Sunday, December 5, 2010

Big Birthday Boy

Oh, time. You fly. And I'm not exactly happy with you today. Our baby boy is 2 years old. Really and truly unbelievable. These two years with him have been some of the fastest of my life. And I wish at so many points that I could've pressed pause. FYI: when you are raising an adorable, sneaky, speedy, baby deproofing, destructonating, escape artist, there are no pauses.

I can't express in words how much I love this little man. In so many ways, I feel as though I am a time traveler watching Jason grow up. His faces, his toe-headedness, his quirky sense of humor and his stubbornness are minitiare reproductions of the original. We're laying low for this birthday. We'll have a family dinner out and presents some time this week. We'll let him sit at a steering wheel of some sort to his heart's content. And we'll keep singing him Happy Birthday whenever we feel like it because he makes the cutest faces when we do.

The Birthday Boy at the park. He was so proud to wear this shirt. Thanks, Kim! Whenever anyone asked him how old he was, he'd just stick his chest out, I guess hoping the answer to their question was written there.

Um, baby in tie? Makes me want to smush him. In a good way.

Favorite pic of the man to date. Paint-stick-turned-sword and his "Raaaarrr" face.

Honey, I Shrunk the Jason. Only Jason rarely wears Rudolph hats.

Andersonian as a Second Language
No, he's not a Chatty Cathy, but what he does say is pretty dang cute. So here goes.
Dis-dah - Sister
Peesh - Please
Tanks - Thanks
Tay! - Okay
Bee-Bee - Baby
Ouse - House
Lella - Gabriella
Kiyi Cah - Kitty Cat
Ish - Fish
Tar - Star
Ba-Ball - Basketball
Fuh-Ball - Football
Bye-Bye - Clearest word to date! He loves 'em and leaves 'em!

Other Rememberables
* The scream. 'Nuff said.
* How he goes "shopping" in our kitchen pantry and carries around giant bottles of juice or big boxes of cereal.
* How he quietly works at a new skill, scientifically trying out different methods until he figures it out (so fun to watch him learning to use a tricylce and a scooter, not so fun watching him decode safety features in our home).
* Still using both left and right hands to eat and draw, although I'm starting to notice a slight right-hand preference (tear).
* He stands in time out when told and does a hug for sorry.
* He hates it when Maizie is sad and will pester her for a hug until she's happy again.
* He hates it when Maizie has a toy and will chase her around and around until he's victorious.
* He loves babies and still wants to tickle their faces.
* Makes the best animal and car, truck, rocket noises.
* Loves jumping and climbing. He's gonna be one of those kids that skateboards without a skateboard, whatever that's called.
* Still needs his mommy from time to time and is a great cuddler, tickler and smoocher.
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Sunday, November 28, 2010

The Girls

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving spent mostly on the Normangee farm. There was turkey-eating, hay-jumping, movie-watching and lots of good ol' fashioned fun. I got some cute pics of Maizie and Brooke (cousins born two weeks apart) that I wanted to post before life gets in the way. So here are the wonder twins at 2 months old....
Here they are now. On the way to the farm, Maizie said, "I have lots of cousins, but two of them are just my age--Megan and Brooke!"

Here are all the girl cousins in the younger set-Megan, Maizie, Brooke and Kaitlyn.
Love these girls and can't wait to watch them grow up as close cousins.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Ahoy, Me Halloween Maties!

We took our second annual Halloween trip to San Antonio this year, thanks to the most hospitable Maloneys. They are quite the opposite of the Veggie Tales' Pirates Who Don't Do Anything. They do everything and do it all the way. It was all kinds of fun. The bubble from last year made a reaappearance at Trunk or Treat at their church. We passed out glow in the dark bracelets and Maizie had fun bossing around older kids around "her bubble." On Sunday, the pirate ship was completed and Grant and Amanda had all the trick-or-treaters repeat the Pirate Oath to get a piece of their booty. Jason was an evil....sorry, I'm really not sure what Jason was, but he said funny things and held a musket while sitting in a canoe.

Maizie was a pirate princess. Instead of saying "Trick or Treat" at each door, Maizie said, "My name is Maizie and I am a pirate princess and this is Anderson he is my brother but today his is a PAR-rot not a PIR-ate and he doesn't say much and HAPPY HALLOWEEN!" We didn't make it very far.

One of my favorite memories from this year is when I had them both try on their costumes Friday. Anderson asked for a cracker and I asked Maizie to share hers with him. She followed him around saying "Polly want a cracker?" Wish I had a video camera for that one! Anyway, his costume was by far the easiest to make and I think it turned out cute for minimal effort. Here's my little bird.

Hope you all had a Happy Halloween. And thanks, Fancy Pants and Amanda, for making it one for the record books. Sorry we destroyed many of your worldly possessions. Treasure up in heaven, right?
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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Four Years Old

Dear Maizie,
Four years ago today I met you for the first time. I remember holding you and staring hard, trying to soak in the fact that this was real. Trying to understand how such a perfect little creature came from such imperfect humans. Trying to figure out what it meant to raise a little person who would have character, integrity and a heart for people in need. In other words, I was scared. God had entrusted us for a short time to be your parents and we were praying hard that we could provide the kind of support, encouragement and guidance you needed to make your way in this world. Now, four years later, we're blessed by an exuberant, thoughtful, caring, sweet, sometimes stubborn, always confident, adorable little girl. You dive into new situations with ease, love a good story, song or dance, and can talk the spots off a dog. When you're around, there is never a dull (or quiet) moment and we wouldn't have it any other way. I had no idea what I was in for four years ago, and maybe I started off a little scared and uptight. But each day, God has shown us through you that He is in control and that He is your real Father, protector and maker. We see Him in your insistence that we talk to every friend (aka panhandler) we meet. We see Him in your prayers when you thank him for one more day without a boo boo. And we see Him as you are first in line to care for and love on Anderson when he is feeling sad. You are a delight and a joy and I wish you the happiest of days today. Four is going to rock.

Birthday girl - 2006

Birthday Girl - 2010

This post wouldn't be complete without a new installment of....

Masghetti - Spaghetti
Gonana - Banana
Scawberries - Strawberries
Gabrella - Umbrella
FighterFighter - Firefighter
FighterFighter Wearing Pajamas - EMT (with scrubs on)
Black FighterFighter - Police Officer (wearing a black uniform)
Pink Girl - Girl wearing pink
Coperate - Cooperate (e.g. "I'm coperating!")
Hair Cut - Hair Style (e.g. "Don't cut my hair" when I'm just trying to put in ponytails)
Just Only - Her "filler" words like other people use "um" or "uh" (e.g. "Just only I'm going to watch just only just only just only Wall-E")
I Cah-n't wash my hay-uh, Mahm- I can't wash my hair, Mom. (her British/Southern/Yankee accent comes out in the oddest combinations)
Race Car Driver - What she wants to be when she grows up
Decorations, Cinnamon - Decorations, Cinnamon (I'm always surprised when she says complex words correctly. I think I said "Cimmanon" until last year.)
R-E-D - Purple

Monday, October 18, 2010

A Party Fit for a Princess

This Saturday, we celebrated Maizie's Big 4 (the real date is Wednesday). Jason and I decided to alternate years for "big parties" vs. "small parties". This year for both Anderson and Maizie is "small party". We had Mia and Simone and their moms over for a fairy princess picnic. We had pink tea, pink star "biscuits" and heart-shaped pb&js. Our man-in-waiting, Jason, served with grace and poise, calling each of the girls "malady" and providing multiple refills of pink tea. Thankfully, Maizie's fair grandmother was in town and was able to join us for the party.

Time for the presents! Maizie exercized some mad patience waiting for this portion of the evening.

Next we headed downtown for dessert at the Melting Pot. Maizie had requested something "fancy". Three 3-year-olds at the Melting Pot? Memorable. First, they wanted to play with the super long (and super sharp) forks. Then they all reached their sugar limit about halfway through and we thought they were all going to fall asleep or climb the walls. We quickly ushered them out for the final surprise--a horse carriage ride through downtown Austin.

All-in-all, it was a fun way to celebrate the little life of our big girl. When I asked her the next morning what her favorite part of her birthday party was, she opened her arms big and wide and said, "ME!" We'll have to work on her understanding that she's not the center of the universe, but I suppose that can wait until after this week. Happy Birthday, sweet funny silly smart hugable lovable wonderful Maizie!
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ACU Homecoming

We went to Abilene to hang with Jason's sister's family and attend my 10-year reunion. Yes, I am officially old. It's always fun being back on campus and even more funner (the degree paid off, Ma!) to share some of our favorite ACU memories with the kids.

Here's Maizie playing in the GATA fountain.

And Anderson playing on Amy's piano.

Maizie and Jason in front of my freshman year dorm. Jason first said he loved me in that very parking lot.

And we went to echo point with Maizie. She liked to echo. A lot! A lot! A lot!

It was a fun weekend and I'm glad my "more involved and in touch with ACU" friends encouraged us to go. Maizie saw her first big time college football game (ACU won) and we got to catch up with family we hadn't seen in 6 months and friends we hadn't seen in 10 years. Purple-White-Fight-Fight!
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Thursday, September 2, 2010

All about Anderson

So Anderson drew the short stick when it came to blog-time. I guess (and I know this from experience) this is the burden of second children. I grew up relatively unscathed, but I thought I'd dedicate a post just to him and his adorableness. This is a fun age I want to remember for sure.

When we say he's laid back, we mean it. This kid can sleep anywhere and through just about anything.

The accessorizing gene is rather dominant in our family.

Really, really dominant.

So, what things should you know about this little man? To spend a day with him means you're going to hear about a thousand "Whaz That's" and receive about a dozen run-and-hugs. You may also have multiple objects thrown at or near your head and three square meals worth of food scattered throughout your house. He's still not chatting away, but is an incredibly clear communicator and I'm constantly amazed by how much he understands and follows directions.

He loves water and if he spies his swimsuit (or socks for that matter) he will bring them to you and nag you until you let him wear them. He loves jumping in the pool and will go under water without crying, but has a little fear of heights. We mess around with him and heights (a la Michael Jackson and Blanket), but this is starting to feel cruel, so we'll stop. Soon. We also still play "Drop the Baby" with him, but he likes this, so we'll continue. He's a climber, a flipper, a runner, a faller, a tricycler, a consta-mover, an occassional biter (eek!), and a cuddler. He loves his sister and they have started their own warped form of communication together. Scary. Playtime is 50% fighting over the same toy and 50% chasing each other in a circle around our living room. He LOVES babies. Loves them. Only problem is he wants to tickle their face.

Another love: Star Wars. He may not have command over the English language or understand that if you throw a juice cup it goes away, but at least he knows his Star Wars characters (see first video). Watch the second video to see his cute faces, including the one where he holds his breath until his face turns red. Nice.

Hope you enjoyed this rare installment of "All about Anderson"! We are blessed beyond words to have him in our lives and I can't wait to watch him grow into the kind, funny, thoughtful, sweet man I know he can become.

First Day of School

Last Friday was our first day of preschool. This fall, both kids are going and everyone seems to be enjoying it, myself included. Things have been a little harried around the George house lately, as you can tell by my lack of posting, so preschool couldn't have come at a better time. Here they are being as cute as ever!

Sisterly love. Brotherly push (after picture).

Trying to mimic the picture I took of Maizie's first day. Little businessman with his briefcase.

Can they actually be this old already? Sigh.
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Thursday, July 1, 2010


Look to the George kids when you want to know what's hot for summer 2010. Eyewear should be large and tinted. Crowns should be bedazzled. And safety always comes first.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Maiziese as a Second Language and an Andersonian dialect

Ok. Long time, no blog. But with a bit of work behind me, it's time for an update.
As usual, Maizie is saying some cute things. Now Anderson's joining in on the fun. Here we go!

MAIZIE- 3.5 years
By all myself - All by myself
I'll see you to Friday! - I'll see you later
I'll see you to Sunday! - I'll see you a whole lot later
Austin, Tesk-kist - Austin, TX
Maizie Street - Mattie Street (can you tell we're learning our address?)
New - Oldest/best (e.g., Mia is my new friend; Anderson is my new brother)
Insidewards - Inside out (e.g., Help! My shirt is insidewards!)
Red means stop. Green means go. Yellow means go FASTER!!!!
I am so kind and so boo-tiful.
Anderson is having a rough, rough day.
I love you, boo-buddy, buddy-boo! (to Anderson)

ANDERSON - 1.5 years
eh-cah! (in a low tone) - truck
eh-cah! (in a high tone) - motorcycle
eh-cah! (in a regular tone) - car
eh-cah! (pointing to the sky)- airplane
eh-cah! (in an excited tone) - Star Wars pez dispensers
Leia - The Leia Star Wars pez dispenser
Ny-ra - Ryan
Eazy - Maizie
Heesh! - Cheese! (e.g. See the picture above)

I've started to be worried about Anderson's language development, but really think he's fine. He communicates really well through other means (pointing, whining, biting!) and I think it makes him lazy since he gets what he wants without using words. He's so curious about the world and is constantly asking "Wuzzat?" so I am getting this feeling that in true Jason George fashion he is soaking everything in, processing it, and will one day soon start spouting out his entire life story.

Maizie is, and has always been, a chatterbox. I've been able to witness her in a classroom setting lately (church, swim class) and the teachers have to learn quickly not to aim any open-ended questions her way. Ask her if she has a teddy bear and she will name all the teddy bears ever created. Ask her if she has ever seen a bird and she will wax poetically about the birds (and the bees) until the cows come home. I absolutely love her personality and the way she just puts it all out there.

The two of them are really starting to get into a good routine together. Anderson is staying up and doing night time routine with big sis now and he loves it even if he loses interest about half-way through. Maizie is constantly making sure he's ok, and wants him to have his cup with him at all times. There's plenty of fighting and blanket wrestling, but overall they're a dynamic (and fun) duo.

Yay! I do this blog for all two of you who read it and to remember our life at different stages. Mission accomplished for today! Thanks.

Friday, April 23, 2010

34 Minutes

Here's a true story from my trip. Had fun writing it out on the train to Chicago.

Who knows when the critical error happened. Should a mother travel alone with a 3-year-old and a 1-year-old? Does that decision fly in the face of the logic of child development and travel etiquette? Perhaps. But grandparents have needs. Desperate needs. So there I was on a plane last Wednesday afternoon for a short jump over to Houston, a 3-hour layover, and then a 3 hour flight to Detroit.

This day was covered in a blanket stitched of equal parts prayer and worry. And as the plane to Houston reached altitude, I let out a huge sigh of relief. Anderson was not screaming as was his custom and Maizie was not loudly pointing out the physical anomalies of fellow passengers as was hers. It would seem that the prayers were paying off and the worries needed to shove off. And besides, according to the pilot we’d be back on the ground in 34 minutes, so what could go wrong? I decided to move my anxieties to the 3-hour layover and the long flight ahead.

That’s when it began. As the pilot finished his announcement, Maizie got down from her chair and reached down for her bag under the seat in front of her. She bumped the seat in front of her. A perfectly-pressed-perfectly-manicured-perfectly-annoyed woman in her 30s was of the misfortune (for us both) of sitting directly in front of my daughter. Upon feeling the bump, which I guarantee was minor and accidental, Veronica (as she shall be called) did a complete 180-degree turn, sighed a hostile sigh and humphetedly returned to her original position. I returned a look of sincere apology laced with a tinge of “help me out here, lady.”

During past flights, Maizie would become obsessed with the fold-down tray, an obsession we would try against all odds to contain. I went over the rules of flying again with her, using the ultra-cool authority of the “pilot”. The pilot does not want any children on this flight who talk too loud, because it takes a lot of concentration to fly a plane and people around us may want to sleep. And please be considerate of our friends that are sitting way too close to us due to the systematic disappearance of personal space on airplanes. Also, the pilot says not to clean between Anderson’s toes during the flight. It creeps him out.

I kid you not, I’ve been on about a dozen flights with my she-child. This was the best one yet. I had brushed off the Veronica glare and was actually enjoying a peaceful existence watching the fluff of clouds pass by as Anderson nuzzled into my lap, sleepy but happy.

Maizie was arranging herself to quietly color when the second chair-nudge incident of Flight 434 occurred. This time, it was too minor to correct. Another full, infuriated turn and sigh ensued. This time, anger begat anger. I stared straight back in silent desperation. My inner thoughts this time were, “They are happy. They are not screaming. She is not incessantly, deliberately kicking. Through the grace of the all-powerful Almighty, she hasn’t even acknowledged the existence of the tray. Don’t mess with me, lady.”

My prayer-worry blanket now fully removed, my temperature rose and I could feel my whole body getting flushed up to about mid-chest. It hovered there, as I thought through all the possible reasons why Veronica was having a bad day, hoping against hope that Maizie wouldn’t move or talk or breathe for the next half-hour, and breathing deeply, calling on some yogic exercises to calm the storm brewing inside.

As a life-long conflict avoider, I also jumped into a common personal practice. I have an over-active “after the fact” dialogue engine in my head. I never have the right things to say in the moment, but if you run into me 15 minutes later, you better watch out!

When the book I was reading to Anderson fell onto the 3 inches of floor space between Maizie and Veronica, I bent over to fetch it, consequently committing a third offence. As I shimmied back into my seat, Veronica’s now vile glare met mine. Like an overheating car, I was boiling inside, only able to send off a few warning signs. A trace of smoke.

My inner dialogue fully developed now, I gave her a final warning in my head, “One more glare, Veronica, one more glare,” I thought.

And as if she had heard my inmost yearning, she turned around one last time. I’m not sure what caused the final vitreous stare, but I am sure it caused me to act. I leaned in closer to her seat and in a quiet and firm voice said, “If you would like to have a discussion about this, that would be great, because your glares are not helping the situation.”

She quickly turned around and stiffened against the back of her chair, like a child caught misbehaving and trying hard to disappear. Maizie asked me “Who are you talking to, Mommy?” and I explained that we were disturbing our friend and we needed to be very careful not to touch the seat. And that when we left the plane, we needed to say we are sorry. Maizie yelled out “Sorry, friend!” in a premature, earnest fashion.

I considered it case closed. By now we were descending and Anderson was fast asleep in my arms. Like a pot of boiling water removed from the stove, I had immediately cooled. I had not considered, though, that by confronting her passive aggressive behavior, I had put Veronica’s pot on high heat.

About five minutes after my hushed confrontation, Veronica turned and said, “You said you wanted to have a discussion, so let’s talk. What did you want to talk about?” Great.

By now those around us were staring wide-eyed straight ahead. I’m sure the other business travelers were secretly rooting for Veronica for finally standing up to “the Mom” after decades of having their lives interrupted by the tyranny of toddler air travel. A few soft-eyed folks were gently smiling at me and the sleeping baby, offering up a silent pity.

Thankfully my inner dialogue was complete and I was feeling unnaturally feisty. “Ok,” I said. “Let me tell you my situation. I am traveling on my own with two small children. I’m doing the absolute very best that I can. My daughter is doing the best that she can. I’m sorry we were disturbing you, but I could really use some community support and the glares were not it.”

Unfortunately, her inner dialogue was not fully formed. I honestly feel bad for her, because she’s going to be replaying our conversation for days, complete with zingers about how she didn’t choose to give birth to my children and how youthful airplane tomfoolery leads to lives of crime and maybe even chronic Restless Leg Syndrome. She simply repeated, “What do you want to talk about?”

So I pulled from my inner dialogue bank. “She’s 3. How old are you?” Zing!

Veronica did not divulge her age. And she did not appreciate my clever turn o’ phrase. “Don’t tell me that she’s 3!” her voice rising. “Don’t tell me that she’s 3!”

When dealing with difficult adults, I’ve found that I generally revert to techniques gleaned from parenting books. So as her voice got louder, I got softer. “What would you like me to tell you?” I whispered. She responded a little quieter, “Just don’t tell me that she’s 3.”

“Ok,” I say. “I can do that.” Returning to the comfort of my inner dialogue, I thought, “Now go to time out.”

She turned forward-facing one last time, adjusted her neck pillow, and we all prepared for landing.

+ + + + +

So, here I am recounting my little “episode” while sitting on a train from Detroit to Chicago. My parents’ desperate need to spend quality time with their grandkids and my desperate need to take a little break from being needed have collided in a wonderful opportunity to spend some time with my brother and his wife sans kiddos.

An older woman sitting behind me has kicked my seat about 40 times, perhaps the victim of the Restless Leg Syndrome Veronica would’ve warned me about if she had time to prepare. She’s also loudly chatting away on a cell phone about a veritable cornucopia of medical ailments. I can’t say I’m enjoying the lesson in anatomy or the feeling of being bumped—this is “my” time, right—but I think if I were sitting in the middle of an empty train with no community, no one traveling along the same path I’m on, it would be an extremely lonely world. So, thanks lady (I’ll call you Francine), and for now, I’ll keep my glares and my inner dialogue to myself.

Sunday, April 4, 2010


Texas residential duty: fulfilled.

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Happy Easter!

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The Farm

We went to the farm this weekend for some good, ol-fashioned fun. The weather was perfect. So was the company.

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