Monday, November 26, 2012

Voice Lessons

I am very grateful to be a family that doesn't swear.  Abby is repeating so much of what I say these days and it can be so funny.  Most of the time.  She's taken to using the phrase "you're driving me nuts" and today as I was hanging ornaments she said to me, "mommy look at you go!".  So you can imagine what she would pick up were our language not so . . . clean.

But what else can I expect?  After all, they are with me 24/7 and they do have talking genes -- both from the Whittacres and from myself.  William is already proving to be quite the talker himself and when Megan's not talking she's singing.  Her singing reminds me a little bit of what's-his-name in Elf: made up words and pretty much off key.  But I love hearing it and listening to what she creates.  She may never be a vocalist but I think a composer is still a possibility!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

My Awesome Brother

When my brother Mark and his wife Adrienne were here over Halloween, he took some pictures of us at the Arboretum.  I'm sharing some of them because A) he has an amazing camera + B) he has a fantastic eye = C) we look like a nice family!  Well most of the time.  Thanks Mark!  I love you!


Thursday, November 22, 2012


We had a really nice, small Thanksgiving today.  All month we've been sharing one thing each that we're thankful for at dinner every night and we've collected quite the tree of gratitude.  And I wanted to write it all down here because it really was so much fun and many of the things that we have been grateful for each night have been inspired by the events of the day.  But I'm not going to put down who said what -- unless there's a specific reason.  Ready?  This month we have been grateful for:

pancakes -- Granny and daddy -- good books -- treats -- teachers -- the Spirit -- 8th grade computer class -- rainbows -- a loving husband and father -- puppies -- the thankful tree -- dragonflies and chairs and chicken and plates (that would be Abby) -- a happy home -- water -- making it through another day -- friends -- kids -- healthy children -- girls' night out (that was a bad day for me) -- learning from experience -- kissing the baby (Megan) -- friends (all the friends ones are me, I've really been leaning on them lately) -- preschool (Megan) -- friends (actually one from Abby) -- dragons -- ice cream -- Grandpa Whittacre -- $5.00 pizza -- the right to vote -- the scriptures and the music and the lights (Abby again, she has the rambling ones) -- people who are willing to serve -- other people's ovens -- Family Home Evening -- Veteran's Day -- pictures to send to family -- playing outside in the backyard -- playing at the park -- pencils -- reliable cars -- a washing machine and dryer -- internet -- being able to connect with others -- clouds -- dresses -- the spirit of childhood -- the baby -- the baby (again) -- the families and the butterflies and the puppies (guess who?) -- reading the scriptures (Megan!!) -- William -- elegance (I am not kidding -- this was Megan and I looked at her and said "elephants"?  She says no elegance so I asked her what that means and she told me "it's something fancy".  Ok!) -- stars -- our church building -- hugs and kisses (Megan of all people) -- good employment -- being able to serve -- Dallas in the fall -- grocery stores -- (and the grand finale!) BUTTERFLIES!!!

The reason the butterflies get the grand finale is that Abby said it EVERY NIGHT and we had to prompt her to add something else to be thankful for.  Sometimes we got one more thing and sometimes she rambled on and on (see above).  But without fail the first thing out of her mouth was always butterflies.

In true Texas style, Chopper smoked a turkey!  This is before:

And after: 
It was soooooo good -- moist and juicy with a light smoky flavor and I might just have to go for seconds after the girls are in bed.

And of course all the turkey day goodness.  I did make a dairy free, gluten free pumpkin pie that was really good and the apple pie was just ok . . . again.  I just can't do apple so I'm officially throwing in the towel and letting Chopper buy one from the store here on out!

But it was a delicious, relaxed day -- perfect mid-70's weather for the girls to play outside -- and now the Christmas tree is going up.  Hooray!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

When it all goes haywire

It's after 10 p.m. so honestly I should either be quilting or in bed but I figured I would kind've update before doing our thankful post tomorrow.  That will be a fun one but more on that later right?

Anyway, things have been haywire around here.  I have 2 weeks (well less than now) to make a quilt for my brother for Christmas (per his request) so I can send it home with my dad rather than shipping it (hello saving money!) and all the usual chaos that goes with 3 children, my calling, and the holiday season.  Unfortunately I am feeling very stressed by everything and would rather have a quiet holiday.  But apparently the Relief Society gets to be in charge of all holiday related events on a stake AND a ward level.  Sheesh.

Then on Saturday I was baking massive amounts of mini loaves of pumpkin bread to take to sisters and the oven dies.  No drama though -- just a slow death that resulted in several half-baked loaves.  Chopper starts searching the internet for cause of death when the computer is hit by some awful virus that's also trying to extort money ($200 or we won't release your computer!!!).  Fortunately I have an awesome friend whose oven works and who is home for the holidays!!  Hooray!!!  I was over there again tonight for a few hours doing our pies (gluten and dairy free -- I will eat pie on Thanksgiving!) and rolls (not gluten and dairy free so every time I want a roll, I will eat pie).

Chopper is amazing and pulled 8th grade computer class out of his head and destroyed the virus through DOS and while he tried to use his magical powers on the oven, no go.

In the meantime, we relieve stress by:

playing lots of dress-up

getting our pictures for the Gasser family calendar taken care of (this is our Flowbie parody)

practicing our tummy time

taking more flowbie pictures

visiting the Arboretum and having faces painted like cats and dogs and then crawling around in the mud because we are cats and dogs and then fighting like cats and dogs on the way home . . .

and drawing pictures -- the middle one is me when I'm angry.  I've had a short fuse this week.

I think this comes off as a pretty negative post but we are thankful around here (and we have some great stories about that for tomorrow) and I'm excited about tomorrow and the girls are REALLY excited about pie.  Chopper's excited to be smoking a turkey.  And it's 80 degrees.  I love Texas in the fall / winter.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

4 Months!

Happy boy!  Happy, chunky, short-limbed, small-headed boy!  And the results are:
Weight -- 16 pounds, 9 ounces (81%)
Length -- 25 inches (54%)
Head -- 41 centimeters (19%)

William has really gotten good at grabbing things this month.  He's constantly reaching and tackling the hanging toys in his gym and grabbing onto his blankets and burp cloths and shoving them in his mouth.  He still DOES NOT suck a thumb or finger but he does like to gnaw his fist or anything cloth that happens to be near his face.  When he's on his back he's rolling onto his side and back again and shimmying himself around a little bit.  He's super ticklish under his arms and loves to smile.  Megan still treats him very well except today she was popping out at him and making some kind of growly noise and it scared him to the point where he started to cry.  Megan sent herself to her room.  Abby same old same old so he doesn't smile so much when she's around.

Megan went a little overboard and covered him with toys the other day . . .  

When he falls asleep in your arms he puts his hand over his face.  It's the cutest thing and he just looks so sweet!  Then when he's in his crib he's still doing the flat on his back, arms thrown up like a touchdown pose.

Red cheeked because he's running a mild fever after shots today but still happy!

He will eat it eventually!!

Just like I did with the girls, I'm waiting until 6 months to introduce him to food.  He's not suffering from only having breast milk, that's for sure!  But we're going to start him on oats and fruits and vegetables since we still seem to be having some issues with dairy and gluten.  Although I think those issues have improved a little bit so I'm hopeful that he'll grow out of them.

Oh and Megan was the first in her class to be able to bring home Skippyjon Jones and his book this week.  We enjoyed having a visitor from preschool!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

What Doesn't Get Done

The other day a good friend of mine posted a massive list of things that she accomplished between 5 a.m. and lunch time.  It was awe-inspiring.  But she really is a good friend and so I didn't feel envious over that list because I have seen her house when it's under destruction (not construction) and when the floors are sticky and she's apologizing about the bathroom or the laundry on the couch.  And of course we all have good days and bad days right?  So today I'm celebrating what I did NOT do:

1.  I did not do the laundry.  This means that I have procrastinated one more day until I also will not do the ironing.  I'll probably regret it when the piles slightly resemble Mt. Rushmore (only with princess faces instead of president faces) but right now I'm quite enjoying browsing through blogs and reading my latest book.

2.  I did not bathe the kids.  I am celebrating this in particular because it means I have a fantastic husband who did it for me!

3.  I did not plan dinner and remember to take meat out of the freezer in advance.  But the last minute meal still turned out pretty good.  I also did not make something that Megan would eat, but then I'm beginning to wonder if anyone could make something that Megan would eat . . . 

4.  I did not spend too much money on Halloween clearance items at Target.  I put the cute pumpkin pillow BACK, I avoided the costumes, and I only bought one small box of Halloween foam stickers -- hey I have to think about General Conference bags for next year!

5.  I did not make pancakes for breakfast.  This is a big deal because I make them maybe 3 or 4 times a week and right now it's pure torture because I can't eat them.  And then I have to make myself my own breakfast too.  Ick on double the cooking.

6.  I did not abandon my children to the television screen so that I could finish reading that book -- when I'm only halfway through.  I do this a lot I think and really probably shouldn't but reading is a serious addiction for me and has been for as long as I can remember.

So it's been a pretty good day I think.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

A Letter To My Father

Dear Dad,

It took Megan 45 minutes to get dressed on Thursday morning and then she threw a fit about needing to eat her breakfast before preschool.  And I'm repeating over and over to: eat, put on  your clothes, find your shoes, etc. etc. and yelling to get out the door on time.  And then I was hit by a very powerful memory, or rather series of memories, involving my bedroom in the wee hours of the morning and a very frustrated and angry dad voice telling me to get out of bed or I was in big trouble.  And I realized that Megan is only 4 so I must have a long road ahead of me.

I know that apologizing won't make it better for me, but I'm sorry.

And you can stop laughing now.

Love, Kristy

Thursday, November 1, 2012

All Treats!!

Halloween ended up really being all about the treats this year!

Our first treat was that my brother and his wife were able to spend Halloween with us!  They're in the middle of their drive moving from the west coast to the east coast and took a breather for the day.  We had a fantastic time and decided they probably needed some walking . . . can you guess where we went?

Arboretum!  Good guess! 
 The advantage of being little is that Abby still gets shoulder rides from uncle Mark.

 Somehow we have missed this sculpture every time we've been there and I really think it's my favorite -- it's also in the middle of my favorite place: The Poetry Garden (we like to call it the Secret Garden).

 Awww, sisters.  In reality, Megan is actually being controlling and bringing Abby back to us, not holding her hand out of sisterly love.  But it looks so promising!

 For some reason in this picture Abby looks EXACTLY like Chopper to me!

The girls practiced their sniper cover skills in the hay.  Do you see Megan?  Neither did the little girl standing there . . . 


Afterwards it was home for dinner -- pulled pork and coleslaw, octopus dogs for the girls and root beer.  Nice root beer.  That Abby loves.  
I love this picture and I swear it's root beer!  Plus it's empty because it's really good root beer and so she's not getting that much!  Megan was giving Chopper lots of kisses.  

At the last minute Abby decided she wanted to be a butterfly.  Thank goodness we have wings and pipe cleaners for antenna.  She was cute!

Chopper painted their faces -- cheap Halloween paint from Walmart is not nearly as nice as professional face paint by the way.  I should have bought the face paint crayons -- this was pretty thick and goopy.

Aunt Adri applied glitter . . . 

 And they were ready to go!!

Mark and Adri and Chopper all went trick or treating and I stayed behind to hand out candy.  I think I must've gotten the better end of the deal since we only had our doorbell rung maybe 5 times -- where was everyone?  But the girls didn't suffer.  They had plenty of treats in their bucket.  Chopper and I are enjoying that!  Happy Halloween!!