Thursday, December 20, 2012

Grandma and Grandpa Come to Town

Since we weren't able to spend Thanksgiving with Grandpa Mike and Grandma Susie, they came down to visit us the weekend following. And as I seem to be writing quite a bit these days, I didn't take nearly as many pictures as I would I have liked.

The first night they were in town, Grandma and Grandpa stayed home with the kids so that Tom and I could go out for the evening.  We spent the first couple of hours of our date at a TAMU-sponsored jazz reception, and then capped off the night with a beer and appetizer at a local bar.  The kids had a blast with Grandma and Grandpa, making spaghetti, making music, and pretending to sleep (?).  If only pretend sleeping would ever turn into ACTUAL sleeping.

On Saturday we walked to the park, fed the ducks, played on the playground, did a little shopping, and watched a LOT of football. Nebraska and Wisconsin played one another for the Big 10 Title, and somehow Wisconsin came out on top in a victory that was painful for all of us. (Painful for me because Wisconsin won so convincingly, and painful for everyone else because they were rooting for Nebraska.)

After church on Sunday morning we went out for BBQ, wandered campus, and then watched the College Station Christmas parade. It should be noted that we wore tank tops to the Christmas parade - it felt more like a 4th of July parade than a Christmas parade.
Will and Grandma in the Century Tree.
Hey, big buddy.  
Hallie's favorite "Bingo" (Bengel) Belles.
Pretty girl.
My favorite float - a giant shopping cart.
The big guy was sweating buckets in that suit - I felt awful for him.
Thanks for visiting, Grandma and Grandpa!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Santa for Little People

Last week we attended Santa for Little People (last year it was called Dinner with Santa), the annual Christmas fundraiser at Hallie's preschool.

I took very few pictures, primarily because Tom left for his office Christmas party after only 15 minutes, and once he was gone I was on my own to chase after two kids who were literally bouncing in two different directions. Hallie was willing enough to stay near me, but I could barely keep track of Will, who seemed to think that because he'd once attended the school he now owned the joint. (It's funny though, because I remember feeling the same way whenever I returned to my elementary school as a middle schooler.)
Those ISEN professors are such characters!
Hallie and Jorja.
Hallie and Avery.
Will and Logan.
The highlight of the event for Will and Hallie was NOT the silent auction autographed-by-Johnny-Manziel football (which sold for $1,200 the night BEFORE he won the Heisman Trophy) or the towers of cookies or even Santa Claus. The highlight for Will and Hallie were the two bounce houses. I know, nothing says Christmas Party/Fundraiser like bounce houses. In hindsight, I should have sent the kids to talk to Santa first, and then let them play in the bounce houses; instead, I let them play in the bounce houses first, which meant that when it came time to sit on Santa's lap and tell him what they wanted for Christmas, Will and Hallie were sweaty and disheveled. Oh well...

Waiting patiently (and seemingly deep in thought) for
their turn to meet and talk with Santa Claus.
Hi, my name is Will and I'm suddenly 16 years old.
It's freaking my mom out a little.
Introducing themselves to Santa
(and his kind of creepy elf).
Those two melt my heart!
(Will and Hallie - not Santa and his elf.)
It was a lovely evening, made all the more perfect by the fact that once we arrived home and the kids were tucked into bed, I curled up on the couch with a warm brownie, a tall glass of cold milk, and The Twilight Saga: Eclipse. Merry Christmas to ALL of us!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Future Filmaker

Will borrows my phone A LOT. (Though not for much longer, as Tom and I plan to give him a very basic tablet for Christmas. In all honesty, the tablet will be as much a gift for me as it will be for Will, because once it's in Will's hands, my phone will be back in my hands.) The one positive to this is that on occasion, when the phone is returned to me it has on it photos and videos that Will has taken of himself.

I've posted a few of these videos of and made by Will in the past, but last week he made about 10 new videos and I wanted to post my three favorites here today.


Yes, we'll be enrolling Will in karate lessons soon.

For Mom

Apparently "I love you" and dinner grace (which he doesn't seem to know as well as I thought he did) go hand-in-hand when it comes to making videos you think your mom will like.


This was the last video Will made that day - I guess he was pretty beat after all that filming.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012


We (as in Tom and I) shave Tom's head every few months or so. Tom always begins the process by wetting and conditioning his hair (which keeps it from catching in the trimmer quite as often) and then shaving the majority of his head. At that point I step in and finish things up, making sure he hasn't missed any spots and cleaning up his hairline and sideburns. When Tom's head has returned to a state of baldness, I walk away and let him sweep up the piles of hair that have accumulated around the lawn chair. Our step-by-step process has been perfected over the years, and we rarely deviate from it.

Which is why I was shocked when I stepped out onto the back porch, ready to begin my part of process, and found Hallie shaving Tom's head.

Bravery = allowing your 3-year-old daughter to shave your head.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Baking in Style

While she wants nothing to do with cooking (since it has to do with, well, mealtime, and Hallie avoids most things mealtime-related like the plague), Hallie loves to help me bake. Lately, however, instead of "Hallie" joining me in the kitchen, it's been "Ironman" or "Buzz Lightyear" measuring the flour and stirring the cookie dough.

When Hallie dresses up "for fun", she wears princess dresses, high heels, and tiaras. But when she dresses up for baking, she wears super hero masks (which are difficult to see out of, as I'm sure you can tell from the picture below) and full-body armor. I guess she views baking as a dangerous job.

A dangerous job, but somebody's got to do it...those cookies aren't going to bake themselves.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Naptime Attire

It's old news that Hallie likes to change her clothes during nap/rest time - for months now (pretty much ever since she graduated from a crib to a big girl bed) she's been stripping down and putting on swimsuits and/or leotards while she's supposed to be sleeping.

But when I put away Hallie's swimsuits - and I incorrectly thought that if I put away her swimsuits, perhaps she would just stay in the clothes she was wearing that day - she started created more complicated outfits.

Here are a couple recent favorites:
Winter coat, winter hat, and absolutely nothing else.  It was at least 80
degrees outside, and therefore at least 77 degrees in our house.
Long-sleeved reindeer shirt, leggings, tights, socks,
(leggings first, then tights over leggings, then socks over tights)
and black dress shoes.  Again, it was hot outside, so she
had to have been sweltering in this ensemble.
I love that Hallie still lets me (for the most part) determine what she wears to school and for special events, but I also love that she has a little crazy streak when it comes to putting together her own outfits.  I just wish that she didn't insist on wearing between three and five of them every day, because her whims are creating a lot of extra laundry for me.