Friday, January 29, 2010


We went to gymnastics today and both kids loved it. Here are a few pictures of them playing. When we were leaving Dominic said "Thanks Mommy for taking me to gymnapsticks. I had so much fun. It was even funner than picking my nose." Sure enough he had his finger up his nose. Sigh! Glad to know he enjoyed himself though.Right after I took this picture a little boy came by and gave the tube a big push. Caitlin was not thrilled to be tumbled around.It was very hard to get a picture of Dominic since he stayed in motion the entire time we were there. But I caught him a few times on the trampoline.These are two little friends of Dominic's that got stuck in the foam pit.


I'm extremely sentimental. Jon sometimes laughs at me because of the things I keep simply for sentimental reasons.

I was told a story about Jon's grandmother. Not sure of the details, but it seems she collected elephants. As the story goes, she didn't even like elephants. But once you get a couple of something people make the assumption that you are collecting them and it never stops. So when she passed away she had a large collection of elephants. This past November Jon's mom brought us a few of them to pass on to our kids. Jon wasn't sure I would want them cluttering up my house, but I insisted. What a neat thing to be able to pass on to my kids - their great-grandmother's elephant collection.

When Jon went to Germany he was having a difficult time finding me something to bring back. Almost everything there can be bought here for cheaper. He found this elephant and thought he'd add to my "collection". I LOVED it. Another Murrell woman who never intended to collect elephants now has the beginnings of one. =)It is so cute and now has sentimentalism attached to it. I wonder if Jon knew what he was starting? =)

Some funny pictures

Both kids wanted on Jon's lap. Couldn't ever get one with both of them smiling. Love Dominic's face in this one though.Caitlin is VERY relaxed while she's eating. =)Dominic found some of my dress socks and put them on. He was all "packed for a trip" and so had his suitcase and backpack. He had to pull up his pants to show me the socks. I think it's the pose that has me laughing so much every time I see this picture.

Family days

Dominic had heartburn. He'd never had it before and was really upset. "Mommy, my heart is broken and bleeding."

Yesterday (Thursday) Dominic asked me "What days are family days?" I made the correct assumption that he was talking about days that Daddy was home. "Sabbath and Sunday, Dominic." "Oh, I think we should make Thursday a family day too. I want Daddy to stay home with us." I just love it that my kids think their Dad is the greatest and want to spend time with him.

Our local gymnastics has an open gym for preschoolers and lets them play on the equipment for an hour. Dominic loves it and was asking me if he could go to gymnapsticks (gym NAP sticks).

My poor daughter has learned a new sign. It seems that I'm a bit busier with two kids than one and so I'm always asking her to wait just a few minutes for something she wants. Yesterday she was playing with a toy and I asked her to come so she signed wait and continued to play. I had to smile.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Big words

“Mommy, I want to be able to talk like a grown up.”
“Why can’t you, Dominic?”
“Because grown ups use big words I don’t understand yet.”

Amazing Husband/Daddy

Life has been a bit rough for all of us this past week, but I think it’s getting better. Middle of last week I got sick and was so sick that Jon felt he needed to stay home to watch the kids. They, of course, followed me and Jon spent 4 days cleaning up after the kids while I was in bed. We are all on the mend and most of us are back to 100%. Dominic still seems tired and is back to taking naps. He seemed to get hit with the virus the hardest.
It has been amazing to watch my husband (when I wasn’t in dreamland). He HATES smells. And yet he never once complained when the kids made “messes” that he had to clean up. For those 4 days the washing machine never stopped working while he kept everything clean and our house smelled like a hospital (during the good times). =) But he shouldered through it and I’m so proud and impressed at what a wonderful husband I have. He’d would do anything for his little family and we feel his love for us every day.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Everyone is home

Jon came home Friday night. His flight was delayed a bit coming into New Bern so the kids were asleep when I loaded them into the car. They never really woke up when Jon put them back in the bed. But Sabbath morning they sure were glad to see their daddy again.
It's wonderful to have all of us home again. The kids can't get enough of Jon. Neither can I! =) There isn't anything better than being home with your family!!!

Spitty Hug

When Dominic saw Uncle Jason and Aunt Kim he gave Aunt Kim a hug and then told Uncle Jason he was going to give him a spitty hug. It was a very wet kiss to the hand. Jason didn't seem to mind. =)

Friday, January 15, 2010

Our trip home

We left Uncle Bob and Aunt Holly's house about 9am. The traffic wasn't too bad and we made good time until we got out of Atlanta and Dominic decided he had to pee. There weren't any exits for several miles and then the one I chose was exit only. So after Dominic peed in front of tons of cars going by I headed down a back road (thank goodness for gps) to get to the next exit to get back on the interstate. I came to a stand still in traffic and noticed a moving truck that was trying to back into a drive way. We sat there for about 10 minutes while they ran into an electric pole and almost brought the lines down. They touched the top of the truck. The only reason I was able to start moving after 10 minutes was because a police car came by with their lights on and while the truck got out of the way we all rushed past. This put me a bit behind and it didn't get any better the rest of the way home.
The logistics of trying to go to the bathroom with two kids is mind boggling. I don't want to put Caitlin on the floor while I go, but she can't stand so I have to hold her the whole time. Interesting! Then Dominic wants to touch everything. Yuck!
By supper time the kids were so ready to be out of the car. They had been really good and amazingly both of them took lengthy naps. But I decided that even though we were only a few hours from home we'd stop a while for supper. It was going to put us getting home about 9pm-way past bedtime. But I felt it was worth it.
We stopped at a place that had several restaurants in one place. While we ate Dominic noticed the Dairy Queen next to us and asked if he could have an ice cream cone. I told him no and he very graciously said ok. But the more I thought about the more I wanted one. =)
So I told him that since he'd been so good on the way home that if he was willing we'd share a blizzard.
It was so cute watching him try to savor each bite and yet hurry so he could get as much as possible before I ate it all. Caitlin didn't seem to care for it and told me no after two bites and asked for the chips. So she ate chips while Dominic and I ate ice cream.
When I finished there was one bite left and I let Dominic have it. He carefully and slowly ate that bite, licked the spoon and then licked the cup. When he couldn't get his tongue any further into the cup he put his hand in there and then licked his hand. That cup was super clean when he finished. Poor sugar deprived child. =)
Dominic had eaten 2 sandwiches, a bag of chips, a glass of juice and 1/2 a blizzard for supper. When we got in the car I gave Caitlin her milk that she gets before bed and Dominic his water bottle. He emptied it so I gave him a juice box because he said he was still thirsty. A few minutes later he started complaining of a stomach ache. When I started questioning him it turned out he'd also finished off Caitlin's milk when she went to sleep. Silly boy! No wonder he had a stomach ache.
We got home at 9pm like I'd predicted. For some reason (the sugar?) it took Dominic a while to go to sleep. But we are now home, unpacked and all ready for Jon to join us.

Cute kids!

Just a couple of cute things my kids have said or done while we've been gone.

Dominic and Leila were playing with the salt and pepper shakers while Zeb and I talked and waited for our food. Zeb started laughing and asked me if I'd heard what Dominic said to Leila.
"Here's mine and you can have this one. I'm pepperoni and you can be salteroni."

Wednesday night we met Zeb again to eat at Olive Garden and the waiter was a climber as well. (He should stick with that. He was a HORRIBLE waiter.) He and Zeb were talking about climbing (w/out ropes) and Dominic piped up and said "Uncle Zeb, you shouldn't climb without ropes. It's dangerous." Smart boy! =)
At the same meal Dominic told Zeb that he looked different this time than he'd looked at Thanksgiving. Zeb informed him it was because he had gotten his hair cut. That he used to have much longer hair, but when it started to get curly he cut it off. Dominic said "Oh! Did you look like a princess?"

Whenever someone coughs Caitlin copies them and covers her mouth. It's so cute. I had just coughed and Caitlin put her hand up to my mouth and then fake coughed. Not sure why she didn't cover her own mouth, but it was cute.
She's starting to copy everything we do now. She's learning the sign language and English better because of this. She can sign about 8 signs (and knows by sight quite a few more) and she can said about 5 words. They aren't clear, but her family knows what she's saying. Uh-oh is really clear and so cute when she drops something on purpose and then says it.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Having fun at the mall

We went shopping and just hung out today. It was nice not to have to rush to anything. We took our time and played for most of the morning. The mall has a cute little play area and Dominic and Caitlin loved it.Dominic wanted me to make sure to take this picture of Daddy.Caitlin loved the steering wheel, as usual.The wheels of the car are hollow so kids can climb through.I love this picture of Dominic.My cute kids!


Last night Stephanie brought over Leila to Uncle Bob's so the kids could play before Zeb (Zac to everyone except family) got off work and met us for supper.Dominic and Leila jumping on the huge bean bags. Leila's hair was sticking straight out.I caught them in still moment while they were resting.Caitlin and Aunt StephanieThe kids put every blanket and pillow they could find in the corner behind this plant. Then they crawled in and buried themselves.Stephanie made the mistake of giving Caitlin her phone. Caitlin was fascinated with the clicking noises it made, so Stephanie got quite a few pictures of the carpet.Caitlin and Uncle Zeb (my brother)

Monday, January 11, 2010

Chuckee Cheese

We met Jason and Kim for supper at Chuckee Cheese. Dominic LOVED the place. As soon as we got in the door his eyes got big and he took off. It really freaked me out and I gave him the strangers talk-again. For the rest of the evening he stayed within sight for the most part. He quickly learned that each game or ride took a token (or as Dominic called them "pennies") and that some games spit out tickets. He would carefully fold them so I could put them in my pocket. When he couldn't find the cup that the tokens were in he'd dig in our pockets to see if we'd put them in there.

I was surprised that he ate so well considering. Caitlin ate really well also. Maybe they're going to grow again.This fish game was one of his favorites.Caitlin hasn't been letting anyone touch her, but let both Kim and Jason hold her. She's waving like Aunt Kim.Caitlin with Uncle Jason (Jon's brother).This truck was pretty cool.Playing battle ships with Mommy.We're watching Dominic have fun. It's tiring. =)Riding on Clifford.Their 1st roller coaster. They really enjoyed it, so maybe Jon and I can start going back to amusement parks. =)Caitlin loved this little car. The steering wheel turned and she had so much fun with it.This bike would go up to the ceiling if you peddled. Dominic's feet couldn't quite reach the pedals so Uncle Jason pedaled and Dominic rode.

At the end he was supposed to trade in his tickets for toys. But he wanted a toy that was more tickets than he had. The girl at the counter when ahead and gave it to him. You would have thought he'd been given a treasure instead of very cheap toy. He was so excited.

We has so much fun and the kids were so good. I'm proud of my babies!


Uncle Bob and Aunt Holly made calzones from scratch the other night. Dominic loves to help with the cooking so was really enjoying himself.Aunt Holly showing him to "squish" the dough.SquishingAnd more squishingUncle Bob showing him how to take off the extra dough.Everyone having fun.Some of the finished product. Which tasted even better than it looked.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Jon in Berlin - Day 6 addendum

Well, I figured out how to post to the blog myself so I thought I would go ahead and add some of the photos I took today while wandering around town.

As planned I went up to Meilenwerk first and was not disappointed.

The glass panels you see on the right of the preceding photo is actually a double-decker glassed-in storage rack.
This last one is especially for Uncle Tom. The woodwork on this boat was just fabulous.

Next I thought I would go down to KaDeWe but got there and they were closed, as are most stores on Sunday. That wasn't too cool so I went back over to Potsdamerplatz and took some photos of the Lego giraffe, Lego Einstein and some of the buildings there.

For lunch today I tried the famous Turkish food known as Döner Kebab - basically a lamb sandwich which has had the meat shaved off of a vertical rottiserie. It was OK and I can't say I won't ever eat it again.
This will probably be my last blog from Berlin since tomorrow it's back to work and then home on Friday. See you all on the other side of the pond ö

At Grandma & Grandpa's

Here are a few random pictures left over from when we were at my parents.My mom has this large recliner. Dominic wanted to take some toys back there and play. He informed Grandma that she hadn't played with him ALL day so she needed to come. Not sure if you can see, but my mom's arm is poking out on the left side of the chair. =)Lexi is trying to blow up a balloon for Caitlin. I don't think she was ever successful.A picture I got of my dad when he came in with the kids from sledding. They were too tired to walk up the hill, so he carried them. What an awesome grandpa!A picture of the amazing view that my parents have from their hill top home.This is the picture of the home I grew up in. I had many other homes growing up, but lived here from 11 yrs old until I got married. It would look better in the spring when all of the trees were blooming. To the right is a pear and apple orchard and it looks amazing in the spring. The little tiny house to the left is a guest house, but it was my play house before that.Caitlin LOVED this high chair. It didn't have straps so she could move all around. There was a window directly behind her and she would turn around and look out the window while she ate instead of facing the table."Mommy, look! That is the same as Daddy's work in Germany." He was referring to the picture that Jon sent us (and blogged about) that was taken from his work window. So we had to take a picture of him standing in front of "Daddy's work window".Lexi wanted to hold Caitlin so badly. So we had her sit on the couch. Dominic couldn't miss out on anything so crawled up there beside her. This provided a great photo op. I have pictures of everyone else taking pictures also. =) In fact one of the pictures was completely white because all of our flash happened to go off at the exact time.Caitlin wasn't supposed to be in here and when I asked her what she was doing she turned around with this look on her face.My mom has this tiny wicker rocking chair and Caitlin just loved it.