Thursday, December 18, 2008

Been awhile, eh?

Yep, I know. And I actually have plenty of things to complain about. Just not enough time to complain about them!

Today I have to pack up all my stuff in my office and issue all my P&ID's. And we're leaving town tomorrow. It's really good timing.

The kids have been in a continuous bickering battle for at least two weeks. We're going to have to have a sit-down talk about this soon, but, once again, no time. Poor kids, they've had to completely take care of themselves every night this week. Anyway, I'll just leave you with one of their more civil conversations, overheard yesterday morning:

F: I don't like Marxo anymore.
M: You love me, you just don't like what I'm doing right now.
F: I love you, I just don't like you to yell at me.


Thursday, October 30, 2008

1 of 3600

So, I went and voted earlier this week. I don't want to even think about the lines that people will have to negotiate on the actual election day. There was a huge line at the place where I went and voted, but I was in and out of there in only 30 minutes. If only all government lines worked so efficiently...

I checked the early voting numbers for Harris county and there have already been more than a half a million people who have voted. I was one of 3600 that voted on Tuesday at my polling place. It seems that people really are taking this one seriously.

I'm very anxious about the election. I'm sure it's no secret that I would like Obama to win, but I'm worried that something is going to happen and we'll be stuck with another psycho in the White House. I just don't trust McCain to be any kind of level-headed and, God forbid, if something happened to him, then where would we be?

So, I guess until Tuesday evening, I'm going to be holding my breath and hoping for what some may think would be a miracle.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The world is a beautiful place

Last night, my husband and I were so tired, we went to bed immediately after the kids went to bed. Fellan had been coughing, so we gave him some Mucinex before he went to bed.

At 1:30, however, Fellan woke up crying. He was coughing and having a really hard time breathing. He kept saying that he couldn't catch his breath.

So, we took him downstairs and tried to give him some more Mucinex, but he ended up coughing so hard that it made him throw up and the taste of the Mucinex also made him throw up.

By this time, we were getting worried because he was clearly having a lot of trouble breathing.

I asked my husband if he wanted to take him to the emergency room and I don't think the words had left my mouth before he said, "Yes."

So, they got dressed and went off to the emergency room. I knew in the back of my mind that Fellan's airway would get better in the cold air, and it did, but then as they were checking in, apparently, he starting having trouble breathing again, panicked, and threw up. My husband says he thinks that moved them up in the line some. :)

They saw someone within about 30 minutes of getting there and they diagnosed Fellan with croup. So, they gave him an oral steroid and then told them they'd have to wait 4 to 5 hours to see a doctor before they could leave.

Luckily, it was only about a 2.5 hour wait. The doctor said that croup is a virus that only affects the trachea and that Fellan's lungs sounded nice and clear. He also asked if Fellan's airway got better in the cold air (which it did) - and said that croup is the only virus to respond really well to cold air. I knew there was a reason I thought he would breathe easier outside...

So, that's it. Fellan's at home today, but we doubt that he'll get any sleep anytime soon. My husband said that Fellan was so high on life, happy to feel better, and so happy to be coming home to see me and to show Marxo his "hostible" wristband that as they drove up to the house, Fellan said, "The world is a beautiful place."

Monday, October 13, 2008

Ok, Ok...

I'm getting rude comments about not posting, but apparently now the truth comes out. If I don't have anything to complain about, I have nothing to write about!

Well, hopefully, I'm not that bad...

This past weekend was Marxo's birthday. She is now a big 4-year-old! She requested this year for her party that her friends dress up in pretty dresses and they all go to the zoo. Okey-dokey, that's exactly what we did. Most of the girls came in their princess dresses, I got tiaras for all the girls and crowns for all the boys, we ate cake and ice cream and then headed to the zoo.

It went pretty well, except for the fact that there is absolutely no parking at the zoo, so people had to circle and circle and eventually walk quite a distance in order to come to her party. But, I think the kids still had a good time.

The weekend has me completely worn out. Today I'm enjoying being able to sit for more than 5 minutes without having to plan and worry about logistics of a princess/zoo party. :)

Monday, September 29, 2008

We have power!

Yes! We have power! While I was at work on Friday, I got a phone call from the nanny saying that the lights were working. I wasn't sure whether or not to believe her, but Fellan got on the phone and said, "We have bright power!" and Marxo told me that the fans were "going really fast!"

I still hated to get my hopes up, but after I had put in my time for the day, I hurried home to see if it could possibly be true. When I drove up, I pushed the garage door opener and it opened. I just about started crying.

We spent the rest of the weekend trying to get things put back together. It took me two full days to finish all the laundry and we're still not completely "there", but we did retrieve our salvaged food from the in-laws' apartment and have stocked up again with the normal essentials: milk, cottage cheese, jelly, grapes, and parmesan.

Tonight, we have to head over to the inlaws' place to help them get their TV up and running again. They returned last night to find their place just as we and the apartment management had described it (livable, but not really completely put together) and were horrified that their TV wasn't working. Oh for geez...

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Happy Birthday, Mom!

Today is my mom's birthday - Happy Birthday, Mom!

It's also my husband and mine's wedding anniversary. We got married on my mom's birthday, which also happened to be her father's birthday. It's a special day. :)

One of my friends here at work was pregnant and I was really hoping she would end up having the baby on the 25th, too. But, the baby just couldn't wait - she was born yesterday. I mean, that's good and all, because my friend had been hoping the baby would come for the last 2 weeks and she was really ready to get it over-with, but still, it would have been cool to have yet another special event on the 25th. I guess you can't get everything you want.

Including power. Our area is now a small black hole in a sea of light and normalcy. I called Centerpoint yesterday just to make sure they know they missed us. I really don't know what their excuse was because Marxo was trying to talk to me and I couldn't hear the lady, but at least we're in their system now.

Last night was much cooler and we didn't have to sleep with the generator on. That meant we got nearly a full-night's sleep without having to empty the AC unit. (Except for the fact that my husband stayed up until 1am working on his laptop and I got up at 4:45am to get to work early...)

Anyway, as much as I complain, I keep telling myself that there are people who are a lot worse off than we are. We have many offers from friends and many other options available to us. And we've worked ourselves into kind of a routine. So, we're thinking even when we do get power, we might just boycott electricity out of spite! Har, har, har...

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Another thing I've learned...

A cold shower in Houston is really not that bad.

(no power yet)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Free Beer for Centerpoint

I've seen many make-shift signs in the last couple of weeks, all over town, made out of pieces of board that say "Line Down" and an arrow to where ever Centerpoint would need to make the repair.

One house down the street from us tried to kick it up a notch, though. They have the typical "Line Down" sign, plus they added another in big red letters "Free Beer for Centerpoint".

I guess it might be doing a little bit of good - last night was the first night in a week that we saw Centerpoint trucks in our neighborhood and they actually seemed to be doing something.

I feel something strange. I think it might be a glimmer of hope.

Monday, September 22, 2008

If it's not one thing, it's two.

I just got a text message from my husband. He tells me that there's a car accident at the intersection a block away from our house. The stoplight is not working - no power, remember? - and people have been doing a pretty good job of treating it as a four-way stop. However, it seems that a couple of vehicles have become entangled.

A car and a Centerpoint Energy Truck. (you know, the people who are supposed to be restoring our power?!)

How's that for irony?

(not to mention that's the first sighting of a Centerpoint Truck in our neighborhood for a week...)

Day 10

Today is Day #10 with no power. Some friends of ours got their power restored last Friday, so they offered us their generator. We've used it for the past two nights and it makes sleeping a little more bearable, but it's not nearly as great as we thought it would be. On Saturday night, the generator ran out of gas at 4:30am and the portable A/C unit had to be emptied of water twice, plus, at one point, we were both convinced that there was someone trying to either steal the generator, or at least break into our back yard.

Last night, we tried to turn on the generator later (we made the kids go to sleep without A/C!) and my husband only had to empty the water from the A/C unit once. When I left at 5:15 this morning, the generator was still running. My husband is going to try to get some work done at home this morning while using the generator to power the TV and computer. Computer for him, TV for the kids.

One thing we have noticed, however, is that without TV, Fellan has turned into a completely different child! On Saturday, at lunchtime, he spent the entire time coloring a picture. It's the first time he's ever sat still long enough to color an entire picture! We framed it.

And yesterday, he was helping Marxo with one of her 100-piece puzzles. We're thinking that we may have to ban TV from the house from now on.

Yeah, right, let's see how long that lasts...

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Hurricane Ike

We're all safe after Hurricane Ike! Our house doesn't seem to have sustained any damage, but we still don't have power, so we're not actually sure that the electrical system is OK. I assume so, but you never know...

We recently bought a little house across the street to serve as my husband's office and it took a bit of a beating. There's a cupola-thing at the top of the roof that covers the "ridge vent" of the attic. A huge pine tree next to the house broke and sheared the cupola off, leaving a 1ft x 3ft hole in the roof. Of course, rain went throughout the house on Saturday morning as the hurricane made its way through and the roof was too wet all day Saturday to attempt any kind of semi-permanent fix.

And then it rained about 3 more inches on Sunday morning, so we had even more water in the house. The hardwood floors are warped along the edges of each board and we spent Monday afternoon ripping the carpeting out. (or was that Sunday afternoon? I don't know - the days are all running into each other. I think it was Sunday. Whatever.)

As far as the actual hurricane went, it wasn't all that scary. We spent the night in our downstairs bedroom, which is fairly well-protected. We lost power at about 9:30pm - way before the storm actually hit. And we spent most of the night dozing and being awakened by big BOOM's of transformers blowing throughout the neighborhood. When we got up the next morning (at 5:30, because Fellan woke up and excitedly began asking every two minutes if we could turn on the camping lantern yet?!), we went upstairs to find our street completely covered with water, and rising.

During Tropical Storm Allison when all of Houston was flooded, our house came within just a couple of inches of being flooded. And considering the fact that there has been more suburban development, the storm surge was supposed to be 20 feet (meaning no place for the water to run off), and they were predicting 6 to 12 more inches of rain to fall upstream of us, we began to worry and started moving things out of the downstairs room to the 2nd floor - just in case.

Shortly after we moved almost everything, the water began receding. (of course!) We still breathed a sigh of relief, because that also meant that the little house across the street wouldn't be flooded (little did we know that there was already water damage throughout the house).

We spent the day Saturday listening to the emergency radio, trying to find out the extent of the damage to Houston, in general, and trying to prevent Fellan from turning on the camping lantern during daylight hours.

That evening, we decided to go check out my in-laws' apartment which is only a couple of miles away from our house. We drove up and were amazed to find out that it had power! Back we went to our house to get some clothes and PJ's so that we could spend the night at their place. The only problem was that almost all the carpeting was soaking wet. Every step made a squishing sound and it was beginning to smell. We didn't care. It was a place with air conditioning and we could get a good nights' sleep! Due to the worsening smell, however, we haven't stayed there since, but it has been nice to have a place to store some food in a working refrigerator.

For some reason, on Sunday, I fully expected to have power back. I was disappointed on Monday when we still didn't have power. And then I called my company hotline, which informed me that I was supposed to go to work on Tuesday! So then, I was really mad. I barely slept all night, carefully choosing the words that I would use in a scathing e-mail to my manager the next day.

So, on Monday, when we still didn't have power, we decided we'd better get some cordless drills so that we could start some repairs on the little house. Part of the wooden fence around it had also fallen and we needed to get it uprighted and screwed back in place. Of course, the tools needed to be charged for 9 hours before first use, so we headed back to my husband's parents' apartment to plug them in.

The one good thing about Monday was that a cool front blew through town. It has been unseasonable cool and nice since sometime Sunday night (?) - that has been the one thing that has kept us semi-sane, I think, this week.

On Tuesday, I grudgingly went to work - very early so that I could get some hours in before leaving early. I went home at lunchtime and helped my husband as he crawled up onto the roof of the little house and reattached the cupola. We spent the rest of Tuesday afternoon taking the boards off the windows of the little house.

Yesterday, again, I came to work, but I got here at about 5:45am. On a normal day, that would then mean that I could leave work at 4:30pm (10-hour day, 45-minute lunch). However, I basically worked through lunch and left at 4:00pm. I got home just in time to begin helping my husband put the fence back together. We had tried on Tuesday to just lift the section of fence back up in place, but it was tweaked somehow and it wouldn't fit. So, the husband and kids had spent the day removing it, taking it apart, getting all the old nails out of it, and they were finally ready to put it back together. At 7:00pm last night the little house finally looked (at least from the outside) like its old self. Of course, then we had to go find some food - we went to one of the two restaurants that are open in our neighborhood - and finally made it home at almost 9:00.

Marxo is completely exhausted by this point. She hasn't had a nap since Sunday, I think. She could barely stay awake thru dinner last night and I poured her into bed (which is a Thermarest pad on the floor of our bedroom) when we got home.

I guess the good thing about not having power is that it's forcing us to go to bed early. We've been going to bed every night at around 9:00 and I've been getting up at 5:00 so that I can come to work early and leave early. We've discovered that when you go to bed with the sun, there are really not very many hours after normal "work hours" to get anything done. I was actually hoping to wash some dishes by daylight when I got home from work yesterday, but still haven't gotten that accomplished.

Everyone else in my group at work has power back and yesterday I was realizing that they've completely gone back to life as normal. They can cook, they can shower, they have a working refrigerator. It's amazing to realize what a difference it makes to your mental state when those seemingly simple conveniences are taken away from you.

I desperately need to find a laundromat tomorrow and we need to find a good source of ice. The ice maker at my in-laws' apartment only makes about 20 cubes per day, so we begged some ice off the restaurant last night as we were leaving.

I checked the Centerpoint Energy website this morning and discovered that we are in the zone of Houston that is expected to have power sometime after Monday, September 22. Yesterday, I had finally gotten myself used to the idea that we would probably not have power for another week, but I thought I was over-estimating. I guess I'm going to have to resign myself to every-other-day showers at the inlaws' smelly apartment for awhile longer.

Left to their own devices this morning while my husband was downstairs eating breakfast, the kids seem to be coping well...

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

In between

Well, we're in between first days here. Fellan's first day of kindergarten was yesterday and Marxo's first day of preschool is tomorrow!

Here's a picture of the kids on their way to the kindergarten class. Marxo was very sad to leave her big brother, but she seemed to recover fairly quickly.

Fellan was so excited to go to "big school" yesterday and we think he generally had a good time. Apparently, he was caught running in class and that seems to have made an impression on him - he seems to feel pretty bad about "being bad" and wants to be "good" from now on.

All his imaginary play last night revolved around school: the living room was the classroom, the kids' bedroom was the cafeteria and the hallway was the path to the cafeteria. Fellan was the teacher for most of the evening, but I didn't hear him yelling too much at Marxo, so I'm hoping that the teacher didn't yell at him too much yesterday...

Tomorrow is the first day for Marxo to go to preschool and she absolutely cannot wait! The teachers stopped by our house last week for "home visits" and she was wowing them with the fact that she can finish her favorite 100-piece puzzle in about 5 minutes. (she actually has all the pieces memorized - when she looks at each piece, she puts it down relative to where it is located in the puzzle!) Anyway, the teachers agreed that they might have to get some different puzzles since the ones in the 3-4-year-old classroom only have three pieces each.

We were looking at her class roster last night and noticed that she and another little girl in her class are by far the oldest in the class. Both of their birthdays are in the beginning of October. The rest of the class' birthdays are in January, May, June, and July of next year. There's a big gap and I'm wondering if Marxo and the other little girl might gravitate towards the girls in the older class since their birthdays are actually closer to Marxo's than the kids in her own class. It will be interesting to see...

Friday, August 22, 2008


Wake me in time for the evening coverage...

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Who needs sleep?

I've decided I'll just sleep next week. Thank God the Olympics is only 2 weeks long...

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


Bela Karolyi (US Citizen, 1981), Liang Chow (US Citizen, 2002), and Shawn Johnson sitting together, talking about Shawn's gold medal in beam at the 2008 Olympics.

It doesn't get more American than that to me.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Save me from the Olympics

I'm powerless to stop watching the Olympics every night. I think I finally set the TV to the sleep timer at 1am last night.

Everyone is so caught up in Phelps-mania, but I love the whole thing. Finally, the other day, I got to see some water polo and equestrian events. The only thing I'm really missing seeing now is synchronized swimming (do they still do that?).

The kids keep begging us if they can watch one of "their shows". Poor kids. We have no sympathy for them, however. Our answer is always the same, "The Olympics only happens once every four years. NO. We will continue watching the Olympics and you will love it!" (well, I think we leave off that last sentence - we usually just say, "NO!")

The one thing I could really do without is the arrogant track athletes. I'm already tired of watching them showboat across the finish line, letting up during the last 10 meters of the race and coasting across the line just to show how truly awesome they think they are. And then the interviews of those people afterwards? Please. I don't need them to tell me how awesome they are again.

I was very proud of the three guys who swept the 400m hurdles for the US, though. They were very nice during their interview and talked about how happy they were to represent the US. That was a nice change.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to go take a nap during lunchtime...

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

What a Dud.

Tropical Storm Edouard has turned out to be a complete dud. I was hoping for some good rain; some good wind; some good destruction (but not to our house). But instead, we just got kind of a continuous light rain all day starting at around 7am. Boring.

The forecast made it sound like we were in for a big one. And after tropical storm Allison, everyone was wary of just what a tropical storm could do. Most all of the offices around town closed for the day as well as the daycares/schools. Not our office, though! We got an e-mail that said, "Your personal safety is our utmost concern" but we're still going to be open and if you don't come in, be sure to go ahead and charge that to your vacation account, mmmmKay?

I woke up early this morning and checked the weather. It was still predicting that the storm would hit in the late morning / early afternoon, so I figured I'd come to work, get in a few hours and then leave before the real flooding started. Dumb storm didn't create enough rain to even think about heading home, so here I sit. The good news is that since I came in so early this morning, I get to leave pretty soon. :)

The nanny is off this week, so the kids have been spending some (even more than usual) quality time with Daddy. They stopped by here for lunch today, too, which was a nice break since I was hoping to not be here anymore, but still was.

Well, time for me to go home and inspect the storm damage! Not.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Hiking in Hades

This past weekend we decided that since we haven't been able to pull off a vacation or even a mini-vacation this summer, we'd spontaneously go to Buescher State Park and go hiking. It was a great plan until we were there, 4 miles away from the car, in 100ºF weather, having taken a wrong turn and having to hike a mile back to where we had taken the wrong turn.

But, that's about how most of our vacations go. We decide to do stupid things and then call them fun afterwards.

The MS150 bike ride goes through Buescher and Bastrop State Parks, so we've ridden our bikes through there 10 times, but had never hiked in the park. It really was very nice - so nice that we think we'd love to go back there and go camping and hiking again sometime when it gets cooler. Like in December.

The kids did a great job and didn't complain too much. We ended up carrying them for the last part - me with Fellan on my back for the last mile, my husband carrying a very tired, nearly asleep little girl for about the last two miles. Here they are before we started. No pictures of after the hike, we were all too tired and sore to even hold up a camera. :)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Worth the effort?

Ugh. I keep having such a hard time posting because I wonder if it's really worth the effort! I would like to have all these funny stories on my blog about the things that our kids do that make me laugh every day, but when I get to work, all of my fun life seems to disappear into thin air. And then all I can think about is work and I don't want to write about work on my blog because I'm paranoid about getting fired over saying something about work and so I never post anything anymore because I'll just say this: There are some things about my job right now that make me very angry.


Let me see if I can get back into my happy thoughts again... This past weekend was my husband's birthday and he's now as old as me again. That makes me happy! :)

We spent much of the weekend sitting on the couch, working - each on our own laptops - and then went for a bike ride Sunday morning and a pool party Sunday afternoon. Very exciting, I know.

AND we've both decided (finally) that we can't stand our fat selves and that we really, really, really want to get back in shape. So, the weekly weigh-ins have started once again - we write the results on our mirrors in dry-erase marker so that we'll be able to chart our progress and it will serve as a daily reminder of our fatness. Not sure I really need another reminder, but maybe it will help.

Anyway, I'd better get back to work. I'll try to remember some cute story to post next...

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Wow - more than a month!

Wow! It's been more than a month since I posted something? Sorry, Courtney! (since you're the only person I know who regularly checks in on me - I think even my parents have given up!)

Anyway, I guess nothing really exciting has happened in that month, otherwise, I surely would have posted about it, right?

Let's see, Fellan's last day of school was at the end of May, but I missed it because I was in Cabo San Lucas with some friends celebrating one friend's 40th birthday! (don't get too excited - we mostly went to bed early and just lounged next to the pool - the perfectly relaxing vacation for all of us since we all have kids under 6 years old) Also, my dad was in Houston at the end of May/beginning of June for a conference. We all had great fun with Grandpa! We took him with us on "family bike ride" night and he only fell down twice! :)

Then there was Father's Day and then we went to New Orleans last weekend. My parents were actually in New Orleans for another conference, so we went over there for a little "quality time" (my mom hates that term - Hi, Mom!, just in case you're reading this...) with the grandparents.

Now we're just in summer-mode, I guess. The kids have been taking swimming lessons for about a year now and they're both getting really good. We're actually to the point where I don't freak out at all around water. I'm fairly certain that they won't drown if I take my eyes off them for a few seconds.

We've re-discovered our neighborhood pool now, too. We visited it once a couple of years ago (or maybe last year?) but didn't really spend much time there. But, they put in a water slide sometime last year and the kids LOVE it. I was surprised - when they suggested that they try it out, I expected them to get to the top of the stairs and then be afraid to come down, but they didn't hesitate at all - down they came! Of course, they wanted my husband and I to be at the bottom of the slide for moral support, so that lead to about 30 minutes of treading water in 9ft-deep water for us. At least that was good exercise!

This week, my husband's parents are out of town, so we're checking on their cat whom they left behind at their apartment. Last night we rode our bikes over there, played in the apartment complex's pool for a little while, and then rode home. Tonight, however, unless it stops raining, it looks like we'll either skip it tonight, or go by car.

So, everything is pretty normal around here - nothing spectacular. Except that my fingers on my left hand keep tingling. I was kind of worried about it until this past weekend. When we were in New Orleans, there was no tingling. But, when we were driving back, about 50 miles from Houston, they started tingling again. I'm really ready for this project to be done...

I'll try to write with more frequency again, but I can't promise anything. 'Til next time...

Thursday, May 22, 2008


The last two weeks of work have been an entire blur. Everything that could go wrong has gone wrong and I can't keep up with the ever-changing wants and desires of each member of the clients' team. I have developed a tick in my right eye and I'm hoping that my four-day weekend will cure me of it.

On the bright side, there WAS Mother's Day a couple of weeks ago. My husband asked them what they wanted to do for me and Fellan decided they should get me a gift card. "To Target! - Her favorite store!!" (he knows me quite well)

Marxo said that she wanted to make me muffins. (she had been hearing about "Muffins for Moms" for the previous two weeks)

So, for Mother's Day, I got a gift card to Target and Marxo made me some muffins - with some help from my husband. :) And then to top it off, Fellan said, "Hey, I know what would make mommy really happy - we should go for a family bike ride!"

He was correct once again. We rode our bikes - Fellan on his two-wheeled bike - about 6 miles, stopped off for lunch at a non-busy restaurant, came home, and went to Target, where I used my gift card to buy myself a cute skirt and some other stuff.

It was a good day! Now, if I could just get rid of this eye-tick thing...

Yesterday afternoon, I was stuck in the meeting we were told we wouldn't be having yesterday and one of the guys leading the meeting came back to the bathroom and informed the entire room, "Somewhere between my breakfast burrito and my gourmet sandwich there was an material incompatibility."

My tick is getting worse.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Muffins for Moms

Fellan's school does this thing every year: "Muffins for Moms" It's a get-together at the beginning of the day where they have muffins for all the moms (of course) and then everyone gets together in a big circle and the teacher reads this book called Love You Forever by Robert Munsch and all the moms cry. It's usually held on the Thursday before Mother's Day, but because of some field trips and other scheduling conflicts, they had Muffins for Moms last Monday (a week ago today).

This was both good and bad. It was good because then for the rest of the week, Fellan and Marxo kept asking if it was Mother's Day yet - they were really looking forward to it! It was bad, however, because it poured on me as I was leaving the school.

So, I sent my husband a text message saying, "Raining - I'm soaked." A couple minutes later, I received this Haiku from him:
Raining I am soaked
Wet are the clothes on my back
My heart full of joy

Clever, eh? :)

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Great Bike Ride

We tested out the girl on the trailer bike this past Sunday, taking her for a 12.5-mile ride. She did great! When we got home, she was still happy, she never complained and she seemed to be ready for more.

So, we told both the kids how they had done a great job on the bike ride. High-fives with "Great bike ride!" were exchanged all around. Then I turned to my husband and said, "High-five! We make great kids!"

Fellan gave us a funny look and said, "No, you make great parents!"

Aw, shucks... :)

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Two Trailer-bike Family

As of last week, we are now a two trailer-bike family!

We've been riding with Fellan on a trailer-bike for about a year now. Lately, however, Marxo has been begging to ride the trailer-bike, too, so we've done some short rides around the neighborhood with Fellan on his own (on two wheels) and Marxo on the trailer-bike.

Now, our original plan was that by this time, we would be fabulously wealthy (cough, cough) and would be able to get a Comotion Periscope Tandem for Fellan to move up to and then Marxo would be able to use the trailer-bike.

Since that plan has fallen woefully short, we opted to get another trailer-bike. And it showed up last week! Yay!

We tried it out a couple of times last week, and then went on a little bit longer ride last night with it. We have to kind of ramp up our mileage to test Marxo out and see how long she can stand riding it.

So, far it hasn't been a problem. We did seven miles last night and she sang for most of the way. :)

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Kindergarten Round-up

Last night we attended Kindergarten Round-up for our neighborhood school and registered Fellan for school this coming Fall. I can't believe it! He's getting to be so big. :)

I expected the experience to be somewhat painful. We had been told beforehand what we were supposed to bring, but I was sure that whatever we brought would somehow be wrong. I expected that we would be there for hours trying to work through the process and just trying not to make the registrar-people mad. (too many bad experiences from college, perhaps?)

Anyway, it was not painful in the slightest. In fact, they had snacks for everyone, they were friendly, and they even made copies of things that I didn't know I had to have copies of (SS card and driver's license). I was shocked and pleasantly surprised.

One of the reasons we are sending our children to the neighborhood school and not a private school is because we've heard great things about it and we like the idea of sending our kids to a "neighborhood school". All of the kids' friends are going to be within walking distance and he will have a great variety of friends.

So, it seems that people are not lying about the fact that the school is worthwhile. Our first experience with it was definitely pleasant. I'm looking forward to next year.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Kids on Skis

So, we got back from our skiing trip a little more than a week ago and since that time, I've been consumed with getting caught up with work and trying to get back in the swing of things.

The trip, however, was great! We put the kids in ski school on Monday morning, not knowing if they would like it or not.

It turned out that they LOVED it! (much to our delight!) So, they did a half-day of ski school on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. By the end of the day on Wednesday, Fellan was skiing on his own and shut down the lift. (magic carpet) Marxo was well on her way to being able to ski on her own, but she was really worn out from three days of skiing.

We took the day off on Thursday - went sledding instead - and then went skiing together as a family on Friday. We found a great little lift that was basically isolated from the rest of the mountain and spent most of the day there working with Fellan on turning and "slow skiing" (he only wanted to GO FAST!). We decided to finish the day with a couple of trips down a long green run, which turned out OK, but we pushed Marxo a little too far and I ended up skiing with her between my legs for the last half of the last run.

But, the week was definitely a success - both the kids were able to ski on their own by the end of the trip, which far surpassed our expectations. We can't wait for next year now. :)

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

My morning yesterday...

My morning yesterday started off by waking up at 7am and racing to work (I'm supposed to be to work by 6am!). Then, I get to work, and my supervisor takes one look at me and says, "What happened to your face?!!!" Nice. (Male engineers - you gotta love 'em...)

Well, you see, this past weekend, I ended up with a very sore throat. It was a little sore on Thursday, more sore on Friday, and by Saturday morning, I had trouble swallowing and talking. I finally decided to look in my throat on Saturday and it was very swollen with white spots on my tonsils.

Great. I immediately assumed that it must be strep throat and started trying to figure out where I could go to a doctor. My regular doctor's office is only open M-F, so I decided to try out one of these RediClinic things for which I've seen commercials. I was in and out of there in about 30 minutes. It was amazing.

The doctor did a strep test and it came back negative. But, she thought it looked like some sort of infection and since I didn't have any congestion or cough (like a virus would cause), she gave me a prescription for antibiotics.

I haven't taken antibiotics in at least 10 years (except for back in December), so when she asked if I was allergic to any drugs, I said no. Well, I don't think I'm allergic to amoxicillin, but it has definitely caused my face to break out! Hence the comment, "What happened to your face?!!!"

Next time, I think I'll try to steer any doctor away from prescribing me amoxicillin. But, I still have 5 more days of taking this stuff. I started using my "heavy-duty" moisturizing stuff with retinol and it's definitely better today. And my husband says that I don't look hideous today, so that's a step in the right direction. :)

Monday, February 25, 2008

Home Sweet Home

It's great to be home! I was so happy to get home on Thursday night and get to hug my kids. And they seemed to be genuinely happy to see me, too, so that made it even better.

We spent the weekend doing all kinds of family things. I took the kids to their swimming lessons on Friday and then we went for a bike ride both Saturday and Sunday. We all got our first sunburns of the year after spending the entire day outside yesterday. It was just a very nice weekend.

Now, having been back at work for an entire day, I almost wish I could go back to Pascagoula where nobody bothered me all day long and I didn't have to put up with all the project stupidity that goes on here.

But, I get to go home and spend the evening with my family and that far outweighs any of the negatives they seem to continuously throw at me here at work. Time to go! :)

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Dungeness Crab

Ok, I'll admit it, not everything is horrible about traveling to the thriving metropolis of Pascagoula, Mississippi. On this trip, I learned how to eat crab!

Yep, even after living in Houston for almost 15 years, I have never attempted to eat crab or lobster or anything else that swims and is served whole on a plate.

So, even though I knew I would have to endure endless taunts from the guys with whom I'm traveling (all Texas natives), I admitted to them that I have no idea how to eat large shellfish. You know - not a lot of seafood in Nebraska besides frozen fish sticks. (not that there's anything wrong with that!)

That secured the decision on where to eat dinner last night. We went to one of the many seafood restaurants around here and everyone ordered the Dungeness Crab.

Since one of the guys used to Crab for a living when he lived in Louisiana, he took great pleasure in showing me how to rip apart and crack the shell of the poor thing that had been alive only a few minutes before being served. It was delicious.

Of course, the expert crab-eater was finished with his before I was even half-way done with mine. He even had time to order a pound of crawfish and eat it before I finished. But, at least I wasn't the last one done. I hurried up enough to beat at least one of the other guys. :)

Tomorrow, we head home and I should be in time to tuck the kids into bed. I can't wait!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Church politics

Well, we found out two weeks ago that the Unitarian Universalist church is not without it's own politics. We've been going to the church on and off for about three years now, but two weeks ago, we were really surprised by the service.

Both of the pastors were somehow run out of the church! They both gave a "Homily" sermon and that was the end of that. This past Sunday, there was an interim minister there. Strange. We still haven't heard the rest of the story.

But, I wanted to relay one of the stories that was told during their "homily" service. It's a story about an ancient "Truth" that fell from the sky. I can't remember the exact story, but it went something like this:

There once was the truth and it was kept by an ancient tortoise who lived in the sky. One day, it fell from the sky and broke into two pieces. One piece, fell in plain view while the other rolled into deep grass. The piece in plain view caught the attention of many different animals. Each, in turn, picked it up and held on to it for a little while, but quickly realized that it was incomplete and not the whole truth. It lost its luster.

One day a human found the half-piece of rock and read it. It made him feel special and he put it into his pocket. It made him feel good to know that it was there and every once in awhile, he would take it out and look at it.

Finally, he decided to share the message of his rock with some other people. It said,"You are loved". The people really liked that message. They liked it so much, in fact, that they began to call it THE truth and they made a special place to keep the stone and come see it once a week.

Then they began to believe that they were the only ones chosen to hear this truth and felt that everyone else who did not believe this truth were not as good. Before long, a war broke out.

But one child who was watching the fight thought she might be able to do something about it. So, she went to a far away place during her vision quest and she met the ancient tortoise. He told her where she could find the other half of the truth. She searched and searched and finally, she found it. She hurried home to share the other half of the rock's truth with the villagers.

When she arrived, they were still fighting, so she walked out in the middle of the battle and said, "STOP! I have the other half of the broken truth."

The people on both sides of the battle stopped and their leaders came out to the little girl. One village leader carried the first half of the rock, "You are loved" He placed it in the little girl's hand, and the girl put the pieces together. The rock, now complete, read: "You are loved ... and so are they."


About halfway through the story when the humans started turning against each other, I started remembering a song that we used to sing in our church youth choir and I couldn't get it out of my head for the rest of the day:

(a 1960's era anti-war song written by Dennis Lambert and Brian Potter)

Listen, children, to a story
That was written long ago,
'Bout a kingdom on a mountain
And the valley-folk below.

On the mountain was a treasure
Buried deep beneath the stone,
And the valley-people swore
They'd have it for their very own.

Go ahead and hate your neighbor,
go ahead and cheat a friend.
Do it in the name of heaven,
justify it in the end.
There won't be any trumpets blowin'
come the judgment day
on the bloody morning after,
one tin soldier rides away.

So the people of the valley
Sent a message up the hill,
Asking for the buried treasure,
Tons of gold for which they'd kill.

Came an answer from the kingdom,
"With our brothers we will share
All the secrets of our mountain,
All the riches buried there."


Now the valley cried with anger,
"Mount your horses! Draw your sword!"
And they killed the mountain-people,
So they won their just reward.

Now they stood beside the treasure,
On the mountain, dark and red.
Turned the stone and looked beneath it...
"Peace on Earth" was all it said.



Funny how we used to sing this anti-war song in my church and now I feel like the Christian religion has been totally hijacked by a war-mongering "Christian Right".

A bumper sticker I recently saw says, "The Christian Right is Neither."


Monday, February 18, 2008

Where did the week go?

There was a lovely layer of smog over Houston as I flew out this morning.

I'm traveling for work this week - Against my better judgement and really, against my will! However, I was informed last Wednesday that I would, in fact, be required to come to the refinery for the week, which meant that I had to try to get everything done on Thursday that I had planned to do this week. It didn't work and I ended up going in to the office for a couple hours on Sunday (was that just yesterday?) to try to finish.

It also meant that I had to change my plans for Friday and go take the refinery safety training class and then I had to spend the rest of the day getting ready for our son's school's garage sale.

The garage sale seemed a little more subdued this year than last year, but it's really hard to say. Last year, we were on the garage sale committee, so everything was a little more stressful last year.

Anyway, that's what I've been doing for the last week. Maybe I'll have a little time to relax and blog this week! We'll see...

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Boring Post

Ok, my parents complained about the dark colors during my mourning period, so I figured I should change them back. Even though I'm still upset about the impending doom of the country...

And since I'm still depressed, I can't find anything good to write about. This weekend our plan is to go through our entire house and make a huge garage sale pile. Our son's school's major fundraising event for the year is a neighborhood garage sale. Each student's family is required to donate at least $250-worth of stuff for the sale and last year, I think the school made about $6000 off the event.

You might think it would be hard to find that much stuff in your house each year, but it's actually fairly easy! We're definitely ready to get rid of some more crap in an effort once again to streamline the household. (always a good thought, but it never seems to work out - I'm this close to hiring a professional organizer...)

Also on the agenda is a bike ride. Actually nobody else in the family knows this yet, but I have now proclaimed it and it shall be so.

Have a good weekend!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008


I'm in mourning - Edwards dropped out of the race.

I hate to say it, but I'm fairly certain there is going to be a Republican in office when January rolls around next year...

It's too bad that most Democrats live in fairy-tale land and have never had a taste of the South. There is no way that anyone around these parts is going to vote for - let's see, how did someone put it the other day? - "Monica's ex-boyfriend's wife", or for a black man. That's the sad truth. My only hope was that on Super-Tuesday Edwards would pull out a win in a few states.

Now my only hope is a McCain/Edwards ticket. How likely do you think that is?!

How many?

Conversation between the husband and Fellan:

H: Fellan, you don't have any hot dogs. How many did you eat yesterday?
F: Uh... like 9 or 20.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Marxo's Story

The girl's birthday is in October and that will make her one of the oldest for her class. In fact, we really feel like she was ready to start school this past fall, but the school rules don't permit it.

So, when a friend of ours from school suggested that Marxo and their daughter begin going to "school" once a week at another place, we jumped at the chance.

Last Thursday was her first day at "school". It's actually very similar to Fellan's school in their approach to child-centered play and activity. AND they do the story-telling thing, too. Fellan's first story was rather short. Marxo's however...
Once upon a time, there was a little girl monster. All her friends came over. They played games. Then they went to the park. They played dirt cake. Mommy and Daddy and Blanca monster came. They played dirt cake. Then they put sprinkles on and decorate. They all went home.
A monster came with a bulldozer and tore the house down. They had to move to another house. The End.
I really can't wait to hear her next story. :)

Monday, January 28, 2008

The Bounce is Back

I've been so busy over the last week that I haven't had a chance to write about the demise of the trampoline. Yep, less than a month after Santa brought it, the bungee cord - the thing that makes it bounce - broke! It actually broke right before we went out for Fellan's first bike ride without training wheels, but I was so excited about that, I forgot to mention it!

After it broke, we immediately ordered two new bungee cords (at $15 a pop - yikes! If we have to get a new one every month, this could get really expensive...) and began anxiously awaiting their arrival. What made it worse was that it's been raining ever since the trampoline broke. On Wednesday night last week, in an act of desperation, we actually drove out to one of the malls so that the kids could play in the kiddie play area and release some of their pent-up energy!

So, on Friday, when the new bungee cords arrived, it was quite the celebration in the house. We got the trampoline back together and the kids have been happily bouncing away ever since.

We're still waiting for the replacement Smart Cycle...

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

How to re-heat frozen Runzas

Tonight I'm going to provide a public service for all us displaced (misplaced?) Nebraskans: How to re-heat those frozen Runzas we all brought back after our last visit home.

I called my hometown Runza just a few minutes ago (guess what we're having for supper tonight?! Yummy, yummy, yummy!!!), so here it is, straight from the horse's mouth:

- Unwrap fully-baked, frozen Runza from paper
- Wrap in aluminum foil with shiny side facing "in"
- Bake in preheated 325F oven for 45 minutes

Microwave fully-baked, frozen Runza for 1 minute on "high", turn over and microwave for another 30 seconds to 1 minute on "high" - make sure there are no cold spots.

And for those of you unfortunate enough to not know what a Runza is, check out these links. (and might I add that I'm so excited "Runza" finally made it into Wikipedia!)

P.S. FYI, the next time you're home and want to buy some frozen Runzas, call them the day before and place your order so they can bake them and then freeze them. If you go in and just try to buy some frozen Runzas, they may not have any already frozen.

Baking the frozen Runzas for 45 minutes will get them mostly hot, however, they end up a little crunchy on the outside (really, only a little). So, I think the next batch we heat up, I'll put them in the microwave for about a minute and then finish them off in the oven. I'll let you know the results...

Monday, January 21, 2008

Height Predictions

The husband and I have been debating amongst ourselves tonight about how tall the kids are going to be when they grow up.

I think that with all the hormones and everything that we inadvertantly feed the kids, they'll both be taller than us. My prediction (and the doctor's when Fellan was 3) is that he will be 6'-3". My prediction for Marxo is that she'll be 5'-8".

The husband's predictions? Fellan will be 6'-1" and Marxo will be 5'-8". Well, at least we agree on the girl!

My husband found this website earlier tonight and plugged in all the numbers for the three different predictions. Fellan is predicted to be anywhere between 5'-11" and 6'-1" and Marxo is predicted to be between 5'-6" and 5'-7.5". According to these predictions, Fellan would be shorter than his dad and Marxo would be only slightly taller than me.

So, what does it say about me that I consistently think that our kids will be taller than the predictions? Am I one of those parents who value height and have a skewed view of my children? (I'm sure that's partially true.) Or, is it just because I'm about 4 inches taller than my mom and about equal height with my dad - and my brother is about 4 inches taller than my dad - that I think all children grow taller than their parents?

Well, I guess we'll just have to wait about 14 years to find out whose prediction is correct...


Fellan's favorite word for the last couple of weeks has been "poo-poo". He uses it in every sentence as an adjective and also replaces nouns in sentences with it. As in, "I'm going to take a poo-poo bath in the poo-poo."

At school, they keep telling him (and all the other kids - he is not alone in his over-use of this word) that poo-poo is something your body does and that it's a word you use only in the bathroom. And we have had many talks with him about his improper usage of the word.

So, last week, as Fellan and Marxo were taking "big bath" in our bathtub, I wandered in to check on them and Fellan asked me, "Mommy, is this a bathroom?" I replied, "Yes," not realizing what was coming...

He promptly said, "Poo-pooooooo!!!" with glee.

Friday, January 18, 2008

I want to ride my bicycle

Yes, I really do want to ride my bicycle, but that's not the point of this post.

Fellan has been talking about taking his training wheels off his bike, so we finally relented and went out last night for a ride at the park. It was as if he had never been riding with training wheels at all! He just kind of took off and never looked back.

He has such natural physical abilities - it continues to amaze me. So when he talks about how he's going to raise his arms over his head when he wins all his bike races, I have no doubts. I'm going to be there at the finish line, being the proudest mother ever. :)

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Weekend Warriors

This past weekend, we spent much of our time working on the kids' bedroom. We got almost everything done, but there are still a couple of small projects that need to be finished before I can take a picture and post it. But maybe I should start the story from the beginning.

In early December, we got out all the Christmas decorations so that we could decorate the house. But the spot where the tree goes was completely filled up with a pile of toys. So, we decided enough was enough, the toys needed a permanent home elsewhere. We moved them up to the kids' bedroom.

However, even after cleaning out the closet, there still wasn't room for all their toys. So, we decided to go ahead and convert their beds into a bunk bed. That was always our intent, however, until that very moment in time, we had always thought it would be too dangerous for a 4-year-old (specifically our 4-year-old) to sleep on the top bunk of a bunkbed. Well, forget that! We needed the room, so we did it.

The kids were so excited about it, they didn't sleep for about a week. Eventually, they calmed down and things have been pretty much back to normal since. However, we didn't like the layout of the furniture. Everything was just lined up against the walls - no depth!

So, we made yet another trip to IKEA and got another storage shelf to use as kind of a room divider and decided that we'd like to get a drop-leaf table for them to use as a desk in their room. Of course, the drop-leaf table is not in stock, so we're going to have to wait a little while for that.

We also thought it would be cool to get a "bed tent" for Fellan's bed and then put a curtain down below for Marxo to create a private space for her (even though she's three, she thinks she's about 13!). So, this past weekend we purchased the bed tent (but it didn't fit :( ) and found some fabric. I actually got out my sewing machine and figured out how to use it again so that I could hem the edges of the fabric. Now we just need to find some kind of hospital track curtain stuff to put up under the top bunk.

As soon as the project is done, I'll definitely post some pictures. The husband and I think the room is "awesome" (Fellan's favorite word these days), but I'm not sure the kids are nearly as impressed as we are.

Next up: the Master Bedroom.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Working, not wandering

Yesterday afternoon I spent about half an hour talking to my friend about his new girlfriend and I got so much work done while talking to him, I was amazed. He kind of jokingly made the comment that it was because our conversation took up the part of my mind that would usually be wandering, but it really is true!

So, I had to come to work today (supposed to be my day off) and I decided that while I'm finishing up the drawing on which I was working while talking yesterday, I'd occupy the part of my mind that would be wandering by listening to the music I have on my computer here at work. (Nope, no iPod for me - I had an iPod Shuffle for about 2 weeks after Christmas last year and then lost it. What a waste.)

The playlist? Norah Jones, Metallica, Gypsy Kings, Nine Inch Nails, The Subdudes, Barenaked Ladies, Sting, Jack Johnson, and Ok Go. I really need to add some "best of" Scorpions and "oldies" Beastie Boys (which I just got for Christmas!) to make it complete... and completely eclectic. :) What's on your playlist?

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Real Baby

Well, the boy is still obsessed with having another baby - twin baby girls, you may recall.

When we went on our trip to New Braunfels for the Tour de Gruene, we stopped by a smalltown Dairy Queen. In the Dairy Queen, there was one of those shelves full of pamphlets. Fellan was immediately drawn to a pamphlet about a doll museum or doll store (or whatever) in the area. We, of course, had to take the pamphlet with us and spend the entire weekend discussing which babies in the pictures Fellan wanted.

When we got home, we looked more closely at the pamphlet, looked up the manufacturer, and figured out that we could get a Middleton Doll in our area. In fact, they actually have a Newborn Nursery in Houston. (click on "The Experience") It was an epiphany for us - we could let Fellan adopt a baby himself!

So, hoping to assuage his desire, we took him to the Newborn Nursery in mid-December and let him pick out and adopt a baby doll. He was a little overwhelmed at first, but warmed up to it eventually. The "nurse" checked all her vital signs and let Fellan check them, too. Then she weighed the baby (Fellan chose one of the "premies" - so she weighs 2.8 pounds) and then she asked him to name the baby.

He immediately said, "Baby Maya". So, she asked him if he wanted it to be just Maya or Baby Maya. He said "Baby Maya". Then she asked him if he wanted to give her a middle name. I was standing right next to him and he turned and whispered in my ear, "I was thinking about maybe 'Sara'". (I just about cried.) So, the official name is "Baby Maya Sara".

Santa also got Fellan a baby doll, so he now sleeps with three babies every night.

The only problem? The other day Fellan announced to us, "I want a real baby. No more baby dolls!!!"

He caught on to us...

Monday, January 07, 2008


This year, the boy asked Santa Claus for a Smart Cycle (we were so proud!). And to go along with the exercise theme, Santa brought the girl a Jump Smart Trampoline.

So, at 7am on Christmas morning, we woke to the thumping of little feet running on the floor and the yelling of a child's voice: "Marxo, Marxo, you gotta come see what Santa brought me!!! It's a bicycle with no wheels and you pedal it and you gotta come see!!!!"

We had forgotten to tell Fellan that when he woke up, he should come get us so we could all go see what Santa brought (you know, so we could capture the footage on tape!).

The presents from Santa were a great hit. However, it seems that Santa's workshop sent us a bum Smart Cycle. It works for about 20-30 seconds and then it says, "Goodbye!" and the TV screen goes blue. Both the kids got good at rebooting the thing and starting over every time, but it really made us mad.

We called Santa's workshop and we have to send back some of the parts (the "petals", as the e-mail states, and the main power cord); then they'll send us another one - in 8 to 12 weeks! Uhg.

Thank goodness for the trampoline! The boy has kind of taken that over as his (but the girl gets some time on it, too). I swear, on Christmas Day, Fellan jumped on the thing all day long. I'm seriously not exaggerating. He would jump from the trampoline over to the couch and sit for about 15 seconds, but then would jump straight back on the thing.

It's been good for wearing him down. (which, of course, was the intent!) :)

Friday, January 04, 2008

Time Flies...

The days and weeks have flown by and I still haven't updated my blog. Ugh. And the longer it takes the harder it becomes.

So, I'm going to rip the bandaid off and write about what we've been doing for the past two months. Or is it three months?

The last I wrote, I think was right before Halloween, so let me start with that - Halloween was a very fun time this year. Last year the kids didn't really seem to get it and they were a little overwhelmed by it. This year, however, the girl literally couldn't contain her enthusiasm. She received a tootsie roll at the first house we visited and it was as if someone had given her something she had only dreamed about. She came back to us from that first door, dug around in her plastic cauldron (she was a witch this year), and started screaming, "Look!!! Look what I got!!!" She was so excited that she was actually jumping up and down at every doorstep. Oddly enough, it made me extremely proud that she could be so overwhelmingly excited about receiving small pieces of candy from strangers. (think about that one awhile...)

Our next family adventure was to attempt to ride in the Tour de Gruene (pronounced "green"). It's a bike ride in Gruene, Texas and since it's not a hugely popular bike ride with thousands and thousands of riders, we thought it would be a good introduction to organized bike rides for the kids. PLUS, it's held during Wurstfest - biking and brats, what could be better?!

So, we drove out Friday night and checked into the hotel. At 2:00am, the boy woke up and came into bed with us... where he promptly threw up all over me. We spent the rest of the night waking up every 30 minutes to hold a bowl for him to throw up into.

Eventually, we got ahold of our doctor's office and got some anti-nausea medicine from the local Walgreens. The boy took some of the medicine and was immediately better and was fine for the rest of the day, which allowed us to go to Wurstfest anyway, so the trip wasn't a complete waste. :)

Since we weren't able to do the bike ride that weekend, we decided we would instead go to Novemberfest the following weekend. It turned out to be a good ride, but I had been fighting a cough for a few weeks (that one of our pediatrician friends told me was "walking pneumonia" and that I needed to go to a doctor - actually her exact words were, "YOU'RE the reason I don't see adults. Adults refuse to take care of themselves. Get to a doctor now!") and due to my limited lung capacity, the ride was, ummm... let me say "difficult" for me - I was unable to catch my breath and was seeing stars after we had only ridden 5 miles. Luckily, the road curved around to be a little more "with the wind" and we were able to finish the 30-mile ride just a little after lunchtime. There was a festival afterwards that the kids enjoyed and it turned out to be a good time for all.

We spent Thanksgiving in New Orleans with my in-laws, during which time, the cough that I still hadn't gone to the doctor about (yes, the pediatrician was correct - adults don't take care of themselves) turned into a raging sinus infection and general super-bad illness. I went to the doctor on Monday after Thanksgiving and got some good drugs which allowed me to return to work (still with a disgusting hacking cough!) on Wednesday. Even now on January 4th, I occasionally have a little bit of the leftover cough. Note to self: don't ever avoid going to the doctor again...

My goal this year for Christmas was to be like my friend, Courtney, who gets all of her Christmas shopping done by Thanksgiving. I didn't make it.

However, I did get most of it done just after Thanksgiving, which made me think that I might have a chance at having a somewhat relaxing Christmas season. And I was totally wrong.

We ended up having two different dinner parties (because we had so much extra time!) and I was still running around trying to take care of things up until the day before Christmas.

The in-laws came over for Christmas Day and we left for Nebraska the day after Christmas. We drove straight through and made it to my parents' house in about 15 hours - quite a feat with two small children! Without the kids, I think the fastest we had made the trip before was about 13.5 hours.

We came back south just in time for New Year's Eve, which we spent quietly at home and in bed before midnight. After the hectic holidays, that was very nice.

So, that brings us up to date, I think! I've been back to work for two days, now I have a three-day weekend, and then back to our usual routine.

I won't say that my New Year's resolution is to blog more, but I might make a bit more of an effort. :)