Friday, December 31, 2010

Julia's 9 Months Old!

Happy New Years Eve to you and Happy 9 Months to Julia! 2010 was a year of an extreme high and low for me. Julia was the highlight of the year!

There's nothing new to report about Julia. She's still a sweet, laid back baby. Still not crawling and still no teeth. She has shown more of a temper when you take something away from her. That's been happening quite a bit as she reaches for things that she shouldn't have. Audrey and Julia are interacting more and more. So that should bring some sweet moments and I'm sure some crying.

It seems wherever I take Julia, people tell me what an easy baby she is and they are so right! She can take three naps a day, but she's still happy (usually) when she's missed them all. I can drag her all over town and she usually goes with the flow.

Simply put, I can't imagine her not in my life. God blessed me tremendously with this precious angel. She is the highlight of my year and will brighten the rest of my life.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

More from Hall Holiday

Can you believe I'm still trying to catch up on the events from Thanksgiving on an 80 degree day just before Christmas? It's officially winter, but if the water was warm, you could go swimming.

So, if you remember, we celebrated Thanksgiving and Christmas with the Hall side in November. It included about everything you can think of. Frosting cookies, Mexican Hot Chocolate, Tamales, Turkey and Ham, Christmas movies, kickball, opening presents, story telling, ancestry researching, picture name it, we did it. A week didn't give us enough time.

On the Friday morning after Thanksgiving, we celebrated Christmas. We took care of the son of some of our friends that had to work on Friday. So we were in charge of 3 kids, 2 years and younger, during the chaos of opening gifts with all of the cousins. Just making sure Julia didn't eat anything and Joshua didn't run up the stairs was hard. Then you add Audrey wanting us to put together her new toys and you get a little taste of my brain being tested of its multitasking abilities. There is a reason why you should have at least 9 months of space between your own kids! It was a joy to take care of a precious little boy for a change and I would love to do it again!

Here's picture of the plasma car! Each walking grandkid got one and the adults enjoyed them just as much as the kids! We had many races around the kitchen island on them.

Monday, December 20, 2010


Audrey is now three years old. I have just enjoyed her so much, and especially this past year. I wanted to write down some of the things about this super sweet girl.

She has become very independent. For a long time now, she has gone to the bathroom all be herself. That's a big help when I'm tied down with Julia. Lately, she also chooses and puts on all of her clothes and brushes her teeth all by herself. I love that she just decides that she can do it by herself and voila, it gets done.

She has a couple of imaginary friends. The main one is Pookabear. The other one is kinda funny. She overheard us talking about taking George Bush (Turnpike) and she immediately started saying George Boo. We thought it was funny and George Boo has become another imaginary friend. What other 3 year old has a president as an imaginary friend?

Audrey still takes naps. Sometimes it is really hard for her to go down and she never does go to sleep and sometimes she asks for a nap. I will rock her at bedtime and I love it.

The girl loves to sing. She will make up her own songs that describes her day. Her go-to songs are Jesus Loves Me and Jingle Bells. Frosty the Snowman is also a big hit, but she likes to change the name Frosty to Mommy the Snowman.

Her imagination is so big right now. Michael does really well playing pretend with her, but it is so hard for me! When did I grow up so much that it became such a burden to pretend? She loves pretending to make cupcakes and singing happy birthday. She started to do this way before she celebrated her birthday.

She can count to 20 in English and 10 in Spanish. Either Dora or school taught her Spanish because I didn't. Her hispanic grandmother said that she wasn't teaching her.

She's learning to say prayers, but the concept is still a little fuzzy to her. She wants me to say them most of the time. When I ask her what she wants me to pray about her usual answers are Jesus, school (including Ms. Nancy), and church.

Overall, she is just the sweetest little girl. I love her to pieces and can't wait to see her grow up into a wonderful young lady!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Five Question Friday - 12.17.10

1. Do you regift...and if so, do you have a regifting horror story?
The only time I regifted was when I suddenly got to see a friend who just had a baby. I had received about a dozen of the same bear blankie when Audrey was born, so I just grabbed one and stuffed it into a giftbag.

2. Do you know what you are getting for Christmas this year?
Unless my husband surprises me, I've been wearing my Christmas gift for awhile. He gave me a NorthFace fleece/raincoat/jacket . I love how versatile it is!

3. Who brings the most gifts in your family, you or Santa?
Santa! I only buy what's in the stockings. I also limit what Santa buys. Christmas shouldn't be all about receiving.

4. What store do you love to buy jeans from?
I used to buy my jeans at Gap because they make jeans in long. But lately I've been buying them from Ann Taylor Loft, but I'm not too happy with them. I'll probably go back to Gap. (BTW, where does your behind go after pregnancy?!?!?)

5. Christmas meal: Big, All Out Meal or Snacks and Apps?
It's all about the BIG meal. Sweet potatoes, ham, turkey, mac and cheese, fruit salad, veggies, pies, cookies, cakes, brownies...
Puts you into a coma just thinking about it!

Embrace the Camera - 12.16.10 Audrey's Birthday

Okay...just act like it's Thursday. I fell asleep last night before finishing. :)

Thursday was Audrey's 3rd birthday! What a wonderful day she had, filled with fun and sugar! Her school had a Christmas party and a Christmas program. Not only did she get to have a blast at school, but Daddy came and that just made her day! She received gifts from her teachers and got to eat pizza and cookies. After school, I took her to Sprinkles Cupcakes to pick out a special birthday cupcake. She chose the chocolate marshmallow while I got the black and white and Michael got the dark chocolate. YUM! After Daddy came home from his meeting, we went to Red Robin for dinner where they sang to her and gave her an ice cream sundae. On the way home, we took the Farmers Branch Christmas Light Tour. She was so funny about it. She whispered the name of everything she saw. "A train! Candy cane! Butterfly! Reindeer!" It was precious. At the exit, Santa handed out candy canes and she threw a fit. That girl and Santa, I tell ya! It's such a love/hate relationship. It was quite the day for my THREE year old!

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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Audrey's 3rd Birthday Party

We were able to celebrate Audrey's 3rd birthday party on Saturday. I have no idea how that time can get and and move by so quickly without you noticing! I went with a polka dotted theme. I had asked Audrey what kind of party she wanted, and she said "Sasa." Sasa is what we call my aunt. She was honored, but that would have been a strange theme. Michael suggested playdoh and then I went a little further and went with color!

Audrey had a blast, but you won't be able to tell in pictures. I'm not sure if the guests were even able to tell. But rest assured, she enjoyed each and every gift, smile, and look! She just a wallflower when a lot of people gather, and especially when she's the center of attention.

I learned what Do A Dot markers were from Shannon's blog. They were a hit! There are also jars of playdoh inside the pail.

Lauren introduced me to tissue pompoms when we were hostesses for Kellee's baby shower. Tobin made them then and they looked wonderful! Mine aren't so great. I quickly discovered that using cheap dollar store tissue works a lot better than the really cute tissue I originally bought.

FYI: There aren't THAT many Skittles inside. I filled the canisters with KCups first. It's a good thing too, because I'm eating those Skittles all by myself!

The picture above and below are about as excited Audrey got while opening presents. :)

Michael is holding Audrey while we sing Happy Birthday. She sang along this year and even blew out the candle! Previous years, she became immobile from all of the people looking at her. If you have never been around Audrey in a small setting, she's a hoot. You don't believe me, do you?

Julia got some Patty-Cake time with Sasa and Mimi.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Illness and Stuttering

I still have a lot of catching up to do, but life keeps getting in the way. That's a great Sister Hazel song, by the way - Life Got in the Way. We ended up having Audrey's birthday party Saturday and all went well. Then last night, about 8:30, Audrey threw up again. Then Julia threw up in the middle of the night last night. I'm praying we didn't spread any germs at the party or church. Maybe I'm stubborn, but I just don't think Audrey and Julia's illnesses are related. I'm still thinking Audrey ate something bad and her tummy has had a hard time recovering. I feel like if she was spreading a bug, I would have gotten it for sure. And she went well over 72 hours without throwing up.

Today is pj day around here. I'm doing all the laundry that got neglected during the goings-on last week. I've had to clean children, bedding, rugs, and so on 8 times recently, so there has been no chance for our regular dirty clothes to get washed. How do you really clean a pillow that's surface clean only?

Also, can any of you tell me ANYTHING about a toddler that suddenly starts stuttering? We're just ignoring it right now. Any tips or warnings? Audrey began to stutter sometime after Thanksgiving. I would connect it to a big jump in vocabulary, but she had already made a huge jump a few months ago and she didn't do this.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Five Question Friday - 12.10.10

1. Do you open presents on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day?
Growing up, we would open presents from the extended family on Christmas Eve. On Christmas morning, Santa's presents were laid out, so there was no opening of presents. What my little family does now is if we're with my husband's family, we open one gift on Christmas Eve. We have Santa's gifts that are wrapped to open on Christmas morning. Then we get back with the extended family and open more gifts. If we're with my family, we open their gifts on whatever day it is just us celebrating.

2. What is your favorite Christmas cookie (or candy)?
Easy. My grandmother's (Nana) divinity candy. She tried to show me one time how to make it. looked WAY too difficult. I may have her tell me this year and write it down. My confidence in the kitchen improves slightly each year, so maybe one day I can conquer the divinity.

3. What's the worst Christmas gift you've ever received?
Really? I consider every gift - a gift. Even the rocks that my husband's grandmother paints for us. Yes, rocks. I'll need to take a picture of them and show you! She writes our names on rocks and gives them to us. When I married Michael, it was just two rocks. Now that there are more of us, we get even more rocks. I'll need to create a rock garden soon.

4. Christmas song that you love?
I love Christmas music! Gotta love O Holy Night. I like the Martina McBride rendition. I also really like Faith Hill's A Child Changes Everything. I only heard it once last year and haven't heard it yet this year. I also love I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas because we don't get those round these parts - except last year! BEST CHRISTMAS EVER!

5. How many trees do you put up?
I have a budget and a smallish house, so one tree. Really, I could probably make room for more trees, but my house is older and there aren't plugs on a lot of walls. I get very frustrated with that. I love my house, but I wish there were some modern additions to it,like a pantry and a linen closet.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Embrace the Camera - 12.9.10

This is the best I can do today, folks. Audrey must have gotten a stomach bug that attacked yesterday just before dinner time. Thankfully, she slept through the night without an incident. Today, we had breakfast and lunch and she was acting pretty normal except for being extra cuddly. I convinced her to lay down and try to nap. About 15 minutes in, she calls for me and it hit again. UGH! I think that last time we weren't being gentle enough on her tummy and it revolted. So, she still has a birthday party planned for this weekend. It will be cancelled if any other family member gets the bug or she gets sick again.

The picture is me doing the best I can to entertain and separate two busy girls. I know reading a book to both of them isn't the brightest idea, but they were both happy at that point. Sorry that it's so fuzzy.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Family Tree

Last month, my dad wanted to nail down for sure whether or not we were related to Cy Perkins, a baseball player and manager who played alongside Babe Ruth. I started using and lo and behold, we're not. :(

I also started digging into Michael's family. He is probably (this could be wrong, but it looks correct as far as we can tell) related to Benjamin Franklin and also Thomas Wyatt.

Pretty cool, huh? I would love to keep searching, but my free trial ended Thanksgiving day. I did get obsessed, searching for family members well past midnight for a couple of weeks.

Can anyone else trace their family way back? Are you related to any famous people?

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

My OTHER Birthday Present

My husband. He just can't help himself. Remember when he took me to Game 6 of the ACLS, the night we (the Rangers - I'm a part of them, ya know!) sent the Yankees home and sent ourselves to the World Series? It was one of the best experiences of my life. That was supposed to be my birthday present. Well, when November rolled around, he just had to do something AGAIN for my birthday. Here it is:

We went to the Stars/Ducks game. It was a great game. We won and there were a lot of fights! :) We were also 10 rows behind the glass. He paid very little for these seats too. That kind of makes me sad because that means that the fans aren't supporting the Stars like they should. There were not many people there; it was at least half empty. So sad. But, I had a great time! Thanks, Michael!!!

Friday, December 03, 2010

Five Question Friday - 12.3.10

1. What's on the top of your holiday wish list and why?!
Well, I've received all but one gift already this year. And I just had a birthday too. But if Santa came to me and told me I could have ANYTHING, I'd ask for an embroidery machine.

2. What is your favorite Christmas gift from the past?
That's tough. I'll go with more past than present. I remember very well receiving a family that had twins and they had a little blue car that they rode around in. They were like Barbie dolls except for a little more realistic. Mom, do you remember how old I was??

3. If you had life to do over, what would you be when you grow up?
I wrote about this recently. I would want to be a sonographer. I spoke with one a couple of weeks ago and asked her about the joys/hardships of her job. She just confirmed that I want to be one when I grow up. ;) Here's the link to why I want to be a sonographer.

4. When do you put up your tree?
I used to be an after Thanksgiving girl. If I had found the time this year though, that tree would have been up way before Thanksgiving. I celebrated Thanksgiving and Christmas last week with my inlaws. I had a ton of presents that were just sitting in our bedroom just begging for a tree. The tree went up the Sunday after Thanksgiving.

5. What is your favorite Holiday?
I'm really enjoying Christmas with my nearly 3 year old. She's about to celebrate her 4th Christmas, but she's just now beginning figure out the Jesus and Santa thing. She can sing some Christmas songs and she watches Rudolph with me too. She even says she won't cry in Santa's lap this year. Here's the first 2 pictures I have of her with Santa:

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Embrace the Camera - Hall Holiday Edition

A little taste of our Christmas card this year.

The Halls...a crazy, but fun crew!

Enough polka-dots for ya? :) The kiddos were already getting tired of the pictures. Poor things had to endure so many more!

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Sweet Julia is 8 Months Old!

The picture above is Julia's "official" 8 month picture. I do like it a lot, but I love the picture below. I didn't get her in focus though. That face is my doodlebug. I just love her little personality!
Well, what can I say about this sweetie? She's just about as perfect as you can get in a baby. She sleeps really well at night and takes 3 naps a day - all without giving me any fuss. She nurses 5 times a day and eats several jars of baby food. She laughs and she talks. She's not crawling or really sitting up, but she can move in circles on the floor. She has the ability to sit up, she just chooses not to. That all makes for a happy, non-mobile baby. Love her!