Adventures of the Cupboard Dwellers: There's a WHAT in your closet??

She bobbed into my room, running that cute 2-year-old run, and stopped abruptly.
"MAMA," she said, eyes and hands wide,
"There's a yizard in my cwoset!!"
I kinda smiled, but mostly just shook my head, sure she was trying to get out of doing whatever it was I'd asked her to do.
"B, there is not a lizard in your closet," I sighed. We'd just gotten back from vacation and the kids were testing their limits for sure.
"Yes, there is! There IS a yizard in my cwoset!" she insisted, eyes somehow even wider than before. Just as I was about to say that, no, there couldn't possibly be a lizard in her closet; her big brother came in.
"There is a lizard, Mama," he told me.
Ok. Now I really did have to check it out...this one wouldn't tell me there was a lizard in his sister's closet in order to get out of getting dressed. He's much more up-front about stuff like that...no imaginary lizards there, just outright defiance. (Much simpler to tell when it's real or not, you know)

"Ok. Show me." we trundled off down the hall, Blythe bobbing in front all the way to her closet, where they knelt and showed me....

a lizard. A teeny, tiny, two-inch-long lizard. In my daughter's closet.
"See?? A yizard!!" (It's impressive, really, how high her voice can get when she's excited or insistent-no microphone needed for her!)
I stared at it for a minute, realizing that:
a) The teeny, tiny, two-inch-long lizard was very much alive and quite fast and
b) I had to catch it. As in right then. As in, I couldn't call the hubs with a cute story about a lizard in the closet and then wait until he came home from work to catch it. Or find some other boy to catch it, as I'd done in Brazil with frogs in the shower and giant moths the size of my face in my bedroom. I also realized that
c) This whole thing was deja vu...only when I was a little girl, it was a bat in the basement that started flying at me and it was my mother saying, "Oh, Kristin, there's not a bat in the basement..."
      I silently vowed that I'd never say  try very hard not to ever say those words to my children again; and then went in search of lizard-catching gear. And what, exactly, is lizard catching gear? Good question!
     A few minutes later, armed with a small Tupperware and a sturdy sheet of paper, I was back, clearing the kids away from where they sat ogling the lizard. Why didn't I just let Pax catch him, you ask? Well, although not at all squeamish about that kind of thing, the biggest Small Son is not exactly gentle with bugs...and lizards are a good thing-we just want them outside. Squashing it is more his style, as he proved with yizard # 7 last night. So I stifled my inner shrieking girl (turns out I'm surprizingly girly when it comes to catching lizards), captured the yizard under my tupperware, shimmied the paper in till our little friend was snug inside, and then sat and looked at him with my kiddos, amazed at how tiny and yet how perfect he was. Also kinda see-through. Which was kinda weird.
    Then I took him outside, released him...
and promptly called my husband's voice mail to tell him what I'd just done. Yes, I needed affirmation. See, we don't deal with this kind of thing in Colorado...yizards in the closet. Moths everywhere, yes. Spiders, absolutely (especially if you have a basement) Mosquitos, sure. But not yizards. And I would just like to say, thanks so much for this new experience, desert!! (or not.) Since then we've found no fewer than seven of the little guys at various times in our house. They're so teeny, they can get in anywhere...and my yizard catching skills are quite good, thankyouverymuch.
At least it wasn't a scorpion....


The first day of school.

           For the past 2 years, I've informally homeschooled Pax. Preschool...not a big deal, really, for me. 2 days a week we had sit-down learning time; the rest of the time we did units about what people do all day, farm animals, etc. Everything was is a learning experience. And, truly, he's so eager to learn that he's been very easy to teach-he's already reading a bit and LOVES it. This year, though, he turns 5. And even though in Arizona he's technically not supposed to start Kindergarten until next year; we're doing it. He's ready, we have a year of grace before Adam starts his program in which I am not pregnant, and we can maybe get this formal-homeschooling-thing figured out. Although the thing I like most of all, perhaps, is that it's so INformal-although I'm following a kindergarten curriculum this year, I've already found that he's about 40% thru it, so we're piecing stuff together, focusing on character building and reading with the other stuff, of course, mixed in. Fridays will be our field trip day twice a month; the other two Fridays will be spent doing different age-appropriate service projects. And the B-girl is starting preschool! She's very, very excited and I'm letting her lead on a LOT of it (she's 2 1/2), but it's still challenging with the 2 of them. Yesterday was our first OFFICIAL day of school, so, of course, we did some fun first day stuff...I grabbed my point-and-shoot and took them outside to answer some questions. Figured they'd be more likely to be excited about it...and I was right! I will most definitely be doing this survey every year. Love some of their answers!

(she wasn't about to pose by the palm tree; I'm ok with that!)

...and since out letter of the week is-you guessed it-A; we of course had to start our alphabet wall with some alligators. And end our day with pancakes for dinner with Daddy! Day two? Exploring animals at the Zoo!!
So far, I love homeschooling :)


Who are you, again?

You know it's been a long day when you find yourself googling "2 year old discipline" at naptime. Yes, my sweet little girlie succumbed to two-year-old-ness. Awhile ago, actually. And, just FYI, two-year-old girl is very, very different than two-year-old boy. Very. Lots more crying, and screaming, and fits over I'm not even sure what most of the time...did I mention she's also incredibly smart and strong willed? She's known how to push her brother's buttons since she was about 11 months old, but man...the girl can dish it out. She's even figured out the fine art of verbal manipulation ("I don't love you, Pax," "That's not your window, Pax,") which just blows me away 'cause although I'm female and I do have my moments, I
a) am NOT very dramatic and
b) don't go in for the verbal manipulation thing. At all.
   My sweet girlie...well,  she can't take it when her brother pushes her buttons, which leads to...you guessed it! More crying, screaming, hitting, biting (she left a mark this morning!) etc.Really, I'm kind of out of ideas. I've tried all the things I used with her brother when he was in the middle of his two-ness..and a few other things, as well. Thus the Googling. Then I had an absolutely genius idea. Seriously. ready for it???..... I think I just need to ask my friends what they've done with their own girlies. Amazing, eh? **disclaimer: I love my sweet girlie. Totally and absolultly-and waaaaay too much to let her grow up to be the kind of mean girl who knows she can throw a tantrum and get her way. So. I'm asking. We need some advice here, people. Share the love....it takes a village, right? Anyone have any success stories for super smart, super strong willed, super fit throwing two year old girls??

....aaaaand on a completely unrelated note...is it just me, or is the resemblence here uncanny??


Diary of a (pre)Med student('s wife): halfway there (almost).

It's 7:22 and my children are still asleep..as well they should be. We ( the littles and I) got to my folks's house in Colorado about 10 last night; they definitly didn't go to bed until at least 11:30. Once upon a time, this trip was supposed to be just me & the babe, as I have a wedding to shoot on Saturday and a few other fun shoots lined up.....but that was before the interviews started rolling in. And now? Adam will be on his way to interview #3 tomorrow, in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
2 down, 3 to go.
And you know what's just so cool fantastically, incredibly wonderful??
He's already been offered spots in BOTH the programs he already interview at!
Yup. He's been offered a spot in Philadelphia, and one in Connecticut. Some times it seems a bit surreal-you know, in that we've-been-working-toward-this-for-long-and-now-it's-actually-happening kind of way. He did it! He's actually starting PA school next summer...somewhere.
All the praise and glory to God, whose favor is real and grace is so beautiful-it's a direct answer to prayer. I prayed very specifically back in May when his application was submitted to CASPA for early interviews and early acceptance. This last interview in Connecticut? It was last Saturday. Adam got home Sunday, after a 7-hour reroute through Vegas (that's another story, though; and I found the email offering him a spot in their program Monday before noon. Yeah. It doesn't get much faster than that! I'm so grateful...I know it didn't have to work out like this, but it's just plain fun that it has.And I am so stinkin' proud of Adam! (are you tired of hearing that yet? Well, too bad. I am. And I will continue to tell him and anyone else who listens about it...always. )
So which one will it be? Well, that's the question, now isn't it? In our heads, for the moment, it's Connecticut. But we are continuing to pray for favor in these next 3 interviews, because they are to his top 3 schools. The two in Phoenix, obviously, because we'd love to stay here, in our house, and not have to move again for awhile. Seriously, the thought of staying in the same house for 4years is kinda crazy to me right now, but oh my does it sound lovely! Next choice is Indiana, because of family and a family home to rent that are readily available?
Then, of course, it's Connecticut. You know, the one he's already been accepted to. Cautiously optimistic is the way my husband describes his feelings right now. Thankful to be accepted; yet not wanting to "make" us move again. He's a man...the protector and provider. It's part of who he is, and I love it about him- but I have the luxury of just being beautifully exited for him.
He's been accepted to PA school. It's been a long road, and I know in some ways it's just beginning...but I say, bring it on! Everything we've gone through in the past 3 years, good and bad, has been in preperation for this...I'm so excited, and thankful...and yet, still waiting. But like I said before-I'm really not worried about the interviews.
I know God's got this, and whereever we end up will be the right place for us.
But I think I'm gonna have to change the title of these posts...he's officially not pre med anymore!
Go, love, Go!


I should be.

Adam is out of town on interview #2 (Conneticut, this time), and I should be switching the laundry or unloading the dishwasher or some such to get ahead of the kids in the morning....but. 
My smallest son turned 5 months old on Wednesday (how'd that happen??) and before another month gets away from me...
before I forget to write down that he started sitting up on his own a few weeks ago

...and saying "hi" (no really, he does...so stinkin' cute!!)

...and that he's already doing the inchworm across the floor in a determined effort to keep up with the bigger kids

...and that he's so sweet and smiles at everyone, instantly

... and that he's an inch and a half shorter than his sister was at a YEAR
...and that he hated the tiny baby carseat that we've already switched him to the one his sister was in, rear-facing of course
...and that he loves music but tends to flinch when he hears his big sister come near (she loves him fiercely)
...and that he's a huge Mama's boy right now (which I'm totally soaking up)
...and that he's already lovin' sweet potatoes and tolerating avocado
...and that he's 14 lbs and 25.5 inches of snuggly

                 fiercely determined
                          little boy.
(c'mon....can you blame me for slacking off? Who doesn't love that face??)