Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Ode To Chick-A-Lay

I have said it before and I am sure I have blogged about it, but I love Chick-Fil-A. And the location on Hillcrest and Lovers is like the crem de la crem of Chick-a-lays (as we call it). It is like they have read the suggestion box in my brain (except for the one about serving brownies without nuts) and fulfilled everything I can think of. Yes, my fantasies are rather sad these days.

After a morning of convincing myself repeatedly that my kids were in fact my kids and not some possessed psychopaths that someone dropped off for me to raise, we met Daddy for lunch at Chick-a-lay. And somewhere between the complimentary Purell wipes and self adhesive kids place-mats, chicken nuggets and chocolate milk, seats right next to the free-for-all play area and an IV of sweet tea I found my sanity and the strength to face the rest of the day.

I realize that eating fast food at a restaurant full of kids isn't exactly most peoples ideal spot for finding serenity. And there have been exceptions, especially within Stacey's potty training phase, when this was not a happy place for me. But, today at chick-a-lay no one complained about the meal, no one laid on the ground to cry in protest of the drink choice or the seating arrangement and getting up from the table to play was encouraged. I had a lovely salad and got to talk with my husband for at least 10 minutes without interruption. And that is NO small victory. So for this victory I say thank you chick-a-lay. Now if you could just figure out the brownie thing...

Hearing Impaired

I think my children might be deaf.

They respond to sound and their speech doesn't seem impaired but it is the only explanation that I can come up with for their behavior. SURELY if they could hear the instructions, advice, warnings and threats that I am gently pouring (or occasionally wildly screaming) at them 24/7 they would not be arguing, hitting, screaming, pouting, crying, WHINING, chocking , pushing, WHINING, disobeying and disrespecting. Surely.

We're off for a hearing test. Keep your fingers crossed, the alternative is rather unpleasant.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Brown Bunch

We got to keep the Browns yesterday while Shannon was in Houston. My boys think Landon and Reagan hung the moon and were elated that they got to stay ALL DAY!! 

I was worried I wouldn't have any tricks up my sleeve for entertaining these mature guests. At 2 & 3 W and S are still easily entertained by a cardboard box (at least for a little while), but at 4 and 6 I was nervous we wouldn't have the cool factor they were looking for in a top notch play date.

Thankfully the bunk beds are a ringer when it comes to cool!! Phew!!
They worked VERY hard on a welcome home banner for Shannon. Stacey added all the blue scribbles and Reagan and Landon were quick to encourage and assure him that she would love it no matter how much he colored out of the lines or how uncolorful his choice of just blue was!
I think the stick figures are our blended family :)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Big Pool

After our week in Waco for VBS we headed down to Lake LBJ for the weekend. It was our first time this summer and my first time since Granny Liz, my grandmother, passed away. I REALLY MISSED her being there. 

Mom and Dad have done a fantastic job updating the house and this little spot remains one of my favorite places in the whole world. The boys were super excited and based on this trip I think it will continue to become one of their favorite spots too. Stacey kept running into each room and yelling, "This place is AWESOME!!"

I wish I could have captured their excitement - HA!
They couldn't wait to get out on the boat and neither could I. After, well, I think most of my lifetime, my parents said goodbye to our old boat, or Grey Ghost as we called her, and hello to a new ride!!

We went on an evening ride after baths and the boys jackets were still wet so sunshine got to borrow a pretty pink jacket. We decided with his long hair and girly jacket he looked a little too sweet for the tough guy he is, but he couldn't have cared less.
Ahhh, this is the life! GP was letting Stacey man the reigns and get a feel for the new boat.
Saturday morning III woke up pleading non stop to blow up this pool and slide that he'd spotted on the way down. Of course GP obliged and the boys were wet ASAP. Stacey used the step as more of a launching pad and would just fly over the slide into the water.

I think we got our Christmas Card! JK - hello I am in my swimsuit with no makeup, a picture I would only share with my faithful readers :). That's just one more reason I love the lake, no makeup or hair dryer required.
Then it was off on the tube! Stacey jumped right on (with Daddy close behind), but the rope broke and he got a mouthful of unexpected water so I'm hoping we didn't ruin him for the future. Wyatt wanted to ride as well (I was shocked) so both boys had their first go on the tube (I didn't want to tell them at the time, but it is probably the only time GP or Daddy will be that sweet while they are riding, usually it is Man vs. Tube a survival challenge).
Mom, Stacey and Sean also took a turn. I love Mom sitting up waving like she's in a parade!!
Jeronomo!! III kept asking to go in "the big pool" 
Nothing says summer at the lake better than watermelon. Wyatt ate about eight pieces, he was a machine!

Our sweet friends the Svoboda's joined us on Sat. and I was thrilled to get some hang time with Katy before baby Clark gets here next month!! We had fun looking through Granny Liz's guest book at all the signature's, including several of Katy's, of old friends that visited the lake house over the years. Of course I took no pictures of the adults (other than Sean on the tube). But plenty of this trio. AnnMarie is about as cute as they come.

Pink jacket looks a little more at home on AM. Getting her guns up with Honey. She is 1/3 Red Raider, but we'll claim her 100%!!!
It was a wonderful weekend and we can't wait to come back for more exhausting fun on the 4th!! 

Thursday, June 18, 2009


As you might have gathered from the title, last week did not turn out exactly how I pictured it, but let me back up a little.

It was VBS week at FBC Woodway and last summer we came down for the week to hang with my family, visit with friends enjoy lunch and play dates, trips to the pool etc. and of course help/attend VBS - which my boys LOVED. So Sunday we loaded up and headed to Waco for what I hoped would be a repeat of last year, but a repeat wasn't exactly on the horizon.

Wyatt started running fever just before we left, but I chalked it up to exhaustion. He had been waking up in the middle of the night ALL week SCREAMING for hours - good times for all involved - but he had no symptoms of anything so we were clueless. He had his new front tooth put in last week (after three trips to the dentist, such a trooper! but that is for another post), so I also thought he might just be irritated from the new hardware...? Long story longer on Monday he had fever blisters on his bottom lip and sores on the roof of his mouth so we decided we'd better visit the doctor. Thankfully, my sister Angie is good friends with her wonderful pediatrician and he agreed to see Wyatt last minute -THANK YOU!!!! With one look in Wyatt's mouth he said, "Well, this is going to sound bad, but it really isn't......he has.......(dramatic pause added by me).......HERPES!!!!!."

Excuse me?? Yep, herpes, I guess I can add that to my list of things I never thought I'd hear about my TWO-YEAR-OLD!! I assured him that Wyatt was not at all promiscuous, but it was herpes non the less. After calling all his partners, OK just kidding, but seriously you have to laugh a little that my toddler has HERPES!!! Obviously the kind in the mouth and not the STD strand of the virus, but still, sort of crazy.

The not so funny part was my sweet baby who was in CRAZY pain and pretty miserable. His little mouth looked like a cold sore mine field. The doctor said he had over 30 sores in there. And at one point he had stopped talking and eating all together - it was heartbreaking. I thought about taking some video to share at the next high school assembly with the message of If You Think This Hurts...but decided he might not like being the face of herpes once he is in kindergarten and everyone gets all judgmental.

His T-shirt says Rocking Out For Summer, but the only rocking going on with this guy was with Mommy in a chair. :(
Thankfully, after many a sneakily hidden dose of his meds in chocolate milk (the one thing he finally took after many a failed attempts at other beverages) he is feeling MUCH better. 

Being in Waco with my little germ factory was actually a huge blessing. I had many hands to help out with my inconsolable Wyatt, and actually got to take a break and help at VBS a few days. Additionally, Stacey was thoroughly entertained ALL week with VBS and other activities. And anyone who has ever had a sick child knows how invaluable breaks, helping hands, and entertainment and distractions for the healthy sibling are!! Thank you Honey, GP & Angie for your willingness to keep Wyatt, entertain Stacey and pick up my slack at VBS.

This kiddo rocked out all week Backstage at Vacation Bible School -- whoop whoop!! He was so sweet and prayed for Wyatt to feel better every night, way to keep it real superstar!
In missions with Mommy,
And Traveling Sue!! My BFF Lauren made an appearance each day as Traveling Sue and talked to the kids about missions in India. They were SO enthralled and thought she was TOO COOL!! Nice job Lori :)
Speaking of BFFs. Ryan is #1 in Stacey's picks for his entourage.
Quick call from my agent...I mean Daddy, just another day in the life of a VIP.
Thursday night Wyatt was starting to show signs of improvement and even talking a little so we called of the quarantine for a few hours and let him out for the Go Fish concert.
I felt like we were back in Disney, only better because these guys are believers!! These pictures in NO way capture the boys enthusiasm. They were dancing on the isles like crazies and LOVED every minute of it. After the week he had Wyatt only lasted until intermission,
but the big boys made it to the home stretch and we've been singing 5 little monkeys ever since!

Wyatt is back to himself 100% and I love seeing his sweet smile and hearing his raspy little voice more than ever after 4 days without it. And hopefully we won't have to talk about herpes again until...well forever :)

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Play Date

My sweet friend Karla hosted us on Friday for a fabulous outdoor play date. I was finding it difficult to string a sentence together after about 20 minutes in the heat, but the kids were LOVING it. She had the pool set up, water balloons, water guns, a new swing set and after a little time splashing around - a great mud pit. :) My kids love Noah and Haley and I love me some Karla so we are always happy to have an excuse to get together.

I'm posting this from my parents house, we're enjoying Vacation Bible School (yeah VBS!!!!) this week, actually, just Stacey is this morning, Wyatt is a little under the weather :(. We're praying he feels better fast so he can enjoy it too. Anyway, I can't seem to get these pictures in the order I'd like, but here are the big boys with a slide that became a boat and golf clubs that made perfect ores. I love their creativity. Stacey spent as much time on this swing as he did in the water, I think he loved how easily he could make it go. Wyatt needs to master his approach and dismount (it is only a matter of time before he loses ALL his teeth :), but he loved it too.
Wyatt & Haley
Stacey and Noah armed and ready for action.
Thanks for a great morning!!!

Kris Kross Will Make Ya - JUMP JUMP

Last week we went to Going Bonkers for the first time with for a Building Blocks Fun Friday outing. The boys LOVE a good bounce house visit, but this HUGE Cars slide was like a dream come true...seriously I thought they were going to pass out from the excitement of just seeing it!!

They each have their own unique spin on the dismount:

Air-born abandon
And sliding securely.
Then, just one day later it was Taylor's Princess party and they got to spend hours (thanks Chris and Melanie for letting my family invade as usual!!) in this precious bounce house. They might not know too much about Snow White, Belle, Aerial or Cinderella, but they know a good bounce house when they see one and they struck gold with this one.

I had a wedding to go to so I had to miss out on the festivities but from what I hear the three amigos (Chris made the pork, Melanie made the slaw - and a million other goodies - and Stacey made the sauces) had VERY tasty pulled pork sandwiches.
YUM-O I can't wait for football season, I'm hoping they try it again at the next Red Raider Tailgate so I can taste it!

Wonder if they have Texas Tech bounce houses? :)


Big and Nannie are always full of surprises so when we were at their house this week and Nannie said, "Come in here boys I've got a surprise!" I didn't think too much of it, that was until I saw the surprise. She had a tiny PIGLET in her bathtub!!!! Kimberleigh (our cousin) is in town for the week and she brought Pickles, the newest addition to the pig family at her house, with her. I didn't get a very good head on picture, but his snout and hooves are just so cute and so tiny!!
Stacey was immediately in love with "piggie" as he called him.
His squealing made Wyatt a little nervous at first, but he warmed up. Pickles drinks formula every few hours so Kimberleigh has to set an alarm and feed him in the middle of the night - what a dedicated animal lover!
You could say they were in hog heaven. :)

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Disney Days - Animal Kingdom

On our last day in Disney we set out sights on Animal Kingdom.
But, not before a few more photos in the ears.
Oh the love. Stacey likes to "pet" Lila on the head but on this particular morning she was getting hugs and kisses from all the cousins.
Last ride on the tram. Sniff, Sniff.
First stop, Africa. Drum circle anyone? Looks like the skills I learned during my Jr. High days in the percussion section may have been inherited.
We spent a little time in Dinoland then we were off on a Kilimanjaro Safari...ooooo...ahhhhh. It was like a ride through a great zoo and the boys loved all the animals. 
We had lunch and rode Expedition Everest - a serious roller coaster, only for 44inchers, but after that our posse was fading fast and ready to call it a day. I was sad to miss out on all of the great shows that Animal Kingdom is supposed to have but the show times and our group's spirits were not matching up. Guess we'll just have to come back. :)

We hit the pool one last time and what better way to wrap up our last night of the trip then with one final slushy, ahh, now that's refreshing.
Mom and Dad- THANK YOU so much for an amazing trip. My parents provided the condo and as a last minute surprise sprang for our park tickets!!! Which basically gave us the freedom to enjoy the trip to its fullest without having to count the number of slushies we bought - thank heavens. We want to give our kids everything they wish for, but obviously doing that on a daily basis would create some pretty spoiled kids - however, being able to do it for a week was TOO FUN!! Everyday we got to do things they loved and for the most part were able to say yes to just about whatever they wanted.

In the spirit of full disclosure there were lots on long lines, ridiculous heat, endless walking, several melt downs and I might have yelled at my husband a few times, but along with that were some incredible moments with my family and memories that were worth every single minute of it.

Thanks for reading along with our Disney Days, can't wait to read about all your summer adventures!! 

And don't you worry your pretty little heads about our reentry into the real world. Big showed up at the airport with goodie bags so they are acclimating back to reality very slowly. :) 
M-I-C, See ya real soon, K-E-Y, Why, because we like you, M-O-U-S-E!!!!