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Monday, April 23, 2012

The Twister and The Rod

I just love this comic of various "techniques" kids use to avoid being strapped into their carseats AGAIN...
Elijah is definitely "The Twister" and Evelyn has totally perfected "The Rod." I am usually exhausted by the time everyone is in the car.

I must say though, I totally empathize with the Noodler as that is a tactic both kids use in other situations- like when mama says it's time to go home from the park and they are not quite ready.

Sunday, April 22, 2012


Anyone who has raised a child (or two) or been in a close relationship with a small, developing human being, can probably share in my marvelling at how crazy it is to see their little personalities make their first appearances. 
It's difficult at this stage to know for sure what my kids' strengths and weaknesses will be in later life but I love watching and making predictions about what they will be good (and not so good) at when they are a little older.  I find that it's more difficult to determent their weaknesses because all kids have a lot of the same weaknesses at this point and because what looks like something bad could actually turn into something good later.  Emotions are just so amplified at this young age, without the benefit of foresight or even a whole lot of hindsight, everything seems like "the greatest thing ever" or "the end of the world."
That said, here are a couple strengths I've noticed lately:
Evelyn.  This little girl is just so sweet and caring.  She likes to deny her mama (or just about anyone else for that matter) kisses when asked, but put on a pouty face and she'll immediately come back to offer up a soft-lipped smooch.  The same goes for when she gets too excited and hits; I put on my sad face (trying to teach some cause and effect here), and she immediately pets me or gives me a hug.
She has a lot of compassion- especially for her brother.  When he falls down, she runs to his side and tries to pick him up (two hands under his belly and HEAVE!).  If he's crying and I'm holding him she goes in search of a binky and always manages to find one (I think it's because she knows where he stashes them).  Tonight during their bath Elijah slipped and bonked his chin.  He was wailing away when Evie crouched down beside him and began to rub his back and give kisses until he stopped, he was all smiles after his sister's tender loving care!  She's also been known to get very upset when daddy seems to pick on mommy (tickling or teasing) or someone is crying around her- even joining in with some tears or plantiff whines of her own.
I also think she will be very good with detail.  She seems to remember just about everything we do once, and will show me what to do when we come back to it the second time.  She seems to always be one step ahead of me and offers things like; a kleenex, a fork or spoon, opening or shutting doors, a blanket for my feet, my shoes and coat, etc.  She's a little helper and very particular, I can see her being a big help with any younger siblings she might have(but only when she wants to of course, she is nothing if not strong-willed, reminds me of another big sister I know :).

Elijah.  Elijah is a little more go-with-the flow than Evelyn but I've noticed that he is a pretty conscientious little guy.  While he breaks his fair share of rules, he naturally puts things away when he is finished which I think is pretty awesome.  Maybe he's a creature of habit, I'm not quite sure which, as it doesn't seem that he puts a lot of thought into these things, it just seems to be very matter-of-fact behavior.  For instance a couple days ago both kids were eating banana halves (with the peel, must have the peel ON mom!) after their nap.  At some point I found Evelyn's peel on the floor next to a toy she had been playing with and I started to look around for Elijah's.  Where do you think I found it?  In the trash of course.  The little man had finished his banana and naturally, when one finishes a banana, one throws away the peel.  It was something I'd been telling them to do but I guess I didn't expect them to do it on their own for awhile.
Another example happened today when we were playing outside.  Elijah was pushing around the pretty pink stroller (his favorite thing to do outside besides picking up and carrying around sticks), when I said "lets go in and have dinner."  Evelyn was already at my side so I picked her up and headed for the front door.  Elijah however continued to push the stroller and made a beeline for the backyard.  Since I already had Evie in tow and her shoes off I continued inside and walked through the house to head him off at the back door before he could find any wayward doggie doodoos.  Instead, I found his little red-headed self standing at the backdoor and the stroller placed neatly in the garage.  Wow, what a good little boy.  He must have some of his Nana in him because he didn't learn that from either Andy or I!  While we both pick up at the end of the day, putting an item away right after we use it is not necessarily a strong suit for either of us!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

We Could Win a Photo Contest

Saturday, April 14, 2012

At Least I Have Jeans Now

Allow me to paint you a picture of our recent (approximately 3 hour ago recent) shopping trip.  First, there's mom (me), dressed in a 12 year old long sleeve shirt from my high school junior powderpuff football team and what I can only describe as Mom Pants.  Truly, these things are so much the quintessential Mom Pants that I don't even know why I keep them around, nor why I wear them so frequently.  I assume that is how all Mom Pants get their name as moms like me don't get a whole lot of chances to shop (for themselves) and so non-trendy but comfortable clothing gets held on to and worn far too often, thus earning itself a name...I digress.  (these are almost as bad as the day I went out in ill-fitting skinny jeans and tennis shoes, but that's another story).
Then there are my kids.  For some reason I put a cute polo bodysuit on my son today and then decided to pair it with a pair of baggy sweatpants...he looked like a nerd from the 1960's, don't ask me what I was thinking other than that we rarely stay in one outfit from am to pm, today of course, being the exception...and finally Evelyn, who was wearing a cute body suit that had originally been outfitted with a sassy bright blue pair of pants but had been replaced for naptime by some of her brother's too-short sweatpants.  A better mother would have changed her back after she woke up from her nap and on a whim decided to go shopping for light bulbs and pacifiers, but it was an "ugly day" at the Heemstra household and I hadn't planned to go anywhere that afternoon so I guess the trip to Target caught me as off-guard as it did them.
As I pushed the stroller into Target I found myself noticing how nicely everyone was dressed for Tar-jay, but then I remembered, hey, it's not Walmart! And instantly felt disgusting.  Oh well, I grabbed some pacifiers for Elijah, some lightbulbs, and as I headed towards the register I realized that Maurices is right next door and they are currently having a BOGO half off sale that ends tomorrow.  Momentarily forgetting how truly terrible we all looked I thought, I'll go there!  The reason I'm dressed like this in the first place is because I have zero jeans (just tore a hole in my last pair last week), and the sale ends tomorrow!
So in the checkout lane I grabbed a bag of fruit snacks and off we went...Entering Maurices I again became aware of how terrible I looked (here is your glimpse into a woman's mind, truly we think about our appearance that often), especially as I worked to force the double side-by-side stroller through the only working door.  Upon finally entering the store I realized there would be no easy maneuvering but was grateful for the well-dressed and perfectly coiffed woman who immediately asked me what I was looking for (she could tell how badly I needed new clothes, I think).  I told her I needed jeans and what size, and off she went to find some for me.  She brought me no less than 15 pairs and we wedged ourselves into the handicapped dressing room; stroller, twinners, and all. 
Since we were locked into a dressing room and the natives were getting restless I let them out to clamber about the room.  That was when I remembered that the door latch was broken and Evleyn repeatedly opened the thing while I tried desperately to cover my big white butt each time.
To save time I'll just give you bullet points of what happened during the rest of our time in the dressing room:
-Elijah banged a hanger on every surface to find out what each one sounded like.
-Evelyn ate about 3/4 of the bag of fruit snacks and an entire granola bar
-Evelyn opened the door 3,478 times
-Elijah did a bellyflop off the bench and screamed bloody murder in a bathroom-sized room (think echoing baby screams)
-People nearby began commenting on the unhappy child in the room next door
-I happened to mention to the dressing room attendant that I needed t-shirts and she brought me approximately 17 styles that all looked terrible on me
-I began sweating
-My face got red
-I rethought ever having left my house in the first place
-I had a moment of terror that Elijah might have fallen hard enough to be bleeding on the ugly and ill-fitting shirt I was wearing when I picked him up to comfort him

Finally, two pairs of jeans secured, we exited the dressing room (catching the handle of the stroller on the handle of the door on our way out causing me to curse repeatedly under my breath because it took me a full minute to free it) and tried to make our way to the register.  This is when I found myself hopelessly stuck.  All the other women in the store, well-dressed and adorable as they were, seemed oblivious to me and my giant stroller and blocked my every turn.  As I squeezed through the final obstacle between us and the register the stroller caught a few pairs of pants and...you guessed it...the whole danged thing fell over.  About 30 pairs of jeans and at least as many shirts littered the floor.  The store got quiet.  I sweat more profusely, Elijah screamed.
At the checkout line Evelyn grabbed the pen to the credit card machine and tried to pull it off the table, she stood up in her seat (she was not buckled back in) and tried to sweep stuff off the counter.  Elijah just stood and cried, even as women nearby who had children and were piteous of me and my plight tried to calm him.  At long last the cashier produced Smarties (bless her!), and we settled into blessed quiet.
As the sales lady held the doors open for me and I finally exited into the cool air, as frustrated, grumpy, and slightly embarrassed as I was, I was just so grateful that I could go home and take off the damn Mom Pants!!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012


This was one of the things I have so been looking forward to doing with the kids...The ZOO!  Since every kid is obsessed with animals it was, of course, a hit.  Especially the lions, fish, and penguins.
 The bears were lounging.  It's what bears do.  I must say this is a vast improvement over what they were doing the last time I was at the zoo.  A few years ago the bear stood there and shook his head like he was going nutso in his tiny enclosure.  They have since broadened the enclosure and plan to make it even larger.  Makes the tree-hugger lobe of my heart happy :)
 Has anyone, anywhere, EVER gotten a picture of three toddlers smiling and looking at the camera?  If they have, they deserve a medal.  And a large latte with extra whip cream.  This is the best we do on drip coffee and limited patience.  (That's Ani, our church friend, for those of you that don't know:) Also, notice Elijah's fat lip.  He totally tripped over someone's foot before being out of his stroller more than 30 seconds...yeah, my kids are a bit accident-prone.
 Now THIS is a great picture of 3 toddlers....
 Petting zoo time!  Hands down the best part in my opinion.  Lions and tigers and bears are all fine and good (oh my!), but you gotta get your hands on something after all that looking...
 I mentioned this on facebook but Elijah (and the other two) really liked the sheep until he baa'd at them.  It was loud, and he was the only animal making any noise.  They all screamed and ran for the exits.
 The playground afterwards was very fun!  Of course my two just wanted to climb and test fate as much as possible by standing at the precipice of certain doom (the little platform that drops six feet to nothing if you choose not to use the firepole).
 Climbing!  It's what we do.
 You know mom, a better mom would put down the camera and remove us from this situation.
 "But I'm tired, and besides, you're almost to the top."
Elijah thought running back and forth over the little bridge was the bee's knees.  Especially open-mouthed and yelling.  P.S. Elijah perfected his "roar!" on this trip to the zoo :)

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Recovered Pics

I recently had a little camera problem, somehow my card got corrupted and I thought I had lost these pictures.  I was bummed because there were some really cute ones!  Like my daughter using the dog as a step stool to look out the window at her brother and daddy (brother is sitting on the recycling bin, by the way).
 And then there are these great ones of my kids sitting in a dirty pool on the first really hot day of the year...in March.
 But it was really these ones of Evelyn filling the pool that were just so cute.  She looks so happy and summery in her little denim jumper.  Thank you to our friend Craig for recovering my pictures!!