Sunday, August 25, 2013

A Star Wars birthday party -- for Jeff

For my birthday earlier this month, Bethany surprised me with a Star Wars themed birthday party that I thought was rather ingenious. The party was just for the four of us, and LittleBear had a lot of fun while in many ways getting his introduction to the world of Star Wars. Here's how it went...

I came home from work, and the front living room was blocked off with black tablecloths hanging from the ceiling (I'd learn why later). After dinner, LittleBear, LadyBear and I were led into LittleBear's room. My padawan learners and I were instructed that, as Jedi, the first thing we needed was to build our lightsabers. Bethany had put duct tape on pool noodles for us; we had to "build" them by decorating the hilts with black electrical tape.

(Here we are after the party showing off our handiwork.)

Once we had our lightsabers ready, we were allowed out into the hallway, where we had to weave our way through a series of "lasers" (streamers that were taped across the hallway) without getting lasered.

(LadyBear actually was the best of any of us at this one!)

After that, Bethany pulled down the black cloths to reveal a living room full of "Stormtroopers" -- balloons hanging from the ceiling at various heights that Bethany had painstakingly drawn Stormtrooper faces on. We used our lightsabers to cut down all the "troops."

Lastly, we had to defeat the "Death Star" -- a paper mache pinata Bethany had made up to look like its namesake. I didn't think my lightsaber (pool noodle) would do the trick, but I went to town on it, and sure enough, out came candy!

All the while, Bethany had Star Wars music playing (the main theme at the start, the throne room finale at the end, etc.), and even the gifts from LittleBear (Star Wars soundtrack) and LadyBear (a book called Vader's Little Princess) were Star Wars themed.

A very fun party that Bethany worked very hard to bring to fruition. Thank you, dear!!!!!!

(Bethany suggested that I make clear she didn't come up with all these ideas; she got many of them from this site. I'm still impressed.)

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Guess Who's 11 Months Old? LadyBear!!

Working on her princess wave (incidentally, those are capri pants and supposed to be short)

LadyBear is eleven months old today!  I really think she grew overnight a few nights this past month.  She has been so fun to have around and I think we all agree our family would not be the same without her :)

She's working on walking and taking more steps every day.  She pulls up on anything and everything and is anxious to get around the way LittleBear does.  She is starting to show interest in her books (which makes this Mommy's heart happy) and her current two favorites are the Touch and Feel Farm and Heaven is For Real For Little Ones.  She also loves playing with water and feeling things with different textures or hearing different sounds.  She also still loves to sing in the car :)

She has a few more teeth than she had last month, which she likes to put to good use chowing down whatever food is put in front of her.  Like her brother at this age, she has four (two on the top and two on the bottom).  We still haven't found anything she didn't like and found a few new favorites (including this knockoff Korean BBQ Beef).  I am excited to see what her numbers are at her next Dr. appointment in a month.  Interestingly enough (at least to me), LadyBear and LittleBear have been exactly the same height at exactly the same points so far (newborn, 3 months, 6 months and 9 months).  We'll see if she can catch up to him for her 1 year checkup!

We love you, LadyBear!!!

Monday, August 5, 2013

What happened to Before Five In A Row?

I've had this question from a few people in person and I know there are some others who were coming to the blog for our Before Five In A Row posts (BFIAR), so I wanted to update everyone on the school situation here, in case you were curious.   Basically, we've been reading the books (and thoroughly enjoying them!), but LittleBear seemed to be getting tired of all my planned activities, so we switched to just reading the books, talking about them and playing more.  Fun times here, but that does not make for exciting blog posts :)

I think I'll go ahead and post what I had planned for each of the unposted books, just so I have a record of it somewhere (helpful for when LadyBear is ready) and it's out there for anyone else who might want to know. 

Currently, LittleBear and I are both really enjoying Angus Lost and If Jesus Came To My House (we have the older version with the older illustrations, which I definitely prefer).  Prayer For A Child, though not as much as some of the others.

So anyway, that's where we are with Before Five In A Row...we still love it, we just tweaked it a bit to fit better where we are.  Stay tuned because soon we'll be starting Kindergarten with LittleBear!!!

Our Butterfly Garden...A Work In Progess

Earlier this year, LittleBear told me that he wanted to "plant flowers that would make butterflies come" to in our yard.  I thought this was a great idea, so we went to Home Depot and bought a giant bag of butterfly/hummingbird wildflower seeds.  We have an in-ground planter area in our backyard lined with cement that gets sun during the day that I thought would be perfect for this, so I pulled out the existing plants (mostly weeds and a dying rosemary bush), and we planted our seeds with a few extra peas growing there as well.

LittleBear watered them and watched intently over the next few weeks.  I heard more than once that it was, "taking so long for these plants to grow" and it did seem like it was taking a while, but eventually, we finally saw some plants coming up.

Then they got mowed over by a one-time lawn service we had come during our Birmingham trip who didn't realize that was a garden apparently.

The plants were just starting to come back when some tree service people we had come the other day walked through it and dragged branches through it too.


My little guy was so excited about these flowers and just wants butterflies to come into our yard and I hated to see our efforts squashed like this.  So, yesterday, I called around and found a nursery in town that has milkweed, the favorite plant of the monarch butterfly, which usually comes through during the summer on their migration to Mexico.  Not only did they have milkweed, but they also had lots of other recommendations for plants that butterflies love, so we went the easier route and bought some plants for our butterfly garden.

Now, we have zinnias:


Yellow Lantana:

Blue Mist Flower (or something like that):

And the remainder of what we tried to start from seed in the beginning.  Hopefully we'll get some butterflies!

LadyBear's First Houston Astros Game!!


LadyBear got to attend her first Houston Astros baseball game last month!  It would have been nice if they won, but nonetheless, we all had a great time and stayed through the entire game :)

Go, go Astros!

LittleBear and Grandma checking out the Home Run Pump...

Momma, we are really high up!!

Orbit, the Astros new/old mascot...LittleBear kept calling him Oscar :)

Daddy keeping score like always :)

Cracker Jack!!!!

Two peas in a pod