Tuesday, August 26, 2014

First Day of School

Over the past few week we have been buying new clothes, lots of crayons and paper, and talking a LOT about Kindergarten! Sunday night we came home early from Grandma and Pa's house. We let Michelle help make her lunch, pack her snack, and pick out her clothes. We went through our normal night time routine (tubs, brushing teeth, reading books, ect.) and then had Michelle come into our room to give her a father's blessing. After her blessing we gave Michelle a special necklace for her to wear to remind her how loved she is and how proud of her we are. Then we gave big hugs and sent her off to bed.

When I went in to check on the girls before heading to bed myself that night I found them cuddled up together. Apparently, we weren't the only ones who were going to be missing Michelle while she was at school. 

The next morning we all woke up early, got ready, and got excited to start the first day of school!
I made Michelle a special breakfast...

and then we headed out to take a few priceless pictures.


Dropping Michelle of in her classroom was very emotional for both of us. You could tell that she was a little nervous and unsure, but also very excited.
Ms.Bardach and Michelle
 Starting the day off by coloring a picture was really great for Michelle. She loves to color so this made her feel a lot more comfortable.
On the way home from dropping Michelle off we stopped to get Tina a special treat to make her morning a little happier.

I don't have any pictures of after school because, to be honest, they wouldn't have been very happy pictures. We left the house at 2:20 to pick up Michelle. I was thinking that would be plenty early enough to be one of the first parents in line. Boy was I wrong! The carpool line was already freakishly long. We sat in line for a few minutes and then realized that we had forgotten our carpool number! So we pulled out of line, parked in the neighborhood, and walked up to the school to find out what we should do. Well this turned into a whole different fiasco, but I won't go into that right now. Long story short, we met Michelle at the front office. 

I was SO ready to see her smiling face and could hardly wait for all the fun stories she would tell. Instead, when I saw her, my stomach dropped. She looked so beat down and just not herself at all. On our way back to the car and after we got home we were all talking about her day and what she did. The Conversation went something like this...

Me: Michelle! I'm so happy to see you! How was your day?
Michelle: It was sorta ok.
Me: Sorta ok?! Did you have fun? What kind of stuff did you learn?
Michelle: Well, I don't really remember anything that I learned.

I took this as a hint that she might just be tired and a little overwhelmed so I decided to take the day step by step and talk to her about each part. She still didn't have a lot to say until we got to this part of the conversation...

Me: What about Lunch? Did you see any of your friends at lunch?
Michelle: Yeah, I saw Connor, but I wasn't allowed to sit with him.
Me: Oh, well that's ok. I'm sure that will help you make lots of new friends. So, who did you sit with?
Michelle: No one I know.
Me: Ok, well what did you talk about?
Michelle: We didn't talk. It was a silent lunch.
Me: A silent lunch?! Well, maybe to make sure that you had enough time to eat. Did you like your lunch?
Michelle: Yeah, but I didn't have any drink.
Me: We packed your water bottle. 
Michelle: Yeah, but I couldn't open it.
Me: Couldn't your teacher open it for you?
Michelle: No, I asked her, but she wouldn't do it for me.

Seriously?! It's the first day of Kindergarten and you can't talk at lunch, AND your teacher won't help you open your water? I can understand wanting the kids to be self-sufficient, but it was the first day, and even I have a hard time opening some of those bottles. Plus, if you don't want the kids bringing those bottles that's fine, but you should still open it for her today and then send home a note to ME asking me not to pack them anymore. I mean... seriously.

We kept talking and her day never seemed to get much better. I tried to pull happy moments out of her day. Like the fact that she got to play with one of her friends during recess. Or that she got a happy face on her chart, or a not that said she had a "puuuurfect first day". It wasn't until she had sat down at home, rested for a while, had a small snack and a HUGE drink of water that she seemed to come back to her normal happy self. To be honest it kind of broke my heart. I'm just hoping and praying that her second day goes a million times better. 

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Helping Hands

This first picture has absolutely nothing to do with the post, but it's pretty freaking adorable so I had to include it...

This week has been full of growing up and helping each other out. Hailey is beginning to be more independant and mobile, but can't quite do everything she wants to do yet. She loves to play with our magnetic singing alphabet, but can't always get the letters to fit into the slot to make it sing. Michelle and Tina also like to play with it so they have been very nice to help Hailey make it sing whenever she gets too frustrated.
 Hailey has been a rock star when it comes to eating solid foods. If she has a choice to eat baby food or real food she will choose real food every time! It has been a huge help to be able to put her food down in front of her and know that she will gladly feed herself. The only down side to that is the horrible mess she makes!
 Lucky for me, I have two other girls who like to pretend they are princesses. My favorite princess for them to pretend to be has been Cinderella. All I have to do is give them wet rags, and show them a messy place on the floor. They then get down and start humming or singing and mop the mess right up! 
 Bryan has also had extra help during his workout time. Hailey adds just the right amount of extra weight for him to really feel the burn while he does push-ups. 
 That brings us all the way back around to Sunday (today). There was a pretty big thunderstorm that rocked our house early this morning. The girls didn't want Daddy or Me to get scared so they helped us feel safe by snuggling up in our bed. 
I have the best house full of helpers a Mommy could ever want!

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Back to Crazy Town

Our last days of summer are here and we are getting right back into the swing of crazy busy weekends. This weekend was a great kick-off to get us right back into crazy town! 

Bryan decided to stay home with the girls while I ran errands on Friday. Since I was kid-free and had heard amazing things about the European Wax Center I decided to stop in and get my eyebrows done. I was especially happy about going there when I found out that, since it was my first visit, it would be free! So far this was turning out to be a great experience.... unfortunately it was pretty much all downhill from there. A girl named Devon did my brown... and my hair... and my eye lashes. Let me explain. Devon applied the wax to my brow and accidentally dripped some of the wax onto my eye lashes. I don't remember exactly what I said, but I made a comment about getting it off quickly, and expressed my concern plainly through my tone. Her response was that since it was right after lunch it was tricky to tell if the wax was going to be too hot or too cold. Ummmmm, isn't it your JOB to know these things?! Luckily she was able to get the wax off before it cooled and didn't rip out too many lashes. I thought that was the worst part of it until I got in the car and discovered that there was still come wax spots around the side of my eye. I was picking those off when I discovered....
 There was a big ol' drip of wax in my hair! I spent the next 15 minutes in my car literally ripping my hair out trying to get this chunk out. I called my Mom to let her know how it went and she assured me that her experience was very much so the opposite of my horror story. We decided that the best advice we could give anyone about this place was to go and try it out, but if they send you with a girl named Devon- RUN!

After getting my brows done I headed over to Sams to do some grocery shopping. It.Was.Packed. I knew that it was going to be a little crazy because it was tax-free weekend. I decided to take a picture of the food court to show Bryan just how crazy it really had been; because if there are this many people sitting down eating, you can only imagine how many people were actually shopping.

 I then headed over to Wal-Mart and right as I walked in I see this sign...
 Apparently they were having a store-wide clearance event. Bother.

Today (Saturday) was another crazy busy day, but it was a TON more fun! We started the day off with some yummy cinnamon rolls, and then got right to the fun. Michelle and I had hair appointments and Tina, while she did NOT want to get her hair cut, wanted to tag along. Michelle got about 4 inches cut off, giving her the cutest long bob I have ever seen! Tina made sure to tell everyone there they she did not want them to cut her hair. I think she slowly decided that maybe she would consider getting her hair cut when she saw me getting mine cut. I also got a few inches cut off, and had Rachael put in some shorter layers. Oh, by the way, if you live up near Melissa and are looking for a good stylist there is a little boutique in old Melissa called Bella Couture that does an amazing job! The girls there are awesome, and if you tell them that I sent you they'll give you 25% off!  
 Here's a little bit of a better picture of me and Shelly once we got home.

 After the haircuts I stopped at home for just long enough to do the dishes and make the girls lunch. Then I left to Beyond to get my nails done with the girls. I LOVE getting pedicures, but getting pedicured with Mom, Jess, and Katie is the best! I love these girls.

 Once we finished getting nails done Bryan and I hit a few stores and got some killer deals on clothes for the girls. Now, I know some people absolutely will not go out during Tax-free weekend, but... Well, I have an equation that I tend to use to decide if it's worth it to go shopping. If the level of craziness is equal to or less than the level of awesome deal then I'll try to go, but if the level of craziness exceeds that of the good deal- I'm staying home! So I was pretty selective about the places we hit. Bryan, however, tends to be one the "do not go out during tax-free weekend ever, ever, ever" side. 

Once we were done shopping we jumped over to iPic to see Guardians of the Galaxy. Mom, Dad, Daniel, and Katie met us there and we all took up the top half of the premium plus seats. It was a lot of fun, and the movie ended up being much better than I thought it was going to be. 

After the movie we headed back home and had just enough time to play with and cuddle the girls for a bit before sending them off to bed. We tucked them in and then very quickly cleaned up the house and got it ready for Bryan's Guys Night. I don't have any pictures of that yet because it is happening as I am typing this. Plus, I've found that guys are less inclined to take pictures and "selfies" during their hang-out time than us girls tend to be. 

All and all this weekend has been pretty nuts, but pretty amazing too.
Good times.

Bathroom Makeover

A few weeks ago Bryan and I discovered a few sugar ants around his side of the vanity in our bathroom. We killed them and went about our day. The next day the ants were back, and brought a few of their friends with them. In order to find the source of the ants we had to take the giant mirror down. I convinced Bryan that while we had the mirror down we should take the opportunity to frame it. I've been wanting to do that since the day we moved in, and this gave us the perfect opportunity. Well, just like the book, If you give a mouse a cookie... Framing the mirror turned into framing the mirror and painting, which turned into framing and painting and a new light fixture, which turned into framing and painting and a new light fixture and a few new "pretties" to make things look nice. That's about where Bryan drew the line and said, "Enough!" 

I'm a little bummed that I forgot to take any before pictures, but try to imagine builder white walls, and plain builder grade fixtures. 

With Bryan being color blind he let me pick the paint color. I LOVE it! It's a light blueish green color. I think it was called weathered glass, or something like that, from Lowes. After painting we took a little bit of the left over paint and made our mark on the empty space that would be behind the mirror. 
 We bought some liquid nails, measured out the space we would need for the frame, and put the surprisingly heavy mirror back up. We didn't want to rush anything, and needed to be sure the mirror wasn't going to come crashing down on us so we used a good amount of painters tape and let the mirror sit for two days.
 While the mirror was sitting "we" (read Bryan, without any help whatsoever from me) put the shelving up.
 I cleaned out a few old candle containers from Bath and Body Works and filled them with Q-Tips and Cotton balls. I like them a lot more than the cardboard Q-Tip box, and plastic cotton ball bag.
 We also painted the trim, and bought a new light fixture during the wait time. Once we were sure the mirror was secure we put up the frame and let that sit for another day. Then Bryan and I sat in our bedroom for a few hours and tried to figure out how to attach the new light fixture. I'm not going to lie, this was the most difficult part of the whole make over! Eventually we figured it out, and were glad that we didn't give up and stick the old ugly one back up there. 

Ta-Da! The beautiful finished product! Now, to convince Bryan to do the same thing in the girls bathroom...

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Anniversary Restaurant Hopping

Today was a special day for Bryan and I. It's was our 8 year anniversary! I still can't believe that I was lucky enough to get to marry my very best friend for time and all eternity EIGHT years ago! Sometimes it feels like we have been together forever, but on days like today it seems like it was just yesterday that we were flirting and passing notes in high school. Ah, the good ol' days. That was back before we had kids, and "big boy jobs", and constant household chores, and all the other crazy things that we have today. Luckily, we have amazing parents who are willing to watch the kids, Saturdays that are job free, and the ability to lock the front door and pretend that everything is pretty and clean inside. Which means we get to go on crazy fun dates and reconnect like we did in the good 'ol days!

This year we decided to do something we've never done before and go restaurant hopping. I've got to say, it's a lot of fun! So, here's how it works... You pick one restaurant to have your appetizer, one restaurant for your entree, and one for your dessert. Easy, right?! Well, for two people who are super indecisive and never want to put the other person out, this task was a little daunting. So, we decided to let fate decide. We made a list of all the restaurants we like, cut it into strips, folded them up, and picked at random. Here's what we ended up with:
Outback, Palio's, & Friday's
 Stop number one was Outback Steakhouse. We haven't been here in YEARS so it was fun to visit an old favorite. I have to admit that it was a little hard to ONLY order an appetizer with all of the steak around me. Bryan kept me strong though and, in the end, I'm glad we stuck to the plan.
  Our second stop was Palio's. Can I just say, YUMMM! Bryan has never been here so it was his first experience with this amazing Pizza place. We ordered the BBQ Chicken Pizza to share. Even with it being as delicious as it was, we still took home half the pizza. 
 Our final restaurant was TGI Friday's. When we pulled this one for dessert I was a little bummed because I've never ordered dessert from Friday's before, and I was kinda hoping to pull BJ's (Pazookie anyone?!) or Braums. We sat down and looked over the dessert menu and picked two different desserts. I got some Oreo, Fudge, Ice Cream dessert, and Bryan ordered their Brownie and Ice Cream dessert. Sorry, I don't remember what either of them were called. I do have to say, Bryan was nice enough to share a few bites of his and OH. MY. GOSH. It was so rich, and so yummy. I don't know how he finished it, but it was WAY better than my oreo dessert! And the Oreo one was pretty tasty itself. 
 In the end we both agreed that it was a really fun date. We'll definitely do it again, but we'll probably go about picking our restaurants a little bit differently. The BEST part of the whole date was being able to be alone with each other for so long and not having to take anyone to the bathroom, or tie a shoe, or break up any fights. It was pure-alone-couple time. 
Thomas S Monson said to "Choose your love; love your choice", and I absolutely do! Happy Anniversary babe!

Monday, July 21, 2014

A Year in a Post... Almost

I can't believe it has been almost a YEAR since I've even looked at this blog. It's the closest thing I have to a journal so I wanted to give a re-cap before I jumped back into blogging. Are you ready? Here we go...

Hailey was born on September 23, 2013 at 4:00pm. She weighed in at 8lbs 6oz, and was 20.5 inches.

The whole labor and delivery were SUPER easy. I mean, I didn't even ask for the epidural until the last minute. And once I did get it, it was only a few minutes until it was time to start pushing. And even that went way fast. Dr.Mos didn't even have time to get into the room before Hailey was born. Yep, that's right, Hailey was delivered with only Bryan, myself, and a nurse in the room. 
 A few weeks after she was born we had Katie come over and take some newborn pictures for us.
 I LOVED these ones with Bryan.
 Mine didn't turn out too bad either, if I don't say so myself. 
 But these black and whites were so sweet that I almost couldn't believe they were of my baby!
 It couldn't be all about Hailey all the time though. Bryan and I made sure we did lots of special things with Michelle and Tina too. In early October he took the girls out for a Princess inspired Daddy Daughter Date.
 As it grew closer to Halloween we took a family trip to the pumpkin patch. It was so fun for everyone! We played games, jumped in bounce houses.....
 the girls found their way through the hay maze, holding hands the whole time. And, eventually, we picked out the perfect pumpkin to take home.
On Halloween morning we carved up the pumpkin to a very scary "Jack"-o-lantern.
That night Hailey sat in the car with me to pass out candy during trunk-or-treat. She was even dressed up in Michelle's old jack-o-lantern costume.
Michelle went as a candy corn witch, and Tina was her favorite character, Mini Mouse!
 Before we knew it, it was time to bless Hailey. Bryan did an amazing job giving her a name and a blessing in our ward (Melissa) with my Dad, Ben, and Daniel standing in with him.
   Last year Jessica helped our family start a new tradition of taking family photos. We coordinated our outfits, met up with Katie, and got some really great pictures!
 This was a copycat shot from one she took last year. It was just Michelle and Tina swinging their boots, but this year we were able to get Hailey's little Uggs in there too!
 Some of the best shots Katie got that day were unposed and unplanned, but being the great photographer she is, she was ready with her camera and was shooting away!
 The girls were throwing rocks at each other playing so nicely in this picture. ;)
This tree was just too perfect for my little girls to climb on! 

Like I said, some of the best pics were VERY candid shots!
 Even Bryan and I got some barft in-love pics!
 Hailey could not have been a better baby during all the craziness that is our family pictures!
 I love all of my girls very much, but Hailey was, by far, my best and sweetest baby.
 I think she may have rubbed off onto her sisters because ever since she came along they have been the best of friends!
 Before we knew it Christmas time was here and the Holidays were coming to an end.
 It was around this time that Hailey had developed a pretty good routine of sleeping through the night and taking three good naps during the day. This was great for me because it meant that I had hope for surviving by myself once Bryan had to go back to work.
 There were a few days at the beginning of January where it was actually nice enough that we got to go outside and play while Bryan bar-b-qued. 

The beautiful weather didn't last long though, and we were soon bundling up to go play in the ice!

With Bryan back at work it made his day at home with us extra special. We REALLY love the days he gets to work from home now!
 I also decided that is was about time to get back to preschool with Michelle. I am so proud of what a smart little girls she is. She learns and pick up on things so quickly! It kills me that she is going to be off to Kindergarten this year though.  
 I am excited for her to make lots of new friends once she does start school. She had a heartbreaking goodbye with one of her best friends when her family moved away to California.
 I'm not sure how it happened, but Bryan and I finally worked up the courage to go out by ourselves! We had a hot date and loved it so much that we decided to try and start doing it more often.
 For the longest time whenever we would put Hailey on her tummy she would just find her thumb and nod off to sleep. One day she decided that she didn't want to sleep anymore and figured out how to life her head right off the ground. Ever since then she has been growing and developing way faster than I ever thought she would! 
 Speaking of growing fast. Michelle really scares me sometimes. Every now and then I'll look over at her and find this beautiful girl sitting there and wonder, "where is my little girl? when did she grow up?"
 No matter how many changes we were dealing with the one thing that remained the same was Hailey's smile. She has the smiliest little baby I have ever seen. Happy all the time, no matter what.
 We got a little bit more snow and a lot of more ice, but the girls didn't seem to care which one it was as long as they got to play in it, and have hot chocolate after.
 Did I mention that Jessica was pregnant? Well, she was! Lucky for me that meant that I got to go out on a girls day to get some super relaxing pedicures. Cami even got to come this time!
 Remember how I said that Hailey had just started lifting her head? A few weeks later she was lifting her whole top half! The girl was unstoppable. When she wanted to sit up- BAM- she did it!
 Jess has never liked baby showers, or really any kind of party that focused on her, but we decided that we didn't care what she wanted. So we threw he a surprise baby shower. 
 No games or fuss. Just her family, a few gifts, and some yummy cake!
 As February started to end the weather started to calm down too. We took advantage of it and took Michelle out to learn to ride her bike.... Bryan took the "teach by example" approach. 
 We also became one of the many families who just couldn't "Let it Go" and were obsessed with everything Frozen. We even made a special trip on the day it came out to go buy the blu ray.
The month of March was pretty much all about Daniel and Marianella. Only a few month off of his mission and he was already getting hitched! Yep, my baby brother was getting MARRIED!!
 I was so happy for him. I even put together his open house here in Texas. (He was married and had a reception in Arizona.)
 We wanted to keep it simple, but... well, I was in charge.
 I wanted to be sure Daniel and Marianelle were the focus, not the cake, or the music, or even the gifts. So I put up a lot of pictures from their wedding in Arizona and even blew some up to hang on the walls.
 I think it turned out pretty good. 
 April was here before we knew it and we were more than happy to go to a few of Clayton's baseball games.
 As a Thank you Daniel and Marianelle bought Bryan, Michelle, Tina and I tickets to Disney on Ice. They stayed home with Hailey and babysat for us.

Michelle loved it. Tina loved it. WE ALL LOVED IT!!! It was so much fun and, I'm not going to lie, I even cried a little bit because it was so great to see my girls so happy!
   One morning, while Bryan was mowing the front yard we found baby BUNNIES!
 Like they do every year, the girls had a lot of fun dying easter eggs. We even made our own dye this year, but, to be honest, I think paying a buck for the PAAS dye is worth it.
 The animals and the flowers weren't the only things they grew up this spring. Hailey went through a huge growth spurt and grew right out of her swing.
 Michelle had her first dentist appointment and did GREAT! We found out that she had a few teeth that needed to be pulled :(, but she was a champ about it. I was so very proud of her!
 Hailey decided that her favorite person in the world was her big sister. She will take Michelle over Bryan and I anyday! The love between these two is precious. 
 Soon the sun was blaring and it was time to put on some swim suits and get wet! 
 Hailey started teething and learning to pull herself up at right about the same time. While this was really exciting, it was also really bad news for a lot of my baskets and furniture. Lol!
 Tina had been in a "I'm going to be crabby all the time phase" pretty much since her second birthday. I am VERY happy to say that she is finally starting to grow out of it and get back to the super sweet girl we all know and love.
 Every Sunday the family gets together and heads down to Plano to have dinner together and swim in Grandma and Pa's pool. 
 Tina even discovered the joys of "laying out". We love the sun!
 Michelle had an Art themed party for her 5th Birthday. She's getting so big, it's killing me!
 Hailey is obsessed with Cooper. Every time they are together she tried to crawl all over him.
 And, really, can you blame her? He's pretty much adorable.
 One of Michelle's most favorite things to do is to play dress up. She loves being a princess. Dressing up as all of the different Disney Princesses has become a daily activity in our house.
 The Fourth of July was a lot of fun! We went swimming, ate bar-b-que, watched fire-works, and had a full day of family fun! 
The Jones family gave Michelle a butterfly kit for her birthday. The girls loved being able to see them go from caterpillars to chrysalis' to butterflies. 
 We have had a surprising number of rainy days this summer. Without fail, every time it rains, the girls find a good reason to NEED to go play in it.
 We've started school shopping to get Michelle ready to go to Kindergarten. 
 Tina will do almost anything that Michelle wants to do. If Michelle is doing preschool, Tina wants to do it too. If Michelle is playing dress up, Tina wants to dress up too.
 We took a trip to the Perot Museum in Dallas and had a great time! The girls especially loved seeing all the dinosaurs and hands-on exhibits.

Eventually, it was time to take our butterflies outside and say good bye!
 The butterflies were beautiful and we were sad to see them go, but know that they will be much happier outside than in their little habitat inside our house.
 Bryan is more than thrilled with the face that Hailey finds his games extremely entertaining. I'm not nearly as happy about it as he is, but I'm not going to complain about having a little more free time. ;) 
 Grandma Neva turned 96 this year! 
 We all went to her house to play and celebrate with her.
Lots more has happened this past year, but these pics give a pretty good overview, and I'm pretty sure this entry is one of the longest I've ever done. I do want to start keeping some kind of journal again, and this blog is a great way to do it. I'm going to try and set a goal of one post a week. Hopefully I'll be able to do more than that, but life around here gets pretty crazy. So, for now... well, let's just try to be realistic. :)