Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Games These Days

There is a place downtown called The Village Cafe. It looks like this:
One of my very favorite things to do is take Ben out to special little places like this to order fancy drinks

mmmm, chai latte.....
and play some hands-on, fierce, no-mercy games. Sorry is a favorite, but since we rode our bikes, I stuck an Angry Birds card game and the classic UNO in my purse. 

I"m not sure how nice of a person you (yeah you, reader.) are. Are you humane? Or are you merciless? We are fairly relentless against Ben when it comes to playing games. Jared more-so than myself. Sometimes the family feud gets serious though. Jared has just about quit mid-game during Angry Birds because Ben will run over and whisper in my ear about how he is going to skip his dad's turn. Jared interprets this as an alliance being formed. Then things get serious. 

"You CAN'T form an alliance!"
'da hell, dad?!?

Serious considerations here 

I know that kids need to be challenged and shouldn't just Expect to win all the time. But I'm not sure pummeling your child at checkers every chance you get instills much confidence. That is probably why game producers made games like Candy Land, where no strategy what-so-ever is involved. Keeps the parents from being assholes to their kids. I don't know what we're turning poor Ben into. Certainly he will either turn out to be a poor sport, or win all the sportsmanship awards. 

Perhaps we are strik methods are just to prepare Ben to become a professional cyclist where you are penalized for helping another person during a race. See child, NOTHING GOOD EVER COMES FROM HELPING SOMEONE ELSE!

Speaking of Richie Porte and the recent articles about him... This photo keeps showing up: 
and I know I know, the course was muddy and stuff, but.. can I just say...he just looks way too much like he's about to exclaim "I have a mole?!" 
.Image result for robin hood men in tights, mole

Monday, May 18, 2015

Jerry Jeff Walker at Gruene Hall

Jared has been a winner at surprises lately.

A while back, for no reason in particular, he picked up tickets to see Jerry Jeff Walker at the legendary Gruene Hall. I'll  let you wiki the significance of each component there.

So we took off Friday a hair early for work with Chemistry Mole on our dashboard.

We knew time would be tight so we had dinner-of-champions

Doors opened at 8p.m. and we parked at 7:25. Just enough time to get in a line that was already a block long. Safe to say, the place was packed. 

We still managed to get 4th row seats and of course drink a few Shiners. I'm not sure we can get more Texas than this without having to purchase a pick-up truck and some guns. 

Anyway, the show was Great. The whole place stood up and started dancing during a few of the more popular songs.  For a 73yr old singer/songwriter.. That Jerry Jeff sure can still get down!

We were hangry after the show, but no where was serving real food anymore. So back at the hotel we ordered pizza and–not-even-kidding–watched the Golden Girls on the fancy cable TV. Because that's just how we roll. 

The next morning we scrolled through our handheld electronic computers (aka phones) for a half hour before finding a place that seemed suitable for breakfast and was open before noon. It was a half a mile in some direction so we figured we would walk. Fortunately (I think) we both have ADD. On the first block of our journey we came across "The Oldest Bakery in Texas!" 

How can you not stop there? We'll just have a pre-breakfast snack to hold us over until breakfast...

SO MANY CHOICES! A loaf of pumpernickel bread, a muffin (oh how I love muffins), and a brat kolache for Jared....and we were on our way.

But then...

Then we saw a bright sign with a finger pointing that said "FARMERS MARKET!"

Oh boy.

So we followed the arrow, until a block later where we saw an adorable coffee shop and suddenly I was craving a Chai Latte. It was a great stop. Great to get a chai that had a kick to it. It was actually Spicy! So good.

Then we continued to follow the fingers to the farmers market. It was so very full of so many different types of vendors. Oh so refreshing. If only we had a shopping cart!

Jared tasting all the pickled things. 

We were full enough from the bakery and farmers market samples that we never did find the restaurant we originally set out for. I have a feeling we made a good choice though. 

Next we journeyed up to San Marcos just for the hell of it. We found an adorable Cafe called the Root Cellar Cafe.  They had decent lunch food and even better Sangrias. 

It is always a challenge for me to think of things to do with friends/family who come visit us in Texas. We spend so much of our time at parks and riding bikes that we forget about all the other things to go do. I think we'll have to add this little Gruene, New Braunfels, San Marcos tour to our list of things-to-take-people-to-do. It is most definitely the most taste-of-texas thus far.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Mothers Day - For real

Mothers Day was fantastic. 

First, I slept in. Ben stayed with Ms. B the night before so that he could finish my gift which was a delightful little bird house. We hung it up together as soon as he got home. 

Then we proceeded to be successfully lazy! It was the first weekends since February that we were home. Whew! 

We finally got out of our pajamas sometime afternoon and mounted our bicycles for a family ride to downtown. Ali and I wandered over to Om Grown Yoga for s(om)e sacred sweating while the boys stayed at The Village Cafe and played board games.  

I have to say...I don't care for the cookie cutter, beige town of College Station, but Bryan continually makes me smile. More on that some other day.  

The best part of Mothers day was Ben begging to ride the trails together. 

Mostly, he loves to jump. Our very first lap around he turned his handlebars on his landing and eats it. We squirt some water on his battle wounds and carry on. That, I think, is the most educational part about mountain biking. You don't learn to do the really challenging things without messing up a time or two first. Its moments like that that make you, that teach you the beauty of being able to stand back up again.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Mother's Day Eve

Oh the sweet joys of being a Mom. 

At first I chuckled at Ben's answer to "I love my mom because..." but it reminded me of this proverb:

A Zen Teacher saw five of his students return from the market, riding their bicycles. When they had dismounted, the teacher asked the students,
"Why are you riding your bicycles?"
The first student replied, "The bicycle is carrying this sack of potatoes. I am glad that I do not have to carry them on my back!"
The teacher praised the student, saying, "You are a smart boy. When you grow old, you will not walk hunched over, as I do."
The second student replied, "I love to watch the trees and fields pass by as I roll down the path."
The teacher commended the student, "Your eyes are open and you see the world."
The third student replied, "When I ride my bicycle, I am content to chant, nam myoho renge kyo."
The teacher gave praise to the third student, "Your mind will roll with the ease of a newly trued wheel."
The fourth student answered, "Riding my bicycle, I live in harmony with all beings."
The teacher was pleased and said, "You are riding on the golden path of non-harming."
The fifth student replied, "I ride my bicycle to ride my bicycle."
The teacher went and sat at the feet of the fifth student, and said, "I am your disciple."

Its pretty special when put into that perspective. That a 6yr old loves for the sake of loving. Ben is a sweet kid. He picks me a flower every single time he is on a walk. Any time there is a flower. It is absolutely adorable.

He is almost 6 now... 6! That means 6 years of mom-ing + those 9 months of not getting to drink any gin, which is sort of like mom-ing. That's hard to wrap my head around (the 6 years part...). A fair number of friends have had kids in the past year or two. Now and then I will see a post about them struggling with the breakdowns and tantrums (on both ends) that comes with having to raise a plant. Dang that part was hard. The diapers, the screaming, the barfing, the screaming... and those funny-looking plants don't even give much back. I mean it. You can tell yourself all you want that those little giggling moments make it all worth it, until you realize the plant is giggling because it just shat itself and you need to get up and go change that in the next 10 minutes.

As for his comment about my favorite thing to do... "rest ... ride bikes" ...he sure nailed it.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Tis the Season in Tex-as

Howdy Y'all,
Uuum, well... we went to a delightful little holiday lights/Christmas in the Park thing tonight and, it really was a wonderful time. Especially since it was free!

The best part was probably the hayrack ride, but to Ben the best part was the PILE OF SNOW that they brought in (presumably from somewhere cold. Probably Alaska).
Unfortunately for me, both camera batteries were dead/dying and there was not enough time to get it adjusted for taking decent pictures. Fortunately for us this happens AGAIN next weekend! We will for sure be back! Free cookies and hot cocoa afterall. Now to just convince Jared to bake something for the baking contest!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Cup Cakes errrr frosting

We enjoy mixing it up in how we spend our evenings.
Sometimes it is silly stuff like making milk blue, but other times it is delicious stuff like making/coloring frosting for cupcakes!

True story is that we were playing Candy Land and I had drawn the cupcake (for the 324 time. I always get the @#$!ing cupcake). Ben saw it and declared that he wanted to make cupcakes. I thought: who wouldn't!? So we made cupcakes and frosting.

I walked in at one point and snapped this shot. I immediately walked out. They were clearly sneaking something and not telling me about it.

Here is Ben's lesson in frosting:

Mix it gently as to not make a mess.

Dip Finger. Fall in love.

Question the purpose of the whole cupcake part anyway. Next time I am fairly certain he will just ask to make cupcakes.

Which reminds me of a delightful book we have called If you give a cat a cupcake.

It is a great story and closely parallels what happens when you give a 2yr old a cupcake.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Blue Milk

Sometimes... The little things are what make parenting worth it all.

Jared always pesters Ben, who regularly asks for "fresh milk." In Jared's ...Jaredness, he questions Ben's request with return questions such as "you want... red milk?" "you want... yellow milk?" "you want... blue milk?" To which Ben always replies "noooo daaaaddyyyyy" with a snicker.

Ben, being the growing individual that he is, has caught on though. And finally told Jared "Yes!" one of these times. Being the consistent parent that Jared is...... he made Ben blue milk.