Friday, July 27, 2007

Happy Birthday Mat!

Today is Mat's birthday. I haven't seen him since Wednesday morning, and we didn't even get to talk today until almost 7 o'clock because he was busy working and traveling. I've been thinking about him all day, though, and getting ready for a fun weekend of celebrating and cake and presents. Mat thought when we had kids that his birthday would become irrelevant. Then, when Luke was born exactly two weeks before his birthday he really thought no one would care anymore. That is so not true, though. I am so happy to have Mat as a husband and best friend. So on his birthday I especially want him to know: "Mat I appreciate everything you do for me and our family, and I think you're the best!"

Now, I would also like to commemorate this special occasion by posting a few pics. These are some oldies but goodies that I happened to find on my computer. Enjoy!

If you can divert your eyes away from the sweet mullet action, check out the jam-box in the lower right hand corner. No doubt they were rocking out to Genesis!

This was obviously before Monica Lewinsky ruined berets for the rest of us! And I think that is a Yes t-shirt. Funny, he stills wears those. Some things never change.

I wonder who the boxers are on TV. Maybe Mike Tyson?

Yes, he's wearing make-up. This was taken backstage at a play.

No comment.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Funny quotes

Today Jackson asked me if he could have some salamander oranges for lunch. It cracks me up when little kids get the wrong words like that. The other day he saw the thermometer out on my table and kept calling it a manicure for some reason. Another classic was when he started calling the baby's exersaucer a summer sausage. He stills calls the seatbelt a beltseat most of the time. And I won't say what he called Fuddrucker's a few weeks ago, but we corrected that one pretty quick.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Black Eyed Pea

We went to a Round Rock Express game with some friends on Sunday night. We were really blown away by how fun the stadium is. There are lots of places to eat, bounce houses everywhere, a park area with a rock climbing wall, and even a pool! It was like a little kid paradise. It was pretty cheap too, and all the activities inside were free. As we were thinking we should probably consider moving to Round Rock so we could come to this mecca of entertainment every night, this happened:

We had seriously only been there for about 10 or 15 minutes when Jackson collided with a little girl in a bounce house and got a black eye. I wish the photo was 3D so you could see how it instantly swelled up about an inch off of his head, but you get the idea. Even with the injury we still had lots of fun.

The game was exciting and we soon discovered several ways to part with our money after all.

This is little Grant Walker who was not crazy about all the noise.

I think he was the only one who didn't have a great time. We will definitely go back to the ballpark soon. Thanks to Andrea for having a good idea!

Fun with Walkers

This is one toy that we have two of, thank goodness, so there's no fighting over who gets to play. Of course Jackson hasn't cared about these toys in at least two years, but now he has a renewed interest for some reason.

I just put this second video on here because Jackson cracks me up at the beginning of it. He just suddenly came flying into frame from across the room. It's no wonder he's usually got a black eye and my house is always trashed.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Oh well...

The magic wore off around one o'clock this morning when Luke decided we all needed to wake up for the first of three overnight visits. It was fun while it lasted...

Saturday, July 21, 2007

A Magical Day!

I know it's cheesy. I was trying to think of the most appropriate adjective I could to describe this day, and magical is what I've settled on. It's because this day has been so fun and blessed that only the cheesiest magical adjective would do. We're celebrating Mat's birthday which is next week by spending the weekend out at The Hollows at Mat's dad's house. First, our day started out with biscuits. Now everyone knows that you can't go wrong when you've got biscuits for breakfast. Next, we all got our swimsuits on and got in the car to go to The Beach Club around 10:15. This was the scene when we got in the car.

It was NOT looking good. When we got to the parking lot of the pool it wasn't raining, so we decided to give it a try. The storm clouds were all around us, so I thought we'd have to pack up and leave any minute.

But actually, it never rained. In fact, it was down right sunny for two and a half hours. We stayed until the boys were worn out and then went back to the house for lunch and naps whereupon, guess what, it started raining. So we all four slept for at least a solid hour which is unheard of and has never before happened ever. Magical. Does it make me a bad mom that sometimes I think there is nothing better than two worn out, sleeping little boys? I don't think so because it usually means we've had some serious fun.

So after the short but sweet nap we hung out on the deck and watched the rain for awhile. It was very peaceful and relaxing. Even though it was still raining, we decided to test the magical day theory and go back to The Beach Club. Sure enough we were able to swim for another couple of hours.

As you can see the rain threatened all day, but it stayed away from the pool. Mat and I took turns working out in the exercise room so we wouldn't feel as bad about the damage we were about to do at dinner. (Actually Mat ate healthy, and Jackson and I shared a burger with each other and some persistent flies.)

One more usual Mat and I were engrossed in a conversation about what we're working on during dinner. This time the topic was related to energy problems and finding an alternative to coal. I can't imagine why, but Jackson became bored with all that and interrupted by sticking his rolled up kid's menu in Mat's face and saying, "Here! I have a message from the Lord!" haha. I'm not sure if he learned that in Sunday school or from Veggie Tales, but it was funny.

So now, once again we have two extremely tired little boys on our hands. I'm sure they will magically fall asleep without disturbing each other and stay that way for twelve solid hours.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

The Beach Club

We spent the afternoon with Steve and Wendy (Mat's dad and stepmom) on Saturday. They have just built a new house close to Lago Vista in The Hollows. It is available for rent if anyone needs a fun place to have a family reunion or weekend getaway! They have an awesome club area with several pools and hot tubs, a restaurant, and party pavillion. The boys had a blast swimming. It was definitely worth skipping naps.

I really think we need to work with Mister Baby on smiling for the camera, don't you? haha

Jackson was running out to jump in the pool. He was pretending this stone walkway was the "plank." He loves the part in Peter Pan where Wendy is walking the plank but there's no splash because Peter catches her before she hits the water.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Monday out for dinner

It is a rare occasion when I can get it together enough to make dinner on a Monday night. Usually, we've eaten up all the food over the weekend, and it's my busiest day at work. Tonight we went to my *new* favorite Mexican food restaurant, Polvo's. Well, actually my favorite is still El Chile, but Polvo's is my favorite south of the river. Anyway, Mister Baby was ready to eat the second we got there, so I had to entertain him for a good 15 or 20 minutes until our food arrived. I pulled out my trusty bottle of Aleve that I keep in my purse. The bottle of Aleve and my sunglasses are my go-to toys in a pinch. Mat started teasing me when he saw the Aleve come out of the purse again. "You know, other mothers have this little thing called a diaper bag that they bring out with them packed up with carefully selected toys and crackers and pacifiers and things that babies need."

It's true. I am always making toy mufflers out of straws, and checking to make sure my lip gloss and sunglasses and Aleve are back in my purse when it's time to go. Oh well. Maybe I don't always have my act together in the Mom Department. The boys usually get what they need, though.

Here are a few pictures we took at dinner as I was trying to entertain Luke with the digital camera.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Funny Boy

Today Mat picked up Jackson and acted like he was going to bite him. He said, "Do you taste sweet or salty?" Jackson replied, "No, I taste steaky." haha

Friday, July 13, 2007

Birthday Party Pics

We had a really fun birthday party for Luke tonight. Here are some highlights...

The before picture. I didn't take an after picture, but just imagine what this would look like if a small tornado tore through the house and you'll have it.

All the babies at the party...Cohen, Luke, Taylor, Micah, Titus, and Brooklyn. (Click on the picture to see the cuties up close.)

And don't forget Mia.

The birthday boy.

Luke's little cake.

Some of the big kids...Daniel, Jackson, and Barrett.

Jackson with Guy.

My sugar rush has turned into a crash, and so I don't have the energy to write any more. I'm so happy that our sweet boy is here. It's been a great year.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

You Are Not Going to Believe This

So we're sitting at lunch at Z'Tejas. (Yes we stuck with the plan, but walking was a bad idea. It was hotter than Hades.) And we're just chatting with the out-of-towners. The Exceutive Director's name is Christopher and he's about our age. His assistant, Mandy, is a charming German girl in her twenties. Christopher's wife is pregnant so we talked about babies and work and just getting-to-know-you stuff. He mentions that his wife is in Europe at the moment visiting a friend and hanging out with her mom who went over there to take a watercolor class in Italy. Of course I'm thinking "must be nice" with a fair amount of sarcasm in my internal voice.

Later we start talking about Jackson and the movies he likes and that leads to Star Wars and that leads to the inevitable question: what happened to Harrison Ford's career? Mat brings up that he's worried about the new Indiana Jones movie. He thinks Speilberg will do a good job, but he hopes that George Lucas is staying out of the picture. Christopher alludes to some insider information that he heard that Lucas is being hands-off. Thought nothing of it. The conversation continues, and we start talking about whether or not Speilberg has still got it when Christopher interrupts and says something along these lines. (Not word for word because in may state of utter shock I have probably forgotten some details.) Christopher: "I should just stop you right there because it's inevitable that you're going to find this out, and you'll be mad at me for not telling you before we talk about him, but Steven Speilberg is my father-in-law."

I don't have to tell you that my IQ dropped about 50 points and Mat probably pee'd his pants a little bit. So I say (like a genius): "So you're wife is in Europe right now with...Kate Capshaw?" Christopher: "Yep, that's her mom." He couldn't have said my father-in-law is Michael Mann or Peter Weir or even Martin Scorsese or Ridley Scott. No. He literally said, "My father-in-law is Steven Speilberg."

Shocking. What a day. Going to bed.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Entertaining Out of Towners

We have a new client coming in from LA to meet with us all day tomorrow about a project we're doing for them. They are from a really cool non-profit called Healthy Child Healthy World. The focus of their work is educating people about environmental toxins that can be found in our daily lives that put the health of our children at risk. In one study they site, the scientist found that umbilical cord blood from a newborn contained 200 recognizable chemicals! Scary.

Of course I feel totally guilty about all the things I do wrong as a parent. But today especially I have probably created an Unhealthy Child Unhealthy World by cleaning the house, fogging the yard for mosquitos, and letting the boys eat non-organic food. I am trying to do better, though, since learning about all this from working with them.

It's kind of funny because every time we've talked about their visit at work since we found out they were coming, we always end up obsessing about where we're going to take them to eat! Taco Deli for lunch? Yes, but we can't eat it there, it's too hot. We could have it delivered. Perfect. But we need to take them somewhere nice for dinner. How about Fonda San Miguel? Awesome, but that's Mexican twice. Okay, how about Homeslice for dinner, it's right downtown. Not upscale enough if we have Taco Deli for lunch. Why can't we go to El Chile? Too far away. Polvo's? Too divey. Eastside Cafe? Oooh. Yummmm. It's too quiet in there, though. I don't like restaurants in houses. What about the lake? There's Hula Hut. Too many strippers in bikinis. Right. How about Ruby's? They need BBQ while they're here. Well, if we're taking them for BBQ, it's not going to be Ruby's. And on and on and on. It's been like this for a month.

It's decided now. Z'Tejas for lunch. We'll walk so it's good for the environment and maybe they won't see our giant SUV. Meet up before dinner at the San Jose. Nice. Then a casual supper at Homeslice. That's the plan. We're not changing our minds again.

I'll let you know how it goes...

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

MooMoo MooMoo Mooooo

I was playing around with Google Video just now and learned how to post movies. The quality on this is pretty low because I was just testing, but this is Luke dancing to one of his favorite toys.

The Pool

Jackson has been pretty timid when it comes to swimming. We tried lessons at the YMCA, but we didn't think they were very good. After polling most of our friends about where their kids were taking swimming lessons, we decided that the best thing would probably be to just spend more time at the pool. Duh! So we've been going to the pool at Dick Nichols Park once or twice a day for about the last week. It didn't take long at all for Jackson to start jumping in and holding his breath under water.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Saturday in the Park

This is a story about our Saturday family outing. We decided we should do something special since it was 7/7/07. Don't ask me why. It just seemed like it was a special day. We came up with lots of ideas like the zoo, the children's museum, or Hamilton Pool. But by the time we finished brainstorming ideas it was already almost lunchtime. So then we thought about going down to the Salt Lick, somebody mentioned needing to go to Home Depot, and then we almost decided to just stay home and join in the garage sale our neighbor was having. Our plans were deteriorating fast. We needed to get a move on.

We got in the car with Jackson yelling, "Where are we going??!?!" I waited quietly for Mat to reply since I wasn't sure either. A few minutes later we ended up at the Cirle C park, and he declared that we were going on a hike. Fun! Here is the first picture of the day. Jackson insisted on wearing a Santa Claus tie he found in Mat's closet. Yes, he's crying. He was tired of walking, and we were barely out of the parking lot.

We found a temporary solution to that problem. Now we're on our way.

Now, have I mentioned the heat? Well, let me tell you. It was a scorcher on Saturday. Jackson realized pretty quick that he was going to have to sacrifice fashion for comfort and come out of that tie. I was starting to realize that my own choice of jeans was not smart either. But hey, I thought we were going to Home Depot. We pressed on, determined to have a good hike.

Pretty soon we came to a creek that had overflowed the trail. With Jackson on his shoulders, Mat crossed first, and the water came up to his ankles. For a second, while contemplating how new my new Merrill hiking shoes would seem if I did the same, I entertained the idea of turning back. I decided I couldn't abandon my family like that, so being the trooper that I am I took off the new Merrill hiking shoes and crossed the stream. I have to admit it felt really good.

Now the second time the trail was submerged Jackson and I both took off our shoes and squished through the mud. It was kind of refreshing, but I was not crazy about taking the shoes off and on in the heat. Did I mention the heat? And Jackson didn't want to put his shoes back on, so we were moving sloooowwww. Mat's job in the family is to make sure that we (or I should say I) don't sink into negativlty, and so he did a good job of encouraging us to keep going.

Now come on! Off came our shoes again. This crossing was pretty swampy, and we hadn't seen a lick of shade in a long time. I was starting to worry about ring worms, hook worms, and just plain worm worms. I'm not going to lie to you. I was pretty cranky in this picture. As I was sweating in the blazing sun putting my shoes back on for the third time, I mentioned that maybe this would seem funny in 10 or 15 years. :-) I was trying to be positive!

Thanks to Mat, we did manage to stop and smell the flowers along the way.

And everyone was happy when we finally reached our destination.

Rocky Mountain National Park it was not, but any day that I get to spend with my boys is special to me.

The End.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Fourth of July

I promised myself that I was going to charge the camera battery and take a lot of fun family pictures to post today since it is a holiday and everything. Well, guess's raining again. That's okay, though, because we did what our family likes to do best. We went to see Ratatouille at the new Southpark Meadows theater this morning. There's nothing better than sitting in a dark theater watching a Pixar movie on a rainy day. The boys behaved really well. I think Luke was a little stunned for the first hour or so. It was cute. Now everyone is just napping and relaxing except Mat who has decided to revive the treadmill. Hopefully it will make him feel better about what we're about to eat for dinner. We're grilling kabobs with mashed potatos, salad, and ice cream for dessert. The jury is still out on whether or not we're going to go out in search of fireworks tonight. We'll see what the weather is doing. Chances are we will put the boys to bed early and watch another movie. I love rainy days!

Speaking of food, my sister sent me a link to this really cool photo essay about what families across the world eat. What the World Eats There are 15 countries and each photo shows what they eat for a week and how much it costs. It's very interesting. I'm so glad that the majority of our meals don't come from a giant sack that looks like it was dropped off by a UN humanitarian worker. It makes you count your blessings for sure.

Happy Independence Day everyone!

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