Thursday, August 28, 2008

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

May the Force be with us

Here's the deal. Jake has somehow become a video game junkie. At the age of 20 months. I am a horrible mama. How could this have happened you may ask? Well, let me tell you. He watches his daddy play Star Wars on the X-Box a friend of his let him borrow. And somehow he figured out a lot of the controls.

I'm not saying that Big Daddy taught him how to play. I'm just saying that Jake learned it from watching him. Just like he has learned where we keep all of our snack items by watching me.

So anyhow, a couple days ago, Jake brought me one of the X-Box controllers and said as clear as a bell "I want to play!" This is a miracle in and of itself since he is not yet speaking in sentences. I always thought his first sentence might have something to do with loving mommy so imagine my joy when it actually had something to do with playing video games. Oh, we've taught him well.

So I said "you want to play?" And he said "yeah!". Then he walked over to the X-Box and turned it on, went to the TV and switched it to the AV channel and then changed the surround sound to the auxiliary button. I kid you not. That is three different devices with multiple buttons and he knows exactly which ones to push and how many times to push them. Then when the Star Wars theme music comes on he just starts squealing and saying "yeah, yeah, yeah!" He hasn't quite figured out how to work all of the buttons on the actual game controller. So far, he's content to just make the storm trooper jump up and down while he(Jake) says "Wheee!" Sometimes he launches an occasional grenade but I don't think he really knows what he's doing when that happens.

I told Mike that the X-Box needs to go back to its original home so we can maintain the sweetness and innocence of our child for at least another year. That's when he informed me that his friend had actually GIVEN him the thing as payment for working on his car. Great. Remind me to send the child psychologist payments to his friend when Jake needs help determining reality from a video game in kindergarten.

Until then, I'll be using my own Jedi mind tricks to convince Jake he really doesn't want to play Star Wars anymore.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Happy Belated 27th!

Mike's birthday was August 17th and although I didn't forget about it, I did forget to post anything about it. I think he had a good day. My friend Leslie offered to babysit that night while we went out for a little one on one time. Thank you! We went to the Alamo Drafthouse which is a very cool place. Basically, it's a movie theater where they've taken out every other row and put in long tables so you can order food and have dinner while you watch the movie. We saw Tropic Thunder which is worth the money just for Tom Cruise's performance. This is a Tom Cruise we have not seen before. He busts out some dance moves that he did not own back in his Risky Business days.

Somehow, I let the day go by without baking a birthday cake for Mike. So, I tried to make up for it later in the week with his favorite oreo cheesecake. I think he and Jake both enjoyed it very much. Just look at those faces! Anyways, Happy Birthday again Big Daddy!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Mystery of Bigfoot--Solved

He's alive and well here in Texas. Not nearly as hairy as we all thought.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

I need a hero

Have you been watching the Olympics? I have. I'm so amazed by these athletes. And I have to admit, I'm a little jealous. One of my many childhood dreams was to compete in the Olympics one day. I always thought I would be a great gymnast or track runner. I never actually took a gymnastics class, but I could do a mean cartwheel followed up by a roundhouse. And running? When I was younger I was like a gazelle being chased by a lion. I don't mean to brag, but I was fast. And then something happened. I think it was puberty. Pretty much as soon as I hit junior high school my athletic abilities seem to have left the building. I mourned them for awhile, but then I joined the band. Know what? It helps to have a little bit of coordination going on in marching band. I prayed everyday of football season for God to help me stay in step and not make a fool out of myself. I'm telling you, I probably only played about 25% of the music while I was marching because it was just too difficult for me to blow on a sax and march at the same time. Especially with that enormous Q-tip hat on my head. The thing weighed ten pounds and was always falling down over my eyes. Who could march in step with that going on?

But as I watch Michael Phelps make swimming history and watch those powerful gymnasts do things with their bodies that defy imagination (and gravity) I really do wish I had put a little more effort into being the best I could be. Who knows? What with table tennis and trampoline jumping in the Olympics these days, it's probably just a matter of time before marching becomes an Olympic sport. I could have been a contender.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Reunited and it feels so good

I apologize for the lack of activity here at Little Mama lately. Jake and I took another summer vacation last week to visit my parents. My nephew went with us, thank goodness, because he was a big help with the little man on the plane ride. We had a lot of fun running my parents ragged all week long. However, I think my nephew Tom, (who is a very laid back kind of guy) may have been ready to be rid of his little cousin by the end of the week. Just as our plane was landing back home he looked at me and said "I've had just about enough of Jake for awhile." Well, then. I couldn't be mad at him because I was thinking the same thing! Oh, I kid. I do understand how a 20 month old could cramp a 13 year old's style.

Anyway, while I was at my parents house my faith in humanity was restored! I love it when that happens. Last summer on a family vacation, my dad lost his college class ring in a river while tubing down it. We all felt really bad about this because we kind of talked him into going tubing even though he was a little reluctant about it. Some crazy talk about being too old. We convinced him to go and somehow in the fast current that day his ring came off and he wasn't able to get it back. This is a ring that he's had for over 30 years. It was more like an appendage than a piece of jewelry. After he lost it, he told me that he always thought he would be buried wearing that ring. Well, great. In our attempt to help our daddy recapture his youth we destroyed his final death wish. We all felt crummy.

My parents talked about replacing the ring, but the school he graduated from has since changed names and I guess it was just a big hassle. Plus, I think he decided that if it wasn't the original ring it just wouldn't be worth the time and effort. I think he didn't want to be buried with an imposter.

So anyway, while we were at their house last week, someone from my dad's college called up and said that a lady was looking for him because she had his class ring. It was truly a miracle. Her son had found it in the river almost a year to the day that it was lost. First of all, they were diligent enough to find the owner. His name was inscribed inside the ring but unfortunately, his first name was mis-spelled. So they had to make a few phone calls to track him down. Secondly, they were honest enough to return it to him instead of selling it for all its worth. And lastly, they didn't want anything in return. Just wanted to see it returned to its rightful owner. Wow. If only people in airports could be so kind.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Nobody knows the troubles I've seen

When Mike and I were flying back from Pennsylvania last week, I stopped in the airport bathroom before take off because I can't stand the thought of using the bathroom on an airplane. I had my wallet with me and accidentally left it in the bathroom stall on my way out. Not ten minutes later I realized what I had done and ran back to the restroom to see if it was still there. It wasn't. I was frantic. Our plane was going to start boarding in the next few minutes and that wallet had everything except for my driver's license (thank goodness) inside it.

So I ran down to the information booth and talked to the ladies there but nothing had been turned in. They said they would call me if it turned up. Luckily, just before we boarded I heard a page over the airport PA system asking me to come to the information desk. When I got there, they had my wallet! It was missing the cash in it (only $20), but all of my credit cards and personal stuff was still in it. Needless to say, I felt stupid for leaving it in the bathroom but so happy it got returned to me. I wasn't even that mad that someone had stolen my cash.

Yesterday, I got my wallet out to look for a frequent customer card I have to a local pizza place here. I opened up the back pocket where I keep all my freebies and gift cards and things. It was practically empty. This was the one compartment I hadn't checked at the airport. So, it turns out not only did someone steal my cash but they stole all of the gift cards I had in there. I wasn't mad about the cash but for some reason I was really ticked off about the stolen gift cards. Because I mean they were a GIFT. From people thanking me for taking care of their children last year. And I had been saving one that was for a local spa manicure for a rainy day when I really needed a pick me up. And now my pick me up is gone. And with it, my faith in humankind. I know it could have been a whole lot worse. They could have taken my credit cards and stolen my identity. But then they would have left a paper trail that might have gotten them caught. Oh, airport thief, I hope you have a good time shopping at Target and Barnes and Noble. And I hope that when you go to the spa to get your manicure the lady slips just a little bit and cuts you with her cuticle clippers. It's the least you deserve.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

He's all grown up

Yesterday, we went shopping to buy Jake his first lunch box and nap mat. He needs both for the upcoming year at Mother's Day Out. I am not kidding you that I started crying in JC Penny's when I was picking out the nap mat. I just can't believe that he's old enough to sleep on the GROUND, on a MAT without the security of his crib. He can't be that big.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Just call us the Austin Hillbillies

Just when I thought another day would go by with nothing blogworthy happening, I looked out the kitchen window to see our cat Zoe stalking something in the backyard. I went outside to watch because it amuses me. She's always so serious when she stalks.

Then I saw the object of her hunting desires.

Can you see that thing? Here, just a sec.

Is that better? It's an oppossum. Or 'possum as we call 'em in Texas. We drop the O. It's startling to see a nocturnal animal out and about in broad daylight. He was mocking the laws of science. I feared we had a rebel on our hands. I flipped out a little because Zoe was getting pretty close. And I knew from past experience that 'possums can be fierce when cornered or threatened.

Have I told you the story of the 'possum in my closet in California? That kind of sounds like the title to a country song or something. Anyway, one night when I was living in Cali at around 2am my sweet dog Teddy started barking like there was an intruder in the house. Scared me to death. After I woke up enough to see what was going on I realized he was standing right in front of my closed closet door barking. Imagine my fright. Not only was there an intruder, but he was right there in my closet! I obviously forgot to check the closet for monsters that night. Being legally blind and without my contacts in, I cracked the closet door and saw a large furry blur skulking in the corner and it was just making the most ungodly hissing sound. I thought maybe it was a raccoon and I KNEW they were fierce when cornered so I quickly closed the door. I collected the cats and the dog and took them out to the living room. Then I put my contacts in so I could further investigate. That's when I discovered that the large furry blur was actually a pretty small 'possum. She was so scared. But she wouldn't leave the closet. So I opened the sliding glass door in my room that opened out into the backyard and put a trail of cat food from the closet to the door. Then I left to go sleep on the couch the rest of the night. Next morning, she was gone.

ANYHOO, back to our current 'possum problem. Mike put on his workboots and went out to fetch Zoe. But not before we finished the photo shoot. Turns out 'possums are pretty slow and docile. It also turns out that Zoe's hunting skills stop at stalking. She had no idea what to do with it once she had it cornered. I think she actually started bathing herself. Note to self. Take Zoe to the vet to get updated on all shots.

Here he is close up. Why do they only have four fingers and four toes? It bothers me. Does anyone think we should get rid of the compost pile in the corner of our yard? I'm convinced that's where he lives. Mike? Anyone?

Monday, August 4, 2008

If I had a million dollars

Mike and I are definately in the "beginning" stage of our life together. Money is tight, but we are grateful that we always have enough to get by on. I've just been sitting here thinking about all of the friends and family who have helped us out along the way and realized how blessed we really are. Jake has a closet full of clothes of which I'd say we bought about 2%. The rest has been given to us or bought for him by others. Most of his toys were given to us. We've been able to travel to see family this year due to others buying our plane tickets. We've had a car GIVEN to us. Granted, it needs some work but it was FREE! Yesterday, we picked up a box spring and mattress for free from a friend of a friend that just needs a frame now so we can have a guest bedroom ready. Wow! If I won a million dollars right now, I'd pay everyone back with gifts and cash. It would be so much fun. But for now, I'll just offer a million thanks to all of you. You know who you are.