Thursday, July 31, 2008

Google Tag

I found this on another blog, and it's a cute idea, so here goes ...

If you want to give it a try, please do and leave me a comment so I can check out your answers!
The Rules: For each question, look up the answer in a Google image search. Then choose your favorite from the first page of results only.Here's mine...

My Age:

A Place where I'd like to travel:

My favorite place:

My favorite object (I'm assuming anyway, as I'm going to pick it up at lunch today!!!):

My favorite food:

My favorite animal:

My favorite color(s):

The town where I was born:

The town where I grew up (see above)

Where I currently live:

My past pet:

A past love:

My best friend's name (this is completely random!):

My blog's name (again, I love Random stuff!):

My first name (I'm not exactly sure how this translates to "Mary" but whatever):

My middle name:

My nickname:

One of my bad habits:

My first (real) job - aside from babysitting, of course:

My grandmother's name (but not the same last name):

What I'm doing right now:

For real?

So I'm unpacking the replacement plates for Noah's party, and I happened to notice the warnings on the air-filled bags that they use to prevent things from moving around.

The air pack actually has graphics instructing you to not use it as a floatation device, a toy for your child or a pillow for your child.

My personal favorite is the floatation device - guess I'll throw out the ones I'm stashing in the car in case of random flooding.

I always notice the ridiculous warnings they put on things, and I feel so sorry for that small percentage of the population who thought it would be OK to use the Clorox wipes during a diaper change (ouch!) or the ones who don't realize that Sharpies don't wash off fabrics or other surfaces.

I guess in this time of CYA, one can't be too careful.

So, please don't use this post as a floatation device. Or a pillow. But, you might find it helpful during diaper changes.


Lately, when I pick up Mitchell in the afternoons, he's sporting a cool 'do. Mr. Dustin (his swim teacher) gels it up after lessons, and Mitchell is very proud.

On the way home yesterday, he asked if I'd fix it for him before school. As promised, I did my best this morning. Poor kid smells like an Aveda salon!

Of course, all of the ladies at daycare noticed, including some moms. Mitchell was so proud, here's how he owned the place!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Get Saucy!

If you're like me, you love reading other people's blogs and learning that you're not as weird as you thought you were (or at least there is someone weirder out there!). And, I mean "weird" in the kindest way, because I am quick to point out that I'm weird about things - like that smell at a restaurant when they've just cleaned the tables with bleachy water.

Anyhoo, there's this fun site, The Secret is in the Sauce, and they introduce you to other bloggers with a blog of the day feature. They include little snippets about the blogger and point out some of their favorite posts. It's really fun to read about the day-to-day lives of others around the country (and world) and to learn that we're not alone!

Oh yeah, SITS also has great give-aways! Today, they're giving away an iPod. Pick me, pick me!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


My head just opened up, after being totally clogged from being sick more than a week ago. I can hear clearly, I don't feel like I sound like a drunk when I talk, I can even hear the keys on my keyboard as I type! Oh sweet relief!

- - - - -

This morning, Paul was trying to get Mitchell into the bathroom to brush teeth. I look up to see him carrying Mitchell and singing, "... and I, a-yay will always love you, ooh, ooh ... " (a la The Bodyguard, since apparently I type lyrics as well as I sing them)

- - - - -

Dessert at lunch. Need I say more?

(We had a huckleberry bread pudding and a chocolate lava brownie, both served with generous scoops of vanilla bean ice cream. The occasion? "Let's do lunch for July birthday ladies," compliments of my boss, Ken. Of the four of us ladies in our department, three of us have birthdays within one week.)

- - - - -

Thinkin' ... about friends, friends, friends, friends.

Great, now I'll be singing that all day long!

- - - - -

My friend Kristen is pregnant with Number Three. And, she says she's not going to find out this time! IS SHE CRAZY!

I guess she figures that since she already has one of each that she has plenty of gear.

- - - - -

Yesterday, Mitchell and I car-danced to disco the whole way home. This morning, we got in and he immediately requested "Car Wash." When it was half over, he asked for "Love Rollercoaster" next. The song that came on after that ("Get Down On It") was "not funky enough" so we had to move on to "Boogie Oogie Oogie."

- - - - -

Me: Did you know Stevie Wonder is blind? That means he can't see.

Mitchell: Why can't he see?

Me: Well, I think he was born blind. I guess God made him that way.

Mitchell: Maybe he poked his eyes out with a big stick.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Into it All

Captain Colander

It's hard to catch a photo of a super hero in motion!
When things go bump in the kitchen
Captain Colander runs in to give it a listen.

He'll help pull things off of the shelves
Then blame the mess on mysterious little elves.

He's really a great help at cooking
And could he be any cuter looking?
(I know, that's not really a colander on his back, but Captain Steamer Insert just didn't have the same ring).

On a somewhat related note, Noah managed to climb through the handle of a basket this weekend. It was quite a site, with the basket on his front and the handle around his waist. He didn't find it quite as funny though. (Where's the camera when you need it?)

Chew on this

I've said before that Noah will put anything in his mouth. Here are just a few examples from the last few days. (Ignore the spaghetti sauce and other food all over him - he's very into self-feeding right now!)

This would be a sample of the impact-absorbing foam that
came with Mitchell's new carseats. Yum!

Stuffed pumpkins are delish!

When you can't find something else to chew, you always have two hands hanging around!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Breakfast of Champions

For breakfast this morning, Mitchell enjoyed
  • a chocolate-banana smoothie (recipe below)
  • fig Newtons
  • edamame (yes, the soybeans) with sea salt sprinkled over the top

Foodie Mommy: chocolate-banana smoothie

crushed ice

2/3 cup milk

1 banana, sliced

1 heaping tablespoon chocolate milk mix

1 teaspoon honey

Mix and enjoy!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Happy Birthday to Me

I just realized I didn't recap my birthday!

Yesterday started with a sweet kiss and wishes from Paul. Then, Mitchell came in and shouted to me then wanted snuggles. So sweet.

Later, as I ironed my clothes for work, Paul and Mitchell came bursting in to sing "Happy Birthday" to me. It was one of those glorious Mommy moments, as I sat on the closet floor listening to my 3-year-old belt it out.

(Our ironing board is in the closet. The closet is that big, really!)

I made it to the office, and the receptionist buzzed me that I had a visitor in reception. I walked out to find my girlfriend Cara holding a gorgeous floral arrangement from her and the other wonderful folks in her office (all fantastic people!).

I had a typically short-but-sweet conversation with my little brother, who called to wish me a happy big day.

A small group of us lunched at Stone Werks, were they gave me a card signed by everyone in the office. Too funny.

Oh, and our company's intranet has this birthday ticker that allows you to email a wish to the birthday girl, so I got tons of those from people all over whom I've never met.

The work day wound to a close, and I headed over to Wildfish to meet up with Cara and a handful of other girlfriends. Had a great cosmo. I also ran into some former co-workers, who serenaded me. Cara recognized a friend who had come in, so we joined him and his friend for a last drink of the night (and, finally, some food!). Note: this was my last drink, not last call, as it was merely 7 o'clock.

Best of all, I came home to my boys who had cards and gifts. I received a box of animal cracker mix so Mitchell and I can bake them together. And, bless him, Paul gave me the new Williams-Sonoma chopper tool I wanted! He's so good at remembering.

All in all, it was a fantastic birthday - and a great way to start out this new decade in life.

May each birthday be just as sweet!

Getting Excited

I'm such a geek when it comes to party planning! I absolutely love putting together a theme, picking out decor and paper goods, deciding on favors and activities.

Noah's first birthday party is no exception. Today, the paper goods and favors all came in. All I have left to pick up are animal crackers, a pinata and the food and cake. Online ordering is fantastic!

I found the cutest bubbles online. The tops have little animals. The monkey is too funny, as he's scratching his head!

I didn't lazy-out and order the entire party pack, as shown at right. I figure that I have plenty of red cups, and the kids will drink juice boxes anyway. And, who needs those balloons and curly ribbon anyway? Besides, it would have been more expensive, as I would have had to buy multiple sets of their prefab stuff. Instead, I a la carte ordered just what I needed so I didn't have extra stuff that I'll never use.

Oh, they did send me two sets of Pooh Bear plates by accident and will be sending me replacements this next week. I asked if I should return the wrong plates, and the customer service guy told me to throw them away. As if! My poor boys will be using them for a few meals!


Today was Employee Appreciation Day at work, and boy did we enjoy it!

The day started with breakfast tacos all around. For lunch, we enjoyed pizza and salad. There were even two cakes from which to choose for dessert.

Best of all, though, were the chair massages performed by two fantastic massage therapists. Unfortunately, the massage only lasted 15 minutes, one per person please.

(Apparently I'm very knotty. The therapist advised me to take some Advil now and before I go to bed tonight. I've never been told that after a massage! She said I had lots and lots of really deep, hard knots and that she stretched some as best she could.)

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Cute Noah on Camera

Here's video of Noah doing great baby stuff - climbing the stairs, nodding "yes" when I tell him "no", showing you how big he is and even waving bye-bye.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

My Last Day at 29

As the day nears its end, I prepare to bid farewell to my 20s as well.

That's right - I turn the big 3-0 tomorrow.

I know what you're thinking ... "she's not even 30 yet?!" I blame the bags, dark circles, gray hair, wrinkles and laugh lines all on my kiddos.

So my last day in the 20s was spent at home with Noah, on his last day of the "wait and see" before returning to daycare tomorrow after "recovering" from the nothingpox. I also made dinner tonight - and I improvised, which wasn't as good as the real thing.

I hope I'll sleep well tonight (and that Noah will too!) so I can start the first day of the rest of my life rested and refreshed.

Tomorrow, a group of work-related friends will celebrate with me at Wildfish after work. But, I can't wait to get home and celebrate with my boys.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

They may be ... nothing!

The chickenpox were downgraded to the maybepox last night. This morning, I'm officially calling them the nothingpox, as in there is nothing wrong with Noah.

In fact, he has even fewer spots than yesterday! The ones the pediatrician found "suspicious" have all disappeared as well. But, to be cautious, I'm keeping him out of daycare tomorrow as well to ensure the full 72 hours have passed before we've declared them nothingpox.

As for me - if it's not one thing, it's another. I woke up in the very wee hours of the morning to tend to His Heineyness. My eyes were hurting a lot, so I thought I'd turn on the lights and see if I had something in my eyes. Oh no - my eyelids were swollen huge! I thought they were styes. The eye doctor instead tells me I have corneal lacerations on one eye and abrasions on the other, and she suspects my contacts are to blame. She goes on to tell me that I have to start taking them out when I get home from work, no later than 7 p.m. (but preferably 5) because wearing them more than 10-12 hours is very damaging to the eyes. Hello! I'd expect that if I was sleeping in them, but I only wear them about 13-15 hours a day - and they're supposed to be these ultra thin ones that are designed to reduce fatigue and irritation since I work on the computer all day.

Oh, and I can't wear them again until Monday because of the prescription drops I have to apply three times a day. But that's OK. I have an adorable pair of Kate Spades that I love wearing. (And, I'll look even hotter when I pair them with the disposable sun-blocking film things the doctor gave to me wear under them for driving!)

Monday, July 21, 2008

Noah Hearts Hats!

Noah loves to play with hats and caps. Here, he's playing with Daddy's John Deere baseball cap (a man's version of "free gift with purchase").

Isn't he adorable!

Of course, he has to try to eat the hat. (This kid tries to eat everything! Mitchell never did.)

Where's Noah?

Random Cuteness

They Might Be ... Chickenpox!

So Noah wakes up this morning with little tiny bumps under his diaper, and a few had those gorgeous blistery heads, just like ... chickenpox!

I called the pediatrician, who worked me in. She wasn't sure since the majority of them don't have the little heads on them - yet. She said it could be the very, very beginning of an outbreak and to keep him home through Wednesday for observation. If there are more or they get worse, then he needs to be out all week.

Oh, the joys at our Casa de Chaos.

As for me, I'm feeling better, aside from this cough that is making my throat hurt all over, and the sweats that just won't go away. Oh yeah, I also have ulcers all over the inside of my mouth (I usually get fever blisters on my lips when I'm sick), so I sound like I'm drunk, slurring my words!

Friday, July 18, 2008

I Heart Max

For those of you who have never had the pleasure of meeting Miss Maxine Louise, you're missing out. (In her trademark sweet sassiness, she wouldn't cooperate for a good photo, so I'll have to catch her off guard.)

Max is our precious kitty. She came to live with us in October 2001 and has been a very, very loved member of our family since.

Being home today reminded me of why I love Max. She's so caring. She's a mommy at heart, though she never had kitty babies of her own. She thinks Mitchell and Noah are her babies, and she loves all the attention they bestow upon her, no matter how rough they become.

Here are 10 reasons I love Max:
  1. Max is just sweet. She is a snuggler, and nothing makes her happier than to be curled up on the arm of a chair or in a lap or in bed with me.
  2. Max is gentle. She has never even as much as raised a paw at my boys - even though they've ripped out clumps of her hair in attempts to love on her.
  3. Max has a notch out of her left ear. We have no clue how it happened - she came to us that way. It's her signature flaw.
  4. Max has spots, not stripes. Most tabbies are striped, whereas our Maxie Lou has thousands of spots that come together to form stripes.
  5. Max believes in the power of love. Somehow, she can sense when you need a cuddle.
  6. Max licks! That's right - our cat licks. And her tongue is surprisingly soft. I oftentimes joke that she thinks she's a dog.
  7. Max has good manners. She rarely assumes she can jump up with you. Instead, she waits for you to pat your lap or the chair to tell her it's OK to join you. This is actually really annoying in the middle of the night, as she is a chatty Kathy and will fuss to remind you that you need to invite her up.
  8. Max only eats cat food. That may seem like a strange reason to love her, but it's so nice to not worry that she'll eat the boys' snacks if they leave them down low.
  9. Max doesn't get on countertops or tables. But, she does like to walk around on the railings at the second floor, teetering 20-something feet above the ground.
  10. Max knows that it's better to have company than to be alone. She's oftentimes my little shadow, especially when it's just us girls.

Now, a few reasons Max sometimes drives me crazy.

  1. Max is a talker. She enters the room making noise and is loud until she settles down.
  2. Max has really, really bad breath! It's true, and it's baffling, considering her strict diet (see No. 8, above).
  3. Max wanted nothing to do with me - the one who drove down to the animal shelter to pick her up, the one who told the vet that yes, we did still want her even though she wasn't a boy (she was so skinny that the shelter folks thought her hip bones were little boy parts) - for the longest time. She only loved Paul ... until I got pregnant with Mitchell. I almost had a heart attack when she jumped onto the sofa and snuggled me the first time.
  4. Max is allergic to the rabies vaccine. This drives me crazy because it take a lot longer for her check-ups and annual shots. We have to arrive early to they can hook her to an IV to deliver fluids and kitty Benadryl. Then we have to stay after so they can observe her. When we first brought her home, the vets thought she had severe kennel cough from the shelter. A year later, during her annual vaccines, we learned about her allergy. (Due to her allergy and the fact that she never goes outside, the vet is really nice to let us have her vaccinated every other year instead of annually. Thanks, Dr. B!)

I guess that's about it.

We've had some work done on our house recently, and this morning, our construction super told me how cool our cat is. He said that they were instant friends when he started coming over. I told him about how she waits to be invited into a lap ... and he actually asked if it was OK for him to sit on our sofa when he's here on Monday so he can invite her up! How cute is that!

He's not alone. I've had lots of people tell me "I'm not a cat person, and I love her." I even had one friend who doesn't like cats but said if she could guarantee one like Max, she'd give into her daughter's constant requests for a kitty.

BTW: Max was named so because they thought she was a boy at the shelter, so we named "him" Max. When we found out he was really a she, we expanded it to Maxine. And, Louise is an homage to my grandmother - it was her middle name.

So, sweet Kitty Girl, I love you! (And, I hope you'll pose nice for a photo soon).

As long as I don't move

I don't know what's come over me today. It started with a sore throat this morning. Then came the headache. Then the chills. And the sweats. And the aches.

I thought that if I had something nutritious for lunch that I might feel better. So, I scooted over to Quicksands for their delish turkey tortilla quiche, rounded out with the mango-jicama salad and cream of potato and mushroom soup.

I knew there was something really, really wrong with me when I just picked at my food! These are my three all-time favorites at Quicksands, and it usually makes my day when I hit the trifecta.

On the way back to the office, I swung through Starbucks to cut the chill.

Finally, I admitted defeat and came home. I've taken Aleve and have been in bed the rest of the afternoon. I dozed a little, and now I'm watching "Ellen."

I feel a little better as long as I don't move.

The thing that upsets the most about feeling bad is that I had to cancel our dinner reservations at Silo this evening. It's parents' night out tonight, my birthday is next week and I have a very generous gift card (Thanks KK!). I was really, really looking forward to enjoying something decadent like the crab spring rolls (yumo-o!). And, I really wanted a Hot Chocolate Souffle Cake. It's one of those special things you have to order in advance. We ate there for Valentine's Day, and I asked for it at the beginning of the meal to ensure that I'd get it for dessert. When the waitress came and brought me a dessert menu, I knew she forgot to put in the order and my heart sank. I adore hot chocolate cake! I had the Brooklyn Blackout Cake instead, which was good - but, once you've decided you want something in particular, it's hard to accept a substitute.

Noah's Birthday

Can you believe my little monkey is about to turn 1?!

To plan a fitting party, I've decided to go with a silly animals theme.

Here's the invite I threw together for the fun.

Each address label features one of the animals from the bottom. And, our gals at the Pink Circus got a pink giraffe with lime-green spots!


What Would Emily (Post) Do?
I'm oftentimes in charge of social events for my office - both those for employees and those for our business partners.
We had a swanky shindig last night, and we went as far to put a deadline for RSVPs on the invitation.
The party was scheduled to start at 7.  At 5:30, I received a phone call from someone who was not invited to ask if she could come and could I give her directions on how to get there.
So, I ask, "What would Emily (Post) do?"
I was gracious and explained that she was lucky that we pad the headcount a little to allow for last-minute guests.  Then I asked from where she was coming and gave her turn-by-turn directions so she could get there.  (Had she actually been invited, she would have received a map!)
After I hung up, I was talking to Ken, my boss, and he accused me of being too nice.
I laugh at the thought of me being too nice - these are terms that are oftentimes reserved for, well, people who are actually nice.  (Present company excluded, of course!)
A side note here: We are in the South, people.  RSVP is you ticket in the door - just because you're invited doesn't mean your invited.  No ma'am.  One must engrave her name on the guest list by replying that she'll attend!

Tweets from my Sweets

Mitchell and I are snuggling this morning when he starts to cry.
"I didn't get a Baby Ruth last night!"
We assured him he could have one after breakfast.  He was fine.
- - - - -
On the way to work, I gave Mitchell the previously mentioned Baby Ruth.
"Can you tell them to use less caramel next time?  I don't like it."
- - - - -
Today is Show and Share Day, and Mitchell selected an obnoxious monkey toy that screeches when you squeeze it.  (You're welcome, Miss Veronica!)
"Screech has hair all over his belly.  Daddy has hair all over his belly too.  Maybe Daddy's a monkey like Screech."
- - - - -
We stopped and got gas on the way to work.  Mitchell asked to see the receipt, then he asked how much it costs.
M: "Wow!  We got A LOT of gas!"
Me: "No, sweetie, it just costs a lot more now."
M: "Oh.  Well maybe you can drive slower and it will last longer."
Me: "Maybe."
M: "I should tell Daddy too.  He drives really, really fast."  (insert laser sound effects here)

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Word Verification

The Word Verification step on posting comments to blogs reminds me of random typing tests.

Three Amigos

I snapped this the other day from inside the car.

Oftentimes, on the way home, we take a long-cut through the neighborhood across from ours because they have a huge herd of deer roaming free. And, the deer fear nothing. It's not unusual to see a cat lounging the shade near one - or one hanging out on a patio!

Anyway, Mitchell especially likes to see the boy deer with their horns. We stopped to look at these three guys, relaxing in the shade on a hot Sunday afternoon.

If Every Mom were a Stay-at-Home Mom

I just read a fantastic post on "5 Minutes for Parenting" entitled "If Every Mom were a Stay-at-Home Mom."  I makes the concept of working outside the home seem a little less awful in the eyes of those who choose to be home with their babies.
Take a minute to read it and let me know what you think.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Now Playing: They Might Be Giants

Remember when we were in high school and college and They Might Be Giants was cool?

Well, they're HUGE among the 5-and-under crowd!

A lot of nights, Mitchell asks me to put on their CD "Here Come the A-B-Cs" on my kitchen stereo. We rock out big time, especially to "E Eats Everything," our very favorite. (I'm an E, and Mitchell is a C at the beginning but then becomes a Z because, as you know, Zs eat Es.)

Tonight was especially rockin' in the kitchen. Mitchell grabbed a spoon and sang and danced along. It was hysterical! I oftentimes wished I had a camera and camcorder surgically implanted so all I had to do was wink to Memorex a moment.

Anyhoo, even Noah danced along as we listened to our favorite TMBG tune over and over again (and then Mitchell asked for the one about Gs).

I'm now sadly singing "F is for Fakebelieve" all by myself as Mitchell has moved onto "Mythbusters" in the living room with Daddy.

Surgery Rescheduled

Noah's surgery has been rescheduled for Thursday, August 14th.

If that date sounds familiar to you, it's because it's his first birthday! What a way to celebrate the day!

But, we're having his birthday party the Saturday before so he'll still get to celebrate.

BTW: I scheduled his party for the Saturday before because our good friends' 4-month-old daughter is having surgery, also on Noah's birthday. She was born with sagittal craniosynostosis. That means that the sutures in her skull were already hardened before she was born. In other words, her skull has hardened already, so the plates don't move to accommodate the growth of her brain. She's going to have a surgery to open up the sutures, then she'll have to wear a special helmet for about a year. There are a team of surgeons here in San Antonio who pioneered a less invasive form of this procedure - and they invented the special helmet she'll wear - so she's in very good hands. But, do remember her in your prayers!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Noah's Non Surgery

Apparently I never posted anything about Noah's previously scheduled surgery.  So, here's a little info:

When babies are in the womb, they have membranes inside their sinus cavities to prevent fluids from entering into the cavities - and, eventually, the lungs.
During the normal course of prenatal development, these membranes rupture.  Apparently, Noah's did not on his left side.  As a result, he has had a "gunky eye" pretty much since birth.  Obviously, it was much worse during cold and allergy season than it is now.  However, they don't do surgery until the baby is at least 6 months old, because oftentimes it self-corrects.  Noah's did not. 
So, we've been seeing a pediatric opthamologist, Dr. Coehn (Dr. McCash couldn't get him in until later).  On Thursday morning he'll have the surgery performed at the Methodist Ambulatory Surgery Center.
They'll put him under and run a tiny tube in through his tear duct and down into his nose then vice versa to open the obstruction.  The whole procedure takes just minutes, and he'll stay in recovery for about an hour to ensure he's not having any bleeding into the sinus cavity.  Then it's back home from some R&R.  He'll go back to the doctor the next morning to ensure it didn't close back up overnight (or that he hasn't developed a clot in the cavity).  He can go back to daycare on Monday.
They said he might have a black eye or some bruising on his face from the procedure.  That, and it's not guaranteed to work.

Shingles and (no) Surgery

Mitchell had some strange bumps in his armpit that were getting worse.
Paul went online and decided it was chickenpox. I didn't think so,
so I called the pediatrician.

Mitchell has shingles. More specifically, he has zoster. There's not
much to be done except keep it covered to prevent any skin-to-skin

As a result, Noah's surgery has had to be postponed.

Luckily, the doctor said that children with shingles don't experience
the pain and itching like adults.

Thank goodness for that!

Tackle it Tuesday: My Purse

I read about a great incentive to get something done: The ladies over at 5 Minutes for Mom created a challenge called "Tackle it Tuesday." You set a goal, tackle it then blog about it. All the participants throw their names and what they're tackling into the mix.

So, here's my first Tackle it Tuesday: My Purse.

I jokingly call my purse "Mary Poppins." It doesn't matter how big or how small, I manage to carry way too much (and way to random) stuff in there!

Today, I'm tackling it, though.

Here's a quick list of some of the things I've taken out today (no lie!):
  • a diaper (unused, of course)
  • Clip-on hair (again, no lie!)
  • 10 receipts to throw away
  • 5 receipts for my expense request at work
  • a Bionicle toy with light-up red eyes
  • business cards for people I'll never call
  • 1 coupon I'll never use
  • 2 business cards that I actually need to add to Outlook
  • a wad of Saran Wrap that's been creeping me out for about a week (when I touch it, I think
  • a green bouncy ball
  • the gate remote for my neighborhood - it needs to go back in the car
  • $1.76 in loose change
  • 2 loose breath mints (they get oddly hard if they float around in there too long)
  • Countless bits and pieces of wrappers, small trash, etc.

5 Minutes for Mom

Yahoo! My blog was picked up by 5 Minutes for Mom! I now can sport their nifty little logo on the left there - and more people can find me!

I love ...

... online delivery tracking!
It's so fun to watch as your packages are processed, loaded into trucks then out for delivery - all from the air conditioned, no-gas-needed comfort of the office.  (And, it looks like you're working as you track your shipments!)
I ordered new big-boy seats for Mitchell just yesterday, and according to the UPS tracker, they're out for delivery.  Sounds like Paul will have a fun project tomorrow.

Monday, July 14, 2008

And the award goes to ...

Well, not me!

GSABA held its Summit Awards on Saturday night, and I'm proud that my company won four Eagles this year!

I'm even more proud that I delivered my lines without flubbing - and I didn't trip while entering or exiting the stage!

My company won two awards for Product Design, one for Interior Merchandising and one for Best Website. I would like to have one in the personal achievement category in which I was entered, but you can't win them all.

Oh, I ended up not delivering the prayer. They changed up the order of the evening at the last minute. Instead, I introduced the platinum sponsor, stood patiently on stage while they did their thing, then introduced the oh-so-lovely Miss Fara, the brains behind the evening.

I love my Eagle for "Best Website."

Patricia, Corry and me ... looking great.

Look what we won!

Randall from Metrostudy - my last-minute "date" for the night.
(Randall bought a single ticket and needed a seat - and we had one open.)

Our crew, looking fabulous with our birdies.
There may be photos with clip-on hair, Vogue-like poses and other after-party fun later (depending on how good or bad I look in them, of course!).

Friday, July 11, 2008

Now Playing: She and Him

Every now and then my job requires that I drive to some remote place to pick up some random item. If I time it just right, I get to listen to something - and learn something - good on NPR.

Today was one of those days.

While en route to a luncheon after picking up some sales plaques, I got to hear an interview with Zooey Deschanel. The name probably means very little to you, but you'll know her as the adorable object of Will Farrel's affection in the terrific holiday movie "Elf."

It seems Zooey is quite the singer, and she has paired up with musician M.Ward to form a small group called She and Him.

I listened to Zooey's voice on the interview and instantly fell in love with her tone and words. Then they played the audio of the shower scene from "Elf" where she and Will Farrel (unknowingly) sing the duet "Baby It's Cold Outside."

I was totally in love! The drive lasted long enough for me to hear a clip from She and Him. I grabbed an envelope out of my purse and scribbled down the name of the band. I'm going to have to download something soon.

I feel a new addiction coming on ...

Random: Toilets

Today, while lunching at Paesano's, I struck a hidden pleasure: A just-cleaned toilet.

I know, it sounds very bizarre, but I love knowing I'm the first to use a toilet after it's been cleaned. The seat is still up from the brushing under the rim, and I feel like I've scored big. Add bubbles from the cleaner - goodness, I get excited!

But here's the weird thing: If it's a public toilet and the lid is up and it's all gleaming from a fresh cleaning ... I still remove a few squares of paper to put down the seat. I happen to find toilet seats especially disgusting. I have no problem with my bottom touching one (unless it's hideously bad), but I will not touch the seat with my hands for any reason.

Before children, there was hardly ever a reason to touch a seat - aside from the aforementioned fresh cleaning that took place minutes before I came in. But now, I've become a pro at handling the public toilet and all its nuances.

Lately, it never fails that we get to the very back of HEB - about half-way through with our grocery shopping - when Mitchell announces "I need to go potty."

We rush up to the store like contestants on "Supermarket Sweep." They have really nice, clean restrooms in their cafe area now, so we speed over there, park the basket, pull out Noah and the diaper bag and rush into the potty to take full advantage of the handicapped stall.

Mitchell is really good about letting me lift the seat and about not resting his you-know-whats on the rim like he often does at home.

And, thank goodness for the handicapped stall! I personally think it should be labeled "wheelchair/family accessible." Luckily not many shoppers know about the Cafe restroom, so we've always been able to use the handicapped stall.

Even better than that is the family restroom at Nordstrom. Those guys really have thought of it all. The ladies' room features a "nursing mothers" area, complete with big chairs and room for strollers - plus a small table upon which to rest your drink. And, they have a big, cushy changing table - not one of those fold-down Koalas.

I know, it is really odd that I can go on and on about restrooms, but I can!

While on vacay this spring at the Amelia Island Plantation in Florida, I had a very upsetting restroom scenario.

Mitchell was doing very well with his pull ups and letting us know when he had to go pee-pee. Numero Dos was another story. He would tell us after he had done the deed.

Well, we were lunching at the Marche Burette at the Plantation (and by "we," I mean our fam, Paul's parents and his brother) when Mitchell announces that he went potty. That meant Numero Dos.

So, I gathered up the diaper bag and headed inside to search for a changing station. I visited the ladies' room, expecting to find on there, but there was none. So, I headed back out to our table to ask our waitress where I could change him. Her answer? "You could lay him down on the bathroom floor."

EXCUSE ME?! Put my child on a filthy bathroom floor? ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR MIND?!?!

So, Paul being the trooper he is, gathered up Mitchell and all the changing gear - and enlisted the supervisory help of Grandpa and Uncle Frank - and headed back to our rent-a-Sienna and changed Mitchell there.

In the meantime, I demanded to speak with the restaurant's manager. She, too, was appalled at the waitress's suggestion. The manager even said that she would have lent her own office for me to change him. She also told us that the bathrooms had just been remodeled - and, I agree, that there were very nice - and that the changing stations had not been reinstalled.

We all got free desserts once the guys returned. Mitchell really enjoyed his ice cream.

But, my sweet reward was watching the waitress get chewed out and sent home by the manager.

(One note here: The Amelia Island Plantation prides itself on its guests services and friendliness. Aside from this awful waitress - and the dip who pretended to be a waitress at the Beach Club Grill - the service was really top-notch. They even delivered a bunch of baby gates to our house so we could protect Mitchell from falling down the stairs!)

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Update on Burns

I was already feeling little sick to my stomach, then I received this email from Tim at my office:

I just got an update from Burns' family. Unfortunately it is not good news. The tumor was not benign and had spread to more tissue than they could remove safely. So the doctors removed as much as they could and sent samples off for confirmation. They are preliminarily categorizing it as a Grade II tumor which is slow growing and can spread to surrounding tissue. I don’t know the course of treatment they will follow or if there is a revision in the recovery schedule for him. Right now he is in the ICU recovering from surgery. His family was very emotional and promised to update us as they found out more.
Not at all what I wanted to hear. I wanted to hear that the doctors were successful in removing everything and that he was in recovery and doing well. Please continue to pray for Burns and his family.

Pink Christmas

I stumbled across this blog for a super adorable Christmas gift exchange.

You donate $15 - and all the money donated is given to one family in need that the organizer "adopts." Then, you fill out information about yourself.

In the fall, you receive an envelope in the mail containing the information about someone else who signed up. Then, you make her a special Christmas gift and mail it off for her to open on Christmas morning.

I signed up and can't wait to learn about my new secret girlfriend!

Please pray for Burns

Today my friend and coworker Burns is going in for surgery to remove a brain tumor on his optic nerve. His mother and grandfather had this same cancerous tumor (and his grandfather lost his battle).

The surgery starts at 9 this morning and is expected to last about four hours. Burns will then be moved to ICU for recovery. Doctors think he'll be in the hospital for seven days, if all goes well.

A little about Burns
  • He loves "Battlestar Galactica"
  • He's a huge fan of the movie "300" (we even watched one of the battle scenes at one of our model homes while setting up the TVs)
  • He has a cat named Gary (after the character on SpongeBob SquarePants)
  • He is engaged to Cat, and they've been in love forever
  • He works in our IT department
  • He has a mean sense of humor
  • He is quick to put up "walls" and not let people know the real him
  • He loves steak
  • He's fanatical about exercise and muscle building

Please say a quick prayer for Burns, his surgeons, Cat, his mother and all of his family and friends as they go through this difficult time.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008


I've been working on knitting a scarf for a while now. It's really hard to find time when I'd rather be rolling around with the boys.

I selected this fabulous hand-tied yarn at Yarnivore, my favorite yarn shop here in town. The ladies there so kindly wound it for me, as it was a huge tangled mess.

I've been so careful to keep it untangled. Then I tossed it into a basket when we had friends coming over. BIG MISTAKE! Now my yarn is tangled in so many different places it's unreal. I've spent hours each night for the past week trying to untangle it without damaging any of the fibers. I think the end is in site! Last night I feel like I made a lot of good progress. I have enough untangled now that I can start knitting again before I have to untangle it some more.

Hopefully my scarf will be finished soon, and I can post a pic of it. (Hopefully I'll finish it in time for cooler weather!)


Mitchell is fascinated by water, and if it's rushing down a bunch of rocks, it's even better!

This photo was taken at the new River Walk extension down by the Henry B. Gonzales Convention Center on our way to Hemisfair Park this weekend.

On Sunday we went downtown to pretend to be tourists. We took a river boat ride and then walked over to Hemisfair to have ice cream at the Tower of the Americas.

Little Friend

Mitchell loves for me to catch crickets and grasshoppers in the yard. This one was so sweet - he just wanted to be friends!

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

who has the bluest tongue of all?

Stair Master

Nothing is safe!

Standing in the Need of Prayer

I have to attend an awards dinner on Saturday night, during which I have to play hostess by welcoming all the guests (about 500), opening with a prayer and introducing the lady who will be handing out the awards.

YIKES! I don't what to say in a prayer. To a group of homebuilding professionals. Who've been drinking complimentary cocktails. In tuxedos and formal attire.

I'm getting very nervous about this - almost as nervous as I am when I think about how big my hips will look in my satiny dress when the light hits just right, or as nervous as I am when I think that I might trip as I walk across the stage.

So say a little prayer for me that I'll be able to pull off a prayer without dropping in a little saucy language because I can't read my own notes!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Rant & Rave: Nuk Sippy Cup

I could sing of my love forever of the Nuk sippy cup from Gerber. It is the only sippy I've found that absolutely DOES NOT LEAK. Period. In the bottom of the diaper bag. Hitting the floor of the restaurant. Being banged nonstop against the coffee table. Being banged nonstop against the table at the restaurant.

I tried every single sippy with Mitchell, and every single one of them leaked, albeit some under extreme toddler conditions. But HELLO, sippies are invented for toddlers, so they should withstand those extreme conditions.

Noah now has all three Nuk patterns - including the red one with the Hawaiian-looking flowers - and I wished they came bigger than just 5 ounces.

Rant & Rave: Salad Spinner

Years ago, I bought a cheap-y salad spinner at a kitchen store that was closing. I've hated it since. It never spun out all the water, the basket always became dislodged and it was really loud(plus, it made my arm tired since I had to turn the crank to get it to work).

Last month, I hosted a Pampered Chef party, and for one of my free items, I selected the salad spinner. I couldn't wait to use it last night when making supper.


It came with two different sized baskets, so there's a small one for herbs or berries, plus a large one for salad. The base bowl is a really nice, heavy acrylic that you can use to serve the spun salad. The handle pumps easily and even folds down for storage - and it has a break so you can stop the spinning when you're ready!

This morning, I put the tops from some baby bottles in it and demonstrated to my audience of children how easy it was to use. Maybe Mitchell will learn to appreciate a good salad.

Fizzled Fourth

Another holiday came and went without much fanfare (or a trip to the emergency room, though we did have a close call!).

For the Fourth, we decided to take it easy around the house. I took the boys to the park then we went for a little drive while they ate Whataburger for breakfast.

Once we got home, Mitchell assisted Paul in making a delish beer can chicken and then he helped me make "Doubled Eggs" (known in other homes as deviled eggs).

A brief late-afternoon rain shower provided cooling relief on the hot summer day. We played outside for quite a while as the chicken finished up and the corn grilled.

We enjoyed our supper - rounded out with potato salad and corn on the cob - on the patio. For dessert, we had some brownie bites. Yum!

Saturday morning, the boys and I were playing in Noah's room, rolling around, wrestling and laughing. Mitchell got a little too excited and jumped on me, slamming his nose into my mouth. He has a strange red scratch on his nose from my tooth, and I had a headache the rest of the day due to my jaw being whacked out of alignment by a toddler's head.

Later in the day, Mitchell went running through the house, and - of course - fell head-first onto the tile floor in the entry. He bit both lips but not bad enough to go to the hospital (this time!). He had two fat lips.

Last night, I made a yummy, impromptu supper, of shrimp wrapped in prosciutto then grilled and brushed with Major Grey's Chutney plus a yummy, fresh salad (spun with my new salad spinner).

New Laptop

We've been saying for years that we should buy a laptop, but we're of the "if it's not broke" philosophy. So, this weekend, God decided we needed a laptop. By that, I mean that our hard drive crashed on our ancient computer.

The bad news: We probably lost everything stored on the old computer. That includes photos of Mitchell from birth! Luckily, I throw everything on Shutterfly so we have everything but the most recent, which are safely on the memory stick in our camera.

The good news: WE BOUGHT A LAPTOP! We had to go to two stores to score a great deal ($400 off!). It's a snazzy nail-polish red color, which I think is kinda cool (but Paul's not really a fan).

Yippee! I'm technologically on par with most of the world again! (I'm still ahead in the cell phone department since work springs for me to have an ultra-fancy phone that has all the bells and whistles.)

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Random Tweets

Me: Wow! There's turkeys on the side of the road!

Mitchell: Are they cooked?

(There were about five wild turkeys just inside the treeline on the way home the other day.)

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Mitchell (while sitting on the kitchen floor with Noah, eating crackers this morning): We're having a picnic!

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Mitchell (all in one moment with very little pause for breathing!): I'm a talker. I talk a lot. I talk all the time. I wake up talking and I fall asleep talking. I talk all day long. I even talk in my sleep. Did you know that Mommy?

Nothing like stating the obvious!

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Ever noticed a spot on your shirt that you tried to clean off and somehow it got even bigger and darker? (Don't look at mine today!)

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The rubber band on my wrist is the same color as my skin.