Saturday, June 30, 2007

Not a Total Washout

Trying to avoid what seemed like the 50th day in a row of rain, we decided to head west on Wednesday for a "mini-break" (as Bridget Jones would call it) in San Antonio. After all, central/west Texas is supposed to have less precipitation and humidity than here. Unfortunately, the rain found us.

We stayed here with my parents at their timeshare. Ryan, Sydney and my niece, Laura, spent Wednesday afternoon out in the fabulous pools and had a blast. But then it started raining and raining and then it rained some more. Instead of going to SeaWorld on Thursday, we stayed inside the condo playing games and watching TV (mostly the Weather Channel thanks to my dad....what is it about retired people and the Weather Channel?).

The icky weather let up late Thursday afternoon so we did venture back out to the pools and although the rain had chilled the water to a crisp 72 degrees (or something equally chilly), we still had fun.

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Here's Sydney and her new pink goggles purchased just for our vacation.

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Here's Liam (being held by my mom) testing out the water. He had a blast splashing up a storm.

The water slides weren't running so we took a trip down the "Lazy River" and had some races. We decided it was time to head in when Sydney couldn't stop chattering her teeth and my lips and fingertips turned blue.

By the time Ryan and I went back later that evening to check out the awesome hot tubs, the "river" water had warmed considerably and we had fun enjoying our time without children.

Despite the weather, we had a really great time. I can't wait to go back and it looks like my wish will come true since my parents are hoping to make trips there an annual family tradition. I just hope I get to work on my tan a little bit more next year.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007


We currently have a guest in our attic of the four-legged persuasion. He/she popped in without a reservation early this morning (hence the early time post on this entry) and suffice it to say that it is an unwelcome guest. It is also a mysterious guest since we don't exactly know what species it belongs to. I'm thinking raccoon since it sounds quite large and bumbly as it knocks things over. It's either that or a possum (or opossum, whatever....the "o" is silent anyway) since we've had both take up residence in our attic before.

Normally, this is isn't a big deal since
a) we have a humane trap that we can use to catch and release such little critters, and
b) we're home to make use of said trap.

But, the reasons for the "Argh!" above are:
a) I loaned the trap to a friend who was having similar issues and she still has it, and
b) we're leaving later this morning for San Antonio for a short vacation.

While I'm looking forward to our "mini-break", I am not looking forward to coming home and discovering the havoc wreaked in our attic by our unwelcome visitor. I'm hoping my obsession with storing everything in plastic totes will spare the majority of our belongings, but you never know....those raccoons can be sneaky.

Wish us luck.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Old Woman Meme

Erica tagged me for the "When I'm an Old Woman" meme. Here goes:

When I'm an old woman, I hope to:

-Have a house decorated in pictures from our European travels.
-Putter around the house with Ryan.
-Get along with my daughter-in-law.
-Embrace change and new technology.
-Have a giant vegetable garden.

When I'm an old woman, I will NOT:

-Dye my hair bluish purple.
-Butt into my children's lives.
-Tell young mothers in the grocery store to put socks on their babies.
-Wear giant, post-cataract surgery sunglasses more than two days after said surgery.
-Feel sorry for myself.

Unfortunately, I have no one to tag for this since the women I know who read this do not have blogs of their own and I'm pretty sure Ryan, Shiran and Matt would not know what to say about being an old woman! Feel free to leave your own lists in the comments section, though!

Friday, June 22, 2007


Someone please explain to me how Liam can sleep straight through the loudest, longest thunderstorm we've had in a year but wakes up if anyone walks anywhere near his (our) room.

The other night, we had a huge thunderstorm move through at 2 am. It woke the rest of us up but Liam slept right through it. Not one peep from him.

But if anyone goes near his crib (especially during nap time), he wakes up. Tip-toeing does not help and heaven forbid he sees you and then you duck out of his line of sight. Major meltdown.

Sometimes, I think he has the hearing abilities of a bat. He just sends out little pulses and knows if somone is nearby when those pulses bounce back. That would explain why thunder doesn't wake him up; there's no physical entity to bounce those little pulses off of.

We had planned to move him into Sydney's room sometime next month, but I'm afraid that he'll start waking up at night again. And heaven knows we don't need two children awake in the middle of the night.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Vegging Out

Our new diet requires us to eat a lot of vegetables. Suffice it to say that I am not a big fan of them. Never have been. But, since both of us agreed to really give the diet a shot, I have been trying to eat more of them.

Before the diet, our vegetable selection included green beans, broccoli, spinach, onions, corn and potatoes. We sparingly ate celery, eggplant, peas and carrots. In other words, a very limited variety. But things have changed around here.

After falling in love with the local farmers' market, we have been expanding our veggie horizons. In addition to those listed above, we also now eat asparagus, sweet potatoes, squash (summer, acorn and spaghetti varieties), zucchini, cucumbers and the like. I'm still working up the nerve to try turnips and collard greens. I have no idea how to cook those or artichokes. But I'll figure it out.

Tonight we tried butter beans, the lima bean's younger, sweeter sister. They turned out really well. My grandmother would have been proud of me since those were always a staple on her table. Of course, I cooked them with olive oil and chicken broth instead of lard and a ham hock so they didn't taste quite as good as I remembered.

Later this week we're trying okra. The only way I've ever had okra is fried and that method is definitely not on the diet. I pulled up one of my favorite cooking sites, allrecipes, and found a recipe for Indian okra (as in the country of India, not the Native American people). I'm going to pair it with a fabulous cucumber/yogurt dip that our friend David shared with us and spicy baked chicken breasts. I sure hope it turns out well; otherwise, okra will be relegated back to its status as a side dish for barbecue or a gumbo ingredient.

Even after trying all of these new-found vegetables I'm still not thrilled with them, but I know that they are good for us. And we're teaching our kids to be healthy eaters. With any luck, they'll grow up to be the dorks who choose to eat the traditional cafeteria food (rather than pizza, hamburgers and tacos) when they go off to college.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Awkward Moments

I knew the day would come when Sydney said something (or asked something) in public that was completely innocent on her part, but very embarrassing on my part. It's natural for kids to be curious about everything and ask questions to learn about them. Normally, this is just fine and Ryan and I try to be as honest as possible in answering her questions on a level that she'll understand. Lately, however, these questions and statements have been voiced in public and I'm afraid that I'm not quite practiced in the art of "shushing, explaining and apologizing all at once."

A few weeks ago, we went to the library and the man behind us in the checkout line was wearing overalls, a floppy hat and work boots. She asked, "Mommy, why is there a farmer in the library?" Luckily, the gentleman was quite amused as I explained that everyone likes to read, even farmers (and cowboys and policemen, etc).

However, while out eating barbeque for Father's Day this past weekend, Sydney noticed a rather heavyset woman getting up to get a refill on her drink. Just as the lady passed our table, Sydney said, "That lady's so big she can't fit in a car!" I turned five shades of red and told her that was not a nice thing to say. I explained that people come in all shapes and sizes and then quickly changed the subject. While I know she didn't intend for it to be mean since she was saying something a typical four year old would say, I still wanted to crawl under the table and never come out.

It's always easier to handle things like this in private. On the way home from school one day, she informed me that one of her classmates has two mommies. Living in a very liberal neighborhood, this actually does not surprise me. I explained that some families have a mommy and a daddy, some have two mommies or two daddies and some may have just a mommy or aunt or grandma. This seemed to satisfy her curiosity, but it sure was easier to handle this conversation within the confines of the car.

I know that we've just hit the tip of the iceberg in the "embarrassing comment/question" department. I've just got to figure out a way to handle these moments with wisdom and grace, if such a thing is even possible.

Thursday, June 14, 2007


Proof that "YOU on a Diet" works:

1. I now weigh less than I did when Ryan and I got married 6.5 years ago.

And, more importantly

2. Ryan's cholesterol is down over 50 points since the last time he had it checked.

Eating oatmeal every morning and cutting soda out of our diets (among other things) was tough, but definitely worth it!!!!!

Plus, I now have a real excuse (since I'm a total coward) for not donating blood: I don't weigh enough!!!!

Monday, June 11, 2007

More Chocolate

Here are some pictures of the truffles I made for Sydney's party:

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The ones in white wrappers are plain and the ones in pink wrappers have just a hint of raspberry flavoring.

After researching local pricing on chocolate, I discovered that most places in the area charge about $1.50 per truffle! I simply cannot believe what people will pay for some things!

Thursday, June 7, 2007

To Whom it May Concern.....

Dear Baby Food Manufacturers,

I am convinced that you are part of the reason why today's children are overweight. Have you seen what you put in your baby food? Since when is it appropriate to give dessert to a 7 month old? Children, especially infants and toddlers, are very impressionable and when you market "apple pie in a jar" to them you are encouraging and establishing a lifetime of unhealthy eating habits.

Granted, you have a cutsier name for it than "apple pie in a jar", but that is essentially what it is. The first ingredient is indeed a fruit, but the subsequent ones include sugar and high fructose corn syrup; if this is not the definition of a dessert, then I do not know what is. And when your website calls such a product (and those like it) one of the required daily fruit servings, I get quite upset.

When I know that my baby's stomach is about the size of a strawberry and fills very quickly, why would I intentionally fill it with something so sugary? Would you sit down and eat an entire dish of peach cobbler in one sitting and call it a meal? Wait, don't answer that. You probably do engage in such behavior and while it is appropriate to do so on say, Thanksgiving, it is not appropriate to do so the other 364 days each year.

Therefore, while I appreciate your efforts to manufacture "healthy, well-balanced" food for my child, I think I will continue to make it myself. At least I'll know that any future ADD/ADHD behavior is genetic and not sugar-induced.

A Concerned Mom

Monday, June 4, 2007

Good Cop, Bad Cop

After a two week break from preschool, I have about hit my "Sydney limit." Don't get me wrong, I love my daughter with all my heart, but good grief, there has not been one moment of silence in our house (other than when she's asleep) for the last 19 days.

So, having met my quota of Sydney time, I let (okay, forced) Ryan to take the reins this past weekend while I cleaned, worked in the yard and prepared for Vacation Bible School. I couldn't completely escape since I have to be around to feed Liam, but I did my best to stay scarce and enjoy some blissful silence.

I did, however, overhear many conversations between Sydney and Ryan (with some squealing contributions from Liam). I was both amazed and perplexed to hear her speak to Ryan quite rudely several times. "Please" and "thank you" seemed to have escaped her vocabulary sometime between Friday and Sunday evenings. Not once did Ryan correct her behavior and I didn't interfere so that I could fully observe our daughter's lack of manners.

I finally hit my limit Sunday evening and forced her to apologize to Ryan for a weekend of what bordered on pint-sized verbal abuse. When I asked Ryan why he didn't correct her or put her in time out, he said that it didn't really bother him and that it takes a lot for him to lose his temper with her. No kidding.

Deep down, I've always known that I'd be the disciplinarian in our household, but I guess it just sunk in a little more this weekend. It's not that I constantly correct her behavior, but I guess I just put up with a lot less than Ryan does. Maybe it's the teacher in me or the military upbringing, but I have pretty high expectations when it comes to the behavior of my children.

So I'm the "bad cop" in our house. Maybe I can just be a semi-bad cop with a southern drawl like Kyra Sedgwick on The Closer . Or maybe I can be a hot semi-bad cop like Mariska Hargitay on SVU . As long as I don't end up as crazy as this cop, I think Sydney will live to see her fifth birthday.

Friday, June 1, 2007

My Muppet Persona

Deep down, I always knew I was a nerd....

You Are Scooter

Brainy and knowledgable, you are the perfect sidekick.
You're always willing to lend a helping hand.
In any big event or party, you're the one who keeps things going.
"15 seconds to showtime!"