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!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

A Perfect Seventy Degrees

The heat and humidity are fast approaching, but for now, it's beautiful 70 degree weather here in Austin! Last year, we learned that we better take advantage now, because once the heat comes the only enjoyable thing to do outside is swim. 
A crazy and confused Penny, still wants to wear her fleece pjs. It makes me a little nauseous to think about it!
It is a perfect time for playing at the park. Most evenings Andrew walks the girls to the park to play while I go to CrossFit. Penny has taken about a year to get brave enough for the slide and climbing walls, not so for Eloise, that girl is a little daredevil.  She will climb up to the big slide and send herself down backwards, on her stomach, squealing with delight the whole way down. 

Penny's strength in life is her friendliness. Old or young, she wants to get to know you. She is thrilled when she finds new buddies to befriend at the park. She follows them around and asks them, "What's your name?" and "How old are you?" Some people ignore her, others can't understand her, but a precious few take the time to chat with her. Last week it a cute 13 year old boy and his friend who happily answered some of her questions. 

This week two teenage girls were taking selfies at the park and I assumed they would be the type to ignore our sweet Penny, but much to my surprise these girls were so kind to the little two-year old girl following them around the park. They lifted her up and helped her swing on the monkey bars and chatted with her about her sunglasses.
When it was time to go home, Penny decided to ride in the basket instead of her seat:
I could learn a thing or two from you, Penny!