Monday, December 7, 2009

My Little Clark Griswald Jr.

One day after school last week, Blake hit the great outdoors to figure out how he could change up his light display.  He gets so excited each year at Christmas to get the boxes of lights down.  Blake does the entire yard himself, with a little help from his Daddy.  He worked for three long hours up in the tree winding and unwinding the lights.  He got up and down from the ladder, came in and out of the house to come get me.  He climbed back up the tree and did the final plug in.  After all the hours spend, the mid section of lights did not work.  Oh little Clark Jr. was not too happy.  He begged us to take him to get new lights even though it was too late to work on it.  After many more hours up in the tree, we did the drum roll and they all worked!

Climbing up in the tree!

Mapping out the strategy!

How, why did this happen?  Mid-section doesn't work!

Could this be the culprit?  Blake's most favorite person of all!  She secretly climbed up the ladder when Blake wasn't looking!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Snow in Houston, again?

The weather man has been saying there is a chance of snow for today!  We'll see!

Well, sure enough, it did snow.  I had planned on baking cookies and needed to get all my ingredients so I had to run to HEB.  Everyone was out and about and you could feel the excitement in the air!  People seemed happier since snow was predicted, not to mention it being Friday. When I came out of HEB, I was hoping for it to be heavier after hearing Tim's report that it was really coming down in downtown.  All of a sudden, it started snowing and heavily!!  I was pushing Brody in the stroller since he napped in the store and snow was falling all in his hair and on his face.  It was so cute watching him try to grab it and eat it.  It was his first time to see snow, so he didn't know how to react!  As I put the groceries in the car, I was like an excited little kid, I couldn't get the smile off my face.  I wanted it to never end!!  You could see so many people in the parking lot taking pictures with their cell phone cameras.  For the first time in my life, I was driving in "snow".  It was magical!!  I had the satellite Christmas music station on in the car and Sleigh Ride was on.  It had new meaning as I watched the snow falling all around me.  I don't think I will ever forget this day.  I know people up North take it for granted and probably get so tired of it. 

Waste Management shut their offices down at 1pm and let their employees leave early.  I was so excited that Tim would be home early so we could experience all the excitement together.  We decided to get the kids out of school a little early.  The kids' principal was nice enough to e-mail all the teachers and tell them to send the kids outside to see the snow.  Tim wanted the kids to see what downtown looked like since there was so much more on that side of town than at our house (no accumulations).  As we drove in, all the roof tops were white with snow and cars were covered in it.  We went to Spaghetti Warehouse and requested a seat by the window.  We felt like we were in another city.  It was such a perfect Christmas gift to sit there and watch snow falling heavily while we ate lunch, such a beautiful site to see!!

Enjoying the snowfall after school!

We were excited about this little bit, Blake looks like an elf with his beanie sitting over his ears!  I love the shirt Sydney wore to school, "Snow Big Deal"!

When we left, the kids gathered snow off the cars next to us and threw snowballs at each other.  I told them it will be something they will always remember.  As we drove home, the snow fall lightened and we got closer to home and the sun started showing through the clouds.  I didn't want all the fun to end.  It was so funny - we counted at least 16 wood stands on the side of the road.  They were everywhere.

I was excited for our little bit that we got, but when I saw friends' Facebook pictures and the weather report on the news, I felt like we got jipped, other parts of town had lots more than us and they were even able to build snowmen!!  Maybe we'll get it again next year and we'll be the lucky ones to have it on our rooftops!!

This is what I wish our street looked like!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving, Our Little Turkey Baby Turns One!

It's amazing how fast a year goes by.  This time last year, we brought Brody home on Thanksgiving Day after surprising the family when they were all finishing up Thanksgiving dinner.  Although we would have much rather been with our families on Thanksgiving Day last year, I loved the coziness of being in the hospital on a cold day with our new baby and being pampered by all the nurses.

We made up for it this year spending the entire day with the family.  Blake and I stayed up really late last night making appetizers and goodies for Brody's birthday party today.  We finished around 1:30 am and I set my alarm clock for 2:13 am, the time Brody was born.  I had to be awake when he turned a year old and give him a kiss.  As he slept soundly, I remembered back to the past year and thought about how much joy you have brought to our lives.

You were so happy today even though you only napped for about 45 minutes all day long.  Even though today was Thanksgiving, I still wanted you to have cake.  We sang happy birthday and let you dive into your own smash cake.  You were so cute eating it and flicking it everywhere.  We just sat down to dinner when you decided to wake up.  You ate a yummy turkey dinner with potatoes and green bean casserole.  You were so hungry that you ate two helpings. 

After dinner, we opened your presents.  What fun toys you received.  Aunt Steph even found a cute little elf book for you.  I just crack up when she calls you that!  You played a lot and even tried to stand up from being on the floor without holding onto anything!  You had so much fun bopping your balloons and trying to get into Coachy and Grammy's alcohol cabinet (uh uh uh, no no no)!!  The big kids - Blake, Sydney, Jacob and Alexa loved hitting the pinata loaded with candy.  When the bottom fell off, the race for candy was on!!

This month, here are some things you are doing:

  • You love to hold balls in your hand and play catch back and forth
  • You love daddy's hat and hold it while saying "Dada"
  • You have started to hit if you get frustrated
  • You love to climb up on the dishwasher door
  • You played peek-a-boo with me for the first time and hid your head behind the couch
  • You cannot stand to have socks on your feet, you pull them off everytime I put them on you
  • You loooove to hold Blake's Tinker Toys and you won't let go - you crawl with them in your hands from the bedroom to the kitchen and back
  • You started standing on your own without holding on, I can tell you'll be walking soon!
  • Talking so much - the words you say are ball, hat, mama, dada, good
We love you our Little Man, Mr. B, Bubba, Brody Bear, Broy, Brode, Bro, Munchin, Scooter

I am so happy to be your mommy! We love you so much!

Friday, November 20, 2009

My 37th Birthday

Today was an awesome birthday.  More details and pictures to come.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

An E-mail Home from the Kindergarten Teachers

I hate smiling, I'm doing it my way!

Smiling, how stupid, it's more fun to stick out my tongue!

Today I went to eat lunch with Sydney, well actually, it was more like I ate lunch with her friend Brooklyn.  Miss Priss didn't pay a bit of attention to me or even sit next to me.  What a way to make a mommy feel!  I'm just the McDonald's delivery lady, that's all.  So I ran into one of her teachers as she dropped them off at lunch and got a little earful on her recent behavior, great!  Cringe!

Uh-oh...Sydney tells me when I pick her up from school that her teacher sent me an e-mail.  Well, I already know what it's about...her talking and lack of staying on task, it's the same stuff week after week from her weekly Tuesday folder.  Sydney and I have been butting heads since she was four.  Yes, four, way too young to do this, she's still my baby.  Our personalities are completely the opposite, I am more reserved where Sydney is bouncing off the walls, Miss Personality, strong-willed, a talker and a do what I want kind of little girl.  Take for example our mornings before school.  She wants to wear something I didn't pick out, something that is too small or doesn't match, shoes that are old and messed up, a bow that doesn't match, she wants to wear her hair down when it's dirty, her hair up when it's pretty and clean, doesn't want to brush her teeth and the list goes on and on.  I'm exhausted before the day even starts!!  I love my little princess to pieces but how do I get her to listen to me?  Help!!

Here is the e-mail from her teacher:
Just wanted to follow up with you about our conversation earlier. A few things we are seeing in class would be that Sydney is having trouble staying on her task. She wants to get up and see what others around her are doing. She has not been getting her morning journal and other work done due to her talking. I have tried to take her distractions (lip gloss, extra pencils, ID badge, stamper) so that she could concentrate on what is being asked of her. We have asked that she not bring things like this that would get in the way of her wanting to learn. We have really been working on following directions with Sydney. For example, when we were making the Pilgrims for our book, she went ahead and did the Pilgrim how she wanted and did not wait as we were going step by step and then hers was facing the wrong way and we had to redo it. I know you are dealing with this at home but we would love to find a way to help her out. We just need to get her to listen before doing as she wishes. We appreciate your help!

Maybe Sydney will learn to listen one day!  :-)  But in the meantime, she has taught me a great deal of patience and I only wish I could have just a portion of her personality!  She is truly a one-of-a-kind.  I love you my precious Sydney and I think you'll be famous one day!  :-)

Celebrating 13 Years of Marriage!

It's the crazy month of birthdays and anniversaries in our family.  Let the games begin - November 9th - our 13th anniversary!  I cannot believe it.  We enjoyed a nice dinner at Taste of Texas - yummy!  We haven't been there in forever.  Every year, we always go somewhere in The Woodlands (for 12 years), this year, it was nice to venture out and do something different.  We left Brody with Mom and Dad and brought Blake and Sydney with us knowing how we would be talking about them the whole time and saying how much they would have loved it.  We had a great dinner and the kids loved digging into our dessert topped with a sparkler!

After, we headed to the new little shopping area called City Centre.  All the trees were lit up and it felt so Christmasey already.  They had a nice big lawn that the kids ran on and they took turns chunking rocks into the cool infinity pond.  We can't wait to go back and try out the restaurants.  I love having an anniversary so close to the holidays!

Thirteen Things I Love About You Tim:

1.  Blake, Sydney and Brody
2.  Your unselfishness, you are always so giving of yourself and help everyone no matter what
3.  Your dedication to your baseball teams - I love how people look up to you and trust your opinions, you are an awesome coach!
4.  You have connections and know at least two people everywhere we go!
5. You will do anything for your kids
6.  Your laughter, you are always joking and telling jokes many of which I'm not so quick to get
7.  You love to watch old 80's movies with me and put up with me as I say all the movie lines!
8.  Your super soft feet that I love to play footsie with
9.  Your sparkling blue eyes that make me melt
10.  You work so hard and let me stay home with the kids
11.  You always smell good, well, except after baseball!
12.  You make me feel like a princess
13.  You call me several times a day just cause

November 9, 1996 - Our pictures already look sooo dated!

November 9, 2009

Happy 13th Anniversary and to many more to come!  I love you! 
319 XOXO, Shannon
3+11+12+20+26=72 (the year we were both born)
7+2=9 (our anniverary)
We were meant to be!!!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Halloween 2009

Most of the Halloween decorations are down and a few Christmas trees are up.  I am just getting around to posting Halloween pictures.  Blake was a scary clown, Sydney was a ladybug and Brody was the Tin Man.  We went to Jacob's birthday party that morning and the kids had a blast watching Matt and his Mad Scientist show.  The kids loved eating all the scary food that Witch Stephanie cooked up.  It was so funny watching them guess the chocolate in the "poopy" diapers.  What a great party that was!  The kids trick-or-treated with their cousins.  They are so lucky to live within a close drive to one another and to be able to grow up and spend fun times together - something I wish we could have done with our cousins.

Here's a little slideshow from Halloween.

11 Months - October 26th, 2009

So, now that I am caught up on orders and I don't have to touch a hot glue gun, make bows, tutus, bow holders, etc, I can actually have some computer time.   I am way behind Brody's 11 month old posting.

This month, Brody was recovering from his awful stroller tumble onto his nose and forehead.  His scab finally peeled off and he's much better.  I will say so many people stopped me at the grocery and made me feel better letting me know it won't be the last big boo-boo he gets.  Lots of stares too, but most people couldn't resist making a little guy feel better with kind words!  Here are some things about B this month:
  • You don't like being covered with blankets
  • You love to stay awake - the slightest noise wakes you up, you nap about 1 1/2 all day long and you don't sleep through the night yet
  • Loves to play with the telephone pushing all the buttons and turning it every which way
  • You love to clap (maybe you'll follow big brother's footsteps)
  • Your 8th tooth cut through on bottom right side
  • You let us know when you are tired by saying "Nah nah"
  • Wrinkle your nose and snort when you smile - sooo cute!
  • So funny when you say "Gooda gooda gooda", I wonder what that means in baby talk!
  • The day you fell out of your stroller and onto your nose (10/19), you said "Mama" so many times that day, finally! 
  • Your favorite little big guy foods are cheese, peaches, Mandarin oranges and chicken
  • You jump like crazy in your Exersaucer
  • You weigh 24 pounds
  • You are moving all around the table, taking steps but not letting go yet
  • You are all over mommy's cabinets, uh oh, we are in trouble's all over with!
I just had to post one of my favorite boo-boo pics.  Your poor little nose!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Three Years as a Domestic Diva!

Tee hee, check out the hair and lipstick on my badge, this was taken back in December 1997 when I was hired by Compaq. 

October 23rd,'s the day I waited for since I went back to work after maternity leave. It was the first day that I was so blessed to be able to stay home with my babies.  I think back to this day each anniversary and I am sooo lucky that my prayers were answered!!  Thank you Lord and thank you Tim for all that you do for us, we appreciate you so very much!

Compaq/Hewlett-Packard was sooooo good to me.  Especially as a mother.  Anytime I needed to stay home with the kids, there was never an issue. I loved that I could work at home. I loved that I could always take time off to go to Blake and Sydney's preschool parties and events.  When Blake started kindergarten, I could leave to help volunteer in his classroom.  I even left work at 3pm every day to make sure I was home in time to get him off the bus and then worked at home the rest of the afternoon!  What more could a mother want, it was the perfect setup!

I had mentioned to Tim about a year earlier that I was ready to stay home.  It wasn't the right time financially though.  I remember January 2006 - I was no longer happy working, things were so different at work - a first ever for me.  I was so upset when I had to drop Sydney off at daycare, I cried the whole way to work day after day.  I moved to a new team, had tons of projects, tons of conference calls, worked late, had lots of travels and I had a new, single, work-a-holic boss who didn't like excuses or taking days off - so not what I was used to. I could no longer stand the stress, being in a bad mood all the time, crying and especially missing my kids.  So when my boss told us another round of layoffs was coming, I knew this was my chance.  It was time to leave it all behind.  It was bittersweet!  God works in mysterious ways -  Tim had just received a really good raise and he told me the good news that things would be ok if I left.  I let my boss know I was willing to go to save someone's job.  It was the best decision I have ever made!

I have so many great memories in the 10 years I worked...friendships I made, the things I learned, major events that I helped pull off, speakers I heard, conferences I attended, fun classes I took, great company outings I went on and travels to Michigan, New York City, Austin, Toronto twice, Atlantic City, Miami, San Diego and almost India (thank goodness that didn't happen).

Do I miss having a paycheck?  Yes, but I will never regret all the time I get to spend with my babies.  I am able to do what so many working mothers dream of but can't afford to.  I remember sitting at my desk daydreaming of the day I would get to stay home.  I never thought I'd be able to do it and here I am.  It is possible!   I am having so much fun.  I love being able to be with Brody all first non-daycare baby...boy is it hard work but so rewarding!!  I can't imagine having to do the rat race with three children.

Thank you, thank you, thank you Tim for all that you do and for giving me this gift of being able to raise our children and for letting me see all the precious moments I can never get back!  I love you!  :-)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Fried Capital of Texas!

Orders have kept me soooo busy that I have neglected the blog.  So, here I am catching up after all these weeks.  The day after Faith's birthday, we all decided to go to the Texas State Fair.  I have always wanted to go and have seen write ups about it for years!  Finally, we were getting the chance and we just so happened to be there opening weekend. 

The boys had a blast test driving the new Camaro.  I loooove that car and would get one in an instant, but it's so not practical for a mom of three.  I sat in it and just sank.  It's so tiny compared to my Tahoe Taxi.  It brought back memories of my 1997 black Camaro, I miss that car!!

We got a little fair guide that showed the layout of the land.  Blake was in heaven, he couldn't get to the ticket booth fast enough.  Our motto for him is "College, nah, Carnival" (from the movie Christmas Vacation)!  He has loved carnivals, theme parks, claw machines, balloons, games with tickets and prizes and rides from a young age!  There were rides and attractions everywhere we turned. 

They already had a Michael Jackson ride.

The kids wanted the rides and games while us adults couldn't wait to get our hands on some of that good 'ole fried carnival fare! On the menu, Fletcher's corn dogs, deep fried peaches and cream, fried butter, chicken fried bacon, fried peanut butter cup macaroon, fried marshmallows, Texas fried pecan pan, sweet jalepeno corn dog shrimp and the list went on and on!

Steph and her pickle pop (aka frozen pickle juice)

Check out this menu!

Fried butter, I liked the garlic one the best!

Can you believe this...chicken fried bacon!

Big Tex

The Ferris Wheel

Yeah, a family picture, thanks Matt & Steph!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

And the winner of Mother of the Year Award goes to...

Yes, I am the winner of the Mother of the Year award!  Monday was such a fun day, my little guy went all around with me getting supplies for orders.  Brody was being such a good baby.  He napped, he giggled, he talked - even saying Mama several times.  I was feeling so blessed and happy that I have him. 

The weather was so beautiful outside and after I picked up the kids from school, we walked around delivering our block party invitations door-to-door.  Brody was still in his stroller and I decided my flowers needed a watering since they haven't had a drink since the last rain.  I put the stroller on the edge of the driveway and the grass.  I had my back turned for a short time and I happened to look back to check on him right as he tumbled out of the stroller face first on the hard concrete. 

Panic, panic, panic - all I could think of is he is going to die.  I rushed him in the house and ran around in circles checking him out and crying telling him how sorry mommy was.  I am still crying over it, even now as I write this.  His forehead has a big concrete stamp on it, his nose is all skinned up and his nose started bleeding a little.  Luckily, his teeth were ok.  I called mom right away and she was nowhere to be found.  I didn't know if I should take him to the ER.  I called my neighbor down the street who is a nurse and she said to just watch him and if he starts acting different, then take him.  Blake called Tim and he rushed home. 

I couldn't take my arms off of him as he screamed and screamed.  The sound of his head hitting the concrete played in my mind over and over. I held him as he napped, listened to his breathing thinking he could have a horrible brain injury and I could lose him at any moment.  I prayed and prayed for him.  I can't imagine our lives without him.  It was not a good night of sleep for either of us.  When I went back to look at the stroller later Monday night, it looks like the front tray was not clipped in all the way making it easy for him to fall over as he leaned over. 

The ironic thing about this accident is all last week I couldn't stop thinking about the mother of the little baby whose stroller took off and fell into the tracks of an oncoming train.  The train ran over his stroller and he was safe with just a bump on his forehead because he was so clipped so tightly.

 I ask myself over and over why didn't I learn from that.  From now on, he's clipped in with shoulder straps.  Luckily, he was pretty low to the ground when he fell out.  One of my worst fears happened, having him hit his head on the concrete.  I always hold him so tight if he is not in the stroller, praying I don't trip. He's ok now, I still watch him and am thankful that I get a second chance with him.  I know this was God's way of telling me to slow down!

Smiling after all that!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Take me out to the ballgame

After Faith's first birthday party, we headed to the ballpark. The Rangers were playing Tampa Bay. We got there a little early for batting practice. The boys were excited - David was able to get them passes to go to the dugout and locker room. Blake and Jacob scored a few more autographs on their hats. The kids had fun playing the Slingshot game. Sydney and Jacob lucked out, they landed a hole in one and they each got a little prize. Blake was baffled that he tried so hard and then his kid sister strikes gold, the luck!! It's still so unreal to watch my baby brother live out his dream of being a baseball player!

Blake & Tim

Matt & Jacob

David's old number. No new #14's yet.

Blake trying his hardest for the prize!

Go, Jacob, go!

Alexa getting some coaching!

And the winners are Jacob and Sydney!


Playing in the grass

Friday afternoon was beautiful outside. After I picked the kids up from school, I went inside and grabbed my camera while the kids sat on the grass and played with Brody. This was his first time to see what this green stuff was all about. I loved watching his expression and trying to figure out what this new texture was. I don't think he liked the scratchiness of it because he didn't want to put his knees in it.

Watching the school bus go by.

I am...fallifying the house!

I BELIEVE …that God puts people in your path for a reason.
I WANT…to go shopping at White House, Black Market for some new jeans, jewelry and shoes.
I HAVE …been so blessed to have such a wonderful family!
I KEEP …journals for my kids and record their growth and funny things they have done or said.
I WISH I COULD …leave for Paris or Italy stat.
I HATE …having credit card debt, how our lives would be so different!
I FEAR …car accidents.
I HEAR …The Young and the Restless from Monday on the DVR - the Newman's get good news, Victor is getting Colleen's heart.
I DON’T THINK …I can stand to see one more of those Welcome to Progressive Insurance commercials.
I REGRET …not going on that family trip to Washington D.C. so I could go visit Amy in Alabama.
I LOVE …the crazy month of November (6 birthdays, 3 anniversaries and Thanksgiving).
I AM NOT …over Sydney starting kindergarten, I still miss her hanging with me during the day.
I DANCE …at Club Fortunato to Yahoo Music with the kids.
I SING …in the car and wish I sounded as good as Celine Dion.
I NEVER …sit and read a book, well, it's been a long time, I miss it.
I RARELY …empty the dishwater - never liked it as a kid and I don't like it now. I leave that for Tim!
I CRY WHEN I WATCH …the Polar Express.
I AM NOT ALWAYS …good at returning e-mails, especially since I stopped working.
I MISS …my brothers.
I HATE THAT …it's October and it feels more like August.
I’M CONFUSED ABOUT …why people do the things they do, the stories on the news these days - it's crazy.
I NEED …to go to bed earlier a few nights a week.
I SHOULD …be working on orders right now but the computer is calling!
I SNAGGED ... this from Live.Laugh.Love - a fellow Texas girl!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Faith's First Birthday!

Last weekend, we went to Dallas for little Faith's first birthday. The kids enjoyed playing with all their cousins - all eight of them together - how fun! David and Andrea had a full house! We meant to get a picture of all the kids together but didn't manage to get one this time around.

Faith finally digging into her cake!

I loooove cupcakes!

Alexa enjoying every last crumb of her cupcake!

Sydney and Alexa giving Madison kisses!

The babies of the bunch.