Saturday, December 1, 2012

Because the world needs more cuteness

What could be cuter than 3 Brown kids?

How about FOUR Brown kids?

May 21st is the date. Consider yourselves warned.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Yum yum

Having figured out (sort of) how to feed himself, Damon has recently gotten into feeding other people. He'll use his sticky, slobbery little hand to pick up a piece of cereal, get my attention, and open his mouth as a hint for me to do the same (he is pretty persistent). Then, he shoves the pre-moistened morsel into my mouth, looks very pleased with himself, and immediately picks up another.

As you may imagine, I have to toughen my gag reflex to fully participate in this little practice, cute as it is. But even then, I have my limits. Just now, for example, Damon had just absently shoved some little graham cracker snack into his mouth when he glanced at me. I must have looked hungry, because he toddled over, pulled the half-chewed cracker out of his mouth, held it out and opened his mouth. Mmm. I let him have that one.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Today's bads and goods

Bad: bra shopping with 3 small kids
Good: finding a good small enough bra while bra shopping with 3 kids!

Bad: car backing into our shopping cart in the parking lot (fortunately, I was able to shield the kids behind the cart just in time!)
Good: we're all okay. The lady who did it felt really bad, especially when other people in the parking lot yelled at her. I tried to make her feel better, so I hope she was able to get home and shake it off.

Bad: not having collard greens yesterday when Steven requested them for dinner
Good: HELLOOOOO? How many guys ask for collard greens for dinner? We're having them tonight.

And it's only lunch time!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Capitol idea

Damon and I decided to celebrate his first birthday with a flight to Virginia to visit Grandma Brown. Thanks to some wonderful friends here who helped take care of the girls during workdays, Damon and I were able to spend a week at Grandma's visiting family, helping out around the house, and even seeing some sights.

It turned out to be a great time to go: we got to be there for two other cousin birthdays, a baptism, and Mother's day! It was neat, and unusual, for me to hang out with Steven's family without Steven, but it was a nice reminder of what a great choice I made to marry him. I loved hanging out, playing piano duets, and watching episodes of "As Time Goes By" and "One Step Beyond" with Linda; watching a local "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" with Linda and Heather (courtesy of Rachel's babysitting!); chatting with Heather and Richard on car rides to DC; visiting with Jason and Tashia; and of course seeing all the local nieces and nephews!

Damon opens his birthday presents from Grandma Brown
Damon and Uncle Richard
Savannah, Damon, Caleb, and Lindsey at Caleb's baptism
Damon, Joshua, and Caleb get ready to pick up chicks outside the ladies' room
Damon's cousin Tiana is a baby lover like her mom!
Showing off his Texas rodeo skilz at the carpet store
Showing off my great new 'do, courtesy of my niece Rachel!
And of course, we couldn't be in the area without going to the Capitol. Steven calls these Damon's "Flat Stanley" shots, where I'm basically taking pictures of stuff and plopping my baby in there, but gosh, how else am I supposed to show we were there? (or at least, that Damon was there).

Anyway, Damon and I had a fun day in DC. We saw Smithsonians...

And ate lunch on the lawn of the Capitol building.

Then we visited the monuments:

Including the new MLK one, which I hadn't seen yet. I made sure to get Damon's picture in front of the controversial (and misleading) drum major quote, before it gets changed.

Altogether we had a wonderful trip. And, as an added bonus, when we got home, Steven and the girls all acted especially appreciative to have me back.

Thursday, June 14, 2012


Far too long ago, before the weather got too blasted hot, I decided we should have a picnic lunch. Where, I asked the kids, should we go?

Well, they didn't want to go far:

As you can see, they got all dressed up for the neighbors. 

Well, some of them did.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Ding, dong, the goop is dead!


Good riddance, clogged tear duct! We had a surgery scheduled downtown for later this month, but the duct decided to clear up on its own a couple of weeks before Damon's first birthday. Still, I waited to cancel the appointment until last week, just in case the duct somehow regooped. Fortunately, though, it's clear saline (get it?) for us from now on.

And, speaking of birthdays, here's Damon gooping up the rest of his face with cake.
I'm so glad that at least one of my children actually tasted their birthday cake. Olivia poked hers and then stepped on it; Carmen wouldn't even touch it. 

And after his cake he got a sink bath:

I love my little boy so much, from the top of his curly head to his wiggly little potato-toes. He is a funny little creature, toddling around our house babbling to himself and getting into everything:

He is indefatigable in his destruction - I could take a sharp, breakable, or electronic object away 1000 times, and he'd still scale stairs, chairs, and tables to go after it. If his hair wasn't so curly and his belly so soft, he'd be sold to the gypsies by now for sure.

And, because this picture was so cute, here's Carmen:

Tuesday, June 12, 2012


Last year I uneventfully turned 30 and forgot to blog about it. I was busy being pregnant and I hadn't been dreading it, so it kind of slid by without much fanfare. Besides, anyone who has had a child on their birthday knows that their birthday is effectively lost to them.

This year, I was not pregnant, but there still wasn't much fanfare to celebrate my big 3-1 and Carmen's big 3. It was a nice, happy day.

I am happy to share the celebration with my best birthday present ever:
(Carmen picks out the best outfits.)

Carmen's favorite presents were dress-up clothes from Grandma. (Olivia was pretty excited about them too.)

Steven bought me cookware and a fan duster. We're such romantics.
cleaning the fan
Dusting the fan!

Being "in my thirties" feels very normal to me. I have 3 kids, so 31 seems a decent age to be. In a way, I feel like being thirty-something gives me license to be an adult. I'm too old to be precocious, too young to be washed up. My smile lines are getting a little deeper and the backs of my hands are starting to look like my mom's, but it's not unpleasant. On the contrary, there's a certain charm in discovering more gray hair on Steven's temples or seeing my skin lose some elasticity and realizing that my husband and I are growing old together. It is hard to get used to how young college students look, and I sometimes sigh when I realize that nobody mistakes me for the babysitter when I'm out with my three kids. But I never really cherished youth, so adulthood has been great.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Mickey and Minnie Mania

Several months ago, my parents bought a year-long pass to Disneyland and used it to lure their grandchildren to visit them in California. Since children under age 3 are free, we decided to celebrate Carmen's not-quite-birthday by flying out and spending a couple of days in the Happiest Place on Earth.

And it actually was happy! We had an absolutely wonderful trip - Steven chronicled it on his blog.

The real story, though, is the impression that those few days have had on our family. Because since mid-February, this is what my children have worn pretty much every day:

In total, I have made:
  • 2 pairs Mickey Mouse shorts,
  • 1 pair Mickey Mouse shoes
  • 1 pair Mickey Mouse gloves
  • 1 Minnie Mouse hotpad set
  • 2 Minnie Mouse dresses
  • 1 Minnie Mouse skirt
  • 1 Minnie Mouse pettiskirt
  • 1 pair Minnie Mouse bloomers
Olivia cried and cried when I told her she had to wear something different to preschool the second week. She has since complied, provided I style her hair into ears and put a bow in the middle of her head.

Carmen switches off between Mickey and Minnie...and Lady and Tramp and Cinderella and Aurora and Piglet and any number of other characters. They spend hours in their room playing dress-up. No one else is allowed in, and I am only summoned periodically to fasten buttons (although Olivia has gotten pretty good at that).

The funny thing is, with all this clothes-changing, we still occasionally see Carmen running around wearing only a backwards shirt. Well, fashion is as fashion does.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Sensitive soul

This morning Carmen and I were sitting on the couch enjoying our respective literature, when all of a sudden I heard some sniffling. I looked over and Carmen had tears in her eyes.

"What's wrong, honey?" I asked, concerned.
"I'm a little bit sad," she said.
"What happened?" I thought she must be feeling sick, since she'd seemed so happy before.
"This," she said, pointing to her book:

She then turned the page, wiped her eyes, and smiled contentedly. "He got away."

Friday, January 27, 2012


There was a GNO scheduled yesterday. It sounded fun.

I was an evite "maybe." However, after a fussing/screaming marathon provided by my children during the last few daylight hours, I realized that, while the "night out" was right, it would be better to decline the "s."

So, after putting Damon to bed, I left, with Steven's blessing, to go do something. By myself.

And while this may not astound anyone, I am now indisputably a Boring Mom. Because here is where I went:

1. Goodwill, to look for a stand for my new globe (fruitless)
2. Lowes, to return screw plugs that didn't fit the new bunkbeds
3. Kohl's, to look for 12M terry cloth pajamas for Damon (fruitless)
4. Culvers, to get a Turtle sundae for me (yummy)
5. HEB (grocery store), to get bananas and avocados for Damon, and look at their current $1 jewelry to see if they had anything good for Princess Carmen (fruitful, but jewelryless)

The best part was probably Culvers - it was neat to sit there BY MYSELF, without talking to anyone. I just sat and enjoyed my sundae and watched people. The busboy was perfect - a sweet, gangling teenager with a dorky hat on sandy, shaggy hair and a winsome smile showing his braces-clad teeth, working his geeky little heart out. I just wanted to give him a hug and say, "What a good boy you are. Hang in there. Don't lose the drive and optimism you have right now. Don't try to acquire the arrogance and bravado that girls think they like. Keep being you. Trust me - some day, you will make some woman very, very happy."

So, it was a good Girl Night Out after all.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Forgive me, Mr. Mitchell

Ah, the folly of youth. I just started re-reading Great Expectations (I love, love, love my Kindle). WHY, oh why did I not appreciate the genius of Charles Dickens before? Even as a high school freshman, one would think I could enjoy the comedic value in these gems:

Pip's guilt as he goes to feed an escaped convict:

and his fictional description of his play date at Miss Havisham's:

I love Joe the blacksmith, and can identify so well with Pip's description of his childhood perceptions and feelings. It's just masterful. Such a far cry from the junk reading I download from the Kindle top 100 free list (some time I'll have to blog about my exposure to Christian romance novels - also comedic gems, in a much less intended way).