The Kids

The Kids

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!

Hope you all have a Happy New Year! We went out to eat with friends at Outback... we decided to go 'early' to beat the New Year rush. Not sure what we were thinking (clearly we weren't) because our 50 minute wait turned into 2 hours and we still didn't have a table... but we did have two free appetizers!

Four hours later, we were stuffed and happy! On our way home, Sean reminded me that I promised to make chocolate cake to celebrate the New Year... oops, I forgot. Didn't want to disappoint, so I pulled out the bowls and mix and whipped up some chocolate cupcakes. Sean was happy, but I still hate the way anything I bake turns out dry or overdone! My once moist chocolate cupcakes in Virginia are now dry parched chocolate cupcakes in New Mexico. I really need to fix this problem!

Perhaps, I should take some time off from Blogging and Facebooking and spend some time researching high (5,000 feet above sea level) altitude cooking... maybe tomorrow.

Wit and Wisdom from a 3 year old...

Woke Sean up last night to take him to the bathroom... in his sleepy stooper, he dispensed some wisdom to me... "Mommy, it's not good to open an umbrella in the house"... Thank you, Sean. I fell asleep knowing that he has made me a bit older and a lot wiser!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The River of Lights...

We took Daddy to see The River of Lights... it was pretty awesome! I was happy with the way the pictures came out... what you don't see is how fast we walked through this... Ethan decided that he had to pee once we were almost half way through and far enough away from the bathrooms that we didn't want to turn back... Oh well, it was cold and we had already walked through it once. Hot chocolate anyone?!?

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Two words... Rattle - Snakes...

We checked out the RattleSnake Museum with our new friends (let me explain that unless otherwise specified the term 'friends' as it relates to New Mexico translates to Louis and Luvia and their daughters as we have no other 'friends' that we do anything with here)... it was pretty cool. I didn't realize that there are so many different kinds of rattlesnakes and I think they are all pretty much poisonous (didn't read the information - not all of it anyway).

It was a bit disturbing to find out that they use dens under rocks and stuff... which means that the holes that we saw hiking may have belonged to something else. We did learn that there is a den that the Museum Snake People check every winter... it's located 50 miles West of Albuquerque. Anyway, this den has housed up to 350 rattlesnakes during the winter!!! That's insane!!! And scary!!!

Funny that when you come across a rattlesnake you should not turn and run away... instead, you should back away slowly... Aren't those the same directions if you run across a bear?!?

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Snow... not here...

Oh, Virginia... we waited patiently for seven long years to see a snow like this... but alas, you waited until we had gone... I shed a single tear of sadness not to be able to share such a beautiful sight with old friends!

** Fredericksburg got twenty inches of snow and we missed it... I'm wishing we were there (just for a day, that's all) **

Sandia Park is ugly...

I've been telling all of our friends and family to register for the HGtv Dream Home giveaway which is located in Sandia Park, New Mexico... it's about a half hour away from our house on the East side of the mountains from Albuquerque. Well, we drove out to check out the area... it turns out that the home is located in a gated community and sits on between 3 and 6 acres. It is surrounded by five different mountain ranges and the evergreens and shrubs in the area are tall enough that you wouldn't be able to see your neighbors, but you can still see the 'view'.

After checking out the area and taking a look at the types of houses that are built in the development South of Dream Home, I can safely say... that it is a complete waste of time for anyone and everyone to register for this house. The area is ugly and completely undesirable... I mean, who wants to wake up and look at mountains everyday?!? Just don't register... and if you do, and you do win... we will be okay with watching the Dream Home for you if you don't want to move... I mean, if we have to...

Friday, December 25, 2009

Sledding on Christmas...

After we finished opening gifts and running through the shower, we gave Louis and Luvia a call... they were up for a trip to the mountains to take in some sledding. I have to admit that I was a bit worried because there wasn't any snow on the West side... I was relieved when we got around to the East side and started seeing snow. Thank God, because the kids were not going to be happy without an hour of sledding.
An hour is about all we were able to handle... it was sooooo cold. At the most, twenties plus wind chill. It didn't stop our boys... especially Ethan. He had so much fun sledding. He was up and down the hills twice as fast as any of us!

So glad that we were able to make snow angels on Christmas! Granted, it wasn't a 'White Christmas' at our house, but it was within driving distance!

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas boys!!! They had so much fun opening up their presents... and Sean was so excited to open up Lulu the cat (so glad she isn't meowing in the laundry room anymore) and his swimming dog! Ethan was excited to find that we had got him his metal detector and LEGOs... of course his most used gift is a really soft blanket that Santa got him...

We had such a wonderful Christmas! The boys kept saying that this was "The Best Christmas Ever!" I missed all of our extended family, but I have to admit that we had a pretty awesome Christmas!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas Eve!

And we have tamales!!! Our new friends came over to eat tamales with us... they turned out really good even though I had no idea what I was doing! Thank God Luvia is a great teacher! The boys had so much fun playing with their new friend, Destry.

If tamales and margaritas weren't enough, we broke out the Redneck Trivia game. What a riot! It's the Redneck version of Trivial Pursuit... the categories are Weapons, Big Game, Small Game, Camping and Fishing. It took two hours, but us girls won! We smoke 'em!

We had a great Southwestern Christmas Eve!

Merry Christmas Grandma!

Aunt Jenni thought up a great gift idea for Grandma... we got a webcam and she got Grandma one... We all got online this afternoon and surprised Grandma! It was awesome!

I gave everyone a ridiculously impromptu tour of our house... I even included the stylish folding table that was set up in the front room... it started as a table to put together a puzzle and turned into a 'catch all' for virtually everything. If I would have known that I was going to 'show' everyone around, I would have thrown all of the 'clutter' in the garage!!!

Merry Christmas everyone!!!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

We got snow...

Well, we got a little snow! The boys had fun seeing some flakes falling from the New Mexico sky. Pretty cool! We also spent the evening with new friends making tamales... I had never made tamales before and I sure did learn a lot! I knew that you used corn husks to make them, but I didn't know that you actually don't eat them!?! Oops! Like I said, I had never made tamales before...

Saturday, December 19, 2009

There's a wedding in our future...

Sean let me know today that he's getting married!!! Yeah... he said that there is a girl in his class and they were going to get married. I shot that down pretty quick. I am certainly not entertaining that one... especially since he thinks that in order to get married,

"A boy and a girl kiss... and that's how you get married!"

None of that thank you very much!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

This is the Rio Grande?!?

Before moving to New Mexico, I only saw pictures of the Rio Grande... for some reason, I thought that the whole river was one big gorge! I thought that you stood on the edge and looked way down to see the water... or you could rent a donkey and ride down along some scary little trail...

and then I moved here... and now I get to drive across the Rio Grande all the time... and this is what it looks like here! It looks like any other river... who knew?!? (not me)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

There's a museum for that?!?

We checked out Albuquerque's Balloon Museum this weekend! We actually checked it out yesterday and then found out that today was free to Albuquerque residents... plus, Santa floated in on a balloon (not really, but he was taking pictures in a basket) and they had balloon crafts, balloon cookie decorating and, of course, a balloon artist that made the boys a balloon ladybug and airplane! Nothing like getting into the Christmas spirit!

This 'basket' thing (I don't know what they call it because I didn't take the time to read about it) went across the ocean (again, don't know which one because I didn't read it and for that matter it may have went around the world... I don't know) with a hot air balloon attached to it! There were people in it too! Crazy!

Merry Christmas boys!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Our leap of faith...

Definition: Leap of faith. (Leepe uv faithe) descriptive verb. To move to New Mexico not knowing how much you are going to get paid or how much your bills are going to be.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

The writings on the... rock?!?

We went to Petroglyph National Monument today... it's about seven miles from our house and it is so neat! It is made up of inactive volcanoes and a long time ago the Native Americans drew primitive pictures on the black rocks... so cool. The boys loved climbing to the top and back down again. Hiking is one of their favorite things to do now... I didn't really like 'Beware of Rattlesnakes' signs... I appreciated them, but I didn't like them...

I am open to trying new things...

For instance, tonight JD and I went to a bar (that's not the new part)... with some friends and I had a few beers (that's not the new part)... and we watched Ultimate Fighting Championship...

The bar was crazy busy and there was standing room only... I was suprised at how fast two hours flew by!

Besides trying something new tonight, I also learned something new too... the Southwest doesn't have a name for Redneck! Had a good time... thanks Louis and Luvia!

Friday, December 11, 2009

I have a friend...

My mom called me this afternoon and told me that I was giving her heartburn... "Why?" I asked...

She told me that she was just out of sorts because I didn't know anyone in Albuquerque yet... she said that she felt the same way when I was pregnant with Ethan and JD was headed overseas... she wished that I had a support system here with friends to check in with...

I said, "but Mom, I met a friend today and her name is Julie."

She said, "Tania, you had a friend when you were little and its' name was 'boy' and he was imaginary... an imaginary friend named 'Julie' does not count."

I explained that Julie was a real person and that I had met her at Ethan's field trip... somehow, we couldn't get over the humor of me making up a friend or me actually having an imaginary friend...

I'm so glad that I don't have to do much to amuse my mother!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

When in Rome...

We haven't got a good snow yet, but God blessed us with three perfectly good tumbleweeds... one large, one medium and one small! We felt that it was most appropriate to use God's blessings to make a... Tumbleweed Man!

Happy Holidays from our Tumbleweed Man...

We all voted that the wreath hat was a bit much...

Now this is more our style! We added the sombrero for a Southwestern flair! Yee-hah and Oh-lay!
The boys are freakin' out over our awesome Tumbleweed Man!
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year everybody...
(oh, by the way, the gifts are going to be late because instead of decorating ornaments, we were making a Tumbleweed Man!!!)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Livin in the Old West...

We had severe storms last night... well, in some areas they were supposed to get up to 24 inches of snow! We didn't get the snow, but we got severe winds... and an unexpected visitor!
This huge tumbleweed rolled through our yard sometime last night and left a wake of destruction! It's so big that if you tried to hug it (don't know why you would because it's pokey) you wouldn't be able to fit your arms around it!

It showed no mercy when it knocked down our little fake Christmas tree... it even left it's prickly prickers all over the poor tree!

Our wreath and 'Happy Holidays' sign stood no chance up against the horrible Tumbleweed and the wind...

We won't even discuss what happened to poor Frosty!

Monday, December 7, 2009

You may have been wondering...

So if you have been following our move, you may have noticed that I didn't mention anything about what happened to our double bagged casualty...

Well, we honestly kept forgetting about him. When we arrived in Albuquerque on Monday the 23rd, we were so exhausted and so focused on getting everything that survived in the house that he slipped our minds. We did remember to take him out of JD's truck... unfortunately we sat him next to the house on the sidewalk...

We ran some errands to get groceries and stuff that evening... when we got home, he had been moved into the driveway. While we were carrying in groceries, he did manage to get moved to the garage door manual opener thing... yeah, he was hanging on the front of our garage.

We spent the next week in the house unpacking and organizing... the garage door was never opened and we were only reminded of the casualty when we ran in and out to do errands. Each time we would say, "We really need to do something with that fish."

We had a bit of an issue with exactly 'what' we were going to do with him... you see, our front yard is all rock and the backyard is sand (which Max loves to dig in)... I had suggested that maybe we just throw him in the trash and JD was dead set against that... we had brought him this far (and had him hang around this long) that he deserved something better than that...

After a few more days of thinking, JD asked me to come outside and help him. My job was to get the fish out of the two bags that it called its' temporary resting place' for a week and a half (definitely the short end of the stick) and drop it under the big rock in the front yard that JD had lifted up for that very purpose... all I can say is it's a good thing that it is dry out here, because that fish should dry up pretty quick so that it doesn't stink by the middle of summer!

Oh well, we are all here and in our most appropriate spots... better late than never.
We are a little wierd...

Up... Up... and away...

Didn't know I was living the movie 'UP'!

This is what I woke up to this morning... It's cloudy and cold today, but that doesn't stop a balloonist!

This picture is cool because you can kind of see the fire from the burner... apparently it is warm up there because of the burner!
Bye, Bye Balloon... see you again another day!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

'Girl' toys...

Sean came up to me today and said, "Mom, I just want 'girl' toys for Christmas."

What 'girl' toys exactly?

"I just want a 'swim to me puppy' and a cat named Lulu and a flashlight."

Really? I explained to him that the puppy and the kitty could really be toys for boys, but someone somewhere decided to market them towards girls instead. I told him that it was sexist.

After I put him to bed, I went online to see exactly what this puppy was and who Lulu was... Toys R Us and Walmart were out of the Rescue Me Puppy that swims and Target was out of Lulu the cat that purrs. Geesh, my little boy had to pick two of the most popular 'girl' toys to want this year! I did end up finding the dog at Target online and the cat at Toys R Us online.

I have to admit that I am excited to see his face light up when he opens his 'girl' toys this Christmas! He's so funny... whenever he sees a commercial for the puppy, he freaks out and has to show it to me... he then makes the motions as if he is swimming when he says 'swim to me puppy'! It is so stinkin' cute!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Just call us snotty...

Ever since we moved to New Mexico, I have felt like the altitude is trying to squeeze every last bit of snot out of my head! I can fill tissue after tissue and still find more snot! It's not just me, Daddy and the boys have the same problem.

The rumor has it (we heard it from a urgent care doctor) that this snot overload is part of the climatization part of the move... didn't know I was signing up for this! The Doc said that it could take up to three months before our bodies get used to the 4500 feet above sea level altitude.

In the meantime, my head will fight against the altitude and continue to produce more and more snot... I've been snotty for so long, my sinus pockets might not know what to do with themselves if they suddenly became empty!

For now, I ask "Anyone have a dozen tissues?!?"

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Guess what?!?

We found the mixer! It was in a box marked "Bathroom"... no wonder we didn't find it!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving everybody!

We are all sick... full of snot and feeling like poop! We had to cancel our plans to go over to JD's boss' house... so now I am unexpectedly stuck doing Thanksgiving dinner. We are still emptying boxes and I don't have everything in the kitchen cleaned and washed yet (this is partly my fault, but I'm not going into this online)...

We did make it to the commissary to get a ham, some veggies and pies. JD was so looking forward to mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie. We unpacked and cleaned up until it was time to make dinner.

I tossed the pies (apple and pumpkin) into the oven and set the timer on the microwave. When the pies were almost done, I put the potatoes on to boil. I went back to unpacking. The potatoes reminded me that they were cooking because they were boiling... when they were done, I found the beaters and started looking for the mixer... crap! I couldn't find the mixer anywhere! We started going through boxes in the garage... I know it was in a box that we moved, but we had no idea where that was!

In the meantime, I forgot about the pies... it wasn't until I started smelling 'browning' pies that I realized that I pretty much burned them... I would like to affectionately call it 'roasting' the pies. Well, they were a bit 'done', but still (for the most part) edible. So, we had ham and corn, parsley butter non-mashed potatoes and well-done pies...

It was a feast fit for a snotty, infectious family living out of boxes!

Monday, November 23, 2009

We made it!

We pulled into Albuquerque and navigated towards our house around 9:45 a.m. Seems like we've been driving forever! (if 'forever' equates to 36 hours!)

We turned down our road and saw the moving truck pulled up in front of our house! They were already there and had the driveway full... we waited another 30 minutes until JD showed up with the keys. It was cold and windy... the wind was full of sand... I'm too tired for this!

We showed the movers where to put everything... it felt like we were doing something complex like brain surgery when asked which room I wanted the sewing machine in... it got to the point I would just tell them upstairs, downstairs or garage... I really didn't care! I just want the bed put together!

The 'Bandaid' has been ripped off... the 'sting' of the move can still be felt, but after a good nights sleep we should start to feel a little more human again!


About an hour and a half outside of Albuquerque, my 'check engine' light came on as the truck accelerated to pass a truck... I slowed down and pulled over on the shoulder. As I was shutting off the truck, I called JD. I told him what happened and that I took it off cruise control as soon as the light went on...

What?!? He was horribly surprised and a bit worried to find out that I had it in cruise... he told me that you aren't supposed to pull a trailer with while in cruise. Really?!? No one had ever told me that. I knew about shutting overdrive off, but not about cruise. I told him that I've had it on cruise the entire time without any problems... He was shocked to say the least.

I turned the truck back on and the light went off... he headed back to his truck and I grabbed the manual... what do you know, he was right! Oops, my bad.

We started out again... I hate pulling a trailer without cruise! So glad I didn't know this rule earlier in the trip. I called JD about 20 minutes later and told him to go ahead of me. We were running behind schedule and I wasn't making good time at all now that I had to pay attention to the speed gauge. I'm tired so I kept slowing down...

He headed on and the boys and I kept pushing forward. Driving sucks!

Some Western observations...

This is the first time that I have travelled by car this far West... it's neat seeing the differences between the East Coast/Mid West...

I saw a shop along the highway called the "Indian Smoke Shop"... I thought that was hillarious!

Another place was named "Jesus Christ is Lord not a swear word Travel Center"... I swear that this was a real place and that was its' whole name!!!

I also saw my first tumbleweeds... that was pretty cool! They also have a lot of huge birds... kind of freaky!

New Mexico, here we come!

We started out this morning around 4:30... we are trying to meet our movers at the house at 9:30. The boys are just so tired... we moved them out of the beds in the hotel and into their 'mobile beds'... wish I could join them! On several occassions I have asked Ethan to drive so that I can rest... he told me 'no'!

What a beautiful sunrise to start out our last day on the road! We've got about six more hours and then we should be there... if you take in the time change, we should be there around 9:30... I won't hold my breath!

We are finally in New Mexico! Can't say that I could be happier! We all made it! (Technically, we all did because the DOA fish is still double wrapped in the back of JD's truck!)

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Is it wrong to love a hotel...

We drove until we got just inside Texas (no picture of the 'Welcome to Texas' sign as it was too dark)... then we started to look for a nice hotel. We happened on a Holiday Inn Express in Shamrock, TX that looked fairly new. Please, please, please take pets!

I waited and waited for JD to come out and tell me that they didn't take pets and we would have to go across the street to the scuzzy hotel. Thank God! He came out and told that we got one of their last 'Pets only' rooms... yeah! They do extra cleaning on these rooms after each stay... no fleas here!!! I can't remember the last time I was this excited about staying in a hotel!

These are pictures of our 'Pets Only' room... I would have stayed here without pets!

We brought in Max and the cats... JD went and got the hotel baggage cart to bring the fish in... poor fish. At this point, all of the fish were doing well except for that one that was still floating. It was the oldest of the three Kissing Gouramis. Technically speaking, this fish already had one fish miracle when he survived being either dried out by the air conditioner or baked on my carpet. Needless to say, we pronounced him DOA right there in the hotel room... He was now in Fishy Heaven... that big fish pond in the sky. When the kids were a bit distracted (five feet away) I fished him out and put him in a ziplock bag. I then double bagged him so that he could be moved. What were we going to do with him now?!? He was at least six inches long... he couldn't be flushed and it felt sacreligious to just toss him in the trash... we decided to deal with him later...

We got cleaned up and it the sack... wish we could have slept in later than 3:30 a.m. because these beds were so comfy! I love sleeping in a nice hotel... I guess I just appreciated this one more because of what we were in last night!

I'm a funny truck driver...

Seems like we've been driving for ages... We spent 12 hours on the road yesterday and we are hoping to get 18 in today! I am so sick of driving! It's a lot harder than what I thought... especially since we don't have someone to trade of with... I dream of napping!

Anyway, hope we can make it a few more hours... our goal is to get inside Texas. My mom thinks we're nuts! She knows that I'm not intoxicated, but I'm so tired I'm apparently not making sense on the phone... oh, and everything is funny!

Like I said, we are going to try and make it a few more hours... oh, and I've also made up my mind that we are not staying in a nasty hotel tonight!!! I refuse to feel like I'm sleeping in a room that has seen its' share of two dollar tricks and has a dead body encased in the box spring!!! Who can sleep in a place like that?!?

Belly Ache...

Sean told me that his belly hurt so he has to take a little nap...

I'm all for that!

Three minutes later, he told me he has to poop!

I guess we are making a pit stop!

Hey Merle...

Okey from Muskogee!!! I love it!!!

It's OK to be shy...

I was so excited to get a picture of each State's 'welcome' sign... unfortunately, I forgot to let Oklahoma know and apparently they didn't want to cooperate! Couldn't get a darn clear picture if my life depended on it! Oh well, welcome to Oklahoma!