Friday, August 31, 2007

Everyone's taking an afternoon nap...but little do they know Big Daddy's armed with the camara!

Can I just say "oooh"

Okay, I'm about to reveal one of my greatest fears and the thing that gives me the biggest heeby-jeebies. Spiders. I read an article last night about this huge spider web that covers almost 200 yards. Scientists are scurrying around trying to identify the spiders that created it and figure out why they would make something this big. So, I thought, gross, I bet that's in a rainforest in South America or something. Nope. It's in North Texas. Around the Dallas area. Which isn't that far from my area.

Now, I'm wondering if it couldn't be one great big huge spider that made that web. And it's keeping my up at night. Because a great big huge spider like that could easily travel the distance between Dallas and where we live to come and get me. Because I'm certain they smell fear. And I fear them. I always have.

There are two very vivid memories I have from childhood and they both involve spiders. Hence, the fear. The first is walking into my closet when I was about five years old and looking up to see a very bright orange rather large spider sitting there looking at me. It scared the pants off me. Because spiders don't announce their presence like other animals. You know, flies buzz, mosquitoes make that awful whining noise, dogs bark etc. Spiders just hide and lurk. And they let you get really close to them before they move. It's just creepy. The other memory is of me when I was probably seven or eight eating a bowl of cornflakes one morning. When I was almost finished with the bowl, I came across a drowned black spider at the bottom. He was missing some legs. And I just knew I could feel two or three hairy little black legs stuck in my throat at that moment. So, for many years after those two experiences I took to standing completely still and screaming my head off every time I saw a spider. And I didn't eat cornflakes for at least ten years after that.

You have to realize that in Texas everything is bigger. That goes for spiders. We had the biggest, hairiest, ugliest brown spiders in our house. And they matched the carpet perfectly. And being that they smell fear they always chose to hang out in my room. I'm sure it had nothing to do with the pile of clothes that was always laying around. I can't tell you how many times someone in my family had to come running into my room to see what I was screaming about only to find out that they were going to have to kill a spider. Because back then I showed no mercy. I wanted them dead and I wanted them flushed down the toilet. And I wanted someone else to do it.

Once I moved to California I decided to face my fear because I knew that was the only way to get over it. So, I started capturing spiders indoors and releasing them to the wild to live where God intended. Also, the spiders you find in Cali. aren't nearly as terrifying as Texas spiders. In fact, I actually came to like Daddy Longlegs and learned to co-exist peacefully with them in my apartment. After all, spiders are people too.

However, coming back to Texas has caused a major set back for me. Because we have these little jumping spiders in the house that literally stand up on their back four legs and wiggle their pincers at you when they see you. And that's just rude. Also, now that I know of the giant spider web only a few hundred miles away, I'm worried that the monster spiders from Harry Potter or Stephen King's book IT really might exist. And that is just unacceptable ya'll.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Day in the Park

Thanks to Amy, I finally got a decent picture of me and Jake yesterday at the park!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Bath Time With Big Daddy!

I can't wait for bath time!!!!

Finally, I'm in the tub!

I love my washcloth!

School Days

Today is the first day of school here. I know this because we took Jake to the swimming pool yesterday since it was the last day it would be open this summer and every child in South Austin was there trying to squeeze the last bit of joy out of summer vacation before starting school. I also know this because Amy had to send her little girl to her first day of Kindergarten today. Which seems to be a very traumatic day in the life of a mommy.

I'm starting a part time job at our church's mothers day out program next week and I had to go to two days of orientation last week. There were six or seven teachers there who were also sending one of their kids to the first day of Kindergarten today. And they all got teary eyed talking about it. Now that I'm a mommy I can totally understand being happy that your little one is getting to start this new adventure, but sad that they are starting a new adventure without you. I'm a little sad that Jake will be spending the two days I'm working each week with other people at the church. But, odds are, I'll miss him more than he'll miss me!

Anyways, all of this Kindergarten talk got me to thinking about my first day of school. I don't remember much, but what I do remember is very happy. I know I was nervous to go to school and my mom had just started a new job so she couldn't take me. Thankfully, my daddy was able to go with me. I do remember walking into the class and thinking it was awfully big and I remember sitting at a little round table all by myself (I think). I know at some point I looked around the room and saw the familiar face of my friend Denise who went to church with me. I know she smiled and waved at me and I smiled and waved back. And from then on I was fine. I did find out later that daddy had stayed outside the classroom for awhile peeking in to make sure I was okay which is exactly what I would expect from him. Let me go my own way, but watch from a distance in case I need help. Both of my parents are good like that. Well, okay, mama might not always have kept a safe distance but that's what moms are for!

I do know that the first day of school was always very exciting for me. I loved all of the new books, folders, pens, pencils, markers, you name it. And in my spare time at home I often got out a spiral notebook and a good pen and wrote down a bunch of names on a piece of paper. Then I would take roll. Then I would pretend to teach something. Then I would pretend to grade papers. And then I would write down grades for all of those pretend names. Should have known I would grow up to be a teacher someday!

Anyway, good luck to all of the mommys and daddys letting their kids go today! And good luck to all of the teachers starting a new year. These two things, being a mama and being a teacher, really are the most important jobs in the world!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Crazy Picture Day

It is really hard taking your own picture with a squirming baby. Please pardon my receding hairline.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

I can't believe this was eight months ago!

Where I share my love of Rick Springfield

Today, my friends, is a very important day. It is the birthday of a very special person in my life. If you weren't around in the eighties, you might have to google him to know what I'm talking about. Today is the birthday of Rick Springfield. I LOVE HIM! I have loved him since I was in the fifth grade and he first appeared as Dr. Noah Drake on General Hospital. I would go home everyday from school with my friend Sherry and her mom would let us watch GH together and we were gaga for Dr. Noah Drake. He was so dreamy what with those piercing green eyes, and lush black hair. And the DIMPLES! I died for those dimples.

That same year he also became famous for his first love which is singing. Who hasn't heard Jessie's Girl? LOVED that song! Still do. I am not a good dancer, but if I hear Jessie's girl I will shake my booty no matter where I'm at. The only other song that has that effect on me is Dancing Queen. Seriously, who can resist grooving to Dancing Queen?

When we weren't watching GH, Sherry and I would watch this new show called MTV where they played music videos from current musical talent. We would watch for hours hoping to catch Rick in one of his videos. If that wasn't enough, we always had our magazines. Can I tell you how many Tiger Beats, Teen Beats, and Seventeen magazines our moms bought us just because they had a picture of Rick Springfield somewhere in them? Enough to pay for our first year of college, I bet! It was ridiculous. At one point, you could not see blank walls in my room at home. Every single space was plastered with posters and pictures of Rick. If I could have reached the ceiling I would have had him up there as well. My parents were sneaky enough to send me to church camp one summer with the sole purpose I'm now sure of redecorating my room while I was gone. When I came back, most of the pictures were off of the walls. To make sure I wouldn't put them back up again, they went and painted the room a very pretty pink and got me a new bed and curtains and everything. It worked. I couldn't deny the room looked better sans all of the pictures, but still I missed him.

I still remember the day in junior high school when mom and dad told me I could go to my first concert. Of course it was Rick. Amy (who also shared my passion for this man) went with me to that one. We actually made it down to the very front row and stayed there most of the concert. I got to touch the girl beside me who touched Rick's shoe! (Yellow and white high tops if I remember correctly.) How exciting! There were some very mean girls behind us who pulled our hair halfway through the concert to get in front of us. That was very disturbing. I have since seen him in concert four or five more times. One loses count. Every show has been the absolute best! Even at fifty eight he has so much energy and I'm sorry but he is still sexy! Look at his arms!

I know it is somewhat pathetic that here I am at thirty-something and can still tell you that Rick Springfield was born in Sydney, Australia and that his favorite color is purple and that his real last name is Springthorpe and that his favorite band used to be Led Zepplin. All I can say is that my dreams of someday meeting the man who only wished he had Jessie's girl were what got me through many an akward time in my teenage years. And I just still haven't outgrown those dreams.

The only celebrity who has come close to rivaling my adoration for Mr. Springfield is Tom Cruise. I have loved me some Tom. However, if I had to choose between inviting Rick or Tom over for dinner, I would definately choose Rick. I mean, he has that cute Australian accent and everything. And besides, I'd be afraid of Tom jumping on our furniture or something.

And yes, Mike was slightly miffed that my post for Rick's birthday was a little longer than my post for his birthday. This in no way means that I love Rick Springfield more than I love my husband. It's just a quirky little obsession of mine. And if I had a t-shirt that said "Mike's Girl" on it I would be wearing it right now instead of my "Jessie's Girl" tank top. Happy Birthday Rick! Rock on.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Happy Birthday Big Daddy!

Happy, happy birthday to my amazing husband who is also an amazing daddy. I wouldn't want to be here without you!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Jake at eight months

Today is little mister's eight month birthday. I still can't believe we have a baby, much less an eight month old! Here's what he's been up to lately.

Crawling, crawling, crawling. Very fast crawling.

Sleeps through the night usually from 7:30 to 7:00.

Takes two good naps a day. He's desperately trying to get rid of his third nap of the day, but I'm just not ready for that yet!

Pulls himself up on furniture or even just a plain old wall.

Tries to climb on everything.

Loves to play chase with mama.

He has some days where he babbles up a storm and some days where he just growls like a dog.

He is obsessed with food. You cannot eat anything in from of him before he is climbing all over you and demanding a bite.

Still no teeth!

Loves to go swimming or just splash in the bathtub.

Plays nicely with babies and the church ladies in the nursery every Sunday.

Had his first (and second) temper tantrum. Screaming, banging his binky on the crib, and throwing out all of his stuffed animals. That was a fun day.

Brings lots of love and happiness to our little family on a daily basis.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Jake, I am your Father...

This is Big Daddy changing a poopy diaper. Yes, that is a gas mask. Is it bad for Jake to think his daddy is Darth Vader?

Thursday, August 9, 2007

On a more serious note

I'm about to get on my soapbox, so if you're not ready then stop reading now. I read an article last night stating that pollution and fishing practices have brought about the extinction of the yangtze river dolphin. I felt very, very sad about this. In college, I did a research paper on river dolphins because being from Texas I had never heard of search a thing. I remember back then in 1992 reading that this particular dolphin might not make it to the 21st century. Turns out those people were right. There hasn't been an official sighting of one since 1999. And back then they thought the population was down to about 13 animals. I know everyone is up in arms about global warming, but there are many animal populations out there that are endangered just because mankind cannot find a way to co-exist with them instead of taking over their habitat, over hunting them, or polluting them to death. The yangtze river in China is so polluted that there are two other mammal species that are expected to become extinct shortly unless the people there can find a way to breed them in captivity. And it's not just foreign countries that are to blame. Now that this river dolphin is gone, the next most endangered species on our planet is the California harbor porpoise with population estimates of less than 250. These guys are on their way out due to fishermen using gill nets to catch fish. The porpoises get caught in the nets and drown when they're not able to reach the surface to breathe. So if you're good at writing letters or emails this is a good place to start. Write to a congressman or the President or Oprah! I'll try to be a little more lighthearted tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

My maturity level amazes me

Yesterday Amy invited me to go with her to the YMCA for a fitness class. It was supposed to be this very intense cardio workout. I agreed because I wasn't able to jog yesterday due to some very large blisters on the backs of my heels. So we put on our sneakers and spandex (kidding) and headed out.

When we arrived, this mustached man dressed all in black asked us if we were there to take yoga. When we said we were there for the cardio class he informed us that he would be the substitute teacher that day although he normally teaches yoga. Now, he was a very laid back person (kind of like me), but he didn't seem the type to teach an intense cardio workout class. Ususally you get very peppy instructors for these classes. Also, his name was Seymour. So, Amy and I had our doubts. But we were willing to give it a try.

When we got up to the classroom we realized that we were the only people there other than Seymour. Just me, Amy, and Seymour. Amy just looked at me and said "don't you dare start laughing like you did in that yoga class we took." Flashback ten years ago to Amy and I going to our first yoga class together. The instructor came out looking exactly like Jesus in some white linen pajamas with a long beard and long hair. We spent the entire hour breathing out of our noses trying to sound like horses. I swear, that is what he wanted us to do. Have you ever had one of those friends who you just crack up with? Well, Amy and I spent most of that hour of yoga convulsively laughing and trying to hide it from everyone else in the class. I know, we're real mature. It just tickled us.

So, anyway, when she reminded me of that right before our workout with Seymour I just COULD NOT get it out of my mind. Seymour wanted us to start the class off by marching it out. I'm telling you I started laughing right then. I don't know why. Maybe it was because Seymour's tummy showed everytime he lifted up his arms. Maybe it was because it was odd seeing someone less than peppy trying to "march it out." Maybe it was because I'm completely immature. Whatever the reason, I could not stop laughing. And I kept looking at Amy who was standing right in front of Seymour and I couldn't believe that she wasn't laughing. Which made me laugh more. I managed to get it together for most of the class but there were moments where I just lost it. Like when I looked over at Amy when we were on these big exercise balls and she just kind of rolled completely off of hers. We were supposed to be having some sort of roller derby on them by lying on them on our stomachs and using our legs to push us forward. It was really hard. Oh, there was another girl who joined the class a little late who was much more athletically inclined than we were. Seymour kept praising her the entire class. She was way ahead of us on the roller ball derby so when she and Seymour weren't looking Amy and I both pushed our balls forward so we didn't look like such losers. Which also made me laugh.

I feel really bad that I laughed so much during that class because I hope that Seymour didn't think I was laughing at him. It really all started with the memory of that first yoga class. Anyways, Seymour definately got his revenge on both of us. We're both very sore today. Turns out you don't need a peppy instructor to get a good workout.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Monday, August 6, 2007

Girls Gone Wild

WARNING! This is a very long, pointless story.

I don't carry a purse anymore. I carry my wallet, my cell phone and my car keys. Since I almost always have Jake with me I just put all of these things in his diaper bag rather than toting around a purse as well.

Yesterday, Amy and I conned our husbands into watching the kids while we went out for a little girl bonding. It was so much fun! We went to my favorite Mexican restaurant and had some good food and a margarita each. After that, we headed on over to the mall to go to Nordstroms. We had both read about a pair of jeans called The Rocker that were supposed to be just fabulous. So we picked out our jeans and some very hip, modern tops to go with them and went on into the dressing rooms. I may have mentioned before that I am fashionably challenged these days. Even The Rocker's couldn't help me. They were seriously three feet too long. Of course I should have known that by looking at the tag which said they were made for the "sinewy" body type. I am by no means sinewy. Amy is. She looked like a rock star. I just looked like a rock. A short, little, squaty rock. Oh, well. The jeans cost $158 so I wouldn't have bought them anyway. I tried to talk Amy into buying the cute little blue halter top she tried on that made her look very hip, but she just wasn't ready.

After the mall we decided to go look at an open house in Amy's neighborhood because neither one of us was ready to go home. So, we pretended like I was actually looking to buy a home and went and had a look. The house was beautiful and Alex the realtor was very nice.

Finally, we couldn't think of anything else to do so we went back to Amy's house where my car was and I was going to go home. Only I couldn't find my car keys. I was afraid I had locked them in the car but neither one of us could see them in there and I was certain I had them with me when we got into Amy's car. So we searched Amy's car. Amy's husband even came out and helped us look in her car. No keys. We searched her house. No keys. We called the restaurant we had lunch at. No keys. We called Nordstroms. No keys. I even called Alex the nice realtor. No keys. Hmm. Have I mentioned that I am very forgetful these days and can barely complete a sentence much less remember what I did two seconds ago? Well, Amy has the same problem. We used to be like Thelma and Louise when we got together. Now, it's kind of like Thelma and Louise meets Dumb and Dumber.

I called Mike to come pick me up because I couldn't drive home with no keys. He reminded me that he had our baby with him and that I had the car seat in the locked car with me. What to do? I came up with the brilliant plan of having Amy drive me home to pick up Mike and Jake who would follow us back to her house in our other car with the spare set of Jeep keys. But since we still wouldn't have Jake's car seat he would have to ride with Amy in her 2 year old's big boy car seat. It was all very confusing. On our way to my house Amy discovered that the phone book that had been in her car was now missing. She quickly deduced that someone must have broken into her car and stolen the phone book and my car keys. Now we were getting somewhere! Only, why wouldn't they have stolen my cell phone too? It was sitting right beside the phone book and the car keys. Minor details! We knew what had happened. Either someone had burgled my keys and her phone book or we were on candid camera. Except that then I looked down and saw my car keys sitting in a little nook in her car console. Oops. We both felt very stupid. Not as stupid as we felt a few minutes later when I realized that our elaborate plan for getting Mike and Jake and having them follow us to Amy's house with the extra set of keys was completely pointless. Because couldn't I have just gone into the house and gotten the extra keys and gone back with Amy by myself to get the car?! I'm telling you my brain just doesn't work well anymore! But at least I have Amy who is in exactly the same situation. I love her so!

And the whole point of this story which I forgot to mention is that wouldn't things be easier if I just carried a purse with all of my stuff in it?

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Town Lake

This is Town Lake which is in downtown Austin. It's actually the Colorado River. We like to take Brady down there to go swimming on the weekends. It's been raining so much lately that the river was running too fast for them to allow people on it. We've finally had a week with pretty much no rain so we were able to get the dog back out to the water. He loves it! The black swan came right up to us and asked for food, but we didn't have any on us. It was so pretty. The last picture is of me and Jake in front of one of the guitars that can be found throughout the city.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Poor pizza rolls

Seriously, I don't make this stuff up. Only five hours after the cookie incident three pizza rolls lost their battle to survive when Brady pulled them off the stove and ate them. This is what was left. This time we were close enough to see that he acted alone. Zoe was completely out of the way being a purrfect little lady. Get it? I'm punny! Anyways, I think we may have misjudged the cat. The dog, however, is in big trouble.

Friday, August 3, 2007

The Victims

This is all that's left. There were twelve innocent cookies on the counter when we left to go to Target. Now only a few crumbs remain of that first batch. Moment of silence please. Yes, we should have known better what with what happened to the muffins a couple months ago and all. We were just so excited to go to Target that we forgot to put away the cookies Mike made this afternoon before we left. Imagine our horror when we came home to all of this cookie carnage an hour later.

The Survivors

Eleven yummy chocolate chip cookies.
Brown with golden highlights.
Gooey chocolate chip centers.

The Perpetrator

Brady: AKA "The Bus"
weight: 105 lbs
hair: blonde

Priors: Guilty as charged in the Muffin Massacre of '07
Guilty as charged for stealing old food out of the trashcan on a daily basis.
Currently serving 4 to 6 hours in the backyard while investigators wait for "proof" of eaten cookies to appear.

Suspected Accomplice

Zoe: AKA "Zo-Zo"
weight: 7 lbs
hair: calico

Priors: Guilty as charged in the Muffin Massacre of '07.
Still under investigation in the missing brownie from the nightstand episode.
Currently on probation due to cuteness for her role in the disappearance of the dirty dozen.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Must. Get. Sleep.

It has been approximately 15 months since I had a good, solid night's sleep. I'm pretty sure this sleep deprivation is the cause of many of my mental problems. By mental problems I mean that I can't remember even the simplest of things anymore. I walk into rooms without knowing why, fail to remember the name of our baby, wash my hair multiple times in the shower because I can't remember if I've already done it. Things like that. It all started when I found out I was pregnant and I stayed up half the night that first week worrying about everything from health insurance, to college tuition, to whether or not this child would love animals as much as I do. Once the worrying about the future was under control I lost control of my bladder. So, then I was up four or five or six times a night to go to the bathroom and maybe have a snack while I was at it. I really could not wait for Jake to be born if for no other reason than to finally get a good nights sleep. Now, I'm not completely stupid. I knew that it would be a few weeks before he would sleep for long periods of time. But, I was just dreaming about all of the sleep I would get once he settled into a routine.

He is SUCH a good baby. He's been sleeping through the night (10 to 11 hours) since he was around five months old. It took about three nights of exhaustive "sleep training camp" to reach that point. But I remember telling myself at 4am while I lay on the couch reading People magazine trying not to run upstairs to comfort our sad, tired, screaming baby that it would all be worth it in the long run. And it was worth it. For Jake anyway. He sleeps just fine now. I, on the other hand, was trained to wake up four or five times a night and even when I no longer had a baby crying during the night I still woke up! No amount of tossing and turning, counting sheep, or Tylenol PM could get me back to sleep. I am also a very light sleeper meaning I wake up at every little noise I hear. So when Brady our 105 pound horse, I mean dog, bumps into the bed while getting into a more comfortable position, I wake up. When he snores I wake up. When he licks himself incessently I wake up. When he drinks our of the toilet bowl I wake up. You get the picture, right?

And then there's the cat. Zoe. She is surely the devil in a cute, furry disguise. Zoe is a nocturnal animal meaning she likes to be active at night time. I am NOT a nocturnal animal, meaning I don't like to be active at night time. And Zoe doesn't like being up by herself. She wants a playmate. Here's where I come in. She likes to jump in bed with us around 3am and gently wake me up to play. She starts off by softly patting me on the head with her little clawless paws. I can ignore that okay. What I can't ignore is when she bites me on the nose. This happens on a nightly basis. I will be dreaming of dolphins or the ocean or babies or Rick Springfield when I am rudely awakened by sharp teeth digging into my nose. Yes, I knock her off the bed but she can jump back up. And then things really get nasty.

You may ask why don't they just lock the cat and the dog out of the bedroom at night? Oh, gentle readers, if only it were that simple. You see, our dog is a very sensitive soul. If we lock him out of the bedroom, away from us, he has massive anxiety attacks. Resulting in throwing up and pooping uncontrollably all over the carpet. If we put him out in the backyard at night, he will reserve his anxiety attack until we let him back in the next day and then resume the pooping and the puking in the house. It is not nice. As for Zoe, did I mention she is the devil? Locking her out of the bedroom is an option. But then instead of waking me up at 3am, she wakes up Jake at 3am and then we have the whole crying baby thing all over again. What's a girl to do?

The Days of Summer

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Baby Proofing 101

Well, we are officially in the baby proofing season of our lives now. Jake's increasing mobility and monkey-like antics are forcing us to admit we need to make some changes to help him grow up without too many dents in his head. Right now the main concerns are the stairs, the plant in the living room, his crib and anything with a sharp, pointy corner.

1.) Stairs-I know all we need to do is get a gate for the top and bottom of the stairs. He has already mastered going up a few steps (with us right behind him) but has no depth perception about going down them.

2.) Plant-Do I have to move the plant out of the living room? It seems he loves the dirt in the pot. I too loved dirt as a child, but I was old enough to mix it with water and make a pie before I ate it. He just wants to eat dry dirt and that's just gross. I'm picturing some sort of elaborate laser light system we could set up that would make really loud noises if he breached their boundaries. Any other suggestions?

3.) Crib-Here, I have to confess that our child has already fallen out of his crib once. This happened about three weeks ago before we had even seen him pull himself up on any furniture. It was very scary, but he came out of the whole experience pretty much unscathed. Needless to say, Mike lowered the mattress to its lowest point after that. However, our little monkey is now standing up in the crib when he wakes up and picking up one leg to try to climb over. He's not able to actually do it yet, but I feel it coming. I did find a crib tent that we can put up to hold the little booger inside. Has anyone tried one of these? I'm wondering if they work. Any other suggestions? The crib tent isn't very fashionable and since I'm all about the fashion I would like other options.

4.) Sharp, pointy corners-Should we just make him wear some kind of big, foam helmet? 50% of his falls end up with his little head hitting the corner of a wall or door or furniture type object. The cries of pain! It's heartbreaking and he just doesn't seem to understand that when he falls he should avoid these objects of torture. I have seen rubber stuff you can put on corners and am curious about if it works or not.

Should I just lighten up and trust that he will make it through this stage alive? I mean, we all made it through childhood before all of these babyproofing things were invented. I even made it through riding in a car WITHOUT a car seat! In fact, sometimes I rode in the floor board in the backseat. I thought it was fun. Let me know your thoughts!

Our little jailbird

Temptation #1

Temptation #2