Monday, August 30, 2010

Birthday Bliss

This week is my birthday! I'm not sure which day it really is, because I sort of get to celebrate non-stop for several days, but sometime this week, I turn 4!

On Thursday, Mommy took me to Toys R Us. There was a whole section just for birthdays! I asked Mommy, "Mom, how did they know it was MY birthday???" And then, things got better. When we checked out, they knew my name and gave me a crown and a balloon! They even announced my name over the intercom. Wow.

Then, on Friday, we had the best time celebrating with a pool party... to the theme of flowers. Mom and Dad let me swim longer than I've ever gotten to swim before (counting a little pre-party swim), I had a pinata, I ate "Frankie Doodle Dandies" and cake and ice cream... it was perfection. The best party I've ever had!

Avery Birthday Girl McClinton

Avery's Birthday: Behind the Scenes

This week had so many mishaps that it is laughable.

First, Kate ended up sick and threw up three times: once I even got to wear it for a few hours. (Praise the Lord, she was healthy by Thursday morning - just in time for partying.)

Next, I got sick (different kind of sickness - praise God!) and pulled a muscle in my neck (I'm fine... it just added to the tired feeling).

Then, Ella always makes the cakes for Avery's party and somehow needed to re-bake the cake 5 times (she's a great sport and laughed her way through 3 boxes of cake mix).

And, to finish off the week, Jordan and I spent 2 hours filling water balloons on Friday... only to have them pop within the first 10 minutes of the party. (We knew it was going to happen that way. It was worth it.)

And, during the party, Katie had a near-drowning experience. No kidding. I was standing over her, chatting with someone, and then stepped over about 4 feet to take a picture. In literally seconds, she somehow managed to get into the pool and onto the bottom of the pool, several steps away from the edge. My mom was watching Avery like a hawk (the kid thinks she's invincible!), and praise the Lord noticed a towel floating in the pool. She said it took a second for it to trigger that that wasn't a towel, but rather our Katie Beth. I've never seen my mom move so fast, nor have I seen her so scared. In full clothing, my mom was in the pool and back out again with a crying but very much alive Katie Beth. Once we calmed down a bit, we realized it couldn't have been more than 90 seconds that one of us had our eyes off of Kate. But it doesn't take much more than that. God protected my baby girl, and He used my mom as our guardian angel. Needless to say, the very first thing Jordan and I did when we got home that night was fall before the Lord, thanking Him for giving us another day with our little girls. The pool is such a fun place, but it was a powerful reminder that even with 4 pairs of eyes on 2 little girls, we can never be too careful.

In the end, the party was a blast for Avery girl and her guests, and she was never fazed by the week's comedy of errors, or the one truly scary moment. To a 4-year-old, the week was a blast. Oh, the joy of ignorant bliss! :)


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Going Private

We have considered taking the blog private before but kept putting it off. However, of late, a close friend dealt with a startling incident on a blog recently, and that was the catalyst we needed to spur us on toward the final decision.

Starting next Sunday, we will be going private with our blog posts. In order to read the blog, you will need to sign in using an approved email. If you want to be included in the email invitation I will send out later this week so that you can have access to the blog, please either comment or send me an email. We absolutely love that our blog is read by friends and family from past and present and would love to include you in our private blog.

For those of you who find the whole thing to be a bit confusing, I also send the blog out via email to a group of family members and would be glad to send the blog to you as an email as well.

Let me know when you email me if you'd rather me just send the text and pictures via email or if you would prefer access to the private blog (or both).

Anyone who is dependent on Google Reader or any other RSS feed for their daily blog scoop (like I am), please add to your RSS feed. When I post a blog on the private blog, I will alert you via the public blog. Then you will know to hop on over and check out what we've been up to.

We're looking forward to continued laughs from the girls and can't wait to share them with you!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Birthday Season!

I love this time of year. Lots and lots of my friends celebrate their birthdays right now, and I am getting ready to celebrate mine soon, too!

I love parties. I love the cake and the ice cream and the balloons. I love being with my friends and telling them how special they are to me. I love picking out the presents for each of my friends!

This week, we got to celebrate four birthdays to kick off the season. And I've been busy helping Mommy plan my party (with ideas like, "Mommy, it's ok if we change the party to be a princess party if you want to", or "I think we should have pizza, hot dogs, mac and cheese, and flower sandwiches to eat.") Mommy hardly knows what to do with herself for all of my help!

Avery "Birthdays Rule!" McClinton

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Katie Quirks

Our little Katie Beth is such a quirky little thing. We think she could act in a wordless comedy and everyone would buy it. Her tiny little frame and silly faces and movements make for constant entertainment.

Over the last several weeks, I've thought to myself, "I hope I never forget that...", so this is my attempt at cataloging the Katie Quirks that I haven't already lost to a bad memory:

*Moments before she wakes up, she uses her pointer finger to stroke the silky part of her lovey. It's a sure sign she's about to wake up.

*When Katie Beth knows she is disobeying or is embarrassed, she shuffle steps. She takes tiny, exaggerated steps while she disobeys. If it is a strategy, it's a brilliant one. It is very hard to discipline such a silly shuffle stepper!

*Katie Beth is still shy and unassuming. She just started using words at the beginning of July and finally, last week, realized she could express her wants and needs using words.

*She is the cutest when she says the princesses' names! Cinderella is our favorite because she sort of loses the name in all of her funky tongue maneuvering: "Reh-lalalalala."

*She is still obsessed with Froggy. It's been weeks since he was at our house, but Kate plays the Froggy Game often: she brings me an empty container and we have to pretend Froggy is in there. When she sings her princess book, she often replaces the words with "Froggy". She tells us she wants to have a Froggy party and wants to be Froggy for Halloween. Let's not forget that when Froggy actually stayed with us, she was terrified of the thing...

*She is understated. If you watch Katie Beth, you'll notice she's always joyful, always attacking life with abandon, and always wholly in the moment. But she's so quiet and understated about it that it is often easy to overlook. It's really comical to watch a child her size quietly but aggressively attack a bowl full of food.

*Her favorite playtime activities: putting baby to bed, reading, playing with her doll house, and playing with Big Sister (who currently plays "Walk the Dog" in which Kate willingly gets on all 4s and acts like Avery has her on a leash all over the house).

*Kit sings herself to sleep by humming a monotone sound before sleeping. Still one of my favorite noises ever!

*Kate decided about a month ago that she was done wearing diapers and will not leave them on. We played at potty training until this week, when she started using the restroom on her own and calling, "Mommy! Poh-ee!" I'd verify that she had, in fact, stopped her play and gone to the bathroom, and then would give her a treat. The child seems to be training herself. We're still at about 2 accidents a day, but Kate loves her big girl panties and will not wear a diaper or Pull Up if we're at home.

Jordan and I - several times a week - watch Kate doing something and look at each other in wonder. How did we end up with this kid? We feel like the luckiest family ever!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Annual Tri-Family Get-Away

Oh, the joy of having awesome friends that happen to be the kids of Mommy and Daddy's close friends.

We went on our annual tri-family get-away this weekend with my friends Campbell, Summer, Alyssa and Drew. We stayed at the beach and only had two jobs the whole weekend: play at the beach and play at the beach house. No problem!

There's nothing like having older friends to show you the ropes. At the beach house, Summer and Alyssa swept me away with their big girl games (beauty shop, hide and seek with princess toys, and more) and I hardly saw Mommy or Daddy except for meals and bedtime. Occasionally Kate and the littler kids would join in our fun.

Katie Beth and I both LOVED the ocean and the beach. Mr. Russ dug holes for us to play in and Daddy and Mr. Dustin (affectionately called, "Dude") took us out into the waves. Once, when I was ready to head back to shore, Mommy turned to walk in with Daddy and I. Kate yelled at Mommy: "No! Nan! Ooowww!" Katie Beth got her way and spent more special time with Nan (Shannon) in the deep waves.

Mommy, Shannon, and KK had a singular goal: to get Kate to talk. Katie Beth felt very safe with Miss Shannon and KK, and by the end of the trip, she was calling them by name!

KK was a special friend to Kate because she understands her on a deeper level. One time, Daddy had to fuss at Katie for running into the street, and it really hurt Katie's feelings (all discipline does). Daddy and Mommy tried to comfort her, but Katie was having none of it. As soon as Mommy put her down, she ran over to KK and hugged her and cuddled up on her shoulder until she felt much better. Looks like Katie and KK are kindred spirits.

Avery "Big Girl Beach Bum" McClinton

Monday, August 2, 2010

Another Birthday, Bangs, the Beach, and a Bug

On Monday, we got to eat dinner with Nonnie and Great-Nonnie in celebration of Great-Nonnie's birthday. Great-Nonnie taught Avery a special rhyme and I've been the beneficiary of her new knowledge all week. (She says, "Katie, do you want to play 'All Around the Garden?'" and I run over, arm out, ready for the fun.)

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.


Katie Beth "Beach or Bust" McClinton