Friday, February 10, 2017

Girls Gone Wild


All the way back in May, Lillian and I busted out of "the bubble" (otherwise known as The Woodlands) for a little girls trip to the zoo downtown.  We met her BFF Chloe there too!  The girls were so excited and it's their first trip to the zoo where they really "Got it" and enjoyed seeing the animals.  They ran and giggled like little girls do!  We packed a picnic lunch and ate early.   We knew it was going to heat up and the crowd was sure to pick up as well.  We are no fools, we know better than to be caught downtown in rush hour and that can start as early as 3pm sometimes!  If I've learned anything in Houston it's my way around the HOV lanes!  I can get to them from almost anywhere and its insanely gratifying to drive right by traffic that's at a full stop for miles and miles!  

The girls loved the meerkat tunnels and kept popping up to watch them while making sure we were still there to see them.


Belle was also along for the ride.  She's half as big as Lillian but she insisted that Belle wanted to see the animals too.


You can't visit the downtown zoo without a spin around Herman Park on the train!  It was a nice way to cool off in the ever increasing heat of Houston pre-summer summer.



We also got to visit the new Gorilla enclosure.  It was finished last summer but we didn't make it then.  They were lively and the girls were amused!  It really is crazy how human like these guys are.


The petting zoo was also a big hit!  The little goats and sheep will nearly run you over trying to get to you to eat your dress  love on you!






We had all the fun we could stand by 1pm and were able to hit the road before any hint of rush hour!  We made it back to the bubble safe and sound...until next time! 

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

(un) Lucky number 7?!?


Some might say that having a outdoor birthday party during what was likely the worst thunderstorm Texas has seen recently followed by the FLOOD of 2016 wouldn't be considered very lucky.  
Not this guy!
And apparently not most of his friends either! 
I had the genius idea to host Lincoln's birthday party at a park after school.  He wanted to invite his WHOLE class and I know how hard it is to have a birthday party commitment EVERY weekend.  So on Thursday afternoon, all of his class was invited to the park for an ice cream party!  As the afternoon approached, the thunderstorms were forecasted to keep getting worse.  I had several worried mothers call me and ask if we still planned to party. With 3 gallons of ice cream and 200 water balloons, I had NO indoor backup plan.  (Nope!  Not my house!)  


We arrived despite the imminent weather and set up the ice cream.  As school let out, the weather did just as expected and got MUCH worse.  By the time most of the kids arrived, it was somewhat like a lightening show or as the new 7 year said, "It's fireworks!"






Ice Cream and all you can eat toppings was a big hit with the first grade sector!  Most of them got way more toppings than they could possibly consume but that's half the fun apparently!  










Nothing could possibly be more fun than whip cream.  There wasn't a drop of this leftover and I bet you'll never guess why!


There was a small, and I do mean SMALL break in the lightening and we let the kids have at the 200 water balloons that I had pre-filled.  I envisioned them picking them up and tossing them a few at a time but Noooooooo, I said Go and within 30 seconds every single balloon was smashed into a shred of latex on the ground.  I guess it was a really fun 30 seconds!







By the time we finished up, the rain had started and I do mean STARTED!  It didn't stop for the next 3 days.  The days that followed led to severe flooding in our area and areas beyond ours as well!  It was intense and they even missed a day of school because of it! 


But apparently it was "the best party EVER!" as quoted just this week by Lincoln as we visited that park again and he reminisced of his Lucky Birthday!




Sunday, January 1, 2017

Amy's Army



This is Amy.  You've never met a sweeter southern soul than hers.  I've know her basically all my life.  We grew up cousins, living nearby in the same small town.  We spent lots of holidays at extended family gatherings.  In all the years I've known her I've never heard her utter a harsh word.  She is always eloquent and graceful and someone to look up to.  Never more so than now.  

Amy is fighting a battle with stage 4 melanoma. She's walking bravely down an uncertain path and is constantly giving all the glory to her God.  She's had some ups and downs.  She is currently in a clinical trial group at MD Anderson Cancer Center.  It requires her to travel to Houston bi-weekly for a YEAR.  Living in Alabama, those trips to Houston are tough.  On one of her trips, we got the honor of meeting her for lunch!  Along with another cousin of them family who recently moved to Texas , we picked her up and took her on a lunch outing, for ice cream and to the grocery store to pick up a few necessities.  I had my little arm candy with me for the ride!  She was our entertainment for sure.  She steals the show.   She wore her superhero dress for Amy!  She flew around with her cape fighting the good fight just like Amy is!  

We had a wonderful visit and we vow to stand with her and fight alongside her in this journey to KICK the Cancer!  

We are Amy's Army!






It's the end of the summer as we know it


We all know that Texas is perpetual summer.  There are 4 seasons, slightly different that other places. There is almost summer, mid-summer, still summer and Christmas.
We wound up the end of Summer 2016 with pool visits with friends 3 days a week, a trip to the Shack and a Concert in the rain.

The Shack is a quirky burger joint in Cypress that boasts of their junkyard playground and eclectic burgers with fried eggs, plantains or cheetos on top to suit your fancy.  They had me at fried egg.





I was peer pressured into buying some Gwen Staffani lawn tickets way back in the spring (aka almost summer) and as the date drew closer, people started dropping like flies.  Well, I wasn't one to let me $20 groupon ticket go to waste so I was IN.  Girls night without the kids, how bad could it be?
BAD!  It was HOT because it was still Summer in Texas but it was also pouring down rain.  I wavered a few times but unlike Lauren below, I stood my (muddy) ground!  I have never in my life been so happy to have been wearing my rain boots.  My flip flop friends were slip sliding all over the place and some even ended up barefoot in this muck.  I suddenly knew what Woodstock felt like minus all the drugs and free love!




We made the best of it and it turned out kinda fun.  In a messy, desperate-for-a-shower kind of way!

Next up, we made a last ditch visit to the Science Museum.  We have been several times to the butterfly exhibit but never into the museum.  I found some discount combo tickets and it made it worth it!  





Lillian's best little friend Chloe and her family joined us.  They are so cute together.  






We are pretty sure this is one of Jackson's long lost relatives.  Don't you see the resemblance?


We headed off to meet the teacher mid August.  New lunchboxes all around and we were set.  Lillian thinks she's headed to school also.  Not so fast baby girl, you'll be home with me a few more years!


Jackson moved over to the big kids side of the school in 5th grade,  complete with his own locker! Lincoln ended up getting Jackson's 2nd grade teacher and he was thrilled to have the same one!   Lillian thought the locker was her personal playhouse with mini door.  





The first day came quickly and while no one said they were ready for summer to be over, I think it was a nice change for everyone!  Lillian was sad to see them go but she settled into having mommy to herself quite well!  She waves goodbye from the door and says "ugga muga" from Daniel Tiger.  She also waits for them to return each afternoon.  


One hot afternoon after school, Lillian joined the neighborhood kids in a fight with the water hose.   I'm not sure that the hose didn't win but it sure looked fun!


We potty trained this summer and Lillian is just getting the hang of going alone.  Sometimes it doesn't work out quite right.  But hey, at least she's tryin!


Is it just me or is it quite the oxymoron that this book is called "Princess Baby" yet the one who checked it out and ripped it into tiny pieces is anything but a princess?  She begged me to read this book in her bed.  It was her favorite.  So I was astonished to come in to get her from nap and see that she had destroyed the public library book.  There was no recovery from this princess baby, the book had to be replaced.  


Lillian learned to ride her scooter.  She's pretty good at it too.  And the fact that she looks adorable doing it is a major bonus!  
Cheers to a great summer's end!
Hello Fall (otherwise known as still-summer)!!!