Sunday, May 31, 2009

Just another Sunday

On Sunday the boys practiced their car skills in the Cozy Coupe. They opened the doors and got in and out and pushed the car around backwards. Someday hopefully they will figure out how to get it out of reverse. :)

Connor also practiced his football skills.



Saturday, May 30, 2009

Hog Wild

As usual our little "alarm clock" woke us up just before 7am this morning. After breakfast we headed to the playground where once again the boys showed a disturbing lack of interest in the actual "toys" on the playground and fascination with the mulch. Go figure.

After a nap we had lunch at Luby's. The boys scarfed down chicken, carrots, green beans, mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, and watermelon. I really wonder where they put it sometimes. Then as if that wasn't enough we made a quick stop by Costco where they tried the samples of sweet potatoe fries, and cantaloupe. And when it ran it out they carried on like they were starving!

The boys really love melons (cantaloupe, honeydew, and watermelon) and the cantaloupe were so ripe, juicy, and sweet that we couldn't pass them up. So while the boys took their afternoon nap Kevin put together the picnic table we got for the boys a couple of weeks ago. We set it up on the front patio in the shade. The boys woke up from their nap just in time for snack time. Notice a theme here? They sure do a lot of eating... :) We changed them into swim suits (so we could hose them down afterwards) and put a plate full of cantaloupe in front of them. They went to town. They had juice running down their chins, and dripping everywhere. What a mess! But boy did they enjoy it!

After snacks we broke out some chalk and colored paper and let the boys color a picture. They only tried to eat the chalk once or twice, and other than a few wild and crazy episodes they even managed to keep the chalk primarily on the paper.

And if that wasn't enough fun, after playing inside for a while and shooting some hoops (see video) we took the boys for a walk in their cars to a nearby playground where they played with their cars. Connor showed off his driving skills (okay, so technically he only goes in reverse, and pretty much in circles, but hey at least he is actually pushing his car with his feet!) and practiced getting in and out of the car via the door.

We got home just in time for dinner, a bath, and then bedtime. Wow what a day. And just think we get to do it all over again tomorrow! :)

Shooting Hoops

I have never posted a video before so I wanted to know how it works. And I have learned several things.

1. I need better editing software - the kind that will do simple things like let you rotate the video right side up. Falling short of that I will have to remember to take video horizontal, not vertical from now on.

2. Clips taken in video mode from a Canon point and shoot camera are surprisingly not too bad.

3. Wild crazy arm movements (clapping and pointing) should probably be avoided while in video mode. Warning: If you are prone to motion sickness you might consider skipping the video. :)

[Reposted - rotated video! Yay!]

[Crossing my fingers and hoping it works!] Enjoy!

Feeling Scrappy

Got all our beach pictures scrapped a few days ago. Thought you guys might like to see.

I also did a quick 4x6 layout for one of our friends' son's graduation invitations. Given it took all of 10 minutes to throw together while we were waiting for some other pictures to print I think it turned out pretty well. :)

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day

We spent Memorial Day hanging out with some friends and eating some BBQ. The boys had a great time and ran themselves ragged then conveneintly took a 2 1/2 hour nap while we chatted and ate. :)

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Another stop on the quest

The quest? You didn't know we were on a quest? Well, we are. It's a quest to find the coolest playground around. Thus far we have visited 6 playgrounds in or around our neighborhood. We started the day off today with a visit to yet another nearby playground this morning after breakfast. And this was one cool looking playground. And the crazy part? Okay, well just one of a number of crazy things really - we spent an hour and didn't even get to check out the whole thing! A repeat visit to see the other side of the playground is definitely in order.

Another one of those crazy things I mentioned? Despite having a crocodile stairway, mystery tunnel hideaway, slides galore, a bridge, fire truck, climbing slide, a rocking dinosaur and so much more guess what the kids wanted to play with? Mulch. Seriously. So much to see, so much to do, but they chose to run around, pick up, throw, and eat the mulch as numero uno. Perhaps we don't have enough toys? Because it doesn't appear that they know what they are or what to do with them. :)

Through sheer determination on our part we did finally convince them to try out at least a couple of the main attractions, aside from the mulch that is. Ryan showed us his sliding skills - schooching his way to the edge of the platform and propelling himself down. Connor, going for style points showed us a variety of slide techniques including a blind on the belly slide. Thank goodness he stopped before he flew off the end without even realizing an abrupt stop was coming.

Ryan driving the firetruck

Ryan Climbing the stairs

Ryan sliding down the slide

And finally, Connor playing at the top for a few minutes. Then going back to eating mulch...

The aftermath

Our trip to Galveston this past weekend was our first since the hurricane. While there were obvious signs of hurricane Ike - a few boats still sitting in the middle of a field just off the Interstate, the concrete skeleton of the fishing pier, some blue tarped roofs, plywood clad windows, and stores not yet reopened - Galveston was a busy place. Visitors lined the beaches for as far as the eye could see in both directions. Parking spaces were few and far between forcing people to actually parallel park instead of just pulling in. New, white, sandy beaches clear of trash and debris with easy access to the seawall beckoned. In fact the beaches were far nicer than the last time we were there for a friends wedding while I was pregnant with the boys. Hotels were open and most looked no worse for the wear.

Further from the seawall, the signs of the storm and the rebuilding were a bit more obvious. Through the residential neighborhoods there were houses that looked brand new - with sparking fresh coats of paint. Piles of debris here and there a sign of the remodeling happening inside. Other houses looked battered. With piece of trim missing or askew. Their paint in obvious need of a fresh coat once the damage has been repaired.
The main drive showed signs of the aftermath as well. Palm trees still standing but battered. Mishapen and brown.
All in all it looks like Galveston is slowly but surely coming back to life, and perhaps when all is said and done even a little better than before.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

A Grand Adventure

When we woke up this morning we didn’t have any plans for the day. But by 8am an idea was brewing. How about a trip to the beach? Sure, why not!?! So we made our now traditional weekly pilgrimage to McDonalds for some hotcakes and playtime. When we got home we put the boys down for a nap and I headed to the dollar store and Walmart for some essential beach supplies.

After an early lunch we packed up the car and hit the road for Galveston. Downpours blanketed downtown so the trek was slow and arduous from North of 610N to South of Nasa Rd 1. Talk about a long trip. And I had been worried that the boys might not have had a long enough nap by the time we got there! HA! They had a nice 2 hour nap, and then were awake for the almost hour left into Galveston.

The beach was packed when we arrived just before 4pm. We drove several miles down the seawall before spying a parking space. We covered everyone liberally in sunscreen tossed out the towel close to the seawall and plopped the boys down on it with sippies and snacks as we began unpacking the car. Before long the sippies were coated with sand, and the boys were using sand covered hands to eat teddy grams. Even the temptation of snacks wasn’t enough to keep them out of the sand.

We broke out the buckets and shovels and found a spot nearby with loose dry sand for them to play in. The boys went to town shoveling sand, letting it run through their fingers, throwing it, and filling and emptying their buckets. They really had a great time.

We couldn’t wait to see what the boys would think of the ocean – the feel of the waves lapping at their feet, the sand shifting below them, the smell of the salty air, and the rhythmic beat of the waves coming ashore. We changed the boys into their swimsuits and carried them down to about 30 feet from the water. Ryan’s feet never stopped moving from the second they touched the ground until he was almost waist deep in the water. He took it all at a dead run without a seconds hesitation. Connor was a little more reserved. I am not sure if it is because he is still a little wobbly when we walks so he had to take a second to catch his balance or if he was a little apprehensive (I’ll let Ryan try it first), but he stopped for a split second or two and took it all in before making the plunge himself. It was an immediate hit with both of them.

Before long both had taken a spill in the receding waves. Connor popped back up like nothing ever happened. Ryan was a bit more apprehensive afterwards. Ryan and I attacked the waves and splashed in them as they came in while Kevin and Connor jumped the waves a little further out. We traded out after a while. Connor was less interested in splashing in the incoming waves than he was by the mud at the waters edge. He loved the mud. He liked to squish it in his hands, and slinging it was a real delight, too. He was quite the mess before it was all through.

I think we were all sad when we realized that our time in the sun was up for the day. Even though we left the beach, our adventures for the day were not yet over. We had dinner at the Rainforest café. We sat just in front of a giant flapping butterfly and in sight of the elephants. I am not sure the boys knew quite what to make of it all when the show began. They stared wide-eyed.

We added a few more firsts to our list at dinner as well. First shrimp. We ordered the boys a combination plate that had both popcorn shrimp, and dinosaur shaped chicken nuggets. They loved the shrimp. Ryan also impressed us by drinking milk out of a straw. It took him a minute or two to get the hang of it, but he was determined. Great job, little man!

We took a short tour of the restaurant before we left so the boys could see the gorillas, and the fountain. We also made a stop by the aquarium near the entrance. The boys love watching the bright colored fish swim by. Ryan kept pointing at them and asking “What’s that?” or in Ryan speak “Wass at?”

We drove the scenic route of the seawall before heading home. Kevin took a few pictures of Ike aftermath. And we let the boys out for a sunset stroll down the upper seawall to see the seagulls and run off a little energy before the long drive home. Ryan fearlessly charged into group of seagulls sending them scattering in all directions. He watched in delight as two people sat on the edge of the seawall and threw potatoe chips down to the gulls below and up in the air for the birds to catch in mid flight.

It was bedtime by the time we all piled back into the car for the trek home. It took the boys a while for drift off after all the excitement of the day, but they eventually fell asleep and slept the whole way home. Probably dreaming of their next trip back, or of what new adventures tomorrow might hold.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Monet Perhaps?

Check out these masterpieces the boys brought home with them yesterday. :)

I really love Ryan's. It reminds me of one of those Psychology tests you see on tv where they are asking you what these meaningless blobs of paint look like to you. So what do you see?

Me? I see a giant fish, mouth open, poised to devour something. Or maybe an angry lobster, pinchers clenched. I am not sure I want to know what that says about me... :)

Connor's kinda reminds me of giraffe sticking his tongue out at you.

But when I turned it upside down I saw a spider with hairy legs. Eww!

Of course I had turn Ryan's upside down, too. I think it looks like some sort of orangutan with his hands clasped together.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday to Me!
Happy Birthday to Me!
Happy Birthday to Meeee!
Happy Birthday to Me!

And yes, it was yummy. :)

Monday, May 18, 2009

The delivery

To say that the delivery didn’t go quite as expected would be a gross understatement. Don’t laugh too hard, but I envisioned walking in the doors, handing the kids the cards and having them go to the appropriate people cards in hand, smiles on, and handing the cards over. They would then beam proudly at having completed their task and bask in all the Thank Yous and Good jobs as they have done at home half a million times.

Dear boys,
Should you ever consider a job for UPS or any other delivery service, please don’t be too offended when I remind you of this day and suggest you reconsider.

So what really happened? We made it from the car to the front lobby without incident. They even stayed in place as I let go of both their little hands while I dug out the right cards. I handed over the cards, and they took my hands again as we headed for the first door. As I let go of Ryan to open the door he began to bolt. But I was faster. I managed to grab him with my now free hand, while catching the door with my toe. I was able to get the door open and both of them headed inwards. And this is where everything went wrong. They both started crying. Connor sat down. Ryan began backing up. Keep in mind I am still propping the door open with a toe, holding their school bag in one hand, and still trying to usher both of them inside the door. Chaos erupted. I can only imagine what a sight we must have been.

The next few seconds is a bit of a blur, but I do recall Mrs. Estell came to the rescue and picked Connor up, while I managed to push Ryan into the room enough so that the door could close behind us blocking off most routes of escape. There were still copious tears and woeful cries. I did finally manage to get Ryan to head over and deliver his card. He came running back and latched on to me as the tears began again. I picked him up, and could see Connor reluctantly hand over his card to Mrs. Gayle. She set him down to see him walk and the tears began in earnest again. In the end I carried both boys out of the Infant room sniffling with tear stained faces.

We made our way across the hall and into our classroom. After a minute or two I set Ryan down and after I pried his little fingers off of mine he headed off without even looking back. Connor on the other hand had a death grip on my shirt and his little thighs were holding onto me as if for dear life. I dug out Ms. Alice’s card, called Ryan back and asked him to deliver it to her. He headed towards one of the other helpers, dropped the card, but then recovered and delivered it exactly as asked – right to Ms. Alice’s hands with a smile on his face at a job well done. I wiped the last remnants of Connors tears and after another minute or two managed to hand Connor off to Ms. Alice without incident. Ryan who had been playing with a giant beach ball came towards me as I was walking out the door, hands in the air. I picked him up, gave him kisses, and quick hug, and sent him after the ball while quietly saying goodbye and bolting for the door.

Teacher Appreciation

In honor of teacher appreciation week I decided to make a card for the kids teachers. Recognize the giraffe? The boys have been studying zoo animals this past week, and the giraffe is one of the critters they brought home. I really loved it, and I thought the teachers might appreciate having it immortalized for posterity, too. :) Hope they like it. I thought it came out super neat.

Sunday, May 17, 2009


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