Monday, April 30, 2012

Saturday, April 28, 2012


This morning I took the kids to meet Katha and her boys at an art festival in Austin. She is my hero. I knew that the festival was taking place today but I wasn't about to take the kiddos by myself because, well, it just seems so hard. But Katha never lets feeling like that stop her. So, I put on my big girl pants and we went. And it was so much fun! Home Depot totally rocks. They must have been sponsors of the festival because they had so many things set up for the kids to do. There was a play pit with big foam shapes to build with:
An area to sit down and paint flower pots and then plant a flower in them. The kids could pick out kits to assemble and paint right there also:
They had an area where kids could grab hammers(YIKES!) and nails(REALLY?!) and hammer to their hearts content. Luckily, Jake lost interest in this the first time he whacked my thumb with the hammer. Oddly enough, I also lost interest at that point. But the kids loved this little slide made out of a big black tube and they enjoyed painting all of the wooden structures that were set up.
The big event of the day though was the Biscuit Brothers. We used to watch their show but I wasn't sure the kids would even remember who they were. Jake did. He loved them. Let me tell you, the Biscuit Brothers totally rock. They're fun and silly and entertaining and they were free! In fact, everything was free. What a great day!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Fishing poles and sleeping bags

This morning we loaded up the kids and headed off to the YMCA. We have one month left on our membership and we intend to use it. Mike took the kids swimming while I got in a much needed yoga class. I worked really hard because I fully intend to not split the booty on any more of my pants this year.
(I think something has hijacked my blog because for the last week no matter how many paragraphs I write, when I publish the post it all jumbles up into one huge monologue. The only way to break up paragraphs is to throw in random photos.) After a little quiet time this afternoon we all went over to Cabela's to see if they would make good on a new fishing pole for Jake. Mike's dad buys him a pole every time he comes to visit. It usually takes Jake about five minutes alone with the fishing pole to destroy it. So the last time Marty bought him a pole he also bought the insurance to go with it. Know what? Totally good investment. Cabela's gave us a brand new fishing pole no questions asked. We also bought each one of the kids their very own sleeping bags because we have big news. We're going on our first family camping trip in about three weeks. We're all very excited about it. Mike and I haven't been camping since I was pregnant with Jake. The kids are super excited because their sleeping bags are camo print and they are convinced that no monsters will be able to see them.
I sit here typing this outside on our new wicker bench in the backyard. This has become my favorite place in the house. I really like sitting out here in the mornings with a cup of coffee while I watch the butterflies flit around the flowers and enjoy the hummingbirds zooming through the yard. When did I become this way? I sound like I'm 65.
Speaking of old, my sweet daddy had eye surgery today. Please keep him in your prayers. He has to spend the next 72 hours with his head down. They had to rent a special chair for him and everything. The next three days are going to be pretty weird for him. And I was totally kidding about the old part daddy. I was hoping to make you smile. Assuming you can even read this blog with your head down.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Adventures, healings and mortifications

Last week before my allergies got me down we took the kids to the Austin botanical gardens. Oh my word, they loved it so much! It was a beautiful day and we enjoyed being outside walking over creeks and looking for tadpoles and butterflies. There was a dinosaur along one trail too so Jake was in heaven.
My favorite was this blue and black swallowtail.
The kids keep begging me to take them back to the "big adventure place" now. In other news, Emma Mae was giving me her daily report on her boo boos last night and discovered that one on her knee was gone. She looked at me very seriously and said "mama, someone cancelled my boo boo." If only someone could cancel these winter pounds I've put on then all would be well. Because I have to tell you that I sat down on the floor at work yesterday and heard my pants rip in the booty area. My fat pants. Looks like I'm going to need to put away the Pioneer Woman cookbook and get out my healthy living one.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Cute things

The kids have said so many note worthy things recently and I keep forgetting to write them down. Here's what I can remember. Most disturbingly, Jake came to me a few weeks ago with a dinosaur in one hand and a little toy person in the other. He said he wanted to tell me a story. He said the person was a little boy named Jake who just could not take his mama anymore so he got the dinosaur to crush her until she was dead. Fascinating. I wonder how much a child therapist costs. The cutest conversations I over hear involve who they're going to marry. They have both realized that they can't marry each other and have chosen to marry friends from their class at school. Jake has always had a thing for a cute little girl named Ainsley. Last summer they even wrote to each other over the break. But this year Mae moved into town. She's odd, quirky and adorable. She hugs him when they leave school and I've even seen her take his hand and kiss it. She tells everyone he is the funniest kid in class. None of this moved Jake however. But then Mae told him that she wants to be a scuba diver when she grows up so now he wants to marry her. Goodbye Ainsley. Hello Mae. Oh, and they are going to have four kids. Named Jake, Emma, Tyler and Eater. I feel sorry for Eater already. Emma wants to marry Bryson even though he threw up in school one day. She thinks he's silly and evidently that is the number one requirement in a mate these days.
I also love to hear the kids talk about what they want to be when they grow up. Emma Mae wants to be a kitty cat. Jake told her she needs to grow a tail and some fur in order to do that but she is unphased. She says she's already got hair on her legs so it shouldn't be too hard to become a kitty. Now, Jake usually says he wants to be an animal rescuer. But the other day I heard him say he now wants to tackle alligators for a living. And then yesterday after an intense conversation Jake and Emma both decided to swim with dolphins for their future jobs. My heart soared. And then there are the rockamoly's. That's Em's word for roly poly's. It is the most adorable thing she says. Every time we go for a walk she tells me not to step on any rockamoly's or sometimes it's rockapoly's. Either way it's cute. Love the stage these kids are in when they're not driving me crazy!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

To playscape or not?

When Mike and I decided to go ahead with building this house three years ago, we were very careful about picking out our lot. He wanted a flat driveway and I wanted to be as close to the park as possible. My thinking was that if we were close to the park it would be easy for me to take two small kids in the stroller to play when the weather was nice. Also, I thought it would be nice to be by the park so then we wouldn't have to spend an enormous amount of money on our own playscape for the kids. I'm cheap. Well. I didn't factor into the equation the fact that we can't stay at the park all day long or the fact that our kids have energy to burn all day long. Right now, I still take them to the park almost every morning. But come dinnertime, I need for them to be able to go outside and play so I can get things done in the house. And they can't go to the park by themselves. Do you see the case I'm making here? We need a playscape. Currently, we have nothing of import for the kids to play with in the backyard. Left to their own devices, these are the types of activities I often find them engaged in when playing outside by themselves: 1.) Climbing the fence. 2.) Taking the liberty of opening the gate to go play in the vacant lot beside our house without telling mama. In bare feet. The vacant lot with fire ants, scorpions, snakes and rusty nails. (Our neighbor came over to tell me they were out there. Somewhat embarrassing.) 3.) Taking two of Mike's big heavy duty hammers and trying to hammer nails into our brick pavers. 4.) Getting the weed killer out and squirting everything they could find with it. 5.) I'm still not certain exactly what went on here but Emma came rushing into the house asking me to change her shirt and smelling suspiciously of gasoline. The back of her shirt was drenched. So I'm just gonna say they were dousing each other with gasoline. Anyway, you see my point? They need something out there to play with and focus on instead of using their imaginations. Because their imaginations seem to be very, very dangerous. I've been looking for free or cheap playscapes on craigslist. Me and about 1000 of my closest friends. It seems like they are claimed as soon as someone puts up the ad. So really, I just want validation that it's okay to spend $400 on a playscape right now. Right? For the good of the children? For their safety and well being? For my sanity? Thoughts?

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

It's been awhile!

Oh, it's been so long since I did anything on this blog I don't know where to start. I think a list would be appropriate.

1.) Last Friday Mike and I took Jake up to the school he will be attending next year to sign him up for Kindergarden. How did this happen already?? He was so excited to go and did really well talking to the teacher who did his assessment. She said that he is "primed and ready" for school. The only thing she suggested we work on is writing with lower case letters although I think writing everything in capitals brings a certain EXCITEMENT to your work. Jake can't wait to start school and ride the bus. He is a little concerned about the school mascot though. It seems he's scared of eagles. We'll have to work on that seeing as how he'll be a screaming eagle for the next six years.

2.) Speaking of Jake, I finally taught him how to blow his nose about two weeks ago. Until then, if you handed him a tissue and told him to blow he would suck up instead. Well. He was sitting on the couch one day and I was in the bathroom when I hear him yell "MAMA! I need you." So I go to him and he tells me that something is in his nose. Upon further questioning, I discovered that he had indeed shoved an air soft gun b.b. up each nostril. One had fallen out on its own. One was still stuck up there. So I told him he could either blow it out or we could go visit the good doctors at urgent care and have it surgically removed. Magically, he was able to focus on my directions for blowing this time and he took care of the problem himself.

3.) Last weekend I got to go on a much needed girls weekend with my friends Sharon and Eva to Dallas. Cheryl brought Katie over to our house to spend the weekend so she could take care of the kids while Mike was at work. I experienced 48 hours of kid free time and was able to relax, shop, eat, eat and eat for the first time in a very long time. God bless Ann Taylor Loft outlet stores and time spent with girls who make you laugh! I really needed the break, but I was so ready to get back home to my little family. Emma Mae rewarded me with a 30 minute tantrum because I told her she had to wear shoes to the park. She did not WANT to wear shoes and, in fact, she then lost control of her legs and lost the ability to walk or even stand up on her own two feet. She told me all she could do was roll. But instead of thinking about maybe pouring myself a glass of wine I just went back in my head to Dallas and was able to ride out the wave of Emma's temper. Rock and roll.

4.) My sweet hubby spent the weekend doing some yard improvements. He stained the fence and built a pretty little box for our new vines to live in. I love him!

5.) I guess there is no five. I felt like I had a lot to say, but I think that's it. Peace out!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Easter Sunday

Sunday morning we got up and I made breakfast for Mike before he had to go to work while the kids searched through their Easter baskets. I love how excited they get about these things. Jake was beside himself with joy over the angry bird the Easter Bunny left him. I got the kids dressed up in their Easter clothes and went to church at my friend Leslie's church. The service was nice and it was nicer still to sit by a friend on Easter.

We came home and the kids asked me approximately every three minutes if they could have a piece of candy. I made a brisket for dinner along with PW's brie stuffed mushrooms (yum!) and some pineapple/coconut cupcakes because we are really short on junk food around here. After dinner, Mike hid eggs in the backyard and the kids went on an Easter egg hunt. Again, it was so funny how excited they were over this.

They refuse to act normally when the camera comes out.

Don't mind the black marks on the wall behind Jake. That's what happens when Mike barbecues chicken.

I remember my dad used to take Easter pictures of my siblings and I in front of a tree in our backyard. So I tried to recreate that memory with our kids. Now I'm thinking of giving up taking pictures of Emma Mae. We'll try again later when she's four.

Hope everyone had a happy Easter! I tried to enforce the true meaning of the holiday to the kids. Not sure they got it though. Now, Emma Mae seems to think that Jesus came from an egg. My work is never done.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Texas state mandated picture of offspring in wildflowers

Why oh why is it so hard to get a good picture of both of them together? I think the main reason may be a little three year old named Emma Mae.

There she is. Emma. Enchanting. Endearing. Elusively smiling Emma Mae.

Now this boy Jake. He is a very aggreable boy. Joyful. Jumpy. Jocular. Jacob Michael.

Here she is in her natural state. Sullen. Sulking. Sucky even. (hey, I still love her when she sucks.) I think someone was feeling vewy vewy cwanky here. This was right before she told me she was going home and took off for the car.

God bless Jake. He's keeping me sane. Even if he thinks my booty is the biggest part of my body.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Extreme backyard makeover

I'm having so much fun with our backyard this year. Most of our plants we planted last year have come back bigger and better than before. We've had this old rusted out fire pit sitting on the back porch for three years now. We never use it. Except to hide old toys in. It is a complete eye sore.

So this year I had the brilliant idea to spray paint it and plant some flowers in it. First, I had to take out the children.

I guess I've never spray painted anything before because I made a complete mess of my person. I had black paint all over me. But I think it came out pretty cute. Of course, now I'm seeing all of the flaws with this plan but maybe the flowers will survive for a few weeks.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Rodeo Day

The kids had Rodeo Day at school last week. The pictures their teachers took of them crack me up. It seems Jake was a much happier cowboy than Emma Mae.

Monday, April 2, 2012

The crab

Last Tuesday night Jake went to bed and we discovered that we couldn't find his coveted stuffed crab anywhere. We figured he would turn up the next day so nobody really worried about it. Then we couldn't find him on Wednesday. Or Thursday. The last time I remembered seeing him was Tuesday afternoon while we were outside playing with the neighbors. Jake kept throwing Crabby onto the roof of our Jeep and we kept getting it down for him. I started to fear that he had thrown it up there one last time without someone getting it down. And then maybe we drove to school the next day with crabby on the top of our car and he fell off and was lost forever. Ugh. I actually lost sleep over this Thursday night. Crabby is more than a toy over here. He is a symbol. He is a symbol of love and innocence and everything that is good and warm in the world. Crabby has seen Jake through every single day of his life so far.

I could not imagine life without Crabby. I wanted to put posters with his picture up all over the neighborhood in case someone had picked him up. Mike told me that was a little on the crazy side. He is my reality check. Instead I asked all of our neighbors to be on the look out for Mr. Crab. Then I cried. Then I prayed. Because I don't think the loss of Mr. Crab is too little for God to be concerned with. I also thought I might need some help with letting things go. So I just prayed that Crabby would either show himself by the end of the day Saturday or that I would be okay with him being gone. And that Jake wouldn't be too sad for the loss of his dear friend. And that I would remember that God is with my child every day even if Crabby is not. And while Crab didn't show up on Saturday, I did feel better about things and I slept well Saturday night. Jake and I had a talk about what a good friend he had been and we remembered how silly that crab was. Seriously. We need help around here.

Sunday morning, Jake marched straight over to our piano and said "mama, I'm about to get something very special!" And just then I looked and saw two little blue claws peeking out behind a picture we have sitting there. Lo and behold, there was Crabby! I swear we had turned this house upside down looking for that toy. Jake said "now I remember hiding him there!" Now. I don't know for sure that Mr. Crab was hiding there for five days. He could have been. But I also know that we looked everywhere and I don't see how we missed it there. I also know that I believe in miracles. And I think it is entirely possible that God gave us an Easter miracle this year. And that Mr. Crab was given new life for that boy of mine. I also know that I'm a little crazy so go talk amongst yourselves.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

PW rules at our house right now

Last night we had fried chicken tacos and guacamole courtesy of Pioneer Woman's new cookbook. I don't know why, but there is something funny about watching a little kid eat a taco. Maybe because the taco's are as big as their faces...