Monday, September 30, 2013

Crazy eight.

I can't believe Madi's eighth birthday came and went, and Mommy never even posted about it. Boo.

We actually did a double celebration for the kids since their birthdays are just days apart. We hosted our traditional family celebration at home with a few of their closest friends present. It was a fun day.


And on Madi's actual birthday (September 19th), which fell on a weekday, Daddy and I surprised her and showed up at school to have lunch with her. She loved it. We were able to leave early, with Madi, since it was an early dismissal day!


We celebrated that evening...again...over dinner with Bubba and Grandpa at her all-time favorite spot, LaBamba Mexican Restaurant.  No pictures of our dinner to post, but it was a fun celebration, which included those crazy trick birthday candles in a fried ice cream to top it all off.

The kids were gifted with enough birthday money to collectively purchase an ipad!  They are both loving their new gadget, and they will certainly be teaching Mommy and Daddy many new things, I'm sure...

Monday, September 16, 2013

My baby.

My baby boy turned four today. And that reminds me that Charlie doesn't like being referred to as my "baby" anymore. Nope. Those days are gone. He's my "big boy" now.

The last few months have been full of great leaps and bounds for Charlie. Over the summer, he learned how to swim. And he pretty much taught himself, after Madi and I took turns pushing him back and forth in the pool. After a while, he just plunged under the water and took off.  He needed faster teachers!

Our favorite major development is that Charlie potty-trained himself over the summer, too. I am so glad I didn't spend time agonizing over that milestone, and just let him work it out when he was ready. It was such an easy transition...even tries to clean up after himself, which is not always a good thing! All kidding aside, he's really doing great with the whole shebang.

Last week, our little man started Pre-K3! He has the same fantastic teacher who Madi had, and this kid didn't miss a beat. He ran right into that classroom and never looked back. So far, he is loving it, and he loves Mrs Bivins. I adore his late birthday, which gave him an edge that he really needed...more time.  And I just know he's going to thrive.

Charlie's speech has really blossomed in the past few months. He's progressed so much...but I was still anxiously awaiting that phone call from Child Find services to have him evaluated, and our call finally came last week.  I took Charlie in, and they did a wide range of testing. 

He first passed his hearing test, which came as a relief. A few people have questioned Charlie's ability to hear, and we now have proven that our son has very selective hearing!  They also conducted a developmental test on Charlie, and he was doing some skills on a seven-year old level!  But they did confirm what we've suspected since early on. Charlie needs help in the speech department. I'll meet with them again next week, and I'm hoping that he'll end up right in our neighborhood school at the same wonderful speech program where Madi took classes. I have my fingers crossed for the same lovely teacher, too.

So, as you can tell, things are really shaping up for our baby big boy around here, and we have a lot to celebrate!

Sunday, September 1, 2013


There's a new Murphy at the hacienda.  Meet Coonie.  Funny name, you say?  There's meaning...hold that thought.

Last week, Madi and I ran a few errands together. While we were out, she knew we would be passing the pet store. So, she asks, "Mommy, can we get a pet turtle today?"  Of course, I dismissed this crazy question and we went about our business.

When we finished our errands, the kids and I suited up for a swim at our community pool.  And in less than five minutes, guess what we found swimming around alone and helpless in the pool? 

Yep. A baby turtle.

How could we not claim him as ours?  I realize that we could have easily delivered him to the lake that is only a few steps away, but no...we felt that this cute little guy was destined to be ours. Jimmy happened to drive by, so we hollered for him to bring us a storage container. We also happen to have some good friends in the hood who are "turtle people" so we knew they'd hook us up with some food and good advice/turtle parenting skills. 

Back to the name. When Madi was little--like around two years old--she couldn't quite pronounce "community pool" so it always came out as "coonie poo."  I loved that. In fact, I adore it so much that I still call it the "coonie poo."  And that's where we found our little pet, in the community pool, so "Coonie" it is. His shell is just over an inch long and honest to goodness, he has reddish markings on his underbelly that resemble Chinese writing.

The next day after school, we went to the pet store to get the full turtle goods. When it was revealed to me that this could get pricey, I called Jimmy in somewhat of a panic...I was getting cold feet.  But then, I watched our daughter weep quietly, and I knew the damage had already been done. I'm a sucker for a crying kid. She pointed out that we had given him a name and everything. We left the pet store empty-handed, but I still wasn't sure how to resolve the situation.

When we got home, I called another pet store to discover that they were having a sale on tanks...a sale that saved us $30 on the tank alone. I called Jimmy with this good news, and we decided that we would surprise Madi and keep Coonie. Jimmy managed to save some money on a few other tank necessities, and after work, Jimmy arrived with everything we needed to keep the turtle.

Made. Her. Day.

Daddy wasn't really happy about our new pet...initially. But now, he's the one who's obsessed with the turtle, watching him constantly and making sure we're meeting his needs.  Jimmy is the official "keeper of the tank" who makes sure the water is properly balanced and filtered. He's good like that.  

We love watching Coonie bask under the heat lamp. It's hard to see in the photo, but he splays his tiny little webbed toes and kicks out his legs.  He seems to be a vegetarian and loves munching on lettuce, spinach, and pieces of carrot. Yesterday, Jimmy and Madi introduced him to dried shrimp. Definitely his new favorite. Hopefully, he won't outgrow his tank anytime soon!