Thursday, December 31, 2009

Leap Frog, Leap Frog!

Madelynn has completely surprised me. I got her a leap frog alphabet set for the fridge for Christmas. She loves it and has already memorized all the letters of the alphabet and what sound they make (and a word that starts with that letter.) I also contribute this to the leapfrog movie The Letter Factory.

She loves that movie, I think the fridge set just reinforced the basic principles. My baby will be reading before you know it!
In case you can't tell, I'm becoming a huge fan of Leapfrog. Madelynn loves their products, and they are very educational. She got the Tag Junior system for her birthday (thank you Grandma Dollar) and can't get enough of it!As I write this she's yelling "leapfrog, leapfrog!" Technology has reknewed my faith in the education of our children once again.......for now......

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas Week

Getting both children to look at the camara was not a Christmas miracle I was going to recieve....

We have had quite the busy Christmas week! On Tuesday, my work held its Christmas party. It was potluck- and all the food was yum yum yum! Maddie and I stuffed ourselves, and Annie let my friend Grace hold her. She would not let anyone else hold her though.... On Wednesday we went over to Jake's family to see everyone who made it to town. It is the first time in a long time that everyone was able to make it in for Christmas (including all the cousins!) Then on Thursday, Christmas Eve, we went to Lila and Zella's 2nd birthday party. Madelynn loved singing the birthday song, and she got to make an ornament there and play with lots of new toys! Afterwards, we went over to Grandma and Grandpa Dollar's for a wonderful dinner and to open presents. While we were at the birthday party it started to snow! It didn't stick on the ground at first, so when I tried to show Maddie she didn't believe me.
"Look Madelynn! It's snowing!"
"No, just rain"
"No really, it's snowing!"
"No, rain."
At the grandparents house it started to stick to the ground, so she believed me then!

It really surprised me how excited Annie got when she saw a present! She really worked at trying to open it too! Upcoming Christmas's are going to be soooo much fun!


On Christmas morning (I still can't believe I lived to see a white Christmas in Texas), Madelynn came into the living room and just stared at the tree for a while.....like she was in disbelief about what she saw. Then she suddenly ran toward the tricycle "bike, bike!" climbed on and it's been her favorite toy since.

After all the presents were opened, Jake took Madelynn outside to play in the snow. Annie got a picture with her first snow too, of course.

While Jake was outside another Dad and his daughter let them use thier sleds to go sliding down the golf course hills. Madelynn had lots of fun!

After lots of sleding, we went to Grandma and Grandpa Wells's house for a wonderful dinner and gifts. We took the rare opportunity to get some pictures done of everyone. And a cute one of the cousins. This is the un-touched versions:
We're getting quite the crowd going. It'll be fun to see how everyone's changed in a few years (if we're ever able to get another one done again) ;P


Well, overall a great Christmas! Another one for the books! Despite all the fun, I think it's time we start our own Christmas traditions at home. It seems like we spend more time running around on a schedule and driving, than actually enjoying a relaxing day with the kids. Staying at home and enjoying our children and our time as a family on Christmas Day and Christmas Eve is how our future holidays will be spent from now on. If working in oncology has taught me anything, it is that you can never turn back time. You only get one chance to enjoy and make good memories with your family. Nobody ever says 'I wish I had spent less time with my children' it's always 'I wish I had not let anything stand in the way of quality time with my kids'. I intend to take that to heart.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

All About Annie

I talk so much about Madelynn, I think it's OK if this post is all about Annabelle. :)
We had her 6 month appt. Monday (wow- 6months!) She is definately getting some stranger anxiety already. Whenever anyone talked to her she started crying and stopped as soon as I picked her up..... Funny how she is getting more shy as Maddie is getting more friendly..... she is in the 75% in height, and the 43% in weight (I see a trend starting with Jake and I's children.) Her head is still very lumpy. While it is still growing appropriately, the doctor wants another opinion from a specialist just so she can rest easily. I'm personally not worried, but if it will set the matter to rest then I guess we'll go in January.

We started Annabelle on cereal Monday as well. She ended up really liking it! Hopefully, she won't be as picky with food as Maddie was....

I found it was definately easier starting on solids at 6months rather than at 4months. All my kids are going wait till 6months from now on....

Annabelle is getting such the little mohawk going- but I LOVE it! It's a part of her...... :)

Christmas Lights


On Friday, we went to the Heard Museum Trail of Lights. It's this hiking trail you can take where all the trees are covered in lights. Then, a hay ride back to the beginning where there is hot chocolate, a choir singing and an orchestra playing. Unfortunately, the museum was not expecting such a great turn out. We got through about 1/4 of the trail before it was so congested we had to turn back. So we got some popcorn and water (hot chocolate had run out about in about 45 mins) and listened to the choir and orchestra. Much to my surprise, that was Madelynn's favorite thing! She kept clapping and saying "more, more!" after each song. I thought she would be bored and trying to run around, but she sat really still, listening very closely. Finally, Jake and I got really cold and had to go. When asked what she liked best about the trail of lights, she said "singing!"


Annie did really well too- she just slept the whole time :)


I know I know, my fuzzy hat looks really ridiculous. However, it is really really warm! I'm such a Mom now- lol!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Movie Day

This is an old video of Madelynn I found. I think she's about 14 or 15 months old here:

video

This is a newer video of Madelynn, she LOVES to sing now. Of course, her favorite song is still Old MacDonald had a Farm.


video

I know I say this all the time, and I'll probably say a few billion more times; but time sure does fly by.....

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Dooce.com

I love reading Dooce. I forget which friend turned me on to her, but thank you thank you thank you! I find her hilarious, and it makes my day reading her blog. Here is really good gift ideas for infants. I think we'll get Annabelle an old remote too! My favorite gift ideas are the Chia Hat and the Cranky Pants- lol!
http://dooce.com/2009/12/14/holiday-infants

Homemade Christmas Fun

I finally got them in matching outfits! They are SO going to hate me growing up. Just wait until I can start to match with them- bwahaha!


So we finally put up the tree and decorated it. I thought this year we could decorate the whole tree, but after Madelynn took all the ornaments off and brought them to me without a hook (to put back on again) for the bajillion-th time; the tree once again is only decorated on the top half. I still can't find where all the hooks went..... She really likes all the lights and had a really fun time making her own ornament to hang on the tree. I love that I can do crafty Christmas things with her this year.

We decorated cookies too. At first she didn't want to eat the cookies after decorating them, but the next day she was ready to eat them.....for breakfast (I guess she had been dreaming about them-lol!) Jake and I have been trying our hand at homemade candy. Nothing exceptional yet, but we're having fun with it.


Annabelle gets her first ponytail! Probably won't have one too often-haha! She is rolling and skooching to anywhere she wants to go now. Madelynn is having more fun interacting with her too. She'll hand Annie toys and Annie grabs them and just grins at Maddie. They are going to have so much fun growing up together!

Monday, December 7, 2009

I've got winter on my head, but eternal spring in my heart


We are having a BLAST with all our Christmas activities! I've got something planned every Friday until Christmas. Next year, I'm DEFINITELY doing an advent calendar with activities every day until Christmas.....but that's for when Maddie's just a little bit older (and can put together a gingerbread house with me.) On Thursday, Stonebridge Ranch had their annual Christmas fun. They had a petting zoo, carriage rides, hot chocolate/apple cider, and stuff for older kids..... ;P It was really, really cold- about 34 degrees; so it was a good thing we could get in, have fun, and get out without too much fussing.






On Friday, we went to Aunt Judith's play (with North Garland High School.) It was a production of The Christmas Carol. They did a really good job! Madelynn was enthralled with it for about an hour, then started losing interest. The last 30mins she was really restless- but I think she was really tired too (it didn't end until 9:30pm.) As she gets older, she'll be able to sit for longer periods. She really enjoyed seeing Aunt Judith and the other characters all dressed up. I can't wait to take her to see The Nutcracker, or other great Christmas shows as she gets older.

Madelynn is completely well, with just a cough every once in awhile. Annie is still very congested. I'm so glad Jake hasn't caught anything.......yet.... ;P I hope all of ya'll are able to stay healthy for the holidays! Hopefully, we'll be well enough to go to see a live nativity this Friday at a fun Christmas festival :)

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Thanksgiving


I find this pic. so funny! I was wanting to get them in their cute footie PJs. Both girls had just woke up and are like "A picture now, Mom! You've GOT to be kidding me!"

















Thanksgiving went really well! Everyone got a cup, plate, wine glass, silverware, and most importantly a chair. We ended up having 13 adults and 4 children (Annie being counted, but stayed in her swing during dinner.) Noah- no excuses next year! ;P There was loads of good food and a great smorgasbord of sides to go with the turkey and ham. There were yummy deserts galore! Jake and I are still working through the leftovers (though we've put a good dent in them) and still aren't tired of eating! I already can't wait for next year! I've taken notes to make next year even better! (including a seating chart-lol!)









Don't you just love those mid-eating pictures! BWAHAHAHA!













My mom brought crafts for all the kids. Madelynn is still running around the house in her Indian Headband (that girl loves her hats!)















This is Madelynn and her cousin Coralie. They are only 5 days apart in birth. Aunt Jessie and I have GREAT taste in clothes ;P I LOVE that Maddie will always have a close playmate and friend as she grows up. Hopefully, Coralie won't pick up her bad habits (like biting her nails) ;P








On Friday, we went to the Mckinney 'Dickens of a Christmas' that they hold every year. Of course the carousel was a big hit with Madelynn. Annie LOVED looking at all the lights and smiled every time Madelynn screamed about seeing Frosty the Snowman going around in the little train. Madelynn was very good looking around the petting zoo and SPCA exhibit while drinking her hot chocolate.






I just love seeing the sparkle in a child's eye when they are experiencing Christmas festivities to the fullest ;)














Both girls are sick right now (with Mommy picking up the bug too.) Madelynn has her first ear infection. She seems to be doing better since we've gotten some medicine into her. Poor Annie has to tough it out though since decongestants are too strong for her. Annabelle is so sweet though- she is the first baby I know who smiles and laughes while I suction out her nose. I really hope they will be better for tonight and tomorrow. We have plans to go to the Stonebridge Ranch Christmas festival and then Friday is Aunt Judith's play. Guess we'll have to play it by ear.... (a little pun intended ;P)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

New Milestones

Annie rolled from back to tummy yesterday! She just did it one time, but hopefully now she'll start to do it more. Up next: crawling! Yikes- I don't know if I'm ready for that yet..... She getting so big, so fast!
Madelynn put on her own PJ's Sunday. The shirt, pants, and socks all by herself! The shirt and pants were backwards, but that's OK!
Everyone have a fun and careful Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 20, 2009

The Dallas Zoo

I was canceled from work on Sunday, so we took the rare opportunity to take a family trip to the zoo. It was great! We went early in the morning so the zoo was very empty; there were no lines, and we could take all the room we needed for pictures. We ate lunch there (note to self: take a lunch next time, the corndog was way more expensive than it needed to be) and we left when it became obvious that naptime was needed. Madelynn LOVED all the animals! When we learn about the animals in school now, she always brings up the zoo. Hopefully, we'll be able to go again soon.
Madelynn loves to run her fingers through Jakes hair while she rides on his shoulders. By the end of the trip his hair was like a mohawk-lol!

She LOVES the elephants!


This picture always cracks me up! She went running to the window to see the gorilla. Then the gorilla turned her head to look at Madelynn and Maddie promptly turned heel and ran away faster than I've ever seen her run before. After lots of coaxing, Jake and I were able to take her back to see the gorilla where this "BIG monkey" taught her how to pick her nose. (Thankfully, not her butt-lol)



Annabelle learned how to blow strawberries while we were there.....maybe she was watching the monkeys too closely too ;)


A rare picture of the tiger that was out. Forget trying to get Madelynn to say "tiger." It's just "rowr!"

She loved petting the rabbit and guinea pig at the childrens zoo. She was very gentle with them- no ear pulling at all!

On our way out.....blissfull naptime cometh soon....

Madelynn can now wear braids!!! I'm so excited that I can start to fix her hair in more cute styles now! Of course, they only last for a few hours before her crazy hair is everywhere again....




Coming soon: Thanksgiving dinner update, and pictures of our new fireplace!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Planner and The Procrastinator

So this is the first year I'm holding Thanksgiving at my place. I go between putting off everything (like cleaning the house) and trying to plan everything (I love lists!) I have the fun part done: shopping and decorating, so I guess this week I can't put off the cleaning anymore.

I never realized how few dishes and cups Jake and I have been living off of. Here I was thinking we were doing well in the land of dishes, then I had to go and throw a large dinner together and we are dish poor! I really don't know what happened to all of them. Could we really have broken that many dishes and cups? Can we serve Thanksgiving on plastic? No, there are only a few holidays where plastic dishware cannot be used (and not for want of trying- I asked everyone looking for someone to agree with me.....but in vain) Thanksgiving is one of those holidays. And Walmart knows it. Thankfully for me, there are some great sales on real dishes and glasses.

It's so funny how 'real' is now glass. Like we've been eating off of 'fake' plates because you can throw them away. Yep, living in the land of make believe, where fairies and elves do your dishes for you......maybe that's where our dishes went....

I've been so good not to go crazy with the decorations. It's so hard because I LOVE the fall colors! I'd keep my house in a forever Autumn state if I could. And the candles- YUM! I've set the table for 16 guests (just to tempt fate to bring me 17 guests.) I'm so OCD on everything matching too- I'm 2 seconds away from buying all new flatware. I just have to keep checking my bank account every morning to remind myself why that's not a good idea. But at least the glasses and plates will all match- gosh darn it!

Jake and I bought a new dining table. We've been wanting a new one for a while now, so when Rooms To Go held a good sale on a new table we jumped at it. Then the next week Big Lots holds a sale on chairs that go with our set (cha-ching!) so now our table has 8 matching chairs (OCD kicking in again.) Then Garden Ridge holds a sale on all their parsons chairs, so we got new chairs for our breakfast table too; then of course I had to get a pretty autumn tablecloth for our breakfast table (prob. should take some meds for OCD) so now we have a new(ish) breakfast table too! Now I have to bring a paper bag with me to look at the bank account every morning, reminds me of my early preggo days.

Well, I've planned the menu out- now if I could just make myself go to the grocery store to get everything.....

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Candy, Candy, Candy


Wow, what a week! I'm still recovering and cleaning the house from all the stickiness. Just when I think I got it all, I reach for that one door knob I missed, or move a couch pillow and get a mess of sticky. I'm still finding candy wrappers in the wash after each load of clothes too. But honestly, it was all worth it!

Madelynn was a fairy this year, which varied each night depending on her mood and what she found that day for her costume. Annabelle was a little pumpkin, which varied depending on what was clean (or barf stain that needed to be hidden.)


On Tuesday, we went to the YMCA fall festival. There were lots of games there, it was really crowded. Madelynn got to practice waiting in line for her turn. She at first got mad because she couldn't just walk up and play the game, but after explaining sharing with her I think she got the idea. Then she had to realize that when she had her turn it was just one turn, and not 3 hours of personal time with the fun helpers (who give candy!) Her favorite games were the ring toss on the dinosaur and the bean bag toss. She really loved picking an item from the candy bucket. After getting a lollipop from the first bucket (which stayed in her mouth the entire time) she picked a pumpkin straw, bracelet, bubbles and a few other small items for prizes after the other games (which really surprised me considering her sweet tooth.)


On Thursday, Maddie and Mommy went to the Kroger fall festival. I can just imagine when Maddie becomes a teenager "my mom's so lame, she took me to the grocery store for trick or treating." Bwahahaha! They actually had it really nice there, and we could play the games without waiting in long lines. They had bowling (with a frozen turkey for the ball, and empty 2 liters for the pins), ring toss, and bean bag toss. The candy was a lot nicer there too. Madelynn loved seeing all the cashiers dressed up.

Note the bracelets in these photos. Every time she played a game, they came off her wrist- but she was very stubborn about putting them right back on! Needless to say, they are pretty battered now.

On Friday was the Mckinney 'Scare in the Square' event. Every shop owner in the downtown Mckinney was dressed up and passing out candy. Jake and I were definitely not prepared for the crowd it drew. The entire square was basically just one long line. The line slowly moved from shop to shop as the kids got more and more anxious and sticky. We decided to go to about 3 different shops, visit the firemen, and just look around. Madelynn kept a lollipop in her mouth the whole time- AGAIN! Finally she decided it was easier to talk around the lollipop, rather than remove it from her mouth while talking. Surprisingly she became very skilled at this- though the usage of this skill in the real world has yet to appear. Ventrilaquist perhaps? Maybe dentist..... ;P Annie loves the outdoors! She was so good, just looking around; watching everybody around her. She didn't start crying until we put her in the car to leave.


In case you thought I naturally grew wings, I decided to dress up with Madelynn for the Mckinney square event. It was a lot of fun, and Maddie loved being a fairy with me. Though for some reason anyone wearing a dress she calls a ballarina right now; so she went back and forth calling us a ballerina or a fairy. That is one great thing about having kids: I have an excuse to act like one! ;P

On Saturday, Halloween night, Mommy had to work so Daddy and the girls passed out candy to everyone. Jake says Maddie loved seeing everyone all dressed up and said "hi" to everyone who came to the door. When I got home, they were having a great time. Madelynn had 3 (that I saw at that time) lollipops open. One in each hand, and kept putting one down after some licks and picking up the third to lick for a while. We made sure to do some thorough teeth brushing that night ;P

You may think that her hair is just be a mess; but if you look closely, all of that hair is actually stuck like glue to her face. That's what a 2 yr old and ten (that's Jake's rough estimate) lollipops look like after running around the house for several hours on a sugar high. Some of you may be able to relate: candy turnes to cement after a few hours in the hair. I honestly don't know if I'll ever be able to get it all out! This may be how the mullet was invented.

We all had an absolute blast for Halloween! I can't wait for Christmas! It gets more and more fun to share the holidays with the girls as they get older. Having children definitely keeps you young!