Weekends tend to be filled with kid-centric activities. Either it's a soccer game or a kid's birthday party or both (#suburbialife). But since we're on a break between soccer seasons, it was purely kid birthday parties... three to be exact. And what do you eat at kid parties? Pizza and cake. So this entire weekend they were fueled by cheese and sugar. But I'm okay with that since each party involved a lot of physical activity and each were really fun ideas. Good times.
On Wednesday night, Lynn took off to Los Angeles (for her brother's graduation) and left me alone with the three boys. So for four days, I got to experience life as a single parent.
Mornings were a bit hectic trying to get their lunches ready and everyone out the door by a certain time for school... on top of getting myself ready too! And in the afternoons, I had to wrap up my work to rush back to pick them up from school. But we had a contingency plan in case I couldn't make it, thanks to our dependable neighborhood friends. Overall, it wasn't too bad.
Every year I've cooked the Thanksgiving turkey a different way (last year was a spatchcocked turkey) and this year I experimented with a slow roasting method (low and slow). The meat literally feel off the bone and it was fairly effortless. Not bad, this might be a keeper.
It was the usual Thanksgiving affair, lunch with the in-law side of the family and dinner at our house with our family. And I overate as usual... blah. 😑
Tuesday night we attended a playoff game of the other (often forgotten) Houston professional sports team, the Dynamo. And not just any playoff game but game one of the Western Conference finals. The atmosphere was awesome but it was essentially over within the first ten minutes. Seattle scored early and a Dynamo player got a red card, forcing the team to play short-handed for the rest of the game. Oh well, the kids still had fun though.
The Astros won the World Series! But you already knew that. That was the best series ever (a totally non-biased opinion). So many ups and downs. One aspect of the game that I like is that it's not over until it's truly over. Two outs and two strikes in an inning... it's not over. Down a few runs in the 9th inning... it's not over. It's really nerve-wracking... but that's what made it great. But the best part, the whole family really got into it.
This past weekend Tyson attended his first Cub Scouts pack meeting where he got his first badge! Also at this meeting was the Raingutter Regatta, where each scout would race their boat, i.e. race the boat their parent(s) built. It was a double elimination tournament and each bracket was separated by age group (Tiger, Wolf, Bear, Webelos). With his awesome boat and the power of his lungs, Tyson won all of his races and placed first for his group (Tigers)!
The Houston Dynamo only have a couple home games left and are fighting for a playoff spot so the boys' soccer club came out to support the home team. Elliot probably had the most fun, going up and down the steps and through the row of seats (it was fairly empty). Andrew was MIA since he wanted to sit with his friends on the team. The drawback was that it was on a school night (Wednesday) so we had to leave early and guess who got ultra sad/mad. Jacob (again). We should've known better... with him, you gotta stay to the very end.
One day after school, Tyson takes out a crumpled piece of paper that was tucked away in his shoe and said that he wanted to do this. This was the cub scouts. Apparently a recruiter spoke to all the kids at school and made a huge impression on Tyson since he kept asking to join. I've never had any intention of putting the boys in cub/boy scouts. I've always associated the group with pedophilia. Why else would grown men want to hang out with young boys? Call me stupid but that's how I felt.
Andrew and Tyson are superstars... Marlin superstars. In previous years at their school, they had "student of the month" which was only one boy and one girl chosen from each class. But this year with a new principal, they now have "superstars" which are 2-3 students selected from each class. In my opinion, that dilutes it... doesn't seem as special. Nonetheless, the two boys were part of the September superstars.
My big girl. My little fireball. My baby Elliot. She is now two years old. Hands down, she's the wildest and craziest of the bunch. "Oh my God" and "Look at what your daughter is doing" are frequently said around her. It only becomes your daughter if she's done something bad, which is quite often. Admittedly she gets away with a lot. Either because she's our last child or because she's a girl but probably a combination of both.
Now that Andrew is playing soccer in a competitive league, we have to venture out of the 'burbs to play games throughout the city. Our first game was in Spring, which was an hour drive one way with traffic. Being that it was so far away, we made it into a mini road trip, i.e. we ate at places you couldn't get at home. And of course we made a stop at the local Target.
Did you know that it was Labor Day weekend? For people affected by Hurricane Harvey, probably not. At times I had to think about what day it was since everyday felt the same. The kids have been off for over a week but it's definitely not a vacation break. We took in the nephews so their parents could cleanup their flooded home. We didn't really go anywhere during the time off since most places were either closed or had odd hours. Besides, we didn't have a car to transport eight people.
Holy shit. The entire city is under water. And we're still not done yet. It all began Friday when school was canceled for the pending arrival of Hurricane Harvey. That night, the storm made landfall south of us (around Corpus Christi) and on the next day, all was calm. Besides the early morning showers, it didn't really rain all day. A few light sprinkles here and there but that was it. Why was everyone getting so hyped up for this storm? I thought this was a bullshit hurricane and I wasn't the only one with that opinion. And that's when Harvey said fuck you and raped us in the ass... over and over again.
It's been four years and three kids ago since we last visited California. Now with the new addition, we had to go back before it got more expensive, i.e. Elliot turning two. And this time, we spent the whole week in San Diego... forget LA and Disneyland and all that nasty traffic. This would be our preview of life in San Diego should we decide to make the move here.
Last weekend I participated in my first ever BJJ competition, the IBJJF Austin Open. If you want to compete, IBJJF tournaments are the ones you want to do. It's bigger and more organized. The way it works is that you compete against someone of similar rank (white belt), weight (light-feather division), and age (36-40 years old). This was the first fair fight in a long time since I'm always up against giant monsters during training.
Happy Fourth of July! It kinda sucks that it's on a random Tuesday but hey, what are you gonna do? Anyway, I've been eating clean lately but today was my "cheat day" and boy did I cheat. There was too much good food. And I didn't even touch the brisket I spent all day smoking... I was overly stuffed. :(
I've been training BJJ for about a year now with a bunch of gaps in between due to various injuries, sickness, busy with the kids, etc... but it's been a year. So am I any good? I'm definitely better than a random guy off the street who knows zero martial arts but against someone who trains, that's debatable.
Last weekend marked the end of another soccer season. Andrew's team did a complete 180 from last season, primarily due to losing some weak links and gaining a few stronger players. And we actually had a dad willing to coach (last season we had a teenager "coaching"). That made it much more enjoyable/bearable to watch. As for Tyson's team, it's just pure joy to watch... whether they're winning or getting crushed. Those tiny kids are hilarious.
At 5 years old (three months before he turns 6), Tyson can now ride a bike, beating his two older brothers. Granted, I'm not sure if the older boys would've picked it up earlier because I never pushed them to try as I did for Tyson.
It all began when we saw one of Tyson's soccer teammate, who's only 4 years old, rolling up to practice in the world's smallest bike (actually the same 12" size as Tyson's) and I thought, if he can do it so can Ty.
It's now April and we're still sick... it's been on and off since February! There were a few days in between where we were all "healthy", like during Spring Break (thank goodness), but there has been at least one person sick. A couple weeks ago it was me with flu-like symptoms and I was out of commission for a week. Then last weekend it was Andrew with a stomach bug (barf & poop) and it spread like wildfire. Now Jacob, Tyson, Elliot, and I have the same stomach bug. As I'm writing this, Lynn is at home with three sick kids (only Andrew went to school) and I'm "working from home" but I can barely focus. I'm just trying not to shit myself.
Next year Jacob is starting junior high (oh, how time flies) and as he preps for the new school, he needed to select an elective. Out of the limited choices, he chose to do band. But which instrument will he play? So last weekend, we visited the school so that Jacob could meet with the music director and make that decision.
The kids were on Spring Break last week and out of all the options that were presented to them (only places in Texas), they decided on Dinosaur Valley State Park. It's a good 4.5 hour drive nonstop which meant it was time for a road trip! There was no way we're driving there and back so we spent a couple nights in the closest city, Dallas. And the kids got to experience what it's like to go on trips with us... eat like crazy.
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) is a martial art, combat sport system that focuses on grappling and especially ground fighting. BJJ promotes the concept that a smaller, weaker person can successfully defend against a bigger, stronger, heavier assailant by using proper technique, leverage, and most notably, taking the fight to the ground, and then applying joint-locks and chokeholds to defeat the opponent. (source: Wikipedia)
For almost the entire month of February, there has been at least one person sick in the family. First it was Jacob with pneumonia that lasted forever. Then baby Elliot with her fever, runny nose and snot eating. Then Lynn with her cough and raspy voice (which I'm actually diggin'). Now Tyson has a crazy high fever that's lasting for days (like Jacob) but add in barf. Lots of it. Barf on carpet is the worst. He too got an X-ray to see if it's pneumonia (results pending).
Last weekend we celebrated Venus' 40th birthday. The big four-oh. When I hear 40, I immediately think that's old. Then I quickly realize that I'm not too far behind. In fact, I still don't feel like an "adult". That title belongs to my parents, aunts and uncles. I will forever be a "kid" although my body is telling me otherwise.
One week before Jacob's birthday, he got sick. He was tired with a fever and no other symptoms. No big deal, or so we thought. Then comes his birthday is he's still running a fever with a nasty cough. So we finally take him in to see the doctor, who wanted an X-ray, which then confirmed that he had pneumonia. Yikes. He was out of school for an entire week. Classmates made him birthday/get well cards, which was really thoughtful. He finally semi-recovered by Sunday and I took him, his brothers and cousins to Monster Jam for his birthday. What a week.
Another weekend, another wedding. Who gets married during Super Bowl weekend? My friend Johnny, that's who. I've known him since we began pharmacy school together... nearly 17 years ago! And I had the honor of being one of his groomsmen. The wedding festivities were all in Galveston, St. Mary's Cathedral Basilica (ceremony) and Hotel Galvez (reception), which was a good thing considering Houston was crazy congested with the Super Bowl in town.
Last weekend we headed to Austin for Mel and Dan's wedding. It was like a mini family reunion. Relatives who I only get to see maybe once every few years were there. They came from far and wide for this one night. It was an awesome ceremony. And any reason to go to Austin is awesome.