Austin & the Kiddos!

Wednesday, June 27th

Another day at work and it was Gerry’s birthday. Which meant we were having cake, which meant I wasn’t going to be able to resist! I didn’t know, however, that we were having cake TWICE. First it was my favorite: almond creme cake and then strawberry shortcake. And I ate both. Ugh.

I spent the day collecting my “bills” at work since they were due. Requested my vacation time and it was approved, woo! Spent some time on Pinterest. Covered Rosie’s break since it was my week. 5 o’clock rolled around and I went to pick up the kiddos :). Finally!

We got home and the girls open the fridge. Their request for dinner? Pigs in a blanket. This time, they all asked to make their own :).

Jaylen making his piggie Eenan making his piggie The girls with their finished piggies

I popped theirs in the oven and then made some for the adults:

Crescent Rolls :)

Something different, and the crescents were probably super fatty, but they were SO GOOD!

We sat down for dinner, then watched their shows on the TV. Jorge got home and ate and we waited about 30 minutes before going for our jog. My knees were still in pain, but I didn’t want to NOT go. This time we went down the dirt road again. Jorge was being kind of moody and it took some convincing to get him out there, but he did. He didn’t want to jog, kept moping, so eventually I jogged half a mile on my own, then jogged back to him to go walk the rest of it with him. I was skeptical about going without him because he NEVER runs without me, but I hadn’t even started to sweat and wanted to jog. I kept replaying shoving cake into my mouth over and over again in my head. My knees were KILLING me by the end of my jog, but I didn’t stop.

We got home, I did Ab Ripper on my own while Jorge showered, and then I showered and iced down my knees as I sat with the kids to watch TV :). Jorge got over his mood and we snuggled when it was time for bed :).

Thursday, June 28th

Work was the usual. I covered Rosie’s break and by the time I knew it, it was lunch time. I ate at work, then covered the rest of the day since Rosie was out for the rest of the week since she was going on vacation. I’m glad I was up front; I finally got to take a photo with Valente Rodriguez!

Ernie! Mr. Valente Rodriguez :)

I wasn’t glad that I was up front because I had to endure the junk food sitting behind me, waiting for us to eat it:

Junk food at work, grrr

I did have 1 large chocolate cookie. And told myself I needed to jog like crazy to make up for it.

Jorge texts me later on that there’s drama happening; we needed to put up some signs and stuff at his mom’s house right after work. So I closed up shop when 5 o’clock rolled around and then we headed over there and did what we had to do. As a treat to ourselves, we picked up a Michelada from Ramos Drive Thru and some pig skins, heh. That place is a must-stop when we drive over there together.

Jorge had some buddies over that night so the kids and I just chilled out all evening. It sucked that we didn’t jog, though, because I had those few things I shouldn’t have, but oh well. We’d get back to it the next day.

Friday, June 29th

Jorge and I were running late that morning; the one morning I had to actually arrive early to cover the front desk. Beto was understanding and I got into my routine. I had a half an oatmeal cookie and some yogurt for breakfast. And coffee of course. I bought some fishing vouchers with the Deal of the Day. The rest of the day was slow, but I spent the time that I wasn’t answering phones/helping people reading blogs and my eBook. Michelle spent some time up front with me. I ran some errands during my break. We were preparing for our vacation to Austin with the kiddos :). I couldn’t wait!

I chilled out with the kiddos after work, made some Alfredo bow-tie pasta with chicken and broccoli (which the kids devoured :)). Jorge got home, ate and then we went for our jog. This time we jogged 4 miles! I did Ab Ripper while Jorge started on the brakes and rotors on the car. They needed a change and no better time to do it than before a little road trip! I’m so glad he’s so handy .

Saturday, June 30th

Jorge went to work the next morning and I TRIED sleeping in, but I knew I had stuff to do, so I got up and had a small breakfast and started sorting laundry. The girls kept calling me so I spent time with them first so I could do everything I needed to uninterrupted. I cut painted Emily’s nails, helped Alaethia tape her art onto a cardboard airplane she made (heh), read them all their library books since we needed to return them before the trip, gave them snacks, got them watercoloring AND THEN I could start on the laundry, make lunch, cleaned the ENTIRE inside of the car from top to bottom (vacumming, Tuff-Stuffing, etc., WHILE it rained and got dark on me, grr), and then I went to the grocery store to buy Mom’s stuff for the week and the snacks we’d be taking with us for the road trip. I was BEAT by the time Jorge and his boys got home. I made dinner (enchiladas), we all ate and then we started with the packing. Jorge packed his stuff after dinner and then I got my head together and made a list, which I always do before a road trip, so we wouldn’t forget anything. The kids were showered, and dressed, I laid everything out for the next day, Jorge loaded the (clean!) van and then we showered. As tired as I was, I couldn’t WAIT to spend the next few days with the kiddos, my love and his mom in Austin!

Sunday, July 1st

We woke up an hour later than we planned to, heh. We got all the kiddos ready, fast. We packed the rest of our stuff in the van and we were off!

We’re almost near Falfurrias and Emily and Eenan kept bickering back and forth. Emily screams, “Mooooom!! Eenan has his feet on the seat!” I sigh and tell her, “Mama, if Eenan bothers you so much close your eyes.” Eenan, a little offended, jokingly says, “Ohh. That’s kind of insulting!” LOL That kid always makes me laugh!

We joked and listened to music all the way to Falfurrias, where we stopped at McDonald’s for breakfast. The kids were so well-behaved. It makes me feel great when strangers look at our group and smile, almost in awe of how good they are :). They have their moments, sometimes, because they’re kids of course, but I’m so proud of their behavior *beams*.

I had my first real-sugar coffee that day, a hazelnut latte. And my breakfast was the new blueberry banana nut oatmeal. It was great!

We got back in the car and blasted the music. The boys were entertained with electronic gadgets, Jorge and I sang at the top of our lungs and the girls put in a request here and there ♥. We had several bathroom stops, but it was fun!

After one of the bathroom stops, probably somewhere after Ben Bolt, I notice that Jorge was starting to get those sleepy eyes of his. At one point he’s wearing his glasses and I say, “I LOVE YOU!” a little more loudly that I thought. Jorge becomes startled. Apparently he WAS nodding off and I scared him LOL! Thank God for that!

Stuck Like Glue comes on and he sings, “And just when I, I start to fall asleep…there you go screaming I love you again…” to the tune of the song!

I tell him, “I didn’t scream! I said it in a normal voice!” Eenan nonchalantly says, “Well. Your voice sounds different in your own head. So…” Damn boys! Hilarious!

Eenan kept calling me Mawmaw throughout the trip. At one point I laugh about it and he says, in his best country voice, “I think Mawmaw’s sick, Paw”. We couldn’t stop laughing.

I don’t know how Jorge and I started talking about the kids, and them growing so quickly and OMG, what would we do if they ever started with their relationships or heaven forbid, drugs or bad stuff like that. I look back at Eenan, who’s listening to the conversation and I glare at him and say, “If this kid ever tries anything I’ll grab him the way you [Jorge] grabs Ruffles from the neck and I’ll shake him around, I swear it! I’ll scream, ‘Tell me, tell me what you were doing, you darn kid!’,” and without skipping a beat, Eenan says in his country voice, “I tried the Ecstasy, Mawmaw!” LOL That was the running joke the rest of the trip! (I did stress that drugs were NOT a joke and WERE NOT ok, EVER !)

We joked and continued to listen to music the rest of the trip and arrived at Dina’s around 1pm. We hugged her and settled in. I looked around her apartment and my heart swelled with affection when I noticed she had photos up of all the kiddos and the one of Jorge and I at the beach . It was the best feeling!

We caught up and then ordered Papa John’s since we were all hungry already. I behaved and had 1 1/2 slices…ok maybe I didn’t behave as well as I could have; I had some of that darn garlic (BUTTER) sauce .

We finished eating and headed to the hotel to check in. We got a great rate; we paid for 4 days, 3 nights what we would have on that room for ONE NIGHT!

We checked in, and dropped all our stuff off in the room. The kids said, “This is the best hotel, EVER!!” We were disappointed that we weren’t going to have a roll-away bed, or a sofa bed, because they told us we would when we booked the room on Wednesday night. Even though Jorgie and Justin would probably stay at Dina’s (which they did), we wanted to have the option of the extra bed in case they wanted to stay with us.

We got all the kids changed and went to the pool. I honestly think that was what they were most excited about. The past two times we’ve stayed at hotels we haven’t had a chance to get into the pools at all, so this was a special treat for them.

Some of us :)

I was really nervous about letting Jaylen in the pool. It’s bad enough that I’m already paranoid about ANY of the kids being in the pool, but even moreso after having a dream a few nights before that Jaylen was drowning in a 10-foot pool ! Needless to say, I was watching them all like a hawk!

The boys found a pair of goggles and took turns using them. Dina had a soccer ball in the car and the boys and Jorge chased each other for it :). It was a great, great time!

We all got into the hot tub for a while and then went inside and washed up and changed. We went to IHOP for dinner. Kids eat free? Heck yes, hehe.

The service was really slow, which annoyed Jorge since there was literally NO ONE ELSE in the entire restaurant. All the kids were happy with their food, and the waitress did bring us everything we asked for (eventually) so it was a good meal :).

Dina got a call from work; an alarm had gone off. We parked and Jorge went in with her to check what was going on. All was well, and they returned. We headed to the hotel and changed into our PJ’s. The boys played their DS & PSP, the girls sprawled in their queen size bed. Jaylen wanted the sofa and Eenan was sharing the bed with the girls. Both girls tried kicking him out, saying there wasn’t enough space for him LOL. That’s hilarious considering they squeeze into Mom’s twin bed with her when they escape from their room, the scaredy cats!

Wed watched Disney Channel with the kiddos till we all fell asleep :).

Monday, July 2nd

I had a hard time sleeping the night before. My mind was still in work-mode and I kept worrying about weird things, like my alarm. Then I worried that we wouldn’t wake up on time for breakfast. Then I started worrying about our main bank account, which we hadn’t had a chance to deposit into while we were at home. For some reason I thought it was Wednesday and forgot to pay a bill. I even got online at 5am to look for the closest bank (there wasn’t one!) and then I realized the account was fine and the bill wasn’t due yet. Yes, I’m weird like that.

I got a few more hours of sleep and then woke up all the kiddos and got the girls ready. We headed to the dining room and all the kiddos picked their breakfast. Alaethia & Emily: cereal, half a blueberry muffin and apple juice. Eenan had the eggs, sausage, and waffles. Jaylen had eggs, sausage and a muffin. I had a little bit of everything, including French vanilla coffee. Jorge joined us a bit later and ate, too :). We got back to the room and Dina called, letting us know she’d made us tacos, aww :).

We headed over there and chilled out. We discussed what was on the agenda for the day and decided we’d do the hike that day. By the time we got the cooler, drinks, and everything ready it was near noontime. We gave each child a water bottle and I carried the snacks in my bag.

We got to the park and gave everyone a snack. They ate, we made sure everyone peed and then we were off.

Dina and the kiddos :)

All of us :)





Jorge & Justin in the roots :)


The kids did wonderfully! I was worried about the girls, but they were intrigued by the fishies and froggies in the riverbed and enjoyed the walk and snacks. We even found a fossil out there and saw the rocks that had crumbled from the dryness since last year. Emily got tired at the end so we carried her. We were glad the kids enjoyed it. Or so, I hope they did, heh.

We picked up some Popeye’s Chicken on the way to the hotel. The kids were ravenous and they ate well and sat to watch TV. Jaylen wanted to play with Jorgie and Justin and asked to stay at Dina’s so he went with them. The rest of us went to the bank and then to Walgreen’s to get the girls some hair detangler. Eenan went with me while Jorge stayed with the girls and we witnessed drama between the cashier and an old lady. Oh! That reminds me! We witnessed a lady peeing outside Dina’s apartment, by the street at a bus stop. Mmhmm. Just bare-bummed, not a care in the world. Ah, Austin LOL.

We got back to the hotel and Dina and the kids met us there. We all changed into our swim suits and got in the pool. And the jacuzzi. And the pool. And back and forth because the girls kept wanting to switch. So there go Dina and I, over and over LOL. We all paid for it later that evening, when we all had knee/leg aches! Thank God I took the Motrin with me; the girls were fine in 30 minutes after taking it :). Everyone bathed and Jaylen took off with Dina and the boys again. We were hungry, so around 9pm we started looking for a place that would deliver Chinese take-out. We didn’t have much luck, so we just went to the nearest Chinese buffet and we ordered some boxes of food. AND we got a 20% off discount for going near closing time, heh. I felt bad ’cause the other kids didn’t get to eat with us, though :(.

Tuesday, July 3rd

The next morning, Jorge and I took turns bathing and then we got all the kiddos ready for breakfast. I loved the coffee there. I think that was the morning I actually had a danish, heh. We finished up and after some lazying around we went to Dina’s. Jaylen confronts me as I enter the living room about the Chinese food! He says, “I saw it on Facebook!” Dammit LOL. I promised him we’d get some when they were with me the next week :).

We sprawled and lazied around at Dina’s for a while. We decided to visit IKEA that day. We wanted to finally get our nightstands and a few other things, like replacing Jorge’s shower mirror that fell and shattered in the bathroom. Dina said she’d stay with all the kids so we could go and come quickly, but the girls wouldn’t have stayed. All the boys wanted to stay with her. She said she’d find something for them to do and we took off with the girls.

Most of the displays were under construction, so that wasn’t very exciting . We saw the nightstands and they looked much smaller than we remembered. The size of our bed would dwarf them, so we scratched that idea. We did get a few things here and there, like my loves robe (finally!), his mirror, curtains ($2.99 each!) and rods for the girls’ room, a toy for the girls, dish cloths, another moon nightlight for the boys, an over-the-door hanger for our robes for our bathroom and other random things we needed for the house.

We had lunch there (the girls ate free!).

Lunch at IKEA

I fell in love with that tea!

We paid for our stuff and got back to Dina’s apartment. She’d taken the boys to a book shop, where they all bought comic books. They were reading them when we got there :). She also took Eenan to another store, where he finally found the Pokemon game he wanted to buy with the birthday money Mom gave him.

We chilled out at Dina’s, talking, laughing. We took out the laptop to figure out what we’d do the next morning. The entire trip we’d been planning to either go to the Natural Bridge Caverns or the Safari in San Antonio on the way home. We got the kids together to take a vote, and we were split down the middle. It started to become an argument amongst them so I told them, “Ok, guys, listen! If we don’t do the caverns or safari, then how about we get a pool instead?” There was a unanimous “YES!!!” So that was that.

Emily took a nap and then Dina popped some pizza’s in the oven for dinner. We ate, waited a bit and got ready to head to the hotel for one last night of swimming together. It was bittersweet. As much as I missed home it felt great to hang out with Dina and just be together with all our kiddos :).

This time we were smart, and chilled in the pool and later the hot tub. No leg aches for us that night!

Jorgie and Justin left with Dina. I started getting all our stuff together and got the kiddos washed and changed. I cuddled with the girls and Alaethia said, “Can we stay here forever, Mama??” Emily had said, “Can we live here, at the hotel?” in her cute little voice. Aww! We watched Disney Channel again with them till we fell asleep.

Wednesday, July 4th

We woke up and had breakfast at the dining room. The boys kept saying how much they loved how they changed the main meal every day, heh. That day they had French toast. Hadn’t had French toast in FOREVER!

Jaylen and Eenan shared a waffle. The first morning we ate there Eenan got a tummy ache. Jorge reminded them, but they made and ate it anyway. I made myself two cups of French vanilla coffee (what? They’re small!) and we went back to the room. Jorge and the kids watched a movie on Disney Channel while I finished packing. Jorge packed the van while Jaylen ran to the bathroom. Jorge was right: the waffles struck again!

Jaylen was ok, after a while, and then we all got into the van, turned in our keys at the front desk and went to Dina’s apartment. We picked up the boys, said our see-you-laters πŸ™ and we were off.

We blasted the music again and as always, the trip back seems faster. By the time we knew it, it was lunch time. We stopped at a McDonald’s somewhere I can’t remember. The kiddos ate, we had our bathroom breaks and continued on our journey. The girls were giggling and loud LOL, and eventually passed out. We wanted to do something awesome for 4th of July; I had it in my head we’d make s’mores and pop fireworks. Then Jorge reminded me that we can’t pop fireworks here. New Years was a close call–there were cops everywhere and we only got to pop them by 10pm by the time they swarmed the neighborhood. We were getting home around 5pm, then Mom and I had to get some stuff from Walmart, get flowers for Gramma and visit her for her birthday. Our back-up plan would be the fireworks display, but you have to get there extremely early to get a good parking spot. I didn’t want the kids to have a crappy night, and it was Mario’s night anyway, so I called to let him know he could get the kids that day after all. He said ok.

We got home and Mario was arriving as we were. I kept hugging the kiddos; I already felt sad that they were leaving for a week :(.

Jorge and I unloaded the van, put everything away and I started on laundry. We rested a while and then his boys’ mother arrived for them. Mom and I went to Walmart, got everything we needed and visited with Gramma a while. I couldn’t help but feel sad about the kids. Didn’t help that I was PMS’ing BIG TIME.

Jorge tried making the night better for me. He even planned this super adorable picnic; he was going to put a blanket on the roof so we could see the fireworks display and was going to order pizza for us. The neighbor’s tree was blocking the view, so that idea went out the window. I was becoming emotional and started to get angry and feel even worse when the neighbors started shooting each other with fireworks and there wasn’t ONE COP IN SIGHT!! I felt bad for Jorge; he tried his best to make me feel better. But I really missed the kids and felt like crap that they weren’t there.

I eventually calmed down and he sweetly asked me to climb up the ladder with him, which he’d placed in a different part of the yard, to see the fireworks. I was surprised that we actually had somewhat of a view. I told him next year I wanted to plan things right. Next year, I want to take the kids to the fireworks display.

Our pizza got here and we ate with Mom. Javi came to pick up his medicines and a few other things we brought with us for him from Austin and I calmed down a bit more. He left and Jorge and I sat outside talking about everything. He told me some super sweet things and we just reminisced :).

Thursday, July 5th

We actually slept in late! We woke up, showered and headed to our spot, Espi’s. We were too late for breakfast, so we had lunch. We ate and surfed on our phone for stores that carried the type of pool we wanted. We found one on the Walmart website. We planned to go to the movies to watch “Ted” and we had some time so we went to Walmart first.

It was the WORST experience at a Walmart, ever. No one ever helped us, and when I finally lost my patience and asked for a manager, they sent the boy I asked to come back and tell me they wouldn’t honor their website price. The price at the store was $20 more. After waiting for 45 minutes, the issue wasn’t the price-matching, it was the fact that the store had the worst customer service on the planet. When an assistant manager FINALLY came to talk to us, she basically told us they weren’t going to help us and since she had just come in for her shift, she couldn’t do anything about us waiting for 45 minutes prior. OMG. I was so mad. I sent a very angry letter to corporate! I haven’t received any type of reply, but whatever.

Jorge tried to calm me down; he doesn’t like seeing me upset. He says I’m his ray of sunshine LOL. I tell him I can’t be happy all the time, darnit! Especially when dealing with horrible, rude people.

We checked several other stores and finally ended up going to the movies before we missed the showing, again. The movie was a total guy movie, but it was funny. Jorge couldn’t stop cracking up. We had a good laugh :).

We went to a different Walmart, the one nearest to the house and bought the one they had. It was the last one!

We spent all afternoon trying to figure out how to level the ground and where in the world we were placing the pool. The one we had last year was on very unleveled ground and the water was lopsided. We didn’t want the same thing to happen again. Tony came over to visit and we researched what to do. He left and we went to bed early. We had an early day on Friday.

Friday, July 6th

We woke up sorta earlyish. I had some Lucky Charms cereal and paid some bills and argued with Furniture Row about how they were placing my payments, grr. John texted that he was coming over, so we waited a bit. When he never arrived we headed to Walmart for a few things, like a shovel.

We got back and Jorge continued with his research. He placed a stake in the ground, tied a 10-foot wire to it and spray painted an almost perfect circle. We were impressed. He started digging out the patches of grass and I helped a little. Then it was lunchtime so John and I picked up plates from El Pato. We all ate outside, including Mom, and then Jorge and I got to work. John left. We spent the rest of the day digging out grass, smoothing out dirt, and finally Jorge got an 8ft 2/4, taped a level to it, and we started leveling out the dirt. We were actually MISSING dirt so we drove to Freddy’s ranch to get some more. I entertained myself with the horses since Jorge wouldn’t let me shovel dirt. We came back home, and finished leveling. When we finally leveled the entire “circle”, we brought the huge box out to start installing the pieces. The first thing we needed to do was lay out the ground cover. We searched everywhere, opened every box and found nothing. So, after calling several Walmarts, we put everything back in the box, opened or not, and exchanged it for a brand-new one.

We got home and it was almost dark :(. I’d been on the phone telling the kiddos about the pool and couldn’t wait for them to be back :). We started to install it and it took about 30 minutes, just like the box said. Still, in total, prepping the ground and actually installing the pool took about 7 hours.

We were about to start filling it when we realized we were starving. We made a quick run to Jack-in-the-Box and ordered greasy, nasty food that we totally deserved :). We ate in the porch and when we noticed what time it was decided to leave the pool-filling for the next day. We showered and fell asleep as soon as we hit our pillows.

Saturday, July 7th

We woke up (sore) and I made breakfast. Jorge started filling in the pool and smoothing out the floor. We ate and watched TV and checked on the pool most of the day. I read some of my book and then, around 2pm, we got into the pool for a while. It was dark and overcast and it seemed like it was going to rain but it never did. We dried off, changed and I started on lunch: Alfredo pasta with chicken and veggies and mashed potatoes on the side.

We sat outside a while and then Tony, Jay and later Billy got here. The guys were getting together to watch UFC and BBQ. I’ve been sitting out there the entire time blogging this up, heh. Rudy (who was extremely sunburned) and another friend of theirs, Fernando, showed up. Jay and Billy brought this awesome fajita…I can’t even explain it. It is probably the best fajita I’ve ever had. I had 1 taco, even though my babe filled it up. We watched the fights, and now, finally I’m done with this entry! I’ll post a photo of the pool tomorrow. I plan on sleeping late, swimming (or acting like I’m swimming, heh) and then I have Dayse’s bridal shower to attend. I wish I didn’t feel lazy about going. I’m so antisocial these days!


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