Thursday, March 28, 2013

Spring Break

Spring Break 2013 wasn't a typical spring break; instead of heading south toward warmer weather, I (by myself!) flew north the land of ice and snow and wind chills in the single digits to visit the Mueller and Ekena families and meet baby Carter. My trip was made possible by the generosity of Grandpa Mike and Grandma Susie, who flew in to College Station to take care of Will and Hallie while I was away (Tom had to work and then travel to Baltimore for a conference).

Will and Hallie had a great time playing at the park, planting vegetables and flowers, painting fingernails, reading books, and watching movies with Grandma and Grandpa.
Putting candles in Grandpa's birthday cake.
Painting fingernails with Grandma.
Planting tomatoes, peppers, onions, and strawberries.
Crying about the worm she saw in the dirt.
And what a lovely outfit she's wearing, might I add.
Meanwhile, up in Illinois I loved visiting with Grandma Brenda, Grandpa Paul, Sara, and Jeff; spending quality time with Lily; and getting to know Carter.
"It's a necklace, Grandpa."
Already an expert on Grandma's phone.
Teeny, tiny little hand
Carter looks so much like Will here...
...and here.
Sweet feet
Making mischief in his dreams.
He looks like he's wrapped in an animal pelt.
Totally zonked
And then totally exasperated with me and this photo shoot.
When Tinkerbell attacks
Lily's turn
Vampire teeth
Working the camera
I may have used red Tic Tacs as a bride to get her to sit still.
Helping Grandma open her birthday presents.
Sara and Lily working out.  Well, Sara's working out.
More help.
Just for fun, I spent a bit of time wearing Sara's wedding dress.
And then I finally let Lily have a turn.
I returned to College Station late in the day on Tuesday, and enjoyed relaxing with the kids and Tom (once he returned from his conference and caught up on a little work) for the remainder of spring break.  It was a lovely trip to Illinois, and a great break overall, but when Monday morning rolled around, well, I think we were all ready for school to start again.  And so now we begin counting down to summer vacation!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Energy Overload

This girl of mine, she has too much energy. Sometimes I get tired just watching her, and I ALWAYS get tired listening to her.

She did this for four straight minutes in a dressing room after trying on a leotard that she clearly liked. (I secretly bought the leotard for her later that day and plan to give it to her for her birthday in a couple of weeks.)

And she did this for close to five minutes while she waited for her gymnastics class to start.  I assume it's clear why she's enrolled in gymnastics in the first place...

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Waiting on Will

As the younger sibling of an active older brother, Hallie spends a lot of time "hanging out" while Will plays baseball, soccer, and disc golf and practices karate. She's generally a pretty good sport about all this waiting and watching, so much so that I only turn to games on my phone as entertainment about a quarter of the time.

If given a choice, Hallie would choose to color over just about any other activity. 
 Here's one of her latest masterpieces, created during a recent karate class.
Every inch of white space was covered.
Yes, that says "mom" and "dad".  Pretty good, right?

Hallie's second favorite activity is taking pictures of herself - and the two of us together - on my phone.
Pretty girl.
Her headband looks like a headlight and is kind of distracting, I know.
She wore those 3-D glasses for like four days straight.

Sometimes she fills the time with activities I don't understand and can't explain.
I can't say for certain what's going on here, but I do know that whatever she was doing DIDN'T involve peeing.

On a very rare occasion, Will has to wait on Hallie during her gymnastics class. 
 I didn't want him to feel left out, so he and I took a photo together too.
He's a handsome boy, isn't he?

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Well, Would You Look at That.

The two children who live in my house (one of whom informed me this evening that if I didn't give her four Oreos for dessert - and no, she wasn't going to eat her dinner beforehand - she wasn't going to be my kid anymore) have finally learned how to make their beds, and on one glorious day last week, BOTH children made their beds on the same day. Walking in to Will and Hallie's rooms and discovering these beautifully made beds felt like Christmas morning, at least for me.
We're still working on folding up the blanket and putting away the tablet and books.
Notice how she folded her blanket and placed it at the foot of the bed.  I'm giddy.

Now then, if I could just get them to actually SLEEP in their beds...
Why is the six-year-old napping and the three-year-old jumping
on his bed?  Not exactly what my ideal rest time looks like.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Date Night

Last month we had our first-ever girls and boys "date nights". In the past we've gone on a few mother/son and father/daughter dates, but we'd never officially split by gender for an evening out.

I'm not actually sure what the boys did that evening - I think it involved shopping for and then playing a video game - but Hallie and I had a great time together.

First we went to Spoons for a cup of frozen yogurt. Well, actually we went to Spoons for a cup of candy with a little frozen yogurt on the side, but whatever.

Then after Spoons, we went to see Beauty and the Beast at A&M Consolidated High School. I have ridiculously high standards for high school musicals, so while I would have given it a seven out of 10, I'm pretty sure Hallie would have given it an 11.

Hallie did a decent job of sitting through the show - especially consider it lasted for more than two-and-a-half hours long and didn't start until 30 minutes before her bedtime - which I felt pretty good about. There were two notable moments during the show, the first taking place when Belle graced the stage wearing her yellow ball gown. Hallie was sitting on my lap and I had my hands around her waist, and suddenly my hands were wet. I glanced around to see Hallie's face and saw that when bee-you-tee-ful Belle had walked on stage, Hallie's jaw had literally dropped and she was drooling on my hands. The second notable moment took place shortly before intermission, when Hallie decided that she "was having problems with her underwear". She announced this - loudly - and then proceeded to try to take her underwear off, right there in the theater. I had to very literally wrestle her onto my lap and then hold her there in a vice grip (for someone so small, she's very strong) until the scene ended in order to keep those underwear on her teeny, tiny butt.

All in all we had a great time, and Hallie rewarded me for generously taking her to her first musical by throwing the most epic tantrum of her life when we arrived home. It was magical.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013


Both Hallie and Lily know exactly where Grandma Brenda keeps her jewelry. I don't think Grandma Brenda minds that the girls periodically go through her stash; if she did she'd probably move the small jewelry "dresser" (for lack of a better word) off the floor in her bathroom where it sits at exactly their level and just as surely beckons to them as Culver's crinkle-cut french fries beckon to me.

On a completely unrelated (but soon to be related) note, Grandma Brenda's feet are in pretty rough shape and she regularly wears toe-pads on some of her toes to help her shoes fit a little more comfortably.

Now, to connect the dots...

When Grandma Brenda takes off her toe pads at night, she often sets them on the top of her jewelry dresser.

One morning over Christmas vacation, Hallie joined us in the kitchen with a smile on her face. "What are you so happy about?" we asked. "I'm wearing bee-you-tee-ful jewelry," she replied, her smile getting bigger.

I asked her to show me what she was wearing, hoping that she hadn't chosen something expensive or breakable. (Seriously, Mom, you might want to rethink where you keep your jewelry when these little girls visit.) She held up her hands, and on her fingers were Grandma's toe pads. "I found these bee-you-tee-ful rings on Grandma's jewelry box and now I'm going to wear them all day long!"

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Wheels and Things

This last week the weather has been kind of chilly (yes, yes - chilly by Texas standards), but the week before last the weather was, as Hallie puts it, bee-you-tee-ful. Because spring sports haven't started up yet, our evenings have been relatively low-key with only karate and gymnastics on Monday and Wednesday nights. That means Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays were completely free and we took advantage of the lovely warm evenings by riding bikes and skateboards through the neighborhood.

Hallie is still a very new bike rider, so while she enjoys the first half of the ride (the three blocks away from our house, which happen to be slightly downhill), she cries for the entirety of the second half of the ride (which is of course slightly uphill).  More often than not, at some point on the way home Will gets on Hallie's bike, I carry Will's skateboard, and Hallie lies down on the pavement and screams.  It's super fun and the neighbors really enjoy watching these scenes unfold.

These pictures make Will look like an expert skateboarder, which I assure you, he is not.  (I don't say that to be unkind - I just think it's important to establish that in the beginning, skateboarding was really hard for Will.  Someday he'll be awesome, and at that point he'll be able to look back on this post and see how far he's come.)  Right now skateboarding usually leads to tears, not from injury, but from frustration.

On this particular day, when we finally made it home Hallie went out back to play until dinner time. I heard her yelling, so I went outside to find out what she was yelling at/about (usually it's Will she's yelling at or about, but since he was inside I was quite curious what could be upsetting her so severely). I discovered her, still wearing her bike helmet and wielding a fully loaded Super Soaker water gun, yelling at...the moon.


She'd empty the squirt gun of its water and then pause her yelling just long enough to refill from the hose.

She repeated this process six times.

Who is this kid and where did she come from?