Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
I went several days of debating what to do about them. The are eating our Live Oak into oblivion, along with every other Live Oak within at least a block of our house. I cannot emphasize enough, the insane numbers. When our A/C unit is not running you can actually hear them moving around, eating the leaves. Our yard is covered in leaf litter that has fallen from the tree.
I did a little researching online and have decided they are some sort of tent catepillar. If that is indeed what they are, then someday they will turn into moths. They have been leaving little strings of silk all over the tree, that consequently are catching the seeds that are falling from the tree. It's like silk thread highlighter.
I read that pesticides will kill the catepilliars, but they will be protected if we spray while they are in their tent. As of right now I do not see any tents. PHEW. My dad recommended torching the tree (apparently that's what his father used to do), but that is absolutely out of the question. I also read online that we could put them in a bucket of soap water and that should kill them. Question was, how do I convince hundreds, if not thousands, of little crawlers to climb into said bucket?
I continued to debate, since we have Aiden's birthday planned for this weekend - meaning a bunch of kids will be rolling around in our yard - until a friend on Facebook recommended spraying the tree with soapy water. Why hadn't I thought of that?!
Sunday we finally got around to tackling the task. Or I should say Travis did, since I would be no where near this catepillar rain (is it weird that this song just came to mind?), and most definitely not under the tree as it was sprayed. I stood on the other side of the yard when Travis began. Thank goodness I did, because every catepillar he shot with the hose flew a couple yards before thudding in the grass. Then, slowly but surely, they started to be affected by the soap and began dropping from the tree like flies. Or maybe they dropped like catepillars?
After the flood under the tree cleared, this is what we found on our sidewalk...
Each one of those little white smudges is a catepillar. The ones that were present during the original fall were covered in mud. When I went back outside 30 minutes later, it was clear there were more catepillars that had crawled out from the grass onto the sidewalk, since they were not coated in mud.
The next morning I expected to find a serious graveyard. I was not looking forward to the stench of hundreds of rotting catepillars that had roasted in this humid, Texas heat. I was surprised to find it was about the same as it had been the night before. Travis said he saw several birds picking them off one by one. Perhaps the squirrel that lives in our tree is helping them out. According to the good ole internet tent catepillars are not poisonous, but might make an animal react adversely if ingested. Whatever that means.
When I got off work, there were more catepillars rolling around dying on the sidewalk, so it looks like the soap is continuing to work. According to the weather man we should be getting a lot of rain this week (thank you Tropical Storm Alex). Hopefully that knocks out a few more and come Saturday everything will be peachy keen.
On the upside, our yard smells sparkling fresh!
Monday, June 28, 2010
- Home Depot - flowers, gazebo and a couple deck chairs (although we do not have a deck)
- Hobby Lobby - last of the party craft materials and party favors
- Walmart - Slip'n'Slide
- Sweet Factory - $50 worth of candy equating to 3 lbs
- Kroger - a week's worth of groceries
When we got home, Aiden showed off his walking skills. He seemed to get more and more courageous as the day went on, stringing more and more steps together. This video was taken just before bedtime. I was hoping he'd be walking by his birthday so he'd get to more fully enjoy the party. Looks like he's walking, but not quite enough for what I had imagined. He's well on his way though. Look at him go!
Friday, June 25, 2010
Thursday, June 24, 2010
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
I was really bummed to cancel my plans for Friday night, but since I had a low fever, I didn't want to risk passing it on to another mom. Travis did take care of Aiden Friday night for me. Both mornings I let Travis sleep in while I got up with the kiddo. I made muffins for breakfast on Saturday (it is so much fun that Aiden can eat with us now) and then I did a few things around the house while Aiden took his morning nap. I need to mention that I am absolutely DREADING Aiden's switch to the next class at his school when he hits 13 months because they only have one nap. I hope he's ready for that by then! Anyway, Travis really wanted to do some yard work, so when Aiden woke up, I took him to Hobby Lobby and the grocery store with me.
That afternoon, Travis headed down to Galveston to hang out with Ariel and Robert. Rachel came over for dinner and helped me work on some of party necessities while we sipped on white wine and had Scotcheroos for dessert, courtesy of Rachel. Because we are officially old (I'll have to explain that one tomorrow), we were in bed by 10:30pm. I was a little worried about completing the craft work that night, since there seemed to be a daunting number of items to make. I couldn't believe we completed everything we could that night! I do need to make a run to the store to pick up a couple finishing items, but that will be cheesecake compared to the work we did. (Thank you Rachel for all your help!)
Aiden decided to play in the kennel while Rachel and I ate dinner. YUCK.
Sunday morning I made breakfast burritos for Travis - his favorite. Then we set up the kiddy pool in our backyard so we could relax for a couple hours that afternoon. Right after Aiden went down for his afternoon nap, Travis headed to the golf course to play a round with Chris R. I ran around like a madman trying to organize Aiden's clothes before he went to bed.
Anyhoo, that night, I made spaghetti for dinner. Aiden LOVES that meal. Especially the garlic bread. Seems strange to me, but who am I to hold seasoning back from the kid? Travis got home from golf just as I was finishing up the last load of laundry and we headed to bed. It was a LONG weekend. I'm really hoping Travis will let me sleep in one day next weekend!
Monday, June 21, 2010
Friday, June 18, 2010
I am currently re-reading the 4th installment of the Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn. I read the third book in preparation for the movie that is set to release June 30th and couldn't just stop there! I heard they are splitting the last book into two films. As I am reading Breaking Dawn, there are many times when I think the actions in the book will have trouble being translated on screen. The first three films are PG-13 and I know they'd like the last film to remain PG-13 so fans of all ages can attend. It will be interesting to see how they deal with this.
Only 12 days until Eclipse releases! AHHHHH!
Thursday, June 17, 2010
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Monday, June 14, 2010
Friday, June 11, 2010
Thursday, June 10, 2010
- When the flowers arrived, they had been PAINTED red (Alice in Wonderland, anyone?). During shipping, they became stuck together and when peeled apart there were pieces of paint missing to expose the white calla lily underneath. Travis spent days trying to get them to send us a different flower as a replacement but was never able to get a hold of anyone. We ended up throwing them all in the trash and Travis' mom went to Walmart to buy out their stock of red and orange flowers. Our credit card was thankfully never charged for this heinous faux pas.
- After the DJ set up, we found out that the breaker was incapable of channeling enough power and was continuously shutting off. Thankfully, I was marrying an electrician who was able to move a few things around to make it work.
- The pastor who married us was so far gone that he ended up being admitted into a home with Alzheimer's not even a month after our wedding. He forgot to come to our wedding rehearsal and we had to prompt him on what to say during the ceremony.
- When the tents were set up, they forgot to put up the sides. I got back from getting my hair done to find this mistake and had to have them rush back to get it up before the guests arrived for appetizers before the ceremony was to begin.
- It rained all through our pre-ceremony photo taking. My curls fell before the photos were even taken. Thankfully it stopped by the time we were walking down the aisle!
- After all that fighting with the flower company, we only had 24 hours to prepare the centerpieces. After the rehearsal dinner, my bridesmaid Chrissie and I stayed up until midnight (while the boys were at the bachelor party - Travis chose the bowling alley so my underage brother could attend - so sweet!) putting together the arrangments.
- I left an entire box of stuff - everything required for making our bouquets and all the candles - in our apartment in Texas. Had to re-buy all of that.
- Because of the rain, our caterer decided that they would not be able to serve each individual their dinner. Instead it was a buffet style, cramped inside a tiny tent.
In the end, the only aspects of our wedding that did not go entirely wrong was our cake and our photographer. Both were absolutely fabulous.
After all of that, I can say I would honestly do it all over again even if I knew it would be that hard. Once it all began (aside from our memory deficient pastor), it was great. The memories were worth it and what matters most is that everyone enjoyed themselves and WE ARE MARRIED.
That said... if we ever renew our vows - we're going to Vegas.
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
Her babbling also seems more complex. Maybe it's because she makes different sounds than Aiden (her family speaks Russian with her) or maybe she actually says more syllables. Either way, it sounds like she's having a conversation with you. If you ask her where mommy or daddy are (in Russian) she can point to the correct person. I've been working on this with Aiden for weeks and he shows no interest in playing my game. =/ We'll figure it out soon enough!
Monday, June 7, 2010
JK. But I am excited! I wonder how long it will be? For those of you unaware, it is the fourth installment in the Twilight Saga. It tells the story of the vampire wars in Eclipse from a vampires' view who is in the newborn army. Hurry to read this while you can. It will only be available for free through July 5th! The movie is set to open in theaters June 30th and Meyers is recommending that you read this book before seeing Eclipse.
- Every night for about a week now, we have between one and three spiders that build a web on our back porch. These webs are so large, that I am unable to go out the back door (or let Callaway out in the back yard) without becoming covered in web, dead bugs and 1-3 live bugs. We have been leaving them up, since they appear to be catching lots of mosquitoes. I always check the back porch when I get up at 5:15 and they are there. Come 6:20, when it's time for Travis to leave, the webs and its' residences are gone.
- I had left a shovel and bag on the floor of my garage when I was in a hurry one day, so when I went back to pick it up several days later I practically threw everything in my hands when a flopping thing fell out of it. I thought it was an earthworm at first, but once it righted itself, I realized it had legs. It was a lizard. Eesh.
- Then there was that lizard on the lawn chair that was in my face, but I didn't realize until I disturbed him by moving the chair to a new location.
- This past weekend, I opened the front door to water the plants on the porch only to have two birds (doing a mating dance?) attempt to fly in the house. I screamed and quickly slammed the door shut. My scream mostly scared them away, but I waited about 10 minutes before I tried to water the plants again.
- This morning! I was walking out to the garage with Aiden and all our bags in tow, when a giant cockroach falls out of the tree and lands on the sidewalk in front of me. He laid on his back, legs slowly peddling (like so). He was on his way out of this world, but still gave me full-on heebie-jeebies.
Friday, June 4, 2010
Thursday, June 3, 2010
After our walk, we headed back home so both kids could take a nap. We spent the evening watching episodes of True Blood and then searching funny videos on YouTube. David and Stephanie have a pretty cool setup. They have their Xbox set so they can surf the web (with a few limitations), so we were able to sit in the comfort of their living room and watch the videos on their flat screen.
Monday, Stephanie had to work again. She was gone before we got up in the morning. We slowly got up and packed up our stuff. A friend of mine just happened to be visiting family, two hours from NOLA and was going to pass through New Orleans on her way to Florida. Since we were unable to meet up when we were in Illinois a couple weeks ago, Jamie and her son Bryce stopped by the apartment on their way through. It was nice to catch up for a few minutes before they had to get back on the road. Kids grow too fast.
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
While we were inside waiting in line to place our order, guess who gets up from a table and walks out. Tim Robbins. Holy cow! I never get to see celebrities! And this one was just having lunch at the same place as us. Apparently he was in town to host a fundraiser. I saw him and just stood there trying to figure out what to do. I really wanted to point him out to Travis and David, but since we were only 10 feet from the guy, I thought it might be a little obvious and I did anything. And the last thing I want to do is annoy a celebrity. I really don't want to be that person. You know, the one who freaks out when they see someone famous. Well, I just did it internally.
I slapped David on the arm (he was closest) and whispered, "isn't that somebody famous?" I just could not think of what his name was. He was with a younger guy, waved goodbye to the guy running the cash register and walked out. The second he was out the door, I ran over to Travis. He went to the window, but couldn't see where he went. Then Tim Robbins drove away in his SUV and David and I saw him again. Travis is yet to believe us.
After lunch, we headed over to Audobon Park. It was absolutely breathtaking.
There is a rookery island in the middle of the park that was filled with birds. We saw anhingas, cormorants, geese and lots and lots of heron (and also lots of turtles). There was a giant tree hanging over the water that was covered in White Heron.
After the walk, we had to stop at the swings for the kiddos.
That evening we hung out at their apartment, which is a really cute loft-like place that they have filled with modern decor. Stephanie spent all day working, then came home to make us dinner. It felt so wrong! But we appreciated the homemade pizza a bunch. We chatted the evening away and their neighbor even came over for a while.
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
See how the eyes are little BP flowers? Ha! Clever hippies.
I know this oil spill is a HUGE mess. 'Huge' doesn't even begin to cover the vastness of this issue. BUT I do know, as an American, that we rely heavily on oil products. At this point, we just cannot function without it. However, I do think it was a little wreckless to be drilling so deep without any safety mechanisms. That said, it drives me crazy when the news anchors say they are just dealing with this situation blindly, as if it is sickening to think they don't have written plans laid out. Is there any other way to deal with this? This has NEVER happened before.