Thursday, December 31, 2009

Tweet! Tweet! December 2009

Maddie's teacher told her that girls who suck their thumbs end up with walrus teeth as teenagers. This may be all the motivation she needs. via web

Maddie to Papa through the door: "What are you doing in the bathroom? Are you going poop or pee? When will you be done so we can play?" via web

Zak is teaching Maddie the best strategy for the Hungry Hungry Hippo game. via txt - Brooke can ride a bike! via TwitPic

The girls are engrossed in The Christmas Story. No need for animated singing and dancing characters! via txt

I finally sent out our Christmas cards. Better late than never! via web
Going through the awesome drive thru nativity scene at the church. 15 stations! via txt

Maddie is FIVE years old today! via txt

Oh Christmas Cards, oh Christmas Cards, why can't I ever finish you? I quit you! via txt

Maddie begged to take a shower instead of a bath, and Brooke decided she wanted to only shower now too. How long will this last? via web

Maddie yells from the toilet, "I'm pooping and I need someone to bring me a magazine!" via txt

On my way home from a trip to San Diego to see Pops. via web

My washer flooded half my downstairs! Uggggghh! via txt

Shannon is here! I took her to the riverwalk, and drove past the Alamo. Hadn't seen the Alamo since we moved here three years ago! via web

Brooke busted her nose by falling on the couch. Too much blood for a mama to deal with. Now, we have bloody boogers! via web

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Merry Christmas 2009! Top ten list

Our top ten list for Christmas 2009:

1. Christmas eve was spent with Grandma. (Guess who looks JUST like her Grandma!?)

We baked and "decorated" cookies, and by decorating I mean we smeared icing on cookies and the Girls ate the majority of the candy that was intended for the cookies. Then, we had and dinner.
2. We left Santa some cookies

3. Santa brought us Susan and Papa! They arrived at waay-too-early-in-the-morning-o'clock on Christmas. I kid you not..they woke us up, not the girls!

4. and Santa also LEFT BIKES!

5. While we opened the rest of the presents, Brooke, who didn't want to open any presents after she got her bike, rode around the house:

6. And Maddie decorated her bike with a boa, and herself with some Greek charms, legwarmers, and no shoes simply to pose on her bike.

7. Brooke (who is not quite three years old) biked circles around Madison (who is five), and then taunted her a bit by saying,"Maddie go forward like ME!"

8. We sat around the house in our PJ's, ate and drank too much

9. Maddie created impromptu place holders and table decorations from her school made crafts for every meal:

10. Rode bikes a lot.

That pretty much sums up our holiday weekend!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Elf on the Shelf aka our "Elfie"

Have you heard of The Elf on the Shelf?

Well, let me tell you, he is the most popular behavior management tool in the world. Unfortunately, he only works from Thanksgiving to Christmas. And by "works" I mean, he only spies on my children and skips around the house threatening to tell Santa if your naughty during the holiday season. Every night Elfie travels back to the North Pole to have a drink provide his daily report to Santa:

(Sometimes he has too much wine and ends up hanging from the chandeliers, partying like it's 1999)

Then he comes back to our house, in a new spot, to continue his spying. The Girls have fun every morning trying to find Elfie's new hiding spot.

(He also can be found hanging around on the look out for some Elfin' Hot Chicks)

He is sorta creepy, with his little raised eyebrows and sideways glances, but he's magic! If The Girls touch Elfie he will lose his "Christmas Magic" and won't be able to get back to the North Pole to meet with Santa.

(Oh, great. He's hooking up with those trampy angels again!)

(They say coffee is a good cure for hangovers, by the way.)

Tonight is Elfie's final night in our house. He'll make his final report to Santa, and will stay up North until next year.

Thanks, Elfie! We'll miss you!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Your Christmas Card

Well, it's that time of year again. You know, the time when I never get around to Christmas Cards? I've written about my Christmas Card angst before, and every year it's a little bit of the same thing. We planned on a family portrait this year since we haven't had one taken since 2007 (yes, that is the year Brooke was born). We have good intentions, but can't ever seem to make it work.

So because we didn't have our photos taken this year, I asked Maddie to create our Christmas card to represent our family. This what I got:

I have a few concerns here. First of all, it is obvious what the New Year's Resolutions should be in this house. Also, we must be a bunch of liars because, dude, look at our noses. I'm also personally offended at the outfit Maddie picked out for apron? I kinda like the fact that Zak is naked with a top hat (!), but I do think the snow is a bit silly. Dirt would be more appropriate for San Antonio. Maddie is also trying to reiterate her insistence that Brooke must be from outer space because she has THREE belly buttons....obviously she is not of this world and maybe her real alien parents will come back to get her soon.

Okay, I'm really just kidding...this was just a school project that she created, and your REAL Christmas Card is in the mail. I'm not really sure if you'll get it on time, but you ARE getting one!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Madison is FIVE years old!

Dear Maddie,

Five years ago today, you were born on the coldest day in December in the history of Chicago. From that day forward you have warmed our hearts, changed our lives, and brought joy to everyday living.

Your little life and the love I have for you inspired this blog, and the memory I have of your birth will be etched in my heart forever. Your dad often tells the story of how you waved at him as you were being born as if to say, "Hi Dad, I'm here! Are you ready?" I'm still not sure that we're ready, but we are definitely willing to hold on for the ride.

Happy Birthday! We love you very much.



Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A year in the life--Cell Phone Pictures 2009

I must admit that I don't carry a real camera around with me everyday. Not only do I already have too much crap in my purse, but my cell phone is pretty darn good at capturing everyday funny moments with the Girls. It is always near me, and sorta quick enough to get a good shot.

I just recently downloaded all the pictures, and thought it might make a good blog for me to show you some never before seen pictures with never told stories. These are very much "a day in the life..." type pictures. And because I'm so not techno savvy, all of these pictures are in reverse order of when I took them.

On Thanksgiving, Zak showed the girls how to pull apart the turkey's "wishbone." (As I type that, it kinda grosses me out). Brooke WON!

Any Saturday morning, reading books and watching TV in their PJ's until noon (or beyond).

At the lake house (also in PJs) trying to fit their feet into a mold that I created last year of their feet.

At the grocery store, all decked out in their Texas Tech football Jerseys.

On any given weekday, the bright morning sun on Brooke's face on the way to school.

Playing with Halloween glow in the dark glasses that PaPa and Susan sent in a package of goodies.

Pooped out on the couch watching TV, with her milk, and her "Freddy" from our cruise last Spring.

Maddie at a friend's "gymnastics" birthday party about to swing on that rope into the pool of foam squares. She's really come out of her shell and gotten very independent and brave this year.

She wanted me to take a picture up her nose of her boogies.

Zak's 35th birthday party.

On any given weekday after school, glued to the TV.

This may just be "picture of the year." Brooke posed like a 70 year old man eating dinner without a shirt (or pants). (And, no, I have no idea why she ate in her undies that day, but you can tell that we're really formal around here).

Maddie is the best color-er in town. She pays attention to the details.

Sisters are forever and ever.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Son, you got a panty on your head (or washer)!

So yesterday, I go to wash a small load of clothes when disaster strikes. Let me just preface this story by saying that I never do laundry during the week, unless it's something little and quick. (Actually, I really never do the laundry...Zak does it.)

I added the clothes to our three year old front loader, and pushed START! Simple. I walked away for a few minutes, and then came back to add one more item to the load. I was a good 20 feet from the washer when I stepped in a giant puddle of water. WATER! ALL OVER THE PLACE! 1/4 inch deep!

I screamed (because what else should I do?), but was home alone with Maddie and Brooke. Maddie, on command, ran upstairs and began to throw down towels while I tried to figure out where the water was coming from. Once I discovered it was the washer, and it was STILL POURING OUT, I was able to stop the machine to stop the water. The machine had leaked (for those of you who know my house) water to fill the laundry room, guest bathroom, hallway, foyer, and the first part of the carpet in the guest bedroom. That was A LOT OF WATER. There was so much water to soak up that I ran out of towels. I think I used over 15 of them. Maddie had totally emptied all the towels from our linen closet, and also gave me all the dirty towels she could find.

Zak rushed home (after a panicked "THE HOUSE IS FLOODING! COME HOME NOW! type of dramatic call that only I could make) to help. I had cleaned up most of the water, but didn't know what to do with the soaking wet towels and broken washer.

We cursed and stammered and scratched our heads about what could have possibly happened because the hose attachments on the back were clearly dry and secure, and there was NO water in the tub (the clothes were totally dry that were in there) that could have leaked out the rubber seal. We decided to test it again to see where the water was coming from, and saw it GUSHING from the detergent dispenser. We quickly turned it off (and used ANOTHER towel).

Totally confused, I did what any smart Gen-Xer wold do...GOOGLED IT! I found lots of websites dedicated to hating my particular washing machine and horror stories about this same mystery problem. Several responses told stories about $500 repair bills that only discovered a small garment (a baby sock or undies) that had been lodged in the tube that connected the detergent dispenser with the wash tub. The commenters suggested trying to feel your hands in a very tiny crevice to see if you can feel material. I was determined to solve this problem!

SURE ENOUGH! I reached my little hands in the crevice of the machine, and felt a pair of my very favorite UNDERWEAR all wadded up and STUCK. Zak got me some pliers and we took turns trying to yank out the undies. I used my foot as leverage. This video will undoubtedly be a classic:

Zak finally was able to free the undies, and now my washer works again. The best part, NO REPAIR BILL!

My panties were trashed in the ordeal. Guess what I'm asking Santa for Christmas? Hey, it's a lot cheaper than a new washing machine! Yea us!

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Get your party pants on!

Madison and Brooke will be having a DUAL birthday party on January 16th from 10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. in San Antonio, and you're invited! Location will not be revealed due to the likelihood of annoying paparazzi who will crash it. (Just kidding. Call me if you're not a blog stalker, and I'll tell you where it is).

Maddie will be FIVE (Dec 17th--OMG!) and Brooke will be THREE (Feb 2nd)! This may be the only times in their lives that I can sneak a dual party in without either one becoming suspicious that they will be sharing the love.

Should any of you want to buy them a gift (Lord knows YOU DON'T HAVE TO, they have enough crap anyway), and you want to know what they might be interested in, check out my wish list (enter my first and last name once you get to amazon). If not, get them books! They like books...used books are especially awesome!

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Thanksgiving weekend 2009

Dude, I made the best turkey, and I don't really care for Thanksgiving turkey (give me some Honey Baked HAM!) because it's always so dry even when it's NOT overcooked. I'm willing to share the three secrets to my perfect turkey with you. Are you ready?
Go shopping, and be sure you run into the store mascot for positive reinforcement, ask that he not scare your four year old:

1. BRINE the sucker (soak it in salty, herb water overnight--google it)

2. STUFF it --don't eat this stuffing--with flavorful stuff (onions, celery, chopped apples, herbs, spices, etc.)

3. ROAST IT IN AN OVEN BAG upside down, then carefully flip it for the last 30 minutes to brown the breast (if you want it to look pretty). (Have much discussion about said flipping to not end up in the E.R.).

After my experimental turkey was in its last 45 minutes of roasting, I noticed something I've never seen before: The meat fell off the wing because it was so darn tender and perfectly cooked. I liken this method to what a a steam/pressure cooker would have done. Zak couldn't even carve it with an electric knife because it kept falling a part. Also, my from scratch gravy kicked major ASS! Zak was worried because I didn't "buy some" and couldn't fathom how I'd actually make it. (Dude, does he still not know how much I rock?! Gravy from scratch? Psst...I learned that in 8th grade home economics! Easy cheesy.)

Was it rude that I kept going on and on about how good the turkey tasted at dinner? Maddie even ate it! Speaking of Maddie, we asked her to say the Thanksgiving prayer. We were expecting a short and sweet "God is good, God is great..." but we got this instead:

Grandma, Aunt Terra, and Pio were our guests. Everyone pitched in to cook and clean up. I wish I had remembered to set the table or buy some flowers! We ended up using paper towels, no table cloth or placements!

While Martha Stewart would have been proud of my turkey, she would have been mortified by my table. Wendy, Terra and Pio are defiantly the "no judgement type" of guests, so I wasn't worried. However, it is hard to please a four year old:

Speaking of our guests, the girls WORE THEM OUT. Especially, Pio, who Terra had to sweetly tell him, "it's okay to tell them 'no' if you're tired." We all had a good time, but you can always hear the sighs of relief anytime one of our guests leave after a visit!

On Friday and Saturday, the four of us went to the Lake House for some rest, and decided to give a shot at some Putt-Putt. Maddie was surprisingly good, but Brooke was as uncoordinated with a golf club as you would expect a two year old to be. She plays golf like she's been training for curling (or sweeping the floor in the subway) .

Also, she peed her pants on the 10th hole. She wasn't wearing a Pull Up, and we heard, "Mama! Daddy! I need to pee! RIGHT NOW!" Zak and I run in slow motion style to stop her, "NooooOOOhhhh" but it was too late. Luckily, Zak was wise enough to remember an extra pair of pants and a Pull Up in case this would happen. I stripped her down right there on the 10th hole (oh, yes I did!). Even her socks were wet! (We were the only family on the Putt-Putt course, so it wasn't too embarrassing. Although it's moments like this when Zak generally pretends to not know us).

Sunday was the official "Decorate the House for Christmas Day" which was the most exciting day for Maddie. She loves all the little crappy decorations and our dusty fake ten year old tree, and likes to hoard her favorite ornaments and NOT put them on the tree.

Brooke, however, just asks "Will it be Thanksgiving again this weekend? I like turkey!"

Monday, November 30, 2009

Tweet! Tweet! November 2009

I'm not sure if Twitter is going to keep all my tweets forever and ever. You know, because my piddly daily activities are SO important. So because they are often little snippets about my daily life with The Girls, I will preserve them on this blog monthly.

Bad stress + Good stress = DOUBLE the stress! from txt
What an exhausting holiday weekend with The Girls. I need a vacation! from web
We just introduced "Elf on a Shelf" to the Girls. They named him Elfie. from web
I am a lean, mean, snot making machine. from txt
Brooke learned what her "echo" was by yelling in the garage, but keeps saying-loudly-"I can hear my TACO!" from txt
Brooke just blamed Papa for writing on our new couch with an ink pen. from web
I sold my car on Craigslist today! from txt
Maddie taught Brooke how to snap her fingers. They were both SO excited about this new trick. from txt
Delete - Afternoon fun with playdough that Aunt Terra gave us! from TwitPic
Delete - At the lake checking to see if their feet have grown since last year. from TwitPic
I had to physically lay down on top a screaming Maddie while she got her seasonal flu shot. Brooke didn't shed a tear or even fuss. from txt
Maddie asked for Pepsi at a party after one adult served it to her kid. I asked Maddie, "What is Pepsi?" and she didn't know. "Juice?" from txt
It must be frustrating when your little sisters' name is ONLY one syllable with a silent E. It's hard to yell "BbbRRRooooKKKee" and mean it! from txt
Some punk suburban kids stole our pumpkins! from txt

Monday, November 23, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving 2009!

Brooke has a special Thanksgiving song for all of you:


Mr. Turkey, Mr. Turkey

Big and FAT, Big and FAT

I'm a gonna eat you


(I'm sure the PETA people are gonna love that this song is taught in today's preschools).

Maddie would like to share this drawing of an Indian.
Her teacher told her her coloring skills are "first grade level work" and you should have seen the pride ooze from her pores.

No matter how many times I told Madison that the proper term for "Indian" is "Native American" she wouldn't listen. Even the teachers were talking about Indians (this continued after I loudly corrected Madison).
So today's message is "Happy Turkey Day everyone, and don't let them darn Indians steal from you!"

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Still here

So, it's been a while since my last post. The best part is that no one seemed to notice (or care) because I didn't get any concerned emails from anyone! I guess you knew I was still alive because I've still been tweeting.

The truth is that I've been busy with a NEW JOB. I left my old company after two years, and joined a new company. The only thing I will say is that the two companies are on the opposite ends of every single spectrum that I can think of. That is both good and bad, and I'm adjusting and learning!

The Girls are happy and healthy and looking forward to the holidays. Zak is doing his best to keep me sane during my new transition and he is very appreciated.

Balance, people, it's all about balance (while you juggle).

Monday, November 02, 2009

Halloween 2009

Several weeks ago, I was home sick in bed, and Zak took the girls to a Halloween store and helped them pick out their costumes. This is actually a great sociology experiment illustrating just how different Girls' behavior is with their father versus their mother. Had I taken them shopping, they'd have both chosen to be something pink, Disney, or glittery. But because Zak took them, they shopped with a totally different perspective.

Brooke was a dinosaur (ROAR!), but refused to wear the head piece after the first 3 minutes.

She and Maddie "practiced" trick or treating for a few days leading up to the big event, and Brooke learned to ROAR! on command.

Maddie was Spider Girl, and is pictured here trying to make spider webs come out of her wrists.

So, I'll admit the costume was semi-girly (with a blue glittery skirt and sleeves), but she was a super hero! That's a big step for her!

Maddie ran so fast from house to house, that I hardly got any good pictures of her trick or treating with her friends. Brooke was a tad bit apprehensive, but after seeing what happens when you say "TRICK OR TREAT!" we couldn't wipe the smile off her face.

(OMG! Candy! They gave me candy!")

Unless there was a dog at the house...she jumped and ran the first time someone answered the door with a dog. She then pointed and yelled, "There's a doggy at that house!" as if accusing them of some major crime.

Zak's mom, Grandma, came with us. This was our first Halloween in San Antonio where we weren't sweating in 80 degree weather, but instead could have used jackets (!). Zak insisted on t-shirt and flip flops, and the girls wouldn't even think about covering their costumes. It was a clear and beautiful 60 degrees with a full moon to boot!

We only lasted about an hour (down our street and two cul-de-sacs) before Maddie decided that she wanted to go home and hand out candy. She was a bit confused about who was "covering our house" while we were out. She was so into greeting the other kids and handing out candy, that when we ran out of candy, she decided to give some of hers away so she could keep at it! This was, of course, after Zak and I schooled her on "good candy vs. bad candy."

This is the first year that we didn't carve our pumpkins. We simply ran out of time on Saturday, and it's something that Maddie and Brooke really are too young for anyway. We woke up on Sunday morning to find all of our formerly intact pumpkins smashed in our street (Hey, punk teenager in the Colt McCoy costume, we know it was you! Tool!). The Girls were very sad about this since they spent the previous weekend painting them.