Monday, October 29, 2007

Third Day

I'm sorry it has been so long since I've posted. I have many excuses! As mentioned in previous posts, our Internet connection has been down a lot lately. We had another repairman out on Sunday (for over two hours!) so maybe it will be better now. Also, Will has been working some from home in the evenings, poor Will! Lastly, Jacob has started taking computer classes at his preschool - can you believe it? And he has discovered that he can watch videos of many of the shows he likes online, so now there are three of us competing for computer time at our house!
We had an exciting morning today so far. I wasn't able to go see my absolute all time favorite band Dave Matthews Band this year because Bella was still too tiny to be away from me. So, when I saw that my very favorite Christian band, Jars of Clay was touring together with my second favorite Christian band, Third Day , in December I asked Will if he would take me for my birthday present. The tickets went on sale at 10 AM and my plan was to buy them online, so I was careful to be ready at the computer right on time in order to get good seats. So at 10 AM the "Buy Tickets" option appears and I click the button - oops, there is so much traffic that the server puts me "in line" meaning I just have to sit there and wait my turn to buy the tickets. While I'm waiting, I'm holding Bella and she's just cooing, smiling, and generally being extra cute. And I just WAIT and WAIT. After about ten minutes, Bella decides to entertain me by hosting her own event - POOPALOOZA 2007. Now I am a mom, I am not squeamish but this was the most poop I have ever seen. It totally blew out her diaper. It was all over her, all over me, our clothes, the chair, the floor - everywhere. See, it turns out that today was Bella's "Third Day" too! (In case you missed this tidbit of Bella trivia - she only poops every third day) Of course, I have to abandon my computer to get everyone cleaned up. Jacob pulls up his stool by Bella's changing area and just starts handing me baby wipes - what a great big brother! Finally I get her in a fresh diaper and get upholstery cleaner and floor cleaner and load the clothes in the washer and the whole time I just know that I'm missing out buying concert tickets! Don't worry though, I was able to get tickets. They aren't the best seats in the house, but they aren't too shabby, so I'm happy.
And now, for some pictures! There's two visits to two different parks, and a trip to the Pumpkin Patch plus a few ones of Bella just being cute - enjoy!

I know it must seem like all we do is go to parks. It feels that way to me too! We have just had a run of incredibly wonderful weather lately - it has been one sunny crisp fall day after another. I say "crisp" - in Houston that means low 70's! Today was no different, so glorious we had to get out and enjoy it. So, this afternoon, we went to yet another park. Our neighborhood is right next to the lake so we walked down and threw pine cones into the water for a while. This park is quite a ways down - it was a long walk but we were able to see butterflies, a rabbit, dragonflies, two squirrels and a yellow and black snake. I thought Jacob would maybe be scared but when I told him there was a snake he just said "ooh, where?" Once we got there, there were two young guys playing guitar and singing by the waters edge, of course Jacob was transfixed as always by any kind of music. It turns out they were playing Christian music and they were pretty good. So Jacob and I got our own concert in the park!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

8:40 PM

Jacob is finally, finally in bed. Bella is too. Will's snoozing on the couch. All is quiet....Dinner tonight was just OK - I made a recipe for pasta with shitake mushrooms and a pumpkin gorgonzola cream sauce. Despite about 20 ingredients it turned out to be bland. Oh well! The turn of the season always makes me want to cook with earthy ingredients - mushrooms, brown rice, cinnamon, ginger, pumpkin etc. Oh, that reminds me, I was reading the bible this week and found the ultimate blogger's bible verse in Psalm 37:23 "The steps of the godly are directed by the Lord. He delights in every detail of their lives".

5:40 PM

It's official. Jacob has now been up for 12 hours straight. I've been up since Bella's feeding at 3:30 AM because I didn't get back to sleep before Jacob started stirring at 4:30 and was actually up at 5:15. I went ahead and gave him a bath and put him in his PJ's. Surely he will crash soon, right?

3:48 PM

Jacob is still not napping. I'm thinking that it just isn't going to happen today. YAWN.

2:50 PM

and still no nap

Ups and Downs

This has been a week of ups and downs.
On the down side - Our Internet connection has been spotty. Jacob has regressed this week with regards to potty training. He has developed a sinus infection which involves a lot of coughing at night. He has also been "off" behavior-wise which is probably related to the lack of sleep & feeling icky. On Tuesday he refused to come and say hi to his grandmother choosing instead to pee on my bedspread. Today I took both children to the doctor - Jacob for his sinus infection and Bella for her 2 month check-up. Bella received four shots and an oral vaccination and Jacob got a flu shot. This was after he peed all over the floor. The pharmacy took over an hour to process our prescription and everyone was hungry, grouchy and tired by the time we finally got home. Jacob has been up since 5:15 AM and IS STILL NOT NAPPING.
On the up-side - both new recipes I have tried this week, vegetarian mushroom stroganoff and Korintje Pork tenderloin with a pineapple jalapeno glaze, have been a major success. I've found out that it only costs $35 to dry clean a king sized comforter. Also, it turns out that our pediatrician is not phased in the least by opening the exam room door to find a three year old Donald Ducking it (wearing just a shirt and naked on bottom) in a puddle of his own urine singing the bear cha cha cha while his mother attempts to stop his sister from screaming. AND he will even watch your dancing 3 year old and screaming baby while you run to the car to get a new set of clothes. We LOVE Dr. Stanley!!! In other good news, since our deductible has been met for this year thanks to Anabel, I paid for Jacob's prescription out of the change drawer of the car. I could get used to that! The cable guy came and began the process of fixing our Internet and I'm eating yummy leftovers for lunch.
A little more on the doctor visit itself. Bella had a great check-up. She weighs 10 pounds 6 ounces and is 22 1/2 inches long. I have no idea what percentile that is, I just know she is the right size for Bella. I explained about how she has her own pooping style. She only poops every 3 or 4 days and on that day (known in our house as Poop Day) she will go all day. He says that is just fine and not to worry at all. I also asked about Jacob's behavior and how long it generally took for kids to adjust to life as an older sibling. He said that his behavior was perfectly normal and that it usually takes around 6 months for kids Jacob's age to process all the changes. He gave us some good tips to help improve the situation, so I left feeling pretty positive about both children.

Sunday, October 14, 2007


Like many children, Jacob got to an age where he liked to sleep with a special toy. It started with Nemo, and then it was Mickey Mouse for a while and then Curious George. He'd be into one or the other of these "Friends" for a period of time and then he'd switch to something else. Lately, however, he wants to take every stuffed animal and toy to bed with him. It has gotten to where there hardly seems to be room for him in his bed. As a grown up, you take it for granted that some things are self-evident. Like that sleeping with hard plastic dinosaurs is just not a good idea but honestly by bedtime I'm too tired to argue about it. I figure if it's too uncomfortable then he'll decide for himself and sure enough after just one night he decided the following night that the dinosaurs would be happier sleeping in their caves.
All of these friends have to be lined up in a specific yet ever changing array known only unto Jacob. Should any of the friends fall out of the bed then Jacob will yell "MOMmeeeee, MOMmeeeee" until I get up and retrieve it. Why a child who can find or get into pretty much anything that you put up high or hide in a closet cannot reach a stuffed animal that is on the floor while they are lying on a toddler bed just four inches away is beyond me. And nothing will get your heart pounding quite like the CRASH of a plastic Noah's Ark filled to the brim with Little People coming over the baby monitor in the middle of the night. CRASH! BAM! MOMmeeeee!

From Left to Right: Emmet, Eiffel, Mickey, Other-One Duck,Froggy Bear, Mango Bear, Nemo & Noah's Ark.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Our trip to Austin and a new class for Jacob

This week Will had to attend a conference in Austin for Internal Auditors; sounds exciting, doesn't it? I decided to go too (to Austin, not to the conference) and the children and I stayed with my Mom. We were able to see Will in the evenings and visit with all our family. We went out to eat at Trudy's, one of our favorite restaturants, with Will's brother Robert & his wife Leigh. We visited with my brother Paul and his wife Heather and their children Ke'chara (3) and Ashke (2). We went to Burnet and had lunch with my grandparents and we toured the Blanton museum on UT campus where my Dad works. It was a little hectic but we always try to see everyone if we can. One night Jacob stayed at home with his Grandma Julie and Grandolph while Will and I had a "date". I write that in quotes because Bella came with us. Even after almost ten years in Houston, Austin still feels like home to me and I always feel sad to leave.

In other news, Jacob has moved up to the next classroom again at his school. The children in this room are 3 to 3 1/2 and they seem SO big to me. He wasn't too pleased when I dropped him off and it was hard for me to leave him, even though I know he is always fine within a few minutes. In this class, Sweet 350, there are several new things. First, they will begin to go to computer classes. We don't have any children's programs on our computer at home so that will be something totally new for him. They will also go on field trips. In previous classrooms the kids would take bus rides to see airplanes by the airport or farm animals but they never got off the bus. The first real field trip is next week to go to Old Macdonald's farm and I know he will have a blast. And this classroom uses a bigger playground and I have already heard all about the "great, big, hearty" slide from when he visited last week. "Hearty" is his new word lately and he uses it to describe everything.

This slide show covers our trip to Austin. There is one shot of Bella from a series that Mom took. The photo session went really well, but I'm saving the best shots for her birth announcements so I'm not showing them here. There is also one particular photo of Jacob where I can see how he might look when he is older - made me catch my breath when I saw it. Luckily he looks little and cute again in the next photo because I am not ready for him to look grown up yet!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Busy week so far...

This past weekend we went to a birthday party at Chuckee Cheese. Neither Will nor Jacob had been to one before so they didn't know what to expect. At first Jacob was a little overwhelmed but after the pizza and cake he warmed up and rode all the rides and played games with his dad. It was at this point that Will discovered the ski-ball type game that gives out tickets. Once I explained that you trade in the tickets for prizes, I couldn't get Will off that machine! Eventually Jacob lost intestest and went to do other things but Will kept on playing (so that he could win a prize for Jacob of course). Something I thought was funny was how they are still playing the same music they played when I went there as a kid - Huey Louis and the News - which in the 80's was popular but now is kind of odd because I doubt any children these days are familiar with "Happy to be Stuck with you"

On Monday I took Jacob to this incredible park that I had read about on other Mom's blogs. Holy Cow - they were NOT kidding, this park is amazing. Jacob is usually reserved at first when we go to new places, wanting me to play with him and I have to encourage him to explore on his own and play with other kids - not this time! This park just drew him in and since it is a universal park (meaning it is built for children of all different abilities i.e wheel chair ramps etc.) it is extremely safe - no surfaces that are hot or sharp, very well padded underneath, and you can see your child from almost any vantage point. You might think that a park this safe wouldn't be any fun - wrong - this was the most awesome playscape I have ever seen and he loved it. Did I mention it has shade structures and even misters to keep you cool? We will definitely be going back soon!
On Tuesday we baked 20 dozen cookies for the Kairos prison ministry. Jacob helped me put the dough on the cookie sheets and also helped me count out the finished cookies into ziploc bags(since it is for inmates the cookies have to be packaged very specifically). Anabel "helped" by being a happy girl in her sling. She is beginning to smile responsively now and here is one of the first times I was able to get it on film.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Did you know...

This week is "Banned Books" week at the library. The event takes a look at books that have either been banned or challenged in the last few decades. This is a topic that is important to me because I believe firmly that ALL people should be able to read ALL books regardless of their content. Past examples of banned books include "Catcher in the Rye," by J.D. Salinger; "Of Mice and Men," by John Steinbeck; and "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn," by Mark Twain. From the American Libraries Association website:

"Observed since 1982, the annual event reminds Americans not to take this precious democratic freedom for granted. Banned Books Week (BBW) celebrates the freedom to choose or the freedom to express one's opinion even if that opinion might be considered unorthodox or unpopular and stresses the importance of ensuring the availability of those unorthodox or unpopular viewpoints to all who wish to read them".
A while back I asked the librarian if they kept a record of the books I had checked out because I wanted to re-read something and couldn't remember the title. The librarian told me no, they kept no such database because if they did, then the government could ask for those records and they would have to release them under the PATRIOT act, so rather than do that, they just don't keep the records in the first place. Interesting!

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