Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Cheap Date

Emmylou's class celebrated Thanksgiving today by having a feast where everyone got to bring their very favorite food, no matter what it was. While other responsible parents brought chicken nuggets and organic mac and cheese for their children, I embarrassingly handed over a bag of Dum Dum lollipops. You knew it was going to be candy, right?

Here's Emmylou holding her prized possessions wearing her feather headress which had one turkey and lots of unicorn stickers on it, natch.

And here's the spread: bologna, Pringles, french fries, cheese and crackers, pizza... all that healthy stuff:

Sunday, November 23, 2008


It's official: Christmas is already here

On Saturday night we went to the First Annual Tree Lighting at the Triangle and met up with some friends. After an hour of listening to a bunch of 4th graders sing holiday songs and watching pre-teen girls tap dance and high kick to classic Christmas tunes, we finally got to decorate cookies, visit with Santa and watch Rudolph on a big screen in the park.

First, we hung out with Emory and decorated cookies

Here's the big tree they lit...

And the girls with it...

Then Emory had to go home, so Emmylou and Miller visited with Santa, during which Emmylou asked for nothing more than candy for Christmas...

Then we met up with Tripp and his family and he and Emmylou played around by the tree...

And we all went to Galaxy Cafe for dinner. While we were there, some carolers came in and sang to everyone...

And before we called it a night (chasing Emmylou around was exhausting), we stopped and watched a few minutes of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer...

Even Tate and Miller had a good time!

A new friend!

On Friday, Emmylou got to meet and play with Reese, my friend Shelly's daughter. Shelly and I haven't seen each other since our undergrad days at UT (has it really been 11 years?!) but we recently reconnected through the oh-so-addictive Facebook. And I'm so glad we did because not only did I thoroughly enjoy catching up with Shelly, Emmylou and Reese got along really well.

Here are some photos I stole from Shelly's blog from their playdate:

Obviously taking care of some important business...

Hiding out and laughing under the bed...

Actually taking turns on the tricycle...


Thanks for a fun morning, Reese and Shelly!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Pieces of flair, etc.

Emmylou could have told you that food tastes better with fancy toothpicks even before she ever read her new favorite book, Fancy Nancy.

Now the girl really can't eat a cereal bar without putting a cocktail umbrella in it.

Lately she also likes to set things up so we can play a game called "Find the Baby"...

And, speaking of the baby, he went to his very first movie on Tuesday at the Alamo Draft House with his new friend, Nels!

I love how the guy who took the picture managed to get the babies' faces barely peeking through the tape...

Sunday, November 16, 2008


Here's Emmylou last week with her best peeps, Ellie, Tripp and Sofia.

They were actually having a lot more fun together than this picture suggests, and you can read about their adventures on Tripp's blog.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Emmylou is 32 months old

Dear Emmylou,

Yesterday you turned 2 years, 8 months old. Let me get right to it and fill you in on what you've been doing lately...

First, your imagination is running WILD. There are dinosaurs eating raspberry popsicles all over our house, and also in your "other house" which is conveniently located in the back corner of your room. You like to give whoever comes over a tour of this "other house." You and Daddy still love to have conversations between Mr. Giraffe and Baby Giraffe, your hand puppets, which are nothing more than your bare hands. And, everyday you create elaborate situations for your dolls and animals, usually resembling school activities or things you've seen on TV. The other day you asked Babo if he wanted some fake eyelashes, just like Ruby asks her friends during their pajama party on Max and Ruby. Do you even know what fake eyelashes are?

Not only do I thoroughly enjoy watching your imagination take flight, it also makes things a little easier for me. For example, whenever you ask me for candy (every hour) or your umbrella (every other day), you are actually satisfied when I reach into my pocket and give you an imaginary lollipop or umbrella. Yay! I don't even have to get up off the couch, which is really convenient since I'm holding your brother most of the time.

You are still having a little trouble separating McDonald's Restaurant from Old MacDonald who had a farm. I've tried explaining several times that Ronald McDonald and Old MacDonald are not the same person and that you're not going to find pigs or sheep where you get your cheeseburgers, but I don't think this is a concept you're gonna grasp any time soon. Every time we see the Golden Arches you point and yell, "There's Old MacDonald Had a Farm!"

Your favorite song to swing is "Fweentuh, Fweentuh Wittuh Fah" or what other people might call "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star." I still haven't tried correcting your speech because it is so endearing (bad speech therapist mommy!) but it's already improving as you started saying your k's and g's just about a week ago. *Sigh* You are getting so big.

One of the most important things we've been talking about lately are choices. I'd say right now you're about 50/50 in choosing the right thing to do. I usually get a little better success rate when I tell you that one choice will make me angry. Hmmm. You don't like Angry Mommy? Yeah, I know, I don't either...

Lulu, I still think every single day that you are the cutest, sweetest and most entertaining little girl on the planet. I honestly can't imagine my life without you. Thanks for keeping me laughing and for all of those times you say "I love you, Mommy" right out of the blue. They keep me going when the going gets tough. I love you, too.


Emmylou's choice-making

Reminds me of this...

Will she use her powers for good or evil?!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Not the smallest guy around anymore

Yesterday Lizzie and Khanh brought over their new dog, Gumbo, to meet us. He's so little that Miller is already twice his size!

"I like him!"

And here's a better shot of Gumbo from his Dogster page:

So cute!

Friday, November 07, 2008

Back in the saddle again...

Last Saturday Emmylou attended her friend Ellie's third birthday party at Arrowhead Ranch. Luckily, Emmylou had her brand new bright pink cowboy boots to wear so she could really look the part of a cowgirl. They had lots of animals to hang out with and Emmylou got pretty hands-on with them.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

I Didn't Vote for Obama Today

Alex posted this blog entry she read on Facebook today and I really loved it:

I Didn't Vote For Obama Today
November 4, 2008, 9:37AM

I have a confession to make.

I did not vote for Barack Obama today.

I've openly supported Obama since March. But I didn't vote for him today.

I wanted to vote for Ronald Woods. He was my algebra teacher at Clark Junior High in East St. Louis, IL. He died 15 years ago when his truck skidded head-first into a utility pole. He spent many a day teaching us many things besides the Pythagorean Theorem. He taught us about Medgar Evers, Ralph Abernathy, John Lewis and many other civil rights figures who get lost in the shadow cast by Martin Luther King, Jr.

But I didn't vote for Mr. Woods.

I wanted to vote for Willie Mae Cross. She owned and operated Crossroads Preparatory Academy for almost 30 years, educating and empowering thousands of kids before her death in 2003. I was her first student. She gave me my first job, teaching chess and math concepts to kids in grades K-4 in her summer program. She was always there for advice, cheer and consolation. Ms. Cross, in her own way, taught me more about walking in faith than anyone else I ever knew.

But I didn't vote for Ms. Cross.

I wanted to vote for Arthur Mells Jackson, Sr. and Jr. Jackson Senior was a Latin professor. He has a gifted school named for him in my hometown. Jackson Junior was the pre-eminent physician in my hometown for over 30 years. He has a heliport named for him at a hospital in my hometown. They were my great-grandfather and great-uncle, respectively.

But I didn't vote for Prof. Jackson or Dr. Jackson.

I wanted to vote for A.B. Palmer. She was a leading civil rights figure in Shreveport, Louisiana, where my mother grew up and where I still have dozens of family members. She was a strong-willed woman who earned the grudging respect of the town's leaders because she never, ever backed down from anyone and always gave better than she got. She lived to the ripe old age of 99, and has a community center named for her in Shreveport.

But I didn't vote for Mrs. Palmer.

I wanted to vote for these people, who did not live to see a day where a Black man would appear on their ballots on a crisp November morning.

In the end, though, I realized that I could not vote for them any more than I could vote for Obama himself.

So who did I vote for?

No one.

I didn't vote. Not for President, anyway.

Oh, I went to the voting booth. I signed, was given my stub, and was walked over to a voting machine. I cast votes for statewide races and a state referendum on water and sewer improvements.

I stood there, and I thought about all of these people, who influenced my life so greatly. But I didn't vote for who would be the 44th President of the United States.

When my ballot was complete, except for the top line, I finally decided who I was going to vote for - and then decided to let him vote for me. I reached down, picked him up, and told him to find Obama's name on the screen and touch it.

And so it came to pass that Alexander Reed, age 5, read the voting screen, found the right candidate, touched his name, and actually cast a vote for Barack Obama and Joe Biden.

Oh, the vote will be recorded as mine. But I didn't cast it.

Then again, the person who actually pressed the Obama box and the red "vote" button was the person I was really voting for all along.

It made the months of donating, phonebanking, canvassing, door hanger distributing, sign posting, blogging, arguing and persuading so much sweeter.

So, no, I didn't vote for Barack Obama. I voted for a boy who now has every reason to believe he, too, can grow up to be anything he wants...even President.

Original post here.

Although I support Obama because I believe in his message of hope and truly think he is the best person to restore our country's credibility and prosperity, it will also be an amazing bonus for our kids to witness such a major milestone in our nation's history if he is elected tonight. I only wish Emmylou had been with me when I voted so she could've pressed that button!

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Miller Turns Two Months Old!

Dear Miller,

Happy two month birthday and welcome to the first of many monthly letters from your mommy! Sorry I missed your first month's birthday but I was probably so brain dead from sleep deprivation and the sheer exhaustion of learning how to parent two children at once that I'm sure I wouldn't have been able to put a coherent sentence together anyway. But things are better now so here goes...

Things haven't always been easy since you were born. It started with you having your days and nights mixed up and then there was the colic, but, thankfully, both of those issues are now resolved. Recently we've been dealing with your new diagnosis of acid reflux and you've been on meds now for a week. Your medicine is the most horrible tasting stuff ever but you're getting better at taking it and within the last 48 hours we've finally noticed a real improvement. You finally aren't miserable after every meal! And now that you're in less pain we feel like we're getting to see your true personality.

And you're so cute! You love to smile and coo and "talk" to us. You have real back and forth conversations and your little voice changes to the sweetest sound during these interactions. I really think if it wasn't for all of the crappy stuff you've been through up until now you'd be one of the most smiley babies ever.

I know already that you're a great sleeper. Lately you've been sleeping for a 7 hour stretch each night! From the bottom of my heart, thank you!

Not surprising for a little guy who showed up on this planet weighing over 10 pounds, everyone says you look much older than other babies your age. In fact, you're already in 3-6 month size clothes. You also already love to "stand" on your legs and you're getting really good at controlling your head. And speaking of your head, I seriously cannot get enough of that warm, fuzzy head of yours! When I'm holding you I'm either constantly rubbing my cheek on your head like some kind of crazed cat or petting your head with my hand. Sorry if this is driving you crazy but I'll just tell you right now that I won't be able to stop.

I'm happy to report that your sister is still completely in love with you. She always likes to help take care of you and asks if you're going with us whenever I tell her we have an errand to run. We've asked her if she's happy that you're part of our family and she always answers with an enthusiastic "yes!" and says she loves you "sooooo much!" In fact, we all do and couldn't be happier that you're here. I can't wait to see what this month brings; I know it will only get even better now that you're feeling well.

I love you,

Saturday, November 01, 2008


Some photos from the fun last night:

And here's the hilarious costume Emily wore to her Halloween party last night: