Sad Trend

Written by Shae on August 28th, 2013

Those of you who know me personally know that I take extreme pride in the quality of everything I make, whether it’s a dress or one of my welded mosaic tables.  I have very high standards for myself. Because of this, I am saddened by a new trend I have seen pop on Facebook and Etsy, and the other craft and sewing sites I follow.  Basically, people are buying a bunch of merchandise from sites like Alibaba and Dhgate.  These sites have direct access to the “factories” in China so you can by a dress for $6.  The sad part is that I’m seeing a ton of children’s boutiques pop up that have bought from these sites, then put their own tags on, and call them handmade and sell them 1/3 of the price that the rest of us who actually make good quality are selling stuff for.  I hate that people are being sold poor quality items that have been made in sweat shops over seas and they think they are getting a dress that was handmade in the seller’s living room.  Sad how dishonest people are.

Oh, and to add to it, these Chinese site have been stealing patterns and photos from handmade designers and covering up the watermarks.  There is a popular maxi dress pattern made by one of the designers I like and she had hers stolen.  The knock off dresses are now all over Etsy and being sold as substandard products.

Pics on the Bridge

Written by Shae on August 25th, 2013

So, recently I have been doing some pattern testing for a couple designers (sewing).  I just finished testing the Pepper Dress by Brownie Goose.  Part of testing it means I get to go take some new pictures of the kiddos.  Yay!!  I even dragged Pat along with me to help because photographing my own kids can be a major pain in the ass!  Sure they look cute once they are done, but you should see what it takes to get there!!  I had to bribe Pat with lots of beer and fish and chips from Hooly’s because he knows the hell he was about to be put through.  Anyhoo, I adore this dress pattern and this dress will be up in my Etsy shop soonish.

 

First Week of Freedom

Written by Shae on August 21st, 2013

I have officially had my first week of freedom!!  It is still hard for me to grasp that the kids are now in school.

So, what did I do with my newfound freedom?  Well, I can lie and say I got a ton of stuff done, and the house all cleaned up, and the dog walked and all that stuff, but to be perfectly honest, I didn’t do a whole lot.  My first few days I just relaxed.  I went and got a pedi and did some grocery shopping with out the kids and it was totally awesome.  I was able to make it through the store without having to break up a fight, or say NO a million times as we work our way down the snack isle.

Pat had the day off on Friday so we took advantage of it.  He went with me to drop the kids off at school and then we went out to breakfast.  It was kind of nice to be able to do that again.  Actually, I think the last time we went out to breakfast, just the two of us, was back in the days before we had kids, probably hung over.  After breakfast, we headed over to Grossmont to see a movie.  Kind of nice, being able to do that without hiring a babysitter or having to have one of our parents in town.  I don’t see us doing this every time he has an off Friday, but just knowing we have the option is kind of nice.

One of the things I have been working on is the office/sewing room/craft room.  I think I finally have it just the way I want it.  I’ll save that for another post, but at least I got something accomplished while the kids were at school.  Ok, ok, I did most of it on Saturday, but still.

Oh, guess what comes along with kids starting a new school year?  Colds!!  Yup, Ella has her first cold of the school year.  Hopefully it passes quickly and she can get back to having fun at school.  Mostly I hope it passes fast and doesn’t turn into something bad and has to stay home from school because then I kind of lose my newfound freedom.

Jack Quotes

Written by Pat on August 16th, 2013

First thing in the morning:

Shae: Jackson, do you have to pee?
Jack: No. My penis is just sticking up. And big.

After finding Shae’s bra on the chair:

Jack: Momma! I found your boobs!

Upon finding Shae and I snuggled up

Jack: Mommy, why are you guys squished?

TK

Written by Shae on August 14th, 2013

 

Yup, that happened.  The kids started their first day of Transitional Kindergarten.  For those of you who are not familiar with what that is, it is basically the first year of a two year kindergarten program.  It was made for the kids who have fall birthdays and miss the new age cutoff date.  It will be very similar to what kinder was like back when we were in school.  It is also know as Freedom.

We have been prepping the kids for awhile now so they knew they would be going to school all day everyday, but it was still pretty hard on them.  You could tell Jackson was trying not to cry and Ella didn’t have much to say which normally you can’t get her to shut up.  I’m not really sure what they actually did in class, but they both came home saying they had fun, so that’s all I can really hope for.  Ella said her favorite part was reading books after they did work, and Jackson said his favorite part was eating lunch.  Yup, those are my kids.

So what did I do?  No much.  I pretty much just enjoyed having the house nice and quiet for the first time in almost 5 years.  There were no fights to break up, no Legos to step on, no stories to read a billion times, I didn’t have to dress Barbie Dolls or Lalaloopsy Dolls, and I didn’t have to play castle vs. dinosaur vs. mini super hero guys.  All I had to do was drink my coffee, eat my lunch and watch a movie with lots of violence and bad language.  It was awesome!

A Letter to my Children

Written by Shae on October 7th, 2012

Dear Jackson and Ella,

Today you turn 4 years old.  It’s almost like you guys are actual people now and no longer my sweet little babies.  There is so much I want to tell you two.

Jack

Jackson:  My little man.  You tell me almost everyday that you are no longer a baby or a big kid.  You tell me you are a MAN!  Yup, you tell me that you pee like a man, you eat like a man, and you go to bed like a man.  I hate to break it to you, my little man, but you will ALWAYS be my baby.

You can be the sweetest little boy when you want to be and then there are times that I just want to strangle you!!  You can be very demanding when it comes to “asking” for things, but on the other hand, you are always the first one to get your sister something when she needs it.  Even though you follow the typical toddler rules about every toy being yours, you still make sure Ella has something to play with after you rip a toy out of her hands.  You want to be good.

Right now, your favorite foods are hamburgers, green beans, and cookies.  You love drinking water, but only if it has ice in it.  The reason you started liking water with ice was because you saw Grandma Jane with ice in her water.  You like to try new foods, and for the most part you like almost everything you try, however, it is a huge struggle to get you to eat your dinner.  You haven’t always been such a good eater.  There were times when the only thing I could get you to eat was spaghetti noodles or rice.  It has been a nice change of pace.

You LOVE super heroes!!  If you see anything with one of the Marvel characters on it, you totally try and convince me that you need it because it matches all your other stuff.  You like playing “superhero” with your sister, but I think it’s really just an excuse to try and beat her up.

You just started preschool and are having so much fun.  You like playing with the other kids, but you are still a little shy.  You wake up happy most school days and you are super excited to go.  Hopefully you always love school this much!

I love you more than ice cream and cameras!!

 Ella

Ella:  My baby girl.  You are such a little sweetie (most of the time).  In the morning you wake up before Daddy goes to work, just so you can say bye to him and give him a hug.  You like helping him pick out his clothes for the day and getting his shoes out of the closet.  After he leaves, you crawl in bed with me and either go back to sleep or watch a show before brother wakes up.  On the days you don’t get to say bye to Daddy, you are sad about it all day.

You love playing with your brother, but you can kind of be a brat to him.  You tend to tease him a lot and take thing from him.  You also instigate a lot of fights and you like making him mad.  On the other hand, if he gets hurt, you are the first one to try and help and you worry about him.  You like helping him do things.

You love anything pink!  And Princesses!  And Ballerinas!  Even though you like to play in the dirt and fight with your brother, you are such a girly girl.

You say some of the funniest things with the funniest expressions.  It cracks me and Daddy up!

Getting you to eat your food is a struggle.  You hate trying new foods and really only like eating mac n cheese or grilled cheese sandwiches.  Even if we make you your favorite foods, there are just days you won’t eat.  Well, hopefully you get over that phase soon!

I love you more than rainbows and cotton candy!

 twins

A friend of mine  posted this and I thought it was rather appropriate:

Here is the poem from the book Let Me Hold You Longer by Karen Kingsbury.

Long ago you came to me,
a miracle of firsts,
First smiles and teeth and baby steps,
a sunbeam on the burst.

But one day you will move away
and leave to me your past
And I will be left thinking of
a lifetime of your lasts…

The last time that I held a bottle
to your baby lips
The last time that I lifted you
and held you on my hip.

The last night when you woke up crying,
needing to be walked,
When last you crawled up with your blanket,
wanting to be rocked.

The last time when you ran to me,
still small enough to hold.
The last time that you said you’d marry
me when you grew old.

Precious, simple moments and
bright flashes from your past-
Would I have held on longer if
I’d known they were your last?

Our last adventure to the park,
your final midday nap,
The last time when you wore your favorite
faded baseball cap.

Your last few hours of kindergarten,
those last few days of first grade,
Your last at bat in Little League,
last colored picture made.

I never said good-bye to all
your yesterdays long passed.
So what about tomorrow-
will I recognize your lasts?

The last time that you catch a frog
in that old backyard pond.
The last time that you run barefoot
across our fresh-cut lawn.

Silly, scattered images
will represent your past.
I keep on taking pictures,
never quite sure of your lasts…

The last time that I comb your hair
or stop a pillow fight.
The last time that I pray with you
and tuck you in at night.

The last time when we cuddle
with a book, just me and you
The last time you jump in our bed
and sleep between us two.

The last piano lesson,
last vacation to the lake.
Your last few weeks of middle school,
last soccer goal you make.

I look ahead and dream of days
that haven’t come to pass.
But as I do, I sometimes miss
today’s sweet, precious lasts…

The last time that I help you with
a math or spelling test.
The last time when I shout that yes,
your room is still a mess.

The last time that you need me for
a ride from here to there.
The last time that you spend the night
with your old tattered bear.

My life keeps moving faster,
stealing precious days that pass,
I want to hold on longer-
want to recognize your lasts…

The last time that you need my help
with details of a dance.
The last time that you ask me for
advice about romance.

The last time that you talk to me
about your hopes and dreams.
The last time that you wear a jersey
for your high school team.

I’ve watched you grow and barely noticed
seasons as they pass.
If I could freeze the hands of time,
I’d hold on to your lasts.

For come some bright fall morning,
you’ll be going far away.
College life will beckon
in a brilliant sort of way.

One last hug, one last good-bye,
one quick and hurried kiss.
One last time to understand
just how much you’ll be missed.

I’ll watch you leave and think how fast
our time together passed.
Let me hold on longer, God,
to every precious last.

 

On the Homefront

Written by Shae on July 18th, 2012

So, it has been a little over 5 years since we moved into our house.  When we first bought it, all the rooms were hideous colors and the kitchen was in desperate need of a make over.  Well, we took care of the color issue for the most part.  We still need to paint the office, but since that will be Jack’s room in a few years, he can pick the color when he moves in.  The kitchen is still God awful, but that’s just not in the budget right now.  One of the biggest projects I wanted to tackle when we moved in was the front and back yards.  In the front yard we basically have a shit load of jasmine bushes and some ugly bushes.  Part of the year we have some lilies that bloom.  I hate lilies!  Well, the other day we were out trimming the ugliest of the ugly bushes.  It is the one that happens to be totally blocking the kids window and is taller than our house.  Anyways, rather than trimming, I said what the hell and just started cutting it down.  I guess that was the jumping off point.  We have finally fixed our sprinklers so hopefully our lawn will come back nice and pretty.  We will most likely have to throw some seed out there too since our lawns have never actually looked good.  The next step will be to take out the dreaded jasmine bushes.  Don’t ask me why we decided to do this in the middle of summer when it is God awful hot, but hey, at least it’s getting done!!  I think one of the hardest parts is that we only have so much room in our yard waste cans and we don’t really have a way to haul a big load down to the dump so we are just doing a little at a time.  Now we just need to decide what do do with all the empty space we will have.  It is already nicely edged with some pretty bricks.

For the back yard, this will be an even bigger project!!!  In the fall when it starts to cool down, we are going to tear down the “sunroom”  This is a “room” that the previous owners built by using two carport frames, some tarps, some plywood, and some lattice.  Oh, and to keep it from leaking where it is butted up against the house, they used pool noodles.  I shit you not.  They actually used pool noodles!!!  Up until now it has been fine for storage, but it is starting to leak and it has always looked like we were living Arkansas with a guy and a banjo.  Soooo, come this fall, it is coming down!!!  In its place I will be building 4 raised garden beds.  I’m really excited about teaching the kids all about where our food comes from and maybe it will encourage them to actually eat something if they grew it.

The backyard is also home to a dead lawn that Lunchbox uses as his shitter.  Well, we are thinking of just tilling it all under and putting down some fresh sod.  when we moved in the lawn was sort of green, but it was mostly weeds that got mowed down every so often.  I’m hoping we can get the dog to take his business elsewhere, but that may be hard.  To finish it off back there, I was thinking of doing a playhouse for the kids for Christmas.  Shhhhh, don’t tell Pat!!!!

 

More Swimming!

Written by Pat on July 3rd, 2012

Well, the kids finished out their first batch of swimming lessons. It looks like it won’t be their last time taking “pike” swimming lessons though, since their teacher recommended both repeat. In summary: they don’t use their arms enough. Also, she didn’t say it, but Jack is not very comfortable in the water. Ella seems extremely comfortable; so much so she keeps trying to take some home in her ears.

After keeping notes for the first lesson, I decided for the last two to use Twitter to “live tweet” their last lessons. I hadn’t actually tweeted since 2010, so I figured it was time. Here is a reposting of my tweets, or you can click on the titles to go view them in all their Twitter glory.

26 June (#loriganswim)

5:18: It’s swim lesson time! Time for my live tweeting!

5:21: Teach is getting them used to water by floating and saying “motorboat, motorboat”. Wonder if she does that for her man

5:23: J is totally kicking on the kickboard. And smiling. There goes E, kicking like a rockstar! I think she also just copped a feel

5:25: I’m not gonna say the other kids aren’t as good as ours, I’m just saying you can tell which two kids haven’t missed a lesson.

5:28: I think E and the other girl may throw down over who gets to go first. I wouldn’t mess with E in the pool. She’ll drown you.

5:29: (from Lunchbox) Anyone know where the people are? I’m hungry. Anyone?

5:31: The other kids are doing stuff. Boring. Back to mine!

5:34: Right before I got here, the other boy was running and wiped out. J laughed at him. Loudly. That’s my boy.

5:39: I’m pretty sure E is trying to get water in her ears so she can slam her head into the couch to get it out. WTF!?!

5:37: Teach just told J she’ll “hold on to the noodle” if he does the arms. Son, it’s not every day a girl offers to hold your noodle

5:41: Teach just let the other girl go first. Death stare from E. Other girl may mysteriously find herself under water soon.

5:43: It’s jump time!!!

5:46: Jumps done. My kids’ “jumps” were closer to falls, but they both jumped and went under. Class done. Last class is Thursday.

5:49: All done. (pic of cold kids)

5:41: (from Lunchbox) Seriously…Humans? Food? Anyone?

 

28 June (#twinswim)

5:08: Time for kiddos last pike swim lesson.

5:19: Teach just asked if they wanna work on jumping in or motorboating. I know what my vote would be.

5:20: Teach recommended both kids take pike again. Both need to work on paddling. Boo!

5:22: Green light/red light time. E thinks red light means kick harder. I think she’s been riding in mom’s car too much.

5:26: E rocking the kickboard (pic of Ella kickboarding)

5:27: Scoop arms. Teach just asked E to show the other kid how to do it.

5:42: Both kids did good barrel rolls. Unfortunately, they were supposed to stay on their stomachs.

5:43: I may have to agree w Teach. Kids swim like they last both arms in an ice cream truck incident.

5:50: Jumps! Ella totally cut in front of the other girl. (the video starts up right after she cut in line)

Swim Time

Written by Pat on June 12th, 2012

I know it’s been a while between updates (again), but today was the kiddos first swim lesson and I couldn’t resist the chance to write up a recap of the event. Shae and I signed the kids up for the swim class a while back, and have been getting them ready for it ever since. Yesterday, we finally told them that today they would get to go swim and they were really excited (especially Ella). I took off of work a little early so I could tag along and witness the fun.

As excited as Ella and Jack seemed to go swimming, I kept thinking back to our trip Sedona last summer and Ella’s “swimming”. If you don’t remember (and don’t want to re-read the entire trip recap), Ella kept telling us how much she wanted to swim, and then started crying and refused to budge the second her toes touched the water. As soon as we got back to our room, she’d tell us how she “swam! and kicked! and splashed!”. Sure you did baby girl, sure you did. As excited as Ella said she was, I couldn’t shake the feeling we were going to have a repeat. Sitting there waiting for the earlier class to end, both kids (especially E) got really quiet and seemed a little nervous. Uh oh.

Anyway, as I was watching all of this I decided to keep a list of notes as things were happening. Here’s my recap (100% accurate with no embellishment, of course):

5:00: Sitting in the bleachers waiting for the previous classes to finish. Both kids are very quiet. As nice as it is to have some silence, they must be nervous. I just hope we don’t have a meltdown or a nervous poop once it’s their turn. Oh crap (literally), at this point I guess I’m rooting for a meltdown. I do not want to be a parent of the kid that shits in the pool.

5:10: We watched the kids in the earlier class do a little “wall crawl” where they had to hang on and pretend their hands were covered in glue. A little while later, they all got out, ran to the edge of the pool, and took turns jumping into the teaher’s arms. I watched all of that thinking, “it’ll be pretty cool in a few classes when our kids get to jump in, too.”

5:15: The teacher who had been leading the earlier class we watched just called Jackson and Ella. It’s go time. Of course, both of our kids run around confused by who to go to. Apparently “girl in red” isn’t descriptive. At least the other girl in their class seemed confused too.

5:17: Here we go! After some quick introductions the kids hurry over and climb into the pool. After being told to sit on one of the steps, they both do a half-crouch/half-sit thing that looks like they’re squatting to poop. Oh shit! NO! Please don’t poop. Please don’t poop…

5:20: Whew! No poop! Way to go kids! Keep it up. Now that we made it past that, it’s time to swim. Ella gets to go first. This should be good. C’mon, baby girl, no crying. There she goes, out in the water. No breakdown! She’s blowing bubbles and everything. She likes it, and she’s smiling.

Ok, now it’s Jack’s turn. Let’s make it two-for-two. Yes! We have bubbles!

Now it’s the other girl. She isn’t ours, so let’s just say she didn’t drown and move on. Fine, she can have a quick summary: our kids blew better bubbles.

5:22: The teacher just asked our kids a few questions. Both of them just stare at her and give a confused nod. Come on guys, you can say “yes’. Try it. Well, I have no idea what the kids just agreed to but apparently the nods were a good enough answer.

We have kicking! And bubbles. My kids rock bubbles.

5:24: Jazz hands! I don’t know how this applies to swimming, but kiddos did awesome.

5:25: The teacher just grabbed something from the side of the pool. What could it be? It’s kick board time! Yes! This should be fun. The other girl got to first this time, and she did pretty good; I hope my kids took notes.

Ella’s turn, she did awesome on the kick board. Jack did great too, but he needed a little more help. Both kids are still smiling though.

5:27: More kicking. The kids have the hang of this and are having a blast. Ella just did her excited tongue hanging out thing. She is the Michael Jordan of pike swim lessons.

In other news, we’re about 10 minutes in and we haven’t had any sort of crying or meltdown yet.  I don’t want to jinx it, so let’s just move on.

5:28: The teacher just asked if they knew how to do something, and both of my kids raised their hand. They have no clue what she’s asking, they’re little liars. The teacher believed them and asked them to show her, and of course they had no clue what to do. Busted!

Oh! Arm swimming! They do know this one. The teacher just tried to trick them by asking them if she was doing it the right way (she wasn’t). E wasn’t fooled, she’s been doing the arm motions and pretending to swim since before last summer’s Sedona trip. You’re going to have to do better than that if you want to get a trick question by her. I’ve found “what did you do today” usually stumps her.

Ella just had this exchange with the teacher:
Teacher: “Make scoop arms. Like ice cream. Do you like ice cream?”
Ella: “I like strawberry!”

She wasn’t offering you ice cream Ella, just focus on swimming.

5:29: Right after Shae says, “Our kids are doing way better than the other kid” Jack does a face plant in the water. Way to jinx it, mom. After getting over the shock of having his face in the water, he’s back to arm swimming. Good recovery!

5:30: Now it’s time to do some “swimming”. Basically, the teacher holds them up and helps them as they kick and swim out to pick up a toy. Jack goes first, and he’s great at the arms but needs to kick more. He must get that from me. Ella rocked this part. This shouldn’t come as a surprise considering she’s been practicing in the bathtub for months.

Now it’s the other kid’s turn. Yup, she’s still there. Ok, enough of her. Let’s get back to Jack and Ella.

While the other kids does her “swimming”, Ella is practicing her strokes. Good work, E. Way to get in some extra work. Jack is getting cold and spent his little break shivering. Still no crying though, so that’s good.

5:33: The teacher just told them they’re going to do some “crab walking”, whatever the hell that is. This must be complicated, there is a lot of talking going on. This is a lot of instructions. Better focus kids, I don’t want any drowning.

5:35 “Crab walking” is apparently what I called wall walking. Both kids are doing great and holding on. I guess they paid attention better than I did. After the wall walking, the kids take turns going out with the teacher and doing a little back float (with some help of course). Jack was pretty nervous, but he did a great job. Ella didn’t quite understand the idea of letting yourself float and kept arching her back up. She loved the part when she got tossed up in the air though. She wanted more.

It just occurred to me that this is the same stuff we watched the kids in the earlier class do. That means our kids are going to get to jump into the pool at the end. That seems pretty advanced for the first class, but they’re doing great so far so let’s see how this goes.

5:37: More wall walking. Is it jump time yet?? Nope. Now that I realized they’re going to jump in, I just want to see how they do.

5:38: The teacher just told the kids to do “peanut butter jelly hands”. My kids eat PB&J sandwiches all the time, so they should rock this, but they only do OK. I think Ella was disappointed she didn’t get a sandwich when she did it right. Jack probably argued that he only wanted jelly. After they master the “peanut butter jelly hands”, they do some more swimming-with-help. They are getting pretty good at this stuff.

5:40: Jack is freezing, but is still having fun (between shivers). He’s still the best in the class at bubble blowing. After the bubble blowing, it’s time to pick their favorite toy and blow bubbles while they pick it up. If Ella doesn’t pick pink I’ll jump in. The teacher asked if the other girl wanted to go first, and E tried to jump in and take her spot. She seemed genuinely surprised to find out it isn’t her turn.

Now it’s E’s turn. She picked the pink toy. Shocker.

5:42: Ella has the shivers now, too. Jack is doing great blowing bubbles again, he’s a bubble’s rockstar. He picked the blue toy, another huge surprise.

5:43: Is it jump time yet? Nope. Come on! Well, at least we got to witness another fun exchange between the teacher and our kids:

Teacher: “Have you ever been to ocean before?”
Both kids: “Yeah”

They don’t remember the ocean! They’re just saying yes because they want to seem cool! Liars!

I’m not sure what game they’re playing now, but when asked what animal she saw Ella said she saw a turtle (or at least that’s what the teacher interpreted). Jack saw something, but I didn’t hear what. Knowing him, it was probably a panda. When it was the other kid’s turn (yeah, she’s still around) she said she saw a turtle, too. Ella called turtle, kid! You can’t copy her! Get your own animal! The teacher let this go, but I think she should’ve had to pick a new animal.

5:45: Jump time? Jump time!!! Yes! This is the one I want to see. C’mon kids, let’s rock the jump. Basically, the kids line up along the edge of the pool and then jump into the teacher’s arms and get to splash around a bit. The other kid went first and did good. Ella was hesitant, but she jumped in pretty well. Jack, well, he needed a little help jumping in but he got nice and wet.

5:46: That’s it, the kids’ first swim class is done. Time to dry them off and get them warmed up. As we were wrapping them up in towels, the teacher came over and filled us in on Jack’s quote of the day (during the wall walking instruction):

Teacher: “What happens if you let go of the wall?”
Jack: “You die!”

I think he’s got it. Can’t wait until the next class.

Thanksgiving Re-Cap

Written by Shae on December 4th, 2011

I’m not going to go into every little detail about our Thanksgiving trip up to King City/Lockwood because I don’t think you really care what the kids ate for lunch or what pajamas they wore at night.

Soooo, we left San Diego around 8pm to embark on our 6 hour drive.  The reason we left so late was so the kids would sleep the whole way and we wouldn’t have to make a ton of potty stops for them.  Not even 10 minutes into our trip and we start hearing, “Momma, I go peepee.”  Great, we just discovered the problem with having potty trained kids on a long road trip.  This was going to be a fun drive.  We were able to find a place to pull over and then quickly get back on the road.  The kids seemed to fall asleep pretty quickly after that.  Yay!  Now, Pat will tell you how the drive took about 6 1/2 hours, but I disagree.  I only remember it taking about 3.  He will either blame that on the fact that I fell asleep too, or on my bad memory.  I’m going to go with the sleep.  We get to Grandma Jane’s house in King City about 2:30am and when the kids woke up they were super excited to see where we were.

The great thing about being in King City is that we get to sleep in!!!  Seriously.  We have both been running on the bare minimum of sleep since right before the kids were born.  The fact that we get a chance to sleep in every so often is awesome!  When we finally rolled out of bed the kids were eating pumpkin pancakes and playing with Grandma.  There I go with details.  Ok, as Pat will tell you, I have a pretty crummy memory, so I honestly have no idea what we did that day.  I think that was the day I dragged Pat to go see Breaking Dawn.  I guess I better explain myself.  Yes, I like the movies.  The books were shit, but I enjoy the movies and you can never have too many shirtless wolves.  They are also great movies to make fun of while you are watching them because the acting is just sooooo bad.  So, anyways, Pat will tell you he went kicking and screaming and I had to bribe him with all the candy we snuck in, but I think deep down he wanted to see Jacob without his shirt on too.

The next day Pat and his mom went and played golf and I took the kids over to my mom’s school so she could say hi to the kids.  I didn’t realize that there would be a catered lunch waiting for us in the teachers lounge.  Yummy!!!  After that we headed back to Grandma Jane’s house.  Later that afternoon Jane had a little gathering of friends so we got to be social and have some good food.  Pat’s friend Jeremy was there and I got to see my friend Mandy.  The kids were a big hit, as usual.  Later that night Pat went over to Jeremy’s house and played cards all night.  This is a little tradition they do every time they are in town at the same time.

On Wednesday we headed out to my parents house in Lockwood.  The kids pretty much just hung out and played in the tree house with grandma and grandpa.  That evening things got a little interesting.  See, every Thanksgiving my dad and I make the pumpkin pies.  I will brag a little here and say they are like eating a little slice of heaven with a cloud on top.  Getting the pies to that point can be a little tricky.  My dad is in charge of the crust and I do the filling.  It seems like every year things go terribly wrong in the crust department and it always ends up on the floor in what’s know as a crust tantrum.  I know where Jack gets it from.  This year was no different, but in the end we always make it work and the end result is divine.  I’m sure my dad would jump in if he were here and say how the kids helped and threw off his measurements or maybe it was because Ella was the one reading the cookbook.  Pat’s dad and Dorothy showed up after they pie episode so the next morning when the kids woke up they had a house full of grandparents!!

Thanksgiving:  Well, the kids played outside, My mom cooked, the grandpas BBQ’d the bird, Grandma Jane showed up, Lunchbox ate cat shit, we ate a kickass dinner, ate heavenly pie, bathed the kids, and went to bed.  That about covers it.

Friday morning started off with me working.  I had a photoshoot for two adorable toddlers.  It was so much fun because after the shoot, the twins got to come out and play with some new friends.  It was the sweetest thing ever.  They showed their new friends how to feed the sheep and gave them the tour of the treehouse.  They were all holding hands.  Seriously, the sweetest thing EVER!  The new friends taught the twins all about driving the power wheels my parents had.

That night Pat and I got to escape the house and head to The Waystation.  Let me back up a little bit here.  Lockwood is one of those “towns” that is in the middle of nowhere with about 400 people.  There is a tiny store no bigger that a shoebox, a K-8 school, and a post office that is smaller than the shoebox store.  It also has the Waystation.  It is a bar, restaurant, pool hall, and general hangout place for all the local drunks.  So why were we there?  Aside from it being the only place to get a drink, I got to meet up with a bunch of friends I’ve known since kindergarten!  Growing up, these guys were among my best friends.  There were only about 12 of us who when all the way from Kindergarten through 8th grade together.  and half of them were able to make it that night.  We had a bunch of drinks and played some pool.  Going back to the whole Waystation thing, this is the type of place that has $1 Shock Tops on tap during the happy hour and $2.50 after happy hour.  There is a reason everyone goes there to drink.  I guess we also were there on karaoke night.  There was only one person who could actually sing.  We wanted to take up donations from people to pay the others not to sing because they were just so bad.  Oh, and one guy was singing Nirvana, while sitting on the floor drinking a beer.  Classy place.  The truth is, we had such a fun night.  It was really great catching up with everyone.  This will be a regular thing the next time we are all in town at the same time.

Saturday morning came way too soon and started off with another photo shoot.  After that we just hung out at the house and then packed up the car.  We headed into Paso for dinner with my parents and a side trip to the candy store for the kids.  My dad payed them each a nickle, or “ni-no” as Ella says it, for each nail they picked up.  They got to take their ni-nos to the candy store and each buy a small bag of jelly beans.  After that we headed home after making a million potty stops.

Here are the rest of the pics from the trip