Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas


Its been a long and beautiful 48 hours.  Yesterday we started the day by baking and decorating our Santa cookies.   The kids were so cute standing around the island in their PJs working so hard to make just the right cookie for Santa.  Once we finished and clean up was done we dressed and headed to the children's service at St Lukes.  We watched the pageant, sang carols and listened to Dr Pace talk about graciousness and giving.  All three kids were very well behaved, sitting patiently and singing along the best they could.  As we sat waiting for the service to start Aidan started to belt out "Happy Birthday" to Jesus...super cute, melted my heart.  When it was over we headed to my mom's for dinner and then home to put on PJs and look at lights.  We went to Pecan Grove in search of  THAT HOUSE on Mistyvale, and it didnt disappoint.  The neighborhood does a beautiful light display, the kids absolutely LOVED it.  By the time we got home it was late, we settled in, put out a snack for Santa and sprinkled Magic Reindeer Dust (thanks Kathy!!!) up the front walk to ensure that Santa's sleigh would find its way to our house...the smell of oats and the glitter in the moonlight must have worked because it wasnt long before santa made his stop.
Cami was the first to wake and came straight to our room to deliver the news that Santa had indeed visited our home.  She then ran to Aidan's room, flipped on the light and yelled "SANTA WAS HERE AIDAN!" to which he responded by pulling the covers up and saying "no....SLEEP!".  So Camryn pulled out the big guns and yelled "He brought you a BIG DINOSAUR!".  By then, covers wer flipped off and he bounded his way out of bed and bolted to the living room, where they checked out their stockings and then proceeded to tear through the rest of their goods.  Finally, we headed to Grammy and Popa's for lunch and MORE presents.  Its been wonderfully exhausting...a truly AMAZING Christmas filled with fun, family, faith and blessings.  

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Aidan's First Hot Chocolate

MMMMMMM...Hot Chocolate, yet another delightful holiday tradition.  Nothing goes better with cold weather than a warm cozy cup of hot chocolate.  A dark, sweet mug of rich creamy goodness topped with a layer of softly melting marshmallows...theres just nothing else like it.  The smell alone conjures thoughts of warm snuggles and fuzzy blankets- all around comfort for the body and soul.
Tonight Aidan enjoyed his first cup of hot cocoa.  We have been talking about it all week.  This past week was just too warm to truely enjoy it as it should be enjoyed.  Luckily, last night a front blew in bringing the cold weather, making us all feel a little more "Christmassy".  So tonight was the night.  After dinner, we warmed a cup of cocoa for Camryn and Aidan.  They carefully, one by one dropped their marshmallows on top and blew on their mugs until it was just cool enough to take a first sip.  They giggled and smiled and slurped until every last drop was gone.  Never have I seen two messier, happier content little children as tonight after their little cup of indulgence.  
During these weeks of hustle and bustle we should all make a point to take a break and enjoy the little wonders that the season brings.  When we see our children having a cup of cocoa, looking in awe at homes lit with strings of lights, singing their Christmas carols in their school performances... we get that indescribable feeling of joy, in that moment all is right with the World.  I can only imagine that that feeling is the very feeling that warmed the hearts of those that stood around the manger that very first Christmas night. That joy is the purpose of the season.  So have a cup of cocoa and count your every blessing.  

Saturday, December 20, 2008

The Nutcracker

When I was 17, Ian gave me a charm bracelet for Christmas with a Nutcracker on it.  That was the first year that we saw The Nutcracker together.  When Camryn was two we took her to her first Nutcracker performance and a tradition was born.  This year was her third annual Nutcracker.  We headed downtown for dinner at 17 and then made our way to The Wortham.  I always imagine what it must look like through her eyes- the lights and sounds of downtown, going up the long escalators to the performance hall, the enormous Christmas tree and all the decorations.  Im always in awe and imagine that it must be nothing short of magical to her.
I can sense her anticipation as the conductor comes out- she always watches the orchestra pit waiting for that moment that signals the start of the show.  Then there she sits leaning forward against the rail of the box, entranced as she watches the dancers twirl and leap across the stage.  This year at intermission, she bravely approached one of the mice for a picture and an autograph.  She usually looks for the soldiers and wants nothing to do with the mice (she did after all just watch them attack Clara on stage!), but this year she was determined to change it up.

After the ballet, we headed home- tired, but not too tired for dessert.  We took a little side trip to 59 Diner and shared a banana split...the perfect sweet end to a perfect sweet evening.

I cant wait for next year when Aidan will go with us for the first time and then again when the day comes that Aislyn comes along as well.  This is one of our very favorite Christmas traditions.  Ian and I hope that our children (and then someday our grandchildren) will enjoy it and look forward to it in the many years to come.
Cami and the Gingerbread house.

                        Ian and Cami in front of the Wortham Christmas tree.                                   

Cami and I at home before we left for the Nutcracker.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Two Months Old

Where oh where does the time go!?  Two months already!  You had your two month check up this past Wednesday December 10.  Daddy took you to this one because mommy was sick sick sick!  Dr. Knoebel says you look absolutely perfect!  You weigh 10 pounds even now!  I cant believe how big you are getting.  You are still a wonderful sleeper at night, but during the day you love to be cuddled and snuggled...which is ok with me!  You have started spitting up a bit.  You used to never spit up but its becoming a habit these days.  Dr. Knoebel says that it doesnt seem to be affecting  your growth or your mood so not to worry.  The Gripe Water Marlene gave us is really coming in absolutely LOVE the stuff and it kicks in right away when you seem to have a bubbly tummy, helps with the spitting up a bit too.  Now for the bad news...FIVE shots and one oral vaccine!  You were not happy about this at all and it ruined the rest of your day and night.  However you were back to your sweet self the very next day.
On another note, Cami and Aidan have stopped constantly "bothering" you.  They still love to look at you and hold you, but its not a daily wrestling match to see who can get to you first.  Cami likes to draw pictures of you and for you and Aidan likes to sing "Hush Little Baby" to you.  Mommy and Daddy just wish we could freeze time and keep you little for just a little longer.

Saturday, December 6, 2008


Oh little are so darn CUTE!  For weeks you have been practicing your snowman songs and tonight you took your little two year old self on stage and sang your heart out in front of a school cafeteria FULL of people.    You stood up there so confident and sweet.  We all (Mommy, Daddy, Grammy, Popa, and Cami) all beamed with pride as we watched you stand up there with your class.  Great job buddy!  We love you!

Mini Olympics

Today was Cami's Mini Olympics.  This is sort of a mock meet for pre-competition girls.  They learn routines on each of the 4 apparatus and go through each rotation in front of an audience.  Camryn did an AMAZING job!  She remembered all of her routines and performed beautifully.  I am constantly amazed at how talented and physically strong she is.  She had such a great time and was so proud of herself.  Her favorite event is the bars and she NAILED it!  I am so very proud of her for all of her hard work at practice twice a week, for her courage to go out in front of so many people and do what she does without a care for anything except the task at hand and for going through all the highs and lows of learning new skills without ever giving up.  You are AWESOME baby girl!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Christmas Miracle

This evening we bundled up and put on our festive faces for a visit with Santa.  It went absolutely flawlessly!  First of all, traffic was light on the way to Memorial City.  Then we easily found a parking place near the Santa entrance.  When we walked up to the Santa display, miracles continued to abound...there was absolutely NO LINE!  Finally, just when I thought it couldnt get any better, the kids all happily piled onto Santas lap and NO ONE CRIED!  Perfect right!  Until, Ian and I listened as Cami and Aidan spilled forth their hearts desire for Santa...the gift of all gifts, their greatest Christmas wish:  Aidan- A Big Dinosaur and Cami- A Princess Doll.  Well this is all fine EXCEPT we happen to know that Santa went a totally different direction that didnt include dinosaurs or princesses.  Looks like Santa will be headed back to ye olde workbench to fulfill last minute wishes...just when santa thought he could kick back with his cocoa.  

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Parade and Parties

Cami's turkey day festivities started last Friday with her Turkey Parade.  She made a turkey using a potato and a float to display him on.  I made sure that she completed the majority of it was like torture trying to keep my hands out of it, but I was satisfied working the glue gun and letting her do the rest.  She ended up with a pretty simple display since most of her ideas about what she wanted to do were a little out there and I wasn't really sure how she could pull them off.  As she was coloring her turkey parts she said "Hey, mom!  I know!  What if we have like an arch and we can tie some beans to strings and hang them from the arch like its raining on the turkey!"  My response..."Ummmmm?"  Next time I promise I'll find a way to help her make it happen.  Ian, Aidan, Aislyn and I all headed up to her school to watch her drag her creation around the gym to the tune of a recorded marching band.  She was so proud.
Today I went to her school for her Thanksgiving party.  It was great to see some of her new friends and watch her interact with her classmates.  They ate, played games and made a craft...bonus, she got to leave school early with me when I left :)  What a fun day we had!

Aidan's Thanksgiving party was also today.  The kids were sooooo cute!  They made the most adorable vests and feather headbands.  When I got there, Aidan turned around with the biggest smile on his face and called out"My mommy's here!".  I was so glad to finally get to come and do something with him in his classroom.  It seems that since he started pre-school, I have either been too busy being pregnant or volunteering at Cami's school to really put in good quality time at his school.  But now that Aislyn is here and the routine at Cami's school is a little more comfortable I can look forward to spending more time with him at his school functions.
Aidan and his classmates were all so sweet and polite.  They had an absolute FEAST and all of them had good manners, remembering their pleases and thank yous, waiting patiently for the moms and teachers to help them and cleaning up after themselves.  Aidan had a great time and left with a smile and a full tummy.  I left with a smile and a full heart, thankful for Aidan's teachers, his sweet friends and time spent with my little guy.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Growing up dear sweet beautiful first born baby girl.  You are growing up so incredibly fast.  The things that you say and do have me laughing or amazed most of the time.  You are so smart.  I watch you read and do your puzzles, take care of your brother and sister and play with your friends and I cant believe how grown up you are.  You are a talented artist and gymnast.  You draw and paint the most gorgeous creations and you love to give them away.  Gymnastics is going so well for you.  You love going to practice and I cant tell you how proud of you I feel when I see you on the bars and the fearless able and mature.  You are bright and creative, always coming up with ideas and plans, drawing maps to imaginary treasures and writing pages upon pages of words just for the sake of writing.  Seems like just yesterday that you were Aislyn's size and now more than ever I see your own individual personality blossoming...adding still another layer to the wonderful person I see you growing up to be.  You and I sometimes clash.  We both have strong wills and are alike in so many ways, but at the end of the day I know that you have learned from me and me from you. 

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

So Happy!

Aidan has had a major case of the "mood swings" lately.  One moment he's smiling from ear to ear screaming "Im Happy!" and the next minute hes on the floor wailing over something silly like not getting to pick out his own cup.  He absolutely adores his baby sister and his big sister but at times I think he really does feel the middle child blues...not old enough to do everything Cami can do and not the baby anymore either.  Top that off with potty training frustrations and we have the perfect storm.  Well this morning as we headed off to school he sat quietly in the backseat and then suddenly piped up "Im happy today!"  "Im a big boy!"  So before we got to school I pulled over at the park and we got out to play for a little while.  As sour as his mood has been, I couldn't bear to miss out on this bright and likely fleeting moment of happiness.  It was a beautiful day and though I knew he had to get to school (which he LOVES) I realized how much I miss our "just me and him mornings".  I miss taking him to music and the library and to play with his friends.  Im excited to be able to do all of those things with Aislyn, but theres just something different and special about hanging out with Aidan.  Hes the coolest boy I know.  I love you little guy!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Wide Awake

Aislyn has been spending alot more of her day wide eyed, awake and wanting to be held.  She is such a cuddler!  Shes got the biggest dark blue eyes.  Shes constantly looking around so interested in everything around her. She especially loves to watch her brother and sister...and they love to watch her.  If Ian and I hold her facing away from us, she cranes her neck around to see the source of our voices.  Shes so aware and alert, just taking it all in.  She makes the funniest faces too.  I wish I could see what she sees... judging from her expression sometimes, the World must be a pretty spectacular place!

Monday, November 17, 2008

3 Little Monkeys

My friend Eliza recently posted a beautiful new picture of her three kiddos on her Facebook page and it got me thinking that since Aislyn was born I havent really photographed all three together.  The main reason I havent is because Im totally I told Eliza, photographing more than 2 children is like herding cats.  One is always going off some crazy direction and by the time you get that one under control another has gone crazy on you.  Its enough to make a girl with a camera break a sweat.  I finally decided "OH WELL!"  They are who they just makes the photo that much more special.  You capture that moment as it is for better or worse and you find later that the memory of the chaos that ensued from trying to take a perfect picture can be priceless.  Some day when my children are grown and are able to sit pretty and "pose" I'll long for those days when they were just themselves- laughing, bickering, crying and goofing off with total disregard for who would see and what others would think.  Thats why I love Eliza's work- she captures her subjects as they are and no matter the expression on their face all you see is perfection.
So although I will never give up on the perfect all smiles image of my 3 little monkeys, I will treasure all those in between moments of blissful imperfection.

Sunday night Ian and I headed out to Minute Maid Park to see Madonna.  The Sticky and Sweet tour was our 4th Madonna "experience".  We saw the Drowned Tour in 2001 in Vegas, Reinvention in 2004 in Atlanta and Confessions in 2006 in Hartford.  This time around she stopped through Texas FINALLY..the first time she has been here since Blonde Ambition back in the 90's.  And a good thing it was here in Houston, because with the new baby traveling for Madonna was not in the cards this time around.
Now to the big review...of the 4 shows we've seen, probably the weakest BUT STILL GREAT NONE THE LESS!  However, my opinion my have been soured by factors outside of the performance itself.  Lets start with the "ladies" (and I do use that term loosely) that sat next to us.  They arrived stinking drunk...and I do mean STINKING...sat down and immediately started chatting.  They spoke of things that made no sense and asked me to take about 1000 pictures of them with their phone (all of which were blurry because they couldnt hold steady if their life depended on it).  As if sitting next to Drunk and Drunker wasnt bad enough...Madonna was 2 hours, yes I said it TWO HOURS late!  Totally unforgivable.  The show itself was super great.  Definitely not as flashy and theatrical as in the past, but still well done and worth every penny.  Wonderful set list, beautiful video backdrops and as always, fabulous dancers...just on a much smaller scale.  The updated version of Like a Prayer was worth the price of admission alone.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Baby's 1st Bows

My friend Jessica makes the most beautiful bows (headbands, tutus, ribbon boards...she does it all!).  So this morning we went over to her house to pick out some new ones just for Aislyn...I would hate for Cami to have to share her stash.  She had gorgeous stuff in every color I could imagine.  I got a pretty good collection going but really wish I could have had one of everything!  Its so great to have such talented friends!  I cant wait for her to get her website up!  Thanks Jessica :)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


Last Friday the 8th grade cheerleaders from Beck Junior High came out to take their casual team pictures.  These girls were so very sweet, kind and patient.  They happily sat through about 200 team and buddy shots.  They were so much fun.  Their energy was absolutely contagious.  I left feeling carefree, young and energized.  What a great group of girls.  I hope that they will cherish these days and their friendships with each other for a lifetime.

Look What I Did!

Its in the unwritten manual of mommyhood.  
Section 5 Article 2: As a mom you are hereby contractually obligated to fulfill all requests, both anticipated and unanticipated, set forth  by your child's school until said child reaches the age at which he/she can responsibly fulfill such requests independently (which may be never).  These requests may come in the form of a written note home or in some cases through the vague undetailed words of the child herself/himself.  In the latter situation the child may choose to express such requests at the last minute (i.e. 8:00 pm the night before it is needed).  In such cases, that person occupying the title of mom must immediately get her ass in gear and make said request happen come hell or high water.

...and this is exactly what happened last night.  The evening was winding down.  Dinner was in the final stages of preparation and backpacks were being sorted through and organized or the next day.  I gathered a baggy of 50 googly eyes for Cami's 50th day of school.  Thats when I heard it...the sing songy voice of my 5 year old "Oh! and  mom, we are supposed to dress in 50s clothes for the 50th day of school!  You know, like a poodle skirt!"  ACK!  My mind started to race...where did she think I was going to get a poodle skirt?  Was I just supposed to whip it out of some magical Mary Poppins bag?  I quickly started thinking of alternatives but could only imagine her disappointment if her poodle skirt dreams were not realized.  So after dinner we (yep the whole family) made a mad dash for the fabric store.  I came home armed with felt, elastic and a handful of shiny this and thats.  I measured her and sent her to bed.  Then, with a Christmas tree skirt to use as a "pattern", I blew the dust off the old sewing machine and set to work.  By 10:30 we had a poodle skirt!  I rewarded myself with a bowl of Rocky Road, fed the baby and went to bed feeling like mom of the year.

Monday, November 10, 2008

1 Month Old!

Its so hard to believe that my baby girl is 1 month old today!  If she were born on her due date we would probably just now be on our way back from the hospital.  Instead, today I took Aislyn for her 1 month well check.  Aislyn is growing like a weed.  She is now 7 lbs. 10 oz. and 20.25 inches.  She is eating like a champ...still nursing and bottle feeding.  She sleeps 7 to 8 hours at night and is very laid back.  She's not bothered by our noisy household or her brother and sister who cant seem to get enough of her.  She's soooo easy going.  She REALLY likes to be held, so my Moby Wrap has been a life saver.  I can wrap her up and "wear" her and still do everything that I wold normally do.  She is such a sweet addition to our family and I cant imagine us without her.