Friday, October 31, 2008

Boys Will Be Boys - or at least McIver will be!

I couldn't find McIver in the backyard the other day when it was time to leave to pick Olivia up from school. He answered me when I called for him, but he was nowhere in sight. I finally realized that he was in between the neighbor's back fence and THEIR back neighbor's fence . . . barefoot, among piles of old wood and broken pieces of fence. And he looked at me like I had RUINED his fun when I made him come back to our yard!

Looking like he has a right to be mad at me!

Houston Museum of Natural Science: Part 2

Our 2nd attempt to visit the Leonardo exhibit at the Houston Museum of Natural Science was a success. This time, the big sisters were able to join us because they got out of school early on Friday. Olivia was not at all excited about our little field trip, and apparently, neither was Isabelle. But, Sue and I knew that once they got together they would have a great time. Isabelle is in 3rd grade at Olivia's school so they know each other but are on different halls so they don't see each other much anymore. The decibel level in my car on the way there proved Sue and me right!

The girls in front of the Senckenburg Mummy - one of the earliest dinosaurs, discovered in 1908.

Everyone loved digging in the pit. They very gently brushed sand off of the fossils under the sand. I'm still not sure they realized they weren't discovering a real dinosaur. When they were finished, they worked really hard to cover up their findings so the next kid could be surprised. Olivia hung around to see a little boy overjoyed at his discovery.

McIver was in paleontologist heaven!
This guy has special tools and a microscope to chisel away at some sort of jaw. McIver could not tear himself away and the man loved that Mac was so interested.

McIver convinced the other kids to come take a look.
Panning for 'special treasure.'
Olivia in front of a huge amethyst geode. It really was beautiful - for a rock.

Olivia lost ANOTHER tooth today!

In front of the water falls out front.

McIver ignored my warnings to stay off the far wall of the fountain. And, fell into a rose bush. It was quite dramatic and traumatic (I probably did not give him the love that he really needed - this picture really does not do the wound justice), but he recovered well and managed to do a little trick-or-treating before the night was over.

Salty Bones

I was one of the Party Moms for McIver's class Halloween party today. We decided to make some spooky Halloween fare - salty bones. McIver donned his new apron and got to work. Opening the can of Pillsbury breadsticks was great fun - he was surprised by the 'pop.'

Waiting not-so-patiently for the bones to cook.
The finished product: salty bones - the kids loved them!

McIver's Halloween Parade at school

McIver had a hard time deciding which costume to wear to his Halloween Parade at school yesterday. He finally decided on his cowboy shirt, hat and boots. I thought he'd be lost in a sea of cowboys, but he was the only one - and he was glad that he had chosen not to wear his Prince Caspian costume because another boy in his class was wearing the exact same thing.
McIver did this and then told me to take a picture - it made me laugh because he thought he had put together a unique little picture. He did it again when he got to school to impress his teachers.
This is the best activity for the preschool set - they LOVE hammering golf tees into pumpkins!

McIver and his class, along with the rest of the school, sang a few Halloween songs for their audience after the parade. McIver is sitting with Prince Caspian, a Transformer, a dragon and a monkey.

The Monkey Class

Artwork by McIver

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Halloween Sneak Preview

Olivia and her friend, Shannon, were excited to be able to wear their Halloween costumes to dance class today. Olivia is Princess Lucy from The Chronicles of Narnia. I wanted to try to include a picture of Princess Lucy, but the Disney site won't let me save one (imagine that!), so click here if you don't know who Princess Lucy is (she's the one on the left next to Aslan, the Lion). I must say that there's a striking resemblence, but we'll part Olivia's hair to get even closer to the real deal for trick-or-treating.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Pitiful Little Boy *updated*

Poor McIver! He was up ALL night last night with some sort of stomach bug. We all went to bed early last night (I was even asleep by about 9:30), so it felt like it was the middle of the night the first time he came into our room. I asked Will to take care of things (thinking McIver just needed to go to the bathroom) because I had been to a weight-lifting class at the gym on Tuesday and could barely move! So, Will helped McIver to the bathroom and back to bed.

McIver started screaming for me about 45 minutes later and before I could even get out of bed, Will was with him and I heard the unmistakable sound of someone throwing up. Poor thing! It was just pitiful - he would call out for me, I would hobble down the hall to be with him, then get him settled back in bed and it happened at least 7 or 8 times until about 3am. ... or so I thought.

I got up at 6am and heard Olivia go into their bathroom. She came to tell me that McIver was in the bathroom - asleep, on the bathmat, in the fetal position, with no pants on. So, at some point, he felt it coming again, but I was either too sound asleep to hear him call for me or he decided that I wasn't all that helpful to his plight after all. I'm embarrassed to admit, the first thing I wondered when I saw him was whether or not to get the camera. But, he's far too young to have documentation of this sort of state. He'll have to wait for friends to do that to him in college, I guess.

*Update* -- McIver didn't seem to feel bad today other than being tired. We watched a few videos, read a bunch of books (Thanks, Gay!! He LOVES his new Superhero ABC book - especially the ' V' hero!) and played with some birthday toys. After we picked Olivia up from school, we unloaded and began afternoon activities. When I walked in McIver's room, this is what I found...

... at 3:30 in the afternoon! He's still there and who knows if he'll wake up for dinner. I just don't have the heart to wake him up after the night he had!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Making Pecans

The ECW at Palmer makes and sells pecans every fall. I spent the last two Sunday afternoons at church cracking eggs, mixing ingredients and baking pecans. This past Sunday, we had one cup of extra dry ingredients so I stopped and bought some pecans on the way home. The kids had a great time mixing everything together (and learning how to separate eggs).

One of McIver's favorite birthday gifts was from Bella. She gave him his own apron, chef hat and oven mitts.

Bubba's Texas Burger Shack

We have made a decision to try to eat at restaurants specific to Houston and/or Texas during our last months here before we move. Saturday night was no exception. We have seen Bubba's - under the Westpark Tollway, across the feeder road from Sam's - ever since we moved here. But, it's a little shady-looking. And, seems to be in a bit of a precarious location - under the tollway and all. We also weren't sure how family-friendly it would be since it usually has a lot a motorcycles parked out front. We were very pleasantly surprised when we got there, though. Aside from running into some friends we haven't seen in ages (since before Will's appendectomy last December!), the food and atmosphere were great. Will and I each had a buffalo burger and the kids enjoyed a grilled cheese (with extra pickles).

We learned from our friends that Bubba's has been around forever...which explains why it is where it is - Bubba was there first! It was across from a train depot and served $1 beer whenever there was a shift change or a new arrival. The sign just made me laugh - I don't know why they bothered putting the 'g' on the end of 'have' - a 3 would have worked just fine.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

McIver's 5th Birthday Party

We made the obligatory trip to Party City a few weeks ago to let McIver pick out his birthday paraphanalia. He went straight for the Captain Jack Sparrow/Pirate party stuff. So, a pirate party we had. The weather could not have been more beautiful and Mac the Pirate had a great time! He acted like each guest arrival was the king or queen which I'm sure made the children feel special. He invited his entire class from school - even his teachers. Mrs. Jean was able to make it which was a very special treat - I don't remember any teachers ever coming to my birthday parties!

Here's the pirate waiting for friends to arrive.

Olivia spent the morning with Shannon & Reagan at their brother's football game. Apparently, Olivia didn't like the game too much and declared that she will not allow McIver to play because she doesn't want to be forced to sit through his games.
The Cake - believe it or not, the Pirates of the Caribbean cake was not easy to find. I think we missed the proverbial boat by about 2 years. Most kids seem to have moved on to Star Wars, I guess. Not McIver - he still LOVES his pirate gear. I'm sure Pop's Treasure Hunt this summer helped to encourage McIver's interest.
McIver with his buddies from the Monkey Class, Sam & Helen.
Olivia was 'helping' McIver open his gifts. I'm surprised he didn't just push her out of the way to thank her for her helpfulness - he barely got to touch a few of the gifts, much less actually open them.
A few friends included pictures with their gifts. I always think that it so sweet when a child will take the time to do something like that. It is obvious from these two pictures that the little girls spent a lot of time on their drawings.

McIver's Birthday Dinner at Lupe's (with the Stricklins)

Imagine that - we spent another birthday at Lupe's - with the Stricklins... The last time we went to Lupe's we were with the Stricklins celebrating my birthday. Anyway, another great time was had.

Olivia & Abby started out in the sandbox.
The Moms and their girls loving Lupe's!
When we asked McIver where he wanted to go for his birthday, he picked Lupe's. And, told me that he would go to the bathroom so that I could tell them it was his birthday so they could surprise him with the birthday hat (which is how it worked when it was my birthday). The timing didn't work out quite as smoothly as we would have liked so we thought McIver would be disappointed that he knew the hat was coming. Clearly, he was willing to play along - check out the smile on his face when the waiters came out singing and bringing the sombrero.
The sombrero was so heavy he could barely hold up his head!
Olivia gave it a try.
Olivia and Abby bided their time long enough (read: hovered around the face-painting lady long enough) to get their faces painted for free. Gay & I had told them that we were NOT paying for face-painting, under any circumstances - hollering and gnashing of teeth ensued, but we held our ground. So, they were extremely proud of themselves. Of course, once they got their arms painted for free, we felt like we had to give to poor woman a tip. But then they got their faces painted!
Will finally made it after a long afternoon in surgery. I typically don't like for him to eat dinner in his scrubs, but we were just so glad that he could make it to celebrate his own son's birthday!
The boys stole the girls' thunder when they ended up with a second trip to the ice cream bin. We told them that since they had their faces and arms painted, they didn't get a 2nd ice cream. The boys sure enjoyed their bout of good luck!
A great way to end the night - McIver is listening to a message from GranGran & GranDaddy. They were singing Happy Birthday to him. He thought that was great fun!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Happy 5th Birthday, McIver!

McIver loved helping make the cupcakes that he took to his class this morning. He loved licking the beaters even more...

He couldn't believe that I gave him a cupcake for breakfast this morning.
This is the birthday page that we made for McIver to share with his class today. The picture in the middle is from the day we brought him home from the hospital. Then, we added pictures from each of his previous birthdays. He carried the page around and showed it to anyone who would look at it - people at church, the crossing guard and Olivia's school and her teacher.
McIver has the first birthday in his class so the celebration was new to everyone in the class. Mrs. Hunter gave him the #5 necklace to wear, then he was allowed to pick out some stickers and a special prize from the 'monkey box.' He was SO excited and did not mind being the center of attention for a minute.
Serving cupcakes to his class was the highlight of his morning.
He was also excited to show me around his classroom since we missed the Open House on Tuesday night.

When I woke himup this morning, the first thing he said was: Am I really 5? Can I tie my own shoes now? (Oh, if only it were that easy!)
We will have a birthday party at the playground on Saturday afternoon. Here they are stuffing the party favors for all of his friends.

The mailman knocked on the door today because he delivered GranGran & GranDaddy's gift for McIver. I had hoped that we would be able to wait until Will got home to open gifts, but McIver had other plans. As soon as he saw his name, he immediately ripped the package open and started jumping up and down that he has 'MY VERY OWN LEGOS!!! THAT IS SO COOL!!!' We ended up spending the next several hours building the rescue boat and helicopter. I didn't get any pictures because I was very involved in the process.

It was all I could do to keep McIver from opening our gifts to him. Will didn't get home until after 7, so the kids were fed, bathed and ready to celebrate all over again when he walked in the door.

Grandma Janet sent McIver a nice check for his birthday. He chose to spend the money at the bookfair today at his school. He selected one book about snakes and another about safari animals. He's torn between becoming a construction worker and a marine biologist when he grows up. When I told him neither of those books were about marine animals, he said he'll just be a vet. He was glad to have a chance to hear Will read the snake book to him before heading to bed.