Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Talking to your kids about racism

Bubby's best friend was busted for writing a list of curse words. His dad called us to make sure we were aware of the incident as Bubby was not one of the boys caught. Turns out that one of the words on the list was the "n" word. We've been known to slip up and let an expletive fly occasionally, but this is a word NEVER used by us and we wanted our son to understand the hate and hurtfulness implied with using it. Discussing racism is probably a talk long overdue as our children see the differences in people, but don't have a concept of words used to describe them. For example, they both call black people 'brown'. Like when we asked Smoochie who she voted for in the mock election at school, she replied the brown guy not the white hair guy.

To start off the conversation, Hubby explained how hurtful it was growing up Jewish and all of the hateful words thrown at him. We also explained how it is wrong to use hurtful words and the he was never, ever to use the "n" word as it was a hateful word against blacks. Apparently it is the word of the month with the 3rd graders. He had told one of his black friends that was saying it that it was a bad word and she had asked her father if it was a bad word and he had told her no. Also, of the four boys that we making the list of curse words, two of them were black. Makes it really hard to drive the point home when he is receiving mixed messages.

I am beginning to understand what people meant when they said child rearing gets more complicated when they get older.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Quickie

Work: crazy
Holidays: ready

Cookies, cookies, and more cookies


Stockings hung by the chimney with care

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Memory is the second thing to go, what's the first?

I happened to glance at my last post and noticed I used Smoochie instead of Sudsy. I presume if I can't keep the kid's real names straight, I shouldn't expect to keep their nicknames straight. In fact, it has gotten so bad that I just call them all Boo.

I was telling a coworker about the wonderful benefits of the neti pot and how I rarely ever get sick anymore since I started religiously running salt water through my nose. After that conversation, I was definitely due for Murphy's Law to kick in. I spent the later half of last week and part of the weekend laid on the couch with the worst cold I've had in years. Of course I was home alone with all three kids. I did start feeling better Saturday and Sunday I was back on my feet again.

Sunday evening one of my bestest friends and her family came over to visit. I really, really, really wish she lived in the area, but thankfully they moved about a year ago and are within driving distance, albeit a long drive.

This year I have kicked butt on Christmas presents. After posting last week that I hadn't started, I made a few trips around town, bought a bunch of stuff on amazon and am now nearly finished. I usually waste a lot of time second guessing and watching the sales, but I don't have the time, energy or patience for that this year. Instead I decided to save receipts and if I find a better deal later, I can always take it back. It's really taken the pressure off.

The kids are off from school this week and they spent the entire day yesterday watching home videos. They loved watching themselves and the few that I caught, I noticed that Sudsy has the same facial expressions as Smoochie but looks like Bubby.

Happy Thanksgiving all!!!

Monday, November 17, 2008

An update

I've rewritten the opening sentence to this post three times. Why is it so hard to blog after you've been lazy and not posting? I guess it's the same as not running after training (and completing) a 5K. It gets a little easier every day to just not do it. Sorry Diana!! I need a kick in the butt!

So, Bubby's team one the championship. They played a perfect game and Bubby had several great plays- one being a throw from third base to first to get the guy out at first. The Aggie game was enjoyable. Not the game itself because it was a total blow out, but catching up with friends was nice.

This past weekend was fun as well. Saturday was a surprise party for a friend- her husband totally pulled it off and we were all impressed. Sunday was 'Breakfast Club'. We started this a year ago? maybe longer and we'd get together in the morning because the kids are typically well behaved then and we're no fun since having kids and can't stay up late anymore. They've turned into all day parties. The kids asked if we were spending the night.

Back to the grind at work today. I found out I'm not getting the new position I was angling for, which meant a new boss, which would have been a really, really good thing. I'm disappointed, but it probably works out for the best. Work seems to be drying up for that group so I could have been out of job before I'd even started.

Sudsy is starting to cruise. He pulls himself up and walks if you're holding his hands. We've told him that he's only 8 months old and by all means, please don't hurry to get mobile, but he didn't listen to us. Guess that proves he's our kid after all.

And just to make everyone feel better, I'm not done with my Christmas shopping. In fact, I haven't even started. My goal is to be done by Thanksgiving every year, but that looks less and less possible every day.

I'm getting more and more excited about Obama's presidency every day. I was one of the swing voters until two weeks before the election. I believe he will make a difference and will lead our country in a new, better direction. I'm positive about our future, however I do think it will get worse before it gets better.

Enough randomness for one night.

Update: And by 'swing voter', I was deciding between Obama and throwing my vote away by voting libertarian....

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Busy weekend

Halloween kicked off a weekend filled with activities. Saturday morning, I managed to not only drag myself out of bed, but feed and dress the little ones and pick up my mom to get to a fun run. Friends of mine from the office have become my support and inspiration in the journey to become healthy again. We met our goal of completing the 5K run and Bubby and Smoochie participated in the 1K kids run.



My friend's daughter, who also participated in the kids run, came home with us and we spent the rest of the day playing. They jumped on the trampoline, we went swimming at the pool and then played on the playground at the fast food restaurant after dinner. We had such a busy, active day that Bubby kept insisting it was Sunday.

Sunday afternoon was Bubby's first karate tournament. There is much build up and anticipation for a 45 second spar. He was down 2-0 and then came back to win 2-3. He was so excited that he ran to me yelling 'Mom! I won!' as he tripped and fell flat on his face. Thankfully he wasn't injured although I almost injured myself laughing so hard. Not much rest coming up this weekend either.

Friday night is Bubby's championship game for baseball and Saturday we're heading to College Station to watch the Aggies get slaughtered.

The Gaggle of Kids Proud Bubby The Fall The Spar
video

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Happy Halloween!

I was amazed and awed by the original costumes I saw last evening- a homemade twister dress and matching game board hat...Dorothy with her new black puppy Toto, unfortunately my kids are never the ones with the original costumes. Heck, people should be lucky I had candy since I waited until the last minute for that also.

Here's the crew from last night:




Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Drug Free

I appreciate what the school is trying to do- talk to kids about drugs early and often. However, I think the material may be a bit over my kindergartner's head. She came home today to tell me that she is drug free because she is wearing the bracelet they gave her at school. And that everyone is drug free at her school. I told her that I was drug free, but not everyone is. She then asked if Dad was not drug free. I corrected myself and said that everyone in her family is drug free, but not everyone in the world is drug free. She then proceeded to tell me that people who drink and eat a lot every day are not drug free. Oops, guess I'm not drug free after all.....

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Mudroom bliss




I finally cleaned up the mudroom. It is organized, neat and it makes me happy every time I enter the room, even if it is to do laundry.

Note the lockers, one for each child, so there is a home for backpacks, baseball gear and such. A calendar lists each day's activity so Daddy can't claim he didn't know about something. A magnetic board gives space for invitations. The shoe storage provides a home for the stray shoes that pile up around the house. And when the garage is finally cleaned and organized and we can actually park our cars in it, the key holder will be the perfect spot for the car keys.

This is what I dreamed of when I envisioned simplification several years ago. It has taken much heartache, money and time, but we are finally starting to live the life I dreamed about. Walking the kids to school in the morning, just steps from our door. Walking to the ball field for baseball practice and games. Calling the grandparents and even the great-grandparents for quick babysitting.

To sum it up, we're finally moving past the resentment and crap colored glasses due to the construction process and all the issues with the builder. We are starting to fall in love with our home and our new life.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Burning down the house

Watch out! Mama's cooking!


Good thing we just had fire extinguisher training. Too bad also since I had to use the last charged one in the house. The frightening thing is smoke was billowing in the kitchen and the smoke detectors did not go off. Yes, the house still stinks. No, those were originally taco shells. Now who wants to come over for dinner?

Friday, October 03, 2008

Fire extinguisher training

One of the fire extinguishers at the house is several years old and the line on the pressure indicator was right between good and empty, so I decided to teach the kids how to use one. First I taught them the acronym PASS: P- pull the pin, A- aim at the base of the fire, S- squeeze the trigger and S- sweep back and forth. Next, I had Bubby 'put out a fire' which was really a piece of foam. Hubby thought I should have started an actual fire in our backyard. Then we had a discussion on when to try to put out the fire versus running away and getting help and when to dial 911. Smoochie then said she didn't know the number to dial 911. Apparently she inherited my intelligence.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Update on the training. Bubby wants to change the acronym to PASSS: pull the pin, aim, squeeze, sweep and scream.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Electronic decluttering

When I started my new job with big oil over two years ago, I came with a PDA and cell phone. Work added another cell phone. I carried around three devices for over a year until my work cell was replaced with a blackberry. That eliminated the need for my PDA. And finally, I am free of my personal cell. Our contract with our wireless provider terminated and hubby went for the iphone (which is really cool, btw). I rarely used my cell, so now I am down to just one device and it is liberating. So, if you try to reach me on my old cell number, that is why the message says this number has been disconnected.....

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Such romantics!

We returned from our annual New Braunfels trip Sunday. The weather was perfect and the company, even more perfect. Our extended family knows how to have fun together. I'll see if I can get a clip of the movie my sister-in-law took of Smoochie dancing. My brother and cousin-in-law played DJ. By the end of the night, we were all dancing- my parents, my aunt and uncle, my grandparents....

At lunch Sunday before heading home, my uncle mentions something about September 28th. At that point hubby and I looked at each other and said- oh yeah! Happy anniversary!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Ike

Camping out in the living room the night of the storm

No serious damage



Making the most of the experience- at folks place in the country

Thursday, September 18, 2008

All is fine

Hubby had to fly out Friday before the storm to get aircraft out of the area, so he sat in Denver until Monday. Fortunately, my parents agreed to ride out the storm with me and the kids. We decided my house was the safest as it has twice as many hurricane clips as required by code. As I'm sure everyone around can attest, it was a long and scary night. The power finally went out for good around 2 am. We all slept in the living room and cleaned out the storage space under the stairs in case we heard a tornado. When daylight finally broke and the wind wound down, we were able to survey the damage. Branches and trees down, fences blown over but no major damage anywhere. We were very fortunate.

We made a quick decision to pack up and move out to my folks place in the country as the baby was cranky and clammy and the kids were getting stir crazy. We emptied the refrigerators and headed out thinking we'd be back in a day and all would be back to normal. We finally arrived home Wednesday night and are living at my folks as we still do not have power restored. My office is closed, the kids are out of school this entire week.

One of the rentals has a significant hole in the roof and some sheetrock damage, but I consider us extremely lucky. About half the people in my family are waiting on power, but none of my family nor friends had major damage and thankfully no injuries. My thoughts are with those still struggling with the aftermath of hurricane Ike. I'll post pictures soon.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Hunker down

Hurricane Ike heading for us. No plans to evacuate, but we do need to pull all the patio furniture and plants into the garage. Of course you're never really sure what to believe, but the news is saying if the hurricane stays on its present course, we could see 100 mph winds even where we live. It is terrifying. The last hurricane that past right over our house was 1983. I was 8 and thought it was great fun. We went outside when the eye passed over our house. Totally peaceful and calm- it was bizarre. Stay safe everyone!

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Labor day fun

The weekend was relaxing and enjoyable, thanks to Gustav deciding taking a hit on Louisiana. Saturday I took Smoochie to a birthday party for a boy in her class. She was the only other child there for half the party until a family friend showed up. I felt so bad for the mom. The boy didn't seem to notice.

Sunday, we enjoyed spending the day with family at my aunt and uncle's house. My cousin and her boyfriend had a big announcement. After eight years of dating and seven of living together, they made it official and stopped by the JP last Friday.

Monday morning we felt like doing something fun together as a family since it is now a rare event that both hubby and I are home at the same time. We picked up his folks and drove to the Kemah boardwalk. The sky was overcast and a cool breeze kept the temperature quite nice.



Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Not sure I agree with this...

And instead of blogging about all the exciting events of the weekend (I'll get to that later)...




You Are Elmo



Sweet and innocent, you expect everyone to adore you. And they usually do!



You are usually feeling: Talkative. You've got tons of stories to tell. And when you aren't talking, you're laughing.



You are famous for: Being popular, though no one knows why. Middle aged women especially like you.



How you life your life: With an open heart. "Elmo loves you!"

Monday, August 25, 2008

Back to school

Smoochie laid out an outfit for the first day of school days before school started. Note the attention to detail- the headband, lipstick by the collar, necklace and fingernail polish laid out where the hands would be. I did talk her into wearing something a little less formal the first day.

Hubby decided it was a great idea to draw a skull and cross bones on Bubby's back in permanent ink the day before school started. Friends had invited us over for a back to school party. After tattooing their son's back, we probably won't be invited again.

Aren't they sweet when they're not fighting?

I love this picture of hubby helping Smoochie with her backpack and the school bus in the background.



All went smoothly the first day back. Both kids were up and dressed before school even opened. Smoochie went into her classroom, sat down and didn't look back. Hubby had to drag me out of her room. I probably would have stayed all day.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

I just don't understand

Ahhh, family. So wonderful and yet so irritating at the same time. I am trying not to be completely and totally pizzed off at hubby's brother (W) and sis-in-law (L), but it requires a lot of energy. First, they get into a huge argument with their folks which happened while my father-in-law, who crawls in attics for a living, was helping out late in the evening with an electrical problem at their house. They don't speak for weeks, they ignore father-in-law's birthday and send flowers but don't call for mother-in-law's birthday. I try to overcompensate to make sure they know they are loved.

Then, they are a no show at Bubby's birthday party. No phone call, nothing. Weeks later they show up unannounced to drop off a present for him and also to invite us to my niece's party the next evening. Timing is suspicious.

We attend niece's party and bring invite to Smoochie's party. They happily accept and say they will be there. Halfway through Smoochie's party, L shows up with only one of their three kids. It was a lunch time party at a pizza place and L says they were late because they went to lunch first. Huh?

Smoochie has been begging to see the cousin closest in age (Flower). Flower is one year older. Hubby calls W several times last week. W finally answers phone last night. W insists we not only pick up Flower, but also her younger brother, Fish, because he gets his feelings hurt if Flower goes anywhere without him. Fish is three.

Hubby tells me over and over not to let any of this get to me. Please send zen thoughts my way because this might be a greater task than my capabilities.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Olympics fever

I love watching the summer Olympics- the swimming, the diving, the gymnastics...I know the television will be on continuously for the next two weeks. The opening ceremony last night was unbelievable. The Chinese went all out. It is also educational for the kids. They are not only exposed to different languages and cultures, but different governments and the impact they have on their citizens. For all of our complaining, we are truly lucky to be born into a democratic society, even will all the flaws.

In other news, the life of leisure for the kids is almost over. School starts two weeks from Monday. The days keep flying by faster and faster. Next Friday we find out who the teachers will be and the following Friday is the open house to meet the teachers. I don't think Smoochie quite understands what she in for, but I know she will adjust quickly. The best part is no driving the kids anywhere in the morning- just walk them a few houses down to the school.

And the best news of all- our tax consultant finally finished and filed our taxes! And still seven days to spare (since he already filed an extension). Considering that we gave him the information the FIRST WEEK IN FEBRUARY, it's about time. Over six months. Ridiculous. Even I could do it in that amount of time.

Gotta run- I hear swimming in the next room...

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Goodbye Nurse Karen

Last week hubby and I attended a memorial service for the kid's nurse at the doctor's office. We have known her since Bubby was born, eight years ago. Nurse Karen was such a special person- calm, sweet and reassuring. Although it was never spoken until it was too late, she was the reason we looked forward to taking the kids to the doctor. Neither of us had any idea of the struggles Karen was going through and we wished we had the opportunity to tell her how much we cared for her and appreciated her. Fortunately, we did get the opportunity to tell her family. You will be missed Nurse Karen.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Court

I feel like so much has happened in the past few weeks. Smoochie turned 5! Her party was at Incredible Pizza. That evening we let two of her bestest friends spend the night- her first sleepover. The next day was the family party at our house. With 17 family members in the area, it is just too many at the kid party so I have two parties for the kids. Luckily, Bubby's falls around Father's Day, so we combine the celebrations. Smoochie's birthday is close to hubby's and my cousin, so we do a joint party for them.


Incredible Pizza
The Morning After

Hannah Montana Jr.

Baby needs a hair cut!



Thursday was the long anticipated court date with Conn's. We could not arrive at an agreement at arbitration- their offer was supplying us with a new panel at cost which equated to 2/3rd's the price for the tv. And we won! The judge ruled in our favor and the next step, if they so wish to choose, is to double our winning for bond and move on to a jury trial. I would doubt they would try that as jurys are almost never sympathetic to big business, but then again I wouldn't put it past them.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Back to work

Summer vacation is over for me. The week before last was Bubby's 8th birthday. His birthday party was at Minute Maid Park with a tour of the ballpark. The adults found it enthralling, the kids thought it was boring. We spent the last few days of my freedom traveling to my parent's cabin in Hallettsville and spent one day at a water park in the area and then headed to Temple, Texas to visit friends. I started back at work on Tuesday and it felt like I had never left. My cousin had a 4th of July part at her house Friday and we decided to brave the crowds and went down town for the fireworks. Since my company pays for the display, they get a 'special area' just for employees along with shuttles, food and drink. It was way more crowded than I expected, but well worth the effort. We all thought Sudsy would throw a fit since he cries at any loud noise, but we stuffed cotton in his ears and hubby held his hands over his ears and he really enjoyed watching the fireworks.
In the dugout:
Conversation with Biggio:

Birthday dinner at Johnny Rockets:

At Splashway Water Park:

At my parent's property:

Monday, June 16, 2008

Full on press

I have few days remaining at home. The 1st of July is back to work and I am dreading and looking forward to it at the same time. Our pace of life will increase tremendously, I will miss all the one on one time with Sudsy, and I will get probably 3 fewer hours of sleep a night. However, it will be nice to use that mushy stuff in between my ears again and I do look forward to having adult conversations without constant interruptions from little mouths. It will be a solid 6 months of work as I have used up every drop of vacation for maternity leave.

I have frantically tried to finish projects around the house because I know nothing will get done when I go back. A technician is here right now installing the alarm system, the gutters go on in a few weeks and Hubby's putting down the last palate of grass. He also installed the basketball goal which was Bubby's birthday present from last June, just in time for his birthday on Wednesday. I've organized the scrapbook room and it is not only usable but being used. I am now only 10 months behind. The final big tasks I would like accomplished this month are clearing out the garage and finishing the fence.

Speaking of the garage, we replaced the Focus with my dad's old suburban being that 3 kids won't fit in the back of the Focus. It will be an interesting experiment to see if an F-150 and a Suburban will fit.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Traffic

Most of the traffic on my site is for one post, located here. I'm not sure whether to be amused or scared about the level of intelligence around us. Second highest ranking post here.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

What a week

Last week was crazy. Monday, hubby, Sudsy, mother-in-law and I flew to Oregon for his grandfather's 90th birthday party. The older kids stayed with my folks for the week. The party was a surprise and I'm thinking surprising anyone at 90 years old is not a good plan, but all went well. It was Sudsy's first flight. He slept through both up and back. We stayed at the Village Green Resort, which was absolutely beautiful.




We arrived home Friday afternoon in time for Smoochie's dance recital rehearsal Friday evening and the recital Saturday afternoon. It was also Bubby's baseball championship game Saturday afternoon. Then we went over to friend's house Saturday evening for dinner and play time on their Wii. Sunday was a birthday party and we all crashed early Sunday evening.


Monday, May 26, 2008

Summer fun

Graduation, a wedding, and Memorial Day fun...







Friday, May 16, 2008

Nicknames

Since I now have two sons and one daughter and calling the new baby 'the baby' will quickly be inaccurate (I can't believe how fast they grow up!), I will follow Sara's lead and give them all nicknames. And since they all have nicknames in real life, this shouldn't be difficult at all.

The Boy = Bubby
The Girl = Smoochie
The Baby = Sudsy

Speaking of nicknames, Daddy called the girl Smoochie the other day and she proceeded to tell him only Mommy can call her that. Such attitude from such a little package!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

BBB and graduation

No response to my Better Business Bureau complaint. I really did not expect one. I got what I needed out of it already- just for him to know that he screwed up and we know it and would never in a million years recommend him to anyone.


Mother's day was nice. The kids got me two new pairs of pajamas and I think daddy might be second guessing that choice as I have not changed out of them all day today. The girl made her bed and mine, so I no longer accept the excuse that she does not know how to make the bed. We spent the day with the extended family and enjoyed the unseasonably cool and dry weather.


Tomorrow is the girl's graduation from pre-K. I remember when I found out about the ceremony for the boy and thought to myself how ridiculous to have a ceremony with caps and gowns- it's pre-k for goodness sake and then proceeded to bawl like a baby through the entire thing. I'm prepared this time. Kleenex is already stocked in the purse.

Baby is doing well. He has slept through the night 2 of the last 3 nights. He is smiling and belly laughing and even though the ceiling fan gets the most smiles, I do manage several myself. Here is a video of him talking to the fan....




video

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Life moves on

Today I registered the girl for kindergarten. It is hard to believe that she is already old enough. Sudsy is 6 weeks old today and he has seamlessly entered into our family. The older ones fight over who gets to hold him and they track how long to make sure it is equal. He slept through the night three times last week- twice for 7 hours and once for 8 hours. I went out with a friend Saturday night to see the comedian Brian Regan and my parents babysat all three without a hitch. I also went with a friend to the Astros last night and let daddy have a night alone with the kids. The calendar has been so full that I barely get any down time. I'm wondering how I fit work into this schedule!

Big sis always gets a smile


Baseball season has begun- opening day parade

School Carnivals

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Word of caution about Jim Waller- do not use this builder!

I have been meaning to write this post for months as I hope it saves one person from the grief we have experienced over the past year in building our dream home. There is a saying that in any project you can have quality, schedule, or cost- pick two. Unfortunately, with our new home, we received none of the above. We were promised a 90 day construction, barring any weather delays. We finally moved into the unfinished home 8 months after the foundation was poured. The budget is currently 25% over and we are still finishing on our own to save money. I had to bring in two carpenters, painters, roofers, and plumbers to fix and finish what was not completed. The builder walked off our job last December and we have not heard from him since. We lived through multiple subs walking off the job and the ones who stayed, doing subpar work and complaining about the builder.

If you are considering using Jim Waller, who has several company names- MasterMark Enterprises as well as Calvert Christopher homes, I strongly encourage you to look elsewhere.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Kids say

Hubby and the boy attended my last ob appointment before Sudsy was born. While in the waiting room, the boy picked up a magazine about pregnancy. Inside were sonogram pictures, one of a boy and the other of a girl. He brought it to me and said- this one is a girl and her name is Labia. I told him to go tell his father and we both were brought to tears we were laughing so hard. A little later he wanted to know why it was so funny and we explained 'labia' was a female body part.

Later that afternoon, we stopped by the store to get jeans for hubby. There was a shirt that said I don't give a with a picture of a rat and a donkey. Hubby and I chuckled when we saw it and the boy asked- why is 'I don't give a rat's horse' so funny? I explained that it was a picture of a donkey and another name for donkey is a curse word. Since he's such an expert on curse words with not only knowing how to use in context but also how to spell them on (read back to the 'f' word incident in 1st grade) he caught on quickly and then asked if he wore that shirt to school what would happen.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Arrival

Wednesday, March 12th was the big day- 'Sudsy Pumpkin Pie' so aptly named by the girl made his big debut. I was induced around 9 am and he was born at 4:21 in the afternoon. Not so fast for a 3rd baby, but he was turned sunny side up, so I had to work for it. Overall, it was as pleasant a delivery as I could have ever wanted- night and day different from the first two. It was quiet, peaceful, controlled and not the least bit stressful. Obviously medicated as well :)

He's doing very well and other than a little jaundice that will lead us to 3 doctor visits in one week, no issues. I am feeling much closer to normal than I would anticipate at this time. The siblings are adjusting well and want to be with him and hold him all the time.