Birthday dinner, cake, and presents!

Even though we went to Red Robin this past weekend to celebrate Owen’s birthday… AND I took him a Five Guys burger on his birthday at school… We still went out to eat for his birthday dinner! :) (Yeah, we like going out to eat.) :) We tried a new pizza place that’s close to us and it wasn’t too bad. I’m actually getting sick of pizza so I had a Stromboli which was pretty good. And Katie was introduced to the Parmesan shaker. :)


When we got home we Skyped with Grandma Marsha and Uncle Rob, sang happy birthday, ate cake, and opened presents.

Then I gave Owen his gift certificate for the Magic School Bus monthly experiments. Before he opened it I explained it was from mom and dad, Gramma Jean and Grandpa David, and Papa and Grannie—and I was sure he’d be over the moon!! And of course he couldn’t have cared less, LOL. He just couldn’t understand that it meant 12 new experiments (like the volcano he just did) and kept looking at the paper like Aaaand?! I kept trying to explain it and I think he finally started to get an idea…but he probably won’t fully get it until the packages start arriving (it should be mid-month).

Things never turn out as you expect when kids are involved. :)

Opening presents via Skype, part 2!

Today we opened presents from Grauntie Marge!

They got to see Katie dance around with her dolly in their new matching outfits (I didn’t get a picture of it because they were watching live and I can’t take pictures at the same time!).

And Katie loved her new Frozen sheets!

And Owen LOVED his Robot Turtles game. We watched some videos online about how to play, then we played, and after we put it away he kept running around the house playing a full-sized version. :)

T-5 days until the pool closes…

Papa happened to call right as we were walking in, so I Skyped them back so they got to watch Owen do a few jumps and watch Katie swim around.

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He kept doing this and I finally asked what he was doing… You’ll never guess. He was trying to do a somersault! :) I told him I’d help him when we were in the big pool!

Katie saw Owen holding his nose, so she was trying to do the same thing!


The kids she had been playing with in the kiddie pool were going home, so she was at the fence saying “Guys! Guys? Where are you going?”


He loves just floating like this.


If you didn’t know he liked to do it, it might freak you out because he looks…well…dead.





This is how Owen moves across the pool when he’s not actually swimming.

And then it was time for the special surprise! Not only was daddy at the pool with us…but we ordered pizza for dinner! Poolside! (Ever since Owen saw the signs and saw someone have pizza delivered, he’s wanted us to do it. Since the pool season is almost over, today was the day!)






She loves being tossed in the air…but can’t quite manage to count to three. :)

My turn with Katie. The video isn’t that great (meaning Katie doesn’t appear to be having that much fun) but she really was…and it’s rare for me to actually be in a picture or video with the kids. So here it is. :)




I finally got a video of Katie getting out of and back in the pool. However, she only did it once. The other day, she just kept going up the ladder then back into the pool—time after time after time.





And the bonus to the whole day? I started talking with a girl at the pool (she was there with a little girl who Katie was playing with in the kiddie pool) and long story short, she’s a babysitter and lives in the neighborhood! WOOHOO!

And the funniest thing of the day? While I was at the kiddie pool talking to the girl, Tom came over to tell me what Owen had just said. Tom said they had a race across the length of the pool and of course Tom won, but when Owen finished, Tom asked if he was tired or if he wanted to go talk to me. Owen’s response? NO! I’M PUMPED UP! LET’S GO! :)

Road Tripping

We spent just a hair over 12 hours on the road to get to Florida… It went fairly smoothly and was actually quite relaxing without the kids (i.e. worrying about snack breaks and potty stops and whining and napping).

I got caught up on my blog entries and a mini stack of parenting magazines, Alice was texting updates and pictures…and we Skyped with Owen while flying down the highway:


The only annoying thing was the toll roads in Florida. First it’s a turnpike but you have to pay along the way (not just at exits). Then you think you’re getting off the turnpike but wait there’s an exact change only booth on the other side of the traffic light….so you’re apparently off the turnpike but still on a toll road that only has exact change/sunpass lanes and we don’t carry change. Then we hit a manned toll booth and got change…but then we were on I-75. WHAT?!? It was maddening (we’ve obviously never taken that route).

But we made it to the hotel without major incident. :)

Owen’s Halloween Party

I walked into controlled bedlam. Or maybe it just felt that way to me, since I am unaccustomed to being in a room full of little kids. :) It was actually quite calm—just noisy. I regret not taking a video so you could fully understand. :)


Katie loves coming in (which she rarely gets to do because I leave her in the car while I run him in or pick him up). She gets into everything. I tried to keep her corralled with cheese and crackers today but it only lasted so long.


Then daddy called so he could see the party.


It didn’t last too long, though, since we couldn’t hear each other due to all the ambient noise. But what was funny is that the teacher saw me holding my phone up and was like “Oh, what do you have there?” I’m guessing she thought I was showing Owen something or taking a video. When I told her it was Owen’s daddy on Skype she was really surprised! And excited! So she got to meet Tom briefly today. (Again, it was loud so it wasn’t much more than “Hi! Nice to meet you!”)


Holy crap! Owen is pretty good at hitting!

Papa wanted to surprise Owen with his own baseball bat so he got it the other day and planned to give it to him after school before his dentist appointment when we’d be at the playground.



Then after a few quick attempts and after getting his grip and stance corrected, he was hitting most of my pitches! We were stunned. They weren’t perfect, of course, but I’d guess he was at least making some sort of contact on 80% of them…and probably good contact on 50% of those! He even smacked me with a ball a few times and had me ducking more than once as a ball whizzed by me.

While we were playing, Tom happened to Skype in, so he could watch Owen! It was awesome! Tom loved it!


He’s good at building cars!

I have had magnatiles on Owen’s wishlist for quite some time but have never bought them because A) he has so many toys already and B) they are damn EXPENSIVE. So when I saw these Magformers available on Amazon Vine (the program where I get to pick items for free and then I just have to write a review on it), I snatched them up!

Owen picked them as his weekly Chore reward this week. (Normally expensive toys aren’t options, but since they didn’t cost me anything—and mostly because he saw them before I could hide them!—I let him choose them.)

As it happened, Tom Skyped in right as Owen was wanting to open them, so Tom got to watch the fun for about 20 minutes! Even though the age said 3+ I wasn’t sure if he’d be able to follow the patterns to make the cars without getting frustrated—but he jumped right in and before I knew it, he had laid out all the pieces for the spaceship with no problem!

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Then he made two cars (with a little of my help since the pieces kept snapping together) and then he was making his own shapes and vehicles without the patterns.


Of course, now I want at least one or two more sets so he can build bigger and better things…I’ll be adding some to his wishlist. :) The other good thing about these is that the pieces are big enough AND the magnets are enclosed so they are fine for Katie to grab and play with (though it tends to make Owen melt down when she does that).