Monday, June 11, 2012

Sea World

Our first trip of the summer was to Sea World.  We decided to go early in the summer before it got too hot and we decided to invite Grandma Mouse and Paw Paw to come too.  It was a really fun trip.  We had taken the boys back at Thanksgiving but it was fun to go again and see the summer shows instead of the Christmas ones. 
Zach was tall enough and brave enough this trip to go on the log ride roller coaster.  I think Paw Paw helped him out a little in the bravery department.  Mommy, Joe, and Grandma gladly sat this one out and stayed dry (for a little while).  Zach said he loved the ride and was proud that he went but didn't want to go again.  Max on the other hand could ride those rides all day.  I can't wait till he's tall enough to ride some real rides!

 Max loved the water ski show (one that they don't do in the winter).  He and Paw Paw went down after the show to meet the stunt guys and the pretty girls.  I don't know who's idea that REALLY was!  :)

 My boys love to take pictures with characters no matter who it is.  In this case they didn't know who it was but they wanted to hug him and say Cheese!
 Shamu is definately the favorite attraction for our group.  Zach thinks orcas are the best creatures ever.  He's still trying to figure out how we can have one as a pet.

 Joe did better on this trip than I thought he would.  He hates riding in the car and makes sure everyone knows it.  And he's not a huge fan of the stroller, but he was a trooper.  It was really hot for him I think but that didn't stop him from trying to hang with the big boys.  This is him trying to scale the giant net at the outdoor playland.  He's a determined little fellow.

 The boys also managed to stop by the Alamo while we were in town.  Max learned about it at school and just had to check it out.  Now he can mark that off his bucket list!
Overall it was a great trip.  Gma and Paw Paw seemed to enjoy themselves as much as we did.  We  may have to do it again (for Thanksgiving, not in the summer!).

Something's Missing

This picture deserves a post all of its own.  Max has lost his first tooth!  When Max first noticed it was loose, I got very worried.  If you know Max, you know he has a flare for the dramatics and doesn't like to deal with new things.  He has a particular aversion to people messing with his mouth.  His first dentist asked us not to come back.  His second dentist agreed to work with him but it took 6 assistants to get him through his first exam.  Now he is getting a little use to it but I still was extremely worried at how he would react when his tooth came out.
For the first 2 days that his tooth was loose, we got an update on its progress literally every half hour or so.  He was very concerned.  When it didn't immediately come out, he settled down a bit and for the next few days only talked about it 20 or so times a day.  That's when I began praying about his tooth.  Jeff was out of town for a while and I did not want to have to handle the drama of pulling a tooth by myself.  Well my fervent prayers were answered and his tooth fell out at school!  He was around all of his friends who thought he was really cool and the teacher made a big deal about how special it was.  He was so excited.  So was I! 
He told me all about it when he came home from school.  Then Zach wanted to see it.  Then Zach dropped it on the floor and I spent half an hour trying to find it while Max cried.  I found it.  The tooth fairy traded with him for a silver dollar and life is good.  One huge milestone taken care of with much less drama than I expected. 
However, now he has decided all his teeth are loose and spends a large amount of time wiggling them trying to guess which one will come out next.  We shall see!

Ending Kindergarten

The end of school makes for a very busy month of May, especially in Kindergarten.  Max had is end of the year field trip to Old McDonalds Farm.  I brought the little boys too and we had a fun day.  Max spent most of the day hanging out with his buddies so I didn't get too many pictures of him.  His favorite part was rolling down the giant pile of hay.  Simple pleasures!

 Joe and Zach had a fun time too.  Zach rode the horse for the first time there and seemed to like it.  The last time we were there he was a little too afraid, but now he's a pro.

Max's end of the year program was quite a production.  As a room mom I was up there helping with the backdrop and decorations quite a bit.  Then Grandma Mouse was able to come for the big day so we could all enjoy the program.  Max had a speaking part about friendship and did it flawlessly.  He wrote his part himself and never let me hear it till the day of.  It was a full program with several full length songs and dozens of speaking and singing parts.  I was quite impressed, especially since the school has like 200 kindergarteners.
It was a fun school year and I learned a lot.  It's so different seeing school through the eyes of a mom instead of a teacher.  I learned a lot by being the room mom too, mostly that I'll never do that again!!  :)  It was fun to be involved but its a TON of work.
Well my baby is now a kid who reads, writes, makes gross noises and tells lame jokes.  He grew up so much this year and has really amazed me with what he has learned and how much he's matured.  I guess my baby's not such a baby anymore!

Joe's FIRST Birthday!

I can't believe my Baby Joe is already a year old.  Time just flies too fast.  It wasn't so long ago that he was a tiny little baby curled up in my arms.  Joe spent most of his first year as my calmest, quietest, most agreeable little one.  Now he's a toddler who loves to climb, yell, and destroy whatever he can get at.  He's a really fun baby, but he sure can be stubborn and opinionated.  I have no idea where he gets that...must be an Orwin thing!
Joe's actual birthday was on a Thursday so we just had a fun day playing at the waterway and then bought cupcakes as a birthday treat.  Then Sunday I made his birthday cakes.  One was a big pull apart cupcake turtle cake, but I forgot to take pictures of it.  It was super cute.  This pic is of his little cake that was just for him.  We had Cole, Erin, and Frito over to celebrate with us.  He loved opening presents and eating wrapping paper, he was scared of the candles, and he LOVED eating his cake!

Happy Birthday Mojo!  We love you little one!!

Easter 2012

Happy Easter from the Orwin Boys!!

For Easter this year I threw a big Easter shindig in the backyard and invited every preschool aged kid I knew.  We had cookie decorating, crafts, play, and a giant egg hunt.  It was a ton of fun.  We had about 30 kids plus moms and younger siblings so it was yard full.  It was a success with one minor foul up on my part.  When we got ready for the egg hunt I forgot to get Zach's basket to him and so he missed out on getting very many eggs.  Fortunately all of his friends were generous and shared their loot with him.  I got ZERO pictures from that day bc I was too busy doing other stuff.  A friend took some pictures but I never got them from her.  Oh well.  At least we have the memories...and maybe we'll do it again next year!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Spring Break 2012

We headed back to LA for a few days during Spring Break.  It wasn't Spring Break for the cousins so we didn't get to see them as much as we had hoped.  We did take advantage of the fact that school was in session and took the kids to New Orleans hoping for fewer crowds.  It wasn't too bad, but boy was it hot.  We went to the insectarium and the zoo.  We hoped to do more but they don't have the Zoo Cruise anymore and we got there later than planned so we couldn't fit in the aquarium too.  Oh well they don't know they missed out on anything!

We also spent some a day of spring break at the Houston Rodeo.  It was lots of fun.  Super expensive and hot, but I'm sure we will go again next year and then after.  The boys got to see baby animals just born and lots of livestock.  They rode carnival rides and ate fair food.  We met up with some friends and got to visit a bit.  All in all a great day!

Costa Rica Part 3

While in CR we took a boat tour of one of the nature preserves.  It was a beautiful day and we had some fun people on the tour with us.  The guides were great about pointing out everything and letting everyone get all the picture they wanted.  It was really relaxing and enjoyable, but after the first few hours I wish they didn't stop to show us EVERY iguana in the trees.  There were LOTS of iguanas and once you've seen one (or owned one in my case) they just aren't that fascinating.

 These are some flowers the guide passed out to the boat.  They are very beautiful and smelled exactly like GARLIC.  Not something I'm going to grow in my yard!

 There were lots of crocodiles along the river and swimming around us.  It was neat to get up close but not too close.  Again though the southern girl in me kept thinking how scrawny they looked compared to alligators!

The guide stopped the boat to pick up a few extra passengers--Capuchin Monkeys.  A whole family climb out of the trees and onto our boats to eat our bananas and whatever else they could find.  You could tell they were use to the boats bc they were not timid at all.  It was super fun.

While we were gone, our boys had an awesome time being spoiled by Grandma and Paw Paw.  We left something fun for them to do each day that we were gone.  These were their new puzzles.  I think Grandma and Paw Paw had fun too, but they sure seemed tired when we got back.  I wonder why???

Jeff and I had an awesome time on our vacation.  Sometime we forget how much fun we can have together.  It was a nice reminder.  Life is great and I'm a lucky girl!!

Costa Rica Part 2

One of the things I was really excited about doing in CR was ziplining.  I have heard how fun it was and I wanted to be brave and do it.  Jeff didn't think I would do it so that made me even more determined.  We found a place called The Monkey Zipline where you can glide through the rainforest like the monkeys do.  It was really pretty even though it was a dry rainforest (which I didn't realize even existed).  And it was not humid--which I totally appreciated.  We rode a little bus to the top of the "mountain".  J said it wasn't high enough to be a real mountain but me being from below sea level--it was high enough!!

 This was us on the first platform.  I was terrified and couldn't stop shaking, but I never let on that I was sure I was going to die.  I just kept going.  I was proud of myself for even attempting this and it was actually pretty fun except that I was focused on not dying the whole time!
 I have to admit I was really bad a ziplining.  Evidently I didn't trust the line and kept holding on too tight.  This would make me slow down and get stuck.  I knew what I was doing wrong, but I certainly couldn't convince my body to what it was suppose to.  My "survival instincts" kept getting in my way!  The one time I really tried to just let go and zip, I didn't stop in time and crashed into a tree.  And I took my guide with me.  It was great fun!
Jeff took to it much better.  He had  a lot of fun.  He even braved the Tarzan swing at the end.  I passed on that, not bc of the swing but bc of the rickety ladder you had to climb to get to it.  Nope, once I got back on solid ground I was good to stay there.  But I proved to myself that I could do it and now I can mark that off my bucket list!

Costa Rica Part 1

Jeff and I got to go on an awesome vacation in January.  He took a week off of work and my parents stayed with the boyz while we headed down to Costa Rica.  It took us months to decide where to go and when to go and what to do.  We finally settled on Guancaste, CR because of the resort (Marriot pts), the beach (all Jeff) and the quick travel time (3 hr direct flight).  There was a lot of stuff there to do and see but more than anything I enjoyed the time with Jeff without the hassle of travelling with kids.  I love my kids but it limits what you can do. 
Anyway, we had an amazing time.  It was the first real getaway we'd had together in YEARS.  We are already trying to decide what to do next year (for our 10 yr anniversary).  Anyone want to watch our kids????
 This is the beach outside of our hotel.  It was a beautiful resort but the shoreline was a little rocky.  Fortunately we discovered that just around the corner from where we were was a much nicer beach with great waves and no rocks.  It was about a 10 minute walk and well worth it.

 You can't really see it in the picture but this is a man surfing with his dog.  Jeff was fascinated by this.  The guy would paddle out with the puppy on board and then ride the waves back.  It was pretty fun to watch and the dog seemed to enjoy himself too.

 One night while we were there we went sea turtle hunting.  Not to kill them but to watch them lay eggs.  There is a nature preserve for the endangered leatherback turtles and you can wait there at night and see them come up to nest.  It was a really long night bc we had to ride a boat then walk about 2 miles and sit and wait in the dark until the watchers spotted a turtle.  Next we had to run down the beach to the turtle (about 1.5 away) and then we could see her come up, dig her nest out, lay her eggs and then return to the ocean.  It was super neat to watch and learn about although I did feel like I was invading the poor momma turtle's privacy a little.  But she didn't even seem to know we were there.  Well we couldn't take pictures of the turtles, but we did get some pictures of the howler monkeys up in the trees.  They were everywhere.  These happened to be hanging out right over our car!

 My husband was in HEAVEN with the waves and his boggie board.  He could have spent his whole vacation swimming out and riding the waves back.  I'm glad he had fun.  The water was much too cold for my taste though so I stuck with reading my book on the beach or soaking in the hot tub at the hotel.  It was January even if it was the tropics!

This is me with my kindle watching Jeff in the water.  We found this fun little outdoor restaurant on the beach and hung out there one afternoon.  It was a fun Italian place named after their pot bellied pig who used to play on the beach.  We were disappointed to find out the pig "Lola" died a few years ago so we wouldn't get to meet her.

Monday, June 4, 2012

December in LA

Spending Christmas Break in LA gave us the chance to do a lot of fun stuff. Here are just a few things we did.
 We built gingerbread houses with our cousins.  It drove Zach crazy that he couldn't eat his win he was done!

 We roasted marshmallows in the backyard with Daddy's help.  Actually Jeff was the only adult out there I think.  Well, thanks Jeff!  The kids loved it!!

 We visited Mike the Tiger at LSU!  We love Mike the Tiger!

 This picture is just proof that I was there.

 We danced.
And we sang in trees.  What a fun trip!

Christmas 2011

We had Christmas in LA this year. It was the first time since we've had kids that I've been able to come home for the holidays. We had a great time. It was a lot of prep work and Santa ended up having to leave some of the boys's gifts back at our house, but it was well worth the effort. Christmas is always fun with little ones, but I think it is even more fun with little ones AND their grandparents!