Wednesday, February 25, 2009

I'll be back

I'm busy. Too busy to even be here right now.
Saturday, I'm hosting a baby shower for a precious friend. I have lots of chores to do for that.

Monday starts JBF- the best way ever to get rid of all the things we accumulate by having kids. So, this is what my guest room looks like as I work on things- hanging, ironing as needed, pricing, tagging, sorting. All the clothes hanging in the closet, the 3 boxes/tubs by the window, ALL the piles on the bed.
I promise that after Monday, maybe Tuesday, I'll be back to blogging. And, boy, do I have lots to blog. With pictures.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Girls Night Out

While on a bonus visit to my folks (Kevin had a conference in Houston all week), I got some grown up time. These are some of the mommies from the playgroup we were a part of when we still lived "down south". This is one super special playgroup. The original group met in childbirth class 5 years ago, when we were all preggo with our first babies. Those babies are about to turn 5. Boohoo! All the babies were due over about a two month time frame. Emma was first on March 6, and Ben was last on April 22 with lots of babies in between (a few even have the same birthday). When Beth was about 3 weeks old, we had out first gathering. We were all so lost at this motherhood thing, struggling with sleepless night, squishy bodies, nursing issues and then those nutty hormones. It was an akward meeting, but we formed the best, lasting friendships, helping each other with ideas and encouragement.
We met every week. Eventually, the babies even played with each other. Beth was known for crawling toward the boys and non-chalantly pulling their hair.

Over time, we added friends with babies. Some stopped coming because they went back to work. The original group mostly stayed together. We would have some gatherings so the daddies could be included too- pool party in June, Halloween party, Chirstmas party. We had a big celebration for their first birthday. This is the post-cupcake picture.
Another year gone by, we don't meet as often. Some have added baby #2. One family moved away (though mom was visiting without her kiddo for the party). My how they've changed!
Over the next year, 2 more families moved away, including us, and a few more familes joined in. We came to town to visit for party #3 but apparently I don't have pictures on the computer. We didn't make it into town for #4. Party #5 will be postponed until summer, and we'll make that one! It's amazing to see how much the kids have grown and changed over the years. So far, only Angie has added a baby #3.

Back to my night out with the girls. See what a treasure to spend time with these dear friends? We tried out some bar and grill place. Certainly bar food, but good drinks and great company. We talked and laughed for 3 hours. We all commented how nice it was to not have to cut up food or help. We just got to be ourselves for a while. After a few beers, Christie got the hiccups. Ruthann convinced her to stand against a wall and bed over to tie her shoes to make these hiccups go away. We laughed so hard! I tried to get a picture, but was laughing too hard. Then, Emily had her say "watermelon, watermelon, watermelon". I think she did something else to. So, one of those tricks worked, we're just not sure which one.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Grandpa came to town

Ok, so I have a ton of things to blog that happened between Disney and now, but this is too fun not to blog tonight.

Grandpa, Kevin's dad, is in town to help Kevin with the first installation of our laminate floors. Hooray!!!!!!!!!!! The kids were so happy to see "Pa". They'd been waiting all day, knowing he was coming.

We had dinner at Logan's Roadhouse where Jacob alternated between screaming in general and flirting with the ladies behind us. Beth quietly colored and ate her dinner, mostly butter with a little bread. Jacob was cranky until his mashed tatas came, then we couldn't shovel it in fast enough. I swear I feed my kids. I just never know what they'll actually decided to eat from day to day. Heck, Beth even ate corn today for lunch, after declaring for a long time that she hates corn. Anyway, once the mashed tatas and sweet tea were gone, he was back to cranky and tired.

Once we got home and tucked Jacob into bed without a fuss, Kevin showed his dad the Wii. The Lablues have a Wii, but I don't think Ronnie's ever tried it, only watched. Tonight, we got him to play MarioKart and Guitar Hero. What fun! I think he may be asking the Lablues if he can come over to play now. :) I seriously don't know that I've ever seen Ronnie play anything of the sort, like games, and he was a great sport about it tonight. Beth was quite a cheerleader and teacher, too. I think Grandpa was pretty impressed with her.

Now, Grandpa is listening to Beth read a story for bed. Good stuff!


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

For all you nerds

I found this while experiencing blog-ADD. I can't stop. Enjoy, nerd friends. The rest of you, I hope you can enjoy it too.
My average this last round was 3.69

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Disney- Day 6, Animal Kingdom

Boy did that front blow through! It was cold and rainy. Luckily, Kevin and I both had jeans packed. We had to buy some sweatpants for Beth. She hates jeans, so I didn't pack them. After all, the weather forecast never mentioned cold front. Note for future travel- take both warm and cold weather clothes and pack panchos (despite reliving many a band practice in them).

The last park, Animal Kingdom. Kevin and I decided to buy panchos for ourselves as soon as we got there. I'm so glad we did since the rain just kept coming. Plus, they provided a bit of warmth from the nasty cold rain. Beth still didn't want to wear hers, but us having them too made it a little better.

I wanted to make sure we saw the Nemo stage show (the first thing we did) and the Lion King stage show (the last thing we did). Both great choices and especially nice to be dry and warm inside. Nemo was great! All the characters and songs! It was amazing to see the people use these huge puppet things for characters. I just can't get into words what it was like. Definitely my favorite show of the trip.
Lion King was great! With Disney, it's not just a show, it's a full on production. I've got to get this movie- Beth hasn't seen it yet. I think that would have helped it make more sense for her. All the other shows we saw are movies she's watched. Still, she enjoyed herself. Our section was the lions, and she roared with the best of them. At one point, volunteers were picked from the audience, and she asked why she didn't get picked. Not like she would have gone! Geez!

Animal Kingdom is like a zoo on Disney magic steroids. The animal habitats are works of art in themselves, so that each area looks just like that continent. Gorgeous! One of the walk through areas in Asia had beautiful tigers, though they were napping. For the animal area and then the bird area, there were "field guides" to learn info and help identify the birds. Beth thought it was great to be in charge of this information!
There are cast members all over the park, happy to give information about the animals, if you just stop long enough to listen. It's worth it, especially for Beth, who just soaks up information and asks as many questions as someone is willing to answer. If you walk around long enough, you'll find all kinds of places with animals to see and learn about. We really enjoyed our stop in Africa for lunch. YUM!

We rode a train over to Rafiki's Planet Watch and Conservation Station. They have this great area set up where we listened to sounds of the rain forest in the dark- that didn't go over well. There was a vet area where we actually saw them finishing up some testing procedures on one of the animals in the park. While waiting for Pocahantas (the last specifically requested person Beth wanted to meet), Beth colored and got to listen to a couple animal presentations. Fun stuff, even though it is educational. Kevin found a way to keep himself occupied while waiting- looking for ways to make funny pictures. Only, with a 4 year old, it doesn't quite work out as planned.

The Kilimanjaro Safari ride was amazing! We got to see so many African animals in a created environment where they were free to roam. Kevin was a bit worried that there wasn't anything between us and the animals, but I saw the carefully disguised fences :). I was really wishing I'd packed by big zoom lens for this day!
We stopped to watch the parade. We'd settled in to wait for a while, then everyone got in our way. It took a few tries, but finally a family scooched over so Beth could see. Great costumes and rides celebrating all the animals. However, when characters neared, Beth turned to hide. Maybe next trip....

This park closes early in the day, which was fine with us. We had our last Disney dinner at the resort restaurant, finished up the shopping in the resort gift shop and packed up to head home the next day. When we got to the room, instead of an animal surprise, Beth's dolls were busy playing a game of tic-tac-toe. Beth thought that was the best yet!

Saturday- Time to go home.
We were sad to leave Disney. But, I was ready to see Jacob. Besides, all the laundry we'd created through the week- one whole packed giant suitcase worth- I needed to wash!
Last Disney photo op at the airport! Then, we had some McDonalds before boarding the plane. That was weird, a whole week without McD, and I didn't miss it until I saw the sign. Gee, we eat there too much!
And, yes, we're already trying to figure out when we'll go again. Originally we said when Jacob turns 4, but we don't think we can wait that long.
PS- Mom, this took an hour to type and add pics. No more whining from you!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Disney- Day 5 back to Magic Kingdom

Since the night parade wasn't scheduled Tuesday, we made plans to head for Magic Kingdom a day the parade was happening. It's such a neat parade, we wanted Beth to see it. Plus, with all the princessy activity Tuesday, we didn't get to ride all the rides we wanted to.
We rode Pirates of the Caribbean (twice). They've changed it to incorporate the movies, and I didn't like it as much. However, at the entrance, "Yo ho ho, a pirate's life for me"- Beth recognized it as something her friend Jackson says. How cute! Aladdin's magic carpet ride was perfect for Beth. She got to "steer" it up and down, while Kevin got to steer it leaning forward and back. I got to hold on.

Jungle cruise is one of those classic rides. Beth kept asking, of course, "Is it real?". She listened closely to the cruise director, though she didn't get any of the cheesy jokes. Still, it was fun.

Of course we had to ride Haunted Mansion again (twice). Beth still declares it her favorite ride. We ate lunch at Pinnochio's something or other, which overlooks the It's a Small World ride. Of course we had to ride that one again. And, of course, we had to ride Buzz Lightyear again. This time, I noticed that the information screen where Buzz was telling people the mission was actually a giant view master. Love it! This time, I tried to let Beth shoot so I could drive (and not get dizzy), but she didn't go for that. She was nicer about driving/spinning it, thankfully!
We rode Carousel of Progess (twice). I tried to explain the old "ice box" and phonograph and other old stuff to Beth, but she couldn't quite understand. She did, of course, love the song, singing along every time- "There's a great big beautiful tomorrow, shining at the end of every day..." This time on the teacups, Beth and Kevin got brave, holding their hands up. It was so much fun to watch them giggle.

We spent a little time waiting for things today, though it still wasn't bad. Ok, the line for meeting the fairies was horrible- an hour. We played tic-tac-toe (one of Beth's morning surprises), and I taught her how to play hangman. These are just a few pics from moments waiting. In one, I actually get to prove I was there too. :)

More characters. Today was the day we really needed to finish up since we weren't sure who would be found at Animal Kingdom on our last day. Aladdin, Jasmine and Genie were all found at once. Beth didn't like Genie, but loved meeting Jasmine and Aladdin.
Those fairies we had to wait so long for, it was worth it for Beth. She thought it was great. I loved how they were all so true to character, even when one of them goofed about a question, they recovered it. Fawn, Rain Drop and Tinkerbell.
While we were waiting for Tink and her friends, the skies opened up and rained POURED. So glad to be inside waiting before that hit! We rode the train to main street just in time to see part of the afternoon parade. Some very nice people scooched enough that Beth could be right up front to see. The man was wearing a Dallas Cowboys shirt, so he had to be alright, but after letting my kid in front, he won big points.

We stopped for an ice cream treat. Beth's was adorable with cookies to make Mickey ears. Not 10 licks into it, the ice cream rolled off the cone onto the sidewalk. She talked about that catastrophe the rest of the day. Poor girl. Next time, we'll get it in a bowl. I had a delicious root beer float, and Kevin had a double scoop cone. This nasty rainy weather wasn't getting any better, and my little travel umbrella (Thanks, Charlotte- it was a perfect size to carry around) wasn't working for all of us. I bought Beth a poncho. She was so upset since she wanted to use the umbrella. Of course, when I asked for a picture, she changed to a happy face quick!

Thanks to the rain, the night parade (the whole reason for going today) was cancelled. Crowds thinned out, and we literally walked onto any ride we wanted after dinner. The fireworks show still happened though. Beth covered her ears from the sound but still ooohhhed and aaahhhed. The castle in the foreground truly makes these fireworks more magical than just regular ones. What a show!
I was kinda sad this was our last day at Magic Kingdom, but we rode everything we possibly could, most more than once. What a magical place!