Coincidence or something else?

What I am about to tell you may not be Twilight Zone worthy, but it is interesting. First a little background. My daughter is visiting her grandparents in another state. She has been there for about a month. We skype practically everyday. She has a Nintendo 3DS and so do I. We both have the game Animal Crossing which we haven’t played a lot in the past few months.

Saturday we take the car in for some maintenance, so I take my 3DS and actually play Animal Crossing. First time I have played in about a month. It was fun. Last night we are skyping when my daughter says she wants to connect the 3DS to the MIFI so we can play Animal Crossing together because she started playing it again yesterday. We travel to each other’s towns, and you can play that way over the Internet, too.

It was kind of neat that we both played the same game after not playing it for at least a month. And played it on the same day. I like to think of it as some connection. It makes me miss her less.

We weren’t able to get the 3DS connected because the MIFI was the wrong encryption, and I didn’t feel like walking through how to change it. Instead we just played Animal Crossing and talked about what we were doing on Skype. A fun time and memory for sure.

The Patrick Rothfuss Experience

My anniversary gift to my husband this year was a meeting with Patrick Rothfuss. Ok, so he had to share that gift with the over 400+ attendees at BookPeople in Austin, TX and managed only to exchange pleasantries with Pat. It was still worth it.

Not only did my aspiring writer husband get to meet one of his favorite authors, he got to hear this author speak about his writing process, self doubt, and all the other human emotions we all experience but somehow think are unique to only us. Writing is hard. It is much easier to speak thoughts than to put them down on paper. Writing can be frustratingly long process. It is good to recharge the creative batteries every once in a while – ok maybe more often than that some weeks.

The talk started at 7pm and lasted a full hour. Then the real fun began. This was our first ever book signing and didn’t know what to expect. Needless to say, we learned a lot. First, you will wait and wait. Then you will wait some more.Then when you are ready to give up, you will still have to wait but will see progress. For my husband, this was actually entering the room where Pat was signing. From that point, it took about 20-30 minutes. All in all we were there for five hours. We learned some lessons if we ever do this again like bring some refreshments.

This was my first exposure to Patrick Rothfuss since I haven’t read his books yet. He was quite entertaining, has an impressive beard, and just seemed to really enjoy being there. I would definitely travel again to see him and next time I will stand in the massive line for an autograph. While in line, my husband notice a few unusual requests. One guy asked Patrick to sign his leg which will serve as a template for his next tattoo. That is one way to mark (permanently!) the moment. Another guy asked for a hug to which Patrick agreed. Then there was the guy who wanted to play the saxophone for Patrick. So there is some commonality – these were all guys! There were plenty of females in the line as well so I can either assume that only the men were making crazy requests or that my husband just didn’t see anything out of the ordinary from the females. Granted he was in line for four hours. Of those four hours, only about an hour was spent close enough to see what was going in the signing room.

Anyway. It was a great experience and one we would love to repeat sometime.

Cookie Decorating

It’s National Cookie Day so to celebrate I am sharing pictures of our cookie decorating fun we had during Thanksgiving break. This is a tradition that my husband’s family does – so we decided to start it with our own family.

Everything is set up and ready to go.

Rae chose the colors. Not so holiday-ish but colorful!

Rae demonstrates how to make polka dots on the cookies.

This is about at the point where Rae gets bored and Mommy finishes the other cookies.

Rae is a picky eater – so the homemade icing had to pass the Rae taste test. Luckily it was to her liking.

Overall we had a lot of fun. We may have to do it again over Christmas break because come January her and dad and me will be hardcore dieters.

First Day of School

My baby is growing up! She is now in 1st grade. The first day went well. Pickup was a little chaotic but we made it through. Lessons learned for tomorrow. I am close enough to walk to get her – so I will be doing that tomorrow. Silly me worried if I did that then I’d be the only one. Oh this country girl has a lot to learn about big city living. Everyone walks here.

Today was good. The house was quiet and kind of sad. By the end of the week it will feel normal for to be gone. I’m glad she likes school although she seems a little disappointed that first grade will last a whole year. Don’t grow up on me too fast! It will go by before I am ready.

Summer Fun Drawing to an End

Summer is drawing to a close. School starts next Monday. This has been a long summer break as Rae got out for summer May 23rd from her old school and will start August 27th at her new one.

The move set back some of our summer plans. We didn’t make it to the water park and just now getting comfortable exploring more of our new city. We do plan to make the most of the last few days. Today we are knocking something off the bucket list. Rae wanted to build a bear at the Build-a-Bear Workshop – plus there is a dinosaur exhibit at the mall, too. Also we are going to one of the many local museums this weekend.

Next summer will be a different story. There won’t be a clothes pin left on the bucket list.

A New Job – A New State

Today I write my first post from Texas – the state we now live in. I guess since we now live in a city of 1.2 million people I can say that we live in San Antonio. This city is fantastic. We have been here a week and I already love it. So much to do and so much to see.

So don’t be surprised if I journal our experiences here. I had flirted with the idea of starting a new blog about San Antonio but feel that since I know so very little about this city that the blog would just be about our adventure. Then I realized that I already have a blog about that – Raesmom.

So here I will be chronicling our adventures. What is left of summer we have started a small bucket list of stuff we want to do before school starts. School is still almost a month away – so we have some time to still have a fun summer.

The Summer List 2012 Edition

Last year, we made a summer list of all the stuff that Raegan wanted to do. Here is the list and I will comment on what we did and didn’t do –
Inspired by Amy at Mom Advice.com, I thought this year we would make a summer list. This will be all the activities that Rae wants to do over the summer. This will be her last summer before she starts school in the fall. Here is the list so far. All of these are Rae’s ideas.

1. Play, Play, Play (check)
2. Plant Flowers (check)
3. Play racquetball outside
4. Call me Princess everyday (well it doesn’t have to be everyday)
5. Let Shally(our cat) comes inside and give her a toy mouse (check)
6. Eat some snacks together (check)
7. Go to the Audubon Zoo (Check!)
8. Meet the Wild Kratts
9. Try to catch caterpillars and then set them in free in the wild (inspired by her Wild Kratts thought with that last statement)
10. Crochet some toys for kids without any money
11. Play games (check)
12. Give Pandi (imaginary panda) some bamboo juice
13. Play some more
14. Make up a song
15. Collect some rocks
16. Start a unicorn collection (check!)
17. Watch Wild Kratts (check)
18. Collect worms
19. Play games on the computer (check!)
20. Go to park and have a picnic

While there were a few items we didn’t get to, this year we hope to do better. Since last year I let Rae make the list, this year it is my turn. So here is my list.

1. Go to the Beach
2. Stay at a hotel for two nights
3. Go camping
4. Go to free art class at the museum
5. Go to library and join the summer reading book club
6. Go swimming a lot
7. Go to waterpark at least once
8. Do some crafts together
9. Play board games
10. Go to movies at least twice (Half done! Saw Madagascar 3)
11. Ride bikes on the bike trail
12. Go to both Children’s museum in our state
13. Visit the natural science museum
14. Play in the park
15. Go to Audubon Zoo

I will add more to the list as I think of things. We are planning to have a great summer.

Greeting Cards

Saturday I went to my great nephew’s two year birthday party. He shares a birthday with his grandfather who is my brother. Also my niece – my brother’s daughter and my great nephew’s Mom – had a birthday two days before. So that is three family birthdays in two days. I picked out my nephew a gift and got the other two a card.

My niece’s card was easy to pick out. I went to the niece section and found a card that complimented her that then complimented me. For example, you are so pretty, nice, and sweet but that is because you get it from me. Har har har. I love those types of cards. So her card was easy to find but my brother’s was a little more difficult.

At first I thought of going with a fart birthday card – you know a card that has something to do with farts. These are his favorite cards in fact he got me the same fart birthday card for my birthday two years in a row. The only fart joke card I could find was a thick card that had a fart poem that was eight pages long. EIGHT pages! Wow. I could finish my Steve Jobs book by the time it took me to finish reading and eight page poem on farts. Deciding that was way too much for a fart joke, I pressed on until I found a card.

The card I did choose was funny – it was funny on several levels so I felt compelled to write in the card the reasons I thought it was funny. I thought that would make it even funnier. I also did it in case he opened it when I wasn’t around. That way he would know why I chose it although it was pretty obvious why the card is funny.

I also picked out my nephew a card which he wasn’t nearly as excited as I was over it. It was Spongebob – whom he loves – singing Happy Birthday.

I will have a break from birthday card buying for the rest of the month but will have a few to buy in February. My other brother’s birthday is in March – so maybe I will find a better fart birthday card before then.

Me Time

One Mother’s Day I asked my parents when was Kid’s day to which my father replied that everyday was Kid’s Day. i didn’t fully appreciate that answer until I became a parent – everyday is Kid’s Day. It is all about her everyday. This weekend I decided that it is time to take back some of those days for myself.

It seems I never have enough time to do everything that needs to be done around the house. Since going back to work, our home has become a wreck. It seems that I just can’t make progress to get it back on track. So I have decided that I will start taking a day off each month for just me. I know that this day will most likely turn into a monthly spring cleaning and I’m fine with that. Having our house in order will make the rest of the month go by smoothly.

It is nice to admit that I need some alone time – even if it is only to clean. To have me time in any form is a good thing.

Halloween Aftermath

Halloween on a weeknight really sucks. It seems that Halloween celebrations used to be the weekend before Halloween – or in these parts of the woods at least. It seemed that Halloween was taboo for a while with fall festivals taking center stage and very little made of trick or treating. In recent years, it is clear that Halloween on Halloween is back and bigger than ever.

Last night we went trick or treating in town. We live in the country so going door-to-door is challenging. You have to drive and that slows down the candy collecting. In our town, there are certain neighborhoods that really get into Halloween. Streets are roped off and everyone is dressed for the holiday. Yards are decorated and pounds of candy are handed out to hundreds of people. It was so much fun. I do have to agree with one adult – it was stimulus overload. A lot of adults were standing around looking a little lost – not knowing where or what to do next. We maneuvered our way around them to get to the next house.

I only have my phone- so my pictures of the decorations did not turn out very well. I have never had the desire to live in the city but being part of that neighborhood would be awesome. Fun loving people who offer something fun for their ‘neighbors’ even those from many miles away are my kind of people.

Rae had a great time, too. At one house we ate chili(my sister-in-law’s co-worker) and Rae played with two kids who were just as outgoing as she was. She said she liked trick or treating. You get candy and make new friends. A perfect Halloween indeed.