Friday, November 11, 2011

fall fun with the fam

We recently had visitors from the north: Grandma, Grandpa, Uncle Mark, and his girlfriend Teresa came to visit. We had a lot of fun going to a pumpkin patch, a couple of fall festivals, a local zoo, and otherwise just having fun at home.

Lily was less-than-enthused about posing with pumpkins....

...but everybody had fun feeding the animals.

Riding the "train"...

Uncle Mark makes a fabulous horsie:

We went to a Halloween festival at Fort Hood...

On the morning of Halloween, Grandma and I took the twins to the Austin Children's Museum. Their favorite part? The stairs, of course...

We painted some miniature pumpkins that Gemma bought for us. I thought the kids would be too little to really get much out of it, but they had an absolute blast, and did a lot better than I expected!

Lily was not impressed with pumpkin guts.

Noah thought it was great fun though.

Meet Emily's new puppy, Knox. Enjoy the cutness now. In a year and a half he will weigh 200 lbs.

All decked out for Halloween:

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

gettin' busy livin'

So to anyone who has even a moderate interest in reading this blog (this is you, Grandma and Gemma), I'm sorry. I have been quite remiss in keeping up with our exploits over the past few months. The task of summing up even a week or two is pretty overwhelming sometimes, so I let it slide. And the farther behind I got, the more insurmountable the job seemed to get... I'm not going to surmount it, I decided. :) This decision was made easier by the fact that our computer died a dramatic, smoky death this afternoon, so I currently do not have a way to upload the many pictures I am lacking. So there's my excuse, and my motivation: I have to provide a quick recap of our summer before we get a new computer that I can add pictures to!

Okay, here goes:

  • Our summer was good, but HOT. I stopped keeping track of how many days reached over 100--it was just too depressing. Luckily, two-year-olds are pretty entertained by pretty much anything, since we spent most of the summer hiding from the sun. Crayons, markers, play-doh, and Diego have been our constant companions.

  • Potty training is going great! Lily has had about 3 accidents since mid-June. Noah is less reliable, but does a pretty good job staying dry and he is F-I-N-A-L-L-Y starting to poo in the potty! Sometimes growing up is hard to do.

  • The kids are still learning so much, it's unbelievable. They know all their letters, upper- and lowercase, and they know most of the letter sounds. (Thank you, Starfall and Leapfrog!) They can both count to ten in English and Spanish, and Noah recognizes numbers to ten. They love to "read" books--they remember quite a bit!

  • Lily and Noah are talking SO much these days! Lily's sentences are getting more and more perfect and detailed, and she's making new connections all the time. Today we saw rainclouds, and I explained that it had rained a little, and how much we need the rain. She looked up in the middle of the Walmart parking lot and said, "We need rain, please, God!" I don't know how much she understands about prayer and God and our needs, but it's apparently more than I had given her credit for!

  • Noah is quite the control freak lately. It makes me very tired, although I know it's completely normal. There are very well-defined limits throughout our days; there are specific things that I'm allowed to do, and many other things that Noah HAS to do for himself. As a result, he's able to do things like get himself completely dressed with almost no help from me. (I'm allowed to put on his shoes if he tries and fails.)

  • The kids are loving day care, which we call "school". They are always asking if we "Go skoo' 'mowwow?" We have lots of discussions about the days of the week and what we're doing on which days.

  • Things have been pretty crazy here over the past month or so. On September 4, a huge fire started, which destroyed over 1500 homes and something like 34,000 acres of land. Nobody is sure what the community will look like from now on, but the response from the state and the rest of the country has been pretty amazing. It's been pretty cool to see how God has provided in so many ways, even amid such a tragedy.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

home sweet (plastic) home

So we have moved, and we are semi-settled. Meaning that the kitchen is unpacked, I know how to get to Walmart without a map, and we can't step into our third bedroom because it's still so full of boxes.

For most intents and purposes, life as I have known it for months and/or years has come to a screeching, abrupt halt. Kind of a combination of the end of a busy school year, finally being done with renovations/cleaning/packing/moving, and relocating to a place where we live 5 miles from the nearest (small) town. It's not necessarily a bad thing, but it is taking some getting used to. There's only so long I can play with play-doh and watch the same Dora DVD before my brain starts to fry. I go through this to some degree every summer as I adjust to being off. And really, I am thrilled to have a couple of months to spend uninterrupted time with my ever-changing hoodlums. They still change so fast it's ridiculous, and they say and do things every day that make Scott and I laugh and shake our heads in amusement. Noah has made himself the "hat police"--he becomes extremely concerned if Scott seems to be heading off to work without his hat. Lily is currently convinced that every animal we see is either a baby who wants its mommy, or a mommy who wants her baby. Every animal. Squirrels, birds, ducks, whatever. And then we have to have a lengthy discussion about it. Every animal. Every time.

For those who are curious, here's a picture of our new digs:

It's not exciting, but it definitely works. It's been very interesting to me, moving into a manufactured house--I've never lived in one before. Some things seem just as sturdy as a "regular" house, and some things just don't. But it's in really good shape, and just a tiny bit smaller than our old house. It shares several acres with a few other small houses, owned by a sweet Vietnamese lady (and her dog, named Charlie--haven't quite figured that one out yet).

Small-town life is going to take some getting used to, although in a good way. People are ridiculously friendly, to the point that I just want to stare at them. Yesterday we took some cookies to our landowner (she gave us a squash last week), and we ended up being pretty much forced inside her house. She fed us fruit and grape juice on her couch while she sat on the floor, and insisted that the kids each take home a large stuffed animal (she had several--not sure why). Today I took the kids to the park and we were instantly adopted by an older couple who were there with their grandson. They helped my kids around on the equipment, told me their names and address, and said that if I ever come by, to go straight around to the back door--they can't hear it when people knock in the front.

See? Ridiculous! I could get used to it though. As long as the small-town drama doesn't turn out to be too bad.

So... so far so good in the land of Bastrop. Tomorrow's adventure: church!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

like it never even happened

In case there were any doubts, let me clarify: I don't like moving.

I mean I really, really don't like it.

I don't like making decisions in general. It feels like way too much power. (Doesn't somebody else know better than me how many kids I should have? Seriously.) And moving is kind of a biggie, especially when it's voluntary.

And then there's the preparation. Deciding when to make it "official". Getting your house ready to sell. Getting it even MORE ready to sell. Cleaning, cleaning, and cleaning some more. Keeping it spotlessly clean for showings, on top of everything else that already kept me busy till late in the evenings. Accepting the reality that you only have a few weeks left in your house, and all that must be done in that time. Finding a new house. Moving into that one. Cleaning it. Cleaning the old one! Driving back and forth. Saying goodbye to each facet of our old life, piece by piece by piece.

It is hard, and busy, and just sad. And, I realized today, it feels kind of insulting. To move out and clean out every piece of our life, as if it was never here. To look at our house now, nobody lives here. No dogs ever ran in and out with muddy feet and shed profusely all over. No babies crawled to the wall and left handprints as they pulled themselves up. Nobody accomplished anything, made anything, or did anything. Nobody talked or fought or loved. Nothing happened.

A house is just a house, I guess. It's just a place. But it's a very personal place. (Sort of like underwear.) The things we did here left messes and scuffs and stains. And to have to scrub my family out of the floors and wipe us off the walls so completely feels a little unjust, I think. I know it has to happen, and I wouldn't want to move into anybody else's dirty house, of course. Selling a house just turns an extremely personal place into a commodity, and it just feels wrong all the way around it.

And in two days it won't be ours anymore. A new family will come and make their own scuffs and marks as they live and love here. And it will be their home just as much as it was ours. And that's okay.

It just makes me sad.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

a little birthday bashing goes a long way

Okay, I've given up. The twins turned 2 almost a MONTH ago, and we had their birthday party two weeks before that. And I STILL have not documented it here. Of course, selling a house, finishing out a very busy school year, and moving into a new house don't leave a lot of time for extra things. So my perfect birthday post is just not going to happen. Instead, you get the smattering of pictures that I managed to upload a few weeks ago, before my lack of free time truly spiraled out of control. I think I can get the basic idea across, although there was so much more that happened...

Noah checking out his birthday cake, mid-creation. He was very handsy.

Noah's train, and Lily's butterfly cake.

Despite hours of practicing for the big moment with bubble wands, Lily could not be convinced to blow out her candles with an audience.

Noah could! His aim was worse, though, on account of his grabby arms having to be held down.

For those interested, red food coloring comes out with Oxi clean pre-wash spray!

Family birthday portrait. This is when we figured out that Lily could smile on command.

Lily with her Gemma and her stash of presents, birthday bashers in the background.

And Grandad, about half an hour post-party:

Monday, May 30, 2011

who's in charge here, anyway?

I just realized that I made it the entire month of May without making a single post. AND IT WAS THE KIDS' BIRTHDAY! Sigh. I have pictures and stuff, I promise. Balloons and cake and the whole lot. I'll get to it someday.
But right now my motive is different: Just wanted to get something funny down on virtual paper before I forget about it.
Lest we all forget, potty training is still in full swing around here. The kids are slowly getting better--they usually only have about one potty accident a day. Noah has yet to decide that pooping should occur outside his pull-up, and Lily sometimes gets creative on where she puts her #2's. (Today's location: the back porch step.)
Anyway, along that vein, Scott decided in his random, spur-of-the-moment humor kind of way, to tease the kids by pretending to poop in the stroller. Lily became quite upset, squealing, "No, Daddy!" in an anguished voice as she pointed in the general direction of the bathroom.
Noah took a more hands-on approach, inspecting Daddy's pants for poo-poo.
Not finding any, he ran to the bathroom and removed the kiddie seat, then yelled, "Daddy! Poo-poo potty!" to get him to come and use the appropriate outlet.
All in all, hysterical. What did we ever do without kids?

Saturday, April 30, 2011


I believe we have sufficiently answered the question: "Why did it take them so long to invent colored bubbles?

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

April is for backtracking

I was organizing some pictures tonight, and realized I hadn't posted any pictures to the blog in quite a while... oops. Wouldn't everybody rather read my semi-morose ramblings than look at pictures of cute kiddos? Obviously.

But in case you're bored, here are some pictures as well:

We got to see Gemma and Granddad for a little while a couple weeks ago, down in Bastrop. There's a park there, with a lively (and cracker-loving) waterfowl population.

On the way home, we found an awesome bluebonnet field, where we got the picture at the top of the blog (obviously). We were lucky to get just one picture--the kids weren't really enthused about photography. We got a couple good shots, and then had to convince them there was a bunny hiding in the flowers to make them look interested.

Grandma sent the kids a box full of Easter-y goodies. Including an outfit with matching hat (guess which part was Lily's favorite), and some punch balloons. The balloons were an instant hit:

My college roommate Laura and her family came to visit from Illinois. They didn't come to visit me, necessarily, but since they were only an hour away visiting Laura's sister Shawna and her new baby Trey, we spent some time with them. We went to a community easter egg hunt, which was fun--if a bit hot and humid. I was careful not to point out that there was candy in the eggs until the hunt was over--otherwise I'm sure they would have stopped after the first egg!