Friday, December 29, 2006

Creating bad habits

Over the last couple of months, my husband and I have gotten into a really bad habit: we've been staying up late every night after the kids go to bed, working! Last night we were up until past 4am and the previous night, I was up until 3am.

My problem is that once the kids go to bed, we'll come down and sit down on the couch to decompress and watch a 30-minute program before going downstairs to start our "homework" for the evening. Inevitably, though, we'll both end up falling asleep for an hour or more and after I've slept that long, I'm wide awake. So, why not get in some time working? I work for an engineering consulting company, so I get paid for my time, no matter where I work it. It's a win-win situation, right?

I wish. I'm just worn out. It's great that the oil and gas industry is so busy and we have all this work now, but it's really bringing back too many memories of college. Everyone else talks about college as this really fun and great time in their lives. I, however, have absolutely no desire to re-live that time of my life. Homework until 2am every night, projects due all the time, studying all night for every test, and sorority obligations on top of all of that. Uhg. There's a reason that our school's alumni refer to "getting out" and not "graduating" from college.

The kids are actually both napping at the moment and I desperately tried to take a nap, too. But, for some reason, I was unable to really go to sleep. Our son has the hardest time turning his brain off and going to sleep for naps and at night time. I'm pretty sure he gets that from me. The next time I'm totally exasperated at him for not taking a nap and later turning into an out of control little psycho-boy, I'm going to have to remind myself that it's all my fault. In the meantime, I'm going to go try to make another feeble attempt at getting a little rest before the kids wake up...

Friday, December 15, 2006

I'm OK...

Lately, the kids have taken to saying, "I'm OK!" quite a bit.

That's because they seem to have suddenly become very clumsy and accident-prone. Every time they trip and fall, almost immediately, they'll say, "I'm OK!" It's fairly amusing, actually.

A couple of their other favorite sayings are, "Sorry about that." And "...but that's allright."

So, I've been sitting here surfin' the 'net, trying to find some kind of inspiration for a Christmas gift for the girl (every time we ask her what she wants Santa to bring her, she says, "I don't know." - and it's true. She seems to have nothing that she actually wants.)

Anyway, the girl has been bouncing on the couch and I just heard a THUNK! Followed closely by:
"I'm OK! Sorry about that! But that's allright!"

These kids - they never cease to crack me up. :)

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

First time in how long?

Tonight is the first time since Thanksgiving... no... since before Thanksgiving that I have NOT brought any work home with me!

The simulation is done, the datasheets are finished (well, except for the pumps, which someone else is doing), the drawing reviews are finished, and I'm looking forward to going to bed before 1am tonight for the first time in a while, too. What a relief!!!

Now then. We just need to finish getting ready for Christmas, check in with my dad, who had gall bladder surgery yesterday, and check in with one of my dear friends whose Opi passed away on Sunday. Funny how life goes on in the real world.

I'd better get back to that real world thing now. I'll try to get back to the blogging world soon, too. :)

Monday, November 27, 2006

Thanksgiving Update

What a great Thanksgiving we had!

We traveled to Nebraska to celebrate Thanksgiving with grandma, grandpa, and Uncle Scott. And during our visit, we also exchanged our Christmas presents. While this causes me to have to get some serious Christmas shopping out of the way before Thanksgiving, which is pretty difficult for my non-organized-self, it also causes me to get some serious Christmas shopping out of the way before Thanksgiving, which is really pretty nice. (I'm not nearly as good as my friend Courtney!) Now we only have to worry about the husband's side of the family...

Anyway, getting back to Thanksgiving, we headed up to Nebraska on Tuesday afternoon. I really don't think I saw the kids until we were ready to leave on Sunday!

You know, every weekend, the kids wake us by greeting us face-to-face and telling us, "IT'S SUNNY OUTSIDE!!" I half-way expected the same treatment while we were in Nebraska, but I should have known better. From the moment they woke up until the time they went to bed, the kids were all about grandma, grandpa, and Uncle Scott. It was quite nice for everyone, I think. :)

We managed to work in 3 meals from Runza during our time there but I'd have to say the highlight of the vacation came, of course, on Thanksgiving Day. My mom cooked the best meal - turkey, casseroles, mashed potatoes, more casseroles, Watergate salad, fruit salad, rolls... YUM!! And she did it with no help from anyone else. I kept thinking I was going to get into the kitchen and try to help her out, but somehow, something kept on coming up. Finally, after working the previous night and all morning on this wonderful meal, my mom had had enough. She exasperatedly exclaimed, "I'm trying to get everything ready all by myself! Would someone please come help me?!"

And with perfect timing, the girl strolled into the kitchen and said, "Grandma, are you freakin' out?"

Aren't kids wonderful? :)

Monday, November 06, 2006

We're boycotting...

Last week when the time changed, my husband and I decided to boycott the change.

It's actually easy for me. My job has the ever-so-slight "flex time" setup so that you can get to work anytime between 6am and 7am. Then, you put in your 10 hours for the day (plus a 45 minute lunch) and you can leave anytime between 4:45pm and 5:45pm.

I am totally not a morning person, so even though I only live about 10 minutes away from work, I still was unable to get here any earlier than 7am during Daylight Savings Time (DST).

However, about a month ago, my husband struck on a great idea: We could just boycott the time change!

By getting up at the same time of day, I could get to work an entire hour earlier. Brilliant! What was 5:41am during DST (and the time at which my alarm was set) is now 4:41am - an ungodly hour, if you ask me! However, it seems to be working. My body still doesn't know the difference.

The key to this non-time-change is that we now have to put the kids to bed an hour earlier (by the clock) and we have to get ourselves to bed an hour ealier (by the clock). So, instead of hanging out and staying up until 11:00 every night, we now need to be in bed by 10:00 - which is a crazy-early hour of day for me to go to bed... so I've just kept my clock beside the bed on DST! That way, I think I'm still going to bed late when, in fact, I'm going to bed early. Brilliant! :)

This has caused a few difficulties, however. Whenever my husband tells me the time, I have to ask him if that's "our time" or "real time". And it's really strange living in this world where everyone has just spontaneously decided to come to work one hour later. What a bunch of slackers. (hee, hee...)

Friday, October 27, 2006

Rudolph, the moose

Here's a post in the category of "kids say the darndest things"...

Every night before bed, the kids get to each pick out a book or two and we read them before turning off the lights. A couple of nights ago, the boy dug out a book from the inner depths of the bookshelf about Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer.

As he sat down, admiring the front of the book, he said, "And this is a book about the most marvelous moose in the rain forest."


Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Skinny Girl, Drama Queen

My fingertips are raw and sore - I've been sewing by hand for the last couple of nights. Maybe I should back up...

1st Topic: She's a skinny little thing.
Until Friday last week, we were all still wearing shorts and T-shirts here in Houston. Finally, on Friday an actual cold front came through and forced us to dig out the long pants and figure out that all of the kids' pants are too short for them now. This is not a huge surprise, but what I was somewhat surprised about was the fact that the girl's pants totally fall off of her now. She's no longer wearing a diaper or pull-up during the day (...but she has at least one accident every day), so the only pants that fit her waist are 12-month size and those are about 4 inches too short.

I went out looking for some 2T pants for her and discovered that the standard waist size for 2T pants is about 2 inches too big. So I've been sewing. A tuck here, a tuck there, some ruffles on the bottom of these pants because they almost fit her waist... Uhg.

2nd topic: She's a drama queen.
As if on cue on her 2nd birthday, the girl became an absolute drama queen! And the poor thing - we just watch her and laugh. She definitely doesn't get the desired result from her "tantrum".

Here's a typical tantrum-

The girl: (sobbing with mouth wide open and huge crocodile tears running down her face) I cah fih ma lah!
Us: (with sincere concern) What? What do you need?
Us: What's wrong? What do you need?
The girl: (still sobbing) I can't find my lambs! WAAAAHHHH!
Us: Lambs? Lamb is right there on the floor. (And we get lamb and give her to the girl.)

Immediately, the crying stops and she starts laughing and jumping up and down because she found lambs. It's really hard to take her seriously. And even when she is serious, nothing could compare to the boy's "intensity" about certain things. So, we end up being a rather apathetic audience for most of her tantrums. Poor little drama queen.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

The Cheering Section

One benefit to having a 3.5-year-old is that we now regularly have a cheering section for many things that we do. I guess we didn't read this article soon enough and we've now poisoned the children with the notion that they can't do anything good unless they have reinforcement from us (or something like that, according to the article - oh, what are parents to do?!).

As a result of our telling our children "good job," (especially when they poop or pee on the toilet! - I am not about to stop telling them that just because I don't want to somehow damage their psyche. No, no, I want to positively reinforce that behavior as much as possible...) they will tell us "good job" for doing various things around the house.

"Good job!" I hear when I'm using a screwdriver to put something together. "Good job!" I hear when I'm washing my hands. "Good job!" I hear when I'm putting clothes into the washing machine.

But I'm especially fond of the "Good job!" I hear when I'm using the bathroom. Thank you very much. I'm happy that I have such incredibly impressive toileting skills. :)

Monday, October 09, 2006

The cake

Well, you'll be happy to know that I didn't explode before we were able to give the girl her birthday present on Saturday morning! She was excited about it and has been playing with it ever since Saturday morning (when she's not asking to watch Caillou - uhg!), so I'm happy about that!

And her birthday party went well, too. She was a little overwhelmed by all the activity, but still seemed to have a good time.

In planning the party and the decorations, however, we initially had a hard time trying to figure out what to put on her cake. In the end, though, it was a pretty easy decision.. :)

Still Patriotic

Remember the story about the Flag Shirt? Well, the fascination continues to be a source of many loads of laundry great amusement for us. The girl loves her flag shirt and, in general, American flags. When she runs for President someday, we'll be able to tell everyone she's been training for the post since before she was 2! :)

And in order to give ourselves a break with the laundry load, I made her a couple more flag shirts from some clip art I found online and some iron-on transfer paper. (yep, the inner-Martha has really come out.)

I think they turned out pretty well, and considering the difficulty I had in trying to find any size 2T, plain white T-shirts, I'm darn proud of them:

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Secret, secret, I've got a secret

Ok, it's not a big secret or anything super-exciting, but I just can't wait until this coming Saturday.

It's our baby girl's 2nd birthday party on Saturday and my parents are coming to town, so we're going to give her birthday presents to her on Saturday.

And I'm really excited about the present we got for her! Check this out:Is that not the cutest kitchen you've ever seen?! (And most horribly gender-stereotyped! But darn it, I don't care. Do you see how cute it is?!)

Of course, we've gone waaaaayyyy overboard and gotten her a toaster, a 1-cup Bialetti espresso pot, a little microwave, pots and pans, kitchen utensils, play food, and another storage cabinet to go next to this - you know, for some additional counter space!

We're keeping this all in the closet in our downstairs bedroom and every night I have to go look at it and see how cute it is. Saturday can't come quickly enough.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Non-equal billing

I feel bad because I seem to always be complaining and talking about the boy and our trials in potty-training him!

There is another member of our household who just goes about minding her own business and generally being a sweet, kind, contributing member of the family: our baby girl!

So, a post about her is long overdue.

We took this picture back in early July and I've been meaning to post it here since then, but just haven't found the time.
At the time, this was a picture of all her favorite things in the world. Her truck PJ's, her firetrucks and "lamb" (whom she now calls "lambs" because that's the way the nanny says it...).

Since the time this picture was taken, however, she has added her flag shirt and, most recently, a lavendar blanket. She has actually acquired an affinity for several small baby blankets, but the lavendar one seems to be her favorite.

Her birthday is less than 2 weeks away and I'm having trouble believing that she's going to be 2 years old!

On the one hand, it's hard to believe that she could already be that old, and on the other hand, I think of her as being almost the same age as the boy, so it seems that she should really be turning 4!

She has taken quite well to the potty-training, actually, and I guess that's probably most of the reason I think of her as being older. Plus, she's just so chatty and speaks in complete sentences - the only thing that gives her away is her baby-like pronunciation of words. And I tend more to think of that as her northeastern accent (although no one in our family is from the northeast), so it doesn't seem to be so baby-like to me. :)

We've been measuring and marking the kids on one of the doorjambs and over the last 6 months, she's grown 4 inches! I kind of want to stop feeding her so that she'll stop growing and stay this size and age forever. Do you think I could do that?

Most of all, she's just a joy to be around. And even though I don't want her to grow up, I look forward to seeing what kind of a person she'll become. We've still got a fun ride ahead of us.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006


I had an epiphany today: I love my son.

You're probably wondering why that seems like such an epiphany to me, huh?

Well, what with all the pooping and unresponsiveness over the past 4 months (yes, he's still pooping in his pants), I've almost begun to wonder if I do love him. There seem to be more times than not that I would rather not be around him.

So, it did my heart a world of good to go pick him up at preschool this morning and find myself involuntarily smiling and laughing at him as he intently worked on getting his tricycle out of the big rocks they've placed in one corner of the playground to use as a seating area.

And then he saw me and squealed in delight and ran into my outstretched arms. We hugged and kissed and looked into each others eyes and reconnected like long-lost lovers who didn't want to let go of each other.

Yep, I really do love my son.

Friday, September 22, 2006

I know, I know...

Yeah, I know, this post is long overdue!

I returned from Pascagoula last Thursday night - our flight was delayed by more than 2 hours, but it wasn't as bad as it could have been. There were two other flights to Houston that had been delayed that afternoon. One of which was supposed to leave at 12:22, but didn't leave until 6:30 and there were a couple of families on that plane. My heart really went out to them!!

Since I got back, I've just been busy playing with the kids and working. Good times.

You know, since I recently changed jobs, I'm still kind of trying to get used to the new company. I'm now a "lead" on a project and I feel like I'm just totally fumbling my way through it. (I kind of thought I was a little more competent than this!)

The problem lies in the fact that I'm a horrible procrastinator. (yes, Mom, I know it!) And if I don't have a set deadline for something, I just can't get myself motivated to really get into the nitty-gritty of the work.

Usually on engineering projects, there are the different engineering disclipines (process, mechanical, civil/structural, instrumentation, piping, etc.) and then project management and project controls. In the past, I've always considered the project controls people pretty much the most useless ones on the project. They are the ones in charge of setting up the project schedule and then yelling at everyone when they can't meet the completely ridiculous and unrealistic dealines they set.

Apparently, in my new company, these people exist, but they have yet to do anything on my current project. At this rate, we'll be done with the project before any schedule gets made. So now I'm forced to figure out a schedule for myself, taking into account all the other disciplines and determining just how far behind I am.

And I guess I'll go eat a little crow, too, for all those nasty things I said about project controls...

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

No, not dead

Not dead - busy week last week - ending at 4:30 Thursday afternoon (the last day of our work week, since we work 4 - 10 hour days), when I was told that I would be travelling to the plant this week and would have to get plant safety training for most of the day on Monday.


I'm in the lovely resort location of Pascagoula, Mississippi (M - I - crooked letter - crooked letter - I - crooked letter - crooked letter - I - hump-back - hump-back - I (I always have to say that in my head when I type it so that it will come out right. And I wish I could remember if it was my grandpa or my great-grandpa who used to say that...)).

Having a wonderful time. Wish you were here!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Labor Day Weekend

Hike to Lily Pad Lake and picnic; Ice Cream and Coffee in Vail; Play at community park; Bike to Breckenridge, picnic, play in the river, and Duck Race; Hike to Masontown and picnic; Ice Cream, Coffee and Horse-drawn Carriage Ride in Vail; Return flight landed at 11pm last night...

Full vacation. Everyone is exhausted. And we had a great, great time!!

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Uncanny ability for prediction

I am sometimes amazed at my uncanny ability to predict how things will work out.

For instance, remember when I was talking about the container garden that I attempted to start back in March/April? And I kind of made a joke about how I would end up with only 2 vegetables from my endeavors?


Shown here with one of our favorite wines. (credit goes to my husband for the artistic picture!)

I tried one of the cucumbers and it was actually really sour tasting! Of course, upon seeing the look on my face as I was eating it, my husband asked me what was wrong. And when I told him that it was sour, he said, "Congratulations! You've managed to grow a pickle!" Thanks.

Shortly after I picked those two cucumbers, the plants seem to have given up their purpose in life...

Friday, August 25, 2006

Beautiful post

No, not this one. This one.

I have to say, I think this is just about the most beautiful thing I've ever read:

"And because of this, one day he will know, without my having to tell him:

That I am your sanctuary, my son. Where you find your mother, you will find a home. No matter what your age, you can come back to me. You can lay your head on my chest, and you will feel me smoothe your hair.

I will always be ready for your embrace.

I want my children to know that same thing someday. And it's exactly the way I feel about my mother...

The hazards of having a physics professor for a friend

So, last night we went on family bike ride night and right as we were leaving, our good friend "Squared" came walking by our house after finishing a run.

I suppose I should explain why his name is "Squared". Well, he was my husband's college roommate. We went to an all-engineering college. Both his first name and his last name start with K. Therefore, K-squared. Or just "Squared", as he's known to our kids.

(I imagine our kids suddenly coming to a great realization in 7th or 8th grade algebra - n-squared... n*n... hey, wait a minute... Uncle K-squared... I get it now!!!!)

Anyway, our friend now happens to be a professor in physics at a local college here in town. So, tonight the kids learned about parametric oscillators (from the article's 4th paragraph, you'll see why we were discussing parametric oscillators) and inertia.

I can hardly wait to hear what they're going to learn about next week. :)

Thursday, August 24, 2006

And in the calm...

And in the calm of the evening, the husband decides to look at the Office Depot catalog.

"I love office supplies."

"You love office supplies?" (thinking, "wtf"?)

"Yeah! Come on, they have drafting supplies and an exacto knife! I mean look at that, isn't that awesome?!"


Husband here...then wife states...

"A Pentel mechanical pencil....I would kill for one of those!"


And a great calm descended

The boy pooped on the toilet tonight.
And a great calm descended on the household...

Our "Spirited" Child

So, in my previous post, I mentioned that I bought a book called "Raising your Spirited Child".

When I initially heard about the book, I thought the "spirited" part referred to the energy level of the child. And based on that alone, I thought it might be a book worth reading, since our little boy never stops moving. Not even when he's sitting down. He's always got to be moving something.

Occasionally, in a vain attempt to get him to take naps, I'll actually try to hold his little legs still so that he can't move. That usually only works for about 5 seconds before he throws me off. (at which point, I usually consider if I might do any severe physical or psychological damage by actually laying on top of him...)

Anyway, I've only read the first part of the book, but it turns out that the author was trying to come up with some word to use other than "difficult" or "problem". Which is even more fitting for our sweet little boy!! :)

I've only read through the beginning of the book where you're supposed to answer a bunch of questions and determine what type of temperament your child has - is he calm and laid-back, or is he very intense. About everything. The boy falls into the "intense" group in pretty much everything.

So, I'm interested to see what types of coping mechanisms she suggests. Besides drinking. Heavily. (but that seems to be doing the trick so far, so why mess with a good thing?...)

Monday, August 21, 2006

Where ya been?

In case you're wondering where I've been, I've been busy!

Thursday afternoon, my mom arrived and all the fun of "grandma" came with her. :)

So, sorry, but my usually witty and wonderfully discriptive writing (HA!) will now be reduced to mere bullet-points in order to sum up my extended weekend:
  • Thursday: The boy pooped in his pants again in the morning and I was on poop-duty. So, I dutifully showed up at the pre-school, changed his underwear and cleaned him up, and then ended up taking him home because he didn't want to stay anymore. Then I came back to work to finish packing up my office in preparation for the move that was to take place after lunch. I went home for lunch because I didn't have anything to eat here at work, then came back to work to see if my stuff had been moved (it hadn't), then left to go pick up my mom from the airport. I dropped her off at home and returned to work to find that my stuff, this time, had been miraculously moved while I was gone, so I spent the rest of the afternoon unpacking and trying to figure out what exactly I'm supposed to be doing for this new project. When I left from work Thursday afternoon, I couldn't find my car because I had gone and come back so many times from work that I couldn't remember where I'd been able to find a spot the last time. (seriously - it took me almost 5 minutes of near-panic and feeling really stupid to find the car!)
  • Friday morning: Took the boy to school and then all us girls went to Target and loaded up on shorts for the boy. We're hoping that maybe a larger sized waistband will help him to pull down his shorts more easily - you know, for when he pees in his pants and then has to change his shorts and underwear by himself. (because this is one of the rules of the pre-school - it's supposed to encourage independence. I hope it does...)
  • Friday afternoon: Went out to eat with grandma and the kids, at which point, the boy decided to take the opportunity to finally poop in his pants (he hadn't gone while he was at school that morning). I managed to get him to take a nap on Friday afternoon and after naptime, we all went swimming at the local swimming pool.
  • Friday night: Ate at home, gave the kids their bath, and got them to bed at a somewhat decent hour.
  • Saturday morning: Went to the Butterfly Exhibit at the Museum of Natural Science, which is designed to mimic a rainforest. Thought my mom (being from Nebraska and not accustomed to extreme humidity) was going to literally melt away...
  • Saturday lunch: No weekend is complete for us unless we go to Chick-fil-A, so we had lunch there on Saturday. Fearing that the boy would poop in his pants if we stayed there too long, we packed everyone up not too long after the kids started playing in the playground area. This caused the boy to go into a full-blown tantrum and scream, cry, and kick the entire way home. (As an aside, at lunchtime today I went and invested in a book called Raising Your Spirited Child - I'm hoping maybe there will be some potty-training tips in there, too. Ha!)
  • Saturday afternoon: Luckily, the screaming tantrum wore the boy out just enough to make naptime OK. I laid down with him and he went to sleep in only about 15 minutes or so. A record!
  • Saturday evening: Right before we left to go out to eat, the boy announced that he needed to go poop and wanted grandma to help him. (going poop once a week in the toilet is good, right?...) After this momentous event, we went out to eat at an Indian restaurant and only had to take the kids outside to play after I was actually done eating. This was considered a huge success. (Did I mention that i just went and bought a book called, Raising Your Spirited Child?)
  • Sunday morning: We had to take grandma to the airport to catch her plane. Afterwards, we stopped by Starbuck's and got some coffee and coffee cake before heading off to the park to play. The boy pooped in his pants while we were at the park.
  • Sunday afternoon: During lunchtime, the boy pooped in his pants again. Then he refused to take a nap during naptime and he pooped in his pants again. We decided to go on a bike ride after the girl was awakened prematurely from her nap, so right before loading up on the bikes, we asked the boy if he needed to go pee-pee. His response? "No, I peed in my pants." Sure enough, he'd just peed in his pants about 1 minute beforehand. So, I took him upstairs and put a pull-up on him. Neither the husband nor I could put up with any more of the pooping and peeing.
  • Sunday evening: The boy fell asleep on our 2-hour bike ride (thank goodness) and when we got home, we ate supper and then headed upstairs for bathtime. At which point, we discovered that the boy had pooped in his pull-up. Four times in one day. Good times.
So, there you have it. A fun-filled weekend! (Really, besides the poop, it was a very good weekend!) :)

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

First Day of Pre-School

Well, I've just come back to work after seeing our little boy off at his first day of pre-school.

There were many tears of both joy and sadness as we said our good-byes...

Not in the slightest! The boy couldn't have gotten rid of us more quickly. He already knew the school from visiting several times and one of his little friends that he made this summer is in the 4-year-old class, so he was happy to see us go. He didn't even look back as he rode away on his tricycle to join the fun in the sandbox. We did manage to take a couple of pictures before he shoved us out the door, so at least that was nice. :)

I am anxious, however, to see how the morning is going to go. He's only there for 3 hours, so we left him two sets of underwear and shorts - I'm hoping he won't pee more than that.

We spoke with his teacher on Monday about our potty-training battles. She told us that it usually becomes a "social" thing to do while the kids are there, so hopefully that will spur him into more action. And I'm guessing he won't poop for the three hours he's there, however, if he does, the teachers won't clean it up - they call the parents to come clean it up. This should be interesting...

UPDATE: At 10:45, my husband got the call. The boy pooped his pants, so hubby is off to clean him up. Man, we didn't even make it one day.

Monday, August 14, 2006

That new car smell

So, we broke down and finally traded in our little car (with a back seat, but not a big enough back seat for carseats) for a larger car.

And we finally took posession of it on Thursday, Aug. 3rd. (yeah, I know, it's been a long time since I've updated the blog - I was busy last week!)

I won't go into the gory details of the two-week car-buying experience, but it finally ended on Thursday when the sales guy called the trucking company and told them that if they didn't deliver the car that day, he was going to call it in stolen.

Surprise, we got the car that day. After more than a week of it being "somewhere" on a truck. ???

Anyway, being very excited to try out the new car with the back seat appropriately sized for carseats, I forced the husband to transfer the carseats to the new car that night (at 9pm) so we could all go for a test-drive.

Forty-five minutes later, we were all loaded up in the car with at least 20 mosquitoes also in attendance.

And we spent the rest of the weekend trying out the car, attending little kids' birthday parties, and generally having fun zipping around in our new car!

The aforementioned birthday parties were both on Sunday morning and they actually over-lapped. So, we went to the first party, held at one of those Bounce U places, and left right before they served the cake.

The second party was a pool-party, at which we arrived just in time to eat a little pizza and then play in the pool a little while before the cake was served.

Now, I'm sure this will come as a surprise to you, but the boy, in addition to having issues going to sleep and issues with potty training, is a rather finicky eater. So he won't eat pizza. Or the "cake" part of birthday cake. His diet, then, that fateful morning consisted of 2 juice boxes, the frosting off of two pieces of cake, and about half a bowl of Doritos.

Can you guess what happened on the way home from the second birthday party?

Yep, he threw up. In the new car. And as he was throwing up, I was struck with conflicting thoughts: "Oh, poor little boy..."
"Oh no! The car!"
"Ew, Doritos."
"Yep, there it goes, dripping down onto the seat of the new car!"
"Wow, how much did he eat?!"
"Good Lord! Make it stop!"

We spent the next 2 hours trying to clean everything up once we got home. Luckily, most of it was contained in his carseat and only a little bit oozed down onto the seat of the car. Also luckily, we got the leather seats in the car, so that was fairly easily cleaned.

So, we actually got off fairly unscathed. It will be awhile before I eat any Doritos, however.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Sometimes you feel like a nut

Sometimes you don't!

Courtney did this "Celtic Horoscope" which is based only on your birthdate (no year). She thought it came out appropriate for her. So I tried it. Here's what I got:

You Are A Walnut Tree

You are strange and full of contrasts... the oddball of your group.
You are unrelenting and you have unlimited ambition.
Not always liked but always admired, you are more infamous than famous.
You are aggressive and spontaneous, and your reactions are often unexpected.
A jealous and passionate person, you are difficult in romantic relationships.

Ok, other people probably know better how I project myself, but I must admit that I don't think this really describes me very well. Besides the "oddball" part...

(I mean come on, unrelenting and ambitious? infamous? jealous and passionate? I'm just not seein' it.)

Monday, August 07, 2006

Not everything is bad

Ok, If you've been following the pooping saga, you may think that the only things I can say about the boy are bad. I'm going to try to rectify that situation now.

Our little boy is the sweetest little guy! His favorite toy is still his baby doll, whom he will tell you almost continuously is "three months old. Isn't she cute?" And then he pulls her close and kisses her on the cheek or on the head. It's very nice.

One night this week, however, when I got home, I saw that he had put her into one of our clear plastic shoe boxes in which we keep some of their toys. And he had the lid on it.

Recently, I've been reading the news coverage about the bombing in Qana and I got a little worried when I saw that the boy had put his baby doll into something that looked like a coffin. I wondered if he had somehow seen something on the news about all the children that were killed.

My fears turned out to be unfounded when I asked (trying to sound nonchalant), "Whatcha doin' with your baby?"

"She's in her Bissonnet." And no matter how many times I tried to get him to call it a "bassinet", he insisted that it was her Bissonnet. (which just happens to be a street here in Houston that we drive on fairly frequently!)

He's very sweet to his baby sister, too. He's pretty rough with her most of the time, but usually when she gets hurt, he'll hug her and kiss her and tell her that he's sorry.

It also never ceases to make me laugh to hear the things that he comes up with. For instance, during our vacation this past February, when we were taking turns skiing, the parent not skiing would take the kids to a sledding park.

The park also happened to be the place that lots of people would bring their dogs to play and many of them would use those thrower-things to throw tennis balls for their dogs to "fetch".

So, after we got back to Houston, we happened to be somewhere that the boy found a tennis ball. And he got really excited. "Look!! A dog ball! Now all we need is one of those thrower-things.... .... .... and a dog!"

Most recently, my favorite thing that he says is "lasterday". I think it means yesterday, depending on the context. :)

So, there you have it. A nice post about my baby boy. But just wait, I'm sure I can come up with something bad soon...

Friday, August 04, 2006

Of course

There was no mention of the flag shirt this morning and so it and the two other plain white shirts I bought yesterday are still sitting in the dryer from washing them last night.

I knew I should have just waited it out a little longer...

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Our patriotic little girl

The girl has developed a fascination over the last week with her Old Navy "Flag Tee" - you know, the ones that Old Navy sells every year for the 4th of July for $5?

Everyone in the family got one for the 4th this year, but last Thursday, the girl wanted to wear her flag tee again. And on Friday... And actually for the last 8 days, that's the only thing she wants to wear. She asks for it immediately when she wakes up in the morning. She even wore it to bed one night over her PJ's!

Last night on our bike ride, she pointed out every American Flag to us. "THERE A FLAG SHIRT!!" (We're working on shortening that to just "flag"...)

Anyway, we're getting a little tired of washing the thing every night, so I've been on a mission this morning to search the internet for any more American Flag T-shirts. No dice. Sure, there are lots of shirts, but they're almost all only in adult sizes. And in Youth sizes, they only go down to "small", which is not small enough for an almost-two-year-old.

So, I've found some American Flag clipart designed to be iron-transferred to T-shirts and I went out at lunch today and found a couple of white T-shirts I may experiment with tonight. This should be good... :)

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

My cat has fleas

Ugh. The cat has fleas!!

The other night, my husband was sitting on the couch with the cat when he suddenly exclaimed, "Oh crap! I think I just saw a flea run across Midas' face!!!" (Midas is the cat, by the way.)

I really hate fleas. When we first moved down here to Texas after college, we moved in with my husband's parents. They had a cat that had always had fleas. But when we introduced our two cats to the household, there was a flea explosion. It was disgusting.

From that point on, I swore we'd never have flea-ridden cats again. When we moved out, we took the cats to be "dipped" and then took them straight to our new place. And we never saw another flea. Until last night.

Hoping that my husband's eyes were deceiving him, I got out the flea comb last night and started searching. Sure enough, I found at least 10 fleas on him. Yuk!!

How can a cat who has not seen the light of day since we moved into the house eight years ago (except for annual trips to the vet, of course) get fleas?! The only thing I can figure is that either he picked them up at the vet a year ago (because I seem to recall seeing some there and thinking, "My cat better not end up with fleas from coming to the vet's office!!"), or the kids brought one or two back from their friend's house - they have a dog. Either way, I'm mad!

Now I'm off to call the vet and make an appointment for his check-up (it was time anyway) and getting some kind of super-duper flea medication...

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Room with a view

Today I watched a guy get dressed in his hotel room.

My office looks out onto the "plaza" of this complex and there is a hotel across the plaza from our building.

So, this guy goes over right next to his window - he was wearing a shirt and underwear. He put on his pants, then took off his shirt and put on a different shirt.

It would have been better if there wasn't a guy sitting in my office with me - he kept distracting me from the show. :)

Monday, July 31, 2006

Sounds from the office

Silence. Dead silence.

The cube I've been put in at my new job is on a floor with very little activity. In fact, there is only one guy close to me and he's not at his desk very often. When he is there, I feel very self-conscious thinking that I must be breathing too loudly or wondering if my clickity-clicking on the keyboard annoys him sometimes. I don't dare talk on the phone when he's around.

I am able, however, to visit other project floors with more activity and it's kind of strange for me. You see, this company for which I'm now working has their home office in Australia. And the project on which I'm currently working was started by one of their predominantly Australian offices, so many of the people who've come here to finish the project are Aussie. Plus, the project is to be built in Trinidad, so the client has a "Trini" accent. (very similar to Jamaican accent) I find myself listening to their accents instead of listening to what they're saying most of the time!

At my previous job, almost all of the projects on which I worked were for Saudi Arabian or Kuwaiti companies. And the people working at my old office are predominantly Texan, Indian, and the occasional Eastern-European. So, the sounds here seem much different than the sounds there.

But, this morning, I happened to be walking down the hallway and instantly felt at home. There were a couple of guys speaking Arabic. Funny, huh?

Sunday, July 30, 2006

First night at the theater - movie theater...

Well, we took the kids to their first movie this past Friday night. We went to see Cars.

Considering the fact that we have many of the Cars toys, as well as books, and therefore already knew the story line and ending of the movie, I thought it was really a good movie. (and I didn't even get to see the whole thing)

The thing I liked about it most, was the "moral" behind the story: respect your elders. (yeah, now I'm considering myself an elder!)

But, I think it's something that our society really tends to overlook these days: Respect for your elders. Heck, respect for anyone!

So, not only is it a well-made kids movie with enough jokes for the parents who watch it, it's really one of those feel-good, choke-you-up, and make you feel silly for getting emotional about talking cars kinds of movies. :) (and the kids liked it, too - Ok, the girl didn't make it through the entire movie, but she liked the 1/3 she saw...)

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Back to the bodily functions

Been one more week without an update on the bodily functions, so it's time...

The boy... well, now that I've been trying not to care quite so much about it, it's at least easier for me.

Actually, I think he IS getting better. On Sunday morning, Monday morning, and this morning, he actually pooped on the toilet with no problems. Tonight, however, apparently, he wasn't getting enough attention, so he pooped in his pants. But, I'm trying not to let it get to me...

We went spent some time with some friends this past weekend who told us their boys did almost exactly the same thing as our son has been doing. And it took them several weeks to break their boys of the habit of pooping in their pants. So, maybe it's not quite as strange as we thought it was.

The girl... after I got home tonight, we changed the girl into some "big girl underwear" and asked her if she needed to go pee-pee. And she did! On the toilet!

And then, something really amazing happened after supper tonight - she told us that she had to go pee and she hadn't gone yet! That's a first. So, I hurried her to the toilet and she went. Ha! Ha, ha, ha!!! I can hardly contain my glee. :)

So... baby steps. We're working on it and we might actually be making progress!

Monday, July 24, 2006

Yeah, Floyd!

So, Floyd Landis won the Tour de France! He had a great time trial on Saturday and was able to take the yellow jersey for the final time that day. Way cool!

Now he just has to go get his hip replaced and see if he can return to form for next year! Yeah - isn't it weird that all of the American Tour de France winners overcome some kind of adversity to win the Tour?

Greg LeMond got shot by his brother-in-law in a hunting accident after he won one Tour, but recovered and went on to win two more.

Lance Armstrong survived advanced cancer and ended up winning seven Tours de France.

Now Floyd Landis has been living with chronic hip pain and will get his hip replaced during the off-season. We'll see how that affects the rest of his career...

Anyway, Yay, Floyd! Another American winner of the Tour de France!

Thursday, July 20, 2006




WOW! That's about all I can say about today's Tour de France stage! You know how I said it wasn't looking good for the US for the rest of the Tour? Well, Floyd Landis did something incredible today.

Today's stage had 5 mountain climbs to go over. So on the first climb of the day, Floyd decided to put it into high gear and ride away from everyone else.

Of course, all of the other riders thought he was crazy and figured he'd run out of steam well before the end of the stage.

Not so!! He stayed away for the entire stage and gained back almost all of the time he lost yesterday. It was an amazing ride. Something that will go down in the history books. Seriously.

So, he's now in third place, only 30 seconds behind the guy who's in first place. There's one more stage where anything can happen - Saturday's Individual Time Trial. And Floyd is a great time-trialist. He's got a serious chance. I'm so happy for him!

We've been DVR'ing all of the stages and re-watching them every night. On Tuesday - the first big day in the mountains!- my husband was out of town, so he missed all the coverage and didn't know what had happened. So when he got home at midnight, we watched the coverage. Until 3am. Yeah, we're a little stupid when it comes to watching bike racing.

So now, I'm off to settle in for a long night of watching today's coverage that we DVR'd from this morning. It's a good thing the Tour will be finished on Sunday. I can't take these late nights for much longer! :)

Go Floyd!... oh no, Floyd!

Brief Tour de France Update:

Tuesday was a good stage for the US! Levi Leipheimer had a good stage and regained some time on the "general classification" and Floyd Landis regained the yellow jersey - everything seemed right in the world. (Aside from the fact that George Hincapie is still not riding all that well. sigh...)

Yesterday, however, Floyd cracked big-time on the last climb up to the finish line - he lost 8 minutes on the day (which is a LOT of time to lose, if you hope to win the Tour) and now there is only one American in the top 10 - Levi Leipheimer in 9th place.

Doesn't look good. :(

Monday, July 17, 2006

Poop Update

We're still having trouble with the boy. He still likes to poop in his pants. Yes, he likes it. I swear, everyone we talk to about our potty training issues tells us that someday, he won't be afraid to poop on the potty. No, that's not the problem. He's not afraid, he just seems to prefer to do it in his underwear.

This past week, we've not been asking him if he needs to go. Occasionally, I'll tell him something like, "You know that if you need to go potty, you should tell us. I expect you to tell me." - hoping that it's just the pressure of being asked about it all the time that is making him reluctant to go.

And it has actually kind of been working. He's maybe 75% underwear, 25% toilet these days. You know, I find it kind of depressing that I'm excited about those numbers. "Someday," I keep telling myself.

And the girl really can't force herself to produce another "penis" - she got way too freaked out about that. But, we also haven't been pushing the whole thing with her so much, either. She mostly wears pull-ups these days, but treats them like diapers. Whatever. I'm just not all that worried about her.

Anyway, since it had been a week since I wrote about the poop, I figured I'd better let you all know how it was going! I know you just live for these poop updates, right? :)

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Well, I didn't see that coming

It has taken me a full two days to get over the shock of Thursday's Tour de France Stage. Wow. I can't believe how it turned out!

George lost more than 21 minutes on the stage. For those of you who aren't regular bicycle race watchers, that's bad. That's really bad. That's so bad, in fact, that there's pretty much no way that George has a chance to even place in the top 10 this year. I'm in mourning.

On the other hand, Floyd Landis looked really awesome. And that's really good for Floyd.

Today he gave up the yellow jersey to a guy who he's hoping he'll be able to beat in the mountains or the final time trial next week, so we'll see how that works out for him. I hope it does - Floyd's a good guy.

The next big stage should be on Tuesday next week when the finish is on l'Alpe d'Huez. It's going to be a long hard stage and will really be a test to see who is going to make it to the finish in the yellow jersey. I can't wait to see how it plays out!

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

No Chain

So, my regular readers (all three of you) now know that I'm a big fan of George Hincapie. George is the only member of Lance Armstrong's team who was on the team for all of Lance's seven Tour de France wins. So, he and Lance are good friends.

During all their time together, they came up with a kind of "code word" for when they were having a good day on the bike: no chain. They felt so good on the bike that they felt like they were pedalling along with no chain on the bike - no resistance.

I pretty much feel the chain every time I ride! Especially now that most of my riding is done with either 24 or 40 extra pounds on the back of the bike. :)

Tonight, however, my husband got a taste of riding with no chain. His chain broke! We were out for our "family bike ride night", and as we were going up a hill, his chain broke clean off his bike.

We were only 3 miles away from home, but still thought that would be a rather long walk home, so we decided instead to limp along for a little less than a mile and get to the park where we were planning to have our picnic. Then I could leave them all there and come back with the car to get them.

So, my husband got back on his chainless bike and I rode next to him and pushed him along. It was at least a good workout for me. :)

Interesting stage tomorrow in the Tour

Well, tomorrow should be an interesting stage in the Tour de France! It's the first stage that ends in a mountain-top finish and that should show which of the riders is really in contention for the overall win.

Poor Georgie didn't do nearly as well as I had hoped in the Individual Time Trial last Saturday and now has a minute and a half to make up on Floyd Landis, but nothing is definite yet and I'm still hopeful that George will be able to hold his own in the mountains. Now, if only his team would help him out a little...

Of course, I do think it would be cool for Floyd to win the Tour - he's a really nice guy and from the US, and I think it would be great for the Americans to continue dominating the Tour, so I won't root against him, but my heart belongs to Georgie. :)

Tomorrow is also my husband's birthday, so he's looking forward to taking the morning off from work and spending some quality time with OLN. Should be a good day!

Monday, July 10, 2006

Oh - you say I have a new job?

Oh yeah, I kinda forgot about that - the new job!

This is my first full week at my new job and I guess it's going fairly well. My first day at work, the department head took me to lunch and discussed the plans that he has for me and what project he thinks I would be happy working on. It was quite the change from my old job where it seems that everyone has very little input into their career path and the department just put people where-ever they needed people.

I'm actually working on a "horrible" project, as the department manager referred to it. But it's supposed to be a temporary assignment and I'll be moved to a real project soon. (hopefully this is true - I've heard that line many times from my old employer)

Anyway, so far, so good! I'm enjoying my drastically reduced commute (it's only 2 miles away from our house) and I came home for lunch today with no problems.

The only thing that could possibly be a problem is that this new office has very little storage space. And I need to figure out what to do with the 5 boxes of stuff that I had accumulated at my old job. Looks like I'll be doing some more purging this weekend.

One step forward, two steps back

Caution: Description of poop included in this post.

I'm sure you're all hanging on the edges of your seats (all two of you!) wondering how the potty training is going.

Well, after not speaking to the boy Thursday night and part of Friday, he didn't poop at all on Friday. I knew we were in for it on Saturday. So, Saturday morning, I began the process of monitoring every "quiet moment" the boy took. Suddenly, he looked up from his toy and said, "Mommy, I need to go poopy." I thought in the background that I heard angels singing, but in my haste to get him into the bathroom, I couldn't fully confirm it.

The boy sat there and pooped. It was soooo cool. And I thought we might have finally made it over the hump. I made sure to be extra-super-duper happy and give him all kinds of praise and hugs and attention for the rest of the day, just to try to make sure he would want to do it again.

It didn't work. Yesterday, he pooped in his pants twice. I told him after the first time that if he did it again, he couldn't go to his little friend's birthday party. He told me he didn't want to go to the party and he did it again.

I'm once again at a loss. Today, the husband and I are attempting the approach of not asking him if he needs to go. Maybe he just really needs to feel like he's completely in control of the situation. ??? Maybe he's just a little bit too much like his mother and doesn't want anyone to tell him what he should and shouldn't do? (Oh, why couldn't I have been a little more repentent about all my bad behavior earlier?....)

In an attempt to create either synergy or peer-pressure (whichever works), we switched the girl over to underwear yesterday, too.

Get this - she pooped on the toilet yesterday morning. I was amazed. However, she got a little freaked out by looking down there and seeing it coming out. She looked at it and said, "Penis!" At which point, I laughed and told her that it wasn't a penis - that girls don't have penis', only boys have penis' and girls have vaginas.

But then she freaked out because it was stuck there and wouldn't drop into the toilet. She wiggled her way off the toilet and was trying to run away when I managed to get ahold of her, dig the poop out, show it to her, and drop it in the toilet.

I was able to get her back on the toilet to see if she could go some more, but she couldn't bring herself to make another "penis". (she was really kind of scared at that!)

I'm headed home at lunch today to see how everything is going. I'm a little hesitant to go...

Thursday, July 06, 2006

I've lost it

Ok, that's it. I've really lost it. It's been 4 weeks - 4 long weeks of cleaning poop out of underwear. (and I don't even have to do it most of the time!)

The boy doesn't care. It doesn't bother him. Nothing makes any difference to him. Last weekend we realized that the whole train thing didn't end up really making any difference to him, so we did away with the trains. We just took away the whole train set and told him he could have it all back after he learned how to use the potty.

It had become a game to him. He knew that if he pooped in his pants, he had to give up a train. So he would go poop in his pants and immediately tell you which train he wanted to give up. Occasionally, we would be able to catch him in the act and bribe him with the idea of getting a train in order to get him to go poop on the potty. Most of the time, though, he just really didn't care. So, we gave up on that idea.

But, ever since we did that, he hasn't pooped on the potty once.

And this whole thing has become a totally stressful thing for him. Anytime we ask him anything, he immediately gets defensive and starts talking about how he knows he's supposed to go poop in the potty.

We could ask him, "What do you want to eat?"
He replies, (IF he replies at all) "I go poop on the potty."

That's the other thing - he has become completely unresponsive. He ignores pretty much everything we say to him. And he's begun to ignore everyone else, too. He won't answer anyone these days, he just pretends like he doesn't hear anything.

But then later, I'll hear him saying something like, "You know better than that." and I know that he's heard every single word I've said to him.

For the last couple of weeks, I thought that he was just interested in getting attention. And he's been getting a lot of attention for pooping his pants constantly - why should he make any effort to go poop on the toilet?

So, this week whenever he has pooped his pants, we don't tell him that we're disappointed in him, or act like we're upset, we just take him by the hand and say, "Let's go clean it up."

And so the new thing for him to do now over the last couple of days is, "Ew, let me see it. Yuck, yuck, yuck!" and he laughs and giddily jumps up and down.

OK, I know the answer from many people will be that he's just not ready and we shouldn't torture ourselves anymore. I would gladly do that. However, we have paid for him to attend preschool this fall. And I know he would LOVE going to school. The problem is that if he's not potty-trained, he can't go to this school.

So, I'm at my wit's end. I don't know what to do with him and at this point, I'm so disappointed and depressed about the situation that I can't stand to be around him. Tonight I told him that I don't talk to little boys who poop their pants and I left the room without telling him good night. Nice mother, eh?

What the heck are we supposed to do?

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Happy 4th!!!

Happy 4th of July, all! I'm currently enjoying a little quiet time while everyone else in the house is napping. It's truly a wonderful feeling. The boy hasn't napped since last Friday, I think, and his personality has slowly morphed into his over-tired, unable to listen to anything, yet completely maniacal little self. Today the husband and I were at the point where neither of us could stand to be around him. I kept on saying today that I can't wait to start my new job tomorrow - if only for the fact that I won't have to be around him for awhile. Horrible, but true.

So, this afternoon for nap, I sat in his room with him and made him close his eyes so that he would actually sleep. And I've discovered that he's really good at playing possum! A couple of times, I thought he was asleep, and then he would pull the covers down and sit up and look to see if I was still watching him! Yesterday, he actually did psyche me out when I attempted this and after I left the room he started playing and then he pooped his pants.

Today, however, even though it took 40 minutes for him to fall asleep (how can he stay awake like that when he's so incredibly tired?!), he finally did go to sleep and I was able to sneak out and not wake him up.

When he's rested tonight, it should be much better. Whew. :)

Prediction already wrong

Well, it turns out my prediction for the Tour de France is already wrong. Alejandro Valverde crashed today and broke his collarbone. So, he's now out of the Tour. Luckily, he was only my pick for third place, so I think we're still going to see a great fight between George Hincapie and Floyd Landis. And who knows?! Maybe there will be an all-American podium now in Paris at the end:

1. George Hincapie
2. Floyd Landis
3. Levi Leipheimer

Boy, that would really make the French mad! :)

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Tour 2006 Starts TODAY!!!

Well, as seems to always be the case in cycling, there must be some sort of doping scandal to spice up the season.

And this year, it's totally screwed up the Tour de France!

Before yesterday, my picks for the Tour would have been:
1. Jan Ullrich
2. Ivan Basso
3. Floyd Landis

I wanted so badly for Jan Ullrich to do well this year. He's been playing second-fiddle to Lance Armstrong for so long, I wanted him to really do well this year. He seemed to be in great shape this year and won the Tour de Suisse just a couple of weeks ago, so I was really pulling for him.

And Ivan Basso - He won the Giro d'Italia this year and totally dominated the field, similar to the way Lance did every year in the Tour. However, it's hard to maintain that type of form, so I thought he probably wouldn't be able to win the Tour only a month or so after the Giro.

And then there's Floyd. He's such a hard-working, nice guy. It's hard not to like him. Plus, his team is dedicated to him, so I thought he had a good chance.

Well, everything has changed now. Ullrich and Basso have been kicked out of the Tour. I'm SOOOO disappointed for Ullrich. There's this big doping scandal that has been uncovered in Spain. Operacion Puerto. It sounds pretty bad. I'm still hopeful, though, that Ullrich is innocent of doping and that he's just been "hanging out with the wrong crowd", but I'm guessing we'll never know the truth.

So now, everything has changed in only 24 hours. My husband and I, being huge George Hincapie fans, are hoping that the Discovery Channel team will change their strategy. They've been saying all along that they have three or four members able to challenge for the overall victory. Georgie being one of them. However, Lance has proven seven times that you cannot win the Tour without having a team dedicated to one person. So, this seems to be the perfect time to change their approach and focus on George. He's great at time-trialling, he's strong and fit, and with a team devoted to him, he could really do well in the mountains.

My current picks, then, are:
1. George Hincapie
2. Floyd Landis
3. Alejandro Valverde

In three weeks, we'll find out how good my prediction is. In the meantime, we'll be prompting both kids to yell "Go Georgie!!" at every available opportunity. :)

Thursday, June 29, 2006


All parents have this same problem occasionally. It's when their children repeat something they've heard their parents say - in a public place, in front of everyone, LOUDLY.

My mom likes to tell me the story about when she realized she shouldn't tell me things. Apparently, when I entered the 2nd grade (or was it the 3rd grade?... could have been 1st grade, I suppose...) Anyway, when I came home from my first day of school that year and told her who my assigned teacher was, she was happy. And she told me why she was happy I'd been assigned to her class.

So, the next day when I got to school, I went and told the teacher, "My mom is happy that I got you for my teacher because you're a no-nonsense kind of teacher." *gasp!*

I have to laugh whenever I think of this. My mom was mortified by the teacher hearing this. I'm still not sure why. (but I love that she was - it's part of what makes my mom my mom) If I was that teacher, I would have been very glad to hear that my reputation was good. But anyway...

If I could only have such "horrible" moments. No, instead, here's what happens to us:

The other day, we all went to the grocery story. We went to the one that has those race car carts - where the kids get to drive the "car" that has the cart attached to the back of it.

I'm pretty sure this was a day when the boy had not taken a nap and when he hasn't taken a nap, he knows no boundaries and he says whatever he's thinking. What am I saying? He's like that all the time. Nap or no nap!

So, we're all having fun driving through the grocery store when we ran into some traffic in the cereal aisle. The boy yells out to everyone. "MOVE, PEOPLE!!!"

(Yes, in the privacy of our own car, when people are driving slowly, both my husband and I have been known to mutter in a somewhat exasperated manner, "Move, people!" The boy hit it dead-on. Exactly the right inflection. Perfect.)

Imagine his chagrin when nobody moved, but instead just stood there staring at him with amused looks on their faces.

The boy would have none of this, so he leaned out the side of the car and began waving his arms yelling "MOVE, PEOPLE!!!"

The husband and I exchanged some horrified (yet slightly amused) looks ourselves and I backed up the cart and made a bee-line for frozen foods.

Thomas, I was too hasty...

Oh, Thomas, I'm afraid I was too hasty in my judgement of you. For now, because of you, the boy goes "poopy" on the potty willingly!

Yes, that's right, in order to get the boy to go poop on the potty we've begun to bribe him. If he goes poop on the potty, he gets one of the Thomas the Tank Engine trains. (which, by the way, fit perfectly on the IKEA wooden toy train set - way cool!)

One week ago, after the boy had pooped in his pants every day for the past 5 days (and he poops three times a day, mind you!) - with no hint of it bothering him one bit - I got desperate. He hadn't pooped all day and at dinner that night, I told him, "If you go poopy on the potty, we'll get you a train." I let this sink in a little bit and then after dinner asked him if he wanted to go poop so we could go get him a train. He immediately went to the bathroom, sat on the toilet and went poop. I was stunned.

(Sorry, had to take a break there - I heard some magical words: "I need to go potty." Wow!!!)

It was 8:30 at the time and almost past bedtime at that point, but we loaded everyone up in the car and went to buy trains. We ended up getting 11 trains, thinking that we would probably go through them rather quickly, but by that point, he might actually have the hang of it.

The rules were that he would get a train each time he went poop on the potty. BUT, if he had an accident, either pee-pee or poo-poo, then he would lose a train.

Earlier today, we were down to 5 trains. (and he started off with the 4 original ones from IKEA)

It's been a rather bad couple of days. I think earlier this week, we were up to 9 trains. I was quite hopeful at that point. But as they have dwindled, I've started to have some doubts.

We'll see. The current count is 6 - he went poop after dinner. I'll be sure to keep you updated on the count throughout the upcoming days.

But now, I'm hearing some other words coming from the living room, "You stay there, I'm going to jump over you." As a mother, I suppose I should go check on that. As a former child myself, I think I might sit here and listen for awhile longer...

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Still Alive

Ok, really, I'm still alive!

Last week, I spent my time cleaning out my office, going through all kinds of stuff that I had accumulated in almost 11 years (!) and talking to people about my decision.

I have quite a bit of vacation accumulated, and since there wasn't really much for me to do on my current project, I decided I'd just take vacation for this week. I went in yesterday and this morning to gather up my last few things and now I'm at home for the rest of this week! It should be a nice break. (and one in which I can update my blog!) :)

But first, I'm off to get caught up on everyone else's blogs!...

Monday, June 19, 2006

The cat is out of the bag

Well, the cat is out of the bag. I turned in my letter of resignation from my job today and people are descending on me like flies. Where are you going? What did the boss say? How much of a raise are you getting?...

The new job is only 2 miles away from my house. The husband is already talking about selling one car and getting a scooter instead! I figure I'll need to get settled into my job before actually changing anything more in our lives. One change per month is good for me.

And I'm really looking forward to this change. I have been unable to be excited about my job for awhile now, so I'm hoping that this change is what I need.

And if not, I'm running away to the circus. :)

Friday, June 16, 2006

The blog about poop

Since this is quickly becoming the blog about poop, I guess I should just continue it today. Bear with me...

Yesterday my husband was out of town, so I couldn't get the play-by-play report during the daytime. But I did get a good dose of it last night.

Since the husband was out of town yesterday and I'm lazy, I decided to take the kids to Chick-fil-A. That way, I didn't have to figure out what to feed them and they could play afterwards and I wouldn't have to figure out how to entertain them! Brilliant, if I do say so myself!

However, I knew this was quite a gamble considering our potty training efforts thus far. And about half-way there, I was kicking myself because I didn't think about the fact that I probably should have put a pull-up on him just in case things got messy.

We got there, got our food, and ate in relative calm. Then, before we packed up and headed into the play area, I told the kids that we needed to go potty before going to play. The boy was very excited about this prospect, so I took that as a good sign.

We went into the handicapped bathroom stall, where I immediately started repeating, "don't touch anything, don't touch anything, don't touch anything" - it usually takes about 5 times of repitition before anything sinks into the kids' heads.

Then came the hard part. I was trying to convince the boy to sit on the toilet because it was too tall for him to stand at when he finally said that he needed to go "poopy". He sat down on the toilet and pooped right away. The triumphant feeling I got was dampened only slightly by the fact that a little glob of it ended up in his underwear when he stood up, so I had to change them anyway. No big deal, the boy went poop in the potty. I was on cloud 9. We survived.

I tried to get him to go pee, but he insisted that he didn't have to, so we ALL washed hands (the girl had kept herself busy by hanging on the handrails next to the toilet, playing with the toilet paper, and generally touching everything in sight while I continued my mantra of "don't touch anything, don't touch anything"...) and we headed to the play area.

Shortly after the kids began playing, the boy came and told me that he needed to go potty. I could tell that his shorts were already slightly wet, so I knew we needed to get there fast. We hurried to the bathroom and I tried as quickly as possible to pull down his pants, only to find that he had pooped in his pants. And as I stood there processing this fact, trying to figure out how to get him to the potty to go pee without contaminating everything else in the process, he began peeing all over the floor and his already soiled clothing.

Ok, you know those paper towels that are in all fast-food restaurants? They're not really very absorbent. And just in case you ever wonder what may have been on the floor of a fast-food restaurant bathroom before you go in to use the facilities? Well, I wouldn't put my bag down on that floor if I were you.

What a mess. I managed to get it cleaned up and I did have the foresight to pack extra clothes for the boy in case such a thing happened, so it wasn't as bad as it could have been. But it was close.

Next time, I'm stayin' home.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Breaking news...

The poop tally today:
- once on the potty
- once in the pants at the park
- once on the potty

We're getting closer! :)

Four times

Disclaimer: This post will discuss poop, as well as a description of it. Courtney, put down your snack... :)

So, the boy ended up pooping in his pants four times yesterday. Twice in the morning at the park, once in the afternoon before naptime, and once in the evening.

And to make it even worse, after not pooping for an extended period of time, his little system seemed to have gotten kind of upset so that when I found him last night, standing alone in the living room, somewhat afraid to move, it had run down his leg and was beginning to puddle on the floor.

The last one was so bad that I finally did break down and rinse his underwear and shorts out in the toilet - I got over my phobia of getting toilet water on my hands. I figured if I'm going to be getting poop on my hands anyway, what's a little toilet water? (ick, it makes me cringe just to type that)

So, no progress on the pooping front. We talked a lot about it last night before bedtime and we played with his little Reddy Rabbit and made him go poop on the potty a few times last night. We'll see if it has any effect today.

If we get through this, the girl is next. Immediately. We gotta get this over with! Ick.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Saving up

Disclaimer: this post will discuss poop, however, there will be no descriptions. We'd have to actually have some poop in order to describe.

Yes, it apparently turns out that the boy is anal-retentive. Literally. He's now afraid to go poop. He keeps on trying to go off in a corner so that he can poop as he always has - in his pants - but we keep on catching him and hauling him off to sit on the potty so he can poop and he'll just have none of that.

It's been about 40 hours since he's pooped. And for a little boy that usually would poop at least 3 times a day, I have a feeling this is becoming quite uncomfortable. I'm beginning to worry about constipation and pain at this point.

So, I figure my next post will either be describing some massive and explosive incident, or a jubilative celebration of the deposition of a long overdue shipment into the potty. I'm REALLY hoping for the latter.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Things I learned this weekend

These are the things I learned this past weekend (including Friday):

1. I can survive an interview.

2. It's REALLY hot here. Ok, I knew this, but we decided to go for a bike ride on Friday at around noon and yeah, it's hot.

3. The best way to clean nasty poop out of underwear (so far, 5 times since Saturday morning) is to try to dig most of it out with some toilet paper, wipe as much more off of it with toilet paper, then run it under water in the utility sink until the big chunks are off of it. Then wash hands three times with antibacterial soap and vow to use some bleach on the utility sink once the potty training is going better.

4. Lucky Burger has good onion rings - and they deliver! PLUS, the kids will eat Lucky Burger chicken nuggets! (The boy has always refused to eat any nuggets other than Wendy's or Chick-fil-A. And forget about the frozen kind that you can just heat up in the oven. No, the boy has quite the discerning taste!)

5. The boy told me on Saturday morning that, "You have a good team." I'm not sure exactly what that was supposed to mean, but he apparently felt strongly about it because he followed it up with, "You simply do." ("simply" seems to be his word of choice lately!)

6. The boy can go pee-pee standing up at the toilet! (I know this must be quite exciting for all of you...)

7. After falling asleep for only 30 minutes on the bike during a morning bike ride, the girl will definitely NOT take a nap in the afternoon. Even if she's rubbing her eyes and being cranky and tired. No, no. Put her in her bed and she'll just run around in circles, jump, and try to figure out how long she can hang with one hand on one side of the crib and one hand on the other side. (it's only about 1 second)

8. The boy will not, in fact, poop his pants while we're off on a bike ride, even though he definitely needs to go, but refuses to go on the potty. But he will pee his pants and then once we get home and get some dry clothes on him, he'll do it again 2 more times, and then he'll poop his pants three times in succession.

9. It's much, much easier to purge toys from the house after the kids have gone to bed. And then when they get up the next morning, it's like Christmas because the toys are organized and they can find a bunch of things they had forgotten about.

10. If you split a couple of bottles of wine during the weekend and only kind of watch what you eat over the weekend, you're probably not going to lose as much weight as you had hoped you might over one week of virtually starving yourself.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Don't go there

Yesterday, as I was filling up my cup from watercooler next to the coffee machines, one of my co-workers was getting some coffee. He decided to try to make a little joke.

He said, "Hey, you know what's gonna happen if you drink all that water don't you?"
I replied, "It's just gonna make me have to go pee?"
"That's right." He said, a little deflated.

Today I happened to meet him again as I was carrying my oatmeal over to the microwave to heat it up.

I teased him, "You're not going to say anything about this are you?"
"No, no, I'm not gonna go there!"

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

At long last

Well, at long last, it looks as if we might be making a little progress in the potty training arena. Wait. Let me rephrase that. It looks like the nanny is making progress. The boy refuses to do it for us most of the time. Which then ends up in a big fight between us and the boy and sometimes his eventual peeing on the floor, as he did last night!

During our first attempts at potty training back in September, he turned into a little monster. He wanted to sit on the potty, even the big toilet. But we couldn't get him to get OFF the toilet. After an hour of sitting on the toilet, we finally had to wrestle him to the floor and forcibly put his pants back on him. Then he started throwing fits when it was time to get dressed in the morning and he started throwing fits all the time. He was a different little boy. We discontinued the attempts at potty training and he turned normal again. Everyone told us not to despair, that we could try again later and he would be more ready.

Well, given our first full-blown experience with potty training, we weren't in a huge hurry to attempt it again. Especially since he would pull the same kind of stuff almost every time he used the potty before bath time.

He would sit on the potty, go pee, then we would try to get him into the tub. He would head towards the tub and then say, "No, I need to go potty again." And then he would sit on the potty again. We tried explaining to him that we were happy that he wanted to use the potty, but after you go pee-pee once, there's probably not anymore going to come out and we could try again later. "NO!!!!! I WANT TO GO POTTY NOW!!!!!" And it would continue. Sometimes he would stand and scream through his entire bath. Yeah, we were definitely not interested in dealing with that for a month or more while we tried to convince him to use the potty.

Now, however, in the last couple of weeks, he's begun to wear Pull-ups and sometimes even big-boy pants. But only for the nanny. This past weekend, he absolutely would not sit on the potty for us.

I know this somehow is related to his need to be in control, or at least feel like he's in control. And we try to give him options. "Do you want to use your potty in the upstairs bathroom, or in the downstairs bathroom?" "Do you want to use your little potty, or the big potty?" Etc. But sometimes, if we smile just right and hold his hand just right, we can lead him into the bathroom and get him to sit on the potty while we use the toilet. Baby steps, huh? Ugh.

Well, I think we might attempt potty boot camp this coming weekend. We'll just stay at home and put underwear on him and clean everything up as necessary. We'll see how that goes. If we don't survive, please come looking for us...

Monday, June 05, 2006

Quote of the day

From someone at my office: You would be doing yourself a huge disservice by not looking around.

Point taken.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Trip Report

Well, it was a long trip, but it was worth it!

We started out on Thursday and made it to northern Oklahoma for the night. Unfortunately, the husband and I were so hyped up on caffeine that we had a hard time sleeping that night. And there was a BIG thunderstorm. That was kind of nice.

On Friday, we made it to my hometown by around 2:00. And of course, my parents had Runza's waiting for us.

(and just in case you're wondering, we managed to have Runza's three times while we were there - Yum!)

We spent Friday, Saturday and Sunday morning in my hometown and then headed over to my mom's hometown for the Memorial Day festivities. On Monday, we started the trek back home.

It was kind of a quick trip, but I think my parents managed to squeeze an entire summer of fun into the 48 hours we were at their house. The kids checked out my dad's waterfall, pond, and fish (and as soon as the boy saw the fish, he said he needed to get a net and headed for the garage - he remembered from a year ago that there was a fish net in the garage!!), they played in the sprinkler, we went to a bicycle race (more on that later), the kids helped my dad buy the plants and seeds and then helped him to plant his garden, they made mud pies with my mom, they helped make homemade ice cream, and they had lots of fun with their uncle. There was something going on every moment we were there and it was a fun, fun time.

The thing that amazed us the most about this trip was that there was a bicycle race going on in my hometown for the weekend. Well, we couldn't let this opportunity pass without going to see it. I mean, the first time a bicycle race has ever been held in my hometown and we're actually there? No way could we miss that.

So, on Saturday, we spent the morning and part of the afternoon watching the Monumental Memorial Cycling Race. It was really cool and quite funny, actually. We were the only spectators there for the start. And when we went to the little town out on the race route, we were the only people there who weren't somehow related to one of the riders. People were amazed that we would come to watch this. But, when they heard our kids yelling, "Go Georgie!" they knew we must be some kind of cycling fans. :)

Ok, actually, I lied just a couple of paragraphs before there - the thing that amazed us the most about the trip was that when we got to my mom's hometown on Sunday, it was 101F! It was hotter in Nebraska than it was in Houston! Come on, we go north to escape the heat and it followed us right up there?

Well, Monday morning, the husband began loading the car. He came back to the hotel room after the first trip out to the car and announced, "I have some good news and some bad news. The good news is that the temperature has dropped about 50 degrees. The bad news is that the wind changed direction and we now seem to be down-wind of a feed lot." And with my first step out of the hotel, I knew he spoke the truth. It was almost chilly! And it smelled. Ah, well, it wasn't that bad. Any time we smelled that smell when I was growing up, my mom always said, "Money, money, money!" She raised us right. :)

So, the trip was a success. We got to see all the relatives and we managed to survive the car rides. I'm coming back kind of bruised and battered, however. The kids were so excited to be out of the car on Thursday night that we couldn't make them stop jumping on the bed. I happened to try to change the girl's diaper and then didn't get away from her quickly enough before she started jumping again and ended up with her head smashing into my mouth. I got a busted lip and spent most of the trip with this swollen, bruised lip. Every time I looked in the mirror, I couldn't figure out why I had chocolate below my bottom lip. Then I would remember that it was a bruise and it wouldn't come off. Uhg.

And then on Saturday, I got a sunburn which then got irrated somehow and now I have a rash all over my neck. I'm lookin' pretty good these days.

After this trip, however, I've decided that I don't like Thomas the Tank Engine. For the boy's birthday party, I bought Thomas stuff since our plan was to have his party at Hermann Park and ride the little train there. At the time, the boy had watched Thomas a few times - just enough to know who he was, but not enough to be a gigantic fan. Well, I made the mistake of buying a Thomas the Tank Engine DVD for the trip and it became his favorite DVD.

It has become one of my least favorite ones! Not because I'm sick of it, but because those trains are just not nice! They're always mad at each other, competing against each other, or teasing each other. It's almost as bad as Sponge Bob Square Pants. I'm putting that DVD far back on the shelf.

Anyway, other than this small snaffoo, the trip went off pretty well. We're glad we went and we'll probably do it again. Just give us a few months to forget any of the painful parts...

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Conversations from the road

Husband: Was your grandpa a tall man?
Me: No.
H: Why are you and your brother taller than your parents?
Me: ???

H: What exactly is in "non-dairy creamer"?
Me: ???

H: "World's Oldest Buick" ahead!!
Me: :)

H: Ok, here's what we do: We'll move to the farm, take up farming, grow corn, then build an ethanol plant here.
Me: ???!!!

Me: Stop!!! There's a Runza - we have to get one before we get out of Nebraska!
H: (Slams on the brakes, misses the entrance, reverses 100 ft on the shoulder in order to get back to the gas station/Runza entrance - I told you they were good!)

Just a few highlights from the trip. More to come later. (Can you tell who was doing the driving and who was reading her book?)...

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Making a list, checking it twice...

I've been making a list for the last 30 minutes, trying to make sure we don't forget anything. We're off on our trip tomorrow! But we haven't packed a thing yet. (I'm making my mom nervous by just typing that...)

But really, if we at least remember the DVD player and the DVD's we'll be fine. If we find that we've forgotten anything, we'll just buy it either on the way, or when we get there.

So, wish us luck, and we'll see you soon, Mom, Dad, and Brother. :)

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

What is it with the poop?!

So last night, we went out for a walk and when we got home our neighbor was outside. We stayed outside talking to her for a few minutes, during which time, the boy went into the garage and started playing with some of the car washing stuff that we have in there. Then he got suspiciously quiet and still.

My husband asked him what he was doing and he said he was "hiding" - which means he had to go poop. (still wears a diaper, although has ventured into the potty training arena some over the past week)

So, we're standing there talking to the neighbor and all of a sudden, my husband looks over at the boy and says, "HEY!!! Stop it!" and goes over to grab the boy's hands as he's smearing poop on the garage wall. What the?!

Never has the boy done this before. He just stuck his hands down the back of his pants and started playing with it.

Apparently he's picking some things up from the girl now, too. Disgusting!*

*He went around the rest of the night saying everything was "disgusting".

Monday, May 22, 2006

N is for Nowledge

Ok, since when has Wichita, Kansas become so popular?!

We are planning a trip up to visit my parents and brother in Nebraska for Memorial Day Weekend. And we're driving up there.

Crazy? Yes. But, as we were making our flight plans, right before I clicked the button saying "Buy This Fare" (or something like that), we suddenly came to the realization that for $1300 less, we could drive up there and get there at the same time. That's persuasive.

Last year we drove up and drove all night in order to get there at 6am and let my parents take care of the kids while we slept a little. On the way back, we did the same thing and got home in time to let the nanny take care of the kids while we slept. However, that's just painful. So, instead, we're going to break the drive up into two days.

We thought it would be good to make it to Wichita the first day, which would be a long day, and then have a relatively short day the second day. The bonus to this plan also being the fact that we might make it to my hometown in time to have Runza for lunch! (after only 12 years of marriage, I have finally convinced my husband of the virtues of the cheese Runza!)

Imagine our surprise when we called a hotel in Wichita last night only to find that they are completely booked. The only hotel we were able to find was going to be $185 for one night!

This leaves us with a dilemma. Try to push on further to Salina? Too painful. Looks like we're going to try out a small town about an hour south of Wichita. This could seriously jeapordize our chances of having Runza's for every meal during our time in Nebraska, however. (yes, they're that good.)

Every time we try to make this trip to Nebraska, it's the same story. I swear, it's just about the hardest place to get to on earth. We've tried every approach. Driving: That's a 14 hour trip with no stops.

Flying: We can fly to Lincoln, which is only 1 hour away from my hometown, but we have to fly through Minneapolis on the way. Yeah, Minnesota is right on the way to Nebraska from Texas. Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Ohio, Minnesota, North Dakota, Nebraska. Don't you know your geography?! And this trip only takes something like 9 or 10 hours from our house to my parents' house. Not a huge time savings. Plus, they always lose our luggage. It's hard to keep it straight when you have so many states to go through, you know.

We can fly to Omaha, which is 2 hours from my hometown. This actually isn't that bad because we can finally fly straight to Omaha. We used to have to take a flight that made a stop in Kansas City and then fly on to Omaha. Ridiculous.

So, at one point, we started just flying to Kansas City. It's only a 3 hour drive from there to my hometown.

They keep on saying that they're going to add a direct flight from Houston to Lincoln someday. I'll believe it when I see it...

But you know, as difficult as it is to get there, it's totally worth it. I get to see my family, for one, but there's no place I feel more at home.

I love to hear people make jokes about Nebraska. It used to make me mad because I love it so much, but now it just makes me smile because it's like I know a secret that they'll never know or understand. My heart belongs to that farm and prarie land.