Sunday, September 25, 2011

Haley is Two (or five?)

Haley turns two tomorrow, but if you ask her, she will tell you she is "Fiiiive!"  Boy, kids sure do grow up fast these days!

Fun Haley Facts

~Favorite foods:  artichokes (!), broccoli (!), lollipops, yogurt, sips of mom's coffee and diet Coke, macaroni and cheese, ice cream, and even an occasional taste of spicy food

~Favorite activities:  going to the park, feeding the ducks, watering the plants, taking baths, climbing the cabinets to turn on the water, squeezing contents out of bottles (i.e. shampoo), playing with dolls, cooking with mom, being carried around on my hip ALL day

~Haley LOVES water.  She will spend hours splashing in the bathtub.  When I am at my wit's end, I'll put her in a warm bath to get a few minutes to myself.  

~Character traits: energetic, strong-willed, determined, curious, independent, and happy

~Speech:  Haley has really started talking in the last month.  She is much happier now that she can express her wishes.  Shelby loves to tell her words to repeat, and she is so proud of herself when she "talks" with her sister.  The funniest line so far was when I asked her if she wanted to go to Chick-Fil-A.  She responded, "COKE!" since she always gets one when we go.  

~Dislikes:  Being told "NO", sitting still to watch tv or read a book, not being able to do exactly what Shelby is doing

Pictures from Haley's 2nd Birthday Party

She LOVES her new high chair

Jeff and Haley's cake.  Not your typical 2-year-old cake!  (Jeff HATES armadillos)

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

These are the People in your Neighborhood

To say the least, we live in a very diverse Dallas suburb.   Just check out the demographics for Valley Ranch:

I have yet to meet that one person from Ireland, but I can't wait!

In some ways, I just love that we are so exposed to other cultures.  I've learned so much about Vietnam, India, curry, Islam, pho, tapioca tea, arranged marriages, Thai chilis, and saris.  We have some of the best and most diverse restaurants in all of Texas!

Being from a small Panhandle town with only two races, Caucasian and Hispanic, it is still a shock to me at times.  Just the other day, Shelby looked outside and asked if it was Halloween.  I assumed it was just another attempt to get some candy until she followed up with, "But, why is that lady dressed up?"  I had to giggle just a little at her keen observation of an Indian woman wearing a Sari while out walking.  

Generic example of Indian clothing

Kids say the funniest things!  I've become so accustomed to seeing Indian styles that I don't even notice such things anymore.  And, while I'm still trying to learn as much as I can about the people in our neighborhood, my kids are just worried they are going to miss out on free candy.

That's How We Roll

Grandma and Grandpa Pfaff's house is every kid's wonderland.  They have enough toys to keep my kids entertained for a solid five days straight.  The newest addition is a mini John Deere tractor, complete with a foot throttle, 2 speeds, reverse, and heated seats.  (just kidding on that last one!)

In 14 short years, Haley will be a legal driver.  Might as well start practicing! 

Hold on tight...
Shelby, Haley, and their cousin, Ashlee, had a blast driving each other up and down the street.  They quickly learned how to push the pedal to make it go, but they all were steering-wheel-challenged.  Turning was quite an issue, so we got a workout chasing them down.
...keep holding on!

It was only after 30 minutes that they stopped the tractor long enough for me to read the warning sign in the back.
"No riders in dump bed!  Riders can be injured if bed dumps unexpectedly."

Oh harm, no foul!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Cabinet Climbing

Several things to take from this video:

~iMovie is the best invention ever
~We are raising mountain goats
~This explains why nothing is off limits in our house anymore

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Upon Closer Inspection...

It's been one long, hot summer.  I reached my breaking point about day 40 of 100+ degrees.  Not only have all Texans had to spend the whole summer indoors, many creatures have decided to brave it and attempt to live in some a/c too.

We've always seen a few geckos inside, but this year has been over the top.  Those cute little lizards are fast, but not quite quick enough at night to escape getting stepped on.  Bryon and I both have squished one in the dark.  Sorry, Little Lizards!  The girls love chasing them, but our nanny, Gloria, is terrified of them.  She is convinced all lizards are poisonous.   Poor lizards don't stand a chance around here.
Look what I found, Mom!

Can I keep him?

We've also seen a few wasps.  Bryon was out one night for poker, and Haley kept telling me, "bug!"  I would go try to find what she was talking about and kept finding nothing.  Then, while I was trying to get the girls to relax a little before bed, I saw the wasp on the top of the wall.  I had the "brilliant" idea to get the Swiffer and squish the little sucker before he would sting one of us.
Photo credit: Shelby Pfaff
What I hadn't planned on is that the Swiffer was made of foam and wouldn't completely squish the wasp.  So, I had him pinned for a good 10 minutes before I got the nerve up to let him go.  After a big scream from all three girls in the house, we were able to put him out of his misery.
Swiffer, more than just a cleaning tool!

Next on the list of our fun bug finds from Insect Lore.  I ordered a kit that includes 5 caterpillars, food, and a butterfly house, similar to this one from amazon:

What's hiding in the house?

Since the weather was so hot, the company wouldn't ship it until it "cooled off" to below 110 degrees.  When they finally arrived, the girls and I had a blast watching the caterpillars eat, grow, and finally turn into a chrysalis.  Gloria, on the other hand, thinks all caterpillars are poisonous.  She wouldn't go near them!  Needless to say, we can't wait to meet our Painted Lady butterflies.

Haley giving the butterflies-to-be kisses

Today, we finally got a "break" in the heat, with a comfortable high of only 101 degrees.  It was actually cool enough this morning for us to do some yard work.  While pulling weeds, I managed to come across a certain scary momma hiding out.  Can you spot her?

Here's a closer look:
Thank goodness for the zoom function

EEKK!!  She had about 100 babies on her back.  Luckily, she was moving very slowly and was just about as afraid of me as I was of her.  Gloria and Monica think all spiders are poisonous!

Bryon has informed me this is a wolf spider.  The next time you see my sister, ask her about her run-in with a wolf spider on Golden Circle.  She loves them!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

It's an Honor Just to be Nominated

**Warning:  Shameless bragging by a proud mama to follow.  Stop reading now if you are nauseated by the thought of hearing about overachieving three-year-olds!**

At the beginning of the summer, we enrolled Shelby in Texas Dreams gymnastics.  The first week was a freebie, and after class, the coach came over to tell me how strong my daughter was.  After gloating to my hubby about the thought of our Shelby becoming the next Mary Lou Retton, he quickly concluded it was Texas Dreams' way of getting us to sign up for three months.
Oh, M.L.R., how all of us thirty-somethings loved you!

Fast forward three months to renewal time.  After class, Shelby's coach found me to tell me, "I've been a coach for a long time and know talent when I see it.  Shelby has real natural ability, and we would like for her to join our team classes.  Someone will be contacting you with more information."

Tonight was the night "someone" contacted me.  I received a letter stating, "Shelby's coaches have mentioned how much they enjoy having her in their class.  She has demonstrated continual progress with her gymnastics skills, and has shown an interest in the sport beyond what we normally see in our students.  Based on the recommendation of her coaches, we would like to invite Shelby to join our morning Pawesomes Pre-Team."

WOW, WOW, WOW!!    I am still glowing thinking about my little girl being a gymnast.  I was OBSESSED in the '80's with anything and everything to do with the sport.  In fact, in 1984, my family went to the World's Fair.  All I cared about was seeing the gymnastics performance.  We went to find the stage and arrived way too early.  I was thrilled that there were still great seats open, so I went down to save us some right up front.  After about 30 minutes, I looked around and realized I knew NO ONE around me.  Both my mom and dad had left me there, thinking I had gone with the other family traveling with us.  Long story cut short, I hung out in lost and found for a couple of hours until my mom finally came back to rescue me.

Anyway, back to my olympian-to-be...As much as I love the idea of it and after giving it lots of thought, team gymnastics just isn't an option for us at the moment.  Three hours a week for a three-year-old is a HUGE commitment.  Classes are during my work shift.  The cost is much greater.  Etc, etc, etc...maybe when she gets a little older and is still the star, we will go for it.  For now, Miss Shelby, keep being the athlete your mom never was!