Saturday, June 27, 2009


Thank you all for hunting...we found SIX sets of orange sheets at a Target in Tulsa yesterday, and yes, I was able to restrain myself and just purchase the ONE we needed.

Hope you're all having a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Dick & Jane Forever!

Kayci got everything she wanted for her birthday...including a new Dick & Jane quilt, a Grandma original. :) When we moved Noble into Kayci's room we had many discussions about how to make the room "theirs" instead of "hers," and Kayci is the one who asked to go Dick & Jane. I won't lie, I'll miss the bugs, but I am LOVING the Dick & Jane and all of the orange. Their room is a happy place again!!! BTW...if ANYONE sees those twin orange sheets at Target...please buy them for us (I'll pay you back--we need a 2nd set!).

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Rite of Passage

Guess who got her very own library card today?? We went to story time right after swim lessons, which explains the look...the smile is because she feels like six is so GROWN UP!!! :)

Monday, June 22, 2009

That's Noble...

Auntie Lynn bought Kayci the iCarly CD for her birthday, and we've been listening to it in the car. In between songs there are snippets of cast dialogue. One is a conversation about fruit salad, which ends with Carly telling Sam to get the blueberry out of her belly button, to which Sam replies: "It's happy there."

Today when we heard that one, Kayci harrumphed and said,
"That's Noble."

I'm with her.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Kayci Wanted to Post her OWN Note...

Here's what Kayci has to say, in her own words and by her own hand...

just now my mommy and daddy told me that they love me so much.i do to.i thot that was so nice.i love them biger than the is my birthday!

Spa Day!

Thanks, Aunt Peggy, for an unforgettable spa experience!

Here's the birthday girl before...I gotta quit making her look into the sun! was so fun to hear her conversation with the nail technician. So grown up, but so...SIX at the same time. :)

And finally, after. Those are ruby fingernails with gold glitter topcoat and daytona red toenails, if you're wondering. Red is normally taboo, but it just seemed right to let her get what she really wanted. She's a happy girl...and so is her Mommy!

Happy Birthday, big girl!

Today is Kayci's 6th birthday--so far, so good! :)

We started the day with breakfast in bed (birthday donuts, at her request!), which turned into breakfast on the deck admiring the first of Kayci's gifts, a tire swing. Here's a quick pic from that, and then a picture of the kids as we were walking out to take Noble to school and Kayci to VBS. The camera fogged up on that 2nd one, but I couldn't resist!

Hope you're having a great day, too!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Kayci's Memoirs, part 1

This morning, Kayci wanted to talk a bit about her youth.

I was born on a Thursday! No, Bitty, you were born on a Wednesday. Your birthday just falls on a Thursday this year. Oh, right. And you guys stayed up all night looking at me, remember?

This made me wonder...what does Kayci really remember? What's important to her? So I posed that question tonight at dinner, and her response was typical: I remember playing Memory with you. That's true--we did that a lot.

Now it's bedtime, and my very grumpy Bitty is curled up on the couch, waiting for HER TURN with Mommy. Bubby is, unfortunately, laying across my lap as I type. Better not to ask. Here we go...

So, what else do you remember, after we stayed up all night just looking at you?

After when I was born, or can it be something else? Anything.

I remember going to play in the snow with Jhido. (When Kayci was 14 months old, we went to visit Haitham, who lived in Washington state at the time. We spent time in Seattle, but the highlight of that trip was visiting Mt. Rainier, and yes, Kayci played in snow. It was amazing--one of my favorite pics ever is of Kayci on Daddy's shoulders, leaning over to kiss him. Too sweet!)

I remember having my dance recital when Nana and everyone came. (This was just last May. For the first time and last time, ALL of Kayci's grandparents were in the same place at the same time.)

This will have to be continued. Kayci got quiet for a minute, and I just realized...she's asleep. How funny! Wonder what she'll dream about tonight? :)

That's my boy!

Backstory: After we eat, Kayci always takes her dishes to the sink.

This morning when Noble finished breakfast, I shook him off (seriously, the floor takes a beating every time the child sits at the table, it's horrible) and put him down. He pointed at his plate and did his uh-uh/pointing dance so I wiped off his plate and handed it to him. I was curious to see what his plans were. He took the plate, kind of pointed the plate at the kitchen and turned back to me. I said yes, go put your plate in the sink. So he turned around and toddled into the kitchen holding the plate, went straight to the sink and tried to put it in. But the sink was too high, so after a couple of tries (too cute, imagine him reaching with that plate held in both hands over his head) he got frustrated and threw the plate down with those same two hands in true rock star fashion. Then he walked away and refused to touch the plate again.

That's my boy...and not my boy, all at the same time. That last part, pure Daddy's boy.

BTW, if you're counting, tomorrow is Kayci's 6th birthday! We've got quite a day lined up...

VBS in the morning
lunch at her favorite place--McDonald's!
mani/pedis courtesy of Aunt Peggy
early dinner with the boys (probably Horseshoe Junction--shh, don't tell Kayci!)
VBS program in the evening

Should be fun! I told her this morning that we have 3 gifts for her tomorrow, and that she'll get one at each meal. I think we're more excited than she is!!!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Scenes from a Summer Evening

Kayci endjoying her first banana split. :) I know this one isn't framed well, but she just looked so happy, I couldn't pass it up! Swimsuit trivia: this is the swimsuit Hannah had when Kayci was a baby, and it's probably Kayci's all-time favorite. What's funny is that when Lynn bought it, somebody had switched sizes so one piece is a 5 and one piece is a 6. Neither girl has minded a bit!

And there's Nobley, with some of his favorite things: bubbles, a popsicle, climbing and being nakey. (Not technically nakey, this is just post swimming-pool clean diaper nakey.)

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Noble's First Haircut!

We finally did we took Noble to get his first haircut. We've been talking about it for months and months but for one reason or another, we just never got around to it. I think I was afraid that if we trimmed his hair but tried to leave the curls in back he'd end up with a mullet. Well, our fears were laid to rest...he still has curls but thankfully, no mullet. :) Just for fun, I had the lady style his little hair into a mohawk, and it was a lot of fun to take him shopping after that. His 'do today really fit his personality! Of course, by the end of the day he just looked like Noble, but definitely a bit more grown up. He's growing by leaps and's amazing to watch, but overwhelming, too. Don't even get me started on how it seems like just YESTERDAY that Curtis was giving Kayci her first haircut...

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Kayci's All-Star Pop Star Slumber Party

Last night was Kayci's friend party. We decided not to have a huge friend party like we did last year - it was just too overwhelming. Kayci invited a few friends over for a Pop Star Slumber Party.

There was pizza and games and plenty of Hannah Montana. In fact, the whole idea started out very simply as just a do-it-yourself pop star party, but somehow morphed into a very Hannah Montana affair. But that's okay. The girls loved every minute of it.

One of the major events of the evening was the making of a music video. Kayci picked "The Climb" by Hannah Montana to make the video to. Originally, it was supposed to be "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun," but that changed at the last minute, also. But the girls had a great time singing and dancing while making the video. There was even a fog machine...

Here's the result of the video shoot (click on the video to play it):

The girls painted their nails and generally had a great time. And to my surprise, no one went home. I just knew that at least one of the girls would melt down in the middle of the night and I'd have to drive them home. But they all did just fine.

The girls all slept in the living room - most of them on a big air mattress and a couple in sleeping bags on the floor. In the morning they played and had a cereal buffet for breakfast.

And one of the best parts is that Noble made himself a part of all the fun. He was right in the middle of everything being a big kid and doing a lot of flirting with the big girls. As one of the girls' fathers said, he's going to love it when Kayci is a teenager and has a constant stream of teenager girlfriends over.

I'd say things went better than we expected and that everyone - including Kristi and I - had a great time! But most importantly, Kayci is really excited about turning six and feels like a rock star starting out her year.

Friday, June 12, 2009

All Star Pop Star Slumber Party!

Today's the big day...Kayci's 6th birthday party! Here's a sneak peek...

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Water Baby

Kayci was kind enough to snap this photo during Noble's Water Babies lesson yesterday. :) His swimming lessons are more for training Mommy than anything, but today in the bath Bubby proved that he's been paying attention more than I thought (or at least his body could have been a reflex, who knows?). Noble was playing in his bath this morning and flipped over and went facedown in the water. I was reaching in to grab him when he flipped himself back over and floated on his back. It was pretty weird--made me wonder if that was like a reflex, or just a weird coincidence. Either way, it was cool to see. It's not like I'm gonna start leaving the kids unattended in the bath now or anything, so put down the phone, no need to call CBS just yet. (That's CPS if you haven't heard Kayci's take on it.)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

It's official...

...was Noble's last movie for a while. Seriously, I said that after Friday night's adventure, but tonight clenched it. It wasn't horrible or anything, but it's just oh, so obvious that sitting for an hour and a half (plus!) isn't in Noble's skill set just yet. So, we'll let him grow up a bit (um, like, years...) and then try it again.

On the way home, we had a moment of silence for family movie nights. Sniff.

The plus side? We got to have a date with the Ellis family...always a plus! Thanks, Steve, for being our movie go-to guy! :)

Reality Check

Today was Noble's 12-month check up. Yup, 2 days after his 15-month birthday. It's been a busy spring, what can I say? As the doctor and I went through the standard question and answer period, I realized something about myself: I'm a hypocrite. (If that's NOT news to you, just shut it. I'm getting there.)

I've been very firm about not comparing Noble to Kayci because frankly, it's apples to oranges. But when the pediatrician asked me if I had any concerns and I brought up Noble's speech, it was a look in the big ol' shiny hypocritical mirror. I heard myself telling the doctor that I was concerned that Noble didn't say that many words, blah blah...I heard it. And while I was hearing it, I was thinking, that really a concern? Turns out, not so much. Just there in the office Kayci and I came up with 18 words that Noble says consistently. When I told the doctor that, he just gave me THAT look--I've given parents THAT look before, and I knew I was in for it. He gave me a very polite but very firm speech about not grading Noble on Kayci's his age are supposed to have 5 words. So he's good. Advanced, even, the doctor says.

His mommy? Well, turns out I need to take some remedial parenting classes. I needed today--I needed to see that I had unrealistic expectations and I was looking at Noble like he was "slow" when in fact he's right on track. He's just different than Kayci was, and that's way okay. Sigh. Sorry, Bubby...hope you don't hate me one day. And if the low expectations didn't do it, me holding him down while he got 3 shots might have...but I don't think so. He was fine once he got a balloon. (And yes, he can say balloon. Well, ball...close enough!)

I'll do better, Bubby. I've said it before and I'll say it again, looks like we're growing together. Who knew it worked both ways?

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

A year later...

...Kayci rediscovers one of her favorite b-day gifts from last summer.  She's so like me...she loved, loved this scrapbook set but didn't ever open it because she wanted time to work on it.  Yesterday I gave her the assignment to go through every bin and drawer in the office and make a list of her stuff, thinking it would help her rediscover said stuff and fight off boredom.  So far, so good...yesterday she didn't make it past the first bin before she was asking to play play-doh.  And now she's got her scrapbook out, just cutting and gluing away.  Score one for the moms (and packrats!) of the world!

Name That Photo

7:45 AM today:  I snapped this just as he pulled the top off of the Marks-A-Lot.
That's a gift (for someone else) he's about to write on, by the way...

I'm calling it, "Why Noble goes to daycare...even during the summer." 
Or, "why Mommy drinks." 
Hmm, or, what about "Mommy, what are those lines on your forehead?" 
Or, "hey, look, it's THAT kid!"
Or really, "why we love Noble (anyway)."

He definitely keeps us hopping, but you know, he keeps us smiling, too.  
Yesterday as we were getting in the car at Wal-Mart, 
Kayci looked up and said, 
"Have I told you today how much I love you, Mommy?" 
I bent down and kissed her, and Noble got a little jealous. 
When I put him in his seat he held up his face for a kiss, 
patted me and said, "Mom Mom."  
I know it was just a reaction to what Kayci did, 
but still, I melt over those little (close-mouthed!) kisses
and hearing that voice say, "Mom Mom."  

Yesterday was a good day--Kayci truly did her best at Swim Lessons, 
and she did everything she needed to do in her skill level.  
I was so proud at her for trying so hard...
I admit, I got weepy when she kept trying until she made it to the bottom
and came back up with that pink dive ring.  
I clapped before I realized what I was doing--yes, I'm that Mom.  
I'm a little bummed that I have to work tonight 
so I won't be there to see what group she's assigned to, 
but it'll be cool for her to have some time with Daddy.  :)  

Monday, June 8, 2009

The Throwback prayer

Dear Lord,

Thank you for this Throwback, for which I am about to receive.

Thank you for its smooth, sugary taste and for my job, which allowed me the money to run my refrigerator to make it ice cold.

Thank you for my wife, Kristi, who delivered the Throwback out of the urban wilderness to Brenham to join other such things that taste good.

Bless the fine people at the Pepsi-Cola Company for making such yummy goodness.

And please bring forth the Mountain Dew Throwback.


(for my review of Pepsi Throwback, be sure to visit my blog, Destructoville.)

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Happy Weekend!

We're wrapping up a great weekend!  The kids and I came home Friday night, and we just picked Daddy up and headed into College Station for a family movie date.  (That's another post for another was Noble's last movie for a while.  And yes, I'm sighing.)  When we sat down for breakfast yesterday morning, we agreed that we would a) stay in Brenham this weekend and b) not worry about getting LOTS of stuff done, but just focus on getting a couple of things done.  So, we did...and we did!  

I won't bore you with the details, but we did get a lot accomplished this weekend even though that wasn't the goal.  Most importantly, we got Sami moved into the big yard (wait 'til you see what they did to her house!!) and we got the deck spiffed up and yes, sanitized so we're ready for outdoor meals again.  We pretty much literally spent the whole weekend outside, which was lots of fun.  Noble still loves his swing, and Kayci has introduced him to jumping rope.  Well, he's not so good with the jumping but he does love to follow her around carrying his own jump rope.  

James cut down the two big trees (or bushes, we're not sure...all we know is that we and everyone we know has "almost" gotten hit trying to pull out onto Stone St.--the things were a hazard.  And ugly.)  in the corner of the yard, and the random trees in our side flower beds.  We had fun yesterday making a few trips to the dump to take the trees and a load of old Sami hay...I don't know why going to the dump is entertaining, but it is.  Our next "big" outside project is going to be tearing out all 4 flower beds around our house.  We're going to take every thing out, including the lumber edges, and rebuild them from scratch.  Our goal is a more organic shape and to choose plants that we actually LIKE.  We'll also replace the trees with a bed in the corner of the yard, but that might be more decorative grasses, etc.  We'll see on that one.  

I guess the point of the post is, we've had a great weekend.  We were accidentally productive, and it feels good to have our outside back.  :)  I thought about Grandpa a lot this weekend as I worked on the deck...he'd be happy that I FINALLY cleaned out those gutters!...and got it in tip-top Grandpa shape.  It's hard to explain how I feel--this weekend I've really missed my Dad, but I felt close to him, too, doing the things that we used to do together and doing things "his" way.  James and I have talked about this a lot, about how sometimes when we're doing something we can just hear him talking us through it like he always did.  Those times are both painful and joyful, and I think that's a good way to sum up a lot of what I felt this weekend.  

Summers around here mean time spent outside and of course, time spent eating outside.  We try to eat fresh food as much as possible during the summer, which is time-consuming but so satisfying!  Yesterday our wonderful neighbors gave us a bag of veggies from their garden, and we paired their tomatoes with our basil for our first-ever Caprese Salad.  It was gorgeous AND delicious...this one's a keeper!  

GoGo, Angus and Adam came out for lunch today, and we had a nice afternoon just hanging out with them. After they left, we headed to the Aquatic Center. Tomorrow both kiddos start swimming lessons, which will be fun. I hope! Either way, I'm sure we'll keep you posted...

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Friday Funny

The kids and I went to Sears yesterday to take Grandma to the eye doctor.  When we walked in, I noticed this cool red grill that looks a lot like the one we just bought only, well, it's red.  So I snapped a picture of it and sent it to James with this caption...

If Mommy ruled the world...

After lunch I happened to check my e-mail, and I saw this one:

If Daddy ruled the world...

And this one:
If Kayci ruled the world...

And finally, I was laughing out loud at this point:
If Noble ruled the world...

Just a little fun on a Friday afternoon.  Hope it makes you smile, too!  

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Baby's got Benadryl...

Noble has developed quite a cough over the past couple of days, and tonight I was forced to do something drastic (after consulting with a medical professional, of course)...I gave him his first dose of Benadryl.  

20 minutes later, Noble was literally running back and forth across the living room like the little maniac we always knew he could be.

Is it wrong that I found it really, really funny?  

Fear Not...

Pepsi Throwback has apparently come to Houston...I did some checking after an e-mail from Lynn yesterday and today after work we're going to hunt some down.

Oh, the things we do for love.

And sugar.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Mexican Coke

If you've ever read my other blog, Destructoville, you know that I'm a HUGE fan of soft drinks that are actually flavored with sugar, instead of high fructose corn syrup. It's so much smoother and tastes SO much better.

"Dublin" Dr Pepper is the one addiction that I fight. And I'm really, really mad that while Pepsi decided to make both Pepsi and Mountain Dew in their original formulas with real sugar (for a limited time), they seem to only be offering it for sale in New York City.

But Coke has never stopped making their product with the original sugar formula ... in Mexico. So "Mexican Coke," or Coca-Cola imported from Mexico is somewhat of a rare treat. So last weekend Kayci and I visited a little hispanic store called Lupita's that's here in Brenham (it's the only place in town that carries my favorite chicken maranade). While we were there we found that they carry Mexican Coke, so I bought a bottle (a glass bottle, no less!) and shared it with Kayci.

She was a little hesitant at first ("it came from ... Mexico???") But when she tried it, she LOVED it. In fact, we had a real father/daughter bonding moment as we shared a Coke the way God intended for it to be consumed: made with sugar and from a glass bottle.

Kayci especially loved the way the bottle felt on her lips and the cool "ploonk" sound the top of the bottle made after she took a drink.

I have fond memories of ordering Coke bottles out of a bottle vending machine and drinking them when I was about her age. I'm glad we found a way to pass on some of my childhood memories to her - as well as some of the things that remain unspoiled by "progress." I'm looking at you, plastic bottles - and yes, you too, corn syrup.

Now if only I could find Cherry Coke to drink from a pull-tab can or a Pepsi in a real steel can, I'd have even more great things to pass on...