Monday, December 31, 2007

Just Plain Fancy

This has absolutely nothing to do with my run at posting Christmas pics, but I had to add this because it was pretty funny....

The other night I asked Towns to get her pj's on and get ready for bed and the picture above is what she came up with. Anyone who knows my child knows that she's into wearing her fanciest get-up ALL the time. Sometimes we wear at least five or six different costumes in the course of a day (some of them my old tacky dance costumes which is hysterical), and most of the time I can't get her out of them when it's time to leave the house. So I've resigned to the fact that I'm gonna pick my battles and roll with it. Add a turtle neck and tights and it makes for wonderful Publix/Target/post office/bank/etc. attire. If I'm lucky (and I do mean lucky), I can get her in normal clothes with a tutu compromise....that translates into her wearing real clothes with simply a tutu over them. And this wouldn't be complete without telling you what she said today. It's been one of those cold days where it's almost painful to go outside so we've been playing in the dress-up trunk way more than usual. Towns is potty trained which means that going to the ladies' room isn't an easy task when you've got hundreds of layers of tulle from your waist down. So after probably the tenth time of taking all the hoopla off to use the restroom and putting it all back on she looks at me and says in the most dramatic voice ever "uuugggghhhh, I CAN'T keep doing this to myself"!

Here's the picture where she's all smiles because I let her get in bed in the clothes you saw in the previous picture. It's really funny to be honest, and it makes her feel so special to be so dressed up and pretty. So why on earth would I want to take that away from her?! The sun's going to come up tomorrow whether she's in conventional pj's or dressed as a fairy! :) This is why I L-O-V-E, LOVE having little girls!

Christmas Eve

I'm finally getting back into the swing of things so here's the first installment of Christmas McClendon style...

I let Towns make Santa's reindeer a little snack thinking it would pass a good amount of time Christmas Eve night. She was itching for Christmas morning to come so we thought this would be a good way to distract her. I had some simple carrots in mind, you know since everyone knows reindeer love carrots. But my creative little chick had something completely different in mind....

After my boring carrot idea she went and got marshmellows...

And then chocolate covered raisins and really pretty sprinkles!

And naturally, we had to get a pink spatula to mix it all together with.

When it was all done she had to take a good look and make sure she'd gotten it all just right. Obviously reindeer food is serious business to a 2 year old! We put it on the front porch and she was pretty excited to see that it was all gone come Christmas morning! :)

Friday, December 28, 2007

Happy Birthday Jesus!

A couple of weekends ago Towns and I went to the Happy Birthday Jesus party at our church...and it was a celebration if I've ever seen one! Our church has an amazing children's ministry and it seems like every other week there's something big going on. The party was complete with big inflatables, a carnival with more games than you could imagine, face painting, clowns, ponies, and on and on! To top it all off we had a big birthday party with huge birthday cakes to go along with the theme. We had a blast and it was a good reminder of what the Christmas season is all about!

We were first in line for the face painting!

Hart and Towns having fun jumping.

What's a party without a sugar rush?!

Emma and Towns went to check out the ponies and I overheard them discussing whether or not they should give it a try.

They decided to go for it!

Ho, Ho, Ho!

Jonathan's office rented a Santa for all the employees and their children a couple of weeks ago so we went to check out the famous old St. Nick. Towns was all about it until we got there and she had a change of heart in no time flat. Once she laid eyes on Santa (which was a really good one as you can see from the pics) it was over! However, Cate didn't mind sitting in his lap and we managed to get Towns to agree to a picture if we were ALL in it, provided she didn't have to sit in his lap. It's not the greatest picture ever, but at least we've got something to remember it by!

My Dear Reindeer

Thought I'd share a few pics from Towns' Mother's Day Out Christmas party at our church...

Katie, Towns, Anna Bekah and Emma

Towns tells me that if she were a reindeer she'd be "Dancer"...which is so appropriate being that there are very few minutes in the day when she's not moving and grooving!

Towns and her friend Vivi

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Long Time, No See

It's been quite a week to say the least. Normally I would have posted ten times already about Christmas since we were SO into it this year, but I'm falling down on my job! Everyone in our family has been down for the count in the past week, and when you factor in Christmas and traveling to see our families...well, it's enough to make my head spin! I had emergency surgery last Thursday (it was outpatient, but with two small children demanding my attention the minute I walked in the door from the hospital, it was no less harder to recover from if it would have warranted a 2 night hospital stay), Jonathan was in the ER on Christmas Eve THINKING he was about to require surgery (he's never been to the doctor in his entire life, much less to the emergency room, so I knew he meant business!), and Towns and Cate have had the worst virus for days now. All that to say this, I'm working on getting pictures loaded onto the computer from Christmas and trying to get my thoughts together enough to tell you all about it! Hope yours was merry and bright! :)

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Busy, Busy!

We've been rather busy around here the last few busy that I haven't had a free second to be on the computer (which is usually my sweet escape). Without making this a mile-long list, here's what we've been up to....

A few weekends ago we went to pick out a Christmas tree which was MUCH overdue being that we get in the Christmas spirit, oh, somewhere around Halloween...

Hmmm, so many trees to choose from!

Ah-hah! Found one!

SO excited about the tree atop our car!
Towns is into dressing herself, and this is the fancy outfit she came up with last Friday...

And she added these stunning leopard "high heels" (aka clogs) to her Christmas outfit...

Bethany and Grandmommy came up last weekend and we finally took the famed (and dreaded by all but me) Christmas card picture...

The picture could have been a LITTLE bit better, but at least all 3 were looking at the camera!

And here are a few little treats thrown in for good measure...

One day they'll hate me for dressing them alike, but for now we'll keep rolling right along!

There's nothing like Halloween 2006's costume doubling as pj's!

Just thought this one was cute...Cate's finally eating so much she's getting a double chin! Love the matter-of-fact look on her face...

Towns' two favorite things...her big sister & fun Christmas toe socks!

"Congress spends money like John Edwards in a beauty shop"

This whole blog scene is about to switch gears for me. Usually I'm writing about the fam and such, but I've been prompted to change it up a little bit and be a bit more serious. Being the devout Republican I am, I have been so distraught over which candidate to pick in terms of the Presidential primaries. From day 1 it was George W all the way for me the last 2 rounds, and until just recently I really haven't adopted a candidate to call my own. I've all but put in a personal call to Newt Gingrich begging him to make my day and throw his hat in the ring. I've always been impressed with his knowledge and the way he nails every interview he's ever done. He's the real deal and knows his stuff. I would feel very confident in putting my trust in him to run the country, but he's told me time after time he's not in the way, no how. So then I was somewhat into Rudy since he was the next best choice, or so I thought. He handled 9/11 pretty well and I suppose I can forgive him for being a yankee. But an underdog has captured my attention and, well, so long Rudy. Now, no need to feel compelled to comment on this being that everyone's political views are different. But I really feel the need to give a little shout-out to Mike Huckabee. I wasn't a fan until I heard him in the Republican Debate in Florida. He was AMAZING....the only one on the stage who didn't scream "I'm putting on a show for you to get your vote". I love that he hasn't gotten into the mud-slinging. Of course, that could very well come in the near future but I don't expect it from him. He's a godly man and in my opinion, our country is desperate for someone like him. He's so open with his faith and what you see is what you get. I can't give him enough credit for being the example he's been so far. He might not make it to the finish line, but if the future President takes a few pages from Huckabee's book he'll be doing a good day's work. So maybe he doesn't have the advantage of possessing a wealth of knowledge on foreign policy and everything else that comes along with the job, but I sure do like the guy. So here's to you, Mr. Huckabee, make us proud!

I really think Huckabee's got something special. Something I don't see in any other Republican candidate. And I think the aforementioned "something special" is just what the country is crying out for. If you've got approximately 8 minutes & 11 seconds check him out and see if you fancy the "Congress spends money like John Edwards at a beauty shop" comment as much as I did!

Friday, November 30, 2007

A "Wise" Gift

Just thought I'd share this beauty with you...Santa is bringing this to Towns for Christmas, and it's the perfect gift for the future Chi O's in your life! The fine people at LL Bean who thought up this one must have had the good ol' X and the gold horseshoe in mind! Hooty Hoot!!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Game Day, Baby!

Nothing goes with an official Auburn cheerleader outfit like good ol' rain boots!
Oh, and she's already got the one hand and TWO fingers mastered...just getting prepared for next year!!

It's her world, I'm just living in it...

There's not a day that goes by that my sweet baby Towns doesn't make me laugh, so I'm doing a follow-up from the last post I did about her and the funny things she says....

Towns: Mommy, where's Santa Claus?
Me: Santa lives at the North Pole with Mrs. Claus and all his elves.
Towns: Well then how can he be at the mall?

Towns singing one of her favorite songs...
"How much is that daughter in the window?
The one with the waggly tail.
How much is that daughter in the window?
I do hope that daughter's for sale."

Bethany's birthday was last week and I asked Towns if she wanted to help me wrap her gifts. She said "yep, and we better not forget the tennis shoe paper (you might know it as tissue paper)!"
And here's what she wrapped for me in the midst of getting Bethany's birthday goodies finished up...She took her favorite Care Bear wrapping paper and a piece of tape and fixed me a little old cell phone decorated with Hello Kitty stickers and a fake spider. It doesn't get any sweeter than that, my friends!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Turkey Day 2007

Thanksgiving was quite an event at the McClendons' this year. We didn't have your typical Thanksgiving at all. Rather, we opted to abandon the conventional Thanksgiving traditions and make some new ones of our own. Isn't that the beauty of the holidays? Instead of having a big Thanksgiving meal around the dining room table, Bethany and Towns suggested we all sit on the living room floor. And why wouldn't we? No reason not to at all, so I put a vase and candles in the floor and we ate while making a joint list of what all we're thankful for. Towns added a little spice to our list when she said that she was thankful for Hannah Montana (huge post about that coming when I have 5 hours to sit here and compose it) and milk.
We started off the day watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade while making a gingerbread house...

Cate learned how to become somewhat mobile (yes, at 2 months old). She discovered how to push her legs and pull with her arms and get across the floor...

While we were caught up in Cate's newest accomplishment, Towns added her own decorations to the gingerbread house...

The girls got bored with Macy's version of the parade so they loaded themselves and two tons of snacks in the Radio Flyer and made their own parade. Poor Jonathan being the trooper that he is pulled them up and down Grant Street as many times as the 40 degree weather would allow...

Me (the parade bystander), Cate, and the stars of the show...

Many thanks to Maybeline SuperStay lip gloss for the bright shade of pink on Towns' lips and face. Her favorite past time when Bethany is here is to get into her purse and before we knew it she'd painted her entire lower face with this stuff. They bring a whole new meaning to "SuperStay" because it's been on her face for two days now. No amount of scrubbing will remove it. So if you're in the market for long wear lip gloss, go on and give it a'll be getting it off with a chisel.

The Big 1-2!

Happy 12th Birthday Bethany Brooks McClendon!
When you're as fabulous as BB Mac you get not one sweet treat for your birthday, but TWO!!
Towns LOVES her big sister!


The Greatest Show on Earth
(no, it's not Barnum & Bailey's)

First act...Hannah Montana

Hannah Montana & the Jonas Brothers...

Now she's Miley Cyrus & has had approximately twenty-five wardrobe changes...

This was started last Friday night, but it's taken me almost a week to finish it....

Tonight I am a changed woman. I have witnessed first hand (actually, from the nose bleed section) a Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus concert, and I will never be the same again. If you too are a child of the 80's you'll appreciate the title of this post...a play on the M.C. Hammer craze phrase. This HM/MC phenomenon is like that (but a million times better) minus the Hammer pants and gold chains. It's insane!!! I was sitting by my 12-year-old step-daughter and my 8-year-old sister with my 2 1/2-year-old daughter in my lap and I was NO LESS excited than any of these children were to see this Miley Cyrus chick. Thank God I didn't pay thousands of dollars for my tickets like most people did, but I would be willing to admit without shame that I'd pay it to see that girl again. All the rave about her is 155% legit. She's the real deal. And the fact that she is seemingly so humble and appreciative of it all makes her even that more likeable. Did I mention that the whole experience was insane??? Can I please say it again...INSANE!!!

Months ago Bethany asked us if we'd take her to this concert and let that be her birthday present. Her birthday is November 20th and ever so conveniently, Miley Cyrus was coming to Nashville 3 days after. It seemed like a good idea in theory...getting concert tickets couldn't be THAT hard, right? Wrong. I came within two seconds of having to have a prescribed nerve pill trying to get those tickets, and I'm quite sure that could be considered an understatement. What we didn't realize when we agreed to this birthday/concert deal was that every other mother with a female child between the ages of 2 and 16 were also vying for tickets. After an immeasurable amount stress on a 8 month pregnant lady, irrate phone calls to Ticketmaster, tears, and anxiety attacks I nabbed our tickets. I bought an extra one as a birthday present for my sister because she's an avid Hannah Montana fan. Anyway, we had those blasted tickets for two solid months while other tickets came and went on eBay for thousands of dollars. Please submit our application for parents of the year for not selling those puppies and giving consolation birthday prizes instead.

After months of anticipation, November 23rd finally arrived and we couldn't have been any more pleased with what we'd waited on for so long. We'd do it all over again in a heartbeat! The Jonas Brothers, being the cuties that they are, put on a fantastic opening act. It wasn't like any other opening act I've seen. Albeit, I've only been to two other concerts in my life....Kelly Clarkson (for Bethany) and Hilary Duff (also for Bethany, who roped us into taking her to NYC to see her) and nothing I've seen before could compare to the JB and HM/MC. I sang every last word right along with them all, and to make myself feel a little bit better I'll add that every other mother I saw was doing the same thing. I screamed like a schoolgirl when Miley Cyrus descended from that funky box from the ceiling and all you could see was her shadow (I'll post a picture to do it justice). And when the JB came back on stage to sing with her, I nearly lost it. It was like I was 12 all over again! That night was Miley's 15th birthday so it was way more of a show than the one she usually puts on. To top it all off, when the concert was over and we thought it was time to go, she came back on stage (a pleasant surprise) with her dad (hello, Mr. Achy Breaky Heart) and they sang the sweetest song together that he wrote for her. It was FANTASTIC. Should I be embarrassed that I halfway think Billy Ray Cyrus is cool? Anyhoo, the girls had a BLAST. I can't even begin to imagine their excitement. I'm 27 years old and had a ball, but to be their age and see THE biggest pop star on the planet right now in person? WOW. I'm so glad they got to experience it. They all have t-shirts to commemorate the event (it took all I could do not to purchase myself one). All the madness it took to make it all happen was well worth it. One fun fact is that the same guy who directed High School musical 1 & 2 (Kenny Ortega) also directs Miley Cyrus' concerts. I suppose that would explain why it's more like a big show than a concert. Thank you Kenny and Miley, we very much enjoyed ourselves.
Hannah Montana in the pink box being lowered onto the stage...

The grand finale...

Billy Ray playing the guitar, Miley about to hug her sister who was playing guitar for her, also...

Billy Ray rocking out while Miley picked up every flower that was thrown on stage...

Just when we thought we'd had all the excitement we could stand for one night, it got even better. On the way home we stopped for a late dinner at the last exit headed out of town. The heavens opened up and angels started singing when I spot a Taco Bell and a Pizza Hut all in one building. I was so happy (a nice change from being ill as a hornet from being exhausted and famished) I could have cried. We got back on the road with our food and once I got the kids settled with theirs I opened my breadsticks and pizza sauce and thought I was about to have the best meal of my life (it's funny what you consider the best meal of your life when it's midnight and you haven't eaten or slept in a day or two). Towns needed her milk and her lovey so she could go to sleep and I totally disregarded the open marinara sauce sitting on my knee. As I turn around in my seat to hand Towns the goods, the sauce goes all over creation and most of it soaked through my jeans. What little bit that didn't end up on my leg went straight into my open pretty gold purse I am (should say WAS) obsessed with thanks to Erika's list a few weeks ago. This wouldn't have been so bad had it not been 250 degrees. My leg was scalding, I was screaming, and during this whole process my Coke that was sitting between legs went straight to the floorboard and into my purse atop the marinara sauce that was already there. All this is happening while Jonathan is steadily driving and eating his personal pan pizza. No need to worry about me and my burning legs, ruined purse, and sea of Coke on my feet. Thanks sweetie. That's nice. You enjoy your dinner and keep on driving. In between the screams that I couldn't force myself to hold back, I asked him if he could kindly pull over so I could see if my legs had 3rd degree burns and if they needed a skin graft. Honestly. It all ended with me riding home with no pants (J threw them out I believe since they were beyond repair...I wouldn't know what happened to them because I was too busy scooping pizza sauce out of my beautiful, new gold handbag) and wrapped up in a fleece blanket. What makes it even better is that I find out at church Sunday that Towns has told her teachers her version of the episode. I went to pick her up after church and the nursery workers asked me about my husband throwing my pants out the window and me riding home naked (which I was NOT, just pants-less, but thank goodness for the blanket I picked up as an afterthought on the way out the door to Nashville). Try explaining that one to Sunday School teachers...

Monday, November 19, 2007


Since we're doing birthday shout-outs....
Happy 2 Month Birthday Cate Bug!

She's accomplished so much in just 8 short weeks....we've finally hit the 8 pound mark, she's smiling all the time, pushing herself up with her arms when she's on her belly, trying to talk (her favorite phrase so far is War Eagle and Go Chi O) and trying to scoot herself across the floor a little too (she made it a whole two feet Thanksgiving Day)!

She's already building up her piano repertoire...

Our first Thanksgiving together!