Monday, July 28, 2008

A little busy?

Yes, yes we are. Busy that is.

I mean really, we're not THAT busy, but considering our summer of leisure, tomorrow is looking rather busy.

We are leaving on vacation soon.

I use the term "vacation" very loosely. We will be going to the beach with our children and extended family. And if you have ever been to the beach with your children, you know it's not a "mommy/daddy vacation" but more of a "entertain your children with water, sun, and fun for a week and collapse in bed at the end of each day" trip. Still though, we are very excited and have been looking forward to it for quite a while.

Tomorrow includes:
go to the gym
go to the pool (I know this sounds crazy, but it is the last time we will all will be able to go to the pool together before Matthew goes back to work)
go to Harding (not in Searcy, that would be crazy...we're going to our nearby campus)
stop mail
get an oil change
Matthew get a haircut
finish the laundry
Matthew needs to finish repairing our fence
mow the lawn
clean the house

For some people, this might seem like nothing to you. But, I did mention my summer of leisure, so you can see how this might seem like quite a list to me. I'm sure it will all get done though.

I have been trying to make Elyn's dress and it is stumping me. I am taking it with me on our trip. We will be making a stop at Matthew's dads house and LeeLee knows her way around a sewing machine, so I'm hoping she will be able to help me out.

Here is the pattern (I apologize for any copyrights I am breaking by sharing this). I am confused by number 5. You probably will not be able to read it, unless you have a magnifying glass nearby. I am not an expert seamstress so I am easily confused by what some would consider an easy pattern. I'm sure it is easy...the dress is SUPER simple. Once I figure it out though, my schemata will be expanded.
We are watching a movie right now with subtitles. I have not been paying attention. I have absolutely no idea what the movie is even about.

Until next time...from the beach.

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Sunday, July 27, 2008

Page 47?

Matthew and I watched National Treasure 2 last night. It was a pretty good movie, although, unrealistic in my opinion.

Really, he was able to just go through the President's desk and no security cameras captured this on tape? He kidnapped the President by taking him through a secret tunnel that NO ONE had ever found.

Anyway, I was wondering what was on page 47? Anyone know? Is there going to be a NT3?

To say that I have lost sleep over this would be a stretch, but did I think about it on the drive to church this morning? Yep...the whole way.

Any answers?

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Saturday, July 26, 2008

Stinkin' patterns

Yesterday, I made Nora a dress...that she will be able to wear in 2-3 years. Sigh. This is an example of why I don't make clothes for my kids. I follow the pattern, using her measurements, and the dress turns out to be a tent.

At least she seems happy with it.
So, I made another, using different measurements. Measurements that are NOT Nora's, they are for a smaller child.

But the dress fits this time. And that is all that matters.

She is not as willing a model the second time around.

I'm going to make Elyn a dress today. Hopefully only ONE dress. These dresses will make another appearance at the beach, in two weeks.

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Thursday, July 24, 2008


Look who climbed UP the slide all by herself tonight. Should I be worried once she actually starts walking?

I think so.

Is this normal behavior for a 9 month old?

I have a feeling her favorite place to be in going to be on the top of our cabinets/tables/beds/roof...scary!

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Monday, July 21, 2008

I'm a little embarrassed. However...

*****UPDATED...I can run AND listen to music now! Thank you Michael Graham for spending over an hour on the phone with me explaining how to burn, rip, and sync. It all makes sense to me. It's so nice to have friends that understand what they are doing and can explain it to unknowledgable folks like myself.*****

I am going to ask for help.

Let me introduce myself.

I'm Dallas and I JUST became the proud new owner of an MP3 player.

I did not say "ipod", I said "MP3".

My sweet husband got online and ordered me a Sony Walkman. BTW, Walkman's have really improved over the years! Remember this?

Anyway, this is the one that I have.

I am super excited about getting to use it. But how do I use it?

I have read the directions, downloaded some songs on itunes, hooked up my device, clicked and dragged.

Nothing. Nada. Zip.

Very frustrating.

Without getting too technical...because, obviously, if I just became the owner of portable music device, technical terms are not up my alley...can you give me some pointers?

Thanks. You're awesome.

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Friday, July 18, 2008

Funny girls

I'm sure everyone thinks their kids are hilarious. So, I am no exception. Our girls make us laugh everyday. I'm sure God gives kids a special funny bone to make up for the trials and tribulations that also accompany the everyday life.

Here they are, being amusing. In my eyes anyway.

Oh, and if you are going to judge me and my "lived-in" house, that's just fine with me. We live's not a museum. Phew. Wanted to get that off of my chest, I get a little paranoid about putting up pictures when I have an obviously messy house in the background. But, I'm human and don't walk around with a broom in my hand.

Okay, now to the reason of the post.

Nora brought each and every piece she is wearing to us to help her get dressed. Our little fashionista.

Elyn discovered the other baby in the glass the other day. Every time she crawls up to the fireplace and sees her reflection she starts screaming at it. Apparently she doesn't want anyone else invading her space.

This is just sweet. When Nora was gone, visiting her Gram and Grandpa, we lost Elyn at one point. This is where we found her. In Nora's room, unmaking her bed. She missed her sister.
Okay, the next two pictures are pretty funny. I brought the exercaucer back into the house the other day (yes, I had taken it to the garage because I am TIRED of the floor space it takes up and, although it is a nice island to put Elyn in while I am treading the waters of the kitchen, I am sick and TIRED of it...back to the story). When I brought it back in, the wrong child took interest in it. I looked up and saw Nora had climbed into it. Check out her legs...hahahahahaha! Seeing her in it reminded me of one of her first times in the exersaucer...

Here she is, June 2006. Check out those legs...they don't even touch the bottom. And her hair looks like a helmet.
Elyn playing with the teeth from Mr. Potato Head. I snapped the picture 1 second too late. You can imagine how funny she looked 1 second before I captured this memory.This is how Elyn enjoys the excersaucer. Silly girl.

And finally, again with the excersaucer (why did I ever put it in the garage?). Nora feels like Elyn does not have enough stimulation with the attached toys on the saucer, so she is constantly piling others on top of her. Sometimes it's like "Where's Elyn?". Poor kid.

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Tuesday, July 15, 2008

It feels right now

Here are some things I/we did while Nora was away:

*cleaned out the garage...a before and after picture would be great right now, sadly I don't have one. Let's just say, MASSIVE improvement!
*Matthew organized our files. FYI, in case you keep everything filed...and by "everything" I mean: bank statements, tax records, bill stubs, insurance claims, doctor receipts, contracts, loan info, and so only need to keep it for 3 years. After doing a search we discovered that most stuff can be thrown away if it's older than 3 years. Before you comment on the exceptions to the rule, I know, there are exceptions. That being said, Matthew filled up a big box with unnecessary documents. Our filing cabinets are very roomy right now.
*Cut out pattern and material to make a sundress
*Made two lasagnas and a batch of cookies
*Took Elyn to the doctor to get diagnosis/Rx for ear infection. The medicine is like poison to her.
*Shopped at Hobby Lobby with a quiet child...well, a non-talking child at least
*Ate out with husband and non-talking child. VERY enjoyable dinner
*Went to friends house and talked to other grown-ups without giving lessons to toddler about sharing and being sweet. I just had to make sure that Elyn didn't crawl too far from my sight.
*Slept until NINE TWENTY this morning!!!!!! I woke up and told Matthew I don't remember the last time I slept that late.
*Didn't eat lunch today. Might not seem like a big deal to you, but to me, it meant I did not have to prepare lunch for my 2-year-old. HUGE deal to me. And Elyn is easy, just pop open a jar of "turkey and rice dinner" for her and she is set.

So, in my opinion (and really, that's all that matters here), it was a productive two days.

That being said, I am so happy to have Nora back home. I really, really missed her.

Sure, life was much easier while she was gone. I didn't have to put anyone in "time out", didn't have to witness any meltdowns, when I was "fixing" Elyn's hair (aka...putting clip in to control craziness) she didn't scream and cry and tell me it hurt like her sister does, I didn't have to plan ahead what meals we were going to eat, I had WAY less to pick up each night, I only had one child to buckle into her carseat...the list could go on for a while longer.

Even though life was easier, I missed: her running down the hall first thing in the morning, shouting, "Mommy!" and throwing her body into my arms for her first hug, watching her be sweet and play with Elyn, hearing her singing to herself while she thinks no one is listening, watching her sit on her timeout rug and tell me she's "All bedduh" when she thinks it is time to get up, reading with her while we are both sitting cross-legged on the rug, watching her sleep at night with her hair covering her face and thinking, "Does that not bug her?", watching her hop EVERYWHERE she goes, hearing her say "Okay?", feeling her little head rest on my shoulder while I am holding her...and of course, this list could go on forever.

We are a family of four and when we are incomplete, it just doesn't feel right.

I'm so happy we are all together again. Complete.

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Yum, yum, yum

Thought I would share a fantastic chocolate chip cookie recipe. It's super!

I got this from my friend, Dallas Heasley. She discovered these when she was pregnant with her last child, Sutton. She claims she gained "so much" weight by eating these all the time. Whatever, I think she probably gained 2 extra ounces. I, on the other hand, would have gained 200 extra pounds had I eaten these while pregnant.

Pudding Chocolate Chip Cookies
2 1/4 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 stick butter
1 pkg. vanilla pudding (although, you can use any flavor you like)
1 pkg. chocolate chips
1/4 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. baking soda

Cream together butter, white sugar, brown sugar, and eggs. Add vanilla. Stir in flour, pudding mix, and baking soda. Fold in chocolate chips. Drop by spoonfuls onto cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 8-12 minutes. Cool for 2 minutes on sheet and then remove to rack to finish cooling. Make approx. 3 dozen.

***Updated to add: Thanks to Whitney for her yummy cookie ideas! Check them out in the comments section.***

They are really delicious. I don't think you will be disappointed.

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Sunday, July 13, 2008

Down to one

We dropped off Nora this afternoon to spend a few days with Gram and Grandpa.

It is going to be extremely quite around our house.

Although we still have Elyn hanging out with us, life feels much easier right now. Funny how that works.

I miss my little girl already but I know she is going to have a great time.

I think Elyn will miss her more than we will though. Nora is her best playmate. I hope we can live up to her the next few days, but I doubt it.

I'm off to play with my only child. Until Tuesday, that is.

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Friday, July 11, 2008

12 months

Look at how much she has changed in 12 short months

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Thursday, July 10, 2008

Bubbles, blankets, and babies

Look at me...using alliteration for the title of the post. It's 10:43pm and that is the limit of my creativity.

My sister sent the girls a present last week. You guessed it, a package full of bubbles. Nora loved them and threw quite a fit when we got tired of blowing them with/for her and told her it was time to go inside. You can tell it's a really good present when she doesn't want to quit playing with it. Thanks Aunt Marty!

Guess who learned to talk on the phone this week? We looked over the other morning and she had this toy phone up to her ear. I suppose someone has seen mama talking on hers a little too often.

Matthew made the girls an easel last week. One side is dry erase and one side is chalkboard. I was so exited for Nora to demonstrate her artistic skills (and obviously, the girl has skills...check out her masterpiece) that I drug it into the house before Matthew was totally finished with it. I shouldn't have been so anxious though. Five minutes after this picture was taken, Nora snuck away with a blue dry erase marker. FYI, dry erase marker can be removed from fabric with Murphy's Oil Soap. GRRRRRRRRRRRR!

We went to Searcy yesterday to visit Matthew's grandparents. Also, Matthew's dad and stepmom had driven up from Mississippi and we were able to visit with them too. I was a bad picture taker while we were with them though and didn't get any photos. But look at these two happy people I captured.
It is difficult to entertain Nora while we are visiting Papa and Grandma because their room is small. They do have very nice rocking chairs on the porch that we used for a while. Nora wanted to rock her baby while she was sitting in the chair.
She rocked for one second and then threw the baby on the ground. I guess that is how she thinks you are supposed to rock babies.

But, eventually, she felt sorry for the baby and kept the doll in her lap for several minutes.Wednesday's are "ice cream social" day where P and G live. When Nora only ate 1/2 a spoonful of her fave ice cream, I should have known that she wasn't feeling well. I discovered later that afternoon that she had a temperature of around 103. Nice. I hope she didn't infect any of the elderly.
Nora and I hung out at Matthew's uncles house while the rest of the family went to dinner. It felt like we watched 20 hours of Dora even though it was just 1.5 hours. That Dora does not make time fly.
When Matthew and Elyn got home from dinner, we went outside to enjoy some popsicles...and locked ourselves out of the house. We felt very smart. Thankfully, the Motrin had kicked in and Nora was feeling just fine. Until 5am when she threw up all over Matthew. After that though, she didn't run anymore fever.
As I was putting Elyn to bed tonight, she felt warm to me. I took her temp and it was 101. I'm hoping that she has a speedy recovery, just like her sister!

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Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Making it official

Taking the lead from Tesney (not even going to link her up because she is a "secret keeper", so it would just be pointless), I am going to make it official.

I am planning on running the St. Jude's 1/2 marathon in December with Matthew.

There, it's out, now I feel like I have to do it or I am a big liar.

And I don't want to be known as a liar.

I am running 2.5 miles about 4 times a week right now and am going to start officially training in September (after I wean Elyn).

I have run 2 half-marathons in the past, before babies.

And because I added those two words to the end of the previous sentence, I am basically running my first 1/2 marathon again.

I am excited about the training. Also nervous.

Check back in December to see how I do.

My finish.

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Sunday, July 06, 2008

What will the teenage years bring?

Oh my goodness! I'm going to write Webster and ask them to change the picture under "whiny" to Nora's picture.


Tonight, we were outside, having a nice family evening (see pictures below). We got out of our new pool (the old one started slowly deflating, so we had to upgrade) and went to swing.

Nora hasn't quite figured out that you can't walk directly in front of/behind/underneath Elyn's swing when it is motion. It seemed she was in the middle of doing all three when she got knocked to the ground. Understand though that the impact was very mild and I expect no bruise.

It was over from that point. Unstoppable crying followed.

It was only 7:00, too early for bed in her parent's opinion. But, there seemed no other option.

We brought her in, brushed her teeth, put on her pajamas, tucked her in bed, and said her prayers. Tucked in for the night at 7:10.

Matthew just came back from her room and she is still awake. It's an hour later.

But, she's not crying and she's not whining. I'm leaving her right where she is until 7am.

At one point during the meltdown, I looked at Matthew and said, "Aren't the teenage years going to be a blast!". I can hardly wait. I find myself constantly repeating the same phrase to make myself feel like I can do this parenting gig..."It's going to get better, it's going to get better, it's going to get better...".

Her "twos" are kicking my behind.

Okay, here we are, having family fun.

Nora is getting really good at going under water these days. She's not afraid at all to put her face in the water and doesn't seem to mind too much when we dunk her under.A picture that makes me laugh. She thinks she is so funny. Aughhhh, why doesn't her mom do something about her hair!

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Saturday, July 05, 2008

Happy 4th!

I hope everyone had a great holiday! Ours was very enjoyable.
We enjoyed the fireworks tonight at Arvest Stadium after watching a Naturals baseball game with our small group from church. We missed the Winberrys and the Sharps though.
Happy Fourth!

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Tuesday, July 01, 2008

9 months old

Elyn keeps growing older and not discussing it with me. I wish I could slow the clock down.

Today, for some reason, I was very reflective. I kept looking at the clock to see what time it was and trying to remember what I was doing at the exact moment 9 months ago. It truly does not feel like we have had Elyn for as long as we have. It can't be that we only have 3 more months until she turns one.

Onto 9 things about Elyn:

1. Wakes up every single morning about 4am. She gives a "shout out", figures out we are ignoring her, and goes back to sleep until 6am. It's just her little way of letting us know that she is still here.

2. At the doctor's office yesterday, she weighed 16 pounds 14 ounces and was 27.5 inches long. I have said before that we grow our babies on the smallish side. Although Elyn is only in the 18th percentile, to me she is a big baby. You see, Nora only weighed 17 pounds when she was one year old, so having a 16 pounder at 9 months is a big deal.
3. She is HAPPY! Matthew and I comment all the time about how happy she is. When my dad was here visiting, he would say constantly to her, "You're a happy baby aren't you!". It is delightful to be greeted by her each morning as she reaches her arms out to me and starts laughing.
4. She is a mama's girl! This afternoon, I was given the gift of a nap. When I woke up, Elyn was crying. I came into the living room and held her and she stopped immediately. It really does a lot for a person's ego when you can comfort another so quickly.

5. She loves her sister (even though her sister's "loving" sometimes includes torturing). I love to watch them play together. I know, from experience, that they will fight like cats one day and will swear they will never talk again and will probably throw things at one another, hoping to hit their target. But, right now, they are sweet and loving and little. I am so thankful that God blessed us with two girls so that they can experience a sister.

6. Loves food! There was a time in her life when she hated food. Seriously, she would shut her mouth so hard it would have taken an army tanker to drive through. Thankfully those days are over and she is a good eater. She does think it is pretty funny to blow bubbles at us when her mouth is full.

7. Crawls at lightening fast speed. If I wasn't so against pageants for babies, I would enter in one just to see her win the crawling division. She would win by a long shot. This kid is super fast.

8. And she is ACTIVE. Really, "active" is too much of an understatement to describe her. She is constantly moving. Constantly. We were at a birthday party Sunday afternoon and there were two other babies there. Both of them boys. Sweet, precious little boys. I was holding Elyn to keep her from getting crushed from the basketball players and my arms were so tired by the end of the game from holding the wiggly body. Every time I would put her on the floor, she would hightail it to the center of the court (with Nora running behind her shouting, "No Mommy! Get Elyn!!!!). I looked with envy at the little boys. They were not giving their holders a workout. I should have known that I was in for a wild kid when I went in for my doctor's appointment when I was 13 weeks pregnant with her and the doctor couldn't find the heartbeat with his doppler. He looked for a while. He completely freaked me out when he said he wanted to get an ultrasound to make sure everything was okay. As soon as the technician started the ultrasound she said, "Whoo, you have an active baby! No wonder your doctor couldn't find the heartbeat, this kid is moving EVERYWHERE!".

9. Has a grip like you wouldn't believe. I have had many scratches and tiny bruises on my face from her crawdad pinchers, otherwise known as fingers.

Here she is, in her signature pose. She loves to smile with an open mouth, especially when she is excited.

We love her so much and have had such fun these past 9 months. She is the best surprise we have ever had!

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