Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Childrens Museum Of The Lowcountry

Originally uploaded by xosunnydaysxo.
So, quickly approaching is Gabriel's 3rd birthday. I've sort of made up my mind that this year I would not be hosting his birthday at home. With work and school and life's everyday whatevers, it gets tiring for me to clean before AND after the party, plus entertain and get everything ready. So, I started to look into other options for this year.

After some searching around online, I remembered that my godsister Jen had mentioned something about a Children's Museum downtown. And before long me, Jen, and the birthday boy to be were on our way to check things out.

On our way to pick Jen up, Gabriel was way past his naptime, and promptly fell asleep in the car. But once we got downtown and into the museum, he was wide-eyed and ready to explore!


So, each room in the museum is a different theme of an exhibit, and the idea is for the children to be able to learn about things hands-on. For example, one room taught them about the weather. The kids can actually make the cloud on top of the room rain, and the water falls into a river. They can also make the sun shine, which demonstrates how evaporation occurs, and even open the dams to release water into the river and watch the city of Charleston light up from hydropower. Gabriel loved playing with the boats along the river, and watching them go along the waterway. They even have little smocks to prevent them from getting their clothes wet.

PB230943 PB230946

Perhaps my favorite exhibit was the one with a shrimp boat. The room was designed to look like a dock with a large shrimp boat the kids can actually get on. On board, they can cast nets "overboard" and hopefully get a big catch. Of course their big catch is other kids standing in the water (blue carpet), and placing crabs, fish, shrimp, etc. into the net. Once you pull your net back onto the boat, you can then walk onto the dock and place your catch onto a conveyer belt. Gabriel really thought this was cool, cause he was able to crank his catch along the belt, and then place them onto a scale to see how well he did for the day. Also on the boat, you can even go inside of the cabin where there are sleeping quarters complete with a little bathroom and a cooking area. Wanna be a captain? You can sit up front and "control" the ship too and even push buttons to make thunder sound. Rain jackets and rain boots are provided for extra effects too. Super cute.

There are actually other exhibits, and I think that it is safe to say that Gabriel enjoyed them all. I take that back. He didn't seem much interested in the arts and crafts area. Once I saw how much he enjoyed our visit, I knew that this was the place to hold his birthday party. I'm very much looking forward to it, and hope that you all can make it too!!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Trippy Christmas Music Rocks!

Went out with the girls last night to see the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. I've heard some good things about the show, so decided to give it a shot. The first half of it was...eh...the second half was good. Their most popular song is probably "Wizards In Winter," which I personally thought was the best song and light show of the whole concert. But if you have epilepsy, I wouldn't go. Heavy strobes and lasers. Check out the little clip. I swiped it from Youtube, but you get the point...

Needful Things

Originally uploaded by xosunnydaysxo.
Oh...I'm getting that fever. I've taken a very long break since my race last September. As my clothes are getting tighter, and I'm eating whatever my heart desires, I'm becoming increasingly disgusted with myself...once again.

I think I'm going to run the Turkey Run next week for Thanksgiving. That will be motivation for me to get off my ass and start training again. It's just a short 5k, but hey, something is better than nothing. And then in December is the Reindeer Run. I don't know why, but I need to stay in races to keep me training. And coincidentally, I haven't been in any races since September. That must be why I took such a long break. And then, there is the annual Cooper River Bridge Run in April.

So, the year that Gabriel was born, I went to Once Upon A Child and bought a jogging stroller. I don't know what brand it was, but hell...whatever. It was $40. I was all excited about trying it out, and I excitedly cleaned it up, got Gabriel ready and took off for my first baby run. What a piece of shit. It's heavy as shit, hard to control, and I was more tired from fighting with the damned thing than I was from my run. Needless to say, that run quickly turned to a brisk walk. And that was the end of my jogging stroller.

Every time I run there's always the hassle of who will watch the baby. Kevin? My parents? Kevin's parents? Oh, nobody can do it? Well, no run for me today. Damn...So with the weather cooled, which will allow me for later runs in the day, I decided to do some investigating on which jogging strollers really had good reviews.

There was one stroller that runners absolutely raved about. The Bob Ironman jogging stroller! Ta-Da!! Lightweight, foldable (you can keep it in your SUV and use it as a regular stroller too), easy to control...awww, yeah...that's what I need right there.

Excitedly, I started shopping online, and the pricetag on this thing is $350! Ouch...hmmmm, with tuition and books and Christmas coming, maybe not int he budget right now. But you know how you get the bug and you want something, you obsess and you GOTTA have it-right now? Sorry, but tuition is on the top of my priority list right now. Instead, I called up Kevin and asked if I could have just ONE present for Christmas this year.....

Anyone else wanna beat him to the punch? I don't wanna wait that long! Waaahh!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Mickey and Minnie's Magical Journey


Disney on Ice came the collesium and I decided to give it a try and see if Gabriel would enjoy it. Every year, they do an iceskating production with different Walt Disney movies. I wasn't sure if Gabriel would be willing to sit throughout the entire show, but I figured what the hell....for the sake of a continuation of our Walt Disney theme...

Kevin and I loaded up and headed towards the collesium. Surprisingly, it was not as packed as I had anticipated it to be. I don't know if it was because they would be showing twice a day for 4 days, or if it was a result of our economy, but I was pleasantly surprised we wouldn't be slam packed. Better yet, I had purchased some pretty good seats that were fairly close to the stage.


Originally uploaded by xosunnydaysxo.

This year, they did a production of The Little Mermaid, Lilo and Stitch, Peter Pan, Lion King, and Mary Poppins. For the most part, Gabriel recognized a majority of the characters. He excitedly waved at them, and bopped along in his seat to the music. By intermission, he badly had to go the potty and by the time we got back to our seat, was becoming a little antsy. Thankfully, the show resumed and he was once again enthralled. In an adult's point of view (and I use the term "adult" loosely), I thought it was very cute and found myself singing along to the songs. Oh, and the guy who played the dude in Lilo and Stitch was totally HOT.


I'm actually thinking that we will do this again next year...I wonder which characters they will use...

Here's just a little clip of the grand finale...

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Halloween 2008

Originally uploaded by xosunnydaysxo.
Typically Halloween is my favorite holiday. It's really been a very long time since I've enjoyed Halloween and gotten into it. To be quite honest, I don't even remember the last time I really have (was it in 1999 with you, Anna?). Sure I've thrown together some quick lame costumes, but I really haven't enjoyed it in awhile.

Now that Gabriel is a little older and can understand things a little bit better, I was excited to get him into the tradition of costumes and telling him stories of trick-or-treating. He even got to help make his first jack-o-lantern with his mommy and daddy!


He was quite excited with the results, and would say goodbye to his pumpkin every morning, and greet him with a kiss upon returning at night. Sure, he thought this was fun, but he had no idea what would be in store for him when the real celebrating started...

As you probably know, Erick and El had their second baby just a couple of months ago. Erick and I talked back and forth for awhile and finally decided that it would be best for me to come during Halloween. With this visit, we could actually accomplish three things: visit Nicholas, take the kids trick-or-treating together, and finally have an early celebration for Isa's 2nd birthday. With Erick being so far away from home, and travelling with Nicholas perhaps a little difficult for them, this was the perfect opportunity for Isa to have family to celebrate her birthday. Before you knew it, Disney tickets were purchased, and we were on!

The road trip with Gabriel was surprisingly not as bad as I thought it would be. I was a little worried about how he would take sitting in his car seat that long, but after a quick bout of complaining during his cranky nap time, he was fine. We mostly spent the time singing along with kids songs, and when he got tired of that(and the kids songs got annoying for me), I put some movies on to occupy him. Thank goodness for dvd players. It really makes me wonder how our parents survived 4 children on long car rides. The trip took a bit longer with the constant potty breaks and some play time during a stop for lunch, but we made it in decent time.


Nicholas is adorable! I was pretty surprised to see how big he was already. I know he's only 2 months old, but I could tell he had already filled out and was smiling. After relaxing for a bit and chatting with the family, it was time to get ready and get our Halloween weekend started!


To kick it off, Erick had the idea of dressing up as the Addams family. El stayed home with Nicholas and my dad, and I was able to borrow her old Morticia costume. Erick dressed as Gomez, Gabriel as Pugsley (complete with dynamite), and Isa as an adorable little axe bearing Wednesday. Of course, our little clan couldn't leave with Thing, who decided to tag along on Gomez's shoulder. A few pictures were snapped and we were off to Disney's Not So Scary Halloween. 061_61 070_70

The kids had a great time trick-or-treating and getting on some of the rides. It was really neat to just walk around and see how Disneyworld decorated their event. We had a lot of compliments on our costumes, and perhaps even some confused looks as to how our children were so close in age (he's my BROTHER and they're COUSINS!). The children definitely had fun playing and running around with each other. It was entertaining to see them doing what kids do. Before you knew it, the park was closing and we were all pooped. It was time to head home and power up for another busy day.

The next day, the house was busy once again with children running and playing and everyone scrambling to get ready. Lunch at Cracker Barrel took a bit longer than expected, and we were going home to change clothes and head to Downtown Disney.

trex cafe

Gabriel is in a dinosaur phase right now, and asked if he could be one for Halloween. Since we were the Addams Family the day before, I decided to let him be whatever he wanted for our second day of trick-or-treating. Apparently, Downtown Disney just opened up a new place called T-Rex Grille. It's pretty cool; there are large moving dinosaurs and different areas of the restaurant demonstrated different themes. There was an underwater theme, and ice age, and even one that looked like a volcano. Of course each habitat had different types of dinosaurs. Gabriel's favorite dinosaur is the coincidentally the t-rex, and I thought he would be excited to see one in real life. Unfortunately, he was a bit intimidated by the loud roars, and it was a little difficult to even take pictures near it. Either way, it was super cool to see, and I would definitely go back to let him give it another try.

cute cousins Downtown Disney was also having trick-or-treating stops in each of their stores, so once again the kids were sugaring it up. I love this picture of Gabriel and Isa! She is really starting to look like her mommy...
trick or treating Here are the three knuckleheads all dressed up in their Halloween's best, with Lolo and Auntie Ellen.
downtown disney carousel Our last stop was the carousel, and once again we were all pooped and ready to go home. This was the last night of our Halloween celebration, but not the end of our family fun! But wait...there's more!!

party setup
The kids were busy occupying themselves with "whatever" and little did Isa know what was in store for her this day. As I was saying before, with our families so far apart, and travelling difficult for Erick and El, this was the perfect opportunity to celebrate little girl's birthday together. During her nap, Erick and El cooked and prepared and decorated. And when she finally woke...she was definitely surprised! candle blowout isa birthday After the blowing out of candles and opening of gifts, the children were left to play while the adults quickly got their eat on.

By the way, you're welcome Erick and El for the messy gift that will keep on giving! Ha ha!!
birthday gift mess

And of course, once we were all finished eating, it was time for the kids to eat their lunch...which mostly consisted of candy and cupcakes. Healthy! cupcake face playtime

After some cleaning up and resting, we spent the rest of our evening "low-key" by shopping at the outlet mall. Because you know, shopping with 3 kids is always really relaxing and low-key! Ha! But I was able to pick up some really kick ass Vans for Gabriel...

And then, just as quickly as that, the next day came and it was time to go home again.

Although I always enjoy my trips to visit my brother, I would have to say that this was probably my favorite. I suppose that as we get older, and have kids, we begin to find joy in different types of things-such as watching our children find excitement and wonder in the things we'd forgotten about. Gabriel was so excited to see "Cousin Isa" and "His Baby Nico." I was curious to know if he would be jealous of the attention I would be giving to his cousins, but he wasn't at all. In fact, while I was laying on the couch with Nicholas on my chest, Gabriel even crawled up next to him, kissed him, and laid with us both with his around his back. It makes me happy that it seems he understands what family is. And as we bid our good-byes, I couldn't help but to feel a little sad. Moments like these are the ones that we should remember as every day events; not only for special occassions. I know that Erick and El are planning for a move (I don't know where), but I hope it will be close enough to be able to spend more time together.

Thank you Erick and El for always making our trips so very special! As always, looking forward to seeing you all--Gabriel's birthday party?

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Kids Love Animals

Originally uploaded by xosunnydaysxo.
Kids really love animals. Check out Gabriel feeding some goats at Greg's house....


...and he also has a boxer named Kiana. Gabriel just loves these furry creatures!

Friday, October 10, 2008

You Know The Old Saying

...what is it? When it rains, it pours....

So much shit going on, and so many things I am worried about right now. I don't typically get over-stressed, but I keep taking blow after blow. Tuesday, I will know more info, and perhaps after then I will expand on this...

We'll see...but in the meantime, keep us in your prayers.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Old Picture

Originally uploaded by xosunnydaysxo.
...oh look, I found a picture of myself from 1976. yeah, those were the good 'ol days.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Picture Perfect

Cat Nap
Originally uploaded by erickpineda527.
I know it doesn't really look like this all the time, but these are the kind of pictures that make people want to become parents. Aren't my niece and nephew gorgeous?

I totally wanna bite them in the ass right now....

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Hot Off The Press!

Video of Tracie and I finishing up our race at the Virginia Beach Rock and Roll Half Marathon! Did you catch us? I'm wearing the yellow tank top in the far right side of the screen...