Thursday, August 7, 2014

I'm baaaack!

As the kids continue hitting milestones, I've realized how little I've been documenting it outside of Facebook. So, I'm back to updating the blog, but am admitting on the front end that I may not be as creative as in the past. 

So, since May 2012, here's a partial list of memorable events: 
  • Tate turned 5 with an Angry Bird party
  • We took a family vacation to Houston and Galveston
  • Lily Jane turned 2 with a Kentucky Derby party 
  • Rob started a new job at Texas Health Resources
  • Tate continued going to school at Tarrant County College Children's Center and LJ was cared for by family friend Kathy Hartwell
  • We took a family vacation to Portland with the Robertson cousins 
  • We moved to Memphis because of Jenny's job at FedEx
  • Rob started working at the Memphis Business Journal
  • Tate started kindergarten at Grace St. Luke's 
  • LJ started preschool at Christ Methodist Day School (and subsequently started talking finally and hasn't stopped since!) 
  • We had family come visit us from all over in the fall of 2013 for Ole Miss football games 
  • Tate turned 6 and had a spy themed party
  • LJ turned 3 with a bug-themed party at the Memphis Botanic Garden 
  • We took a family vacation to Destin with the Binghams and stayed with cousin Sara
  • We went to Texas for the fourth of July and the kids got to spend a week at Camp Mia and Big Guy 
  • Tate learned to swim (finally!) 
  • LJ had her first dance recital 
  • There were t-ball games and karate lessons for Tate

Now that we're all up to speed, I'll be back more often to keep posting...

Oh, and here's what the kids look like now: 

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Lily Jane's Fiesta!

Lily Jane's birthday party was held the Saturday after her May 2 birthday. Which happened to be May 5. As in the 5th of May. As in CINCO DE MAYO! Aaaiiieee!

How often can you have margaritas at a kid's birthday party? We had to seize the day. 

I started by saying I wanted a "classy" Cinco de Mayo party, but a few trips to Party City and a 6 ft inflatable cactus ring toss beer cooler later, and we had the equivalent of a Tijuana Spring Break.  

But see, we started classy! Look at the pretty invites featuring papel picado! 
I had papel picado hanging throughout the house, to carry through with the theme. 

The spread featured just dips and chips and some taquitos. We used inverted sombreros on a tiered server to hold the chips. That was the extent of my creativity when it came to the food. 

Of course there were margaritas
My very favorite party decoration were the hombre cake pops that my mother made. How awesome are they? 

And the focal point of our decorations: the aforementioned inflatable cactus ring toss beer cooler.  It was quite the conversation piece and a lot of fun. 

Obligatory pinata bashing
For cake time we brought out the family heirloom napkin poncho that has been passed down by Tate and Blake. 

My mother also created this "streetscape" for picture posing.  The guests each got their own sombreros and really, really loud maracas. You're welcome, Parents. 

La Familia

Lily Jane received several special gifts, including this doll from my parents. It was made just for her based on a baby picture of LJ. Love the hair! It is sure to become a beloved doll.  And I love this picture of my grandmother Mama June showing the doll to LJ.  She also received an add-a-pearl necklace from Nannysippi, starting a tradition that my paternal grandmother also started for me on my first birthday. 

And just when you're thinking, "But this all looks like a perfectly normal birthday party".....

Things got a little hairy. 

Any party that ends with mustachioed babies is a good party by my standards.  Feliz Cumpleanos Lily Jane!!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Little George Washington

We have been having trouble with Tate getting out of his bed at night and coming into our room. So we created a chart for him to mark the days he stays in his own bed and when he does it five days in a row, he gets a new toy. 

So, the first night, he is very excited about this and asks if he can go ahead and put a check in the box since he knows he is going to make it all night. I agree. He puts a check in the box and goes to bed in his room. 

And around 3 a.m. guess who crawls over my head and into my bed? 

The next morning he wakes up and gets out of my bed and doesn't say a word. He comes back a minute later, sniffling. I ask what's wrong. 

"Go look at my chart." 

I go to his room. He has put an "X" over his checkmark. 

It's like George Washington and the cherry tree. "I cannot tell a lie."  

We're still trying to get to that new toy...

Monday, May 28, 2012

Lily Jane is 1 year old

Happy Birthday to Lily Jane!

At her one year appointment, her stats were: 

Weight: 24 pounds (90%)
Height: 30 inches (75%)
Head: 18.5 inches (90%)

And in terms of milestones, she started crawling at 8 months and walked for the first time on her birthday. 

But it's her personality that is most worth noting. Our baby is best described as feisty, fearless, and fabulous....  


We should have known early on that she was going to be a stubborn one with lots of, shall we say, "spunk." 
The colic of her first two months translated into a charming stubborn-ess and attitude later. She doesn't put up with much, and is not afraid to let her feelings be known and be known LOUDLY. She likes to chatter and we carry on full-length, animated conversations. She also will fight for what she wants, will not be tamed by a television, and does not like to sleep (she didn't start sleeping through the night until 11 months).  All of these are reasons we affectionately call her "The Honey Badger." (Honey Badger don't care)  


The most noticeable difference between Tate and Lily Jane is in how fearless she is. Tate has always been very cautious and careful. Not LJ.  Where Tate feared Bill Murray, Lily Jane gave him a big smooch the first time they were introduced. Where Tate would scream during the car wash when he was an infant, Lily Jane laughs and squeals. Lily Jane likes to climb, and she loves to tackle Tate wherever he may be sitting. (And she can almost take him.) In this picture, she careens around the house with the walker like she's Dale Earnhardt Jr. Tate would toddle very, very slowly and carefully. 


And, of course, she's our little diva. She loves playing with shoes and clothes, and she is already trying to put her own shoes on and dress herself. She loves wearing hats and sunglasses and pretending to talk on the phone.  She has a few words: Da-da, Ta (for Tate) and Ba (for ball). 

She may be a feisty, fearless, fabulous toddler, but she'll always be our baby!

Sunday, February 5, 2012


As I was organizing pictures, I came across these two that made me smile....

From Western day at her daycare. A teacher was holding her but she was photoshopped out.  Just adds to the silliness. 

Love the rays of light emanating from our superstar soccer player. And the goofy smile. 

These pics are great, but still can't beat the legendary first school picture of Tate.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

She crawls

Despite our best efforts to the contrary, Lily Jane is now mobile.

I put her on the floor in the middle of her room and turned my back to her to clean out her closet. Only a few seconds later, I felt a little tug on my pants, and I looked down to find a Lily Jane looking up at me!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Conversations with Tate

Talking with Tate is getting more and more interesting lately....two conversations from this weekend follow:


Tate and Lily Jane were both in the bath looking up at me. I decide to take the moment to begin planting the seeds about my future nursing home...

Me: Tate, when you and Lily Jane pick a place for Daddy and me to live when we are old, what kinds of things will you look for?

Tate: It should have lots of balloons.

Me: That sounds nice. Anything else?

Tate: And a bounce house.

Me: Ok, sounds fun. Anything else?

Tate: (thinks for a moment)  No, that's it.

Me: Well, I hope you come see me a lot.

Tate: If you have a bounce house, I will.


Today, Tate yelled for me to come see him in the bathroom...

Tate: Look Mommy, I went poop in the potty!

Me: (looking in)  Oh, that's "diarrhea."

Tate: (looking confused)  My poop has a name?!?

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Happy 40th Anniversary to Mia and Big Guy!

Forty years ago today my parents became known as Mr. and Mrs. Robert Dodson. 

But today they are known more affectionately as Big Guy....

...and Mia. 

Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Christmas 2011

Christmas this year was so great because it was Lily Jane's first Christmas and also the first Christmas that Tate was really into it. And I mean REALLY INTO IT. We tried to do it up right for him.

There were Santa visits...

 And house decorating....

We decorated our house with wreaths and candles in the windows, but that wasn't enough for Tate. It it were up to him, we would have multiple inflatables and multi-colored lights that changed to the music. He asked me repeatedly why we didn't have a giant Santa in our yard and took to calling our house a "party pooper house."  When we drove by the houses with inflatables, he called them "party people." 

Christmas parades....

We went to the Grapevine Christmas parade with Tate's favorite friend "Frank" (his name is actually Henry, sometimes "Hank," but to Tate he is "Frank" and Tate is not letting it go). The boys had fun with a light saber/nun-chuks(?) fight. Side note: While doing this blog post I asked Rob how to spell nun-chuks. He gave me the prior spelling and then, after a pause, said "wait a minute, why are you writing about nun-chucks on our blog?" Another side note: I still don't think his spelling is right. Last side note: I'm too tired to look it up myself. Have you noticed I just did 9 blog posts in 24 hours?!?)

The boys loved the parade. And then it rained, giving Tate the perfect opportunity to tell everyone he saw "It rained on my parade!!" 

And there were Christmas card photo shoot fails....

....and more fails.

And Christmas cookies...

Note my 8-months-pregnant sister Nancy rolling out the dough with a wine bottle. That's how the Dodson sisters roll (literally) when it comes to baking.

Lily Jane presided over the cookie making.
Tate demonstrates why the Grinch is his favorite Christmas story.

There were family gatherings.

We hosted Christmas Eve Eve for my extended family at our house. Lily Jane loved every minute of it. (dress handmade by Linda)
This is the first gift Lily Jane ever opened, and she knew exactly what to do with it! She tore into that package and then looked for others.

She was a natural.
Tate was there, too. (Rob was, too, but we can't find any photographic proof.)

There was reading of "Twas The Night Before Christmas."

Tate had a blast with Nannysippi who spent Christmas at our  house.

And then there were gifts. Lots of them.

Tate told Santa he wanted a microphone for Christmas. When asked why, Tate would always say "because I want to be a rock star."  Oh yes, silly us. He got several microphones. Everyone who bought him a microphone will be getting a performance outside their bedroom windows at midnight.

And finally.....Santa came!!!

Tate's loot from Santa. to the left are his rock star theme gifts.

Lily Jane's loot from Santa.

Lily Jane thought this whole Christmas thing was pretty cool.

 Telling secrets. (LJ is wearing Tate's hand-me-down PJs from his second Christmas. I happened to see the exact same PJs for sale again, so I bought them in Tate's size for this year.)

Tate's favorite gift was this arcade "Claw" game. He plays it over and over and over.

And the big Santa gift this year was a swing set in our backyard! Rob calls this picture "Nesting Tot, in his natural habitat."  

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!