Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Last Day of July

What?! Already? Which means that there are 4 more weeks until school starts. July feels like it just flew by!

I think Mark hit his terrible twos last week. He'll be 21 months in a few days so I knew it was close, but it still caught me off guard.  He's into everything and when we tell him no, he throws huge tantrums or goes into full on sad meltdown mode.

He loves to pull every pot and pan out of the cabinets and pretend to cook.  He also wants every spatula and cooking utensils out.  Because he can't reach them, he whines until he gets a least a few from me.  His favorite word before last week was "yeah." Now his favorite word is "NO!" followed by a great big slamming of the hand on whatever surface he can reach.

He no longer wants to be fed - he wants to do it all himself and makes a huge mess.  He won't drink from a sippy cup.  He either wants a real cup or a cup with a straw. Sometimes he asks for water but won't drink it. He just wants to take a sip and spit it out all over the floor.

He's become belligerent and is knowingly defiant. Loves to make a mess and laughs when I reprimand him. He whines and throws a fit when he doesn't get what he wants.  He fights with his brothers. Screams "iPad!"incessantly until it is given to him.

I won't lie - this is a very challenging time and he wears me out. But, this is also my favorite age.  This is the age when he can start to understand cause and effect.  This is the time when I can see the lightbulb going off in his little head when he "gets" it.  Last weekend, M painted the door.  Yesterday, I see Mark with a spatula pretending to paint the door.  I asked him what he's doing.  He looks at me with a great big smile and said, "I paint" - clear as day.  I didn't even know he knew what "paint" means.  These little discoveries bring me so much joy and I look forward to so many more.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

A New Door

It's been a little hectic around here.  Not sure if it's a good kind of a hectic or not.  On Sunday night, our sewer line to the main line got backed up and there was water everywhere coming out of the downstairs bathroom - so gross. M called a least 3 plumbers and only 1 company called him back.  I guess most plumbers don't work on Sundays.

Michael had a couple of scrimmages on Saturday and his team did not do very well. They got beat by both teams and did not even score a single goal.  To be fair, they were missing 3 of their top players and had to play back-to-back. Silver lining? Michael hustled and played aggressively.  They have their qualifying tourney this weekend.  Two games on Saturday and 1 game on Sunday.  If they win all their games, they qualify and don't have to play in the tourney next weekend. Go Solar!

We got our new door installed on Friday and M painted it this weekend.  I would love to say I'm excited about it, but I just wish we didn't have to spend the money to replace our old door.  It's the exact same door that we had except without the cracks along the panels.  We can't see through our door now! I guess that's kind of exciting. 

M working hard on getting the door painted.

Ta-da! The finished product. I think he did an awesome job.

And...our new dishwasher got installed yesterday! And it's so beautiful and shiny. It's been on backorder for 3 weeks so I'm relieved we finally got it. 

The boys and I went out to lunch yesterday so we won't get in the way of our housecleaners. How perfect our these little guys?

Then we stopped by the library to return some books and pick up some new ones.  The boys love the "You Wouldn't Want to" series so that's what they checked out.  We also borrowed "Because of Winn-Dixie" DVD.  I'm so excited to watch it with Michael.  He read the book and loved it, but I never read it so I'm interested to see what he thinks about the movie compared to the book.

And I had to post these pictures because they're so cute! They woke up yesterday morning and came downstairs to watch a little tee-tee.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

California Trip Week One

We spent a little over 2 weeks in California this summer.  We left on Monday, June 12 and came home June 26. It was just me and the boys this year because M just started a new job and thought it would be best not to take any time off yet.

We had so much fun and it was so good to get a dose of family time. I did chose not to bring our big camera because I wanted to travel as light and unencumbered as possible.  With 2 rowdy boys and a curious toddler, it's best to not to be bogged down with carry-on bags.  I figured the iPhone would work just fine. The iPhone started to act up so the point of this story is to say that I got very little pictures.

Anyhoo, our trip started out a little rocky.  Our flight was delayed for almost 4 hours.  Luckily, my kids are awesome travelers and we rode out the delay with very little issues. Mark slept through most of the wait. And the good behavior continued through the whole flight.  i just want to say that my boys are the best travelers ever, again. They all fell asleep for a couple of hours and Matthew had a little bit of trouble with his ears when we started our decent - nothing a few lollipops couldn't fix.

Michael was so helpful with Mark on our place ride!  He helped me keep little man occupied.

We had a busy 1st week! We arrived on a Monday and then drove to beautiful Lake Tahoe on Wednesday with my parents, my brother and his family and my sissy!  We had so much fun - it was still too cold to swim in the pool or the lake, but the boys did anyway.  I'd forgotten how beautiful the mountains were. I was nervous that the drive there would be hard for Matthew because he gets motion sickness, but he did great with the help of Benadryl and Dramamine.

We didn't do much -just hung out together.  We did go the the beach on the lake and it was very cold even in June.  My parents tried taking the boys into the casino. A few minutes later they got kicked out. Haha! 

Beautiful view of the mountain from our resort. 

Little Monkey posing for a picture with the straw that he probably stole from Ben.

We drove back home on Friday and on Saturday, we celebrated Matthew's 8th birthday.  I'm so glad that we were able to share his special day with my family. He was so happy! Michael and I got him a "Birthday Boy" button and I think he was more excited about that more than anything else he got for his birthday!

It was a small and simple celebration - dinner with family and cake.

My little 8 year-old!


Friday, July 26, 2013

{five} on Friday

It's Friday and time for Five on Friday link-up at the good life. Here's my {five} loves this week.

This summer has not been as hot as the previous summers here in TX and I'm so grateful for the break. I'm loving the summer storms/rain that we have been having.  I'm sure my grass and plants are loving it too!

This is what we woke up to this morning - hoping the rain lasts the whole day!

I am grateful to be able to wake up and make my boys breakfast instead of having to face a 40-minute commute to work every morning.

Every morning when Mark wakes up, Michael goes and gets him out of bed.  They hang out in bed for a little bit and then come downstairs for breakfast.  This morning, Mark saw a spider and started to freak out and clung on to Michael while Michael was reassuring him that it was fine - he had crushed the spider and the spider can't hurt him. It was so sweet watching them on the monitor.  Michael was even patting Mark's back while he was comforting him.

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale! Need I say more?

Frye's Melissa Harness boots - this little beauty might be on it's way to my house...

I joined the gym again a couple of weeks ago.  I'm so happy to be working out and practicing yoga again. I feel so much better and have much more energy after a good workout!

Enjoy your weekend!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Just Another Monday

We hardly spent any time at home this weekend so I'm catching up on some housework and laundry.  Michael had a tournament this past weekend - 1 game on Friday, 2 on Saturday and 1 on Sunday - out in Frisco which is about a 45 minute drive from here.  The schedule actually worked out really well for us because in between games on Saturday, we went over to the Chens to hang out until our next game a few hours later.

The boys had so much fun!  Mark loved Hannah - he followed her everywhere and Hannah was so sweet to him.  She made sure he was taken care of and got him whatever he needed.  I didn't get any pictures because we were too busy catching up!

Michael and his team was awesome at the tournament. They tied 2-2 against one of the top 5 teams in DFW and won the rest of their 3 games with 2 shut-outs. Unfortunately, that was not enough to win the whole tournament - they placed 2nd, 1 point behind FCD Premier.  Michael improved so much and was pushing back.  He's getting stronger and stronger and I hope he continues to get better.

They played the toughest team first Friday evening and tied 2-2.  We weren't expecting to be competitive against this team so it was a huge surprise that the boys did as well as they did.  FCD Premier lead most of the game.  Our tying goal came less than 5 minutes to play so it was a great start to the tournament.

I'm meeting up with M later this morning to go and look for a new front door.  Our current one is falling apart and we are in desperate need of a new one.  I'm looking for something that is very similar in style and will hopefully not cost too much. This will probably the highlight of my week.

Have a great week!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Happy Friday!

I am really enjoying being home with the boys.  We had such a fun this week despite some teenage attitude from Michael.  I don't know what it is but it seems like he's going through a very moody spell this week. He'll have moments where he's just so happy with me, but the next minute NOTHING I do and say is right. I guess I better prepare myself for the next decade. Yikes!

Michael had a scrimmage with his former soccer team on Tuesday and he was very excited that they tied 2-2 before the game was called when the sky opened up and soaked us with the pouring rain.  I'm loving the short reprieve from the summer heat, but I just know that we are going to pay for it in the form of above normal temperatures for all of August and probably part of September. 

Speaking of August and September, I have to add here that we only have a little over 5 weeks until school starts up again. I don't know if I'm happy or sad about this yet.

On Wednesday, I took the boys to Urban Air for a couple of hours.  I hadn't plan on staying, but Mark threw such and fit and was crying so pathetically to be with his brother, I caved and stayed for him to jump too. His excitement made it worth the chaos that was Urban Air.  Actually, since it was a weekday, the place was not a big of a zoo as it usually is.

Boys having a hardy breakfast before Wednesday activities.

Michael was so sweet reading to Mark after breakfast.

So happy to be jumping with big brothers!

Then we went to lunch at McDonald's and I let the boys play a little bit.  Things got a little chaotic at the play place so we left.  I'm not a big fan of any indoor play place.  In fact, I think it's pretty disgusting and I can count on my fingers the times that I've let my boys play in there.

When we got home, this is what happened. 

I had to take my car in for service and to get the brakes checked out (the car shakes when I step on the brakes-no bueno) on Thursday. M met us at the dealership and we all went to lunch at Pappadeaux.  Mark really enjoyed their bread!

  This was last night.  They love watching videos together on the iPad.

We are heading into a very busy weekend of soccer tournament!  A game tonight, two on Saturday and one on Sunday.  Go Solar!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Happy Monday!

Yes, it is July and the temperature is going to be in the 80s for most of the week.  Oh, and the beautiful rain will continue to come down too.  I'm so happy I can cry.  My roses were looking so bad because of the heat and sparse watering.  I'm hoping this reprieve from the usual summer heat will give them time to recover.

We had a pretty mellow weekend.  The boys went to see Despicable Me 2 with their g-parents on Friday while Mark stayed home with me and hung out. When my in-laws got back from the movies with the boys, we all went out to dinner at Italiani's. Mark was so funny at dinner.  He was still finishing up his food when the waiter came to take some plates out of the way.  Mark did not like that at all. He kept screaming, "I eat! I eat!" Meaning "You stay away from me. I'm still eating, you idiot!" Then he saw the dessert platter and kept screaming, "Cake! Cake!"

I went to a yoga class for the first time in a very long time and I am so sore.  But it's a good kind of sore and I'm so happy to be going to the gym again.  I was looking in the mirror this morning and noticed that my waist is not as it once was. Actually, a lot of things are not what they once were, but I was focused on my waistline this morning.  I try to not to get too hung up things that change with age, but going to the gym makes me feel like I have some control.

Oh, and glorious Sunday!  I woke up to rain, sweet rain.  I was like a giddy little girl on Christmas morning.  What a perfect morning it was.  Mark was still asleep so I took the paper and my coffee outside and sat on our patio while the rain pitter and pattered on the roof and on the trees. The rest of the day was pretty lame.  We hung out at the house and one of the boys' friends came over for most of the afternoon.

It's going to be a good week and I'm looking forward to enjoying more rain and cooler weather!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Midweek Catch-up

We've had such a great week so far.  My cousin Felicia is in town for a work trip and decided to stay with us for the past 2 nights! It is such a nice surprise. She organized a free frozen yogurt event in Dallas on Monday so the boys and I packed up and headed out there to see her and to taste some yummy frozen yogurt, of course. I didn't get any pictures because I've used up all my storage on my iPhone.

We went next door for lunch at this place called Iron Wok.  The food was not great. In fact, I'm not sure I was eating beef, but I'm going to try not to think about it.

That night, Felicia came over for dinner.  I made tri tip and it was delicious.  Thanks to my brother for the marinate and the recipe! We had so much fun catching up and the kiddos love her.  She came bearing gifts, but I think they would love her anyway.

We went to breakfast at the Pancake House per Michael and Matthew's request.  I hadn't been there in so long. The boys had chocolate chip pancake and Mark had lots of sausages and little mini pancakes the the waitress brought out to him.

Not sure what's in the plans for the rest of the week, but I'm going to enjoy it!

Marky loves his new toy train from Auntie Felicia.

Breakfast a the Pancake House!

They got temporary tattoos in their goodie bags from the Yogurtland event on Monday.  They decided to all use it on their tummy. Haha-look at Mark.  He just wants to be such a big boy!

Monday, July 08, 2013

4th of July Weekend Trip

I know that there's the CA trip that I still need to post.  Michael asked me why I haven't posted about our trip yet and I said I'm working on it.  So much to catch up on! I'm posting about our trip to San Antonio Hill Country because it's a smaller bite to chew.

We left our house on Wednesday and stayed overnight just north of Austin.  Our 3-hour trip went without incident.  The kids behaved and Mark slept most of the time.  We went to dinner at the Salt Lick, where their slogan is "You can smell our pits from miles away."  Matthew read that on the waiter's shirt and had a good laugh at it.

The food was so good!  My favorite was their ribs.  Even Michael liked it.  Mark probably had more brisket and ribs than the other 2 boys!

We had breakfast at the hotel on 4th of July and got on the road again early in the morning because we wanted to be get to the J.W. Marriott early to enjoy the pools and the water slides as long as we can.  The boys were so excited to be back! We got them their own room for our sanity. They loved having their own space.

Our days there were pretty much the same. M woke up early, went down to the pool to claim our chairs (major must because if you don't go down to save some by 8 in the morning, chances of you snagging chairs were slim). When everyone was awake and dressed, we went down to breakfast and then it was off to the pool!

We would get to the pool by 10am.  Michael and Matty would go off and we wouldn't see them until lunchtime.  They made a ton of friends and decided that it was much more fun to go off and play with them than stick around with us.  We hardly saw them during the day.  When they got tired, they would come ask us for the keys to their room and go up for a little bit and come back down to swim/play some more.

After hours of sun and swim, we collected the boys and went up to our rooms to get ready for dinner.  Then it was games and play time on the lawn for the boys while we watched with our wine and live music.  I have to mention that the weather there was awesome! It was perfect - warm, breezy and VERY little humidity. Perfect evening weather to sit and enjoy the lazy summer weekend.

The boys had so much fun with their friends.  When they weren't playing the organized games that the hotel staff set up, they were running around playing football, ping-pong and go exploring.  They had so much fun playing that they didn't even go and get s'mores (which they always look forward to every time we've been there).

My goal was to get family pictures, but it was just too hard to herd the boys and make them stay for pictures.  Mark was also not cooperative in the picture taking process so I said forget it and just enjoyed my evenings.

I always love going on these road trips and it's become our tradition to take this trip at least once a year during a holiday weekend. We always have so much fun.  I can't wait until we do this again!

This is the beautiful view from our balcony.

Mark's first time at the splash pool.  He's checking it out and taking it all in.

Dad's showing him the ropes.

Then he's off on his own. He loved that little fish thing.  Any time any one came close to it, he would try to push them away and announce that it's "mine!" He loved the mini water slides at the kiddie pool. He must of gone on it at least 50 times!  I don't have any pictures, but will try to get some from M to post. He was so adorable and so happy!

One of the better pictures I took.  There were not many good ones.

 I couldn't round the other boys up for a family pick. This was the best I could do.

Playing around on the lawn.  I wish I had the same grass at home.

Playing around while waiting for our breakfast.

An attempt of getting all 3 of them together for a picture

Mark took his naps outside all three days at the pool.  Right after he woke up, he wanted back into the pool again until dinnertime.

This was better than my first attempt, but not by much.

This looks like M is giving him beer, but really Mark was trying to make the whistling sound when you blow into an empty bottle.  He couldn't do it so he just made a "whooing" sound with his voice into the bottle.  M thought is was the funniest thing ever!