Ada got her hair did...

Ada got her 2nd haircut yesterday!  I took her to "my girl" so we could be sure to get a quality cut- I am so anal about haircut perfection (which is strange, because I wouldn't consider myself a perfectionist, typically), that I just didn't want to risk it anywhere else! 

(Remember her first hair cut?  The actual "salon" was a-maze-ing, but I wasn't crazy about the cut after it was all said and done -which is ridiculous, I know.  She was 2 for crying out loud.  But, whatever- because the experience was too adorable to be upset about the end result!)  

So, here are a few pictures I snapped with my phone throughout the afternoon!

So excited to be getting a hair cut!  And enamored with gorgeous Tracy....  (You can see Dax's leg hanging out of the papoose to the left in the mirror- typical!)

NOT sitting very still for Tracy!  But behaving well enough.  There are a few crooked spots because of her "activities!"

Getting a blow-out!

All said and done!  (It's actually even cuter than this in real-life)

Getting a chocolate-banana smoothie from Starbucksk afterwards!  Our fave.

I.  Cannot.  Get.  ENOUGH. Of this picture!!!!!!!

My gorgeous girl this morning before school.  This is what she looks like to me.  I wish I could capture her in photos like this ALL the time! MWAH!


I mean...

...I just cannot get enough of them!!!
Dax trying finger feeding for the first time- avacados.

Likin' the texture...

Maybe a *few* made it in his mouth.. but mostly were just pulverized on the spot with his fists.

Sportin' her shades on the drive home.

And talking my ear off- love her!  This afternoon we discussed her classmates' halloween costumes.  2 are going as sharks!

Married 5 Years to the Best Hubs Ever!!!

Casey and I celebrated our 5 year wedding anniversary this weekend- 5 years!!!  Geeze.  Anywho- we (especially ME!) had an AMAZING weekend.  I had a spa day on Saturday- following by lunch and shopping with Katy Schilhab.  Then I came home and was told to be ready to GO by 7- and when we walked out of the front door, a limo just like the one from our wedding was waiting outside of my house!!! 
Ada was a little nervous of the "big car."

  We had SUCH a great time just riding to dinner- we ate at Sullivans Steakhouse.  Delish.
When MiMi asked Ada what she thought we were eating at dinner she said Casey was having a burrito, and I was having macaroni. :)

They took our picture and all wished us happy anniversary!

I wanted a Starbucks on the drive home sooo bad.  It was 11:01, so they were all closed.  So I decided I'd settle on a McDonald's frappe.  This is us, in a stretch white limousine, at the McD's drive through. Unfortunately, they were closed, too!

I got a diamond necklace that looks really similar to my wedding ring.  I love it, was SO surprised, and though it was so sweet that Casey knows my style so well!


Recent Ada-isms

Hilarious things that have come out of Ada's mouth recently:
  • "Daddy!! There's an ant on my crosswalk!  (Meaning swingset ladder) SHOOT IT!"
  • "I'm kicking rocks.  Oh, and I stepped in dog poop."
  • "Here, Dax- you want to choke on this toy?"  (Meant to say chew, but substituted choke.  Same difference, I suppose.)

  • Ada: "Mommy is here, Dax is here, Ada is here."
  • Me: "Yep.  Where's Daddy?"
  • Ada (said with sincere empathy): "He's at work, Sweetie."
  • Me (after cracking up): "That's right- Daddy's working, he'll be home later."
  • Ada: "NO!  Wait- he's at the river with his friends!"

  • She has been coming home and placing all of her barbies and princesses on different "seats" around the playroom and acting like their teacher.  Or instructor.  Or mentor.  Or something administrative.  Today they were being instructed to dance.

  • Whenever she wants to make herself cry (for attention, usually- after either getting in trouble, or to postpone bedtime)- she will think about someone at school hitting her.  I know this because, when I ask her why she all of a sudden looks so sullen, she will say: "Bea/Maddox/Mason/Janelle/etc hit me todaaayyyy," which is when the waterworks begin.  (What is that, method acting?)

  • She can do simple math- I'm not kidding you.  She refuses to prove to me that she can count to 20 ("1...2....4...5...6...7...11..."), but she will rattle off "1 and 2 make 3.  2 and 2 make 4!"

  • I feel like I've cracked up laughing 100 times this week- so if I think of more Ada-isms, I will post a sequel tomorrow! :)
 And, now for some snapshots:

Silly girl- snorkle goggles aren't for indoor playgrounds!

Reveille is a pillow pet now!

Nothing warms my heart more than them playing and laughing together- Dax will laugh at Ada if she just looks in his direction.

Love this kid!


Dax- 7 Months

Dax is 7 months old!!  And utterly impossible to keep still long enough to do a proper monster photo shoot, now.  (I knew this day would come, but it still makes me sad!)  Here are our attempted shots:
No, you may NOT see how many months I am!

Well, looky there.

I'm gonna EAT IT. Or at least drool on it until it disintegrates.

I will not sit there for this any longer, Mom.

What's that?  You have a large, expensive contraption strapped to your neck (the camera)?

Nom nom nom!

Reaching for the backing to the onesie sticker, that would have otherwise been hidden from view.


Parenting Books Review

Welp, I broke down and read a bunch of parenting books.  I'd been trying to get the "cliff's notes" versions of techniques via Google for the past 3 years- but it just wasn't cutting it for the last month or so. 

Since I went back to work full time mid-August, Ada (and I) have been struggling.  She handled the arrival of Dax SO gracefully- she is the most loving, kind big sister in the history of siblings.  But, when I went back to work to such a hellish year (disclaimer: it isn't hell- I adore my students- it's just the workload that is near unbearable)- she immediately began acting out.  Tantrums, pretending she didn't know simple things that she's known for years (numbers, letters, etc) on purpose, constant boundary pushing- anything to get some attention.  And I, on the otherhand, was constantly losing my patience; and then spending far too much time afterward lamenting and regretting how I'd handled things.

So I hopped on Amazon and pretty much purchased any book I'd ever heard mentioned in passing about child rearing.  I've been really happy with what I've read so far- and... get ready... they're already WORKING!  Can I just say- thank the good Lord we (I) read them early- who knew how easy it can be to completely screw your kid up on complete accident!?!?!?

Here is my "book report" for those of you that either asked, wanted to ask, or will ask in the future! :)
The first book I read was "Love and Logic for Early Childhood."  A main strategy in this book is constant choice giving- which I initially was completely against. (Ie: do you want to pick up your stuffed animals first, or your Pet Shops?  Do you want to drink juice or water?  Do you want to pick your nose or use a kleenex?  Do you want to bring your penguin or puppy in the car? Etc.)  I really don't want to raise a kid who thinks her opinion ALWAYS matters, and feels entitled to participate in all decision making, or is just downright bossy.  However, after :
  • A)reading the entire book and understanding the psychology behind it (and the dramatic consequences if you DON'T allow them to feel comfortable making choices early on- think caving to peer pressures or rebellious teen in 12 years);
  • and B) see how WELL it works around here within the first battery of choices- I'm a total convert.
Another technique that has proven really useful is doing everything with empathy.  If you feel yourself getting angry- step away.  Put them in their room.  Etc.  If you punish with anger (sheepishly raising hand, here), the kid automatically reverts to feeling resentment towards you and learning nothing. (This is a big ingredient for creating rebellious teens,too)  If you do it with empathy ("I'm so sorry that you refused to take a bath when Mommy asked you, but you have to sit in time out until you can be sweet girl")- they are then capable of taking responsibility for their actions and learn from their mistake. Also- no dwelling.  Once they are being sweet, it's over.  No lecturing, no lessons re-taught, no re-hashing of the events that led up to the punishment.  Just love.  And logic.  :)

Lastly, the detriment of being "drill sergeant" and/or "helicopter" parents.  I'd tried so intensely to be NEITHER of these (barking orders or hovering to constantly please)- that I'd become this bizarre concoction of the two.  They both teach the kid learned helplessness.  Neither lets said kid learn from mistakes while they're young- and mistakes just get bigger and badder with age.  So- again, so glad we started when we did.

There are MANY more smaller techniques given in the book- how to improve mornings (HERE! HERE!), how to make meal times more smooth, how to eliminate bickering/etc misbehavior in the car (HERE!), etc- if you're struggling with a toddler OR have a baby that will eventually BE a toddler- get it and read it.  And then do it.  :)
Next up: "How to Really Love Your Child."  I'm actually not finished with this one- it was recommended by Tiffany at Another Texas Family- but it's the 4 intrinsic needs that MUST be met for a child to feel unconditionally loved.  Eye contact, physical touch, undivided attention, and discipline (different from punishment- think routines and expectations). This is just knowledge that will be nice to keep in the back of my head at all times- not necessarily any tools for parenting- other than the basic fact that your child has to be confident that you are madly in love with them before any parenting tools will actually be effective.

And, the one that's still waiting for me is "The Five Love Languages of Children."  If you know me, you know I'm obsessed with the original "The Five Languages of Love" book- I swear by it for relationships.  So, why not!?  Can't hurt.  Nice little supplement to the other two.  :)
And, while I was on Amazon- I went ahead and ordered Pocahontas for Ada. She's hell-bent on being an Indian for Halloween (so cute!)- so we are doing a little research on the part.  Ada is DYING for the turquoise necklace from the movie, so it looks like I'll be digging out my jewelry making utensils in the next few weeks!

Ada is responding to the Love and Logic techniques like they are magic.  We are back to having a blast together most of the time- it's so good to have my precious, sweet, funny girl back!  Love her to absolute pieces- through thick and thin!

Crawling, Pulling Up, and Best Smile Award! :)

I feel like I haven't posted in forever!  Lots going on around here- Dax is *officially* crawling.  After a month of trying to decide if he preferred the army crawl or proper crawl, he concluded that the real crawl is more efficient and much quicker!  I need to get a video of him- it's hilarious.  Seriously the speediest crawler I've ever seen.  (The video camera is maxed out, and I just don't ever have the time to upload them all to clear the memory- which reminds me- I have a ton of adorable videos I need to get around to posting, too!)

The instant he mastered the crawl, he tackled another milestone: Pulling up.  He's obsessed.  He'll pop up on anything vertical.  (In fact, at school on Friday he pulled up on the built-in bookshelf, was reaching for the toys on the top, and lost his balance-- of course he fell in the 2 square feet of unpadded floor in the entire room.  Now he's got a huge goose-egg on the back of his head!  He is ALL boy.  Already getting battle wounds at 6 months old.)
This entertainment is just a tad too tall for a good grip to pull to standing on... for now.  ;)

He LOVES to watch Murphy in the backyard.  And Murphy is sometimes bored enough to come and watch Dax back.

Ada and Dax watching Murphy together- she is the BEST big sister ever.  Dax doesn't know how lucky he is!

Get back here, Dog!

Looks like he's not content to just stand- climbing could come next.  Lord, save me.

I'm so cruel; but for some reason, I think when babies are standing in their crib after napping is the cutest thing ever.  Even if the water works are on. :)

Dax crawls EVERY where.  Sometimes I have to scramble to find him.  This particular instance I busted them BOTH in my purse!  Ada was stealing gum.

He has found nearly every door stopper in the house.  He could swat at them for hours, I think.

And Dax got an award at school!  Best Smile.  DURR!