Tuesday, May 30, 2006


The kids LOVE gum. I HATE pulling it out of the carpet, floor boards in the car, off the bottom of my shoe. And that is where it always ends up. If for some mystical reason it actually ends up in the trash can, it will be the moment between taking out the full bag before putting in a fresh trash bag.

The car is the worst and the kids are not allowed to have it in the car anymore. Without thinking, I pulled a piece out my purse while driving to knock out the horrendous garlic laden breath I was sporting. I remembered the kids in the back that see EVERYTHING and I slowly pulled my hand out of my purse, unwrapped it in my lap, and turned my head to quickly put in my mouth.

That's when I hear- UH! from the back seat. I want gum! No, not in the car- you know why. Then the boy quips- you were trying to sneak it, weren't you? So we wouldn't see?

Monday, May 29, 2006

Jehovah's witness

The boy has never met a stranger. His birthday is quickly approaching and he is inviting every kid he sees. Friday, at the swim school, he invited one boy standing near him. After asking several times, the boy's father interjected. I'm sorry, we are Jehovah's witness and we do not celebrate birthdays. My boy is fascinated with religion, so I felt this was a great learning experience for him.

Why, he pressed. The man, not sure whether he should go into it all answers that he didn't really know because that is just how he was raised. But why would you not celebrate birthdays, my son asked. Well, every time a birthday was celebrating in the bible, something bad happened and then he went on to explain in further detail.

My sons response to it all- is that really true? Is the bible for real? We did have an animated discussion on the way home after all of that explaining that yes, many people believe that the bible is the word of god. One of the most important principles I want to instill in my children is that people believe many different things, but it doesn't make them wrong. Which is the biggest issue I have with christianity.

Thursday, May 25, 2006


When is an athlete no longer considered an athlete? I was involved in sports growing up. On the tennis team, volleyball team, swim team. I went to the gym and lifted weights regularly. In my adult life, I continued to lift weights, do aerobics classes, ride the bike, jog, and swim.

Then, I had kids. After kid #1, I ran a marathon. I rode my bike to Austin. Then I had kid #2 and fell into complete sloth mode. I trained for a half marathon and dropped out 2/3'rds into the program. I started and stopped exercising so many times. Right now, I average running about once every other week and haven't lifted weights in years.

But I did get a treadmill and the other night, I actually used it. My plan is commit 20 minutes every evening for a vigorous walk. 20 minutes out of my day- that isn't too much to ask. Maybe I should rig the TV so the power is generated from the treadmill.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Anyone watch Desperate Housewives?

No? Bree, one of the characters on the show, checked herself into a psychiatric hospital because she was about to have a nervous breakdown. Are there any mental institutions recommendations? I'd like to be close to home, so my kids could come visit me.

Monday, May 22, 2006


Saturday morning, driving out of the neighborhood, my jaw dropped to the floor. One house completely burned to the ground and the one next to it was a burned out shell. The street is under construction and neither house was finished, therefore I am assuming no one was in either house. What terrifies me is that this is the next street over from us and we didn't hear a thing in the night!!

It is also terrifying that one is completely burned to the ground- how long did it take the county fire department to reach it? The blaze had to be visible from the main drag, so even if no one was leaving or entering the neighborhood, there must have been cars on the main road. There are some major disadvantages to not having city services and being at the mercy of the county. And was it arson? Is there an arsonist on the loose? In our neighborhood?


I'm tired, I'm cranky, and I want to go home. That's all I have to say. That and the weekend was great- can't wait for the next one.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Warning: growing experience ahead

It looks like it is official. I had a terrible experience several years ago working for two certain people in my department. In order for me to be a productive, happy employee I require a few simple things- responsibility and inclusion in the project. It is one of my biggest weaknesses, but I have to feel like what I am doing matters or I don't do it well.

It was 10 months of misery for me which was a downward spiral ending with me being completely unproductive and unsure of my abilities. And now they want me to work for one of the culprits. He is a control freak who redoes anything anyone else does. It is NEVER done to his standard of excellence. Every number must match to the thousandth decimal place, every 'i' dotted, and every 't' crossed. I understand that I am an engineer and I work with engineers and we do engineering, but it is not an exact science. We are estimating and using engineering judgment. That precision of accuracy adds nothing but introduces more room for error when you're redoing and redoing just to get it perfect.

So, I basically told the department that I will quit if I have to report to this person again. I am told I will be insulated, but I am preparing my resume.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006


Gift giving was always a big deal in my family. Not that the gifts were extravagant, but they were thoughtfully planned and presented. My husband's family, not so much. For the past 2 years, I have not received a birthday present or Mother's Day present. And for me, it's not about the material things in life, but the thought and effort that goes into a present is what is special.

I have tried explaining this before, but I guess I have not effectively communicated my needs. We did have a long discussion about it last night. Last year, I was angry for months. This time, I am trying to see things from his viewpoint and help him understand mine. I look at this as a growing experience for both of us and I think our lines of communication are improving. Amazing after 17 years together, we're still trying to understand each other.

I did receive a special belated birthday present from my dear friend Darkle. The candles are my favorite scent- honeysuckle. Every spring the honeysuckle would come out and fill the air with its delicious fragrance in the woods next to my house growing up. I love watching the candles flicker and the bubbles of wax rise up and the colors separating into this lovely cream and green when lit. But I love the candles mostly because of the thought and effort that went into making them.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Happy Mother's Day

Thursday night was the boy's baseball game and I had the day off on Friday. Hubby and I dropped the kids off at school and spent all day on the road. First stop was to the pediatrician to pick up a prescription, then to a notary to get some docs notarized, then to Brookshire to look at a metal building to use as a laundromat at the trailer park. Next we headed to the complete opposite side of town to meet with an architect. Stopped for lunch and then met my mom at one off her client's house to pick up her treadmill that she was giving away. Yeah! I have a new coat hanger! No, I'm going to use it - really. Starting, um, tomorrow.

Then we picked up the kids for swimming lessons. After swimming, we headed to Lupe Tortilla for the end of season baseball party. The boy got his trophy, which is the main reason he wants to play. Saturday morning hubby left for work and we went to the boy's last baseball game. It was bittersweet as it his last season of t-ball. Next fall he'll be in coach pitch.

Then the kids and I voted and went grocery shopping. We hung out at home for a few hours and then went shopping for mother's day. Went out to dinner with my folks and the day was over. On the way home, the boy informed me that he wanted to make me breakfast the next morning and asked how to make coffee. All sorts of images of broken glass and scalding coffee flashed through my mind. I told him that I would make it tonight and tell him which button to push the next morning.

At 6:15 am Sunday morning, I awoke to light in the kitchen and the sounds of little voices. I begged and pleaded to let me sleep a little longer. At 6:45, the boy walks in with a bowl of yogurt and coffee in a plastic cup. It was so sweet. And thankfully, no injuries. Then I opened all my gifts from the boy and cried.

The kids played with some puzzles and I went to work on my accounting for the trailer park and laundry. My mom picked up the girl and the boy and I headed over a few hours later to celebrate with the family. My mom had asked the girl if she wanted to get me a present and she got money out of her piggy bank and then she helped my mom wrap it.

It was a beautiful day and I always enjoy being around my extended family. We will have a delayed celebration with my mother-in-law when hubby's back in town. I am so fortunate to have two wonderful, loving, thoughtful children and I couldn't have asked for a better weekend.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Pick a letter

Comment on this entry and I will give you a letter. Write ten words beginning with that letter, including an explanation of what the word means to you and why. My letter, 'T', was given to me by Jo.

Tired - This is how I feel most days. Especially today since the boy was up most of the night. As for why- see the next word.

Terrible - The boy is badly sunburned after an outdoor birthday party last Sunday. I put sunscreen on him, but only put in on his face, arms, and neck. And he took his shirt off at the party- so this is how I feel when he woke up in the night because it itched and hurt.

Travel - I love to travel, although it has been sporadic at best since the second child was born and I went back to work full time.

T-ball - I love watching my son's t-ball games. It is one hour, once or twice a week that I can enjoy my children and relish in delight that they are still young, impressionable, and growing.

Train - Growing up, I knew that my father was an engineer. They don't make any cutsie kid books about chemical engineers, so the only engineer I knew about drove a train. I could not figure out why my dad didn't have to wear the striped uniform and hat to work.

Time - Something I will never have enough of.

Tenants - Tenants will eventually bring freedom and independence for my family. Call it the get rich slowly plan.

Tub - This is really bath tub, but it is a place that I find peace, serenity, and especially important while pregnant- a feeling of weightlessness. (And no, I'm not. Thank you for asking.)

Texas - The only place I have ever lived and where the majority of my family and friends live. It is home.

Trying - I am always trying. Trying to be a better person, trying to set a good example for my children, but many times just trying to get through the day intact.

Monday, May 08, 2006

IM world

It is a brave new world we live in. Within the past year few years, I finally joined the latest century and installed instant messaging on my computer. It is great to quickly ask (and receive) an answer when you're in the middle of working on a task. The reverse is true as well; it is a huge distraction when you're in the middle of working on a task.

It can also lead to bad habits such as not capitalizing anything or completely spelling out words. I have to stop and think when I am trying to type an email because my brain is in short hand mode. And I will never get used to grown men typing heehee, :) or any other emoticons. Sexist? Probably, but it still cracks me up.

Your turn!

What a week and weekend! Hubby was gone for 6 looooong days and finally got home last evening. We did have a fun filled weekend- Friday was swimming lessons and then hustled over to the ball field. The league hosted a cookout with a moonwalk and festivities. I served hot dogs and hamburgers for an hour and a half then the second shift finally arrived and I was able to watch the boy play ball.

Saturday, was a birthday party for the boy. The kids and I walked over and had a great time. Sunday was another birthday party for the boy and a friend and I dropped our boys off and took the little girls to a movie. In between the parties, I tried to catch up on laundry and dishes (something that will NEVER happen- the catching up part) and kept the kids entertained. I also tried to design house plans using 3D Home Architect. I definitely did not miss my calling, but it was fun anyways.

We had a good time, but I am so glad to be "off duty" for awhile!

Thursday, May 04, 2006

The plan

This is a rough outline of all the tasks we need to accomplish in the next 3 months, really for my benefit, since you really don't care, but since I can't think of anything else to blog about....

We are closing on the little, old house May 15th. The house was built in 1914 for the sugar factory workers. The house has since been remodeled (badly) several times, stripping the home of any original details. The house happens to be sitting on a beautiful lot, located in a transitional neighborhood that we love and we feel will aggressively grow in value.

The original plan was to sell our home, move into little, old house until we get our plans together to build. Unfortunately, there is a potential mold issue with the house and the inspector did not recommend us living there.

The little, old house
We have three options:
1) Tear it down. This is the option I like least as it does have a history and I would like to see it renovated and preserved.
2) Sell house and they can move it off our lot. We will consider this option, but only if we can get some money for it.
3) Buy a lot, move the little, old house and renovate it. Sell or rent. Obviously the most difficult and time consuming option, however this might be the most profitable.

Our house
Prepare house for sale. Sell and/or give away stuff we don't want to move. Rent a storage space. Sell or rent house.

New house
Find and hire an architect. Decide on plans. Decide on materials. Get construction loan. Find and hire and manage subs. Try not to get divorced. Build house. Try not to get divorced. Move into house and live happily ever after.

Depending on the timing of everything above, we may or may not have a place to live. I guess we will deal with that issue when we get to it.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

My rant for the day

If you send me an email and you actually want me to read it, do not send it with a yellow backgroud.

Wow- that's it. The only thing that has bothered me today. I must still be ill.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

5 days off

Not much new to report. We are under contract on the little, old house. It was inspected yesterday and basically, if it is wood and attached, it is rotten. Nice. Someone replaced the outlets with the three prong ones- only there is no grounding wiring. Even has the GFI outlets in the bathroom. They only look to be at code. The house is completely out of level and needs additional supports underneath. The roof is shot. The fireplace is lacking the fire box.

We have one of our rental properties under contract, and another we are hoping to be under contract within the next 30 days. Our neighbors might be interested in buying our house later this summer. One of the tenants in another house who is under a lease option is making great gains in her financial world and may be ready to buy the house this summer. That would leave us with only one rental and a trailer park.

We have started the planning process for the new house. We have agreed on a rough plan and have started reviewing interiors. We need to interview architects, put lists together for subs, start getting permits from the city, talk to moving companies, get permits for moving, buy a piece of land to move it to, and figure out where we will live in the interim. Because of the condition of the house- mold and rot, we won't be able to live in the little, old house with the asthmatic girl.

Sunday morning I woke up with whatever the girl had Thursday, only mine lasted 2 days with a fever. I took yesterday off and am still recovering today and probably will be the rest of the week.

My baby boy has 15 school days left of kindergarten. Then I will have a first grader.

So, not too much going on.