Home> Blog Archives

Blog Archives


1/5/2012 Category :General 0

Today is little Miss Emily Grace’s 3rd birthday. And oh is that girl something else. Sweet, determined, independent little spitfire with a temper. She’s equally happy with pink, dolls, princesses, and bows as she is playing with the Batcave, the Scooby Doo gang,and dirt.

I am in no hurry at all to see either of my children grow up any faster than necessary, but I will not be sad to see this particular stage of 2-dom that she’s been in for the last 6 months to go away. She disagrees just to disagree sometimes. For example: We say, “Emily Grace!” She says, “I’m NOT Emily Grace! I’m Emmy!”. We say, “Princess Emmy” she says, “I’m not Princess Emmy! I’m Emily Grace!” Patrick and I console ourselves with the promise that someday she will be a master debater. She’s fickle. I ask her what she wants for breakfast or a snack. She insists on standing on top of the dryer to peer into the cabinets at her choices. She points. I retrieve. I begin to open. She screams. NO! I don’t want that!

But on the other hand, she’s so sweet. So loving. She gives the best hugs. And kisses too. And when someone is hurt she asks if they are ok. She’s helpful. She’s wonderful.


Cake is serious business.

Castle Cake.

For comparison, me on my 3rd birthday. Even though Emily insists it's a picture of her.

Bed Sharing

1/3/2012 Category :General 0

On occasion the kids ask if they can sleep in the same room. They usually want to camp out in their sleeping bags on the floor. We let them try every time they ask, but it never works. The laugh and play and don’t fall asleep so we always end up separating them. In the past few weeks Emily has taken to sneaking into Brenden’s room at nap and bed time. At first she wanted to play so we’d take her back to her room repeatedly. Then one day about a week or so ago she asked to sleep in Brenden’s bed. He thought it was a good idea so I let them try. They were so cute together I really didn’t want to have to break them up but they wouldn’t settle down and I was very close to having to do it. I gave them a final stern warning. Then I went to check on them and found this:

And now it has become a habit. The good news is, I worry less about what Brenden will do when Bailey dog dies and can’t sleep in his room any more. The bad news, now neither of them is going to be able to sleep alone. But it’s so cute!

1st haircut

1/3/2012 Category :General 0

Once when Emily was pretty little I cut some bangs for her to try to keep her little bit of hair out of her eyes. And that’s the only time she ever got a haircut. Until the week before Christmas. She finally got her 1st haircut! We were taking Brenden to get his cut when I noticed her ends were getting a bit shaggy and that she’d never had a cut. So we decided it was high time for that. It was bittersweet for her. She was happy to finally get to sit in the little cars they use as chairs like she’s watched Brenden do so many times, but was less than thrilled with the cutting of her hair. She did pretty well though.




1/3/2012 Category :General 1

December was surprisingly quiet. I had finals and lots of papers that I had procrastinated writing and therefore spent the last two weeks of school writing all at once. The kids were both in the Christmas show at their school. We went to the tree farm and cut our own Christmas tree and we hosted Christmas as our house. But somehow, even in doing that, the month seemed much slower than the previous two.

The kids quickly grew bored of my hunt for the perfect tree and made up their own games. Apparently, I'm picky!

Patrick and I finally agreed on a tree and the kids happily posed for a picture. Mostly happily.

Patrick and the kids decorated the tree this year. The past few years I've picked a theme and then done it by myself. This family tree is much more special. No really, it's special, look at the lean.

We even found time to ride the neighboorhood train, The Holiday Express.

This year Emily was actually excited about the train.

The kids were genuinely thrilled with each and every gift.

Emily was happy to get many of her own versions of toys she steals from Brenden on a regular basis.

Boy, I had a lot to say!

1/2/2012 Category :General 1

6 new blog posts below. 3 more to catch up coming over the next few days.


1/2/2012 Category :General 0

Several months ago in a fit of impulsiveness I ripped Brenden’s carpet out of his bedroom. Every night he has to have his Bailey dog sleep in his room and one night she got very sick on his carpet. We’d tried cleaning it, but the smell just wouldn’t go away. My sensitive nose couldn’t take it anymore so up came the carpet. I don’t think Patrick really believed I was going to do it, but two hours later the carpet was gone. Initially I thought I’d paint the concrete until we could figure out what to put down, but I realized quickly that a cold concrete floor was no place for a little boy to play. We bought some wood laminate from my parents with the idea we’d put that down. But then we got busy and it didn’t happen. So we’ve had a huge stack of flooring in the dining room and a bare ugly floor in Brenden’s room. With plans to host Christmas at our house, we thought it might be a good time to finally take care of the situation.

I should also mention that Brenden is a pack rat. To his sensitive little soul everything is special and must be kept. Over the last few months I’ve taken a lot of efforts to get his room organized:
Magazine files to help control his books
A 3-ring binder and plastic pages to hold all his special papers
A toy box
Lots of purging when he wasn’t looking!

The efforts have helped a lot, but he’s room still looked like this when I went to empty it out for the floor dudes:


But after the floor was done it looked like this:

We did Emily's floor too and the kids loved that they could "ice skate" on their new floors. They didn't want to put anything back in.

I was able to get away with moving the huge train table out to the toy room. It opened a ton of room up:

Much easier to keep clean.

Teacher Conference

1/2/2012 Category :General 1

Brenden is at the same private school he was in last year for preschool. They do 18-month parent’s day out (which Emily was in last year) all the way up to Kindergarten. We love that the class size is small, only 12 kids in Brenden’s class. Also, that they cover all the kindergarten information in the first half and then move to 1st grade curriculum in January.

Brenden has continued to struggle with his writing this year. We feel pretty certain that he would have been right handed but is having to learn to use his left. But then again, I may have mentioned I failed handwriting in elementary school, so it could just be hereditary bad writing! He struggled with it last year but made big strides. With me in school all summer we didn’t continue working on it like we should have though and he slid back. So this year was back to square one and with a new teacher. He has made HUGE improvements, but he struggles to read what he’s written (even though I now can) and he just isn’t confident about it.

Homework began as a huge struggle this year too. He gets a packet of homework to do every Friday and it’s due the next Friday. Usually, that means 2-3 sheets a night. I refuse for to make him do homework on the weekend at this age. For a long time it was hard to get him to sit still and focus for the short time it takes to do his sheets. He pretends not to know the answers and tries to be very silly. But as the year has gone by it’s becoming less of a struggle.

Report cards came home and while all scores were good there was a note from the teacher to schedule a conference. I was a bit worried, but it turned out well. The teacher just wanted to make sure we were all on the same page. She seems to appreciate all the same things we appreciate in him such as his imagination. She reiterated that he is struggling with writing. She mentioned that while he’s warmed up to her and will talk her ear off one on one he doesn’t seem to want to break into any of the groups or talk when called on in front of the class. Last year he had his threesome with his twin best friends and I had noticed he didn’t seem to have that connection with anyone this year and had wondered about that. She says he’s well liked by everyone. She said that everyone loves it when he talks in his monster voice and that they all agree he has the best one.

The teacher was telling us she can’t let him sit facing the computer or the window during table work because he will daydream. No denying he’s Patrick and I’s son!She also has caught him working very hard to pretend to write rather than just doing it.

The main cause of any concern was that she doesn’t want his confidence to hold him back. She mentioned that he’s been hiding his little hand which was a big surprise to me. He never does that around us. It makes me a little sad, but I know it’s something he’s always going to have to deal with. So it’s something we’ll keep working on and make sure we keep taking him to the Hands Down activities.


1/2/2012 Category :General 1

If I thought October was busy it’s only because November hadn’t happened yet. In November I went to conferences two weeks in a row,then the next week attended a Thanksgiving Feast at the kid’s school and went to Vegas.

Conference one was for school. I went with a lot of my classmates that started the program at the same time I did. We have bonded and attending the conference really cemented that. I learned a lot about the field and it was exciting. Conference two was the Texas Conference for Women which I attended with my friend Kelli. She moved to Houston this year and we don’t get to see each other as much so it was nice to get to hang out with her. The conference was really geared toward business women but it was still very inspirational. I got to see the one speaker I’d really been looking forward to and enjoyed others I didn’t even know I would.

The kids have a very cute Thanksgiving Feast at their school. Every class has a different costume that they make as a class. They have their own table cloth laid out on the gym floor. They make the menu and bring the items for the feast as well as make the decorations. I got to go to Brenden’s feast last year and I loved it. This year, Emily got to participate with her class too. And Patrick even gave himself time off to go.

The proud Pilgrim.

Turkey Emmy.

Some of my family got to meet in Las Vegas this year for a very non-traditional Thanksgiving. We’d done this a few years ago and it was really fun. Not something you’d wanna do every year but a nice change. We had a great time again this year, but it sure is different with kids, especially when they are sick.

Vegas Burleson style. No, we don't have 3 iPads. Only 2. Yes, somehow I think that's better.

Watching the dolphins at Siegfried and Roy's Secret Garden.

The kids saw these cats and dogs that move around and bark/meow at the airport when we arrived. They really wanted them but never asked for them. When we were leaving we decided to buy them as a treat. They (the kids, not the animals) were so happy!


1/2/2012 Category :General 0

October was a busy month. We went to Owens Family Farm to pick our pumpkins:

Sitting under a shady tree with their pumpkin picks.

Brenden on top of a hay bale.

We carved pumpkins (that molded quickly):

Working hard to scoop out his pumpkin guts.

Emily works equally hard.

We celebrated my 35 birthday (YIKES). Emily especially enjoyed my birthday cupcakes:

Emily loves sugar!

We took a field trip to the Arboretum with Brenden’s class:

Playing in one of the little houses.

And finally, we trick-or-treated:

No idea what possessed her to strike this pose. But it was cuteness.

Bat Emmy and Bumblebee Brenden.

1st day of school! 1st day of school!

1/1/2012 Category :General 0

Ok, so here’s the truth. I missed the ACTUAL first day of Brenden’s kindergarten experience. I was out of the state. But it was for a very good cause. And I was here for Emily’s first day of preschool so that should count for something! Patrick did an excellent job of getting Brenden ready. He took him for a haircut the day before, got him dressed and to school on time, and even documented everything for me. You can read his account here: http://www.patrickburleson.com/. Below are my pictures of Brenden’s SECOND day and Emily’s first day.

Her backpack straps touch the ground!

Excited about his second day.

The Beach

1/1/2012 Category :General 0

About mid-school year last year Brenden got the idea that he really wanted to go to the beach. He asked about going frequently. With me already in school time was not readily available. We decided to wait until the summer break. We thought of a big elaborate trip to Padre but after deciding to make the drive to see our friends in Denver, we weren’t thrilled with the idea of another very long car trip. We ended up sticking closer to home and going to Galveston and had a great time.

We got a condo right across the street from the beach. The kids saw it as one huge sandbox. Not totally impressed with the ocean. Brenden did work up the nerve to play in the water some despite his fear of being eaten by a shark. After much assurance that the sharks were out much further in the ocean than we’d let him get. He was having a blast splashing and running in the water with Patrick until a wave got him and water went up his nose and in his mouth. He did venture back out though. Emily really did not want to have anything to do with the water. She didn’t even want me to carry her in. We had a really nice, relaxing and casual trip with lots of tv time and cooking in the condo rather than eating out. Brenden has asked frequently if we will go back. And I think the answer is yes!

On the way home we spent some time at Johnson Space Center. The kids loved it! We also got to stop off and see a friend of our’s from high school we hadn’t seen in some time.

He would not take his life jacket off for anything.

Patrick had fun playing in the sand too.

Getting water for their sandcastle.

Brenden enjoying the space center.