Monday, November 12, 2012

Sewing Projects

I've been up to a lot of sewing lately!  I'm happy to report that I finished my last few stitches last night and hope to let the sewing machine rest for quite a while!

The first project I did many of you may have seen on facebook (well, I guess I posted pictures of all of these on facebook in some form).  I made Sadie a super cute Halloween costume!  Here are a few pictures:

The next project I worked on I can't share on facebook just yet...we have to wait until closer to Christmas to share that one!

Next I needed to make some little bags for the girls for our trip.  On our last trip they had stuff all over the van.  By the time we got to Gulf Shores, the van was a disaster!  Hopefully with these new bags the girls will be excited to keep their stuff contained :)

The one on the left is Sadie's (I made it out of fabric that was leftover from when we did her nursery).  The one on the right is Maddie's.  I'm especially proud of these bags because I made a flat bottom on them.  Eric was pretty impressed that I knew how to do that :)  I just like how it makes the bag a little wider and easier for kids to find things.  Maybe I need to make a solid bottom...Hmmmm...if I have time left over this week I'll do that.

The last project I'll share is a couple of travel pillows.

It's hard to see in this picture, but Maddie's travel pillow has a 2 inch flat section in the middle.  This is so she can fold it over her seat belt and hopefully it will help it stay in place.  I just used an old pillow case, cut it to 18 inches, hemmed up the bottom, then sewed 2 seams down the middle to form the two pockets and empty section.  Stuffed it with polyfill, then sewed it closed.  It's not pretty.  It's not perfect.  But Maddie loves it.  She especially loves that there are roses on it since her middle name is Rose :)

Here's Maddie simulating resting on her seat belt :)

And here's Sadie's.  I wasn't planning on making her a pillow, but when she saw Maddie's she wanted one.  I knew if I didn't have something for her, it would make for a rough trip.  Every time Maddie would get hers out, Sadie would fuss.  So I had a few squares of flannel in the sewing room, I just made a quick little pillow with that.  I didn't stuff it too full, I know it's not going to be very useful in her car seat, she just needs to feel included :)

Ok, I'm sure this will be my last post until we get back from vacation (unless I go crazy and want to share anything else travel-related).  I'm going to spend the next few days wrapping presents, baking cookies, cleaning and packing!)  Have a Happy Thanksgiving and we'll see you when we get back!!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Traveling with Kids Part II

Treat bags!!!

In this post I'll share with you what the girls are getting in their treat bags for our trip.  We have four legs of the trip.  First, from Houston to Knoxville.  Second from Knoxville to Baltimore.  Third from Baltimore to Gadsden, AL.  Finally, from Gadsden back to Houston.

I put all of these legs of the trip in Google maps and found cities in between at regular intervals.  I'm doing citites about 3-3 1/2 hours apart.  When we go through each city (or at stops), the girls will each get their bag for that designated city.  It gives them a little activity and a little snack and just kind of motivates them to look forward to the next city.

The first leg of the trip we'll be driving through the night.  Because of this, we're only giving the girls two bags for this 14 hour trip.  We're really hoping they sleep well through the night so we won't have to worry with the fussy kid/tired parent combination!

Trip One (Friday night):

  • The first treat bag will be given in Beaumont, TX.  They'll get a little clipboard with a notepad on it along with some pencils.  For snack they'll have pretzel balls and m&m's.
  • They'll get the second bag in Lafayette, LA.  This time they'll get a glow stick (hopefully it'll be dark or close to dark by then!) and some Pringles and skittles to snack on.  

Trip Two (most of the day Monday.  We're anticipating a 9 hour drive):

  • First bag:  Marion, VA.  They'll each get a little stuffed animal along with a dollar store doctor kit.  Chex mix and a lollipop for a snack.  (I thought it would be cute to have a lollipop with their doctor visit!).  I decided to put this as their first toy because my girls love their doctor kits so I'm hoping this will keep them happy for quite a while.  I also expect if they have periods of boredom, maybe they'll go back to this one.
  • Second bag:  Staunton, VA.  They'll get a little wooden car and Funyons and fruit snacks.  
  • Third bag:  Silver Spring, MD.  They'll get a super annoying microphone (you know the ones that kind of echo?...yeah...those).  I know it'll be really annoying for mom and dad, but the girls LOVE those things!  I figure by the end of this trip, they'll be getting anxious to get their and this will lift their spirits.  They'll also get Nutter Butters and Smarties.
Trip Three (all day Saturday.  We have to get the first 12 hours of our 24 hour drive out of the way)
  • First bag:  Staunton, VA.  They'll each get a little toy horse, some pizza Combos and some gummy worms.
  • Second bag:  Marion, VA.  Maddie will get a little compass and calculator.  She's loving math these days so I thought she might have fun with that...and the compass will help her draw nice circles in her notebook.  Sadie will get a new DVD.  I picked up a Berenstain Bears Christmas DVD for her.  For snack they'll have pretzel balls and m&m's.
  • Third bag:  Knoxville, TN.  This time Maddie will get a movie.  Yes, I know two movies in a row is going to be torture!!  But I knew if I didn't put them close, Maddie would get upset that Sadie got a movie and she didn't!  So...Maddie is getting The Dog who Saved Christmas and Sadie is getting a little tea set.  For snack they'll have Chex Mix and fruit snacks.
  • Fourth (and final for the day) bag:  Fort Payne, AL.  They'll each get another glow stick, some Pringles and Skittles.
Trip Four (all day Sunday.  This will be the final leg of the trip...another 12 hours.)
  • First bag:  Livingston, AL.  The girls will get pom poms.  Yay...these are going to be super annoying too.  But, the girls will love them so they should stay happy for a while (I hope!)  For snack they'll get more Chex Mix and a big Tootsie Roll.
  • Second bag:  Picayune, LA (I have no idea how to properly pronounce that city).  They'll get a dry erase board that has activities and a space to draw pictures.  I think Maddie will like it.  I worry that Sadie may draw on the van...we'll see!  For snack they'll have Combos and gummy worms.
  • Third bag:  Lafayette, LA.  I found cute little mermaid sets at the dollar store so they'll get those this time.  With their mermaids they'll get Pringles and Reese's Pieces.
  • Fourth bag:  Liberty, TX.  Another glow stick!!  I really hope they're asleep by this point because I'm going to want to be asleep by this point!  ha!  Pretzels and m&m's for a snack this time.  
I didn't spend a ton of money on these bags.  I shopped at the Dollar Tree, 99 cent only store, Target dollar spot, Walmart and the trick-or-treat buckets (shhhh....don't tell the girls!!).  Of course, you have to expect to spend a certain amount, but don't go crazy.  I'm not expecting these toys to be permanent toys in our home.  If anything gets lost or broken, it's ok.  The point is just entertainment.

Here are some pictures for you :)
Here's a shot of all of Maddie's goodies.  

Here are Sadie's.  Another thing I should note:  have everything opened up out of the package and ready for the kids to play with.  You don't want all the trash in the car to deal with.  And the point of it isn't for them to see they have brand new toys, it's just to have something new and fun for them to play with.  By all means, by a "lot" of used toys for this and save some money!!

Here are Sadie's bags with the toys inside and the treats ready to put in.  Things that didn't come individually packaged got put into snack size baggies.  I tried to keep it to 1/3 cup or less (each Pringles bag has 8 Pringles...and that may be too much even!).  I don't want to fill the kids up, but having snacks at regular intervals will keep them happy.

So, there you have it.  The treat bags.  I have a feeling these are going to be legendary in our family :)  Please let me know any questions you have or any suggestions to improve my process!  

Thanks for reading :)

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Traveling With Kids

When I was a kid, flying in a plane wasn't even a consideration.  Anytime we went anywhere, we loaded up the car and we were on our way (there was one trip where we flew to LA and drove to Vegas...but that's a post for another day).  I honestly don't remember complaining too much about being in the car.  Now, my mom and dad might have a different memory of those road trips, but I'm telling my side of the story :)  Our biggest complaint was when we were driving with Pap Pa (my dad's dad) and he did NOT like to stop.  We would have a scheduled lunch stop and you better use the bathroom while we were there because it would take a natural disaster for us to stop again!  That was the only problem, holding it until we got to our destination.  Ahhhh...the problems we had as kids :)

Fast forward 20 years and here I am with my own kids and I have gotten quite spoiled by flying with them.  When we're in the car, we consider a trip to the zoo (about 40 minutes) a long drive.  I let the girls watch a DVD to keep them happy on the way.  Isn't that crazy that 40 minutes is a long drive??

Well, we've taken a few long trips with the girls.  The first was when Maddie was just under 6 months old.  We drove from Houston to Knoxville for Thanksgiving.  Maddie was still a baby so she slept a lot.  We made a stop every 3-4 hours.  The stop would consist of us getting gas in the car, getting some food, using the bathroom, nursing and changing Maddie.   Then we'd get back on the road.  Life was good.

Now our girls are 2 and 4 and they are opinionated!!  They no longer sleep most of the trip, they need more entertainment to keep them happy and they F.I.G.H.T.  So, this past summer when we drove to Gulf Shores, AL we knew we had to do some pre-planning to satisfy all the girls' needs.  It was a lot of work and took a lot of planning and a little bit of money...but it paid off BIG TIME!

I'm going to turn this post into a few-part series just to keep this from getting too long...but for today I'm going to give you my top ten tips for traveling with kids.

10.  Do NOT start with movies right off the bat!  If you do this, you will only have movies going the entire trip.  Some of your kids may be ok with that, so ignore this.  For Sadie, however, if she's watching a movie, she will NOT go to sleep!  Also, once one movie ends they just want another and another and nothing else we have planned for the trip seems as good as watching a movie...we try to save this for desperate times!

9.  Plan car-friendly snacks.  Since Sadie is probably the messiest eater of all time, I really have to be careful what we bring.  This means no crackers, no breads, no cereals, nothing that gets too crumby or sticky.  Some of our favorites are fruit snacks, apple slices, grapes, cheese sticks, pretzels (mini ones, not sticks...those get crumbly easier), individual packs of m&m's, chex mix (yes, it's a messy one but it's a special treat because we don't eat that much at home).  We keep a cooler up front between the front seats with cold snacks and water.

8.  Be prepared to sit in the back seat with the kids.  Sometimes kids need something a little out of the "norm" to feel special.  I take along some books (we have a stock pile of books at home they've never read so we bring plenty of new ones and some old favorites!) and will sit in between their seats and read to them.

7.  Expect your kids to be cranky and unhappy.  If you go into the trip expecting cranky kids, then the trip can only go better than you're expecting, right??

6.  Have special "trip-only" toys.  I have a magna doodle, a Mr. Potatohead, a Crayola dry erase crayon board, some magnetic paper dolls, and finger puppets that we used for our last trip.  I think some of those things have made it to their play room so I'll have to come up with some other ideas for our upcoming trip...but, by bringing along toys they aren't used to having, they keep their interest longer.  You could even consider "hiding" some of their favorites 4-6 weeks before the trip so if you get it out in the car, they'll be super excited to play with it!  Don't give them all the toys at once, or even at all.  Save them in a bag for when you need something.  If the kids are happy looking out the window trying to find alligators as you drive over the bayou, by all means let them!

5.  Have a stock pile of napkins/wipes at the ready.  You just never prepared!

4.  Plan to stop every 3-4 hours.  If the kids don't get a break from sitting in their car seats, they're definitely going to be fussy.  Go ahead and just be prepared to stop at regular intervals.  Get them out, let them run around or even bring along something to do while you're stopped (bubbles, a frisbee).  Play tag, play Simon Says, play follow the leader...just get them moving!

3.  "Choose an activity" cards.  For the last trip I wrote out some activities on little pieces of paper.  They included things like "read 4 books", "sing songs with Mommy", "play with Mr. Potatohead", "Tell stories", etc.  If Maddie was acting bored, I would let her chose one card out of the bag and we did whatever was on it.  We only had to do this 2-3 times (and that included the drive there AND home!)

2.  Treat bags.  I put together treat bags to give to the girls at regular intervals on our last trip.  I'll go into more detail on these on another post, but I had to put them here.  The girls knew I was putting them together so they were really looking forward to them!  Each bag contained a small toy or activity (I shopped at the dollar store) and a snack.  I'm sure these bags are what saved our trip (and our sanity)!

1.  Keep a potty chair in the back!  Of course this is good in case you just passed that "Last exit for 120 miles" and THEN the kids decide they have to poop.  But also it's good because kids are just more comfortable going in their potty instead of in a gas station potty.  AND Mom and Dad don't have to kneal in a nasty bathroom to hold little ones on those nasty toilets!  Along with your potty it's a good idea to keep a pack of wipes or tp, and little bags to carry any solids to the bathroom when you get to a good stopping place.  We didn't come prepared with the bags on the last trip so Eric had the pleasure of carrying the little potty insert into gas station bathrooms :)  Oh, and don't forget the Clorox wipes with it too.  It's always nice to know you have a clean potty!

Ok, that's it for now...let me know if you have any other tips to add to the list!  12 days til our trip, I can use all the help/advice I can get!!!!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

My Big Girl, Maddie

I couldn't do a post about Sadie and ignore Maddie :)

Maddie has been amazing us over and over again.  I really had no idea a 4 year old could be so smart.  Now, I'm not trying to say she's smarter than other 4 year olds, I don't know...she might be, but I just had no idea their little brains could comprehend so much at such a young age!

Lately Maddie's been trying to sound out words to write them.  She made a picture for Murphy (the dog) the other day and wrote "MOF" on the top for Murph.  Not bad, eh?  This morning she was playing with a doll and she decided to name her Ruby.  On Ruby's "school folder", Maddie wrote "Rbe".  I was seriously impressed!

She loves to learn and is always really excited about going to school and learning new things.  She's constantly impressing us with how much she's learning too.  She really impressed Eric the other night when he was reading her a book and she told him the author wrote the book and the illustrator drew the pictures.  It's just these little things that are the coolest to hear her say!

Of course, she continues to make us laugh with her silly little expressions and comments.  Her little brain is in overdrive and she's becoming more and more creative with what she says.  Last night I was getting her ready for bed and she tooted.  She said, "Woah, excuse me.  I'm a Tootie McNoodle!"  I couldn't stop laughing!!

Probably the BIGGEST, most exciting news about Maddie these days is that she no longer sucks her thumb!!  On the morning of September 24th, she came downstairs and told me she doesn't want to suck her thumb anymore.  She brought me her two snugglies and her two favorite stuffed animals that she used to suck her thumb with and told me not to give them back.  I reassured her that if she really wanted to be done that I would take them and she would NOT get them back.  I knew it was going to be hard on all of us, but it seemed she was ready and I had to take that opportunity to help her.  Well, her "sucking hazards" went up on top of my armoire in my room and they are still there.  They haven't moved...(I'll put them in her keepsake box so she can have them forever!).  We've been so proud of her taking the initiative to be a "big kid"!

So now I'll leave you with some pictures of our sweet, sweet 4 year old!

First day of Preschool!

First dance class.

Maddie loving on the T-Rex at the zoo.

Sweet girls at the campground in Grapevine.

Working on a painting project.

We had to stop by Target after dance class and she was so excited to see her favorite Disney Princess :)

Mommy and Maddie sleepover night.

Maddie got a prize after not sucking her thumb for 2 weeks.  She chose this fun gumball machine!

Being a silly goose at the zoo!

Here's a shot of Maddie in May of 2011 and again in October 2012.  She's grown quite a bit :)

She got this tent in her room for Christmas 2010 and still likes to nap in it some times.  I love it!

Here's our big girl the first day she wanted dropped off in the car line at school.  We're so proud of her!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Oh, My Sadie...

Sadie is no longer my baby.  Yet she's not quite a big kid either.  She's in that in between phase that can be frustrating to maneuver.  When Maddie was around this age (maybe even younger), I started giving her options so she could be a part of the decision making process.  In the morning I would hold up two outfits and ask her which one she wanted to wear, let her chose her shoes for the day, let her decide what she wanted for breakfast, etc.  Well, somehow between those couple of years I forgot all about that philosophy. With Sadie, I get her up and put some clothes on her, I hand her whatever *I* think she wants for lunch, stick a pair of shoes on her on the way out the door.  Ha!  That's backfiring on me now.  She has become quite opinionated.  If I put a bowl of cereal in front of her in the morning she just might swipe it off onto the floor if that's not what she wants!  I've gotten good about asking what she wants for breakfast now!  I still just get her dressed in whatever I want her to wear for the day and I'm not sure that's a bad thing :)  So far she hasn't really complained about what she's wearing.  There was one day that was orange day at Maddie's school so I put an orange shirt on Sadie.  She didn't seem to like it until we walked into the school.  Weird.

Another thing we recently figured out about Sadie is that she seems to have a fear of heights.  I picked her up on my shoulders last night and about had my eyes gouged out from her death grip!  She was really nervous being up there.  Eric said she does the same thing to him when he puts her up, but I guess this was the first time I had done it.  Later I was upstairs and I held Sadie to look down at Daddy and she got nervous with that as well.  She kept telling me she wanted down.  Poor kid!  She doesn't seem to have a fear of coming down the stairs, though as she willingly comes down them all by herself.  Today she even tried to walk down them without holding on!  That's when mommy got nervous!!

Now I'll leave you with some pictures of my growing girl!  (These pictures range from August 27th through Oct 9th)
I love how green her eyes are starting to look!

Here's our sweet girl on her birthday!  We spent part of the day at the pool having lots of birthday fun!

 I HATE these shopping carts. was the only way to cheer her up after her 2 year old check up so I sacrificed :)

We went up to Grapevine, TX in mid-September and "camped".  Sadie wasn't afraid of holding this caterpillar.  She loved it!

I always love taking bathtub photos :)  Sweet baby!

This kid can cross her eyes on demand.  She's been doing it since before her first's the strangest thing ever!  (But we love it)  :)

Enjoying some Tutti Frutti!

Just looking sweet so Mommy had to snap a picture.

Sadie told me, "Mommy, take a picture." Then she posed like this.  Doesn't she look like a little baby super model??

The biggest boo boo she's had yet.  The good news is it looked about 85% better by the next morning!

Steering the boat at the zoo.  She just looks so big to me with her big girl pony tail!

Posing with big sister and a giant snapping turtle at the zoo.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

A Potty Training Update

Sadie officially began potty training on October 18th, exactly one week ago.  She has been having about one accident per day.  Not too shabby!  One day she had two accidents, but yesterday she had NONE!!  It was a good day :)

At the beginning of our training, I was consistently asking Sadie if the pee pees needed to come out.  She would tell me yes or no.  If she said yes, she always went.  I was amazed because I really didn't think she was going to know how to tell.  Then I kind of lost interest in training her and I had other things to do so I put a diaper on her.  Well, wouldn't you know...that kid would NOT pee in her diaper!  She insisted that she pee in the potty.  I kept telling her, "It's ok, sweetie.  You have a diaper.  Just pee in your diaper."  Nope...she wouldn't have anything to do with it. much for mommy having a day off from running to the potty all day!

Now Sadie is consistently telling us she has to pee.  Of course we drop everything we're doing and run her to the bathroom.  If she's gone a couple of hours without a potty break, we'll ask her if she has to go but other than that, she's doing it on her own.  I'm almost ready to say she's trained.  We even take her out of the house in her undies now and so far so good!  We're so proud of our big girl!!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Being a Mom

*I wrote this post last night but forgot to publish it* :)

Today has been one of "those" days.  I have struggled with loving my kids today.  I mean, of course I love them, but I've just had a hard time showing it.  I've had a lot going on lately and have been stressing myself out to be the perfect mom and it's having a negative affect on my patience.

Our average day goes something like this...
Sadie wakes up, I make my coffee then Maddie and I go up to get her up.
Girls play in Sadie's room for a few minutes while I sip my coffee and enjoy watching them get along.
Bring the girls downstairs, decide what's for breakfast.
Girls eat their breakfast while I make my breakfast, pack a lunch for Maddie (if needed)
Clean up from breakfast (I'm usually eating my breakfast while cleaning theirs up)
Let the girls play for a while while I take my shower
8:45 get the girls upstairs to start getting dressed for the day
9:00 come downstairs and turn on the tv for the girls.  They usually watch either Doc McStuffins or Imagination Movers.  I finish up last minute lunch stuff, or get Maddie's backpack ready or finalize my shopping list if Sadie and I are heading out for shopping
9:20-ish we head out the door to drop Maddie off at school.  (Maddie finally let me start dropping her off in car line so this process is much shorter)
9:45-ish Sadie and I get home.  We try to do our preschool lesson of the day if we're in the mood for it.  If not, we do a puzzle or read a book, or Sadie gives me a "check up", just something to give her a little one-on-one attention.
11:00 Sadie eats her lunch
11:30 Sadie watches Barney
12:00 Sadie goes down for her nap
12:00-1:30 (some days, longer on some days, shorter on other days) I go up at regular intervals to put Sadie back in bed for her nap.  This is a new habit that is driving me crazy...
During this time I'm trying to eat my lunch, clean up the kitchen from lunch, work on laundry, do a chore around the house, work on a project (like Sadie's Halloween costume), etc.
After I do something productive I feel like I can relax.  I watch a show that I have on the DVR or try to get in a quick nap.
2:10-2:15 it's time to go pick Maddie up from school.  We have to get there early to avoid waiting in the middle of the road to get into the parking lot...but we end up waiting until they start bringing the kids out at 2:25-2:30 anyway.  During this time Sadie looks at some books and I work on a crocheting project.
2:45-ish we're home from school and the girls want a snack.  While I'm preparing a snack, Maddie wants to show me what she's brought home from school and Sadie wants me to hold her (usually because she procrastinated on going to sleep so I had to wake her up to get Maddie so now she's cranky...)
3:00 try to breathe.  I try to give the girls attention and focus only on them while we have our snack.  I let Maddie tell me about the exciting things that happened at school that day or anything she wants to talk about.
tv comes back on (Doc McStuffins, Imagination Movers or a DVD)
I start working on dinner.  If I can do some prep work earlier in the day, I try to get it done so this time of day isn't so busy.
3:45 Eric calls to tell me he's on the interstate on his way home.  Asks if I need anything from the grocery store and lets me know if he has any planned stops on the way home.
4:15 Eric gets home (most days).  By this time I'm ready to pass the girls off to him and call it a day!  HA!!
5:00, or soon after we have dinner
Eric usually does the kitchen clean up after dinner.  I use this time to try to relax a little, but the girls are running around like crazy screaming their heads off or putting on a "show" of some sort.
6:30 we generally start our bedtime routine.  Thank God we don't give our kids baths every night...that would just put me over the edge!
7:30 most nights the girls are in bed and the night belongs to the grown ups...
We watch tv or I work on a project (like Sadie's Halloween costume, or making plans for our upcoming road trip, or making Christmas plans, or just browsing Pinterest)
8:30 Eric's in bed (and usually asleep).  If I'm in bed by then, I'm watching tv.  If I'm not in bed, I'm watching tv in the livingroom.  I usually like to stay up to watch the 10:00 news...I feel like it's my only window to what's going on in the outside world!

Of course this is just a rough draft.  Some days we have outings and play dates, some days we stay in our pjs and snuggle on the couch longer than usual.  Some days I let the girls fend for themselves so I can catch up on laundry or house cleaning.  Even though that always backfires on me!  Someone always needs something.  Maddie's getting pretty self-sufficient in most things by now but Sadie's getting to the age where she wants to be self sufficient but can't quite do it all...

Today was just a day that I didn't have the energy to take on all the things that the day required.  I did manage to grill a yummy dinner...even if Eric only had a pork chops with a side of another pork chop, he didn't complain :)  Other than that I don't feel like I accomplished much.  I tried to nap but Sadie had other plans...Maybe tomorrow?  Well, I won't plan on it because it could lead to disappointment :)

Tomorrow I will put less expectations on myself and really try to enjoy my girls.  I really do love them to pieces and I want them to have memories of a loving, caring mom who did things with them. I want them to remember reading books at the breakfast table, mommy sitting on the floor helping with puzzles, mommy stopping whatever she's doing to see the latest and greatest masterpiece they've drawn.  I also want to remember these times.  I don't want to wish their childhood away and look back in 15 years wondering what we did when they were my babies.  I've already seen them grow so much, without me really noticing because I was too busy.  I don't want to miss out on more memories!  One day they'll be grown and out of the house and I will wish I had taken more time loving my girls and less time trying to be "perfect".

Thursday, October 18, 2012

2 1/2 Months of Catching Up!

I started a few posts during these past 2+ months that I've been MIA, but never got around to finishing them or posting.  So...we'll try again!

First, some updates on Maddie.

Maddie is now 4 years, 4 1/2 months old.  She's growing more and more every day.  She's not only getting bigger, but also so much smarter.  She LOVES school this year and is learning so much!  This kid can write all of her letters (most of them the right way), can count to 39 all by herself, and has started sounding out words to write them.  Today she wrote "MOF" for Murphy.  She told me, "first I wrote "MA" but then I sounded it out and I didn't think it had an "A", I thought it should be an "O"."  She's really thinking!!  I'm so impressed with the whole learning to read process.  It's so neat to experience this process with her!

In other news, Maddie started her first dance class on September 6th.  She was quite apprehensive the first day but has taken off since then.  She loves it and looks forward to going every week.  In fact, every Wednesday when we get home from school she asks me, "Mommy, do I get to go to my dance class tomorrow?".  I love how she's learning our schedule without me telling her!!  So impressive :)

Now for some updates on Sadie.

Sadie turned 2 on September 2nd.  We had a very low key birthday celebration for her at home.  No big party this year she'll have her first party and I think it'll be a blast!  She definitely understood that it was HER day.  She enjoyed getting presents and blowing out her candle and seemed to really enjoy all of the extra attention that was given to her.  Of course for days after her birthday, she had to walk around singing Happy Birthday to everyone and everything.

Sadie is now talking up a storm. She's speaking in full sentences and is getting very demanding and FUNNY!  Her personality is really starting to shine lately, both the good and the bad!  She loves her babies and little toy animals and her doctor kit.  She gives check ups like you wouldn't believe.  It's so cute when she gives Mommy or Daddy a check up.  She checks our ears, eyes, listens to our hearts, checks our blood pressure. Then she has us sit up so she can listen to our backs.  She says, "Take a deep beff a me." (Take a deep breath for me).  So we take a few deeps breaths, then she says, "Good." and gets the shot ready.  She looks at us with the most serious look and says, "Dis a huwt wittle bit." (This will hurt a little bit) then gives the shot. We give a big dramatic "OUCH!".  And she tells us, "I weawy sowy." (I really sorry).  It's the cutest thing!

Today we started potty training.  Ugh...I really wasn't looking forward to doing this until after the holidays, but it seems she's ready.  I hate to not take advantage of this window of opportunity.  Just a couple of days ago I was really resisting.  I didn't think she was ready but today changed my mind.  I got Sadie up just after 7 and changed her diaper. After that the girls had breakfast, played a while, watched some tv, played some more, we went to a play date, got home around 1pm.  I took the girls up for a nap, went to change Sadie's diaper and it was DRY.  I couldn't believe it!  I asked if she wanted to pee on the potty and she did.  She sat there a while and didn't pee for a little bit.  I told her if she let the pee pees out she would get some candy.  Well, as soon as she heard "candy", she peed.  YAY!!!  After nap time I put her in undies and a dress and she kept them dry the rest of the night.  One time I asked her if the pee pees were ready to come out and she said yes.  I put her on the potty and she peed.  I was amazed!  She got her little Reese's Piece and was a happy little girl :)  We'll see how tomorrow goes...

Well, that's it for now.  I hope to get some updated pictures of the girls soon.  Here are a couple to hold you over until then!

Sadie got the whole Doc McStuffins cast for her birthday.  She was especially happy to get Chilly :)

Maddie enjoyed lots of rides at GrapeFest in Grapevine, TX.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Gulf Shores, Alabama

The last week of July we had the opportunity to spend a week with Eric's parents and several of his siblings and their families at the BEACH!!!  We had such a fun time, tiring at times thanks to "vacationing" with two little ones, but it was still a GREAT week overall.

Here are some pictures from our time there (there are a ton more, these are just my favorites of mostly just the four of us, I'm saving pictures of the extended family to send to them!)


The girls heading out to start our trip before the sun woke up!  The did SO WELL on our drive!  We anticipated an 8 hour drive, but it turned into 11.  Yikes!  (I plan on doing a separate post on our trip)

I love this action shot of Maddie jumping over the hole.  They had so much fun on our morning walks on the beach!

And an "action" shot of Sadie jumping into the hole...yes, this is action.  Do you see the jump look on her face?  :)

Sadie burying her big sister

I just love this picture of Maddie.  She genuinely enjoyed our week at the beach.  She's definitely our beach girl!

On our way out for our morning walk (we did a morning walk most mornings before we even had breakfast. It was so nice and peaceful not having to worry about the girls getting in the water!)

Another one of my favorite pictures of Maddie.  I took this dog along for Murphy (bought it at the Goodwill for about $1.) But when Maddie saw it in the bag, she HAD to have it.  I should've known :)

Me and my girls at the beach.  Sadie's face pretty much sums up her attitude for the majority of the trip.  I think she was overwhelmed with the number of people (there were TWENTY of us in the house!!) and she's also been working on those 2 year molars.  Anyone who's been through that knows how much "fun" that can be... 

A shot of all four of us.  The girls were making faces in all of the pictures, so I had to chose the one where Eric and I looked the most decent :)

Maddie with her godmother, Aunt Sarah (the sun was in Maddie's eyes.  Or she was being a pirate, not sure).

Sadie with her godmother, Aunt Catherine.  Sadie went back and forth between loving Aunt Catherine and not being too sure of this picture she just wanted to get back to Mommy.  :)

Sadie didn't warm up to the ocean water until Thursday!  4 days we tried to get her to play in the water and she wouldn't.  Then she had two days to play.  I've never heard her laugh so hard!!

ANOTHER one of my favorites of Maddie.  She had so much fun playing in the waves.  She was a ballerina, a crab, she put on a show for us, she just enjoyed every minute of it!!

So, there you have it.  Below Family vacation to Gulf Shores, Alabama July 2012.  A week to remember!!