Friday, December 31, 2010

Trail of Lights

Ohmygoodness. Tomorrow is the first day of 2011 and I haven't finished documenting 2010. Let the blog posts begin!

A few days before Christmas we met up with our friends, the Kelley's, and took the kids to see the trail of lights here in our small town. It was really good. Jake and Aiden were super excited to ride a school bus over to the trail. The kids even got to see Santa himself and sit on his lap! Emma Mae is in love with Santa Claus. Every time she sees a toy Santa or a picture of Santa she goes crazy pointing her finger and saying her best attempt at "Santa!" So she was in heaven. Jake was just happy to have someone new to talk to. He sat up there on Santa's lap and had quite the conversation. We were happy that he asked Santa for a bicycle since we knew that was what he was getting for Christmas. He asked for a green one, but Santa new better and brought him a red one.

The kids were nice and hopped up on candy canes and lollipops by the time we got home. Tune in tomorrow for a Christmas in Amarillo re-cap. I know! Exciting!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

What do you bake at Christmas?

I've been getting my bake on. Last week I made a batch of Pioneer Woman's cinammon rolls. I've made them several times before and they have always been really good. I'm not sure what happened this time but they just weren't as tasty. I think it may have been the new icing I tried. They were okay. They just weren't the best thing you've ever eaten. I was a little embarrassed because I gave a pan of them to each one of Jake and Emma's teachers for Christmas. Before I realized they weren't that great this time. Oh well. I'll have to make up for it with something really good at the end of the school year.

Yesterday, Jake helped me make some sugar cookies. Then today Amy brought her kids over to help us decorate them. They came out pretty cute!

So now Jake wants to make some gingerbread man cookies. And I'm dying to try my hand at some homemade marshmallows. The mom of one of my kids at school brought me some for Christmas and they were so good! What about you? What will you baking this Christmas?

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Crazy about Trains!

Okay, I have one last thing to say about Jake's birthday and then I will be done. Our "big" gift to him this year was a train table. I got the idea because every time we took him to our local bouncy house to play he always ended up at the train tables playing with Thomas the train instead of bouncing in the bouncy houses. When we gave up our membership at the bouncy house I knew Jake would miss the trains more than anything else.

So, I found an old train table at a garage sale over the summer and bought it for twenty dollars. I figured I could repaint it and make it look nice. We talked Mike's dad into buying the actual train set to go on the table for Jake's birthday. Thank you so much Marty! He loves it. My sweet hubby took over most of the painting duties and got the table looking nice enough to be a birthday gift.

My favorite part of the table is those six storage bins it came with underneath. At the end of the day we can throw all of the kids toys in there and voila! the room is picked up. However, if you don't think each bin has specific toys that go in them then you don't know me very well. It's not a free for all. If I had a label maker each bin would have its own label for those members of my family who can't remember what goes where.

Anyway. We've also been re-doing our playroom. We painted it a nice cheerful yellow color. I wanted everything to be ocean and surf themed. I know! Go figure. I gave Mike some vague descriptions of how I wanted everything to look, ordered some surf board WALLE's and told Mike to go for it. He did such a great job! I love, love, love it. Look at the art wall! I found this idea online and told Mike we needed a board or something to go across the whole wall with clothes pins screwed into it to hang the kids artwork on. He made it happen! So cute and very inexpensive to do.

Now, I would just like two more surfboards hung up above the art wall with Jake and Emma's names painted on them. And new flooring in time. The carpet in there is NASTY and I dream of a hardwood type surface with a big fuzzy rug in the middle of the floor someday.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Froot Loop Mania

My friend Katha has the BEST Christmas tree this year. The decorations are all very kid friendly and she and her boys even made red and green construction paper chains to hang on the tree. It was so cute that I was inspired to make the tree in the kids' playroom a little more "kidlike." So, last week I bought some Froot Loops in an effort to be "crafty" with the kids. I envisioned us sitting on the playroom floor calmly stringing Froot Loops on yarn to drape on the Christmas tree while listening to my Rick Springfield Christmas cd. (Truly, the BEST Christmas cd EVER. Even my hubby thinks so!)

Well. Jake lasted for about ten minutes. But he really did enjoy those ten minutes. Emma didn't even last until we got a string cut for her. She did enjoy sitting at her craft table eating from a pile of hoarded Froot Loops though.

I will say that Mike and I had fun making our Froot Loop strands. We actually got to sit in a room by ourselves and talk for a few minutes by ourselves. I'm not sure where the kids went at that time but eventually they came back and no one was bleeding or crying so it's all good.

Jake's strand actually turned out to be just a cute hanging ornament.

Here's the finished product. Didn't Mike and I do a good job?!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Sea World Again!

The last week has been such a blur. We had Jake's birthday party. My parents came for a short visit for the party. My sister and her crew came over for the day. It seems like we've been celebrating for a month now. Friday night our friends, the Kelley's (FRIEND AIDEN!), came over for dinner. They're vegetarians. So I never know what to cook for them. Luckily, my friend Ivy sent me the new Tricia Yearwood cookbook for Christmas and it happened to have a recipe for black bean lasagna. I was all "Score! Now, we can have the Kelley's over." It turned out pretty good. We all piled into their car after dinner and drove around our neighborhood looking at lights. I felt like it was the first time we got to slow down and enjoy Christmas this year.

Then on Saturday we finished off Jake's birthday lalapalooza with a final trip to Sea World for the year. Our passes expire in January so we wanted to use them one more time. It was just the perfect day. The weather was gorgeous. The crowds were minimal. The Shamu's were breathtaking. I seriously don't know what's wrong with me and the Shamu show. I cry every single time. Jake took his stuffed Shamu with us so he could see his "brothers" performing. I think stuffed Shamu had a good time.

The kids really enjoyed feeding these ducks and flamingos. After taking three not so good pictures I handed the camera over to Mike. Actually Mike demanded I hand the camera over to him. He then informed me that the batteries were dead. So, this is all the documentation I have of our last Sea World trip of 2011. Sigh.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Look who's 4!

Today is Jake's official fourth birthday. It feels like we've been celebrating for a week. I planned on writing a mushy blog post today talking about all of the things he had accomplished this year, but I'm too exhausted to do it. That will come another day. I was also hoping that he would magically awaken today and be out of the terrible three's and into the focused four's. It did not happen.

We started off pretty good. I made him some chocolate chip pancakes for a special birthday breakfast. Note to self. Never make him chocolate chip pancakes. Ever again. Period. I don't know if it was the pancakes or the birthday cake over the weekend or the donut holes they had at school yesterday to celebrate his birthday, but my boy has been a bear today. I think his blood sugar is all out of whack. Because it surely can't be his personality or my awesome parenting skills that are to blame for the meltdown we I mean he had at HEB this morning.

I usually let the kids get a donut at the grocery store when I have to take them with me because they can eat it while I shop and it keeps them busy and happy. Well. Due to the fact that they had both filled up on chocolate chip pancakes a couple hours beforehand I decided they wouldn't get a donut today. Good times ensued.

Jake started crying and throwing a fit immediately. It lasted for the next 30 minutes or so. All the way through HEB with people judging me left and right, through the car ride home and into the house where he was immediately put in his room to await a spanking. Yep. I spanked him on his birthday. Go ahead. Leave me a nasty comment.

He has calmed down now after eating a turkey and cheese sandwich and is resting quietly in the playroom.

Some of you are wondering about the birthday party. I think it was a success. I'll post more about it later but needless to say after he saw his Spiderman cake and his Spiderman balloon Jake channeled his inner Spiderman and took one for the team. It was almost as if Shamu had become dead to him. But at the end of his fabulous Spiderman party he did come to me and tell me that he can not WAIT until next year when he can have a Shamu birthday party. I may get my day in the sun yet.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Dawn of the Birthday Party

Today is the big day. In about nine hours our house will be flooded with small children and their adults. The house is clean. At least it was clean last night when I went to bed. The ginormous Spiderman cake has been ordered and awaits pick up this afternoon. The decorations and party favors have been bought. There is even a pin the Spiderman on the web game. We are ready.

I think. Last night when I asked Jake if he was excited about his birthday party today he said "YES! I CAN'T WAIT TO HAVE MY SHAMU BIRTHDAY PARTY!!" Long pause. Deep breaths. In and out. Then I said, "Um, Jake. You're not having a Shamu party. You are having a Spiderman party. Remember? That's what you said you wanted." Pause for a moment. Then, "BUT I DON'T WANT SPIDERMAN! I WANT SHAMU!" Then some crying, pouting and gnashing of four year old little teeth.

Oh, ya'll. I should have gone with the Shamu dream. I hope he doesn't flip out when he sees the cake he picked out later on today. Depending on his mood, I may put up some pictures of the party this afternoon. Peace out.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Monday, December 6, 2010

Christmas cheer!

We put up all of our Christmas decorations the day before Thanksgiving. The house looks so pretty! I love, love, love this time of year! Really, some white twinkly lights can make just about any place look beautiful. The kids were so excited to help. Of course I had to redo just about everything they did since all of the ornaments they put on were on the bottom branches. Whatever. We had fun. Emma is still having fun taking decorations off of the tree every morning. It's a special little game we play.

This is the entry way to our house. My mama painted the cute little reindeer and sleigh years ago. I love having stuff my parents made in our house.

Our kitchen table. My daddy made the cute hershey kisses Christmas tree. Mike loves, loves, loves putting toothpicks in the kisses every year to decorate it!

The kids have our old Charlie Brown Christmas tree in the playroom to marvel at this year.

Our living room. Most of our decor in the living room is red so the Christmas decorations fit in so nicely! I don't have a picture of him but our elf on the shelf, Elfis, is back up this year. Believe me, he is working hard this year. He has many things to report to Santa.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Shamu Vs. Spiderman

Here's the deal. Jake is turning four on Dec. 14th. We're having a party for him on Dec. 11th. Ever since I pulled off the great dolphin party of '09 last year, he has been talking about wanting to have a Shamu party this year. Actually, he started off wanting a shark party but then changed to Shamu during the summer sometime. And actually, the dolphin party wasn't that great but I did manage to draw a pretty respectable dolphin on his cake.

Anyhoo. There are no stores out there selling Shamu party favors, games or cakes. So last week I started thinking about this Shamu party. I consulted many online sources. I went to the local Party City. I decided I would just do an "ocean theme" party with a spectacular Shamu cake. I came up with ocean related games. I found a picture of the cake I want to make. It is very involved. Basically, I need to mold a Shamu from warm rice crispy treat goo and then cover it with black and white fondant. Fondant is expensive so I found a recipe to make my own. Basically, I had everything planned out but had not brought any of my ideas to real life. I like to wait until the day before something is due to get started on it. Just ask any of my friends who were in high school English with me. But the thing is just because I haven't started it doesn't mean I don't have it all planned out. IN MY HEAD.

Good thing. Because two days ago we were at HEB and Mike took Jake over to the cake decorating part and started flipping through the cake book. Jake saw a picture of a Spiderman cake and now wants to have a Spiderman birthday. Friends, I don't do Spiderman. I have not spent a week mulling over Spiderman. I have not spent a week creating in my mind the perfect Spiderman birthday party. I do not have any ideas for Spiderman games. Pin the web on Spiderman?? I'm just not sure that I can switch gears on this one.

The thing is that Jake seems pretty adamant about it. It's like he thinks his birthday is all about him or something. Doesn't he know the pain I suffered through over 24 hours of labor with him? Ending in a c-section that has left me scarred for life? With weird residual ghost pains? With my blood pressure all out of whack for weeks afterward? Doesn't he know how many diapers I changed? How many times I cleaned up projectile body fluids from his person and mine? Doesn't he know how as a direct result of being his mama I now say things I never thought I would hear myself saying? Things like "yes, boogers are sticky. don't pick your nose." Or "seriously, get your hands out of your pants." Or "we don't jump on furniture." Or the ever famous "can you walk a straight line right now?" after my child ingested rubbing alcohol??? It's like he doesn't even know me.

Here I sit trying to convince myself that I can give up the Shamu dream and create a Spiderman dream instead. It isn't working. Give me Shamu or give me death! (by chocolate). What do ya'll think? Should I continue on with the Shamu thing and blow Jake's socks off with my creativity? Or should I just go buy the Spiderman cake at HEB and let the kids play with silly string out in the backyard?