Saturday, November 29, 2008

Ethan Bday

It began with a prize from Ma'am. He opened it the night before and was really excited. It was like he wasn't sick at all for fifteen minutes! She sent him some punching balloons and golden books (and a super-cool present that is sending via pony express aka site-to-store).

That night was also the kids' first night in their new bunk bed! B had to abandon plans to build one for them as Ethan has just figured out how to climb out of the crib. So we begin the headache that is transitioning to a big boy bed. (all advice on this subject is appreciated) It has been Gabriel's dream to have a bunk bed. Ever since his brother born - G has spent half his life saying-

"Mommy... uh mommy ... I want a bunk bed. I will sleep on top and Ethan will sleep on down."

Here is a photo of them from this morning, all dressed and ready to start their day!
We opened presents at home first.

This is from Gabriel to Ethan - money from G's piggy bank and everything!
Then we went to Peter Piper Pizza (sort of like Chuck E. Cheese's but way cooler and less annoying). It turns out that Ethan takes after his mother and prefers skeeball (that's my boy!). Here he is showing Soso how to play.

And of course there was pizza!

At some point during our lunch we all looked around and said, "Where's Ethan?" Never mind the fact that there were 11 adults sitting at the table, we still managed to "lose" a child. I went looking and here's what I found:

During all the fun, Gabriel came down with a fever. B and I got really bad sore throats and Ethan got really fussy again - presumably from feeling sick all over again. This was all G wanted to do.

Then we opened more presents.

This one is from Nana. All I have to say is, great minds think alike! And, I'm glad she kept her receipt because I lost mine!

Then we came home where I furiously baked these bad boys to take to church:

However, Brandon suggested that maybe we shouldn't go to church all sick and get everyone else sick too (including the two people who have weakened immune systems that we know of) so we stayed home...

... and had cupcakes for dinner.

What can I say? I feel like I'm getting sick and I don't want to cook (another good reason to go to church - someone else cooks).

Please don't judge me. This is not a habit.

Although, clearly the kids really perked up when they got their hands on some sugar!

Thanksy pics

Every year B fries a turkey. Every year I think, "it can't get any better than this." Somehow, it does! He is a master turkey fryer! This picture was meant to capture the essence of frying a turkey. I don't think it did but it still is a cool picture.

This is half of our crowd - but more importantly, its the spread! There's a turkey in there somewhere.... My mil started a new tradition with sweet potatoes that is glorious!
Ethan ... Poor Ethan. He was sick and grumpy all day. Finally he fell asleep on Nana, where she was rendered immobile while the rest of us held on to our freedom!
Last year for Thanksgiving (it was on the blog I accidentally deleted), I gathered all the materials for crafts and games for the kids, story time and Thanksgiving themed toys. Gabriel was the one who sick all day long! Also, Gabriel was sick throughout his entire bday party - and now it looks like Ethan is following his lead. Poor kids. Why are they not sick when there is nothing on the schedule?

Cookie Monster for grown ups

Ethan is still fighting off this cold so here is another one for my sweet boy!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Cookie Monster - final

Ethan has been sick all week. Cookie Monster gives him a lot of comfort so we have been on YouTube a lot looking up cookie monster videos. These posts are for you, Ethan (who will be two on Sunday!)

more from Cookie Monster

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


It was ten o'clock on Saturday night.

My husband and I looked at the pile of black bananas on the counter.

We looked at each other.

Oh yeah. Banana Bread Time!

It was glorious! There are SEVEN bananas in that one loaf! And ...

...the kids were in bed! Which means that we had a hot loaf of banana bread all to ourselves!! Mwa hahahaha!

BUT - the next day, Gabriel came down for breakfast and said, "Where are the bananas? I thought we were going to make banana bread together?"


Baby Ladduwahetti's Shower!

What an amazing day! On Sunday had the privilege of honoring Primrose and Rohan just as she is about to have this baby! We got all of her groups of friends together under one roof - it was wonderful to celebrate together as the last time we had ALL been together was for Jessica's funeral. There really are no words to describe the kind of roller coaster we were on all day long.


girl talk.

my beautiful mil.

one of our friends is an exceptional singer. he's recorded many songs and is very popular in other parts of the world. he graced us all with a song to punctuate the day.

Aruni, Patti and I danced and danced - and the more we embarrassed Hayley, the more we danced!


we played the TP game - even Rohan played!

look at the big belly!

Jessica's smile.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Monkey Update

Sunday was Primrose's baby shower - which was at Aruni's house! So I got to check in on her funky sock monkey. Hayley finished him/her off and rather than Bootsy making a new friend, looks like Hayley has!
and she was very creative about it.

Here she is with her beloved sock friend!

I also met up with Beth and caught a glimpse of her completed monkey. Her monkey is not only beautiful (I wish I had my camera with me 24/7!) but also coordinates with the guest bedroom. Any guest of the bedhead family is in for a real treat!

The Lone Hiker

That's me.

Saturday my friend, Nicky, was going on an all girls hike and she invited me to tag along. It was great! About a quarter of the way through the loop I had to turn back as I told Brandon I would be home to take over with the kids by 2.

I spent half the hike alone on the trail. It was AMAZING! B has hiked several times alone so when I came home telling him how great the solitude was his response was anti-climatic. In fact, I think he might prefer to be alone in nature (speculating here so don't take it to the bank).

It was chilly. By chilly I mean - mid fifties! Brrr.... San Antonio has gotten in my blood. But I was spurred to even jog part of the trail by the cold, the fact that I had to pee so bad my kidneys were aching, and as I checked the time I was headed to be late! Not that I would turn into a pumpkin but I want to do this again and punctuality is very important to B when it comes to the children.

Here are some pictures. Well - its really only one picture that I photoshopped with my favorite first, going down to my least favorite.

PW b&w
midnight sepia
PW boost


Friday, November 21, 2008


A week and a half from Ethan's 2nd bday and he used the big boy potty for the first time tonight to poo poo!


Thursday, November 20, 2008

Sock Monkey Mania!

On Monday, I held the second annual (but not consecutive) sock monkey mania party!

At said party, guests are expected to bring a pair of clean, preferably unused socks and I instruct the masses how to make their very own sock monkey.

Sounds like fun, right? I wish you had been there. It was smashing fun! We all chatted and laughed, enjoyed some sweets and visited. No one finished their monkey but that's ok, they had some instructions to take home.

Compared to the first annual sock monkey party, this was a huge hit! For the first party, I invited 12 ladies. 8 RSVP's they would come. No one showed. Which, sadly, is my curse. Or WAS my curse! Everyone who said they would come, came! I am very pleased.

I didn't take many pictures but here they are...

Beth and my mil working together.

Aruni's sock monkey, a new friend for Bootsy.

Gabriel working hard at getting attention.

There you have it, Stiletto Mom, I too have monkeys on my mind!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Eight is Great - Kids

8 TV Shows I Watch:
1. Clifford
2. Curious George
3. Sesame Street
4. Between the Lions
5. Little Bill
6. Spongebob Squarepants
7. Backyardigans
8. Handy Manny

8 Things That Happened Yesterday
1. Did workbooks
2. Went to the store
3. Played outside
4. Ate ravioli
5. Tormented the cat
6. Had a tantrum (or two)
7. Brush teeth
8. Helped mom clean

8 Favorite Places to Eat
1. McDonalds
2. Sonic
3. Wendy's
4. Chick FilA
5. The Crusty Crab
6. Mom's kitchen
7. Nana's kitchen
8. the park (picnic)

8 Things I'm Looking Forward To
1. Ethan's Bday
2. Chrstmas
3. Christmas presents
4. Christmas cookies
5. Christmas candy
6. Going to school
7. Going to the park
8. Bible class

8 Things on My Wishlist
1. cars
2. Spongebob toys
3. balls
4. guns
5. books
6. every boy toy on comercials

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Eight is Great

8 TV Shows I Watch:
1. The Office
2. 30 Rock
3. Everyday Italian
4. Dancing With The Stars
5. Sons of Anarchy (husband got me hooked, ugh!)
6. House
7. WEC Wreckage (more of Brandon's influence here)
8. Monk

8 Things That Happened Yesterday
1. Ironed all B's work clothes
2. Posted a blog
3. Played with the kids
4. Cooked Dinner
5. Went to the store
6. Cleaned house
7. Hosted a ladies party at my house
(a typical day)

8 Favorite Places to Eat
1. Tiago's
2. La Frite
3. Olga's
4. Tap Room
5. my kitchen
6. my MIL's kitchen
7. my mom's kitchen
8. Louie's Backyard

8 Things I'm Looking Forward To
1. Primrose's baby shower
2. Thanksgiving
3. Ethan's bday
4. Christmas
5. more hiking
6. Austin 1/2 marathon
7. losing obligatory extra holiday 5lbs.
8. G going to kindergarten

8 Things on My Wishlist
1. chocolate
2. coffee
3. camera
4. lenses
5. kitchen aid food processor
6. homemade aprons (MOM!)
7. teeth whitening kit from my dentist, Dr. Wall
8. Baja: Edge of Control - for XBOX 360

8 People I Tag
1. (except for Tiffany I don't know anyone else who does meme's)

Big Bend, Day 4

Here are some pictures Gabriel took with my camera on our last day.

This is Patrick. He had the neighboring campsite and is quite possibly one of the coolest people I have ever met. It began with Brandon going over to ask him about his motorcycle, Dakar racing motorcycle (used for the races from Paris to Africa). I was very impressed with B's knowledge of this race and the coolness of this bike. Which made B even more cool in my eyes.
Gabriel took that picture of Patrick too...

As conversation progressed we learned quite a lot about Patrick. At age 19 he moved to Alaska where he spent the next 14 years working on fishing and crabbing boats. Six months on, six months off and a big fat paycheck to boot.

Eventually I guess he got tired of working. He saved his money and do you know what he did next? He spent the next 9 years living on his own sailboat in the Caribbean. Yeah, he's awesome-sauce.

Well, even living in the Caribbean gets old, it seems. So he sold his sailboat, bought this uber-cool bike and is traveling our beautiful nation going to each National Park on the map. This is his second round of all the parks. He lives out of this compartment on the back of his bike.

Jealous? I am. But, if I lived that exciting life, I would have missed out my own adventure of being a mom to these brilliant, wild, and good looking boys. I would have missed out on the adventure of being married to a brilliant, wild, good looking man who makes sure my life is NEVER boring. I would have missed out cable tv and all of the ... ok, I will gladly exchange cable for living the high life. But I would have missed out on blogging - and that would be very sad.

Patrick and Brandon went on a long hike together on Thursday, our last day. B and I HAVE to go back sans kiddos. There are so many strenuous hikes I want to do - straight vertical climbs or 15 miles through the dessert. I just can't subject my kids to that until they are at least 6 years old. -my mom will probably have palpitations when she reads that last sentence!

So while daddy was hiking, Gabriel, Ethan and I went to check out the fossil exhibit. Oh yeah, this desert was a swamp thousands and thousands of years ago. I would tell you all about it, but its really not that interesting. Normally I am a big dork and find that sort of useless knowledge fascinating but even I could have skipped that one. Although this video is precious!

Here is a picture and video of Gabriel at the fossil exhibit.

Then we packed up and took off for home. Goodbye Big Bend. The last picture of Big Bend; taken from the passenger seat on the way out of dodge.

Oh but this post isn't over yet!

We stopped off for dinner at a Pizza Hut; after we were pulled over for going less than 5 over the speed limit (give me a break!). Don't worry, even though the policeman seemed to be on a power trip he let us go with a warning. Border patrol was nicer than this guy - and they usually aren't that nice! (in case you didn't know - I mean, I'm sure they are nice in a social setting but on the job they are fairly rough).

Anyway, Gabriel's Pizza Hut placemat had some What If? questions on it and I wrote down his answers -which were so adorable!

What if....

you could have a wild animal for a pet; what would you choose?

...a mouse.

you had a million dollars; how would you spend it?

...I would buy a car and a night light.

you were President for one day; what would you do?

...make everyone be good.

you had a genie that granted one wish per day; how would you use them? have a big plant for big water. (I think he said this because he has two small plants and that's his "garden" that he takes care of)

you could travel back in time; when and where would you go?

...I would go to the Start to meet Towmater.

you were stranded on an island with one possession; what would it be?

...beach toys!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Big Bend at (almost) night

It was sweet having a full moon while we were there. It was brighter outside than it was in the tent with a lantern. There was an Italian named Bruno who had a crazy big telescope hooked up to his laptop. He had it out every night to watch the stars. I have never seen the moon so close as I did through his telescope. It was amazing and has inspired us to try to find a San Anotnio Astronomy club!

Big Bend, day three

I know you spent all day counting the hours until I posted more Big Bend pictures.

These are the butterflies and crickets that flew into the grill of our car. Gabriel and Ethan thought they were so cool.

We drove down to the Rio Grande along the border of Mexico and hiked to Hot Springs where there are relics of a turn of the century health resort and bath house. Below is an old, abandoned post office at the trail head.

The health resort...

This cracked mud was difficult to hike across. As the trail progressed, the cracks became larger and larger to the point that the childrens' feet would get stuck in the cracks. Then Gabriel got stuck in a sink hole. It was pretty scary for him but his dad came to the rescue. Then, of course he got stuck as well. Ironically a day or two before we left for the trip we saw Bear Grylls on TV demonstrate how to get out of a sink hole. So Brandon was able to free himself without any drama. Although that was the most frightening adventure for Gabriel on this trip.

We drove on a VERY narrow one way road (to get to the trail head) through a canyon. These are pictures from the hike to the hot springs but this is the sort of canyon wall views we saw on the drive.

At last! The springs! They were amazing. If you have never been to visit a natural hot spring I highly recommend it. It felt like a hot bath. That is the Rio Grande in the background. It recently flooded and the water was still very rapid.

One of the cool things about the park was that if you are not into hiking all that much or if you are sore from too much hiking, there are all kinds of neat scenic drives. After we left the hot springs we took such a drive.

roadrunner .... beep beep

Back at camp. Here is a picture of the car I grew to appreciate during this trip. Not that I didn't appreciate it before but not only did this car handle the switch back mountain roads with ease but also the off road canyon drive and it provided excellent shelter on the night when the temperature got down to freezing!
Brandon helping Gabriel with his workbooks. That's the thing about home school, I didn't think G could stay on track if we took a whole week off from his studies. So we took his studies with us.

View from my nap. I love naps.

Trail near our campsite.

Just before dinner we hiked the Window Trail. It was gorgeous. Here is Gabriel with a succulent larger than him! We didn't hike the whole trail bc B wasn't wearing his hiking boots. He was letting them dry (he had to take them off and scrub the mud off of them).
We had dinner at the lodge restaurant. They were having a special on St. Louis style ribs. Anything with St. Louis in the title and we buy it!

silly people.

Our "hotel room" for our last night.