Monday, July 28, 2014

Perot Museum

We took the kids to the Perot! What a great place!  So much to see and do and play! We did the Build It Garage exhibit where the kids can build toy cars, rockets and airplanes and then race them.  Annabelle's toy car was undefeated.  I may have helped her build it but she colored it herself... of course it was pink!  The boys employed a "more is more" approach with their cars.

We also played with robots, simple machines, and musical instruments.  We looked at gems and geodes, dinosaurs, and the human body.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Happy 9th Birthday, Barrett

Dear Barrett,
Happy Birthday!  My first baby has turned into a 9 year old.  I think Annabelle has told you “Happy birthday” at least 100 times already.  You may be 9, but you’ll always be my baby.  I am so proud of the person you are becoming.  Each year these letters get harder to write emotionally because it is simultaneously wonderful and sad to watch your baby grow up.  Wonderful to see the incredible, one-of-a-kind person being shaped and formed by his experiences and mistakes and successes; sad because the last phase is over, and even though it was hard at times, the last phase was a blessing that was beautiful and transformative.  And I will miss it because I love you so much in every stage.  I’m going to try to just be grateful for each day and the joys and challenges it brings. 

You blow me away with your generosity.  You are sweet, smart, and sensitive with a memory like a steel trap! You are my cuddly “bear.”  You sometimes worry about stuff which makes us worry…hmm, wonder where you got that trait from.  We are always here to listen to any of your concerns and worries.  You don’t need to worry alone and we might even be able to the very least we would empathize.  Perfectionism is a cruel trick that your mind sometimes plays on you.  I want you to know that no one expects you to be perfect or “THE best” (that’s impossible), we just want you to do YOUR best.  That’s all.  Everyone makes mistakes. The important thing is that we learn from our mistakes.  You are more than good enough right now, just the way you are, flaws and all.  You don’t have to earn our love. You have it and it’s not going anywhere.

You are very hard-working and responsible and I know I can count on you to do your chores, keep track of your wallet, get dressed in the mornings and out the door on time, and you always put your seat belt on.  You do all of those things without me having to remind you.  That’s being responsible.  That lets me know I can trust you with more freedom.  The other day, I almost forgot to take you to an appointment, but you remembered.  What would I do without you? I’d probably be making U-turns, running late, and rescheduling a lot of appointments! You are fun and silly, a little bit mischievous, and love to be tickled.  You like HGTV, which is awesome because I do too!  We enjoy watching Love It or List It together and trying to guess which one they will choose.  I love spending time with you just watching TV or talking about stuff before I kiss you goodnight.  I love watching you play baseball and basketball and learning how to be a part of a team. 

I especially love watching you interact with your siblings (most of the time.)  You are an amazing big brother who always happens to have money and you are even willing to share.  Yesterday we went to the Perot Museum where you gave Kyle (who is still learning to work for and save money) enough money to buy something at the gift shop.  And before that, you gave Annabelle a toy you got from the arcade with your tickets.  She is in a stage where she wants everything she sees…at least everything pink that she sees.  And if I didn’t stop you, I think you’d buy it ALL for her.  That is so sweet and loving and generous.  I know it brings you joy to see others happy which is a great quality.  This summer in the fort, you and Kyle and Annabelle are learning how to balance your own needs and wants with the needs and wants of others.  You are learning that while you might completely get your way, you actually end up NOT having fun because the others are not happy.  It’s really more fun when everyone gets at least some of what they want and everyone is happy together.

I love your laugh, your smile, and your kind heart.  I love your strength and vulnerability, your playful side and your serious side.  I love that you are a saver and a giver, and that you know what you want but sometimes let others have what they want too.  I love that you go around the house singing…even it it’s songs that make me crazy (Gangnam Style…still?).  I love that you are mature and responsible but you still play with your younger siblings.  I love you…YOU…just the way you are. 

You made me a mommy 9 years ago today have shown me that my heart is capable of more love than I ever imagined possible.  I am so lucky to be your mommy.  I love you more than words can express.


A glimpse of you right now at age 9:
Favorite songs: Ho Hey, Gangnam Style
Favorite Movie: The Lego Movie
Favorite food: Steak, chicken nuggets, strawberries
Favorite game: Minecraft

Other faves: baseball cards, lemonade, hide and seek, Sock It, potty humor

 Bailey waking you up on your birthday

 Riding the saddle with napkin lassos at dinner celebrating your birthday. 

Your Birthday Missions:

1. Wear a sign saying "it's my birthday" all day.
2.  Have a hula hoop contest
3. Speak in a accent all day 
(You spoke in a accent but it fluctuated between Italian, Spanish, Indian, and British.)

You completed all of these and turned into a 9 year old!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Selfies by Annabelle

Annabelle likes to take pictures with my phone and 98% of them are pictures of her feet!  I cannot tell you how many foot pictures I have deleted off my phone of Annabelle's FEET!  That is, until I noticed that each foot picture actually tells a little story.  It's kind of amazing how much information a foot selfie can contain!
1. I am a sucker for a little girl in cowboy boots   2. I can tell this was taken on the day of Annabelle's first dance recital by the glowing pink taffeta   3. This was taken at one of Barrett's baseball games evidenced by the Sonic cup, zippy cup, keys, and red dirt stained shoes - I remember this well because she played in this awful red dirt and was completely covered in it...we had to wipe her down with baby wipes before she could get in the car!  4. At Target in the grocery cart   5. Annabelle sitting in my lap in my bed   6. The jelly shoes means this is summertime and I see beach toys below, and a $5 bill...this was taken at the beach, probably in the Publix parking lot just after she bought the sand truck and bucket.  7. At the doctor's office   8. Pink polkadot suitcase, Teddy bear, those crazy socks to keep her feet warm...this was in the airport on our way to NYC in March.   9.  On the way to dance class.

I don't know where she gets this....

Friday, July 11, 2014

The Clipper Catastrophe of 2014

Warning: The photos and descriptions that follow may be too graphic for the very sensitive.

After putting the kids to bed, I came downstairs.  I didn't see Cody or the dog anywhere, and I suddenly felt very alone and unprotected.  Just then, I heard this strange buzzing sound coming from the backyard.  Slowly, cautiously, I turned the knob to the backdoor afraid of what lurked out there.  The buzzing sound grew louder.  As I opened the door, all of the blood in my body froze and I screamed as I witnessed one of the most terrifying sights I have ever seen! There was a hair-covered  sasquatch carrying a scary, bladed weapon that he had just used to scalp and butcher this mangey beast!  There was skin and hair and disgustingness everywhere.

Once the blood had time to get back to my brain, I realized what I was actually looking at, and it was much worse than I originally thought.  Cody had tried to give the dog a haircut! (cue the dramatic doom music and frightened shrieks of terror.)  That mangey beast was our beloved family pet, only now there were bald spots and uneven hair lengths all over him...(pause for wiping of tears) and even (sob) a missing eyebrow!  Just then Bailey disappeared into a puff of shaven hair.  I searched high and low and finally found him...hiding, humiliated, under the hanging clothes in the closet.  Poor baby.

Here are the crime scene photos:

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Fourth of July

We had a fabulous time with friends celebrating Independence Day!  We had all kinds of Red, White, and Blue foods, hot dogs off the grill, watermelon, and firecracker popsicles, and then we topped it all off with a fireworks show over the lake...Good times with good friends!

Kyle helped me paint these cute Ball Jar vases!

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