Monday, August 16, 2010

Kenny's "Vida" Painting

Kenny and I agreed not to "get" each other anything for our birthdays this year. I said I didn't want anything since we'll be in Paris on my birthday - he can buy me a croissant for my birthday! So, he decided I shouldn't buy him anything either. So, he's having a birthday party instead.

But, I had this idea for a painting for him for a while and decided to finally give it a try. He seemed to like it...   =)

After taking a close look at this painting, you should know all about Kenny!

"Vida" painting

Top half close-up (if you click on the picture, you will see it larger and will be able to zoom in quite a bit)

Bottom half close-up

He loves soccer, scuba diving, running, and the Denver Broncos. We met at Tony Roma's. He's lived in Australia, Egypt, Louisiana, Denver, and Texas. He's a numbers man. He's been in the Oil & Gas business for a while now. He's interested in real estate. He graduated from Baylor and got his MBA from UT Arlington. He loves the ocean and plays the guitar.

There are also a couple of Kenny's favorite quotes in there that I don't think you could read even after zooming in, plus a couple of important dates (our wedding date and Mira's birthday).

The quotes are:
"If you want to rise higher, use your own legs! Don't let yourself be carried up, do not sit on the backs and heads of strangers!"  -Nietcsche
"Rule #1: Never lose money. Rule #2: Never forget Rule #1."  -Warren Buffet

Potty Success!!

This past weekend, we did Potty Boot Camp! We pretty much followed the Potty Train in 3 Days outline. We haven't read the book, just the basic ideas laid out on BabyCenter. We'll be tweaking it a bit, because we're not interested in sending her out in the world with no diaper on just yet!

We decided that she was probably ready and capable of doing it. We just needed to decide that we were ready! So, we finally committed to really doing it! Poor Kenny got to do potty training on his birthday! He says it's okay, and that her being potty trained would be an excellent birthday gift!

So, this is how it went down:

Friday, before the big kick-off, we went to the library and stocked up on books - just about maxed out our borrowing power!

After Mira went to bed on Friday, we cleared our living room of extraneous furniture, rolled up the rug, and blocked all access to carpet. We set up Pottyland with a potty chair, wipes, a trash can, and toilet paper. We had a pile of old towels, a dedicated sponge, and Clorox hard surface cleaner all ready to go.

We gave ourselves pep talks..."there's going to be lots of messes"....."don't expect too much - we're just testing the waters"......"she's still pretty young".....etc, etc.

We made sure we had tons of entertainment ready - we would be home-bound for the next 48 hours!

We didn't really use treats of any kind. A couple of times we gave her a few pennies to "feed" to her piggy bank when she was successful. But, as it turned out, the thing that worked best to motivate her was our (including Jeter & Shatzie and all her toys) cheering, singing, and dancing!

Saturday morning, when Mira woke up, we took her soaked overnight diaper off, and let her run wild and naked from the waist down! She was a fan!! We had quite a few accidents Saturday - she was peeing about every 5-10 minutes! A little drop here, a little dribble there! She quickly started telling us, but often too late. She took advantage of the nap time diaper to do #2. But, by the end of the day, we definitely felt like she was making progress. We had started praising her for not only pee peeing in the potty, but also when she didn't make a mess. That seemed to really make an impression on her. Every time she peed in the potty, we did the Pee Pee Parade to the toilet. She would pour in the pee then flush it down - "Bye Bye Pee Pee!!" Then, I would make all her toy animals cheer and sing her praises. She adored this!

Apparently, Mira did some thinking overnight, and it all "clicked"!

Sunday, she was going only every couple of hours or so and telling us before she started to pee. She learned to hold it and empty her bladder each time!! Woo Hoo!! She only had 1/2 an accident on Day 2; she said, "Pee!" and started almost immediately. I said, "Okay, stop! Hang on!" She stopped mid-flow, and I whisked her to the potty where she finished up! Not too bad!

All three of us were bursting with pride by the end of the day, but, at the same time, Kenny and I were curious and a bit anxious about how things would go when we had to go back to the real world (i.e. pants) come Monday morning.

Well, this morning, Mira and I went to the gym. I had the car loaded up with Mobile Pottyland: potty chair, toilet paper, Lysol wipes, paper towels, plastic grocery bags, and an extra outfit. I put Mira on the potty right before leaving the house - no pee. After a two minute drive to the gym, I put her on the potty in the back of the Escape - no pee. Getting worried. Put on a pull-up and bloomers under her dress.

I sort of figured she would not only pee in her pull-up, but also take the opportunity to go #2, since she hadn't gone at all on Sunday and was definitely showing signs of being on the verge.

After being in the gym for 1 1/2 hrs, we hurried back to Mobile Pottyland! Mira's pull-up was empty AND dry!!!! I was practically doing somersaults in the parking lot! Then, she sat on her potty and had some water and snack. She didn't pee right away. She started asking for milk, which I didn't bring. So, I told her, "If you go pee pee in the potty, we can get home and get some milk!" I could see the gears turning in her head for a few seconds then.....Psssssssssss!!!!! Ha!! She's so smart, and such a milkaholic!!!! While peeing, she yelled across the parking lot for my friend Julie to come see - "Look Juwie!!! You see that??!!!" So adorable! We called Daddy to tell him what an amazing job she had done!

She continued throughout the day telling me every time she needed to go. She even finally went #2 on the potty! We had a big celebration and had to call Daddy about that one, too!

She had one accident today. Well, really I feel like I should take full responsibility for that one. Total bone-head move. It had been quite a while since she had gone when I let her sit on a blanket on the sofa and watch Wonder Pets. She became so engrossed in the show that she didn't even realized it when she peed. Didn't notice the accident until we picked her up from the sofa after the show. That was totally my fault! Oh, well - lesson learned! Don't expect a toddler to be concerned with sitting on the potty when they're watching Linny, Tuck, and Ming-Ming, too!!!

Further updates to come....

Welcome to Pottyland!!!!

Sorry, Management Only Past This Point!

Library book on the potty. Watch the video below regarding the hair-do.

As it turns out, I, personally, think it was a pretty great weekend. I really enjoyed spending so much quality time together as a family. We were all together and fully focused on each other - not chores or the computer or anything else! I really missed Kenny when he had to go to work today!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Fort Lauderdale! Happy 5th!!

Kenny and I celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary in Fort Lauderdale last weekend. We went scuba diving of course and had a great time dining at an upscale vegan restaurant, taking in Las Olas, watching movies, and walking along the beach, plus some (mis-)adventures in letterboxing!

We stayed at the W in Fort Lauderdale, and it was wonderful! The rooms were beautiful and the staff was so accomodating! Mira would have loved their alligator theme!


A giant, albino Alli!!


Our view!

The kind of cars that greeted us at valet - Bentleys, Lamborginis, etc.

For our anniversary dinner, we ate at Sublime and stuffed ourselves silly! We couldn't eat dessert, so we took it to go. After dinner, we went for a walk along the beach which was just across the street from the hotel! We found some great sea shells for Mira and were stoked to find what we think is a shark tooth! We were sure this would be a sign that we would see lots of sharks on our dive. After watching the sun set, we went back to the hotel, and watched a movie while indulging in Chocolate Nirvana!

Five Years Today!

"Chocolate Nirvana" to go - YUMMY!!

Sea turtle nesting season, so the beach was dotted with federally protected nests!

Evening beach scene.

Saturday evening, we went for a stroll along Las Olas Drive. We window shopped, had sorbet for dessert (first!), and then had a delicious pasta dinner!

Sunday afternoon, we did some extreme letterboxing! I won't go into what letterboxing is (check it out here), but Kenny and I treked through the jungles of Florida, where they have billions of giant spiders in giant webs and who knows what else, in search of these letterboxes! I climbed a tree (and kind of fell out of the tree) and got dirt up to my elbows, then had to bathe in a drinking fountain at a camping grounds! Not exactly fun while we were doing it, but hilarious to think about now!

One of the letterbox guards - a Giant Orb Spider. They were huge, and there were tons of them! Their webs were literally right on top of one another - it was like a scene from Arachnaphobia! Needless to say, there weren't too many other bugs to worry about!

Later that evening, we went to the movies and watched Dinner for Schmucks - we thought it was pretty funny! Always enjoy a chance to see a film in the theatre!

The diving wasn't the absolute best we've ever experienced (not a single shark!), but we did get to do our first wreck dives! Unfortunately, we had issues with our new underwater camera during both of these wreck dives! Argh!! Oh well, we got some good pics of the reef.



French Grunt and some cool coral

Four-Eyed Butterfly Fish

Yellow Stingray - can you see it?

Nice seascape

Parrotfish - maybe a Queen Parrotfish? Not sure.

Queen Angelfish

Scrawled Filefish

Porcupine Fish (BlowFish) - obviously, he's not scared of us!

More nice coral - a very shallow dive, so the colors were beautiful!

More species of coral

Smooth Trunkfish

A school of Blue Chromis with a couple of Sergeant Majors (B&W striped) mixed into the group.

Spadefish - gorgeous!

A Blue Tang - you may feel the urge to call it "Dory", but this is a Carribean Blue Tang, not a Pacific like from the movie!

Stoplight Parrotfish

Yellowtail Damselfish

We had a great time over the weekend. We always have a great time when we're together! Love you, Sweetie!! =)

Hawaiian Falls!

A few weekends ago, Kenny, Mira, and I spent the day at Hawaiian Falls in Mansfield, TX with Kenny, Coco, Olivia, and Avi. Mira went non-stop all day, without a nap! She loved the waterpark so much! Coco, Olivia, and Avi took her down slides, around the lazy river, and to splash in the wave pool. She just couldn't get enough!

It was my first time to go down a water slide at a water park. I thought I would hate it, but, turns out, I really like it! The Kenny's went down The Torpedo. You stand in the coffin-like cubicle, and they flip a switch which makes the floor drop out underneath you. The slide is almost vertical, so it's practically a free-fall! I wasn't brave enough to do this one!

We had a great day, but didn't get a ton of pics - we were too busy playing!

Random Summer Moments


Another painting session

Picking blackberries in our backyard - quite the helper!

Proud of her berry crop.

Hanging out with her buddy Cameron. It was a HOT day at the Boardwalk!

We went to the Farmer's Market a couple of times, and she was always excited to find the HONEY!!

And fascinated by the honeybees!

Her first beignet - pretty sure that's NOT vegan...

A sheet of stickers to keep her entertained while I shop in Michaels's. It did the trick!

My little bartista - always wanting to make "cossee" - this time she managed to get it open all by herself.

First time in pigtails!! A-DOR-ABLE!

This is what she looks like when she wakes up in the mornings and after nap. She must rub her head back and forth, because she always has a massive knot right in the front and one at the back on the right side. We use lots of detangler in this house!

Being such a big kid - wore her watch all morning - even through Gymboree!

Playing with Casey at Gymboree - tickled by the thought of being "gotten!"

Mira is being Miss Boss (as usual), telling the other kids to "um on!" as she waves them over. Mason seems to be thinking, "Oh, geez, here she goes again..."

We got the tent out. At one point, Mira had the whole family in - including both dogs. Can't say they were real excited about that...

Shopping for babies while lugging this gigantic doll up and down the aisle.

LOVES babies!!!

New Learning Tower - we all love it!!