Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Happy Memorial Day

I had ordered these matching Old Navy t-shirts for the kids, and they arrived on Saturday (so close!).  I was so excited to take the perfect picture of them, but it didn't work out very well.  I guess I have between now and the 4th of July to get the perfect flag t-shirt pic.
I thought the balloons would keep them from staring at the ground, but the balloons created their own distractions.
 Here's my sweet girl eating her breakfast this morning.  Cinnamon Rolls and Texas blackberries... mmmm.  I've seen her smacking or biting Brady lately, so I make her hug him apologetically.  Now, she smacks him on the belly, giggles and hugs him with her head on his belly, and they both giggle.  As I type, Brady's chasing her with tickle hands... how did I get so blessed?!
Brady, Anna Belle and I fly alone to Paris on Monday to visit my dad for 10 days.  My mom and sister will arrive the day prior (they couldn't fly with me because they traded first class for a direct flight, and I'm flying standby).  To help deal with some of my anxiety, I packed our bag yesterday.  I managed to pack for the 3 of us in one large backpack / carryon.  Brady will bring his preschool backpack, and I'll have Anna Belle's diaper bag... and that's it!  

To help deal with the jet lag, I'm going to move our schedule up by 30 minutes each day this week (good suggestion Grammy).  Hopefully this helps all of us sleep better on the plane, and feel better upon arrival.  On our first day, we're going to take a train to Disney Paris to have dinner with the characters at Cafe Mickey.  I'm using that as Brady's bribe / motivation to be a good boy.  We also bought new headphones for the kids, and have "practiced" using them with them iPhone, iPad and laptop.

I frequently think that there should be a Mommy Merit Badge system.  I felt like I earned a badge the first time I traversed the grocery store with them (when I first quit my job and Anna Belle was 4 months and Brady still 2).  Cleaning 6 poopy cloth diapers in a day earned another one... and now I need to put on my game face for the 9 hour flight to Paris and 11 hour flight back home.

Stay tuned... I'll be making blog posts (mostly so my sweet husband can keep tabs on us) during the trip.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Baby Dach

 Lauren, Marcy and I hosted a shower for Melanie this weekend.  Lauren and Marcy took care of all the food and games, and I just provided a decorated home.  We had 40 people, and it couldn't have gone better.  The photo below shows us playing some of the word scramble games.
 Coloring with Veronica and Anna Belle
 The dads and kids mostly played outside.

 Brady LOVES taking pictures with his cars; I love his expression in this photo.
Brady put on his Harry Potter glasses and read his Star Wars book while Mommy and Daddy cleaned house for the party.
Anna Belle climbed on the stool in our bathroom to get a hand towel and cleaned the floor while I washed dishes...  cutest little helper ever.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Mama Stuff

Here are the flowers Brady and Taylor picked out for me.  It's the perfect bouquet with lillies (my favorite), roses (always beautiful) and Annabel Hydrangeas.
 I first saw this giant ruler / growth chart on Pinterest.  Taylor found a lady in Houston (Baytown) that makes them, bought it for me, and marked it with the kid's heights.
 Anna Belle wants to be just like her brother.  Since Brady's been taking swim lessons and wearing goggles, they have become her favorite accessory.  She plays with cars and space shuttles and makes lots of "very Brady" sounds.  She's pretty cute.
 I've been trying to mix things up at home, to keep Brady more engaged (and myself more sane).  We've been doing a lot of things, but one of them was posing his toy cars for pictures.
My favorite day this week was when we went to Monkey Bizness, a play place where they have lots of bounce house slides, obstacle courses, etc.  We went from 12:30 - 3:00pm and had the place mostly to ourselves.  I also (for the first time) took Brady swimming while Anna Belle napped, which was far more relaxing than I would have anticipated.  I certainly feel blessed to share these precious moments with my little ones.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mama's Day!

This morning, Taylor and Brady went out to pick up donuts and flowers for me : ).  After church, we met Grammy and Megan for lunch then stopped at the park to take pictures.  Taylor's dad picked out this little dress for Anna Belle for a baby shower.  She looked pretty sweet in it today.  Afterwards, the girls (minus Anna Belle) went to see the Hunger Games (again).  
We're really excited to have new lighting in our back yard, but it's really hard to photograph.  As much as I miss my sweet little Anna Belle sleeping at my side at night (last summer), it will be fun to play in the pool after putting her to bed this summer.
 To celebrate Megan and Kiki's birthdays, we met our college friends at Ruggles Green for dinner.  We got great seats; the kids enjoyed playing in the grass.
 Brady found a girlfriend to play with.
 When food, drink, toys and music wouldn't console my baby girl, I decided to take a picture.  It may be an odd way to deal with the problem, but I figured it's good to catch some of our most common moments... kids in their car seats.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Hello Hill Country

We really love our visits up to the ranch with Taylor's family.  Last weekend we visited with them and stopped by Marburger Orchard.  The blackberries were "good pickins," so Brady learned how to pick blackberries.  We used the sticks to push the thorny branches out of the way, so you could get to the ripe berries.  I love Brady's concentration face.
 When we got back to the ranch, Anna Belle was eager to start munching on the blackberries.  We also picked up some beautiful Fredericksburg peaches.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Love Fern

I love this picture of my beautiful / handsome family; I feel very blessed.  For the first time, Anna Belle crawled down the stairs by herself (with Mommy chanting, "Be careful!").  Brady had his second private swim lesson today and can swim across our pool by himself!  I'm so proud of my little kiddos.  Why must all milestones be bittersweet reminders that the years are slipping by?

We made it to the Bacot Ranch safely.  We're delighted that the bald cypress planted on our wedding day is alive and well (the tree behind Brady's hand).  With the droughts and freezes the last few years, we weren't sure it would survive.  Alas, our love fern lives.

P.S. We got Brady to smile by telling him not to clap.