Tuesday, January 29, 2013


We arrived back in town just after my sister, brother and his wife came to Texas. On Christmas Eve, we all went to my parents church and then back to my parents house for Christmas dinner. Sara Beth had a great time running around trying to scare everyone.
Hudson patiently let us dress him up in a fancy suit and tie. He didn't even chew on the tie all that much.
It snowed this Christmas, though I didn't take any pictures of it. Sara Beth wanted me to come out side with her to play. We threw snow balls at the people still inside and she jumped on the snow covered trampoline. And, like a switch, she realized how cold it was and was ready to come inside to get warm.
Sara Beth's big present this year was a new bike. She had out grown her old bike, so I spent part of Christmas eve assembling the new bike. It is a little large for her now, but she will grow into it quickly.
Hudson's big gifts were diapers and sippy cups! Heather did buy him a guitar that lights up and makes noises. He discarded that in the lower right corner of the below picture because he was much more interested in all the sparkles on his big sister's new bike.
Sara Beth and my brother had a great time constructing inventive train paths. They enjoyed neither Hudson's attempts as "track reconfiguration" nor my attempts at creating large industrial train accidents. I was merely highlighting the flaw in having such tight curves in the track and that a train going at high speed would derail easily.
Ok, all the holiday posts have been completed. Next time, I will detail everything that has happened in the three weeks since new years.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Vacation and Rockets

So, I was planning on typing this up last week, but then I got a horrible staff infection in my elbow that prevented me from typing anything at all. But now I am nearly better and ready to do the 2nd update on all the pre Christmas activities. We went for a quick trip to visit Heather's mom and step dad.
  We left after I got off work, and I was hoping that the kids would both fall asleep and we could drive straight through. Hudson, however, did not agree with that plan. To be fair, I wouldn't be happy being strapped down in an uncomfortable car seat, but by nine at night, he would cry and fuss and slowly taper off to nearly quiet, and then I would go over a bridge or a small bump, and he would wake up and start crying all over again. We drove till only 11pm.
  Last time Heather and the kids went out, Sara Beth borrowed Heather or Cindy's camera and snapped a whole mass of pictures. This time, Sara Beth got to open one of her Christmas presents early from Cindy and Dennis: her own camera. I don't have the exact number of pictures that she took, but there were a lot. I know I did lower the picture resolution setting on her camera so that she wouldn't run out of space.
 We had a great time on the trip hanging out with Heather's mom and step dad. We had good food, it was great sitting back and watching Heather's mom and step dad interact with the kids, but would have to say that the highlight of the trip, for me, were the rockets. I had thing on my todo list this trip: go to the Space and Rocket center. And it was a great success. As soon as we got in the door, I find some circuit diagrams to build simple electronic devices like a fan or door bell and hooked Sara Beth into building some with me.
While at lunch, Hudson found his favorite thing of the whole trip: his "Space Spoon". It was just a simple black spoon from the cafeteria, but he loved holding it and chewing onto it. It rarely left his side the rest of the vacation. He would throw a fit if he could see it but couldn't get too it. If he was upset, handing the spoon to him would calm him down.
Here is Hudson driving a rocket ship. He had that huge grin on his face the whole time. He loves anything with a wheel, but a rocket ship with a steering wheel was even better. When it was time to go, he began crying like he had been stabbed and clung onto the wheel with all his strength. It brought back memories of pulling my brother away from a train setup when we were younger.
Sara Beth and I got up and close with one of the moon rocks. I asked her if she thought it looked like the moon was made of cheese. She gave me a weird look and said no.
To finish off the excursion to the Space and Rocket center, I got into a Gemini capsule with Hudson and Sara Beth joined us. It was a tight squeeze for me, but Hudson and Sara Beth appreciated all the buttons and switches being within handy arm reach. Heather was not interested in joining us in the capsule.
The trip was not only about rockets. We also got went out to visit Dennis' brother's animals. We fed sweet potatoes and bread to cows, donkeys, miniature horses, pot bellied pigs, and a dog. The dog ate more bread than the pig. But, too soon, we had to pack all our stuff up and headed back to Texas for Christmas, which I will detail in my next update.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Preparing for Christmas

Yes, we are still around, and yes, I know that the title implies that it is not yet Christmas.  Well that is because I began this post back during the 3rd week of December. It seems that life keeps getting faster and faster and that there is less time to stop and reflect on what is happening. Hopefully, now that the holidays are over, things will start getting back to normal.  I have a whole bunch of things to post on, so I am going to break it up into smaller chunks and post them all (hopefully) over this next week.

So to start off, lets go back to the week of December 15th. The holiday rush was just starting up. Christmas presents had just started to arrive in the mail. My mom knit Sara Beth a Hello Kitty hat. I took Sara Beth and Hudson out to get some Christmas presents for Heather. Hudson just enjoyed coming along for the ride, but Sara Beth can now provide input into what I should select. Sometimes the suggestions were good, other times, not so much. I believe the phrase "No heather does not want that unicorn stuffed animal" were uttered a least once during the outing.
Hudson's skills at exploring always improve. At this point, he could pull himself up at our bathtub and turn on the hot water. He thought that was the funniest thing ever as all that water went down the drain. Since we didn't want him to get his hands burned while sticking them in the hot water we had two choices. Sara Beth was in favor of turning on the cold water too, decreasing the temperature but doubling the water that went down the drain. Heather and I opted for the boring parent answer and turned off the water and attempted to keep him away from the bathtub with limited success.
We did have time to setup the Christmas tree. Sara Beth and her friend were very helpful in putting up all the branches and had put on a good assortment of ornaments before I had gotten the lights on the tree.
Heather was curious to see whether Hudson could successfully eat a Hershey Kiss. Well, the answer is: sort of. He successfully got it in his mouth; unfortunately, it didn't all stay there for very long. I rushed to get the camera and snap this picture before we began to clean him, his clothes, the floor, the door and the bottom of the windows.
Hudson is definitely a boy. He will turn anything he finds into a car and will start making engine noises as he "drives" it around. Here you can see him knocking all the decorative items out of a basket and using it as a race car.
Ok, so that is it for part one of the massive update. I'm going to publish it now before it gets too delayed and begin working on the next part which, as I said, should come out within a week.