Sunday, September 20, 2015

I drive all day

We made it through another week. That deserves a high five or a cookie or something. Because that's where I'm living right now. Just trying to make it through the week. The children's activities are slowly killing me. I realize it's my fault that they even have activities so I guess I am slowly killing myself. Between dance, gymnastics, Cub Scouts, Girl Scouts and play dates I feel like their dance cards are pretty full.

Jake is on the men's gymnastics team now. He is a level 4 which is the bottom level but he gets to go to competitions this year. He is only level 4 because we are bad parents that are holding him back. He could do level 5 and maybe even level 6 but those require more money and more gym time so we said "you know Jake, we think level 4 is good enough!." As it is, my parents are supplementing our gymnastics fund and Jake is spending four hours a week in the gym instead of the one hour he did for the last two years.

I used to listen to parents complaining about being chauffeur's to their kids and thought "oh poor you!" You get to drive around all day listening to good music in the car and talking to your kids while you take them from here to there. That sounded wonderful to me! Because before we had kids I used to love to drive, listen to music and hear the cute things that kids said. But now, on my chauffeuring rounds, I deal with people who want to kill us in traffic and I can't hear the music playing because our cute children are either arguing or asking me which Pokemon character I think would win in a battle. I always end up picking the wrong one because I don't know a dad gum thing about Pokemon.

Anyhow, at his last gymnastics class Jake came home with a hurt pinkie toe. Although he didn't tell his dad anything about it on the ride home (yes, Mike did chauffeur duty!) apparently his little toe was severely injured because as soon as he saw me he started complaining/fake crying. So I looked at the toe, couldn't see anything different about it and his other little toe, and told him he was ok and to just get in the shower already and go to bed because the next day was picture day at school and time? It was a wastin'.

And that brings us to the next morning. School picture day. Emma woke up, ate breakfast, put on a dress and brushed her hair and was ready to go. Let's not talk about the fact that her hair was a little crazy because it had been braided the day before and we forgot to wash it that night. At least she got herself ready and was happy with the way she looked. I had already decided I wasn't buying pictures this year so I let go of the "wouldn't it be nice if her hair looked pretty?" thought.

Jake woke up, went to the bathroom and proceeded to cry/scream/wail for the next two minutes until I went in to see what in the name of God was wrong. There was pee everywhere. I asked him what was wrong and he said that going to the bathroom made his little toe hurt. I said a quick prayer to Jesus and commenced mothering. After commenting that I didn't see how a hurt toe could have affected his aim so much, I looked again at the toe. I touched it. I moved it around. Again, it did not seem any different from his other toe. So I gave Jake a quick hug and told him to go ahead and get dressed for picture day and would he mind just putting on a nice shirt with a collar just this one day of the year please.

He came out of his room ten minutes later with the shirt I picked out and some khaki shorts and he looked so cute. Then he started crying. "Mom, this shirt is too big. Look how far it comes down my leg." I told him that his shirt actually fit him nicely. It's just that all of his other shirts were really too small. He wasn't buying it. So I told him to just tuck the shirt in. "Mom! That is just not going to feel good." Tears from Jake. Sigh from mom. So I said "ok Jake, just go pick out a t-shirt that doesn't have any characters on it then." He said he didn't have any. So I went into his closet and came out with a cute green and white striped t-shirt for him to wear. He put it on and came out five minutes later crying more. "What's wrong Jake?" I asked. "This shirt is too big mom. Just like the other one!" Oh, dear Lord. "Jake!" I said. "That shirt fits you just fine and looks really handsome." More tears. "Jake! Why are you crying?" He said "mom, this shirt is making me want to throw up." I said, "Jake, it is physically impossible for a shirt to make a person throw up." He said, "no mom. I'm serious. This shirt is actually making my stomach hurt." I said "is it too tight or something?" He said, "no mom. It's this color green. I don't like it and it is going to make me throw up." I threw up another prayer to Jesus to deliver me from this getting ready for school pictures hell I found myself living in. So I said, "Jake, that shirt is actually doing something really cool right now. Because you see you have your daddy's pretty eyes and when ya'll wear green, your eyes actually get a cool, green ring around them." He said, "wait. Really?" I said, "yes." He said "oh wow! I think you're right!" And then he wore the damn shirt to school hobbling around on his hurt pinkie toe the whole time. And I chauffeured myself to Target all by myself listening to music that I like turned up nice and loud.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Back to school!

Well, we have managed to make it through the first three weeks of school. My cute little bronze skinned, summer sun-kissed children are back to learning! Jake started 3rd grade and Emma started 1st. And I started a new job this year working four days a week at a different church preschool teaching 3 year olds.

We are back to a routine schedule where the kids go to bed by 8:30 and wake up eager and chipper at 6am on Monday and then by Friday I am pulling them out of their beds at 6:40 because they are just so tired. We are all just so tired. This waking up to an alarm every day? Hate it. However, the good thing about school starting up again is that I make the kids take regular baths and practice good personal hygiene. Because, let's face it, in the summer? We just stay dirty. I figure a good rinse in the pool every day counts for something right?

The start of a new school year brings about a lot of excitement too. Who will their teacher be? Which friends will be in their class? And my personal favorite. The buying of the school supplies. I don't actually like spending $75 on the school supplies. But I love spreading out all the crayons, markers, folders and hand sanitizer on the table when we're done shopping and organizing it. I love the smell of new supplies! Weird maybe. But it's just my thing.

Of course, as parents all over this country know, the beginning of the new school year also brings about a slew of paperwork coming home from the school asking you for your money. All of it. Want to be involved in your child's education? Join the PTA! $7.50. And sign up your husband too. $7.50.

Capture the moment your child entered a new grade with one of these school portrait packages. Most popular package? $38. Why can't I just buy one freakin' 8 by 10?

 Help your child become a better reader by ordering from Scholastic Books! (I secretly love this one by the way, but I always end up spending way too much money because books? They are my favorite.) $20.

 Your child needs a new class t-shirt to show their school spirit and so we don't lose them when we go on field trips. $10 a shirt per kid. And they need a new one every. single. year.

Cafeteria money. Now I know this one is optional except that it's really not. My kids take their lunch Monday through Thursday but on Fridays they just absolutely MUST go through the cafeteria line and have cheese pizza. Then they MUST spend an extra dollar to get ice cream. If I do not allow this then I am the meanest mom ever. Friday lunches at school $20 a month per kid.

And finally, the packet I can't wait to receive every year. School Fundraiser! It's so easy to participate! Just ask all of your friends and relatives to buy a tub of $17 cookie dough or how about a Fiesta Soup Trio for $17? We also have $15 lunch totes, a $20 Santa Plug In Warmer or a $15 roll of wrapping paper. What a steal! I know I can't buy wrapping paper at Target for less than that! Who can resist? Everyone. That's who. None of your relatives want to buy this crap. And all of your friends have kids selling the same crap so that is a no go. But if your kid doesn't sell 10 items then they won't get their own piece of duct tape to tape the assistant principal to the wall! And if they don't sell 20 items then they won't get to ride in a limo to Gatti Town with all of the other over achievers for an afternoon of pizza, games and fun! They will be stuck back at school with all of the other under achievers who probably won't go to college or ever move out of their parents house. What's a mama to do? Order stuff you don't need to promote your child's self esteem and hopefully cut down on the cost of therapy in their future. $100 per child. And we're done until Spring when the next fundraiser begins. I can hardly wait.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

My time off

Well, we get our kids back tomorrow. I miss their little faces. Although it has been good to have some down time around here. But honestly, I think I may be talking to myself a little bit too much to be considered normal.

I have not cooked a meal or been to the grocery store since they left on Sunday. And I've only needed to do one load of laundry in the past three days. Unheard of.

I got my car back mostly fixed yesterday. (let's not talk about the weird jerking movement it is doing now). I went straight to Target because I hadn't been there in like five days. I got myself a frappuccino (which was my lunch!) and spent the next two hours looking at every single item in Target. And I even bought all of the kids school supplies so "yay" for me! Then I came home and talked to the dogs for awhile until it was time for my meeting with our PTA president. I volunteered to be in charge of student birthday recognition at the school this year. And I am sure I won't regret that decision one little bit. Then afterwards Mike and I went to eat dinner at our favorite local Tex Mex restaurant here. And it was delicious.

Today I was very self indulgent and had lunch with Amy at the Nordstrom's Bistro. It just seemed like the type of place a woman of leisure would go to for lunch. And it was very good. Then I did something I haven't done in probably eight years. I went to the movies. By myself. That used to be one of my favorite ways to spend a day off. I always liked going during the week in the middle of the afternoon when things weren't too busy. There was just something peaceful about being in a dark room by myself getting lost in a movie. Well. I walked up to the window to buy my ticket and there was a sign in the window telling me to go inside to purchase tickets. Standard procedure on non-busy days. Perfect. So I walked inside and was immediately met by one of the biggest men I have ever seen. Dressed all in black. And he just lumbered over to me and looked at me with one weird crazy eye. It was strange enough that I almost ran out but I really wanted to sit in that air conditioned theater. So I asked him if I could buy a ticket and he said yes. Then a normal sized person sold me a ticket. Then the large man told me he would take my ticket. Then he told me I would be in theater number 11. All the while he was looking at me with that crazy eye and a weird look on his face. And I was like "oh my goodness, he knows where I'm going to be for the next two hours and I'm afraid he is going to come kill me." Because I never over react to life situations at all.

After debating going into a different theater to watch a different movie so the killer outside couldn't find me I decided to be a big girl and just go into theater 11. I went straight back to the third row from the back because that is my row. I was one of four people inside. Perfect. Then just as the movie started two younger girls came in with a large bag of popcorn and some drinks. And they sat right behind me. And they began eating that popcorn and shaking the bag around and driving me crazy. Why would you choose to sit right behind one of 4 other people in a theater? Spread out people! Maybe they were afraid that creepy guy was going to come kill them too so they sat behind me to hide. I don't know. I do know that one of them chose to prop her stinky feet up on the chair in front of her. The one right beside my face.

Anyhow. The movie was good and I somehow managed to block out my unwanted companions and enjoy myself. Now I'm just waiting for Mike to get home so we can go out to dinner again because I am still in a no cooking zone. Until tomorrow. Until I see my cute faces again.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Child Free!

Yesterday I made the hour long drive to my sister's house to drop my kids off with her for a few days. Four days actually. We get them back on Thursday. I was really happy when Cheryl asked if she could take them for a few days this summer. Because although we have had many good days all together this summer, we have also had a few days where I wasn't sure we were all going to live to see the next day. And I just needed a break. Just a little one.

So I left them happy with my sister and began the drive back to Buda. I had visions in my head of stopping to get something to eat and then going home to read. Because that is my idea of fun. Unfortunately, about 20 minutes into the drive home my car started blowing warm, humid air out of the AC instead of nice, cold air. Let me tell you something. You do not want to be driving around in central Texas in the summertime with warm, humid air blowing in your face. So I did what I always do when the car is acting up and called Mike. He told me to pull over and let the car cool down for awhile. Well. Just as I was exiting the interstate the power steering decided to go out too. I think it is super fun to try to steer a big, metal box off the highway with just the sheer force of my muscles. Anyhow. I managed to pull into a KFC and stayed inside people watching while I waited for Mike to get someone to come and cover him at work so he could come out and rescue me. Then we called a tow truck to come pick up the Jeep and that's when I realized that I hadn't left the kids car seats at my sister's house for her to use while they were there. So we drove back to her house to drop them off and ended up getting home around 9:15 last night. Good times.

Hopefully, the car will be fixed and ready to drive tonight. But that still put a bit of a wrench in the plans I had for my free time this week. So instead of waking up and heading out for coffee with a friend this morning and then lunch with a friend this afternoon followed by actual shopping stress free I had to make other plans for my day.

I started off by waking up at 5:30am when Mike left for work and I just could not get back to sleep. So I got up, made my coffee and wandered aimlessly around the house for awhile until Good Morning America came on. Then I took the dogs for a long walk. Then I came home and did some more aimless wandering with a little bit of talking out loud to myself thrown in for good measure. Then I decided to go pick some tomatoes in the garden. While out in the backyard I heard a rustling noise from the corner of our flower bed. That is never good. Turned out to be the neighborhood cat, Edwin or as Emma likes to call him "Eggwin", out there messing around. He climbed over our fence when he realized I had spotted him and that was that. Until five minutes later when I went to the front yard looking for our sprinkler and I saw Edwin out in the middle of the street playing with a rodent. And I mean this was either a very large field mouse or a small rat. So I stood out there watching for a minute and yelled at Edwin to leave the poor thing alone. But of course cats never listen. Then all of a sudden that big mouse looked at me. Straight at me. We made eye contact. And before I knew it, he had made a beeline running toward me like a missile that has locked onto its target. I guess he thought I was going to provide safe harbor. But instead I screamed and ran inside and slammed the front door. Then I spent the next half hour watching out the window as Edwin stalked this creature through our front flower bed. He never did catch it. He finally gave up and left. Says a little something about his character doesn't it? Secretly, I'm glad he didn't kill the rodent of unusual size but I really hope it doesn't decide to live in our flower bed forever. Or our house. I really hope it doesn't get into the house.

Well. After all that excitement I decided to do a little stress cleaning. I wandered through all of the rooms of our house to see which room stressed me out the most. Turned out to be Jake's room. Hands down. When I tell Jake to clean his room I always have to clarify with him what that entails. Every. Single. Time. I tell him make up your bed. He doesn't even sleep under his covers for this very reason so this should be a fairly simple task. Then I tell him put your toys away in the correct boxes and get everything off of your floor. I don't want to see anything on your floor. What I think Jake actually gets out of these conversations is, okay, she doesn't want to SEE anything on the floor so I will shove everything under the bed or my dresser. And I can't remember which toys go in which box even though she has explained it to me over and over so I will just stuff anything that doesn't fit under the bed behind my toys boxes and then cram the boxes on the shelf and then I can go play. The boy is a mess. Here's the proof.

Could someone please buy this child some stuffed animals or super hero action figures? I am not kidding that it took me two solid hours to get this child's room clean. I found approximately 300 Lego pieces under his dresser, rocks of various sizes and colors, a necklace made of dried out macaroni, 5 empty gallon size Ziploc bags labeled with things like Jake's Ninja turtle stuff, 9 paper airplanes because you can never have too many of those, enough dirty socks to explain the odor in that room and I kid you not a toy box that had about a quarter inch of standing vinegar in it. Yes, you read that right. Vinegar. On the loose in a box. I've tried to come up with a scenario in which that should have happened but I have not been able to.

I also threw away (gasp!) a few (boxful of) toys and enough papers to fuel a large campfire. The kid keeps everything. I felt a little bad throwing away all of the bucket list papers his friends gave him last year that said what a neat friend he is but I mean they were a fire hazard. And they had to go. I know I could have spread them all out, taken a picture of them and then had that turned into a framed canvas for him to put on his wall to remember all of that stuff by but does that really sound like me? I didn't think so either. So it's gone. And I feel better and less stressed about the house. Tomorrow I'm thinking about tackling Emma Mae's room and possibly the hall closet. Unless I get my car back in which case I am totally going to meet a friend for coffee and then lunch and then go sit in a nice air conditioned movie theater. All. By. Myself.  

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Spring cleaning

Two days ago I bought a container of Clorox wipes. My purpose for them was to wipe down all of the door knobs and light switches in this house because "ewww" they get nasty over time. Just think of the potential germ warfare being played out on every door knob in the universe right now.

Anyway, you know what happens when you spend two days wiping down doorknobs? You also start wiping down entire doors and door frames because you finally see them up close and personal and realize that your entire family is nothing but a group of filthy pigs. Seriously. I have almost used up my container of wipes and I still have five doors to go.

After all of the wiping I have also come to two conclusions. First, dogs belong outside where God and nature intended for them to live. And possibly little cats too. I have wiped off so much dirt and oil from the lower part of our doors and door frames that I could probably bottle it and sell it. If there was a market for that sort of thing. The front door was such a mess. That's the magic spot around here. Both of our huge dogs like to lay right in front of the door-on the door really. The good thing about that is that it is virtually impossible for someone to break into our house. Even though I'm convinced the dogs would sleep right through an intruder coming inside, I know the intruder would not be able to budge open that door with over 200 lbs of dog resting against it.

Second, little boys belong outside where God and nature intended for them to be. Aside from the front door, the nastiest door in this house belongs to our seven year old Jake. His door frame was black. Possibly from him climbing it to the top of the door. Who knows? Also, there was a lot of what I can only hope was chocolate smeared all over the place. I am rethinking letting the kids keep their Halloween candy in their rooms next year. Gross. Stay tuned next week for a play by play of me cleaning the baseboards. Riveting things coming up in my future.

After all the cleaning house today I was wiped out. So I took the kids to a movie which is a treat around here. It's not every day that we spring for watching a movie in an actual theater. They really wanted to see the "Legends of Oz" movie. So I took them. I really wish I could get back the $23 it cost for the three of us to go there and the hour and a half of my time. I thought it was a really bad movie. But Jake and Emma both liked it so maybe I'm a bad judge. It may have been worth it all just to get out of the house and not hear the kids bickering with each other for a couple hours. We also got Jake a much needed hair cut and then I spent the last of my blow money on Mexican food in an actual restaurant. Yes, two outings in actual places in one day. We're getting brave over here. I just really wanted chips and queso and I really did not want to cook or have to clean anything else up today. Totally worth it. Let's wrap this up with some obligatory kids in the bluebonnets pictures I took a few weeks ago and keep forgetting to post. I'm thinking cleaning up my house today may have also helped to clean out my foggy brain for a little while!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Sweet Berry Farms

For a few weeks now I've had a craving for pie. And I read about a great little restaurant not far from here in Marble Falls that is supposed to have great pie. So I could not get it out of my mind. I could have made my own pie but the pictures of the pie at the Bluebonnet Café just looked too good. I became obsessed. By the pie.

I thought that driving an hour away from home for a piece of pie was a little over the top. So then I decided to plan a whole fun filled family day around this pie. Luckily, there is a cute little farm right near the pie place that just happens to grow strawberries and blackberries in the spring. And they let you come out and pay an enormous amount of money to pick your own berries and take them home.
Did I mention this farm is very close to the pie place?
So I told the hubby and the kiddos that we were going to go pick strawberries because it would be SO MUCH FUN! And then on our way home we could stop and have lunch at the Bluebonnet Café because I heard it was good. Oh, and they have pie there so maybe we could get a piece for dessert. See how I roll?

We set out early in the morning to get there before the masses showed up to pay their enormous amounts of money to pick their own strawberries.

See those boxes? They cost .50 cents. But we can bring em back and reuse them whenever we want. I grabbed a box for Jake to fill, a box for Emma to fill and a box for Mike and I to fill. Then as we turned to head out to the fields I asked the man at the counter about how much it would cost to fill one basket. He said "oh, about $18." So I put mine and Mike's basket back and told the kids to only fill their baskets halfway full. Seriously.
Here is little Emma Mae with her half full box of strawberries that she and Mike worked very hard at collecting. You may notice she is wearing a summer dress on what looks to be a cold day. Let me assure you that she really believes she is Elsa from Frozen and that the cold doesn't bother her anyway. And you know what? She did not complain about the weather one bit so who am I to argue?
Here is Jake holding up one of the three strawberries he managed to pick in our time at the farm. I don't see manual labor in this child's future. He did a whole lot of standing around with his hands in his pockets complaining about the cold and wishing he had worn socks. Kind of reminded me of every single time I ask him to pick up his mess at the house.  Also, he said he didn't know which berries to pick. I was all, "um, the red ones that are all over the place out here?" He was way more interested in getting to the bounce pad we had to pay $2.50 per kid for that allowed them to jump for exactly 8 minutes.

They also enjoyed the four minute train ride we bought them for another $2.50 per kid.
They fed goats. For only .25 cents a kid. That was a steal. These kids love feeding goats. And they got to pet a horse for free.

All in all we had a good day at the farm!
I decided to post this picture so you all would not think for some reason that I have it all together and am one of those precious perfect blogger moms. I look worn out! When I saw my roots in this picture today it took me less than four hours to get out a box of hair color to hide that gray. Goodness! And trust me, if I had a couple thousand dollars lying around that didn't have a purpose I would go straight to the Botox store and fill in those wrinkles. Even though my sweet hubby lies and says he loves them.
Anyhow. We left the farm and headed out to the Bluebonnet in great anticipation of some lunch and pie. I didn't even mind the twenty minute wait in the line out the door to get a table. Mike asked me if I was sure I wanted to wait and I was like, "excuse me, have we met? There is pie inside this place that I must get to." Unfortunately, I ate so much chicken fried steak and Mike had so many ribs that neither one of us could think about eating pie. So we bought some to go. One piece of pecan, one piece of lemon cream and one piece of chocolate cream. I can't believe I didn't take a picture of the pie. It was really good. And totally worth the $33 dollars we spent at the strawberry farm and the $33 dollars we spent on lunch to get it. Oh, we are surely going back in May for blackberry picking!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Back to life

We all start back to school tomorrow. I didn't think I was ready until about 3pm this afternoon when the kiddos started fighting and complaining and whining. I think they need to be back in the classroom and I probably need to be back at work. The only thing that saved us this afternoon was a late play date with Sydney and Lila. The kids all had so much fun jumping on their trampoline and spraying each other with the hose outside.

I think my favorite day of Spring Break this year was Thursday when we discovered a new to us hiking spot. Jake's teacher recommended it and we loved it. The kids didn't complain too much about the hiking parts and they absolutely loved hanging out at the river throwing rocks and trying to catch fish and bugs. We will definitely be going back to McKinney Roughs Nature Park very soon. In fact, I wish we lived closer so I could try to get a job out there. I totally felt back in my element.

Currently my favorite picture of our big yellow dog. Brady is in paradise whenever we find a body of water to play in.

Hank enjoys our hikes as much as the rest of us do. The only difference is that he never gets tired like the rest of us do.  I think he might be a robot.

This is currently my all time favorite picture of Emma Mae Flinn. If she had ringlet curls she would remind me exactly of a little girl I used to know! I love that she has jelly on her face. It is just SO Emma. Also, please note that she can even go hiking in a pretty girly dress. No pants for this little girl thank you.

I was experimenting with water reflections that day.

I'm pretty sure he has that nasty vulture feather in his bedroom somewhere. I'm going to pretend I don't know about it and not think about the possibilities of getting bird flu from a feather.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Emma's big day

Emma Mae turned five years old on Wednesday, March 12th. She looks so big to me now. When did she get tall and lose all of her baby fat?

She decided she wanted to have a Frozen birthday party approximately 30 seconds after watching the movie for the first time. I may have mentioned that we decided to have the party at a local bounce house because I was still so traumatized from the chaos of Jake's last birthday party. Best. Decision. Ever. I didn't have to clean our house before or after the party. I didn't have to come up with any games or entertainment ideas. And best of all I didn't have to worry about the kids being too wild because that is totally expected in a bounce house.

The kids had so much fun and Emma declared it to be the BEST BIRTHDAY EVER!

We started her off with some birthday donuts for breakfast. I mean she was gonna need some energy for all that bouncing later, right?

When we got done with breakfast we gave her the biggest birthday present we could think of. What little girl wouldn't want a huge doll house for her barbies to live in?

Then we braided Emma's hair to make her look a little like Elsa from Frozen.

I also decided not to go through the stress of making a birthday cake this year. Praise God for Costco. I finally managed to procure some tiny little Frozen figures from Amazon to put on top of the cake. Let's not talk about how many tries it took to make the rock candy that we used to build an ice castle on the cake. Ok, let's talk about it. Three tries. And of course I didn't start trying until the morning of the party because that's how I roll. Praise God for Mike. He made the third batch and finally got it to be a bluish green color instead of the mutant ninja turtle green I was getting.

Let's not talk about how many times we had to light the candles for her to blow out. Okay, let's talk about it. Twice. Because the first time the cute little boy beside Emma blew them out for her. You should have seen her face. Bryson is going to have to work extra hard to marry her now.

On the ride home eating their marshmallow snowmen party favors. Why not eat marshmallows after birthday cake?

Mike's dad bought her a pretty new princess bicycle for her birthday. I think she likes it.

My sister and nephew came down after the bounce party to have dinner with us. We went to a Mexican restaurant because I didn't let Emma choose where she wanted to eat. I'm mean like that. Cheryl and Tom brought her an adorable pink CD player with a microphone that she can use to scream, I mean sing, at the top of her lungs. She really likes doing it early in the morning. It's almost as if my sister doesn't like me or something.

All in all I'd say this really was her best birthday ever. The only thing that would have made it better would have been if all of her grandparents could have been here with us. Love you all!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Day 2

We had another fun day today. We took the kids and Jake's friend Leo to the Austin Aquarium for a little while this morning. They had more exhibits this visit and the kids had fun. However, I am still amazed that Emma's favorite thing to do at the Aquarium is to play on the play scape. I mean really. What about looking at all of the cool fish? Touching a sting ray? Feeding a shark? Nope. Little girl likes to slide down a plastic green slide.

Trying to touch stingrays.

Pretty fishies.

In the hurricane machine with wind gusts up to 80 miles per hour. Good thing Emma had underwear on!

Petting a cute wittle snakey.

I think the kiddos all had a good time. We finished the morning off with lunch at Sonic. After a couple hours of resting at home we played with our neighborhood friends and went to the park as well. All in all a good second day of Spring Break. Now let's see if I can get Emma Mae to go to sleep tonight knowing that when she wakes up in the morning she will be 5 years old!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Day 1

Yay for a fun and really stress free first day of spring break. This is what I was hoping for. First, the kids slept until 7am which is almost unheard of around here. Mike was home this morning and we all took the dogs on an hour long walk around the neighborhood. We got back just in time for me to shower and get Emma to her "play date" with her favorite preschool teacher of all time, Ms. Jill.

She was actually smiling way bigger than this until I snapped the picture. Of course. Leave it to me to ruin the moment by trying to capture it on film. Or digital media. Whatever. She had such a great time seeing Frozen with Jill. She was also spoiled with popcorn, lemonade, m&m's, skittles and a kit kat. Awesome. I'm so glad she had a teacher that loved her enough to do that for her. She will always remember this day. She is also talking about Ms. Jill taking both her and Jake to see Mr. Peabody next. Not sure Jill fully knew what she was getting herself into!

After we picked Emma up from her fun I took the kids to a local park to play for awhile. Then we headed over to Target because why not? I purchased my last decoration for the Frozen party on Wednesday. What we have now is just going to have to be good enough. Tomorrow night I get to stay up after the kids go to bed and put together "build your own snowman" party favor bags with marshmallows and pretzel sticks. Good times.

We ended the night with some yummy chicken and dumplings. Finally, a pinterest recipe that tasted good! Then we read and played "don't let the balloon touch the ground or you die" again. All in all a perfect day in my book. The best part? I didn't feel tired or stressed out today which hasn't happened in a very long time. Looking forward to day 2!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Spring Break!

Yay! I don't think I've been this ready for a spring break since I was in college. I am just so looking forward to some time with the kiddos and my hubby and sleeping in and not waking up to an alarm. Can't wait!

We started the break out right yesterday by going to a roller skating birthday party for our friend Sydney. This was the first time for me to take both kids to a skating rink. Jake and I went once when he was little bitty but Emma had never been. They had so much fun! They both want roller skates now. I thought Emma was going to either kill herself or me at first but eventually she got the hang of it and even shook off my help at the end telling me she could do it all by herself. How I come I think this is not the last time I will hear those words come out of my daughter's mouth? And how come music I don't generally like becomes so good at a roller rink? Emma and I were dancing as much as we were skating. So much fun.

Today we hung out at home a lot but managed to have some fun before bedtime with a rousing game of "don't let the balloon touch the ground or you die." If there is one thing we know how to do around here it is have fun with balloons.

We're going to try to have at least one thing to do with the kids every day this week. We'll see how that works out in reality. Tomorrow, Emma Mae is supposed to go see Frozen (for the third time) with her pre-school teacher from last year, Ms. Jill. Emma loves her some Ms. Jill. She is beyond excited. While she's gone I will be busy trying to pull together the last details for her Frozen birthday party on Wednesday. Yes, she will be 5 on Wednesday! Can't believe that. I also can't believe how nearly impossible it has been to find plates, napkins or really any Frozen birthday decorations for this thing. Luckily, Emma was ok with blue plates because they will "look like ice mama!" And I did manage to secure some little tiny Anna, Elsa and Olaf figures that I can put on her birthday cake to Frozen it all up for little girl. This year we are having her party at a bounce house because I am still so stressed out over Jake's birthday party chaos that I don't mind paying good money to invite people somewhere other than our house to celebrate this time.

Now if only I could find her a Frozen dress to wear. Especially since she cleaned out her closet today and brought me every single pair of pants in there and said she wanted to give them to her friend Caitlyn who lives across the street. Because according to Emma she will no longer wear pants. She wants a closet full of dresses from now on and that is final. And I guess Caitlyn still thinks that wearing pants is totally acceptable. I told Emma that I thought we should go ahead and leave her pants in her closet in case she changes her mind in the next year. And she told me that was NOT going to happen. But I slipped them back in there anyway.

Here's hoping for a restful but fun filled Spring Break!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014


We're almost halfway through this semester of school which means I am about to start a long slow descent into going out of my mind. Mike is only home two nights a week and I am running on fumes here. So is Mike. We are exhausted. The kids, however, are not. Weird.

Anyway, last week I told Mike that I just needed a few hours to myself on Friday morning. Jake would be in school and Mike would be home for the morning to watch Emma. I wanted to go shopping for some new clothes. I almost never want to go shopping for new clothes anymore but my closet was begging me for something cute. When I look at the clothes in my closet I am not attached to anything. I don't have any outfits that I just love. I mainly have clothes that either don't make me want to puke or clothes that I think I might look okay in if the lighting is dim.

So I took my leftover Christmas/Birthday money and headed out by myself to do some shopping. I have no idea where to shop these days. I started off at Nordstrom Rack because it seemed like a place a 40 something could go into to buy clothes that don't look like they were made for teenagers at a reasonable price. Well. Let me tell you that I did not understand Nordstrom Rack at all. It was a very confusing place for me to be. I just kept thinking "I wonder where the rack with the cute things is located?" I never found it. I looked at every rack of clothing in that store and didn't find one thing that I thought might not make me want to puke. The prints were weird, maxi dresses abounded and even the clearance rack had shirts for $49. A $49 shirt is not a clearance item my friends. I even saw one dress that looked just like a wet suit. A wet suit. Same material and everything. Who would want to wear that? I mean, maybe if I thought I would be involved in some sort of international spy stuff where I had to leave a fancy restaurant in a hurry and escape by jumping into the ocean to snorkel out of harms way. But that would almost probably never happen. I finally left there with a soy vanilla candle that only cost $2.99.

Then I headed over to my old standby. God bless Old Navy. Look, I know I'm probably too old to shop there and that the quality of their clothing isn't up to par with Macy's or anything. But you know what? I almost always find something I think is cute there and I can almost always afford to buy it. So I walked out with three cute shirts, two pairs of pants and a dress. I spent all of my money and am seriously thinking about going back to get another pair of pants for spring. And now when I look in my closet I see two or three outfits that I think "hey, that's cute!"

In other news, Jake also got a makeover recently. Here he is:

Well, with two practically blind parents I think we all saw glasses in his future. They seem a bit big to me but the helpful staff at the place I took him to told me he would "probably grow into them." Awesome. Odds are good that I will "probably" not give them a good review online later too. Jake loves them though for now even though a Kindergartener at the bus stop this morning told him that he looked like an old man in those glasses. And then a kid in his class told him his eyes look weird and like they are spinning around and around. Wow. Kids are jerks. Jake said everyone else was supportive though so I don't think he let those two kids get him down very much. He also said that as soon as he put them on he "felt very serious." So he thinks the glasses are changing him. Who needs Spider Man when you could be Serious Boy instead? I think this weekend I'll put on a new shirt and new pants and have Jake put on his glasses and we'll go out and conquer the world. At least until someone makes fun of me for wearing age inappropriate clothing and Jake for wearing old man glasses.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Back in the saddle

Ugh. I can't believe how long it has been since I posted anything here. I'm documenting mostly on facebook these days. Way easier to post a picture or a brief quote of the day from one of the kids and be done with it!

However, I was just watching a video I took of Emma Mae and her BFF Lila a few weeks ago while they were playing dress up and singing music from the Frozen soundtrack. I was hoping to post it to the Good Morning America website for a Frozen sing a long contest they are having. Alas, Emma keeps pulling her dress up in the video to show off her underwear. I decided that probably wouldn't be appropriate viewing material for the masses. It might damage her psyche and give her more material to take to her therapist someday. I was actually proud that she at least had on underwear for a change!

Anyway, I came across all of these pictures that I haven't posted or documented or told stories about. What if the children can't piece together every day of their childhood later on because I got lazy? So here is some of what we have been up to for the last few weeks.

Emma Mae decided to hide in the hall closet. Don't ask me why. I haven't a clue.

Not sure what prompted this moment of sweetness but I mean really. Aren't they adorable?

Amy moved into a new house that is gorgeous and inside they had the kind of coat rack I've been envisioning for our entryway. So I showed Mike a picture of it and he made me one! Isn't it great? Now they hang up their stuff instead of throwing it on the floor when they walk in from school!

We had fun with our neighborhood BFF's one of whom may or may not be Em's future husband.

I mean really. Does anybody else physically ache inside at the beauty of your child? Just me, right? I know I have issues.

Did I mention that we got a new dog? Meet Hank. He's a rescue dog. I think it's supposed to be cool to say you got a rescue dog or something. He's a good boy. Except that he killed my hamster. I keep telling myself that it was an accident though. I tell myself that over and over and over again.

I turned 44. It didn't hurt that much. Although this picture suggests otherwise.

It snowed in central Texas. More like it iced over in central Texas. We had school cancelled on two separate days. Unheard of!

Did I mention we got a new dog? He is NOT supposed to be on the couch. And also, he is NOT supposed to eat hamsters.

We went for another family hike at McKinney Falls State Park. I wanted a family picture. This is what they gave me. I feel like someone is missing in this one. I can't quite put my finger on it.

Oh, yeah. Me and Brady. I had to ask a stranger to take a picture of all of us. No one else seemed to care. Whatever. Leave out the mama and the old fat dog. We don't care. In a few years we might not be around to be a part of the picture anyways. It's all good.