Friday, February 28, 2014

Dr. Seuss, Rubbermaid Bins and Deep Questions

With nothing particularly interesting to write about, you get my brain verbiage instead. Sorry not sorry.

  • This week at school, the kids celebrated Dr. Seuss' birthday.  I didn't realize this until Monday, and didn't feel like throwing together a costume for Andrew in time for his Wednesday class.  Luckily his beyond awesome teacher took care of things, and dressed up the kids like mini "Cat in the Hats".  Look at this child.  Seriously, I could eat him up.

He kept pointing to his face and saying "Harris" (the last name of one of his teachers).  He was very proud of the whiskers.  Today Madeline dressed up like Cindy Lou Who from The Grinch.  I knew a key part of this was the hair, and since my child is quite OCD about things in her hair, we needed a trial run.  Last night I put her hair in 3 braids and she loved it.  She wouldn't let me pin them on top of her head, but that's ok.  I'll take what I can get.  As I was fixing her hair this morning and she was grinning ear to ear, I had a deep mental conversation with myself/ parenting realization (no laughing).  This was the child who ripped headbands out of her hair at 6 months old.  She wouldn't let me use a hair tie until she was almost three, and therefore suffered from what I called "homeless hair" for almost two years.  I almost cried the first time she let me put pigtails in her hair (a year ago).  The Cindy Lou braids reminded me that everything is a season.  Children grow up, and will move through one phase for another.  Thank you, Dr. Seuss.

  • Daylight Savings Time - Let me preface this by saying my kids are wonderful sleepers at home, meaning they both sleep through the night and take good naps unless they aren't feeling well.  I feel very blessed, because I know this is a major struggle for some families.  Now for the complaining: Until I had kids, I LOVED "fall back."   Now with kids, I CANNOT WAIT for "spring forward."  Little man has decided that 5:45 am is his new wake up time, and this is not ok.  He has been extra cranky the last few weeks because of it and I want my happy boy back.  I'm praying that the one hour loss of "spring forward" will bring both of us some extra sleep (stop rolling your eyes...I need my 8 hours).  Even if it's only for a few days, I'll be happy. 
  • If you needed more proof that I'm crazy:    Last year I found these Rubbermaid bins to store the kids' clothes that they've grown out of.  The key feature is that they are 71 quarts, not the standard 66 (yes, the 5 extra quarts matter).  A few weekends ago while the kids were at Granny's house in Bryan, I discovered that they were being discontinued.   So how did Jon and I spend our free Saturday?  I made him drive to 6 Home Depots to collect enough bins to fit their clothes until they turn 12.  And it made me so happy.  I am married to a good man.  He just rolled his eyes once, kept driving, and put on a good show of acting equally as excited as I was when we found 22 bins at Home Depot #6.  (No, I did not buy them all.  I left a few for the other crazies.  Or maybe that's just me). 
  • The wheels in Madeline's head are constantly turning.  She asks 85489485 questions a day, but the child processes everything that we say.  She does not take a simple explanation for anything.  So imagine how I felt when she asked the following two questions within a week of each other:
            "Am I going to die?" - She was just playing upstairs when she asked this.  We haven't had a death in the family recently or anything that would prompt this, so it caught me off guard.  It led to a long discussion about Heaven and how eventually we all die.  Like I said, the child does not accept simple answers and remembers everything, so I answered honestly.  She seemed satisfied with the answers and got over it, but I'm not going to lie...the conversation did break my heart a little bit.

           "Is Jesus going to take my heart?" - She asked this one day after I picked her up from school.  She attends a Christian-based school, so I'm sure there was discussion of Jesus living in your heart.  Four year olds take things quite literally, so this one made me laugh.

I guess I should start preparing myself for when she asks where babies come from.  At the rate we're going, I'm sure she'll be asking soon.  Stork?  Anyone?
  • I've written before about how much Andrew likes Madeline's toys.  He looks up to her and wants to share her interests.  Lately, he's been all about the doll house.  This morning I was pleasantly  surprised to see that (in his words) "little men picnic."  He was setting up his Lego men with the doll furniture.  I'll take what I can get.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Valentine's Day

Another "holiday", another chance to live up to these perfect picket fence visions of life that I set for myself.   Which admittedly, I usually enjoy.  Other times I'm just burnt out.  So that's why this year my boxes of Valentine's Day decor sat on the floor in our guest room unopened.  And guess what?  No one but me noticed.  And it was glorious that no one else cared.

The Wednesday before Valentine's Day was Andrew's school party.  He was a little less than thrilled to be photographed, but I had to show off the cute shirt Granny made for him!

Thank you, dear Pinterest, for supplying gift ideas again this year.   Both kids gave brownies to their teachers with a tag that said "shooting for brownie points."

 The kids gave their classmates silly straws that said, "Sip-Sip Hooray, It's Valentines Day."

On Valentine's morning I got up early to make cute little heart shaped cinnamon rolls.  I was lazy and bought the canned version rather than opting for homemade, so imagine my surprise when I realized my easy peasy cinnamon rolls were in fact a one-piece roll and couldn't be unrolled/re-rolled into cute little heart shapes.  I baked them anyway.  Then Madeline woke up and declared that she had no interest in eating cinnamon rolls for breakfast.  I had to laugh at the irony. Anywhoo...

I tried to get a good picture of the kids together, but this is the best I could do.  This is real life, not a Hallmark card. :)  The look on Madeline's face cracks me up.  

Annoyed look to silly face in 15 seconds.  She must get that from her mother.

 Madeline had a great time at her class Valentine's Day party.  They had pizza and ice cream sundaes, and she came home with lots of treats.  She has the sweetest teacher and classmates.

The weather was perfect, so after school we played outside.

They opened cards from family members.  These two are loved!

Jon was out of town most of the week and wasn't supposed to be home until late, but I cooked anyway.  I made chicken and mushroom crepes with green beans, and  peanut butter pie for dessert.  Good thing I cooked, because Jon ended up getting home early.  While he was out of town he picked up thoughtful little gifts for us.  Madeline got hot pink nail polish, Andrew got a few toy cars and I got a big bottle of Pinot Grigio.  He said that it's his goal to find the most interesting looking bottles of wine for me.  One of the many reasons I love him: the man knows me and knows I need love my wine, especially after a week alone with the munchkins.  I had also gotten them little gifts: A shirt for Jon, a Lego Duplo motorcycle for Andrew, and an amulet for Madeline (Don't know what an amulet is?  Your child must not be obsessed with Sofia the First).

Finally, here is the Valentine I "sent" to my sisters (meaning I saw it on Facebook and texted it to them).  Hope you all had a wonderful day!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Trip to Jamaica

Jon and I spent most of last week in Montego Bay, Jamaica.  We planned the trip with some of our Chicago friends, who were begging to get out of their ridiculously cold weather.  We've traveled with Cindy, Dan, Sheila and Graham twice before: to Puerto Vallarta and Las Vegas.  They are so much fun to be around, and we always jump at an opportunity to see our friends who we miss dearly!  This trip was in the planning stages right before we left for Disney World, so prior to the trip I had spent about 30 seconds researching the hotel, location, what to do, etc.  The most research I did was reading a Jamaica tour book while on the plane.  I must admit, it was kind of refreshing to just show up and have fun.

We arrived on Wednesday to perfection, 82 degrees and sunny.  Our hotel was 15 minutes from the airport.  While our perfect beach scene was occasionally interrupted by a 737 flyover, it was nice to not have to spend two hours on a bumpy road trying to get to our resort (*ahem* if you've ever been to St. Lucia...).  We booked the trip though a travel agent, who recommended the Riu Palace.  It just opened in December, so everything was practically new and the staff was overfly nice and helpful.  The hotel had less than 200 rooms and it was half full, so we never had to fight for beach or pool space.

View from our room.  No complaints.

One of the infinity pools.  Don't let the dark cloud fool you.  That lasted 15 minutes.

Jon took the next two pictures from the pool bar, where he, Graham and Dan spent 95% of their time.  They subsequently blamed the bartender, Richard, for their behavior that followed.  

Cindy, Sheila and I spent 95% of our time on the beach, chatting and reading our books and trashy magazines.  Rob Lowe and I had a great time relaxing and getting a tan.  We also enjoyed the mango daiquiris!

Next topic: The Jamaican people are awesome.  Every question is answered with "Yeah, man", "No worries", or "One love." Seriously.  We were there for Bob Marley's birthday, and I'm surprised the hotel staff did not hold a formal memorial in his honor, for as much as it was mentioned.  I'll have his songs stuck in my head for the next 6 months.  The hotel staff left one of these Jamaican "words of wisdom" in our room each day:

They also kept us busy with the numerous beach activities.  The guys got roped into beach aerobics while us ladies sat and got some sun.  This dude was not messing was a true workout.

 Not to be outdone, I joined every person over the age of 65 in the pool for water aerobics.  It was all fun and games until he made us balance on the edge of the infinity pool to do ab exercises.  News flash:  We're on vacation.  Ain't nobody got time for that.

The food was great, and we had quite the variety.  And kudos to the hotel for serving appropriate sized portions.  I did have one criticism: no one does dessert like the good USA.  Every dessert we had (including every form of "cake") was custard-like.  After 5 days I was craving a chocolate chip cookie like none other.    
Wednesday night was Italian. 

Thursday night was steak/lobster.  And apparently I have a chevron addiction.

 Friday night was "gourmet".  That's raw meat on Jon's plate. 

Saturday night was Japanese.  Insert tempura everything.  

On Saturday we ventured off the resort and went snorkeling via a party boat.  

The boat fit quite a few people and we saw lots of fish.  On the way back to the beach the boat stopped at Margaritaville, which had a 100 ft slide and water toys.  I'll let you guess which three out of our group ventured on those things.

Cindy, Sheila and I ate and had the best margarita I've had in a LONG time...although I think the view made it taste better. :)

 In case you didn't pick up on the first 419418 times I've said it, I love me a good beach vacation.  Each day required two outfits: a bathing suit and something decent to wear for dinner.  And you come back with a tan.  What I have not enjoyed is the detox/parting gift of germs on the plane that have made me feel like I've been hit by a bus this week.  Oh well.  It's a small price to pay for a wonderful trip with friends!  I look forward to many more adventures!!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014


Let's discuss social media, shall we? 

Twitter:  I follow Texas A&M football players, analysts, coaches, and the same for my favorite NFL teams.  Basically, I use twitter for my football news.

Facebook: For some, used for over sharing.  For most, used for creepin' (as my sisters would say).  Personally, I use it for the obligatory posts of my kids during Halloween, Christmas and 4th of July. And for keeping up with neighborhood drama news, like the re-zoning of schools and the location of the best nail salons.Otherwise, I prefer...

 Instagram: Where most of my "real life" friends who care what our little family is up to reside.  I also take lots of pictures with my iPhone that never make it on here.  In an attempt for this blog to be our virtual family scrapbook, I'm going to try to post some of my Instagram/iPhone favorites at the end of each month.  So after the longest intro possible, I present:


My little vets at the Houston Childrens' Museum.  So happy.

Sporting their new Aggie hats

A rainbow picture from our backyard.  Jon noticed it at his office in Sugar Land and said it was a full rainbow.  We could only see part of it, but still pretty neat.

TV time with dollies

True dat.

Speaking of "dat", the who-dats did not make it to the NFC championship, but you can't blame it on my dad. He was wearing his lucky Saints outfit.

How many grown ups does it take to play with a train set?  Thanks, Uncle Marky, for sharing in Jon's, I mean the kids, enthusiasm. 

Sometimes you don't need toys, just the toy box.

The kids were digging in the hall closet and found glow sticks.  Impromptu show in the backyard.

The kids were playing dentist.  Madeline kept saying, "It's ok Andrew, my teeth are clean."

My friend Valerie ran in her 9th Houston Marathon to celebrate her 40th birthday.  Jon ran a few miles with her and a few miles with another friend.  This is the 4th year we came out to cheer on the runners, and always have such a great time.  I always leave inspired, but NOT inspired to run.  Don't hold your breath for that one.

We had a whole few days in a row that were sunny and warm.  This kid loves to be outside.

Facetime with Aimee while she studies hard (*ahem*) at LSU.  We miss you, Squirt!

On ice day #1 Jon built a fort for the kids.  Out of the 4 of us, he by far gets the worst cabin fever.

Speaking of ice days: The picture below might not look funny, but read the caption at the bottom: "Winter Storm Update."  I'm sure they drove all over the north side of town looking for those teensy snow/ice patches.  Laugh away, Chicago friends.

At the end of the month we celebrated Maria's 26th birthday.  Happy birthday, Weez!

On ice day #2 I told Madeline to dress warm because it was cold outside.  This didn't make the cut.

Best. Picture. Ever.

Afternoon art time

Friday night dance party to Madeline's song of choice: Beauty and the Beast.