Friday, September 30, 2011

Burritos, tacos and booty's, oh my!

Today I was able to get away for a little bit to spend some much needed time with my BFF. It seems like I don't get to see my friends much anymore so I really appreciate my hubby taking on the kids to let me get out.

Anyhow, I met Amy at Freebirds for lunch. This was our first experience with a Freebirds burrito and it did not disappoint. Very yummy. Also, very big. I'm still in awe and a bit embarrassed that I ate almost all of it. We got caught up, had some laughs, and I got some parenting advice. All in all a very good lunch.

Mike and I tried our hands at making carnitas for dinner tonight. I've never had carnitas so I don't know what they are supposed to taste like, but these tasted good. I will try them again. I got the recipe and idea from a fellow blogger and friend who said that they rocked. And they did. Thanks Suzanne! I was a bit concerned because we don't do much pork around here and I just wasn't sure I was going to like it. Especially because the recipe called for a pork shoulder roast but our little HEB here only carries pork booty roast. I asked the butcher if they had a pork shoulder in back somewhere and she just pointed at the pork booty and told me it was the same thing. Now, look. I'm a Biology major. I know there is, in fact, a difference between a shoulder and a booty. They are pretty far apart on a person's and a pig's body. They have different characteristics. I mean, one you sit on and one you use to lift and carry things. I know if I eat a pan full of brownies the calories are all going to go to my booty and not to my shoulder. So I didn't know if pork booty was going to be as good as pork shoulder. Let me tell you this. Pork booty is good. Especially if you cook it for four hours in some beef broth and chunky tomato salsa. Click here for the recipe.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Today's news

This morning I went to have my annual mammogram. I mention this only because when I got in the room the lady doing the mammogram was all upset that her dimmer light wasn't working. She told me they always dim the lights during this procedure to make their patients feel more comfortable. Of course! It wasn't the fact that she was smushing something that is supposed to be more balloon like down to something more pancake like. I felt uncomfortable because there was no mood lighting.

After my procedure I came home and picked up the family for a fun filled morning of errands. First, we got to watch Mike get his hair cut. Then we went to heaven on earth (Target) and did a little shopping. After a quick stop at Home Depot (but NOT Bed, Bath and Beyond!) we went to Subway to grab some sandwiches for lunch. Ya'll. The guy putting the veggies on the sandwiches was clearly a new employee. He was slower than everyone else and looked very nervous. That I can handle. However, he was also sweating. Profusely. Like, the sweat was beading up on his face and running down his nose. Dripping even. Seriously. I noticed it after he had made my sandwich and he was working on Mike's. I saw this big drop of sweat just hanging from the end of his nose and I was completely horrified. I could not look away. It was like watching a movie scene in slow motion or something. I was thinking how long can a drop of water essentially defy gravity and hang onto the tip of someone's nose?! I caught Mike's eye and nodded towards the guys nose. I think I had a horrified expression on my face. Mike and I could not look away. Now, the guy knew he was sweating and every so often he would turn his head and wipe his face on his sleeve. But this one drip did not make it to the sleeve. I saw it fall. I almost screamed. Mike told me that it hadn't landed on his sandwich and that nothing had landed on my sandwich but that he saw something land on the sandwich of the guy in front of me. Gross. I could be wrong but I don't think that sweat is one of the official dressing choices of Subway sandwich shops.

Now I've got the kids in bed and am waiting for Mike to get home from school. Think I'll go watch some Grey's Anatomy (I'm so ashamed I've gotten sucked back into that show this year!). And try to wipe from my brain all images of sweat soaked sandwiches and really flat pancakes.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Play doh, letters and ice cream

Today we hung out at home all morning except for our daily walk of the dog and stop at the park. It is still really hot out here. It was one of those days where we played a lot of pretend kitchen, play doh, and Jake and I worked on his letters some. The kids behaved well all day and we were going a little stir crazy by the time Emma Mae woke up from her nap.

So, I felt a little treat was in order. I took the kids to this cute little local drug store/ice cream parlor. It's the kind of place with the bar you can sit at and everything. They love going there because they always think they're going to see this lady named Bonnie who was working the first time they were there. For some reason they loved her. I wasn't there that time so I don't know what Bonnie has that no one else has! We've been back twice and had different wait staff both times who were all adorable, but the kids still want to see their Bonnie. They did enjoy their crazy colored ice cream (red/yellow/white) and ended up wearing a lot of it home. Jake, of course, wore his Spiderman costume under his real clothes and was quite a big hit there.

I decided after the ice cream to tempt fate and take my kids to WalMart with me because we were completely out of milk. We looked at all of the Halloween decorations, made a pass by the fish, and managed to get out of WalMart with no one getting in severe trouble. The times, they are a changin'?

Sunday, September 25, 2011

What I'm thinking about

1.) I finally read The Help. I know, I'm a little bit behind the band wagon. It is seriously the best book I've read in a long time. And now I want to get out my favorite book of all time To Kill a Mockingbird and read it again.

2.) I finally taught my son how to make up his bed. I was reading a favorite blog, Christian Mamas Guide about how this mama actually gives her small children chores to do every single day and if they complete those chores they get an allowance. If they don't do all the chores some of the allowance is taken away. I thought it was a great idea. So currently each day Jake is responsible for making his bed, putting away his toys at night and putting his shoes by his bed or in the closet every night. If you only knew how many mornings we've had to do a full house search for Jake's shoes you would understand my need for this chore. If he does everything every day for a week he gets $2. We're on a bit of a budget over here! Then he can save up his money to buy his own toys. Hallelujah.

3.) I was desperately trying to lose five pounds because I made a bet with my brother that whoever lost five pounds the quickest would be entitled to a movie ticket from the loser. Honestly, I lost the weight in a matter of days. However, as soon as I ate breakfast on the day I met my goal I gained back a pound. So I didn't count the win. And since then I have been on a quest to bake any and every chocolate chip recipe I can find. Which is somewhat counterproductive to losing weight. I'm hoping to start back up again before Christmas.

4.) I need serious prayer to just let my child experience his first soccer season without putting undo pressure on him. It's okay that snack time is his favorite part of soccer, right? It's okay that he didn't get around to kicking the ball much, right? It's okay that I want to start doing two a day soccer drills with him, right?

5.) I'm really liking the Pioneer Woman's cooking show. Now, I really want to be her friend. And stay at their lodge for the weekend.

6.) So glad the new TV line up has started for fall. I actually like Coach on Survivor this season. Miracles never cease. I also like the New Girl show. She is quirky and weird and I want to be her friend also. Maybe I should just work on making some more real friends, huh?

7.) At 2:30pm today, September 26th, it was 100 degrees in central Texas. What up with that, Texas?

8.) Does anyone else out there watch Justified? Am I the only person who thinks Raylan Givens is 100% man? Coach Taylor on Friday Night Lights was too, but he got cancelled so I'm left with just Raylan. I realize that three of the things I'm thinking about right now all have to do with fictitious characters. I know I have a problem.

9.) This morning I couldn't find my wedding band or my two diamond rings given to me by my parents. They are all special to me. The two rings my parents gave me have diamonds from my mama's and my grandmother's old rings. They are really the only thing of value I own. I quizzed both kids and got no help. Emma Mae wasn't saying anything and Jake just accused Emma and made up two stories of how she had taken my rings and hidden them either in his closet or down my bathroom sink. He also said she needed to go to jail. I also noticed that our front door was unlocked when I woke up this morning. Mike always locks it when he leaves for work. So I put two and two together and figured out that someone broke into our house in the thirty minutes before I woke up and after Mike left for work, without waking up the big barking dog, and stole my rings while leaving everything else in our house untouched. Turns out what really happened was that Emma Mae stole my rings and hid them in the couch cushions. Imagine.

10.) I got nothin else. Peace out.


Yesterday after Jake's soccer game, Mike's brother brought his two girls over to the house for awhile. Jake and Emma Mae love to see their cousins. I'm always amazed at how quickly all four kids start chasing each other around the house screaming wildly. I know that's what my friends and I do when we get together.

They played so hard for the next five hours. Mike made a delicious spaghetti dinner that everyone ate up at once. And I baked the last of my New York Times chocolate chip cookie dough. Delicious. You should try this recipe. It's one of the best I've made yet. And if you make them don't leave out the sea salt. It's what makes them so addictive.

I also made this awesome chocolate chip skillet cookie the other day. Tastes like a pazookie from BJ's. Awesome. Clearly, I've currently given up on my quest to lose five pounds.

Anyway, here are a couple pictures I took of the cousins with the new camera my fabulous bro-in-law gave me yesterday

Saturday, September 24, 2011


Jake had his first soccer game ever today. We went to Academy on Thursday and bought him a ball and shin guards and socks and soccer shorts. He was all set. We even took him outside and practiced kicking the ball around. He was super excited to play soccer.

I figured he would be really good at this sport just because he is super fast and super agile. He always seems to be a bit more coordinated than other kids his age too. Well. We got to the soccer complex a little bit early because I wanted Jake to get the full practice time before the game started. Of course we wound up at the wrong field. That might not seem like a big deal, but we had already hiked a good ways to get to the field I thought he was playing at. So then we had to hike back and go a little bit further to get to the right place. By then we had pretty much missed out on the pre-game practice.

So basically, he was already tired from all the walking and was thrown into a game he knew nothing about. He handled it really well. He didn't have a clue about what he was doing but he followed the other kids around and had a smile on his face the whole time. The only time he didn't smile was when someone made a goal. Even if it was someone on his team. I could tell he was getting really discouraged because he wasn't making any goals. Looks like we'll have to work on sportsmanship and working as a team around here!

He played the first and third quarters. At the end of the third quarter he came and sat down with me, took his shoes off and said "mom, I'm done." He was so tired! He said he had fun though and he wants to go back next week so that's a plus. However, when I asked him what his favorite part of soccer was he said, with no hesitation, "snack time!"

And yes, he is the shortest one on his team. That jersey looks like a dress on him!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Just Emma

Look at that face. I love that face. Right now that face is the only thing saving this little girl. She is the cutest thing, but she has THE biggest attitude right now. My favorite time with her is right when she wakes up in the morning and she's still all snuggly and cute and telling me she loves me instead of telling me "NO MAMA!" I know a lot of this is frustration on her part. Sometimes I can see the wheels turning in her brain trying to come up with the words she wants to say. I think her brain is just working a lot faster than her mouth is right now. But, that face! Who wouldn't love that face?

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Just Jake

Look at this face. I love this face. Today he told Emma Mae that when he grows up he might be an astronaut and go to the moon. Emma told him that she might miss him if he goes to the moon. So he told her that she could come with him.

I love it when he says "I love you mama." I love it when he says "I just want you mama." I love it when he says "mama, you're so pretty!" We have a pretty cool bond. Cool enough that he felt totally comfortable telling me that "those spiky things on your chin are hurting me mama!" the other night as we were cuddling. Time to get out the tweezers I guess. And time to remember that not everything that comes out of a four year olds mouth will be music to my ears.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Zoos, WalMart and Jail

Today I got a brief, rare glimpse of what the future might be like with Jake and Emma Mae. After our morning walk they asked me to put this big toy car they have out in the backyard for them to play with. So I did and they played together for about two hours. Two hours. That is huge. They didn't cry. They didn't scream. Most importantly, they didn't need me for anything! I actually took a shower all by myself this morning. That is unheard of around here.

I got to worrying a little bit after the first hour because they were being so quiet and not having any arguments. I feared they were up to no good. But really, they had spent that whole time toting stuffed animals outside and setting up their very own zoo. Now how creative and cute is that??

Of course, I had to go and mess things up. I did the unmentionable and took the kids to WalMart with me. I absolutely had to go or we wouldn't have had dinner tonight. Emma Mae realized we were OUT IN PUBLIC and acted accordingly. She lost the privelage of walking through WalMart due to the fact that she was running up and down the aisles so she had to ride in the cart. Which, it seems, is a fate worse than being dipped in honey and rolled around in a fire ant mound. She was out of control.

Later at home, she had another complete melt down when I told her it was naptime. She kept screaming and screaming at me that she WAS NOT TIRED MUMMY!! And then I laid down with her in bed and she passed out for the next two hours. Oh, what a huge party I'm gonna throw when this child turns three.

I did get to have some quality one on one time with the little man today. He learned how to draw a face! This is great for Jake because until very recently he refused to even hold a crayon or pencil. I love these little moments with them when you actually feel like you are contributing to their growth and development and not just sheltering pod people.

On a side note, the two of them had the funniest conversation on our walk today. Jake was telling Emma Mae how he had gotten in trouble with his daddy last night. He told her that he got a thump on the head. And she started laughing and said that was kind of funny. To which he adamantly informed her that it was NOT FUNNY EMMA! And then he told her that their daddy was going to jail for thumping him.

These two crack me up every day. I can't wait to see how they change this year. And I hope their daddy stays out of jail so he can see it too.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Stairway to heaven

Last Saturday I broke my new rule of not taking Emma Mae out in public until she turns three. My mom's side of the family was having a reunion and we decided to go for the day. Mike took the day off of work, we packed up the kids and drove to Concan, Tx on the Frio river.

It took us four hours to make a two and a half hour trip. First of all, my hubby and kids needed to stop at McDonalds to eat when we were a mere fifty miles from our destination where I knew there would be plenty of food to go around. You know a stop at McDonalds with little ones turns into an hour long ordeal of watching them climb and play on the playscapes and refuse to come down when it's time to go. And then I drove past a couple of crucial turns so we had a hard time finding the cabin my parents had rented for the weekend.

But we finally made it and took the kids down to the river which is really more of a pond these days due to the stage 2 drought central Texas is in. And it actually rained while we were there which was a huge blessing. I think most people around here are not so familiar with the rain these days. Mike had fun swinging from the rope swing into the river but the kids were having none of that. They did like seeing fish and tadpoles in the water though. That evening we had a big family dinner and it was nice to see people I hadn't seen since our last reunion.

Now, back to Emma Mae. The cabin we all met up in for dinner was a big two story number. The staircase looked like it had been made for people with a deathwish or perhaps a family of stuntmen. It was kind of steep and it had great big openings under each stair. Like the size opening that a two year old could fall through. So I forbade our two year old from going up those stairs. She wasn't having that either. She was starting to create a scene about those stairs so I told her she could go up once. She barely made it down alive. Someone actually had to help her get down. So I told her no more. She didn't listen. She made a break for those stairs the second I turned my back to her. I hustled after her and told her to come down. She said "NO!" I went up and got her and started carrying her down. You would have thought I was cutting off her leg she screamed so loud! She screamed all the way down the stairs, through the living room and to the bathroom. These relatives of mine had never met Emma Mae before but I'm willing to bet they won't forget her now! And I'm willing to bet that I won't forget my new rule anytime in the near future either.

Friday, September 16, 2011

How about some cheese with that whine?

Today I woke up with one goal. To wear out the children. So this morning we took Brady for a nice long walk and stopped at the park on our way home to play. Then we went home and changed into our swimming suits and headed to the pool for what will probably be our last time this summer. Bummer.

After lunch I read many books to Emma and put her in bed for a long nap. While she was sleeping and Jake was "resting" I was going to clean out our linen closets because I'm sad to say we still seem to have a mouse problem and I found mouse droppings in the closets today. Gross.

(These are no ordinary mice, people. I'm afraid that word may have been sent out in the rodent community that we provide safe harbor for cute little gray field mice. They figure they can come in here to get out of the heat and roam around eating crumbs while we sleep. I think they know we don't use poison and our non-lethal traps are filled with delicious cheese.)

Anyway. Emma Mae did not end up taking a nap. She played for an hour and kept telling me that she couldn't go to sleep. So finally, I let her out of her room even though I knew that meant the closets were not going to get cleaned until after dinner. They have been going non stop ever since. I wish I had half of their energy. I so love it when they play together. Tonight they were running around all over the house and I heard Jake tell Emma "We've got to get some more clues. You be Fred and I'll be Daphne." They were so playing Scooby Doo! I also over heard Jake calling Emma Mae Daphne and she was calling him Freddie so my five seconds of worrying about Jake having gender issues were quickly alleviated.

My favorite quote from the day by far was from Jake. It happened just after bathtime and he was whining about the fact that I made him put away his bath toys before he got out (which I do every single night by the way). I looked him square in the eye and said "Jake, you have got to stop whining. Whining is not acceptable in this house." And he stopped and looked at me and said "You're right mama. We need to throw these whines away!" And that lasted for approximately 20 minutes until Emma Mae head butted him while they were watching Spider Man.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Road trip 2011

I just realized that I'm in the house with both kids napping and Mike's at school. It's almost like being alone!

The kids and I drove to Amarillo last Thursday for the long Labor Day weekend. A drive that would normally take me 9 hours (with no speeding) turned into a 10 1/2 hour drive because of all of the pit stops you have to make for little bladders. We hit every McDonald's with a play scape between here and Amarillo. The kids actually did remarkably well being in the car that long.

It was so nice to spend some time with my parents and my brother but I have to say it was exhausting as well. You know how you imagine taking your kids somewhere and how you feel everyone will be blessed by their presence and you will leave them thinking "we really miss those kids. they are so darn cute!?" Well, I'm afraid that might not have happened this trip.

Emma Mae has hit the terrible two's with a vengeance. If I had a dollar for every time she has looked at me since March 12th and said something like "NO! I don't want to" I could fund a much needed long weekend away all by myself. It is really embarrassing when she acts like this in front of other people. Because I don't feel comfortable spanking or marching her to time out multiple times in front of others. So instead I find myself arguing or trying to reason with a very unreasonable two year old. It is pointless.

Poor Jake got sick while we were there so he was a little more emotional than usual. A more emotional than usual Jake is kind of like a teenage girl being denied her rights to the telephone and chocolate. Yikes.

Anyway, we did all manage to make it out to the Amarillo zoo one day with no major incidents occurring. The kids had fun and Jake asked me on our way back home if MeMaw and PePaw could come live with us. I said "sure! just as soon as Emma Mae turns three."

Speaking of the trip home. We stopped in Sweetwater for lunch at Schlotsky's. The kids were both asleep but I had to get gas and we needed to eat or else we wouldn't be able to stop for another couple hours at the next McDonald's. So, I committed the ultimate sin. The biggest mistake any parent can make. I woke up the children. It did not go well. Remember, Jake was sick. He did not want to get out of the car. He cried. And he cried. And then he tried crying. I walked into Schlotsky's carrying him on one hip and sort of dangling Emma Mae off the other hip because we all know two year old feet cannot walk by themselves.

We headed straight for the bathrooms. This particular Schlotsky's location is always very busy. There was a line for the bathroom about six people deep. Now I don't know about you, but if I witnessed a poor, tired mama carrying two kids who are old enough to walk on their own accord and heard the larger child sobbing loudly that he didn't feel good, I might offer her my place in the bathroom line. But let's just say that didn't happen. We waited there about ten minutes with everyone looking at me like "why can't you make that child stop screaming?" Finally we made it into the bathroom and I was able to look Jake in the eye and say "you need to learn some deep breathing techniques child. Breathe in slowly through your nose and out slowly through your mouth." After about three times, it totally worked. He calmed down enough to stop crying and do his business. Then we actually had the most enjoyable lunch together with the children laughing and having the cutest conversations. And now I'm thinking I will sign us all up for some yoga classes because I think we are all high stress individuals who need to learn ways to calm ourselves down.

Wow, this is long. Anyhow, we made it home safely and only had to drive by one of the fires burning in the state of Texas. And now I think I will keep us all at home until March 12th 2012 when Emma Mae turns three.