Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The difference between boys and girls

A couple of samples of the kids' most recent artwork...

The inlaws are out of town, so their cat, Ozzy, came to stay with us for a week, or so. Our cat, Midas, is really happy about the situation. (not really!) Marxo drew a picture for them:

Earlier in the day, Fellan had made some artwork, too:

That would be:
"I will destroy you!"
"Run for your life!"
"Do not panic"

I'm pretty sure the characters in this picture are NOT Ozzy and Midas, although, I didn't ask. :)

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Yellow, of course!

Fellan received his yellow belt on Wednesday last week and then swore the husband and I to secrecy because he wanted to tell Grandma, Grandpa, and Uncle Scott the news himself. They were on their way to town and his excitement was barely containable! (both for the yellow belt and for their impending arrival)

He wore his Tae Kwon Do uniform until they arrived at the house just so he could show them that he got his yellow belt. It was very cute.

So, we had a really nice visit with my family while they were here. It was especially nice because we didn't have a party to plan or run. Only Christmas. Which is, oddly enough, much less stressful! We've got the Thanksgiving/Christmas dinner thing all worked out. I even have a shopping list that I re-use every year. I think it's about 13 years old by now!

The parents and brother left on Sunday night to head back to the frozen, snow-buried North. Marxo rode to the airport with me to drop them off and she fell asleep on my mom's shoulder during the drive up there. The kids were completely worn out by the four days of festivities. And they're still both talking about how much they miss Grandma, Grandpa, and Uncle Scott. We're definitely going to have to do this again sometime. :)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Yellow or still white?

Tomorrow we find out if Fellan passed his belt test for Tae Kwon Do. The test was this past Friday night and judging from the number of people who had signed up for the potluck afterwards, I figured we'd be done in about 30 minutes.

That was not the case. There were probably 40 kids who tested for their belts! And this is not a short process. First, each group had to show their kicking techniques. Red tip belts, red belts, blue belts, green belts, orange belts, yellow belts, white belts. Then each group had to show their form. Red tip belts, red belts, blue belts, green belts, orange belts, yellow belts, white belts. Then they each had to show their sparring techniques. Red tip belts... etc. We were there for 2.5 hours!

And finally, they got to the board breaking technique. In order to progress from belt to belt, the student must break a board. To say that we were a little apprehensive about Fellan's ability to do such a thing is an understatement.

And Fellan was pretty nervous, too.

Luckily, they start with all the higher level belts for this, too, and work their way down, so we had seen several broken boards before it came time for Fellan's group to go. Still, I was anxious to get it over with.

Apparently, however, I had nothing to fear. Fellan got up, did his practice kicks, lined it up, and *whack!* the board was split in two. It was so cool. Fellan couldn't have been more proud.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Of note this week

There really hasn't been anything of note happening in our house this week. Except that we've been watching quite a bit of Star Trek: Next Generation. I think the kids have figured out that if they want to watch TV in the evenings, it's a pretty safe bet that we're incapable of saying "No" to Jean-Luc Picard.

Actually, one thing does stick out as happening this week. Somehow I made the mistake of referring to growing up and going through puberty.

Marxo: What does puberty mean?
Me: Well when you get older and stop growing taller, your body goes through puberty which means that it's getting ready to have babies.
Fellan: How do you make babies?

(Oh crap... It was at this point that the husband, who had been listening in a different room, said something like, "I just remembered - I need to go downstairs for something!" He didn't actually leave, though. So, we just looked at each other and giggled nervously, waiting for one of us to break down and respond in some way.)

Marxo: You get married and you kiss. That's how you make babies.
Me: No, you don't make babies by kissing.
Fellan: Then how does it happen?!
Me: Well, the egg gets fertilized and then the baby starts growing.
Marxo: What's fertilizer?
Fellan: It's dirt! You put dirt on the egg!

(Oh for geez. Now I'm imagining all the crazy images that the kids must be creating in their minds and I can't let them think that girls get pregnant through bizarre gardening incidents. I finally work up the courage to take it to a little more technical level...)

Me: The fertilizer is not dirt. Boys have something called sperm and it's the fertilizer. Girls have the egg. So, the egg gets fertilized by the sperm.
Fellan: Where do I have sperm?
Husband (thank goodness): The sperm is in the boy's body, but you don't have any sperm yet because you haven't gone through puberty.
Fellan: Oh.

And finally, no more questions. The husband was a little worried about what the kids would go off and tell their friends, imagining that they're going to be running around yelling, "Hey! The egg gets fertilized by the sperm!!!"

My only response? Well, it's true.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009


Even before I ever got pregnant, I knew that I would want the sex of the baby to be a surprise, so when the time came for us to potentially find out whether we were having a boy or a girl, we politely declined to find out.

Of course, this has all kinds of ramifications when getting ready for the arrival of the baby. There's the obvious problem regarding what kind of clothes to get, but also, decorating the nursery becomes a problem.

So, we did the same thing that everyone does: we painted the nursery yellow and green.

And for some reason, I like frogs. So, we made it a frog theme, but tried not to go overboard. I really didn't want frogs all over the place. We found a bumper set with some cute frogs on it, I made some crib sheets out of frog fabric, and we bought a gigantic frog named Freddie and put it in the room.

Freddie is so big that we used to take a monthly picture of Fellan with Freddie in order to judge his growth. We tried doing the same with Marxo, but as with all second-children the novelty quickly faded.

As the years have passed and we've accumulated more and more stuff in the kids' room, Freddie had to give up his spot on the floor and sit on the foot of Marxo's bed. But, she eventually got too tall for that, so he's been shoved between the dresser and a storage basket for the last couple of months.

Until last night...

Monday, December 07, 2009

Getting ready

Last Friday it snowed in Houston - and everyone lost their minds!!! By 4:30 in the afternoon, all the traffic from people going home early had completely cleared out and it was incredibly easy to make it home from Tae Kwon Do practice.

It was actually a great way to kick off the weekend. We spent all day Saturday and Sunday hanging out at home, putting up the Christmas tree, and making beef stew (Fellan and the husband made it and it turned out really, really good - even if Fellan wouldn't try it).

We also watched the Cornhuskers ALMOST beat UT. And if the Huskers just had any sort of offense at all, the score would have been 42 to 13 instead of 12 to 13. But, at least when the defense was on the field (which was most of the time!), I felt like I was watching the old Huskers play.

It took me back to the days of Turner Gill and Mike Rozier and my eighth grade American History teacher who would come in to class every Monday morning stating triumphantly (and measuring the unseen with one hand up high and the other just slightly lower), "Here's God. Here's Tom Osborne."

Finally, I think Nebraska Football is getting ready to indoctrinate another generation into believing that the Huskers have complete dominion of the game.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Mud, mud, mud

Well, they're still working on the first side of our street. And the husband still doesn't have a sidewalk. He's taken to just working from our house these days because all his shoes are muddy and he's sick of it.

He sent me some pictures of the sidwalk in front of his office the other day. The title of the e-mail was "No man is an island".

As you can see from this picture, they've been building forms for the street and they've actually poured some of the concrete and a small portion of the sidewalk. Of course, not this part of the sidewalk.

I gave up my hope of having a new street for Christmas well over a month ago...