30 March 2015


This little mama got stuck in our yard one morning.  Possums are so creepy. And apparently Possum and Opossum are the same thing. There is no difference. And neither of them hang upside down! I feel like my whole life has been a lie. 

2015 week thirteen

Happy Birthday to Matthew, the husband who buys you way better gifts than you could ever buy for him. It is surprisingly infuriating. :)

Matthew asked Renfros Salsa if he could take a tour of the factory for his birthday. They said no, but sent him a box of free salsa. So, still a win. :)

Spring bike ride. She is now fast enough that I can walk normally next to her.

One day she wanted to play in her pool. After she got bored of the water being in the pool, she started to scoop out cupfuls and pour it on the cat. Yzma didn't even move until she got some poured on her head. 

Then she got really bored of the water being in the pool and it was so much more fun to just pour it on the ground and play there. We played outside while Papa got a birthday nap. 

Beautiful girl. Waiting for Matthew's Chick-fil-A party tray (120 nuggets!!!) for his boys video games and chicken party. 

Hey look! A photo of me. All dressed for church in my "movie theatre seat print" dress. Can you guess who named it that? >:|

Happy 29th birthday Matthew. All he wanted for his birthday was a nap and a video game party, which meant he got to celebrate on Saturday and Sunday. Sunday he got sandwiches for dinner, Indiana Jones on Blue Ray, a surprise clean up of his car while we were at church by his little brother and a leather wallet from me (but his current wallet was impeccably made by his brother and will probably last forever so...).

We have been dealing with a lot of unnecessary whining lately and have been having a hard time knowing how to quell it without constantly shushing or telling her to stop or be quiet. Matthew and I have each developed our own ways to stop it.  When V is whining at me, I just say "Try again," until she suddenly stops whining and says, "Mama, can I have it please?" Or "Mama, can you hold me please?" Her ability to suddenly stop is slighting annoying because I wish the whining just didn't happen, but at least she is stopping.  When V is whining or crying over something unjustified, Matthew calmly tells her, "I'm sorry. You cannot cry out here. If you need to cry you can cry in your room. When you are calm, we would love you to come back out here." She immediately stops and says, "I'm calm." :) Silly thing.

Last week we made really delicious pork chops for dinner, but there wasn't going to be enough for us to both eat it for lunch the next day. I told Matthew he'd be getting the leftover refried beans but in the morning gave him the pork chop instead. When he got to work he was surprised and touched. He texted me, "love level: last pork chop." Yesterday for Matthew's birthday lunch I made him his favorite quesadillas with Renfro salsa, and the leftover half rack of dry rub ribs from Friday dinner, half a perfectly ripe mango, and a glass of Chick-fil-A lemonade. He dubbed it the perfect birthday lunch. Then he handed me the last bit of his ribs and check mated me with "love level: last birthday ribs." This is why we will stay in love forever. Happy Birthday wonderful Matthew.

23 March 2015


A sticky afternoon at the park.  I love those baby arms.
 2015 week twelve.

Happy Birthday to me!

V discovered she loves pickles. It is really cute when she tries to say pickles. These were leftover from our  St. Patricks Day feast that I did not get any photos of. It was too delicious to pause for photos. 

And sometimes she looks so small still. 

On this walk she kept asking, "What is that?" And I would say, "It's called..." Then I asked her, "What are you called?" And she very quickly responded, "Green!" But everything is "green" lately. Except when Matthew held up three fingers and asked her "What is this?" Then it was "Yellow." Obviously.

We were a pair of Waldos in a mutual activity of "Where's Waldo in Walmart." We camped in the toy aisles and I gave V a big yellow ball. In one hand she was clutching a gummy bear. She leaned down to pick up the ball and it shot right out from beneath her and she fell face first onto the floor. I felt so bad for her, but I couldn't stop laughing. Poor thing. Nothing a few more gummy bears couldn't cure. 

"Family Treat" night at Braums. A couple in our ward went on a cruise for the week, and deposited their several children at various homes. We were lucky to get to keep their oldest daughter. She was the best. V LOVED her. She is going to be so sad when she wakes up and her beloved, "Nora" (not her real name but what V calls her anyway) is gone. 

For my birthday we drove to drizzly Dallas to play around Klyde Warren Park and have lunch at the food trucks. The kids section was magical for V. There are so many water features. She was beside herself.

And she was also soaked through in about 10 minutes.

Haha, Cora is trying to escape being in our photo but instead she's just politely creeping off to the side.

Park two of my birthday was Matthew digging out the front garden bed of all the terrible soil and me putting in beautiful dark soil and landscaping plants. This weird child of mine insisted upon wearing this hat for the entire afternoon (and then at church on Sunday). Everyone at Lowe's thought she was just too much.  (I spy Cora trying to escape my photo again). :)

My beautiful new garden bed full of a a foot of deep black soil. Dear Matthew, best birthday present ever. Dear Vera, you are too cute digging in that garden. Dear Cat, why are you creeping in my window?

Speaking of too cute, am I right? Haha. I am such a cat lady. I love this furry wicked kitten.

Birthday cake with the most pathetic candle we own. Strawberry cake with whipped cream and fresh berries. Eaten outside on my birthday outdoor table. 

A quick story this week because I had too many photos. Much of this week was so nice and we spent a lot of our time outside (when it wasn't raining). I got a lovely outdoor table as one of my birthday presents and V loves to play on it. As I was fiddling around my garden she comes up to me and says, "Yogurt. Yogurt on chair!" What on earth? I look at her finger and sure enough there is a white smear. I ask myself, "Why is their yogurt on this chair? We haven't eaten yogurt out here." So I go up to the chair to inspect. It was a long sticky white smear of bird poop. Bird poop with a toddler sized finger streak down the middle. I am not aware if she tasted this yogurt before asking me about it. But I cleaned it up and tried not to think about it. Toddlers are gross. :)

16 March 2015


We decided to have lunch out this day. And I couldn't stand spending real money on her food, so she got to walk around this little park with creepy statues clutching her Taco Bell bean burrito, in total heaven. While I ate an expensive panini. Hers tasted better...

2015 week eleven

Vera's favorite way to nap is to empty her bookshelf onto her bed and then to fall asleep by her door.

10 minutes after peeing on the toilet, V peed so much in her pants she left a puddle on a library chair. We had to discreetly try to leave the library sans pants. We almost made it before someone yelled, "Hey that cute little thing isn't wearing any pants!" Matt later said, "It's probably not the first time someone has been pantless in the Lewisville Library. " We run with the classy crowd.

This is the only way she can get anything done without it being taken from her, or being tackled. 

Another afternoon off. We went to the water fountain and she had to touch the water in every part of the fountain. It might have been the greatest day of her year so far.

The only safe way to get her bike to the sidewalk with our steep driveway: through the grass. 

Sometimes she gets really fancy snacks. Other days she gets a handful of raisins and chips. 

In love with the puppy at Grandpa's house. 

In nursery yesterday. She was really upset when she had to give them up so the other kids could try them on. Also notice the clear drop of snot. I have wiped that away 1000x. 

Naps are sometimes difficult. One day this week her door was sticking so badly I couldn't really properly shut it. It was also an exhausting day. So, after I finally got her in bed, I shut her door as much as I could and detoxed for 30 minutes paying bills and watching Netflix. Then I did other things and forgot to check to see if she actually fell asleep. And hour or so later I hear her trying to open her door and whimpering. It would have been time for her to wake up anyway so I go to let her out. Her face shows no sign of having slept. Her bed is piled with most of her books and her floor is littered with the remainder. She immediately says, "Uh oh Mama, sugar in bed." What. on. earth. Sure enough, her bed is covered in a thin dusty layer of pink sanding sugar. And it is now evident she did not sleep. If she had slept in that she would be a sticky sugar nightmare. But this sugar?! Then I see the empty bottle of pink sanding sugar. The bottle I thought was completely empty when I let her play with it. The bottle she had previously not been able to unscrew. But given an hour and a half, I guess she not only unscrewed it but shook out every last grain of sugar in that bottle. Luckily she was considerately careful about where she poured that sugar and it was a very easy clean up. It was just the strangest thing to find, WHEN I THOUGHT YOU WERE NAPPING!

09 March 2015


She really hated the head scarf until I showed her in the mirror. Then she refused to remove it. She kept looking in the mirror and giggling.

2015 week ten

I think Spring is finally on its way.
One of our favorite "tire out the cat so she stops biting us" games. 

Foot selfie, while I tried to sleep a few more minutes. Also 100 other photos of just the top of her forehead.

One morning we woke up to almost 5 inches of snow! 

But we also got a flat tire the night before so we had to drive to the tire store on the donut and get it fixed. We played in the snow outside Discount Tire. She cried when we had to leave. 

3 hours later. :) Yzma was so happy to get out of the house without having to step in snow that she went on a walk with us. She followed us all the way down the street and almost got hit by a car trying to cross the street after us. 

This was the most brilliant distraction. V just thought it was the most fun ever. She was silent for almost 40 minutes putting them on and taking them off. I got a lot of cleaning done. :)

Dancing in her underwear. Because she lost the privilege of wearing pants after peeing in them 3 times that day.

Because sometimes I'm a mean cat lady. 

I was released from the Relief Society presidency but our last hurrah was a Six Flags Over Texas themed Super Saturday. It was so fun, and it went really well. Now I never have to care about activities again, just attend them. Planning activities is one of those callings that makes you realize the work that goes into it and so you will never miss one again.

Chasing the cat and collecting things in her bag.

A True Texan: eating salsa by the spoonful.

Some of Vera's favorite games were invented by Matthew. She loves it when we are at a store and you point up and gasp, "What is that?!" She'll look up and you'll kiss her neck. She thinks it's hilarious. And continues to ask. "What is that? What is that?" She also loves it when Matthew kisses her and asks, "Do you have enough kisses, or do you need more kisses?" She'll usually say, "More kisses!"

When she and I leave Matthew at home, I'll say, "Goodbye, Matthew!" V will then laugh mischievously and say, "Goodbye Matthew! Goodbye Matthew!" Additionally, whenever Matthew comes home, she gasps and cries, "Papa came home! Papa came home!" in a somewhat surprised tone.

This week we reached a new level of book devotion. Vera has decided that she loves Madeline. She not only loves Madeline, but she doesn't want to read any other book, and will sit and listen to Madeline four or five times before she tires of it. She finally calls the book Madeline. For a little while she would call it, "Pooh Pooh Book", or "Madeline Pooh-Pooh." Because, obviously, "To the tiger in the zoo, Madeline just says Pooh-pooh" and that part of the book really resonated with her. :) She has recently started to say, "Have it!" at books and tries to take things off the page. "Have it, hat!" "Have it, ball!" It's really funny, and she knows it.  She is starting to memorize parts of the book. When Miss Clavel says, "Something is not right!" so does V. One day I just got tired of reading Madeline, so I pulled up the old cartoon and let her watch it. Her little brain could not contain the wonderment of her favorite book come to life, with songs! Since then she will walk around and periodically sing, "I'm Madeline, I'm Madeline!" I love it. I want to get her another Madeline book, but I'm sure as soon as it arrives, we'll be on to a new favorite.

02 March 2015


Monday. That is not snow. That is a collection of tiny ice balls. 

 2014 week nine

We finally got a taste of that icy winter down here.

V loves her little dinosaur and horse. She makes them kiss. She took the dinosaur on a walk this weekend. If you ask her to bring you a book there is a high likelihood it will be the informational book about Dinosaurs. 

Other obsession: mardi gras beads and cups. I stopped counting the number of meltdowns she had over "needing" more cups for her beads.

Wednesday. Hey it looks like Texas again.

It was hard to find enough things to do when we couldn't run errands because of the icy roads.

Friday. Proper snow. It snowed all day, and eventually the grass was completely covered!!! :)

Last year at almost the same time. 

The cat found a plastic bag and entangled herself in its crackly recesses. 

When my husband makes cookies I feel so much love for him. When he insists on listening to gangster rap while making cookies that feeling weakens...

Yzma was really unhappy about the snow. She would exorcist twist in your arms when you had to throw her outside to relieve herself.

Cold family walk.


This is her fake laugh in action.  It's really done out of pity for us because she knows we're trying to be funny, and she wants to encourage us, but it only makes us think of this:

Saturday night we had friends over to make homemade pretzels and play a game. We tried to put a movie on for the wee ones, but if the adults aren't trying to watch a movie, they must be doing something more fun, obviously.

This sign has been like this for months...
Inspired by a friend who said she started to read her boys a poem every night, I have also been trying to work in more varied literature to our day. Heaven knows we love Goodnight Moon and Madeline, but if I have to read The Little Mouse, The Red Ripe Strawberry, and The Big Hungry Bear again, I might cry. That or Hop on Pop. *Shudder*
Matthew has an old Barnes & Noble edition of Aesop's Fables for Children. He received it as a birthday gift when he was eight. We now keep it on the shelf in the kitchen with my cookbooks. Every morning at breakfast we read a fable. I initially wanted to just do it for Family Home Evening, but I love reading them so much that we just read one every day. Even if this fizzles out, I want to remember that I did this and maybe do it when my kids are running off to school in the morning. What a great way to start a day. A prayer and breakfast with family and then a fable. The morals at the end are great, but the stories of the animals really stick with you.
Additionally, I straight out copied my friend and started reading a poem to Vera every night after scriptures. I borrowed a book of poems for children from the library and we devoured it. Some poems, like Paul Revere's ride, took a few nights because they were so long. But after only a week Vera started to request poems, not just at bed time, but at nap time, and periodically throughout the day. It gave me a thrill to hear her little sing song voice ask for a "po-uhm." After we finished that book we moved on to our own copy of Where the Sidewalk Ends. There is a great place for Shel Silverstein, but what I loved about the other book was the breadth of authors that we got to read and the various styles and subjects.
I think my friend started it just because she loves poetry and reading poems with your children is such a lovely thought. And I agree! But I also started to think what a lovely thing to do in general because these poems are often built into our culture's world understanding, it is exposing Vera (and myself, let's be honest) to different writing styles and forms of language, and it makes bedtime special. Often we are rushed to get her to bed because she's exhausted and we are no different. Having a new poem every night to whisk her away to sleep it such a treat. It softens my heart as a mother to make a part of her world beautiful and magical every night.

Also, Happy Texas Independence Day/ Dr. Seuss Birthday!