Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Pine-Tine's Day

We had a simple Valentine’s Day this year. The hubs left the house at 7:30 am (after presenting me with a SWEET card and some peanut butter cups) and he’s not expected back until Midnight or later. He works hard for the money, ya’ll.

In a last minute effort to be festive, I served red oatmeal with sprinkles and pink milk for breakfast. Ben and Grace got a kick out of that. It’s amazing what a little food coloring and candy hearts can do to the food I serve EVERY SINGLE Tuesday & Thursday before school.

I did not consult Pinterest or make any grand plans for the Valentine’s that they brought to their friends. In fact, I let Brian and Ben pick them out. Little cards with Airheads stuck in them. They came 28 to a box. Ben needed 17 & Grace needed 11. Perfecto.

There was a slight hiccup when I realized at 10:30 pm on Monday night that I had not picked up any cards for Noah. Yes, Noah, the 10 month old. Apparently besides blowing raspberries and pulling each other’s hair, he and the 5 other itty bitties in his Mother’s Day Out class would be exchanging Valentine’s cards. No worries. Ziplock bags plus goldfish crackers plus 20 minutes in Publisher equals this:

I did manage to dress them all in red. That was pretty last minute, too. This is why Grace is wearing a summer halter dress with a turtleneck underneath. You do what you have to do.


The sunglasses were her idea, of course.

After school we checked the mail and the kids opened a surprise Valentine’s treat (thanks, Grammy!). Grace presented me with a Valentine’s craft that she made at school. Not to be outdone, Ben set to work on his own creation. “Mom, I’m going to need some ribbon, glue, and markers. You’re going to need to cut me a heart out of some card board. Ok?” 20 minutes and one bottle of glue later, he was done and out the door to play with the neighborhood kids. Grace watched her favorite movie, Rio, while Noah bug napped and I cleaned and made dinner.

My favorite part of the day was at the table when we all went around and said one thing we loved about each other.

Ben’s were sweet and thoughtful. He loves Noah because he’s funny, Daddy because he takes him fun places, Grace because she plays with him, and Mommy because I love his Daddy.

Grace’s love proclamations were funny. They were sweet, but mostly factual. Grace loves Daddy because he goes night-night and kisses her, me because I take her bye-bye., Noah because he drinks bottles, and Ben because he poops on the potty,

I had a turn, too! I love Noah’s big brown eyes and long lashes, I love how smart Ben is, I love the songs Gracie sings, and I love Brian because he is very funny and he works really hard.

It was a sweet day. For the sake of the holiday I am omitting tales of spilled pink milk, dinner time battles, poopy underwear, snotty, grumpy babies and a very missed hubby and daddy. Instead I’ll leave you with Grace’s new word. Happy “Pine-Tine’s” Day!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Weekend in Corpus

Brian is working, working, working. To avoid going insane, I planned a couple of trips for the kids and I. Corpus was a no-brainer. We miss the Collins family so much and time spent with them is always easy and fun.

We headed out on Saturday after Ben’s basketball game and got to Corpus that afternoon. From the minute we got there, the kids just played and played and played. They all got along so well. There were very few instances of refereeing, which is amazing when you consider we had 6 kids under 6 in the same house together for over 48 hours straight! Of course, it wasn’t all about the kids. Liz and I had some QT and watched a movie or two once the kids were in bed. (I will say that bedtime both nights was cah-razy. Getting that many kids fed, bathed, and settled down is nothing short of a miracle. I’m not sure how you do it Mrs. Duggar! :)

Right when we arrived, Avery told Grace that they were going to have their nails done. Liz was the nail technician.

Grace chose one color for her nails and a different color for her toes. Surprise, surprise.

Trying to be still and avoid smudges!

This is what these two did the entire time. Wrestling, wrestling and more wrestling.

Oh, and more wrestling. Why do boys think this is so funny?

These two seemed to be paying a little too much attention to their big brothers. Um, Aaron… Noah is pinning your son. Get off the phone.

Grace spent most of the weekend decked out in one of Avery’s many get-ups. She either had wings or a crown or a dress or a tutu. Sometimes all of the above.

Showing Noah how to check himself out in the mirror.

A little creepy.

This was my favorite outfit she tried on. She then acted the part of the shark by yelling and chasing down everyone in her path, including the college kids that were having YL meetings.

Bath time was somewhat of an assembly line. We just kept passing them to Aaron and he kept washing them. God bless him.

Smile if you’re clean!

Playing the drums. Rylan’s bottom was the drum.

Driving cars was a recurring them all weekend. This looks like a safe game.

The way these two drive, this wasn’t much safer.

She's going to drive for real one day. They're going to have to put me on medication.

You get what you get and you don’t throw a fit.

This little guy smiles so easily. You just have to look at him and he cracks up. Love it!

Some of Rylan’s smilies even rubbed off on Noah!
Thank you Aaron, Liz, Tanner, Avery & Rylan for inviting us down to play. We had a great time! Miss you already!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Old Dog Vestibulitis

It has been a VERY rough week for poor Army dog (and coincidentally, for the rest of the family.) Yes, our sweet pup is getting up in years. He turned 13 this past Christmas. He does suffer from a bit of arthritis, but other than that, he’s been very healthy.
That all changed on Wednesday. He was in the back yard and I heard something knocking against the back of the house. I peeked out the window, expecting to see him playing on his back and kicking at the wall, and instead I saw him struggling to get some water from his bowl and then he just collapsed to the side. I ran outside to check on him and noticed that he hadn’t eaten his breakfast. When I called him over, he got up and tried to walk over to me and then collapsed again. After that, he refused to try to get up at all. His eyes were twitching back and forth and his head was titling to the side. My heart immediately caught in my throat and I spent the next hour trying to hold it together.
I tried all of my numbers for Brian (and even contemplated calling dispatch), but I couldn’t get through to him. I called the vet and arranged to have him seen. I called my neighbor to come and sit with the kids and help me get him into the van since he’s nearly 80 pounds and would not even pretend to try to walk for me. I felt like I was in the middle of a nightmare. The hardest part was deciding what to do about Ben. At this point, I was pretty sure that I wasn’t coming back from the vet with a dog, and I couldn’t bear the idea of just leaving with him and Ben not getting to say good-bye. I made the decision to take him out back and explain that Army was very sick, and I was taking him to the vet, but I didn’t know if the doctor would be able to make him better. I asked him if he wanted to sit with Army while I got things ready to go. It was heart breaking to see the two of them sitting there together. Ben was sobbing. It was awful. I decided to take some pictures of them and I’m so glad I did because these moments were so precious to me.

I finally got Army loaded up and the kids taken care of and I took off for the vet’s office. I tried Brian one more time and thankfully he answered and said he’d meet me there. Then I got on the phone with my mom….. and I LOST it. You know how people do that ugly cry. Well, there’s the ugly cry, and then about three or four levels of hysteria, and then there was me. I couldn’t even see to drive. I had no idea that losing a pet could affect me that way, but to say that I was a hot mess would be the understatement of the year.
The vet looked at Army and explained that it was most likely one of three things. He either has a brain tumor, was having a stroke, or had something called Old Dog Vestibulitis. The last condition was caused by inflammation of the inner ear. It comes on suddenly and causes EXTREME vertigo. The good news was that if it is vestibulitis, it is treatable. We decided to go ahead and treat him for that and pray that it was what was wrong with him.
He was still so pitiful when we got him home. Sweet puppy. The doctor said that his whole world felt like it was spinning. I felt so bad for him.
Gracie tried to cheer him up by bringing him a little puppy friend and sitting with him for a while. She was so pleased with herself. I know he appreciated her effort.
The doctor prescribed a steroid, an anti-nausea medication, and an antibiotic. He’s been on them for four days now and he is noticeably better. He still doesn’t have much of an appetite and he lays around A LOT, but he is walking on his own. He has a long way to go to be back to his old self, but we are just so thankful that he is still with us. We love you, Army Dog.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Mardi Gras Model

I saw a tutorial for a Valentine’s Day Shirt on my favorite sewing blog, and I decided to adapt it and make a Mardi Gras dress for Gracie.
I had her try it on her and asked her to stand still for me so I could get a picture of her in it. She and I obviously have different interpretations of the word “stand still.”
My crazy little model always puts a smile on my face!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Rodeo Day!

The San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo kicked off today and the kids celebrated at their school by donning their finest western wear and eating a Cowboy Pancake Breakfast!

Yee Haw!
Cutest Cowboy & Cowgirl EVER!

Thursday, February 2, 2012



Beaker has been cracking us up lately with the stuff she says. These are some of my recent favorites:

- “By my YOSE!” She means by myself. She always says this phrase with passion whether it’s something that she wants to do alone, or it’s something that she needs help with. For example, “I NOT go night-night by my yose!” or “I get my snack by my yose!”

- “Puhr-feck” She says this when I’m done fixing her hair. I didn’t realize it, but I guess when I finish getting her ready I say, “Perfect!” Now she says it before I do. She also says it before I’m finished if I’m taking too long.

- “Jus gurls” She’ll come and climb into bed with me, or sneak into my lap when no one else is around and she whispers “just girls”. Love it!

- “Come see my poop”. I know that’s gross, but it’s hysterical. She’s so proud of going poop in the potty. She goes in there and does her business all by herself, but then she runs to find us and offers us an invitation to check it out prior to the flush. She also likes to give us an inventory report. “Two poops. One big. One yittle.”

- She was in time out for doing something to Ben a couple of days ago, and while she was sitting there, she started apologizing to everyone she could think of. “I sorry, Bubba. I sorry, Noah. I sorry, Mommy. I sorry, Daddy. I sorry, Sweetie. I sorry, Paw Paw. I sorry, Grammy.” and so on. She must have felt REALLY bad. :)

- She sings constantly, and she picks up tunes VERY quickly. The other day, she was playing outside with her daddy, so I had Friends on while I was folding clothes (something that is typically not on when her little ears are around). She ran through my room to use the potty and when she was done, she ran back out singing, “Smelly cat… smel-ly cat!”

- She has very specific dislikes and reminds us of them frequently. For instance, “I no yike eggs”, “I no yike nanas”, “I no yike Cookie Monster”, and “I no yike chocolate milk!” Who doesn’t like Cookie Monster and chocolate milk? Weird, right?

- She is also generous with her praise when she sees something she does like. We visited my friend Kelly recently and I took her to the potty. As we walked into Kel’s bathroom, she exclaimed, “Ooohh… I yike dis bafroom!” She also took a shower with my Mom this past weekend and she told her, “Ooohhh… I yike dose boobies!” I think my mom nearly choked. My children have no social filters. We need to work on that.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Impromptu Visit

Mom called yesterday morning and when I answered she asked, “Guess who’s coming to dinner tonight?” I thought she meant guess who was going to dinner with her in Louisiana but what she meant was that she was  making a flying trip to see us in San Antonio (literally). Her boss’s plane would be flying here and staying overnight and she was going to get to hop a ride. Woo hoo! I was so excited!

The kids went to KDO and I went to work until it was time to pick her up. I pulled up to the little private airport and Ben said, “Are we picking up Sweetie?! This is her airport!” He loves it because it’s where we pick my mom up when we get little surprise visits, and it also has a popcorn machine. Yummy!

Our visit was quick but SO FUN. We all had dinner at the Cheesecake Factory, and then just Mom & I went to a movie. We saw “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.” It was extremely slow and incredibly depressing. The movie was beautifully acted and filmed, but when it ended it was just kind of…. eh. Oh, well. This morning the kids and I played hookie from BSF and we got a slow start. Sweetie tagged along for our typical Wednesday lunch playdate at McDonald’s. After that we drove around and did a little shopping (I picked up some supplies for Noah’s 1st birthday shirt) before we had to drop her back off at the airport this evening. We were all sad to see her go, but we’re excited about our visit to Louisiana in a couple of weeks.

This was the only picture I got while she was here. I took it with my iPod, so it’s TERRIBLE. No worries – I’ll get some good pictures of Mom & the kids during our Mardi Gras celebration. Thanks, Mom, for a great little surprise! Can you come back tomorrow?