Dear Woman who checked me out at Walmart today,

I would like to apologize for making what I'm assuming was an already stressful day just a little bit worse.  Sometimes as a mom you have to bend the rules just a bit for everyone's safety and sanity.  So, I opened the bag of marshmallows to avert nuclear disaster, it was better than everyone within 5 miles going deaf due to my child's screaming.  I don't know what to tell you, some days leaving the store is just not an option, we have to get through it somehow.  I, however, totally agree that I really should have told you the bag was open before you went to check them and spilt them all over your station.  If it makes you feel any better, I know have marshmallow goo stuck to my pants, my shoe, my car seat, and my child.  My bad.

In other news, my toddler pantsed me today.  And I was doing dishes so I couldn't just pull them up.  Me, being me, I just finished the dishes with my pants around my ankles.  I hope no one was looking into my kitchen.  She did have the courtesy to try and pull them back up afterward.  She is so helpful.


I have no voice

Do you know how hard it is to have 2 dogs, a baby, AND A TODDLER with no voice?  Not fun stuff.  And not just because Kira doesn't take me at all seriously when I whisper "NO!" at the top of my defunct voice.   Although that doesn't help much.  But, also, I can't sing them songs, read them stories, laugh with them the way I normally do.  So much of my life has become verbal communication.  I was noticing when I was dog sitting that I even talk constantly to the dogs.  If anyone else is around to hear, they must think I am crazy, I have entire conversations with them.  And now that Kira is so late to talk, I have really had to up the ante.  I am actually sort of amazed that she doesn't talk, I ramble all day.  Perhaps that is the problem, perhaps I talk too much.  Maybe she feels like I talk enough for both of us.  She is acquiring quite the vocabulary now though.  It is so random the words she says.  How does she come up with this?  She says "up" when we go up the stairs.  Good.  She says "hot" when we cook in the oven.  Good.  She says "eye" and then pokes you in the eye.  This is where I start to question.  Of all the words she could say she says "eye" clear as day.  Still no mama, no daddy.  Oh no, it is all about "dog" and "eye".  Ah, the mama life.  What is a girl to do?


Essence of the Mama Life

It's another one of those days.  I finally figured out what was going on with Ariana, she slept through the night exactly once before we all caught the funk and now we are up all night again.  At least this time I know the issue and it is being corrected.  I took both girls to the doctor today.  They have an ear infection each and the usual October funk, now they have 10 days of antibiotics.  Now to decide whether I want to go to the doctor myself or just ride it out.  The Navy seemed to teach me that going to the doctor, even when you are legitimately sick, is fruitless.  Plus, I hate to take medicine.  Seriously, Excedrin makes me loopy.  They gave me Percocet once, oh man, that was awful.  l couldn't even stand up.  
Anyway, none of that was really my point for today.  I realized today that a lot of what a mom is about is acting.  At least in a way.  I act as though the things my daughter loves are the things I love as well.  Trust me, I didn't like to drink fake tea as a kid, I don't particularly like to sit and drink tea as an adult, be it real or fake.  What I do love is the pure emotion on my daughter's face.  I love the enjoyment she gets out of it.  Sometimes in life we do things that, given our own agendas, may not be exactly what we want, but it becomes about what the people you love want.  Today, I really wanted to veg out in my pajamas, watch trashy tv, whine, and nap all day.  However, I have kids, and they rarely want to do those things.  Instead, we got dressed and went to the doctor's office.  Ok, so that probably wasn't top on any one's list, but it was a necessary evil.  I still had to play with Kira, it may not have been our usual off-the-wall ADD-addled, fun, but hey I did what I could with what I had.
And again I am kind of off topic.  I wondered today what the world would be like if we treated everyone like that, like what they wanted, what they needed, was a priority in our lives.  Don't get me wrong, I fully support meeting our own needs first and foremost.  If you are in need, how will you have anything left to give someone else?  But if we all worked to make sure everyone had what they needed, it seems like we would overall generally need less.  I am going to work hard in the next few days to make sure the people around me know they matter.  I am curious to see how it changes my life.  I believe we get what we give, so here's to giving something totally positive.


Ah, the Mama Life

I am sick.   Again.  That's right, bad mama sent her 1 year old to preschool and this is my punishment.  Also, my husband is currently not speaking to me because I wouldn't chose what we were having for dinner.  Did I mention that dinner is his one and ONLY responsibility?  Is it too much to ask that he not pick petty fights with me while I am sick.  That's all.  Tomorrow, sure I'll fight it out, but really...  I can't even get enough air into my lungs to properly bitch him out.  That is an unfair fight in the making.  Not a good example for our kids.
Ok, so he did tell me I could watch whatever I wanted on tv, as opposed to the usual Monday night football.  And, he did give Ariana a bottle, put her in her pajamas, and put her to sleep last night while I was party planning at my neighbor's.  AND he does look pretty cute sulkily eating his Burger King over there...  But none of that is the point! 
Hmmm.....  I shouldn't have married such a cute boy.  He is impossible to stay mad at.


Texas Renaissance Festival

The Renaissance Festival is always a great day.  We filled it with cool shows, tasty food, and lots to look at!  I love all the costumes, I was actually quite jealous and keep telling Steve we really need to get some of our own.  They are quite expensive though.  Sucks to be poor.  I think he may actually be amenable to it so long as he has a cool and historically accurate costume.  Apparently, he is all for it if he can have the $340 "Assassin's Creed" costume. 
I was concerned about the level of modesty at the festival.  Since when did "Renaissance" equate to "super slutty"?  It would appear that all the women of this period just ran around looking like hookers and that was ok.  Don't get me wrong, I was once young and thin too.  I get it, but there were quite a few women out there who were well past their prime.  I'm just saying.  I used to love to show everything off too, but now I have 2 kids.  Ain't no one out there wanting to see that anymore. 
Other than spending an assload of money, we had a great time.  We even talked about going back later next month.  Overall, it is definitely something you should do while it is here!  I would suggest saving up a bit so you can go crazy and not worry about the financial consequences.  Hey, you only live once, gotta splurge sometime!  Might as well be on good entertainment!


I'm back!

Ah, it's been a week.  Looking back, there were many things that happened that would make me think it was not a good one, and yet I had a lot of fun, got some sleep, spent time with the things I love most.  Overall, I have to say this was a wonderful week in my life.  I am sure I will be blogging about some of the events: the zoo for sure!  For now, let me just say how blessed I must be. 
The biggest 'bad news' of the week was losing my breastmilk.  With Kira, my older daughter, ALL I wanted was to stop breastfeeding, but with Ariana, it was strangely the opposite, I wanted desperately to nurse her.  Unfortunately that was not in the cards. I was really disappointed.  But honestly, I am a bottle feeder.  That is really all there is to it.  I beat myself up so bad for quitting on Kira, but at the end of the year, it changed me as a mother in a positive way.  And it has had the same results with Ariana.  I am a better mother when I am not breastfeeding.  In the past week, Ariana has gotten on a routine (finally, praise the Lord!).  She slept 5 hours last night!!!    I haven't gotten that much sleep in weeks.  I am pretty convinced that my milk has been gone a while and I was just in denial.  It explains a lot: why Ariana is constantly screaming like we are starving her (because we are), why she wasn't gaining weight like she was suppose to.  So despite the initial guilt and feeling that I wasn't ready to stop, going back to a bottle mama was a good thing in my life.
It seems to me that we must be on the right path in our lives: we received another check from the college.  We should be getting significantly more soon, but this week we received just enough to buy my early birthday present: a new netbook.  I love it!  And now I can talk to you from all over, thrilling!  For me at least, haha.  Th best part was the feeling of support I got from Steve.  I often feel that he doesn't take me seriously, that he feels like I get on my kicks and he just has to ride it out until I get bored and move to something else.  It almost seems like he is seeing how serious I am about Paws and Palaces and how far that is going, now he has decided that I could make this work after all.  We'll see.  For the most part, I enjoy all of the things I have been starting.  Most of all, I really enjoy him looking at me like a powerful person again. 
As Friday night draws to a close, I look back on a relaxing week.  A week to get things done and gather myself together after feeling like I have been falling apart.  Today the girls and I just hung around the house.  We did some picking up, lots of dishes.   I have been working on their Halloween costumes, which need to be finished by Sunday.  We were still in our pjs until 6 when we had to get ready to go to LIFE group, which is always enjoyable.  Tomorrow we are headed to the Renaissance Festival!  I'll let you know how it goes...    


I can't get over it

How much I love this life.  Lately I feel like I have done a lot of complaining.  I am not really sleeping.  My daughter is not really sleeping, she is borderline colic, she is a difficult child, perhaps even more difficult than I expected, perhaps raising 2 very young children is more difficult than I expected, perhaps raising just 1 is.  Part of me expects that I should be less thrilled with her.  But at the end of the day, it seems to me that the only rational thing to do is love her.  All of her, even the part that is waking me up every 3 hours, even the part that refuses to go back to sleep at 5 am.  I am not sure why, but this surprises me.  How much I can love these little creature takes me back.  Part of me wonders if I am just going through the motions, and I'll be honest, some days I am, but overall I am truly happy with my life.  It definitely needs a little revival and I am working on it, but overall it's a pretty good thing.
Last night things got a little crazy.  It had been a long day and it was nearing bedtime.  Steve was getting frustrated with the girls and went downstairs to get milk for them both.  He came back up, but then had to go back down for something, I am not sure what, possibly just a moment of quiet.  I was fixing Kira's bed, and Ariana was screaming.  I only have 2 hands, so unfortunately and as much as I hate it, sometimes she just has to wait.  Lucky for her, she has a sweet sister who is eager to help.  She abruptly stopped crying, which makes me nervous, so I ran in to check on them.  Kira had found her bottle on the desk, got it down and started feeding her, which made her very happy.  What a little mama and a wonderful helper I have.  When I came in and saw what she was doing I was astonished and amazed.  She just looked up at me like 'no problem mom, I got this.'  What an amazing life.    


My Sweetest Daughter and the Eagle Springs Fall Festival

To promote business, my Paws and Palaces partner, the lovely Miss Trisha, and I decided to make a few crafts to sell at the Eagle Springs Fall Festival.  While the crafts we made were a bit sketchy, (except Trisha's dog treats which were a big hit!), the girls and I had a good time.  There were a lot of people out and tons of fun stuff to do.  Plus, hopefully we got our name out a bit and can bring in some more business!    The girls were pretty worn out after a long day playing outside.  (Poor Kira, we walked home and she had her little head hanging out of the stroller half the time.  I kept having to stop the push her back against her seat.)
Kira is generally a very loving child, but every once in a while she gets in the mood to be extra sweet and cuddly.  It isn't a clingy thing, she just really likes to show affection.  She has started to hold my face and pull it towards her for a kiss, or just put her hands on my shoulders and look into my eyes.   I guess when I think about it, those are the things I do to her when I show her love, so I suppose it is just another case of her mimicking me.  I can't get enough of it though.  To think that I am worthy of the love of a creature so perfect is beyond my understanding.  It made up for the way I was feeling yesterday and reassured me that one bad day is not going to change my relationship with my kids.  It's ok to not be on my A game everyday so long as even when that happens, they know I love them more than words can express.  And I do.  All day, every day.    


today does not count

as I was not the best mama I could be.  Ariana is not sleeping.   I think she may be teething, but I kept thinking that with Kira and her first tooth didn't actually appear until she was like 9 months old.  Regardless, she has been cranky, therefore, Steve and I have been cranky.  This morning I just felt like my patience had been taken hostage somewhere far away.  The kidnappers are demanding sleep and an hour of quiet.  Steve worked all day, leaving me home alone with 2 heathens and no car.  I don't think we have managed to buy real groceries (you know, the really important things like milk, bread, cereal, juice) in 2 weeks now, so we are totally on empty.  We had nothing to drink so I made Koolaid.  Which I left too close to the edge of the cabinet and Kira promptly pulled down, much to her and my dismay.  So I made another batch, only to spill my large glass all over the carpet.  That doesn't come out by the way.  The KoolAid has since been thrown out as it is obviously not doing anything good for me.  I know my day is not going right when I very seriously considered just leaving the bright red liquid all over everything and going to watch tv.  I had to actually talk myself into cleaning it.  As a parent, I really hate days like this.  I got a letter from St. Jude's Hospital today.  I hate those things, I cry before I even open them.  Can't they just send me an envelope?  I will happily send them a deposit for my karma "please God don't ever let me need to cash this in" account.  All I could think was how that parent would kill for the day I was having.  Some Mama would love to worry about the stains on the carpet, would love to yell at their kid for getting into everything.  I love my kids, I appreciate them in my life so much.  I know it happens to every parent, but I can still wish it didn't happen to me.  And now I have to go crawl in my bed.   Ariana will be up in an hour or so.  I'll get those few minutes to cuddle her up, kiss her tiny head, tell her I love her...  And not think about the fact that it is 1am and I desperately need the sleep.        

Day 12 - Houston Health Museum

For Humanities, Steve is required to attend 2 'arts' events.  The Health Museum has an exhibit up now until October 31st called Siege of the Skeletons.  They are papier-mache skeletons made by people around Houston.  Each one has a different theme.  You can vote for your favorite until October 23rd.  It looked pretty interesting, so we went to check it out.  The Health Museum is normally $8 per adult, $6 per child or senior, and free for children under 2.  However, on Thursdays from 2-5pm they host Free Family Thursdays.  I am glad we didn't pay the $16 it would have cost our family to go.  It was a neat place, especially since we are both studying the human body for our career choices.  It wasn't really aimed at younger children, so while Kira had a blast running around pushing random buttons, I am not sure she got much education out of it.  However, it is chock full of useful information, great for adults and older children.  Some of their newer exhibits were really interesting.  They have one called "You: The Exhibit" which was pretty interesting.  You could take a full body scan, learn about which traits are hereditary, and do a personality test.  On the side by the bathrooms, kind of hidden outside the exhibits are some pretty cool games.  They have one where 2 people strap bands to their heads and then try to move a ball between them, super nerdy and very cool.  They also have a 4D theater which seems like it would be cool.  Unfortunately that is not quite our cup of tea yet!  The Siege of the Skeletons was somewhat disappointing.  It reminded me a lot of some the high school science projects I did.  Overall, I am glad that we went, though I am not sure we would go back in the near future.  If you have a kid that is really interested in the human body (like I was as a kid), they will definitely enjoy this museum!  I highly recommend you go on Thursday.  3 hours is more than enough time to see everything, and if not, there is always next week!  :)
On the plus side, a lady stopped me while we were there and told me I had the most beautiful baby she had ever seen.  :)  She gets it from her daddy!

The Health Museum is located at 1515 Hermann Drive, 77004

For more information, visit them on the web at www.thehealthmuseum.org


Day 11 - Quiet time at Home

I definitely think sometimes that I enjoy my life most when we are just playing at home.  Today Dad set up a special picnic for lunch.  It made for a nice afternoon and it was extra good because Steve actually made some time for us.  I always enjoy having the whole family together, it makes everything feel complete.
Kira helped me with dinner tonight.  She is so sweet and so is her sister who gave us just enough time to do it while she napped.  Steve is at school on Wednesday night, so we are on our own and generally make something small and easy.  I decided to make one of my favorites (even when I am not pregnant, haha): macaroni and cheese with blueberry muffins.  I added a salad and some leftover chicken tenders just for good measure.  Kira poured the macaroni in the pot and got the cheese all warm and squishy.  She also 'helped' mix the batter for the muffins, put the paper cups in the pan, and licked the bowl.  At first she wasn't so sure, but she figured it out pretty quick!  I can't wait to really cook with my girls.  At the same time I am in no rush for them to get any bigger.  I love them being little.  Well, I would like Ariana to be big enough to sleep through the night, but that's as big as she should get!  Haha.  No, I guess it is sort of a catch 22: I truly enjoy watching them grow and learn, but I will miss them when they are older.  I don't look forward to the day when I will no longer be the center of their tiny universe, when I can't make everything better with a hug and a kiss, when I am no longer the one they run to.  At least I will always be Mama, and that is pretty special in itself.


Tea Party

Kira got this adorable Disney Princess tea set and rug (on sale at Kohl's for $20, sweet chicken!)  It is adorable and she has really enjoyed playing with it!

Ok, I know this one is blurry, but it was too cute not to add!  Kira served her sister tea.  She is such a sweet big sister!  I love the look Aria is giving her, like "what the crap am I suppose to do with this?  I'm a baby"  

Day 10 - Old McDonald's Farm

Today definitely made up for yesterday!  Old McDonald's farm was a blast!  We even got a free pumpkin out of it!  Kira LOVED playing with the animals, especially the horses.  She even rode one, however, I think that was as scary as it was exciting for her.  She had this look on her face like she wanted to have fun, but was way too nervous to do so.  She pointed at the cow and said "Mooooo."  Such a smart little girl we have.  The peacocks were by far her favorite.  Of course all over there are signs saying 'don't chase the peacocks and deer' and here goes my toddler just as fast as her little legs can carry her!
It seems that as a parent, any time you really start to stress about something, your child picks it up and reassures you there is nothing to worry about.   Kira is still not talking, which I have read is pretty abnormal at 16 months.  I have been out of my mind about this, even though I know it is pretty early to get too worked up.  It's hard to explain that logically to a mama, at least to this one.  But, now that I have gotten my panties all abunched, she is talking more everyday.  She now has a wonderful vocabulary of "dog", "mine", and "no".  Still no appreciation: no mama or daddy, but at least it is something!

Old McDonald's Farm is a self-proclaimed 'paradise for kids', and they actually aren't  exaggerating too much.  There are several animals that you can touch and feed, including a sheep, a goat, a cow, and a llama.  They have pony rides, a train, and several playgrounds for kids of all ages.  One is an Indian village, one has a big slide, there is a kiddie play area, and big sand pile (great for king of the mountain, love that game!).  Plus in the summer they have a pool and in the fall there is a pumpkin patch!  The cost was a bit pricey I thought.  It was $8 per person over 18 months, then $1 for a bag of food.  However, we got a lot out of it in the hour and half we were there, so for us, it was most certainly worth it!  They only accept cash and check, no credit cards.  We actually had to leave and get cash, big pain, so be warned now!  :)  They also host parties in the big pavilions.
They are located at 3203 FM 1960 Rd, 77338 (From 59, exit 1960, it's past Townsen).
Phone #: 281-446-4001


Day 9 - Total Bust

I suppose it was bound to happen eventually.
The girls and I headed to Jesse Jones Nature Park today.  I guess I was thinking we should go enjoy Fall and be outdoors or something.  I forgot 2 vital points: 1: we are in Houston where, regardless of what month it is, it is still extremely hot and overly sticky.  Makes for a less than fun nature walk.  2: I don't like nature walks.  Apparently neither do my children.  We all ended up  covered in sweat and bugs and overall pretty miserable.  Oh well.  The point is that we were miserable together!
I am making it up to them tomorrow as I plan to go to Old McDonald's farm.  I am stoked!  I can't wait to see how excited Kira gets with all the animals!  
Ah, it was a pretty lousy day all together.  Steve was all stressed out about a test he had to take, so he was no fun.  I have been feeling pretty blah.  I am a total dunce and keep letting my prenatal run out thinking it isn't that important anymore only to realize just how vital it is to my well-being.  Without it I feel checked out, I can't focus or motivate myself for much.  Worst of all, I keep having anxiety attacks.  I have never really had them before, but they are awful.  I have nothing to be stressed about, but I just can't seem to calm myself down.  I am going to get a refill tomorrow, so hopefully in the coming days I will be back to my normal self!


Day 8 - the Other Daughter

I own a business dog-sitting.  (Paws and Palaces, check it out for any dog sitting needs!)  This morning I had a client on vacation, so I took Ariana to check on the dogs.  We had a nice moment while we were there.  I always feel bad for the vacation dogs because they are by themselves for a good portion of the day and night, so I make sure to stay extra long and give them lots of love and attention.  This morning it was nice out, so we sat out on the porch and chilled with the dogs and took each other in.  Ariana is so demanding most of the time, but her needs are pretty basic.  She hasn't rejected boob once.  She is always very loud, but perhaps because of this we have learned to tune her out.  She kind of is the boy who cried wolf.  Isn't that a horrible thing to say about your child?  But this is about honesty and here it is.  We cater so much to Kira because she is demanding of more emotionally, but maybe I am neglecting that Ariana needs those emotional things too.  From here out I am going to try harder to remember that she is a little girl who also needs personal time with us so that we can love on her and really show her that she too is a special individual.


Day 7 - My Little Mama and the Kindness of Strangers

We had a few fun-filled activities on the agenda today: park in the morning, playdate at Kids in Action, then lunch with a friend.  It was a good time for all, especially Kira and Ariana!
Afterward we went to Hobby Lobby.  While in line my friend had to emergency bail, leaving me with 2 kids and a full cart.  There was no way I was gonna be able to get everything out to the car at once.  Kira was way past needing a nap and refusing to walk or sit in the tiny space I made for her in the cart, and I couldn't drive 2 carts simultaneously.  Luckily, Hobby Lobby is filled with Grandmas who are more than happy to lend a helping hand.  Two different women saw me struggling and came to my aid.  With their help we all made it to the car intact.  I am always surprised by the kindness of those around me.  People say that others don't care, that everyone looks out only for themselves, but as I move through this world I have found exactly the opposite is true.  People are wonderful.
The other thing of note that happened today involved Kira, my mama in the making.  I baked cookies to take to LIFE group tonight.  I had to put Ariana down in order to get them on the sheet and in the oven.  While Ariana is getting much better at entertaining herself, much to my delight, she had had enough when I was about halfway through.  Since my hands were covered in dough and flour, she would just have to have a lesson in patience.  Luck for her, her sweetest sister came to her rescue.  Kira laid down next to her and stroked her back, then went and got a book and 'read' it to her to calm her.  It truly warmed my heart.  They are such sweet little girls.  I am so blessed to be a part of their little lives.    


Day 6 - Thursday

Thursday is always busy for me because I go to school all day.  At least it's Pharmacology, which is difficult, but I find it pretty interesting.  And I like the teacher.  She gives lots of 'real world' experience stories, which add something to learning about drug side effects.  Kira also has school Thursday so it is always a mad dash to get up, get out the door with everything we both need, and get us both to school on time.   Preferably with a little before school play on the playground.  In the mornings it is not usually very crowded so Kira can play on the big kid side, which she much prefers to the toddler side.
Today when I picked her up, I took some personal time for Kira and Mama.  We played on the playground at the church, and then went shopping for stuff to make Halloween costumes.  (I am really excited about their costumes this year!)  It may not have been her first choice of activities, but I found it exciting and I tried to pass some of that on to her.  I enjoyed more than anything else just having some time alone with her.  Not that I don't love having Ariana around, but she tends to dominate our attention.  I often wonder if we shouldn't make more time to be alone with Kira so that she knows she is special as well.  I enjoyed being able to give my whole focus to her today and think I will start a tradition of Thursdays as our day together.
Me being so sick earlier in the week really messed with my plans.  The week turned out to be pretty lame.  Hopefully next week will go better.  The point, I suppose, is that I do feel like I truly gave myself and my attention over to my kids.  Can't wait to do something fun tomorrow!


Day 5- An Unexpected Moment of Clarity

I am finding that sometimes the best thing to do with my children is simply to follow their lead.  I ran into challenge #2 today when confronted with a busy schedule.  I was wondering what we were going to do today, what we would have time to do.  I almost began to look at it like one more thing in an overcrowded day.  But that isn't really the point.  It isn't one more thing to check off my to-do list, this is my relationship with my children, this IS my to-do list.  Luckily, Kira was there to keep me in line.  We got home from our friend's house and Kira refused to get out of the car, she wanted to explore.  She is becoming increasingly obsessed with the car.  She takes in the point of view from each seat, learns how to operate the buttons, honks the horn.  So instead of rushing through my life, hurrying her into the house so we could get dinner on the table, clean the dishes, get ready for bed, and the rest of the usual evening routine, we just hung out in the car.  I know, it's an odd thing to do, but we are kind of an odd little family.  I wouldn't have us any other way.  I like it just the way we are.   If I really sit back and pay attention, what could be more amazing than watching my child discover the world.  How could one not believe in God when they look in their child's eyes?


More Pictures....

Another side effect of taking this photography workshop is that my camera seems to have semipermanently attached itself to me.  The good news is I have gotten some really great pictures out of it!

Not sure why, but I just can;t get over this look.  I love it.

Almost got them kissing...
Kira actually took this one (with my assistance of course)

Photography Workshop

I stumbled onto an online photography workshop on bigpicture.com.  It is entitled Picture Fall.  Every morning the teacher sends us a prompt, which we go out and photograph and then post to our 'classroom'.  This has, so far, been an amazing experience.  I have learned so much about how to use my camera and how to get a good picture, it is incredible.  If you have the chance, I highly recommend you take a class with them!
Anyway, our prompt today was to pick a word that we felt we needed to be reminded of, a word that would mean something to us in our day to day lives.  Since I have been thinking a lot about where my true priorities lie, I thought this was the perfect opportunity to remind myself of what was really important.  Here is what I submitted:


Day 4 - Deer Ridge Park

The weather has been so nice lately, it is begging us to play outside!  We stopped by Culver's to grab a shake, then off to the park we went!

Day 3 - Legitimately Sick :(

Yuck, I caught the bug.  Don't think I have felt that bad in quite a while.  And worst of all, Steve and I came down with it on the same day.  Luckily it was only a 24 hour thing and he got sick in the morning and I was sick all night, so we tag teamed it and made it work.  It's hard to have kids when you're sick.  All I want is for someone to baby me and instead I have to focus on babying someone else.  Still wouldn't trade it though.
While I was half comatose on the couch I did notice something that changed my whole outlook.  Kira was doing to her baby doll some of the things I do to her.  She put her in the laundry basket and pushed her around the living room, then gave her big squeezes the way I do her.  I can think of no greater compliment than to know my daughter wants to be the type of mama I am.  It also gave me a reminder that I am being watched, so I really need to strive to be my best self.

Fun Stuff

I love fall!  Even better than the slightly cooler weather and Sam Adams Oktoberfest are all the awesome events that happen in this area!  Here are a few I found interesting:

The Renaissance Festival
I am super stoked about this being as I haven't gone n years.  I am definitely forcing my husband out there this season.  They have made a theme for each weekend:
For more info check their site:  www.texrenfest.com

Oct. 9 – 10 Oktoberfest
Oct. 16 – 17 1001 Dreams
Oct. 23 – 24 Pirates Adventure
Oct. 30 –31 All Hallows Eve
Nov. 2 – 3 School Days
Nov. 6 - 7 Roman Bacchanal
Nov. 13 - 14 Highland Fling
Nov. 20 - 21 Barbarian Invasion
Nov. 26-27 - 28 Celtic Christmas

For more info check their site:  www.texrenfest.com

There are all sorts of Pumpkin Patches opening up now that we are into October!

Old McDonald's Farm
They just got their pumpkins!  They have pony rides, a petting zoo with a bunch of different kinds of animals, and plenty of unique play spaces.  They are located at 3203 FM 1960 Rd E, Humble, TX 77338.

TGR Exotics
I just heard about this place, but it sounds awesome.  I definitely plan to take my kids there.  They have pumpkins, hayrides, a picnic area, a petting zoo with 'exotic' animals, and concessions.  At 1:30 they have a 'meet the keeper talk' where they bring out an animal to tell you about.  Admission is $5 for everyone over 2 and it is cash only.  

More to come as I find them...

Fun stuff for October 9-10

Fire Fest 2010 
Saturday, Oct 9 from 10am-5pm
It looks like fun, food, activities, and demonstrations.  I know a few little boys would would really enjoy it!

Crosby Community Center Boo Bash and Pumpkin Patch
Saturday, October 9 from 10am-3pm
A $7 wristband lets your kids participate in all of the activities including carnival games, crafts, hayrides, and a pumpkin patch.  Plus they have a craft boutique, a raffle and silent auction, and a sweet shoppe.  
Check it out at http://www.hcp4.net/press_releases/pdf/ccc/1010CCCBooBash.pdf
The Crosby Community Center is located at 409 Hare Road, Crosby 77532 


Day 2 - A Simple Day

Kira got very sick last night.  She spent a good portion of the early hours yaking.  She even managed to throw up on Steve's face while he was sleeping (ACK!)  He actually handled it quite well (probably better than I would have).  Poor angel... We had big Saturday plans, we were going to go to the Natural Science Museum and then have a picnic in the park across the street.  But instead we nursed our sick baby.  By afternoon she was feeling much better.  It gave us a great chance to spend some quality play time together, dancing around her room and giggling like little girls!

Kira loves clothes and has a very distinct sense of style.  She must get it from her daddy.  Those are my oldest brother's boot from when he was that small.  She practically forced me to dress her like that!
 Sometimes I wonder if the time we spend just chilling at home isn't just as quality as taking them out.  I can really give my whole focus to the girls when we are at home.  Don't get me wrong, we NEED to go out, otherwise we all go crazy, but these quiet days at home certainly have their benefits.


Day 1 - Trip to the Park

Ah, day 1 and already something of a test. Ariana is not sleeping well, therefore Steve and I aren't sleeping well.  There was definitely dialogue in my head this morning, but I powered through it and I feel so much better for it.  It actually turned out to be a pretty fantastic day.  Sometimes I think I function better when sleep deprived.  I had one of those mornings where we hung just around in our pjs.  I made pancakes and bacon, then actually managed to accomplish some of those little things that aren't priorities, but I want to get done.  Chores I actually enjoy, as opposed to things like dishes.  Both girls were having a hard time napping despite being very tired, so we ended up having a family nap on the couch.  Generally I prefer my kids to sleep in their beds because the quality is better, but today I caved.  It felt so good to cuddle up with Kira and get some much needed shut eye.  When we woke up we went to Angel Park.  It is a truly great place!  It was designed for kids with disabilities which is an amazing thing to do.  Plus, it makes it a lot easier for my 1 year old to get around.  I love that she can get exposure to people who are not particularly like her.  There was a braille alphabet, and the swings are full seats.

We ran all around and had tons of fun!  While the day got off to a rocky start, I am really glad I made this resolution.  It seems like it is changing things all around.  When we got home I sat on the couch and read a magazine, something I haven't done in a long time.  For the first time I didn't feel guilty about taking a little time for myself.  I knew I had already given my kids the best part of me, I wasn't denying them anything by keeping a small part for myself.  Steve and I loved on each other all day which was nice and much needed.  It seems like lately we are so cranky with each other, most likely just adjusting to everything happening in our lives.  We had some very overdue mama and daddy time (which Ariana decided to loudly poop in the middle of.  I am learning so much as a mama, like how to stay in the moment without really BEING in the moment!).  Overall it was a wonderful day.