Monday, December 17, 2007

who's going to join me?

I've never been one for new year's resolutions. But I have to say, if there was ever a time where I needed one, it's now. I've spent a total of half a year in bed when you combine all three pregnancies and bedrest. I was in bed for 16 weeks with Brian. I lost almost all muscle mass and my metabolism went in the toilet. Now I know what you're all thinking...Brian is 2 years old now. But let me be the first to say that while baby weight comes off easily for me, putting muscle back on doesn't. I have been struggling with my weight for the first time the past 18 months and I'm now certain that I'm not going to win unless I do something pretty significant. So, I've decided to participate in the Discovery Health National Body Challenge. You can see my countdown to sign-up on the right side of this page. I need a buddy, or two, or three! I can't do this kind of thing on my own - it's way too hard to stay motivated. So a buddy is a must. And it's also why I'm posting it here - so that there's documented proof of my goals. Please don't let me forget them! And with that said, if you do want to be my buddy, believe me, there will be no quitting! Nope, not me, not you.
If you decide to sign up for the body challenge, a great perk is a free membership to Bally total fitness for 8 weeks! I think that's perfect for me because it's just long enough to get me through the winter months before it starts getting warm enough to get outside to exercise. Unfortunately, the only downside for me is the closest facility is about 25 minutes away, but I already talked to Dave and he said he'll support me in it. At least it's only 8 weeks being that far, and if I get into a good routine, then I'll join the local fitness center since I'll know I'll actually use it.

So who's with me???? PLLLLEEEEAAAASE??????

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Famous family

My cousin is famous, once again. Check her out on the follow up story...

Friday, December 7, 2007

My oh so pretty puppy!

I realize that I am so far overdue for an update on Greta. But honestly, she's a bit of a crazy puppy and getting a good picture of her isn't so easy. I mean, I've tried, but not a whole lot of success. Lately she's been behaving a bit better. Of course, we took her to the vet last week and had them cut out some organs, so that probably has something to do with it. Or maybe she knows she starts obedience school tomorrow and is trying to play us. I dunno, but I don't care. I'll take a calmer dog any day. Now, don't be mistaken - this girl still has a good case of the crazies, but she's slowly getting better.

Anyhow, onto the more important things. As mentioned before, Greta had her surgery a week ago. Yep, that's right. Our sweet puppy girl is now a sweet puppy it. Gender neutral. Poor thing. But, our vet is a rock star and Greta did fabulous. The fastest recovery I'd ever seen. She's already completely back to normal. Sad thing is Dave and I both worried ourselves crazy over her. She's definitely turned into a member of the family. Before they took her back for surgery they put her on the scale. A girl's worst nightmare, unless you're a Great Dane and size matters! Proudly, Greta hit the scales at 75 pounds! She's only 6 months old! And the vet says she's still just a tad skinny. Hey, we're doing our best! The girl can eat!

Okay, on to the pictures. I did my best to take a few shots that would show how big she is. Emma was happy to be a reference. For the record, Emma weighs 40 lbs and is 41 inches tall. And the last photo is my new favorite.

Here's Emma with her puppy. These two will be best buds once Greta stops knocking her over!

The main reference shot. Look back in the archives and you'll get a good idea of how much she's grown.

Okay - this is hilarious, but it's seriously one of Greta's favorite places to sit. Weird, I know.

Who could resist this sweet little face?!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Look what I did!

This is kind of a two part post. One is to show off my handiwork on the house, and the other is to show off the pics from the camera Dave bought me for my birthday!

I worked all day today, with some aesthetic help from Dave telling me to move something up or down. It was a lot of fun, but took so long. I'm very glad to be out of the midwest and in the south because doing this in 50 degree weather was still pretty cold! I know, I'm a totally weak, spoiled little girl. Yeah, don't care. I don't like the cold!

Okay, so here's two w/a flash and one without

So the camera Dave got me is a digital SLR - something I've really wanted for a very long time. I love taking pictures and have always wanted to make it a hobby. Dave made that dream come true for me (like so many other dreams in my life!) and now I'm a tourist in my own house. My kids are lucky they like taking pictures - wait, no, that makes me lucky. Anyhow, I'm sure to be posting lots of random pictures from here on out.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Cracker Jack!

Jackson had his 5 year well-check this morning and all is well (nice play on words). He measured in at 40.5 inches tall and 37 pounds. Another peanut...that put him in the 10% for height and 20% for weight. Amazing, considering he was in the 40-50% just last year. I swear I feed my kids! If anyone saw Jack eat, you'd think he'd weigh at least 50 pounds by now. But Dr. Hansen wasn't concerned, and neither am I. I think Jack is doing really well this year and I'm just excited he's been so healthy. After talking a bit about Jack's history w/the dr. we decided to do another allergy test - this time a blood draw. Mainly because he had some small things show up on his test a few years ago, but nothing definitive. I also mentioned how when he eats ranch dressing, if it gets on his face he gets hives. That was enough for him to want another test done, so off to the hospital for that. Jack rocks though, just a few tears, no screaming or fighting it. I even had him look once the blood started to go in the small tube and into the vial and his exact words were "that's cool" said in the middle of his tears. He's so cute. Good boy.

So a funny story, and you know if Jack's involved there's going to be a funny story. The nurse took us back to do the height and weight check. Jack thought the scales were cool and he wanted to count all the stickers on both of them. Then we had to go into the bathroom and he had to pee in a cup...okay - you'd think this is where the story comes in, but no. He thought it was funny and commented on how he had a lot in his cup - he was proud. After that we went over to do the eye chart. The nurse asked him some questions about shapes and then pointed to the chart and had him identify each symbol line after line. About the third line down there was the shape of a crescent moon. She asked him what that was and he said "chrysalis" so matter of factly the nurse looked at him like "huh?" With his lisp I don't think she understood what he said so I repeated it. She literally bent over laughing - and I said "can you tell what they've been talking about in preschool?" We laughed for a second and then she continued to the chart with colors on it...a green line and a red line (I was actually interested in his response since my dad is colorblind). She pointed to the green line and without missing a beat Jack's response was "verde." I thought - here's where we see if miss nurse can follow it...she giggled a minute, and then pointed to the red line and of course Jack said "roho." At this point a few nurses had stopped and watched all of it and they were all giggling at Jack. One asked "what preschool does he go to? I think my niece needs that school!" I thought they were joking so I laughed along. A minute later the nurse comes into our room w/a pen and paper and said "so what school does he go to?" Wow.

All in all it was a good appointment. Jack really seemed to like Dr. Hansen, so that makes us feel good about switching. I just could drive 45 minutes back up north to Dr. Flannery even though we really loved him. I just pray Brian's appointment goes as well on Friday...(I'm scared!)

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Can You Say CUTE!!??

Okay, I know, I'm his mom and I'm biased - but come on - you tell me this isn't just the cutest little man you've ever seen!? Okay, so you might tell me he isn't, but I bet he's the cutest you've seen today! These jammas used to be Jack's, and I had gotten them for him at the consignment sale a few years ago. I loved Jack in them so much I almost didn't give them to Brian because they were kind of a special memory for me. But Dave gave him a bath tonight and decided to put them on him and comb his hair just so, and then call me up to see this sweet little thing. Oh how my heart just melted!!! How is one mom so lucky to have two such adorable boys! Seriously - teenage years are going to be worrisome! Oh those poor dads of little girls (oh wait a minute - we have one of those too!) I'm sure we'll have our worries on both sides of the equation.
Anyway - I just had to share his cuteness with all of you. Enjoy!


On Halloween, I wanted to carve one more pumpkin for our front porch. The kids were at school and Dave was home so I grabbed a pumpkin left over from Jack's party and got ready to carve. We had a bunch of those carving kits you can get with patterns and all the tools you need. Well I knew what I wanted to carve so all I needed was the marking crayon that came in the kit. I couldn't find one anywhere. We had three during the party and I know we kept the kits pretty well accounted for so I assumed they had to be somewhere. I asked Dave if he had seen them and he said he hadn't. Oh well, no biggie. So I use a regular crayon hoping it works as well, which it does not, but I get the job done. Now I was ready to do some carving! I knew Dave had put the carving pieces and the scoopers in the dishwasher so I opened it up to get what I needed. And holy sweet savannah to my eyes what did I see? A totally GREEN dishwasher!!!! Can you figure out how???? It took me a minute, but then I realized what happened - I know where the marking crayons were - or in this case where they had melted onto everything!!! I'll spare the details of how it happened to shield my loved ones... It was actually funny for a bit, until we realized that a simple rewashing of things didn't clean it up, nor did many loads empty on hot, or using vinegar, or this or that...we tried everything. We had lost most of the kids cups, utensils, our plastic cups and bowls, and lots of gladware. It was a disaster. We had pretty much given up hope and were looking at for a new dishwasher, which totally sucked because we hadn't even paid off this one yet (it's only 6 months old - we decided to trade out the builder's dishwasher for one that actually cleaned our dishes and didn't sound like a jet engine in our kitchen). It was nauseating for me to even think about doing that, so I decided I wouldn't consider it until I knew I had exhausted every possible cleaning idea out there. Well we found a suggestion on some message board about this cleaner called "Bar Keepers Friend" but you can't just go to the grocery store and buy it. At least not our grocery store. But their website said Linens 'n Things sells it, among others. I immediately went in and bought two cans of this stuff, plus some dish gloves and scrub brushes. I figured I'd rather spend $30 dollars on cleaning products that might work instead of replacing a $900 dishwasher. Just a thought. I get home and I'm so anxious to see if this stuff works I barely follow the instructions. It just has to work!!! So I make my paste and start scrubbing. Immediately the cleaner starts to turn green - it's coming off!!! I continue to scrub and scrub and scrub - I went through all the cleaner I had bought and had to go get more. It didn't matter though, it was working! In the end I spent over 6 hours inside my dishwasher, but it's saved! Unfortunately a lot of it is stained green still, but the waxy film is gone and the green doesn't rub off on anything we put in it. I felt very thrifty in putting so much effort into it, because believe you me, I sooo did not want to do that much work when first thinking about our options. Most of me wanted to just say heck with it and go get a new one. But when I thought long and hard about our current financial status - not such a great idea to go into more debt just so I didn't have to use a little elbow grease! Can you say lazy!? Geesh. Obviously we made the right choice. It'll be a fun story to tell at parties and such in the future (once a certain someone can embrace the humor in his error ;-).

Below are a few pictures to elaborate the story. Unfortunately, in our panicked state we didn't think to take a complete before picture - with the overwhelming amount of green in there - dishes and all. It was quite a sight!

Friday, November 2, 2007

Halloween Pics

I won't take up much time but wanted to post the kids' halloween pics. Emma was Snow White, Brian was a cute dragon, and Jack was Thomas. I still can't believe we made it this long w/o him wanting to be Thomas. The kids had fun and the neighborhood was just the right size for our kids. Big enough to feel like they were out for a while, but not too big where we were walking all evening. I'm sure next year will feel different when more houses are built. Enjoy the pics!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Going private???

I've been toying with the idea of making this blog private, which would mean only invited friends or family would be able to view it. I just wanted to get some feedback to see what you all thought about it. I would give warning before doing it so you'd have time to send me your email so I could add you to the list. But I honestly have no idea how many people actually read our blog so I'm wondering if it's even worth it. I dunno, what do you all think?

Thursday, October 18, 2007

My cousin is famous!!!

If only it was for a different reason. Check out this video of her interview about reconstructive surgery after surviving breast cancer.

Michelle - you ROCK!!! I'm so proud of you and how well you've handled this whole thing. You have so much support and are such an inspiration to all of us! I have been and will continue to pray for you and Gregg.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Happy, Happy, Birthday Brian!

Well, the day is here. My littlest one is two years old. Sniff. We had a very small non-party last night with Heather, Jeff, and Allie. A few presents and a little cake. It was nice. We also went to the zoo on Saturday. I'll post pictures of that soon. Brian had a great time and is enjoying all his gifts as I type this.
So now we start the year of tantrums and time-outs. I've never been a fan of the ages 2-3. So we'll be happy when his next birthday rolls around. Not that I want to fast forward through it, but I know it will be a harder year. I'll look forward when he can talk a bit more and tell us what he wants or doesn't want. Right now the screaming isn't my favorite form of communication. But it will get better - it always does.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

The Tooth Fairy

Well - it finally happened!!!! Emma has lost her first tooth! Those darn teeth have been loose for almost 4 months. I thought for sure that at least one was going to fall out in August when the kids were in New Jersey and I would miss it. Nope, not so much. Two months later and it still hadn't fallen out. So with Emma's permission I started to twist it a little here and there. I asked her if it hurt, she said a little but I could keep going. I think that girl really wanted to get a visit from the tooth fairy. She was so brave. It took just a little prodding on my part (I'll spare you the gory details) and it came out pretty easily. I don't even want to guess how long it would have taken to fall out on it's own. So we have finally graduated into that next stage of parenting with Emma. She's turning into a very intelligent, compassionate, discerning young little lady! She really wanted to share her tooth fairy money (1 whole dollar!) with her brother so he wouldn't be left out. I was proud. Maybe we're not bad parents after all! Just kidding...

Here's a few pictures of the fun night...warning - there's blood in a couple. Sorry.

You can see just how desperately these teeth need to fall out. See the adult teeth behind them?

Barely hanging on...

And it's out! Emma was unbelievable brave. Probably because I didn't torment her like I was with threats of a wrench or pliers... sorry dad.

On the phone with Grandma and Papa D. You can see how proud she is.

And the good news is the adult tooth is already moving forward. Not that it has enough room to come all the way to the front, but it's better than where it was.

To prove how uneventful this was for her, Emma asked me today that when the other one gets loose enough if I would pull it out the same way. That's my girl.

Monday, October 1, 2007

It's October!!!!!

It's finally October. I love fall. It's my favorite time of year. Although, I probably change my tune say around February when I'm dying for spring. But truly, the fall holds so many wonderful things and I just cherish this time of year.

Two very important things happened in October for the Turner family. Our boys were both born in this month - even though neither one was actually due in October. I remember being pregnant with Brian during the summer and when the complications started I thought the fall would never get here. My mother-in-law June brought me a gift during one of their visits. It was a yankee candle and the scent was Autumn Wreath. She gave this to me with a very specific reason in mind. She knew how much we were looking forward to fall because it meant Brian would be here. And when the candle was burning, it did just what she had hoped. It made me forget about "today" and just focus on the joy of the season to come. It helped me so much and to this day it's one of my favorite gifts. I am especially fond of that candle scent, and I've already started burning it again this year. I did wait until September, but not a day past!

So Brian turns 2 in just two short weeks. It's hard to believe the youngest one is no longer a stumbling toddler. He is the epitome of the "terrible two's" but Dave and I are still blissfully wrapped up in this little man. I can't imagine our family without him, and to think - we almost didn't have another child. So glad we changed our minds on that one!

Jackson turns 5!!! How crazy is that!? I cannot even fathom him in kindergarten next year. That picture blows my mind. I'm excited for him to go, now that he's been going to preschool and loves it. It will be a fun time for him. We will be having a big birthday party for Jack on the 27th, so if you're near the area, please feel free to come on by. We have established big parties in our family for milestone years - 1, 5, 10, 13, etc. So this is Jack's year for a big party. We are looking forward to it!

I'll leave you with a couple of pictures of the boys when they were babies. Just look at how far they've come. Our God is awesome, isn't He?

This is Jackson - it's surprising we even thought about more babies after this. (can anyone say retraction?)

And of course Brian. Oh how I wish I could rewind time!

Here they are now! Don't pay attention to their hair - they were in serious need of a barber!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Doggy love

Just wanted to give you a few cute shots of Greta. She's such a sweet baby girl. And she's getting soooo big! Now if only I could figure out how to stop her from eating the cat. Hmmm, anyone got any ideas on that?

How can you resist that sweet face?!

The one above just shows off how well behaved she can be. Sitting next to a bowl of food and not eating it? That's gotta be a good trick, right?

Woo Hoo!!!!

I had Emma at the dr. on Saturday for a nasty cough (no, that's not why I'm cheering!) and they weighed her while she was there. Get ready for this.......38.9 lbs!!! Yeah baby! She's soooo close to 40 pounds - the weight minimum here in SC to ride in a booster seat. I was planning on keeping her in the regent for as long as possible, but the poor girl is the only one in first grade still in a car seat. And she's finally got an opinion on the whole thing. So, I guess I can let my 6 1/2 year old ride in a booster once she hits 40 lbs. But, considering it took her like 3 years to gain 5 pounds, she's probably got some time to wait yet. But I won't tell her that now. We'll just keep checking her weight now and then. She's so excited about it - it's so cute!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


Just wanted to take a quick minute to let you all know that Emma's dentist appointment went really well. She actually had fun while she was there. She has no cavities and the dentist said she's doing well. He isn't worried about her baby teeth not falling out. He said they'll come out in time, so no need to worry. He did say she had significant overcrowding with her baby teeth and it will only get worse when all her adult teeth come in. Braces here we come!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Hold me closer tiny dancer

As promised here are a couple pictures of Emma in her ballet gear. Could she be any cuter??? She loves ballet class and has met a new friend named Carli. And even better is I have made a new friend w/Carli's mom! We spent the entire class today talking and getting to know each other. She is about to have a little boy this week so they won't be at class next week. Maybe Emma will get to know another little girl that day. It's fun to see her try new things and really enjoy them.

Jackson is loving school and is sad on the days he doesn't go. Too bad we couldn't afford to put him in for a full week, but he's really enjoying his MWF class.

Brian is crazy talking! He went from not saying anything and having us just a tad worried to talking up a storm. Now it's just a matter of trying to figure out what he's saying. It's a wonderful time having him to myself three days a week. We spend a lot of time reading books and reciting shapes and colors. He's just a little sponge right now.

Greta is doing well too. She's hit the terrible two's right now so we're trying to figure out how to keep her from running laps around the house. Walks don't seem to cut it, but we're trying different things. She's also lost all her baby teeth already and her adult teeth are coming in.

Speaking of teeth, Emma has her first dentist appointment on Monday. I realize we are very late in starting this routine but I had good reasons that I'll spare you for right now. Just pray for her to have a positive experience. They are going to look at her bottom teeth since her adult teeth have started to come all the way through but she hasn't lost her baby teeth yet. Makes for some really tight quarters! I'll let you all know how it goes when we get home.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

First day of school! Wake up! Wake up!

Gotta love a good Nemo quote.

Well, we're well into the swing of things with school and it is going so well. Emma is already settled and getting good reports from her teacher. Jackson is a total hit in his class. His teachers say he's a laugh a minute (anyone surprised by that?) and that he's doing so well. On his second day he told me he could walk into school by himself. Such a big little man!

The only downside to the past week is we're already dealing with our first virus. So not fair. But fortunately it's just a cold for the boys. Emma seems immune so far. I would have never thought she'd be the one w/the super-strong immune system. I guess all that illness early on did her well!

Greta is getting huge too. She's a great addition to our family. Her only issues are totally related to puppyhood, so we've got high hopes that she'll outgrow them soon. One thing we need to figure out how to control is the standard great dane affection moves. She likes to walk between your legs and also lean up against you. The leaning thing isn't a problem for Dave or I, but it could really hurt the kids. And while walking between our legs isn't a problem for us now, it will be soon. She tried to do it to Emma this morning and picked her right up! Poor Emma! She thought it was funny, but we were also right there to catch her. It's hard to figure out what to do because she's just trying to show affection. How do you punish affection? I can't do it. So, for now we'll just have to stay close when she's around the kids.

My folks are coming in to town tomorrow. Saturday is college football season opener - at least for the turner house. Our two teams we root for are NIU and Iowa. And this Saturday, they are playing each other at Soldier Field! Oh how we wish we could have been there to witness it in person, but luckily we get it on cable. My parents don't get it so they are coming here to watch it, and play with the kids of course! I can't wait for them to get here. Our only dilemma is who do we root for? Hmmm....

Ok, onto the pictures. I wouldn't dream of posting without pictures!

So how is everyone out there? Leave a comment and let me know how you're doing!

Later taters!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Lots of kid pics

Well, the summer is over for the Turner household. Jackson starts preschool tomorrow and Emma starts first grade on Wednesday. We are excited for the year ahead, because we know it means big changes in our kids by the end of it. With two years of school under our belt w/Emma, Dave and I feel more prepared this year about sending two kids off. I know Jackson is ready - he needs to go. I'm really looking forward to seeing him mature socially this year. I'm also looking forward to him having his "own" friends. It will be fun to have kids to invite to his 5th birthday party this year, other than neighbors. Don't get me wrong - we absolutely adore all of our past and present neighbor friends - but you get the idea. He's never had a group of friends that were just his. It'll be sweet.
Emma is all set to start her new school. They did finish construction on time (can you believe that!) and she will be among the first students to ever attend the new school. She was assigned a teacher a month ago, but just this past wednesday I received a phone call from a new teacher that had been hired the day before telling me she was reassigned to this new teacher. They wanted to make the class size smaller, which I appreciate, but poor Emma had been practicing her new teacher's name for a couple weeks and now she was going to have to learn a new name. But - no worries - it's an easy name. And we got to meet her on Friday night. Apparently Emma hit the jackpot because even the principal was so excited to have found this teacher. She has studied literacy in New Zealand and is evidently exceptional. She definitely left us with a very positive impression. When we brought Emma over to meet her she bent down to Emma's level, gave her the biggest hug, and told her how excited she was to have her in class. Emma of course ate this up and left feeling excited for school to start (well, even more excited than she was - if that's possible!) So we now have very high hopes (beyond what we already had) for this school year for Emma.
And finally - Brian is talking up a storm. He says lots of words and a few sentences too. He will also finally say Mom - FINALLY! What mother has to wait almost two full years before she hears her baby say this most important word?! It's just not right! Hee hee hee. But the good news is he no longer is behind on his communication and we don't have to worry about speech therapy for now. Yay!

I realize I don't give credit enough to the One who has blessed us abundantly. Let me just say now that we know and are truly in awe of how much the Lord has blessed us and we just wanted to publicly point to God and praise Him! He is a loving and giving Father!

OK, on to the pictures! These were taken just the last couple days. Some of Emma and Jack's sibling affection (it amazes me still how well these two get along) and some of Brian after he enjoyed a yummy pile of chocolate teddy grahams. What a mess! And the last picture of Brian is my new favorite shot. He's so awesome!

and I guess I'd get in trouble for not including just one picture of the puppy.

So that's all for now. I'm guessing the next couple of weeks will be hectic trying to get into a routine but I will do my best to post some updates. Definitely when Emma starts her ballet school in a couple weeks.

Much love everyone