Friday, August 29, 2008

Another new look

My poor blog is having an identity crisis! Since I've discovered how to customize its look - all the way down to the post title colors - it's changed several times.

I call this new look "Daisy Stripe." It kinda makes me think of fall, so I was reluctant to use it.

Let me know what you think! Oh, and if you'd like a custom look for your blog, let me know - I can do it!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Happy Birthday Mom!

Everyone please join me in singing "Happy Birthday" to my wonderful mother!

Today is Nanny's birthday - I hope she enjoys the gift I sent her. (I hope she receives it before reading this!)

When we were kids, we sometimes got to choose a special supper for our birthdays. I always loved my mom's lasagna (and she didn't make it often because lasagna is hard work, especially when you're making enough for 6+ people, including my brother who probably ate enough for two or three!). I think I probably requested it from time to time. That, and asparagus.

Other things I love about my mom:
  • The way she says rice and ice. You'd think they rhyme, but not when she says them.
  • The way she tells it like it is. Truth can hurt, but sometimes you have to hear it.
  • The way she gets up super early, just because. I like this one because when we're together, it means there's a guaranteed cup of coffee ready for me when I wake up.
  • The way she's unpleasant until she's had that first cup of coffee. (Like mother, like daughter, like grandson - Mitchell comes by it naturally!) I know I don't have to make small talk first thing in the morning.
  • The way she gave us little nicknames as children - and still uses them today. (I'll forever be Nana.)
  • The way she knows I don't like something when we're out shopping because I flare my nose when she shows it to me. Paul has never noticed this one, but Mom calls me on it all the time.
  • The way she makes biscuits and gravy. Mom keeps a jar of bacon fat drippings on hand because, we all know, bacon makes it better. (She makes the best green beans too, thanks to that jar of bacon!) Mom makes delicious biscuits and gravy. She sometimes makes the biscuits from scratch - and they are the best. ever.

We're headed to Baytown for the long weekend to celebrate with her and the rest of the family. Say a few prayers for us, as my children aren't known as the best travelers - and my car still stinks since Noah took the lid off his sippy cup and used it to bang into the cup ... that was full of milk with vitamin drops.

One more thing I won't miss

I just received this email from a corker WITH A READ RECEIPT NOTIFICATION!

There is Donuts in the break room.

I hate, hate, HATE receipt notifications! It would have been a little better had he marked it with high importance (love that, too!). Oh, and don't you love the grammar? Seriously - all I did was copied and pasted the email.

I must note, too, that I will not miss the donuts and assorted other crap that people bring in and leave in the kitchens. My bottom line will hopefully miss them too!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Hot dog, that's a cool shirt!

Last night, at the concert, I got the biggest laugh out of the shirt the guy in front of us was wearing. Now that I don't have to dress for the office, I want one of my own.

After a Google search, I'm happy to report that I found the shirt! I'm sad to report that it's all sold out.

Anyway, the artist calls the print "Adultery," which makes it even funnier!

Keep your eyes peeled, if you happen into a store with really funky stuff. I really want one now! (I might even want a hot dog for lunch today, too!)

Rockin' Weirdos

Last night, Paul and I did something we haven't done in a really, really long time ... we went to a concert. A rock and roll concert.


That was taken with my iPhone. I love how it reads light.

It was a good show. I thought it was a little too much like listening to a "Greatest Hits" CD on shuffle - every song was performed exactly like the recording (with two exceptions). There were awkward pauses between the shows when they changed instruments - between almost every song. Seems like he could have played the same guitar for a few songs before switching, but what do I know about guitars?

Oh, and Tom Petty is arrogant. He kept putting his arms out in a glorify-me kinda way - and that's just what the crowd did.

I learned, too, that it doesn't matter if you buy the second-most-expensive seats in the place ... all the weirdos will still be seated right behind you. Granted, there were just two seats behind us, but I think they must have been communal tickets for a group of weirdos who bought lawn seats.

The show started with this couple in their late 50s seated behind us, both drunk as skunks, with the wife drinking a margarita from a giant whale bone. No lie. When the show started, she got really freaky. She kept yelling strange stuff at Tom Petty (like he's going to hear that she loves him and other stuff). Then, she yelled something at Paul along the lines of "this is a rock-and-roll concert" and if he didn't like it, he could go home. Uh, what?! At one point, she actually scratched Paul on the back of the head. Still don't know what was happening there! I was seated to a nice Jewish boy who was there with his parents and brother. (He was maybe 19, tops, so I can call him a boy!)

The drunk lady (and I use the term loosely) left, then some drunk/high/gay(?) fighter pilots sat behind us. They were strange in a whole new way. One was giving the other career advice.

Side note: Isn't this the ideal situation for career counseling: Drunk and smoking pot at a Tom Petty concert?

They were very friendly and even offered to replace the drink they spilled on my feet. It wasn't even my drink.

At some point, too, the drunk husband of the crazy drunk lady came back, shouted something sort of threatening at Paul and then "spilled" his beer all over Paul's back. Nice!

Before we left, that whale bone rolled over my foot and into the foot of the nice boy beside me.

We decided to leave as the crowd was begging for an encore. It took us about 10 minutes to get back to the freeway. (It took close to an hour to get from the freeway to the show.)

We learned a few things last night: We should spring for the really good seats if we decide to go to another big concert. We're more of the Robert Earl Keen at Floore's Country Store kinda people. And, nothing beats coming home and snuggling your 3-year-old angel who has crashed out on the sofa because he loves the babysitter too much to be in bed alone!

Things I Won't Miss

My last week as a working mother is coming to an end.

(Ha, ha! Working is such a loaded word! By this, I mean it's my last week of working outside the home - and actually getting paid for it!)

So, I've started compiling a list of things I won't miss about working in the office:
  • Traffic on Stone Oak Parkway in the morning. It's not really slow - there's just a lot of it. And, for the most part, people are very courteous, but just this morning there was a jerk who pulled into my turn lane to turn the opposite direction but then changed his mind and sat there waiting for the traffic to stop to let him in.
  • Coffee sludge. You know, that stuff that gets burned in the bottom of the coffee pot because someone pulled a Gannon and left a little teensy bit in the pot and it burned.
  • That teensy bit of coffee left in the pot. This one really gets me. If you pour yourself a cup of coffee and notice two drops left in the pot, MAKE A NEW POT! It really pi$$es me off when I go to pour my cup and there are a few drops left. And, at my office, we have people who just put the might-as-well-empty carafe back on the burner, which leads to the previously mentioned rant.
  • Dumb questions. I have the (un)fortunate office location just across from our work area copier. The other day, a coworker actually stopped and asked me, "Does this thing make copies?" I told her it was a teletransporter device so we can get upstairs faster. She actually huffed and stormed off.
  • Solicitors. I know, they call at home too, but I doubt I'll get even half the volume of calls that I get here! And, it's the same people whom I've already told "no" who call over and over and over.
  • Parking in The Pit. Our office parking lot is entirely too small for the number of people who work in the building. As a result, we have "overflow parking" on the utility easement behind our parking lot. Since it's an easement, there can be no impervious ground cover, so we have it covered in big, white rocks. These rocks have caused many people to fall and come in with bloody hands and knees. I've had my share of slips, including the day I purchased a gorgeous black leather Michael Kors handbag at lunch. I slipped and one of those rocks actually scratched my brand new purse. I think the people in offices blocks away heard my not-so-nice exclamations!
  • McMeetings. Granted, this isn't as bad as it once was, but we still have a ton of meetings around here. I've weasels my way out of all but three, so it's not so bad. The best was a suggestion once to "have a meeting to discuss whether or not we need to continue having this meeting." No lie! (It was probably said more to get at the person who wanted to cancel the meeting, but it was said nonetheless.)

Okay, so this list is probably pretty long! My list in the next few weeks will probably be of things I do miss about not working in the office!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Doctor Visit

This morning, Noah had his one-year physical and check up. There were some things we expected - ear infection, shots - and one we didn't.

Apparently, Noah is not gaining weight fast enough.

He's dropped to the 5th percentile for weight - down from the 12th at his last visit. He's topping the scale at 19 pounds, 1 ounce. YIKES!

For height, he's at 29 1/2 inches - the 50th percentile. He's head is also at the 50th percentile.

My little oinker eats like a, well, pig. So why isn't he gaining weight?

The pediatrician recommended that we give him 4 ounces of Pediasure each day to see if that helps. And, try to give him lots of cheese, yogurt, whole milk (ILO water, which he seems to like almost as much as milk) and other fatty good-for-you foods. I imagine we'll need to go back in a few weeks for a weight check.

I don't understand this at all! Noah is supposed to be my easy child. He was born two days before I was going to be induced (insert laughter here, if you're at all familiar with three days in the hospital during pregnancy, the preterm labor ordeals and the three months' bed rest I endured at the end of my pregnancy). Labor progressed very, very, VERY fast - I got to be one of those "Exorcist" women begging for drugs. Delivery took all of one push - actually, more like half a push. He took to nursing like a champ. He slept A LOT as a baby (so much we called the nurse help line because we thought there might be something wrong with him!). He eats and sleeps very well still.

So, Powers That Be, please make something snap inside him and let him pork up. Quickly.

P.S., on the way to daycare and the pediatrician's this morning, Noah somehow unscrewed the lid to his sippy cup and poured milk (with Poly Vi Sol drops in it) all over himself and his carseat. Luckily we were just barely on Canyon Golf Road, so I confiscated the sippy, U-turned the Odyssey and took him home for a wardrobe change. I joke that since we moved, we're either really early or late to stuff. Today, we were right one time, thanks to the little unplanned distraction.

Monday, August 25, 2008

My Shifty Friend

Welcome back, my Shifty friend!

Several weeks ago, one of the boys broke the left Shift key on our laptop. This made me very distraught.

In junior high and again in high school, I took typing classes. I type very, very, very fast - and pretty accurately, I might add. I believe 100 percent in the home keys. I hardly ever use the wrong finger for the keys above and below. And, I always use the Shift key closest to my left pinkie. And, I use my right pinkie for the Return key.

From my days as a typesetter at a small daily newspaper, I was very accustomed to typing as I listened to dictation - usually from Mr. Frasier of Frasier Funeral Home calling me in the early hours of the morning with that day's pending obituaries. (Yes, I took them over the phone and typed them directly onto the page. This is no easy fete, if you've ever had the pleasure to speak with Mr. Frasier!)

I've found over the years that I type much faster than I write, so it's easier for me to compose my thoughts on the computer (hence, this blog instead of a paper journal).

But I digress.

So one of the boys managed to pop a Shift key off our laptop. And, of course, it just had to be my left Shift key. The Shift key I use almost exclusively!

I tried gingerly to reattach the key. On a standard keyboard, this is easy. On a laptop, not so much. So I took it to the office and asked the gurus in IT to fix it. To no avail. Instead, one of them went online and ordered me a new keyboard.

Now those great folks at Gateway sent a new keyboard quite promptly. One problem: They didn't send any instructions on how to replace it! Again, the Internet is my friend. Today I went online and found the instructions (always looks like you're working hard when you're at work with something in several pieces laid out on your desk and instructions - with pictures! - on the screen). I raided the IT tool box and found the assortment of screwdrivers needed, and I replaced my Shift key.

So, welcome back, my Shifty friend. Don't tell the one on the right, but YOU ARE MY FAVORITE! (I used you just then to type that entire fragment of a sentence in ALL CAPS! Used you again! And again for all these exclamation points!!!!)

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Movin' and Groovin'

After a day with a houseful of maniacs, Noah has decided that he can move like the rest of them.

This morning, he entertained Grandma and me by showing off his new found ability to STAND UP! He just stood up and stood there for a while before decided to plop down and play with something. To expand on his talent, Noah then started bending over to pick things up and then standing while playing with the toy. Very cool!

Later this morning, Noah decided to try a few steps. He took 7-ish steps consecutively before plopping down to crawl really fast. (It's a good thing those diapers are so padded!)

Another of Noah's new found talents (and, obviously, I use the term loosely) is the ability to rearrange furniture, mainly the dining chairs. And his high chair. And his little kitchen set. I hate the sound of the wood dragging across the tile - and I hate even more the idea of him cracking his head on the tile.

And, ever the climber, today we caught him being resourceful to grab some toys off the side table. He climbed on Blue Puppy (a huge stuffed dog chair thing) then onto a box containing a birthday present. This allowed him to reach across the table and grab the toys. Note: It would have been way easier to just cruise around to the other side of the table. But where's the fun in that?

Noah's First Birthday Party

We (finally!) had Noah's first birthday party yesterday afternoon. It poured down rain, so we had a houseful of maniacs (of the 5-and-under variety) running amok in our home! The only tears shed were when it was time to go home, so I deem it a success!

The cake was a delicious multi-layer ice cream cake from Cold Stone, complete with chocolate and yellow cakes, chocolate ice cream and sprinkles around the edges. The animals on top are bathtub toys that I gave all the kiddos in their goodie bags.

For an easy craft, I threw out a bunch of (washable) markers and had the kids decorate their own silly animal masks. (Nothing like rain to make the natives restless - the boys were begging to go out to play on the playscape, and one promised, "We won't fall and get wet!") For the grown-ups, we had plenty of yummy snacks.

All in all, it was a fun time!

P.S., Grandma and I had quite an adventure when picking up the cake. First of all, it started pouring down rain on our way there. Then, we get to Cold Stone and were handed this huge cake box. That cake was way bigger than I expected! The drive home brought a torrential downpour, complete with flash flooding on Borgfeld. To make it even more interesting, Grandma stopped to ease through a raging river over the road - and all of a sudden I see a pair of beady eyes looking at me! There was an emu on the road, and it lifted its ugly little head and looked me straight in the eye. Yikes! I let out a little shriek and an OMG. Grandma and I laughed about it the rest of the day.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Date Night

Mitchell and I had Date Night last night. He picked the spot - Pei Wei then Cold Stone. Here are photos of him eating his "chicken and worms" with chopsticks. Then, he enjoyed chocolate ice cream with gummy bears mixed in.

All through the night, he sprinkled in, "Mommy, I love you" and "Mommy, you're pretty." It just doesn't get any better than that!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

They like me, they really, really like me!

I've been given another blog award! This time, the adorable Miss Jennifer at Posh Point of View has given me a "Brillante Weblog Premio Award."

If you haven't happened upon Jen's site, please stop by. She has scanned the web for the most adorable of posh items to covet. I'm currently craving the Pink Sorbet Demi Apron from The Hip Hostess. I think it would make a wonderful welcome-to-the-world-of-SAHMhood gift!

Side note: I Googled this "award" - apparently it started as part of The Brillante Awards of Excellence by a national society of Hispanic MBAs. I think it's fun - but you can read this post and decide if she's a Debbie Downer.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Expanding my know-how!

For some reason, the nearness of the end of my career has sparked a need to learn new things. Part of my personality has come back: The part that sees something and thinks, "I can so do that!" And, even better, that part of my personality convinces me that I really can do that!

So, in the past few weeks, I've started playing around on the computer again and creating some custom graphic designs:

  • My blog's new look: I was bored with the offerings of the prefab backgrounds (no offense!) that Blogger had to offer. A friend started a blog with a super cute background, and I read the code and thought, "I can so do that!" So, I've created this new background - and I even went in and updated the CSS so the headers and dates all match my new color scheme. I also created the headers here as well.

  • Mommy cards: Seems like I've always had a business card, so starting the new venture of being a full-time mommy needs its own card. (This is, after all, a full-time job!) And, I've even had 2 orders for customized cards. If you're interested, please let me know! (Obviously those aren't my phone numbers on the card - but you can email me at that address!!!)

  • Writing again: My real career started with writing and editing, so I'm returning to those roots more and more. My posts have become longer, and I've had some people inquire about hiring me as a freelance copy writer. Bring it on!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Seeing Double

People always tell me how much the boys look alike. I joke and call them my clone babies.

As the mommy, though, I don't see them that alike. I'm swayed by their personalities and individual quirks, so I don't just see the physical.

So, here they are, side by side, both on their first birthdays. What do you think?

When I Get Older ...

Mitchell has decided that 45 is a magical age and wonderful things will happen to him them.

Here are some of the highlights:

When I'm 45, I will ...
  • be stronger than Mommy
  • be bigger than Mommy
  • be bigger than Daddy
  • run faster than a tiger
  • run faster than T-Bone (a character from "Clifford")
  • be bigger than 40
  • be stronger than 40
  • be stronger than everyone else, except Spider-Man
  • jump higher than Mommy
  • be stronger than a rhino

There may have been mention of jumping higher than the gymnasts while watching last night's Olympic competitions - both boys and girls (he doesn't discriminate - he'll be better than everyone, except Spider-Man).

This morning, Mitchell compiled them together into a musical production that lasted most of the drive to work. I hope he really is that happy as he grows older!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Chuck E. Please, Never Again!

Mitchell is 3 1/2, and I often brag that he's never been to Chuck E. Cheese or McDonald's. I find both to be really gross, so I've not taken him to either ... until yesterday.

We were invited to our friend Sarah's birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese. I was dreading it from the time I opened the invitation.

I've been to CEC twice as an adult, and I remember thinking how dirty and greasy it was. Yesterday proved to be no exception - only this time, it was my child running around and playing the dirty games and eating the greasy pizza.

Of course, Mitchell didn't see the dirt. He saw video games. REAL video games - not the kind he makes up when playing with Noah. He saw the chance to run amok and be a crazy kid and eat pizza and watch a weird robot mouse dance (he pointed this out - that it was a weird robot mouse and not at all real).

We loved celebrating Sarah's birthday and eating the gorgeous Barbie princess cake, but it will probably be a very long time before we venture back to CEC.

On the way home, Mitchell asked if he could have his birthday there. Paul told him it's only open for girls' birthday parties and that it's not open in the winter. Either it's OK to tell a little white lie to avoid paid chaos or we're going to Hell for filling our child's head with ill conceived notions that he can't have a party at Chuck E. Cheese. Either way, we're not going back there again any time soon (until the next girls' party invite arrives, anyway!).

Surgery Recap

I realized I never posted anything more about Noah's surgery.

It went very well. It turned out to take about twice as long as expected (about 10 minutes instead of 5) because the anesthesia slowed down his breathing too much. They put in a breathing tube to help him along.

Dr. Cohen turned out to be a real softy. We've been seeing him for about five months now, and I always thought he was kind of aloof and cold in the office. At the surgery center, though, he was very thorough in explaining the procedure before and then to give a recap after. He even gave me his cell phone number in case I needed to reach him later. And, he called that night to check on Noah.

On Friday, we returned for a follow-up to ensure there wasn't a clot and that everything was opened up. It was all good. Dr. Cohen was super nice again and even gave Noah a rubber duck that was dressed like a hippie. He reminded me again that I have his cell phone number in case I need to reach him before our next scheduled visit in three weeks.

The nurses at the surgery center were top notch as well. They entertained Noah with their tools and instruments, and they all came over at some point to tell me how cute he is. They even gave him a fish that was made by the Blue Bird Auxiliary, a group of old ladies who volunteer at the area hospitals (think Candy Stripers - plus 80 years!). It is a very odd fish, like one you might see in a Dr. Seuss book, but it was sweet nonetheless.

It's always nerve wracking when your babies have to go into surgery, but it's so nice to know they're in such caring hands.

Saturday, August 16, 2008


Last night, Paul and I enjoyed maybe the best perk of daycare: Parents' Night Out.

PNO is a lifesaver that I'll really miss. Once a month, the daycare keeps the kids until 11:30. We took advantage of our last PNO and went to Silo.


Paul had the surf and turf: a petite filet and a wonderful lobster tail. There were some lovely veggies and potatoes alongside as well. I started with the spinach salad, which was fantastic. For my dinner, I had the appetizer special: foie gras over toasted brioche. I could have licked the plate clean, but my molten chocolate cake was ready. (We also had a pre-dinner cocktail and a nice bottle of red wine.)

Yes, I got my chocolate cake. I ordered it before I even ordered my dinner.

I'm going to miss those regular date nights, when we don't have to worry about childcare and the biggest concern is what awful drive-through to drop off on our way to somewhere good.

Teacher Visit

Yesterday, Mitchell's new preschool teachers came by for a home visit.

I wasn't at all sure what to expect during a home visit, so I put on a pot of coffee, set out freshly baked chocolate chip cookies (did you know you can by homemade Toll House cookies at Target?!) and put away all the toys in the living room.

Mitchell went to daycare since I had to take Noah to the doctor. I was later than hoped picking him up because Noah was power napping. (I actually had to wake him up so he could eat lunch before we got Mitchell!)

I get to daycare and Mitchell is getting out of the pool. Of course! I'm running late and his dripping with water. I quickly helped him get changed and we made it back to the house just in time. As we were walking in, the teachers pulled up.

Miss Candace and Miss Victoria were very nice. They brought along some toys to show Mitchell, and they had a list of questions for us. Mitchell turned on the charm!

He offered them both cookies, and both declined. So, he went to the kitchen and brought back cookies and just handed the cookies to them as if they'd asked. Then he brought one for himself. The teachers sat on the sofa, and Mitchell sat on the coffee table between them, facing them, as the three chatted and enjoyed their cookies.

He told them all about how he likes to play, loves to read "Goosebumps" (which really impressed them), loves dinosaurs and cars ... he said lots of stuff. Lots of stuff! He even slipped in a potty word at one point, and Miss Candace pointed out that we only use those words in the potty.

As they were leaving, Miss Candace said he'll be the class socialite in no time. That's my boy!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Noah's First Birthday

All of the photos (there's more!) are in my Shutterfly album.

Thursday, August 14, 2008


Noah's surgery

They just took Noah back for his surgery. The waiting is the hardest

Pastor Bonnie and Chad have been here with me for almost two hours.
They've just left so Chad can hit the road for the weekend. Bonnie
will be back for the recovery.

Audrey was already in recovery when I talked to Kristin last. I'll
check in with her when we get ready to leave since they're just a few
blocks away.

Sent from my iPhone

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Took it Like a Champ

Today, Noah had to have his blood drawn as part of his 1-year physical. They test for anemia and lactose intolerance, among other things, to ensure he's ready to transition to whole milk after his first birthday.

They had me sit in a special chair that had a front that came down and snapped into place so we couldn't escape. Then, they had me wrap my legs around his and hold his free arm with one hand and his head with the other so he didn't move too much. It was quite distressing ... for me.

Had I not witnessed the entire draw, I would never had know a needle entered his precious little arm! Noah sat there and watched as the phlebotomists did their thing. Yes, there were two - a precaution they take with little squirmers.

As we were leaving, the receptionist asked if I had changed my mind about the draw. "No, he just took it like a champ," I told her.

Then, she said she wished the adult patients were that good. The other ladies all "Mm-hummed" in agreement!

Say What?!

I've been seeing my GP, Dr. Larry (no lie!), for all nine years I've lived in San Antonio.

I paid him a visit yesterday because of the stabbing pain, throbbing and all out misery in my ankle (no clue what I did!).

During the course of the visit, he said several things that made me think, "Are you kidding?"

First, he's trying to determine the cause of my injury. He starts asking a series of questions which I found quite funny (but I knew better than to laugh!):

  • Have you added any extra miles to your running routine?
  • Have you decided to run off-road and maybe hit some uneven terrain?
  • Are you working with a new trainer who maybe pushed you a little too hard?

Those of you who know me (or have looked at any of my photos on previous posts) know why I found it hard not to laugh at these questions. I began to wonder just who he thought I was! He then shed some light - he reminded me that I used to work out with a trainer and had considered training for a marathon. Then, I wised up and got pregnant instead. (Nothing like being able to blame your loss of svelte on an unsuspecting child.)

He also started asking questions to get a sense of what else may have caused the injury:

  • Did you fall down the stairs on Saturday?
  • Have you been in a car or bicycle accident recently?
  • Have you fallen while playing with the boys?

That's it! How did I not remember that I fell down the stairs after that bicycle accident while playing with the boys this weekend!

Then, he said those words every woman wants to hear ...

"Now that you're older - and since you take The Pill - you'll need to be cautious
about blood clots in your legs."

He went on to describe to me what they feel like and what to do if I suspect that I'm experiencing one.

Take that, Ego! (I was just starting to celebrate inside because I'm now below my pre-Noah weight!!!) Not only does he expect me to exercise, he's actually encouraging me to so I don't develop a life-threatening blood clot now that I'm older.

Now, I'm not one of those people who dreaded turning 30, nor do I suspect that I'll dread 40 when that day arrives. But, if I have to keep having conversations with Dr. Larry, I just might!

Monday, August 11, 2008


I just found a slice of sandwich cheese in my purse! From Friday!

Sent from my iPhone

There has to be an easier way!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Rescheduling the Mayhem

I'm a planner, through and through. I make meticulous lists of everything that I need to do. I update my calendar regularly. I keep a little notepad and pen in my purse just in case I think of something else (though, it's quickly being replaced with the Notes tool on my new iPhone).

At the same time, I do my best work under the pressure of deadline. Maybe my career as a news editor created that in me - or perhaps that's why I was a great news editor. (It's like that whole chicken-and-egg debate.)

So I should have known when I started putting together the mask crafts for Noah's birthday several days in advance that something would go wrong.

And, the wrong came in the form of chickenpox. On Paul.

Yes, my 30something husband has a childhood affliction. Apparently he scathed by without ever having chickenpox (or stitches, for that matter which is amazing considering some of the stories I've heard about him as a child).

So, my last-minute self kicked in yesterday as I frantically sent out emails and called everyone we invited to the party to un-invite them. I even had to call and cancel the cake order. (The cake for Mitchell's third birthday party was ordered at about 9 o'clock the night before the party, only after my mom asked what time she should pick it up! And, I must say, it was an awesome cake!)

Now I have a car full of cute animal plates, bubbles with adorable little monkeys and elephants perched on top, party blowers that match the cute animal plates ... all stuff that will have to wait until some other time.

I feel bad that my poor Noah Noodle doesn't get to enjoy his first birthday in full fanfare. After all, on his actual birthday, he'll be recovering from surgery. Always pleasant! (Luckily, he won't remember his unbirthday party or the surgery - the one perk of being his first.)

I was looking forward to a house full of family, friends and crazy kids - all running around, blowing bubbles, coloring their little masks, eating ice cream cake ... celebrating a birthday like you should! I can't have it next weekend because a. he might still be unbearable from the surgery; b. Audrey might still be unbearable from her surgery (not that we're scheduling things based on other children's schedules, but if I can swing it for as many of our friends to be there as possible, then I will); and c. we've been invited to a birthday party that same day at Chuck E. Cheese.

The next weekend is a possibility, but we'll have to play it by ear. Or eye. Or skin disease.

Trying Something New

I get all excited when I try something new ... and it works!

At work, we've been toying with adding some listings to Craig's List. (Not sure how many people consider that a viable source for purchasing a new home, but whatever.) Other brokers have really fancy listings with bulleted lists, color-coordinated headers, etc. When I created ours, it was just text and photos. Blah!

Then, my boss brought me a flier his wife (a Realtor) did with some service that charges big fees to create and provide you with the HTML to post the fancy schmancy stuff to Craig's List.

I knew there had to be a way for me to accomplish the same thing. So, I opened up my trusty InDesign, created the flier, exported it, dropped it into Photobucket (thanks, Adrian, for the tip), and now it's on Craig's List - all fancy schmancy!

This is probably a newly learned skill that I will hardly ever use again, but at least I can now say I know how to do that.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Tweets from my Sweets

We're rockin' out to "Beast of Burden" the other day on the way home.

Me: Mitchell, do you know any pretty, pretty girls?

Mitchell: I know Lainey.

And, he's right - she is adorable!

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We're at lunch on Saturday when Mitchell announces he needs to potty. After sitting there for a few minutes with nothing to show for it, he says "I need to eat more fruit."

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The other night we were snuggling before bed. I was already in my nightgown, and Mitchell says, "The pokey hairs on your legs are poking me. Can you go cut them off in the shower?"

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Mitchell loves to sit on the kitchen floor and have a snack. He'll tell me, "Look, me and Noah are having a picnic."

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One of the afternoon ladies at Mitchell's school asked the name of his girlfriend, to which he replied, "Which one?" And, he acted all annoyed because, you know, there are so many.

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I always refer to the car ride home as the confessional. Here was one from the other day:

Mitchell: I was bad today.

Me: What did you do that was bad?

Mitchell: I yelled "SHARK" while my friends were in the pool.

Signs, Signs

This post is really, really long - but it's so worth the read!

On my way to work every morning, I pass a dentist's office with a witty saying on the sign out front.

One of my favorites was "What if the 'Hokey Pokey' really is what it's all about?" ("Now accepting new patients" was a favorite too, as I love the staff there!)

One morning, I was having a rough drive into work, dreading the day ahead. The sign at the dentist office read

Never confuse having a career with having a life.

WOW! If that's not a smack-in-the-face sign, I don't know what is! Let me tell you why ...

Nine years ago, we moved to San Antonio from the Houston area. I was, for the first time in my life, alone. Other than Paul, I knew no one. I took a job at a publishing company soon after we moved, and I felt even more alone there. Then, I came home one day and announced that I had to quit my job. I couldn't keep working in that sort of environment. I handed in my two weeks' notice and was told to make that my last day.

Two weeks later, I started work for a wonderful company full of wonderful people who have continued to be part of my life (even though I haven't worked there in years), and one of those coworkers is one of my most cherished of friends.

I instantly had friends, stuff to do, places to go, people to lunch with ... I had a life again. The years have progressed, and my work has continued to be the largest source of my social calendar as well. I attend industry events, hug industry folks at parties and restaurants, lunch with industry big-wigs.

This is my life.

Or so I thought. I had Mitchell almost four years ago, and I started to see my life change. And by life, I mean all those moments outside of 9 to 5, Monday through Friday. All of a sudden, I had friends who were mommies, like me. We took our kids to Kindermusik. We breastfed in public - and talked about poop, too. It was a whole new kind of life, one I liked a lot.

Then, I went back to work.

It was really easy to go back to my work life and have my real life as well.

Or so I thought.

Once Noah was born, I became torn about who I was and what I was supposed to do. My roles at work started to change, and my roles at home were changing everyday too. (Just this weekend, I told Paul that I feel like a referee!)

I began to give serious thought to the idea of working part time. Paul was on board. My company was on board. Daycare was on board. I was on board.

Or so I thought.

The more I thought about it, the more I began to think about the idea of not working anymore. About filling my calendar with lunches at Chuck E. Cheeses instead of council luncheons and board meetings. About volunteering at church instead of at my industry's association headquarters. About baking cookies just because instead of because we need them for work for a fund-raiser.

I started to talk to Kristen, my ultimate SAHM friend. She is always so encouraging, and she's the one who introduced me to the notion of the favor of God. (We grew up Methodist - there wasn't talk of the favor of God.)

So, I listened to that quiet voice inside and made a huge decision.

I wanted to quit my work and be a mommy full-time. Paul mulled it over and gave it his blessing and told me the cards were in my hand - I had to decide when.

Another sign came, this time from God - or at least from a Lutheran church.

Mitchell's name had come up on the waiting list for the preschool there. There was just one mom ahead of us, and they had been trying to reach her for the past two weeks with no luck. I was told to expect an answer by Friday.

So, Friday morning I drafted my letter of resignation. Friday afternoon, I did the deed and made it official.

Yet, Friday came and went with no phone call from the preschool.

This morning, I called and left a message at the preschool. I've been waiting with bated breath all day. I recognized the number on Caller ID and my heart stopped. It was the registrar.

She was going to make one last attempt to reach the other mother and told me to expect a call within the hour. The hour passed and became two and almost three. Then came the call.


My heart is still racing in my chest!

So, Thank You God, for your favor once again.

And, thank you, Canyon Creek Dental for always providing a much-needed sign.

My Little Garfunkel

We went to a play on Saturday at the Steven Stoli Playhouse, and Mitchell volunteered to be Garfunkel, the sea turtle. (The other girl, whom we don't know, was Simon.) His big on-stage premier consisted of swimming onto the stage, picking up Aladdin's magic lamp, then swimming over to Princess Posey, the mermaid, to give her the lamp. Princess Posey hugged them both and they held hands and did a little dance/swim thing.

What's so amazing about this is that Mitchell actually went on stage! The whole performance was amazing. Before the show, the producer asked for volunteers, and Mitchell volunteered. Then, she invited all of the kiddos down to the front to sit on the floor in front of the stage. And Mitchell sat there the entire time! I sat in a much softer chair in the back and watched him in amazement as he laughed during the show.

I was really sure he would become shy and not go on stage when his turn came. I went down to let him know it was almost time, and he got clingy and asked me to go with him. I pointed out that I was way too tall and if I went on stage, no one could see him. He thought that sounded logical, so he went up all by himself and picked up that magic lamp.

The silly green hat is his "turtle shell." The white you see sticking out is a sun visor they made at daycare this past week - it's made from a paper plate and a rubber band. Very clever!

BTW: Check out the color in that photo! I took it with my new iPhone - the only lighting was that on the stage. I'm very impressed with the camera feature! Now, if only I could get my Google calendar to sync ...