Friday, September 26, 2008

Odds and Ends

Another post of random things that do not warrant a post of their own....

* Sydney bought her lunch at school for the first time today. She was so excited, especially since she had to wait out the two week "Ike Break" to do it. She had rectangular cheese pizza (just like I did growing up), a fruit cup, veggies dipped in peanut butter (ick) and chocolate milk (a huge treat for her). She gets to buy her lunch once a month (because it costs $2.25 and we consider that highway robbery for a school lunch) and she's already excited about doing it again next month.

* We had the state child development agency come out today to evaluate Liam's speech. He'll have a more formal evaluation next month to decide whether or not he needs speech therapy. I'm thinking he will need it because he's just now mimicking sounds and making animal sounds consistently. He'll be two in November and has a working vocabulary of about 12 words which is not enough according to the "standards."

* Evan's eye is still goopy. The poor boy has had the goopy eye since he was a week old and the series of antibiotic drops we've been giving him just didn't do the trick. So we're headed to the pediatric opthamologist next month to have his tear ducts surgically opened. Needless to say I'm a bit freaked out, but Shelly over at Scenic Overlook eased my fears by sharing her daughter's tear duct opening experience with me. Thanks Shelly!

* We might go to Disney World next summer. We haven't taken a family vacation in what seems like forever and we really want to go there before Sydney completely outgrows her love of princesses. Anyone have any $$$$ they want to donate to the cause?

* I just finished the "Twilight" series by Stephenie Meyer. Between it and the new HBO show "True Blood", I think I've had my fill of vampire lore.

* Halloween update: Sydney wants to be a bride (which is apparently one step above princess in her five year old mind), Evan is going to wear the same pumpkin outfit Sydney did when she was six months old, and Liam? We have no idea. We're going to see if the dragon costume Sydney wore when she was 18 months will fit him.

* We've decided to go "meatless" two nights a week at dinnertime. It saves money and is healthier. Anyone have any great vegetarian recipes to share?

Thursday, September 25, 2008


Supposedly, school will re-open tomorrow! Whoopeeee!!!!!!

All of us are losing our minds (and patience) around here. I absolutely cannot get anything done with three kids home all day. When it's just two of them, I can manage somewhat, but with three....forget it. At least Liam and Evan take naps and I get a bit of break, but with Sydney here all day, I get absolutely no break at all. And my ears don't get a break, either.

Take this morning when I tried to do yoga while all three were awake. I had DVR'd a 30 minute yoga workout and attempted to do it before we got our day started. No such luck. At first, Evan was in his bouncer perfectly happy and Sydney and Liam tried to do it with me, which was cute and definitely not annoying. But then Evan fussed, so I had to re-insert the pacifier several times so I missed several poses and lost my momentum. Liam got bored and started playing with some old Mardi Gras beads and Sydney whined (oh the whining I've heard the last two weeks!) because she couldn't do the poses correctly. I paused it to help her achieve "Downward Dog". Then I had to stop and skip through the commercials to get to the next routine. Sydney and Liam started arguing over the beads and then Sydney got all tangled up in them. None of this was conducive to the relaxation I usually feel during yoga and I realized why people go to some sort of childless class to do yoga: it's impossible to do with children around!

Anyway, with Sydney back in school tomorrow and hopefully Liam back in his Mother's Day Out program next week, we can get back to normal around here. All I know is that these past two weeks were near torturous which does not bode well for next summer.

Monday, September 22, 2008


Please, oh please, let school (Sydney's and Liam's) resume tomorrow. We have played every game we have 206 times each, read every book we own, assembled puzzles, gone to the pediatrician, gone shopping, played with bubbles, painted, raked the yard, had pillow fights, played in the baby pool and watched more TV than I care to admit. If school does not start soon, we're all going to lose it.

As a teacher, I laughed at the parents who were chomping at the bit for school to start up again. And now I can completely relate.

Pretty please with a cherry on top?

Friday, September 19, 2008

Our Ike Story

We spent Friday preparing for Ike. Ryan made sure the generator was operational and filled our gas cans. He also managed to fit both vehicles in the garage (I was quite impressed). I did several loads of laundry just in case we were without power for a few days and then counted and recounted our bottles of water and non-perishable food products.

About 2 pm, a gentle breeze rolled in. By 6 pm, the winds began to pick up. We let the kids play outside for a while to get out all the energy they'd accumulated from the frenzy of the day:




We bathed them and put them to bed at their normal times and began to brace ourselves for what was about to come. I frantically cleared out the floor of our master bedroom closet and built a little palette for us "just in case." Ryan laughed at me and said we were so stereotypical: he worried about the house (provider) and I worried about the kids (nurturer).

The power went out about 8:45. We closed our blinds quite tightly in hopes that they would stop flying glass and sat down in the front room to watch the storm come in (stupid, I know, but the wind was coming from the other direction). Our trees began to sway and thrash about. When one of the shrubs began to hit the window, I decided that I'd had enough and went to bed.

We'd given Sydney a flashlight (which made her feel really grown up) and she had placed it under her pillow so that she could come get us if she got scared. She called for us about midnight when the wind really began to howl. Ryan grabbed Liam, I grabbed Evan and all five of us crammed into our closet (the only windowless place in our house). Sydney clutched her pink bear and flashlight. Liam looked scared. Evan awoke just enough to realize that he hadn't eaten in three hours.

Thankfully, the kids all went to sleep. I slept fitfully as I listened to the wind. Each gust made me cringe. Debris continuously hit the windows and roof and I imagined the shingles being peeled away in sheets. I listened for the sound of shattering glass, but thankfully I never heard it. All I heard was wind, Sydney's snores, Liam's Maggie Simpson-esque pacifier sucking and Evan's sweet little breaths.

Ryan couldn't take the claustrophobic conditions and climbed back into bed leaving me with the kids (which was fine with me). Liam, who hasn't gotten the hang of sleeping in one spot yet, had scooted down and had his feet resting on my back. Sydney's feet were two inches from the back of my head. Evan was nestled at my front so that I could feed him easily. I cried in silence so that I wouldn't wake the kids. I prayed for the safety of my babies. I prayed that our house would not sustain too much damage. On a lighter note, I also prayed that the overwhelming smell of feet and shoes (since we were on the floor of our closet where our shoe collections had been just hours before) didn't cause me to pass out. I wished that I had sprayed some Febreze in there before building our palette.

It was the longest night of my life. I think I slept a total of about three hours.

The kids woke up a little bit before seven and we tentatively made our way through the dark house to the kitchen. The wind was still quite violent so we hesitated to open the blinds too much, but we did peek to see that our trees were still standing and the fence was still up. Ryan checked each room looking for water but found none.

We were able to venture back outside about 2 pm, so for us, Ike was a 24 hour storm, with the twelve hour mark being the worst. We had several large limbs down and enough yard debris to fill nine huge garbage bags. Several neighbors lost their wooden fences and we saw a couple of uprooted trees down the street.

(Our front yard)

(Sydney and Liam on our walk down the street)

The shingles we found in our yard turned out to be ours so Ryan spent a couple of hours reattaching them to the roof. Overall, we were lucky and we know it. We're definitely a lot luckier than the little bird we found next to our front door. Poor thing looked like it had been thrown from its nest in our front yard's tree. It didn't have a chance.

Many people did not fare as well as we did. Ryan's coworker who lives just a few blocks away had his roof collapse and then the second floor collapsed onto the first. My in-laws had a tree fall on their chimney. My parents' house is fine, but they will most likely be without power for another week or two. My sister is without power as well. Like I said, we are very lucky.

Sydney was out of school all week while we waited for power to be restored to the schools. As of right now, only 6 of the districts 30 schools have power so who knows when she'll get to go back.

Anyway, that's our story. If you've watched the news at all in the last week then I'm sure you've heard a hundred more, but each one is unique. I'm just glad that our story had a happier ending than most.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


Well, we survived Hurricane Ike with minimal damage to our houses (the one we currently live in and our former one that will be rented out). The storm itself was very frightening and our days without power wore us out.

I'll post more when I'm not exhausted, but I just wanted to let everyone know we're fine.

Thank you to everyone who included us in their prayers; please continue to pray for those who lost their homes and those still without power which is torture when it's September in Houston.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Hunker Down

Well, we decided to stay in our home and ride Ike out. The storm has tracked east a bit so it's no longer moving straight up the freeway that we live near. It's now headed for Galveston and straight north from there so we'll most definitely get some very heavy wind and rain, but it doesn't seem as dire as it did yesterday.

We thought about staying in my parents' house while they are on vacation (they even called from Alaska to encourage us to do so), but since the storm has moved, they are more in the path of the "dirty side of the storm" than we are. Ryan headed there early this morning to empty their fridge and freezer since their electricity will most definitely go out and stay out for days (even weeks) and to steal their generator. We figure they're not home so they don't need it anyway, right? :) Of course, when they get home on Monday, they may be surprised to find no food in their house!

Thank you to everyone who has added us and all those in Ike's path to their prayers. And I am blown away by the people who have offered up their homes to us as a refuge. I am truly astonished at the kindness of people that I've never met in real life. Despite the impending storm, I feel truly blessed.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Freaking Out

I am seriously freaking out about Hurricane Ike.

Should we stay? Should we go? Where do we go? What do we take with us?

If it were just Ryan and I, we'd ride it out. But now we have three little human beings who depend on us for everything. Absolutely everything, safety included.

Sometimes I think I'm not grown up enough to be able to handle situations like this and I just want to run to my parents for help and advice. But I can't because they are on vacation in Alaska which is about as far away as is possible. Too bad we can't evacuate to Alaska, huh?

So say a prayer for us (and everyone else in the path of the storm), okay?

I think we're going to need all the prayers we can get.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The Latest Sydneyisms

I haven't posted Sydneyisms in a while. Here a few from the last couple of weeks.


When she saw that the DVR was taping "The Tour of Ireland" (another cycling race): "Daaaaad-dy, stop recording recycling!"

Wouldn't that be funny to watch? "Watch as the contestant separates the glass and plastic articles in the bin. Will that empty spaghetti sauce jar break? Is that a Class 4 or 5 plastic container? Wow - how many beer cans can one guy go through in a week?"


To me after Ryan fixed her vanity: "Daddy is a good fixer. He's a good killer, too."

Me: "He's a good what?"

Sydney: "He's a good killer. He's good at killing bugs."


At dinner while we were discussing Hurricane Ike: "Did you know that if you open your doors a little bit, a tornado can't see your house and will skip over it?"

Boy do I wish that was how it worked.


To Liam after he got a timeout for pulling her hair: "Liam. Stop pulling my hair. You keep getting timeouts because you pull my hair and timeouts are no fun. Do you think timeouts are fun? You're going to keep getting timeouts if you keep pulling hair or biting or hitting or screaming. And if you keep screaming then I'm going to put you in your room. Do you want to go to your room? Now tell me you're sorry and give me a hug. Give me hug. Liam! Give me a hug!"

Would you want to give her a hug after that?

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Hi Ho, Hi Ho, It's Off to School We Go

Preschool, that is.

That's right, Liam started preschool this morning. Well, it's more of a Mother's Day Out program (five hours a day, twice a week), but we're calling it school to get him used to the idea.

He was so excited to put on his backpack and get going this morning:


Off to the right is the puppy dog bedroll that my mom made for him.


Here he is showing off his backpack which was so heavy he almost fell backward.


And of course, I had to get a close up.

I'm anxious to go pick him up at 2 pm to see how he did. I'm not so thrilled with one of his teachers. She looks and acts like she's about 102 years old and I'm not so sure she's the right "fit" for Liam. I can't tell if it's a true gut feeling or just nerves on my part, so we'll have to wait and see how he does for a couple of weeks.


In other news, I won Mommy Daisy's "Bob the Builder" DVD giveaway. I haven't told the kids about it yet, but I know they'll be so excited to watch it. Thanks, Mommy Daisy!