Thursday, December 21, 2006

And We're Off

The goodies are made, the gifts are wrapped, the van is packed and tomorrow we're off on our final adventures of the year. First, we head to Haskell, TX for the Wainscott Christmas bash. We'll leave from there on Sunday afternoon and head to Buchanan Dam, TX for the Watts/Conger party and the Burnett reunion. Then, on Tuesday night (when the kids are nice and sleepy) we'll hit the road and make our way to Lafayette, IN. And we'll begin our New Year in true Watts fashion--in the car--headed back to Austin on New Year's Day. I'm sure it'll be a whirlwind of fun and excitement, and no doubt we'll come back needing a vacation from our vacation, but we really wouldn't have it any other way! I hope you all have a safe and happy holiday and a wonderful new year! We'll check in with you in 2007!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

How To Entertain Your Child While You're Busy In The Kitchen

Today was baking day, and there was much to do. You mommies know that this activity doesn't jive with kiddos underfoot, so it's helpful to have an activity for said kiddos. So, I took a cue from our beloved "Little House On The Prairie" books and had Ruth stud an apple with cloves. She was interested because of the books and it was just hard enough to keep her busy, but not so hard as to cause her to become frustrated--or worse yet, for me to have to get involved. And she could do it in stages, if she got tired of it. She felt so big working on this project, and she was content being in close enough proximity to chatter away to me while I actually got some stuff done. It was fabulous! And as a bonus, when she was all done, we threw it, along with a few other ingredients, into the kettle and had some really wonderful cider this evening.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Topic Envy

Well, I didn't have much to report today, so I'm stealing a topic from my friend, Angela. She posted an article on her blog that I thought was really great. It talks about how so many kids (and people in general) just expect for things to be given to them, and it addresses the importance of disolving this attitude as we raise our kids. Jeff and I have always believed (and tried to instill in our children) that no one is entitled to anything. We want to pass along to them that we are thankful for what we get, but we do not feel that we deserve to be given things. At this time of year, I think it's especially important to remember this.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Random Roadtrip

Last night Jeff and I were sitting around, talking about what we wanted to do for the New Year's weekend, and we weren't really coming up with much. We both wanted to go somewhere, but we couldn't think where. Then, almost simultaneously, we thought of going to visit our friends in Indiana. (Honestly, we weren't really thinking of something that big to start with--it just sort of happened). So, we called up our friends, and they are available that weekend, so it looks like we'll be headed that way after the Christmas holidays. Yipee!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Once A Baby, Now A Toddler

Walking seems to have really clicked with Weston this weekend. He's everywhere. And not only can he walk in a straight line, he can turn completely around, and he can completely change paths on you if you aren't paying attention. And he is just sooo pleased with himself. Sometimes his excitement is actually a hinderance, as he tends to occasionally trip over his smile! No major crashes, yet, but I'm sure that's coming. But until then, we are all having a blast!

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Out Of The Mouth Of 4-Year-Olds

Thursday was my dad's birthday, so we gave him a call to share our birthday wishes. Ruth spoke to him first, then passed the phone to me. Then my dad put my mom on, then I passed the phone back to Ruth. And finally, it was Ruth and Papa once again to say good-bye, while I put Weston to bed. So, today my parents stopped by, and it came up in conversation that what Ruth had to say in that last conversation was this: I just wanted to take one last opportunity to wish you a happy birthday.

Then at dinner, I was talking with my parents about a friend of mine from high school who lives very near me now. Suddenly, Ruth chimed in: Is that the one who owns Brett?!

It's full-time hilarity around here, folks!

Friday, December 15, 2006

Making My Family Smile

It's the simple things, really. I went to Goodwill today, looking for some cheap containers, which I did not find. But what I did find, was definitely worth the trip. For the kids, I found like-new Woody and Jessie dolls (from the Toy Story movies). And for Jeff, the entire first season of "The Dukes of Hazzard" on DVD. And you would have thought I brought home gold nuggets for everyone. Maybe the best $14 I've ever spent for the return I got in smiles.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Zits Happen

Somehow I managed to escape my adolescent years with maybe one zit. And suddenly I reach my "child-bearing years," and I'm getting zits like crazy every month. And unfortunately, I'm afraid that, at this point, I'm not going to out-grow it. I guess the good news is that no potential prom date hangs in the balance. And I've certainly become comfortable enough with myself over the years not to be devestated by such a blemish. But it's just annoying.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Wednesday Bonus

I normally just make one post per day, but I just couldn't resist sharing this video with you.

*Just click on the link, and then click "Download Video" to play the video.

Little Piggies

My friend, Amy, has recently started her own business in which she captures the precious hand and foot prints of kiddos in clay. She has done a few for us, and they are really, really sweet. She has many different layouts, plate sizes and shapes and a ton of colors to choose from. Here are a couple she did for us:

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Na-Na-Na (And Good-bye)

Weston has picked up a new "word" in the past week: na-na-na. Now, I know it isn't really "Mama," but it's by far the closest thing we've got, so I'm claiming it! (Although, if I'm honest, I don't think he really means it in that way since he uses it for things totally unrelated to me, but I'm not really that honest).

He is also really good at waving now and even does it at the right time--to say hello and good-bye. It's a whole-body wave and you just can't help but think he is genuinely happy to see you coming or going.

And finally, I just wanted to share some pictures and a video of our little walker. He's getting more confident everyday, and today I was even able to capture him on camera. We are so proud of the way he is growing, although it's hard to believe he's already big enough to walk and talk!

Monday, December 11, 2006

Life's Greatest Annoyance

I absolutely cannot stand service industries where they tell you they will show up at your house on Monday--sometime between 8am and 5pm. And they, of course, expect that you have absolutely nothing else to do but wait for them to show up. And, they have all these strict rules about if you have to cancel, it musts be before 24 hours in advance or you still owe them the service fee. So, I see no reason whatsoever that the reverse shouldn't apply. I waited for someone to show up at my house to fix my garbage disposal today. At 4:30 they called me to let me know they were way behind and they would have to reschedule. Are you kidding me?! So, the way I see it, ARS owes me $55. I'll be expecting a check tomorrow when you finally show up to fix my disposal, thank you very much!

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Mama Needs A New Pair Of Shoes

O.k. so maybe it wasn't a pair of shoes, maybe it was three pairs of shoes. And maybe need (in the traditional sense) is too strong a word. But honestly, I did need something to help me change my attitude today, and shoe shopping was just the thing. I got three really cute pairs and I didn't spend all that much and--and this is maybe the most important thing--I got to get out of the house by myself for a while and just focus on me. Selfish, I know, but sometimes necessary. Don't take that to mean that my children were driving me nuts or that my husband was getting on my nerves. Quite the contrary. It was just one of those sad kind of days full of emotion I can't begin to explain, even to myself. I spent about three hours out of the house, and I came home with the "Most Improved" award for attitude--and, of course, three pairs of super-cute shoes!

Saturday, December 09, 2006

I've Seen Stranger Things, But I'm Not Sure Where

Thing 1:

We actually saw a toilet planter in front of someone's house this weekend, near where my parents live. I was unable to get a picture of it, but fortunately there are other really classy people out there on the net who have documented their own for eveyone to see. The one we saw was actually even classier than this one. Instead of real plants growing in it, it had fake ones stuck inside.

Thing 2:
No, this isn't Flavor Flav, it's my mother-in-law's first cousin (and new president of a branch of Frost Bank) at the family reunion we attended today.
Never a dull moment, for sure!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Things I Like About Winter--An Exercise In Reverse Psychology

  • Pink Fuzzy Socks
  • Drinking all the Chai I want and not feeling bad about it
  • Sweaters and Sweatshirts
  • Getting to play at RadiJazz instead of the park
  • Hot Chocolate
  • Polar Fleece Anything
  • Cuddly Blankets
  • Soup
  • Fires in fireplaces at restaurants
  • More reasons to snuggle with my Sweetie

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Dinner Party

We had Jeff's team that he manages at work and their spouses over for dinner tonight. We had Mexican food again--a theme we just can't seem to get away from, not that we've really tried! The food was wonderful and the party was fun. There were a couple of other kids and Ruth had a blast playing with them. These aren't people I know well--some of them I just met tonight--but they were all neat and I think everyone had a good time. We just love to have parties. The only drawback is the clean-up! Speaking of which...

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Monday, December 04, 2006

Dysfunctional Day

Any time the first thing you register when you wake up in the morning is pain in your head, you should just close your eyes and go back to sleep, because it's a pretty fair indication that things aren't going to get much better. Unfortunately, in the real world, where I live, there is no such thing as closing your eyes and going back to sleep. So I got up. And that was a mistake. We had some errands to run this morning, so I got Baby and Bag and headed to the car with Big Sister five steps behind me because it was imperative that Stuffed Poodle accompany us on this outing. Ruth finally caught up and closed the door behind her, and I dashed back up to the door to lock it. Only trouble was, it seemed to already be locked, with me never having laid a key to it. This lead to daughter questioning, doorknob jiggling, frustrated sighing, and finally just giving up. We had other fish to fry at that moment, and I figured if I couldn't get in my own house, no one else would be able to get in either. So then, we were backing out of the driveway when I noticed that something didn't feel right with the gas pedal. This lead to more frustrated sighing and a silent prayer that we would make it to our destination safely. When we got home, I picked up the mail, and found, to my complete exasperation, that I had received another ticket from the great state of Ohio on a vehicle I sold almost two years ago! So, we got in the house, by sneaking in through the garage, and I gave the kids a snack then immediately got on the internet to see if I could find a phone number of someone to talk to about this ticket. I was perched on my little computer stool, when my precious son, who was screaming his head off, grabbed my leg and tried to pull himself up onto my lap. His full weight on my leg made me lose my balance, so that I tummped off the stool, stepped on his finger and crushed the animal cookies he had deposited at my feet like an offering--not to mention that in the process, he managed to smear his gooey hands all over me, covering me with slimy cookie crumbs. When I got him under control and down for a nap, I took a look at the door and attempted to fix the problem, because it seemed to be just a matter of unsticking something that was stuck. I realized that it might be a bit bigger problem when what seems to be quite an important piece fell off and hit the floor with a "ting." It's a good thing my husband stocked the house with meals this weekend, because I'm pretty sure I would have burned the house down if I would have had to cook.

The good news is, the gas pedal problem seemed to pretty much work itself out while we were doing our running around, and CarMax is going to take care of the ticket. Also, Weston is in bed, so the screaming has stopped--coincidently so has my headache--and the animals cookie crumbs have been swept up. The door problem is still awaiting further attention from the Man of the house. So I guess "all's well that ends (mostly) well." If I wake up with a pain in my head tomorrow, I will be smarter than to get out of the bed!

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Kind Of Burr

When we left church tonight, Ruth said, "Wow. It's kind of burr tonight. " And that pretty much sums it up. The temperature has been on the low side here today. It's been sunny, but the breeze has been quite chilling. Even Jeff was cold enough to want to wear a coat and cuddle up under the blankets--and that's saying something! Wishing you all warm thoughts until tomorrow...

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Chef Jeff

They say the way to a man's heart is through his stomach. Well, I've learned that the way to a woman's heart is through the cooking--someone else cooking, that is. I was out this afternoon, and Jeff got bitten by the cooking bug. He cooked and cooked and cooked and cooked, and by the time I got home there was enough food filling our freezer so that I will not have to cook for the rest of the year (or month, depending on how you look at it). Now, that's a neat gift! And if the roast we had for dinner is any indication, it's all going to be very yummy! Whoever said, "Diamonds are a girl's best friend" didn't have a friend who cooked a month's-worth of dinners for them. Yeah, Jeff! Your'e the best!

Friday, December 01, 2006