Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Toddler Tuesday

Today we ventured out to one of the parks downtown. They were having  a Toddler Tuesday event where they read stories, have a few activities and a craft. The story today was one about Mickey Mouse. At the end of the story, they brought out Mickey and Minnie. 

Sarah was quite star struck when Mickey and Minnie came out but was not willing AT ALL to take a picture with either of them. 

I didn't take pictures of the craft because it really was more of a craft for the mommies. Sadly, it was a lot of intricate cutting and origami style folding. Not really something my 4 and 2 year old were able to do. So we will just move on to pictures of the girls' favorite part of the park. The splash fountains. 

We came here to play a few weeks back because we knew there was a playground, but had no clue that there were these great fountains. We weren't prepared for water play and promised the girls that we would come back on another day. So today, I came prepared with swim suits, towels, etc. Claire jumped right in and had a blast. Sarah, on the other hand, was a little more timid at first. She preferred to hang out on the perimeter and splash her feet.

Eventually she warmed up and was splashing around just like big sister.

The water runs in cycles. Sometimes the water arcs WAY high and other times it is more tame. At one point the water stopped all together for a minute or so before starting back up. Here are the girls waiting for the water to come back on.

And here they are when the water started up again. 

I absolutely love those two pictures because they show my girls personalities to a T. Claire is very expressive and couldn't hide her emotions if she tried. Sarah is more stoic and her expression hardly changes. It makes it that much more impressive when I manage to get a smiley pic of her. 

Sarah reached the point of exhaustion well before Claire did. The last 20 minutes looked like this for Sarah:

and like this for Claire:

So much fun! Finally Sarah looked up at me and said, "All done water!" So I took the hint and we left so my precious baby could have lunch and a nap.  I am glad we got to take advantage of this park before we move out to the suburbs. I know from experience that once we are there, we will be reluctant to brave all the traffic to get to this park very often.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Yes Today, Sweetie

So Michael is out of town on business. We are fortunate that he doesn't have to go out of town too often, but when he does it really makes me sympathize with some of my fellow mom friends who have hubbies who have to travel a ton.

Anytime he is going to be out, I know that my days will be loooooong so I always try to come up with something to do to make time fly. Today I decided that it would be fun to have a "Yes Today, Sweetie" day. You see, so often when we are at the mall or any store in general, the girls see tons of fun stuff that they want to do. I get lots of, "Mommy, can we go there?" or "Mommy, can we have one of those?" And as you might guess, more often than not, the answer is, "Not today, sweetie." Mainly because we are at these particular stores with an agenda. I've got precious little time to get the items on my list and get out before lunch time, nap time or melt-down time . . . whichever comes first. 

But not today. Nope. Today, we went to the mall and the only agenda was kid fun. As we walked in, Claire looked at me and said, "No shopping today? Just fun?" And I was happy to say, "Yep! No shopping, just fun!"

So on our "Yes Today, Sweetie" day, we played at the indoor playground:

We took a spin on the 2-story merry-go-round:

After that, we ate lunch at Sarah's favorite place, "Old McDonalds":

After lunch, they each got their own quarter so they could get some candy out of the machines:

Then we took time for some ski ball:

And of course, you HAVE to ride on the mall train:

And we finished out the morning with a trip to the Great American Cookie Company.

Now Sarah is sleeping off the morning and I have two very happy, blissful girls. So. Much. Fun. I hope it was worth the battles I will have to fight the next time we head to the mall with a Mommy Agenda. They will no doubt get to hear "Not Today, Sweetie" again, but at least now they know that sometimes they get to hear, "Yes Today, Sweetie!"

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Picture Update

With so much to share and catch up on, I decided the best way to do it was with a picture post. 

Once we landed in Houston, first order of business was to go swimming. We haven't been in a swimming pool in almost a year so Claire was pumped beyond all measure to know that we had a pool at our apartment complex. The girls dove right in and very quickly declared that they were happy to be back in Houston.

After a grueling set of immunizations that left my poor sweet girl limping for almost a week, we were ready to start preschool. This is Claire's 2nd year of preschool. She is going to be a part of the Monday, Wednesday, Friday class. So far she LOVES it!! Here she is on her first day.

Sweet Sarah also started preschool this year. She is going one day a week. She absolutely loves that she gets to go to school like Claire and that she has her own backpack and nap mat. She is struggling a bit with being exhausted at the end of the day because she refuses to nap at school. Here is my big girl on her first day of preschool.

So both girls are in school on Fridays. That means I drop them off at 9:00 and pick them up at 2:30. Woah. That is a crazy, amazing amount of freedom. I feel like a 16 year old who just got her license. Sadly, the first several weeks of free Fridays were filled with dental visits and house purchasing business. But soon, very soon I will have tackled all my major "to dos" and will have some serious "me time". At least I hope so.

We hope to close on our new house next week. Once I get inside and finish painting, arranging furniture and unpacking boxes, I'll post some pics of the inside. But for now, here is a pic of the exterior! Can't wait to get settled and start hosting playgroups, ABF fellowships, etc, etc.

We took a quick trip to Dallas last weekend to celebrate our niece's birthday and see family. While we were there, we took advantage of the amazingly mild summer temps and spent tons of time outside playing . . . . 

 . . . . and playing . . . . 

  . . . . and playing!

The girls always love seeing their Aunt Nikki!

We are having such a fun time. We are experiencing quite the "honeymoon" period right now because we left Alaska just before all the cold air started blowing in and arrived in Houston just as the worst of the heat was leaving. So now we are experiencing the mild start of "winter" here. (For my Alaskan friends, the start of winter here is translated as temps in the upper 80s, lower 90s. Crazy, huh?) I am sure we will be singing a different tune next August when the temps are in the triple digits and all my dear Alaskan friends are enjoying highs in the mid-60s.

Maybe we need to come up with a time share where we trade off time in each other's homes during the more favorable weather times. Come on Alaskan friends, I am game if you are! ;o) I know these two will be more than happy to share their rooms!!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Okay, okay, OKAAAAAAAY!!!

My blog has been pestering me. Seriously. Totally pestering me.

Blog: So Aims, ya planning on posting anytime soon?
Aims: Yes, I'll get to it. Just not today.
Blog: Uh, Aims, I'm still here. Don't forget about me.
Aims: I know, I know. Hang on a bit longer.
Blog: Helllllllllllllllllllllllllllllooooooooooooo?! I am totally tired of that muffin post. Time for something new. I'm feeling stale over here.
Aims: Okay, why don't YOU come over here and juggle this move and I'll go sit over there and snark at you for awhile.

So I finally caved and here I sit. Now, I will share with you, my faithful readers, something that I am not sharing with my blog. So please keep in quiet okay? The truth is that I have had PLENTY of time to blog. I really have. I have 2 1/2 hours each day where Sarah is napping and Claire is having her quiet time. Perfect blogging opportunity. So why I've managed to go this long without a post is beyond me.

There really has been quite a bit going on. In the past few weeks we have sold a house, packed up a house, boarded a plane and flown all night to end up at an apartment in our new town where we have updated immunizations, started pre-school, started a new job and bought a new house. Just to name a few.

But I must say, even with all of that, things are moving along crazy smoothly. We have found a house and are hoping to close on it at the end of next week. Our stuff has arrived from Alaska. Granted, it is sitting in a storage unit until we can close on our house. But it is here nonetheless. As soon as we close, we are one phone call away from having our belongings delivered. Amazing.

And? Our van arrived today. Whoop! Oh how we've missed that van. Sarah was elated to have the "Purple Car" back. (note to self: must teach Sarah the difference between purple and charcoal grey)

We have been well taken care of in our furnished apartment, but I am super excited to get into our new house. I have definitely developed a love/hate relationship with apartment living.

I love that Michael's office is only 5 minutes away which means he can stay up later at night since he doesn't have to leave as early for work. And as an added bonus, he is home earlier in the evenings.

I hate that we have no yard and I have to walk outside, across a busy street every time my dog needs to go potty. Even if it is 2 AM.

I love that our apartment comes with FREE housekeeping every Friday. There is nothing quite like walking in after a long day and seeing everything all tidy, floors vacuumed, sheets changed, etc.

I hate that we are so far away from friends and church and that I have to drive in morning rush hour traffic to take my girls to preschool. (although I am going AGAINST the flow of major gridlock so that helps a bit)

I love that we are so close to all the downtown shopping, restaurants and parks.

I hate that my "furnished kitchen" is lacking a majority of what I need to cook the meals I need to cook.

I love that Michael's company is covering all our food costs (grocery and/or restaurants) until we get into the new house.

Do you notice how some of these cancel each other out? The truth is, I really don't have ANY room to complain. Nor do I want to. The company has made this move EXTREMELY easy. They go way above and beyond the call of duty to  make the process smooth and painless. And I am grateful.

Now that I have finally started the blog-flow, I'll try to take the next several days to catch up on here. I fear that once we are in the house, I really will have trouble finding time to blog since I fully expect to be painting and unpacking like a mad woman!

Good night my persistent little blog. I hope this fresh new post will help you rest well!