L, blowing out candles, sharing cake with Isaac, opening his new car from Catie, a very scary pirate...arghhh!

Friday, October 17, 2008

It Begins

Will was talking about preschool this morning and told us about his friends Levi, Zev, and Harrison. I asked him if he plays with any girls. His answer? "I'm allergic to girls."

He's never had a problem playing with girls before, so I have to believe that the "allergic to girls" thing comes from the boys at preschool. I'm not looking forward to all the things he's going to learn that I've tried to shelter him from!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Will's 4th Birthday


Today is Will's birthday and he's having a great day! He could barely get to sleep last night because he was so excited, and he woke up with great cheer and a "Is it my birthday?" He got to choose his special breakfast (chocolate chip pancakes), got to open one present (a little track set to add to his Thomas train set, which he declared "beautiful!"), and had to take birthday snacks to school (Oreos and grapes). At school they had a birthday crown that he refused to wear because apparently only girls wear crowns.

He's taking a killer nap right now and when he gets up we have some stuff to do around the house to get ready for our weekend guests. But tonight, oh tonight- we're going to Chuck E. Cheese for his chosen birthday dinner. He can barely contain himself.

More photos to come of CEC and his weekend birthday celebration with family!
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Friday, October 10, 2008

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


1) Catie just ran through the kitchen shouting, "I fast! I fast!"

The significance of this is that she put together her first little sentence. Sure, she says, "I don't know!" with a shoulder raise when I ask her a question, but that's something she's heard us saying.

2) We had friends over this morning for Morning Latte. Eight women with a total of 13 children here in our little house. It was lots of fun. See evidence:

The big kids made themselves at home in Will's closet. It was a tight squeeze.

(What is Morning Latte, you ask? It's getting a bunch of stay-at-home-moms together in the morning for coffee and breakfast pastries- or in today's case, pumpkin cake and pumpkin dip- and good conversation, while letting our kids run around and entertain themselves. I guess it's the morning version of the 3-Martini Playdate.)

3) I just made pesto for the first time ever. I used basil from my garden. It is pretty good, but a tad salty. I think I'll be able to tweak it so it's awesome. :)

Monday, October 6, 2008


My dear, sweet, kind-hearted Will has been all worked up this morning. Apparently there was an boy being unkind to a gorilla on "Between the Lions" and it really touched a nerve. He turned the TV off, got very weepy, and had to tell me what happened. Then a bit later he was thinking about it again and started to get teary. Then, as we were getting in the car to take Dave to the office he busted out a full cry when recounting the story again.

Of course I had to make this a teaching opportunity and we discussed the importance of being kind and not hurting other people's hearts. He seems to get it...let's see if it sticks next time we're at the mall play area with Elliott. :)

Friday, October 3, 2008


Making up for lost time...

Thursday, October 2, 2008


I have a new camera!

Eta: Hmmm...things don't look so clear. Better start messing around.