Saturday, July 23, 2011

Florida (in words, not pictures)

We're having camera issues and I can't even blame it on the kids.  A few days before Mali's birthday, I dropped our camera on the stairs.  Can I possibly attribute that pregnancy lack-of-balance?  For whatever reason, it's not working.  So I have the best of intentions of downloading our recent vacation pictures from my parent's camera, but all of the normal parenting life just keeps getting in the way.

However, we had a fantastic Florida vacation visiting Grandma Dee and Papa (great-grandparents to our girls).  We made a road trip of it while the rest of the Koch-Shunkwiler gang flew down and met us there.  Other than a tire blow-out and awful holiday traffic, we all managed the drive pretty well.  It was well worth it to spend such precious time with our extended family.  We stayed in my grandparents park, swam every day, ate yummy food, took the girls fishing, and even managed a day at Princess Heaven, aka Disney World.  Plenty of pictures of that to come.  Until that time, here are our favorite quotes from each of our girls during the trip....

1) We hit our final traffic jam about 20 minutes away from our grandparents' place.  So frustrating.  So we ventured into "Celebration" for a quick distraction.  At one intersection, another driver was having a difficult time determining right-of-way.  After motioning her on several times, Jonathan mumbled something under his breath. Of course, the girls caught it right away and asked him to elaborate.  He said "oh, I was just saying hi to my new best friend."  Not catching his sarcasm, Amalia asked him what the new friends' name was.  He responded, "Oh, honey, I don't know".  She immediately told him "best friends know each other's names!"

2) Jonathan allowed the girls to help him steer the golf cart driving back and forth to the pool.  Brinnly went first which scared Amalia.  "Brinn's never had driving lessons!" she maintained.  "Yes, I have!" Brinn retorted, "I drove with Hata and Hoshish for twenty hours on the way here and took driving lessons with them!".  Never discount the talent and qualifications of those imaginary friends.

3) And finally, don't look to our family for any future Tiger Woods. Jonathan and I took the girls mini golfing one night and while Mali and I were getting a drink of water, I heard Carrigan screaming "no, no, no!"  I looked back and Brinn and Jonathan were far away from her.  Supposedly she had gotten frustrated with her luck at the game, threw down her club and laid down kicking and screaming. Maybe she'll be a boxer instead.

Thursday, July 21, 2011


Two years ago today a burst of blond hair and blue eyes joined our family and what a delight she has been.  Carrigan was born at a difficult time in some ways.  Mali and Brinnly were barely past the baby stage themselves. Jonathan was very new at his job and the only thing we knew for sure was that it wouldn't be permanent for him.  But somehow, having a little more "wildness" (one of her many nicknames) in our life was just what we needed. 

Carrigan loves life. She's usually the first one up in the mornings and we relish our cuddle time with just her. She chatters away all day long and puts up with our inability to understand her most times.  Her current favorite phrases are "hold you!" and "no, Mali!  no, Buggy" and of course, "SPACE"!  She loves loves loves to eat (where in the world does she get that?) and has a pretty varied taste.  Overall she goes with the flow but if something upsets her too much she's quick to stomp her feet and pull out the fists.  Definitely the strongest temper of the three when her buttons are pushed.  One of her favorite silly games is pretending she's either asleep or blind and she does that almost as often as she tells her version of the "interrupting cow" joke.  Of course, she's quick to laugh the loudest at herself.

We so love our little Elmo-Yo Gabba-Minne Mouse fan.  We love her running and walking, silent and talking as one of her favorite books says.  Her blond ringlets bouncing up and down bring smiles to our faces and she's just the right fit in our silly family.  Care-Bear, Squeezy-Muffin:  you have no idea how much we thank God for you.  Fists and all.

Friday, July 01, 2011

Five on Friday

1)  Mali and Brinn had a week at Redeemer's Vacation Bible School this week.  Great programming, and Mali's teacher was a former co-worker of mine from my school social work days.

2) One more birthday note about Mali:  my mom took her out for a special 1:1 birthday lunch the day before the big day.  She chose Red Lobster and devoured her "Garlic Grilled Shrimp" served on a skewer.

3) After much research, we bought new car seats for the girls at Babies R' Us.  We even ended up with a "twins' discount" because we bought the same seat for Brinn and Carrigan!

4) Jonathan installed the car seats after bedtime one night.  He took some time to look over the manuals, etc.  Our neighbor walked across the street and declared that Jonathan had been out there much too long. So he handed him a cold beer and offered to help with the installation.  Isn't that great? 

5)  Coincidentally, while Jonathan was doing that, I was emailing and making plans to catch up with former neighbors of ours from our Highland Park days who now lives in North Carolina.  Neighbors truly make Pittsburgh a unique town.