Monday, March 30, 2009

Wind in Wonderland

Papa Joe was off today. What an exhausting month it has been for him. The restaurant opening was incredibly smooth, all the repairs were made on time, and business is good. As the weeks go by, he should be able to cut back a little on hours and slide into a more regular schedule.

The wind was up enough today that we decided to take a trip to our favorite park and fly the kite. The $3 plastic triangle with streamers attached, that we purchased at the Dollar Store. I mention that only because I honestly didn't think it would last more than one flight. We had quite a bit of fun with it for most of the morning.


Boston Boy just loves to be outside, people watching. The wind was a bonus, the breeze makes him giggle. Life makes him giggle. (I think I should take a lesson.) :)

Sunday, March 29, 2009

A Sample of Saturday

In Houston, there are always several choices when it comes to how you want to spend you Saturday. (event wise) The top two picks this weekend were the Snow Festival and the Family Arts Festival. We decided, based on the weather patterns in Houston, we had better hit the Snow Festival first if we were to see any snow. Skipping over the details...it was a bust. I should have known Houston could not pull of 10,000lbs for snow for an event. There was not a flake in site. We were bummed! Cam did get to ride on a miniature horse though. I talked to the horse's owner and found out her ranch offers riding lessons for children as young as two. Woot! I finally found a place. She would begin riding on a miniature horse and then move up to a pony when she was around 5 or 6. We will definitely be looking into this more.

The helicopter that was going to offer rides had other business to tend to. Again, bummer. They did let Cambry sit in it for a bit though. Exciting!
Then we headed down to the the Family Arts Festival. We spent several hours making different crafts and art projects. When it was all said and done, Cam had her first taste of cotton candy. Delicious!

Boston Boy loves a balloon about as much as Cambry does. Really he just loves to hold anything with a string. Here he is napping in the stroller, still clutching the string.

Stopping to take a break.


Friday, March 27, 2009

Vicarious Thrill

Remember when the charge of rushing down a slide made your whole body light up? Me neither, but I wish I did.

Add it to the Wish List

Ever since our horrible experience at a box store portrait studio for Cambry's one week photos, I have been interested in photography. Okay, so it really began as just an interest in taking cute photos of my children and saving money. Joe had bought me a digital camera earlier that year for my birthday. It wasn't until about a year later that I actually began to learn about my camera, its functions, etc. When I was pregnant with Boston, I really had my heart set on a new camera. My point and shoot was great, compact and went everywhere in my purse or pocket. However, I became quite interested in the more advanced functions and lens options of other cameras. My mom surprised me on my birthday last year with another point and shoot - an updated version of what I currently had. This point and shoot has slightly more megapixels, some extra functions, and a greater aperture range. I have learned even more about my camera and captured some great shoots with it. But now, more than ever, I am wishing we get to the point, financially, where I can purchase a Canon Rebel XSi. I have shopped cameras to death since I moved to Houston. This particular Canon has all of the functions I have come to love (and hundreds more), is compatible with all Canon lenses - plus others, is moderate in price range (for an amateur), and is something I could have and grow with for years and years to come. My trusty point and shoot would stay by my side too; you never know when you need a backup.

It's a dream anyways. :) Back to play with my point-and-shoot for now. Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Fleming's Town & Country is Open

Dinner at Flemings on Sunday for Friends and Family was fantastic. I enjoy a delicious meal with a wonderful group of ladies, took in the action, and even got to brag about Joe a bit. I am so proud of all the work, all the hours, and all the dedication he has put into this new restaurant. I completely believe fate has brought us to Houston at this very time. I am excited to watch everything come into play.

This is Joe's new partner George.

Here we are with George and his wife Selene. She has been so wonderul to me, welcoming me/us into her home, her play groups, and even Girls Night Out.
The four of us with JVP, Dwayne.

There they are, proud restaurant owners (part owners). :) Way to go guys!


**Selene has been gracious enough to share the above photos she took with me. Thanks Mama!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Legend, Icon, Cartoon Character Extraordinaire

Sunday we took a 58 mile trip to the Houston Space Center. (I didn't look at how far it was until after I promised we would go.) Sunday was the last day of their Spring Break Spectacular. They had the International High Dive Team doing a special show and then...what could have been the biggest event of our time here so far - a Spongebob and Patrick on stage special. We were able to get a great seat right in the front; it was great! The MC was asking the children questions and if they answered, he gave them a prize. Cambry picked up on this quickly and was waving her hand frantically in the air to answer questions. "Spring break, tell me what you love about it," he said just before he stuck the microphone in front of her. She paused for a bit and then yelled, "Spongebob" into the mic. She clutched her prize for the rest of the day. (It was a coloring sheet rolled up and secured with a rubber band. Hey, it was a prize.) After the show the children were allowed to line up to have a picture with the characters. I asked Cambry why she didn't look at Mommy for the pictures. "I didn't want a picture; I wanted to touch them and talk to them," she said. Here she is.
Before the show we spent some time walking around the Space Center. She informed me that it was not cool because the astronauts were pretend. Later, during the Spongebob show, a Storm Trooper came out on stage. "A real astronaut!" she screamed. She had to tell everyone how she had seen Spongebob, Patrick, and a real astronaut.
We went to a great inflatable place on Monday morning. They have pre-k play dates three times a week. She was running wild for two hours straight. We will definately be back.
Boston got to bounce too - sort of. He was laughing the whole time, lovin' it. Look at this big boy! Where has my baby gone?

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Our Princess & Her Hair - III

Star...sort of
French Braid Head Band

Three Tier Updo...much better in person, the sections are up-side-down knots


Three Hearts...make a shamrock? Well we tried, the direction was a little off. Still cute, I have been working a lot with the rope look (twists). Her hair is still quite short and layered in places so we are limited sometimes.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Two Peas in a Pod

As much as the children are different, they are so much the same. He feeds off her excitement and energy. She can hardly wait for him to wake up so she can snuggle him. I know I will treasure watching their relationship grow for years to come.
Friday night, Joe was able to get done a little earlier than normal (meaning he only had to work 14 1/2 hours that day). When he got home, I don't know who was more excited. Both of them were squealing, flailing, smothering, and getting all goofy. This went on for about 30 minutes, each of them competing to see who could catch more of his attention. I think at that moment, he felt paramount.

Check out this foodie in the making! It has always been my practice when feeding babies and children to give them a spoon to hold as well. It is supposed to help build them fine motor skills, increase hand-eye coordination, and give them a sense of involvement. The first time he held the spoon, it took him about two tries before he made it to his mouth. Now after 10 consecutive days eating rice cereal, he has the technique mastered - pretty amazing for five months. We will post the video of him cutting his steak dinner at his first birthday party later this year.

Today was a race to the finish all day. I absolutely had to get my taxes finished today. I worked every possible moment this morning and during naptime, entering expenses. I finished and scrambled to print at 3:35PM. I woke the kids from their naps, tossed them into the car, and raced to Fed Ex. Because I was literally racing, I drove right past it. I arrived at 4:03PM (last pickup is at 4PM). Luckily the Fed Ex driver plans his route around procrastinators like myself and hadn't picked up yet. Yes! And to add more madness to the day, I took the kids back to the Rodeo tonight myself. Two little ones and 100,000 people - those are just small bumps in the road. :) We had a great time again! When you sit in seats at a concert you won tickets to, you secretly feel like a celebrity, especially when you tried probably 300 times over the course of two weeks to win those tickets.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Rodeo Houston

First let me say that Rodeo Houston, which spans three weeks every year, brings in $325 million in revenue for the city each year. I tell you what, I just want to be the gal to pocket the proceeds from the ferris wheel rides, even for part of one day. $6 a person...yes, $6 a person to enjoy 5 minutes on a 36 gondola wheel. Seriously? I told Cambry we weren't tall enough to ride. The Rodeo does however contribute a great deal of its proceeds to scholarship funds around the state.

Thursday was Joe's only half day through the course of the opening to be out of the restaurant. It was sort of like a half day off, except for the fact that his time was planned for him. We were fortunate enough to be invited to spend the afternoon and evening with the restaurant managers and training staff. Cambry loved everything about the scene. At the end of the day when asked what her favorite part was, she quickly chimed in, "Riding the airplane and pirate ship." We did watch about an hours worth of Rodeo competition as well. Amazing talent! The Steer Wrestling was my favorite. Enough chit chat, check out my lady lovin' the rides.

Zest is the secret to all beauty. - Christian Dior

She is a trill seeker. The roller coaster was her idea, not mine. Looks harmless right? Oh yeah, when we got to the top of the first drop, I thought for sure the whole thing was going to collapse. When did I start to worry so much? Two minutes after my first child was born I think. I suppose the added fear that comes with carnie rides is what makes it all so exciting.

"Papa Joe, what was your favorite part about the day?"
"Watching Mommy ride the slide with Cambry!" Again, the lady who is afraid of heights has to ride a slide twice as tall as the last one. (And for the record, I looked it up online, the slide at Bounce U was 26 feet high.) This five hump carnie slide was at least 40 feet tall - really. As we were trudging our way to the top, me clutching the railing with one hand and using my other hand to hold Cambry's hand, Cambry says, "Mommy, I think you are scared." I gasped (because I was holding my breath). :) I told her I was scared, but we were going to have so much fun riding down. We did, screaming all the way. Ahhh, the things we do for love.


"Dance with me Papa."

Boston Boy is a people watcher. He was completely content just to lounge in the stoller and watch the happenings. Now this is how you do it.

Houston we have a farmer's tan!

Look closely...it's there. You mean it's March and I am already tanning? Where is this miracle land I am living in? And yes, for all my friends and family up north, I will give you the other side of the story too. A woman I met this weekend told me the best way to describe Houston summers is to say, "It's like living inside someone's mouth." LOL! Thrilled, and completely looking forward to it. I will make sure to update you on each and every heat stroke. :)

Is there a correlation?

Is there a correlation between getting a flu shot and having the flu? I began to wonder this today after an adequate amount of time had passed and Joe did not catch the flu we had. (Knock on wood) You see, each of the four years of my life I have gotten a flu shot (against my preference but required for work), I had the flu. The two years Cambry has had a flu shot she, she had the flu. The one year Boston has had the flu shot, he had the flu. You get the point. Joe on the other hand doesn’t ever get a flu shot, yet he is once again, the one and only member of our family to not get the flu. More than a coincidence? I think not. The question is, do I use my family as test subjects to attempt to prove my theory? :) …more on this in years to come.

Also, is there a correlation between lack of sleep and number of ‘blonde moments’ that occur? (This is not something I have pondered deeply; I just thought I would share.) So I found a great little top to wear to the invite only dinner at Joe’s new restaurant (shhh, there was a pair of pants involved too). I needed a tall size, so I was forced to order online. By today, when my package had not yet arrived, I called to figure out who dared to mess up my ensemble. Turns out, I had express shipped the package to the Omaha address and it had been sitting there for two days. (PANIC!) Thankfully Joe’s sister was teaching in Omaha this week; she came to the rescue. She overnighted my top to me and saved the day! Thank you, thank you, thank you Deb!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Playdate in the Park

We are having such a great time with our new Mom's Group!! The keep the calendar full and offer things for the kids to do several times a week. Today we went for a St. Patty's Day Shamrock hunt and picnic lunch at a private little park in Cinco Ranch. The weather was beautiful (read HOT). The kids had a great time, and I always enjoy chatting with the other mothers. Remind me why I used to work. :) Yes, the kids are work, but we are always out having fun.

Too much to ask for all three of us to look at the camera. I am over asking for smiles, just look, please. This was another self timer shot.
What a stud!

My busy boy...I swear he will learn to sit up after he is crawling and walking. He either wants you to stand up him (this is how we spend most of the day) or he is on his belly trying to get his arms and legs underneath himself. And forget lying still, he has mastered the repeated roll. Cambry will be sitting over with her toys, and he will roll on over to be by her. Too cute. Oh, and he is on cereal now - thank goodness. He eats as though he had be fed solids all along, no learning curve here.

Cambry rode a scooter for the first time today at the park, again, no learning curve. She watched her new friend for a minute, asked for a turn, and scooted down the path with ease. Note to the Easter Bunny - Cambry wants a scooter. She has this awesome, really awesome trike that she rides. Kettler Kettrike Diva (only pink and purple) I still push her with the handle though, she can't quite get the peddles figured out. Maybe by three years old? Anyways, we have a great playdate planned at our house next week - A Bubble Blast, that she is looking forward too. Yesterday I walked by her talking to herself (really she was talking to her 'friends'). I asked her what she was talking about. "I was just talking to my friends about which party hat to wear at my bubble party." lol. She is the light in my life. :)

Monday, March 16, 2009

Admiration

Boston adores Cambry. He has been getting pretty good at his bouncer lately too. So tonight, I put him in there to play while Cambry and I played catch in her room. Every so often she would stop and wave out the door to him and he would just light up (laughing all the way). (The video download was having trouble for some reason. If it tells you the video is unavailable, refresh your browser and then wait a minute before trying again.) Enjoy!


video

Friday, March 13, 2009

Superstitious?

Let me madness begin. I feel completely swamped since we got back from Omaha. Yes, I know what am I doing blogging? This is my sanity break. :) I am making some progress though, and three of us have had the flu now, so I should be coming into some extra time soon.



Wednesday we went to check out the new Flemings again. It is virtually complete. New staff orientation and training starts Saturday. At first sight, I thought the dining room was a tad smaller than Omaha's. However, after the table and chairs have been placed, Town and Country is definitely bigger. In addition, the private dining room has three sections and spans the entire width of the restaurant. It truly is a stunning place. Check out a few photos below, rather poor depictions of its true beauty.
Main dining room:
Private Dining Room:
A Thomas Arvid original, one of his newest releases at that. Arvid paintings are hung in all Fleming's restaurants. This piece has to be my favorite of his work so far.

Wait, it gets better... This morning, Friday the 13th, Joe was called into work early. When he arrived, there was 2 inches of water covering the dining room floor, a whole in the ceiling, damage to the wood, and a fried computer system. After everyone got involved, we learn that the plumber installed the backflow incorrectly in the ceiling and the pipe burst. $18,000 worth of carpet needs to be replaced - no other damage has a price tag yet. Although I have heard rumors the mahogany mill work in the restaurant values half a million. It would be just small parts that need to be replaced, but none-the-less. I worried what else would happen most of the day. We are all still in one piece and the day was productive. Superstitious? Still no.

Children Bring Peace

Last night Cambry had the flu. Joe blew up a mattress so I could sleep next to her. After getting everyone settled and ready for bed, she and I lay there side by side (almost - her bed is quite low to the ground also). "Can I hold your hand Mommy?" she asked. *I melt.* This is something we used to do when she was younger. I would lay on the floor next to her, holding her hand through the rails of the crib, until she fell asleep.
I took her hand in mine. "Now you tell me if you need anything Mommy, a drink, or for me to cover you up, okay." she said. This coming from my little lady who just got done hugging the toilet for three hours. She is such a beautiful person! I lay there holding her hand thinking of her. I couldn't put into words how proud I am to be her mother. As I continued to reflect on who she is becoming, I remember this and thought I would share.
Peace. It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart. (Unknown)

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Chevrolet Traverse Mom Squad

I applied today to be a part of Mommy Madness and the Chevy Traverse Mom Squad. This is an awesome promotion that is going on in Houston. Five Mommy Blogger winners get to drive a Chevy Traverse for eight weeks! Wish me luck!
Mommy Madness
Chevy Traverse

1982 Fad Comes Full Circle


Were can you get your hands on these darling leggings? Baby Legs

Spring Has Sprung?

When did this happen? I was driving down town last week and the tulips were in full bloom...everywhere. Tulips are beautiful, but it got me thinking - after spring is summer (logically), I'M NOT READY FOR HOUSTON SUMMERS! I went straight home to devise my plan for remaining clam and comfortable in the heat. I drew out the floor plan of our home, labeling the air vents and then indicating where the fans need to go. If I have calculated correctly, 37 oscillating fans, give or take, running on med-high (high is just annoying) 24/7 should adequately cool at least the top floor of the home.

On a more serious note, Grand Forks is already taking the necessary precautious in the event that The Flood of '97 repeats itself. Record snow falls with more on the way. Please pray for a s-l-o-w thaw for these folks! (Remember showing up at school for the day just to be checked in and then to be bussed to homes or warehouses to sandbag all day? How's that for a story to tell the Grandkids?)

Let the Games Begin

Rather let the road trip I hope is all fun and games begin. :) The three of us left Wednesday afternoon for Omaha. Joe would be flying in on Friday morning.

To make it easy on everyone, my mom graciously gave us her hotel points so we could break up the drive a bit. We are in no position to be buying hotel rooms. Thanks Mom!

-- A call to say goodnight to Papa after we went for a swim in the outdoor pool at the Hilton in Oklahoma City. Still called "Welcome Home City" by my little lady. I think it is so cute that when she doesn't know a word, she just uses the next closest thing she does know. Yesterday we were reading about a kangaroo (new to her); he quickly became a jumping giraffe. Raymond's dog Scout was renamed Scallop, and then of course there is still my all time favorite, the Princess 'Sin-umbrella.'
The drive up was wonderful / flawless. The kids were better than one could ask. We had dinner and good conversation Thursday night with Grandma Chris.

Friday we sent the morning at Bounce U in Omaha. Boston can hardly wait to get up and chase after Cambry.





We picked up Papa Joe at the airport around noon and then stopped at his old Flemings for a surprise visit. To the left is a photo for the kids with Aunt Pat. They adore her; she was very sad to see us leave Omaha.



This is a group photo of the gang from the Flem. I decided I was best to cut me out; I was too close to the camera and looked funny.













Boston was thrilled to have Mommy in the back seat while Papa and Grandmas rode up front.





Grandma Chris took us to the favorite place (OCB) on Friday night. It is really not our favorite place, but it is Cambry's, and she eats well there too - for free. We have yet to find a replacement in Houston.









Friday night I went to see Satchel Grande with Matt; Joe met friends out.


Saturday was a 2+ hour drive for Michael's funeral. Here is a link to his obituary if you are interested. http://www.dorrandclark.com/obituaryDetails.asp?obitID=483
He was a great man and a wonderful friend. We considered him a member of our family; he will be deeply missed.

After a quick visit, the three of us packed up to start heading home on Sunday. Here is Cam taking a ride to the car in Grandma's cart.

Thanks for taking such good care of us Grandma! Hope to see you again soon!







**Turns out I don't care for this new photo / text format and won't be using it again.