Monday, September 28, 2009

Sea World - Part Two

Wow...the last week has flown by. Aaron left for San Francisco Thursday morning and was gone for three nights and four days. I was so worried that the kids and I would get bored/antsy/on each other's nerves, that I kept us as occupied as possible. If there was an opportunity to be somewhere other than home, we were there. Science night at the school, the park, Target's toy area, the park, riding bikes at the track, the park, going out to dinner. Did I mention we went to the park? Anyway, all of this outdoor activity served two major purposes: It kept us busy and it wore the kids out.
The problem with all of that outdoor activity is that it took me away from any lazy, wasting-time-on-the-computer activity. And now I feel like I should have something really good to say...but I don't. I do, however, have some pictures from Sea World. I have "a case of the Mondays" (name that movie) so don't expect any catchy captions. Enjoy!
This trip to Sea World was 1,000 times better than our Spring Break adventure/nightmare. For one thing, it was rainy all weekend - it even rained a bit as we drove in to San Antonio - but this was a point in our favor. Sea World was not crowded at all. If you remember, our last trip was nothing but one big wait in line. We spent 2.5 hours waiting just to get in. Not this time. We were parked and in the gate in less than 10 minutes. We also didn't have to wait in line to ride rides. Avery road the Steel Eel at least three times. Here she is after her first ride:
See how excited she is? This is how she got off the ride, each time. This is deceiving, because each time she rode it, she actually cried in terror. I rode with her twice and both times, she warned me: "Mom, I'm probably going to cry. But it's ok. I'm still having fun." And she wasn't kidding. She cried. She looked positively miserable each time we went down the huge hill at the beginning...there wasn't any part of her that looked like she was having a good time. And yet, every time the car pulled into the exit station, she said 'That was so cool! Let's do it again!" That child is strange...
After waiting for Avery to get her fill of the Steel Eel, the little ones were ready to move on. We took them to Shamu's Happy Harbor, where Reese and Avery rode this ride at least 4 times:
See them in the back car? They're there, trust me. And while I couldn't see their faces much while they were on the ride, here's what Reese looked like when she came off the first time:
I'm guessing she enjoyed think?
Poor Rhett couldn't ride anything. He's just about 3 inches too short. His daddy took him over to the arcade area, where he won this frog. He didn't seem to mind missing anything once he had this - something his sisters didn't have, which is always a bonus for a little brother.

The last, but most important activity on the agenda, was watching the Shamu show...I would show you pictures of how incredibly soaked we were, but to be honest with you, I was so horrified at myself in the pictures, I just couldn't bring myself to show them. It's horrid...I went on a diet immediately after seeing my skin tight, wet, shirt clinging to my body. It was sick. I can't show anyone. It's too gross...but if I don't, you can't really get the idea of how soaking wet we were when we climbed into our car for the 5 hour trip back to Frisco...oh ok, I'll show you. But only because I'm behind this computer screen and won't be able to see the looks of horror on your faces when you see what I looked like.

But you see? It's necessary to let you know how wet we were so you can appreciate just how uncomfortable the drive home really was...I couldn't lick my lips without tasting salt water and my arms were crusty with salt residue. It was a super pleasant ride...but Aaron was right to skip a hotel for the night...we were super happy to be home in our own baths and beds. And despite the less-than-comfortable drive home, it was an awesome trip. It was sooo worth the repeat trip to get our money's worth out of the season passes we bought in March. (I also brought back the refillable popcorn and drink containers we got on the nightmare trip, so we didn't even have to spend $20 on snacks this time. That'll show 'em!)
There you have it....sorry it took so long to post. And so sorry to share that picture of myself. I'm cringing for you right now.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Action Packed Weekend

Last Friday, we got up and drove to Kingsville, TX, where my brother, Bo and his wife, April live. It's far. Bo and April said it usually takes them about 6-6 1/2 hours. We have three kids, so we planned for 7-7 1/2 hours. It poured on us from Waco to Austin, which added an extra hour to our trip. We arrived at Bo and April's after 8 1/2 hours in the car. I must say the kids did an excellent job. They only asked "Are we there yet?" about 42 times, which is really only about 5 times an hour if you break it down. Not bad at all for their first all-day road trip.
We didn't do anything on Friday night except hang out with Aunt April, eating pizza and waiting for Uncle Bo to come home.

Saturday morning, April had to work so we decided to make the most of our time near the coast of Texas. Our kids had never been to the beach, so we drove over to Corpus Christi for the morning, rain or no rain!
Corpus isn't the nicest, cleanest beach in the world - the first thing we saw on the shore was a dead fish - but the kids don't know that, so they loved it. Avery collected shells the entire time.

I'm not sure what Reese and Rhett did, but they kept themselves occupied. (Looking at, and discussing, the dead fish took up a considerable amount of time.)
They also found crabs. I'm sorry, but I cannot say that with a straight face. I'm like Beavis. Or is it Butthead? She said crabs. Huh-huh.

In order to add some educational value to this trip, we took the kids aboard the USS Lexington, an aircraft carrier from WW2.
It was interesting for a while, but I'll be honest. Once I've seen a couple of bomber airplanes and read a few of the placards on the wall, I'm kind of done. I know, I know...between the crabs comment and my lack of interest in American History, I have no business being a mother of three kids, but that's a matter for another time.
I also didn't enjoy the cramped stairs and rooms. It made me a bit claustrophobic. Not that I ever thought about it, but I could not be in the military. The conditions are just, well, icky. And I'm very thankful that there are people who volunteer for that kind of thing.
Anyway, I was glad to get off of the ship. After a hot, sweaty, humid beachside lunch, we drove back to Kingsville. Everybody took a much needed shower and a nap. Then, it was game time!
My brother would kill me if he knew I posted this, but I'm kinda proud of him, so there!
This is the first thing you see when you pull up to the football stadium:
That's my brother on the right hand side of the billboard. He hates the picture for some reason I can't understand, but I thought it was cool.
Ok, on to the game...
Do you know what a javelina is? I didn't have the first clue when Bo first got the job in Kingsville. I soon learned that it's some sort of wild hog. Kingsville is pretty close to Mexico so instead of calling them the Mean, Wild Hogs, I guess they opted for Javelina. Some people call them the Hoggies. In fact, there was one woman in the stands wearing a t-shirt with HOGGIES in rhinestones across her chest. I can't imagine what people would think if I, with my DDs, wore a tight, white t-shirt with HOGGIES written across the chest. It makes me cringe to think about it. But I digress....the best part, in my opinion, of having a hog/pig for a mascot is the kids. Any kid whose parents want to pay (or, who are the big sister of the head coach so they can just do whatever they want, for free) can sign their kids up for Porky's Pack. Porky's Pack. How hilarious is that?
Here are my kids, looking at the javelina. According to Reese, he stinks. I can imagine.
The kids in Porky's Pack (just try to say it without smiling) get to be on the field pretty much the entire game. They get to run the football players onto the field before the game.
Note: She may look cool and calm here, but Avery couldn't sleep Friday night, after Uncle Bo told her she was going to run the players onto the field. "I can't believe I get to see REAL football players, Mom! I'm too excited!"
You can't see them, but the kids are several yards in front of this sign. Can you imagine how excited Avery was? I thought I was going to burst FOR her. Heck, I was excited to run the players onto the field in high school. She's only 6. On a college football field, for crying out loud.
They also hang out in the end zone during the game. Each time the Javelinas score, all the kids in Porky's Pack climb onto this train and ride around the track.
(See Avery? She's right above the M in Community on the blue car. Reese is on someone's lap.)
I know what you are thinking: Does the excitement ever end???? No. It doesn't.
Toward the end of the third quarter, the rain started (came back is more accurate).
Everybody went under the stadium to stay dry. Everybody, that is, except my kids. I can't even explain to you how much fun they were having.
Here are Avery and Reese when they realized the team was still playing. "MOM! Uncle Bo is still out there. And it's RAINING!"

After about 10 minutes under the stadium, Aaron decided it would be best for us to pack up and go back to Bo and April's. I felt guilty leaving - if Bo has to stand out in it, I don't want to go home and get warm and cozy - but knew the kids weren't going to sit up in the stands, soaking wet, for any real length of time. Plus, who knew when it was going to stop raining?
Ten seconds after we got everyone buckled in the car and were headed home, the rain stopped. Too late to go back to the game - the kids were already naked. (Except for diaper/underwear.)
This is the end of Saturday's excitement...if you are tired of reading and seeing pictures from that day, then you have some idea of how Aaron and I felt around 11:00 p.m. Saturday night, after bathing wet kids and trying to dry their shoes in time for Sea World Sunday morning.
Yeah, that's right...Sea World again...stay tuned to see if this trip went any better than the hellish, miserable Spring Break adventure!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


Remember Mia Hamm? She was an awesome soccer player a few years ago. She was on the USA team with Brandi Chastain, who is most remembered for removing her top after a big win. Anyway, both of those are girls are amazing female soccer players. I'd like to say Reese is going to follow in their footsteps, but if last Saturday is any indication of Reese's interest in soccer, then I'm not going to build a shelf for her Olympic medals just yet.
It all started on a positive note. She loved her outfit:

She was a bit afraid she might get cold, so she brought a sweater.

I love that kid.
(I had not brushed her hair yet. Not that it looks much better when I do. Poor thing.)
The beginning of practice went well. (She ditched the sweater when she realized it was hotter than Hades by 9:00 a.m. in Texas.) They started by running to warm up their muscles. Reese was happy.

After the running, we had to kick the ball back and forth a little. We were still good, at this point.

The only negative moment during all of this was Firstborn Child's breakdown over being "bored, tired, hot," which, as you probably know, is code for "I'm not the center of attention and I can't handle it!" Here she is, after I reminded her how many events Reese had been to for Avery and that it was now Avery's turn to support Reese:

Is there anything more pitiful than when the Firstborn Child realizes they are not, in fact, the only important, valuable member of the family and that their events and activities are not the sole reason for this family's existence? (I've been there and it hurts. Hurts bad.

I told her to move on until she could be supportive, because this was Reese's day. As if on cue, Reese announces that she doesn't like soccer and she's not going to do it anymore. Great. This is the first stinkin' day and we paid for a whole month.

We tried being nice, we tried being firm, and then we turned to each other, wondering if we should force her to finish out this month or let her quit. This all happened in a matter of 5 minutes. Almost as quickly as Reese decided that soccer was the most vile activity every created, Avery decided to grace us with her presence again and offered to take my place as Reese's helper. She had offered 10 times before and Reese said no, but this time, Reese wanted her help.

Avery was proud to be be the big sister. She gave up the pouting to be Reese's personal, I've-done-this-a-thousand-times, all star coach/partner.

I could just die over this picture. Don't be surprised if I get a 20"x24" of it framed above the fireplace.
They did really well together, for the most part. Avery had to be reminded a few times not to hog the ball or be too bossy, but that's to be expected from a Firstborn. (I should know.)

Are you wondering where Rhett was during all of this?

He was running in the adjacent field, kicking and playing soccer by himself. The Third Child may have it worse than anybody. Nobody even knew where he was half the time. He's a survivor.

He did this for almost the entire 45- minute class. This is what he looked like after:

Poor guy. He got Dad's red cheeks and Mom's Atterberry-Sweat-Head gene.

(Sidenote: The sweaty head thing is MUCH cuter on him. I've been at clubs before, dancing so much that I looked as if I had just showered. I'm shocked it took me so long to find a husband.)
I'll end with my favorite picture of the day.
Is there anything better, as a parent, than when you see your kids getting along and having fun together?
(OSU beating Georgia was an extremely exciting moment on Saturday too, but since OU lost and my husband has sobbed uncontrollably since then, I'm trying not to make too big of a deal out of it.)

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Big Boy Haircut

I am not happy about this:

You see what has happened to him? Besides the fact that he has run away from me and is hiding in the corner so that I can't take a good picture of him (when just last month, he'd look at me and say "CHEESE!"), he now has a big boy haircut. It's killing me. Not because there's anything wrong with the cut, but because it added about 2 years to his age.

Just look at him! He's got the haircut, AND the attitude. It's all happening too fast. SOMEBODY, MAKE IT STOP!!!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Even PBS Has Naughty Words

We are fairly careful about what we let our kids watch. Not obsessive, to be sure, and we let them watch more than some people would, but we always talk to them about TV and what they can and can't say or do, etc. I feel like my kids are pretty good about knowing that what they see on TV isn't necessarily real or ok. One channel I never worry about is PBS Kids. Maybe I should, based on this conversation with Reese this morning:

We're all sitting together watching Super Why. There is one part in every episode, where Wyatt (or is it Whyatt? That looks weird.) yells "To the book club!" Today, after he said it, Reese said "Momma, I already know I can't say that."
Me: What?
Reese: We can't say that, right?
Me: What?
Reese: Because we don't talk like that.
Me: I don't know what you mean. You can say book club if you want to.
Reese: We can say book club, but not butt club.
Reese: He says "To the butt club" and we can't say that. We just have to say book club.

I explained, through tears of laughter, that he's not saying, nor will he ever say, "To the butt club. And no, you can't say it."

So much for wholesome television.

(She also just asked Rhett to give her a bite of "cheap." After watching him walk in circles trying to find cheap and after making her repeat herself at least four times, she pointed at my plate. She wanted a bite of peach. Is it possible that her hearing is already going? Miracle Ear, here we come.)

Thursday, September 3, 2009


I haven't been able to log on for a few days, for some reason, and I forgot what I wanted to, here are some random thoughts and pictures I wanted to get down on paper (on hard drive?) before I forget.
I think it's clear why I wanted to save this one

That helmet has created lots of hilarious pictures since we purchased it for Avery when she was about Rhett's age. Styrofoam with no discernible front or back.
I love this one because of his stance. He and Avery were playing ball (in the house! gasp!) and every time it was his turn to catch, Avery would say, "Get ready, Buddy. Get in the ready stance," and this is what he would do. Every time.

I don't think it's possible to have too many pictures of the kids sleeping. They are just so stinking precious when they are sleeping!
Here are the kids, standing by the blow-up Tony Romo outside Albertson's. I was inside and their dad said they could stand by it for a quick picture while they waited on me. When I came out, they asked if they could punch it. Their dad said no (and had already said no, apparently) so I said I would punch it one time just so they could see what would happen. It deflated on the spot. We panicked...seriously, we thought we were going to have to buy this $100 blow up Dallas Cowboy. Thankfully, it had just come off of the blower thingy so no harm done. I'm still allowed to shop there, too, if I'm not too humiliated to show my face in there after this incident.