Friday, December 27, 2013

Hudsons birthday and about a month of other stuff

I think my new years resolution will be to post to this blog more often. I am reminded of the joke about programmers confusing Halloween with Christmas (31Oct = 25Dec), but I wont say more about that since the joke is not really all that funny. When I don't post, all the pictures get back logged. And then, when I finally get them posted, I don't remember all the details and backstory behind the pictures. Anyways, prepare for a boat load of pictures:

Hudson had his birthday at the end of LAST month. He is getting more independent and capable, and was able to open a lot of presents all by himself, though his sister was nearby eager to lend a helping hand.
Heather and Sara Beth made a "rainbow cake" as the birthday cake. Make a white cake and separate the batter into six bowels. Add different food coloring to each, resulting in red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple batters and add them one at a time into the final baking pan. Sara Beth did all the mixing for us.
The birthday boy's requested meal was "tacos". Cheese, homemade rice and homemade refried beans have always been some of his favorite foods, and tacos are a combination of all of those.
He has a fascination with candles. He will go around the house pointing out the candles (calling them hot) and then will ask to have all of them them lit. Heather has had to buy more candles as we are going though them much more quickly now. Now that we have shown him how to blow out the birthday candles, Hudson will wander around the house asking to have any unlit candles lit, and asking to blow out any candles that have been previously lit.
He liked eating the cake too.
Sara Beth, inspired by her baking with Heather, had decided she is going to come up with her own recipes. Some, like the "cake" made with mostly baking powder, didn't turn out too well, but some others have been edible. With each new iteration, the results get better.
Hudson, after seeing us clean up the dishes after each meal, has decided he wants to get in on the action. He will push a chair up to the sink and then start to wash whatever is in there. His loves using the scrubbing brush and will ask for it by name if he cannot reach it.
The kitchen sink is deep, so if he ever drops the brush to the bottom of the sink, he cannot reach it without taking his feet off the chair.
Sara Beth asked me to play Barbie with her. She came up with the game where all her dolls were tied up and in jail. I was the Ken doll in the car who was the jailer. Every time one of the dolls escaped, she got Lilly Belle to come and attack the offending doll. Sara Beth declared that the doll was no "meat-alized" as a warning to the remaining prisoners.
Hudson has started wanting to make pictures with crayons. I will sit down with two blank sheets of paper, one for him and one for me. He scribbles on his while I try to make something artsy looking on mine. Five minutes later, he wants to switch papers.
I checked out Wall-E from the library to watch as a family one Sunday. Hudson and Sara Beth loved it. Hudson declared the robot to be a "tractor" and his cockroach companion as a "bee" and pointed both of them out whenever they came on the screen. For about a week after the movie, Sara Beth wanted to act scenes with me playing the part of Wall-E and her as EVE.
No clue what this picture was about. I thing he wanted to show off his new hat.
I tried taking pictures with Hudson at Thanksgiving at my parents house. He was not as interested in smiling for the camera.
On the other hand, Hudson loves using a small shovel that is over at my parent's house. That same day, he asked to go outside, then he requested the shovel, and then he was all smiles as he went around trying to dig holes all over the yard.
We cracked out the Christmas decorations the day after Thanksgiving. Sara Beth is learning how to tie bows and she was really proud about fixing the bow on the top of the white Christmas tree statue.
Sara Beth decided that she could make her own peanut button and jelly sandwich for lunch one day. We were more than happy to oblige. We might even let her make her own school lunches.
When I went to the grocery store, I found some cup cakes that were on the super sale rack of the bakery. I brought them home and gave one to Sara Beth and one to Hudson. I didn't realize how much blue food coloring was in the frosting until Hudson smeared it all over everything. He had a grand old time with the sugary finger paint.
Hudson still sleeps in his crib most nights, but every now an then, he will ask to sleep in his "big boy" bed.
In case I haven't mentioned it enough, Hudson loves tractors. My dad had a magazine full ads of tractors for sale. Hudson carefully perused the ads and pointed out each and every tractor that was in them.
There was an ice storm that blew into the Dallas area which closed the schools and my job, so we all got to go out and play in the slippery cold stuff. Sara Beth pretended to be one of Santa's elves, harvesting icicles to make some sort of elf juice once she came back inside.
Hudson loved going out in the cold too. Once we bundled him up, he went out into the yard and pushed his toy dump truck across the frozen ground. When ever he came across a large chunk of ice, he would pick it up and throw it back on the ground to smash it into smaller pieces.

Friday, November 22, 2013


So I think I am catching up. These are pictures from around Halloween.
Heather and Sara Beth carved one pumpkin while Hudson and I carved the other one. We didn't have any newspaper at our house, so Hudson and I ended up snooping in neighbors recycle bins until we found a house that still gets the paper. I drew the face on Hudson's pumpkin, and Sara Beth drew the face on her own.
 Hudson figured out the pumpkin seed extraction process quickly and eagerly graped a spoon to help. Once we were done getting all the guts out, Heather carved Sara Beth's pumpkin with a knife, while I used a power drill. Hudson started crying when I was drilling out the holes, thought I'm not sure if it was because I was cutting holes in the pumpkin, or because I was using power tools. Either way, he settled down once we put the candles in.
Our church had a Halloween party type thingy where Sara Beth got the opportunity to ride a pony, though I think she realizes riding around in an enclosed circle is not as cool as a free range pony.
Almost every Sunday, we will do popcorn, cheese and fruit and watch something on TV. Typically, it is a VeggieTales. I thought that we might try watching Wall-E one evening. One evening, while Sara Beth was out, I previewed it with Hudson. Whenever he saw the main protagonist, he pointed at the screen and said "tractor"; the cockroach sidekick was "bee". Whenever Hudson is done eating, he will offer to feed me the rest of his food. This is a picture of him trying to give me the rest of the water in his sippy cup.
On actual Halloween, Hudson figured out the candy thing very quickly. We dressed him up as a farmer, and initially, I carried him to each door. But by the fourth house, he got down and followed Sara Beth through the lawns from door to door holding up his bucket and saying "Please". Sometimes he did fall behind his sister, in which case I helped him catch up. Several houses just had a bowel out front with a "Please take one" sign. I figured that Hudson had enough candy to last till easter, so, I would sealthfully take a hand full out of his bucket and place it in the bowel for other kids to eat. I think he appreciated the fact that his bucket never got too heavy.
One evening before bed, Sara Beth decided to wash Heather and my feet. After washing Heather's feet, Sara Beth decided to go full out, and carefully painted her nails too.

Heather and I were talking about getting Hudson a tricycle as his birthday present. That weekend, we went to a garage sale, and he found one that he loved, and it was only $1. The best part about it was that when we lifted up the seat, we found a hidden storage that was full of sidewalk chalk. We decided to let him have the birthday present early. Every night, when I come home from work, the first thing that Hudson does is run to the garage door and request to "bike".
Hudson has gotten in the habit of trying on Heather's shoes. His feet are big enough that her shoes don't instantly fall off. Sara Beth, on the other hand, just got a new pair of tennis shoes. Heather's shoe size is only 4 more than Sara Beth's. I imagine is a couple more years, Sara Beth will be wearing Heather's shoes around the house too, and she wont look quite as silly as Hudson when he does it.

Friday, November 8, 2013

The ill fated camping trip

So at the end of October, we decided to go on a family camping trip. Thursday night, we packed up the car. Friday, I took a half day off at work and Heather picked me up at 11am and we were off to Bohnam State Park.

The kids were super excited about being out doors and Hudson immediately requested his boots on so he could explore our camp site while Heather and I unpacked our camping supplies. So, I pull the tent out of the car, stake it down and then begin, raise it up on its poles, and see the middle of the roof begin to tear apart like a wet paper towel. It was an old tent and I had apparently not fully dried it out when I packed it up this past spring. So we pack up the kids and rush of to the closest Walmart to buy a new tent. I had hoped to wait till after this trip so we could purchase one that didn't have to accommodate Hudson's pack-and-play crib, which takes up a lot of space and he will be out growing in the next few months. Oh well. We went back to the site and setup the brand new tent in mere minutes. The new ones are much easier.
There were some really cool vines that Sara Beth discovered at the back of our camp site. She would pretend that something was chasing her and then climb up to escape.
Our first dinner was great, except for the rain. The weather forecast included a 20% chance of rain. What we got was drizzling rain all evening. Never enough to pack everything up, but enough to never let anyone fully dry out. Heather cooked some delicious hamburgers over the campfire, and the s-mores were a hit with everyone.
The next morning we wake up to a chilly 38 degree morning. Apparently, in addition to a higher than predicted amount of rain, there was a cold front that came in and dropped the temperature down around 12 degrees cooler than foretasted. We decided it was too cold for pancakes at the campsite, so we drove into town for some Burger King breakfast and let the kids play in the warm indoor play area for a while.
Once we got back out to the campsite, the sun had slightly warmed up the land, so we went for a hike.
On our hike, we found an abandoned structure by the lake. Sara Beth pretended it was an abandoned house. The rangers later told us it was an old bird blind built for an eagle scout project.
Hudson wanted to get into Sara Beth's things things in the tent when he got up from his nap. Sara Beth and Heather had gone out on a exploration trip with a cool backpack of activities from the ranger station. She had a microscope, plant and animal identification cards, binoculars, a notebook and crayons.
After dinner Saturday night, Heather and I were sitting by the fire while the kids played in the dirt over by the tent, when we hear a loud knock and Hudson starts crying. He tripped and fell head first into a landscaping timber. We decided it was a good time to pack up and head home.
After a good night's sleep in real beds in a solid house with functional heat, everyone was mostly back to normal. I told Heather it was a good thing that this was not our first camping trip. Otherwise, I don't think we would want to ever camp again. 

Monday, October 28, 2013

Cats and early birthdays

Well, once again, I am behind schedule on posting. So this is from a couple weeks ago. The kids have gotten used to the new kitten around the house. Both of them enjoy the fact that she doesn't bolt as soon as they get close. Sara Beth will give Lilly cat treats, and Hudson has picked up on this behavior any time he sees a bag of cat treats, he will clamor for the bag and then dump it all over the carpet for the cats.
  Hudson is not alone in messing up our carpets though.  I walked into the living room one afternoon to find that Sara Beth had made a "magic path" in the living room by spreading handfuls of cat food all over the floor. Her thought is that the cats would slowly eat across the floor and once they eat it all up, she would replenish the path. I mentioned that people might step on and crush the cat food; Sara Beth countered by demonstrating that she could carefully navigate from one end of the living room to the other without stepping on any food. After further discussions were topics such as the potential for ants and the freshness of the cat food stored on floors instead of sealed containers were raised, it was decided that she and I could have a race to see who could pick up cat food faster. It was a close race, but I think she might have won the race.
Every day, Hudson seems to become more and more mobile and capable. And he then uses that mobility to get into more and more dangerous situations. He now has the ability to climb on top of the plastic play house in the back yard. He did it a couple times while I was back there carefully observing him. The next time he did it, Heather and I were in the kitchen and Hudson decides to go off head first, though no permanent injuries were sustained. Here is a picture of him trying to take his wheelbarrow backwards up the slide.
Heather went out of town for a long weekend to go to an antique auction, so I took care of the kids she was gone. Sara Beth came to me asking to get four braids in her hair. I am rather impressed with how it turned out.
When the weekend was over, Heather came back with her mom and step dad and a truck full of deals from the auction. Seeing as how it was the beginning of October and Dennis' birthday was at the end of the month, we had an early celebration for him.
Sara Beth and her grandmother got to have some good quality time together. Unfortunately, it has been several weeks since this picture was taken so I don't remember exactly what they were planning, but I do remember they had a good time doing it.
Sara Beth has gotten really good at sharing. Routinely, she will now offer her brother food and candy. When she is done with her dinner, she will get a dessert for herself and for Hudson as well. Hudson is thrilled by all the cool stuff she brings him.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Climbing and cats

Since the last time I posted, one of our cats, Little Bit, passed away. It was a sad time, but after some discussion, Heather and I decided to try getting a new kitten again. We decided to try a little girl cat with longer hair this time. Longer hair means less shedding, and girl cat means less marking of territory. Lilly (or "Sparkle Princess" as I like to call her), is a resounding success. She is really sweet, allowing both Hudson and Sara Beth to pet her. Here, Sara Beth is showing of her game to Lilly on the iPad.
Hudson is definitely improving his climbing skills by climbing on anything that is safe to get on top of, and several things that are unsafe. Heather will still put him down for a nap in his crib, and I am amazed that he has not decided to try climbing out of it yet. Apparently, his crib is the only thing he will not climb. He will get on top of the cat tree, kitchen counters, and the dangerous side of the stairs.
He is still fascinated with taking things to the trash can. If you ask, he will take the bag of dirty diapers out of the waste basket in his room, climb down the stairs with it, and take it out to the trash can at the curb with a huge smile on his face.
Hudson's obsession with the trash is partially due to the fact that he likes to lift heavy objects. We brought out a cooler to take to the Wylie football game, and he took no time at all trying to carry it around the house, despite the fact it is twice as big as he is. We had a lot of fun at the game. Sara Beth saw one of her kindergarten friends so we all sat together. They spent the entire game cheering for the other team.
When Sara Beth got her bike out to ride it around the drive way, Hudson decided he wanted to learn how to ride a bike too, and eagerly climbed onto Sara Beth's old bike. Unfortunately, even with the seat at the lowest setting, he could not reach the peddles. We are probably going to get him some sort of properly sized wheeled device for Christmas.
This is the aftermath of eating spaghetti. Most of the time, Hudson will eat his dinner without making any sort of mess, but spaghetti is another matter. We will always strip him down to his diaper and typically have to mop the floor after he is done.
It actually rained her in Texas for the first time in months. Fortunately it was on the weekend, so I was home and able to take the kids out to frolic in it. It actually got a little chilly for a bit.