Friday, May 4, 2018

Joey's 5th Birthday

Our Joey turned five last month! I wanted to do a simple party for him, and maybe it was considered simple by Pinterest standards, but it ended up being busy and a blast. 

Here is the invite we sent out for his birthday party. With no family in town, it was easier to control how many people we could invite! (We love family, but gathering both our families together is quite a bit. That's why last year we only invited boy cousins around Joey's age to cut down on how many people we had to cater to in our tiny apartment!) We sent it out to two of Joey's friends from school, three or four families from church, and another Ophthalmology Resident's family.

I refused to do a Paw Patrol theme (I'm done with it even if the boys aren't).
Instead I planned a fire fighter theme and it worked out nicely.
 On Joey's actual birthday we brought donuts to his class. Joey was pretty excited about that.

Even Daddy could make it!

Donuts and juice in the hot sun.
 He opened a couple presents on his birthday from us and Grandma Hobbs (or Jeep Grandma). Here is is FAVORITE present by far: a kid's digital camera, complete with video options, editing, and games!

Thanks Grandma!
 Here's what we got him:

A Big Boy Bike! Way too big for the tricycle now.
He likes it but isn't too fond of riding it yet.
 The day of the birthday party forecasted rain, and we set it at a park! We told everyone it was still going to happen, but were prepared to cut it short if we got rained out. Although the park benches and tables were really wet, it stopped raining for the couple hours we were out there! A birthday miracle. We provided a hot dog lunch with toppings, a melon salad, chips, and water. We also grabbed a couple of the boy's firetrucks for the kids to play with.

The lunch set up.

My homemade cupcakes. Vanilla colored red, orange, and yellow inside
with a vanilla frosting on top. Some had chocolate chips
to give it a Dalmatian look. Not bakery quality, but very tasty!

I was worried I wouldn't have enough. I was fine.

Our first guest to arrive: Joey's friend from school (this is actually his sister).

Fun things to do until everyone arrives.
We provided a piñata and as worried as I was that it wouldn't break, there were enough kids to make it work. I didn't get Joey :'( but here are some other kiddos. Some other kids at the park joined the fun at the end and I was happy to oblige (their parent wasn't being that interactive with them).

Eli's attempt.

The Giles' little girl.

Joey's other friend from school.

After lunch and the piñata we opened gifts. Everyone was so generous! I do the "spend the same amount as their age" rule (we have a lot of nieces and nephews so it adds up quick!), but Joey got some awesome gifts! Thank you (if you ever come across this blog)!

One happy kid.
 After singing happy birthday, eating cupcakes, and cleaning up, it was the perfect time to head to the fire station down the street. Mostly everyone came to this too!

Talking about their biggest truck.

They were so nice to us!

Eli's turn to sit in the hot seat.

A friend from church.

Joey sounding the alarms.

Birthday boy in heaven.

Will he end up here when he grows up? He thinks so but we'll see.

Here's the friend from school!

Enjoying Station 38.

I turned the corner and happened upon this guy.
Gave me a fright at first.

Taking turns spraying the bubbles.

Daddy and Eli.

The kids ended up in the bubbles, but luckily it's just soap and it cleaned their shoes.

The end of an awesome birthday party.
We headed to church the other day and there was an accident on the freeway. There was a big fancy firetruck there to help and I noticed the 38 on the side. It was the same truck everyone toured! Thank you to those who risk their lives in helping others!

Another note: Sam usually isn't into birthday parties (the cost? the stress? both?), but he said to me afterward that it was really fun and we should do things like that more often. Maybe it's because we actually make friends in the process? But it was a success and the parents were impressed with how it went. We were impressed too!

Happy Birthday, silly boy!

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Visits from Family and Friends

What's great about living in San Antonio? People want to visit you! I'm sure that's not their number one reason (at least I hope) but it's a good excuse to come see us, so I'll take it! We were visited by Jacob and Shauna and their family in November before Thanksgiving, the Boyacks end of February, and my parents, my sisters and their families in March. We are feeling the love!

Jacob and Shauna rolled in on a Sunday so we met them at a little pizzeria downtown. It was the first time seeing Brandon since he was born (we were lucky that he decided to come a day or two before we moved). I don't have any good pictures of him on this trip, sadly. After the pizzeria we walked the Japanese Gardens (which are free) then went to our house for a home cooked meal.

Well, at least they are sitting still for the picture!

Loving our double jogging stroller!

Enjoying the beautiful day.

This was the hottest day of the trip!
Sadly their trip was 6 months ago, so details are fuzzy. But on the second day we explored the River Walk and we went on a boat tour. It was our first and last time doing that; it's one of those things that you do it once to say you did it. The tour was nice, the boys loved the boat, but it was pretty expensive (and I didn't know you're supposed to tip on top of that, whoops!) And we always stop by Ghirardelli when we are on the River Walk. We tried to eat dinner at Mi Tierra, but the wait was ridiculous due to some band competition being in town and tons of people being there. Jacob and Shauna waited around but we'll have to try that restaurant another time! 

Waiting for a boat ride maybe?
The next day we stopped by the zoo in the morning. It was busy too! Lots of field trips. It was decorated for Christmas already with zoo lights and things. I thought to myself, "I'll have to stop here for Christmas!" Pregnant self during Christmas, "NOPE!" There's always next year!

That evening I cooked some awesome sweet pork enchiladas, but only Sam, Shauna, and I ate them! We resorted to good old cereal for the kids. 

I'm glad I'm not the only one with picky eaters.
San Antonio weather is all over the place. I guess New Mexico changes drastically during the day, San Antonio is usually day by day. Sunday was pretty hot, but by Wednesday, we were putting on some jackets and still getting cold. I went with Eli while Joey was at school to the Witte museum. It was my first and only time going, but it was pretty neat. While New Mexico's focus is mainly dinosaurs, the Witte doesn't go too far back but has some cool focuses on wildlife and indigenous people instead. 

My favorite picture so far! Too bad Joey wasn't there!
That evening we met at the Cove (our favorite local restaurant so far) for some yummy burgers and organic soda. It was too cold to enjoy the outdoor play set or the "beer gardens", but luckily there's an indoor portion so we didn't have to be cold. It was so fun to see Jacob and Shauna and so so grateful for their willingness to drive down to see us! Even when we were traveling back to Albuquerque in a few short weeks.

The top three reasons we love Albuquerque (in no particular order) are: family, Dion's pizza, and the Boyacks. I was so sad to leave the Boyacks and wasn't sure I could function without Crystal being so close by. I'm still rocky in the friends area here, so it was sooo refreshing to see the Boyacks again.

They could only stay for three days (and they drove through the night to get here), so we started low key.

They happened to come when our offer was accepted on our house, so I got to show Crystal while Sam was at work and Cameron worked on finding more information about PA and med schools in the area. Here are some cute pictures (of the people, not really the house):

We spent the day catching up, resting, and eating some homemade chicken pot pies. It was perfect.

Day two we visited the DoSeum, the kid's museum here in San Antonio. I love Explora in Albuquerque, but it's a little easier keeping track of your child in the DoSeum (for the most part), and the exhibits are so fun.

Eli enjoying his time.
We decided it was also the best day to go to Down Town, so we went to the Cove (told you it was our favorite) then went to find some parking by the Riverwalk. The Boyacks are our lucky charms because we always end up parking in a structure and paying too much. We happened to find a spot right in front of the River Center Mall that was free. Yay! We walked a good chunk of the River Walk and then ate some ice cream (maybe Sam and I should explore more things to do Down Town, haha! We still haven't been to the Alamo!) Another perfect day.

Live music at the cove. The kids were dancing too!

Holding hands and ready to party!

The River Walk is NOT very stroller friendly, but with two guys
 and one stroller we could handle it.

Our family has SeaWorld passes, so we can get discount tickets for others. That was the hope for this day. Well, like I said, the Boyacks are our lucky charms because we were heading the the kiosk to buy tickets and a SeaWorld worker asked if we were there for "Bring a Friend for Free" day. Um, yes! They got in for free! We were all pretty happy about that. We saw shows, rode rides (well, the adults did while pregnant me watched the kids), played, and looked at some animals. The weather cooperated too! It only rained hard when we were in a covered dome. It was pretty fun, but everyone got pretty tired after a couple hours, so we headed home for some Little Caesar's Pizza and and salads. Again, another perfect day.

It was sad to see them go, but I take comfort knowing we will always be friends! Love you guys!

It's amazing what a screen can do.

Waiting for the dolphin and beluga show.

I lost Joey up there, but this was definitely fun for the kids.

At the end of a fun day!
 My family came to visit during their Spring Break. They were going to stay in a rental home but we closed on our house the week before they came to visit. We did our best to make it as comfortable as possible (since we had no furniture there) and they came down. I left a key for them, but it happened to be the wrong key! I had to run down there (half an hour away) to rescue them, but I didn't mind because I got to see them.

The next day they settled, bought groceries and what not, so it was in the evening we got to do something "local". We went to the Riverwalk, ate ice cream (hahaha), and did some walking.

We enjoyed the zoo on Tuesday, but I think all of my nieces and nephews were used to having a zoo pass so they could do the whole "see what we want to see then go home". Since my sisters paid for them, they were adamant about seeing the whole zoo and that made the kids a little grumpy, haha.

Wednesday we went to the DoSeum and the kids enjoyed that one a lot more. I could only stay part of the time because of Joey's school schedule, but we particularly enjoyed the Spy Academy and wearing the different spy outfits.

The binky gives Eli away any day.

Leah is so mysterious.
Lastly, we took them to SeaWorld. My family was surprised at how close it is to our new house. Pretty much down the street. Sam, Joey and I used our passes to get free parking (the pass is worth it just for that). Then, while Sam, my dad and I figured out tickets and how to get the best deal possible, my sisters and mom took the kids to see the dolphins and the aquarium since it is free once when you park. I think Heidi was the one that sent me this picture:

Awesome, but where's Joey?
After figuring out tickets, we went inside and got down to business. I really didn't think my family would stay until closing, but they are hard partiers! They enjoyed almost everything that our SeaWorld had to offer, going on almost every ride and almost every show. I got to ride on the crazy river ride (shh!), but mostly stayed and watched kids that were too little or too scared. Let me tell you, ride the rides during the shows if you can! My family was just walking on, which is pretty good! Sam and I were done before the end and went to our house early. After SeaWorld closed we met my family at Rudy's. Rudy's was founded in San Antonio, but for some reason it tastes a lot better in Albuquerque. Huh.

So sad to see them go since the next time we will all most likely be together is for Christmas. It is so nice to see family.

The next people to come visit are Sam's parents and Grandma in June, and we'll be nice and moved in by then. Joey's pretty excited about this one.