Thursday, January 21, 2016

Inside Out

Still have not found time to do the Christmas posts yet but I wanted to remember this story:

When Matt and I were first beginning to become friends and date in college, one of the things I liked best about him was how funny he was.  I felt like he was so smart to constantly come up with all these jokes and one-liners.   Well...I eventually learned that most of them are straight from movies.  Not really being a "movie person," it took me a while to catch on.  

Well, it looks like the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.  Olivia is obsessed with the movie Inside Out.  She saw it twice in the theater and usually chooses it anytime she has "screen time."  She basically has the movie memorized and has taken to saying lines from the movie in conversation at appropriate times.  

For instance, the other day I was complaining about something when she said "Oh don't worry.  It could be worse."  At first I was struck by how optimistic and cheerful she was.  Until I saw the smirk on her face and figured out it was a line from the movie.  

She also sometimes will refuse to go to bed unless I pull her like Joy pulls Sadness.

But, her best so far was when she was in trouble the other day and she didn't seem particularly phased by my attempts to discipline her.  I asked her again why she did that and she responded, completely deadpan, "I’m sorry. Something’s wrong with me. It’s like I’m having a breakdown."  (which is another line from the movie).  And then, I cracked up laughing and lost all my mommy-power.

Oh how I love this crazy little girl of mine!

Monday, January 11, 2016

Pre-Christmas Fun

We managed to sneak some fun activities into the weeks leading up to Christmas:

1.  The first event was the Cathedral House holiday show.  Like past years, the teachers tell the kids to keep the "theme" a secret from their parents.  This year Olivia held on to that theme like it was the key to a treasure map!  This girl won't crack under any circumstances and became IRATE at Matt one night when he saw her practicing and asked her about it.

On the big day, we learned the theme - the Nutcracker.  And, when we saw our girl, she was ALL. BUSINESS.

She lead the class onto stage and made eye contact with me once.  Unlike the other girls who were smiling and waving to their parents, Olivia's look seemed to say "I see you.  You clearly see me.  Let's not belittle this whole process by waving to each other."  And that was it.  She never looked at me again and refused to smile throughout the whole performance.  It was an interesting side of her that we are not used to seeing.  But, I was pretty happy to see her take it so seriously.  And, we have now signed her up for ballet again so we will see how that goes.

 The cute scenery that her amazing teachers painted.

The director of her school, Ms. Teri, opens the show each year (holding back tears at how big everyone is getting!) :)

Waiting in the wings..

Dancing her little Nutcracker heart out.

2.  In keeping with the Nutcracker theme, I decided was coerced into taking Olivia and one of her friends from school to the Houston Ballet's performance of the Nutcracker.  I was hoping for a local dance school's performance but when those dates didn't work out, my friend convinced me that our 4 year olds would be fine at the real thing.  And, I am SO GLAD she did.  They did GREAT and LOVED it!  And, so did I!!  I have not been to the performance in years and was amazed and blown away by how beautiful it was.  This is definitely a tradition I want to start with Olivia going forward.  Both of us cannot wait for next year!

My girl and I before the show...

She and Sarah were so excited and immediately began practicing their own Nutcracker ballet moves in the lobby. (Note, at this point, I felt pretty concerned about our ability to remain for the entire show.  Printed in big bold letters on our ticket were explicit instructions about how children who are talkative or "fidgety" (what kid isn't fidgety??!) will be removed).

Luckily, we had great seats and these 2 sat down quietly enthralled for the entire first act.  (It probably didn't hurt that we pre-ordered brownies for intermission and threatened to throw them away if they weren't good!)

Checking out the giant gingerbread house during intermission.

I am so glad that Olivia is making sweet friends we can share these fun memories with!

3.  And we spent the day before Christmas Eve with our dear Williams girls for some gingerbread cookie decorating.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016


I am behind on Christmas/New Year's posts, but I wanted to do a quick post on some of the silly things Miss O has said lately.

A few weeks ago it was raining on the way to school, Olivia asked me why it was raining.  I responded that I guessed God thought the trees, plants and flowers needed to be watered.  She immediately responded with an exasperated sigh (her latest lovely response to anything that doesn't go her way) and said "Ugh!  God just gets to decide everything??!!"  I said I think so.  She says "And Barack Obama!"  (Which reminded me of this video)

We have also been in a bit of a dramatic phase.  The most recent examples include bursting into tears on NYE because she "loves 2015 and will miss it"; crying her face off if I use the restroom in the morning before she does (so I now lie to my daughter regarding my bathroom activity); and hysterically crying when she learned we were trying a new dentist that was closer, cheaper, worked better hours and came highly recommended by Aunt KK, Sofie and Minah.

And, I also leave you with the outtake from a video we were trying to make for my cousin who got married in Australia.  Please note Olivia's face...who glares like that in a video to wish some congratulations on their wedding?!

Tuesday, December 15, 2015


This post is mainly to document the cute thing Olivia said to me this morning.  We were driving to school/work and she was asking me about my office and my computer.  She said "So, you type your contracts and emotions on the computer that your boss gives you?"  :)  I think she meant "motions" - not "Emotions" but I like the idea of me sitting in my office just typing up my emotions.

And, just for the sake of completeness on all things Christmas, last night we surprised Olivia with an evening of looking at Christmas lights.  We got her all ready for bed but right as we were about to leave the room, we asked her if she would rather go to bed or go look at Christmas lights.  She was pretty confused but SO happy.  She literally jumped into Matt's arms as she squealed in delight.  She came out to the kitchen to find a bowl of freshly made peppermint popcorn, we hit up Starbucks for some hot cocoa and set out with our "Christmas lights bingo" list.  It was a really fun night and she was TOTALLY into it this year!

Monday, December 14, 2015

Christmas crazy!

I feel like Olivia is at the perfect age to enjoy all the Christmas fun that Houston has to offer, so we packed as much as we could into the weekend!

Aunt Yazzie bought Olivia a gingerbread house, so she came over on Friday for dinner and decorating.  The house started off pretty cute ...

But took a bit of a morbid turn when Olivia got her hands on some red icing.  

And then, as what seems like a common occurrence these days, Olivia ended up naked. But she sure did have fun with Aunt Yazzie.

On Saturday morning we went to the Houston Symphony's children's series performance of a "Frozen and Frosty Christmas."  It was a really great event and a good way to introduce her to the symphony. Plus, they encouraged kids to dress up like Elsa, which is always the key to a good time in Olivia's book!

After nap, we went to an ornament exchange with some of my friends from V&E.  

I didn't get any pics at the event, but it was such a cute little party and Olivia ended up getting a Nutcracker ornament, which was perfect for our Nutcracker Tea Party on Sunday.  One of the little girls in Olivia's class knows THE Sugar Plum Fairy (from the Houston Ballet) and she was kind enough to host a little tea party for all the girls in the class.  Olivia was obviously in Heaven the entire time and is already talking about next year's party.

The girls started with tea (hot cocoa) service and mini-desserts

While they ate, the beautiful Sugar Plum fairy came around and chatted with them.

Silliness ensues whenever Olivia is with her friends, especially Miss Emma

Then the Sugarplum Fairy read them some Christmas stories

And, of course, they got some photo ops with her.

At one point, they wanted each girl to have their own picture with her but these 3 Musketeers refused to be separated. 

And they were on a sugarplum high as the party winded down..

Such a fun (but exhausting!) weekend!

Tuesday, December 8, 2015


Matt (and the rest of his family) are avid Lionel Richie fans.  Like if you told me they were in his fan club when they were little, you would be right.  Like Matt's brother wanted us to fly to Nashville one day last year for a concert (which we almost did but then thankfully unfortunately I had to go to Doha for work).  They give each other shirts/koozies and other Richie paraphernalia.  You get it.

SO, the other day Matt was wearing his Lionel Richie shirt and Olivia asked who it was.  This launched a 30 minute lecture on the wonder that is Mr. Richie and concluded with some YouTube videos of his songs - mainly Hello.

Eventually it turned into a game where one of them would hide in the laundry room, the other would knock on the door and then when it opened, sing "Hello, is it me you're looking for?"  (Although for a while, Olivia was singing "Hello, are you looking for me?")

Like this:

But, then Olivia decided to mix things up a bit when it was her turn:

Yep folks.  So you keep teaching your kids how to read, spell and do math.  We're taking care of 80s pop over here...

Monday, December 7, 2015

Soccer Star

Olivia just finished up a semester of Soccer Shots at school. I think she enjoyed it, in her own way. The season started in the summer and we had several disagreements as to her attire. She wanted dresses and sandals; this crazy mom wanted shorts and tennis shoes. We compromised in that she can wear a dress and sandals, but has to at least bring tennis shoes to change into. You gotta pick your battles with this one!

 On the final class, they invited the parents to come watch. It was pretty funny. I asked her if she liked soccer and she told me she liked the first part (the various drills) and the very end (where they all put their hands in the center and yell “1-2-3 Soccer Shots.”)

She did NOT like it when they had to put on the jerseys and kick the ball in the goals (i.e. when they actually played a SOCCER GAME!).

Now, this shouldn't have come as a surprise as every Tuesday when I asked Olivia about soccer she gave me the 2 same responses most days: (1) whether or not she got to wear orange jersey (good) or gray (bad); and (2) whether she scored a goal (usually no so then she would tell me the other kids that did score goals were cheaters.  (This may or may not be something that a certain Matt Dean also has said re: sports games he has played).  So….I’m not sure we have a Mia Hamm in our house, but she looks pretty cute kicking that ball around.

To play the game, Coach Ziggy divided them into 2 teams.  The first team said their name was the tigers.  Then it was Olivia's teams turn.  One of the boy yelled "Tigers" at the same time one of the girls yelled "Flamingos!"  So, they were the Flamingo Tigers.

I'm not sure who actually won, but everyone got a certificate at the end and a picture with Coach Ziggy.