Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Austin Children's Museum

Hallie and I met some of our sweet San Antonio friends in Austin for a fun-filled day! Of course, it hadn't rained (except yesterday's small shower) in probably a month. So the day Hallie and I decided to hit the road, what does it do? Yep, it pours...POURS down rain the entire trip to Austin. Sigh. We met The Guinn family (minus Jeremy) at Chick-fil-A for lunch. The kids probably would have been happy staying there, playing; but we had already planned a trip to the children's museum. So after Stephanie and I chatted for a bit while the kids played, we headed to the museum. Neither of us had ever been, but there's a great children's museum in San Antonio and a great one here, in Waco. We were hoping it was just as good. I'm not sure how Stephanie felt about it, but I was a little disappointed. There weren't that many exhibits for the kids to actually play in--although they didn't notice. :o) It was more for older kids, so Sarah (7) had a blast. There was lots of arts and crafts sections and "make your own" sections. There was a toddler section, but it really was more for babies. It didn't stop the kids from having a great time and not wanting to leave when it was time to go! They did have several cute exhibits--a little construction zone, a kitchen, a grocery store and restaurant. There was also a "milk the cow" exhibit...and we actually witnessed a kid take the suction off the teet and lick the "milk" that was going into the can. Eewww. lol. Hallie found a small cow and held it up to the big cow while proclaiming "Itsamatch!" :o)

In the tumble room!

Cute little Austin!

The "Mi Familia" exhibit--Hallie really loved it!

Liam (L) and Austin (R) playing the drums!

Hallie giving it a try--she's a natural!

These two are SO cute together! Hallie is about 2 weeks older
than Austin, so Stephanie and I spent a lot of time together in the
"cry room" at church...that's where Hallie and Austin became
friends. :o) Here they are sharing scissors. Too cute!

A little dollhouse in the construction zone--you
could build your own house.

I couldn't get Austin to smile for me...he's
so stinking cute!

Austin wanted to make sure Hallie was safe while
in the construction zone! Thanks, Austin!

So...Hallie returned the favor. :o)

There was a little train table when you first went into to the
museum...Hallie and Austin could have stayed here the
entire time and been perfectly happy!

Sweet friend, Stephanie!!

Trying to get a picture of the kids...they're all in the
shot...you just can't see their faces. In the front:
Liam, Sarah, Hallie. In the back, Ashley trying to
get Austin in the picture. :o)

Take 2...well, sort of.
Liam, Austin, Sarah, Hallie

Monday, June 29, 2009

Water Fun!

Gramps and Rah-Rah got Hallie a water table and it is a hit day after day! We have it on our back porch so she can enjoy being outside with plenty of shade and a little fan to keep her cool. :o) After many, many days of no rain, we actually got a little rain shower this afternoon while playing outside. There was lots of thunder and lightning, but very little rain where we were. We were thankful for the little rain we got!

Sweet, happy girl!

We get this face a lot--usually while she's saying
"Momma said no..." :o)

Oh, the conversations...

Hallie is quite the entertainer lately. I have so many stories that I want to remember. So this post is just a little update of sorts for what I've been seeing daily in my sweet girl. These are the things Jonathan and I talk about being SO cute, and things I do not ever want to forget.

I haven't caught it on camera yet, but she loves talking on the phone. She will take my phone and say, "My phone!" Then she'll put it up to her ear and say, "Hey Pop...(nod)...I fine. I got gum" or whatever is going on at the moment. It is absolutely priceless and precious! After talking for a few minutes, she'll look at me and whisper "Mommy, take my phone." So I will humor her and take MY phone from her. haha. She will immediately pop her head around to Jonathan and say "Daddy!!! Mommy took my phone!!" He'll also play along by interrogating me--"Mommy, did you take Hallie's phone." I will fib and say no. Then she'll look completely disgusted and say, "She said 'no'!" We have so much fun with her.

Since we've lived in this house, Hallie's changing table has been in front of the window. Hallie was always interested in the blinds, trying to get a peek of "outside" (as she calls it). I don't even remember the day it started, but Hallie started saying "Hey, Outside!" and Jonathan would begin talking to her as "Outside". First it was just a greeting...then it was full-on conversation. While driving home from our Tuesday night Chick-fil-A run (family night), out of nowhere Hallie began a conversation with "Outside". It went something like this (with me having to be "Outside"):

Hallie: Hey, Outside!
Outside: Hey, Hallie! Whatcha doing?
H: I'm eatin' a french fry.
O: Mmm...you're eating a french fry? That looks good!
H: Outside, want some french fry?
O: Oh, yes! Thank you! I'd love some french fry!
H: Noooo! Outside! You can't have some french fry. You don't have a face.
O (while stifling the laughter): Oh. Well, I suppose you're right.
H: You can't have french fry. I have a face, I can have french fry.

And that was the end. She didn't talk to outside again until bedtime. lol. It's things like this that happen probably 50 times or more a day. Just the most random, cute things...such creativity, such imagination. Hallie is growing up entirely too fast!

Another thing Hallie does with EVERYTHING is matching. If she sees something that is the same (or almost the same), she'll say--as if it's one word--"itsamatch!" in complete excitement. For example, she and I both have gray New Balance tennis shoes...itsamatch! Hallie's Cinderella doll and her Cinderella bandaid on her leg...itsamatch! Hallie's bow and Mommy's barrett...itsamatch! Daddy's khaki shorts and Hallie's khaki shorts...itsamatch! Other ways Hallie matches--shape, color, size. She has been doing this for several months now, I just keep forgetting to post about it. She keeps us giggling, that's for sure!

Hallie can now sing her alphabet all the way through without skipping a letter. I've yet to capture this on video. Sigh. Her ending makes me laugh--"Now I know my ABCs, next time sing my ABCs". :o) She can also count to 10 without skipping any numbers and can count objects to 5. How did she learn to count objects to 5? I had a bag of marshmallows...she requested five. I had her count them out. She'll sometimes skip 3 and count to 6...but she is quickly learning!

We are SO proud of our sweet Hallie! Can you tell?!

Celebrate Good Times! Come on!

We got to celebrate with some great friends this past weekend. Kelly and Kevin were married in Las Vegas in May and had a reception to celebrate with family and friends. It was great getting to see Jonathan's high school friends and meeting Kelly's family. There was good food, great company, and a video montage of past pictures--some of them extremely hilarious of the "Fab Four" back in the day! There was even some music for entertainment...although, I think the dancing kids really stole the show on the entertainment front. I really wish I had have gotten a video of them dancing, but hopefully you'll get a glimpse of the cuteness from the pictures!

Congratulations to the happy newlyweds! We wish you many, many years of happiness and joy together! We love ya'll!

Mr. and Mrs. Schaffer

The Echols Family

Two cuties--Hallie and Rebecka

Tearing up the dance floor!

Oh my! Rebecka, Maggie, and Hallie
Could these three be any cuter? They became fast friends!
Whenever Rebecka or Maggie would walk somewhere else,
Hallie would hold her arms out and ask, "Where my
friends go?" They had a great time entertaining
everyone...and I had a great time watching them!

Opening up presents...Hallie was sitting under
the table! LOL!

So sweet!

**Rebecca and Maggie are Kelly's nieces (well, Kevin's now, too). Disclaimer--I have no idea how to spell Rebecca's name...whether it is ca or kah. :o) Let me know, Kevin! (Update: I found out I didn't even have a 50/50 chance of spelling her name right...it's Rebecka! Unless Kevin's lying to me!)

Baby's Got a New Pair of Shoes!

Nonna strikes again! This time with a pair of Add-a-Bow squeaky shoes! Oh my goodness...these shoes are adorable. Of course, I think I'm one of the few who thinks her little squeaky steps are just adorable. Hallie wore her squeaky shoes to church on Sunday. Don't worry, the squeakers are removable! We put the squeakers back in for lunch, and it nearly drove Charley (our dog) nuts. Whenever he hears a squeak, he must find it, attack, and destroy. He was looking for something furry, but never found it. He eventually gave up.

The video says it all--Hallie love shoes!

Hallie Flips!

Two weekends ago, Hallie dazzled us with a new trick--turning flips. She has been bending over, standing on her head as long as she was able to stand up. We've been waiting on the day that she decided to just flip on over. She loves flipping! She's becoming quite fearless when it comes to jumping, flipping, and climbing. She's our resident monkey! :o)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Girls Day Out

This is Hallie's favorite spot--sitting on the little seat of the window. You can find her here quite often. And if you're looking for a sippy cup, a bow, or anything else Hallie likes to stash, you'll find it in the dollhouse! Now, the things that belong in the dollhouse have other homes--in her play kitchen refrigerator, microwave, shelf, or dishwasher!

Hallie has had quite the interesting day. It started out with her being extremely whiny...probably because she's not getting near the amount of sleep she needs to. It's quite stressful on us all! Last week we took Hallie to the doctor and she had strep throat. Poor thing. She woke up Thursday night throwing up, then threw up again Friday morning. She was very upset about having to go to the doctor, but found her courage along the way saying, "I go to the doctor. I'm sick." Bless her. We laid low all weekend and finally ventured out a bit today. My mom had gotten Hallie an outfit at GAP that she wanted me to try on (make sense?). So Hallie and I headed to the mall. She was excited about going shopping with Mommy. :o) We get there, stop by GAP, browse the racks, then head to CFA for lunch. She and I were going to share some nuggets before enjoying the quarter rides (specifically the train). I was really excited about how well Hallie was eating because her appetite hasn't been that great lately. She was hungry and eating. And then it happened. See, she has had this yucky cough that has been lingering (we'll probably be going to the doctor again soon--sigh) and sometimes it gags her and up comes the food. Bleh. And that's exactly what happened. At first, it was just little...and we caught it in the napkin. But Hallie's gag reflex seems to work REALLY well, so I was ready for more to come. Really, I should've just held the tray up to her mouth. Sigh. Bless her sweet heart, she threw up all over herself. I was catching what I could in my hands (gross, I know...but as a mommy, you do what you have to do, right?). She was crying, people were staring...it just wasn't fun. Surprisingly, I didn't freak out. I mean, there was nothing we could do. So I started clean up. Hallie wanted her shirt and shoes off--since they were covered in yuck. So she stood there in her little skirt (Jonathan would have died) while I cleaned everything up. I alerted the CFA people to the incident, and after I had gotten most of it, this high school kid comes out to clean it up. I felt AWFUL. But I was glad I had gotten the majority of it. And as we left and I thanked him over and over, in true CFA form he said, "No problem, ma'am. My pleasure." I'm not sure Truett Cathy really meant that one had to say "My pleasure" when cleaning up a 2 year old's vomit...but I was thankful regardless.

After that, we headed to Gymboree to grab a cheapy outfit (I knew about their big sale--thank goodness!) because all Hallie could think about was riding the train! Embarrassed that I looked like "one of those mothers" as I pushed Hallie through the mall in only a diaper (GASP...and again, Jonathan would have died), I told Hallie to lean back so I could put the canopy over her. lol. Of course, she didn't care...if she had it her way, she'd go everywhere in only a diaper. Oh, and the shoes of her choice. We get to Gymboree, buy a very cute outfit for just over $10 and headed to the train. But not before Hallie's attention was grabbed by the Great American Cookie Company. Feeling sad for her, I caved and bought her a Mini Double Doozie--delicious icing stuffed between two M&M chocolate chip cookies. I know what you're thinking..."but she just threw up". Remember...she gagged. And believe me, that cookie was staying in her stomach. And every last morsel did. Hallie enjoyed the cookie, the train, and the ride to Daddy's work--she was very excited to go see him. She played, gave Daddy the cookie that she picked out for him, and then we headed home. A late nap took place and we're awaiting the arrival of Gramps and RahRah (and maybe Uncle J) for supper. It was a fun day...even with all the craziness that went with it!

Oh, and before Hallie gave into a nap, she insisted on another cookie--this time an oatmeal cookie...in her favorite spot. And really, the cookie was just a ploy to stay awake just a little longer.

New Hideout!

Last year, Abby loaned Hallie her barnyard hideout. Hallie played with it on occasion last summer...but wasn't really interested in having a hideout. I decided to pull it out the other day and Hallie was SO excited about it! She's at the age where she really likes to hide and have a place to put her treasures. She keeps the "doors" down and doesn't like us intruding on her privacy (HA!). Daddy is special, though...he got an invitation!

I know it's blurry, but read Halile's face...
"Mommy, KEEP OUT!"

Hallie allowed one visitor.

Hallie is also into telling secrets--it is SO cute. She's telling
Jonathan a secret here...she said, "I love you, Dada!" How
sweet is that?!

Planting Flowers

I thought I was doing so well with keeping the blog up. Eh...not so much, huh? Hallie and I started bright and early on planting flowers because by noon, it was 100 degrees. Sigh. On Saturday we went to buy the flowers and Hallie was really excited about planting them. Her excitement left about 10 minutes into it. I thought she'd love digging in the dirt--as she usually does--but she just wasn't into it. She played with the dirt on the driveway (with some big clumps that were in the potting soil), but as far as helping with the planting and such, it wasn't her thing for the moment. Now, since we've planted them,she really enjoys checking on them (um, plucking the petals) and helping me water them. They're not dead yet...and it has been over a week! Wow! :o)

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Father's Day!

Sunday was a day to celebrate Hallie's sweet, sweet daddy! I cannot imagine a better daddy for my sweet girl. He is completely smitten with her, and the feeling is definitely mutual! Hallie was really excited about getting Jonathan's presents wrapped! She and I woke up and let daddy sleep in a little bit. We wrapped the gifts and then went to get some yummy breakfast--doughnuts from Shipley's. When we got back she ran to get him "Daddy!! Daddy!! Come get your 'presnents'!" So very cute. Hallie told him Happy Father's Day, and it melted his heart! Hallie was recovering from strep, so we took it easy on Sunday morning. I was very sad to not go to church, but the day was still wonderful. Gramps, Rah-Rah and Uncle J came over for lunch. We all ate way too much! We had grilled chicken, mac and cheese, green beans, baked potatoes, fruit with dip, and two desserts--coconut cream pie and spice cake. Everything was delish!

I really wish I could've been with my sweet daddy on Father's Day! We love you, Pop! Hope you enjoyed your goodie basket!

We love you, Daddy! Thank you for being wonderful you!

Hallie was very excited for Daddy to open his presents!
This is a picture of Hallie holding Daddy's hands.

Helping Daddy opening his laptop table.

A painting for Gramps!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Milkshake Update

I just wanted to let all my blog fans (all 3 of you) know that when Hallie woke up--around 6:15--the first thing out of her mouth was "milkshake?!"...and she did, in fact, get her milkshake.  Sweet girl.  Now that she slept until dinner time, we're finally getting her in the bath.  Here's a cute story...I got her a new little bath toy at the grocery store earlier.  I just told her that I had a surprise for her.  She got all excited and said, "Oh!  Thank you!"  She immediately followed with "Happy Birthday to Hallie!  Happy Birthday to Hallie!" while dancing around the living room.  LOL!  As I'm waiting for Jonathan to start her bath, Hallie is saying, "I need my 'prise...I need my 'prise!"...she's also climbing on her rocking chair onto the arm of the couch saying "I be careful...I be slooooow."  Oh...Daddy's going to get the bath ready, so I'd better go get her 'prise! :o)

These are the days!

Zoo Time!

Despite the Texas heat, RahRah and I braved the zoo with sweet Hallie! She was very excited about going to the zoo...so much so that any time she got in a little trouble this morning before going, she would quickly say "I sorry, Mommy...I want to go to the zoo!" Sweet thing. We picked RahRah up and excitedly headed to the zoo! We stopped in the gift shop first for a bag of fish food--great fun! I didn't want to spend too much time there, as it's the only place we got to see the last time we went before it started pouring rain! haha. We headed on through the zoo...as hot as it was! I think the zoo does a good job of alternating outdoor exhibits with indoor ones...just as we felt we'd had enough of the heat, it was time to go indoors and see the aquariums! Thank the Lord for air conditioning! Hallie hadn't been to the zoo in about a year (other than our brief 15-20 minutes a few weekends ago)...she is at a very fun age for the zoo! I really think she enjoyed seeing all the exhibits. I have to say her favorite thing for this visit was getting to feed the fish! So very cute!

After the zoo, Hallie requested Chick-fil-A (surprised?)...I was hoping for more of a McAlister's afternoon, but she was the special girl for the day. Thinking she was completely tuckered out, we expected her to eat and then be ready to go; but no! She played for another 30+ minutes in the CFA play area! And her trip to CFA couldn't be complete without a milkshake...which at this point she hasn't gotten yet. Why? Well...b/c she threw a little fit while we were waiting for it. She was so close to getting it! She was sitting on the counter, arranging the brownie containers (as she often does) when she--out of nowhere--grabbed all of the CFA gift cards (about 50) and flung them across the ordering area. Oh my! While I picked them up, she helped with the gift card holders. When I asked her to give them to me, she quickly hid them behind her back...and then flung those as well (after I told her she wouldn't be able to have her milkshake unless she gave me the holders--yep, she looked me right in the eyes and then flung them with all her heart...as tired as it was!). When I told her that I was sorry, but she wouldn't be enjoying that milkshake yet, she went into a hissy-fit. Somehow her chompers were attached to my thigh--and this did not feel good! With CFA gift cards in one hand, I tried to pry her off me with my left hand...I'm sure I was making some sort of face! Then I got on her level and attempted to reason with an exhausted two year old telling her that she had not made any progress toward getting another chance at that milkshake (no, I didn't use those words). She started in with the "I'm sorry Mommys" and I told her I was sorry, too. After she was in her seat, she calmed down a bit and I told her that she would get another chance for her milkshake after she took a nap...she is STILL sleeping 3+ hours now). On the way home, I told my MIL that I couldn't be too hard on her...she was about 2 hours past naptime. Bless her sweet heart. So hopefully the little stinker will get her milkshake when she wakes up...and believe me, she will remember it!

By the way, as we left CFA, Hallie sweetly said, "I had fun at zoo. I had fun eating, too." Love her!

Beautiul giraffes!

Hallie really enjoyed watching this pelican--he was giving
us a little splash show! Very cute!

Enjoying the cool of the aquarium!

Hallie the beautiful butterfly!

Sweet little hand feeding the fishies.

Play-do Fun

Our girl really enjoys playing with Play-do. Anything that is remotely "artsy" snags Hallie's attention and holds it for longer than I would think for a two year old. I had gotten her some paints and Play-do a while back and recently found them (this happens a lot with me!). She was so excited when she saw them, so I got them out for her. We talked about not throwing it on the floor and not putting in her mouth--amazingly, she was listening. I was cooking dinner while she played...an hour and a half later, she tells me she's "all done". I could not believe she had played that long. She talked about the colors, the little cutters matching the colors, and wnated me to roll the colors up into balls so she could cut them with the little "kife". :o) Since this go around with the Play-do, she has played with the set again, playing for almost just as long. She really has the artsy thing down! :o)