Monday, February 28, 2011

A Castle Fit for a Queen (or three!)

Check out this playhouse at Costco:

My kids saw it in the store recently and both became quite wide-eyed over it.  You can only imagine their surprise to see an even spiffier version at Grandma and Grandpa's house!  Shelby, Haley, and cousin Ashlee all grilled, washed, ding-donged, shopped, cultivated, shared, and pretended 'til we made them come inside.
Welcome to my castle!

Check out what's cookin'!
Ta Da!
The windows open and close!

A "real" sink!
Ring the doorbell!
Join me for tea!

I think if I could have fit it in our carry-on luggage, the whole thing would have come home with us.  There is nothing a mom loves better than something that entertains the kids for more than the time it takes to make dinner!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

A Whole New Bear

Haley has been a wee bit high maintenance pretty much since the day she was born.  She has her own agenda, and most days I am just here to interrupt that, causing major screaming and wailing.  The bottom line is that she uses her adorably cute smile to try to get away with anything.
True joy

All of her challenges were gone for one night on our recent get-away to New Mexico.  Bryon's parents bravely volunteered to keep Shelby overnight while we stayed in Santa Fe.  It dawned on me that it was the first time Haley Bear had been an "only" child.  She ate it up!

Look, Ma, just one car seat!
She was happy to follow my commands and obey.  She didn't try to run away while I changed her diapers and clothes.  She sat still in the restaurants and ate her meals like a champ.  I think she went a whole 24 hours without one classic meltdown.
Who is this kid that sits so still?

The bottom line is Shelby needs to start watching her back.  Haley's new agenda might just be to get rid of her big sister!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Because You Want to be JUST Like Me!

To be just like me (nerdy, sleep deprived, and cheap), just become obsessed with the following:
  • My doll-sized quilt, finally finished!!

  • The clothes at  Check out this adorable tunic!  (It's been in my shopping cart for 2 days.  I just can't bring myself to pay $75 for one shirt, but since I am going back to work full-time soon....)

Cutest mushrooms ever!

  • Hannah Anderson Dresses  I stumbled upon a whole table full of tons of these last week at Costco for only $13, WAY cheaper than the website

*None of the things I am currently obsessed with are paying me for this post.  However, I will take commissions on the ruffled pillowcases.  Price is the cost of fabric plus drinky-drink at girls' night out!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

What Started Out So Lovely...

Wednesdays are my favorite day of the week.  It's always my day off.  My house is always clean thanks to my wonderful nanny, Gloria, being here all day on Tuesday.  And, our favorite activity, storytime, is at 10 am at the Valley Ranch library.  

On this Wednesday, I woke up thinking it was going to be a fabulous day.  I knew before we even left the house that I was going to write a blog about our wonderful librarian, Stephanie, and how much my kids love her.   

Stephanie teaching the kids a new song
We arrived early at storytime, so we went down to the canals to feed the ducks.  They were delighted to get bread from the girls, and in return, the girls squealed at the ducks' actions.  

We stopped at the water fountain, just like always, to get a "quick" drink beforehand, and I was able to snap some decent pictures for once.  Still, the day was going well.  

Miss Stephanie has the kids sing the best songs every week.  "Turn Around, Turn Around", "Shake, Shake, Shake Your Sillies Out", and "Open Them, Shut Them" are our favorites.  

Zip your mouth up tight!

Check out how much energy they are burning dancing to "Shake Your Sillies Out":

It was shortly after that video that things started to go south.  Apparently, Shelby didn't "shake all her sillies out" and refused to sit still.  While I was desperately trying to get her to behave, Haley was busy bumming snacks off of anyone willing to share (and even some kids that weren't so willing).  

After about 15 minutes, I jerked them both out the door and drug them to the car.  Shelby LOST it, in classic two-year-old style.  Ten minutes later, I finally had her pinned down long enough to buckle her in the car seat.  After slamming some car doors, we made it back home.  

My sister once told me she repeatedly had to remind herself she was bigger and stronger than her toddlers.  Her words were ringing in my head and were the only thing that kept me from giving in.  

Sorry to tell you this, Miss Stephanie, but we will be back next week to terrorize the toddlers.  I can only hope my threats of "If you don't sit down and be still, we will just go home" will be a little more effective!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

THUMB-body loves you!

Thanks to bone-chillingly cold weather, I was forced to come up with way too many ideas to keep the family entertained.  Thanks to, I saw some cute Valentine card ideas.  So, out came the red paint (eek!), some card stock, and lots and lots of towels.  
"More paint, Mama!"

It all added up to about 20 minutes of fun, but keeping toddlers covered in paint corralled got to be too much for this ol' lady.  Red paint and cream carpet do NOT make for a good mixture.  Getting decent pictures to go along with the project was close to impossible.
Yes, those are Christmas PJ's Haley is wearing in February.  Do you even have to ask why?  

But, in the end, I thought the cards turned out adorable.
  • Thumb-body loves you
  • We TOE-tally want you to be our Valentine
  • We think you are TOE-tally HEEL-arious (for Grandpa Walt)
  • You are one HANDsome guy
  • You knock our socks off

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Time to Party!

Recently, the folks at Coffee-Mate sent me a whole bunch of freebies to use to throw a baking party.
Goody bags for everyone
Did someone say "free"??

 Being trapped for days on end gave me plenty of time to get everything together and do some baking. I hadn't ever used Coffee-Mate in baking and decided to try Parisian Almond Snickerdoodles, Peppermint Mocha Cheesecake, Cream Cheese Cookies, and whip cream flavored with Hazelnut creamer.  

Powdered creamer in baking?

We had lots of fun trying the new things.  I plan on flavoring my whip cream with different CoffeeMate from now on, as it didn't add too much sweetness and thin it out like vanilla.  Thanks to everyone for braving the weather and coming over for a playdate!
Bev helping scoop the cookies

Friday, February 4, 2011

Snowed In...Again...

It's been below freezing in DFW for FOUR straight days now.  The whole area is going stir crazy being shut up indoors for that long.  Needless to say, my house is included.  What to do when it looks like this?
"A light dusting" was predicted.  
Bryon shoveled the sidewalk.
I baked.

Playing with puff pastry to make "shells"
Mint mocha cheesecake
Bryon built the girls an obstacle course.
King of the Mountain
I fed the girls limes just to see their faces.
Ready, set, eat!

Haley's sour face

Shelby's sour face.
And, the snow is falling even heavier than ever today.  I see sledding this afternoon followed by heavy drinking, eye gouging, and hair pulling.  Pictures to posted later!