Thursday, October 27, 2011

Cousin Time, Daddy Time

Cullen has gotten to spend a lot of time with family over the last couple of weeks, and it makes me so happy. It also gives me even more reason to be excited about Cullen's upcoming birthday. He's going to have so much fun playing with his friends!

Cullen, James and I spent Monday and Wednesday evening last week with the Dement and Little families (minus Charly and Jarrod). Friday night, just James and Cullen spent time over there as I was out of town. Cullen is absolutely in love with Lauren, and he really seemed to enjoy watching the twins. They are a year older than Cullen, but the three of them are about the same size, and Cullen really went searching for their attention.
 Just for the record, Cullen is holding a flute (not a beating stick), and he did not hit the girls with it. By the same token, I can't promise that it never crossed his mind. He's really a sweet kid. I swear.

Cullen really enjoyed Stephanie, and Stephanie really seemed to enjoy making Cullen giggle. It's hard to not enjoy something like that. His laughter is so contagious.
The smile on the faces of all three here are so awesome. I love it.

On Friday night, it was James' responsibility to get Cullen's things together before heading to Sugar Land. He needed a milk cup, a Rupert (Cullen's lovey), diapers, and pajamas. I don't know about everything else, but James forgot the diapers. I can't complain. I'm queen of that. I'll remember spare everything and no diapers. Now I just keep a few in my purse for emergencies. Of course, my purse was with me, and I was not with my boys, so Cullen borrowed a pull up from his cousins. I hope the twins didn't mind him running around in pink undies. In true girl fashion, the pink pull up had princesses on it. My understanding is that Cullen kept pointing at the picture and saying, "Mommy!" The boy thinks I'm a princess, and I love it!
This week has been a little tough on my stress levels, but James did something really special earlier this week to buoy my spirits. After years of dancing for the Houston ballet in the Nutcracker, James got us tickets to go see it next month. I've danced in it plenty of times, but I've never seen it, and I am thrilled. I can't wait!

xoxo ashley

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Cupcakes, Family, and More Cupcakes

Cupcakes have been consuming my life and my counters lately. I LOVE making cupcakes. Scooping out individual servings of batter to make sure they're all the same size, icing them, decorating them. It is almost soothing how well it goes. I love the consistency and creativity of baking. I love sharing my baked goods with others.

Friday night, I made 6 dozen cupcakes. 3 dozen for one birthday party, 1 dozen for another birthday, 1 dozen for James' office, and 1 dozen for a dinner we hosted on Sunday.
On Sunday, we had my parents, aunt, and uncle over for dinner. They spent the afternoon with us while we got to catch up, visit, watch football, and eat. It isn't a clear picture, but it was so nice to have these three guys together. I didn't get to have my uncle around until later in life, and we both really cherish our time together. It's so nice to be able to pick up where we left off each time as though no time has passed.
On Monday night, we went to James' aunt and uncle's house to see them and James' cousin and her kids. After Cullen's experience with all five of the Little kids, I can safely say that Cullen is not prepared for siblings. He seemed to enjoy observing more than playing, but he loved his play time with Stephanie. He is a lovable little guy, and I love seeing him spend this time with family.

I can't help but laugh at the below progression in pictures. I had the "brilliant" idea to get a picture of the six cousins together. The Little kids are used to the group photos. Cullen isn't really sure what to do. Lauren wanted to hold onto him for us, but he had other ideas. 
All six kids piled on the couch. Some smiles, some tears.  
Cullen finds an escape route and takes it. 
Cullen remembers that he has a puzzle in his lap while the other kids take pictures.
Look at my puzzle pieces...
Cullen tried to escape the frame on this one, but Peg caught them all with her camera. Granddad pointed out that Cullen is just keeping a respectful distance.
Last night was another four dozen cupcakes. 2 dozen for my office, 1 dozen for James' office, 1 dozen for the Little/Dement family. James had one for breakfast, but he's been my only taster so far. The ones for my office get opened in a couple of hours. I can't wait to see how they go!

xoxo ashley

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Winds Of Change

Cullen is supposed to be "graduating" again next week. I swear he "graduates" every couple of months. It's great for him developmentally. He moves up to the next class at school when his skills develop to a certain level. He is consistently moving up at a rapid pace, and he loves all of his teachers. I don't like it, because it's another reminder that he is growing up a little too fast for my liking.

I don't know of many moms that wish for things to go faster. I would totally judge a parent for saying such a thing. I realize that we haven't exactly hit the teenage years yet, but I can't imagine ever asking for less time ahead of me with my child. Three of Cullen's teachers asked this morning when we were going to have another baby. I'm too busy enjoying the one I have! I'm not saying never, but there's no need to cramp our style just yet.

Cullen is our in-home super hero. He is always climbing onto things, jumping off of things, falling down, and repeating. Last week, Scout helped Cullen fall down the stairs. I felt sure that it might cure him of the jumping habit, but I was way off. With blood pouring from his nose, Cullen stood up, kicked Scout, and yelled, "Bad dog!" Not a tear shed.
Cullen the Couch Jumper

Cullen is in love with cows. He loves to point them out. He loves to moo at them. In an effort to earn my position as favorite parent, I bought Cullen a little plush cow from Chick Fil A. It was his favorite toy for all of five minutes. Then the director of his school gave him a book about trucks. Cow is a little further down the list now.
Smells like nuggets...

Last night, we had our neighborhood girls night. I always love getting together and visiting. Even though we all live so close, we are hard pressed for visits. It's so nice to just catch up and snack. Most of the time we are sharing good news and funny stories, but last night a neighbor shared a story that was so sad for me. She and her husband made the decision to put their house on the market. I know it's the right decision for their family, but it makes me sad.

This weekend, I am making cupcakes for little Hadley's birthday party. I'm thrilled and honored to have the opportunity, and I feel so blessed that Amy trusts me with this one. In the next week, I have 7 dozen cupcakes that will go out. My little business is growing. Thanks for the orders and the prayers! Without them, I might not get to do what I love!

xoxo ashley

Friday, October 7, 2011

100 Posts...

 I follow so many blogs. I love reading about what other people have going on, baking ideas, and craft projects. Of course, I've seen a lot of blogs cross a lot of milestones. I feel like 100 posts should be a pretty good milestone for me. A little pat on the back to me for sticking to the whole blogging thing. Not only have I stuck to it, I have fallen in love with being able to look back at the pictures and know where we've been.

Last week was busy with Scout orders and family time. I started out with some birthday cupcakes (peanut butter chocolate). They were probably the prettiest cupcakes I've made to date.
A girl in my office ordered these precious ones for Race for the Cure.
On Sunday, we took Cullen out to Dewberry Farms to pick out our family pumpkins for the fall and play with the animals. I think Cullen will enjoy Dewberry a lot more a few years from now, but it was still fun to pet all of the animals and feed the goats. He especially loved "riding" the pig statue. 
Cullen and Daddy with our pumpkin family.

We are now heading into the weekend without James, as he'll be spending a weekend with friends to celebrate Royce's bachelor party. I think my weekend will involve naps, pajamas, and not leaving the house.

xoxo ashley