Tuesday, June 16, 2009


Here's what we've been up to in June! I've caught up!

First, a few sewing projects. Two new dresses for EMN and a "construction site" bag from MTN. Both were really pleased with the results and I was too! The first dress, the pink flowered one, is the same pattern as the purple one. The notable change I made on this one is my first zipper in a garment and I was relieved that it actually worked!! EMN is just happy that she can properly twirl in it. The blue butterfly dress for EMN may need a few revisions as the pink ribbon trim around the neck and flounce didn't survive the wash so well. Lesson learned. I think it can be fairly easily fixed. I'll probably make a few more of this pattern too later on in the summer maybe. MTN promptly filled his bag with all sorts of wheeled vehicles that so he can construct traffic jams on a moment's notice. I can't get him to clear the traffic jams as quickly but that's a different story. The project currently on my sewing table is a button-down shirt from MTN. Certainly my biggest challenge so far but I hope it turns out reasonably well.

And now on to more cute kid pics. We had the ground under our new playset landscaped and now it looks like a true playground. The landscapers were here for a few days and that just thrilled MTN. Between "baby front loaders" and dump trucks delivering dirt and mulch and workers busy in the backyard, he spent most of his time either on the back porch or staring out the windows watching all the action.

From some random recent events, the kids enjoying a local park where we had a family picnic. At the beginning of June I received my new camera (a combined Mother's Day/birthday gift) and so I used the opportunity to learn more about all the features. I've got a lot more to learn about it but so far I've been really pleased with the quality of photos I'm getting. I had my previous camera for almost 6 years. A lot has changed with digital cameras in that time!! Hopefully this one will be just as durable.

Having a hard time getting the text to line up with the pictures. Insert random filler here. I spend most of my time trying to get all the formatting correct in the "compose" window, it will look great, I hit "publish post" and it's all dorked up. Perhaps I should try to educate myself a bit before I waste an entire naptime on a rather benign blog post. Hmm...
The kids coloring quietly one afternoon - I was so happy! I had stolen a few moments to take a shower and was quite nervous when I realized how silent the house was when I was finished. I found this scene and told them how proud I was of them.

Last weekend we had dinner out and afterwards we decided to surprise the kids with ice cream. Looks like it was a hit! MTN might be the messiest eater I've ever seen. But he's a great eater (as in, he'll eat almost anything) so I'll take that trade off. He tells me often I'm a great cook and so I'll gladly clean up messy face and hands every couple meals.

Summer is here, regardless of what the calendar says. Now that our family is healthy again, we can oblige the kids' requests to go to the pool. It was nice to have Mike there as he's much more likely to do things like this with them :) I'm more likely to try to reinforce swimming skills. They're happy as long as they're in the water! It's a great way to beat the heat now that it's here to stay. Happy June!!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Pictures of this and that

And here's a few more pictures that were liberated from my camera. It's never too late for Easter egg pictures I guess, especially if they're this cute. The kids decorated a few this year and were very proud of their creations.

This is where the kids have been spending lots of time recently. Our new playground was installed back in April and it's been wonderful. One of the best investments we've made in awhile. The kids have invented all sorts of new games and rules while playing outside - very fun to watch.

I've been spending lots of time at my sewing machine. EMN loves wearing dresses because it makes her feel like a princess (I know because I asked). In fact, her preference these days is to wear a dress, the fancier the better. So she helped me pick out this pattern and this was my first version of it for her. She told me that she loves to twirl in it. I have another one that is almost finished that she is anxiously awaiting. It's great having someone who is so fond of my work!

A new car seat for EMN but a more importantly, a great pic of father and daughter.

Puzzles are very popular around here. The kids do a few every day it seems. It doesn't really matter how many pieces or what the subject matter is, they just love putting them together.

Helping make waffles one night when we had breakfast for dinner.

EMN being silly at the bowling alley. We played while my mom and sister were visiting and it was quite fun. The kids used the bumpers and the ramp and there were moments we thought maybe we all should have used them! Or maybe we should just play more often ...

MTN thought the ball return was magical. Every time a ball popped up he acted like it was the first time he had ever seen it. It just never got old!

The kids feeding the ducks in Boerne. If you look closely, you may notice there are no ducks in the picture (they were on the opposite bank) but we certainly left enough bread for them!

Ever since the pool opened in April, I've been hearing lots of pleas to go. I caved on the understanding that I wasn't getting in the water unless someone was drowning. They had a blast and quickly made lots of friends who were willing to share toys and play games. Soon we'll make this a more regular feature of our week, just like everyone else at our community pool!! I miss having a backyard pool sometimes ....

MTN has really turned a corner on getting his hair cut - THANK GOODNESS!! The screaming tantrums at every appointment were wearing thin. Imagine my surprise when he asked the stylist to spike his hair the last time he got it cut! He couldn't explain it really well, he just kept pointing to all the product she had lined up and saying "I want that one". I guess he wanted the full treatment. He was obviously pleased with the result!

The kids enjoying the day in Fredricksburg while my mother-in-law and I shopped. EMN played on her harmonica, MTN played with his monster truck, both perfectly content as they went from bench to bench and the adults went from shop to shop. It lasted long enough that we all felt like we had a good day.

Our friend Jono from ABQ, in town for a day.

A rained out soccer game. We needed the rain and MTN loved standing directly under the rain spout.

That's me on the left coaching one of EMN's soccer games and she's the one kicking the ball. It's hard work out there! I forgot how fast time on the field goes.

This little Gator played her heart out this season and is so proud of her trophy and medal. It was her first experience with organized sports and she did a great job playing on a team. However, she's thinking next she'd like to try dance. We'll see ...

Over Memorial Day Weekend, friends of ours invited us to Guadalupe River State Park and we're so glad they did! It's close by and a great spot for summer relaxing. The kids had a blast tubing down the river. The water is not too deep, it's just the right temp and with a picnic lunch, it will be a spot we'll return to over and over. Yet another reason we need to invest in some good water toys!

The view at the State Park.

Poor kid ... he eventually did wake up to eat :)
That's all the update I have for now! More to come as I'm able to carve out time.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Visitors, Fiesta, Celebrations and more Birthdays!!

I'm going to go back a few weeks in time to update the blog and show off some pictures of the visitors we had during April and May.

My mom and sister visited during Fiesta, a two week celebration unique to San Antonio. Fiesta started as a way to honor the heroes of the Alamo and the Battle of San Jacinto, now it's more a celebration of San Antonio.

Several of the parades are televised so we watched those from home, including the Texas Cavaliers parade where the floats actually float down the Riverwalk!

Our biggest night out was to Night in Old San Antonio, or NIOSA, and we all enjoyed it immensely. The kids were thirlled to ride a city bus to downtown and then had a great night at the carnival-like atmosphere at La Villita. Both kiddos got their faces painted and that was probably the highlight for them. EMN got a butterfly and MTN got spiderman.

He was very proud of his "tattoon". He sat very still even though it tickled him a bit.

After the kids cracked cascarones on me during NIOSA.

(Casacarones are confetti filled eggs)

Happy Birthday Alison!! She turned 30 while she was here visiting and so we had her birthday dinner at the Alamo Cafe. It was a favorite restaurant of mine when I lived here before and now the kids have become fans. Not only is the food good, the tortillas are fantastic and the atmosphere is fun. The kids are always finding something new to look at (the painted sky in the entryway has a sun that rises and sets, the "river" that runs through the building, the fountain, etc.)

Nonna and the grandkids.

In May we hosted the Nelsons (Mike's parents) and for Mother's Day weekend the Blais' were able to visit too (Mike's sister and her family). It was a full house and so much fun! The Blais' live north of Dallas and they drove down on Friday night and arrived while Mike and I were at a graduation. Mike's students were graduating that night so Gama and Bompa got to babysit EMN and MTN - it worked out perfectly.

Early the next morning EMN had a soccer game which provided lots of entertainment for all of us. After the game, the troops dispersed for various activites and I caught this moment between cousins Caleb and EMN. Caleb is very talented musically and he was so patient with her and she was very receptive to his teaching.

Later that night the whole crew packed up at tailgated at the San Antonio Missions baseball game.

A great spot in the sun, enjoying the day

The mascot from our local grocery store, HEB. She was so excited to see Buddy that she jumped up and chased him down so we could get this picture.

My boys, taking in an evening of baseball. The younger one enjoyed the game, but not the fireworks afterwards. Can't win them all!

Gama hanging spoons at Bin 555 on Mother's Day. This is a Nelson tradition that pops up every now and then and we've got photos of Gama hanging spoons with pretty much everyone we know!

This is a blurry shot because MTN was sitting on my lap but he did this completely unassisted. All of us at the table had been talking about hanging spoons and he started trying by himself and by golly, he got it without any help so I snapped the pic as quickly as I could before it dropped. I can't believe he was able to get it so easily. The spoons were heavy and oddly shaped and yet it seemed so effortless for him!

And not to be outdone, EMN proves that she has what it takes too :)

Enjoying the afternoon in our backyard, three generations of Nelson men on Mother's Day. They were waiting on the grill to be ready ...

Bompa reading a bedtime story.

Happy Birthday Gama!! We were delighted to be able to celebrate her actual birthday with her but we look forward to the celebration with the family at the Outer Banks this summer.

Happy Birthday to Me!! We were able to have an adult-only dinner with Gama and Bompa to celebrate my birthday at a new favorite restaurant, Tresca. Having a babysitter that we love and trust is a wonderful thing! We're going to miss her :(

Gama and Bompa the morning before they returned home. We had a great visit and we look forward to seeing them in DC this summer!