Sunday, August 29, 2010

Birthday Weekend

Four years ago my heart and life were forever changed. For the first time, I was solely responsible for the health and well being of more than a plant. He was much cuter than the cactus we let die the year before. And I think we've done a better job taking care of him, too. He is Lucas.

On Saturday Lucas got to go to the library with Ben, followed by lunch at Chick-fil-A. They go to the library every few weeks and Lucas loves it. While they were gone I worked hard icing cakes and cupcakes. Here is the recipe for Lucas's s'more birthday cake. It was awesome. I filled it with a chocolate/marshmallow ganache, which made it even awesomer. I tinted the frosting blue, so it would be perfect water for our sea animals. It ended up being one of the least attractive cakes I've made, but it was delish! Lucas thought it looked cool, and that's what counts. As for the cupcakes, Lucas wanted strawberry. I only had frozen raspberries at the time, so I opted for that. I Just threw some raspberry puree into a white cake mix, and made uber-yummy raspberry frosting. Done and done.

We met our friends at the pool at 4:00. There was swimming, there was cake, and then there was more swimming. It was perfect. After the party, we went to Freebirds for dinner with the Hollands. As we were munching on our burritos, I remembered that we ate there with my mom the night before Lucas was born - exactly 4 years earlier!

Today Lucas opened some new church clothes my mom sent. He was psyched to look so manly for church today. He was so cute. And he was a good boy, too. He liked it when everyone sang to him for his birthday. He was so cute at the front of the room in his red tie. After church we headed to the biggest potluck I've ever witnessed at the Baldwins. Lucas played the entire time and finally ate some chips and chicken salad when it was over.

(Fancy boys. "Lucas, stand up big and tall!")
When we got home Lucas had the last raspberry cupcake. We sang to him and he blew out the candle. He said he wished for the happiest family. He's so sweet. And no, it's not because right now he has the unhappiest family, he just always wants to be happy.

Then we let him open the rest of his presents. He scored some sweet Vans, a pirate costume, two cool puzzles, a floor puzzle, a homeschool Kindergarten activity book, and a Dr. Seuss book. Thanks awesome family!

The rest of the afternoon and evening was spent in pirate/play/puzzle mode. I made pizza for dinner, we Skyped Ben's parents, and it was off to showerland.

I'm so thankful for our sweet boy. He's such an silly, smart and spunky little goof.

Happy 4th Birthday, Lucas!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Monday, August 23, 2010

Post-Circus Depression

We decided to take Lucas to the circus for his birthday present. See, he watches all these shows about trains and they always talk about the circus trains in the show and he gets so excited. We thought it would be a fun surprise to take him to the circus.
Our tickets were for the 11:30 show on Saturday. Unfortunately we kept him up until 10:00 Friday night and he didn't sleep in at all Saturday morning, so he was already grouchy as we drove downtown. We thought it was going to be a complete nightmare, but he was ok once we got there.
As we were walking in, some people handed us a flier with "circus information." It was PETA talking about animal abuse at the circus. Then it hit me: I'm not a circus person. We never went to the circus when I was little. I always thought the circus was mean and I started to feel guilty. Hoping that things had changed, I put their flier in my back pocket.
We got there early for the little pre-show where you could go down on the floor and meet the clowns, watch magic and performers. We missed the animal open house by about 5 minutes when we got there, but I was really curious to see the animals.
About 15 minutes before the show we took our seats. As I sat down the PETA flier painfully poked me in the bum, reminding me of my decision to fund animal cruelty. Lucas happily munched on a granola bar and I realized I should have packed a lunch (instead we ended up sharing a hot dog, a little pizza, some popcorn, and about a month's worth of sodium).
The show started with lots of music and excitement: a parade of animals, dancers and crazy clowns. Lucas fell asleep after probably 15 minutes. We thought it best that he take a little nap anyways. He didn't miss much, except for the dogs, which happened to be the only animals I didn't feel sorry for.
They had zebras and horses basically come out and run in circles. They all looked irritated. The elephants all looked sad. The tigers looked really ticked off. Not only was their trainer in their cage with a whip, but there were people outside the cage poking them if they didn't move when they were supposed to. It was obvious that the tigers didn't want to perform their tricks. And quite frankly, the animal stuff was pretty boring. The circus doesn't need animals - the circus folk are all the entertainment you need. Of course without the animals, we wouldn't have had the fun of watching people scurry to clean up animal poo and dodging the spotlight during performances.
Oh and another thing, circus people. Your music is annoying. You don't need constant music. Sometimes we want to be able to hear ourselves think.
Anyhow, we had a lovely day. We probably should have saved $60 and taken him to the park to ride the train, but it was an adventure.
Ben and I enjoyed the people who got shot out of cannons. They were awesome. Evan, we learned, hates the sound of a canon. As for Lucas, I think he enjoyed his first and last circus.
From now on I'm boycotting circuses with animals. We'll just go on a safari instead.

Left: The elephants practicing their natural herd formation. Right: Asia, the elephant, after painting a picture during the preshow. Probably giving us all the bird in elephant language :)

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Zing Zang Snooze

We took our kids to the circus today.

Details to come...

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Chicken Makes Me Sad

You may remember the video when peas brought Lucas to tears.

Here's Evan's version.

Recent Harmanisms

Ahoy Matey! - Monday night Lucas and Ben started playing Pirates after dinner. They used pieces of train track as their swords and tried their best to use their pirate lingo. There was some serious "swording" going on. The next morning Lucas asked me to play pirates with him after breakfast. He had me tie a rubber exercise band around his head so he would look the part and off he went. I was Pirate Mommy and Lucas was Pirate Lucas, appropriately. He even tried to make me walk the plank. Then he pretended to walk the plank, and once he "landed in the water" he would go off pretending he was Jonah being swallowed by a whale. (We watched a Jonah cartoon a couple weeks ago, so it's on his mind). He would land in the water and say, "I'm ok. I have a floatie." or "Ooh, I just felt something touch my leg. I think it's a whale!"

Tuesday Lucas and I went to meet Ben downtown for lunch, which is one of my favorite midweek activities because it's fun and takes up practically half the day. This time I made little s'more brownie bites for him to share with his coworkers and we brought sandwiches, too. We had a little picnic by the town lake dog park so we could watch the dogs swim after their tennis balls.

Wednesday was full of adventure. We met some friends at a big bounce house up in Cedar Park. It was half price that day so it was packed. We had to put ourselves on the list to get in - like we were going to some club in LA or something. But, it was very nice and new with great toys. The kids had a blast. Afterward I took Lucas for his first trip to a doughnut shop - Krispy Kreme. He wasn't excited by the thought of having a doughnut for a treat, but I think he was pleased once he viewed the merchandise. Thankfully Lucas managed a nap on the way home so that we could go to the Round Rock Express game that night. Ben got free tickets from work and it was fun to go for a bit. Lucas loved playing on the toys there... and the 10 minutes of baseball he watched, too.

Thursday we took a trip to Costco and got the best potato chips ever - Kettles BAKED salt and pepper chips. I swear they're better than regular potato chips. That night after dinner I went upstairs to bathe Evan while Lucas and Ben played soccer in the back yard. After a few minutes I looked outside to see their plans had changed. I saw a naked Lucas running around playing in the hose. He was having the time of his life.

Friday we stayed in the house ALL day. That night I went shopping for Lucas's birthday with Evan. It was totally exciting. Saturday we made pancakes - don't let your kid put on his own syrup when you're not looking.

In other news, Evan loves his jumperoo. He also loves food. He eats sweet potatoes like a champ, and enjoys my homemade peas, carrots, and bananas. He was NOT a fan of chicken baby food. You can't blame him, though. His favorite thing ever is fancy baby yogurt. Probably because he can tell it's so expensive. Evan also got his second tooth this weekend. He's a big man! Oh, and he kind of says, "mama," but mostly in a whiney way... like when he wants me to feed him or something. Mamamamamamama. He's so cute.

Friday, August 13, 2010


I'm a world renowned kid sniffer. I love to sniff on my kids. Today I was sniffing on Lucas's neck while we were playing.
"Mom, stop smelling me. I'm not a strawberry!"

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Be Prepared

If I put the real phone on the charger it will be replaced.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Flying High

First off, I put my kid in this outfit today. Ben thinks he looks like a clown... or a gangsta. I think it's cute, though, and I'm the boss.

Second, I'm perfectly fine with spending an afternoon on a blanket in a parking lot as long as my kids are having fun.

I bought a kite a few weeks ago and we finally took Lucas out to use it today. It wasn't very windy, so we thought we might have to do the old, "drive with the kite out the sunroof" routine that we did in college. We found a nice big parking lot, but it turned out to be a great location with a perfect kite-flying breeze.

I plopped our blanket down on the only shade available, which happened to be in a parking space, but it was remarkably clean. Ben got the kite up in the air and we stayed for about an hour. Lucas was done flying the kite after a few minutes... Ben and I had more fun, but Lucas still enjoyed all the free space to roam around. The boys were tired when we got home. Hopefully they'll sleep well tonight.
Watch out... He'll come and get you. He did actually scare some of the birds. I'm pretty sure I saw some coming after him (the same kind of yellow-bellied birds that attack my family in Albuquerque).

Saturday, August 7, 2010

To have a buddy...

This Summer Lucas made a great friend. Bently and Lucas both love trains, cars, firefighters, planes, and all things manly. This was the first little man friend Lucas has had who is actually his age and lived close by! It was amazing to see the difference in the way they would play together versus when Lucas played with girls... These two usually managed to work out their own problems, maybe fight a little, but then move on, with no hard feelings. It was great. Sadly, Bently and his family were just here for an internship and are driving back to Utah this weekend. I don't think Lucas quite understands that Bently isn't just going on vacation.

Hopefully Lucas has learned a little bit about friendship - how fun it is to have a good friend, about making friends, and being a good friend.
Lucas thought it would be fun to give Bently a firefighter helmet just like his, so yesterday when Bently came to say goodbye (and drop off some food - thanks, Nat!) Lucas gave him his hat. They had lots of fun playing firefighters with pool noodles as their hoses. Then there was a sad hug goodbye and some chasing, and they were off... Today Lucas said, "I forgot to tell Bently Thank You for being my best friend!" I told him he could tell him on the computer. Until then...
Bye, Natalie, Shane, Bently and Beckham! We'll miss you. Move back next year!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Commercial....

...I worked on in May is finally done!

Monday, August 2, 2010


Sometimes I want to nibble on him. Yummy little baby.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Better to bite you with...

After a week of eating solid foods, Evan said, "Enough of this!" and got his first tooth!
Now he's ready for bbq brisket, green chile chicken enchiladas, and caramel popcorn balls. Chew on, my little man. Chew on.
(He also thinks it's fun to clap his hands, by the way).