On Saturday Lynn's cousin got married and the big boys were the ring bearers. They were looking quite dapper. They did fine and the ceremony went off without a hitch. At night was the reception and it was time to party... for the kids. They had their own table (the kids table) and thoroughly enjoyed themselves. They were left to their own devices. I didn't care. As long as they didn't bug us or cause trouble, they were free to do whatever they wanted. And I ended up taking more pictures of the (wild) kids than of the bride and groom.
That should be our slogan. Lynn and I are the ultimate good luck charms for major sporting teams that's not in Houston. It first began in 2013 when we attended a Seattle Seahawks game and they subsequently won the Super Bowl that season. Then this year we went to a Chicago Cubs game and they won the World Series! Great game. Great series. I'd like to think we were responsible for ending their 108 year drought.
As an impressionable kid, I grew up listening to the same music as my friends and family: synthpop/dance pop/electronic music. Pet Shop Boys, Erasure, New Order. And that was back in the early 90's. Flash forward 20 years later and Pet Shop Boys are still touring! I was lukewarm about this. Sure I loved them as a kid but today? Eh. But I've never seen them live and when will I ever get a chance again? So I dragged Lynn along on a random Wednesday night to see my old music idols.
If you squint hard enough, you can see Flume in the middle of the blinding lights. Let me preface this post by telling you the obvious, I'm old now. So my account of his concert is probably different from everyone else's experience. First of all, it started on 9 p.m. on Sunday, which means after the opening acts, Flume won't come on until way later (11:20 p.m. to be exact). Doesn't he know that's way past my bedtime?
Our last baby is a year old! I can't believe she's one. I can't believe we have a girl. I can't believe we have four kids. It's surreal. Elliot, where do I begin? She kinda walks now, if you're close enough to catch her. She loves music. One of her favorite songs is Cruel by Snakehips ft. Zayn. She's loud and demanding. She's loves getting into anything and everything, making a mess for others to clean up, i.e. don't leave her alone with a box of tissues. She's my one and only "big" girl.
It's too much soccer. The season just begun but I'm ready for it to end. I forget how dreadful it is to sit outside for hours in the scorching sun. Even if you bring your own shade (umbrella or tent), it's still hot as hell. Texas heat sucks. Anyway, this season is Tyson's first year to play! It's hilarious watching these tiny kids run around. It's still in that fun phase, i.e. there's nothing competitive about it.
Summer break is officially over and school starts once again. This is the last year that all of the boys will be going to the same school. Jacob will be going to junior high next year... yikes! Tyson begins real school now, Kindergarten. I was a little worried for him though. Last year he cried on his first day of Pre-K and I had a feeling it might happen again. That morning he was happy and the first one to be ready for school. Everything went well until we said our goodbyes and then he got sad. Real sad. But he didn't cry. He was holding it in, staying strong. My little man. ♥
This past weekend we took our first road trip as a family of six. I wouldn't dare go anywhere far yet since baby Elliot hates car rides so Austin seemed like the perfect destination. Besides, we love Austin. We did the usual stuff like eating at our favorite places (Hruska's, Kerbey Lane, Home Slice Pizza, Madam Mam, Round Rock Donuts) but also tried a few new places (Cream Whiskers, Tacodeli, Lick Ice Cream, Jo's, Mañana). It was all good but one thing that stood out was the kouign amann from Mañana ("Best Eats Of The Trip" (acronym BEOTT)). This is the best I've found that's not from Les Madeleines in Salt Lake City. We did a lot of walking on South Congress and UT campus in 100+ degree heat. And to beat the heat, we took a dip in the chill 65-70 degree water of Deep Eddy pool. It was a fun and relaxing way to celebrate turning another year older.
I was never a soccer fan growing up. Not the slightest interest. But the boys love soccer: they play soccer, watch soccer, play FIFA (a soccer video game). Constantly being surrounded by soccer, it slowly grew on me. This year, there were several Copa America Centenario games at NRG Stadium, one of which was the semifinals match. And as it turned out, it was going to be USA vs Argentina.
Summer break officially began for the kids this Memorial Day weekend and we started it off by going to the Houston Zoo on Saturday. We went since our membership was set to expire at the end of the month and I wanted to check out the new gorilla exhibit for the first (and last) time. After seeing Blackfish, I don't want to continue supporting organizations that keep animals in captivity. If you really think about, a zoo is an animal prison and we're just gawking at them.
For Easter, the kids each got a little gift in their basket and Andrew got a Rubix's cube. Everyday he's playing with it. Anywhere we go he brings it. And it looks like he's just randomly turning it. Or so I thought. Then one day I was playing with it, just trying to solve one side, seeing if there's a pattern or strategy to solving this cube. "Oh, I can do it!" said Andrew as he watched me struggling. He snatched the cube from my hands and solved one side in less than 30 seconds. This 8 year-old just blew my mind.
Last Saturday marked the end of the soccer season. This was Jacob's last game on U10 and Andrew's last game on U8. They'll move up to U12 and U10 respectively, if we decide to continue with soccer. That's the big question since time is such a limited resource. Jacob moving up to U12 means games are on Sundays now. And it's also time for Tyson to join the club (he's been waiting patiently for his chance to play), which means add another practice and game. And if Andrew gets chosen for the league's "select team" (top 10-12 players from his age group), he'll compete against other leagues around Houston. So add more practices and more games on top of his commitment to his recreational team. Add all of those hours to other priorities (school work, reading, BJJ, just playing and being a kid) and there's no more time in the day. What about time for the parents? To work. To cook. To clean. To decompress after a long day. There's just not enough time in a day. Something has to go. But what?
Disclosure is one of my all time favorite groups. I don't think there's a day that goes by that I don't listen to a Disclosure song (since I haven't changed my car CDs in months but I never get tried of it) and they're a group off of my short "must see live" list. Being that they're based in the UK, I could only hope that they come to Texas. Last year that happened when they played at ACL but baby Elliot came at the same time so that was out of the question. Fast forward later they announced a tour for their latest album and Houston was one of those cities! So naturally, I instantly bought tickets.
At 3 a.m. my alarm goes off. My eyes are burning. It's too damn early. On this early Saturday morning, we're heading out to the airport for a 6 a.m. flight to Chicago. Why Chicago? Because I've never been. Because I've always wanted to visit The Windy City. But most importantly, because I had a bunch of miles with Southwest that were due to expire so I had to use them or lose them. So I cashed in for a couple of round-trip tickets for Lynn and I (and baby Elliot) for a quick weekend getaway to Chi-town.
Sunday was officially the first day of spring but it didn't feel anything like it. No complaints here as I thoroughly enjoyed the sunny, cool 60 degree weather. It was a tad windy but hey, I'll take that over hot and humid any day. We had a picnic with friends at Baldwin Park in midtown and even had a pre-Easter egg hunt for the little ones. We definitely made the most of this awesome weather.
I had a bunch of hotel points that were set to expire at the end of March so I needed to use it or else it would all go down the proverbial toilet. The easy solution was to use it somewhere close, i.e. in Texas. But where? We were in Austin last summer so that's relatively recent. I can say the same with Dallas. But the last time we were in San Antonio, we only had two kids... and that was five years ago. So on Monday (first day of Spring Break), we were off to the Alamo City.
Ugh, my forehead is gigantic. I hate selfies. Anyway, I took Jacob to the Houston Dynamo home opener. Why only Jacob? Because Andrew is Mr. Indifferent and he's always "eh" to everything. Because Tyson would rather go to his grandparents' house and play video games all day long since the rules are more lax over there. Because Elliot is still tiny and all the noise would scare the crap out of her. Because Lynn is stuck caring for baby Elliot. So it's another (rare) Jacob and Papa Day.
Another busy, hectic (yet fun) weekend. On Saturday, the big boys got their first stripe/promotion in BJJ (Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu). Sure, every kid gets a promotion once they put in the time (not skill based) but I can really see their progression. In the last class, they did "king of the mat" which is a drill to submit/beat the other kid and the winner stays on for the next person. During the whole time, it was Jacob and Andrew who were the kings of the mat and not once did they have to get off. They dominated. But they were exhausted. I was so proud.
Chúc Mừng Năm Mới (Happy New Year)! This is my year, the year of the monkey. This only occurs every 12 years (yes, I'm 48 years old) so I hope it's a good one. This also marks five years since I started this blog. My first ever post was also about New Years. Crazy how time flies. What's more amazing is that I actually kept my goal of posting at least once a week. Here's to another five years and more...
This last weekend Lynn and I celebrated our 7th year anniversary. In the years past, we tend to do something "special". On our first anniversary we went to Tahoe. In 2011, Park City. 2012 was an outlier because we didn't do anything but tend to vomiting and pooing kids. 2013 we're in Breckenridge. 2014 we're back to Utah. 2015 was spent in Houston being a tourist and eating the best food in the city. So for 2016, we gotta do something big right? Nah. Not with baby Elliot in the picture.
The kids got Monday off for MLK Day so I arranged my work schedule accordingly to get that day off too. My plan was to take the family out to The Heights, to walk around and explore since the weather was going to be really nice (sunny, 60 degrees). But then I got a call on Monday morning and I had to go in to work. Bummer. I broke the news to the boys and they were pretty bummed. I was more bummed that they were bummed. But I was still determined to go so after I finished my work, I took the two big boys (since Tyson suddenly got sick).