Friday, December 25, 2015

Miri shares her slide

This is her second wind on her second birthday. About an hour before this she stumbled like a drunk toddler across the floor to put her grape stems in the trash and her dirty bowl back in the drawer. Then a quick revieving yoghurt stick and she was off to play on her slide yet again. 

Zachary rides again


Miriam got a scoot bike for her birthday! Zachary dusted off his bike and got back in the saddle. Today he spent about 2 hours zooming around an empty parking lot in our unseasonably warm 78F.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Miri turns two!

Miriam's thought bubble: Thank goodness my cupcake is not on fire any more!


Saturday, December 5, 2015

Monday, November 30, 2015


Zachary got in the car at pick up and started saying su·per·a·li·do·cious over and over. I intervened with a do you mean. And then we practiced breaking it down and saying it in parts on the drive home. By the time he was brushing his teeth he got quite fast and I let him watch a video of the song as a treat before bed. In other news, Miriam is asleep. She had an early morning start with surgery finished and ear tubes in by 7:30am.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

"Miriam, where is *the rest* of the poop?"

Yeah, so those were words that were needed in our house today.

The potty training is mostly fine, but every so often rogue post-bath nakedness gets... out of hand.

It was fine. And actually surprisingly funny.

Zachary was, appropriately, deeply disturbed.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Bedtime Bananas

My crazy daughter at bedtime tonight. I like that finally after 15 minutes, she sat down to rest and play. 

Deep in the Valley of "No"

"Miriam, do you want a cheesestick?"
"Do you need the potty?"
"Do you want to read a book?"
"Let's put on your shirt!"
"Time to get in the chariot."
"What's in your hand?"
"Do you want an ice pop?"
"Miriam, bedtime!"
"No mama no mama HAAAAAAALP."

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Musical theatre - Another useful parenting skill.

Miriam has had a few good nights of sleep, and let me tell you that really spoils us. So last night, when she was fussy (we were all fussy, if I'm honest. Even Zachary struggled to get to sleep), we all slept badly, and the morning was shenanigans. Not yelling shenanigans, just forgetting things, not getting it together, out of rhythm. And Miriam was real up in her feelings. No, she didn't want pants. No, she definitely didn't want shoes. No, she was quite happy with her dirty diaper thanks for asking. No, she didn't want her helmet (here is where you know there is trouble, because most days she would sleep in her helmet given half the chance...).

Finally she just looked up at me with the saddest frantic kitten eyes and I scooped her up and sang her a song. I sang about having a snuggle with mommy. I sang about putting on our shoes to keep our toes safe. I sang about putting on our helmets to get into the chariot to go see our friends in the Owl Class. I sang about how much fun school was.

And she gave me a hug, and a kiss, and bounced off to start her day.

Thank you, years of musical theatre, I owe you one.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

The Five Statements

We were chatting at dinner tonight about family, and Miriam being the littlest Collins, and not having any more siblings (Sorry kids, that's a wrap.) And Zachary cackles and goes "So she has to do the five statements forever!"


And after a lengthy pause Mark turned to me and goes "I think he means the four questions."


(ETA - The four questions are sung at passover, usually by the youngest capable child present. They are questions based around "Why is this night different from every other night?" and as far as I can tell were created to torture youngest siblings the world over.)

Friday, August 7, 2015

Base Words

Both of our children occasionally talk in their sleep. I'm not that surprised I suppose, because I've been known to talk in my sleep as well. Z just muttered something, and Mark goes "Oh yeah. Miriam talked in her sleep the other day. I forgot. But she only said one word. I wish I could remember it. It was one of her base words. Like Mama, or Dada, or Purple shoes......"

(She has a pair of purple flip flops. She is deeply enamored with them. We got them for vacation, since everyone else had flip flips and she loves them. She loves them more than anything else. She will mutter "Purple shoes" as her emotional flail when she's exhausted. The relationship with the purple shoes is complicated by the fact that she can not wear them to school, because you have to have closed toe shoes for school. No matter how adamant your toddler is about the flip flops."

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Learning to Swim

We live in Texas. Land of a million degrees, and a similar number of swimming pools. Water safety is a pretty big deal. When we moved to Texas, we started Z in swimming lessons. But he was a little older than Miriam.

Only difference? Miriam is super ultra committed to running into the water. We went to the beach twice this year, and she LOVES IT. At LBI she kept picking her legs up to drift in the waves. Fantastic! And terrifying because she's actually quite big and strong and is quite persistent.

Several times she just ran for the water like nobodies business. WHOOSH. Baby. Plunging towards the Atlantic Ocean.

We finally decided to sign her up for a few lessons this month. There is a place across from our house, and she has been so keen on water it seemed with it for a few times.

And yet.

Yesterday we had our first lesson. She spent the entire time oscillating between saying "ALL DONE", trying to climb out of the pool, and trying to nurse.

I'm assuming several blogs have popped up from parents who wondered what sort of TERRIBLE MOTHER would take their TINY CHILD to swimming lessons to try and DROWN HER since she so OBVIOUSLY hates water.


Proud parenting moments.

Of course, the highlight was at 6am this morning when she bounded out of bed, climbed up to teeter on the edge of the tub, and shouted "SPLISHY SPLASH" until we put water in the sink for her to play with.

Sunday, August 2, 2015


Miriam likes shoes. She likes sparkly shoes, she likes shiny shoes, she likes her purple shoes, but most of all her loves her purple flip-flops.

Unfortunately she has to wear closed toed shoes to daycare.

This was not met with much enthusiasm last Monday! She wanted to wear her favorite purple flip-flops. I had not remembered to hide them on Sunday night!  So after taking them away from her tight hug, I offered each of her other pairs of shoes. She took her grey sandals, and one at a time, flung them like a little league pitcher across the room and under the bed. Angry but adorable, I wooed her with shiny black shoes with black ribbon bows.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Little Feet

The other night, the house was dark expect for Sarah and I brushing our teeth in the bathroom. When we hear a quiet pitter-patter pitter-patter, and then who should appear but Miss Collins. Looking a little bleary eyed and confused about the whole "how did I get here" and "why is it so bright?"

She wasn't upset, just ready to go back bed. This isn't the first time she has gotten up, although it might be the first sneak attack. A few times recently Miriam has started to fuss and by the time one of us gets up to settle her down she is waiting just the other side of the bedroom door. Unfortunately, this can result in a very upset baby, if the door is flung open!

Friday, July 10, 2015

Watercolor Technique

HOW CUTE IS SHE? Pretty cute, if you ask me. She is *SO* focused while she paints her picture. I am always amazed at how serious kids are at this age about preference. It is so important to give her some things to choose, but it also is hysterical and out of hands. This is how we end up doing things like hiding shoes that are too small because otherwise CATASTROPHE. Also, gravity has gotten pretty heavy when she is dissatisfied.

So there you go. She goes to daycare, and they let her do fun things like art, and eating playdough. 

Friday, July 3, 2015

Terrible people who never post anything.

Yeah. That's us. Sorry. Life has been bananas.

The littlest Collins has been cutting these four front fangs forever. For actual ever. I am in no way exaggerating this. Hyperbole has no part. She is REAL ANGRY about it, and we can't fix it because I hear "helping" teeth cut through isn't allowed and it is THE WORST. She is seeing sleep like a hobby she can opt out of, and PS - Not A Hobby. I personally find myself QUITE COMMITTED to a regular practice of sleep that I am not getting. Not cool, baby. Not cool.

She is talking up a storm which is incredibly fun. She can say all sorts of funny things like "Other Side" and "Garbage yay!" and "Nononononon MINE." and "Margaret".... Because that is one of her classmates. She now has a classmate named Zachary so we're hoping that helps. She might have managed "Brother" for Z recently and we'll call that a solid try.

IT IS SUMMER HERE. Although summer is not like any summer we've seen before. It is raining. And thundering. And all over the place. People will probably set off fireworks tomorrow and not even have to worry quite so much about burning down all of Texas. We're calling it a win.

Zachary is touring the summer day camp circuit. Today is his last day of a month at Campfire Nature camp. They've gone on nature walks and learned to weave and stamp leather and played a lot of foursquare. Zachary has decided he's going to be a professional bird watcher.

He may have also asked for a destination birthday in which we went to see beautiful birds. Apparently it is ok if we need to use a plane. Thanks for that, kid.

Miriam & Z have a magnificent time together. Their favorite game is chase (with many variations) - including tackle chase, pillow toss chase, and endless scream chase. Weirdly it rarely ends in tears. Zachary is incredibly mindful, and Miriam can endure a throw pillow right in the face without trauma. Good job team.

OH NO THERE ARE NO PICTURES WITH THIS POST. Sorry. This weekend is the 4th of July. I promise we'll make memories AND pictures over the weekend.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Galveston beach

We had a wonderful weekend trip to Galveston. Miriam and Zachary had an amazing time, and we really enjoyed some relaxation time together. Here is to many more fun weekends ahead.


Cousin Ari and Aunty Debbie visit


Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Bevo Bash 2015

Spot Mr Z. Collins


Miriam likes her shoes. She got several pairs in a huge bag of hand me downs. Her favorites are silver and sparkly. Recently, she has been picking them up, then she walks over and hands them over. Usually, I sit on the floor, and she turns around and backs up into my lap.

Recently she has abandoned busy Dada in favor of her big brother.....



Monday, April 27, 2015

Bowl A Thon Success!!

Together Sarah and I raised a bunch of money, and here I am bowling with Miri.

Little Tired Little Sick

Home - sick but adorable

Miri was sick a few weeks ago. Here she is, just so tired she collapsed back in her ball pit to rest.

around and around

Miri just learned to spin in circles, achievement unlocked!

She is not a fan of instructions. She prefers the stand n wiggle than the sit n spin!

Miriam's words

So Miriam can now recognize a bunch of words and even say a few. But English mastery is not quite there yet.
Some of Miri can say are;
More (with baby signing too, thanks to the other daycare)
Belly button

She knows:
Spin (video coming soon)

Scene. Miri in the tub. Me supervision.
'Hey Sarah, I see what you mean about those spots on her thigh. Must be something she got from daycare.'
Miri reaches up and pokes me in the eye.
'No Miri, not eye. Thigh!'

Saturday, March 28, 2015

a selection of videos from the last month or so

Zachary can cartwheel!

Zachary was mucking around sliding around and trying to donkey kick... AND THEN HE DID A CARTWHEEL. This was about his third or fourth cartwheel. It was fantastic, he was so thrilled. (I was pretty damn impressed)

Thursday, March 26, 2015


Water falls at pedernales falls state park, above. And below, one of twelve 100 million year old dinosaur footprints near Leander.

100 million year old dino footprint #2

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Dad I have a joke

Gone on then....
What sleeps on the day, bites necks, and puts out forest fires?
Er.... I don't.... know.
Smokey the vampire bear

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Pillow Mountain

We were cleaning the couch cushions. The kids liked that just fine....

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Walking, climbing and bouncing!

She won't let anything disturb her, not even four or five families worth of kids running around and causing a warm friday evening ruckus. 

Achievement unlocked!

Pizza as big as her head

enough said...


Tuesday, February 10, 2015

She's walking for real

What ought to be here is a picture at least or a video of her walking.

There is one tiny problem with that.

She's moving really fast. Every picture I've taken lately has been a blur. And by the time I get sorted to take a video she's managed to leave the room, eaten a cat, and crawled into a cabinet.

She thinks this is all marvelous fun.

I'll let you know how I feel about it after I take a nap.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

The amazing spiderman

So tonight I let Z watch the spiderman movie for the first time. He thought it was 'very very incredibly awesome'. So I guess that means or rad a big hit.
But interestingly while eating a snack before bed, he picked up on one of those 'Yeah but what if' moments. At the very end the sneaky green goblin tries to stab spiderman in the back with his hover board but instead in gets himself. It goes down like this, as the green goblin faces off with spiderman, spiderman jumps out the way and the board gets green goblin and then goes through the wall behind him it is going so fast). Zs "but if" was ..... But even if spiderman hadn't jumped out of the way, the board was going so fast it would have gotten spiderman and then nailed the green goblin too.
Nice observation Z.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

100 days of school -

Last monday it was the one hundredth day of school. They did lots of counting to 100, and other 100 related activities including ....
 Zachary's self portrait at 107 years old, and what would he spend $100 on? "Food and an army of robots"!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

We might have a walker on our hands

Doesn't that sound menacing? It is. In fact, it might not matter because it isn't clear she's committed - she hasn't figured out it could be faster yet, so maybe we're safe for a minute.

Anyway, Sunday at the superbowl party one of our friends decided she should probably just help Miriam work it out. And apparently our daughter loves a little encouragement because she was like "Oh, you want me to walk? Like these seven steps where I pause and shimmy my butt? LIKE THIS?"
Too funny.

 Even she probably could have walked in that touchdown.


Friday, January 23, 2015

speech and language

Zachary has been less clear in his speech recently. Hence the amazing double take by Sarah this evening. Sarah thought he said "Daddy can be my sidekick" but actually said "Daddy is psychic" because he knew I knew what he was about to say.

swinging together

on the front porch in 75F winter sunshine! DSC_0385