Saturday, August 18, 2012

Princess Tea Party

Oh my sweet baby girl...she is such a girlie girl!  She loves clothes, shoes, dolls and my favorite - DRESS UPS!!!

She has had some fun princess skirts and accessories that she has been wearing since Christmas, but she didn't really have any full dress ensembles until Grandma brought her this beauty...

And then she was really hooked!

Our church put together the sweetest princess tea party this morning for all of the little girls and their moms/grandmas/aunts/special friends. 

Meg talked about it all week because she had to decide if she was going to go as Rapunzel or Snow White.  I talked her into Snow White (because the wig is pretty obnoxious for longer than 30 seconds).


And she had a ball (pun intended)!!

 She was pretty amazed that Princess Tiana and Cinderella greeted her at the door.

We are so appreciative of the wonderful ladies at church who worked hard to put this together.  Princess Meg is STILL talking about it!

The girls listened to the Princess and the Pea story and then got to test out a mattress to see if they were a "real" princess.  Meg said she could feel it, so it must be true.

We enjoyed having all the Aldrich Princesses in attendance!

We also enjoyed seeing Princess Mercy Boyd and Princess Grace Bailey!  They were beautiful in their fancy dresses!

As I gaze into my crystal ball, I can see many more princess tea parties in our future!!  

Monday, April 23, 2012

How My 5 Year Old Measures Up

Today was JD's 5 year old well check with the doctor.  I spent most of the morning trying to convince him that he wouldn't have any shots this time around, but he didn't believe me.  The four year old shots were pretty traumatic. 

Apparently, he isn't the first patient with this trauma because the very first thing the doctor said was - "JD, looks like you aren't getting any shots today.  Does that sound good to you?"

Even then, JD was pretty reluctant to talk to the doctor or show any signs of encouragement, in case he changed his mind!

JD measured in at 45.5 inches and 44.8 pounds. That puts him at the 95th percentile for height and 75th percentile for weight.  He gained 3 pounds since his 4 year old check and grew 3 inches - how's that for consistency?

I'm so proud at how much my son has grown, not just in inches, but in maturity this year!  He has made lots of friends at school, loves to play with his sister (and fight), can cut shapes, color in the lines, draw all sorts of objects, count to 100, spell words, sound out words and on and on. Of course, he has to be in the mood to do any of these things...I don't know where he gets his stubborn streak.

I love my little guy who loves to talk to me in the car and ask me all sorts of introspective questions (Will you be able to fit in my heart if Jesus is already in there?).

JD has started to become more self-aware and embarrassed when he gets unwanted attention.  He is very sensitive and worries about others that might be laughed at also.

There isn't much better times in the day then when I get hugs and kisses from my little guy.  He still likes to cuddle with me and I am dreading the day when he doesn't. 

Love my sweet, funny Jonathan Douglas!!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Happy 5th Birthday JD!

I'm a little late on posting about JD's fifth birthday...but he is fully five now! 

We celebrated JD's birthday on April 2 with a Firehouse party!  This is something I have always wanted to do, since obviously we have a few firefighters in our family.

We started the party out at the Central Allen Fire Station (where Jon works) for a tour.  Uncle Josh was helping out and Uncle Nathan gave the tour!  The kids loved it.

After the tour, we headed over to the original first fire station of Allen, which is now a recreation hall.

Jon did his cake magic again this year because JD requested a real fire truck for his cake.  He also designed a Maltese Cross cake (a firefighter symbol). 

We had lots of buddies from school and playgroup this year, in addition to cousins.  JD had a blast!! 

My main handiwork was homemade cake pops for party favors.  Not the easiest project in the world!  But super yummy and another request from the birthday boy!

Happy Birthday to my sweet little boy, who is not so little anymore!!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

We're Going to Disney World!!

And we didn't win the Super Bowl or anything!! 

Jon has a work trip to Orlando coming up, and we decided to add on a weekend trip to Disney World with the kids!  I'm so excited!!

I've been to Disney World five times and Disney Land once, but Jon and the kids have never been.  I absolutely cannot wait to see their faces when we walk through those gates!!

We haven't told the kids officially yet, and I'm trying to come up with a creative way to get them excited about it.  They both talk about wanting to see Mickey and the "Disney Castle" all the time.  Please feel free to pass along any ideas on how to spill the beans!  I'm thinking a promo video about the park or something should be involved since neither child has ever been to an amusement park at all.

On that note, any helpful tips about traveling to Disney with kiddos would be appreciated!  We are staying slightly off property at the Hilton, which has a regular shuttles to the parks, character breakfasts (we'll get a reservation for this ahead) and access to the "Magic Park Hours." 

I'm bringing a stroller for Meg, refillable water bottles and ponchos, as well as Aunt Dara-embroidered Minnie and Captain Hook jackets - all ideas that have been passed on to me already. Anything else important I should consider before we go?

I hope that my family enjoys Disney World as much as I think they will! 

Monday, January 23, 2012

Meggy Sue Turned Two!

On December 18th, my sweet baby girl turned two!  I can't believe it! 

We had an elephant themed party for her (which was slightly holiday-ish, given the timing), but she loves elephants right now, so it worked out.

The day started off with Mickey Mouse pancakes and lining up all of the elephant guests for the party (thanks JD).

After that, we got ready for church, where Meg had her last day in Baby Bible Class (sniff sniff).

We got home for a pizza party (Meg's favorite food) and presents! 

My Meggy Sue quite successfully turned two and loved every minute of it!  A couple of weeks later, we went to the doctor for the well visit.  I was so impressed (and so was JD) that she took her shot with only a whimper!

Head - 35th percentile
Weight - 26 pounds, 35th percentile
Height - 33 inches, 50th percentile

Meg is such a bright ray of sunshine in our house.  She has such a sweet disposition and is always smiling and singing.  She loves music of all kinds and will rock it out with the Fresh Beat Band or sing with Olivia or VeggieTales. 

Meg has quite a vocabulary and can carry on a pretty decent conversation.  She can count to 20 (with a few hiccups in the teens), recognize her shapes and sort them, and color and draw circles.  She is just starting on letters and can sing some of the alphabet song.  We're still working on colors, most things are green or red right now.

She can undress herself and put on her pants, skirt and socks and shoes by herself.  She also loves to accessorize and asks for her bow for her hair daily.  We have just started the potty training route, but I can say, as of today, she has successfully used the potty once and has asked to sit on it about a million times.

Meg is pretty good about trying new foods and just added salad to her list of vegetable likes (along with green beans and carrots).  Pizza is the favorite, but she likes spaghetti and meatballs, chicken, beans and rice, soup and chocolate bunny crackers.  Not a fan of juice yet, but she will still down a bottle of milk at bedtime.

At two, Meg still takes a 1 1/2 - 2 hour nap every day and sleeps every night from 7-7/7:30 in the morning.  As long as we have the sound machine to drown out big brother, she sleeps great!  We are just about to move her in the toddler bed, so we will see if this changes soon!

Meg loves to play with JD and they have created all sorts of brother/sister games they love to play together.  My favorite is pirate princess.  Meg puts on her princess crown and finery and then walks around saying "Arrgh!"  Sometimes she adds a sword for flair.  Love it!

I'm so excited to see how she changes in the next year and I love the the little girl that she is becoming!  So much fun with my sweet Margaret Sue!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

It Only Took 10+ Years

When I first met my sweet husband nine years ago, he was taking a few classes here and there toward his bachelor's degree.  Since he went straight into the fire academy and all of his firefighting preparation right out of high school graduation, getting a degree wasn't a priority.

As he started to look toward promotions and getting to the next level in his career, a degree started to become very important.  So we embarked on a journey together (him - attending lots of evening classes, studying, writing papers; me - missing him while he was gone, helping him study and editing his papers) for Jon to complete his BA.

He started at Collin County Community College and transferred into University of Texas of Dallas.  After countless hours and a ton of hard work, Jon graduated Summa Cum Laude on December 17 with a degree in Public Affairs. 

I am so proud of him and his dedication to accomplish this goal.  There were so many times when it seemed easier just to quit and take the easy road, but he stuck it out and not only met his goal, but surpassed it with his high GPA!

Now, he is already enrolled for his Master's degree and starting classes for that this semester.  Thank goodness that one is only a year and a half!  And who knows?  He is talking about his doctorate too...

Monday, January 9, 2012


I think that is what this blog is becoming.  I am losing the battle with keeping up to date on this thing.  And I actually have a pretty good reason.

About 4 weeks ago, I went back to work on a part-time basis.  This was not a decision that I made lightly, but it really seemed that it was meant to be right now. 

Many factors have been coming in, loud and clear for us.  Living with two kids on a single income isn't easy.  My husband is a wonderful provider and daddy to my children and I couldn't ask for more.  But as a firefighter, they have a pretty tight ceiling as far as pay increases go, so we were starting to plan ahead for that fact. 

Also, I majored in Journalism in college.  Not elementary education, not home economics, not nursing...I am not gifted in these areas.  Let's face it, my patience with little kids, even my sweet babies, has a limit (although my love absolutely does not).  I found myself raising my voice and getting frustrated at insignificant things on a daily basis. 

Plus - back to that Journalism major, I did get a very expensive college education that I used for 10 years before having children.  I thrive on the challenge of creating a marketing strategy and tactics to meet a specific need with tailored messages per audience.  I loved my day-to-day interactions at work and feeling like a valued contributor.  And, let's be honest, I loved bringing home a paycheck to add into our family's finances.

So with all these things floating in my mind, I got a notification on my iphone from a job app that I had downloaded months ago.  It was programmed to ping me when a part-time marketing job in Allen came up.  Well, you can guess how many times that had happened.  So I was shocked when one popped up.

I showed it to Jon and asked what he thought and we both agreed that it couldn't hurt to find out more.  So I sent in my resume and got a call the next day, which turned into a phone interview.  Then I was asked in for a more formal interview, which turned into a follow up interview with the CMO and a job offer.  Wow!  All within 3 days of submitting my resume!

The job seems to fit my needs perfectly - working Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday (the days that JD goes to preschool).  It is just down the road in the offices above the shopping complex that Jon and I go to often for dinner and shopping.  The job is just the right balance of marketing and operational management that is in line with my career.  And the office seems to be very family focused and friendly.

We also asked our sister-in-law (a recent elementary education graduate - who is looking for a full time teaching gig...let me know if you know of one) to come watch Meg during those days and shuttle JD back and forth to school.  They LOVE Aunt Mary, so it seemed to be another blessing that just fell into place.

Now, four weeks into the job, I am hectic, busy and still a bit disorganized, but I am really enjoying the job and my time with my kids is so precious and seems to be more quality time together.  I am still a bit sad to not see them every day.  And I miss picking my boy up from preschool and getting Mommy-Meg alone time, but we are finding the balance.

The best part is how supportive my husband has been.  He has held my hand while I've cried over this decision and prayed with me and said all the right things ("You can quit anytime you feel like you need to").  Our conversations are about work and projects and office politics, not just kids now. 

After four years of poop, spit up, feeding, changing, entertaining and talking to kids, I am excited to be back in the saddle again.  I look forward to Tuesday, just like I look forward to Friday.  It is nice to feel balanced again.

So after my long-winded excuse for how my blog has fallen by the wayside, I do plan to give you an update on Jon's graduation, Meg's 2nd birthday, Christmas and Colorado soon!  Just look for an update Fri-Mon! :)