Monday, August 8, 2011

Think I'll go to Austin...

Every year, usually in August, Kaleb has to go to Austin, TX, for an election conference. The first year we were married, I got to go with him! It was my first time being there, and I loved it! The next 2 years, however, the conference was my first week of school. Boo! This year, it was back to being at the beginning of August, so Kam and I got to go along! Free hotel stay and getting reimbursed for gas?? Yes, please!!

We had dinner at one of my favorite restaurants that I only get on vacations...Steak n Shake!!

After dinner, we got to see the bats! One of the largest urban colonies of bats lives under the Congress St. bridge in downtown Austin. By "one of the largest," I mean between 750,000 and 1 million bats. They stay there in spring and summer, and every evening at sunset, they take off to have a nightly feast on bugs! Yum! (Kam loved that part:) ) We got to the bridge about 7:30, and the sun didn't actually set until between 8 and 8:30. So we waited! Our sweet boy kept asking where the baseball game was. We tried to explain (several times) that these weren't baseball bats...they were the animals.

And then they came! And kept on coming! They were everywhere for at least 15-20 minutes straight! You could hear their wings, all fluttering really was amazing.

During the day, Kaleb had meetings to go to, so Kamden and I spent time at the pool in the hotel (mostly in the hot tub, per his request)...
And did a little sight-seeing! I basically just drove until I found something that looked kid-friendly. I happened upon The Domain, which is this awesome outdoor shopping center that had me at Charming Charlie's! I didn't buy anything, but looking was enough!! We found a Yogurt Planet, which I have decided is my favorite dessert place E.V.E.R.

Then, we spotted this little splash park, and Kamden begged asked so nicely, "Pweeeeeeease, Mama??" So I said what the heck?? Go for it!!

We headed back to the hotel after that (I didn't get lost once on this trip!!) where Kaleb was waiting for us. And we had some delish dinner at Buca di Beppo!

Then we headed to Golfsmith so Kaleb could dream big!!

Kamden had a little meltdown shortly after this picture because he didn't just want to putt, and we didn't want to pay for anything in the store. So we consoled him with a trip to Baskin Robbins. Yum=)

The next day, I have no pictures...Kam and I went to Lakeshore Learning (can you hear the angels singing??) and then to Petco so he could see some animals. We came back to the hotel, swam, and napped until Kaleb came home! Then we headed out for dinner with his co-workers at P.F. Chang's (yum!) and then to Round Rock to see a minor league baseball game! Kamden lasted almost the whole game. (This is his camera smile now)

He was so excited about seeing this mascot. He hugged him and then actually gave a real smile while looking at the camera!!! This is huge for us. He doesn't do this often. At all.

The next morning, we headed back to Bridge City! It was such a wonderful little getaway for us. I just wish Ella could've been with us!! She starts first grade on Wednesday...unbelievable!!!

We had my sister-in-law's baby shower on Saturday, which turned out so cute!! Hopefully I can get pictures of that soon (they are on other cameras!!).

This also is my last week of summer. I'm excited about school starting, but sad about leaving my sweet boy. It's been so nice being off with him this summer! We are visiting his new sitter this week so that he can get a little familiar with her before he starts next Monday. And we have big plans for this of my college housemates is getting married Friday, so I get to see friends I haven't seen in years, plus some of those friends are coming to stay the weekend with us!!! I am absolutely thrilled! It'll be a great way to end the summer!!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Water Park Fun and a Trip to Nan & Bip's (& Katie's)

Last Friday, my sisters-in-law and I brought Ella, Kamden, and Caleb (friend) to a water park about 30 minutes away. The kids were SO excited about going!!!

They are little water bugs! There were 2 big slides (that, technically, Ella was not quite tall enough to ride, but no one seemed to notice) that Ella and Caleb bravely rode by themselves:

 Kamden hung out in this area for the smaller kids and thoroughly enjoyed himself!

 There were a couple smaller water slides in this part of the park, and at first he would only ride with his Aunt Cay-Cay. But he got brave once and went down alone, and that was it for him! He was hard to pull off the slides after that! He just couldn't get enough!

That evening, we headed up to Many to spend the weekend at my parents' house. We had to bring Ella back Saturday afternoon:( This was our last visit of the summer with her. I cannot believe it's over already!!

While we were at my parents', my mom pulled out this old type writer that my Pappaw Mike (her daddy) gave her. Ella wrote 2 stories all by herself!! She typed it all, spelled it all, everything!!! She just amazes me!!

Now, the kiddos stay overnight with Kaleb's parents pretty often, since they live so close down here. But Kamden has never gotten to spend the night (without us) at his Nan & Bip's house! And they'd asked earlier on in the summer if he could stay a few days with them. Kaleb has a business trip to Austin next week, and I thought that would be a perfect time! Then I started thinking, my goodness, Austin sure is a very long way from Many, and that's 3 days of being very, very far away from my baby we decided to let him stay up there Sunday night. And Monday night. And then my mom called and said he was having so much fun, could he just stay one more night?? Sooooooo, he's still there! And I am missing him like crazy!! I think that, aside from Kaleb's hospital stay last summer, this is the longest we've been away from him. But he is having SO much fun!! I am just ready for him to be back home:)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Please, Baby, Please!

I think I first got this book before we got married. I remember finding it in the library where I worked and just LOVING it. And Ella LOVED it, too. She could quote every page, and it became one of our routine night-time stories. Then, she got older, and it got pushed to the side.
Then Kamden found it! And it became one of his favorites! And he could finish the lines, and again it became one of our routine night-time stories!

But then he found "I Love You, Stinky Face" and "The Stinky Cheese Man" and "I Love You, Forever," and I can't remember the last time we read "Please, Baby, Please."

Picking up toys around here is usually a bit of a struggle. We have no problem singing the Clean Up song, but a major problem when it comes to acting on its prompts. So I've noticed that threatening to throw whatever doesn't get picked up in the trash works for Kamden.

Tonight, he had some blocks scattered in the floor in our bedroom. Here's our exchange:

Me: "Kamden, pick up these blocks before bed!"
Kamden: "I don' wont to!" (I am spelling "want" the way he says it...I hate misspellings.)
Me: "Okay, I'll just put 'em in the trash!"
Kamden: "No, no trash! Pwease, baby, pwease!!"

You see, there's a page where Baby is throwing her diaper in the toy box and the text says, "No, in the trash! Baby, baby, baby, please!" And he remembered that!!

I know I just posted, but I really wanted to make sure I got that little bit down. And the rest of the story...well I was just so proud that he'd put it together, especially after not having read the book in so very long that I just hugged him and told him he was awesome and picked up the blocks myself.

Didn't really grab that teachable moment, did I?

Oh, well. Next time!

Take Me Out to the Ball Game!

When I first met Kaleb, I learned that he was really into baseball. Like, really. And I am very much not a sporty girl. But because I wanted him to like me ;) I learned everything I could about it!! And whenever we finally got together "for real," we made it a thing to go to an Astros game every year or so. Behold our family's growth through Astros games!

That April 2009 one is when I was 8 months pregnant with Kam, and in the August 2009 one, he is about 4 months old. We skipped last year, so this is the first game that we've taken him to that he could actively participate in. Ella has been going at least since she was 3, and she probably went before that, but I don't have pictures if she did! She remembers everything...she reminded me that at the last one we went to there was an eagle flying around. No clue!!

We got some great photo op time while Kaleb waited to get our tickets!

 Of course, the kids have to get a prize for going to a game. Kamden chose this bat...
 And Ella chose this ball!
 We bought a $6.75 thing of popcorn just so we could get that helmet they're trading off with up there:) Well worth it!!
 The kiddos with Craig Biggio and Carlos Lee! This was after the game. Doesn't it look so real?? Haha!
We all had a GREAT time. I am so glad we got to take them this year. They only got squirmy close to the end, but they stuck it out. And the 'Stros actually won!! Unbelievable!!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

When it rains...

...we bake!

Today, we had the very unusual blessing of having RAIN!! All morning!! Which meant Ella couldn't go play with her friend across the street until it stopped. She was pretty bummed, so we decided to make something! Her first idea was chocolate-covered strawberries! Wonderful! We have strawberries and white almond bark. Let's do it!!

 We each tasted a strawberry, just to make sure they were still good...
 ...and they weren't. That's okay! Bigger and better things:

These are definitely my go-to dessert. Not only are they DELICIOUS, I almost always have the ingredients on hand!


 They were SO good. Maybe half of those are left right now;)

The rain stopped by noon, and Ella got to play with our neighbor while I attempted to get Kamden down for a nap before we went to visit his new sitter. I thought it went really well! He seemed to like her as much as he likes any other new people who give him a sucker! I didn't get any pictures of that, though.

When Kaleb came home, we all went out to eat for supper. Ella wanted Mexican, so we went to our usual Mexican restaurant, La Cantina. Mistake. It was SO incredibly loud. I seriously thought I was going to just lose it on the people at the table next to us! We all agreed it would probably be our last time there. It's just not worth it!!

We came home, got ready for bed, and got the kids down. Then, around midnight, someone came plodding down the hall...

When you wake up in the middle of the night and Daddy is still up playing Call of Duty, you get to sit with him until you fall asleep! Good rule, right??

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Evenings at Our House

Sometimes we sit, and enjoy the outdoors...

 Sometimes we dance over the toy-strewn floor
 Sometimes we gather in Daddy's shed...
 And cover our ears, when it's too loud for our head!
 We love to help Daddy...
 And we sometimes do weird things!
But my favorite part of the day is our bedtime routine!
Where we jump into bed and read a story or two,
And ask God to help us sleep the whole night through!=)
(Hey, it's practical!!)