Monday, October 31, 2016

Halloween Parties and Pumpkins

I have officially lost the Halloween costume battle.  In the past, Palmer had (or was steered towards!) creative costume ideas.

This year, I thought I had a ringer: Grace could be an Olympic gymnast...
...and Palmer (our swim team star!) could be Michael Phelps.  Brills, right?!?

Nope.  Palmer wanted to match every other five year old on the street and be a ninja.  
Well, I got over my controlling behavior when I saw how much he LOVES being a ninja for this year's costume choice.  He is just so proud of his stealthiness in black.
We hosted our annual playgroup Halloween party again this year.  It's so special to still get together with this same group who have dressed in costumes together since they were 6 months old.  Now, we are one big motley crew.  We may now live spread out all over Dallas and the older kids are in different kindergartens.  But, the friendships are still special and the times together are so sweet.
(It cracks me up that Palmer distracted all of the kids in the photo above.)

Meanwhile, Aunt Samantha will be proud to note that I did move away from my traditional sticker pumpkins and actually let the kids carve a real pumpkin this year.
Now that the kids are older, it wasn't such a daunting idea to bust out the knives and open the pumpkin up this year.  If only the dang mosquitos wouldn't still attack us while outside in October.  Ugh.


Saturday, October 29, 2016

When GRACE Wants To...

Rookie parent mistake.  I assumed that what works for one child will be the same for the other.
Based on how Palmer's potty training went, I figured we would potty train Grace this past summer.  I quickly learned that Grace wasn't interested or ready this summer.
Now that we are well into the fall, I saw indicator signs that Grace was more ready and cleared my calendar for an upcoming three days of intensive training.

Well, guess what? Miss Grace likes to do things on her own terms.  A week before my scheduled training, Grace declared, "I need to go potty!"  And then she did it two hours later.  And again.  And again.  And just like that, Grace potty trained herself.

We were out of town at a friend's lake house and had to go into the local town to buy some panties.
See you later, diapers!

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Stereotypical Fall Post

It's that time of year again...pumpkin pictures and such.
Palmer and Grace patiently cooperated with all of my photo-taking antics at the Arboretum, even though all they really wanted to do is go run around and jump on the pumpkin piles.  
(Don't worry, they got to run around and explore, too!)
Aunt Samantha and Gram were in town to join us in the pumpkin fun...
Wild West Day at Grace's school.  Oops, didn't mean to make that shirt so hoochy when I tied it...

Have you seen those cute little Halloween houses at Trader Joes?  Palmer used his own money to buy one and we thought it would be a fun project at home.  Well, those little suckers are nearly impossible to assemble.  We tried and tried and tried to keep the house together and upright.  At first, we had luck...

But alas, the dang house wouldn't stay upright and we scrapped that plan for "decorating Halloween cookies shaped like a house!"

Happy nearly-Halloween.  C'mon cooler temps. We are tired of 93 degrees.


Thursday, October 6, 2016

Fall with Construction

Our fall has been a combination of cautiously enjoying some of the cooler days (while always expecting it to warm right back up to 100 degrees outside) and avoiding certain parts of the home under construction (our new normal).

Our stairs and master bathroom are completely covered in tarps these days while the master bathroom remodel is underway.  I hope to have the bulk done in the next 2.5 weeks, but meanwhile Rick and I have moved downstairs to the guest room and the kids are walled off from the chaos upstairs.

What's the price of keeping the kids cooped in the playroom one afternoon so that they weren't in the way of some tile demolition?  Getting every.single.toy.out.
Meanwhile, October in Texas means pretending to drink pumpkin spice lattes while it's 90 degrees and yay, we can kinda be outside for more activities.

Hiking at the Trinity River Audubon Center:
Annual fishing tournament at the club.  Rick told me Palmer and he didn't catch a lot of fish because they didn't have the right kind of pole.  Umm.
Fall soccer... Palmer isn't the star player at this point in his childhood.  More like, he is the kid who makes the kids rowdy about off topic items while sitting on the bench.  Once on the field, he prefers to "stay back in case the ball comes to me" instead of going after it.  Sorry, Aunt Amanda.
Our buddy turned 5.5.  Here's the birthday photo with Mr. Elephant.
"Mom, take a picture like this.  It will be so funny..."
Nana and I took the kids to the Plano balloon fest one evening.  I had memories of going as a kid and thought it would be fun.  When I told Grace and Palmer about it, they were kinda ho hum.  Then, I told them we were taking the DART rail to get there.  WHOOO HOOOO.  That was the key to fun, apparently.  
Unfortunately, conditions were too windy for a balloon launch, but we did get to see some sky divers join the field.
Knee socks(!)...
Sneaking naps in brother's bed while he's away at school... (Both kids found this to be hilarious!)
Kindergarten germs...
...And back to the construction.
It's going to be so worth it!