Tuesday, November 18, 2014


My poor camera, complete with the new lens I got for my birthday, has sadly sat idle for two weeks!  Here are a few shots I pulled off my phone, just so I can remember some of the things we've been DOING all month. (Besides school and homework and soccer games and end-of-season soccer parties and meeting all of our fabulous neighbors and getting together with said fabulous neighbors and braving some CRAZY cold snaps and planning for the holidays and projects around the house.  Besides all that.)
We got a playhouse...so. much. fun!
The kids and I goofed off at the mall while Daddy was out of town.
This little thing just keeps changing by the day!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Halloween 2014

Halloween 2014 was a great success!  Being new to our town, and not living in a neighborhood conducive to trick-or-treating, we weren't sure what to do for Halloween.  Luckily we have met some really great neighbors who invited us to attend a block party and "neighborhood bomb" for trick-or-treating.  Their kids are older than ours, but I was impressed with one, how nice they were to our kids, and two, how well our kids were able to hang with the rigors of trick-or-treating.  Every year previously we have gone to a few houses in our neighborhood, then called it quits.  This year we walked street after street with the big kids and it was so fun!  Miraculously we were even home early enough to get the kids to bed almost on time.
The mermaid, the kangaroo, and the knight.
This was Ellie's first Halloween!  She was a happy, go-with-the-flow baby all night!  She didn't even seem to mind her costume!
This little mermaid had a blast trick-or-treating and really surprised us how she was able to hang as long as she did.
Our courageous knight had fun trick-or-treating with the big kids and made sure they were in sight all night long.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Goings On in October

We have had a busy month! A few highlights...

We took a quick trip to the ranch!
Cooper and Penny are ready for Howl at the Moon!  We attended a fundraiser for Cooper's school and had so much fun!  Penny got her face painted, Cooper enjoyed the "big kid" playground and we even won two goldfish!  Welcome Goldie and Peach to our home!
We visited the local pumpkin patch!  Cooper pointed out,"Hey! This is Ellie's first Halloween!"
Party of five.  
We celebrated Mama's birthday!  (Hello, 35.)  Penny and Cooper both made cards for me.  Penny's was a "pink princess" card.  Cooper drew a picture of him and I and told us it said, "I love you Mama.  We never get mad at each other.  I would do anything for you. Love, Cooper."
Soccer and more soccer.  Penny is really enjoying playing and runs around the field with enthusiasm.
This guy is enjoying soccer too and is really starting to get the competitive part of the game.  He really like his friends on his team as well. Two of his teammates are also in his kindergarten class!
Ma-mas visited!  
Uncle Clint came over and helped us enjoy what is probably our last swim for the year. 
And the month isn't even over yet!  We are excited for Halloween!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Ten Months Old!

New this month for Ellie:

  • weighs 18.4 lbs and is 27 and a half inches long.  
  • suffered her first illness!  Poor baby had a viral respiratory infection (had to use a nebulizer and everything!) followed by an ear infection that she is still getting over.  
  • is sleeping through the night!  For weeks  we had fallen into a pattern of her waking up every 1 to 3 hours every night.  We were beside ourselves.  Then we figured out that her acid reflux had flared up, probably because of all the different foods she has been trying.  Reflux means she needs to be upright, so back to the car seat to sleep she goes.  We are all feeling much better now that we are sleeping!
  • now has six teeth, all on the bottom.  Thankfully the teething has quit for now, since we had to endure an illness!
  • crawls and pulls up on furniture!  Just days after she turned 9 months old, Ellie turned her scooting into crawling.  Now she is FAST!  We have to work to keep her out of the playroom where all the big kids' legos are. 
  • has gotten really vocal!  She loves to growl and sort of yell "AAAHHH" and babble "ra" "mamama" "bababa" and "wawawa" to name a few.
  • has turned into such a little stinker!  She gets an ornery look on her face whenever she pulls books off the shelf or pulls paper out of a trash can and she loves to shake her head "no."
  • Ellie has been to the ranch and met lots of new people.  Our family has been meeting lots of our neighbors lately.  She also accompanies Mom EVERYWHERE, has been to all her siblings' soccer games, and even went to a carnival fundraiser for Cooper's school.
Ellie follows a Kirk kid tradition by playing trains on the ranch cabin porch.
Poor baby got sick for the very first time.  She stayed true to herself though and didn't really fuss too much.  Such a trooper!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Cooper is Six!

This past Saturday was a BIG day for us.  Cooper turned six! I can barely wrap my head around the idea that we became parents that long ago! This is one cool kid we have on our hands.  Cooper is still the sweet and sensitive easy-going dude he has always been.  He is always having fun and almost always happy!  We enjoy his eagerness and joy that he approaches life with because it is so contagious!  

Big changes have occurred for Coop in the last year.  He is now in kindergarten, which sort of marked a passage out of baby/toddler/preschooler-hood into running with the big kids.  This feels so epic!  He is adjusting well to the new town, new school, and new routine, even if he is still really tired from all the change.  He likes school, but doesn't enjoy waking up early!  We are excited with all that he is going to learn this year and he is too!  

Cooper's favorite two things in the world right now are Legos and Daddy...he loves building things, especially if Daddy is there to help him.  While he still has a special place in his heart for Mama, Daddy has become the hero of his world.  He is always asking for Daddy to pick him up from school, sit by him, sleep in his bunk bed with him, play with him, etc.  (Daddy of course is in heaven.)  One of the biggest reminders that we don't have a little boy anymore still sits in the playroom.  For YEARS Cooper loved nothing more than he loved Thomas the Train.  Now our train tables sit empty and unplayed on most of the time.  It is still strange that something that dominated our time and thoughts is now no longer.  Legos it is! 

We celebrated Coop's birthday all weekend long!  On Friday Cooper and Mama had lunch together at his school and he shared cupcakes with his class at recess.  On Saturday after the kids' soccer games, we met Ma-Mas, Pa-Pa, Steve, Mary and the Naisers (!!!) at Random Beer Garden.  The adults got to watch Aggie football and the kids played and played on the bounce houses.  On Saturday night we went to dinner with Ma-Mas, Pa-Pa, Uncle Clint, and friends in downtown San Antonio.  We stayed the night in a hotel, which Cooper loved!  Finally, to top off the weekend, our friends the Naisers stopped by for dinner on Sunday evening.  It was so fun to be with our friends again! Cooper got several Lego sets, clothes, Aggie gear, a cool truck flashlight and binoculars for his birthday. He was one happy guy!
Lunch at school!  Cooper was thrilled to have me there to help him figure out how to get his treat on ice cream Fridays.  (Kindergarten is complicated!)
Cooper, Penny, and Carson check out the birthday cake.
(This was the first time EVER Mama has bought a cake for a kid's birthday...with soccer games, soccer team pictures, friends and family in town, and just plain having three kids, something had to be simplified.  Coop wasn't disappointed...there were Legos on top!)
Cooper politely accepts one of his presents from Ma-Mas and Pa-Pa.  
Cooper, Penny, and the Naisers have fun at Random...the kids love this place, aka "kid football."
It was great to see two buds together again.  Cooper's day was made by getting to see his friends!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Penny Lately

Pajamaed Princess
Aspiring Musician
Serious Soccer Player
Fun little girl!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Nine Months Old!

    Noteworthy for Ellie at Nine Months:

  • She now weighs 18 lbs, 2 oz. and is 27 inches long.  She is in the 25th percentile for weight and height but in the 90th percentile for head circumference! She had her well-baby appointment today and received 2 shots.  
  • She has switched totally to formula which she enjoys roughly every four hours during the day.  As she tries more and more finger foods, she is losing interest in baby food.  Apple cinnamon oatmeal and Ritz crackers are her favorites.
  • Ellie doesn't sleep well.  A combination of teething, tummy issues, separation anxiety, and bad habits has Ellie and Mama up A LOT at night.  We keep trying though.
  • She has four teeth, all on the bottom.  Two more teeth on the bottom are nearly through the gums and they are driving her crazy!
  • Ellie is a scooter!  She will get up on all fours to crawl but quickly drops down to scoot because she thinks its easier.  This does not keep her from getting into things, however!  She has pulled up on the furniture a few times, but luckily doesn't do it much. She has also learned to shake her head "no" when we offer her food she doesn't want to eat.
  • In the last month Ellie has been to Dallas and Fredericksburg and enjoyed visits from Ma-Mas and Pa-Pa, Nonnie, Libby and Bill, and Rolf and Lissa Woods. 
With Ma-Mas in Fredericksburg.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

September is the Time For:

Beautiful evenings!
The weather is still crazy hot during the day, but here in the hill country the evenings feel wonderful!
We are so excited for football season to start!  We attended a watch party for the first Aggie game at a nearby outdoor family beer garden and had a blast!  Penny has asked to go back to "kid football."
  Two kids playing this year means practice twice a week and two games every Saturday.
We took an impromptu family trip to Dallas where we stayed in an AWESOME hotel that the kids loved!
This little mess is mobile and wreaking havoc all over the house!
(Did you notice the gorgeous quilt?  Nonnie MADE us a picnic quilt and brought it to us when she visited over Labor Day weekend.)
We enjoyed a visit from our friends the Morgans' and the Woods'.   The Morgans brought birthday presents for the kids. (Early for Cooper, late for Penny.)  They were a gigantic hit!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Happy Fourth Birthday Penny!

Today our sweet and sassy girl turned four years old! She seems so grown up now when I think about how she was a three year old.  She has matured so much!  Penny is a smart and funny girl that knows what she wants.  And she is tough!  In the last year we spent  a lot of time with friends that are a family of boys.  Not only was she the only girl in the group, but she was the youngest.  She hung in there with the boys no problem!  Penny can do anything, as long as she is given the space to do it in her own time.  At first she was unsure of being a big sister, but now she loves Ellie with her whole heart.  At the beginning of the summer she was afraid to put her face in the water.  Now she can swim underwater! Her independence and stubbornness are teaching us daily lessons in humility and patience, though we can't help but admire her for it!

Penny started Pre-kindergarten this week, and she loves it!  That little brain of hers thrives on stimulation and I know she is going to learn tons this year!  Penny also loves to sing, dance, and make us laugh!  Her comic side has really blossomed this year.  Every evening before bed we have a ritual of Daddy, Mama, Cooper and Penny watching Sesame Street music videos on youtube.  Penny likes  the "Cecil Ball" songs, the "ladybug's picnic", and when Elmo sings with Adam Sandler.  Not only does she know all the words to all the songs we watch, but she can act them out and change the pitch and sound of her voice to mirror the character singing.  The best part is she does this solely to make us all laugh!  

Penny may run with the boys no problem, but she is still a girly-girl!  Her favorite color is pink, she flat out refuses to wear pants, and she is crazy for fairies, princesses, and her babies.  (This non-girly Mama has no clue where this comes from.) Penny loves "pink baby" now as much as she ever did, though quite often her growing collection of pigs join the fray.   Cooper is her all time best friend.  We know this because of how she always wants to be with him and because she says all the time, "Cooper is my best friend!"

We are proud of our girl and can't believe she is already four!  Lucky girl has had a busy birthday week!   Ma-Mas and Pa-Pa visited over the weekend and we celebrated with a little swim party on Saturday, where family friends Steve and Mary joined us for dinner and cupcakes.  Tuesday was Penny's first day of pre-kindergarten (In a new school, in a new town, without Cooper!) and today (Wednesday) was her actual birthday.  She got to wear a paper crown at school and her classmates sang "Happy Birthday," which she loved.  After school our family visited the Build-A-Bear workshop.  Penny and Cooper both had fun creating a "pink princess mermaid bear" for Penny and a princess lamb for Ellie. (Cooper just wanted a shirt for his bear at home.)  Later at home she got to open one more present (a Lego Movie lego set) and swim.

 The birthday girl in action... 

Blowing out the candles.
As requested, Mama made "pink strawberry Princess Peach cake."
Posing on her first day of Pre-K!
Penny at Build-A-Bear Workshop.
Playing at the mall.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Kindergarten Coop!

Cooper on his first day of Kindergarten.
A rite of passage occurred today...both for Cooper and the parents.  Cooper went to kindergarten! (And this stay-at-home-mom lost one reason to stay at home.) When I left him in his classroom, Cooper was all smiles.  I could tell he was a little bit nervous but was trying hard to be brave.  We are so proud of him and we know that he is going to have a great school year! When Cooper was born this day seemed so far away that it couldn't be real.  Now here we are! It really only seems like just the other day...

Brand new Baby Cooper!
Cooper at 17 months...his first "school" picture.
Cooper on his first day of Pre-K.
It's hard to believe that was just last fall.
****Our first day went well!  I couldn't get him picked up after school fast enough! Cooper was full of smiles and chatter about his day!  The only caveat was that he said he couldn't open his pudding at lunch and that he just wanted to eat it at home.  (That is Cooper-speak for "I was too shy to ask for help.")****