Monday, April 30, 2007



seatbelt- includes the belt for his pants
pillup- a pillow
favorite questions: "what color is this?" & "oh oh, what happened?" (for any unfamiliar sound or ocurence for example the thunder last night, someone's car beeping, the clothes dryer buzzer going off)

Today, while in the car, each child in their car seats, Ivan and Dominique held hands for about 2 blocks. It was so sweet.

My Dad always said the highest form of flattery is imitation and Ivan adores his daddy. Here they are "shaving". I made Ivan a razor out of legos and now he wants to shave with Daddy all the time. Wish he wanted to go potty like daddy too!!! (No pressure Ivan)

I was doing laundry and Ivan took the basket and started playing this "new" game in the kitchen. I thought it was so hillarious! I love how kids take words so litterally. By the way, this is such a better version for 2 year olds- totally do-able.

My littlest mechanic.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Gonna stock you up

We're heading out of town this week. We're driving to Houston where me and the kids will stay with Nana and Pawpaw Terry while Brian goes to a conference, then he'll come back to Houston and we'll be back home in a week or so. All of that to say, I won't be blogging most likely, so y'all get a break from here!

But, to keep your kid fix up, I'm including 2 photos AND 2 videos today and tomorrow, if all works well. Which will also get me caught up with our cutest photos and videos all being posted and ready to tell you all about Houston.

My new desktop picture is the close up one even closer still. I have been having fun changing our desktop picture regularly. What is your desktop picture now?

Thursday, April 26, 2007

At the races

We are having to rediscover our inner child these days since games are pretty high entertainment now. I was helping out a friend and had her two kids and a cousin (ages 7, 1 and the 3 year old who only knew Spanish). My neighbor came too to help me. In the 4 hours they were in our house we: did breakfast, got mine dressed and combed, played house, legos, hide-and-seek, leap frog, musical chairs, make-up, ride the horsy (me and my neighbor of course), drawing time, snack time and read several kid books. Yep, they have an attention span of about 30 secs. It actually went surprisingly well. Of course Ivan and Dominique thought it was wonderful.

What was your favorite game as a kid? We LOVED monopoly (to dad's chagrin) and hide-and-seek. To MY chagrin, Ivan's favorite book right now is a Barney book (that was given to us of course!!!) I read the Barney's Please and Thank-you story 3 TIMES today!!! HELLLLLLP!

Sunday, April 22, 2007

2 front teeth and some

one of her first slide rides- what a pro!

found her shoe

slides or swings? sneakers or dressier shoes?

Friday, April 20, 2007


Now that Dominique gets pig tails and braids, she comes out with all sorts of interesting hair at night when we take them down. While her hair is mostly straight, sometimes it decides to have momma's hair's attitude. I braided her hair today and after sitting in her chair, the braid is sticking straight out from her head- like pippy longstocking.

Some other bad hair photos, bad face and my little mermaid in the bath.

Dominique is at the stage where she can make up her own jokes and she is quite the jokester. At the pool, she thought it hilarious to stick a toy in my mouth. She didn't think it funny when Ivan did it. But she recognized that mommies don't usually gnaw on toys. Then, at night, she kept faking out Ivan. She'd offer him a drink then pull it away right when he was going to take it. They laughed and laughed as they repeated this over and over.

We are pretty excited today: our neighbor, big buddy just came home from the hospital. He's been in almost 3 months and before that was in many weeks. I can hardly wait to go see him. We painted him a welcome home card and made him his favorite desert (lemon cheesecake).

I'm enjoying all your answers to the questions. A couple of new ones: favorite baked desert? favorite woman's or girls hair-do.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

What does a momma know anyways?

Ivan has been watching a phonetics video. A lot of good it's done. The slurred phrase he sings is "every letter makes a sound". I am awed by the fact that he is starting to recognize some letters. We've worked on the letter "I" for his name which is totally confusing. Sometimes it looks like a 1 (one) or an l (L), see, can't tell a difference huh? Who made up this language to torture little kids? He recognizes the letter O real good, except sometimes it is an 0 (zero). Poor kids. Us adults can make life so confusing. If it was up to them, I'm sure it would be much easier- like everyone could make up and change the rules as they saw fit.

Was learning to read or write hard for you? Did you have a trick that made things easier?

I hated reading out loud. I was only concerned about sounding proficient and thus never heard a word I read. I'd have to reread sections over and over before understanding them because I was concerned most of all with saying things quickly and correctly, which just made me slower and fumbling.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

This is funny!

Since Dominique is now mobile, the kids are learning to play more together. Ivan was running away and noticed that Dominique was chasing after him. He exclaimed: "this is funny!" (He means this is FUN, but he gets mixed up with fun and funny). She also got her first taste of chocolate tonight. I didn't mean for her to have any, but I made choc. chip cookies and Ivan noticed that she wanted some (he figures she always wants what he has and usually screams no at her about every 5 seconds or so- all day long). But this time, he voluntarily gave her a morsel of his cookie. How could I tell him she's still too small? Sorry if you puke Dominique, I had to encourage his gratuitousness. Of course he wasn't being ALL that generous, he was on his 3rd cookie. Like Ivan at her age, Dominique has discovered the great fun of pulling books off shelves. She dismantled one shelf of ours a couple of times today, so when I went to the library, she got all excited, but I held her pretty tight. She also loves to pull bookmarks out of books (we haven't broken Ivan of this yet either), so basically you better just remember where you left off.

The bluebonnets are out, but you have to go out of town to see big patches of them. We do have 3 plants growing in our yard. The one with the Abilene brick is from our front flower bed.

What is your favorite flower? I like roses because they smell so good and are pretty, but I like blue, so bluebonnets are gorgeous. All flowers are awesome to me. I got cross with dad once for cutting down all the flowers on the acreage. He called them weeds. I called them pretty. Here irises are blooming. They are so dramatic.

Do you plant flowers? What kinds? We planted wildflowers. I hope they come up. We also usually plant petunias because they do well in the heat here. Haven't done that yet.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Getting mobile

Dominique had her 9 month appointment. She is well. She's now in the 25th percentile for weight (at birth she was in the 90th, then progressed to the 50th and now 25th), but the doctor says it's ok, that she is healthy. She eats everything in sight. Often more than Ivan, but she's learning new skills and that takes a lot of energy, not to mention keeping everyone entertained and on their toes.

I thought I'd have Ivan checked while I was there since we've all had a mild cold and his was rattling a bit in his chest and what do you know, he has a double ear infection. I'm glad I had him checked out, I would have never guessed. But perhaps this was in part the reason for his absolutely horrible behavior in a store the day before, when he was totally unruly. I did all the things you shouldn't- bribed, threatened spankings that I didn't deliver as well as threatened removing him from the store (but I was half way through!) He did much better on the next and last store though.

I need to catch up on posting videos before they are old news. Dominique is just learning so quick, it's hard to keep up! I don't remember it all happening at once with Ivan. So here are her skills, perfected and her misses!




Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Ivan- age 2

It took forever (about a month, and at least 30 hours), but it's finally done. I painted from two separate pictures, the body and background from one and the head from another pose. I then made grids and copied all the details onto the canvas. Then I painted a section at a time. That's not how they recommend doing it, but that's my way.

I actually enjoyed the process more this time. Usually I can hardly wait for it to be done so that I can have the piece, but I liked the newness of using a canvas as opposed to paper, which was much more slippery and allowed for some mixing and removal. I was also able to enjoy painting the shapes, colors and textures. My least favorite part is doing the face. Painting faces, especially of people I know is so difficult! Pants with glitches in rendition are still pants, even the hand allowed some mercy, but not the face.

At one point I noticed one brow was slightly too big and that made it totally not Ivan, then the shadows were too dark, then too light, then too dark... Which results in about 20 layers of paint over the same place, which means that it no longer holds the same luminescent quality as the rest of the portrait. I'm still not totally pleased with it. His smile was bigger somehow in the real picture, but this is a painting. If I'd wanted something exactly the same, I could have just gotten the picture blown up.

Ivan is sweet about it. Whenever he walks by his portrait, he says: "It's beautiful mommy". I'll do one of Dominique at age 2 also.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Feliz Pasqua

Hispanic traditions seem a little "loco" (crazy). They give a blindfolded child a stick and encourage him to smash a piñata filled with candy. Of course, eventually the piñata gives way leaving flying candy, a blindfolded stick wielder and a mob of children fighting over the wreckage.

When a birthday cake is brought out, they tell the birthdayed person to take a little bite of the cake. The person doesn't want to knowing full well they will push her face into the cake and take her picture.

This our newest discovery is the smashing egg frenzy. I thought it may be just for Easter, but apparently they also do this for Christmas and New Years. Eggs are cleaned out from their shell and the shell painted, then filled with confetti (or flour in Mexico). A paper lid is glued to the top where the egg was broken. The eggs are given to the kids so that they can smash them on each other's heads allowing confetti to go all in their hair. The kids were very sweet in that they smashed the egg first in their hand, then just sprinkled Dominique. Ivan however got the full smash on the head effect and didn't freak out. Then he tried throwing his plastic egg at someone. Another party and he'll have it down for sure!

For a calmer Easter, we celebrated together as a family and had our own back yard egg hunt.

Did you have any Easter traditions as a kid? What do you like to do now that you are older?

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Happy Easter!

I took the pictures of Dominique earlier this week when it was nice as we anticipated snow this weekend. Last night, Brian covered our peach tree. We are hoping we don't lose our entire crop again. Poor trees here can't figure out the weather either!

That's not our tree or house by the way!

If you are trying to figure out what Ivan said, the reference may help- and no it isn't actually John farting fourteen, although I'm sure I'd remember it better then... try John 15:13.

Another song Ivan hasn't quite got... He calls the alphabet the ABCD's, which makes total sense because that is when you naturally breathe while saying the alphabet, but it does make the song at the end a little gimped. Today he got stuck after singing: "Now I know my ABCD's" the song just can't go on!

Thursday, April 05, 2007

All at once!

Put her in pigtails or a braid and now she thinks she's a little lady. I thought, I should write in her baby book since she has recently started to do things and realized that she first: said momma and dadda, walks with assistance, crawls a little, got teeth and said her first word at 8 months! Yep, I know I just started the contest, but she is trying to speed ahead to keep up with her brother!

I caught her first word on video and can tell she knows what it means by her actions. She likes to say this word to everyone she meets and show off her new found skills. This was also her brother's first word. Can you make out what it is? It's right at the beginning, almost cut off.

She was also pushing her walking toy pretty well today and crawled (without lifting her belly off the floor) about 2 or 3 feet in order to get into her brother's markers. There is nothing like motivation!

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Great Uncle Cecil Bailey

My favorite memory of Great Uncle Cecil is from 1992. I was on a trip and staying with Aunt Annie Clemenson in Idaho. It was amazing to look at photos of people way back in my lineage and a very enriching weekend. Uncle Cecil and Aunt Lavine were also staying the night, and while they were not using walkers then, they were not what you would call full of youth, at least not in body. There was nothing slowed about their spirits though, because after they had said their goodnights, I heard Uncle Cecil call out to his sweetheart and tell her "I'll race you down the stairs". I about fell out of my chair laughing at them, so in love, so full of zest.

Uncle Cecil had personality oozing from his pores. He could keep infant, child and adult spellbound with his tales and songs. His stocky short self was so full of love for us all.

But he missed his sweetheart painfully and ached for his better home. I can see him in my Spirit kissing other family members already there, embracing friends and heroes of the faith, telling stories, singing tales, embracing the King, adoring the lamb.

Uncle Cecil we were blessed by the part you had in our lives, by your love, your fervor and your sincerity. Your legend lives on in us, even as your Spirit cheers us on from above.

Monday, April 02, 2007

ummmmmmmmm- c'est bon!

Ivan loves to bake- ok, he loves to eat baking too. We like to make muffins most of all. Mom found this great blueberry recipe, but blueberries are expensive, so I've used the recipe and substituted all sorts of fruit and combinations. Tonight we made banana chocolate muffins, since we had left over chocolate syrup from another creation and carrot/apple spice muffins- from the same recipe. Both came out good, but of course the banana ones are the tastiest. Not that Ivan would know, because he didn't get to try either of them. We adopted a rule from our friends that he doesn't get desert (if we have it) if he didn't eat all his meal (most of all the vegetables). Three nights in a row, he hasn't had vegetables, or deserts. Maybe I'll let him have one of the carrot muffins tomorrow, that's like both together right?

The day we made these cinnamon rolls, I told myself to please remember before attempting this again. They are so messy!!! I always (all 2 times) get the butter/sugar/cinnamon filling too runny and when we roll it up, it just spews out everywhere. Ivan had to change his shirt and pants by the time we were done and my white shirt will never be the same (what was I thinking?) Neither will be my kitchen. Syrup was all over the counter, the floor, the pan... And with all the filling everywhere, except for in the rolls, they came out dry and not very sweet. But we managed to eat them anyways!! By the way, "C'est bon" means they're good.

Dominique is waving now. It's so cute. She just bends her hand back and forth from the wrist- often with both hands. I have to get it on camera!

Kids were up most the night, so we all crashed for a nap. Maybe I'll drink some coffee after I get Dominique down to sleep and paint tonight. Think they'll both sleep again tomorrow for another nap time?

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Beautiful days

So, if you were wanting to visit Abilene, now is the perfect time. We've had rain, so everything is green and pretty. Spring is in full swing. Temps are not too hot, but warm and sunny (80F 20C).

Had lots going on this weekend, but saw I haven't posted in nearly a week!! Horrible. Had 1 party, 2 bbqs and a guest for dinner all this weekend. And I've been trying to work on the painting. I put plastic wrap over the last color I mixed to keep it from drying out. That was 3 days ago.

Dominique shocked and amazed me at the library last week. The librarian started a story in somewhat silence: "It was a bad day", she read. Clear as anything, Dominique repeated: "bad day". No joke! Two different moms told me they heard her too and that that's what she'd said.

So, it's obviously time for our friendly contest- with the oh so powerful lure of knowing you were right, or closest...

1) What will be Dominique's first word (that she understands)? She already says momma and dadda, so we won't count those.

2) When will she take her first step? (She doesn't crawl yet, but walks a little securely with my assisting hands).

3) What will be her first question?

4) What will be her first sentence (at least two words)?

5) When, oh WHEN, will Ivan be potty trained?
Sometimes he now tells us he needs a diaper change. He usually refuses to sit on the potty. Several times he has wanted to see the poop in his diaper- what's with that??? how gross!! But one time he said he's pooped when he hadn't, so maybe he is figuring out what does what??