Thursday, August 30, 2012

The Great Outdoors

We have loved every minute in our new home (well, except for the armadillo and the dead scorpion I found by the breakfast table...).  One of our favorite things is how quiet it is in our neighborhood and having backyard space again!  After 2 months in a rental with no outdoor space, the boys were ready to play outside and get dirty!  We have enjoyed throwing on their "outside shoes" after dinner and enjoying time outside when it is not so hot.  Here are some pictures from our evening outside tonight.

It was a beautiful night and I love how the tall trees in our neighborhood look against the blue sky.

Caleb working on some yard work while wearing the Crayola Sidewalk Chalk 3D glasses.
I guess he thought they looked like safety glasses?

Oh yeah! Having a testosterone moment.

Joshua's favorite outside activity is petting the neighbor's very friendly cat, Eliza.  He calls her "Wiza".  She looks like she could have been a litter mate for our cat Ginger.

My big boy posing with his gatorade sippy cup! Gotta stay hydrated in this heat!

This week someone started building on the lot across the street from us.  So far Joshua has been able to nap in spite of the excavation noise during the day, and his room is closest to the street!

The boys have enjoyed watching the heavy equipment from our playroom and checking on the progress each evening once the crew leaves.

Bryan & Caleb headed over to our neighbor's lot

Caleb said, "Maybe if I jump it will make smoke when I land." 

When you live on a not so busy street, it's totally ok to sit down in the middle of the road to get the "smoke" aka dirt out of your shoe.

We have added some flowers to the front of our house and the porch and love how it looks!

I even got my sweet Joshie to pose by my new bougainvillea.

Hot Lava Soup

Last night I planned to make chicken tortilla soup for dinner after a long day of unpacking box after box after box of nonsense.  Caleb was getting a little rowdy, which is typical for him (and most kids!) around 5pm.  I decided to ask him to help me cook to keep him from tearing the house down and knocking his brother over in the process.  

Caleb was thrilled to help cook and I was reminded that I need to include him more in things like this.  It kept him out of trouble so we both stayed happy and positive, it helped him to practice focusing on a task and following directions, and he used some fine motor skills too.  Plus I had some company in the kitchen!

I let Caleb pour ingredients into the pot and help stir.  While I was cleaning up, he continued to stir the soup and I heard him coaching himself saying, "Now just stir up this HOT LAVA very gently....".   Mmmmm, hot lava soup!  I didn't care what he called it as long as he was helping and not making a mess or getting hurt!

And this is what Bryan & Joshua did while we slaved in the kitchen:
Enjoying an episode of Little Einsteins on the couch
(Joshua's favorite show & new obsession)

Caleb was happy to eat some of the soup at dinner along with his mac n' cheese.  He declared that is was "very very good" and I'm sure his willingness to try it and his opinion of the soup was influenced by the fact that he was my sous chef! 

Monday, August 27, 2012

Around the House

Today was a low key but productive day filled with visits from contractors and projects around the house.  We had our alarm activated (stay away, burglars!) and had the plumbers come out to fix a couple things.  Bryan also got several projects done around the house like hanging pictures and curtains.  We have yet to find the box with his cordless drill in it so luckily my Dad brought us his to borrow in the meantime.

I've felt crummy and sore most of the day and had a lot of back and neck pain.  Bryan and I could not figure out why my neck and back hurt so bad.  It just occurred to me after writing my last blog post that I *might* be hurting because I busted it down a slide while holding a 23 lb baby in my arms.  Hmmm, ya think that would cause some soreness??

Here are our highlights from not-so-thrilling today:

The boys were elated when some excavation equipment was delivered to the lot across the street

Sweet Joshie is a climber - and quickly realized he can climb on Daddy's S&W rocking chair.  
Is there anything cuter than a baby in footie pajamas? He has to wear these so he won't take off his pajamas and paint with his diaper in the morning.

Caleb's interpretation of the Eiffel Tower.  He reminds us daily that it is "in France".  He is sure to point out that there is an arch on the bottom just like the real Eiffel Tower, and also loves to talk about how the real one has X's on it to make it stronger.  Our little engineer.

Joshua after we let him eat a cookie from Chick Fil A after dinner tonight.  
He kept saying "Uh oh, cookie" in the backseat. 

Sunday Funday

We had a busy Sunday.  It was Kick Off Sunday at our new church, Grace Bible Church.  All of the students are back in town (hence the increase in bad driving around CS) so it was very crowded.  Our Sunday School class was having a welcome week for new visitors.  By the time we got to church, Joshua's nursery room was already full.  Luckily there was a large breakfast buffet in our class so we kept him quiet for most of the class by letting him shovel fruit, muffins and eggs into his mouth.

During the church service Caleb asked to come with us (we normally leave him in class for 2 sessions). In the past he just can't be quiet or still for that long!  We sat in the back and gave him crayons and paper.  He was a little wiggly during worship but enjoyed drawing for the rest of the service.  We are still working on his whisper volume but overall we were really proud of how well he did.  It seems that he always has a megaphone attached to his mouth regardless of where we are -- and no, we don't think he is hard of hearing -- just enthusiastic :)  Most of his "whisper talk" during church was about water towers, of course.

After church Joshua took a long nap and I got to get a pedicure while Bryan played with Caleb.  That afternoon we went to a local gymnastics place with our Sunday school class.  It was crawling with kids & their families and the boys had a blast!  They had pizza, desserts and drinks.  Perfect combo - come feed your kids and wear them out at the same time!

Joshua in the ball pit with Daddy

Caleb on the pommel horse

The gym also had a large bounce house thing that was more like a very long obstacle course.  Caleb wouldn't go anywhere near it but Joshua kept asking to go in.  It was a little too wild for someone his age but towards the end of the evening I decided to climb up a fairly steep inflatable ladder so I could take him down the slide.  I was a little leery - but let it be known that one of the staff members egged me on.  The bouncy thing looked kind of like this, although I'm pretty sure the climbing area/slide at the end was MUCH steeper on the one I attempted... or at least that is what I'm telling myself.

So I climbed into the obstacle course carrying Joshua and started to climb up on these little steps that were about the size of an ice cream sandwich.  I quickly realized that since I was holding him I had to climb sideways and using only one side of my body.  NOT GOOD friends, NOT GOOD.  

I got all the way to the top step and quickly realized I was about to bust it.  I tried to set Joshua on top of the platform but I was about to go down.  I grabbed him and held on as tight as I could while I slid down the stairs, bumping every step along the way.  Let me just say it was not my most graceful moment and I was mortified when I realized a group of Dads nearby watched the whole thing.  I ended up with some kind of rug burn on my left arm where I slid down.  Way to make a first impression!

You know that cliche saying "reach for the moon, even if you miss you'll land among the stars"?  I'm pretty sure I proved last night that if you are climbing and reaching for the moon at age 31 with a baby in your arms, you are going to land on your butt in a bounce house with a red rash on your arm and a bruised ego.  There were no stars in sight!!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Drowning in Boxes, Round 2

Last night Bryan opened the front door to discover that we have a "neighbor" who appreciates the beauty of our flowerbeds:  an armadillo.  God's creature or not, those things are nasty.  I should be the last one to trash-talk the armadillo since my elementary school mascot was an armadillo, but I just don't want them in my yard and especially not that close to the house!  I did what any normal person would do in that situation -- I took pictures.  Classic city girl move.

We have since discovered another spot in a back flowerbed where we suspect the armadillo has been burrowing.  Even worse -- it's by my bedroom window.  I've taken the first step to eradicate this little fella by googling "how to get rid of armadillos in your yard".  Google recommended coyote urine.  Sweet, I'm sure I can pick that up at my local grocery store.

On today's agenda:  moving the rest of our belongings from a 10x15 storage unit in Temple to our new house in College Station.  We are smart enough by now to hire movers so Bryan and Caleb met them at 9am at our storage unit.  Once the guys were loading their moving van, Bryan took Caleb to deliver a baby gift to our friends the Reckos and to see water towers, of course.  Caleb returned home full of facts about the 3 Temple water towers.

While it feels great to have all our stuff in one spot, it was also sad to see the house fill with boxes again and also be faced with my hoarder tendencies.  The low point was when the movers asked where I wanted the box that was labeled "VHS Tapes".  Why, why, why am I saving VHS tapes??

Bryan's parents came up to visit late morning and stayed thru late afternoon.  They were a huge help with watching the boys and keeping them out of harm's way while the movers carried boxes.  I tried out two new Pinterest recipes (Neiman Marcus Chicken Salad and Blueberries & Cream Pie) and deemed them both a success.

While unpacking boxes I discovered the a photo that should probably be included in Webster's next edition under the entry for "IRONY":

I may have an entire box devoted to my 'junk drawer' but gosh darnnit that moving box is labeled with a fancy label maker just to prove that I AM organized!  I am now faced with scenes that look much like this one in every room of the house.

We chose to tackle the boy's playroom first this afternoon.  It was a lot of fun to unpack the rest of their toys, especially since some of them have been in the attic for all of Joshua's life.  There were many toys Caleb had outgrown that Joshua is now ready to play with and it was like Christmas morning for him!  He especially loved the Little People toys like the farm, bus and airplane and was also thrilled to see some Little Einsteins rockets!  Without any prompting or instruction, he did lots of 'cooking' in the toy kitchen from my Mom & Dad's old house.  I love to watch him pretend!

Caleb was most excited to see his box of trains and train tracks.  It was one of the first boxes of toys that I packed since he hadn't played with them much, but he now has a renewed interest after seeing so many trains in College Station.  He was also pumped to see more things to build with, like a Handy Manny clock tower set he got for his 4th birthday from Nellie.  He built an entire city complete with water tower, smoke stack, a massive clock tower and multiple "fences" and then used the wrecking ball to tear it down.  He was very proud of his creation!

We had a mini lesson on gender equality after he started saying that women are not allowed to work inside the gates at the water tower.  I'm not sure where he got that idea but luckily Bryan coached him on that issue :)

And in true monkey see monkey do fashion, Joshua requested that I take his picture too even though his only involvement with this creation was trying to knock it down.

It's been a good, but busy, day at our house and tomorrow is jam packed too.  I better use the quiet evening hours to organize my junk drawer ;)

Friday, August 24, 2012

Here We Go Again!

I've decided to start blogging again since the death of Apple's Mobile Me accounts sent my old blog into the black hole of the interwebs.  I was a faithful blogger throughout Caleb's adoption and his first 2 years of life.  I fell off the wagon and climbed back on when Joshua was born, only to soon realize that I was too busy with a newborn and a 3 year old to even keep up with a slow moving wagon :)

So I'm back again, and have come up with a new blog that will serve as our family journal.  While most of the content will only be interesting to us and to the boy's grandparents, we do end each day with some pretty funny stories and a few good laughs around here.  It is my hope to document what our life is like with two small boys - and the things I say as their Mom that you would probably never hear come out of the mouth of a 'girl mom'! 

Now to introduce our little family for anyone who does not know us:

Bryan & Betsy

We've been married for 9 years and are high school sweethearts.  I (Betsy) worked in the energy industry as Bryan's sugar mama while he completed graduate school and medical school.  Once Bryan started residency, I became a full time stay at home mom.  Bryan now works as an ER doctor.  We hope you never have to see him because that means you are in bad shape!  I enjoy cooking, crafty stuff, planning the boys birthday parties and I hope to become involved in adoption ministry.  We are passionate about God, each other, our kids, adoption, and we love the Aggies too! We recently built a new home and hope to never move again!


Caleb is 4 years old (born 4/2008) and an energetic, funny, one of a kind kid.  Caleb was born in Kyrgyzstan and joined our family when he was 6 months old.  Caleb loves to build things and is very detail oriented.  His current interests are trains & railroad crossings, water towers (and other towers like cell phone towers, the Eiffel tower, etc) and crosswalk signs.  Caleb loves to eat fruit and his favorite treat is Sonic milkshakes.  Caleb is starting Pre-K for 4 days per week this Fall.


 Joshua is 17 months old (born 3/2011) and joined our family thru open adoption when he was just two days old.  We enjoy a fantastic open relationship with Joshua's birth family.  Joshua is adorable, a quick learner and pretty easy going.   Although Joshua loves to play anything that Caleb is playing, his own interests are airplanes and helicopters, Little Einsteins, Elmo, and dogs & cats.  Joshua loves fruit, cheese and sweets and could care less about pasta or vegetables!  Joshua is starting Mother's Day Out for 2 days per week this Fall.

Thanks for stopping by and reading as I start to blog again.  Hope you enjoy reading about the life and times of our little family!