December 19, 2007


Bug is in the midst of telling some tall, very tall tales mixed with possible facts. I thought some of you might appreciate this story. On Sunday, I was upstairs, Paul was downstairs with T, when there was a sudden thundering of noise down the stairs. Bug quickly announced, "I'm okay, I just fell down the stairs backwards (he gets that from me!)" So I rushed to his aid, and he was indeed fine and I'm not sure what happened so I asked, "What happened?" He replies: "It was a (and I quote) small speck of dust and then I slipped and fell down the stairs backwards."

That's right. It was "a small speck of dust"! Now it is isn't impossible for it to have been a "small speck of dust" as many, accumulating "small specks" are around my house, but truth will remain known only to Bug. Along with another plausible explanation like "T (the baby who has no hair, teeth, and does not walk (but does sit)) pushed me down the stairs...."

December 6, 2007

You'll forgive me...

First, I want to say that I have an excuse for my extended hiatus and once you read it you'll understand or should!

Thanksgiving Recap: We flew with Grandma to cold WDC transporting antibiotic and ear drops for Timothy who had come down with an ear infection. On Monday we (myself + 2 kids) met up with an old friend who arranged a surprise lunch with some other coworkers. It was REALLY great to see them all and even better was the SURPRISE announcement that Mike and Monica are ENGAGED!!!!! YIPEEEE! I'm crossing my fingers they get hitched in sunny Hawaii as it would give me a great excuse to visit the beautiful island and I think I could even manage to stay at the Westbrooklyn house... True love is an awesome thing and I wish them great happiness together.

For the rest of our time in Maryland, we visited with friends like the Belnaps, Leightons (come on, you know I made some pretty persuasive arguments, move here!!!!), Merrilee, Anne, and family. We played Merrilee's Wii and had a great thanksgiving meal. We enjoyed too many rolls, too many mashed potatoes and all of the desserts Merrilee brought! We made a couple of trips, one to Monticello (T. Jefferson's home near Charlottesville, VA), and to Arlington National Cemetery to experience the solemn Changing of the Guard Ceremony.

Note to Merrilee: did we really let Anne off the hook for giving us her recipe???? I think we need to stay on that!

We had good intentions to visit some other friends, but, like all good intentions...Bug got the bronchitis "bug" that's been going around and it's too nasty to share, so we packed it in and headed home Wednesday night. Thursday morning, around 6:55 a.m., I left T on my bed while I went to brush my teeth...please, try to refrain from any comments on how stupid that is, I am fully aware. Anyhow, he managed in just a minute or so to roll off the bed, so we spent all of Thursday at the Dr, and ER getting x-ray's of his clavicle and "long bone survey" or something like that. Note to all Drs, esp ones like Dr. McArthur who works the ER and Dr. Westbrook who is "doing time" there: a mother with a 5 month old broken collar bone AND 3 year old with bronchitis hacking it up in the ER, is a priority case. Seriously! Anyhow, that took 4 hours and fortunately Paul was able to come home and "help" out. I put "help" in quotes, because like all good husbands, Paul "hurt" his back while I was busy taking care of my two children for the previous 11 days and could not actually be "helpful" Note: he is still recovering, but I did manage to force him to the dr for serious medication to make it go away and restore him to his dutiful position as my expert assistant in all matters domestic. Friday night, Bug spiked a fever of 103.8, so having just recovered from the "even if it's broken, there's nothing we can do with your 5 month old's collar bone", we (Bug and I) made a trip to the Urgent Care center, not to be confused with the ER, because you get seen quickly, but qualifications of Dr's in attendance may be lacking. Anyhow, he was sort of on the mend by Saturday afternoon when of course T comes down with the bronchitis and by Monday we were BACK in the Ped's office to make sure he was okay. Dr claims he has a "touch of "RSV" but not to worry...anyone out there getting this? So we're not worried, we're hanging in there and of course how can we not get better when it's 80 degrees outside and there are Christmas lights to be hung?

To give myself a small "break" and because my Dad is here and asked the impending question, "So, are you going to church today?", I went to church on Sunday..I had sort of been avoiding a phone call from a certain secretary at church because I had an inkling that I might be a prime candidate- read: target for giving a talk...well, I had that wrong (Wes, instead of bringing my scriptures to church, I bring my Wolf Scout handbook!). I am now the 2nd counselor in the Primary (read: children's service) in a ward with 120 kids and 18 incoming sunbeams...(3 year olds). I'm crazy. I'm sure of it. I knew I should have stayed home and NEVER muttered an ill word against the cub scouting program. I'd proudly wear my yellow shirt if I could take it all back! :) I'll let you know how this goes. Our leader is a fearless, fabulous woman who leaves just about everyone in the dust in terms of credentials and abilities (She has an Ed.d AND 5 kids AND plays the piano, guitar, flute...., teaches at the UofH, and delivers baked goods to birthday R.S. ladies in her "spare" time!), so I'm hoping I have something to offer. I will say when introduced, the Wolf Scouts did not disappoint and made me feel welcome. Wish me luck. I'll report more later and hope thanksgiving left you all full and overwhelmed with happiness with Christmas on its way!

November 18, 2007


I'm going on a blog least that is the plan. We leave tomorrow for a visit to the homeland of W.DC. We're looking forward to seeing some old friends and being bitterly cold at any temperature below 70. If you feel like commenting, I'd love to hear something you're truly thankful for this year.

For example, at the dinner table, I would let you know that I am ever thankful for my family and I truly am, but I'm also thankful for apples. Every morning starts off with apples in this house, Bug with a cup of apple juice and T with a big bowl of oatmeal and applesauce. Yeah for apples, for CostcoSam's making giant apple pies that are tasty, for pink lady apples that are THE snack of the year, and for clothes to fit the apple shaped gal! Yep. I'm thankful for apples.

Happy Thanksgiving to all.

November 11, 2007


So my husband asked what the bit about Bug's back talk to your mama stuff was about...interesting that he hasn't picked up on it. Anyhow, since you probably want some examples, here are two, that occured yesterday. They are generally funny because they catch us off guard, but I'm sure unchecked they are bound to cause trouble later.

1. The set up. Bug doesn't want to get out of the carseat and go to a furniture store. Whining ensues. Paul says to Bug "Bug, it isn't always about what you want." Bug says to Paul: "Dad, it isn't always about what you want me to do either." End of story. We did manage to get him into the furniture store after bribing him.

2. The set up. In the car with A/C blowing. Me sitting in the middle of two car seats in the back. April to Paul: Please turn the A/C down. (I'm sure I said please...). Paul: turns A/C off. April: You don't have to turn it off, I just want it turned down. You know I hate the direct flow of a/c in my face. Bug: turns right and blows air at my face.

Like I said, mostly funny, but bound to cause trouble eventually.

November 10, 2007

A video smile...

Okay, before watching this video of Tim wondering whether the person behind the camera is really his mom, you must read the excrutiating catch up below!

November 9, 2007

Blogged out and feeling guilty about it...

Okay, I admit it. I am blogged out. (I know, so soon!!!) I just get overwhelmed by how much time has elapsed, my thoughts go unconsolidated, and alas, it's merely too much to take on. This is exactly why journaling is where I left my freshman college days! Anyhow, since it would be only fair, here is a reasonable update! A special thanks to Lynn for the kick in the pants and for always having a good chuckle on her blog. Also thanks to all who commented last time. I get giggles when I read your thoughts. Did I mention yay for me knowing great people?!

October...hmmm...cannot recall. That was too long ago although somewhere in the middle to late October, we (by this I mean "I") finally pulled off a move. I'm sure you would all be pleased to know that this is my final move...correction, final move where I'm doing ANY of the work. I told Paul if this happens again, it better be on somebody's dime 'cause this cutie despises moving! Throughout the process, I amazed myself with my own personal skill, strength, and endurance (I know, none of you questioned this...right?) and even successfully put together the baby crib which I was advised was beyond my mechanical capability. Check plus for me. Here are the boys asleep in their new home on the first night!

Late October...yes something about Halloween which we sort of skipped. Not entirely on purpose, but because our Bug doesn't really love Halloween. He'd rather not have to work for the candy. He will likely use our lackluster parental performance against us someday so we dressed him up, put T in his pajamas and went to Market Street where Bug promptly procured 11 pieces of lame candy and begged to spend the rest of the evening in Borders looking for a Pirate book. As you can see, T found the entire thing (see photo at top), very stimulating! We did also attend the Houston Symphony Orchestra's Hocus Pocus Pops event where Bug marched in the "Babes in Toyland costume parade."

Early November...Paul's law school buddy visited from MD. Email or call me if you'd like to hear more of my thoughts on this. :) I will say that I spent the weekend at home with the children, much like every other day of the week interspersed with little clips at my husband like ..."oh, really? A flea market?" That event alone took up 8.75 hours on Saturday and netted us two likely lead -based knock-off trucks, a bag of oranges from who knows where, and some nice "State of Texas" cuff links. If you'd like the cuff links ordered for someone on your Christmas list, send your request and $15 to me. :)

Mom & Dad have arrived. The good news is they are putting some order into the chaos of projects yet to be completed and we've spent lots of time and $ at the good ol' DIY store. Also, we have decided it is infinitely better to have your parents living with you than to be living with your parents!

Bug has been having some growing moments...also known as back talk your mama lots time. I don't really have any solutions for this and just sort of hope that he turns out alright in the end...yikes?????

T is still very smiley, but is off schedule, with a cold, and sleeping in my bed. Double Yikes!

The a work in progress. Contractor comes tomorrow to repair all of the "popcorn" I excitedly scraped off without full comprehension of the repercussions. If you ever want to take on this task, just let me know first so I can give you some tips! If you are asking yourself, what is popcorn, then don't worry about it at all!

Future - headed to MD for the mid-end of November. I think with the exception of living out of a suitcase and bringing 20 bottles along, the trip should be nice. I plan to accomplish all that I did not accomplish while living there for the last oh, 12 years or so.
Just for fun, a paragraph on the weather. Happy Autumn to you all even though it is perhaps just now arriving in Houston. When we moved here, friends told me "you'll adapt." You don't really ever adapt to any heat, no matter where it is, but it is definitely livable, even six months out of the year, which is really why it's a big deal down here. Today it was 84 and 2 days ago when it was 70, we put on parkas and snow pants because it was so cold. We even had to drag ourselves out of the warm bed...that's right and put mittens on T. So I guess by adapt they mean you sort of acclimatize. You get used to hot and humid so when it's warm and dry, it feels cold! Come on down!

A solemn vow to be better....

October 14, 2007


We've had a lot going on the past couple of weeks. Mom came down to help us settle into our new house...which we still have not done, but progress has been made thanks to her expert assistance. We celebrated Paul's 30th Birthday by surprising him at was a bit of a gamble, but in the end, we think it paid off nicely as his coworkers were so very nice to us and even found a way to get him out of court to come see us. This past Thursday, Bug who has been nagging us to get his training wheels off finally did and much to our surprise, took off like a wild man and hasn't looked back. All I can really say about that is again he surprises us at every turn. I think I was 6 or 7 when I learned how to ride a bike let alone without training wheels and of course a card carrying trip to the emergency room. (this was in the days before helmets). Anyhow, we still have a lot of work to do at the new house we promise pictures are on the way.

October 1, 2007

The odds.

First of all, a special shout out to Melissa and Lynn for commenting and Jenn and my Mom calling to make sure I would survive the insult of the MLO -- you guys are great! I do want to report that we should have keys to the house, inspite of the MLO sometime today.

Back to the original post..the odds. Okay, I admit (not that anyone could argue) that I do not have ANY real style. In fact, I'm the Mom who carries around the hospital issue plastic diaper bag. That was until this weekend. No, I was not fined by the fashion police for this outrage of decent style, but instead, while helping my son eat his pizza at a MAJOR wholesale warehouse food club that shall remain nameless, one wondering bird dropped his business right onto my diaperbag which was conveniently unzippered, but the inside contents were not compromised (including my wallet and cell phone). It apparently stains the bag and will forever look like a bird has dropped his business right on the diaperbag. The diaperbag is now useless. Whatever will I do? I think we're going to Target to remedy this, but honestly, aren't the odds of a bird pooping on YOUR diaperbag amidst thousands of square feet of retail astronomical? They say that's lucky...I guess lucky that I didn't spend a dime on the diaperbag that is now ruined. I think I'll pick up a cloth one...

September 27, 2007

Beware...vent session

I wouldn't get too far out on a limb and call myself a genius, one of superior intellect, but I would say that with my average intelligence, I've managed to get along in life quite nicely. Working for the same company for 7 years before taking on the task of raising my two boys as a full time Mom. Yesterday when our Mortgage Loan Officer was trying to play me for a fool, he said, "Ms. Fortenberry, what's your business?" I said, "What?" He repeated himself and I, sensing where he may be going with this pronounced my previous employment of 7 years with a major Defense Contractor to which he retorts, "well, that's nice, my business is the mortgage loan business" as if to say, "FOOL!" Well, I'm not a fool. Our MLO is actually trying to pull the wool over my eyes, but he's messed with the wrong Domestic Engineer. Staying at home is more difficult than all 7 years of working to include when I was working full time and attending school at a rate of 11-15 credits four out of five weeknights. Take that MLO. Full time Moms are not inept morons with nothing better to do. Here's to ALL Moms out there who are skilled, gifted women with great minds and have been played by ridiculous service industry people who have NO idea that the most capable person on the planet is a Mom. Moms for President.

September 24, 2007

Happy Birthday!

Just want to put a little something out there to wish my friend of many fabulous years, 14 to be exact, a splendid birthday celebration! It's hard to believe that 14 years ago, meeting in a line at the Cranberries Concert, we would find the greatest gift of friendship. You have been and will always be a great inspiration to me and a great comfort at different times in my life. I'm looking forward to "pointing our rocking chairs toward the west" as we recount the "good ol' days"!
Emily Dickinson:
"We turn not older with years but newer every day."

Happy Birthday Merrilee! From your favorite "old soul!"

September 20, 2007

John Adams

I finished the John Adams book this morning, which is a good thing since it's due at the library today. I cannot recommend this book enough and strongly suggest you purchase it because it is meaty and thoughtful. One last quote from the book comes from page 650 and a letter written to his granddaughter

"The longer I live, the more I read, the more patiently I think, and the more anxiously I inquire, the less I seem to know...Do justly. Love mercy. Walk humbly. This is enough..."

My favorite scout...

We love our Dad, Paul Sr. Here are some pictures of Bug and Timmy with Dad. Additionally, as the assistant Den Leaders for the Cub Scouts, we go every Wednesday to an activity. I usually take Bug to Wolf Scouts (8 yr olds) and Paul takes Timothy to WeBeLos (10-11). Bug so very much wants to be a part of the Cub Scouts. He's working on memorizing the Cub Scout promise and knows the Cub Scout sign. He's hoisted the U.S. Flag on the church flagpole and participated in the "feats of skill" obstacle course. The boys earn stars for wearing their shirt, bringing their book, and good behavior. Bug cannot be left out, but I couldn't legitimately buy him his own shirt...he's only 3. Fortunately, after one call to Grandma, I dug out the Paul Sr. memory box and procured his Cub Scout shirt from some 22 years ago. Bug wore it with great pride to Cub Scouts last night and to the amazement of the other scouts who thought he had already earned all of his awards! When we got home, Paul wanted to wear it to sleep. Thank goodness for this shirt! I see many great scout memories to be made a second time around.

September 19, 2007

Because it's still summer

If you've read my reasons why you should move to the Woodlands, here's one more. It's still summer. Yesterday our neighbor Crystal took pictures of the kids eating watermelon, playing in the sprinkler and having a fabulous time.

September 17, 2007

Sit. I said sit.

So anyone who knows (me inside my home), has probably fallen prey to a hideous flaw. On occassion I have allowed a four letter word that rhymes with wit escape my mouth. Usually it is after being injured and I know this is not much of an excuse. Ages ago, when we were still in Maryland, the wind was whipping around, I was putting in groceries, it was late, I bent into the trunk and WHACK! the trunk smacks me in the head. I yell the word that rhymes with "wit" and then something like "get in the car!" As he has done before, he has saved for his mighty useful word bank, this special word. Fortunately, due to a small speech impediment, instead of saying the actual word, Bug says "Sit" and I am left wondering, "did anyone else get that?"

September 15, 2007

Hannah Montana and me...

Okay, so we admit it, we love Hannah Montana (and also High School Musical)! It started out as a program that Bug watched occasionally, now we are full-blown addicted to it and don't even mind the reruns. The only problem I have with Hannah Montana is that every so often, my already clever Bug will pick up a line and reposition it in a conversation later on, taking me completely by surprise. Case in point: this morning , I was feverishly cleaning the house, the kind of cleaning that uses Q-tips near the you can imagine how little "help" I was interested in having. Before long I made some sort of empty threat "Bug, if you keep that up, I'm going to take your toy away." In typical fashion, without missing a beat, he responds, "the only thing you're taking is lessons from me, number one..." At first, before I figure out what he's done, I'm shocked. He's only 3. My parents would probably be glad to hear that not only is he smart, loud, and chatty, but occasionally sassy, and consider it my just deserts! But, of course, having watched the HM episode a few times, it comes to me. We both start laughing and he's won another round.

September 13, 2007

Next thing you know....

By way of announcement, we have finally found a place to call home and are in the middle of working out the inspections etc. Last night I took Bug and Timothy to the house and was explaining to Bug that it's likely that he won't remember living anywhere but in the new house - his fifth home in three and a half years. I went on to tell him that as we get older, our memory of things that occurred when we were young fades. I paused and without skipping a beat, he said, "and next thing you know, your whole life is gone and your old living in the local library."

Here's to getting "old"!

September 11, 2007

I'm telling you he's a smiling fella!

Paul's favorite pastime, being on the telephone (apple not far from tree!!!)
Fortenberry boys on Galveston Island over Labor Day.
The many talents of Bug! I can attest that he did this on his own, and that it is a serving spoon. Paul and I gave it a try to no avail.

New to the blog...

Okay, so we're jumping on the blog bandwagon at the request of Uncle Ben and his wife Missy. They being much younger than us, have the blog thing down and e-mailing is so v. yesterday. We've also enjoyed reading friend Lynn's blog. I can make a campaign promise to keep that my life is not nearly as interesting, I am not a quarter as funny, and I don't live in Hawaii so in the meantime I'll bore you with pictures and Kathy Lee like stories of my kids!

Paul (Bug) is keeping us humbled with his quick wit, incredible memory, and ability to put his parents in the naughty chair. Who runs this house anyhow? He is good to his brother and has now nicknamed him "Butterworth (pronounced "butterwurtz"). No explanation on this, so we asked him is it because he's so "sweet" like syrup? No, it's because I'm sweet. Okay. Like Lynn's daughter, Avery, Paul is v. loud and after reading her blog about the audiologist, I used the threat of taking him to the dr. to try to get him to tone it down a bit...has not worked completely, but I'll see what I can do.

Timothy is busy sleeping, crying, "talking," and smiling. You wouldn't be surprised to hear that April Fortenberry has another boy who is noisy and chatty would you? He has grown quite a bit, but still fits into NB attire and number 1 diapers (for those of you who don't know, number 1 diapers are gone after the first couple of weeks because they are a less superior diaper and require more frequent changing less you want to add to the wash.) A rift has occurred regarding Timothy's name and he'll probably end up needing a lot of counseling after all is said in done. As stated, Bug calls him "Butterworth," I call him "Timmy, Tim, Tim" and Paul says he wants to call him "Justin". I just want to state for he record, that there were some 8 months to have this all considered - why now?