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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Alexis: 18 months

My sweet littlest is now 18 months... officially into toddlerhood and no longer so much like a baby. The baby stage just goes by so quickly! With two older siblings to follow after, Alexis, you are quick to catch onto things and are quickly leaving everything baby behind.
You've finally started talking more. For a while you only said a few words and let your siblings do the rest of the talking for you. It's easy to get by as the baby with pointing and letting them get you what you want. So far you say: 
mama 
dada 
uh oh
hi
shoes
all done (and sign it too when you want) 
Bubba (for Micah) 
Abby 
do (dog) 
duck 
ball 
Bible 
backpack 
mo (more - along with the sign for more) 
bubble 
mine 
diaper 
bye (when you want to - you usually just wave) 

Gigi says she's also heard you say alligator and jump but I haven't heard those yet.


You can also identify quite a few parts of your body: head, mouth, eyes, mouth, toes, belly, hair and your favorite the belly button. 
You are the sweetest little helper when you want to be. If we come home from HEB you aren't happy until you get a bag to carry in as well. You throw fits if you can't help put laundry away - like while I'm still folding it you are trying to put it away) You are a stickler for the shoe closet and will gather up any and all shoes that didn't quite make it there.  You'll want to help in the kitchen as well and will scoot a chair over next to me insistent on helping.  

You are a little monkey and can climb on just about anything. For a while your favorite place to be was on the top of the kitchen table. At first you couldn't get onto the chairs by yourself so you'd bring over a chair from the kid table to climb onto the regular chairs and then onto the table. Thankfully this isn't as common now - especially since you no longer need the little chairs to get onto the big chair. 
You love to copy what others are doing - so when mommy tries to be silly to get you to sit for 10 seconds for a picture, you think it's funny and needed to do it yourself as well. 

You've started to really play with toys, pretending to fly airplanes (complete with airplane noises) making Shamu swim and splash, wrestling gators like your older siblings. It's sweet to see you playing and you'll do so as long as you don't see me watching. 

You love to go to Bible class and since we've been up there since you were 2 weeks old, you love all your teachers and rarely fuss going into class. You will even start singing a few of the Bible class songs. 

You also love to swim most days, especially now that you have your own puddle jumper. In the past few weeks you've started 'jumping' to me which is more like stepping/falling off but it's still cute! You love when you get to go down the slides at Sea World in the baby area or the big slide that you can go down with mommy or daddy. Some days though you'd rather run around the edges which mommy doesn't like because I have to chase you! 

You can be so silly sometimes - making the funniest faces and blowing raspberries, especially at sister. 
You've grown so much in the past 6 months! You look much more like a toddler now and have such long skinny legs now! (Not that they were ever very chubby - my petite little darling girl) Currently you are about 20 lbs. I need to measure to see how tall you are. You are wearing size 3 diapers and anywhere from 6-9, 6-12 or 12-18 month clothes. 
We love you, my sweet darling girl! 


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Monday, July 22, 2013

alamo kidsports

It's hot outside. Not surprising since it's Texas and it's just a fact of life here so no reason to complain about it. We had a very welcome cool front the other week bringing the temps down into the high 80s but now it's back up to the high 90s/100.  However being that hot means we are playing inside or in water of some sort. Our pool has odd hours since they have swim lessons there as well and I don't always feel up for heading to Sea World (though we do at least once a week!) Which means by this point in the summer we are having to get creative with indoor play.

We were recently invited along with some of our other local bloggers for an open play at Alamo KidSports. I wasn't sure what to expect but I knew it was a good opportunity to let the kids run off some energy. And run off some energy they did! I'll let the pictures do most of the talking. I know they make me tired looking at how busy they were!

These rolling things (what are they actually called?) were a hit. Lexie watched the big kids run (and scare mommy!) and roll on them and had to try it for herself. She is very proud of herself when she can do something that the big kids are doing.
They tried shooting a few hoops.  
Micah really enjoyed this.
Lexie hoarded some balls... 
And tried to figure out how many she could hold at one time.
Soccer was also a big hit 
As were the hula hoops. They also were trying to jump rope and also do tricks with them. 
Everyone had a great time and have asked several times when we are going to go back and play again. 


I would have loved to see how their sports classes are run! I saw a few videos on posted on the Alamo Kidsports Facebook page of kids participating and it looks like a whole lot of fun! Their sports classes are charged monthly based on the number of classes that month at $18 per class. I mean how nice would it be to watch your kids sports lessons in the air conditioning instead of sitting in the Texas heat? 

They also offer open play sessions like we attended which are free for members and $7.50 for non-members. They will be posting their August schedule of those soon but none are offered currently with summer camps going on so keep an eye on their FB page for that. 

Disclosure: I was invited along with others to play during a special open play session. I was not required to blog about it but my kids loved it so much I couldn't not share with ya'll. All opinions are my own. 

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Wednesday, July 17, 2013

insta+latley


Happy Wednesday everyone! Half-way to the weekend. Which meant a lot more when Abby was in school - summer time weekdays and weekends blur together a little bit. We are also halfway through summer and I can't decide if I'm ready for school to start or wish we weren't halfway already.
  • We had a major accomplishment at the pool this past week. To go down the slides at the gym, you have to pass the swim test. Which means swim the 25 meters end to end, without stopping using big arms (no doggy paddle) and then 30 seconds of treading water. Abby passed this test two summers ago at the end of the summer but since the slides aren't always open and she didn't pass until the end of summer, she never got a chance to go down them. Last summer and up until now this summer, Abby has been nervous to take and and would rather play in the shallow end. I knew she could do it but she just didn't want to. So in a brilliant parenting move I bribed her to take it since I knew she could and just really didn't want to stop playing. Just like how some days she says she's scared of heights on the rock wall in the gym and others it doesn't phase her when she wants to do it. The first time she made it thisclose to the end and then swam to the side instead of the end. She got a little tired and could have made it because the distance the end was barely more than the distance to the side wall but she got nervous. So the next time with Daddy encouraging her she made it and passed. YAY! Then we spent most of the rest of the time sliding.
  • Alexis wasn't feeling well Sunday afternoon with a slight fever. This called for popsicles. (Because Micah's theory is that popsicles make everything better and I thought we could all use a treat) Yummy... and a big drippy mess. A bath was up next. Thankfully it was short lived and she was fine by morning.
  • We spent Friday afternoon at Sea World. They had a baby beluga whale born on Tuesday and we arrived just in time to see the baby before it was his 'bedtime' and they closed down the viewing.
  • After seeing the new baby, we headed to Aquatica to cool off. The kids had a blast playing - Lexie loved finding some slides that she could go down in the baby pool area but also enjoyed going down a bigger slide with mommy as well. She's a brave one! She also enjoyed standing on a ledge and 'jumping' (okay stepping off) to mommy.
  • It's decorate ALL the things week at Bibleland in preparation for VBS round two. Round one was last month for 2-outgoing kinder, this is the massive round two for incoming first-outgoing fifth and then the team I work with is providing care/VBS for the kids too young to attend round two with parents who are helping with round two. So we headed up to Church to start the decorating process. Our theme is Championship Village - an Olympic theme and our group will be Team USA.
  • It was a rainy afternoon today so we pulled out some board games to play during quiet time. It's always fun but also challenging because Abby and Micah love to fight and pout when they don't win. It worked out today that we played three different games and everyone but Daddy had a turn to win once.
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Tuesday, July 16, 2013

kids cooking: personal pizzas

This summer I made out a weekly schedule of things I wanted to do with the kids so they had something to look forward to each day. So far on non-VBS or out of town weeks, we've done a good job of sticking too it - which means two whole weeks so far out of the summer. Tuesdays are a day I designated to bake/cook something in the kitchen with the kids. We decided to make personal pizzas for lunch.

So after breakfast (or around 4pm if you plan on having pizza for dinner) you'll need to mix up some dough. Our preference is The Pioneer Woman's pizza crust  - it's super simple and has yet to fail me. It even changed my hubs mind on liking homemade pizza - he hadn't like the crust recipe I had used before I found this one.

Once we made it home from the gym -  the dough was ready to make pizza. First I spread out some corn meal on the table for both kids thus acknowledging the fact it was going to be a bit messy and we'd clean the table while the pizza was cooking. Then I divided up the dough into 5 sections - one for breadsticks and 4 small balls for individual pizzas.
They took turns rolling out their dough, then I helped if they needed it to get it in a round shape for the individual pizza pans I have. If you are just laying them on a larger cookie sheet then they certainly don't have to be round. 
Next up the sauce. Some days we get fancy and I mix up a sauce of tomato sauce, tomato paste and some herbs, others we just use some tomato sauce.... I'll let you figure out what kind of day this was. A jar of pizza sauce would also work. The spreading of the sauce is serious work! 
Then comes the toppings. My kids are cheese only lovers most days. 
And here they are all ready to go into the *hot* oven. We follow the Pioneer Woman's recipe and bake them at 500 so it's hot and putting them in and pulling them out is my job. 
The breadsticks are usually done about the time the pizzas are ready to go in the oven. Last week I attempted cheese sticks since we were out of parmesan cheese. To make breadsticks I flatten out some dough with my hands - not rolled or they don't puff up and bake the dough. For the cheese sticks I added butter, garlic and cheese in the last few minutes of baking. My normal breadsticks I bake the dough, then top with melted butter and sprinkle ontop parmesan cheese, garlic salt and oregano. 
And 10 minutes later we had finished pizzas.
And some very quiet kids enjoying the rewards of their cooking. 
Do your kids enjoy helping in the kitchen? I still need to decide what we are going to bake today. It's supposed to be a rainy day so maybe some cookies. 


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Thursday, July 11, 2013

Sisterly love

This little girl LOVES her big sis and wants to be just like her.
Her big sis however might have a bit of a silly streak..... 
Can you tell? 

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Wednesday, July 10, 2013

insta+lately


It's Wednesday! How's your week going?  It's been a good but busy (isn't it always?) week here - a mix between fun, a little work and some gym time.

  • Sunday night we finished off the day with breakfast for dinner and a movie night. Lexie isn't into watching tv too much (that requires her to be way to still ha!) but she did briefly join Abby and Micah because she loves to do what they are doing. 
  • We had a slow start to the morning to our Saturday morning - as Abby slept in.... like practically teenager slept in, the littles totally destroyed the playroom. At least they were having fun and playing quietly. 

  • Once Abby was up, we spent the majority of the day outside in the backyard playing on the water slide. 
  • While the big two slide and run around, Lexie was content to play with balls and 'swim' in the pool at the bottom. 
  • Alexis LOVES potatoes. So much that she put her cookie down to swipe the rest of my potato (after I had already shared plenty with her) 
  • I seriously need to hit up Lowes or Home Depot for some sand/rocks or something to put over the mud puddle that won't dry up. Honey loves to lay in it to keep cool but that makes it 100 times harder to let her in the house to enjoy the a/c. 

  • We've spent lots of time at the gym this week. It's in the middle of a park with lots of deer so we often spot the deer in the morning or evenings. Monday morning however we saw something a little different... an armadillo crossing the parking lot. It was quick so I wasn't able to get a great shot of it though. 
  • Abby and Micah are loving climbing the rock wall at the gym. Abby took a long break where she didn't want to but has started wanting to again now that Micah can climb. Micah is doing pretty well for being as tiny as he is and doesn't quite have the reach he needs for some parts of it. The staff is great with both of them but we joked it would be easy just to pull him up to the top quickly ha! 

  • We had our second to last Tuesday night ladies Bible study. Our baby class attendance has been low with only one non-teacher babe (and the other 3 teacher babes have their moms in or near by the class!) It's still fun though and we get to really play. Lexie was having a blast on the horse last night. 
  • This morning we attempted the free summer movie. When we got to the parking lot I was worried because it was packed however turns out they were playing it on 5 different screens so we were fine. Free movie + $3 kids packs equals a cheap fun movie date. The kids loved their popcorns and drinks. Lexie sat still-ish for the first 45 minutes while she ate her popcorn, then wiggled, played, tried to lay on the floor and was ready to leave about 30 minutes before the movie was over but we managed to stick it out. Micah told me he didn't really like the movie (Ice Age Continental Drift) but I couldn't tell that from watching him sit still and watch the movie! 


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Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Space Center Houston

Our 3rd stop on our Houston mini-vacay was NASA. (We spent time swimming and visited the Houston Museum of Natural Science on days 1 & 2) Some of our second cousins were excited to go there because they had heard about the Angry Birds Space exhibit there. I remembered enjoying Space Center Houston when we headed there for school field trips and with my mom while living in Houston.

First thing we saw entering the parking lot was the huge space shuttle that is now on the grounds. They were still fixing it up but it was still neat to see. With 8 kids it was impossible to get a shot with everyone. By the time I had let Alexis out the stroller, Abby was finished with the picture taking!

When we entered you could see the Angry Birds Space playground which the kids were very excited about. It looks huge - they even had a small section for toddlers. It was nice because they did have benches for parents to watch, along with video monitors so you could keep tabs on your littles. Though they weren't the highest quality and it was hard to figure out where each camera was in relation to the play structure but it was a nice thought!
The reason I was excited to bring my littles here was this - the alligators/reptile exhibit. If you've been around here, you know my littles LOVE alligators - if their Christmas gators weren't a big hint or their excitement over holding baby gators. So I thought they would love this! Unfortunately on the day we went the show schedule didn't include a gator show but they did see a few gators in the tanks.
They did have fun playing the space learning activities, as well as sat and enjoyed the simple science show that was put on.
They also enjoyed this little obstacle course.


My kids had a blast throughout the day and there was plenty to entertain them even though some of the history and science portions were over their heads a little. I'm glad we were able to head out there and that they enjoyed it! 

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