Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Gone Fishin'

Maddie has this Dora The Explorer fishing pole that she keeps at the lake house and "pretends" to fish. Mostly she just likes to reel in the yellow rubber fish at the end of her line.

Uncle Marcus taught her the finer points of casting a fishing pole a few weekends ago, and that girl has quite the arm:

Next time, we're all gonna need safety glasses or put her in an actual boat so she can cast into the lake.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Maddie's family portrait

Maddie came home from school yesterday with this family portrait:

When we asked her to explain her art work she said, "This is mommy with the long legs (yes!) (pointing to the "person" on the left), and daddy is here (top right) with a little bit of hair. The girl with the big eyes and smile under daddy is me."

When we asked her where Brooke was she said, "Oh, this is her head (pointing to the blob under the "Maddie person's" hand.) I just ran out of time, so Brooke didn't get any arms or legs."


Monday, February 16, 2009

San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo on V-Day

We celebrated Valentine's Day with a trip to the San Antonio Rodeo. I took Maddie to the rodeo last year with my mom, and we left Zak and Brooke at home. This year, Brooke was old enough to enjoy the experience.

We walked around some of the exhibits and saw the rodeo. The actual rodeo is the best part of going because the action is non stop. This is especially important when you bring small children with the attention spans of knats.

After 2 hours of various rodeo events, the girls got a little bit tired. The darn rodeo also didn't start until 1:00 which is when nap time usually begins. They were a bit cranky, but most just restless. Whomever schedules the rodeo (at either 1:00 p.m. or 7:00 p.m.) probably does not have small children, or they have a secret mission to make life miserable for those of us that do.

We came home and opened some other valentines day gifts that came in the mail (Thanks for the teddy bears Grandma Mary! Maddie named her bear CoCo, and Brooke named the brown one "My Bear!").
I found this beautiful boquet of flowers waiting for me on the porch. It smells heavenly.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Maddie Long Legs

Did I actually give birth to this blond child? She's so tall (3'5" is the 75%), and her legs in this picture end at the top of Brooke's shoulders!

Perhaps it's just the angle (or maybe Brooke is slouching), but my goodness! She's got the pose down, and she's in plastic pink princess heels. We're in trouble!

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Brooke is TWO!

Dear Brooke,
You are TWO! We just finished a week's worth of celebrations...three formal ones to be exact, but we sung you "Happy Birthday" nearly every night this last week because you loved it so much. I put candles in cookies, cakes, and regular food. We wore Dora the Explorer party hats about five times.

When people ask about you, I say, "well...she's two, so that should explain her perfectly." However, you are much more than that. There are so many things I want to say to you about this last year that I'm afraid I will forget something. I've been terrible at writing a monthly newsletter for you, and feel a bit guilty about it. I justify it by telling myself that I write weekly posts and tweet about your silly antics to make up for it.

First of all, you are unbelievably beautiful, and I find myself staring at you all the time. Your skin, your eyes, and your little nose are just adorable. People say you look a lot like me, but you have your own little look with some of my features, and some of your dads (like his chin and ears!).
"I yuve you, mama, dada, dee dee." That phrase is uttered often. Even though I know you love me, I think daddy is your favorite. Perhaps because he can hold you for longer periods of time and throws you in the air to make you giggle. "Again! Again, Daddy!" you demand.

You are a chatterbox, entertaining, silly, and full of diva behavior. You are so social that I've actually seen you wave and talk to people while we're at a stop light if the window is down.

I'm not sure if it's your age, or not but you just can't sit still for any length of time. Sometimes I can get you distracted enough by Barney or Yo Gaba Gaba so I can cook dinner. Most of the time, you like to help me cook dinner. We talk about what I'm making, and you're my taste tester. Unfortunatly, I was unsuccessful at explaining the difference between apples and onions, and you still wanted to take a bite out of both. Maybe you'll trust me next time?

I'm hoping that this mini culinary school I'm providing you will lead to me not having to cook dinner forever. You seem to have quite the taste for different foods. Dipping your chips in salsa, sniffing a clove of garlic, licking a lime tells me that you may not be a very picky eater. Guess what your favorite food is? BROCCOLI! I swear! If you see any broccoli, you immediately demand to eat it. You prefer it steamed (not raw) with a little butter and salt/pepper. My biggest obstacle in the kitchen is keeping the chopping knife out of your reach because you're always trying to "help."

Putting you to bed is still a very easy task. Our bedtime routine is the same as it was the very first bath you took. We put on PJ's, rock in your glider, and read a few books (usually includes Goodnight Moon) while you hold your favorite pink blanket and suck on your pacifier. I know... You are two...too old...to use a pacifier at night. "Paci! Paci" you whine. I don't really think this is a big deal, and I think I took Maddie's pacifier away too soon (at age one) which just resulted in her sucking her thumb (which she still does at age four). We talk about giving your pacifier to a baby who really needs it, but you just say, "No." That tells me that you're just not ready, and I'm okay with that. I just hope you won't want to take it with you to college.

I also hope you still won't be in diapers when you go to college. Perhaps you're still too young, but we're trying to potty train now. You've peed on the potty twice, but both times you stood up, walked a few steps and then emptied your bladder on the floor. You understand that you're supposed to go in the toilet, but just don't go all the way.

Last week I decided to just keep your diaper off in hopes you'd keep sitting on the potty and GO. You are fascinated with the concept and talk about it all the time, but my plan backfired. You walked into the kitchen and said, "Uh-oh Mommy! Uh-oh..." and pulled me over the living room to show me three separate piles of poop. Then when I was cleaning it up, thinking you must be finished, you decided to pee on the floor. Your dad, who was not supportive of my no diaper strategy, was pretty grossed out. Needless to say, we haven't tried that again.

Your big sister, Maddie, is your best friend and greatest foe. Sometimes I think that you're the bully during arguments. We don't allow you guys to "hurt each other (physically or emotionally) on purpose," and that covers hitting, spitting, yelling, tripping, etc. That does not mean that these things don't happen, but we're working on it. You're learning how to use your words when you're mad. Right now, you'll just yell at her in this weird deep bellowing voice, and this instantly makes Maddie cry. Maddie is learning to not retaliate and antagonize (big words, but y'all can handle it), but rather just walk away and ignore you. She bosses you around a lot, but you're beginning to stick up for yourself. Good luck with that.

Occasionally, we send you to separate corners to take a break from each other for a few minutes. Afterward, you always go right to Maddie, offer a hug and say, "I sorry, Dee Dee." Unfortunately, Maddie likes to hold a grudge and it takes her longer to forgive you. That said, you are still each other's biggest fans and best playmates. Going to Sea World was a favorite pastime this last year:

You are a tiny little thing at just 33 inches (25 percentile); much shorter than the other kids in your class, but nice and strong. Just yesterday, you happily reported that you weighed twenty seven pounds (54 percentile) after your dad put you on the scale. Mostly you are true to size in clothes and are wearing Maddie's hand me down size 24 months and 2T. I'm hoping you won't mind wearing all her clothes one day because it sure does save us tons of money.

You are on track with your vocabulary, but we still have a hard time understanding what you are talking about. I've been doing better with guessing and this makes you very happy. You get very frustrated when we don't understand you. This is new for us because Maddie was speaking in clear sentences when she was just 18 months old (not that I'm comparing...not me! Never.) Just in the last month you've been working hard on your prounouciation by repeating each word that we say. "Copying" drives Madison crazy, but we know you're quickly learning. You're teachers say it's difficult to get you to stop talking.

When you're feeling blue or just being sassy, you make this really mean scowl on your face that I call your "mad face." When I tease you about your "mad face" and try to make you smile, you make this silly face that's half teeth and half fake smile.

Happy Birthday, baby. I love you!


Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Birthday post?

Are you stalking my blog looking for Brooke's birthday post? Well, so am I. I have writers block, so you'll have to make due with these photos to hold you over.

Treat number two of three for the week celebrating Brooke's b-day, behold:

The Giant Birthday cookie...Baked with love by me for Brooke to take to school and share with her friends. Her teachers were so grateful that I didn't bring a cake with frosting! Who could possibly want to clean frosting off of 10 two year olds? Points for me! Brooke's teachers also said, "We figured out a way to make Brooke stop talking all the time...sing "Happy Birthday" to her."

And, speaking of the little monster...


Sunday, February 01, 2009

The start of Brooke's b-day week

This is the start of Brooke's birthday week. She'll be TWO tomorrow, and we have about 7 days worth of festivities planned (including three birthday cakes that I will make!). Here is the first, "Dora's Chocolate on Chocolate." Ugly, but delicious:

This weekend, Zak's dad, step mom, sister (+Pio), and brother came the the lake house to help us celebrate Brooke's first party. This crew is also known as, Grandpa, Grandma Mary, Aunt Terra, PIO!, and Uncle Marcus. Between all of us, there were likely 200 photos taken. Most of which are on Grandma Mary's new camera.

The lake house is just a small two bedroom place, that can sleep about 15. Really, it can, technically! But it's not comfortable for that many. There were nine of us, and it was cozy. We totally lucked out with the weather. It was sunny and about 72 degrees on Saturday and Sunday, dipping into the 40's at night.

The girls LOVE Pio, Aunt Terra's boyfriend, so much. Many times they would go to him before Zak or I! Uncle Marcus was a close second in preferenc due to his ultra Uncle-y magical charming powers. (Terra, sorry your eyes are closed! It was the only one I have.) I think this made Terra sad because she sees the Girls about every month. They do love her very much too!

There is just something about Zak's family that is just so comfortable. They are all so at ease and peaceful, and we always have a good time together. I am (by far) the most high strung among them all.
If you ask Brooke how old she is, she says, "TWO!" and gives you two fingers "guns up" style to illustrate her toughness, allegiance to the Red Raiders, or demonstrate her pure toddler rebelliousnesses.
More pictures and stories to follow! I have to go make her second b-day cake for her to take to school tomorrow.

Tweet! Tweet! January 2009

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! January 2009:

My mother in law, "Grandma Mary," said, "it's colder than a witches twitter out here" as we sit around the fire pit. from txt

Maddie asked to watch a movie and requested I fast forward "through all the letters." Guess she doesn't like opening credits! from txt

Donating blood. I'm a regular! Every 8 weeks. You should too! from txt

Maddie told me she wants to have a big huge brother and Brooke says she wants a baby sister. Sorry girls! from txt

At the lake house on a very chilly night sitting around the fire pit with some old and new friends. from txt

I'm embarrassed that we just now mailed our Christmas thank you cards. Maddie was a trooper and signed her name to each one. from txt

At our church pre-school, Brooke saw a painting and yelled, "JESUS!!" Everyone turned to look wondering if she was cursing! No,just excited. from txt

Maddie watched Barack Obama's swearing in and speech at preschool. She said it was "a little bit scary when he got mad during his speech." from txt

I'm in tears as I watch Obama take the oath of office. I'm so proud of our country. from txt

Teaching the girls how to bake from scratch. They are great helpers! Our banana nut muffins are awesome. from txt

Noticing that I was walking out the door without my purse, Brooke ran over with concern saying, "Purse? Purse?" from txt

Maddie: "My dad is the sweetest handsomest boy in my world." I agree. from txt

Woot! My blog has been redesigned! from txt

I'm on an Air Force Base for the first time ever, and have this odd sense of safety coupled with fear. It's like its own little city! from txt

Dead battery at the dentist office. FOUR people have refused to jump my car. I even have cables!!! from txt

At the dentist with Maddie, dr says he's never seen a case like hers, but has read about them in dental journals. Germinated and fused teeth from txt

Just made the most disgusting baked salmon for dinner. I'm generally a good cook, but tonight? FAIL! from txt

I just added Twitter to my FB account! Okay, people, this is enough technology and communication for me. No mas, por favor. from web

If I stand up, lean over, and crane my neck to the side, I can see my neighboors beautiful backyard Koi pond from my home office. from txt

Out for Sushi with Zak. Thank God for babysitters! from txt

Maddie made a very random and totally out of context comment before bed: "If a toilet gets all backed up, then it will over float." from web

Oh great! Now I'm wondering when I am going to get over MY newest obsession--FACEBOOK! from web

I'm wondering when Zak will get over his newest obsession-FACEBOOK! from txt

It is raining for the first time in San Antonio in nearly 9 months. Brooke is fascinated with the rain and my windshield wipers. from txt

I just got on the "Twilight" bandwagon, and simply cannot put the book down. It's fantastic! from txt

I just got my Christmas present from Zak, and it was totally worth the delay. Points for the husband! from web

Facebook? Really? Aren't I too old for that? from web

Brooke just discovered the Barney TV show, and she is in LOVE and officially brainwashed. from txt

On our way home from Dallas. Had lots of fun seeing great friends and family. Too bad Texas Tech lost the Cotton Bowl. from txt

So tired from the Cotton Bowl. Tech lost, but we saw lots of old friends. from txt

Finally in the shade, Tech down by 10 points. from txt

Feeling like it's 1994 all over again. from txt

Scorching in the sun at the TTU v. Ole Miss COTTON bowl! Go Tech! from txt

The four of us are on our way to Dallas for the Cotton Bowl. It's a five hour drive, so please pray for me to have patience with my monkeys. from txt