Tuesday, February 12, 2013


I promise, I have not given up on this blog! I just got a little blogged down (I couldn't help myself!)...

I have 4 drafts waiting on photos and videos and probably another 4 entries in my head! I'll get to them soon, and then hopefully stay on top of things a bit better!

Apologies to our family that really likes keeping up with us this way!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy 2nd Birthday, Flint!

On October 20th, William Flint made it to the 2-year mark! We are seriously a little stumped at how this has happened so quickly, and how our baby boy has so rapidly become a little boy. I mean, he definitely looks the part, but when you add in the personality and his language development, it's nothing short of amazing! It's a little saddening to think of how fast it's all going, but I can't help but feel impressed, too, at how much this kid's spongy brain has soaked in over the last year.

You may recall from previous posts and brags that I get super excited about language milestones. Flint is at a place, now, where if he doesn't already know a word for something, he can ask and repeat just about anything. He is stringing complex sentences together like a pro, and inflecting like he's been at it for years, even though his "years" have only recently been pluralized. Typical phrases of his are requests like, " I want orange juice please, Mommy," and responses like, "No. Not eating lunch. I play trains, Mommy." He also initiates a lot of two-sided conversations that somehow seem far more one-sided, because he basically offers me questions that he'd like me to ask him, like:
Flint: "Where's Lyla, Mommy?"
Me: "I don't know, Flint. Where is Lyla?"
Flint: "Lyla at school, Mommy."

Another recent milestone -- the potty. *cue hallelujah music* Really, we are only just starting to get serious about this, but he's been interested in it for probably eight months, or so. He's been going pee when placed on the potty almost 100% of the time since 18 months, but knowing that was too early to get cracking on it, we've sort of just let it be an occasional thing to celebrate. More recently, however, we started going diaperless and just letting him roam around naked. The first day was just sort of a whim, where I just kind of neglected to put a clean diaper on him after going to change him... but it was a pleasant whim, as he used his mini-potty all morning long, and would simply come inform me that he had done so. I think he only had two accidents by the end of the day. The following day, we had our first poop success story, as well. And, holy-poop-balls, Batman, he was proud of himself! So cute!

On the less impressive side of "2," we have also achieved the more "terrible" end of things. While Flint is able to talk an impressive amount, he's not quite able to communicate proficiently enough to avoid the temper tantrums and sibling spats. Then again, I think that's just going to be the way of the Q World until the end of time. Well, at least the sibling rivalry. Hopefully, by college he'll have stopped throwing himself on the floor to avoid naptime, mealtime, and basically any time that doesn't involve choo-choos and trucks. Here's hoping!

And while this kid may be ahead of the game on a number of skills, eating certainly isn't one of them. Flint, now 2 years old and a vegetarian, remember... has YET to eat a solid vegetable. He will still eat pureed veggies, so we're still stuck on this one until we can somehow convince him that the textures he so fears are totally worth the taste and nutrition (good luck, right?). He would live on cheese sticks, fruit, yogurt and various crunchy simple carbs, if I let him.

For Flint's 2nd birthday, we celebrated at our new home by renting a firetruck bounce house to fit in with his favorite theme of cars, trucks, and things that go. Gia and Pap went in on a train table as a gift from the four of us, and Flint (and sister) are enjoying spending almost 100% of their free time playing with it, fighting over it, taking apart chunks of it and running in circles around it (literally). Luke and I deliberated a long time (typical Q style) on what gift to give him, and we're so happy we ended up with something in which he is completely enthralled!


Party day was a blast, complete with "Ready, Set, GO!" decorations, courtesy of Gia (of course), adorable dump-truck cake, courtesy of Gia (of course), mini car cakes, courtesy of Gia (of course) AND Pap, friends and family galore, and tons of bouncing and car/truck/train/bus/things-with-wheels toys to play with. Flint even started warming up to the idea of opening presents, this year, although it was hard to keep opening gift-wrap rather than open the actual gifts to play with!

Playing choo-choos with Gideon!
Flint gives this bounce house a thumbs up!

A view of gift-opening from upstairs!

Crazy cousins!

Gideon was very loving when he left. He gave the best BFF kiss ever to Flint. :)
And then the best future boyfriend kiss to Violet. :)
Official 2-year stats per the Doc are:
Height: 35.5 in. (77%)
Weight: 30.6 lbs (78%)
Head: 51 cm (94%)

More photos from Flint's 2nd Birthday are HERE!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Flutter By, Butterfly!

Every October, the city of Grapevine hosts an adorable event in which kiddos dress up as butterflies (or other winged things), parade together down Main Street, and each release a single Monarch simultaneously. Since Grandma had been looking forward to taking the littler girls for over a year, we overlooked that it was Flint's actual birthday that day, rescheduled his party for the following day, and spent the morning together with Gia, Pap, and Faryn.

It was a beautiful morning and the kids were all so super cute. I couldn't help but tear up a little (though I maybe blamed it on the sun and wind), watching the girls hold hands and march behind the bagpipe players (I know! BAGpipes! Aren't they just infamous for jerking tears?), with their cute little wings all sparkly and wobbling around.

The release was a little behind schedule, so there was a fair amount of the morning spent waiting, but the kids did just fine with the perfect distractions from Pap - popcorn and juice! Then all the children went up on stage with their small envelopes and after a countdown from 10, the Monarchs were released and skittered about, no doubt relieved to be freed from confinement. I know my Lyla was very concerned for their well-being inside of those tiny things (admittedly, I was too!).

By this point, Flint was heading quickly toward Meltdown Ave, so we took him back home to nap and begin party-prep, while Gia and Pap added more adventures to their day over at Nash Farm, where the girls rode horses and had all kinds of farm fun!

Sometimes butterflies get cold. And need a hoodie.
Sometimes butterflies need to lay down. With their blankies. On the concrete.


What a sweet and exciting day!! Thanks, Grandma and Pap, for all the fun!!
More photos HERE!

Hello, Beekman!

Preface: I just found the following portion of this blog entry in my "drafts" section. Apparently, I got started on this way back when it actually happened, but didn't get around to finishing it until it had been so long I had actually forgotten that I started it... SO! Sometime in mid-September, this was written:
Last year, around this time, we were throwing in the "moving" towel and giving up on selling our house. It had been listed 6 months, and didn't budge, so we decided to wait another six months before trying again. As luck would have it, when we re-listed this summer, we had an offer in 27 days! And after only a handful of showings (thank GOODness because as one might imagine, keeping a house spotless with two small kids and one giant dog is quite the feat!)!

The trouble with our somewhat quick sale was that we weren't expecting it, so we weren't quite prepared! In other words, we very soon found ourselves homeless, with most of our furniture, appliances and possessions cooped up in a storage unit. But thanks to our wonderful family - especially Luke's mom, Cathy (aka Nonna), and my parents, Patrick and Sally (aka Grandma (sometimes Gia) and PapPap) - we survived an entire month of homelessness. And fortunately, within a few days of our sale closing, an offer we put in on our favorite home was accepted! So, even upon just entering the tunnel, there was a light at the end!

Living with family wasn't as hard as I thought it would be, either. I mean, there's no denying the desire for one's own bed to sleep in, and complete privacy, and time alone... among other basic accommodations one finds in one's own home. However, three weeks at Nonna's, then one at Grandma and Pap's worked out pretty well. No drama, no hoopla, no real fuss! Even Maya didn't kill as many backyard critters as she did last time she visited; her main victim was the rents' back door frame, which she maimed in an effort to join her family in the pool.

Labor Day weekend, with the help of family yet again (shout out to Mia and Les, who saved the day!) we loaded up a U-Haul truck (twice), and emptied the StorageWorks unit into our new home, which has been referred to as "Beekman" up to this point. We started before sunrise, and finished up mid-afternoon, when the heat was creeping up to unbearable levels for moving!

A bit later on, Mom showed up with the kids and we introduced them to their new house! Lyla and Flint had a great time running around in the chaos (especially up and down the stairs!), although Lyla was a bit bummed because she was expecting the house to be empty so she could get some serious running around in. In the end, she was fine, though, and was quickly distracted with the various millions of tasks which needed doing, starting with her bed re-assembly.

We could not have made it through these stressful months or through the two moving dates without our family's help. We are so, so, so, SO grateful and we owe everyone a great big giant favor in return! Hopefully a great big giant favor that doesn't involve heavy lifting. In Texas. In the summer. Twice...
Uncle Les moved Lyla in!

What a wuss! It's only 100 degrees! And he only moved one house of furniture...
Sure, she's happy to be hanging my clothes in the closet!

The moving truck! IT'S EMPTY!!!!!

My sweet girl reassembling her bed.
Uh.... yes. No problem!
I captured the first moment in which Lyla called over the banister, "Moooooommmmy!" Shannon said it would happen.
Happy Q's - all moved in!
And on Day 2, Maya came home, too!
And currently, I am writing THIS!:

We have been in our new home two months, now! Yikes! I can't believe we made it this long without sharing house news and house photos and house excitement. I think part of the reason, though, is because we've been so busy with taking care of new house stuff! And there's also the whole "house excitement" thing being slightly less than exciting. I have been mostly detached from this whole adventure, I think. Probably because it's a huge deal and my brain gets going in some kind of hyper-focused-drive where all I can think about are the things I want to accomplish and how quickly I want them done. It's hard to enjoy things and soak it all in when I get stressy like that!

The stressy part seems to be waning at least slightly. We (I) had some mental goals set for things to achieve in time for Flint's 2nd birthday party and once we got those house milestones out of the way, not to mention executing the party, itself, and having guests over to the new house, we (I) sort of stopped stressing so much. We (I) are (am) starting to accept that getting a house to look and feel the way you (I) want, is going to patience and a whole lot more time than we actually have.

SO! How it breaks down is that when we moved in, we were under the impression that the house was "cleaner" than it "actually" "was" (this could be due, in part, to the fact that we could not thoroughly examine the home in our final walk-through because the previous owners had the carpet cleaned (per our "repair list") by a hole-in-the-wall company that soaked the carpet and tile completely through with heavy cleaning chemicals that took days to dry and left a residue that took nearly our first month to eliminate). So, we didn't really allow enough time for the acceptable "Pearson-level" of deep cleaning that one might prefer before moving into a house in which another couple has lived for the seven years prior. In short, we had only deep-cleaned about 10% of the house before Moving Day!  (oops)   As you might imagine, this led to a rather overwhelming sense of "in over my head." We seem to be nearly caught up, now, though!

The good news is, we're really happy in our new home. Everything seems to have worked out well. We still have basic house repairs to do, some maintenance to catch up on, walls to paint and furniture to buy, but we are trying to take on one project at a time and get each job done well. Our neighborhood is awesome! We love the street we live on, as well, where kids are constantly out and about playing and being active together. Neighbors have all been very friendly and welcoming. I've already met and gabbed with at least 7 or 8 families, whereas in our old neighborhood, we only offered occasional head-nods and had actual conversations with maybe three neighbors in the six years we lived there.

We were disappointed that our move-in date was right around when the community pool closed for the season, though we managed to get there twice to stick our toes in the chilly water! Lyla continues to ask when we'll get to use the pool again. The neighborhood playground is a short walk from our house, and we've made several trips, there, using the walking trail through the brushy creek area. One of our neighbors a few doors down has become Lyla's violin teacher, which has been fantastic! She's a super sweet teacher and stays at home with her three kids - we're getting to know them pretty well!

Even with our work cut out for us, we're happy to be here. Our new house has slowly become our home and we're looking forward to gradually transforming it to make it uniquely ours. And we're looking forward to years of memories, here, with Flint and Lyla and, oh! Can't forget Maya, who is ever-so-happy to now have a REAL yard!

Soon to come: a video tour of our home! I've been trying to get the house in perfect shape for this... but then something else always happens... like we have guests over, or throw a giant birthday party for a two year old, or host Nerd Nigh-- er... D&D, etc. After this week, I'll probably have a bit more time to spare to get caught up on house work and take a proper video of the new place!