Tuesday, October 31, 2006


Jeff turns 30 tomorrow, so tonight we had a big bash with the family to celebrate the occasion. It was lots of fun! And, it's just the beginning of the birthday season for him, so who knows what the rest of the week (or month) will bring!

Monday, October 30, 2006

4th Tooth + Mysterious Rash + Time Change =

One Unhappy Baby!

Pretty much the only sound I heard today was the screaming of one sad little hombre. There was absolutely nothing I could do to console him. He didn't want to eat; didn't want to play; didn't want to be held; didn't want to be put down. He was just miserable, and I don't really know why. Maybe he just missed Jeff, because after dinner, when I went to exercise, apparently Weston kicked in to super happy mode as he played with Daddy and Ruth. Maybe I'm the problem. I just hope for the sake of my sanity and for the sake of Weston's tear supply that tomorrow is a little happier.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Happiness is...A Pile Of Rocks

We went to the park today and Weston just had a blast, even though he was quite sleepy. His favorite thing was sitting in the rocks and picking them up and letting them fall back to the ground. He did this tirelessly. He even had a hard time pulling himself away when he saw a puppy he wanted to go check out. I would have taken a picture, but I didn't get my new camera until after the trip to the park. Next time, I'll get some shots, and they will be darn good ones if the camera is everything it claims to be.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

The End

We finished "Little House On The Prairie" today and then watched the movie tonight. Ruth enjoyed the book and the movie so much...and Jeff and I did, too. And, if you quiz her (which I suggest you do), she remembers every part. She can't wait to go buy the next one in the series so she can see what happens. It's neat to see her interested in such a big-girl thing. It won't be long before she can read a book like that all by herself, but for now we are really enjoying the family bonding this is generating.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Haircut. Check.

Well, my stylist was able to get us in today, so Weston got his first haricut this week afterall. (Whew)! He looks like such a little boy now. Not as opposed to a little girl, (though, I suppose that's a bonus) but as opposed to a baby. It's amazing. He's just so handsome! Looks just like his Daddy! (And speaking of him, he should hopefully be home within the hour--WooHoo!)

Thursday, October 26, 2006

The Haircut That Wasn't Meant To Be

This afternoon, I decided it was a good time to take Weston to get his first haricut. I know of a couple of children's salons not far from my house, so I loaded up the kids after their naps and headed over to one of them, hoping they would take a walk-in. They take walk-ins generally, but today they were swamped and just couldn't do it. So I headed over to the other one, where I found out about a very stupid rule that annoyed me so much that I just left. According to the people there, they are not allowed to cut a child's hair if they aren't wearing socks and/or shoes. (But anyone in the salon, including a young customer, is allowed to wear just flip-flops--which offer about as much protection as barefeet, in my opinion). Weston, of course, wasn't wearing either of these things since it was a very warm day and I never put those things on him if it's warm, seeing as how he can't walk, and I just end up chasing shoes all over the place because they don't stay on his feet when he's crawling around. We're talking about a haircut that was going to last no more than 5 minutes! The lady was happy to wait for me, though, if I wanted to go next door and buy a pair of socks. I'm usually not bothered too much by things like this, but today it just really annoyed me. I felt like the dad in "Father of the Bride" when he's going through the grocercy store claiming there's a conspiracy between the hotdog makers and the bun makers because they sell a package of 8 hotdogs and only 6 buns. I declined the haircut there and drove straight over to the lady who cuts my hair (who I absolutely love) and asked her if she could just snip Weston's hair while he sat on my lap. She said she would be happy to, but she was just starting a dye job and it was going to take a while. I knew Weston's (and Ruth's) happy face wouldn't last that long, so we decided to skip it for today. Some things just aren't mean to be, I guess. I am hoping to get his hair cut sometime soon though, so he isn't mistaken for a girl again.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

All By Myself

Jeff is working in Seattle this week and the kids are with my parents tonight, so that just leaves me. It's weird. This is the first time in about four and a half years that I've really been all by myself for any length of time. In a way, it's kind of nice to have some time to myself and focus just on things I want (or need) to do. But on the other hand, I miss my family. But right now, I guess it doesn't particularly matter too much because I'm off to bed. I'll check in with you on Thursday, as I'll be at my parents' place tomorrow.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Random Acts Of Violence

I found out today that on Saturday night my step-brother was brutally assaulted within an inch of his life in Dallas. Apparently, he was attacked from behind by four guys. They got him to the ground and proceeded to stomp and kick his face and head, leaving not even a bruise on any other part of his body, but pretty much taking his face off and fracturing his skull. It looks like he will require some surgeries, but will, thankfully, be all right, and may even get to go home from the hospital later this week. The authorities suspect that this was some sort of gang initiation, as they've had similar reports recently. He wasn't in a bad part of town. He wasn't involved in anything he shouldn't have been. He was just taking his fiance out for dinner. This is the kind of thing you think only happens in movies. You never suspect it could happen to someone you know. What a crazy, crazy world we live in!

Sunday, October 22, 2006

I Sat In Birthday Cake

We went to a birthday party today for our little friend, Darla, who just turned one. She was new to the birthday cake scene but definitley made it known that she wasn't interested. Her mom had made a special little cake just for her, and instead of eating it, she wadded it up in her hands and then began to throw it. She refused to eat it, so her mom took her out of the high chair and set the tray down on the ground to be cleaned up later. Weston, who has yet to even experience birthday cake, made a bee-line for the tray. From that point on, everytime I looked up, Weston was looking for a way to dive into some cake, and I was working overtime to keep him out of it. When I got home, I realized that I had birthday cake all over my jacket and all over my behind. Nothing says "credible" like birthday-cake-butt. I can't wait to see what happens a month from now, when Weston really does get to dive into the cake!

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Lunch And A Backrub

Today my mother-in-law and I spent some time shopping in Burnet. When we had seen all there was to see, we decided to have some lunch at The Maxican Restaurant, or The Texican Resaurant, depending on whether you looked at their sign or their shirts. We were served chips and salsa just after we were seated, and then an older lady came by and introduced herself. Turns out, she was the owner's grandmother, enjoying her first paying job. After telling us who she was, she proceeded to give us backrubs (with our permission). She said when her grandaughter offered her the job, it was with the condition that she would restrain from hugging and kissing everyone. So, she declined the position. Then, they reached a compromise which allowed brief backrubs. It was so cute...and definitely a unique draw.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Taking The Bad With The Good, And Growing A Little

Weston presented us with his third tooth today, an upper incisor at that. We were very excited for him. But unfortunately, this little blessing comes with great struggle. He's fairly miserable. His nose is running like a faucet; he's running a low-grade fever; he isn't sleeping well; and he doesn't really want to eat. All that, and the pain he must feel, have him feeling really grouchy. And I just feel awful for him, because there really isn't much I can do for him.

This whole process is a lot like life, when you think about it. We run into struggles--some huge and some small, but all difficult to bear, for even the less difficult struggles seem overwhelming when we are in the midst of them. It seems like the struggle will never end. It weighs on us when we are eating, when we are sleeping, and when we are going through our daily routine. Sometimes the struggles bring us to tears and sometimes we just don't know what to do with ourselves. But in the end, when the pain is gone, we find that we have grown, that we have become more complete somehow just for having endured. And we also find the next struggle a bit easier to bear because we know it won't actually kill us, even if it seems like it will.

Many of our struggles we bring on ourselves. But sometimes, it is the Lord who allows the struggle to come upon us. And it is these struggles that we are able to grow from. It is these situations that allow us to become more complete in the Lord. I got an e-mail forward the other day, which I normally don't even read, much less pass along. But this one made an excellent point, and I have been thinking about it all week. I will share it here, because perhaps one of you is in the midst of a struggle brought on by the Lord to make you stronger and more complete, and you need a little encouragement, just as I did.

**Malachi 3:3 says: "He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver." This verse puzzled some women in a Bible study and they wondered what this statement meant about the character and nature of God. One of the women offered to find out the process of refining silver and get back to the group at their next Bible Study. That week, the woman called a silversmith and made an appointment to watch him at work. She didn't mention anything about the reason for her interest beyond her curiosity about the process of refining silver. As she watched the silversmith, he held a piece of silver over the fire and let it heat up. He explained that in refining silver, one needed to hold the silver in the middle of the fire where the flames were hottest as to burn away all the impurities. The woman thought about God holding us in such a hot spot; then she thought again about the verse that says: "He sits as a refiner and purifier of silver." She asked the silversmith if it was true that he had to sit there in front of the fire the whole time the silver was being refined. The man answered that yes, he not only had to sit there holding the silver, but he had to keep his eyes on the silver the entire time it was in the fire. If the silver was left a moment too long in the flames, it would be destroyed. The woman was silent for a moment. Then she asked the silversmith, "How do you know when the silver is fully refined?" He smiled at her and answered, "Oh, that's easy -- when I see my image in it."**

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Memory Lane

When I was in college I used to eat at this neat little pizza place...a lot! They make pizza rolls, which are just wonderful, and on Tuesdays they have a two-for-one special, which works out nicely for a thrifty college student. Every Tuesday (and I do mean every Tuesday), I would order up, and then eat at least two meals out of that one purchase. As a bonus, when I was in college, I didn't have to worry about how very many calories I was consuming. I didn't really realize how often I was taking advantage of special until one night when I went to pick up my order, and the moment I walked in the door the girl behind the counter said, "Mandi, right?" I was a bit chagrinned, but only for a moment. Biting into a pizza roll took away all negative feelings and reminded me to be sure and order up again the next week.

I've been to Double Dave's since I've been out of college, but still, it's been a few years. We got a coupon in the mail today, perfectly timed with me not wanting to cook dinner, and so we decided to take advantage of the Wednesday special, which is an all-you-can-eat buffet. Responsible Ruth opted for a salad and just one little pizza roll, but Jeff and I relived our college days and ate as many pizza rolls as we could. It was a nice trip down memory lane, but I don't think we'll make a weekly affair out of it.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Thanksgiving Invitations

Today, while the kids were napping, I was trying to get the Thanksgiving invitations together. Just as I put the first one in the envelope, Ruth woke up and asked what I was doing. When I told her, her eyes went wide and she said, "Wait! I already have invitations." Then she ran off to her room. She came back with a pile of sticker-sealed envelopes. I asked the obvious question: "What are those?" Of course, they were the Thanksgiving invitations. I wanted to see what was inside, but she refused to show me. After telling her I wouldn't send them unless I knew what was inside, she finally allowed me to open just one. What I found was a small piece of construction paper with a wonderful drawing of a turkey. I just loved it! It was perfect! She told me about three weeks ago that she was going to make Thanksgiving invitations, but I had no idea she had actually done it. I was amazed that, not only had she done it, but that she had them in a place where she could easily put her hand on them. Some of you will be getting these in the mail soon. Perhaps after I've sent them out I'll post a picture here. They are absolutely adorable!

Blast From The Past

Here's a picture of me (and Weston) taken a year ago, with some of the beautiful, wonderful women in my life.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Low-Down Camera Blues

My digital camera seems to have some sort of glitch in it that is causing it to put a werid little black shadow in all my pictures. It was working fine on Saturday and today it just seems to be completely crazy. I'm really bummed because I really love my camera and I really love my pictures, and I'm not really ready to buy a new camera. Blah!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Little House On The Prairie

Jeff began reading "Little House On The Prairie" to Ruth today. He and I both guessed she'd last 10 minutes, at the most, since there really aren't any pictures and it's so long. We were pleased to be proven wrong. She was sucked in to the story and didn't want to stop reading. They read almost 100 pages! And Ruth added some new words to her vocabulary and some new historical knowledge to her database. It was so fun...for all of us.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Friday, October 13, 2006

Father/Daughter Bonding

Ruth and her daddy have always been close. They enjoy each other so much, and they engage in a wide variety of activities together. But tonight, I think they reached a new level in bonding. Jeff got out our old-old-old-school 8-bit Nintendo (that's right, the very first one) and showed Ruth how to play Mario Bros. They were both on cloud nine. The copyright on the game was 1985 and I think that officially puts this machine in the antique category. And you do have to hold your mouth just right to get it to turn on. But still, it was neat to see them share something that Jeff and I enjoyed as kids. And Ruth caught on very quickly (not that the original Mario Bros. is that complicated). I'm sure it won't be long before she's saving the princess and teaching us a few new tricks.

Rip Van Weston

I have never seen a person of any age be as sleepy as Weston. I have a hard time getting out of the house because we are slaves to his naptime, which seems to be all the time. This morning he woke up around 9:00. By 10:30, he was ready for a nap. I had some errands I needed to run, so I forced him to do without. So, he fell asleep in the car for 10-15 minutes. By 1:30, he was ready for another nap. Another 15-20 minutes in the car. At 3:00 he couldn't keep his eyes open, so I put him to bed. He slept for a full two hours. By 6:45 he was ready to hit the sack. When we're at the house he takes a good two-hour (at least) nap in the morning and another one in the afternoon. And he still goes to bed quite early and sleeps at least 12 hours. It's the most amzing thing I've ever seen. This is even amazing to Jeff, who loves sleep almost as much as he loves me. And speaking of sleep, the clock tells me I need to follow suit and go check out my eyelids for a while.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Fitness Study Failure

Today was my last work-out as part of the Fitness Study I've been doing with Curves, so they had to get all my new measurements. First weight. Up one pound. That's right UP! So, the very nice lady says, "Oh, that's normal. You are building muscle and that adds weight." Then she proceeds with the other measurements (waist, hips, arms, thighs, abdomen, bust), and pretty soon she's looking back with concern at my first-time measurements. Nothing seems to be what it should. The numbers that should be lower are slightly higher. The numbers that should be higher are slightly lower. By now, I'm feeling pretty bummed, but she just continues to encourage: "Oh, it looks like Mary took those first measurements. She's one of our newer girls so she may not have measured quite accurately." "If these things are measured in just slightly different places, they can really show up in the numbers." "Perhaps, you were wearing clothes that fit differently before." "Maybe it's just a difference in the time of the month." But, I'm pretty smart, so I knew what she really meant was: "Wow. You actually failed the fitness study. That's almost impossible to do." Of course, it could just be a marketing ploy because I went ahead and paid for a memebership--obviously, I still have work to do.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Adventure Du Jour

Our house came alive early this morning with the sound of thunder and pouring rain, and the only light was the flashing of lightning. It was wonderful. And it made it the perfect day for an outing to RadiJazz. We have been there before, but this was the first time Weston really enjoyed it. And he did enjoy it. Even with having missed his morning nap, he was much too busy to be cranky or tired. (Although, he did fall asleep in the van before we even got out of the parking lot)! And, of course, Ruth had a blast. This place is fabulous. I really wish it would have been my idea!

Monday, October 09, 2006

Baby Storytime

I took Weston to his first baby storytime today. It was really fun. And it brought back so many memories of when I used to take Ruth to baby storytime. That was just yesterday, wasn't it?! It's adorable to watch the babies interact with each other. I've included pictures from today and also some from years ago.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

A Day At The Park

We spent the afternoon at Zilker Park enjoying the beautiful fall-like weather. Here are some pictures.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Stop Me If You've Heard This One...


That's it. Just corn. But for some unknown reason, whenever Ruth says that word to Weston, he belly-laughs so hard he can hardly catch his breath. It's hilarious.

We'll be telling it all night at our living room camp-out. I'm a little concerned it might not be quite the hit it usually is since Weston's already asleep in his bed.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

For All You Weird Al Fans


In my opinion, "Smells Like Nirvana" should be #1 and "The Saga Begins" should be #2.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

One Person's Trash, Another Person's Treasure

How true that is. I listed 30 items for free on Craig's List today and as of now 29 of them are either gone or pending pick up. Most of them were spoken for within 30 minutes to an hour of my posting the ad. Wow! And my half-way clean garage gets cleaner and cleaner. And my minimalistic husband is thrilled. Life is good.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Friends, Old And New

The kids and I spent a portion of the day visiting Katie, my good friend since high school. She is down from Michigan visiting her parents, before things get a little crazier for her with the arrival of Peanut sometime in mid-November. Her parents have a menagerie of animals, which thrilled my kids to no end. They have a dog, a cat, a bunny and eight goats--the newest of which is named Ruthie. Katie and I talked of things past, things present and things to come, while Ruth fed the goats and followed Katie's dad around, no doubt asking a billom questions. (Billom is not mis-spelled there--that's Ruth's cute pernunciation of "billion"). I wish I could see you more often, Katie. But at least we have our blogs! Take care, and good luck with the new baby and the new house!

Sunday, October 01, 2006

6-Man Football, Book Bugs and Granny's Cooking

We had a fun weekend. On Friday night we got to go see my cousin, who is a senior at Knox City High School, play 6-Man football. It was also homecoming for them and he was named "Football Hero." His escort out onto the field was the lovely cheerleader, Ruth Watts. Unfortunately, Cody's team didn't win, but as far as Ruth was concerned, it was the greatest game that's ever been played anywhere. And Weston really loved it, too.

On Saturday, we left the kids with my grandparents and went over to Archer City to take a peek at Larry McMurty's four-building, floor-to-ceiling, amazing bookstore. And, seriously, it was just a peek. I have never seen anything like that in my life. I don't think you could ever peruse all the titles contained in these stores. It was fascinating and fun, except for the "book bugs", which I never actually saw, but I definitely felt!
Granny cooked for us all weekend, which was awesome. She always thinks about what everyone likes and makes something especially for them. Her potato salad is amazing, by the way. It was a really great weekend. The kids were so worn out, they slept pretty much the whole way home, which made the trip a bit faster and a lot quieter!