Friday, August 31, 2007

Coo Coo for Coconuts

This picture kinda makes me laugh. Natalya and I were at HEB the other day and she saw coconuts. Many a time I have said, "OK, one of these days we'll get one so you can see what they look like inside." Natalya reminded me so we took two home. Greg drilled a hole in each and we let the girls drink them. It was no surprise that Natalya did not like it and it was also no surprise that Vienne did. Then Greg smashed them open. I did what I could to shred some of the meat and made smoothies. If anyone has a trick to doing it let me know 'cause I had utensils and coconut everywhere. On the other hand, I now know why they have it already shredded and ready in bags.

Sewing Frenzy

I've been all consumed these last few weeks with several sewing projects. Thought I'd share some of them:

OK, no sewing on these. The girls, being my biggest fans, love them. Who says summer's almost over?

V's nap mat for school. I decided the day before school started that I am going to have her nap at school. So we ran out and got the plastic mat. Then I made this cover with fleece camo and contrasting motorcycle fabric. Girlie with a little edge, just like V. Attached pillow and attached blanket. I impressed myself.

And preschool totes. This is V's before the monogramming. Pink and brown zebra with black eyelash fringe. I also made two camo totes for two boy friends.

Next project will be Halloween costumes. The girls want to be monsters. Since we have always dressed up as a family, Mommy and Daddy will be monsters, too.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

If You Find Me Wandering...

...Please send me home. I feel a little lost and lonely with no Vienne around. It's eerily quiet and I think the Dog thinks something is up. It hasn't been just me and Rockey since before the girls. But V's first day of school drop off was a success. She didn't fuss or cry and woke up ready to go. This is how I hope to see her when I pick her up or else I'll be thinkin' that I'm the worst Mommy ever:

Sunday, August 26, 2007

We're Go For Lift Off

Natlaya, may your first day of first grade be indicative of the many first journeys you take. It's a big, big, big world. We know you'll go far.

This will be My Best Shot for today. As always, the party's at Tracey's Monday mornings.

Me and my girls taken by our sweet friends.

Among the many accomplishments I know she will be honored with is this! My big girl got first place in the A Little Perspective photo contest hosted by Tracey Clark et al. Natalya is very artistic at heart and I see lots of wonderful creations in her future. (Our sweet dog has a been a good model lately affording both Natalya and myself a first place win recently. We adore her.)

It will be Vienne's turn tomorrow!

House With a View

We visited the house this week. The sheet rock should be going up within a few days. Fun. After that appointment we had a picnic dinner at the park of the sudvision that we are moving to. They have a nice play ground for the kids and a very nice lake with a walking/horseback riding trail.

Feeding the ducks.

A horseshoe print that Natalya said looked like a heart.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

A Mother's Dream

So I woke up this morning and had my morning Google Reader fix. I found that Melody at Slurping Life had posted about a Mothers and Daughters Blog Carnival by Sarah of Real Life. I am a mother of daugthers, two gorgeous ones, so I decided to join in. It's extremely personal, though. And that's not like me. So here goes:

We struggled with infertility like gazillions of families today. I considered myself lucky when we had our first daughter. She was born beautiful. And of course I called her "Angel Face". She was not only beautiful but she turned out to be the EASIEST child to raise (OK, after the first few months of very tiring nights.) She never complained and never wandered and never (I mean never) said "No". I thought, "What's all the fuss about. This parenting thing is easy." And still today she is the sweetest child anyone could meet.

Of course we wanted more. At least one more. We stared infertility in the face again, I gave myself the shots, and I grimaced at the megazillions of doctor's appointments, toting my poor daughter along. After 2 1/2 years of wanting, we had our second beautiful girl. Two girls. My dream come true. Or was it?

I loved my first born immensely. Nothing could compare. I looked at her everyday and knew this was me. This was why I was here. Of course every mother says that but I truly felt it in my most inner being. So when we started trying for our second I was a little torn. No, a lot torn. How could I love another child as much as I love my first? And again, every mother says that. But I truly felt it in my most inner being. I wasn't worried that it was working. I thought, "OK, I'll go through the motions but no big deal. Maybe next month." And when next month came and still nothing. Still felt the same. Maybe I don't want another. "This next child can't compare. How could he/she live up to what I already have?" It couldn't.

And then I secretly started hoping for a boy. Ooooh, if I had a boy it would be different. I could love him differently and inherently everything would be different. Different parts, different likes, different ways of loving. Want a boy, want a boy... "Looks like it will be a girl. Congratulations!" Wow... A girl... Yea, thanks... Hmmm.

So I carried her in my womb knowing it was a girl. All these months I tried to imagine what life would be like with her on the sideline. I tried to imagine how she would fare as second best. I tried to imagine myself holding a child that was not my Angel Face. I slapped myself in the face everyday thinking, "How could a MOTHER think such horrible things?"

And then she was born. And all of a sudden, the most fantastic, most incredible, most spiritual thing happened. I did love her. I did LOVE her. And she was beautiful. And she held my hand. And I cried. I brought home my second baby girl and I cried again. How could I have wasted all those months of not loving her? I felt ashamed. I did not feel worthy. I felt the lowest low of any lows. I promised her that I would make it up to her. That all the time that we lost would me made up and it would be as if it didn't happen at all. It was my dream come true after all.

I had always dreamed of having two girls. I grew up with a sister and I have so many fun memories of growing up with her. That's what I always considered perfect. Now being the mother of two girls is my fairy tale. They are both so different and I know that was on purpose. My second is definitely more spicy and adventurous and full of all of the challenges that I didn't get to experience with our first. I think they are both equipped with characteristics to help them face their future challenges as girls. And I think that I am helping them face those challenges with dignity and pride.

Still today I wonder what it would have been like to have had a boy. I really can't imagine it. Sometimes I still don't think I'm worthy of the love my girls give me everyday. But I will always make sure that they know that they are worthy of the love that we give them. And I hope that I can be the mother that they would have dreamed of. I was meant to be the mother of two girls. From my most inner being, I believe it now.


Friday, August 24, 2007

3 Days and Counting

Yesterday was a good school prep day. Both girls had their open houses, Vienne in the morning and Natalya in the evening. Vienne loved her new school. The teachers were warm and welcoming. And how could you hate a classroom that was FULL of toys? I think she's gonna like it there.
Natalya was in aw the whole time we were at her school. It seems so big to me since her kindergarten was in a small private school (they brought the lunch to their classrooms and there were only 7 students.) I was a little in aw too. It brought back some memories walking into the library and the cafeteria. Natalya sat in her desk and to her it was the just as fun as opening Christmas presents. As we were leaving she said, "I wish I had homework to do tonight." I love her.

Vienne pretending to be Handy Manny.

THE desk, with a cubby. Sweet.

And Me at the end of the day.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Not for Emotionally Unstable Moms

Today the girls and I went to see the movie Arctic Tale. From the makers of March of the Penguins, this movie follows the lives of a baby walrus and a baby polar bear from birth to adulthood. Natalya has always been fascinated with animals and loves watching Animal Planet. So it was no surprise that she took to this movie very well. Vienne was disappointed that it wasn't a cartoon and now says, "I don't like the polar bear movie." I found it very enjoyable, amazingly shot, and very educational. The underlying lesson for the movie was global warming and the effects it is having on the habitat of these animals and ultimately us. That's all I need for a movie of this kind.

What I didn't need this week was a heart wrenching tale of losing babies (in a couple of ways) and the story of making your way through life with one too many life threatening situations. My baby is off to school next week for her first time. I think I'm feeling a lot like the mama polar bear. Did you know that polar bears stay with their moms until they turn 3 at which time they are sent away to survive on their own with nothing but the the lessons they have learned from their MOM!? OMG! Vienne is 3 and that's what I'm doing next week! I'm sending her out saying, "This is when your life changes."

OK, a little dramatic. And she may not encounter many fierce boy polar bears. But I, like so many Moms, hope that my children take with them the lessons that they have learned at home so that they know how to deal with the difficult situations in life. I feel like I've gone the distance to see that they are fed, and to make sure that they are warm and sheltered, and I comfort them when they are ill (sniff, you won't be prepared for that scene.) I hope that it is these things that ground my children and help lead them to the happy life that they are destined for.

My baby cub will be fine I'm sure. But I can't help but think that the mama bear still, after saying her good byes, hopes that they think of her when they are gone. And that they return to her with wonderful stories to tell.

(BTW, they are offering free screenings of this movie. Visit the website for details.)

Pic of the Day

Monday, August 20, 2007

7 Days and Counting

I just realized that this is our last week of sleeping in! The girls start school next Monday. Of course, sleeping in for us is only 7:30 but still. I can't believe how many things change with just one event.

These are the books that I am reading to V to get her ready for school: How Do Dinosaurs Play With Their Friends by J. Yolen and M. Teague; If You Take a Mouse to School by Laura Numeroff; The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn; Dora Goes to School by Leslie Valdez; Brown Bear Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Eric Carle. Any other recommendations?

This will be My Best Shot for today. Been to Picture This lately?

OH! And I just had to mention that I entered this picture in the Photoworks Dog Photo Contest and I won 1st place! Enter your cute dog in this month's contest and you too may win a $100 gift certificate.

Ya Shouldn't Have

You know how it's always better to receive kudos when it's least expected? Like now! Melissa had some nice things to say about me and gave me an award. Aw shucks. Thanks, Melissa! I will pass it on to Jen because she wrote a post just on this subject a few weeks ago. She is sooooo nice. I'm so glad to have had my children grow up with her children; to Arizaphale because her comments are just the nicest, aren't they? I know she's left some at your blog, too; and to Maile because her comments are always so encouraging and, well, she's just so darned nice to know.

Have a nice week.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Fly Girls

Well, they are pretty fly. Natalya and Vienne are accessorizers.
Natalya found my sunglasses and put them on.And when monkey sees, monkey does. We enjoyed a great afternoon at the pool with friends. We have been loving the Texas sun. Guess what? It's raining today!

Thursday's Theme at Picture This is "fly". Whatcha' got?

Pic of the Day

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Tiny Dancer

This is my Sweet V. She asked me specifically to take "my picture with me like this." Vienne had her first dance class last night. And, in my unprofessional opinion, she may be the best dancer in the class. As many of you moms or dads know, it is the most tooth rotting, heart melting experience watching your little 3 year old, among other 3 year olds, try her hardest to tap or point her left foot in sync with the other 3 year olds and the teacher. I think some of the other girls may have thrown her off because she knows what her left foot is.

House Update

They were delayed with the rain but it seems that they are on track. We are getting a roof. But we are anticipating rain this weekend. The fun stuff should be coming soon.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Manic Monday

Busy day today. My mom is off of work today so I get to leave the girls with grandma while I run a few errands. The girls loath the fabric store (so did I when I was little) so I get to go in peace. Anyone else preparing for Halloween costumes already? I feel like I need to do a million things today. We'll see what gets done.

Here's My Best Shot for this Monday. Check out what everyone has for today at Picture This.

Thursday, August 9, 2007


Does it count? Thursday's Theme at Picture This is "key". Looks yummy, doesn't it?

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Seeing Red

For some reason, it didn't occur to me that dragonflies could come in red until this one let me get close enough to it to almost see her smile. The Lens Day Challenge today is "red".

Pic of the Day

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Field Trip

This weekend we visited the "Here Be Dragons" exhibit at the Institute of Texan Cultures. Greg has been wanting to go to the ITC for a long time. It's filled with all things related to Texas history. The current special exhibit is about dragons. As you enter the exhibit there is a really cool animated dragon. The rest of the exhibit talks about how dragons came to be cross culturally.

This picture was taken at the entrance of the ITC. If you've ever been to Texas you know that the flag flies everywhere. This is a huge neon flag that I thought was very cool.
Across from the ITC is the 750 foot tall Tower of the Americas. It's one of the first things you see when you approach downtown San Antonio. We've never been up there. Frankly, I'm a wee bit scared to go up. There's a restaurant at the top.
And our little Sweet V. She's always asking, "Where are we going next?"

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Saturday Afternoon Post

This morning Maile was in our little town again for another shoot. So I met her to pick up Vienne's portraits from our session. It was like Christmas. I opened the bow, then the paper, and there was my beautiful girl's face captured just as I know it. The book that she created was amazing. I may just have to carry it around with me for a couple of weeks to share it with any stranger who's willing to give me a few minutes.

Afterwards, the girls and I roamed Main Street for awhile. Trying to figure out why I always have so many pictures of Vienne and less of Natalya, I realized that when Natalya is done with me pointing the camera at her, she starts making funny faces. Here ducky, ducky.

(The "bottom" one will be My Best Shot. Whatcha got?)

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Fasten Your Seat Belts...

...It's going to be a bumpy ride. The HipHub has decided to join the Air Force reserves. He has already completed 17 years in the Air Force. When his time was up in the AF two years ago, we (mostly meaning "I") decided that in the best interest of the family, he would not sign on for more years. He had already been deployed to Saudi Arabia and to Iraq and he would have definitely had to go to Iraq again soon. He had always intended on joining the reserves at some point to finish up 20 years and therefore "retire" from the AF then.

He just couldn't let it lie. It was burning at his inner being. OK, I admit, from a retirement standpoint, he's right. That money in the future will certainly be nice. And he did look handsome in his uniform. Very handsome. But deployments are hard. Greg is telling me that he has some reassurance from somebody (I want credentials and it all in writing) that deployment is less likely. But if you are military aware, there are no guarantees. That is definitely a journey I don't want to take again. I will keep my fingers crossed that it's an uneventful 3 years.

Thursday's Theme is "Trip". Pack your bags, grab your passport and visit Tracey at Picture This.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Pic of the Day

Speechless today? Join Wordless Wednesday.

Ready to Roll

We just can't protect her enough.