Friday, January 28, 2011

My Baby Girl Turns Six!

Great View From the Hotel!
Silly Blue Tongues!

Happy Birthday Dear Kylie!

Look Mom, No Training Wheels!

American Girl Store

I'm watching a show on 20/20 as I write this blog and it happens to feature children who are homeless. Basically, these kids have no one to take care for them or provide them a loving, nurturing environment. I watch this thinking what a shame it is for their parents to not realize what a gift they have been given and how I will do absolutely anything to make sure my kids know they ALWAYS have a loving, safe place to come home to. Kids don't care if they live in biggest house in the most expensive neighborhood. They just want a place to feel secure and loved. So, I hope many people who watched the show tonight will join me in praying for those kids that they will some how find that safe place surrounded by people who love them.

My sweet Kylie turned six years old on Monday. It is just so strange how one minute I look at her and she still seems so young and the next minute I feel like she's so grown up. When I talk to her on the phone she still has the most precious little voice that I will always remember as one of the sweetest sounds on earth. Sometimes when I'm out of town for work she'll call and leave me messages and I just listen to them over and over as it blesses my heart more every time.

We are really going to focus more on her independence this year. She has started taking showers (most of the time) and brushing her own teeth. Now we are working on going to sleep on her own. We are starting with 5 songs and then we'll take one off until we get to just one song. So, eventually, I'll stay in her room for one song and then leave. As much as I love that cuddle time with her, I know it's not good for her to rely on me to be there when she goes to sleep. I almost forgot - Adam taught her to ride her bike without training wheels and she's so great at it. It took her about 15 minutes and she was a pro.
On to her big day! We started off the celebration the week before with a trip to the American Doll Store in Dallas with just Mom and Dad. We stayed at the Westin Galleria, went ice skating, and then had brunch at the American Girl Bistro before shopping. It was a special trip! Then, last weekend she had a slumber party with her cousins at Grandma Mary's house. Grandma decorated for her, they went rollerskating, and had dance party and karaoke fun. The next morning was a trip to Kylie's favorite breakfast spot - IHOP! Kylie really loves hanging out with her cousins and I'm so glad they had the chance to share her birthday with her. On Monday, I took cupcakes to school and got the house all decorated for the big party. All the family came over for pizza and cake! It was a Peace, Love, and Rock'n'Roll theme picked out by little miss birthday herself. The cake was really cute and very colorful. So colorful that we all had blue teeth and tongues after we ate it! Jackson chowed down big time on it.
Want to know what was on Kylie's birthday list? A Big Time Rush CD! What? Yes, that's right, a boy band cd. Huh-larious. And, now, she goes to sleep with it playing in her cd player every night. And notice in the picture her pink hat says "another year of fabulous." So fitting.
Adam and I were talking the other day about how we love life with our kids so much more than we ever loved the single life. Even when we're all tired and cranky, I wouldn't trade it for anything. Would I love a vacation - well, yes, of course! But, rest assured, no matter where I go I would be thinking about my kids and missing them terribly.

Happy Birthday Precious Kylie! I am so proud of you and can not wait to see what God has in store for you my sunshine.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

So much to say...

I am being a big overachiever here already in the New Year! I'm sure it won't stick, but I am waiting for some of my work to print out and thought I would catch everyone up on where Jackson is right now and all of the fun things he is doing!

Here are the words he can say:
School (very cute when he says this as we pull up to school)
Choooo Chooooo (for train of course)
Bye Bye
Up (or Ups sometimes)
I want that... this is his very favorite thing to say, followed by a fit if he doesn't get what he wants!
Please or (pease)

Those are the main ones. He's starting to really be able to mimick words which usually means he'll start saying many more things pretty quickly. Man, we have been waiting a while to get that boy to talk to us and tell us what he wants!

He continues to be extremely agile and can pretty much climb up or onto anything. He seems to have no fear about climbing or jumping off of things (yeah for us, right?). He is a good eater and seems to actually prefer veggies and fruit most of the time. We officially retired the bottle about 3 weeks before Christmas and he could really care less, so no more cleaning bottles! He still loves his suckies at night time, but doesn't really ever use it out of the bed at all, so hopefully the attachment won't be too severe to kick fairly quick.

He loves going to school and church and his teachers seem to enjoy him so very much. He's the life of the party! He has not had any separation anxiety and just dives right in to what is going on. No doubt he keeps them on their toes, but he is a true delight.

He is always on the GO and when I mean on the go, I mean, he does NOT like to stay home too long. He likes to get out of the house. If Adam or I are going somewhere and he figures it out, he goes and grabs his shoes and brings them too us. He loves it when Grandma Mary shows up at the house because he knows she'll take him on an adventure somewhere!

Oh, I am so anxious to see what this little man will be like when his personality truly shines out. He really seems to have a sweet spirit about him and at the same time he is very determined. He likes to look at how things work and then try it on his own. It doesn't take him long to figure anything out. His mind is always working. I like to say he's like his namesake Papa Ralph who was always tinkering with this and that. I think Adam would agree with me that if he is anything like Papa, we've done something right. I'm sure he's smiling down on him as he watches him grow and says "that's my boy!"

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Cheers to you!

My two favorite gifts!

Sweetest moment of the holiday:)

I have to admit, it is always a bit sad for me when the holidays are coming to an end. I find myself starting to count down to the holidays around September and anxiously await this time of year. So,when it's all over, I am sad that yet another holiday has passed. This time of year is just so magical in so many ways, but here's to a new year full of more wonderful memories.

Kylie had a great last day of school before break. Many moms helped to put together a fun party for the class. They ate some yummy snacks, did a book exchange, and then made homemade snowglobes (I was in charge of this-yikes!). The kids got to wear fun Christmas outfits and Christmas socks instead of their normal uniforms, and they all looked so cute. The next week was full of playdates and more fun for Kylie. She has really made some sweet friends at school and enjoys spending time with them. The parents are all great too, which makes it that much better! She actually had her 2nd sleepover this past week! She had so much fun she didn't want to come home when I went to pick her up. I have to say, though, it is hard for me when she spends the night out. I don't like going in to her room at night and seeing an empty bed! Gosh, there are times (many) when I want to hold on to her so tight and never let go. I am really going to have to pray about it, because I know she's not mine to keep forever. Easier said than done though.

We spent Christmas Eve at the Biehlers' house with the whole family. Kylie and Jackson both love to spend time with their cousins so much. It's crazy with everyone there, but it's fun too. They are playing trains, playing Wii, chasing each other, building things, and generally making a big mess! I think they will all be really happy when the D'Amura's move to Austin. The cousins have never lived in the same town, so I know they will be excited to see each other more often.

Christmas morning was amazing of course. Kylie and Jackson both woke up about 7:00 and then we had them come out together. I will never forget how adorable it was to see them walk around the corner hand-in-hand. It will be a memory I treasure forever! Kylie was happy to see Santa left her a cookie and a letter. Some of her favorite gifts from Santa were a Nintendo DSi and games, Squinkies, earrings, and Hello Kitty rain boots. Jackson immediately started playing with his little basketball hoop. He got a Chuck the Truck (he's still not sure about this one yet), and lots of bath toys. Bath time is always a fun time at our house!

When it was all said and done, the kids ended up with a plethora of new toys and games to play with. Many more than they will ever need! They have been so blessed beyond measure by the family and friends who are so gracious to them.

Adam gave me a beautiful jewelry box which I really enjoyed organizing (I'm a dork). It is perfect! He also got me a sweet new cordless vacuum for my tile (again, I'm a dork)-best gift ever!!! He got a coffee mug made for me with Jackson's handprint made into a Santa face. Oh, it is precious!

Christmas Day afternoon was at my mom's house. Again, more presents, great food and fun! Kylie looks up to her older cousins so much and they take good care of her. Grandma got her an American Girl Doll, which she has been asking for for a while now. It's really a beautiful doll.
The rest of the holidays have been spent just hanging out and playing with our new toys. I managed to get pretty much nothing done around the house that I had wanted to and I even had to work over the break, even though I was supposed to be off. A little bummed about it, but moving along...

Now, on to 2011! I have to be in College Station next week for what will surely be the biggest change my company has made yet. We will hopefully launch a new computer system on January 10th. We will be going from being very paper-driven, to being almost paperless! Very scary transition, but a huge step in the right direction.
My hopes for 2011 and really pretty simple. I want to be content and peaceful. I want to enjoy my family and be able to make more time for them. I want to stress less about stuff that just doesn't matter. I want to invest in people's lives and open my heart. My theme for 2011 will be "Let go, Let God." Gosh, my mom has witnessed this to me so many times. Just let it go and let God do with you what He wants. Stop getting in the way of his work!
Okay, God, here I am...

Cheers to you!!!!