Sunday, February 28, 2010

Locketts Unplugged

This semester Josh has an enormous appellate brief project due on top of all the normal class load. Because of the extra work we're seeing even less of him this semester. Thank goodness I have my best girl to keep me company. Although Josh came home for dinner on Friday he stayed at the law school working until 11:00. Ava and I spent our evening playing with her new Fancy Nancy paper dolls, watching Snow White, and eating an entire sleeve of Thin Mint cookies.

The dolls before their makeovers

After the makeovers, note Ava's fancy sticker work on Nancy

We are in a stage of THE most awkward picture faces ever. When the camera appears Ava has three facial expressions: 1: mid-bowel-movement-smile, 2: sheer terror, 3: a horrifying mixture of the two. Believe it or not the pictures on this post are actually the good ones. She really was excited about her movie pick.

On Saturday evening our church rented out the local skating rink. With the help of Missy's backward skating skills Ava was skating all alone by the end of the first hour.

I think all of her time in gymnastics has helped her learn to balance in precarious situations.

We love many things about our castle, but the lack of wireless internet was not of one of them. The fact that we had to be connected to the wall to use our internet was even more frustrating because the on-campus apartments for single students right across the street have WiFi. (These apartments also have washer/dryers, dishwashers, and are adorable and new. Why they'd allow some frat-tastic single boy to live there and not a sweet married family who would actually appreciate and take care of the property is completely unknown to me. Odd, huh? Grr. Not that I'm complaining though, just observing with a twinge of sarcasm.)
Anyway, not only is it a torts nightmare to have a 30-foot etherenet cord sprawled over a 600-square-foot living space, but with a girl who loves to blog and a boy whose law studying needs trumped the need to blog it was just a recipe for disaster. Tonight as I was attempting to start a post I noticed that our cord-full internet was not working. Josh did some clicking around and discovered that the rumors we'd been hearing were true.

*Thanks to Josh for the following photo ideas and for taking a break to snap them for me.

Look ma, no cord!

What? Online in the kitchen?

and in Ava's room?

and in the bathroom?

and in our bedroom?

Truly, this is a castle and I feel like THE luckiest princess.
(And yes, Josh has been studying away the entire time I've been writing this post. Amazing.)

Monday, February 22, 2010

Happy 23rd Birthday Aunt Sarah!

This weekend we headed to Dallas to celebrate Aunt Sarah's 23rd birthday. We kicked things off at Sprinkles early Saturday morning so the yummiest cupcakes wouldn't be sold out. Ava recommends the Chocolate Marshmallow and I adore the Cinnamon Sugar, while Aunt Sarah and Baba insist the Strawberry are the very best. The boys didn't make their opinions known, so I'm assuming they prefer to study the subject further. Cupcake research is hard work, but we were willing to make the sacrifice.

It wouldn't be a trip to visit the Crawfords without a trip to North Park. The mall was blossoming with flowers for spring. Ava blended right in with her crazy=colored outfit.

Snuggles by the flowers

Day two of birthday fun took us to the Southlake Town Square. The boot coordination was completely unintentional. I didn't realize how similar our footwear was until I was uploading these pictures.

Just the old Raines girls, old as in formerly not age

Ava loving on her Aunt Sarah

On our way out of town, ahem - state, we stopped by one of our favorite grocery stores to stock up on the groceries that are either unavailable or unaffordable in OK. I realized we had no pictures with Uncle Brandon so I snapped this cute shot...well, it's cute of Brandon and Sarah anyway.

Of course Josh wasn't able to come for the weekend of birthday fun. In fact, he's so covered up with work for the next month that Ava and I might as well be out of town every weekend. Anyone want to house a law-widow and law-orphan for a weekend? Seriously.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Sushi love

This happy three-year-old is experiencing many new things. One of those new things, as I've mentioned in previous posts, is a dance class. Well, last week a boy ballerina, we'll call him Bam-Bam, punched Ava in the stomach. Apparently he had been squirming on the floor distracting and bothering her for the whole class time and she told him to stop. Bam-Bam was not pleased with this. After the punch Ava stomped her foot at him, said "No m'am (typical Ava response), I don't like that!" Then she pushed him away from her...well, she pushed him a little more than just away from her. He may have slid across the floor and into the wall. Parents don't watch the classes, so I was shocked to hear this tale from the teacher after class was over. We talked about her response and I know she'll handle herself a little differently next time. I'm not sure we'll continue with dance after the recital in May, she's not thrilled with the idea of going anymore. Today she mostly just stood and watched the other kids. Poor little reluctant dancer.

Another new thing in Ava's life is her hairstyle. Her hair seems to be thicker and longer each morning when I fix it. I've started braiding it on both sides and gathering it in the back with a bow.

A little messy after a day of playing

The back

We received a Valentines gift package from Baba and Pops.

Excited about her candy

All the sweet goods

After our Valentines Day date Josh and I stopped by my favorite cupcake spot in Oklahoma City. Vanilla Bean for me, Cherry for Josh, and Chocolate (in the box) for Ava.

One of our favorite dinner spots in Norman is In The Raw. The first time I saw the name of this restaurant I thought it was advertising 'adult entertainment', but have no fear - it's sushi! Weekdays from 4:00 - 9:00 they offer many rolls for half price. Usually we all split an order of steamed edamame, Josh and I order a few rolls, and Ava has chicken and curly fries. Tonight when they brought out our sushi she gasped and said, "Mommy, that's my favorite color. That's mine." She was talking about the tasty orange masago (yes Mom, it's fish eggs) on the outside of my roll of sushi. She tried a few bites of mine and loved it. We decided to order her an avocado roll with masago. She ate it so well, and with chopsticks no less!

Josh and I are so proud of our brave girl. Bullies, fancy hair styles and new food? She hasn't even been three for a month and life is already more exciting than ever.

On the way home this evening Ava was singing their recital song from dance (The Witchdoctor by Alvin and the Chipmunks). From the backseat I heard, "Ooo-eee, ooo ah ah, ting tang, walla-walla Beene Beene." Evidently she thinks they're dancing to a song about her almost 88-year-old great grandmother. Won't Beene Beene be so proud?

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

I got a blog award!

I received this award from Carrie at Life Undivided.

The rules for this award are rather simple. All I have to do is answer the following questions with a single word answer and then pass this along to five bloggers.

(1) Your Cell Phone? iPhone

(2) Your Hair? Straight

(3) Your Mother? Nurturer

(4) Your Father? Outdoors

(5) Your Favorite Food? Mexican

(6) Your Dream Last Night? Sporadic

(7) Your Favorite Drink? Pikes

(8) Your Dream/Goal? Happy

(9) What Room Are You In? Living

(10) Your Hobby? Family

(11) Your Fear? Kidnapping

(12) Where Do You Want To Be In Six Years? Arms (I'm cheating here to explain, Josh's arms.)

(13) Where Were You Last Night? Kitchen

(14) Something That You Aren't? Mathematician

(15) Muffins? Cinnamon

(16) Wish List Item? Nook

(17) Where Did You Grow Up? Clifton

(18) Last Thing You Did? Vitamins

(19) What Are You Wearing? PJs

(20) Your TV? AmericanIdol

(21) Your Pets? Dustbunnies

(22) Friends? Thankfully

(23) Your Life? Lovely

(24) Your Mood? Positive

(25) Missing Someone? Tammy

(26) Vehicle? 4-Runner

(27) Something You Aren't Wearing? Braces!

(28) Your Favorite Store? WilliamsSonoma

(29) Your Favorite Color? Purple

(30) When Was The Last Time You Laughed? Tonight

(31) Last Time You Cried? Hmmm....

(32) Your Best Friend? Josh

(33) One Place You Go To Over And Over Again? Books

(34) Facebook? Yes

(35) Favorite Place To Eat? FunkyArt

To officially claim my award I have to choose 5 blogs to honor as well. I'm picking these five because they encourage and inspire me. I love so many blogs so it was very hard to choose, but here goes:

Joy, Joy in the Journey - This precious lady has worn so many hats in the story of my life. I'm loving our new status that has transcended 'a good friend of my mom's' and become 'a dear friend of mine'. Her strength and transparency through the death of her husband has set a tone for her blog that is unlike any other I've read.

The Broaddus Family - Some of our sweetest forever friends. Though we've only known each other for about three years, we've traveled many miles together. No matter how busy we are I can click over and catch up on Courtney's clever musings and feel like I've just had coffee with a friend. When her blog moves to the top of my recently updated list I get a little giddy.

The Crawford Record - My little Sarah's blog. I have to admit that sometimes I click over and it's like I'm peeking in her door and watching her play house, but not in a creepy way. I love to read her thoughts and see her passions come out in writing. I'm not giving up on her blog, despite the fact that the most "recent" post is titled 'Christmas Directions'. This award is just the blog boost she needs to keep going.

Family of Farmers - Robyn and I are almost sisters-in-law. Our husbands were inseparable best friends since fifth grade. We spend our time together trying to talk over the boys as they relive the glory days. Fortunately, Matt married a girl who is amazingly talented and quirkily (yes that's a word) gifted. She is one of 'those moms' who seeps love for her family from every pore, and that Arabelle is an absolute angel baby. Her big brown eyes alone are worth a click.

The Crow Family - Leah and I are lifelong friends. I love watching her be a mom to her sweet Jack, and look forward to meeting the next baby Crow who is still cooking. Each post is another chapter in the love letter she's constructing for her family. Those red-headed Crow boys have tied her heart in knots. I am charmed every time I visit her blot.

Okay Rayeanne, Courtney, Sarah, Robyn, and Leah to accept your award you have to answer the questions above in a new post on your blog, remember only one-word answers. Then pick five of your favorite blogs to honor with the Over the Top award!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Skating & School

Day 6 of our snow and ice adventure began like this. Have you ever seen such a happy backseat? I know you're jealous that I get to see this in my rear-view mirror every afternoon.

J and JK's mom treated us to a special lunch at Red Robin.

Then we headed to the ice skating rink. It was my first time on ice skates since 8th grade and Ava's first time ever. Surprisingly, the skating skills were still with me. Not surprisingly, Ava was brave and balanced on the ice, only falling a few times.

I love the walker things for little ones, really saves the parent's back.

On Thursday a special Valentines Day package arrived in the mail from Mimi. Mommy was thrilled with the adorable red and pink clothes. Ava was thrilled with the marshmallow cupcake on a stick.

Since I've been out of the classroom since May I have realized that I miss teaching. I think more than anything I miss the aha/light bulb moments in my students. I've always worked with Ava, but this semester I've been more intentional with school time with her. She is so eager to learn, and begs for me to bring out her school box whenever we have a spare moment.

This was her lunch that she colored, cut, and glued all by herself. I only cut out the lunch sack. We talked about the different kinds of healthy foods that she packed in the sack, and what letters began each item.

With all of this snow it was only fitting that we build a paper snowman. We sang Frosty the Snowman as she colored, cut, and glued him on this decorated blue paper. I cut the hat and arms.

It's important to get to know your students. She drew a picture of herself (in her favorite color of course) and told me about it, "Ava's laying down in her bed because she is sleepy. And then suddenly I was crying because I was sad. And now I'm happy. That's all I need."

After coloring the bus and school, Ava selected an orange crayon to help the bus find its way to the destination. As you can tell, she found it with no trouble at all.

Working on her alphabet arch

with great success!

Ava gets personalized lessons and I get to soothe my teaching itch, win-win.

Monday, February 1, 2010


As indicated by my previous post, we were all desperate for some time outside. The problem was that all of my snow clothes are in Texas and Ava has none. Lucky for us the precious family I nanny for had plenty of warm ski clothes to share! With schools closed again today (well, not OU) we all headed out for a day of fun.

Can you believe we had the park all to ourselves?

Dashing through the snow

in a one-horse open sleigh

We found this darling snowman and had to strike a pose.

Teaching Ava sledding basics

Heading down the hill

Loving it

I felt a little guilty having this much fun while Josh was across the street in class.

Beautiful girl

Here we go again

Tuckered out and ready for hot chocolate

As I'm writing this post the weatherman is talking about more winter mix expected Wednesday evening through Friday and another big system on Monday. We've got warm clothes to wear and great snow playmates, I say bring it on!