Wednesday, June 30, 2010


Laurel woke up 3 times last night. At least one of those times, she asked Brad (the designated parent for Laurel and Brant's middle-of-the-night requests) to crawl into bed with him. He responded with a firm "no" and sent her back to bed.

So today, Maren has embarked on an experiment. The kids went on a maiden voyage to the Build-A-Bear workshop. What a great example of entrepreneurship! Customers are greeted by an employee upon walking in the store. If you look closely, you can see the animated dollar signs zinging around in their eyes as they smile at the parents. Sure, the cheap bears are only $10. But you can dress them up with everything from insertable sound pieces to Darth Vader costumes.

This mom is mean and only allowed each child what they could afford. Laurel's puppy was a gift from Mom to help her in the middle of the night, but the purple dress came out of the last of her birthday money. Brant used his birthday money to buy his bear and had nothing left to buy any accessories. Maren frequently reminded him that he can have anything he wants in the store if he earns the money. He doesn't seem interested.

The kids do get a heart to put inside the bear before it gets its stuffing. An employee leads them through a little activity in which they do some cute things to the heart to make it "work" for the bear. The last step is to wish on the heart. Laurel wished that she wouldn't have any more bad dreams. So cute! She later admitted in the car that she really wanted to wish for all the money in the world, but that Mom wouldn't let her. Brant wished for help in cleaning up every day. He's not exactly motivated when it comes to cleaning up the toys in the living room or putting away the outside bikes and stuff.

The kids finished the activity by naming and completing a birth certificate for the animals. They each have a cardboard home to live in. It's pretty cute and the kids love it. The real test will come tonight. Hopefully "Sarah" can ward off the bad dream goblins before they get to Laurel!

Friday, June 18, 2010


There seems to be very little in this stressed out world capable of causing Brant to panic. If every person has a fight or flight trigger installed before they leave the factory, his must be on time delay set to kick in somewhere down the road. Maren feels like she could put a fire at Brant's behind and he still wouldn't pick up the pace.

For the summer, Laurel and Brant are on a T-ball team with a few of Laurel's classmates and some other kids. They are learning a little bit about the game and it gets them out of the house for 2 nights a week.

Laurel likes to sit out behind second base and Brant is usually chatting it up with teammates who are trying to get him to move over. Sure it's funny at first, but eventually it's embarrassing being the parent of the kid who consistently runs to third base after hitting the ball or doesn't even realize he's the only one still in the dugout after the rest of the team takes the field. It's nice when Laurel bats after him and can encourage (holler at) him to run so she doesn't pass him on the way to home plate.

But this mom hopes to take a few life lessons from her little slow-poke. It's ok to walk out on the field with your glove in your teeth or maybe on your head. It's good for your soul and for your family to have a happy, easy going nature full of giggles and dimples. This family wouldn't trade him to any other team!

Thursday, June 17, 2010


Amazingly, Laney is already eight months old! She is so fun, a great eater, has recently become a better sleeper (in reality this is an achievement of her parents, not Laney), and she loves her siblings.

During the last week, she's been practicing her sleep skills which involves quite a few tears and plenty of yelling. One night, after a brief bout of crying, Mom and Dad heard belly laughing coming from her room. Looking down the hall, we saw the door open and the light on. the saying goes, "You get 3 guesses and the first 2 don't count." BRANT!!! Brant was found in Laney's room playing giggle games with her! After an initial frustrated reaction, the family made the best of it and whipped out the camcorder. A baby's laugh can make you smile no matter what the situation.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


A little more than six years ago, Laurel busted into the world with unexpected intensity. Life has relaxed that intensity a bit, and she is now a sweet, thoughtful girl (who still loves to have fun!)

To celebrate, Laurel chose two special girlfriends to take to the circus. Along with Mom, Dad, Brant, Laney, G.G., and Papa K, the girls had had a wonderful time. The event included a preshow featuring interaction with the circus performers, dancing, circus activities and plenty of excitement. Then the circus lasted about two hours. The group went back to Laurel's house for pizza, cupcakes, and the always important present opening.

More than 10 days later, Mom is finally getting around to posting the event. Laurel had a two day celebration since her real birthday was on Sunday. She ate pizza all day long and had a brownie birthday cake. In primary, all of the children sang to her, and she got the birthday stamp from her primary teacher.