Saturday, April 30, 2011

Generic vs. Brand Names

Brandon and I for the most part, take turns going to the grocery store. We also tend to buy generic brand foods with a few exceptions:

Club crackers MUST be Keebler
Nilla waifers MUST be Nabisco
Ice Cream MUST be BlueBell

I've now added another brand name to the list. When I put Little Debbie snacks on the list...Little Debbie snacks MUST be bought!

Only during this pregnancy and my last do I buy little debbie snacks, so it's a real treat to have them in the house! Because it's a treat for a limited time (only 4 months left), I don't want wanna-be Little Debbie snacks! the wanna-be nutty bars are ok, but the wanna-be swiss cake rolls - yuck! Brandon says they taste fine to him. My response was, "then you can eat them yourself."

I guarantee when I go to the grocery store later today, I'm coming home with the real deal! Maybe these...

or these...

or these...

or these...

or these...

Ooooh, they all look so good to me! How will I ever decide?!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Middle Names

Brandon and I are still trying to decide on a middle name for Meredith. Originally, Brandon thought that it would be nice to pick an "L" name so that the girls would have the same initials. I immediately nixed this, claiming I needed some way to distinguish their clothes, backpacks, lunches or toys in the future.

We've yet to agree on a name because Brandon is so picky! No Brooke, no Kate, no Paige, no Abigail...the rejection list goes on and on. ;)

Last night I looked thought the Pottery Barn Kids magazine looking mainly at the names monogrammed on the products. One of the names I read and suggested was "Lucy". I then followed with, "but we don't want to use that because it's an "L" name. Brandon's reply was, "why not, I like the name Lucy." He finally likes something...

So, my question is, do you think it's a bad idea to have your childrens' initials be exactly the same? I'm starting to lean towards it being ok, but I'm still undecided. Do you like "Meredith Lucy"? Do you have any other suggestions?

Monday, April 25, 2011


Heat and a hollow chocolate bunny don't mix!
I hope you all had a Happy Easter!

Saturday, April 23, 2011


Back in January, we signed Mackenzie up for a dance class at her school, once a week for 30 minutes. There's no uniform and no other expense other than the once a month fee, so that makes it really convenient since she stays at her school the entire time. The bummer is that it happens at 10:30 in the morning, so I don't get to sit and watch her at her school. However, her school has online viewing, so I usually watch a couple minutes of it each week online. Then that night I can ask her what she's been doing.

She loved when they were doing ballet and likes some of the Jazz they are doing now. She has a "recital" one morning at the end of May that parents are invited to and Brandon and I cannot wait to see her dance with everyone else! Below is a little video of her doing some of her "dance". To all of the ballet dancers out there...I know nothing about ballet, so I don't think I asked her to do the right "position", but she still understood what I was asking. I'll worry about understanding ballet more if she continues with this in the coming years.

Friday, April 22, 2011


I started unpacking all of the baby stuff this past weekend. I started with the bottles/sippy cups/pacifiers...and moved onto the blankets/bibs and shoes. Mackenzie was in the room with me "helping" me. I think it was good for her, though because by the time she tried on all of the new born shoes, she had agreed that they Meredith's and not hers.

She also had fun trying every pacifier to make sure it was ok. Since she stopped taking a pacifier at 4 months, I think she only knew about pacifiers from her baby doll, so this was something new. Again, once she tried all of them once, she was done.

I can't believe how much stuff we have. I did two loads of laundry just of bibs, burb cloths and blankets! I didn't even touch the clothes yet. Maybe I'll start that in a couple of weeks. There's no telling how many loads of laundry that's going to be. Making room for that stuff is the easy part, since she has a dresser, but finding room for the bottles and baby sippy cups - now that was hard to do! I've always had 2 shelves in the kitchen dedicated to Mackenzie for her utensils, plates, bowls and sippy cups, but now, I have to have room for that PLUS the bottles, baby utensils, and baby sippy cups! For now, some of it is occupying a top shelf that requires a stool for access, but I'll move it down later. Maybe I'll get back to that when I'm in more of a nesting mode instead of an "oh my goodness look at all of this stuff" mode!

Don't get me wrong, I really want to have another baby, but I definitely see the benefit in having them closer together so that all of the baby stuff is out at once rather than combining it with toddler stuff. But, people have done it before me and people will do it after me, so it's not that big of a deal. I just need to make room! ;)

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Neighborhood Spring Festival

This past Saturday our neighborhood had a Spring Festival with an Easter Egg hunt that lasted about 3 minutes!

Mackenzie found some eggs and then we headed to the jump houses they had set up, but this time she didn't want to jump, so we ate a couple of hotdogs and hung out near the bean bag toss.

Mackenzie is pretty good at the bean bag toss. Of course it helps when you stand on the board or right next to it!

At Christmas, Mackenzie didn't want to have anything to do with the woman making balloon animals, but this time she stood at the table and told her she wanted a bunny.

Tomorrow we are going to another egg hunt for the young families at our church. Hopefully she'll be able to handle hunting eggs with the older kids, now that she's had a little practice!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Mackenzie sings

Singing Jesus Loves Me & Twinkle Twinkle...almost.

Singing her ABC's

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Burned out

After finally getting back into reading last year, I got off to a great start at the beginning of the year! By the end of February, I had read 7 books!

And now in the middle of April, I've read 7 books this year! ;) Yep...I burned myself out. I love to read, but I think I read so many in such a short period of time that I just got tired of reading! I haven't been tired of reading since my honors English class in high school!

It probably didn't help that I chose a book that is super long and not quite what I thought it would be. Be careful of Mr. Darcy takes a Wife, it's not quite the continuation of Pride and Prejudice that I thought it would be. It's a little too much on the sex and murder side for me. Not really Jane Austin-ish.

I think I need to scrap that book and start another book that I can really get into so that I'll start reading again. I think I might read one of my favorite books that I've read several times just because I know I'll like it.

Does anyone have any suggestions for books I should read? I don't really care for murder/mystery books, but all others I enjoy.

Monday, April 18, 2011

My Blog is a book!

So, I finally finished my blog book for 2007/2008! It was 124 pages and I'm so excited that at least part of my blog is printed on paper!
I've printed several blurb books, but I've always had a book jacket printed. This time, I had the images printed directly on the cover and absolutely love it.
It took me a little bit to get the format how I wanted to, but now that I'm set, I can work on the 2009 volume and then the 2010 volume!

More blog books here I come! ;)

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Vicious Cycles

Mackenzie likes to count and sing for us. We love it, but most of the time she ends in what we've dubbed the "vicious cycle". Here's an example:

"1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 11, 12, 13, 11, 12, 13, 11, 12, 13"...vicious cycle.

She will continue to repeat "11, 12, 13" until Brandon and I continue to count with her to 20 or she just stops on her own.

Her two favorite songs tend to enter the vicious cycle as well.

Twinkle Twinkle:
"Twinkle, Twinkle, little star.
How I wonder what you are.
Up above the world so high,
Like a diamond in the sky.
Twinkle, Twinkle, little star.
How I wonder what you are.
Up above the world so high,
Like a diamond in the sky.
Twinkle, Twinkle, little star.
How I wonder what you are.
Up above the world so high"...vicious cycle.

Jesus loves me:
"Jesus loves me, this I know, for the bible tells me so.
Little ones to...this I know, for the bible tells me so.
Little ones to...this I know, for the bible tells me so.
Little ones to...this I know, for the bible tells me so.
Little ones to...this I know, for the bible tells me so."...vicious cycle.

If I help her with "little ones to Him belong", then she continues with the song and knows the rest of the words, but other wise that one little line turns her into a broken record. ;)

I think it's really cute and I'm going to try to get on video, so maybe I'll be able to post it later this week for your entertainment!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Sea World

Brandon and I took Mackenzie to Sea World this past Friday. We left early in the morning and were there when they first opened.
We had planned on going in April since last fall, knowing it would be a little cooler than going in the heat of the summer. It was only a LITTLE cooler with a high of 91!

She was really excited to see the Sea Lions, so that's one of the first things we went to see. She also liked the aquarium with the fish and sharks. My favorite phrase of hers was, "yay, I found Dori!" (For those that don't know, that's the blue fish from Finding Nemo.) We also saw the dolphins, but since we didn't buy any fish, they didn't come anywhere near us so that we could pet them. Brandon and I know better by now and knew she wouldn't want to touch the dolphin even if we had bought the fish to feed them. There was one moment when Mackenzie was so busy doing this...

...she didn't notice that a dolphin was coming near her. She did see it in time to squeal and jump back off the wall!

We had a lot of fun, but by 2:30 we were worn out and super hot, so we went to our hotel. We wanted to get Mackenzie a keepsake from the gift shop and we no matter how much we pushed the stuffed dolphin or Shamu, she wasn't really interested. The thing she was the most interested in were the books. Those she sat on the floor with and looked at thoroughly. So that was her keep sake - 5 books with a theme of aquariums, penguins and other underwater animals. She loves them and has already "read" them several times.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

It's another Girl!!!

We found out on Thursday that we are having another girl! We are so thrilled to know the gender and be able to call the baby by name! We've only agreed on a first name so far...Meredith. I'll keep you updated on the middle name. Below is her first profile picture!
Now I can begin the process of going through all of Mackenzie's old clothes and baby stuff and start organizing the nursery. We've decided to use the same bedding that Mackenzie had, so at least I don't have to choose bedding again! I think the only new thing we really need is a double stroller. We've found one online that we think we like, but I need to go check it out at a store near my office to see how heavy it really is.

I also need to think of a new collection for this baby, since we have elephants for Mackenzie. I always thought if it was a boy, I'd do monkeys, but I guess I could still do monkeys for girl, couldn't I?

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Las Vegas

Last week Brandon and I met Brandon's brother and sister-in-law in Vegas to celebrate our anniversaries a little early. Dustin and Aubrey will celebrate their 5 year anniversary in May and Brandon and I 10 years in June. We were there for 2 1/2 days and had a great time. Brandon and I didn't gamble much at all, but we ate lots of great food! And we walked A LOT!

First, let me say that when Aubrey and I booked the flights back in January, I don't really know what we were thinking! We both booked flights leaving Houston/Dallas at 6:00am. Yes, that means Brandon and I left our house at 4:00am! I was a little nervous about the full body scan since I'm pregnant, so I opted for the "pat down", which wasn't really that bad. The media coverage made it sound like it was going to be a bunch of groping, but it seemed perfectly fine to me. Anyways, we got on the plane and left Houston while it was still dark! I didn't realize we were going to fly over the Grand Canyon, so that was nice surprise.

We arrived in Vegas at 7:30 and went straight to the hotel to check in and have breakfast. We stayed at the Venetian Hotel which was very nice.
After breakfast, we started our walk down the strip, which I think ended up being about 4 or 5 miles by the time we got back to our hotel. Needless to say we all took an afternoon nap so we would be nice and refreshed when we saw the Blue Man Group that night. They were great and one of my favorite things we did while we were there!

Our second day there we found a cute little restaurant for lunch and ate outside, since the weather was great. After lunch we went to the top of the Eiffel tower (or at least the Paris hotel miniature) and saw Vegas from a much higher view point.
That evening we had a wonderful anniversary dinner at Mario Batali's B&B Ristorante! So delicious! We left straight from there to go to Graceland Wedding Chapel to watch Elvis walk Aubrey down the aisle as she and Dustin renewed their vows! Very fun!
All in all, we had great time and all of the free shows outside the different hotels were very cool. I took about 30 pictures just of the fountains at the Bellagio! So cool.

I will say, that if you ever go to Vegas - DO NOT waste your time waiting for the show at Treasure Island! Horrible - horrible. We waited for 20 minutes and within 2 minutes of it starting we were ready to walk away. We stayed a little longer hoping it would get better, but gave up and left long before the end. How come no one tells you that it's bad before you go??? Why do so many people go see it if it's that bad???

Below are some miscellaneous pictures of the different hotels. Of course I don't have a single picture of me or Brandon, so my only proof that these are my pictures is that they were taken from my camera! ;)

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Unwanted guests

When we moved in to our house back in September, there was a birds' nest above our front porch. We never saw any birds there, but knew they had been there recently because of the wonderful mess they made on the porch. A few weeks ago, since there had been no traces of birds for 6 months, Brandon finally sprayed down the nest and cleaned off the front porch. Within the week, the nest was back!

It wouldn't be so bad to have the nest, if they didn't leave the mess on the porch, but because of the mess, it's really annoying! Our neighbors across the street have a nest at their front porch also and they say they spray it down every night and by the next day it's been built back up! I guess we have some stubborn birds in our neighborhood! ;)

Monday, April 4, 2011

Elmo says Bye!

After 6 months, Elmo finally says, "Goodbye."
We bought this foil balloon for Mackenzie's birthday party and tied it to her easel after the party thinking it would fall a week or two later. Nope, it stayed in the air for 6 months until last week Elmo finally turned down and said goodbye! ;)

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Big Girl Bed

To make way for the new baby, we moved the crib to the nursery and gave Mackenzie my old twin bed as her "Big Girl Bed".

She LOVES it! She loves to climb on her "skool" or stool to get into the bed and she says the bed and blanket are soft.

Yesterday she took a nap in it with out me having to lay down with her until she was asleep and then last night when I said it was bed time she went straight to her bed and was under the covers before I finished putting her milk in the fridge! This morning she laid in her bed until 7:45 when I came in to get her, which is what she did in her toddler bed, so nothing changed! yay!

I'm so impressed at how she handles transitioning to new things - the house, the toddler bed and now the big girl bed. Here's hoping potty training will go just as smoothly!
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