Wednesday, April 27, 2011


There are many birds that grace our new neighborhood. Xander keeps seeing a bright cardinal in our backyard and I see and hear a mourning dove. I love mourning doves! I also see something that has a tail that reminds me of a blue jay, but it's not. It's more gray and white or black and white. A swallow? Right now something is calling loudly but I don't know what it is yet. It is almost like a rooster crow but on a lower pitch and more like a cockah-doo, cockah-doo, cockah-doo than the distinctive rooster sound.

We live near a SuperTarget which does indeed have some lower grocery prices than I saw in Jacksonville. Yesterday we passed the elementary school Xander will go to in the fall. It's probably a little too long a walk for Xander to do every day, but there are sidewalks all the way.

We are also very near a Goodwill and I hope to find a microwave and sewing machine there. We shall see.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


We arrived at our new rental house in Cedar Park on Sunday evening. The kids ran around like banshees having a fantastic time until delivery pizza and bedtime. There is so much I could write about being here and the new place but I won't because I don't have time!

What I will write is that I put Nick down for an early nap today because he was acting so tired (9:30 in the morning!). He had a nice hour and a half nap. I thought he might get tired around 4 this afternoon. Nope. It's 1:30 and the little guy just came up to me and said, "Nap?" I changed his diaper and put him down. He is content.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Xander's Loves from the Past Year

I am about to update the sidebar on things Xander loves! Here is the current list for posterity:

  • Jack, Evan, Patrick, Bashir, Valentina, Lance...
  • playing soccer games in his uniform
  • The Chronicles of Narnia
  • the Narnia movies
  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
  • dinosaur figures and their names and attributes
  • Clouds, a first science book
  • talking about feelings
  • changing his mind
  • The Wonder Pets
  • learning activities
  • Nature specials
  • "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star"
  • Raffi songs
  • Spanish kids' songs
  • playing with his "figures"
  • playing with vehicle blocks at school
  • telling Mommy and Daddy how much he loves them
  • having books read to him
  • school

Zoo Trip and Hand-Painted Mugs for Goodbye Gifts

I forgot to post these. I took pictures of the mugs Xander painted for JT and his family, his teachers, and our neighbors. The first few are Izelle and Xander on their Goodbye-Friend trip to the zoo. They spent about one minute in the splash park and almost two hours on the playground. Xander and I looked at the African animals for about ten minutes before meeting Elvia and Izelle, but other than that the kids didn't even bother with the animals!

Goodbye to VPK

Well, it's funny-moving-meal time around here. Today for lunch the children and I are having grilled cheese and pepperoni sandwiches on hamburger buns, plus the last of our farm-fresh carrots. Plus more of our sanitized emergency water rations which we are not moving.

On our way home from school, I told Xander I had made his sandwich and it would be all ready for him when we got home.

Silence for a minute.

"Oh!" he said, "I bet that sandwich will be edible."

They had learned the word "edible" in class today. I enjoyed his comment as much as I have enjoyed more enthusiastic descriptions of my cooking. :)

At the end of this post I'll include the picture I took of Xander and Ms. Heather as we were leaving his VPK class for the last time. I cried on the way home. I have just loved his teachers and school so much and so has he. He was cheerful and happily said goodbye. I wonder if he will be sad later, in Texas, when he realizes what moving to another state means.

He gave Ms. Valerie and Ms. Heather mugs he had painted which I then glazed and filled with hot cocoa and herbal tea packets. Ms. Heather cried when she opened hers and Ms. Valerie said that Xander was one of their favorites.

The picture:

Monday, April 18, 2011

Nick and the Move

Can I tell you something that I think is amazing?

This morning Nick wanted to play the loud music on the fire truck right next to the room where Erik is sleeping. I brought it to the bonus room so it wouldn't wake up Erik. (The bonus room has most of our packed and unpacked boxes in it.) Nick looked around and did a little stompy-dance and yelled. He did not want to play in there. While he yelled, I said, "Nick, can I tell you something about the boxes?"

He immediately stopped yelling and stomping and looked at the boxes. I told him that we were putting our things into boxes so we could take them with us to move to a new house, so that we could be in a new house with all our same things and all our same people in the family. He listened. When I was done, he did a one-two stomp but made only a quiet sound.

I said, "I know, you don't like that."

And he was quiet.

Maybe I don't give my kids enough credit for how much they understand. Maybe he didn't understand what I said, although he surely knew I was talking about the boxes. I do think it is amazing that an explanation can make a stomping 22-month-old quiet! He processes so much information from us.

Now, I don't expect things to go too smoothly when we pack up all his toys. ;)

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Xander at Breakfast

Xander looked so cute today at breakfast I thought I would take pictures. His sweet smile was adorable; however, once he saw the camera he began making "crazy" faces. Here they are:

Thursday, April 14, 2011


Aunt Pat got our house softwashed for us. Look at how beautiful!


We had Xander in the YMCA pool practicing baby swimming at 6 months old. We have never done it with Nick, but he decided to practice "swimming" on his own in the bathtub. He stretches out and kicks or he tilts his head back and forth to put one side and then another under water.

Xander came up to me and said, "Okay, Mom, you hold the bow up here and the arrow back here and go like this to shoot it."

He then showed me a very expert-looking bow and arrow shot. It was so expert-looking that I asked him where he had learned that. Guess where?

"It was on The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe."

Monday, April 11, 2011

Nick's Obsessions

Every day for about two weeks now, Nick plays with the bag of Hot Wheel/Matchbox cars and our box of Storybook Videos. Out come the cars and trucks onto the coffee table. There is some talking about them and a little bit of driving, then, "I keen up!" And the cars and trucks go back in the bag. Then they come out again.

The same thing happens with the DVDs. Sometimes he stacks them and says, "I sacking."

It's hard to get a picture since he is so interested in cameras and computers, but here's my try for this morning:

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Nick's Language At 22 Months

Nick is now saying three-word sentences like, "Deh oo go" (There you go), "Tay ih ah" (Take it off), and "I keen up" (I clean up). The first time I heard him say "Take it off" was this morning in the car when he was crying about a Band-Aid I had put on his scraped knee. He still really dislikes stickers and sticky things.

He asks me for the box of storybook DVDs every day now, so he can take them all out and put them back in, countless times over the course of a day.

"A dee-ah?" he said today, pointing to the box.

I said, "You want me to get you the box of DVDs?"

He said, "Yeah."

As he was taking them out and saying "dee-ah," I told him they were "D-V-Ds." He smiled and said, "Dee-eeh." Then he went back to "dee-ah." Sometimes he will prolong the "dee" sound when he is trying to sound like me: "Deeeeeeeee-ah."

"Dee-ah? You say dee-ah for DVD?" I asked.

"Yeeaahhh," he said, smiling.

This morning he seemed to be calling for Xander. I think he says, "Nana" for Xander. He seems to be asking Xander to help him, which makes sense because Xander helps him almost as often as Mom or Dad.

He often tells me, "Ank oo" (Thank you), and even, "Elkuh" (You're welcome).

It's safe to say that he is always speaking to us in English now, we just have to try hard to understand the pronunciation.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Rest of Xander's Birthday Pictures This Year

Queen Shannon and Princesses Kylee and Dakota gave Sir Xander a pair of wings

Part of the royal court

The princesses (Dakota was Princess Mary with a Little Lamb) and Sir Xander played Lego Kingdoms to their hearts' content

Next, the running around

Making icing mustaches and beards

Both boys got presents from Great-Grandma and Grandma Lucy!

Doug picked this gift: Xander loves it

Sir Xander wearing his new carrying case of Bakugans

Yes! A dragon!

Yes! More knights!

Yes! Bakugans!

Daddy and Xander played

and played

Another Cute Thing

Another cute thing Nick did today:

As I was getting ready to walk out the door to pick up Xander and Nick was following me around fussing, I handed him my keys. "Do you want to hold my keys for a minute?"

He ran right to the front door to "unlock" it and said to me, several times, very distinctly, "Bye!"

I appreciate how appreciative Xander is these days. For our snack I used leftover black icing (from the Spider-Man cupcakes) on graham crackers and arranged a smiley face of cranberries on top. Just an odds-and-ends snack, but when I said, "Xander, there is a cranberry smiley face at your place at the table!" he hurtled out of his room to see it.

He was so excited about it and thought it was so funny. I love it.


Nick and I walked Xander in to his pre-k class this morning and walked back out. It has only been about a week since Nick has been allowed to walk holding my hand instead of being carried.

I said to him, "You are walking!"

He smiled and looked down at his feet and shouted, "Yeah!" Then he tried out the word walking a few times: "Wock-keen, wock-keen, wock-keen."

I said, "Great job walking to the car!"

He shouted, again, "Yeah!"

It is so fun to see what he gets excited about. He was very proud of himself this morning.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Pictures From Xander's Party This Year - Izelle

Sir Alexander, almost 5 years old
Yesterday we had Izelle and her family over to celebrate Xander's 5th birthday. JT could not make it, so we saw him Thursday. Kylee and Dakota could not make it, so we will see them Monday. Xander had a great time with the lovely Princess Izelle.

Xander had something to do with at least half of the decorations :)

The cake - a fierce dragon approaches

I think the king and his knights and princess will have it well in hand

for making swords and wands

Grandpa Mike (Hobbit Esquire) and Grandma Lesley (Princess of Middle Earth) provided the fortress for Sir Alexander and Princess Izelle

Nick's favorite - due to the chocolate chips

Izelle sweetly agreed that Xander could open his gift before playing, craft, and cake (though with prompting, Xander did ask her: "What do you decide to do next, Izelle?")

Safe in the castle (from Nick-Monster, of course)

I think it took him six tries to blow out five candles...but he got the job done

Nick was a fan of the party - chocolate chips, cake, "ice cream" which was actually sherbet, running around the back yard, and little knight pieces left around where toddlers could claim them