Sunday, January 31, 2010

Silly Sunday

Today was definitely a silly Sunday. We all got up in plenty of time for church (a miracle). We got dressed, messed around...and before we knew it, it was time for church. So rather than rushing and becoming flustered, we decided to make it a family morning. We went to Shipley's Donuts for breakfast and then gave Hallie the choice of Wal-Mart or Toys 'R Us to pick out her next potty surprise. She is doing such a great job learning the signs of needing to potty! We are so proud of her! We started just a week ago and already she has gotten two surprises! And today she wore big girl panties ALL day long! And there were NO accidents! Yay for Hallie! I digress...Hallie chose Wal-Mart to pick out her surprise. What we do is let her pick 3-4 things that she might like. Then we line them up and she chooses one. She is extremely good at this and never asks for more than what we tell her she can have (knock on wood! ha!). For the first surprise, she picked out dominoes, a Polly Pocket, and a baby doll. Her number one choice--the baby doll. I have to admit, she's pretty cute. :o) We are trying to keep the "surprise" under $10. I figure if I bought little items from the Dollar Spot for her to get after each potty time, I'd be spending that much (according to our chart). Because Daddy was with us, the doll wasn't $10. But, she made up for it today in the surprise she chose--a $5 set of golf clubs! Ha! They were really cute, and she really enjoyed playing with them. Of course, not knowing what to do, when she first got out the clubs she was swinging them wildly. This resulted in Daddy getting smacked on the head. ;o) I also found something I have been looking for for almost a year! A life vest for children that goes around the arm and across the chest! I was thrilled! After Hallie picked out her surprise, we headed to Jonathan's parents' house for Sunday afternoon lunch--yummy chicken spaghetti. It was delish! One of my favorite dishes! And after lunch, we celebrated Grandmommy's 81st birthday! It was definitely a silly Sunday...wish every day could be so silly!

Hallie getting her first golf lesson!

Sporting her life vest...she was chasing Uncle J around the house!

Helping Grandmommy blow out her candle!

Consistency. With a capital C!

Yes, I love my little girl. She is just the most precious thing in the world to me. In fact, I call her precious so often that just today I sneezed and she said, "Bless you! Are you OK, precious?" Bless her sweet little heart...she is precious! :o) Having said that, she is also a MESS! Oh. My. Word. Sometimes there is just no other way to describe that little stinker. She keeps us on our toes and challenges our consistency more times than we wish to even try to keep up with. Sure, there are things that Jonathan and I choose to ignore...there will always be battles that aren't worth fighting. But one thing we have attempted to stand firm on is consistency. When we ask Hallie to do something, we go to great lengths to make sure she carries through with obeying our request. If we don't, then she'll quickly learn that we don't mean business and that she can walk all over Mommy and Daddy. No thanks. Having said that, Hallie will go to great lengths to get HER way. She has never really been a "pitch a fit" kind of girl...not saying she can't (because believe you me, the girl can throw one if she thinks it'll get her what she wants--which it usually doesn't), but generally she knows that's not going to get her what she wants (as mentioned just two seconds ago). So Hallie has learned to talk her way through trying to get her way. And I hate to admit it, but she is really good at this. I mean, REALLY good...for a two year old that is. Sometimes her antics get the best of me and I just can't stifle my giggle. At that moment, she'll give me a knowing grin while I regain my composure...and we'll begin the game again. I'm not kidding when I say she does this all the time. Nor am I exaggerating. It's usually with something small like why she should wear "these" shoes rather than "those" shoes. But this last banter kept me in stitches (along with my mother-in-love) throughout the entire conversation. It is now a burned memory...I will never forget her expressions, I will never forget exactly what she said and my replies. I have replayed this a thousand times in my head...and I giggle every stinking time! I love her...and here's why:

Hallie chose to ditch our usual Chick-fil-A after ballet last Tuesday and replaced it with McAlister's. I can't say that anyone was upset by this change (especially my wonderful husband who happens to loathe CFA...HOW did this happen?!). Hubs and I meet up at McAlister's and begin enjoying a tasty supper. The grandparents and Uncle J join later. After everyone is there, Hallie is past being finished with her supper and has proceeded to entertain herself at the booth behind us while everyone enjoys conversation. Of course, RahRah and I can't keep our eyes off Hallie because she is just too entertaining. Hallie is playing around with the little dish that houses the sugar/sugar substitute packages. Then she gets a sly little look on her face and begins to act as if she's going to dump the entire dish of packets onto the floor underneath the table. I gave her the "you had better not do that" look along with the head shake. She obeyed and continued playing around with the packets. Then I hear, "Ha ha ha." I turn around and ask her if she dumped the packets onto the floor. She quickly replied that she had indeed. Sigh. Here's the rest of the conversation:

Kendra: Hallie, I told you not to do that. You need to pick those sugar packets up.
Hallie: I don't want to.
K: I understand that you don't want to, but I want you to pick those up.
H: (surveying the scattered packets underneath the table) Hmm...but I might hit my head under there.
K: No, Hallie. You won't hit your head. You'll be careful under there. Now get down there and pick up the packets, please.
H: (crossing her legs while hanging on the edge of the table) But Mommy! There might be SPIDERS under there!
**At this point, I nearly lost it. My MIL lost it completely. Come on. That's cute. I have to give her credit where it's due--that was a pretty creative excuse. But it didn't deter me!**
K: No, Hallie. There aren't any spiders under there. Please pick the packets up now.
(I immediately felt bad about saying this because I didn't really know that there weren't spiders under there! Ha!)
H: But I will get my hands dirty. And my clothes dirty. I don't need to get down there. (Again, props to her...I always tell her to get up off the dirty floor--LOL!)
K: (slightly irritated at this point) Hallie. We will go wash your hands and brush your clothes off. It will be OK. Now pick them up. One...two...
H: (sighs) OK, Mommy. I'll pick them up.

Consistency. Whew. So I move to the booth to oversee this little clean up project as Hallie crawls underneath the table of the booth and begins picking up the sugar/sugar sub packets. She has about 6 packets in her hand and then sits up to sort of readjust herself. Wouldn't you know it, the stinker bumped her head. She immediately reached up to her head and popped her head around to catch my gaze...then these words came out of her mouth:

H: See Mommy! I did bump my head. I told you I would bump my head. I told you!
K: (stifling a giggle) I saw that. I'm sorry. Be careful under there.

Hallie continued her little project of picking up the packets, doing a wonderful job, of course. It even became a little game to her. She began sorting them by color--white, pink, blue, and yellow. She was quite determined once she got started. In the end, she even put them back in her dish. And it was all completed with a dusting of the clothes and a hand washing.

I'm almost certain this is only the beginning of my tests in the consistency department. That little ordeal took about 15 minutes. At least. I'm positive I'm going to be getting phone calls from Hallie's teachers. Oh my!

Consistency. I think I can, I think I can. Or will I be outwitted by my toddler?! Oh my!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

It's Potty Time!

Hallie has shown some interest in the potty since she was about 18 months (or so). We haven't pushed her to be "potty-trained". I just don't want to make an issue out of it. Hallie is very strong-willed, so my thought is the harder I push her to use the potty, the less likely it will be very fun for either of us. For the past few months, Hallie has been telling us when she needs to potty...just not consistently. She'll still go in the corner to do her business and then almost immediately ask for a clean Pull-Up (well, sometimes...and sometimes she doesn't want to be changed at all. I know, eww!). Today we stopped by Target to buy another package of Pull-Ups. We ended up getting the 44 pack. I said this to Jonathan: soon as we buy the larger package, she'll be potty-trained. Then I asked Hallie if she wanted to make a potty chart. I've wanted to do this, but honestly just haven't made the time to do so.

Side note: Several people mentioned putting M&Ms in the bathroom and rewarding Hallie with one after she used the potty. First of all, eww. I do not want food in my bathroom. I won't even chew gum while I'm going to the bathroom...I know, probably far too much information! HA! Second of all, Hallie already likes M&Ms and this probably would not be worth it to her. :o)

Back to the potty chart. Hallie picked out some VERY cute princess stickers and some poster board. She was super excited about helping me make the potty the end, she didn't do much helping. She just drew a picture while I made it. It's nothing fancy, nothing special...but I think it will be a great help toward Hallie becoming more independent with going to the potty. After Hallie gets 10 stickers, she'll get a surprise. When all of the boxes are filled, we're hoping she'll be either completely potty-trained or well on her way! :o) Preferably the first one.

It's already working wonderfully! We made the chart around 3:00...and it's a little after 6:00 now and Hallie already has FIVE stickers (two more since I took the pictures below! Wow!)! It's amazing to me to even realize how often she needs to go to the potty; and amazing to see her learning how to recognize the signs of needing to go to the potty. Of course, she gets one sticker for "tee-teeing" in the potty and two stickers for...well, making a stinky. :o) In this 3 hour span, Hallie had one accident and one almost accident. We're not sure how we're going to transfer all of this to Miss Pattie's (her little daycare) or if it's something we're just going to do at home. Suggestions?

Hallie is SO proud of herself! :o) We're pretty
proud of our little girl, too!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

For Your Enjoyment

I was blogging about Frog and Toad and Jonathan tried to find a video of it online...he ended up finding a high school production of Hallie's favorite song, "Getta Loada Toad", from the musical. Here's what Hallie said after she watched it for the 5th time. "Hey, how about we go see it again at the surprise?!" lol. :o) So, while this isn't exactly what we saw last night, you can get a good idea of how great the music was! :o)


We're constantly drawing, writing, or painting here...and Hallie has quite the little creative streak in her. She has been recognizing letters for a while now and even writing a few--especially the "H" and circles. Being a teacher, it's just in me to try to be constantly teaching her. But I've been really patient when it comes to teaching her to write her name and draw different things. I will sit down with her and show her how to write her name...but most of the time she just isn't interested. And I make myself be OK with that...I don't want to be the mom who pushes and pushes her to do things to the point that she hates the act of learning. That wouldn't be any fun! Today was a different story on the learning front! Hallie crawled up on the couch with me with her little Doodle Pro (one of my most favorite purchases to date!) and began drawing. I asked her if she could draw my utter surprise, she drew a line, added a head, and then added some arms! I asked where the legs were, so she added them. Then I said, "Oh Hallie, that's great...but what about a face?!" So she added two eyes, a nose, and a mouth! She continued to draw Mommy and Hallie. A few times she would draw an extremely large head, laugh, and erase it while saying, "That head is TOO BIG!" :o) Wow! When she tired of drawing, she said she was going to write her name...she wrote her H...then a few Ls, then an I...I asked if I could help her. She actually "allowed me to"! Ha! So I wrote her name on the top of the board and told her what letter to write each time. The ONLY part I helped her with was by saying, "the A is a circle with a line beside it"...and with the E. She drew a circle and I told her she needed to add a little half circle to the bottom. She did great! I can't wait to be allowed to give a few more lessons! :o)

From L to R: Daddy, Mommy, & Hallie

Frog and Toad!

I picked Hallie up from Miss Pattie's and told her that we were taking her to a surprise. She was immediately excited, of course! We were going to take Hallie to her first theater performance at Waco Hippodrome--Frog and Toad! Hallie was SO very excited. And Jonathan and I were both pleased with the professionalism of the performance. It was super cute! Hallie loved the performance and talked about it all night. She woke up this morning saying she wanted to go to the "surprise" again! :o) I can't wait for the next performance in the Hippodrome's Family Series..."The Little Engine that Could"!

Outside the excited!

The fam waiting for the performance to begin!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Dance like your Momma's watching

I cannot tell you how much Hallie loves going to ballet class. She may not quite understand her days of the week, but she knows that on Tuesday she goes to ballet. Every Tuesday morning, she goes in and tells Miss Pattie and Miss Lou that she'll "go to ballet today". Precious! Today I took my snazzy new camera (heehee) to ballet class...really, I should have taken my longer lens. Live and learn I suppose. There's always next week! :o) Nonetheless, I snapped a few pretty cute pictures of our little ballerina doing her thing. I love that her classes are in a skating rink and that it's open so that the parents can sit and watch their little ballerinas. I love getting to see how she acts in class (which is usually good...but today it seemed that all the ballerinas had a case of the sillies!) and what she's learning. :o)

I just want to say that when I say Hallie loves ballet, I mean she LOVES ballet! She teaches ballet to Jonathan and me all the time--it's pretty cute! It's my hope that this love will continue to grow in her b/c it teaches so many wonderful disciplines.

Getting ready to line up!

Waiting patiently to be greeted by Mrs. Korpi!
Look at that turn out in first position! I taught her that. :o)

Mrs. Korpi told Hallie she did a great job of
waiting patiently. :o)

Galloping with one of her new teachers, Mrs. Katie Ruth.
Hallie loves her new teacher!

Ballerina toes!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Change, Change, Change

Change...that's pretty much what Hallie does all day long if we're at home! I can be cleaning up the kitchen and see her in one outfit and then turn around and she's in another. She cracks us up. So today Hallie woke up and said, "I'm not sick anymore. I'm all better because I ate my princess soup [chicken noodle soup in the shape of princesses] last night! Wanna go to Walmark or church?" LOL! Well, because Hallie is still on the mend, we did neither. But I assure you church would have won out over "Wal-Mark" this morning. ;o) I'm not sure about her recent love for Wal-Mart b/c we rarely go there! Anyway, Hallie started her day her princess skirt and pajamas. And she's feeling much, much better!

Hallie started her day in pajamas and a princess skirt.
Oh, and non-matching princess shoes to complete the outfit.

Then we moved onto a pink shirt, pink/brown striped
pants and princess skirt. She was taking pictures with
her tiny camera. Very cute!

Same shirt and shoes...different pants b/c she had a little
accident in her "big girl panties". Oops. :o)

Helping daddy finally take the Christmas lights down.
After all, as Hallie says, "Christmas is over."

Saturday, January 16, 2010

The Sickies and Surprises

Hallie woke up this past Thursday night throwing up--fun times. She has had a lot of congestion the past couple of days and was calling for Momma and crying, so we don't really know the cause of her getting sick. Maybe her tummy was upset or maybe she got gagged in all the excitement of waking up crying. Either way it was gross and messy. She ended up in the bed with us and went fast to sleep. Jonathan and I went back and forth about who would take care of her the next day. Praise the Lord I had a teacher work day on Friday! At first we planned on me just staying home, but I had so very much to do with getting report cards ready that it was a must that I go to school. Hallie was very excited to go with me! We packed her several snacks, the DVD player, her movies, her nap mat and a blanket and headed to school. Needless to say, I didn't get a whole lot done despite the fact that I set Hallie up in her personal movie theater! :o)

Since Hallie had been running a fever since the great vomit incident (and we had a long weekend coming up) we decided to take Hallie to the doctor. Jonathan came to school around 2 pm to pick up Hallie for her doctor's appointment. Hallie did great at the doctor's, and you wouldn't have known she had a temp of 100.4 with the way she was jumping from one colorful square to the next! Dr. Huitink (who we always see if we go to the doc on Friday b/c our pedi doesn't work on Fridays) examined Hallie and said she did a great job--actually he said she was the best two year old he has examined lately! :o) She took deep breaths for him, let him look in her ears, and even stuck her tongue out for him to look in her throat! He said he had seen a lot of RSV lately, but she didn't have the symptoms of that. Praise the Lord! To be on the safe side, he ordered chest x-rays. Hallie did great in x-ray and turns out everything looked normal. Hopefully she will be 100% better soon! :o)

Hallie's appetite has been way down because of all
her Daddy got her popsicles!
It was love at first sight. :o)

Hallie spent part of the afternoon with Gramps and Rah-Rah.
We returned with a surprise for Hallie to help lift her spirits.
I love her facial expression here--so excited!

"A vaca-uum"!

"Here, Mommy! Take a picture of me with
my vaca-uum. Smile, vaca-uum!" :o) Love!!

Here Hallie wanted a picture of JUST the, vaca-uum. :o) She checked the
picture to make sure it was OK! Ha!

Please Pray

This news story is about our neighbor's brother and sister-in-law. Our neighbors, Jim and Rose Mary are two of the most precious people I believe we have ever known. Please keep them and their family in your prayers as you remember the devastation of Haiti.

Click the link below to read the article:

Robinson man has leg crushed in Haiti quake, fears his wife among the dead

Thursday, January 7, 2010

And in the other room...

Hallie usually loves watching football with us--at least she did during the regular season. She loved watching Auburn and always gave her best "Warrrrr Eagle! Hey!" :o) She loved going to the Baylor games yelling out "Sic 'em Bears!" But tonight I tried to get Hallie to watch the National Championship Game. Do you know what she said to me? She said, "No, Mommy. I want to watch Barbie. Football is for boys." LOL! Are you kidding me?! Football is for boys?! Who is this child?! Oh my, she keeps us in stitches. So here is the princess...she came in the den and asked for a blanket. She went back into the playroom and snuggled up in her yellow chair (hers now b/c she has thoroughly decorated it) to watch Barbie...with her "spicy water".

While she will always be an Auburn-Baylor girl, I did
prompt her to "Hook 'em Horns". lol

Hook 'em Horns!

Alright, y'all. I am ALL about some college football! I love college football. More than anything else, I love SEC football! I always root for the SEC. But it is NOT in my blood to cheer for Alabama. I just cannot do it. I would feel as if I were betraying my team!


Disclaimer: I realize I look like a total dork. You don't need to tell me. ;o) My body is only made to wear Orange and Blue...that's why I have blue on with my Texas orange! lol. Not really, I was wearing a blue shirt with a red tank under it all day. It just sounded good. Seriously, though, I do know I look like a total dork in these pictures. War Eagle and Hook 'em Horns!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Better Late than Never. Right?

On Christmas Eve, it snowed! I was out doing some last minute shopping when the flurries began. I quickly called Jonathan and told him to bundle Hallie up so she could get out and play in it. He said she had the best time. When I got home, it was still snowing, so Hallie and I bundled up and went out in it again! She loved the snow and loved trying to catch snowflakes on her tongue. :o) It was so chilly that we didn't stay out long. After playing inside a little bit, we looked out the window and saw that it was snowing yet again. This is very unusual for Waco, Texas! So for a third time, we bundled up and headed into the snowy bliss. It snowed on and off all day and night Christmas Eve. Unfortunately it hadn't been cold enough for any of it to stick--in fact, every day Christmas week (before the snow) had been in the upper 60s, lower 70s. Ha! Then we all of a sudden get snow! It was a lot of fun to play in, and I'm so glad Hallie got to experience the wonder of it all...hopefully she'll be able to see more than just flurries sometimes soon. :o)

Doing her "Nonna Pose" for Daddy.

What a sweet girl!

This is one of my favorite pictures. I adore the expression
on her face...I think she is just beautiful! :o)

Look at the flurries!!!

Hallie thought it was extremely funny when a snowflake
landed on her tongue. She'd giggle and yell "It's COLD!!"

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy 2010!

Happy New Year from the Echols Family! We hope you are having a wonderful 2010! We're only a day into it, so ours is pretty great so far. Well, we're all congested and have allergy issues going on, but we know things could be a lot worse! We hope 2010 brings many joys and blessings your way!

I'm sure many of you make that list of things you plan on doing better in the next year. I'm pretty sure I did that high school. And I was so disappointed in myself for not accomplishing every goal that my plan was to never make another list! Ha! For me, I know there are things I can do better every day, so changing the year on the date doesn't make a whole lot of difference for me. I can always be a better wife, mother, daughter, teacher, sister, and friend. I can always treat people with more respect and love. I can always do better with keeping up with the disaster that is so often our house. I can always do better with organization (what I really mean is laundry and grading papers--lol). And since those things are ongoing, there's no need in making a list. In my mind, lists are for things that can be crossed off once accomplished. I'm pretty sure the things mentioned above can never be fully accomplished. :o) Well, I know two that will probably NEVER be accomplished--keeping up with laundry and grading papers on time! Ha!

So, here's to a new year! I can't believe a year already passed by! Happy 2010!

New Year's Day
(Can you tell my allergies are getting the best of me?! Sigh!)

Two of the biggest blessings in my life!

The next two were taken Christmas Day...with my
mother-in-love's camera and I just got the pictures.
I love both of the pictures--and the people in them! :o)