Finding calm in the chaos

Finding calm in the chaos

Monday, June 27, 2011

boy with stick

When Sam was a toddler, I was constantly amazed about his fascination with sticks. I'd never seen a little kid so enthralled by the endless possibilities of a stick. Maybe that's because I'd only been around little girls.

Today, I'm less amazed, but his fascination has not waned at all.

Sam yelling, "Cheese!". Sam, here's a word of wisdom from your mother: when you yell so loud the veins on your neck standout, it doesn't make for a very good smile.

Ah, nice smile.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

America's favorite pasttime

On Father' s Day, Papa K decided to teach Sam about baseball. He was, as he always is when Papa is concerned, very excited.

First, Papa pitched the ball to Sam, but quickly realized a tee might be a little easier.

He taught him how to bat and Sam started to get the hang of it. Whenever he hit the ball, Sam would grin and say, "That's not so bad!".

Saturday, June 25, 2011

snuggling with Daddy

Andie's got a new game. I think it's because she is such a bad-sleepin' baby (yes, folks, the sleeping streak is over. Bummer.), but she likes crawling into our bed and pretending to sleep. It is just about the most adorable thing I've ever seen...although REAL sleeping would be a welcome sight on my part.

But, as with all things Andie, the game must be played by her rules. She first invited her Daddy to come lay on the bed by her, but when he leaned over to give her a kiss, she admonished him with a, "Nononono!" and kicked him out of bed. Poor Daddy. It's so hard to keep that girl happy.

But she is pretty stinkin' cute...isn't she?

Friday, June 24, 2011

Kaufman cousins

Last Saturday, Steve, Teenie and Ben came over for dinner. Teenie is starting the nursing program, so she'll be down in L-town a lot more often...and we for one are all glad about that! Sam is probably Aunt Teenie's biggest fan and can't get enough of that girl.

After dinner, Steve and Teenie played hide-n-seek and ball with Sam. Andie & Ben watched the craziness. At first, Andie eyed Ben with suspicion, but soon found she had an ally.
Ben thought sitting in a real chair was pretty awesome.

They both thought the DVD remotes were fascinating, although Andie is pretty sure it's a phone and "talks" on it all the time.

There aren't very many pictures of Sam because he turns into a crazy man when Aunt Teenie is around. We couldn't get him to sit still long enough to capture any of his zany ways on camera.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Ben and Andie play peekaboo

Ben and Andie are starting to understand that cousins make great playmates. Ben hadn't yet finished eating, so Andie kept him entertained with peekaboo. We love our cousins!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Baby Bumblebee

A few weeks ago, Kate and Glory sang the Bumblebee song at bedtime singing time. Andie has been a fan ever since. She requests the song often, saying "Buh-buh-buh" and signing the motions.

After one particularly good night's sleep, she requested it at breakfast.

Some readers are having a hard time viewing the video. Try this link:
Let me know how it goes.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

stuff my kid says

Again, Sam is on the toliet and I just got out of the shower.

Sam: Why you don't have a penis?
Me: Girls don't have penises. They, other body parts.
Sam: Oh. Grills (he can't say "girls" to save his life) don't have a penis?
Me: Yep.
Sam: You a grill and you don't have a penis?
Me: Yep.
Sam: Hmm. (pauses, thinking it over). That must be hard on a person.

Monday, June 20, 2011


While we girls were out enjoying our shoe-shopping and frozen yogurt, the manly men headed up to Keuterville to do some fishing.
They caught "countless" fish, but threw the majority back to swim another day. They brought the "big, huge one" back for Lala to feast upon.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day

Dear Joe,
I'm not going to get all mushy on you on Father's Day, but I will say this:

  • You kick ass at changing diapers. Seriously. Fastest diaper changer alive.

  • You never complain (well, almost never) about getting up at night with Andie.

  • You always have a bandaid in your wallet, which makes you a hero in Sam's book.

  • You mix a tasty chocolate milk.

  • You never cringe when Andie requests "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" at bedtime for the five hundredth time in a row.

  • You are the hide-and-seek champion of Casa Kaufman.

  • You didn't even bat an eye when we both realized our daughter was eating a rock while I was taking this picture. I love that "stay calm" attitude of yours. It keeps me balanced.

Your patience is endless and the care you put into raising our children makes me fall more in love with you every day. I can't imagine a better dad for our two kiddos.

I love you,


PS. You have nice forearms, too.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

when the circus comes to town

The Poxleitners called and informed us the Shrine Circus was in town. Would we like to go with them? Well, yes. Yes, we would.

I'd never actually been to a circus, so I was as excited as Sam and Andie were. (Well, Andie wasn't really that excited. Not until she had her first bite of cotton candy--that really got her in the circus spirit.)

There were tigers, bears, and motorcycles IN A CAGE! Sam spent most of the show looking like this:

Andie was a little less enthralled. "Uh, this is getting old. I'm gonna need some more cotton candy."

This is a picture of a man with a fire-y stick in his mouth. They also juggled KNIVES. They stood on towers of chairs. I had visions of Sam trying these new stunts at home and breaking limbs in new, exciting ways. The circus gave me frequent opportunities to say, "Does that look like a good idea, Sam? No, I didn't think so either."

Joe and I were pretty impressed by this married couple on the "chiffon". I was thinking, "What would it be like to tour with a circus when you are married?" when Joe leaned over and whispered, "That thing is like a Moby wrap on crack!".

To top it all off, we rode an elephant. At ten bucks a pop, it was a pricey little adventure, but Sam loved it. During the second half of the show, he repeatedly whispered in my air that he would like an elephant for his next birthday. I told him we'd talk about it.

Thanks for the fun time, Poxleitners. Let's make this an annual event!

Ben's birthday

Last Sunday, we celebrated a momentous occasion: Ben's first birthday! A lot has changed since this time last year.

Those Palouse Kaufmans really know how to throw a birthday. They invited all of us over for a cowboy-themed BBQ. There was music, of course. And bubbles. We brought all the Co-op Kids and played outside for the entire afternoon. It was wonderful. We can't wait until your next birthday, Ben!

Friday, June 17, 2011

updates from Casa Kaufman

As always, it's been a chaotic week at Casa Kaufman.

  • Sam is finally potty-trained. Let me hear a big "Hallelujah!" from all you readers out there. I honestly thought it was never going to happen. We decided to put him into underwear instead of pull-ups and he just took off from there. He still wears a pull-up at night, but often is dry when he wakes up in the morning. My weekly grocery bill has noticed the difference. Only one kid in diapers and wipes equals a $30 savings! Hhmm...time for me to get some new shoes with the difference.

  • Drum roll, please. Little Miss Natalie Doris has...SLEPT THROUGH THE NIGHT FOR THREE NIGHTS IN A ROW. I never thought it would happen. In fact, my body is still in denial. I typically wake up at 3 am, roam around the house for while, and then realize there is no actual reason for me to be awake, and wander back to bed. Way to go, Andie! We have always loved you, but this has made you especially beloved in the eyes of your parents.

  • I know the blog has been sorely neglected lately. But, good news: my stressful job is about to be come less stressful. One of the doctors is taking a leave of absence, so I cut back to working only 3 days a least until September, but hope that this will be a permanent change. I've been missing my kiddos a lot and, while they are thriving in daycare, I'd like to spend more time with them.

  • Joe and I are trying to lose our baby weight, so we've restarted running. Our goals are small, but we try to run together at least 1-2 times a week. No easy feat already, but add a double jogger with two hefty Kaufman kids in the mix and we're talking about quite a workout! We're already seeing the benefits. Joe is back to the weight he was when we started DATING. (Why is it always easier for guys to lose weight? Huh?) As for me, I'm quite pleased I can run two miles without stopping. We're thinking about marketing our workout program and selling it to Biggest Loser.

And that's the news from Casa Kaufman, where the son is potty-trained, the daughter sleeps through the night, and the parents are above-average.

Thursday, June 16, 2011


By popular request, here is Andie saying, "Water".

I tried to get her to say it twice, but you know how it is to to get Andie to do something she doesn't want to do.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

stuff my kid says

In the bathroom this morning, Sam was on the potty and I was getting out of the shower.

Sam: What's that on you back, Mom? (The kid can't say "your" to save his life).
Me: It's a tattoo.
Sam: You wash it off?
Me: No. It's permanent. Someone drew it there when I was younger.
Sam: When you younger?
Me: Yep.
Sam: Oh. You have old eyes now.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Camping 101

We loaded up the kiddos and hit Elk River for a camp out last weekend. Here are some lessons learned from our first campout with little children. (For the complete syllabus, see Amy's blog).

1. The more, the merrier. Pick a fun bunch of people to camp with. Invite as many people under 5 as possible as this increases the chaos and risk of campground related injuries. (How many times can I say, "Walk, don't run, by the fire" and "Don't go next to the lake without a life jacket". In fact, I am still saying those things in my sleep).

2. So you don't lose your sanity (too much), also invite some responsible grown-ups. We selected the Kaufmans. Grandma was a campfire gourmet and spent her non-cooking time snuggling Andie.

3. Catch a fish to eat for breakfast. Noah preferred the catching to the eating, but Sam liked both. Also, bring a good-looking husband in a cowboy hat. I remember that hat from high school. Ah, memories.

4. Pack a play yard. Let me say it again: PACK A PLAY YARD. When you need to wipe a dirty kid, roast a hot dog, bandage and owie and have a 16 month old velcro'ed to your leg, you will thank me, I swear. Pop the baby in the play yard, attend to the task, and we're back to our regularly scheduled camping.

I bought this thing on clearance after pining away for one for a few years. I used to think it would be nice to have for the dogs to keep them safe on campouts. Hahahaha! The dogs. That was a lifetime ago. Poor neglected dogs. We actually left them at home.

5. Make friends with nature. Pine cones, rocks, tree boughs make wonderful toys. This is Glory with her "dog", Bingo. Don't rely solely on nature, though. We wish we would have packed a few more made-in-China plastic toys when our kids' imaginations were wearing thin and they decided mudbaths would be a good idea.

(Yes, that's my finger over the lens. It's hard to take pictures with a 16month old velcro'ed to your leg).

6. Go fishing. Bring life jackets. Bring life jackets for BOTH kids. We only brought one for Andie, so Sam ended up wearing a pink princess life jacket. Uncle Phil saved the day by also wearing a pink life jacket. We love our Uncle Phil.

7. Eat hot dogs. And marshmallows. Lots of them. We had to go back to town and buy more of each. Fortunately, this also gave us an excuse to eat ice cream at Huckleberry Heaven every day.

We ended the weekend dirty, exhausted...and ready for more camping!

Monday, June 06, 2011

Shack Attack

We've decided to make camping a family priority, so after a few trial camp-outs in the living room, Joe thought he would make sure Sam was really, truly ready to go camping.

The final test? A campout at the Shack with his Uncles and Dad.

The Shack is a little bunkhouse the Kaufmans built on their farm. It sits away from the house for that air of adventure, but is just a short 6x6 ride away from Grandma if the camping gets too rough. It's a manly place, with a dart board, four fold out bunks, a wood stove, and a special table built by Uncle Phil.

Gosh, I can feel the testosterone already.
Sam calls it "the SHACK!". Even in normal conversation. It's not "the shack" or even "the SHACK". It's "the SHACK!"
Needless to say, Sam had a great time. He woke up in the night, saying he had to go potty, but when Joe took him outside, Sam felt it was too cold to pee outside after all. Then, he snuggled into Joe's sleeping bag to warm up. So, Joe didn't get much sleep, but Sam had a great time.

So great, in fact, that we decided to take the whole family camping the following weekend. Stay tuned!