Friday, November 22, 2013

Fall Zoo Trip with Friends

Last weekend we went to the zoo with my BFF Lindsey, her husband, and their 2 girls, Reagan (Logan's BFF) and Reese. We got to go in early since they were members and it was a perfect day for it. It wasn't crowded, even for a Saturday. I was shocked. The kids had so much fun and Benjamin did great too! All the animals were out and active, which is usually not the case when we go.

The two BFF's--they always have a blast together.

Benjamin and Linz

The mountain goats were very close!

Logan and Reagan on the carousel.

Logan loved the Komodo dragon.

Benjamin's first train ride.

And...the end. Our day was done at this point, as you can see. 

Friday Favorites/Wish List Continued

To add to my "wish list" from last week (I don't ask for much, but apparently when I do, I go big):

I would LOVE a DSLR camera. I know they are expensive, but sometimes you can find a decent sale or even a used one if someone decided to upgrade. I take all the pictures in the family and a couple of years ago my dad got me a great Nikon camera, just one step down from a DSLR and it has been great. Well, it was great until I went on a horrible "dolphin-watching" (we saw no dolphins) boat tour in Port Aransas last summer (2012) and I got tricked into getting soaked, camera in hand. It still takes pictures, but doesn't work *quite right*. The flash doesn't work consistently and it does some weird clicky thing occasionally when I try to snap a picture, typically when using the zoom. I am sure it could be fixed, but I haven't priced that yet and I am not sure it would be worth the price. I have just used it as it is, but I know it's not right. Makes me sad.

Now that I have an iPhone again (yay!) I would love iTunes gift cards. I never buy apps that cost money and I certainly don't download music but there are a couple of times where I wish I would let myself splurge. Specifically, I would love to download a couple songs/albums that I have heard in church that I love. And on that note, in my new car (ha) I need an iPhone connector (??) so you can play your music through the speakers (that is a thing, right?). I am so tech savvy. Obviously.

Now, onto some favorites:

Seriously. How cute are these diapers? Nevermind the fact that I have a huge box of diapers at home that I got on clearance. I HAD to buy these. How could I not? He won't be wearing them until after Thanksgiving, though. I have rules.

I went to see Hunger Games Catching Fire with some girlfriends from preschool/church last night and it was SO good. Now I am impatiently waiting for the 3rd one. Ugh.

I am in love with our Keurig. My Nana gave it to us for an early Christmas present and it gets used every single day. I should add K-cups to my wish list (chai latte, coffee, hot chocolate) because we are flying through them.

I am loving Logan in karate. I mentioned in a previous post that he had tried it and we signed up for a trial month. He's been twice more now and he seems to really like it. He is catching on and excited to go and it gives him a great outlet and some structure/activity to our afternoons. And he's adorable doing the kicks and grinning the whole time.

The baby teachers at my preschool had these made for the babies for Thanksgiving. I LOVE it. So sweet. I am so glad that Benjamin came along to buy me more time to stay home and continue to work there. 

Have a great weekend everyone (all 5 of you that read this)!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Friday Favorites

I rarely have anything that I just really want for Christmas (or birthday or anything). And these things aren't even things I expect for Christmas, but I am just throwing them out there while they are on my mind. Some aren't even for me, just things I would like or that I have come across that I love.

1. A new, to me, car

Yep, I'm there. The second kid sealed the deal. We took a one-night (ONE NIGHT) trip and our trunk was at max capacity with just the one suitcase, a stroller, and the rock n' play. My Passat has lasted us 10 good years, but I am not wanting to put more money into it when we really just need to move up in size. I am not talking a brand new something, I am perfectly fine (and actually prefer) something used that we could get with our trade-in and a little cash. I'm not even stuck on a minivan, just something bigger with more space. I can't even do a big trip to Costco anymore (I know, first world problems).

2. A GOOD housecleaning:

I know, I ask for this almost every chance I get. And really, if I just had the time and energy (and motivation), I wouldn't mind doing it myself, but Benjamin doesn't really like to be put down for long stretches of time and we all know how his sleeping is, so the chances of me doing it right just aren't good.

3. New clothes--I lost all my pregnancy weight and then some (believe me, I wasn't doing anything to make this happen) so my clothes situation isn't pretty. I have bought a few things here and there but I still don't have that many options...even the 2 pair of jeans I bought a month ago are a little big now. I know, a good problem to have, but not when you really don't have the money to spend. And I would love a pair of the riding boots that are in right now, but my big old calves may prevent that from happening...

4. And for the kids: I love these name pillows from The Chocolate Zebra. Not for me, but for the boys, or any kid really. I think they are adorable.

Or these. I mean, really.

AND these: 

Rob the Robot LegwarmersMonsters Legwarmers

For Logan, since he is getting into reading and loving comic books right now:

And for Benjamin, since he is drooling/chewing everything:


So, there you have it. That's what's on my mind/list right now.

Life Lately...

has been crazy. Not crazy busy, so much, just crazy. 

Logan has been having some difficulties at home and at school with following directions, paying attention, focusing, and all-around respect. At home he just can't stay focused on anything (unless it's the Wii or some other techology)...asking him to complete one task leads him to get distracted (ooohhh, sparkly!) and we are constantly having to stay on him to get anything done. At home, that's one thing.  When it carries over to school, it gets real. His teacher said she has noticed a major change in the past couple of weeks as far as his talkative-ness, attention span, and ability to stay on task. He has gotten a few notes home and I take those very seriously.When he gets a note, he loses 'screen time' for the day and writes sentences. He may or may not get a spanking, depending on the severity of the issue. He is very remorseful once he gets home but at school, getting a note doesn't seem to affect him. I talked to his teacher the other day and we discussed how she might need to be a bit tougher with him so that he sees the consequences at school. As in, make him sit by himself at lunch or in the classroom. He is very social so that would definitely hit him where it hurts. She was appreciative of my support and almost seemed shocked that I would be okay (and that I suggested it) with her being stricter. I guess teachers have to be more careful these days with how they discipline, but it's not like I told her to swat him. Kinda struck me as sad that she was hesitant about it. But it could also be that she is just a sticky-sweet kind of teacher. Logan loves her but he would still love her if she was tough on him (like his teacher from last year). 

We also signed him up for a trial month of karate at a local place that was highly recommended by some friends from church/preschool. He tried it last night and really seemed to enjoy it. They are big on respect and focus, so I am hoping it really helps him as well as gives him a much-needed energy outlet. Oh, he also started a weekly after-school art class that he really seems to like so far.

But his reading has taken off. All of a sudden, it just clicked! He is reading anything and everything. The other day we were out running errands and he was in the backseat reading a book and he said "I used to think I couldn't read anything, but now I am like the HERO of reading!" It was adorable.

I mean, really, how could this sweet, adorable boy give us so much grief? Ha. It's a good thing he's cute (and it's crazy how old he looks in this picture--still holding on to that gray tooth, though. Gray tooth 4 life, yo).

Benjamin, well, has been an adorable, smiley, sweet baby...who doesn't like to sleep but LOVES his food. We started him on some solid food this last few weeks and he can't get enough. He has had oatmeal, a few bites of mashed up banana, carrots, green beans, and butternut squash. I have made everything (except the oatmeal of course) and I love that. I didn't do that with Logan because it never really dawned on me and I was still teaching full-time so I was a bit busier. But it has been super easy and SO much cheaper, it's unreal. Two little jars of butternut squash for 99 cents or 1 huge butternut squash for $1.69 (which makes a ton). Duh. 

I hoped the food would help him sleep a little better. We give it to him at night, before his bath, and then he nurses before bed. You would think his belly would be full and he would sleep peacefully. Nope. Still 3-4 hours. Once this week I got a 5 hour stretch, but that's it. Naps aren't that great either. 45 minutes max most of the time with a surprise long one thrown in on occasion. Hopefully he will turn a corner soon and realize that sleeping is okay and he won't miss a meal or anything exciting.

Again, it's a good thing he's cute cuz Mama is TIRED. It's starting to affect my daily life. I am forgetting things (almost forgot I signed up to be Mystery Reader for Logan's class today--thankful for an email from his teacher), talking in my sleep, screwing up on dates (which then leads to bank problems/unnecessary financial freak outs), and don't even look at my house. When B is sleeping, I am resting. Note that I didn't say sleeping. If I start to fall asleep, it's guaranteed that he will wake up within 5 minutes. It's not worth it anymore. I just rest. He is such a light sleeper that I hate to even attempt to do stuff around the house. He still naps in the swing (don't judge) most of the time and that is right in the living room so he hears everything. So, the house is gross, laundry is piled up, and dinner is a last-minute thrown together thing most of the time but we are surviving. Chris works his tail-end off for us so he is not home many nights, so by the time I get both boys down, I am done. 

Eventually the house will get clean but right now I am just soaking my boys up and trying to function on 8 hours of very broken sleep. They are so cute together. Logan is so sweet with Benjamin and Benjamin just watches everything Logan does. 

Seriously. Could they BE any cuter? (Shout out to Chandler from Friends)

All these pictures are from a session we did a few weeks ago with Chunky Monkey Photography. Several friends have used her and the pictures are always great. We decided we were overdue for family pictures since we haven't had them done since Logan was, oh, 2, I think. Benjamin wasn't smiley and was very distracted by all the cars in downtown Fort Worth, Logan was fine (he was bribed with a new Skylanders shirt, and I was a ball of stress (what's new, right?). But they turned out great (although I way over-analyze/criticize everything--especially myself) and I am so happy we did it.

Now, onto the craziness that is Thanksgiving and Christmas! I can't even think about Christmas yet. Halloween decor is still up--again, don't judge.

Halloween 2013

Logan was VERY into Skylander Giants this year (a video game for those of you without young boys). For once, he was pretty decisive about his costume. He wanted to be a Skylander Giant, but wasn't real specific about which one, so when we saw Tree Rex at Target, we went with it. Done. No fuss, no muss. Not my first choice (I loved last year's robot costume), but it was what he wanted and it was easy.

Robot 2012
For Benjamin, I just went with cheap and easy (actually free since T-Luv bought it)--a cute furry monster.

We did a couple pre-Halloween activities--Keller's Spooky Kooky Castle (I wasn't impressed--NRH's Hoot & Howl is MUCH better) and a local church's Trunk or Treat. Benjamin slept through the majority of both but Logan loved it all.

The best part of Halloween by far (in Logan's eyes) was trick or treating with his BFF (and future wife, according to him) Reagan. Those two are obsessed with each other (in a good, cute, normal, friendly way) and I love that. Lindsey (Reagan's mom) and I have been best friends for over 20 years, so to see our kids become best friends is awesome.

It was a great Halloween--Logan came home with ALOT of loot, the majority of which was promptly exchanged for a new Skylander character the next day (yes, I'm THAT mom. Get that candy out of my house!).