Tuesday, August 26, 2008


We're driving up to church in silence this morning. And all of a sudden I hear:

"Mama, you're a genius!"

Me: Thanks, A! Why do you think that?
A: Because I like you. And you're my special Mama.

I melted!

Monday, August 25, 2008

First Days

Our first day went smoothly. E was easy to get up and excited to get to school. After she got dressed, she told me, "I'm sorry, Mama, I know you didn't want me to grow up, but I'm officially a First Grader!" Cute!
After getting over the disappointment of not riding the bus, she sucked it up and we all loaded in the car to take her to school. Miss A was still half asleep. Probably hadn't said one word-was just going through the motions, and barely that.
When we got to the school parked, E hops out of the car and says, "OK, I know where my class is, I can go by myself!"
Um, NO!
I told her we were walking her to class, and taking a few pictures, PERIOD! What's the deal?? :)
She unloaded the rest of her supplies and got to work on an assignment of writing a sentence about something she did over the summer, then drawing a picture to go along with it.
She chose to write about Chalk Bluff, and later told me she drew a picture of her (70something year old) Granddad swinging from the rope that hung from the bluff! ??? This never happened!! How funny.
After school she said her day was "Great. But we only did 2 crafts, and just listened to a lot, lot, lot, lot of rules." Ha!

Here are the few pics I snapped...seeing how I wasn't allowed to linger...!

Miss A somehow made it home from my workday awake...barely. She had just dozed off as we turned the corner to our street, but I made her wake up when we got out of the car.
She did surprisingly well for most of the evening. She brought ALL of the kitchen stuff in the family room and fed me most of it!

Around 6:30 she asked to watch one of her DVDs from the library, so I set it up to start. After 5 or 6 minutes I realized it was stuck on the menu, just playing the little theme song over and over again, so I went over and pushed the 'start' button.
She. Flipped. Out.
Big time.
She started crying, telling me she wanted to hear the song (from the menu). And kept crying. And crying. After about 15 minutes I finally went to try to comfort her, knowing she was just exhausted and not making any sense. I held her and offered a snack, some juice, water...even offered to restart the "movie" (menu!). Nothing helped. She kept crying. For another 15 minutes! I tried plain asking her to tell me what she wanted..."I don't want ANYFING!" was all I got.
So I just held her, and eventually the cries slowed and slowed, and the breathing settled...and she was sound asleep!
I carried her to bed just after 7. Let's hope she sleeps through the night!

Well, we made it through day 1. Anyone got a count on how many to go?? :)

Sunday, August 24, 2008


I put the girls to bed at 8:30 and didn't hear one peep. That never happens! Miss E, of course, was anxious to get to sleep, knowing that tomorrow is her "First Day of 1st Grade!!"
Miss A, I was just sure, was going to fight the early-ish bedtime. She'd been staying up later than that lately, but, she would get all wound up right before bedtime due to some late night Daddy time. Today, we had Daddy all day. It was a very relaxing day. We played board games and hide-and-seek (I had the winning hiding spot!), read books and had our traditional day before school fried fish and shrimp dinner. E's choice, of course! She also chose her first day outfit. I gave in. I defeatedly hung up MY choice-an adorable, hot pink one-piece shorts/jumper type suit, and laid out HER choice, some cute jean shorts and a new Hannah Montana shirt. Oh well, chose my battles, right?

No exciting news here...I just hadn't gotten around to posting any of our "countdown" days like I had planned. Thought I'd check in and wish all our of first grade friends a happy first day!
I'm off to bed-it's gonna be an early morning! And a long week. Miss A and I will be at the preschool every day this week. This will be a big adjustment for her too. She is excited, though. She told me today she hopes they have a hamster in her room, and she hopes her teacher can do a forward roll! I'll update on our findings! :)
Have a great week, everyone!! Happy School Year!

Monday, August 18, 2008

In the Jungle, the Mighty Jungle!

We had a blast today at a new place called Jungle Java! It's a neat indoor play place, kind of like a McD's playscape on steroids. There were tunnels and bridges, over sized punching bags that swung over walkways, slides, a little zip line, big rubber "rollers" to slide through, vertically or horizontally....and much more! The girls had a blast and I mostly sat and visited w/other Moms! We were there for almost 3 hours. How fun!

Here's Miss E just hangin' around on a big swinging medicine ball.

And this is right before I got smacked with the punching bag...!

And the zip line!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

The Good, the Bad, and the Incredibly Informative!

I can walk into and completely around the grocery store without ever noticing a sign, and ad, or display stand. I know what I'm there for, and I go after it. Usually not straying...too much. :)
Miss E walks beside me, the entire time, reading. Reading the sign in the front window. "HEB has higher standards, and lower prices!"
Reading the labels as I compare cleaning products. "This one is new and improved!"
The incentives on the detergent bottles. "That one has 20 percent more!"
And the magazine covers while we're waiting in line. "Miley Cyrus' Secret Life! Can I get that one? It's for kids!"
Um, not it's not.
It cracks me up!
Yes, it's a great thing that she is such an advanced reader. While I was helping Miss A get ready for bed last night, Miss E stayed curled up on the couch and read 4 chapters of a Magic Treehouse book.
But Oh My Goodness! It makes it harder to shop, to drive down the road, even to quickly surf the web with her over my shoulder.
We were waiting at a car place yesterday for my inspection, and she picked up a Redbook and was flipping through it. I saw a couple of the article titles on the cover and took it away quick!
It's neat to see her world growing by leaps and bounds. She is very excited for 1st grade. Told me today that she expects to have "boxes" of homework.
We'll see. :)
Oh-and little Miss A-we were talking about kites this evening and I asked her what letter kite started with. She thought for a loooooong time. Surprised me. And proudly said, "K"!

My Summer To Do List!

My life is full of lists...I list what I'd like to make for dinner next week, what activities we have coming up, what food items we are currently in need of, wish lists, chore lists, to do lists, bills and budget lists, etc. etc.

Thanks to a tip from friend M, I found a new list, that I love! My Summer To Do List.
M stumbled across this list on one of my new favorite sites, Crumbs In My Couch. I love this mom's ideas and approach to hands on learning!

So, I've decided to start my own list. Better late than never! Mine will include things we have done this summer that I would like to do again next year, things we didn't get to do this summer that I want to put in plans for next year, and ideas that I've found from other moms blogs that I love and want to try. It will include ideas from as small as an at home craft to as big as a (small) family vacation!
(and I got a head start and took a lot from the 'Crumbs' Mom. Why not?!)Enjoy!

The Keas Kid's Summer To Do List!

1. Build a sand castle
2. Have a picnic
3. Run in the sprinklers
4. Body paint (kind of like finger paint gone wild!)
5. Plant flowers
6. Hike to the dinosaur tracks
7. Lay in the grass and find shapes in the clouds
8. Make smores by campfire
9. Make a nature box
10. Make an ice treasure
11. Make homemade ice cream
12. and homemade Popsicles!
13. Go to the Zoo
14. Blow BIG bubbles!
15. Play hide and seek at night with flashlights
16. Make a treasure map and hunt for treasure
17. Play hopscotch
18. Go to an amusement/water park
19. Go camping!
20. Paint the fence
21. Have a snow day
22. Jump on the tramp w/sprinkler under!
23. Visit the Children's Art Park
24. Attend free movies!
25. Make a fort and sleep in it!
26. Make our own stepping stone
27. Go to the Botanical Gardens
28. Ride the Zilker Zephyr
29. See a play or musical
30. Fly a kite
31. Take a listening walk

...more to come...this is a good start for just banging out ideas. We'll see how much I can cross off in the next week! Some we've already done, of course!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Out of the Mouths...

Over the weekend we made one last trip to Graham, TX. The girls had a blast at their cousin's pool party, got in a nice visit with Nana and Pops, and enjoyed some good quality play time and some yummy pizza.
You would THINK after a fun filled evening like this, they would be ready to crash, right???
Apparently, WRONG!

When it came time for bed, we were comfortable enough, with Miss E on the top bunk and Miss A and I on the bottom. And they weren't overly hyper/wild/rowdy.
Just not tired!
Miss E was tossing and turning, hanging her hands over the edge of the bed, and commenting or questioning on the most random things.
For over an hour!
I finally got up, took Miss A potty again, gave a rather stern whispered warning (the baby was asleep right next door) threatened something or someone I'm sure, and turned my back, praying for peace and quiet!
Miss E quickly settled down.

Miss A, on the other hand, was still going strong. She was talking to her stuffed animals, playing with her shadow, putting her feet up on the wall, and constantly moving back and forth from the foot to the head of the bed.

I was sooooo tired and just wanted to sleep!! SO, when she saw something on the floor (my phone, I think) and was determined to get it, ignoring my numerous warnings to Be Still! Be Quiet! Go to SLEEP!....I popped her quickly on the rear.
I wanted to get her attention. And it worked!

She whipped around and told me off!

And so was born my newest IQ.

"Don't you spank my bottom, Mama!"
...pause for about three beats...

"Do you HEAR ME!?!"

a HUGE dramatic sigh, a huffy, puffy, elaborate rollover so her back was to me, and finishes with:

"You gotta be Kidding Me!"

I. Was. Dying!
It was all I could do to contain myself! I was shaking, I was laughing so hard. There was no way I could even attempt a response.

I wonder where she's heard this before?? :)

Rock On, My Little Hippie Chick!

Friday, August 8, 2008


I know I have a long road ahead of me full of little obsessions as the girls grow. I know they'll come and go, and I'm TRYING to take the latest with a grain of salt.

Oh. My. Goodness.

It's hard!

What's the problem?? Oh, let me tell you.
I have to listen to lengthy conversations about the newest websites, the latest addition to her EcoPet collection (some kind of eco-friendly link on the PBS website where kids can create their own animal, environment, etc.), what shade of eyeshadow she put on the dress up Barbie AND I have to review and approve each and every e-story submission. Because, one of these times, it's "gonna be on TV, Mom!!"

But all this pales in comparison to the Webkins. Please save me from the Webkins. I won't go into detail on this one, but let me just tell you...when she works it into the dinnertime prayer....
Oh yeah.

Tonight-"and Dear God, thank you for letting my Daddy have lots of work, so he can save money to buy me a Webkins."

I can't even imagine the days to come of shopping, cell phones, and BOYS!! Oh My!
If I don't laugh, I'll cry....!


I have had several conversations lately about how I'm noticing changes in my little Miss A. She's finally maturing a bit and becoming such a sweet little girl.

Now, she still has her moments...and has already had some this morning...but they are fewer are farther between. And even less when not aggravated by a certain big sister. :)

She has been initiating play so much more now. She wants to dress up, play with dolls and animals, she plays with imaginary friends, she dances and sings, and says the sweetest things to me ("Mama, I like you!") when I play with her!
Right now she is walking around telling us, "My name is Ms. Jennifer." "Come to my class"! She's carrying around some animal matching cards as her 'school work', telling us we have to find the sheep/camel/cow etc.

The other day, after I'd had a VERY long and sleepless night, I put a movie on in the afternoon thinking I would catch a nap on the couch while she watched. She had other ideas. She had NO interest in watching a movie. She wanted to PLAY!
She wanted to play babies, and tried tucking them in with me on the couch. I tried to tell her I didn't feel well, and needed to rest. I was so out of it I must have been dozing in and out during her attempts to rouse me. One time I realized she was repeating over and over, "Give me your arm. Mama, give me your arm. Let me have your arm...".
She had gone to get her doctor kit and was trying to take my blood pressure!! The next thing I new I had an otoscope stuck in my eye. LOL!
I didn't have the heart to lay there any longer. I put some more water through the coffee maker and eventually came around.

Well, I've gone way off track in this post. I thought I'd get on real quick and make a note about how I found her in bed last night. Sorry!
For a couple of years now, Miss a has been a bit obsessive about taking things to bed with her. Not always an animal or doll, just anything she happens to be attached to for the day. Or week. Or month! Sometimes it's one certain thing for a month or more. After one visit to Nana and Pop's house, Miss A came home with a goody bag. Yes, like kids give away at their bday parties. This one had a few trinket toys and some candy, etc. She carried this EVERYWHERE, AND slept with it for months. She never once opened it. I did not have to worry about her getting into the candy over night, or ever, actually. She just wanted to have it with her.
Anyway, this little idiosyncrasy has evolved a bit, and sometimes she'll just grab random things on the way to bed. (the day of playing doctor on me, she slept with the big, chunky doctor kit case!)
She almost always wants to put our bedtime story book under her pillow, and usually has several stuffies in with her.
Last night was no different. She had 3 or 4 animals and the book, I think, when I left her in bed. She had to tell me several things after laying down, ask for something to eat/drink, and ask questions about our activities the next day....but she stayed in bed. So, we're getting better.

I went in to get her a couple of hours later and almost laughed out loud at what I saw! She was snuggled up with a women's softball, a Cake Mix Magic cookbook, and about six large wooden puzzles pieces!

I guess she got a little lonely and went rummaging around her room before settling in! I was shocked that she did this on her own and didn't bother me about it. Usually, if she even drops an animal off the side of her bed, she'll yell for me to come and get it.
I wanted so badly to take a picture. Wish I had. It was so cute!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Ketchin' Up.

I wanted to keep track of our last days of the summer...and have fallen behind already! Here's the Cliff Notes version so far.

Friday, August 1-ACM. Some details below.

Saturday, August 2-Kids workshop at Home Depot. Not one of my favorite crafts. A flag holder with a Home Depot sticker and an Olympics sticker for the flag. Buy hey, it was some free fun, we enjoyed putting them together, painted on them after we got home, and now they have mysteriously disappeared....

Sunday, August 3-A day at home. Daddy was home, and Grammy came over to watch the races. Played lots of board games later and had Freezer Pops for dessert!

Monday, August 4-playdate at J's house. Fun with yarn!

We also played a new game called Twister Scram! LOTS of fun-I like this one. I may have to put it on our wish list!

Tuesday, August 5-Hosted A's Science Kids group. We experimented with mixing primary colors! The kids colored in some parts of a coffee filter with red, blue, and yellow markers. Then painted on water and watched them bleed together, creating the secondary colors (orange, green, and purple!). This was a big hit.
Then they each got to mix up their own bowl of Goo. AND decide what color it would be! I had red, blue, and yellow food coloring and each kiddo chose their own color combination to dye the Goo. The Goo was a HUGE hit! And a HUGE mess! But it cleaned up super, super easily. Everyone played well together and had a big time. On the way out, each child got to take home a Ziploc baggie with two ice cubes, each one a different primary color. As the cubes melted together, they too created a secondary color. Such fun!
Some pics from the fun:

The whole gang-mixing primary colors.

The beginnings of Miss A's masterpiece...and the drip down her arm that I did NOT see through the camera...!

Checking out her buddy's work.

Oh, the girls and I made Puppy Chow later.

This totally looks like an ad for the store brand.
But, Yum and double Yum!

Wednesday, August 6-The last free movie of the summer. We went with our buds and saw Doogal.

Again, not my favorite, but I guess it's always neat to see a "big" movie, as Miss A calls it. We roamed around the mall a bit afterwards and hit the Dollar Tree. Each girl chose two items from the store.

Miss E chose two little make-up sets. Some lip gloss and fingernail polish kits.

Miss A chose.....

a spring loaded gun that shoots plastic balls, and an FBI kit, complete with gun, handcuffs, whistle, walkie talkie and the baton thingie that they hit with!

Am I in trouble or WHAT?!?

I need to get dinner ready....something quick for sure. The girls are playing "school" in E's room. She just realized yesterday how soon she'll be starting 1st grade. Yikes!
I opened her door and made a little noise in her room this morning, trying to rouse her for the movie. She jumped out of bed and peeked out at me from her doorway, and announced, "ONLY NINETEEN MORE DAYS UNTIL SCHOOL STARTS!"
The very first words from her mouth.
I'm glad she's excited. I'm hoping for a good year!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Following Suit

Since I am procrastinating posting about our outings the last few days, and a friend came across a cute survey for the kiddos....here goes!
Answers by Miss E.

1. What is something that Mom always says to you?

"Honey Bun."

2. What makes Mom happy?

"When I say something nice to her."

3. What makes Mom Sad?

"When I get sad."

4. How does Mom do to make you laugh?

"Be silly."

5. What was Mom like as a child?

"Always happy."

6. How old is your Mom?


7. How tall is your Mom ?

"Pretty tall."

8. What is her favorite thing to do?


9. What does you're Mom do when you are not around?

"Go teach Music at A's school."

10. If your Mom becomes Famous what will it be for?

"For cleaning so well." (wOw.)

11. What is your Mom really good at?

"Being nice."

12. What is your Mom not really good at?

"Ummm...I don't think you're not really good at anything..." (my favorite answer yet!)

13. What does your Mom do for her Job?

"teach music at A's school."

14. What is your Mom's favorite food?

"Crabcakes." Uh, no.

15. What makes you Proud of your Mom?

"She is sweet."

16. If your Mom were a cartoon Character who would he be?

"Cinderella because she acts like her and she cleans the house."

17. What do you and your Mom do together?

"We help clean up the house and shop and play games."

18. How are you and your Mom the same?

"We both have kind of the same skin."

19. How are you and your Mom different?

"I don't have glasses."

20. How do you know that your Mom loves you?

"Because she helps me all the time and she cares for me."

1. What is something that Dad always says to you?

"Cooter Bear." (one of her many silly nicknames from Daddy!)

2. What makes Dad happy?

"When I say something nice to him."

3. What makes Dad Sad?

"When something bad happens to me."

4. How does Dad make you laugh?

"By tickling me!"

5. What was Dad like as a child?

"Curly hair and brown eyes."

6. How old is your Dad?


7. How tall is your Dad?

"Really tall."

8. What is his favorite thing to do?

"Play with us."

9. What does you're Dad do when you are not around?


10. If your Dad becomes Famous what will it be for?


11. What is your Dad really good at?


12. What is your Dad not really good at?


13. What does your Dad do for his Job?

"Fixes stuff for people." Sort of...

14. What is your Dad's favorite food?

"Brussel Sprouts."

15. What makes you Proud of your Dad?

"It makes me proud when he's funny, 'cuz he's a funny Dad."

16. If your Dad were a cartoon Character who would he be?

"Bugs Bunny."

17. What do you and your dad do together?


18. How are you and your Dad the same?

"We both have brown hair."

19. How are you and your Dad different?

"We don't have the same color eyes."

20. How do you know that your Dad loves you?

"Because he always says that he loves me."

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Chalk Bluff '08

I always kick myself on trips like this for not packing a little notepad to jot down the memorable things the girls say and do while we're away. I never remember them all once we get back!
I Love, love, going to Chalk Bluff each year.
Just so many moments of sweet innocence. No peer or society driven influences. No agendas, no schedules.
Just pure fun and family time.

Some of the things I heard while we were there:

From Miss A:
"Good idea, Dude!" Spoken to Miss E (complete with an enthusiastic thumbs up!) when they came up with the 'throw the Nerf ball through the fish floatie' game for some late night play.

"Mama, your a Genius!" I cannot for the life of me remember what I did or said. Very sad. I really should keep track of these things!


"Eww! Grass poop!"
yes, this from Miss A, whom I was trying to convince the little bits of floating sea-weedy type stuff was not poop, but grass...

From Miss E:
-this came after I was trying to hurry them along with their evening snack, saying we were missing out on the fun. E said it was dark, what could we do after dark? I told her "this is Chalk Bluff! We can do anything!"
Her reply-hands on hips and all,
"Well, we can't go shopping, that's for sure!" (wait there's more) "But we do have a river, AND our friends and family.(now picture her, one hand extended as if holding a tray, and a bit of a head wiggle)...and THAT'S the best of BOTH WORLDS!"
I know this is a Hannah Montana song, but it was so precious and so true!

and, when I rounded her up from a friend's cabin, saying it was time to get ready for dinner:
"I thought we had a lot of daytime left! It's not fair-the days are so short at Chalk Bluff!"
I love it!

-----OK, I have to break and blog this. The girls have been giggling and whispering in E's room for a while, and this is what just emerged....

OK. Moving ON!
I may have to add more to this later. I KNOW there were other things I wanted to add to this. For now, I'll have to let the pictures do the talking. Be warned-there are a BUNCH! We had a blast!

Breakfast Time
Here's Miss E getting pancakes from the best pancake maker in the west! And a pretty darn good syrup pourer too!

Skipping Time
There was a LOT of time spent searching for the perfect skipping rock, and plenty of skipping lesson and skipping practice. The big smile from Miss E below was her first "Three Skipper!"

Quality Time

Water Time

Play Time

a quick comment on this last picture. I don't quite know what this is...some sort of merry-go-round contraption that spins by pushing/pulling on the bar at your feet. It has some kind of hydraulic pumps going across the center. And it's ANCIENT. It was ancient when I was a kid, and that was mrflefarble years ago...but the kids always LOVE it! And it somehow seems to go faster now...or maybe my stomach is just weaker. :)

Squish Time! Aww! Sisterly Love. :)

Well, I'm sure this seems a bit jumpy and awkward, but I've had this post in my edits for over a week and just need to post it. Enjoy the pics. Thanks for looking!
And to finish it off...


Thank Yous and More IQs

I guess the countdown has begun. It's August. The official school starting month. I need to get out of the funk I'm already feeling about the new school year. I am going to make the most out of these next few weeks, fill them with fun times and new memories, and wear these kids out! They'll be begging to get away from me by Aug. 25!

August 1st-a trip to the Children's Museum. We finally made it back down there after several failed attempts. It's still the same Sound Exhibit that we've seen for months now, but the girls love it. We actually played upstairs quite a bit more this time, in the craft area and the Tinkerer's Workshop. Miss A surprised me by working a wrench pretty well. She tightened a nut? bolt?...something... all the way down then loosened it and started another.
We eventually made it downstairs and made our way through the crazy chaos of a busy Friday.
Later on in the day we made a quick trip to HEB for a few things. Namely crabcakes. Miss E decided on the way home that she wanted these with dinner. I don't know how it even came up, really.
Anyway, along with the request was Tilapia and brussel sprouts. So off we go.
The entire time at the store, I'm getting Thank You after Thank You from Miss E. This is not unusual from her, but Man! She was just pouring it on!
-Thank you for bringing us to HEB to get crabcakes!
-Thank you for letting us taste the Ice Pops from the sample cart!
-Thank you for letting us buy some Ice Pops!
-Thank you for making brussel sprouts for dinner tonight!
and on and on and on!
In came more thanks for the museum trip, later at home more thanks for dinner, for allowing computer time before dinner, for sharing some of my crabcake, etc. etc.
Such a funny girl-and I feel like I can't take credit for the manners and genuine gratitude. MOST of the time, she's just naturally sweet!

IQs of the day:
On the drive back from the museum, the big girls (Miss E and bff Miss A)were tired, hungry, and played out. The giggles and sweet conversations from the drive down there were no more...and at one point I could tell from the changing tones of their voices that things had turned a bit 'snippy'. I couldn't tell what they were saying before, but I flipped down the visor and opened the mirror just in time to see E give a nod and a knowing look to Miss A, and say, "Look, your my best friend, and you always will be."
Awwww! Such a big lesson for a little girl!
All was well by the time we got home, and a sweet phone call from A later assured E their friendship is intact. :-)

And now my Miss A (I guess this could be confusing. Stay with me.):
Daddy had called earlier in the day and said he hoped to be home "early" (shortly after 8, he hoped) to see the girls, so we waited up after dinner for some playtime before bed. The girls love to hide and 'surprise' Daddy when he walks in. Their hiding spot of choice is usually the front room couch. So there they are, huddled together, covered in a blanket. Nothing but a few small telltale toes sticking out.
Miss A has a hard time containing her excitement and I can almost always hear her muffled giggles escaping from under the covers.
After several 'shushes' from Miss E, Miss A finally quieted down. I was posted as lookout, and after a couple of quick silent beats, I then heard another familiar noise (not a giggle) escape from hiding.
Miss A: (giggling) That was me tooting!
Miss E: (a strong whisper) Well, what do you say??
Miss A: (quietly. defeated.) Excuse me.
Miss E: (a stern whisper) Now be QUIET!

I had to leave the room. I thought that was such a funny exchange! And, I will say-I'm sorry if you don't enjoy reading about my tooting stories or potty humor-but if it made me laugh outloud while I was trying to doze off to sleep last night, I'm posting it!
This is just part of our daily beats. Esp. with my little Miss A. She's a horse of a 'nother color, marches to her own beat. And keeps me on my toes.
And this was true form for Miss E, too. Even in the urgency of their hiding, she still took the time to be Ms. Manners.