Monday, January 30, 2012

Weekend Away

My weekend with the "girls" was so much fun! We had a really good time, hanging out, eating too much, crafting, and playing games. We stayed up way too late and we woke up way too early for vacation. But it was a great weekend and one I'll remember for a long time.
 Alison, Me and Melanie

 We ate so good. Homemade breakfast pizza.

 Fresh chicken salad with pine nuts and raspberries.

 Melanie playing at the Activity center

 Melanie working on her scrapbook.

 Alison working on her craft, an H for her last name, something she got the idea of from Pinterest.

 I kept giving Melanie lots of suggestions. I can't help it, I'm too bossy with crafts!

 Cutting out letters for a Valentine's Towel. (See the finished towel at www.facebook.com/dittdottdesigns.)

Alison's finished H.

The girls had a great time at Nanna's and with Daddy. They got to watch Cinderella with Nanna and Popo for the first time. My reported that Izzie was beyond herself with excitement, totally getting into the movie. Both girls loved it though. They reported that they played lots of legos with Popo and read books with Nanna. They told me Daddy fixed them chicken tenders for dinner, but they were different than my chicken tenders. They weren't too forthcoming with details of their weekend, but I did get the general impression that they had a good time!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Watching TV with Daddy

Daddy: I'm going to watch some TV.
Maddie: Are you going to watch the 49ers?
Daddy: No.
Maddie: Are you going to watch basketball?
Daddy: No.
Maddie (exasperated): Well WHICH sport are you going to watch??

Friday, January 27, 2012

Mommy Playdate

I'm so excited! I'm going on a Girl Weekend! A mom get away, a leave the kids and hubs at home relaxation trip. Whatever you want to call it. My friends, Melanie and Alison are going to stay with me at the Holly Lake cabins this weekend. Tonight the girls are staying at my moms house so John gets a mini-vacation by himself too. Since I'm not actually on the deed to stay at the time-share (it's his parents time-share), John is going above and beyond to follow me and my friends out to the resort. He'll check us in and head back home. I can't believe how generous he is being with his time and energy! I have the best husband ever.

So what do we have planned? Not much! We plan on sleeping in and relaxing. I wonder if us MOMS can turn off for the weekend? Can we just sit still? I highly doubt it. I'm bringing my sewing machine to work on some of my towels for DittDott Designs. I think Melanie is bringing her scrapbooking stuff. Alison said she'd be bringing some project or maybe just a good book to read. Mostly the goal is to enjoy the peace and quiet, and just hang out.

The girls are excited too. Like I said, they are spending the night at Nanna and Popo's house tonight. As I was saying good bye to Izzie she said, "Momma, Maddie and I are going to have a great time at Nannas. You go and have a good time with your mommy friends. Have a fun playdate with them!"

So here's to the beginning of a Mommy Playdate!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

ABC Book


 Izzie and Maddie having a pretend tea party.

 Aunt Rhonda came over to play yesterday. We took the girls out on their scooters and bikes. We live in the middle of a pretty long street. They rode their scooters down and back one way and their bikes down and back the other way.

 Maddie working on her Letter A.

Izzie working on her Letter A.
Back in the days when I was on bedrest and dreaming about how life would be with two kids, one thing I always thought we'd do was make an alphabet book together. The one I had planned out in my head was really elaborate. Where we'd glue sand to the S page and feathers to the F page and other creative endeavors. Maybe we'll still make that fancy alphabet book one day, but for now we are going to make a simple one.

We started today with the letter A. The girls traced their A, colored it and then cut out 8 pictures that started with A and glued them to their letter. They did a remarkable job cutting and both were proud of their work. Izzie wanted to jump in and start the letter B right away, but I think one letter at a time was about the attention span and didn't want her to get bored in the middle of her letter. So she just practiced her scissor skills on some blank paper for awhile. It was fun watching how the both tackled the cutting problem. Maddie cut out each individual rectangle, quickly and without too much precision. Izzie carefully cut long strips staying on the lines as much as possible.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Riley's 4th Party

Saturday the girls were invited to a birthday party for their friend, Riley. We met Riley at storytime. She's the first of their friends that they met on their own. Sure, I helped. Riley's mom, Ashlea and I started talking before storytime started one day and we introduced the girls, but they all hit off really fast. Maddie and Izzie would go and sit down next to Riley during the stories. Soon they started giggling and talking to each other. We had Riley over for a playdate a couple of weeks ago and I know that all three girls had a good time.

So we were happy to be going to celebrate her 4 year birthday. It was a sweet Puppy Party. There were only 5 kids, but that was actually the perfect amount to keep in nice and manageable. The kids played Pin the Paw on the Puppy and Pass the Paw. Then of course there was cupcakes and ice cream followed by opening gifts and then just playtime in Riley's room.

 Izzie playing Pin the Paw. Neither of my girls would do it with the blindfold.

 Maddie sorta peeked at the last second and got her paw right on the mark.

 Cupcakes and Icecream.
 Maddie and Izzie watching Riley
 I gave Riley one of my name towels.

Kaitlyn, Riley, Maddie and Izzie.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Sunny California... I mean, Texas.

I have I mentioned the weather lately? It's supposedly January. January usually means winter in Texas. Even if we don't get snow every year, it still usually gets some form of cold. Someone forgot to tell the weather man. Yesterday it reached a nice 80 degrees outside. Last year this time it had already SNOWED. Crazy, huh? I'm am really not complaining. I LOVE this weather. It is the perfect temp for me. Not hot and not cold, just comfortable.

I was glad when on Thursday, my friend Erin, texted me and said that she and Gabe were down at the park near our house. The girls were out playing in the backyard, but we quickly jumped into the van and drove down to the park. Gabe had never been to this park before and Maddie and Izzie were quick to show him the ropes. Next to the playground equipment is a "forest" that is full of green crabapples. The girls love the forest more than the playground and usually spend most of their time playing in it collecting these crabapples. They soon had Gabe in on the fun and they had a great time gathering up a big pile of these funny plants.
 Maddie, Gabe and Izzie just chilling out.

Gabe, Maddie and Izzie watching the ducks.


On a completely unrelated note, Izzie said something super funny last night and I wanted to write it down before I forgot. Again, enjoying the beautiful weather, the girls were outside on their swingset. I came out to talk to them and ask them what they wanted for dinner. Izzie jumps up and says, "Mom, we have got to TALK about this. It is important." Trying to keep a straight face from her very grown up words, I asked her what we needed to talk about. She said, "We need to talk about perhaps, the fact we NEED a popsicle for dessert, you know... after dinner." I asked her if that was was so important to discuss. She said, "Yes! It is very important." How can a mom say no to that? Especially since the "popsicle" really is just some frozen yogurt?

Then Maddie pops in and says, "We want, eggs, peas, ham and cheese for dinner." Sounded easy to me, so I went in to start cooking. Maddie follows me in and I tell her I'm getting out the ingredients for her omelet. She says, "No mom! I don't want them mixed in together! I want them all differented out!" She was talking fast as to prevent me from quickly making an omelet. I asked her if she was very sure she didn't want an omelet. With big arm movements pointing dramatically to different parts of the plate she says, "No, eggs here, peas, ham and cheese right here, here and here!" Love my girls!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Shelling Peanuts

I'm putting the girls to work this morning. I like to make my peanut butter from scratch, and the first step is to get the paper off the peanuts. It's tedious. A perfect job for two 4 year olds! But I'm not a complete slave driver, they are getting to watch a Dora show while they work. (Izzie and Maddie)

Monday, January 16, 2012

Moments in a morning

This morning we didn't have any plans, and you know, that is just nice. I think every day last week we had to be up and at 'em for something or other. The girls actually woke up pretty early at ten after six. I wasn't quite ready to crack my eyes open, even though I did get a good nights sleep. Apparently the girls were a bit fussy through the night and I slept through it all, John got up several times in the night! I know I've said it before, but it is worth mentioning a million more times, I have the most terrific, loving, supportive husband ever. So, like I said, they woke up early singing Jingle Bells at the top of their lungs. But they were happy so I just let them be. At around 7, they tiptoed out of their room to the family room and proceeded to play quietly for another 45 minutes. I was up the entire time, just laying in bed reading my book.

Finally, I called out to them to see if they were ready for breakfast. They told me that they were but that the needed to clean up first. Music to a moms ears I tell you. So, I got up and ready and they came to get me. Izzie told me to close my eyes and follow them. They each grabbed one of my hands and led me down the hall. Then they said, "Ta Da! You can open your eyes!" So I did. And I ohhed and aahhhed over how much they picked up. The perfectionist in me bit my tongue not to point out the one or two toys that were still out. And I'm glad I did because they were so proud of their work.

We headed downstairs to make some breakfast. A request was made for egg and bacon sandwiches, which I happily complied with. Since I use salt that is iodine free (I use real sea salt that is full of awesome natural minerals, but no iodine.) I occasionally sprinkle dried seaweed on our food. (It has naturally occurring iodine) Maddie got suspicious this morning and was insistent that the "black" spots were pepper and her eggs were too spicy. I promised her that they were in fact NOT spicy, but she just said, "I know they are!"

Anyway, after breakfast Izzie curled up on the couch with me while Maddie was off playing and we just had one on one time for a bit. I was asking her what she loved about all her family members. Some of the highlights: Nanna: Gardening with her. Daddy: Playing computer games with him, Popo: coloring with him, Grandma: her toy room. (she sort of took the question what did she love "doing" with them instead of what did she love "about" them, but I just let her be.) When I asked her what she loved about herself she said, that she loved being a part of her sister. I'm not sure if she expressed what she meant to express or if she was trying to say something different, but it still touched my heart. Then the girls switched and Izzie went off to play and Maddie and I cuddled for a bit. Maddie said she loved when Daddy tickled her, when Grandpa played with her, when Dana read to her. And what she loved most about herself was how good she was at markers. But then she told me she didn't want to talk about all of that anymore. So I asked her what she wanted to talk about. "Answering the door," she said.

About a week ago, I brought up safety about not answering the door and that only grown-ups answer the door. True to Maddie-form, she peculated on it a bit and then wanted to make sure she got the new rules down pat. She loves knowing exactly what the rules are. Maybe she'll be a Judge one day!

Then they headed upstairs to go play blocks. They wanted to make a city. After awhile they called me up to look at their fabulous city. And it was. Fabulous. I know I'm their mom and so of course everything they do is perfect, but sometimes they really impress the socks off me. They had a hospital (so they could visit mommies on bedrest who had babies in their tummy, something we did last week.) They built Daddy's work, a park, the swimming pool where they had lessons last summer, our house, their future houses where they are going to live when they grow up. They had the park, the grocery store, the library and even some statues because every city needs lovely things. (Izzie's words!)

After they showed me their city I asked them if they wanted to play a new game. I realized that I haven't done any syllable work with them yet. I told them it was a clapping game. They picked it up lightening quick. We were clapping out the syllables (with blocks) to every word and name we could come up with. It was amazing how intuitive it was for them. The hardest part was having them pronounce syllable! Izzie sort of said it like sylabub. Soon they were bored with clapping out words and we started clapping out sentences.

Now, it's not even 11 am, the girls are out playing in our unusually warm winter (it's 68 today!) and I'm supposed to be working on some graphics for PAMOM. Instead, I'm taking a moment to reflect on this incredibly serene morning I've had. I want to box it up and treasure all the hugs, kisses and moments I've had this morning.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Photo Catch Up!

 At a playdate last week, we caught up on giving (and receiving) gifts from Christmas and Birthday that we didn't get to do before Christmas. Maddie and Izzie are opening gifts.

 Ford getting some help from his Momma opening up the towel I made him. Jake got a matching one.

 Maddie, Izzie and Madison.

 Jake is pulling Ford in a large Christmas package.

 Photos from Mema's house. Here I am sitting with one of my cousins. I am fully ashamed to say I'm not sure who. I think I have Darian, but I'm not 100%!

 John holding Daylynn (I think?) Izzie is peaking over his shoulder and Daylynn is trying to get a good look at Maddie.
 I was happy, but apparently my cousin was NOT.  I'm the oldest cousin at age 32, and this is the youngest cousin at age 5 months.

 Izzie, Maddie and Pepaw.

 Izzie (yes, she is wearing purple tights) and Maddie playing on my cousin Casie's trampoline.

 My cute hubby all "geeked" out in the corner he created for himself at Mema's house.

 Izzie and Maddie doing a bit of a science lesson with Mema.

 Time for the night-night story! Funny story about this room. It's very cute, the room reminds me of how a quaint bed and breakfast might look. Maddie at one point during the weekend says to me, "Momma, this room is not very pretty." I asked her why and she said, "EVERYTHING is white! The walls are white, the curtains are white, the sheets are WHITE. Maybe we can help Mema paint?" I asked her what color and she said, "Well.. I think rainbow is the only thing that is going to help THIS room."

 A few mornings ago, the girls and I curled up in front of the fireplace and we were all quietly reading our own books. The camera just happend to be right in front of me so I lazily took this shot of Izzie.

Decorating the mirrors we got from our friend Melanie! (Maddie and Izzie.)

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Mema and Pepaw's House!

This weekend the family headed down to Bryan for a quick trip to my Mema and Pepaw's house. It was a great little get away. We left early Friday afternoon and we were back early this afternoon, but we still got some good play and visiting in. Shortly after we got there on Friday, my Aunt Rebecca brought my cousins, Darian and Daylynn over to play with. They are just 5 months old and the second set of identical twins in our family! You know it just hit me that I have a set of identical cousins! I keep thinking of them as the girls' cousins because they are younger than Maddie and Izzie, but they are actually my cousins. Darian and Daylynn are Maddie and Izzie's second cousins.

It sure did take me back though, seeing Darian and Daylynn. We played baby musical chairs because they were a bit fussy when they got there and they both wanted Momma and only their Momma. So I'd hold one of the girls and she'd cry so we'd trade and back and forth. Finally everyone got settled and happy so we could get some good smiles and kisses in. Maddie and Izzie weren't too impressed with the babies. When they quietened up a bit they were more than willing to play with them, but whenever they cried, my girls took off and said to heck with them! The funniest part was when I had Daylynn for a good 15 minutes thinking she was Darian. Then I saw the spot of white hair on the back of her head and realized I had Daylynn! She has an "albino" lock of hair so even though they are identical, as long as she keeps that we'll be able to figure out who is who. I figured it was nature's way of helping my Mema out. To this day she still can't tell Maddie and Izzie apart even though she now tries very hard to do so. Since these girls live in the same city as her, Mema needs to be able to tell them apart!

Saturday I saw my girls for a few minutes, but they spent almost the entire day coloring with Mema. Everytime I'd go check on them they'd say, "We are busy mom." They did want me to go take them to my cousin Casie's trampoline. She lives next door to Mema and Pepaw and the girls love being able to bounce on her trampoline. But most of the day they spent with Mema. She taught them how to hunt for four leaf clovers and look for treasures (seed pods) in the backyard. Pepaw even took the girls out to the shop to use a hammer to investigate what was inside one seed pod. Both girls were a bit disappointed when it was "nothin' special" inside.

I got a chance to sit down and "interview" Pepaw about how he met Mema and his time in the Airforce. They met on a blind date. One of his Airforce buddies was going to spend the weekend in Mema's hometown and asked Pepaw and if he wanted to tag along. He promised him he could get him a date. So they did a double date with Mema and her sister Mary. Pepaw used to hitchhike in his Airforce uniform 100 miles to see Mema on the weekends when they were dating! As I told him, "how romantic!"


When I was a kid, every night that I spent with Mema she would rub my hair and tell me a story. My stories were always about Goldilocks and the Three Bears. But I would tell Mema what the them was. For instance, Baby Bear starts Kindergarten, Baby Bear goes to Camp, Baby Bear looses his Tooth; basically whatever I was going through Mema would weave a tale about it. (I was of course Goldilocks and Baby Bear was my best friend... who was the one having all the issues.) My mom wishes that we'd recorded Mema and transcribed her stories. She basically wrote the Bernstein Bears Books before they were a thing. She could have been rich!

But the tradition caries on and now she is telling stories to my girls. They don't stick to the Three Little Bears format though. Last night they asked Mema to tell them a story about "A Dentist and a Bad Guy. The Bad Guy is Superman." and their second story was supposed to be about "A Barber and a Dragon." Mema really had to use her imagination for those! Somehow she pulled it off to their satisfaction. At the end of storytime she told them that she was going to give them a cookie for the ride home. They said, "Mema, no more junk food. We've had an ice cream, a brownie and a cookie while we were here, that is too many sometimes foods!" She said that was a very good choice. Love when those lessons sink in!

So all in all we had a terrific visit. The girls politely told them Thank You for having us, and please come and visit us soon.... and I really hope they do!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Kidz Gym 2 and KidKraft Desk

Today has already been busy! The girls had their first class of Kidz Gym 2. Last week they graduated from level 1 to level 2. So they got a new coach, Coach Michael. They were both very excited about going up a level to the "big" kid class. Maddie wanted to know if we were going to a new building, which is a fair question because when we went from Mom & Tots to Kidz Gym, we switched gymnastics companies. I didn't think the transition would be too rough for them since we were staying in the same place and they were familiar with the rules and equipment. As we were getting out of the car and Izzie started stalling, I knew something was up. Sure enough when we got into class they were crawling up my leg like you wouldn't believe. I just cuddled and reassured them until class started. Then I literally dragged them out to the floor. Where they cried and cried and cried. So we had a chat in the bathroom. I told them they were being rude to the other girls who were trying to hear Coach Michael. I told them that they did not have to participate (today) but they HAD to sit with their class quietly and listen. We took some deep breaths and went and sat down.

By the time the first part of class was over and they were on to the second part, they were joining the other girls. A few minutes after that they were high fiving the coach! By the end of class they were all smiles and giggles. They really have grown so much! The transition was relatively a breeze.

When we got home, while I was making lunch, we got a delivery. Their new KidKraft desk came in! I'm thrilled. They were having a very hard time sharing the old desk. It just wasn't big enough for the types of projects we like to participate in. Having two desks is awesome. They aren't on top of each other to color anymore. The even more exciting part is how they helped me build it. And they did a great job too. They actually were able to work the socket wrench with no problems. Now they are are already enjoying their new work space!

 Who is who? Do you know? I'll answer later...

 Izzie and Maddie with their new coach, Coach Michael.

 Maddie with the socket wrench.


 Izzie working on her table leg.

 Izzie putting on washers and Maddie wrenching on the nut.

Old and New desks!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Tattling

Oh the curiosity! Izzie just came up to me and said, "I'm not tattling right now. Maddie did something bad, but I am not telling you so I won't tattle."

I told her that maybe she should go tell her sister that she thinks she's making a bad choice and that maybe Maddie should go talk to me about it. So off Izzie went to talk to Maddie. I also told her that if Maddie was doing something dangerous that she could tell me and it wouldn't be tattling.
I'll go talk to Maddie in a bit, but I figured I'd give her some time to come to me first.
--------------
Later: Maddie did come to talk to me, it really wasn't a big deal... she put a toy in her mouth, which of course is against the rules. So this was more about Izzie trying to learn when it is okay to tattle than anything Maddie did.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

2012 Charter, first draft.

January 1, 2012. Another year goes by. I started reading some of my old posts from last January and I could hardly believe those things happened a year ago. Time really is funny that way. I haven't really sat down to think about this upcoming year. To map out my goals and dreams. I have some fuzzy ideas but nothing concrete yet. I've spent the past week working to make the house fresh for the new year. After living here for 6 years, I just need some change. Move some furniture around, perhaps get out a can of paint and work on one of the couple of rooms that haven't had color added to them. (I'm down to two bathrooms, the stairwell and a hallway. The rest of my house is a burst of color.) I love controlled change. That is, change that I create.

I'd like to go on a family trip this summer. Last year we talked about going to Colorado, but it never materialized. Which is okay. But this year I'd like to make sure that some sort of trip really happens, even if it isn't in another state. I also want to go camping this year. I'd love to go for a full week, but I'm not sure we can swing that with the girls first camping trip. Not to mention John isn't 100% sure about camping. He promised me one night. Hopefully he'll have so much fun that one night he'll stay another, or at least promise to come back again in the future.

I'd like to get fit. Some days that feels like a pipe dream. I have a hard time prioritizing exercise. There is always an excuse available. I need to put myself first for awhile.

I'd like to sell more of my art/crafts. I love creating, I have a harder time selling. I'd like to get paid for the creative works I put out in the world. That probably means saying NO to some volunteering I've done in the past. I used to get paid to design, now I give it all away. I read somewhere that freelance doesn't mean free and I need to think about that.

This year I can't wait to watch the girls blossom from toddlers to kids. Now that they are four, their toddler days are long behind them. Their personality is bursting through and I know that this year is going to be a very exciting year. Sometimes I just love watching them when they don't know I am looking. I love the people they are becoming. Everyday they are more and more independent with wishes, dreams and wants all on their own.

This year, I want to also focus on my marriage. I have the most wonderful husband ever. I think it is easy to get caught up in the day to day and forget to tell each other that. I won't get too sappy, I am mostly private about that sort of thing, but I want him to know that I love him and cherish every moment I have with him. He is my rock and every day I think how lucky my girls are to have him as a father.

This year, I plan on being amazing. I plan on being fully self expressed and I plan on living life to its fullest. It's gonna be a great year.