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.
Congrats on the job!!
I can't get over how cute and stylish Lainey is! And I LOVE her new dresses!
You guys are busy. The zoo at night must have been fun. Congrats on your job.
You suck I cannot believe you have a pass to THE San Diego Zoo. YOu suck.
What about a ginormous chalkboard over your mantle. Write a quirky Starnes-like quote. Something like "Our children are weird, but someone had to be their parents." Not really, but you know what I mean. I love chalkboards, and you can change them out all the time. I have thought about moving our over the mantle. Just a thought. =)
Congrats on the job ~ woo hoo!
And can I just say I love love love Jack for wearing his LSU hoodie and showing that Tiger pride.
BTW - Still offering to be a LA cusman. lol :-)
First of all, you crack me up! Your kiddos are too darn funny! More videos please of Lainey talking!
Congrats on the job! Can't wait to hear more about it!
Love Jack's LSU shirt! geaux tigers!
Where are the knot dresses from? Might have to get some for my girls :)
And my husband and I rode the skyrail thing at the SD zoo when we went there for our honeymoon. I was terrified! I kept my eyes closed the whole time! Let's just say that was my first and last time to ride that dang thing!
Love the New Year's scoop and striped tights! You really know how to party at your house!
The San Diego zoo looks like loads of fun!
Congrats on your job!
HURRAY FOR THE JOB!!!!!!!!!!
The zoo gift...such a good idea! I'm going to remember that one.
*High FIVE* for the clean closets. At times I wonder if there is anything better. But then I quickly remind myself that yes, there are a million things better. But still...it's so nice to have a clean closet.
And lastly. Lord, please provide me with adorable children like those shown here. Amen.
The San Diego Zoo... awesome!! A family pass ... even more awesome!!! I know you guys will get full use out of that puppy!
Cracking up at the picture of Carter in the beak! Lainey is precious! Jack ... I was about to be disappointed if you didn't let the boy ride the train!!
Congrats on the job. Can't wait to hear more about it!
Of course it was a kitty tombstone!!
I laughed out loud many times on this post. I like the ladder idea.
Btw, I heart Lainey.
glad you posted a pic of LC burying the kitty...that was when i was on the phone with you!! hahahaa
Love it Casey - maybe next time Lainey buries a kitty you should put tombstone kitty next to her! Congrats on the job - I saw you mentioned it on FB ... can't wait to hear more about it!
Jennifer.....they are PJ's Originals from Etsy.
Such cute stuff! The Valentine one is the most darling one ever!!!!
You mentioned the old TV w/o mentioning the NEW one? I need a pic!
It's in one of the last pictures, dodo!
I am laughing out loud at the picture of Carter playing charades! Also, Jack in front of the TV. Can he get any closer!? Congrats on the job! Can't wait to hear about it!
Crap! Yes, it is. I was expecting it right after the old pic because I thought that was the point of the old pic. I was focused on Jack's lack of distance from the TV.
Shannon, your statement suggests a bit of disapproval. Yes?
I love that you got a zoo membership! That is so nice. We love having one but ours isn't for the famous San Diego Zoo, Ms. Fancy Pants! :) Your kids are adorable. Mine love child-sized things, too.
sort of read something on FB about a job, so can't wait to hear. For real....tomb stone? kind of freaking out! i for got what else you posted. the zoo, was that in this one? we love zoo's!! and a girl can never have too many clothes, tell B to shove it! hug
you are too organized for words, btw.
OMG! I just busted out laughing at Jack in front of the TV and your comment. I love it.
Love the long post!!!! So much to talk about!
-I feel you on the small closets, ours are not much bigger. I need to go through ours and clean out. On my list. Toys too, already threw some away.
-LOVE Lainey's dresser!! Too cute!!!
-I am NO help in decorating. I need it more than anything else. I am horrible, horrible at it. I can pick out furniture, but when it comes to walls, shelves, any sort of accessory that makes the house look lived it is so far beyond me that I start to feel like I'm going to throw up when I think about having to do it. (That's why I hate decorating for Christmas.)
-Good luck with everything and I look forward to a new year as friends! : )
Conrats on the job! hApPy NeW yEaR!
Love the San Diego Zoo!
Your pics are great, as always!
Can't wait to hear more about your job. Sounds perfect for you!
I've seen Jack sit that close in person as well. It's a little weird but most things Jack does are.
I'm assuming it took all day to type this up? I want your life for just a few days. I see pics of the things you do and I get totally green with envy. Who wouldn't want tickets to that freakin' San Diego Zoo? You know what I'm stuck with? The Tulsa Zoo. Try not to be too jealous.
It's time to start L in some therapy for her love of cats and dogs. She may be one of those crazy cat ladies that lives with 100 cats and no childrens. Please don't let her be that crazy cat lady. She's WAY too cute!
Good luck at the new job! =)
I'm just glad y'all got a new tv.
Do the 11x14 black and whites up the wall, like I did. It is contemporary but still homey.
But Allison's suggestion is good too. I think you should do both.
LOVE THAT Mae Mae got LC more kitties. Awesomeness.
hey Casey, Hann here. I've been quite the lurker on your blog for some time now (actually, have never commented on anyone's besides KS's!) but just had to let you know I totally started laughing to myself when I read your revelation about statue/tombstone kitty. well done, Starnes kids!
and p.s. - KS and I may or may not still kinda sorta blame Carter for our beloved badgers' loss to TCU.....so ashamed he sported the opposing team's gear during the game!
Hann in the house! Where is your blog?
Totally Carter's fault. Even though it was Jack's shirt he squeezed into.
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