Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Down, set, hike!

Jackson and Andrew will both be playing flag football this fall, so our backyard has turned into a practice field!

Jackson is eager to learn and is a bit more coachable at this point, but Andrew is fast and naturally athletic. It will be interesting to see how they do!

Reserve your lawn chairs now to see these two in action on Saturdays this fall!

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Houston Date Day

Last Friday, Justin and I dropped the kids off at school and then headed to Houston for a day date! 
Empty carseats, full hearts!
I love having him all to myself!

We were headed to the Museum of Fine Arts to see the Ron Mueck sculpture exhibit. It was incredible!

This particular sculpture was the size of my minivan. Just the sheer scale of it and thinking through the logistics of how he created it was mind-boggling. And then the detail! You half expected these giant folk to just stand up and start walking.

I was looking at this piece when an older woman, probably in her 70s, approached. As she looked at it she said, "awww how sweet." Perhaps she was referring to the baby, gazing up at his mama. But when I saw it I immediately recognized the exhaustion and feeling overwhelmed. The other patron was obviously a bit farther removed from being that new mom venturing out for the first time, sleep-deprived, hair thrown in a ponytail because it hasn't been washed in who knows how long, and feeling a bit out of sorts because suddenly everything has changed. Even a quick trip to the grocery store is a daunting task. Yeah, maybe I could relate.

The last piece in the exhibit was a wee little newborn.

He got it all right except for the toenails. Maybe it was just my babies, but they never came out with toenails looking so well groomed and defined! Our babies had paper thin, ragged nails. Surely I am not alone in this?

We checked out all the other exhibits too, and of course we had to find a Jackson Pollock to show our Action Jackson!

We strolled the museum, walked to a yummy lunch spot in the museum district, then headed back to College Station with a quick stop at the outlet malls. The best part though? 8 hours of uninterrupted conversation and quality time with my favorite!

Sunday, August 13, 2017

It's Not Goodbye

So I'm still somewhat in denial, but our friends the Acostas are moving. Cue ugly cry. They had a combo birthday party for Alex and goodbye party for the whole gang last weekend, and I did better to just think of it as Alex's birthday!

I can't believe these two friends won't see each other every day of their lives now! 

If you forgot about the whole goodbye part, it was really easy to smile and have fun at the pool party!

The kids weren't the only ones to have fun. The pool had a slide but you had to be at least 48" to use it. So that excluded about 90% of the kids in attendance. It didn't stop the moms though!

I can't believe he's 4! It feels like last week I was witnessing him being born!

While we are so sad to be losing our "every day" friends, we are excited to be gaining precious out of town friends. It will make our visits that much more special, and the good news is we already have a couple of sleepovers planned! And you know what's fun about sleepovers with out of town friends? We get the kids to bed and then the mommies can stay up and drink wine and chat without having to referee a bunch of kids! 

So it is definitely not goodbye, it's see you later sweet friends!

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Ben's First Haircut

Our sweet Benjamin made two more big milestones on his bittersweet march towards toddlerhood. He's now completely paci free and he got his first haircut!

This picture represents Ben's last sleep as a "baby". I snapped it on the way home from the beach last week, with his tousled unkempt hair sticking up every which way and best friend/paci lulling him into a deep sleep. 

That night he didn't get his paci at bedtime for the first time, and the next morning we went for his first haircut. He was quite pleased with the whole set-up. A batman car and Daniel Tiger on the tv! Here's a before shot of his "party in the back" hair!

He did awesome! Jackson and Andrew howled through their first haircuts, so we had braced ourselves for the worst. But his stylist was even able to use the clippers and he didn't make a peep!

Yeah, he knows he looks good!

His Bye Bye Paci adventure was different than his brothers too. For both of them, it was an epic event. The first night was about an hour of screaming and crying for the paci. The second night, 30 minutes. And by the third night, 5-10 minutes and by the fourth, no more crying. For Ben, he asked for the paci a couple of times and we told them we forgot them at the beach. He definitely took a lot longer to settle down but he wasn't angry or terribly distraught about it. We are now a week later and naps especially still are taking a lot longer to get him settled down, but he's not asking for the paci at all. So I guess it was a success?

Either way, he's all big boy now!

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Dancing in the Rain

Nothing brings out the dance moves (and smiles!) in the Malnar Boys quite like a good rain shower!

You will find this photo in the dictionary next to the picture of joy. =)

Bring on the rain!

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Life is Better at the Beach

With a few more days at the beach left, we decided to take a little break from being beach bums and do some touristy things in Galveston. But first, breakfast! Pop had a good helper for making the pancakes this morning!

Our first adventure was to ride the ferry. It was a loooooooooong wait, but finally we were on our way!

You know our kids love a museum, so we went to the Texas Seaport Museum and toured the Elissa, Galveston's Tall Ship. I actually spent the night on the Elissa once as a Girl Scout, so it was interesting to return as an adult. She's a lot smaller than I remembered!

It was hot hot hot so we cooled off afterwards at La Kings Confectionary with scoops of ice cream and watched the taffy puller at work.

Next, we ran into this fierce bunch of pirates! ARGH!

We were grateful for a much shorter wait for the return ferry!

We ate dinner out that night and Andrew got the biggest kid's meal shrimp plate I've ever seen! And he ate all but about 3 of those shrimp!

It was a long, fun day! It wore all of us out, but didn't put a damper on Ben's sweet snuggles before he headed to bed.

Of course he woke up the next morning "happy, happy, happy!" (Which he says frequently while clapping his little hands).

Rain was in the forecast, but we sneaked in a trip to the beach before the storm hit.

When it's raining on Crystal Beach, there's only one place to go: The Big Store! If they don't have it at The Big Store, you don't need it! 

By the end of the week, we had gotten pretty good at the whole beach life thing!

The boogie boards are easily the favorite of the beach toys.

Andrew really conquered the boogie board this trip and did so well riding the waves!

Jackson's love affair and prowess on the boogie board is well-established, and this trip was no different.

Life is just better at the beach, isn't it?

The beach is always a happy place, but what makes it a treasure are the people we share it with.

We are so grateful to Gram and Pop for bringing us all together and giving us the opportunity to slow down and share this time together making memories!