December 29, 2008

Explain yourself...

Let me start off by saying this was the big gift of Christmas. I was sort of against it, but it was their Dad's idea and it will probably be the most memorable gift for years to come. Advice: if the kids want the powerwheels - get one.

Okay, I'm moving into controversial territory with this post, but now that the holiday season is gone, I feel like we can chat about it without any criticism and I'm really just looking for other ideas and feedback.

1. Why is important that kids think of Santa at all at Christmas?

2. Do your currently or will you plan to have your kids "believe" in the mystery of Santa, in what form? Stockings? Gifts galore? One gift? Socks and underwear?

3. How do you plan to tell them or did you tell them when they got the idea that the whole Santa & Elf thing wasn't happening?

I loved the idea of Santa -probably until some inappropriately old age (like 11 or 12). Seeing the surprises of Christmas was the highlight of the season and I was not burned or saddened when I found out there was no Santa -- probably because it would have been totally embarassing to admit that I was still going along with the ol' big man in red suit idea. But, for our family, I'm just kind of already over it (I know Lara - I'm such a scrooge right?!!! :)) with it. In practical terms, keeping extra "santa" wrapping paper (we didn't bother to wrap them), wondering if the letter got to the north pole, cookies, yadda, yadda, it's just extra to do. In realistic terms, there are the questions which you cannot answer truthfully but must somehow avoid lying about. For example, our smarter than the average bear 4 year old said the following when I offered to take him to see Santa at the ward christmas party, "Why? Everyone knows it's just a guy in a silly suit." Of course everyone knows. Not to mention that when encouraging the Santa list or whatever, I constantly have to narrow it down because it is absurd for my kids to believe some jolly old fat man will bring them a list full of items. We say one gift, plus a stocking and your best gift comes from your mom and dad who love you most of all. Finally, there's a spiritual aspect, I am seriously not looking for trouble, but doesn't the Santa thing sort of overwhelm the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ? It just feels like it does. My neighbor doesn't do Santa at all - she just told her kids, he's like any other character in a children's book and not real. I think it could be stretched further as a parallel for christian spirit and giving - not to mention the naughty or nice list, but do you think this would doom the children to an unhappy childhood if I pulled the plug on Santa? Thoughts?

Here's what Tim and I looked like after Christmas:

December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!

So, we're the lame-o's who didn't get around to Christmas cards, so for now, please accept our warm (and I mean that literally) wishes for your happiest holidays (even if they're in the cold!) -- the BITTER COLD and you could be down here with folks like us where it will be 77 on Christmas Day!!!! Anyhow, Merry Christmas and Happy 2009! (Is anyone else dumbfounded how we got from Y2K to 2009?)

December 11, 2008


Just two weeks away, I have really been enjoying listening to the Christmas music this year. Two songs have really grabbed my attention and I ORDER YOU TO BUY THEM NOW on itunes or whatever music thing you use! Seriously, don't delay. It'll cost you $2. Do it. If you aren't sure, they've both been added to the songlist, so turn up your speakers and listen for a few moments.

1. Mercy Me: Joseph's Lullaby
2. Downhere: How Many Kings

If I'm the last to know these are the greatest additions to the Christmas collection, then it's simply business as usual, if they're new to you and you find yourself loving them, then my work here is done!

November 21, 2008

Deal Maker...

Deals are everywhere. Last weekend, my brother and his wife told me about some great deals they're finding, my friend Tracy saved almost half by purchasing a new camera bag online, and I have finally decided to join the revolution (like always, a little late). This is my new purchase, from Brylane Home.

7½ Ft. Pre-Lit Tree with Double Bonus: Wreath & Garland!
Item # 1590-26563-1313$99.99Clearance $69.49 30% Off
7½-ft. faux ever-green tree dazzles with 700 pre-strung white mini lights and 1200 branch tips. Snaps together; stand included. 20'' wreath has 20 lights, 9-ft. garland has 35 lights. UL-Listed.

Use the code BHOFF40 and this tree, plus shipping and handling comes to $69.38!! If you're looking for a tree, plus wreath, plus garland. This is your deal (I think). Probably best not to tell me if otherwise!

BTW - the link will no longer take you to this tree so cross your fingers for me!

November 17, 2008

For Holly...

I just found out that this little girl's mom, Holly, passed away on Saturday after years of battling MS and MS-associated complications. Though some of you didn't ever meet Holly, you probably know someone like her and hopefully will forgive my need to say something here (my pseudo online journal).

With all that Holly has endured, she was easily the most optimistic and positive person I have ever met. She moved to the Germantown area as her husband began med school and her young daughter was just old enough to sit in her wheel-chair bound lap. Holly could barely see well enough to read let alone drive, or get around easily, but this never deterred her. She would sing what she knew, she would belt out her testimony from the back of the chapel because the microphone was impossible to get to, she agreed to be the YW president and then LOVED the YW with her whole heart along with each sister who served there. I had the fortune of living around the corner from Holly for a short time -- every so often I did a little something that I thought was "helping." In my busy way, I minimized her suffering and that of her family's needs. Holly would probably forgive me easily for this, but tonight I feel sad that I didn't do more and I am reminded that when you are in the service of your fellow beings, you are truly in the service of your God. This earth will miss Holly, but the Heavens will rejoice for she is a noble daughter of God. Holly truly was an inspiration who made this world a better place to be. Our thoughts and prayers are with Christian, Sarah and their families.

November 14, 2008

Happy Birthday Mom!

A few years ago, a baby girl was born. Today, I am so lucky she was! Happy Birthday to the woman of great patience and quiet strength. To those who know her well, she is a woman of many talents and gifts. This year she celebrated her birthday in a fun-tastic way by attending the King Arthur baking course in New Hampshire with her BFF, Gayle. They had loads of fun, visited four states (you could never do that from Texas), and perfected skills at making the following from scratch (read:without mixers or bread machines): croissants, crackers, foccacia, sourdough, pizza, pear tart, apple pie.. I don't have the pictures to prove it, but I can attest that they were all extra delicious and as usual, an inspiring job.

So, of all the wishes for today (and I have a small list), at the top is a big one for my mother & Framma, a HAPPY BIRTHDAY followed by many more!

November 11, 2008

So much to blog...

I have a few things that I have meant to get out here, but am too slow or ridiculous to do so. Without further ado, they greet you like a whirlwind without organization.

1. New nephew is here - his adorable picture is on the sidebar and all are happy and healthy!

2. Two weeks ago (around Oct 28th), Bug fell 12 feet into a concrete skate bowl. Luckily for us, he was wearing his helmet and endured only a hefty bruise and gnarly scrape to his elbow. Now he has to endure a 1 year hiatus from the skate park, but can do so in style because he got a new helmet out of the deal. (see pic of old helmet). Kids - wear the helmet!

3. My friends and I have completed our cake decorating course. Here is my final cake. Thanks again to Tracy who is always prepared and is creative director and to Lara who had the idea to join up in the first place! Their cakes were extra amazing so I have chosen not to post them here leaving you proud because you don't have a comparison!

4. T is ridiculously funny and crazy. Here he is dancing with our little friend - make sure to catch the huh-huh laugh at the very end!

Baby on the way!

Got your attention did I? Well, it is 1:45 CST on Veteran's Day during the stormiest day ever and we are waiting for a phone call from Ben and Melissa. A Baby Boy will arrive sometime this afternoon/evening and we are SUPER excited! Ben and Melissa's move here wasn't and hasn't been as easy as they hoped. But they are good natured souls who add extra flair to just about everything and right now, with them just 2 miles down the street, at the same hospital where T was born, I am so happy that they're here. I can't wait to get my hands on that little fella and welcome him into the world as a Native Texan!

Until then... waiting.

November 3, 2008

Go Vote!

If you need a reminder why, here it is.

October 29, 2008

Happy Halloween!

Okay, I'm going to brag, this year, we hit halloween costume pay dirt. Our T makes the world's greatest Yoda ever! (Bug is Luke Skywalker - we're not even Star Wars fans, but how can you pass up a Yoda like this?) Your kids may be cute, but there's no Yoda, like this Yoda. So have fun and "use the force" will ya?

A friend worked hard to help us get a smiling picture f T, but we finally decided that as long as T isn't trying to get away or crying, it counts as a smile. Plus, in the case of Yoda, it totally works for him!

Photo courtesy of Tracy!

October 20, 2008

A sophisticated thought...

While I was out at cake class on Saturday, the boys were deciding what to do with their time. Paul told Bug, "maybe we should wait for Mom to get home" to which Bug responded: "Are you a kid or an adult? Because you're acting like a kid who needs to get permission from his mommy.

October 15, 2008

Bible Talk

Okay, first things first. If you missed the pictures of my funny faced T, look down one entry.

To the matter at hand- watch out, I'm going churchy on you: I am reading the New Testament -- last night I came across the most beautiful chapter in the New Testament (feel free to disagree) in Romans, Chapter 5 (those working the KJV, it's on page 1422). Tell me it isn't amazing.

On a similar subject, I found my cousin blogging. He writes, "There is at least this thing I can think of that we cannot yet begin to practice. This thing which God does so perfectly and so completely and we fail so miserably at. Forgiveness. We speak about it. We only understand a small part of it. It is the biggest thing that sets us apart. God's capacity to forgive is so beyond our human ability that we cannot comprehend it. But when we do… When we do, we will begin to see the world and universe the way God does." He adds, "I heard someone say on the radio the other day that a good marriage is the union of two great forgivers."

I know my pride is what keeps me from forgiving and my stupidity keeps me in trouble, is it the same for most of us or otherwise? -- Not to insinuate that any of you are prideful or stupid, just kind of generalizing. I wish I could say the page was turned, but it probably isn't yet, definitely something to work toward. Thoughts on other possibly incredible NT passages?

On A Rainy Day...

So, it's a pretty rainy day - the kind that keeps most folks inside, but not our two! They just can't help but love some hard pounding, serious sized drops of rain! Anyhow, I snapped these really quick because it shows one of the many reasons we love T --that face is seriously silly (and perhaps a little crazy!)!!! Hope your day is as sunny as ours feels.

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October 9, 2008

Who couldn't love a face like this?

It's the face of my favorite person in the whole wide world and the face of someone celebrating a birthday today! Having known him almost half of his life span, and most certainly through his best years (pat myself on the back), it is with great pride that I publicly wish him a very Happy Birthday!
To Paul, as always, it is my pleasure and privilege to grow with you -- since we're both sort of "older" now, I left that part out! I love you.
ps - keep watching, the hair thing isn't over yet!

October 2, 2008

Save this hair from itself...

If a list were to surface containing 10 things I'll never hear, one of them would be: "you have great/fabulous/amazing/awesome/neat/stylish hair." I needn't go on about its texture, color, appearance or length except to say in addition to being the hair runt in my family, I am also not a style maven of anything hair (or fashion, but this blog is about hair). During the Hurricane Ike associated power outage, numerous moms apologized for their "Ike look" having been reduced to ponytails or other easy up hair that did not require the use of a "tool." For me, it was "business as usual," my hair didn't even know there was a hurricane! This picture was taken just minutes ago. FYI - it's after lunch, I've been to the preschool twice, to the park, you get the idea. I need change. Taking suggestions. But -- you must suggest something that can be done with minimal upkeep and does not look like the mobs of women in my ward with the concave bob (it's v. cute & stylish, I'm just too behind the times to get it). So, this could be your chance to start the next hair trend by making me over...come on I know someone out there has an idea! Nothing is off limits - if your suggestion works out, good hair karma will follow! Save The Hair!

As a p.s. to my hair, a v. special no thanks to the"baby hair" that shows up AFTER you give birth at the crown of your forehead and apparently takes one hundred years to grow in.
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September 29, 2008

Seriously, the Cub Scouts are calling...

but I can't help myself -- I really need to write a blog. I don't have all of the pictures I need to do this post justice, but here are a few. This past week, I turned...duh-duh-duh....30! Hello my fellow "advanced age" Americans! Though nearly thwarted by a last minute Gal Bladder attack (nice try Merrilee!!) and a ravaging Hurricane Ike (see pic of neighbor's front yard - after a huge bit of the tree had already been removed),

I made a weekend trip to Seattle/Tacoma (Steilacoom) Washington to reminisce over 15 years of friendship with my oldest friend, Merrilee (coincidentally born just 3 days after me -happy days girl!), and hosted by her parents. I LOVE THESE PEOPE! They have again treated me to the ultimate expierence and we feasted on good friends, good food, and great memories! I cannot thank them enough and hope that one day my own children will recognize their influence on my life. If that wasn't enough (I know some of you are thinking 'away for the weekend without the kids' would be enough!!!), they invited other people I have loved dearly! It was such a pleasure to see the growing Feller, Robinson, Westbrook, McArthur, Arnett, and Jacobs families! They hitched their wagons all the way to the Feller's for an afternoon BBQ -- I didn't get a chance to see and hear all that they're doing, but trust me, you can all expect amazing things from these families and these women! They are some of the most noble and excellent people I have ever met. I regard them highly and will remember them forever! Until we meet again.

Of course I am completely missing pictures of all of the other people who make my life so worth living! So, to Tracy, who watched my kids and made it all possible, you are a genius woman! Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

To Melissa for driving to the airport not once, but twice, thank you! We'll get our act together eventually.

To the well-wishers: you people are awesome! How is it that I know so many good souls? I am unworthy of your excellent friendship, and companionship, but I am happy to keep trying! Thank you for your continued friendship. Don't know what I would do without you.

Last, often, but never least, to Paul -- who "endured" the weekend without me and air conditioning! What a trooper! You are the love of my life!

September 6, 2008

Let Them Be Little

On Thursday, September 4th, I sent my Bug to preschool. He's just going for half-days on Tuesday & Thursdays, but it gave me great pause to think about how fast he's grown. I DID NOT CRY because he was so excited and with T on my hip, it's hard to cry about anything except getting out of there before he rips down the pictures on the bulletin board. Anyhow, I staved off the emotion until I got home and started looking through pictures and although my ineptitude has kept me from publishing it before now, here is the result. I hope he'll enjoy a quick look back at 4.5 glorious years with many more to come and remember a few thoughts as he gets on his way.

1. Always remember you are loved...A LOT!
2. You CAN do and have it all!
3. "You're As Big As You Feel." (Stuart Little)
4. Look for the rainbow - sometimes it is behind you.
5. You can have all of the friends in the world, but you only have 1 brother.
6. Ring the bell!
7. Enjoy it now.

September 2, 2008


Alas, amid numerous computer issues and other fun, the hiatus known officially as "summer" is closing. We are getting Bug ready for his first day of preschool on Thursday and looking forward to a great "fall and spring" which Houston doesn't actually have. In the meantime, here are a couple of photos. T is really a funny character - but you'd never known from his expressions and that crazy tongue. He is uber uncoooperative at things like pictures so during our sitting, we took a grand total of 7 pics and just hoped for the best. I think next time we'll just let our friend Tracy test out her excellent skills!

July 7, 2008

When it rains...

Okay, so I've had a triple threat weekend and I'm here to rant about it.

1. On Saturday, our little family piled into the car for an evening at Red Robin. Where Paul's debit card was DECLINED -- hoping it was the magnetic strip, we called to find out his card had been compromised and therefore Chase Bank security put a hold on use. I'm thankful they were right there to handle it -- especially since some goof had already charged over $400 worth of shopping spree in Michigan.

2. I got home to call my brother - wondering if they could have been targets too from our boat trip on Lake Conroe and found my cell phone wet -- just laying on the counter, wet. Hmmm. No takers on the blame, cell phone is totally on the fritz, phone numbers appear to be lost, but keep hope. I do have a temporary replacement (thanks Dad).

3. After our normal routine of heading to Grandma & Grandpa's after church - where the kids and I mooch off dinner and are entertained by the Wii, I took the kids home to discover the A/C is out. That's right people. There's no enjoying a Houston summer until you've done it in your house without A/C. The upstairs was 86 degrees last night at 9 p.m. So everyone's sleeping naked. Just kidding, but pretty darn close and hoping for great resolve from our Home Owner's Warranty -- please let it be a covered expense.

Wish us luck - not much more can go wrong.

On a bright note, Paul fortuitously has today off!

July 4, 2008

Happy 4th of July

Happy 4th everyone. Hoping you're enjoying a great day, workfree, with your loved ones. This is my FAVORITE holiday -- though I still don't do much decorating, it is the one day that makes loads of sense to me and we commemorated last night by going to the HSOs "Star Spangled Pops" concert and continuing festivities today with swimming & bbq up at Grandpa Steve's! Have a great one!

p.s. thanks to all who commented on the "ode" but failed to mention my isle-aisle mishap!

June 23, 2008

Vote for Bug!!!

Anyone, everyone, here's your chance, show your support - go vote for Bug.

Photos were taken by our great friend, Tracy - they are undoctored and capture Bug's baby blues perfectly! Contest ends tomorrow, so get in there and vote now!




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June 18, 2008

Inflatable Toys: An Ode

Having rekindled my affection for Dr. Seuss (the only true poet the world has ever known), I give you my "Ode To Inflatable Toys."

Oh you inflatable, not so biodegradable toys
The bane of my existence and love of my boys

Why do you taunt me with color and style
As we try to pass by at the end of the aisle?

You call me in rings, balls, pools, and moon bounce,
Floats of all shapes for our children to pounce

Yet oft I forget all the trouble and toil
Nary a plan of “quick fun” you’ve not spoiled.

Your nozzles and holes that need endless air
My lungs, a small pump, and a dryer for hair.

Lightheaded, dizzy, simply a flake.
The children are asking, “how long can this take?”

I press my lips firmly against vinyl flesh
And for one small moment our destinies mesh

But this courtship is short, for it simply must be,
My head and ears ringing, my eyes gone blurry.

You cruel, manufactured, filled heap of junk
I think as I close you up tight in the trunk.

Until the next time we meet we’ll not speak,
You giant inflatable toy with a leak.

June 16, 2008

Happy Birthday T!

This is T's official birthday pic. Enjoy. No post.

Coming soon: Ode To Inflatable Toys...

June 15, 2008

Holiday Delivery

This is just a selfish post, because I can't stop myself. BOTH of my children were born on "holidays" so neither of those days can pass; even when their "birthday" no longer falls on them, without a "did you know my son was born..." comment. So here it goes. Bug made his entry on Martin Luther King Day. A year ago today, our little T arrived weighing 4lbs, 7oz and a whopping 18.5 inches, T was whisked away to spend some time with the lovely nurses of the NICU, but came home with us just 6 days later (weighing only 3 lbs, 11oz), but full of life!

That day will not only be forever ingrained because it was Father's Day, but because of all the...intermediaries that acted on the Lord's behalf to deliver our healthy son to us. Just after arriving in Houston, I went to see an OB, I kept thinking -- this guy just isn't right for me (imagine JR Ewing), but I was already so far along that I pushed thoughts of switching out of my mind. Unsetteled about complications that were being brushed off, I finally made the switch and on Wednesday, June 13, I had the first appt. of the day with my new OB. Of course, it wasn't that easy, the Dr. was detained in emergency surgery at the hospital -- I told the nurse after an hour of waiting that we should just go home, but she begged me (and Bug) to stay until the Dr could see me. Another hour plus later, the Dr. confirmed what I had been feeling all along, that something wasn't right. A quick sono diagnosed T as "small for gestational age" - at 35 weeks, T was measuring below 31 weeks. We made arrangements to meet the next Monday for more testing, but of course, the next Monday never came. By Sunday morning we had called our dear friends to watch Bug and by 12 or so that afternoon, we had T. Something so silly as changing the dr, that I'd postponed for fear of looking stupid, turned out to be so important. The Lord watches out and over us. When Paul asked the neonatologist how or why this would happen, he told Paul that sometimes it's God's way of saving a life - the baby's condition deteriorates the longer they go in the pregnancy without important nutrients etc, but by arriving early, he can be cared for. It's true and I know it. There's great peace in having something like this happen. It's such an overwhelming outpouring of God's love for me that it cannot be denied, even in my darkest of hours.

On that Father's Day, our special friends cancelled a well planned trip and sent their Dad to the airport to pick up my mom. They put together a crib and brought a happy Bug back to us all on their Father's Day. Long after T is grown -- this story of their love for us will be told as a tribute to Christ loving people everywhere.

At the 1 year mark, T has 7 teeth (5 of which arrived just a month ago). Some hair. He sort of sleeps through the night (waking up about the same time every night to insist on moving from his crib to our bed). He walks -- and is getting better every day. He has a joyful spirit with a hearty tinge of downright stubborness! We love him dearly even though he thought the cake was not impressive. Bottom line, I'm just thankful. Every Father's Day will feel like this and remind me that the real meaning of life is Families Forever!

June 9, 2008


So, back in the day I had the reputation for being a...not bad, but not so cautious driver. With my limited radius of driving these days, I can assertively say until Saturday night, that I had at least 16 months without a scratch (make that additional scratch). Late Saturday I decided that I MUST go to the H.E.B. for their $.79/lb grapes (how could I not go?). I was going to take Paul's car, but then I accidentally woke up Baby T who has been in a foul state of mind (lasting longer than normal mood swing) and decided to take him too - the result? As I pulled out of the garage, I landed on the grass, tried to correct and "rubbed" my front bumper against Paul's rear bumper. Normally this would not even warrant a mention, but my bumper ripped completely off the front of my car (why didn't I take a picture?). Superficial scratches on Paul's bumper were wiped away, but not my bumper...the whole thing ripped off like a looseleaf sheet of notebook paper torn from the safety of the three-ring binder. Has this happened to anyone else? I had to get a ride home from church (thanks again Tracy) and own up to a major boo-boo, to Bug (and the husband). It has now been repaired and although some might have thought a new bumper was in my future, they were able to slap that baby back on for only $72. I still have no grapes or tomatoes for that matter(shouldn't someone blog about this tomato-less society we're now forced to endure?).

June 6, 2008

Does Jesus look weird?

Bug proposed this question while getting ready for bed last night. I immediately donned the "stunned mullet" facial expression, a million thoughts go through my head beginning with is my four year old expressing disbelief in the Savior of All Mankind? Before I got wrapped up completely, I paused and asked the ever important question (to young and old alike), "what do you mean?". His response...

"You know, that he's always wearing a dress."

YES! That would definitely seem weird to a four year old boy! He knows! and I left it at that, until I told his Dad who immediately chastised me for not correcting him and immediately launched into a discussion explaining that it isn't a "dress", it's a "robe."

June 4, 2008

Just what have you been doing?

Well, among the many things you may be busy with this season of summer, we had the good fortune of having friends from far away come visit. Here's a little photo montage and a quick explanation.

Last week, my oldest friend, Merrilee flew into Killeen, TX for some work obligations. I happily packed up the kids to visit and along the way got a chance to take the first old MD crew peek at Kate McArthur and her darling sister, Addyson as they busily packed up their house to head for some greener pastures (anything is greener than Killeen)!!! Such a great family and we wish them well!

We met with Merrilee and drove straight to Austin to see the bats...yes, bats. "According to legend" (hahahha), the largest urban population of bats in North America reside under the Congress Ave bridge where they depart every evening around dusk in search of their food. If you visit me in H-town, I'll happily take you to visit there too. We also took a tour of the Texas State Capitol and a quick glimpse at the sprawling UT-Austin campus before heading onto Brenham for a fine tour of the Blue Bell factory (that's ice cream for those of you who may not have the luxury of Blue Bell), and samples of some delicious flavors. In case you wanted to know, it takes milk from 50,000 cows to make one days production of ice cream.

Upon our return, we met with another old friend, Jenn and her husband Ryan who drove down from Dallas. We had an 'adults only' dessert party at the Cheesecake Factory (starting to think this is an overpriced and underwhelming restaurant) and we enjoyed their company immensely! We spent Saturday at the Johnson Space Center (on the day of a launch BTW), and then to Kemah Bay/Boardwalk where it was mighty hot. I feel like that country singer, "bring on the rain..."! Jenn and Ryan had to take off for Dallas, but Merrilee and I were able to squeeze in one final Texas Town stop to "Remember the Alamo, according to legend" and drink some Riverwalk water. Yuck! We are sad they all had to return to their real lives and couldn't stay forever, but they are always welcome as are you fine readers & friends!

May 20, 2008

Too Easy

Today my Father-in-Law observed a day in the life... not really even a day, just a couple of hours, but including a public vomit by the 4 year old and fit by the 11 month old. Since I managed to retain my diginity and decency in both situations, he remarked how vast the job of the Mom is. Indeed janitor - jailer while we grin and bear it and and the only reason why it works...their faces just make it too easy to do anything otherwise.

p.s. double click the photo of T if you are having trouble imagining that he actually does have hair.

May 19, 2008

First Steps

It's official...there have been some other attempts, but these are the first four in a row! Bug and T chose Sundays to make their move, so we had the camera handy! Tim is just a day over 11 months and we consider this a major milestone considering his start in life! Yay for Tim and hooray for our camera man Bug.

May 14, 2008


Have you been "tagged"? If not and you're reading this, consider it done and begin by cutting and pasting my blog into your own "New Post", delete my answers and fill in your own. Officially the game goes like this:

1. The rules of the game are posted at the beginning.
2. Each player answers the questions about themselves.
3. At the end, the player tags others and posts their names. Then goes to their blog and posts them a comment to let them know they've been tagged and asks them to read your blog to find out the details.

1. What I was doing 10 years ago: Almost exactly what I'm doing now, recovering from a major illness this time surgery, then: mono. Go to my friend Merrilee's blog to read just a shade more about how Rexburg gave me and others the dreaded disease.

2. Five things on my to-do list today: My to-do list is so boring. Play with the kids, gargle, find a swimsuit, do something with the cute tomato plants, and laundry.

3. If I were a billionaire I would: have loads of fun (and lobby to end tonsillectomies for adults). I'm sure some important financial stuff and philanthropic donations, but definitely lots of fun!

4. Bad habit: There are many, but for the sake of brevity, late night t.v.!!!

5. Five places I've lived: Texas, MD/VA, Washington, New York, Georgia

6. Five jobs I've had: lifeguard, nanny, admin, analyst (I like Merrilee's definition: WDC title for girl who does whatever she's told!), and the crowning achievement - mediocre mom desperately trying to raise good boys.

That's it. If you've read it, you should post about it. I'll be checking around.

May 9, 2008

One week and counting...

In case you feel like reading an update on my condition, I am one week and a day without food and counting. (That's right and no you don't lose as much weight as you would hope). I had my first bite of ice cream yesterday, I've been to the ER once because I was so hyped up and dehydrated that I literally needed to be put down (thank heaven's for morphine and not so thankful for dehydrated veins and the pokey nurse). The genius dr told me yesterday, "well of course someone of your (and I quote) advanced age is going to have some trouble. It can take 3-4 weeks to heal." You've GOT TO BE KIDDING ME! Don't you think that would have been helpful information BEFORE you took them out and gave me the paper encouraging me to have a first week's diet of macaroni & cheese and ice cream -- which of course is absurd since I spent the first three days barely able to swallow WATER!!!!! We are still living at my parent's house because I can't take care of myself and the kids (isn't that an outrage that Dr's actually think it's okay to do this kind of surgery?) and consume 1 TBSP of hydrocodone every 4-6 hours. I'm thinking that by Sunday we might wander back to our own home if I can tolerate the pain on tylenol alone. (Lynn, I may try the honey). Hopefully this is the last medical update you'll have to hear about - except the one where I'm asking what my first FABULOUS meal should be (trust me - everything looks delicious at this point)!

May 2, 2008

I want my tonsils back!

Okay, In the same week, as only a self-loathing goof could do, I scheduled Tim's tubes, an unscheduled visit for some dermabond to the eyebrow after he fell into the Entertainment Center, and my own tonsillectomy. Now, nearly 12 hours later, all I can say is...I WANT MY TONSILS BACK! The glory of the ice cream/soft foods diet is not even realized as I'm still so sore that drinking water is a challenge. If you have any info (even non-expert) info, please share. I'm HATING the hydrocodone they gave me, but the Tylenol sore throat just isn't powerful enough. Some stupid lollipop (tetracaine?) made my whole mouth EXCEPT the painful swallowing part, numb. I HATE THE ENT (no offense Lynn) and also the anesthetist (no offense Matt & Jen) and the internet which misled me into believing it would be alright.

In other news: Merrilee, shout out to you as you begin your super 40 mile walk for the cure this weekend! We're with you in heart.

April 30, 2008

A thought on experts...

I just want to mention a few thoughts on experts. I need more in my family and I'm not talking about the educated, well-rounded types, like my goodly parents and brothers, who will do and try anything to help us out and do a great job. (Matt, read on, you're in this later). At any rate, I in no way mean to disrespect or discourage those people from helping me but I am wondering about the kind who get paid to be experts including, but not limited to the following:

1. Child has unusual ____ (fill in the blank)
2. Air Conditioning, heating, plumbing not working...
3. Car not starting (even when it's because the husband has left me and his oldest child stranded at church with HIS car that has NO GAS!!!!)
4. House needs painting, repairing, cleaning, organizing, cleaning (did I already say that once?)
5. Car salesman
6. Attorney who reads the fine print (don't be confused -- I know you're thinking I should have one of these, but the operative issue here is "reads the fine print"!) If you ever need a "get out of jail free" card, then you might have a friend in us.
7. Owner of something large to haul a variety of things, including the 700 bags of leaves still in my back yard - which as of right now are not actually in bags!
8. Did someone mention computer genius? (there is one of these in my extended family, but he's probably too intellectually superior to be on my rapid dial for the 1 D 10 T type issues I have. (Hey, the computer is dying, can anyone save my pictures? Later on at the GeekSquad: of course we can, for a small fee...
9. Hair/Makeup artist or plastic surgeon!
10. Fashion diva and personal shopper/trainer/amazing motivator/drill sergeant

Seriously, is it too much to ask for Christian and Benjamin to change course now so they can either become a mechanic, doctor, or a/c, heating/plumbing technician? I bet there's a ton of money in it and I could possibly be convinced to help pay for the schooling! Plus I know an attorney who could help them incorporate. For the rest of you, please include your expertise in your comment so I can put you on "the list"! I don't have an expertise, but if I make up the list of experts, then I'll have "the list" and be indispensable.

I did use the gifts and skills of one such expert this past Monday as I consulted the ever-funny cousin Matt who is a Nurse Anesthetist, on vacation, and still took my call (your wife is such a good woman!) Purpose of consult was the placement of ear tubes in 10 month old T. Matt gave out expert advice and warned me about his likely reaction to the gas which was indeed V. BAD (screaming, writhing in discomfort and upset for about 30 min), but I am here to report that we are all better for it. After having chronic ear infections since Nov 07, 3 perforations since Jan, and including ANOTHER ear infection when they placed the tubes yesterday, T seems to be a new boy (read: louder). How is that possible? Well, now that the fluid is gone (leaking out slowly-ugh!) he can hear himself and thinks he sounds great(like any F-berry!)!

April 15, 2008

I'm late...

I knew that could get your attention! I mean late to trends...for example, I'm sort of a walking fashion victim simply because by the time I figure out that there IS a trend, I'm behind it. If there is a hot new show to watch, (24), I catch it starting in season 3. In this particular case I refer to a literary craze, sweeping (AKA SWEPT) the nation. I have been advised on many occasions to read this...series about vampires and werewolves and I have avoided it because you know I'm just not into the Lord of The Rings stuff, heck, I can't even stand Star Wars...yet, this past week as I found myself the weeklong nannymom of 6 boys (that includes my 2 and ranged from 10 mos - 16), I somehow found the time to rip up 1000 pages of Edward and Isabella...that's right. I've done it. I'll finish the last book by weekend. I'm sorry for any wisecracks, finger pointing, or otherwise foolish mockery. I realize now you were only trying to better my world. Consider it done, just late!

April 4, 2008

She had it comin'

Okay, through some reverse psychology and persuasion, I will continue to blog, but for no reason other than allowing me to pay generous tribute to the beautiful children we have in our home AND to rant occasionally about all things wrong with the world. So on that note, you may decide to quit reading now, or go on to find out why "she had it comin'." The "she" here is me. Most of you will think I probably have most of what I get "comin'" so carry on, but in this case, I want to throw out there that Bug never required us to do any real "baby proofing" -- this is because he never bothered with things like cabinets, electrical outlets, did not pose unknown risk to himself or others with his expeditionary I have been completely thrown for a loop by T who will put ANYTHING in his mouth (except babyfood), attempt to unplug ANYTHING from an outlet, shake anything vigorously, and go off any ledge HEAD FIRST. Has he no fear? Were you one of these children? Tell me how your parents got control. I have plugged most of the outlets and now he's trying to pry them off too --- there's simply no stopping him. We tried utilizing the firm "No" to which he smiles a knowning smile like "go ahead morons, just try to stop me." I'm willing, but HOW?

For proof, here's just one of many things T put in his mouth...

March 11, 2008


Some notes in no particular order so I don't have to go add them to comments on your blogs.

Grandma Dorothy - Happy 80th Birthday!

Chris & Tennille - Good luck with baby girl O arriving tomorrow (maybe tonight?)!

Ben & Missy - Can't wait to make TXNs out of you -- get here fast!

Laura - You'll always be my favorite Aunt!

Matt & Melissa - Good luck with the move to UT even if you are abandoning the Lone Star State!

Wes & Andrea - Hope you're enjoying every minute with Baby D.

Merrilee - Keep up the awesome work for your walk! We love seeing you make the world a better place!

Jenn & Ryan Patrick - MOVE TO H-TOWN! We don't get snow here!!!!

Kellie P - Love the blog you've put up and I'm even voting on your family reunion plans!!

Lynn & Westbrook Bunch - WA or BUST! Let me know if you need the world's greatest piano teacher ever (Merrilee's Mom)!!!!

Jen & Belnap Bunch - CA or BUST! So happy for you to return to the land you love.

Lacey & Fam - Glad to see you online every now and again remembering silly things from RC days gone by.

March 5, 2008

Simplicity Rules...

So with my failures in sharing time this week, and whatever else, I've decided to keep this blog simple. Write your thoughts on the following...

Time: Too much, not enough, always wasted, flying by, who needs it, etc.

February 12, 2008


I thought I'd put up some new pictures to show what's happening these days.

1. T finally picked up two teeth and we're pretty sure the blue eyes will stay.

2. Look closely on Bug's plate...that's ranch dressing...we asked him "do you think you have enough?" Nonchalantly he replied, "yep." Well thank goodness because I'd hate for Hillshire Farms to have to pump out an extra 22 gallons of Ranch Dressing just for him.

3. Paul and I celebrated the anniversary of our first date 12 years ago -- that seems goofy, but it's so close to V-day that we celebrate it instead. Additionally, we did so in style, without the little people along for the first time since Paul was born. Thanks gma & gpa. We went to Brio, Tuscan Grill (known to the 411 operator as the Tucson grill -- subtle, but important difference). If you have one in your neighborhood, I recommend the chocolate biscotti dessert and the mini-cheesecake, honestly, can you ever go wrong with mini cheesecake?

Write up what you're doing with chocolate this week!
Finally, enjoying beautiful weather an I hope you are too, wherever you are, even if it isn't in Texas! :)

February 5, 2008

My final plea...

Having spent the better part of the day trying to desperately persuade my Aunt and Cousin to move here, I'm issuing my final plea for them (and all readers) to take it under serious consideration for the following reasons:

1. With a certain loved one in town on business so frequently, you'll have a much greater chance of actually witnessing the ingestion of a "large slurpee"!
2. You know you love Brianna's "poppy seed" salad dressing, so stop kidding yourself and come to the land where it's made (that's right folks, check the bottle, Go Texan)! Also home to Blue Bell Ice Cream.
3. Did I mention that we ate dinner outside last night?
4. 14 fabulous pools open in under 3 months for a long summer spent by the pool, possibly with slurpees.
5. I need a lot of help removing pinestraw from my yard and could use the extra set of hands!
6. Lively discussions and retelling of old stories is always funnier in the flesh (that means in person, not naked, although I'm sure that's also very funny/scary).
7. Central Time...if you haven't heard of this marvel, watch all your favorite programs one hour earlier and be awake when the paid programming comes on cable.
8. Houston Livestock & Rodeo Show!

That's it, I'm ending it with those eight reasons. I have already memorialized for your benefit the marvels of living here in previous posts. WHAT MORE CAN YOU POSSIBLY NEED TO AGREE? I demand a response. If not here, what's so great about your neighborhood? Don't make me break out the reverse psychology...

January 24, 2008

Spare Me...

I just want to send a loud, proud, shout-out to my fabulous husband (who doesn't even really read this), but you should all know what a great guy he is. 2 days ago, I took Bug and T for their regular appts and had to hold both while they received 5 vaccines each (that's a grand total of 10). Though the tears were many, they were temporary. So what does the husband have to do with this? Well, years ago, when Bug was little, he took him to his dr. appts and for shots. I couldn't do it and he spared me a great deal of anxiety and sadness over it. He is a "true man of genius" and love. Fortunately, being a SAHM has toughened me up enough to manage the important affairs of vaccines. Still, I am truly thankful that at least Bug has possibly received his last (other than flu shots) and for a brilliant Grandma who came over two days in a row to make us all feel better! Love you.

January 21, 2008

Never Again.

That's it. It will never happen again. What is this you ask? A birthday party for little people in my HOME. Not because they tore it up (which they sort of did), but because in the inevitable,Murphy's Law kind of way, someone always gets hurt. Being the home of a practing legal man, we simply cannot have the liability. We'll have to come up with parental waivers or something. Fortunately it was "merely a flesh wound" to a kid who lost his balance all by himself, but seriously, no more at home parties for us. Is it just me or does anyone else have a crazy party story?

January 18, 2008

The Ark-like Pirate Ship Sets Sail!!!

Tomorrow is the BIG day for Bug. I'll spare you all the details (which you have heard a time or two) about the day my beautiful Bug was born. Anyhow, he's chosen to have a Pirate Party. We are having a small gathering of wild pirates and hope to have a grand time with treasure hunt, walk the plank, coloring page, and cake. So here is the cake. I know it looks a little more like an Ark than a Pirate Ship. Perhaps next year if he asks for a Pirate Party, I'll more wisely steer him in the direction of a "Noah's Ark" theme! Anyhow, it was my first true effort at making a themed cake (Ahoy! to my friend Misha who would have pulled this off easily!). I'm sure it'll be fun no matter what -- how can it not be fun? The candles light out of the side gun thingies! As long as the paper sails don't go up in flames, it should be a hit. The whole thing comes from If there's a pirate party in your future, I'd go there first!

Happy 4th Birthday Bug!

January 9, 2008

Honeymoon is over..

Okay, so you aren't fooled, we returned to our normal daily operations and Bug began the day with a "T is touching me and looking at me wrong" comment!

January 7, 2008

A momentous day...

Okay, I know this will sound silly to most, but today was a truly momentous occasion. All decked out in Sunday best, Bug made his debut as a "Sunbeam"! Is it possible? My life is flashing before my eyes as I think about how short the past (nearly four) years have gone and it's as if there was no world before him. Few things in my life have been so satisfying as seeing him energetically embrace Primary(did I mention he was the best behaved boy there?). Just six weeks ago he wouldn't go to nursery by himself. So of course, even though I was excited, I couldn't help wondering into the hall to check up on the Jr primary classes . That's when I heard ruckus abounding from the ladies' room. I opened the door and found his lovely teacher and children taking their trips to the potty...I offered help and found out it was my Bug in the bathroom, so I went to check, saw he needed help him with the belt (which we will leave off next week), and he quickly said, "Mom, what are you doing here? Go back to your own class."!!!! He makes me so proud!

Other noteworthy issues:

Happy Birthday Kellie and many more!

I finally saw a pic of my 2nd cousin (is that right? Dylan Victor) and thank the Lord that another beautiful life has entered the world, born to goodly parents.

Church moved to 1:30 (from 8:30) which is sort of a good news and bad news thing!
p.s. if you missed the video of Bug riding the mechanical bull, it's still posted below!
p.p.s. Lynn, do you know what's going on with this camera? I'm getting fuzzy photos all of the time, especially with light halos?!!!

January 1, 2008


We hope you had a great Christmas holiday and a joyous New Year! We celebrated with an authentic "Texas Christmas Experience" and thought you'd enjoy the "safe for all ages" video. If this doesn't make you want to hitch your wagon to the Lone Star, then I'm afraid you are beyond persuasion...but maybe you'll join us for a visit where we will insist you ride the Mechanical Bull!

I wanted to keep this short and sweet so we'll just let you know that our 2008 is the year of settling in. We are planning no life changing events (graduating from school, moving to TX, having new baby, moving to new home) in 2008 and expect to just enjoy being together. Hope your 2008 is wonderful too!