Saturday, December 31, 2011

2012 New Year's Resolutions

My ten goals for this year:

1.  Make it a priority to spend 20 minutes in prayer by myself one night a week.

2.  Go on one date night each month with Jeremy.

3.  Go on a vacation to Bermuda for seven days!  (cheating a little...)

4.  Learn another new skill...  no idea what this will be, but looking forward to whatever it is!

5.  Workout three days a week if even for just ten minutes to increase my energy.

6.  Run a 5K race.

7.  Find at least two positive things about my day before talking about anything negative that happened.

8.  Pay off our loan from our a/c unit, duct work, and new fence.

9.  Join or lead a women's bible study at church.

10.  Spend less time cleaning and more time playing!




2011 Resolutions....

So here were my goals for this past year.  Just evaluating how it went.... and adding some of these to my new list for next year.

1 -  Pray more.  Not just small prayers or nightly prayers with Jeremy or the girls or at mealtimes.  But more alone time with God just seeking His will for my life and thanking Him for who He is and all He has and will do.  
 
**Found it difficult to do this one.  Will have to find more time this year and make it more of a priority on my own.  Easy with family or just Jeremy - hard to find true alone time.


2 - Take at least one vacation.  This one is cheating a little as I already know we'll go somewhere as we have two free plane tickets, BUT it means actually using them.  


**Guess it wasn't cheating.  No vacation this year.  BUT we did purchase tickets to go on a cruise in June 2012.  So it's a step in the right direction!

3 - Be more wise with what we have.  Use our money more wisely.  Use my time more efficiently.  Use my recreation time as recreation - not extra work time.


**Wisdom we were given.  Still not sure how we made everything work out.  And the answer is that we did our best, but God is to be praised for getting us through and getting us through well.
4 -  Try one new recipe a month.


**This would mean that I actually cook a lot.  Happened one time this year.
5 -  Dive in.  (something I desire to do - unable to be shared at the moment)


**Referred to taking Madi in and prayed that it would happen.  So glad she is here and amazed at how it's gone.  So it's actually the first "goal" that was reached.
6 - Build back up to running 3 miles.  I sooo very much miss running as it used to be something I loved to do in my spare time.  Gave me more energy and I just felt good.  Ran great after having Riley, but have not yet found time with two kids to squeeze it all in.  Hoping to do it by the end of next year as I'll have to start at ground zero (ugh!!). 


**Does running three times this year count for anything?  Totally did NOT reach this goal.  Couldn't even find time to go to the bathroom without interruption from kids let alone actually going outside on my own for thirty minutes - ha!
7 -  Choose at least one day a week to not check Facebook.  This is totally ridiculous to put on here, but needs to be done.  


**Pathetically achieved.  Meaning, didn't do it.  I'm a sucker for looking at what everyone else is up to.  Will need to work on this.
8 - Go on a date night with Jeremy once a month.  Again - with two kids, we hardly went out and spent time together.  Definitely a priority that needs to be made. 


** YES!!!!  We went out at least one night a month.  Sometimes we hadn't gone out all month and were able to go out the last day of the month, but we did it!  Will definitely work to do this again.  Truly made a difference in our relationship.
9 -  Develop WeeCrochet even more.  WeeCrochet is a business that my sis-in-law, mother-in-law and I do.  We make custom items such as cowls, hats, baby sets, dishcloths, etc...  great way for us to hang out together and fun to do too!!


**Woo hoo!  Started my Etsy store this year.  Wrote two of my own patterns to be sold soon on Etsy.  Developed it more and bought mannequins and more tables, etc...  
10 - Learn a new skill.  Not sure what that will be yet.  Last year it was crocheting.  In previous years, it was learning guitar.  Always fun to see what new skill will be added.  Maybe speaking in Italian for our trip to Italy - right, Jeremy?  I hear Italy calling our name.... 


**Learned how to knit!!  Loving it!




So all in all, I achieved five of my goals.  Two of them which were very large goals that couldn't have happened without God.  Desperately failed in my attempt to cook and take time away from Facebook.  And somewhat started the other three, but didn't succeed in the way I hoped.  All in all, very happy with what was achieved and looking forward to setting new goals for this year!!!

2011 Recap

We received several cards this year where people gave recaps of what happened in their lives this year.  So here's my attempt:

January - Don't remember... oh - big snow storm and got to stay inside our home due to all the ice for four days.  No school.  Totally awesome way to start the year!

February - Did February happen?  Don't remember anything about it.

March - Julia's first birthday, Jeremy got even older (36).

April - Assuming it rained?!  Why can I not remember anything???

May - Riley's fourth birthday!  Celebrated with friends and family at the Arbor Hills Nature Preserve.  Madi and Monica came from the Philippines to get her settled at our house.

June - Monica went back to the Philippines and Madi began her stay with us.  Started her blog:  raisingagirlgodsway.blogspot.com.  Probably have more info on that site than I do on this one as to what we did this year.

July:  VBS, Camp, staying home with the girls.  Hottest summer!!!!!

August:  Julia and Riley start their first year at Lakeside Montessori Academy.  Just awesome!  Madi starts fourth grade at Ethridge.  I start my eleventh year of teaching.  Jeremy just keeps working and working and working.

September:  I go on happy pills and the world is a much better place to live in.  At least, for me.  Though I'm sure others are just as thankful for the difference it has made.

October:  Halloween fun with Cleopatra, Alice in Wonderland and a Cowgirl that can really rock pink boots.

November:  Thanksgiving, tons of programs, and still fairly warm weather.

December:  An amazing Christmas, choir sings at the Texas Legends Game, Willow Bend Mall, Colony Community Center;  record the all-school recording;  Julia seems to grow by leaps and bounds in her talking.  Especially the words/phrases "no" - "I don't know" - "I don't want it" - "I want Eggos!"  "I want cereal!"  "Pease (please)"  "Book!  Book!"  "Bahpah!  Bahpah! (Grandpa)"

Friday, December 23, 2011

Julia

Favorite word at the moment:  No!

When asked any question relating to "Where is the ____" or "Where is ____,"  the answer is always "I no no!" (I don't know)  So cute when we're reading a book and we ask "Where is the moon?" and she looks at it and still says "I no no!"

Trying very hard to imitate everything we say.  Loves to say "I wah" (I walk) and "I ruh" (I run).  Does not like to be carried anywhere.

When I drop her off at preschool, she loves to run in the front door, run around to the office door and smile and wave hi to the receptionist before running ahead to class.  They call her the life of the party.  And she is incredibly social.  So cute!

Princesses

Riley: (while on the potty)  Princesses don't go potty.
Me:  Then what do they do?
Riley:  They probably poop in the snow outside.  They don't have potties in their castles.
Me:  I'm pretty sure they probably have potties so they can go.
Riley:  No they don't.  I know that.  I've seen more movies than you have and the princesses never go potty.  And they never show the bathrooms in the movies.  So they don't have them inside their castles.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

My Dogs (as written while Riley is talking)

When I'm older, I'll get married, have a big belly and have babies and forty puppies.  I'll name them:

Key
Casey 8
And Casey 9.
Casey 8 will be 69 years old.
Akkeoo
Keo-bell
Bella
Abell
Key-bell
Acybell
Abell
Keil-esse
Keil-esso
And the last one will be named Bell Curtain.
That's all the bells I wanted to say.

The big one will grow up more and more and more.  Then she'll be 60-14.  Then she'll die.  Then she'll run over a car.  And all there will be left are 69 puppies.  The other ones will die. When the puppy gets older and older when she gets 60-14, she will be dead already.  And then she'll go to Jesus.  And that's fine by me.

Life and Death

Riley is sick.  Home today, home again tomorrow.  Seems like we just can not get all of us healthy for long periods of time this year.

Riley and Jeremy spent the day together at home today.  Somehow they got on the topic of life.  Here are some of Riley's conclusions from the day:

HOW MARRIAGE LOOKS:

Riley:  When I'm older, I'm going to get older.  And I'll have a husband.  And I'll get married.  Then my belly will get really big.  I'll have a baby and her name will be... ummm... Bella.  Then I'll have another baby and name her Jules.

Me:  We'll love them for sure.

Riley:  I know.

HOW GETTING OLD LOOKS:

Riley:  You're almost very old, Dad.

Jeremy:  I'm not going to be old until you get married and have kids.

Riley:  No, you're already old.

HOW BEING OLD LOOKS:

Riley:  When I'm really old like Mamaw, I might be dead.... by that point.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Here Comes Santa Claus

Our annual trip to see Santa Claus always happens the week of Thanksgiving.  Let's face it - shorter lines and more time with him.  Not to mention I am off work so it's just that much easier to fit it in.

I decided to take the girls today before the week got away from us.  We went to Willow Bend Mall and the girls were quite excited.  Julia wasn't quite sure what she was excited about, but was happy as could be anyway.  Riley chose her outfit - purple dress with black leggings and her pink cowboy boots.  I did her hair, but it only lasted about five minutes into the drive there before she put on a Santa hat and pulled everything out.  So much for that.

The girls were great in line and waited patiently.  Even though there were only three people in front of us, it still took about 20 minutes as they gave us a lot of time in the ice palace snow globe.  At each section, they had ropes tying it off and you were only allowed into the next section once each person had moved on.  This allowed us to be by ourselves each time which was great.  The girls sat on the ice throne and were smiling huge until Julia saw the snow falling in the globe.  Forget about waiting our turn.  She took off running and darted under the ropes.  I caught her shirt and was able to pull her back.  She fussed for a minute, but thankfully I was able to divert her.

Once the girls got inside the snowglobe, they started running in the snow and throwing it at one another. They loved it!  Then came the best part:  seeing Santa!

I asked Riley to go up to him first so that Julia would see that it was ok (which is funny because last year I had him hold Julia first because she was always so happy to go to anyone and this made Riley comfortable with going to him).  Riley stood right by him and was beaming.  I set Jules in his lap and she was staring at him, a little unsure, but then started giggling and smiling.  The girls took a super cute picture.

Santa asked Riley what she wanted and she said "A puppy."  To which Jules replied "Puh-pee!!  Yes!!!"
So then Riley said "We'd like two puppies then."  And Santa replied "Ok."

They got their ice palace book to take home and we paid for the pics.  Afterward we met Jeremy at Pei Wei for some dinner.  And took the girls home to go to bed.  A very sweet day.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Love, Love, Love

We're so funny!

Love this.  Riley chose Madi as her best friend.

Her Thanksgiving Placemat

Here Comes Christmas!






How to make frozen popsicles

Today is the first day off for Thanksgiving break!  Loving it.  Home with Jules and Riley while Madi is at a playdate all day with Elizabeth.  So far we've done really exciting things - watched Boz, played in the playroom and gone to Walmart.   And it's been awesome!!

Riley and I turned on the movie "12 Dogs of Christmas" while we both snuggled under a blanket on the couch.  Julia was upstairs sleeping.  I saw Riley go into the kitchen and open a Danimal yogurt.  Thought she was just getting one to eat so I turned around and watched the movie some more and she came in and sat by me.

She said she was hungry after she sat down and I didn't remember seeing her eat it.  So we went to the fridge to find this:




She told me that she was very sad because they weren't getting frozen.  And that she'd seen a commercial on tv where they stick popsicle sticks inside cups and they make frozen pops, but for some reason hers were not working.  And they wouldn't stand up right in the freezer so she had to put them in the fridge.  And that it was a mess on the freezer floor from where the danimal dropped.  And that little kids just can't clean up by themselves.  It's not possible. They can't do it.  Just can't.  Only can clean up with help from someone else.

We put a few of them in the freezer and covered them.  So we'll see if we can actually make frozen pops today.

Animal Sounds

Us:  What sound does a dog make?
Jules:  heheheheh (panting sound)
Us:  What does a horse say?
Jules:  Neigh, Neigh
Us:  What does a duck say?
Jules:  Qua, Qua
Us:  What does a sheep say?
Jules (in a very deep, loud, mean sound):  BAAAAA!

Cute things I've forgotten to share

So here are a few things that happened in October:

1 - My parents were over the house.  Riley turns her body towards us in the living room.  She is about to fart and says "I'm going to fart at you."  Then proceeds to let it out.  Then says "I wanted to creep you out."

Okay - so I only remember one thing.  But then Halloween came!

Halloween:

1 - The girls were sooo cute!  Julia was dressed as Alice in Wonderland, Riley was a cowgirl (from head to toe) and Madison was Cleopatra.  We all went to my parents neighborhood party where they got to pet animals at the little petting zoo area - chickens, bunnies, etc... - and go on a hayride.  Their favorite part was getting to ride ponies at the pony corral.

2 - On Halloween night, the girls went to a few houses on our street before Jules went to bed.  They were very excited.  Julia tore down the street.  Was running SO fast!  At one of the first homes, they had a skeleton head that moved and lit up and talked.  When it was pointed out to Julia, she said "Doggie!"

3 - My dad and Jeremy took Riley and Madison out around the neighborhood while I put Jules down and then my mom and I passed out candy.  At the homes, Riley asked the people if she could pick out her by saying "May I please pick my own?"  to which she was often told "Sure - take two!" (or more)

4 - At one of the homes, the man gave Riley a huge handful of candy and Riley goes "That's too much" and handed him back a Reese's.  Reminded me of how last year she brought all of her candy to Grandma and Grandpa's house and then passed out her own candy to the other kids that came to the door.

5 - And of course, Riley wanted to pet all of the dogs :)

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Our little Cannibal

Biting.
Sharp Teeth.
Wounded Friends.
Stomach.
Hand.
Arm.
Back.
Victims.
Preschooler.
Time Out.
Sorry.
Hugs.

The culprit?  Our little 19 month old Jules, the little cannibal.  Two more notices home today that she bit a friend on the back and another on the arm at preschool.  Yesterday she bit Riley in the stomach when she was blocking her from getting into the pantry again.  A few days ago she chose to put herself in time out during preschool and kept saying "walk away please" to herself as she walked around the classroom.  She managed to tell her teacher that she sat in time out because she wanted to bite her friend's hand.  Kept pointing to her hand and saying "walk away" and then put herself in time out.

Jeremy told her in the car ride home today "Jules, we don't eat our friends."

Julia simply replied "Yesh."  (yes)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Could she be any sweeter?!

Today was one of those days.  Jeremy is very under the weather and was sent home sick before lunchtime.  When I picked up the girls, Julia has a black eye that is swollen because she tripped over a toy and hit her eye on the toy bin at daycare.  Never even cried!  Riley has a raised and bruised bump on her left forehead because a kid pushed her on the playground and she hit her head on a metal pole.

I let the girls know that Jeremy wasn't feeling well and that we'd need to be considerate of him when we got home.

Jeremy was laying on the couch when we walked in.  I told him what happened with the girls, but that they're both fine.  Riley ran to go near him and I asked if she could stay back a little from Jeremy since he was sick.

Riley:  I'm sad, Dad.

Jer:  Why are you sad?  Because Jules has a black eye?

Riley:  No.

Jer:  Because you hit your head on a pole?

Riley:  No

Jer:  Then why are you sad?

Riley:  I'm sad because you are sick.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Mean Mommy

I put Riley to bed tonight.  She was wiggling and squirming and in fact, is still awake at 8pm even though it's been over an hour since we read and put her to bed.

She kept playing with her monkey stuffed animal.  I told her she needed to lay with it and warned her that if she continued, I'd take it away.  She played with it a second time and I repeated the same thing.  She laid down with it for a very short while and then spun it around in the air over her head.

I stopped the spinning of the animal, gently took it from her and (not my best moment) then threw it across the room and told her "Lay down, babe.  It's time to rest and sleep!"  To which she sat up and replied:

"God would not let you do this to me!"

I said "Say that again?  What was that?"

She said very sternly "God would not let you do this to me.  He would not let you take that animal away from me.  You're being very mean to me.  God will not let you be mean to me."

I explained that she may feel that I'm being mean, but I'm simply following through and doing what I had warned her I would do.  She said "Well you're a mean mommy."  I said "Well that may be, but you know that you were playing with it and that you had two warnings."

She gave me a hug and then we lay down on the bed and I told her I loved her.

Questions

Riley was asking me yesterday where my Grandma is.  And I told her that both of my Grandma's are in heaven and that they are not here now.  But she didn't ask or say anything more and went away to play.

This morning on the way to her school, she started up the conversation again.

Riley:  Why did your Grandma die?
Me:  She got to be very old and became sick.
Riley:  How old was she?
Me:  About 80 - maybe a little older.
Riley:  Eight??!!!
Me:  No honey.  80.  It's a lot older than 8.
Riley:  Where is your Grandma now?
Me:  My Grandma is in heaven with Jesus.
Riley:  Well, how is she going to get back here to us?  I miss her.
Me:  Honey, she isn't.  We will go up there to see her one day.
Riley:  Ooohhhh...  well, what did she look like?
Me:  She was very beautiful.
Riley:  I want to see her.

Monday, October 17, 2011

First Six Weeks of School

Our ailments in the house since the girls started daycare:

Jules:
Hand, Foot, Mouth
Stomach Bug Three Separate Times - two of which were in the middle of the night in her bed
Seemingly non-stop runny nose (though could be allergies?)

Riley:
Stomach Bug Four Separate Times - two of which in the middle of the night in her bed and another while on the couch

Madi:
Chiggers

Jeremy and I:
Tiredness
Gagging Reflexes at their peak.  Was quite a site trying to clean those beds at night and laughing at each other as the other was just trying to hold it all in themselves.  Thank God for humor.

Laundry

Six loads a week minimum.  And most of it not mine.  Don't really mind it.  But gave a good teaching opportunity for us last week.

Jeremy asked Riley to do something and she went upstairs instead.  I walked in the room and asked what happened.  Jeremy told me (though I don't remember all the details) and so I called up to Riley:

Me:  Hey Riley?!

Riley:  Yea!

Me:  Come downstairs please.

Riley:  Why?

Me:  Because I'm your mom and I'm asking you to do it.

Riley:  (with a little sigh)  Ok Mom.  I'm coming.

Pitter patter.... pitter patter...

Down she comes.

Riley:  Yes?

Me:  Why won't you pick up the stuff Daddy asked you to?

Riley:  I didn't make the whole mess and I don't want to.

Me (surrounded by a big pile of her laundry):  Check this out.  What am I doing?

Riley:  Laundry.

Me:  Right.  And whose clothes are these?

Riley (little uncomfortable giggle):  Mine.  And Jules.

Me:  Are any of them mine?

Riley:  No.

Me:  Did I wear any of these clothes?

Riley:  No.

Me:  Who did?

Riley:  Me.  And Jules.

Me:  Then why am I doing them?

Riley:  I don't know.

Me:  Because I love you.  And so that you can have clean clothes.  Because it is a way I can help our family.  I didn't wear these clothes.  But I can do my part in helping to put them away and to help.  We help each other in our family.  It's a way we show that we love each other.  And that we care.  So instead of arguing or not cleaning up, can you please help and pick your things up?

Riley:  Sure Mom.

And off she went to clean up her mess.

Riley

Our little four year old girl is growing so much!  She is developing great handwriting skills, knows her days of the week - including what day is tomorrow and what day was yesterday, months of the year, continents, and planets.  Not just pure facts, but knowledge about each aspect of them.

She is getting such great time with little friends and developing friendships with such a diverse group of little people.  Her teachers are amazing.  She's sad when they are sick and asks us to pray for them so they can teach again.  She realized that she is important to the students and teachers last week when we dropped off Julia so that she could stay home and paint with Madi, Jer and I.  We walked past her room and every child ran to the door and yelled "Riley!!!"  She was beaming.  The teachers stopped the lesson - as none of the children were sitting and listening anyway - and came to the door to tell her they would miss her today, but that they hoped she had fun at home.  Riley was proud to tell them "Hey guess what?!  I just learned how to spell cat today!  C-A-T!" (Thank you iPod game!)  The kids all waved goodbye, gave hugs and the teachers smiled and hugged her as well.  As we left, a few kids walked into the hall briefly again just to wave goodbye.  She is so loved!

A few days later she said "I hope I don't have to miss school.  The other kids will miss me if I'm gone!"  Glad to know she feels valued and loved.  And she loves her friends so much.  Told me today how much she loves Parker and how funny another friend was.  Genuinely cares for them.

She is also learning things such as "I'm not going to be your friend anymore."  This starts way too young, but is giving us opportunities to talk about friendship and how to be a good friend.  When asked to wait a minute (turned out to be more than five minutes) before I could come see her drawing, she said "You're not my mom anymore.  I don't want to be your friend."  Ah, yes.  So it starts.  Lots of teaching moments for sure.

Love

I love my husband.
I love my girls.
Couldn't love them more and always will.

Big Sister

I was getting Julia's humidifier ready for her in the bathroom tonight and filling it with water.  Riley came in and asked if she could go into Julia's room to have a big sister moment with her since she was alone. (Jules was in her crib with the lights on in her room)  I told her that she could definitely go in and do that!

When I went into Julia's room, Riley was sitting on the chair and talking to her.  Jules was giggling in her crib, had her bottle in her hand and was just smiling like crazy.  Riley was saying "Oh Jules!  You have your bottle in your hand, silly girl!"

Then I asked Riley if she wanted to read a story to Julia.  She was sooo excited about this!  So she picked out the Five Little Monkeys book that she has memorized and read it word for word to Julia.  I ran downstairs and got the camera.  And started taking pics.

Julia asked "Book!  Book!"  I asked if she wanted to read the book with Riley and she said "yea!"  So I sat her in the chair next to Riley.  She tried stealing the book from her and yelling "Mine!"  so we gave her the Fish Kisses Book.  So Riley is reading one out loud while Julia is making the sounds from her book.  Adorable!

Then Julia tried to rock the chair and giggled.  So Riley got out and started pushing the chair and Julia laughed uncontrollably.  Loads of giggles.

Have to say this was the highlight of my day!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Taking a Bite out of Crime

The Crime:  Stealing Toys repeatedly and getting a nasty bite on the arm
The Scene:  18-24 month old toddler room at Lakeside Montessori
The Victim:  Depends on how you see it - would it be the one who is getting the toy stolen or the one getting bitten?
Time:  10:40am

So here's how it all happened.  I dropped off the girls at school this morning.  Julia gave me her usual kiss and blew on her hand and said "bye bye!"  Riley and I chatted and walked to the cafeteria where she meets with her friends and teacher.  I kiss her on the cheek and say goodbye as she finishes her Eggo.  Then go off to work with Madi.

I return around 4:30pm today to pick up the girls and am told by Julia's teacher, Nicole, that I'll need to sign an accident form at the office.  I asked if she bumped her head again and she said "No.  Julia kept taking a toy from one of her friends.  She sat out in thinking time and just kept going back to steal the toy.  Her friend got very angry at her and bit her on the right arm - between her wrist and elbow.  It was very badly bruised and swollen.  Looked as though it may have broken through the skin."

She continued to tell me that she put a hot compress on it, neosporin and watched it for a long time.  She thought she might have to call me at work to have me take her to the doctor, but the swelling and bruising went down and Julia handled it all fine.

The rest of the day whenever Julia would go to take another toy, Nicole would simply remind her of the bite on her arm and ask if she would want to have that happen again.  Julia would tell her "no" and say "nah nice" (not nice) and would then leave the other kids and their toys alone.  So possibly, maybe, potentially likely that this may be the start of her ending her stealing streak.  After all, she stole Riley's bowl of food yesterday when they were eating snacks at home.  She hid by the table eating them.  And she stole toys and tried to grab things.  She doesn't seem too phased by time outs and will even put herself in time out and say "ahm in tahm owwwt." (I'm in time out)  She does this when she knows that she has done something she shouldn't have.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Adult Movies

Conversation between Riley and Jeremy as Jeremy is looking through Netflix:

Riley:  Don't worry Dad.  I don't want to watch any Mommy and Daddy movies.  Well, sometimes I do.

Jer:  Like what?

Riley: (very excited) Like Star Wars! (followed by nervous giggling)

Jer:  Oh really?  Star Wars?  Well, maybe sometime we can watch that for a movie night.

Riley:  Really?  Just you and me?

Jer:  Well and Mommy too!

Riley (throwing her head back and chuckling):  You've got to be kidding me!  Mommy likes Star Wars?

Jer:  Of course Mommy likes Star Wars.

Riley:  You've got to be kidding me!

Jer:  Would you like that?

Riley:  Oh yes!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Julia and Her Friends

Julia can definitely defend herself.  We've learned from her teacher at school that she is pushing the boys and then stealing their toys and running away from them as fast as she can.  She especially loves to pull the curls on one of the little boy's heads.  She also likes to hit.  Wow - we've got our work cut out for us!

Not that we didn't know this.  After all, she's always loved to pretend to hug Madi, only to reach and pull her hair as much as she can.  And she's pulled Riley's hair several times - even pulling chunks of it out.  So she's had time outs and talking to.  She does not like the word "Sorry."  And even shrugs her shoulders when asked to say it.  As if to say "why? who me?  i don't care."

Her teacher at school, Nicole, says that if Julia is pulling a toy from a kid and the kid won't give it to her, she'll go up to her and tug her pants.  Nicole will ask "Is it your toy?"  Julia will tell her "no."  So Nicole will tell her to leave it alone and she does.

She is also very protective of her toys and she said that none of the other kids can ever get them away from her because she yells "NOOOO" and pulls so hard that they have no chance at getting them.  Don't have to worry about her standing up for herself.  Just praying that she learns the right way to use this!

She is super super sweet.  Loves to cuddle.  And loves to blow kisses.  But doesn't mind letting you know who's boss.  Yes, we definitely have our hands full!

I don't know

Julia's favorite words:  I duh know!

When asked "Where is Riley,"  the answer is "I duh know" while hands go out to her sides and she shrugs her shoulders.

Cutest thing I've ever seen.

Poop

Yesterday was another long day.  Work.  Work.  Pick girls up.  Make dinner.  Clean up dishes, wash dishes, make lunch, get girls ready for bath, give them bath #1, bath #2 and put them to bed.

Why two baths?  Well apparently the first bath wasn't enough.  Julia had taken her ravioli with sauce dinner and literally put her hand in the sauce and wiped it all over her face.  We always say she looks like an Oompa Loompa when she does it because she turns completely orange.  I clean her up the best I can so we don't end up with an orange ring around the tub.  Then upstairs we go.

Start Bath #1:  I fill the tub.  Only to have Julia pulling on the handle to make herself look like Superman on the side of the tub.  Thank God I was right near her.  Get Jules in the bath first and then Riley gets in too.  Two for one.  Saves time and cleans well.

Until I turn to get a washcloth and look back in the tub.  Took just a second to say "What is that?" and then "Riley, did you do that?"  Not sure why I would think it was her.  Guess because she could at least give me an answer.  Julia just looked totally content.

Riley looks in the tub and yells "POOP!!!!!!!  Ahhhhhh!! Get me out!  Get me out of here!"  I pick her up as fast I can and give her the towel.  She and I are yelling and laughing at the same time.  Riley is yelling because she is scared.  I'm yelling because Julia is picking up the poop and putting it to her mouth.  Yes, totally disgusting.  Though she looks quite happy with herself.  She is a big helper and puts it in a bowl with my help.  I dump it in the toilet and finish washing her hair, as it's already half way done and still has shampoo in it.  Riley is standing next to the tub watching and is giggling like crazy at this point.  She keeps telling me "Mom I'm going to pee on the floor!" to which I'm saying "No you are not.  Get to the potty!!!"  Thank God she makes it there.  Already had to clean that mess up a few days ago when Julia peed all over Jeremy's mat.  Again, totally content while doing it (Julia that is).

So I get Jules out of the tub.  She's crying.  I guess it's because she was so loving her bath.  I get the toys out and into a bucket to clean later.  I spray Clorox bleach cleaning stuff on the bath and let it sit while I get Julia dressed and brush her hair and then put her in her bed.  I start Riley a new bath in the other bathroom while Julia is screaming like crazy.  She wasn't happy to be in her crib even with all the toys and the lights on.  Riley is wrapped in a towel and we get her all bathed and cleaned up.  I finish cleaning the dirty tub and then grab Julia who has tears dripping down her cheeks.

Jeremy gets home, I take Julia to put her down, he helps with Riley and all we can do is laugh about it.  Totally worn out, but with yet another "how crazy can these girls get?" story.

Sickness Sucks

So we are on Round #2 of a 24 hour bug.  Riley was sick two weeks ago.  And by sick, I mean throwing up all over our couch.  The couch that we purchased pre-kids and didn't really think through fabric choices.  So while we cleaned it the best we could - along with the carpet that we just had cleaned a few months ago - we will be making better fabric choices once it makes sense to do so.

Riley passed the 24 hour bug along to Julia who threw up at daycare.  I got the call after my first class at work and had to leave immediately.  Well, as soon as I finished writing lesson plans for the day, making arrangements for Madison to get home and checking in with the daycare.  As well as cancelling District Honor Choir rehearsal and all five of my piano students. Not as though it was a busy day or anything.

So now we are at Round #2.  This time Riley had eaten pizza.  Nothing like nasty cheese smell.  Don't think I'll forget it.  She complained of a tummy ache and we put a towel and bowl next to her bed.  She lay down and fell asleep.  Jer and I went downstairs to chat for a little while.  While talking, we heard her cough.  Didn't think anything of it.  Until a few minutes later, she is standing at the top of the stairs and looks covered in something.  All it took was a glance at her hair and her bed to know that we were in for several more loads of laundry.

Got her in the bath, put her on the couch (covered with towels) and set to getting everything cleaned up.  Thank God for the most amazing mattress cover in the world!!  Martha Stewart - you truly make the best one EVER.  Now the pillows are a different story.  Can't be salvaged. But the mattress - still fresh and clean.

So here we are at 10pm.  And just starting our night.  Will be interesting to see how my medicine interacts with little sleep.  Not a test I'm really wanting to try, but definitely need to make sure I take them.

God gives new mercies every morning, right!

Friday, August 19, 2011

First Week of Montessori School!

We did it!  Finished our first week at pre-school/daycare at Lakeside.  Was a very tough week at work for me, but the girls had a fantastic time.  Riley was really excited about her "days of the week" song and told me several times today "Did you know that today is Friday?  And that tomorrow will be Saturday!  We had to say that many times today at school."  I asked her how the rest of her day was and if she played with anyone.

Her favorite friend at school is a little girl named Bonnie.  She is always picked up before I get there so I haven't met her yet.  Today Riley told me "Bonnie told me that I'm a little funny looking."  Totally broke my heart to think of someone saying that to her :(

So I asked her if she said anything to her.  Riley said "I told her I liked her and that she was beautiful."  Just about made my heart burst.  Sad to think of someone saying mean things, but joyful that she responded in such an amazing way.  I asked her how she felt when Bonnie said it.  She said "I was kind of happy and kind of sad.  But I'm fine with it."

Such an amazing girl.

Monday, August 15, 2011

First Day of Preschool!

Back to work today.  Riley and Julia started at their new preschool today - Lakeside Montessori.  They've been going to my friend Kami's house ever since Riley was 1 and we have loved every minute of them being with her.  She continues to be such an amazing person who I hope we'll always stay in touch with.  But Riley being 4 and only having one more year until Kinder, it was time for her to get used to a school structure.  So off we went.

For weeks, we've been praying for their time there and specifically for a friend for Riley on the first day.  I got her dressed this morning - only to find out that uniforms started today.  Thankfully I brought a set of uniforms with us so she was able to change before joining her class and we were early so it wasn't a big deal.

We went to Riley's classroom and set all of her things in her cubby.  Since her teacher wasn't there yet, we went to Julia's classroom and put all of her things in her cubby.  I took Julia out of her stroller and set her on the ground by a little girl who was about her size.  She was quite content.  I gave her a hug and seeing that she was fine, Riley and I waved goodbye and left.  I heard her cry for a very short time and then she was totally fine.

Riley's class was outside on the playground so I took her out there.  There were kids playing everywhere (not too many of them, but they all looked to have a friend with them).  There were two girls on their hands and knees - meowing like cats.  One of Riley's favorite things to do!  So I said "Look Riley!  Cats!"  I asked her if she wanted to join them and she said yes.  So I helped her climb up and she sat by the girls.  I took her picture and she said "Mom, Really?"  And then said "Bye Mom, see you later!"  That was when I got tears in my eyes and walked out.  I did get to watch her through the glass - which is darkened from her side so she can't see that I'm watching her - and was able to see that she playing with them and pretending to feed the cats.

So incredibly proud of how well both girls did today!

When I picked the girls up, I went to Julia's room first.  She was walking around behind the table and was so excited to see me.  Her teacher, Nicole, said that most kids cry a lot the first day and have a hard time, but Julia didn't cry hardly at all.  She said she cried a few times, but it wasn't for long periods.  She also said that she did an amazing job on her nap mat and was so amazed at how well she did on her first day.  Julia was completely happy and loved it.  I received a whole checklist of how the day went with all the information I would have asked.  Nicole is very sweet and kind and gentle, but firm with the kids.

Julia and I then went to pick up Riley at her classroom.  She was playing with Mr. Potato Head parts and gave me a big hug when I came, but she didn't want to stop playing.  Take that as a good sign!  She told me later that she got up from her nap mat because she didn't want to sleep and her teacher told her that she'd have to go into the little kid room if she didn't go on her mat and lay down.  Riley was quite scared of this.  This first thing that Riley told me that she learned was how to walk down the hall.  She said they have to have their hands behind their backs and put big bubbles in their mouthes like this.  And then she demonstrated it perfectly.  She's amazing!

The teacher said she had a great first day.  I told her that it was her first time in a structured classroom ever.  Her teacher, Sharon, said that she would never have known that Riley had never been in a classroom before and that she had a great day.  She told me that there was a little girl that she played with for most of the day :)  Definitely made me happy!  And one of my piano students' sisters is also in her class which is great!

So all in all, a very wonderful first day of preschool!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Toilets

I am thankful for toilets.  Though I don't really give them much thought unless I have to go in an outhouse and then I miss the real thing.  Julia, on the other hand, loves toilets.  She enjoys swirling her hands in them (clean toilets, that is) and putting things in them.

This morning I shut the door to our bathroom and in that five seconds, she had already run to the toilet and was about to put her hand in when I yelled "Jules!" and scared enough that she took her hand out.

Today at Kami's house, Julia had the remote that controls her ceiling fan, A/C and something else.  She went into the bathroom, put the lid up and threw the remote into the toilet.  Landon asked Kami why she wasn't using the remote.  She said "Well, somebody (pointing at Jules) threw it in the toilet and it doesn't work anymore."  Ahhh... the joys.

So sorry Kami!!!  My girls sure kept you busy today between the toilet and the hair episode!

New Haircut

To date, Riley has had only one haircut when she was 3 1/2 years old.  She was bald the first two years - if not longer.  She had just a simple trim and that's all she's needed.  I had been planning to get her hair cut next week, but events today changed that plan.

The girls went to Kami's house all day while I taught piano and crochet lessons.  I was going to pick them up after 5pm when my last lesson finished.  Around 4pm, Kami called me to tell me that there was an incident that had occurred.  I asked if the girls were hurt or bleeding.  She said "No."  So I told her that anything else that happened, I could deal with.

Kami said that Kenzie (her 10 year old daughter) was doing Riley's hair, but Riley didn't like the way it was being done and wanted to do it herself.  So Kenzie left the room and Riley was left alone to do it.  When Kenzie returned, she screamed out for Kami to come.  Riley started crying and hid under Kami's bed and wouldn't come out.  Kami noticed some hair in the bathroom.  She said it didn't look like too much was there.  But then she found a bunch of it in the kitty litter box.  And another place.  She said it was quite a bit of hair and that Riley had cut her own hair.

Riley finally came out from under the bed while we were talking.  I asked Kami how her hair looked.  Kami simply said "Oh.... I'm sorry."  hahaha   All I could do was laugh.  She told me that Riley must have gone through Kami's drawers and cut her hair.  At first she said it wasn't too much, but as she looked Riley over, she got quiet and just kept saying how sorry she was.  And that it kind of looked like a mullet.  I couldn't stop laughing and reassured her that I wasn't mad at all and that we'd figure it out.  No big deal.

A little off the right

Front view

Side view

Mullet side

Chunks of hair off the back


I decided to call Tony's Hair Salon to schedule an appointment to get Riley's hair cut tonight so that she wouldn't be walking around looking goofy or so no one at home would say anything about it.  When I picked her up, I tried to just smile and didn't say much except "Wow Riley.  I see you cut your hair.  We're going to go for a special haircut at Tony's to let them cut the other side too."  Riley was very proud of cutting her hair and very excited to go get it cut again.

So off the four of us girls went.  When Kathy, the owner, saw Riley, she couldn't stop laughing.  She just kept saying "oh my goodness."  Then Lindsay, the stylist, pointed to Riley and said "Oh my word.  That must be her!  Oh wow."  She repeated the line "Oh wow" several times.  Then said "When you called, I thought "oh no big deal.  probably a small section" because most kids just cut a small amount, but she really cut a ton of it.  Let me go sweep and think."  So she went off to get her chair area ready.  She had Riley sit in the booster chair and picked up her hair to see how short she'd cut it underneath.  Super short was the answer.  So Lindsay asked if I was ok with going short.  I replied that I didn't see any other way to do it.  She held her hair in a ponytail and motioned that it would be right below the ear.



Riley was such a trooper.  It took 40 minutes for Lindsay to do her hair.  Riley sat totally still and tilted and looked down and listened to everything that Lindsay asked her to do.  There were only two things she said:
1 - Please don't cut my skin.  I don't want you to cut my skin.
2 - (when the hair had been all cut and was still wet)  Will it look beautiful when it is dry?

We reassured her that yes, she is always beautiful and that her hair would definitely look beautiful when it was dry.  And no, her skin wouldn't get cut

In the meantime, Julia ate a load of Cheerios while we were there and then dumped the remains all over her hair and the floor.  They were everywhere.  Madi was sitting in chairs where other stylists needed to cut hair and was standing on chairs in the waiting area so I had to ask her to just stand and wait patiently  or to sit in a waiting area chair.  Riley was super excited about her new haircut and looks cute as a button!

There are several parts on the left side that will stick up no matter what we do, but I plan to take her out to buy new clips and headbands to accessorize her new hairdo in hopes we can make it special now that we can't braid it or put ponytails or anything in it.

Riley ended the day by saying "I love my short hair!  I love my short hair!  I don't ever want it to get long again!"

Guess it's very possible this may not be the last time she cuts it :)



Big Girl

Riley is growing up so fast.  She still has her moments of frustration and crying, but I just can't get over how big she is getting.  And seemingly overnight.

She's been doing math activities on a website called IXL.  Loves it.  Spent almost an hour yesterday doing games.  Some with me, some on her own.  Was impressed that she could find the missing number on a number line.  Was able to do simple addition and subtraction using pictures and numbers.  And get them all correct.

We went to school yesterday and she helped me set out the chairs.  When we were done, she counted each one - up to 25.  Incredible one-to-one correspondence.  She's very excited about starting preschool at Lakeside Montessori in two weeks.  Asks me every morning if today is "the" day.

Today I dropped her off at Kami's house.  Kami had six kids over (including two of her own, three of ours and a little boy named Luke).  Luke is 2 yrs. old.  He's a cute and sweet kid - but doesn't often like to share.  Go figure.  Totally normal for a 2 yr. old.

Riley heard Kami asking him to share with Julia so she came rushing down the stairs to check on them.  Luke held up a train track and showed it to Riley.  Riley said "Ooohhhh Luke."  And giggled.  Then said "You are my buddy.  He's sharing with Jules!  So sweet."  And then she gave him a big hug.  And told him "Thank you for sharing with Jules."  As she hugged him, Julia leaned in to hug too.  I got teary watching her.  Proud Mommy moment.

Julia is also growing quite big.  She's trying to talk more.  Though she often just says "Neh!!  Neh!!"  because she has heard Riley pretend to be a horse so much.  I think she believes she is actually communicating in that way.  She's working on her pouty face.  Seriously trying to figure out how to stick her lower lip out and make sad eyes.  She's also working on her mad face.  Got a chance to see her really thinking about how to look mad the other day.  Was all I could do NOT to laugh incredibly hard!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Zoo Adventure!

It was scheduled to be a hot one today.  But we've had so many hot days indoors so I decided - spur of the moment - to take the girls to the Dallas Zoo today!  Weather forecast was 105 before heat index, but since the morning was low to mid 90's, I decided to go for it.

Riley was sooo excited!  We kept singing our own song "We're going to the zoo!  Yea!  We're going to the zoo, zoo, zoo."  At least until Riley decided it was only her song and that Julia (who was also singing her version) and I could no longer sing along.  :)



We had the most incredible time walking the entire park.  Didn't miss a thing and arrived a few minutes after the gate had opened.  Which meant that we were in the third parking spot in front of the gate.  So nice!

I let Riley choose which animal she really wanted to see first and we headed in the direction of that animal. Her first choice was the giraffe.  She couldn't wait to see it!  We saw penguins and lemurs and elephant ears (too hot for the elephants to really wander around so they were laying down with their backs to us, but we saw their ears flap!).


No glass here!  Riley loved being inches away!




The giraffes were amazing!  They were set down so that their faces were at the same height as ours.  Riley and I were nearly inches from them as they ate.  She did not appreciate the smell of the elephant area and kept plugging her nose and saying "eww... gross!"

So we continued on and saw all sorts of other animals.  She laughed at the gorillas who were laying on their backs ("Look Mom!  I see their butts!")  and was a little nervous around the baboons whose faces looked painted.  She wasn't sure what to make of them.

We brought tons of water, sunscreen and treats to keep us hydrated and protected.  The girls never fussed and were smiling the entire time.  Julia's eyes were huge as she watched each of the animals.  One of the best parts was that the park was practically empty so we had plenty of room to see and stay to watch.  We continued to see Rhinos (Jeremy's favorite animal), Camels, monkeys, tigers, and so on.







After walking for 2 hours, we were about to go home, but were right outside the stage area where they were just about to start a bird show.  I asked Riley if she wanted to go and of course, she said yes.  So we watched a 30 minute bird show that was just awesome.

At one point, two audience members were called up to take pictures with their phones of an owl as it was flying toward them.  The owl perched behind them and they were allowed to take pics up close of it.  As they did, the girl audience member turned her back to the audience.  After they took pics, chickens came out on the stage.  The girl got freaked out and started hopping and jumping backwards - and landed completely submerged underwater in the pool in front of the stage (not a large pool, but large enough).  The workers all came running up to help.  Little did we know that the alligator was the next animal coming out and thankfully, the door had not been open yet for it to come!  They gave her a towel and led her backstage.

Riley's favorite part was when the alligator went out of the water and as the man led him offstage, the alligator ran after him!  Julia loved when the birds flew over our heads and she was just smiling like crazy.  Kept making "neh!  neh!" sounds when they went away because she wanted to see them more.

We went home in time for lunch and had a full afternoon of playing animals, horses, and time in the playroom.  Awesome day!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Unselfish Gratefulness

I'm always learning new things from Riley, our four year old.  I learn that a dog can change her name from Aubrey to Sequin just because it's time for a new name.  And that you can never wear too many outfits in the same day.  And that there is no better animal in the world than a horse.

Jeremy went into work today and was given two huge garbage bags stuffed with clothes, shoes, rollerblades, and books.  Everything in the bags is for our niece Madison who is living with us and what a total blessing it was.  We couldn't believe the amount of cool clothing (and most of it never worn before) and items that were in the bags.  And this is after two other families and given some clothing for Madi in the past few weeks!

Jeremy got home and the girls and I went through the bags admiring everything before dinner.  Madi was jumping up and down and very excited.  I was just in awe at what had been given and how awesome it was that a friend would do this for us.  So many cute things.

We had wondered how Riley would deal with it.  After all, there was not a single item in the bags for her.  Not a single thing that would fit her or would fit her for a long, long time.  And we have never purchased this many items or given her this amount of stuff ever at one time.  So we were curious to see how she'd do.  And what she'd ask.

At first, she took out items, showed them to Madison and would say "oooohhhh this is sooo cute!"  or "I wove it Madi!  Wook!  Cute shoes for you!"  Then she put her bunny or doggie in a rollerblade and would push it around the kitchen.  She was completely content to play with a few things, try on a few shoes and always give them right back to Madi.

The most interesting part was the talk at dinner.  We were sharing our favorite parts of the day.  We said that we could probably guess Madi's favorite part - to which she totally grinned and gave a thumbs-up.  Riley wanted to share her favorite part so she said "My best part of the day was when Daddy brought home all of the clothes and things and shoes for Madisen.  That was was my best part."  She later added that she also had other favorite parts and that they were that we were all eating dinner together at the table and that Madi got all her new stuff.


We were so impressed with our little girl.  She could have responded by getting jealous or mad that she didn't get anything.  Not once did she ever ask if any of it was for her or if we brought her something or why there wasn't something for her.  She didn't throw a fit. She was simply thankful that her cousin was able to get lots of nice things.  And that was her favorite part of the day.  


Today I learned that Riley has a huge, huge heart that is bigger than we even knew.  We sure do love her.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Sweet Girls

The girls and I took my friend Erica dinner today since she just had her first baby three weeks ago.  We were greeted by two friendly dogs.  They played really well with the girls and Riley and Julia couldn't have been happier!  Riley was talking to them the whole time and following them around.  Julia giggled so hard when they licked her face.  She also loved hugging them.

A few minutes into being there, I'd already had to remove several things off the coffee table.  Julia found a back corner where the dog door was.  Gave me the mischievious look.  Then immediately started to put her arm through the door followed by her head.  I said "Julia!"  and she quickly sat back up, looking pensive.  She did it several times.

Then she went over to the portable fan.  She loved the breeze and giggled and leaned her head back to enjoy the breeze.

The next item was the dog bed - comfy and soft, she spent a little time sitting in it.

Julia also took a remote off the table and then set it into the baby swing.  She began pushing the swing side to side as she sang very sweetly "Happy BihDay Do You... Happy Bihday Do you."  She did this for several minutes.  Was super cute and very gentle.

I held Harper (Erica's baby) for a while.  Had forgotten how tiny they are!  Julia kept grunting at her.  So I asked her if she wanted to see the baby.  I bent down and told her to be gentle.  Julia leaned her head to the baby and said "Mah!" (her kissing sound)  She kissed her several times and one time even put her hand on Harper's forehead while kissing.  Precious.

After being sweet, Julia went into the kitchen where she found plastic food and began throwing them all around the floor.  She then got interested in a Couscous box and loved the shaking sound.

Riley really loved being with the dogs.  And later asked us for a cat at dinner.  "I want a cat.  A cat.  I love cats."  In the car on the way home from Gpa and Gma's house, she said "I really need a cat because I love them.  I want to name her Sophie.  Because Sophie is so beautiful. And I will love her."  Maybe a dog one day...  probably sooner than I think.

Rare Form

Riley was in rare form tonight.  Singing the song "Forget You" by Cee Lo (clean version only as heard on Glee) all night long.  Not sure where she heard it as she doesn't watch Glee and we don't play it at home.  Seriously.  We don't.  Though my favorite part is when she does the high pitches - oo ooo ooo!  She wore her uniform white polo with bright and big flower leggings with her light-up Cinderella shoes to Gma and Gpa's house.  Quite the dresser tonight.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Check-ups

Having taken the two girls to many check-ups before, I decided to take Riley be herself for her four year old check-up.  Julia's first check-up resulted in her peeing all over the scale, Riley spilling crackers all over the floor and Julia crying almost the entire visit.  As well as Riley needing to do a pit stop at the bathroom.

Other visits included taking both girls to my dentist appointment when Julia was only a few months old.  Still have no idea how I pulled off that one.  Only by the grace of God!  Julia went to Kami's house and she and I headed out this morning for our "girl's day out" (as I called it to make it sound more fun).

The last few days we have talked to her about how she'll be getting shots and what they would be like.  We told her that they would hurt at first, but that they would feel better soon.  She practiced taking care of her animal friends at home with her dr. kit and other tools she found around the house.  She even recited what we had share with her about how it would hurt and practiced giving them shots and she would make them say "ow!"

So here was the big day.  She was awesome in the waiting room.  We read a few books together before being called in.  The nurse told her that she'd play a few games with her.  Riley loved the idea of that.  She did not care for having her blood pressure taken.  Her last check up at age 3, she actually pulled it off and began crying because it was squeezing too tight.  This time, she kept getting anxious when it beeped and the reading got all screwy.  So they just took it off.

Riley had perfect eyesight, great balance (as demonstrated by hopping on one leg and then the other leg), great weight and height.  Perfectly healthy in every way!  The doc talked with her and she told him stories.  He said he normally hears problems with the "th" and "l" sounds at her age, but he didn't hear anything with her speech at all.  Said he was very impressed with her speech.  And then gave her the five-year old exam for balance and coordination.  She did fabulous.

She was a complete trooper for her shots.  Cried for a little bit, but was able to get two lollipops and two stickers which made everything all better.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Falling Asleep

It was my night tonight to put Riley to bed.  She was having a hard time getting comfortable.  Lots of stuffed animals moving around and moving pillows and just moving everywhere.  Finally she had a few friends (stuffed animals) by her - one under her head - and she asked me pray.  So I asked what I should pray for.  Her response was "My horse Goldie.  And my second horse - sdfuiodsufiso (a made up name that I still have no idea what it was)."  So I prayed for her horse.

She lifts her blanket up over her head.  Then peeked out at me a few minutes later and says "Mom, I love you."  And I told her I loved her too.
Was very sweet.

Then she says "If you have to tell me something, you can say "Riley, I love you."  And if I have something to tell you, I will wift da blanket and peek out and say "Mom, I have to go potty."  I just said "Ok."  Not five seconds later, she lifts the blanket and says "Mom, I have to go potty."  I had to ask her "Are you just saying that to say it or do you really have to go?"  She actually had to go.

So off we went and back we came.  She wiggled and wiggled and wiggled and wiggled.  And finally drifted off to sleep looking like a sweet angel.

A New Dad and Little Sister Too

Earlier this morning, Riley told us at breakfast that she wanted a new mom.  After church today, she told us that she also wants a new little sister too.  She wants a new little sister who doesn't scream.

So Jeremy says "Would you rather have a cute sister that screams or an ugly sister that is quiet?"

Riley says "I want a cute sister that doesn't scream."

I ask "Do you want a new dad too?"

Riley says "Yes, I want a new dad too.  A new Dad that will carry me to the car."  (this is because Jeremy had his hands full after church and I was carrying Jules so neither of us could carry her from the church building to the car)

A New Mom

Apparently there is a new program out there for kids entitled "Construct a New Mom."  The kids get to choose their new moms and make them do whatever they want.  Riley wants to enter this new program.

At breakfast, she said that her friend is probably getting a new mom.  "That must be what she is doing.  I want a new mom too.  My mom here (points at me) always says "No, No, No" all the time and I want a mom that will say "Yes, Yes, Yes."  And my new mom will let me eat Eggos at night and all day and all morning.  And this mom here (points at me) does not let me do what I want.  I want to play all day long and my new mom will let me do that."

Well, happy Mom hunting, Riley!!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Blinds

Riley's room has an amazing amount of light that pours in as the sun sets.  We have thick curtains in her room, but there haven't been any blinds since we moved in.  So we recently purchased some (last week) and Jeremy installed them today.  Two inch, fake wood, white blinds.  Jeremy finished and called the girls in to see the difference in the light in the room.

Riley: Great job Dad!
Julia:  (begins clapping) Yea!!!!!

Was so cute.  Even Julia knew how wonderful it was!

Riley told me later to come with her right away!  So I followed her into the kitchen area where we eat and she goes "Look Mom!  I have blinds in my room just like these!"  Guess blinds are the best thing these days.  She was super excited!

Jeremy and I spent about an hour today swimming with just Riley.  She had a complete blast and so did we.  Madi was at VBS and Julia was taking a nap.  It was great to give Riley some good time just for her.  She has definitely needed it.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Precious

There really is nothing more precious than your kids.  Riley loved eating lunch with me by herself today.  Julia was sleeping and Jeremy was picking up Madi from VBS.  So we had a truly exciting lunch - mac n cheese and hot dogs.  We haven't made hot dogs in forever.  Literally several years.  So I thought I'd buy them and see if she'd eat them now.  She took one bite and spit it out and says "Mom, these are horrible.  I will eat anything that does not have hot dogs in them."  Then she broke into song and sang "she wears short skirts, I wear tshirts...." (Taylor Swift - You Belong With Me).  So I asked if she would sing it for Grandma.  We called Grandma and she sang the entire bridge and chorus.  Super cute!  I sang along for part of it as it's just a cute song.

Julia spent her day running around the entire house as usual and eating loads of food. She's a busy, busy girl!!  She loves to hide behind the Rapunzel (Tangled) table in the front living room.  She hides behind it and peeks out to see if you can find her.  She makes no sound at all and just patiently waits for you to see her.  Once you find her, she giggles so hard.  She also loves to stand against the wall opposite of where you are standing.  Then she runs and screams loudly toward you.  If you pretend to come after her, she raises her hands up in the air and pivot turns until she is back to where she started.  So cute!!!

Madi had her first day of VBS and loved it!!  So glad she is having this experience.  She was gone most of the day today.

Jeremy and I went out for an amazing dinner at Abacus in Dallas.  We've had a gift card for over a year and finally had the opportunity to use it.  Was well worth it!!!  He had calamari, Hawaiian Walu and then a chocolate mousse cake with banana and caramel and a really cool sugar circle on the top.  I had romaine salad with a spiral crouton thing, pork tenderloin with potatoes and creme brulee.  I love creme brulee - so amazing!!  We shared the desserts and cleaned every plate.  Was hardly anything left!  So all in all, a fabulous day!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Pictures

My favorite little people...

Riley

Julia

Trapped

Sounds scary.  Trapped.  Can't get out.  Screaming.  Crying.

Riley and Julia were trapped this morning.  Both girls were ready for church so they went in the playroom to play before we had to leave.  Jeremy and I were both hanging out with them.  We have a huge oversized lawnmower box at the side of the room.  I swore it would only last a week, maybe two at the most.  We've now had it for almost a year and a half.  It's indestructible!  Jeremy added a door at the bottom with two windows on the sides and a sunroof in the top.  It's a dream castle.  Truly awesome.

Riley decides to crawl into the box.  Julia decides to crawl in the box while dragging her car behind her, bending down and pulling the car into the box.  As she is pulling the car, the handle breaks off the back of the car.  Riley is crying because Julia is poking her with the handle.  Then Julia pulls the car towards the box and Riley pulls the car.  The car gets jammed in the doorway on its side - tire behind the door on one side and the steering wheel stuck on the other.  Neither girl can get it free.

So they are trapped.  I decide to see if I can wedge it in and can't.  Both girls look totally desperate to get out.  They're both crying hard.  Jeremy starts laughing.  I start laughing.  Madi looks totally confused as she walks in to see both girls crying and us laughing hysterically.

Solution:  Jeremy picks up the entire box and both girls crawl out - still crying.

Moral of the story:  If you want a good laugh, just mix a toddler, a preschooler, a box and a car.

The vehicle Julia was dragging in.


The box.

Girls, Girls, Girls

Three girls under the age of 10 in our home now.  Wild, fun trip.  There is now constant talking, noise, pretend play and laughter in our home.  


RILEY:
Riley has become fascinated with naming her animals and friends.  "Here is Saida.  Here is Baida.  Here is Naida.  Here is Saida.  It's ok.  Two of them are named Saida."


She's also loving asking tons of questions at bedtime.  Last night Jeremy and I went out to Maggiano's and my parents came over to watch the girls.  When my mom put Riley to bed, these were some of her questions: "My feet need some fresh air." "Gramma, does your hair always be like this?" "Did you know, der are nose boogers and eye boogers?" "Do you want to wipe my eyes?" "I think you should get a cat and keep it at your house and I could come see it every day."


Speaking of cats, she's dying to get one.  She asked us for a cat.  To which Jeremy told her I am allergic and that we might get a puppy.  She goes "How about a cat?"  Jeremy "No, just a puppy."  Riley then says "I'd really like a cat.  That would be better."  So now she is trying to convince Gma and Gpa to get one for their house.


Riley is also writing her name, can recognize pretty much every letter (gets her D's and O's confused), counts to 30 without any help and uses large words like "Help me!  I'm tethered to this box!"  when we are playing.


JULIA:
Jules just had her 15 month dr. appointment.  She is go-go-go!  Never stops.  The doc told us to limit her tv time during the day.  I wanted to say "If she would even sit down for 5 minutes of tv, I'd be able to sit down a little!  Let alone for a whole show!"  So Julia will not watch any tv and while she loves to sit everywhere - her favorite spots are the last two stairs on the stairway or in corners behind things - she will not sit anywhere long.


Julia is saying words like Bah-pah (Grandpa), Caah - Cuh (Cracker) and Uh Oh (uh oh).  She can also scream very loud and doesn't have much patience.  Gets very angry very fast.  Though 99% of the time, she is the happiest baby you have ever met.




MADI:
Madison has been living with us for a little over two weeks now since her mom went back to the Philippines.  She loves reading.  She loves hanging out with friends and riding her bike.  She is very smart and very fun.  And loves swimming.  Has been awesome having her live with us.  We're so blessed.


So that is how the girls are doing.  Makes me sad to think how hard it is to capture these little girls as they are before they get bigger.  Wish I could freeze time and speed it up at the same time.