Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Random Old Pictures Day

I don't have anything new to post, so I randomly decided to browse through old pictures on my computer for some pre-blog material. Here are some shots of Jackson playing dress up with his cousin Emily. These pics are from 8/06.

Friday, February 15, 2008

The rest of the story...

Since I'm sure that all two of you who read my blog are dying to know...the rest of the story about our trip to Galveston has to do with the "beach house" where we stayed. Let's just say we were the victim of some false advertising.

When the website says "view of the beach", it fails to mention that you have to climb up through the third floor attic and onto a rickety rooftop deck to see it. Do you think the term "fully furnished" should include a futon supported by paint cans, a set of mattresses sitting on the floor, or a sectional that was likely retrieved from someone's curb on bulky collection day? Here's a good one...since when does "fenced in wraparound side yard" mean "strip of overgrown grass littered with trash barely big enough for the family Yorkie to go poop?"

Here's a quote from the website: "We are NOT a Stuffy Bed and Breakfast or Sterile Condo, Hotel or Beach rental!!!! We Are a 130 year old home with 3 stories plus the rooftop patio. We are NOT perfect - It's like going to GRANDMA'S HOUSE." Hmmmm. Let's analyze this. It definitely wasn't stuffy or sterile. I wasn't worried about the kids touching things they weren't supposed to other than that they could contract a disease or parasite from it. It was built in 1870 alright and incorporated the worst home decorating elements from every decade in between. It was surely the opposite of perfect. And it may have been like your Grandma's house if you're Ted Bundy or Charles Manson perhaps.

You know that show "What Not the Wear" where they take secret footage of a person and then do a surprise ambush and give them a makeover? I kept thinking we were on a new show called "Where Not to Stay" and there were hidden cameras in the house capturing our reactions. This one house could provide a whole season's worth of material for several shows on HGTV: World's Worst Kitchen, Save My Bath, Mission Impossible, Clean Sweep, If Walls Could Talk, and Desparate Spaces to name a few. And here's an idea for a new show: Get a Dumpster and Fill It Up. Seriously, this house makes you want to clean even though you're on vacation. I heard that Jackie was actually searching the place for Windex the day before we got there. There are an average of 15 mirrors in each room, so had she found the Windex she would've been busy for awhile.

Here are a few choice pictures of the house...

There was a weird awning, rooflike thing in the kitchen and also over the front door. And yes, those are Christmas decorations.

Part of the kitchen.

There were more fake plants than you could count each with a thick layer of dust.

Here are the real plants.

There were a lot of Renuzits all over the house. I'm convinced that only very strong commercial grade chemical cleaning products will fix the stink, though. Sorry Healthy Child Healthy World.

This may seem like a fun and quirky accessory, but it really wasn't.

A stormy seas mural...painted with glow in the dark paint.


The "stairs" leading to the attic "bedrooms" had five types of "siding" in one square foot area.

One person's Shabby Chic is another person's Nasty Ick.

We all had a really good time last weekend despite the issues with the house. It was actually pretty funny and created a lot of memories. Mat's Aunt Charlotte laughed all the way up to the rooftop deck as she got the tour, and everyone had a lot of funny things to say about the place.

Top Ten Quotes from the weekend:

10. Beth: What are you going to do this week when you get home? Jackie: Disinfect.
9. I think I'm getting a respiratory infection.
8. If only there was a mirror in here.
7. The potty is all squishy. (Jackson upon discovering the soft toilet seat.)
6. Why is there a TV Guide with Paul Reiser prominently displayed in the bathroom? (Mad About You issue - circa 1997)
5. At least there aren't any roaches...oh wait, nevermind.
4. Yeah right...this place is only like a visit to Grandma's if she's been dead for a few weeks.
3. "Pulled Pork" Carter was a Sour Kraut. (This one is an inside joke.)
2. Uncle Mat, why is the hot tub in the garage?

And the number one quote from the weekend in Galveston is....

1. You get used to the smell eventually.

Yes, there was a hot tub. No, I did not get in it. But I will leave you with the pièce de résistance. This video pretty much sums the place up in a nutshell.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day!

Cozy Impressions Photography

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Our Weekend in Galveston

We went to Galveston for a long weekend to help Mat's mom celebrate her 60th birthday. It was a lot of fun. Here are some pictures of the trip. Warning: There are a lot of pictures. I was having trouble editing them down to a reasonable number.

We stopped on the way to Galveston at the Space Center in Houston and met up with Cousin Ben who got to come down from Michigan.

The Space Center has the best playscape we've ever seen.

The boys were worn out after just a few hours...and this was only the beginning.

After we finished at NASA, we drove the rest of the way to Galveston and eventually met up with the rest of the family (all the Byrds, the Frames, and the Scotts) at Gaido's for dinner. Before we went inside the restaurant, we walked down to the beach for a few minutes.

Jackson was so excited to see Ben that he had to go outside for a time-out no less than three times during dinner. We aren't really used to taking him to restaurants with glasses made out of glass and white table cloths. You realize how loud and rambunctious he can be in a place like that.

On Saturday, we got up and walked to the beach. The weather was great, but a little cold to be swimming (or so I thought).

It literally never occurred to me that the boys would go near the water...much less get in it. I guess I just thought: "It's February and kinda cold," you know? Well, needless to say they got in. Here's how they looked by the time we decided to walk home.

Saturday night we had a birthday dinner.

And Sunday we said good-bye to the Byrds and the boys got to sit on Uncle Randy and Christopher's Harleys.

Then we went to the beach again. This time in swimsuits...

Sunday night we went to the Strand and ate at Fisherman's Wharf and watched the cruise ships take off. That was a highlight for all the boys, but our camera battery was dead so I will spare you that one little portion of the trip. Monday we stopped in Lockhart and ate BBQ and then went to McKinney Falls State Park which is basically in South Austin. I can't believe we've never been there before!

Now you may be thinking to yourself, "What a nice time they had. Galveston must be a lovely place. It sounds like they had a perfectly enjoyable experience." Well, friends, it was quite an experience alright. Stay tuned for a new post to hear the other side of the story!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

So Long Mullet...Hello Bob?

Little Lukey had a sweet mullet, but all good things must come to an end.

Like many other South Austin children, Luke completed a rite of passage on Thursday...getting his first haircut at Toys-R-Us.

We all were feeling a little sad as we watched the mullet go bye-bye.

Luke felt like a new person after the haircut.

While it's really nice for kids that the Toys-R-Us has firetrucks and Elmo videos, the haircuts aren't the greatest.

The next day we realized that while the mullet was gone, Luke's haircut kind of looks like a bob now.

So even though his hair is shorter we're still going to have to dress him in blue clothes and camo everyday so people don't think he's a girl!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Lukey loves to shake his mullet...

Monday, February 4, 2008

Jackson's Birthday - Part 2: The Party

We had a fun birthday party for Jackson on Saturday. We did snacks, games, cake, a pinata, bouncing, movies, and toys. There were only one or two tantrums, a limited amount of crying, and no major injuries. (Parents: I do not recommend the "Bust My Buffers" game for future gatherings of small children since it was the one thing at the party that led to tantrums, crying, and minor injuries. Sorry about that.)

Here are some pictures from the big day.

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