Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Our Diva Turns One, Part II

"Happy Birthday" in Chinese

Haley's second first birthday party (make sense?) was here in Texas for all of my family and a few friends.  Before I read the fine print, I accidentally signed up to host a Thai Kitchen house party (check out all the fun parties at on the exact same day.  OOPS!  Because Thai food doesn't exactly scream "Welcome to Toddlerhood", I came up with the lame idea of making her party Asian-themed.  So, I did my best to incorporate curry paste, coconut milk, fish sauce, and jasmine rice into sweet baby Haley's party.  The resulting menu:

Spring Rolls, Red Curry Pork, Chicken Satay, Creme Brulee*, "Sushi" Cake, Pot Stickers, Fried Rice, and a Texas flag for Haley
*Yes, I know Creme Brulee is NOT an Asian dish, but the recipe called for coconut milk and was delicious!

Fun activities included decorating a fan or parasol with stickers and markers, sampling all the weird food, attempting to keep Shelby from sticking her fingers in the cake, keeping the Mai Tai drinks iced down, and running around the back yard squealing in the most "adorable" high pitched sounds ever! 
Can you spot a big sister sneaking some icing?

And, as a final announcement, the winner of this year's "Most Played With Gift" goes to Mimi.  The "Poppy Balls" toy has kept both girls quite entertained going on a whole FOUR days now!  

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Our Diva Turns One, Part I

In true Pfaff Pfashion, Haley celebrated her birthday with TWO parties.  The first was with our New Mexico friends and family at Chuck E. Cheese.  It was the first, and possibly the last, time Grandma and Grandpa Pfaff had ever been there.  
Haley was showered with lots of love and attention.  Meeting Animated Chuck E. brought out a little hesitation.  She wasn't too impressed with Mascot Chuck E., especially when he tried to put a plastic birthday crown on her head!  But Mascot Chuck E. redeemed himself when he put a gold medal around her neck. She also enjoyed riding in the car with Plastic Chuck E.  Mom was thankful there weren't any Up Chuck E.'s!
 Animated Chuck E.
Happiness is a Gold Medal from Mascot Chuck E.
Plastic Chuck E., in all of his germy-ness glory!

I was really hoping Haley's beautiful chubby face would light up with her first few bites of cake, but she wasn't nearly as into it as her older sister.

At the end of the party, Haley gave Bryon a rare gift.  Is there anything more heart-warming than a baby sleeping in her daddy's arms?

Day Tripper

Back before we had our leeches little pumpkins, we would always head to Santa Fe while visiting Janice and Norman in Rio Rancho.  Our day trip was great fun and always included lunch at Tomasita's, shopping at Jackalope, drinks at Maria's, and gambling at Sandia on the way back to Rio Rancho.

Skip ahead two years.  Feeling stupid ambitious, we ventured out on our little day trip with the girls.  This time, Santa Fe included lunch at Tomasita's (some things never change!), discovery at the Children's Museum, and shopping at the produce stand for two bushels of roasted Hatch green chili.
Bryon's Mecca--Just look at that smile!

Composing a tune with dad at the museum

Scheming her next shenanigan

Oh, come on, it isn't THAT hot.  (Just kidding.  We didn't make her eat it!)

Hard to tell, but Shelby is covering her ears from the sound of the chili roasters
It was definitely a different trip than before, but we had a great time viewing Bryon's hometown through the eyes of our kids.  I can't wait until they are old enough to roll their eyes at me while I tell them for the twentieth time, "See the Loretto Chapel?  That's where Mommy and Daddy got married."

The Girls' First "Crain" Ride

Ah, the joy of youth!  It was such a delight to experience Shelby and Haley's first train ride.  We recently went to Rio Rancho, New Mexico to visit Bryon's family.  His parents purchased a new house in Los Lunas, so all the girls (Grandma, the two squirts, and me) all decided to ride the "crain" down to take a look.  Bryon and Grandpa dropped us off at the "Kiss and Ride".

Shelby instructed us on the route.
We waited and waited for the train to arrive. 

When it finally did, the girls squealed in delight and quickly hopped on.

Shelby picked our seats. (reminds me of an old joke...)

We made the ticket lady pose for pictures.  
And we did our best to keep Wiggle Worm entertained.  The stairs were just too much temptation for Miss Haley...

An hour later, we arrived at the Los Lunas train station.  I have to say, it was the most memorable "crain" ride of my life!

Friday, September 10, 2010

There's a Buttfly in the Chris-A-Mis

Anyone living within 30 minutes of Southlake Town Square looking for something to do this weekend should get their butt-a-flies over there for the Butterfly Festival.  I took the girls this afternoon, and they were fascinated.

Am I really holding a live butterfly?
Unfortunately, I think the festival organizers experienced their first butterfly casualty when we showed up.  I thought Haley having a butterfly on her nose would make the most adorable photograph.  As soon as it's teeny, tiny feet hit her face, she plastered that poor Monarch across her forehead.  I think the butterfly expert might have shed a tear. much for that photo!  

Poor butterfly's days are numbered
They had loads of butterfly merchandise for sale that I quickly steered Shelby right past.  However, I couldn't resist the chrysalises (chrysalii?) they had for $3.  I broke down and bought two.  Woo, big spender!  All the way home, Shelby kept talking about the sleeping butt-flies in the Chris-A-Mises.  I was cracking up!  Now, we can only hope to see some Painted Lady butt-flies by Chris-A-Mis...

Some local businesses were handing out free treats, and Shelby quickly gravitated to the cotton candy snow cone.  She is a true descendant of mine with that sweet tooth of hers!  I bet even our Chris-A-Mises would love a little bit of this sugary goodness.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Our Own Little Slice of Paradise (Pond)

My good friend Bev introduced me to Paradise Pond about a year ago.  It is an old sanctuary converted into every toddlers' ultimate dreamland, including a bounce house, huge obstacle course, dress-up room, plastic roller coasters, Dora's corner of plastic crap, climbing wall, lego-land, and on and on and on...

When we first went, Shelby wasn't quite old enough.  Like every mom wanting to set a good example for her kids, I lied about her age.  She certainly could get around better than most kids her age anyway.  Here she is discovering the grocery store:

And here's Haley doing the exact same thing a year later:

Some various other crack for toddlers:

All in all, I would give Paradise Pond a big thumb's up.  For $1/person, it's money well spent to expend some energy!

Rules Were Made to be Broken

Ssshhhh....don't tell the car seat police!  Baby Haley got moved into a big girl car seat today, three weeks early.  Neither she nor I could take her being backwards anymore.  From what I can tell, she LOVES it!

She was squealing and clapping the whole way to Paradise Pond.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Um, I guess she's right...

While I was upstairs cleaning out a closet, Shelby was busy running up and down the stairs, doing whatever she does when I'm not paying 100% attention.  She screamed from downstairs, "Mom, what is on the floor?"  I just ignored it.  She then ran up the stairs, asking again, "What is that on the floor?"  It then occurred to me I should probably investigate a little further, so I asked her what it looked like.

You could see her little wheels turning, then she finally announced, "A LOBSTER!"  At that point I decided I had better go see this "lobster" for myself.  I had to admit she was right when I saw one of these on the floor:

The cutest scorpion image I could find
We've seen lots of scorpions in our house since moving in, but the fact that my precious first born daughter found this one on her own makes me hate them even more!

Monday, September 6, 2010

The Grass is Greener

We have an area on the side of our house that has always required more attention than the rest of the yard.  We've seeded.  We've sodded.  We've plopped a big plastic storage container on top.  All with no luck in getting it to be a usable space.  

Bryon had big plans on ropping in our families to help lay flagstone down to finally put an end to the muddy mess.  Luckily our awesome realtor, Corey Young, said just to put down some sod and keep our fingers crossed it lives until our house sells.  

So, this weekend, Bryon leveled the mud, shoveled 1200 pounds (!) of topsoil, and, with Shelby's help, laid a pallet of sod, all before 8:00 am.  It was so cute watching Shelby tell her daddy where to put the next strip of grass and help stomp it down.  Her attempts at pushing the wheelbarrow were also VERY amusing.  

Now, let's just keep our fingers crossed (and our sprinklers running) that all of their efforts will pay off!

And, just to keep things even, I had to include a picture of Cutie Pie #2, Haley Bear.  Adorable, even with a boo-boo on her head!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Open Up and Say Aaaahhh!

Going to the dentist has become a whole different experience since I was a kid.  First there is the waiting room:

Yep, that's one of three touch screen video games you can play while waiting for your torture cleaning.   

All my dentist had was a big fish tank and two issues of out-dated "Highlights" magazines.  After you were summoned, you were led down the yellow-brick-road to a big room full of 7 other kids getting their teeth fixed in one way or another.  I think my biggest problem with it all was the fear of the unknown.  Some days, they would just look in my mouth and give me a sticker.  Other days, I would leave with four less teeth than I walked in with.  If only I would have had my mommy back there with me holding my hand...

Okay, sorry about that tangent!  I clearly still have a few issues to be resolved...Back to how incredibly wonderful Shelby's first dental visit was.

Instead of watching the other kids get their teeth fixed, Shelby got to pick her favorite movie to watch OVERHEAD while the dentist herself cleaned her precious pearly whites. Dr. Linda Steele and her assistant Eva were like two little Fairy Godmothers there to make Shelby's first experience like a playdate with her friends.  She was such a big girl and cooperated the entire time.  I could not have been more proud of how brave she was compared to the 'fraidy cat I used to be! 

There wasn't one unknown factor in this office.  They let Shelby play with all the equipment before putting it in her mouth.  She loved the water-shooting thingy and even played with the sonicare toothbrush so much it ran out of juice.  

So, thanks to changes in pediatric dentistry, it shouldn't take my girls twenty years to learn to love going to the dentist!