Thursday, December 25, 2008

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Annual Ditchdirt Lights Party

One of my FAVORITE Christmas traditions is heading to the Stephenses for cookies, tamales, and nog before we walk over to the 37th street lights. Here's the traditional group shot:

And the just-as-traditional silly shot:

My favorite pose is Matthew's. And all the open-mouthed screams. I wish this one came with audio.

The TRUTH about Christmas Cards

We tried. We put them in cute outfits and headed down to the pond one evening. We took tons of pictures (307, to be exact...Frank just put the camera is sports mode and fired it like a machine gun). Do you know how hard it is to get a good picture of a three year old and a six month old together? Maggie wrote a funny post about it (click HERE to read it), which inspired me to create a page of our outtakes. You can see the REAL Webster children by clicking here: Christmas Outtakes.

We did end up with a few cute ones, too. Once Shutterfly delivers them, you might get a card in the mail. Rough arrival estimate? Sometime before Valentine's Day. Since they're wearing green, maybe I'll hold off until Saint Patty's Day.

Merry Christmas, friends.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Things Inside her Head

Our conversation from the other day:

Sophie: What's that thing called? A rattastrater?
Momma: Hmmm? A cash register?
Sophie: No. What's that word? A strater makes pictures.
Me: Oh. ILLUSTRATOR. (The morning's episode of Super Why introduced authors and illustrators.) A person who draws things is an illustrator. You're really good at drawing! When you're big, do you want to be an illustrator?
Sophie: No, Momma! (Hands on hips.) When I'm big I'm going to be a grown up.
Me: Well, sure. But you could also draw pictures for stories and be an illustrator. Or draw whatever's inside your head and be an artist. What's inside your head right now?
Sophie: A skeleton.
Me: See? You could draw a skeleton.
Sophie: No. That's what's in my head. And a brain. But I can open up my head and squeeze my brain and then out pops a piece of paper. Is that a good idea?

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Fanksgiving Songfest

I love how Sophie says "fank the Loward" for giving us the "fings" we need. Hope you all had a Fantastic Fanksgiving.

Song #2: Happy Burpsgiving

And finally...a song that Momma made up to help Sophie with some things she sometimes struggles with at school. (Sometimes she wets her pants. Sometimes she won't eat her lunch. Sometimes she refused to take a nap.) So here's how it goes:

You gotta put your pee pee in the potty, Eat your lunch to help your body, Take a nap so you can rest, and That's how to make your day the best!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Kilroy was here.

Expecting turkey shots? We still gots punkins...

Turkey day has come and gone, and we're just now posting pictures from Halloween. Oh, well. We'll get caught up one of these days. Click on the first pic (or the link below) to jump to our picture pages from Halloween Pumpkin Bash Number 10!

Monday, November 17, 2008

I Blinked

When I wasn't looking, my baby turned into a girl. A tall girl. (Pictured with her Papa -- discussing world events.)

I think the long hair really makes her look older. She told me she wanted "flat yours, Momma." I told you guys my stringy hair look was "in." And I love the hand in the pocket...big girls shove their hands in their pockets sometimes...that's how they roll.

My Silly Sophie is still there, under all that hair...
I blinked again, and my Dad is looking more and more like his father, C.D. (I think it's because they shaved off his beard and mustache at the hospital...suddenly I can see his face and I realize that I've seen that face before. And a third blink. My tiny boy with the dandelion hair turned into a roly-poly old man with a comb-over.
I think I'm going to stop blinking in an effort to slow down the spinning of the world.

Couch Taters

Jameson likes football -- to be more accurate, he likes watching football on t.v. Sophie never really watched television when she was a baby. Even if we had it turned on while she was in the room, she lost interest after a few seconds. Jameson LOVES it. He'll even lean over to look past you to see the television. And if football is on? Forget about it...he's totally into the game.

Here he is with his buddy, Jason, watching Sunday night football:

Maybe it's because he's the second child -- the t.v. is on more often because Sophie is watching her (very educational) shows. Or maybe it's because we're just more lax about having the t.v. on this time around. Sigh. Or maybe it's in his DNA -- guys like football. But don't worry...we are limiting his t.v. time. He's only allowed to watch play-off's.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Let's get the frog outta here!

The best thing she said this week. She was pretending to be a witch who had to rid our vehicle of a pesky amphibious nuisance, but her inflection was perfect and I laughed long and hard. I plan to use it in multiple and varied scenarios in the future.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Happy Halloween!

Her royal highness, THE PRINCESS, and her faithful sidekick, THE PEA:

You may have heard that the pea is irritating to the princess -- makes her black and blue all over. OUR pea is snuggly and happy, but may be a black-eyed pea before too long if the princess keeps playing "five little monkeys" on the same bed where he is napping.

Friday, October 31, 2008

So long, Summer

Quick! Before the seasons change...check out the Ditchdirt Beachtrip Photo Album. (We finally loaded them into Lightroom):

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Jealous much?

Dearest colleagues,

I catch you staring, and I know you must be admiring my look. I realize that I was wearing jeans today and that it is NOT spirit day. I've got spirit, yes I do. But did you notice the subtle details of my ensemble? Like the new hole I poked into my belt with a kitchen knife because I don't have time to shop for new jeans (or a belt) that would actually fit my in-between post-pregnancy body? Did you love the oversized sweater that I threw on at the last minute when I realized it was in the '40's this morning? I didn't even notice that stain on the sleeve until I was in the car and halfway to Sophie's school. Nice touch. Would you, too, like to achieve "stringy" when styling your hair? My trick is showering without actually getting my hair wet (because after packing lunches and bottles and pulling napping materials out of the dryer because of the "incident" yesterday that required us to re-wash everything, I just didn't have any time left this morning to dry my hair). And the coup-de-gras? My scent: the faint smell of sour milk lingering in my clothing after driving all over town this morning with a forgotten bottle that has apparently rolled under a seat. I half-heartedly searched for it when I got home today, but I didn't want to disturb Jameson's snoozefest.

Don't hate me because I'm beautiful, people.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

The Obligatory PPP

(Pumpkin Patch Photoshoot)

Things we did at Sweetberry Farms: romped around in piles of pumpkins, ate pumpin ice cream, got lost in a cornfield maze, shared a burger and a hot dog, drank strawberry lemonade, used a haybale as a changing table, petted goats, took a hayride, picked a cupful of zinnias for a dollar, milked a fake cow, got sunburned.

Things we COULD have done, but didn't: paint a pumpkin, stuff a scarecrow, eat a sausage-on-a-stick, ride a pony. There's always next year...

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Here, kitty kitty. And kitty. And sheep. And shark.

We went to a community gathering at Sophie's school Friday night. Costumes were encouraged, but since Momma relied on the world wide web instead of her new sewing machine to supply the demanded princess dress, I wasn't sure we would have her costume in time. It actually DID arrive on our doorstep Friday afternoon, but rather than having the (hideously tacky) dress muddied up on the school playground before it's really Halloween, I picked up a little orange-striped, black-cat t-shirt at Target and slapped some whiskers on her face for the school gathering. She had a grand time meowing and swinging and decorating cookies (hence the green lips in the photo below):

Of course, when you shop at Target, you can't expect an award for originality. Sophie LOVED the idea that there was a "nuther kitty" on the playground and didn't even balk at the fact that the nuther one had cute ears and a tail while Sophie did not.

Sophie adores her new friend Berkeley. We ran into his family at an Obama Mamas picnic, too, and he was so sweet to Soph, grabbing her hand and leading her around. It makes me proud to see her shun the superheroes, power rangers, hulks, and pirate crowd for the warm and wooly type:

And here's a shot of my boyfriend...short, dark, and fat. Too fat to fit into his sister's first Halloween costume, in fact. Good thing his pea costume arrived in the mail this week!
Stay tuned for pictures of the PRINCESS and the PEA!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Mutt and Jeff

We had well-child checks today, and both the childs are well. She is tall (90th percentile) and relatively skinny (60th percentile). He is the opposite --> 90th percentile for weight and 60th for length. And did I mention that he has a fat crease in the middle of his forearm that makes me smile, smile, smile? And that the rolls around his neck beg for bites? I sure do love that fat little man and his tall drink of water sister.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

She Remembers Things

Crazy things. Here's a conversation we had Thursday morning. I tried sooo hard not to lead her or push her for any answers, but I was fascinated. Sorry it's a long post -- it was an existential morning.

I sang a song to Sophie while I put on her shoes, and then I said, "My mom used to sing that to me. Nana Jane."
Sophie: Where does Nana Jane live?
Me: Well, she used to live in Fort Worth, with Papa Joel. Now she lives in heaven.
Sophie: I used to live in heaven.
Me: Yep, I bet you did.
Sophie: Yep.
Me: What was it like? In heaven?
S: Mostly it was like sleeping on a big bed.
Me: Oh. What else?
S: They carried me around everywhere, like this (and she does a little dance). Remember?
Me: No, I don't remember that.
S: They carried me around like this (dance dance dance) and then put me in a bassinet.
Me: Were you a baby?
S: No. I was really old. Really, really old.
Me: And they put you in a bassinet?!?
S: Yeah...I got bigger and bigger and bigger and then I was littler and littler and littler and they put me in a bassinet and I was a baby again.
Me: Wow. I didn't know that.
S: But then Jameson didn't have a big sister any more. But now he does again!

I pondered this for a while, wondering about reincarnation and whether or not Sophie is ALWAYS Jameson's sister, regardless of heaven/earth living status.

Me: What else did you do when you lived in heaven?
S: Hmmm. (Thinks for a second.) Mostly we singed.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Beach Getaway

We're back from our annual "Ditchdirt" beach weekend in Port Aransas. We had a fantastic time with all our friends -- stayed at the Sea Parrot this time, which we loved -- this Pisces Momma is counting the days until we can return to the ocean.

Jameson loved the feel of the sand under his toes and took a few good naps listening to the "real deal" ocean soundtrack. (And I lost my sunglasses so I had to borrow this lovely heart-shaped number from Sophie's dress-up box.)
Jameson was sporting a nice beach look, too.
The little girls were fantastic -- due in large part to Maggie's brilliant "team of friends" chart and accompanying treasure chest. Every time the girls were "caught being good" we added a sticker to the poster and after they earned 10 stickers as a team, they all got some booty from the treasure chest. The power of stickers, headbands, and stamps is truly amazing.
The little boys hung out in their Bumbos together and played footsie.
The big boys stayed up late and played Rock Band.

More pics coming soon!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Good Greats

Jameson takes after his great-grandmother...they both like to catch a little nap whenever possible. And Sophie really likes to wake people up to play!
Sophie teaches Mom Allen all about Tigger and Pooh. Mom plays along. Lazy boy. In a La-Z-Boy.
Hey...did you notice? My crazy hair is starting to behave a little better. But don't worry, Mom and Dad got lots of pictures of my "dandelion head" days.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Adios, Big Love

Sophie came home from school last week telling me that she was upset. Why? "Because some of my friends when to Spanish class but I didn't go because my Mom didn't sign me up." Oh.

But Spanish class is extra. And Sophie is only tres años, verdad? Frank and I talked about it, decided it was too much, and then I kinda forgot about it. Until Tuesday, when Sophie got to visit Spanish class (because her friends were heading off to class again and that upset her). When I went to pick her up from school, Miss Rachel told me all about the Spanish instructor being soooo impressed with Sophie...and I quote, "I've got to have this kid in Spanish class! She's picking up everything so quickly!" Perhaps it's a marketing technique to get me to fork over my dinero, but I bought it. Soy un SUCKER, but Sophie really does LOVE Spanish class. I cancelled HBO and I signed her up.

On the way to school today I told Sophie that she was going to Spanish class.
"I'm so excited!," she said. Pause. "I didn't know...I didn't know that." "
You didn't know that you were going to Spanish class?"
"No, I didn't know that we had a LOT of money. DO we have a lot of money?"
"Well, we have more money than some people, but we don't have a lot. We have enough, babe." Then I paused. Hey...who's been talking to my kid about money? Did sweet Miss Rachel tell Sophie she couldn't go to Spanish because her family was po' folk?!
"Who's been talking to you about money, Sophie?"
"Daddy. He said I wasn't going to Spanish because it cost a lot of money. But now we have a LOT of money!!!!!"

Sigh. Somebody record Big Love for me...

This Is How Really Bad Nicknames Start

Sophie (about Jameson): "Can I call him Buddy? "
"Sure. "
"Boobs? "

Monday, September 15, 2008

He wiggles and giggles now

Here's a movie of Jameson. I'm not sure why I can't embed the movie box like I usually do...but it's after midnight so I'm giving up. Just click HERE to see the live version of Wee Webster, Version 2.0.

And don't be grossed out by the dog kisses. It builds up the immune system (and while we're at it, apply the same logic to the dirty floor you can see in the background).

Ladies and Gemmelem

Ready for the puppet show?

Here's Take 1:
Oops...forgot the puppet.

Take 2 is the UNCENSORED version, in which she says "dummy" and "what the heck" -- both concepts she learned at school that we are trying to get her to UN-learn. But it's still funny:
Click here for Take 2.

Finally, Take 3! The show goes on this time...but "Booty's" song is really shrieky. Put in some earplugs and remove the dogs from the room or they'll start to howl. We present to you, Take 3.

Friday, September 12, 2008


Frank just came in to the study and told me this story...

When he leaned over to kiss Sophie goodnight, he whispered, "You're my magic bean." She said, "Awwwww. That's cute. You're my magic bean, too."

Sunday, September 7, 2008

You WILL love me

Sophie snuggles with Frank's birthday present.

Just kidding! Frank can't stand cats (they make his eyeballs itch), but Sophie wrangled one in our front yard today. She's not exactly the cat whisperer...

Make a wish!

Happy Birthday, to the best dad in the world!

Don't worry, Jameson...Dad's gonna get that last candle and the wish will come true!

Happy Face, Sad Face

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Sophie's Birthday: One for the Record (books)

Recipe for sugar shock: cupcakes ( you can take off the party dress and play on the slip-n-slide), then hot dogs, then snow cones, then piñata candy. Sorry, moms. I tried to stuff whole wheat goldfish crackers and packets of dried fruit into the butterfly piñata, but the hole was only big enough for sticky lollipops that your children will discard, half-eaten, somewhere in your house and candy necklaces that will stain necks and tangle up hair when your daughters refuse to remove the licked-but-not-chewed necklace at naptime.

Sophie had a FANTASTIC third birthday party with all her pals (Laney, Lucy, Caroline, Leah, Josie, and Claire -- she also allowed Baby Jameson and Baby Solomon to attend, but they couldn't have any cupcakes). Once the guests left, we played with her new toys, including a Fisher Price record player from Mommy and Daddy. She flew around the room to the Pops in Space album (featuring The Empire Strikes Back and Superman theme songs) -- she also loves her mambo/samba record and The Muppet Movie soundtrack.

Click HERE to see pictures from Sophie's party!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

A Note from School

It's been a tough week for me -- dropping off my tiny baby with people I barely know so I can spend my days with OTHER people's children. (Big, sometimes smelly, often surly children who may or may not want to know more about world literature.) But after one week of "school," Jameson is fine. More than fine -- thriving! Winning the hearts of the masses! Here's his first weekly report card from his teacher:

"Jameson has literally stolen all of our hearts. He is the sweetest little guy and seems to be adjusting really well. He's been giving us some sweet smiles and loves watching our faces while we sing and talk. When I was wearing him the other day, he leaned back to look up at me when I was talking! He seems really content and peaceful and we are quite smitten with him. :) Have a great weekend!"

There are still moments when I want to quit my job and run away from all this "work" business so I can spend my entire waking life staring at my gorgeous children (but we'd be living in a van down by the river). And there are moments, like this one -- knowing that his teachers love him, when I feel a little bit better.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Three IS a magic number

Our sweet baby Sophie -- our "Thing 1," our Snowpea -- turned three yesterday. She picked out her own birthday dinner; we had pepperoni and mushroom pizza and chocolate ice cream. Am I raising a brilliant child or what?

Here's what we've been noticing about Sophie these days:
She has thoughts. And she shares them. As in, "I thought I told you I wanted more corn."

She has an imagination. Lately she's been making up very animated stories about imaginary friends named Kyla and Sully and Soku and Carly. We asked her where she heard some of those names and she answered, "on a commercial." (Only that's part of the fiction since she's never really watched a commercial -- her "shows" are DVR'd episodes of Signing Time and Sesame Street, so no commericals.)

She's makes mental connections and negotiations. Brian and Prasad and I told her she needed to eat her sandwich because protein helps her body. "Why?" Because it makes your muscles grow. She wanted to eat pie instead. We told her that pie doesn't help her body grow. "But pie makes me soooo HAPPY."

She's got manners (in training). We're moving from "I want..." statements to "May I please?" So now she says something along the lines of, "May I please have some juice RIGHT NOW?!?"

She has a sense of humor. Frank kissed her goodnight and said, "Goodnight, Cow." Then he kissed Cowmoo and said, "Goodnight, Sophie." She got a little grin on her face and whispered, "Goodnight, Stacy" to her Dad.

And she has proud, proud parents, too.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Deep Breath

Today was Jameson's first day in daycare. And tomorrow Sophie turns three. And the day after that is her first day in a new school.

I'm still breathing...but just barely.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Suburban Kids With Biblical Names

Great band name. Almost as good as "Optional Illusion" which my friend Tedward coined this week, when he wasn't even trying.

Tonight we went to Parent Orientation at Sophie's new school. A Montessori school. I only stress the Montessori part because I'm trying to figure out this place and the kids' names on the coat-hooks really cracked me up. Oh, we have the expected Aidan, Ayden, and Caiden (one of those is a girl, not sure which one). But check out some of the other, classmates: Ezra, Soren, Berkely, Beck, Zara, Gerrit, Ellis, Arden, and (drumroll please) SPARTACUS! There's also a Jack and an Annie, thank the Lord.

The collected parents seemed, well, normal. Not too hippified or too South Austiny and certainly not overly preppy or posh. I did spot one Lactivist bumper sticker (the breast is the best!) in the parking lot, but I was the only woman who whipped out a boob (we had Jameson with's not my new handshake). Just creative, I spose. But if the kids tease Sophie about her name, I guess we'll have to nickname her Cruxis or Claudius or Nero or something. Maybe we'll elongate and call her Sophocles.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Stats Check

Jameson celebrated 8 weeks of life yesterday. At his Friday doctor appointment, he got four shots and all of his measurements. He was 7 pounds, 3 ounces at birth, and he's already up to 12.5 pounds. That's 99th percentile for weight, baby! And, yes, his hair size is off the charts.

Jameson's First Swim

There's no page in the baby book for "first swim," so let it be documented here. It was August 2nd at the Molnar's pool. And he liked it! Or, to be more accurate, he didn't hate it.

What's in a Name?

We've got COUSINS in town! (Madeline and Max from Washington, D.C. and Bennett from Montgummy, Bama). Hence, no blog entries the last few days. We're busy swimming and eating at all our favorite bbq and Mexican food restaurants and going to bed way past our bedtime...but here are a few things overheard lately.

Tonight, driving back from dinner:
"My eyeball hurts. That's my EYE. Sometimes I call it an eyeBALL."
A few seconds later: "This is my eye mustache." I looked in the back seat and she was touching her bottom row of eyelashes.

Also, Sophie has been absolutely attached to Max. She follows him around, pats his back, watches him play his Gameboy (now that's a true devotee), and introduces him to everyone we know: "This is my COUSIN!" Only she can't remember his name. And when she rubbed her shoe against his leg and he (quite rightly) told her no, she burst into tears. So several times today she asked me, "Where that boy who told me no?" Oh, Lord. Is she destined to be on a Women-Who-Love-Men-Who-Say-No show? She also calls him, "That boy who is with the Mommy that is the Mommy of Madeline" -- honestly, you can remember family relationships and pronounce the name "Madeline" but you can't say "MAX," Sophie?!?

She's starting to piece together the entire family tree in her head, though. Tonight she looked around the room and yelled out, "Where are the others? Where's Michael and Christopher?" Those are the cousins from my side of the family, but that's a bit hard to explain right now. Frank said, "Do you miss them?" Sophie said, "No, I USED them." Sigh. Women-Who-Love-Men-Who-Love-to-be-Used-and-Discarded.

And one more funny Sophie-ism before I forget...she has been trying to call our dog (Callie) by her full name (Caledonia), but she yells out: "Callie-Ca-donia!" And I laugh every time.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

She Tells Jokes

Sophie: Knock, knock.
Momma: Who's there?
Sophie: Ibin.
Momma: Ibin Who?
Sophie: No, I want to say Ibin Who!

And then the joke deteriorates, because I've never heard it before! But I'm thrilled, because it's the first time Sophie's tried to tell a joke. So I guess...

Ibin waitin' for ya?! (No!)
Ibin knocking all day?! (No!)
Ibin workin' on the railroad?? (And she breaks out into song, "All the livelong day!") Folks, we have a punchline winner. Apparently she heard the joke watching a show called "Super Why" on t.v. Same place she learned to yell out, "At your service!!!" See? TV isn't all bad.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Summer Fun

What We're Doing On Our Summer Vacation,
by The Websters
We're hanging out at the pool. Sophie took swim lessons at the neighborhood pool so we're working on our swimming arms and kicking legs and "eyes in" techniques. We're eating popsicles and ice cream as much as possible. This picture is from a Wednesday "Art in the Park" Day:
We took Fat Callie to the dog park. The water level is really low, but we can still wade. Sophie looks like she's flailing to get away from this dog, but she actually liked him -- he had blue eyes, too: There are signs that say "No swimming allowed," but Sophie can't read. So she wallows:
When Frank encounters wildlife, a MUST CATCH buzzer goes off in his brain. Luckily, it was only a turtle. This time. (Last summer he tried to catch a water moccasin.)
Hello, turtle.
Jameson goes everywhere we go. And he gets lots of kisses every day. Mom can't help it -- his lips pucker up and they MUST BE KISSED.
It's super hot outside, so we spend time playing indoors, too. Sophie likes to play dress-up. And she recently learned how to turn on her cd player by herself and switch cd's. Her favorite cd is Bob Dylan, but on this particular day she was jammin' out to Toni Price.
The girl has moves. Check out her dance video: