Sunday, December 28, 2008

Mama's don't let your babies grow up to be cowboys.....

Last night we took my in-laws to San Antonio for some good Mexican food and to see the Christmas lights on the Riverwalk. As we were waiting for our table (about an 1 1/2 hour wait - yuck!) we walked around the market square. There was a childrens bull riding machine. We watched a few kids ride, most of them falling off on the inflatable mat at the end. When we headed into a little shop to browse Alex said he wanted to ride the "pony". We weren't sure if he was serious because he's pretty timid and does not like rides in general. However, he did ride a real pony at a fair a few months ago and liked it so we let him try. Zachary went first and he rode a little and then fell off.
Then Alex rode. He never really smiled but he didn't cry and ask to get off. He also didn't fall off at the end. My camera ran out of room and didn't catch the whole thing on video but here's what I did get. At the very end they made it turn in the other direction.
video
Yee-haw!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Day

Whew! I'm tired. We've had a great Christmas day. The boys were so excited to see that Santa had come. They both got new pajamas & slippers from Santa and had to put them on. Alex got Hulk pj's and Zachary got Spiderman - they both had Spiderman slippers. Zach's been talking about Spiderman all day. They got tons of great gifts from everyone but had lots of fun in their new frog tent. Daddy even joined in at one point.We had a wonderful late pancake breakfast so decided to eat our Christmas meal around 3-4. The boys stayed in their new pj's all day. My mother-in-law and I did the cooking - roast beef, mashed potatoes, carrot souffle, asparagus, and rolls. Oh, don't forget a pumpkin and a pecan pie. Yum! After dinner Chris and his sister, Amy, took the boys outside to play. This is what I saw when I went to meet them.
What - are they at a beach? No, that's a sand pile in our back yard. Looks like fun but what a mess!
My brother-in-law and his wife (mostly his wife I think) gave me this great photo quilt of the boys. They used pictures I had been sending out to the whole family this last year. I love it! Thanks Pam and Andy!Now that the boys are clean from the sand they are playing with play-doh with daddy, grandma, and aunt Amy. Play-doh is not really my thing but daddy is good. Here is his masterpiece.

Merry Christmas everybody!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Santa, we're ready!

So hurry up and get here!



Tuesday, December 23, 2008

A little confused

On Sunday night we went out to dinner with the boys and then headed into Target to get a few things for the house. As we were loading the boys back into the car after shopping they both started to fuss. They said "No home. New house." They were both saying this and were quite upset that we had to go home. I guess they still didn't get that the new house is our home. When we pulled up to the house they got excited and started squealing "new house!". They are too funny.

Monday, December 22, 2008

The move - catch up

The move went well. The movers came on Wednesday and packed most everything up. The boys were very interested in watching all the action. As more and more things were boxed up, we had less room to play. Thursday everything was loaded up on the truck. More fun for the boys. Poor Chewy (our yorkie) had to spend the day in his cage since the front door was open all day. Zachary tried to comfort him.

We did find a nice out of the way to play though. The boys thought the closet under the stairs was pretty fun.The boys and I spent Thursday night sleeping on the floor in sleeping bags. They actually did really well. I wondered if they would want to play in there but they stayed on their "beds". Mine wasn't very comfortable. Of course the anticipation of the move probably didn't help me have a good nights sleep either.

My parents came over on Friday morning after my meeting at Alex's school (A big problem - I was told the meeting was at 9:35 but when I got there they said it was at 12:45. Long story short, we're doing a phone meeting on the 7th after school starts back up.) Mom & Dad loaded more stuff up on their truck and we headed to the new place. My parents stayed the whole weekend with us to help us unpack. They are the greatest! Everybody was worn out every day (and we still are) but it's been worth it. I love my new house!

Alex and Zachary are also loving the new house. They have so much more room to run around and play. Not only because this house is bigger but because it's only one story. In the old house they were not allowed on the stairs without and adult and so all the toys were kept in the living room making a pretty small play area. Now they have toys in both of their bedrooms. They do end up getting dragged around the whole house but we clean up before nap and bed. Here they are lining up chairs to make a train. Alex loves The Polar Express aka: the train movie and it's been on T.V. several times (and we just bought the DVD). They also got to ride a little train around a park a week or so ago and loved it. They like to talk about trains and line toys up, or chairs in this case, and say "All aboard!".They've had no problem with their bedrooms being split up. They're actually sleeping longer. We really need to get them some blinds on their windows soon. It's really bright at nap time and Zachary doesn't want to go to sleep. Alex did ask me one day to "close" his window and I had to tell him that I couldn't. He was asleep within minutes anyway.

Not only are we unpacking but we're also getting ready for Christmas. We've got up lots of decorations and the place looks great. The fireplace looks especially nice. Tonight Chris started up our first fire. The boys were very excited and wanted to watch everything. They were good though and didn't touch or get too close.

Tonight we finally got our phone/cable/internet service turned on. My cell phone doesn't work very well here so I really needed the phone. It's been weird without T.V. and I've been having withdrawals from the blogs I read. Ah, back to normal now. Tomorrow our Christmas house guests arrive!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The final countdown

Well this is it folks. The movers will be here at 8 am tomorrow to start packing us up. Ready or not, here they come!

I'm not ready.

It's hard to move with little kids. Add Christmastime and it's even harder. Today I tried to get ready. Really, I did. I washed about four loads of clothes. I addressed and mailed most of our Christmas cards. I had to run to the store for one final gift card to add to a box that will have to be mailed in the morning. Tonight I've been finishing up a gift for my mother-in-law that will also have to be mailed tomorrow. I wrapped several presents and put them in one big box for the move (I didn't want the boys or any moving helpers to see their un-wrapped gifts by mistake). I still need to get the dishes washed and get some clothes packed for all of us for the next few days after the movers have packed it all up. We need someplace to put all of our refrigerator/freezer items. There is just too much to throw out but not enough coolers.

Chris is going to head to the new place on Thursday night with a load of things that the movers won't move like plants and our fish. The boys and I will spend Thursday night camping out on the floor here in sleeping bags (everything will be out of the house and sitting on a truck until Friday morning). Friday morning I've got a meeting at Alex's school here before we can leave to meet the truck that's hopefully already unloading at the new place. I thought we could do it alone but today I had to call for backup. My parents will now be coming Friday to help direct movers and keep the boys occupied and out of harms way. Plus my mom is the best kitchen organizer ever.

I hope I make it through the weekend without a major meltdown.......and I'm talking about me, not the kids. Well, the kids too.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Getting in the mood

I'm talking about the Christmas mood. It's been a little hard to get into the Christmas spirit with no tree or decorations in the house. Not to mention that I'm constantly working on or thinking about our move on Friday. (Movers will be here on Wed & Thurs to pack us up.) The last few days I've carved a little time for myself to make my usual goodie baskets for friends and co-workers. Friday evening I made dipped pretzels - probably Chris's favorite. He hates that I tell him he can only eat the broken ones! I dipped almost two bags of pretzels worth. Today I made three batches of spritz cookies. I have a cute little cookie press that makes it so easy and have tips that make a Christmas tree shaped cookie and one that's a flower that I use as a poinsettia. I just use red or green sprinkles and viola! I also made a new recipe today. It's cinnamon popcorn that I got from the Smiles and Trials blog that I read. She posts recipes from time to time and I decided to try it. You melt red hots, butter, and corn syrup and toss in your popcorn. It makes the popcorn all red and pretty and gets a candy coating. It is yummy and not too hot. Even Alex liked it and he's very wary of anything that looks like it could be hot or spicy. If I had my camera I'd show pictures.

Chris is gone tonight to the Cowboys and Giants football game in Dallas. One of his friend has season tickets to the Cowboys and had an extra tonight. This is the first pro game that Chris has been to and he was very excited even though he's not a Cowboy fan. Anyway, he took my camera with him. Since the game didn't start until 7 he's going to have to spend the night. He'll get his payback tomorrow though. My older sister is coming to town and we're Christmas shopping for as long as we want. So there!

Friday, December 12, 2008

You've got to be kidding

You know how you sometimes see cars with such unique paint jobs that you have to wonder what the owners were thinking? Were they paid to do it? Do they own a shop that does that work and they're advertising for themselves? Are they just fanatics about whatever what painted on their car? Here's one I saw today on my way home from the grocery store.
Can you see it? How about now?
I never got a great look at the driver but I know it was a woman and I don't think it was a young girl. Why would a grown woman want a pink Barbie Hummer? I just don't get it.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Rough day

First of all - Happy 100th Post to Me!!!

O.K., now that that's out of the way.....Today was a rough day. The morning started out fine but I had some things that I needed to get done before our move next weekend. I did spend quite a bit of today in the office or on the phone setting up new utilities, disconnecting some of the current ones, and changing homeowners insurance. I tried to do as much as I could during nap time but Alex had a very short nap today and there were too many things for me to do. Since Alex woke up early I tried to make it up to him by making brownies together. We pulled up a chair for him to stand on and he helped me mix it up and taste the batter. He loves to help. However I did have to hush him up and even kick him out of the office so I could hear the utility woman on the phone. Needless to say the boys got a bit neglected and a bit rowdy. They had the living room a mess and got in a few fights. Alex had to sit in time-out twice. He stayed in there extra long the first time when I told him that he had to hug Zachary and tell him that he was sorry (he was hit Zachary in the head with a toy while he was laying down on the couch). He's very stubborn and didn't want to do it. When he finally came out he did hug Zachary and said "sorry mama" while looking right at me. I reminded him that he needed to say sorry to Zachary and he beat around the bush for a long time (while still hugging Zach) before finally mumbling it. I think the only reason he came out was because he saw that I gave Zachary a piece of cheese while I was cooking and he wanted one too! The second time-out came from putting some unknown hurt on Zachary again. All I saw was him pulling on Zach's arm but Zach said the owie was on the side of his head. This time it hurt/upset Zachary enough that he held his breath. So I decided that maybe it was time to get ready for bed. When I got the boys in their PJ's and was trying to brush their teeth Zachary held his breath again because I told him no to something. That helped to seal their fate and they both went to bed an hour early.

Chris is out of town tonight so it made the day extra long and extra hard. He spends one or two nights a week at a friends house close to work to save on his drive time. I know it's tiring for him to have this long drive everyday but it's tiring for me when he doesn't come home. I'll be so glad to have him home every night once we've moved. This has been one of those days where I just don't feel like I've been a great mom and I was too hard on my kids. They are just babies after all. Tomorrow is a new day and I'll try to do better. Thank you for coming to my pity party.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Santa visit

On Monday afternoon we ventured to the mall with a friend to visit Santa for the first time. We never went last year because the boys hadn't been home very long and I thought Alex would've been scared out of his wits. I still thought Alex might be a little be shy or afraid but had no doubt that Zachary would be fine. Here are the three boys waiting in line for Santa.Uh-oh. Alex went right to Santa but Zachary wasn't having any of it.Daddy had to hold Zachary close to Santa to try to get some pictures. We did our best to try to crop Chris out but still got his knees in the pictures.We did finally get a good picture but I'm not posting it here because I'm sending it out in Christmas cards. When we were finished and ready to leave Alex ran back to Santa to give him a hug and Zachary followed. Of course we didn't get a good picture of that.Santa was very nice and patient with all the kids. Unfortunately our friend cried too and didn't want to be anywhere near Santa. So, Santa left and walked around the tree and stood behind the chair where our friend Luke was sitting. They ended up with a cute shot of Santa leaning over the chair looking at him and Luke never even knew. Notice the cowboy boots on Santa. We are in Texas after all!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Christmas party

Yesterday was the Christmas party for Chris's work (The National Guard). They had a Blackhawk helicopter on display and all the kids loved it. It was decorated with Christmas lights . At first Alex wasn't so sure about it. I think that he was afraid that it was a ride and was going to move. We had to assure him that it would stay on the ground and was "broken". Really it is an old one that they don't fly anymore. The kids crawled all around inside and had a great time. Zachary couldn't get enough. He especially loved pushing all the buttons. I think he's ready for his flying lessons!
Our future pilot!
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Of course we also had to swing by the house since it was on the way so Chris could see the carpet and fireplace. Here's a picture of the "finished" fireplace. The wooden mantel still needs to be stained. Boy is it huge! I'm worried that it makes the living room feel smaller.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

The final stretch

It looks like we'll be in our new home for Christmas after all. (I was a little concerned.) We will be cutting is close with a completion/move date of Dec 19th. That means lots to do to get ready. Oh, and our current house is still not sold. I think we're going to list it as a rental too and see what happens. Chris had to work today but I took my parents to see the house. Alot of things have happened since I was there last and you can tell that we're in the final stretch. Ceiling fans and most lights are installed. All the tile work is complete. Carpet was being installed today and was almost done. The fireplace was being rocked (is that a word?) today. We also have electricity and heat/air. Plus, the appliances were in. The kitchen probably had the biggest change.

This is the tile back splash and the flat stovetop. There are a few shiny metal decorative tiles placed throughout the room.The appliances really help make the room "finished". This is the oven and convection microwave. I hope I can figure that microwave out!We also had the area under the bar (where your feet would go) tiled the same as the kitchen, but larger. I have no doubt that the fireplace will be done today. They had several guys working on it. It's going to have a wood mantel but it's covered up with plastic.Finally the stained concrete floors have been uncovered. This is the master bathroom floor but the entry is the same pattern. Those same colors are on the concrete throughout the house.I am so excited!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

New bedtime routine

During the last several weeks Alex and Zachary have become more interested in praying. So, we began praying at mealtime (one of the boys always reminds us if we forget). Then, while in Iowa they wanted to say bedtime prayers not only at nightime but at naptime as well. We prayed for daddy not to miss us while we were gone, we prayed for everybody to get better (remember, we all got really sick), and we pray to be good boys. Although we don't say prayers at naptime anymore one thing that started in Iowa has stuck. The boys also want to sing a song after bedtime prayers. It's always the same - Michael Row the Boat Ashore (aka: Hallelujah song) and Take Me Out to the Ballgame. What can I say, they love baseball.

Monday, December 1, 2008

School days

Sorry to make everyone wait so long for this post/pictures! We had to be at Alex's school around 7:15 this morning (in the future 7:30ish will do) so we had to wake up extra early to get going. I packed him a lunch in his new Spiderman lunch box because I never got a lunch menu. Chris was off today so we all got to go to school. Alex was ready - or at least he didn't have any complaints. He was so cute. Alex was very excited about his new backpack and lunchbox (inside).First we had to go to the office where the teacher came to meet us and show us to the classroom. We were the first ones there so Alex and Zachary got to play in the room for a little bit.Alex has a very small class with only five kids and they're all boys. All of the others ride the bus to school. We're going to drive Alex again on Wednesday but I think I'll let him ride the bus after that. The first thing the kids did was sit on a rug and have a sort of roll call. Then they had a story and the kids repeated sounds the teacher made. Alex did participate but at the very end he came over to me and Chris and said "Alex all done". Whoops! It was time for us to go. We said goodbye and I explained to Alex that we'd be back later but he needed to stay and play with the teacher and other kids. When I told him to remember the lunch we packed he wanted to eat but I said he'd have to wait for the other kids. Just then the speech therapist asked another boy and Alex to play with some cars and off they went. We were able to leave with no problems, from him anyway. Zachary wanted to stay and play too!

When we picked up Alex after school the teacher said he did great. There was no crying at all. She said that had very good manners and said please and thank you. That's my boy! She also told us that he ate every single bite in his lunch box and she and the other teacher noticed his cute turkey cookie I put in for a treat (left over from Thanksgiving).
Alex was a little chatterbox all the way home. He told us they had music and that he got to play outside and play inside. He said that he did not run away but that another boy ran away and was a bad boy. Hmmm.....I'm not sure where the bad boy came from because I try not to use that phrase. Maybe I've said it about our dog and never noticed? Anyway, school was a hit! When I told him that he was coming back he said "go night-night and wake up" meaning that he thought he'd go back tomorrow. He doesn't go back until Wednesday though so we'll see if he mentions it tomorrow. I must admit that I did get a little teary while he was gone but after hearing how well he did and him telling me that he liked it, I feel much better.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

I'm a little late, I know. Last Thanksgiving we celebrated a day late when we got home with the boys. This year we got to celebrate on time. We headed out to my parents house along with my older sister and her two teenage boys. Before we went, the boys helped me mix up some of my mom's famous vanilla rolled cookies.These cookies are most commonly referred to as "ho, ho, ho cookies" because she makes a ton for Christmas and one of her cookie cutters says that. But I digress. We ran out of time to decorate them so my mom, my sister, and I decorated them on turkey day. I didn't have very many Thanksgiving-y cookie cutters so I made due with some fall-ish ones like a football (how many games are on this weekend?!), a pumpkin, and a school bus (Alex starts Monday). I think they turned out cute.The boys can get so antsy around food time that you'd think they never get fed. Since Zachary had to be in the kitchen he helped his aunt Lisa get the rolls ready.For the first time ever we forgot to take diapers to my parents. (Technically Chris forgot. I had them out but he forgot to load them in the car with our other bags.) They live in the country so we can't just pop in to a store to get more. Thankfully my mom has a few spares that have been left from various grandkids over the years. That did mean that Alex had to wear a pink princess pull-up though. He didn't seem to mind.

I hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving! We were even lucky enough to get to bring food back home with us. Yea!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Almost ready for school

This morning I took the boys to enroll Alex in school. He starts Monday so I barely squeaked by. He's got a new backpack and we got some more jeans today. He's ready but I'm not so sure. My stomach hurt when we got back in the car at the school. I don't know if I'm nervous about getting him there and how he'll do or just about the fact that he's my baby and he's leaving me. He'll be going only twice a week and school lets out on the 19th for Christmas so he'll only go 6 times before we move. I still think it'll be worth it to get him started.

Don't worry, I'll post first day of school pictures on Monday!

Monday, November 24, 2008

We have tile

and a septic tank, interior paint, countertops, and a/c units and vents. The plumbing fixtures were there but not yet installed. A lot happened to the house while I was gone.

This is the kitchen backsplash. It was going in today so it still has the spacers in between the tiles and no grout.

This one is the granite kitchen counters. I think it's going to look great with the backsplash and the greenish/khaki paint.
Here is our master shower. I can't wait to have the seat in there to shave my legs! Right now I have to grip my toe on a little corner of the shower.

This one is the master tub surround. It's going to be an oval garden tub. The tub is there but not installed. The tile needed to go first.