Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Jekyl and Hyde...Trevor is killing me. Last night he heard the water running upstairs when Hayden was in the bath and started saying "tathbub, tathbub, tathbub" and trying to strip his clothes off. He was just so darned cute that I took him upstairs to give him a bath. So he was totally sweet and delightful while he was having his fun in the tub. I let him play for while after the scrubbing was done and kept the water running so he could fill his cup over and over.

Then, when he was shriveled like a prune, I turned off the water and scooped him up with a towel to dry him off and get ready for bed. Holy moley! He starts screaming and hitting me and trying to bite me. Shouting "TATHBUB! TATHBUB!" After he hit me I told him to go to time out and he went and stood in the corner (wet and naked) and I breathed a sigh of relief that he had calmed down and then I see him starting to pee. So now I've got a puddle on the wall and carpet and so I take him out of time out and try to put a diaper on him and he starts the hitting again. So I gave up and turned him over to Sean for the pajamas. I just don't understand how he can go from this sweet pleasant angel boy to this nightmare monster child in half a millisecond.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

New template...I was getting tired of the look of the blog so I switched to a new template. Please also note a few new links on the right side. Check out Michele's blog and give her a little encouragement on the new site.

Monday, December 18, 2006

We're done! The last stamp has been stuck and the last envelope has been licked and the Christmas cards are in the mail. All it took was 3 nights in a row of being up till 2-3 am. Sean is miserable as he is every year when we do the card frenzy, but when you receive your card in the mail, hopefully it will all have been worthwhile. We got thrown off course this year when Trevor had a cold on the designated picture-taking day, but it all came together in the end. You know it's killing me to not be able to share previews, but I always like seeing something for the first time when it arrives in the mail.

Now I can get to work on the website. I did manage to create a page and post a link to a single picture ( but it's far from impressive at this point in time. I think the software I have exceeds my needs anc capabilities, so I just used the freeware that comes with my hosting package but that is really limited. I hope I have time over the holidays to work on things, but at the same time I could use a little rest & relaxation with Sean and the boys. We'll see how it goes.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

First Parent-Helper Day...Well, I won out (or so I thought) and ended up getting to take the first McLaughlin parent-helper day at Poe-Co. Since the school is a co-op, each family takes a turn at helping out once every 16 school days (since there are 16 families). We started off OK, had to get there early to set up snack and tidy up a bit. The whole philosophy is "your child-your lap" so you get to do whatever your youngster wants instead of having specific assigned tasks as teacher's helper. So I just followed Hayden along and played with him and his little pals.

Here's what I realized...I'm not just one of those people who generally likes just every single child I encounter. I love mine an incomprehensible amount and I like many others, but there are some I just don't like at all. I won't name any names, but I'm not a fan of:
  • boys who throw sand at me and shout "pooh-pooh" constantly
  • children who weep incessantly at the slightest little thing (like crying because a boy who said "roar" while pretending to be a snow monster)
  • nose pickers
Also, I found out that parent helper day ends with:
  • washing dishes
  • sweeping, vacuuming, mopping
  • cleaning all tables and chairs
  • cleaning two toilets
  • taking out trash
I don't do any of these chores at my house, how come I have to do them when I'm paying good money to send my boy to a fancy preschool? I liked having Hayden in my lap today, but I think Sean is going for the next parent-helper day.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Two things...I was about to make a nice post and then I just got really frustrated about something. So I'll start with the nice stuff before I vent.

I'm starting to adore the little language that's developing in my house that I call Trevie-speak. His vocabulary is expanding by leaps and bounds, mostly sounding like real words, but he tends to pepper the conversation with his own made up words that he uses consistently. Examples and their translations include:
  • Bo-Bo: Pacifier
  • Bow-Mi: Please open this for me?
  • Tath-bub: Bathtub

The boy continues to melt my heart every day.

Now the venting. I called the doctor's office today to schedule Trevor's 18 month check-up. Guess what? They don't have any appointments for THE REST OF THE YEAR. Not just for his pediatrician, but for any of the 10+ pediatricians in the practice. So what about January, because Hayden needs his 4-year check up at the end of January too? Guess what? No appointments with his doctor in January either! He's only in the office through the 9th and then out through the end of January. They could schedule me with someone else in January. But I said that Hayden only sees his doctor once a year so I'd prefer for him to see his actual pediatrician. So what about February? Oh, they don't have their calendar open for February yet. But maybe his nurse could somehow manage to fit me into his schedule at the beginning of January if I talk to her. So I said fine, connnect me to the nurse. "Oh no, she's out today, you'll have to call back tomorrow". I said, just connect me to her voicemail. "No, regulations don't allow our voicemail to store messages overnight so you if you leave a message it will be deleted overnight"


Must be nice to make yourself completely unavailable to your patients but still stay in business.

Friday, December 08, 2006

18 months...Just a quick post to share my lovebug at 18 whole months old. Isn't he a cutie? I had to go to Dallas today and so I missed most of the day with him, but got to see a little of his red-headed charm this evening.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Diving in...Well, I did it. I bought a domain name of my very own and subscribed to a web-hosting service. What in the world do I need with my own domain name, you might ask? Hmmm...anything goes. I'm going to start with it as a place to post photographs. Of the kids, friends, etc. Then we'll see what happens from there. Maybe people will like my pictures and want me to take their pictures. And maybe I'll want to.

Of course, before any of this happens I need to figure out how to get from stage 1 - buying the domain to stage 2 - putting something on the domain. I've got the software, just not the know-how, but I'm smart enough to figure out the basics, right?

More to come on this subject, I'm sure. It will take a few days for the domain to get up and running and I'll post a link once I've published something. I just wanted to let you all (is anyone out there other than Mama T?) in on my new adventure.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Lock-Down...Sean had a rather bizarre experience when he went to drop Hayden off at preschool today. Just as he went inside, they did a "lock-down" drill and he had to stay inside with the kids (and Trevor) until the drill was over. During the drill, the teachers bolted all the doors and the kids had to go to the innermost corner of the room and sit quietly while the teacher read to them very softly. The drill is supposed to simulate the procedure if there's some sort of terrorist threat in or near the school. Which is really a scary thing to think about in the base case that our children have to worry about classmates with guns or terrorist attacks which are things that never crossed my mind in elementary school. But here's the intensely shocking part: This particular school does these drills because some psychotic parent actually came to the school with a bomb and blew up himself, his child, and several other people some 50-odd years ago. Here's what I found when I Googled the subject . Scary stuff, huh?

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Pampered Chef...I went to a Pampered Chef party today. First time I've ever been to one of these things. I think that up until now people have looked at me and said "She doesn't belong in the kitchen". Unfortunately, Michele doesn't agree and so she invited me. So now I've got $100+ of kitchen gadgets on order that I guess I was struggling to live without up until now. Like some doo-dad that cuts the crust off the PB&J sandwiches and seals the edges for you. Oh well, I'm an easy sell. Now we know why I don't leave the house with the checkbook very often.

By the way, as a follow-up to the ornament post, the person who received my ornament literally said "Ooooohhhhhh!" as she pulled it out of the bag. It was like there was a script for the whole thing. I received a caterpillar and a mermaid ornament. Sounds odd but they were pretty cute. I think I said "Ahhhhh!" Gotta go with the program, you know?

Friday, December 01, 2006

Nothing is ever as easy as it seems...I do a little ornament exchange with some girlfriends every year. It gives us a time to get together and have a nice lunch without going broke buying gifts for everyone. We set some dollar limit ($15 this year I think) and you buy one ornament and we pass them around till each person gets one. Sounds simple, right?

I went to 4 stores today before finally settling on some ornament which I think is pretty lame. There's just so much pressure. We all open these things in front of each other and everyone is supposed to "Oooh" and "Ahh" but I couldn't find anything that seemed worthy of "ooh"ing at. So I settled on something which came in a nice box. I mean, if I'm not going to impress anyone with the ornament itself, at least I should get to avoid going to the effort of wrapping.

When I got home from Midland last night, the boys were pretty excited to see me. I guess absence reaaly does make the heart grow fonder. But it quickly became apparent that Trevor reaaly didn't miss my company, per se. I picked him up and he immediately tried to pull off my jacket and insistently started repeating one word: "Milk, milk, milk". Would it kill the boy to drink a bottle while I'm gone? Apparently so. Oh well, I guess it's nie to know you're irreplacable in some regard.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Have I abandoned the blog? Not intentionally. I think I last drafted a post around Halloween and got incredibly frustrated trying to upload a few pictures so I gave up and never came back to it. I went ahead and published the old post today, but am still struggling with the photo uploads. So I don't know. Seems like lots of photo-folks use TypePad, which is a blog service that charges, but is maybe more photo friendly. So we'll have to see where this goes.

We've been busy since I last posted. We went to Kansas in early November and Hayden was a very handsome ring-bearer for Miss Shelley's wedding. And Mom exhausted herself by taking pictures for over 12 hours, but with some nice results. Unfortunately, I'm not having any luck uploading here, but at some point I need to put some on our KodakGallery page to share.

Beyond that, I've been keeping busy taking Christmas pics for friends on weekends. I'm excited to start getting the December mail because I may be up to 8 or 9 friends that might be using my pictures for their cards this year. Which is just really so flattering for me to be able to share my love of taking pictures and give something to my friends that they want to share with others. Now if I can only finish our pictures. I think we're going to try a family pic this weekend, but I spent two hours on Sunday trying to get a nice shot of the boys together and was unsuccesful. Any time Hayden would sit down near Trevor, he would start to scream and push him away. I can't explain it, but he wasn't having a great cuddle with the big brother kind of day.

Speaking of Hayden, he started preschool on Monday. So far so good. I'm in lovely Midland, TX tonight for a business trip, but the report from the house was that he didn't want to leave school today. I'm just so happy with the school itself and all the teachers, kids, and other parents seem great so we're just so fortunate to have gotten such a great opportunity for our boy. I posted some pics from his first day on the KodakGallery site, but I'll give it one last chance to post one here too:

Monday, October 30, 2006

The Bad Bees (note, post originally written 10/23/06)...We had a very traumatic day on Saturday. We took the kids to the little Halloween festival at the Houston Arboretum & Nature Center. They were dressed in full Batman and Robin regalia and looking quite cute.

The trick-or-treating consisted of a walk through the forest on a nature trail and stopping at various stations for a little give-away or ecology lesson. As we came up to one of the stations, there was quite a crowd of people, so we decided to bypass. Sean and Trevor were ahead and I was directly behind Hayden. He was about a foot or less off to the side of the main path and as if in slow motion I saw him step on a hive of bees that was nestled into the ground. All at once, I saw a swarm coming out of the hive for my sweet boy. I told him to run but he only made it about 10 feet before the stinging started and he had the instinctive 3-year old reaction of freezing. So I screamed for Sean and he handed Trevor off to me and took Hayden and made a run for it.

We got a little ways down the path and paused to try to knock off as many bees as we could. By some miracle, Sean and Trevor weren't stung at all. Hayden ended up with 6 stings and I had 2 of them. With as many bees as landed on us, I really can't believe we made it through so well. But I haven't had a bee sting in probably 10-20 years and had forgotten how much they hurt. It's like the pain of a bad shot, but over and over and over again for hours.

But the worst part was that while we were trying to make our way out of the forest through clumps of people scattered on this trail, I tried to alert the people running this event to the fact that there was an active beehive in the trail and it could be seriously dangerous. Do you know what the response was? "Well, that's just nature for you" So if there was some wild tiger in the middle of the trail that snatched my baby and ate it, would that be "just nature" and you'd continue sending other people down the trail without any warning. At least you might ask people if they are allergic to bees and advise them to skip the trail. I had bigger fish to fry trying to take care of my own kid, but I told no less than 3 people about the problem and none of them seemed concerned or interested in taking any action.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Dancing fool...Trevor has been getting busy with his crazy dance moves lately. He's pretty funny. I'm going to try to insert a link to some video: Trevor Shakes His Sillies Out. I especially like it when he feels inspired to spin until he's dizzy and then falls on the floor or runs into a wall. Then he immediately tries to get back up, without realizing he's still too dizzy to balance. Kind of like watching the dog chase his tail, quite amusing.

Happy Birthday Daddy (Sean)

The boys serenaded the camera for Daddy's Birthday

I'm so lucky to have Sean. Does he know how much I love him? He's so amazing in the way he takes care of us all. When I first met him, I don't think I ever would have imagined that he could be such a caring and loving husband and father. Watching him read to the boys or play with them on the living room floor just makes me all warm and fuzzy inside. I'm lucky. I know it. I hope he knows that I know it.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

The little scamp...Trevor has a new hobby. He likes to open and close all the dresser drawers in our room. That wouldn't be a problem in and of itself, except he likes to take something from one place and deposit it somewhere else. As if I wasn't forgetful enough, now I have the issue of somebody cleverly misplacing my stuff for me. Like the toothpaste. Would you think to look in your sock drawer if you couldn't find the toothpaste. Oh, and it isn't all good stuff either. How about taking the used diaper from the garbage can and depositing it in my t-shirt drawer. Hilarious! Really now, if he wasn't so darned cute...

Monday, October 16, 2006

Where have I been? I've been remiss in my blogging lately. Feels like I've been busy, but I'm not sure exactly what I've been busy doing. This weekend was a whirlwind. Took a customer and spouses to see the Blue Man Group on Friday. It was entertaining enough, but I was glad it didn't come out of my own pocket.

Saturday, we actually were invited to 3 separate parties. We actually declined party #3 (A parent-social for Hayden's new school) since I thought we'd be exhausted from #1 and #2.

First we went to see our pal Aidan Pro for his 3rd birthday. It was the nicest kind of gathering of family and friends and who can resist this charming red-head (and his lovely mom)?

Then we went to a pre-wedding party (not to be confused with a shower) for the soon-to-be wed couple Shelley and Brian. It was fun, although Sean was mortified to have to attend this couples-type of event and I only wish I had my camera ready when he heard them tell the boys and girls to divide up for a "battle of the sexes" type trivia game. Not exactly his cup of tea if you know Sean. Still, I think a good time was had by all and we can't wait till the Big Day in November when we head up to Kansas for the wedding. Sean is making Hayden practice carrying his plate to the kitchen in preparation for his ring bearer duties. Here is a little picture from party #2:

Sunday, we tried to head out to the pumpkin patch for some pictures in the Halloween costumes. But alas, the skies didn't cooperate, so we ended up driving over there and then driving back home. We did manage to have some fun at the house and Trevor rocked it up with a little hair goop. Here's my cutie pie:

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Hobby or obsession? You've got to check out this picture of Hayden. I went to make sure he was snug in bed and found this scene. Could this possibly be comfortable to sleep with a baseball glove on your hand? And I must note that there's a ball in the glove and a bat laying on the other hand. The boy is a baseball nut. Period.

Now, since I promised earlier, here is a little preview of the Halloween outfits. I don't think Trevor will keep his mask on for more than two seconds at a time so maybe I should just draw one on his face with a Sharpie marker?

Monday, October 02, 2006

Drawing the line....Hmmm...Got an invitation to a work-related fishing trip today. Now, most everyone knows I despise these sort of things generally, but it goes with the job so I usually suck it up and pretend to enjoy myself (same as with the golf, boxing matches, etc.). But I've got to put my foot down on this one. The trip is Oct 29th - 31st. Uh, hello? Don't we acknowledge that this interferes with a major holiday? Seriously, I would rather miss Thanksgiving than miss out on seeing the munchkins dressed up to go trick-or-treating.

My senior year of high school, I worked at a fried chicken place. My job consisted of taking orders, packaging orders, ringing people up, making biscuits, scrubbing pots, pans, knives, floors. Your basic fast food nightmare. One day a year, they put a ton of coupons in the paper and we had people lined up out the door to buy cheap fried chicken. And they made us take turns dressing up in a big chicken suit standing in the middle of a busy intersection handing out coupons. I refused. There were a lot of degrading things I would do for $4/hour at the time, but I had to put my foot down somewhere and I wasn't going to put on the chicken suit.

I think I've reached that point with my job and these bizarre customer-entertainment outings. The fishing trip over Halloween is my new chicken suit. I'm just not gonna do it.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Getting Ready for Halloween...Oh, I'm starting to get excited about Halloween. We went to the party store to try on costumes last night.

Hayden has been insistent on being Batman, for reasons unbeknownst to us (as far as we know, the only Batman exposure he's had has been the Burger King action figure). So we bought him a Batman costume with super-cute built-in muscles. He was a riot at the store, telling everyone who passed him by "I'm going to be Batman for Halloween."

They didn't have a Robin (the Boy Wonder) costume in Trevor's size at the local store, so we tried on a similar Superman costume to check for fit before ordering off the internet. Oh my goodness, the site of that little guy running away from me down the aisle of the party store with his red Superman cape floating behind him. It was almost too much for me. I toyed with the idea of just buying the Superman costume for him right then and there, but decided to stick with the Batman and Robin theme after all. So I'm now just anxiously awaiting delivery of the Robin costume and will be sure to post pics of the "Dynamic Duo" in their full glory once the package arrives.

Can't hardly wait...

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

It took longer than expected...I tried to run a quick errand over my lunch break today. I needed to pick up a few birthday gifts for some kiddos and thought I could pop into Toys R Us to get it done over lunch. Turns out, I'm really bad at this. One gift was more urgent than the others because we've got a b-day party Saturday. Ended up spending an hour plus just finding one gift. Here's my process in a rather stream-of-consciousness form:

"Need to get a gift for Jackson {Hayden's friend from the park and soon-to-be schoolmate, turning 4}, maybe bristle blocks would be good...Oh, they don't have bristle blocks...Maybe some Lincoln Logs...No, they're not the same as when I was a kid, plastic parts now...Here's a Fischer Price train set, that might be good...No, the box is too big, I don't know these parents yet and don't want them to think I'm trying to impress everyone by bringing the biggest gift...What about this bat and ball set with a mini pitching machine...No, I think most kids aren't as into baseball as Hayden...Here's some air rockets like Hayden has...No, they say for 10 yrs and up and mention dangerous projectiles...Don't want Jackson's mom to think I buy dangerous irresponsible toys...Here are some swords...What are you kidding? Are you the mom who buys weapons for little boys? Might as well buy the bow and arrow set."

Call Sean, maybe he has some good ideas...

Sean: "How about some baseball gear?" Me: "Already thought about that, No" Sean: "How about Lincoln Logs? Those are a classic." Me: "No" Sean: "How about {blank - insert any toy here}?" Me: "No, that says not for kids under 3" Sean: "But he's turning 4" Me: "But his little sister Evie is less than 3, don't want her to choke on anything we buy" Sean: "Well they just need to keep an eye on their kids, we have choking toys and we've got Trevor in the house" Me: "Yeah, well we're not exactly great role models." Sean: "What about a scooter? All the kids at the park like to ride Hayden's scooter." Me: "Let me check out the scooters...{20 minutes later} No, it would be irresponsible to buy the scooter without the helmet and pads. Besides, it would be the big gift that looks like we're trying to impress people."

Decide talking to Sean isn't really helping, hang up the phone and try it alone again.

Walk around the store aimlessly for another 20 minutes.

Spy a hot wheels car racer set for kids 4 and up. Buy the hot wheels and an extra set of little cars. Since I've saved $10 (relative to the scooter Sean suggested), pick up some random $10 toy at the check-out line to take home from Trevor.

Back in the office at 3:15 pm (left around 1:40 pm). Exhausted. Still have 2 more gifts to buy.

Now I know why people pay those "personal shoppers" to shop for them.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Water fun...What is it about being in the tub that brings out the smiles in kids? Trevor can be soooo cranky (most nights), but if you throw him in the tub his whole mood changes. Still, however, I'm frequently too tired to manage the effort so my boys go days before being scrubbed. Every time I get up the energy to do it, I'm left wondering why we don't spend more time in the tub. I especially love that clean fresh smell of their hair and skin after we're done. I think the big problem is the anticpated exhaustion from the wrestling match to get Trevor into a diaper and pajamas after we're done. If I had a better sense of humor in the evenings, I'd probably have more appreciation for the giggling naked baby running through the house. Trevor is loving the telephone now. Which can be a little dicey since if you give it to him to play with, there's a decent chance he'll manage to pull up some phone number from the directory or caller ID and actually call someone. Which usually means I'll have to actually speak to whoever he calls. And anyone who knows me is aware that evening phone chat isn't my strong suit. But who can deprive this cutie of a chance to play with his new favorite toy?

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Growing up fast...We took Hayden to be fitted for a tuxedo for Miss Shelley's wedding (he's going to be the ring-bearer). We were standing there while he was being measured and there was another mom there, looked like she was getting her son fitted for some formal high school dance or something. And I just thought, wow, I'm going to blink and that's going to be me. How can he be so big already and why does he keep getting bigger everyday?

My mother (Grandma Neice) called last night and he was downstairs by himself. So he answered the phone and proceeded to have a 20 minute conversation with her. At the end I picked up the phone upstairs to eavesdrop a little. I think he finally exhausted her and she said he'd better hang up and go to bed.

Trevor's adjusting to the new nanny. He had gotten pretty used to being Claudia's "precioso bebe" and hasn't been making the transition quite as well as Hayden. But I think it will just take a little time. We'll see if she's as much of a sucker for those big blue eyes as the rest of us are.

Took some pictures of Logan and family this weekend. I'll try to paste in one of him with my boys.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Schoolboy-to-be...Well, we've officially enrolled Hayden in preschool. I'm still in shock a little. A spot is opening up at PoeCo, a cooperative parent-run preschool not too far from the house where Hayden's pals from the park go to school. The tuition is pretty reasonable and the days aren't too long (8:30 - 11:30) so I think it should be a good stepping stone for us. I have to be on committees and assist in the classroom once every 3 weeks, but it seems like a good way to get to know the other kids and parents. Still, it's a little weird to think that my baby boy is going to school. I'll have a little time to get used to it since he probably won't start till November (the slot doesn't open up till the other family moves). I think there was some weird provision in the contract about me having to sell a few hundred dollars worth of wrapping paper as a school fundraiser, so expect to hear from me on that one.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Asthma? So Trevor went for his 15 month check-up and shots yesterday. He's fine, finally gaining a little weight and moving up on the curve. But we took Hayden along for the trip and the doctor listened to his chest a little and said he sounded pretty wheezy. So he told us we need to do the nebulizer 2-3 times a day for a while. I asked if Hayden has asthma and he said they don't like to label it as such until they're 6 years old, but basically, yes, he has asthma. Or at least he will if he doesn't outgrow this by the time he's six. I'm sure it will be manageable but it's just a little sad to me to think of my boy being sick.

Monday, September 04, 2006

A few pictures...Took some pictures of my boys this weekend. I'll try upload a few here. They haven't been very cooperative for their shutterbug momma these days so I have to take what I can get. More can be found on the family website link.
A new nanny...So we hired a new nanny today. The current nanny (Claudia) told us last week that her little ones (ages 9, 6, and 5) need her attention at home and she won't be able to work for us anymore. So I've been super-stressed about finding someone new to care for the boys. And briefly toyed with the idea of not finding anyone and just staying home with them myself, but I don't think the time is right.

So we've hired Erika to take care of the boys. I think the change will be hard on us all since they boys are so used to Claudia and their current routine. I think Erika will be fine, she seems to be energetic and patient at the same time, which I think is key. But at the end of the day, even after all the background checking and everything, it's just a huge leap of faith to entrust someone with your children.

I guess it should be easier this time though. When we first hired Claudia to take care of Hayden, he wasn't even talking yet. Now, given his complete inability to keep a secret, at least I can be confident that he'll rat her out if she does anything wrong. Who needs the nanny cam when you have the tattle tale?

Sunday, August 27, 2006

What's in your jelly blob? Hayden had a little jelly spillage from his sandwich tonight. I noticed him staring intently at the jelly blob on his plate and then he says "It looks like Oklahoma". Indeed it does, my little Rorschach-savant. Not quite as exciting as the chocolate-drippings Virgin Mary I saw on CNN the other day, but the Oklahoma jelly blob was big news in our house tonight.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Fun in the sun...Just got back from an extended weekend in Galveston. Funny how being only an hour from home can seem like a world away. Shockingly, we made it through the weekend with no sunburn, which is Mom's biggest fear with the fair-haired boys. Trevor did spend about 4 hours in the emergency room, but many x-rays later we concluded that there were no broken bones as a result of an encounter with a heavy door. I think when kids are under two years old, their bodies must still be mostly cartilage and very little solid bone, because mine have managed to escape any serious injury despite some scary looking falls and pinches.

When we first took Hayden on a trip when he was little, I felt like we spent most of our time in the hotel room so he could have his naps at the proper times. Baby #2 is a whole new ballgame. We just run him ragged and let him catch mini-naps whenever he can. We were floating along on the lazy river at Schlitterbahn and he fell asleep on my chest. So I figured I'd just keep floating until he woke up. Boy, was he rudely surprised when a big wave crashed down over us. But overall, he managed just fine, perhaps a little cranky at the end of the day.

The rental house concept worked really well for us. Splitting it between three couples, it ended up about the same cost as three hotel rooms, but with the bonus that we could hang out and talk like grown-ups after putting the crew of little ones to bed. When is the last time that happened? And Sean and I extended our reign as Trivial Pursuit champions, mostly due to him not letting me talk him out of the right answers.

Now, if I could only get my mind out of vacation mode and back into work mode...

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Brainwashed? I'm starting to think Sean has completely brainwashed my children. I was sitting in the living room with Trevor yesterday. He was over in the corner working intently on placing a soft baseball up on Hayden's baseball tee. Then he pulled himself up to standing with the baseball bat in hand, with his back against the wall since he really can't stand steadily on his own yet. Then he swings the bat and knocks the ball off the tee. He was obviously delighted with himself.

Is it normal for a 14-month old who can barely stand or walk to be trying to play baseball? How have both my sons managed to inherit their father's obsession at such an early age?

Monday, August 07, 2006

Trevor steps

The little man has some new skills to show off...

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Bug Spray or No? We've been taking walks with the kids in the evenings for the past few days. I'm undecided on whether I should put bug spray on the kids, especially Trevor. How much of this whole West Nile Virus thing is hype vs. real risk? I just hate to put such strong toxins like DEET on him especially when he puts his hands and his feet in his mouth all the time. But he's a real mosquito magnet. That's just 'cause he's so super sweet. :-)

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Job or career? Once upon a time, when I was younger, I thought I wanted a career. These days, I wish I could just have a job. What's the difference? With a career, it always seems like I'm being asked to do something today for some undefined future reward. Just put in an extra 20 hours a week on this special project for no extra pay and you'll impress people and be open for great opportunities in the future...Great opportunities to do what? Work more long hours?

I want a job. Just a job. Just to come in and do an honest day's work for a reasonable salary. And to be able to go home and be with my family and not worry about the things I've left undone and not get calls at 6 am when something goes wrong at the plant. Am I too naive? Are there any professional jobs out there or is it the full career-woman track or nothing? I just miss my kids sometimes and can't see the logic in working longer hours. I mean don't we work mostly to give our families a more comfortable lifestyle? How much better off are my kids if we have more money but they don't know their own Mother?

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Walking man...Trevor took a few steps on his own last night. Very exciting but kind of scary and sad at the same time. Sad because he's getting big too fast and I just want to freeze him just like he is right now. Scary because once he's walking there will be no stopping him and he's already into everything. For some reason, we never babyproofed the cabinet under the sink when Hayden was little. But I've caught Trevor with the bottle of Comet in his mouth more than once already. Just think how much more he'll be able to get into once he can walk. Yikes!

Monday, July 31, 2006

zoned out...Some days I am completely and totally disinterested in my job. It's a good thing they pay me well, because I really and truly don't get any satisfaction from what I actually accomplish on a day to day basis. Today I felt like a zombie. Lots of work crises, yet no adrenaline flow from me. Just in a basic fog. No good, I think. No good at all. Maybe it's just a Monday thing and I'm going through withdrawal after 3 solid days with the boys at home.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Mommy's new toy...The new camera came in the mail today. It's kind of overwhelming and I'm struggling to figure it all out. I think I could spend a week doing nothing but reading the manual and still not know how to use all the features. In the meantime, it's fun to be able to shoot and see the results without having to run film to the store for developing. I'm off to a good start and have disciplined myself to delete the bad images right away (or else I think this thing will get out of hand quickly).
The boys are back in town...Sean and Hayden went to Tyler for a few days, leaving me home alone with Trevor and the dogs.

It's funny, because when I just had Hayden, I remember feeling overwhelmed at the thought of being left alone to care for him. One of the downsides of having such an active co-parent like Sean is that you get really dependent on the extra set of hands. But now with Trevor, it seems like a vacation when I only have ONE kid to care for. Just a shift in perspective I guess. With the first little one, I felt like I never had a moment's rest. Then you have two and you really know what it's like to not have free time. So a few days with only one again makes it seem relaxing.

Mind you, I still didn't get much accomplished. Got the picture book updated through May and did a little laundry. Never made it to pick up the dry cleaning or into the shower. Did take Trev out for his first trip to Amy's Ice Cream. Yum! The boy took to ice cream like a fish to water. That's momma's boy. He's the same way with cake.

Hayden was literally bouncing off the walls when he came home. Two days with the older cousin and a trip to see the Yankees play were a bit much for him I think. Unfortunately, the side effect of playing with older kids is that he's a little rough with Trevor when he comes back. Hopefully he'll settle down today, because I'm not sure I can handle another night of the hyper-Hayden.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Buyer's remorse? I ordered a new camera this week. I'm excited about it and nauseous at the same time. I always get this way with big purchases. I spend tons of time trying to decide what I want (Nikon D200, by the way, with a nice lens and accessories) and discussing the purchase with Sean (so he doesn't pass out when the Amex bill arrives) and then when I finally order, I just feel sick. I start thinking about all the other options I could have chosen. Should I have gotten the 18-200mm lens instead of the 18-55mm lens? Then I think about all the other things we could have spent this money on. A family vacation perhaps. Put it in the college fund. But we can still afford a vacation. And we're already shoveling money in the college fund.

Is this normal? It happens to me any time I spend more than $100. I've been thinking about a new camera FOREVER and those of you who know me know I'll really use it. But still, the sick to the stomach feeling persists. The camera and lens have a 14-day return period after they arrive. Typically the nausea lasts till the return period expires, because at that point the decision is out of my hands. But didn't I already make the decision when I placed the order? Not really since I return about half of what I buy. But why would I return this camera? I really want it. You can see how I don't do a very good job of convincing myself on these things. So round and round we go...
Chatterbox: Hayden was a late talker. Worked with a speech therapist from about 18 months old till 2 years old. Then...BAM!...the kid started to repeat everything we said.

Now I'm starting to wonder. Do we have the annoying kid? We had a new babysitter last night, Perla. I was a little concerned that he might not react well and might cry when we left. Nope. The second she walked in the house, he starts yammering. "I'm eating my fish sticks. Then I get to watch my movie. We're going to watch Chicken Little. I went to the dog show today. Dogs were racing around really fast. Pippen and Malik got haircuts today. But Bailey isn't here anymore because he died. Sammy died too, but I got a new fish. His name is Barnaby..." and on and on and on...I'm surprised the girl didn't turn around and run out the front door.

My brother called a few weeks ago and after I talked to him for a bit, I asked him if he wanted to talk to Hayden. He said "That kid? No way, he talks my ear off." Seriously, how do you tell your kid to not talk so much? When he goes to school he's going to drive the teachers nuts. Of course, at least Sean can always say this trait didn't come from him.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Trevor speaks...The little man is starting to talk a little. Well, mostly he just yells at us in some strange language that none of us can understand. But there are a few real words so far. "Apple" is the most distinct. He's loving the apples these days. Then "up" and "cup" are both pretty clear too. "Goggie" for "doggie" is pretty consistent. Strangely enough, not too much "Mama" or "dada" talk. He has the syllables down pat, but doesn't use them towards us too much. He seems to try to say Hayden's name though, something like "Hay-duh". And he definitely uses "Hey" as a greeting, which is sort of an embarrassing indication of how properly we all greet each other and family and friends. Then we hear the occassionally "Ba Ba" for "Bye Bye" and "Na Na" for "Night Night". All in all, it's pretty neat to hear it all developing. Certainly nice in contrast to the anxious months we spent waiting for Hayden to talk. I'm sure the long term result with Trevor will be the same as with Hayden, where we look at each other one day and say wistfully, "Wasn't he just a newborn yesterday? Why did he have to grow up so fast?"
Gullible kid or mean mom? The other day I wanted Hayden to wear his new red shirt. Of course he already had on one of his Yankees shirts so he adamantly refused to wear the shirt I wanted him to put on. So a little later he wanted me to blow up a balloon with the new mini-helium tank I bought. He stood eagerly in front of me holding the bag of balloons that came with the tank. "Mommy, can you read the instructions to me?" I look at the bag for a second. There are instructions in various languages and a sentence that says, "See tank box for English instructions". So I decide to wing it. In a voice that sounds like I'm reading, "Step 1, put on a red shirt. Step 2, remove balloon from bag. Step 3, open valve on helium tank..." Hayden looks at me curiously. "I guess you have to be wearing a red shirt first" I say with all seriousness. He pauses, just for a moment, to ponder his course of action. "Could you help me put on my red shirt Mommy?" It was all I could do to keep from laughing. It isn't supposed to be this easy, is it? So he put the red shirt on and I blew up the balloon. Of course, if somebody else goes to blow up a balloon for him, they're going to think he's a nut if he tells them he needs to put on his red shirt first. Isn't it neat how when you have kids you can create your own little world of zany rules and if you don't let them out of the house too much, they'll never know any better?

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Where do these comments come from? Hayden was working on his United States puzzle last night (yes, he's a map geek, he doesn't get it from me). So he's got Ohio in hand and says "This is Ohio. Mommy went to Ohio. Her back hurt after she went to the museum and Gigi had to bring her some medicine at her hotel." This was 2 months ago that I went on a trip to Cleveland and talked to him on the phone that night. We haven't spoken of it since then. I had forgotten about it entirely. It's kind of scary how much he remembers. Makes you want to be a little careful what you tell him.

Sean took the boys through the McDonald's drive-thru for breakfast last Friday. Apparently Hayden was chatting away from the backseat, "What time is it Daddy? Is it before 10:30? Are they still serving breakfast? Have they stopped serving breakfast yet? Is it 10:35?" I think my children are going to be scarred for life by my little adventures.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Conversations with a 3-year old: We were getting into the van the other day and had the following conversation with Hayden:

Hayden: Look, I buckled my seatbelt all by myself!

Me: Wow, you're such a big boy!

Hayden: And I closed the door to the van all by myself too!

Me: I can't believe you can do that all by yourself!

Sean (to Hayden): Here are the keys, do you want to just go ahead and drive the van too?

Hayden (with a very serious tone): No, I'd better just stay here in my booster seat. The policeman would be very angry if I rode up front.

So the question is this, how old are they before they pick up on sarcasm?

Friday, June 30, 2006

Breakfast time? So I'm pretty sure I'm starting to lose it completely. Today was my day off. Although the term "day off" is a bit misleading because while I don't have to go to the office, I'm still juggling multiple work crises, but I getting the added bonus of doing it with the two demanding boys at my side.

So anyways, I decide it's a McDonald's kind of morning and eventually give up on getting the work crisis sorted out and load the kids in the minivan to head out for breakfast. Recognizing that it's 10:20, we make a mad dash to the drive thru, where I place our order. The voice on the speaker comes back and tells me they're only serving lunch now. So I ask when they stop serving breakfast and they say 10:30. The clock in my car and on the cell phone say only 10:27 so I tell them it isn't 10:30 yet and I want breakfast for me and the kids.

They say (again) they're only serving lunch now. I ask "So you stop serving breakfast before 10:30? And they say no, their clock shows 10:35. I say "Well I have 2 clocks that show it's before 10:30 and I want breakfast". They say (again) they're only serving lunch now. So I said, "Well I'm not going anywhere until we get our biscuits" (By the way, for those of you who are keeping track, this is where I started to lose it). They repeat that there's nothing they can do, (again) they're only serving lunch now.

I say, "That's fine. There's a line of people behind me and I'm not going anywhere. I've got all day to sit here." They tell me (again) that they're only serving lunch now. I say "No problem. I'll still be sitting here in the morning when you start serving breakfast again." I think that threw them for a loop because now it became clear that they were dealing with someone who was truly insane.

So the people at window #1 and window#2 are leaning out trying to wave me forward. I'm shaking my head in refusal. The people behind me are starting to just pull around me and avoid the ordering speaker altogether.

Eventually they sent some manager out to my car who asked me to please pull up. I said I wasn't leaving without my breakfast. She said they were making some new biscuits for me and if I would just pull up they would serve me my breakfast.

Score one point for the crazy mom and zero for McDonald's. Actually, they get half a point for recognizing that I was insane and probably wouldn't actually ever leave.

Friday, June 23, 2006

The Big Boy: Well, it seems that Hayden is growing up. I signed him up for a few days a week at a church day camp so he could have some fun social time without having to go to the park in the oppressive Houston summer heat. Today was day#2 at this program and Sean dropped him off at the school. Apparently, Hayden nearly knocked over some other girl who was having a tearful goodbye moment with her mother. He promptly put his lunch box in the appropriate spot and went to play with the other kids, with a business-like "bye" to Sean. Nice to see he isn't going to be clingy and distraught when it comes time for real school, but a little sad to0...

The Little Boy: Reports are that Trevor has started eating again, ending what seemed like a several day boycott of anything but breast milk. And mind you, he wants that milk straight from the cow, not in any impersonal plastic bottle. He's just so different than Hayden was at that age. Hayden would suck down 8 oz. bottles six times a day plus eat cereal, veggies, bread, cheese, chicken, etc. Trevor takes a bite or two maybe and then clamps his mouth closed and screams bloody murder and swats you away is you try to encourage any more eating. He's only 20th percentile on weight (and something like 75th percentile on height) so I'm a bit concerned, but what's a mom to do? Anyway, the last few days have been better. I mean, at this age shouldn't their instinct not be to starve themselves?

Last night Trevor was playing with the telephone. Why is it that the phone fascinates them so much? Anyways, I need to check every minute or so to make sure that he hasn't actually hit the talk button and called someone accidentally. Our old housekeeping service we let go used to be #1 in the directory and Hayden would always manage to call them and I'd hang up and they'd call right back asking if we wanted them to come and clean. Nice uncomfortable conversation I'd just as soon avoid (fixed this particular problem by deleting them from the phone directory). But with Trevor, if I take the phone away for just a second he just absolutely screams with rage. It's the red-head thing I think. Then I give the phone back and he's perfectly content again. But if I don't give the phone back the rage continues and can't be appeased by any other toy. I've got a sinking feeling this is a sign of things to come in my life. I think I was spoiled by how content and happy-go-lucky the big boy was at this age.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Introducing...Barnaby: So Hayden and I went to pick a new fish this weekend. Ended up with a crowntail betta. Quite pretty actually. But the smug boy at the store basically told me we killed the last fish with our poor care. I just followed the (verbal) instructions they gave me when we bought the thing, but he was aghast when I told him we changed all the water out at the same time, something about getting rid of the "good" bacteria and "shocking" the fish. Who knew? But apparently the life expectancy of these things is supposed to be more than 6 months. Bought this one on June 17, 2006. Start counting the days.

Been letting Trevor cry himself to sleep the past few nights. It's working pretty well as long as I don't go in and look at him. I just can't buy the philosophy that you should go in and comfort them every ten minutes (then 15, 20, 30, etc) but not pick them up. If I go in there and don't pick him up, he's way more frantic when I leave then he was before I went in there. So it's got to be completely cold turkey for him. He did turn on his own mobile this weekend. Yes, I know, bad Mommy for leaving the mobile in the crib past 5 months, but he loves the thing. You can't spend your whole life trying to parent by the instruction manual.

Friday, June 16, 2006

I guess I need to put a picture here in order to get it on my profile...
The Fish, Part 3: Last night we said goodbye to Sammy the fish. I know, kind of gross that we let the dead fish hang around for over a day, but I didn't know if we should flush or bury him. We decided to go the flush route. Once he was in the toilet, Hayden was very sad and didn't want to flush him. Lots of tears. Then some wailing after the fish was actually flushed. So Sean gave in and told him he can get a new fish this weekend.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Sammy the Fish, Part 2: So when I got home yesterday, Hayden and I went to check on Sammy and he was belly-up. Definitely dead now. Hayden seemed unphased by the whole thing and still excited at the prospect of a new fish. I told Sean I'm a little concerned that he doesn't show any concern for the poor dead fish. Sean doesn't think we should get a new fish since Hayden didn't seem to care much about Sammy in the first place. Maybe he's right, or maybe he just was tired of cleaning that fish bowl. I'm going to wait and see if Hayden pushes the new fish issue or not.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Fish Follies: Last night, Sean informed me that Sammy (Hayden's fish) had blown his last bubbles and was floating lifelessly on the bottom of his tank. So I get the honor of telling Hayden his fish is dead. I go into his room and start talking to him about how sometimes our pets get sick and die. And I tell him that poor little Sammy got sick and died. And he says "Sammy's not dead, he's right here" and I look over and that fish isn't dead. A tap on the side of the tank produces some frantic swimming. So now what do you say? So I tell him that Sammy is very sick and will probably die soon. Then he's all sad. I tell him that maybe we can get a new fish this weekend and he's all-consumed with planning his new fish acquisition. Now I'm feeling like he should mourn Sammy a bit longer. So what's a Mom to do? I don't want the little man to be all sad and weepy for the fish (who's only been with us since Christmas), but I also think he should have a little more recognition that we can't just replace our friends when they die and while there may be new fish, there won't ever be another Sammy. Then again, we're probably getting ahead of ourselves since when we last checked, Sammy was still hanging in there...

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

These are my lovely boys. The little one (Trevor) didn't sleep well last night. Up at midnight and again some time in the middle of the night. At midnight, I felt mom-guilt since he hadn't had a decent supper and so I got up to feed him. Then I feel guilty for reinforcing the crying by getting up to feed him. The second time he woke up, I just let him cry it out. Nice job with the inconsistency, right? But even though I don't want to get him in the habit of late night feeding, it is still such a sweet time together when he's all cuddly and lovey. They're only precious and little for such a short time, I think I'm OK with the midnight nursing.
This is my first attempt at blogging.