Tuesday, December 23, 2008

All I Want for Christmas Is... Mommy.

That was the theme of our visit with Santa this past weekend. On a scale of 1-10, I'd pin Carter's excitement at about a 4. He was probably happier to see the reindeer than he was to see the big guy himself, but we perservered and now we have proof of just how attached he is to me these days. (That outreached arm is from Santa having just peeled him off my hip, and the word coming from his crying mouth is "Mom-my"). The funny thing is that as soon as he was out of Santa's lap and holding my hand again, he smiled and said Thank You to Santa for the coloring book he gave him. We've never actually had Carter's picture taken with Santa before now, so I'm glad his first is so excellent. At least Olivia isn't crying. She even took a few of Santa's beard hairs with her as a souvenir.

Two of Santa's Best, Donner & Blitzen (or so they say)

This is me trying to get Carter pumped about Santa. He's still not so sure about it.

And one more for good measure... I love that shirt.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Olivia, little no more

Olivia is now four months old, and I’m still having trouble adjusting to the fact that my precious little infant is no longer a newborn. It feels like only yesterday that we were bringing her home from the hospital to the tune of Carter crying for "his" carseat that she now occupied. And even though she sleeps through the night now, I have not yet forgotten those first couple of months of sleepless nights and being jarred awake from a dead sleep to the sound of a crying baby. She's learning new things everyday and her personality develops a little more every time we interact. So whether we like it or not, time marches on, babies grow and they do not remain little forever.

Keeping all that in mind, the past couple of weeks have been really fun, and I'm excited about the new developments to come. Recently, Olivia started eating rice cereal from a spoon. And as you can see in this picture, Carter absolutely loves to help. I keep waiting for him to be upset about having to share his high chair with sissy, but he has yet to complain. I haven't let him actually feed her himself since she's still getting the hang of this whole food-from-a-spoon thing, but I'm sure that will come soon enough.

Olivia has also recently taught herself to roll over. She did it for the first time last week and I know it won't be too much longer before we are unable to put her in one place and have her actually stay there. Here's a pic I took during her big accomplishment.

Finally, we went to the doctor yesterday for her four month checkup and shots. She weighed in at 15 lbs 10.5 oz with a head circumference of 17”, and she is now 25” long. Her stats fall in the 95 percentile for all three. (If you don’t have children or if this means nothing to you, then just know that she’s a healthy, robust little girl.) And speaking of robust, I'll leave you with a couple more pictures of her first "solid" meal. Enjoy!

Doesn't she look so tiny in that huge high chair?

Thursday, December 4, 2008


So Nick and I left the house this morning a little late... pulled out of the driveway at 7:20ish, rather than our usual 7:10 and headed for the daycare. No problem. We'll drop the kids off, jump on the highway, get stuck in a little traffic and get to work maybe 5 minutes late. Right? Wrong.

We get to the daycare just fine, give our hugs and kisses to the kids and head out the door. We get buckled in our seats and Nick turns the key. "Tick,tick,tick,tick,tick." He tries it again. "Tick,tick,tick,tick,tick." Hmmm. The radio is on. The lights are working. Can't be the battery. Try again... "Tick,tick,tick,tick,tick." Okay. So now what? After weighing all our options carefully, I did what any responsible, level-headed, 27 year old woman would do. I called my dad.

Once he answered the phone, I told him that the car started just fine when we left the house but now, no dice. I imitated the noise for him, "Tick,tick,tick,tick,tick," and he said, "It's your battery. I'll be there in a minute."

My dad is a very smart man, especially when it comes to things like cars, so I trusted him and we waited. As soon as my dad connected the jumper cables to the battery, our car started right away. So he was right. No surprise. And just to be sure it was only the battery and not something else like the alternator, my dad had me turn off the car while he hooked up some battery-testing-charging-radar thingy. [I don't know how] but it confirmed that we had a bad battery and nothing more serious. (Why my dad even had one of these tools?... I'll never know.) So off to the auto parts store, buy a battery, pull up to my parents' garage, and Nick & my dad had the battery changed in less than 10 minutes. I didn't even have to get out of the car. We were at work by 9, only one hour late.

Now I'm not telling this story for any other reason that I was reminded again this morning just how blessed I am to (first of all) have a dad that's so smart about things like this and has all the tools and knowledge necessary fix it so quickly and easily, but more importantly, I'm blessed that he and my mom live so close. I know there are people that prefer to move far away from their parents & families or those that prefer to live closer but maybe don't speak to them very often. I am not either of those people. I love my family very much and am so grateful that we are able to live as close as we do and that I can call on them whenever I am in need. Even if only for a dead battery.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Our Thanksgiving holiday was relatively uneventful, but sometimes, that's just what you need. I had mounds of laundry to get done, which I hardly touched. I wanted decorate for Christmas, but that didn't happen. And I'm sure there are plenty of other things that needed to get done around the house, yet they all went untouched. So now I sit here after returning to work today and wonder... "just what DID I do while I was off work the past four days?" Well, in short: I cooked. I ate. And I shopped. And Oh boy was it fun!

I guess the cooking started on Tuesday night when I made two different kinds of chili for our holiday lunch/chili cookoff at work. Nothing says Giving Thanks like a crock pot of chili, right? I made my traditional beef variety and tried my hand at my very first vegetarian dish. Being born in Texas and raised by a cattle rancher, you can probably imagine that there weren't any vegetarian dishes in my diet growing up. I got some rave reviews on that vegetarian chili, so I might just have to try that (and maybe other) veggie dishes in the near future. (Let the record show that my meat-and-potatoes-husband wouldn't even try it.)

Anyway, after cooking all that chili for Wednesday, I was very glad that I only had to fix the dressing and GBC (or green bean casserole as most of you probably call it) for Thanksgiving dinner. I was able to do this pretty easily while watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on TV. Carter loved watching the parade with me-his favorite was probably a tie between the Rockettes routine and the Sesame Street float. We made the trek 7 miles north to my sister's house in Anna for our Thanksgiving dinner, which only consisted of my parents, my grandmother (on visit from the nursing home for the day), and my sister, brother-in-law, & nephews.... just like I like it. Small, informal, easy to please everyone. Plenty of time for napping, football watching, and Black Friday ad scouting.

On [Black] Friday, my mom and I were at Wal-Mart by 5 am and were immediately surprised that there wasn't a single parking spot to be had in the entire lot. We go shopping on Black Friday every year, but NEVER have I seen it like this before. It was pretty crazy, but I was glad I wasn't in the hunt for any big ticket items this year. I simply wouldn't have had the patience. Along with Wal-Mart, we also hit up Target, Babies R Us/Toys R Us and Stonebriar mall. I was beyond pooped when I finally got home at 6:30 pm, but it was all worth it. I had a great time, got some good Christmas presents and even bought a thing or two for myself.

Saturday was a fun outing of lunch and shopping with the in-laws and Sunday was our normal routine of church, lunch with the fam and relaxing at my parents' house. All in all, a great holiday filled with the things for which I am most thankful.

Up next... holiday decorations, setting up the tree, and making some room in this house for bigger baby toys (think exersaucer) for Olivia. Pictures to follow. Hope everyone enjoyed their Thanksgiving holiday as much as we did. Only 24 more days until Christmas!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Showered with Love

Okay, so maybe I’m just not cut out for this whole blogging thing. I just can’t seem to keep up. I always seem to be running on about a 10 day delay. But as they say, better late than never, right?

Two weekends ago was a bridal shower for one of my best friends, Rachel Davis (soon to be Rachel Pittman). Shevin and Jacqueline were the absolute best co-hostesses ever, and thanks to things like my grandmother’s antique milk-glass, Jac’s superb mimosas & party planner skills and Shev’s Martha Stewart-like flower arrangements & invitations, the shower went on without a hitch and could not have turned out more beautifully for our dear friend. It was in the gallery at the McKinney Performing Arts Center, formerly the vault of the old courthouse in downtown McKinney. And don’t worry Jac, they didn’t charge us for the artwork that managed to jump off the wall while you were standing right underneath it. Here are some pictures from the shower.

The spread… fruit kabobs, sausage croissants, and quiche, oh my!

The hostesses and bride-to-be: Shevin, Jacqueline, Rachel & myself.

Rachel thoroughly enjoyed the game where we asked her questions about Ryan and their relationship then we compared it to his previously recorded answers.

The Mothers...

The cake was yummy. (Thanks again to Whitney for turning me on to the most affordable cake lady in McKinney, aka Melissa at Kroger on Lake Forest.)

So congratulations again Rachie! I’m so happy for you and Ryan and can’t hardly wait for the big day!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Taggy McTaggerson, I've been tagged.

8 T.V. Shows I love to watch:
1. How I Met Your Mother
2. The Big Bang Theory
3. House
4. The Biggest Loser
5. ER
6. Law & Order: SVU
7. Project Runway
8. The Hills (I know, I know)

8 Favorite Restaurants:
1. Saltgrass
2. Chili's
3. Buffalo Wild Wings
4. El Fenix
5. Pei Wei
6. Olive Garden
7. Chick Fil A (if you want to call this a "restaurant")
8. Cheddars

8 Things that happened today:
1. Got a 52 oz Diet Coke from Quick Trip
2. Communted to and from work with Nick
3. Had a conference call with a punk sales rep in Wisconsin
4. The kids had their pictures taken with Santa at Discovery
5. [just found out] I won an auction on ebay... 8 baby sleepers NWT for only 4.99!
6. Was told by the daycare that Carter had a bad day, why does this kid keep biting other kids?
7. Bathed both children and put them to bed by myself, thanks to flag football
8. Drank two large glasses of milk (if you know me, you know how weird this really is)

8 Things I am looking forward to:
1. Cooking for DNow this weekend; it brings back fond memories of my time in the youth group
2. Thanksgiving Day and looking at all the Black Friday circulars
3. Black Friday!!!
4. Many baby showers in the coming months starting with Rachel & Jaxson's on Saturday
5. Christmas
6. Two potty trained children
7. Date night with my hubby
8. Rachel & Ryan's wedding

8 Things on my Wishlist:
1. A bigger house in a few years
2. A two year old that doesn't bite
3. A smaller waistline
4. Another dog, but smaller this time
5. Texas Rangers in the World Series someday
6. A video camera
7. A regular cleaning lady (and the money to afford her)
8. A happy, healthy family

8 people I tag:
1. Haley
2. Lorin
3. Amanda
4. Misty
5. Jennifer
6. Leslie
7. Elyse
8. Shelly

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Elmo (in pastry form, that is)

So as you'll see from my previous post, we had a Sesame Street theme for Carter's 2nd Birthday Party. I'm sure I could have picked up a Sesame Street cake from just about any bakery, but for some reason, I got the itch to make Carter an Elmo cake myself. And after all the time and energy I put into this thing, I'd say it's deserving of its very own post.

I found an Elmo cake pan online, and despite the seemingly intricate, difficult decorating instructions, I wanted to try it anyway. I bought the pan and all the various cake decorating items that I would need (tips, parchment bags, cornstarch, icing dye-not just food coloring, etc., etc.). I decided to make it two days before Carter's birthday so that in the event of a total flop, I would still have time to purchase something else pre-made. All in all, it probably took me about a total of 5 or 6 hours and WAY more money than a sheet cake would have cost, but it was all worth it to see the look on Carter's face when he saw Elmo. And I just might have picked up a new hobby in the process.

Alright, here's the cake after only icing the mouth and nose. I dyed the cake mix red because, well, Elmo's insides are red too, right?

The star-tipped decorating has begun...

Almost done...

Finally finished!!!

So proud of my accomplishment. Don't I look exhausted?

Since I didn't think the cake would feed everyone at the party, I decided to make some cupcakes to go along with it, complete with candied Elmo decorations, of course. And although Carter wasn't able to help with the actual cake because I wanted it to be a surprise, he was able to be my helper in the kitchen the following night for round two: cupcakes. These weren't hard at all to make, but adding a two year old to the mix of cake batter, a hot oven and a wobbly stool can make anything difficult.

It was worth it though; as you can see, licking the spatula was his favorite part. (And yes, he is wearing his Elmo shirt too. Seriously... can't get enough of that zany puppet.)

My baby is 2!

(posting 10 days late again, but...) My little Carter-man turned two years old on November 2nd. Like all other parents, I have no idea where the time has gone and can't believe it's been two years already. I still remember so many moments from his first year as if they just happened yesterday. And even though the terrible twos set in early (and will no doubt continue into his threes), I still am reminded each day how lucky I am to have such a happy, healthy, terrifically quirky son. All those times of not obeying, not making it to the potty in time, accidentally throwing something at his sister, running into the street or busy parking lot, etc. all fade away when he opens his arms wide and looks at me and says "Mommy! Hugs." or "Mommy! Kisses." When those little arms squeeze my neck, I melt. OH how I love him so.

I don't have any of his 2 year stats yet because his checkup is next week, but we did have one awesome Sesame Street party at the Allen Natatorium the day before his birthday, so I'm happy to share some pics from that. He had a blast!

The Birthday Boy!

One of his favorite presents, ELMO!

What you can't see in this picture is that there is a cupcake underneath there...

All kids love balloons, right?

Splashin' fun with Blake!

Olivia enjoyed watching the fun from the bench, just hanging out with Gigi and Aunt Mindi.

More spectators: Aunt Belinda, Cousin Kalli, Aunt Mindi, and PawPaw.

Trying to contain this kid in a swimming pool is about as easy as wrestling an alligator.

And, of course, the family shot.

Happy Birthday my little man!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Happy Halloween! err... 10 days ago.

I know, I know... I'm soo behind here. Halloween was over a week ago, and I'm just now getting to it. But Carter's 2nd Birthday party was the next day (blog post to follow) and last week was CRAZY at work with a physical inventory and whatnot. Please forgive me.

So, in an effort to keep it short, and also because we didn't do anything more special than trick or treating in downtown McKinney followed by Chinese takeout, I'll just post some pictures of the evening. Carter had a blast (once we let him out of the stroller and he was able to run free in the streets) and Olivia could have cared less. Despite the fact that we really wanted Carter to be Cookie Monster, he had other plans and opted for Superman instead. And because Olivia was not having her pumpkin costume (see previous October post), we were able to get away with a pumpkin onsie and a big bow. Perfect.

Our attempt at a family photo... pretty awesome huh?

Oh and Gigi went with us too!

Hope everyone had a great night and got a good loot of sugar!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Big Orange Pumpkin Farm

We finally made it to the pumpkin "patch" on Saturday (if you can call it that; the pumpkins were rather sparse). We had a great time, but as a crazy, photo-flashin momma, my good time was overshadowed by the fact that I couldn't get a decent picture of the kids no matter how hard I tried. Ah well, such is life. At least Carter enjoyed himself. Here's a few of the better ones for your enjoyment.

Oh, and you'll see in the pictures below, as my sister and I were trying to get a portrait-quality image of Olivia, small children gathered around ooohhing and ahhing over her like they had never seen a baby before, so I had to snap a picture of that as well. It was pretty funny.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Like Father Like Son?

Nick has always said that Carter looked like me, which is true. And I've always wanted to think that Carter looked like Nick as well, but I just can't see it. What do you think?

Nick, age 6 and Carter, age 2 (almost)