Wednesday, November 30, 2011

prehistoric black friday: chaper 3: happily ever after

Are you tired of my pictures yet? This is definitely picture overload, but I don't scrapbook or even get prints of my photos most of the time so I will keep the memories here for now. 
After we left the museum we decided to walk through the campus (since it was a lovely day) and see if the LBJ Library was open. (It's free, by the way!) We did make it there and yes, they were open. It was busier than the museum and I think we were the only people that brought children under 15 years old. It was also lunchtime and the kids were getting restless so our visit was verrrry brief (we have been there before though and it's really interesting).

oh look! downtown Austin construction! That's always a nice addition to great photos. (yes, that's the UT tower in the background... we didn't make it over there, but there's always next time.)

I really like this picture. It has a retro feel to it (at least to me). It's like we had the entire place to ourselves... which we sort of did. Inside was a different story as there were many older(ish) folks milling around (wait, does this mean we are old?)

We went to the 10th floor and saw LBJ's Oval Office (replicated) and then someone or maybe all of us started feeling really hungry. Apparently cinnamon rolls will only hold you over for so long (especially if you accidentally burn them.) T suggested bar-b-q or my favorite Mexican restaurant, Maudie's. Seeing how the last time I was going to eat at Maudie's I was experiencing contractions and was on the phone with my doctor's nurse when we pulled into the parking lot only to be told, "No, you can't eat lunch. Go to the hospital." I jumped at the chance for my favorite enchiladas! 

The food was perfect. The kids' behavior was exceptional. The tacos, chips & salsa, rice and beans and, of course, the enchiladas were all I had hoped and dreamed of for over 2 years. As many times as I make tacos and enchiladas at home I fail so badly to replicate my favorite.
she was worth missing Maudie's... although I still don't know why no one brought me some in the hospital
I know it sounds terrible that I hadn't been to Maudie's in over two years when I have frequently gone to Austin for doctor visits and such. It's just that my Maudie's is not close to my doctor's offices. And I like it being a special treat. It's a special place to T and I. I remember lunch breaks spent there while we were both working/living in Austin and childless. It was really fun to take the kids and reminisce about those days. We even drove to our old apartment complex (and I went in and asked how much they were going for just for fun). We stopped by our friends' place (they are getting married this weekend!) and said hi. Then we thought of going to Mount Bonnell (very cool, holds some great memories, too), but it was packed (what's with that?) so we just drove around and looked at all the awesome houses out there. Very much like back in the day. By then the kids were falling asleep so we drove home and rented Captain America and Horrible Bosses from redbox to end the night. Awesome daytrip vacation. I can't wait for 2012 Black Friday.

We had such a great day. I'm looking forward to next year! I'm glad I could share it with y'all, too. 
this sums up our lovely, lovely day

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

prehistoric black friday: chapter 2

If you noticed in yesterday's post the museum was not very busy. We happened to get there an hour after it opened and were pleasantly surprised by the lack of people. We were about 3/4 of the way through the exhibits when we started actually having to walk around people or say "excuse me". There was a moment when Ry started walking away with another family.... um, sorry kid, you're stuck with us. 
Now, let us get back to my mahr-va-lous pictures.

 See that gigantic skeleton there? (above these words) That, my friends, is the Mosasaur. (That's what we were looking at outside and sitting on it's vertebrae.) This is why I don't swim. I mean, I know it's extinct...
Here was another slightly smaller, not less scary creature. Look at the teeth. 

I failed to get a picture of the enormous armadillo. I'm sorry, I know you wanted to see it. I just took pictures of the kids reactions to things.

 above is an ancient zebra.  below is a giant tusk from something.

 above: Rose giving a very scientific explanation about skeletal structure. Below: D and the giant sea turtle

 above: the kids go fishing  
below: big fish

Last pictures of this post are from the wildlife exhibit.

Mountain lions bring up a lot of emotions. Mostly bad ones.

Tomorrow: Pictures of the family on the University of Texas campus. 

Have a lovely Tuesday!

for more on this trip see chapter one and chapter three

Monday, November 28, 2011

prehistoric black friday: chapter one

Friday T had the day off (it was a surprise!) and we wanted to go do something to take advantage of this. We wanted it to be as close to free as possible so we started looking at museums on line. The boys really want to go to a dinosaur place that is a couple of hours away (the entry fees are not nice for a family of 5 however) so we looked up dinosaur museums in Austin. Come to find out there is one! It's on the University of Texas campus: The Texas Memorial Museum and Texas Natural Science Center. The admission is free and that day parking was also free (in a VERY nearby garage) due to the holiday! I only took a hundred pictures so get ready...
 Outside the museum and science center is a replica of dinosaur tracks found in Texas (pretty cool).
There are also these fun vertebrae (replica) chairs. They are 8 times the size of the vertebrae from the Mosasaur (an underwater dino).
At the entrance there is a large saber tooth tiger (Rose was not getting close!) and I had to have a picture of the boys with it.

The day was absolutely lovely, too. Just had to mention that.

After you walk through the small entry way you see this. It's the Texas Pterosuar. It's hard to see tell how large this is but I couldn't get the whole thing in one picture. I practically had to lay on the floor to get this shot and the wing span is still not entirely captured. It's the "largest flying creature ever discovered." Um... awesomeness. The boys loved it.

D and Ry were identifying all the dinosaurs before I could even read the ID cards. Smart little cookies.

 Rose wanted her picture taken in front of dino skeleton but forgot to look at the camera and she ran away quickly after to find a giant petrified tree trunk.

They all carried their maps around and ohmygosh looked so adorable and like little scientists the entire time.
It's time for me to say goodbye today.... I can promise a lot more pictures tomorrow! I'll leave you with this

for more on this trip see chapter two and chapter three

Saturday, November 26, 2011


We woke up early (as usual), got dressed and headed to my sister's house for cinnamon rolls (I made) and to prepare all the delicious sides: sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, Oma's cornbread dressing, green bean casserole, rolls, gravy and all the little extras. Everything was delicious.

I got to dote on T.J. while my sister took a break for a shower before everyone showed up.
getting my baby fix
T was extremely helpful in keeping the kiddos occupied. They ran around outside playing "prisoner escape" and then came inside and settled down for some Dr. Seuss reading.

There was a lot of "let's take some pictures" after lunch. Always fun!

We headed over to see T's parents and watch some Texas football. His family had eaten earlier so we had the leftovers. Not a bad thing at all. His dad makes one heck of a good turkey! As for the game... It came down to the very last play (Justin Tucker's winning field goal!!). We all sang "and it's goodbye to a&m" when it was over. Best of luck in the SEC, aggies (you're going to need it).

Friday we started a new tradition, but more on that later. (as it involves a hundred pictures and really deserves a part I & II type post.) Hope you all are having a relaxing weekend.

Thursday, November 24, 2011


will be spent with family. Thanks will be given. Food will be eaten. Naps will probably not be taken.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

This makes for a fun day

Just in case you were procrastinating (as I was) Thanksgiving is TOMORROW. That means I have to bake two pies, cinnamon rolls and prep celery and onions for dressing. (I know, it doesn't seem like a whole lot, but I do have those children getting into everything... it's sort of distracting.) I've got the cinnamon rolls started and I have 25 minutes until I have to mess with them again. I've not changed out of my pajamas and neither have the children. (In all fairness it's only 8am.)

I'm making this apple pie. Did you know apple pie is somewhat labor intensive? I have only made it once before, but right now I'm just thinking: peel four apples, core & chop four apples, make, chill, roll out 2 pie crusts. Pie crusts: grate 16 tablespoons of butter. (what? 16 tablespoons is totally acceptable for dos pie crusts.) (Grating butter is something I learned from Dwija from a simple little tweet back in October.)

That brings to mind the talk radio show I was forced to listen to yesterday morning. They were talking about how Thanksgiving dinner is full of sodium and it's just terrible for you (even once a year it supposedly makes you more susceptible to heart disease and blood pressure issues) and I out loud strongly disagreed with them. Take, for example, the average person that eats out on a weekly basis. (I actually said monthly, but T said that was really low-balling it and that most people eat out weekly.) Okay, so on average, you go out to eat (I realize most of my readers may not do this because most of you have children and restaurants are a thing of the past or very far off future...) and are served outrageous portions and usually eat them all up. Full of sodium and preservatives. How is this so different from gorging on a Thanksgiving "homemade" meal once a year? If you are smart you don't go adding extra salt or butter or even eat excessively. Maybe you eat more carbs than you would usually and you probably indulge more than you normally would. Come on, it's Thanksgiving. I will not go "light" for the holidays. End rant.

I had to make the cinnamon rolls before I was done with this. My house is smelling so nice right now.
The kids are really quiet, too. Probably because they are busy stuffing their faces. What a wonderful sound.

I guess I better get them dressed and do some housework. The pies are on the afternoon docket as I now have to clean the giant mess up in the kitchen. (and sneak another cinnamon roll without the kids seeing me. not an easy task.)

Have a delightful day.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

do not read while eating! consider yourself warned.

Hello Internet! I've been a busy little bee today and am just now getting a small break to post some words. Okay, so maybe "busy bee" isn't totally correct. I've gone grocery shopping and then to my mom's and hung out with her cause she misses me so much. I am at home (briefly) to feed the chick-chicks, start supper and throw some clothes in the wash and then am heading back to mom's to pick up the kids and also T.

I finally found pumpkin spice creamer!!!!!!! (I did need all of those exclamation points.)

I also found a very disturbing hair mask while grabbing myself some vo5 hot oil...
no, thank you.
I ran away trying not to gag. I would love to hear your comments about this. Obviously I am not ready to become a celebrity... it seems like something they would do.

Speaking of hair, I made my mom trim mine. I am not missing the frayed straw broom stick I was sporting. (It was about an inch, maybe a tad more.)

If you aren't complete grossed out, I have found a ridiculously good pumpkin scone recipe. It is here. I couldn't stop eating them. I must. make. more.

It seems like I had more to say, but I'm running short on time. Gotta go! Be back tomorrow with something... don't know what. Never do. I'm sure it'll be fascinating.

Monday, November 21, 2011

The other half of our weekend. Super exciting.

Oh, Monday, you've arrived too quickly. Well, I guess this is the weekend update. You already know my Friday night and Saturday morning pantry experiment so I will pick up with Saturday afternoon where I did nothing. Okay, so I did stuff, but not really anything exciting. I spent a great amount of time just sitting with D while he felt miserable. (He's feeling much better now!) I put clothes away and then replaced those clothes with another stack of clothes to be washed and put away (the circle of laundry), I watched some football and some movies with the kids and got the kitchen cleaned (shiny sink and everything just so I could mess it up Sunday).

Sunday T went to help CLB work on a fence, I had a mini meltdown (apparently spilling coffee is a REALLY big deal for me), I started to make cinnamon rolls only to be thwarted by my almost empty yeast jar (this may have contributed to the mommy meltdown), watched a movie that I failed to understand (probably because I didn't see the beginning), made pizza and then went to my sister's house to plan Thanksgiving. I am baking and bringing an apple pie and cinnamon rolls and bringing various ingredients for side dishes. This means another trip to the store... preferably tonight or early tomorrow. Visiting the grocery store during Thanksgiving week is bad enough, but after Tuesday at 12pm it's just painful.

I see today is moving swiftly by (I've already been up 4 hours? How is this possible?) so I better pump myself up with some vitamins and get a movin'. I'll leave you with a picture of Rose being incredibly stylish.
fashionista in the making
Hoping Monday is kind to you (and me)

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Honey, Oil and Pumpkin

Hello! I'm having a nice Saturday playing nurse/mother to a sick child. I have a little window of opportunity to share some things right now so... real quick:

This morning I made this pumpkin spice creamer. It turned out alright, I think I'll need to add more syrup/sweetener to it for my taste and maybe a tad more pumpkin? It just wasn't as pumpkin-y as I'd hoped for. Still, I think it's a great base to start from. 

Since I had the pumpkin open and was making waffles for breakfast I went ahead and experimented some more. I was going to make them from scratch, but honestly I've been feeling a little worn out so I made them from Bisquick. To that mix I added 2 tablespoons of pumpkin puree and a couple of dashes of pumpkin pie spice and a teaspoon-ish of vanilla. They turned out great, but again, not pumpkin enough. I'll probably add more spice next time. However, delicious with maple syrup! Liked them better than plain ol' waffles.
In response to my hair's cry for help yesterday Grace sent me a link for a shiny hair mask. First off, I was ecstatic that it was 2 ingredients and I had them on hand! So, I went with 4 tablespoons of olive oil and 2 tablespoons of honey (after some more research about honey and oil hair masks with Ms. Google). Guys, it was messy. After I stood there contemplating how exactly to apply it to my hair I grabbed my silicone basting brush and applied it with that (to dry hair). I focused on my ends; they needed the most care. Oh, I should mention I warmed this concoction up to slightly above room temperature before applying. After I had saturated my hair I proceeded to wrap my hair in saran wrap and then totally creep out my husband for thirty minutes. (hahaha)
I'd advise you, if you have children, to not do this in their presence. Rose already likes to put ketchup, gravy, applesauce and such things in her hair while eating.... this would only encourage that behavior! Also, your hands are going to be covered in oil and sticky from honey so any attempt at child wrangling while trying to beautify yourself is likely to go awry.

When my thirty minutes was up I hopped in the shower and used a 2in1 shampoo & conditioner (2x) and did a final rinse with cool water. My hair feels nice and soft (so do my hands) and it's a bit more shiny (not like in the advertised pic in the link, but I have coarse, wavy hair and didn't expect that). I let it air dry and my ends are definitely more subdued and not frizzy and straw like. If I actually styled my hair I bet it would look really amazing, but I have sworn off my hair straightener (except for special occasions) so that's not happening right now. My hair feels silkier than usual, even with that 2in1 shampoo (it usually feels really coarse when I use that) so if I used my regular shampoo and conditioner it'd probably have an even better result. I was worried about using it since it's a shine booster and I didn't know how well the honey and oil would wash out. (It rinsed easily for me.) My hair is just below my shoulders, so I'd recommend using more if you have longer hair. This was just enough for me.

Okay, well, I have to go take care of the children now. I hope you are all having a lovely weekend.

Friday, November 18, 2011

The Week In Pictures

Taken Tuesday after we had some rain and were feeding the chickens.

I finally found Corduroy as a board book and the kids love it. I love that they can't rip the pages.

These were from a couple of weeks ago, but I see it everyday.

Ry was in a really silly mood Wednesday at his appointment. He couldn't stop moving.

I didn't want to go on rambling about my boring trip to the grocery store this morning, hence the photos.  Unrelated to the above pictures I need some advice:
  • what is a good home remedy for a deep conditioning hair treatment?
  • how do I get a child I know to stop whining?
  • other than the obvious (nudity) how do I stop all this laundry from accumulating? I wash laundry every stinkin' day. It's tiresome. 
  • I think I've been half asleep all week.
I hope everyone has a marvelous weekend! G'bye for now.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Spectacles and Gratitude

Yesterday was full of adventure! Okay, not exactly, but it was fun and a tiny bit scary for a second...

Ry-Guy had an eye appointment and D was getting his glasses yesterday morning. I decided to have my mom watch Rose while I took the boys. My sister was home when I got to my mom's house and she needed to run an errand in the city, too, so she came with me. We took my mom's suburban and I had just enough time to get us to the doctors office on time for the appointment. Halfway there D says he is hungry. I sort of dismissed it with a "we'll eat lunch after the appointment" because he had already eaten a healthy breakfast. (no, really, scrambled egg and some yogurt.) (that sounds gross but was eaten like an hour apart) We are driving along and I hear D cough, which is not a big deal because we've been feeling cough-y and stuffy nosed lately. My sister turns around and says, "I think he's throwing up!" So I pull off the road and yes, indeed, he has. Luckily my mom keeps a large blanket and sheet in the back and we clean him up as best as we can and I took his shirt off... Now I needed to decide whether we should proceed on or turn around. After checking his temperature (the old fashioned way: back of my hand) I decide he is probably okay and we give him a bag in case he feels sick again. And pray it's just a weird combo of foods and he's not really sick. (Thankful for my mom's "emergency items" and my sister being there.)

Obviously his clothes are pukish so I have to stop at Target and run through the store and grab a shirt and pants and some baby wipes (to assist in more thorough clean up). The guy at the register asks how I am doing and I respond with a out of breath-ish reply of not exactly how I planned but okay. He asks how old he is (he is ringing up the clothes) and I say five, he spilled something all over him and I had to come in a grab some new clothes... I didn't say what he spilled. The guy responded with a "yeah, I've been there with my daughter!" (thankful for an understanding cashier and that my budget allowed this. Thankful I could leave D with my sis instead of dragging a puked on shirtless boy through Target.)

We make it to the doctor's office 3 minutes late. (thankful they aren't a super busy office) Ry goes in for his appointment and my sis and D wait in the front while he gets his glasses adjusted. (Thankful D is playing and is in really good spirits about his comfy corduroy pants and football shirt.)
Ry waiting for the doc
D sportin' his new eye wear. (and new shirt)
Everything went well after our car sickness episode. (was it car sickness????) We stopped a few more places and then headed home. (Thankful D is feeling back to normal and loves his glasses.)

Hopefully a nice day today. I have some stuff to catch up on + the usual "stuff". It should be lots of fun!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Applied Reading

Yesterday I linked to a Bible verse. Mm hmm, I did. And guess what? It helped me. Lately I've been using the Bible like a inspirational/encouragement quote book and sometimes it works well and other times I forget what I read. However, yesterday at the most trying parts of the day when I wanted to get frustrated and raise my voice and just sort of lose it this is what popped into my head, "be compassionate." It just so happened that Rose would get really fussy right when I was feeling a tad overwhelmed and I'd want to just give everyone a time out right there, but I picked her up and held her and took a deep breath and released it slowly and remembered that I am a mother. Not just any mother, but hers. And the mother she needs is kind, gentle and compassionate (which is, coincidentally, how I want to be). The mother I want to be is loving, caring, considerate. I am not always those things. Sometimes I am cranky, frustrated, short tempered. Sometimes I am quick to hush the loud boisterous laughter, to get upset over the many, many interruptions while I'm doing very (un)important things.

photo unrelated, but it rained this morning!

The past couple of weeks I've had two verses that have struck me hard. I try to think about them often, especially in the morning and then during the trying points of my day. It's sort of like a meditation? I don't know. I just know I like reading these two verses.

Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the bones. Proverbs 16:24 (nkjv)
 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Colossians 3:12 (niv)
 Oh, and two other quotes that I like reading
Be the change you want to see in the world. Mahatma Gandhi
(I'm just going with "be the change I want to see in myself" right now)
And something to tell my children:
You is kind. You is smart. You is important. Aibileen Clark in The Help
  Do you have any quotes that you love? Care to share?