Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 Blog Recap

I've done an end of year blog recap the last couple of years, so why not do it again for 2011!  I love looking back at the year to see/remember what we did.  In the past I've only focused on the first post of each month, but this time I think I'll just catch the high lights of each month.

January had 2 big highlights - Granny's surprise birthday party and Mackenzie announcing she was going to be a big sister.  Granny's party was fun because we also got surprise her with my Aunt and cousin.  We don't get to see them often since they live in Utah, so it was great to have them at the party.  We actually didn't get to see them again until a couple of weeks ago for our Girls' Christmas.  Announcing I was pregnant was also great, especially since we got to tell it through Mackenzie this time.

February was random with no major highlight except my birthday.  Mackenzie was sick Valentine's day week, but I'm happy to report she hasn't been sick since!  That's a record for us.  here's hoping she finally got mine and Brandon's immune system and will hardly ever get sick.  February is when we also learned that Mackenzie's most feared punishment is to go to her room.  Not time outs in the living room, no this girl hates being sent to her room.  This is still true!

Wow only 5 posts for the month of March!  The highlights include going to the Livestock show and the Children's Museum.  The latter was more fun for both Mackenzie and us.  Since animals still aren't Mackenzie's thing, I'm not sure if we'll go back to the livestock show this year, but we'll definitely go to the museum this next year.

Whoa - April was big!  Brandon and I went to Vegas, All 3 of us went to Sea World, Mackenzie moved to her "big girl" bed, I turned my first year of blogging into a book, we celebrated Easter and we found out we were having a girl!  So many things and all sooooo soooo fun.  I have since made my second year of blogging a book and I've finished 2010 (3rd year) but haven't sent it to the printer yet as I was waiting for some Christmas money. ;)

May was oh so random, but the biggest post was that we had finally chosen a middle name for Meredith.  It's funny to look back and see when we chose the middle name, because I had it in my head that we didn't choose the name until about a month before she was born, but no, we had plenty of time.  This is why I blog, so I can remember all of this information!

Activities, celebrations, activities.  Mackenzie had a dance recital (it happened in May, but I blogged about it June), a birthday party at a gymnastics place, and another trip to the Children's museum.  Brandon and I celebrated our 10 year anniversary.   And most importantly, I discovered that Mackenzie's hair is, in fact, getting lighter! ;) 

In July, I pampered my self, Brandon became oh so crafty in the garage, I finally finished my pregnancy book I'd worked on for 3 years, I finally decorated our bedroom and was contemplating a repeat c-section.  Since then, I've pampered myself 2 other times, Brandon has built several other things in the garage, I have done nothing towards creating book for Meredith, I haven't done any other decorating and I had a repeat c-section!

August was another big month!  We prepared for Meredith's arrival, I decided to stay home with the girls after Meredith's birth, Mackenzie was so very cute in so many new clothes, I got bigger and bigger and bigger, my niece and nephew turned 1 and finally Meredith arrived at the end of the month!

In September we celebrated Mackenzie's 3rd birthday, Brandon and I went to and Aggie Football game for the first time in 9 years and in general I just fed and cuddled my two little girls!

26 posts - a very busy month!  I discovered Pinterest in October and my life will never be the same!  Meredith found comfort in the sling, Mackenzie and I did fun Halloween crafts and activities, and I started a daily picture blog.  Mackenzie's birthday party was also in October and boy did I go a little overboard!  That's what happens when you are stuck inside with a newborn and pretty much constantly think about a party and shop online! ;)  I also took lots and lots of pictures of the girls, played inside and outside with Mackenzie and started cooking again!

Another busy month!  In November, Mackenzie and I played outside, did crafts and learning activities inside, we all celebrated Thanksgiving (twice) and I took the girls to have portraits made!  I still need to buy frames for a the pictures I'm keeping.  We also started getting out and about going to the library, visiting Granny and Papa and going to ladies bible class.  Fun!

As the year was wrapping up, we celebrated several Christmases (3 so far), discovered Tiny (our Elf on the Shelf), made Christmas crafts, said funny stuff and in general had a lot of fun!

So that is 2011 in a nutshell - well, maybe a very large nutshell!  If you blog, I highly recommend you go through your past posts for the year.  It's really cool to look back at your year and see what you've done or at least what you blogged about! ;)


Friday, December 30, 2011

Friday Flashback: Big Cheeks

I came across the photo on the left of my brother on his 3rd birthday.  As soon as I saw it, I knew I had the matching comparison 21 years later!  Apparently he's always had big cheeks!  ;)  I love that nothing has changed since he was 3 and that we still take pictures of our family members blowing out candles on their birthday!

When I showed Mackenzie the picture I asked her if she knew who it was.  She didn't, but when I told her it was Ryan when he was 3, she said, "Just like me!"  She was pretty excited to see that her huge uncle Ryan was once little like her. ;)

Thursday, December 29, 2011

4 months

Meredith is 4 months old today!  We don't go to the doctor until next week, so I don't officially know her stats, but according to my scale and measuring tape she is 16.5 pounds and 27 inches long!  According to what I found online, she's in the 90th percentile for weight and over 97th percentile in length!  We'll see what the nurse/doctor calculates next week.

At 4 months, Meredith:
 - has rolled over twice from stomach to back
 - is eating (5) 7oz bottles a day - pretty much every 3 hours from 7:30am to 7:30 pm.  We'll be starting solids next week after the doctor's appointment!
 - squeals when she's excited.
 - has found her hands and they are constantly in her mouth.
 - is drooling like crazy!
 - kicks her legs A LOT.  I took video of her tonight laying on her stomach and she is still kicking her legs and moving around.
 - does not like to lay back in your arms or in her seat.  She is always trying to pull herself up to an upright position.
 - barely fits in size 3 month clothes and just started wearing some size 6 month pajamas this week.
 - is wearing size 2 shoes as of today.
 - loves for me to sing "My God is so big" and do the hand motions with her.
 - hates her baths.
 - still loves to be swaddled at night when going to sleep.

Below is the comparison picture of Mackenzie and Meredith.  By 4 months, Mackenzie had really started to gain the weight, so I can really see the similarities between the girls in these pictures.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Christmas Day

We are down to having only one more Christmas celebration left and technically it will happen in 2012, but that's ok! ;)  Even though it was pretty rainy and gloomy around here on Christmas day, we still had an awesome day filled with family, food and fellowship!

We actually had to wake Mackenzie up on Christmas morning.  Of course the one day she "sleeps in" (past 7:15) is really the one morning we sort of needed to get up.  I think since it was rainy outside, the sun didn't wake her up and she didn't know it was morning.  Since Meredith is the second child and also the second girl, there wasn't much we needed to buy her for Christmas.  We already have tons of toys for her and lots of books, so unlike Mackenzie's first Christmas where we used all of our gift cards on her, Meredith received bows, tights and onesies!

I also bought her a couple of small board books and an owl towel.  Her gift from Mackenzie was a toy turtle...

I think she likes it!

Mackenzie especially liked her Angelina Ballerina movie...

and her new boots from Meredith!

I received some nail polish that Mackenzie is a little afraid of, but I really like.  After having the nail polish on for 24 hours, it's already chipped on 6 I remember why I don't paint my nails!  I will however paint my toenails with these polishes after it warms again for flip flop weather.

After breakfast we got ready and headed to my grandparents house for Christmas with my mom's side of the family.  As usual, there was lots of yummy food!

And of course, presents and visiting with each other.

I hope everyone had as good a Christmas as we did.  Stay tuned later this week for my crafty projects I completed for Christmas!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Tuesday with Tiny

Today we bid farewell to the blog world anyway.  We actually said goodbye to him on Christmas Eve, blew him kisses and said see you next year.  In his final week here he wasn't very active.  I think flying back and forth from the North Pole really got to him by day 21! ;)

Day 21 - Riding in the sleigh on the mantel.

Day 22 - Hanging out in a stocking.  Maybe he was trying to see how much room Santa had for gifts!

Day 23 - Riding a horse on the exersaucer.

Day 24 - He turned on the Christmas lights for us!

It's been fun having Tiny in the house, but having a house guest for an entire month can get kind of tiring!  So long Tiny...see you next year!  We can't wait for our snow donuts again at our North Pole Breakfast! ;)

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Project: Laundry Room

It seems like since I've been home, my list just keeps getting bigger and BIGGER!  I decided that I want to tackle a few rooms this next year.  I plan to clean out, organize, paint, redecorate the room that I'm working on at the time.  I want to start with the laundry room - the smallest room, other than closets.  I took a few "before" pictures the other night with the intent of taking pictures of the finished product in the next couple of months.

While looking at paint colors online the other day, I found an awesome tool at Sherwin Williams.  They've probably had it for a while, but since I haven't painted anything in forever, it's new to me.  You upload your picture, "mask" off the walls and drag and drop colors onto the photo.  What do you think?

I want something kind of bright that I wouldn't normally do in any other part of the house.  I like the idea of the turquoise walls with black or white accents.  Mackenzie said I needed a bright pink, but I'm thinking I'm going to pass on that idea. ;)

Besides paint, I want to take down the rod above the dryer and add shelves for household supply storage.  As nice as it is to have a rod to hang clothes, this one is just too high (7'-0) and I have to try and reach over the dryer to get to it.  Because of the difficulty I don't use it and since all our doors are 8'0" tall, I can't hang anything in the door ways.  I end up pushing clothes out of the way in the closet for something to dry there or I have to hang it on the shower rod in the hall bathroom.  I'd rather have some additional open shelves where the rod is and add a drying rack to the other wall above the laundry sorter.  This is one I found online that Brandon can easily make for me.
It pops back in place against the wall when not in use, so I think it's perfect.  I also need to find a place to hang my ironing board and iron so that they aren't always in my bedroom or the living room.

Anyways, we'll see how fast this project goes and if we start in January.  The first task, painting, is a doosie since it requires moving 3 large appliances!  I think I need to pick the wall color soon so that I can be ready to paint as soon as I have 2 free hands and Brandon to move the appliances.  I might need a babysitter for a day so that 2 free hands can become a reality! ;)

Friday, December 23, 2011

Flashback Friday: Honeymoon

This is me and Brandon 10 1/2 years ago on our honeymoon!  Look how young we were!  It's not that we look young...we ARE young.  I was 21 and he was 23!  We dated for a year before getting engaged and were engaged for a year and a half.  I think if we had it to do all over again, we would not be engaged for that long.  We were waiting for Brandon to graduate so that only one of us would still be in school when we were married. (Who knew that 5 1/2 years out of 10, one of us would always be in school!)

Anyways, back to the picture - we went to Jamaica for our honeymoon to one of those all inclusive places.  It was very nice and after the whole Tropical Storm Allison thing, it was nice to get away from everything.  This is one of the restaurants we went to and one of the few pictures we have of the 2 of us together.  (that's pretty much the story of our life - not too many picture of the 2 of us together)  I remember being slightly scared when we left Houston because it was my first trip out of the state/country that I wasn't with my parents or other adults.  Apparently at 21 (and married) I still didn't feel like an adult! ;)

It's fun to look at old pictures and see what you remember...the people, the atmosphere, the crazy things you buy (a basket full of sea shells!), the clothes...all of it is awesome.  I think everyone should do this!  Join me next Friday?

PS - Mackenzie just looked at the picture and asked, "is that you with long hair?"  Yep...I'm not sure my hair has been that long since!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas Miscellaney

We've been busy these past 2 weeks doing several different Christmas activities.  We made a reindeer hat the other day and Mackenzie insisted that we make a reindeer puppet to match our Turkey puppet.
I used a circle punch for the eyes, so she wanted to use the punch for the puppet as well.  I guess this reindeer is a special polka dotted species of reindeer!

I had several different printouts for Mackenzie to work on periodically, so I copied an idea from my favorite website and put all of the sheets in sheet protectors and in a binder.  This way she can use a dry erase maker and color/fraw as many times as she wants to!

We've also been doing the patterning ans size sort activities like we did in November, but this time we have two separate sets - one gingerbread people and the other the Nativity seen.  Again, both printouts from my favorite website!

This past week we explored food crafts - yum!  First we made the Christmas trees from sugar ice cream cones and green icing.  It was messy, but very delicious!  Of course you can't really go wrong with sugar!

Saturday we built our gingerbread house.  At one point Brandon asked if I was making it or if Mackenzie was making it.  My reply, "I ice, she decorates."  I know I'm pretty particular when it comes to things like this, but I did ask her if she wanted to ice it ans she said no - I tried to let go. ;)
The house is complete!

The icing in the kits isn't that great - or maybe dispensing it from the plastic bag is the problem!  Maybe next year I'll use my own icing with actual decorating tips.  Remind me in a year to re-read this post prior to making the house!
 The backside was really boring, so I added two M's for "Momma" and "Mackenzie".
I have a few more crafts I still want to do and time is running out!  Hopefully we'll get to them, but if not, we'll do them next year!
Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Funny stuff!

It's time for my monthly update of Mackenzie's funny and cute stories!  There are so many every day, but these are the ones I remember now.

1.  We were catching up on our Advent Jesse tree the other day and I don't recall exactly what I asked her, but she told me, "God is in my heart" and put her hand on her chest.  So adorable!  Then on another advent devotional the symbol was a tree stump with a new branch.  The stump represents Jesse and his family and the new branch represents Jesus.  When I asked her if she knew what a tree stump was, she said "yes, a stump makes a house."  When I said not really, she quickly informed me that it made Shrek's house!  Why, yes I guess it does!

2.  While walking around with just her pajama pants on she informed me that she was "daddy, but not furry."  I laughed out loud and had to resist the urge not to call Brandon right then!

3.  Some words are just hard to pronounce!  Vanilla, Chocolate and Pretend were last week's challenge words.  I only had to get her to repeat the words exactly as I said once and she said them correctly from then out, but they were previously pronounced like this:
I'm glad she says them correctly now, but it was cute to hear her say "would you like va-illa or choc-lick cookie?"

4.  Mackenzie talks gibberish a lot!  She does it on purpose and knows she's making up words.  When you ask her what it means, her response is always, "it means what can you do."  I guess that's her way of saying that she's going to make up words all she wants and we can't do anything about it! ;)

5.  Mackenzie walked up to me the other day and said she was a conductor.  I couldn't tell she was doing anything other than stand there, but then I noticed she was pointing her big toes straight up.  I didn't understand how this made her a conductor because I was thinking of a musical conductor.  When I asked her why her toes were up she told me it was like Dinosaur train, a PBS cartoon.  Below is a picture of "Mr. Conductor" - look at his big toes!  Talk about attention to detail.

I'm loving being home 24/7 with her to hear all that she says - it makes my day, every day!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Tuesday with Tiny

It's time to find out where Tiny, Our Elf on the Shelf, has been this past week.  After missing another Friday night, Brandon decided to help me hide/position Tiny a couple of nights this past week.

Day 14 - he had trouble with the toilet paper!

Day 15 - hanging from the light fixture

Day 16 - making new friends with Emily and Abby and wishing he had more clothes to choose from!
 Day 17 - I think Tiny sensed that I stayed up too late working on Christmas Cards and didn't want to disturb me to help him hide the night before! ;)
Day 18 - fishing in the bowl?

Day 19 - Mackenzie wanted nothing to do with Tiny's green milk!

Day 20 - taking a ride around the kitchen.
Tiny will only be here for 4 more mornings, so stay tuned for next week's final installment of Tuesday with Tiny! 

Monday, December 19, 2011

Matching hats

My aunt made the girls matching hats! 

Eventually, I'll get their picture together!  The yarn matches Mackenzie's scarf/gloves that Rhonda made her last winter. She'll be all decked out and ready to go...the next time another cold front blows through.  I'm pretty sure hats and scarves are not appropriate in 71 degree weather!
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