Weathering the Black Friday Storm

Yesterday we realized we were almost out of diapers for Isabelle and knew we were in trouble. First, the stores were closed yesterday because of Thanksgiving. Second, tomorrow was the media named “Black Friday” where the hordes of shoppers flood the stores.

So, we roughed the storm and headed to the store. First we had to head to Old Navy because Abby has been having a lot of pants problems. She’s tall and skinny, so all the pants we buy her fall down and she whines a lot it. Old Navy had pants with adjustable waste bands and they were only $10, so we had to go there first.

What was going on inside of Old Navy could only be turned a mad house. There were tons of people with a huge line waiting to get checked out. We found a couple of pairs of the pants that we were looking for and then headed to the front of the store. If you have young kids, you will know that they are incapable of waiting in a line, especially one of this size. So, I offered to wait in the line while Jennifer and the kids headed to Target. I have to hand it to Old Navy, though. Even though the line was long, they had every register open and they were pumping people through the line at a fast rate. Kudos to them for having it well organized with one line which approaches all the registers. That’s much better than having eight different lines that you have to guess which one is moving faster.

We got into target and shied away from the toy department, where all the chaos was. (Actually, I dived in there solo and picked up Call of Duty 2 for my Xbox 360, a quick in and out operation). We got our diapers to keep Isabelle’s hiney dry.

I knew the Aggies would give us a run for our money, but the Longhorns went to Kyle Field and defeated A&M 40-29. The Longhorns did a great job of not panicking when the Aggies went up by a point a couple of times in the game. They just stuck to their game plan while the Aggies’ trick plays started wearing thin. There’s one more game that the Longhorns have to win in order to make it to the Rose Bowl: The Big 12 Championship, which is next Saturday in Houston. Right now it’s unknown who the Longhorns will be playing. The Colorado Buffaloes lost today so if the Iowa State Cyclones win their game tomorrow, then we will be playing them. Both teams are un-ranked, so I’m hoping that the Longhorns will be victorious and the Rose Bowl tickets that I have won’t go to waste.

Today’s picture is from Abby’s Birthday party again: all the kids playing on the new play gym.

Giving Thanks for the Mommies and the Daddies

Today we stayed home and cooked for our Thanksgiving meal. Jennifer bought the smallest turkey (or as Abby calls it chicken) she could find, which is still pretty big. Jennifer did a great one woman job of cooking the turkey, with real mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, green beans, and rolls. It was all tasted great. Abby said the prayer giving God thanks for “the sun, the trees, and Mommies and Daddies”.

Today’s picture isn’t our Thanksgiving table, it’s the food and cake layout from Abby’s party.

Abby’s 5th Birthday

Last Saturday was Abby’s 5th birthday. We had a simple party at our house, inviting Abby’s friends from school and the neighborhood. The new play gym got a lot of use during the party. It was so nice outside, that we opened up the back doors and just freely roamed from inside and outside. Abby got several Barbies. We were amazed that no one gave her the same one, though. Right now we just can’t believe that we have a five year old running around the house.

Yesterday was the Madden Next Gen and Xbox 360 Launch Event at work. The Jacksonville Jaguar’s Cheerleaders and mascot were there and they had Madden Next Gen up on the big screen. The family came up and we ate some food and Jennifer got to finally see the game I worked on for so long. She also got to meet some of the new guys I’m working with on my new project.

I also purchased an Xbox 360 from work yesterday. They raffled off the right to buy the new console and I was one of the lucky ones to win. I spent last night playing Need for Speed and Halo 2. Today I moved our wireless router upstairs so that I could plug the Xbox into it and play games online. I just finished playing two games of Madden online, which I’ve never done on the console version of the game before. It was pretty cool and very addictive.

Back to Work

This past week it was back to work for me. I’ve moved onto another project and we are starting our Pre-Production phase, so I’ve been busy doing planning for that project. The game I just finished, Madden NFL 06 for the Xbox 360, was just released to stores today, even though the Xbox 360 console won’t be in stores until November 22nd. I’m still hoping to get my hands on an Xbox 360 before leaving for Christmas.

We’ve mainly been busy getting ready for Abby’s birthday party on Saturday. We aren’t doing anything fancy for Abby’s party this year. We are just having a normal party with her friends from the neighborhood and school coming over to celebrate. It’s still hard work getting everything together, order balloons and food for the party, etc. Jennifer has been handling all the logistics for that, as usual.

Emily had to stay home from school today. She crawled into our bed last night and was burning up hot. Jennifer gave her some Tylenol, but she’s had a fever all day. Now we are just waiting for each one of the girls to get sick. We seem to have this pattern lately where Emily brings it home and then starts giving it to each of us.

Camping at Disney World

We got back from our big camping trip at Disney World yesterday. All the girls did great sleeping in a tent for three nights. We arrived on Thursday afternoon and setup our camp. Once we got to the campground, it became evident quickly that we were going to have to rent one of the electric carts to get around the property. Everything was so spread out and there was no way we were going to be riding the bus everywhere. I swear that it’s planned that way. How can Disney squeeze every dime out of their visitors. That night, we then went to Mikey’s Bar-B-Q, which was on the campground property. Abby and Emily had fun dancing around with the Disney characters, but the food was pretty crappy. It was just hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken, and ribs.

The next day, we got up early and headed out to the Magic Kingdom. It’s just a boat ride away from the campground. We rode several of the rides until lunch and got back on the boat to ride to our camp to eat and then for Emily and Isabelle to take a nap. After that, we went back to the theme park and rode more rides and watched the fireworks show, which was amazing. All the fireworks are timed to the music that is playing. Once we got back to the camp site, the kids were wiped out and went right to sleep.

On Saturday, we mainly just stayed around the campground, but in the morning we got back on the boat and went to one of the other resorts to have “Breakfast with the Characters”. Abby and Emily got to have breakfast with Mikey, Minnie, Goofy, Chip, and Dale. They had fun, but Emily was scared to have her picture taken with the characters. She would just cower in her seat when you asked her to pose with them. When we got back to the campground, we went to the pool for a little bit where I got to seem Abby and Emily’s new swimming skills. Both of them did really good, although Emily needs to work on it some more.

Sunday, we packed up camp and headed home. One thing that’s nice about camping at Disney was that we were only forty-five minutes from home. That allowed us to rest and recover from the trip for the remainder of the day.

Halloween Adventures

Yesterday was Halloween and Abby and Emily were ready to head out the door right when it started getting dark. This year Abby was a princess (which I’m pretty sure she was a princess last year) and Emily was a puppy. Emily likes to imitate a puppy, so we thought it would be cute to have her dress up like one. Well, when it comes to getting candy from neighbors, puppy beats princess 2 : 1. I should have weighed their bags when they got back, but Emily had way more candy than Abby did.

Today Jennifer went out shopping with Abby and left me with Emily and Isabelle for most of the day. Wasn’t too much going on. Emily played in the back yard with Austin while I watched Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith (which came out today) and took care of Isabelle. I’m amazed how well Emily will just go in the back yard and play all by herself. Abby will go out and be back within five minutes.