Sunday, April 7, 2019

Esme's Pawsome 3rd Birthday Party

We celebrated Esme's 3rd birthday yesterday (officially 3 on April 14th.)  We had a Paw Patrol party with a focus on Everest.  Lunch was a hot dog bar.  The menu was:
Traditional hot dogs
Natural casing hot dogs
Beer brats
Baked beans
Toppings: chili, shredded cheddar, french fried onions, fritos, tomato, onion, olives, onions, pickles, sauerkraut, pepperoncini, bacon, ketchup, mustard, BBQ sauce, hot sauce.
Vanilla cake
We opened presents after lunch.  I was trying to hide the big one for last, but Esme insisted on opening it first, then insisted on unboxing it.  
She was distracted for a whole, so her best buddy, Miggy, helped to open some of them.  He liked the bed tent she got, but was unimpressed with the sparkly clothing.
She had a good time once we got her refocused.
Cake was next!  I intended to place an Everest figure on top, but underestimated the difficulty of finding one is store.  After a fruitless trip to four Targets, I settled for a puptag made of candy melts.  I made trees from pretzels and candy melts along with piped snowflakes.
 used a tie-dyd technique inside the cake with purple and teal.
Parker was talking about the birthday party all week and was so excited when he finally got a cupcake!
All our friends were gone before I could slow down enough to take a picture.  It was such a great day celebrating Esme!
Nap Time = Party Success!

Saturday, April 6, 2019

World Autism Day, Jayden's Birthday, Work Remodel

I jumped right back in knee deep after we returned from vacation.  I am helping out with some craft projects at church and planning for Esme's birthday party.  Tuesday was World Autism Day.  We all wore our Parker Patrol and Autism Speaks Walk gear and changed out our patio light to a blue one.  Sometimes we get more in to it, but it was kind of a last minute thought this year.
Tuesday was also our nephew, Jayden's, birthday.  I seriously can't believe he is 15 and starting Driver's Ed next week.  I still remember his little baby days and more than one night where he kept me up late.
We got him a new mouse for his computer, but that paled in comparison to the gift my dad (grandpa) made him.  It was a custom wooden chess set.  He crafted the board and turned the pieces on his lathe.  I had seen his making it in stages over the last year or so (maybe less, he will inform me of the correct timeline.)  I think it turned out amazing!
Jayden was pretty excited about it and asked to play a game right away!
My office at work has been undergoing a massive remodel.  The final stages of the new sales stations was completed while I was on vacation, so I came back to a new home.  We all have electronic desks that move up and down so we can opt to sit or stand at preset heights.  We selected spots in order of seniority and I got a lovely location with a large window.  I really like having so much natural light.  The sun would be a factor in the morning depending on the weather and time of year, but then we just draw the shades.
The foyer was formerly our front counter entrance and will be removed sometime in the near future.  This will really open up the view.  There are a lot of other exciting changes happening.  It's going to be a fun year at Discount Steel!

Spring Break: Part 4

Thursday was our actual 10 year wedding anniversary.  My parent's watched the kids so we could go out to dinner.  I thought we may do something a little fancy, but Jimmy found this kitschy place.  Manny's Original Chophouse is the "Best Place," at least according to the sign over the front door.  It had a Texas Roadhouse type vibe and menu.  We waited about 30 minutes to be seated, which is easy when it's 75 outside.
Can't believe this guy has put up with me for a decade!
I ordered a fancy mango drink, because, why not, we're celebrating! (I am not usually a big drinker)
They started us off with warm rolls and cinnamon butter with a salad hand tossed at the table.

I ordered the coconut shrimp and Jimmy chose the 18 oz ribeye! Our server was great and even guessed where we were from (ya sure, you betcha!)
Next, Jimmy located a nearby Krispy Kreme.  We never skip a stop if we get within reasonable driving distance.  We pulled up and the hot light was on.  This may be top 10 exciting things one can ever experiance.  Nothing beats getting a fresh original glazed off the line.  We ordered a dozen, then got two additional free ones when we told them how far away from the closest store is.  They were still hot when we got back to the house.  Everyone loved that treat!
Friday was our last full day of vacation.  The kid's aren't quite ready for the full Disney experience, so we went to Disney Springs.  It is an outdoor mall with lots of shops, restaurants and entertainment.  Our first stop was the Candy Cauldron.  We got a Dumbo cookie for later and a bundle of Mickey Mouse suckers.
They had stores for almost all of the big Disney brands, like Marvel and Star Wars.  You could even customize your own lightsaber.
Parker found a pond with a wheel that turned a corkscrew to deliver water to the top.  He got to play with it for a long time before another child came along.  It's exciting when he finds something that peaks his interest.
We had a morning snack of poutine (didn't taste as good as it sounded) and a Strike It Rich Sundae from Ghirardelli.  It had butter pecan and vanilla ice cream, butterscotch sauce, handmade fudge, whipped cream, nuts (I thought they were pecans, but the official description says almonds) and a cherry on top!
We stopped to burn some energy at the splash pad.  We didn't have the kid's suits, but they dried off quickly in the sun. Each of the water spout openings was shaped like Mickey ears.
The kids and grandpa all sported their Nebraska gear.  Jimmy and I didn't get the memo about wearing red.  We ordered a pizza from Blaze for lunch before leaving.
We took a couple more swims before packing up for our 9am flight on Saturday.
After a couple mini meltdowns in the security line and while waiting 20 minutes for Burger King, the kids got some breakfast in before boarding the first flight.
We had the same seat configuration on the way home. I was with the kids in one row, with Jimmy across the aisle on the first flight, and we were two and two on the final flight.  Pretty uneventful, which we were thankful for.
One more snooze as we landed back at home.  We are all ready for our own beds.
Here is the video compilation from our whole trip.  It went way better than either of us could have hoped for.  Just one minor hiccup with Parker's knee, but he probably doesn't have any recollection of that now.  It will probably be a few years before our next big trip, but this is one to remember!