Wednesday, March 21

Museum of Nature & Science

Here are some pictures from our visit last week to The Science Place & The Dallas Museum of Natural History...

They all thought it was so cool that they were sitting on a "hand" chair:

Sydney playing in the waterworks area:

Samuel & Sydney riding a sheep in the "Little Urban Farm" exhibit:

Learning about different animals in their habitats:

And, last but not least, Sydney trying to climb a rope:

Sunday, March 18

Mom My Ride

My friend, Christy, said this is my car. Unfortunately, for the most part, she is right!

Friday, March 16

Thursday Thoughts...

We took the kids to the Museum of Nature & Science today. (Formerly the Science Place & the Dallas Museum of Natural History.) We had so much fun!! We went through the children's science museum first, which the kids always love. However, so much of it was cut off by the new Body Worlds exhibit that is going on right now. We originally wanted to go to that exhibit, but the ticket prices are pretty steep ($21.00/adult - $18.00/child), plus the line was incredibly long. It would not have been fun with 3 kids in tow! And, they love playing at the science museum, so we were happy doing that. After going through the museum, we watched Sharks at the IMAX theater. Sammy & I have been to the IMAX theaters in San Antonio & a different one in Dallas. However, this was our first experience at the IMAX in the Science Place. It was AWESOME!! The screen is domed, so you have to look completely up & backwards a bit to be able to see the very tip top of it. This theater was so much better than the others! The kids were in total awe & they even loved the sharks movie. We all agreed this was the highlight of our day! After the movie, we grabbed some lunch & ate outside by the (nasty) water. Then, we hit the Natural History Museum where the kids were fascinated by the dinosaur bones. By this time, they were getting a bit crazy, so we knew it was time to head home. I commented to Sammy how we have had such a fun spring break with the kids, without having to leave home & pay for a hotel! It's been a great week!

I'm going to share my new favorite food... Bertolli's pasta mixes. You know those commercials where the Italian chefs are all sitting at an empty restaurant table moping because they have no customers? And, they don't have customers because of the Bertolli frozen meals you can buy at a grocery store? Well, I tried one of their "Dinners for Two" the other day & there really is no need to go to an Italian restuarant. This stuff is excellent!! I ate the Chicken Florentine & Farfalle... WOW!! So delicious!

One last thought...

It felt good to walk through my neighborhood Albertson's tonight & hear another customer say, "This Albertson's has never been laid out well." THANK YOU!!! I have complained to Sammy & to a few friends that live over in this direction that the two Albertson's closest to me are both laid out so screwy! I can't stand to go shopping there & avoid them at all costs, when I have the time. Unfortunately, the closest Kroger is about 10 minutes away... quite a bit further than these crazy Albertson's. Anyway, I turned to this man & probably scared the heck out of him when I said, "I completely agree with you!" It honestly takes me forever to find one single item in that store. I have complained to an employee before, because I walked the length of the store several times looking for a tube of cookie dough!!! So frustrating! Now, I don't feel so alone in my frustration, though. Misery loves company...

Wednesday, March 14

Signs of Spring

Spending a fun day at Pirate Cove Playground!

Getting dizzy on the tire swing:

The boys can't get enough of it:

Happy Brothers!

Enjoying Spiderman popsicles from the ice cream truck!

Dirty mouth!

Samuel loves anything Spiderman!

Tuesday, March 13

Zoo Animals

Here are some of the animals we saw at the zoo yesterday:

Sydney, Samuel & Nicholas

Proud to be a Texan!
I took a picture of this drawing for Sydney. She is currently obsessed with unicorns!
And, last, but definitely not least... I could not pass up this photo opportunity!

Nicholas appropriately named it "Hippo Booties"!


It is really hard for me to believe that Sydney & Samuel turned 5 yesterday. REALLY hard! Five years ago, I gave birth to two babies. Five years ago, I cried the first time I saw how tiny Samuel was. Five years ago, I underwent my first & only natural birth and then a c-section 20 minutes later. Five years ago, I had some of the worst night nurses imaginable! Five years ago, I marveled at how much thick, black hair Sydney had. Five years ago, I witnessed the miraculous hand of God who formed two very perfect babies inside my tummy and allowed them to enter the world free of health problems.

Happy birthday to my sweet twins!

We had a very fun day yesterday! Samuel chose to go to Ripley's Believe It or Not!, so he could look for a toy he was convinced came from there. (A little boy in his class has a toy that he apparently told Samuel came from Ripley's.) However, we couldn't find that particular toy, so he picked out a bow & arrow set he had been asking for. And, Sydney found a unicorn doll that she had been wanting. Hard to imagine that we found both gifts the kids had been asking for at a Ripley's gift shop!
Afterwards, Sydney's choice was the Fort Worth Zoo, so we headed there. The zoo was so much fun & the weather was perfect!! We saw all the animals & exhibits. (Except the birds... I DO NOT like the bird exhibit! It reminds me of that old Hitchcock movie.)

And, for dinner, the kids decided they wanted to go to Chuck E. Cheese's. But, I thought of a better plan. (Mainly for Mom & Dad's sake!) So, instead, we took them to The Rainforest Cafe & had a great time! We all agreed the food & the atmosphere was so much better!

They had a wonderful birthday yesterday!

Now, I just need to finish planning their parties... ugh!

Christmas Photo...

I'm really late on this, but I wanted to share the cute Christmas photo of the kiddos that we used for our family card.

(My camera won't work with my fossil of a computer, so we always have to download them onto Sammy's laptop first, then transfer them to my computer. By the time we actually get around to doing all that, it's been several months!!)

Saturday, March 10

Love/Hate Relationship

I have a love/hate relationship with Daylight Savings Time! I'll start with the positives first:

In the fall, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE getting an extra hour of sleep! It's wonderful! And, sadly, it's probably the only time of the year when we're actually on time to Bible class the next morning.

In the spring, I like that it stays lighter outside longer. And, that's probably it.

Now, for the negatives:

In the fall, I hate that it gets dark so early! It's a hard adjustment for our family.

Now for the spring negative... LOSING AN HOUR OF SLEEP!!!!! I can't afford to lose any more sleep. Add that to the fact that it's light outside until after 9 pm, which makes it incredibly hard to get my kids to sleep on time. It's just plain not fun in the beginning. I love springtime, but I dread Daylight Savings Time!

So, remember to set your clocks forward one hour before going to bed tonight! And, good luck in the morning...

I Love Saturdays!

YEA!! It's Saturday & the kids let me sleep in a little later this morning! I love it that cartoons will keep them happy for a bit while I get more rest!!

And, I always find that I sleep better & more soundly when I know I'll be waking up to a clean house. Is anybody else like this? Last night, after I put the kids to bed, I finished the laundry, I swept & mopped our entire first floor (which is all tile... ugh!), I cleaned the kitchen & I put fresh sheets on my bed. Climbing into my bed never felt better! And, knowing that I didn't have tons of housework waiting for me when I woke up made me very happy! Today, I'm working on the upstairs. The kids' sheets are already in the wash and I think we'll clean out some more toys today. It seems that children's toys multiply overnight! My rule is that all their toys must fit into our one large toybox we keep in the guest room. However, they have quickly gotten out of control. We have some work ahead of us...

Yesterday, the kids & I went to the Library. We went straight to the kids' section, as we always do. I figure they're a little more lenient there with kids that don't whisper & don't always obey their mommies. Which is the case with Nicholas. I never remember the twins being so loud & disruptive in the Library when they were his age. For the most part, they were obedient & would quietly sit down to read a book in the children's department. Nicholas is an entirely different species! He can't remember to whisper & he likes to run around playing with all the different toys. I can threaten, I can use a mean whispery voice, I can swat his leg... it doesn't matter! He is a spirited kid! (Isn't that a nice way to say "stubborn & loud"?) However, my whole point of telling the Library story is to share the good news that we had a very friendly librarian check us out! Maybe it's just me, but most librarians I come across in the public libraries do not seem very happy to be there. (And, yes, I made this observation even before I brought my rowdy kids with me...) But, this librarian was so sweet & helpful. She was patient with the kids & smiled at them the entire time. I was completely impressed with her attitude. It was so refreshing!

On the way home, I couldn't get Nick's carseat to latch closed. It worked on the way there, but for some odd reason, would not latch at all when we got back in. I tried everything to make it work, but could not get it to lock in the buckle. So, I just had to settle with the plastic buckle that fastens at his chest. However, the kids did not like this one bit. They tend to get a little dramatic if the car is moving & not everyone is completely buckled. (I guess we taught them well!) Sydney was very worried that a policeman was going to stop us because we were not "following the rules". I told her that I thought a policeman would understand that Nick's buckle is broken and he wouldn't give us a ticket. (In this area, though, that's probably not completely true. These policemen are ruthless!) Talking about policemen prompted Nick to say something that he's said before. I've explained to the kids several times how policemen are here to protect us & to help us. We talk in the car about different ways that they do that... protecting us from bad guys, helping us find our way if we're lost, etc. Nicholas has it in his head that the policemen are going to help him in the potty. I have no idea where he got that from, but he is adamant! So, yesterday, as Sydney was worrying about the police stopping us, Nicholas piped up, "The policeman is going to help me potty." He's sure of it! Maybe I need to have Sammy dress as a police officer to "help" Nick finally master the big potty!! Doubtful...

Happy Saturday!

Thursday, March 8

Party Day

Today, the twins celebrated their 5th birthday at their preschool. Since their birthday is next week during Spring Break, we celebrated today! Samuel requested a cookie cake for his school celebration & cupcakes for his party at home. So, I ordered a small cookie cake from the Nestle Toll House Cafe. It was good, but way too rich!

On the way to the school, I stopped at Target to buy some party hats for the kids. Lo & behold, Target does not carry solid colored or generic party hats. In fact, Target does not have a very good party section at all! Well, atleast, the Super Target near me doesn't. I was so bummed. So, instead, I bought party horns because they were on clearance. $1.50 for 4 horns! TERRIBLE idea! When I handed them to the kids, all of them started blowing the horns at the same time. And, they are LOUD!! What in the world was I thinking? Eight kids all blowing party horns at the same time in their school classroom. TERRIBLE idea!!

Anyway, the kids loved the cookie cake & they had a great time.

By the way, do not bother to shop at Target while they are doing inventory. The shelves were so empty. Definitely not my best Target experience!

Wednesday, March 7

Allergy Season

Allergy season is in full swing! And, I am miserable! I never had allergies when I lived in South Texas. It wasn't until I moved to the D/FW area 9 years ago that I experienced my very first ever allergy season. Anytime the cottonwood starts blooming, my eyes start watering & my nose starts pouring! And, I always look like a mess because I have red, bloodshot eyes & a red, raw nose.

I did a study for Fieldwork Dallas about a month or so ago on this very topic. They paid me to sit & complain about my allergies. (No problem!) And, we had to tell them how we felt about a new allergy product advertisement they were testing. I realized at that focus group that my allergies were extremely mild compared to so many of the other ladies sitting around the table. Mine only come twice a year... at the start of spring & the start of autumn. I suffer for about a month or more each season, but then I'm pretty much done. So many of the other ladies suffer year round. They stay on medication daily. That has got to be miserable! I can't imagine having a headache, itchy, watery eyes & a runny nose all year long!

And, in addition to the misery of allergies, my skin started itching like crazy yesterday. This usually happens to me at the start of winter. (Something else I didn't have in South Texas... dry skin.) But, lately, my skin has been so red & raw from my constant scratching. It's hard not to scratch when it brings so much relief at that very moment. I have no self-control... I may need that karate class more than Samuel!

Tuesday, March 6

Karate & Heaven

Samuel went to his second karate class today. He LOVES his class, but he has a hard time being completely still. He is so excited to be there & he just smiles & does a little dance the entire time. However, I think the structure & demand for respect will be wonderful lessons for him to learn. Not that we haven't tried at home... we just haven't had exactly the results we'd like to have. I'm hoping his karate class will teach both him & me a little more about self-control & respect. We'll see...

Samuel has always asked a lot of questions about Heaven. He's very curious about it. He's fascinated with outer space & he thinks of Heaven as this wonderful place up in outer space. (Who can argue with that?) However, his statement the other day totally threw me off:

"Mom, I wish I could die today & go to Heaven to be with Jesus."

Okay, I'm trying not to take this personally. But, I'm wondering if he thinks his little 5-year-old life is really that bad that he already wishes to die?!?! Surely not. I know he loves Jesus & understands that when we get to Heaven, we'll be with Jesus eternally. So, I'm positive that's how he meant it. And, truthfully, as Christians, our hope is that Jesus will come back soon for all of us. But, I have a really hard time truly wishing for that, while still wishing that I'll live on this earth long enough to see my kids grow up & have kids of their own. Maybe my son has the right idea, but it is hard for me to see it that way. I just want him here as long as possible! I honestly didn't know how to respond to him, except to say, "But, I sure would miss you!"

I can't even think about it...

Monday, March 5

So much to say...

It's been a while & I've been BUSY!! I just thought I was busy when the kids were babies. I've begun to realize that life actually gets busier as your kids get older.

First of all, happy anniversary to my great husband!! We celebrated 9 years on Wednesday. We watched Amazing Grace at the Angelika Film Center in Plano... which is an awesome theater for watching movies, but not so much for eating! Sammy thought it was like a Studio Movie Grill type place, so we skipped the whole restaurant idea in favor of eating at the movies. NOT a good idea! They have pre-packaged sandwiches. And, that's pretty much it. I ended up eating a hot dog. Ewwww! He promises he's going to make it up to me. We'll see...

I LOVE this great spring weather we're having!! LOVE IT!!! The kids have been playing outside so much lately & they are having a blast! We are finally meeting more of our neighbors, which helps me to feel more connected to this neighborhood. In fact, there are 2 sweet 10-year-old girls who come over to play with Sydney & Samuel quite often. These girls have been so great to include the twins in whatever they do. When they play hide-n-seek, the girls each take a kid & hide with them. They treat the twins as if they were their peers, which I really appreciate! I'm sure, in time, we'll find more friends in the area closer to their age. But, for now, I am so thankful for these 2 great girls that my kids totally adore!

We also recently discovered this really cool park in Wylie. It's located behind the Wylie High School. It's called Pirate Cove Playground in Founder's Park & it is great!! The first day we went, we stayed for FOUR hours!! Honestly! The kids were having so much fun & so was I. This is our new favorite hangout.

Now, for some dark news:
As I was picking up toys in our backyard yesterday afternoon, I discovered a dead baby bunny rabbit in the middle of our yard. We have rabbits all over this area since there is a lot of brush surrounding us, but I didn't know we had a baby rabbit nest (is that what you call it?) in our backyard. (In my defense, our backyard is pretty darn big & I really only walk around half of it.) So, as I'm freaking out (because it's DEAD!), I start walking backwards away from it & look to my left to discover ANOTHER dead bunny. Honestly, I'm about to lose my lunch. Sammy wasn't at home, so I couldn't call him to come deal with it. And, the whole time, Dallas (our dog), is looking at me wagging her tail. That's when it hit me that she was my sweet, little KILLER!! I've realized that Dallas must have found this poor bunny nest/hole/den/whatever & one by one took the innocent little baby bunnies out & killed them. So, all this is running through my head when I stumbled across yet another... yes, you guessed it... dead baby bunny! Three dead baby bunnies. THREE!! In my backyard. When my husband is not home. With my black Lab looking expectantly at me for praise. Losing my lunch...!

I blame this on my parents who praised her for killing 'possums (or was it raccoons?) at their home this summer! It's your fault!! You turned my sweet dog into a vicious, blood-hungry monster! I will point the SPCA in your direction!

Moving on...
I saw The Holiday at the dollar movies with some of my girlfriends the other day. I wasn't really expecting to like the movie, because in all honesty, I'm not a Jude Law or a Cameron Diaz fan. But, I thought, what the heck... it's a buck fifty. Even if I hate the movie, it's great girl time. I LOVED the movie! I was so shocked at how much I liked it. I loved Jude Law, but I especially loved Jack Black! I've always thought he was so funny, but he is just wonderful in this movie. So fantastic! I highly recommend it!

I have got to go fold laundry! It looks like a clothes volcano has erupted on my sofa. They're everywhere!! And, it's always better to fold laundry when reruns of Scrubs is on...