Charlie, Evie and Ford

Charlie, Evie and Ford

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Fun Family Weekend

My dad is preparing for a run for the Court of Criminal Appeals, and so wanted to get all of us together for a formal family photo session to get some material for the campaign.  It ended up resulting in such a fun weekend, and we got some really great photos out of it.  I don't know when was the last time we did a formal family photo, so it will be so fun to have these pictures.  [We don't have those back yet, but I will post at some point.]  And even more fun to have a day and evening together!  I don't know if anything is more fun than hanging out with my siblings.  Maybe it's because we all have the same sense of humor, but they just make me laugh so hard. :)  

Here are a few pictures Meg took after our photo session.

Me and my baby girl. :)

Charlie was so cooperative during the photo session.  I was very proud of my BIG boy.
Sweet Rein family.
The younger Kirkendalls. :)
When their aunts and uncles (and Papa and Ahh, of course) are in town, my kids are in heaven.  They get so much attention and get completely wild and spoiled.  But it is so worth it to see them having so much fun!  (I can say that now.  The day after, when they crashed on their entry back into the real world, I was not feeling quite so positive. :).
We all fought for time with sweet Walter...
...including Charlie and Evie.  They LOVE this little guy.  Charlie tells everyone about "my cousin Walter," and Evie just wants to hug him constantly.  He is surprisingly tolerant of his big cousins, and I think finds them terribly interesting and mildly amusing.  I don't blame Charlie and Evie--W is irresistible!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013


Haha, scared you, didn't I? :)  No, we are not having triplets.  But since every stupid tradition deserves to be continued (right?), we dressed Walter up in the same silly outfit that Charlie and Evie wore at 4 months and snapped a few photos.  The result?  He looks astoundingly like Charlie!  Much more than I expected.  Uh oh, Walter--you've got quite a future ahead of you!

Here is my adorable nephew, Walter James.
And his surprisingly similar-looking cousin, Charlie.  I think they have the same eyes!
 Walter again:
And Charlie:
And just for good measure, a few of Miss E as well.  I think she's got the same eyes as her brother and cousin!  Evie didn't fill out her stripey PJs quite as well as the boys did, but other than that, she looks pretty similar too!

 More pics from our fun weekend with W to come!

Sometimes my life is pretty crazy...

...and then sometimes it looks like this:

Oh, the joys of parenting toddlers.  Does anyone else feel like they live with two little schizophrenics?

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Evie's Tubes

Since her 9-month appointment, Evie has had a persistent problem with fluid on her ears.  We have been trying to fix the problem, but she failed her hearing tests and the fluid showed no signs of going away, we decided it was time for tubes.  I was SO scared going into this procedure.  We have been blessed with such healthy kids that we really haven't had any medical procedures (aside from Charlie's burn treatment...poor thing :).  I knew it would be fine, but it is still so nerve-wracking to send your baby off to the OR!

Here we are at the hospital.  Evie had to wake up super early and drive up to Plano with no food or drink, but she was in the best mood and we had so much fun together.  I should try this no food/no drink thing more often! (Kidding.)

Here we are waiting to go back and relaxing in the bean bags.  We loved these!
 Ahh sent Evie to the hospital with a surprise--some fake food that she could cut with a knife.  This was one of Evie's favorite presents ever.  She chopped and chopped and would get furious if anyone tried to take them away.  I had to slyly slip them away before they took her back.  I was so grateful for a way to pass the time!
 So happy with her pear. :)
 They give the kids some medicine to calm them down so that they don't get too upset when they go back to the OR.  Evie was hilarious on the medicine.  She turned into a completely tipsy baby, and was cracking me up.  She kept falling over backwards in her bed and then dissolving into hysterical laughter.  Several doctors commented that she's a "party girl."  Uh oh.  Doesn't she look loopy here? :)

 She was screaming when they brought her out of the OR, but turned back into her sweet, cuddly self as soon as I got to hold her.  I have never seen anyone guzzle down so much apple juice in such a short amount of time!  She recovered amazingly fast, so after we went home, we went out for a celebratory lunch with Grandma Ahh and Charlie.

Here's the little patient--still very thirsty!
 And her supportive brother (support, in this instance, means stealing her new fruit toy as soon as she got home :).

Thank you Ahh for your help!

Post-surgery update: I think the tubes are a success!  Evie is talking more and more, and even her exzema seems to be looking better.  God is good!


Charlie has been pretending a lot lately, and it is so fun to just listen in and see what he comes up with.  It offers such funny little insights into his world--very helpful, since he does not like to answer my probing questions about his feelings. :)

Today, he was playing with two trains (one apparently named "Harold" and the other, "Charlie").  Charlie spoke for both, and the back-and-forth was hilarious.

Harold (in a slightly higher-pitched voice than Charlie's): "I don't know how to open this box."
Charlie: "I do, because I'm a big boy."
Harold: "You're my best big boy, Charlie!"
Charlie: "I have to go to work now Harold."
Harold: "No, I don't want you to go to work Charlie."
Charlie: "Well, that's what big boys do so I'm going to go to work and move some boxes."
Harold: "Bye Charlie."
Charlie: "Bye Harold."
(Moving boxes now.)

Sunday, March 10, 2013

A Trip to West Texas

Clint's sweet grandmother (Grannie) passed away last week and we headed out to West Texas for the funeral.  Grannie was a tough and spunky, but very sweet and loving woman.  I feel so blessed to have gotten to know her for a small part of her 93 years.  We were planning to go out to West Texas and see her last weekend already, as we knew she wasn't doing well, so we were really sad to miss seeing her, but very grateful that we got to be there for the funeral.  It was a very nice service and all of her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren were there.  I know it would have pleased Grannie to have everyone together!

Here are the great-grandchildren.  Trying to get this group to pose was not easy (especially since they were looking right into the sun).  I had to bribe my two littles with goldfish to get them to participate...

 We were able to get away for several days, so we spent a couple of those days out in Bronco with Mimi and Pawpaw.  We love getting to be at the ranch and they make it so fun for us and the kids.  The kids had a blast this time.  Charlie has always enjoyed being there, but it was fun seeing Evie really love it this time.  She was tiny last time we were there and not a big fan of being away from home.  This trip was so much better for her!  With all the family in town, my kids were spoiled rotten.  Sally had several surprises waiting for Charlie and Evie when they arrived, and both Sally and Mimi and Pawpaw had all of their favorite foods waiting for them.  When Mimi took Charlie back to see a closet with a shelf of children's books that she had organized for him, he naturally assumed that everything in the closet was for him.  We cracked up when he turned around with a happy little face and exclaimed, "Mommy, Mimi and Pawpaw got me my own vacuum!"

The kids loved cuddling with Pawpaw in his big chair.
 Pawpaw has a bit more of an "old school" parenting style than I do.  When Charlie attacks a coloring book, he tends to pick one color, hurriedly scribble on a page, and then flip to the next and do the same thing.  Whereas I told him what a good job he was doing, Pawpaw took him aside, nicely told him that "that's not coloring!" and proceeded to show him how to really color.  Charlie was actually quite impressed!

 We were so pumped when we got to Bronco and saw that they had snow on the ground.  What a treat!  While Pawpaw and Daddy took care of some business one day, Mimi, the kids, and I played in the snow.  They loved stomping in the fresh snow and learning how to have a snowball fight.  I think Charlie could have played with it all day.  Evie liked stomping in it, but refused to wear her mittens, so was not happy after she touched it.

 Taking a break from the snow to say hi to John Henry...
 Here is Charlie, posing next to Frosty, our snowman.

 Obviously, we were so proud.
 We spent lots of time visiting animals and riding around the ranch in the Kubota.  Charlie was quite perturbed about having to ride in the (enclosed) Kubota.  He did not understand why the open-air Ranger was not a good idea in 30-degree weather.
 Here are the kids with Mimi and Pawpaw.  Evie loves her grandparents, but has a pattern of dissolving into tears when I take of picture of her with someone else.  
 It took a cracker to calm her down.  She's strong-willed, but can be bought for the right price. :)
 The Kubota grew on him. :)

 Charlie, Clint, and Pawpaw also spent quite a bit of time driving the tractors around (I somehow missed getting a picture of this!).  Charlie's best moment of the trip was when he and Pawpaw used the giant tractor to move hay bales from the big barn over to the horse barn.  He was so excited he was practically levitating.  While he was shoving his breakfast down his throat so that he could get outside to join Pawpaw, I said that maybe I would come ride with them.  He quickly responded that "girls can't ride in tractors because tractors don't have backseats."  Ouch.

I think Charlie has dreams of becoming a rancher, and it was so funny to see how quickly he became the authority on all the ranch "business."  He loved to demonstrate his knowledge of the ranch, pompously pointing out the big barn, explaining to me where hay was stored, telling me how the trailer, tractors, Ranger, and Kubota worked, correcting my memory on the number of trailers in Bronco, etc.  He was a bit insufferable for a few days after we got home. :)

Before our flight home, we spent the day with the Dohertys in Lubbock.  It was so fun to see them, and we loved being spoiled by Sally's cooking!  Here is Sarah Beth, Meredith, and Charlie (he really was that happy).

 Both of my kids had a great time running around the Doherty house.  It is the best kid house ever!
 We also got to spend a lot of time with Clint's other grandmother, Sarah, on this trip.  She is an incredible woman, and one of the sweetest, most happy, fun people I've ever been around.  We have so much fun hearing her stories and listening to her observations on things.  The kids are so blessed to know her!
 Another example of Evie's awesome behavior in front the camera...
 Meredith (Moo Moo) was amazing with Charlie.  She entertained him all day, and never seemed to tire of thinking up new things to do with him.  When I went down to the basement to check on them, I found them curled up reading.  There was a stack of 6 books on the floor, and they confirmed that they had read them all.  Meredith said, "he just wants to keep reading!"  When I found out that their ritual included grabbing a handful of chips between each book, I began to see why... :)  
 Will was so much fun too.  Charlie loves having a big boy to horse around with.
 Meredith patiently worked with Charlie on his Jenga skills.  When I remarked that she needed to come home with us to Dallas, she responded, "that would be really tiring!"  Tell me about it, Meredith. :)
 Finally, a photo of baby Charlie with his two great-grandmothers, Sarah and Grannie.  We are glad Charlie got to know Grannie for a short while.  We will miss her so much.
Oh, and we can't forget one of the most exciting aspects of the trip: the flights!  Charlie was so pumped about flying.  We endlessly discussed the airport, the airport trucks, the airplane, the pilot, and all other aspects of aviation.  It makes flying so fun to have such an excited companion!
Although the trip was for a sad occasion, it still was a special and fun time with family.  The night after we got home, Charlie asked me to pack up his backpack so we could get back on the plane to Bronco.  I explained that we couldn't go back right now.  His face turned tragic and he exclaimed, "but Mimi and Pawpaw told me to come anytime and I want to go back right now!"  I am so glad that he loves Bronco so much and is making so many happy memories there!