Simply Summers

Simplified Chaos

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Enchanted Fairytale Playdate

We went to an Enchanted Fairytale Playdate yesterday where all the girls attended in their princess best and got pampered.  My camera fell the other day so the screen is broken and I wasn’t able to take pictures, but my friend Vanessa took pictures with her awesome camera!  Thanks Vanessa!!  I sure didn’t want to miss out on such cute photo opportunities!

They decorated princess crowns and then went to get pampered and have their makeup done by Queen Vanessa!

Cheyenne didn’t like the lip gloss so I had to wipe it off after this picture.  Isn’t she adorable??

Trying to get 4 toddlers to sit still and look at the camera all at the same time is nearly impossible, but what a cute pic of the princesses!! 

After it was all over, Cheyenne and Penny played for a little bit and got into a bit of a scuffle, but then, as always, they made up and hugged it out. 

There’s just something about little girls and princess paraphernalia that get them all excited and a bit possessive and sometimes skirmishes ensue and we had a few of those, but all in all it was a fun playdate and all of the little princesses were so beautiful!! 

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Cheyenne’s Taking After Her Momma!!

We had a playdate last week at the Walnut Recreation Center where they have a gym complete with uneven bars, balance beams, rings, trampolines, plenty of floor space, vaults and lots of fun! 

Cheyenne loves going there and had a blast both times we have been there.  We plan on going more often and I am hoping to enroll her in the preschool gymnastics classes when they start up this spring. 

She loves the trampolines…

They even have a long tumbling trampoline that she loves to get on and run from end to end and jump and land on her butt. 

She wanted to swing on the rope a few times, and thought that was really neat!

Then she saw the pom poms and decided to play cheerleader!  So cute!

She even walked on the balance beams, both the low and high ones…holding my hand of course, but she didn’t really need to.  She was putting one foot in front of the other and was barely holding my hand. 

She also had fun swinging on the bars, but my picture of that didn’t come out.  😦

Being as I was a gymnast all of my childhood, until I was a teenager, I get back in a gym and it brings back so many memories and regrets for quitting.  I had hopes and dreams of going to the Olympics and being the next Mary Lou Retton ( I know, I just aged myself).  So it excites me to see Cheyenne enjoy it and I am so excited to get her enrolled in classes.  She will love it!! 

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Happy Chinese New Year!!

We went to a fun playdate yesterday to celebrate the Chinese New Year.  This is the Year of the Dragon and our hostess Vanessa made some orange chicken and rice, all the kids got oranges, chopsticks, and a mask to color.  We learned a little about the Chinese New Year tradition, such as cleaning house to prepare for the New Year celebration, then you hide your broom and don’t sweep on the day of the New Year so as not to sweep away your good luck.  You eat lots of orange food (orange chicken & oranges) for good luck in the new year. 

We had a great time and Cheyenne loves her chopsticks and now tries to eat everything with them. 

Then it was time to color masks, which for some reason, none of the kids seemed to want to color this time.  So I colored Cheyenne’s mask for her.  She sure did love playing with it and still loves to run around and scare everyone since she is such a scary dragon!! 

I think snack time was the favorite among the kids.  Cheyenne had a couple of snacks and when she wanted some more, she simply moved a chair over to the bar and climbed up there to get one herself.  Such an independent little girl!!

At the end of the playdate, the kids got a Year of the Dragon Happy New Year envelope with a quarter in it.  I didn’t get a very good picture, but I love this one that Vanessa got of Cheyenne with her envelope. 

Then it was time to go home as naptime was approaching and Cheyenne actually fell asleep in the car on the way home, which is very unlike her.  She never falls asleep in the car, not even when I want her to on the way to Austin.  But she did yesterday…then we got home, put a pull-up on and I put her down for her nap relatively easy. 

All in all, we had a great time and learned a few new things we didn’t know about the Chinese culture and New Year! 


Happy Birthday Winnie the Pooh!!

Today we went to a playdate to celebrate Winnie the Pooh’s birthday!!  It was a lot of fun and we started out by watching the Winnie the Pooh movie and having some snacks that ranged from Pots of Honey (honeycomb cereal) to Heart of Honey sandwiches (heart-shaped sandwiches with peanut butter and honey).  It was so fun and then the girls got to color for a few minutes and play Pin the Tail on Eeyore. 

What birthday party is complete without singing Happy Birthday and having cupcakes??  Well, we had that too!! 

When the picture below starts happening, this is when we know it’s the beginning of the end of the playdate.  It seems at the end of every playdate at someone’s home, all the kids start jumping on the couch to signal the end of the playdate. 

Soon after that, the meltdowns will start and it is time to go home.  Today, they happened to get all hyped up from the cupcakes (Thanks Vanessa!!  lol)  and really had fun playing together! 

I had no idea that today was Winnie the Pooh’s birthday, but leave it up to Vanessa to know.  She is so good at coming up with themes and playdates and I just have to give her props for being such a great organizer of our group!!  We love you Vanessa!! 

Cheyenne loves her playgroup so much and almost every morning when she gets up, she asks me if we are going to a playdate.  The days we are, she gets so excited and starts jumping up and down and squealing like the little girl that she is.  She loves the kids in the group and always has such a good time getting together with her friends.  She is such a little social butterfly and loves to perform for her friends and their mommies.  We have lots of fun playdates coming up and she is so excited!! 

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Another Birthday Party!!

Cheyenne had a fun time Saturday morning at her friend Max’s 2nd birthday party!  It was at the Frontier Flight Museum out by Love Field and it was so fun.  I’ve been wanting to take her out there for a while, but hadn’t gotten around to it.  There’s a large play area for the younger kids and Cheyenne had a blast playing. 

Then we went to the party room for cupcakes and snacks and Cheyenne was so excited to sing Happy Birthday to Max!!  She loves singing Happy Birthday!!

After the snacks, we went to the section of the museum that was right next to the party room where there was the nose of an airplane in the building.  We went up in it and sat in first class!!

Her obsession with seatbelts includes planes apparently. 

Cheyenne and Penny are planning a trip, I think.  Don’t they look good in first class??  Too bad the rest of the plane is missing….

This is the only shot I got of Cheyenne with the birthday boy, Max!!  So cute!!

They had a complete airplane partway in the building with the rest outside and Cheyenne had a blast running around inside the plane. 

You can barely see her, but I had to get a picture of her in front of this cool stained glass window!

Cheyenne had such a great time and I’m so glad Max had his birthday here and we got a chance to go to the museum! 

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Fun Times Around Here!!

We’ve been so busy lately around here trying to get Cheyenne’s room to look like a little girl’s room instead of a storage facility. I’ve had things strewn all around the room in piles of things to throw out, things to put on Craigslist and things to keep.  I’ve finally gotten the room cleaned up a little and am now in the process of rearranging things to see what gives me the most space to move some of her toys back to her room since she loves to play in her room lately. 

One big step was getting Cheyenne a toddler bed. 

She loves her “big girl bed” but the first couple of nights, she wasn’t too crazy about going to sleep in it.  I had to sit with her the first night to get her to calm down and fall asleep.  It took over an hour, but she finally fell asleep.  The one good thing about it, is she doesn’t get out of her bed and come running in the den like I was worried about.  If I’m not in there, she won’t get out of the bed.  She would lay there and cry and call for me.  Even now, she will just lay there and talk to her babies and last night, I heard her singing the alphabet song and Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.  It is still taking her about an hour to fall asleep, but she is staying in the bed and not crying and having to have me sit with her anymore. 
She is just growing up so fast and I can’t believe it has already been 2 1/2 years.  She loves to play and now that she has her new kitchen and play food, she has been playing in full force almost every day with her kitchen and making me food.  She made me an excellent meal of french fries, hot dogs, a banana, a pear, a pretzel, corn and an orange slice while I’ve been typing this and she even remembered to give me the bottle of ketchup.  It’s amazing to watch her play and hear the things she says as she plays and the things she mentions and thinks to do when she’s playing. 
So I guess I’m going to end this post and go eat some of the delicious lunch my wonderful daughter made for me.  She is now putting it in the oven to reheat it because she says it got cold waiting for me to eat it.  I tell you…this one….she is talking so much and saying so many things that I am constantly amazed at how well and how much she is talking. 

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A Mother’s Worst Fear

This morning, we had a play date at the Galleria Mall Play Place, which Cheyenne loves.  Once we got there, I was talking to one of the other moms in our group, Chelly, and we were standing right next to the entrance to the play place.  It’s just a big circle area completely surrounded by padded benches all the way around except for a small area where you walk in.  So Chelly and I were standing there talking and I would look up every few seconds to keep my eyes on Cheyenne.  One time, I looked up and I didn’t see her.  I figured she was on the other side of the rock formation, so I walked over there and I didn’t see her.  All of a sudden my heart was in my throat, I started having trouble breathing and I was becoming frantic.  I looked in all of the tunnels to make sure she wasn’t underneath the formations and when I had done that 3 times and I still couldn’t find her, I went into full panic mode.  

I asked Chelly to keep an eye on my stroller, which had my purse in it, but of course that was the least of my worries at that time.  I walked out of the play area with so many things running through my head:  “How did she get past me?  We were standing right at the entrance”  “Did someone grab her?”  “Oh my God, the escalators are right over there.  What if she fell down the escalators?” So many things ran through my head, not to mention the fear and panic that I was experiencing.  

I walked into a couple of nearby stores to see if they had seen a little girl come in and they hadn’t.  Then my friend Chelly motioned for me to come back over there and she said that the lady walking towards the play area had Cheyenne.  I walked over to get her and the lady told me (in a very snotty and belittling voice) that she was over in Nordstrom’s and they were getting ready to call security.  I took Cheyenne and put her back in the play area and I didn’t get onto her, but gently reminded her that she needed to stay in the play area where Mommy could see her.  

Cheyenne is not a runner.  She does not wander off.  She is really good about staying within my vision and she always makes sure she knows where I am.  I think what happened is that she didn’t see me and didn’t know where I was and was afraid I had left her and she went looking for me.  Later in the day, when I was telling my parents about it, Cheyenne said “I lost you Mommy” so that kind of confirmed what I had been thinking.  But I still can’t figure out how she just walked past me without either one of us seeing each other. 

I can’t begin to explain the feeling of not knowing where your child is, but it has always been one of my biggest fears and now I have experienced it and I pray I will never experience it again.  All ended well and everything is okay, but it was definitely my scariest moment as a mother. 

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On our way…

One of my New Year’s Resolutions this year is to post here more often and let you all know what we are up to.

Another one is to cook more and I am looking forward to keeping up with that and posting what I cook on here.  I sat down this weekend and decided what I was going to fix each night and then went to the store and got everything I needed for this week’s meals. 

So this morning I got dinner in the crockpot and then spent most of the morning trying to get Cheyenne’s room reorganized, pack up and get rid of stuff that she has outgrown and try to make room for new things and organize what we have to make things more efficient.  I got her old kitchen cleaned up and ready to place on Craigslist and then got her new kitchen set up in her room. 

She was so excited and wanted to be a cooking princess immediately.  I didn’t squash her dreams and tell her that princesses have people that cook for them…lol. 

Today I spent a little more time in Cheyenne’s room trying to get things organized and during naptime, I hit up the dollar stores to get some stuff I needed to help organize and pick up a few other things that I thought I needed.  Right now there is just a couple of square feet of room to move around right now…with all of the empty diaper boxes sitting around getting things packed into them and piles of things to organize, throw away or put in a new place. 

I tend to take on projects that end up making more of a mess before I get anywhere near where I want to be with them and then in the middle of the project I become a perfectionist and have to make sure everything is perfect.  For example, today, I was cleaning some things out of Cheyenne’s closet and while I was cleaning off the shelves to put baskets on for her panties and socks, I had the genius thought that the closet needed to be repainted.  Mind you, I didn’t paint it..yet.  But I probably will once I decide where everything is going to go and I get some more stuff cleaned off of the top shelf.  Then, to be totally honest, I will probably rip out the red carpet that is in there and used to extend into what used to be my room as a kid and has been since my parent’s bought the house…up until I was in high school and we recarpeted my room…but not the closet.  We did get some tile for the closet and guess what I found in that closet…yep…the tile we bought all those years ago.  But it is way too involved and I will probably get some adhesive tiles to put in there.  So I went off on a tangent and dreamed about all the things I want to do in Cheyenne’s room.

Then I had to stop the daydreaming and prepare for dinner.  I had put it in the crockpot this morning and now had to finish the final preparations and get ready to eat.  I made Crockpot Chicken Tortilla Soup.  It was so yummy and I think everyone enjoyed it!!  We put a few tortilla chips in the bottom of a bowl, then ladled the soup over it and topped it with cheese and a dollop of sour cream.  This will definitely be made again and again!!

I know…not much of an exciting day, but it’s my life and I love it!!

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Goodbye 2011…Hello 2012!!

Well, I don’t have an awesome recap of 2011 like so many of the blogs I read, but there were some memorable moments of 2011 that deserve some rememberance.  Unfortunately, one thing that happened this year was that my computer died, so I don’t have most of my pictures from this past year, although the guy at the computer shop was able to pull them off and store them for me until I get another computer.  So luckily, they aren’t lost forever, just in limbo until I can put them on a new computer. 

Anyway, some of the fun things we have done this year….

We had an awesome snowstorm or two and Cheyenne absolutely loved playing in all the snow…and I mean a lot of snow!!

We took a trip to Austin for Zoe’s 1st birthday bash in February and then returned in March for Rachel & Claire’s 3rd birthday bash!  We had so much fun visiting with Cheyenne’s favorite cousins and they all get along so well. 

Then in May, my little boy, who isn’t so little any more, became a teenager.  Yep, I can’t believe he is already 13 years old.  Time has gone by so fast.  He is becoming a young man and surely I’m not old enough to have a teenager, right?? 

Then in June, my little princess turned 2.  We had a backyard birthday party complete with bounce house and swimming pool and had friends over to celebrate the big day and Cheyenne’s cousins came up from Austin to celebrate with us.  We spent a lot of time in the backyard, yes, even in the June heat, swimming and bouncing and just having a good time! 

We spent lots of time in the backyard swimming and even Grandpa got in on the fun on one occasion! 

When it finally started to cool off (at least not 100+ degrees) we went to the Owens Big Orange Pumpkin Farm in October and Cheyenne had a blast feeding the animals and picking out her pumpkin; and being a pumpkin as well!! 

We had lots of playdates with our playgroup throughout the year and met lots of new friends. Since my computer died and I lost most of my pictures temporarily, I don’t have a lot of playdate pics. Here’s one from our Halloween party where the kids had a blast and were all so adorable all dressed up. Then in November, Cheyenne’s cousins came up from Austin to spend Thanksgiving with us and we had a blast.  We went to the park and let the kids play and run off some of their energy from being pent up in the house and they had so much fun!!

Then in December, we made a pre-Christmas trip to Austin to celebrate Christmas with Cheyenne’s cousins.  We had lots of fun, good food made by my sister, and of course lots of presents. 
We all had a blast, but I think Grandpa was in Heaven being surrounded by all of his little princesses!! 
So it turns out, we had a pretty good 2011 and had lots of fun!! 
I hope everyone else had a great 2011 and I hope everyone has a wonderful 2012 like I plan to do!!  Happy New Year!!