We experience God's grace when we see Him go beyond what He has promised, to give us gifts that we could never have created, earned, or deserved. Our children are two of those gifts of grace.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

New Transformers Theme Song

As we all know, Meredith loves to make up songs. Something that has become clearer over time is that her first priority is always the rhythm -- the whole thing is driven by the cadence of the song she creates. The tune is secondary, and after that, if possible, she also generates words on the fly to sing (though it is mixed with some humming, and especially mumbling when she can't think of something quickly enough to fit the rhythm).

I think the Transformers could use a new theme song, and this one resembles a march right out of Miss Saigon or Les Miserables. My favorite part is the minor key that it's in. Or maybe the invitation to "sing along". Or perhaps the brilliant dramatic ending.

A note: For those not familiar with the Transformer mythology, the Decepticons are the bad guys and the Autobots are the good guys. And Meredith is wearing Transformers pajamas while performing this song.

Hope you enjoy! While there are chunks where she is so into the rhythm that the words are unintelligible, I've posted a few fun quotes to listen for below the video.

We are the Decepticons
and the Autobots
We are the ones!
Sing along!

And we are the ones
that we are so worthy
we are the ones that are *mumble*

You are the ones that
You are the ones that are
transform (or a failed rhyme attempt?)
You are the ones that are


And the way that you feel
You would drink so bad
You, you can drink, you *mumble*
(failed rhyme on the fly!)


...you know "that's right!"
You are the ones that are things so bright!
(successful rhyme on the fly!)


And now that you're grown every thing *mumble*
worthy of you and me


We are the decep-ti-cons!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

In Which a 5-year-old Girl Chooses Her Own Gift

Meredith turned 5 in June, and although you may have seen her adorable ballet pictures on Facebook...

...you probably know that girly stuff is not usually the "main event" with Meredith. Instead, her true love right now is the world of superheroes. So when one birthday gift involved cash to choose a gift at the store, we had some guesses as to what she may want. We narrowed it down to a Superman outfit, some Batman and Joker fisher price toys, a Darth Vader mask, and an Optimus Prime helmet (from Transformers). With the helmet on clearance, she ended up able to afford both the helmet and the mask! The helmet has a button that makes Optimus Prime sounds, but the button she likes is a voice convertor -- you can see that she is still in her usual dancing/singing mode, but now with a new voice...the first line of talking is the only one I can understand ("I am Optimus Prime") but I think the body language is priceless. She also finds that the voice button has to be re-activated every so often, which makes this especially amusing.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

My Southern Gal talks about "Smokin' the House"

This is an older video (from when it was actually a little chilly here, months ago.) It is a truly odd story about "smokin' the house" -- probably a house fire, because she is very interested in fire safety and emergencies (!). The strange thing is the deep-south accent she has managed to develop for the story...

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Happy Birthday, Lukie/Yukie/Bobby!

Our little Lucas is two years old! We are so proud of our adventurous, sweet, and adorable little boy.

Here's a recent photo in his cute little overalls (though he has had his first haircut since this was taken -- he was adorably shaggy here).

Lucas is also an evolving jokester. The video below is a case in point. First, he cracks himself (and us) up by pretending to fall asleep at dinner. Then, he talks about the pictures on his fork handle instead of taking a bite. Finally, he insists that his name is Bobby. We think he got this idea from us trying to get him to acknowledge his name by asking him other ones ("Is your name Jimmy? No. Is your name...?"). He decided he liked to be called Bobby -- even answered to it for a couple of weeks! Ironically, with a daddy named Rob and an opa named Bob, he could have easily become a Bobby. However, he's back to his own name now, with the important caveat that he pronounces Lukie "Yukie." That evokes a different image for me. We had some Canadian friends here in Florida who had a little, very excitable dog named Yuki, short for "Yukon King" (sidenote: awesome name), so I have visions of Lukie as that energetic little dog, tearing around everywhere!

We are looking forward to a little party on Saturday, but most of all we are so thankful for our little man. Praise God, from whom all blessings flow!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Fairy and the Dinosaur

Hi all -- here are some pictures to commemorate this Halloween!

Meredith was a fairy this year. This was mostly because I happened to buy this costume on sale last year the day after Halloween, in hopes she might be interested this year. After all her interest in villains, I wasn't sure she'd go for it, but sure enough - she loved it! (And Aunt Jaynie, she carried that princess wand you gave her a while ago too!). Lucas was a dinosaur (thank you, Salvation Army!). It didn't have a head piece, but that's probably just as well since he wouldn't have kept it on!

Here is Meredith at her preschool program. The girls were probably 50% fairies and princesses, but Meredith was the only one with the awesome pointy hat :)

Our babysitter dressed up the same day, so here is Hannah (aka "Mrs. Gnome") with Meredith (sans wings). So cute!

In the evening, we got all set to trick or treat. Meredith was really excited all day because she knew what it was. Lucas was clueless, but once we got going he was a big fan. He did try to walk into peoples' houses multiple times, and wasn't always clear about the candy transaction, but he is an extrovert (like his sister) so just the idea of running up to peoples' doors and having them talk to him was fun. They were also both very excited when they got to meet dogs - another love that they have in common.

I took a couple of pictures of Meredith outside -- the second is without the flash so that you can see her very cool fairy shadow.

Why was Meredith outside without Lucas? Well, we got about 3/4 of the way around our block and Lucas had a little crash. He tripped and splatted on his face. So we were done -- thankfully Meredith was very cooperative and we just walked quickly home while Rob tried to console our little Lucas-with-the-bleeding-mouth. Poor little buddy. I took a picture when we got home so we wouldn't forget the untimely end of his first real trick-or-treating experience. Hopefully next Halloween will end better for him!

So you don't worry, just know that his lip looks much better today (just a white mark). He only notices it once in a while, at which point he reminds me, pointing: "Boo boo!"

I think he has probably forgotten about most of the candy, too, but when he sees it he will want to eat it. He's like me. This is in contrast to Meredith: last night when she said she wanted to stay up a little late, I said, "How about after Lukie goes to bed, you could stay up for a little bit to see what you got in your candy bucket?". She replied, "Or I could read my Cinderella book" -- which is what she did. We did sort through her candy this morning, but I can see she is going to be a gold mine for me and Rob because she is less attached to her candy than I ever was!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Explorations of Disney, Sears, and "Bee"

I know that many kids say funny things, but I humbly suggest that Meredith is one of the funniest kids ever. I've been collecting quotes over the last few months and you can judge for yourself. Lucas is also starting to try some verbal communication, so I've got some details on that as well.



One day Meredith was, apparently, thinking about preschool and her preferences, and she decided to project her feelings on Raffi (a children's singer) by singing the following "song" to me:

"Raffi prefers to stay home
And be sick all day
He doesn't want to go to preschool
He doesn't want to go to preschool
And he doesn't want to go to preschool
He doesn't want to
He doesn't want to go to school all day

Raffi doesn't want to go to school
He doesn't want to do anything
Raffi prefers to stay home
Raffi prefers to stay home

(this seemed like some sort of "bridge")
He doesn't want to do something right
He doesn't eat lunch
He doesn't eat supper
He doesn't do anything
He just wants to play all day"

She is sure a creative little soul. And one with preferences, for sure.


This month Meredith was in one of her usual fantasy worlds, which as of late involve Disney characters since we have introduced some Disney cartoons. Here's a one-liner to make your head spin:

"I was so mad that I even convinced Bambi to sing a deer song from Disneyworld."


Lucas is having some fun learning vowels. Right now, only a few people close to him probably know that when he says something that sounds like "uh-oh" he probably means "apple", and when he drops something off his high-chair tray he is more likely to pronounce his accident "ah-ooh". (Well, it's not an accident at this age, but that's another story.)


It is always painful to have your child imitate you in, shall we say, unflattering ways. While her words aren't exactly identical to what I would say, I was still somewhat disturbed when I came home the other day and the babysitter recounted her experience with Meredith getting upset about something:

Babysitter: Meredith, can you use words to tell me why you're upset?

Meredith: (sternly) This discipline needs to end RIGHT NOW. You need to obey me please because I need to do some WORK.

Yikes! This was apparently followed by a lengthy impersonation of a parental lecture of some kind. Our babysitter thought it was hilarious. And you probably do too. Which is why I'm sharing it even though it makes me cringe!


If you are spending time with Lucas, it's important to know that the letter B is his favorite letter. He calls many things "baby." He know what it means, but it just applies a little more broadly for him than for most of us. One day he pointed to my watch, then the clock on the wall, then back to my watch and declared proudly: "Baby!"

Another common expression from him is "ba ba", which means (a) sheep or (b) bye-bye. If the context doesn't clue you in, he's usually waving his hand with it if he's saying goodbye.

Finally, there is the sound "bee." We have identified 7 things that he means by "bee." Two of them are distinguished by a growly delivery -- if it sounds growly, it's either "big" or "Beast" (from Beauty and the Beast, a new favorite around here). If it's not growly, it means "bean," "beep," "bee," "B," or "please" (accompanied in that case by the baby sign, so that's good). It is fun to see him trying to express himself, and I'm looking forward to a day when I can really find out what's going on in his little head!


Meredith watched "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown" and I found it affected her vocabulary a bit.

Meredith: How about that stupid dog?

Mommy: Let's not say that -- you don't need to call him that.

Meredith: How about that nice, mean dog that does stupid things?


It turns out that Meredith is primarily interested in villains. She likes Captain Hook (even pronounces Peter Pan as "Petah Pahn" like him). She likes Darth Vader. She wants to be a Decepticon (and if you don't know what that is, you are missing out, let me tell you).

She also likes Gaston from Beauty and the Beast -- an incredibly unlikeable character if there ever was one. The other day she whispered loudly to me, with great anticipation, "We're getting ready for a BEAST FIGHT!" I sorted out what she meant -- apparently I was to be the Beast (the good guy) and she would be Gaston. Now, the way the story is supposed to end is that they have a fight in which the Beast is winning, but then has mercy on Gaston, and then the coward Gaston stabs him in the back. He nearly dies until Belle declares her love for him at the last minute, breaking the enchantment and make him a man again. I wasn't sure how the reenactment was go because I wasn't sure Meredith had caught all this.

So we had our "beast fight" with some fairly harmless plastic toys as swords. I (the Beast) dominated but then had mercy on her (Gaston). Then she kept fighting and I feigned the receipt of a near-fatal blow. I fell on the couch and called out for Belle....

I admit, it was a bit of a test -- would Meredith transform into the needed character to finish the story? Would she have compassion on the Beast? Well, here's how it played out:

Mommy: Oh no! Gaston got me! I need Belle to come and give me her magic kiss! Where is Belle? I need Belle. She needs to tell me she loves me. Please help me, Belle! Where is Belle?

Meredith: Lukie can be Belle.

Mommy: Lukie, can I have a kiss?

And my sweetheart, Lukie, obliges with a loving "MUAH" on his Mommy's cheek :)


A conversation with Meredith about her hair after babysitter Miss Sarah did it for her:

Me: Miss Sarah is amazing with hair!

Meredith: Of course she is!

Me: Where do you think she learned that?

Meredith: At Sears!

Why the interest in Sears? I honestly don't know, but it is persistent. We looked for dryers there once, and things have never been the same. Case in point: I was at the mall with the kids last week with the intention of letting them play at the little indoor playland (it was too hot outside - yes, I'm serious). The playland was closed. I tried to offer up the best thing I could think of -- I would take them across the street from the mall, to Toys 'R' Us. Meredith was not really interested though -- "I want to go somewhere in the mall." I couldn't think of anyplace she would want to go, and then we figured it out: she wanted to go to Sears to see the dryers again. So we did.


And finally, to round out the post, a funny quote on Meredith's relationship with Lucas:

Babysitter: You have to be nice to Lucas - he's the only brother you have.

Meredith: He's the only brother I have LEFT!


She is a funny kid. I rest my case.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

A Convenient Summary

I got a video last week that really captures a lot about both of the kids. Meredith is performing as usual, and is basically oblivious to what is going on around her. She is busy composing in real time, and also showing off some fingering skills. Lucas, on the other hand, is interested in many things, particularly those he is not supposed to be able to reach. (For those who haven't been to our house, the wall of boxes and stuff behind Meredith is our mantle area, which we have stacked high with boxes so that he doesn't climb the brick area.)

This video also records the famous Lucas Shriek that we all know and love. I am thankful to have a real recording of it to harass him with when he is older.