Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Royal Wedding Fever

Its less than a month away, and I can hardly wait for the royal wedding. When I saw this trailer online for the wedding on Entertainment Tonight, well, I just got all sorts of goose pimply. Time to pick out my hat for the viewing party!

Click here.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Weekend Update

What a busy weekend!

It started Friday morning with Ryan's Cowboy Parade at preschool. His class was on their way to their LEGO Robotics field trip (!!!) so they didn't really dress up like cowboys and cowgirls for the parade. I'd sent him with his hat, boots, and a shirt, but they ended up all wearing some paper hats they made and their field trip shirts. So glad I spent all that time tracking down our cowboy paraphanellia.

Friday evening, we went to the Austin Rodeo. We went last year on a Friday evening, and we were awestruck at the difference in crowd levels than on a Saturday or Sunday. We'll never go on a weekend day ever again!

The highlight of the rodeo was this secured bungee jumping platform - something that cost us $7 per boy and was NOT included with our $29 wristband.

Ryan was in seventh heaven! He is quickly turning into the most fearless member of Team Danger.

Saturday morning started bright and early with Alex and Aresenal taking on Dortmand. They won, 2-0, with Alex scoring the second goal. It was a fantastic game! The boys are really getting passing, and at one point, they passed the ball three times in a row to all of the team to get a clear kick. I love that they are starting to analyze their plays on the fly!

While Arsneal played, their brothers went searching for roly-polys. My Ryan, Big Ryan Wes, Patrick, Layton, and crew collected a disturbing amount of polys.

And they all came home in my car!

Next up we had the "Welcome to Kindergarten" playdate at Spicewood. Ryan had a chance to play with the other kids who will be starting in the fall, and found yet another friend he'll know. All in all, after counting I realized he'll know over 26 boys and girls who will be in his grade level. That's a far cry form the 2 girls Alex knew ahead of time. With these odds, he'll definitely know someone in his class next year, so hopefully the transition will go well. So with things going so perfect, RRISD is bound to make good on their threat to make kindergarten only half-day in the fall and force me to find a private kindergarten instead. Its my greatest fear right now. I'll take ANY other budget cuts over this one, but its their biggest cost reduction, and I'm so afraid its going to occur. Argh....

After the big play date (and gossiping over which teachers got the ax the day before), it was back to the soccer fields for the Town and Country Spring Fling.

And then it was Ryan and Chelsea's turn to play, against Boston. Ryan had a great game, and I couldn't help but be secretly pleased when a friend told us that they were terrified to play against Chelsea because they are such a great team. Boston is the best team we have played against, and it was much more exciting and fun because Carl (as their coach) didn't have to hold them back from scoring too much they way he usually does.

I even got a little snippet of Ryan making a goal on video, although the quality isn't that great.

It was hot on Saturday.

Extremely hot.

So after our day spent outside, we went back home and officially opened up the pool.

Then it was off to the Cub Scouts Pinewood Derby. Ryan competed in the Siblings races, and his car, Blue Jet, placed second (of seven sibling racers). It was actually a lot of fun for him because they use the Sibling Races to test the tracks, so he raced about ten times. It was not so fun for him, though, when second place didn't get a ribbon like first place.

Carl will likely blog all about the Derby some more - he's been owning the creation of their cars. But we are just so very, very proud of Alex, and his 6th place finish of all the Derby racers, that I have to mention it now.

On Sunday, we had the baby shower for Elaine's new baby.

And on Monday, Carl and I got to go back to work so we could relax. ;)

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Now THAT's what I'm talking about

After the frustrating Vanity Fair cover story and unflattering Rob photos where he is wearing a hat, smoking a cigarette, and not looking anything like my images of Jacob and Edward, Entertainment Weekly has, once again, come to the rescue with a more than tolerable cover story this week.

I'll even handle Reese Witherspoon taking up unnecessary cover space.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Trevor Swanson, Spy Academy Graduate

Alex spent Spring Break at Mad Science's "Spy Camp." It was a huge hit, and far more successful than last year's Mad Science camp. The presence of his friends Will and Andy at camp helped. :)

He had a fantastic time. Between investigating fingerprints, handwriting, and shoeprints to reveal the identity of suspects, to using  metal detectors, spy ears, and motion sensors, and using secret codes to pass along important information, Alex was in seventh heaven.

Or should I say, Trevor Swanson was in seventh heaven. 

They had to all come up with a spy name, and learn different codes, like the dancing men code, Braille, and morse code so that they could share classified information with each other. One of his favorite parts was that they had to practice eating their messages so that it wouldn't get into the wrong hands.

And he loved the plastic gloves he brought home with him, that they had used to dig through "trash" searching for clues. I'm just hoping that they weren't really searching through trash, because he lived in those gloves for a few nights.

All in all, Spy Camp was a HUGE hit, and I'd recommend it to other parents 100%.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Horseshoe Bay

Happily, the antibiotics and steroids worked wonders for me, and we were all able to enjoy a perfect weekend out at Horseshoe Bay.

We had never been there before, and once we were there, we really weren't sure why that was the case. Talk about a little bit of heaven, only one hour and two minutes away from our home. 

This was a special event weekend (spring break) and I can't recommend going there enough when they have the special events.

 There were so many fun things for the kids to do, they couldn't choose. When they passed up laser tag and fishing camp to take sandcastle building lessons, you know you've found your childrens paradise.

They loved this whirlpool / hot tub at the Yacht Club Beach. It is the perfect little wonderland for young kids. There's a beach, and then they run up the patio and into the "cave falls" (as Alex called it.

 Meanwhile, you can sit in comfort on the patio, or lounge poolside or beachside, relaxing, while the staff brings you exotic beverages.

We picked the perfect perch so we could keep an eye on them in the pool, and out on the beach.

The other highlight of the visit was the Banana Boat Ride.
  The kids had a blast as they were pulled along by a boat.

All went well until a bee somehow landed on Ryan, and found its way inside his vest. Since he was up in front, all the other kids saw this, and it completely spooked him, along with Alex (Alex still hasn't recovered from when he was stung thirteen times by the wasps who built a nest at the top of his treehouse almost two years ago, and freaks when he sees any member of the buzzing family nearby). So about 3/4 of the way into the Banana Boat ride, Alex, Ryan and two other kids decided they were ready to come aboard Team Safety in the big boat.

Some of the other fun they had at Horsehsoe Bay: night pool movies (we watched 'Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs'); glow in the dark Flag Football, s'mores, glow in the dark line dancing, ice cream sundae bars, snow cone machines, turtle walks, face painting, digital family scavenger huints, family kayak races, cookie decorating, rubber ducky races, hula hoop contests, handprint art, and about a dozen other arts and crafts. Not to mention all the golf courses, tennis courts, and the spa.

But mostly, they just wanted to play in the water.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Nobody Nose...

... the agony I have been in for the past four days with my nose. It started Sunday, with a painful bump on the inside of my nose that I assumed was some sort of unfortunate pimple. When I got sick the next day and had a 102.6 fever, it never occurred to me that my fever could be connected to my nose.My fever broke Monday night, and after a restless evening, I slept until noon on Tuesday. By the time I tried to call my doctor for my appointment, they were all booked up for the day.

My nose continued to be in agony, so I increased my neti pot usage. Its allergy season, so it didn't seem *so* bizarre to me. On Wednesday morning, the left side of my nose was all red and swollen. And horribly, horribly painful. Still, I wasn't sick in any other way, so off to work I went. I stared to feel bad again by the afternoon, so I left early.

Last night, I could barely sleep I was in so much pain lying down. The pain stretched all the way from my forehead down to my teeth along the left side of my face. Very, very odd. I took four advil. Then one unisom. Didn't help. Finally, sitting upright, I got some sleep. And when I woke in the morning, the swelling had spread outward from my nose up towards my eye. I was quickly turning into the Elephant Man. No makeup would cover this up. This, I knew, Was. Not. Right.

My doctor took one look in my nose today, and then said, well, its definitely infected, and that he would be back in a few minutes. 45 minutes later, he was sending me to an ENT because he was concerned it was an abscess. Turns out its not exactly an abscess - its instead something called facial cellulitis - and its not the most uncommon thing in the world. But left untreated, if it does reach your eye, it can cause a loss of sight in that eye, and if it reaches your brain, it can cause meningitis. The ENT decided not to drain my bump - something that sounded all sorts of awful - but to wait 24 hours first. Apparently the drugs can often make enough of a difference that the draining isn't necessary.

So I'm loaded up with antibiotics, steroids, and some nice painkillers. Miraculously, I am already doing much, much better. My forehead and teeth no longer scream in agony. My nose and the bump beside my nose still hurt when I touch them, but its not a constant pain. I'm hopeful that I won't have to do the nasty drain thing tomorrow.

We're supposed to be off to Horseshoe Bay tomorrow for the weekend (so of course someone must be sick in the family - its an unwritten rule of some sort).The ENT said I can still go, although it might not be the fun, relaxing weekend I was hoping for if I have to go through the whole draining process - and have some sort of tissue stuck up my nose for 24 hours - but at least I can still go and put on a happy face. It might not be a pretty face, but it will be a happy one.

Go Glee!

Its no secret that I am a big time Gleek. It combines everything I love the most in the world: cutting-edge politics, sarcastic humor, romance, and showtunes.

Kurt is by far my favorite character, and for much of the season, he's been an inspiration for every person who was ever bullied in life. He stood up to his own bully, and when the school system let him down and couldn't provide him with the support he needed, he transferred to an all male academy where he has found acceptance, and more importantly for the storyline, his first love, with Blaine, the lead singer of Dalton's glee club, the Warblers.

Blaine has become an equally impressive character, someone both boys, girls, men, and women alike can all crush on. He first charmed his way into my (and Kurt's) heart singing 'Teenage Dream.'

With this week's episode, we finally got the moment we've all been waiting for, and wow, was it a kiss worth waiting for. This may go up there in my list of Great Kisses, its that good. Kudos to the writers, producers, director, and actors for handling what is so important - and I think rather revolutionary for public television (and for a show on Fox, nonetheless) - in such a superb manner. There may have been other same sex kisses on television before, but I've never seen any handled in such a romantic way. They are usually pretty chaste, like one might give their parents or sibling. Not the Big Kiss.

But with Glee, they got it right.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Year of Shamus, Part II

As previously discussed, we bought season passes to Sea World this year. To get the most value for our passes, we headed down on Sunday to help kick-start Spring Break. We try and do something different each time, so this time we did not actually watch the Shamu show. So our Year of Shamus, Part II is without the Shamu.

When we went in January, the fun kids section was closed down for renovation. The boys were bummed then - because the pirate ship and its 'hamster' trails were their favorite part of the place - but the fun Christmas themed parts all around made up for it.

The kids section is back up and running, although its been changed around. It is now the Sesame Street Bay of Play. I think this might be lots of fun for some of the much younger crowd.

But we've been beyond Sesame Street for some years now. Neither boy, for instance, could even remember that they both used to call the blue creature here "Cookie Monker." They just gave Carl and I puzzled, "Who are you lame people calling him Cookie 'Monker' " kind of stares. Sigh... yet another sign that my babies are no longer babies.

The other disappointing feature is that all the rides - minus the poplular Shamu Coaster - in this area are now Seasme Street themed, and the lines were out of control. I'm hoping that this is just because it was Spering Break weekend, but Team Danger wasn't having anything to do with waiting 45 minutes in line to ride the Seasme Street-safe ferris wheel. There is now a carousel, and fortunately, the lines weren't too long.

The habit trails are still there, but none of them lead to the Sesame Street pirate ship. Yet another disappointment.

On the plus side, they have expanded the kids splash pad and made it about 4x larger, so even on the most crowded days, the kids can have fun and cool off. Even when Mom and Dad don't bring bathing suits (hey, the forecast was NOT for swimsuit weather, what can I say?).

Oddly, the line for Ryan's favorite ride - Atlantis - was only about 20 minutes. Alex didn't want to ride it this time, so it was just Ryan and I who braved the waters.

Ryan has become obsessed with the penguin exhibit, as well as the gift shop inside the penguin encounter which sells around two dozen different stuffed penguins. When I had explained to them before the trip that we would not be purchasing a "prize" (as they call it) with every trip to Sea World this year and that this was one of those no-prize trips, they asked if they could bring their piggy bank money. I said yes, so of course Ryan picked out his latest stuffed penguin, Waddles. He'll be the first to tell you that he can swim fast, but when he runs, he's usually last.

Or so says the Beanie Boo's price tag. ;)

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Saturday Soccer


Saturday morning we had our second week of soccer games. Both Chelsea and Arsenal won, and both were against good teams.

Unofficially, Ryan's score was 21-3, and Alex's game was 4-1. Alex got one goal, and Ryan had several goals, or "scores" as he likes to call them.

We're super proud of our little soccer stars!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Kindergarten Roundup

Yesterday was the Kindergarten Roundup, and we registered Ryan for kindergarten next fall.

He was so excited! He's just been dying to go to Spicewood ever since Alex started last year, and the fact that he was going there today with Carl and I for him - and not Alex - made him feel extra special.

I filled out all the paperwork while Ryan and Carl toured the kindergarten rooms.

He also drew a picture of himself. In blue, his favorite color, and the little person next to Ryan is his Mimi.

Mimi didn't get to go to Kindergarten Roundup with us, but I won't be surprised if Ryan finds a way to sneak him into his backpack next year.

We saw several people we know, and I did the math and realized we know close to two dozen boys and girls who will be starting kindergarten in the fall. With those odds, Ryan is bound to have at least one or two friends in his class. Its a far cry from where we were two years ago with Alex, when all we knew were two girls from his preschool. He's happy, and a happy Ryan almost always equals a happy Mommy and Daddy.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Baby, Baby, Baby

Alex was the first member of Team Danger to catch Bieber Fever. Ryan quickly followed suit. And after Bieber Fever spread to my favorite tv show, Glee, I just had to show the boys the clip of Sam singing Baby, Baby, Baby.

Needless to say, this video, and the song, have quickly jumped to the top of our playlist count.

So without further ado, I give you Ryan, doing his best impersonation of Glee's Sam, doing his best impersonation of Justin Bieber.

(to catch the full brilliance of Ryan's performance, be sure to watch the Glee clip, too. He throws the guitar down at just the right spot.)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Chelsea and Arsenal, Round 2

Spring soccer is officially underway, and both Alex and Ryan had fantastic games on Sunday.

 Ryan's was first, and his Chelsea team welcomes three new players: Patrick, the younger brother of Liam, a classmate of Alex's who also joined his soccer team, as well as two girls, Sarah and Lara. Returning were Drew and Andres.

Ryan scored several goals, although it was bittersweet for him to have his team beat the opposing team so badly, since they were coached by his basketball coach, Coach Peter.

Cousin Connor and Aunt Elaine came to watch them play, and he had a great time with "Ackis" and "Ry-Ry."

Next up was Alex. He welcomed back to the team Carson (who had taken fall off from soccer to play football), as well as three new boys, all from Alex's class: Liam, Rowan and Caleb (Caleb is also in his Scouts den and on our swim team).

Both boys teams did great. Everyone wins at this age, but *if* one were keeping score, Alex's team won 3-2 and Ryan's team won 18-3 (and that was with Carl holding back the kids several times). Alex's victory was also a bit bittersweet, though, because we were playing against a mostly Spicewood team that included two of his basketball teammates, Carlos and Nate.

Here's to a great spring season!


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