Saturday, January 28, 2012

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Good clean fun

We've started putting our little sisters in the bathtub at the same time. They love it. We love it. So cute. So fun. It's a time of the day when almost always, all four McCalls are laughing, splashing, and having a great time together.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

I scream, you scream, we all scream for Ikea!

On Friday, we took a roadtrip with our good friends (Mamas and kids only) to Ikea. It was a really fun day, even though the mamas were a little apprehensive about taking along 4, aged 4 and under. We picked up a couple of rugs, some baskets, some toys, some hangers, your typical Ikea fare. It was nice to not have as big an agenda as I've had on my last few trips over there, which were fairly stressful. In what was possibly the grand finale to the day, Ella got to eat and hold her first ice cream cone. It was so cute. She was very agreeable to me helping lick her drips, but wanted to keep working on it herself to the very end. She looooved it. : )

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Welcome friends

My mom says that when we moved to Florida and were staying in our house before the movers brought our things, it felt really strange and foreign. But then when the furniture arrived it was like seeing all her old friends. Last weekend, we make a couple of new friends in that sense that I hope will grow to be old and dear ones.

First of all, let me introduce you to our new teal velvet chair. He came to us very clean and stylish, just with  a few old tattoos in discreet places, from the Habitat ReStore. Fruit of that same day of thrifting was that "Rembrandt" hanging on the wall above the chair. (Somebody painted something that looks impressionist. The signature appears to say "Blech." It was framed in Raleigh. It has some paint chipping off in the middle. It was only $10. I sort of liked it, ok? The wiseguy/crazy man at the counter at Goodwill went on and on about how "It could be a Rembrandt. Guffaw, guffaw. You never know. Guffaw guffaw." Thanks, crazy man. You never know.)

Next please meet a total gift from God by way of a very thoughtful and generous neighbor. You may remember the "industrial chic" garage shelves we were using to hold our food. Happily they have found their way into our activity room and are now holding sports equipment. Instead, we have a beautiful new solid wood cupboard. Our nice neighbor e-mailed our neighborhood listserve to give it away, for FREE! And we were the lucky ones to claim it. I will tell you, as I was walking down the street to look at it, I was praying specifically that this would be what we needed for the kitchen. You never know what a "free hutch" is going to turn out to be. It was even better than expected. Why would God answer my random, thrown up prayer for a pretty place to store our food? Friends, I do not know. But I am thankful.

Friday, January 13, 2012


Here is a picture of Ella with two hairbows. It is what she asked for.

She has been learning about numbers lately and frequently asks for two of something if its good. "Cookie. two." is a frequent request. It has been so entertaining to hear what she says as she's figuring it all out. At first she would just repeat "fwee . . . fwee . . . fwee" in a counting voice. Then she added other nonsense syllables mixed in with "four, five, nine . . . five!!!" She started getting that "two" actually means there are more than one of something some time after that, and started in with the "cookie. two." "cracker. two." or "bows. two." requests. Paul told her the other day what "many" means and she likes to use that one now, as well. But my favorite little addition yet is when she asks for "cookie. two. five."

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Mug shots

Anybody else recognize that "look" in Ella's eyes? Oh yeah. Yesterday evening was a doozy. But boy do I love these little troublemakers.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Sister Winter

Yikes time has flown since Christmas! We have been home a week already and hosted Paul's parents for a lot of that time. The new toys are starting to feel at home already, even if a couple of suitcases have yet to be unpacked. It finally feels like winter now too after a LOVELY fall, but for the first time in a years, I am into it a little bit. I'm enjoying the coziness and playing inside. (Talk to me again after we've had more than two days of freezing weather in a row.) And I am heartened by the fact that it is only a couple of months til the cold weather will also be fading away again. And then, holy moly!, Ella will be 2! Maybe that's another reason I am enjoying these couple of cold cozy days. My little girls are getting big so fast! Nora is sitting up like a champ. And she has to be a champ, because Ella tries knock her over sometimes. Ella is chattering away, telling me stories like, "Monkey. Rainies. Eat. Big BIG." Translation: "Remember when we went to Monkey Jungle and fed the monkeys who were way up high some raisins?" I get it.

Here are some snapshots of the last week or so since we've been home.

 One of our other Christmas monkeys getting some love. (Nicola these have been a huge hit! Also, Meg and Joe, the elephant--also referred to as "big BIG," and the doggie are no longer scary and are now much  loved members of our toy community.)

Clue: the Office Version, a new Christmas addition to our game collection, making for a night of entertainment and intrigue for the McCalls, junior and senior. 

Snuggling under a fuzzy blankie with your baby sister? Pure delight! Don't ask me where the Japanese tourist pose came from on the last photo, but I thought it was pretty cute.

P.S. You may be wondering where my Christmas update is. The sad truth, my friends, is that my camera spent Christmas lonely in North Carolina on the kitchen table, while all the fun and sun was had down south. I will be getting a hold of some great shots from my family members for my own memories, but they will likely be up on other blogs and I just don't need to pirate their photos like that. Check out for a great recap. Maybe I will put up some other ones too with my own specific commentary, but Meg's are super! Sighhhhh, we had so much fun. 

P.P.S. If you don't get my title, please go listen to the song so named by Sufjan Stevens. It is so lovely. And since we have sisters in our house and it is winter, it makes a great wordplay for what is going on now around here, which I enjoy and hopefully doesn't confound anyone else excessively.