Friday, December 28, 2007

Fantasy Football

My brother sent me this article and it's a must read if you/your husband has ever been involved with fantasy football. It's from and the Sports Guy (aka Bill Simmons) is one of their regular writers. This week's column was written by his wife, the Sports Gal. My favorite is that she calls her husband's fantasy football league the "League of Dorks" (you will understand this hostility if your husband has spent hours at a fantasy draft or on the phone with his friends frantically discussing their teams), and then she proceeds to explain her system for picking games each week (i.e., picking which animal mascot would win in a fight, picking the city that she would rather live in.)

My dream is to someday hang out with the Sports Guy and the Sports Gal. The Sports Gal is my hero.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

hate it when it's over...

Kindermusik is done now, and Dylan and I are pretty sad about it. We had a really great experience and it was nice to have some one-on-one time "scheduled" with him each week. There are definitely days when we have Mommy/toddler wars, but Kindermusik was always a therapeutic time for us...lots of interaction, a little cuddling, and always fun. That's my Kindermusik plug...oh, and our instructor, Lynette, was fabulous!

Thursday, December 13, 2007


I'm starting to learn as a mom that life is full of transistions. Just when you think you have a phase figured out, it passes and then you're onto something else.

Nap time has always been sacred in our house. Since Dylan was tiny, he has taken an afternoon nap, no questions asked. He's always been a good sleeper, so this nap is usually about three hours long...always has been, usually still is. When Ella came along, I got her right in on this routine and she takes a pretty good nap every afternoon too. I use this chunk of time to work (usually 1 1/2-2 hours every afternoon), clean up the house, and relax if I can find a spare minute.

My problem now is that while Dylan still happily takes an afternoon nap (and seems to need it--he's really tired by about 1:00), he doesn't go to sleep at night very well. In the past, he has usually been pretty good about bedtime. It's never been a long drawn out process for us, partly because I don't have the energy for a 12-step bedtime routine each night. Bedtime for him is around 9pm (because of Matt's work schedule, we stay up later at night and sleep longer in the morning...nothing much happens around here before 8am). However, the past few weeks, Dylan isn't actually asleep until 10:30/11:00, and then it's not unusual for him to wake up at least once at night and then wake up earlier than we would like in the morning.

Needless to say this is exhausting for everyone. I have tried skipping naps a few days a week with him which cuts into my afternoon alone time and sometimes this helps with bedtime but sometimes it doesn't. I've thought about waking him up early from his nap, but he is absolute disaster if he doesn't wake up on his own...he's been known to cry for hours after someone wakes him up and that just isn't worth it.

Most of his sleep problems started after we moved, so I blamed it on that for a while but it's been over two months. He also just turned three and I know a lot of kids drop their naps right around that time. question is for all those with toddlers out there...any suggestions? What was your experience? I am familiar with the quiet time idea and we've done a little of that, but it's hard to get a toddler to play quietly by himself for more than 15 minutes. Do I just need to try something and stick with it for a couple of weeks? Eventually he will go to preschool, but that's still a year and a half away. Help!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

fun with craigslist

We just sold our fourth item on craigslist last night (we also sold a mirror and our old fridge and stove a few weeks ago). This really nice young couple came last night to look at our old TV (Matt just upgraded to a plasma) and they decided they wanted it. The problem is that this TV weighs about 300 lbs. - that might a be slight exageration but not by much - and Matt wasn't home so it was up to me and this nice couple to get it into the back of their Envoy.

So we've got an insanely heavy TV, two small children underfoot, only one grown man, and about 20 feet to move this TV. We got it out of the dining room and around the corner and then realized the back of their car wasn't open yet. She went to open it and out LEAPED two huge dogs. Like leaped the way you see dogs leap in movies. They came flying over the back seat and into our house which, incidentally, is very good for running around in circles because all of the rooms connect, so run in circles they did.

So now we have an insanely heavy TV partially resting on a bench and partially resting on the grown man, two huge dogs running in circles around my house followed by the girl chasing them, plus now my children are crying because they're somewhat frightened by large dogs, especially the kind that leap into your house with no warning.

Eventually, we got the dogs in the car, the TV in the car, and only did minor damage to our walls, which Matt fixed up after work with a little spackle and touch up paint. We were all laughing hysterically pretty much the entire time too because it was all just that ridiculous and funny. They really were a nice couple though, and I feel like we could be friends if we met under different circumstances...maybe I'll email them back and see how the new TV's working out for them and invite them (minus the dogs) over for dinner :).

The End.

Friday, December 7, 2007

brother update

brother #3...

Chad has just been hired on at Grand Buick Pontiac (where Matt works) in new car sales (yay!), so Matt will be taking him under his wing and teaching him everything he knows :) Grand is a great place to work and we are excited for Chad to start this new phase in his life.

brother #4...

Brett will be home on Monday for three weeks (until New Year's). It's fun that we have gotten to see him so much the past couple of months after missing him for seven months while he was deployed in Iraq. He's currently stationed in San Diego, CA and will probably be deployed again late next year.

chicken fingers

On Thanksgiving I showed Dylan how you can trace your hand and then make a picture of turkey out of it. He didn't seem terribly interested at the time (I, however, drew a wonderful turkey picture of MY hand). Anyway, tonight he came up to me with a pen, a piece of paper, and his hand stretched out, saying, "Help me make a chicken fingers." HA!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007


Things I am sad about...

I have been enjoying HGTV (we have Charter now instead of Comcast) for about two months and now I'm starting to see repeats...I hate that.

My 3 year old wants NOTHING to do with potty training. As in doesn't want to even talk about it.

My house is perpetually messy. Toys everywhere make me CRAZY.

Things I am happy about...

A good friend just announced a pregnancy...I'll wait until I'm sure she's 100% done telling people before I tell you who!

My cousin Kristin and her family just announced they are moving back to Michigan (and super close to me...about 5 minutes away!)

Hobby Lobby's sales...I love 50% off sticker week.

Our house looks good with snow on it. So far, I like fall and winter here. Hopefully spring and summer will be good too :).

The way kids can sense when they've got it good...Dylan is at my mom's today and Ella is very happily and quietly playing with all of his Cars cars...something that is usually off limits when he's home!

I will be in the sunny Bahamas in exactly one month!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Currently reading...

Blue Like Jazz. I think I'm a little behind the times and I missed the buzz the first time around, but Donald Miller spoke at our church a couple of weeks ago and I enjoyed what he had to say. If you start reading now, we can finish together and then discuss. Not to spoil the fun, but I'm really liking it so far. It's brutally honest, but I think that's what makes it brilliant.


We put bowls on our heads. Small, medium and large. It's funnier than you think. Try it.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Poor baby.

Ella is sick. She started with a cold last weekend, progressed to an ear infection (including 103 fever) mid-week, and now she has roseola again on top of everything. The first few days she was very cuddly and she's just crabby. She's still sleeping OK which is a blessing, but she pretty much cries whenever she's awake. It's no fun for her or us!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Ella's Party

Here are a few pictures from Ella's 1st birthday party. I have to admit that it's pretty fun having a little girl who gets little-girl-type presents. We have enough balls and cars around here!

She received a Bitty Baby (American Girl) from Matt's parents and a Baby Stella (Manhattan Toy) from my parents. Both are super cute and just the right size for her. They also fit perfectly in the baby stroller she got from Uncle Kyle and Aunt Michelle. She LOVES pushing it around the house.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

The Cake

We had Ella's 1st birthday party tonight at our house. Here's a picture of the cake...I'll post more pictures later. A BIG thank you goes out to Katie for being the Cake Queen and helping me make Ella's cute flower cake (in case you missed my post the first time around, click here for more examples of her work!).

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

birthday bonanza

For those of you who don't know, we have three birthdays in five days here in the Terpstra household in the beginning of November. Yes, I know, it was poor planning (not that it was really planned), but there's nothing to do about it now except to celebrate continuously and stuff our faces with cake. Last night, we had the first birthday party of the bunch, celebrating Matt and Dylan's birthdays with Matt's family. Dylan made out with all kinds of Lightning McQueen stuff (...years ago I swore that I would never be the mom with the kid who was obsessed with any one over-commercialized theme/character/movie, but here I am :)).

lil' shopper

We visited the Grand Rapids Children's Museum yesterday along with my mom and my nephew Nicholas. The kids had a blast and one of their favorite parts was a little pretend grocery store they had set up. Ella is in that stage where she loves pushing things around, so she could hardly wait to get her hands on one of the little shopping carts. At one point, she grabbed hold of the bottom of the one Dylan was pushing, only he kept going, dragging Ella along as he went. She finally got one all to herself and we laughed as she pushed it around.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Ella Update

It's official - Ella is walking. She's been taking steps for a few weeks now, but yesterday we noticed that she was walking quite a bit and today she hardly crawled at all. Now that she's got it figured out, she's determined to stick with it and she's getting pretty fast too!

Before & After

Here are some before and after shots of the house:

Living room - painted and new carpet, new curtains. You can see that the previous owners' style was a little darker and more formal than mine is. I would still love to switch out the front of the fireplace (the last brass hold-out!) if such a thing is possible.

Dylan's room. We changed the blue because I liked the lighter blue better and whoever painted the original blue did a terrible job.

Formal dining room. This room probably was the biggest change. We stripped the wallpaper, painted, changed out the light fixture, new carpet, etc. We FINALLY got this room put together last night by hanging the curtains and the pictures. I have a larger black server/buffet for that back wall on my wish list :)

As anticipated, we don't actually do much eating in this room. Our computer is in the corner that you can't see, so we are in here quite a bit. Basically, there are things you do at a dining room table that involve eating and things you do at a dining room table that do not involve eating and this room is for the latter (playing games, scrapbooking, wrapping presents, etc.) It's nice to have another table, however, when we have larger groups of people over.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

A first time for everything...

The kids played in the leaves yesterday for the first time in their little lives. At our old house, we had two little maple trees in our yard and each fall, the wind would blow, down would fall twenty leaves, the wind would blow again...and they would be gone. This year, fall clean-up is a little different with Matt spending most of his day off rounding up leaves and then trying to figure out how to dispose of them. Despite all the work, we are both so glad to be surrounded by trees like we were growing up (one of the BIG reasons why we moved), and it's fun to see the kids enjoying fall now too.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Busy Girl!

Our baby girl is growing up so fast...she took her first step a couple of weeks ago and now she's up to about 10 steps in a row. She still crawls a lot but she's walking places more and more. She has two more teeth now, so she's up to four on top and two on the bottom. She also started drinking cow's milk last week (a little early but I am SO tired of buying formula). I wanted to start her full time on sippy cups when I switched her to milk but she's having nothing to do with it. She'll drink milk and juice from a cup but definitely NOT milk (I'm sure that stubborn streak will come in handy someday!).

She also said her first words this week...on Saturday we were shopping and she kept dropping her toy (on purpose, of course) and I kept picking it up and saying "uh-oh" to her and then she dropped it again and she said "uh-oh"! It's funny because that was Dylan's first word too. I'm guessing Matt and I must say it a lot :). Today we also decided that she is officially saying "Mama." She follows me around the house, pulling on my leg, saying "Mama, Mama." I'm pretty sure Dylan said Dada before he said Mama, so I feel good about this! At dinner tonight, Matt kept trying to get her to say Daddy and she would just look at him and say "Mama!"

Next up -- switching her car seat around. She'll be one in 12 days!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Family Pictures, Take 27

After about 20 shots, I think we finally got a keeper for my parents' Christmas card. There are also a couple of cute ones my brother of the boy cousins on Nana and Pa's bridge and a family picture of us with the kids--the first is how we look 1% of the time, the second is how we look the other 99%.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Our (Not-So-Small) Small Group

Almost five years ago, we walked into a living room filled with strangers, not sure what to expect...half a decade later the families in our small group at Mars Hill are some of our closest and dearest friends, more like family than friends at this point. We just took our annual group shot on Sunday, and I thought it would be fun to post some previous pictures too to show how we've grown. When we started, we were all recently married couples and no one had kids. Now there are seven little ones running around!

The 2007 picture...Ellen is four, Dylan and Micah are two, Arika, Elizabeth, and Jalen are one, and Ella is 11 months. Who's next?? :)

The 2006 picture...three toddlers, three babies and one on the way!

The 2005 picture...the older kids aren't in this picture, but I thought it was funny because four of us are pregnant at the same time. There was a period of time where it seemed like everytime we met, someone announced they were pregnant!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Matt & Mat

Matt went to the Mat Kearney concert Monday night with his brothers Brandon and Chad, and they ended up running into and hanging out with Mat Kearney and his band at the Curragh afterwards. They drank beer, talked about life, and exchanged emails and cell phone numbers. Let's just say that Matt was pretty excited. Here's a picture to prove it...

And Matt would want you to know that he was a Mat Kearney fan even before he made it big--back in the days when Mat was opening for bigger bands like the Frey (and before his breakout song on Grey's Anatomy :))

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Ella's Room

Here are some pictures of Ella's room and one of her enjoying her new space :) We need to hang a couple of more things up, and I might eventually paint her furniture white when I work up the energy (it's dark grean right was my furniture from high school and then Matt and my furniture after we were's good stuff, just needs an update).

Monday, October 8, 2007

not as easy as ABC

I'm working on an ABC scrapbook for Dylan's birthday and I'm looking for some help on a few letters (I put in parentheses what I already have--I'm just looking for 1-2 more things for each)...

I (Isaac, ice cream)
J (Jeep, jelly beans)
K (Kyle, ketchup)
L (Legos, Lions)
O (ocean)
Q (question mark)
R (reading)
U (umbrella)
W (waffles)
X (???)
Y (Yesenia, yogurt)
Z (zoo, zebra)

...let me know if you have any ideas. I'm trying to relate as many items as possible to Dylan's life, but I'm willing to go generic at this point. This is harder than it looks!

Ella's Dedication

Yesterday afternoon we had Ella's baby dedication at church and then we celebrated with family afterwards at our house (pictures courtesy of Uncle Kyle Photography). Ella is 11 months old on Friday and we can't believe how big she's getting!

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