Thursday, September 14, 2017

Update: Piggies

Brief update:  The guinea pigs are adjusting to their new homes.  They make more noises and get excited when Alice and Cristy put out their veggies.  They have a new crinkle tunnel they enjoy running in, plus the ramp is a favorite for their running from second floor to frist.  So its mostly good times.  Smores has a sore place on her noise we are treating with medicine and extra vitamin C.  Cookie looks fine though.  Alice is really showing responsibility with their care, and the fleece lining that Cristy made is really working out great.

Smores was just under 300g at her Vet visit, and Cookie was over 500g.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Our Hurricane twins

Hurricane Harvey hit the Austin area on August 19th. Luckily for us, it was just wind gusts and rain.  It was also the day Alice and I were originally scheduled to be in Dallas for the Musical.ly meet and greet. Alice had been having sever stomach pains all week, so she agreed a trip to Dallas was not the best idea.  However, she was greatly bummed about missing the event.
To cheer her up, Larry called the Capitol of Texas zoo and asked if we could come by that day to adopt a couple of Guinea pigs. The zoo keeper said he would be there holding down the fort (literally) so we could swing by after lunch.
With the weather forecast predicting "squalls" all day, we all piled into our small Prius and headed towards Bastrop.  The car ride was not too bad....just rain and wind like I mentioned before, but the last mile or so was on less maintained road, and then a muddy gravel road to the park, but I call my car "the little Prius that could..."
The entrance building had about a foot of standing water in the walkway so we had to do a balancing act on the side landscape timbers to get into the building.
We zoo keeper met us and brought us 2 young female Guinea pigs, one was a short haired black and white and the second was a longer haired tricolor.  The tricolor immediately was named S'more. The black and white was originally named Harley (like Harvey...the hurricane, but more feminine) but was renamed Cookie within the week.
We look forward to taking these cuties and having years of fun with them.
Meet our Hurricane Harvey twins....Cookie and S'Mores.










Monday, July 24, 2017

Puppy surprise

The day started like a normal Saturday morning. The family took their time getting up in the morning, and went out for breakfast.  We came home and I (mom) lingered out front and picked a few weeds before coming into the house. Alice comes running up to me and states excitedly "there are 3 puppies in our yard!"  I, of course thought she was pulling my leg, so I went outside. To my surprise, Larry was corralling 3 puppies.

We are unsure how they got into our yard, but Alice quickly began to mother them and names were established. Simba was the natural leader of the group, Marie was more dainty but still adventurous, and shy Gus Gus.  It was only hours later that we realized these were all Disney animated character names.

Cupcake and Pepper were extremely wary of the puppy bomb that was set off at their home.  We knew Cupcake was scaring Pepper with stories about how she was no longer the cute one in the house and now no one would love her. Eventually, Cupcake and Pepper settled down and decided to tolerate the puppies, because - who can resist such cuteness?

We spent the entire day holding, playing, fussing over the puppies and Alice got quite attached.  We fantasied  about being their foster family, and Alice dreamed about keeping all the puppies.....but it was not meant to be.  Later in the day we saw a sign posted in the neighborhood looking for 3 lost puppies.

We called to let them know their puppies were safe, and said our final good byes.  The family came to pick them up and it turned out that Alice knew the little boy from her kindergarten class a few years back. Alice was sad, but it was a fun and memorable day.











Monday, May 8, 2017

Spring 2017

Alice has had a nice spring this year.  She has sleep-overs nearly every week-end, and play-dates most weeks.  She has a nice varied group of friends.  She continues to enjoy her music lessons with Ms. Tracy, and we've been spending hours at a time outside swinging from the tree, usually having conversations about anything and everything.  She's pushing to be more independent and usually walks home after school now.  She has also been practicing on her bike and has a small but growing range of freedom for exploring and practicing.

Alice still maintains her fairly recent appreciation of Olive Garden and prefers it to any other restaurant, so we go there more frequently than in the past.  Although its P. Terry burgers if she gets anything she wants... plus the chocolate shake of course.

Also... don't want to ever forget the budding chemistry interest.  Alice, like many others, is really loving playing with slime this spring.  She has been looking up and experimenting with numerous online recipes.  She keeps most of the results in old yogurt containers in a stack in the play room with creative and interesting names.

Also... she just finished her second after school coding club session (daddy was proud, certificate for office wall!, but Alice mostly goes for the social hang-out I think, whatever coding activities they do she seems to do easily).

Its really been a wonderful year being a parental unit.  Good times.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Orlando February 2017

Last time we took a trip to Orlando it was for Disney. Alice was soooo into Princesses then, but her likes have changed over the years, and the family has been enjoying the Harry Potter books and movies for the past few years.
We loved the time of the year we went to Disney last time so we decided to go about the same time of year this time too.  Call me a bad mom, or a great mom, but we took Alice out of school to travel and experience the magic with our little family.
We arrived in Orlando on a Monday morning. We stayed at the Hard Rock Hotel because it was the closest to the Universal parks and we loved being within walking distance. There were also water taxis and bicycle rickshaws available for when we were too tired, but staying on property was awesome.


We arrive early in the day and had some time to wander about the hotel, and then we decided to take an uber ride to see the Titanic exhibit nearby.  Titanic has been another one of Alices obsessions over the past year, so this was a perfect addition to our trip.  The exhibit had actual artifacts from Titanic along with supplemental items, either replicas or from other ships from the time. When you start, they give you a 'character' card of someone who was actually on the ship.  At the end of the exhibit you see lists of people who either lived or died.  Mine and Larry's characters died, but Alice was lucky to be a survivor.


Tuesday was our first day at the park.  We spent approximately 8 hours at the park the first day.  We visited Hogsmead the first half of the day and Diagon Alley the second half.  With the low season and the fast passes from staying at an onsite hotel, we were able to ride everything with minimal waiting, so of course we rode everything multiple times.

Our first experience within the park was a visit to Olivanders to select a wand for our trip.  Alice was chosen to be part of the experience, and her wand selected her, so of course we had to buy it.



Alices favorite ride was the Flight of the Hippogryph. Larry's was the Forbidden Journey at the Hogswart Castle (the castle was pretty amazing), and mine was the Revenge of the Mummy (outdated but still loads of fun)



We also enjoyed the Jurrasic Park ride, Men in Black, ET, Escape from Gringots, Hogswart Express, Dr. Dooms Fearfall, Amazing Adventure of Spider-Man, and Storm Force Acceleration.  We did NOT enjoy Reign of Kong (Alice did not like this one AT ALL) and no one enjoyed Popeye and Blutos Bilge-Rat Barges (came out looking like drown rats).



Most mornings we ate in the lobby with donuts and breakfast sandwiches.  One lunch we ate at the Three Broomsticks in Hogsmead (fish and chips like proper Englishmen). Each night we ate dinner at the Universal City Walk, pizza, Italian, burgers and sushi. One evening we got a free dinner because the whole City Walk lost power and there was no way to run credit cards, but we did leave a good cash tip!



Each night we spent time down at the Hard Rock pool. Yes we swam in February!  The pool had a nice water slide that was the perfect entry level slide for Alice. Alice and mom went on the slide multiple times each night, even though it was a little cold.



Each night we went to sleep thoroughly exhausted. Moms Garmin said we walked over 7 miles a day, and one day it said over 10!  We had a lot of fun and have great memories to take back home.



Saturday, January 28, 2017

Miranda Sings!

Alice is a big fan of Miranda Sings, the You Tube personality. For her birthday this year, Alice asked to go to the Miranda Sings concert in San Antonio. For weeks prior to the concert, Alice would talk about how she was going to get on stage to meet Miranda. As her mom, I tried to prepare her to enjoy the concert even if her dream of meeting her in person did not happen.
We arrived at the Tobin Center (awesome venue by the way). We were in the mid orchestra section, which is pretty much in the middle of the seating for the floor.  Good enough to see, but definitely not front row seating.  During the show Alice yelled and screamed with the audience, danced in the aisle, and sang along with the show.  Several times Miranda asked for volunteers to come up on stage to help out in a skit. Most of the time, Miranda picked someone from the first few rows, but each time she asked for volunteers, Alice would run down the aisle closer to the stage and try to get Miranda's attention.  We thought for sure this tactic would not work, but didn't see the harm in her exuberance.  
The last time Miranda asked for a volunteer, Alice ran up and did her best to get her attention.  To our surprise, Miranda picked 'the girl with the yellow jacket'. Her dad and I looked at each other and I said 'I can't believe that just happened....'
Alice proceeded to be led on stage for a You Tube Challenge called 'Chubby Bunny'.  The basic rules were each contestant (Miranda and Alice) would put a marshmallow in their mouth and say "chubby bunny" until one of them could not talk.  Miranda's marshmallows were the small ones you put in hot chocolate, while the marshmallows she gave Alice were each the size of their fist.  Hilarity ensues when Alice only has one marshmallow in her mouth and can't speak.

At the end, Alice got a hug from her You Tube hero, a bag full of giant marshmallows, and a memory to last a lifetime!



Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Cancun in December

The family spent a week before Christmas in cancun to celebrate the wedding of a friend (and mom had a birthday too). We traveled with another family also attending the wedding, so Alice had a built in friend for the trip.




While in Cancun Alice got to swim with dolphinss, play at a water park and snorkel for the first time. We swam every day in the hotel pools and got some sun while everyone back in Texas enjoyed a cold snap with below freezing temps.







The family returned a few days before Christmas, just in time to prepare for our first Christmas to be spent at home!