Baking Fun!

For the first three year of our marriage, we lived in Northern VA while Derek completed med school & I taught Kindergarten. For those three years, I could probably count on one hand the number of times I cooked dinner for us. I usually always got home from work by 6 or 6:30, and Derek would have dinner ready & waiting on the table for me. Spoiled! Then when we moved to Biloxi, I stayed home with Shelby while Derek kept crazy hours during residency; so the cooking suddenly became my responsibility. I have never really enjoyed cooking and typically always made the same basic meals, but lately I've been branching out and attempting new recipes! I've been quite proud of myself!!

Shelby is our picky eater, but since attending Marvelously Made she has a new-found love for muffins! She would never even try them before, but since they serve them at school for the kiddos' life celebrations she is suddenly all about them! We tried a few Duncan Hines & Betty Crocker muffin mixes at home, and Shelby loved them! Then for whatever reason, my adventurous cooking spirit inspired me to attempt making homemade muffins! This was the first time EVER that I made something new from scratch without Derek's help--it was a big deal for me! We made chocolate chocolate chip muffins {recipe found HERE}, and they turned out awesome!

Shelby came up from school one day raving about carrot muffins and hasn't stopped talking about them since, so we are giving {THIS} recipe a go tomorrow morning! I'm a little worried since we've never eaten anything carrot-related except for carrots & ranch dip, but we'll see! ;) 


Natural Bridge Caverns + Random Photos from March

We went to the Natural Bridge Caverns this past weekend & had a great time!

It's hard to tell from this picture, but we were all VERY wet by this point! San Antonio had a lot of rain the week before we went, and I had no idea it would be THAT wet inside the cave!


As I was going through our pictures for this post, I came across a few photos from March that I forgot to post...so here you go!

Riding the carousel at the zoo

Playing with the water table while Daddy washed cars

I came across that last picture of Hadley decked out in her winter gear in our March photo album...crazy to think that winter gear & playing with the water table occurred in the same month, ha! Crazy sums up our weather this week, too...we went to the playground just yesterday and the girls wouldn't play b/c it was too hot, and today we were in long sleeves & jackets at Shelby's soccer practice and we were still freezing!


Videos & Our Budding Writer!

I realized the other day that I have really slacked on taking videos of Hadley since she's been talking so much, so this was my attempt at remedying that! Unfortunately, Hadley likes to pretend she's shy on video. ;)  One of my favorite things that she does right now is when you ask her how old she is, her first response is typically "four and a half" b/c that's how she hears Shelby answer the question. ;)

And of course, Big Sister couldn't be left out of the video fun. ;)  Here is her most recent rendition of "Do You Want to Build a Snowman?" from Frozen.

I had Shelby's parent-teacher conference at her school last week, and my favorite part of the conference was hearing a story from Shelby's Art Studio teacher, Ms. Elizabeth. The kiddos were painting pictures, and when they were done Ms. Elizabeth had them put their names on the back. After Shelby's little BFF Kaelyn had written her name, she was urging Shelby to hurry up and finish so they could go to the garden together. Shelby insisted that she needed to write a note for BooBoo & Pop-Pop on the back of her painting, and that she would come to the garden after she finished. Ms. Elizabeth said Kaelyn continued to try to coerce Shelby to join her for another minute or so before finally heading to the garden without Shelby. Shelby & Kaelyn are usually joined at the hip at school, so I knew this a big deal for Shelby! Ms. Elizabeth said Shelby sat and WORKED for a good 10-15 minutes completely independely to get her note finished. Here was her final product:

"Dear BooBoo and Pop-Pop,
We've hung pictures on your door.
Love, Shelby"

Before Derek's parents arrived, we had decorated the guest bedroom door with pictures in anticipation of their visit.
So I'm guessing Shelby had worked on this at school before their visit.

And then today, on our walk back from the playground Shelby was carrying a ladybug home to put in her bug jar. The ladybug flew away about half-way home, and Shelby was devastated. {Fatigue & hunger definitely contributed to her overreaction!} In my attempt to get her to calm down, I told her she could draw a picture of her ladybug when we got home while I made her lunch. Here was what she came up with:

DearSmhietlh (apparently this was the ladybug's name?!),
I love you. I'm so sorry (continued on back in next picture)

that you flew away.
Love, Shelby

Again, this was completely on her own, with the exception of the word "flew." She told me she sounded it out and it sounded like F-L-U, but she said that couldn't be right b/c the ladybug wasn't sick with the flu. ;)

I was blown away with both of these pieces. I have of course known Shelby is capable of this kind of writing, but she is our kid who loves receiving help. Case in point: Hadley takes great pride in attempting to dress herself, and then Shelby will ask for help with her clothes (even though she's perfectly capable of doing it on her own) and say "I love it when you help me, Mommy." ;)  Anyhow, all of that to say, I am astonished by Shelby's recent independence in writing & so excited for her! And of course, I'm crazy proud of her, too! She's still got another full year before Kindergarten, and she's already reading & writing heads & shoulders above where most of my Kindergarteners were!

In other news, we went to check out the Natural Bridge Caverns here in San Antonio yesterday--I'll be sure to post pictures sometime this week! It was a really cool experience! Before we left for the caverns, we were talking up the cave with the girls and Hadley kept saying how there were dogs in the cave. We of course told her there were no dogs, and she held up one finger and gave us the sternest look and said "ONE DOGGY IN CAVE!" We left it at that b/c how can you argue with that?! About ten minutes later as we were getting dressed, she said "Go visit black doggy in cave?" We finally figured out that she was confusing the word "cave" with "cage."  The girls' playroom overlooks the backyard of another house that a huge pen for a black dog, which Hadley is obsessed with. So the whole time, she thought we were taking the girls to a dog cage. ;) 


BooBoo & Pop-Pop's Visit to San Antonio!

BooBoo & Pop-Pop (Derek's parents) came to visit us for the weekend, and we had such a wonderful visit with them! Shelby was THRILLED to see them when they arrived on Thursday!

One of Shelby's friends from school folded her artwork into a fan on Thursday at pick-up, and she was enamored with it!

This picture cracks me up--this is Shelby to a T right now! When I look at this picture, I can practically hear Shelby saying: "Well, the thing is Mommy..." or "Mommy, I have one thing I need to tell you...." which is what I hear approximately 1.5 trillion times per day. And every time she says it, her hand is moving just like it is in this picture! ;)

When BooBoo & Pop-Pop came to visit last Spring, they brought her card games & introduced her to playing cards. Over the past year, this has become one of Shelby's very favorite pasttimes! It's usually a special activity she gets to do with Mommy & Daddy after Hadley goes to bed at night. It was really fun to watch Shelby play cards with BooBoo & Pop-Pop a year later. Last year, Shelby was following "BooBoo's rules," and this year Shelby was reading the directions to them! ;)  Now that she can read the rules, she's become quite strict on rule-following! If you step out of line, she will find the directions and recite your infraction! ;)

Shelby is still a pretty picky eater. She loves Daddy's French toast & Eggo waffles but won't touch pancakes. Well, the morning of BooBoo & Pop-Pop's arrival was Pancake & PJs day at Shelby's preschool, and of course she LOVED the pancakes! (It's a totally different ball game when your peers are eating something!) So we got to make our first pancake breakfast with the girls while BooBoo & Pop-Pop were here, and it was quite the hit!

BooBoo shared her story of being a FlapJack champion, so Shelby got to have a go at it..that was a hit, too! :)

Wrestling with BooBoo :)

One of the highlights of our visit was a trip to the Rainforest Cafe on the Riverwalk! This was my first time going to Rainforest Cafe, but Derek & his sister did went when they were younger so I think BooBoo really enjoyed getting to take the girls for their first visit! It was such a cool place! Shelby loved the thunderstorms and getting to walk around & explore the restaurant with BooBoo. I think Hadley enjoyed all of the creatures from a distance, but she definitely wasn't a fan of the storms. ;)  I made quite the mistake at one point and told her to hurry and finish her banana before the gorilla ate it--I can't even describe the fear I stirred up inside her! Her eyes got as big as saucers, and she kepting saying "Gorilla no eat my banana! Mommy, hold you! Keep me safe!" ;)  Thankfully, our meal was delievered right after that fiasco, and her dinosaur chicken nuggets were a sufficient distraction. :)

We had such a great weekend! We are so thankful they made the trek to San Antonio to see our little life here in Texas! Their visit definitely got us excited for more family time this summer! :)  But seriously, how is it almost May?!?!


Easter Card 2015

This is obviously way late, but I wanted to have our Easter card on the blog for my memory's sake. For whatever reason, I never got around to ordering our cards until a week before Easter so I was totally under the gun to get them done but I love how they turned out! Here is our 2015 Easter card!

Sorry the picture quality isn't great since I just snapped a photo of the card as opposed to taking the time to scan it. ;)  And the back of the card is just the girls' Easter Bunny picture.

We have had gorgeous weather here in San Antonio yesterday & today, but we've got another wet weekend in store for us. I tried to get the girls outside as much as possible today since we'll probably be cooped up for next couple of days with the weather. We went for a run this morning and then stopped off at the playground, but they both refused to play b/c the playground was "too hot." For a couple of girls who have spent their entire lives in Gulf Coast & South Texas heat, they're still not into hot weather. ;)  Hopefully they'll toughen up a bit..it's only April! :)


Slugs & Puddles, Just Your Average Monday Morning

We had a pretty wet weekend here in San Antonio, and the forecast looked like it was supposed to be clear by this morning so I had tentatively planned on us going to the park this morning. But it was still really wet & dreary by the time we finished breakfast, so I decided to scrap our plans. Truthfully, I was kind of dreading another day cooped up in the house after we spent the majority of the weekend at home, but it turned out to be the BEST day! I let the girls throw on rain boots over their PJ's to go jump in puddles after we cleaned up breakfast, and as soon as we made it out the door we discovered these two little guys on our driveway!

As much as I detest bugs and gross creatures, our girls are really into them. They got bug jars from their BooBoo & Pop-Pop recently, and those bug jars get used ALL.THE.TIME. They also have a nature bag that they are constantly adding little treasures to.  Anywho, all of that to say, I try really hard not to impart my grossed out feelings on them and to let them decide for themselves what is gross & cool. ;)  And just to be clear, we have vastly different ideas about that, ha! After checking out the slugs, we finally made our way to the puddles!

After puddle-jumping, we came inside for dry clothes, a little Sofia the First, lunch, and then headed off to the library to check out books on slugs! Much to our surprise, there was quite the collection! We got a great non-fiction slug book that Shelby has already read at least three times cover to cover and the cutest fiction book titled Slugs in Love. If you have a kid who is into slugs or if you happen to see one soon, I'd highly recommend it! ;)  As you can imagine, there was quite a bit of slug conversation at our dinner table tonight. ;)  Shelby couldn't wait to tell Daddy all about them!

Even though I thought the slugs were pretty gross, I must admit that I learned quite a bit from our research today, and I certainly can't deny the fact that having two little girls who are equally into princesses & dressing up as they are into investigating slugs is pretty fun! :)