It took some getting used to

The boys have been back in school for almost two months now. It seems like it has flown by! The question I get asked the most is, “How is James doing/liking kindergarten?”. So I thought I would take some time to answer that here. And maybe mention my other son too. Maybe. I mean, look at that sweet smile he gave me with minimal yelling on my part.


The short answer is “Great!” James has really assimilated into his class and already has a group of new friends that he loves hanging out with. They are all, except one, younger siblings of other kids at the school. One of them told his mom that he lifts James up on the monkey bars because James’s other “top friend” is shorter than James. True.

There have been some hiccups….for the first two week, he cried every day after school. I had to carry him out of school twice hysterically crying. Those were both fits about the school store not having a white dry fit shirt in his size. I am not kidding. It got to where we could not even walk by the store or he would start to lose his mind.

We got through it and it helped when the white shirts FINALLY came in. Isn’t it just amazing and totally worth torturing your mom for??


Then in week four he had a screaming, crying, clutching my leg fit when I tried to leave. You guessed it; I was “too far from him” and he was “all alone”…in a class of 22 kids. I cannot even. The fit gave me flashbacks to every day of his 3’s class when this would happen. I left the elementary school in a cold sweat. Not again. I can’t have another year like that. I might have been slightly shrieky and panicky to Alex on the phone, so he handled it. He told James that it was his job to go to school and not make his mother’s life hard. Yes and yes. We have not had another outburst since. Oh, there have been tremblings, don’t be mistaken, but no full out crying/wailing fits. But I am clearly still too far away, so it could come any day.

But on the whole, he is so happy at school. Today when I dropped him off it was “backwards day”. His teacher had her shirt on backwards and he immediately turned his that way too.


Let’s be clear, he is still my baby and looks tiny in the hallways next to the 5th graders. But he mixes in and (clearly) leaves me in the dust on the regular, as exhibited by this blurry photo I snapped of him running to get his HISD breakfast this morning.


Speaking of that, yes, my kids are still eating breakfast and lunch at school. I have not gone back on my promise from August. I am not making lunches. They can do it, or buy the $2.35 HISD lunch.


Guys, it is life changing. I have my nights back! We look at the menu (online now bc HISD is so 2016) and they decide. The usually both eat breakfast too. Mainly because James eats soooooo sllloooowwwwllly we would never get out the door, but also because Zach loves the chicken biscuits and James loves Cinnamon Toast Crunch! Duh, who doesn’t.


Just for funsies, I have included, all the boys first day of school shots – well, the ones with them together. I can’t go back futher as I get too sad about my babies being so big. So sad for like 5 minutes then I am off to lunch ALONE and I get right over it.

But this one…


Stop. That is Zach’s first day as a Honeybee. He is like 18 months old. If he ever doubts my love for him I will just direct him to this blog from 2008-2011. Hundreds of posts. HUDREDS about that sweet face.






James was not impressed with first day of school photos. But my first born angel people pleaser sure was! I love that face.



We are two weeks into the 2016-2017 school year and I have already ordered my #Wallsummer Chatbook and started a new blog post. Clearly, back to school suits me. What doesn’t though are the morning fights of “yes, you have to put on clean underwear” and the evening fights of “IF YOU DON’T GET IN BED THIS MINUTE I AM GOING TO LOSE MY MIND!” But I digress. I am back to tell you about our fun, busy and OVER Wall summer!

If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook you have seen shots of all we did, and don’t worry, this not a super long detailed post about everything that happened. That would bore me to tears too. But there are some stories I have been wanting to share, and I try to keep it short on Insta and FB. Plus I need a summary for my memory!

We started the summer by going to Galveston the Saturday of Memorial day. A bunch of my family was down with my grandpa (they had taken a 91 year old to the beach, aka they are braver than me) and the boys got to play with some cousins from DC whom they don’t really get to see. Zach staged a talent show which he promptly tried to win. Don’t know where he gets that…IMG_3775-001

We stupidly thought if we left late enough we would miss the traffic. False. It took us an hour to get off the island (it should take us an hour to get all the way home). After that hour the boys were starving so we pulled into McDonalds. Alex decided he needed a second dinner, so he got a big mac which apparently he had been craving for a while.


I was driving, so he could eat, and he started hollering about me taking the turns “too aggressively” and “accelerating too quickly”. I screeched the car to a stop in the parking lot and told him that we still had an hour to go and I was GOING to drive as fast as I can, and that is how I turn! I then threw in,  maybe he didn’t need to try to eat the messiest sandwich around while I do so. [Insert tires pealing out noise]. I didn’t get any further complaints.

Zach swam on a local swim team this year. I really thought this was going to be his sport! He loved the first week, but once the practices shifted to 8:00 am swimming lost its luster. Fair.


We missed a week of swim team to go on our family vacation early Whitefish Montana. And guys, it was COLD. Like really, really cold. I was not at all prepared. Lauren had told me to go to REI and get hiking boots and pants but I was all, gross, no.. When would I ever hike again? And pants, like with pockets? She basically told me i was the worst and would regret it. She was 100% correct.

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My yoga pants and running shoes were NOT helpful. When we made it up to the top of the glacier the last day, Alex wrapped a towel around my waist for added warmth. It totally worked and I had lost all ability to care about my appearance, which is obvious by my caveman lawyer look here.



But the constant on the trip was Alex and his bear spray. There are bears in Glacier and around Whitefish so he was not being totally crazy. He tried to buy bear bells, but the guide told us that the locals say, “how do you know when a bear has been in the area? You see bear bells in their scat.” Which the boys found hilarious. Anyway, Alex bought bear spray and wore it, on his belt, everywhere. And I do mean everywhere.


But first he insisted on testing it. You can only imagine how hard I was rolling my eyes. We were NOT going to see a bear. Our family does sneak up on anyone or anything. Someone is either loud talking, singing, crying, complaining (me) or throwing rocks. The bears are going to be well aware that we are coming.

He would not be deterred (such a good protector). So at our first stop in the park when the boys are throwing rocks into the lake and I am deciding if I really should pee behind a tree, he sprays the bear spray where he thinks there is no wind. It promptly blows back into his face. Not all of it, but enough that his eyes start watering and I have to hold my pee so we can get to a bathroom to flush out his eyes. And let me tell you, laughing at your husband only makes you have to go pee more.

The photo above is taken at a 400 foot tall dam. He went back to the car to get the bear spray. I was making fun of him (obviously) and he was all, “Kinsey you don’t think in the 30 years this dam has been here a bear has not walked across it??” totally seriously and annoyed at my annoyance. Cue more eye rolling.


In summary – no bears. We saw some chipmunks, fish and lot of deer, including this one that let Zach get pretty close.


But guess who got all sorts of vindicated when he received a photo of a black bear on the property where we stayed. Basically right where our kids were playing all the time. Alex is impossible to live with right now.

Once we were back in Houston, it was back to camps. I did pretty well this year with the boys camp schedule. I learned from the past two years and think I struck the right mix of camp choices – and friends to attend camps with.

Alex and his dad also took the boys fishing in the Gulf. It was a glorious night for me – punctuated by concern about one or both of my children being thrown overboard. But they were totally fine. James got seasick (he has his father’s stomach) and they caught nothing. But the excitement of trying to sleep on the boat made it all worth while. However, the boat AC turned off in the middle of the night so they had to stay in a random Holiday Inn somewhere off 288. Again, I was SO glad to not be there.


About a week later, Alex and I took advantage of our kids being further Catholicized at Catholic VBS out at their grandparents and we went to Canada. Why not?? Alex had been wanting to go to Montreal and Quebec City forever, and it is so close, this was the perfect time. We flew on points and going there I got my own pod for the short 45 min flight. This was my face most of the time.


I am the least cool person when it comes to having nice things. I am NOT used to it and you can’t take me anywhere.

Both cities were super cool! I will not bore you with all our photos of the old towns, the music festivals we came upon and the many French restaurants we ate in. I will just leave you with this image of me in our “rental car” in Quebec City.


This was the last vehicle they had on the lot and the WORST car for driving around a tiny French speaking town. I had just gone down the wrong way and was yelled at by a Quebecian for it.

Once we got back began our every weekend trip out of town. We went to the Guadalupe River, then Dallas, then back to the River and BACK to Dallas. My sister was super annoyed with me as her family would have liked to have gone to the river but we were either there…or in Dallas! Poor baby sister.

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I loved my #Wallsummer2016 hashtag and honestly feel lost without it. But #Kinseyisfree just does not have the same ring to it….

A Reminder

I have been going through photos from 2013 as I work on our photo book from that year and yes, I have completed books up to 2012. Please don’t hate me for my togetherness. I add my blog posts to the books as well as a written history of our time and man, was a writing A LOT in 2013. Like, Kinsey, calm down. It would appear now that I don’t give two craps about my kids with how much I wrote about them then. That is obviously not the case, but it did made me wonder what the difference was. And I think I figured it out – Instagram. That was before Insta took off and now I just snap photos of my kids doing their obnoxious precious things, add a fun filter and post it instantly. I am never at the computer during, so that is basically my new blog (which my father does NOT appreciate).

I am going to actually blog more, but in the meantime, please enjoy this post from March 2013. I need to update the photo for my sister to have though. I am not nearly that young any longer and if someone spotted me, they would not know I was missing.

See you guys soon!

Just in case – March 2013

You go missing that is.

What? We are not supposed to talk about this? People- we are living in serious times, and serious times call for planning.

As I was preparing to go to Mexico and possibly die, I got to thinking about the photo I wanted splashed on the national news (because obviously the authorities would be involved) and I sent this one to my sister to submit.

I want my photo to say “There is a lovely young mother missing! Someone go find her! Her husband does not know how to turn on the stove or how to clean out the school bags at the end of the week!”

People, you cannot leave this your parents or horrified spouse. You know your parents think you look wonderful all the time and will send something like this:

And your husband. He will not be able to find a photo because he is so sad and under investigation so he will send your work picture. This photo will not represent what you need. It does not say sweet young mother, it says professional business woman who looks better with her head tilted at that angle and whose wrinkles have been Photoshopped out.


So in conclusion, get your self a Just In Case photo. And hope you never have to use it. But when you are found you will be glad that is the better photo they have on file.

Spring Break 2016

Well hellooooo my seven followers!! How I have missed you! I have SO much to tell you…Well, actually I don’t have that much to tell you. Most of the things I have wanted to blog about this past year have been super mundane.  I really wanted to start back with an entire post about wet meat and how I don’t like it. But then I totally forgot the context of that post and was concerned people would be put off by a title of “Wet Meat = No”. PS Wet meat is just meat in sauce, aka sloppy joes, pulled pork in sauces, crock pot stuff. No.

Anywho, it feels good to be back! Instead of trying to recap what has happened for the past year, I am just going to push on like nothing has happened; like the good WASP I am. And really, not much has happened. We have two kids, they go to school, Alex goes to work, I try to take over stuff. Just the usual.

What really got me back was our spring break. My Aunt-in-law (totally a thing) Sally, happened to comment on Spring Break 2015 which reminded me that it had been a year since I blogged – and I missed it. So here goes…

You guys, Spring Break 2016 was good. Like actually relaxing and productive. Before you think I have changed and I am now cherishing all this time with my children, I should admit – I was down one child. Zach stayed in Canyon Lake with my parents until Friday. They lured him in with the promise of shooting the BB gun they got him and all the chocolate ice cream he could eat. They did not disappoint.




When my mom was listing the things they were going to do during the week, she mentioned they would go to the library, hang out with Jenny and Harry, oh and go to a pub crawl for St. Patrick’s day. Sure. I did not think she was serious.

I really should know better. Around four on St. Patrick’s day, I started getting texts from my parents and Jenny, with photos of my child. In a bar.



PS That lady is not Jenny. That is a stranger my baby is playing against after she put her quarters down on the table and called “next”. She smoked him.

As a side note, I tried to get Alex to meet James and I at an Irish bar that serves pizza and was told he didn’t think it was a good idea because James could not “get in”. Like he is 20 and will have to have large X’s on his hands. He could get in; he is four, we are in charge (for better or worse). But whatever.


I didn’t really think much of Zach’s pub crawling until Wednesday of the next week. I go into his class to pick him up and his teacher says, “Well, Zach sure had an eventful spring break!” She then proceeds to tell me how she asked each student to tell the highlight of their spring break and Zach stood up and said, “I went on a pub crawl with my grandparents.” To the entire class of 1st graders. His teacher was a tad taken aback and asked if maybe there was anything else he would like to highlight? Nope. Just the pub crawl. Some children asked what it was to “crawl a pub” and Zach explained it was when you “go to a bunch of bars all in one day”. Ever the one for complete facts, that guy.

Not that it ends there, no, he then drew a picture of the pub crawl, complete with him at the pin ball machine and my parents sitting on a picnic table nearby. Oh and wrote three lines of text about it:

“Over spring break I went on a pub crawl in New Braufels with my grandparents. We went to four bars. We had to leave one because it smelled.”

Oh. My. Lord. Guys, I about died then and there. Luckily, Zach’s teacher really likes him. She thinks he is super funny so she just rolled with this and said it would give her a lot of material with her friends. I also told her to direct any calls she might receive from parents my direction. And I had a lot of fun texting my parents out it.

Yes, he also got a shirt from the pub crawl. Totally, totally normal.

Not to be outdone, James and I went to the Buffalo Wildlife Zoo in the middle of nowhere and almost were mauled by an ostrich. Also totally a thing. The zoo is a sanctuary of sorts for exotic animals from all over the world. We saw zebras, wildebeests, ostriches, camels (one hump and two), crocodiles, giraffes and, what seemed like 52 types of deer. I get it, they are deer, calm down. You pay your fee and drive into the range where some of these animals are just wandering about. Then you get on an open air tram, pulled by Jeeps that look like they are from the Vietnam war and drive through all the other large enclosures to see all the animals and more deer.


And yes, that is a 65 lb longhorn horn about two feet from James’s face.

Just after we passed the longhorn (and were told to keep all hands and faces inside the tram because said longhorn was dangerous) the teenager in the seat across from James and I mentioned that her seat was getting really hot. Oh, that is because the tire was ON FIRE. So we quickly come to stop in the middle of the open range. The driver, Jackie, gets out to check on it and about that time an ostrich starts making a beeline for the tram. Jackie shrieks and jumps back into the cab of the jeep instructing everyone else to remain calm and to NOT FEED this ostrich. Apparently this was a rather aggressive male ostrich. And we were stranded in his stomping grounds.

He circled the tram a few times then sauntered off. Jackie has those of us sitting in the back of the Jeep move into the tram, quickly and again, don’t make eye contact with the ostrich. At this point, two more trams drive around us and everyone just stares. In the open, with a dangerous longhorn and an aggressive ostrich. Finally two people roll up in a golf cart and proceed to lure the ostrich into a pen so we can all be transferred to a new jeep/tram situation. The “lady” tells us that the male ostrich does NOT like her; that he always tries to kick her. I’m sorry, what?? So she hops out of the golf cart, the ostrich sees her and he starts running towards her. She lets him get close then hops into the cart and speeds into the enclosure. Where she hops out again to close the door, leaving the driver in the pen with the ostrich who then begins chasing the ostrich with the golf cart.

I am not making any of this up. I wish I was.

We finally get transferred back in to a new, functioning tram/Jeep and off we go. James thought this was the best day of his life. He loved every second of it and wanted to stay to pet the deer that were wandering around. I wished I was handed a drink when we got off the tram.


You will note, that is not me helping him pet the baby deer. I am not an animal person and basically had to take deep breathes to keep my anxiety in check the entire time we were there. Luckily this redheaded animal lover was sweet enough to help James. She was already sitting next to the deer anyway. (Why? I am SO confused about people’s choices.)



We got home and my always a Wall was raring to do something else. NO. We were basically almost mauled and I am exhausted. He appeased me for 30 minutes of rest by reading the #WallSummer2014 book filled with photos of he and I.


No one loves me like James.

Spring should be for flowers

You guys, it is that time again….the time for spring sports. If you will recall, two years ago Zach started playing soccer at the Y and I was first introduced to the horror that is sports.  Last year, he played basketball which was marginally better, but getting him there still required a LOT of negotiating. Soccer in the fall was better than that, and we were headed in right direction but I still would not call it good. So when Alex wanted to sign him up for basketball I had to stifle in a scream. I wanted him to do tennis or karate, something perhaps more individual sport related to try, and Alex agreed to that “in the spring”. Plus, Zach did say he wanted to play basketball, when we asked him.

THEN my friend Mary asked if we were going to play Little League. I said, yes, in the spring. Well, it turns out the spring is winter. We had to register him before January 1 or pay an extra $100. AND they changed the rules so he has to play as a 7 year old. We figured if he was going to do it, this year would be do it. We already missed coach pitch and actual tee ball and it only gets more competitive as they get older.  I am openly hoping he will not like it and we can scratch one sport off the list.

James so aptly personifies my feelings on all these games and practices.

We just can’t even.


We are in the thick of it now and I DO NOT have a good attitude about it. Basketball has come to an end, but baseball feels never ending. I am kinda hesitant to trash it though, as those people seem to weld a lot of power and while I don’t think Zach wants to play again, I don’t want him to be blackballed (no pun intended) because his crazy mom ran her mouth on the internet. I feel they could make that happen….

So I will leave you with a photo of Zach at bat.


It is pretty cute, if you don’t have to be there.

Spring Break 2015

As you read the title, please yell it in your head like a drunk frat boy in South Padre Island, aka where I spent SPRING BREAK 1997! It was not that exciting, but again, I need it to be yelled.

This was our first spring break during elementary school, which meant we really needed it. The boys and I were counting down to this week. The early mornings are brutal, we cannot get our act together. Too many days I have thrown everyone in the car, always, always with James in his PJS and have had to slow down and let Zach roll out of the car in the carpool line while I yell “Love you! Have a good day! RUN!” so he won’t be tardy. And I don’t work. Embarrassing.

We needed a reset. Initially we had no plans, which I was looking forward to/terrified of. Then our new friends invited us along on their ski trip to Breckenridge with two other families. When you have two extraverts married to each other who have two more extraverts as children, the answer to a multi-family trip is always, “yes” and “how can we make this happen?”.

So we moved heaven and earth and spent five hours in Lafayette on a lay over (awful, I am still traumatized) to get to Colorado


Still in Lafayette….


We spent the night at a hotel on the West side of Denver then headed to Breckenridge the next morning. The boys were thrilled to see snow and mountains. They kept yelling “snow!” and “mountains” every 30 seconds. It was super cute, up to a point, obviously.


This is their first snow sighting in the parking lot of the hotel. You can tell how warm it was, no one needed a jacket. We had to physically remove them from this snow drift with the promise of more. When we stopped at Academy I had to yell “don’t touch the dirty snow!” about 52 times, again, promising there would be much more than the blackened chucks strewn about the parking lot.

And Breckenridge did not disappoint.


The first thing we did was go toob sledding. And by “we” I mean the boys and Alex. I am way too chicken for that kind of thing. I am still scarred from Zach and Tyler (really Ashley) making me go down the big slide at Splashtown. I am not kidding.


James and Alex were the biggest fans of the toobing. Zach mainly wanted to climb in another snow drift and make a snow angel.


We met the two other families and knew immediately we would get along fine. We released our children into the basement with the other eight children and no one batted an eye. Plus there was a baby I wanted to steal (I am coming for you Jennings) and a girl that is basically me in the suburbs (hiya Ash). I would love to tell you more about them, but they maybe don’t know I have a blog and maybe don’t want to share their whole lives with the internet. Maybe.


Here we are though, the moms at least, walking home from having a drink at the lodge before we were attacked by the Slope 8 bandits. Just kidding, though Rian thought we were serious.

Then it was time to ski! Again, for Alex, Zach and James. Not me. I did that circa 2003 and have no need to do it again. I don’t excel so there is really no point.


There they go, my boys, up the stairs to ski school!

Not pictured is the call I got at 11:00 am, waking me from a nap, to come get James. He was “not happy” and would not put on his ski suit. None of this shocked me. But Alex got there before I did and when he talked to the instructors they asked if James could try snowboarding. I’m sorry, what? Do they make snowboards for someone sub 4 feet? Apparently they do. Oh and he also wanted to snowboard (again, what?) without his ski suit. Like we care.

So here he is snowboarding in his long underwear and Sven and Olaf shirt. Naturally.


I could look at this photo all day, there is nothing cuter. We also have a video of him being directed down the mountain with his coach holding onto the handle on his vest. He is the most depressed snowboarder ever.

Zach, however liked skiing! He liked his suit (both suits thanks to my friend Linda) and his only complaint was that he could not go fast enough, because he kept falling, and he wanted to use poles.


The one catch to Zach skiing…Alex tried to ruin it. I really thought Alex would have learned from his mistakes of 2003. You see, when I was learning to ski, I too went to ski school and did the bunny slopes. And I too, thought I was doing great. Then my boyfriend Alex took me to the top of the mountain to have lunch AND I HAD TO SKI DOWN. IN A BLIZZARD. OR AT LEAST A BUNCH OF SNOW. We almost didn’t make it. As a couple I mean. I was crying and yelling at him as I skied horizontally across the mountain, fell over, popped my ski off, turned around and put it back on to do it again, and again and again until I finally scooted down the mountain on my hiney. I like to call that the test of our relationship and I am still slightly shocked we have lasted this long. Just thinking about it makes me angry.

So what does this smart, smart man I have since married do to our sweet first born child? THE EXACT SAME THING. Zach had skied on the tiny hill pictured in James’s photo and Alex took him up the lift and down a green. I could have murdered him. Luckily for him, the minute I saw Zach’s teary face Alex started talking really quickly about that being a very poor choice and he should not have done that and how great Zach did. “He did so great! He did so great!” Alex chirped. There was still only murder in my heart.

However…Zach is not me and forgets things much quicker, so the next day he got right back at it and by the end was going up the lift and skiing down the green with his dad. The first day was all but forgotten. He really ended up liking and wanting to stay more days and ski.

That next day when Zach was bouncing right back, James was not. He told me he was not going back snowboarding. No way. So we hung out around Breckenridge, got coffee, walked on a frozen river and made a tiny snowman.


James had a much better day. Especially since he got to go in the hot-tub twice. Once before his non-nap and again with his dad after non-skiing. No one loves a hot-tub like James. There was a lot of “whoo hoos!” coming from the tub.


All in all it was a great trip. The boys loved, loved all the snow and we all wanted to stay longer. Well, I was sort of ready to get home, only because this kept happening at night. At least we had a king sized bed at the house.


Is this too many sleeping kids photos for one blog? I don’t know my limits. I just know that they still look like their little selves when they are sleeping and I love every second of it. I will try to reign myself in going forward.

Anyway, I made us take one family photo before we left and I knew you would all like to see it.


The family who wears sunglasses and blue, stays together.

The Old Crazy – still the same, really

I just came across a blog post I did back in February of 2009. I can’t even remember what I was looking for because I had to immediately stop and draw your addition to the old blog post. February 2009 was when Zach was six weeks old. SIX WEEKS OLD, I repeat for emphasis. The way I describe him, you would think he is doing back flips in the yard. He is clearly sitting completely still and staring – as all six week olds do.

Oh and the last paragraph, where I say he looks so much older than the baby next to him. HILARIOUS! He looks the exact same. It is good to be reminded that we are all those crazy new parents who find every thing fascinating and take 50,000 photos. It is what keeps us from bolting when they poop all over you for the third time and want to be attached to you all night. Well that and all that overwhelming love that makes you cry about how beautiful they are (embarrassing…he looked like Elmer Fudd).

Enjoy my crazy….


PS I had a real hard time including this photo…as I am clearly sleep deprived, possibly also medicated and still look six months preggers. But then I was all, screw it. This is what i looked like with a tiny baby and all I can see when I look at that photo is that tiny ball of baby who is now six and questioning me on the first religion (anyone?) and if sharks are mammals (again, anyone?).

PPS That is a lie. I totally stare at myself and don’t like it. BUT, I try to focus on the baby.

PPSS Seriously, I don’t know the answers to 95% of his questions. Are sharks amphibians? They don’t have lungs or hair so they can’t be mammals, Zach told me. Also, this is why I can’t have a reality show as everyone would think I was stupid like Jessica Simpson. You ask one question like are sharks mammals and the entire country thinks you are an idiot.