Ode To Murphy!

Dear Murphy-

We miss you dearly Pup! Hopefully Ada will grow out of her "animal dander allergy" soon.... who knows, she may not even be allergic to you. Maybe it was just a terrible coincidence that as soon as you went "on vacation" to Grams that Ada's stuffy head and ear infections cleared up. Regardless, we think about you everyday- our family is incomplete without your quirky personality and goofy antics. Here are a few videos that capture your essence perfectly. You are a goofball, you keep us laughing, and you have the sweetest heart and purest love for your family (us!).

We are so thankful that we were poking around at the animal shelter the day you hopped into our laps and our hearts!

Casey, Alicia, and Ada Bug

This is a video of Murphy sneaking onto the couch... Casey set up the video camera before leaving for work- and low and behold 3:30 into the clip (only after Murphy hears the garage door close)- that crazy pup is making himself nice and cozy on our red couch!

This is a 5 month old Ada and a 4 year old Murphy- getting in their "Tummy Time!"

Cruisin' for a Bruisin'

Here's that baby girl creeping along the windowsill! She'll give me her hand and take a step or two to me with guidance (and a little fussy muss), but yesterday was the first time she really took it upon herself to embark on a leisurely cruise up and down the window. Granted, Germaine the Giraffe did provide a little incentive to make the trip....

Yes, we are still in our jammies- we are spoiled rotten and not getting dressed until late morning these days! It's going to be a SHOCKER when our 5:30 am wake-up-calls return in a week and a half (The good thing about teaching high school- getting out by 3:30pm. The bad thing- getting there at 6:50am! Add in living 30 minutes away and dropping a baby off at daycare makes for a very early morning). But, for now, we are ignoring the fact that the end of summer is quickly approaching, and we are going about our holiday business as usual!


Big Girl Milestones

Ada will be 10 months old this weekend!!! I cannot believe it. Here is what she's been up to for the past few weeks:

Milestone #1: Sleeping in her big girl crib! We have had so many sleep issues throughout the school year, I never thought this day would come! We have trouble getting her to sleep (she fights it like a total champ), we have trouble getting her to stay asleep (I feel like there was always something, teething, ear infections, bad days at daycare and wanting her Mommy, etc.) But she's doing a lot better in the crib- I'm sure it's much more comfortable than the pac-n-play that she'd been in in our room. DUH Mom and Dad- shoulda thought of that sooner. She's still not the Queen of Slumber- she's still been waking up at 1 and 3am.
But we're working on it. 1 o'clock we *try* to pat her back to sleep (sometimes its just too exhausting), 3 o'clock I go ahead and nurse her. Dr. Sears says pick 7 hours (for a breastfed

baby) that you want to not nurse- so I've been going 8pm-3am. Hopefully as she eats more and more and more solids, that will lengthen! :) I'll also probably bump those hours to 10pm-5am once school starts, since I get up at 5 anyway during the


Here is a reenactment that Ada and I created to give you an idea of how much we love waking up in our big girl crib! (Thanks for the crib, Pop and Honey! And thanks for actually putting her in it, Grandma and Grandpa!)

Milestone #2: Big Girl Carseat! Ada was getting a little long for her baby carseat. So I went ahead and got "The Big Girl Seat" before we're paying wazoos for daycare again in a few weeks. Well, she loved it so much when I put her in it just to test the strap adjusments, etc that we went ahead and installed it. She loves being able to look out the window, see herself better in the mirror, and recline in the pretty, comfortable seat cover (I would hope it's comfortable and pretty- it's Britax's "Couture" collection!). Here she is, excited to go for a car ride!

This is a pic I snapped at a red light from her mirror- she's totally relaxed, and holding Boy Toy! :)

Milestone #3: A blooming love of books. I've read to Ada from the day we brought her home from the hospital. At about 6 months, however, she began "exerting her independence"- aka grabbing any book that came into sight to chew to pieces. Recently she's coming back around and taking an interest in these "toys with pictures and words!" She loves to play in her room, pulling books off of her bookshelf (thanks for the library, MiMi!), opening and closing pages, and feeling the books with textures. Below she is reading her all time favorite book, "Little Feet Like." She will even rub the pages with her feet instead of her hands! It's really, really cute. I'll try to catch it on video for another blog! :)

Reading "Little Feet Like." Picking out which book I want to read next.

Milestone #4: The beginnings of words. "Mama" and "Dada" have been definite fixtures in Ada's vocabulary from about 7 months old. Then, about 2 weeks ago, came "Yum Yum" and "Uh Oh!" And now, Ada is officially trying her hardest to pronounce words like "dog," "bath," "tub," and "duck." It. Is. SO. Darn. CUTE! And you can't coax her to say any of it- its all on her terms, her time, her choice. Note to self: get a video of this.


Ada's First Sport

Ada and I watched this video, and she is SO ENTHUSED to take this up! She couldn't watch it enough!

All this for a Twank!

Twank (adj): slang for twenty dollars ($20). *I may be a High School teacher, a couponer, & mother to a baby (aka: a baby mama), but I've still got some street cred!*

This includes: seven 24 packs of Nestle Pure Life water (2 are not pictured- they will be redeemed at a later date when the free rebates come in!), five 12 packs of Dr. Pepper (well, 3 are Diet. And those are for Casey- I'm so screwed when I'm no longer nursing Ada, I will have to switch back to Diet and I won't be happy!), & a bunch of bananas (those weren't on sale, so I didn't get a lot..just a bunch. Ha haaaaaaaa!).

That comes out to a whopping average of $1.53 each. It almost costs that to buy only one bottle of water or one can of coke!

To see how I did it, go to www.southwestcouponclipper.blogspot.com. Now, part of the deal was via a Randall's promo which ended last night- but you can still print some coupons for the water and the Pure Life rebates (2 free cases w/ the purchase of 5!).

*2 strollers and vehicle not included in purchase.*


HiLaRIoUs HoUsEWoRk!

Friday is my housework day- every week I pray that Ada is easily entertained for the few hours it takes me to exercise my inner-clean freak..... Not only was that prayer answered this past week, but God gave me a little *extra* gift- Ada's entertainment was the housework!

As I dusted the blinds (yes, I dust the blinds every week- I'm telling you, I'm abnormal), Ada began giggling uncontrollably. She cracked up as I dusted, as we walked down the hallway, as we hunted the video camera; and you can even hear her excitement heighten again as we turn the camera on and walk towards the blinds in the office. I think its safe to say that Ada inherited the "clean gene"- I just hope she finds housework this hilarious in about 15 years! :)

Enjoy her sweet giggle!

P.S. No, I'm not pregnant. I'm slunching backwards, holding a chubster, and wearing a sloppy t-shirt... just thought I'd clear that up for any of you that might be getting ahead of yourselves!


Here is Ada Bug playing Peek-A-Boo behind the couch... we caught the very tail end of her newfound game! Please, please, PLEASE mute your speakers! ;)


Fushia Girls

Here are some more pictures from the other day. Some of these will be printed in Black and White for the Black and White Wall!! (I need to post a photo of my Black and White Wall! It's my favorite thing in my house. Other than my countertops. And my bathtub. And Ada's room. And the people in it!)



Before Cirque du Soleil with MiMi- it was AMAZING!

Here are some pictures from A) Father's Day, B) MiMi's birthday (she's 28 this year! ;) ), C) 4th of July, and D) Cirque du Soleil! (I went with MiMi). Summer is only a little over half way over, so there will be more to come, I'm sure!
Note: I added the Fushia Family pic at a later time- and I'm so OVER trying to get it formatted- along with all of the other pictures. So patchwork it will stay! :)

Four Generations: MiMi, Alicia, Grams, and Ada Bug

Father's Day


Ada's Firsts

OK, so I got this video recorder for my birthday (26th, OK!?!?!?!?!?) in December 2008- so Ada was *almost* 3months old. Of course, I started filming her right away. I want to post some of those clips, because I look at this blog as a diary for The Bug to be able to look back on when she's older to catch a glimpse into our world before she can remember it. This clip is of Ada at about 5 months old. She is sitting in her Bumbo (which she is no longer allowed in, because she was on the verge of figuring out how to crawl out of it at about 7.5 months old- it is now in the attic waiting for #2- which won't be for a long time... so don't even call to ask!)- and cracking up at her mother. Who is acting like a total idiot. Which is nothing new.....

She started smiling big about 5 weeks, and laughing at 5 months. So this is a glimpse at one of her firsts! More to come, but I'm going to try to pair them up with current videos, as well.

I love you, Ada Grace Dowell!!!! (Watch for Murphy in the background! He runs for cover a few seconds into it.)


Bug Moments on Video

Well, I had compiled all of these clips into a really cute "short film," but the file is so huge, that I eventually gave up on it ever uploading! So, here are the videos as individual documents- with no titles, captions, or special effects. Boring, but proven effective. :) Enjoy!

This first video is of Ada realizing her favorite TV show, "Yo Gabba Gabba," is on- witness the sheer excitement!

This one is of naptime- Ada style.

Mealtime with The Bug.

And a quick snippet of a dance party- hosted by the Buggy Boo.

Remember- if you're getting this via email, you'll need to actually visit the blog (http://www.thedailydowell.blogspot.com/) so you can play the videos!!

Oh yes I did....

...get $90 of stuff for $38 (in multiple places, on different days)!!!! After getting some beginner's tips from Tiffany, clipping coupons for a few weeks, and following these blogs and websites-

-I am able to match my coupons to the best sales in town to get things dirt cheap! So far I'm mastering CVS (where you earn Extra Care Bucks), and Kroger (where they double and triple coupons). Right now, I'm building a "stockpile" of non-perishables- but I'm already starting to see some savings! Once school begins in August, I won't be able to be chasing deals as often, but I will hopefully have enough in my stockpile and pantry that I can just snag what I can on our weekend grocery trips. :) Here are some pictures of my steals! (Not pictured: 2 free boxes of Kashi cereals from Target- "purchased" using coupons!)


Museum of Children (ie Children's Museum!)

We hooked up with Sara and Rory last week for a trip to the Houston's Children's Museum. It was a fiasco parking, and it just so happened that every daycare, preschool, stay-at-home Mom, school teacher with summers off, and orphanage also decided to make the trek to the Museum District that day... but after clawing our way through the exhibits, we made our way up to the "Tot Spot" and low and behold, it all became worth the headache! Think: bright colors, padded toys, and ample children to watch and screech at! Ada was in hog heaven. Here are some pictures of that sweet pea!