Thursday, November 30, 2006

I'm Dreaming Of A Green Island

Forget all that White Christmas stuff. I'm a warm-weather girl. Unfortunately, I'm not on an island, and it's COLD here. Of course my friends in Texas North (that's Michigan, for those of you not in the know) and Albequerque will just laugh at me because it's actually snowing in those places, and here in Austin we don't even know what snow is. But still, there was a small patch of ice on my sidewalk this morning for about five minutes, and that's just too much for me. So, I'm going to go tuck myself into a pile of big, cuddly, warm blankets and dream of an island paradise.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Priceless Half-Birthday

1 Red Felt Cowgirl Hat--$1
1 Faux Leater Vest With Stars and Fringe--$1
1 Horse Sweater--$1
1 Dallas Cowgirl Costume--$5
1 Stick Horse With Galloping Sound Effects--$6
Making 1 Little Girl Say "YeeHaw" On Her Half-Birthday--Priceless

Most of you know that we celebrate half-birthdays around here. On a half-scale, of course. We usually just give a few little gifts and make the half-birthday girl/boy feel a little extra special. Ruth is really into being a cowgirl these days, so we sort of made a theme out of it with the things listed above. We rounded out the theme by watching Black Beauty, and now I know at what age it is that girls start to cry at movies: 4 1/2. Every time Black Beauty changed owners and they had to say good-bye, little tears formed in Ruth's eyes. Then towards the end of the movie, a horse (not Black Beauty) died, and Ruth could hardly catch her breath for about 10 or 15 minutes because she was crying so hard. Up until now, death has just kind of been a fact to Ruth, but we have clearly crossed a line. Other than that little crying episode, it was an absolutely perfect day for my big 4 1/2-year-old!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Growing Like A Weed

Weston had his one-year check-up today. He got four shots, but only cried for a short while. I think he was actually more upset because the doctor's visit was cutting into his morning nap than he was about the shots. He weighed in at 23 lbs. and 3 oz. (50th percentile) and he was 31 in. tall, putting him in the 90th percentile! He had grown so much since the last visit that they measured him twice! Dr. Ellis said everything looks great. We're so proud of our big boy.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Big Day

Weston finally took his first little baby steps today! He didn't go far, but he definitely got the motion down! We're so proud of him! He was so eager to get in on the wrestling action between Ruth and Jeff, he completely forgot to hold on. I guess it won't be long now before he's running around all over. I did my darndest to capture the moment on video, but didn't quite get it. I'll keep trying to get some pics so I can show you all.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Wonderful One

Our little man is one today! I just can't believe it! He had so much fun at the party on Thursday with all our family and friends, and then today with just the four of us. He has learned to put up one finger and say something that sounds very similar to "one" when you ask him how old he is. He caught on to the unwrapping of gifts very quickly, but he pretty much held his breath while we sang "Happy Birthday." He loved the cake we gave him on Thursday and the chocolate milk we gave him this morning. He was not a fan of the chocolate doughnut, however. It's been a fun long-weekend of celebrating. What a fun year it's been, and what an amazing little boy. I'll leave you with some pics from the party, including the cake and the pinata.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

What I'm Thankful For

I have so many things to be thankful for that I couldn't possible name them all, so I'll just list the things I'm thankful for today.

1. Getting to go on two dates with my Sweetie
2. My parents for keeping the kids--allowing for afore-mentioned dates and Fiesta preparation
3. Actually getting everything together for the Fiesta
4. Fiesta decorations
5. Corduroy pants
6. Beautiful weather
7. My clean house
8. Fightin' Texas Aggie Spirit
9. Pandora Radio
10. Friends and Family

I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving! I'll check in with you next week.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Birthday Cake Success

Last night I made Weston's birthday cake--a duck-turned-turkey--and it was very cute...until it's head fell off and it sort of imploded. So, I went back to the drawing board--and the grocery store--and tonight I made another birthday cake. This one turned out even cuter, and so far it's still in one piece. I'll post pictures sometime when things settle down around here.

Monday, November 20, 2006

I'm Not Avoiding You, I Promise

I woke up this morning and went "Huh. I forgot to blog this weekend." And frankly, there wasn't much going on here this weekend, so you didn't really miss anything. The kids and I went to the zoo on Saturday with my sister, her boyfriend and his three kids, while Jeff took the hunter's safety class. Other than that, we pretty much just watched football and read books.

Today, we had a bit of a break in the monotony, though. Jeff came home from work wielding an autographed copy of a book, which mentions him by name on page 254 and then pictures his power-point slides in the following pages! Granted, this probably isn't a book I'll ever read--and I doubt most of you will ever pick it up either--but still, he's pretty much famous, and I'm very proud of him! He's the acknowledged resident expert on Wikipedia evolution. Pretty impressive, huh?!

Friday, November 17, 2006

So They All Rolled Over, And One Fell Out

Every four to six months I get a hankering to rearrange the furniture. I usually don't premeditate this act. Something just strikes me one day, and then, it's like if you move one thing, everything else has to move too. So, that's what I did today. Some things got pushed out to the garage (oh come on, you didn't really think it was going to stay clean forever, did you?!), some things that were upstairs moved down, some things that were down moved up, and some things are still waiting to hear their new position (which means they are just sitting in the middle of the floor "resting"). I'm quite happy with what I've done so far! The main thing is that the toy area (which is essentially the whole house) has been contained somewhat and some degree of order has been restored, which always makes me breathe a sigh of relief. I just feel like I can function better when things are in their place--of if not their place, at least some place that's relatively out of my way. My kids haven't caught on to that concept yet, but hey, they're young, so maybe there's still some hope. (Come to think of it, my husband hasn't really caught on to that concept either, so maybe there's not as much hope as I thought)! Well, the things in this house won't let me sleep until they've all been reassigned, so I must go attend to them.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Countdown To Turkey Day

Well, it's just a week until Thanksgiving and we are getting geared up around here. Today the kids and I did the BIG shopping trip. I'm sure some of you are curious as to what our theme is this year--and some of you are now wondering, "Theme?!?" (So, for a little background: We've been hosting Thanksgiving--with both sides of the family--at our house for about five years, I guess. After Ruth was born we decided to spice up Thanksgiving just a little and create our own little tradition, which is to have a theme. One year we had the "fried Thanksgiving" where we fried up about 100 turkeys, or so it seemed. One year we had a farm theme, where we all wore our bandanas and overalls. One year we had a luau, with ham instead of turkey and homemade paper leis for everyone. Last year, the theme was "Baby," and for that one we all went out to Luby's because Weston was due to arrive any minute)! So, now that we're all caught up, this year's theme is (drumroll, please) Dos Fiestas! We're all going to wear our sombreros, and while turkey will be served, it will most definitely have a Mexican twist. And, not only will it be quite the Thanksgiving Fiesta, it will also be Weston's birthday party. I'm very excited! I'm posting pictures here of our invitations--you'll remember, I made one of them and Ruth made the other one. See if you can tell who's is who's. I hope you all have plans to be with your families or friends for Thanksgiving, but if not, come join our fiesta! Mi casa es su casa y mi fiesta es su fiesta!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Don't Worry, We're Not Dead

That is not to say that the sweet relief of death hasn't been wished for in the last 32 hours or so.

So, here's what happened. On Monday night we went out for dinner at a little Mexican joint we like to go to. Jeff and I ordered chicken dishes and ate until we were quite "puffed out." Later on Monday night, Jeff said, "That Mexican food didn't sit very well with me," and we went to bed. Tuesday morning, Jeff got up and got ready for work, still complaining of "revenge of the Mexican food." Meanwhile, Mandi got up and got going without noticing anything out of the ordinary. At 10:00 on Tuesday morning, Jeff unexpectedly showed up at the house "not feeling too good," and put himself to bed. At lunchtime on Tuesday, Mandi ate the remainder of her Mexican food which she had carefully saved and brought home, not knowing that it was crawling with some kind of pure evilness. At 2:45 on Tuesday, Jeff went back to work for an important meeting, not feeling good, but a bit rested and not quite as bad as he had been. Around 3:00, Mandi began to feel not-so-good herself and laid down on the couch for a while. Around 5:00, the evilness within Mandi exploded. And at 7:00, Mandi went to bed for the night. Only it was to be quite a fitfull night with very little actual rest for both of the Watts adults in our house. We took turns going from couch to bed, and we showered at odd times, just hoping for some relief. This day (I think it's Wednesday) has been a complete fog. Jeff stayed home from work to nurse himself back to health and to make sure the children had at least one set of adult eyes on them at all times today. We've really been quite pathetic. But it looks like we may possibly be coming to the end of it. I can tell you it will be a long time before we set foot in that resturaunt again, and when we finally do I can almost bet we won't be ordering the Pollo Muy Malo.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Did You get Puffed Out While You Were On Your Business Trip?

Ruth is a very funny girl. The things that come out of her mouth sometimes just have us rolling on the floor. Today she was telling us a story about her "girls"--three baby dolls that are her "kids." One of them is named Parrot, one is named Sparkle and the other one is named Rose. "Parrot is actually three," she said, " and Sparkle is five, and Rose...well I'm not really sure what age Rose is because I don't know when her birthday is, because I was away on a business trip." Too funny for words! Then, tonight we went out for dinner, and as we finished up, this conversation took place:

Ruth: Are you puffed out?

Parents (in unison): What?!

Ruth (slower and louder, and with a hand gesture making a big tummy): Are you puffed out?

Mandi: Oh, you mean full?

Ruth (slightly disgusted): Well, yes!

All very, very funny! And frankly, I am quite puffed out.

Sunday, November 12, 2006


Well, we didn't shoot a turkey this weekend--we didn't even see a turkey actually. But we did get to shoot the gun at a target. Ruth shot the gun last year, but she only shot the ground, and she only did it once and then she was on to other things. This year she was a bit more focused. She has a special little gun that is just her size...and not so much her Daddy's. And Ruth's mom even got in on the action this year, which was truly impressive. It was a fun time, though a little on the cold and windy side for my taste.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

An Innocent (?) Conversation

Here's a conversation Ruth had with my friend yesterday:

Friend: So, are you guys going to do anything fun this weekend?

Ruth (beaming): Yes!

Friend: What's that?

Ruth: We're going to go the the ranch and shoot something!!!


We are indeed off to the family's ranch out in West Texas for the weekend, and Ruth is determined to shoot a Thanksgiving turkey for us. "Little House On The Prairie" has her completely inspired and totally confident that such a thing is possible. In fact, as I was looking at turkeys in the grocery store the other day, she said, "Mom, you don't need to look at turkeys. I'm going to shoot us one for Thanksgiving!" As long as she dresses it too, is all I have to say! Hope you all have a great weekend. I'll let you know what "we" shoot when we get back.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Farewell Friend

Some friendships take time to mature and are developed over the course of a lifetime. Others happen instantaneously but feel like the the life-long kind in the bond established. The latter is how I would describe my friendship with Tiffany. The moment I saw her, I just knew we would be friends. We've had so much fun and so many neat conversations in the past few months, and that's why I'm especially sad that she is moving on Friday. I'm wishing her and her family all the best as they persue a new path in Albuquerque, but my sercret, selfish self is wishing she could stay here, just for a while longer. Dear Friend, you will be missed, but I will always be thankful for the opportunity I had to get to know you and to become your friend. Thanks for sharing yourself with me. May God bless your journey and give you his peace and joy.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Master Of The Monkey Bars

Last week we had a family outing to the park. Ruth had her heart set on doing the monkey bars, but she would chicken out every time, after moving to just the second bar (where her feet could no longer touch the step). Jeff offered her ice cream if she made it to the third bar, and she said "no thanks." This afternoon, I took the kids over to the park again, and Ruth again decided to give the monkey bars a go. After a few tries she made it to the third bar, and then the fourth. Finally, she made it all the way across. She was so excited, I thought she would pop, and I was extrememly proud of her. We called Daddy at work and he said he'd meet us at the park because he wanted to see her do it, too. When he got there she had a bit of "performance anxiety," but she did get half-way across, and it was very exciting. We all went out for ice cream after dinner to celebrate. I just can't believe what a big girl she is getting to be! Every day there is some new skill to applaude! I'm trying to remember to linger in these few precious moments before they slip away, before something much less important than mastering the monkey bars steps up into the place of most important.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Customer Appreciation Week

The Curves I go to is having their anniversary celebration this week, which means free sample products in a neat little dentist-like goodie bag and half-price, heavenly chair massages. And frankly, this week, I need a little more incentive to go workout than just wanting to improve my physical and mental well-being. What I really want to do is eat my way out of a vat of chocolate chip cookie dough...

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Parenting Quote Of The Day*

"If you aren't going to do what I say, just do whatever you want!"--Jeff

*This comment has been taken seriously out of context, but it struck my funny bone anyway, so there you go.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

One Person's Trash, Another Person's Treasure

My dad's real estate company manages many rental properties. Sometimes the renters fail to pay their rent, and then things kind of get interesting. At some point in the process, the locks are changed and whatever property has been left behind is dragged out of the house and set on the curb. At that point, it becomes public property. So, when we went to pick up the kids today, my dad took us over to just such a place. It was totally trashed out, but it was completely full of things, some of them really nice things--a big screen tv, a very nice stereo system, a refrigerator, a couple of couches, a couple of beds, a car, etc. etc. We told my dad the things we were interested in and he put our name on them. What are people thinking? How can they just leave so much stuff behind? And this is far from an isolated incident. It apparently happens all the time. In fact, the piano we have in our home came from a very similar deal, where the people moved out and just left about half of what they owned. It's really unbelievable. But, I'm not complaining, because it works out well for us.

Party #3--Double Date

In an effort to maximize our time together without children, Jeff and I went on two dates tonight. We began our evening with a romantic dinner in our car, scarfing down burgers like mad on our way to see Jerry Seinfeld, live at Bass Concert Hall. After that show, we made our way to the movie theater, where the highlight for me was being "hit on" while Jeff was buying the snacks. (This was especially great since Jeff reported being "hit on" by a waitress while he was in Seattle last week). All this, and we even made it home before midnight. We are living on the edge, aren't we?! We've definitely had a fun week of celebrations, and Jeff seems to think 30 suits him just fine! It's still weird for me to get used to the idea of living with a 30-year-old, though. I mean, I still a young 20-something and he's well-into his 30s. It's just a little strange, although I'm sure I'll adjust.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

He Loves Me...

Look what I got today for no reason other than the fact that my Sweetie is a wonderful, awesome, thoughtful man. He definitely knows the way to my heart.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Party #2

Tonight we had Jeff's second 30th birthday party, just us and the kids. We went to Cool River for dinner, and it was really good. And, as an aside, let me just say what a joy it is to be able to take our kids to such a fancy place and have them behave so well. All the waitstaff was very impressed with their behavior, and we were very proud of them! The party will continue after we get Ruth put to bed in a few minutes with the movie of Jeff's choice, as is our tradition. On your birthday, your half-birthday and Mother's Day/Father's day, the one whose special day it is gets to pick whatever they want without any pushback from the other one. I can't wait to see what is in store for me tonight. Stay tuned to see what other parties unfold this week.