Monday, May 25, 2015

Penny Turns Three

"My birthday is coming up!" - This is what Penny has been saying for weeks to anyone who will listen. Her birthday has been the topic of many conversations in our home. Whenever I would ask her what she wanted for her birthday she would say. "Cake! With sprinkles! And candles!" And today, her birthday finally came!
Our little Penny, who would have been happy with just the donuts and balloons, was spoiled with presents today. We got her a little play kitchen and dishes and Grandma and Baba Himmer got her a cute wooden mixer to go with it. Also, her Auntie Stephanie picked out a darling Minnie Mouse jeep that she knew Penny would go nuts for and convinced the rest of my siblings and parents to go in on it with her.
Andrew and I set up the kitchen the night before and let Penny come out and discover it this morning. She was so thrilled! So much so, that she didn't even notice the big plate of donuts waiting for her on the kitchen table.
Penny didn't end up taking much of a nap today, as she was too busy cooking playing with her new kitchen to stop for something as trivial as a nap!
In other exciting news, we had a tornado watch turned tornado warning that resulted in me throwing some water and food storage in our walk in closet and getting the girls up from their naps to hunker down during the storm. Andrew thoroughly mocked me for taking the warning so seriously. Thankfully, the storm passed and left us untouched.

All in all, it was a birthday to remember! And the celebrations aren't over just yet, we still have Penny's party to look forward to! And the much awaited sprinkle cake!

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Schools Out!

Preschool has been such a good thing for our social little girl. Penny has thrived! I never planned to start her in preschool so early, but this small, once a week preschool in the teacher's home was the prefect fit. It fills the gaps of my abilities, like having music and craft time. Her teacher, Miss Natalie, would always comment on how intently Penny would work on the craft that particular day. Her little art projects have covered our fridge all year long.
Penny adores Miss Natalie. As do I! She is so sweet and patient with all the kids. She made an adorable little scrapbook with pictures from the year and had the preschoolers give them to their parents after the end of school performance. I nearly started bawling on the spot as I flipped through the book.
I snapped a few pictures of Penny on her last day of school:
And just for fun, here is how Penny has changed over the last year:

Monday, April 13, 2015

Bluebonnets 2015

In my experience, beautiful staged family pictures tell more lies than truths. Sure, we love one another, that's not a lie, but no husband or toddlers have any interest in having their picture taken. The whole process is stressful and painful. And there is no bag of marshmallows big enough to tempt Penny and Eloise to sit next to each other long enough to get a good shot.

I left this photoshoot feeling dejected, convinced I wouldn't have a single shot worth using, but thankfully, that wasn't true. It might not have turned out the way I envisioned, but I love the shots we got.
Sigh. Somethings are beyond hope. (Like getting a decent picture of these two next to each other)
Despite the pain, I love the Texas tradition of bluebonnet pictures! You can find last year's pictures here.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Egg Hunts and Easter Baskets

A few days ago I posted this picture to Instagram:
It was captioned, "Training to win." I had decided Penny needed the training when I picked her up from preschool after they had an easter egg hunt. Her teacher told me that at the end of the hunt Penny didn't have a single egg. The intention was for each kid to fill an egg carton so the other kids gave up some eggs so Penny wouldn't go without.

Since Penny didn't seem to have a grasp on Easter egg hunts, we practiced a few times in the backyard one afternoon. Penny was happy, and it made for an enjoyable afternoon and a cute Instagram picture.

Fastforward to the day of the big hunt. It was Saturday morning and my sleepy little family was running late. The girls were finally dressed and eating breakfast when I realized the shorts they were wearing were inadequate for the cool weather that arrived during the night. After redressing everyone and herding them out the door we were running a bit late. The hunt was would begin at 10 am sharp and we needed to be there a little before to hid our contributed eggs.

The whole car ride I became more and more stressed about an event that was supposed to be fun. I nearly bit off all my nails when we got stuck waiting for a long slow train to pass. We pulled up just as the kids were lining up. I sent Andrew running ahead with the eggs with I tried to get the girls out of the car as quickly as possible. Unable to stop myself, I keep urging Penny to, "Hurry! Hurry! Hurry!" and she drew from my stress and began to cry. I paused to help her calm down, and she took her place with the other kids.
The nursery kids went first and at their mark I urgently yelled, "GO!!" The pressure was too much, and Penny dissolved into tears once again. I immediately regretted the stress I was putting on her and tried to help her relax. With Andrew's help, she calmed down enough to participate.
Poor Penny. I was so worried and stressed about getting to the hunt in time that I almost ruined it for her by passing on my stress. I am happy to report, however, that the Easter basket portion of the holiday was 100% stress free!
My little Penny, I am sorry. It was unfair for me to dump all of my anxiety onto you. Mommas are not perfect and sometimes we make mistakes. Next year, let's keep the fun and ditch the stress!

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Dying Easter Eggs

An alternative title for this post could be: The One In Which Eloise Dunked Hard-Boiled Eggs In Dye And Had Green Hands For Two Days. Because that happened.

Eloise was so determined to get in on the action, that Andrew let her sit on his lap, and before I could do anything to stop them, allowed her to dunk eggs into the dye cups, happily slashing the dye all over the table and my favorite dish towel.

This was all in stark contrast to Penny's careful and deliberate efforts to dye her own eggs without spilling a drop.
And yes, that is a half eaten egg in the bottom row. Sometimes I have to loosen up and let my kids be kids. Good thing my girls have Andrew, he is much better at this then I am!