Every day life and occasional adventures of Emily Snow and Family

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Toby...He's OUR Baby!

Yesterday, we watched my friend's 10-month old baby for the day, which actually ended up being overnight--but that's a whole other story--and my kids seemed to really enjoy having D over. I've decided that Thomas is just one of those kids who is really good with little kids, he enjoys them and is so thoughtful. Toby also seemed to enjoy having D over but for him you could tell that it was more like having a friend over and he tried to play with him. In no time, that 10-month age difference will mean nothing, but right now, it is apparent. Still, Toby did what kids do, and he tried to get on D's level and play. And he tried to show off a little too. It was funny to see that side of Toby.

But, then, there was another side of Toby. I got to witness the jealous side of Toby. There were never any actions against D but there were moments when you could tell that Toby realized that D was getting the attention first and his feelings were a little hurt over it. This morning, D went home and Toby has crawled into our arms a little extra and given us more "loves" I think all for the sake of reclaiming his "baby" status.

Until later,


Friday, September 26, 2008

Back In Town!

Last Saturday night, James returned from a short business trip...and then, Sunday morning he left again! He was in training in a southern part of Germany. On his way, his car got hit with something so now he'll be getting his windshield replaced. At least that's it. No other damage to the car and he's OK.

The kids and I made it through the week, too. Thomas has been having nightmares again and Toby has a hacking cough so some of the nights were pretty sleepless for me, but all-in-all, we did all right. The weekdays when James is gone are not all that bad...it's honestly the weekends that are rough. Well, I ended up going in and talking to Thomas' teacher on Wednesday, trying to find out where these nightmares were coming from because they were specific (he was worried about robbers), we're still not sure but we think it might have all started because they had a lock-down last week at the school. Thomas and I talked about how, yes, there are bad guys in the world, but when we close up our house at night, it is pretty secure so we can't sit up at night worrying about it. Then I walked him around as we closed all the windows and ruladins and double-checked to see that the door was locked. He slept the whole night! (Thanks, Mom!).

Until later,


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

A Little Known Fact...(Conversing with Thomas)

Thomas: "Mom, did you know that if you stare at a monkey it will poop?"

Me: "No, I did not know that...who told you that?"

Thomas: "Nobody...just Tobias and Romeo."

Which just goes to show that the gross little boy talk happens everywhere...no matter what school, what country or what nationality the kids are!

Until later,


Monday, September 22, 2008

The Unavoidable Conversation

Thomas: "M-o-m?!

Me: "What, Thomas?"

Thomas: "Toby is looking at me."

Me: "So?"

Thomas: "I don't want him to look at me, make him stop!"

The joys of school have just begun!

Until later,


Sunday, September 21, 2008

Norwegian Souvenirs

James returned home late last night from a work trip to Norway. He brought the kids home these souvenirs and I was so excited for them to get them this morning (since they were in bed when he got home). I had a quick photo shoot this afternoon, too--bet you can't guess who likes his souvenir and who doesn't?

(I know you can't tell...yet!)

(I can imagine Toby thinking, "What's this weird thing and why does Mom want me to wear it on my head?"

Thomas said, "Vikings are cool...what are they?"

And in case anyone is wondering exactly what Toby thinks of HIS viking helmet...
...this is how our photo shoot officially ended!

And, that's a wrap!

Until later,


Saturday, September 20, 2008

Old Four Eyes...2008 Style

(sorry, I know this pic is a little blurry, but it gives you an idea of what the sides look like. They are black with silver rivets)

I picked up my new glasses yesterday. And I had to go back today and get them adjusted. They were squeezing my head, behind my ears until it really hurt! I can tell that I'm going to have to go back again, but they are a lot better. Now if I can just remember to keep them away from anywhere that Toby can get to!

Until later,


A Lazy Morning and One Nasty Cough!

A lazy morning of DS playing, movies watching and comfy sweats....Thomas' cold has gotten worse. I dare say he has the worst cough he's ever had! He's not having a hard time breathing. More than anything it's obnoxious! He also has a runny nose. Above all, the sniffles and throat clearing are kind of driving me nutty. He's medicated, but it only relieves the symptoms...not take them away entirely!

Until later,


More of Toby on the Table!

(checking out the play-doh)

(and this was him yesterday on the table)

I really do find him like this often each day. There's just no stopping him. I have tried. Believe me, I have! Some things are the way that they are and you can't change them...like this for example!

Until later,


Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Still Trying to Find My Groove...and an Update

This week, I started my German class and last week, I started my exercise class at the gym. So I have classes three days a week now. Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays. In some ways I guess it's good to have everything all in a row, but I think I'd rather have them staggered. Anyway, we are getting the hang of getting out the door in the mornings, because of Thomas being in school, not me taking classes, and Thomas now has his routine down at the school so I don't have to walk him in. Too bad the circle area is just for the buses, so I still have to get out in the parking lot, AND get Toby out just to walk Thomas to the front of the school, and go back and do everything in reverse, but it is how it is.

So with this new schedule of Thomas being in school and me taking classes, I am trying to find out when exactly I am "home" because it doesn't feel like I am very much! These past few days, I have gone to my classes and then ran some errands and next thing I know it's 2:00! Enough time to run home, maybe grab something to eat or tackle one small household chore and then it's time to go pick up Thomas again!

My church calling is also keeping me very busy! The Relief Society president has said more than a few times, "It's not usually like this." But so far, although I am busy, I am enjoying it. I get to help people and it has given me the chance to get to know people that I otherwise probably wouldn't both on the receiving end and the giving end of things.

Thomas is loving school. He doesn't even want the weekend to come! He loves his teacher and has told me a few times already that he wants her to always be her teacher. He is pretty tired when he comes home. On Wednesdays, he stays after school for a class that I signed him up for called Fit Kids. It is a class where they play different sports or games, kind of like an extra PE. Well, I don't have him in any sports so this is "it" and it is wonderful and enough for right now.

Both of my boys have bad colds. Thomas has more of a cough and Toby is a snot factory. Their moods seem to be normal though.

Toby is getting used to being without Thomas during the day. He is talking a lot. My family is one of those text book cases where the first child didn't talk that early and the second one is leaps and bounds ahead of where his brother was at this point. But, mainly, he still talks in jibberish.

James, what can I say about James? The busy season has started, and we'll leave it at that.

Tailer, I don't usually update on her, but I put her on a diet about two weeks ago. She's a large cat in stature, but she still needed to trim down. This summer, I saw my sister's dog, Daisy, who had been put on a diet and I thought she looked so good, so Daisy was my inspiration for Tailer! I had always filled her bowl and then filled it again when it was empty. Which usually was in 4-6 days, I didn't think she was eating all that much. Classic case of overestimating the serving size...I read on the back of her cat food bag that a cat her size that you want to lose some weight should eat 1/2 cup of food a day. Her bowls are pretty big...it barely covers the bottom! So, she's on a diet and cries in the morning, but it's been two weeks and I can already tell that she is thinner. I'm not sure how long I'll keep her on her diet. I need to take her to the vet to get her shots, maybe I'll get the vet's opinion on what would be her "healthy" weight.

Until later,


Saturday, September 13, 2008

Did Thomas Go Through a Naked Stage?

Did Thomas go through a naked stage when he was about three years old...I know I was doing fertility treatments by then that did a number on me, but I think I at least dressed my son! However, according to the size 3T clothes that I have in storage, maybe I did not!

A couple of weeks ago, I spent an hour or two in my basement trying to find Thomas' old winter coats, size 3T. Not that Toby is going into 3T, but since I had Thomas where size 3T coats for two years in a row, I thought why not Toby, too? I've since ordered Toby a size 2T coat, still hoping to use the lost coats when I find them next year! (When I says coats, I mean a lighter, everyday one that works well with the car seat and then another puffy marshmallow one that doesn't work with the car seat but keeps him warmer.)

Then, today, I spent a good portion of my afternoon trying to find my size 3T clothes because we have a new family that just moved into our ward that is in need of warm clothes for their kids and household goods. They have a boy that is going into size 3T clothing. The husband is in the army and the army sent the family out, but due to a regulation, did not allow shipment of any of their household goods. All they have is what could fit into their suitcases. Their stuff has been put in storage and it is NOT coming here, ever!

I figured that I could donate some of Thomas' old clothes. I know I still have Toby, but I also know that I have some to spare and of course Toby is going to get some new things as he grows into that age. I felt that I was in a good place to donate a few clothes. No biggie.

So, I started going through my clothes and never could find any great number of size 3. I started to get a little nutty and actually ended taking everything out and doing a really thorough sorting job. There are no more 4T/5T boxes or half-full boxes. There is one LARGE box each for 2T, 4T and 5T and a half box of 3T (and still no coats or snow pants). Then I started counting the shirts, pants, pajamas and I have more sets of pajamas then I do short-sleeve and long-sleeve shirts combined! That just cannot be right. Now I am convinced that there must be another 3T box somewhere.

I have looked almost everywhere in this house for another box. The only place I haven't looked yet is in the crawl space under our stairs, where I keep the Christmas stuff. But I keep thinking, I've been through that stuff, why on earth wouldn't I put a box full of clothing with all the other boxes of clothing? If those 3T clothes are here in Germany with us, that's where they are. If not, they are stored in Virginia or we will never see them again. Things like this really frustrate me!

Until later,


Thursday, September 11, 2008

Observing September 11th

September 11th is always a somber day for me, as I think it is for many of us. I can't believe seven years have gone by already. A lot of it is blurry to me, but some of it will stick with me forever. I am forever grateful that James wasn't hurt. If the evil terrorists plans would have all gone the way they wanted, that might not have been the case. (Because of where he worked.) I also have a good friend whose brother worked at one of the World Trade buildings and (if my memory is serving me correctly) his train was running late so he wasn't at work when he normally would have been.

I will spend this day like all other September 11ths after...I will stay home. James always asks me to and I get it. (However, he has gone to work and Thomas is in school...so no one get too worried). There are other days to be in crowded, public areas but today I'll lay low and do some things around my house (like mop the floor and a few loads of laundry) and this afternoon, I'll turn the TV on and watch some of those familiar images and shed a few tears. But, I'm OK with that.

Until later,


Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Sounds of a Fire Truck/Police Car

Toby was playing with a car today, pushing it around, making a "police car sound" when I stopped and realized that he was making the sound of a German police car instead of what the American police cars sound like. And then I thought about it, and even with our two-month vacation in the States this summer, Toby has lived more of his life in Germany than he has there, so it makes sense!

Until later,


Ear Aches Are Such a Pain!

Last night Thomas awoke at about 4 AM and came stumbling into our bedroom. I thought he must have had a bad dream, which he often does. He tossed and turned for about an hour and then announced that his right ear really hurt. I put some numbing drops in his ear and that seemed to help but the pain was still pretty bad. Thomas has never been a kid that likes to take medicine...but I gave him the choice, he could chew some Tylenol pills or still hurt. He chose to chew the Tylenol. Twenty minutes later, he was snoozing but morning sure came early for us this morning! I did give him the option of staying home, but he chose to go to school. I think he must have had one of those "made it through" days because today in his parent-teacher book, I had a note from the teacher telling me that Thomas seemed very quiet and didn't want to participate in music today. Tonight, he had a fever, the first one I have detected, so he might get to stay home tomorrow. Poor kid!

Until later,



Somehow I knew verbally posting about my recent pottery purchases would not suffice. I'll get some pictures taken soon...see that's the problem when you don't have a safe place to store your things, they get wrapped up and put downstairs and then it becomes a chore to get them out again. But, I will work on it!

Until later,


Tuesday, September 9, 2008

More Broken Glass...

Today, I hurried up and fed Toby a late lunch (I got my eyes checked today, and my neighbor watched him while I did that, so his meal was a little late) and then we had to get out the door to pick up Thomas from school. I was cleaning up, took one load of things to the kitchen, and came back into the dining room to find Toby holding an empty baby food jar (he still eats a couple jars after eating the grown up food). Now the thing with Toby is, if he has something that he's not supposed to and he realizes it and gets caught, he throws it. So, I tried to trick him into thinking he wasn't doing anything wrong...yeah, it didn't work...he chucked the jar and it hit the tile floor and broke into a hundred pieces! He got a smack on the bottom and a time-out, neither bothered him, of course. I cleaned up the mess and went on our way!

Until later,


Sunday, September 7, 2008

Having Second Thoughts...

As soon as I woke up this morning, I had it in my head that I really think James can hang my pretty Italian plate here in our "temporary" German home. It's such a shame wrapping it up and having it on a shelf downstairs most of the time. Besides, the vendors have even made it easy on the customers--they've strung a wire through the bottom of the plate so all you really have to do is get a nail in the wall. Not only that, but I have an empty wall just crying out for something to be hung on it! Stay tuned...

Until later,


Saturday, September 6, 2008

Lamplighter Fair 2008

This weekend, is the weekend of the Lamplighter Fair at the Wiesbaden Air Field. There are vendors from all over--Germany, Italy, Poland, etc, etc. There is lots of pottery, linens, crystal, nutcrackers & smokers, wine, cheese, furniture etc, etc. Last year, since it was all new to me, I didn't know quite what I liked or didn't.

A year later, it is a different story! Today, I purchased a large Italian pottery serving plate. It is beautiful and very eye-catching. I also bought a small vivid red vase with a bright yellow sunflower on it from the same vendor. I also finally found a pattern of Polish Pottery that I love, and bought a medium-sized pitcher, that I will use as a vase. (It has occurred to me that I have a thing for vases!) I know I have a couple friends who lived in Germany quite a while ago, maybe you know about the Polish Pottery craze...well, I guess it used to be super, super cheap...but it is not anymore...so while I know I'll never have a full set, it will still be fun to try to pick up some other pieces here and there. I feel the same way about the Italian pottery except I want all different patterns of that. I think it would be fun to display the different plates on the walls when I move back to the States (and still use them), but I'm too scared to do that here in Germany because it's so hard to get something to hang on my walls. Italian pottery is bright and colorful, Polish Pottery is more muted.

I informed James that now I have "shopping goals", he rolled his eyes, laughed out loud and then replied, "Gr-reat!"

Until later,


First Crush

We think Thomas has his first crush. Last night, over dinner, he announced that there is this girl, she's not in his class, but her name is Lyra (rhymes with Tyra). We asked Thomas if he plays with her and he smiled and said, "no!". As the conversation went on, we think she's in the other Primary class.

Today, he's mentioned her name three other times, for no apparent reason.

Until later,


Friday, September 5, 2008

The PERFECT Halloween Costume for Toby!

Although Halloween is almost two months away, I have been keeping my eye on Old Navy's website, because I think they have cute costumes that are also affordable. I have been "eye-ing" this costume, and almost ordered it yesterday, I'm glad I didn't because today it went on sale! You better believe that costume is ordered now! I know how Old Navy works, once those costumes are marked down they go so fast! It was a toss-up between the skunk and the monkey but in the end the skunk won out. Now I will wait 3-4 weeks, for that and some other necessities to arrive, but I think I ordered everything in time, before it gets too cold (new coats for the boys--Toby doesn't get a hand-me-down coat because I can't find it!).

Until later,



More and more, I am convinced that Toby is as cute as he is because he is so naughty. Not because his naughtiness makes him cute, but it's nature's or God's way of protecting Toby. If he wasn't so darn cute, all the naughty things that just seem to come naturally to him (he's not trying) would be really hard to handle. This morning he had yet another naughty incident:

We dropped Thomas off at school and came home. As you know, we live right next to a park. Toby often times wants to go to the park when we get back from dropping Thomas off at school. He LOVES to play in the sand! However, it has been raining for a few days and is raining right now, so going to the park isn't the best idea.

I carried him in the house, while he motioned and "told" me that he really wanted to go to the park.

Then, I came downstairs to check my email as I often do. Most of the time I carry the laptop upstairs and do my "work" at the kitchen table. Today, I was lazy so I stayed downstairs and let Toby come with me.

Next thing I know, he is throwing "sand" at the cat! Oh, no, that can only mean one thing: he's playing in the kitty litter! Gross! Gross! Gross!

The downstairs needed a good vacuuming anyway.

Until later,


Thursday, September 4, 2008

What Stain?

I am amazed that Clorox Clean-Up took the stain right out. I know, I know, it's nothing more than regular Clorox in a fancy bottle...but it's convenient! It took three applications, but the stain is gone.

Until later,


Breaking Things Left and Right!

It has been one of those mornings...first of all, before I continue, Happy Birthday to my dad, who will be turning 57 years young today. I hope his day goes better then mine has so far!

My day started out at 6:30 AM, which was 30 minutes before my alarm was set to go off. I am not a morning person, and I treasure every last minute of sleep so when Toby decided to wake up at 6:30 AM (which is 1-1 1/2 hours before he needs to get up!), I was none too happy.

I quickly retrieved him from his room, hoping not to wake up Thomas. Toby generally wakes up smiley and talkative and in a general good mood, Thomas, however, does not, especially if he is woken up. So, I achieved success with that, Thomas didn't wake up until 7:30 AM, but in the meantime, I brought Toby into mine and James' room and shut the door. He crawled around the bed for a while and searched around the room playing with various items, none that I was too worried about because he and I had spent a good amount of time up there just yesterday, trying to dig myself out of the hole I also have to call my bedroom. Meaning I didn't think there was anything that it would be tragic if he got a hold of it. Of course, he found the one thing, the one thing that was probably up on top of my dresser yesterday, but found it's resting place on my nightstand last night: my glasses! Toby got a hold of them and snapped the earpiece back so fast...it literally took less then two seconds! They are still wearable but when they are not on my face, they look like a pair of glasses with a broken wing. Oh well, I had just told James a few days ago that I was going to get an eye check-up and get some new glasses because it has been eight years since I got a new pair. I really only wear them around the house, but with Toby's slick work, looks like I will be getting new glasses sooner rather than later!

Once Thomas got up, it was a half-hour of nagging him to get dressed. He finally got dressed and it was time to get breakfast. I got his cereal poured and went to get some juice out of the refrigerator. One of the shelves in my fridge door is the dumbest thing...things fall out of it all the time and we've had some really close calls with breaking things. One time a full bottle of boysenberry syrup fell out and broke, today, I ran out of luck again when a large, full bottle of Texas Pete's hot sauce fell out and shattered all over! You better believe I let one of the "sh"-bombs out (as in sh*t!)I had red-orange liquid all over and shattered glass everywhere with Toby trying to get in on all the excitement. At this point, James was headed out the door, and wisely decided to stick around and help me with the situation (thanks!). He whisked Toby away but in the meantime, Thomas, who should have been eating, started in on me, saying things that I know he hears from me all of the time; "Mom, you should be more careful!", "Mom, that's a big mess, now you're going to have to clean that up!" things like that...at which point I lost it and let the other "sh"-bomb that is not allowed in our house, that would be a big SHUT-UP THOMAS! I know, so Hallmark movie moment of me!

I got the mess cleaned up the best I could, I now have a lovely orange stain on my wall, that I'm almost positive will not come out. Our walls are painted with basically white matte paint and underneath that is wall-paper like material. I bought some bleach cleaner, but I'm not too hopeful about the situation.

Thank goodness all mornings aren't like this!

Until later,