Monday, June 29, 2015

hollis goes potty.

so, hollis is potty trained. mostly. he had zero accidents yesterday and has been in undies for four or five days now. i'm super excited and impressed with him.

truthfully, i was planning to wait until after vacation, but...he asked, and i feel like when they ask, you say yes. so, we are stocked up on thomas the train underpants, ninja turtle underpants, spiderman underpants. and we're doing this thing.

having zero kids in diapers is liberating and also kind of the saddest thing ever.

good call.

"carrying around a list of everyone who thinks you're not good enough is exhausting." - seth godin.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

the thing about dads.

i basically lucked out in the dad department. my dad is awesome. he's quiet and funny; he's wise and a great listener; he's contemplative and morally upright (to a flaw sometimes); he is the most loyal person i have ever met. even though he's a man of few words, i probably reference something my dad has told me at least once a day. when i want to really talk about something - anything - my dad is the person i can count on to really really listen. he will weigh in if it seems appropriate, but he's also amazingly adept at knowing that sometimes what i really need is just a sounding board. my relationship with my dad is not boisterous or is the type of comfortable, calm, solid relationship that comes from being a real kindred with another person.

i recently read an article where it listed many statistics of how much better kids' lives are all the way through adulthood and life when they've had a dad around - and especially a good, involved dad. i didn't need a bunch of research to tell me that.

i'm so, so grateful for my dad. i'm thankful for the dad he is to me, and for the extension of that role into his grandfathering and father-in-law-ing.

i'm also extremely grateful that the father of my own children is carrying the torch of awesome-dadding to ek and hollis. jb is different from my dad in a lot of ways, but the core of loyalty and regard for family is a fundamental part of who he is. justin is the playmate, the optimist, the it's-ok-if-they-stay-up-late-this-one-night parent. he's self-reflective and works hard to become the person and father he wants to become. he adores our children and puts our family at the forefront of all his decisions, but he still maintains his sense of self - his pursuit of his own goals. i think that's such an important example to set for the kidlets in a time when so many people become shells of their former selves in the pursuit of parenting perfection (i *may* fall into that category sometimes).

anyway. two dads in my life. and i'm super happy and lucky to know both of them. happy father's day!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

an exciting morning.

yesterday morning at 4:44 jb and i woke up to a loud, piercing beep going off in our house. basically the most annoying alarm ever.

justin attempted to dismantle any remaining smoke detectors (he's got a secret vendetta against fire detectors), but none of them were the culprit.

finally, he traced the sound to the hall closet where our furnace lives. it was our carbon monoxide detector.

we just got the CO detector about six months ago when our heater went out and the repair guy stuck it in the closet with the warning "if it ever goes off, get out of the house immediately and call 911".

so...poisonous gases are not to be trifled with. so i called 911. they dispatched me to the fire department, who asked me a few questions, then told us to get the kidlets and head outside. a few minutes after loading our sleepy littles into the stroller, the firetruck arrived and four firefighters got out.

fortunately, there was no actual CO leaking into our house. the detector must have gotten wet with all the rain we have been getting, or the humidity. the firefighters were insanely nice and told us we were the second call they had that night for that particular CO detector.

they also shamed jb a bit about the missing smoke detectors. needless to say, i've ordered a new CO detector, a fire extinguisher, and justin will be reinstalling all of our smoke alarms this weekend.

but, the kids got to see a firetruck up close and personal, so the morning wasn't a total loss...

Monday, June 15, 2015

school things.

my sweet baby first-born child starts preK in the fall. i kind of can't believe it, even though she will be five in november, it just feels so so fast. in many (most?) ways, i am crazy excited for her. she is becoming such a voracious little learner and i think she will love school the way i did. the preK program at our neighborhood elementary is really incredible, too - they go on field trips, do mindfulness work, do daily yoga and affirmations, have access to media and science resources that are super's going to be great.

what has me on a little bit of a stress attack is the whole after-school care thing. which is going to be a thing for, like, forever. um, what? it's completely overwhelming to think about (for me, right now).

here's the deal. when you are a working parent with young (not yet school-age) children, you know that childcare costs are a given. and somewhere in your brain you think into the future, to the time of school, and for some reason, that time feels like it will offer some respite. in some ways, not all. but definitely in the financial way. or at least, this is how my brain thought about it. like: it will be so crazy because she'll be so big/old/it's going so fast BUT childcare costs will not be an issue, so that's the silver lining.

except that's not true. because kids don't go to school the same hours that you work. so you still have to pay. and it's not even really about the money (money is hard, but it's never the root issue for emotional stuff).

for us, for this preK adventure, it's about trusting that our kidlet is going to be ok - that she's going to be able to handle the load of a school day, topped with a bus ride to her after school care location and whatever she has to handle there. that it's not going to be over-the-top stressful for her or exhausting or brain-overwhelming.

anyway...this is life, i know. kids grow, we adapt to new normals and whatever the reality of whatever we're doing now entails. and this will be no different - it will even be amazing, i think! i'm just about my baby riding a bus all by herself.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

hollis says.

stethoscope = step-o-cope

mommy: "do you know how much i love you?"
hollis: "ummmm...three minutes!"

anyone: "hollis, are you a big boy?"
hollis: "no, i'm just hollis."

emme: "we're going to go to cate's house and have hot dogs! and i'm going to have a hot dog, and cate's going to have a hot dog, and hollis!"
hollis: "no! i don't want you to eat hollis! don't eat me!"

Saturday, June 13, 2015

dance recital time.

emme's dance recital was a couple weeks ago and it was so adorable. she loved dressing up and especially wearing make-up (sparkly eye shadow, blush, lip gloss). she looked like a little prima and i was so proud of her! she really followed along and did all the moves so well.

she's torn on whether she wants to take dance again next year, but i'm hoping she sticks it out another year at least. it is fun to watch her and i think she's got a knack for it.

the performance was super cute and she plowed through even though it was right in the middle of nap time. hollis made it through his sister's performance, then promptly passed out on my lap. poor duder.

my parents sent flowers the day before since they weren't able to come into town for the event - they got delivered while she was napping, so she got to discover them at the front door. it was so cute and she was super excited to get a beautiful arrangement just for her. she was devastated that they didn't live forever.

we also picked up a flower lollipop bouquet for her at the recital. she was a fan....

picture overload - so hard to edit this batch down...

Sunday, June 07, 2015

memorial day weekend.

ten years ago, memorial day weekend was the first time my family met jb and vice versa. we headed to louisiana for my uncle's 40th birthday, a big bash at my grandparents' "farm" outside of abbeville. there were lots of people and an unbelievable amount of food, and i'm preeeettty sure it's what introduced justin to his love of south louisiana things (and sealed the deal on his love of me, to some extent, at least).

anyway. here we are, ten years later, and my uncle is 50 now. he decided to throw another bash to commemorate the occasion, albeit not quite as many people (though probably close to the same amount of food). we turned it into a long weekend, heading up to coushatta first to visit jb's dad and ms. joyce for a couple nights before trucking down i-49 to lafayette.

coushatta was a lot of fun - we had never been, and - as with many places in louisiana - it's unlike anywhere else in the world. we left after work and didn't drive on an interstate the entire six hours it took us to get there. when we rolled into "town", it was 10:30 at night and basically the darkest i've ever seen the world. coushatta has a population of about 2,000 - the population of the entirety of red river parish is 10,000. so it was really cool experience.

friday, we spent time touring grandpa browne's farm. they have a 30'x30' garden with tomatoes, pole beans, corn, squash, potatoes, and various other yummy veggies. they've also got several fruit trees - peaches, pears, plums, apples, citrus, figs, etc. - that will ultimately become a big orchard. the kidlets loved picking blackberries off the vine and popping them in their mouths...there weren't too many that were ready yet since we had such a late spring this year, but they found a few.

the kids also loved watching grandpa browne and ms. joyce "work their beehives". they've got two hives going and they were adding a box to one of them - we hung out in the safety of the truck, but bees are fascinating. there was also a farm dog named chloe who followed us around a bit. she almost drowned early in life but made a miraculous recovery and was the sweetest pal of a dog.

after a nice little nap, we took a drove out to dinner for some mexican food and then did a tour of the town. jb's dad grew up there, so we saw his high school and a few of the places he used to hang out when he was young. we also drove over to uncle donald's property - 280-ish acres of lumber land along the red river. it was beautiful. we even ran into uncle donald spending time in his own orchard and got to drive to the river bank at sunset.

friday night ended with homemade cobbler and a nice visit before we called it a night. saturday morning, we got up and the kids got to help grandpa browne dig potatoes! they were super hesitant and i think a little weirded out at first - i think it's kind of jarring to see that potatoes come from under the ground, maybe? but they got into it pretty quickly and were diving into the dirt to help pull all the harvest out. we even got to keep what we dug and have had some super tasty meals with fresh potatoes.

we said our goodbyes around noon on saturday and drove down to lafayette. we tried to snap a few pics before getting on the road, but hollis wasn't too participatory...

shortly after our arrival, we headed out to the other family farm - my grandparents' land outside of abbeville. i hadn't been over there in years and it was so nice to be there. my mom and my grandma's friend ms. barbara made tons of food and my uncle barbecued chicken, pork, sausage, etc. there was rice dressing, 300 kinds of snacks, garlic bread, and various other deliciousness. we never go hungry when we are in louisiana, that's for sure.

my mom had also picked up containers of bubbles and several water guns, which led to an intense water gun battle. i am pretty sure our kids just ran around outside for three straight hours. we had a soccer ball and a whiffle ball and bat, too, which was fun. i did manage to kick the soccer ball directly into ek's chest on accident, but she ultimately forgave me (i'm seriously not athletic, what can i say?).

sunday morning we woke up and hit the zoo after a breakfast. the lafayette zoo is awesome - great animals, not too big, super shaded, a great train ride. the kids loved it. some friends joined and we all loved seeing everything and being outside before the day got too crazy hot.

sunday afternoon after nap we headed to the cajun heartland state fair, which was in town for the weekend. emme freaking loves a fair. we were only there for 30-45 minutes before it started torrentially down pouring, but we managed to cram in a fair amount of rides and action in that time. i did make the silly decision to leave the family under cover and run across the fair and parking lot back to our car to get the three umbrellas i had in there, so i was COMPLETELY soaked, but it was kind of fun and refreshing too. we swung by the house so i could switch into dry clothes, then met one of my cousins and my aunt mary at deano's for pizza and dinner. the kids each ate an entire pepperoni pizza, which was impressive. i think they were ravenous from playing non-stop for three days.

monday morning we woke up and had an awesome diner breakfast at mel's before hitting the road back to austin. it was an uneventful trip until we got about an hour outside of austin and started hitting some of the insane weather we had on memorial day. there were tornado warnings and flooding and the highway we drove in on ended up closing 30 minutes or so after we made it through. it was craziness - super scary. i've lived through hurricanes and this was probably the most up-close and personal i've been with a storm. not an experience i necessarily care to repeat.

we were a lot more fortunate than a lot of people in that both our home and our rental house were fine. our thoughts go out to all the families who were impacted in a much more tragic way.
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