Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Eve Cookies

Sweet Sisters, right before heading to Christmas Eve service at church... which was AMAZING as always.  So thankful for our wonderful church!
For the first time in our house, Reagan wanted to leave cookies for Santa.  We baked and decorated after church, ate a few, then Reagan got the Big Guy's plate all ready.
 She was so excited about this... had to have it just right.
 Enter Brooklyn.
 Took several big ole bites!
 As David is ROLLING and I am trying so hard (unsuccessfully) not to laugh, I am having her put it down... reminding her that "these are Santa's; yours are already in your tummy."
 Um, yeah, don't think she liked this plan.
Merry Christmas to all, and to all a Good Night!! 

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Party Hardy

I have over 1500 Disney World pictures to tackle.
Best job ever.  :)
So before that madness begins, and all the Christmas pictures, guess I should finish up Brooklyn's birthday!!!  For the record, if you can't tell, our December has been AMAZING.
Since we left for Disney on B's birthday, we had her party the weekend before with just family and our small group friends.  She wanted a Cat in the Hat party, and it was fun for me to plan!  She also wanted it at ChuckECheese, and my bank account so didn't.  Thus, we went and played there for an hour beforehand with everyone that could make it.  Then, back to our house for lunch and party.  It was way fun.
Before everyone arrived, I had to take some pictures of the food and decor... so that hopefully someday my children will validate me and be thankful for all the party planning.
Also for the record, it is impossible to find blue cotton candy at the store for the tops of cupcakes when a birthday is in December.  It is no where to be found.  So, the Thing 1 and Thing 2 cupcakes had no hair.  But the kids didn't seem to care...

 Amber, thanks SO much for the idea of party favors!  They were a hit.  Crayon rolls for the littles, marker rolls for the "bigger" kids.

 Amie, recognize those tissue paper poms?!  I put them to good use.
 Excited little Bday Girl... and some running.  I absolutely LOVE the ponytails-in-motion.  Her shirt (which I didn't get an official picture of her wearing that day... boo) has Thing 1 and Thing 2... says "Wait 'til you see my NEXT trick!"  SO perfect for our little rockstar!!!  David and I bought it for her in Florida last summer, having no idea this would be her party theme.  Perfect.  :)

 She sat with her hands like this for the entire time that we sang to her.  :)
 Yep, the kids liked the red velvet cupcakes even without the blue hair.

 Even baby Etta!!

 Thank you hugs to Sister.
 Can you tell she had A LOT of help opening her presents?!

 We gave her this tent and new pillow cases for her new big girl bed.  The tent helps her stay in and on the bed... she loves it and it gives me comfort for getting her out of her crib.  Win win.  Happy girl!

Friday, December 09, 2011

Can't Believe She's THREE!

I am pretty sure it was... um... yesterday that we brought her home from the hospital.  Seriously.
How all of the sudden my BABY is turning THREE is beyond me. 
It has been an amazing third-year-in-the-life-of-Brooklyn, one where I sit back and look at the last twelve months and just MARVEL.  Actually, the last 36 months.  God is carrying His Good Work on to completion everyday with her, and it is my absolutely privilege to watch and be a part of it.  Truly!
A year ago, Brooklyn could speak one syllable.  ONE.  Six months ago, she started forming more and more syllables.  Today, she talks in full paragraphs.  Take THAT, you silly appraxia!  (she does still sign occasionally.  I sign TO her a lot, just so she'll remember it.)  Last Monday, she officially graduated from speech therapy... which leave us THERAPY-FREE.  Unreal!  I don't think I ever posted this: back in October, she had her official testing for PPCD, the Preschool Program for Children with Disabilities, with the school district here. (Since she was two months old, she has been in a therapy program called Early Childhood Intervention, or ECI.  At age three, kids age-out of ECI into PPCD.)  Kids like Brooklyn with spina bifida or other special needs get to go to preschool and receive therapies at the same time.  BUT NOT MY BROOKIE!  Her testing was over 2 hours, and she tested at age level or above in ALL categories... including gross-motor skills and speech!!!  And the only thing that counted against her in gross-motor was that she has to have the braces to keep her legs straight.  :)  The testing coordinator came up to me afterwards and said, "Well, Mom, we won't be seeing you again here... she rocked it."  Music to my ears.  So, she will keep going to preschool she loves, and should start Kindergarten in 2 1/2 years just like every other kid her age!
Potty training is something we aren't ready to tackle, but maybe this summer.  She does recognize that her peers are starting to go potty, so she asks to "potty" a lot . Thankfully that can mean sit on the seat, fully-clothed, and she is thrilled with it!  She'll tell her teachers when she's "done" and goes about her day.  :)  As for now, it doesn't seem to bother her one bit that she still wears diapers, so we'll stick with what works for awhile.  This may prove to be her biggest challenge eventually, but we'll see when the time comes. 
In August, we ditched the pacifier for sleeping.  This past week, we moved B into her big girl bed.  She sleeps in a princess tent, just like sister, that she got for her birthday (for this purpose!).  She still loves her Purple, and she also has a special place in her heart for Elephant and Minnie.  Her favorite food, besides ice cream and cake, is fruit of ANY kind.  Her favorite song is Blues Skies And Rainbows, but she loves to sing just about anything (except when I ask her to on command!).  She is proving to be quite the little comedian... I think she definitely has her Daddy's quick wit.  She absolutely LOVES making people laugh, and she's darn good at it.  She's sharp as a tack and never misses a THING, plus, at three, is really starting to try my patience for the first time ever.  :)  I'm totally ok with it, it's age appropriate.... meaning her little brain is working like it should and she's right on track!  The doc says to remind myself that when she ACTS like a two/three year old, to be GLAD.  I'm working on it.  But it is hard to be frustrated for long since she knows exactly how to make me smile again.  :)
I'm reminded every single day that God has huge plans for our Brooklyn Hope.  Shoot, the doctors thought she would never BE here, and just look at her!  BIG PLANS!  She is pure joy, delight, and Life personified, and I am so blessed to be her Mommy.  She's changed me, the way I look at the world.  And I'm better in countless ways because of her.
I love you to bits, Doodle Bug.
Happy Birthday!
Her third year in pictures:
January, just starting walking
 March, signing "strawberry" at the patch
 September, her first day ever of school

 December, in her new bed
Brooklyn's continued story is your story too, if you are reading this.  You've prayed for her, blessed her beyond measure.  Thank you for being a part of who she is becoming.
Happy Birthday, sweet baby girl!

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Caddo Thanksgiving 2011

It was a Caddo year for Thanksgiving for us, and it was absolutely fabulous.  The weather was PERFECT, the kids played so well together, the food was good, and our teams won by field goals!  All in all, greatness.
My parents have put this trailer out there for us to stay in when we go.  Here are the girls playing on Reagan's bunk the first night we arrived.  We stay in the lap of luxury!  I love this picture.
 Brooklyn got to do LOTS of bonding with lots of folks, especially Adam.  She and Uncle Amoo had some great times together... many of them out on the "bridge."
 Corbin and Brady. :)
 Can't hardly see it, but B is holding a "drum" stick and playing her "drums."
 Brady was just chillin' here by himself for a bit, looking cute.  :)  I think he got annoyed at me, though, for snapping his picture over and over! 
 The lake was the lowest anyone had ever seen.  The kids LOVED it, though.  They had all this extra room to play in, out amongst the trees that are usually in water.  Made their own little "clubhouse" next to this big one.  It was their rubber-boots paradise.  ;)
 More drums.  Sitting down this time.
 And showing off her mad skills to her drummer-uncle.
 Some of the big kids out at the "clubhouse."  For those that know Caddo, I was standing next to the fish sink on the pier when I took this photo, facing the left.  All dry land.  So weird.
 The "club" was the Tomboy Frog Club (?).  There were oaths that had to be said to join, as well as hold a baby frog in your hands for 30 or so seconds.  Here, Thibaut is being sworn in!!
 Silly Cason!  Those McAdams boys were not fans of my camera.
 I. Love. This. One.  Crazy kids.
Adley, Reagan, Abby, Corbin, Cason, and Emma
 Reagan talked her Daddy into taking off the training wheels of the bike so she could give it a whirl.  The ground there is CERTAINLY not the best for learning to ride, but she gave it some good tries!  Not quite ready yet, though.  It was fun regardless!!  Of course, the tongue sticks out the whole time...
 Sweet Adley anticipating a Brooklyn-hug...
 Brady, however, TOTALLY learned how to ride without training wheels while we were there!!!
 FUN!!!!  Thanks, Aunt Missy!!!!

 Adam's turn helping out.  Sucka.  :)  I love how she is totally posing for my camera and Adam is doing all the work!
 Corbin on the ramp.  Surely I caught this AFTER he got lots of air.
 Adley's turn on the big bike.  There was lots of bike time.
 I guess Adley was trying to get Brooklyn into the club.  I can't BELIEVE she talked her into holding that frog in her hands!  If you see this one up close, you can tell Brook wasn't a fan... but she was trying to be brave!
 Adley handing out frogs all around...
 The Big Boys and a game of washers.  There was TONS of laughter during this game... not sure what about, but it was fun to hear.
 Lowe Ann but and boiled a bunch of cypress knees (this whole post sounds so redneck... I love it!) for all the kids.  Reagan REALLY got into peeling hers.  She loves that thing... her Caddo souvenir.

 What was I saying about redneck?!  After it warmed up a bit... I ventured out towards the clubhouse to find my child looking like this:
 When Ad saw my camera, she hit this pose and said "Did you get my good side?!!"  I was laughing so hard, I can't believe this picture is in focus!

 Action shot!  There was no hook on her line, just a weight.  She had no idea.  Works great for me!
 These girls had a blast together.  Makes me so happy.
 Beautiful Adley.
 She never ceases to amaze me... plays so good with ALL the kids.  (although she evidently was the instigator of the "tinkle tree!"  Way too reminiscent of when we were little!!)  Here she is hanging out with Brady.
 Then, Brady fell from his seat like this!  And she bailed!  I was so happy to get it on camera!!  He was laughing SO HARD!
 Granna leading a fantastic game of Simon Says by the fire that night.  So funny!! Even Brooklyn played, and seemed to really get it.

Nothing like a good East Texas Lake Thanksgiving!
So glad my girls get to grow up with these memories!