Wednesday, April 26, 2006


My parents are coming to town today! The boy's 3rd birthday is this coming Friday, so the grandparents are coming to town to help us celebrate.

I'm very excited they're coming. I just love to watch them play with the kids and I love to watch the kids having so much fun with them.

So, I'm off to pick them up from the airport!

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Avoiding Illness

Yeah, right. With two small children, there is absolutely no way to avoid illness. Especially when those little petri dishes cough, sneeze, and kiss all over you. Ok, the kissing part is not so bad. I'm willing to endure all kinds of illness if it comes from being kissed by the most adorable little kids around, but I could really do without the coughing and sneezing.

The girl has been sick since Sunday and spent most of the day Sunday coughing and sneezing directly into my face. Nice.

I neti-potted the crap out of my nose, and took bunches of Vitamin C, but it didn't seem to help too much. I caught the cold yesterday. Or, I guess the cold caught me yesterday.

Uh, I guess you might be wondering what I mean by neti-potting. Well, I heard about this on NPR one morning and then my friend Courtney told me that she's been using one for quite awhile, so a couple months ago, I figured, what the heck. Maybe pouring saltwater through my nose could be fun.

Well, it's not, really. But I actually do think that it has kept my cold from being worse than it is. And it has really cleared up my sinuses the last couple of days. In fact, I can't wait to get home and do it again tonight. (seriously, it feels better after I do it)

So, jump on the band wagon - go out and find yourself some non-iodized salt and pour some salt water up your nose. Yee-haw!

Walkway - Final Update

Or, maybe I should entitle this post "Planting by Moonlight". Whatever the case, we're declaring the walkway finished!! w00t!

After work last night, we hauled the kids out to the hardware store to get some downspout re-director things and then went to the plant nursery to buy some plants. We scored some mondo grass (regular, not dwarf) - 10 for $25 - and tiny little italian cypress tree for only $13. (My husband LOVES italian cypress trees - in fact, I'm surprised he didn't suggest just doing an entire row of italian cypress trees instead of the mondo grass. (Now after reading this, he's going to realize he missed a great opportunity!))

So, we finally got around to eating supper at almost 8:00, got the kids to bed, asked the neighbor to turn on the light over her garage, and went about planting the goods. (The forecast is for rain again today and we didn't want to get screwed by the rain again!)

By 11:45, we were finished. And here I'm going to prove to you that I'm not a graphic designer by posting my oh-so-beautifully-photo-shopped pictures of the before and after for this glorious walkway! (I tried to draw some "rays" shooting out from the glorious walkway, but couldn't get that right, so just pretend that the smudging looks crepuscular.)

And now we need to figure out what to do with this:

Monday, April 24, 2006

Walkway Update 1

So, the walkway is not done. But it's getting closer!

The husband spent lots and lots of time yesterday hauling load after load of decomposed granite gravel and dumping it into what is to become our walkway. I only spent some time out there helping because the rest of the time was spent trying to soothe the little girl, who developed a runny nose and cough yesterday. The coughing prevented her from taking her normal nap yesterday, so by the end of the day, both kids were napless - not fun.

But getting back to the walkway, we still need to tamp down the entire thing some more and add yet another layer of gravel. We put in some dirt for the plants that we'd like to plant next to our neighbor's driveway, but now we're not sure what plants we're going to use.

We had been thinking that we would use dwarf mondo grass because it doesn't need to be mowed and it just looks good! However, some of the things I've read about it say that it doesn't do well in full sun. So, we're not sure about it now. We're going to have to look around the neighborhood, see if anyone has it growing in full sun and then ask questions at a plant nursery, I think.

We do need to get most of this done, though in the next day or so because it's supposed to rain again maybe tomorrow and we don't want everything to get washed away before we can tamp and plant! I'll continue to update you. (Since I know you're just sitting on the edge of your seat reading these updates! Ha!)

Birthday Bash

I've mentioned in passing that my husband and I tutor a couple of kids. Except that I no longer tutor mine because she graduated from high school almost 2 years ago - wow! And she has a baby who is 14 months old now - wow, again!

Anyway, I started tutoring this girl when she was in 6th grade through a program called I Have a Dream - Houston. I guess that means I started tutoring her about 8 years ago. Tutoring is a very broad term here, used to mean that I would meet her once a week and when she didn't have any homework (because inner-city HISD schools are generally horrible), I would try to come up with something educational to talk about, or I would try to make her read part of a book, and then we would go out to eat.

About 3 (or 4?) years ago, my husband started "tutoring" her younger brother. Which, again, means we get together with him once a week and eat dinner.

We've been through a lot with this family. From the girl running away from home and living with a friend/cousin for the last year and a half of high school to her brother being suspended from school for carrying some drugs for someone, to the girl moving off to Kentucky immediately after graduating, shacking up with a guy, and getting pregnant.

Sounds pretty bad, huh? Except that's not really true at all. The girl is married to a very good guy now (the father of the baby) and is living back here in Houston and her younger brother hasn't had any more run-ins with "the law". He, in fact, apologized to my husband for not talking to him about the drug incident immediately and he's really a good kid. They both are.

So, about a month and a half ago, the girl told me that she had a surprise for me. I immediately asked her, "You're pregnant?!" She assured me that she's not and she doesn't want to get pregnant again for awhile because she wants to go to school and get a job. You know, the standard thing you should tell your tutor to make her get off your back.

But she said she couldn't tell me what it was at the time. I figured it must somehow be related to my birthday, but didn't know what it could be.

So, Friday rolled around and after the 30 minutes of morning rain ruined all the plans we had for the day, we just spent the rest of the day not doing all that much. When baby girl woke up from her nap, my husband started telling the kids that we had to get ready so that we could go have a surprise for Mommy.

I had no idea what he was talking about. But he started packing up food for the kids, so I figured we must be going out to eat someplace. It was only 5:00 - maybe we were going out to eat someplace where we would need to get there early to avoid the crowds. Chuy's, maybe?

But then we got in the car and started making our way to the highway. Finally, after we got on the highway, I knew exactly where we were going. We were headed up to our "Dreamers'" parents' house. I finally understood what the surprise was - the girl who I used to tutor was giving me a party at her parents' house.

We have been to several of these types of parties for both the girl and boy that we tutor. It always involves their mother spending the entire day making tamales and lots of people showing up to eat and then some music and stuff in the back yard. I was hoping that they weren't getting that elaborate for me!

Luckily, it turned out that the girl and her neighbor (well, her neighbor, mostly!) had made some soup (pozole) and baked a cake for me. It was a low-key kind of event and the kids behaved pretty well, so it was a nice little birthday party. And it was very sweet of her to do it for me.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Big pile of gravel

Alright, the gravel showed up, but upon closer inspection of the pond which is to become our walkway, we've decided we're going to have to let it dry out some before doing any serious work. Which sucks because today is the only chance we have all weekend to get something done without small children trying to "help" us.


On the bright side, this gives me a chance to do something fun for my birthday. However, I'm at a complete loss as to what that might be. Maybe a bike ride?...


Well, it looks like this day is starting off perfectly (read with sarcasm!). I woke up at 6:00 and couldn't go back to sleep because I had this weird dream and then I started imagining some kind of horrific things happening to our family, involving someone breaking into the house (I don't know where that came from!), and then I realized that it was pouring rain outside.

Normally, I would love a good thunderstorm. I love the heavy rain and the sound of thunder. I love that there can be something so big and completely out of our control. I think in another life, I could definitely be one of those tornado chaser kind of people.

However, this morning it's not a good thing. You know, we're supposed to be working on our walkway today! Now we're going to be trudging through the mud. Well, I guess that can be fun, too.

I better go get to work!

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

No power, no phone

For those of you who are aware of all the troubles we've had with our house, you'll be surprised to hear that the title of this post, "No power, no phone" actually doesn't refer to us (for once!). Well, actually the "no power" does kind of refer to us. You may have heard about the rolling black-outs that they required yesterday in Texas. Our house didn't have power from about 4:45 - 5:00 yesterday afternoon. This also affected all of our neighbors, of course. (this will be important later in the story)

But first, for those of you who don't know the full history of our house, let me just give you a taste of it by including here the text of an e-mail we sent out after Tropical Storm Allison flooded Houston back in June, 2001. (BTW, our house is one of four townhomes built together. Yet our place is the only one of the four that has ever had any problems! It's the story of our lives...)

For those of you who may not be aware of all our house problems over the last three years, let's just recap:
- March 1998: Moved in.
- June 1998: Discovered newly-built house already has termites (not covered by home warranty because it was new construction and termite inspection was not required for sale of house!)
- July 1998: Contractors actually finished building house.
- August 1998: Tropical Storm Francis - water running from ceiling fan in living room - contractors move back in.
- December 1998: Claimed house again from contractors.
- April 1999: Termites (which neighbor claimed would take years to do damage) SWARMED in house – Easter Day, by the way...
- Mid 1999: Carpets begin to buckle... hmmm... that's strange....
- September 1999: Lost power to part of house - determined due to faulty wiring of light switch.
- April 2000: Lost power to half of house for four days as a result of faulty installation of main line from power pole to house - long story which involves unnecessarily cutting down wrought-iron fence in front of house.... :|
- April 2000: Carpets severely buckled by now – have to have the whole house re-installed.
- July 2000: Termites, assumed to have been gone for some time, chew their way through the baseboard in the living room. :0
- December 2000: Finally decide to fix "cosmetic" termite damage, only to find out the little buggers have eaten two of four structural support members of our front wall. :0 :0 (no worries - two beams left!)
December 31, 2000: Backing out of driveway on our way to attend New Year's Party the following conversation took place:
Sara, "Hmmm... That's funny - look at that geyser shooting up out of the ground around the corner. I hope that's the neighbor's place..."
Husband, "I'm sure it is - poor sucker." (both fully knowing that the geyser HAD to be coming from our main water line, but delusional in trying to write it off as someone else's problem)
January 1, 2001: No water. (Surprised? We weren't!)
January 1, 2001 (late evening): City confirms leak was on our side of the meter and hands us a bill for $375 (normally $8.50) :0!
- April 2001: Lost power to half of house again - remnants of problem from April 2000 - power company was able to fix the problem without incident and informed us to never use that electrician again.
March 24, 2001: 6 3/4" long x 1 1/4" wide
April 30, 2001: 9" long x 1 1/4" wide
- May 16, 2001: 14 1 /2" long x 1 3/8" wide
- You may be thinking these odd measurements were intended for some X-rated e-mail ;) However, you would be WRONG! These are actually dimensions tracking the water stain on our dining room ceiling, below the master bath. After not using the toilet in the master bath for the last month, we're pretty sure that's the source!!
June 8 - 9, 2001 - Tropical Storm Allison moves in to Houston - we left town, not knowing that our house was in impending danger - as we drove from town, the following phrase actually escaped our lips, "For our house to flood, Hwy 59 (a sunken highway close to our house) would have to be FULL of water. Ha! That would take A LOT of water!!" The national weather service reports that 20" of water fell in the Houston area in less than six hours - most of which must have collected in Hwy 59, because not only was it full, but the bridge over it was under water!!!
- Then a MIRACLE occurred!!! Our house, yes, this same house afflicted with plagues, pestilence, and flood (see August 1998, above), came within 3 inches of being flooded. The 9-inch foundation is the only thing that saved it! When we opened our garage (after hurrying home from our shortened weekend trip) we were met with newspapers, a gas can, and other items not previously in the middle of the garage, mysteriously transported across the floor. However, IT ALL STOPPED THERE!!! :0 That's right - our house mysteriously escaped the curse which seems to have plagued it from construction!!!!


Since the time of writing that e-mail, we've had to fix all the toilets in our house (they were all installed improperly and each one began leaking into the floor/ceiling of the room below it - we're really good at it now - if you ever need your toilet removed and poorly installed plumbing patched together beneath it, we have a great way of doing it), we've had to have the roof fixed, had to have our garage door spring replaced when it broke, all of the water occasionally drains out of our house when they do some kind of construction in the neighborhood and then we have salty water for the next two days (which is somehow related to our water-softener, I'm sure, but I still think the water draining out in the first place is not right and then the salty water afterwards continues to baffle me - as far as I can tell, that shouldn't be able to happen), and then at one point I was convinced that our plumbing must be somehow attached to one of our next-door neighbor's places due to the smell of cigarette smoke in our downstairs bedroom. I know, that doesn't make sense, but when you consider the idiot contractors that built our house, you would have the same kind of thought process.

You see, back in December 2004, we started smelling cigarette smoke in our downstairs room. I tried to convince myself that it was just my imagination because some days we might kind of catch a whiff. Most of the time, however, we couldn't smell it or track it down. But then it kept getting stronger and stronger until we finally located the source of the smell: the cabinets underneath the sink in our downstairs bedroom. It smelled like a smokey barroom under there! We knew that both neighbors on either side of us occasionally smoked, so we weren't sure whose house the smoke could be originating from. After an inquiring e-mail to each of them, the one whose garage backs up to our bathroom shamefully admitted that she had been smoking in her garage because it was too chilly to sit outside. So, the smoke had been coming through the wall and into our bathroom! I'm still not sure the construction of that wall is really right, either. Should that be happening if there's insulation, etc. in that wall?!

Anyway, getting back to yesterday, the blackout wasn't really a problem, except that the husband was afraid I wasn't going to be able to get into the garage when I got home from work, but luckily, the power was restored before I tried to use the garage door opener.

Monday nights are now the husband's night to run. (We've been taking turns - Monday night: husband run, Sara ride bike on rollers after the kids go to bed; Tuesday night: Sara run, husband ride on rollers; Wednesday night: family bike ride; Thursday: tutoring; Friday: whatever strikes us!) So, when I got home, the husband got ready for his run and the kids and I went to Sam's Club to load up on diapers, cottage cheese, and milk.

We returned from Sam's to find the husband frantic. He had decided to move one of the termite monitoring stations out of path of the walkway. When he started digging, he hit some kind of an electrical cable (only buried about 2 inches below grade!) that looked like it might be from the phone box on our neighbor's house. Our other neighbors seemed to still have functioning phones, and we actually use cable phone, so it didn't affect us, but we couldn't get ahold of the one neighbor we thought it probably affected. The husband ended up leaving her a message on her home phone, her work phone, and was in the middle of writing her a note to stick through her fence when she called us to find out what was going on.

She was a little frantic herself. She got home from work to find that her power had been off, her house alarm was beeping at her, and she had no phone! The poor woman lives alone and couldn't figure out what had been going on in her house while she was at work!

So, yes, it turned out that the husband accidentally cut through our neighbor's phone line. We still can't figure out why it was buried where it was (about 3 feet away from her house and where it goes, we have no idea) or why it was only buried 2 inches below grade - seems like there is some kind of city code that requires things to be buried deeper than that. Then again, with the contractors who built our house, pretty much anything is possible.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Sore and Sunburned

"Sore and Sunburned" this is how I described myself this morning when a friend asked me how I felt today.

After digging in the dirt and killing way too many worms by unintentially cutting them in half with my shovel (but hopefully saving quite a few by picking up their wriggling little bodies and throwing them into the neighbor's bushes), we finally have the walkway mostly dug out. I would post a picture, but I can hardly move my hands enough today to type this, let alone actually squeeze a button on a camera!

The decomposed crushed granite never showed up and we've re-scheduled it to show up this coming Friday morning. It should be a really fun way to spend my 35th birthday. I will probably be feeling like I'm 75 by the end of the day on Friday, considering how bad I feel now and we finished the digging on Saturday!

Wow, 35! That's just so hard for me to believe! Not that I'm worried about concealing my age (obviously) - I don't want to ever feel like I need to do that - but I try to look at myself sometimes through the eyes of the kids that my husband and I tutor and I think we must really look old to them. Well, I'm no longer tutoring my student, since she graduated from high school 2 years ago and has a one-year-old baby now. But still, you know what I mean.

Anyway, getting back to the walkway - we're pretty much done digging, but we need to level it out a little bit, lay down the weed barrier, and get the "landscape timbers" set where we want them as a divider between the neighbor's rocks and our gravel. Plus, we somehow came up with the crazy idea of planting some dwarf mondo grass between our pathway and the driveway, so we have to figure out how to install plastic edging to separate the gravel from the mondo grass without having either of the two already in place. ??? And if that doesn't make sense, then you know exactly why we're perplexed by this problem.

I'll keep you updated on the progress - of both the walkway and my poor skin (which I put sunblock on, by the way!) - and I'll hopefully have pictures of a glorious decomposed granite gravel pathway to show you next week!

Saturday, April 15, 2006


I suppose some of you might be wondering where in the world I went!

Well, I put in for vacation time a couple of months ago, thinking that we might go out of town again. But we decided it just wasn't worth all the money and effort, so instead we decided to vacation at home! I was thinking that it would be great to have a few days at home to work on some stuff. We could have the babysitter continue coming and it would free up some time for us.

So, we decided to take on what has turned out to be a rather large, time-consuming project. We have been thinking we should build a walkway to our "back yard" through our neighbor's back/side yard so when people come to my husband's office, they won't have to walk through grass and weeds to get there. She OK'd the idea of the walkway, so we figure we better hurry up and do it!

We knew it would be tough, but it took a lot more time than I thought it should just to plan it out and procure all the required equipment and materials. By Thursday, we finally had most everything bought and we figured we could spend the entire day Friday working on it and could maybe get most of it done.

That's when the babysitter dropped a bombshell on us and told us that everybody else (all the other nannies in the neighborhood) were getting Friday off and could she have the day off, too? Yeah, we had completely forgotten that it was Good Friday. Since the husband doesn't work for a big company anymore and I normally get Friday's off, we just forgot about it!

So, we figured we'd better give her the day off. That means we've had quite a bit of "help" while trying to dig out the walkway. We actually worked out there last night after the kids went to bed to try to get a little more done because we're only halfway there so far. That's Ok, I guess, the decomposed granite gravel we ordered for the walkway didn't show up like it was supposed to yesterday, so we don't have anything to fill in the walkway yet.

Anyway, I'd better get out there and get started. Wish me luck!!! :)

Monday, April 10, 2006

New Orleans

We're back from New Orleans! A six-hour drive on Friday and a six-hour drive back yesterday - you'd think I would be full of hair-raising horror stories of life on the road with an almost-three-year-old and an 18-month-old. However, the kids did GREAT. I was amazed. They only got really punchy and restless at about the 5-hour mark both ways and they both behaved very well during the weekend. It was actually a nice trip.

Oh, let me back up and tell you that I went home on Thursday and the husband and I went to the mattress store and ended up talking to the manager of the store. He is a complete jerk and I wanted to rip his face off when he started acting condescending and began to explain to us about how the beds are manufactured. I stopped him mid-sentence and told him that if he was going to act like this, we really needed to get our money back because this was really making me mad! And get this - he actually had the nerve to tell me that I needed to get a good night's sleep. Precisely my point, idiot!!!!

Anyway, that afternoon I ended up with a fever of 100ºF (yes, I'm an engineer - I feel the need to specify whether a temperature is in ºF, ºC, K, or R), but by Friday morning, I was feeling much better and by Friday afternoon, was able to eat a greasy McDonald's cheeseburger on the drive over to New Orleans.

So, getting back to the trip, we arrived in New Orleans at about 7pm, picked up my pen-pal, and headed over to the MIL's house. We ate gumbo for dinner, put the kids to bed and then headed out to show my pen-pal some of the famous New Orleans night-life. However, since we're old, married people now, that just meant we walked up and down Bourbon Street, stopped for a drink at Pat O'Brien's, and then went for coffee and beignets at Cafe du Monde. But then again, that's pretty much everything you're supposed to do in New Orleans. (Well, that and getting really drunk, doing stupid things to try to get someone to give you some Mardi Gras beads, and ending up throwing up down some side street - but we thankfully decided to skip that part.)

The following day, we were treated to a tour of the Steamboat on which my pen-pal will be cruising and performing and then we went to eat lunch at R&O's out at Lake Pontchartrain, drove around and looked at some of the devastation, and drove around the Garden District and the French Quarter (in the daylight this time). We dropped my pen-pal back at her boat in time for her to head off up the river. I think we hit all the highlights of New Orleans in her 24-hours of time there. :)

My impression of New Orleans these days? It's definitely coming back. In fact, it was hard to tell on Friday night that there was ever a hurricane. Everything seemed pretty much the same as pre-Katrina. Bourbon street was busy - it looked the same, smelled the same, felt the same. The only strange thing was that Cafe du Monde began closing up shop at 12:45am, just as we were finishing our coffee and beignets.

There are obvious sections of town where you can still see the water mark on all the houses and walls and there are still boats piled up along parts of the lake shore. It will take a long, long time for some of the sections of town to clean up - but I think most of that has to do with paperwork, bureaucracy, and foot-dragging insurance companies. It is clear that the people of New Orleans want to reclaim their lives and get on with the clean-up.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Sick and tired and leaving

Today I'm sick. And I'm tired. And I'm leaving.

I didn't sleep well last night and I assumed it was because of the damn mattress that we bought. You see, we needed to get a mattress to put in our table bed and we decided that we would move our old mattress downstairs and buy a new one for ourselves.

Two weekends ago, we went out shopping. And we found a very, very comfortable mattress, which also happened to be a very, very expensive mattress! But it was so soft and nice and supposed to be like a tempur-pedic mattress and relieve pressure points, yaddah, yaddah, yaddah... we bought the mattress.

It showed up the following day and was NOTHING like what we thought it was going to be. We couldn't believe we were so stupid to buy this thing. It was not comfortable, it was a bed of torture. We tried it out for a week, ended up spending the last night we had it downstairs on our old mattress on the table bed, and went back to the store to figure out how to get rid of this thing.

The sales guy was very nice. Apparently they had a couple of other people who had gotten this type of mattress and it had a manufacturing defect. We tried out the mattress in the store again. Yes, it was pillowy soft. Like laying on a cloud. We're not idiots, we really did choose a comfortable mattress.

So, they said they would replace our mattress. The new one came that night and it was definitely more comfortable. But still didn't seem quite right. And as the days have progressed this week, I've become more and more uncomfortable in it. We went to a different store and tried out this same mattress there yesterday. Yes, it was pillowy soft. Like laying on a cloud. We once again determined that we got a bum mattress.

Today I think we're going to try to exchange the damn thing again. Or, I should say, I think my husband is going to exchange it again. I, on the other hand, seem to have come down with the illness that our kids had last week (upset stomach, etc.) and even though I came in to work today (because I'm such a dedicated employee *cough, cough*), I'm going to be leaving soon.

But, that's not the only "leaving" I'm doing. Tomorrow we're going to head over to New Orleans. I got an e-mail from my pen-pal yesterday saying that she's going to be in New Orleans this Saturday for her current "gig". My mother-in-law is actually over there currently and has been begging us to come over, so we figure this will kill two birds with one stone.

Ok, maybe I should explain about my "pen-pal" and her "gig". When I was in fourth grade, my fourth grade class and a fourth grade class in Indianapolis exchanged letters. Somehow, I was lucky enough to be matched up with someone who would turn out to be a longtime, very dear friend of mine. But, oddly enough, the first time we met face-to-face was at my wedding. She came to my wedding to be a bridesmaid and to sing. You see, she makes her living by singing and performing in New York City, or where ever the current "gig" takes her. This time, the gig is taking her to New Orleans and I'm soooooo excited to see her. She's never met the kids, either, so this should be fun!

And now since my stomach is making strange rumbling noises again, I'm headed home to lay (down on the comfortable couch!) and try to get over this icky bug.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Bodily functions

What is it about engineers and their apparent inability to disguise bodily functions?

I have sat close to several people during my 10+ years at this company who completely gross me out. Currently there is a guy who sits two cubes away from me and burps, loudly, all day long.

I have also been close to people who snort, hack, fart, and huck up loogies. Nice.

I went to an all-engineering college, so I was exposed to this type of thing ever since I graduated from high school. Considering the lot I had to choose from, I consider myself quite lucky to have found my husband during that time. At least he hasn't developed any of these habits yet. And since he's a petroleum engineer and won't ever be exposed to this type of engineering hell, maybe I'll be safe.

Of course, he has picked up some interesting words and phrases after several years of working around the good ole boys. "Cee-ment" (cement) being one. (Honestly! Like the Beverly Hillbillies and their "cee-ment pond"!) And then there's the ever-popular, "Nope, not doin' anything. Just sittin' there like a bottle of piss." (I like to break that one out around here every once in awhile, but nobody seems to appreciate it like I do.)

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Daddy, you need to come upstairs soon

"Daddy, you need to come upstairs soon. Mommy is very angry." My son called down the stairs to my husband on Sunday afternoon.

You see, my husband had a project due on Monday morning, so he had to spend much of Saturday evening and pretty much all of Sunday working on this project.

It didn't really bother me and it gave me a chance to feel all super-mom-like and take the kids to the park, then come home, give them lunch, and play with them, all while the husband was busy working.

The kids went upstairs for their naps, during which time, I took the opportunity to sit for 20 minutes while watching a DVR'd episode of one of my favorite shows, Mission Organization. Then, I headed off to pick up some things from the grocery store and take care of my in-laws' cats, who were left alone for the weekend and who now need to be fed on a daily basis because they only eat soft cat food, which they then puke up all over the carpet. (I didn't clean up the puke.)

When I got home, my husband met me at the door saying that the girl had just awakened and that she was crying for mommy. So, I went upstairs, got the girl (who had only napped for 1.25 hours) and got the boy (who had not napped at all) and brought them downstairs for snacktime.

We had a fairly uneventful snack time in which I discovered that the girl loves raisins and the boy still won't try anything new ("they're dried grapes! you love grapes! bite it... yummmm" - No. Huh-uh! Never!)

However, that's when it all began to fall apart. I went to the kitchen to start cleaning up from snacktime and I could hear pounding at the table. This, unfortunately, is nothing new. The boy "booms" on things. He "booms" on everything - the table, the walls, the floors, all of his toys, his books, his sister - yep, pretty much everything. I'll tell him that we need to put on his shoes. His reply, "Mommy, just a minute. I'm boomin'!"

Needless to say, I've gotten very used to hearing "booming" around the house and it doesn't really register with me anymore. However, when I turned around to see what the kids were doing, I was none too pleased. I had made the mistake of leaving Cheerios on the table for them to eat while I was cleaning up. The boy had decided to meticulously "boom" each one of his Cheerios into a pile of dust with his sippy-cup of juice.

"Oh, don't do that!!!"
"Because it makes a mess!"
[Continues "booming"]
"Hey, I said don't do that!!!"
"It's not nice! It makes me have to clean up your mess!!!"
[blank stare - begins to try to "boom" some more]
By this point, it was obvious I was not making any headway in this discussion and my temper began to rise.
"I SAID STOP THAT. IT MAKES ME VERY ANGRY THAT YOU'RE DOING THAT! It makes a big mess and I'm the one that has to clean it up. Go tell your daddy that he needs to come up here soon!!"

And off he trotted. "Daddy, you need to come upstairs soon. Mommy is very angry!" And darn it if it didn't crack me up to hear him saying that.

I have decided through the last few months that my parents are saints. I don't remember my parents constantly yelling at me like I feel I'm constantly yelling at our son. I don't, of course, constantly yell at him, but it feels that way to me. I feel like I'm continuously telling him to stop doing something and eventually losing my temper and yelling at him. I'm trying to get better, but I just don't remember my parents doing that to me.

Well, there was this one time - I vividly recall it involved me playing under the card table, on which there sat my half-eaten bowl of soggy raisin bran. My mom kept telling me to stop playing with the table, but of course, I didn't listen and the scene ended with soggy raisin bran all over the wall and me hiding in my closet while I waited for my spanking, which oddly enough, only made my mom even madder when she couldn't find me! (Imagine that!)

Anyway, after hearing my own words through my sons voice, and giggling over it, I went downstairs (as my husband headed up the stairs) with renewed enthusiasm, to clean the dog poop off my sons shoes because some dipwad couldn't be bothered to pick up after his dog at a children's park - and I got mad at that, too.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

They're Sprouting!!

The most amazing thing happened yesterday. I decided since it hadn't rained yet yesterday that I should go out and water the dirt in my container garden.

Imagine my surprise when I looked out there and there were several little green things popping up through the surface of the soil! They're actually sprouting! This first picture is an up-close and personal with a couple of my little pea-sprouts.

And the second picture here is a shot of some of the flower sprouts. (I don't remember the flower name!)

Bouyed by this unexpected success (yes, I'm claiming success now that something has actually begun to grow - anything else is pure icing on the cake!) I came back inside and finally planted my herb seeds in the little "starter" pots that I got for them.

But wait, it gets better! ALL of the plants I planted in my containers last weekend have sprouted. The cucumbers, the peas, and the two different types of flowers. Just in one day, the cucumbers have grown to about an inch tall! Ha! What a green thumb I have! :)

(now if you don't hear anything more about this, you may assume that I've somehow killed them all...)