Monday, October 31, 2011

I'll get around to it someday

I am SO behind on my photos.  I promise I will get to them.  But not today.  Today I plan to add to my to-do list with trick or treating photos.  I'm super stoked to see if Aiden appreciates trick or treating more this year.  Last year he grasped the concept of going up to the door and holding his bag open for candy.  Maybe we'll be able to get him to say "Trick or treat!" this year.  Maybe.

Getting Aiden to wear a Halloween costume has been an exasperating experience this year.  He absolutely refuses to wear any of his pirate accessories.  Instead he looks like a bum in sweatpants and a button-up that he's about to outgrow.  Travis calls him a businessbum.  We got him to wear some of the accessories at Landry's costume birthday party two weekends ago.  But I couldn't get him to wear ANY of it at the Texas Renaissance Festival on Saturday.  We're going for Plan B tonight.  He has worn his cowboy costume a couple times this year at daycare without too much of a fuss.  So we told him if he wants to see Blair and get candy tonight, he has to wear his Woody costume.  It's not exactly the same as Woody's outfit, but he calls it his Woody stuff.  So that's what we call it as well.

This morning Aiden wore a spider shirt to daycare.  I didn't feel like forcing him into a costume ALL DAY today, so I just went with a Halloween-ish outfit.  He is having a Halloween party at daycare, so I signed up to bring a fruit tray.  Since we are not allowed to bring homemade goodies, I just bought a bag of Smarties to hand out to the kids.  Aiden loves those and they're not too messy for the teachers and parents to have to deal with.  I'm a little bummed I couldn't make something to bring.  I keep meaning to ask them why store-bought-only.  Maybe to avoid allergens?  Or to prevent undercooked food?

I'm going to attempt to get out of work half an hour early today so I can get up to the Ramby's house at a decent time.  Alexa's making chili and trick or treating starts at dusk.  Travis is driving up separately since he doesn't get out of work until 6 and his work is between our house and the Ramby's house.  I need Aiden to be easy tonight.  I know that's asking too much, since he generally fights everything we ask him to do.  I can hope though, right?

This Sunday was a super lazy day and I adored it.  We slept in, then watched Harry Potter in bed when Aiden got up.  We ate a late lunch and played in the yard.  It warmed up quite a bit on Sunday, making it perfect for playing outside.  I haven't done bulk laundry in a month, so I spent a good portion of the day standing in the garage folding laundry.  The kicker is I'm still not done.  Aiden loves to play outside, so he didn't mind one bit.  I also grabbed the gardening shears and pruned back the oleanders that were threatening to take over the side of our house.  Aiden and I collected pecans that had fallen from the tree in our front yard.  I'm hoping to find time to make a pecan pie out of them this year.  It will take forever to husk all those pecans, but it would be fun to say I did it just once.

We ate lunch outside and then laid Aiden down for his nap.  I took advantage of the down time and napped at the same time.  I was super unhappy to wake up to my alarm two hours later.  We ate a quick snack and hopped in the car to go to Target.  We needed a few groceries and to get food for tonight at the Ramby's.  We did a walk through the Halloween costumes to see if Aiden would wear any of the $20-$30 outfits they sell.  He picked out Buzz Lightyear and a dinosaur costume but refused to try on either.  We didn't want to waste our money on something that Aiden most likely would not wear, so we decided on the cowboy costume we already had at home.

We bought food for dinner at Target, rented Megamind and went home to finish off our lazy day.  Megamind was super cute.  Will Ferrell does the voice of the main character and he killed it.  I keep finding myself saying, "Potato, potato, tomato, tomato."  Watch the following clip to see what I'm talking about.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Skeletal Love

Brenda is here until Sunday, so I'll get back into the groove of blogging next week hopefully.  Travis' dad is also popping in for dinner tonight.  He's on his way to North Carolina from west Texas, so he thought he'd drop in. 

We've got a fun weekend planned, including Halloween on Monday.

To kick off Halloween weekend, enjoy this animated short about two book covers that fall in love.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

And then there's Sunday

Sunday morning we ended up getting to sleep in until 7:30.  I love it when Aiden doesn't get up before the sun.  Aiden and I ate breakfast with Brenda (Travis slept in a little) and then I got food together for Ariel's birthday party.  Brenda's birthday was Sunday, so she made plans to go meet a friend for lunch and the afternoon.  Ariel's birthday was Saturday.  To celebrate, we went over at lunch time and I made lunch for everyone.  Chicken, basil and mozzarella sandwiches, pasta salad, Caesar salad, brussel sprouts and mushrooms.  All of Ariel's favorites!

Ariel had a party at her house that night, so she was cleaning the house.  Robert and Travis drove off in search of a keg tap.  Typical guys - abandoning ship when we really need their help.  Psh.

Aiden WOULD NOT go down for his nap that afternoon, so of course he was cranky by 4 pm.  Since we were planning to stay for a while, I decided to try putting him down for a nap again.  He fell asleep at 5 and I fell asleep right with him.  I slept for an hour and then rolled out of bed.  I could hear guests talking downstairs and figured I should be social.  Brenda ended up falling asleep soon after I got up.  We're just a tired family!

Aiden got up at 7, an hour before his bedtime.  So we stayed at Ariel's until 9pm.  On a school night.  I know, I know.  BAD MOMMY.  But Aiden had a great time running around with the other kids. 

Travis had fallen asleep around 8 because he drank two Four Loko's.  Nasty stuff.  Hopefully he won't ever drink it again.  It gave him hot flashes and he felt like crap, soon after finishing the second one.  Then he had a horrific hangover the next day.  It's an energy drink mixed with 14% alcohol.  Ridiculous. 

So!  That was my weekend!  I feel like I haven't done a weekend recap in forever.  I've got some photos, but first I have to find the time to go through them.  It's taken me three separate sit-downs to write this post.  When did life get so chaotic?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Wait, what did we do this weekend?

I sat down to write this post about the weekend and could not, for the life of me, remember what we did.  That is ridiculous as it is only Monday.  But, I am tired AND busy.  Not that great of a combination.  After some thought, I remembered what we did.  LOTS of stuff. 

Saturday we went to Landry's second birthday party at the Children's Museum in Houston.  The last time we went was in January, when Aiden was a year and a half old.  We stayed in the Tot Spot, which if you couldn't deduce, is a spot separated for babies and toddlers.  This time we ventured into the world of big kids on the first floor.  It was pretty chaotic, but it was interesting to watch Aiden play next to the big kids.  He got knocked over several times, but handled himself well. 

His favorite area was the water play.  I had no idea there was a water section.  He was soaked.  Luckily we had a mismatched pair of clothes that were too small for him in the bottom of the diaper bag, so he looked pretty cool after the water play. We sat outside at picnic benches to open presents, then we headed up to the Tot Spot for a little while.  After that, we headed outside to eat cupcakes before tying our sugar-rush children in their car seats.  Aiden also enjoyed a box of Nerds, so he was pretty wired by the time we made it to dinner.

For dinner, we met Travis' mom Brenda at Freebird's near our house.  Her plane got in around noon and she is here for the week.  Aiden was SO excited to see her.  I think he likes to say "Grandma" because he just says it over and over.  I wonder if he knows this is a different grandma from the one he talks to on the phone?  LOL! 

Aiden was SO good at dinner.  He has been miserable the last few times we went out to eat, so honestly I was dreading this meal.  I don't know if it's because Grandma was there, or if it's because he was hungry and still riding a sugar high.  Either way, I enjoyed it. 

After dinner we headed home and chatted in the living room.  We let Aiden stay up a little late so Brenda could see him and to increase the chances of sleeping in a little Sunday morning...

Monday, October 24, 2011

Friday, October 21, 2011

I need to voice my problems more often

Yesterday at lunch I was complaining about how I couldn't find a plush parrot anywhere for Aiden's pirate Halloween costume.  I honestly didn't think it would be this hard.  My dad is astounded that I can't find a stuffed tropical bird when I live at the beach.  GOOD POINT.

Anyhoo, I voiced my irritation when a friend says, "Have you checked the pirate store on the Strand?" 

WHAT?!  No!  If I had, then I would probably have a parrot right now!  Pirate store?  PERFECT.

But, the pirate store is not open yet.  Boo.  Instead, I went to Michael's and found the world's tiniest parrot!


Thursday, October 20, 2011

I think I need a break

Are most toddlers difficult 90% of the time?  Or am I in the minority?  I feel like when we go to friends houses, their kids are generally in good working order.  Of course no kid is going to do what their parents ask 100% of the time, but they all seem willing to cooperate with their parents most of the time. 

I feel like Aiden fights EVERYTHING we want him to do.  He's happy when he's playing.  But the second we have to do something necessary to daily life (ie, brushing teeth, eating dinner, changing a diaper, getting dressed, bedtime, etc.) he throws a fit.  I feel like I'm constantly wrestling a midget.

Aiden has recently developed a shy streak.  I hate it.  I don't handle shyness very well.  SPEAK UP.  Speak when spoken to.  GAH.  COM'ON.  Whenever anyone aside from Travis or I ask him a direct question (friends, family, strangers), he looks at the ground and stops speaking.  Drives me insane.  It doesn't matter how much prompting we give him.  He won't answer. 

He also doesn't seem to like anyone aside from me.  He makes exceptions for Robert and Gpa (you'll note that Travis is not included here), but if he's cranky sometimes even they won't do.  Only me.  I am not a single parent!  Travis is here to help!  I have to BEG Aiden to let Daddy get his milk sometimes.  Or if he needs help opening a toy.  Mommy's making dinner, please let Daddy help.

I suppose the general exception to this is his teachers at daycare.  He talks to them no problem.  Oh and kids.  He'll talk to kids.

The other thing I've noticed recently is he carries Mr. Lion around with him EVERYWHERE when he's at home.  Mr. Lion is the first thing he wants when we get home.  (After he asks for milk, which he doesn't get until dinner, you can have water, WHY DO WE HAVE TO DO THIS EVERY DAY?)  He used to only have Mr. Lion at nap time/bed time.  Now he wants him all the time.  I don't let him take him out of the house for a couple reasons.  I don't want him to get filthy when he will be in bed at the end of the day.  And I don't want to lose/forget Mr. Lion.  That has happened one time, over the weekend, and it was the most stressful weekend of my life.  I don't think it's a big enough deal that we need to limit Lion Time to when he's in bed.  I'm hoping he'll get over this phase on his own.  What do you think?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Ice Train

This is pretty neat.  Maybe they'll make transportation using this method somewhere down the road?

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Outside

Bad news and good news.  Sagira is back.  She stayed with my friend for about two months I think.  She pooped once in the first day.  Then didn't do it again until two weeks later when she was really stressed out.  Besides that, she didn't go outside her litter box at all.  I thought it was the perfect solution.  My friend has a larger house, less people and animals and more litter boxes. 

Unfortunately, after two months she regressed and started going all over the place.  My friend couldn't handle it any longer (I can't blame her at all), so I took her back.  Travis and I immediately made her an indoor/outdoor cat.  I was always REALLY nervous about doing this because we had outdoor cats when I was little and two of them were involved in bad accidents.

The first was run over by a car on the highway in front of our house.  Oreo survived and ran under the front porch.  Sadly, all the skin was torn from his right, rear leg, which meant it could not be saved.  Instead, my parents paid to have the leg removed.

Some time later, our other cat, Suki, was missing for several days.  He usually came home at least once a day, so we worried about him.  We all went outside and called for him periodically, but he never came, until three days later that is.  He was not using his back left leg and it was grossly swollen.  We took him to the vet to find that his leg was broken almost at his hip.  They were unable to set it and put it in a cast because it was so close to the hip joint.  Instead, he had that leg removed. 

From that point on, all our cats remained indoor cats.  The three-legged cats had to remain inside because they could not get around very well in the beginning.  But it just seemed safer as a whole to keep them at home.

I did get a lot of flack from my friends growing up.  They joked that we were animal torturers.  Fortunately that was not the case.  I just had a mom that was more than willing to put herself out financially for her pets.  Others probably would have just had them put to sleep.

Because of this, and the fact that Sagira is a beautiful Bengal cat (meaning people would be more likely to invite her inside), I never had the guts to put her outside.  But at this point, it's either outside, or pay to leave her at the shelter.  We decided to give the outdoors thing a try first.

She's been indoor/outdoor since I got back from Illinois.  We put her outside during the day while we are gone, but let her inside when we're home.  At this point, she has started complaining to be let out periodically while we are home.  The weird thing, is that she spends most of her time either under the house, or somewhere in the front yard.  I'm not sure where she goes, but she occasionally comes running around the side of the house when I call for her. 

The annoying part is that we have to cover Aiden's sandbox now.  I've wanted to do it since Travis built it, but never got around to it.  I've never found poo in it, but I have seen an occasional stray cat in the neighborhood.  At the moment, we only have a tarp over it, but it's doing the job. 

Sagira has pooped in the house a couple times, but I think I've got it figured out.  Both times she went in the house, it was when I left her inside all day.  Hopefully this arrangement works out for us.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Josephine

I know three people who have had babies in the past month.  This is the first one I've actually gotten to see in person!

Meet Josephine, the second daughter to Allison and Jerry:





Aiden and Elise ran back and forth from her bedroom to the play room.


I'd have to say the thing I appreciated the most was receiving meals from friends while I was on maternity leave.  I was so tired and it took me forever to heal from the delivery.  I didn't have the energy to prepare a proper meal every night, so it was heave to have food delivered to my door, or an invite to the neighbor's for dinner.  I've tried to reciprocate to all my friends with fresh babies.  Allison and Jerry received a Tortilla Casserole that I hope will feed them for at least a few days.  Allison seemed to appreciate the adult company as well. It was nice to catch up on her baby story!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

New Concept

Last week we were in Aiden's bedroom getting ready to read books before bedtime.  Aiden was being difficult like he can at times.  He turned around to throw a book at Travis, or hit him with it, I'm not sure.  But it backfired and he hit himself in the face with the book and started crying. 

Travis says, "Ya.  That was pre-karma."

The other day, we were sitting at the table and Aiden was getting ready to be rowdy again.  He was mad because he only wanted to drink his milk and not eat his dinner and we weren't letting him do it.  He went to shove his chair away from the table in a fit, but he fell out of it instead. 

Pre-karma.

The second story got a little more annoying.  After we put Aiden down for bed that night (we ate late), Travis and I went out to the garage to find our Halloween decorations.  When we came back inside with the box, we found Aiden standing at the kitchen table finishing off that milk we wouldn't let him have.  Little stinker.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Last Illinois Post

Our last full day in Illinois was on Sunday.  The entire family came over to visit before everyone went back to their corners of the US.  The newlyweds were out of town on a mini-honeymoon and my cousin Darren had left on tour with a band in Germany.  Besides them, the whole family was there.  

My Aunt Trish made pancakes and bacon for dinner.  I showered and took a nap with Aiden.  By the time I got up, the family had started to trickle in.  Because it was so nice out that day, we spent the majority of our time in the yard watching the kids run in the yard.  

Here is the parental viewing area:



Occasionally the kids would run around to the back of the house and one of us would have to go coral them back to the front.  Here's cousin Mikey doing his shepherding...


This was a common sight that day.  The kids would form some sort of a game, then take a break, picking at stuff in the grass.  Aiden was always hovering close by.


Mia (on the right) is so sweet.  She is only three, but her speech is as clear as mine.  It amazes me every time I see her.  She was so good with her baby cousin Hailey.  She played ball with her, but was very gentle.


My cousin Kim and I went through photos from the wedding on my uncle's iPad.  I felt like I was the only one in the family without an iPad.  It was quite the handy gadget.


Here's Alex being mauled by the little kids again.  I don't know what it is about him, but they LOVE him.


Ariel held Hailey for a bit.  Such a ham, that one.


We tried to get all the kids together for a photo.  Everyone cooperated except for my son.  He slowly worked his way towards the driveway.  I'm starting to think he might be really shy.  He covered his eyes, as if he was imagining he wasn't there.


The kids ended up on the couch playing games on the iPad again.  They shared so nicely.  Aiden was even able to sink a destroyer on the game Battleship.


The next day, my cousins Chris, Mike and Mike's family left for Arizona around noon.  Our flight didn't leave until that evening, so we got on the road a couple hours later.  I was sad to say goodbye.  I love all these people and wish SO MUCH that we were able to visit more often.  Hopefully our next trip will be to Arizona!

Monday, October 10, 2011

We're Funny

Right as I was planning to leave the reception with my insanely sleepy son, my cousin Michelle suggested we get together for a cousin's photo.  We were unsuccessful at corralling the groom, as he was busy doing groom things.  And we were missing our cousin Katie in Arizona because she was 9 months pregnant.  I say was because she had her baby Friday.  Grayson Michael, 10 lbs, 2 oz.  YIKES.

Besides those two, this is all of us.  Being goofy.

I was trying to get everyone to hold me for the first photo, but they didn't understand.  Obviously.


By the time Jason showed up, they were on board with the concept.  Except we weren't strong enough to hold him.  Instead I think we just overstretched his hamstring.



And here's the best shot.  Some people aren't looking at the camera, some people are being goofy.  But at least we're somewhat organized.


From left to right:  Ariel, Alex, Mike, Michelle, Chris, me, Kim, Matt, Darren and Jason.  The little one in front is Mike's daughter Lily.  It was an excellent trip.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Saturday in Elgin

The Saturday after the wedding was pretty laid back.  My cousin Matt came over with his two daughters Mia and Hannah, so Aiden was outnumbered.  My Aunt Trish has a nook by the front door (everyone uses the side door) where she keeps a toy box for when her grandkids come to visit.  The little kids pulled out almost every single toy.


The kids all LOVE Alex.  They were constantly hanging around him.  SO CUTE.


We spent a lot of time in their giant front yard.  There was lots of room for the kids to run around and throw around a kickball and football.  Matt even got out there and showed off his cartwheel abilities.  After five minutes of stretching, of course.


Aiden, Mia and Hannah enjoyed walking the "balance beam"...


Rolling around the yard with cousin Chris.  He put down his martini for this part.


Best line of the day: "I don't like this horsie."  Said by Mia after trying out the Aiden horse.


For dinner we had homemade pizzas on fresh flour tortillas.  They were amazing.  I definitely need to make these at home!


Aiden adored my cousin Mike's daughters Zoe and Lily.  He followed them everywhere.  They were so sweet with him and let him play along.  They even took turns with him playing games on the iPad.


It was a struggle to tear him away from all these kids at every nap and every bedtime.  It was really stressful for me because I was the only to put him down every time.  I never got a break from his crying and that ate at me a little.  I felt like I couldn't catch up on my sleep.  But it was worth it!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Musatto Wedding

We left for Illinois last Thursday evening.  Travis was unable to get off work, so it was Ariel, Robert, Aiden and I.  I chose a late flight thinking Travis would be dropping us off, but we ended up driving ourselves and parking the car at the airport.  We got to the airport on time, but quickly found out our flight had been delayed.  The Ramby's were flying to Ohio that same night and their flight was delayed as well.  That worked out really well because the boys were able to run off some energy together.

The flight ended up being two hours late.  I brought Aiden's car seat on the plane, so I strapped him in when we got on board.  Since it was way past his bed time he fell asleep as soon as we were in the air.  The flight was extremely turbulent because there were thunderstorms over our entire flight path.  Ariel and I are both terrified of flying and we both get air sick really easily, so we sat in terror together.  

My dad picked us up from the airport in Chicago in a rental car and we headed to our hotel.  He missed our turn onto another highway.  Since we were headed toward the city, he decided to just keep going and give Robert a tour of a city he'd never visited before.  It was close to 2 in the morning by this point, so the streets were mostly empty.  But Robert got to see a lot of famous stores and restaurants.

The next morning, Gpa, Aiden and I ate the hot breakfast the hotel provided.  Ariel and Robert joined us shortly thereafter.  Aiden was taking forever to eat, so I headed back to the room to shower and get ready.  After everyone else was ready, we drove over to my Aunt Trish and Uncle Chris' house.  And it was a FULL house.  Already staying there were my cousins Chris, Chris, Darren and Mike, Mike's wife and two daughters, and my mom.  

We ate lunch and sat around, catching up with each other.  My cousins Chris, Mike, Mike's wife and daughters (Zoe and Lily) are from Arizona, so we really don't get to see each other all that often.  It was so awesome to get to spend some time with these people.  

Around 3, we all piled into a few cars and headed to the church for the wedding.  Aiden had refused to take a nap so of course he fell asleep on the ride over.  I had to wake him up and of course he was miserable.  He wouldn't stop crying.  We sat in the back of the van while he cried it off.  He finished just in time for us to sneak in the back of the church.  We sat on the side so we could easily make a quick retreat if need be.  I was terrified the entire time that he might start screaming or crying at any moment.  Thankfully he did well throughout the whole ceremony.  It was a beautiful Catholic ceremony in a very elaborate church.  

After the ceremony, we stood outside the church for a few minutes while the bridal party took photos.


Aiden and Zoe on the church steps

The reception was a few cities over right on the Fox River.  There was a dam right outside the picture windows so we had a great view of the water.  


Robert and Ariel at the reception


Chris and Laura, the groom and bride

Laura asked one of her high school students to play the ukulele at the reception.  She sang as well and it was   very cute.  I looked over at Aiden at one point and he was holding his fork like a little ukulele and playing along.  After a minute, he held it like a microphone and sang a little tune.  That kid constantly entertains me.



My mom and I out on the deck

It was pretty chilly out, maybe 50 degrees?  I was cold.  And of course the kids wanted to run, so we took them outside.  Brrrrr!  I am so not used to the cold.


My dad, me, Alex and Ariel

Somewhere around 10 pm, Aiden tripped on his blanket and fell down.  My cousins Mike and Chris tried to stand him back up, but Aiden was a limp noodle.  They laid him back down and he stayed there and closed his eyes. That was my cue to hit the car.  I was pretty tired as well, so I called Alex and asked if he would mind if I took Aiden home.  He said they would find a ride home and we went back to Aunt Trish's.  Straight To Bed.  Soooo tired....

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Need to organize photos...

Aiden and I went to Illinois this weekend for my cousin's wedding, hence the lack of proper posts.  I do not have my thoughts or photos organized as of yet.  I can say that I came back 3 pounds heavier with a northern head cold.  Oh and also lots of excellent memories.  Hopefully I can get those memories posted over the next few days.

We got back Monday night, but I took Tuesday off so I could get everything in order before heading back to work.  I had a doctor's appointment first thing yesterday morning and I got my flu shot.  I spent the rest of the morning running errands for Travis and I.  When I got home I was exhausted.  So I slept for almost FOUR HOURS.  Ha!  I didn't want to get up, but I forced myself out of bed to go pick up Aiden from daycare.  I spent the rest of the afternoon unpacking and doing laundry. 

I'm in the middle of the nasty, dribbling part of a cold.  My sinuses are on fire and I have a box of Kleenex attached to my hip.  It's always tough for me to be sick.  I generally have a lack of appetite, but that doesn't mean I can just stop eating.  My body doesn't work that way.  Since I didn't have much of an appetite this morning, I only had a tiny bowl of Cheerios.  When I got to work I realized I was going to need more than that so I stopped at the coffee shop and got a protein shake.  I wish I had five bucks to blow daily because I would totally get this shake every morning.  It has a banana, peanut butter, nonfat milk, protein powder and the barista recommended a shot of chocolate.  AMAZING.  I'm not allowed to bring food into the lab I work in, so I've spent the majority of the morning standing in the hall with that shake.  Can't. Put. It. Down.  If I could chop ice as finely as they do, I would make it at home.

Anyhoo, hopefully I'll get to organizing my brain so I can post about the trip.  It was GREAT to have an entire weekend to visit with my extended family.  We rarely get to do that.  I wish we could all afford to do it more than once every 5 to 10 years.  What are you gonna do?

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Talent

I don't understand how people can make their bodies do stuff like this...


Monday, October 3, 2011

Amazing

How cool would it be if you could watch your dreams again after you wake up?  Researchers are making strides towards achieving just that.  If you 'd like to read more, check out this article from Berkeley.