Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Laughing

Meredith is starting to laugh and I, of course, think it is so cute!  The video is probably more for the grandmothers and aunts, but every one else might like it too.


Monday, November 28, 2011

Girls' portraits

Today I took the girls to have their pictures taken.  I was going for pictures in their matching Christmas dresses, but I also took a change of clothes for some casual pictures.  Meredith had a break down between the two sittings, but we were able to calm her down long enough to get some good photos.  I was able to review the pictures right there and by the time we finished eating at Chick-fil-A, the pictures were ready to be picked up. 

They took 104 pictures and most of them were pretty good, so it took me a little bit to narrow down the selection.  These are my favorite:










The last time I had pictures taken of Mackenzie that weren't my own was when she was 1 year old.  Hopefully, I'll have pictures taken more often than every 2 years.  And maybe next time, Brandon and I will be in the pictures too! ;)

Friday, November 25, 2011

Friday Flashback: Me and chubbs

This is me holding our family dog, Chubbs when he was a baby.  I think I'm 19 years old and I'm 99% sure this is the first time I had ever held a dog!  It's also probably one of the few times I;ve ever held any animal - including Chubbs.  Notice that I'm still not really holding him in my lap. ;)  Animals just aren't my thing - sorry to all of the animal lovers I know.  If I've come to your house and didn't really act excited to see your pet, it's not that I don't like your pet, it's just that I don't really like pets in general.  I'll pet them and I'll think they are cute, but I can guarantee that I won't pick them up.  Again, it's just not my thing.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!


On this day to give thanks, I am so thankful for my wonderful husband, the little girl with the contagious smile above and this little girl with the adorable smile below.


HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Good Friend

I am still friends with my last college roommate.  In the 10 years since we were roommates, we've occasionally gone to the same church, been to each other's homes a few times and generally kept in touch.  Teresa and I have a lot in common - not only did we get married in the same summer, our oldest daughters are 3 months apart and our youngest daughters are one week apart!  We apparently keep right on schedule with each other.  In some ways we are similar and in others we are not, but I think that's what makes the friendship work.  I don't recall us ever fighting in the year that we lived together (which is saying something when young girls live together!) and although we haven't talked to each other constantly in the last 10 years, we've always been able to pick right back up in our friendship.   

After not talking too much while we were pregnant this past year, we finally "re-connected" after Meredith and Macy were born.  You should have seen the looks we got when we both took the girls to whataburger a month ago after library hour!  We had to take turns holding the crying babies and ordering our food and preparing the drinks for Mackenzie and Lyla.  We learned that we might not do that with just the two of us anytime soon!  That is actually what triggered the play dates at each other's houses!  This past week, the girls came to our house and Mackenzie and Lyla had so much fun playing outside in the beautiful weather.  Teresa and I also had fun just sitting and talking while the little girls slept in our arms.  They have a pool and we have a playground, so between the two houses, we should never be lacking an activity to do all year round for the girls! 

It's so nice to be able to talk to a friend who is going through the exact same stage in life as you are.  Are you sleeping through the night?  How do you punish the older child?  What do you do at nap time?  How are you losing the baby weight?  It's great to have a few hours to talk to a friend who knows a lot about you and that you feel at ease with.  I'm looking forward to many more play dates! 





Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thanksgiving...Part 1

Saturday we had thanksgiving with my step sisters and my grandma.  Because all of us always have another "half" of the family to see on the holidays, we always celebrate on another day.

The food was awesome - turkey, dressing, potatoes, mac n' cheese, brocolli casserole, dirty corn, green bean bundles and there were probably a couple of other items that I didn't eat since I don't really care for vegetables.  But, I'm sure they were good as well! ;)  As is tradition, we divided the girls and guys.  My 7 year old nephew tried to sit with us girls, but my sisters (including his mom) and I kicked him out.  Is that bad? ;)
 


Dessert was also great - cheesecake, mississippi mud, and these little turkeys that took me way too long to make!


Actually, they didn't take that long , it's just one of those treats that takes so much longer to make than it does to disassemble and eat.  Plus, oreos get soft after they've sat out, so they aren't as good as they could be.  Oh, well...they were cute!

It was fun to have so many little kids around - 4 kids, age 3 and under!  Next year will be even more fun when Meredith is walking around with Mackenzie and the twins.

One Thanksgiving down, one more to go! Yum!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Because I can't resist

I just can't resist doing comparison photos of the girls!  Since they are both girls and were born in the same season and are doing and wearing the same things except 3 years apart, it just seems natural to me to put the photos side by side.

It's bumbo seat time!  I couldn't get Meredith to look at the photo, so this comparison is mainly for size.  Meredith is much bigger and cannot even fit in the pajamas Mackenzie is wearing!


Remember this post about the bunny outfit?  Now both girls can complain when they are older! ;)

I love taking pictures at tummy time because at least it looks like they are doing something different than just laying on their backs like in all the other pictures.  But, apparently I had to go all the way to Mackenzie's 6 month to find a tummy time photo!

In the picture above, I think their nose looks the same and maybe the shape of their eyes, but I still don't see a lot of similarities even though several people have told me they do.  Is it just me that doesn't see it?

Friday, November 18, 2011

Friday Flasback: bumbo seat

The Friday Flashbacks are back!  Please try to control your excitement! ;)

I had another image I was going to use today, but yesterday we pulled out the bumbo seat for Meredith to sit in and Mackenzie decided she needed to sit in it also.  I couldn't help but do a side by side of her 3 years ago (almost exactly).

Mackenzie now loves the bumbo seat again!  Yesterday she sat in it while watching tv in her playroom and then this morning she put it on the couch and was sitting in it.  You wouldn't think that would be one of the things Meredith would have to share with Mackenzie!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Crafts & Pre-school

This morning closely resembled a preschool vision I've had since I decided to stay home.  We didn't do everything I want to do on a daily basis, but it was still a good morning and hopefully this will be the beginning of a new schedule.  At the beginning of the month, I made a list of all the fall/Thanksgiving crafts I wanted to do this month (about 2 a week) and up until this morning, we had only done 2!  So, this morning we started with 2 crafts!  First we made a turkey puppet that I saw online somewhere.  I like that the "feathers" are her hand prints, so I'll need to keep it as a keepsake for her hand at age 3.  Since cutting out the hand prints was time consuming, I had her count the hands as I cut them out and match which hand went with each hand print.  Then she got to do her favorite part - glue!

Next, we made a turkey hat.  At first, she didn't like that I wrapped a piece of construction paper around her head, but she got over it when she realized what we were making.  I pulled out craft feathers to glue on the construction paper feathers, but I forgot to give them to her. Again, I found this online also and I think it turned out real cute. 

Shortly after that, I pulled out some of my printouts I found at my favorite website 1+1+1=1.  She has an entire Thanksgiving pack and I selected a few of the activities to do with Mackenzie.  First, we put the "Mayflower" in order from biggest to smallest.  Since this was my first time to sort by size with her, we started with all of the pictures on the floor and I would ask her to put the "biggest" mayflower on the coffee table.  After she did that, then I would ask her again to put the "biggest" mayflower on the table.   This continued until all 6 were on the table in size order.  We did this several times and discussed that the images went from biggest to smallest.  I think tomorrow or next week we might just see if she can do it on her own without me asking her 6 times, although she liked the repetitive question.  She waited for me to ask the question and even told me to ask the question one time when I was waiting to see if she would do it on her own.

After size sorting we worked on patterning (from the same Thanksgiving pack).  We did AB patterns starting with the pilgrim and then again with the indian.  When she did so well with those, I decided to try AAB patterns and she did great again!  We'll definitely be doing this again and with other things in the house.  I downloaded a patterning app for the ipad last week, so maybe I can show it to her and she'll be able to practice with even more images.

This afternoon, after nap time, maybe we'll paint.  I've had 2 corn cobs waiting to be shucked and used for painting sitting in my fridge for the last week!  I'm thinking we also might use the husks to make little dolls...I might be a little over ambitious.  It might be a pumpkin carving all over again!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Story Time and Ladies Bible Class

Yesterday as soon as the rain stopped, I loaded up the girls and we went to "Story time" at a nearby library.  We went a few weeks ago with friends of ours who have gone every week for over a year and their oldest daughter loves it.  You may recall that Mackenzie did not.  Since that particular story time was for children 18 months to 3 years, I thought Mackenzie (and I) would like the one for 3-6 year olds much better.  I have to say that it was a little less noisy, but I just wasn't feeling it.  The librarian was good and the books were good, but Mackenzie and I just kind of sat there vaguely listening.  We do, however. like the library and came home with another 10 books!  We now have 2 library cards for 2 different libraries in our area!  My goal is to never check out books from the different libraries at the same time.  The other library, which is actually closer, has a library hour tomorrow that I'm considering going to, to see what it's like.  I guess I'll decide tomorrow whether we'll go or not.  It all depends on how are morning goes!  I'm also not sure if we should go again to get Mackenzie more into it or if we call it quits and say that story time just isn't our thing. 

In other news, we've made it to Ladies bible class the last 2 weeks and have really enjoyed getting out of the house and visiting with other ladies.  Afterwards, several of us ladies (and kids) go out to lunch.  Last week there were 9 ladies and 14 kids (6 under 8 months) all at Chick-fil-A.  This week there were 7 ladies and 17 kids (5 under 7 month) at CiCi's Pizza!  It's madness, but I love it!  Everyone helps everyone out and we all get to visit and have adult conversation.  It's so nice. ;)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A little behind

When I bought Meredith's baby book, I realized I was a little behind in updating Mackenzie's baby book.  I was missing quite a few pictures and hadn't updated the second birthday page.  Now that she's 3, I figure I really need to update it!  About a month ago I made a list of all the pictures and or information I needed for both baby books and ordered my prints of my pictures.

Now that my pictures are here (they actually arrived several weeks ago), I can update the girls baby books.

There's a catch...I need two free hands!  Maybe I can work on it this afternoon at nap time or tonight while everyone is asleep.  I have a feeling the 9-11pm hours will be my most productive hours during the day!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Cleaning and excuses

When I worked, I always had an excuse for why I didn't get around to cleaning on the weekend.  Too much  laundry, too much cooking, too tired and just plain not enough time.  I always told myself, that if/when I stayed home I would be able to keep the house sooo clean!  I know some of you are laughing right now. ;)

I just doesn't happen like I thought it would.  Granted, I have a 2 month old to care for and about 1.2 to 3/4 of my day is spent holding her.  This limits your abilities to do a lot of thing.  Even in the sling, I still can't iron, cook, clean tubs, change sheets...

However, there are times when I do have hands free and/or both girls are taking naps and I still don't use my time wisely and clean.  Hmm...I don't think my old excuse were ever a problem...I think I'm the problem!  Looks like I better go clean. :(

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Outside fun, dirt, "freak out"

Last week, Mackenzie and I played in the backyard one morning.  Actually, Mackenzie played and I sat most of the time, in a chair holding Meredith while she slept.  We stayed outside for about an hour and a half and she was so dirty, we went straight in for a bath at 10:30 in the morning!  I learned the following 3 things that day:

1.  Never underestimate the amount of dirt that can build up in a plastic tunnel.  She was fairly clean until she went into the tunnel.


 

2.  She listens and understands everything I say.  I was pushing her in the swing and we were talking about bugs and animals, when she informed me that, "she doesn't freak out at spiders and butterflies."  I may have told her once or twice (or one hundred times) not to "freak out".  Some parents say, "relax", I say "don't freak out."  Potato, potato.  ;)

3.  She  loves to pose for the camera.  In the following pictures she made me take a picture for each pose.  She wouldn't change positions until she heard the camera click.  I'm kind of OK with that since she actually let me take quite a few pictures in a row before asking to see the pictures on the camera.
 





Meanwhile, Meredith just hung out in the sling while I took pictures!  So nice! 

Friday, November 11, 2011

Backyard help

After a 13 months in our house and a horrible drought, our backyard plants are not looking too great.  I figure maybe if I start thinking about what kind of plants I'd like to have, then I'll be prepared for the Spring.  These are my current flower beds:

Around the house...
 


At the fence:
 


The flower beds in the back corner actually have a few flowers:


I'm not sure exactly what kind of flowers/plants I want, but I will say that I need durable plants that don't need a lot of work and care.  I'd like to say that now that I'll be home, I could tend to the plants, but why pretend...I won't do that even if I had the perfect weather and all the time in the world!  That's just not something I like to do, so no matter the optimum conditions, I know I won't work in the yard.   The good thing, I think, is that the plants along the house all face north so they shouldn't be getting in harsh sun light, which hopefully leaves a lot of options for plant selection.

Any recommendations? 

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