Wednesday, October 30, 2013

BBQ Beef Pockets

Awhile back I had pinned this link for a blogger's Top 12 favorite meals of her husband. I finally got around to looking at it (you know I have SUCH a busy schedule) and the first thing I knew I had to make were these BBQ Beef Pockets.
They have four ingredients. Four. Though you do have to use your oven and stove, but the limited ingredient list and your husband/father in law thinking you are genius cook makes it worth a try.

I happened to have a leftover roll of crescents (thanks Tracey!) so I flattened out those and used them as the pockets vs. the pie crust mentioned in the recipe. For the last batch I sprinkled the tops with more cheese and that looked even more fancy.
In all honesty, I didn't like them. But I really don't like BBQ sauce or anything covered in it - like ground beef. But all males in my house loved them and I would make them again for them. They would be a perfect dinner for when I am not here.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Have you missed me?

I wish I could say my two week silence was due to something really cool but alas, it was not. I guess you would know that a woman who regularly uses the word 'alasa would not be jetting off on a Grecian holiday or anything. 

I write blog posts in my head daily, especially when I am trying to go to sleep. But writing them and actually sitting down to write them are two totally different things. I am so dead tired after getting the boys to bed all I want to do is lay on the couch and read other people's blogs. 

Anyway, it has been business as usual around here. 

We have been hitting the zoo for birthday parties.

 And visiting with my Papa who just moved to Houston.
We decorated his apartment and I think the other residents really enjoy the cockeyed pumpkins, don’t you?
 This happened to James’ hair after nap one day.
Oh and speaking of hair, I have been curling mine. Huge, I know. These are the things I do when I don’t have an actual job to keep me occupied. I craft and mess with my hair.
Aren't I professional blogger now; taking photos of myself in the car just to show you my hair? I had to take about 15 to get one where I didn't look like a complete fool. This one is only mildly foolish.

James  is not impressed with my hair. Or anything for that matter.
The boys took school photos. Unfortunately Zach had fallen and scraped up his head the week before. But as is my rule with school photos I bought them all anyway. My babies look precious and it is a snapshot in time - the time when my four year old thinks it is fun to hop on logs.

I did this to James.
 And we saw bunches of friends and drove pink cars into fences.
 You know, pretty typical weeks for a stay at home mom.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Finally I can paint again

Last week I shared this article on Facebook basically yelling at everyone up North who is all "pumpkin this" and "pumpkin that" since here in Houston, we are still sweating in our shorts. But finally last weekend the humidity broke and while it is still in the 80's and 90's, I don’t feel the need to wring out my hair when I come inside.
Literally the day the humidity dropped I raced outside to get started on a project a year in the making. Don’t get too excited, it is only a year in the making because after I purchased this Ikea stool (and my dad put it together), I then went back to work full time and dropped all crafts.

But not now people! I have this kind of time.

I knew I wanted to paint it white and “dip” the legs. You don’t know what dipped legs look like? They are ALL over Pinterest
Basically you just paint part of the stool a different color like it was “dipped” into that color. I couldn't really find a photo showing exactly how I thought the stool should be painted. I didn't like how little of the legs were dipped in this one and this one.
 Or how the top only is dipped in this one.
Not my vision.
I wanted more of the legs to be a different color, so I painted to just under the first step.
As Chris so kindly pointed out, technically, I could have physically dipped each leg into the full can of paint I had vs. taping and painting. Not helpful, Chris. Not helpful.

For a $14 stool and zero cost to change it up, I like it. And it is the perfect height for James to get up onto the bed in his room for some stalling prior to naptime casual book reading.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Sunday Funday

A couple weekends back we got together our oldest group of friends, otherwise known as West Dallas Palace crew. The core group either went to college/high school with Alex, college with me (OK one person - hi Laura!) or college with Alison. That group lived at the same apartment complex near downtown Houston right after graduating college. It was through this group that I met Alex. We have added other friends, husbands and wives, and now kids.

But of course we don't all live within walking distance of each other. We are spread throughout the city and don't get together as much as we used to, meaning Friday and Saturday nights, typically at Bronx bar or Baker St. dropping it like it was hot. Alex would be so embarrassed I just wrote that if he ever read the blog. Which he won't. And we dropped it sooo much. So much.

Now this is what we do.
We blew up the water slide and the mini-splash pad and had a potluck dinner.
It was almost the death of the water slide when the spray function broke as Alex was putting it together. Luckily three engineers and an accountant figured out a work around. I would like to comment that it took longer than I would have thought...but I was "helping with the baby" inside aka watching KK hold her baby and comparing yoga stretches, and was not available to help.

Baby William is hiding because his mom put him in a Woody (from Toy Story) bathing suit. Like I have any room to discuss embarrassing children's clothing, I know. And he was the cutest Woody I have ever seen.

My favorite redhead, Miles, really enjoyed the splash-pad. I mean, who wouldn't?

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Too many children

What is the correct ratio for children to adults in the pool? Because I think we have surpassed it. Who are all these children?
My friend Ashley has a great pool with a shallow ledge and tons of shade. She invited the boys and I over during the week to swim, as well as our friend Jen and her kids. I don't think she really thought we would all show up. Oh how wrong she was.
We slowly trickled in, with the boys and I getting there first. Then Jen and her two, plus her niece, rolled in and it was a hot mess. I think we all kept pretty calm but when the big ones started jumping off the rocks and the babies kept trying to drown themselves on the ledge we had to pack it in.
 
Ashley's husband brought us all pizza which we ate on the porch. Which meant the kids were determined to go into Ashley's nice clean house.
They stood at this window whining to go in until we finally had to cave. They had beat us down.

I might have stayed too long and had to drive home two tired, whiny children myself. I am still getting the hang of these play dates and can't seem to figure out when to leave.

Surely I will figure this out soon, right?

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Just be normal

I am still loving my schedule since I get to spend Tuesday and Thursday mornings with James. We are only alone for about three hours and we make the most of it. But, as my sister so kindly pointed out, I can't just be normal and go to Gymboree or Little Gym or music class, no, we are all over town checking out the free stuff the city has to offer.

Well, the zoo train is not free, but at $3 it is close.

 Playing pirates at home is totally free and we do that a lot.
 Taking walks and eating snacks, also totally free.
 Laying down, shoe-less, on the floor of the doctor's office, OK not free. And gross.
But toddler yoga at the downtown library last week was free. And weird. We were late but it didn't seem to matter. It was basically a bunch of under 2 year olds running around. James grabbed a ball and joined right in. We read some books in the kids library after and had lunch with Alex. Look quick, James is smiling.
Thursday we went to storytime at a cute, little (and I do mean little) bookstore with our friends Nadine and Parker. Totally free except that I can't get out of a book store without at least two books. But that doesn't really count, right?

 James wore this hat under duress.
We also spend a lot of time in the car. A lot. James has taken to wearing these freebie sunglasses saying it is "too bright". I am pretty sure they have zero UV protection and he kind of looks like that douchy guy in high school who thinks he is being very funny by trying to look goofy. Come on, you know the type I am talking about.
But clearly he is not as he looks precious in those terrible sunglasses.

Owls vs. Owls

This weekend once our schedule was wide open, thanks to the vomit in my car, Alex noticed that Rice was playing a 6pm home game. We had such a good time last year, we thought it would be a good Saturday night activity. So we decided to head up there to have dinner at the game. This might not be a normal thought to for any other college game, but the Rice stadium has Chick-fil-a, Papa John's, Prince's hamburgers, Marble Slab AND beer. It is like a picnic you pay to get into.

I went into the 3T box and pulled out the jersey I got Zach last year which fit James just fine. That one is not skinny. But that meant that Zach didn't have one. I went to Academy during nap time in search but had no luck. So I did what any normal person would do and made one. 
I used an undershirt Zach threw into my bag at Target, some left over iron on paper from the Koman shirts, and my fancy new cutting tool. This is totally, totally normal. The scale is way off, which bothers me to no end, but given my last lesson in controlling....I let it go. And Zach was just happy to have a shirt to match his brother's.
I snuck in some juice boxes for the boys and the gate checkers could have cared less. Oh and this is about 30 minutes into the game. It has started, don't be confused.

 Slightly better representation on this side.
The beauty of a Rice game? You can just lay down on the ground if you don't feel well because your parents have taken you to a Rice game with a stomach bug.

James spent the entire game asking where the owl was. The entire game. Luckily the Rice Owls were playing the Florida Atlantic Owls so there was an owl on each side.
Alex took them down front to get closer to the players and the owl. Unfortunately the owl thought James was friendly (his mistake) and tried to hug him. James freaked out. Which I actually think is rational considering a man-sized stuffed owl with wings was coming towards him.
They also have a "Kidzone" at the stadium with a bounce house, face painting and shaved ice. Seriously, this is just like a fancy picnic. Both the boys got to make their own shaved ice flavors. James was a big fan of his. Once he couldn't reach it with his mouth I suggested he drink it. Why, I don't know. It was already their bedtime.

But he would take a sip, lick his lips and say, "Delicious" with his little lisp. He took it very, very seriously.
video

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

When my vision crashed and burned

This weekend was my niece Charlotte's third birthday party. I had prepared all the decorations, including goodie bag stuff and food labels to drive with us up there on Friday. Look, it is all packed and ready to go.
When Lauren and I were texting last Sunday she said she was feeling overwhelmed with the party coming up, plus working full time, plus taking care of two small children, a husband and two dogs. (I might have added that last part). I offered to help and prayed she would say yes. By the time she did I already had a Pinterest board started and my vision was coming together. I was a Party City, Michael's and Jo-Ann's all before 11:00 am on Monday.
All during the week, anytime my children were in school/napping (including when I would have been writing blog posts) I was cutting styrofoam balls in half (to make the moon, duh).
 Using my cutting tool to make Charlotte-nauts.

And buying clip art on Etsy to make the gift bag tags and food labels.

It was all coming together. I didn't cut any fingers making the moon centerpieces for the tables, though I did run through a lot of glue for the rockets and fire.
 Zach said the moons needed a flag so he whipped one up quickly for us.
 Lauren had purchased moon sand on Amazon, and I had the bags and labels ready to be filled Friday night.
 The last thing I did before packing up was to make the "moon rocks", aka popcorn balls.
You all know I was SO pleased with myself. Everything was darling. Fully coordinated and ready hours ahead of time! THIS is clearly why I can't have a full time job.

We loaded up the car and as we were cruising through downtown, I was reading a book to the boys in the backseat (can't you just picture it) when Zach projectile vomited. All over himself, his bear and my car.

I stuffed some wipes in his face trying to contain it and stem the onslaught as Alex started asking if I want him to just pull over or turn around. I refrained from calling him the names I wanted to and told him to turn around. Clearly we were not taking a puking kid to Dallas.

Well, hell. What about the party?? I had all the supplies! I began to hyperventilate a bit. It could have also had something to do with me breathing only through my nose while riding backwards in the car trying to clean up vomit.

I just could not believe this had happened. We were all exposed to a stomach bug over a week ago. I thought for sure we were in the clear. And I have never been solely responsible for someone else's party before! Are you kidding me?

So I knew the only thing to do, after checking into flights for just me, was to run to the FedEx store and have the box of supplies overnighted with 9:30 delivery. Did I mention the party started at 10? Yep, but I had to do something. I had to try to get it there.

Lauren was remarkably calm about the whole thing. She, in turn, went to Target and got replacement things for all the stuff I had sent just in case.

The box did arrive just before they were going to leave so she could use the moon sand bags and favor tags. Her mother-in-law and sister-in-law put together the moons at the start of the party, which made me very, very happy.
Though I don't know why this rocket is going the wrong way....
Doesn't matter. I was just so glad they could use some of it. My mom sent me pictures of it all as well, which I appreciated it. 

And look, no one is even noticing the things we didn't have, they are just having fun, which is the entire point of these parties anyway, right? Especially for the sweet birthday girl.

I feel there is some lesson in here for me about not being able to control everything, no matter how hard I try.

Or, it could be to have everything finished by Thursday night, complete with diagrams for the tables, in case of such an event.

I am still thinking on it.