Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Elephants, Rockstars and Frozen Margaritas!

On Saturday, I had my birthday. I'm not afraid to say that I am now 34. It was a wonderful day with only one thing missing: my twin sister. I missed all my family, but it is just WRONG to spend my birthday without my sister. Luckily, I get to go see her in less than a week.

Anyway, we started the day with a family trip to the circus. This was the first circus trip for B and both boys. We had fun although J was disappointed there weren't more animals (only tigers, elephants, sheepdogs, a little dog, and miniature horses). I thought it was all very entertaining. Here are a few pics:

I love elephants! Here's a closeup of one that was giving rides before the circus began.

The tigers performed in the ring closest to us which was cool. They were the first act. Very impressive and such beautiful animals.
The tiger tamer was a hilarious guy with rock star hair and tigerprint pants. He thought he was a rock star too. VERY entertaining. He returned in several acrobatic acts including this one:

He's the guy on the outside of the top ring. Yes, the rings were spinning at the time.

And, of course, I had to take a photo of the elephant act.
Then later that night, we got a sitter and B and I went bowling with our best friends in the neighborhood. I haven't been bowling since middle school and even though I am awful (my scores ranged from 44 to 72) we had a blast!

It was SO much fun. Maybe a little too much fun (pitchers of beer and frozen strawberry margaritas), but a great way to celebrate my birthday! I am a truly blessed person.

Because I love him...

So my husband is going through a bit of a Chuck Norris stage. It all started when he found this t-shirt at Target. Then it continued when I got him this one for Valentine's Day. Then I had a chance to go to a glass painting night with some friends and while everyone else painted their wine glasses, I made these:

Chuck Norris doesn't step on toes. He steps on necks.

Champions are the breakfast of Chuck Norris.

Nice, huh? Nothing says true love like Chuck Norris.

Thank Goodness for Bookmarks

It's been a long time. I almost forgot where to go, but luckily my Blogger bookmark was still there. I haven't forgotten my blog, just too busy with life. Will catch up soon. I promise. I have knitting and crafting and cute pics of my boys to share. Hope you all are doing well. See you again soon...really I mean it.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Happy Spring!

Yeah, first day of Spring in Texas and we got around 6 inches of snow. Who would have thunk it?

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Book List: I am Loving Reading Edition

I've just been in reading mode recently and have been reading quite a few books. Here are the latest:

College Girl by Patricia Weitz: This book, unlike the rest in this group, was not a light read. It was about a girl who's in her senior year of college. She's struggling to find her place on campus and in life. Anyone who's had doubts about fitting in somewhere can relate to this novel. However, hopefully your experience was better this one. It ends okay, but there are some depressing moments before the ending. Interesting, but NOT light.

The Little Lady Agency and the Prince by Hester Browne: This was an adorable book with a really fun main character and I could see it making a great movie. I really loved it. It's the third in the "Little Lady Agency" series and I only wish I had read the other two first. After reading this one and knowing the ending, I don't think I would enjoy the first two as much since I know the ending, but I am still considering reading them because this one was so enjoyable.

Lucky Charm
by Carly Phillips; Lucky Streak by Carly Phillips: These are two of the books in the Lucky Trilogy. As always for Phillips, they are an enjoyable light read. I liked them both, but really got into Lucky Streak--really liked the characters in that one. If you like the romance novel formula (romance, mystery, sex), then you should check it out. I read the preview of the third novel, but wasn't tempted to read it.

Ready for Love by Debbie Macomber: I know Debbie Macomber from her Blossom Street books so I wasn't sure what to expect. Although a different subject manner, this book had the same kind of easy read. Inspired by the movie Sabrina, this book is actually two mini-novels about two brothers. The first is most closely related to the film and is about the older brother. The second is about the younger brother and it's plot seems less inspired by the film. I enjoyed both as quick, light reads. If you enjoy steamier romances, this is NOT the book for you.

Dockside by Susan Wiggs; Fireside by Susan Wiggs: These two books are both part of "The Lakeshore Chronicles" by Susan Wiggs. I'd never read any of her books before, but J liked the picture on the front of Dockside and picked it out for me. I really enjoyed the writing style and plots in both books, but of the two Dockside was my favorite. I just got totally sucked in. There are quite a few books in the series and I'm tempted to read them all. A minor character in one or two of the books, then becomes the main character in a later book. Very fun. More books of the "less steamy romance" variety.

Full House
by Janet Evanovich: I got this book in a neighborhood book exchange a while ago and just slowed down long enough to read it. I guess it was one of her earlier books and it was recently republished. It was a fun light read with some mystery, a developing romance, and a little, just a little, steaminess. A different kind of heroine, a divorced mother of two, but a fun read all the same.

Manhunting by Jennifer Crusie: Jennifer Crusie has become one of my go to authors when I want a light, fun read. This is actually the first novel she ever wrote and it's a cute one. A little steamier than some of the others, but not over the top, it's a fun romance story.

My Little Leprechauns

When we were getting dressed for St. Patrick's Day, I told J that he had to wear green. We were headed to a St. Patty's Day craft play date and I wanted the boys to look festive. I picked out a green t-shirt for J to wear. I found the green vest I knit for J for Christmas in 2008 and decided that N could wear it. When I went to pick out the rest of N's clothes, J decided N had to wear his green pants too. Well, then J wanted to wear green pants. So shortly thereafter I had two little leprechauns.
J looked more like a modern combat leprechaun in his olive greens, but N looked like just a traditional little leprechaun.
Or maybe traditional leprechaun at Mardi Gras.

Birthday Fun, Part 4: J's Actual Birthday

The first thing J did when he woke up the morning of his birthday was play with his new Leapster and Diego game from Mooma and Papa. N, of course, had to crawl up next to him and watch.

After opening presents, we went to Toys R Us where J had fun sitting on this fire truck. Even though it was his birthday, we still didn't put any money in it. Poor J.

For the first time ever, J got to pick out any toy that he wanted (within a budget). He picked this cool Diego Animal Rescue train.

B and I decided to get him his first bike. Here he is riding it a few days later at the park. After a little hesitation, he's done really well with it.
Since we'd already done cake (for his party) and cupcakes (for school), we just bought this small cake for J's birthday night treat. They sell them at the grocery store and he's been wanting one for a while.

And that is the end of J's birthday fun.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Birthday Fun, Part 3: The Aquarium

Although we go to the zoo all the time, we had never been to the Dallas World Aquarium so we decided to go on Sunday as part of J's birthday celebrations. We didn't know what to expect, but were pleasantly surprised. We all thought it was really amazing! I haven't been to a lot of aquariums in my life, but I don't think this is a typical one. There is a rain forest theme and there are lots of non-aquatic animals like birds and monkeys. It's arranged in three levels and you start at the top above the trees and work your way down until you're next to tanks looking at animals underwater. There is a huge waterfall and it was amazing to see all the different animals interacting together--birds, monkeys, manatees, etc. in the same multistory habitat. There is also an area where you walk through a tunnel and sharks and rays swim above your head. Lots of neat animals and most were ones that J had seen on Go, Diego, Go so he was thrilled. Expensive, but worth it. We had a blast!

B's parents are in town for J's birthday.

Look at that! J was so excited!

See those two big gray things? Those are manatees.

N and I both fed these birds blueberries by sticking our hands inside the enclosure. It was really cool.

N. This was the bottom level where you could walk up to the wall of glass (floor to ceiling) and watch the manatees, giant fish and turtles swim by. This is the below view of what we saw from above earlier.

J. "Manatee!"

There were only two penguins out swimming around because the rest were molting and couldn't swim.

B took these last few pics because my camera battery died. This is the shark tunnel.

At the end of the visit, next to the jaguar. What a beautiful animal!

Birthday Fun, Part 2: Party at School

J, B and N all made cupcakes for J to take to school last week. J picked out all the details: yellow cake, chocolate icing, soccer themed cupcake liners, star sprinkles. They were delicious!

Everyone enjoyed them.

Especially N.

Birthday Fun, Part 1: Birthday Party

J had his birthday party early, on the 6th. It was J's first "real" birthday party. It was a Lego themed party. J invited 4 friends (1 from the neighborhood, 2 from school, and 1 in from Austin). N was also there with another little brother.

We played a "find the block" game with Duplos,

Then built towers with the blocks we'd found,
Then built Lego vehicles (that everyone got to take home as their goodie),

Ate hot dogs and mac n' cheese for lunch,

And had a cake decorated with Lego block candy.
All around a ton of fun!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Happy Birthday, Little Man!

Happy Birthday, J! I can't believe you are four years old today. I love you so much and I can't wait to spend many more birthdays with you. I'm still a little in shock that you are four already. At the same time, I sometimes have trouble believing that you just turned 4 today. I expect so much of you sometimes as you are my "big boy." But don't worry, you'll always be my baby too.

I love it when you get sweet and snuggly with me--even if you do seem to do it when I really should be doing something else. There is nothing in the world that feels nicer to me than holding you in my lap and feeling you relax into me like there is nowhere else you'd rather be.

I love it when you get so excited over the little things like the fact that your uncle called you Big Al or the mac n' cheese I made is the spiral kind that you "always like." I love the joy in your voice when you tell me all about the latest Diego episode or the Lego vehicle that you built.

I'm so proud of you when you do the little things like put on your own clothes, help N play with a new toy, or help take let Pepper in or out.

I love that you like to play with Legos and that you are so good at following the picture instructions. I can't wait until you start designing your own vehicles and structures.

I love how you can tell me about all the different animals on Diego and what they like and what animals they are afraid of.

I love watching you make new friends every time we got to a park or playground or McDonald's play area.

I love that you have finally realized that you can climb and slide and everything else when we go to play areas and playgrounds. The smile on your face when you do just makes my heart happy.

I love that you still love books with a passion and that you are continuously finding new books that you love. Books have always been such an important part of my life and I love sharing that with you. Our story times at rest time and bedtime bring me such joy.

I'm sad that you no longer want to nap, but I love that you are growing up and becoming more independent and adventurous. I can't wait until that carries over to your eating :).

You bring such joy to my life. Please know that the reason we butt heads is because we are so much alike. I hope you will one day decide that that is a good thing. In the mean time, please remember that I love you so much and think that you are one of the sweetest, smartest, most wonderful little people I know.

Happy Birthday, Little Man! I love you so much!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Those Four Magic Words

All Yarn Half Off.

Just kidding.

As you may have guessed from earlier posts, J has been going through some rough times these days. He's almost 4 and he seems to be hitting the teen years a bit early. We've already discussed the napping situation which was really fun when he decided to add emptying his dresser to the mix...4 times. In other fun, he's been basically doing the opposite of what I say. If I say don't do it, he does it. If I say please do it, he doesn't. If I say no, he just tries to do it anyway. You get the drift. Needless to say there have been some less than pleasant days and nights recently. But things are getting better.

Tonight when I put J to bed, I told him "I love you" on my way out of his bedroom as I do every night. And, as he used to do every night, he said, "I love you, Mama." Ahhh... Those four magic words. It's amazing how they soothe my soul. All the butting heads and arguing and feelings of frustration are washed away by those four glorious words. Motherhood. It's an amazing thing.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Life is Crazy...No Time to Blog

I have a lot to blog about, but no time to blog...partially due to J no longer napping :(. Anyway, hopefully I will slow down long enough to blog soon. Just know that life is crazy (mostly in a good birthdays and house guests) and that I will post pics when I get a chance. Happy Wednesday, everyone!

Oh, and I am still knitting...currently working on a Slanting Gretel Tee for my sister.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Dear Fellow Moms,

Do you ever feel like your children are plotting against you? That they are purposely making your life as difficult as possible? Okay, so that may be a bit, just a bit, melodramatic, but that's how I'm feeling these days.

Just when I'm in the throws of doing crazy things like trying to knit a sweater in 17 days while my husband is out of town for all but five of them, J decides to give up taking a nap. He's been fighting it for a while--only sleeping during nap time maybe two or three times a week, but he was at least staying in his room during nap time. Now he's fighting me tooth and nail even to do that. For the last two and a half weeks (starting with the first day of the Ravelympics/Knitting Olympics), he has only slept maybe once. For many of those days I had to fight to keep him in his room including resorting to putting the child safety knob cover on one day. That day, he proceeded to empty the entire contests of his dresser (his entire wardrobe of clothes) onto the floor. He then stripped his bed down to the mattress and added all of that to the pile. He then got a roll of toilet paper and unrolled it and added it to the pile. He then cried hysterically for about 40 minutes when I made him clean it all up. Since then, he's emptied his dresser three more times. Will he ever learn? Will I?

I have SO much to do right now. On top of my regular cleaning, laundry, ironing, cooking and attempting to exercise again, I am busy trying to clean the house for upcoming guests, get ready for J's birthday and do a bunch of organizational things for my neighborhood moms group. I am feeling CRAZY about this whole no nap thing. I'm fine with him not sleeping, but he needs to at least listen to me and spend an hour in his room. To make matters even worse, because he's not napping he's really tired and keeps falling apart over EVERYTHING.

Sigh..... SIGH. This too shall pass. But in the meantime, I am mourning naptime as I once knew it. SIGH....