July 26, 2010

Just a Box

Sunday afternoon/evening was so nice at our house.  We were literally outside for about 3 straight hours.  Spencer played and Rick grilled steaks later on.  But, lets back up to before we went outside.  We bought a new patio set Saturday and the box that it came in was HUGE.  So big that Rick had to park his car outside that night because the box took its place in the garage.  Rick unpacked the furniture and was left with this giant box.  I had gone and done a little shopping and when I pulled in and opened the garage, what did I see?  Rick had made Spencer a "box house" to play in.  It was one like no other.  It even had a sky light!  So, we took it to the backyard...uh, I mean threw it over our 7 foot fence because it wouldn't fit through the gate.  And guess what he chose??

Yep!  The box!  He LOVED it!  I wish I could've videoed him jumping up and down when we got it in the backyard.  I took so many pictures of that sweet boy playing in the box that I have to put it in a giant collage because I want you to see them all!  He rarely used the door to go into the box.  He crawled through the window to get in.  Ha!

Once Rick got to grilling, guess what Spencer thought he needed outside?  Yep, that would be his grill.  We got it all set up and he started to grill.  At one point, we had to move his grill and picnic table by his box house.  I guess that made it a high rent condo with patio furniture and a grill!

July 23, 2010

Thought we dodged that bullet!

At our house, we have a sudden infatuation with this guy...

Spencer has been talking about Elmo a lot at home and we just couldn't figure out why because we have nothing in this house with Elmo on it other than a play cell phone (that I don't even think he knows that Elmo is on there).  We did watch Sesame Street while in Austin because that was the only kid show on in the mornings and he started the Elmo thing with that.  And come to find out, they have a 30 minute video time at the end of the day at school and they watch Sesame Street sometimes and that's where he got it from.  He saw a little boy walking out of day care the other day with an Elmo backpack on and he went nuts.  He ran up to the kid and was pointing at the backpack saying, "Elmo!  Elmo!"  So, I looked up Sesame Street on cable to see what time it comes on.  It's an hour long!!  I didn't know that.  I don't remember sitting in front of the TV for an hour to watch that growing up.  So, now we DVR it and guess how many times we watched "Elmo's World" yesterday?  That would be three times back to back...at Spencer's request.

For some reason I was glad that Spencer didn't like Elmo because he seems kinda dumb to me.  Not so much any more, I guess.  So, I'm on the lookout for cute Elmo stuff (not clothes)...and it has to be SUPER cute for me to even think about buying it...

July 21, 2010

Our Summer Vacation

Whewwwww!!!  We're home and now trying to recoup from being gone for over a week.  It was the best 8 days we could've ever asked for!  We had great times with our wonderful family and had great times just the three of us.  Spencer was marvelous and we couldn't have expected more out of a two year old.  He had his moments when he went into complete melt down mode, but what 2 year old wouldn't who had been in the car for a long time and getting out and in of the car from the stroller.  He was a CHAMP!  However we did learn a few things along the way and Spencer also had some "firsts" on this trip...

*Spencer is OBSESSED with pens (which he calls colors).  We got to where we had to hide the pen when the waiter brought back our card with the slip to be signed.  Colors caused most melt downs.  We even went to Wal Mart and bought him Crayola markers that only draw on certain types of paper (and we bought all that paper to go with it plus a carrying case for it all) and all he wanted to do was throw them and take the lids off.  So, it's all about ball point pens for this little guy.  He likes them so much he colored his legs in the back seat one day.

*Spencer loves macaroni and cheese!  He's never liked it before and started eating it every chance he had while on vacation.
*Spencer does better in a booth and a booster seat.  The high chair doesn't work with Spencer in restaurants.  We've never tried the booster seat before and it's great.  He can stand in the booth, bother people all around him (ha!) and not get out of straps and climb out.  He's also blocked in by Rick and I and that keeps him in one place...somewhat.

*Spencer now takes baths in the bathtub.  Up until now, he has taken them in the sink because our sink is really large and he's always been able to fit in it.  Well, sinks like that aren't everywhere, so we had to go to the bathtub.  He would barely stand in it the first night and cried the whole time.  Every night got a little better and he finally sat down in it when we got to Austin.  We are now full on taking baths in the bathtub.  He still won't move once he's sitting, but he plays and plays.  I have no pictures because Rick and I had to be hands-on at all times because he was so scared.

The time Spencer got to spend with Jean (Rick's mom) was priceless.  He loves her so much and asked for the ENTIRE way to Austin.  Jean would take him outside and play in the water with him whenever he uttered the word "outside".  They played with his stretchy dinosaur all the time and Spencer had a fun time helping Jean pick up the house.  Spencer loved Jean's magnifying glass and she showed him how to use it and he started looking at everything through that thing!  She's so special to us and I'm so glad Spencer has her in his life.  What a joy to have a grandmother like that!!  Might I add what a joy it is to have a mother-in-law like that??

Spencer LOVED the zoo!  He was saying, "amanals" from the backseat on the way there.  He did really great and walked most of the way.  Daddy carried him the other times.  His favorite animals were the giraffes, elephants, snakes and birds.  The Tyler zoo is PERFECT for someone his age.  It's not too big where you have to spend 4 hours there to go through it all, but it's big enough to be a wonderful zoo. 

One of our biggest highlights of the trip was getting to see Terry (Rick's sister) and her husband James.  We have the best time with them and I hate leaving that house every time we go there.  We were also SO lucky to have gotten to see Spencer's cousins, Tori, Chloe, Micah and Jake.  Spencer had the BEST time with them and they were so good to him.  They introduced him to the candy machines at the restaurant and bought him M&Ms and Skittles, which he thought was so cool.  What a blessing they are!  We look forward to seeing them a lot more! 

When in Austin we have two things on our minds, eating GREAT food and having a GREAT time.  That's it and man did we accomplish that this time!  Our food intake was insane, but we found a lot of new places to go (thank you Food Network and Google reviews) and visited our oldies but goodies.

Our first stop had to be Zax Pints and Plates on Wednesday night because they have pint night every Wednesday and they bring in a special beer and you get to keep the pint glasses from that brewery.  We had 14th Anniversary Pale Ale from Blanco, TX and man was it good!  They even had it in a cask on the counter.  Super cool!

Our first Food Network "referral" was Flip Happy Crepes.  They were on Bobby Flay's Throw Down and HE lost, so that tells you how good these things are.  They run this business out of an Airstream.  The picture is of a 1/2 eaten crepe, so you can kind of see how big they are.  Definitely delicious!

The ABSOLUTE BEST place to eat breakfast in Austin is a place called Cisco's.  It's on East 6th street, bars on the windows, hourly rate motel across the street and definitely not the place you want to be at after dark.  Rick ate there plenty when he was in college.  I have never eaten migas as good as these.  We literally could eat there every morning.  Next time, we're going to eat there for lunch.  I didn't even have time to take a picture of the migas when they came out because the fork was going to my mouth so fast.  So, I leave you with what was left of my migas.


Chuy's is another oldy but goodie that Rick and I had the best food we ate on the entire trip!  I have no pictures to show because we were eating like crazy!  We did have our usual fabulous margaritas and Spencer was one silly little boy!!

Then there's ZTejas which is a place we've been going ever since we've been going to Austin together.  It's a little more upscale Mexican cuisine with KILLER margaritas.  We had some great food at Green Mesquite's which we have driven by going to Chuy's every time, but have never been. Guy Fieri went there on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives.  The onion rings were soooooo good!!

Google reviews helped us out on three new places to go.  We got great take-out burgers and homemade fries at P. Terry's and the next night we got the second best pizza we've ever had (1st is Cafe Rio in Ruidoso, NM) at Home Slice.  Yummmmmmy!

Last but not least, an awesome breakfast place (found from Google reviews), Kerbey Lane Cafe.  The food was so good and we got so much to eat.  We had to wait when we got there and we were looking around and saw a lot of cards that an elementary school had made the restaurant thanking them for something they did for them.  This card was among them:

We had to wait awhile for our food and as usual, the only thing that keeps Spencer occupied when we eat anywhere for breakfast is the little plastic creamer cups.  This is a usual thing when we go eat at Cracker Barrel on Saturdays.  He usually just has us fill it up with water and he drinks it out of there.  But, after the water became boring, Rick filled it up with ketchup (which Spencer LOVES). 

Like I've mentioned many times, Spencer was such a trooper and did wonderful in the car and getting in and out all of the time.  But, he really needed to get out and play.  It was way too hot to play outside, so we took him to the Austin Children's Museum.  We hoped it would be similar to the Science Spectrum here in Lubbock and it was similar.  He got to play with dominoes, a life size connect 4 game, a restaurant and grocery store with tons of play food and more importantly, he got to run like the wind and expel all that energy!

And my favorite picture from that day...

I know this was the looooongest post you've ever read, but it's important for us to write all this down so we will have it forever.  Thank you for reading it and hope you're having a wonderful week!  I leave you with a hodgepodge of pictures from last week...

July 16, 2010

Lovin' vacation!

Don't have time to post much, but we are having a great on our vacation.  We spent half of it in Tyler with Rick's mom and sister and now we're in Austin.  I'll do a complete update with pictures next week.  Here are some of my favorite "traveling" pictures of Spencer.  He has been THE BEST traveler that we could possibly ask for!

He had been asleep for about 2 hours and we hear this, "Hi" from the backseat and I turn around and see this...

And this looks just like his mama!  Poor thing got it from mom and Rick has a couple of pictures of me in the backseat of various road trips and I'm doing the same thing!  As my dad would say, "Are you catching flies?"

Coming home Sunday...so not ready!

July 9, 2010

Summer To Do List

Well, I thought I would update you on the progress (or lack there of) of the summer to do list I posted here.  I have not made great strides on much of it, BUT I do have some really good excuses on some of them.

1)  Clean out and organize the computer room closet
Well, it still looks like this and maybe worse.  No excuse other than I don't want to. 

2)  Print & hang pictures in the living room
Good excuse for why this hasn't been done...because we've decided to paint the living room and haven't decided on the color yet.  We are waiting to see Rick's sister's living room because I want the color she has.  He just doesn't remember it.

4)  Get my invitation/announcement/card design business up and running
I'm working on this as much as I can.  I a lot more familiar with PhotoShop now and I just need to start making samples and get a blog up.  What I do need from you (if you don't mind) are pictures of your kids that I could use for my samples that I put up.  Let me know and I'll tell you what I need.

5)  Lose those pesky 8 pounds
Ummmm, yeah...about that...still at the same spot I was when I typed this before.  It'll happen, it will.  I still run as much as I have the last 5 years, but being at home all day and having access to chips, cookies, desserts left over from the weekend doesn't help.  There's a pretty good excuse, right?

6)  Get the front yard fully planted with flowers and monkey grass
This is probably the one that I'm most excited to report back on.  No need to plant because when we get back from vacation, we are re-sodding our front and back yard with fescue and getting a sprinkler system put in in the front and back.  Since they will put in lines in the flower beds, it's pointless to plant there when they will have to dig it up.

7)  Begin tagging clothes for Cradles2Crayons consignment sale
I will be hitting this hard and heavy when we get back from vacation.  The lady at Cradles2Crayons just found her tagging guns, so I just got that yesterday.  I've been buying hangers and collecting hangers when I buy new clothes, so nothing is holding me back now!

8)  Make this jewelry organizer
Not happening because I don't even have a place in our closet that big!  What was I thinking?  I'm going with simple nails in the wall to do the trick!  Thanks for the tip Angie!

9)  Summer reading
Well, I'm almost done with the Adoration of Jenna Fox and then I'll start on Pieces of Georgia or I will start on one of the two that I'm adding to this list that I can't wait to get my hands on....

So, what I'm really saying is that Pieces of Georgia will probably take the backseat to these and The Childhood Roots to Adult Happiness probably won't happen. 

So, not much progress, but maybe there will be before summer is over.  We have A LOT going on outside and inside our home when we get back from vacation that will be exciting to share.  Get ready for a lot of before and after pictures!!

July 8, 2010

What we've been up to and where we are going!

I figured I would be posting the recipe of the week this morning because I tried something new last night, but it needs some tweaking, so I'll have to think of a recipe for tomorrow perhaps.  And with saying that, there will be no recipe of the week for next week because we are going on VACATION!!!!!!  Can you tell I'm a little bit excited??  We are going to see Rick's mom and sister and brother in law in the Tyler area and then we're going to Austin or 4 days!  Oh man, oh man, oh man we can't wait.  We are counting down the seconds.  I'll do my best to post something while we're gone, but I can't promise!

Spencer switched to a new room Tuesday at school and it's been really tough.  His last room was a DREAM room and his teachers were the cream of the crop.  So much that he would come home and talk about them constantly!  Crystal, Michelle, Ashley and Megan...sweet, sweet girls.  I'm kicking myself that I don't have a picture of Spencer with any of them.  I might can get one later, but we are trying to keep his attention on his new room and his new teachers, so we have to dodge our favorites from the other room.  :o(  He cries when we drop him off in the mornings, but his teachers always say he's doing really well.  I guess it will just take time.  What's worse is that he won't be there for over a week and then start back again.  This will just be a hard transition for the sweet man!

The terrible 2's have been in full force and having a fun time trying to figure out what works best for him and US!  I mean, it was like a switch that was instantly turned on he day he turned 2.  Any advice would be helpful.  I'm hearing 3's are even worse!  How is that possible???

Here's what we've been up to lately:

Science Spectrum!!!


And this picture just melts my heart...

Yes, these were all taken in the same day, but these two places we frequent A LOT in the summer.  Spencer has to be on he go and I have to learn to keep up with him! HA!

July 4, 2010

Be careful what you wish for...

When Rick and I were watching the news late last week and they were talking about Hurricane Alex hitting land soon, I looked at Rick and said, "Oh I bet we get some good rain from that!"  He agreed and we were pretty excited for this much needed rain.  Well, be careful what you wish for...since Friday evening, Lubbock has gotten close to 10 inches of rain and we're talking HARD and FLOODING rain.  I stepped out late afternoon and took some pictures.

Swindell backyard lake

Notice you can't see our street because of the flooding

I went and got us salads at Applebee's today at lunch and got to see new lakes that used to be parks.  The entire roof of the Starbuck's near our house caved in.  These are pictures of 2 different parks that are completely under water.

And the worst part about all this rain...

Telling this sweet angel that he can't go outside and play. 

July 1, 2010

Evening of the Two Year Old

We had a nice, low-key evening at home for Spencer's birthday.  He loves nothing more than playing outside in the evenings.  So, his birthday presents fit in nicely...a grill and a picnic table.

Check out that static electricity in my hair!

Spencer didn't get to have candles at his birthday party Saturday because the wind was blowing too much and they wouldn't stay lit.  This was his first encounter with candles.  As you can see from the first picture, he was not too sure of them, but when he figured out he could blow them out, we lit those candles at LEAST 10 more times for him to blow out (even after we had eaten some cake).  We even practiced being a four year old and lit four candles!

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