Who is Almost 4?

This girl!
birthday eve

Comments Off on Who is Almost 4? | Category: Baby, Baby 2, Brianna

Big Girl Beds…

It is official – we no longer have any babies in our house. Just big girls that sleep in big girl beds! B transitioned to her new bed in August, and loves it! We had to wait a bit for M. First, I had to mentally prepare for getting rid of the crib. Here she is in all her cuteness, napping away in her crib shortly before the transition.

More importantly, however, we had to sew the velcro onto the mattress so the bed will stay attached to the murphy bed door when it is closed. And I do mean “we” – no way I was going to sew all that myself.

It basically took us 8 days, where we spent an hour or so each night sewing approximately two inches of the heavy duty velcro to the mattress. Something like this:

So far, it was worth the effort – it seems to stay pretty well (a vast improvement from when we just relied on the sticky part of the velcro when we did this for B). M was VERY excited to sleep in her new bed.


And she slept quite well.


Naps have gone well too!

Her prize for being such a big girl and staying in her big girl bed all night:

She has been great – much better than we expected. She does not get out of her bed in general, and she never leaves her room. I don’t know whether that is because of the flip flops, or whether she just understands that she is supposed to stay in her room, and I don’t care. It has worked out great! The crib is now officially packed away, and the girls are now settled in their “big girl” room with their big girl beds. They do very well together!

P.S. Now that we officially no longer have any babies in our house, I suppose we should retire the Baby 2 category. Future posts will continue to use the Mackenzie category for M.

Comments Off on Big Girl Beds… | Category: Baby 2, Brianna, Mackenzie

Visitors, Tea, Karate, and Tennis

The last half of August was a whirlwind of more visitors (Mimi and Tatie Kat), tennis lessons, and karate testing. After Mimi and Tatie Kat arrived, I apparently didn’t take too many pictures since I really don’t have very many. Here, the girls were playing some dramatic game in the back yard while rolling down the hill.

The clothes were a mess by the time they were done, but they had a marvelous time! They also enjoyed playing with all of Great Grandma’s costume jewelry – Mimi and Tatie Kat brought it back with them since Great Grandma doesn’t really use it anymore. M felt all the jewelry at once would be the best choice…

It is a little fuzzy, but this pic really reminds me of my Grandma for some reason – something about the earrings and the way she is holding her face…

While here, Mimi and Tatie Kat recovered our bar stool seats in the kitchen – no more holes or stains. HOORAY! Tatie Kat had to head back earlier than usual for an appointment, so unfortunately she missed Afternoon Tea with Mimi (B’s requested memory gift for her birthday). B also requested curly hair, so…

It did not stay curly very long, but long enough for Tea. We did a little better the next time (she wanted curly hair for school pics), but it still was gone by the time I picked her up from school.

Back to Tea…all dressed up and ready to go!

Our delicious tea plate:

Since I had told them we were celebrating B’s birthday, they even brought out a special treat for her!

Sooooo full…

We enjoyed the beautiful weather and grounds a bit before heading off to the base ball game!


Wardrobe and venue change…

B even ran the bases with her buddy Hawke! There was much talk at the end of who finished first – as you can see here, B held that honor!

The next day, B tested for her orange belt. It was a bit sooner than expected, but since she had the opportunity, she wanted Mimi to see her do it. Here she is showing her new-found bridge skills, and sparring with Hawke right before her orange belt test.


She worked hard and passed with flying colors – that smirk on her face cracks me up!


The next day, Mimi had to head home – bye Mimi!

The following weekend, we closed out summer with some relaxing time at the pool and some practice sessions at the tennis court. B has taken a couple of lessons (and watched some Wimbledon and US Open) – she really seems to enjoy it. And she seems to be picking it up fairly quickly! She likes to do her hair like her favorite player – anyone want to guess who that is?


Tennis was so exhausting today…

Comments Off on Visitors, Tea, Karate, and Tennis | Category: Baby 2, Brianna, Mackenzie

Kid Date Night #2

For the second kid date night, Jason took M to dinner.

B and I stayed home with Tatie Kat to do science experiments. Both girls were super, super excited. I think kid date night is a raging success…

We had all our materials lined up on the kitchen counter for three experiments:

First up: color changing milk. We used milk and cream to see which would work faster Basically, we put 2% milk in one shallow dish and heavy cream in another shallow dish. Then we added one drop of each of green, yellow, red, and blue food coloring (around a center point, where each color represented the corner of a square). B loved how a soap dipped q-tip made all the colors go crazy! And we learned that the colors moved faster in the milk.

Here the are in the cream:

Next up: making a tornado using water and some dish detergent. We had three different typed of containers: a Tropicana OJ jug, a 2 liter soda bottle, and a pickle jar, and we asked the question of which container would make the best tornado. B picked the pickle jar and I picked the soda bottle. Unfortunately for me, the soda bottle was tinted green, so it made it very hard to see what kind of tornado resulted. We decided to just focus on the pickle jar, which made excellent tornadoes.

We put a little glitter in the pickle jar to try to help us see the tornado, but our glitter was too heavy. Next time we will use finer glitter.

Last up: exploding bags. A little water…a little vinegar…a little baking soda…a ziploc bag…and BOOM! We did this one until I ran out of vinegar, and even tried it in a gallon sized bag (had to do that one twice because the first time we only but enough “ammo” in to blow it up tight, but not enough to pop the bag).

We had a great time – B loved all the experiments! Both girls have already asked when the next kid date night is…

Comments Off on Kid Date Night #2 | Category: Baby 2, Brianna, Mackenzie

New Beds!

While Nana and Poppa were visiting (and shortly before they arrived), Jason and I got to work finishing up the girls beds. A couple of weeks before they arrived, Jason and our friend Steve assembled the loft bed over the toddler bed. Before the loft bed was assembled:

After the loft bed was assembled:

Jason spent pretty much the whole weekend before they arrived filling nail/screw holes and sanding everything down to get it ready to paint. I forgot to take a picture of him all covered in saw dust…rats…But here is everything all ready to paint.

I took off Tuesday while Nana and Poppa were here and spent the whole day painting while they took care of the girls. Day 1 was just for the primer…


including all FOURTEEN slats supporting the loft platform…

About halfway through the day, Jason said: “you know oil-based paint doesn’t come off skin like water-based paint, right?” Uh, no…no I didn’t…I hadn’t ever used oil-based paint before…

Goo-gone works wonders…

I spent day 2 (I took off Thursday too) painting the real colors on (with water based paint this time). This was way more fun, as I could see how things were going to turn out. I originally swore I would only put one coat of brown on those blasted slats under the bed…but I just…couldn’t…let it go. One coat of brown just wasn’t enough, even if I was the only person who would ever see/notice it under that bed. I finished most of the major painting on Day 2, which left us with:



Days 3 and 4 (Saturday and Sunday), Jason and I both worked on touch up and cleanup (you can see in the photos above that the knobs on the murphy bed still need to be painted, and we needed to touch up where different colors are adjacent to each other). We also needed to paint the rim inside the Murphy bed and paint the brown stripe along the bottom. All of these little details took less actual time to do, but took more calendar time because we had to wait for things to dry. Anyway, it turned out GREAT! Voila!




We let it air out for a few days, and started putting the girls’ stuff back in the following weekend.



Each cross-stitched birth announcement Tatie Kat did for the girls is hung in the appropriate space. We still have a few touchup things to do (beanbag/cushion for B’s reading area (in the corner near the empty shelf, where she will store some books), secure the velcro to the murphy bed mattress so the mattress will stay attached to the murphy bed door, finish and hang the new curtain over the playroom door, actually put M in the murphy bed (see mattress issue), maybe put some rope lights under the loft base so M can have more light, etc., before we are fully done, but the hard work is over. YAY!

Comments Off on New Beds! | Category: Baby 2, Brianna, Mackenzie

Nana and Poppa

Nana and Poppa came to visit while B was still out of school, so B got a full week of Nana and Poppa activities. M also got to spend full days with them on Tuesday and Thursday while I worked on the girls’ new beds (more on that later), and on Friday when both girls got a special day. I’m betting they slept like rocks each and every night…

Right before they arrived, B and I made key lime pie (yes, we used real key limes) for Papa’s birthday “cake” (per his request). It takes a lot of key limes to make key lime pie…

The girls with Poppa on his birthday:

Here are a few photos the grandparents took during the various activities.









Just being silly:

Nana helped B with a new craft – B loves her new bracelet!


It was a busy but fun visit!

Comments Off on Nana and Poppa | Category: Baby 2, Brianna, Mackenzie

M’s First Haircut!

M’s hair was getting out of hand, so we decided it was time for her first haircut. We promised she would get to put a giant warm fuzzy in the jar if she was good and sat very still during her haircut. She basically talked about nothing else (her warm fuzzy) leading up to and for days after her haircut. She was very, very good!

All ready:

Sitting very still…

That hair is pretty long in the back when it is straightened:

Hair in the back after:

B apparently decided she did not really want her hair to be as long as Elsa’s after all – too tangly, she said. So, she had cut quite a bit off!

Look at all the hair that is no longer on their heads!

All done.

Comments Off on M’s First Haircut! | Category: Baby 2, Brianna, Mackenzie

Fingerpaint Fun!

At the end of J’s week-long business trip, we were all anxiously awaiting his arrival home (the plan was to pick him up from the airport). Well, of course, the last leg of his trip involved a delayed flight. To distract the girls (and myself) I brought out the fingerpaints and let them have at it. At first, it was all so normal – just dip the finger in the paint and put the paint on the paper…



In fact, because M kept asking me to wipe off her finger every time she finished applying the paint to the paper, I figured she wouldn’t put any paint on her body. And then…


I may or may not have encouraged her to put a couple stripes on her face too…

…but all the rest was all her idea!



She even did pretty things with her paint along the way:

The final product…




B didn’t want to be left out…


The sisters aren’t so different (B at the same age):

To make sure they really were clean after their bath, I made them eat their dinner in their paint paraphernalia…

Ready to get hosed off:

All clean!

Comments Off on Fingerpaint Fun! | Category: Baby 2, Brianna, Mackenzie

Kid Date Night

In July, we started what we hope will be a new family tradition – kid date night. The idea is that each month J and I will each take one of the children and do something special one-on-one. In July, B opted to go with J, and M came with me. We kept it pretty simple for this first month (especially since it was raining cats and dogs that night) and just took them to dinner (B chose Chik-fil-A (of course), and I took M to Chipotle bc she loves their quesadillas).

B and J just before they headed out:

M and I before we headed out (since she was with me, there are more pictures of us…J doesn’t take many pictures unless he gets out his fancy camera).

M had assembled quite the ensemble (Kindermusik backpack, gator ski hat, tie-die shirt, white skirt with orange and blue butterflies, Ariel sandals, Nemo binky, and upside down sunglasses).


Quesadillas = happy girl!

Comments Off on Kid Date Night | Category: Baby 2, Brianna, Mackenzie


Tia arrived right before B’s graduation, and stayed for a week. Each of the girls got to spend some special time alone with Tia, and then they also got to spend time with her together. She surprised the girls with a few special treats – gifts from London!

Apparently, one time they decided to do a photo session with funny faces. Here are some of my favorites:





Grandma and Grandpa arrived towards the end of Tia’s visit. So we all piled in the cars to go to a super fun local park. We almost changed our mind because it looked like it might pour, but B convinced us we should stay, and she was right!

M didn’t want to ride the carousel, so she just hung out with Tia.


M was fascinated with the storage bins in the old caboose they have for kids to play in.

This picture shows her personality soooooo well…

When we went on the train ride, B wanted to sit by herself (since she is now big enough to ride by herself).

After Tia left, the girls spent a day with Grandma & Grandpa. B got to show off her hula hoop skills, and M had fun with all of the animals.


We celebrated the 4th with Grandma and Grandpa and Tatie Kat (and friends). Apparently, I didn’t take any pictures, so use your imagination. :) We had yummy ribs and did snaps and sparklers. I even got the girls up to watch some local fireworks from our front porch – M is still talking about them!

It was so beautiful that weekend, and the girls had such a good time watching Wimbledon, after the ladies singles final, we headed out to our local tennis courts to hit some balls around. B insisted on doing her hair like the ladies at Wimbledon. M, of course, insisted as well (and had a great time chasing the balls down for us).



All too soon, it was time for the rest of our visitors to leave. It was a great couple of weeks!

Comments Off on Visitors! | Category: Baby 2, Brianna, Mackenzie