November 28, 2010

Gobble! Gobble! Gobble!

For the first time since we lived in NYC, we were home on Thanksgiving Day. We got up early and successfully completed the Turkey Trot. We walked there and back so we technically walked about 7 miles when it was all said and done....felt great! We had a blast and I would love to make this a tradition but probably will be hard as we typically won't be home on Thanksgiving Day.

Lots of people! I think they were expecting between 15 - 18,000.

I think Clay's "jogging" shoes could possibly be considered vintage at this point. Not even kidding. I believe this shoe is from 1995 or 1996. They're still going!

We spent the rest of Thanksgiving day with friends- Kristen & Kevin, Soumya & Jesse and Erika & Keith. We had such a wonderful time! Nothing like good friends, good company, good food and good memories! The cold front came through but it was actually nice. We had our Thanksgiving meal out on our covered patio.

As usual, the kids were great! Gaines made a perfect table decoration there at the end....better than a cornucopia! Lola helped keep a smile on every ones face throughout the evening with her sweet/fun-loving personality!

Gainesy's winter attire is not so good at this point. OBVIOUSLY, need to invest in some gloves (those are socks on his hands in the pic) and maybe even a coat. Wasn't quite ready for the "cold" front. Thankfully he has plenty of baby fat and rolls to keep him warm. We had a hat though...LOVE IT! Ironically, his hat kind of looks like his Daddy's hair.

The next morning we got up and head down to my parents ranch to spend the weekend with my family. There, we had more great food and great company! It's always fun to get the cousins together to play. There's nothing like watching them all grow up together. Next weekend we'll head back to Dallas for Curry's 1st Birthday! I can hardly believe seems she was just born. Here are the adorable girls!

We also ventured off on a "safari" in Glen Rose on Saturday. It was entertainment for all! Especially when the ostrich stuck his head in the car nearly causing Clay to have a heart attack. He still managed to snap a picture of the big guy as he was coming in the car...impressive! By the time we got to the halfway point, it was time to bust out the adult beverages as this was a very long safari. It was still a blast and Lola loved feeding the animals!

I look forward to continue the holiday fun! We'll pick out our Christmas tree this week and start getting all our Christmas decorations and lights up. Only 28 days until Christmas. I also hope to take the kids to see Santa either this week or next. Lola is biting at the bit to go see him asap! She's now saying she won't cry....that is yet to be determined!

November 22, 2010

Lets make it work!

Oh goodness...where do I start!?!?!? Well, I started work on 11/8 and there have been challenges that came along with this. First challenge is that we decided not to start Gaines in daycare until December so we had to figure out how I could get in an 8 hour work day and manage Gaines. The mom! So, over the past two weeks my mom has been in Austin helping us out. Of course, I still wasn't able to get as much done as I would like with a full house but we couldn't have done it without my her! With Thanksgiving upon us, I couldn't ask my mom to come in this week too so I'm trying to get in the 8 hour work day and manage Gainesy on my own. YIKES! I have to far so good (Of course, it's only Monday at 11:00 a.m.). I've pulled out all the accouterments...even those I don't like so the swing! I have to say, it's working like a champ. I've actually been able to work from 8:00ish and I'm still going. So, here's what today looks like from my perspective...

Gainesy has been sleeping away in the swing for hours. Something just doesn't feel right about this but you do what you gotta do in these challenging situations. In this case, that meant busting out the swing from the back-house, getting it cleaned up, putting in new batteries and putting it to work. Let me tell works! But, I still feel guilty that I'm basically hypnotising my baby to sleep.

How long should I let him stay asleep in this exactly?????

On a side note, funny story about this BLUE swing. When Lola was about 6 weeks old, I had a "pink" break-down. You may ask what in the world is that?!?!!? Basically, I couldn't stand the sight of pink anymore. When it comes to baby girls, EVERYTHING is PINK. Light pink at that! No, pink and more pink. I'm not a big light pink fan in the first place so when my house was becoming saturated with light pink, I had a complete and utter break-down that included tears and all. To help get the situation under control, I sat for two days straight and hand stitched the swing to no longer be pink...I went the opposite and orange. It really helped calm my nerves! Can you say...PSY-CHO! Yes, it's called obsessive compulsive. It really sucks to be OCD sometimes!

Anyway, back to Gainsey and work. We're making it despite the challenges. I'm actually very happy to be back to work! It's nice to feel needed in ways other than just being a 24/7 human milk machine. The other challenge was trying to figure out our routine. How to make it all work. It was hard enough to squeeze it all in when I was on maternity leave so how in the world will we make it work adding a 8-10 hour work day on top of everything else?!?!?!? I think we're finally getting there and figuring it out. It all came together a lot quicker than I thought it would. I've even figured out a way to squeeze in exercise. THANK GOODNESS!!! My nerves don't function too well without it!

Now, you would think trying to figure out what to do with Gaines and establishing a routine would be the biggest challenge...right?!?!?! Well, not so much! The biggest challenge has been trying to get the office organized so I can have a decent atmosphere to work in. Of course, this challenge would include Clay to a greater extent as the mess in the office is ALL his! He's what we call a pack rat! So, Clay stepped up to the plate and two weekends ago invested in some flat files to help him get organized. He worked for several hours one Sunday and this is where we are...

He rearranged the desks to help "give us more room to move around". Not seeing it at this point as I have a hard time getting to my chair without tripping, breaking an ankle or even killing myself but I'm sure he has a vision as to how it will all work in the end.

I think all this stuff is going in the flat files????? Not sure, haven't heard or been able to envision the long-term plan yet. Is there a long-term plan???? It's questionable at this point. And to think....I was hoping for a short-term plan. Not so much!

Gaines hypnotised with more stuff shoved in another corner due to the organization efforts. Every corner looks this way BTW.

This is my VERY small space. Enough room for my laptop, one piece of paper, stapler, highlighter and diet coke which always has to be in a koozie. I can't drink diet coke or any can or bottle of anything without a koozie. I have to carry koozies in my purse and even bust out with them at restaurants. Very weird tick I have among many. This one, however, drives Clay crazy. I can see is a little much!

Since I have to make great use out of my VERY small space, I have to use the breast pump as a place to put my notepad and calculator. Gotta love being a working mom!

Believe it or not, pictures don't do this mess justice. So, although we've figured out how to work through some challenges, we still have a ways to go to get through this challenge! Clay knows he's working on a tight time-frame before I mention something. If not, I'll likely blow a gasket due to the anxiety of the mess so he'll be getting on this pretty quick I would assume! Poor guy...this is a big challenge to take on!

With everything going semi-smoothly right now, I know our biggest challenge is yet to come. Next week when I drop the baby boy off a daycare for the first time will be just heart wrenching! My stomach already aches just thinking of it. This week, we plan to spend some time in the afternoons with all the teachers. They kept Lola too so I'm very comfortable with all of them but it still will be hard. I know my heart will break. But, it's nothing we can't get through. We did it with Lola and survived and we'll also survive with Gaines.

And, how dare I forget our other little (actually big) challenge...Little Miss Lola. Oh my! After I made the comment on the blog last week about her behaving so well, she's decided to start acting up again. With me returning to work and all the hecticness, I think we've lightened up on our disciplinary actions and she sensed that. This past weekend she was a little pill I have to say. She about drove Clay wacky and it's hard for the kids to get him to that point. I even had to go ahead and bust out with the whole "Lola if you keep acting this way Santa Claus will NOT come to see you! Do you want that???" UMMM...well, this didn't stop her in her tracks or even begin to slow her down...her response "Santa Claus isn't here right now!" and she continued on with her shenanigans. That little toot! Too smart for her own good. So, it looks like I'll have to bust out with the "Elf on the Shelf" tradition sooner than I thought and I'm NOT AFRAID to drag that little guy around everywhere. I'll post him right up on a restaurant table and tell her "Santa Claus is watching!" if that's what I have to do. I guess it's better than my usual which is "Lola, If you don't act right, the police are going to come get you". Oh yea! I say this and it works! Something so wrong about it but once again, you do what you gotta do. This is what I call parenting skills at it's very best. Just to emphasize exactly what you have to deal with when you have a very free-spirited independent child, here it is...

Lola at Tour de Fat watching the show. She wanted to take all of her clothes off. Although this was a very "free-spirited" type of festival and we want her to continue to explore her independence, we had to put a stop to it.

Then the little princess got tired and decided she wanted to get in the stroller (infant seat) for the walk to the car. She's something else! You can't help but love the girl...always entertaining!

November 18, 2010

The holidays are upon us!

I'm going to give my "token" line...I can't believe it's been so long since my last blog. I'm so over using this line but also can't resist! I started back to work....with this there have been some new challenges which translates into additional hecticness...more on this later. FUN FUN FUN! Poor Gainesy...he hasn't gotten much blog time...I gotta do a better job with this! He's doing so much now (smiling, cooing, laughing, etc) and is absolutely ADORABLE! Filled with so much personality. I could just eat him up! But for now, it's time to talk about holiday cheer!

Oh, the holidays are upon us! Typically, my anxiety level kicks it up a gear during the holidays but I decided I'm not going to let this happen this year. I'm actually very excited that the holidays are here and I'm already in full on holiday mode! Woohoo! Maybe it's because Lola really gets it this year and is excited about all of it. Or, maybe it's because we have a new little family member in our lives that brightens every day and will do the same with the holidays. I don't know but for the first time in years, I feel so very merry for the holidays to be here!

I can hardly believe Thanksgiving is next week! YIKES! Didn't I just have Gaines yesterday??? That was August and now here we are coming at the end of November. To get geared up for the holidays, Clay, Lola, Gaines and I are going to do the annual Turkey Trot. There's nothing like kicking Thanksgiving Day off with a 5 mile run prior to eating our faces off for 4 or 5 days straight. Can't wait for all the yummy food! Dressing, turkey, casseroles...OH MY! Literally, can't mouth is watering now just thinking about it.

I also can't wait to pick out a Christmas tree and decorate for the holidays. I told Lola she could pick out any tree she wants...the sky's the limit for that little girl (as long as it's under $75 so maybe not "any tree" and maybe there is a limit...she doesn't have to know that though). We've decided we're also going to go all out with the compound Christmas decorations this year. We had so much fun on Halloween, we thought it would be fun to really brighten up the compound with Christmas lights galore. YEA! I also can't wait for Lo and Gainesy to get pictures with Santa Claus. My mom asked Lo if she was going to cry this year (like last year) and she quickly responded with a "Yes!" but she still wants to see him. I told her she needs to start making her list. Oh, and I'm really excited that the whole "If you're not good, then Santa Claus won't come" line will actually work this year. Maybe this is a little mean but I'll do whatever during those desperate times when I want Lola to behave. She's actually had very few misbehaving moments as of late...thank goodness!

To kick off the holidays, myself, Gaines, Aunt Bobbie, Uncle Corky, my mom and my fab sister-in-law Brana all went to Chi Omega Christmas in Dallas...a shopping extravaganza with 180 vendors. Lo had to stay back with PawPaw....we just thought a full day of shopping may be a little much for her (no strollers allowed) so they had a good time at the aquarium. My Uncle Corky wouldn't let us get by without getting a picture with Santa. So, there we stood getting a pic with Santa Claus...a bunch of goofy adults (and Gaines who didn't have a clue of course). Despite how goofy we looked, it was fun!

I certainly do wish I wasn't posted up there in the front with Santa. Have you ever seen the Saturday night live skit with Chris Farley "Fat man in little coat"? that skit. Well, that's how I feel in this pic. Not sure how the two correlate but for some reason when I look at this picture and see myself, the "fat man in little coat" chant automatically comes to mind. I think it's because I'm in the front and the person in front always looks the biggest. Not only that, I was the biggest. With the exception of my uncle, all my fam members are no taller than 5'6 and there my 5'8 self was front row joe... large and in charge...not recommended! I mean look at me...I tower over Santa....and my mom who is standing up. Oh goodness!

Anywhoo, Uncle Corky only lasted through the Santa pic and lunch. As soon as he was done eating and when he realized he was the ONLY male in the entire Convention Center, he decided to skedaddle on out of there. I don't blame him. I mean we shopped so hard that my mom, Bobbie and Brana all had to buy another pair of shoes to put on b/c their feet were killing them. Clearly, I was the only "professional" shopper as I was fully prepared and wore comfortable shoes that would get me through the day! The shopping was great. Here were some of the vendors I really liked.

No Girls Allowed - - Anyone who has a boy knows it's very difficult to find cute boy clothes. This little shop had so many cute things. They carry some of my fav boy brands (Mini Shatsu and Fore). Unfortunately, their website doesn't do them justice. We got quite a bit for Gaines for is one of the onsies my aunt got for him that I'll pair up with leggings. Yes...I said leggings!

The Sitting Tree - Handmade, free-spirited design - - Fabulous knit pants, sweaters, hats, gloves, etc. Love these for Gaines!

The Paper Nest Co. - - I got a couple onsies here too. Clearly Gaines is stocked up on clothing. You can also have onsies custom made. Here is one of my favs that I thought was fun. I love pairing onsies up with a bold plaid or striped pant. This poor kid is going to kill me one day...bold plaid pants, knit pants, leggings...poor thing!

I also LOVED these fabric cards.

Thought these were fun too! Always looking for great cards.

Tracy Tenpenny - - I loved chatting with Tracy at the show. She's an Austinite. I also loved her jewelry design. You can find her stuff around at many local boutiques. So delicate...just perfect! I have my eye on several pieces but I love this piece to pair up with my G & L charms. Simplicity at it's finest.

To keep the holiday spirit going, my mom, Gaines and I are heading to A Christmas Affair in Austin this evening. The holidays give us an excuse to shop til we drop! We're doing a great job of that this year! It should be another fab shopping extravaganza with over 200 vendors. Even though I don't need anything and frankly don't really have the means to buy anything, it's always fun to grab cards and chit chat with the vendors. Hope to find some good ones tonight!

November 2, 2010

Is it Happy Halloween yet?

I heard this statement every single day last week. Every morning the very first words out of Lola's mouth would be "Is it Happy Halloween yet?". Then, every afternoon when I picked Lo up from school, she would run up to me and say "Are we going trick-or-treating?". Finally, on Friday, I was able to tell Lola it wasn't Halloween yet but it was the day of her big Halloween party at school. She was biting at the bit to put on her clown costume and take the cookies she made (with sprinkles and all) to all her friends at school.

Lo picked out her costume all on her own this year. It was a tough call between a bumble bee and clown but in the end she decided on the clown costume because she wanted to carry balloons. I don't blame her...balloons are cool...especially for a little kid!
We continued to talk about Halloween all weekend. We went to Tour de Fat on Saturday which was fabulous! I mean who doesn't like a carnival full of entertainment and good beer??? It really got us all in the Halloween spirit due to the Carny theme/show and all the funky/fun Halloween costumes on all the people.

Finally Sunday arrived and I was able to answer the "Is it Happy Halloween?" question with a "YES, YES, YES and we're going trick-or-treating!". It also made me aware that I still hadn't made Gaines clown costume and I only had hours left to do so...YIKES! Luckily, I was still able to pull it all together. Below are some pics from our Halloween fun!
Sweet babies! Lola loves to kiss her baby brother. It's really awesome when she goes in with a big cough cough right in his face and then kisses him. Between Lola constantly kissing him and the dogs constantly licking him, I can't believe Gaines still hasn't gotten sick. That's what I call a tough immune system! Maybe the breastfeeding is actually paying off.

I ran to Hancock's on Sunday afternoon and sadly found they were completely picked over. I pulled what I could and decided to "Make it work!" as Tim Gunn would say. I actually put it all together in less than an hour. I think it turned out real cute and was pretty proud of my crafty work especially considering I'm not all! I hope to make time to make both kids costumes next year....not likely but I'll make it a goal!
Sleeping clown!

This Halloween was so great as Lola was really in tune with what was going on. She LOVED, LOVED, LOVED trick-or-treating and did not want to go home. Now the key is keeping the candy away from her. Clay basically does not allow Lo to have candy EVER so all the candy around is really driving him wacky. We're only allowing her one piece a day. So, every eve after dinner, she gets to go into her pumpkin bucket and choose one piece of candy for dessert. I'm also slowly but surely throwing some of it out as we go so we don't have to do this for the next 3 months. Also, I don't want to eat it and will if it's here. It's really gotta go quick!

Lo waits patiently! The "patients is a virtue" lesson that we try to engrave in her head daily is really paying off here.

The disheveled clown!

Still was a long night of trick-or-treating!

There was also great Halloween spirit in the compound this year. We (when I say "we", I mean our neighbors Mark and Ari) set up camp at the compound and offered candy for the kids and beer/wine for the adults.

Even Benson, the dog, got a costume. Wish LB and Bella could have joined us but we feared they wouldn't do well with all the random costumes...specifically the monster masks.

We had a blast this Halloween. Already can't wait for next year!