Thursday, April 23, 2015

Big Girl Bed

Last September, we finally turned Maddie's crib into a toddler bed. She lasted in that crib a long time! After three glorious years and very few attempts at climbing out, she surprised the sh%$ out of me one morning by casually meandering down the stairs before I even knew she was awake. So I knew it was time. I totally meant to blog about it.... oops. I did only have this one photo of her helping daddy take off the side. Tool in hand!

 Doesn't she already look so little here? 7 months ago!

So then her little bed looked like this:

She slept comfortably here for awhile until we decided it was finally time (this past week) for a BIG GIRL BED.  Really, it was a reward for all sorts of good behavior... we'd been building it up for awhile. I ordered some precious new sheets with a colorful bird motif to match her room. 

Maddie was super excited for the actual event and wanted to help as much as she could.  Baby Bub fully believes she can do such things as lift beds and mattresses, and it's difficult to dissuade her without hurt feelings!  She thinks no job is too big for herself, which cracks me up.

She also kept talking about how she was going to have a big girl bed just like her big sister :). I really love how it turned out.

We took out her rocking chair and now bedtime stories are actually read in bed with her, which is really nice. So far, so good!


Monday, April 13, 2015

Easter 2015

I have to post some pics of my bunnies before time gets away again! The girls attended no less than 3 egg hunts this year, with Maddie actually winning with 4, since she also had one at school. They are not spoiled at all I tell you!

We celebrated twice on Saturday with visits to Hub's family ranch and then to mine. Getting the girls to look and/or smile for the camera is absolutely impossible lately. Pure torture? It makes me pretty crazy! Here's the only decent one I got of the girls. Sigh.

I was really happy that Avery seemed to enjoy picking up the eggs and putting them in her basket. We mostly strolled her from egg to egg, but daddy carried her around a little too. Such a good daddy. Maddie is like an ol' pro with egg hunts at this point. She was done in 60 seconds.

Here is Maddie with her second cousin Molly, who she loves to play with! 
They are so cute together.

Conspiring not to look at the camera! ha

At the next ranch (luckily, only 15 minutes away), Avery did some napping and I got to do some porch rocking, which I highly enjoy.

Maddie really loved hanging out with even more second cousins, and basically chased them around for two hours. Katie in the navy behind her and Mackenzie in the hot pink are her faves, and so sweet with her.

Maddie hearts Katie.

My cousins, Alysia and Kingslea

I didn't get any egg hunt photos at this ranch, but my sweet Aunt Kay did get a good post-nap snuggle of Mommy and Avery. That's my childhood blanket that Avery now uses.

On Sunday, Maddie was in heaven because she got to follow Buella around... her favorite cousin-dog. Maddie will walk on all fours, sit like a puppy, bark like a puppy, and do every other puppy thing you can imagine while in Buella's presence. She takes her role very seriously.

The girls had another fun Easter egg hunt..

and then preceded to refuse again to look at the camera, so
I gave up too! Happy Easter!!


Monday, March 30, 2015

I did a Triathlon

In a very weird moment of (obvious) craziness last month, I decided to sign up to do a mini triathlon to help raise money for Avery's wonderful school. What really made me go over the edge was when I saw it was going to be row/swim/run instead of the usual bike/swim/run... because this girl does NOT bike, but has been lovin the row machine since college. I also saw an opportunity to invite a wonderful old friend to town to join me in the challenge as she 1) is practically a professional triathlon/marathon expert and 2) had a baby in December that I was dying to meet!

Lucky for me, everything worked out and my lovely friend Diana drove in this past weekend with her adorable new sidekick, Finn. We got to catch up and I got to cuddle (with Finn-ha) and then we woke up really bright and early on Sunday morning and DID A TRIATHLON. Just absolutely words that I never thought I would say.  Did I train for it? No, not really. Did I survive? Yes, thankfully. Did I have fun? Surprisingly yes, but mostly when it was over. :) I do have to say it was fun to challenge myself and meet a new goal.

Here we are post-tri with our cheerleader

Even WAY more fun though was afterwards when I got to babysit Finn while Diana went to a wedding shower. He is just a wonderful baby. Four months old and smiley and cooing and I just loved it. My little helper Maddie did too. Her favorite was getting to feed him. She was so sweet and very gentle with him. She just kept exclaiming over and over, "isn't he cuuuute!"

And Finn loves mirrors just like my girls did! He would catch sight of himself and just break into a huge smile. We probably played this game for like 20 minutes.

And then after we had playtime he fell fast asleep on my chest and it was just absolute, peaceful baby heaven. And I asked Bub the hub if we could maybe keep him but he said Diana would probably miss him, and I agree. But seriously, it was wonderful.


Sunday, March 15, 2015

Book Club

I'm doing an official not-about-my-kids-post! wow! I hope that is not a cue for you to stop reading. Ha! Talking about reading, and thanks to joining a neighborhood book club and getting a bunch of great books for Christmas from Bub the hub, I have actually been devouring books (almost) like I used to. It's a very wonderful thing that I truly miss... from before I traded my functioning brain cells and seemingly all of my energy for the adorable little loves that are my children.

So for the last eight months, I've managed to get through nine books... which does not sound like very many now that I write it down. But it's a hella lot more than I've averaged for the previous 6+ years!! Awesome. Anyway, if you are anything like me and enjoy a great book, I thought I'd save you some time and let you know what's worth reading. 

After Visiting Friends: A Son's Story by Michael Hainey-- This is one of two memoirs/non-fiction of the group. The premise was really intriguing to me as the author goes on a real-life search to figure out the secrets behind his father's death at a very young age of an apparent heart attack. Both father and son were newspaper reporters, so it was interesting to read the behind the scenes stuff. Easy to follow and definitely suspenseful. Grade: B

Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter-- Lord knows I like flashbacks and these are done so beautifully and intertwined so gracefully. There's 1960's Italy, modern day L.A., a love affair and cameos by Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton! What's not to love? No, seriously, it's a pretty fun read. Grade: A-

The Rosie Project by Graeme Stimsion-- a fun and unique premise and a glimpse into the mind of someone with autistic tendencies. Full of humor and great characters and a super fast read! Grade: B

Gray Mountain by John Grisham-- not sure how else to say it... SKIP IT. Also, is John Grisham still even writing his own books anymore? This one would make me hope no. Grade: D

Not That Kind of Girl by Lena Dunham-- obvs the other memoir. I thought it was hilarious. If you like Lena or her show, Girls, I would highly recommend. Although the honesty is sometimes hard to bear (I am semi-prudish though..), I still tremendously admire her crazy life experiences and talent. Grade: A

The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters-- This initially had me interested because it's a period piece, which is my fav. 1920's to be exact. A young woman and her widowed mother are forced by a loss of wealth to take on renters in their upper class home.  I have to give this one props because it totally shocked me only about 1/3 of the way in, which pretty much never happens. I can kind of guess the plot turns of t.v. shows/books/movies about a mile away. After that big one, it does get a little predictable though... but the ending feels good in a way. Grade: B-

Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng-- This book opens with the mysterious death of the oldest daughter from a Chinese- American family. There are many unknowns around her death but I found the slow reveal of this girl's character to be even more absorbing. Or perhaps, how you think you know a person (even your daughter, or mother) but you really don't.. at all. I think this author is very talented. Grade: A

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins-- SO suspenseful that it's a crazy quick read because you cannot even put it down. At least I couldn't because I HAD to know whodoneit. A woman travels on the same train every day and finds herself involved in a murder mystery. Best summary ever, right? Also, the (alcoholic) protagonist is very hard to like, which makes it both unique and annoying. Grade: B-

Enchanted by Rene Denfeld-- I'm actually not technically finished with this one quite yet but it's a gorgeous read so far. It takes place in a prison, on death row actually. Doesn't sound gorgeous, right? But the author's way with words is... enchanting :). It's about redemption and "the human capacity to transcend even the most nightmarish reality." I love it. Grade: A+

Now go forth and read!!

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