Thursday, December 23, 2010

Monday 12/20/10 Picnic!

Monday we had really nice weather. If you live in Texas you know that the weather changes often and unless it's Summer then you never know what you're gonna get. (Our Summer is from May through September and it's just HOT!) It was in the 70's on Monday and so I decided if the weather was going to act like it was Spring then so should we. We went to play at the park and have a picnic! As soon as we got there and I turned them loose they ran right for the rock wall.

Collin couldn't make it all the way up, but that didn't stop either of them from trying. Owen was determined to be a big kid.

Owen gave me a few heart attacks and this ladder thing was one of them! Except for when I took this picture, I was holding my hands under him every time he crawled up here. He fell through once, but didn't let go and just hung there till I lifted him back up.

This slide was another heart attack. The thing is huge! Collin went up with him every time to make sure Owen was sitting down. They are such boys!

Just because Owen had to sit down on the slide didn't mean Big Brother had to! Collin is a monkey!

Silly faces! Can you believe I made them take 3 pictures like this one on the bridge and this was the best one I got?! Click the picture to make it bigger.

After the park we had to stop by the grocery store. There is a brand new Albertson's by our house and and that means one thing if you are a little boy : Coolest grocery carts ever!

They have a play car attached to the front of the shopping basket so the kids can 'drive' their way through the store. It's like trying to steer a limo for me because the contraption is extra long, but it's worth it because they have so much fun.

After nap time we made cookies! (Can you tell yet that I'm trying to make my vacation week extra fun?) First we made chocolate chip cookies with M&M's added by the boys. Then we made sugar cookies with sprinkles. Owen got a bit carried away with the sprinkles and some of the cookies are caked in them. It's pretty awesome!

Those are two sweet boys!

Sunday 12/19/10 Putt-Putt

On Sunday, while Owen and Timothy were taking a nap, I decided to take Collin to Putt-Putt! He has never been before and has told me several times recently that he would like to play golf. When we first walked in I think his mouth fell open a little bit. He was completely in awe of all the flashing lights and video games. It's kind of like a big-kid version of Chuck E Cheese's. I had to drag him past all the cool games to get to the golf section. I think his mouth fell open again when we got outside and he saw the bumper boats and go carts and other rides. Today was just for golf and video games, but we will definitely have to come back again. I should also mention that he was really sad that Owen couldn't come with us. I tried to explain that 2 years old is not quite big enough to play golf, but we will bring Owen when he gets a little older.

He did really well with the golf after I showed him how to hold the putter. He was a little shy about it at first and would just barely tap the ball, but it didn't take him long to get into it.

After we finished the golf game I was happy to get inside because it was a bit chilly that day. I got us $10 in tokens and we started spending! I guess I must have been spoiled by the aforementioned Chuck because all his games are just one token each. Not so with this place. Some of the games require 12 tokens! Are you kidding me?! So we tried to stick to the ones that only needed one or two and it worked out because those were more on his level anyway. We ended up with loads of tickets, about 400 or so, and he got to pick out a few toys for prizes. The first things he picked out were two identical bouncy balls so he could give one to Owen. (Best big brother ever!)

When all the tickets were spent we headed over for a game of mini bowling. It's mini for adults, but Collin has never been bowling either and it was still pretty hard for him. The ball is just a solid rock with no finger holes that an adult can easily fit this into the palm of their hand, but not Collin. Plus the thing was probably 8 lbs or so. But of course he figured out a way and had a blast! He just set it on the ground and gave it a push. There were bumpers so no gutter balls, but he really didn't even need them much. It took a good long while for the ball to get to the pins, but he knocked over several of them each time.

So all in all it was a great trip and we can't wait to go again and take Owen!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Oh what fun it is....

Is everyone ready for Christmas? I've been having a blast the past few days staying home with my family. I have a 11 days off from work (that just may be a record if you don't count maternity leave) and I'm determined to make it fun, productive and just a tad bit relaxing. My first day off was Friday and I finished all the shopping. I know I said I was done before but I had to wait for a day that Timothy would be out so I could go get his present and wrap it. He's a sneaky one and I can't just hide things in a closet when he's around. :)

Also, on Friday was the boys' Christmas party at daycare. I wasn't sure if I should go into Owen's class to visit him or not because I didn't want to upset him when I left without taking him with me, but he actually did great. When he saw me with my jacket on he insisted on putting his on too even though I took mine off and told him we were not leaving. I think he just like wearing the hood, or as he calls it "my hat". I went back and forth a couple of times between the classes to visit with both kids. They had a special lunch and a book gift exchange. Collin got a level 2 book from a friend for his gift and he can read almost the whole thing by himself. I'm SO proud of his reading! Owen got a Little Golden Book about going to the beach. It's a brand new book, but the first copyright was from 1951 and it shows pictures of the little tents on the beach for the changing rooms and a rope to hold on to as you wade out into the water. Such a cute little history book. Haha! I ended the afternoon with a killer headache which pretty much ruined the rest of my day. I think it was all the 2-year-olds banging their books on the table that did it, but they sure were having fun.

Saturday was a really fun day! We started early by going to Build A Bear at the mall. We wanted to avoid the crowds so we were there before they even opened. This trip was mostly supposed to be a present for Owen because he loves stuffed animals, but as it turned out I think Collin had more fun. Owen was  a bit turned off by the all the floppy unstuffed animals and it took him forever to decide which one he wanted. He finally picked a gray kitty and Collin picked a bunny. The bunny Collin picked is exactly the same bunny that their grandparents gave to Owen when he was a baby. Owen's is named O.O. Jr, and Collin decided to call his Freddy. Of course Owen couldn't pick a name for his cat (I think he was a bit overwhelmed) and since I was helping him and I have little imagination we just called him Kitty. They have both really enjoyed playing with their new friends, but especially Collin. He loves that Freddy. I was pleasantly surprised that it was only $26 total for both of the critters; I was expecting twice that.  We just may have to do this again when Owen is a bit older and understands it more.

After the mall, the boys and I went to visit the Wiethoffs and do our gift exchange. The kids had a great time and as always it seemed the visit was too short. Since we live 45 minutes apart we don't get to see each other as often as we would like. The kids raked leaves and jumped into the pile. It was pretty awesome. Cooper was the great at raking the leaves while the others were jumping.

Sadie was a bit scared to jump into the leaves. She really is a very prim and proper little lady. So she wanted
Mommy (Sally) to hold her hand the first couple of times.

My mom (Mimi) came over and joined us for pizza Saturday evening. The boys just love when she comes to play. Of course we watched an episode of Star Trek because that's just what Nowell's do when they eat pizza. This time it was Next Gen. There is a cute picture of Collin and Mimi snuggling on the couch watching Star Trek, but I can't figure out how get it from Facebook :( so you can try this link: 

Well there was lots more fun stuff that happened on Sunday and Monday, but this is already way too long, so I will just have to write again soon.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Top Ten Things I Learned From Harry Potter

I got this list a few months ago from Mugglecast which is a Harry Potter podcast. Podcasts are cool, like bow ties. If you got that joke then you get 5 geek points. :) Anyway, I thought it was so awesome that I actually wrote it down and hung it up by my desk at work. It's next to my Obi-Wan action figure with his arms raised over his head to scare away the Sand People. So here is a little glimpse into my geekdom:

10. Your family is more important than you realize.

9. We all start as outsiders.

8. The greatest gift in the world is a truly loyal friend.

7. Don't be afraid to break the rules.

6. Arrogance will be your downfall.

5. Don't mess with giants.

4. To the well-organized mind, death is but the next great adventure.

3. It is our choices that show who we truly are, far more than our abilities.

2.  The magic is real if you want it to be.

1. Love conquers all.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Fa la la la wow it's quiet in here

Collin and Owen spent last night with their Memaw and G-da (Timothy's parents) and we got to enjoy a quiet house and watch grown-up movies. Collin especially has been dying to stay over with the grandparents for awhile now. This was my first night away from Owen and I think only number six for Collin and that includes two nights I was in the hospital after having Owen. I held up much better than I thought I would. :) Timothy's office had a Christmas party last night and so we would have had to get a sitter anyway so it worked out well that they were able to go stay. It's Sunday morning now and we will go get them after nap time today. This was the first time in forever that we have both gotten to sleep as late as we wanted. I still woke up at 7 this morning, but then realized I didn't have to be up and slept till about 8:30. That's REALLY late for us. We went out to IHOP for breakfast. It's nice to have some kid-free time, especially in the car. It's been very quiet.

I spent a couple hours last night wrapping presents and watching Ocean's Eleven and an episode of original series Star Trek. I have officially gotten presents for all the kids that we need to buy for. It's hard to know where to draw the line, but there it is. I suppose if I only see your kids a couple times a year I don't need to buy the presents, right? Isn't is amazing how quickly Christmas turns from being a celebration of God's gift of His son into stressing about whose feelings will be hurt and what to buy for whom? I am thankful that there are only a couple of people in my life that don't appreciate the true meaning of gift-giving and are incredibly hard to buy for on our budget. Most people in my family and my close friends would be overjoyed to receive anything in the spirit of Christmas even if it's just a hand-made ornament or cookies. 

Friday, December 3, 2010

The Aged P

Today was another trial in the life of the grown child trying to care for the elderly parent, or as I like to affectionately call my dad, The Aged P. It's from Great Expectations. Go read it if you haven't already.

The Aged is 76 years old and is so irresponsible with money that I'm starting to wonder if he understands the concept. His life revolves around that social security check and he can't wait to spend it and loves planning different ways of spending it. He get sucked into every scam imaginable and wastes so much money. I'm convinced there is a special place in Hell for people that prey on the elderly. Why can't we live on the Enterprise already?! I'm so sick of everyone obsessing about money. There is never enough of it, everyone wants more. Why can't we just learn to be happy with what we have?

Obviously, The Aged is no longer playing with a full deck. He has been diagnosed with dementia and possibly/probably Alzheimer's. Whatever you want to call it, it sucks. It really blows to lose someone while they are still with you. He's not the same guy that raised me anymore. The man that was my Daddy was strong and smart and kind and creative. This new guy that took over his body is just mental. He is constantly confused and doesn't know what's going on half the time.

He lives on his own and the place is a mess. I'm convinced that he would be better off in a nursing home. Even though there is nothing physically wrong with him, I don't believe he takes care of himself very well. He doesn't like to discuss the matter because any place that he would move to he A: wouldn't get his monthly check anymore because it would go toward his care while the state picks up the rest of the tab and B: wouldn't get to take all his junk with him. Including a collection of plastic Wal-Mart bags large enough to take over a room. He doesn't even want to make me his power of attorney because he doesn't want anyone calling the shots but him. (Have I mentioned I think I get my stubbornness from him?) So as I understand it the only way I can make him go to a home if he doesn't want to would involve a court battle. I really don't like the thought of having to form a case against The Aged.

At this point he is choosing to not pay his bills, which I think makes him a danger to himself. I had to pay to turn his electricity back on a few days ago. It was going to be in the lower 30's that night! Then when he got paid today he was ready to go give it all to the scammers again and put off the bills for another month. Luckily I was able to convince him that it would be in his best interest to keep the lights and the phone on so he agreed to give me some money to pay his bills.

I guess we will do this all again next month, and in the meantime I should probably call a lawyer. :( If any of you have any advice on this or if you have been through this process before I would really appreciate some feed back.