Friday, February 29, 2008

leap day post

just had to get a post in before i go to bed tonight as it will be another four years before i can write a post dated 2/29. in honor of leap year/day, i forgot to put baking powder in the cornbread i made on monday and didn't put baking soda in the snickerdoodles last night. (i never leave out key ingredients; oh well, at least, it made good science experiments for the girls). to finalize the week i had to drive back to the children's hospital this afternoon because i left jake's backpack there this morning.

Monday, February 25, 2008

oh happy day

reasons for me to smile:
  • the days are getting longer

  • today was especially sunny. (maybe living all those years in the west effected me more than i realized. i do love seeing the sun - just not humidity that all too often accompanies it here in the east. but sun and snow are quite a cheery combination.)


  • the wonder, that is my sister-in-law annie, did a photo shoot with my girls while they were in utah.

below is a slide show of aformentioned photo shoot. it's rather long as there were too many good pictures. (i am glad that grace finally has nicely combed hair by the end.)

here are some of the hinckleys that the girls were visiting. (grace didn't take any pix, but luckily my sister-in-law sent some.)

final reasons to smile are these two gem of conversations that have happened with the girls since they've been home. (really it just takes one day to get such good fodder for my blog.)

setting #1: grace and lily have been told to go get in the pajamas. grace decides to change in downstairs bathroom.

grace (emphatically): "i'm changing by myself!"

lily (right behind her and just as empatically): "ME, TOO!" (pause) "can i come in?"

setting #2: we're in the car driving grace to school. vivaldi's "four seasons" is in the CD player.

lily: "this is little einstein's!"

me: "it's actually vivaldi, but you've heard it on little einstein's."

lily: "yeah, but it's little einstein's."

me: "it's vivaldi - actually it's the four seasons, and it was written by vivaldi."

grace: "can we listen to something else?"

lily: "yeah, but it's little einstein's"

i think i might have tried to explain to her one more time that it was written by someone called vivaldi, but i gave up. the good news is that she kept requesting it (especially one section that i believe is suppose to represent winter over and over.) the bad news is that when we listened to spring/opening part, i kept hearing the lyrics: "oh yes, oh yes it's springtime!" i'd prefer no lyrics going through my head, but luckily the part that she loved didn't have any word associations for me. while i don't think little einstein's improves my children's IQ, i do like that it has classical music in it. and i did learn (might be too strong of a word here) wagner from bugs bunny.

Friday, February 22, 2008

missing my girls

well the girls have been in utah visiting family all week. here are some of the girl hinckley cousins at a gathering. they are having a great time with their grandparents, aunts and uncles and especially COUSINS.

the first few days they were gone, i was quite sad. i still miss them, but now i am more used to a quiet house and having only one helper while i make dinner. the boys seem to have benefitted from the extra attention. evan loves to "talk" to his sisters on the phone and has taken to wrestling jake. the girls return on sunday and we are looking forward to seeing them.
Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

happy birthday to one young chick

to all my friends who love to lurk or rather "visit" other blogs. go here and wish my friend (via my sister-in-law), danalee, a happy birthday. she's trying to get 33 comments in honor of her 33rd. while there, you might actually want to read some of her posts; she's hysterical.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

an ode to my brother jim

An ode to my brother Jim
What would I do without him?
He's got the best job;
He gets to hob nob
With outdoors people like him.
When his connections are made,
He buys me stuff that I crave:
A bag that is green,
Great discounts from Keen,
Sandals the brand that I fave.
And let's not forget brother Tim
Whose name rhymes with Jim.
At Target he works;
It gets me not perks,
So that's why this ode is for Jim.
Thanks for all the great stuff, Jimbo!!
Posted by Picasa

three cheers for drew

three cheers for drew
(for who?)
for drew
(why what did he do?)
i thought you knew

he sat still for a hair cutting!

the boy in the picture to the left is my nephew, andrew. he is on the autistim spectrum and haircuts have always been very difficult for him due to his heightened senses. he was with me this past friday and in need of a haircut. i thought i would try and give my sister a break and cut his hair for her. he did super!! he started kneeling on the ground and holding me for comfort, but then was able to transfer to a chair. he sat well for me UNTIL we came to cutting around his ears. i waited for him to be ready. he indicated that it was ok for me to cut around his ears, but still would defensively push my hands away if i tried to trim his hair. yes, i know i should've waited until he was asleep that night, but being the obssesive person that i am, i finally just held his hands down and trimmed around his ears. i had to hold him for the next 10 minutes as he cried and kept repeating: "tell me why?" i had to smile a little at that. we had a fun visit with him and especially evan was glad for the company as the girls are in utah and jake was at school.

p.s. andrew was watching himself cry in the mirror the whole time as well (i finally had to go into another room and read to him). gracie also loves to watch herself cry in the mirror; it drives pat crazy.

p.p.s. in case you don't know what i'm referring to at the top, here's the original A.A. Milne poem:

3 Cheers for Pooh!
(For Who?)
For Pooh-
(Why what did he do?)
I thought you knew;
He saved his friend from a wetting!
3 Cheers for Bear!
(For where?)
For Bear-
He couldn't swim,
But he rescued him!
(He rescued who?)
Oh, listen, do!
I am talking of Pooh-
(Of who?)
Of Pooh!
(I'm sorry I keep forgetting.)
Well, Pooh was a Bear of Enormous Brain
(Just say it again!)
Of enormous brain-
(Of enormous what?)
Well, he ate a lot,
And I don't know if he could swim or not,
But he managed to float
On a sort of boat
(On a sort of what?)
Well, a sort of pot-
So now let's give him three hearty cheers
(So now let's give him three hearty whiches?)
And hope he'll be with us for years and years,
And grow in health and wisdom and riches!
3 Cheers for Pooh!
(For who?)
For Pooh-
3 Cheers for Bear!
(For where?)
For Bear-
3 Cheers for the wonderful Winnie-the-Pooh!
(Just tell me, Somebody - WHAT DID HE DO?)
sort of sounds like a conversation you'd have with your three year old, eh?
Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

remembering kirsten

yesterday marked the first anniversary of my niece's passing (pictured with her siblings in 2005; kirsten is in center). she was a victim of the trolley square mall shootings last february; (her mother was also seriously injured at the time). there have been many rememberances offered on kirsten's behalf this past year. to name a few: my new niece, mallory, born in august was given kirsten's name for her middle name; in a family photo, i noticed another niece wearing the pink bracelet that kirsten's high school had sold on her behalf (it said remember kirsten i believe); kirsten's father, steve, gathered with family in june on what would have been kirsten's 16th birthday to plant a tree in her honor; her high school also sponsored a memorial on her 16th birthday; lily has taken to naming her doll(s) kirsten since her passing (even though we never sat down and explained what happened to her - assuming she was too young - it's interesting what kids will pick up on). yesterday my thoughts were most with my brother-in-law and his family as well as the other victims and families who are still dealing with the aftermath of this tragedy. i played the following hymn on the piano as i thought of them:

where can i turn for peace? where is my solace

when other sources cease to make me whole?

when with a wounded heart, anger or malice,

i draw myself apart, searching my soul?

where, when my aching grows, where, when i languish,

where, in my need to know, where can i run?

where is the quiet hand to calm my anguish?

who, who, can understand? He, only One.

He answers privately, reaches my reaching

in my gethsemane, Savior and friend.

gentle the peace He finds for my beeseeching.

constant He is and kind, love without end.

good friends of our family were also connected with this tragedy; you can read sally's post here. as i searched through some media files, i happened to find this post by the woman who wrote a touching poem that was on kirsten's funeral program; (she also is a good friend of pat's brother, steve).

since i recently read an inspiring story on a friend's blog, maybe i will share how the Lord touched pat and i personally through this tragedy. when i was pregnant with jake and his twin brother, ben, complications arose in the 19th week. jake and ben were born at 29 weeks gestation which gave pat and i 10 weeks to ponder things. during one of those ponderings, pat remembered an experience with his grandma hinckley which occurred when she lived in a nursing home at the end of her life. the family had gathered for a celebration of grandpa hinckley's 90th birthday. grandma hinckley had her head down and was withdrawn due to embarassment that the infirmities of old age had brought upon her. when steve and his family arrived, kirsten, who was one year old at the time, starting running around the room in circles. pat said his grandma just lit up after kirsten's arrival. pat was strongly impressed by how much joy kirsten brought his grandma hinckley and felt a desire to someday bring his own children to grandma hinckley. grandma hinckley passed away before we were married. pat and i felt strongly that ben was going to be with his grandma and others who had passed on; this knowledge gave us great comfort. when we lost kirsten last year, this experience came back to us. it was very poignant to me that kirsten was one of the key people in an experience that gave us such comfort when we experienced a loss. while i can't agree with someone maliciously shortening the life of another, i do think an all-knowing God used that experience to remind us that we are not forgotten and that we (especially kirsten) are known to Him. i was humbled too by how this poem that steve's friend wrote refers to "great-grandmother hinckley" since pat and i hadn't really shared that experience since ben's death and i have never met the author. both kirsten and ben are buried next to grandma hinckley, and my wedding and engagement ring were her rings. i find extra comfort in these thoughts.

my final thought is to share this beautiful scripture that i read on the poet friend's blog:

“To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified." Isaiah. 61: 3

Friday, February 8, 2008

ketchup, catsup or catch up

just posting a couple of pix that i meant to do ages ago. i saw this sign on the subway in august on our way to see the musical "wicked." maybe it's just me, but i found it to be quite funny. doesn't it seem to imply that all other new yorkers are blind and mute? and why did those 1,944 new yorkers only see and say one thing all year?

here's the group of us that went to "wicked." i'm still trying to figure out how i can justify going again; it was that amazing.
Posted by Picasa


ok, here's a frustration of mine. i decided a year ago to grow my hair out for locks of love. i've always thought my hair grows slow and now i definitely know it grows slow. (i also recently confirmed through a simple test that i do indeed have high arches and then read that this is the least common foot type. is that why i've always been so picky on shoes and why so few shoes feel comfortable to me?) i digress. after feeling like it was growing so slow, i decided not to cut my hair for six months. as a result, a couple of weeks ago, some of my hair literally burnt off while i was curling it with a curling iron! i had my friend cut off a couple of inches the other day to get it healthy again and then looked up a picture from last year at this time. here's the picture from today (with my other new pair of reading glasses) and below is a picture of last year. after a full year of conscious effort to grow my hair out, i've gotten nowhere! i don't know to whether persevere with my goal or to just give up and say that i'm too old and my hair is too thin to do it. what would you do? (p.s. it was totally unintentional that i happened to be wearing the same sweatshirt/fleece thingy; although i do love this particular fleece hoodie).

Posted by Picasa

fun kid pix

above is fritz in one of my new reading glasses. he loves to try them on and he readily and happily posed for that picture. below is fritz pretending he's a monster. he'll put that on his head and walk around with his hands out grunting. he is kind of known for grunting lots; my sister-in-law coined the term "tim allen" grunts which explain the noises he makes well. he's still not speaking much (just ma, da, cheese, seems to say "los" for skylos which is the doggie's name), but seems to communicate his needs just fine. i'll have him tested when he's two (in may) if he hasn't started to catch up by then, but for now i'm not that concerned. he remains on the tall side for his age (usually 95th%) and loves to play with legos, cars or his thomas the train track. he's very playful and loves to snuggle although has to be in his crib to fall asleep and goes to bed without any complaint. he's a great kid.

lily and evan crashed when we got home from church the other day. (i was in the dining room feeding jake and they were eating lunch while watching a movie.)
if you notice the cup (below on fritz's tray) says "little stinker." i got a complete plate set with that logo when we were at the smithsonian air and space museum in august. my two youngest kids answer to "stinker" because i call them that so much (especially lily). anyhoo, i was thrilled to find that plate set and it was even on clearance!
Posted by Picasa

my apologies in advance

lily has been quite ornery this past week. two examples to support my point are as follows:

  • yesterday i was stopped at a light and lily asked me why i stopped the car in the middle of the road. i told her that i stopped at the stoplight and explained (actually sung a little song that explained) how green light means "go" and red light means "stop." lily rebuttled (quite emphatically) that green light meant "stop" and red light to mean "go". i just held my tongue as she wasn't going to be happy with whatever i said and i figure she has a couple of years to learn the correct meaning.

  • this morning, she wanted a second glass of milk, but hadn't yet eaten breakfast. i told her that she could have milk after breakfast and that i was making her french toast. she didn't want french toast she exclaimed and went storming off crying to her room when it became clear i wasn't going to give her more milk just yet. later she came back and saw the french toast cooking. "what's that?", she said, "i want some." she happily ate the french toast.

this is the child that i am sending off to utah next week along with her sister. my parents are transporting the girls out to spend some time with my in-laws (my parents annually go on a ski trip to utah). anyhoo, my apologies in advance to mike and jean, annie, jeanie and any other in-law who reads this blog and will be in utah at the same time as lily. at least she has a great smile and lots of charm to help you forget her "ornery-ness."

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

mystery party

grace had an american girl mystery party with her friends last friday night. here the girls are all in character at the dining room table as the stage is set for a missing pearl necklace. i was quite impressed at how well the girls acted and hammed it up. they enjoyed staying in character and quite a few giggles were heard every time one character talked about her boyfriend/fiance in the script.

mystery solved! afterwards they danced in the living room to hannah montana and other songs (i made everyone dance to gloria gaynor's "i will survive" - got to give these girls some culture, right?). it was a fun night!
p.s. one of the best things about the party were these yummy pastries that i made with the recipe included in the party kit. here's the recipe for whoever's interested:
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup cream cheese
pinch of salt
1 tablespoon sour cream
2 cups flour
jam (tart jams such as raspberry or apricot work best) OR cinammon and sugar
Cream together the butter, cream cheese, salt and sour cream. Stir in the flour. On a floured surface, knead the dough with your hands until it's smooth. Chill the dough in the refrigerator for three hours.
Place the chilled dough on a lightly floured countertop. Roll the dough thin (about 1/8 inch). With table knife, cut the dough in to 3-inch squares. Spread one corner of each square with jam. Starting in the corner, roll up each square, then curve in the ends to form a crescent.
Bake @ 350 for 15-20 minutes, or until the edges are beginning to turn golden.
Posted by Picasa

word for the year revisited

i had a good experience last week that i wanted to share (sorry to those who've already heard it). last week, five out of six of us were put on antibiotics for strep throat. we survived by consuming 60+ popsicles, watching the little einstein DVDs my sister made for fritz and watching PBS kids (i now have their morning schedule memorized; previously, i only knew when "SuperWhy" was on). any mom reading this knows how antibiotics greatly increase diapering issues. jake had quite the diapering issues tuesday morning before being diagnosed with strep that afternoon and i was already having multiple outfit changes from fritz after just one day of being on medicine. i found myself sarcastically singing: "o, what a beautiful morning" all day. that night i went to write in my journal and i have the goal of "remembering" my blessings. i was struggling to come up with some blessings from that day and remembered singing "o what a beautiful morning" (again sarcastically) when it occurred to me that it was a morning, and it was more precious time granted to me to be with my children and a morning not in a third world country where i might be struggling in poverty nonetheless. i was glad to remember that each day is a gift; although, i do find myself appreciating the days more this week when we're not all sick!

happy birthday, colin!

when i was writing about my blog's birthday, i realized that today is my nephew colin's birthday. isn't he cute? he's just a couple months older than fritz and holds special place in our hearts as he stayed with us for a few weeks when he was a baby. i hope for him and fritz to be great friends throughout their lives. colin is one of the happiest kids i've ever met and always on the go.
happy 2nd birthday, colin!
Posted by Picasa

happy birthday!

just noticed that my blog is one year old as of feb. 5th! just thought i would acknowledge it. i look forward to another year of documenting the craziness, as well as the good, that happens around here.


"is that lily holding baby lily?" -lily's response when i showed her a picture of gracie holding her when lily was a baby.

"drama class is actually a lot of fun." -gracie (this is only humorous in that grace seemed surprised by how much she likes drama class. this from my child who we refer to as "a drama queen" when she is not around.)

"mom, you can go with my teacher and i'll stay home with japie and evan. daddy can go to work, and i'll be the mommy" -lily, in response to learning that she would be going to preschool next year instead of this year.

"mom, if you don't get rid of that smell soon, you're going to have to buy a new car." -gracie when it took me a couple of days to clean out my car after returning from a road trip.

"mommy, they have dress-ups for you!" -lily while walking by the prom dress section at macy's.

"i said the prayer "last"-erday." -lily's replacement word for "yesterday."