Saturday, December 25, 2010

Santa Pictures

After our first attempt at Christmas pictures, I wasn't sure how Santa pictures would go.  Of course, I had to try....well no grumpy children, but still no smile from Alex.  We made progress because this time Alex was not screaming or crying on Santa's lap.  In fact, she was trying extra hard to frown.  You can almost see the hint of the smile coming on.   She is such a little stinker.  As soon as I agreed with the photographer that we were done, she smiled.  But I couldn't get my camera ready fast enough.
 She even agreed to give Santa a big hug, but no smiles!  She is such a mess.  I know she was doing it more on purpose than on fear factor!  I still think this picture looks so sweet.
 After Santa pictures, I had the brainless idea to walk down to Picture People & see how long was the wait.  After waiting 10 minutes for someone to help me, they told me that they could not get the kids in for another 45 minutes.   I knew I would lose the happy moods in 45 minutes, so I told them, No thank you.  Then I decided to do the next best thing and just take my own pictures right there in the middle of the mall.  Both kids were being silly and chasing each other around and around the circular bench, but I did get this really cute one.  Can you believe it all 4 dimples are showing in this picture?  I think this is the first time ever I have gotten both kids to smile big enough to show all their dimples.  This is my eternal mission for pictures.  I call it the perfect picture and am just sure that one of these days, it will happen.  This was pretty darn close to the perfect picture, just need them looking directly at the camera....I know picky, picky!
 Then I got a close up of my sweet boy with his chapped lips and all!
 I think Alex was trying out her modeling poses!  But at least it shows off her entire Christmas outfit, which is vitally important for a little girl!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Christmas Pictures Attempt #1

Two weeks ago, I asked my teaching partner, friend, and photographer friend, Melissa Chase to take some Christmas pictures for me of the kids.  We both had our student teachers teaching, so we planned to leave right at 3:30.  Everything was going as planned until we picked Alex & Lauren up at Tracey's.  That was when Tracey shockingly told me that Alex did not take a nap today.  I don't know if Alex has EVER not taken a nap at Tracey's.  Sure she does that sometimes at home, especially when we are running errands, but not for Tracey.  That should have been my first clue, but oh no I was determined.  Well of course my kids did not want to cooperate.  But she still got some cute shots.  Here they are unedited and not her professional quality work.  I knew she didn't have time to do anything with them, I had already watched her stressing over editing for 2 weeks straight. 
                                     No smile, but it does show how much she loves her bubba.
Such a good Aggie pose, I didn't even ask him to do this!
Alex's usual pose, when she is determined to not give me her big smile!

What fun would pictures in the park be without a few in the leaves?

This was about all we could get before her daughter & my children decided they were done!  As soon as we left, I promised Riley that we would stop at QT for a slushie since his throat was hurting.  Each child got their own slurpy.  Alex finished hers in about 5 minutes & then was out, sound asleep for the rest of the night.  She didn't even wake up when I put her pj's on and tucked her into bed.  I guess in hindsight we got some GREAT pictures, considering how tired she was. 

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Merry Christmas from Sea World!

Last weekend, my parents & I took the kids to San Antonio & Sea World.  I took a half day off work on Friday so that we could leave early and see the Christmas lights on the riverwalk.  Except along the way, we got distracted and found this great little Santa's wonderland full of lights.  It was 12 acres of land decorated completely in lights.  It was $20 a car, but I think it was well worth it.  Here were some of my faves...
This truck looked like something Randy would do!

 My favorite scene was the ski hill, complete with skiers & chair lift!

Saturday morning we got up & everyone was ready for some Shamu fun. It was a beautiful 78 degree day. 
Crossing through the front gates, we were greeted by Santa Shamu.  Alex loves to see the characters from a distance, but not up close.  She kept making me laugh.  She would reach out to touch him and then freak out and pull back.  Silly girl!
 After Shamu, we decided to try our luck with real animals.   Riley loves to feed the dolphins and they were pretty hungry.  After all six fish were quickly devoured, Riley just wanted to touch one so bad.  Except every time they would get close, he would jerk and then the dolphins would swim away. 
 Our day was going pretty well, so we decided to go see Santa while everyone still looked good.  But Alex was going to have no part in seeing Santa!  Here was our first attempt of the year!
The Shamu show was still the best show of the day.  We were amazed at how small the crowds were.  But that made it easier to get the best seats and see everything we wanted to see. 
 Snowman Village
Around midafternoon we were all dragging, so we headed back to the hotel to take a quick nap before heading back out for the 2 Christmas shows.

The best show of the day was the Christmas Shamu show, Miracles.  I was impressed because:
1. Sea World celebrates Christmas, and not Happy Holidays or Season's Greetings.
2. They mentioned Christ, although it was only in reference but never actually in name, but really close in a public arena. 
Then the show was so sweet because while the 3 killer whales did all their tricks, they had the baby (that was born last January) following his momma around and trying to do all the tricks too.  It was so cute!  Just one of those moments where you feel proud of watching your children and all their accomplishments.
    We ended the weekend by stopping in Round Rock to visist with my cousin Jamie, Chad, Aunt Jeanne, and Caleb (who is exactly 6 weeks older than Alex).  It was fun to visit with everyone.  I love to watch the kids play together.  I just wish we could have spent more time.  They all had so much fun!