Sunday, October 28, 2012

What Did You Do This Weekend

I ran a half marathon.  There is nothing impressive about my time.  It was fine.  Respectable. The impressive part is that I am not the least bit sore today.  I think I need a new exercise program because there is clearly too much muscle memory associated with a 13.1 mile run.  I am just maintaining the status quo at this point.

We carved a pumpkin.  Just one.  There was no fussing - none of the old, it is MYYYY pumpkin, stuff that I was concerned about.  The tricky part was agreeing on a design. There were a few rough drafts but it all worked out just fine.

We enjoyed some incredibly cool weather and figured out that both James and Luz need some new winter clothes.  I guess they actually did grow over the past year, even though it seems impossible.

We ate candy and drank hot chocolate and talked about Halloween, over and over and over again.

We played with sweet baby Walker who was in town from Ocean Springs, MS for the night and is as cute as can be!

And, we adopted a dog.  What?  I know. Just like that.  At least I think we adopted him.  He needs to visit Dr. B. this week and get fully vetted (sorry, could not resist).  We also need to find out how old he is.  They tell us he is 3 but Christian suspects he is closer to 13.  His name is Noah and he is black and big and a total sweetheart and he already loves me the most.  We are, however, waaaaay out of practice and are still warming up to the idea of having this sort of responsibility all over again. 

She is always the one who is ready to help out with the tough part of carving:

Here is Luz, dressed and ready for the Spooky Halloween Tea at the Windsor Court.  This is her 3rd costume of the 2012 Halloween season - a Dorothy costume she first wore on her 5th birthday - amazing that it still fits.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

And Then There is This Too

Face paint, yay or nay?  I, for one, was a reliable nay every time.  I could not stand the idea of face paint.  I remember I was once a cat (or a dog) for Halloween and mom somehow convinced me to allow her to draw a nose and maybe whiskers on my face.  I felt awkward all night.  Maybe it was the black spandex and fanciful tail though, who knows.  At any rate, I have never been a fan of face paint and Lucy loves the stuff.  She was the last kid standing at the face painting station at the annual Boo Carre Halloween celebration in the Quarter last Sunday.  We waited and waited and waited and - even though it was 5:30 and bath time was imminent - she still wanted "just a little something" on her face, and she got it:

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Costume Quandary

Luz has been this way for all of her life and it is at times incredible frustrating and often utterly amusing -  she is always looking for the next big thing, constantly struggling with buyer's remorse, and frequently fishing for reassurance that she has made the right choice.  It can get exhausting, especially during the holidays when our mailbox is flooded with catalogs geared at her demographic, filled with costumes and toys and enough junk to complete a thousand wish lists.  

We encountered the classic struggle again this year - the great debate about which costume to pick.  She   labored over two flimsy magazines, dog eared multiple pages, circled A-list items, made check marks next to extra-special choices and question marks near the ones obviously intended for adults and completely inappropriate for seven year olds.  She hemmed and hawed and we discussed until I couldn't take it any longer.  And then, one Sunday afternoon we met friends and the costume store and there it was - a sweet little red riding hood outfit - and it called her name.  I loved it and agreed it was the right choice, a great choice, and even splurged on a poorly made and ridiculously over-priced basket.  I even agreed to purchase a pair of red canvas Toms to complete the outfit.  She was happy and starry eyed and couldn't wait to try it on.  When we got home she got dressed and it was perfect, for a day, and then the buyer's remorse kicked in and we have had to discuss the merits of her choice and the downsides to the other options - a witch would be hot, a mad scientist would be complicated,  a princess - nah, been there, done that - but I could hear it in her voice, she couldn't be sure that her choice was right.  I reassured and supported and praised and yet it just wasn't enough.  When it came time to put the costume on for the first of many Halloween-themed celebrations, little red riding hood didn't make the cut - instead, she transformed into a pop star (incidentally, a costume we have never discussed or considered) thanks to a variety of odds and ends in her dress up bin.  I didn't say a word - just smiled and said I thought she looked great.

James is much more easy-going - Anakin Skywalker - he has not looked back once and has worn this costume at least a dozen times:

Luz and James before we left for Ghosts in the Oaks at City Park:

Ghosts in the Oaks is worth checking out.  We usually go to Boo at the Zoo but it was sold out so we decided to check out Ghosts and the kids loved it.  It is a little crazier and more crowded than Boo at the Zoo but the bonus is that all of the rides are free with admission.  There is a trick or treating area, a big craft area, and plenty of fun things to do.  

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Always Making Me Smile

Two or so years ago Luz played on her first soccer team.  The first couple of seasons amounted to nothing more than herding cats really.  This year things are different and talent, effort and heart all play a big role.  I love watching Luz play because she never stops trying.  She listens to her coaches, processes the rules and does what she can to master the skills.  Bit by bit over the past few weeks I have watched her gather up the courage to protect her space with a polite elbow and garner the confidence to go after a ball well within the control of an opponent, all while the game itself is starting to click.  More than anything, she wants what any kid out on the soccer field wants, a goal.  They aren't easy to come by though.  There are probably no more than 2 dozen in the entire season and many girls with longer and faster legs, but she doesn't give up and while she tries she gets stronger and faster and more aggressive and her love for sports grows.  I feel lucky to be on the sidelines watching it unfold, sort of amazed that this little kid who could barely get in the mix just a few years ago is making some cheer-worthy plays.

Yesterday the fly was blocked off for a race and the only way to the soccer field was to park a few blocks aways and walk.  Instead of parking just a few blocks away, we just left the car (and James) at mom-mom's and walked. The walk was probably a mile there and a mile back, and she dribbled the soccer ball the entire time, and grinned ear to ear when a passerby told her she had great ball control.  Even after running up and down the soccer field for an hour, she never complained about the hike ahead of us.  She did it all with a smile and an admirable attitude and it is one of the things I love so much about her. She is all heart.

Lucy - first soccer season - 2010:

in 2012:

Go Girl!

Sunday, October 07, 2012

Miss These Guys?

Have you been missing these sweeties?  I have too!!

I am finally catching up after being out of town for the week - a little bit of work and a little bit of fun!  I went to San Antonio for a conference and mom-mom met me there for my last two days so that we could check out the city and enjoy being tourists.  We stayed in a beautiful hotel on the Riverwalk, The Hotel Contessa, and had a great time checking out some of the local attractions.   We loved strolling along the Riverwalk and checking out the "authentic" market.  The Alamo was a tiny bit under-whelming but still pretty cool to see. I have some pics to post and will hopefully get a chance to do that this week. The highlight was a delicious dinner at Moroccan Bites, owned and operated by one of mom-mom's former ESL students.  The restaurant was featured on Diners, Drive-In's and Dives and it is definitely worth checking out if you are in the San Antonio area.  I have always been curious about San Antonio and am glad that we had a chance to see it.  I missed the kiddos though, tons...and was so happy to get back to gorgeous weather and a peaceful Sunday.  We spent a ton of time outside - Luz was inspired to get back up on the two-wheeler and James had endless energy which we tried to burn off at the park.  We ended a gorgeous day with an (early) birthday celebration for mom-mom!