Saturday, October 23, 2010

Texas Mushroom Festival

My dad and I took the boys over to the Texas Mushroom Festival in Madisonville today.  I didn't know what to expect, and I'm not really a mushroom eater unless they're cooked into something, but I'm pleased to report that we had a great time.  Surprisingly, mushrooms played a very tiny part of this festival.  It was a typical small Texas town festival, just the right size for a family with three little ones.  Sadly, it's still 90 degrees here, and the humidity was really high, but it could definitely be worse. 

The boys were excellent.  Clayton and Eli sampled their first corndogs.  I'm scared of corndogs, but finding a somewhat unmessy carnival food is nearly impossible, with the exception of corndogs.  They were huge fans, and both boys scarfed them down.  Scary.

I nearly had a heart attack when I saw they had several stands selling fried Oreos.  Some of our friends at Holloman AFB used to make fried oreos for us, and they were TO DIE FOR!  I know, it sounds strange, but trust me on this one.  I hadn't had any since then, and let me tell you, they're still just as good as ever.  Do not pass up an opportunity to sample some if you ever see them around.

And yes, it's game day.  And yes, our Aggies finally managed to win a conference game.  I won't even mention what happened in Austin today.  Lately we're accustomed to such things in Aggieland, but I know Krista and Jason are crying hard tonight.

Friday, October 22, 2010

First Day of School

Due to a lot of family circumstances, we've delayed starting Clayton in preschool this fall.  Yesterday he was finally able to go for the first time.  This year he is in a three day, half day program.  I got the name of his teacher from the director last week, and I knew that name was familiar.  Sure enough, his teacher is one of my college sorority advisers.  Then, to top it off, I was at Parent's Night tonight and saw one of my sorority sisters there.  Her twins are in the two day program.  Wow.  It's a small world.

Yesterday I dropped him off rested and perky and picked him up completely worn out and cranky.  It will definitely take a couple weeks to get used to the routine again.  It's amazing how just a few hours of school can wear this boy out.  Luckily an after school trip to Chick-fil-A was just the thing to perk him up.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Weekend Part 2

On Saturday we had to leave all the fun in Fredericksburg a little early to make it to more fun back in College Station.  Ryan's corps outfit was having a reunion over the weekend, and the boys and I really wanted to attend.  I had a goal departure time of 10am.  Well, with a yummy breakfast (omlette in a baggy... I'll explain later) and lots of good family fellowship, 10 turned into 10:45.  The drive used to take me just over three hours in college, but these days, the kids really drag me down.   I needed to be in College Station by about three, and it worked out just about right. 

We headed straight to Kyle Field for the B-Co post-game tailgate party.  Lucky for me, my dad has a parking permit he loaned us, which happens to be very near the stadium, so we didn't have to hike too far.  I showed up with Clayton and Eli in the double stroller and Aaron in the Ergo carrier.  I was quite a sight which really worked in my favor because a lot of people took pity on me and stood in line to check me in and get my food and food for the boys.  I had a great time catching up with almost all Ryan's buddies and several other people from the outfit I remembered.

The boys were absolutely filthy after the tailgate in the park, so afterwards I raced by Mom and Dad's, threw the big boys in the tub, and raced over to a great class party hosted at one of Ryan's classmate's parent's home.  We stayed until about nine, and then the boys could be social no longer, so we headed home for the night. 

The next morning I (with enormous help from my sister Pamela) hosted a little brunch at my parent's house.  So many people came, and the kids all had a great time playing in the backyard together.  I had so much fun catching up with all the wives.  It's a really wonderful group of people, and I hope we make this a yearly event.  We wish Ryan could have been here with us, but I was definitely glad I was able to be here.

I know there are lots and lots of pictures from this weekend, but I was just too busy managing three little boys to get any with my camera.  If you have any pictures you'd like to share, please send them my way.

Weekend in Fredericksburg

The kids and I spent the first part of the weekend in Fredericksburg, Texas.  We love heading to Uncle Tom and Aunt Linda's place out in the hill country.  There is so much room for the kids to roam and wander.  They have a blast.  This weekend we had a crowd.  My parents came, along with Meghan and her family, Meghan's in-laws and their daughter and son-in-law, and two of my cousins and their families.  Of course Clayton is still obsessed with Uncle Tom's John Deere Gators.  He thinks riding Gators is the entire purpose of the trip.

It's hard to get a lot of pictures when you're toting a baby around, but here are a few from our trip.
 Eli had a great time climbing on and off of this Gator.


 Clayton- great at pushing the pedal, but steering... not so much.  I begged Eli to hang on tight.

 Eli couldn't quite figure it out.  Thank goodness!

 The kids, minus Caleb, the oldest, who was out on his new dirt bike.
Camden, Luke, Sydney, Clayton, Eli, Aaron, Lizzy, and Emma

Luke is the youngest in his family.  We were so lucky to spend Friday with him before his older siblings arrived.  He was a GREAT babysitter, and Clayton was completely in awe of him.  Obviously Aaron was pretty smitten as well.  Look at that smile.  Lukey sure is growing up. 

Apparently our family HEARTS Honda.  Yes, mine is the least cool of the four.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Pumpkin Patch Revisited

Last year my mom, Meghan, and I attempted to take Clayton, Eli, and my niece Lizzy to a great pumpkin farm.  Unfortunately, it was so very cold and windy, and no one had a good time.  We couldn't get home fast enough.

I wanted to go back to the pumpkin farm this year on a pleasant day.  Mom and Dad were in town for the weekend, and the weather was nice.  It was supposed to be 85 degrees, but after last year's experience, I just couldn't imagine letting the boys wear shorts.  I dressed them in pants and short sleeves, and we headed out.

We had a great time, and Meghan, believe it or not, we were actually hot this year.  In fact, we left a few minutes earlier than I had planned because Clayton was getting a little too warm.  They had pony rides, a petting zoo, lots of animals, tricycles races, swings, slides, a tractor ride, and more.  It was such a great little place, and I look forward to going back next year.

And now, some last year/this year pictures.

And a few extras from this year.

Happy Fall!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Shopping with Three

So when I was little my grandmother had this hand cuff/cord device.  It had two velcro bracelets attached by one of those spiral vinyl cords, like the old phone cords.  I remember when she bought it.  The box had a picture of a mother wearing one of the bracelets and her son wearing the other, both happily smiling, linked together.  Well Grandmother used it to cuff Meghan and I together, and then she'd hold the cord in the middle when she'd take us shopping.  I was probably six, which means Meghan was four.  We were both mortified by the thing (and I repeat- I was SIX), and I remember begging not to have to wear it.  She could trust me.  I had previously gotten lost in Beall's one day.  I was terrified.  I never strayed again.  Why did I need to be cuffed?  I've vowed never to do that to my children. 

But I'm rethinking that vow now.  I took the boys to Home Depot and Kohl's this morning, and let me tell you, Clayton was everywhere and into everything.  I've never dealt with a wandering child because he's never had the opportunity to roam.  He's always ridden in a stroller, partly because I'm a control freak like that, and partly because he just likes to ride.  Now that Aaron's given him the boot from the double, a whole new world has opened to him, and it's making errands a lot harder on me.  We're going to really have to work on that one. 

All this is to say, that vow or no vow, if I had one of those hand cuff/cord things this morning, I may have actually strapped him to the side of the stroller. 

Ohhh... Look what I found.  Apparently there are lots of ways to strap your child to yourself, your cart, or your stroller.  Clayton had better watch out, or he might find this in his Christmas stocking.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

A&M vs. OSU

On Thursday night Ryan and I were able to make it over to Stillwater to see our Aggies take on Oklahoma State.  We had really debated whether or not to go and who we should take.  In the end we decided we wanted to take Clayton to his very first Texas A&M football game, and because I'm nursing Aaron, I couldn't really be away from him that long.  Eli, on the other hand, really had no need to go.  In true "neglected middle child" style, we left Eli with a friend for the night, and the four of us headed to Stillwater.

Our Aggies got off to a great start but managed to throw it away in the last minutes of the game.  Oh well.  The game was more about the experience than whether or not our team won.  I think Clayton had a pretty good time.  Aggies stand the entire game, so that made seeing the field pretty difficult, but Ryan held him a lot.  The stadium was surprisingly unpacked, so we actually had a lot of room for Clayton to roam, which made the night a lot more enjoyable.  Aaron did pretty well and slept in my front carrier most of the first half.  Unfortunately, he was pretty fussy most of the second half.  I think the noise and lights were upsetting.  He did better when I'd take him out of the stands for a little break every now and then.  Man, my back was sore by the end of the night. 

Taking a break

Happy in the first half

 Fussy in the second half (but really sweet in his 12th Man jersey)

The game didn't start until 6:30pm, and it was televised, so that made for a long night.  We didn't make it back to our car until 11pm, and then with all the traffic, it took nearly an hour to get out of town.  It was nearly 2am before we got home.  Even though we missed Eli, we still really enjoyed spending some family time together.