Thursday, March 31, 2011


The Texas State Flower is the bluebonnet. During the drive to Logan's T-ball game, we noticed the highways were lined with these bluebonnets. I was hoping there would be a field of them near Logan's game so we could go take some pictures. Lucky for me, there was! I've wanted to do this since I found out how prevalent this flower was, years ago. But up until this past weekend, I hadn't come across a field when I had time to do so.

We walked out to the field before Logan's game started and took a few photos. Aiden was so interested in the flowers, that it was hard to catch him smiling away from the ground. I think we caught a couple good ones though.

Aiden doesn't really say "I love you" yet, but hugs like these let us know that he does.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The rest of the weekend

Aiden screamed for the first 10 minutes on the drive home from Gatti Town. The last part of our drive was scream-free, since he fell asleep. In the car! Isn't it amazing?

We let Aiden sleep right up until it was time to leave for dinner. We attempted to go to a BBQ place that they said was amazing, called Salt Lick. Turns out, that place is hoppin' on a Saturday night. There was a two hour wait. Just looking at that parking lot, I cannot believe that the wait was only two hours. There was a constant steady stream of cars pulling into what seemed an endless parking lot. It was so thick with cars that cops were directing traffic.

The restaurant looked really cute. It's in the middle of nowhere, so the surrounding area is beautiful and green. They had a band playing and it's BYOB. If we didn't have cranky kids in tow, we probably would have stuck around for the wait.

Since we DID have cranky children (and by this point, cranky Nikki), we headed back towards Sara and JR's house. We tried another BBQ place (our mouths were watering for BBQ after the aroma from Salt Lick reached our cars), but they were packed for Crawfish Night. We finally found a place a couple blocks away that looked like a giant warehouse. There was only one table of people when we walked in the doors. I've decided that these hole-in-the-wall places can be the most gratifying.

We pushed a bunch of tables together so we were seated like you did in the cafeteria in grade school. The food was awesome, and this was another BYOB place, so we popped open a bottle of wine and the guys cracked open a beer.

I INHALED my chipped beef sandwich. After trying Travis' brisket, I was bummed I hadn't gotten that. I didn't grow up around brisket, so I always forget it exists. Aiden happily ate away on the other side of Travis, over by Logan and his cousin Isaiah. We went outside when a train went by, since Aiden's current obsession appears to be trains and large trucks.

After dinner, we all went back to Sara and JR's for a game of Apples to Apples. We had 11 people playing. I'm pretty sure that's a record for largest group for me to play with. We still had a great time.

Travis, Carol (JR's mom), JR, Wheldon and Casey (Sara's parents)

Kyle (Vanessa's date), Vanessa (Sara's sister), Isabella, Sara and Brittany (JR's sister)

The only person not shown is Sara's other sister Randi Beth because she left the party early. The next morning, they made us breakfast and we hung around drinking coffee. Aiden got up at his normal 7 o'clock, so I was pretty exhausted by this point. We stayed up late every night, got up early and had full and active days. I was WORN out. This was the first time that it was just Logan, Landry and Aiden, so it was cute to watch them interact. Aiden followed Logan around, examining all his big boy toys. Landry and Aiden played with some foam letters together and then we let them run around outside for a bit. Of course, Aiden's ears seem to be tuned in for trains these days, so he loved it when a train went by somewhere in the distance.

For his birthday, Logan got a new bicycle with training wheels. Aiden really loved this bike, but he was entirely too small for it, so we had to help him on and off.

We had the car loaded and were on the road at 11 that morning. We had seen a Steak 'n Shake the previous day. That restaurant was all over the place when we lived in Illinois, but we have never seen one in Texas. Since it was lunch time, we decided to make the short detour north to eat there. It was interesting to see the slightly different menu, although the staples were still there. They offered a Guacamole Burger and a Chipotle Burger. Both of which are not available in Illinois. Travis got the Chipotle Burger and I got the Frisco Melt. We had enough food to just share with Aiden.

Of course, we both got shakes for the road. It was amazing. I was STUFFED. Actually, writing about this is making me hungry. Travis drove halfway home, while Aiden slept. I drove the last half, after Aiden woke up. Aiden was ready to be out of that car, so the last 30 minutes were pretty stressful for me.

It was good to be home after such a busy weekend. But it was worth it!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Logan's 4th

After Logan's T-ball game, we went back to the house. By this point, all the grandparents had arrived, so there was a full house. After about an hour of chatting, we got back on the road to go to Gatti Town. It is an all-you-can-eat pizza buffet (with spaghetti, salad and dessert, etc) with a huge arcade room.

The party started at noon, so we were all hungry by the time we got settled in. I made Aiden and I a plate and then Travis went to get his food. Apparently Aiden was just as hungry as the rest of us because he sat there and ate until we were all finished. I'm sure it helped that Scooby Doo was playing on a huge projector screen in the room.

After we ate, we migrated to the arcade. Aiden was enthralled with all the bright lights, Landry was in awe and Logan quickly ran from game to game, checking everything out.

We saw the largest crane game I've ever seen in my life. I'm pretty sure all the plush toys were larger than Aiden. Oh and all I could think was "the claaaaawwww".

Did you spot Aiden in the photo above? Haha! His favorite game, by far, was the mini bowling.

It was so cute! The lanes were shorter than normal, and the bowling balls were the size of a softball. Aiden kept wanted to throw the ball overhand down the lane. We quickly figured out that the best way was to have him sit down and push the ball. That seemed to eliminate the urge to throw. After the kids had spent some time in the game room, we headed back to the table for cupcakes and presents.

I came across this Lite Brite when I was overwhelmed in the toy aisles at Target. I know Logan is really into action figures, but I never wrote down which ones. So when I was at the store, I was worrying about getting something he already has, or getting the wrong one. In the end, I went for more traditional toys: Lite Brite and Playdoh!

The funny part about this Lite Brite, is that it is a "flat screen". It appears that everyone is going thin and light, even children. The one I had as a child was this huge thing with a back large enough to house an entire normal size light bulb. When I tried to look up a photo of the Lite Brite I had, it was considered vintage. What?! Ugh.

Aiden threw a fit when we left the game room for cake and presents, so Travis stayed in there with him while I went to watch Logan. Afterward, I went to find the rest of my family. I found Travis struggling in a photo booth with Aiden. He did not want to sit still AT ALL. The photo was HILARIOUS. I plan to scan it to show the world, but I haven't gotten around to it yet. We pushed our luck with all three of us in another photo booth. I promise to share as soon as I get them scanned.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Logan's first T-ball game

This past weekend Travis, Aiden and I piled into the car and drove to south Austin for the weekend. Logan celebrated his 4th birthday. Friday night, we ate dinner after work, then got on the road for the three and a half hour drive. We hit some traffic in west Houston. Thankfully it was in an area of town that Travis knows, so we were able to quickly maneuver around the mess.

We got to the Luck's new house a little after 10. I fell asleep at 9 and I was told that Aiden finally fell asleep at 9:30. I felt drugged when it was time to unload the car. Aiden was ready to climb into his travel crib as soon as we brought him in the house.

We sat up for an hour doing a little catch up before heading to bed. It was nice to see our old friends again! And I was impressed with how much weight JR has lost. He's been on a diet for a little over a month now (Sara?) and he's lost about 40 pounds. It's amazing what just a change of diet can do for somebody.

Saturday morning we got up for Logan's first T-ball game. Logan's team consists of three- and four-year-olds. I was so excited to see a bunch of little kids play an organized game like that. It was HILARIOUS. I laughed so much. Every time the ball went into the field, every single kid out there would run after the ball. There was an adult at every base and placed sporadically around the field to coach the kids on what to do. All in all, I was pretty impressed with these kids' abilities. They seemed to grasp the basic concept, although there was the occasional batter that ran towards third before an adult could redirect him or her.

Logan's team is called the Purple Lil' Wranglers. All the teams are called the Lil' Wranglers, but each one has a different colored shirt. It worked out well for the referee. Before he placed the ball on the tee for each kid, he would yell "Lil' Wranglers, are you ready?!" in his booming baritone voice. Of course, that would get the attention of all the kids since they all fell under that name.

Here's JR, getting Logan's team shirt on. (It was their first game, so he didn't have a t-shirt yet.)

The bats seemed to be half the length of a normal bat. They made me chuckle. Sara gave Logan some batting tips.

Aiden was pretty interested in the game. He was also really interested in the dugout, in general. I think he wanted to get in there and play with the other kids. He also found that it was fun to scale the chain-link fence. That was scary for me, but we just let him do it. We figured that if he hurt himself, he'd hopefully learn from it (he never got higher than two feet). But then he never fell down or hurt himself! That kid constantly amazes me.

Aiden and Landry spent much of the game playing the red dirt. Everyone looked like they had bad spray tan with orange hands and feet by the time we headed home.

The guy in the cowboy hat and red shirt is the referee. He would show each batter the ball and ask them which picture they wanted to aim for on the ball. Then he would set up the ball with that photo facing the batter. He was really good at luring them into what they should be doing. Some of the kids were reluctant to get up to the plate. The picture decision on the ball helped distract them. Logan's a lefty, so if he sticks with the game, he'll have one up on his opponents later in life.

After the ball was set up, the ref yelled at the "pitcher" to throw the ball. The pitcher then made the hand motions like he was throwing the ball for the batter. (Lol!) After Logan hit the ball, he knew which base to run to first.

I don't know how they decide what to do, but sometimes the kids run just to first, sometimes they had home runs. It didn't seem to matter how many times they got tagged with the ball. I guess there are no outs or strikes or balls in T-ball. It totally makes sense to me, but man was it humorous.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Salsa Garden

Travis and I have completed another step in creating our raised garden. We had to wait a few weeks between steps because Travis was limited physically after his hernia repair. Actually, he is still limited, but I can tell he's having trouble following the rules completely. As of right now, he's allowed to lift up to 30 pounds and he's supposed to be on light duty. He says he's been following the weight restriction, but not so much the light-duty part.

To prove that, he filled the back of his truck with rock and then shoveled it into a wheel barrow when he got home. Then I wheeled the wheel barrow up a 6-inch wide wooden plank (laying inside the garden in this photo) to dump it in the frame. If that wasn't a test of balance, then I don't know what is. I was a little shaky the first couple times, but I caught on pretty quickly.

It was such a pain the butt getting the rocks out of all the cracks and crevasses in the bed of the truck. While Travis was sweeping up the rocks that had fallen on the driveway, I started spreading out the rocks in the garden frame. I could barely get the shovel into the rocks, but I did my best. Travis came over and finished it for me. I was grateful since I knew it would take me hours to do what he finished in 5 minutes. No wonder he's in such great shape! I was so sore the next day. Ridiculous.

We plan to fill the garden up with a few inches of soil, then another few inches of a soil/compost/manure mixture. If this garden doesn't grow something, I'm going to be pissed. ;) We wanted to do the soil this week, but decided to save our money for a trip to visit friends this weekend. Hopefully we'll be able to do the rest next week.

Travis started growing seeds in those little containers with a greenhouse cover. There are only a few sprouts, but at least it's something. We were planning on planting a bunch of veggies that have already been started anyway. I can't wait to start tending the garden!

I also planted a bunch of flower seeds around the yard this past weekend. A few of them have already sprouted. The next test is to see how long I can keep them alive. Stupid brown thumb...

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Kid's Country **Note addition at end

Sunday afternoon we made plans to go to the Houston Rodeo Carnival with the Yeager's. Neither Aiden nor Luke had ever been on carnival rides before, so we were really looking forward to it. Even though Linsey is eight and half months pregnant. LOL!

We did A LOT of walking that day. We had to park really far away, and then the Kid's Country section of the carnival was on the opposite side from the entrance. We stopped for fried zucchini on our walk and Zach got a hot dog. The zucchini was funny. They sliced it in half, long ways. So it almost looked like a fat pickle spear. Fried. Oh man was my tummy doing flips after that thing.

Once we arrived at the Kid's Country, we bought tickets to the rides and then began walking around trying to decide which one to do first. We were super upset to find that our guys are both under 36", the minimum height for the rides. WE WERE SO BUMMED. And you'd think they'd have a sign up at the ticket booth that says "Must be 36" or taller to ride" because now we had a bunch of tickets we couldn't use. =(

We walked around for a bit and came across the petting zoo! Aiden was in awe when we walked in there. We set him down on the ground and he just pointed at every animal he could say and yelled something we couldn't decipher. Here he is attempting to feed a sheep that just wants to be left alone:

After we left the petting zoo, we walked around to check out more of the rides. We jumped on the carousel and gave that a spin. Aiden was okay at first, but then he got a little scared when we all started saying "yeehaw!" (they were both on horses). I jumped on a neighboring horse to show him it was okay. It didn't help Aiden, but boy was I having fun! Having a kid is awesome because it gives you an excuse to act like a kid again. Teehee. Luke did NOT want to get off the carousel, and for some reason Aiden started to fuss when we got off even though he did not seem to be enjoying himself during.

We finally found one ride that would let children under 36" go with an adult. Both boys LOVED it. When it first started, Aiden lifted one arm and said "Wooo" very calmly. He had a death grip on the lap bar for the remainder of the ride. He got so serious, it was hard not to laugh. They started crying when the ride stopped and we had to get off.

After that, we found a "farm" to walk through. At each station, they taught you about a particular part of running a farm, then they gave the kids a sample to put in their basket. They learned how to milk a cow (and got a carton of milk)...

...plant seeds and farm them (and take the resulting grown veggie - Aiden got an onion)...

...pick fruit from trees (with a peach to-go), shear a sheep (a baggie of wool for the road), etc. At the end, they sold their goods to the market and got play money in return.

Lastly, we walked through a store and they were able to pick out a real goodie to eat. We grabbed some crackers for Aiden and had him pay the cashier for his bounty. It was so cute.

The Yeager's, enjoying their snack from the "store".

By this point, it was dinner time, so we headed over to the food area. Linsey and Travis got BBQ and I got a slice of pizza to share with Aiden. After that, I absolutely HAD to try a fried Snickers. I've heard people mention all the fried goodies that are available at the Houston Rodeo Carnival, and that one sounded the most appealing to me. Next year I have to try the fried s'mores. Oooo, or maybe the fried Oreos?? A year sounds so long to wait...

I was surprised to find I did NOT gain any weight this weekend. Must have been all the exercise I got to balance out the junk food?

**************Editor's Addition*******************

Linsey pointed out that I forgot to mention a funny story from that day, so here it is!

Travis and Linsey stayed at the table with the kids while Zach and I went to get dessert. We each ordered our fried Snickers separately, then waited for them to be made "fresh". (Can something fried be considered fresh?) Zach had ordered first (I wanted him to get that chocolate to his pregnant wife stat!), so his name was called before mine. I walked up to retrieve mine shortly thereafter. The guy who had taken my order, handed me the basket and said, "Make sure to wait at least two minutes before you eat that or you'll be disappointed like you are in your marriage."

Blink, blink.

The nervous laughter ensued and I turned around to walk back to the group confused. What was he talking about? Was he randomly making a joke? What does he know about my marriage?

Linsey immediately knew he had said something strange to me and she questioned me. I gave a quick run-down of what the guy said. As we were walking away, it dawned on us. Zach and I were both wearing wedding rings and we ordered one right after another. But we paid for our desserts separately. He must have assumed we were married to each other!

Hahaha! I laughed. Zach? Didn't think it was so funny. His forehead creased with concern as he tromped along with us. Finally, he couldn't take it anymore.

"I'm going back," he said.

"Whaaa? Was he serious?" I asked Linsey, staring at him stomping away. She just nodded and laughed.

Sure enough, Zach went all the way back to the hut to give that guy a piece of his mind. He told us afterward what happened. He said the guy chuckled nervously as Zach approached, knowing he would have to deal with an angry 'husband'.

"First of all, we're not married.... Second of all, if we were, that was a really rude thing to say."

"Oh ya man. I'm sorry. I was just joking..." and Zach stomped back over to us, feeling a little better about getting that off his chest.

Way to stand up for our integrity Zach!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Blair's Third

Friday I left Aiden at daycare and went to the beach. David, Stephanie and Wednesday were there, along with Jenn, Billy and Micah. It was nice to get a few social moments without having to chase and entertain a toddler. I haven't had any sun since last summer, so I thought I would go 30 minutes without sunscreen. (I know, I know, cancer...) I know for a fact that I can burn after just an hour on the beach, so I didn't want to go that long. Unfortunately, I didn't pay close attention to the time and forgot to apply sunscreen until I'd been out for 45 minutes. Let's just say I'm a little itchy today.

That night, we went up to the Kemah Boardwalk for dinner. We thought we'd walk around for a while, then have dinner. BIG mistake. Not only is it the first month of nice weather, but it was also spring break. The boardwalk was PACKED. We had to park really far away and walk over. Then we decided to eat first, since there was obvious a huge wait at each restaurant. Our wait was an hour long. And we had to stick around to hear our name get called. After we sat down, it took forever for the server to take our order. Then it took even longer for the actual food to come out. Our salads didn't come out until after our food did. We just sent them back.

By this point, it was 8:45. An hour past Aiden's bedtime. He was cranky. Which meant I had little time to socialize, making ME cranky. I was happy to make it out of there. Oh and we never got to walk the boardwalk.

Aiden and I headed up to the Ramby's to help set up for Blair's third birthday party Saturday morning. Travis had to work, but he met us when he was off around noon. Aiden had absolutely no interest in his lunch once he saw Blair. I let him try out the bounce house before he had to lay down for his nap.

I have had Aiden on the probiotics for a couple months now. They help, but sadly have not gotten rid of his painful poos. He still has frequent bleeders and subsequent crying. That happened during nap time this Saturday and woke the birthday boy up. Thankfully, Blair didn't seem to be cranky for his party, but the threat was constantly lurking in the back of my head.

Aiden went back to sleep after I changed his diaper and I was able to help set up for the party. It was a cute construction theme (dirt cake, construction hat and tool belt party favor, etc) and there was lots of yummy food. The bounce house was a hit. Wednesday came before the party started so she was able to get a few jumps in before the party started. The kids went NUTS over that thing. And I'm not ashamed to say I may have gone a little nuts in it too. After the big kids got worn out, I went in with Aiden, Blair and Luke.

Seriously, if I could afford to buy one of those I would. Too bad this one is only for kids under 10. =( I had a blast jumping in that thing. I couldn't stop laughing whenever I got in there. Everyone probably thought I was going crazy.

I was a little distraught after we left the party. We left around 6:30 because Aiden was really worn out. The problem was he wouldn't stop playing. He just kept going and going, like the Energizer Bunny. (Side note: I don't recall those commercials being so funny.) When we were on the car ride home, I was trying to figure out what to do with Aiden. Usually when he's worn out and cranky like that it's bed time. That was not the case here. I settled for an evening lounging on the couch watching Toy Story. Since he'd been eating all afternoon, he wasn't hungry for dinner. Instead, I set some snacks on the coffee table and let him pick at will until bedtime.

This is one of the days I left my camera at home. I took a hundred photos with Chris and Alexa's camera, so hopefully I'll be able to steal a few of those to slap up here for you.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Top o' the mornin' to ya!

David, Stephanie and Wednesday made it in town in time for St. Patrick's Day this year. Then we called the Ramby's over to help us celebrate. I made corned beef and cabbage for the third year in a row. I made crap-ton this year. I did the meat and onions in the Crock Pot throughout the day, then added it to a pot on the stove in the evening, along with potatoes, carrots, celery and cabbage. There were LOTS of leftovers.

Since I didn't think the kiddos would be huge fans of the Irish meal, I made chicken nuggets, fries and corn for them. Aiden and Blair got a head start on their dinner before Wednesday arrived. Next year I'll have to find clear cups so they can have green milk!

Stylish in green, with GIANT green beers (in the mugs from Oktoberfest):

The Ramby girls enjoying the weather:

The sipping section (Aiden can't get up on the couch without a stool or help from an adult):

I miss these guys:

For dessert, I made my mom's St. Patty's Day ice cream. This recipe's not for the young ones:

Breyer's Vanilla Bean ice cream (best vanilla ice cream ever), topped with green Creme de Menthe and crumbled chocolate cookies (in this case, I used Girl Scout Thin Mints). It was divine.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Sun, Friends and Fun

A lot has happened in the last four days! David, Stephanie and Wednesday came to town, we celebrated St. Patty's Day, went to the beach, celebrated Blair's third birthday and went to the Houston Rodeo Carnival. All that and I'd say I forgot to bring my camera about 50% of the time. BAD NIKKI. I also have not had time to sort through my photos yet.

To tide you over until I can get everything in order so the posts are not a complete mess, here is a photo of me Southern fried:

Is my face really that long? Or did my camera phone stretch me out? ...weird. Oh and here's David in the frying process. He was out for hours longer than I, so you can imagine how sunny he looks. ;)

Poking a bucket with a stick. Typical David.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

More Movies, Less TV

I don't recall if I've mentioned this yet, but Travis and I are planning to cancel our satellite TV after March Madness. We're waiting for the basketball thing to be over for Travis. Obviously. Since we rarely find the time to watch TV these days and are really far behind on all the movies that have come out since Aiden was born, we're planning to get either Netflix or Blockbuster. I'm leaning towards Netflix because I am interested in trying out the streaming video feature. We just plug the computer into the TV and voila! Instant movie!

I'm freaking out a little because AT&T's U-verse has decided to put a bandwidth cap effective in May. If AT&T is doing it, will the other Internet providers follow suit?! And if so, how will that affect the ability to stream movies on Netflix?! Ugh, decisions, decisions...

Either way, we're getting rid of our TV package in April. I will be sad to lose instant Elmo/Buzz/Blue's Clues/etc, but I should rely on TV to keep my child happy anyway. He already watches too much TV at daycare. Don't get me started on that.

This is all good timing because I have MORE movies to add to my to-watch list:
  • Paul, in theaters this weekend (those guys make me LAUGH)
  • Water for Elephants, April 22 (this one looks pretty, beyong the fact that Robert Pattinson the lead male)
  • Bridesmaids, May 13 (girl's version of Hangover, with Kristen Wiig in her first starring roll)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Summertime is Here

I didn't let Aiden's pain hold us back from a full weekend. Saturday afternoon I went to a couples baby shower for Kathryn, a girlfriend from college.

When I moved down here from Illinois, I didn't know anyone except for Travis. To remedy this, I joined the Sailing Club at TAMUG. The first person to befriend me was Kathryn. We hung out for the remainder of our time at A&M. Since we graduated, our lives caught up with us and we only got around to seeing each other once or twice a year.

She has a new house since I last went to her home. It was great to see where her and her husband are living. I was really impressed with the neighborhood. It is a gated community with its very own golf course and cul de sacs aplenty.

Travis worked all weekend, so he didn't go to the shower with us. I got to catch up with one of Kathryn's friends and I was surprised to see one of Rachel's friends there too. I ate BBQ and cupcakes while Aiden ran around with the other kids. He made occasional trips back to me for a bite of mac and cheese or cupcake here and there.

Kathryn and Blake (and Kathryn's mom):

I was a little conflicted on what to do about Aiden's interest in adults. He went up to every guy in the living room and either climbed up on their lap, opened his mouth for a bite of their food, or pulled on their pant leg until they squatted down to have a chat. I love that he is being a social butterfly (even if it was only with the guys), but I don't know if it's bothering the other person or if I should teach Aiden to be more leery of strangers.

I think this is the first time we've gone to a party with kids we didn't know. He got along with them so well. I was ecstatic. I suppose he gets lots of practice playing with multiple children at once at daycare. But I was surprised to see him playing with other children; as opposed to along side other children.

He ran around with three older kids most of the time (between 2 and 5 years old), but the child that seemed to intrigue him the most was a baby boy around 11 months old. He was still crawling, but he could pull himself up on furniture. Aiden kept squatting down next to the ottoman the baby was hanging on to play peekaboo. It gave me hope for our next child.

Sunday morning we went to Ariel and Robert's to celebrate Robert's birthday. I got there before Aiden's nap, so I could help out while he was sleeping. They grilled corn and a couple different meats. I brought Greek pasta salad. Mmmm... Oh and there was watermelon too! For dessert, Robert requested a fruit pizza. Ariel was unable to find Cool Whip, so we had to made due with whipped cream. It turned out really well! I love the summertime.

Those yellow flowers behind this fantastic beer holder are the result of unpicked broccoli (similar to lettuce).

Travis came over as soon as he got off work - somewhere around 2 o'clock I think. A couple of Robert's friends came over soon after that. We ate fruit pizza and enjoyed a glass of champagne with frozen grapes. We got caught up watching the news coverage of the horrific footage of Japan. I am thoroughly distressed that they are continuing to have aftershocks that are larger are still considered large earthquakes. I found this article about how the earthquake affected the planet very interesting.

Besides that, it was a nice afternoon.

That evening, we went to watch Ariel and Robert play softball. Travis is not playing this "season" because of his surgery. I haven't gone to a game in so long because it got to be too hard to chase Aiden around. I was thoroughly surprised that Aiden sat happily between his dad and I through the whole game. He spent the first half eating an entire giant slice of pizza and drinking out of a big boy cup. Second half he seemed content to just sit between us.

I think if I could have Travis sitting with me I would go to more games. I would still give it a try if Travis was playing. I don't know if it was Travis' presence or the fact that he is older and 'more mature' these days. I'll give it another try, that's for sure!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Sometimes Travis makes me laugh

While reading Sesame Street books just before bed the other night, Travis contemplated the origin of Oscar with Aiden:
"Is Oscar a grouch because he lives in a trash can? Or does he live in a trash can because he's a grouch?"

Three weeks after his hernia repair, we are sitting on the couch with my feet in his lap:

He sneezes.

The sneeze sprays all over my feet because he makes NO EFFORT to cover his mouth.

He immediately says, "Ow." I guess it still hurts. =/


Monday, March 14, 2011

Please be a better week

Last week was a painful one for Aiden, and therefore for me also.

He had the fever associated with his croup on Monday and he was feeling all crummy Tuesday. He didn't sleep well all week because of the barking croup cough. Somewhere during all that his top two-year molars came in. He got a bloody nose Wednesday night. I didn't even know about it until he woke up Thursday morning and had dried blood under his nose and on his sheets.

Thursday he came home with a giant splinter in the palm of his hand. His teacher tried to dig it out, but only got the tip to break off. We were going to let it try to work its way out on its own, but it was really red and inflamed Friday morning. I dug out another third of it before taking him to daycare. The rest came out on its own during his bath that night.

Saturday morning, Aiden was being cranky so I tried taking him outside. That usually cheers him up. He was doing okay until he fell off his tricycle, busted his elbow and got his very first bleeding scrape. I know there will be many more to come, but it still bothered me. I brought him inside to clean it off and put on a bandaid, but he would have NOTHING to do with that bandaid. And it had Elmo on it! I think it was just a constant reminder that his elbow hurt. I tried bringing him back outside to distract him, but that wouldn't work. Finally, I brought him inside, took off the bandaid and laid with him until he calmed down.

Saturday afternoon, he fell down and scraped his knees on the sidewalk, but thankfully there was no blood this time.

Sunday we got by without any painful episodes.

Today was our first weekday after Daylight Savings Time. Aiden was so tired that he didn't fight me at all this morning. I just had a little trouble getting him to wake up (shown above).

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

These molars are killing me

The chitlin has been quite the handful lately. For the past several weeks he has been nothing but cranky. Lots and lots of crying. It was to the point that I was wondering if we were doing something wrong.

By the end of Christmas break, Aiden was just like this. I assumed that he was overwhelmed by so many people being in his personal space. I was starting to wonder if that was the deal again with Brenda staying at our house, but it didn't quite make sense to me. Brenda is only one person and she's not a in-your-face type of person.

Now I am convinced that Aiden's bad behavior and attitude can be attributed to teething! And croup.

He has been chewing on his fingers like crazy for the past week. I swear I checked his gums on Monday and nothing new was there. But today, when I was getting him out of the back seat for daycare, I noticed some new teeth poking through the gums! Two top molars (his first real molars to emerge) are working their way out. They aren't out all the way though, so there's still some more cranky attitude time ahead of us.

I know it would be horrible for him, but sometimes I just wish all his teeth would come out at the same time, like Kate's did. It would be a miserable couple of months, but then it would be over. Instead, we have to deal with an already independent, and therefore difficult at times, child who has been teething for over a year now.

He still has a gap on the bottom where his canines should go. IT NEVER ENDS.

As for the croup, he seems to be getting much better. The doctor said it usually lasts for 5 to 6 days. He started coughing Saturday night, so that means it should be over soon. We had a good morning yesterday, but the evening was horrific. Travis wondered aloud how I had dealt with him all day long when he was already frustrated after 15 minutes of being home. Thankfully, he wasn't like that the entire day.

I'm thinking I deserve a trip to the chiropractor this week...

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Roll-y Drawer

I almost forgot to include a quick shot of the drawers we put under the bed. We got one for each side. My plan for today during Aiden's nap is to fill all this new storage space!

Making Room

I am starting to freak out a little at the idea of adding another human to this house. We have 1300 sq ft of space, 3 bedrooms and 1.5 bathrooms. We have yet to finish remodeling the guest bedroom (on the other side of the new kitchen wall). We still need to finish the wall and build closets. Our plan is to get that finished before we have the next kid, which will hopefully be within the next year or so.

The sooner we finish it the better. We want to move Aiden into that room and keep Aiden's current room as the nursery for the new baby. I would like to move him into his new room BEFORE the baby comes so that he doesn't have too many changes all at once.

Our main problem after all of this is that we will no longer have guest space. I like that we have always had room for people to stay at our house. Since all of our family lives out of Texas, I want to make it as cheap as possible for them to come visit us as often as possible. Forcing them into a hotel will not make their trips more frequent.

I guess we could always blow up the air mattress on the floor of the nursery. And we have a couch and a love seat in the living room. I really like our couches, but maybe we should look into a couch with a pull out bed?

Enough stressing for the moment! Let's look at all the fun stuff we got for our OWN bedroom! We got two HUGE dressers to use as nightstands and we splurged on a new bed. We found some drawers that roll under the bed and they matched this really cute headboard. So we just got it all. We found a bed that had an insane amount of storage space built into it, but it only came in white lacquer. That's just a little too modern for the bedroom I'd like to have so we passed on all the glorious storage.

[Side note: The doctor diagnosed Aiden with croup. He was relaxing and watching Elmo in our room. Treatment is warm mist and liquids. We are alternating ibuprofen and acetaminophen to hold back the fever and we gave him Benadryl last night to help him sleep. As long as his difficulty breathing doesn't get worse, then we don't have any prescription meds to give him.]

We threw out the really old nightstand (it was falling apart) that we had by the rocking chair and moved my ex-nightstand in it's place. We moved Travis' ex-nightstand into the pile of furniture that we call the guest room.

We'd like to eventually get another larger dresser to replace one we currently have. And we also plan to get another cube bookcase to put in Aiden's bedroom. It has so much storage capability for a great price!

Our goal is to clean out the giant computer desk we have in the guest room and get rid of it. It is huge and bulky and we don't even use it for the computer anymore. We only have a laptop, so it gets moved around the house to where ever we need it. I plan to throw out a lot of what lies in those drawers and cabinets, but there is some stuff I'd like to keep. Like all my crafts, and of course, our bills. Maybe I could put my crafts in that now-empty nightstand by the rocking chair in our bedroom?

I'm rambling. This post has turned into a drawing board of ideas. I wish I could do all this stuff faster so my brain could stop thinking about it. Unfortunately, it took us half a day, just to put together all that stuff from Ikea. This is not a quick process, no matter how much I will it to be so.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Wine and a Movie

This was Brenda's last weekend in town. Friday night, I went to see Gnomeo and Juliet with Rachel and a few of her friends. It was pretty cute. My favorite character, BY FAR, was the flamingo. Whom I never saw in any of the previews, by the way.

While I was at the movie Brenda, Travis and Aiden went to the Kemah Boardwalk. Aiden got to pet the sting rays, ride the train and see all the fish in the aquariums.

For dinner, they went to a seafood restaurant. Brenda wanted to get some fresh seafood before she left the area. Here's Aiden saying "Cheeeeeeesssseeee...."

They said Aiden did REALLY good the entire time. He didn't throw a single fit. Which for him, is huge. He's been nothing but cranky for the past couple of weeks. I keep expecting a tooth to pop through his gums somewhere. He keeps chewing on his fingers in the back. He has yet to get in his bottom canines, but I have a feeling his 2-year molars might come in first. Why does teething have to be so unbearable?

Saturday we went to the local winery, Haak Vineyards and Winery, in the afternoon. Jenna and her daughter Jandi met us there, along with Aiden's babysitter Sue and her family. Half of us did a tour of the winery while the other half sat at a table outside with a bottle of wine. When the tour was over, we grabbed some wine and cheese of our own and headed out to the covered seating.

After the winery, we headed to Olive Garden for dinner. It seemed only fitting that we have Italian for dinner after an afternoon of wine.

Saturday, throughout the night, Aiden developed a barking cough. It went away for the most part after he woke up. We dropped Brenda off at the airport in the morning and continued on to Ikea in Houston. We really want to up our storage space in the house, so we went in search of bigger and better things. More on this too come...

Friday, March 4, 2011

The Colorful Corner

Travis and I have been meaning to get something to help store Aiden's toys that are out in the living room. I want them to stay out there so he can get to them whenever he wants, but I didn't want a pile of toys in the corner. We finally decided on this from Home Depot:

It's a 9-cube shelf with four canvas drawers. Travis organized it so that all the balls are in one drawer, all the musical toys are in a second and the trucks in a third. We'll see how long that lasts. I'm very happy with it so far. The best part is we have a place to set all his toys while we vacuum!

PS - Travis put the foam mat together like that. I would never put it together out of numerical order. ;)

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Post-op Update

Travis just got out of his post-op appointment with the surgeon. She took off the Steri-Strips that have been covering the surgery site for the past two weeks. Turns out he only had body glue! No stitch-removal required! He just has to make sure to wash it in the shower.

She said everything looks great. He can go back to work, but can't lift over 30 pounds and light duty only. He can drive and the doctor said he should be completely back to normal in another six weeks.

Oh, and the "Great Anatomy" doctor asked Travis to tell me hi.... Um, hello?

I Want This

Now if only I could get them to bring down the starting MSRP of $28,000.

This is the 2011 Ford Explorer. They have a new body style this year and I love it. But if I have to pay that price, I think I'd be more likely to go find a hybrid car for less. It has about the same gas mileage as my Murano, so I don't think weekly gas expense would change much.

I just found out that I can get a discount through my work that might knock off about $1400 depending on how much the vehicle is marked up. I'm going to keep my eye out until then, but we're aiming to purchase a new vehicle in December or January. I'm hoping there will be some excellent sale prices around Christmas time. We desperately need to get rid of the Murano before the warranty expires sometime early 2012.

And this time? We're getting a CarFax report. Fo sho.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

A Night in Houston

Saturday we left Aiden with Brenda for the night and headed into Houston for a friend's birthday dinner. Jenn wanted to try out a hibachi place near her house called Benihana. We left the house a little early so we could run by the mall and pick up a thank-you/birthday gift for both Jenn and Billy. They have given us so many hand-me-downs for Aiden and all we've done is bought them dinner once.

The show at dinner was pretty good. It was nice to see them and our other friends Miraj and Veronica. We don't make it up to Houston often enough to visit those guys.

The table next to ours was driving me insane by the end of the night though. Once we had gotten our bill, I went to the bathroom and waited outside because I couldn't stand to listen to one more complaint. The tables snugly-fit eight adults. This table had 11 females. The oldest one couldn't have been over 19. The youngest was a baby. Everything they ordered was a special order. Instead of picking the zucchini out of her food, one of the older ones requested hers not have any zucchini. Another one ordered her sushi without avocado. At one point, one of the girls jibber-jabbered something at the waitress like she was acting like she was speaking Japanese. The waiter didn't understand, so she said, "What?" and leaned over waiting for her to reply.

It was so rude, I couldn't stand it. One thing after another. They had the manager over there and everything. They were seated immediately after we were. Because of all their complaints and special orders, their show hadn't even started by the time we paid our bill and left. It was exasperating.

After dinner, we went to a bar for a little while. Since I was driving (Travis still isn't allowed to drive), we had to leave by 12:30. I fall asleep easily at the wheel after dark. Hell, I'm really good at doing that during the day too, if I'm driving long enough.

We had a really good weekend, right up til we fell asleep Saturday night. Sunday went downhill pretty quickly. I think I may have had the flu. I felt achy and weak all day Sunday and Monday. I slept most of the afternoon on Sunday, but had to go to work Monday. I had too much to do and it didn't feel right taking time off again so soon. Especially on a busy day. But I laid down as soon as I got home Monday after work. It felt like my body weighed a ton. I could barely hold myself up.

Tuesday I felt better, but was still dragging a bit. Today I'm back to my normal self!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Beginning of Mardi Gras

This past Friday was Travis' first trip out of the house. Kai invited us over for dinner, so we all piled into the car and headed over early that evening. It was nice to go out on a Friday night. We haven't been able to do that for so long because Travis always works later than normal on Fridays and then usually has to work again Saturday. That was not the case this weekend!

Rich left on Thursday, so it was just Brenda, Travis, Aiden and I to go to Kai's. He had his kids, Railey, 9, and Brennan, 6, so I was actually able to lay back a little bit while Aiden played with them. While I still don't trust him 100%, he is much better about using stairs, so I didn't have to freak every time he showed up at the top of the stairs all by himself. Railey was also really great about leading Aiden around where ever he wanted.

Saturday we got up bright and early so I could pop into work for a moment before we went to the Mardi Gras parade. Every time Mardi Gras rolls around, I am reminded of buying our house. We closed on Fat Tuesday 2007. It's strange how fast time flies once you reach adulthood.

Travis' boss, Guy, parked his truck and a trailer on the Seawall on the parade route, so we would have an unfettered view. He grilled burgers and hot dogs before the parade reached us. A huge group of us got together for the parade (Alexa, Blair, Skylar, Kai, Brennan and Railey), including several of my friends from college (Tehina, Chris and Veronica) and Guy's huge family.

I was a little nervous about how Aiden would handle the parade, mostly because it fell directly during his nap time. He had several cranky moments, but there was no complete meltdown. It helped that Guy is really good at scooping Aiden up when he is "having a moment". There were a couple times when the drums in the bands scared him. Makes me a little weary of the fourth of July this year.

The kids collected many beads and various goodies they throw from the floats. By the end, Aiden was even holding one arm up in the arm and screaming "Wooooo!" like the surrounding people. He's growing up so fast!

I was a bad blogger and forgot my camera ALL weekend. So you'll have to make due with these cell phone shots. First, is a shot of the Crank Monster...

Both of my boys wore yellow, which helped me pick them out from the crowd. Here's Surgery Boy with his trademark squinty-eyed photo:

Here's Guy with his granddaughter Addison. Travis works with Addison's dad, Jeremy.

We sat around and ate a little more before leaving Seawall. Aiden desperately needed a nap, as did I. I wish the weather would have been nicer. It was overcast and foggy. The day before it was clear skies and 75 degrees! I guess everything can't ALWAYS be perfect.