Sunday, December 16, 2012

Gee, Thanks!

The girls and I went to Austin this weekend with two goals in mind.  1--to see my dad and his family.  2--to buy Bryon a chiminea for Christmas.

The first goal was easy.  We enjoyed seeing Peepaw, Christy, Vikki, and Loren and catching up with them.  They also have two adorable Boston Terriers that kept the girls entertained.  Shelby became the dog whisperer, teaching "Harley" to shake.  And, poor "Max" got renamed "Mackey".  No idea how that happened.

The next goal was also a success, at least for one day.  I knew I had seen chimineas at H.E.B. in years past for cheap and wanted to stop by there to get one.  My dad wasn't about to let me try to load one all on my own, so he went with me to the grocery store to get Bryon's Christmas present.  (Doesn't everyone do their Christmas shopping at the grocery store??)

After picking out the biggest, most heaviest one, I finally found someone to ring us up and got the thing loaded in the car.  Dad even helped me secure it so that it wouldn't roll all over the back and get cracked.  Finally, the hardest person for me to buy for was marked off the list...or so I thought.

That night, I called Bryon to catch up, and he was SO excited to tell me he found the coolest Chiminea at Kroger for only $25.  WHAT??  After telling him he should have waited until after Christmas to make such a purchase, I realized I was going to have to take the HEB gift back.

So, back to the grocery store with Dad.  The employees were super nice to refund my money, and Dad was super helpful in unloading the 100 pound piece of pottery.  I was pleasantly surprised to see that, in the end, I liked the Kroger chiminea better.

It's back to the drawing board for a gift for the man that has everything!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

One "Fart" Cookie

Haley's speech is so adorable these days.  I love the way she says her name, more like "Howly".  And, any word that begins with an "S" turns into an "F".

Take, for instance, her pronunciation of "Swim".  It turns into "Fwim".  When she has dry boogers, she calls them "Fikey Nocos"  (spiky mocos (spanish for booger)).  Hilarious!!

So, this week, the kids in her class are having a Thanksgiving celebration where each child is assigned a food item to add to a big bucket.  After it is all mixed up, they will get a portion to bring home.  Lucky Haley was assigned Smarty candies, or "Farty" candies, as she likes to say.

We had to go to THREE different groceries stores to find "farties", with Haley yelling, "Mommy, does this store have FARTIES??"  up and down each aisle of every store.  At the Tom Thumb where we finally found a mega-bag, she told the cashier that she was going to a Farty Party.  Now, that's one party you can leave me off of the invite list!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Fun Times in "Cotorato"

Thanks to a computer glitch(??) in Frontier Airline's system, we mysteriously were able to get four round-trip tickets to Denver for under $400 TOTAL.  Seriously, we haven't seen ticket prices that low since before 9/11.  This weekend, we were so thankful to be able to visit Bryon's friends Joe and Susan for a mini-vacation that didn't break the bank.

The girls wore themselves out taking in all the activities.  We first went to the Children's Museum, where they shopped-'til-they-dropped, experimented with bubbles, and morphed into the scientists we expect them to become.

Haley LOVES to shop
Shelby and Bryon making bubbles
Careful, careful, carful.  Don't pop it!
She's concentrating so hard, there's smoke coming out of her ears!

The three of them couldn't get enough

Day two, we loaded all four kids and four adults up and headed to Santa's Workshop.  It was the perfect place to take a bunch of pre-schoolers.  The rides weren't too scary (although I couldn't get off the ferris wheel fast enough), the lines were almost non-exhistant, and the dads even seemed to enjoy themselves.   

The kids having fun
That's my "be-brave-for-the-kids" face.  

Come to find out, my parents had taken me to Santa's Workshop circa 1976.  Mom was pregnant with Molly, so I couldn't have been older than 2.  I think the exact rides are still there!
Monica driving in 1976

Shelby driving in 2012
Haley driving in 2012
These girls are going to be dare devils

Giant wobbly candy cane slide that felt like it was built in 1976
Since we were so close, we decided to drive up to Pikes Peak.  From what I was told, the view was lovely.  My stomach, lungs, and brain were too out of whack to be able to enjoy the scenery.  If you venture up to 14,000 feet, take some Dramamine and an oxygen tank.  You can leave me at the bottom of the mountain next time.

Yet another "be-brave-for-the-kids" face on mom.  Only Bryon seems to be enjoying himself.
We had such fun seeing our girls bond with Joe and Susan's kids and dogs.  Keep those computer glitches low fairs coming, Frontier.  We can't wait to go back to "Cotorato"!

Three little monkeys, not sleeping in their bed

Friday, November 2, 2012

What a hoot!

Halloween is no longer just one night, like it was in my childhood.  It now seems to span two weeks, full of carnivals and parties.  Needless to say, I love it just as much as the kids!

This year, I skipped the idea of sewing costumes and just ordered them online like the rest of the world.  I had them shipped to a friend's house so my kids wouldn't wear them out before the big day.  Just before our first party, I picked them up, only to discover Shelby's unicorn costume may or may not have been stored in a warehouse since 1992.  It was pathetic...

What the costume looked like in 1992, as evidenced by the girl's bangs

Needless to say, the tail and horn weren't quite so perky, and the amount of stuffing wasn't enough to fill out one hoof.  But, like the saying goes, we were able to make lemonade out of this lemon.  Shelby helped me hot glue ribbons, hearts, and flowers all over.  In the end, crafting with her was one the highlights this year.
Our Unicorn Cowgirl

Luckily Haley's costume fit perfectly and she loved it, so much so that she didn't even take it off during any parties.  
Wooo is adorable!?!

First party was the Halloween carnival at the girls' pre-school.  The had a blast getting their faces painted, playing games, seeing their teachers, and eating cotton candy.  

Haley's face painting
Haley's pumpkin patch

Haley and Ms. Liz

Shelby's bean bag toss

Our next party was at a co-worker's house.  Ms. Annette's 2nd Annual Halloween party was lots of fun.  She had lots of great games and projects, and in the end, the kids had the best time just running around in the backyard as fast as they could.  

Our goblins

Ring toss

The hostess with the mostest and her hubby

Cake "walk" was more like cake "stand"

Cleopatra and her lame friend that didn't dress up

Finally, on Halloween, Bryon and the kids did their usual carving of the pumpkins, and we all went trick-or-treating with our new friends from down the block.  Haley led the pack once she figured out more houses meant more candy.  Shelby just enjoyed Miss Social Committee, playing with her friends and meeting new ones.  

Our little princesses

Haley helping light her owl jack-o-lantern

Shelby's jack-o-lantern 

Another Work of Art

How lucky is it for me that I get to reap the rewards of all my husband's hard work?  He is an engineer for a construction company, and once they finish a project, we get to have a big night out for the grand opening. He does all the hard work, and I get to celebrate his accomplishments.

The last grand opening we attended was the Wyly theater in 2009.  I had given birth just 6 weeks prior and was still breastfeeding little Haley.  Getting dressed up and going out made me feel like a queen again as opposed to a sleepless zombie.  The only problem was that once the clock struck midnight, reality set back in quickly.  I was still in Mama-Bear-Mode and couldn't quite party with the rest of the crowd. 

His latest project, the Dallas City Performance Hall, opened in September, so I got another chance to feel like a queen again.   This latest project is an absolute beauty.  Opening night was amazing, just taking in the sites.  One cool feature is an LED curtain that can be programmed for any light display. I can't imagine what it took to install it, but I sure did love watching it! 
Ever-changing light show via the LED curtain

The Queen and Kind have arrived!

Another perk I get from Bryon's job is that I get to occasionally tour during the building phases, hard hat and construction vest required.  So, when the building is still bare bones, I get to peek inside.  You never really appreciate what goes into such a building unless you can see it during the construction phase.

Arial view...notice the crane is below ground in the parking garage

This theater has really grown on me.  At first, I thought it was really too simple and grey.  I've realized "simple" is hard to accomplish in a building with so many elements involved.  Miles and miles of conduit are used to hide all the cords and lines needed to run a theater.  

This past weekend, Bryon was able to take his parents on a behind-the-scenes tour.  I loved watching his dad's eyes dance in amazement at all the work that went into the building, and I loved watching my girls literally dance on stage, with his mom and I providing musical backup.  
Bryon and Norman working the lights

Best Performance of "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" this stage will ever see!

Why did my camera choose this picture to be blurry??

Watch out Broadway!  The Pfaff girls are on their way.

Checking out the sound control room

Mom and Shelby getting our dance moves on!
Bryon doesn't know yet what his next project will be.  More that likely, he won't be building any more  theaters in the near future, so my opening nights of being queen are over for now.  Maybe one of these days, we will be going to the Pfaff girls' opening concert at one of his theaters!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Oh well...

I've tried to teach the girls to say "Oh well!" in times of distress.  They spill something on their shirt, "Oh well!"  They wake up in the middle of the night, "Oh well!"  They don't get the flavor of lollipop they want, "Oh well!"  They shut their finger in the door, "Oh well!"  You get the idea....

Shelby just popped out of her room after being tucked in, crying a little too dramatically.  When asked what was wrong, she sobbed that her sticky hand she won at the Fall Carnival had ripped.  I responded, "Oh well!  We will fix it in the morning."  Her humorous response??  "It's NOT Oh well!!  It's OH NOOOOOOO!!!"

Apparently, a ripped sticky hand constitutes a true crisis, no longer worthy of an "Oh well!"  

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

La Cucaracha

A friend and I took our kids to the Sea Life Aquarium at Grapevine Mills Mall today.  As usual, my kids had a blast looking at all the creatures.  Shelby even noticed the octopus was smaller than last time, only to find out the previous octopus had to "retire".  Goes to show how observant I am...I didn't even realize it was a different size!

None of these are my kids.  My camera was dead...
The Interactive Rockpool is always a highlight, where the kids can touch all kinds of creatures.  My girls are so much braver than I ever was, eagerly petting the sea stars, snails, hermit crabs, horseshoe crabs, and something called a "shark egg".  I had to google that one to learn all about it.
Shark egg

After the aquarium adventure, we took the kids to the food court.  While trying to keep 3 crazy girls at the table eating their Sbarro pizza, Shelby decided to crawl around on the floor for a minute.  I finally managed to get her back in her seat.  Unsuspectingly, I asked her what was in her hand.  

*Warning:  the faint of heart should not read past this point!!*

Little did I know, she had caught a COCKROACH on the floor and was hoping to play with it at the table.  I tried to be as casual about it as possible, as I want my kids to be way cooler around creatures than their mama.  But, I really wanted to scream, toss all the food in the trash, and make a run for it.  HUGE thanks goes out to Ms. Alicia for coming to my rescue with the sanitizing wipes and a smile.  

Needless to say, the next time we go to the aquarium, we are not visiting the food court, no matter how yummy that Sbarro smells.

Friday, September 7, 2012

The Way Fishing Should Be....

A perfect day of fishing should include:

  • Chamber of Commerce type weather (no wind, perfect temperature)
  • Shady spot under a big tree
  • A fish on your hook within 5 minutes of casting, with no humans hooked at all
  • Limit reached before you get bored
  • Beautiful surroundings
Luckily, our big family outing to go fishing included it all!  The Lakes at Isleta is the ideal place to take kids with short attention spans, as both girls caught their 3-fish limit within an hour.  The lakes are stocked with catfish in the summer and trout in the winter.  Needless to say, we will be going back to catch some trout on our next New Mexico trip!

Take at look at all our fun:

Be sure to bring your Barbie poll to catch the "big one"

Bryon teaching Haley proper technique

Haley's first catch...hard to tell who's more excited, Bryon or Haley!

Shelby looking bored after waiting a whole 5 minutes for a bite

The men teaching the ladies how to fish

Grandpa telling Shelby how to talk to the fish

Shelby doing the Happy Dance

Shelby's first catch

Shelby loved the worms as much as the fishing

Bryon teaching Shelby how to cast

Beautiful scenery

Just check out our bounty!