Saturday, December 31, 2011

A New Year's Eve Toast with the Pfennings

We had plans with one of our favorite couples to Skype and toast to 2012. Since they live in Colorado, we planned to Skype a few minutes before 11pm CST so that we could toast to 2012, EST or with the New Yorkers. They had their adult beverages and we had our sparkling apple cider, and we Skype-toasted. It was special!!! But the most special part was seeing Paula and Deon, face-to-face for the first time since they moved. I hid my tears well :) We talked for over an hour and caught up and promised to Skype more and to plan a trip VERY soon.

I am always amazed at the number of people that come in and out of our lives at any given point because, whether good or bad, they all teach us something. The Pfennings were in our lives for a short time but they have left a lasting impression! I hope and pray that we all continue to be close :)

P.S. - I know this is a terrible picture but it's kinda hard to Skype and snap a picture!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Richardson Train Man is #1

Oh, it's been a busy day but why stop at lunch with friends, a party at P&L and a steak dinner?!?! The day would not be complete without a train ride! I was reminded about the Richardson Train Man (RTM) this afternoon so as a surprise to Parker, after dinner we went to check it out.

So, let me set the scene for you.....to get to the RTM, you drive through a residential neighborhood and happen upon a Christmas-Vacation-style-house, Chevy Chase-style, with cars lining the street on both sides and in the midst of this regular size, residential (did I mention that??!!??) backyard, is a motorized train.

And behold, the best thing for a train-loving toddler to discover:

And his train-loving Daddy:

Which was engineered, built and operated by the RTM:

It was a neat experience and the best part, it was FREE! Of course we donated to the 2012 project but this simple train scape made my train-loving-boys VERY happy tonight!!!


P&L Christmas Party

The P&L Christmas party was today....with a twist. I usually meet the girls for lunch, a champagne toast (again for me, Apple Cider) and the exchanging of presents. Since we were out of town during the last work week for the P&L staff, we scheduled a post-Christmas party that included the husbands and kids!

The kids toasted with Ginger Ale, exchanged kiddie presents and then the rest of the afternoon consisted of this:


Sunday, December 25, 2011

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Santa & Me

Today was the last time that Parker had to sit on Santa's lap before Christmas so Bryan got him up before the sun came up so they could stand it line to see Santa. We have seen, talked and waved at Santa but wanted nothing to do with sitting in his lap. Last night Parker "promised" that he would sit on Santa's lap (and if he didn't, it would still be ok). By the time that Bryan got Parker to Stonebriar there were already a few people in line but it wasn't that bad. Parker did fulfill his promise by sitting on Santa's lap and told him that he wanted a "big kitchen".

Afterwards, Bryan gave Parker a special treat....at 9:30am....yes, AM!!!
Santa gave Parker a free pass to ride the Merry-Go-Round but Parker has never been a fan. However, on this day, he wanted to give it a try. By the time they got home, either the sugar was kicking in or he was truly excited because he had a lot to say :)

{{{MERRY CHRISTMAS EVE, EVERYONE}}}

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Christmas Trees of Angleton

While in Angleton to celebrate Christmas, I took some pictures of the BEAUTIFUL Christmas trees that our families put up this year!

Jimmie & Helen's:
The Campos Family:

My Mom's:Don't you love them??? All three of them made me smile :)

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Ryan Turns TEN & Parker BOWLS

Ryan turned 10 today! And we are home to join in the birthday festivities...YAY!!! We were invited to join the birthday boy and his entourage at Main Event for bowling and laser tag. This also marks Parker's first bowling experience. It.was.fun.
The birthday boy:

Parker's first hand at bowling:

And his cousins, who love Parker to pieces, give him high-fives for doing a good job:

I cannot believe that Ryan is 10. When I met Bryan's family, Ryan was a year old and still in a high chair. In the past nine years, he has turned into a game-loving, technology-driven, handsome, cool dude. It's been so fun to watch him grow-up and I can't wait to see what another 10 years brings his way!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas with the Girls

Michelle & Rachel were two (out of four) of my best friends while in middle and high school. They know me inside and out and so it is ALWAYS nice to get together with them. It's nice to be myself, be honest about things and not have to worry about offending them and I never have to worry where we stand....we are always standing together! I LOVE THAT!!!

Tonight we decided to meet at The Grape Taste to have dinner and exchange Christmas gifts. And we also....{my favorite part}....had some girl talk. We discussed a wide variety of different topics, from Michelle telling us about her teenage-kids shenanigans to Rachel asking us to be her surrogate since she can't have kids. Yep, it was just that good! I loved every minute of it and can't wait for our annual girls weekend this summer :)

P.S. - the tapas-style menu was fun and the food was delicious!!!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Guess WHO Drove to Angleton?

We are headed home today for some Christmas-Graduation-Birthday fun! We are all so excited to see everyone back home but we could do without the driving part. There are only so many Christmas songs, I Spy games and books you can read before you are itching to get out of the car and get some fresh air. About three hours into our five hour drive, we all get a little silly and Parker is no exception. He requested that Sid drive. So, as any good Daddy would do, Bryan obliged (with Millie already sleeping in his lap). I am happy to report that Sid is a very good driver :)

Friday, December 9, 2011

Finally, THE Two Year Photos

Since I am trying to play catch-up on blogging, you will have to look back at September to see the actual photos {once I get around to that post} but I wanted to share this one photo. It makes me smile. We met Tom at a park in McKinney for the photo-shoot and since it was cold outside AND during naptime, I took some candy along so that we could get at least a few good pictures of Parker. What I wasn't expecting was for an entire colony of birds to join us. And I really wasn't expecting Parker to share all of his candy with the birds either :) However, the birds were just not interested in the jelly beans that Parker offered. Once they figured out we only had candy, the started disappearing. We had a good session and as always, it was good to see Tom.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Baby, It's Cold Outside!

After nap today we needed to run through the drive-thru to get Parker's medicine so I decided to make it fun. At 4pm it was still in the low 30s so I thought treating Parker to ice cream and a drive around a few neighborhoods to look at Christmas decorations was in store:



Parker loved the special treat and we actually had fun looking at all the the decorations while it was daylight out. I think sometimes it's hard for him to see or make out what the decorations are while it's dark outside. Anyway, just a special time staying warm, listening to Christmas music and getting excited over all of the nice yard art.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Fergie Sounds Like Froggy :)

Parker and Bryan like "getting down" {white boy style} to the Will.i.am and Sesame Street song, which Parker refers to as "Stronger" but is really called "What I Am". Parker also LOVES "I Got a Feeling" by the Black Eyed Peas so today while it was playing in the car, our conversation went a little like this:

Me: "Parker, did you know the guy singing this song also sings Stronger?"
Parker: "His name?"
Me: "His name is Will.i.am"
Parker: {as Fergie started singing} "Girls name?"
Me: "Her name is Fergie."
Parker: "Hmmm, like froggy?"

{{{pain-in-your-side-laughing}}}

 
P.S. - And for those of you that have not heard the sweet song, "What I Am", please listen to it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cyVzjoj96vs :)

Bedtime Songs

Currently, Parker has some favorite songs that he request before bedtime:

-"Ocean" (read: "My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean" but we take Bonnie out and replace it with the names of family and friends)

-"Jesus Loves Me"

-"Night, Night Parker" (which has previously been explained)

-And a new hit, by yours truly, that should be hitting the airwaves soon:

Hammer, hammer, hammer,
Hammer, hammer, hammer,
That is what we do all day,
We hammer, hammer, hammer.
(I replace hammer with: drill, screw, saw, clean, sweep, laugh, etc.)


The Fruits of Our Labor


Some we will enjoy here on Earth.

Some we will enjoy once we walk through the gates of Heaven.

Some we will enjoy today....

In 2006, the Friday before Labor Day weekend to be exact, I received a call from a helpless and very desperate lady, Ms. L. I was an immigration paralegal at the time and she was calling on behalf of her husband, Mr. L, who by all accounts, was very desperate for some immigration help, fast! As the "gate keeper", it was my job to ultimately make the decisions whether we had the time, resources and expertise to help people. So as I listened to a condensed version but my answer was, "I am sorry, we just cannot help you at this time". It was a Friday afternoon, they had an important deadline the following Tuesday and I had company in town that needed to be entertained {I only mention this because it's how I remember when all this went down}. Ms. L accepted my answer but I could tell that she was very sad.

An hour later, Ms. L called back. She was again asking me to consider taking their case. She was referred to us by one of our previous clients and had heard we were the best {not denying this but I was a little biased} They were, at that moment, sitting outside of their hired, well paid attorneys office and even though he was in the office, he would not meet with them. As I mentioned, they had a deadline and needed to see if he had their "papers" ready to send to immigration. Not only did he not have the work done, but refused to meet with them AND refused to refund their money.

I asked Ms. L to come to our office immediately! As a paralegal, nothing infuriated me more than these type of shenanigans created by attorneys and their staff!!!

We accepted the case. The attorney I worked for at the time worked the entire weekend to get these "papers" ready to send to immigration. As our house guests helped us lay the floors in our kitchen, I was back and forth from the computer helping get these "papers" ready as well. As I read the history of what has happened to Mr. L since entering the US, not only was I happy that we took the case but it also renewed my passion for helping our voiceless immigrants!

You may assume that when I say "immigrants" I am referring to those that swim a river and sneak into the US but, these clients were NOT illegal immigrants. Yes, they were from Mexico but you see, Mr. L was educated and a highly trained tile designer. He came to our country and opened his own company {read: putting money into the US economy} The only problem was that he picked the wrong attorney. One that did not care. One that was probably over committed. One that did not care what happened to immigrants in our country! Feel my passion??? Even to this day, this case still rattles me!

To make this very long, exhausting, emotional-roller-coaster-of-a-case, story short, just in the last couple months, Mr. and Ms. L, along with their precious kids, have become permanent residents {aka: green card holders}. That's right, five long years, thousands and thousands of dollars and now they can rest easy knowing they are closer to becoming citizens of this great country!

Soooo, why did I bore you with all of these details....one because this is MY blog and I might not remember all of these details one day AND two, because those same two lovely immigrants that we helped five long years ago, custom made tiles for our patio and the preparations to put them down started this morning :) More to come....

P.S. - My use of { } are in lieu of ( ) because I think they are more appealing to the eye! Thank you Bryan for suggesting that I use ( ) instead of { }!!! :)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

It's Jersey Day, Y'all!

Since we live in Cow-girls :) country, a Texan jersey is hard to find or just does not exist! So I put our family on notice that we were in search of a Texans jersey for Jersey Day at school and to keep a look out for one. We had success at the Target in Pearland and while it wasn't a #90, the #8 jersey did the job!

Parker was very excited this morning to tell his teachers what team he roots for on Sundays. Before we could leave for school though, Bryan and Parker played a little 1-on-1 in the front yard :)

Upon arriving at school, Parker did not miss a beat....

Ms. Susan, "Parker, what team do you like?"
Parker, "Astros play baseball and Texans play football."
Ms. Susan, "You have a number 8 on your shirt."
Parker, "9-10-11..."

Love that little boy :)

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Sick.Sad.Sick.

My sweet boy woke last night (really it was very early this morning) sounding like this:


video

As you can hear, he was having a hard time breathing! Watching this makes me glad that we took him to the ER!!! Yep, after calling the on-call nurse and letting my mother-in-law listen to him, we loaded up at 1am and headed to the Medical Center of Plano. Thankfully we did not have to wait long before seeing a doctor! They swabbed Parker for the flu and RSV, which were both negative. We had a chest xray done....

....and after an hour, Dr. Kim diagnosed Parker with croup and bronchitis! We received a steroid (by mouth) and a prescription for antibiotics. We were instructed to continue with breathing treatments as needed. We were home by 4am and Bryan and I were asleep before Parker was. After 2 days of restless sleep, we were not even making sense :) More info to come once I catch up on my sleep and my boy starts feeling better....

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Orange Day @ CDC

We've been looking forward to orange day at school for a couple weeks now and it finally arrived! However, before the fun could begin, we had to prop our eyelids open with toothpicks. Parker was up a lot last night and so his parents were moving very slow AND the boy decided to sleep in. A little bit after 8am, Bryan woke Parker so that he could eat breakfast and get ready for school.
{Sorry this picture is blurry} So with a shirt like Daddy and some orange hair-spikes, Parker was ready for school. And this Momma went back to bed :)
I love these sheets that are posted outside of Parker's room! We do get a calendar for each month but these sheets have a little more detail about their daily doings.
And the "black cat" artwork...which Parker said that he used sponges to paint the cat black.
Hmmm, fun with jello??!!?? I guess we will be buying some soon :) When Bryan picked Parker up from school, Ms. Teresa told Bryan that Parker wasn't really into napping today so they "toured" the sanctuary. Someone was in there playing the organ so Parker danced while listening to the organ. Love that!
Here is the pumpkin that Parker painted and glittered. I think it's just beautiful and he is very proud of it :)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Enjoying Errands!

Gotta have a little fun while grocery shopping and running errands....


We usually go by the toy area to check out the trains but today the Halloween section at Target did the job :)

Monday, October 24, 2011

Sesame Street, Sad & Pre-Sickness

This was a start of a very difficult week for our family. I did not know it at the time but because I am playing catch-up on blogging, I can predict it :) On this day we hosted a Sesame Street playdate at our house. We invited some friends (30+ to be exact) over to have snacks and watch Sesame Street at 11am.

So, here is the set-up:






Parker was not in that great of a mood and knowing now that we would end up in the ER by the end of the week, explains a lot. There were a lot of friends over and it normally doesn't bother me but it seemed like the vibe in the air wasn't a positive one. Some are bothered by having so many people in a small and confined space but everyone that attended had been to my house before and knew how many people were going to attend. Anyway, after everyone but Grace and Stephanie left, I was able to lay Parker down for a nap and chat with the girls. They were so gracious and positive, which made me feel a lot better :)


The sad part is that, unbeknownst to me, Parker was not keeping his hands to himself during the playdate. Admittedly it is hard to host something and keep an eye on your kid 100% of the time. I happened upon a situation, which is how I initially found out that there was a problem. Because every parent is different, I have to assume in every situation that a parent is hovering and over-bearing; and, discipline Parker accordingly. In saying that, I simply mean that I will remove Parker from the situation and talk with him about what he did...blah, blah, blah.....rather than let the kids figure it out (which is what my choice would be). I believe that guiding and directing is more effective, in the long run, than preventing. But this is just my type of parenting. When two types of parenting styles clash, the kids ultimately pay the price. Unfortunately, this has happened. Parker has lost a friend because of this and one day, I hope this can be a teachable moment for him. Until then when he can fully understand, we will keep doing what we do: love, direct and never give up!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Happy Wednesday!

It's a bit chilly outside this morning but it was business, school business that is, as usual. Parker always eats oatmeal and a banana for breakfast on school days....don't ask me why, it's just developed into that :) And then it was time to get dressed and thank goodness I had just bought a long-sleeved shirt and puffer vest!!! I gotta get this boy some fall/winter clothes soon!

Bryan took Parker to school alone for this first time this morning and I am happy to report that the drop-off went great! YAY!!! Now I get to take my time getting all dolled up, run some errands, have lunch with a friend and then some laundry. 2pm will be here before you know it!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

What Is With The Spiders???!!!???

After a fun day and a yummy dinner last night, we were all tucked in bed asleep.....until midnight, when Parker woke crying and didn't settle back down for a good while. The Veselka house did not get a lot of sleep last night except the four-legged members ;) We were all up bright and early this morning though and while Bryan still had to go to work, Parker and I planned to stay in our jammies all day. It was cold and windy out and even though we had fun plans for today, we cleared our schedule and played a little:

And then this....a little bite that came up yesterday morning. It was hard and red yesterday but mid-morning I noticed a blister coming up. Parker had been complaining during the night that his bo-bo hurt but I checked it several times and couldn't really figure out what it was. BTW, at 3am, there is NOTHING good on the internet about bites and blisters!!! I decided to call Dr. Eastman's office to check with them. As we neared lunch time, the blister was growing:

So, after lunch, Daddy came home to get some rest and to go with us to the doctor:



The blister did pop by the time we got to Dr. Eastman's office so it did look better. Dr. Eastman feels that it's a spider bite, which is better than what I found on the internet, and prescribed us some antibiotics for three days and a cream. He was concerned that since the blister popped that it would get infected. So....here we are again....with another spider bite!

Bryan wants to know why he never got a spider bite while growing up in the country but Parker has had TWO in the last couple months! Blah! The spider could have come from anywhere but...

Monday, October 17, 2011

Childhood Memories...

Does this bring back any childhood memories for you? It did for me when I attended a playdate a few weeks back and dug this out of the toy box. You better believe I hunted down the owner and told asked her nicely if I could take this home with me. She of course said no but I have my name on it so if she decides to part ways with it, it's mine :) I love toys that bring back memories!!!

Happy Boss' Day!

I got THIS...
....because I am the boss of HIM....
....and THEM....
....which is a hard but rewarding job!

P.S. - Bryan got Piroulines for Boss' Day from me ;)

Bible Study Mondays: Friends!

As we do every Monday, we had our bible study with friends this morning/afternoon! This has grown to be my favorite day...even though it's a Monday :) Today we met at Michelle & Austin's house for some....praise & worship {Austin}:
....a building program meeting {Parker} and caller-donation-calls {Luke}:

....and of course, some eating {maybe only you baptist readers will get this...}:

Some Mondays we learn from the bible and some days {like today} we have more real life lessons....like what it means to be a friend! We share, we are kind, we use nice words and we laugh with our friends. For us Mommas, those things are true for us too!

I talked to Parker on the way home and told him that God talked a lot in the Bible about friends and friendships. They are a very important part of our life.

"A friend accepts us as we are yet helps us to be what we should."

I am so thankful for the friendships that I have and what a wonderful thing it is to find people in the same chapter, with the same beliefs, that love you right where you are!!!