Jan 31, 2009


Up to No Good

Hannah the TV zombie. This is exactly why the tv is off most of the day. She watches her beloved Barney and maybe a little of Sesame Street/PBS if I need to feed Chloe and Hannah won't settle down. We keep it at that for now. (Oh- and sometimes Ellen since she mainly dances and laughs through her whole show and I need a mental break by then).
She's such an innocent little sponge. An almost 2 year old shouldn't have to see all the junk adults put on shows, movies, and commercials like yelling, arguing, fighting, guns, sex, selfish behavior, etc. She doesn't know what's real or not real right now. It's just not fair what we expose kids to sometimes. I don't care that she'll "have to come across it eventually." When she does by whatever means I'd rather her think it's an oddity than a regularity. Let's say I turn on a show with yelling and gunfire and even if she's not watching it, it's in her ear, it's in the background. Then let's say I don't have the tv on at all and we sing or do puzzles with some music on. Which is the injustice to her and Chloe and which enriches them? There is my rant for today.

Who me? I took her to the library in this fun warm-up suit and it sure was easy to spot her in a crowd! This might be a good outfit for all our outings now. Haha : )

We found my Herman the Elephant and what better to do than ride him?

Chloe and all her chub.

Just a funny thing. I braided Hannah's hair the other day and she actually kept it in although it got a little messy looking. Dax came home for lunch and when I turned around he was running his fingers through her hair saying, "Your hair is so tangled right now!" He kept pulling it and smoothing it all out. "Umm... that was a braid!" I said. I guess my braid looked more like tangles. Haha! We laughed over it. It doesn't take much.

I may be wrong but I figured I would introduce Hannah to this potty seat that goes over the real toilet rather than a potty chair. If at all possible I would like to skip cleaning out a plastic potty chair 20 times a day. Maybe other moms are shaking their heads at me right now but I figured I would try. She seemed interested when I showed her how everything went. She even agreed to sit on it with her clothes on a couple of times. She promptly said "Down please" so I haven't pushed it further yet. Right now we're just celebrating "Hannah's potty." Here she is carrying it around. She also wore it like a necklace for good measure.

This is no typical game of chess. Batman and Joker Pez dispensers are in the game too. At least they look goofy rather than scary.

This picture just makes me laugh.

Poor Hannah and her crazy static!

Here is where the post title comes in. Just look at this! Notice anything missing?

Oh- here they are! Yes, while I assumed Hannah was playing with her easy click Dr. Suess computer game she was really disassembling the keyboard. I vaguely remember her saying "uh-oh" which must have been the first one to pop off. I should have checked then! Instead I was running around packing her overnight bag to stay with Nana. Shame on me I guess. Dax did his best to restore it back to working order and we are only missing the V and a couple of others.

In other news I judged a Solo and Ensemble contest today in Coppell. It's always fun to listen to kids play solos but I sometimes have a fear in the back of my mind that their families are ready to jump me in the hallway when I give out a 2 rather than a 1! : ) Everyone did well, but there was one boy I really wanted to take home. He was tiny and walked in with tons of confidence with his hair all greased up- really cute kid. He clearly said "Hello, my name is Bryce Vand..nwqoidsdf." He mispronounced his own last name! Haha. "Well, my last name is a mouthful," he said. He announced his piece and his accompanist. He then informed the pianist he needed a Concert C which was her F. He also told her she had 6 measures to play before he came in! She told him he was very smart and he beamed. After he played and left, the pianist decided he should run for president. I would vote for him too. Such a great personality. Most of the kids end up grunting at you but this one stole the show.

Jan 26, 2009

Lone Star Wind Orchestra

This weekend Lone Star Wind Orchestra played a concert called "I Have a Dream" in honor of black history month. Here I am with Katrina and Heather who were nice enough to give me a ride.
We usually play at the Eismann Center in Richardson but every once in awhile get to play at the Meyerson Symphony Center in downtown Dallas. Here is the hall.

Setting up: they put up a huge screen to accompany one of our pieces.

Ready to go.

The horn section! Front row is Kim, Kristin, and Heather. Back row is myself and Nancy.
The concert went well and I think the diverse audience really enjoyed it. Our emcee was John McCaa from the local news. I didn't know that ahead of time so it was like seeing a celebrity for me! : )

Our program was really interesting. After the Star Spangled Banner we played Fanfare for Life, written about the inner-city violence among children in gangs in 1994 Chicago. Next came Cassandra Berry, a local vocalist who wonderfully sang "We shall overcome." Her only training has been her church choir and she was great. Movement for Rosa was next, a piece written to represent the various stages of Rosa Park's contribution to the Civil Rights Movement. My favorite piece was next called Krump. Krump stands for Kingdom Radically Uplifted Mighty Praise. It's a dance style created by South-Central Los Angeles youth with really wild, body popping moves. It was begun to create an outlet for them as they were opposed to violence. We had some amazing guest dance artists and African drummer to accompany us on this fun and beautiful piece. After intermission we played Joplin's Combination March, American Hymnsong Suite (various spirituals/hymns), and finally Amazing Grace. After Cassandra gave part of the
"I have a dream..." speach, we played as the screen showed prominant African Americans from Frederick Douglas, MLK, Muhammed Ali, Oprah, all the way to shots from Obama's Inauguration- very moving. We closed with Porgy and Bess. A fun treat for all. : ) Now don't you feel like you were there??

Jan 23, 2009

End of January

Phoebe and Hannah on their lunch date. They passed their food back and forth more than they ate any of it. : ) We're excited to meet Phoebe's little sister in about 1 1/2 months.

Headed out and time for naps.

Chloe the clothes horse! I went through all the 3-6 month clothes from Hannah and a couple other bags people gave us. This is the stack to be washed! A little bit crazy but at least we won't have to wash very often.

Hannah always wants me to draw Barney on her Magnadoodle and since this happened to be Inauguration Day I added my version of Barack Obama too.

Hannah added her special touch. Hmmm.

How can anyone resist this face? Chloe is great but I'm trying to figure out ways to adjust her sleep habits. Right now she'll only sleep in her swing or with me- nothing stationary. This makes for a restless night for Dax and myself since she is not much of a sound sleeper. Our goal is to at least have her sleep in her "cushy" seat next to our bed. Hannah was able to take naps in her crib by now but I was also able to better concentrate on good habits back then. This will be a long project but we'll get there.

There a few more differences between Hannah and Chloe every day. Chloe is a lot chubbier and a lot more physical in everything she does. She also loves books. Hannah does also but wasn't interested until around 18 months. Chloe kicks, gurgles, and smiles when we read books.

She's also back to rolling over and stayed in this position for awhile to view the baby faces in this book.

Give Hannah some buckets of water and she's your friend forever. This time I gave her a paint brush. My mom used to put me out on the porch and tell me to "paint the rocks" in the concrete. I spent hours doing this. Hannah ran around and painted wooden posts and everything else too.
Also the other day I got to see a look every mother wants to see on her kid's face. She was in a swing at the park and just when she was lifting into the air she had this look of complete happiness and contentment staring into the sky- like she was telling herself "It can't get better than this." : )
Playing hide and seek.

Hannah (with some encouragement) is seeing Chloe more as a sister and less as a little blob that takes up all of mommy's time. She insisted Chloe put on socks like her the other day and this day it was sunglasses.

Carting around her sister in the Megablocks wagon. Chloe's yawning at this excitement.

Jan 18, 2009

Works in Progress

Not the most flattering photo to start this post! One of the blogs I follow - Thrifty Decor Chick- (she decorates her home with thrifty finds but it looks like a magazine spread and she has a fun personality) is having an online organizing party. I decided to participate and get some things done. Look at the linen closet before...

...and after. That's it so far. Not so impressive but at least the medicine bottles and household cleaners are out of Hannah's reach. I can also get to things I need now so that's a plus.

Heather came to visit us Friday morning so Hannah tried out her Crocs. We also had fun with Mark, Wendy, and Anna Thursday night. They were nice enough to bring Hannah a little toy pug. Unfortunately on their way back to Denton, Mark and Wendy's car was hit by a refrigerator that fell off the back of someone's truck! They were then rammed from behind from someone following too close. They are okay and suffered some bruises and a broken nose between them. So everyone out there....try not to follow trucks carrying big load that may not be secure- and stop tailgating! You know who you are. Now that I drive around two little ones I can't imagine how people endanger others so much when they drive. You never know who has children in the car and impatience is never worth people getting hurt, especially innocent little ones. There is my preaching for today!!

Hi from Chloe. She's started some exercising now. She loves to do sit-ups and then fling herself backward to start again.

This is the "Tote-ally cool" tote I got for Christmas and it's the perfect thing to hold my current quilting project.

This is the quilt top. It's a miniature quilt for a set I want to make for the Newborns in Need program. This group provides items for premature infants. They take homemade quilts and blankets among other things. Standard newborn blankets are much too overwhelming in size for the babies so these little handmade blankets can provide some warmth in the hospital and become a keepsake for them later. This one could be for either a boy or girl. I downsized this pattern I found and used some similar fabrics from my "stash." (official quilting term) I have a lots of perfect fabrics for baby quilts so I can't wait to do more. This one still needs a little border and the backing of course. I think I'll use a soft flannel. I'll post the finished product sometime. By the way- I did finish my mom's quilt awhile back. It turned out really well and now it resides in Tennessee!

Jan 13, 2009


Mess of the day.

Chloe news: She has taught herself to roll over. This is usually something 4 monthers do so I'm impressed. One day when I put her on her stomach she just lifted up high, pushed her feet out and rolled right over. Dax said he saw her do it before so I kept putting her back on her stomach to see if it was a fluke or not. Nope. She did it many times in a row and even went both directions- left and right. She did it pretty consistantly for a couple of days but yesterday and today acted like it was a nuisance to even try to lift her head much less roll over. It's almost like she forgot. I'm sure it will return. : )
Mid-roll on the bed.

Hannah has a fun tent in the den now. A good place for secret magnadoodling.

Chloe shows off her baby bald stripe.

We finally made it to a brunch at Rick and Raina's house. Hannah found an apple and took a bite so it was inevitably hers. She was proud of the apple and told everyone there all about it. She decided to stand with the men (one not pictures) conversing in the kitchen for quite awhile- their tiny little companion.

Chloe sits with Wendy. She spent most of the time deciding if she wanted to eat or sleep eat or sleep...

The smiling cherub. In other Chloe news she loves to sit straight up with little back support and watch her feet. She is also genuinely pleased when she successfully kicks all her blankets off while sitting in her swing. She has begun to sleep longer at night- once was from 8-4am! However, last night was a fidgety wake/sleep all night affair.

Hannah and I just hanging out in the back yard. This is the first interest she's really shown in this riding toy and now she's too big for it! She instead just walked it into various objects aruond the deck.

She spent a few minutes doing some interpretive dance and general silliness.

Just conversating. This is my new favorite picture. I set Chloe in her bumbo chair to watch Hannah eat lunch while I cleaned up around the kitchen. I turned around and Chloe was grinning at Hannah like a cheshire cat. She wouldn't stop! It was so cute. She reminded me of that kid in A Christmas Story who said he liked The Wizard of Oz.

Dax and I got to go on a date tonight to our favorite restaurant (Texas de Brazil) thanks to a gift card so I'm all smiles too. I'm also happy to return to playng with Lone Star Wind Orchestra. My first rehearsal was pretty rough as the girls at home don't allow much practicing. The second was better and I think I'll be on track soon.

Jan 5, 2009

3rd and Final Christmas

We officially finished with holidays and I'm typing this on the relaxing first day of not going anywhere. We had a great time though. This past weekend Dax's brother and family came into town. Hannah is not used to seeing so much wrestling- or really any at all- and had great concern when Weston and Hudson were playing around.

Just waiting to eat "Christmas" dinner. Dax made two beer-can chickens on the grill, one of them was a pepsi-can chicken. Both were delicious.

Chloe meets Aunt Kasey!

After dinner Friday night we headed to Anna's for dessert and presents. Kasey had been working hard and painted us all some really neat abstract art on canvases. Dax and Anna got Weston a trombone. Here they are playing Guitar Hero, the big hit of the weekend along with Wii bowling.

Hudson tries on his karate uniform from Uncle Dax.

Saturday we went to see the King Tut exhibit in Dallas. Hannah is excited but she only really knows that we're leaving the house. I guess that's exciting enough. It must be fun when everywhere you go is a complete surprise.

When you purchase tickets you have to sign up for a specific time so they can keep the crowds down. I really hate to think what it would have been like without this rule. It seemed like the whole city of Dallas was there. We had 2 strollers and of course ended up carting Hannah's around without her in it. I felt in the way most of the time but the exhibit itself was really nice.

The gift shops are always the most fun. : ) I look more like a court jester than an Egyptian queen.

Some of the family went off to see more exhibits so Hannah and I worked on stair climbing. She climbed 4 huge flights and even the security guard below clapped for her after the first 2.

Pleased with her accomplishment. Then we went to Cafe Brazil- also a long wait but I thought the fries were really good! Then we went to the gigantic Half-Price Books since we are all book lovers.

Sweet sleeper- tired after all the fun.

On Sunday everyone went to church in the morning and then went separate ways. We met up again for bar-b-que at Dickeys and then off to Beth Marie's for ice cream at the town square. Hudson was pleased.

Hannah wouldn't even smile or look at anyone since she was concentrating so hard on her ice cream- a rare treat.


Back to Anna's for more Wii and family pictures. All of Anna's grandkids together. Hudson and Hannah look so much alike. In fact, when they received our Christmas card in the mail Hudson said, "Mom, why am I wearing a dress in this picture?" It's hard to believe Dax and I started dating when Weston was 3, a year younger than Hudson is now.

This obviously wasn't the keeper but it's my favorite.

The Stokes Family