Thursday, July 31, 2014

other things.

i started a new job this week. still at my same company, but doing something new and interesting that i'm pretty excited about. i'm trying to be more appreciative of the fact that i have a job (since i need one) and what this job/company offer me. it's really easy to think about what you don't have/don't get/limitations/etc., but the truth is that i have a pretty cushy situation and it's important to acknowledge and be grateful for that.

i'm turning 33 on saturday. i always look at birthdays like new years - what changes do i want to make in my life? in myself? how can i be better at embracing and fully living this beautiful little life of mine? i want to make a specific list this year. i need to work on that.

it's getting hot in austin. finally. haha. we've had such an incredibly mild summer, and now we're finally baking by the afternoon. hoping to not lose all momentum with running and the yard and all the other outdoor things. but so far i've been much lazier than i want to be because the heat and dryness really zap me by the end of the day. sigh.

hollis is trying to jump lately and it's my favorite thing. he crouches down and says "jump!" and then stands up fast and usually ends up toppling to the ground. we captured a little of it on video the other night and i die at how cute he is.

we got emme a princess treasury book when we were at half-priced books the other day. i'm avidly anti-princess, but i also know that her obsession with princess-ness will not wane with me being a jerk about how much she loves them. so this book is like 200 pages with 30 or so different stories that are a few pages each. every night we read one or two stories and she just loves to absorb them and then set the book aside, opened to the page we're going to read the next night. i love how much my kids love books.

justin went to a 311 concert this week, fulfilling all his high school dreams. we are wrapping up swimming lessons (this session at least) today. our tenants move out of our rental tomorrow and new tenants move in next week. we picked up a massive fishtank on the side of the road on sunday and have mostly decided it's not a project we want to tackle right now. there are lots of things i want to be doing, but i've been spending most of my evenings reading YA fiction and dozing on the couch. someone motivate me!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

school update.

for those of you following along at home (and for my mental clarity), we are in the fourth week at the kids' new school.

i am mostly tired of thinking about it and talking about it and lamenting it. i want it to be an easy, obvious situation, but it's not.

with emme: she is actually doing really well. her confidence level is vastly improved over what it was in cardinals at her old school. she is kinda/sorta making friends. the class size is small (8 or 10 kids), which is working really nicely for her. her teacher is sweet and nurturing and loving. i don't love that they watch tv 10-20 minutes a day, or that they eat refined sugar and have pizza days every week or so, or that they color in disney coloring books, or that they use sippy cups. but i love that they take pictures and send them to parents and that emme is mostly excited/glad to go to school and that she is engaged and pleased with what she's doing there. she is also learning some academic stuff (planets, parts of plants, that kind of thing), which is fun but maybe not quite as important to me as, say, grace and courtesy. but, if i had to stack rank it, i would say she's thriving here in a way she wasn't necessarily doing at the old school.

with hollis: different story. they tell me (every day) that he stops crying after i leave and does great for the rest of the day. but, he gets upset just seeing the building as we pull into the parking lot. he definitely cried during drop off at our last school, but it was mostly crying because i was leaving, whereas this feels like crying because we're there, ya know? i've picked up on a couple of different days where the little toddlers were eating Flav-R-Ice on the playground. there is a tv in his classroom. the books and work on the shelves are in opaque bins - not really accessible by curious kidlets. they change his diaper once or twice in the whole day. and his teacher is just not nurturing at all. she took him from my arms yesterday by holding him by the forearms and moving his body to the floor. i know they're not hurting him or doing anything wrong at ALL, it's just not the environment i want for him. it feels like a baseline of care rather than something wonderful.

i'm still second-guessing myself and wondering if i'm just crazy, especially since i've talked to numerous other parents whose kids go there/have gone there and there has been unanimous support and affection for the school. so i know it's not like it's really terrible. it's just also not what i thought it was. but i still don't feel like we have any great alternatives readily available, and i am not really sure what to do.

Friday, July 25, 2014

swimming lessons.

we signed emme up for swimming lessons at this place in our neighborhood with a small indoor pool and small class sizes. small seems to be the key for emme kay because she is doing GREAT.

the class is M-Th this week and next week - eight classes total, for a kind of intensive swimming experience. she's in a class with four other kids and miss sarah is her teacher. she loooooves miss sarah and at the end of week one is even putting her face in the water a little bit. big win for this girl.

we're hoping to hit the pool a couple times this weekend because both kidlets are really into the water these days.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

hollis at 18 months.

my baby turned one and a half on the fourth of july, but i wanted to do a little photo shoot of him separate from the festivities, so justin brought him outside for a few minutes this morning and snagged some shots.

this kid is too much right now. he is hilarious and busy and an absolute joy. he is obsessed with emme - most mornings, she is the first person he asks for when he wakes up (right after nursing, of course). when i pick him up from school, he sees me then immediately starts pointing in the direction of her classroom and saying her name. he also loves his dogs and can often be found with his head and arms around one of their backs. he's into trucks and balls and trains and bugs - all that fun boy stuff - and it cracks me up to hear him in random parts of the house "vroom"ing his cars on whatever he can find that makes the most noise (the a/c grate is a favorite). he loves to brush his teeth and be outside especially in water at any possible occasion.

he is trying to run on his squat little chublet legs and is a huge fan of our family dance parties. he can be a little mimic, especially with ek, and his version of whatever any of us are doing is always super charming. he's picking up what seems like 3 words a day right now and i have lost track of how many words he says now. he knows most animals (certainly by sound, but most by name too), his body parts, his family members, truck, boat, tractor, airplane, pick a vehicle, really. he is also starting to string a couple words together, although mostly his sentences are "bye bye ______". his first sentence, several weeks ago now, was "bye bye turtle" and this has expanded into bye bye boat, bye bye diaper, bye bye dada, etc etc. he also does the typical stuff like mama up! and that kind of thing.

i brought him to the pediatrician on the 9th and his measurements were the following:
height: 31.5" - 25%
weight: 25.5lbs - 40%

apparently they don't measure their heads at the 18 month appointment anymore, but i am fairly sure he's still rocking 99% on that front. love my short, scrawny, big-headed children.

hollis is much pickier than emme was at this age, but is still a decent eater. i'm still nursing him and he would probably want to do that much more frequently, but i mostly limit it to twice a day. his favorite foods are toast, 'nana, and french fries. my, how things change with the second child! he's also pretty good about eating protein most of the time - chicken, ground meat, cheese, eggs, some fish. he loves berries and plums and cherries. veggies are tough with him these days, and he is not one to try something he's never seen before. he'll eat carrots and sweet potatoes, but i would love it if he would deign to eat a green vegetable ever. he is also super picky about sweets - case in point the fourth of july ice cream and a recent brownie incident that enraged him. ha.

sleep is getting better, though still not consistently wonderful. we moved him to a floor bed (finally), which i will totally do from day one if we have a third child. i have a pool noodle under the crib sheet on either side of his mattress, so he's all snug and secure, and he loves being able to get into and out of his bed by himself. he's making it until 5:30 or 6 most nights, sometimes even later. and on nights when he's up in the 4s, he will usually go back down once he's in bed with us. it's not a great habit, but at least we all get a couple more hours of zzz's.

we really love this kid and all his expressions and opinions. i love how much he makes each person in our family feel super special.

more of the fourth.

after grabbing breakfast tacos and resting, friday afternoon we headed out to lakeway for a party at one of justin's co-worker's house. he and his family are currently living in his dad's gigantic house near the lake while his parents are living in california for a few years for work. bonus for us, because their house (and especially their pool) is amazing. the kids were in the water for no less than four hours - no exaggeration. there was barbecue and a bunch of other yummy sides, but my kidlets were primarily interested in eating the cheetos. and the fruit skewers, but those don't make hilarious photos the way that cheez on kid faces does.

a few highlights: hollis's hair/face every time i applied and reapplied sunscreen. i try to rub it in better, but he just isn't having it.

we finally left around 9 or 9:30 and h passed out in the car within seconds. emme stayed up the whole drive home and we got to see fireworks around the city which was awesome. when we got home, i made grilled cheese hummus sandwiches for the three of us after putting hollis down and then ek sat on my lap while daddy set off a few mild fireworks. seriously a great day.

check out that view! hollis loved sitting up in the summer sauna pool and looking out at the boats and birds.

there's some video of the two of them bouncing and playing on this thing. i was sure one of them would fly off and crack a tooth, but all skull bones remained intact that day.

mr. alex (justin's friend) introduced emme to water guns. no comment.

saturday and sunday were fun but a little bit more mellow. emme is lately obsessed with wearing my shoes and dresses and/or her dance costume at all times. this was breakfast saturday morning.

sunday the bode family came over and we grilled burgers and dogs and let the kids play. our kids are the exact same space apart - i was 7 weeks pregnant with each of my respective children when both of their boys came home from the hospital. hudson is such a sweetie to emme and they just cuddled up on the couch watching a movie for a little while after playing for a loooong time outside.

Thursday, July 17, 2014


justin has been out of town this week for work, so the kids and i have been keepin it real at home. it's been a surprisingly fun and easy week, even though there's been lots of busy-ness.

last night, i had a happy hour with the director of my MBA program who is leaving austin, so i had to hire a sitter for the kidlets. they love miss crystal, so it was kind of like a special treat for them. after school i brought them to phil's for a quick dinner and some playtime on the playground. hollis and i were wrapping up dinner and ek had gone back to the playground when i heard her freaking out. i look around the corner and she had climbed up into this spinny tulip thing. it started spinning and she couldn't get out (it wasn't going super fast, but i can understand why she was flipped). was hilarious to me, so before rescuing her i ran back to the table to grab my phone and snap a pic. i love this girl. of course, after she was out, hollis was insistent upon getting in there. he loved it - he kept throwing his head back and cackling. awesome.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

fourth of july week (the day of).

this is going to be all out of order because my posts are contingent upon my camera uploads (downloads?) and we all know how awesome i am at that. 

fourth of july week was one of the best weeks ever. the kids and i got home from houston on monday and went to meet justin at work. it was his end of quarter and Q2 is their biggest one, so he was going to have to work super late (he ended up getting home around 1am). we had dinner as a family near his office, then got to let the kids romp for a little while and meet lots of his coworkers. funny. 

at this point i'll skip to friday. there was a parade in our neighborhood (lots of the austin 'hoods do them, but we didn't know and had never participated in one) that started right around the corner and moseyed up to the elementary school. it was unbelievably cute. kids, dogs, adults, wagons, strollers - everyone and everything decked out in red white & blue. i'm not typically the most overtly patriotic person out there, but we got into and will go even more buckwild next year. super cute. 

my mom had gotten the kids cute july 4 outfits and they were excited to wear them and hop into their wagon. their wagon also happens to be red & blue, so it was perfectly designed for the occasion.
i had taken ek to the dollar store the day before to get some stuff to decorate their wagon with and they were completely sold out of all gear. crazy. we made do with a few super old decos i had lying around from previous fourths. it was not my finest crafting hour by a long shot, but hollis enjoyed eating the paper glitter star, and emme enjoyed bossing hollis around regarding the eating of said glitter stars.

once we at the school, there was ice cream and breakfast tacos and general fun. unfortunately, it was only one breakfast taco per family (totally understandable) and that just didn't cut it for this crew, so we headed out after about an hour of merriment.

hollis refused to even taste the ice cream, which was homemade and incredible. he not only refused, but cried weird kid.

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