Friday, June 28, 2013

Storms and Power Failure

We have known since we got here, that F would be taking a trip with his class.  For the trip he needed slacks, a polo, and dress shoes--none of which we brought.

Being that he is a guy that likes to live on the edge, he waited until a few days before the trip to begin looking for clothes.  (Please note, this was not my idea.  I like to shop well in advance.  Maybe even wear the outfit once before said event, just to make sure it is comfortable.)

The trip was today, so naturally he decided to go out and get his shoes on Wednesday. (Who buys new shoes where one will be walking significant distances without breaking them in?  My husband apparently.)  We left after he was done with class.  We got to the vehicle just in time for it to start raining.

And then it really came down.  So much so, that I might have pulled over because I couldn't see 10 feet in front of me.  But the hubs, he has 'rain vision' that allows him to keep trekking along at what feels to be warp speed.

Thankfully, we arrived at the mall in one piece, and Thank You Jesus the rain let up.  We barely got in the mall, and it started pouring again.  F walked through the entire mall looking for a 'shoe only' store. Mind you, we passed by several shoes along the way.  Macy's, JC Penny's and several other stores all had perfectly nice shoes, and he walked right on by.  (At this point my daughter informs me she is hungry.  She might even be starving as far as she is concerned.  I remind her that she is not starving and just ate a few hours ago.  She went on to tell me her stomach is growling and she is a growing girl who needs extra energy.  Yes, yes, little lady.  We will get you food in a bit.  I ate the last granola bar in my purse earlier, so my secret snack stash is no more.) 

Finally, the husband picks a store and starts choosing shoes to have someone shuffle off and get.  He gave her about 5, and she came back with 1.  Well, we are off to a great start.  This store does not have your size.  At this point I would cut my losses and move on.  Nope.  Husband tries on the shoes.  I hand O my phone to play a game.

We hear a loud crash and the lights go out.

Sitting in the shoe department.

Pitch black.

One second later and I see all these cell phone lights pop on.  O just sits there playing a game, hardly acknowledging the lack of lights.  Someone shouts, 'grab all the stuff, haha'.  Several minutes later the power comes back on.  Again, I think to myself, let's cut our losses and go home.

The cashier comes back with another pair of shoes for F to try on.  Then she says, 'here are your shoes, but sorry you have to leave.  The registers are down.'  I stand up, and F says, 'let me just try these on anyway.  What?  Why?  You can't buy them.  Let's go.  He points out that if he likes them, he can return here tomorrow.  Ok, so we wait.
We finally leave the store an hour and half after we got there, with no shoes, and a very hungry family.
We drive to another store.  It is pouring.  It is windy.  I am ready to call it quits.  I say O and I will stay in the vehicle while you go get your shoes.  30 minutes later he finally has shoes.

We go to a restaurant nearby for dinner (by this time it is pretty late--7 which just happens to be O's bedtime, and we still haven't ate dinner.  Nice job mom and dad.  Way to stick to a schedule.)  

We go in the restaurant and order.  My daughter fills up on chips and salsa, and then doesn't eat dinner.

Then the lights flicker.  Are you kidding me?  It is time for bed.  

We get back to the hotel to find that there is  no internet or tv.  Not so good for the husband, who has a paper to write.  O and I go to bed.

The next morning I find out from F, the required slacks, polo, and dress shoes everyone must wear has been changed.  I just shook my head and walked away.

And this folks, is why I don't like to procrastinate.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

A River and an Island

This past weekend we visited a delicious Cuban restaurant called Kuba Kuba.
They had the best iced coffee ever.  Hands down.  Starbucks has nothing on them.  Oh. My!  I might have to swing back up there for some more before we head back home.

Like most of the better restaurants we've tried since we have been here, the outside was nothing spectacular, and if I didn't hear about it from friends, I probably wouldn't have gone in.  

Street art on the side of the building.  

After lunch, we headed to an island in the middle of a river.  It's pretty big, and had a pond where an old quarry used to be.  To get to the island, we had to take a bridge.  O did not enjoy the bridge.  The husband, however thought it would be important to video the experience, lest we forget all that cement.    

Once we are on the island it was walking, walking, and more walking.  O preferred to dig in the sandy trail rather than actually walk.  The river was pretty high so we couldn't get very close to the edge, or rather this mama was too anxious to let anyone go within 10 feet of the river.

On the island was several factories.  This one in particular housed so pretty toxic things, so I snapped a picture and insisted we stay out of the building.  I am sure it would have been fine, but I am uptight about toxic chemicals and such.

And once we got back to the hotel, our daughter raced ahead of us.  We just couldn't find her anywhere.  She is a sneaky hider that little one.  :)

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Tea Set

This story begins with a Father's Day Gift.

We went to a paint-your-own-pottery place and made a mug for daddy.  It was quick and easy, and after 30 minutes O was excited to do more.  'Oh, mama!  Look at this beautiful tea set!  We could paint it together and then have tea parties.  It would be so much fun.  Please, mama?'  

How could I resist such cuteness?  So, we began painting the tea set.  We finished the tea cups and saucers and had to save the rest for another day, because we had been there, oh 4 hours, and dinner time was approaching.

We were back at it the next day.  Neither of us were as focused as before.  Did I mention each piece had to be painted three times?  Each layer had to be dried with a hair dryer.  
Another girl/mom showed up and O felt it was much more important to talk to the girl than paint.  This left mama painting all the 'boring parts'  ie the base coats.  After 3 more hours we had only managed to paint a few pieces.  
Did I mention I let my daughter choose a tea set with 11 pieces?

The next day we skipped.  Neither of us had it in us, to drag ourselves back to the pottery place to paint, yet again.  

Ok, maybe it was more than a day.  I did start this project a full week before Father's Day, and it just was finished, ahem...yesterday.  Anyway, after a break we went back.  On that particular day, O rather enjoyed looking at all the other pieces that she liked.  A horse, a pig, a mug.  She wanted to paint them all.  Oh but when I mentioned coming back to paint the tea set....not interested.  Another 2 hours, and we left.  

The next time we went out there, we were finally making progress.  We could decorate the pieces.   The excitement lasted through one tea pot.  That's it.  She lost interest again.  Oh My Goodness.  What was I thinking?  Why did I think painting 11 pieces would be fun?  We are making memories alright.  Memories of mommy getting frustrated and on the verge of begging her five year old to. Just. Finish. The. Set.

Whew.  I needed a break.  We took a few more days off because I did not want to make the entire experience miserable for both of us.  Then I brought in reinforcements.  

The husband is an amazing painter.  He came along and helped finish the big tray because let's face it, O and I would have worked on it for another month before it was finished.

After a solid two weeks, and 5 (but it sure felt like more) days painting we gave the ok to throw it in the kiln.  O and I picked up the final product yesterday.  Oh my.  That little girl's face was glowing.  She was thrilled, and so excited to have a tea party.

Daddy's piece--much fancier than ours.

The whole set.

O did the saucers and the larger plate all by herself.
I think they are beautiful.

As she was painting she told me she hid a fairy in there.
Can you see it, amongst the flowers and leaves?

Super excited to have  tea party!

Of course, no good tea party is complete without sugar cubes.
I am actually surprised I found these.  I have looked for them back home with no luck.

Cookies and sugar cubes.  

I let O taste a sugar cube.  She was pleased.

We had to get dressed up for the tea party.

Super fancy with bows and scarves and
jewelry, oh my!  (disregard my towels
lying on the floor, haha)

Can you tell she is enjoying herself?

We had a lovely conversation.  She told me
all kinds of fun things, like how to properly
hold my tea cup, and what she would like
to do today.  It included very important things
like reading with mama, and playing at the
splash pad. 

The sugar cubes were a hit.  She loved watching
them dissolve in the tea.  She dropped 4 cubes in 
maybe a 1/4 cup of tea.  She decided the next cup
would only have 1 or 2 cubes.

After all is said and done, I am happy we made the tea set, but the process was much more than I expected.  Next time, I will set realistic expectations :)

Friday, June 21, 2013


Here are a few things I have found particularly interesting this week.

Jessica Rey - The evolution of the swim suit

Keeper of the Home had a great article reminding me that I am not in control.  I don't know about you, but I need reminded of this often (and don't be fooled by the title--even if you are not pregnant it is relevant)

Jen Hatmaker  always hilarious  :)

Wellness Mama  Homemade Ginger Ale?  I am intrigued.  Will I try it, most likely not.  Intrigued still the lest.  I am all for making things on my own, but fermenting and making a ginger bug won't be happening in this itty bitty hotel room anytime soon.

And Last but not Least...Beth Moore's Blog.  Always inspirational.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

This Week...

This week we have...

::Played inside the mall at the little kid play area
::Painted a gift for Daddy
::Gave Daddy his Father's Day gifts
::Videotaped silly things with daddy's new gift (we're driving to the store, let's video it!  We are going on a hike, let's video it!)
::Got lost on a hike this week in the woods.  Thank goodness for iPhones  :)
::Gave lots of hugs this week
::Video chatted with family
::Ate Frozen Yogurt...Again.
::Played Memory (Yes, I lost again)
::O matched her plastic toys to the memory cards
::We have all complained about the weather at least once this week.  Is it hot?  Is it cold?  It is sticky and stuffy but cool is that possible?
::Explained to O a few dozen times that it is not her clothes that are itchy and sticky it is this state.  Still she prefers to be naked.
::Went to the Library
::Read books a whole lot
::Took extra naps
::Ate extra popsicles
::Found a GIANT dragonfly at the playground, and I didn't take a picture--bummer.

What have you been up to this week?

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Home Decorating

*Warning--most of the photos below are blurry.  They were taken by O.

While O and I were waiting on F to finish up something shopping we walked over to Pier 1.  I haven't been in that store in probably 10 years.  I think O's eyes grew to be the size of half dollars when she walked in.  'Oh mama!  It's all so beautiful!  We should decorate our house this way.'  She then asked if she could photograph her favorite things so I would remember to buy them later when we get home.

Here is what she loved.

Ok, minus the lime green palm tree and frog statue she had pretty good taste (I thought).  Maybe I will hire her when we get home ;)

Do you let your kids pick out what is in their room or do you do the decorating?

Tuesday, June 18, 2013


We are at day 93.  
Whew, it seems like we have been here forever, yet also like we just arrived.  I am excited that we have a month until we are home.  I dare say we have exhausted many of our activities.  This mama is going to have to get really creative.

Of the supplies I brought:
Colored Paper--gone
Glue sticks--gone
Elmer's glue--gone
Markers--drying up
Paint--more colors than not are gone
Clay--hit the trash can this week, very gross
Art and Craft drawers--dwindling the only thing left that is usable is beads and water balloons.
Ink in Printer--the light is blinking at me.
Masking tape I just bought--half gone
Pre-made books (I sewed together for O to write stories in)--5 left of 12
Pipe Cleaners--all twisted up and I feel unusable but I will probably leave them for just a bit longer

I originally planned to have enough of all of these supplies to last the time while we are here, but be able to toss before we come back so there is less stuff to bring home.  

She has been Merida and all kinds of other make-believe friends using my scarves.  
Scarves are great.

We covered newspaper in paint chips.  We didn't really make anything in particular but it took up some time and O found it amusing.

We made a newspaper fort like the ones that have been all over the internet.  O was seriously involved in this.  She cried when it was time to stop for bedtime.  She woke up at 1 in the morning and I awoke to the sound of tape being ripped.  She thought it was morning and time for working on the fort again. Then she was up again at 6 to work on the fort.  She was really devoted to it for a day, and then didn't touch it again.  

She has been a super helper cutting veggies in the kitchen.

We have used the splash pad, playground, and library approximately 900 times.  Ok, maybe not that much, but it sure feels like it.

I think we are all excited to start thinking about home and friends we will see and being back to normal (well as much as possible).