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Thursday, February 24, 2011

when it comes to talking on the phone.....

My two girls have two very different personalities.  One is very laid back.  Go with the flow type of personality.  The other is also pretty laid back, but can also be a little emotional to all things, but is the sweetest little girl ever.

But, when it comes to them talking on the phone, their voices/attitude on the phone flips completely.  The one who is very laid back and mellow becomes very antsy.... very "can't think fast on my feet" type of personality.  Course, depends on who she's talking to.  If it's someone she doesn't know, she freaks out & stutters & stammers her way through the conversation. However, if you know her, she talks a mile a minute.

The one who is emotional to all things, is very laid back on the phone.  So laid back, you have to wonder if she's still on the phone.

Here is a conversation w/ Katie:

Katie:  "Hello?"
Other person:  "Hi, can I talk to your mom?"
Katie:  "uh... uh.... uh.... ummmmm....... she can't talk right now, ummm, ummmm...can she call you back?"

Or, when I'm on the phone w/ Katie, she talks like the Chipmunks and I can't understand a darn thing she says.  She talks SO fast "MomcanIgototheparkwithMissyandJuliaandcanwealsoridebikeswe'llbereallysafeIpromise"  

I go "say what?"

Now, when Maddie answers the phone, it's a long "Helllloooooooooooooooooooo?"  Her voice dips when she says the L sounds in Hello, and carries the O for a while.  Funniest thing ever.  Totally laid back.  In fact, once she was talking to my mom, she got so laid back while talking to her, she forgot my mom was on the phone, and she just hung up on my mom.  Apparently her TV show was on.  She said she got bored.... wicked child. 

Anyways, funny how my girls' personalities flip completely when it comes to the phone!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

when you have an asthmatic child....

When Katie turned about 3 or 4, she began coughing a lot.  Especially at night.  She would cough SO hard, she would vomit.  We had to place a sand bucket by her bed just in case she vomited from coughing so hard before I could get there. It was a miserable time in our life.  We elevated her bed, her pillows, brought in a humidifier, applied Vicks to her chest, back, under her ears, under her throat.... anything to get the coughing to stop.  We gave her cough strips, cough medicine.... everything that we could think of to get her to stop coughing.

The doctor couldn't explain why she would cough so much.  Finally, they said "she has asthma."  (fyi, the doctors told me they tend to hold off diagnosing children with asthma until they get older, which is why they couldn't give me a diagnosis until she was over the age of 5).  I told the doctors that she didn't wheeze or struggle to breathe like I thought asthmatic people did, which causes them to puff on their inhaler.  Turns out, there was a different type of asthma.  That's what Katie had.  The coughing kind of asthma.  Her asthma is triggered by several things:  allergies, a cold, smoke (4th of July is a nightmare for us when people are shooting off fireworks around us), among other things. 

So, she was put on allergy medicines, nose drops, asthma medication, allergy testing several times (She's really allergic to pigweed.  What in the heck is pigweed?!  But other than that, she wasn't allergic to much!), allergy shots, nebulizers, airchambers.... you name it.  It was horrible.    She developed some kind of irritation around her nose two years ago from her nebulizer when she used it w/ her albuterol.  Turns out that steroids can do this to skin when it touches it.  Took forever to get rid of it, but we did get rid of it!

Finally, last year when Mike took Katie to the doctor for an asthma attack (prednisone turns my child into a monster, literally.... but also is a life saver for us and those who need to sleep in our family!  It's a pain that they can only prescribe this twice a year for a child, which can stunt their growth apparently), the doctor told Mike "Y'know..... did you know that caffeine also stops an asthma attack?"  Mike responded that we had not known that.  The doctor went on to say that if we give her some coffee when she's having an asthma attack, it will stop her coughing.  Well... problem #1 is that we don't drink coffee.  The doctor said "well, I'm not advocating for her to start drinking coffee, but if you can't give her that, give her the next best thing... Coke or Mountain Dew!" 

Thankfully, her asthma didn't act up much over the year.  I've been stressing the fact that Katie's old enough to watch for warning signs that her body is gearing up for an asthma attack, or problems w/ her asthma.  She's 13 now, and she can do this!!  So, we've been able to stop it a few times before it got out of hand.  However, this last weekend it came on really fast.  I told her if in the middle of the night she couldn't get her coughing to stop, and if albuterol didn't help her, to open a can of Coke and drink a few swallows of it.

The next morning, when we all woke up, I asked her how she slept.  She was ecstatic because she woke up at 4:00 coughing her head off and couldn't stop.  She said the Coke stopped it in its tracks, and she was able to go back to sleep.

For that, I am grateful for Coke, or rather, caffeine.  Finally, after 10 years, we have an answer!!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

giddy on up to the rodeo!!

Last November I get an email from my friend Katie "hey y'all... rodeo is coming, do we want to do Josh Turner or Martina McBride?"  Hands down, the girls and I picked Martina.  We love Josh and his dreamy blue eyes, but Martina is THE one for us!

Well, Martina did NOT disappoint!  Last night was the rodeo, and we went with our friend, the Willden's.  We had a blast!  Here are a few pictures w/ my crappy point and shoot that will document that we did, in fact, went to the rodeo.

I said "hey y'all.... let's take a picture", and Greg posed.  I love it!


Before the rodeo started, we made a bathroom trip.  Ever see one of these in your state?

Speaking of bathrooms... these guys were working on these platforms, and I could NOT see a way for them to get out.  What if they had to go to the bathroom?  Katie W and I wondered if they had to use little cups....


Proof that I did, in fact, attend the rodeo with everyone.


Maddie & Ella

I don't know why, but I always get teary eyed when the National Anthem is being played.  This was a beautiful display of flags (Texas, USA, etc) .... the giant US Flag was flown at the end, and it was super cool.


and proof that we did see Martina.  I can't take pictures in the dark at all, but she was a little bitty thing!!


Sunday, February 13, 2011

Girl Scout Cookies

When I was a Brownie many years ago, I sold cookies.  My Aunt Mary took me walking around the neighborhood of her parents house.  We sold a TON of cookies.  I remember going to St. Louis w/ my Girl Scout Troop with the proceeds of our sale.  I had a blast!  I remember going to Girl Scout Camp when I was a girl.  I lost my key to my storage chest, and bawled my eyes out.  My mom came out to bring me the spare key, and when I realized she came without me seeing her, I bawled even more.  I think I was in 4th grade then.  Obviously not old enough to be away from my mom for a week!  But, I remember the friends I made, the fun I had.

Now Maddie is in her first full year of being a Brownie.  She sold cookies for the first time.  I asked her "so, what's your goal that you want to sell?"  She said "10."  I said "perfect!".

What I didn't realize is how many girls are out there selling cookies!  TONS of them!  We were lucky to sell 30 boxes!  Kind of a bummer since her troop only gets .50 per box that is sold.  Kind of a rip off, if you ask me.  Plus the boxes got WAY smaller, and some of the cookies average out to be a quarter each.  But, oh well.....  Don't even get me started on the crappy prizes the girls get if you sell 100 boxes.  It's a little patch.  Oh yippy!  {{dripping in sarcasm}} 

2011-02-12 12.42.09

Well, yesterday was our turn to sit in front of our grocery store and sell cookies.  Maddie was a true salesman just like her grandpa & her great grandpa.  She started saying "cookies for your sweetheart?" when the men came out of the store.  One man w/ his wife/girlfriend told the girls "sorry, I already bought 5 boxes!" then came back within minutes b/c the girls gave him a sad look, and his wife chastised him big time for not spending another $3.50.  So he came back.

Maddie had the time of her life.  Our time slots are only an hour long, but she LOVED it!  She wanted to stay longer and have fun w/ her friends, wear the cookie costume and display her cute smile.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Super Bowl .....

Yes, we had a Super Bowl get together.  It wasn't a party.  The guys weren't rowdy.  They were quiet.  We didn't have junk food... we had dinner (shish kabobs, chipotle rice, salad, wheat bread & fruit).  It was a nice, quiet, relaxing evening.

We've been inviting our friends over for the past 2 years, and this year they joined us again!

Good food.


Good friends.


Great conversation.


Unforgettable (and horrible) Half Time show..... 

I had more pictures, but I was playing around with my Manual setting, and I learned..... I still need to play around on my manual setting b/c they were just horrible and unfocuses.  So, no more pictures .... :( 

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

haircuts .... always a challenge!

My girls have always had long....long hair.  Their daddy tells them they can never cut it.  I predict when they turn 18, they will cut their hair short.  So, in our family, the hair is the one thing you never touch (OK, except to brush, wash and put up).  I learned this when I got Katie's hair cut when she was four up to her shoulders.  I was in the doghouse for a while. 

However, Maddie's hair was getting WAY too long (translate: too long to comb through and was causing tears every time I combed it), so it was time to cut it.  I told the Great Clips gal "up here only" (indicating the breast level).  Katie and I sat watching her with our mouths open as she kept getting higher and higher.  OH, and she framed the face, thus giving Maddie long bangs.  GRRR!  She no longer looks like my little girl!  She has a much more grown up look to her now!  :(  As you can see, she lost about 8 inches of hair.  She should've only lost about 4-5 inches.  ::sigh::  Does that look like the breast level to you?!!


Katie on the other hand,.....at first the stylist didn't cut ENOUGH hair (like only 1 inch).  So I told her "yeah, you need to cut more."  So she did, and she gave Katie long layers, which Katie loves.  Her hair was the perfect length, and she is now able to sport curls that last all day long instead of falling out due to the weight of her hair!!  Yay!!  Curls brought to you by the curling iron Katie bought at Sally's with the money for her birthday from Papa Rod and Grandma Debbie.  It's a very cool curling iron that is pink.



A couple more because she went to modeling away for me....



our newest favorite cupcake


A few weeks ago I found this amazing recipe on Amanda & Kevin's blog and I knew I had to try it out.

Chocolate cupcake.

Chocolate Mousse inside chocolate cupcake.

Chocolate frosting on top of chocolate cupcake with chocolate mousse inside.

Chocolate candy on top of chocolate cupcake with chocolate mousse inside with chocolate frosting on top.

I mean... what's there not to love about this cupcake?  It's a recipe that was created JUST FOR ME!!

So, I made these for Katie's birthday.  Let me say... it was divine!!  and time consuming.....

Here is the recipe: 

List of Ingredients:
1 box Devils Food Cake Mix
1 small box Jello Chocolate Fudge instant pudding mix
4 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup milk
1 cup sour cream

Chocolate Mousse Filling
2 cups heavy whipping cream
2 cups milk chocolate chips

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
1 stick softened butter
2 1/2 to 3 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup of boiling water
1 bag mini Snickers (I used Reese's Peanut Butter cups)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 24 cupcake tins with liners. To prepare the cupcakes, place the cake mix, pudding mix, eggs, oil, milk and sour cream into stand mixer. Beat until well combined, about 2 minutes. Scoop the batter evenly into the cupcake liners. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until cupcakes are cooked through and a toothpick comes clean from center. Remove the cupcakes from the tin and let cool.

2. To prepare the mousse, melt the milk chocolate chips in the microwave, stirring every 30 seconds. Set aside to cool. Meanwhile, whip the heavy cream with a stand or electric mixer until it looks like whipped cream and stiff peaks form. Fold melted chocolate chips into whipped cream until well combined, then transfer batches into a piping bag. When cupcakes have cooled, press the tip of the piping bag into the center of the cupcake, about 1 inch deep. Squeeze the mousse into the cupcake while pulling the tip out. It doesn’t take much, just one firm squeeze is perfect. Continue filling all the cupcakes.


3. To prepare the frosting, beat the butter, powdered sugar, cocoa and vanilla & hot water until well combined and a nice frosting consistency. Spread over cupcakes then top with chopped Snickers (or other candy).

Makes 24 cupcakes.  (actually, for me, it made 33)

While I loved Amanda's directions and beautiful pictures on her blog that went well with the recipe, I found that I had a few more steps that I needed to do. 
  • First of all, chill the chocolate mousse!!  After you get done making it, put it in the fridge for a bit to harden up. 
  • Let your cupcakes TOTALLY cool (like, for several hours!) before you pipe it inside the cupcake. 
  • If you do the Reese's PB Cups, buy like 3-4 of the packages of candy (I'm talking about the individual sized that has 8 in a package?... like for $1 each?  I bought only 1 package, and it only covered 8 cupcakes).
  • and finally, Amanda didn't have anything liquid for her frosting, and I used this recipe that came out of my Better Homes & Garden cookbook (it's the no-cook Fudge frosting), but it calls for boiling water... butter, vanilla, cocoa powder & confectioners sugar is NOT going to make frosting, something liquid needs to be added, so start w/ 1/4 cup of boiling water and go from there).
This recipe is MOST definitely a keeper for our family!  I think I'm going to try a French Vanilla cake mix next to see how that would taste w/ chocolate mousse!!



One final picture??


Monday, February 7, 2011

learning the hornpipe


Katie has a dance she's been looking forward to learning for a long.  Long.  LONG time.  It's a Scottish Dance called the Hornpipe.  The dancer wears a sailor's outfit, and dances a dance that really looks similar to actions that a normal sailor will do on a ship.

Katie loves it.



And these leaps??  They have to be high.  She's still working on them!


Sunday, February 6, 2011

a teenager in our house?

Katie's birthday came and went, and I am here to finally document this historic day a teenager came to live in our home. 

The Friday night before her birthday, we met up with a friend of mine from work and her daughter!  I did their pictures a few months ago and Katie & August totally hit it off.  They are major texting buddies, and dear friends.  We went shopping and had dinner together just the four of us.


Maddie was "oh so excited" about Katie's birthday.  She wanted to serve her breakfast in bed, and she did!  Krispy Kreme donuts and chocolate milk.... a special treat in our family!!  Maddie woke her up super early (OK, about 10 minutes earlier than what she needed to be up by), and served her breakfast on a cookie sheet. 


Katie shared her lovely breakfast with her sister.


After school, I took Katie and a few friends (one was sick so couldn't come) to get their nails done, and they had a blast!



Afterwards, we ate Papa Murphy's pizza, danced to Just Dance 2 and played games.

They modeled for me for a few pictures together (I have an idea of a cute gift for them w/ the pictures).  I love her friends.  I'm so grateful she found some wonderful, wholesome friends who are just the sweetest girls around.


Look at those pretty nails!  Such... vibrant colors!!


And here is the birthday cake video.  I bought sparkler candles, and they wouldn't blow out.  ::evil wicked cackle::

Saturday, February 5, 2011

The day San Antonio was shut down

I come from the Midwest.  In the midwest, it gets pretty cold there.  Cold enough they shut down the school sometimes.  Cold enough that there are blizzards, or 7 inches of snow. 

But... snow in San Antonio?  We were warned when we moved to Texas that IF it ever snows, or even ices over, the city literally shuts down.

That happened on Friday.  The city shut down.  Literally!  Highways were closed.  Busineses were closed until noon.  Schools were cancelled.  And everyone was making snow angels in the 1/8 of an inch of snow we had on the ground.  Unbelievable.

It has been over a year since we were in a huge snow storm (Christmas of 2009), but Maddie sure enjoyed herself.  I told her as she bundled up "OK, enjoy your .... dusting of snow." 

And she did!



For the record.... there was ice under that snow, which is why we were all stopped in our tracks. :)  But, in true San Antonio fashion, it all melted by 10:00!
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