Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Christmas 2009

Some pics and a video from Christmas...

After a rare blizzard created the first white Christmas in Dallas in 80 years, we decided to stay at my parents' house on Christmas Eve vs. trying to drive back to FloMo.

Tate learned the concept of "PRESENTS!!!" (how he says it) very quickly.

During the impromptu slumber party at Mia and Big Guy's, Tate and Blake were definitely up to no good...and they couldn't figure out how we knew their names every time they turned their backs on us.

But Big Guy was there to corral them. (Blake is a new addition to this traditional picture)

It was all too much for Blake who fell asleep on his Mom's knee. We made Nancy stay like this all night.

We got home Christmas Day and while Tate took a nap, Santa showed up in FloMo. Tate now thinks that every time he wakes up, there will be PRESENTS!!!

It was a great holiday. I put all of our favorite moments in a video below.

Now Rob and I have taken the week off until New Year's, and we are very excited to be spending this time with Tate, even if all he wants now are MORE PRESENTS!!!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Montessori Miracle

I don't think Tate is picking up on the Mandarin he is supposed to be learning at his Montessori school, but he IS learning more important things, like...

Drinking from a cup!

Wiping his mouth!

Pushing in his chair!

I'll take those things over Mandarin any day, xiexie very much.

(Yes, I had to google "thank you" in Mandarin)

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Rough Month

So it's Christmas week and the space under our tree is still sparse and the blog hasn't been updated in weeks....but we have perfectly good excuses...

We've had a bear of a month...

It's not like we've been just hanging around...

It's tough to balance things this time of year...

No, this month has not been a piece of cake...

We've been trying to stay on track...

But the holidays have us licked...

It's not exactly a stroll through the (North) Park....

So whose fault is it that it's Christmas week and presents still have to be bought and the blog hasn't been updated?
Tate's pointing at her!

Merry Christmas!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Box head

I found this clip while downloading the videos on our camera today. Apparently this is what Rob and Tate do for fun when I am not around. So in honor of the start of the Christmas season, I give you proof that kids (and their dads) need nothing more than a box to entertain them...

Review: Audi A4

I am going to start periodically providing reviews of products I absolutely love or absolutely hate. First up: the Audi A4.

The Audi A4 is the perfect car for someone who loves surprises -- every morning you will be surprised if the window works or not. It's also excellent for the car game enthusiast who loves that game where you punch someone in the arm when you see a "cockeye" car with only one headlight. Yes, when you drive the A4, you will get to imagine all the people passing by you, getting punched in the arm. And do you love the smell of gasoline? Then the A4 is the car for you! You not only get to buy premium gas, but the gas tank will always shut off the pump after only one gallon has gone in. And I can't forget to mention the family-like atmosphere of an Audi dealership. You will get to know those dealership service guys as if they are your brothers...protective older brothers who won't let you go anywhere else with their precious A4.

Yes, my friends, all this can be yours. Seriously. Just go to to CarMax where I just dumped traded mine in.

Next up: Jenny reviews The Toddler Bed. That amazing invention that lets you think that because you have a 'toddler' you should get one...

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Pilgrimage

We made the trek to Oxford with Tate for his first Ole Miss football game. It was a pilgrimage of sorts that Tate took very seriously in his quest to bring a win for the Rebs over LSU.

We started with the traditional taming of the mighty Mississippi River...

And then consulted with three wisemen at the Memphis Zoo...

He said a prayer at the Wailing Wall...

And even rubbed Buddha's belly for good luck....

He chased out screaming LSU fans (note these are the children of Rob's LSU alum cousin)

He even paid his respects to Mr. Faulkner ...(side note: Tate said this statue "scare me." As an English major at Ole Miss, Faulkner scared me, too, Tate...)

We finally made it closer to Mecca as we peered in at the Grove from afar.

And ended up at the mothership:

Finally, we made it to the game! We cheered on the Rebs for two whole quarters....

And then, after a two-day pilgrimage of bringing good luck to the Rebs, Tate passed out and missed the end of the game. Not unlike most fans at an Ole Miss game.

And, also not unlike most fans, ended up in the arms of a girl he'd never seen before...

But that's OK because the Rebs won! And Tate did his victory cheers all the way home...

Hotty Toddy!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Two Peas in a Pod

We visited Rob's Aunt Lucie and her children/grandchildren in Mississippi this past weekend. With six children under the age of ten, there was bound to be some silliness...and none better than trying to get a picture of the youngest two, Tate and Anna Rhodes....

OK, we'll sit still for two seconds.

Oh, you want Tate to smile? OK, I can take care of that....

Going in for the tickle.


OK, let's try this again.

Oh, no, it looks like she's coming my way...


She got me again!

Roly poly, pell mell, tumble bumble....

Tate had a blast with his new cousins!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Odds and Ends

I don't have any pictures or videos to upload. Things have been busy around our house, but I can't leave Tate the Seal up forever, so I thought I'd throw out a few odds and ends....

1. Cousin Blake was baptized today. It was a very special service, and he was absolutely precious. Read more here.

2. Tate is learning all kinds of new things and surprises us every day. He now knows his primary colors, can count to 10 in English AND Spanish, and can sing the theme song to Backyardigans. I like to think he knows the song because he's a fast learner and not because we let him watch a lot of TV...

3. We decided to try and move Tate into a toddler bed because when you are really busy and have a lot going on in your life, why not throw something like that into the middle of it? It's been a, um, learning experience.

4. Update on our house, which has been on the market: We have a contract on it, but the buyer's house has to sell first. They have had two buyers and we have had two closing dates but BOTH of the deals fell through. We may be living in FloMo forever. So as of now, we are still waiting for their house to sell. We can opt out of the contract if we want, but we are too tired to deal with it. So we wait. And no, we still don't know where we plan to move when it does sell.

5. We have very few pictures of Rob when he was a baby (long story; don't ask), but I came across this one today and did a doubletake because I thought it was Tate.

Maybe it's the hair or the profile or the crazy plaid overalls...but I love when I so clearly see the similarities between them.

6. We are heading to Oxford this weekend for Tate's first Ole Miss experience. For those who are not familiar with Ole Miss, I happened upon this blog post by a total stranger. She captures it perfectly and hilariously so I had to share.

7. Did I mention that I am busy and tired? I met with a professional mommy blogger the other day for work purposes. She said something I keep thinking about....she said, "women in the workplace are not limited by a glass ceiling but by a sticky floor." As I look at my sticky floor and my sticky toddler and my growing pile of work, I know exactly what she means. But that's OK, I'll take the sticky floor.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Halloween 2009

Tate was a seal for Halloween this year. I thought this was a cute and 'normal' outfit compared to my original plans and previous years. However, we still got a lot of "You ain't right" comments....

Here he is at the "Trunk or Treat" at Bear Creek Elementary. I taught him to clap his hands and bark like a seal.

At a Halloween party at Buz and Cobina's, he and Uncle Frank had a lot of fun playing together.

A happy seal pup and his dad!

As a side note: I tried to get Rob to agree to go as a "family of seals" to the costume party, but he wouldn't agree. I wanted to wear a big gold foil circle (aka "seal of approval") and I wanted Rob to wear a tight black t-shirt and jeans and carry a microphone (aka the singer Seal). Oh well. Maybe next year...

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Two Years Old

Tate is two. Wow. A few pairs of Tate's favorite things right now....

His favorite two sayings:
1. "I did dit!" -- he says this after doing just about anything...picking up his toys, climbing onto the couch, showing me his artwork from school.
2. "Okay!" -- This is his new favorite word and he says it very enthusiastically anytime we ask him to do something.

His favorite two friends:
1. Emerson -- a little girl at school. Her birthday was a few weeks ago and he sings "Happy Birthday dear Emerson" over and over.
2. Ani -- a little boy at school. His teacher says Ani and Tate like to play together all the time. When she pulls out the non-Montessori toys in the afternoon, they always pick the cars and share with each other.

His favorite two songs:
1. Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.
2. The Happy Birthday song.

His favorite two toys:
1. "Choo Choo" table -- he wakes up and says "choo choo" first thing and points toward our game room.
2. Cozy Coupe -- he drives this all over our house and always parks it carefully in the same place every night. When he leaves for school, he gives the car a hug and kiss and says "Bye Bye Cah!"

His favorite two things:
1. "Ah panes" (airplanes) -- he spots them way before we ever see them.
2. "Ig Tuck" (big truck) -- he thinks 18-wheelers are way cool.

His favorite two activities:
1. Playing golf.
2. Playing chase.

And at his two year appointment this week, he had the following measurements:

Height - 34.5 inches (50%)
Weight -- 28.2 lbs (50%)
Head -- 20 inches (90%

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Tate Airways Flight 1024

Tate's second birthday party "took off" this past Saturday as approximately 10 young passengers and their carry-on parents joined us for an airplane theme party.

First, the invitations were sent out to look like boarding passes:

My friend Eleanor at Pink Peppermint Paper did all of the creative and design work, and she is fabulous! She designed the "Tate Airways" logo that says "Flying High Since 2007."

We sent the invitations in red envelopes with a tie closure to look like travel documents. The return address said "Tate Airways" and we printed "Important Travel Documents Enclosed" in a stamp font on the envelope to make it look official.

The location was Founders Plaza, which is an observation area at DFW airport where you can watch planes take off and land. I called the airport for permission and was told they never had a birthday party there before! But it's one of Tate's favorite spots to visit, so we thought it would be enjoyed by his friends as well.

A banner I printed at FedEx Office greeted guests to our picnic area.

Pink Peppermint also designed "Baggage Check" and "Baggage Claim" signs for the gifts and favor bags. The airport doesn't allow you to bring extra tables to the picnic site, so I used pieces of luggage to hold the gifts and favor bags.

My sisters both wore white shirts and black pants to look like TSA security. I gave them badges that said "TSA: Tate's Super Aunts."

For lunch, we served Lunchables. Not only was it easy for a picnic setting, but the packaging looks like airplane trays! I also had individual packages of pretzels, because, you know, that's what you get on airplanes. My sister cut out placemats in the shape of white clouds for the blue tablecloth.

We had some airplane theme toys for the kids to play with.

Cousin Blake brought his own seat. I guess he didn't want to ride 'coach' with the rest of the party-goers at the picnic table!

Note that cousin Blake came dressed in an appropriate "wing man" shirt to serve as Tate's sidekick!

The cake. Um yeah. It was made out of cupcakes and was supposed to be in the shape of an airplane. I'm not so sure. And I picked it up on the way to the party and didn't even notice that Tate's name was spelled "Take." Luckily my Mom did a quick fix on it to correct it.

For the favors, I ordered white bags that look like air-sickness bags (aka "barf bags.) The stickers were done by Pink Peppermint Paper and say "We're Sick to See You Go. On behalf of our captain and flight crew, thanks for flying Tate Airways."

Inside the bags we had rubber ducks dressed like pilots, a glider plane, little plastic parachute men and individual luggage tags for each guest.

After the party, we sent thank you notes from "Captain Tate Robertson."

We had a great time, and the birthday boy loved every minute of watching the "ah panes" land with his friends!