Thursday, May 25, 2006

This is Dedicated to the Ones We Love

We are having a family birthday party for Ruth on Saturday out in west Texas--so that's where we'll be if any of you start to wonder if we dropped off the planet. Unfortunately, some family members won't be able to make it to the party. But we didn't want you to miss getting to see the main attractions: two fun cakes and a beautiful butterfly. When we were planning the party, Ruth picked a butterfly theme and quickly commented: "I don't want to just have a butterfly party. I want to be a butterfly!" So, we made it so. It will certainly be a fun party, and those who can't be there will be very much missed!

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

The Weston Report

Weston had his 6-month check-up today, and he's truly just your average guy. He was right at the 50th percentile for height (26 1/2 in.), weight (17 lbs.) and head circumference (44 cm). He's very healthy and reaching all the right milestones at all the right times. He got two shots today, but he was very brave and only cried for a few seconds. I can't believe he's already 6-months-old. He's just growing up so fast.

Monday, May 22, 2006

More Birthday Fun

Watts family birthday tradition states that whenever it's your birthday (or half-birthday), regardless of what other parties may be going on, there will be one night set apart just for our imidiate family, and on said night the birthday person may choose where they would like to eat. So, a couple of weeks ago we began discussing with Ruth where she might like to go. For the past three years, she has choosen Chuck E. Cheese, and Jeff and I just felt obligated to make her aware of some other choices this year--for her own good, of course, and not from any contempt for the aforementioned eating establishment. In the course of one of our conversations, the Old San Fancisco Steakhouse came up, and we started talking to her about this girl that swings inside the restuarant and this big block of cheese that is delivered to your table before the meal. She bought it, and decided to give it a try this year. And it turned out to be just the kind of place for such a big girl to have her birthday party. She loved it! We got to see the swinging girl do her thing...twice! The pianist played and everyone sang "Happy Birthday." Ruth got to go up on the stage, sit in the swing and even give it a go! And at the end of the meal they brought her a big piece of cake with a candle in it. She was absolutely thrilled with every single thing! It was a really fun night...and a great victory for Jeff and I. Unfortunately, we found out that the place will be closing for good on Sunday, so next year we'll have to come up with something else I guess.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Birthday Party

Ruth's birthday party was so much fun! Thanks to all Ruth's friends who came to celebrate with her and who helped make her day special!

Saturday, May 20, 2006

NI Picnic

NI had their anual company picninc today, and Ruth really had a blast. Her favorite thing was the giant blow-up slip-n-slide, with the inflatable obstacle course coming in at a close second. It was a fun time for all of us.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Better Home and Garden

We had an ugly, mostly dead tree removed from our front yard yesterday and several other unsightly parts of other trees trimmed. Today, we had the boy down the street mow the grass, and we got the inside of the house all spiffed up. It looks like a place I'd like to live! And it looks like a place where a party will be taking place in just 48 hours. Funny thing about that: we've got everything looking just so, and we've invited 24 (yes, I said 24) 3 and 4-year-olds over for a party. If that isn't an exercise in futility, I'd like to know what is?! But for now, I'm just enjoying the clean house and the beautiful yard. And on Sunday, I will enjoy watching my little (big) girl and her friends having a wonderful time!

Thursday, May 18, 2006

All Ms

Ruth got a "report card" at school today and she got all Ms. That means she has Mastered all of the skills on the Developmental Checklist for 3-year-olds. The categories were: Fine Motor, Language Arts, Math, Science, Arts and Crafts, Music and Gross Motor. We are so very proud of her!

Keep Austin Weird

Austin has its fair share of panhandlers. They are all interesting characters, with their own styles and creativity. Most of them have signs with various versions of a similar sad story. Most of them smoke. Some of them have tried to come up some unique gimmick--jokes or music or something. But I saw a guy today that may be the most unique of the bunch...and probably the least prosperous. He was sitting on the corner, smoking up a storm, and instead of following proper panhandler protocol, which states that when the light turns red you hop up with your sign and pace back about six cars holding up your sign and trying to get people to feel sorry for you before the light turns green, he just sat there. I mean, he couldn't really hop up and leave the conversation he was so engrossed in...with no one. Whatever he was talking about had him had him very animated. He did have his sign there handy in case anyone should glance his way. Unfortunately, he forgot to write anything on it. This, folks, is what makes Austin special (read: weird).

Flip-Flop Exchange

Ruth and I are participating in a "flip-flop exchange," and I got my first pair today! They are pink and green with little whales on them. So cute! And so much fun! If anyone out there is interested in participating, let me know and I'll send you the letter.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Ruth's Mom and UsterBob

When I picked Ruth up from preschool yesterday, one of her little friends met me at the door with somthing very improtant to say: "Ruth's Mom! Ruth's Mom! I will be at Ruth's birthday party, but I have soooo many swimsuits that I'll just have to decide which one to wear."

And speaking of funny things to call someone, my in-laws have a neighbor whom my father-in-law refers to as UsterBob (pronounced "You-ster"). Actually for a while I just thought this was his name, but then I found out that this man earned this title because he "uster do this and he uster do that." I wonder if he has a daughter called "Fixinta Jane?"

And while we're on the subject of what we call people, I think Weston is trying to say "Ruth." It's just the "th," but since he doesn't have any teeth it comes out as this adorable little sound, which I can't qutie describe, but which I really love. And besides that, it's just nice to have a little variety from the high-pitched, oh-so-manly squeal he normally gives us.

Monday, May 15, 2006

All Wet

We walked to the park this morning, and we hadn't been there too terribly long, when the landscaping company who maintains the lawn there showed up. Apparently, they were installing a new sprinkler system. After a while, they decided it was time to test the sprinklers...without letting anyone know. It just so happened that I had parked the stroller near one of the sprinkler heads and I was sitting on a cement ledge nearby. So, on come the sprinklers, drenching me and Weston (who was sitting in the stroller). But the worst part was that Weston, up to this point, was very soundly asleep. You can imagine how much fun he thought it was to be awakened in such a way. We both survived the incident, but we were certainly wet and cold, as there happened to be a nice breeze blowing. Not long after that, Ruth had a bit of a behavior melt-down, so the whole trip to the park turned out to be one of the least fun I can ever remember--and the walk home wasn't much fun either. Some days I guess it's just better to stay home!

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to me...and all the other mothers out there. What a lovely day, it was! We went out for breakfast this morning, chai and dessert this afternoon and dinner this evening. We all had a nap, and I got a beautiful homemade card from Ruth. Plus, Jeff and the kids gave me a homemade gift certificate for a landscaping project for the front yard. I can't think of anything I'd rather be than Ruth and Weston's Mommy!

Saturday, May 13, 2006

10 Fun Things We Did Today

1. Visited with Mimi, Grandpa and Uncle Alan
2. Attended Mayfest in Marble Falls--which meant fun carnival rides and "diva hair" for Ruth
3. Took a spin on an old-school merry-go-round
4. Had lunch at Pizza Hut
5. Got to see super-jumbo blueblonnets in Burnet
6. Swam in the lake
7. Discovered and killed a nest of water moccasin snakes
8. Had Mother's Day celebration
9. Ate yummy Mexican food in Llano
10. Watched Mad TV

Friday, May 12, 2006

Macaroni and Queso

At lunchtime today, Ruth requested macaroni and cheese. We had a large amount of queso leftover from our appetizer party on Sunday, so I suggested that we have macaroni and queso instead. And it was very yummy, if I do say so myself. The take-home is never be afraid to try new things.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

CarMax Redeemed

You may remember my rant about CarMax after my alleged parking ticket in Ohio. Well, they have redeemed themselves this week. After I had my little problem with the "check engine" light, we took Minnie into the dealership to have her checked out. There were several things that were in need of repair, and the dealership came back with a quote near $3000 to fix everything. When the shock of that wore off, we decided to take the van into CarMax, just for a second opinion. Well, they came back with a quote that was a little more in line with our budget--around $650. I really don't know how dealerships can get away with charging so much. Minnie should be back with us tomorrow. We've missed her this week.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Silence Is Golden

There was a time in my life when silence was an enemy to be warded off with all diligence--blaring radios, hours spent on the phone, having the TV on "just for noise." Silence represented bordom or lonliness or some other undesirable feeling I just didn't want to deal with. But I have realized, with the help of my children, just how wonderful silence can be. How nice I think it would be for just one day to have no noise whatsoever--no whining, no crying, no annoying children's music, no videos-we've-seen-a-hundred-times, no questions, no noisy toys. Just silence, glorious silence.

Well, Weston is crying, so I'll have to continue this dream another day.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Music To My Ears

At bedtime tonight, Ruth prayed, "Lord, please help Weston to sleep tonight so that Mommy doesn't have to be up with him and she can get some rest." I'll second that!

Monday, May 08, 2006

Free Hot Tub

A few weeks ago I was looking around on Craig's List and came across a free hot tub. I immediately replied to the ad. Unfortunately, I never got a response, so I have to assume someone else got it first. Since then I have probably come across close to ten free hot tubs listed on Craig's List. I've checked into all of them--and I've actually become sort of addicted to checking the ads every night. I'm certain that someday soon, I'll be the proud owner of either a working or non-working free hot tub, and that will be a fun day indeed!

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Weston's Dedication Service

Tonight we had a dedication service for Weston at our church. We had a time of prayer during the service asking the Lord to help Weston to have experiences with the Lord and blessings as he grows, and to help Jeff and I to raise him with wisdom. Many friends and family members were able to join us for this service, and it was so special to us for them to be there to share this time with us. Thanks to all who came! We appreciate you all!

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Bizzare Beverages

Yes, that milk is purple, and it's not a camera trick. That is something my husband mixed up, for what reason I'm not quite sure. It's blueberry juice mixed into milk. The other drink is a new one by Coca-Cola. It's regular Coke with coffee mixed in. And here's where it gets really bizzare: I actually like it. That's how we spent our Saturday night. How about you?

Friday, May 05, 2006

Cinco De Mayo

We aren't really Mexicans, but this is a holiday we just can't pass up. I think for the Mexicans, this holiday has something to do with a defeat of the French a long, long time ago. Here in the Watts house, Cinco De Mayo means one thing: Mexican Food! We had Mexican food for lunch, Mexican food for dinner and then ended the evening with Mexican Vanilla ice cream from Amy's. Now, that is what I call a good holiday!

Thursday, May 04, 2006

5-Month Slump

Weston has always been a pretty good sleeper. He has even been sleeping through the night somewhat consistantly for a while. We've always swaddled him, and we really believe that has helped him sleep so well. But all that changed on the day he turned 5-months old last week. On that day, he decided that swaddling was for babies and that big boys sleep on their tummies. So, he began fighting against the swaddling until he could get free and immediately flipping over to his belly. Unfortunately, he's still a baby (shh--he doesn't know) and he's just not good at sleeping on his tummy. He just can't quite get comfortable and he loses his pacifier when he moves his head around. So, last night he and I were up every 1 1/2-2 hours. No surprise how I feel about that. Tonight, our goal was to find a blanket big enough to wrap him up tight enough to prevent him from escaping. We're all about bringing back the good old days. I certainly hope our little plan works. I can't take too many nights in a row like last night.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Little Hawaii

Some of the plants I brought back from Hawaii are enjoying our unseasonably warm weather and are putting on leaves. I have one leaf of red ginger, a leafy orchid and an itty bitty papaya tree. I even have my own hula girl. Now if I can just figure out a way to get waves to crash at the sandbox, I'll really have it all!

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Sweet Pea

Weston got to try his first vegetable today: peas. This picture doesn't acturately capture how he actually felt about the peas--he was not that interested and made some pretty terrible faces that we weren't able to capture on camera. I was surprised. I figured he just gobble them right up. Oh well. We'll try again another time. Ruth, on the other hand, loved the peas. (I think she felt like she was missing out on something since Weston was eating "special" food, so I gave her a bite. She would have eaten all of them if I would have let her)!

Monday, May 01, 2006


It's May Day, everyone...but that is not the inspiration for the title of this blog. It was inspired by a true story associated with an also-named cry for help. So, Jeff was in Toronto this past week for work. He was slated to return yestereday evening. Since he was going to be gone over the weekend, I decided to take the kids to Haskell to visit my grandparents. We had a really wonderful visit with them and then headed home yesterday afternoon. Our trip took us through a quaint little place known as "The Middle of Nowhere," and just as we got there, my "check engine light" came on. I have exactly no knowledge of the workings of a car, so this was quite conerning to me. Even more concerning was the fact that I was alone with two small children. But what really tipped the scale for me was when I reached for my cell phone and realized that I not only didn't have service, but my phone was practically mocking me by putting up a picture of a phone with a slash through it. There was literally not a building in sight, so I just kept driving. Finally, I arrived in the metropolis of Goldthwaite and whipped into the first gas station I saw, after checking to see if they had a payphone. It was then that I realized that I had almost no change. I did get off a call to my dad (I knew Jeff should be on a plane about then) to ask him if this light was something I should really be concerned about. He tried to talk me through a series of things to check under the hood. Long story short, after dealing with a couple of high school boys who really wanted to be helpful but weren't, a truck driver who didn't have a clue about anything, a police officer who delivered a message that wasn't quite right, and after writing a check in the store in order to get more change for the payphone, several more phone calls to my dad and a phone call to Jeff (where I found out things were going none too well for him either), I made arrangements for my parents to just come and get me and the kids and take us to their house. Then I proceeded to wait in the fairly dark parking lot of the now-closed convenient store while my nerves became more and more frayed. Finally my parents arrived, my dad checked out the situation and decided it was best to just leave the van there overnight. So, we unloaded everything from my van into his truck and headed to Belton. When we finally got to a place where my cell phone worked, I found out that Jeff was having his own run of bad luck and wouldn't be arriving back in Austin until around 1:00 am--he should have been back in Austin at 8:30 pm. Then, when I talked to him this morning, I found out that when he finally got here and left the airport, he ran into some kind of road obstruction and took a detour which had him driving in circles for 45 minutes. We were finally all reunited this afternoon and were able to get my van back over to Austin. Ruth's take on all this: "This is such an adventure. First, Granny and Grandaddy's house, then Nana and Papa's house! Wow! What a bonus!" At least someone was having a good time! Never a dull moment, I tell you!