Monday, June 30, 2008

Blissful Belize

Well, we made it to Paradise on Saturday afternoon, though I was a little concerned I was actually headed for an episode of Survivor, based on some of the things packed by my other traveling companions--duct tape, plastic cups (large and small), a large jar of peanut butter, artificial sweetener and a spiral sliced ham. Not to mention all the fishing equipment, snorkel gear and pool toys! But, alas, I have not been dumped in the jungle to fend for myself (yet). Instead, I have spent my time sitting on the deck of our amazing condo, looking at the ocean, reading, lounging down by the pool, walking along the beach, taking full advantage of lobster season which opened on Saturday and generally being completely stress-free (if you don't include a couple of hairy rides in the golf cart). I don't have pictures up yet, but trust me when I tell you this place is amazing! It will be hard to pull ourselves away--and if it weren't for the promise of six months on the beach immediately following our time here, I don't think we'd ever leave! I know I said I probably wouldn't post again until we got back, but what can I say, I'm full of surprises, and I like to keep you on your toes. Now, if you'll excuse me, there is a lounge chair calling my name.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

You Better BELIZE It

That's right, the Watts are gone again. And this time its the whole clan--us, Jeff's parents and Jeff's brother and sister-in-law. We will leave the lake tomorrow morning, stop briefly in Austin to see the movie WALL-E in celebration of Ruth finishing 4 big, honkin' chapter books (Around the World in 80 Days, White Fang, Trumpet of the Swan and Charlotte's Web) and then make our way to Houston, where we will meet up with Jeff's brother and sister-in-law. We'll spend the night in Houston and then leave bright and early Saturday morning for Belize. Jeff and I have never been there, so we are super-excited! (Of course, I think we'd be pretty excited even if we had been there 10 times)! We'll be back in the country on the 5th and back at the lake on the 6th. I'm not taking my computer, so I will probably just have to catch up with all of you when we get back. And, then I'm sure I will have lots of pictures to share with you. Hope you all stay well and have a very happy 4th of July!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Good times, good company, and more shrimp than you can eat

Today was my mother-in-law's birthday, so Jeff and Maxie prepared a three-course shrimp dinner, inspired by Sharon's request for Acapulco-style shrimp cocktail. We started with the shrimp cocktail, which was super-fabulous. In fact, you should cancel your dinner plans for tomorrow night and have this instead. Then we moved on to grilled shrimp with lime butter. Oh so good! And finally, we had Panko-breaded fried shrimp with cocktail sauce and creamy avocado dip. Umm, umm, good! We all enjoyed all of the food, but Weston is some kind of crazy shrimp eating machine. He was cramming them in his mouth as fast as he possibly could and was cleaning up what was left over on other people's plates. The funniest thing, though, was during the shrimp cocktail when he asked if he could have another "leg"--that would be a boiled, peeled shrimp with the tail on. We almost all fell over. Tomorrow night we are planning a fondue party with Sharon's new fondue pot. Wish you could be here.

Little Jumping Bean


Sunday, June 22, 2008

What Hurts The Most

Since we've been staying at the lake, Weston "Accident-Waiting-To-Happen" Watts has met with quite a few little problems from some of our friends in nature, not to mention the normal tumble-bumble that just comes with being Weston. He has had run-ins with multiple groups of fire ants, and he came across a nasty little wood wasp burrowing into his swing. But the creature whose sting has been, by far, the cruelest--partly for the pain, partly for the blood lost and partly just for the shock of the source--was the evil catfish. Weston was on a roll out on the pier this afternoon. He had two perch under his belt and was going back for more. When he hooked a catfish, he was so excited that he managed to throw the fish down. Next thing we knew, he had stepped on the thing and caught it right on the razor-like dorsal fin. There followed no less than half an hour of bleeding and crying before he was ready to get back out on the dock and cast his line again. But even with the tears all dried up, his mantra for the evening was: "I don't like that other one fish sting me."

Saturday, June 21, 2008

"Home" Away From "Home"

We left our new "home" (at the Lake) today in order to revisit our old "home" (my parents' house) to celebrate my sister's birthday. And we found out that our real home (in Austin) has finally been rented for July 1st! Yippee! Cross that off the ol' list of things to worry about. I guess that's the biggest thing I have to report. If you want to know what we've been up to the last few days check out our pictures on Flickr. We're back to dial-up land tomorrow, so, I'll see you when I see you.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

A Picture's Worth A Thousand Words

Or: What we've been up to the last few days, including, but not limited to:
  • Ruth's Art Camp Finale
  • A trip to Houston
  • Max and Aunt Bekki meeting for the first time
  • Max's dedication service
  • Max's first time in a real pool
  • Lots of water fun--in the hotel pool and at the lake
  • Moved into our "new home" (Jeff's parents' place on Lake Buchanan)
  • Max trying out his doorway jumper.
  • Max's first venture into the veggie world. It may just be shock, but, so far, he thinks he likes peas.
  • Blog posted from the parking lot of the local library as only means to overcome "quaint little dial-up set-up" at new place.

Friday, June 13, 2008

The Nomadic Watts Are Gone Again

Well, we've been staying here with my parents for two weeks now, and we've had such a good time and are so incredibly thankful to them for opening up their home to us, but we are moving on. Tomorrow, we are off to Houston for the weekend, and then we will make our way to Jeff's parents' place on Monday, where we will be for the next two weeks. It's sure to be lots of fun, but I must warn you that their "quaint" little dial-up set-up may prevent me from posting as often--though I will try to check in from time to time. You all be good, and give your dads some lovin' this weekend!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Here come the uhTOWELians!*

*Statement issued by Ruth as she and Weston skidded into the kitchen after their bath tonight.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Art Camp

Ruth's grandparents gave her a week at art camp for her birthday, the theme of which was appropriately "Happy Birthday." Today was her first day, but since she attended the camp last year as well, she felt like a real expert. She had a good time today and is looking forward to the rest of the week.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Birthday Weekend

This weekend was completely full of birthday parties, the most surprising of which was a party for me. (Surprising, because my birthday isn't until August). My parents wanted to do a little something for me since I'll be in Brazil when my birthday rolls around. It's my first time to have a birthday in June (even before my sister had her birthday--ha ha--and her birthday is in June), but it was pretty fun--especially since it was all the good parts of the birthday without it having to be associated with a number! We also attended a party for Ruth's little twin Kindergarten classmates yesterday, and then today went over to celebrate with a cousin in Seguin. Fun times, but sort of tiring, so I'm off to bed.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Every Which Way

Everyone staying in my parents house was going a different direction today. Ruth, Max and I went over to Austin for a birthday party for a couple of Ruth's friends from Kindergarten. My mom went to a wedding in Rogers. My dad went to mow the grass at he and my mom's place on the Lampassass River. And, Jeff and Weston went to an event at the Sand Creek Farm and Dairy in Cameron, where they fed pigs and chickens, gathered eggs, took a hay ride, made butter and brought home organic, farm-fresh products with which to make our dinner--including a gallon of milk that cost TWELVE dollars! Needless to say, we won't be making that a household staple...unless we decide not to send our kids to college! The dinner was delicious, though, and the boys had a really good time. I hope we can plan another visit sometime after we get back from Brazil so Ruth and I can go, too.

A day late* and a dollar short, but sitting pretty nonetheless

*This should have been posted last night, but my computer has been running so slow that it was almost impossible to stay awake long enough to get something posted. But Jeff stayed up late giving my computer a much-needed overhaul, so we should be back on a regular schedule now.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Sea World (Yesterday)

Jeff and the boys and I gave Ruth a trip to Sea World for her birthday--because she picked a dolphin birthday theme and because it was something we didn't have to pack up! So, yesterday was our day to redeem the gift, and it was so much fun! I have pics for you today, because I was having technical difficulties last night and couldn't get them uploaded.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Making A Splash

Max had his first pool experience today, and I know he will definitely be back for more. He absolutely loved it! He did everything he could to try to get out of my grip and into the real action. Fortunately, I was able to hold on to him, but I definitely think we have the makings of a little fishy on our hands. I can't wait until he can really sit up well on his own so I can put him in there to splash around. What fun that will be!

Monday, June 02, 2008

The Laundry Game

My boys had a competition today to see who could generate the most laundry. Here's the color commentary:

Competitor M made his splash into the game early on with a move we've not seen from him in some time: the soak-the-parents'-sheets-during-a-diaper-change move. The defense never saw it coming and could do nothing to stop it.

Competitor W was undaunted, however, and came back quickly with a power-play: He neglected to inform the referee of his need to potty and filled his underwear/shorts in the worst way. In an attempt to cover his mistake, he instituted the clean-it-up-yourself play to put himself well in the lead.

At this point the referee called a time-out and sent both competitors to bed.

Competitor M came back from the break rearing to go, with wet clothes and sheets to match.

It seemed for a brief period that Competitor W was out of the game, when he surprised the crowd by having another little accident--much less severe than the first, thank goodness--but enough to keep him in the game, for sure.

This blow to the laundry basket was met quickly and fiercely by Competitor M with a leaking poopy diaper, followed in rapid succession by several episodes of spitting up and another super-soaker move during a diaper change.

It was a bitter match to the end, but ultimately, the little guy--Competitor M--seemed to come out on top of the laundry heap. But the play of the game definitely went to the big man--Competitor W.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Just Horsing Around

I haven't picked up a basketball in years, but this morning Jeff challenged me to a game of H-O-R-S-E, and pretty soon everyone was in on the action. My sister and her husband played, too, and my parents and grandparents set up seats on the edge of the driveway to cheer us on. The first thing I did was draw in the crowd with a slam dunk (before we raised the goal), seriously impressing everyone under the age of 10. With the goal raised and the game underway, I found, much to my surprise, that I could actually get the ball in the hoop from time to time, and I didn't just embarrass myself completely--if you don't count the silly leg kick I apparently do when I shoot a jump shot. This, despite the hazards of this particular court, including, but not limited to: trash cans, air conditioners, a sand box, a puddle of water under the goal, a multitude of hecklers, and five children running around underfoot. It was a blast--even though I didn't win either of the games. That honor went to Jeff, thanks to his unbeatable free-throw prowess.