Happy First Birthday to T!

October 10 was T’s first birthday! We had been back in the country for about a week and tried to figure out how to celebrate at a time when none of us were sleeping all that well yet, we were freshly missing family and friends back home,  and Mommy was coming down with a cold.

We started out with breakfast at home!

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Then we went to a big baby store in town that has a little play area for kids. We were going to buy T’s presents and let the kids play a bit.

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Then we headed to lunch at Shake Shack. (Mommy will look for any reason to go here!) But seriously, I figured since T had been eating hamburger meat so well lately, he would enjoy eating an extra hamburger patty from my burger and some fries. (No, we didn’t go to ChickFilA, that is just one of their place mats that I had in my diaper bag.) Turned out he wasn’t interested in the hamburger so mommy got to eat a double, and he just had fries. bday3

Family pic before nap time!

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After naps, we ordered KFC for dinner. Mommy didn’t want to cook today and T wanted chicken nuggets!

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After dinner, we had him open presents and we also talked on the phone with Nena and Pappaw. Big sister helped with the wrapping paper!

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He got a little barn with door that opens, a walking toy, and a toy garbage truck.

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Now for the cake!

I think he is crying because he wants to hurry up and eat it. Or because he has no clothes on. :)

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He did like the cake, but he didn’t devour mommy’s homemade cake as much as he did the bakery cake a few weeks prior.

T is a happy smiley sweet huggy little boy and we love him so! Happy 1 year T!

Life Here: Grocery Shopping

Let’s kick off our “Life Here” series with something no mom can avoid….grocery shopping!

Basically we have a few options.

Option 1: Small neighborhood convenience store

These small stores carry just the basics. No fresh meat. Limited produce. We had one within walking distance from our old apartment that we used a lot. Its like the size of your living room . Now there is one near us that is also a liquor store, so we don’t go there much, but maybe if we run of out of Nacho doritos. :) There is another one close, but it is always smokey inside and doesn’t have much so we don’t really go there either.

Option 2: Medium size market

Lots of locals use these and make daily or maybe every other day trips for what they need from small neighborhood market. Good for getting your basics but not giant selection. We like a certain kind of milk. Most milk sold here is the ultra radiated kind that you don’t have to refrigerate until you open it. We think that tastes funny and like what they call “daily” milk that does actually last more than a day. So some of these small markets don’t carry that kind and right now we use a lot of milk. We have one of these within walking distance now that even carries our milk. Score! Ours has a meat counter and good produce out on the front porch. It only has one freezer container so I can’t get any frozen french fries here! I have enjoyed going here because you can get done quickly and get almost everything you want.

Option 3: Large chain supermarket

Often these large chain markets are in malls. This can be handy as you can get lots of things done at once. Also the malls almost all have parking garages so if it is raining or cold you don’t have to brave the weather. These have foreign foods aisles, so you can find M&M’s or taco shells sometimes. Or a $40 jar of Jamie Oliver pasta sauce or a $35 jar of maple syrup from “Vertmont”. The oreos have even made it onto the cookie aisle at one store so I think they are here to stay. Some of these are so big, they are like Super Walmarts, with electronics, home goods, and clothes. I like to go here and make a giant grocery run, but it does take longer especially with the kids.

Option 4: Weekly farmers markets, stand alone bakeries and butcher shops

If you want to make lots of stops, you can go to these. Every week on the same days, in the same spots, big tarps go up and farmers markets are set up. This is the place to find quality produce and good prices. I have unfortunately never lived in good walking distance of one of these, especially if you are taking kids along, so I have not made a habit of frequenting these, although I do like them.

You can also go to butcher shops and bakeries, but I don’t have any right around the corner so don’t usually shop at these.

I guess I should include in these, the guys who walk around with their carts or drive down the streets in their trucks, calling out what they are selling. Every morning a guy walks around with a basket selling hot pastries, kind of like a bagel but with sesame seeds on it. Every afternoon during nap time, a guy drives around with a loud speaker attached to his truck saying “Onions, Potatoes, Tomatoes”. A guy also goes around selling fish. I don’t really think I want to buy fish from a guy pushing it around on a cart all day! But plenty of people do apparently!

That’s all I can think of as it relates to grocery shopping! Any questions?

Life Here Series

You know how people always say they get great ideas in these shower? Well today in the shower I was thinking about blogging about some routine daily things here that might give people a glimpse into daily life for us.

So here are some ideas I came up with to write about:

our house

grocery shopping

cooking

transportation

going to the doctor

getting mail

paying bills

eating out

church

neighbors

houses/apartments/buildings

parks/things to do for kids

 

Do you have any other ideas? Things you are curious about?

I will try to write about these from time to time and if you have any other ideas, leave those in the comments!

An actual current post

Well sorry, after I ran out of all my saved up posts of summer pictures that I had prescheduled way out….I stopped posting for a while. I still want to show you pics from T’s first birthday and maybe Thanksgiving and some other events, but I thought I would write a quick note to say hello.

I have been sick for about a week and am finally starting to feel a little better. Last night I went to bed at 12 and took a little while to fall asleep due to the coughing, but not hours. And I think I woke once but wasn’t up too long, and then slept til 7:45! Hopefully a breakthrough! Yippee!

Needless to say, our New Year’s wasn’t very celebratory! I went to bed at 9 but laid there coughing til about 11:45, at which point I contemplated going ahead and getting up to say happy new year to my husband, who was still awake but sleeping in the guest room due to aforementioned coughing, but I was exhausted so I just stayed there and probably fell asleep about the time 2015 was entering our home.

Yesterday for New Year’s Day I really wanted to get out of the house. We picked  some friends and went to the mall for lunch and a little shopping. I found a maternity sweater and some boots that I have wanted for years (the Ugg kind, although not that brand) on a very good sale. It wore us out. The kids took great naps. Then I made black eyed pea casserole and guacamole and we watched the Rose Parade online. Then we watched the Baylor game and we won’t even talk about that…

Today we were just home, but I managed to get a few things done like clean off my desk and clean out the fridge. About 7 pm we were sitting in E’s room while the kids played and got to talking about rearranging it, so we did! We love to do that! I like it a lot. Her room is an interesting shape and has an extra door and the window takes up a big wall space. We will have to change it up a little bit in a few months when T’s crib goes in there.  He will be 19 months when the baby is born so I don’t think he will be ready for the bottom bunk of E’s bed. The crib will just have to be in there a while even though it will take up space, until I think he understands enough to stay in his bed! Or until he tries to climb out, which may happen first, as much as he likes to climb.

T is trying to walk some. He will go from person to person, but he goes so fast that he falls down a lot. He will be walking soon I bet. He gets really excited when he can walk a little bit. Of course, he is a very fast crawler so right now the easiest way for him to get somewhere is just to crawl. Sometimes he tries to crawl holding something big and ends up using one elbow. It is moments like that when I try to tell him that learning to walk will make that easier!

Random Summer Pics

Okay folks, you have made it through all the posts from the summer! This last one is just random funny pictures that I wanted to include but don’t get a whole post to themselves.

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We checked out our storage unit one day. Found some treasures. Found some things we wondered why we kept. :)

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T started crawling when he was 11 months old. This is the space in front of the townhouse we stayed in.
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E discovered she likes jello while we were home this summer. She also likes Luby’s. Like her momma.

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Cutie pie in leg warmers!

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These two spent lots of quality time in the car together. E likes it better when he is right next to her. Isn’t this sweet of them holding hands?

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I ate a ton of these this summer! Yum!

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Sweet baby in a swing!

Doctor Visit

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We snuck in a doctor visit to our old pediatrician while we were in the states. They got lots of shots for their one year and four year old checkups! Thank goodness Nena got to come and help! Suckers and stickers and Fruit Loops help too!

Celebrating Early

Since we were in America close to T’s birthday, he got to celebrate a little early.

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Someone is excited. He doesn’t know what it is yet, but it looks good.

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Can you tell he thoroughly enjoyed it?

IMG_6445 IMG_6441 We love you baby T. How are you one year old already?

Visiting California

We were so glad to get to go to California for a week to visit family. C’s grandparents live there (the kids only great-grandparents), as well as two aunts and one cousin. IMG_6435

Playing with Cousin Ian.

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At lunch with Granddad.

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And Nanny.

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Group shot!
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Looking at a calendar with Nanny.

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When we visited them last time at their home, E was 16 months old and she liked riding on Nanny’s scooter. This time Granddad had one too but she was a little shy about riding on it. On the last day, she finally did. She was given this costume for her birthday, and she wore it almost the whole week. Of course everyone in their assisted living facility enjoyed seeing the little princess going everywhere.

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There are lots of artists on this side of the family. E enjoyed painting with Granddad.

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Reading with Granddad.

We had a great time visiting family!

C’s Birthday

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It was fun to get to celebrate C’s birthday in America this year. We had lunch with my parents and his mom.

Baylor’s New Stadium

A long time ago, I realized from the Baylor alumni emails that go out, that we would actually be in Texas when the new stadium opened. I thought it would be awesome to get to go to the first game! Well, alas, it proved difficult for us to find tickets to that game, so we bought tickets to the game the next weekend. We bought two tickets, I should say. While I felt a little bad depriving my kids of the game day experience, I figured I would enjoy the experience a bit more sans offspring. So my parents happily agreed to keep the kids while we went. And T cooperated by learning to take a bottle before then.

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After a stop for lunch at Schmaltz’s (the best sandwich ever! Like Scholtzskys but better times a 1000!), we headed over to campus and our first stop was to visit the place where “our swing” used to be!

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(Flashback to 2003)

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Then we visited the Burleson Quad and the echoooooooo.

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We got over to the stadium and found our brick.

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And then headed inside the stadium, just in the nick of time, before the deluge began! The red cell hovered over the stadium and it rained a lot for about an hour.

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Luckily we found some friends to hang out with.

We had tickets in the front row of third section, but the view from there was actually really good. After halftime, we moved down to the second section and sat with some friends who had empty seats beside them. Then in the last quarter, we moved down to the first section and sat with some other friends who had empty seats beside them.

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It was a great game and so much fun to see the new stadium!