Monday, March 28, 2011

Still a little baby

Abby's one-year check went well today but I left it feeling a little concerned.  17 lbs. 0.5 oz., 27 inches long.  Both of those put her in the less than 5% range but what concerns me is that she has had no change from her 9 month stats.  I am however really liking my doctor.  We're going back in a month for a weight check to make sure that she is growing but in the meantime she feels that Abby is small, but healthy, and gave me advice on things to feed her to really get those healthy fats into her system -- you know, cakes, cookies, etc.  Just kidding!  I really like Dr. Gondol.  She is honest and forthright and gives you all the benefit of her knowledge as a doctor but without the condescension that some (including my last one) have.  She is also fabulous with my girls and considering the fact that Megan is consistently anti-social and rude to strangers, that's a big deal.  How do you teach a 3-year old to be polite?

Anyway, so I guess I'm on the hunt for some good recipes to get Abby beefing up a little bit -- and getting her iron.  She's a little deficient there too.  Abby's a good eater too, I think I just need to change my focus a bit on what she eats.  I've actually be giving her this new baby/toddler food I found:
I've been buying it at Target.  It's organic so a little more than regular baby food but not horrendously so.  They have the best flavor combinations -- this one is green beans, pear, and peas.  There's also a mango and spinach and a banana, beet, and blueberry.  And they're good!  I've tried them and I like them better than anything else I've gotten her.  Abby sucks them down without hardly removing them from her mouth.  And I've gotten lazy.  I just give her the pouch rather than squeezing it into a bowl.  I'm trying to switch from baby foods to table foods altogether but in the meantime, I feel like she's getting awesome nutrition with this!

1 Year Gone By

Here's the Happy Birthday girl!

 I can't believe it's been a year.  There are times when it feels like it's going so slowly -- I'm waiting for the next stage or phase to come.  And then, it's a year.
 Abby is such a character.  She enjoyed her birthday dinner of mashed potatoes and peas.  Oh, and the entire pouch of baby food she downed.  This girl eats like a teenage boy.
 Then it was time for cupcakes.  We just had Megan's birthday about 2 months ago, but apparently her memory is little short because she was pretty mesmerized by this thing. 

 And then she either realized it was cake, or . . . she wanted to play with the fire.  Don't worry, I didn't let her get it!
 She started small, swipe the frosting, try the frosting . . .
 And then it was all over.  Fingers in the mouth, let me get all I can get, over.
 I have some great video of her going through this cupcake so I limited the pictures (something about grandparents complaining about too many pictures . . . ) but let me just say it was fun to watch.  Side note -- Megan's first birthday was very different.  She does NOT like to be messy.  She ate the sprinkles off her cupcake one by one but not much else -- too messy.  This one?  Well mess is definitely not an issue.  In fact, it was easier to put her in the bathtub afterwards rather than just try to wipe her off.

 After the bath it was time for presents!  Abby really was interested in the banner though.  Not the presents, or the balloons, the 50 cent banner.  Couldn't quite get to it though.  And her hair in the back is getting curly.  SO not fair!

 Abby was pretty good at tearing the paper off.  She really enjoyed the paper.  The presents were just ok.  Which was actually pretty good because of course Megan wanted to play with the presents.  Megan did pretty well with letting her open them though so as a 3-year old, she gets a gold star for effort!

Making faces at me -- a great birthday she'll never remember!  That's ok -- I've decided that these memories are more for me and they are completely worth it!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

I Need to Window Shop More

Today Chopper and I (and the girls of course) went to Galleria Dallas -- this enormous mall in Dallas that has stores that we really can't afford -- like Michael Kors, Louis Vuitton, Tiffany & Co. -- you know, just barely out of our price range (haha).  But it was fun to walk around and they do have your typical mall stores too so I didn't feel too out of place.  We did walk in to Tiffany & Co. and boy does that place sparkle!  Chopper started asking about diamonds and I think the saleswoman was quite surprised but Chopper loves gemology and knows what he's talking about -- even if he is wearing shorts, a t-shirt, and flip flops!

The best thing about it was the window shopping.  We've been talking about redecorating (someday) but I have no sense for how to put color together.  Hello Pottery Barn!  Color schemes all laid out that I could replicate someday (for a lot less money too).  Good thing I had my camera.

We also went into a store called Strasbourg Children that had the most adorable dresses.  I had actually seen one on a girl at the Arboretum last week and asked the mom where she got it.  Very classic but so cute. And I can't resist little girl dresses.  Unless the price tag dangling off of it is what they were at this store.  I was going to get a picture of it from their website but apparently they are all sold out because it's not on there anymore.  I'm not kidding.  Sooooo, is it wrong to try to replicate it for cheaper?  We'll see if I can do it . . .
 This is looking down from the top level of the mall on to the ice rink at the very bottom.  It is huge!

But the highlight that made me want to be 8 years old again was the American Girl Boutique & Bistro.  I have loved American Girl dolls for years and years but, again, not quite feasible for my wallet right now.  And Megan doesn't really like dolls so I guess I'm safe for now.  If you're not familiar with the collection, they have a series of historical dolls and accessories that represent different facets of American girls in both time-period and group of people.  They also have a customizable doll that you can design to look like your child.  The store was absolutely full of moms with their 8-10 year old girls who were carrying around their dolls.  The picture I took of the store miraculously has no one in it though!

 The customizable dolls have every accessory you can think of to make them just like your daughter -- these ones have musical instruments.  There are sports accessories, cooking, pets -- you name it.
 Megan kept wanting to go back to see the "little food".  She didn't really care about the dolls themselves.
 These are both historical dolls with their very historically accurate accessories.  This is insane but my 8-year old self is drooling!

The first floor of the store was all the dolls and accessories.  The second floor was a restaurant and hair and nail salon.  Wow.

Anyway, it was fun to drool and get ideas.  We might have to go "shopping" more!

Friday, March 25, 2011


Isn't that a fantastic word?  Plus, it sounds better than just "lazy" which is kind've what I've been as far as doing stuff.  Well, picture worthy stuff anyway.  I've actually been spending most of my child-free time quilting a baby quilt for my best friend's not-so-new baby girl.  And looking at it last night, I still have about half the quilt to go so I don't think it will happen by the end of March.  Maybe I can get it to her before Easter!

I've also been working on another blog!  It's up and running but I haven't posted a lot on it so I'm waiting for the "unveiling".  Originally, I thought it would be fun to jump on the bandwagon and do a little crafting, recipes, etc.  But come to find out, while I love crafting and cooking -- I'm not that original!!  So there may occasionally be something of that nature on it, but mostly it will be educational.  One of the biggest things that I miss about teaching is creating the lessons and reading and talking about literature with people.  And I really feel that I'm now getting to that point with Megan, where we can do more on her level, but I still have ideas for all sorts of ages -- ok mostly middle and high school.  But I decided to put it out there because there are those who want to teach their children but may not be strong in English and then of course I have it down for myself when my kids get to be old enough for some of the ideas.

So I've decided that it's worthy of an unveiling -- the big day will be April 1st!

In the meantime, we continue to have beautiful, hotter than usual weather with nary a drop of water in sight!  Chopper said he heard yesterday on the news that we haven't had a drought this bad in Texas in 44 years.  I took the girls to the zoo to enjoy the sunshine.  The cheetahs were out, which we haven't seen before, and now that spring break is over, it was much less crowded and very enjoyable.
 I've decided that I can't complain about Megan's clothing choices anymore.  I do buy her the clothes!  She has to pick out her own outfit every day and while she will listen to me about long sleeves or short sleeves, etc., this girl has a thing for patterns and she will not be swayed from her choices!  We bought her flip flops at Target yesterday and she LOVES them!  Picked them out at the store herself too.  They are awfully cute and they don't have princesses on them!
 One thing I like about our zoo is that you can get so close to the animals.  Megan's two animal requests were giraffes and crocodiles -- NOT THE ALLIGATORS.  Good thing she doesn't know the difference.  She also wanted to go see the lizards AGAIN!  Yuck.  I guess it's ok behind glass but still.  Oh and the python yawned for us.  It made me a believer that they really can swallow whole rabbits, chipmunks, small children . . .
 This blooming dogwood (not the flamingos) made me miss Virginia.
Fun!  A butterfly chair!!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Happy First Day of Spring!

It's kind've nice for the first day of spring to actually feel like spring.  Current temperature -- 79 degrees.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Dallas DOES Bloom!

I just uploaded 32 pictures.  Those are the ones that are my favorite of what I took.  Well, hands-down, the best time to be in Dallas is spring and fall.  The Dallas Arboretum is in their Dallas Blooms Festival full swing and it was gorgeous.  Of course, I think the only way to get tulips like this is to specifically plant them for the month in bed that has been prepared and is maintained by a large team of specially trained gardeners.  Since we don't have that luxury at our disposal, we are taking full advantage!

 This giraffe is not part of the garden actually.  Nor is the chicken.  This weekend there was also an art sale with I don't know how many artists and their booths.  One artist makes these really incredible metal animals -- most of whom bob their heads mechanically.  I loved how they positioned this one as if it were a real giraffe.  And the chicken (sorry rooster)?  That's just for Grandma.

 The Arboretum also does other displays -- this one is part of the Fairy Tale Castles series.  Seven fairy tale castles were built by local architects and construction agencies to showcase several tales.  Each castle was different but they all had artwork on the inside depicting parts of the fairy tale.  This castle is Beauty and the Beast.

 Aren't these tulips just gorgeous?  This castle is the Princess and the Pea . . . 

 And it's no wonder she was bruised!  Look at that pea!
 Happy baby, happy daddy.

 I might just have to go back during the week with the girls all dressed up for Easter and see if I can get some good pictures.  Abby liked getting up close and pulling at the flowers of course.

 Megan of course kissed I don't know how many flowers.  Other than that, she was actually in a pretty bad mood and very obstinately refused to do anything we asked her to so any smiling pictures are purely coincidence.  Oh, and even though I tried to dress her in something that matched (because I knew I would be taking pictures), she absolutely insisted on wearing the blue shirt with the butterfly skirt and the hat of course.  She knows her own mind for sure.
 I love this one because I managed to catch her kissing the flower without the picture just being of the back of her head!

 This is the throne in the castle for Murfara's Daughters.  I'll have to look it up because I'm not sure.  It's an African princess story that I have read but it's been a long time and I'm not as familiar with it as the others of course.

 Inside the Rapunzel castle they had an exit for the princess that was teeny tiny so of course Megan loved it.
 This is the whole castle -- my favorite one I think.  I love this tower on the left and how the architecture looks like Rapunzel's hair cascading down.  Isn't that a great word?  Cascading.
 The itty-bitty bench in the back garden at Rapunzel's castle and the outside where the Princess door comes out.

 The tulips were positively amazing -- I know they're just flowers but they were soooo pretty!

It was a really good day -- flowers, castles, picnic on a hill with a view of the lake, and spending time together as a family.