Friday, January 30, 2009


Aviva is a dirty girl.  Or a dirl as I believe T and G Q used to say.  (You like that Amy L?)  Anyway, call her what you want, but she always has food on her face, on her clothes, and in her hair.  

Some might say as a one year old, it's more likely that she just has a lazy mom.  That may be true, but unfortunately lazy mom for me still equals dirl for her.   

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Taking Care of Zach

On Monday I had the pleasure of watching Zach for Michelle and Chris.  He is the cutest, happiest little baby you'll ever see.   Oh, and he is huge.  He's 4 or 5 months old (right Michelle?) and look at him next to Aviva (16 months old):

Aviva loved her some Zach.  She was completely entertained by him all day (except when I would feed him - then her fiery jealous side reared its ugly head, but I'm trying to be positive here).   I brought her old swing up from he basement but I couldn't find the plug.  So Aviva decided that she would go ahead and swing him manually:

When she wasn't swinging him or bringing him toys she was nuzzling him:

And she was indeed grateful for his visit because she rediscovered this beauty.  It's her preferred place to eat snacks now.  Even over her doll's pack and play:  

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

All Hail Lisa

So it turns out that my foot and toe agility is really impressive.  Last Sunday night Keely and Max made a game out of trying to get my socks off of my feet.  You should have seen me, my feet were like lightening, all while I stayed seated/laying down on the love seat.  

As you might suspect, Shauri and Shawn couldn't resist getting in on a little of the action.  So they tried to hold me down to give the kids a better chance.  However, having grown up in the middle of four brothers, if there is one thing I'm better at than keeping my socks on, it's keeping myself from getting pinned.  Because once you've been pinned, anything can happen really.  It's an important survival technique.  

All this time Lisa watched from across the room.  Then began the familiar interaction.  Shauri taunts Lisa, saying she's not tough.  She could never get the sock off, etc., etc.  Lisa shakes her head, responds to every comment, but something always holds her back.  Well not last Sunday Night ladies and gentlemen.  Lisa darted across the room, sacrificed her daughter so she could shield herself from my kicks, got a grip on my socks (And it was quite a grip - I'm guessing there was some major hair pulling going on in the Shumway household) and ripped those babies off in no time flat.  

Here is Lisa in her ghetto fabulous track suit proclaiming victory: 

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Daddy's Notes

1.  One of Aviva's favorite games is "steal and run away."  The game requires two ingredients other than herself: Max and one of Max's favorite toys.   We don't let Max take the toys back directly from her, so she loves to just stand there and taunt him with the stolen toy.  

2.  Max's voice is still a little scratchy from the tonsillectomy/adenoidectomy, which is really cute.  But I miss his laugh, which he hasn't really done since his surgery.  It sounds like he's forcing it, but he's not.  I miss it a lot.  Hopefully he'll laugh again soon. 

3.  I finally broke Kristin down and she let me get a Wii.  I swore I'd never be that guy that let his kids win, just because they're kids.  But I let Max knock me out in boxing this morning and it was so cute how he pointed at me and said, "I pushed you down daddy.  Yes." (Cue fist pump.)  I did knock him down the next match, just to make sure he didn't get too cocky.  So I haven't gone completely soft yet.

4.  I'm lucky to be married to a great Mom.  She makes up for my many deficiencies by being patient, tolerant, loving and kind.  Again, I'm so very lucky. 

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Aussie Shirts

This is me forcing my children to take a picture with their Australia shirts on for their Grandparents.  You know, so the grandparents will see how cute and happy their grandkids are?  

Friday, January 23, 2009

How Does He Do This?

What's more relaxing that a bag of Cheez-Its and a hardwood floor?  This is how I found Max asleep yesterday afternoon. 

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Kids Busy Box

We've already established that fast doggy is Max's favorite Christmas present, but a close second is the Kids Busy Box I got him.  It is definitely my favorite of all his toys.  It's a box full 20 organized crafts.  Each one comes with easy to follow directions and everything you need is right there.  I love it.  He loves it.  I feel like a good mom whenever I pull it out instead of sending him off to watch another show.  As soon as we run out I'm ordering a new one.  

**UPDATE**  I just found out that I get a discount on my next purchase for every 5 referrals I give them.  So if you buy one, make sure you mention that I sent you there - I'm on a role.  

Monday, January 19, 2009


Pre-Inauguration Kick-Off

How cute was Pete Seeger at the Inaugural Kick Off?  

God Bless America and Jamie Foxx.  I was thoroughly entertained. 

Friday, January 16, 2009

Max's Tonsillectomy and Adenoidectomy

Max, pre-surgery

Max had his tonsils out this morning.  It was a little (well, a lot) traumatic for both of us.  Here's how it unfolded:

7:00 am - Max asks for something to drink or eat.  I explain that he can't eat before his surgery and he is upset but easily distracted.

7:20 - I try to get Max and Aviva ready to go out to the car and Max flips out because he can't have anything to eat or drink.  He proceeds scream and cry.

7:40 - Drop off Aviva at Mandy's house.  Max still crying.

8:00 - Arrive at hospital.  Max stops crying, but is hoarse from all the strain.

8:10 - a woman checks us in and Max turns on the charm.  He proceeds to flirt with the nurses and make jokes with the doctor.   

8:50 - Max goes into surgery.  

9:20 - The nurses and Dr. come out and tell me everything went great.  Max had a great time putting on a show of how deeply he could breath in and out and then playing hide and seek with the blanket they gave him.  The surgery went really well and they would come get me when he started to come to.  I breathed a sigh of relief and relaxed.

9:45 - The nurse comes and gets me and says, "He's really mad."  I turn the corner and three nurses are trying to restrain him.  He is going insane.  He's got blood coming out of both nostrils, two scratches on his face, he's trying to rip out his IV, his eyes keep rolling back and he's pleading with them to let him get down (btw, he can't stand on his own and the floor is concrete). 

You can imagine my horror.  So they give him to me and for the next 15 minutes I try to restrain him and bring him back to reality.  I was crying the whole time.  It was just so horrible.  When he was finally able to stand on his own we took him by each hand and brought him out to the carpeted waiting room so that he would be in a different place.  We let go of him and he stopped thrashing.  Then he just stood there and yelled his frustrations out.  I stood there with his coat and just let him come over to me when he was ready.  The nurse left to get some papers and he finally came over and sat on my lap and hugged me.    Two popsicles later he was ready to go.  

10:30 - We get in the car and he falls asleep.  

1:00 - He is happily watching movies.  They said he could eat whatever solids he wanted, but probably wouldn't want to for a couple of days.  The important thing is to get him to keep drinking.  By 1:00 he had had 2 cups of juice, 5 popsicles, a bowl of ice cream and a small McDonald's french fry.  He tried to eat the chicken nuggets but couldn't quite do it, so he just chewed each one up and then spit it out instead. 

1:30 - Nurse Cheryl calls to see how Max is doing.  "It was an unusual recovery and we just want to make sure he's okay." Unusual, yes.  

I'm just grateful it's over and he seems to be having a good recovery now.  Thank goodness for tylenol with codine.  He did just tell me that his "voice hurts," but hopefully things will only get better from here.   

Thursday, January 15, 2009

We Just Ordered 20 lbs of Chocolate

Have you ever seen a more joyful face?  It was a beautiful evening folks.  In fact, I'm not sure I've had this much fun in years.  Abram agrees, but insists it was because of the sugar high.  It may have also had to do with the Newlywed game questions we asked each other afterward.  We had a few more insights into one another's relationships than we may care to know, but anything for a few laughs, right?  

Here's a photo of Lisa removing the chocolate fountain once she deemed Shawn "disgusting."  

And here we all are enjoying Lisa's disgust.  

By the way, strawberries will always be my favorite fondue staple, but we tried pretzels dipped in peanut butter and then dipped in the fondue and it was superb.  

And the results are in...

Aviva has been coveting Ashlyn Elder's doll and stroller for months now.  So for Christmas that's what we got her.  Much to my surprise, she hardly touches the stroller, but the pack and play that came along with the set is her new favorite place to gather all her toys (and a little snack if she can sneak it into the family room) and sit down and take a load off. 

We were also a little surprised at Max's obvious favorite gift.  The little stuffed dog that came along with his pajamas as a free gift.  His name is fast doggy and he hasn't left Max's tight grip for three weeks. 

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Kids Say the Darndest Things

This is one of those posts I've debated about writing because again I would be exposing my poor parenting skills to the world. But I hate to keep a good story a secret...

The other night we were at Shawn and Lisa's playing Mario Kart. All the kids and adults were gathered around watching and taking turns. I let my competitive juices get flowing even though I am brand new at the game. Bad decision, since I'm no good. I finally got so frustrated I threw my controller on the ground and yelled, "I hate this crap!" Not missing a beat, Max responded, "I hate this crap too mama!"

Not my proudest moment, but it still makes me laugh.

Not All Pajamas Are Created Equal

I'll just come right out with it. Max is notorious for sticking his hands down his pants. I am constantly yelling out, "hands up Max!"

We all got matching pajamas for Christmas. Abram's were a little different in that the pants have a button in the front of the pants for easy access - I assume for going to the bathroom. When Max noticed the difference in Abram's pants, this was their conversation:

M: Daddy, your pants have a button.
A: Yup.
M: (enviously) That keep your fingers warm!

She's a Carnivore

Aviva never would eat baby food. She still won't eat vegetables, but she sure did go to town on these ribs Abram made for my birthday.

New Year's Eve 2008

I really don't like New Year's Eve. In fact, I don't think I've been awake to ring in the new year in at least 4 years. However, Abram convinced me that we have to own this holiday. So we threw a rockin' New Year's Eve Game Night party.

Dan Richards stole the show by working everyone in the board game rotation and then when we played the newlywed game he went up with Janie since both of them were spouseless and they still got one question right (which is more than I can say for some couples... you know who you are).

For Christmas Abram bought me a chocolate fountain (fondue) and I think it's safe to say it was the hit of the party. Shawn for one admitted to standing by the table all by himself, seeing how many strawberries he could down before someone came along and he had to make conversation. He has requested that we have it again, just the four of us, covered in plastic bags so he doesn't have to worry about stuffing his face and looking uncouth. (apparently he doesn't care was Abram, Lisa and I think of him).

Christmas Eve

We convinced Ryan and Amy to drive their family up to Michigan for the holidays. The day they drove up Max started puking, having diarrhea, getting a temperature, being generally cranky, and it didn't stop until Christmas Eve.

Shawn and Lisa were gracious enough to open up their home for Ryan and Amy, but it didn't stop Andrew from catching the dreaded virus, so he and Ryan came over to the quarantined house and spent the next couple of days with us. It was a miserable 10 days, but by some miracle, Christmas Eve and Christmas day were the only two days everyone was healthy and happy. Here are a few photos of the holiday:

The Wise Men
Mary and the unhappy donkey

We always have a talent show for the cousins after the nativity scene. Aviva's talent was high fiving and kissing. This is me trying to help her show off her kissing talent. Ben tried to steal the show so everyone would know he was much better at both talents.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Merry Christmas

Our family has never sent out a family Christmas card. I've never been quite on top of it enough to accomplish that particular Christmas tradition. But that's not that bad, right? I mean, what would you rather get - our Christmas card, or our christmas candy? I figure I have to give one up for the other and you know candy is always going to win out.

Ben and Aviva

When he's not shoving her down and she's not setting him up, they're really cute together.

Let it Snow

We were happy to have a white Christmas this year. One night we got 10 inches. Lisa was in Utah so Shawn came over with the kids for a snow day. I sort of pressured him into it, and he was not happy when he got stuck at the bottom of the driveway with half of his car in the road. But a little snow shoveling never hurt anyone, right Shawn?

This was the best hill they had. Not much, but it served their purposes:

This was the happiest picture of Vivi I could get. She was insistent that she play in the snow, but hated every minute of it.
And Ben. Snow or no snow, it's no reason not to have a ball in hand.

Thanksgiving 2008

I have become a terrible picture taker. I just don't have that same, "I have to catch this moment for the blog" urgency I used to have. So I have no pictures of Thanksgiving. We went to Maryland and stayed with Mimi and Grandpa Walt and Dan and Misty's family. This is always a good time for several reasons:
  1. Grandpa Walt always has some new contraption the grandkids go wild about. This year it was a huge air hockey disc with which they played soccer.
  2. The big screen TV and the biggest couch you have ever seen. My favorite movie this year was Kung Fu Panda. Not because of the movie itself, but because their friends were there with their 5 or 6 year old daughter and I swear I have never seen a person watch a movie with as much pure excitement as this child. She would jump up and down in antcipation, laugh hysterically, and was completely oblivious to the world around her. It was the best thing I've ever seen.
  3. And of course, lots of game playing and catching up with family.