San Antonio Do Seum Where Children DO!

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Today was our second trip to the Do Seum. This children’s museum is pretty cool and that’s coming from someone who doesn’t usually enjoy museums. Everything is very “hands on” so it’s been perfect for Audrey. One thing I’ve noticed here that I haven’t seen at any other children’s museums would be the ‘baby rooms’. They have plenty of things for older (walking) children to entertain themselves with, but they also have areas specific for crawlers. Obviously that’s a wonderful idea for mothers with multiple children because you can find something for any age.

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Audrey is a very independent child. When she’s playing she doesn’t want me anywhere near her. For the most part she likes for me to sit and watch while she goes off to explore. This usually means that I’m stuck standing by the stroller or sitting on the ground somewhere. At the Do Seum they did a good job of sneaking in seating areas for parents. In my opinion they still need more because I can see it being inconvenient on a busy day. The outdoor areas are very nice. Audrey was having so much fun playing in the water areas today while I sat in the shade. Unfortunately any bench by mulch was home to ant hills. I was bit several times before I moved to the covered concrete part. I do think they should have created a splash fountain for kids to run though. They are already getting soaked in the water attractions so why not go all out.

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Audrey’s favorite area of course is Little Town. It’s a city for children under 5 and an employee guards the gate to make sure children are confined until their parents leave with them. This little town has a grocery store, veterinary clinic, food truck, post office, and even an airplane! We spend most of our time in that little room of chaos. I think my favorite part is that we can bring in food! I can’t stand the “no outside food or beverage” rule. The Do Seum has a little café that sells pizza, wraps, and other things for under $10. I haven’t eaten there yet but it smells yummy. I always prefer to pack our meals to save money. We bought the Do Seum membership so I think we’ll be spending a lot of time there this year. It’s always nice to have a place to take children when the weather outside isn’t nice.

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http://www.thedoseum.org/

Our Weekend In Corpus Christi!

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We went to Corpus Christi last weekend because Tom had a conference at the Omni. I didn’t think it was going to be as refreshing as it was because we weren’t leaving the state. I guess I didn’t consider it a ‘trip’. Other than the Omni being a less than average hotel, we had a great time. I still pinch myself that we live in a new state where we can drive to the beach instead of the mountains. It’s a nice change of pace and the people in Texas are just the friendliest around. We arrived Thursday afternoon and quickly discovered that the Omni wasn’t quite as nice as we were used to. Our room would have been wonderful if it had adult sized beds. The room had two DOUBLE beds which are 54×75 inches versus a queen which is 60×80. These are the beds that furniture stores sell for KIDS rooms so why is it in a hotel??? I was almost too long for this bed so I can’t imagine how a 6’ tall man would fare. Another HUGE con was the WIFI. Note only did you have to pay $11-$14 it didn’t work! I called the front desk and their response was “sometimes when the hotel is really full the WIFI doesn’t work well”. Correct me if I’m wrong but shouldn’t a hotel be prepared to accommodate a full house?! The room service meals were very good though. The pool was nice except it should have been twice as large because it was getting a little crowded. All in all we gave the Omni a 2.5-3 out of 5. I wish Corpus invested in tourism more. They need a nice strip of land by the ocean with nice hotels and restaurants on the water. The beach in Corpus is nice, I wouldn’t call it a destination mostly because the city really needs to construct a ‘destination area’. I would skip Corpus all together and go straight to Port Aransas if we were looking for beach time. On last night the conference had a reception that we attended. The food…..well let’s be honest it was pretty gross. Tom even got food poisoning from it! They had two protein dishes, chicken and Mahi Mahi. The chicken still had it’s skin but it was soggy instead of crispy. It tasted like they just boiled it and tossed in hot sauce. The fish was so dry that it became chalk in our mouths and that’s never a good sign. But they did have a live band and we spent most of the night dancing. It was fun dancing with Audrey. You can see some of her ‘dance moves’ in our vlog! It was great being able to dance as a family. The wall facing the ocean was mostly glass so it was lovely being able to look at the water as the sun went down – too bad the food wasn’t on par with the ambience. Over-all a nice low key weekend that I enjoyed more than I thought I would.

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Thoughts Of A Sleep Deprived Mom

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Sleep, what a topic! It’s common knowledge by now that when you become a parent sleep becomes a distant memory. Most people dread this part of being a parent because it is one of the harder things we have to deal with physically. When you are pregnant with your first baby people tell you what to expect, but expecting doesn’t prepare you for the physical toll. Some people think ‘I’ve been without sleep for a few days, or maybe a week so I will be fine’ but the loss of sleep could last for YEARS! Tom always liked to say “I used to work 36 hour shifts in the hospital without any sleep. I’ve done it before and I’ll do it again”, but he conveniently forgets that he did it 20 years ago!! Lucky for him I did 100% of the night care with Audrey and I’ll do it with the next baby too.  It’s like being anorexic, only with the zzzZZZ. Parents are ‘sleeporexic’! If you don’t eat properly it will take a toll, just like not getting adequate sleep. Who can function without sleep? Well parents try, what choice do we have? I’m at the point now where I’m always tired. I love the idea of getting a nice restful sleep, but it never seems to happen. My hubby is wonderful at letting me sleep in (9am) on the weekends, but my body isn’t. My mommy brain has to decide between sleep and getting something done. Do I want to take advantage of an early bedtime or wash another load of laundry? Most of the time I choose to get something done. Sometimes when I get a “normal” amount of sleep it makes me slow all day. It even gives me a headache! So I long for more sleep but when I get it I don’t feel well. Ahhhh long gone are those pre-baby days where sleep was plentiful. Being a parent is a new phase of life and lack of sleep is part of it. I do miss the pre-baby days, but those days came and went like they were supposed to. I don’t feel like I let them go too soon, timing was great. It doesn’t mean that I don’t drool when I imagine how easy sleep used to be.

Shrimp and Italian Sausage Pasta

Ingredients

Italian Sausage
Small tail off shrimp
2 cans tomato sauce
1 can diced Italian tomatoes
1/2 – 1 cup evaporated milk
Olive oil (I use truffle oil)
Whatever noodle you choose
Italian Seasoning
Oregano
4-6 garlic cloves
1 Onion

Chop your onion and garlic. Slice your Italian sausages. Heat some oil in a skillet and cook the Italian sausage until it is half way, then add the onion and garlic. Add 2 TBS Italian seasoning and 1 TBS Oregano. Once everything is cooked together for a few minutes set the sausage aside. Sautee you shrimp in a pan with 1 TBS chopped garlic.

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In a large sauce pan heat the tomato sauce and diced tomatoes. Add the Italian sausage that you set aside earlier. Cover the pot and simmer for 45-60 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and stir in the evaporated milk. Add as much or as little as you like. I prefer a creamier sauce so I usually add 1 cup.

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Cook the noodles. I like to toss mine with my truffle oil after I strain it, completely optional.

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Now just top your pasta with the sauce and add some shrimp. ENJOY!

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Camping In Our Home

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Well today is officially one week since we have been here in Texas. Unfortunately Tom had to go back to Denver so Audrey, Baron and I spent the first weekend here all alone. I have been finding it increasingly difficult to camp in this house. We have an air mattress and a pack and play, plus suitcases with clothes and toiletries but not much else. We brought some basic cooking utensils……not enough. I’ve been to Wal-Mart almost every day since we arrived. I hate buying things that I know we already have like foil or cleaning supplies, but it seems like I’ll have to. Our pods were packed up last Friday the 14th and picked up Monday. I guess they just arrived in San Antonio on the 19th. I am HOPING I get a call tomorrow to schedule a Tuesday delivery………….. Our timing was just so off for this move. I want our stuff to arrive before I go insane. Tonight I bought Audrey some markers to color only to go home and discover that we had NO PAPER! The most frustrating part is probably cooking. I don’t like eating out too often, but I start cooking a meal only to discover that I have no spatula or a can opener. Lord PLEASE send our stuff to our new house Monday or Tuesday. I have to make mashed potatoes and a banana berry pie for our family Christmas dinner in Houston, BUT I DON’T HAVE ANY SUPPLIES! I saw a $14 mixer at WM tonight that I may go back and buy it. An up side to all this is buying new furniture! We bought a bedroom set and a dining table. Tom also got a new car wohoooooo. I guess after 4 months of moving and living on the basics I’m anxious to get everything back. I’ve already forgotten half of what we own….. Good thing there is a Goodwill donation center down the street. I have a feeling we are going to be getting rid of a lot of things we didn’t know we had.

Exhausted!

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Here is an update on our ever stressful life. I have been working on getting our house ready to list the last two weeks. It’s been so much work on very little sleep. I was painting, packing, cleaning, scrubbing, polishing, vacuuming, washing, lifting, and chasing a rowdy 2 year old around. Audrey added 10 times the work load. I would pack a box full of stuff and walk away to grab more……..well by the time I would come back the little munchkin had emptied them!!!!! I had to then move these very heavy boxes into the garage so the house would look pristine for showings, only to have Audrey follow behind me to lock me IN THE GARAGE. I boiled water and scrubbed the porch to clear spider webs and bird poop, I noticed Audrey being quiet and she had spilled a whole sippy cup of milk on the freshly mopped wood floors. I had no idea how much work this would be and I can’t believe I did it! Now that I worked so hard to get this house PERFECT, I have to keep it that way. I have a bedspread that I use only for showings and Audrey will take it off every chance she gets. She loves the mini throw pillow that she lovingly calls “Aude pillow”. So when I am not sweeping her crumbs in the kitchen or polishing furniture, I am constantly searching cabinets and rooms for this “Aude pillow”. I paid $340 to have window cleaners come and lately I’ve noticed that any window Audrey height has lip and finger prints. The other day I caught her licking the window!!!!! On top of all of this she has become obsessed with taking cushions off of the couches………

How did I birth the busiest baby ever!? I am convinced that she is what I get because I wasn’t an easy baby. I constantly pray that my next one is simple. I would love to have a baby that – sleeps, takes a bottle, isn’t 8lbs at birth, likes the carseat instead of screaming for HOURS (really I had no idea how a newborn baby could even have the energy to scream the whole 3 hr car ride with NO breaks), actually cried like a baby instead of shriek like a pterodactyl, says “momma” earlier than 16 months lol. I don’t think I can survive another Audrey.

BUT thank you Lord! The house IS finally listed and we are tying up other future determining issues. Our prospects look good for all our upcoming battles though. I am happy to report that my daily devotional – Trusting God Day by Day by Joyce Meyer had been a Godsend. It’s still difficult not to let emotions get entangled with the web of malignant negative thinking, but since I have been reading this devotional it’s a lot easier to remind myself that God is in control. One of the recent devotionals was all about how God lives in us and you have to ask the question “Is it comfortable for Him to live there?” Any negativity that is effecting you will make his home in you a lot less comfortable. So lately it’s been nice to focus on calming any storms that arise. It still takes effort not to slip into negative thoughts, but it’s a lot easier when I get reminded daily through my devotional. It’s good to be on God’s side because he is victorious.

Our Easter Weekend!

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Our Easter weekend started with a baby trying to swim in the dog food! She went straight into the bath tub. Here is a picture of her in her custom made (by my stepmom) watermelon baby towel. It is the cutest thing! It’s a hand towel that she sewed buttons onto so it fits Audrey perfectly.

Saturday our church was hosting a huge egg hunt at the park. They had two egg hunts, one for ages 5 and under and another for 5 and up. DEFINITION of EGG HUNT – A flat space of grass with thousands of eggs (hardly a “hunt”, more of a buffet). But Audrey was a natural! They let the 1 year olds go out 30 seconds before the older kids to give them a fighting chance. I guess they weren’t ready for THIS little hunter! She didn’t waste any time. Once she crossed the rope she was grabbing eggs left and right, two at a time. She didn’t even know there was CANDY in them yet. I wonder if she stopped to think “Why am I running around picking up these colorful plastic balls and putting them in a bag?” She probably gathered 2 dozen eggs on her own. After the hunt you have to go through your eggs to see if you found any “golden ticket”, but Audrey was more focused on the candy.

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After her hunt it was the older kids turn at an egg buffet. Everyone was standing around waiting when Audrey notices this car JUST HER SIZE. She didn’t care who it belonged to, she jumped right in and started to drive. Aw my little “Grand Theft Auto” baby ha ha! 

 

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After the egg buffets we went to Wally World to buy supplies to color eggs. Audrey obviously had other interests at the store. She wanted to try on the hats and she would pose and say “CHEEEEEEESE”! How freaking adorable!

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We started to dye the eggs with a lot of trepidation because we had no idea how messy Audrey was going to make this. In the end she was content watching the older kids dye eggs while she drank a bottle and cuddled with her new egg friend. She sat the whole time holding this egg to her cheek…………….well before she bashed it on the table and ate it. 

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It’s SUNDAY and it’s time to celebrate what Easter is really about. He is RISEN – no not the bunny people, JESUS! It was a more frustrating morning since I am the only one in my family trying to direct attention to the real meaning of Easter. We focused on the egg hunting, candy and other festivities on Saturday. So I wanted Sunday to be focused on Jesus and what this day represented. But after the thousandth mention of the easter bunny it was beginning to be disrespectful. I think if it were up to my husband Christmas and Easter would be 5% Jesus and 95% Santa and Bunny! I understand that those things are more fun for some people, but if we keep watering down our Holidays eventually there won’t be anything more than the Eater Bunny. The TRUE meaning of these days will be lost and when our children have children they will know Jesus even less. Luckily the weather was so nice and we got to go outside and enjoy it a bit after church. We tried on Audrey’s bike helmet again and, as you can see she found an interesting way to wear it. I tried to take her on a bike ride but she wasn’t into it 😦 Sad moment. 

I’m so impatient for the leaves on our trees to come out! We are so late this year and it’s making me sad. I want GREEN NOW!

 

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Our Little Audrey Is One And A Half!

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18 Months already! I can’t believe how fast these months have gone. The last 6 months our baby has quickly grown from a baby to a non-stop toddler! She’s GO GO GO NAP, GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO BED! She is a very active little toddler now. She is constantly into something she shouldn’t be. She’s got a very strong personality that is equally as sweet. She loves to cuddle but she cannot be distracted if she has her mind set on something. Lately she has been saying “High Five!” and giving high fives all over the place. Her hair is curlier that ever and she doesn’t let us touch it! She has 3 teeth coming in at the same time on top. At the moment she has one fang on top and two middle teeth on the bottom. Tom likes to call her “Fang Baby” because she has one tooth on top to the right. Audrey is a super stubborn little girl! She’s the friendliest baby I’ve ever seen. We were walking around the museums here in DC and she will walk right up to a group of people and say “HI!”. She doesn’t even look to see if Daddy and I are following her. She will see a family and she’ll just join them and start following them and we have to snatch her back. It’s so funny how she completely skipped the STRANGER DANGER phase. In our hotel lobby there was a lady standing in the corner on her iphone, Audrey saw her and ran away from me to meet her. She walked right up and said “HI” then she gave her legs a hug! I have to admit that we love how cute and friendly she is. I prefer this over an anxious, paranoid child any day. Audrey has really grown up the last 6 months, and even though I’m sad to see her get older I am enjoying this phase quite a bit.

Too Attached

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Today I met a couple who had been together for 2 decades and just had their first child. As I was getting to know them I couldn’t help but be glad I wasn’t them! I think a lot of parents get too attached to their first baby and they let it really change their lives. I notice lots of first born children having some kind of social issues by being raised like this. It’s like the baby and parents in a plastic bubble. Their baby was about to turn one and they had not been away from him for even 1 hour. They were talking about how life ‘used’ to be and how they were able to go out and now they can’t. They have lots of options for babysitters, but they have never accepted. They sat there and spoke about how nice it would be to get away from their baby to feel “normal” again. I told them to just DO IT because it was important for all of them.

I went on to tell them about our trip to Scotland when Audrey was 8 months old and that we were leaving her again to go to Las Vegas tomorrow. Believe me, it’s hard when you first leave your little baby but once you get to your destination its wonderful. I knew from the beginning that I did not want to be the type of parent who creates an unhealthy attachment between myself and my child and vice versa. I think new parents tend to do that with their first-born, but once the second baby arrives things change. And for a family whose life revolved around that one little baby, a second baby can shake things up drastically. I want to be able to continue my life as ‘Sarah’ and also as ‘Mommy’. If I just become ‘Mommy’ what will happen to me after my children are all grown up? I adore Audrey, but I would be doing her and myself a disservice to teach her that my world revolves around her. I want her to grow up secure in knowing that Mommy and Daddy love her, but to see that we are also ‘Sarah’ and ‘Tom’. One day she’ll have her own babies and I hope she learns how important it is to take time for herself by our example.

Ah speaking of time for myself, bed sounds just wonderful right now.

Family Bike Ride

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Today we decided to load up the bikes and head to Waterton Canyon in Colorado. We had a really nice time. My bike is a Schwinn Hybrid so it isn’t truly made for this type of trip. It made my trip up the mountain a lot more strenuous than Tom’s with his expensive mountain bike. Not to mention I had an extra 40lbs on my bike with the baby and the extra equipment. I still had a great time though. About 45 minutes into our trip dark clouds started rolling in. We started seeing lightning and hearing thunder, and that is when we decided to turn back. I wanted to find a place to eat our lunches. We made Audrey PB & J and she loved it! She almost ate the whole thing. At the end of our lunch we realized that Audrey had a huge blow out EW!!! I had to wash her with our water bottles. It was a terrible mess. The rest of the day was nice because we were all tired and we could relax together. BUT our poor little baby was sick sick sick and she was very unhappy. All in all it was a nice day.