Monday, December 28, 2015


Well, I have a little man turning five tomorrow. And five seems so very old. I still remember when my little peanut was tiny. 
Sweet, tiny bundle.
Smiley little peanut.
But enough of that. This sweet, funny, brilliant little man has gotten more amazing every second of his life, and we took him on a special birthday trip this weekend to celebrate. Instead of doing a ginormous birthday party (which, let's be honest, we always end up doing no matter how much we say we're doing low-key), we decided to visit the Houston Zoo and invite anyone who was able to come. It's quite the trek for most of our family and friends, so we were delighted that the Hopkins, the Pinkertons, and Ann and Matt were able to come! Milo was surprised by the whole thing and by his guests, which made it even more fun.

The Houston Zoo was awesome. They gave him a birthday button to proudly display, and everywhere we went the workers noticed and made a big deal about it. The man at the carousel even made two special announcements about Milo's birthday while we rode. Milo was sitting so tall on his animal I thought he had grown several inches - he thought it was that cool. It was supposed to storm all day long, but it barely sprinkled a few times while we were there. That meant the zoo was practically empty and we still got to see elephants get baths and feed giraffes. As soon as we left, it began to pour. The trip home was interesting (monsoon, anyone?), but completely worthwhile.

So, birthday trip down, birthday DAY to go. In fact, Milo forgot this morning that his birthday is actually tomorrow because he had so much fun. When I asked him what his favorite part of the trip was, he said, "Spending time with everyone who came." (sniffle) He is so wonderful. He then declared on the way home that it was the best trip EVER.  

Let's just be honest - this may be Milo's favorite person in the world.

Playing the bongos with Ms. Tracy!

Giraffe heads are much huger up close.

Group shot by a random stranger. Gotta love it.

Lily and Milo were all giggles.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

A Vision in Sassy

Lucy came out of the bathroom yesterday shaking her head at me, clearly upset.

"Mommy, my hair is all wet."

I gently stroked her wet hair and said, "Baby, what happened? Why is your hair all wet?"

"It's wet from the potty water. I put my hands in the potty and now my hair is all wet."

And that's how it goes around here.

I also came in today while Lucy was making poo. She was seated on her potty chair, and had pulled over the little stool from the sink so she could put her feet up while she did her business. Milo later reported that she was also counting to 23 while she was in there (higher than she will ever admit to counting - she was probably doing complex equations and spelling Mississippi while she was at it). I wish I had a picture to show you how perfectly content and comfortable she was.

Instead I'll give you this.

My little spitfire. She told me that she was "a vision in pink" and also a farmer on her way to the farm. I could not love this little nugget any more.

Ice Cream Dates and Book Times

Have I raved enough about my sweet, hilarious, brilliant son on this blog or not?

This week we've had some busy days, and there have been a few days that Milo has told me, "Mommy, could we just sit down and talk? We haven't gotten to just sit down and talk to each other today." I actually took him on a little date Monday night so we could do just that, and I literally walked around with tears in my eyes most of the time enjoying this amazing little creature. Talk about a quality time love language kind of person (although I'm convinced that children just speak all of the love languages and we should just go ahead and cultivate that).

We have book time every morning after these little people wake up. We snuggle up on the couch with juice (Lucy's equivalent of coffee), and I read at least three books (let's be honest - now that they both want to pick, we end up with a LOT more most days). This morning I was trying to switch over laundry, make Nate some coffee, and clean up the rest of the kitchen mess from company last night (I should always just do this before I go to bed), and as I looked out into the living room, I realized that my little people were snuggled together under a blanket and Milo was reading to Lucy. So many things involved in that one sentence, right? Sweet snuggling, and my smarty-pants Milo who is reading well enough to tackle whole books. I asked if they wanted me to jump in and read and Milo said he would really like to keep reading to Lucy, which was so heartwarming I couldn't encroach. I heard him say, "Okay, Lucy, I'll read you six more books," as Lucy danced over to the bookshelf with glee.

These are the kinds of moments that I am so humbled by (Remember my previous blog about humility? This is a whole new level...).

Just as an aside, here is an example of the kind of things I find all over my house...

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

A lesson in humility

Being a mommy. It's a constant lesson in humility.

As if pregnancy and childbirth aren't enough in themselves, then there's the infant phase, where you tend to go out in public with a variety of child bodily fluids in hard-to-see spots (whether it's because you saw said spot and didn't care or just got nailed with something and forgot it was there...).

Then your children learn to talk, and all of a sudden you're in Target and you can't stash the Tampax box far enough from your daughter to make her stop picking it up and studying it intently. "Mommy, look at this girl! She has orange shoes! What is this? What's in this box? Can I touch it? Can I open this? Is it candy? What's in here????"

And then, inevitably, she will hold the box up at every stranger you pass, making direct eye contact and shouting, "Look! It's lady things! See these?" as you go.

Just forget about trying to spell things in front of your children after the age of 4. You'll say to your husband, "I don't really care for those shoes - I feel like they make me look like a w-i-t-c-h." Then your son will shake his head sadly at you and say, "Mommy, a witch? We don't say witch..."

Humility. You might as well just learn it now.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Workout pants welcome

Well, it's Monday. I'm not going to lie - I'm babysitting, and I'm in workout attire. Not because I'm working out while I'm babysitting, but just because I didn't care enough to put on real pants. Great start to a week, right?

Here's a little cuteness to get me back on track. Happy Monday!

No clue what was happening here...
...or why Milo is smiling like this (no matter how cute he looks).

Saturday, December 19, 2015


Just, as an addendum, look at this perfection.

Lucy Temple

You already know that my little Lucy is a stinker and a sweet pea all at once, right? I have the video to prove it.

Lulu has recently figured out that she can shake her curls and melt hearts left and right (a la Shirley Temple, although I swear she's never seen Shirley work her magic). In fact, she shook herself dizzy this time. And then, as always, she refused to perform for me. This girl can count to 15, spell her own name, and do a host of other things, but not if I ask her to...

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Life with Lucy Jane

I was awakened somewhere around 3 this morning by a sneeze to the face. Just think through how that feels for a quick second...

It was Lucy, and she apparently had to go to the bathroom. Three times in a row, by the way. Yes, multiple times of falling almost all the way asleep, just to have a groggy two-year old startle you back awake for another trip to the potty (and, just for the record, she can do it by herself). 

Just as I was getting really irritated, she had to melt my heart. As she sat on the potty, she looked up through her messy curls and remarked on my giant sleep shirt, "Oooooh, Mommy. Cute dress!"

Life with Lucy Jane.

Two dogs for sale (just kidding, Nate)

So,  here are my dogs. They just got some really cute haircuts. They don't like being outside at all. They spend most of their days looking at me like so through the back door...

I've been less than enthusiastic about these pups since I was pregnant with Lucy, probably because my pregnant nose could smell them ANYWHERE in the house. Can I be honest with you? My supersonic nose didn't go anywhere after she was born, so I still smell them at all times. Which makes me really irritated with them all the time. It's really sad, though, because they're adorable and really good (for the most part) dogs. Just had to share.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

One Small Triumph

Today was a hard day for homeschool. Milo just wasn't feeling it. He didn't want to do math. He didn't want to do his language arts worksheets... I wrote an encoded message for him, and gave him a key where each letter of the alphabet had a corresponding number. It was reading, handwriting, number recognition, etc. all put together, and I was so excited about it. However, because it involved sitting still and using concentration, today wasn't the day. He didn't want to participate in my super-cool activity because it had nothing to do with his brand new Lego book...

Until I told him that spies use secret codes to send messages to people, and that he should find a spot in the house that he would use to crack a code if he were a spy.

He was all over it and made a break for the "tunnel" behind our couch. He quickly decoded the message, wrote it, and ran out excitedly waving it in the air. It was definitely a triumph, and the fact that we had the option for him to go find a comfy spot and just enjoy himself is one of the many reasons I love homeschooling him.

Now, don't get me wrong. We still had a ROUGH time with motivation on the rest of his work, but we both made it out alive.

Secret message? Check. Tunnel? Check. Flashlight? Check. A master spy in the making.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Dreaming of art

Milo woke up this morning on a mission. He needed a pencil and paper because he was going to draw a ballerina. I didn't follow his train of thought exactly, but then he excitedly told me, "Mommy, I dreamed about it!" 

"Oh, Milo, you dreamed about a ballerina? How beautiful!"

"No, Mommy. I dreamed that I knew how to draw a ballerina, and now I know how!"

He was frustrated through several attempts, but he kept trying and I think he finally nailed it. Don't you?

Thursday, December 3, 2015

The wonder of Ethan

I am so thankful for this guy... 14 1/2 and he's not too busy or too old to just snuggle some little ladies who feel nervous about the movie Tarzan. He's one in a million.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

A little visual

Oh, and just in case you needed a visual to go with my last blog...

Oh my word, this little lady is looking so OLD!

Speaking of old...

What an adorable pair.

Thanksgiving recap

It's the first of December, and I'm all snuggled up in a turtleneck tunic sweater and skinny cords. Not because I need to be, mind you, but because I'm determined to wear a snuggly outfit, even if it is going to be in the 60's today... I will tell you, though, that I noticed the leaves around us beginning to change. I'm going to have to take some pictures and make a HUGE fuss (this is a warning to you) so that I can enjoy a little autumn around here. You know, just as everyone is gearing up for the winter holidays.

Did you have a wonderful Thanksgiving? My heart was so full this year. We ended up with quite the unconventional celebration, but I didn't mind. We had brunch with my mom and Gary, Bryan and Sarah and the kids, and my wonderful mother-in-law. I was initially a bit sad because we were without so much of my family, but we ended up outside with the little people playing croquet, and it turned out so nicely. Then we headed home for naps, and afterward took a giant spread over to the Foys for a Thanksgiving dinner (which, might I say, was AMAZING - Amanda and I make quite the cooking team).

Thanksgiving continued into the weekend, because we saw Nate's side of the family Saturday evening (for Qwirkle - THANKS, Delaney!!!!) and again Sunday morning for donuts. I must admit that by yesterday morning, I was exhausted, but in the best possible way.

And now we're back to business as usual. Milo and I got back to work on school after taking the entire Thanksgiving week off. My child is a genius. You already knew this, though, so that's not news. I've been trying to challenge him by printing off some beginning readers and having him work on them. My plans have been foiled when I expect to take several days working through something, though, because he just sits down and reads (and comprehends, mind you) them in one small sitting. Reading is going to be such a treat for him because he loves to learn. Can you imagine when he doesn't have to rely solely on me to acquire information?

And sweet Lucy. She decided yesterday that she wanted to do school, too... This entails her sitting at the table with us and being entirely distracting (in the most adorable way possible). But I finally figured out what to give her - flashcards. It didn't matter which kind I passed her, letters, animals, whatever. She was delighted. She is such a sorter that it cracks me up. I can always count on her to arrange things by colors, or by shapes, or by animals. A week or two ago she ate a bowl of Fruit Loops one color at a time. It took her forever, but at least it was entertaining.

Anyway, it's a countdown until my sweet baby boy turns 5. Let's pretend like it's not coming until the day before, shall we? Hope you're having a wonderful week already!