Monday, June 28, 2010


My younger sister, Molly, claims she was neglected as a baby since there were no photographs taken of her. I won't admit she is right, but she might be onto something. Keeping things equal with two kids is a tough thing to do. I hate for Haley to tell all her friends down the road, "Just look at my crazy mom's blog. There are NO posts about ME!" So, Miss Haley, this one is just for you.
Unique does not even begin to describe Her Majesty. Haley is our little beauty queen, and she takes her queen-ness seriously! Because she is prettier than any other child under the age of one*, she requires a little more attention than her older sister.

*Yes, every mother says that their kid is the most beautiful ever. With Haley, I know it is true!

Haley constantly wants to be held, and once she is in your arms, she wants to squirm, kick, spin, and flail about. She only has your best interest in mind, as this helps to build your entire body's muscles.

Her Royal Highness is also stronger than any other 9-month old you've ever seen. I predict she will be walking soon and has been climbing the stairs for weeks now. She's just trying to out do her sister. Tilt your head to the left, and check out this video of her showing off: (feel free to sing along to the Wonder Pets background music!)

Another unique characteristic that is oh-so-charming is that we have our own version of "The Princess and the Pea" going on every night in Haley's room. She still refuses to sleep all night and will only go back down if you hold her tight and feed her a bottle. I cherish these late night/early morning interruptions in my sleeping, as it is the only chance I get to snuggle with her all day. (Moms have to play these little mind games. If not, society as a whole would cease reproduction from all the horror stories!!)

Mealtime is Haley's favorite. She will put anything in her mouth that is on her tray. She gets lots of laughs from her dining companions from covering herself with her meal. So far, she is one adventurous eater with her one lonely tooth to chew with.

Haley, you are such a delight to all of us. No matter where I drag you out in public, you are such a good sport and will flirt with any strangers. Your smile lights up your entire face and can brighten the worst of days. I treasure you as the baby of our little family!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Dipping Their Toes in the Water

Before February 2007, Bryon and I led a typical no-kids kind of life with a couple of Mexico vacations a year, dinner out on the town every night, drinks at the neighbors' houses on the weekends, and no tolerance for kids' noise whatsoever. Then this happened.

Sixteen months later, Shelby was born. Had it not been for Ashlee's passions and sacrifices, our little family would have forever remained two. I never understood why Ashlee wanted to work with animals, but I did envy the pure joy her career brought her. In fact, the night before she passed, Bryon and I were having a deep discussion with friends about working in a field where you make the money to do what you want in your free time versus working in a field where you make little money but look forward to each day.

As Shelby grew a little older, friends kept asking us to go to the zoo. The idea of facing the very thing that tore my husband and his family to pieces was not very attractive, but I knew I wanted Shelby to enjoy the same things her aunt did. So, Bryon had a great idea. He and his mom decided to take her to the Dallas World Aquarium on the day Shelby turned two.

Since I had to work at that time, I was concerned all day about the toll the outing would take on Bryon and Janice. But, then I got home and heard their stories and saw their pictures. That night, it dawned on me why Ashlee loved her job so much. She got to experience the sheer delight of every child getting to see the animals in real life for the first time. Imagine the squeals at the birds, laughs at the otters, and screams at the snakes she heard on a day-to-day basis. I can't think of any other job that lets you witness that kind of happiness in a child. How uplifting to go home each night knowing you influenced someone in a great way EVERY SINGLE DAY!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Pinky and the Brain

pinky & the brain Pictures, Images and Photos
Way back in the early '90's, "Pinky and the Brain" was this funny cartoon about two lab rats that had big plans to "take over the world" every night. Pinky was always unknowingly sabotaging Brain's plans with his playful attitude. Something about the following video reminded me of watching that funny cartoon back in college.

Shelby (the Brain) had big plans to put every possible toy in Haley's crib so that she could climb in there and have the time of her life. Haley (Pinky) ratted Shelby out by laughing hysterically at her antics, thus prompting me to sneak in on those two crazy rats just to see what was going on. Busted!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Shelby's Second Birthday

"The days are long but the years are short". Truer words have never been spoken. In the blink of an eye, Shelby turned two. I can't even remember my life without her now. There were those endless days in the past two years that I would be standing on the porch with two crying girls (Haley and Shelby, not me...) praying the next car that drove down our street would be Bryon coming home from work. Two kids under the age of two can drive a person insane trying to get anything accomplished!

Then there were the perfect days, like the one where Shelby randomly ran up to me, gave me a big hug, and said, "I wuv you, Mama!" for the first time. I hope I never forget that moment or that feeling of sheer joy. Another daily event that I try to appreciate and remember is the first 30 minutes of our day. The weight of her in my lap, drinking her milk, watching her morning cartoons, and twirling her hair and mine reminds me every day that I have been blessed with the world's best snuggle-bunny.

So, enough of the reflection. Time to bore you, Dear Reader, with details of Shelby's big birthday. I threw the party together at the last minute and was proud of how it all turned out. We had a "coloring" theme, covering the dinning room table in paper and leaving crayons out for all the little girls. The cake, made by a random woman I found on craigslist, turned out adorable. She used ice cream cones and Ding Dongs to make the "crayons", and Shelby couldn't wait to get her hands on the pink one. Haley even got in on the cake action and loved every tiny morsel.

It was great fun to see Shelby open gifts, blow out candles, and run around with her friends. She is finally starting to understand the whole concept of a party and loved being the center of attention. Don't we all??

Thursday, June 17, 2010

A Catch-Up Post

Oops! Has it really been six weeks since my last blog post? I have a good excuse. June has been CRAZY to say the least. Birthdays galore, overnight visitors, and this dang summer heat have all added up to me abandoning my little blog for awhile. Time to get caught up! My goal is 6 posts before July. Hold me to it...

June started with a celebration of Dad's birthday. We all met up at the Great Wolf Lodge in Grapevine, TX. Dad isn't the type to enjoy a lot of attention or surprises, so we decided a nice little vacation would be more his speed for his 60th. Shelby and Haley LOVED the water, even though they didn't make it out of the toddler area. Unfortunately, the only picture I was able to snap was with my cell phone in one hand, and Haley in the other. Sorry, Haley, but if you would just sit still in the water and not try to crawl off, you might have gotten some pictures taken of you, too!

All in all, we had a great "staycation" at the Great Wolf. While Haley can be a challenge at home, she absolutely loves being around other people. So, she had a great time watching all the big kids swim, play, run, and spend their parents' hard-earned cash. Bryon and I did manage to con Dad and Christy into watching the girls for a little while so we could ride one of the water slides together. We piled into a raft with Molly and Marc and screamed our lungs out on the Tornado Toilet Flush (not it's real memory is shot due to sleep deprivation).

For our big birthday dinner, we all went to Rainforest Cafe. If you have not experienced the wonder that is the Rainforest Cafe, you are missing out on lots of cool aquariums, awesome animated animals, and many opportunities to shell out more of that hard-earned cash. Here's Bryon helping Shelby win a stuffed toy, because she doesn't seem to have enough of those at home!

As you can see, both of them were very determined to win a prize. Bryon told Shelby to hit the button when she thought it was time for the claw to go down. That little engineer in the making managed to win a stuffed animal on her first try. Looks like we've got a genius on our hands!

And, speaking of geniuses, take a look at this beauty+brains in the making:
Isn't Miss Haley the most intriguing thing ever? I can only hope Dad had as much fun as all his grandkids did celebrating his birthday with him.