Monday, January 31, 2011


Quick post for the grandparents...and anyone else that hopes for new happenings! :)

Each night during dinner Caroline and I work on a new Bible Verse. My sweet friend, Laura, gave us a little set of Children's Scripture Memory cards. We have been pulling them out and attempting to memorize them. Caroline shocked me tonight when I said, not expecting her to remember, "What is our Bible verse?" and she said "Children obey your parents!"

Such a great time with her...and her little spirit shows itself in the videos below. I promise that I don't ADAMANTLY make her stress the words of the verse like she does in the 2nd video...but hopefully she is getting the gist of the verse! :)

Saturday, January 29, 2011

800 Days

Last night I heard the words that I have waited to hear reciprocated for the past 800 days (exactly...I counted!). Last night we were cuddled up with blankets on the living room floor and I was reading a stack of books to her before bedtime. Then out of the clear blue...I melted when I heard my sweet Caroline say....

"Caroline love Mommy"

She said it twice. Then gave me a big kiss on my lips. Precious moments I don't ever want to forget. For the 800 million times I have whispered that to her...just that one time made my heart leap!

Thank you Lord for blessing me with my daughters.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

11 months!

Happy 11 months Emily!! I simply CANNOT believe

that next month you will be O-N-E.


Last weekend our family had a few new firsts.
Brad, Niki, and I climbed Pinnacle Mountain. It was beautiful...and a bit more of a hike than either Niki or I envisioned. It was a lot of fun and I am glad that we can check that off of our "to do in Little Rock" list. Hopefully we will get to do it again. Deb kept the girls at the park down below while we had our fun.

Caroline has really enjoyed playing with her new teapot set that she got for Christmas. When she woke up from her nap I decided we would have a REAL tea party. I really didn't have enough time to set it up like I normally would, but we improvised, threw a pink boa on Caroline and had warm tea, yummy tea cakes, and fun times around the table. There are MANY more of these parties to be had with me and my 2 girls...I love tea parties!

We got to see a totally different "side" of Caroline this weekend at Chick fil a. Ummm...she basically assaulted her first baby. Yes. I said assaulted. So here is the way the story went:

Deb, Nik, Emily, Caroline and I were playing in the play area and were getting ready to leave. Caroline started adamantly demanding to get out of the room, screaming "BABY! BABY!" As I was trying to get Em's shoes and coat on, I held on to Caroline like a wild horse as she continued to fight to get herself out the door. I assumed that she was calling for the "baby" we had met earlier while we were eating...not so much. I was not prepared for what was about to happen, and I know my story is not doing the situation justice. But, I opened the door, Emily in my arms, Caroline running out in front of me. Well there was a nice family of 4 sitting immediately outside of the playroom- with a baby boy, a big brother, and a mom and dad. They were sitting, quietly enjoying their chicken sandwiches until my wild stallion BOLTED out of the playroom, ran up to the little baby, and straight SMACKED him right on the head. Yes. Smacked the fire out of his little bald, round head.!!!!

I think all of our eyes about popped out of our heads (mine, Deb's, the parents sitting across from their little baby, and SURELY the poor little boy!) Time stood still for about 2 seconds, I collected myself, gave Emily to Deb, and confronted Caroline.

1st response- "CAROLINE!!! No! We don't hit!! No, no, no, no, no!! I am SOOOO sorry!!! She has never done that before." I popped her little hand and sternly told her that we didn't hit people, which then lead her to lay a big fat KISS on the little one's cheek and say "I sorry." Precious...but what in the world??? 2 totally different affections for this little boy. We apologized profusely and as we walked away I stopped again, and one-on-one reiterated to Caroline the importance of not hitting other children. She understood and said she was sorry. She was not trying to be mean or ugly to the boy, and I still don't know what her motive was, but she floored us! I wanted to be the "good mom" and discipline appropriately so that the other parents didn't think I was someone who just lets my child bully others....but after the fact all I could do was giggle and laugh out loud the entire way home replaying the scenario in my mind. I think it was the big, round, bald head that was calling out to be popped. She may have been just "touching" it...with the heavy hands of a 2 year old??? Who knows, but it was hilarious, embarrassing and totally a lesson learned for both mommy and Caroline. The child's parents were so sweet, after their shock wore off, they said that he had an older brother so that it probably didn't phase him, and they told her "Thanks for the kiss!" Wow. Glad they weren't confrontational or it could have been a bit more awkward. Oh my.
NEVER a dull moment with my sweetie. And no, I didn't ask the family if I could reenact the slap for a blog worthy picture. Sorry.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Family Pictures

Deb and Niki made a quick trip to Little Rock this past weekend! We had a blast from the time they arrived on Saturday until they left Tuesday morning. We had a ton of fun catching up, cooking, having tea parties, planning Emily's birthday party, and just "playing" with the girls. Thank you Delta for your last minute airfare specials. We really appreciated how willing Deb and Nik were to work their schedules out and make this trip happen. As always, if Nik is is her camera and her fabulous picture taking skills. We took some pictures Sunday afternoon. Thanks Niki once again!

Thursday, January 20, 2011


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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Score: Diapers-1 Tessa-0

Yes, we are waving the white flag of surrender for the time being on the potty training. Caroline has regressed so crazily...we did perfect the first week...and then went downhill from there. I am tired of changing dirty clothes. I am tired of trying so stinking hard to make her stay on the potty until she is done with her "business". So yesterday we had this conversation:
Caroline- Fresh diaper mommy.
Me-No baby, we only have panties now. We don't have anymore diapers.
Caroline- Mommy go store buy diapers.
This morning when I asked her if she wanted panties or diapers she requested diapers.
So....after lots of thought, I think we'll just try again in a little while. Trying not to have any shame in my defeat. It's tough. I think, just like EVERY thing else with children, they will do it when they are READY. Not when mommy is ready. ;)

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Out on the town!

Thanks to our wonderful friends and family who gave us memberships we have been living it up in Little Rock the past 2 days. We were STIR CRAZY because we stayed in the house all last week potty training and then got snowed in the beginning of this week So we hit the ground running yesterday. We went to the Wonderplace and then today we met Amber and Levi and the Museum of Discovery and then had lunch at Chick fil a. The girls and I enjoyed getting out- even though it was 22 degrees and the wind chill felt like 9 degrees. We can't wait for it to warm up and use our Zoo membership! I have a feeling these 3 places are going to get to know us VERY well this year.

Update: Potty training is going...well, it's going. Some days are better than others. Yesterday we braved it and went to the Wonderplace. Within 10 minutes we had a YUCKY accident on our hands (literally!:)But then she was fine the rest of the day. Today we tried again, visited the museum (she used the potty there) and then Chick fil a (total of 2.5 hours) and had NO accidents. She doesn't enjoy sitting on the potty anymore and never wants to go unless bribery is in full swing. So maybe we've made it to the "regression" stage...and hopefully we'll be passing through this stage and running towards home plate?? We'll see. I am proud of her. But it's not fun and NOT easy to change poopy pants a)in a public place b) with a 10 1/2 month old pulling up on you c) a very wiggly 2 year old. BUT we will survive. My sweet friend Kristina is starting the potty training with her 2 year old and we both keep each other updated on the FUN events of our days. We have opted for the notion that each accident we clean up earns us 1 Dr. Pepper. Needless to say, I've been hyped up on my favorite drink!

I also would like to "retract" my naive statement about not putting my child on a public potty. Since I wrote that (maybe 48 hours ago??) Caroline's little hiney has sat on approximately 4 public toilets. My sweet friend Amber was kind enough to hold in her "I told you so!" as a more seasoned mommy of 2, but I laughed, admitted my fallacy and now proudly say- we will use a potty anywhere...after a wipe down of course...if it means we will not have an accident in our pants! So thank you to all those who read my post a few days ago and laughed at my comment...still living and learning. :)

Don't really have any other news to post about...and not even any pictures. Just a few quiet minutes to update.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Daily Chuckle Email

This made me laugh. A sweet friend sent me this in an email...but I wanted to share it. Some are better than othes. #3 and #7 make me laugh especially. Of course, read this all with the most sarcastic of tones. ;)Envisioning anyone doing these things is funny.

Thinking of Having Kids? Do this 11 step program first!
by Brenna Gray Foster on Wednesday, January 5, 2011 at 7:00am

Lesson 1

1. Go to the grocery store.
2. Arrange to have your salary paid directly to their head office.
3. Go home.
4. Pick up the paper.
5. Read it for the last time.

Lesson 2

Before you finally go ahead and have children, find a couple who already are parents and berate them about their...
1. Methods of discipline.
2. Lack of patience.
3. Appallingly low tolerance levels.
4. Allowing their children to run wild.
5. Suggest ways in which they might improve their child's breastfeeding, sleep habits, toilet training, table manners, and overall behavior.
Enjoy it because it will be the last time in your life you will have all the answers.

Lesson 3

A really good way to discover how the nights might feel...
1. Get home from work and immediately begin walking around the living room from 5PM to 10PM carrying a wet bag weighing approximately 8-12 pounds, with a radio turned to static (or some other obnoxious sound) playing loudly. (Eat cold food with one hand for dinner)
2. At 10PM, put the bag gently down, set the alarm for midnight, and go to sleep.
3. Get up at 12 and walk around the living room again, with the bag, until 1AM.
4. Set the alarm for 3AM.
5. As you can't get back to sleep, get up at 2AM and make a drink and watch an infomercial.
6. Go to bed at 2:45AM.
7. Get up at 3AM when the alarm goes off.
8. Sing songs quietly in the dark until 4AM.
9. Get up. Make breakfast. Get ready for work and go to work (work hard and be productive)

Repeat steps 1-9 each night. Keep this up for 3-5 years. Look cheerful and together.

Lesson 4

Can you stand the mess children make? T o find out...
1. Smear peanut butter onto the sofa and jam onto the curtains.
2. Hide a piece of raw chicken behind the stereo and leave it there all summer.
3. Stick your fingers in the flower bed.
4. Then rub them on the clean walls.
5. Take your favorite book, photo album, etc. Wreck it.
6. Spill milk on your new pillows. Cover the stains with crayons. How does that look?

Lesson 5

Dressing small children is not as easy as it seems.
1. Buy an octopus and a small bag made out of loose mesh.
2. Attempt to put the octopus into the bag so that none of the arms hang out.

Time allowed for this - all morning.

Lesson 6

Forget the BMW and buy a mini-van. And don't think that you can leave it out in the driveway spotless and shining. Family cars don't look like that.
1. Buy a chocolate ice cream cone and put it in the glove compartment.
Leave it there.
2. Get a dime. Stick it in the CD player.
3. Take a family size package of chocolate cookies. Mash them into the back seat. Sprinkle cheerios all over the floor, then smash them with your foot.
4. Run a garden rake along both sides of the car.

Lesson 7

Go to the local grocery store. Take with you the closest thing you can find to a pre-school child. (A full-grown goat is an excellent choice). If you intend to have more than one child, then definitely take more than one goat. Buy your week's groceries without letting the goats out of your sight. Pay for everything the goat eats or destroys. Until you can easily accomplish this, do not even contemplate having children.

Lesson 8

1. Hollow out a melon.
2. Make a small hole in the side.
3. Suspend it from the ceiling and swing it from side to side.
4. Now get a bowl of soggy Cheerios and attempt to spoon them into the swaying melon by pretending to be an airplane.
5. Continue until half the Cheerios are gone.
6. Tip half into your lap. The other half, just throw up in the air.

You are now ready to feed a nine- month-old baby.

Lesson 9

Learn the names of every character from Sesame Street , Barney, Disney, the Teletubbies, and Pokemon. Watch nothing else on TV but PBS, the Disney channel or Noggin for at least five years. (I know, you're thinking What's 'Noggin'?) Exactly the point.

Lesson 10

Make a recording of Fran Drescher saying 'mommy' repeatedly. (Important: no more than a four second delay between each 'mommy'; occasional crescendo to the level of a supersonic jet is required). Play this tape in your car everywhere you go for the next four years. You are now ready to take a long trip with a toddler.

Lesson 11

Start talking to an adult of your choice. Have someone else continually tug on your skirt hem, shirt- sleeve, or elbow while playing the 'mommy' tape made from Lesson 10 above. You are now ready to have a conversation with an adult while there is a child in the room.

This is all very tongue in cheek; anyone who is parent will say 'it's all worth it!' Share it with your friends, both those who do and don't have kids. I guarantee they'll get a chuckle out of it. Remember, a sense of humor is one of the most important things you'll need when you become a parent!

For anyone else reading this - I'm thrilled that you are all enjoying it, as I did - immensely. However, I DID NOT write it! It was sent in an email from a friend of mine... and I'm not sure who the original author is.

Monday, January 10, 2011

I probably laughed more this morning as I got the girls ready to play in the snow than I have in a long time. Hopefully these bring some giggles your way too.
Getting dressed up to go out in the snow is tough for one. And extremely hard with 2 little ones in tow. I had envisioned a priceless photo shoot with both my girls (Emily's 1st snow) outside looking like snow angels enjoying the snow. Well, it didn't really turn out like I had hoped. LOL.
We waited until Emily woke up from her nap to venture out in the snow. We had all their clothing piled up in the living room waiting to be adorned as soon as she woke up. I guess Emily's stack of clothes to put on was a little too couldn't even sit once she was dressed. Oh I died laughing. Sweet little thing was still in her sleepy stupor as I bundled her for dear life, then I set her down to get my coat on....and this is what happened.
Sweet Emily toppled over. I died laughing, and she got so tickled because I was laughing so hard. Notice the smile behind the passy:)

Tessa:Quick Caroline! Check her she alright?? Bahahahhaha!!!
Caroline: Well, let me see....I will take a listen.

Caroline: Yes mom, she's breathing. I think she's going to make it. Let's go play.

Emily: Thanks for saving me sis. Love you forever.
So then we went outside for maybe 10 minutes max. It was cold. They have had colds. Emily couldn't really move.
So this shot is out of sorts...its when we came inside and Caroline discovered you could eat snow.

Caroline took her gloves off and wanted to use her bare hands!! She finally put her mittens back on. Smart girl.

Poor little Emily. Sorry Baby. Next snow will be much more fashionable:)

Caroline has LOVED going through our basket of hats, gloves, scarves and winter stuff. Here are some of the shots caught during their dress up time.

Caroline in her "ear puffs"

So my fantasy snow photo op didn't happen. But we had fun. And I got a pretty good laugh.

Sunday, January 9, 2011


Brad and I snuck outside and played in the snow for awhile once the girls were asleep. It was FREEZING but we had fun...and attempted to get a jump start at uncovering his car for his morning drive to work. :(

Friday, January 7, 2011

Day 4= All Smiles!

Yahoo!! Day 4 was amazing- no accidents and a happy girl! She initiated the potty usage instead of me dragging her in there every 30 minutes. She didn't need as many rewards and she kept reminding ME of the fact that her panties were clean and dry. I think she's getting it! She also was procrastinating last night as we were putting her to bed...and she pulled the potty card! Of course she had her diaper on to wear through the night, but about 5 minutes after we put her to bed, she was saying, "Toot. Tooted. PooPoo. Mommy! Potty!!" So I went in and let her get out of bed to go sit on the potty. Of course once we were in the bathroom she said, "Play mommy. Few minutes??" She did in fact use the potty, but she totally wanted to get out of bed. Oh boy...we may have started something. I didn't feel like I could tell her, no, use your diaper- when ALL we have been working on this week is using the potty! I guess we'll see tonight if she really wants to play that game. :) I was just proud of her for telling us!

Today- day 5 is going well. She initiated all morning long, and has had one accident after lunch, but she for the most part seems POTTY TRAINED!!! We'll see. I'm still not sure how we are going to leave the house. #1- She will have to wear pants. #2-I know she'll be so busy playing that more accidents will occur #3- I am not going to sit her sweet little tushy on any nasty, dirty, store potties. So...any ideas on how to progress to the next step? I am getting a bit stir crazy sitting at home. But it's worth it.

Shout out to all my support...couldn't done it without your encouraging texts, phone calls, and conversations. You would think we were running a marathon here. That may in fact be easier....

And now for some pictures of my lovely ladies. I am loving the sister-action going melts my heart! To the eye of a normal person, this might look like a lot of yellow shirt, same pose pictures. But to their mommy...each picture is different! :)

Quick riddle for you:
Q:How do you get Emily to smile for you?
A:Just look at her.
Q:How do you get Caroline to smile for you?
A:Have her hang upside down and giggle your head off at the fact that she is upside down

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Day 2 & 3

So, as sure as I posted how marvelous day 1 and 1/2 were going on our potty training journey- Caroline woke up from her nap and had a run of 4 accidents in a row. Then again the next day she did the same thing...not as many times, but after nap seems to be our pitfall! So I am watching ever so carefully today. She has started initiating/asking/telling me when she feels like going, probably 50% of the time. I am going to continue on...hoping that day 4 gives me a boost of confidence that she will in fact one day be trained. She has not required or asked for as many prizes today- she is doing it on her own, so that's a step in the right direction I suppose.

During nap time she wears a diaper and it has stayed dry all 3 days. During the night she wears a diaper and it is soaked by the morning. But I am not worried about nighttime training yet. She had a fever bug get her yesterday evening so that may have led to some of our issues yesterday. She was extra irritable, whiny, and just not thrilled over the potty yesterday. But today was a new day, and she's doing great. And I give myself a B+ for not getting too frustrated and not throwing up. Seriously. The little potty is nice because she can sit on it herself, not fall off, etc. but the disposal of the contents gets me a little nauseous. And the rinsing of "accident" panties and then the laundry load with all the panties...just a bit gross. BUT that is why we are working toward the goal of potty training in the first place. No more gross-ness for mommy!!

Our bathroom is tiny. TINY. It gets quite interesting when all 3 of us are in there "potty partying" all at once! We have pulled in so many books, puzzles, and new toys that it seems to be the hot spot for all the playing through out the day...even for Emily (note to self...ALWAYS remember to close the potty lids or little hands will play!) Caroline keeps asking if sissy will use the potty...not a bad idea, but I think she's bit young. Would be nice to do it in one fowl swoop though. Next year at this time will be Emily's chance. Yahoo.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


Since the previous post was all about is one to catch you up on Miss Emily Anne at 10 1/2 months.
Emily is getting more teeth- She has had 6 for awhile- 2 bottom, 4 top, and now 2 more bottom ones are coming in!!
She is sleeping through the night (7-6 (feed at 6, back down til 7:30-8)...and if she does wake up...I don't hear her because our monitor is officially so warped that I can't hear her. A blessing in disguise??
She is crawling at lightening speed.
She will stand for a few seconds unsupported...but prefers to get down and move on her own.
She loves to stick her tongue out like a frog (see video below:)
She puts on a flashy smile EVERY time a camera comes out. She is such a ham. She loves to smile!!
She is babbling- may be saying "Elmo" for her first word. She is OBSESSED with him in such a cute way. She looks for him in all her books, and will zoom in on him when she spots him. Deb and I think we heard her trying to say it.
She moves her mouth/lips like she is speaking sometimes...but nothing comes out! It makes me laugh. She is not silent thought- lots of squeals, squawks, growls, and other fun sounds are always heard.
She keeps up right along side the fast pace of her big sister.
She loves books now! PTL I thought she was never going to show interest!!
She giggles and will try to make me smile at all times. She will make silly faces until I smile just to catch my eye/attention.
Chases Caroline down if big sis has a snack...and WILL conquer the snack. Always. And I give in and let her. Little sis has defiantly gotten her share of first foods A LOT earlier than Caroline. I don't think I introduced poptarts at 9 months...but I can't remember! :) JK. Of course I didn't...and Emily only gets them if she is really quick and super fast when neither Caroline and I are looking.
She is starting to show signs of readiness to wean...which makes me sad, but I know it's a step in the right direction. I'm ready, considering she is only 1.5 months away from turning ONE!!! AGHHHH.
She is SO content playing on her own. She will go from one room, to the next, to the next and just find things to play with, go through, and play happily on her own. Something #1 would NEVER do...even today!
She has a very similar disposition/ENERGY that Caroline has. I think we may have 2 peas in a pod when it comes to excitability and on-the-constant-go factor. Never a dull, slow, or uneventful minute in our house. Ever. I love it though. They keep me going.
Emily caused me make my first "Poison Control" phone call today- she got into Caroline BIG tub of Beaudreauxs Butt Paste while we weren't looking...her sweet tiny hands were covered in it, and of course, they went straight to her mouth. I am POSITIVE she didn't like the taste of it and I caught her in the act, but the label said to call so I did (after talking to our pediatrician). They said not to worry...and I said, Oh, I wasn't (I just quickly grabbed her up, wiped her hands down, and grabbed Caroline's apple juice for her to gulp down in case she needed to wash it down)...I just wanted to follow the correct protocol. :)I am fairly certain (ok, positive!) that I have ingested some kind of paste at some point in the craziness of diaper changes these 2 years. It's not half bad...hahahha. JK. JK.
She loves food. All kinds. At all times. So thankful I have good eaters.
She is so ticklish! And I happen to LOVE tickling her to hear her sweet little squeals!
So there is a quick Emily update.
And one more thing...I ordered her 1st birthday invitations. Wow. Talk about mind blowing. Is my baby REALLY turning ONE??? It feels like yesterday that we came home from the hospital with our sweetie. Wow.
This video is from before Christmas, but so cute, I had to share.

Riding the Potty Train Day 1 Recap

These entries are totally for me to journal the adventures in potty training with Caroline. So, if you have no interest...come back another day for something more interesting.

I was terrified but excited to think that the end of diapers is in sight for Caroline. We started potty training yesterday- January 3rd. She is 2 years (almost 2 yr 2 months) and I know she is ready. So we started off by building it up big time the weekend before- telling her that soon she would get to wear her big girl panties. I got a bunch of sugary, yummy, not good for you treats that I knew she would love. Her pal "Violet" is getting potty trained alongside her...she wears big girl panties too.

So the method I am implementing is based off of a quick read of the Toddlerwise potty training synopsis. I simply ask her about every 15 minutes "Are you dry?" and if she says yes- she gets a treat. Then about every 30-45 minutes we go and sit on the potty, and if she goes (which she always does) then she gets 2 prizes- 1 for being dry, and 1 for using the potty. She has such good control and understands the process so she has done fabulous. All day long I am watching her, evaluating her "squirms" and making sure I remember to follow the potty schedule! So far, 1 1/2 days into it- no accidents!! She has started to tinkle a tiny bit in her panties twice...but I have caught it and we ran to the potty and she finished in the potty. All #2's have been in the potty...and they are a bit more tricky, but oh she gets excited when it happens! It's truly hilarious to see her reaction. I will praise her and give her a high five, and today after the high five she said "Knuckles!!" and wanted me to do "knuckles" with her like her daddy taught her. Precious. She cracks me up with her baby/mommy association with everything thing in life...even her potty. She calls it a big poopoo or a baby poopoo. All day long I tell her "Keep your big girl panties clean and dry. We need to make sure all our poopoo and peepee goes in the potty, not your panties." When she did tinkle a bit in her panties those 2 times, she apologized to was priceless. I assured her it was OK and totally fine. She is such a sweetheart.

So that is my super fancy tricks. Just a lot of sugar. I am sure a dentist would not approve of my sugary treat/candy method...but those baby teeth fall out anyway right?? JK. It won't be the death of her, and besides, if she has teeth like her mommy, she is already in for a terrible ride, why not enjoy it now?? LOL JK AGAIN. And the treats/prizes don't last forever. After this week, they will disappear...I think.

All in all I am SO proud of her and so amazed at how she has transitioned flawlessly into each new stage and habit in her life so far. She amazes me. I know that I am only barely 2 days into this, but I vowed NEVER to go backwards once we started this, so I have to be consistent. Which means we are stuck in the house ALL DAY long for this week to make sure we get this right, but we are enjoying lazy pajama days after having a house full of company for the holidays. Brad made the comment that it felt weird to hold her without her diaper on...and it's true! You get so used to it. She seems so BIG without it on. This has really made me realize how fast she is growing up. SLOW DOWN time!!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Happy New Year!!

Resolution #1: Try new hairstyles

Still not feeling the headbands, but they are fun to play with:)