Sunday, September 30, 2007

The Tooth Fairy visits...

Caleb's tooth finally came out yesterday! It was just barely hanging on for days, but he wouldn't let Chris or I even get close to it. So, yesterday Caleb was making silly faces and noises to get Cole to laugh and his tooth literally just flew out of his mouth! He picked it up, brought it to me and said, "Mom, is this my tooth???" He was so excited! We had to make a special box for the tooth fairy - Caleb was concerned that his tooth might get lost under his pillow. Of course, mommy obliged. Caleb did the star punch and the glitter glue.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

30 Years in 30 Weeks - edition 4

1981. I'm about to turn 3 years old in this picture. Take note of this's going to follow me around for a LONG time. Seriously, I think I had this exact same hairstyle off and on until I graduated high school. One of my earliest memories is sitting on the countertop in the bathroom while Mom cut my bangs. I'm pretty sure that's how I learned to count. If I remember correctly, it was about 20 snips to trim my bangs. Man! I was a patient child indeed! I can't imagine getting Caleb or Cole (especially!) to sit still for that long.

Fast forward to December of 1981. Sorry for my state of undress in this picture, but I HAD to include it - it has Sherba in it!!! Sherba was my all-time favorite baby doll. She still lives upstairs at my mom's house. Don't tell anyone, but she went to college with me, too. I wasn't attached to her for that long, but my mom secretly snuck her in with some of my clothes that were already packed up. Sherba didn't come out to play much while living in San Marcos, but everytime I got a little homesick it made me feel better to see her. I very vividly remember getting in trouble for writing on Sherba one time (see the marks on her belly?). Mom made me give her a bath. However, I'm not sure if this picture was taken when I was in trouble though...I look pretty happy at the time. I was (am) a very sensitive child, so I'm sure I was bawling the whole time I had to bathe her...

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

My mom would have FREAKED!!!

Yes, that's a bird. And, yes, that bird is INSIDE my house. At 7:00 in the morning!!! If you know me, I don't normally like to wake up that early. But when you hear frantic fluttering over your head IN YOUR BEDROOM - you tend to wake up very fast!!! I'm sure we were a funny sight. Chris was off yesterday so he got up at around 7am. He went to the bathroom and when the toilet flushed, this bird starts freaking out and flew into our bedroom, over my head and found a "safe spot" between our dresser and the wall. I jumped out of bed thinking I was in the middle of a remake of the Alfred Hitchcock movie, "The Birds". Chris was trying to throw a towel over the bird in order to catch him. No luck - the bird took off for the living room. Our hallway/living room/entry way/dining room/kitchen/laundry is one big open flight area for the crazed bird - no doors - just open skies. We were swinging towels, brooms, shrieking - whatever we could do to get that thing out of the house. Poor bird even flew smack dab into the mirror on our mantel a few times. (Must have hurt, but looked pretty funny) Finally, Chris caught it in a towel and released it in our backyard. We think it came in through our chimney. Amazingly, we did all of that without waking up the boys. I've only found bird poop in two spots so far.

Speaking of poop...I think Cole managed to secretly eat another crayon last week. Evidently it was "marine blue" or some other pretty variation of blue-green. Very nice color choice. No, I didn't take a picture. You're welcome. :0)

This past weekend was an all-inclusive trip to Nana and Pop's house. I highly recommend it. Comfortable beds, delicious food and amazing kids programs. Seriously, we went to visit, pick up tables for my garage sale, and they watched the boys while I went to IGNITE training on Saturday. Saturday night was a bonus, because we got to meet up with the Reynolds/Ingersoll clan at Chuy's for Aunt Margaret's (AKA 21-year-old "Panchita" per Chuy's waitstaff) birthday dinner. YUM. It was so fun and Caleb really enjoyed spending some time with JR. Jan looks so cute with her twin-baby-belly! I can't believe we are going to have two more boys in the family!!! After dinner, the kids enjoyed some fun time at Chuck E. Cheese. It was a blast!!! Cole really liked riding in the Chuck E. car. Good times.

Last night, we went to "Main Event" (think older version of Chuck E. Cheese, but not quite Dave & Busters) for Andrew's birthday party. Caleb got to bowl for the first time. The bowling balls were still a bit heavy for him, but he managed to do just fine. They had a nice room set up for us and then the kids (and by "kids", I also mean the "Daddy" version) got to play in the game area and win some prizes. Two of Caleb's three "prizes" managed to break within five minutes of getting home. One of my former students from Creekside Intermediate was our "hostess" for the night. Here are a few pictures...

OH! One more exciting thing at our house!!! Caleb has his first loose tooth! I almost didn't believe him at first - but is really loose. He keeps saying, "Can you believe my tooth is loose???"

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

30 Years in 30 Weeks - edition 3

Yep, it's a 2-for-1 special today. You get my *bonus* edition and edition 3 on the same day. Lucky you!

So, here I am at my "Mickey Mouse" 2nd birthday party. I guess he was all the rage back then. Mickey Mouse party, I had a Mickey Mouse rocking chair, my favorite book was Mickey Mouse's picnic...I could go on and on. There are a few things that amaze me about this picture:

1. I still can't get over the hair. Kinda makes me glad I have boys and don't have to mess with combing and fixing hair all of the time.

2. It's a party for a two-year-old and the cake still looks good. I honestly don't see any visible signs of fingers being stuck in the icing, etc. I thought I did, but that is some sort of Mickey Mouse decoration on the sides of the cake.

3. That table has been around for a LONG time. Mom just stopped using it as a dining table sometime last year. Good furniture is awesome.

4. Mickey Mouse has really improved his image in the past 30 years!

Just for fun, here's one more picture of me. In this one, I'm almost 2 1/2. I must have been a pretty patient child, because I KNOW my hair doesn't naturally have those cute little curls at the end. I just can't imagine a two-year-old sitting still long enough to let their mother curl their hair. And put a clip in it. Don't you just want to pinch my fat little cheeks? And that pink dress! CUTE! Okay, so part of me is really sad that I won't ever have a little girl to dress up and do "cutesy" things to. It's okay, though. I may not want to play Power Ranger and I don't especially love playing the rough games that the boys play with Chris, but - do you know what I LOVE? When we play super-hero, I get to be "SUPER MOM". :0)

Monday, September 17, 2007

30 Years in 30 Weeks - *BONUS* Edition

Well, I've thought on and off about posting this special *bonus* edition to my blog. While looking through stacks of pictures to use, I found this one. I'm not 100% sure when it was taken, but judging by the length of my hair, I know that it was somewhere between my 1st and 2nd birthdays. So, it's only fitting that I do this *bonus* now. After much deliberation over what to say, I'm just going to do it. As a preface, let me say that I am a very emotional person (I cry during Disney movies, for Pete's sake). A lot of this post will be directed to my mom and's a lot of rambling about things I've always wanted to say, but can never verbalize. I also wanted to post this picture to prove to the world (or dozen people that might read this) that my dad DID have hair, once upon a time.

So, I honestly never remember a time when my parents were together. I think that's actually good, given the circumstances - I didn't have anything to "gauge" their relationship against. If someone were to quiz me, I don't know when they got a divorce or even why. Guess what? I don't want to know, either. That's their business. I personally don't think it's anyone's goal in life to have their marriage end. However, I DO think that sometimes it is the best option. I'm thankful that my parents are divorced for many reasons. Sounds crazy, I know. But maybe not.

Mom and Dad,

First of all, I guess I should say thank you for having me. I'm glad I'm here. LOL

Thank you for realizing (at some point) that your relationship just wasn't going to work.

I'm thankful that I didn't have to grow up in a home where one or both of you were unhappy.

I'm thankful that I didn't witness any fights (or was too young to remember).

Thank you for never talking badly about each other in front of me. I realize this may have been hard at times.

Thank you for moving on (and, in some cases, again and again - LOL). If you hadn't there are some pretty important people that wouldn't be in my life today....more specifically, Ben, Sarah, Lindsey, Shane and Sandy.

Thank you for accepting the "new lives" that you both went on to have. I truly feel like I have one, big happy family.

Most importantly, I wouldn't be the person I am today if all of this hadn't happened. And I'm pretty dang happy with the life I have.

I love you both!!!

Chef Caleb

Caleb can be a pretty big help in the kitchen sometimes. Most days, he's "little chef", while I get to be "big chef". However, Saturday night, it was his turn to be "big chef" for the first time. I found a fun recipe in a Kraft Food & Family magazine called "Volcano Meatballs". Of course, any conversation you have that includes the words "volcano" and "food", a boy is hooked. He did SO great and we were pleased that his dinner turned out delicious!!!

Here's Caleb rolling out the meatballs. He was a little hesitant at first, but once I assured him it was okay to get dirty when you cook, it was all good. He giggled the whole time!

Next, he stuffed the meatballs with mozzarella cheese cubes. The only hard part of this step was convincing him not to eat the cheese while he had raw meat on his hands. Not to worry, I can be pretty darn convincing at times! "Little Chef" Mommy got to put them in the oven.

Then, he coated each piece of bread with garlic butter for "Little Chef" Mommy to toast. YUM

And here is the finished product! Volcano Meatball Subs! We had salad to go with it, but that wasn't a very exciting picture.

Of course, we can't be in the kitchen without Cole, so here is a picture of what he did to "help out".

Friday, September 14, 2007

Random Weekly Update

Well, I haven't updated my blog with current happenings in a while, so I guess I should do that today...
Last week, I got the CUTEST trick-or-treat bags from Kelci (Crafty Mama). She makes the most adorable stuff!!! Several months ago, she sent me a diaper bag/tote that I absolutely LOVE, so I knew these bags for the boys would be "to die for"! She makes the cutest purses, too. One day, I'm going to buy one from her - I just can't make up my mind which one I like best! She buys the most delicious fabrics! Check out her Etsy store...the link is over there on the left hand side.

We spent last weekend with "Nana & Pop" since Chris and a few of his friends took off to College Station for the football game. (I always jump at the opportunity to have two extra set of hands to help out with the boys!) Cole has been practicing eating with real silverware, so I told him I would brag and show pictures to all 10 people that read my blog.

One of my highlights of the week was a "surprise" gift. The doorbell rang (rare occurrence) and I could see green foliage as I peeked out our window. Great. More flowers for Miss Early-20-Perma-Tan-Hooters-Girl-Neighbor-Chick (some of you may remember the roses delivered to MY house for Valentines Day for HER). BUT NO!!! IT WAS FOR ME!!! I got this gorgeous plant from Chris' store as a Thank You gift. See, I made some (more) diaper cakes for their "Baby Days" event last week. Of course, they were the cutest cakes I've made to date and I forgot to take a picture of them. You'll just have to believe me. But, here's my pretty plant. You'll probably be reading its obituary soon - I really don't have a green thumb.

The rest of the week was spent convincing Cole to NOT take his clothes/diaper off, going through storage boxes for the garage sale I desperately need to have soon, listening to Caleb's ENDLESS chatter and watching the weather reports as Tropical Storm/Hurricane Humberto approached Galveston. Supposedly, we were to get LOTS of rain from this slow moving storm starting Thursday morning. Here's what we really got:

Thank God! I wasn't really looking forward to all of that rain (and the influx of mosquitoes that would inevitably follow). I've got "Girls Day" with my girlfriends on Sunday - soooo ready for that. So, you've officially been updated on my exciting life. Oh, I'm thinking about adding a "bonus edition" to my 30 in 30 series this weekend...stay tuned.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

30 Years in 30 Weeks - edition 2

Yay! I don't look like I have a crazy monkey on my head anymore! LOL So, here I am at age 1 - or close to it. Looking at this picture, I can definitely see some similarities in Caleb's baby pictures....maybe even a little bit like Cole, too. Since I really didn't have much to say as far as memories, I've asked my mom to be my "guest blogger" for the week. Here's what she had to say:

The first year of life is filled with many milestones, rolling over, crawling, smiling, standing up and walking. This photo of Kristi was taken when she was about 11 months old, you will notice her cute smiling face hasn’t changed much from her earlier photos posted on this site. This picture was taken at Mimi and PamPam’s house in Huntsville. I am confident that her smiling face is evidence of all the love that she was showered with during her first few months of life. When she was only six weeks old I returned to college to finish my last year. I vividly remember the first day I took Kristi to stay with Mimi and PamPam (they were her caregivers while I was in class). Kristi had colic during the first few weeks of life and Mimi assured me that it was because I was a nervous new mother (and she was probably right!). I took Kristi into the house and Mimi was still in her bedroom, she told PamPam—“Tell Lu to bring her (Kristi) in here to me, she can sleep beside me in my bed” and Mimi proceeded to cuddle Kristi back to sleep. Oh for the loving touch of a very special great grandmother, Kristi’s colic ended when I resumed attending class! You know it was thanks to all that special love she received from two very special, now departed ladies—Mimi and PamPam. Kristi’s smiling face today still reflects that special love.

With tears of joy and tremendous motherly love----Mom

Thank you, Mom! Now I'm crying...

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

We will always remember...

Friday, September 7, 2007

And Cole is "handy", too!


1. Find red nails
2. Place said nails into pre-drilled holes
3. Squeal with delight and clap for yourself
4. Take red nails out
5. Repeat....over and over and over again

So, Cole has really taken to playing with this workbench that my dad and Sandy bought for Caleb several birthdays ago. It has come out from hiding and is currently taking residence in our living room.

Look at what I did!!!

I found a neat storage idea from another blog I read from time to time (Markie's Mom on the left side, if you are interested) and decided to make a scaled-down version for myself. Chris and Caleb took a field trip to Home Depot yesterday and found me the pre-cut pieces of sheet metal. I tacked them up on the wall with small nails. The canisters are Wilton favor boxes with a small piece of sticky magnet on the back. I still need to get some more of the canisters to add my buttons and some more flowers, but that can wait for another day. Now, I have all of my small embellishments sorted by color and hanging next to my desk, rather than in a box. I think it will make me use up more of my stuff since it is more visible. Also, it's shiny and colorful - who doesn't like to look at pretty things? Do you like?

PS - don't be envious of my beautiful wallpaper. It's compliments of our home's previous owner. Yes, we've lived here over 5 years and it has still survived. One day, people, one WILL come down. Oh - and the KRG monogram magnet is not something special I had made just for me - it was the "save the date" for my cousin's wedding and I just trimmed it down since the wedding was in June. :0)

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

For the MOM's out there...

My mom sent me this in an email the other day. Like any other "forward", it took me a while to get around to reading it. I'm glad I did. I found myself nodding in agreement as I read it. I love being a mother, but I'll also be the first to say that it is the hardest JOB I've ever had. I don't think we give ourselves (as parents) the credit we deserve. Here's to all of the "invisible" moms - and dads for that matter!

I'm invisible.

It all began to make sense, the blank stares, the lack of response, the way one of the kids will walk into the room while I'm on the phone and ask to be taken to the store. Inside I'm thinking, "Can't you see I'm on the phone?" Obviously not. No one can see if I'm on the phone, or cooking, or sweeping the floor, or even standing on my head in the corner, because no one can see me at all. I'm invisible. Some days I am only a pair of hands, nothing more: Can you fix this? Can you tie this? Can you open this? Some days I'm not a pair of hands; I'm not even a human being. I'm a clock to ask, "What time is it?" I'm a satellite guide to answer, "What number is the Disney Channel?" I'm a car to order, "Right around 5:30, please."

I was certain that these were the hands that once held books and the eyes that studied history and the mind that graduated summa cum laude -but now they had disappeared into the peanut butter, never to be seen again. She's going, she's going, she's gone!

One night, a group of us were having dinner, celebrating the return of a friend from England. Janice had just gotten back from a fabulous trip, and she was going on and on about the hotel she stayed in. I was sitting there, looking around at the others all put together so well. It was hard not to compare and feel sorry for myself as I looked down at my out-of-style dress; it was the only thing I could find that was clean. My unwashed hair was pulled up in a hair clip and I was afraid I could actually smell peanut butter in it. I was feeling pretty pathetic, when Janice turned to me with a beautifully wrapped package, and said, "I brought you this." It was a book on the great cathedrals of Europe . I wasn't exactly sure why she'd given it to me until I read her inscription: "To Charlotte, with admiration for the greatness of what you are building when no one sees."

In the days ahead I would read - no, devour - the book. And I would discover what would become for me, four life-changing truths, afterwhich I could pattern my work: No one can say who built the great cathedrals - we have no record of their names. These builders gave their whole lives for a work they would never see finished. They made great sacrifices and expected no credit. The passion of their building was fueled by their faith that the eyes of God saw everything. A legendary story in the book told of a rich man who came to visit the cathedral while it was being built, and he saw a workman carving a tiny bird on the inside of a beam. He was puzzled and asked the man, "Why are you spending so much time carving that bird into a beam that will be covered by the roof? No one will ever see it." And the workman replied, "Because God sees." I closed the book, feeling the missing piece fall into place. It was almost as if I heard God whispering to me, "I see you, Charlotte. I see the sacrifices you make every day, even when noone around you does. No act of kindness you've done, no sequin you've sewn on, no cupcake you've baked, is too small for me to notice and smile over. You are building a great cathedral, but you can't see right now what it will become."

At times, my invisibility feels like an affliction. But it is not a disease that is erasing my life. It is the cure for the disease of my own self-centeredness. It is the antidote to my strong, stubborn pride. I keep the right perspective when I see myself as a great builder. As one of the people who show up at a job that they will never see finished, to work on something that their name will never be on. The writer of the book went so far as to say that no cathedrals could ever be built in our lifetime because there are so few people willing to sacrifice to that degree. When I really think about it, I don't want my son to tell the friend he's bringing home from college for Thanksgiving, "My mom gets up at 4 in the morning and bakes homemade pies, and then she hand bastes a turkey for three hours and presses all the linens for the table." That would mean I'd built a shrine or a monument to myself. I just want him to want to come home. And then, if there is anything more to say to his friend, to add, "You're gonna love it there."

As mothers, we are building great cathedrals. We cannot be seen if we're doing it right. And one day, it is very possible that the world will marvel, not only at what we have built, but at the beauty that has been added to the world by the sacrifices of invisible women.

Great Job, MOM

Monday, September 3, 2007

30 Years in 30 Weeks - edition 1

Alrighty, y' it is! I know there has been so much anticipation leading up to this countdown to my 30th birthday. I can tell from the quiet chirping of crickets in the background.

Here I Kristi at one month old. Why are old pictures always yellowish? Did they discolor? Anyway...
Since I obviously don't have any memories of being this young, I'll just ramble on about the pictures. When I look at this first picture, I have this voice in my head that kinda sounds like Chandler Bing from FRIENDS that says, "Could you HAVE any more hair?" Seriously, I was born with a bunch. I love that my mom took the time to try to coerce the unruly mess into a cute little curl on top of my head. Probably the only time in history that my hair actually held a curl. I look pretty happy to be having my picture made, right?
And, I couldn't just choose one picture for my first year, so I had to include this one. This is me and my cousin, Kelli. I was roughly 3 months old in this picture, so I guess Kelli was 8 months old. No, I'm not that cute, smooth-haired baby. I'm the one with the Chia Pet on top of my head. Is it likely that girls start having an inferiority complex at such a young age? If so, then it's entirely possible that the laughing at my hair/chubby arms and legs that was inevitably going on had some impact on my self-esteem in future years. I kid! Still, I am still amazed that my hair was so incredibly dark as an infant.
Stay week Baby Kristi turns 1!!!

A few cards

Here are a few cards I've made recently. This first card was the one I made for Chris' birthday. Of course, I had to add some sparkly stuff to the heart and "enjoy your day" stamps, and Caleb thought it needed the "boyish" screw brads. So here you have it. I have such a hard time with "masculine" cards, but, like a good husband, he told me that it was really nice...

The next two are for some upcoming birthdays, but have yet to be sent. Sorry the scans on them are crooked - I promise they are straight in real life! I feel pretty confident that the recipients will not look at my blog, so it's okay. Not my best work ever, but I do like them. If you can't see on the brown card, there is a tone-on-tone paisley print on the yellow panel.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Public Service Announcement for Toddlers

Events of the past few days have inspired me to write the following PSA for Toddlers:

Dear Sweet Angel Child (Cole):

I fully realize that part of the childhood experience is to explore and discover new things. It is very important and will help you grow into a well-rounded, inquisitive genius-like adult. However, I feel it is important to let you know of a few basic rules.

  1. Crayons are not made to be consumed by the human body. Yes, they are labeled as non-toxic, but just because it is called "Granny Smith Apple", the green crayon WILL NOT taste like one. The same rule also applies to crayons given with child menus at restaurants. Just because we are there to eat food and the crayons are on the table, you should not try to ingest them.
  2. Same rule applies for napkins, your brother's toys and coins (remember the ER trip for the penny?).
  3. Although it is fun and new to you, please do not take your diaper off and examine its contents. ESPECIALLY if it is poopy and your mother is doing something else at the time.
  4. Screeching and screaming may sound funny to you and your big brother may even laugh, but it is not the only form of communication you possess. I know it's hard to learn words and even harder to get a word in edge-wise with your "vocal" older brother, but really, pointing and grunting will get the job done, too.
  5. One last rule for today. Do not kiss animals in foreign countries. I don't specifically have experience with this, but your Aunt Sarah told me and it sounded like good information to know with two boys.

I hope you will remember these rules in the days and years to come. I'm sure as you get older, there will be countless other "guidelines" to follow, but that is all for today. Oh, I forgot one more. I REALLY don't like objects thrown in the house...especially in the direction of breakable objects (my glass collection or pictures hanging on the wall). AHEM...Chris and Caleb, this applies to you, too.

Your loving mother

So, crayons are made in China, but they are lead-free, right???