Monday, September 29, 2008

Up, Up and Away...

What Gabe lacks in forward distances he is definitely making up for with height. In an effort to crawl forward at a faster pace, Gabe will now hike up his bottom as high as it can go...

Effective? ...maybe..
Hilarious?... definitely!

Golden Weekend

Well I am in a bit of a better place than my last post. Amazing how some good friends and a little celebration can help you gain a sense of balance. First of all, thanks to all the emails and comments of support. It is nice to hear that I am not the alone in the struggle against two. I need reminding from time to time.

Saturday was the start of my golden year. In case you didn't know this, your Golden year is the one year where your age matches your birth date. So, if you happened to miss it because you were either uninformed...or maybe one year old or something I say you can backdate it and celebrate it again! We sure had fun celebrating mine!!!

Nothing makes a bad day better like presents. Mel, you have impeccable timing!!! Thank you so much for your sweet gifts! It came at the time when I was most needing to smile! The kids loved their goodies too!

Gabriel loved his new books but also thought that the tissue paper was his present as well!

And how could Molly not smile when she saw her Elmo guitar?!

Friday night my Mom babysat so my husband could steal me away to dinner! We then went to our favorite pub, watched the debate and played darts! I think that the darts were a great way to release some tension! Thanks Nonnie for watching the kids! You have NO idea what a life saver you were!

Saturday morning was GOLDEN DAY! I woke up to "happy birthday Mommy" with a yummy breakfast! Then we were off to ride my favorite...the trolley!

We happened to stumble upon a street festival in uptown. If you didn't know this, I happen to LOVE street festivals. We decided that it must have been in honor of my golden day and so we decided to attend! Such a pretty day for a stroll...

Saturday night, we had a few people over to cook out and visit! I just love parties outside! We had some yummy birthday cobbler and really great visits with people we love!

Such a great weekend! Thanks to everyone who celebrated with us!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Making it through two.

Today has been really hard. I am slowly coming to the realization that while I love my two-year-old daughter so much, I just really do not like the two-years-old part. You know, it is really interesting though. I look around at other children the same age as Molly and yes, I see their blossoming independence and occasional meltdowns but it is different. Our 8 meltdowns in a day are equivalent to another child's 2. What am I missing here? I know the act of comparison will only bring trouble. I also have it ingrained in me that children develop at their unique rates...and with their unique personalities. But GHESSH... sometimes it just gets a little too tough.

Today in an hour, my child managed to pull every piece of clothing out of her drawers because she refused to pick an outfit from the choices that I had given her. She took EVERY single toy out of Gabriel's room and put it under her bed... a bed that is very low to the ground and difficult for Mommy to get under. There was the tantrum because she couldn't fit her foot into Gabe's shoe and then the meltdown because she could not tee tee on the potty standing up. There was a meltdown dropping Gabe's bouncer off at GOODWILL because as Molly so kindly yelled out the window at the Goodwill employee as we were driving away... "MOLLY'S BOUNCER...MY BABY SEAT". There were tears getting in to the car on our way to the park and getting out of the car at the park... all because I had attempted to help her. What was I thinking? Oh and then there was the park. My sweet child that used to play so well with others at the park. Not only did she try to climb in the red car that another child was playing in, she literally pushed them out of it, looked back at them and yelled "THANK YOU HONEY". For as embarrassed and apologetic as I was to that other unhappy mommy...I have to give Molly a little least she said thank you.

And yes, we set limits and we discipline and we reward positive behaviors. We try to be so consistent and predictable. So what is going on? Is this the terrible twos that I have heard about? Does the transformation happen that QUICKLY? If so, where are the other terrible twos? Can we all get to together, pop some popcorn and watch the naughtiness ensue?

I guess just all of my close Mommy friends are going to have terrible threes? I am so hopeful that this stage is like a right of passage and once you make it don't start back over again at three.

I am really sad that the spicy parts of TWO sometimes over shadow all the things that I love about Molly's age right now. She is so curious and constantly exploring her world. I love that she asks me about things all the time and then tries to use a phrase or a new word learned in her daily interaction. I love the dramatic play and the sweet story times. I love how she twirls my hair. If only I could just crop out the Molly monster that takes over my little girl when she is frustrated, tired, bored, etc. Too bad there isn't a photo shop for your own daily life.

Please send good thoughts this way... I need it!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Return to the Rink

Get excited...

You are about to travel back to 1993 to find it is ALL the same... even that classic roller skating rink smell! You know what I am talking about, leather shoes meets popcorn smell. Same bright colored walls and strange purple and green this standard for all skating rinks or what? There is still that freakish child that can do the splits an inch off the ground and win the limbo contest EVERY time. Personally, I think that if they have their own skates then they should be in their own category...I mean who really wants to do be able to do that what that I secretly practiced at home as a child hoping to acquire that skating skill... I'm over it.

Same classic skating adventure... Well, I guess it is not EXACTLY the same... I don't seem to remember babies skating at White Rock Skate Center...

maybe they weren't quite as pumped as Mommy

Skating now comes with a little more gear...

Travis, Ben, Lily, Jack, Gabe, Molly and Avery

And the stylishly sweaty Mommies!

Such a fun workout!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Spy

Last week we had a play date with the Martin and Baker families. At one point in the play date, one of the mommies used Gabe's room to nurse. We told Molly she had to leave the door closed. So how does my daughter handle someone's need for privacy? Well, she spies on them. Molly sprawled out on the floor to look under the door for about 10 minutes and slowly inched closer to the door... not okay.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

First Weekend of Fall


This past weekend marked the start of AUTUMN!!! I love the fall so much! Fall for me is high school football, the Texas State Fair, MY BIRTHDAY, some LoNgHoRn lovin', hot chocolate drinkin', cool breeze walkin' good fun! Too bad that our fall weather left as quickly as fall started. But it still feels nice outside...for Texas.

We were so busy this weekend just playing! It was so much fun! I was a little bummed originally that I wasn't going to camp this weekend with the hospital but we had so much fun right here in Dallas that I quickly forgot all about camp!

Friday night we all went to Oktoberfest in Addison. It was such a fun event to go to! If you have never been then you should definitely check it out next year! We visited with friends and cruised the mini-Midway...after all, we have to gear up for the fair opening this weekend! Molly loved the mini-Midway! We will be stocking up on tickets at the fair this year because she is crazy for all the kid rides!

Gabriel got some VIP lovin' from the City Manager of Addison, "Mr. Ron"

Molly rode her very first ride ALL BY HERSELF. Look how serious she is about her choo choo train adventure. She is becoming such a big girl!

After a ride on the carousel and an attempt at fishing, Molly was ready for the teacups with her godmother...which she refers to as the "teapots"

Saturday was a complete Happy Birthday Daddy day!!! Too bad I only took one picture! We went out for a special breakfast, shopping fest, took a stellar nap and then had a movie night with friends! Molly sang "Happy Birthday Daddy" all day...over and over...

On Sunday we had some a dinner date with some of our great childhood friends! Gabe had some great make-out time with Chloe...

While Molly cleaned the Wallace's out of their watermelon... (this might be slice #6)

The Fall fun didn't stop still with me? On Monday we went to the arboretum to check out the fall festival! Molly loves Mommy Mondays because it means that she gets to pet the sheep! SO FUN!

Here is Molly brushing her favorite sheep also named Molly...

I was really attempting to take some fun fall pictures of the kiddos. I had pictured this wonderful shot of Molly and Gabe holding their pumpkins and smiling. I will save the work for Emily Mulkey to capture and instead get pictures of my children in true form as featured below. Molly is sucking on the pumpkin and Gabriel is eating the hay...he sort of has a Hay/Grass fetish...

I had no luck with Molly...but Gabriel definitely got into the whole excitement of fall!

Molly was too interested in her make-up to care about the pumpkins...

Happy Fall!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Little Girl.

I am always so amazed about the things that little kids deem their most favorite in the world. For example, meet "Little Girl" (named by Molly)

Little Girl just might be the love of Molly's life. Little Girl is such a great friend to Molly and supports so much of her daily routine. I mean seriously, what friend do you know that will sit on the sink while you brush your teeth, pick out your clothes in the closet, look IN the potty chair to see your tee tee (or lack of :( ), taste all the parts of your dinner, go on playdates to the arboretum, ride buckled in your car seat, permit you to TUG on their hair, allow you to catapult them at the cat, and sleep in your shoe at night time? I have some pretty incredible friends but I don't think they would tolerate much of that routine.

So, McDonald's, although you do contribute to so much obesity in the world...we are so thankful for the greatest treasure that you have given to our daughter...her best friend, Little Girl.

Little Girl, how could life exist without you?

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Bar Party!

Well...we have officially kicked off birthday week with a great happy hour. Wednesday Night's happy hour was really fun...and very happy. It was so great to see everyone and was a much needed mid-week pick-me-up!
I love happy hours because you just never know who might show up! It always seems to be a great mix of people from different areas of your life.
I had some great catch up time with some of my favorite girls....
Chilled' with some AWESOME co-workers...

The boys definitely had a good time...

Not the best picture of the birthday duo...but oh well! This is Kelly post- Irish Car Bomb.

Definitely not his last one either...

We just had a great time! Kelly definitely was livin' large in the passenger er' navigator seat.

Man, we need to wash the car!!!

Stay tuned for more birthday hoopla!

How to save a life...

I am taking a break from my normal type of post to write about something of GREAT importance to me.

In order to sit for your child life exam you must complete a "volunteer internship" (in that there is no pay) anywhere from 15-20 weeks long. This internship coupled with your coursework is what paves the way for your Child Life profession to begin. If you don't even know what the heck a child life specialist is or are interested in becoming one then you can check it out here.

I was selected to complete my child life internship at Cook Children's Medical Center. I loved every minute of it! While at Cook Children's, I rotated through three units. Each of my experiences definitely challenged me in more ways then ever imagined...I really think this experience is what solidified my love for the profession. While on the Oncology rotation, I spent some time in the bone marrow unit working with children and families that were either recovering or eagerly awaiting a bone marrow transplant-one that could potentially save their child's life. I would love to tell you that all of my patients had fantastic matches and incredible recoveries, but unfortunately the statistics themselves tell you how impossible that would be. I simple terms, I now know that angels do live on earth and come in very small packages.

Which gets me to my point. Did you know that as of 9/16/2008 there are 99,571 moms, dads, brothers, sisters, etc. on the waiting list to receive a bone marrow transplant? Sadly only 30 to 40% of patients needing a bone marrow transplant have a compatible donor in their family. As a result they have to be put on the donor list. If there is a match they will be eligible for a transplant. And this is a REALLY big IF. Although BMTs now save thousands of lives each year, 70 percent of those needing a BMT using donor marrow are unable to have one because a suitable bone marrow donor cannot be found.

Now this may not speak to you and that is COMPLETELY okay. Just the word 'bone marrow' and all the adorable little images of children I once knew pop into my head. I know that everyone has their own areas of interest. But, if in case this is "your bag baby" I didn't want you to miss out on an AMAZING opportunity to potentially save a life...FOR FREE.

Through September 22, the National Marrow Donor Program is waving the normal fees for registration (usually $52). You can completely register online, they send you the kit in the mail, you swab the Q-tips in your mouth for some samples and send it back (postage even paid!) HOW SIMPLE IS THAT!?!? If you are interested... here is the info. For it to be FREE though you have to do this step by step.

Go to On the right side of the screen, under "Events" click on the link that says "NASCAR Foundation Drive" About 3/4 of the way down that page, click "Join online now" Fill in the online info and the Promo Code will automatically generate.

I really think that it is incredibly easy to desensitize yourself to the individuals that are facing such horrible illnesses. Not because you are an unkind person, but because it just isn't a part of your daily world right now. I get that. But how confident can you be that one day won't come where perhaps yourself, your child, parent, grandparent, or grandchild might be adding their name into the BMT waiting list? Then you would definitely be relying on strangers to make your battle, their battle too.

I just believe that it could be such an amazing gift to be able to share life with a stranger. Kelly thinks it might move him up a little in line to get in to Heaven... again, what ever floats your boat.

Please comment me if you would like ANY other information about this! I could talk all day about it...don't worry...I won't.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Rainy Day Mays

It really is safe to say that the Mays love us some inclement weather! As much as I love to play outside...rainy days have their perks too.

For instance, a rainy day is the perfect opportunity to play with your loud umbrellas...

" The looks that says everything"

Rainy days are perfect for eating yummy new foods...

definitely perfect for some dizzy dancing...

And rainy days are the MOST perfect for lounging around in your comfy clothes...or BIG girl panties to practice using the potty...

Thanks to Molly's best friend, Avery, she is now decked out with her fancy singing potty chair and potty power movie! Right now, life is ALL about the POTTY. Today, Molly had 3 successful tries at using the potty! MAJOR progress!

It seems that a rainy day was just what we needed.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Well-Baby Checks...

Well, what a doctor day! I guess on some level I knew that it would be a little much to handle but never really thought through all the details of the appointment. I have NEVER been more impressed with my children! Molly didn't cry during either of her vaccines or her lab draws...shocking! Gabe made the cutest little pouty face and had about two tears...and this was without sweet ease! I am not going to lie- it was long and tiring. It didn't help that the appointment landed right at lunch time. Perhaps a little better planning for next and learn. Okay... so here are the updates. I am breaking it up into little sections for each kiddo (for my baby book and for the grandparents!)

Gabriel Joseph May

6 months old

weight: 17 lb 15 oz (55%)
length: 27 inches (70%) * head: 17.6 (70%)

my son is just all about the sevens I guess!

So it is definitely the truth to say that for every spice in life...there is a little bit of sugar too. Gabriel is our sugar to Molly's spice. I have never met a happier baby. Gabriel LOVES to smile...especially at Molly. I swear Molly gets the best Gabriel smiles. Gabe is at his happiest when he is playing on the ground, jumping in his rain forest bouncer or hanging upside down. I really think that he might be part bat. He is always trying to discover some new position that leads him upside down. For the first three months of Gabriel's life I was convinced that his tear ducts were clogged because I had never seen him truly cry. He really doesn't cry much at all...he just complains. We started rice cereal with Gabe at 5 months and he eats like a champ. He now loves to nosh on avocado, bananas, sweet potatoes, peas, etc. We haven't found a food that he won't eat. It is so nice that eating has never been an issue for him...really nice for Mommy.

Gabriel is in constant motion these days. He is always up on all fours rocking back and forth. He wants to crawl SO badly. He is really close too which makes me a little nervous. I could handle two kids when one of them was stationary. He currently can crawl backwards and when that fails he will leap forward on his belly to get where he needs to go. He has an amazing wing span and reach things I thought were well out his Molly's toys. Gabriel's movements are quickly molding me into a more cautious parent. About a month ago, I went to switch the laundry for 3 minutes and left Gabriel on Molly's bed...her bed with GIANT guard rails. Well, in about a minute's time my immobile child managed to make it to the other end of the bed, maneuver around the bed rails and end up on the floor. It was a scream that I NEVER hope to hear again come out of my sweet baby's mouth. It was a BIG lesson learned... and it was here that I realized his tear ducts really do work.
Gabriel is a tummy sleeper. You can always find him on his tummy, launched into his bumper pad and bent backwards just a little. Such a snuggle bug! Aside from being a little chick magnet he is also a mosquito magnet. He just sits there and lets those bugs get the best of him. You can notice the bug bite right between his eyes in the first picture.

Gabriel likes hats...or maybe we just like him in hats. You have to is just about the cutest thing ever!

Gabriel currently has two teeth on the bottom. At any given moment he is making this weird face (as pictured in the fireman hat), He is rubbing his gums with his tongue and beat boxin' simultaneously.

It is amazing that he has been a part of home now for 6 months! How did that happen so fast?!?! But for as quickly as 6 months has come...I can't seem to remember life without him in it.


Molly Grace May

2 years old

weight: 23 lb 4 oz (10%) - BIG IMPROVEMENT!

length: 34 1/4 in (70%) * head: 19 in. (70%)

Our Molly girl is at such a fun age right now! She just has so much to say! I know that every toddler is hilarious and our Molly is definitely up there with the best of them. She says the funniest are a few of my most recent favorites...

In her stroller at Old Navy: "Let me out now I need to shop..."

Every time she says comes out as: "No Honey..."

When she is delaying bedtime she now must say goodnight to the kitchen appliances and produce. So now we get to enjoy: "Night night pickles...I love you. or Sweet dreams Milk *kiss*"

I think that our most common phrase though is: "No honey, I'll do it."

I seriously think that if there was a memo that went out to all two year olds about control than Molly has read it, memorized it and added her own footnotes. I swear on the day she turned two everything became all about her INDEPENDENCE. Molly now buckles her own car seat, dresses herself (in her unique style), climbs in the car herself, climbs in the bath tub get the idea. She is the boss of EVERYTHING about her...or so she wishes...I am learning how to trick her into letting me help... some days are better than others..she is a smart one.

Sleep is a battle with Molly EVERY day. She is notorious for inventing ways to get out of naps, creating methods to fight sleep and improving new stall tactics. If only she could harness all this brain power to save the planet or something! I will say we have now moved off the floor. For those of you that don't know, we went through a 6 month stint where Molly would only fall asleep on the floor every night. That was fun.

Like Gabriel, Molly too loves hats...

and shoes...and finger nail polish...and purses, bows and dresses. Her favorite place to play is in our closet.

Our Molly Grace is just about the most ungraceful child you will ever meet. She is COVERED in bruises. But for as uncoordinated she may be our little girl can dance! Molly loves to dance and sing and READ books! She loves her books so fact, she would give up her pillow, babies or blankets in a battle against nap time...but if I even so much as hint at taking her books away then it is the

Molly has been the best child to break Kelly and I in to parenthood. She is ALWAYS full of surprises. I think the most disgusting discovery was when I looked in the rear view mirror just in time to see Molly take a piece of candy off the bottom of her shoe (from the Target parking lot) and eat it. Sadly, she has done this several times since...we now ride home without shoes on.

I love Molly's age because she is now the queen of pretend. She is always discovering things and showing me a whole new perspective on everyday events. It is so refreshing. I can't wait to see all the adventures that she and Gabe will create together... I love that Kelly and I can tag along for the ride too... I guess all of you can too...

Thanks for catching up with our crew!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Long Overdue

Okay, so this post is a bit overdue. I am home!!! I had such a wonderful trip to Washington. I really think that I was supposed to be born there and somehow landed in Texas. It is a state that definitely marches a little more to my rhythm...well the little bit of the state I saw! Who knows, maybe one day.

Kelly definitely has earned my endorsement for super-dad of the year. Everything went so wonderful with the kids! I know at times Molly gave him a run for his money. I only had one tearful (aka hysterical) phone call...but it was sort of induced by my own actions anyway. You see, I made this video for Molly to watch of me reading stories to her and singing songs...have I mentioned before that I am a child life specialist... well, she loved it...just maybe a bit too much. After the 5th time in a row of watching the "Mommy movie" OVER and OVER, Kelly had to drop the hammer. This is when the meltdown began. Kelly had to explain to Molly that it was just pictures of Mommy- not Mommy in the TV. Way to go child life specialist. To help calm her, Molly talked to me on the telephone while Kelly printed a picture of me out on the computer. For the remainder of the trip, Molly would sleep in bed holding an 8 x 11 bridal portrait (Molly dubbed..."Princess Mommy"). But we made it. And it was a great reunion.

Gabriel was SO excited to see me that he spiked his very first fever in the wee hours of my arrival to Texas. Our cool little man kept things nice and toasty at 103.4. Yikes! But, after a day and a half of fever he was fine. It was a freak first fever.

The rest of the week has been all about getting back into the groove of being home. I had such a nice trip...but it is always so nice to come home! This weekend was super relaxing...with the break from the heat. Thank you Gustav. You made it a little easier to transition from my 49-68 degree days in Washington. Oh, fall clothes...I miss you.

It seems that while I was away the kids each learned a bunch of new tricks which will be shown in later posts! The only video I am including is of the kids this past week. I was going to crop the video to decrease the level of boredom for you viewers but really couldn't find a good spot. I am so bad at that. So, feel free to tune out at any point...I just really felt the whole video was a strong representation of our daily dynamic...Enjoy!

Tomorrow Gabe and Molly have their well-visits...again, a little overdue. They will both be getting pokes so we will see how that goes... I will be flying solo. Updates and stats to come!