Friday, April 30, 2010

Bedhead

Crazy, long curls plus a little sweat during nap time make for one great style when you wake up!
And no, Mal doesn't sleep in his crib. She just likes to get in there & play sometimes before they're really ready to get up. It's cute that she just wants to be near her brother!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Bluebonnet Beauties

Last year, we were pretty successful at getting some cute shots of the kids in a field of bluebonnets not far from our house. They couldn't even crawl at that point, so they had no choice but to sit still while we snapped pictures. Um, yeah, things have changed. I'm not sure we have any frame-worthy ones from this year, but maybe after J crops some of them, they'll look better. They're still cute kids, even if the pictures aren't great, so oh well. Maybe next year!





Monday, April 26, 2010

Proud To Be Paci Free!

We did it! We are completely paci free! I don't say that to gloat over anyone having a hard time with the transition; it's simply a statement of relief!
For several months now, we've only used pacis in their beds at night & during nap times. I wanted to make sure that we got rid of them & got back to sleeping well before my surgery in June since I won't be able to traipse upstairs to console them at that point.
So, last Wednesday I decided to take the plunge since J was scheduled to be in town for at least a week & a half. You know, in case it got rough around here!
We threw away all but one paci per kid & then cut the tip off of their remaining one. Mallory put it in her mouth & sucked on it as if there was no difference. Jake immediately pulled it out of his mouth & gave it a confused, sideways look, then looked at me. "Is your paci broken?" I asked. "Bo-ken," he confirmed. Even so, he put it back in his mouth & attempted to suck on it. There were a few tears at bedtime that night, but after 30 minutes or so, they were both asleep.
Jake cried for forty minutes at nap time on Thursday & then finally slept after cuddling on the couch with me for a while. Thursday night I cut a bit more off of each one. Mallory, again, seemed not to mind. Jake was very concerned but still managed to suck/chew on it & get to sleep.
Friday afternoon, Jake didn't nap at all but seemed to have more than enough energy, so I didn't bother trying to make him. Later that day, I thought I'd take a shot in the dark. I asked Jake if he wanted to throw his paci in the trash since it was broken, then held the trash can out toward him. He tossed it in & was subsequently praised for being such a big boy! I asked Mal if she wanted to throw hers away & was met by an adamant "No!" A couple of hours later, though, she agreed that it was broken & threw it away.
We've had three great nights & three great nap times since then, so I think we're home free! If you ask them why they're big kids, they'll tell you "paci trash" or some version of that. We're so proud of our big kids!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Up High

Jake & Mallory loved their swings last year, but they're having even more fun in them this year. They run over to them when we're outside & exclaim, "Swing!" If either of them feels they're not going high enough, they'll request "up high" so I'll push them higher.
video

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Not So Quiet After All

One of Jake & Mal's favorite toys while we were in Atlanta was a "quiet book" that belonged to J & his siblings when they were little. It has all kinds of things to unsnap, unbutton, take out, put back in, etc. in order to occupy kids during quiet times like church. Judging from Jake's reaction to it, I'm not so sure it would achieve its intended purpose if we took it to church.
video

Friday, April 16, 2010

Freedom

Toddlers can be whiny & demanding, & they certainly require a lot of energy from their caregivers, but really, they're so easy to please. It may not last long, but as long as you acquiesce to whatever it is that they deem fun at the moment, they're on cloud nine. On this day, that was running wild in the airport before our flight to Atlanta. We managed to keep them away from the escalators, so no harm done in burning off a little energy.
video

Thursday, April 15, 2010

A Family Affair

Last weekend my cousin, Amy, & her family came to stay with us to celebrate her son Noah's first birthday. They moved to West Virginia in December, so we were so glad they came to Texas to have his party.

While we were partying, I got to love on this sweetie, my niece Aubrey. She has so much beautiful hair that she's already had a bang trim at less than five months old! I can't imagine Mal needing a haircut anytime in the near future, & she's twenty months old.Mal got in some giggle time with Nana...
& Jake avoided the more crowded areas by hanging out with Papa.
My aunt got this cute cake made at a little bakery in Paris (Texas).
Getting a better view of the action from up high; piggy back rides have become Jake's new favorite thing.
Sweet birthday boy checking out his cake...
& then diving in!
Breakfast time with Noah at our house
Isn't he so handsome!
Jake & Mal just sort of watched his every move all weekend. I think they were confused about these visitors in their house, but they were glad for them to be here as long as Noah didn't steal Jake's mommy or Mal's lovie.
Taking a ride in the swing before they had to leave on Monday
I failed to get a pic of all three kids or one of Amy & me. I guess we'll use that as our good excuse to get together again soon! Love you guys!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

New Friends

I've had the pleasure of helping to welcome some sweet little girls into the world over the last couple of weeks! These are our dear friends, Zack & Tami, with their newest daughter, Carly.
I went to visit them by myself since the kids were napping on that Sunday afternoon, so I got lots of cuddle time. She's so precious!
And on Thursday, our other dear friends, Mark & Hattie, said hello to their first child, Charlotte! Mal had fun playing with Ms. Hattie in her hospital bed.
Sweet Charlotte with her pretty little bow - look at those cheeks!
Jake checking out his new friend
Me, Charlotte & Hattie
Our friends have shared in our joy when our children were born, & we're so glad we get to do the same for them. Congrats, guys!

Friday, April 9, 2010

The Great Outdoors

Over the last few weeks, I have been continually amazed as I think about how different Jake & Mal's playtime is from what it was last year. Last summer, we really didn't spend too much time outside since they weren't walking & I really didn't want to lug around two lumps of dead weight. This year, they are LOVING being outside!
I frequently find a little hand grabbing mine & leading me to the back door. Jake can say "outside" very clearly, & he makes his demands known. Mallory loves to point & yell "swing!"
We are quickly accumulating all kinds of outdoor entertainment, but really, it doesn't take much to keep these two happy out there. For instance, jumping off the edge of the patio will do it.
Of course, time outside makes you so joyful that you just have to pause for some sibling lovin'!
That's a kiss; I just didn't catch it at quite the right moment.
We also take walks down to the cul-de-sac, drive their cars around & keep tabs on our friend, Mr. Lizard. I'm going to be having foot surgery in June, so I'm sad that it will limit my ability to take them outside to play, but I'm sure there will be plenty of grandparents & friends who'll oblige.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Hop to It

This year's Easter festivities began on Saturday with Jake & Mal getting to color eggs for the first time. I loved this activity as a kid & was excited to get to do it with them. We stripped them down to their diapers before beginning, just in case.

I'm not sure what word I was probably in the middle of saying, trying to get Jake to look at the camera, but it's still a sweet picture of me & my boy.
They both got the dipping action down fast & really wanted to do it without assistance.
Waiting for the eggs to change colors was not our strong suit, so our eggs ended up more pastel than the bright ones we'd attempted to achieve.

Mal spilled yellow dye in her chair & so ended up with yellow feet, but it really wasn't as messy as I'd expected.
Once the kids were in bed, the Easter bunny dropped by to leave just a few goodies.
Mom & I got to work in the kitchen to prepare for the next day's meal. I failed to get any pictures of the table or our guests, but we had a great time! We had a total of twelve people here to enjoy a menu of ham, green bean bundles, corn casserole, deviled eggs, salad & rolls. For dessert, my mom made a coconut pie to satisfy my dad's craving, & I made this chocolate bunny cake. This cake was an Easter tradition for J's family when he was growing up, but this was my first time to make it. Bonus: the leftover cake worked nicely when cut up & made into a trifle for my ladies' class luncheon on Tuesday.
Mallory & Jake got to check out their loot Sunday morning before heading to church & were quite impressed. The Pez dispensers have by far been Mal's favorite, even though I haven't loaded any candy in them yet. She carries them around & plays with them all day long. Are these not the cutest kids you've ever seen?! I'm only a bit biased.
Posing with Nana & Papa
This was the best family pic I got that morning. Jake was distracted, & Mal kept wanting to hold her new bunny right in front of my face.
After lunch, it was time to hunt for eggs. Sadly, it was raining outside, so we moved our hunt indoors.
Jake quickly grasped the concept & was hurriedly finding eggs & placing them in his basket.
Mallory, on the other hand, seemed to think that I was trying to take away her precious eggs when I told her to put them in the basket. She preferred to just grab a couple & hold onto them until she saw a new one. We'll have to do more practice runs next year.

We had a wonderful day of good food, time with family & friends & fun activities for the kids. But more importantly, we paused to remember the resurrection of our glorious Lord & Savior, for which we are forever grateful. I hope your Easter was as happy as mine!