Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Time Out

Guess who's been getting put in "time out" quite a bit in the last few weeks.....

He's got blond curls, blue eyes and weighs about 25 pounds.

And he's not happy about it (the time out, not the blond hair and blue eyes):


Either that or he's trying to prove that he's somehow related to Nick Nolte:


I don't think there is any blood relation to the man, but the resemblance (ok, just the hair) is uncanny.

Monday, July 28, 2008

House Pictures (finally)

Thanks to Tory and Shannon for playing along with my Fun Fact Friday. I'm glad to know I'm not the only one with little idiosyncrasies. :)

And now to some pictures of our house. The walls are still pretty plain since hanging pictures is the last thing we have time for at the moment and you'll see some random boxes and items that don't seem to belong (like a humidifier in the dining room), but these should give you a good idea of how we are living now.

When you walk in the front door, on your left is the dining room:

(We like the color, but we're not so thrilled with the curtains)

To the right of the front door is the formal living room:



As you can see, the formal living room is also known as the play room. Again, not so thrilled with the curtains.

Walking toward the back of the house, there is the kitchen:

(View from the bar)

(View from the breakfast room)

And then the breakfast room:


Here's the family room:

(View from the kitchen area)

(View from the back door)

The master connects to the family room:

(View from the door)

(View from the back of the room. And I'm aware that the rocking chairs look quite awkward...we're still trying to figure out where to put those)

And connected to the master bedroom, is, of course, the master bath:


(My absolute favorite part of our master suite)

I'm still working on getting pictures of the kids' rooms. The only one that is halfway put together is Sydney's room and it is in a constant state of total disarray so I have no pictures that I'm willing to share. Once all of the furniture and wall hangings are in place in their rooms (Evan doesn't even have a crib yet!) then I'll post some pictures.

Friday, July 25, 2008

I'm Totally Stealing the "Fun Fact Friday" Idea

Like the title states, I'm totally going to steal Erica's Fun Fact Friday idea. Of course, I think she stole it from someone else, so I don't feel all that guilty about it.

But first, I wanted to say thanks for all the compliments on the new hair-do. With each passing day, it looks more and more like Gwyneth's from "Sliding Doors". I don't know if I'm actually learning how to do it or if I'm just kidding myself. Either way, *I* don't have a crew of ten people working on my hair and makeup everyday like she did for the movie, so I know it won't be perfect. And I agree with Shannon, it does look like Kate's from Jon & Kate Plus Eight. In fact, I looked for a picture of her hair and couldn't find one that I liked, so I went with Gwyneth's instead.

And now on to the facts!

1. I'm a picky drinker. I'll eat pretty much anything you put in front of me, but I only drink water, milk, Sprite and root beer. I don't like juice (except for an occasional glass of cran-grape juice), tea or coffee. And thanks to back to back pregnancies, I don't drink anything with caffeine or alcohol, either.

2. I once drove through a tornado. I was driving back home from the beauty shop after having my hair done for my senior prom when I drove through a huge gust of wind and rain. Then a tree fell in front of my car. It turns out that a tornado literally travelled down the same road I was on and I drove right through it. Sadly, two people died in the mobile home community that I passed about thirty seconds before the tornado hit it.

3. I taught about 600 students in my five years as a geography teacher. Only two were shorter than me.

4. I cannot read a road map to save my life. I taught GEOGRAPHY and I cannot read a road map. How sad is that?

5. I have a slight obsession with Colin Firth. I'll watch anything he's in. Anything. I cannot stand musicals (look! two facts in one!), but when this comes out on DVD, I think I'll rent it.

Well, there you go. Five fun (well, more weird than fun) things about me. How about you? Any fun facts I should know about you?

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

File Under "W".....

....for "What was I thinking?"

Every now and then, I get the urge to chop off my hair. I got such an urge last week. So I found a picture that I liked and took it to my hairdresser.

Before I went in, I looked like this:



I wanted to look like this.

Here is what I look like now:



I apologize for the fuzziness - with our camera, it's kind of hard to take a picture of yourself without the flash that doesn't turn out fuzzy.

Anyway, I don't think it looks all that bad, but, it takes me forever took make it look decent. And by forever I mean twenty to thirty minutes which may not seem that long, but to a mom with three kids, two of whom are under two, I don't have that much time.

But, I'm working on it and I'm developing a system. Granted, the system involves getting up with the chickens to have an extra twenty minutes each morning. But, every day it starts to look a little bit more like Gwyneth's hair so I know I'll eventually get there.

And a funny side note to the new haircut: my sister also got her hair cut last week and her new "do" looks eerily similar to mine. Weird, huh?

Liam also got his very first haircut.

Here's what he looked like before:


(Look at the curls!!!!!)

Here's what he looked like during (with a mouthful of goldfish crackers):


And here's what he looks like now:

(I know it's not a close-up, but if I zoomed in anymore, he'd be really fuzzy.)

Thankfully, he still has most of his curls, but I know that when he's a little bit older, we'll have to go with a much shorter hair-do for him.

And I have a feeling that I'll be collecting all those chopped-off little curls to keep in his baby book (I already saved a few from this haircut). He may not care when he's older, but I bet his future wife will ooh and ahh over them.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Retraction (Kinda)

So Ryan pointed out that my language in last night's post was, in his words, rather strong. And he's correct.

I wrote it rather hastily while the computer battery was dying and Evan was fussing for his next meal so the amount of time I had to proofread it was nil. From now on, if I don't have time to proofread then I'll save the entry and post it later.

Anyway, the situation is not as dire as I made it sound in the post. Simply put, we've had variations of the same argument for many years now (with another installment last night) and I simply wanted someone else's take on the issue of chore sharing and/or nagging.

A big thanks to Mommy Daisy and Alli for their input. At least I'm not alone in my frustrations over household issues.

And apparently none of my other readers (I *think* I have more than two) have this issue in their homes - lucky people!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Quick Poll - PLEASE Respond

Quick poll, everyone. Your answers may affect the outcome of my marriage.

1. On average, how many times do you have to ask your spouse to do a chore/"honey do" item?
2. How quickly do you expect said chore to be completed after asking the FIRST time?
3. If you have to ask more than once, do you or your spouse consider that to be "nagging"?

Your responses will most likely provide ammunition for one of us in an ongoing "discussion" that we've been having since we got married. You may respond anonymously if you prefer.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The Opposite of Wordless Wednesday - Preschool Edition

If you regularly read blogs, you know that Wednesday is often filled with "Wordless Wednesday" posts or posts with nothing but a picture or two. Well, this post is FULL of words so be prepared!

A while back, Mommy Daisy asked some questions about preschool. It's taken me so long to get to them, I'd be surprised if her son wasn't already enrolled in kindergarten!

First, you have to know the background information. The neighborhood we lived in is full of highly educated, middle to upper-middle class families who are all competing for kindergarten spots in either very exclusive private schools or one of the two decent public schools in the neighborhood. And, in order to get into one of these great schools, the kids had to take and not just pass, but do REALLY well on an exam the year before kindergarten. Therefore, like everyone else, we had to put Sydney into a preschool program that would prepare her for this test. And to get into a good preschool program, we had to put her in a program VERY early (like the age of two) to ensure a spot when she was four. Crazy, I know, but that's how it works in the big city.

So, after hunting around and doing some research, we settled on a school that was just a few blocks from our house. We put her in their "Mother's Day Out" program when she was 28 months old. She went Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8:30 to 2:30. This particular program was at a school that was actually a daycare that happened to have a Mother's Day Out program and a preschool program as well. While most of their students were daycare kids who were there all day, every day, Sydney was only there a 12 hours a week which worked perfectly for us. She got some socialization and I got time to run errands. Outings like getting your teeth cleaned are just easier when you don't have a toddler around. :)

She was in this Tues/Thurs program for two years (including summers) and she learned a lot. I highly doubt that I could have done a better job. Plus, having been in their MDO program, she was eligible for their highly acclaimed preschool program when she turned four. Nearly every child that went through the preschool aced the kindergarten entrance exam allowing them to go to the "good" elementary schools.

Her preschool has been fabulous. She has learned a ton and can now read and write small words and can do simple math. She is a lot smarter than I was when I started kindergarten, that's for sure. As for the kindergarten entrance test....well, she never took it. We decided to move before her test date rolled around and just decided to not put her through it. I think (and her teachers agree) that she would have aced it with no problems whatsoever. Plus, after receiving the news that she was 35th on the waiting list for the school we wanted, we really decided moving was our best option seeing as how we were NOT going to enroll her in the school we were zoned to. Ironically, the morning after we closed on our new house in The Land of Fruit, I got the call that a spot opened up for her at the school we wanted. Oh, well.

But, the preschool does not come without issues. First, it is REALLY expensive. Like more per month than our mortgage expensive. Craziness. Second, seeing as it doubles as the preschool and daycare for the full time kids, Sydney was basically forced to go full time (Monday-Friday, 8-5) to be accepted into it. She doesn't have a lot of time at home during the week and I basically see her for breakfast, dinner, bath and bedtime. Third, we've had some minor gripes with their policies and procedures, but I'm sure we would have run into similar situations at any other place we'd chosen.

We had lots of choices when looking at schools. Our church has a wonderful MDO and preschool as well and we seriously considered it. Our biggest reason for not choosing it was that I didn't like how the two day program was Monday/Tuesday rather than Tuesday/Thursday. Don't ask me why I preferred the Tues/Thurs, I just did. I'm weird that way.

Also, her school, being in a very liberal neighborhood, is quite diverse. She has had classmates from varying ethnic and religious backgrounds which I think has been good for her. Had she gone to the school at our church, I don't think she would have been exposed to as much cultural diversity. Of course, I would have been able to avoid the conversation about a classmate having two mommies, too. That was a doozy. Try explaining same-sex households to a three year old!

Liam will be going to a MDO at my sister's church this coming fall. He'll be 21 months old and I think it will be good for him (and me). He'll get to play with some kids his own age and I'll get some time alone with Evan, who, sadly, has not had me all to himself much yet. I'm hoping that Liam's MDO will be a perfect fit for him just like Sydney's school was for her, especially since having him in it for MDO ensures a spot for him in their preschool program.

If you're interested in putting your child in a preschool when they turn four, you probably need to research the best way to ensure a spot for them. Just like us, you may have to enroll them at three or even two to get a spot for a couple of years down the line. Around here, most schools take applications in February for the following August or September, so if even if you're not ready to enroll them in February, think about how you'll feel in six months because by the time the actual school year arrives, it's usually too late to enroll.

Whew! Did I answer everything?

And, to go along with Wordless Wednesday, here are some pictures of Superhero Sydney (they are currently discussing superheroes at school).



Apparently, running fast is her superpower (pay no attention to our messy living room, please):


Monday, July 14, 2008

Worth Every Penny

Have you received your economic stimulus check? We got ours and we actually spent it. Guess what we bought (well, we didn't exactly BUY it, but we did use the money to pay for it)......

I'll give you a few hints:
1) It currently weighs 11 pounds, 10 ounces.
2) It has grown 3.5 inches in 8 weeks.
3) It sleeps 6-7 hours at night.

Did you figure it out yet?


Maybe this will help:


So what did you buy with your check?

Friday, July 11, 2008

Better Late Than Never

I am WAY behind on posting pictures. In my defense, however, we DID just move. It's taken me a while to find all the computer equipment and I do have a baby and a toddler to watch/entertain/feed all day. Plus, said baby insists on being held 23 out of every 24 hours and typing one handed is not my forte.

Anyway, here's a summary of the last few weeks in pictures:

Our trip to San Antonio with my parents and my sister and her family:






Sydney and Liam having fun with the moving truck:


Our 4th of July:





And a couple of random pictures:



(This last one is Liam after feeding himself banana pudding. Very yummy. Very messy.)

There! That should do for now.

Pictures of the house coming soon, I promise. I refuse to post pictures of rooms still in total disarray so it'll be another week or so. But they're coming. I promise.

Also, Mommy Daisy's pre-school questions will be answered in the next week, too. Promise.

Think I said "promise" enough in this post?

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Je n'aime pas la Tour de France

Translated (for those, like me, who know more Spanish than French):

"I don't like the Tour de France."

In case you've been living in a cave for the last several years, you know that the Tour de France is a month long cycling race throughout, you guessed it, France. "Who cares?" you might ask. Well, my husband for one.

He is really into cycling and that's fine because it's great exercise and someday (fingers crossed), we might be able to do a small bike tour of part of Ireland. On a tandem bike, of course, so that he can do most of the work and I can just enjoy the scenery.

Anyway, I don't like "The Tour" as it's known in our house because despite the beautiful scenery shown during the coverage of the race, watching it is more boring than watching golf and tennis COMBINED. Really. Seriously. Boring.

And what's even worse is that there are several hours of coverage EACH day for an ENTIRE month. The new DVR I'm so in love with? Well, it's primary purpose thus far is recording The Tour. Hours and hours of it. And since we have the basic DVR, I can't watch anything else while it's recording. Well, I can watch something that's already recorded, but I can hardly record anything because The Tour is ALWAYS on (I'm not kidding - four hours of coverage shown three to four times each day). It's a Catch-22 thing.

Why not watch less TV you ask? Good question. Here's why (you didn't think I'd pose such a question without already having answers in mind, did you?):

Reason #1: It's a hundred degrees outside and I have two small children (the third is at school). We can only spend so much time outside before we melt.

Reason #2: I am not coordinated enough to be able to read and nurse Evan at the same time so what else is there to do besides watch TV for 20-30 minutes every 2.5-3 hours? And since Liam insists on sitting in my lap while I'm nursing Evan, it's really impossible to read.

Reason #3: I will admit that I use it to distract Liam while I unpack a box or two at a time. There, I've said it. I use TV as a babysitter occasionally.

I will be so happy when July is over. I'll get my TV back and I can finally say, "Au revoir, la Tour de France."

At least until next July.

Sunday, July 6, 2008


Scene: Our house, 7:45 am on a Tuesday. Ryan and Sydney need to leave in ten minutes for school and work.

Me: Sydney, will you please go get dressed? This is the FIFTH time I've had to ask you to get dressed.

Sydney: No, it isn't. It's only the fourth time.


Scene: Our house, 24 hours later.

Me: How many times do I have to ask you to get dressed?

Sydney: A hundred.


Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Clint Eastwood Wrote This Post

The Good:
1. We're all moved in. Thanks to family and friends, all of our stuff (two U-Haul's worth) made it to our house in the Land of Fruit by 11:30 am on Saturday.
2. Most of our boxes are unpacked and the stuff inside has been put away.
3. My sister was nice enough to let us stay at her house for two days while we waited for our water to be turned on (see Item #2 in the "Bad" section below).
4. Our neighbors seem really nice. One of them let us use his hose so that we could get water to fill our toilets while waiting for water. He and his wife even offered to let us use their shower.
5. Liam loves playing in the yard and running through the sprinkler. This was not possible at our old house.
6. The pediatrician called in some new medicine to combat Evan's goopy eye (see Item #5 in the "Bad" section).
7. Evan slept from midnight until 6 am the first night in our house. Six hours in a row. I haven't seen that much sleep since last September.
8. We are LOVING our new DVR. We realize that we are the last people in America to get one. Now we know why everyone raves about them.

The Bad:
1. The longer commute has Ryan (and Sydney) leaving at 7 am and getting home at 6:30. This makes for one VERY long day for me.
2. Despite having water for three weeks between closing and the Tuesday before our move, we discovered that the water had been turned off right before Saturday. And the emergency crew couldn't turn it back on for us until Monday. Some emergency crew.
3. We had to pay an extra $100 to have the water turned on for "Same Day Service" on Monday. They didn't turn it on until 5:01 pm. They were 28 minutes away from getting a nasty phone call.
4. For some reason, the rear right tire on my van is slowly leaking air and we have to fill it every five days or so. Annoying.
5. Evan's eye goop has gotten worse in the past few weeks. Despite an antibiotic eye drop (and a refill of said drop), his eyes continue to fill with yellow/green goop. Pretty gross.
6. I spent three days inside my parents' time share in San Antonio due to a horrendous case of hives. I looked like something out of a really bad sci-fi movie. Cause is still unknown.

The Ugly:
1. Some jerk broke into our old house the day after we moved out. Which means he'd been watching us and knew the house was vacant. Creepy. Luckily, he didn't get anything because we'd moved everything out.
2. I had a lead on a renter for our old house, but she lost interest after I rescheduled the showing of the house for next week due to the break-in and subsequent shattered window.

Pictures of the house will appear soon. I'm still searching for the USB cord to load them onto the computer. Who knows which box that's in!

Happy 4th of July!!!