Rubyisms | HAPPY 5th BIRTHDAY!

IMG_0965Ruby Dawn (aka RubyDoo, The Rubester, Rubykins, Snicklefritz) is 5 years old. She loves sparkles and princess dresses as much as digging in the dirt or collecting bugs. She’s never met a person who she didn’t want to be friends with and will talk to anyone with a pair of ears. I love seeing her interests develop and especially enjoy her growing appreciation for true artists like Shel Silverstein and Jimmy FallonIMG_1626

To celebrate her birthday Ryan and I told her she could have a “yes” day at the zoo. Basically that meant she could ride the carousel, get her face painted, and eat Dippin’ Dots, which are all things we typically say “no” to. She absolutely LOVED her “yes” day. She took full advantage of the situation and added a $7 Camel Ride to her requests. ha!photo-99

Clara LOVED getting her face painted too.


Ruby spends time each afternoon being “quiet and alone” while Charlie and Clara take their naps. Her “quiet and alone” time took a turn for the worst a few weeks ago when I found her in the bathroom trying to wash hot pink marker off of her arms. She thought she could get it off before I knew what had happened… but she was wrong. One thing is for sure, she is very thorough… and very right-handed.


The night before Ruby’s last day of preschool she asked me to make her a checklist so she wouldn’t forget to say goodbye to anyone in her class. She loved preschool and is ridiculously excited to be a kindergartener in the fall! IMG_1514

I can’t post this update without mentioning that Ruby is friends with all the monkeys at our zoo. They seem to think she is one of them. Most days we are there at least one monkey will come sit by her or look at her or interact with her in some way. Its hilarious. Here are a few examples from recent weeks:IMG_0841IMG_0080 IMG_0279 IMG_0727 And of course, the most recent Rubyisms for your (and my) enjoyment.

  • “Ugh! All of this noise is destroying me!”
  • Proof that commercials work: “Mom, we should get Clorox. It really really really works! Even for muddy socks! It just gets out the stains! Isn’t that awesome?!?”
  • “I just won’t forget because I’ll use my brain as a thinking cap and it will just pop into my head but I can’t feel it when it pops into my head.”
  • Driving distances are typically measured by how many “Dora The Explorer” shows it will take to get where we are going. “But how much looooonger until we get there?!?!?” “Only 2 and a half more Dora the Explorers, Ruby.”
  • “I love you mom, I love you so bad!!”
  • When Ryan gets home from work Ruby often asks him, “Did you have any good cases today daddy?”
  • “Mom, I’m going over here if you please.”
  • “I have a hundred and forty five two germs. How much is that?”
  • When we go to new places where Ruby hasn’t been before she often wonders who will be there, specifically teenagers. “But mom, will there be teens there?”
  • “Thanks mom! You’re such a good cooker.” (I defrost Chicken Nuggets like a pro!)
  • “Mom, when we move to our new house are we gonna love it …or list it?” (I obviously watch too much HGTV during the kids nap times. ha!)
  • “Can horses have spots? Stripes? Pentagons? Squaragons?”
  • Ryan loves teaching her specific things that specific organs do. If you ask her what the liver does she responds, “It metabolizes drugs, makes clotting factors and makes bile.”
  • This afternoon she said to me, “Mommy, you look sooooo nice with your dress on. Isn’t that a nice thing to say?” Yes Ruby. That’s a nice thing to say.
  • “This is God’s Holy Marble. It’s what makes Gods Holy Wind. It makes Gods wind cold and snow cold.”
  • “Mom, lets talk about something.”
  • “I love pink and every single body who loves me.”
  • “Mommy, you’re just destroying my fun!”
  • “I’m drawing a blue-horned cat.”
  • “That’s the town of Potbelly’s!!” (sometimes we go to Potbelly’s after church on Sunday’s and the girls always dance and talk to Darby, the girl who plays her guitar and sings.)IMG_0061
  • “I think my brother is sad because he doesn’t really have any friends.”
  • “I can’t go hiking today because it makes me so homesick!”
  • What started as “I’m blazin’ hot!” has been applied in many other circumstances including “It’s blazin’ rain!”
  • “I was like losing my mind when daddy took me to the Disney Store. I like lost my mind.” Ryan verified that yes, she did indeed nearly lose her mind in the Disney Store.
  • “Daddy, is Charlie old enough to eat Salmon?”
  • “Don’t worry Clara, tooth fairys are like soooo quiet. They’re like quieter than ever. You don’t even notice when they get your tooth.”

If you’d like to read more “Rubyisms” just type “Rubyisms” into the search box in the top right corner of my blog and all the past Rubyism posts will show up.IMG_9053

Happy Birthday Ruby Dawn. Clara, Charlie, Daddy and I love you so much and are so excited to have a front row seat to all the happenings in your life. Your smile makes everyone around you want to smile too and your enthusiasm for EVERYTHING brings so much joy to our family everyday. We love all the hilarious questions you ask and hope you’ll always continue talking to us about everything running through that active mind of yours. If “sparkly” could be used to describe a person, I’d say you’re the most sparkly person I know.

Happy Happy Happy 5th Birthday Sweet Girl.
Love, Mama.

10 Month Old Charlie AKA “Mr. Busy Pants”

IMG_9866I’ve carved out a few minutes to quickly update you on my Charlie boy. He is currently contained in his crib, which is the only reason I am able to write this post. Since Charlie became mobile my life has clicked into warp-speed. I took these pictures of A Polar Bear checking him out at the Columbus Zoo the day before he started crawling around. If it had been the next day, he may not have sat there so nicely for me.  IMG_8955

Charlie is into everything he shouldn’t be. Today I saved him from the small space between the couch and the table where he was trying to gnaw through the lamp cord. This morning he explored the bathroom trash can, the pantry, and spent a good amount of time trying to get under the

Everything is interesting. Everything is worth getting to. Nothing could be more amazing than whatever it is that could be hiding behind the

Ryan (my hero) saved Charlie’s life with the Heimlich Maneuver a few weeks ago when he choked on a puff during lunch at COSI. This kid would rather feed himself a burrito than have me spoon-feed him some baby food. The other night after dinner Ruby exclaimed, “Mommy, Charlie is a good helper because he eats everything off of the floor!” Yes Ruby. Yes he does.IMG_0336

Don’t tell the girls, but I’ve thrown away every Polly Pocket outfit that their dolls used to have – because he wants to eat them all. I’ve trained Ruby and Clara to help me know if Charlie has something in his mouth. The good news is that within the past couple of days he is doing less “swallowing” of things and more “carrying things around in his mouth like a dog would.” For example, we usually play on the playground at Ruby’s school after picking her up. It’s covered in bark – he will find a big chunk, put it in his mouth, and happily carry it around the playground for as long as we are there. That same, big, slobbery piece of bark is removed when we leave the park and everyone is happy. There may or may not be bark in his mouth in this pic.  IMG_0029

He’s the loudest of all my children. He happily squeals at a pitch that could break glass. I hope no one is talking to me right now because I am deaf and can’t hear them anyway.

Charlie loves to pull up on everything and thinks its fun to stand by the stairs… until that one time he climbed up to the 2nd step and then dove head-first back to the floor. I put up a baby gate up that afternoon and experienced approximately 1.25 days of peace before he figured out how to open it. He thinks the gate is a fun toy I gave him; a puzzle of sorts.

I did more “house-proofing the babies” than “baby-proofing the house” with Ruby and Clara… but I’ve been changing my tune now that I’ve got a small explorer – inspector – detective on my floors.IMG_0035

At his 9-month appointment (a month ago) he was 17.5 pounds, but my biceps and back are telling me that he’s at least three times heavier than that now.IMG_9001

I know he loves me so much – except for when I’m trying to change his diaper, then he wants to get as far away from me as possible.IMG_0462

Charlie is totally the guy everyone wants to have around. His sisters adore him. He’s fun. He’s happy to do whatever everyone is doing. He doesn’t complain much. All the ladies who volunteer in the nursery at church always want to take him home with them. I’m so happy I’m the one who gets to take him home.


Family Zoo Day

A couple of Saturdays ago we had a Family Zoo Day. Ryan didn’t have to work, so we got up in the morning, packed a picnic lunch and made our way to the Columbus Zoo. The weather was cool and lovely, but the local meteorologist predicted freezing rain, so we pretty much had the whole zoo to ourselves.


I have a major life goal for my kids to meet Jack Hanna before we move in June. Every time I’m at the zoo I’m on the lookout for The Man in Khaki. If anyone knows him or knows a way for me to meet him and tell him how much we love his zoo, please let me know!

IMG_5765 IMG_5772

The brown bears are bulking up for the winter. It’s fun to see them getting fatter every time we are here… soon they’ll be hibernating.


Big news, both of our Polar Bears are suspected to be pregnant!! The zookeepers should know for sure really soon – all I know is that they’ve been taken to a special location so we don’t get to see them until their babies are born in the spring. I cannot wait! This was the last polar bear picture we got.polarbear

How gorgeous was this tree? It looked pretend, so I had to take a picture before all the leaves fell off.


Here’s Clara enjoying the chocolate cupcake she chose to bring from her Halloween candy bag. She was so excited to find icing inside.


In closing, here’s Ruby sitting on a toadstool.IMG_5796

Weekend with Bree and Ryan

There are few things in life more wonderful than great friends. Ryan and I got to spend this weekend with two of our favorites. Bree and Ryan loaded up their van with their 4 kids (6 and under) and drove to Columbus for a visit.


Ruby and Clara were so excited that their friends from Grand Rapids were coming to our house… it’s been 2 years since Ruby hung out with her friends Cash and Parker. Clara was only 3 weeks old when we moved to Columbus and my friend Bree has added 2 more babies since we left GR, so this was the first time for the kids to meet. Clara and Blakely were born only 6 weeks apart.IMG_6377

Saturday we went to our zoo (of course) and had a great time looking at animals in Asia and North America. The Columbus Zoo is divided into continents, there’s not enough time in a day to see them all… not at my pregnant pace anyway. Ryan went nuts when we happened upon the wolverine exhibit. Those crazy wolverines were running all round and putting on quite a show. I think they knew they were among friends from Michigan.IMG_6349

Ryan and Ryan were a walking North Face commercial.


The buffalo, bobcats, bald eagles, timber wolves, grizzly, brown bears and polar bears were big hits. Here’s Cash and Ruby checking out the buffalo (or as Ryan says, “Tatonka”).IMG_0989

In Asia the kids were excited to see the elephants, tigers, lions, flying foxes, python and monkeys. Our baby tigers who were born in June are really big now! They’re more like Teenage Mutant Ninja Tigers as you can see in this pic. The awesome news is that a few weeks ago a 2nd litter of 4 quadruplet baby Siberian Tigers were born at our zoo and they’re all doing great! You can watch live feed video of our new babies HERE. I’ll certainly keep you updated on their growth since my fascination with baby tigers is unending. In a couple more months they’ll make their public debut – around the time our baby boy makes his  :o)IMG_0997

Ryan grilled out some amazing hickory-smoked chicken and asparagus and we took all 6 kids under 6 to Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams, because you just can’t come to Columbus without experiencing Jeni’s. All in all it was an amazing weekend that went by too fast. So thankful for the time we had with Bree and Ryan.IMG_1010

Hello 3rd Trimester!

Well, we’re closing in on the finish line now that I’ve entered the third trimester. Ryan and I still haven’t figured out a name for our little boy… that’s right up at the top of my ever-growing “to-do” list. IMG_0904

Remember a couple of weeks ago when I told you about beginning the transition process getting Clara out of the crib and into a twin bed in Ruby’s room? Well I seriously don’t know what I was thinking. It never even crossed my mind that this transition wouldn’t go smoothly. I figured she would lay down in her new big girl bed, we’d say prayers, I’d walk away and she’d just go to sleep… which is not what happened at all!

As soon as I’d get her to lay down, we’d say prayers and she would jump out of bed, run across the hall into the nursery, and stand by the crib saying “Nighty night.” She just doesn’t understand what we are doing here. I was so surprised that I literally had to take a step back, spend time over the next few days devising a new transition plan and will be attempting it next week. So that’s how that’s going. Here she is “pretending” to sleep in Ruby’s bed with her.


I’m feeling good – doing a lot of walking at the zoo and thankful that the weather is finally nice enough to get outside each day with the girls. Here are a few recent pics from the zoo!IMG_0799 IMG_0800

IMG_0756 IMG_0765



Easter this year was such a fun time. Clara and Ruby both LOVED everything about it. We did our “Resurrection Eggs” for a few weeks leading up to Easter so Ruby was thrilled when she got palm branches at church on Palm Sunday. She and Clara waved palms for hours on Sunday afternoon. It was amazing to hear Ruby remembering what she learned from the Resurrection Eggs last year. That Jesus gave his life to save ours. Makes my heart happy to see her excitement about the real meaning of Easter.IMG_0498

We decorated Easter Eggs and Ruby helped me put together the “centerpiece” for our table. She was especially excited about the little chicks.IMG_0545

IMG_0554Ryan’s parents drove down from Grand Rapids, MI to be here Easter weekend. Within 20 minutes of their arrival Ruby and Clara had torn through the bag of library books Nana brought down.IMG_0607

We took Nana and Papa to see Chief Leatherlips after dinner. He is one of Ruby’s favorite things in Columbus.IMG_0620

Saturday we ventured to our zoo – the weather was gorgeous and the animals seemed as happy about it as the humans were. The polar bears were jumping off their rocks into the water and splashing around with a giant barrel. The brown bears were wrestling with each other, which is quite a scene! I love the Columbus Zoo. Love, love, love it. IMG_0636IMG_0629IMG_0628

Saturday night we went out to eat… Clara does not mess around when it comes to dinner. She loves food, and would happily sit and eat for as long as everyone is sitting there with her. IMG_0641

Easter morning the girls had an egg hunt and searched for their easter baskets. They seemed to really enjoy the process and Ruby was old enough that she followed the “hot/cold/freezing” directions Ryan was giving her as she was searching for her basket. After church Ryan’s dad took this pic of our family on our front porch. It’s kinda fun to think that in 90 days we will have our little boy in our arms… until then, you can see that he’s growing fast! Apparently he’s 14.5 inches long when his legs are extended. CRAZY!IMG_0677

In closing, Easter Basket grass is no longer allowed in my house. I’ve been cleaning it up everyday for a week. IMG_0697

Girls Weekend in Columbus

Ryan had a conference in Salt Lake City, UT for 5 days learning about all sorts of interesting pediatric gastroenterological things. Here’s a pic Ryan’s co-fellow Patrice took of him living it up in Utah. They had a morning to take a gondola up to the top of Snowbird then hike down the mountain. Pretty awesome if you ask me!

Since Ryan was gone, I figured it was the perfect time for a girls weekend! My Mom, my sister Angela, and my neices Lydia and Norah arrived Friday night. Ruby waited patiently out on the porch for a good 12 minutes. She was so excited to see her cousins.

Saturday morning we took everyone to our zoo. Ruby showed Lydia all our favorite animals, the polar bears, flamingos, brown bears, elephants, gorillas, monkeys, lions, and even the baby tigers (who are now big enough to be out in the exhibit instead of in the glass viewing room!)

The girls went to the farm and pet some sheep and goats. Lydia was determined to get her hands on each and every one of those sheep. She ran from sheep to sheep greeting and petting each one. It was so great. “Look out sheep! Here come Lydia and Ruby!”

We packed  a picnic lunch and stayed right up to the point when all 4 girls had reached the point of seriously needing their naps. That night, after approximately 15 tries, I managed to get a fairly good pic of all the girls together. 

The next day was sunny and beautiful at the Homestead Park! Ruby and Lydia loved the tether ball courts and exploring the path around the pond and over the bridge. These might be the last of the perfectly vibrant fall leaf colors since it’s been so windy and rainy. We sure did enjoy Fall while it lasted!

Loved loved loved our weekend together mom and Ang. I’m so thankful you took the time to drive all the way to Columbus for a visit. Can’t wait to see you guys again at Thanksgiving!

So, what’s the verdict? Is 26 pictures too many for one post? Ha!

New Friends, Parades, and the Zoo

Ryan and I met some new friends at a church cookout a couple of weeks ago – come to find out they live RIGHT DOWN THE STREET! Insane! Pretty much I think God knew I needed a friend and He sent Mary and Matt to Ohio. Ruby could not be more excited about hanging out with Elizabeth (7), Abigail (5) and James (almost 3).

We hung out over the 4th, went to a the parade in Dublin and then to the pool to hang out and cool off. It was a great parade – we met up with a bunch of people from Vista Church and all sat together in the hot blazing sun until all of us were dehydrated and drenched in sweat. It was awesome. Ruby and Clara LOVED the parade! USA! USA! USA!

Today we met Mary and the kiddos at the zoo and the kids had a blast running around and touching some animals. Ruby touched an armadillo. Hooray for friends!

Papa B Visits Columbus… and takes great pictures.

My dad had a couple of days to come visit us and we soaked up every minute we had with him. We went to the Animals Encounters area of our zoo, which we had never been to before. Ruby touched all sorts of creatures, including a baby kangaroo and a huge South American Red Boa.

The next day we beat the heat at the Splash Park were my dad took some fun pictures of my girls before we all met Ryan for dinner at one of our favorite restaurants in Columbus. It was just the best time having him here with us for a couple of days. Love you daddy! Thanks for making the trip!!