Saturday, January 27, 2007

Busy, busy...Things are pretty busy in La Casa McLaughlin today. We're getting ready for a visit from our friends the Deans who are coming all the way from Virginia to spend a week with us. It will be nice for Trevor to have a playmate (11 month old Olivia) and nice for me to catch up with Anne and Chris. Hopefully the house isn't so messy and chaotic that they check out and head to a hotel after the first day.

Took some pictures yesterday (almost every day lately, actually). But really, of someone other than Hayden or Trevor. Meet Lunita, the daughter of Sara. Isn't she sweet? Just over a month old now:

Yesterday was pajama day at PoeCo. All the kids wore their PJs as did the teachers and parent-helpers. How much fun is that? Not to be left out, Trevor spent the whole day in his jammies
Of course, Hayden and Trevor wore matching pajamas, because it wouldn't be fun otherwise. The only trouble was getting shoes on over the feet.

Later on, we played inside and Hayden got to experiment with the new tattoos that he received for his birthday. Looks too sweet to be a pirate if you ask me.

Trevor asked Hayden to flex for him while he checked out big brother's new tattoo. It's all funny till they're 18 years old and show up with a real pirate tattoo, right?

Today was rainy in the morning and the boys were very disappointed at not getting to go walk the dogs with daddy. So we had to watch the action from the bedroom window.

Someone asked me for a photo gift certificate to give a friend who's expecting a new baby. So I had to come up with a logo a little less lame than what I had on the website before. Of course, I still haven't done anything else on the website. Although I did find a help page to walk me through uploading from my software to my hosting server. Which I couldn't figure out before. Now I just need a few uninterrupted hours to work on the thing. Wishful thinking, right?

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Walkie-Talkies = Bad Gift
About a year ago, we bought Hayden a set of walkie-talkies as a gift. I can't remember if it was for Christmas or his birthday. Anyways, he was apparently too young for them, because no matter how much we coached him, he would press the button, hear the beep, then let go of the button and start talking. Which doesn't work. You have to hold the button the whole time you're talking. But he just couldn't manage that at 3 years old.

So off to the closet the walkie-talkies went. And out they came for his 4th birthday. He's better with the holding the button concept now. But here comes the new problem. You can pick up other people's conversations on walkie-talkies. These things have a radius of "up to 10 miles". So while they were sitting on the counter and we were eating breakfast, we picked up several conversations, tow truck drivers and construction workers I think. Normally, I'm a big fan of eavesdropping, but there was an EXTRAORDINARY amount of profanity and nasty talk in these conversations.

So the walkie-talkies are gone again. Hayden's been a little mouthy lately and I told him that the next time I hear any name-calling or potty talk he was going to lose a toy. So Tuesday night he called his brother a "pooh-pooh head" and I took the walkie-talkies away. Good think he's so disobedient or I would have had to find another way to get rid of the darned things.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

It's official...
Hayden is now FOUR YEARS OLD!!!! Mom is getting increasingly sentimental as the years pass. Sean and I were parent helpers at the preschool today and the teacher started circle time by saying, "Four years ago today, a light came into the world..." and I got all weepy. It know it's hokey, but he really is such a light in all our lives. More pics on the KodakGallery site.

Monday, January 22, 2007

The name game...

We had the 4 year old party at Chuck E. Cheese yesterday. I think we had something ridiculous, like 25 kids, but it was actually pretty manageable since all the parents stayed and so we had at least a one-to-one adult-to-child ratio.

When we got there, our hostess introduced herself and told me she'd be coordinating things for our party and asked me my name. I said "Lisa Marie". She said "Nice to meet you Miss Marie" then she turned to Sean and said "And you're Mr. Marie?" I don't think Sean's ever been called that before, but I thought it was a riot.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Sucked in...Vito got me to sign up for some European photo journal. So I'll post the link here, but I'll put it on my list to the right as well. The idea is that you post a photo per day. And you have to affirm that the photo you're uploading was taken the day you upload it. Which makes sense, except if you're in a totally different time zone. Like I had to verify that the photo I uploaded at 6 pm on Jan 2oth was indeed taken on Jan 21st? Sorry kids, it's still the 20th in the good old Central time zone. You would think the site would be able to recognize that, since you have to give them your zip code.

Anyhow, I digress. I like the concept. Not sure if I'll be able to do a photo EVERY day, but it would be nice to pick a single favorite each day.

Give it a whirl:
My Blipfoto journal
This one's for Mama T...

How do I get pictures of the kids without them picking their noses? Take about 400 shots in a row. For at least 1 or 2, you might get them without a finger in their nose. If you're lucky. But most of the time, kids will be kids.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

What's a Mom to Do?
The older one with his grins and sweet hugs. The little one with his haunting eyes. Am I supposed to find time to concentrate on something else?

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Ice day...I'm home from work today on account of the inclement weather. Want to see what inclement weather looks like in Houston?

Pretty scary, don't ya think? It's a good thing we have enough rations in the house to last us for a few days, since we'll probably be trapped in the house by the scary bad weather.

I was actually showered, made-up, and in my suit when I decided to call Michele and she talked me into staying home. The conversation went something like this:

Me: Where are you at?

Michele: Home

Me: Are you going into work?

Michele: No, there are 22 overpasses between here and the Woodlands and our exit is closed by work because of ice.

Me: I was thinking about going in.

Michele: Do you have something important you need to get done or a meeting?

Me: No, I was just going to surf the internet. I guess I could do that from home. I'll just make the nanny stay and watch the kids while I pretend to "work at home" upstairs.

Michele: OK

My plan worked out pretty well. I did get some pictures edited, but I'm still hopelessly behind. I bought some new actions, which are like macros that shortcut some steps on the editing and can give some cool effects. I'm not attached to "true" colors on my pictures and really like jazzing things up. I liked this one of Annie (my friend Carrie's daughter):

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

False alarm...No ice today. At least not yet. Which should be a good thing, unless you stayed up until 1 am screwing around on the computer assuming that you could sleep in this morning. But nobody would be that foolish, right?

Monday, January 15, 2007

Ice in Houston? News flash...Temperatures may get down below freezing in Houston. Alert the National Guard. Close everything. Stock your cupboards and whatever you do, DON'T LEAVE THE HOUSE.

They actually sent us home early from work today. And the toll road I take home was backed up because they had police in each line, driving side-by side, slowing down to 5 mph on every overpass, lest we morons drive too fast and not realize that bridges freeze before the rest of the road.

But on the bright side, I may not have to go into work tomorrow. We're supposed to use our best judgement and stay safe. One of my friends that works downtown was told not to come in before 9 am, and maybe their offices will close altogether.

The nanny only lives 2 miles away. She'll still show up to work I hope. What if I'm left alone with my children? Then I won't be able to waste the day surfing the internet like a normal weekday.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Note to self, avoid cargo pants...Trevor and I dropped Hayden off at school today and stayed awhile to play with the big kids (how lucky are we to have a preschool that welcomes parents and siblings to play for a half hour?). So Trevor wants to play in the sandbox and I'm watching one of Hayden's classmates. He has one of those small shovels and he's putting one shovelful after another into the pockets of his cargo pants until both pockets are bulging full of sand. I think this kid had enough to build his own beach when he gets home. Of course, I just stood there and didn't bother to stop him. Not my kid, not my problem, right? But I do really like his mom so I felt a teensy bit bad, but he was already well on his way when I noticed. I was just relieved it wasn't my kid. But I don't think I'll let Hayden wear his cargo pants to school anymore, just jeans from now on.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

What's your name? Hayden was watching some video the other day that was supposed to teach him letters and phonics. So they get to "M" and are saying "M...mmmmm" and Hayden looks at me and says "You name begins with an 'M', right" and I said, "No, my name begins with an 'L' baby" and he's insistent, "No, your name begins with an 'M'." And I'm wondering if he means "Marie" or "McLaughlin" and he says "Mommy, M-O-M-M-Y". Did you ever think there would be a point in your life when someone thought your name was "Mommy"?

So I told Sean this story and he had a similar one. He tells Hayden a story most nights when he's tucking him into bed. They all start out the same..."Once upon a time, there was a little boy named Hayden, and his mommy and his daddy loved him so much. Then one day..."

So the other night Hayden wanted Sean to tell him a second story. Sean said no. So Hayden said, "Well, can I tell you a story?" Sean agreed. So Hayden starts out..."Once upon a time, there was a little boy named DADDY, and his mommy and daddy loved him so much. Then one day..." Too bad a three year old can't see the humor in the phrase "A little boy named Daddy".

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Look away if you must...OK, disclaimer, this post is going to be one of those annoying, outright mom-bragging-about-her-genius-kid kind of things. We all hate those moms who think their little darlings are going to cure cancer before they finish preschool. But I must share this picture of Hayden with his States puzzle. It's actually Sean's puzzle from when he was younger and I'm just shocked that this kid can put the thing together. I mean, he clearly knows his US geography better than his momma and he's not even 4 yet. You can set him in front of one of those blank maps of the US and point to any state and he'll tell you what it is. I absolutely, positively hated geography. So where did this kid get the map-savant gene?

Further manipulation of the children...Hayden wanted a helium balloon the other day. I have an addiction to putting goop in his hair but he always says "No Mommy, daddy doesn't like it when I rock it out". But I had the jar of blue goop in my hand and really wanted to play with his hair, so I promised him a balloon if he let me do his hair. He was almost crying when he saw himself in the mirror. But the kid would do almost anything for a balloon.
All for me, none for you...My friend Renee makes this yummy cranberry stuff around the holidays. Some frozen concoction with cranberries, pineapple, whipped cream and mini marshmallows. She brought some over on New Year's day and I put it in the freezer and "forgot" to take it out for dessert. I hope she wasn't offended that I didn't serve it. I've successfully managed to eat the whole pan of it myself over the past week. I'm such a dessert hog.

Monday, January 08, 2007

One last item...I've reserved space on the right for a link to Vito's blog. This is a not-so-subtle prodding for him to create a blog so we can all keep up with the Salvaggio family adventures in Budapest. Now that he's a stay-at-home dad, he should be able to write a blog, right?
Holidays, Part 2...

Trevor learned to say "I love you" (with words and not just his sweet eyes):

And last, but not least, we bid a fond "bĂșcsĂș" (that's farewell in Hungarian) to our dear friends the Salvaggios who are off to Budapest for a few years. Far away in miles, but always near in our hearts. I'm already signed up for some trendy new Skype thing so I can call them for free over the internet. And we're thinking about visiting Mickey Mouse with them sometime this summer. It still seems surreal that they're gone, but it will hit me soon I think.

Hayden and grown up will she look the next time we see her:

Me and Anna...I thought about scanning one of our old Polaroids from the club hopping days for comparison (y'know, short skirts, mixed drink in one hand, cigarette in the other), but I didn't get around to it. But we've certainly stuck together through a lot of changes in both our lives, so I don't think a little move to Budapest will change that.

That's all for now. Planning a birthday party for Hayden. I can't believe he'll be FOUR years old in a little over two weeks. Wish me luck with a Chuck E. Cheese party for all his preschool classmates. Yikes!!
Back in action...I think my blogging frequency is proportional to my work frustration. Even though I don't blog about my job (creeping fear that someone from the office will see it), writing about the kids and stuff clears my head and gives me a mini-break from the many frustrations of my day. So, when I'm off on extended holiday, I don't spend my time in front of the computer blogging. BUT...I do spend plenty of time behind the lens of my camera (including the fun new 50mm/f1.4 Santa brought me), so I'll update the last few weeks via photos (if Blogger cooperates).

First, we took the boys to see the man in the red suit. And miracle of all miracles, there was no crying this year. Yay!

We partied with some pals and actually got a photo of the kids together with no Photoshop head replacements required:

Grandma Carole joined us for Christmas morning, which was a real treat for the boys:

We rejoiced in the small things, like a new A.Rod ornament and a ball drop toy:

Hayden learned to ride the new bike Santa brought for him...

Hmmm....the photo upload has stopped working, I think I'll post this and try to continue with a second post.