Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Mah bbs

Mah bbs are the cutest bbs I've ever seen!

These pics were taken tonight after I picked the Girls up from school. They were being extra sweet, and I couldn't resist showing you all Brooke's pigtails.

This was the first time she's ever worn pig tails (her teacher put them in today) and I almost died from cuteness overdose the instant I saw her.

Brooke barely lets me put in a clip, let alone sit still long enough for me to put in a pony tail, but now TWO of them!? (As you can see by the naked butt picture-- REMOVED!, we're working on potty training. So far, it's a train to no where.) However, we'll still keep her.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Inauguration Day

Dear Brooke and Maddie,
Today, Barack Obama will be inaugurated as the 44th President of the United States. He wrote a letter to his two daughters, and it was so beautiful that I had to be sure you read it. Girls, this letter is why I voted for this man:

Dear Malia and Sasha,

I know that you've both had a lot of fun these last two years on the campaign trail, going to picnics and parades and state fairs, eating all sorts of junk food your mother and I probably shouldn't have let you have. But I also know that it hasn't always been easy for you and Mom, and that as excited as you both are about that new puppy, it doesn't make up for all the time we've been apart. I know how much I've missed these past two years, and today I want to tell you a little more about why I decided to take our family on this journey.

When I was a young man, I thought life was all about me-about how I'd make my way in the world, become successful, and get the things I want. But then the two of you came into my world with all your curiosity and mischief and those smiles that never fail to fill my heart and light up my day. And suddenly, all my big plans for myself didn't seem so important anymore. I soon found that the greatest joy in my life was the joy I saw in yours. And I realized that my own life wouldn't count for much unless I was able to ensure that you had every opportunity for happiness and fulfillment in yours. In the end, girls, that's why I ran for President: because of what I want for you and for every child in this nation.

I want all our children to go to schools worthy of their potential-schools that challenge them, inspire them, and instill in them a sense of wonder about the world around them. I want them to have the chance to go to college-even if their parents aren't rich. And I want them to get good jobs: jobs that pay well and give them benefits like health care, jobs that let them spend time with their own kids and retire with dignity.

I want us to push the boundaries of discovery so that you'll live to see new technologies and inventions that improve our lives and make our planet cleaner and safer. And I want us to push our own human boundaries to reach beyond the divides of race and region, gender and religion that keep us from seeing the best in each other.

Sometimes we have to send our young men and women into war and other dangerous situations to protect our country-but when we do, I want to make sure that it is only for a very good reason, that we try our best to settle our differences with others peacefully, and that we do everything possible to keep our servicemen and women safe. And I want every child to understand that the blessings these brave Americans fight for are not free-that with the great privilege of being a citizen of this nation comes great responsibility.

That was the lesson your grandmother tried to teach me when I was your age, reading me the opening lines of the Declaration of Independence and telling me about the men and women who marched for equality because they believed those words put to paper two centuries ago should mean something.

She helped me understand that America is great not because it is perfect but because it can always be made better-and that the unfinished work of perfecting our union falls to each of us. It's a charge we pass on to our children, coming closer with each new generation to what we know America should be.

I hope both of you will take up that work, righting the wrongs that you see and working to give others the chances you've had. Not just because you have an obligation to give something back to this country that has given our family so much-although you do have that obligation. But because you have an obligation to yourself. Because it is only when you hitch your wagon to something larger than yourself that you will realize your true potential.

These are the things I want for you-to grow up in a world with no limits on your dreams and no achievements beyond your reach, and to grow into compassionate, committed women who will help build that world. And I want every child to have the same chances to learn and dream and grow and thrive that you girls have. That's why I've taken our family on this great adventure.

I am so proud of both of you. I love you more than you can ever know. And I am grateful every day for your patience, poise, grace, and humor as we prepare to start our new life together in the White House.

Love, Dad

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Three weeks late and 13 dollars short...

Three weeks ago, we all got in the car for a 5 hour drive to Dallas to see the Cotton Bowl. We expected Texas Tech to beat Ole Miss, but the Red Raiders didn't come through and lost by 13 points.

However, we had a great time tailgating,and the weather was surprisingly warm. (Go to Amy's blog to see more photos and two posts about the game and our visit). Like over 75 degrees warm and we were all in jeans, boots, and sweaters! I had to bribe the woman next to me for some sunscreen with a $7 beer. It was worth it!
Amy and Brian:

A big huge thank you to Dad and Susan who grandparent-sat while we went to the game. We were gone from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. so they get extra loves and thank yous. Susan and Maddie baked some cookies and everyone watched movies and played.

We stopped by the Happy Harris House for the day because we love them so much, and always have a great time. Here's a cute photo of Amy and Brian's kiddos, Mason and Maya:

Mason took Maddie for a spin in his Hummer, and you'd think the girl had died and gone to heaven. I had a flash forward of her wedding day driving off with her new husband.

Maddie also took Brooke for a ride in the Hummer, but obviously needs driving lessons. She could give that puppy plenty of gas, but had no idea how to steer the thing. She was going up on the grass and nearly drove off the curb. I told her she won't be allowed to drive until she's eighteen.

We were brave enough to take all four kids out for lunch and then spent some time outside enjoying the beautiful day.

We had a blast, and every time we're with them we wished we lived closer. Hopefully, we'll see them this summer for their annual trip to Sea World and the beach. Love you guys!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

A bloggy face lift! blog design!!! What do you think?

I was getting pretty bored with the old all white standard looking template.

The blog was designed by Jessica Gordy. Please visit her etsy site for jewelry creations, accessories, and digital resources such as etsy shop banners, blog banners and photoshop brushes. Thanks, Jessica!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Teeth and kindness

I took Maddie to the dentist for the first time this morning (cough, cough, should have done this two years ago, ahem, cough, I'm not the only parent here, people!).

Maddie met the hygienist, let her floss her teeth for two seconds, but wouldn't let her clean them. I could feel things going down hill....the hygienist told me it was okay and normal for a four year old to refuse a cleaning.

The dentist came in, who was fantastic with Maddie. He took a quick look in Maddie's mouth and then a verbal diarrhea explosion of problems that she has....germinated and fused baby teeth, triple grooved molars, peg teeth, extra teeth, etc. I hadn't even heard of most of these things!

For Maddie's future adult reference (boy, that sounds weird) and all you dental experts, I requested my dentist to write this all out on a piece of paper. Maddie's diagnosis is:

"Clinically: One #D, Germinated E, Fused F/G, and extra G." and then her took an x ray and wrote: "We have six roots with fused D/E and F/G, so radio shows 2D, 2G with fusion"

Ummm. Okay? Can I have that in English, please?

Her front tooth is fused to the one next to it, which we've always known because we can see it. The problem with a fused tooth (in addition to aesthetics) is that decay can form in the little crack that sealed the teeth together. Also, when her permanent teeth come in, one of the fused baby teeth may be ready to fall out, and the other guy may not be ready. She'll have to have the one that's not ready extracted (I think).

Germinated teeth are another issue. It's basically one tooth that "twinned" by splitting itself and tried to form another tooth. Apparently, germinated and fused teeth look similar and you can't tell what it is unless you take an xray. Also, germinated/fused teeth could have all kinds of crazy stuff happening above it where the permanent guys are waiting to come in. At one point, he said Maddie COULD have either six teeth where four should be or end up with just two teeth. (Maybe I could sell the extra ones on ebay!)

She also has peg laterals, and while just not very attractive, they'll fall out and likely won't be pegged as permanent teeth. (I just read the book Twilight, so I'm convinced she might be a vampire).

We're not sure what this will mean for her permanent teeth right now. The x rays show they are normal, but that can change as they move down over the next few years. Like I said before, if there is an issue, it would be too few or too many teeth....all of which can be cosmetically fixed.

She also has triple grooved molars which increases her susceptibility for cavities. Meaning, there are lots of crevices and hills in the molars which can allow for extra food/bacteria to get trapped and cause cavities. She doesn't have cavities now, but we need to practice extra good oral hygiene. She loves to have her teeth brushed, so we're good on that one!

Apparently this is all genetic and is known to skip a generation. So....parents, grandparents, and family who read this blog...I need someone to blame for this mess! Have you ever heard of this in the family?

I've always thought the teeth on my dad's side (Pops--my grandfather) are beautiful and perfect looking, but maybe it was because we all had braces? My mom is in the dental industry, so I would have thought she would have told me about this by now. I'm beginning to think it's Zak's poor DNA that's to blame!! ;) He's always criticizing all the cancer on my side of the family, so I've got to blame his side for something! Please tell me what you know by leaving a comment.

So...for good behavior at the dentist office I bribed Maddie with a Mother/Daughter only breakfast. We happily went out to the car after our appointment to find that it wouldn't start. Just nothing. No noises, no clicks, dead silence. Even my remote key wouldn't work. I assumed it was the battery (but I just bought a new one 6 months ago, and had been driving around all morning and just was at the dentist for 30 minutes!).

I called Zak, and looked for a helpful stranger/dental office employee to give me a jump (I have cables). NO ONE WOULD HELP me. I was shocked. People just walked on by..... I expect that type of behavior from, ahem, people who live in the city up north where I used to live, but TEXANS?!? TEXANS are nice! TEXANS are helpful!

Zak finally arrived, and we tried to jump the car to no avail. We did get a little spark of energy and my inside lights came on, but it wouldn't even crank the engine. Zak took Maddie to school, and she was mad that she didn't get her special breakfast.

While I was waiting for the tow truck a nicely dressed man came by and asked if he could help. I told him the story, and he took one look at the cable that is attached to my battery and said it was too loose. He squeezed it with his hand, told me to turn the key and it started right up! Magic! I thanked him profusely, and he began to walk away. Except I didn't let him.

I found out that he used to be a mechanic, but was out of work for a while. A few months of unemployment had passed when he witnessed a bad car crash, he stopped to help rescue a woman, and found a job in sales (doubling his salary) the next day. He said he thought his good deed paid off, and continues to do what he can for others.

He told me he sold children's toy computers, pulled one out of his bag to show me, and I bought it (plus gave him extra as a thanks). He saved me hundreds in towing, rental car, and mechanic fees. It was the least I could do.

So, your lessons?
1.Brush and floss your teeth.
2.Pay it forward.

Monday, January 12, 2009


Why has my sidebar relocated to the bottom of the page?

And where did my Twitters go???


Bloggers, I need help!

Update: I'm back on track, and I didn't do anything. My blog is jealous of the time I've been spending on facebook. She's acting out and will not earn ANY points tonight!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

RFP--Zak and Amanda want to celebrate our 10 year anniversary

This Request For Proposal is intended for those of you who might not mind changing a poopy diaper and also wiping away the occasional bugger from the nose of said children, Madison and Brooke.

For the purpose of matrimonial lovin', we are hereby requesting the services of family and friends to work alone or in teams to care for said children for a period of 4-7 days in our home.

Services to be completed include:
Dressing said children in some appropriate clothing, feeding them breakfast and driving them to school (you're free to spend your day lounging in front of the TV, shopping, or surfing the 'net).

Pick up said children from school by 5:00 p.m. and feeding them dinner of your choice (or drive-thru). Playing. Change a diaper or two. Referee arguments. Operate the DVD player. Bathe. Read bedtime stories. Place in bed at 7:30 (Brooke) and 8:30 (Maddie).

Lather. Rinse. Repeat for as many days as you would like to request in your proposal.

The dates of service are completely negotiable as we have yet to make travel plans. Our 10 year (ten years!) anniversary will be on April 17.

Proposals will be accepted and reviewed from today to the next time I beg. A background check will not be required since we're related to most of you.

How can you be scared of this? Even though their teeth look sharp, they don't bite!

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Tweet! Tweet! December 2008

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

Tweet! Tweet! December 2008:

After spending the last 16 Christmas' together, I just learned that Zak can make his armpits fart. That's enough info, I won't explain. from txt

I got a bluetooth device and Zak got a dustbuster for Christmas. That explains us both perfectly. from txt

Maddie: "If it's in a pink box that says Disney on it, then it must be for me." from txt

I had to "call Santa" today about Maddie's poor behavior. She FREAKED out, and I thought maybe this Santa thing isn't a good idea after all. from txt

Maddie woke up today insisting it was Christmas and wanting to open the one new present she found under the tree. She excited for tomorrow! from txt

DUDE! Zak shaved his head. He's nearly bald. For reals! from txt

Zak and I are at HEB's Feast of Sharing feeding a turkey dinner to San Antonio people in need. Grandma's with The Girls. from txt

At Playhouse Disney Live! Got conned into spending $40 on some light up toys. Probally cost 30 cents and made in China! Parents are suckas! from txt

Maddie screamed and begged to wear her new Princess winter coat to school today. It was 70 degrees at 8am and the high will be 80 today. from txt

Brooke is hysterically crying. MMR and HEP A shots. I HATE SHOTS. from txt

Exactly four years ago this instant I was writhing around waiting for an epidural. "Those books didn't say it was going to hurt THIS BAD!" from txt

Brooke keeps saying, "Happy Happy Dee Dee!" as she dances around. from txt

Maddie's classmates screamed, "Happy Birthday Madison!" when we walked into her room.They all ran up to give her bday hugs. She was beaming! from txt

I had a very tough morning with the Girls. We all cried at some point. from txt

Out of two lemons from my dad's potted lemon tree, I got a pitcher of lemonade and enough extra juice for a Greek Chicken with Pasta dinner. from web

At a San Antonio Spurs game sitting court side in a $275 seat! Seats are from Zak's company because I don't know anyone who'd pay this much! from txt

Brooke's teacher writes: "Brooke had to sit out for constantly slamming the door. She was given a choice, but continued with a SMILE." Uh-oh from txt

Ever the stickler for details, Maddie insists that before any book is read, she must be told the title AND the full name of the author. from web

At the Lake House the girls and I were having fun collecting sticks for our "campfire." Brooke looked up at me and said, "I happy, mama." from txt

Had to change my seat at a restaurant because I could see the kitchen. I hate when my view is the grimey kinda kills my appetite from txt

I moved my home office from the dining room to the actual office (where I should have been ages ago).It's cold and too far from the kitchen. from txt

Went to Sea World with the family in shorts and sandals. It's 78 degrees in San Antonio today!! from txt

Maddie is prancing around in plastic princess high heels. I can only envision her doing the same in 20 years in some Manolos. from txt

I FINALLY mailed our Christmas cards. from web

Maddie: "Sometimes my poop looks like dots and sometimes my poop looks like snakes." I tell her the snake kind is best, then "No way!" from web

There was a frosty covering on our roof this morning after sleet last night. Maddie: "Mom! There's snow on our roof! Is today Christmas?" from web

Staring at my unfinished Xmas cards. I just can't get to that pile! Only need to be addressed and stamped. They are so cute. hope you get 1 from web

Maddie woke up crying saying she's having nightmares about "the grinch." Zak suggested for her to dream abt "Santa or some Princesses." from txt

Brooke had so much fun with my dad this weeknd.She's been begging for him since he left. First thing in the am, in the car, and in his room. from txt

20 kids and their parents showed up to Maddie's party.We're had fun and are tired. Special thanks to the fam who came & helped. UR the best! from web

Maddie's b-day party is tomorrow. Wonder how many thought it was SATURDAY instead of Sunday? I'm so tired and ready to see her have fun. from web

Holiday music on, Maddie doing ballet twirls, Brooke excitedly jumping off couch, Zak anxious about the messy tree and house, me smiling. from txt

Brooke has been running around the house all morning with a Q-TIP yelling "Dada!? Dada?!" Cleaning out her ears is his favorite hobby. from web

The year round favorite "black crocs" that Maddie has worn daily (shunning all others) have now been banished because "they are BOY shoes." from txt

We are switching daycares. Again. More details later as the girls will start on Monday. Bleh. from web

Monday, January 05, 2009

Gingerbread House

Susan and PaPa bought a gingerbread house kit for Maddie and Brooke. (We all went to Dallas to stay with them for the Cotton Bowl.) When I saw it sitting on her coffee table, I said to Susan, "Oh, that will be fun! You and the Girls can do that tomorrow when we're at the game." She laughed and said, "Nope. You're taking that home."

So, Maddie begged and begged to put it together on Sunday, and I gave in to the inevitable mess. It helped that we put it together when Brooke was napping.

These pictures are for you, Susan:

Pay no attention to the fact that Maddie is holding the roof on.....

The frosting "glue" didn't do much gluing, but it was our first try....

I discovered that Maddie is quite the decorator (between stolen bites of candy).

And it all came a tumblin' down....