Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Wordless Wednesday and Some Dialogue

First of all, can I just say, I have a cute kid.  Look at that little thing sitting all by herself at the table.  She was very proud of drinking her "choos" (juice) out of a glass and eating with Mama and Dada.  All we could see were those two little piggy tails, but she was ready to move out of the high chair.

She has been keeping us busy.  Chasing her around in the evenings has gotten to be quite a load but we also have quite a bit of fun too.  She can open the doors to the bedrooms now so she locks us in, slams the door and scares us out of our beds over and over again until it gets pretty old.  But she loves it.  She's also into Mickey like crazy, always saying "Mimmie" and pointing to the TV.  She can tell us who all of the characters are and the girl loves to shake it when the Hot Dog Dance comes on. 

We are getting ready for potty training.  It's coming fast and furious and I'm a little sad to see it come.  She shouldn't be old enough for that!  But she loves getting her Mimmie stickers when she goes.

She loves to reply "Mama" when Dustin asks her who farted.  I really loathe that but she always whispers it like she doesn't want to disappoint me by saying it.  So I guess I forgive her. 

She sings Itsy Bitsy Spider, Head & Shoulders, and Wheels on the Bus.  She eats cheese and drinks milk well enough to never make me wonder if her bones are strong or not.  She adores Christmas "Yights," says Ho Ho Ho! and rearranges the ornaments on the tree constantly. 

My girl is the same as she always is.  A lover of Daddy, a mover and a shaker.  Hard to please because she has high expectations.  Beautiful, sassy, devilish, perfect.

Thursday, November 10, 2011


Reese is pretty cousin-rich.  She has two of the best cousins around.
Here is the little cutie with the other little cutie, Deakan.  Isn't he handsome?  
Deakan and Reese and just right at 8 months apart.  And they get along great.  Last weekend they were giggling and playing on their Grammy's couch.  They love to play "get you" with adults and they both cackle.  The like to share things.  Even if they don't know it.  Ha ha!

This is Maggie.  She's 8 tomorrow.  Whoa!  Where did that time go? 
They are quite the pair together.  When they are alone all a person can hear from their room is giggling.
Giggling.  And more giggling. 

Deakan is getting ready to be a big brother.  I bet he's going to love having someone around to pick on. 
I imagine he'll be the best big brother there ever was.  At the very least, he'll be the cutest.

And this little one will be 8 tomorrow.  I remember when she was born. 
She was as sweet as a girl could be from the first few minutes I met her.

We are so lucky to have 2 great cousins for our little girl. 
And I know when our little guy and his new little cousin arrive they will complement the group well!
We love you Deakan and Maggie.  Thank you for being your sweet selves!

Monday, November 7, 2011

My Two Year Old

Isn't she lovely?  Isn't she wonderful?
 Isn't she precious, less than one minute old.

 I never thought through love we'd be
Making one as lovely as she
But isn't she lovely made from love
 Isn't she pretty
Truly the angel's best

 Boy, I'm so happy
We have been heaven blessed

I can't believe what God has done
Through us he's given life to one
But isn't she lovely made from love

Happy Birthday, Sweet Baby Reese!

We love you so much.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Birthday Week, Day IV

I know a girl,
She puts the color inside of my world
But she's just like a maze
Where all of the walls all continually change

And I've done all I can
To stand on her steps with my heart in my hands
Now I'm starting to see
Maybe it's got nothing to do with me

Fathers, be good to your daughters
Daughters will love like you do
Girls become lovers who turn into mothers
So mothers, be good to your daughters too

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Birthday Week, Day III

Oh, her eyes, her eyes, make the stars look like they're not shining
Her hair, her hair, falls perfectly without her trying
She's so beautiful, and I tell her every day

Yeah, I know, I know, when I compliment her she won't believe me
And it's so, it's so, sad to think that she don't see what I see
But every time she asks me do I look ok, I say

When I see your face, there's not a thing that I would change
Cause you're amazing, just the way you are
And when you smile, the whole world stops and stares for a while
Because girl you're amazing, just the way you are(yeah)

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Birthday Week, Day II

She's got a smile that it seems to me

Reminds me of childhood memories

Where everything

Was as fresh as the bright blue sky

Now and then when I see her face

She takes me away to that special place

And if I'd stare too long

I'd probably break down and cry

Sweet child o' mine

Sweet love of mine

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Reese's Birthday Week!

There once was a girl
With a little curl
Right in the middle of her forehead
And when she was good, she was very, very good.
And when she was bad she was horrid.

My daughter made me angry yesterday.  Angry, ANGRY.  She was horrid.  And I was sadly disappointed in all that is Halloween. 

I wish I had a picture of my girl standing on the door step with a bucket to go trick or treating.  I wish I had a girl standing there with a costume on.  But instead I have a bruise from the kicking and screaming fit she had because I wanted her to put on a costume.  So, I gave up.  Took the costume off and cried all night instead.

She was horrid.

But this is her birthday week.  It's getting close to the big day.  The TWO.  The Terrible TWO!  I caught a glimpse of that yesterday. 

So in her honor I leave the poem about girls.  It's true.  Because this morning when she crawled in to bed with me to watch Mickey I couldn't help but smile at the sweet baby hands that played with my hair.  When she is good, she is very, very good, with just a touch of horrid when she knows I hate it the most.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Monday, October 17, 2011

and we'll always be best friends forever.....

Tonight Reese and I were having a very loving mother-daughter moment.  She was brushing my hair and I was smiling and talking to her.  We were discussing how funny she is and how much fun we were having.  She was being just plain adorable.  I looked her directly in the eye and said, "Reese, will you promise me something?  Will you promise to be my friend someday?"  She smiled at me and turned her head to the side and said, "No."

But then she grabbed my face and kissed me really hard.  I think maybe it was more of a "We'll see...."

Monday, October 10, 2011

Happy Anniversary

Three years ago I got married to a pretty okay guy.  Okay, I mean a great guy.  In fact, I think I'll keep him.  We've had a lot of fun in the past two years and every day is something different, something wonderful.  For us, being married isn't really about a love story from a fairy tale.  It's more about appreciating the hard work the other offers in life.  He supports me as I call him screaming that his kid is driving me nuts.  I listen to him go on about hunting and game cameras.  He's ready with a sarcastic comment when the tough gets going and I like that about him. 

But he comes home with a smile even when there's laundry piled to the ceiling and dog hair that would make any man cringe.  And I let him in the door on Friday because I need someone to do the laundry and run the vacuum for me.  As we work we talk about our day, laugh about our sweet girl's funny new thing, and wonder if anyone will ever be as lucky as we are.
Here's a few of our best moments from the past few years.  The pictures get a little sporadic after the baby stole the camera lens.

And the best part of us....

Monday, September 26, 2011

Growth and Development

The day finally arrived!  We had our growth and development sonogram and everything looked great.  Our little BOY is big, healthy and from the comment of the tech, "tall."  Amen to that.  Tall.  One thing Reese and I aren't.

He showed us his manhood and moved around like a puppet on a string the whole time so we were able to see all of the parts that we needed to and everything was healthy.  They even moved our due date a tiny bit to February 18th so who knows when the little guy will be here.

His hand was 1 inch long and we were able to see most of his fingers.  Great heartbeat and brain/spine development.  So we were two excited parents today.  Dustin keeps texting me exclamation points.  Let's just hope we have an excited Big Sister tonight too!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Moments

My baby, the not-so-baby-anymore baby, has her moments.  She laughs and giggles.  She bosses and screams.  She snickers her silly half laugh and scrunches her nose.  She lays on the floor and pounds it with her fist.  She lays her head on my shoulder as she's carried off to bed and then screams through the door until I walk her back to bed 25 times a night.

There are moments that take on some 2 year old traits.  She has outfit preferences and likes to have a fluff of makeup in the morning.  She takes care of the baby instead of being cared for herself.  She picks the books and sometimes reads them to herself with no help from Mama.  She walks herself to the car and climbs in alone with her new, "I will do it myself" attitude.

But there are moments when the moments are soft and sweet and so lovely to watch.  Moments when she crawls in my lap and lets me hold her sippy cup to her mouth like she did as a newborn.  Moments when she lays on the doctor's table with me and listens to Mama's baby's heartbeat.  Moments when she first wakes up and all she wants to do is give good morning kisses.  Moments when she's my baby again.  Funny how those are the things I remember most.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

An Admirer

Tonight at the park, Reese had a little admirer.  He was very interested in what the little blondie was doing.  First they teeter tottered then he helped her up the little ladder and then told her to "be careful now" while patting her back.  She would swing, he would swing.  She could climb, he would climb.  It was the cutest thing.

Reese just kept right on playing oblivious to the attention.  I hope that attitude stays around, we don't need to have any boys in our life too soon.  But all the same, Reese's first admirer was a sweet one.  It's like love at first sight and it's the simplest kind of love, the best kind of love, the love of a child.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Oh What a Beautiful Morning

Today is perfect.  Looking outside you will see a clear sky, 65 degree morning temperatures, and a beautiful sun shining.  I love weather like this, it makes me want to break out my jeans, sweatshirts, and boots.  The dogs go out and don't come in and the baby can play at the park for as long as seasonal allergies will allow.

This morning was a perfect morning.  Reese and I slept until 7:30 which was so nice.  We got up and shared a bowl of cereal and decided to go to the store.  We walked outside with jackets on and made "brrrr" sounds to be silly.  That kid can turn on the charm, but the similarities with her father DO run deeper than her looks.  We went to the park and slid down the slide, crossed the bridge, rocked the teeter totter, and smiled in the sun.

My point is some days are too wonderful not to document.  Some days walking outside makes a person smile.  Some days make a person pack a picnic and enjoy grapes in the grass with a toddler who squeals with delight at being outside.  Today is our day and it's just perfect.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Thus Marks the End

Not to worry, I don't mean the end of my blog!  But I do mean the end of the dry spell.  It was a long summer, and honestly, I have much more time for blogging when I am working.  Maybe I prioritize better, maybe I use some of my down time at work to think of ideas, either way, I'm back to school and hopefully back to blogging on a semi-regular basis.

Here are a few things that have been distracting me lately.

1.  Back to school preparation.  That was a little exhausting to get back into a schedule.

2.  We got a new babysitter, and so far so good!  But we have to bring our own lunch now, so one more thing to distract me!

3.  A big girl bed, someone enjoys getting out of it all hours of the night.

4.  Pregnancy, I don't think this needs an explanation but it does consume a lot of my day.

5.  The Pioneer Woman's new Food Network Show!!

6. Pinterest, it's my newest obsession.  I love all the great pictures and fun things to remember.  It's like my notebook of ideas only online.  Check it out!!

So the list isn't long but it's pretty dense.  If the end of the school year is a leaky water balloon meant to get to the finish line than the beginning of the year is a hamster wheel.  I run and run and run until I find my pace and then, it doesn't slow down but I get myself back in shape.

Right now I'm blogging for the sake of routine.  I'm blogging because my sister in law described my blog over the summer with a thumbs down and a farting noise.  I'm blogging because I don't want to forget all the cute things Reese does and the way she makes me smile.  Here's my resolution to be better.  I promise.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


I took on a little DIY project this summer that I wanted to share.  I love fun, crafty projects but I don't always have the time with little fingers always curiously looking at what I'm doing.  So, this one was a no brainer.  I just gave her some string and she was all set.  I am still working on a couple more but here is what I've made so far and  a little step by step in case you want to give it a go.

First, I picked out a wreath, Styrofoam worked best for me but someone else mentioned that they liked straw.  If you do the straw, I would recommend keeping the plastic paper on it to keep the surface smooth.  I started by tying a piece of yarn around the Styrofoam and then I just wrapped and wrapped.  I went pretty slow at first to keep the yarn straight.  I also kept the inside circle scrunched the whole time because it can get a little thick towards the end if you don't watch it.

Also, a little note here.  If you are doing small chunks of colors similar to the Mizzou wreaths below, I would leave a little yarn hanging from the knot and use it to secure a knot to when you are ready to switch colors. I laid it flat under the yarn I wrapped so it wouldn't be seen. That makes it a little easier to tie it off at the end.  If you decide to use one color, I let it hang until I was done and then tied it off where I started.

There isn't much more to it than that.  Just tie and wrap, switch colors if you want.  Then decorate!

To make the felt flowers, I used a piece of felt and cut it in a spiral.  Obviously the bigger the circle the bigger the flower.  The wavy lines give the flower a little flourish.  I left a big chunk in the middle of the circle that will be the base of the flower.  So start at the beginning of the circle and start rolling the material up.

Then I glued the base of the felt to the underside of the flower.  And that's it.  Here's the finished product.

Finally, I glued the flower to the felt and pinned it down through the Styrofoam. 

Here's how it turned out.  I love them and I can't wait to get them all done!!

Monday, August 8, 2011

A Day without Power Is....


That was today.  Today with no electricity.  Luckily it wasn't 100+ degrees.  Not much of a comfort when it was actually 90 and we couldn't turn on any fans, but at least it wasn't 100.  We were lucky enough to get some dry ice from KCP&L.  The nice man who gave it to me instructed "just act like I'm camping...."  Yes, that is a great idea Mister, the baby and I will pretend to camp while she throws the remote at me and screams "milk" all day. 

Anyway, it's over.  As of 7:00 we finally have air conditioning, TV, and MILK! 

On the bright side though, Reese came and got me so she could sit on the potty chair and she went.  Awesome!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Learning to be a big Sister

This weekend, Deakan spent the night with us.  We really enjoyed his company.  He has such a sweet disposition and is tough as nails.  He's just learning to walk so he had many spills but always seemed to knock the dust off and get back up. 

Reese really enjoyed having him too.  She worked her magic as a Big Sister in Training.  She tried to clean up and entertain and she is definitely good at making sure everyone knows what he or she is supposed to be doing.  Quite the rule enforcer!

Deakan and Reese played, you know games that Reese decided she wanted to play.  They shared chicken nuggets and Reese taught Deakan how to play Head and Shoulders, Knees and Toes. 

Our night with Deakan was too short.  We would've really liked to have taken him for a few days.  Reese could use the practice and I could use the sweet baby boy cuddles.  But either way, we know we are in for quite a ride with another little one on the way!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Girls, Girls, Girls

Last week was a week of beautiful ladies at the Neal house!  We were lucky enough to have two special guests, Maggie and Halee. 
This is Maggie.  Our beautiful niece.  She is 7 going on 25.  A gymnast, a reader, and a great cousin!  She came to stay with us last Saturday.  We had the best time while she was here swimming, watching the Disney Channel, playing babies, and eating at Burger King.  Reese was a stinker and a half while Maggie was here but Maggie thought she'd still come back, even though we wouldn't blame her if she didn't want to!  We were glad to spend a few one on one days with her and I know Reese loved bossing her around.

This is Halee.  She's Reese's aunt.  Or as Reese likes to say, Halba.  Halba is an athlete who is a rock star student involved in lots of clubs, she is a friend to many and she is getting ready to turn 15.  And you know what that means, my friends, DRIVING!  Halba came home with me on Wednesday after taking my Grandma to the doctor.  Her parents (and Dustin's) went to NYC for an extended weekend so we got Halba to ourselves for the rest of the week.  We had so much fun going swimming, shopping, and our VERY favorite; dancing the swimming dance.  We were sad to see Halba go.

And then there were none.  Yes, they've all left, even my girl, who is staying with TT for a few days this week while I teach/attend some summer classes.  It's a quiet place after all the fun that was had here last week, but now we get to gear up for a weekend with my nephew, Deakan!  We've been waiting all summer for this!!