Thursday, December 20, 2007

We're Out Of Here

When all of the things that need to be done get done tomorrow, we're hitting the road and won't be back until sometime in 2008. I may show up here from time-to-time, but don't count on it. I just wanted to wish all of you a safe and happy holiday season. And I wanted to leave you with an old song that has newly touched my heart as I have listened to people around me wanting this or that, and as I've been asked over and over what it is that I want/need. There are, in fact, a few things I need and this song pretty much covers it.


In Need

In need of grace
In need of love,
In need of mercy raining down
From high above.

In need of strength
In need of peace,
In need of things
That only You can give to me.

In need of Christ
The perfect Lamb,
My refuge strong
The great I Am.

This is my song,
My humble plea:
I am Your child
I am in need.

©1996, Reliance Music
Words and Music by Ross King

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Brown Paper Packages, Tied Up With Strings...

...These are a few of my favorite things!

Jeff and I have recently ordered several things online, and so we've had delivery people showing up at our house every day this week. I have to tell you that I secretly get so very excited when I see the UPS/FedEx/DHL/mail truck on our street that I almost can't contain myself. And, secretly, I'm always VERY disappointed when it doesn't stop at my house. I may have mentioned that I LOVE to get fun snail mail, but a package just makes me flutter inside. And, apparently, it makes no difference to me that I am the one who ordered the package and know very well what's inside. I still get giddy--even if it's something completely mundane. It's a wonder I haven't become addicted to QVC or HSN or something. We are scheduled to receive more packages tomorrow, so I shall sleep in peace knowing I have something so exciting to look forward to. Sweet dreams to you, too.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Mixing Business With Pleasure

We met up with Jeff's aunt and uncle tonight to deliver some sugar scrubs and enjoy a delightful dinner. They live in Canyon Lake, so we decided to meet half-way, which put them in Austin and ironically, put us still in Austin. (It's a long way to the south side of town from here, folks). We ate at Texas Roadhouse, which was a new experience for Weston and I, though the others had eaten there before. There is something truly special about a place where they have barrels of peanuts sitting around and you are actually encouraged to throw the shells on the floor. Ruth, of course, thought this was absolutely the best thing in the world, and almost made herself sick on peanuts just so she could keep throwing the shells down. Weston especially enjoyed the fact that the bread arrived at the table at the same time we did, though he became quite sleepy half-way through the meal and began trying to fall out of his booster seat so he could lay down on the cushy booth seat. The food was really good and the company even better. It's so nice to live close enough to family to get to do things like this from time to time.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Are You Free Between 8:00 and October?

As you all know, my dishwasher decided to die on me just after Thanksgiving. And so, since then I have been waiting somewhat patiently to have it replaced. My waiting included these steps:
  • Call Home Warranty Company (HWC).
  • Be transferred to Service Company (SC).
  • Set up appointment with SC. ("We can come out on Monday...between 10:00 and 3:00. Do you need us to call you before we show up")?
  • Bad report for dishwasher from SC.
  • Wait for HWC to call with my options.
  • HWC calls, but hasn't really read the diagnostic report. ("I guess we haven't done the proper research. We'll have to call you back").
  • Wait for HWC to call back.
  • They never do.
  • Call HWC to find out what the heck is going on.
  • ("Oh yes, it looks like you are eligible for a new dishwasher. Here is a model number of what we are willing to put in. You need to go to a store or look online to see that this one will fit in your allotted space and that all the hook-ups are the same").
  • I look it up online, all the while pondering how on earth I'm going to know if all the "hook-ups are the same," then say the heck with it and order up.
  • I call HWC to inform them of my decision.
  • HWC goes through a very long disclaimer about what isn't covered, making me think they are definitely hustling me and that no matter what I order, there will most definitely be a problem.
  • HWC agrees to ship the new dishwasher to my house--in 5-7 business days. ("We can call you back tomorrow to give you a more narrow time frame.)"
  • HWC actually calls back, informing me when the dishwasher will arrive and that I need to call the SC when it does to set up the installation. ("Looks like we can deliver your dishwasher on Friday--between 10:00 and 2:00").
  • Delivery Company (DC) calls at 6:45 Friday morning to say that they are on their way and should be to my house in 20 minutes.
  • DC leaves dishwasher in garage.
  • I call SC when they finally open for business around 9:00. ("I think we can get to that on Monday--between 10:00 and 2:00").
  • New dishwasher is finally installed and old dishwasher sits in garage waiting to be hauled off to the dump--because that is one of the things that neither the HWC or SC is responsible for.
I'm thankful to finally have a working dishwasher, I just wish I could have had it a little sooner. And, really, what is it with service companies and their all-day time-frames for getting things done?! I can understand a small window of time, but all day is ridiculous! And then to have the audacity to ask if they should call first! As if we're all just sitting around with absolutely nothing to do but wait for them to show up! It's ludicrous! But, I digress. The point is, I have a new, working dishwasher and no more puddle in the floor...And I only had to wait two weeks for it!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

All's Well That Prints Well

The hero came through with the printer.

True tragedy was averted.

The damsel is in less-distress.

They printed off into the sunset.

All's right with the (printing) world.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

If It's Not One Thing, It's Another

What I need is a little more stress in my life just now. I mean, here I am with nothing to do, nothing to worry about, really not a care in the world--if only something (or everything) could go wrong, that'd be great! (And if you didn't catch the sarcasm dripping from that non-verbal statement, let me assure you it was full of it)! Today, it was the printer. It died, what sounded like, a truly painful death. But the real pain came when I realized that I have lots of sugar scrub orders to deliver this week and not enough labels to make the products official. Will the fun never end?! Guess I'll be getting cozy at the print shop tomorrow, while I wait for my knight-in-shining-armor to ride up with a new printer and save me from my woes. (He did promise he would try to get me a new printer tomorrow, but then, of course, it has to be installed and I have to figure out how to use it--blah, blah, blah). If I go to bed now, I may just be able to put off another pitfall until tomorrow!

*On a positive note, the leaking jar fiasco seems to have been resolved satisfactorily. Thank goodness for that!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Meet Body Dulce's Newest (And Best) Salesman

The Curves where I work out is hosting a "Member's Bazaar" this week, where they allow members who have something to sell to set up a table and hock their wares. This event does not require you to actually be at your table (or even in the building), but if you want to come up, they don't object as long as you don't hassle the people who are trying to work out. I find it helpful to be there, because when I have a chance to talk to people face-to-face and tell them about the products, they are more apt to buy them. Obviously, if I want to go up during the day, I have to bring my Little Shadow with me. I wasn't at all sure how this would work out, but decided to give it a shot. He has been perfect. He brings his little backpack, filled with entertainment and also really enjoys the music and the attention he gets. This morning, he even got the attention of a couple of ladies looking at items on another table, and pointed to the scrubs on my table and said something that sounded just like "Body Dulce." And, seriously, who could resist a sales pitch coming from this little cutie?! The bazaar is going well, and I think sales will continue to pick up as the week progresses. I think if I keep my very best sales' guy on the job, it's sure to be a success.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Christmas Cards

One thing I really love about the holidays is getting Christmas cards in the mail--and we got our first one this weekend! I'm always a fan of fun snail-mail, but the Christmas cards generally carry news and/or pictures of friends and family, some of whom we don't see very often. So it's neat to see how everyone has changed and to learn what's going on in their worlds. Now, I'm not saying any of you have to send me a Christmas card, but know that if you do, it will be appreciated. And if you send a picture, you will even be awarded a place of honor on our fridge. Our cards go out for New Year's, so if you're waiting for us to reciprocate, just hang in there and know you have something to look forward to even after the other cards have been opened and the gifts have been put away.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Re-work

"To work again."

As in: "Hi. This is the salon carrying your sugar scrubs. Over half of the sampler packs I recently bought from you are leaking oil. Could you come by and take a look at them and see if you think this is normal?"

And: "Oh my goodness! That is definitely NOT normal. I will take them all back and replace them for you."

So everything has now been re-worked. The recipe. The jars. The bags. Everything. I've heard that these kinds of things just happen sometimes when you are starting up a business, but I was completely mortified! Fortunately, the lady was very nice about it, and the problem seems to have been resolved. But I'm exhausted--partly from the stress of it and partly from the re-working itself. See you all back here tomorrow for, hopefully, a less than woe-is-me post!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Dishwasher Woes

I'm pretty sure it is never a good thing when your dishwasher dumps most of its water on your kitchen floor at some point during the wash cycle. And, unfortunately, that's what's happening when I run my dishwasher these days. So, I dutifully called the home warranty company, who dutifully sent over some technicians, who diagnosed the problem with realative ease. "Looks like your heating elelment is warped and has burned a hole in the bottom of your dishwasher tub and in the spray arm, and that's what's causing the problem." The service company dutifully turned their report back into the warranty company who dutifully called me today to give me my options. They dutifully neglected to actually read the service report, however, so they were unaware of the holes. "Holes?! I didn't know anything about any holes...Can I put you on hold for a minute." We'll the lady very sheepishly admitted that they hadn't done the proper research, and she wasn't sure what we needed to do next...but she would definitely get back to me--later. So, after hosting a dinner party tonight, I am dutifully running my dishwasher--with all its holes--with a towel down on the floor to absorb the water. We all have to make choices. I choose not to hand-wash all those dishes!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Reading Update

Ruth's newest reading poster was points-based rather than book based--meaning she had to earn 5 points rather than read a certain number of books. We are assigning points to the books based on the points assigned by the Accelerated Reader Program. Most of the books she has read up to this point have been zero or half-point books. Well, today, she finished her first 1-point book-- a 55-page, 7-chapter book with mostly words and only a few pictures. She's been working on this one for a while, but today she insisited on reading for two straight hours just so she could finish. This completed her poster and boosted her confidence even more! She was soooo pleased with herself, and Jeff and I couldn't be prouder! I'm sure in no time at all she'll be tackling War and Peace!

Monday, December 03, 2007

Just Another Day In Paradise

4:15pm
"Ruth would you like to have reading time or Bible time first this afternoon?"
"That's no fun!"
"Well, I need you to change your attitude and pick one, please."
[Young girl proceeds to stare at Mom as if she has two heads].
"Do you want to change your attitude or would you like to go to bed?"
[Continued staring, but now with a challenge in her eyes that says, "I'd just like to see you try to send me to bed"].
"You can choose or I can choose for you."
[Now, murder in her eyes].
"O.k. I think you need to go lay in your bed for a while."
[Crying, wailing, udder heart-brokenness and stomping up the stairs--followed shortly by silence].

4:30 pm
"I hungee. I-ant sumping eat."
"We'll eat when Daddy gets home."
[Small boy toddles off to living room and proceeds to empty all bookshelves and toy bins].
"Weston please pick up the books and the toys."
"I hungee. I-ant sumping eat."
"O.k. we'll have dinner when Daddy gets home. Let's work on picking up those things."
[Major whining, followed by reluctant obedience].

4:45 pm
"I hungee."
{What are we going to have for dinner?!}

4:50 pm
{How about leftovers with a twist}.

5:00 pm
[Key sounds in the door].
[Toddler runs at full-steam to front door].
"Daddy!"
"I hungee. I-ant sumping eat."
"I told him we'd eat when you got home."
"Oh. No wonder he's so glad to see me."
[Mom heads upstairs to wake sleeping 5-year-old, who doesn't want to be awakened].

5:05 pm
[Dad's phone rings].
[Toddler enters room with every noisy toy he owns, sending Daddy upstairs to talk on the phone].
[Mom begins dinner prep].

5:10 pm
[CRASH]!
[Mom leaves kitchen to inspect and finds toddler trying to use guitar as a ladder while grabbing things off the piano].
[Glass covers the floor. Mom reprimands child. Crying ensues, followed by a thousand "I sorrys"].
[Mom gets broom and begins sweeping just as the curious, now-wide-awake and barefoot 5-year-old enters the room].
"DON'T COME IN HERE WITHOUT SHOES ON! THERE IS GLASS ALL OVER THE FLOOR!"
"Why is there glass all over the floor? What's going on? How did Weston get up there? Where's Dad?"
[Mom notices blood gushing from her finger].

5:15 pm
{What is that smell?!}
{Oh gosh, that pan is still on the stove, on high, and no stirring has occurred for at least five minutes!}
[Mom, with small sobbing boy wrapped tightly around her leg, grabs a paper towel to stop the bleeding and returns to the stove to find the middle contents of the pan burned on to the pan].
{Groan.}

5:16 pm
"O.k. Ruth, I'd like for you to get your book and read to me while I finish getting dinner ready."
[Girl immediately obeys, having already seen the choice Mom will make for her if she doesn't spring into action].

5:20 pm
[Dad appears, and the crowd goes wild].
"Can I do anything to help?"
"How about getting me a band-aid?"
" I hungee. I-ant mlk, pease."
"O.k. just a minute!"
"Can someone help me with this word?"

5:30 pm
[Peaceful and fabulously prepared dinner comes together flawlessly].





Sunday, December 02, 2007

Riddle Me This

How is it that the more a hotel room costs per night, the less chance you have of getting a free breakfast?

Friday, November 30, 2007

Kick Counts

I had an appointment with my OB/GYN this week, and she really wanted me to be paying attention to the baby's movements. She gave me a chart so I can keep track of the "kick counts." Well, this baby never stops moving, so I think I'm going to have count something else because I definitley can't count high enough to keep up with this little mover! Should I be worried about what this means for the future?!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

The Parties Never End

As you know (if you read my blog a few days ago), today was Ruth's half-birthday. Which could only mean one thing in our house: PARTY! It really just means you get to pick whatever you want for dinner and you get a little gift. Ruth chose to bring Chuy's in and eat it in the living room while watching Toy Story 2. Then we gave her a couple of board games. It's a family tradition we enjoy, and we had a lot of fun.

After the kids went to bed, Jeff and I got another party started. We put up a pole for Festivus. Then we read through some "grievences aired" and laughed our heads off. Jeff is very pleased with the pole, though he had a hard time believing that I was actually going to let him put it up. But, I would honestly rather be laughing my head off about a silly pole in the living room than grumbling through decorating a tree.

I hope you all found something to celebrate today or that you find something to celebrate tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Pregnancy Fun

I know you are all dying to know what pregnancy-induced weirdness is going on with my body, so here you go.

  • Early morning headaches
  • Never-ending nosebleeds, even with me diligently following the tips of my doctor and Ruth's teacher (who used to have lots of nosebleeds as well).
  • Weird lower back/upper hip pain made unbearable by sitting.
  • Totally random leg cramps at completely unexpected times.
  • And my constant companion: heartburn.
And that's just today's list! But even with all that, it's still worth it! We can't believe how close we're getting to meeting this little guy, and we're so excited!

*Tonight, we were all sitting on Jeff's and my bed singing songs, when Tater decided to join in with some dance moves. The kids were fascinated by my moving belly, and they began talking to the baby and giving him little kisses and hugs. It was beautiful and made it all the easier to overlook the other not-so-fun stuff!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

New Cookware

Jeff and I decided to treat ourselves to some new cookware--really good cookware--because after 9 1/2 years of marriage some of our hodge-podge pieces just aren't getting it done anymore. The timing for this purchase was just right because Jeff recently received a discount coupon from one of his company's clients. Stainless steel now reigns surpreme in our kitchen, and Jeff even got his Minute rice to come out right tonight, which he credits the new cookware with--(certainly not actually measuring and timing). We are very excited about this purchase and expect everything that comes out of our kitchen from now on to be nothing but absolutely fabulous. So, please, by all means make plans to join us for dinner sometime soon.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Here A Party, There A Party

It's been one big party around here since I last wrote. We had a wonderful Thanksgiving party and enjoyed spending time with all our family while they were here. The potato martinis were a huge hit and were super-yummy. My parents and in-laws enjoyed them so much that they are already planning to borrow all the glasses for their own potato martini parties! Weston's birthday party with the family was a blast! It was definitely a boy party--complete with dirt cake in a dump truck, lots of truck and tractor toys, and a hard hat pinata. After the festivities on Thursday, we made our way to my in-laws place at Lake Buchanan, where the cold, rainy weather made a perfect backdrop for a weekend of board games, hot chocolate and visiting. Today was Weston's real birthday, so the party just continued. We all sang "Happy Birthday" to him first thing this morning (as he was sitting on the potty), and his swim class also sang to him. When I asked him what he wanted to do for his birthday, he said, "Place. Booster Seat. Pasta." I gathered that he wanted to go to someplace where he had sat in a booster seat and had pasta. Jeff and I brainstormed for quite a while to figure out where that might be and finally came up with Red Robin. Jeff pulled up a picture on the internet and showed Weston, and sure enough, he said that's where he wanted to go. He ended up deciding on the corndog instead of the pasta, but we were so proud of him for communicating to us where he wanted to go. He opened his gifts from us when we got home, which rounded out the boy toys quite nicely. Now I just have to figure out where we're going to put all of them! It's been a fun few days, and we can anticipate one more little party this week as we celebrate Ruth's half-birthday on Thursday.




Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Cluster Dating

Tonight was date night number one for the week for Jeff and I. We have found ourselves (mostly) childless for a couple of nights, while the kids entertain their grandparents. We intend to make the most of it! Tonight we had dinner at Kona Grill and then did some shopping in the new Domain shopping center. Tomorrow night we are planning to go see Jeff's co-worker's husband's band downtown. Then, we might even sneak off on Friday night to San Antonio to watch the Spurs play. So much fun! We love our kids, but we cherish our alone times together!

Monday, November 19, 2007

The Factory Is Open

Jeff calls our kitchen and office "The Factory" on days when I'm busy with my sugar scrubs. Well, today the factory was definitely open, ensconcing the house in the aroma of gingerbread. And in the middle of production I got a phone call to ensure that the factory will remain open at least through tomorrow, when coconut takes center stage. But I have promised myself that, no matter what, the factory will shut down sometime on Wednesday because my in-laws will be here to spend the night, and who wants to sleep in a factory! (Besides, I need to take care of some Thanksgiving/Birthday preparations at some point)! I am just loving this sugar scrub business and am so pleasantly surprised to see how it's taking off.

*The website is functional, by the way, but just. The only thing you can do there right now is place an order. The layout looks nice, though, so if you'd like to take a look it's bodydulce.com. Hopefully, before the end of the year, it will really be like a regular website, with content and pictures and who-knows what else.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Now, That's Overwhelming

I wrote a couple of weeks ago about how overwhelmed some people seem to be by the fact that I'm pregnant with my third child. Well, today I came across some facts that will just send those people completely over the edge. Apparently, the most prolific woman ever had 69 children! This was in Russia in the 1700s, so it wasn't the result of fertilization treatments. It is reported that this lady had some sort of ovulation disorder. This poor woman was pregnant 27 times and gave birth to 16 pairs of twins, 7 sets of triplets and 4 sets of quadruplets. Only two of the children didn't make it through infancy. Now, that's overwhelming!

And closer to home, a former co-worker of Jeff's (i.e. someone we actually know and have some sort of relationship with) recently had quintuptlets (that's 5 babies at once!)--and he already had two kids! That's also pretty overwhelming, if you ask me.

Makes just three look super-normal and not the least bit overwhelming, huh?!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Weston's Bedtime Prayer

"Bess Dadee. Bess Momee. Bess Roo-f. Bess Wessy. Amen."

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Indian Princess

Ruth's school hosted a "Thanksgiving Feast" today, which they invited all parents to attend. Her class made Indian headbands, and each child was given an Indian name. Ruth was "Red Leaf." And, of course, no self-respecting Indian princess would dare show up to a traditional Thanksgiving feast in anything but full costume, making her the envy of all her classmates. Ah, to be five again!




Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Just A Little Fishy

Weston's swim lessons are going very well. He is just a little fish. He isn't afraid at all (which is terrifying for me). In fact, the teacher says she's been teaching for quite a while and hasn't ever seen such a little guy be so brave. He loves to go under and jump off the side and stand in the shallow water up to his chin and bob up and down. He tries every way he can to get free of me. (Did I mention this lack of fear terrifies me)?! I even dreamed last night that he kept jumping into the pool before I could get there. After totally freaking out several times and jumping into the pool over and over fully clothed, I realized that he knew how to swim and he was o.k. and I was able to relax. I wouldn't say I'm all that relaxed in real life with Weston around water, but I will say that he is really learning to pay attention around the water and wait for me to be ready for him. I wish I could share some picutres, but I don't dare take my eye off him for even a second!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Patriotic Night

It was Patriotic Night at Ruth's school tonight in honor of Veteran's Day. The children sang some beautiful patriotic songs with all their hearts. It was lovely.





Monday, November 12, 2007

I Do

Jeff and I began our life together a little over nine years ago with these two little words: I do. What we meant by that was: "I do promise to love, honor and cherish you from now on." Well, "I do" has recently taken on an entirely different meaning in our household. As Weston approaches two, he has claimed this phrase for his very own. His meaning is slightly different than the unselfish way Jeff and I first said it. His meaning is: "I do intend to do this (whatever it is) entirely by myself without any help from anyone, thank you very much!" And any unsolicited help is immediately met with a shrill whine or real deal tears. I do love "2!"

Sunday, November 11, 2007

A Peek Into My Shopping Cart

Here are some random things I bought today:


  • 100 clear cellophane bags
  • a hard hat pinata
  • lunch and snack items
  • 144 off-white terry washcloths
  • too much junk food
  • glue sticks
  • a shopping cart full (literally) of martini glasses

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Quiet Nights

Jeff hit the air for another business trip to Las Vegas yesterday. Ruth has been a little under the weather. And Weston has been his normal sleepy self. All that has made for a couple of quiet nights around here. I hardly know what to do with myself. Don't get me wrong, there is plenty to do, but it just seems so quiet. I'm even reduced to cheesy Hallmark movies just to have a little background noise. It's funny how you can wish for just a few minutes alone sometimes, and then when you get whole hours, you feel like something is amiss. I shall relish this time to myself, for sure, but I will be glad when things are back to normal.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Just Two Weeks

It dawned on me yesterday that it's just two weeks until Thanksgiving. I guess I sort of put that on the back burner during all the sugar scrub hub-bub. Wow. Just two weeks. That means I have an awful lot to do--starting with finding the dining room table! It also means that I have neglected to share our theme with all of you. (If you're new to the blog, here's the background: We always host Thanksgiving, and we always have a theme to keep it from getting too traditional. We've had a fiesta, a luau, a farm theme, etc.). This year we are having a "Bacon, Not Bird" Thanksgiving. The bacon being ham, instead of turkey. And the special treat being potato martinis--probably stirred rather than shaken just to keep the mess to a minimum. Tater and I are VERY excited about this! Mashed potatoes and mashed sweet potatoes with more toppings than you can shake a stick at. Oooo, I just can't wait! If you don't have plans, you should definitely drop by. It's going to be a wonderful feast, with a side of little-boy birthday party.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Back In Mommyland

Well, it was back to my real job today--complete with one sick child, one cranky child, a sink overflowing with dirty dishes, a house that looks like a bomb went off, bills to pay, a few *episodes* (I honestly didn't know there was poop in the pull-up when I pulled it off with a flourish in an attempt to get the little man on the potty quickly), and all the other things that make this truly a one-of-a-kind job. Wouldn't trade it for anything!

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Sweet Success

Well, I'm back, and I should now be a bit more consistent with my blogging. My show in Temple went really, really well! I pretty much sold out of everything I took with me, and even had to stay up late last night making more! A store in Waco decided to carry the scrubs, and several other vendors were interested in possibly carrying them in the future or knew someone who they wanted to share my contact info with. Another neat thing was getting to trade products with other vendors. They wanted some scrubs, I wanted some of their things, so it was fun to use the old-fashioned barter system. I learned a lot and made some money and had a great time. I hope I will be able to do something else like this soon, and I hope the contacts I made will continue to serve me well in the future.


Monday, November 05, 2007

I Haven't Slipped Off The Face Of The Earth, I Promise.

So sorry I've been out of touch lately. Nothing's wrong, but thanks to those who have expressed concern. Body Dulce has been in full production mode in the last week, getting ready for this little trade show tomorrow and the next day and filling some big orders as well. I have been up to my elbows in sugar scrub (literally), not to mention all the other stuff that goes along with selling that I never even thought about before. I've pretty much been at it from early morning until late night every day, and by the time it's time to sit down and blog, I usually vote for bed instead. Here are some highlights from this past week:

  • Jeff had a birthday.
  • We all got to go to an assembly at Ruth's school on Friday where Ruth was recognized, along with other kids from every grade, for her Jaguar Pride Award.
  • Weston is doing a great job with the potty. His whole calendar is covered with stars!
  • We went to Houston on Saturday for a little overnight trip. We decided to experiment with Weston in a big boy bed. I ended up being his bed partner, and I can say without a doubt that I don't want to do that again any time soon.
  • Today is Weston's first day of swim lessons.
I will try to be a little more connected after the trade show is over. I'll be back Wednesday night. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

It's All About Asking Nicely

Jeff came home for lunch today, and while he was here, Weston was adamantly demanding something from him. Jeff was preoccupied and wasn't able to help him out right at the moment. (And no help from Mommy would suffice at the time). So I told Weston that when Daddy finished what he was doing, if he would ask nicely, Daddy would probably do what he wanted. When Jeff was able to shift his focus to Weston, Weston ran over to him, saying, "Nicely, nicely, nicely..." It was the cutest thing ever, and of course, Daddy couldn't deny the request! You can't ask much more nicely than that.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

When Was The Last Time You Rode On A Yellow Dog?

For me, it was today. Before that, who knows--and who even wants to remember that?! I accompanied Ruth's class on a field trip to the Elgin Christmas Tree/Pumpkin Farm. We got to go on a hayride, listen to a story and lecture about how pumpkins grow, have a picnic lunch, decorate mini pumpkins, pet and look at a wide variety of farm animals, go through a corn maze and a hay bale maze, race rubber duckies and play on the farm's playground. It was a really fun day! The weather was perfect and the kids were well-behaved, for the most part. I don't think there is a Kindergartner at Jollyville who won't sleep well tonight--or a chaperon, for that matter!






Monday, October 29, 2007

Egg Nog Season

It's the most wonderful time of the year. The time of year when all the grocery stores start to put out Egg Nog. I have no idea why this heavenly drink is only offered to us once a year. Perhaps it has something to do with absence making the heart grow fonder. I'll drink pretty much any egg nog, pretty much anytime, but this weekend while shopping at Central Market, we picked up some of the Promised Land "holiday" variety. Ummm. I also came across this recipe, which I intend to try very soon--if the egg nog can last that long!


Promised Land Eggnog French Toast with Maple Syrup
Courtesy of: Central Market
6 servings

4 cups Promised Land Eggnog
4 eggs
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon freshly grated cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated allspice
12 (1-inch thick) slice Central Market Challah Bread
1/4 cup unsalted butter
confectioner's sugar
maple syrup

Whisk the eggnog, eggs, nutmeg, cinnamon and allspice in a bowl. Place the bread slices in a single layer on a 10 x 15-inch baking pan. Pour the eggnog mixture over the bread slices. Chill, covered, for 2 to 3 hours. Remove from refrigerator about 20 minutes before cooking. Heat 1 tablespoon of the butter in a heavy skillet over medium heat until melted and foamy. Place as many bread slices as will fit in a single layer in the skillet. Cook until both sides are brown, turning once. Repeat with the remaining butter and bread slices. Dust with confectioners' sugar and serve with maple syrup.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Barefoot and Pregnant

Ah, bare feet. Images of sunny days on the beach and childhood days running through the grass--until you become pregnant. Then, bare feet take on a whole other connotation. And heaven-forbid it should be your third child resting cozily there in your womb. Burgeoning bellies elicit the most unsolicited, and sometimes unnecessary, commentary imaginable. I mean, what pregnant woman hasn't had to sit through at least a handful of horror stories about deliveries-gone-wrong and babies born in less than perfect health. For me, this time around, it's the shock of it being the third: "Oh my goodness! Three kids?! Wow! You're definitely going to have a house-full." "Was this planned?!" "Well, I guess you don't mind being poor." And sometimes, it's not the words people say, but the look on their faces or the tone in their voices, even when they are trying to sound like they are happy for you. It seems that 2 is the "right" number of kids to have. If you go beyond that, people become very uncomfortable. And this is somewhat comical to Jeff and I, because it was infinitely harder for us to think about having two kids than it was to think about having three. Going from one to two seemed like stepping from the earth to the moon. Going from two to three seemed like walking across the street. Having three kids is not overwhelming or intimidating to us, even though it definitley seems to be to some people. We feel like we are doing a good job with the two we have, and we see no reason to believe that adding one more will change the way we parent. We are going into this new phase of life knowing more or less what we're getting into, and believe it or not, we are very exicited! So, bring on the happy images of barefootedness. Afterall, the difference between three and two is just one.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Fun Day

Here are some of the highlights of the day:

  • Around noon, my parents and grandparents came over for a visit.
  • On the way to and from her Portuguese class, Ruth finished her ninth (and final) book for this new poster--without anyone even looking over her shoulder. Many of the books she read for this poster were second and third grade level books.
  • As a reward for completing the poster, and after giving her book report to a room full of eager relatives, Ruth chose a trip to Amy's for ice cream (Mexican vanilla with candy corns crushed in, anyone?) and some play time with the cows.
  • Granny and I looked through Weston's scrapbook and remembered him as a little baby. (Is he really almost two-years-old)?!
  • Weston got to add four stars to his calendar! (That's four successful trips to the potty, for those of you not familiar with our star system)!
  • We had chili and cornbread for dinner. (Yay, Fall)!
  • We had a little early birthday celebration for Jeff, complete with chocolate cake.
  • The kids left with my parents and grandparents, and Jeff and I got to have an impromptu date night. We made our first trip over to The Domain (a new fancy-smancy shopping area here in Austin), perused the bookstore and enjoyed each other's company along with some Chai Lattes.
All-in-all a really wonderful day!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

The Blue Hanger Circus

Every once in a great while I take it into my head to pop into the Goodwill Blue Hanger store near our house. Usually when I have some time on my hands--and some hand sanitizer in my purse. This is the "outlet" Goodwill, for those of you not in the know. It's always a bit of an adventure, but today was like nothing I had ever seen. They were refilling the bins and it was complete chaos. People were packed in like sardines behind the barrier, waiting for the signal to go and get the goods. People we pushing and trying to grab things away from each other. And I thought one lady was going to take some swings, when she wandered across the aisle and returned to find her shopping cart missing. I just stood there--a safe distance away--gaping and gawking and wondering what the heck I was seeing. It was like Christmas shopping in the mall. [Shudder!] Jeff thought I was making all this up, but I promise you I could not have come up with this in a million years. In my wildest imaginations, I couldn't come up with human behavior as wacky as fighting over the Goodwill rejects.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

So Much More To Smile About

  • My meeting with the spa went very well today and I got my biggest order, to date. Very exciting stuff!
  • I'm told the website could be up by the end of the week.
  • We met with Ruth's teacher yesterday afternoon, and she couldn't say enough nice things about Ruth. She was encouraging Ruth to pursue more challenges on her own and was also promising us that she would do everything she could to ensure that Ruth continues to be challenged at school. She was also suggesting some special projects for Ruth to do at school like some extra research with a couple of other kids for their focus on Korea next month and entering something in the science fair in January.
  • I had a wonderful opportunity to visit with a good friend of mine yesterday.
  • We haven't had to run the air conditioner all week because the weather has been so lovely.
  • Mangia pizza for dinner.
  • Going to bed earlier tonight than last night.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

A Body Dulce Facelift

My Body Dulce products are wonderful for the body. They give just the right amount of exfoliation and moisturizing. And my confidence and creativity have also soared since creating the product. I have been so encouraged by the great response I've had to the product and the business. But today, Body Dulce did something for my face. It put a big ol' smile there all day.

First, I got a call from the salon in Temple that can say they were the first to carry the product. The lady just wanted to inform me that she had sold 5 out of the 6 jars I put in her shop just two weeks ago and that she'd like to have 10 more! And further, she wanted to know, "What would you like for me to do with all this money?" She also had a wonderful suggestion for me, which I immediately took to heart and have already applied (in rough-draft form). I will be perfecting it in the next couple of weeks, as I prepare for a "trade show" in Temple.

Then, this afternoon, I took the kids in for a haircut, and in the course of conversation, I found out that the lady cutting the kids' hair was the owner of the shop. I took the opportunity to talk to her about my scrubs, and she agreed to let me bring in some samples and business cards to set out. I am hopeful that that will generate some more business.

Tomorrow, I will meet with the owner of a spa here in Austin to see about getting my scrubs in her shop as well.

I also got my business cards and gift tags ordered this week, and the website is well on it's way to becoming official. I'm so excited about all these opportunities, and I'm amazed at how quickly this dream is turning into reality.

Monday, October 22, 2007

A Blustery Day In The Hundred Acre Wood

We seem to have bypassed Fall altogether here in central Texas, and winter arrived in a wet and blustery rush in the middle of the night. I was thankful that I recently bought a new hooded sweater that accomodates my current roundish figure (though I was not overly enthusiastic about the other tent-like cool-weather maternity clothes begging to be worn out into the chill), and that I was able to convince Ruth that the sundress probably wasn't the best choice for school today. I was also thankful for an excuse to eat yummy vegetable soup and grilled cheese sandwiches for dinner. I think the rest of the week is supposed to be absulutely gorgeous, and despite my poking fun at the cool temps today, I actually found it quite lovely. Add a few degrees and take away most of the wind, and it would have been perfect.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Clothes To Make A Man

We added a very important element to Weston's wardrobe today. It's big-boy underwear! He's getting pretty good at going to the potty and telling us when he needs to go, so we thought we'd step it up another notch. He's definitely not ready for the underwear full-time, but we're going to use them occasionally just to get used to the idea. Weston was absolutely thrilled when I presented him with 2 packages of big-boy underwear this afternoon. He was further thrilled to get to put on a pair and play on the deck for a while in his all-togethers. (And Ruth thought the whole process was hilarious). I wanted to put a picture here of Weston modeling the new undies--because his little tushie is just so cute--but Daddy isn't a big fan of pics like that, so we went with a more generic picture. But, trust me, that little bum is too, too cute in those cutie little undies. We're proud of our little man and hope to see him fully embrace the big-boyness that comes along with the addition to his wardrobe.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Watch Your Mailbox

Our Thanksgiving invitations went out today! We're so excited! True to form, it is a themed party and not all that traditional. Stay tuned for more info in the weeks to come.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Getting Out A Little More

As I've been thinking about Weston's upcoming birthday, I have realized, with a certain sadness, that Weston just doesn't have many friends. In fact, he has exactly one. That doesn't really make for much of a birthday party. (Ruth has always invited at least 20 friends to all her birthday parties). I started to feel like a pretty crummy mom for not getting the kid out more. So, today I determined that we would make a change. I loaded Weston up this morning, and I was on a mission. First, I stopped at the YMCA and signed him up for swim lessons for November. Then, we made our way to the library for the toddler storytime. About five minutes into that, I remembered why it is that Weston doesn't get out more, and I determined to make another change (in location, that is). He's a sleepy, sleepy little man, and he just doesn't have the fortitude for these friend-making functions. By the time we left the library, Weston was not just in tears but was absolutely in meltdown mode. And I had lost all hope that our swim lessons will be successful next month. Weston is actually a very social little boy, but he would definitley rather have a nap than a birthday party full of friends. I guess we'll just plan to invite the Snuggly and the Blanket to the party this year, and maybe we'll get out more next year.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Pizza Casserole

After finding that fabulous recipe last night, I just left the cookbook sitting on the table. At breakfast, Ruth spotted it and was inspired. First, she wanted to know if she could put together her own cookbook. Her first idea was reminiscent of the dictionary idea. She wanted to have a book like mine where she could write down and illustrate a list of foods. Then, she decided it would be better if she actually wrote out some of her favorite recipes. As she began to throw out some ideas, she came up with pizza casserole. In Jeff's family cookbook, such a recipe actually exists. And so with enthusiasm, Jeff began to tell her about it. She stopped him mid-sentence. "No, no, no, Dad. I was thinking of making a regular casserole and cutting up real pizza into it." Hmmm. Sounds delicious. What is a "regular casserole" anyway?

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Moist and Minty Marvel

Desperate for dessert tonight, I reached for the family cookbook and began to peruse the largely disproportionate dessert section. What I found was a little treasure that, to my knowledge, has never actually been made by anyone in my family. But I don't know why, because it's excellent. It's a fabulous combination of mint and chocolate (which is right up there with the chocolate/peanut butter combo, if you ask me), and it's super-easy to make. So, without further ado, here's my Granny's recipe for Moist and Minty Brownies. Please enjoy.

1 1/4 c. flour
1/2 t. soda
1/4 t. salt
3/4 c. sugar
1 stick butter
2 T. water
10 oz. pkg. semi-sweet mint flavored chocolate morsels
1 t. vanilla
2 eggs

Combine flour, soda and salt--set aside. In a small saucepan combine sugar, butter and water--bring just to a boil, remove from heat. Add 1 cup of mint-chocolate morsels and vanilla, stirring until melted and smooth. Transfer to a large bowl. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. Stir in flour mixture and remaining morsels. Spread into a greased 9 in. square pan. Bake 25-35 minutes at 350--just until center is set. Cool completely, cut into squares.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Gone Again

  • New tires on van. Check.
  • New stereo in van. Check.
  • Various and asundry van maintenence. Check.
  • Full tank of gas. Check.
  • Fully-charged ipods. Check.
  • Bag of snacks. Check.
  • DVDs. Check.
  • Bags mostly packed. Check.
Sounds like a road trip in the making, huh? It's true. We're gone again. This time we're off to Albuquerque for the hot air balloon festival. We're leaving in the middle of the day tomorrow, and as you might have guessed, we're driving. It's a 12-hour trek. Hopefully, we will also remember to pack our good attitudes! We have been looking forward to this for about nine months, and we are so excited. We'll be back on Sunday, but I may not get a new post up until Monday. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.

Ah, Irony

Ruth woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning and was grumbly, grumpy and generally grouchy all morning. She was disrespectful and uncooperative, and consequently we were a bit late to school. (Incidentally, after we dropped Ruth off, Weston caught the grouchy bug and I immediately put him back to bed when we got home). By 8:00 am I had had it. And it was right about then that the phone rang. "This is Mrs. Harris in the Jollyville principal's office." I was blown away. I knew Ruth's day hadn't started off so great, but I never imagined she would act up at school--especially enough to land in the principal's office. "We just wanted to let you know that Ruth has been awarded the Jaguar Pride Award for showing respect, responsibility, compassion and empathy." What?! Wait a second. That's not the kid I sent school today. The secretary put Ruth on the phone, and I was so very thankful for the opportunity to praise her and congratulate her on a job well-done after the rocky morning we had. She got a little certificate and gets to have her picture in one of the main hallways of the school and be recognized in the morning announcements. I'm really proud of her, and I'm so glad that we had that ray of sunshine in an otherwise dismal morning.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

The Dreaded Phone Call

On Sunday afternoon, while Jeff and I were merrily making our way to visit some friends in New York, we got one of those phone calls you never, ever want to get: Your son stopped breathing and is now in an ambulance headed to the hospital. Granted, my dad assured me that Weston was breathing again, but still. Did I mention I was in NEW YORK?! It turned out to be the simplest thing. He had an ear infection. The problem was a febrile seizure, which I had heard of somewhere in the back of my mind, but honestly never would have thought would have happened to my usually very healthy kid. It wasn't that the fever got so high, it's that it shot up so quickly. When we told our ex-paramedic friend what was going on, he asked, "Did he have a high fever?" Then, "I bet it was a febrile seizure. That happens all the time with kids that age." When my mom arrived at the hospital with Weston, they immediately diagnosed the febrile seizure and then proclaimed how common it was in kids this age. But it certainly wasn't common for either my mom or me (or anyone else involved). Other moms (and dads and grandparents) should be aware of this. Click on the link up there and find out some of the facts. Something else my mom learned and passed along to me, was that the hospital recommended that she alternate doses of Tylenol with doses of Motrin to control the fever. Neither of us had ever heard this, but it seemed to help--plus it keeps your kid from getting too much of a good thing.

Weston is just fine now. In fact, he was doing fine on Sunday night. His fever hoovered in the lowish range until around mid-morning today, when I guess the antibiotic finally kicked in. Now he is fever-free and back to his happy little self.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Thursday, October 04, 2007

One for the road

The kids are looking forward to a weekend of spoilage by the grandparents, and Jeff and I are looking forward to a weekend of foliage. We are off to Vermont for the weekend. We're considering it our anniversary get-away. I know, our anniversary was in August. And, yes, we were supposed to go to Fredricksburg, TX. But Vermon,t during peak Fall foliage, is pretty much the same, right?! Well, this trip just sort of came up. It's a combo business trip for Jeff and vacation for us. The whole point of the place we picked in Fredricksburg, if you'll remember, was the mention of "willow" in the name to fulfill our traditional ninth anniversary gift of willow. Well, it turns out that the place we're staying in Vermont is also willow-named. We're so excited! We'll share pictures when we get back on Monday.

It Ain't Braggin' If It's True

Well, this is going to be a brag post, so if you aren't into that, better go get a snack or something and check back with me later.

First, my brilliant daughter. Ruth finished another reading poster this week (eight books on this one--for a total of 26 books since July)! We celebrated tonight with a trip to Burger King--the one with the huge playscape. I wouldn't have picked that for a celebration for myself, but Ruth couldn't have been more thrilled. We've upped the ante a bit for the "Nine" poster. For that one she will not only have to read the books, she will also give a book report on each one to whichever parent didn't hear the story. She needed a new challenge, and she thinks it's a pretty neat idea. We're so proud of her!

And now on to my advanced son. While we were at Burger King tonight, Weston came to me--from the playscape, mind you--to tell me he needed to go potty. I rushed him to the bathroom and found that his diaper was already quite wet. I thought that must have been what all the "potty talk" was about, but was still pleased that he was making the connection between a wet diaper and going potty. Still, I put him on the potty so that he would further make the connection between telling me he needed to go and actually going. And to my complete delight, he went! (This was a slightly messy undertaking since Mommy is still getting the hang of the boy parts, especially when there isn't a little shield there to keep everything going the direction it should). Even more exciting was the fact that this was his second time to go potty today! (The first time was on the little potty we have at home. And while we're talking about that, let me just say, I never really thought much about what kind of potty we used when I was potty training a little girl. But now, I'm definitely thinking about it, and I'm currently in the market for a new one. Again, it has to do with those boy parts that I'm not sure what to do with). We are definitely on the right track! Woo-Hoo! So proud of our little man! He's just getting so big!

--One funny thing was that when he went at Burger King, we tried to reward him with dessert there, thinking by the time we got home he might have forgotten what he was getting rewarded for. We underestimated the child. He liked the pie fine, but he wasn't going to bed without his special potty treat--a couple of Skittles. As I was putting him in bed, he puffed out his bottom lip about as far as it could go and said over and over, "Treat." I foolishly tried to reason with him: "the pie was your reward." Finally, as real tears were forming in his little eyes, I gave in and got him his Skittles. His whole face lit up with a smile and then he immediately went to sleep.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Hard Luck Haircut

I have had the worst luck with haircuts the last several months. I've been going to the same place for a few years and have been completely pleased with the lady who cuts my hair. Unfortunately, she sort of flaked out over the summer. And so I've been putting off haircuts, and finally searching for a new salon. I must say, it's not going well. I feel like I've been going around with shaggy dog hair since about June. And when I tell people I want it short, they don't seem to believe me. I went in to a place today, with pictures in hand, firmly saying over and over that I wanted it much shorter. The only thing she kept saying back was "I think it should be longer here, here and here." Consequently, she didn't cut it as short as I wanted it. Which means sometime next week, it will probably be driving me crazy. Ugh! If anyone out there has a fabulous stylist (who won't cost me an arm and a leg), who knows how to listen and/or can look at a picture and at least get a general idea, please, please send me their name. I'm desperate here!

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Take Me To Your Leader

Apparently over the weekend, some of the woodland creatures who hang out around our house held an election, and the carved bear on the right hand side of our front door (as you face the house) won. The squirrels are paying homage to him by laying their biggest, most impressive acorns at his feet. I suppose he must be living up to his campaign promises. I think the whole scene is hilarious, and Weston thinks he's hit some kind of toddler boy jackpot.

Monday, October 01, 2007

More Pregnancy Insanity

Tonight, Jeff and I were having a conversation--about nothing unpleasant, mind you--and I spontaneously burst into a fit of crocodile tears. No rhyme. No reason. No explanation. Literally seconds before that I was laughing heartily. Nothing whacked-out about that.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Joys Of Pregnancy

Well, I'm past the morning sickness, nausea and debilitating headaches that accompanied the first trimester and have moved on to the joys of nosebleeds and heartburn that grace the days and nights of the second trimester. And I'm starting to have more pressure on my bladder and lungs. But the trade-off is that I can now feel the baby moving (playing soccer? practicing karate?) all the time, which at least makes all this stuff seem like it's for a reason. (And his brother is infinitely helpful in insuring that this little guy knows all the moves, since he seems intent on keeping regular practice times on my lap, where he kicks from the outside).

By this time around, I'm familiar with the drill. But I have the priviledge of knowing now what I didn't know the first time around: It's totally worth it! The end reward more than makes up for these few months of discomfort. I know the moment I see this little man, the path to get here will be nothing but a dim memory.

Now, if you'll excuse me, there is a bottle of Tums calling my name.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Orphans

Ruth and Jeff somehow got on the subject of orphans the other day. That was a new word for Ruth, so she asked about it and Jeff explained. Ruth voiced her concern over this with this question: "What do they do without grown-ups to get things for them?" In my mind, I picture this meaning, "Who gets the cereal off the top shelf, because I can't reach that even when I stand on my stool."

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Volunteering

On Thursday afternoons, I leave Weston with some friends for a few hours, and then I spend some time up at Ruth's school. I am the "folder stuffer" for Ruth's class. And when I finish with that task, I go down and vounteer in the library until the end of the school day. My job consists of reshelving books, checking books in, checking books out and answering questions for the kids. It's so fun to interact with the kids and get to know more of the people up at the school. One thing that does disturb me, though, is how very many scary books there are, and how those are the most sought-after books--and I'm only there when the 2nd and 3rd graders are there. First of all, I just don't think those books have much educational value. And further, I just don't think kids that young (or really any age) need their heads filled with such scary thoughts. What is the benefit of that? If you're just looking for entertainment, surely there are better choices. So, now you all know where I stand on scary books. I didn't really mean to turn this post into a rant, but it's just so disturbing to me and I couldn't help myself. I do relish my time up at the school, though, and I'm so thankful that I have that opportunity.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

All Is Vanity

Maybe once a year (or more like every 2 or 3, if I'm really honest), I begrudgingly set about the task of cleaning up my vanity area and the surrounding cabinets and drawers. Today was that day. Every time I undertake this task, I am absolutely amazed at how many products I find. And the purpose of each and every one of them is my own raging vanity. This one will make me smell better. That one will make my skin softer. Things for hair, nails, skin, lips, etc., etc. Now, raise your hand if this reminds you of your own vanity area? Come on, now, I know I'm not the only one. So as not to embarrass you further, we'll go back to me. (But I know you're out there). And the point is: all is vanity. And everything seems to be partially used up. Many things finally made their way to the trash can today. But today, as always, many things went back (more neatly, granted) into their hiding places with a promise from myself to check there first before buying anything new. But I'm honest enough to know that I will probably not be able to resist the siren song of the beauty aisle. And the real crazy thing is, I'm not really a product fanatic. Or a beauty nut. I just like to try new things every now and then, and they just add up over time. O.k. that's it. The point is, I have a lot of stuff, but it's more organized now.

This Vanity Insanity Moment has been brought to you by the letter (and the question) "Y," and the number "2," as in "2 Many."

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Weszilla

With Jeff and Weston on vacation last week, and Ruth at school everyday, our house stayed remarkably clean. In fact, I don't think there was one day when I felt overwhelmed by mess. There weren't toys on the floor or books scattered about--no misplaced sippy cups and very few dirty dishes. This week, it's a different story. I think I've already run the dishwasher three times in the past two days, and I absolutely could not keep up with King Destruction today. He was ripping books off the shelves like his life depended on it. And when I asked him to stop, he toddled off to the playroom and immediately emptied the ball bin in the middle of the floor. "Don't like that, Mom? How about if I pull everything off Dad's nightstand?!" he seemed to say. It was just one thing after another, and I realized what I didn't miss about this little guy while he was away. It's a good thing he's such a cutie, and that he says adorable things like "Ho-Hay" (okay) when you ask him to stop doing something and "Lub-oo" (I love you), followed by a 'Zilla-sized hug!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Country Music

Jeff and I love music from almost every genre, but we especially enjoy country music, in part, because it's hilarious. Everything from the twang to the rhymes to the subject matter, even some of the outfits the musicians wear. It's absolutely great! I suggest that the next time you want to laugh, even if you aren't a huge fan of country music, you flip your radio to the local country station or turn on CMT or GAC for a few songs. It shouldn't take too long to come across one that makes you giggle.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Honey-Dos Done

Jeff came home from Vegas ready to tackle some of the honey-dos on our ever-present list. He ran the weed-eater today and our yard looks so much better! While he was at it, he and Ruth found a dead rat in the yard, which completely thrilled me! He also came across a beautiful spider lily, which Ruth picked and put in a vase on our table. Jeff also installed our new door knob, which has been on the list for at least six months. Now we can actually close the door without having to lock it, so no more taking guests prisoner! And finally, he fixed a swing on the swingset that has been giving us some trouble. It's great to check things off the list, but it's even better to have my honey home!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

The Boys Are Back In Town

Our boys got back around 12:30 this afternoon, and we are soooo glad they are here--and I think they were pretty glad to see us too!

Friday, September 21, 2007

Fun Friday

  • I had lunch with Ruth at her school today (at 10:30 am!) for the first time. That was really fun! Nothing makes a Kindergartner more popular with her friends than having her mom (or any grown-up, for that matter) have lunch with her. (Ironically, nothing can make a junior high kid less popular). I opened half a dozen milks and syrup packages and answered innumerable questions about everything under the sun. I loved it!
  • I had a pedicure--(Thanks, Mom and Bill)! It was a very relaxing hour and I now have beautiful red toenails, which make me feel pretty!
  • I cleaned off the desk in my bedroom, and I can actually see the desktop now! I feel like my life is a little more under control now!
  • I talked to Jeff and Weston on the phone. I CAN'T WAIT for them to be home tomorrow! I miss them bunches!
  • I deposited a Body Dulce check in the bank!
  • I took Ruth to Half-Price Books and we cleared out the clearance rack! I bought the children 22 books for $17. Included was an almost-complete set of picture dictionaries, which Ruth specifically asked me for so she can make her own dictionary. She loves to copy words out of books. She makes thematic lists (animals, foods, etc.) and sometimes she also likes to illustrate the lists. I figure there are definitely worse things she could do with her time. I also got her some new reading books, since she's goes through them so quickly and our supply of "new" books was getting a little low.
  • We ordered take-out from Chuy's, rented a movie and had another girl party.
  • Ruth read to me, and I read to her.
It was a fabulous day and a great start to the weekend!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Ouch!

Slammed my finger in the door. Fingernail is turning purple. Burst vessels on pad of finger. Hurts like heck!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Almost Official

There have been some pretty exciting things going on with Body Dulce lately, and it's starting to feel almost official--which is sort of weird because it's just some idea I had a few months ago. Anyway, a couple of weeks ago, Jeff and I met with a designer to talk about labels and overall marketing appeal, to basically make the product appear more professional. He got back to us with his first round of ideas today, and there were some things I really liked. So much there that was just beyond my brain to come up with! Also, I made contact with someone who works at a salon this week--(Thanks, Linda!)--who is interested in the scrubs, and there may be some potential to sell them in her shop. And, the pedicurist who works there is also going to try them out as a part of her pedicure routine, so that's really cool! In the meantime, I have had a steady stream of orders--still mostly from family members, but, hey, that works for me! This whole adventure is just so fun! I'm so thankful for the opportunity to pursue this, and I'm thankful to all the people who have encouraged me and helped me along the way. I still have a ways to go, but it's good to be going in this direction. Hopefully, sometime after my web guy gets back from his Vegas Vacation, we'll be able to get the site up and functional. I'll keep you posted as we progress. In the meantime, if you find yourself in need of a little pampering for yourself or a gift for someone else, you can contact me directly. (wink, wink).

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Ruth's Book




Ruth came home from school today and set to work on a project up in her room. After a while she came down with this book, which she made entirely on her own. I thought it was fabulous, but for those of you who may be having trouble with the translation, it reads like this:

Page 1: My Book. By (bi) Ruth.

Page 2: This is me. I am a human (huemin). This is my brother. (My buthr this is).

Page 3: This is my room.

Monday, September 17, 2007

eRATication

A couple of weeks ago I discovered rat poop in a rarely used stroller. My hope was that is was something leftover from long ago. But, I knew then that a garage-cleaning was in order. Then, I started hearing munchy-crunchy-scratchy noises coming from somewhere near the drain of my bathtub, and that put me over the edge. My dear, sweet, super-hero mom volunteered to help me out, and so today we set to work. I want to tell you up front, this was no small under-taking. As happens, things have piled up. But this time, there weren't just our things, there were rat things, too. All over the place. It was awful and disgusting and horrible. But, we successfully cleaned out the garage--from top to bottom and left to right--and we put out enough rat poison to kill a small city of rats. We also filled up one large garbage can, one fair-sized box and a 5 gallon bucket with trash. And we hauled off two full van-loads of stuff to Goodwill. It wasn't just a cleansing of the garage, it was a cleansing of the soul. I just feel lighter. And I will sleep peacefully, knowing that if I happen to hear crunchy-munchy sounds at 2 in the morning it will be because the rat has found our poison and not because he is trying to figure out how to break into my bedroom and eat me while I'm sleeping.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Mostly Just The Girls

Well, we saw our boys off to Las Vegas this morning. They'll be there all week, with Jeff working part of the time and the two of them having a ball with Mimi and Grandpa. Meanwhile, Ruth and I are here, enjoying our girl time. I took her to Portuguese class today, and then we had lunch together at Wendy's. This evening, we rented a movie and ate our junk-food dinners in the living room, followed by ice cream. After the movie, Ruth finished her sixth book (of 7) on her third poster, and then I read a book to her. We had a great time just hanging out, and I think Ruth is thrilled to have me all to herself again for a while. She's funny. She did acknowledge that, even though this was a girl-only party, there was one boy present (referring to our little Tater). "But," she said, "He's hiding." "And, anyway, he can't really see the movie because his eyes are closed and he's in your tummy, where it's dark." So, this week, it's just us girls and one hiding little boy.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

You Should Have Seen The Other Guy...



See that fat lip? The pictures don't really do it justice. It's a good one. We were at a little shin-dig at Jeff's office today, and the kids were running around having the best time. Weston was doing everything he could to impress a lovely little lady around the age of two. And he was doing fine, until he fell on his face...literally. There were lots of tears and a little blood, but no teeth were lost, thank goodness.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Popular

When I dropped Ruth off at school this morning, kids were calling her name from every angle. They all wanted to be the first to say good morning to her and they all wanted to sit next to her in the hall before the bell rang. Then, as I was giving Ruth a hug, one of the little girls in her class came up for a hug of her own. After I hugged her, she began telling me all kinds of fascinating details about her life. (Like, "Oh, your having a baby?! Well, my mom is going to have twins...and we already have one baby! It's really going to be busy!) The whole experience sent me home with a smile on my face. Then, when I picked Ruth up from school, the same little girl (now my best friend) about lost her arm in a waving frenzy. It's fun being popular.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

the one where I explode from eating too much cookie dough

The pregnant belly wants chocolate chip cookie dough. Well, the non-pregnant belly wants cookie dough, too, come to think of it. But at our house the general rule is: the pregant belly gets what the pregnant belly wants. (Not so for non-pregnant bellies). Tonight, it was chocolate chip cookie dough. I mixed some up, filled a cereal bowl, grabbed a spoon and set to work. I did manage to show some self-control by not eating the entire bowlful, but I certainly had plenty. And that's all you need to know. I'm sure my doctor will be quite pleased with me when I go in to see her tomorrow. I prefer to look at it like this: educating my child on the very best life has to offer from a very early age.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Kindergarten Envy

Weston has really been sad to leave Ruth at school everyday...or at least sad to leave her backpack at school. So, I thought I'd be really clever and let him take his own backpack. He very proudly slung it over his shoulders and marched into the school like he owned the place. When we got to Ruth's classroom, I told him to give Ruth a hug and say good-bye. He hugged me and dutifully said "good-bye," and then took his place in the hall with his sister. That's when I realized that it wasn't leaving Ruth or her backpack at school that was making him sad. It was the fact that I wasn't leaving him at school.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Sea World Saturday


Better Frame Of Mind

I'm so sorry for my negative post on Friday. I think I have come down with a minor little bug, so maybe that explains the tiredness and bad attitude on Friday, but still, that's not really like me and I didn't want to leave that unresolved. We went on to have a very nice weekend. Pictures will follow.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Pooped

Tired. Exhausted. Beat. Wiped Out.

See also Grumpy. Moody. Annoyed.

I simply must go to bed now.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Hooray for Homework

All week, Ruth has been beside herself with excitement at the prospect of bringing home homework today. So today, the minute she walked in the door after school, she exclaimed that she had homework to do and she immediately got to it. She was so excited the whole time she was working on it--although she did admit that it was very easy. She wasn't supposed to turn it in until Monday, but she finished it all in about 30 minutes, so we just slipped it back in the backpack for her to return to school tomorrow. I really hope her enthusiasm for homework holds up over time, but I seriously have my doubts. I just can't see her coming home from high school doing a homework chant and dance.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Getting Handsome

Jeff had a business dinner tonight so he came home from work to hang with us for a while and to change clothes. When Ruth saw what he was changing into, she said, "Wow, Dad! Why are you getting so handsome?!" I personally think he's handsome all the time, but for Ruth clothes truly do make the man.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Precious Moment

All the moments that we have with our children are precious in their own way. But some moments are precious precisely because they are so rare. These moments come into our lives unexpectedly and go quickly away. And they are to be treasured completely and whole-heartedly. I had just such a moment with Weston today. He and I both had a hard time getting started today, after the long weekend and with the sky dark with rain clouds. Around 9:00, we went into the living room to read some books. I was lying on the couch and Weston was on the floor. After a while I noticed that Weston wasn't looking at books anymore, but was lying on the floor singing his "sleepy song." I was just watching him and thanking the Lord for such a sweet little person to love, and wondering if I ought to scoop him him and take him to bed, when he glanced in my direction and made eye contact with me. His face lit up and he toddled over and climbed up on top of me. He laid his head down on my chest and immediately fell asleep. And with my heart full of love and joy, I quickly fell asleep as well. We stayed that way for just about an hour, and it was absolute bliss. You don't get moments like this with your children very often, and for me it was truly precious. I'm so thankful for that moment, and I sincerly hope that the next time I have an opportunity for such a moment I recognize it for what it is and take full advantage of it before it slips away from me forever.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Pictures From The Wedding


As Promised...

I promised pictures and stories when we arrived back from our trip, and I am making good on that promise. The pictures have been posted in the form of a slide show in the post just before this one. The story is this:

During the reception, I took Ruth to the bathroom, where she desperately needed my assistence since she was wearing a mini-wedding dress. She even told me, "I'm a little Lindsay bride." Then she asked me why Jonah and Lindsay got married. I told her it was because they loved each other and wanted to spend their lives together, just like Daddy and I. I then told her that she might even decide to get married some day. To this, she immediately balked and said, "Oh no! I'm not getting married!" "O.k." I said, "You don't have to if you don't want to." She let out a deep sigh and said, "Really? I thought you had to." I don't know if she thought she was going to shock me by going against what she was "supposed" to do or if she truly thought at that moment that marriage just wasn't for her. I do know that she loved wearing that mini-wedding dress, though, so if the right guy comes along (way, way down the road) she might just agree to marry him despite her protests.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Off To The Crossroads Of America

That's right, we're headed to the Hoosier State tomorrow for the weekend. We will be attending a wedding, in which Ruth will be the flower girl. Plus, we will get to visit with our very good friends, the Kitchels. (It's their son who is getting married). We're very excited about the trip and are sure to have lots of pictures and stories when we get back on Monday. Have a a wonderful Labor Day weekend and we'll check in with you next week.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

JohnDeere Jack

Ruth remains rankled over the fact that we are having a baby boy, and to get her out of this funk I have encouraged her to share any good boy names she comes up with. This afternoon she actually decided to consider this and came up with the lovely moniker you see in the title of this post. She came up with several clever names for Weston, but finally stuck with "Monkey Joe." I can't wait to see if she keeps this one for Baby Boy #2 or if she comes up with something even more creative.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Mother's Intuition

We had our (3rd) sonogram this morning and can finally report that we are having another little boy--just like I've thought all along! He's a very active little fellow and seems to be quite healthy. As of today, he weighs 10 oz. And I just want to know how someone so very small can make my belly look so very big?! The last sonogram I had put my due date at Jan. 22, but today they said maybe Jan. 20. Babies usually come when they are good and ready, so I put no stock in those dates whatsoever. We'll meet this little guy whenever he's ready to see the world. Ruth's reaction to this boy news (said with a foot-stomp and complete exasperation): "Mom, you always have boys!! When are you going to have a girl?!" I guess we have a little attitude work to do before Janurary! Jeff and I, at least, are very excited, and I'm not at all sure Weston understands whats going on, but he's enthusiastic nonetheless.

Monday, August 27, 2007

First Day Of School




Well, we made it through the first day, and it should be downhill from here. The only crying came from Weston, and I'd love to tell you some sappy little story about how he was crying because he was going to miss his sister, but it wouldn't really be true. He was still sleeping very soundly when it was time to take Ruth to school, so I just scooped him up out of bed and popped him in the car with a cup of juice. This pacified the dazed little boy until we got to the school building, but that's when the juice ran out. In it's stead, Ruth gave him her backpack to carry, which thrilled him. ("Backpack" is his new favorite word). But when we got to the classroom and he had to hand over the backpack, he went into meltdown mode. So, that's what all the crying was about. Jeff and I both made it through the morning without shedding a single tear, and Ruth gave us each a quick hug and then never looked back. She had many things to report at the end of the day:


  • Her favorite thing of the day was running around outside on the track, even though it was hot.
  • Her new best friend is Brodie.
  • She got to sit by a little boy she already knew from preschool (both in class and at lunch).
  • One little boy named Bennet was very "distracting."
  • The teacher rubbed her back for a while during naptime, and she actually fell asleep.
  • They did counting, and she didn't like that part at all. Why? Because she already knows how to do that.
  • Etc., etc.

I'm so glad everything went well today and that we don't have to have another first day again this year!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

This Is Important:

I DIDN'T CRY FIRST!!!

A subtle sadness settled over the adults in our house this evening, in anticipation of our big day tomorrow. I refused to talk about it and tried to drown myself in other activities. I really wanted to cry, but I kept myself under control. But when Jeff was tucking Ruth into bed, she admitted to him that she was feeling kind of nervous and scared about her first day, and Jeff admitted he was feeling the same way. And then he lost it. I'm not really trying to expose Jeff or his emotions, but I can't tell you how much comfort I took in the fact that this is an emotional time for even the most unemotional among us. We just can't believe our little girl, our not-so-long-ago-baby, is so big now. We are truly and completely excited for Ruth. That isn't where the sadness comes from at all. It's just the first time we've really had to let go, and it's hard. --Well, great, now I am crying!-- If we can all just make it through tomorrow, I think we'll be o.k. And I think it will be a wonderful year of growth for all of us.

Friday, August 24, 2007

A Two-Party Friday

We hosted a playgroup reunion this morning, with all of Ruth's old playgroup pals. They are all getting ready to start Kindergarten next week, and we wanted to get them together one more time before things really change. We met all these kids when Ruth was six-months-old at the library storytime, and the kids (and moms) have been friends ever since. It was a really fun party, complete with chocolate cake and a book exchange.

Then, this evening, we had a lovely dinner party with one of Jeff's co-workers and his wife. They are a really neat couple, and we enjoyed having the chance to get to know them better.

Now, we are all partied out and are looking forward to not having to wake up to an alarm tomorrow!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Meeting Mrs. Towler

We got to go up to Ruth's school this evening to meet her teacher and drop off her school supplies. Ruth immediately fell into her role as "teacher's helper." She was absolutely thrilled...and she didn't want to come home! Her teacher is really nice and very experienced, and we heard from quite a few people that she is simply the best kindergarten teacher at this school. The other bonus to the evening was finding out that Ruth already knows two of the other students in her class. After this evening, we are all the more excited about that big first day on Monday.