December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas to all...

I've been blowin' and goin' and have barely had time to stop and eat lately (this is a good thing when you're still trying to lose baby weight). But, I wanted to quickly get Lo and Gainesy's Santa picture up before the holiday. Lola had an absolute blast seeing Santa...I basically had to peel her away from him to leave. She told Santa "Some of my friends cry when they come see you but I'm not going to cry. I'm a big girl". She also said "Santa, I want a baby doll for Christmas. Where is my baby doll?" She thought Santa would have her doll for her right there and then. It was very cute and I love that she is having so much fun during this holiday. Of course, our big gift from Santa Claus was a guitar for Lola...Not a toy guitar but a real mini guitar so she can play with her daddy. With her request for a doll, we had to make a last minute baby doll purchase to come from Santa.

Anyway, we've had a great holiday so far which of course included Christmas tree farm, visiting Santa, riding the holiday train and the best moment was the The Rockettes Christmas Spectacular! We still have plans to go to Downtown Dallas tomorrow to observe the always fab Neiman's window. I've actually already seen it on one of my trips to Dallas and I think Lo will love it. We're also going to North Park to see the trains which I think Lola will really love this year. And, I have to do some last minute shopping....YIKES!

Everyone have a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year!

December 8, 2010

One step closer....

As you know, Clay has been working nonstop lately. It's really never-ending for him it seems. Last night was a perfect case and point....Clay didn't get home until 7:00 ish. When he was putting Lo to bed he received a call from a colleague telling him he needs something first thing in the morning. What???? Nothing like last think they could have called a little earlier than 8:00 p.m.???? Frustrating! Anyway, Clay had to go to the office at 9:00 p.m. to get it done. It's just all too much! But, for now, Clay's "day job" is only paying the bills and we hope he'll eventually be able to teach full time at UT and launch his own company again. Well, steps are being taken and several great things have come to fruition over the past couple weeks.

One, Clay is now what they consider a 50% adjunct at UT. This was fab news and a real compliment to Clay that they not only asked him to come back in the Spring to teach but also increased his responsibilities. How he'll fit in the extra hours when he already has no hours to spare is unknown but somehow it seems he's always able to "make it work" as Tim Gunn would say (Yes, I have an obsession with Project Runway...who doesn't!?!?!?). The next step at UT will be Clay getting a full time or more preferably a tenure track position. As of now, there are no openings but maybe in the Fall! We'll continue to keep our fingers crossed for the big breakthrough there.

Second, a piece of Clay's furniture was chosen to be in the Rough Cut: Furniture Design in Austin, TX event - Hosted by IDSA Texas Chapter+ IDSA Furniture Section. This is HUGE for Clay! Challenge...the piece chosen is not yet complete. So, Clay and his compadres are trying to pull it all together and get it done this week....calling it a little close considering the event is this weekend. Here's some additional info:

Such a proud moment! This is a real honor for Clay and a great opportunity for him to get additional exposure. All of our friends are set to come out to the event to see Clay's furniture debut. So good to have such great support from everyone. Especially Adam and Eddie who are working hard this week to help Clay get the piece finished. This also means a child-free evening with adults on Saturday night. YEA...bring on the babysitter!

Finally, Clay received a call earlier this week from an old friend in NYC. Her job is relocating to LA so she's decided to take advantage of the severance package and open a wine bar. Why not right?!?!? How fab would that be?!?!?! Anyway, she reached out to Clay to help with the concept and design of the bar. Should be a great project!

Right now Clay feels like he needs to pinch himself. All of this is just getting him closer to what he really wants to do! More hours but it will all be worth it in the end! I'm very proud of him and glad to see all his hard work starting to pay off.

P.S. I let Clay take a shift with Gainesy boy last night...actually he insisted. Felt good to get 3.5 hours of straight sleep....AAHHH... With that, I'm basically fully rested today...pretty sad that 3.5 hrs gets me there. Oh how I long for the days of 8 hrs sleep. Of course, haven't had that since before I was pregnant with Lola. One day it shall come again...or are those days over???? TBD!

December 6, 2010

The tears have arrived!

We had a great weekend! We drove to Big M (that's Midlothian) to celebrate Curry's (Lo and Gainesy's cousin) first birthday. It was a big shindig! My sister-in-law, Brana, did a great job putting together an absolutely fab birthday party for Curr-bear that was topped off with Curry running around in an adorable cupcake onsie with a huge tu-tu...oh so cute!

All of the family was there...grandmothers from both sides (four generations in the room so wonderful), aunts, uncles, friends and more. I love that most everyone in the room are Hola Lola blog readers and I'm so glad yall all love it so much. I received several comments from people saying "You seem to be doing so great...the blogs have been so upbeat lately"...YEA. And, yes, I am doing great but unfortunately the tears have arrived....tears of exhaustion. It's just part of being a parent I guess....

Why tears???? WELL!!! I've now hit my fifth straight night of 3-4 hours sleep max. OUCH!!! I'm in so pain...not even really hurts...BAD! So much pain that when I woke up this morning at 6:15, the tears just busted out and didn't stop. I've tried to hold back for a couple days now but when you go night after night and hope that "this will be the night" and then it's not, it can be hard to take. Last night we tried to go to sleep around 10:30. Then the fun started...Gaines was up at 10:45 to eat (Clay fed but I was awake), then Lola came in our room around 12:30 a.m, then Gaines up again at 1:00 a.m. and didn't go back to sleep until 2:30ish and the rest is history. At one point I found myself cussing under my breath and begging for sleep....any sleep! Not so much!

Now, this is all partially self-inflicted. Clay is great. Time and time again he has offered to rotate and take shifts with me but I refuse. Not sure why. Well, maybe I do know why...maybe not...I don't brain is foggy. But, my response to him when he offers is always, I'm breastfeeding and feel I need to do it as it's my "duty as a mother"...those aren't my exact words and I would actually never say that but it's how I obnoxious I know...I mean's 2010 here...almost 2011...mothers aren't expected to carry the full parenting load anymore! On top of that, if I don't feed him, then my milk supply will go down. At this point, I should just let it go down but I'm too bull headed. Plus, I'm already awake and will be awake the entire time so I may as well just knock it out. No point in two of us being awake right?!?!?! Although I'm up often, I have it down to a science and "usually" (I put this in quotes as last night this didn't work out so well) I can get him fed and back to sleep in 20 minutes. But, as usual, I put too much pressure on myself which eventually causes me to break. Hey, we're all human and our body and mind can only take so much. You know I said on my last post that I remember it only getting worse before it got better.... Now that I've hit the breaking point, I feel surely it will only get better now...SURELY!

Another thing my friends and family always ask is "How do you do it all?". A couple things on this.... One, I don't do anything more than any other parent out there. Two, I don't do it "all" should see my house right now...I even have a hard time keeping the dog bowls filled with food and water. This, my friends, is not a sarcastic statement but a serious one...I'm usually made aware that it's time to fill the water bowl when I hear the dogs drinking out of the toilet...YIKES!. But, even with this, my response is always that it's that parental instinct that just kicks in and you just keep going. As a parent, we all do it! We all run 24/7. We all run on empty at times. For us, it wouldn't be so hard if Clay wasn't having to work so much...easily 60 hours + a week and that's a good week. He was out the door at 6:45 this morning. He feels just horrible when he has to leave me to conquer all in the morning on my own but he's definitely pulling his weight just by trying to get himself to a point to support this family and also trying to get himself to a point in his career where he's doing what he wants to do. Sometimes that means him leaving early, working late and working weekends. I'm willing to do whatever I can at home to help him get where he needs to be! I also know he would do the same for me. But, to really answer the "How do you do it all?"'s simple...this is how and why all parents do what we do and are able to keep going:

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Our kids give us that extra drive to do it all!

So, unfortunately, today, I have taken the blog down a beat but promise to get it back up. We started a new holiday tradition this weekend and went to the Christmas tree farm yesterday. SUCH a great time...Loved it! Can't wait to post pics of the fun.

December 3, 2010

Smiley Smilerson!!!

Our little man has become quite the smiler! I mean, he just laughs, giggles, coos and smiles constantly. All I have to do is look at him and I get a big bright beautiful smile along with a big giggle. LOVE IT!!! Happy baby equals happy mommy! I really love this big smile when I'm having a week like this week. One of those when nothing seems to be going your way and you just want to call it quits and start fresh next week. That's this week for me!

Such an adorable little thing! Now if I can just get him to sleep....AAHHH!!! Yep, still no sleep. Lola really never slept much either but I feel we were getting a little more sleep at this point. Maybe not. The boy loves to eat! Last night I went to sleep around 10:30, then was up at 1:10, 3:36, 4:14, 6:16 and then got up to start the day at 7:05....late start due to lack of sleep..UGH!!! Anyway, it's been like this all week. Don't know if the holiday/travel threw him off or if it's the new daycare routine or what. I remember with Lola it seemed to only get worse before it got better so I'm hoping it will get better soon. We also HAVE to get him in his crib as he's clearly outgrown the cradle and I think that wakes him at times. I haven't moved him yet b/c 1) I'm attached to him and don't want him a few steps away in the other room...crazy I know and 2) I can't find the monitor anywhere. I'll have to go on a mad search to find it b/c we really need to get him moved asap. Maybe we'll give it a shot tonight!

Tomorrow Gainesy will be 4 months. I absolutely CAN NOT believe it! 4 months!!! How far we've come in such a short period of time. It seems it was just yesterday when he arrived oh so early and was in NICU attached to cords and monitors. I'm so glad to be past those times and now have a very happy healthy boy. We had his 4 month doctor appt this week and it went great! The doctor is blown away at how big he's become to be such a early baby. Here are his stats:

Weight: 15 lbs - 50 -75th percentile

Height: 24 7/8" - 50 - 75th percentile

Can you believe it?!?!?! This little guy started in the 10th percentile and is now exceeding in the growth charts. So happy! Now, although he is clearly growing well, he's not quite up to speed on all other fronts. He's still not real good with stomach time and holding his head up and he's not flipping over either way yet. By 4 months, Lola had her head way up in the air and was flipping both ways. I know I shouldn't compare as all babies are different but it's so hard not to. The doc said on all developmental fronts we have to think of him as a 3 month old vs. a 4 month old and it will take him until about 6-7 months to catch up there. But, even with that, he actually said he's doing good for a 4 month old and excellent for a 3 month old so no concerns there. YEA!!! Just need sleep....

Little Miss Lola had a first too...her first haircut.
I was hesitant to have this done but thought a trim may help it start growing better. She was a little skiddish about it at first and had to sit on my lap but she ended up doing real good and loves her new cut. The next morning she said "My new haircut is still here!"

While Gaines is coming into his own and is showing us so much personality, Lola is also coming into her own in a different way. It's absolutely IN-SANE how much she's changed over the past 3 months. She is now officially a little girl. No baby in her anymore...unless she's pulling one of her whining acts but we're working on those! Anyway, I don't know if it's her age, or her moving up to a new classroom at school or her becoming a big sister but she's just amazing and it's mind-blowing all she's saying and doing. I'm telling you...nothing gets by this little girl! Here are some of the developments with Lo:

She gets her feelings hurt extra easy and will say "Daddy's making my feelings hurt" or "Bella (the dog - she's very attached to her) is making my feelings hurt" over the smallest things like telling her "No, you can't have ice cream right now". Feelings are a huge deal to her right now. To me, this is a good thing as it shows she's starting to understand her emotions more.

Something else that's been a very hard adjustment for me is Lo talking about her "friends" at school. She'll come home and say "Mattie is my best friend" or one day will say "Mattie is not my best friend anymore" or "Madison told me I'm not her best friend". This has all been hard for me to take in and process. I initially didn't know how to react and still don't actually. I always tell her she shouldn't pick "best friends" and she needs to be friends with everyone and treat all her friends with respect. Pretty humorous to tell my almost 3 yr old this as it seems some adults don't even get this point...most need to go back and remember what their parents tried to teach them and treat people with respect regardless of their flaws. Anyway, that's neither here nor there but it's hard trying to figure out how to lead Lola down the right path and make sure she treats everyone with respect regardless their differences. One time in reaction to one of the so and so was "mean to me today" comments, I told Lola "Lo, That's ok. Sometimes kids are not going to be nice but you still need to treat them with respect and kill them with kindness." She looked at me, squinted her eyebrows and said "Kill them???". I immediately said "Oh no! Never mind...disregard that comment. Just treat them kindly." So funny how kids take things so literally.

Some other things....we've never really let Lo watch much TV until recently. We also would never have the TV on until she went to bed. Now, we'll let her watch certain shows but still put a limit on them. Unfortunately, I found that this was a "must" when Gaines arrived. Sometimes if I was having to feed him or breastfeed or something along those lines, I had to occupy Lola in an attempt to keep her from pitching a fit. This probably wasn't necessarily the best solution but at times you do what you can to make life just a little easier. Ever so often we'll also turn on the TV to watch an adult show when Lo is still awake. Not that we can really watch anything with two kids but at times we'll give it a shot to try to decompress a bit. The other day I said to Lo "Hey Lola....Our favorite show is coming on tonight! What do you think that is?" She hit the nail on the head and answered with great enthusiasm "America's Next Top Model!". HILARIOUS! Boy, do I have her trained. Pretty bad right!?!?!? Oh goodness gracious! If we happen to be watching a show and something comes on that's scary or someone does something mean, etc, Lola will say "I don't think I should be watching this show" and ask us to turn it off. I just think this is too funny and am glad she knows not to watch that stuff. Now if only we could do the same for our brains!!! I'm thinking The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills isn't making me any smarter and is possibly only killing brains think?!?!?!

On the same note, in the past, we've always limited Lola's sugar intake to a minimal...really almost none. It's just not reality to keep it away from her completely as she'll have sweets/cupcakes at school for holidays or birthdays, etc. So, we'll let her have "a special treat" ever so often. More often than not lately as Clay loves him some ice cream. Many times he'll pick it up on the way home from work and Lo will see him carry it in. She now knows how to open the freezer to check to see if there are any "special treats" waiting to be had. Of course, with this can come fits and I try to avoid those or anything that invokes them at all cost. However, if we happen to have ice cream or any kind of sweet in the house and she sees it, I always say "You can have some for dessert after you eat your dinner." Her reaction to this...she'll say "I want dessert for dinner and dinner for dessert". Oh yea! The first time she said this I was in shock. I was also very impressed by her negotiation impressed that I actually let her have dessert for dinner and dinner for dessert. Of course, you do it once and they'll try to get it again. That's been the tough part. Oh, establishing those boundaries...oh so much fun!!!

The great news is Lola now loves her baby brother and loves seeing him grow. It's been a while since Lola has asked me to put Gaines back in my belly. And, when someone asks if they can take her baby brother home with them she actually says "No". For a while there, she would say "Yes...take him!" to strangers. A lot of shocked looks came out of this! Natural I guess. She's even doing well with the attention that other people are always giving Gaines. Naturally babies seem to get all the attention. People will comment by saying "Wow, he's big for his age". Lola say "He's not big...he's a baby". We tell Lo she's a "big girl" and Gaines is a "baby" so she doesn't quite get why people are calling him big.

I'll leave you with one last comment. For those of you who know Lola well, you know she's pretty much filled with personality, loves to put on a show (more on this another time as some of the "shows" she puts on for us are actually AMAZING and absolutely hilarious..especially coming from an almost 3 yr old) and is very dramatic in all ways. Some nights when I put her to bed, here's how the commentary will go:

Me: I love you baby girl!

Lola: I'm not a baby. I'm a big girl.

Me: You're right. I love you my big girl. More than anything in the whole wide world.

Lola: Thank You! I love you too!

A few minutes pass...
Lola: Hold me!
I put my arms around her and a few minutes pass...

Lola: Mommy, You're so beautiful!

Me: Thank you so much Lola! That was so nice of you to say.

Lola: You're also very cute!

Me: Lo, Thank you so much! I love you. Sleep tight and don't let the bed bugs bite.

Lola: Ok. Good night! It's been a long day but it's been great!

November 28, 2010

Gobble! Gobble! Gobble!

For the first time since we lived in NYC, we were home on Thanksgiving Day. We got up early and successfully completed the Turkey Trot. We walked there and back so we technically walked about 7 miles when it was all said and done....felt great! We had a blast and I would love to make this a tradition but probably will be hard as we typically won't be home on Thanksgiving Day.

Lots of people! I think they were expecting between 15 - 18,000.

I think Clay's "jogging" shoes could possibly be considered vintage at this point. Not even kidding. I believe this shoe is from 1995 or 1996. They're still going!

We spent the rest of Thanksgiving day with friends- Kristen & Kevin, Soumya & Jesse and Erika & Keith. We had such a wonderful time! Nothing like good friends, good company, good food and good memories! The cold front came through but it was actually nice. We had our Thanksgiving meal out on our covered patio.

As usual, the kids were great! Gaines made a perfect table decoration there at the end....better than a cornucopia! Lola helped keep a smile on every ones face throughout the evening with her sweet/fun-loving personality!

Gainesy's winter attire is not so good at this point. OBVIOUSLY, need to invest in some gloves (those are socks on his hands in the pic) and maybe even a coat. Wasn't quite ready for the "cold" front. Thankfully he has plenty of baby fat and rolls to keep him warm. We had a hat though...LOVE IT! Ironically, his hat kind of looks like his Daddy's hair.

The next morning we got up and head down to my parents ranch to spend the weekend with my family. There, we had more great food and great company! It's always fun to get the cousins together to play. There's nothing like watching them all grow up together. Next weekend we'll head back to Dallas for Curry's 1st Birthday! I can hardly believe seems she was just born. Here are the adorable girls!

We also ventured off on a "safari" in Glen Rose on Saturday. It was entertainment for all! Especially when the ostrich stuck his head in the car nearly causing Clay to have a heart attack. He still managed to snap a picture of the big guy as he was coming in the car...impressive! By the time we got to the halfway point, it was time to bust out the adult beverages as this was a very long safari. It was still a blast and Lola loved feeding the animals!

I look forward to continue the holiday fun! We'll pick out our Christmas tree this week and start getting all our Christmas decorations and lights up. Only 28 days until Christmas. I also hope to take the kids to see Santa either this week or next. Lola is biting at the bit to go see him asap! She's now saying she won't cry....that is yet to be determined!

November 22, 2010

Lets make it work!

Oh goodness...where do I start!?!?!? Well, I started work on 11/8 and there have been challenges that came along with this. First challenge is that we decided not to start Gaines in daycare until December so we had to figure out how I could get in an 8 hour work day and manage Gaines. The mom! So, over the past two weeks my mom has been in Austin helping us out. Of course, I still wasn't able to get as much done as I would like with a full house but we couldn't have done it without my her! With Thanksgiving upon us, I couldn't ask my mom to come in this week too so I'm trying to get in the 8 hour work day and manage Gainesy on my own. YIKES! I have to far so good (Of course, it's only Monday at 11:00 a.m.). I've pulled out all the accouterments...even those I don't like so the swing! I have to say, it's working like a champ. I've actually been able to work from 8:00ish and I'm still going. So, here's what today looks like from my perspective...

Gainesy has been sleeping away in the swing for hours. Something just doesn't feel right about this but you do what you gotta do in these challenging situations. In this case, that meant busting out the swing from the back-house, getting it cleaned up, putting in new batteries and putting it to work. Let me tell works! But, I still feel guilty that I'm basically hypnotising my baby to sleep.

How long should I let him stay asleep in this exactly?????

On a side note, funny story about this BLUE swing. When Lola was about 6 weeks old, I had a "pink" break-down. You may ask what in the world is that?!?!!? Basically, I couldn't stand the sight of pink anymore. When it comes to baby girls, EVERYTHING is PINK. Light pink at that! No, pink and more pink. I'm not a big light pink fan in the first place so when my house was becoming saturated with light pink, I had a complete and utter break-down that included tears and all. To help get the situation under control, I sat for two days straight and hand stitched the swing to no longer be pink...I went the opposite and orange. It really helped calm my nerves! Can you say...PSY-CHO! Yes, it's called obsessive compulsive. It really sucks to be OCD sometimes!

Anyway, back to Gainsey and work. We're making it despite the challenges. I'm actually very happy to be back to work! It's nice to feel needed in ways other than just being a 24/7 human milk machine. The other challenge was trying to figure out our routine. How to make it all work. It was hard enough to squeeze it all in when I was on maternity leave so how in the world will we make it work adding a 8-10 hour work day on top of everything else?!?!?!? I think we're finally getting there and figuring it out. It all came together a lot quicker than I thought it would. I've even figured out a way to squeeze in exercise. THANK GOODNESS!!! My nerves don't function too well without it!

Now, you would think trying to figure out what to do with Gaines and establishing a routine would be the biggest challenge...right?!?!?! Well, not so much! The biggest challenge has been trying to get the office organized so I can have a decent atmosphere to work in. Of course, this challenge would include Clay to a greater extent as the mess in the office is ALL his! He's what we call a pack rat! So, Clay stepped up to the plate and two weekends ago invested in some flat files to help him get organized. He worked for several hours one Sunday and this is where we are...

He rearranged the desks to help "give us more room to move around". Not seeing it at this point as I have a hard time getting to my chair without tripping, breaking an ankle or even killing myself but I'm sure he has a vision as to how it will all work in the end.

I think all this stuff is going in the flat files????? Not sure, haven't heard or been able to envision the long-term plan yet. Is there a long-term plan???? It's questionable at this point. And to think....I was hoping for a short-term plan. Not so much!

Gaines hypnotised with more stuff shoved in another corner due to the organization efforts. Every corner looks this way BTW.

This is my VERY small space. Enough room for my laptop, one piece of paper, stapler, highlighter and diet coke which always has to be in a koozie. I can't drink diet coke or any can or bottle of anything without a koozie. I have to carry koozies in my purse and even bust out with them at restaurants. Very weird tick I have among many. This one, however, drives Clay crazy. I can see is a little much!

Since I have to make great use out of my VERY small space, I have to use the breast pump as a place to put my notepad and calculator. Gotta love being a working mom!

Believe it or not, pictures don't do this mess justice. So, although we've figured out how to work through some challenges, we still have a ways to go to get through this challenge! Clay knows he's working on a tight time-frame before I mention something. If not, I'll likely blow a gasket due to the anxiety of the mess so he'll be getting on this pretty quick I would assume! Poor guy...this is a big challenge to take on!

With everything going semi-smoothly right now, I know our biggest challenge is yet to come. Next week when I drop the baby boy off a daycare for the first time will be just heart wrenching! My stomach already aches just thinking of it. This week, we plan to spend some time in the afternoons with all the teachers. They kept Lola too so I'm very comfortable with all of them but it still will be hard. I know my heart will break. But, it's nothing we can't get through. We did it with Lola and survived and we'll also survive with Gaines.

And, how dare I forget our other little (actually big) challenge...Little Miss Lola. Oh my! After I made the comment on the blog last week about her behaving so well, she's decided to start acting up again. With me returning to work and all the hecticness, I think we've lightened up on our disciplinary actions and she sensed that. This past weekend she was a little pill I have to say. She about drove Clay wacky and it's hard for the kids to get him to that point. I even had to go ahead and bust out with the whole "Lola if you keep acting this way Santa Claus will NOT come to see you! Do you want that???" UMMM...well, this didn't stop her in her tracks or even begin to slow her down...her response "Santa Claus isn't here right now!" and she continued on with her shenanigans. That little toot! Too smart for her own good. So, it looks like I'll have to bust out with the "Elf on the Shelf" tradition sooner than I thought and I'm NOT AFRAID to drag that little guy around everywhere. I'll post him right up on a restaurant table and tell her "Santa Claus is watching!" if that's what I have to do. I guess it's better than my usual which is "Lola, If you don't act right, the police are going to come get you". Oh yea! I say this and it works! Something so wrong about it but once again, you do what you gotta do. This is what I call parenting skills at it's very best. Just to emphasize exactly what you have to deal with when you have a very free-spirited independent child, here it is...

Lola at Tour de Fat watching the show. She wanted to take all of her clothes off. Although this was a very "free-spirited" type of festival and we want her to continue to explore her independence, we had to put a stop to it.

Then the little princess got tired and decided she wanted to get in the stroller (infant seat) for the walk to the car. She's something else! You can't help but love the girl...always entertaining!

November 18, 2010

The holidays are upon us!

I'm going to give my "token" line...I can't believe it's been so long since my last blog. I'm so over using this line but also can't resist! I started back to work....with this there have been some new challenges which translates into additional hecticness...more on this later. FUN FUN FUN! Poor Gainesy...he hasn't gotten much blog time...I gotta do a better job with this! He's doing so much now (smiling, cooing, laughing, etc) and is absolutely ADORABLE! Filled with so much personality. I could just eat him up! But for now, it's time to talk about holiday cheer!

Oh, the holidays are upon us! Typically, my anxiety level kicks it up a gear during the holidays but I decided I'm not going to let this happen this year. I'm actually very excited that the holidays are here and I'm already in full on holiday mode! Woohoo! Maybe it's because Lola really gets it this year and is excited about all of it. Or, maybe it's because we have a new little family member in our lives that brightens every day and will do the same with the holidays. I don't know but for the first time in years, I feel so very merry for the holidays to be here!

I can hardly believe Thanksgiving is next week! YIKES! Didn't I just have Gaines yesterday??? That was August and now here we are coming at the end of November. To get geared up for the holidays, Clay, Lola, Gaines and I are going to do the annual Turkey Trot. There's nothing like kicking Thanksgiving Day off with a 5 mile run prior to eating our faces off for 4 or 5 days straight. Can't wait for all the yummy food! Dressing, turkey, casseroles...OH MY! Literally, can't mouth is watering now just thinking about it.

I also can't wait to pick out a Christmas tree and decorate for the holidays. I told Lola she could pick out any tree she wants...the sky's the limit for that little girl (as long as it's under $75 so maybe not "any tree" and maybe there is a limit...she doesn't have to know that though). We've decided we're also going to go all out with the compound Christmas decorations this year. We had so much fun on Halloween, we thought it would be fun to really brighten up the compound with Christmas lights galore. YEA! I also can't wait for Lo and Gainesy to get pictures with Santa Claus. My mom asked Lo if she was going to cry this year (like last year) and she quickly responded with a "Yes!" but she still wants to see him. I told her she needs to start making her list. Oh, and I'm really excited that the whole "If you're not good, then Santa Claus won't come" line will actually work this year. Maybe this is a little mean but I'll do whatever during those desperate times when I want Lola to behave. She's actually had very few misbehaving moments as of late...thank goodness!

To kick off the holidays, myself, Gaines, Aunt Bobbie, Uncle Corky, my mom and my fab sister-in-law Brana all went to Chi Omega Christmas in Dallas...a shopping extravaganza with 180 vendors. Lo had to stay back with PawPaw....we just thought a full day of shopping may be a little much for her (no strollers allowed) so they had a good time at the aquarium. My Uncle Corky wouldn't let us get by without getting a picture with Santa. So, there we stood getting a pic with Santa Claus...a bunch of goofy adults (and Gaines who didn't have a clue of course). Despite how goofy we looked, it was fun!

I certainly do wish I wasn't posted up there in the front with Santa. Have you ever seen the Saturday night live skit with Chris Farley "Fat man in little coat"? that skit. Well, that's how I feel in this pic. Not sure how the two correlate but for some reason when I look at this picture and see myself, the "fat man in little coat" chant automatically comes to mind. I think it's because I'm in the front and the person in front always looks the biggest. Not only that, I was the biggest. With the exception of my uncle, all my fam members are no taller than 5'6 and there my 5'8 self was front row joe... large and in charge...not recommended! I mean look at me...I tower over Santa....and my mom who is standing up. Oh goodness!

Anywhoo, Uncle Corky only lasted through the Santa pic and lunch. As soon as he was done eating and when he realized he was the ONLY male in the entire Convention Center, he decided to skedaddle on out of there. I don't blame him. I mean we shopped so hard that my mom, Bobbie and Brana all had to buy another pair of shoes to put on b/c their feet were killing them. Clearly, I was the only "professional" shopper as I was fully prepared and wore comfortable shoes that would get me through the day! The shopping was great. Here were some of the vendors I really liked.

No Girls Allowed - - Anyone who has a boy knows it's very difficult to find cute boy clothes. This little shop had so many cute things. They carry some of my fav boy brands (Mini Shatsu and Fore). Unfortunately, their website doesn't do them justice. We got quite a bit for Gaines for is one of the onsies my aunt got for him that I'll pair up with leggings. Yes...I said leggings!

The Sitting Tree - Handmade, free-spirited design - - Fabulous knit pants, sweaters, hats, gloves, etc. Love these for Gaines!

The Paper Nest Co. - - I got a couple onsies here too. Clearly Gaines is stocked up on clothing. You can also have onsies custom made. Here is one of my favs that I thought was fun. I love pairing onsies up with a bold plaid or striped pant. This poor kid is going to kill me one day...bold plaid pants, knit pants, leggings...poor thing!

I also LOVED these fabric cards.

Thought these were fun too! Always looking for great cards.

Tracy Tenpenny - - I loved chatting with Tracy at the show. She's an Austinite. I also loved her jewelry design. You can find her stuff around at many local boutiques. So delicate...just perfect! I have my eye on several pieces but I love this piece to pair up with my G & L charms. Simplicity at it's finest.

To keep the holiday spirit going, my mom, Gaines and I are heading to A Christmas Affair in Austin this evening. The holidays give us an excuse to shop til we drop! We're doing a great job of that this year! It should be another fab shopping extravaganza with over 200 vendors. Even though I don't need anything and frankly don't really have the means to buy anything, it's always fun to grab cards and chit chat with the vendors. Hope to find some good ones tonight!

November 2, 2010

Is it Happy Halloween yet?

I heard this statement every single day last week. Every morning the very first words out of Lola's mouth would be "Is it Happy Halloween yet?". Then, every afternoon when I picked Lo up from school, she would run up to me and say "Are we going trick-or-treating?". Finally, on Friday, I was able to tell Lola it wasn't Halloween yet but it was the day of her big Halloween party at school. She was biting at the bit to put on her clown costume and take the cookies she made (with sprinkles and all) to all her friends at school.

Lo picked out her costume all on her own this year. It was a tough call between a bumble bee and clown but in the end she decided on the clown costume because she wanted to carry balloons. I don't blame her...balloons are cool...especially for a little kid!
We continued to talk about Halloween all weekend. We went to Tour de Fat on Saturday which was fabulous! I mean who doesn't like a carnival full of entertainment and good beer??? It really got us all in the Halloween spirit due to the Carny theme/show and all the funky/fun Halloween costumes on all the people.

Finally Sunday arrived and I was able to answer the "Is it Happy Halloween?" question with a "YES, YES, YES and we're going trick-or-treating!". It also made me aware that I still hadn't made Gaines clown costume and I only had hours left to do so...YIKES! Luckily, I was still able to pull it all together. Below are some pics from our Halloween fun!
Sweet babies! Lola loves to kiss her baby brother. It's really awesome when she goes in with a big cough cough right in his face and then kisses him. Between Lola constantly kissing him and the dogs constantly licking him, I can't believe Gaines still hasn't gotten sick. That's what I call a tough immune system! Maybe the breastfeeding is actually paying off.

I ran to Hancock's on Sunday afternoon and sadly found they were completely picked over. I pulled what I could and decided to "Make it work!" as Tim Gunn would say. I actually put it all together in less than an hour. I think it turned out real cute and was pretty proud of my crafty work especially considering I'm not all! I hope to make time to make both kids costumes next year....not likely but I'll make it a goal!
Sleeping clown!

This Halloween was so great as Lola was really in tune with what was going on. She LOVED, LOVED, LOVED trick-or-treating and did not want to go home. Now the key is keeping the candy away from her. Clay basically does not allow Lo to have candy EVER so all the candy around is really driving him wacky. We're only allowing her one piece a day. So, every eve after dinner, she gets to go into her pumpkin bucket and choose one piece of candy for dessert. I'm also slowly but surely throwing some of it out as we go so we don't have to do this for the next 3 months. Also, I don't want to eat it and will if it's here. It's really gotta go quick!

Lo waits patiently! The "patients is a virtue" lesson that we try to engrave in her head daily is really paying off here.

The disheveled clown!

Still was a long night of trick-or-treating!

There was also great Halloween spirit in the compound this year. We (when I say "we", I mean our neighbors Mark and Ari) set up camp at the compound and offered candy for the kids and beer/wine for the adults.

Even Benson, the dog, got a costume. Wish LB and Bella could have joined us but we feared they wouldn't do well with all the random costumes...specifically the monster masks.

We had a blast this Halloween. Already can't wait for next year!

October 27, 2010

Nursery fun!

I can't believe I still haven't posted pictures of Lola's room/ Gainesy's nursery. We're about to move Gaines to his crib so I figure there's no better time than now to reveal the new and improved room!

Below is a pic of Lola's bed that she loves oh so much! We have FINALLY hit a point where 1) she'll go to sleep on her own. Yea! Up until now, we would have to lay in bed with Lo until she fell asleep. This could take up to an hour (or more). Now we can take her up, give her a kiss and leave her on her own to fall asleep. It only took 2 years and 8 months to get here but whatever...we made it. Woohoo! Of course, she won't do this without her magical ladybug that projects the stars and moon on the ceiling. This is a "must have" for us! In addition to this, she also started sleeping most of the night in her room. She'll usually come in our room between 4:30 a.m. and 6:30 a.m. What an improvement!!!

Love, love, love the bold animal print pillows that I found on sale at Anthropology (my fav nemesis). It was the deal of the century...such a fab find! The pillows really make the bed fabuloso! Don't you think??? I had the shams made to help pull together the nursery and Lo's bed. I think they turned out great!

Lola is constantly playing with everything on these shelves. Although they can get messy, I prefer shelves over toy boxes. There will be days where every book, doll, truck, etc is spread across the room but it's all about everything being on the child's level where they can see it and use it.

Here is the nursery area. Kind of shoved in the corner. Seems everything with the second child is a second thought....right??? Well, in this case, it was actually the inspiration for the entire room. We used Lola's baby bed and chair but did a complete make-over of both.

I had Gaines's bedding made at and am thrilled how it all turned out. Please ignore the skirt hanging incorrectly. I have to say I'm a bit frustrated that Clay never lifted the bed. I wanted it to all look just perfect but oh well....I figure at this point there is no point in lifting the bed as Gaines will soon be sitting up on his own, then standing and we would have to lower again so I cut him a break this round.

We used this same chair in Lola's nursery and I had it recovered for Gaines. I found this chair at a thrift store in Dallas for $15 dollars. Steal of a deal!

Another angle....Looking out. Needless to say, haven't gotten much use out of the changing table this round. Not a big fan of walking up and down stairs to change a diaper. So, I decided to make it into a home for all of Lola's stuffed animals. Works great! On the flip side, since I haven't been using a changing table, I usually use the couch to change Gaines. This means lots of pee has sprayed all over the couch more than once....Resolve to the rescue! do you avoid this with boys??? I can't tell you how many times I've been sprayed. Fun fun times!