Friday, January 29, 2010

More Pics

Anna in her new ballet/tap outfit - she starts next week!
MM with her new favorite pony (Clay) getting ready for a horse show this weekend.
Anna at the allergy doctor getting skin testing after a bout with random welps for a week. Good news - one child with no allergies (yet)! She was not too pleased with the skin test, but we survived. We take MM for her re-check next month and we'll see if she has developed any more or less allergies!

Then this is a picture of Uncle Sam seeing Tripp for the first time. . .doesn't he look like natural? Man, those were the easy days!


Brownies and More

So while in a weekend get-a-away to our local Wal-Mart (can you hear my sarcasm?), I fell for an impulse buy (imagine that) for The Perfect Brownie Pan Kit. The girls and I were so excited and could not wait to make some brownies that night. I thought I had a box of brownie mix at home, but quickly realized that I had made those several weeks ago. So instead of getting back out with the girls on our relaxing weekend (Sam was out of town on business), I searched my pantry and found all of the ingredients to make homemade Blondies using the recipe book that came with the kit. Here are the scrumptious results (again, can you hear the sarcasm?). P.S. I still don't know how they get the commercials to look so easy and much better than these. Although, it didn't stop myself and the girls from picking around the mess.
Also, a couple of weeks ago I surprised Sam with his early birthday present. This picture is of him opening it. Needless to say, he was very surprised!!! He turns the big 3-0 in March and I really wanted to do something very special that he would remember forever. I always feel so bad because everyone kind of ignores his birthday (not intentionally)and we've never really done anything really special before for his birthday. So, since he is a huge race car fan and especially a Corvette fan, I decided to book a trip (just the 2 of us) to Dallas for the weekend before his birthday AND book him a day of driving race cars and riding with professional drivers around the Texas Motor Speedway. We cannot wait for this trip. It is sure to be a birthday to remember!

In my last post, we were going to the AL vs GA Gymnastics meet with my mom. Here are a couple of pics from the night. We took the girls to DePalma's for dinner before the meet and this was them being silly at the table. Then, as we were coming out of the meet, we just happened to look up at the football facility and saw this glorious site (and I didn't have to fight the rednecks at Wal-Mart to see it)! My mom had read in the paper that morning that they were "unveiling" it in its rightful place that morning. It really is beautiful - especially at night with the way they have the lights on it! div>


Friday, January 15, 2010

Shocking...but not as in a surprise

Ok, so before I begin this post, I do realize that my header is still from Thanksgiving, but hopefully you all are reading this through Google Reader (b/c that's what I do mostly) and can't see the old header. Unfortunately, I haven't had the time to change it yet, so it will have to stay for now. Heck, I'm just proud of myself for following through with my promise to post more often. Keeping my header and background up to date? Sorry! No time!

Now, for the true reason for this post. It is this time of year that I really wish it was safe to bathe in Static Guard! Seriously, I have the most extreme aversion for static and shocking things and people! The thought of the sound of static on your clothes makes my skin crawl! So, Anna has figured out that the recliner in our den is the Mecca of all static! She thinks it is hilarious to roll around in the chair and then chase after someone to shock them. UUGGHHH, is my reaction! And poor Sophie has now become the prime target for her. Sam got her to shock Sophie on her tail and now this is where she aims every time! Sophie is so starved for attention, though, that she loves it. Poor dog!

Yesterday, after spending most of the morning cleaning up the playroom -oh, if you could have only seen it; I should have taken a picture, but then again, I'm not sure I would want to continue to see it in that shape ever again - we had a full day of running around.We checked in on Kate and Tripp and lended a helping hand to the breastfeeding process (which we were successful). Since I don't have a sister, I feel so fortunate that she feels as close to me as her own sister and sincerely wanted my help and was comfortable enough to ask and let me help! Although I was not very successful with the breastfeeding process, I am VERY passionate about it and want it to work so badly for her! Then, I picked MM up for her riding lesson and watched her for a little while before heading back to the preschool to get A. Then back to the barn to help MM un-tack her horse. We then we headed over to a friends house who was having 2 kids trunk shows in 1 place (her house). It was like a little playgroup for both girls. There were several of their little friends there while their mom's shopped. They had a ball. It was so funny too b/c all of the little girls were running around in the sample clothes - swim suits, sundresses, etc. - even though it was still FREEZING outside. But it did make me start wishing for the warm weather to return seeing all of the cute summer-y clothes! We didn't get home until 7:00 and I had not even cooked dinner yet.

That's it for today - sorry no pictures today! We are taking the girls to the AL Gymnastics meet against GA tonight and I cannot wait to see what A thinks! This will be her first! Stay tuned - maybe I will take some pictures!


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

I'm an Aunt Again!!!

I am so excited to announce that we have a new addition to the Collins family - well Kate is a Hardy now, but let's not get technical! Early this morning, Kate (Sam's sister) gave birth to Tripp Hardy at 3:52 am. She went into labor last night and went to the hospital around 9-ish. She was fully dilated by 1:30 am (I'm telling ya, she must be made to have babies!) and pushed for about 2 hours (he was turned wrong:()) before delivering this precious miracle weighing in at 7 lbs 7 oz and 20.5 inches long! He is sooo beautiful - yes, boys can be beautiful as infants! For those of you following our blog, Kate is the one that was struggling with infertility for several years and finally concceived last spring! He ended up being a little smaller than we all had predicted due to his "genes", but he and Kate are both doing great! Our girls were so excited and could not wait to go see him (well, me too), so we went first thing this morning to just "peek" into the nursery for a quick glimpse (hoping that Kate was resting). Kate was NOT resting and we were able to see them both up close personal! Enjoy the pictures!

Also, I forgot this in my last post: Obviously, as some of you know, I am a little bit of a germaphobe and always have hand sanitizer with me! But, instead of calling it hand sanitizer, the girls call it my "hani-tizer". Guess that's close enough, huh? Wouldn't you know what they were trying to say?


Monday, January 11, 2010

Translations from Anna and other stuff

We had such a great weekend, aside from it being FRIGID! It was so nice to have a weekend that we actually had absolutely nothing to do for the entire weekend. With that said, I was able to get a lot of things done around the house. I cleaned the house, cleaned out the refrigerator, cleaned out the pantry, made another travel size wipes case for my SIL (who is about to deliver our newest addition, Tripp, any day), cooked, and just took it easy! The girls were actually REALLY good too, which makes for a much more peaceful time. They played so well together - major step towards the right direction. I think that the threat of them both getting in trouble, whether you are the culprit or tattle-tale must have sunk in! The only downside to all of this, you ask? The playroom looks like a tornado hit it!

With it being so cold AND having a husband that is a hunter, you can guess where Sam was all weekend. But, a couple weeks ago we put out some corn in the empty lots across from our house to see if we could see the same monster derr we saw last year. We have seen lots and deer, but not the big one (someone probably shot it already). The girls have really enjoyed waiting and watching the deer from the shadows in Sam's men's den every night. Anna keeps telling Sam that she is going hunting with him! I'm not sure she really "gets" what hunting is all about, but he said he would take them both as long as they were quiet (which will be challenge for Anna)AND after it warms up some.

Anna's funny words and personality these days:

~chipmunks = chill bumps

~kia = care

~t-jamas = pajamas (actually she starts a lot of words with a t, even if it does not have a t in it)

~nikka hiney = naked hiney, kind of sounds like she is saying something else

~when she gets a wedgie, she tells you that her panties are "stuck to her hiney"

~I wanna tell you "somp-in" (something)

~she puts her hand on her head and says, "not again!!!

~I wanna hold u = she wants to be held"

~walks around singing the song "Jimmy Crack Corn" except her words are "Jimmy Corn and I don't 'kia'" - not really sure where she heard this song OR why she likes it so much!

~TALKS 24 HOURS A DAY!!!!! Seriously, I'm not kidding - the only time she's quiet is when she is asleep!

~She can't wait to meet her soon-to-be nephew Baby Tree-up (as she pronounces it). The poor baby isn't even here yet and she's already driving him crazy!!! But, I do have to say that his coming arrival is what prompted her to potty train - we told her that only big girls who used the potty could hold him! Tada - the secret to our success!!! LOL!

~she has the most sensitive nose EVER! She gets this from Sam, but it is still pretty funny because some smells really bother her and she will just keep her nose pinched, just in case!

Finally, since I resolved (not officially) to be better about posting this year and showing pictures, here is one from last night. I made some Jello yesterday for the girls to eat if they ate a good dinner. I guess it's just been a really long time since I made Jello and they were soooo excited! So after dinner Sam got it out and we tried to make Jigglers but it wasn't firm enough so he put it in little ice cream sundae cups. The both finished off their cups so fast that we just let them dig into the dish. Before I could even look, Sam brings me a spoon and says that if I wanted a taste I better hurry - it's almost GONE! GONE??? Really?? Well, yep! Take a look at the dish in the background! This was only minutes after getting it out! It was such a sweet sound - sweet little innocent happy giggles over the simplicity of Jello! And, yes, I'm sure Sophie was able to get in a lick or two! BTW, she already weighs 50 lbs and is only 7 months old!!!!

The travel-size wipes case I made yesterday! Pretty darn cute if I do say so myself! I added some ribbon to the spine of it and made a little handle for carrying (it's hard to see in this pic).


Thursday, January 07, 2010


I was trying so hard to post these in a certain order and of course, Blogger chose to do them differently! So, it's all backwards (I think!). Oh well, that's what I get for waiting so long to upload pictures and post updates.


And finally, Christmas!

As many of you probably remember, we lost my grandmother on Christmas Day last year, so with the economy being in the dumps and really just wanting to spend time with our family and take it easy, we opted to not have our annual Christmas Eve party that we have been doing since I was in about 6th grade. In the last several years, we have done it at our house and it is always such a rush to get everything ready for the party AND get ready for Santa. I also really wanted to cherish this season with the girls and be able to enjoy the magic of the season since they are 5 and almost 3. So instead of the party, we went to our usual afternoon church service for the kids, then came home and got comfortable and enjoyed our family in front of the fireplace. We ate chili, watched football, talked, baked cookies, and (my favorite part) got the girls in bed early waiting for Santa. The weather was yucky here so our neighborhood could not light the luminaries that line every street. But I have to give props to the best Daddy ever! He was outside ringing bells (sleigh bells:) in the pooring rain, barefoot, on a ladder, with an umbrella! It was hilarious!!! Wish I could have gotten pictures!!! Regardless, the trick worked! MM heard the bells and made me get out of her room so that she could go to sleep for Santa to come! It was sooooo cute and such a fun year with them. We then went to the beach for the week of New Years and had a great time (aside from the bickering between the girls) just relaxing for a change! I can't wait to see what 2010 holds for our family!!! Happy New Year to you and your family!!!!


Surprise Girl Trip

I'm having issues moving pictures around on Blogger today, so these pictures are backwards in order. The week of Christmas, my mom and I decided to surprise the girls with a trip to Atlanta to see this show called Cavalia. In short, it's a mix between Cirque du Soleil and a horse show. So, it was only fitting that we take MM to see this incredible show. It was only going to be in Atlanta from the end of November until January 3, so we loaded up and went for an overnight girl trip to Atlanta. The show was absolutely amazing and if you are ever able to see it (I think it's in Miami right now), it is worth the money if you love horses like we do. Check out the website to see what it's about (! The show was at 8:00 pm EST so we drove over, checked into our hotel, and then went to Atlantic Station to eat dinner, walk around and then on to the show. By the way, if you haven't been to Atlantic Station, it is a MUST SEE area! Great shopping and food! The next morning, we made a last minute decision to take the girls to the Georgia Aquarium. We figured, why not? We are already in Atlanta, have nothing else to do, and are only blocks away from it! These pictures, while not great quality, are of the Shark Tank that has 3 of the largest species of sharks in it, the whale shark (which you can see above MM's head in the 2nd picture). Just to give you an idea of the size, the walls of the tank were made of 2 feet thick plexiglass in order to hold the pressure of the water! Wow! It was an incredible trip with my mom and my girls and something that I hope can become a tradition for many years to come!!! We love you Gran and thanks for helping to make the trip AWESOME (as MM said)!


Snowflake and Potty's

Our silly elf made his debut on after the SEC Championship (RTR!) and this is what we came home to find. MM decided that maybe Snowflake was trying to find the BEST outfit to watch the game and just couldn't decide! You know, my closet looks kind of like that sometime when I can't decide what to wear! Every piece of Alabama clothing that was in both girls closet was scattered all over the kitchen!

And here he is tangled in a strand of colored lights on our tree (pre-decorated)!I know it's hard to see in this picture, but if you look really close to A's backside, you will notice that she has on big girls panties!!!! Yep, you guessed it, we started the potty training process. She had been showing the "signs" of being ready for a while, but I really needed to wait until we had time to really focus on it and make sure we were able to be consistent with it. The Christmas break was this time and I was determined to be successful by the time they went back to school after the new year. So, the Sunday before Christmas was P-Day! We had been talking it up for a couple of weeks so that she would be ready! And I do have to say that there is something to be said about them having to be ready in order for it to be successful. To this day, we have only had 4 accidents!!!! Yea!!! And this includes a road trip to Atlanta and back and to the beach and back! I can't believe it! Our house is diaper-free for the first time in over 5 years (well, except for bedtime and naptime, but I'm not counting those)! We did have a little issue with going #2 in the big potty which resulted in resorting to using a little saline suppository, but we've finally overcome that obstacle (I know, that's a little TMI, but this is my "baby book"). We started with putting the "little" potty in the kitchen, more for our convenience since she would want to try and "go" every 30 minutes, which can be a little disruptive to the usual goings-on in the house. But, we have now put the little potty away and are using the big potty 100% of the time. Wow - I never thought this day would come!


Thanksgiving Weekend and Lessons Learned

You might be a redneck if you put your platter of turkey out in the storage room on top of the tool box until it's time for dinner!!! Yes, it was cool here and we had run out of room in both of my refrigerators. Enough said!

After putting the girls to bed on Thanksgiving night, I found this in the playroom bathroom trash can while cleaning up. Huuummm, why is there all this "fur" in the trash can? Better yet, where did that chunk of blond hair come from? And even further, why didn't any of the 21 adults in attendance notice that MM's hair was missing a chunk out of it? After confronting her, she insisted on it being an accident that she cut her hair while making a project. We gave her the choice of either cutting her hair off to match what she cut or throwing ALL of her scissors away - she opted for the scissor to be thrown away, which was a huge sacrifice for the child that lives for art projects!!! Our biggest problem with the whole thing was that she went and cut several of her horses tails to "mix in" with her hair to cover it up. Why is it that kids think no one will notice that huge chunk of hair is missing???? Sam and I did have a little laugh over her creativity of how to hide it! I have to admit that she gets it honestly because I did the same thing at her age and stuffed it all in a play purse while my mom had company over for a party! By the way, if you see her please don't mention this little incident - she is mortified by it and will only scream out, "IT WAS AN ACCIDENT!!!!"

And speaking of art projects, this was my little project that I made for Sam's sister's baby shower that a few of us gave for her before Thanksgiving. I have to admit, it looks just like the ones you see in boutiques that cost about $40. But I only spent a few dollars on this one! What a great way to re-use wipe containers AND they are much cuter than the plain ones. These colors and fabrics coordinate with her nursery! If anyone wants me to make one (either for themselves or for a gift) let me know! It was really fun and easy! I'm also going to make one of the travel size wipes cases for her too!

More to come. . .


Happy Thanksgiving, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Ok, so I'm not going to say it (again), but my New Years resolution (even though I don't really believe in them because I think it is just a set-up for failure, personally) is to do a better job of updating this blog and keeping up with our girls' milestones and accomplishments. I haven't had a chance to upload pictures from my camera until today so I apologize ahead of time for the overload in pictures. I will try and keep the posts and captions of the pictures short and sweet! Oh and before I forget - ROLL TIDE ROLL!!!!! We got our A-Club tickets, but opted for making a little money instead of going out there . . .not that I didn't argue the case for going! So instead we will be watching it at the lake house with my parents and Sam's parents and anyone else who wants to brave this awful weather and drive out to the lake!