Thursday, December 22, 2005

Beautiful Eyes

Our baby boy has some really pretty eyes - I know this because I, of course, think they're beautiful, but other people also always tell him that he has pretty eyes.

So, I like looking at his eyes and at baby girl's eyes. We do "noses" where we rub our noses together and I look into their eyes. Quite often, I think about the fact that they are going to grow up and someone else will eventually be looking into their eyes. I hope that person will love them just as much as I do, but deep down I know that's just not possible because nobody can ever love someone as much as a mother loves her child.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005


I'm not sure that's actually a word, but it is fitting for baby girl these days. She's talking up a storm!! Ok, most of it is "Dikah, dikah, dikah, dikah" (think of Dr. Evil doing the macarena and you've got the correct inflection) or "Budtha, budtha, budtha, budtha" or some other completely random things that sound like they should be words, but they're just not quite there.

However, the other night, when she wanted something, she just came out and said, clear as day, "Please!" and then right after that, she clearly said our nanny's name, and we were expecting her to just turn to us and start speaking in full sentences! It was so strange!

For about a week or so, if we ask her where something is, she'll shrug her shoulders, turn her hands up, and walk around like she's looking for something. Last night, she started adding the word(s), "I-oh-know" to this behavior. Pretty cool - she's really becoming a little person!!

People always say that you're so excited when your child first starts talking and then later, you can't shut them up. At 2.5, baby boy hasn't quite hit the stage where we want to shut him up. In fact, we love to hear him talk about things because we just never know what he's going to say.

Last night, he was telling me that he played on some bicycles at his friend's house and then that morphed into some kind of description of sleeping and waking up over and over. I have no idea what it was supposed to mean, but I'm sure it made perfect sense to him.

Woops, time to get back to work!

Monday, December 19, 2005

The weekend

I spent the weekend with the reddest right eye you've ever seen! It looked kind of evil, so I kept on trying to not look at people for very long, for fear of them freaking out, screaming, and running away from me. It was yucky! Both eyes seem to be a little better today, but they still hurt and my nose is still congested, my throat still hurts, and I'm keeping a bottle of Immodium AD at the ready, just in case. (too much information?!)

Enough of my complaining, let me relay to you a funny anecdote from this weekend:

Saturday afternoon we had a real chance at getting baby boy to take a nap (we always time it wrong or something on the weekend, so it's always hit-or-miss - and when we miss, it's a really bad thing!). So, we took him upstairs and put him in his bed and told him night-night and left him up there. He screamed and cried at us for about 5 minutes, but then we could hear him calming down a little bit and just start whining about things. One of the things he's whining about is his shirt, "No like it this shirt." Both my husband and I know this means he's getting ready to take off his shirt and it's questionable as to whether or not he's going to be able to get it back on.

So, I turned up the heater to make sure he wouldn't be too cold and waited until he was quiet, thinking that I would go up and check on him and cover him up if he actually fell asleep with his shirt off. When I went up to check on him, he was still awake, and after peeking around the corner at him a couple times, I was able to tell that not only did he have his shirt off, but he had also taken off his pants. (luckily, he was still wearing his diaper!) I stood outside his doorway for awhile, then, looking in on him occasionally and keeping track of his progress.

He eventually got his shirt back on and unsuccessfully tried to put his pants back on. So, after failing with the pants, he settled down to take his nap. But, before he laid down, he stuck his baby doll up his shirt so that her head was sticking out of the neck-hole. This never ceases to make me laugh! He does this more often than you might think - we think he's kind of trying to use his shirt like a Baby Bjorn or something.

Anyway, I managed to keep myself from laughing out loud and waited until he fell asleep to go in and cover up his legs with a blanket.

Second (somewhat) amusing anecdote from the weekend, also involving baby boy:

As you know from a previous post, baby boy wants a bicycle from Santa Claus this year. So we were playing around with a Santa Claus doll and I asked him to tell Santa what he wants for Christmas.
Baby boy: "Santa Claus, I want a bike!! A blue bike!"
Me: (uh-oh!) "Uh, I think the elves made a lot of red bikes this year. What about a red bike?"
Baby boy: "Santa can give mommy and daddy red bikes."

Santa has to go exchange a bicycle now...

Friday, December 16, 2005

sick again

So, in the effort to post more often, I'm now forced to tell you the only thing I can think about today - I'm sick!

Last week, the kids got sick with runny, goopy eyes. I didn't get it until Sunday night and I thought I was getting better by Wednesday, so I decided to go ahead and wear my contacts on Wednesday. That was a mistake! When I wore my contacts again yesterday, I guess I infected the eye that wasn't originally infected and now I look horrible!! My right eye is so red! And when I got up this morning, it was stuck shut. Nice.

But, of course, I'm at work. I have things that need to be done - other people are waiting on my drawings so that they can work on them, so I can't skip it today. Uhg.

Well, sorry for the boring post, but now I'm going to get back to work. Maybe something else exciting will happen today...

(I got a big cup of coffee this morning - you never know, maybe I'll spill it on my desk again!)

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

I need to post more often

I really do need to post more often. I find it annoying to go to other people's blogs and find that they haven't updated them in several days (or in my brother's case, weeks!). I just never can come up with anything to say once I actually have the time to post something.

Ok, here's an annoying thing that I've been meaning to post about: cellphone ring tones. I think it should be mandatory to put your cellphone on "vibrate mode" when you're at work. There's a couple of people at my office who have their ringtones set to cute little tunes, but the problem is that once that cute little tune is in my head, I end up singing it to myself ALL DAY LONG. It's so dang annoying!!!!!

And speaking of annoying things (I know I'm going to end up hating myself for bringing this one up) the other day I was thinking about a South Park episode where John Stamos's older brother Richard will be singing "Loving You" during the half-time program of one of their football games and ended up singing that horrible, horrible.....

crap!! just as I was writing this the ringtone came on across the hallway. (I'm not kidding!) Ding, ding-ding-doo-doo-doo-doo, daaaah, daaaah, daaaaah, daaaaah..... AAAARRRRGGGG!!!!

Ok, as I was saying, I ended up singing that horrible, horrible song "Loving You" in my head all day long. It turned out OK, though, I infected my husband with it when I got home that night and made him sing it in his head for the rest of the night. :)

Anyway, that's my current pet peeve - the ring tones. It annoys me when people aren't considerate of other people's "space" - including listening space!

Friday, December 09, 2005

I am a wimp!

Yes, I have really become a wimp! My husband and I have noticed lately that we've become fair-weather people. After living in Houston for 12 years now, we both get really, really cold whenever we go somewhere that actually has seasons. Yet, we both loathe the suffocating heat of Houston that envelopes the city for 8 months of the year. We're just never happy, I guess.

It got fairly cold here over the past week. I think last night it might have even gotten below freezing. And my new favorite friend? The heated seats in my car!! This is something I thought was ridiculous to have in Houston when we bought the car, but my nice, toasty butt thanks me every day when I'm driving to work and driving home from work. I even went out to Walmart today at lunchtime just so I could warm up my butt! (not really, but it was a nice side-effect of having to go to Walmart)

Heated seats are something I would have scoffed at when I was a thick-skinned northerner, too. (are you a northerner if you're from Nebraska?) I would have thought it was ridiculous to pamper yourself that way. I was so wrong. It's liberating to admit that you're a wimp and just keep dialing that heated seat up hotter and hotter... :)

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Inherent good or inherent evil?...

My boss has a really annoying way of finding things he thinks are mistakes and then coming to tell me about them with an evil "I caught you" kind of smile thing. It's as if he takes great pleasure in pointing out a mistake I have made.

Today he did the same thing, with a fun prelude to the final "gotcha", asking me questions he knew I would answer "Yes" in order to prove how wrong I was when I originally did the work.

Ha! But I got HIM! I was correct and could back up my work when he finally got around to trying to use the "gotcha" on me.

Still, it leaves me with a kind of sick, deflated feeling to know that someone could try to take such joy in making me re-do something. He only does this every once in awhile, which is really good because I wouldn't be able to take it on a daily basis, but having this happen to me today has left me in a bit of a depressed state. Makes me wonder about whether there is actually inherent good in people, or is it really inherent evil?

Monday, December 05, 2005

Santa, you bring me a bicycle, right?! Please, right?!

Several months ago, we went to a sports store in town to exchange something we bought but couldn't use and while we were there, baby boy "rode" around on one of the kid-sized bikes they have there. About a month ago, he started talking about how his bike is at the store. At first we didn't really know what he was talking about, but then remembered that he had ridden that bike at the store and he now thinks of it as his bike! (we were surprised that he actually remembered about that bike!)

So, on Saturday morning, we decided to go look at the bikes and see what size he might need. We told him that he should ask Santa for the bicycle and if he was a really good boy, Santa Claus might bring it to him for Christmas.

When we asked him what he wanted to say to Santa, he said, "Santa, you bring me a bicycle, right?! Please, right?!" We may need to work on his manners just a little bit more - although, he did finally say "please"...

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Two weeks

Ok, after two weeks of not posting anything, I figured I'd better get something out there!

I've been busy for the last two weeks trying to get my drawings issued for the project on which I'm working. Today we finally signed them, which means that I need to get busy taking care of all the other work that has piled up.

But that's boring news - I'm sure you must be wondering where I've been (probably not, since the only people who read this know where I've been, but humor me...). Since last week was Thanksgiving, we took a trip with the kids up to Cleveland, OH to visit my brother-in-law and sister-in-law. They have a big, nice house in an older part of Cleveland called Cleveland Heights. It actually snowed on us while we were there, so baby boy and daddy played in it one afternoon. As my husband pointed out when we were leaving, it was strange to be somewhere with snow and not be skiing. (since it's the only time we seem to ever see snow anymore)

When we got back to Houston, we all had to strip off our clothing and put on shorts and T-shirts! It was 80ยบ here! The one good thing about being back here is that my skin seems to be soaking up the humidity again and is not so horribly dry. (I have to find the silver lining.)

So, now that my drawings are issued, I hope to have more time to post some updates. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, November 15, 2005


I've been tagged by Courtney! This means that I have to answer a bunch of questions...

1) Do you use an alarm clock to wake up in the morning?
Yes - kind of. My alarm clock up until about a week ago was a little thing that sleeps in our room called "baby girl". She used to wake up consistently every morning around 5:00. Then she would nurse and go back to sleep and at that point, it was time for me to start to get ready for work, since I'm supposed to be here at 7:00am.

However, she has finally started to actually sleep through the night! I used to set my real alarm clock, too, every night just in case she didn't wake up, but now that she's doing a good job of sleeping, I don't want to wake her up with my alarm clock. Instead, I've started sleeping with my cell phone underneath my pillow (which is kind of uncomfortable, since my pillow is so flat in the first place). I have an alarm set on it now and it vibrates to wake me up in the morning. Got this idea from the Wake and Shake Alarm Clock that we saw on HGTV's "I Want That" show. It has this thing that vibrates under your pillow and it's supposed to prevent your partner from being annoyed by your alarm clock in the morning. However, according to my husband, the vibrating phone wakes him up, too. It doesn't wake up baby girl, though, and that's the most important thing!

2) What time do you set it for?

3) Do you hit the snooze button? If so how many times?
When we didn't have someone else sleeping in our bedroom, I used to hit the snooze button every morning. Sometimes, I would hit it for an hour without even knowing I was doing it!! Now there's no snooze button on my phone, which is OK because having that thing vibrate right next to my head in the morning scares the bejeezus out of me and there's no way I could go back to sleep after getting that much of an adrenaline rush at 5:23am.

4) Have you ever abused an alarm clock?
Considering the fact that I HATE waking up in the morning (just ask my husband or my mom about that one), I'm sure I must have abused an alarm clock sometime along the way.

I had an alarm clock one time that was turned off by sound, so I could just yell at it. That was fun.

5) It’s “time” to spread some “It’s Blogcess” linky love.
Now comes the time that I'm supposed to "tag" some other people, but since I only know one other person with a blog, I guess he's going to be the only unlucky person. I'll send you over to my brother at The Blind Watchmaker. I'm not sure he'll actually respond, though, since he seems to want to keep his blog about important debates like ID and pompous asses on the radio.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Flag burning

So I went to a flag burning the other day. No, nobody was yelling, "Down with the US!" - it was a sanctioned company event where they retire the flags that fly in front of our building every year on Veteran's Day.

I think I went to the first one of these that the company did about 6 or 7 years ago. And there were about 6 or 7 people who attended it! It's become quite a production these days, though. They have some ROTC kids come and do the whole ceremony and the head of the office made a little speech. It was nice.

My grandpa was a veteran of WWII, so I guess I feel a little bit of a connection to the Veteran's Day events. But no matter what, I do think it's important for everyone to take a little time and think about all the people who have died to give us the independence and freedom that we enjoy. It's quite amazing when you think about it.

I guess it's strange to some people that liberals can actually be patriotic, too. But I believe it's really our patriotic nature that makes us liberals. We care just as much (if not more!) about our freedom and our country as all the conservatives, we just think we have different responsiblities to each other and society than the conservatives do. And luckily, we only have 2 more years of Bush to suffer through before we can try to get the country back on the right track! :)

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Knives... Swords... Knives... Swords...

Normally signs like this along the side of the road in Bubba country in Texas would scare me a quite a bit, but since we were headed to the Texas Renaissance Festival, I wasn't all that worried.

We went to the Renaissance Festival on Sunday and had a great time! I always find it fascinating to go and see all the people who actually dress up for this event - and I secretly think it would be a lot of fun to also dress up, but that would take too much time and planning and I just don't have that to spare these days.

Baby boy had a great time when he found a hill to run up and down (quite a find here in the flatlands around Houston!) - of course, it was a man-made hill, but that didn't make it any less fun. And the horses during the jousting display were just about too much for him to handle. He actually got out of our seat and ran down to the front (followed quickly by daddy) so that he could be closer.

Baby girl spent the day running around and being very cute. She ran and ran underneath all the trees and dug in the dirt. She also found it fascinating to pick up the leaves and pine needles, drop them, and watch them fall with the wind.

Of course, in the midst of all this fun, there was the actual festival going on. Some of the costumes people wear are really well-done. They look like they stepped right out of the Renaissance. However, some of the costumes are just weird! The thong/chainmail combination defies all logic to me...

We had ice cream, meat on a stick (what festival is complete without meat on a stick?!) and drank some mead, which is a strange, effervescent variant of wine - but still good! All in all, it was a good trip back in time.

On the way home from the Renaissance Festival, we decided to drive past our old house out in the 'burbs to see what it looked like after all these years. We thought this diversion would give us enough time in the car for the kids to nap on the way home and be ready for the evening when we got home. Of course baby boy ended up NOT napping on the way home, even though he was literally falling asleep on daddy's shoulder before we left the festival, but whatever.

Everything in our old neighborhood is so built-up these days! Talk about urban sprawl!!! I was driving and it was really stressful to be driving through all the construction and the massive traffic that ensnarls the area now. When we lived there, we rode our bikes from our house straight into the country. Now, there's no way I would get on a bicycle out there. We couldn't wait to get out of the area and back to the solitude of our inner-city neighborhood. It sounds crazy, but our neighborhood now is so much more peaceful than the old one.

Which brings me back to the reason we went out there - to see what the old homestead looks like. It looks exactly the same. Our old neighbors are even still there. Some of you may remember the stories we'd tell about our old neighbors. Well, it doesn't look like they've changed at all. :)

Anyway, the whole day was a fun excursion, but we'll probably stay inside the loop for the next couple of weekends. It's a crazy world out there.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Small cups from now on

I just spilled coffee all over my desk.

There are two cup sizes over by the coffee machine on my project now. For the last couple of days, I've been getting the larger size to minimize the number of times I go over to the machine. So, of course, it was a large cup of coffee. All over... Everything. Luckily most of it is replaceable and it's only paper. I might get a strange look from the mechanical engineer when I give him back the datasheets that are now covered in a brown tint. I'll just tell him that I kept them so long, they aged on my desk! :)

I'm going to use the small cups again from now on.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Smokers don't walk up the escalators

Just something I've noticed over the past few months.

In my office, there are escalators that run just inside one of the main smokers' areas for our building. I have to use these escalators everday. Generally speaking, everyone in our office walks up and down the escalators and considers it to be rude if you stand on the escalator, preventing everyone else from making a speedy floor-change.

But I always look forward to the times when I get behind a smoker on the escalator so that I can stand behind them and be lazy - I have yet to see a smoker who will walk up the escalators. It's nice... except for the nasty smokey smell that you have to deal with being down-wind from them. It's best to stay about 5 steps behind them.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Death warmed over

Spent yesterday feeling like death warmed over. Which was actually better than my husband, who was feeling like death... period. He couldn't move and could barely get out of bed. At one point in the afternoon, I came downstairs to find him laying on the hardwood floors outside the bathroom. He apparently got too light-headed to make it back to the couch or back into the bathroom to try to throw up.

To top it off, I had jury duty yesterday. I got up with a pain in my stomach, thinking that it must just be hunger, I showered, got ready and attempted to eat a bowl of cereal. The pain didn't seem to get much better. After sitting in the jury assembly room all morning and luckily not getting put on a jury selection panel - during which time wave after wave of nausea came over me - I realized that there must be something wrong with me.

I ate half a banana during naptime for the kids, hoping that it would stay down and what little energy it afforded me might get me through the evening with both kids, basically on my own, since hubby was a puddle of pain on the couch all afternoon/night. I actually managed to cook our traditional Tuesday night fish sticks and mac-n-cheese, choked down 4 fish sticks and saved all the remaining mac-n-cheese for 2 lunches for the kids and had an extra bowl remaning. It's amazing how much is left over when neither my husband nor I eat. I guess that should tell us something about our serving size...

I'm feeling better today, but still not quite well. I keep making the mistake of trying to eat or drink something and then getting a sharp, shooting pain through my stomach.

I will say this, though. It sucks being sick and having to take care of kids. I don't care who in the super-mommy world says that you just need to suck it up and deal with it. I want my Mommy.

Monday, October 24, 2005

My son, the philosopher

Every night before we put baby boy to bed, we brush teeth, read a book or two, and try to wind down before eventually turning off the lights and putting him into bed. One of the books we've been reading lately is called "Baby's First Bible". He got this as a gift when he was first born and we dug it out recently. It's pretty cool - it condenses the bible down into about 9 different stories!

The first story in the book is about Genesis and everything that God made, then it goes on to the next story about Moses being found in a basket as a baby, David in the Lion's den, baby Jesus being born, Jesus walking on water, and then Jesus rising from the grave. That's about all that's important in the bible, right?!

So, the other night, when we opened the book, baby boy says, "What made God?" (he mistakenly (?) switched the words "made" and "God")

We didn't have an answer for him.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Fire Ants

As you may recall from my previous post about the bugs in Houston, fire ants are a problem around here. They're not super bad here inside the city, but definitely out in the 'burbs, it's a constant battle with the little suckers.

Well, baby boy had his first run-in with them this past weekend. We were at a one-year-old birthday party out in the 'burbs and baby boy had the misfortune of standing for however short a period of time in a fire ant hill.

For those of you not familiar with fire ants, they're quite amazing little creatures. When we lived out in the 'burbs ourselves, I used to actually like to find ant hills and poke them to watch the ants. The amazing thing is that when you touch their ant hill, they almost literally explode out of the ground. If there's anything on top of that hill, it will immediately be covered in ants and once they reach a certain height on that object, they send out a signal to all the other ants to start biting.

Now, what was equally as amazing to see as the fire ants all over him, was the response of all the adults around him! Within seconds, there were 3 or 4 adults on top of him, as well, stripping off his shoes, socks, and shorts to get the fire ants off of him. I was actually not one of those adults. I was in a different area of the playground with baby girl and it just about killed me to not go over and help, but I knew that I needed to keep baby girl away from there and out of harm's way.

Baby boy ended up getting about 30 bites all over his ankles, but never fear, there were no less than 3 pharmacists in attendence with dosing information and Benadryl at the ready.

We kept cortizone cream on the bites for the next few days, but oddly enough, as with mosquito bites, the ant bites never seemed to bother baby boy. Kind of makes me wonder if his skin doesn't have nerve endings in it!...

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Baby Girl's doctor visit

We took baby girl to the doctor on Friday for her one-year checkup and once again, she had an ear infection that we didn't know about! The last time we took her to the doctor for a checkup, she had an ear infection, too. He's going to think that we're either the most uncaring parents ever, or that we are horrible sadists that don't care about our children's welfare.

It's neither, really - we're just clueless! When it comes to baby girl and her illnesses, nothing seems to bother her all that much. When she gets a cold, her nose runs and she coughs and that's about it. (apparently she also gets an ear infection) She doesn't run a fever, or have any more trouble than usual with sleeping, and she doesn't pull at her ears or anything that would actually lead one to think, "Hmm. Baby girl must have an ear infection."

Oh well. The visit was uneventful otherwise. She weighed 18.5 lbs and was 30 inches long - that equates to tall and skinny for those of you who are interested. About the 75th percentile in height and 25th in weight. She got her shots and screamed a bunch and then fell asleep in the car on the 2 minute trip home. Poor baby.

But, the most important thing about her these days is that she's started saying, in a nice southern accent (which I will eradicate later, but now it's cute), "Bahy, bahy!" when she waves. She's really starting to try to say words now and we're sure that she said "fish" while we were in the doctor's waiting room after we pointed out all the pictures of fish on the walls. :)

Friday, October 14, 2005

At a loss

I'm at a complete loss as to what to post on my blog today, but I feel that I should write something since I've been absent lately.

I've been busy at work this week, trying to update 55 drawings with approximately 130 different comments that were given to us in a meeting last week. It's been a Herculean task and one that I accomplished with the level of detail of (is there some greek god that was known for lack of detail?). Which means that I finished the job in the time allotted by the schedule, but will require endless more hours to actually fix what I've haphazardly done. But, the schedule is king and long live the king!!

In other news, we're finally getting our landscaping done! We first met with the landscape architect back in May and fast as a whippet, they're actually getting the work done in October. (Whippet reference especially for my mother, who was a Minden Whippet!) We're getting cobbles put in our back "yard" and more cobbles and some supposedly "low-maintenance" plants in our front courtyard. After dreaming about this for 5 months, I still can't believe it's finally going to happen - I'll believe it when I see it.

And on a final note, I thought I'd share a portion of a really cute e-mail that I got from a friend the other day:

A group of professional people posed this question to a group of 4 to 8 year-olds, "What does love mean?" The answers they got were broader and deeper than they imagined:

"When my grandmother got arthritis, she couldn't bend over and paint her toenails anymore. So my grandfather does it for her all the time, even when his hands got arthritis too. That's love."
Rebecca- age 8

"When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different. You just know that your name is safe in their mouth."
Billy - age 4

"Love is when you go out to eat and give somebody most of your French fries without making them give you any of theirs."
Chrissy - age 6

"Love is what makes you smile when you're tired."
Terri - age 4

"Love is when my mommy makes coffee for my daddy and she takes a sip before giving it to him, to make sure the taste is OK."
Danny - age 7

"Love is what's in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen."
Bobby - age 7

"If you want to learn to love better, you should start with a friend who you hate,"
Nikka - age 6 (we need a few more Nikkas)

"Love is like a little old woman and a little old man who are still friends even after they know each other so well."
Tommy - age 6

"You really shouldn't say 'I love you' unless you mean it. But if you mean it, you should say it a lot. People forget."
Jessica - age 8

Love to you all!!

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Baby Girl turns One

Today is Baby Girl's birthday! It's hard to believe that she's already one year old. She's really turning into a little person these days and it's so much fun to watch.

My whole family has been here since Thursday last week and they're leaving today. Baby Boy is going to be very upset that they're leaving him. He has so much fun with Grandma 'Braska (grandma from Nebraska), Grandpa, Uncle and "Buddy" (what he calls my brother's girlfriend, for some reason!).

We had a party at the Zoo on Saturday and then went to the beach on Sunday. I thought it was going to be a little cold at the beach, but it turned out to be pretty nice!

Anyway, it's now time for me to "come down" off my high and get back to the real life. What joy. :)

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Interesting Post

I stumbled upon this quite interesting post today:

Is a Civil War Coming?

I only just now began to wonder what view of the country our children will have as they grow up. I guess it's going to be a whole lot different than mine.

Monday, October 03, 2005

I'm so proud

Baby girl has several new "tricks" as of late. Not only does she walk, eat un-pureed food, and go up and down stairs, but she's beginning to understand different peoples' names.

When you ask her where Daddy is, she sometimes points to him, but without fail, when you ask her where Mommy is, she puts her hand up to her ear, as if she's talking on the phone. I'm so proud.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

I love this place...

Neither my husband nor I really enjoy living in Houston very much. Most of it stems from the Houston weather - it just never cools off here! As I write this, it is 93F and it's the first day of October. And last week, there were heat advisories because it was 104F in our neighborhood for four days straight. Ugh.

Another fact of living in Houston is dealing with bugs. Tree roaches are the worst. They grow to about 1.5 inches long and fly straight at your face. (or so it seems) We moved into our house, which was newly built, about 8 years ago. But from the very beginning, we had a quarterly insect treatment plan because neither of us like living with other critters. Still, we find dead and dying roaches too many times for our taste. (at least they're dead and dying)

Anyway, you can imagine our chagrin when the following conversation took place between my husband and baby boy:
"Look, Daddy! Dead roach!"
"No, Baby Boy, that's just a burned french fry."

Over the last couple of weeks, everything he sees that is blackish brown is a dead roach. Nice. And I used to dream about spending time laying on the ground with him picking out shapes in the clouds. With my luck, he'd be pointing out dead roaches in those, too. No, wait, I forgot we'll never be able to do that, either, because the fire ants would attack us and bite the crap out of us if we were to lay in the grass. I love this place...

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Major life-altering decision

I hate to admit this, but I'm a woman who hates shoe-shopping. It's an overwhelming experience for me.

I've been out looking for shoes about 5 times now over the past year (just never can find the time to do it) because I really need to replace my flat black shoes that I wear to work. They are actually split on the bottom of them (cheap shoes) and every time it rains here, my feet get wet if I walk through the smallest puddle. They've been this way for about 3 years now, but since I have been pregnant for approximately half of that 3-year period and didn't know if my feet might grow to enormous proportions due to those pregnancies, I wanted to wait to actually buy any new shoes.

So yesterday I was at the shoe store and thought I had found some shoes that were fine - just fine. They were flat enough, comfortable enough, and fit my feet, but I just had to tempt fate and go back to the sale rack to see if there were any cheaper options (I am, after all, a cheap engineer). I hadn't found any that were better until I again decided to tempt fate and check the 1/2 size larger section to see if any of those might run a little small and fit my feet. There, like a beacon shining through my shopping-induced brain fog, were the perfect pair of shoes. Just stylish enough, but not too dated looking, flat enough, shoe-like and not slipper-like, 40% off the regular price, and when I tried them on, pillowy soft and comfortable! Ahhhh....

Oh, but wait, when I tried walking in the shoe, it was just a little bit too big on my large foot - I actually have one foot that is almost a complete size smaller than the other. I put both shoes on, knowing what the verdict would be for these shoes. I almost completely walked out of the left shoe. And then the practical side in me had to speak up and say that if the shoe is a little too big on my big foot, once I wear them a little while and they stretch, then they'll really be too big. Oh why, oh why can't I just be a normal woman and buy shoes compulsively and in bulk quantities at my every whim and fancy?

No, no, I have to remind myself that I will wear these shoes for several years - until they, too, begin falling apart - and therefore that makes my decision to buy a shoe a major life-altering decision. I may go out again today and test my luck once more, but I really don't know what that will do to me...

Am I crazy or what?!

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Black or White? Red or Blue? Neither...

I know that everything has probably been said by now about Hurricane Katrina, but there's something that I've been wanting to write about for awhile and haven't had the time to really sit down and put my thoughts into words. It's also taken me quite awhile to mull this through and figure out what my thoughts actually are.

It's about how it took so long for the federal government to actually take notice about all the people who were stranded in New Orleans.

I originally agreed with the idea that the reason there was such apathy shown by Bush and his administration was because the people who needed help were mostly poor and black. The images the media presented us with of looting and lawlessness made it hard for the rest of the country to really feel sorry for these people who had such blatant disregard for other people in a time of obvious crisis. It was hard to separate those images from the rest of the people who really did need desperate help in the Convention Center.

I also read a story by a liberal columnist who suggested the reason Bush didn't care about New Orleans and Louisiana, in general, was because in the grand scheme of an election, Louisiana doesn't have enough electoral votes to really make a difference and is therefore not important to the Republican agenda. I don't really think that's the case, either.

I think the larger issue is really self-importance and ignorance.

It seems that once a person is put into some kind of power, they immediately forget about what it took to put them into that power and they begin to feel overly self-important. And it also seems that their radius of importance restricts upon themselves.

It happens all the time in big companies. As people are promoted, they begin to feel like they are the most important people, completely forgetting about the people who actually DO the work in the company and ultimately giving themselves big fat bonuses. This culminates into the final insult where the CEO of any given company gets millions of dollars in bonuses while the retirement funds of all the worker-bees get cut to fund the one-time big bonus.

The other part of the equation is the ignorance part. It seems that not very many people really understand what it takes to make this country run (besides oil). After hurricanes Katrina and Rita, I hope it's becoming more clear to people how important the whole country is and not just the northeast, where the politics happen, and California, where the entertainment industry is located.

I truly believe that if something like this would have happened in Chicago, Seattle, Houston, or Omaha, the reaction would have been similar. But as it stands now, the only parts of the country that seem to matter to people are the "upper-management zones". We in the "worker-bee zones" may be out of luck when it comes to getting the respect that we are due.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Hurricane Rita

Well, luckily, Hurricane Rita turned and lost steam before hitting Houston.

We were infinitely prepared, however! After waffling back and forth as to whether or not we would try to brave the traffic and leave Houston, we finally decided to brave the storm from our problem-ridden home which would be sure to lose it's roof to the impending gales, at which point, we would run down to Rice University and huddle with the students in their shelters there.

But, talk about prepared! We had all three bathtubs full of water (to allow us to flush our toilets in case we lost water - you can just fill up the tank of the toilet with water and flush it), we filled every large pot we owned so that we would have water with which to cook, we filled up all other available containers with drinking water and bought a couple of other cases of water, and began making and saving ice on Wednesday, which we stored at a friend's house down the street because he's the ultimate bachelor and has literally nothing in his freezer. (really, NOTHING!)

On Thursday afternoon when it looked like Rita might turn and only side-swipe Houston, we decided we'd probably just stay and then Friday when we found that we almost certainly would be out of harm's way, we took the kids for a bike ride. It was starting to get windy, but it was still a good ride. :)

Turned out that we got quite a bit of wind, very little rain, and the only thing that happened was a bunch of tiny twigs and branches fell out of the trees and created a huge mess in our neighborhood. We never even lost power or cable (until last night for some odd reason) and were able to remove the tape from our windows and empty our tubs and pots on Saturday morning. We were really lucky.

What we've learned from this:
1. We're going to get some wood pre-cut to fit our front windows and figure out a way of attaching them to the windows so that we can easily and quickly get ready for the next hurricane.
2. Next time, we'll leave town - hopefully before the rush. We don't want to tempt fate again.
3. All kinds of people will call you (even my brother) to check up on you if there's a hurricane bearing down on you. :)
(actually my brother only called because he wanted to comment on my blog...)

So, all is well here in Houston. Again, we got really lucky!!

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Word Choice and Two-year-olds

We've been having a lot of "fun" lately trying to get baby boy interested in potty training. Well, I should re-phrase that - he really wants to sit on the potty all the time, but once he gets there, he just wants to play and talk and he's not really interested in the task at hand. (Apparently we've been emphasizing the going to sit on the potty part too much...)

Anyway, a couple of times, my husband and I have said to baby boy, "Focus!" And so the other day after saying this to him, baby boy says back to us, "Fukuh-Mommy, Fukuh-Daddy..."

We've begun using the word "concentrate" now.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Days of Insanity Remaining

I was going to add this to my sidebar, but didn't want to be reminded daily about it, so thought it would be a good thing to put in a posting instead.

I found this very useful site today:

Hopefully this will work and I'll be able to reference this posting whenever I want to be depressed about how many days of insanity we have left...

Sunday, September 18, 2005

A name that should not be in politics

I have noticed that there must be an election coming up sometime soon for Houston. There are candidate signs sprouting up all over the place, but one in particular caught my attention today.

Anne Clutterbuck is running for Houston City Council.

As my husband said, "I'm not sure a person with a name that's only two small letters away from being a collosal mess would really be the best candidate to put up for a position in politics."

I agree!!

Thursday, September 15, 2005

W Rocks!

Thanks to Mister Crunchy for finding this article:

George W Bush Still Rocks!

Unfortunately, it's sad, but true.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

My Favorite Things

I was thinking back to my youth and thought it would be interesting to compare and contrast some things.

Tasty Treats:
Back then - MacDonald's, fried shrimp, Oreos
Now - Fish sticks, mac-n-cheese, and peas because it's the one meal baby boy will eat.

Fun Activities:
Back then - playing outside, going to grandma's to play with baby kitties, jumping on trampoline
Now - going to bed early, sleeping past 6:30am, taking a nap

My constant companion:
Back then - my blankie (which I slept with until I was in 2nd grade, I think!!)
Now - my breastpump

Back then - Dragonriders of Pern
Now - books?!

TV Shows:
Back then - Gilligan's Island, Brady Bunch, Dukes of Hazzard, Love Boat
Now - CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, Property Ladder
(this is obviously the only thing I have the energy to do these days, huh?)

Anyone else remember their favorites? Courtney?

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Super-Regenerative Powers

I've been busy at work for the past week, so I haven't had a chance to let you all know that baby boy's lip healed up nicely within the week and never got infected.

Wouldn't it be nice if we could all have these super-regenerative powers that children do? While doing all that running, jumping, and climbing, their little bodies STILL have the extra energy to devote to growing and healing themselves from all their bumps and bruises. It amazes me.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

First Trip to the ER

Well, we had our first trip to the ER this weekend for baby boy. It was my fault, too. :(

We were headed up the stairs Saturday evening and he refused to walk up the stairs by himself. He was leaning backwards so far that I was basically carrying him up the stairs. I tried a couple of times to tell him to stand up and walk up the stairs himself, and tried to lift him up so that he would be upright, but he just wouldn't do it. I finally got a little too forceful and ended up flinging him forwards and he hit his lip on the (carpeted, thankfully) stairs.

His lip split open and blood gushed everywhere. It stopped amazingly quickly, but we could see quite a deep cut in his lip. So, we were off to the Texas Children's Hospital Emergency Room.

As soon as we got there, a nurse asked us the reason for our visit and he took a look at the busted lip. He thought they probably wouldn't do anything about it, but instead of making us wait for 5 hours, he would have a doctor come and look at it quickly to let us know for sure. The doctor looked at it and said they could put a suture in it, but at baby boy's age, they would have to sedate him, so it probably wouldn't be worth it. He told us to watch it and if it gets infected, we'd need to get some antibiotics. From the time we entered the parking garage to the time we left, it was only 22 minutes. It was quite amazing!

So, it was a bit of a wasted trip, but I was happy to make sure that we checked with a doctor about it. And at least now we know where the emergency room is, in case we ever actually have an emergency.

I'm now waiting for CPS to read this post and come get me...

Friday, September 02, 2005

Life is crazy

This week has been pretty crazy-busy here at work. I stayed up until past midnight on Wednesday, working on some drawings that needed to be done by the next day. Thursday afternoon, they decided those drawings don't need to be done until NEXT Thursday. Ugh.

In the meantime, I've been trying also to keep up with the news from New Orleans. Some of you may know that my in-laws have a place in New Orleans. My MIL left from New Orleans to come over here to Houston on Saturday morning, so everyone is safe and sound here and it sounds like their house may actually be OK, too.

The same thing can't be said for all the people who are still stranded in New Orleans, however, without food and water in the middle of that stinking mess. I hope that someone is able to get their act together and get those people evacuated!

Which brings me back to my thoughts about work. Yesterday as I was working on finishing up these all-important drawings, I thought about how I'm sitting here in the comfort of my office with my hunger satisfied after lunch and a cup of water readily available on my desk while thousands of people are struggling to even stay alive in New Orleans. Life is crazy, eh?

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Animal Shapes?

At lunch today as I was scraping the bottom of my soup bowl, a random shape appeared and it looked like a giraffe. I started wondering if it looked like a giraffe because now I'm so used to looking at and talking about animals in children's books, or if it would have looked like that to me before having kids. I hope so, but I don't really remember what life was like before having kids. Except that I used to have a lot more time...

Terrible Two's brought on by Little Sister

Now that I actually created my blog, nothing of significant interest is happening to me. How disappointing. I could think of several amusing anecdotes to post before starting this and now... nothing.

Well, I guess I'll just update you on baby girl's newest trick (10 months old). She started walking almost 2 weeks ago now and is really catching on quickly. She started standing up from the floor (without pulling herself up) over the weekend and is now off and running. She has kind of a funny little "drunk Frankenstein" walk at the moment - arms out in front of her, stumbling along. It's very cute.

Of course, watching her progress keeps us from the most important person in the house (in his eyes anyway!), the baby boy (2+ years old) and he's become a little maniac during the last two weeks. We are obviously not paying enough attention to him and he's letting us know. I guess the "terrible two's" had to happen sometime!!

Now I'm off to figure out if I can get that "Blogs I Read" kind of link that Courtney has...

Monday, August 29, 2005

My First Post!

Well, I finally did it. After months of reading everyone else's, I've created my own blog.

"Who are you?", you might ask. My name is Sara and I'm a chemical engineer working in a huge engineering and construction company in Houston. I have a great husband and two of the cutest kids ever. :)

Now it's time for me to see what it's like to actually post something to my newly created blog!! Thanks for reading my very first post.