Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Are We Cute or What?! Posted by Picasa

Ready to Go

Well, we are all packed and ready to go--even Jeff, who normally leaves his packing to 15 minutes before we walk out the door. We got everything in a record three suitcases and three carry-on bags. (And I am taking a record-low number of shoes). For a two week trip with two kiddos, I say we did pretty good. We leave here for Houston around 2:00 pm tomorrow and fly out around 9:00 pm. We'll be back on Feb. 11 with lots of pictures and stories to tell, I'm sure.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Best Thing About School

As Ruth gave me a report on her school day today, she suddenly became very excited and obviously quite proud of herself when she reported that she was picked out of everyone in her class to hold the door open for everyone as they went to dance class today. It really is the little things, isn't it?!

Communication Breakdown

It's always fun to try to communicate with someone from a foreign country, especially when neither of you speak the other's language fluently, and especially over the phone where you can no longer make use of the all-important hand gestures. So, today, Jeff called one of our friends in Brazil to firm up some travel arrangements. With the business portion of the call taken care of, our friend asked about me and the kids and then said, "Jeff, I have many girls for you." Jeff, quite baffled by this statement, began trying to find out what our friend meant by this. Finally, he was able to ascertain that our friend was talking about the fact that he had lined up several ladies to help us with the children while we are there. Too bad, Jeff, doesn't look like there will be any Brazilian hotties waiting for just you at the airport!

Monday, January 23, 2006


Today I got out every summer outfit that both of my children own, and I'm hoping it's enough to get them through two weeks in Brazil. Ruth thought this was fabulous because I wasn't sure if all her summer things still fit, so I made her try them all on. She thought it was a fashion show! Weston will likely have to wear a few things that are a bit too big, but I don't suppose he'll care too much, as long as he still gets his meals on time. We leave on Thursday, and we are all very excited. And while, to my knowledege, there isn't yet a Wal-Mart in this area, I'm sure if we forget something we'll probably survive.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Ice Cream Face Posted by Picasa

Perfect Radio

Wouldn't it be so much more fun to listen to the radio if you knew they would only play songs you liked, and if they did play a song you didn't like, you could tell them and they wouldn't ever play it again? Wouldn't it be nice if the station could be completely customized and there was never a break in the music? Well, such a thing does exist at, and it's awesome. Jeff found out about it from a friend at work and introduced it to me yesterday afternoon. I spent the rest of the night customizing my radio station. You can listen online for free, although they will ask you to create an account. You can create multiple stations to fit your many moods, or you can have just one station that plays a mix of things you like. You can add music by artist or by individual song, and it will not only play what you selected, it will find other things that are similar and play those as well. It's pure radio genius!

Friday, January 20, 2006

Cleaning with a 3 1/2-year-old

There are so many things a 3 1/2-year-old can do. Picking up the toys off the floor in the playroom isn't one of them. I mean, physically, yes, a child of this age can pick up the toys, but I have determined that this task is completely impossible unless the mother of this child is standing in the room giving constant approval and pointing to and naming specific items that need to be picked up. A statement such as, "Pick up everything you see on the floor," means absolutely nothing. This only leads the child to pick up one thing and then ask, "Now how does it look?" And it really isn't that the child wants to be difficult. In fact the very opposite is true. The child really does want to help and do a good job. So, while the mother of this child may want to pull her hair out and just do it herself, it really is valuable for the child to do the task and for the mother just to be thankful that the floor in the playroom may eventually have fewer toys on it than when the task was started.

The Scoop on Weston

Weston had his two-month check-up today (a little early) and I wanted to share his stats with everyone. He now weighs 11 lbs. 10 oz. and is 23 in. long, putting him right at the 50th percentile for both height and weight. He also got four shots today, which he wasn't too thrilled about, but which Ruth was very excited about (because he was the one getting shots instead of her). Dr. Ellis said he's looking very healthy, although she was slightly concerned about his seborrehic dermatitis (baby acne) and recommended that we put a little hydrocortisone on it, and she also prescribed Zantac for him to take to hopefully help with his fussiness after eating and his spitting up. Overall, though, he's just a very healthy, normal baby.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Pretty Peacock Posted by Picasa

Proud as a Peacock

This morning Ruth's preschool class did a little play, and Ruth was the peacock. She was so excited about her role and she did a fantastic job. When we found out they would be doing a play, the teacher told me they didn't need any special costumes, but Ruth insisted that the peacock must have feathers. So, in order to insure that the peacock could do her very best job, I did what any mom would do: I went to Wal-Mart at 10:00 last night and went up and down every aisle trying to figure out what we could use for peacock feathers. Unfortunately, they didn't have real peacock feathers, and they didn't have feather boas, or anything else even resembling feathers. So, finally, in a moment of inspiration (or, more likely, desperation) I picked up these things from the floral department. I have no idea what they are or what their original purpose is, but they did make fine peacock feathers, if I do say so myself. Ruth the Peacock was certainly proud to wear them, and Jeff and I we very proud of our beautiful peacock's performance.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Overall Cutie Posted by Picasa

Monday, January 16, 2006

Small World

Jeff, equipped with only a cell phone and a laptop, is giving a presentation, complete with Power Point slides, to a group of people in Japan, China, India and Australia right this minute--from our living room. Isn't that amazing?!

Attack of the Killer Butterflies

Somewhere there is a man (I know it's a man--or at least an aunt who doesn't have any children of her own) who is very proud of himself for inventing a fun activity for children involving clay, teeny-tiny butterfly templates, rhinestones, wire and an oven. He probably has a nice piece of paper detailing the patent on this thing. But I think somewhere in the contengencies it should have said that he would have to be at my house this afternoon to take part in the fun.

So, Ruth got this fun butterfly-making activity for a gift, and she has been begging me for a month to let her open it up. Finally, today, I ran out of excuses and caved. Right away I realized this was no toy for a child. First step: unwrap each piece of clay from hard-to-open celaphane. Ruth was able to open a couple but I had to do the majority. Next step: soften the clay by kneading it in your hand. Unfortunately, the clay was so hard, Ruth couldn't even squeeze it. It was certainly not for a lack of trying, though. Ruth diligently picked up every piece, saying, "I'll do this one," only to pass to me in a few seconds saying, "This one is too hard. Could you do it?" Step three: Roll clay out flat. Ruth diligently rolled the clay but made very little progress, and I ended up rolling out all the clay. Next step: place teeny-tiny butterfly template onto flattened clay and cut out the shape. Ha!! First of all, no cutting utensil was even included in the kit. Secondly, it was almost impossible to cut around these itty-bitty butterflies so that you could actually tell what the shape was. Ruth, undaunted, tried cutting, became frustrated, and passed the clay off for me to cut. This became so tiring that I finally convinced Ruth that we needed to make some cocoons and some caterpillars using lots of clay, and this was an activity she was able to perform on her own. (Finally)! She was also able to make the bodies for the butterflies and glue the rhinstones in place. Finally, I popped all "our" creations in the oven, burning my finger in the process, and 15 minutes later we had solidified the creatures and the fact that "Ruth" will not be doing another of these projects any time soon.

Butterflies Posted by Picasa

Look out, ladies! Posted by Picasa

My Little Cuties Posted by Picasa

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Plumber Jeff Posted by Picasa


Turns out Jeff is a plumber. Yesterday he managed to fix not one, but two malfunctioning sinks in our house, and win major brownie points by scratching things off the honey-do list. All this without flooding the house or showing any plumber's crack.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Date Night

Last night Jeff and I got to go on a date for the first time since Weston joined our family. As we arrived at the grandparents', I realized that we were either going to have a very short date or I was going to have to figure out a way to get Weston some food when I wasn't there. (Nothing like planning ahead, huh)?! So, I dashed over to the pharmacy to see what I could find in the way of formula and bottles, all the while thinking, "I never would have done this with my first kid." Having never used either of those things, I was completely dumbfounded. Finally, I gave up and just asked the pharmacist. She was properly impressed with my lack of planning--"So you've never used formula?!"--but was helpful in assisting me nonetheless, although she did suggest I buy several bottles just in case my baby was picky about what kind of nipple he would accept. That gave me visions of Weston screaming his head off and refusing to take part in this whole scam. She was also quick to point out that after I gave my baby formula, I would seriously have to consider why I ever thought breastfeeding was a good idea to begin with. That sent me down the path of wondering if Weston was going to reject me altogether after this experience and if it was really worth it. Finally, with the decision made to go through with it, I made my purchase (just one bottle) and headed to drop it all off with my parents. Fortunatley, everything went off without a hitch. Jeff and I were able to go out to dinner and see a movie, Weston thoroughly enjoyed his formula experience, Ruth was thrilled because she got to hold the bottle for Weston and the grandparents were happy to have the kids over at their house for a while. Since a good time was had by all, I think another date night will be in order soon!

(By the way, the movie we saw was Glory Road, and we thought it was very good, in case anyone else out there is planning their own date night).

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Same Song Second Verse (A little bit louder and a whole lot worse)

(Warning: This blog contains really gross statements. Not for the faint of heart)!

If you read my previous blog, you know we started our day a bit unpleasantly. Fortunately, we didn't have to wait too long for the next adventure. While I was typing out that previous blog, Weston became fussy, so when I finished up I went down to see if I could make him happy. Unfortuantely, my timing was REALLY bad! Just as I picked him up, he decided to poop. As I held him to my chest, I watched in horror as the poop escaped over the top of the diaper, ran out over his pants and then ran down my arm. I rushed him upstairs to try to do some damage control, only to hear Ruth running after me saying, "Mom! There's poop all over the floor!" At the same instant, I felt something wet on my knee and looked down to see that poop had run all the way down my leg and had gathered on my shoe. How so much poop can come out of a person so small, I'll never know. Don't you all wish you could live the dream at the Watts house?!


(Warning: this blog may contain gross statements. Read at your own risk)!

As Ruth and I were finishing up our breakfast this morning, Ruth sneezed and then asked for a kleenex. When I looked up, I noticed that she was most definitely in need of a kleenex because there was a big booger hanging from her nose, and it was kind of tinged with what I assumed was dried blood. I quickly hopped up and brought her a kleenex, only to find when I wiped her nose that the aforementioned booger was a little too solid. I opened up the kleenex to inspect further and as I peered dumbfounded at this thing, Ruth piped up and said, "It may be Play-Doh." I was not able to obtain any other information, but I did get to give a nice lecture on the merits of not putting things in your nose. I can't wait to see what else this day brings!

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

More To Weston Than He Thought

Weston discovered his hands today and seems to understand that he has some sort of power over them, though it is clear he doesn't have complete command of them, and that is frustrating at times. With this new discovery, he has started putting his thumbs on the outside of his fists and I often catch him staring at his fists as if he could will that thumb into his mouth. So, while he may have a modicum of power over the hands, the thumbs clearly still have a mind of their own.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Happy Day

The theme of the day was smiles, as you can see from the pictures I posted. Weston worked on perfecting his smile. Ruth went to the dentist to make sure her smile was healthy, which it was. Then we played with a friend and Ruth dressed up like a bunny, making everyone smile. It was a fun day!

Big Girl at Dentist Posted by Picasa

Happy Bunny Posted by Picasa

Happy Boy Posted by Picasa

Sunday, January 08, 2006

The Good Mom

What kind of mom forgets the diaper bag (for the second time since her young son was born) and gets caught needing not only a diaper and wipes but a change of clothes because the situation is so completely out of control, and who then pulls into the Walgreens in the part of town that requires sercurity cameras on every side of the building and an armed sercurity guard at the door? I don't know a mom like this. I'm just curious.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Big Sister's Job Posted by Picasa

Sister Knows Best

This afternoon Weston was fussy and I couldn't figure out what to do for him. I went through the usual list of things that could be bothering him. I fed him, changed him, gave him the pacifier. Nothing seemed to make him happy. Finally I just left him on his blanket in the living room and went to get dinner ready. In a few minutes it got quiet in the living room so I went to check on Weston, thinking he might have given up and gone to sleep. Instead I found Ruth sitting on the edge of his blanket, "reading" him a book, and him looking at her and hanging on every word she said. It was a very precious moment, which I was fortunate enough to capture with my camera. Short minutes later, Ruth was back to her own activities and Weston was seriously considering a nap, but for a heart-melting moment they were all the other needed in the world.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Aggies Gone Orange

Maybe we've been in Austin too long, but tonight we bled burnt orange as we, along with several other Aggies, cheered on UT in the Rose Bowl and watched them become the National Champions. Ruth was so cute flashing the hook 'em horns sign, making up her own cheers and waving her pom-poms around. Weston was even wide-eyed for the whole first half. It's so fun to rally behind the home team, even if that means wearing that tacky orange color.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Happiest Baby on the Block Posted by Picasa

Happiest Baby on the Block

At midnight last night, as I was just on the brink of insanity from listening to Weston cry for a few hours straight without being able to help him in any way, I remembered a gem of a book someone had given me when I was pregnant with Ruth: The Happiest Baby on the Block. It is required reading for anyone even thinking of being in the same room with a newborn. Dr. Harvey Karp has a very interesting therory about so-called colic and about how to help your infant in the midst of this traumatic period of the baby's (and caregiver's) life. His solution is wrapped up in the 5 S's: Swaddling, Side/Stomach positioning, Shhhhing, Swinging and Sucking. After reviewing his advice, I swaddled Weston up and immediately saw him go from out-of-control to calm and quiet. When I added the pacifier, he drifted off and slept until almost 5:00 this morning. Tonight I decided to see if we could bypass the crying altogether, so right after the pre-bedtime feeding, I wrapped him up tight in the blanket, gave him his passy and gave the cradle a little rock. Without so much as a peep, he drifted off, and the result is the picture I posted here in the blog. I say we vote Dr. Karp in for president. He's definitely got world peace figured out!

Monday, January 02, 2006

Paradise Found

On Friday night we dined at our favorite Mexican food restaurant, out on the patio. On New Year's Day the high was 85. All weekend we've been wearing our shorts and flip-flops. And today we spent a good portion of the day outside at the park, picnicing, playing and feeding the ducks. This is definitely how I like to winter!

Sunday, January 01, 2006

...With eyes like the sea after a storm

It's confirmed, there was no mix up at the hospital. Weston is really our son. He thinks "The Princess Bride" is hilarious--over and over again. This afternoon Jeff and I were down on the floor with Weston, commenting on his blue eyes--specifically that he had "eyes like the sea after a storm," and he grinned from ear to ear. Then, every time we would repeat the phrase, he would grin again. It was a real bonding moment and one which confirmed that he was born into the right family.

The Happy Family Posted by Picasa

We're back!

Well, we've been out of the blog game for a while, but with the new year and the new addition to our family, I have a renewed desire to share our life with all of you. We are so thankful for all our family and friends and we feel this is a good way to keep you all posted on the "Watts Goings On."