Friday, February 29, 2008

Cowboy up!

Well, it's that time of year again...Rodeo days. Last year, I was the most unprepared for the "Trailrider's Breakfast" at Hayden's school. I sent him in jeans and a regular shirt and everyone else was head-to-toe in cowboy regalia. This year, I made a more substantial effort, although it was difficult without breaking the bank. Hayden has a man-sized head but it's hard to find men's cowboy hats for less than $50. And don't even talk to me about boots. But it is priceless at the end of the day to see my men-folk all duded up in their gear.
Note to other mothers, don't dress your 2-year old in chaps if you're in the midst of potty training. It's hard enough as it is for the little guy, but even his daddy couldn't figure out how to work all the ties on the chaps. But he was awfully cute, wasn't he?

Monday, February 25, 2008


When you find yourself picking brownie crumbs off your newborn baby's head (hmm, must have dropped them on there when I was feeding her and eating brownies at the same time) and trying to get chocolate stains off her clothes, it might be a sign that you have a little addiction to sweets. Maybe I need an intervention, because I'm pretty much able to polish off a whole pan of brownies single-handedly. And don't even get me started on the diet soda issue. Hey, I'm trying to hold my act together with three kids. At least I'm not hitting the liquor cabinet. Oh, how we can rationalize.

In other news, I gave blood for the first time in forever this weekend. Platelets actually. It was a triple-point day plus I got 100 bonus points for making my appointment online. Plus, with the platelets you can give every 48 hours or something, so I'm already eligible to give again. And, they let you pick the movie you want to watch while you're donating. The downside is that you're hooked up to the machine for an hour and a half and something they pump back into me makes my face all numb for about 15 minutes. Oh, and I feel like my hand is going to fall off after squeezing that stupid ball for so long. But hey, this weekend is triple bonus time again and they did have that Michael Clayton movie on DVD, so maybe I'll hit it again on Friday.

Oh, and this is for Allison. Isn't her new little guy a cutie? Allison is part of the third baby club at Hayden's school:
The Oscars...

Many years ago, I used to listed to a local morning radio show and try to win their many give-aways. One year, they broadcast the Oscars at a movie theatre and my friend Steph and I won tickets to go. It was kind of fun, because you filled out a card with your Oscar picks and the person who picked the most correct winners, won a year long unlimited movie pass for two people. Steph and I really wanted to win, but ended up one right choice short (we guessed the Barbra Streisand song from The Mirror Has Two Faces rather than the Madonna song from Evita for Best Song).

It sounds cheesy, going to a movie theatre to watch the Oscars with a bunch of strangers, but it was actually fun. But what struck me today when watching the Oscars, was that unlike 1996, when I had seen most of the movies, I had only seen one of this year's nominated films (Juno). And while I still love movies, I'm not really sad to have not seen too many this past year. There are, after all, three good reasons I don't go to the movies anymore. And those reasons were looking awfully cute today...

More new pictures on the KodakGallery site.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Ready for her close-up...

Presenting, the almost fully-recovered from the trauma of the doctor's visit, two month and one day old Miss Juliette...

Initially I wasn't sure what color her eyes were going to be. Hayden has green eyes and Trevor's are very blue. I'm now putting my money on blue for Miss J as well. I think they can change up to one-year old, but hers are becoming more blue rather than less. But they're more of a violet-blue than Trevor. Very Liz Taylor.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

7 Good Reasons...

I'm pretty religious about taking pictures of the kids to document their age milestones. Their first birthday pictures aren't taken a week before or a week after their birthday, they're on the exact date. But here are seven reasons I don't have 2-month old pictures of Juliette from today...
Little Miss J had a seriously traumatic visit to the doctor today which ended up with most of her skin covered in band-aids. Five shots and two vials of blood drawn made Juliette not a happy camper. The shots were all standard vaccinations, but the bloodwork is to check on her lingering jaundice. Hopefully nothing is going on with her liver to cause her to still be so yellow (I PhotoShop her skin color a little, so you can't see the full effect here), but we're waiting on results of the blood tests.

This next shot was a moment of exhaustion for her. But for the rest of the afternoon and evening, she screamed every time I tried to lay her down, even for a diaper change. I think she thought another needle was coming at any moment.
In the meantime, Trevor traded a smile for a piece of candy since Mommy had the backdrop out and was itching for a cute face to photograph.
Juliette's trauma made me stay home and miss my photo session with our new friend Will (one of Juliette's numerous future suitors). But she seems to be on the mend already so hopefully we'll get to take Will's pictures next week.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


The general opinion on the street is that Juliette looks like Trevor. What do you think? I see it some, but I remember thinking Trevor as a baby looked so much like Hayden and I think they're very dissimilar now. So you never know.

I feel like I've been so busy, but don't have much to report. I've worked 4 parent-helper days at Hayden's school in the past 2 weeks, plus a 6-hour shift at his school's garage sale this past Saturday. So that's been the bulk of it. And clearing out the closets here in preparation for the garage sale. Lots of excitement and you're all jealous, I know.

My mother came to visit last week (Valentine's day is "Grandparent's Day" at Hayden's school, nice way to import a free babysitter). It looks like they're closing the reservations center she works at in Chicago sometime within the next year so guess what? She might be moving to Houston!?! Hayden is obviously thrilled and planning many sleepovers at Grandma's house in Houston when she moves. I just hope my grandparents come up with a plan to manage without her in Chicago.

I'm starting a continuing education class at Rice Univ. this week. The subject would probably bore most of you (Photographic Lighting), but I'm so excited about it. Every time I've looked at the class before, it's been filled up. And taking it while I'm off on maternity leave works well, because it's hard to work a full day and then leave the kids for 3+ hours at night once a week.

I just hope I don't get too much equipment envy being around other photographers, especially now that I'm on unpaid leave. I've really been eyeing this beautiful new camera too (Nikon D3), if only it didn't come with a $5000 price tag and require me to buy a new lens too...We can all dream, can't we? Someday, if I'm really good, maybe Santa will bring me one.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Look what arrived!!!!
Thank you Mama T for my lovely new hat. I think it looks just wonderful on my little head.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Bowl Cut...

I'm the first to admit that I'm too hard on Sean. When I send him to get the boys' hair cut, I inevitably criticize the results, because I'm pretty impossible to please. But I win the award for getting Trevor a bad hair cut yesterday night. Which I guess means I have to keep my mouth shut for all the times Sean does it in the future. But I probably won't. I digress...

I took Trevor to TGF at 7:30 last night because his hair was in his eyes and clearly making him 1) uncomfortable and 2) half blind. But Trevor's hair is kind of his signature. I rarely take him somewhere without someone commenting on how beautiful his hair is. Not the style, actually, but his actual hair. So I keep it a little long on top so people can see more of it.

Now TGF closes at 8 pm so they're annoyed when you come in at 7:30 especially when they've already got people waiting. So I should have just left. But I'm stubborn, so I stayed. Eventually the guy calls him over to the truck to get his haircut. I noticed a slight accent, but the guy didn't say much, so I just went into my standard instructions (same cut as he has now, just a little trim, up to the eyebrows in front, clippers on the bottom, scissors on the top, basic bowl cut). From then on, I'm really just there as a distraction for Trevor, holding his hand and feeding him candy.

So we're a good 15 minutes into the cut when I realize this guy didn't understand a word I said, and is just marching to the beat of his own drummer. This is the point at which I basically started screaming, "Stop! Stop right now! What are you doing to his hair? STOP!!!!" and I'm ripping the cape off the boy and pulling him out of the truck mid haircut.

All the other customers are gone at this point, but the other woman who works there comes over and asks what's the problem. And I say "this is not at all what I asked him to do, he has destroyed my baby's hair". She asks "What did you ask for?" I said "A bowl cut" At which point she responds "He doesn't speak much English so he must not have understood you and thought you said 'boy cut'. Besides, I've been cutting hair for 20 years and I've never heard of a bowl cut." Now I'm equally pissed at her. Google "bowl cut hairstyle" and you get 22,300 hits. It's classified as a "Classic" hairstyle. There may debate on whether or not it's a good hairstyle (most sentiment says no, but I think it's ok for kids, just bad for adults), but it is well-recognized as a style. Except at TGF, apparently, where it's unheard of. Freaking idiots.

So I took Trevor this afternoon for a correction of his half-cut from last night. They had to cut it pretty short and it looks bad. Out of consideration for the boy and given the fact that things on the internet live forever, I'm not posting a picture. Suffice it to say, he looks like a chump.

Sean's cousin Debbie was over the other day and wasn't happy with her new hairdo. She said "I don't think the woman spoke English." To which I smugly responded "Oh Debbie, I won't even let someone paint my toenails if they don't speak English." So my smugness got its just reward. It just happened to be visited upon my innocent little Trevor. So sad.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Friendly Guy...

I was in the checkout at Target tonight and the guy behind me decides to strike up a conversation. "How old is your baby?" he says. I'm confused for a minute, looking around for Juliette who I believe I left at home with Sean. Then I realize he's noticed the diapers in my cart (size 5 - for Trevor) and I say "The diapers are for my 2 year old." "I'm buying the same size for my son," he says. Interesting, really, I'm fascinated...we must be the only two people in the whole world buying size 5 diapers. "Do you have other kids?" he continues. "Yes, a 5 year-old and a newborn," I say.

Now mind you, after every response, I go back to staring off into space, trying to end the meaningless conversation. Actually, even when I'm responding, I'm not looking at him, I'm staring off into space. Yet he continues, "Are you having any more or are you done with three?" Yeah Target guy, this is something you need to know? I'm thinking of coming back with some response to make him really uncomfortable like "I'm planning to breastfeed for six years so I won't be able to get pregnant again until I start menstruating regularly." Will this stop the conversation? I'm not sure.

It isn't as if I flatter myself into thinking this guy is hitting on me. He's clearly not. But dude, I'm a mother of three with 30 minutes to myself. I got to go to Target and didn't have to bring a single kid with me. This is like a freaking spa day for me. Can I PLEASE just have one moment of peace?

Sorry, just a little rant. In other news, we've had some bug going through the house. About a week and a half ago I had a fever for two days. Then Hayden had a fever for three days last week. Now Trevor has it. So I've been busy trying to bribe my children to take Tylenol for the last week. Hopefully it ends with Trevor.

Oh, and in case you love cheesy portrait studio photos as much as I do, have a gander at this site.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Lucky #7 Here we are, seven years after the day we said "I do". We've gotten in the habit of taking a picture together every year on our anniversary, usually a self-portrait with the camera on self-timer. I'm not so certain I'm liking the tradition these days, since I don't know how kind the years have been. I'll have to dig out the others some day (most are pre-digital camera) and scan them in.

I remember the 2nd anniversary with the scrunched up newborn Hayden in our arms. He was only 11 days old I think. And now there are 5 of us. That's a lot of change in seven years, but it's been a fun adventure and I look forward to many more years with this little family we've built together. I love you honey. Happy anniversary.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Too fast...
What happened to that scrunched up little newborn baby I was holding just a few weeks ago? Where did this big girl come from?

By the way, I stayed strong through my first big girlie challenge today. I was returning the scale I rented at the baby store today, and was convinced to try a miniature bow in Juliette's hair. I was truly tempted to buy it despite my many professions while pregnant that I would not have a bow-headed baby. In the end, I walked out bow-less. Maybe it was the $9 price tag for a 2 cm bow for a baby who really doesn't have much hair.

Friday, February 01, 2008


At the beginning of January, they started some major road construction on our street that's supposed to last till mid-2010. Which is a really long time to be annoyed every day sitting in traffic trying to get to your driveway. So I was even more annoyed today when Trevor and I were coming home from dropping Hayden at school and found the street shut down completely in both directions several blocks away from our house. I tried cutting through the neighborhood and coming back from the other side, but was still blocked off. So I parked the car about a block away and got Trevor out and starting walking.

I asked a cop who was diverting traffic when I would be able to drive my van back to my house, and he said after they fixed the massive gas leak the road construction crew caused when they hit a gas line. So I continue towards the house, suddenly noticing a strong smell of gas. I asked another cop a little further down whether it was OK to go to my house. He asked for my address and then radioed someone and then said "no, your house is right where the leak is". So I mentioned some mild concern that my newborn baby and husband were at home. He said no, they evacuated everybody. I said it seemed strange that Sean wouldn't call my cell phone to tell me they had been evacuated.

So the cop volunteers to go down to the house to see if anyone is home. He comes back and says that Sean's car is still there, but there's no answer at the door. I'm still concerned about not knowing their whereabouts, so he takes Trevor and I in the squad car down towards the house. He tells me to leave Trevor with him while I go check in the house, and that if there's a problem inside, come flag him down. I think the implication was that if my family is asphyxiated, he'll radio for help. So I go in the house and Juliette's carrier is still inside so I call for Sean. He responds "What?" from the back bedroom. I shout "Did you not answer the door for any of the police trying to evacuate you?" "I was in the shower" he shouts back. So I grab the baby, car seat, and diaper bag and tell him to come on. Sean, always cool in the emergency, needs to comb his hair first so I leave without him. He joins us in the police car a minute later. The cop was pretty surprised to see me walking out with the baby he was so sure wasn't there. So Juliette had her first ride in a squad car at only one month old. That's one for the baby book.

We tried to come home a few hours later but the street was still blocked off. We finally were able to get into the house about 6 hours after the initial evacuation. Did I mention it was pajama day at Hayden's school so were were toting around the boys in their jammies this whole time? Eventually I stopped and bought them some pants when it was clear were weren't getting back in the house for a while. Obviously, the house didn't blow up, and the dogs were still alive when we came home. We did have to leave the doors open for a while to air out the gas smell though.

All in all, an exhausting day.