Thursday, September 24, 2009

Last Hurrah of Summer

Yes, yes, I know that we've passed the autumn equinox. And I know that we all should be snuggling down under our down comforters, wearing scarves and wool socks. But could we really resist that weather yesterday? Hot and humid and perfect for slippin' and slidin'.
We had some friends over to help us enjoy the cold-cold-cold water.
And after Bella decided it couldn't hurt her, she went from carefully sticking one finger in the stream . . .. . .to completely immersing herself. Which concerned Olivia.
So Mimi had to intervene.
Somehow these last few days of summer are so much more precious than the first few. video

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Hi-ho, Hi-ho, It's off to preschool we go.

It's preschool time! Actually, this is a staged picture. It represents the first day of preschool, but it was actually the third. Forgive me!
Mimi is lucky enough to get to go to preschool with her dear friend Kacie. And don't they look happy to be together? You should see the two of them run down the sidewalk racing into class. It's delightful.
The preschool does not want kids to have backpacks for some reason, only tote bags. Luckily for us, my brother Rob (actually, Rob's then-fiance Kasey) found the perfect one for Naomi in New Orleans.
Don't anyone tell her it's a grandma bag, okay?

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Rake for Hire

Looking for employment:
13 months of experience, mostly in the area of parent manipulation.
Recently finished a training course on lawn management.
Willing to work for very low salary (will accept payment in juice boxes).
I provide my own rake, in fact, I refuse to part with it.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Baby Shower

As has been established before, I love a good party. And I think baby showers are some of the most fun parties. You get to buy clothes that you don't have to fit into and fun toys and books--definitely books. So I was very excited to plan a shower for Pat and Jeannie's upcoming baby girl. (Pat is a classmate of John's, and Jeannie may be the nicest person in the whole world.)
She looked lovely and elegant, even 8-1/2 months pregnant. And that's pretty tricky--I haven't ever accomplished it. (Sorry about the blurriness. I was worried about my camera batteries giving out before I had taken the pictures I needed.)
We embroidered onesies. I was VERY impressed with the ladies' creations. Everyone acted like they'd never done it before and then they whipped out some expert-level sewing skills.
I used the Martha Stewart tissue paper pompoms to decorate the dining room. (Aren't they cute? And so easy and cheap. Perfect!)
These are two of my favorite efforts. I loved the way the carrots and celery looked, sitting in their votive cups with cucumber-dill dip at the bottom. And can you see my cake plates? Well, you can't really, because I'm a crappy photographer (again with the rushing battery), but I made those! From thrift store candlesticks and glass plates, and E6000 glue (smelly, but awesome!) Just glue the plate on top of the candlestick, and you have an instant cakeplate. For less than the cost of a cake mix.
And while the ladies were sewing, chatting, and eating (three of my favorite things), John took our little ladies and met a friend with his little ladies, and they all hit the park. Where Naomi demonstrated the parasol-use of her new pink umbrella.And John relaxed in the shade.And Olivia climbed and swang and slid until she could hardly see straight.Whereupon they hit happy hour at Sonic. (Is there a better invention than half-price slushies? Definitely not.
It was a wonderful day for everyone.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Deception

Don't the pictures in cookbooks always look so cute?
And the instructions make it sound so easy.But then you try it yourself, and get this.It is much more difficult than I would have thought to separate the two halves of Oreos and keep the cream intact on one side. And, blow of blows to my ego, my six-year old was much more skilled than I was. Plus, my Wal-Mart does not carry mini M&Ms for the pupils. And where are you supposed to find chocolate-covered sunflower seeds (for the beaks) anway?
(These were the two cutest on the entire tray, and even they look a little wonky.)They were eaten quickly at the Labor Day Party, so they must have tasted good, even if they weren't nearly as cute as the ones in "Hello, Cupcake!"

Sunday, September 6, 2009

How NOT to change a diaper

I was finishing up the dishes Friday night when Olivia decided she could change Bella's diaper. John watched, laughing for a while, verbally directing, but I stepped in when the situation looked like this.
(I took a few more pictures at the scene, but they were not appropriate for the world-wide web. Suffice it to say, for all the wipes that had been used, the amount of poop on the bum was not diminished as far as I could tell.)
You can see in this next picture that Olivia was distraught with her failure and the spreading mass of poop. Bella was very sweetly trying to comfort her. She kept reaching out to Olivia to try to give her "pat-pat" on the face. Needless to say, Olivia did not want to be touched by the poop baby. John and Olivia discussed the rules of diaper changing while I gave Bella a bath.
Rule #1: Don't get poop on the baby's face.
Rule #2: Don't get poop on your pants.
Rule #3: Don't cry.

I was just grateful she was willing to try. That'll teach her to attempt to help her mother, won't it?

Friday, September 4, 2009

If you're ever in Monticello. . .


. . . let me give you a few suggestions.
1. Spend some time at the county fair. Where there are bouncy toys galore; pigs, cows, bunnies, and chickens to admire and squawk at; and tomatoes, pies, quilts, and afghans to NOT touch. (Also, if you possibly can, I recommend you work a couple shifts in the concession stand raising money for the football team. That was so fun, I think I may have missed my calling in life.)
2. Enjoy the perfect, perfect summer weather by lounging in the backyard as much as you can. As often as you can. In seats that are just the perfect size.
3. Make a trip up the mountain to my favorite reservoir, Loyd's Lake. Roast a few marshmallows, and then a few more. Throw some rocks into the water. Breathe the lovely air.4. Go fishing with your grandpa (if you are lucky enough to have a Monticello grandpa) and catch a great big beautiful fish. Have grandma help you cook that sucker up and eat it for dinner.
5. Take a four-generation picture, if you can.
6. Pick piles of fresh peas from the garden.
7. Play hard in the city parks.
8. If you haven't already learned, maybe you could go from crawling. . . . . . to walking. (It's the perfect place to give it a try.

video
9. You could even jump on the trampoline. (If it's your first time, don't worry. Uncle Pete will catch you.)

video
10. And if you are the tired mother of three children, just go to my mom's house. You won't hardly have to look at your children for two weeks. You'll be able to lounge and read to your heart's content. Ahhhh. . .

Our vacation in 'Cello was wonderful. Just the break I needed.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

First Day of School

Olivia's first day of school was three days later than the "official" first day of school because we lingered in Utah, relaxing in Grandma's backyard hammock. (I do try to be a stickler for school attendance, but some things just seem more important. Plus, by delaying my return a few days after school started, I was able to have both my parents on the first leg of our return flights as they winged their way to Rob's open house in Austin. Definitely worth a little truantism.)
So, after arriving back in our home at 1:00 a.m., we awoke early the next morning to figure out first grade. We found her teacher and classroom pretty quickly. So quickly, in fact, that we ended up going back outside to wait in line with the kids who had just arrived on the bus.
Olivia's two best friends from kindergarten were waiting in line, and I wanted to get a picture of them together. I wish the photo showed how freakishly tall Olivia looked. She was the same height as Emily (on the left) at the end of kindergarten, and she seriously grew three inches this summer.
My favorite part of the first day of school. Olivia loves it when we run to her as she's getting off the bus. . .
. . . so Mimi decided to get in on the action on the second day.
I love these sisters.