Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Five years!

Margaret turned five this weekend. We had a tea party for her at the salon where we get our hair cut. Margareta and I made cupcakes and tea sandwiches for 10 little girls. And the salon did their hair and nails. The feature was a darling high school girl who played Cinderella. The funny thing was the kids jockeying to be next to Cinderella. Even Mark wanted to edge out some little girls to hang out with the princess.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Oklahoma, Oklahoma, Oklahoma

The kids had Monday off school this week for MLK day and we decided on the fly to take a road trip. Back in Virginia, pre-kids, we loved to head out of town exploring West Virginia and Maryland so we decided to head north to Oklahoma, and not just because the awesome movie line from Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, one of my favorite, terrible 80s movies. 

One of my cousins lives in Oklahoma City and she makes the drive to Dallas all the time so Bjorn found us a great deal on a historic hotel and we made the 3 hour drive. 

I went in with zero expectations and was totally pleasantly surprised. They now have an NBA team and they've revitalized the whole downtown area near the stadium (and our hotel) called Bricktown to have walking paths around a canal with loads of restaurants. It was lovely. It's not as busy as the San Antonio Riverwalk, but they have a minor league baseball team stadium down there, too. It would definitely be a fun weekend spot (not to mention there is loads of places to gamble around town, too, which we had to save for a weekend without the kids). 

The highlight was seeing my first cousin and her husband who met us for dinner and then lunch today after taking us to the western museum. The kids didn't care for the art, but they did like dressing up in the pioneer village and making food for the chuckwagon. Afterwards, my cousins took us on a tour of their food factory. I felt like I was in an episode of How It's Made. Plus, we got to wear hair nets.  

Bricktown even has carriage rides in addition to canal boat tours. 

Matilda and Margaret in their pioneer hut. 

The closest Andy wants to ever get to riding a horse. 
We watched the boxes get loaded onto the pallets. This was Andy's favorite part. 

Bjorn, Andy, Margaret, Ed and Matilda as we watched strawberry jam be made. 

Friday, January 11, 2013

Obligatory WTH birthday post

So Andy's birthday is today. EIGHT. That kid is eight! Like all parents on a birthday, I can't quite believe he's that old. And then again, I can't believe he's only that old. How is it possible that I had a life before he was born? That just seems like 2,000 years ago already.

Today at school. I brought donuts for the class. Mmm...donuts. 

He's about four here in the tub with his cousin. 

Christmas age four. 
Fifth birthday. 

Summer 2012, age 7. 
Summer 2005, age six months. 

Birthday, age 2, 2007. 

Age three with his birthday goodies. Note that he can sit with his knees back like that. I've never been able to to that. It makes my knees ache to see. 
And today again, age EIGHT. 

Sunday, January 06, 2013

MacBook love

I bought myself a MacBook Pro with some of the money Santa brought me for Christmas. I was really toying with getting a Google Chrome. I need something for graduate school and I was curious to try something other than a PC which left a Chrome or a Mac. I have spent years arguing with my graphic design people against Macs. Well, I take that back. I think Macs are great, but I have always maintained there was no way for our organization to support Macs since its hard enough with PCs. But every design person starts by saying they'll work fine with PCs and then lobbies fervently thereafter about the failures of design programs on PCs. But I digress. 

I went to the Apple store was, as usual, turned off by the genius bar that treats everyone who walks in like they're morons and Apple is doing them a favor by existing. So we went over to Best Buy to look at the Chromebooks and was surprised to see that they sell Apple products -- better yet, Apple products cheaper than at the Apple store and without the condescention! I looked at the Chromebook. I really liked the concept - a $200 computer (really a tablet with a keyboard) with an Android operating system. It is perfect for working on the internet and using e-mail which is 95 percent of my job since my databases are web-based. The problem with the Chromebook is it has no Word processing. They say you can use Google Docs, but as someone who has used Google Docs, that's not sufficient for, oh, I don't know, trying to do anything like write a document or share it with colleagues. I talked to some friends who used to work with Google about it. They say Google paid big money for some word processing software that works but for whatever reason, they're missing the boat on installing it free on all their devices. That would, in my opinion, make the Chromebook more viable to students and give Google a huge jump on the tablet/netbook market. 

So for me, that left the MacBook with a purchase of Word and Excel so I could do work and schoolwork. I toyed with the MacBook Air. It's so darn light and pretty. However, it lacked any of the peripherals like a CD/DVD drive and had fewer ports. 

I have had good fun with the computer over the holiday. Bjorn and I bought took two desktops and removed everything from them and he deposited at Best Buy, which conveniently recycles computers for free. In the process, I removed about 6,000 pictures from my old desktop from 2005 to 2009. These were pictures from when the kids were really little. There were a few videos mixed up in there, too. 

I just couldn't believe all the changes they've undergone in eight years. I mean, I was there and all, but somehow seeing it in all its glory was amazing. 

How awesome are these guys?