Thursday, June 26, 2008

Two Peas in a Pool

I just agreed to go out into the sweltering heat so the girls could play a while in the baby pool. Not sure why I gave in. I suppose it could be because I'm so sick of being inside trying to the beat the heat! I put Cate's little pool in the shade and let them go at it in their super cute matching bathing suits. I snapped a few pictures of them having fun, being perfectly content, and playing so well together....

Until Cate threw her yellow plastic Easter egg over the side of the pool....

And leaned a little too far over trying to reach it and landed head first on the concrete...thank goodness it wasn't a far fall.

At this point the knot on her head hadn't begun sticking out quite so much and wasn't as blue as it is now. It's progressively gotten worse and now I'm trying to keep her awake despite her desperate attempts to dose off.

She cried for a few seconds and was ready to play again in no time flat. She's one tough cookie, but I'm feeling pretty bad about it. I was only 2 feet away from her and saw the whole thing unfold in slow motion but couldn't get there fast enough. Now she's sporting a cut on the side of her head and an enormous goose egg that looks like some blood vessels are shining through. Even with her battle wounds she's still the cutest little red-headed priss pot I know!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Time On My Hands

Cate and I have had the afternoon to ourselves (thanks to my friend Amy who gladly took Towns to Point Mallard with her so Hart would have a playmate, and my Towns gladly accepted the invite because she's always up for anything if Mrs. Amy and Hart are part of the equation). It's been low key and quiet here with no Towns. We played in the floor a while, and then when the mail came the two of us browsed through a few magazines....

Cate took The New Yorker while I perused Chez Ami.

She quickly came to the conclusion that The New Yorker was not her thing and opted for the cute clothing catalog instead. Can't say that I blame her.

So I'm trying to decide if I should cut Towns' hair. I have two super cute little girls in Princess Ballerina Camp this week with chin-length blond hair who remind me so much of Towns....and I can't help but think that she'd be just as cute as they are with short hair. Here's a picture of my girls (I hope their mamas don't mind them being plastered on the internet...I won't reveal any names) and the two little ones I'm talking about are the two on the very left of the top row...Snow White and the little girl to her left with the pink leotard. Pink leotard girl has a headband in her hair so you can't get the full effect, but she's oh so cute with that haircut. I've never let Towns' hair get way too long so it's not like I'm completely attached to it, but it's never been too short to be in a ponytail either. Dilemma. Thoughts??

Speaking of ballerinas...Jess asked about my pretty pink outfit that I mentioned before and requested a picture. Here's the thing, Jess, I'll give you the picture...but without me in it!

This is Amy's dance costume from high school (if I remember correctly). I have umpteen outfits just like this in my mother's attic, but I don't think any of them are as pretty as this! I'm very thankful Amy let me borrow this. I couldn't exactly go through all my old dance costumes being that I'm 300 miles away from them so I was going to have to craft one myself since I had no other options. No telling how that would have turned out.

Can you tell that I don't know what to do with myself when I have a little extra time on my hands? I'm afraid if I didn't have a million things to do in a days time this is what my life would consist of...blogging. One more thing and then I've really got to go...I've been feeling a little guilty about seemingly not enjoying our beach trip. That couldn't be further from the truth. I'd take a beach trip with the fam over cooking and cleaning any day. I had a really great time and so did my day while floating down the lazy river (aka "lazy liver" or "lazy lizard" according to Towns) Towns asked if we could just stay at the beach forever. I told her that our home is in Decatur and she said "well we can just sell it away". I'm thinking that she put the concept of giving it away and selling it together and came up with "sell it away". I'm really with her on the idea and would gladly go along with it if at all possible. I always knew she was a smart kid...

9 Months

Sweet little wet footprints

Cate was 9 months old yesterday and it's absolutely breaking my heart that she's only 3 months away from her first birthday. It's KILLING me! I can't get over how the time has flown by, and I want to keep her just like she is for a long, long time. She's still the sweetest little thing, but I can't deny that she's got a lot of sass in her too! People tell me it's her red hair. I wouldn't know! :) She's into anything her eyes land on...especially Towns' toys. She pulls up on everything and thinks she can take off and walk, but then realizes that she can get to where she's going much quicker if she crawls. Her new thing is clapping her hands which she thinks is hilarious! She's completely and madly in love with her Daddy and thinks there's nothing greater in the world than him. I'm waiting for my day to come! Happy 9 month birthday, Cate-Cate! I love you!!

Clapping her hands...

This is how she crawls if she doesn't like the way the ground feels...I have pictures of me doing this same thing in the sand when I was her age. Guess we're more alike than I thought!

She totally cracks herself up doing this...she's such an acrobat already!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Red Bull Morning & a Beach Trip

I'm not a coffee drinker. Diet Coke is my thing. And if that doesn't work, it's Red Bull even though I try to resort to that only in extreme emergency. This morning was an one of those extreme emergencies. When I'd been awakened for the fourth morning in a row before 5 a.m. by my 9 month old who in turn awakened my 3 year old, I knew it was going to be a doozy. My lack of sleep and/or good rest probably wouldn't have been so paramount had I not had the past two weeks that I've had. If you'll remember, two Sundays ago I took charge of my 4 year old brother and 9 year old sister for 8 days (in addition to my own two kids of course) followed by a week at the beach with all of them. Let's just say down time hasn't been in the vocabulary whatsoever. By the time we headed home from the beach I was running on empty. And the fact that my children still haven't recovered from all the action which is in turn affecting their sleep patterns is about to make a woman crazy. So this morning when I'd showered, done 2 loads of laundry, showered again from being thrown up all over by Cate, done 2 more loads of laundry to wash the throw up off of my clothes and our duvet cover and comforter, attended to an extremely whiny toddler who just couldn't find the right outfit after approximately ten tries, and done about 5 laps around the neighborhood pushing Cate in her stroller with one hand while holding Towns on my hip and her doll stroller (that she was supposed to be pushing since this little stroll was all her idea) in the other hand all before 8 a.m.....that's when Diet Coke just doesn't cut it. I broke my own personal record and had downed a 12 oz. Red Bull by 8:15. Then it was off to the church for the first day of Princess Ballerina Camp in my pink ballerina outfit (thank you, Amy) which turned out surprisingly well despite my mood. Thankfully, the day ended better than it started because I discovered my new favorite show. I never watch TV. Never. Except the occasional O'Reilly Factor or Hannity and Colmes. But tonight as J was flipping through the channels we became instantly enthralled by "Country Goes Pop" night on Nashville Star. I'm in love. I don't really do country music. And have never really been into reality TV. The last time I was into it was back when Taylor Hicks won American Idol. But this girl who took Britney Spears' "You Drive Me Crazy" and made it county and this country boy who did "Umbrella" have brought back the same kind of feelings I had when good ol' Tay Tay used to reduce me to a screaming schoolgirl every Tuesday night back in 2006. Was it 2006? That seems like ages ago.

Onto the beach trip recap...we had a really good time...that said, I've come to the conclusion that with small children a vacation isn't really a vacation for the mom. Don't get me wrong, I had a blast. But I become a nervous wreck when my children are around water and on balconies. Two things I never really gave much thought to until I had children of my own. My greatest fear in this world is losing one of my babies, so I watched them like a hawk the entire time and I don't think I sat down once all week because I was constantly over their shoulders! Towns goes ninety to nothing with everything she does and now that Cate's mobile and gets around way too fast for me it keeps me on my toes. J usually entertained the big kids (Bethany and Anna Grace) and my mom had Max to take care of (he'll get away from you in a heartbeat if you don't watch him...I found this out the hard way when I took all 5 kids to the splash pad the other day and before I knew it a sweet old woman came up holding Max's hand and told me she'd just retrieved him from the middle of the road...apparently he'd gotten out of the gate surrounding the splash pad before I ever realized none of you will ever trust me with your children) so I had Cate and Towns to keep an eye on. Now I can't even remember where I was going with the story. Anyhoo, Cate got her first beach experience that started with a face full of sand and ended with sand from her neck down as well (which drives me crazy and is the reason our beach trips are limited to about 30 minutes...good thing for me none of our kids really like the beach which is why we stick with the pool) and Towns found out that doing her famed cartwheels in the sand ends up with the equivalent of carpet burn on your face - except it's sand and not carpet. That cured that. Bethany was so sweet and patient about the trip to "the ocean" (as Towns calls her the beach=the ocean and Phoenix on the Bay=the beach...she's so confused) and never once complained or asked when we were leaving. We got to see our friends Justin and Aubrey and their kids from Birmingham which was a treat. They came over the night of J's birthday and we all grilled out by the bay. It was gorgeous weather and we had such a good time. The week went by way too quickly for me and I so wish we had another beach trip to look forward to! Our pictures are here and B I'm wondering where were you when I had my camera out?? You and AG did your own thing most of the week so I suppose that's why I don't have very many of you. Sad!! That's just reason enough to go again, right?!

I'm off to bed now and hoping tomorrow will start off a little (ok, a lot) better and make for a much more positive blog post! :)

Saturday, June 14, 2008

A STAR is Born!

That's what my little Townsy is...she's destined for stardom!! She had her first dance recital tonight and was the cutest thing I've ever seen in my life! She looked like an absolute doll on stage. And the best part was at the end of the dance when everyone clapped she thought it was ALL for her. The look on her face was priceless! Being that it's a class of 2 and 3 year olds they don't exactly stay in sync, but it's really all just for fun and entertainment (for the audience) at that age anyway! All I know is that it didn't matter if she got all the moves right or not...the girl LOVES the stage! She's a girl after my own heart...

Here's the video of her dance followed by pictures. (Make sure to watch around the 45 second mark because while all of the kids are doing what the teacher is showing them to do, she's copying the teacher exactly and she looks like she's trying to swim. Ms. Alicia was standing in front of the stage which is about chest high, so she's using her hands to show them what to do with their feet. She's showing them how to point their toes out in front of them one foot at a time and you'll see that Towns is doing that with her hands and not her feet. Hard to explain, but you'll see what I'm talking about. And it's probably only funny if you were there to see the teacher and Towns at the same time to know what was going on. Then near the end where they're turning around, she never stops turning which is what the audience is laughing at!)

And for good measure, here's a video I got of her cartwheel that she's been working on at least 4,700 times a day. She's practiced enough that she's pretty darn good at it to just be 3! And she's mucho proud of herself, too!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Quotes of the Day

I should have added this to my previous post, but forgot all about it so I'll do it now...

A few of my favorite moments from today (I'll save the best for last):

Towns and Max were sitting on the kitchen stools while eating lunch. Towns has been sitting and eating like this since she was probably a year old so the stools aren't anything new to her. Which is why when she was making her stool rock back and forth seemingly so that she'd fall off of it, Max screams "TOWNS YOU'RE MAKING ME NERVOUS SO PLEASE QUIT ROCKING OR ELSE YOU'LL FALL!!!"...when she refused to stop just to fuel the fire and get him going he politely turns to her and says in a calm and gentle voice "Towns I'm not kidding, you're making me aggrivating."

We made a Post Office run this afternoon and on he way home I was stopped at a red light in a lane where I was going to turn right. There were several cars in front of me at this red light and since there was no traffic coming, they went ahead and turned. Each time a car in front of us turned right, Anna Grace protested their decision to "break the law". As each car went she'd say "oooh, that car just did it too....and there goes that car....they're NOT supposed to be running that red light." I explained to her that it's perfectly ok to turn right on red as long as no cars are coming. And then she says "man, that's so cool, we can't do that in Andalusia."

My favorite of them all....

I was holding Towns in my lap in a rare two minute time span that she was actually still today. I had my arms around her and asked her who she loved...just knowing she'd say ME. Her top answer? Jesus. If that doesn't make a mom proud, I don't know what will!

What a Week!!

My parents are in Mexico and Belize for 8 days, and guess who's wearing the babysitting hat? You guessed it...ME! I've had my brother and sister (Anna Grace {9} and Max {almost 4}) since this past weekend and will give up my sisterly duties on Sunday when we meet them at the airport and head straight to Orange Beach for a week (with them, might I add). My step-father has a conference there all week so they invited us to tag along and we're staying at my favorite beach spot (lucky us)!

I've begged my mom for a couple of years now to cut Anna Grace's hair. She's still at the age where she's not into fixing it every morning...she's perfectly happy with getting out of the shower, brushing it, and letting it go from there. And with hair half way down your back, it can get a little out of control! After all my begging and pleading for a haircut on AG's behalf and getting shot down with every attempt, I decided to take it upon myself to cut it. My mom is going to KILL ME but it looks so much better!! The running joke is that if I cut AG's hair when she's ever with me then the next time Towns is visiting them she's going to have Towns' hair cut and add BANGS. I'll just have to take my my eyes I've done a good deed and AG loves her new look. That's just what you get when you run off and leave me in charge of your kids while you're enjoying a lavish 8 day vacation. You know what they say about payback...

Here's a before picture (you can't see her hair very well, but you get the idea)...

And here's an after (she's pinky promised to straighten it every morning)...

Maybe I should put this in a Ziploc for my mom?

Bethany was with us Sunday-Tuesday and she seemingly had a great time. She and AG get along really well and they're extremely excited to be able to spend the next week at the beach together. I'm so upset that I didn't get many pictures of the two of them at their finest while B was here, but there's always next week!

Speaking of next week...if you're looking for a super fun place to vacation (with or without kids) you should go to Phoenix on the Bay (see link at the top of this post). It's self contained never have to leave unless you want to eat out! And you don't even have to do that because all condos have a full kitchen. We're addicted. This will make our 3rd summer to go. I stumbled upon it 3 years ago while searching the internet for a place to stay at the beach, and back then it was a hidden treasure because not many people knew about it...but now you have to book way in advance. The only down side is if you're a huge fan of the ocean and sand because it's on the bay. I could completely do without any of that because even when we stay on the beach I park myself at the pool, so it's great for us. We make one trip to the state park beach just for the kids and other than that, they're 100% satisfied with all that Phoenix on the Bay has to offer! We never hear "I'm bored" from them which is music to our ears! We spend all day playing, go to dinner (or cook or grill out - they have grills near the putting green), and then go back for more water action until everything shuts down at 10 p.m. (obviously we get a whole lot of bang for our buck!). The place is shaped like a V with the widest part facing the bay so that every condo has a view of the bay and the pools/lazy river/slide/etc. These are pictures that were taken from the condo we were in 3 years ago....

Looking to the left from our balcony....

You can see the lazy river, the slide, and behind the slide is a secluded pool if you want to stay away from the action.

This was looking straight out from our balcony...

The pool on the right is the main pool and one part is completely covered by a giant umbrella that you can see in the next picture....the tiny one on the left is the baby wade-in pool that's only about 2 feet deep.

The main pool (the part covered by the umbrella is about 4 feet deep and has a ledge by the wall you can sit on).

This is the view to the right from our balcony...

Part of the lazy river, the view of the bay with boat slips, and the green part is a putting green.

I'll leave you with a cute picture of Max and one of AG, Max and Towns ready for bed on the pull-out couch...

We miss you Bet-ny...wish you were still here!!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Picture Show

We've had a blast the last few weeks and when you're in the midst of such fun, that leaves very little time for the computer! I'll just get straight to the pictures...

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Blog is the New Text

This is for you Bet-ny since you can't read my text right now on your super cool new orange slider texty phone. I'm sure to reach you via blog! HA! What I said was that your phone call a minute ago asolutely made my're the one person who can call me and make me forget about everything crazy that's going on and make me laugh. You're the sweetest thing EVER. I can't wait to see you tomorrow!!!

P.S. I tried to find a picture you'd approve of...this one is from 2 years ago but I think you're pretty cute in it! :)

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Sunday Afternoon Fun

Today was one of those days where we didn't have a single place to be except church this morning, so we've thoroughly enjoyed not having a thing to do but have fun and relax! We hit the "Mexcinan" restaurant (Towns' fave) after church and then came home and let her get straight in her pool. Since we don't have a sprawling grassy yard (the front yard is ivy, the back yard is an English garden type space with a fountain....all great when you don't have children....not so fun when you do), the baby pool gets put in the driveway. Towns couldn't care less because it's all the same fun to her. But today while we were out in the driveway in the pool, this is what was staring at me from the across-the-street neighbor's house with a "for sale" sign in the window...

How great would it be to have that little red car just for fun?!

Can anyone guess who's swimsuit Towns is wearing here? I'll give you a hint...she's 8 months old with big blue eyes!

This being 3 years old business is really taxing on a mother's patience. She insisted that she wear Cate's swimsuit after me telling her over and over that it was too small. Finally I decided to let her see for herself that she couldn't wear an 18 month size bathing suit...joke's on me this time because it fit her perfectly!

Cate skipped the pool and opted to play inside. Bethany gave this little singing chair to Towns for her 1st birthday, and Cate's getting to enjoy it too. She thinks she's hot stuff perched up so high! The only problem is getting out of it without doing a face plant. We're working on that!

I snapped a few pictures of Towns before church this morning...

She thought riding her bicycle in her pretty white dress was a good idea...I, however, did not!

So now she's going inside to ask her Daddy if he'll let her ride her bicycle before church...isn't it amazing how they learn that so quickly?! It obviously was a failed attempt, but she wasn't giving up until she at least tried to win him over to her side!