Monday, October 19, 2009

Big girl bed and Family pictures

Last Friday, Courtney officially became a big girl with her new big girl bed. There are actually a few more "big girl" milestones to celebrate (like ditching the pacifier and bottle), but one step at a time. We converted her crib into a toddler bed, and when I can keep both girls from jumping on it, it's been a pretty big success.

I guess the real "win" in the evolution to a bed she can get out of, is that she will no longer rip her diaper off in protest when we don't get her out the crib. Just last week she unzipped her footie pajamas and stuffed her pull-up down the side of the mattress and stood there stark naked until I rescued her. That will teach me to try to get in an extra minute of sleep!

Well, now she can come and get me all by herself, although she's more likely to pick up an accomplice on the way. She has done a pretty good job of staying put in the crib at bedtime as fingers crossed for continued success. She is quite proud of the graduation and both girls are enjoying just one more place to play together.

Bridget has been thouroughly impressing me with her new style of artistry. She has been drawing family pictures, and they are simply adorable. I guess it comes with being a mom to just melt over these types of pictures, but when you see the progress, it really is amazing. She wants to display them all over and has been taping them to doors, walls, etc.
I don't really mind... I think the likeness to us all is uncanny!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Happy Birthday Bridget!

Yesterday was Bridget's 4th birthday, and I am in awe of the little person she is becoming. She melts my heart with her sweetness and amazes me with all she is learning. Similar to by post for Courtney, I wanted to document this moment in time and list some of my favorite facts about my big girl.
  • If I show her a catalog of clothing and ask her to pick what she likes, she will only select boys clothes.
  • She salutes everybody, but does it backwards....smacking herself in the forehead.
  • When she wants to be sweet, she talks in a baby voice.
  • Without a doubt, her favorite activity is jumping.
  • She is currently obsessed with Scooby Doo.
  • She refuses (REFUSES) to wear a dress. If requested, she will respond, "Yuckgh!" and cry if we don't force. As a side note, she does tell me I'm beautiful when I wear a dress and pets it sweetly.
  • Her favorite color is RED.
  • She walks on the tippy tips or knuckles of her toes...this freaks out half of who see her, the other half tell us she should do ballet, to which she responds, "Yuckgh!" (sigh)
  • She is very thorough when she colors, leaving very few spots untouched.

As with any 4-year-old, we have our moments and she can really try my patience (and win), but she is a really sweet girl who makes friends with everyone. She want to meet everyone and be friends with everyone. Since she was a tiny baby, her bubbly personality has wrapped everyone around her finger.

I am really lucky to be her mom and am so proud of my big little girl!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Happy Birthday Courtney!

Courtney turned two last Thursday, and I have to admit that I'm not feeling as blue as I thought I would at this point. When Bridget turned two, I was busy with my newborn and didn't dwell on her phasing into a big girl. We needed her to make that transition to help us with the new baby. But with Courtney, since she is most likely my last baby, I thought I would be more nostalgic and missing those itty-bitty baby moments.

But I'm really proud of my little girl. I'm really enjoying this phase with her as she learns new words everyday and has even decided to potty train. OK, she still occasionally has her pacifier (gasp), but she's developing wonderfully and really an all-around wonderful kid. So instead of reminiscing, I am going to celebrate her and highlight where she is wonderful 2!

  • She calls her sister "Kitty Kat" in the most adorable voice.
  • She gives perfect little kisses and hugs that melt you immediately.
  • When she laughs really hard, she inhales deeply making donkey noises.
  • She insists on dressing herself, but after about 5 minutes finally asks for help.
  • When she asks for something, she says "Peeeease" and rubs her chest (sign language).
  • She is fearless in her swim lessons.
  • She tries really hard to sing her ABC's (and is close).
  • She kisses all the animals in her Time for Bed book.
  • She sneaks into the bathroom to wash her hands and I find her lathered to her elbows.
  • She loves her sister and copies her or bickers with her all the time.
  • She adores baby dolls and has started to really care for them.

So Happy Birthday, my Sweet Courtney!
You are loved very, very much....

Friday, July 10, 2009

Missing my Sis....

It’s late night, well, around 12:20 and I’m nostalgic. I miss Denise.

I search my sister’s name “Denise Hamilton”. It results in some author, but not my sister who didn’t have enough time to become any famous anything or any accomplished figure. Diagnosed at only 19 with a terminal brain tumor, she only had about 16 months to live. To modify the search to her name + “tumor” or “brain tumor” is futile. With such a short time in this world, the impact didn’t affect Google or other online resources, who were barely even a blip at that time. I worry about the overall affect as the immense guilt is almost too much to bear. The love and connection to a dear younger sister is one thing, but the effort to make sure a life is not forgotten, well, that is quite another……

Pure sadness overwhelms me as I consider he unthinkable, that beautiful Denise could be forgotten. She was such a nice and friendly soul, it never occurred to me that it would be possible, nor did I ever think that I needed to make sure that didn't happen.

But now we are past 10 year reunions, and I can't help but wonder who told the rightful story to its attendants? And as we have moved past the marriage of best friends, who stood in her place as Maid of Honor? Who keeps her story alive and makes sure such a good, spirited, and lively soul continues its impact in this world?

And then it occurs to will go on for most. Friends are "replacable", but Sisters are not. So perhaps it's my job. And if that's the case, I've been doing a sucky job. Far inferior to what she would probably do for me.

In contrast to the case of "friends", there is a finite number and in my case, it's 2. I can't move on and just replace the void. My older sister and I have this emptiness that when asked how many sisters we have, we must say "Two, but our youngest sister past away." And then the inexplicable is upon us. How do you explain the biggest tradgedy of your life to someone you've just met? Or someone you've known for a while? How can they possibly understand? Hopefully, they can't.

It sucks! But what do you do? There's nothing that can change the past. Death is so final, and there is simply no second chance. I would do things differently now though. Spend more time with her. Help her reach her goals. And even change to more aggressive treatment options.

But there is not much benefit from these wishes that mostly conjour thoughts of regrets. I loved my sister and hope I was the best sister at the time. But when contemplating death, it's hard to not consider the lasting effects of death. I miss Denise. I miss my sister dearly. This is the first time I've put it in words and really focused on the lasting effects this tradgedy has had on me.

I guess I just needed a place tonight to let out my thoughts. I don't really know who all reads my entries, but by posting these thoughts and feelings, I feel like I am rekindling some of my sister's fire. I loved her so much and miss her so much, and I just really want to keep the memory of her soul in this world.

I love you, Denise Nicole Hamilton. I love you and miss you!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

All Quiet on the Homefront

Things in the Lane household have been pretty quiet this last week. We are anxiously looking forward to my sister's family passing through for a quick visit. Jen and Doug and the tree kids are driving from Houston and we are so happy they will stay a night with us on their way to their final destination of Oakdale.

Everyday Bridget asks, "Is today a school day or a stay-home day?" If I say "school day" , a minor fit will usually ensue with explanations of how she doesn't like school. I guess playing all day with 20 friends is no fun at all, and she would prefer hangin out with Mom and Courtney instead. And now, if I say it's a "stay-home day", she immediately asks, "My cousins are coming today?" It's so cute to see how excited she is to see her cousins. Courtney is oblivious of course, but I know she will revel in the attention from her older cousins.

And then next week we are excited to go down to Newport Beach for several days and will be catching up with Matt and Amy. It's been a while since we've had a long trip with the kids, so fingers-crossed that things go smoothely so we can plan more family trips!

Bridget has been watching Sound of Music, and it is so funny what she has picked up. First, she calls the nuns "nuts". Not wanting to introduce the word Nazi to her, I call them "bad soldiers", which she says, "bad shoulders". She also goes around singing, "How do you solve a problem like Maria?" also modifying it to, "How do you solve a problem like Mommy?" Nice! But I have to say the funniest thing she has repeated is one day I was driving her home and from the backseat she exclaimed, "I'm 14 and I don't need a governess!" Oh boy!

Courtney continues to be her usual mellow, happy self. She's getting more and more words and even starting to put some together. She calls our babysitter, Tabitha, "Tatah" and promptly calls that out whenever she hears the doorbell. She calls her pacifier "nee-nee" and likes to hold 2 or 3 at once. Bridget is "sissy"...she doesn't even attempt her name. And anytime she hears any loud passing of gas, she quickly yells out, "Dada!" She says "wawa" for water, and "woowaa" for Rio (our dog)....easy for us to confuse if not for the context of the dog's actual presence most of the time. She uncomfortably points to her diaper and says "poo" whenevershe wants it changed (it's usually just wet though).

Green Accomplishment:
I used to drink about 4-6 bottles of water per day. For someone who cares deeply about the state of our environment, I am ashamed that I did not sooner realize the contribution I was making to the deterioration of our precious Earth. The realization of the vastness of the waste and enormous carbon footprint, I have changed my ways. I have not cut out bottled water completely, but have cut my consumption to maybe about 4 a week. While still not perfect, I am proud to have cut my bottled water purchases and waste by about 90%. I have found it to be a very easy transition by using the filtered water from our refrigerator. I limit the use of bottles to trips out...and many of those times I refill an empty bottle. I know there is still room for improvement, but I think it's a step in the right direction!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Little Tidbits

I have a tough time finding a specific focus or topic for blogging, which usually prevents me from adding posts at regular intervals. I've decided to add a format that allows me to document specific phases of each of the girls, which should be good, since I've been so horrible with baby books and simply can't do scrapbooking. By adding a small snippet about each of the girls to the posts, I hope to do a better job of preserving the wonderful memories and silly moments.

So if I don't have a topic (which I don't today), I will try to still post some small tidbits about my children. Here's the current state of my beautiful girls....

After getting out of pool/slide in the backyard, my mom took Bridget potty. Mom noticed her wrinkly fingers and said, "Look at your pruney fingers!" To which Bridget replied, "Yes, they're just like your neck."
Thank goodness mom has a great sense of humor and thought it was hilarious.

Courtney has entered the phase where she wants to dress herself and sits down and puts on any random piece of clothing she can find. I picked her up to go outside and I noticed her shirt felt abnormally thick, and when I pulled it up, I noticed a pair of my panties around her waist. Luckily they were pulled from the basket of clean laundry, but I have caught her with Dave's underwear on her head, trying to put on my sports bra, and both legs into one leg of Bridget's swimsuits. This is a fun phase, but now I have to inspect her carefully before taking her outside the house.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Kids are the Cutest

This morning I got up with the kids, and sometimes it is so funny to see what they'll do on their own. Courtney got Puppy and started dancing with him, even trying to sing her ABC's. I'm so glad I was able to capture this moment of cute-ness!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Happy Spring

Well, it's been a while since I've posted, even though I swore I would do better. And quite a bit has happened.

I'm an Appraiser!

I FINALLY got my Real Estate Appraiser's License issued and once I get a few more things in line (like insurance, etc.) I can start appraising houses on my own. I am soooo appreciative of my husband who took the time to teach me the business and supported me on this career change. So now I really need to hit the pavement and get my website built and work on some other marketing strategies. I'm a little nervous (baby-bird-like) to venture on my own, but I know Dave will still help me, and overall I'm excited to immerse my self even more in the exciting (and sometimes depressing) world of real estate.

Easter Time

Easter came with all it's activities and the kids and grown-ups have enjoyed the season (for the most part). Bridget got to participate in an Easter egg hunt at Tumble America (where she takes gymnastics- "hand-sticks" as she says) with her BFF, Alex. They had a great time and enjoyed visiting with the Easter Bunny, himself!

Dave and I left the girls at my mom's house, and we snuck off to Lake Tahoe to enjoy the last days of the ski season. We got fresh snow, but the weather cooperated enough that we were able to ski all day without freezing too much. Not bad for mid-April! We even escaped without losing any money to the casino or any horrible chocolate-martini-hangovers!

Easter at Mom's

Then we went back to Mom's for the holiday feast and the official Easter egg hunt. The girls really enjoyed their time and grandma's and had a lot of fun searching for their eggs. My aunts and uncles also stopped by for the day as did my step-brother and sister-in-law. It was so nice seeing everyone, but ov course, chasing two toddlers around and keeping everyone out of trouble doesn't leave much time for catching up. Oh well, it was great to see everyone.

Here is a Gallery/Slideshow of our Easter Festivities:

Well, as usual, I'm short on time, but I hope to complete my update soon!

Stand by.....

Friday, February 6, 2009

Hello, hello!

There will be a post on this blog every week....even if I have to make up random things or ramble on about nothing.

So here's the topic this week...FaceBook. (I'm watching The Soup right now...I see next week's topic!)

I love FaceBook. So does Dave, even though he wouldn't admit to it. It has connected me with all my old school friends, and keeps me in touch with old colleagues. I remember seeing a 20/20 about it, thinking, that's nothing special. Then my sister made me sign up to see some video or picture album or something, and I'm thinking, " more thing to sign up for and try to manage account info... (sigh)" I've already let Jen know about my silent cursing, followed by my, "I was wrong...I love FB".

Now I am completely addicted. Since I am no longer going to an office and connecting with my lady friends, I have resorted to FB to connect me to the outside world. Plus, I LOVE seeing my old friends and seeing where they are now. I think FaceBook will be the death of the High School Reunion (thank goodness). I don't need to go to some lame dinner/party to see what everyone's up to...and this way I connect with those I care about...many of whom wouldn't be at the reunion anyway. Awesome! I just love knowing what everyone is up to. Everyone has turned out to be so interesting and wonderful, I am constantly impressed with all my friends. And I love the opportunity to increase my circle of friends beyond my daily interactions.

So, if you aren't on FaceBook...get on it. Old, young, popular, and otherwise...try it out, I think you'll be pleasantly surprised. Add me as your friend, or better yet, create some type of page that hundreds of thousands will become fans.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

I don't need to be #1....right?

I'm not going to give any lame excuses for letting my blog slip, like I've been too busy or any other nonsense...because let's face it, if I have time to watch American Idol or The Bachelor, I have time. What I also have is a paralysis and habit to do nothing when I don't think I have the perfect means to the end.

I find that I have a debilitating condition that has plagued much of my adult life. My lack of achievement may seem like laziness (I refuse to think anyone would even consider inability as the perpetrator), but I believe it is my fear of anything less than perfection. Perfection may even be a little high, a fear of failure is probably more like it. I think I take "A job worth doing is worth doing well" to an extreme. If I don't have a perfect plan or know exactly the "right" way to do something, I end up doing nothing at all. I am trying to remind myself that success isn't being #1, in this world there is room for a whole lot of successful #2s and #3s and so forth. For example, there isn't only one successful coffee company. OK Starbucks might be the tops, but there are a slew of other companies turning profits (maybe not in the current economy) and who have fans and followers. The point is that there is room enough in the world for diversity, and unlike Olympic sports, being #2 and #3, even #20 can still be life-changing, wildly successful, and completely fulfilling.

So, in a very public way, I will be attempting to overcome this curse by posting something, anything, even just a thought, a little tidbit....and it doesn't have to be perfect, life-altering, or revolutionary. It will be my "therapy"...probably just what everyone wants to be involved in...and by everyone, I am talking about the 2 or 3 people who say they read this. My hope is that I will be motivated to take more chances in life and be less afraid of failure.

Well, I've used up all my time today and this is about as enlightening as it's going to get (I hear American Idol about people with no fear of failure). Stay tuned for the fun to start!