Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

I don't want to say that Emma Mae was being a pill at the pumpkin patch, but Emma Mae was being a pill at the pumpkin patch.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Road Trip-continued.

Okay, so my back is really hurting me this week which is why I couldn't sit and type one huge post about our anniversary. I'm a 40 year old with a 30 year old spirit trapped inside an 80 year old body. Seriously, I'm walking hunched over. Ridiculous.

Anyhow, after we got our ocean fix on Friday we headed out for dinner and a movie. Mike's friend had told him about a nearby restaurant called The Ragin' Cajun. After driving around Port Aransas for awhile and stopping for directions twice, we finally found out where it was and that it was actually called the The Crazy Cajun. Mike's food was super good. He ordered the big cajun boil of shrimp, crab, sausage, corn and potatoes. My food was only "eh". I ordered shrimp etoufee under the assumption that I knew what that was. Turns out I don't. But Mike shared his food with me and got me a piece of pie for dessert.

After dinner we headed out to an actual movie theater to see an actual movie on an actual big screen. It was great. We saw Red with Bruce Willis. I had never even heard of it but it was the only movie starting at the time we got there. What a fun movie! The next morning we checked out of the hotel and headed up to Corpus Christi to go to the Texas State Aquarium. What a little treasure this place is! There were no crowds. We didn't have to wait in any lines. And we saw dolphins! We can't wait to take the kids back there someday.

Petting a sting ray!

Mike almost got eaten alive by a great white shark. Yikes.

We had a great trip. Thanks to all who made it possible for us to go!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Five Years!

Saturday was our five year wedding anniversary. A couple of months ago I thought I would try to surprise Mike with a get away for just the two of us. So I looked into some hotels and bed and breakfasts in the area and realized that we just don't have the money to get away right now. Besides, his days off from work are Thursday and Friday which means we would have to find someone to come watch the kids for us on a week night and who wants to do that?

But my hubby isn't as easily defeated as I am. He was also looking to surprise me with a little get away. But he actually took Saturday off of work so we could go on a Friday night and arranged for my sister and niece to come watch the kids for us. Woo-hoo! He also saved some of his birthday money to fund the trip. Isn't that sweet? And his sweet daddy bought us a hotel room on Padre Island for the night.

We were very excited to get away. We haven't been on a "vacation" since Jake was born. Furthermore, we are both ocean people. And neither one of us had seen the beach since we left Cali four and a half years ago. So when my sister told us she was taking Friday off of work so we could have more time away, we were thrilled! We love the kids. But, we were in serious need of some adult time.

Mike busted out my anniversary gift as soon as I got in the car. I was so happy! Look! Rick Springfield's autobiography. My hubby knows me well. I did not know Rick as well as I thought. He has led quite the life of a rock star. I got Mike the Iron Man Two movie. He was dying to have it. So much for the traditional gift of wood for your five year mark.

We made it to the beach around 2:30 on Friday and checked into our hotel. Here we are with the dolphins in the lobby.

We made it out to the beach with enough sunlight to spare for a couple hours. Unfortunately, there was also a LOT of wind. It was windy with an extra side of wind. But we were undeterred. We frolicked and played in the very choppy waves for quite some time and then went to the pool to dry off in the sun.

Tune in tomorrow for the final installment of road trip one-we finally got away from the kids for a moment!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Poor Em

New tooth coming in leads to this:

Which leads to a little bit of this:

And then some of this:

Which inevitably leads to this:

But only occasionally. I promise. We're not whinos.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

I'll get by with a little help from Rick and Starbucks

Last Tuesday morning I woke up exhausted and grumpy. The night before I had been up with Emma cleaning up all sorts of unmentionable things while she exorcised the demon virus that had been invading her tummy. I got maybe four hours of sleep. That is unacceptable. So when Jake came strolling into the bedroom around 6:30am I really did NOT want to get out of bed. Like, for the rest of the day.

But, I did. Because for some reason we forgot to order the kind of little kids that are self sufficient. Next time, I'll know better. The kids we have need me to feed them and watch after them and stuff. Anyway, I knew some caffeine was going to be in order to keep me awake until naptime. Just as I was dragging myself to the shower to get ready for my Starbucks run I heard the most amazing thing on TV. Robin Roberts on Good Morning America was telling me that Rick Springfield was in the studio that morning! And he was there to promote his new book! I didn't even know he had a new book! I was just so happy. Suddenly, I was awake and alert and ready to make it through the day. Even his talk of teenage suicide and infidelity couldn't get me down. I just LOVE me some Rick Springfield. Some day I'm gonna get on his Rick Springfield and Friends cruise and then I will be able to die. And you better believe I'll have a pink heart shaped poster with me with his name written on it in black marker.

To sum up, all I need to make it through a day on virtually no sleep is a little Rick fix and a little caffeine fix. Thank you God for both.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Thursday, October 14, 2010

A boy and his whale

Jake loves whales. Specifically, he loves Shamu. He used to be the proud owner of two stuffed shamus that he slept with every night along with Mr. Crab. Then one day we lost both of them. I'm still not sure what happened to Shamu number one, but Shamu number two was left behind at my sister's house after a visit. She brought him back to our house the next time they came over so Jake could be reunited with his favorite cetacean.

But alas, Jake took Shamu over to his friend Leo's house one day and Shamu found a big, black hole to disappear into. We turned the house upside down and Shamu never did turn up. Jake was sad. Very sad. If you know our son, you know he leans towards the theatrical. He often came up to us, head down, feet shuffling ever so slowly lamenting that he was sad because Shamu was gone and he was NEVER going to see him again. He even gave up watching Free Willy for awhile because he no longer had his Shamu to reinact the movie with. It was pitiful. We kept telling him we would get him a new Shamu on our next trip to Sea World.

But on Saturday a plain, brown package arrived for Jake in the mail. He was very excited to open it because he doesn't get much mail around here. When he finally got inside of the box he was SO excited! Lo and behold, there was a super duper, new, bigger than ever Shamu inside! My dad knew how heartbroken Jake was about losing Shamu and found him another one. The tag on it says it's from Sea World even. Jake and Orca have been inseparable ever since.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Under Siege

I interrupt the previously scheduled post for today entitled "A boy and his whale" to bring you this developing story.

We are under siege. Emma Mae brought home a stomach bug from Mother's Day Out last Wednesday that has taken on a life of its own. When I picked her up from class Wednesday her teachers informed me that all of the little ones had pooped excessively that day and one poor thing had thrown up. Well, I brought Emma home and she seemed fine for the rest of the day. On Thursday she had diarrhea. I hate that word. On Friday morning she had the aforementioned word accompanied by a one time throw up. Saturday and Sunday were the same. Unnatural amount of liquid poop with a one time morning puke. After she threw up each morning she felt fine. Played, laughed, ate.

Monday morning same thing. So, I took her to the doctor. He said not to worry unless she continued to have symptons by Friday. He also said it wasn't weird that she was only throwing up once a day, in the morning. He advised me to give her bland foods and Pedialyte to help plug things up. Emma doesn't really do bland foods. She prefers strawberries, avocado and dairy products. Friends, you don't want to see too many chunks of strawberry coming out of a person's tummy.

I counted ourselves lucky that the puke was a once a day thing. So, then of course it became a twice a day thing today. Still, not so bad. I was used to the smell and could get her and her bedding cleaned up with not too many problems.

Then, things got worse. I heard her gagging in her room Monday night around 11pm. I got out of bed quietly trying to let Mike sleep. He has to wake up at the ungodly hour of 4:35am to go to work. We had already been kept awake by the three year old coming into our room twice between 10 and 11pm. He needed to pee. Instead of going in his bathroom which is located approximately five feet away from his bedroom door, he likes to navigate dark hallways to come use our bathroom. He actually made a pit stop in his bathroom to turn off the light we left on and then told us he couldn't go in there because it was too dark.

Anyway, Emma. Gagging. I walked into her room fully expecting to be greeted by one smell but got something entirely different. Friends, the smell was caustic. I knew we were clearly dealing with a poop malfunction. It was pungent (acutely distressing to the feelings or mind). The smell had its own life force and it was reaching out to strangle me. My eyes watered. The hair in my nose burned. I wanted to puke.

Poor baby Emma was beside herself screaming "MUMMY! MUMMY!" I picked her up out of her crib. (Remind me to tell you about my bad back later.) I undressed her and took her to the playroom to clean her up and put on a new diaper. She started screaming for her daddy at this point. When a girl screams for her daddy it is serious business. Still, I wanted to let him sleep. I had her on her back cleaning her up when she started to gag some more. I figured she was about to throw up so I turned her on her side. Friends, she did not need to throw up. She needed to projectile poop on her mommy. For those of you without kids, it is impossible to get out of the way of projectile poop or PJP's. I had it all over my legs. I started screaming for her daddy. He woke up and came in the room saying "something smells!" I said "yes, it's poop. And she just pooped all over me." Okay, I may have used a more colorful noun than poop at this point. I really don't remember. It's all a blur. Anyway, we got her cleaned up and put fresh sheets and blankets on her bed. Mike went back to bed and I cleaned the PJP's out of the carpet in the playroom.

I went back to bed and just could not fall back asleep. First, I kept smelling poop. I feared there might be poop on my person. Second, the smell we endured tonight has seared itself into my brain and I'm afraid I can't get rid of it until I write it all down. So, I apologize for the content of this post. "A boy and his whale" would have been so much nicer for you to read. I can only hope most of you lost interest after the first paragraph and stopped reading so you didn't have to go on this entire journey with me. It's now 12:30am. I'm going back to bed now. I'm going to try to ignore the vague poopy smell that is still lingering. I'm also going to try to ignore the rumbling, crampy feeling in my tummy. Here's hoping that tomorrow is a better smelling day.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Best buds

Saturday night we invited our friends and neighbors, the Kelley's, to come over for pizza and game night. This has become kind of a tradition between our two families. We consider ourselves pretty lucky if we can make it halfway through a game without a meltdown from one of the children or Mike.

I always forget how much the boys love each other until we get together. They literally run to each other, embrace and exclaim "FRIEND JAKE!" "FRIEND AIDEN!" every single time they see each other. It is so cute. In fact, if we meet them at the park or something with a lot of space, they will run at least 100 yards to hug each other. Do you have anyone that is THAT excited to see you ALL the time?

I realized on Saturday that I didn't have any pictures of the two of them together so I made them pose before the Kelley's went home. It was a little forced because they had been together for almost three hours and although they love each other, they are not perfect and neither is their relationship. There had been a few incidents during the evening involving treasured toys and the ability to share. In the end, they are always able to hug and make up. I can't wait to watch their friendship continue in the years to come!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Let's Go Colts! (you too, Cowboys)

Being that Mike used to live in Kansas City he is an avid Kansas City Chiefs fan. He looks forward to football season beginning in February. His Chiefs have been pretty bad the last few years, but this year they are looking really good. He's happy so I'm happy. Let's not get into a conversation about my Cowboys and how every year they're supposed to be so good that it will be their year to go to the Super Bowl and then they choke and don't make it.

Let's just talk about the Chiefs. Because I love my husband I have become a fan of the Chiefs as well. Call it fan by association. Or second hand fan. I don't really care what you call it. The point is that it brings peace and harmony to our lives when we can cheer for each other's teams.

However, there are two cases in which I cannot cheer for the Chiefs. One is if they are playing the Cowboys. Even when the Cowboys are hopeless, I still have to have hope in them. It is better to have loved and lost in football loyalty than never to have loved (and been heartbroken) at all. The other is if the Chiefs are playing the Colts. Let's face it. I love me some Peyton Manning. Even when he plays the Cowboys I secretly wish him a good game. That's devotion.

So, today the inevitable is happening. The Chiefs are playing the Colts. Mike is so cute in his hope that his team will pull off another win and remain undefeated. I am fierce in my loyalty to Peyton and I hope that he crushes the Chiefs beneath all of their tomahawk tomfoolery.

Someone else around here feels the same as me. Look at Minnie Me. She already has good taste in quarterbacks!

She might become quite the little slugger someday if she ever figures out how to hold the bat correctly!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Parenting 101

The last few weeks we've noticed that Jake has gotten exceptionally wild. To the point where we think medication might be in order. I know he's a three year old boy but does this mean he has to be in perpetual motion? And the talking! Oh, the talking. From sun up to sun down.

I had a conversation with another mommy at church last week that made me think about our daily routine. I used to make sure that we were doing some sort of mama/child activity every day. But since Emma has gotten older and more mobile it seems harder to have individual time with the kids. And doing things together seems to always lead to a fight between brother and sister.

Anyway, I started to realize that maybe Jake is getting wilder because he has too much time on his hands. So, I busted out some bowls and pasta the other day and set the kids up in the playroom. I thought they would have fun digging around in the pasta and they could scoop it from bowl to bowl. They didn't really enjoy it. What they did enjoy was busting out the art supplies and gluing the pasta onto their pictures. Amy's mother in law gave us this cute little wooden table and chairs that the kids love sitting at. Aren't they adorable? So, now I'm looking for more little activities to do with them each day. Any suggestions?

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Goodbye Summer, Hello Fall!

I think I can officially declare summer dead in central Texas. The temperatures have gone down to the high 70's in the day and the 50's! (my word!) at night. It. is. awesome. However, the death of summer brings with it the death of our tomato plants. Actually, our tomato plants pretty much gave up at the end of July because they were suffering from prolonged heat stroke. But for awhile we got some of the best tasting, pesticide free tomatoes around. My dad planted approximately 3000 tomato plants in his garden this year so a few weeks ago when they came to visit he restocked our supply of home grown veggies. I ate the last one two days ago. Sigh. It made the best tomato sandwich. Which brings me to the reason for this post.

The tomato sandwich is probably the best tasting, least marketed sandwich in the world. I never see it on the menu at restaurants. Sure you can get a BLT, but just a T? Not so much. So, I thought I would give ya'll the recipe that my daddy handed down to me and which is in fact a secret family recipe. You're welcome.

The first thing you need to do is buy yourself some nice, white bread. I prefer Mrs. Baird's. Yes, it has to be white. Although I did get a whole grain white bread that sounded sort of healthy. Yes, I know white bread is really not healthy. Then you cover each piece in mayo. My dad used Miracle Whip, but I like mayo. Your choice.

Next, slice up your tomato and lay the slices on the bread. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Here's the clincher. Put one or two drops of Tabasco on each tomato slice. Do NOT skip this step. I repeat, do not skip the Tabasco.

Eat your sandwich and delight in the simple goodness of it all.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Weekend goings on

This morning I got the crew dressed and ready and we headed off to Amy's son's birthday party. The weather is gorgeous right now. She had the party at a park near their house and it was so nice just to be outside for awhile without sweating off five pounds of water weight. I actually wore jeans! That's been unheard of for the last five months. I always enjoy seeing her family. My maiden name is Fariss so ever since Ferris Beuller's Day off came out in the eighties, Amy's brothers have called me Beuller. I'm not sure they even know my real name anymore. Anyway, I secretly look forward to seeing them so they can bust out that nick name on me.

"J" is so cute and so big now! Six years old. Jake told me that he felt special being invited to the party. I think he was a little intimidated by the bigger kids there but he did eventually mingle a little bit. They especially liked playing on this big iron wagon in the park. Amy had a big parachute that was also a pretty big hit.

Emma thought it was super fun to go under the parachute. Emma also thought it was super fun to drink from her first juice box.

And she had quite a bit of fun with her chocolate cupcake.

Here's the party crew watching the birthday boy open his presents. I know. My ability to photograph mob scenes is unbelievable! The boy of honor is the cute little blondie in the middle.

Happy Birthday J!