Thursday, October 31, 2013

Minnie Mouse for Halloween

Madeleine had a fun Halloween this year - she dressed as Minnie Mouse.  Look at that cutie!
We maximized the evening and pulled double duty!  We began the evening at First Fest up at church.  Madeleine quickly figured out how to get the most candy - she sweet-talked (no pun intended) lots of the preschool workers she knows from Sunday morning and Tuesday/Thursday class.  "Come on, Madeleine, don't be greedy!" She also loved the Chick-fil-A cows and all the special activities they had for preschoolers.
After a little while, we headed back to our neighborhood to connect with some of our neighbors and walk around a bit.  Madeleine loved seeing Dakotah and Mabel, and all the girls were enthralled by Ms. Marsha down the street - she dressed as a witch with green face paint and everything!  Some houses were a bit scary (come on, stupid high schoolers, don't mess with the three-year olds!) but all in all they had fun.  When people would try to put chocolate in Madeleine's bucket, she told them she didn't like chocolate (truth) but rather than appear rude, I told her to just say "thank you!" and that Mommy and Daddy could eat the chocolate ones later.  She somehow decided that meant that at every house following this little talk, she should ask for an extra piece of candy for her mom.  Y'all I did NOT say that, but I would hear Dakotah and Madeleine say "Trick or Treat!" then, some sweet neighbor would come to the door and put candy in their buckets.  Madeleine would then say "Um, could I have an extra one for my mom please?"  Oh goodness.  At least that only happened for the last five or so houses!!  Crazy girl.
She begged us to let her sleep in her face paint, so we obliged.  Soon after these pictures were taken, though, she decided it was too itchy.  Or maybe she just wanted an excuse to get out of her bed once more. :)

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

October Occasions

October was REALLY busy.  Some of that had to do with just the fall calendar intensifying, and some of that was by design as we were expecting Miss Clara to arrive sometime in November.

Of course I loved getting our house decorated for fall.  I really enjoy that in October and November!  One thing I added this year was filling our frames with fun pumpkin patch and Halloween pictured of Madeleine from years past.  She also painted her very own pumpkin and covered it with jewels and feathers. :)
We began the month with the Lifehouse Gala.  Cason has been honored to serve on the Board of Directors, so we hosted a table.  We really enjoyed our time celebrating the amazing the work that the ministry is a part of, visiting with our friends over yummy food and hearing Mike Huckabee speak.  We are very passionate about ministries that help save the lives of babies, and Lifehouse provides such amazing care for mothers and their babies.
Madeleine also had her first dentist appointment.  I am the mom that is so on top of things - I knew they would ask me about a dentist visit at her three-year appointment, so I got it in just in time.  She loved it - she was fascinated by the whole process.  (Phew!)
We definitely enjoyed the bursts of cooler weather that came our way.  Walks in the neighborhood are a family favorite!

Cason and I had one of our last date nights before Clara's arrival - Kam's is one of our favorite Chinese restaurants in town, and we LOVE the Alley!
I hosted girls' night for our Sunday School class, Catalyst.  We had chili and packed homeless bags.
As the month continued on, I had more appointments with the midwives, and it was fun to meet some other new fall arrivals like Emma Gold!
We took our annual trip to the pumpkin patch to take a few photos.  It was weird to think of it as our last set of pictures with just one kiddo.  I thought Madeleine looked so cute, and she cooperated just enough to get some fun shots.
Madeleine also had a fall picnic with her class at school.  What's harder than taking pictures of your three-year old?  Taking pictures of lots of three-year olds!! :)
We also had one more shower for Julianne in Cypress - it was so much fun to celebrate the upcoming wedding again with more friends and family.

Of course other highlights of our month included Baylor Homecoming, Madeleine's birthday (and party!) as well as Halloween, but those were covered in separate entries!

The month finished with a trip to the park with the Owens, and a tasting at the Bell Tower for Julianne and Ben's wedding.  (So nice of them to invite the pregnant matron of honor!)
I told y'all October was busy!!!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Madeleine's Third Birthday Party - Princesses and Knights

When it came time to start planning Madeleine's birthday party this year, I asked her what type of party she might like.  Her answer was "princesses!"  I couldn't believe she wanted such a girly party already - but what about her sweet little friends that are boys?  We quickly modified it to princesses and knights.
I had so much fun getting ready for this party.  October makes for some lovely weather for outdoor parties, so we stuck around here and enjoyed our backyard, complete with a bouncy castle! When you mix nesting instinct + party planning...well I went into creative overdrive.  
For the favors, I had halo crowns and princess capes for the girls and knight masks, tunics and swords for the boys.  It was not an expensive party to put on, but it was expensive in my time (i.e. the swords were made from large paint stirrers, foil, cardboard and some stick on jewels for under $5 total.)  It was just fun to get out my sewing machine and make some things before Clara came and our family went back into newborn fog.  Seize the day!  I really enjoyed all the crafting.  For food we did meatballs in the crock pot, fruit kabobs, cupcakes made by Liz, chips and salsa and chessman cookies. 
We were ready to party!
It was so fun to watch Madeleine open her gifts - the most hilarious one was that the Nguyens brought her a Cinderella bag full of fun goodies.  She took it straight to the base of the big oak tree in the back of the yard and just started going through it!
Blowing out her cupcake candle was fun too - thankfully, although it was cool, it wasn't as windy as her two-year old party, so she actually got to blow out a candle this year!
The knight costumes were a hit (even moreso than the princess capes, I think!) and the kids had a great time running around the yard and sword fighting (sorry, Mamas.) 
We loved having friends over to celebrate!

I think that my most favorite photo of the whole party is below - our feisty princess.  Frilly pink dress, with a tutu underneath it, knight tunic and sword, fancy gloves and a just sums her up perfectly.  

On guard, Madeleine!  Your fourth year awaits!! 
Also, to extend the celebration, we had a bit of a family party in Cypress with lots of aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents and great-grandparents that were in town for one of Julianne's wedding showers on Sunday.  I think Madeleine had PLENTY of cake!  I guess it was fitting that her last birthday as an only child was a bit over the top.  Yikes!
Happy birthday, sweet girl!!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Happy THREE-YEAR Birthday, Madeleine!

Dear Madeleine,

I can't believe you are already three years old, sweetheart! Time has flown, and you always keep us laughing (and praying for patience.) :)  I think the main traits that describe you are very verbal, crazy creative and always affectionate.  Your memory is amazing.  For example, one time we went to Macy's at the Galleria, and the escalators were broken.  Weeks later, we were driving by the Galleria and you just asked "Mommy, do the escalators at Macy's work now?"  We hadn't talked about it since we saw them, something in your brain just recalled that and thought to ask about it!

You are so excited to become a big sister.  Before every nap and every bedtime you say "Mommy, can we talk about when Baby Clara comes?"

I think the best way to capture you right now is to record some of your hilarious one-liners... here we go:

"Mommy look, that poop looks like a magic wand!"
"Mommy is that a boy or a girl?" Three times, loudly, at HEB.  
"God made me a silly person!"

Me: "Madeleine, isn't Baby Clara getting so big?"
M: "Yeah!  We have to blow her down!"
Me: "What?"
M: "Like a balloon!"
Me: "Oh let the air out?"
M: "Yeah!"

"Mommy!  Your bellybutton is lost!  How can we find it back?"
"Taylor Swift knows how to play guitar, but I'm too little.  Maybe Liz can teach me when I get bigger and bigger."
"Mommy, I wish I was you.  I want long hair and I want to be taller and I want to have glasses like you."
"Mommy I want to pray for Liam and I want to pray for me that I won't hit Calla.  Can we pray for someone who is sick?  who do we know that's sick?"
"Mommy, can we talk about Baby Clara/being patient/people who don't have clothes/bed houses...etc."
"Don't you know you love me?"
"Mommy, What's it called when our eyes don't work?" (blind) "What's it called when our ears don't work?" (deaf) "What's it called when our arms and legs don't work?" (paralyzed) "Oh that's a beautiful word - paralyzed!"
"Let's talk about...what if we didn't have a bottom/if we want a snack when it's not snack time...etc."
"My mom and dad are so sweet to me, even when they get frustrated."
"Don't you know birdies don't wear PJs?!"
"Why do we wear different shoes for bowling?"
"Why is there Jesus AND God?  Where is God's car?"
"Let's calm down and make a new attitude."
"Mommy, I'm kind of frustrated with you."
"Magnifying glass, magnifying glass, it's fun to look for stuff when it's lost..." (singing a made up song)

You are a HOOT, child.  You are a negotiator and a manipulator - if you don't want to go to bed, you will come out of your room and ask for "just one more hug and smooch?" and ask "Mommy, will you rest with me for just a liiiiiiiitttle bit?"  You like things just so - you love having control "Mommy, I don't want my oatmeal in a blue bowl, I want a green one."  (Tough luck!)   We are still working on discipline and consequences with you, you can be a wild card. You are a self-proclaimed extrovert, even asking others if they are an extrovert or introvert.  "I'm an extrovert.  That means I like being around people." You love to read, and actually one of our biggest battles is getting you to stop hiding books in your bed and reading instead of sleeping (your mother's daughter.)

We celebrated your birthday at school today by bringing cupcakes.  Your AJ even surprised you and came for the mini party.
After we celebrated with cupcakes and coloring, you and your sweet friends played a riveting game of hide and seek.  Where could they be??
You love dancing, playing outside, your friends, exploring, running, singing, reading, using your imagination and having an opinion.

We love you so much!


Sunday, October 20, 2013

Baylor Homecoming 2013!

If you know us, you know we LOVE going to Baylor Homecoming each year.  I have only missed two in my entire life.  This year was poignant and special as it marked another milestone for us, being our last Homecoming and weekend trip as a family of three.

Cason always takes Friday off, so we headed up that morning and joined the Lalanis for lunch at Viteks.  It has become a bit of a tradition!  Gotta love letting little girls play on and around the fire pit.  Ha.  Madeleine also got a kick out of riding on the luggage cart when we checked into the hotel.  I think this is probably the last year we will bunk up with my parents.  They have been so generous to let us always stay with them, and it's so much fun to share the weekend with them in that way.
After Madeleine miraculously taking at least a little nap in the hotel room, it was time to head back to campus.  I went to Pigskin for awhile, and Madeleine joined me for a couple acts.  It was so much fun to introduce her to that aspect of Baylor.  She loved it!  We made it to the bonfire for a little bit before she turned into a pumpkin, but all in all it was a fun night!
The next morning was absolutely gorgeous.  It makes all the difference in the world to have a pretty Saturday on Homecoming.   We have seen it all, humid ones, rainy ones, really cold ones...but this one was just perfect weather to spend most of the day outside!
After the parade, Madeleine danced on the steps of Old Main "I am a princess and this is my castle show!" In her defense, it really does look like a castle. :)  We also went over to where all the floats were parked after the parade.  It is fun to get a closer look and let the kids explore them (gently of course.)  When I took Madeleine off a float, this mom said (admonished) "I'm glad you took her down, these boys work for months on these floats!"  I wanted to be like "Lady, they are all getting destroyed tomorrow, and the girls work on floats too!! I for one pulled an all-nighter out at float back in my day!"  But alas, I kept quiet. :) 
We headed to lunch with some friends at Poppa Rollo's and introduced Madeleine to the secret room!  She wasn't that enthused. :)  We continued to enjoy the beautiful weather at the tailgates - it was so much fun to see friends (and their kids!) and Madeleine decided to busy herself by putting raspberries on all of her finger tips. 
The game weather continued to be lovely.  We enjoyed sitting with a block of about 40 family friends, and we were just hoping to last through the first half (considering we had a rambunctious almost-3-year old for whom we were responsible.)  She did great.  It was helpful for her to unpack the contents of my purse a couple times.  We also took some football game selfies.  That was fun. 
Well as you can see, our little fan made it to the very end of the game!  She was quite the enthusiastic fan, and she made friends with the people behind us.  They shared some spirit accessories with her, and she helped cheer the Bears on to victory over Iowa State.   What a fun weekend we had!!  Sic 'em, Bears!!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Last Bash Before She's a Lash!

The first weekend in October was Julianne's Bachelorette Party.  We really wanted to plan it in plenty of time before Clara came so that I could be a part of the fun too!  The weekend began with an overnight in Cypress, followed by a lingerie shower at Linnet's.  She was out of the country, but she graciously let us use her home for our "Happily Ever After"- themed shower. 
 After the shower, we moved to the Omni to settle into rooms and begin our spa lovely.
 And then we all got dressed to go to dinner at Up.
The girls went out afterward, but I headed home.  Hey...a 34-week pregnant gal can't do everything. :)

While I was hanging out with the girls, Cason and Madeleine took a day trip to Waco for the Baylor football game.  I loved getting photos from them all day - they had a blast together!

The next afternoon the festivities finished with a shower for Julianne which included lots of other Houston friends - so much fun to celebrate the bride-to-be!