Tuesday, June 29, 2010


For months now I have been explaining to Bronwen that if she needs to use the bathroom in the morning, she doesn't have to call me; she can just leave her room, use the potty, and go back to her room. (Such a good kid, not leaving her room until I get her!)

Finally on Saturday, I was reading in bed, and I heard a little commotion from her doorknob turning. I just stayed in bed, listening intently. I heard her put her potty seat on the toilet, use it, take the seat off, flush, and go back to her room. It was such a proud moment for me.

She did it again this morning. When I told her how proud I was/am of her, she matter-of-factly replied: "I am so grown up."

Yes, yes, she is.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

No Explanation Necessary

If this doesn't make you smile, nothing will.

Even better, Lila was walking around the house wearing these for a ridiculous amount of time; T.J. did too, but he often wears goggles, just so he can pretend he's Michael Phelps, Harry Potter, or a fighter pilot in WWI.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Baby Bump and Boo-Boos

My first baby bump photo--and a nice shot of my road rash.

Learning to Kick

I love the nonchalant "Hi Mom" at the end.

Bronwen Swims!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Little Fish

For the past two weeks Bronwen has been taking swimming lessons at Crawfish Aquatics. The do not allow parents to accompany their kiddos to the pool, and we aren't even allowed a tiny peek behind the "forbidden fence." However, on the very last day, we parents are allowed to watch the 40-minute lesson in the 95-degree heat. I was excited to finally see what Bronwen had learned.

She adjusts her goggles:
Prepares to go:
Goes into the water:
And swims to her teacher:
I am so proud of all she has learned! I will post some video so you can see her in action. Look for her in the middle, swimming toward the teacher with the white straps on her bathing suit.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Toad Detectives

One of my favorite things to do with Bronwen on these hot summer nights is to take her on a toad hunt. She loves walking up and down the neighborhood in her jammies, looking for toads. Luckily I always have an ace in the hole, because we have a nice, fat guy who lives in the backyard and comes out each night. So far our success rate has been 100%, typically seeing 3-4 toads each time we look.

Bronwen has elevated the game to a whole new level. She has informed me that we are detectives and we must look for clues. When I asked her what kind of clues, she says toad clues. The following are "toad clues:"

something that hops
something that is dark green
something in the grass
a toad

Yes, apparently the toad itself is a clue. I hope she remembers these nights, calling me "Detective Mama," stressing over and over how "You must look for clues!" when we go on our hunts. It doesn't even matter that we are out there until 9 some nights, when her bedtime is 8...it is totally worth it.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day

Today was a wonderful Father's Day, starting out with T.J.'s getting to sleep in, even if only for a bit since we had to hustle to get to mass on time. Nevertheless we made it, and both girls behaved beautifully. Bronwen used her powers of persuasion to convince T.J. to stop for fresh donuts on the way home, and then we leisurely spent the hot morning inside, playing games while Lila napped.

Then we traversed over to my sister-in-law Becky's house where we enjoyed a feast fit for kings--suitable for kingly fathers too.

It was a great day indeed--and T.J. finally got to tell his family news we've been holding in for weeks--that he is going to be father THRICE over!

New Addition, arriving in early December:

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Swimming Lessons

Bronwen started her swimming lessons on Monday. She was beyond excited--until she discovered she had to put her face in the water. Despite her innate fear, she has continued on, mainly because I have given her no choice. The past three days have been a touch anxiety ridden, but I know as soon as she accomplishes full-face submersion, she will be fine.

First Day:
Third Day:

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

New Playhouse

Recycling/Reusing at its best.

We still need to paint it:

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Releasing part 2

Releasing the Insects

Explanation of Ladybug Lifecycle

Lady Bugs!

For Bronwen's Ladybug birthday party, Aunt Jana got her a Ladybug habitat. We ordered our larvae and they arrived within a week and a half. They came in a tube with some food and paper scraps.We watched the larvae for about another week, until they attached themselves to the dome in their pupae form.

After another 4 or 5 days, they hatched into ladybugs. Bronwen was thrilled, and she wasn't even sad when we let them out, because she wanted so badly for them to crawl on her. See next post for the video.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Library Part 1

Sometimes when just don't have much to do, I bring the girls to the library, which is conveniently located right around the corner from our house. They have a great reading/children's area, complete with bins of books for the girls to go through. Bronwen has been enjoying the stories of Eric Carle as of late, and insisted on reading "The Very Busy Spider" all on her own, despite my offer to read it with her. I had to capture her story telling!

Library Part 2

Lila loves going to the library--she spends all her time getting books and climbing into the rocking chairs--apparently she draws quite a bit of attention. I love how you can hear Bronwen still reading the story about the Very Busy Spider. (She is explaining what animals the spider is beside, and what sounds they make.)

Statue Of Liberty

Mimi was kind enough to procure some Statue of Liberty items when she went to New York last month. She got an awesome plastic torch for Bronwen and a 3-D puzzle. I will post video of Bronwen working on the puzzle next, but don't feel obligated to watch--they are kind of long. Here is a before and after:
In this picture, Bronwen is in her PJs--it took them two days to do the puzzle, and she had to begin work early the next morning!
Obviously, the Statue of Liberty was one her mind--she insisted on getting her pedestal and posing with her new torch. I wonder if they sell SOL tablets too?

Torch lights up!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Mama went to the dentist last week, so Daddy stayed home for the morning. Bronwen and Lila wanted to do an art project.

Step 1: Choosing crayons.

Lila feels like Bronwen is getting all the "good" crayons, so she takes matters into her own hands.

Step 2: Free-form drawing

Lila is suspicious at first, but soon gets in on the action.

Step 3: Stamping the official seal of approval

All finished!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Memorial Day Weekend

The weekend was hot and humid, and we decided that it was time to get some much-needed yard work accomplished. Brilliant plan, right? Since the weather is not about to get any cooler, we just dove right in at about 8:30 in the morning. Luckily, T.J. and I had our trusty assistants helping us with the front bed.

Lila was dressed for the weather, and with tiny rake in hand, was ready to rake tiny piles of soil where we needed them. I know you all want a pair of shorts just like hers.
Bronwen utilized her intense powers of concentration to plant several flowers for me. She told me she was doing it for John Denver.
The hat came off after a few minutes, and the chalk came out. I know she doesn't look amused, but she was having quite a nice time dumping the chalk out and putting it back in (remember the crayon game?) Bronwen in the background, continued working hard, focused on pleasing her favorite deceased folk singer.
After a long day of yard work, Lila refused to use a simple fork or spoon to feed her voracious appetite--she had to find something much more suitable.