Monday, September 17, 2012

Monday Musings

Had a really great day with the girls, after a really long night with Eleanor - she woke up at 1:30 and we were up for the next hour. Have no idea why. Teeth? Sinus issues? So we cuddled in the rocker for 30 minutes until I felt her body go limp, and then I layed her down in the pack n play in our bathroom, praying praying that she would stay asleep.

Dance class and lunch at home, good naps, then early dinner at home followed by ice cream at Chick-fil-a because we had a toy to turn in for free ice cream, then a quick run through Target. Eleanor fought going down for some reason, I think she was hungry, so I got her back up, gave her a snack, and then Luke and I tucked the girls in at the same time with a story.

Wrote down some GOALS for this fall. It's high time I'm more intentional with our days.

  • Starting quiet time with Avery - she journals next to me while I do my morning devotional. I set my clock for 10 minutes, because that's all the focus she has unless it's Dora. We'll gradually increase this over time, but for now, shorter is better. Her journaling consists of colored scribbles on multiple pages. We're going to go through journals very quickly at this rate! Eventually I'll have her color something specific or actually write in it (when she learns to write). Again, the object lesson is FOCUS. Can this wiggle-worm sit still for 10 minutes?
  • Start rising before the girls, instead of with the girls. It's hard, because they are technically awake before seven and want up if they hear any noise going on outside their room. Living in an apartment makes it difficult to do anything in the kitchen (like make the necessary coffee) without disturbing them. I'll have to settle for quiet time in my room without coffee. 

  • Preschool-lite with Avery. I was supposed to start after Labor Day. It's still technically after Labor Day, right? Just pushed back a bit. Tuesdays and Thursdays will be short lessons with her, to help teach her focus, to work on learning some Bible stories, to read new books, etc. Nothing too strenuous - it's more of a chance for me to see if homeschooling is in our future, because this past year has really made me re-evaluate where we are headed in terms of a lot of things. I always thought I'd homeschool, but now I'm struggling with that decision. School is such a hard choice, and there are opinions from all different camps, which I won't get into here because I'm just not that brave on the web. What I've learned this year, though, is that sometimes it's okay to let go of what we thought was best and to rest in what God is working in us. Perhaps we'll still end up where I thought we would. But this is my year to really pray and seek God's wisdom in this.
  • Find a hobby. I'd love to take guitar lessons, but I need a guitar first. I have grand visions of running a half-marathon, but my track record (ha!) for exercise is not great. But, I am seriously considering this, possibly one for mid-spring. 
And some random tidbits:
Avery loves bubble baths these days. I need to find some kid bubble bath because she's going through my favorite scent way too quickly. 

Avery announced to everyone, "Welcome to Chick-fil-a!" when we were sitting down at our table tonight. 

My vegetarian/vegan friends will rejoice - I love tofu. I make a lot of vegetarian dishes at home now. Way more fun than messing with meat in my kitchen. Still not fully converted. Please send your favorite recipes my way!!

Round Top is two weeks away. I am SO DARN EXCITED. I even get to go twice that week, once with the girls and once without. 

Life, as iPhotographed

Doing a phone dump from the past month or two. Random snapshots of our days, with some real gems tucked in here that make me smile every time.

introduction to a Waco favorite

trying to escape

she loves to play with Avery's (clean) underwear

awesome interior of Midnight Cowboy

Happy 30th to Luke. @Midnight Cowboy

sometimes she flushes the toilet with her foot, like I do in public restrooms

making sure I remember to take her to Nonnie's house too

mommy-daughter date

birthday fro-yo

new shoes

The Mountain King and His Princess

Silly Games

A few weeks ago we went to visit my mom and had some good laughs with the siblings. Uncle Dane and Aunt Brittany are always up for a good game of pretend. This adventure took Avery to the moon, where she encountered a couple creatures who exchanged macaroni and cheese for kisses. At one point, Avery came up to me and asked me for some more fuel for her spaceship. Her words (as prompted by Daddy), "Can you give me some unicorn poop?"
on her spaceship

Uncle Dane, Moonite

the blanket is her spacesuit, obviously

on the moon, greeting the Moonites

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Quick Trip to Dallas

Schmaltz's, a Waco favorite
they've been cutting costs, apparently. their silverware shrunk.

tv built into the mirror - that's a first for us



this made me nervous

sloth - we were literally standing right below this guy

croc? gator? scary.

what a croc.

the otters were too fast to get a pic of with my phone, but check out those feet!

Daddy took a turn with the Ergo this time. What a treat for my back!

jellyfish. forgot to turn the flash off

flashlight fish. this is all we could see of them too.

some kind of spider crab? that's what we called it at least.

cleaning the tank. honestly not sure how he got in there , because it was probably only 4 feet deep (front wall to back wall) and he had to curl under the arch

we stopped at McD's on the way home (ugh, I know), and this greeted us on our way in. I hiked my skinny jeans up to meet dress code. Wouldn't want to get kicked out! 
Luke had a work event in Dallas this morning, so we tagged along, stayed at the Omni thanks to a group discount for work, did a bit of shopping (hello, H&M!) and visited the Dallas World Aquarium. We arrived after dark last night, so the hotel was lit up with lights that changed color every few seconds, which fascinated Avery to no end. She just stood at our window and watched the reflection on the other buildings. Really enjoyed this hotel - I always compare to the Four Seasons after working there. I'd still say Four Seasons is superior, but the customer service was excellent, they made Avery feel special with their kids' pack, and children 5 and under eat free.

Traveling with children is always an adventure. Especially when you get a small room. Luke took Avery to explore the hotel while I put Eleanor down, and then I hid in the bathroom so that she would actually fall asleep. At least there was a tv in my mirror. Phew. Eleanor woke up a little before her usual time to nurse, but then refused to go back to her bed, so she came to bed with me. That girl cuddles well, although I didn't really sleep for the next 3 hours. So, we all got up at 6 and enjoyed breakfast together downstairs.

Luke left for work, and we went back upstairs to pack and try and get E to take a nap. I ended up holding her while she slept for 45 minutes in my arms. Avery was awesome and played quietly while watching some cartoons - we never do regular tv at home b/c I hate for her to be exposed to commercials, but I was desperate.

Off to find the H&M in town. Oh the memories of NYC it brought back. Lunch, pick up Luke, and then off to the Aquarium, where both girls decided to have meltdowns and we rushed through most of it, determined to make it to the shark exhibit. That was A's favorite, so she and I went back in (after she calmed down from meltdown #45). Luke and I learned that the girls aren't ready for afternoon adventures yet. Naps still need to happen.

All in all, a fun half of the weekend with our whirlwind trip, but we're glad to be home and to have a day of rest tomorrow.

Eleanor's Party

We celebrated her 1st with a super simple party. No theme. A third the size of Avery's first. Minimal decorations. No stress. She cried at first because of all of the people, but she warmed up to the crowd (sort-of). She honestly wasn't too involved in her own party and eventually went off to play in her room by herself. But, we had fun, she was celebrated, and now we can go enjoy her second year.

the invite, courtesy of Paperless Post, address blocked out :)

I cried when picking these out

My current favorite white cake recipe - vanilla bean, fancied up with plum compote and white chocolate buttercream. The frosting was underwhelming. But the cake was cute and simple.

brownies as favors; caption reads:
So glad you could come
to help us celebrate
Eleanor turning ONE!

cousins Peyton and Emily hard at work cooking 

Avery is very methodical in some things. Notice the cookies all lined up.

sis-in-law Julie, sis Michelle, me

Luke's grandma's banana pudding recipe

There are too many girls in this family. Luke didn't stand a chance.

ate a few sprinkles, and that was about it

not too impressed

last photo of her eating cake. this was all she had, and as messy as she got.

she's in love with her new shoes from Great-Great Aunt Mary (she's doubly great, though  we usually shorten it to Aunt Mary :)

I think she was a little stressed

the bigger girls helped open the gifts because Eleanor wasn't interested in that task

We got her a baby doll because she keeps stealing Avery's dolls. She'll have nothing to do with this one though. :/

Grayson eyeing the gifts

Aunt Haley getting some giggles out of her

her morning after look.