Last Day of 2007

all the girls play

we met up with Lori & Livie and Sarah & Isabel at Robinson Park this morning. Before they got there, Melissa and Gwen came walking up! We all had such a wonderful morning chatting and watching the kids play.

Sexy Sarah

While Mia and I were still alone, she was playing with pebbles, and picked out one in the shape of an octagon, and then found a triangle. It's interesting when she comes up with things like that.

Mia + Pebbles = Happiness

Livie lost a boot, but that doesn't stop her

This was the first time Livie and Isabel had been at this park, and they just loved it. Live dove head first right through the door window, and kept on going like it was nothing! Later, she dismounted a swing in a similar fashion, and would have been fine if the swing didn't come swinging back and hit her head :(

Isabel and Livie enjoyed the tire swing, while Mia enjoyed all the pebbles. Gwen had fun walking around with her snack. She really held here own with the big girls. Mia, Live & Isabel were so very gentle.

The Bug prefers shovels to spoons

Isabel is almost 100% potty trained. She went shi shi (potty..I think pee pee) three times while we were there. Mia and Livie went with her twice to check things out. Mia was rather intrigued when the Bell actually pee pee'd in the potty, and then Livie gave it a try, all she got was some practice ;) All this peer pressure may scoot Mia along.

Auntie M pushes Mia and Gwen around

After 2 1/2 hours of play, we all took our worn out toddlers home for their naps. Now I have to pack Mia's bag for her sleep over at Nana & Paw Paw's tonight.... Daryl and I are going to Shane & Krista's New Years party!

Robinson Park Fun:

A Study in Gastronomy

This past weekend, we dined at at an eclectic restaurant....a Chinese, Japanese & American buffet :) Mia, quite the eater, ate everything on her plate including duck and frog legs. Daryl and I have wondered how eating various animals that are found in her board books would effect her.

The other day, while reading one of her favorite animal board books, she pointed to the cute picture of a chicken in her nest. Mia pointed to it and said 'ketchup'!!!!

'D' is for Duck



Mia's favorite number is still 8. She'll stand still and say 8 when she wants us to say 1,2,3 GO!...but bouncing, running across the room or any other event that requires a counting start.

We think she's going through another growth spurt. She's eating EVERYTHING! This is what she ate today:
Breakfast: 1 1/2 blueberry pancakes, ham and strawberries....the pancakes were big and she ate everything (yesterday it was pizza & pancakes for breakfast)
Snack: (30 min after breakfast) container of yogurt and crackers
Snack #2: (1 hr after first snack) string cheese and a kiwi
Lunch: 4 nuggets with ketchup a handful of grapes
Snack #3: raisins, carrot sticks, peanut butter on a slice of bread
Snack #4: whole grilled cheese sandwich
Dinner: Mexican spaghetti, salad of mushrooms, avocado and cucumbers
This was all between 9am & 7pm with a 2 hour nap! Notice that she didn't wake up until 9am and went to sleep at 7pm...this girl is sleeping!

Pancakes n Pizza

Dada helping with Mia's gloves

Ok, on to other things.
She's really into all the acorns she sees on the ground. Really. ALL the acorns. I find them in our bag, my purse, her pockets, her car seat... She likes to sit and find their 'hats'. We went to the park yesterday and she divided her time between pebbles and acorns. She must love me, because she shared some of her pebbles with me, and let me help her find some acorn hats :)

Uncle Joe and cousin Gwen came over for a visit this afternoon. The guys were supposed to watch the game and play with the kids, but we all ended up hanging out withe the kids and talking about the kids. After taking her babies for a walk, bubble fun and playing with Gwen, Mia rested on the floor with her favorite tiger. He's learned how to roar.

On a floral note, Dee gave me a little Christmas cactus plant that came from a cutting from one of Clem's (Daryl's paternal grandfather) plants. It started to bloom this week. The flowers were much more beautiful than I anticipated. Just the right amount of color on my window sill. Thanks Dee.
More pics here

Mia monkeying around...her version of attachment parenting:

park play & strollin':




Gingerbread House ~ Oh gosh gosh!

Mia has taken to repeating what we say. Ita says 'oh my gosh' a lot. Mia has made it hers by saying 'oh gosh gosh'. You'll hear it in the video.

Last year, my second cousin, Kat, had to give a presentation at school about a family holiday tradition. She thought of all the years she's made gingerbread houses with her Aunt Pam (my mom & Mia's Ita). Kat is now a freshman in high school and they've been making the houses since she was about 3 years old. Kat has three younger siblings, Kristina, Richie and Ryan. They've all taken part in the gingerbread house making with Aunt Pam since they were little, too. Last year, Mia was still too little to join in, but not this year!
Mom used to make everything by hand, now she buys the kits because the kids have short attention spans and just want to get to the decorating. She brought her kit up with her for her Christmas visit, and last night she and Mia sat and the table and created their very FIRST gingerbread house!!!
Mom never pressured me into having children, but she sure is happy to have a granddaughter to share this tradition with. Mia was pretty happy, too. She was very good at eating the icing. Ita had to be quick putting it on and building the house before Mia ate all the icing that joins the walls and roof together. She took a bite out of one gingerbread man and a corner of a wall :)
Mia didn't get that the decorations were candy until the very end, but she was happy with the yummy icing. She even licked it off the table :) In the end, the house was superb, Mia was running round on a sugar high, then crashed and went soundly to sleep for the night. Watching my mom and my daughter create their own gingerbread house really melted my heart.

Some great video of Ita and Mia constructing their first gingerbread house...Mia LOVED the icing :)


Some assembly required...batteries not included

Daryl actually reading the instructions!
During the afternoon of Christmas Eve, Daryl watched the snapper while Ita and I hit Red's Shooting Range! It was Lady's Day, so we got free range time, 1/2 price ammo, and had a great time. I'm getting pretty accurate and after trying out a couple of Red's handguns, I now know that I prefer the Glock 9mm over Daryl's 38. My mom had a fun time also, and we're looking forward to taking our concealed handgun class in a couple of months.

When we came home, Daryl and I rushed out to the movies to see P.S. I Love you. Daryl said it was a good but very masochistic movie. I recommend it highly, but bring lots of tissue :) After that, we spent the rest of the evening playing with Mia until it was time for each of us to open one gift. Mia got a little car dashboard that the loved. It makes all sorts of noises and has a working turn signal. Mom opened up her Scattergories game. We play it every time she comes up. So now she has one of her own. Daryl opened up his nose hair clippers/weed whacker :) and I opened a gift from Daryl. A sweet Santa nutcracker that freaked Mia out a little. In the same package, Daryl managed to hide a couple of bottles of my fav lip gloss that Mia later used as shakers :)

We tucked a sleepy snapper in, and then Daryl got to work on building her kitchen. It took him 3 1/2 hours! But he did it without one injury or complaint. He loves being a dad so much, and enjoys his dad tasks. We didn't get to bed until after 1am, and when we hit the bed we were out.
Ita, Daryl and I went in to Mia's room when she let us know she was awake. Daryl and I were wearing out Santa hats, and Ita an elf hat, and we softly sang I Want to Wish You a Merry Christmas. She first saw her kitchen and all she could say is "WOW! WOW! WOW!'. She LOVED it! It really is the cutest little kitchen ever.

Then we went downstairs for our stockings, and gift opening. I think Mia was pretty overwhelmed by all the gifts, wrapping and bows. Daryl and I forgot to feed her, so she got super cranky. Once we got her fed, she was fine and sat down to play with her new toys. Her favs are the Winnie the Pooh bath toy Mara and Miran gave her, her magnetic drawing board, and Leap Frog letter board. She's still not too sure of her Sit 'n Spin.
Mia's little friend, Kayli, got a little car for Christmas, so she and her mama, Jillian, came by to show off her new wheels. Mia gave her a little holiday hug & kiss.
Once everything was opened, we got ready...I wore a Christmas tree pin that my mom had given me, Mom wore her tree and Mia wore a Santa pin that my mom wore when she was a teacher, and I wore it during Christmas when I was young :) and headed out for Dripping Springs. We spent the whole day there from 1:30 to 8:30! We all had such a wonderful time visiting and watching Mia play with all her new toys. Daryl and I are so happy that Mia was able to spend her Christmas with all her grandparents and her Memaw, too. Daryl prepared a wonderfully tasty ham with the help of Tom's torch (Daryl had a blast!), Dee the twice baked potatoes!!!! and some super yummy cauliflower. Tom made some homemade bread and the creamed spinach. We all feasted till we were stuffed, then had a little bit more :)
Oh, it was so cute when Mia played a little elf and handed out all the gifts. Mia really loved the Radio Flyer wagon that Aunt Janice & Memaw got for Mia & Gwen. Actually, when Mia got overwhelmed over there, she hoped in her wagon with a book and tuned everyone out :) It's her refuge.
Mia got some stickers, so she and Paw Paw wore them on their noses! Tom set up a 529 savings account for Mia that he, Nana, Memaw, Aunt Janice, Uncle Richard and Aunt Darlene all generously contributed to. Now any money Mia gets will be handed over to her Paw Paw for safe keeping :)
Daryl's cousin, Carl, came up from San Antonio to spend some time with us, but especially his Oma (Laura...Mia's Memaw). He was able to have dinner with us and stay around and play with Mia. He's so great with kids. I think everyone in this family is :)
The only injury sustained the whole day was when Tom wouldn't read the directions for Dee's new wine bottle opener, got stuck, used his new titanium pocket knife, and against Daryl's recommendation...cut towards his hand. Three band aids later... he was ok.
There was this super cute moment when Mia wanted to play pool with her Paw Paw, and he told her to go get her little blue chair so she could stand on it for a better view of the table. Mia went through the living room to the chair, realized that she couldn't pick it up, turned around and went straight back to her Paw Paw, told him 'help you', and walked back to the chair making sure her Paw Paw was following her. Well she surely took care of that situation. No fuss not muss, just some good ole problem solving.
My sweet husband gave me the gift of an All-inclusive Jamaican vacation! We're soooo ready for that! He kept asking me what I wanted and all I could come up with were new dishes or a knife set :) We all received a special present...Ita is moving up here! ASAP!! We went looking for houses and everything :)

Christmas Eve

Christmas morning

Christmas day


Ita's in town!

My mom came in yesterday to celebrate Christmas with us. I kind of knew when She and Daryl would be home from the airport, so Mia and I were looking out her bedroom window when they drove up. Mia went crazy saying Ita Ita Ita. Mom said she looked just like Rapunzel up in her second story window. When they came in the house, Mia went straight for the stairs to 'get her'. It's only been a little over a week since she was last here, but man, did we all miss her.

The blue worm brushes her teeth

Mia and her Ita have been having a ball. She's the one that goes into Mia's room when she wakes up, and she took care of her this evening while Daryl & I went to the movies. They play, read, play, snuggle, play... Ita even gives her her baths :)

This morning, we had a block party! She likes sorting them by shape...square, triangle, cylinder, rectangle, arch... and now Ita is showing her how to sort by color. Mia knows all her colors now. She even knows that Niles has gray fur and a bwack (black) nose.

The Bell turns TWO!!!!!!!!!

Friends: Sarah, Tanya & Lori with their girls Isabel, Mia & Livie

Saturday night was spent with friends celebrating Isabel's (the Bell) second birthday. The Bell and her two little friends Mia and Livie partied like rock stars! Sarah & Erik had an amazingly yummy spread...and a spread jr for the kiddos.

The Bell with the bag we 'made' (used iron on patches) for her

Sarah & Erik have the most child friendly friends around. Everyone sat with the girls asking all about the dinosaurs, animals and vintage Little People they were playing with. Mia was especially fond of The Bell's octopus. Then Sarah broke out the doll house, and Mia was so into it, we didn't have to wander around the apt looking for her. She was plopped in front of it for a while.

Livie found The Bell's fancy shoes, and all the girls took turns wearing them. Lisa & Gord were there, too, with their 3 1/2 month old Willa. We hadn't seen them since Mother's day at Lori's when Lisa was only a few months pregnant. Their daughter is simply precious. Livie & Isabel spent a long time with the baby.

The Bell & Livie playing on the bed (Isabel with her fancy shoes)

They had a fantastic chocolate on chocolate cake from Whole Foods. While Erik was putting the candles on it, Isabel and Mia stalked him, and stood around his ankles licking their lips in anticipation. We asked Mia to with The Bell a Happy Birthday, but what came out of Mia was Happy CAKE Day! :)

After a wonderful time, we had to take our little snapper home. She'd run around their apt on a sugar high, and we wanted to be home when she came down and crashed.


Holiday celebrations begin

Friday evening Daryl, Mia and I went over to Unca Joe, Auntie M & Gwen's place for a gift exchange get together. Melissa made some yummy pizza...the girls got a little messy...ok, Gwen got messy, but still oh, so cute. We exchanged gifts, and Mia received a beautiful needle point bear with her birth date in a pretty frame. Mia's Auntie M had been working on it off and on since Nov '06. She started this project with a month old baby! It was well worth the wait. Mia loves it and loves the bear. Auntie M was quite the crafty lady. Mia and I received matching hand knit scarves :) We wore them yesterday, and again today! Daryl LOVES his mini pocket knife with bottle opener. He says he needs to keep drinking beer to practice with it. He has it all figured out. We all got oodles more things...they really showered us! I just hope they enjoy their gifts as much as we do ours.

Gwen had some animals stickers that she shared with everyone. Gwen liked them on her pretty dress, while Mia preferred them on her nose. Even Unca Joe got one on his nose! Mia has been into drawing lately, so she Bogarted Gwen's magnetic drawing board. Auntie M drew many fun and cool things that held Mia's attention for a VERY long time!

While Joe gave Gwen a bath and tried putting her to bed, the rest of us hung out downstairs. Daryl and I got a nice rest while Auntie M read to her enraptured niece. Poor little Gwen couldn't sleep with all that was going on down stairs, so we left the sweet family with hugs and kisses. On the drive home, Daryl and I talked about how much fun we had. We hope we can all get together again soon. We had a blast!
Mia snuggles with her Unca Joe

Gwen rams her Uncle Daryl