Friday, April 30, 2010


Well, I survived another year. Wednesday marked the bit 3-2 for me. When I woke up, I headed to the kitchen for my morning Diet Coke and found the counter lined with goodies from Wes & the kids. There were sticky notes from Wes and one said, "make sure to wait for the kids and act surprised!" They had all gone to the store the night before to pick up a few little surprises and much to my surprise, no one had spilled the beans.
Austin was the first one to wake up that morning and he came into my bathroom and said "mama, are you ready to open your presents, it's your birthday!" Avery popped right up after that and soon we were all checking out my goodies. In the fridge were some adult beverages (for teh evening of course), in the freezer was an ice cream cake, Austin & Caleb had each picked out some flowers for me and my girly girl Avery got me some sparkly purple fingernail polish. In another bag was a gift from Wes that I had asked for, yet never expected to get. Yes, the day got off to a great start! I did have to go to work, but my coworkers took me to lunch and I can't say too much work was accomplished:-) When I got home from work with the kids, we found Wes waiting for the kids to help him plant flowers for a new flower bed I had requested. Then we loaded up for dinner with my parents and mother-in-law and ended the night on a high note - ice cream cake. So there was nothing fancy or overwhelming about the day, but I was able to spend it with the people I love more than anything. I was able to celebrate my life with the people who make life worth living!

Around the house

Mommy got a new flowerbed on her birthday!

We do haircuts, too!

Looking for ladybugs in the garden.

Monday, April 26, 2010

2010 UT Baseball

For those of you reading who don't know my family that well, then you don't know that my father, aka Grandpa Otto, is obsessed with baseball. Truth is, it is in his blood.... no lie. We all love him, but truth is there are few things in his mind that rank above America's favorite past time. I have grown to accept that grandpa will most likely miss the kids school functions due to baseball tournaments, but I know he'll do what he can to make it to every tball game and the kids are sure to have a designated pitcher any time they want to take a few practice swings.
One of Grandpa Otto's favorite annual events is "Brenham Day at the Disch." It's when the men of Washington County hook up their bbq trailers and take them up to the parking lots of the UT baseball field and bbq a full spread of meat - chicken, ribs, sausage.... the works. It's a tailgaters dream. The day is all about the three B's - Baseball, Bar-B-Que, and Blue Bell (ok, there are 4 - Beverages) and of course those all are favorites in Brenham. Depending on what is going on in Brenham, a large Cub crowd comes up to watch the Horns and overtime a large Austin crowd has followed in the tradition. The tradition also includes feeding the baseball team and their parents after the game.... and even with that, there still tends to be meat left over.
Our crew was able to take in Brenham Day at the Disch with Gpa Otto this year. Wes was part of the bbq crew so he followed in the UT tradition of getting there early. The kids and I made it down around 11:30am, 2 hours before game time. Shortly after, we realized that the night before at Uncle Jason's plus a trip to the park that morning made for very cranky kids, so I drove around for a while and let them nap in the car before we went into the game. Once we had somewhat rested kids, we were able to enjoy some college baseball. We got great tickets (Thanks, Matt) that were just rows down from the press box behind home plate and most importantly, in the shade. We couldn't have asked for the kids to do any better during the game. It helped that the game was over in under 2 hours - fastest college baseball game I've ever seen. At the end we stayed around to join in the traditional "Texas Fight". Hook 'em!

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream! After the game, the kids helped hand out Blue Bell to all the UT baseball players who came to the tailgate.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

1st dip in the new pool on Travis Green

There are so many reasons we love Austin - the sites, the sounds, the Tex-Mex, the memories, UT events, great friends and now we have one more reason - Uncle Jason's new pool! It is always a treat for us to go stay a night or two with Jason and Bruce. They take hospitality to the next level and I secretly love that I never have to lift a finger. Jason is a natural in the kitchen and cooks amazing dishes from scratch so we always leave a pound or two heavier. The kids now expect blueberry and cherrio waffles in the morning and they know exactly where to find his giant box of fruit snacks.
Last summer we stayed a few days at their house and to get some relief from the heat, we went to their neighborhood pool. Even though the pool was in the neighborhood, we still had to do all the pool prepping and loading - floaties, towels, extra clothes, swim diapers for Caleb, snacks, drinks, etc.... You moms with kids know the routine and how exhausting it can be. Well, Jason and Bruce both love to lounge by the pool, but prefer to do it without 45 neighborhood kids splashing around them so they took matters into their own hands and built a pool about 5 steps from their backdoor. I admit when they first discussed the idea, I was a bit skeptical about where they would put it and how it would look. That's what I get! The pool is perfect and totally completes their botanical garden. There will be no deep water diving as the pool only gets 3 1/2 feet deep, but it is perfect for cooling off, lounging, and playing with the kids. There backyard is a quiet little retreat now, one I hope we escape to often.

On Friday we headed to Austin and it was 8:30pm before we pulled into the driveway. The kids, who had found there swimsuits packed in the suitcase and insisted on putting them on for the drive, had one thing on their minds - swimming pool!!! They were held back a bit as Jason and Bruce made it known that they'd have to eat their supper if they wanted to swim. It was late before we ate, but time does not matter to 3 determined toddlers. 10:30pm was the perfect time for an evening dip. The water was a brisk 78 degrees - too cold for my blood, especially since the sun was already asleep. Wes and Jason were troopers and got it with the kids while Bruce and I supervised from the top. Austin, Avery & Caleb loved every minute of it and thanks to the cold water, the dip in the pool was a short one. They got to swim a little on Saturday too after the UT baseball game. I have a feeling there will be many more future swimming opportuities.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Like father, like son?

Painting w/ 3 toddlers

On the way home from school yesterday, Austin randomly said "mama, when we get home, I want to paint." My normal response would be to discuss anything but painting, hoping that they would all forget they even heard the word painting. Instead, I said "we'll see...." When we got home the kids had a snack and started playing outside. Wes had a church council meeting so he was MIA for a few hours. Painting popped into my head again and I decided "why not?" I got out the washable paints, a big cardboard box and let them do there thing. It started out nice and controlled, but by the end, well you can see the pics below.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Quick tid bits

Not quite sure where this week has gone. We are already half way through the week.... believe me I am not complaining. Caleb is on the mend. He started putting pressure on his foot yesterday and has been on the go ever since. I am still hearing "Hold me" in my sleep as those were his favorite words after his burn incident.
Other than that, our chaos has been pretty uneventful these last few days. A&A are becoming such independent little people. Mornings are getting easier as they have started getting dressed when asked and prefer to put their shoes on by themselves opposed to me helping. Of course when I am running later than normal, that is a little frustrating because on these days it seems to take them forever. They have also figured out how to buckle themselves into their car seats. This has been huge! Once they get in the car, I can run back inside and get whatever I forgot (usuallly something every day) and they are buckled in by the time I get back out and then we are off for school. Caleb has the top buckle down, but I still need to assist him with the bottom. He's just growing up way too fast!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Walking on hot coals....

A warning out there to all parents: do not let your children walk through a campfire, burning or not, barefoot. Duh??? Kinda like telling you don't let kids run with knives. It's common sense right? Well..... sometimes things just...happen.

As I was about to leave town on Friday to head out and see the campers, I got a call from Wes telling me to bring tylenol, ointment, and get a move on it. Uh oh! Come to find out, while A&A were napping, Caleb (who had napped earlier) was having a fun time feeding pistachios to a squirrel who was hanging around the campsite. Wes was watching him as he went back and forth from the camper to the squirrel. Yes, Caleb was barefoot, which is a little odd because he is our one child who prefers shoes on his feet at all times. Well, for some reason after several times of running back and forth to the camper in a safe route pattern, Caleb diverted from his course and headed straight for the campfire... right through the middle of the campfire that had smoldered overnight and was covered in ashes. He took a few steps and then SCREAMED! There was obviously a hot coal still under the ashes and it got our poor little guys left foot. Ouch! We are now doctoring a large blister on the bottom of Caleb's foot. He's been a trooper, and has enjoyed being attached to one of our hips. He's no lightweight!

Camping report

As was expected, the kids loved camping with daddy and Popo. I went out to visit Friday afternoon and the kids gave me a recap of what all they had done - played at the playgroud (a lot), fished on the boat, played in the water, fed the ducks, roasted marshmellows, played in the camper, ate a bag of cheetos..... the list goes on. The trip reaffirmed that when "fishing" with 3 toddlers on the boat, no real fishing takes place. Caleb enjoyed throwing his entire pole in the water, Austin preferred playing/torturing the minnows on the boat, and Avery... well fishing isn't her thing. The kids did enjoy a visit by Uncle Doug, Kelcie, Rocky, Jamie and cousin Kennedy Thursday night. They must have practiced the art of marshmellow roasting.... I got to taste test plenty as the kids seemed to enjoyed roasting, but not eating the marshmellows.
When it came time for me to leave Friday evening, I was not surprised to have an extra passenger in the car. Avery decided one night of camping was enough. We headed home, showered and slept in our warm bed. The boys came home early Saturday morning and brought home a new task for me.... laundry!
Kuddos to my hubby for not only taking the camera, but also taking pics.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Wes & the kids are camping

Early this week, Wes said that he and his dad were thinking of taking the camper out to the lake Thursday - Saturday. He then added the magic words "and we'll take the kids." What glorious words to my ears! Everyone reading knows that I love my kids with all of my heart and soul, but the little rascals wear me out! Time alone... at home.... is a rare gift.
The kids were ecstatic when Wes told him they were going to go camping, but when Avery realized that mommy wasn't going along, she changed her mind. Now I'm not much for the camping thing and Wes has stopped even asking if I want to come along.... we live close enough to the lake where I can drive out for a while, but be back home at night to shower and sleep in my own bed. I think Avery is very much her own mother and we will most likely spend many trips back and forth to the lake together to see the other men in our family who "rough" it.
As of Thursday morning, Avery still was not going camping. She was fully aware that she would be going to school Friday by herself and she would not be able to join in the special "cheetos" treat that seems to make every camping trip. We packed up all the boys stuff and when Wes left for work the plan was for him to pick up the boys early at 3:00pm from school and head out to the lake to meet up with Popo and I would pick up Avery at 5pm. We would have a girls night at home and them meet them out at the lake when I got off on Friday.
3:10pm on Thursday, Wes calls, "Avery wants to go now." I think the main reason she wanted to go was that she didn't want to have to stay at school if Austin was leaving. I met Wes up at school to give him another car seat and then he had to go home and get a few extra things for her. As he drove off, I admit I smiled and started planning my evening. I ate dinner without having to get up for someone else, watched upinterrupted tv, and was in bed before 9pm. It's the little things that made this night so wonderful.
I am heading out to the campsite this afternoon. They are supposed to stay out one more night, but I will not be surprised if I bring a pretty little camper home with me.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Easter recap

Over all we had a great Easter weekend. Good Friday we went to the Jasiniski's and Toppe's. Saturday we enjoyed the day at home and were able to make Easter nests, dye eggs, and enjoy the beautiful sunshine. Sunday was packed with church, lunch at Aunt Bonnie's and supper at Aunt Jerri's. Once again, after busy weekends like these, I look back and am thankful for all the friends and family we are surrounded by. We are so blessed.

Maurer Easter

Easter day ended at Jerri & Rodney's for supper and our last and final egg hung of 2010. By this time, egg hunting had pretty much lost it's hype. When the kids were let loose to hunt the yard full of eggs, the looks on their faces were "here we go again.... crazy adults screaming at us to pick up eggs." In fact Caleb set his basket down and preferred to swing with Aunt Dorothy. Can't say I blame him.

Avery ready to go again.

Austin's got this down!

Caleb chillin' with Kim.

Caleb got daddy w/ an confetti egg!

Easter lunch

Church Easter morning

I can still remember releasing balloons on Easter morning at church when I was a little girl. It is a tradition that continues on at Salem. After a pancake breakfast prepared by the church youth group, we all headed out to the back steps, balloons in hand. On the count of 3, we all let the balloons go and A, A, & C watched in amazement.