Friday, December 19, 2014

Three birthdays for a single boy

So, Hudson's birthday was last month, and the boy got to celebrate in style. He is definitely getting his own opinion about things. He often wants to do things on his own, and if I am trying to help him, he says, "Hang on. This is kind of tricky, Dad. Here, let me do it." Heather and I have had several strong discussions with him that this is great, but he still needs adult supervision to change his own dirty diapers. Heather and I have used a lot of cleaning supplies in his room in the past few weeks.

Here, Hudson is picking out his decorations for his birthday party.
Sara Beth has become very good at completing jigsaw puzzles. She saw this one in the cabinet that she hasn't done before and completed it in the course of a couple hours. Hudson kept trying to help.
We went to my parent's house to celebrate Hudson's birthday a week early. Heather and I got him a battery powered trash truck. It has a lever that will raise or lower a plastic trashcan to dump it in the top of the truck. Hudson loves it and will routinely drive it around and dump stuff into his truck. When you open up the back of the truck, you can see all sorts of random items that have been collected from around our house.
Here is Hudson eating some cake all by him self. Note how his water glass is a little off center.
The glass ended up being more than a little off center.
Heather decided to make some oreo truffles as a bribe for her biology professor. Hudson was more than eager to help smash the oreos into small crumbs with a rolling pin.
Sara Beth has been working hard on her horse riding lessons. She has been going every other week, and apparently she has been an excellent student and picking up the skills quickly.
Here is a video of her during her riding lessons. The instructor recorded and uploaded the video and then gave Heather the link. I still don't have the capabilities to upload my own videos to youtube yet.
One day, while Hudson was wearing a tractor shirt, there was a knock at the door. A birthday present had arrived for him. He opened up the box to find a tractor matching the one one on his shirt.
We went to visit Me Maw and Pa Paw in Alabama for Thanksgiving and to celebrate Hudson's birthday. His cake had some little toy construction vehicles on it; Hudson figured that they were the perfect to use as a spoon. He also decided that he could get his own piece of cake all by himself. Since it was his birthday cake, we let him.
Unfortunately, he got a little sick while we were there and didn't sleep well. He did catch up a bit on the car ride back to Texas.
We went out to our favorite Chinese food restaurant. Hudson wanted to eat the shrimp lo-mein and didn't want me to cut it for him. He did get most of it in his mouth.
For a school project, Sara Beth had to do something charitable. I asked her what she wanted to do, and she immediately said that she wanted to get one of the tags for a kid off the tree at Chick-fil-a. I was surprised and asked her how she came up with that idea. She said one of her friends at school was going to do that too.
That evening, we went to Walmart. Sara Beth spent quite a while staring at all the Barbie dolls deciding which one the girl on her selected tag would want.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Birthday and another cold camping trip

Wow. I started this post a couple weeks ago. By the time I finish writing this, it is probably going to be time for me to publish another one as well.
At the end of October, Memaw and Papaw came in town to celebrate Heather's and Papaw's birthdays. Heather made some amazing German chocolate cake to celebrate the occasion. Hudson was a fan of singing the "Happy Birthday" song, which is good since his birthday is right around the corner.
Hudson asked Papaw to read to him. The expression on Hudson's face is either of concentration or confusion. I'm not sure which.
So we decided to chance it and go camping one last time this year. We selected the first weekend in November as the date. Ten days before we were to leave, the night time temperature was supposed to fall down into the 50s. Five days before we were to leave, the predicted temperature had fallen into the 40s. Two days before we were to leave, it dropped into the 30s. The day we left, they were issuing freeze warnings. Fortunately, I brought a space heater to keep the tent warm at night, so everyone was comfortable after we triple wrapped the kids in fleece pajamas. Hudson did scoot himself off of his air mattress and across the floor of the tent in his sleep to get closer to the heater.
I even had to wear a coat on Saturday morning. We went for a walk that morning and Sara Beth sketched out some pictures of insects that she saw along the path. Hudson liked finding and collecting sticks.
Fortunately, by the afternoon, things had warmed up a bit. Sara Beth took Heather down from our campsite towards the lake to check out some trails that she had discovered.
There was also a playground in the center of the camping area that the kids had fun playing at. Sara Beth made friends with some of the kids her age that were playing there. They discovered a broken action figure while digging in the sand and began to strip mine the area to find the other pieces of it.
The camp ground offered a "Junior Ranger Pack" that had some nature identification brochures, notebook, markers, and best of all, a pair of binoculars. Hudson and Sara Beth both wanted to play with them.
It is nice that Sara Beth is old enough to make her own food. On the rare occasions where she does not like dinner, she will now go make herself a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with no help from us.
One evening while sitting at the table, Heather was talking about school. Hudson then spoke up, interrupting Heather to say "Racecars are fantastic." He didn't elaborate.
Sara Beth has been having a ton of fun at her every other week horse riding lessons. She was able to properly "post" and just yesterday went on her first outdoor trail ride. I think she would live at the barn if we would let her.
While Sara Beth is riding, Hudson waits around the barn playing with the farm critters. He could tell me the names of the dogs that hung out in the barn.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Another three weeks

The time really has been flying by around here. I don't know if Sara Beth or Hudson was the one with the initial idea, but both now love going in the backyard and digging holes under the play fort and behind the hot tub. The kids will go outside at every opportunity and come back in covered in mud after making their holes just a little bigger.
Heather has found a place down the road that offers horse riding lessons for Sara Beth, and she loves it. We had to go out to the boot store to get some pink cowgirl boots as apparently those are required before she is allowed to ride.
While Sara Beth learns how to ride, Heather and Hudson hang out around the farm. Hudson has found a donkey and some farm dogs that he likes to hang around with.
Once they get home from lessons, Sara Beth teaches Hudson everything she has learned about how to control a horse.
Now that the weather is starting to cool back off to pleasant temperatures, the plants in the front yard have started to grow again. I got my parents hedge clippers and chopped everything back down to a reasonable height and the kids helped rake all the clippings into piles. Or, to be more exact, Sara Beth raked the leaves into piles and Hudson dragged his rake through the piles, spreading them out.
We got a new kitten. One of our friends in the neighborhood found a stray cat with kittens in their backyard. And since we only have 3 currently, I told Heather: "sure, why not get another one?" I think. So now we have Rainey (aka Petra). This one is so young, it likes being carried this way by Hudson; or, at least, she doesn't care enough to make much of an effort to get away.
We went over to our neighbor's house one evening to chat. Apparently, Hudson had a long day and fell asleep on their couch. He didn't wake up when Heather carried him back to our house.
Just taking some pictures out in font of our house.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

School Time

Well, school started for Sara Beth about a month ago, and I guess I am finally around to posting pictures. I need to really figure out a process to stream line this procedure. So this is Sara Beth's first day in the first grade. 
Hudson has enjoyed having Heather to himself most days. I'm not sure exactly how he talked Heather into letting him take his stuffed tiger out on a shopping trip. He apparently can be rather persuasive.
And then, one week after Sara Beth started school, Hudson began going to preschool. He likes going, but I can never get many details out of him about it. When I ask him how school went, he just says "Good."
So, Sara Beth has had her ears pierced since July. Well, one of them got infected a couple weeks ago. Initially, she said that the earring back got stuck inside her earlobe. It turns out the that the knot inside her earlobe was an infection, and as soon as we got the earring out of her hear, it wouldn't go back in. Fortunately, a couple days later after it had started to go down, Sara Beth bravely and patiently let me go poking and prodding in her ear, and I was able to re-insert an earring. Once we got it in, we decided to let it stay in for a couple weeks until everything settles down again before we change it out for a different pair of earrings.
Currently, every day that I get home, Hudson waits by the garage door and opens it for me when I pull into the garage. He will then ask if I need to mow the lawn. He is not a fan of being outside when I mow, but he will stand by the front and back doors and watch while I do it. Apparently, he talked Heather into letting him take his pretend lawn mower outside to do some mowing of his own.
Apparently, after mowing the lawn, he needed to come back with the tractor and wagon to pick up the grass clippings. The red tractor and wagon were toys that I played with as a kid. I'm glad to see that they still provide good entertainment.
Just another typical popcorn, cheese, and fruit dinner at our house. Well, except that I think we were running a little low on popcorn, so there was a rush to get the last bits before it disappeared.
One evening, we went to Hobby Lobby to look for Christmas presents. While we were there, Sara Beth found a make-your-own mermaid doll. Heather and she put it together the next weekend and it sat in Sara Beth's bed until Sara Beth decided that the doll was too fragile and moved it up onto her shelf next to her tea set.
More miscellaneous toy pictures. This one is his toy submarine with a sampling claw.
 Last Saturday, we went with my Dad to a coin show. Hudson loved looking at all the shiny coins and was more than eager to help my dad search though the silver half dollars.
 After the coin show, we ate dinner at the Rainforest Cafe. It was a fun atmosphere with fish aquariums and animatronic animals hidden among the fake shrubbery. Hudson initially didn't like the fake thunderstorms that rolled through the restaurant, but he was ok with it after I explained that it was just the room lights flickering and someone playing "thunder music" on the speakers.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Late July and Most of August

Wow, I am really failing on keeping this thing up to date. Here is part of my attempt to do a catch up.

As Sara Beth got closer to her 6th birthday at the end of July, she informed use that she was ready to get her ears pierced after all. Heather verified that she remembered how it all worked and was really ready; Sara Beth reassured her that, unlike the previous two attempts, this time she would go through with it. And she did.
 Sara Beth and Hudson love to feed treats to the cats. Hudson just likes passing them out like candy, but Sara Beth wanted to see if she could bribe the cats into performing tricks in exchange for treats and recorded her progress on her notepad.
On Sara Beth's actual birthday, I took the day off from work. Heather setup all of Sara Beth's presents on the kitchen table and Sara Beth got to open them all up before a pan cake breakfast.
For one of her gifts, Sara Beth got to name a sea turtle for a charity.
After opening presents, we went down to the Perot museum. The kids enjoyed the "experiential exhibits" like the earthquake simulator. Hudson was not a fan of the life size reconstruction of a sauropod. Heather did not enjoy walking over the bridges on the 4th floor with see through grates that gave a clear view down to the first floor.
Typically on Sundays, we will eat popcorn, cheese, and fruit and watch a video. Recently, Hudson and Sara Beth had taken to pretend to be some sort of animal, like a cow or a dog, while we eat. I'm not sure which one came up with the idea, but they decided that in order to be realistic cows, they couldn't just eat out of a bowel. Instead, they needed to spread the popcorn across the floor and graze across it like a field. I let them try it once, and, like a real field with cows in it, the living room floor became a big mess.  The cows are restricted to eating in feed lots next time.
 Who wants a root beer float and a hot dog on a summer day? Hudson; thats who.
 Hudson found a fire fighter outfit at the store and Heather thought it would make a good Halloween costume this year. Hudson asked to try it out before the holiday.
 Heather always does the grocery shopping, but once evening I had a short list and went out to the store. Heather had said "pick out anything that looks good" so I found some Fruit Loops with marshmallows. The next morning, when Hudson opened the door to check out what he would eat for breakfast, he found the box and immediately grabbed it and declared that Me Maw had bought him some cereal. He ate it for one or two breakfasts then got tired of it and went back to his regular yogurt and granola, which freed me up to take the cereal to work with me.