Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Polar Express

You know those friends that say YES to almost any crazy idea you have?  Well, that is my friend Erin and one of the many reasons I love her so!  Back in October when I said "We should drive 3 hours to take our kids on a 30 minute train ride," she immediately responded with "YES!" and then took care of buying the tickets and the hotel room herself!  

These 3 friends were so cute and excited in their matching PJs.

The train was all lit up with Christmas lights

We got on board and were welcomed with singing waiters - just like in the movie!

The conductor came by and stamped their Golden Tickets.

After some cookies and hot chocolate, we arrived at the "North Pole."  The kids were thrilled to see Santa and his Elves waving hello.

Then Santa came by to say hi, sign their copies of The Polar Express and take a picture

He gave each one a bell - just like the book/movie!

And they spent the rest of the train ride dancing down the aisles with the dancing waiters and singing Christmas carols.

We then had a slumber party at the Hampton Inn in Palestine, TX and headed home the next day.  It was a very magical night for the kids and I'm so lucky to have a friend like Erin who says YES!

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Christmas Holiday Show

We have been looking forward to this year's CHES Holiday Show for MONTHS!  Each year, the Kindergarten class narrates the entire show.  So we were all very excited to see what they had in store for us this year.  Olivia as usual took the order to not tell mom and dad and keep it a "surprise" very seriously.  But, several teachers had come up to me in the weeks leading up to the show telling me how good she was doing, what a great part she had, and that I needed to bring Kleenex!  The morning of the show, the school's director stopped me as I was walking out and told me that if Olivia's nerves didn't get the best of her, I was in a for a real treat.

So, Matt and I spent the entire day nervous/excited about what was to come...

Popo & Tutu joined us for the show.  (So did Mimi, Grandpa, Yazzie and Naz but they were seated further back and I didn't have a chance to get a picture!)

Her wonderful teachers do a great job of painting a set each year.

This year's theme was all about technology.  The kindergarteners were mostly units of a family (mom, dad, siblings, grandparents).  Everyone else is using technology (email, FaceTime, twitter, etc) to get ahold of Santa

Except for Molly, the little sister

Molly tells Grandma and Grandpa that she likes the "old fashion" way and she is going to write a letter to Santa using pen and paper

So Molly writes her letter

And then Molly does a little dance all by herself across the stage that causes "Molly's" parents to turn into a puddle of tears that their little girl is so big and brave.

After receiving Molly's letter, Santa makes a special appearance just to find her.  He asks her family where she is...

And then Molly appears and she and Santa talk about the true meaning of Christmas (cue more tears...)

And then the whole Kindergarten class danced in the final number

She had her own little fan club waiting to hug on her and take her out for a pizza dinner!

Not to get too mushy (lets all just blame the pregnancy hormones!) but it was night's like this that make me marvel at the great honor it is to be a mom.  Nothing Olivia did tonight was because of me - I didn't help her practice any lines, I didn't give her any advice about going on stage, I didn't even really talk to her about the program except to say that I was excited and would be in the front row.  And, on her own, she walked out on that stage a poised, confident, prepared little girl.  She amazed me.  I know I couldn't have done that when I was 5 years old.  I am 100% biased and honestly I hope that every parent feels this  way about their kid (I sure do hope mine think this highly of me!) but being able to watch your kid excel on their own and succeed without you has to be about the best feeling in world.  This girl will do big things in this world all by herself.  And I am SO glad I will have a front row seat to it.  I will stop now before my heart bursts with love....

Monday, December 19, 2016


I wanted to just do a little update on this pregnancy. Physically this one has been very different than Olivia. I was super nauseous well into my second trimester with Olivia. Luckily, it has not been that bad at all this time. I had a few weeks of feeling kind of pukey but was pretty diligent about taking my medicine on schedule and was able to keep the nausea at bay. I have been pretty tired this time, but luckily Matt and Olivia are both happy to go to bed at 8 pm with me.

For the memory book, I just want to remember how sweet Olivia is during this pregnancy. She was so happy to wear her big sister dress to school and proudly displayed it for all the teachers, staff and parents at the school. She can’t wait to tell everyone “her news.” But she is also – for now - pretty attentive to his/my needs. She accidentally hit me when we were playing one evening a few weeks ago and she immediately burst into tears because she was so worried she hurt me/baby. (Truth be told, if I wasn’t pregnant I’m pretty sure she wouldn’t have cared less!). It took a while to convince her that I was still pregnant and everything was fine, but I am pretty sure she went to bed feeling sad and worried. She is always hugging and kissing my belly and makes sure before I leave her at school that both baby and I have had lots of love. And, this pregnancy has been different in that I am constantly hungry. I have an afternoon snack at work but by the time I pick up Olivia from school and fight traffic to get home, I’m pretty famished. It’s really cute to see how frantic she is to make sure I get some food as soon as we get home and then she follows up with me “Are you okay now? Did brother get the food he needed?”

That being said, the little wheels are already turning and I can see glimpses of sibling “fairness” coming through. After being “corrected” the other day, she asked Matt if he was going to “yell at the new baby too?” ;) And after our Mother-Daughter party she was talking to Matt and telling him that next year he couldn’t go out of town (he had a work trip that week) because he would have to watch brother. I mentioned that if we did a girls party for her, then I would have to do something with boys for him. She asked if she could come to his boys party. I responded with “Well can he come to your girls party?” She thought about it for a second and “Okay. I have an amazing idea. What if we do a mother-kid party and girls and boys could come?” I told her I thought that was a lovely and inclusive idea…

She also is very interested in all things baby.  My friend Kate had her over to play and she apparently peppered her with all sorts of questions about Henry's schedule.  A week later we were at a party with some friends from school and a mom told me she asked her if her baby had her newborn shots yet!  I think this curious little girl will be a big helper to me.

Also, there have been some interesting conversations about body parts and exactly how babies are made.  Lucky for us, we can just say "Dr. McKnight helped us make Eric in the hospital and then she put him in mommy."  Olivia likes to point out he's not in my belly, but in my uterus, which she pronounces "uter-yus"  It makes Matt squirm every time he hears it!! :)

But, like Matt and I, she is a little nervous about such a big change to our little family of 3.  Right now, we are in a pretty good groove and adding a new little guy to the mix will definitely shake things up.  The other night she was tired (up late, with no nap) and all of a sudden got pretty upset and sad about it not being "just the 3 of us" anymore.  We tried to comfort her by telling her we would make sure that she got time alone with mommy and daddy still and that she should always come and tell us if she was feeling left-out or sad.  But, almost in unison, Matt and I both told her that all those fears will probably be washed away as soon as she meets little brother.  We are under no illusions that it will all be rainbows and butterflies, but I'm guessing this little  big girl of mine will take to little brother just fine and the two of them will be fast friends!

And, just because I hate to leave a post without any pictures, here is one from Grandpa’s 70th birthday celebration at Ibiza a few weeks ago!

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Zoo Lights

We decided the best way to end a case of the Mondays was to take a trip to the Zoo to see this year's Zoo Lights.

We got there a little early and had a picnic dinner by the fountain (and fed the ducks!)

And then we headed in!

 She really liked this Houston Dynamo fox - she said that was her favorite thing.

 She's not quite as good as the flamingos, but she's trying...

Pretty intrigued by this tiny twirling dancer.

 And this was a favorite from last year - Candy the talking Zoo Lights Zebra.  There must be someone inside her because it is truly interactive, she asks the kids their names, what they want from Santa, etc and have a conversation with her.  This is probably one of the best things at Zoo Lights!

The carousel..of course.

This year's train display

Too busy eating popcorn to smile for a picture

It was a fun night!