Tuesday, March 29, 2011

dry erase board

 I love this idea for a dry erase board--original tutorial from make it and love it.
It only took a few minutes to put together, with some scrap fabric, and it's perfect for this little space between my kitchen archway and cutout wall.
Now the fact that the menu is blank...well that's a completely different problem.

Friday, March 25, 2011


Now that Nicholas is talking, he's got a few silly little sayings that are pure "Nicholas."  

"No right"  This used to be a very ambiguous term, and we were never sure if it meant yes or no, but now it is clearly a no, but it's almost polite, like he's saying "no thanks."

"No way!"
Never said nearly as politely as "no right," unfortunately.  This is toddler-attitude at it's most prominent.

"Where go ____?"  (ball, baby, book, daddy)  His first three-word combination.  I'm pretty impressed with the level of cognition this phrase demonstrates. 

"Shik-oh-ba" or "Shik-oh-ma"  As close as we can tell, this is meaningless; he mostly just says it because it is fun to say.  I love to hear him playing or dancing and repeating "shik-oh-ba" over and over.

"Manna"  This began as his word for banana, but now he uses it for bread.  Could a word be more fitting?

"Oh man" He says this all. the. time.  And I love it.  It's so boy-ish and funny.  He says it to express surprise, silliness, relief, and frustration.

"Bye"  He says this with a polite little wave of his hand when he wants us to leave him alone.  Yeah, Mom, I'm doing fine, thanks for checking on me, now please go away again.

The danger of using sidewalk chalk in khakis:  a bad case of rainbow-bum.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

hanging with stanley

My sweet cousin Mia sent me a letter last week.  Her class has been reading Flat Stanley,
and she sent me Stanley.
Stanley came to Texas, 
and I was delighted to show him what living here is all about.

So far, Stanley has
taken a ride in a shopping bag to the Farmer's Market where we bought fresh strawberries and ran through wet grass at the park,
stopped to smell the Texas bluebonnets,

and tasted our famous Texas watermelon.

We have big plans for the weekend with Stanley,
I mean, you can't come to Texas and not sample some barbecue.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

aversions affections adorations

I saw this post on my friend Katie's blog, and I liked the idea!

Aversions:  big Texas bugs, dirty socks, the sound of squeaky styrofoam, teens in the "don't care" or "whatever" phase, how my laptop dies the instant the cord is removed, dogs that bark incessantly, blogger program's formatting hiccups,  funky smells in my house, carrots, clutter and mess, spicy spicy food.

Affections:  vacations, frozen lemonade, Sunday afternoon walks at the park, watching Nicholas dance and sing, talking to my mom on the phone (every single day!), windows and sunlight, playing the piano, gardens, clean open spaces, picnics and eating outside, Kent doing the dishes for me, watermelon, blossoms, spending time with our friends, making my home beautiful, family snuggle/tickle fests, cheese, clothes that make me feel pretty.

Adorations: Kent, Nicholas, being a stay-at-home mom, my home, the Church, times when I'm feeling complete peace and joy, parents, siblings, friends, life.

Friday, March 18, 2011

constantly rewarding

Okay, do you know how lucky I am?
Do you know how many times I find myself looking over at my husband,
usually when we're doing the most everyday things,
and feeling that sweet warm tingling,

thinking to myself, how did I get him to marry me?

Gordon B. Hinckley (former president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) once spoke of
“the kind of respect that regards one’s companion as the most precious friend on earth.” 
He said: “Companionship in marriage is prone to become commonplace and even dull. I know of no more certain way to keep it on a lofty and inspiring plane than for a man occasionally to reflect upon the fact that the helpmeet who stands at his side is a daughter of God, engaged with God in the great creative process of bringing to pass His eternal purposes. 

"I know of no more effective way for a woman to keep ever radiant the love for her husband than for her to look for and emphasize the godly qualities that are a part of every son of our Father and that can be evoked when there is respect and admiration and encouragement. The very processes of such actions will cultivate a constantly rewarding appreciation for one another.”

Sunday, March 13, 2011

camping in March

We have awesome friends.
The kind of friends that when we ask them,
do you want to go camping on Friday?
They say
And so we went.  Camping in March.
It was beautiful.

Our campsite at Garner State Park had this gorgeous tree right in the middle, which was perfect for sitting in the shade in the middle of the day when it got into the mid-80's. 
We ate a lunch of croissants with cheese and turkey while we talked about really awesome things, 
like how some of us tried to sell things as children, things like rocks and individual Cheetos. 

And at night, we ate smore's around the campfire, and talked about even more awesome things, 
like the Bachelor, rappelling, scary movies, and how I slept with a glass of water by my bed after I watched the movie Signs. I was 20 at the time.

We were quite cozy in that little tent, with the pack and play, the twin air mattress for me, and Kent's blanket bed taking up whatever space was left (he sleeps on the ground by choice, I promise!)
but surprisingly, we all slept great that night!  Nicholas didn't even wake up once,
and I only woke up when I had to go to the bathroom at 3:30 in the morning.
Have you ever laid awake in the middle of the night, trying to figure out what is worse:
leaving the warm tent and walking through the dark to the bathrooms,
or trying to wait until morning?

When Nicholas woke up that morning, he was scared at first, probably wondering where in the world he was, 
but once he saw that we were there he was perfectly happy,
and when I told him that we were in a tent,
his eyes got big and he pointed to the tent walls:  "oh, a tent!"
He then proceeded to say the word "tent" no less than 75 times.  I'm not joking.
And then he peed on Kent's blanket while I was changing his diaper.  Awesome.
Nicholas was the happiest little camper I've ever seen.  We didn't even have to pull out the toys--he spent the entire time just walking around the campsite, climbing on rocks, crunching leaves, and "helping" us set things up. He laughed, he jabbered, he pointed at birds and the moon, he ate cookies, and he seriously only cried/threw a tantrum once the entire time we were there.

Makes me wish we could go camping every week.  Even if I didn't enjoy it I think it would be worth it just to see Nicholas have so much fun.
But luckily, I do enjoy it.
Garner State park is next to the Rio Frio (yeah, you can say it out loud if you want).  We walked down to the water's edge on Friday night.  The sun was setting and it was beautiful.

On Saturday morning we took an impromptu tour of the rest of the campground, decided we definitely had the best campsite available,
and eventually ended up down by the river.
Of course we had to rent a paddle boat, and by stroke of genius we rented just one paddle boat for the five of us.  This meant that the men did the paddling and Allison, Nicholas, and I got to sit back and relax. 

Nicholas really did have fun on the paddle boat, once he got over the fact that he had to wear the life jacket.  He was waving to the other kids on the river, quacking at the ducks, and pointing at everything.

We had so much fun that we didn't want to leave. Cliche but true!  
We're hoping to go again sometime before Texas becomes Texas-hot.  
Maybe you want to come with too?

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


Yesterday Nicholas discovered the joys of rocks.
Mom discovered what happens when you give a toddler a green marker, 
even with explicit instructions to color "only on the cardboard box house"
very, very quickly he was drawing on his belly, his fingers, and his toes,
counting them as he colored
"one two toes. one two toes. one two toes."

We had some new friends over for dinner on Sunday. They have a beautiful little girl just a few months older than Nicholas.
Talking about our children made for natural conversation, and something my friend said has stuck with me.
"My daughter, well, she's my best friend and I don't know what to do when she's not with me."

For all the challenges of being a mother,
all the fears and concerns and frustrations,
I wholeheartedly agree with her.
Nicholas has changed my life.  I know I've said it before, but it's true.

He is my best little buddy and I do not know what I'd do without him here by my side every day,
coloring on himself and gathering rocks.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

what march looks like

We're one week into March.  It has been a busy, busy week.  Having a sick kid has a way of putting the rest of your life on the back burner.  (yardwork, vacuuming, making beds, blogging)
But Nicholas is getting better (other than a weird rash that showed up on his neck yesterday), and Kent survived a brief bout with a very nasty stomach bug on Thursday.  I've never seen the poor guy so sick.  There was one point where we were seriously considering driving him in to the hospital...but then he just stopped throwing up, all of the sudden, so all was well.

In March: 
we're hoping for a healthy family--let's be done with this!

my daffodils should bloom.

we're going camping with some friends.

we'll be driving our new car with a spare tire. I love love love our little blue crossover. I love not feeling trapped at home with nowhere to go.  I love the sliding doors in the back.  I love the cd player.  I can't help but laugh at the fact that we have already popped a tire and been forced to dismantle the cigarette lighter because it wouldn't release Kent's phone charger.  

it's time to plant my garden again.  I'm already dreaming of those fresh tomatoes.

Kent's got homework to work on.

we clean the Church every Saturday--Kent's calling.

we are going to be creative with our family outings--keeping Nicholas out of public places.  But that means more trips to the park, more picnics, working hard to find new fun things to do. 
I'm good with that.