And, it's a big one, so prepare yourself.
My big brother, Chris, gave the fam a San Diego Zoo pass for Christmas. Loving it already! I took the kids to the zoo over the break and then Blake took them to the San Diego Wild Animal Park last weekend. Since one entry into the zoo is $35, I'd say he already got his money's worth.
Pics from our visit......
We went for Jungle Bells. Say that slowly or suffer the consequences.
Our little map lovers.
Do you see the tiny train? Most people wouldn't. But, Jack took hold of the map and scoped it out in no time at all. Of course!
Skyfari, anyone? More on that later.
We spent an even longer-than-usual amount of time in this bathroom in the Children's Zoo. Cue Laine and her obsession with child-size anything:
"Oh, wook, Mom! Der's yittle potties just for my size! And, wook at da bee-bee sinks!"
Lainey was at the top of her game the entire evening. So, we let her be the "line leader". This is different from the "fish beater", which we hear about quite often. Preschool dialogue has been infiltrating the house. Fish beater = fish feeder.
Can a Starnes kid walk by such a statue and not see an opportunity? I don't think so.
Cute lights throughout the park. I think most of yall know how fabulous the San Diego Zoo is. Now, imagine it all lit up and Christmasy.
We rode the Skyfari and while we did, I took a short video of the kids' first reaction. Take a look, Uncle Chris!
Up in the air.
This is an awesome ride, but one that I didn't entirely love. I just kept imagining us plummeting a zillion feet into the Rhino cage. We made it, though.
Santa Koala? I don't know.
I hadn't planned on riding the train because I don't want the kids to grow accustomed to this add-on expense. It's in Balboa Park, officially, and not part of the zoo, so we have to pay each time we ride. Budget, people, budget!
Hard to decline after seeing the kids' excitement.
I'll give you one guess for who enjoyed it most.
OK, back at the Starnes casa. Hey, Caroline......remember the balloon someone handed us on the way out of Disneyland during your Thanksgiving visit? Still going. This thing has given me several mini-heart attacks. It pops up every now and then and I'm sure there is someone in the backyard. Time to say goodbye to it.
We Skyped with Pa and Mae Mae when the children received part of their gifts. Carter and Lainey were appropriately enthusiastic. Jack was not. Something about a jumbo sized coloring book threw him off and throughout the other kids' turns to talk, you'd see Jack stomping through the background chanting, "I going to frow dis ting in da trash!"
It's a darling book. I'm assuming that Jack was anxiety-overload over the massive size and hoopla involved. That most kids would thrive on. Not our Jackie!
Mae Mae is an enabler. She got Lainey a plush kitty bed, a mama kitty and several babies. The mama is seen here with some other kitties and a puppy!
This is how she sleeps at night. Lord help us.
The next day, she buried the mama kitty in the back yard. I don't know.
A moment of silence for our old TV. She was good to us!
Every time we moved......this baby moved with us. Austin....our apartment in Bedford.....our apartment in Euless......to the house we built in Keller......to Castle Rock, Colorado......to Brighton, Colorado......to Overland Park, Kansas......and finally, to Oceanside, California. With every relocation, Blake threw this TV in our Suburban.....or the moving truck.....and packed it with as little attention as possible.....hoping and praying it would die. It never did.
I spent a day over Christmas break tackling the kids' closets. They didn't get an enormous amount of toys or clothes, but the closets were already a mess and needed an overhaul. I started at 10am and was finished at 8pm. It was hell.
Notice what I'm working with here in the boys' room. Both boys, in this tiny closet.
I made it work!
Lainey's room got a makeover, too. Notice the cute knot dresses she received for Christmas. I cannot wait to put them on her!
While sorting through her closet, I found this picture. Sweet punkin baby Laine. About 9 months old here. You can see her blonde highlights coming through the dark hair she was born with.
Laine's closet. Save your comments on how she has too many clothes and take them directly to Blake. He'll agree with you.
Our New Year's Eve looked a whole lot like this.
So, I threw on my stripey knee high socks to liven things up. I know how to party, yall.
We played charades.
The kids are out of practice.
And, things eventually got out of hand.
We had cake for Daddy's birthday. The night was pretty lame. Soon enough, we're going to have a night out. 2 weeks from now, actually!
My walls are bare. I need help. I have a collage of 5 pieces on one wall in this room......our desk in the bay window......and then the two walls pictured below are empty. Tall ceilings......which are great......but make decorating a challenge. I'm envisioning a tall, rustic, distressed ladder climbing up the wall above the fireplace mantle. I'll add some artwork between the rungs and then to the side. Thoughts? Suggestions?
And, now.....with 2 walls involving collage-type artwork......what to do with the wall behind the TV. Help!
No, we don't play with our kids. We just stick them in front of the TV like this and shuffle in food here and there. Don't worry about it.
And, finally.......statue kitty. There's a story behind her, just as all statue kitties should have. Our neighbor has statue kitty's mom in her yard. I inquired about this......and mentioned ours......then, Daryl asked me if we originally found it in the side yard.
Yes, we did.
It's a tombstone.
Crap! The kids have been hauling this thing around in Lainey's baby doll stroller since the day we moved in. This might explain the erie kitty howls and ghostly scratches on our master bedroom window, located very close to the side yard. She's back to haunt us.
Yall still reading? You made it.
One more thing......I got a job!
More on that later. Even I'm sick of us at this point.