Monday, October 26, 2009

Kate Elizabeth and other things

(Mommy says:)

First things first, Katie Beth turned one last Friday. To say this past year has been surprisingly joyful would be an understatement.

When we found out we were having another girl, a part of me honestly wondered how in the world a girl would fit in with Avery, who seems to fill every space with life and energy. Oh how Kate has answered the call.

Instead of what I expected (another boisterous sister vying for attention with over the top shenanigans), Kate has carved out a space in our family with gentleness, quietness, and just a hint of quirkiness. From her tiny little birth size to her own understated way of doing everything, Katie has filled our hearts with a new kind of love and a new kind of joy.

Really, to write a post that is fitting this precious child is impossible. There are no words that are adequate to describe the way I fall in love with her every time I get a glimpse of her, or the way she balances vitality with calm, or the way I look forward to racing to her room in the mornings to get another Katie hug. She is everything I never knew I wanted but that now I cannot imagine life without. She has surprised us with her ability to bring even more joy, even more adoration, and even more life into our home.

Katie Beth, we absolutely adore you. You make our world a better place and you make me want to be better for you. Happy birthday, little pumpkin.

And, as if there is anything that could add to a post about our little lady, we also had a full weekend on other counts:

We made our first fondant covered cake (translation: Jordan made our first fondant covered cake while I looked on with support).

Jordan raced his first triathlon and did swimmingly (haha) in the first leg. 14th out of 55 in his age range for the swim leg!

Avery and her adorers saw Mary Poppins on broadway. Kate spent the day with a babysitter (the first time we've ever left a child with a babysitter!) and loved every minute of her time with Bailee.

And we had our annual Rowdy Rebel Halloween party with a new addition: structured games! It was so much fun and my favorite part was the impromptu foot races. Good times.


Sunday, October 18, 2009

How To Get Attention in 10 Easy Steps

(Or: Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better)

By Katie Beth

1. Start at your 9 month check up, gaining less weight than desired.

2. Three weeks before your desired day of attention, begin sporting 103.5 temperatures, off and on, with no real reason and no side effects.

3. Baffle doctors when Mom takes you in after 2 weeks of this.

4. And this is important, choose a weekend full of big plans, most of which you'd be certain to be a spectator rather than a participant.

5. That particular weekend, shoot the fever up to an all time high.

6. This should result in a baffled Mommy and Daddy and a full day at the doctor's office (if possible, plan this for a Saturday, so as to cancel the family trip to Dewberry Farm).

7. Make sure your white blood count is up.

8. (This is where the first step factors in.) Your tiny size, coupled with your elevated white blood count and inexplicable high temperature, will be sure to get your doctors worried. The most important part, step 8, is to make sure this all happens on a Sunday, when there is no other choice but to go straight to the ER.

9. If at all possible, coordinate with the doctor to call Daddy with this news right before he goes on to lead worship for the first time ever.

10. Since Daddy isn't immediately available, Mommy and DD will come along with you to the ER. Daddy will join you after he plays his music, giving you 3 adults, trapped for 6.5 hours, in a tiny room with nothing to do but lavish attention on you. (It's polite to think of Sister, too - make sure her Nana can take her to her first ever Tea Party and provide her with a day of fun.)

Bonus Step: If somehow you notice Sister regains control of the attention when you return home, you can finish the night with a 45 minute scream fest resulting from excessive constipation.

Yes, you will be poked and prodded and stuck and x-rayed, but those are small prices to pay for the sympathy, love, and special treatment you receive. And, I haven't proven this yet, but I suspect that the week following a traumatic series of events such as these will be full of more sympathy, more love, and more special treatment.

CLICK HERE FOR PICTURES OF THE WEEK (including well and sick days)

Sister may have made a trip to the ER, but I think I've got her beat. Go ahead, Avery. Anything you can do, I can do better!

Monday, October 12, 2009

State Fair of Texas

What a week this has been! It started out not-so-good for poor Katie, who sported a 103.5 fever with an un-diagnosable virus. Luckily for me, school and Miss Emilee kept me from being a prisoner of boredom while sister was ill. Miss Emilee picked me up and took me to playgroup on Tuesday with Hannah and Abigail. Man, was that fun!

Luckily, by the time we headed to Dallas for the State Fair of Texas, we were all healthy and excited! At the fair, we visited a petting zoo (with MEAN ostriches that Mommy watched peck a little girl's face once - we stayed away from them!), watched dancers, visited the auto show, and rode a carousel and the Sky Tram with Mimi. We had lots of wonderful family time, and indulged in many fair treats. I loved the cotton candy, Katie preferred the chocolate covered strawberries, and Mommy and Daddy tried some of the bizarre fried foods - fried s'mores and fried butter!

While we were away, Oscar stayed with my friend Tyler and Dottie stayed with my friends Cole and Chase. They sent us letters from their vacations, and they're too funny! Keep reading to see what Miss Ella and Miss Steph translated for them.

(Mommy is always so thankful to Nana and DD and Aunt Erin for sharing their pictures with us. This is a compilation of the collective pictures from the weekend.)

Avery Big Tex McClinton

Dear Mom (aka Ms. Angela),
Greetings from Camp Coco-ee! How's your weekend trip? I've had a blast, and Ella says I've adjusted surprisingly well! {Pats on the back.} Top ten things I learned while I was here...

1. Ella says I have exactly three moods: Cautiously excited, Excited, and Super Excited. Which results in non-stop tail-wagging.
2. My tail and toenails are teaming up to audition for 'Stomp.' They create amazing beats against my cage, wood floors, legs, doorways... you name it, they make a beat with it.
3. I harmonize impressively well with Chester. His barking + my howling = dog music bliss.
4. I have sleep apnea. Oh, and awake apnea. I snort and snore and make funny squeaky noises. At one point, Ella peeked in Cole's room during naptime thinking he was playing around, but it turned out to be me, doing an impressive job of throwing squeaky noises across the room. On the plus side, Chester and I got to go potty at 3 a.m! (Super excited tail wags for that!) Ella thought I was whining but she figured out later that I was just doing the apnea thing.
5. I'm a total people pleaser. Ella thought I was genuinely always happy until Cole held me in his lap a while and made my ears stand on end. My tail continued to wag nonstop, and she recognized my people-pleasing ways. She recommends Gentle Lessons from a Recovering People Pleaser, by Alice McDowell.
6. I LOVE dog treats and can beat Chester in a faux-bacon-strip-eating contest hands down, every time. (By the way, I have lots of dog food left but am all out of dog treats. That's just the way of the Hearrean household.)
7. Ella laughs every time I try to be incognito. Apparently hunching down really low to the ground and avoiding eye contact with Chase doesn't do much. I have to work on this.
8. Unfortunately, Chester and I both have the same love language: physical touch. And we both want it from the same person: Ella. So we spend the entire day pushing the other out of her lap or away from her leg (a la roller derby.) Which leads to lots of tripping (on Ella's part) and a couple of head injuries (on our parts.)
9. I've met the cats and dad is right. They're "mangey." Except the big long-haired fat cat, but he's the neighbor and steals all the food.
10. I miss Avery and Kate! I mean yeah, it's been a nice break from their annoying ways, but the kid over here-- Cole-- is a little weird. He insisted on decorating my cage with all his toys, and so every few hours, a teether or plastic wrench falls through the cage bars and litters my sacred space. Very odd.

Miss you! See you tomorrow!
Many tail wags,

Dear Mommy (Angela)-

This is the coolest place ever! The master over here (Stephanie) is so nice! Dottie and I had to mark our place right after you left us. It was fun seeing Stephanie clean up poop and pee :) I want to be everywhere she is all the time - even when sleeping! She moves a lot and always bumps into me while sleeping. Can't that girl stay still? I was comfortable! I am even the king of the bed, the other dog here let me be on the bed and he slept on the floor - haha, sucker! I even took over his food and I told him he can have my food. The only annoying thing is the kid here, Tyler. He is ALWAYS calling my name, he wants me to do that, go here, sit on his lap, stay here and all sorts of stuff. I torture the kid by sitting on his lap and getting off. He always cries when I leave and I think it is funny! Even though I am having so much fun I miss you and can't wait to see you tomorrow!



Sunday, October 4, 2009

Welcome, Fall!

We welcomed fall this week with a trip to the pumpkin patch, a carnival at my school, and some good, comfortable playtime outside.

On the way home from St. Peter's Family Fall Festival, I was telling Mommy about the clown we saw in the "bestibul". Mommy was so confused about why we were talking about vegetables, and finally thought she had it figured out:
Mommy:"OH! You mean the clown was close to where you are growing vegetables in your classroom's garden?"
Me: "No, Mommy. But I love you anyway."

Later, I told Nana and Aunt Amanda about seeing the clown at the bestibul, and they both understood me right away - the festival!


Avery Bestibul Queen McClinton