May 14, 2013
Fiona’s first dance recital was this last weekend. I don’t think I have ever been more proud of her then I was when she got up there and danced… in front of a huge crowd. We had been practicing all week (admittedly we mostly practiced her ballet and tap routines… this is important later). And she would whine about having to practice everyday (a whole 8 minutes). I knelt down to her level and explained that I didn’t care how she did at her recital, but that I wanted her to try and to be prepared. I knew she would feel more confident if she knew what she was doing.
She was really excited about the recital on Saturday, she wanted to make sure I had everything, including the special new ribbon we bought for her hair (that matched her friend). Her teacher had the skirts made and they were waiting “backstage” when we got to the recital.
How adorable are a bunch of 3 year old lined up in matching tutu’s?
The first routine was the ballet routine. One which she knew fairly well. For the most part she followed along to the routine (that is until another girl tried to take her dot in the line and then we watched 4 little girls argue over who’s spot was who’s. It was hilarious.
There were parts of the routine that she really liked. The “no. no, no” part and when they threw a fit on the floor (on their backs kicking their legs), she thought those parts were funny, so she did those with gusto.
The next routine was jazz. Its the one they didn’t practice as much in class and the one that the teacher uploaded late to YouTube, so we didn’t practice it as much as we should have. So for this dance, Fiona decided to improvise and just started twirling her way across the dance floor.
Her teacher had mentioned in the last class that most kids were intimated by the crowd and would try really hard to follow along. That however was not the case with Fiona.
The girl has some serious spunk, and is not afraid to show it. If she felt like twirling, she was going to twirl. What you can’t hear in the video is her singing along with the words, loud enough for me to hear over the music.
The last routine was her tap routine. Look at her face, and how happy she was. She LOVED it. And I was so unbelievably proud of her. Her teacher was as well. Fiona’s first dance class she was shy and sat in my lap, and for her recital she danced her little heart out (not always doing what everyone else was…) and she had fun. Which was the important part; that she tried and that she had fun.
I put her to bed after the recital and we laid in her bad chatting. She loves to end the day asking what my favorite part was, and that night I told her it was watching her dance and how proud I was of her. I was proud that she tried, that she didn’t give up and that she had fun. My little girl is growing up.
May 9, 2013
We went to the wildflower center the other day in search of outside playtime and some bluebonnets. Bluebonnets haven’t been as plentiful this year as they were last year, and I haven’t seen accessible giant fields of them. I had a photo in my head that I wanted to get of Lincoln, and I was hoping to find something that would work.
These two holding hands makes my heart hurt. So.Much.Love. And they often hold hands, and no I don;t have to ask. They hold hands on the way into school, and Fiona’s teachers think its adorable and often ask if they always hold hands. Yes, yes they do. They hold hands walking, they hold hands in the car. Fiona leads him around, and Lincoln follows. No idea how long it will last, but I will take it while I can get it!
We met a friend and her kids there. 5 kids ranging from 5-1 (5, 3, 3, 2, and 1). There were frogs in the pond, and its always a favorite stopping point.
Lincoln liked the frogs, and wanted to get a closer look. I really hope he isn’t the type of boy to bring toads into the house (certain times of the year after rain storms our neighborhood is swarming with toads). Pico has a bad habit of licking toads and then foaming at the mouth…gross!
This was it. The photo I had in mind. Lincoln often walks around with his hands behind his back, he learned it from watching his gang gang (grandpa), and in this picture he is like a mini version of his gang gang. So stinkin cute. I’m so glad Lincoln cooperated and I was able to get the shot I wanted. Majority of time when I have a shot in mind with the kids I never get it. They are not the most cooperative when it comes to photos, probably because I am always taking them.
Why Hello, handsome.
This kid cracks me up.
Here are all of the kids, and I just noticed that they arranged themselves by age. The oldest (obviously) is on the left. Lincoln looks so small since he is on the bench, but he is not all that smaller then Pepper (the little blond girl).
Lincoln is obsessed with flowers lately. He can not resist picking them. Sometimes he brings them to me, sometimes he walks around smelling them, and sometimes he eats them (what? He isn’t ALWAYS sweet). So he was in heaven at the wildflower center; flowers everywhere!
Since he is the smallest he couldn’t keep up with the big kids. He tried, but most of the time Lincoln and I lagged behind (which is why the majority of photos are of Lincoln).
There is an amazing swing area at the wildflower center. One of the volunteers told us about the swings and the kids wanted to go. What that kind volunteer didn’t tell us was that it was about a mile walk out to the swings, with a tired Lincoln and 4 other kids constantly asking “are we there yet?”. We figured it would be typical playground type swings, but boy were we wrong. There were playground type swings, along with baby swings, chairs, benches, and even some round swings with one rope. All the swings were wood and all were tied to giant trees. The swings were well worth the walk… maybe not worth the walk back (Im pretty sure both Meaghann and I were sore the next day from carrying kids).
May 7, 2013
The other day we went to wiener dog races, you read that correctly. Sure some places have horse races, or gray hounds, here in Austin (well Buda) they like to race wiener dogs. And I can pretty much guarantee that wiener dog races are far more entertaining.
We went on saturday, which is when the amateurs race. Which means that pretty much anyone with a dachshund can sign them up to race. We had lots of fun guessing which ones would ever make it to the finish line. As you can see from the photo some took the race seriously and others didn’t seem to realize there was a race. How can you not love a dog race when half the participants run around in circles at the start line?
There were hundreds of wiener dogs wandering around the races/festival (oh did I not mention it was a festival as well? Many booths dedicated to the beloved dachshund, a kid area, and a food area and a bbq cook off).
Many were dressed for the occasion.
We went with our neighbors (who really should be nominated for best neighbors ever award). Our kids adore these people. Lincoln says lots of words, but very rarely does he call people something. I’m mama, Mark is finally starting to get called dada regularly, but that about it. Except for Bot (aka Scott), Lincoln will run across the yard yelling “Bot!!” everytime he sees or hears him.
The local fire department was there. So of course Lincoln had to check out the truck (I swear he wears other shoes then just his rain boots, but it had rained the night before and it was muddy).
There was a kids area. They played on the playground, “fished”, Fiona got to bounce in a bounce house, and Lincoln rode a “train” (one of those barrel trains that has regular wheels), and they both got balloon dachshunds. Lincolns lasted about 4 minutes before parts were popped, and about 15 minutes before the whole thing was gone. Fiona’s fared better and at least made it to her grandparents house.
Lincoln eventually got tired of walking, so we all took turns carrying him, This is his preferred method of being carried. When I carry him he likes to rest his chin on the top of my head. Its so cute, and I’m the only one he does it too.
If you wonder why there has been less Fiona photos lately its because when I raise my camera I often get that face and told “no photos!”. So she was there, she had a blast. And there is her dachshund. Our little dog is part dachshund (and part boxer/shar pei. Ya, I know), and Fiona and I tried to talk Mark in to letting us bring her she would have been the biggest dachshund there!
May 2, 2013
On Easter morning Fiona woke up bright and early, however Lincoln was still snoozing from the excitement of the previous day. Fiona is older and understands holidays a bit more then Lincoln, so she and I headed downstairs to get breakfast and to see if the Easter bunny left her anything.
The Easter Bunny (EB) had filled their baskets (you will notice that EB doens’t leave candy in the basket, a couple small toys – play ice cream cones for Fiona and a bath monkey and matchbox car for Lincoln, water bottles, and some kid friendly cooking utensils, and book for each of them) and hidden eggs in the yard and left a note in their egg hunting baskets with instructions as to how the egg hunt would work:
I guess the Easter Bunny wanted to make sure Lincoln got some eggs, very nice of the Easter Bunny
Fiona dug into her basket while waiting for Lincoln to wake up. She was very excited about the addition of new felt food for her play kitchen. Cookies and ice cream cones!
Lincoln eventually rolled out of bed and was stoked with his new kitchen tools. That boy can not wait to help me bake!
Look at that grin. A basket of goodies all for him.
They headed outside to hunt the eggs. I didn’t take many photos, since I was holding Lincoln’s hand and helping him find his blue and yellow eggs. When Fiona found one of Lincolns she would yell and bring it over. The kids also got a new bubble machine for Easter (that was from mommy and daddy, and really it was just an excuse to buy a bubble machine since the last one had broke).
They sat down together to examine their loot. The Easter Bunny is very sensible and left mostly goldfish, yogurt covered raisins, Annie’s fruit snacks and few coveted chocolate/peanut butter bunnies.
They were both eager to dig into their loot, and as you will notice from the blurry blob in the front of the photo that the dogs were eager for the kids to dig into their loot as well. They were hoping the kids would share.
Fiona was so excited and proud of how many eggs she found.
Daddy helped them open up some of their snacks.
My handsome little guy. I can’t believe he wore those frog eyes for as long as he did. And yes I know they are askew, but I also know if I had touched them then he would have noticed he was wearing them and ditched them.
Which he did soon anyway, when he thought Pico should wear them. Thats right Pico, earn those goldfish that you were stealing from the kids. You want snacksies? Be a frog pico.
May 1, 2013
Yes Easter, as in the holiday that was a month ago. As you can see I am totally on top of my photo editing and posting.
This year our lucky kids got 3 (yes 3!) egg hunts. By the third Lincoln was finally getting the hang of it. But his first hunt was the day before Easter at the local YMCA. Earlier that week Lincoln had gone to Cost plus with me to pick out egg hunting baskets (they have little baskets that the easter bunny fills with goodies, but those are too small to collect eggs). Lincoln was very excited about his basket, even though he had no idea what to do with it.
He carried (and by carry, I mean drag around because the basket is half the size he is) it all around the store, and insisted on carrying it as soon as we got to the Y. For once we managed to get somewhere early, so the kids had plenty of time to wander around before the hunt.
The hunt was separated into different age groups, so the kids were separated. I went with Lincoln and Mark went to wait with Fiona (Lincoln’s age group went first). All the kids impatiently waited until the horn was blown and then they rushed the field. In Lincolns age group that meant that this kids all moved forward picked up an egg or candy and were done. Lincoln didn’t want to move on, he found candy, he wanted candy. I “helped” him pick up a few eggs and then we called it quits and went to join Fiona.
Fiona knows what an Easter egg hunt is all about, so she was ready. Look at that look of determination! She knew what she wanted; pink eggs and certain candy. She passed up everything else (much to her fathers frustration, ”here is an egg”, “no, I don’t want that one”). Lincoln also picked up a couple of things, they had little stuffed animals in the big kid egg hunt.
But mostly he was busy eating the candy he so determinedly had picked up. He had single minded focus. He picked a gummy ring, he wanted to eat that gummy ring.
I think this was right before Fiona’s egg hunt, you can see she is still distracted and plotting her strategy for candy gathering.
Mark snapped a photo of Fiona and I after the egg hunt, after she had scored her favorite candy (smarties).
Once they were done, we headed off to check out the rest of the activities (with baskets slung over their shoulders).
There was a fire truck which both kids loved. But Lincoln is very into firetrucks (okay any trucks… okay, anything with wheels. He isn’t discriminatory).
He was a hit with his fire truck boots. The fireman thought he was adorable (I agree, Lincoln is adorable).
There was also a petting zoo area. Goats, sheep, bunnies and baby chicks. Fiona loved the bunnies, and even got to hold a chick.
They checked out the bounce house and Fiona stood in line for 2 slides (didn’t go on them, but wanted to stand in line for the chance to change her mind). We ran into a friend of mine (and of Fiona’s), so we followed the kids kids around while they ran around and played. Much fun was had, and Lincoln (who poor guy was still sick with ear infections) went home and promptly passed out (which is a sign of a very successful and fun morning).
More easter photos tomorrow…
April 26, 2013
I realized the other day that I have been back from Canada for a couple months, the project has officially wrapped up, and I forgot to post photos. Which I should do before I leave on another trip in just a couple of weeks.
Unlike most work trips, I actually had a little time to wander around and see a bit of Vancouver. Not much, but at least a few miles around where I was staying and the convention center. From what I saw, Vancouver is a beautiful city. I look forward to returning someday, preferably when its warmer…
I loved all the art around Vancouver. There were sculptures, fountains, murals, even the benches were pretty. I love when a city embraces art, it makes a walk to starbucks more of an experience versus just getting a cup of coffee.
I spent the majority of my time at the convention center, which is right on the water. It had stunning views. One of the rooms on the top floor had one wall of windows. I’m glad I didn’t have to attend a presentation in that room, I’m pretty sure I would have spent the entire time looking out the window trying to spot a whale.
This is part of the Olympic torch, which was lit for one of the nights I was there. Unfortunately I was locked away frantically trying to finish last minute edits so I didn’t get to see… but I saw video, which sorta counts, right?
The plaque describing this sculpture talked about how it was inspired from the rain… that always seemed to be falling. It seemed appropriate that it was raining when I took the photo as well.
See, even the benches were pretty.
These were murals painted on electrical boxes around the city. Love how it took an ordinary object and made it a showcase for art.
There was so hidden graffiti art as well. This was right outside a restaurant we ate at one night.
Canada is so close to the United States that sometimes I forgot that I was traveling to a foreign country.Example; I forgot to let any of my credit card companies know that I would be leaving the country. I also forgot to update my phone plan for international travel. So I landed and realized I had no money and no phone. Oops.
I realize this may be a very strange thing to miss about no longer living close to the ocean, there are no sea gulls in Austin. They are annoying birds that will happily steal your sandwich if you look away for a moment. And yet for some reason I still miss them. Maybe I just need to watch Finding Nemo again and get a sea gull fix “Mine, mine, mine”.
There was a lot of construction going on in the area that we stayed in, old buildings getting face lifts right next to modern sleek high rises.
This might be my favorite photo from my trip. I loved the steam clock. No its not very old (barely older then me), but it was put there to take advantage of a steam vent. So it really does run on steam. I really enjoying reading steam punk right now (I was reading Etiquette and Espionage - Finishing School, while I was there). I walked by this clock many times, both during the day and at night. And I think nighttime was my favorite. It was cold, and you could easily see the steam pouring from the top. And you could hear it chime the quarter hour for blocks.
I will most likely be heading back to Vancouver next year for the same event, and I am looking forward to it. The food was amazing (and coming from someone that lives in Austin, that’s saying something!). Hopefully I will have more time to explore and experience a little more of the city.
March 26, 2013
Somehow 2 months sped by and I barely got to see my friends and a certain little newborn. Its hard to balance work, parenthood, me, and a social life. So to make sure I got to see my friend and her baby we scheduled a photo shoot. Im so glad my friends will occasionally let me harass their children, because the conversation went something like this “What??? Claire is 2 months old already? How did that happen? I need to come by and take pictures… and of course visit with you”
So one day after spin class, Lincoln and I stopped by to visit. Lincoln spent most of the visit eating his lunch and playing with cars. While I got to hang out with this adorable little girl. Her “baby blues” kill me, seriously look at those eyes!
Its pretty tiring being that cute. Personally I think little Claire looks just like her Mama… at least for now. I wonder if her hair will stay reddish or if it will change to blonde like her brothers.
Seriously, her coloring is stunning. Red hair and blue eyes = gorgeous.
She is such a sweet baby. And the shoot/visit was going great… right up until this point that is. Lincoln started to get jealous that his mama was paying attention to another baby (how dare I!). He had finished most of his snack and it was no longer keeping him occupied. Hannah tried to hold him, but he was doing this rather pathetic attempt to throw himself out of her arms and at me. Sweet, but a wee bit dramatic. We had hung out for awhile and it was getting close to naptime so we were in the process of wrapping up… when Hannah came across an adorable hat that we just hat to shoot Claire in (and by we, I really mean me).
Claire went ahead and got started on her nap. I got myself into the most awkward position imaginable while holding a clingy toddler and proceeded to take a few more shots. But that hat! And those cheeks! So stinkin cute. Happy 2 months Claire!
March 22, 2013
You know the baby shower I posted the other day, well here is the baby just a few days after she made her big entrance.
I was so happy that she waited until after we got back from vacation to make her appearance, so I got to see her the day after she was born.
I spent most of my visit snuggling this gorgeous little girl and chatting with the very tired parents of now two kids; one toddler and a newborn.
The newborn phase passes so quick in a blur of sleeplessness. After my visit I headed home to my 15 month old and thought “good god, your huge! What happened to my baby??”. I miss the newborn days, the milky smell of their little heads, the softness of their fluffy hair.
So glad my friends are having babies so that I can snuggle them and then go home to my kids who tell me “They love me this much (arms stretched as wide as they can reach)”. I may love the newborn phase, but that doesn’t mean I want to live through it again!
Welcome little Miss Claire! Welcome to a family that loves you, and to friends of that family who might snuggle you and squeeze your cheeks occasionally.
March 19, 2013
547 days, 78 weeks, 18 months, a year and a half. No matter how you say it you are officially a toddler. Shortly after mastering toddling and walking you went straight to running. You have an adorable little run that cracks me up every time I see it. And your running usually comes with a sound effect, you run and say “aaaahhhh” as you wave your hands.
Your new found freedom that walking brought you has lead to all other ways you can assert your independence. Like snacking. All.day.long you bring me snacks. You learned early that I keep a snack box in the pantry with Mommy approved snacks. But that does not mean that the moment I get you out of your highchair (from finishing a meal!) that I want you to head straight for the snack box. I recently added a version of the box to the refrigerator and within hours you realized what that box holds and you now have a second place that you go rummaging for snacks to bring me. You also think you can brush your own teeth and hair and try to take the brush away from me every chance you get to show me how its done.
You have learned quite a few of your body parts (you don’t say the words yet, but you will point to them and show me). You sometimes like to show me your belly just because, I joke that your trying to show me its empty (because normally you bring me a snack and then show me your belly). You also know where your nose and toes are… why yes we do have a body parts rhyming book, how did you guess? Your mouth and tongue; which you also love to show people. It only gets awkward when you want to see other peoples body parts… “I showed you my tongue, where’s yours?” (as you poke my mouth), or “here is my belly, where’s your?” (as you try to lift up my – and other peoples – shirts.
But when you flash a grin like that, most people (at least that know you) are willing to show you their bellies. This grin lights up my day. How can I possibly have a bad day when you smile at me like this? I don’t get grins like this all the time, but I see it often enough. Because even though you now through tantrums you have managed to keep your sense of humor and find so many things funny. Your sister falling asleep in the car; hilarious! Mama playing peek a boo by throwing a blanket over your head; giggle inducing. Running and tackling mommy with a hug; hysterical! I love that you giggle, and I love that it is the same giggle that I remember from when you were a baby. You remember those tantrums that I mentioned… well you may not find those funny, but mommy does. They are mild for now, you will run and fling your self on to the floor and lay flat like a starfish. I have no idea what you are trying to accomplish, but you look ridiculous. I try not to laugh…but Im not always successful.
You play so much more now, more involved play that is. You play in your kitchen and actually use it as a kitchen. You still can destroy the playroom in about 30 seconds (seriously, how do you do that??), but at least the toys are being somewhat used as they were designed. Fiona is very excited about this development and tries to drag you into her games. You try to follow along, but you don’t quite get it yet. The other day Fiona and I were pretending to make the car fly, so I rolled our windows down and we flapped our arms (yes our neighbors probably think Im nuts, but you guys had fun), and you kept grunting and pointing at your window. So I rolled yours down too. Your hand wont even reach the window but you waved your hand around like the rest of us and were so proud of your self. Fiona was proud of you too “look! Lincoln is helping us fly!”.
You by the way are one lucky little brother. You have an amazing older sister that adores you. She gets so excited when you learn something new and she cheers you on.
With your sister boxes become cars to push around the house. You hop in and “vroom” along with her. One day while Fiona was at school I plopped you in a box and you entertained yourself for quite awhile. It helped that you had snacks, and a tibi to toss them to. YOu would toss out a cheerio then duck back into the box giggling.
You think its hilarious to feed the dogs. The best way to keep you quiet when mama has a client call is to give you a cup of cheerios and let you feed tibi. You love watching that dog run all over the place just for a cheerio. You like Pico too (probably more then your sister did at this age). I will sometimes find you curled up against pico just laying with him.
You also discovered that other animals are equally fun to feed when we went to the zoo. You got to feed goats, dear and llamas.
You have finally come over to the dark side and realized that getting dirty isn’t all bad. I introduced you to real finger paint awhile ago (before this you got to use the vegetable dye that was safe to eat, now you have moved on to crayola). The first time it took you a good 45 minutes to not cry when you touched the paint. It took a paint covered Fiona covering you in handprints for you to be okay with it. Then you started having fun. So the next time I gave you some paint, you went right to body art. I quickly had to strip you so that you wouldn’t ruin your shirt.
You even help me in the garden, yes with actual dirt. I had to buy you your own gardening tools so that you would stop stealing mine. So now you go around threatening to unplant things and wave your spade at all the plants.
The weather is starting to improve, so we are spending more time outside. You love the trampoline, your sister and you spend hours in there. You also discovered the hose and love to get sprayed with it, you stand next to me waving your hands in the water splashing yourself.
You love books. We finally bought you a bookshelf and got all your books on it so that you can see them. You have favorites, and you love to be able to pick your own books out at story time. I tell you to go pick a book and you race off to your room to find your favorite. Currently that is a Yummy Yucky (both words you have mastered recently), before that it was the Binky book, and Hello Boston. You ask me to read your favorite multiple times a day. I often catch you in your (or your sisters room) “reading” the books to yourself. Sometimes you look through and point out the words you know, I will hear “ball” or “vroom” as you turn the pages.
Speaking of words that you know; your vocabulary is increasing. You are up to 27 words. You know animal sounds; bzzz (for bee), quack, woof, hoot, grrr, and roar. Names of some of your favorite people; mama, dada and Bot (scott). Favorite things; moon, balloon, ball, vroom, bubble, banana, cheese, dog, truck and duck. And other random words; hi, bye (both of which you excitedly yell at people when they come or go), blow, yumm, yucky, wow, please and mine (one you use when you are trying to keep something from your sister. You hold what ever it is close to you and say “mine!”).
You have changed so much in the last 3 months and have started to become a person with your own opinions and you are learning how to express those opinions.
You also have become clingy and want to know that your mama is around and there for you (your daddy too, but mostly your mama). You get jealous if I spend too much time doing something that doesn’t involve you, and sometimes you attach your self to me like a little monkey and cling to my neck. Its cute, but Im hoping its a phase that doesn’t last too long. You were clingy at your doctor appointment today. You were allowed your binky because you were getting shots, but you still didn’t want out of mama’s arms.
You may have changed in the last 3 months but it has been more developmentally then physically growing. Your now in the 80% for height (previously you were at 95%) and are 33 1/2 inches tall. You are slowly putting on weight and are up to 25 lbs 14 oz (75%), how are you gaining weight so slowly??? I know how much you eat, where are you putting all of your snacks? Your head circumference is 46.8 cm (25-50%, which is way bigger then your sisters when she was your age!).
March 14, 2013
I cohosted a baby shower months ago (ahem, I just did a 2 month photo shoot with the baby), and the mom recently asked for the photos which made me realize I never posted them, oops!
The design of the shower was based off the bedding that was going in the babies room, so our color palette was purple with small amounts of cyan and pink.
Since it was an afternoon shower we had a dessert buffet (okay, who really needs an excuse for a dessert buffet), and I designed the labels to match the invites.
We even tried to have all the snacks be some what related to the theme colors, especially the desserts. So I hunted down blue, purple and pink candy (The other cohost made the fabulous diaper cake)
I dusted off my cookie decorating skills and frosted cookies. It reminded me of the cookie decorating parties one of my close friend throws in California every year. I am sad to miss them, but I had fun decorating these cookies!
We made favor boxes (can you tell that when I embrace a theme, I really embrace it?).
And we ordered a banner to hang.
We also hung tissue flowers in coordinating colors, which I didn’t take any photos of. We did have other snacks as well. My cohost left me in charge of the food, because well I love it and she knew that there would be cheeses they had never even heard of. And in this case some fruits as well.
Look purple cheese!
I dusted off the my kids pram and used it as party decor and as a place to stash the gifts.
And one final shot of the mama to be, oohing and ahhing over all the adorable girly clothes she got.
I had so much fun cohosting this shower! My co-host was fabulous and so was the mama-to-be. I will post photos soon of Little Miss Claire.