Monday, January 30, 2012


 snowbaby1Daddy was home Saturday and he and Zane got out to play in the snow a little. I put this little cutie in her snowsuit, but we didn’t stay out long. The wind started blowing pretty hard. Every time a big gust of wind would come, Hollin would act really surprised. She would suck in a big breath and get really wide-eyed. But how cute is this snowsuit???squishy mommy&hollin snowdiggingThis little guy had a great time playing with his new digger that Mama Doot got him for Christmas. He made a few snow angels and threw around some snow.snowangelsnowzThen I snapped a few pics of him inside with his crazy hair, rosy cheeks, big brown eyes, and Polar Express shirt. Every morning he’s been getting himself dressed before he comes downstairs—including picking out his own clothes. It may be 12 degrees outside and the middle of winter, but most days he comes downstairs with shorts and a t-shirt on. When I try to get him to put on pants he says, “These are my pants. They my fav-rit.” Everything is his ‘fav-rit’ right now.cheeseAnd he likes to wear Matt’s boots. Today that resulted in him falling in the kitchen and busting his top lip. It looked bad (why do mouth injuries have to bleed so much??) but I think the final result is just a busted, bruised, puffy upper lip. Poor guy.boots1boots2In other news, it was 45 degrees today in Madison! Everyone keeps telling us that this is the warmest winter ever….I’ll take it! Just hope we don’t pay for it later….

Thursday, January 19, 2012



hollin4go hogs1funny

I’m totally in love with this cute girl and her big brother. I love watching them together. I love that they love each other. I could probably love a third. And if Matt reads this he’ll probably make a urology appointment.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Christmas card/birth announcement combo

 2011Christmascard (2)


We had family pictures taken while we were in Arkansas for Thanksgiving. Thanks to Amy at for the great pictures! I had already planned to have Hollin’s newborn pictures taken while we were there (thinking she would be two weeks old), but these were actually taken on her one month birthday.

3 months old


h3monthsHa-ha-Bear. Princess Poodle Doodle. Bear bear. Whatever you wanna call her, Hollin is the sweetest baby girl ever. She hardly ever cries…only when she’s really hungry or if I’m not around. So she’s really a mama’s girl. Like, “oh, mom went downstairs to zumba and dad’s in charge? WHAAAA!!! I WANT MY MAMA!” It looks a little like this…IMG_4204 And really there’s nothing wrong with her. As soon as I pick her up or even talk to her, she stops. I’m not sure how she knows it’s me, but you better believe that she does. Little stinker.h3months2 She sleeps at least six hours at night. Sometimes seven. She doesn’t cry when she wakes up, just grunts or goos.h3months3She’s wearing size 1 diapers and 0-3 month clothes.h3months5She tried out the bumbo & liked it for a little bit.bumboShe’s got the best big brother. He can always get a smile out of her. Her right tear duct must be opening some because her eye is draining less. Zane says, “Her eye wuhk a little bettuh now?”eyebigbrotherShe’s my little laundry buddy, content to hang out.laundry“Bubbles” is her newest nickname. That’s how I know she’s mad at me. Like, if she’s in the swing and ready to get out, instead of crying or yelling…she starts blowing bubbles. Sometimes her whole shirt will be wet. And she’s got the best cheeks ever.IMG_4318Here’s a picture of Zane at three months. He had some good cheeks, too. :)z3monthI love this sweet girl. Can I just bottle her up and keep this sweetness forever? And then when she’s 13 and gives me that ‘mom-you-just-don’t-understand’ look I can open it up and remember the days when she thought I was pretty great? pretty please?shot_1326744902108

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

my three year old


Zane black & white                                 Newborn baby boy20962_281078331881_675491881_4486356_6482298_n                               One year old168980_10150121747296882_675491881_7805688_5187426_n                              Two years oldzane3                              Three years old!

My three year old. Everyone talks about the ‘terrible twos’. I would label Zane’s past year as the ‘terrific twos’. But I fear that we are seeing a bit of the terrible threes.zaneThis past year I was blessed with the best two year old I know! He finally started talking around 26 months and now he never stops. He seriously sounds like a teenager most of the time. He’s funny and sweet and has a really tender heart. He loves his baby sister. I mean, we really rocked this kid’s world this year and he survived. I think he’s actually going to make it without any permanent damage! We moved him from the only home he’s ever known. Moved him from Arkansas to Wisconsin. He had always stayed with family (mostly our moms) and is now going to an in-home daycare. And then the big one: a sibling. And he handled it all really well. Especially, the sister part. He has NEVER been ugly to her. He just wants to hold her, kiss her, talk to her. When we ask him if she can go home with some else he always says, “Noooooo!”zane1I think I can finally say (without jinxing anything) that he’s officially potty-trained! He’s been in big boy undies exclusively for about two weeks now with no accidents! He has even woken us up a few times at night because he needs to teetee. His biggest hold-up was (I think) a fear of pooping in the potty. Once he got over that (read: bribed with MANY toys), he’s become a pooping machine! And still asks, “What I get for pooping in the potty?”

Just a few things that he currently says/does that I want to remember:

*Matt usually does bath time and every time Matt washes his hair he says, “Noooo, don’t do it!” in a really high-pitched voice.

*When Hollin wakes up he says, “Her taked a pretty good nap?” and talks baby-talk to her, including “hey baby ha-yin, you a pretty sweet guhl”

*Calls Matt “Dada Matt Bell” or “Dada Matt Schnell” and has started calling me “mommy” instead of mama.

*“I make you funny?” means ‘did i make you laugh?’

*He says that we live in ‘Missconsin’. And I think we’ve really confused him in the sports department. He’ll say, “Go Bad-guhs. Pig Sooie.”

*I mentioned the terrible threes….well, he’s started throwing some really big tantrums lately and he does this thing where he growls during the fits. Matt and I say he’s ‘getting his demons out’.

*When we ask him to hug us he does (very briefly) and then says, “I let you neck go now.”

We are so thankful for a healthy, happy, funny, energetic (wild), sweet three year old.z

Thursday, January 5, 2012

i make you funny?



Zane. What.a.character. We thought he would never talk. He showed no real interest in verbal communication (other than crying) until he was about 26 months old. Fast forward to 36 months and the kid never stops talking.

The phrases I hear at least 286 times a day include:

“You wanna pwaaaay wiv me?” He repeats this over and over even when I’m IN THE FLOOR playing with him!

“Mommy, mommy watch this!” Not always followed by something good….

“Help me find my____” (usually it’s Finn McMissle, Holly Shiftwell, or Farmer Jed)

Every morning he asks where ‘Dada Matt Bell’ is. Lately he’s been calling him ‘Dada Matt Schnell’. After I tell him that dad's at work he says, “He always at work. Those people feel better yet?” He knows that Matt goes to work to ‘help sick people feel better’.

He wants ‘baby Hayin’ to lay with him. When she cries he sings, “Baby Hayin, Don’t Cryyyyy!” and talks baby talk to her. “Hi baby sister. It’ll be otay. I wuv you.”

Today she started crying in her swing while I was in the kitchen fixing him ‘a-hah jew’ (apple juice). “Mamaaaaa! Her cwyin! Her STRAIGHT UP cwyin ‘bout her milk!”  I asked him to repeat it and then died out laughing! He said, “Mama, I make you funny?”

And my favorite conversation of late went like this:

Me: You need to wash your hands because they may have germs on them.

Z: I don’t see them germs.

Me: That’s because they’re too small to see.

Z: We need a telescope.

Me: You mean ‘microscope’.

Z: I not mean.

So he wasn’t concerned that I called him a microscope, just that I called him a mean one. And, for the record, I have NO.IDEA. how he knows about telescopes and microscopes.IMG_4140

Wednesday, January 4, 2012


 Zane is Three!yippee

Zane turned three years old on December 27th and had two birthday parties to celebrate!

Zane Bell is kind of known for his boots. He wore them all summer with his shorts. Given the choice, he picks boots every time. When he was dressed like Woody for about two weeks straight back in October, it became apparent that he would be having a ‘Cowboy’ birthday party.familyThe past two years we have had the party at our house in Little Rock and invited our families to drive up from Hampton and down from Conway. Although having a birthday two days after Christmas makes planning a party a little difficult, it also has it’s benefits. Ok, just one benefit that I can think of, and that is that we were already in Arkansas!

We had the first party in Conway on Dec 23rd. We had hot dogs, chips & dip, baked beans, and cupcakes. DeeDee & I handmade the cute cupcake toppers. Yeah, right. She found them on etsy.  doggies1doggiescupcakes1cupcakes2I found these cowboy boot ornaments on clearance the day of the party. I think I’ll start Zane his own Christmas tree in his room and use ornaments from his birthday parties. I have monkey ornaments from his first birthday and tractors from his second birthday. bootsTrusty old Butterscotch held a sign welcoming everyone to the party. We also put up pictures of our cute little cowboy, and a pair of DeeDee’s boots from when she was a little girl.butterscotchpicsentryI found these cute candles at HobLob to put in his cupcake. A cowboy hat, sheriff’s badge, and cowboy boot. So, I lit the candles and we sang happy birthday. Apparently the wax had plenty of time to pool in the cowboy boot during our serenade. Result—birthday boy blows out the candles and hot wax splashes back into his face! Birthday party FAIL! Oops. Series of pics…candle1candle2candle3candle4              Trail mix party favors. “Happy Trails”trail,ix1cheesepicnikWe couldn’t let Zane’s actual birthday go by without doing something for him, so we had another party in Hampton! My brother had to work and couldn’t stay for the party, but he made sure that Zane had an AWESOME birthday boot cake! And it didn’t taste like boot at all :) It was delicious! Is this not incredible?!bootcake1Zane saw lit candles and said, “Noooo! I don’t want to!” I held him & promised he wouldn’t get hurt again.candlesagainThe birthday boy and some of his party guests…lindseyHollinrico1z&hunterz&h    When it came time to blow out the candles, Zane said, “NO! I don’t want to!” I had to convince him that they wouldn’t hurt him this time!