First Day of School and Other Random Stuff

happy first day of school to me!  i love sending ethan to school... it gives me a few hours to not worry about parenting and gives him an educational break from me.  i love the summer, but the fall is seriously the best time of year to me.

friday we had "meet the teacher" and went to get ethan a {much needed and procrastinated on my part} haircut.  "meet the teacher" wore. me. out.  the whole process was draining on me because it was all different for ethan and a change in the routine always prompts difficult behavior.  and then there was savannah, being sweet... but she got tired and therefore fussy.... let's just say that there was one point in the morning where i was nursing her {without my nursing cover!! gasp!} while ethan was melting down amongst strangers and i was "that" mom.

oh well.

and then we went to get a haircut... and ethan was tired.  oh, you know how that works.  it is truly like manual labor to have an uncooperative toddler in tow! 

but the effort paid off... isn't he growing up?  here he is today


and here he is with his teacher -- who is one of my friends! how lucky are we?

on friday night, faustino acted as the "team" physician for a small private school's high school football team.  i wanted to bring my camera.  but i didn't want to be the weirdo mom without kids on the field with a big honkin' dslr, taking pictures of my toddler.  so let me just tell you that ethan had a blast dancing to the band, and that savannah took a nice long nap {she is SO laid back} that was UNREAL because we sat right next to the band and drum line.  The nicest people set behind us and there was even room for the stroller.  this friday we will be at a larger public school...i can only hope that we have another good experience.  anyone want to join me??  it really is fun... i would just LOVE the company of another adult since faustino is on the field... you could bring your kids.... doesn't it sound like a blast?? :)

i feel like i have so many things to write about right now... but no time to do it.  you see, i have a couple of sewing projects in the works + i have been doing some major garden work.  faustino told me that if i want a fall garden, it is my baby.  he is not helping.  and he doesn't think that i can do it on my own.  so yesterday i did most of the tilling {but to be honest, he came and helped at the end} and tomorrow, i will be building a trellis.  folks, this is a major stretch for me.  major.  not to mention that i am SERIOUSLY out of shape.  i may not be overweight, but it is laughable at how pathetically out of shape i am.  i couldn't do this without excedrin or aleve... everyday i wake up feeling bulldozed.

so here's to hoping that the cooler fall weather brings larger fruits than the tiny cantaloupe.  thank you hot summer for stunting the growth of the fruit.  wasn't it 29 days above 100 degrees or something like that?  hot and dry!


oh -- one other thing -- my sister adopted one of the alley kittens today.  remember these kitties??   so the people across the street took the gray one with white socks.  my sister took the one that looked like it belonged at our house {gray with dark feet and ears} and there are the two black ones left.  PLEASE somebody tell me you want these two cats.  i want them GONE.  I will say, my sister's cat was a real sweetie.  i named him skippy jon jones... i think the two black kitties are sweet too.... you will be my favorite person if you want to adopt these two... here is ethan on our last day with skippy


hmmm... i am looking at this post and i just realized that i didn't give you a single picture of miss savannah... so here she is.  couldn't you just eat her up??


she's been really into the thumb sucking lately.  although, she still happily takes a paci.  hmmm... what would the dentist say?

i have more random things... but will save them for another day. i have a sewing project that needs to be started and another that needs to be finished!



this morning was a circus.  but today i am thankful to have a working dishwasher.  i'll be back later with a real post.

xoxo, stephanie


Ribbon dancer having so much fun! Ribbon dancer... GOTTA GET ONE!!!!

do y'all remember that toy from the '80's?  i had one by the way... but i digress! 

on saturday evening, we went to my cousin's beautiful wedding.  i love weddings.  i really do.  {i love them even more now that my weekends aren't consumed by them and i am not working them...although that afforded me the chance to see some of the most amazing receptions...} but i feel like many of the weddings for my friends have come and gone and we are in a different stage of life... so i get really excited about attending a wedding these days.  what will her dress look like? the flowers? the cake? what will they do to make it their own? 


i love all the details.  my cousin really paid attention to the details... the invitations, the programs, the bridesmaid dresses, the decorations... it all had the same feel, the same design.  each piece naturally transitioned to the next.  the color palate was yellow, gray and teal.  i thought it was very sophisticated.  the invitations did a great job at setting the tone, and apparently, my cousin designed them herself.  very talented.

the only caveat was that we were taking the kids.  i have very mixed feelings on bringing young children to weddings... but after talking with my aunt and my mother, and of course faustino, we decided that savannah and ethan would join us.

both were quasi well behaved... faustino and i didn't want to make a scene, so both ended up not quite making it through the entire ceremony.  but really, it could have been so. much. worse.  savannah and i watched from the back of the church for about half of it... and ethan was taken outside because he lost it once i got up.  he dropped one of his bribes toys and that set things into motion...

but ethan certainly did well at the reception.  he ate well and danced well... and i think i laughed the hardest i had in a long while.  i think faustino was just crossing his fingers that ethan doesn't tryout to be on the USA rhythmic gymnastic team with his talent for dancing with the ribbon {provided by the dj -- i don't tote toys like this around with us}




random tidbit for you?  my aunt wore a beautiful vintage dress... and had a beautiful vintage clutch.  i think i need to go shop her closet....


and much to ethan's dismay, we left before cake.  ethan did not sleep a wink on the way home.  and savannah cried. the. entire. drive. home.  it will be a long time before ethan or baby sister attend another wedding.  i foresee babysitters in their future...

and that wraps up my weekend!

in the works for this week:  a trip to the zoo, a new dishwasher, a major garden weeding project, a sewing project, and making my school year resolutions.  stay tuned.


Saturday Morning Breakfast

so, saturday morning was quite a treat -- my darling rush baby from so long ago {jenny, i still remember you in your super cute coat that day in december!!} at Baylor was driving through town with another sorority sister of ours, and they stopped in Fort Worth for some breakfast and a visit with the kiddos.

Ethan was just really excited because he got a muffin. a muffin the size of his face.

And Savvy was her sweet self, Elizabeth preformed some baby whisper worthy magic and she fell asleep in her arms. very sweet.

and the couple next to us took our picture. but actually, in hindsight, i think it was mrs. claus that took the photo... because she came up to ethan early on and said "you better be good... santa claus is watching you" and i am like, seriously lady? in august? and i wanted to say: "strange woman -- away from my child. isn't christmas commercialized enough?" but instead i did the whole "mmmhmmm," half smile/nod thing. and when they left, the man at the table gave ethan a plastic coin that said "i was caught being good"

now, either they were one of those retired couples that dress up like the mr. and mrs. claus or they were child predators. i would like to just think they were christmas nuts... they had that mr. and mrs. claus look going regardless... jenny, elizabeth -- what do you think?


I'm an Aunt

no, jenn, savannah didn't go to the hospital.  well, strike that.  she went to visit her new cousins.  those feet {while probably the same length as savvy's} aren't chubby enough to be savannah's. come on, savannah has cankles right now, too...




and isn't ethan being sweet? checking on her... yes, sister is okay.  we got her out and held her... she looked like she could eat the twins for an afternoon snack, actually.

but i digress!  my nieces were born on saturday morning!  4 weeks early, well really just 4 weeks before their due date and just a couple of days before they were "term" and were quite big -- five and a half pounds each!!  they are long and skinny... so sweet.  they both slept for the duration of our visit.  tired out from the business of being born.




ella slept in the warmer and we got to hold grace.  they looked pretty similar but my mother in law saw them again yesterday and said they didn't look anything alike.  personally, i think you have to wait a couple of weeks for the new baby look to fade away and see what they really look like.  they both looked like sweet baby girls...



we gave them a blooming plant that can be transplanted in the yard... so that is my new thing.  if i come to see you and your new bebe in the hospital, i'll be bringing you a kalanchoe!  in fact, i think i want to plant a few... they are supposed to be hardy and heat tolerant!  have you seen our yard?  not hardy or heat tolerant... that is on my list this week.  garden work...  stay tuned for some major before and after pictures.  and now that i have posted it on the blog, i must make it happen!! 


A lovely weekend, but a girl's gotta get some zzz's

good evening.  i started this post... and wanted to just breeze through the weekend in one post.  but that isn't going to happen.  i was doing a bad job.  it's late, and i want to go to sleep...{and i had a glass of wine, so i am extra sleepy}

so check back throughout the week for the exciting things we did over the weekend.  {well, not really exciting.  just not sitting in the house watching word world over and over}

but it is nice and quiet here.  the children are sleeping and i am drinking sweet tea.  i had dinner at my mother in law's and donuts for breakfast.  life is sweet.  my house is quasi clean... :)

here is a photo teaser of my weekend:





A Peek into My Tuesday

my dishwasher is broken... and the dishes keep piling up.  my tea kettle bit the dust, and now i make my ice tea by boiling water in the pot i use for pasta.  i did not make good use of my time today.  i was also {needlessly} quick to anger.  better luck tomorrow, eh?

i had 2 hours of babysitting "credit" with faustino but didn't get out of the house on time and only had approximately an hour out...

-- BUT --

I did have an hour out... adults only.  and the most tasty bellinis...  it really was nice.

and i came home and ethan said he missed me.  and i missed him too.  and that was really nice. {because you have to leave, and then come back to be missed}

and while i was away, apparently there was an incident.  faustino told me that somehow, ethan managed to poop on his arm.  and i think, for some strange reason, that made my night.  i am not alone.  i at least have someone to share in the perils of poop.

and right before i left, i looked at the couch and these three were hanging out... and i couldn't resist a photo.  precious.


Cars and Stickers

potty training.  for those of you not interested in this topic, obviously quit reading.  it is just such a major hurdle pain in the rear milestone that i can't neglect writing about it.  some kids potty train quickly.  like, in a weekend from running naked in their backyard.  hmmm... not sure what the dumpster divers in the alley would think about that one, but i doubt it would have been successful for us.  we are talking about the boy who acted like i was cutting his arms off to wear a coat once it got cold last fall.  he resists change.

ethan has shown potty interest for quite awhile.  he could even do it if we set him on the potty back in the fall.  well... then we actually started trying.  surely i've written {or hinted} about failed attempts in multiple posts... we've changed the seat... i've sung, danced, prayed, bribed with candy, stickers, and cars.  we have watched elmo's potty dvd... pretty much nothing has been inspiring.  i couldn't bring myself to just let it go.  i was near tears on a week ago with a friend... so frustrated.  {people, i am talking he did.not.care. if he had an accident.  absolutely did not phase him} we tried the naked approach and you would have thought i was cleaning up after a puppy that needed to be house broken.  it was bad.

and then last wednesday came.  and i had a bad day.  on that day, i really did not care about the potty.  i didn't pretend not to care, i just really didn't care.  i had my own pity party to throw, and i did not have the mental capacity to care about someone else using the ding dong potty.

and then we turned a corner.

i don't know how, or why... but he wanted one of the car bribes... like, really really wanted it, and knew how to get it.  and even though we had been through it like 15 times already, that was the particular time that it clicked.  and then he got another car.  and then another.  and then we were at mama's pizza and he let me know he needed to go, and proceeded to earn more cars... {i had to go buy more cars, actually.  do you know anyone who wants to get rid of some matchbox or hotwheels cars?  this bribe is starting to add up}   faustino says... "you know, some people just give one m&m."  and i want to say, seriously, you think 1 m&m would motivate him?  no.



the system of stickers for pee and the cars and trucks for poo is working...  and he has not been testy about it.  he is actually excited.  you should hear his cheers after success.  he is bummed out that he can't get a car after each and every visit to the bathroom.

please comment and leave me advice if you can.  my question is really - - when do you stop rewarding for success?  how many cars is this kid going to rack up?  is there a way to wean them of prizes without losing the behavior?? 


Savannah -

you are a cute, chubby little thing.  but why do you wake me up at 4:00 in the morning??  not cool...

must.be.productive.today:  mail thank you notes, clean the kitchen, the litter box {eww! dread!} and plan our meals out for the week... and go shopping.  and must begin the dreaded task of addressing baby announcements.  sheesh!





happy day

a bullet point list of today's highlights, because i promised that i would be back today with a happy attitude.

::  the pool with the kids and a sweet friend this morning

::  completely pigging out for lunch.  as in, i am not even hungry for dinner.

::  not using any dishes today {did i mention that my dishwasher is broken...} and not having dishes to wash!

::  a random visit from another sweet friend.

::  my baby pooped after a week without a dirty diaper.  makes a mom crazy...

::  potty training is starting to click with ethan.  i wasn't short tempered either.

::  drinking a full sugar coke.  i never allow myself to drink that many calories.

::  hugs and kisses from the kiddos.  no tantrums from ethan.  i think he knew i needed a break.

and did i take any pictures today? no... so because i like pictures with my posts, here's one from the other day that isn't particularly great, but i love how savannah is enjoying looking at her big brother clowning around on the bed.  too cute.


life happens

sometimes, you make plans.  plans that make really good sense.  plans that you want to go a certain way.  but life happens.

i don't want this blog to just be an account of all the nice and pretty things in my life.  i want it to be an account of my life.  to look back and reflect on.  to learn from...

well, here's a message for myself:  don't get so wrapped up in the plans.  sometimes things don't unfold the way they are expected to go... they don't come to fruition.

so i am sad -- sad for the reason the plans fell through, and selfishly sad the plans fell through.  and i feel guilty for feeling sad... ahhh, the guilt of a mother.

so, i am taking today as a "sad" day.  one where i have given myself permission to be bummed out.  to not look for the good.  to have a pity party.  i can try to be happy tomorrow.  tomorrow, i will tell myself about all the other chances that i will have for a break.  and tomorrow, i won't think about how it has been over 2 years since i have had a vacation {not a trip, a vacation -- you know, one where you are not concerned about diapers, bathrooms, sleeping schedules, or what is on the menu at a restaurant that will work...}

but, vacation aside, i will also continue to be sad for the loss that led to the getaway falling apart, and the grief of someone very dear to me.

soooo... friends who know what's going on... whatcha doin' this weekend?  want company?

and really, although i desperately need a break {i had an epiphany the other day:  school will start in the fall.  sweet glorious school} it isn't so bad to hang out with these two--

and like my mother in law said after not having seen them in 6 days, "it's like savannah's a whole new baby"  so, there you have it.  maybe i would have missed them too much to be gone.  who knows.

check back tomorrow for the happy version of myself...


sweet blessings

i have some of the very sweetest friends.  they hosted a sip n see for my little savannah bean yesterday, and it was quite lovely.  it was an ice cream social theme... so stinking adorable.  i loved it!  such yummy food and all so adorably displayed...  

i'll let the photos do the talking...



















i must also brag on little savvy -- she was never fussy.  she whimpered once, right before she fell asleep in everyone's arms, and she was totally laid back and loving being passed from stranger to stranger.  wonderful.

it was such a blessing to have everyone welcome savannah so sweetly.
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