Sunday, December 26, 2010
Monday, December 20, 2010
Monday, December 13, 2010
Monday, December 6, 2010
Sunday, November 28, 2010
*God's amazing blessings. He continues to be more gracious and more gentle to our family than we could ever hope or expect. And Thank You, Jesus, for the most important... and amazing... gift of all!
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Monday, November 15, 2010
Monday, November 8, 2010
This weekend, we had a family reunion with the Wales side of the family. Every single one of the 23 member family was in attendance. A few favorite moments from the weekend, as it pertained to the girls:
Monday, November 1, 2010
*All week we talked about helping Daddy carve the pumpkin, but when the time came, apparently the smell was too much and two little girls had to "hide" from the smell behind the wall while Daddy worked... can you find them?
*For about two months, our camera has had really bad resolution in pictures, and we could not figure it out. As it turns out, someone (maybe Avery... maybe Katie...) had turned our camera's preferences to the smallest picture size possible. So, two months' worth of memories will never be able to be printed without a grainy look. So much for assuming that if a camera is water- and shock-proof that it is also child-proof.
*Kate changed costumes 4 times this week (one of which never made it to pictures because she suddenly deemed it too tight). On the night of the Rowdy Rebel party, we were struggling with a weather-appropriate costume for her. Daddy found a random bear/dog costume and as soon as Kate saw it, she lit up: "Kate! Pooh!" She was wholly convinced that she was dressed as Winnie the Pooh. Maybe that is exactly what it was meant to be...?
*We passed a group of people passing out Taquitos to all the adults who were trick-or-treating. Kate, just doing what she had been doing all night, reached up and took one, and started eating it. We thought she had dropped it on the ground after she realized it wasn't candy. In fact, she stuck it in her bucket, and we didn't think much of it until we were digging for candy. Can you find it hiding in the candy basket?
And, because there is always more, click here for more pictures of the week
Monday, October 25, 2010
Sunday, October 17, 2010
Monday, October 11, 2010
Sunday, October 3, 2010
Sunday, September 26, 2010
Sunday, September 19, 2010
A few sure signs that Daddy's traveling has begun:
Sunday, September 12, 2010
Monday, September 6, 2010
Saturday, September 4, 2010
Friday, September 3, 2010
Monday, August 30, 2010
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Monday, August 23, 2010
Sunday, August 15, 2010
Sunday, August 8, 2010
Monday, August 2, 2010
Then, on Wednesday, Mommy and Avery got their hair done at a fancy place. Miss Sara gave Sister bangs! From what I can tell from Mommy and Daddy talking, it was something of an accident, but we all agree that Avery is still stunning. And, as a bonus, she got a bunch of pretty new hair clips to hold the bangs back while they grow out!
And then, we got to go to the beach with Nana and DD! We stayed on the 15th floor of the San Luis in Galveston. It was so high that we could see almost all of the island from our hotel room! We had fun on the beach (but no water for me... it made me cry and squeal), in the special pool with a fast slide, and in the room.
Unfortunately, the fever I had been sporting early this week was NOT teething after all and Sister caught my bug while she was in Galveston. Nurse Nana and Doctor DD took great care of Avery Girl, though, and she was still able to enjoy some of the fun. While Avery slept and recovered, I thoroughly enjoyed awake time with Nana and DD. I watched The Princess and the Frog (only the frog parts, of course), ran around the hotel yelling and laughing, and played like a monkey instead of falling asleep.
As a side note, Mommy says that now that she knows how sick this bug made Avery feel, she thinks I'm such a trooper for letting her drag me all around this week while I didn't feel good. Although, she also says if I'd learn to express myself with words, my illness wouldn't have had to be a mystery to everyone. I'm working on it, Mom.
CLICK HERE FOR PICTURES OF THE WEEK
Katie Beth "Beach or Bust" McClinton
Monday, July 26, 2010
Sunday, July 18, 2010
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Our Disney trip was such an overwhelmingly wonderful experience. This was the kind of vacation that only comes once every decade or so, and we ate up every single second of it. We feel so much gratitude to Mimi and Gran and Nana and DD for not only making this trip possible, but for also joyfully embracing two little girls' dreams as their own.
I tried to condense the pictures and stories to one post, but I ended up robbing the trip of the magic by taking too much out. Instead, I’m going to post in five installments, each regarding a different aspect of our vacation.
CLICK HERE FOR PICTURES FROM THE TRIP (Go easy on me with the number of pics, I edited them down from 1,200+)
Scroll down or click on the links to experience the entire trip.
Because of a few incidents prior to leaving, we started our trip with the girls being about 2-3 hours low on sleep. All but one day, we skipped a traditional nap and let Kate sleep on someone’s shoulder, and gave Avery a get-out-of-jail-free pass on naps altogether. Add to that the desire to make the most of each day AND the excitement that oozed out of every pore of the girls’ bodies, and night times also became very late ordeals as well. Sleeping in was unheard of – and miss the fun?!? – so we ended up with two very sleep deprived princesses on our hands.
Despite being exhausted, the girls behaved amazingly well. Avery’s caring heart was so evident as she latched on to new relatives, as she found Kate’s lovey to comfort her when she cried, and as she chose – even when it was unbearable – to obey. She is so much happier and easier when she’s slept, but even when she hasn’t slept, she has such an obedient heart.
Outbursts abound while tired – a crying fit over Avery's muffin being cold or the water running out in her squirt bottle – but it is clear it is because she really is so tired that she isn’t able to cope with her disappointment.
Both girls weathered the sleep deprivation well, and neither one of them seemed to mind it, really. A small price to pay when we’re talking living your dreams!
We heard a rumor that Disney had activities for the Over-Four crowd, and on a few nights Jordan and I were able to venture out with our cousins and family and check it out for ourselves.
Even when we were around, my mom and dad were amazing at helping to manage the over-stimulated, over-tired princesses. I marveled most days at how my parents must have backs of steel. There was rarely a minute when Nana and DD weren’t each carrying a child, pushing a stroller, or actively engaged in some sort of child care. Their patience and selflessness made the trip so much more enjoyable. Avery chose Nana to read to her every night, and despite not having a voice on the trip, my mom would oblige. Then Avery would stop her mid-book and tell her, “Nana, stop talking so your voice will come back.” But not until the book is over. Priorities.
More Over-Four fun was had when Jordan headed to The Wizarding World Harry Potter at Universal Studios one day with some Over-Fours while Nana and I took the girls to Epcot. He said the experience was amazing – it was all done so well – and the roller coaster there was more intense than any he’d ridden at Disney.
Some nights, I didn’t have the energy to go out (if I’m being honest, it is more about fear of roller coasters than exhaustion), and so Jordan joined the fearless crew for a few rides. One of those nights was sadly cut short when I had to call in backup as Avery felt sick (from tiredness, see Experiments in Child Sleep Deprivation) and Kate was jumping off the walls.
Most notable was the mountain top experience Jordan and I shared. We were NOT on Mount Everest when it happened, but the roller coaster got stuck at the very top of the highest peak and the riders had to sit in the cart for 30 minutes waiting. Finally, they were escorted off of the cart and had to walk on the roller coaster track uphill until they reached the nearest stairs. I was obsessed as the story unfolded, and couldn’t stop talking about it: what would it be like to be up there? Panic attack much?!?
So, the next day, Nana and DD offered to take the girls while Jordan and I did a ride together. I mustered up just enough bravery to board Thunder Mountain Railroad (a mild coaster at worst), climbed aboard, and – no lie – it stopped on the top of the highest hill. I almost panicked, but decided that this was not that high and I could see the nearest stairs well within reach. After roughly a minute, the ride started again… no dramatic ending for me, praise God!
This trip had Kate written all over it. She was the perfect age for this sort of trip. She is still young enough to fall asleep just about anywhere (and of the right personality… Sister never did sleep on the go, regardless of age). She has enough understanding to be excited and enthralled, but not so much that she is scared or considers any of it real yet. At the end of a Nemo ride, she let out a deep breath, and with all the inflection a girl her size can muster, uttered a simple, “whhhhoooaaa!”
Coming into this trip, Kate had a vocabulary of maybe 10 words, and only 3 she said often. On the ride home, just from what we can remember, we were able to count roughly 20 brand new words that she began using during the week!
Kate loved everything about Disney. She loved the shows, the rides, the stroller, the fireworks (a total surprise!), the characters, and especially the non-traditional attractions, like the boat that ferries from resort to park. Every time she’d hear it’s honk, Kate would drop everything and run to the window, yelling, “Boat!”
Kate was so worked up at nights and during rest times from all of the excitement. One day, Nana had to hold her legs still so that she would quit kicking and moving. Once she had a gentle arm across her legs, she went limp and was able to fall asleep. The next night, Kate yelled, “AAEEEEEEEE! Aaaaaaa! Eeeee!” nonstop until she fell asleep. There was no change in volume or frequency before she fell asleep. She went straight from full volume to passed out cold.
Kate’s biggest moment to shine was at the Princess breakfast. Sister was tired (see Experiments in Child Sleep Deprivation) and was intimidated, but not Katie Beth. She loved the attention, loved meeting all 6 princesses, and especially loved being oohed and ahhed over by her twin, Snow White. She watched the princesses circulating around the tables for a while, and then climbed out of her chair and began visiting tables herself. She truly believed she was Princess enough to sign autographs and take pictures with the tourists. And we think she was, too.
Avery’s Disney experience vacillated between exhaustion and exhilaration. She absolutely loved It’s a Small World and rode it three times (which, in her opinion, was just shy of enough). She is at the stage where she believes that things that seem real must be real, and so many of the rides were “too scary” to even attempt. On the first day, during a momentary lapse of judgment, I marched my overly tired 4-year-old onto Journey Into Imagination, the Figment ride. She survived it with amazing gumption, but told me about 30 seconds into the ride, “I will not ride this ride again. Never. Not ever!” And it took a good bit to earn her trust back on our ride-approval scale.
Avery was so timid of rides after that, in fact, that when it came time to ride the Mexico ride in Epcot, she was only coerced into going when the ride attendant offered up her flashlight. Avery proudly shone that flashlight all through the ride, and sure enough, it wasn’t scary after all!
Later, when it came time to ride Nemo, Avery was again timid. Uncle David was along that day, and so we talked her into riding as long as David would come along and protect us. Later, when Daddy wanted a chance to ride Nemo with Avery, she told him, “You can ride with Kate and Mommy. That ride is me and Uncle David’s ride.”
She was such a delight with her relatives – she interacted and attached herself lovingly to each of them. She specifically requested Mimi and Gran to ride on either side of her for It’s A Small World, chose Aunt Erin to eat dinner next to and ride with on the bus, lavished love (and demands) upon Nana and DD, and was quite taken with “that white girl” (second cousin Kathryn, who happened to wear an all-white dress one night).
What was remarkable about this trip for our Avery Girl is that she really did have all of her dreams come true. Anything she could have imagined being true of her Disney vacation happened. She ate breakfast with the princesses (she later told Trey, “it was the best breakfast I ever ate, ever.”), she rode rides, she sat on DD’s shoulders through the Electric Light Parade, she had Nana and DD in the same room as her, she got ice cream and Sprite and toys and trinkets, and she got to experience the Bippity Boppity Boutique.
This is a special experience for princesses in Cinderella’s castle. One of the Fairy Godmother’s helpers do their hair and make-up. The entire event is something to behold, and Avery played the part of pouty princess very well. Then, clad in a sash, a princess dress, and new hair and make-up, she was set free to enjoy the Magic Kingdom and have tourists of all ages ooh and ahh about her. She loved every second of it! It was as if the experience was created with her in mind.
Avery turned to DD the other night and told him, “Disney World is better than Disneyland!” Whether the statement is debatable or not, for Avery Girl, the combination of family and experiences made it true for her!
Sunday, July 4, 2010
Froggy came to us on Wednesday. Katie and I love to stand and stare at him. Sometimes, Kate will suddenly yell out "Froggy!" and we will both drop everything to run to his cage and stare.
Katie Beth and the frog seem to have a love-hate relationship.
She loves him. She shrieks about him and spends all of her time watching him.
She hates him. She refuses to touch him and has to yell at him all the time about once when he accidentally jumped at her.
She doesn't know quite what to make of him, but Froggy sure is an important guest at our house this week.
CLICK HERE FOR PHOTOS OF THE WEEK
Avery Pet Sitter Extraordinaire McClinton
Monday, June 28, 2010
A few weeks ago, I climbed out of my crib. It wasn't so fun and I haven't done it since, but it got Mommy and Daddy thinking.
We're going on vacation next month and Mommy says she doesn't want to mess with a Pack & Play. Daddy remembered that Sister was about my age when she moved to a big girl bed... and voila! I'm in a big girl bed now, too!
Yesterday, Baby Amelia needed the crib at Nana and DD's house at naptime. No problem, Baby Amelia. I'm a big girl, and I can sleep in a big bed with my Daddy.
And when we got home, Daddy took the front off of my crib and all that was left is a big girl bed. I had so much fun climbing in and out of it and collecting babies and laying them in bed. But once the lights were turned out, I stayed in my bed (except for one small bump in the night when I rolled out and onto the pillows below). This morning, Mommy and Daddy knew I was awake, but it wasn't until they came up to get me that I got out of my bed.
I love being a big girl!
CLICK HERE FOR PICTURES OF THE WEEK (including an almost-spend-the-night at Miss Ella's, Nana and DD's return from vacation, and DD's Father's Day cake, decorated entirely by Chef Avery.)
Katie Beth "My Own Big Bed" McClinton