Friday, July 23, 2010

Swim Buddies

Emmylou finished up her week of intensive swimming lessons yesterday. She got to have her lessons with her friend Rhea, who she adores. Rhea is a year older than Emmylou so that makes her super cool in Emmylou's book (I think she actually told me, "Rhea is super cool, Mom). Both girls made tons of progress and had a great time being together!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Back to SA

Last weekend Gary and I took the kids to San Antonio for a mini-vacation. We stayed on the Riverwalk and did really tourist-y things. I think Emmylou was most excited about simply staying in a hotel and ordering room service (I talked that up a lot- afterall it's one of the best things on the planet, right?).

After enjoying lunch at La Margarita (don't judge! Mi Tierra was packed!) and a little shopping at the Mexican market, we took the kids to Rainforest Cafe for dinner. They loved it because we got to sit right next to some life-sized fake gorillas that moved around every 10-12 minutes. Miller's eyes just about popped out of his head the first time they went off (sorry for the bad iPhone pics).
They also got Icees in special souvenir glasses which we didn't even end up taking home with us because they were bigger than their heads- I couldn't think of another instance when they might need them again. And, um, that was a lot of sugar:
The next morning we ordered room service for breakfast and I think it might have even surpassed Emmylou's high expectations. For a mere $6, you can have a bowl of Froot Loops delivered to your room! Thanks, Westin! We ended up getting three orders (yep, Gary loves them too).

Then we went to the Buckhorn/Texas Ranger Museum which had some cool things in it but could have been replaced by a free trip to Cabela's in Buda on our way home.

For lunch we headed to the Tower of the Americas and got to have a fancy-schmancy meal at the very tip top at a table by a window. Emmylou thought it was so cool that the table moved slowly around in a circle so you get a 360 degree view of the city.
Later in the evening Mimi joined us for dinner on the Riverwalk and treated us to a barge ride. Here's Emmylou waving to her adoring public and the only photo proving that I was also on this trip.
We spent the last night watching The Princess and the Frog in the hotel room.
Does it get any better? I can't wait until we get to take them to Disneyworld! Must. Plan. Trip. Now!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Emmylou is 4-4

Dear Emmylou,

Here you are, well into the 4's now, and you are still a firecracker. Maybe more than ever.

Here's what you like most these days: swimming like a fish; buckling yourself in and opening/closing the car door all by yourself; reading "Brown Bear, Brown Bear" to your brother; wearing sparkly shoes (but not really dress-up clothes much anymore); asking/begging that we buy you anything you see advertised for children ages 0-18 in TV commercials; and asking questions about anything and everything you see around you. You want explanations on how and why everything happens as it does and you're trying hard to make sense of it all. I love your curiosity.

You're also really smart. Because you're still throwing temper tantrums more than ever, on one particularly desperate night I succumbed to ordering a ridiculous number of books from several different parenting programs. After reading the websites, I was able to start using some of the Love and Logic techniques the very next day and actually had excellent results. But within 48 hours you were already using the techniques with me. One of the lines I'm supposed to use when you're throwing a fit is: "I love you too much to argue." After I used that once or twice you got really annoyed and started saying "Stop saying that, Mommy!" But then I guess you decided you liked it because two days later when I asked you to stay with Daddy while I went to look for something (and you were not happy about it) you told me, "Mommy, I love you too much to stay here without you." In shock, I had no response except to say, "okay, you can come." I knew I was in trouble when you figured this out before the books even arrived.

At least, yes, after many challenging months, you are actually behaving a little better. Being sweeter to your brother. Things have been nice this past week. Not to say that you've become the most laid-back, eager to please child, but that's okay, because I never want you to lose your personality or not be confident enough to go after whatever it is you want.

Thanks for keeping it fun, Lulu. I love you to the moon and back a million, billion times.


Another stroke of brilliance: After our toilet paper holder fell out of the wall (and after I filled the empty holes with wall putty), you called me in to show me that your giant Chicago souvenir pen could also double as a toilet paper holder when jabbed into the old holes. Genius, my love!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Independence Day

Miss Independent and her brother hope you had a fantastic Fourth!
We were supposed to go to the Riley's bay house for the weekend but had to cancel at the last minute because of some pretty bad storms. Luckily we were still able to find lots of fun things to do in Austin and we still got to spend the day with the Rileys! First, we joined the Allandale parade.
Wonder Woman, dogs dressed like hot dogs? I love our neighborhood.

This was actually our attempt at a group shot of the kids. Utterly unsuccessful.

Later we headed downtown, ate some hot dogs at Frank and went to Auditorium Shores to listen to the symphony and watch fireworks. Grammie and Emily were with us too!
Apparently Emmylou doesn't own anything non-pink so red, white and blue was out of the question.

Oh, the hideousness...

...of fake press-on nails for little girls. Are these really necessary? Of course Emmylou loved them.

Miller is 22 months old

Dear Miller,

Congratulations, buddy, you're talking! Finally. Not that you're really late, but you've been getting so frustrated lately so I know it's a huge relief for you. No longer do you only say "yep" or "o-tay," you can now put words together to really get your point across. You even started saying "Emmy" a couple of weeks ago and you especially like to call for her while running down the hall. I have to admit I'm already a little sad I won't hear much of your classic one-word exchanges anymore, because you had all of us cracking up at some of them. For example, because you are still a complete sugar fiend (unbelievably) more than your mommy or sister (or maybe both combined), you used to demand "CANDY!" Except I wouldn't understand (because it sounded like "duhdee") so I'd say, "what?" Then you'd repeat (demanding, again), "CANDY!" Once I would understand and say, "Candy? You want candy?" you'd immediately respond with the most nonchalant "o-tay" like it was all my idea in the first place. This happened at least twice a day for a good month or more and I think we laughed every time.

Speaking of candy, you are also finally eating a little better. You're still a self-imposed vegetarian (but certainly not vegan considering your continued love affair with all things dairy) and rather than eating nothing but Cliff kids protein bars all day, you now usually eat a few bites of a few different things on your plate. Like grapes and macaroni and cheese. You still love beans and rice and you almost always eat guacamole now at Mexican restaurants. Hooray for liking a superfood! Sadly, your favorite thing in the entire world might be Diet Coke which makes me feel like a terrible, terrible mother. The fact that you even know what it tastes like is ridiculous, but you can really throw a fit in a restaurant and what can I say, I'm weak when it comes to you guys making a scene in a public place. I'm hoping it won't cause any (serious?) permanent damage.

Right now you are loving Woody, Buzz and all things Toy Story. We took you to see Toy Story 3 in the theater a couple of weeks ago and you almost made it through the entire thing. You also still love reading books and can't get enough of anything with a wheel (and especially crashing anything with a wheel). It really is uncanny how you are immediately attracted to anything related to transportation and you can already point to the engine, spoiler, bumpers, wheels, etc. on your toy cars.

You love your daddy and couldn't be more thrilled with the Cars pajamas he bought you at Target the other day. You are already very particular about what you want to wear and will flat out refuse one t-shirt over another or throw a fit when I try to take off those beloved Cars jammies or your favorite airplane PJs in the morning. Oh, you're also obsessed with shoes. Uh-oh.

Are you, perhaps, seeing a pattern about "throwing fits?" Um, yeah, you have a little temper. Just like your daddy. Your personality is still different from your sister's. She was always friendly and bubbly to anyone and you're a little more reserved. You're more likely to say "hi" or "bye bye" to an overhead helicopter than someone who's oohing and aahing over you in a restaurant or store.

But you're a super snuggler. And always generous with hugs and kisses for your family. You can't get enough of your daddy right now but I think you'll always be your mommy's boy (Daddy thinks I baby you a little too much so I'm trying to let go a little). Don't tell him I said so, but I'd be fine with that forever.

I love you more than anything, Miller!!