Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Picture Perfect? No Way!

There are phrases that I don’t realize that I’m saying too often until Jacob parrots them back at me. Sometimes he’ll say something and I think, oh gosh, is that really how I sound? The other day we were talking about something and Jacob says “Daddy, you had better come help Mommy because SHE HAS HAD IT!” Nice. In my own defense, February has been a doozy so far. The week of 2/6 Bella got influenza, then the week of 2/14 Will and I both had influenza and Jacob got strep throat. Yesterday Bella was knocked out by a 24 hour stomach bug. Even our cat keeps throwing up everywhere. I hate it when the babies are sick, it’s just heartbreaking. The cat I have less compassion for because she eats things that she shouldn’t. I think she purposely vomits in ways that are difficult to clean up (Like into the side pocket of Will’s work bag or behind the dryer.) She is seriously about to become a barn cat. And we don’t have a barn. Last Monday afternoon Bella had her 18 month check up with Dr. Farrior. Here she is up on the exam table, “reading” while we waited for the doctor. I am so totally head over heels in love with her – I love how she still has that baby look, those chubby cheeks and fat legs and just look at those tiny feet! I know that over the next 6 months she’ll lengthen out and lose some of that round baby look, but right now she still has the baby belly and sweet baby face, oooh I could just eat her up! Bella is doing great, she is doing everything right on target developmentally, with the exception of drinking less milk than he felt she should. She drinks about 14 ounces; he thinks it should be in the 24 ounce range. He did not, however, provide any ideas on how to make tiny baby girls drink nearly twice as much milk as they actually seem to want everyday. [But then he is a man, and men like to tell women to do things and leave the how part up to the woman to figure out. I’m not guy bashing, I like men, I married one and am glad I did most of the time. I’m just observing as I see it.] In the midst of all the sickness and off-schedule-ness of the past few weeks, Bella is now completely weaned and it might be that she hasn’t figured out yet that she should be drinking more milk in cups to compensate. I offer her more milk, and she looks me in the eye and says "No Way!" "No way" is her favorite way to say no right now. Last Sunday afternoon everyone was feeling a little better and I had fun taking a few casual snaps while we played in the living room. Notice the kitty sleeping in the background, probably dreaming up new places to throw up. And, now for the fourth picture from the fourth folder "challenge" that is going around. OK, I am totally cheating and this is actually the 6th photo but it is from the same group of pictures, it's just that Jacob was at that age where only 1 in 10 pictures are in focus! [side bar: I don't know why I keep pictures that aren't in focus, but I have a really hard time deleting pictures of the kids, the bad ones of me go right in the trash before I even download them, but I have tons of pictures of the kids with one eye closed, runny noses, hands reaching for the camera lens etc. I dream that maybe I'll make some sort of bad picture art project with them someday. Actually, there's a more interesting blog challenge, post the WORST picture of your kids you can find ...] So this one is from January 2006, which means Jacob is about 16 months old, so just a little younger than Bella is now.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Disney World

So we are very tentatively exploring the idea of taking a vacation to Disney World. I have a ton of questions, so if you have opinions please, please leave comments! 1. Staying in a Disney resort or not? Is it worth the money? We could afford Value or Moderate, not the big fancy ones. I will someday stay at the Animal Kingdom lodge whatever it is and drink coffee while giraffes lope by but that will be after a few years of saving! 2. Port Orleans-French Quarter vs. Caribbean Beach Resort. The Caribbean seems like it would be more fun for kids (pirate pool, Nemo decor in the rooms etc.) but the feedback I find on the web is very mixed, like that it is too big, too spread out, and issues with service, musty smelling rooms, dirty sheets - things that I really really don't want to deal with. On the other hand, the Port Orleans has very consistently positive reviews but the "theme" doesn't thrill me, magnolias, fountains, New Orleans style architecture, etc - it's awfully like being here in Houston, you know? I keep thinking of our first apartment over off Fountainview... The resort: Our first Apartment complex: See what I mean? Will we feel like we've really gotten the whole themed experience? I mean I guess it's interesting that gulf coast living is someone's idea of paradise but it kind of lacks a certain wow factor. 3. If we go, we would drive. How long is that trip? Ideas on taking such a long road trips with little ones? 4. Should we just ditch the whole idea, leave the little ones at grandma's and take a a few days off on our own instead? San Francisco? Fredericksburg? Anywhere? It is our ten year anniversary this year so if we choose Disney,it also means forgoing anything too fancy for our anniversary. Is it worth it? Is that selfish?

Valentines Boxes

We've had a fun time this year getting ready for the Valentine's Day parties up at daycare. There's been so much to do: the cards, candy and drinks (our contribution to the classroom parties) plus the school asked families to decorate a box to hold each child's Valentines. In the past, my Valentines boxes for Jacob could be described as "Last minute", "rush-job", and "lame". I was inspired by a blog that I read to do something a little more special this year and I am SO excited by how they came out! Jacob and his Dad start by wrapping the box in foil... Then Will raided the garage for bolts, door stoppers, washers etc. A quick trip to the hardware store and we had some cheap plumbing parts for arms. I thought Mr. Roboto turned out so great! Bella loves birds and I adore the really cute birds that are on everything from sheets to PJ's right now, so I made her box into a pink birdie house with a Popsicle stick roof. Front - Sides Back with Bible verse (sorry you have to turn your head on a few of these)

Thursday, February 12, 2009

What are the chances?

We have two Sesame Street DVD's. One is Elmo's World and the other is What's the Name of that Song. Our kiddos LOVE them. Today I'm home with Bella and I turned on Sesame Street - thinking, oh goody she's going to get to see some new and wonderful Sesame Street material. Nope - it's the Elmo's World that we already own! Hah- what are the chances?

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Gonna Have a Good Time

I am 36 years old. I can remember when Chuck-e-cheez' was new. It was an arcade, with a separate room where you ate pizza and watched an anamatronic show doing a cover of the Beatles birthday song. I remember in about 5th grade that my parents let me invite a boy from my class (totally chaperoned of course!) and that he thought my parents were cool for taking us there. I remember conquering Miss Pacman and turning in my ski-bowl tickets for prizes, I remember thinking Chuck-e-cheez' was simply the greatest. Fast forward 26 years and now here I am back at Chuckee Cheez' as a parent. I notice things I didn't notice as a kid - for one, it's LOUD in there, like crazy lose your mind loud. In a lot of ways it is kind of like a casino for small children. A lot has changed, the games and the technology - for instance they have a blue screen where kids can be in a video and the pizza room is now out in the open. They stamp parents and kids with a matching number in blacklight ink so no adults can leave with the wrong kids (safe - but sad that it's necessary you know?). They don't have pitchers of beer for sale like they did when I was a kid (not that I drank as a kid but I remember they had that, more like a pizza parlor than a suburban birthday venue back then) Honestly, whenever we are invited for a party there Will and I kind of look at each other - like, oh, Chuckee Cheez'. Jacob, on the other hand, LOVES it. For days leading up to and after the party he will yell "BOOM CHICKA BOOM BOOM CHUCKEE CHEEZ'" over and over. The pizza tables are always impossibly crowded together. It can be kind of a madhouse. You can't hear yourself think. This past Saturday at the height of the pandemonium Jacob tries to tell me something.. I lean in, "What? What? I can't hear you Jacob!" So he wraps his arms around my neck, pulling me in for a hug and shouts "I said, ISN'T THIS GREAT?"

Monday, February 2, 2009

Signs Signs Everywhere Signs...

OK, not really signs, but the next best thing...Labels! My dear husband got me a label maker today, I'm in hog heaven... First things first, I've labeled all the shelves in the pantry. Or re-labeled them actually. Our pantry is tiny and no matter what I did, it would always turn into complete chaos within a month or so. Recently, I got fed up. Cleaned it out, AGAIN, and then got out the masking tape and a sharpie and labeled where everything should go. Today I replaced my shoddy sharpie/masking tape labels with nice pretty ones. Oh! It's wonderful. Will is naturally a neat freak. He is a person who will unwaveringly put things back exactly where they should be, he is never too tired, he never puts it off for another time, or allows himself to be distracted by that new bag on or a sudden craving for cheese puffs. I believe my sad masking tape labels triggered some sort of kindred spark and so he got me the label maker to encourage me. In any case, I'm as happy as can be. I'm even going to label the drawer where the label maker is going to live "Label Maker/Scissors/Tape"...tee hee. Today I took Jacob to the dentist. We have the best pediatric dentist and she really prefers not to traumatize children. In the past if something upset him then she would just skip it for that visit. She would always assure me that within a few visits he would be ready and not to worry that the most important thing was laying the groundwork for happy future visits. I secretly did worry though, thinking that Jacob would reach teenagerhood still having never had a decent cleaning or flouride treatment. Well, lo and behold the person who works with children for a living was right and the worrying person (me) was wrong. Today was The Day - We had a lot of "firsts": they checked his weight, blood pressure, took panoramic x-rays (where the child stands perfectly still, bites this thing and the machine rotates around his head, and the other kind of x rays (where you bite on the film) and he got an exam, cleaning and flouride treatment. Big deal, you may be thinking, but for us it is because Jacob has always been a kid that didn't do what other kids do - woudln't step on a scale or sit in the exam chair or let them put a blood pressure cuff on. Just WOULD NOT. He was happy, inquisitive and pleasant the entire time. Other than informing me in a very loud voice "I have a penis and girls do not!" while we were in the bathroom, the whole visit was without incident. Do I miss the tears and drama and how he would cling to me in terror in new situations? Why no, no I don't! Last, but not least - Happy Birthday dear William. I love you!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Super Bowl Sunday

I have a confession and that is that I don't even know who is playing in the super bowl this year. I know it is the Cardinals and someone else. I only know this much because I saw cakes at HEB with a cardinal on them. I am not, however, letting the day pass without doing something vaguely superbowlish - I am cooking ribs. Right now all the TV's in the house are off, Will is napping, the kids are upstairs playing with blocks. I'm reading a book and enjoying the rich meaty smell of ribs cooking very slowly on very low heat for 2 hours. Then I'll put some sauce on them and finish them off... Last night Jacob was trying to close the door to Bella's room but the door was stuck behind the toy basket, so he gave it a big tug. It popped loose suddenly and the bottom corner of the door drug across his poor tiny bare foot. Oh my goodness, I swooped him up and ran him down to my bathroom where the first aid stuff is kept, all I knew is that there was a lot of blood. Poor little guy, once I cleaned it I could see that he scraped off about a 1 by 2 inch patch of skin on the side of his foot. I truly thought I was going to toss my cookies. It isn't a serious injury but it looks really icky and is going to take some time and care to heal. He is OK, it scared him though and it's hard for him to wear a shoe. My poor, poor little guy! It never, ever, gets one tiny bit easier to see your child's blood. Oh, Oh I'm being summoned upstairs.... OK now it's later... did anyone see the hail storm? Then the sunset shining through the rain made it look like there were candles flickering in the trees, then a glorious rainbow right before dark. It was way cool.

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