Saturday, May 30, 2009

An Update and Some Pictures

We have enjoyed our nice and short holiday week here.  Brandon was off work last Monday for Memorial Day, and again yesterday, so we have enjoyed all the extra "Daddy Time".  A few odds and ends from this past week:

Here Aidan finally realized that I was taking pictures.  And I think Dane may have figured it out, also.  Not sure ;)
This expression of SHEER TERROR on Harper's face is typical for her when she is around her brothers.  
Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Dane in a Dress

Harper at 2 months:
Dane at (about) 2 months:

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Here's to you, Mrs. Robinson

I'd love to tell you how eventful this past week has been, how much fun we have had and I have so much to catch up on.  But alas, it is not true.  I have spent much of this past week in a sleep deprived haze, cursing my sinuses and wondering why Harper has a new 3:30 am mealtime and contemplating how I can break her of this new habit. 

Oh, yeah.  And a certain someone graduated from pre-kindergarten.

We are so proud.  Dane has been bombarded by friends and loved ones alike regarding his plans for the fall and what he is going to major in once kindergarten starts.  We think we'll probably encourage him to get a job this summer, lest he decide to travel around Europe before school starts.

Apparently, we don't pay enough for their pre-school *cough* for them to afford gowns for graduation, only caps.

The ceremonial "switching of the tassels":
He graduated with a couple of life-long friends of his.  The year Dane was born, our church experienced a baby boom of sorts, with about 10 boys born in about a 4 month time span.  These 3 kiddos had this same picture taken about 5 years ago, after Baby Dedication.  
Aidan and Brandon were also at graduation, playing with the camera during the school's obligatory "mini sermon" that we get to listen to at every function:

The graduation was pretty much the highlight of our week, followed closely by our Thursday night antics, when Aidan vomited all over his entire bedroom in the middle of the night.  

Dear Hot Brandon,

Thank you very much for cleaning up Aidan vomit from his bed, pillow, throw pillow, multiple stuffed animals, blankies, mattress protector, sheets, comforter, pajamas, carpet, chair, and Aidan himself.  Thank you for doing laundry in the middle of the night and for giving Aidan a shower at midnight so that he wouldn't have to sleep with pizza puke in his hair.  I guess we'll just throw out the leftover pizza in the fridge, since I'm pretty sure none of us are ever eating Little Ceaser's ever again.

Love, Your Grateful Wife

Aidan on a healthier day earlier this week:
And, apparently I am not putting enough pictures in my blog of little Harper (the third child gets the shaft when it comes to pictures).  She's getting very cute and chubby and looking more and more like Dane every day.

Have a great holiday weekend!

Friday, May 15, 2009

The Question...

The question on my mind lately is not how this sweet girl...
...became this sweet girl
in just a few short weeks.

No.  The question is 
What the heck is happening to her hair?  

The above exhibit shows classic signs of what has come to be known at our house as Harper Pattern Baldness.  Hair that is nice and plentiful when viewed from the back, and almost completely bald when viewed from the front.
And the only known cure for Harper Pattern Baldness?

I'm glad you asked...
If only this worked for male pattern baldness...

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

A Full Circle Oprah Moment

When I was little (like, elementary school age), my family lived on the opposite side of town from where my parents live now.  It was a nice neighborhood to be a kid in:  at a time where things still felt "safe". Kids could play in the street, and we were closely surrounded by neighbors we got along with for the most part.  

I had neighborhood friends across the alley, at the end of the block, and a street over.  And the Eisenhower family lived in the white house down the street (I always thought it was catchy that the "Eisenhowers" lived in the "white house".  Get it?)  The people across the alley had a giant fish tank I was enamored with.  The boy at the end of the block (Ryan Something), used to come play hide and seek at our house.  We would play with walkie talkies, and the last time he came over to play, I "hid" in the playhouse in our backyard, with the windows and doors locked so he couldn't "tag" me.  I stayed there for about half an hour, until he got fed up and went home. He never came over again.

The friend on the next street over (Brian Nelson or Something), had a backyard full of those little purple flowers that you can pluck off and suck the honey out of.  I used to think those were the greatest things in the world, and I would go to his backyard and eat flowers with him until they were gone for the summer.  I had no use for Brian after his flowers were all gone.

Fast forward 15 years (I promise I am going somewhere with this rambling):

After 3 years of full time college courses, I had applied for nursing school at a large public state university.  Brandon and I had been dating for almost 2 years, and were planning to get married sometime during summer of the following year.  If everything went according to plan, we would get married right after he graduated college and I would have 2 semesters of nursing school to finish after that.  I was not worried about getting into nursing school; I had a 3.9 GPA, and the year prior, all of their applicants had a 3.5 or above.

A couple of months after submitting my application, I still had not heard from the admissions department.  So I called them.  I was so not prepared for what they would tell me:

"Amanda, I have no record of your application."

Well.  Isn't that special.

The university losing my application wasn't in the plans.  This would only set me back an entire year.  I FREAKED out.  A hysterical breakdown may have ensued while I ranted RANTED an cried uncontrollably at everyone I could get on the phone from the nursing school admissions department.  And my parents weren't thrilled with the prospect of my living at their house for another year, either.

Several hours, several panic attacks and hyperventilation episodes later, I get a phone call out of the blue.  It went something like this:


"Amanda?  This is Dr. John Smith*, President of Large Public State University.  I received a phone call on your behalf from Senator Jane Nelson earlier today, and I would like to apologize for the unfortunate incident involving your application to nursing school.  I understand that your incoming GPA is higher than most of our students, and I would like to tell you personally that you have been accepted to attend nursing school here this fall.  Again, I apologize."

"Um, thank you, Mr. President, sir."

"Please, call me John."

(Okay, he may not have said that very last part, but the rest of it was pretty much how that went down.  *names have been changed because I forgot his real name)

A call from Senator Nelson?? 

What the??

And where is my Dad?  Because he is the only one on the planet who would think to involve the lovely Senator Nelson in this debacle.  (Yes, it was my dad who called her office just a couple of hours before I received my own unreal phone call.)

Fast forward another year:

I am engaged to Brandon, planning a wedding that was just a couple of months away.  I was in nursing school full time, about to get the first B that I had gotten in several years in Psyciatric Nursing, and I was waiting tables part time at Salerno Restaurant, a lovely little italian place that named the unique dishes on the menu after those patrons who loved eating them.

As I am taking orders at a 4-top one night, a young man at the booth catches my eye.  Not in a "oooh, baby, you've caught my eye sort of way", more of a "you look very familiar and I can't figure out how I think I've met you before" sort of way.  Everyone orders, the young man (about my age) appears to be dining with his girlfriend and his parents. 

After I put their orders in, another waitress says to me, "Did she order the Senator Jane Nelson Chicken Mela?  Because it would be weird if she didn't order her own dish."

Ohmygosh.  It was Senator Nelson at the table.  That was the lady.  I had taken her order and almost spilled her water on her, and she had single handedly gotten me into nursing school, thus not postponing my education and wedding and ruining my life.

I tried to remain calm, determined to just let her and her family enjoy their chicken mela and spaghetti and veal parmesan in peace without gushing and thanking her and boring her with a big long story (kind of like this one).  

As I'm refilling their drinks about halfway during their entrees, it clicks.  I look at the guy.  He's looking back at me with the same expression that I have.  And I have figured out where I know him from.

"This may sound really weird, but is your name Brian Nelson?"

"Yes!  I know you from somewhere and can't figure out where!"

"I used to live a street over from you when we were little kids and I lived on Big Sky and you lived on Ruidoso and you had these little purple flowers in your backyard, the kind that you can pick and suck all the honey out of, and I used to come over to your house and we would sit in the backyard and eat the flowers until they were all gone."

I think he scooted further away from me at this point and clutched his girlfriend's hand a little tighter.

And then I looked over and realized that I used to eat flowers out of Senator Nelson's backyard.  The same Senator Nelson who would later be instrumental in my college education.  The same Senator Nelson that was on the menu in the form of a chicken dish.  

The same Senator Nelson whose son had not, in fact, gotten the veal parmesan he had ordered, but the cannelloni instead.

Thank goodness for nursing school, because I was a terrible waitress. 

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Butty the Butterfly

Our family went to the art show at Dane and Aidan's school today, and saw all of the artwork the kids have been working on these last few weeks.  

One of Dane's pictures was of a butterfly, entitled "Butty" (pronounced "Buddy", not "Bootie").  When we got home, Dane dictated a story about Butty:

Once upon a time Butty the Butterfly went into the jungle and he saw a lion.  The lion ate Butty, but he was still alive in the lion's tummy.  When Butty was in the lion's tummy, it was not fun at all, because there were fox bones everywhere.  The lion spotted a tiger that was already dead and decided to eat the tiger, and Butty flew out of the lion's tummy when the lion opened his mouth.  And then Butty went to town, and everyone who saw him took pictures of him because they liked the colors of his wings.

The End.

Only one of my boys would look at a cute painting of a butterfly and come up with a story involving animal carnage.  And it reminds me of this moment.

But seriously.  Don't most butterfly stories involve some sort of cocoon?  Stories of the caterpillar emerging as a butterfly with beautiful colorful wings?  

Not dead tigers?

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Tough Guys

Right before the baby was born, Dane and Aidan both got haircuts courtesy of the Daddy Barber Shop.  We have a set of clippers, and Brandon cuts the boys' hair about 90% of the time.  Dane has been requesting a mohawk for the past several haircuts, and, knowing how many pictures I would be taking of baby Harper and her big brothers, I didn't let him have one back in March.  I didn't want the mohawk preserved for posterity in several hundred pictures with his baby sister.

Well, last Monday night was haircut time once again.  For Dane, anyway.  And here's what he finally got:
The coveted mohawk.

I'm trying to ignore the fact that these both look like mug shots.  All he needs is the little black and white sign with the prison ID number and a lawyer proclaiming his innocence.
Rest assured, G.G., Dane's hair will grow out and be back to his normal "style" (a term I use very loosely with Dane's hair) within a couple of months.

Aidan didn't need a haircut, but in true Aidan fashion, he was insistent on a mohawk like his big brother.  So Brandon "trimmed" his hair with the longest guard on the clippers, then spiked his hair into a little faux-hawk.  He was very pleased with the result, and his mommy was pleased with his sweet blonde hair staying on his head.  I just wasn't ready for another drastic hair cut for Aidan.
On a completely unrelated note, Pappy stopped by to see us for a few hours Friday afternoon.  What?  Everyone stops by Houston on their way to Austin from Dallas.  Harper is a big Pappy fan because she has found someone who will just hold her for hours on end.
I celebrated Mother's Day today by having chocolate chip cookies for dinner, and Hot Brandon brought me flowers and a People magazine (what can I say, mindless celebrity gossip is one of my love languages).  And I hope your Mother's Day was exactly how you wanted it.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Hog-liday Part 2

Tuesday the kids and I and John, Brandy, and Zane headed out to King's Orchard to pick about 15 pounds of strawberries between us.  I was a little concerned that pickins would be slim, since it's nearing the end of strawberry season here, but never fear.  We managed to find a couple of good ones.

Enough for John and Brandy to make some strawberry pancakes and the boys to bring some in their lunch boxes to school.  And for a few to begin fermentation process in my fridge.

Zane was a big fan of the strawberry patch and its little red wagons
And Aidan did what he always does when we go to pick strawberries:  Steals food.
Dane enjoyed posing for the camera with his haul.

Hey, Dane, you got a little strawberry juice on your face.  Just use your tongue to get it off...
Nope.  Missed it.  Your other left
Did I get it, Mom?
And yes, Dane did get, a,um, haircut.  More about the new 'do later.

And a 3/4 cousin picture:

Looking forward to more cousin fun tomorrow at Joel's birthday party!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Hog-liday Fun

Okay, I have to play a little bit of blog-catch up.  I am about 3 posts behind, in part because a wicked sinus infection and migraine headache absolutely kicked my bee-hind yesterday.  I spent the better part of the day staring hopelessly at my to-do list and lying with my head on an ice pack.  And watching TiVo'd reality shows.  One of my finer days as a mommy, I'm sure.

My brother John, SIL Brandy, and nephew Zane celebrated their "Hog-liday" with us for a couple of days earlier this week.  We had an eventful couple of days, and I'm going to break it into 2 postings, because there are too many cute pictures for just the one post.  It was Harper's first time to meet her Uncle John and his family, and I think she enjoyed it.
Harper looks so sweet here, still in her church dress on Sunday.  You'd never guess that she just puked all over John's shoulder.
Aidan enjoyed initiating Zane into cousin-play at our house, complete with wrestling and half-dressed boys playing with Nerf guns.
Monday we went to our favorite park in the area, and enjoyed no crowds and almost perfect weather.  We recently got a set of training wheels for Dane's bike, and he loves showing off his newly acquired riding skillz.  Here's Aidan with his "I'm very intimidating on my scooter" look:
Dane-o working on his upper body strength (and I love that look on his face):
This picture totally looks like Aidan just shoved Zane down the slide and is very satisfied with himself.  But I'm almost positive that's not what happened.  Almost positive.
Part 2 of Hog-liday Fun coming tomorrow...

Tuesday, May 5, 2009


...and happy Cinco de Mayo!

Love, Senorita Harper and her brothers

P.S.  Thanks for the dress, Aunt Lindy

Sunday, May 3, 2009

G.H. Weekend

This past weekend has been a bit of a whirlwind.  A fun whirlwind, but we are just now sitting and catching our collective breaths.  

Brandon's parents (Grand-Doug and Grammy) came to town Friday evening with Brandon's grandmother, Grandma Helen, and Brandon's uncle Charles.  Brandon, I and the kids spent Saturday morning up at the church at a youth leader training with an old friend of ours, (old as in we've known Mike for a while, not old as in old) and then we all headed over to Val and Izzy's afterwards to see everyone.  And I continued my apparent tradition of not taking pictures of anyone with the new baby.  In fact, I did not get pictures of anyone other than the kids.  Why do I do this?  Despite the photographic evidence to the contrary, 8 adults were in attendance Saturday, also.  The boys had a great time playing with Joel and pushing each other's buttons, and Harper spent the day being precious and not looking at Mommy's camera. 

We finished out the weekend with a sermon from the hottest youth minister I knowthis morning and lunch at Luby's afterwards.  I have not eaten at Luby's in maybe 10 years, and they have gotten a lot prouder of their food since then.  (But Brandon really enjoyed his $4 piece of key lime pie).

My brother John, Brandy, and Zane are on their way to my house now to meet baby Harper for the first time, and to take advantage of Swine Flu Hysteria '09 and Brandy's school closing for the week.  I promise to at least attempt to take pictures of grown ups this time.  At least if I don't, I know John will take about 300.

Here's was our best attempt at a cousin picture this yesterday:
Do you know what's harder than taking a picture of 2 boys and an infant?

Taking a picture of 3 boys and an infant.

Aidan was slightly uncooperative for picture time:

Have a great week!