Tuesday, February 23, 2010


When we told Avery that it was snowing outside this morning the first thing she asked was, "Is it Christmas?!?"

It was really wild to go from 70 degrees and sunny on Sunday to snow all day today. I tried to take some pictures to show the accumulation as the day went on.

Here's Avery just ready to burst with excitement on the way to school this morning. She was so happy to see snow on the ground in Texas. I think she figured that it only snowed in Illinois since that is the only place she has ever seen snow.
She started trying to catch the snowflakes with her tongue. Quite a big difference from when we got off the plane in Illinois for Christmas. She wouldn't have anything to do with the snow then. I guess all that playing in the snow with her cousins washed away any fears she had.
Jack isn't ever fearful of anything so the challenge we had with him was making sure he didn't run out of the house and slip on any slush. Matt was holding on to Jack for dear life so he wouldn't try and jump out of his arms and dive in the little bit of snow that was starting to cover the ground.

Off to school they went...
....and the snow continued to come down fast. The snowflakes were huge!
Our neighbors made a cute little snowman.
Our poor little flowers were almost totally covered by 10 am.
It stopped snowing briefly around 11:30 but picked up again in the afternoon. Avery and Jack's school closed at 3pm which made working from home for the last few hours of the day a big challenge. Unfortunately the work didn't go away just because it snowed so Matt and I had to juggle the kids and our meetings. We took turns locking ourselves in our bedroom so we didn't have kids laughing in the background on our conference calls.

When I came out of our room for a few minutes between calls, I found Avery dressed up as a princess holding flowers that she was pretending to be balloons. So strange. And she wanted to go outside and play in the snow but didn't want to put on a coat because it would cover her dress. I decided to let her learn on her own and allowed her to go outside.
I figured it would take 30 seconds for her to start complaining and want to go back inside. She definitely proved me wrong. She loved it outside, especially because she could stomp around in her boots.And then out comes little brother to play, too! He put his boots on by himself and showed up in the yard while I was too busy taking pictures to notice. That's just the kind of good parent I am. He enjoyed playing in the snow and refused to let me get a good picture of him.
We don't own snow pants, obviously, because WE LIVE IN TEXAS. I only let him stay out for a couple of minutes and then I picked him up and took both kids back inside. You know, right after I took a few pictures. Since toddlers in wet pants tend to cry a lot (and I was trying to avoid that on account of the whole WORKING thing), I didn't let Jack run around as much as he wanted to.

After I was done with my conference calls and we finished eating dinner, Avery and I went outside for a snowball fight. It wasn't as dark outside as these pictures make it seem just in case my friend Joel is reading this and wants to call CPS. Here she goes... She is gearing up to throw a snowball at me and she is very impressed with herself.
Nice release and ends up hitting me in the right in the lens of my camera. I backed up a little after that because LESSON LEARNED.
Another good shot. She was throwing them at me with both hands. She is most definitely a lefty but she tends to switch it up every once in a while just to keep us guessing.Our neighbor Jordan came over and showed Avery the snowman he made earlier in the day. The two of them spent a few minutes throwing snowballs at Matt's car before Jordan headed home to warm up.
I convinced Avery that clearing off my car was so! much! fun! and she ended up doing almost the whole thing. Sucker.

So there you have it. Our big snow day in Austin. Global warming at it's finest. I just hope the roads are clear tomorrow so we don't have to juggle the kids and work at the same time again. *dearLordplease*

Monday, February 22, 2010

Jack and His Facial Expressions

Serious: Clearly he is thinking about Tiger Wood's apology and whether or not it was sincere.

Caution: Do not attempt to steal my cupcake. I might actually bite your fingers off. Don't test me on this one or you will regret it.

Exuberant: YAY! Someone finally gave me words on my clothes since I can't really speak for myself yet.
Sophisticated: This look tells the ladies that I am mature and playful at the same time. Notice how I look off into space as if I am pondering the questions of life. I am deep.
Meticulous: Not only am I smart enough to write my name is perfect penmanship before the age of 2, but I am also detail-oriented. I want to make sure to get the shadow color perfect so I take my time and concentrate.
Contemplative: During "toddler movement class" he avoided following any form of instruction. Instead he considered the future of dance and the movements associated with "I'm a Little Teapot" in the post modern era.

Evasive: Rather than looking at the camera and allowing you to take my picture so we can just get this over with, I am going to look in every other possible direction. But I won't run away, because that would clue you in that I am definitely never going to cooperate. Instead I will sit in one spot and give you the impression that I will allow you to take a decent picture....even though I never will.
Silly: Dressing up as DJ Jack Rock and dancing around the house. Get your sillies out, friends. Get your sillies out.

Well...We Tried

He had that paper torn up the SECOND I put it in his hand. I felt defeated....
Luckily I had Avery take some pictures holding the sign on her own so we could get something usable. It is official: I am smarter than a (almost) 2 year old.

So we hope you have a very great day, Aunt Julie. Even if we aren't capable of getting anything in the mail on time. (We mailed it, though! It's on the way! Just....you know....late.)


Sunday, February 14, 2010

For Their Valentines

Avery signed her own cards with the letter A. She was very proud of herself when she was done. I was, too, so I took a picture to put in her baby book. Earlier in the week she had written "AVY" on a card she made. She is great at spelling her name but not quite there when it comes to writing it. She isn't sure how to make the E or R yet so she just leaves it out. Makes sense to me.
Avery and Jack have the greatest teachers/caregivers. We are so lucky to have them--they make a real difference in my kids' lives. And it makes life so much easier for me and Matt to know that our kids are being loved and cared for while we are at work every day. I can't imagine having it any other way.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Dance Fever

You'll have to forgive the picture heavy posts this week. My mom is out of town on a business trip so I am trying to keep her posted on what the kids are up to. I think she would prefer that nothing happen at all while she is away, something I completely understand. BUT, if we had to keep the kids inside with no new activities I think I might go crazy--especially since we don't get our normal Saturday night break from the kids while she is away. Our mission this weekend is to keep them as busy as possible. Since there is no cooking class this week for Avery, we enrolled both of the kids in dance classes at our city Rec Center this morning. The schedule won't work for Avery because it is at the same time as her cooking classes are but she has been asking to go to dance class for almost a year now and so we finally decided to give her a second chance and see if she would actually participate this time.

For Jack, this is the first time we have enrolled him in ANY class or activity. He gets a lot of interaction with Avery at home and his friends at daycare so we didn't feel like we needed to enroll him in Gymboree like we did with Avery. But now that he is almost 2, he really does need some kind of activity on the weekend to get his energy out and build his motor skills. Jack's friend Conrad is in the class and his mom really likes it so we decided to give it a try. Here are the pictures from Kindertots and Kinderdance today.

At first Jack stood around with his thumb in his mouth. He stood up when the teacher told everyone to and he sat when everyone sat (always on the little mat he chose at the start of class, which I thought was cute--and also a sign that he has been programmed to always sit in his "spot") but he didn't really participate much at first.
The teacher gave him these scarves to use as part of a dance. As you can see from the look on his face, he isn't quite sure about this.
But then he realized that he got to run around the room with the scarves and he perked right up. Poppa was there to watch and I think Jack considered Poppa to be "base" because he would almost always run over to Poppa after any activity. Run around the room and wave scarves. Run to Poppa. Jump on little mats like a frog. Run to Poppa. Sing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. Run to Poppa. Hopefully he'll catch on that you don't actually have to tell Poppa what you just did every time because HE CAN SEE YOU from where he is sitting.
He really did start to enjoy class and the various movements they were making as a group. Large elephant steps and then baby mouse steps. Running on tip toes and then walking very slowly and quietly. Jumping up and down and jumping side to side. When he was catching on to what he was suppose to do, he was quite happy with the experience.
"Look! I'm jumping! Like a frog!"
This was a song about being a big apple, I think. It was toward the end of class so he had figured out that he could just watch the teacher and know what kinds of motions he needed to make to go along with the song.
He really liked being able to jump around in circles and raise his hands over his head. I think that's because of all of the Yo Gabba Gabba shows he watches. Dancing like a fool is not foreign to this kid.
But this! THIS was the best part of class by far for Jack. He perked right up when the teacher told the class that it was time to play catch. Jack would watch the others get a turn and after each one he would say, "My turn! My turn!" with such a cute smile on his face.
He was thrilled when it was his turn and he got to catch the ball and then roll it back to the teacher. He clapped for himself every time.

Oh Lucky day! He got to STAND and CATCH, too! And he did. The teacher threw the ball and he caught it with no problem. Whenever a child missed Jack would run after the ball and say, "My do it! My do it!" (which is Jack's way of saying he'll get the ball).
I was worried that once he got the ball he would choose to keep it and run around the room like a fool while everyone chased after him to get the ball. I was pleasantly surprised when he threw the ball right back to the teacher after he caught it.
He jumped up and down when he realized that he got to catch and throw the ball MORE THAN ONE TIME! OMGTHEBESTDAYEVER!

We're definitely going to sign him up for the weekly classes. He liked the songs, being with his friend Conrad and running around the room like a crazy man. Plus, the nap he took this afternoon was fantastic. :-)

Next was Avery's class. I'll start this story by reminding you of our former President, George W. Bush, and a famous saying that he shared with the world one time: "There's an old saying in Tennessee — I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee — that says, fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can't get fooled again." I think what he meant to say is, "fool me twice, shame on ME" which is exactly how Matt and I felt after Avery's ballet class today.

After months of requests from Avery to go to ballet class again, we finally agreed to take her. As I said earlier, today was the perfect day. Luckily this was just a "try and see class" so we didn't have to pay anything.

Things started out very promising. She went right over to the teacher and participated in the exercises with no tears at all. She even turned around and yelled over to me several times to see if I had noticed that she was "listening to the teacher." She was doing so well, in fact, that I felt comfortable leaving the room to let Jack run around on the track. After about 20 minutes I came back in the room to get Matt to take over with Jack so I could watch Avery. Once she saw me come in the room she turned around and gave me a really pitiful look. I was afraid it was one of those "I have to go to the restroom and I have tights and a leotard on" looks so I motioned her over. She whined that she was ready to go home and she didn't want to do ballet anymore. The teacher told her that some fun dances were coming up along with tap and gymnastics but Avery was firm in her decision to leave. sigh.

I told her that we weren't going to come back again if we left as she started to put her pants and shoes on. She clearly didn't care.

So that's it. We tried twice and we failed twice. The kid likes the idea of ballet class but not the act of participating in the class. We won't be fooled again.

The only ballet picture of her that we have from this time. Definitely an improvement from the tearful photo we have from her last attempt when she was 2. Same outcome, though. Same outcome.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Jack's First Haircut

OHDEARLORD. I succumbed to the pressure Matt was putting on me. I caved. I gave in.

I am a fool.

So. Today was the day. We got Jack's first haircut and I knew it was a mistake before we even did it. I loved his little blond curls in the back and now they are gone.


(Sure, maybe I am being a little dramatic. But take a look for yourself. Jack went from being a baby to being a little boy in only 15 minutes!)

Waiting with Poppa for his turn in the chair of doom. Poor kid doesn't even know what's about to happen to him. Life is so cruel.

Here is the last picture of his sweet little curls before they met an untimely death. I saved them, of course, but having them in an envelope in his baby book is not the same as on his sweet head.
Here he is as Vilma was making her first cuts. He wasn't really sure what in the world was happening to him. I was starting to feel sick to my stomach.
Here he is looking at her as if to say, "Please make sure I am still cute after this!"
And there they go. My delicious little curls. I was feeling like I could actually vomit. I was trying to figure out how I let Matt talk me into this. What in the world was I thinking? I blame global warming.
I think he was contemplating how much his life will be different now that he looks older. Could he get more chicks? Get into a PG movie? Get on carnival rides? Oh...the possibilities.
He was so sweet during the whole experience. He never cried or jerked around. He just sat patiently and quietly while Vilma did her thing.

And when it was all said and done....

...this is what he looked like. Not a sweet baby boy anymore.
Here's the back. No sweet curls. No floppy top. Just plain ol' short and straight hair.

Just like a big boy.

I think I will keep him in footie pajamas until he leaves for college.