- February 18 - Travis had his hernia repair surgery, for which we had a co-pay due before the procedure. We are currently still paying for the remainder of the balance.
- Sometime soon after recovering from his surgery, Travis smashed his front tooth at work, which is actually a crown. That was a lot of money up front.
- Travis was driving his truck several months ago and his tire blew out. It ripped completely from one side to the other, so he had to put on the spare. He is still riding on that spare while we wait for money to magically appear.
- Last month, I went in for my annual inspection to find out that the tread on my tires are getting bad. They sad this is the last year it will pass so I need to get FOUR (as opposed to Travis' two) new tires by next summer. It would be nice to get them sooner than later though because I have noticed lack of control in heavy rain.
- Travis recently went a week without pay. Because we had all these recent expenses, our savings has been depleted, making that time really hard to recover from. We technically had another two weeks without a paycheck from him because his new job only pays every two weeks. We were used to weekly paychecks for him.
- AND NOW, I have been laid off. I have until the end of July to find a new job. I work in research and am paid with soft money. That means when the money runs out and they can't find more elsewhere, I get canned. My bosses are really sad to see me go and they are currently doing everything they can to keep me, but nothing is secured.
- We thought we had some extra money lying around made plans to build a patio before all this mess started. I love our patio, but I wish we could have used that money for surgeries, dental work, tires, Aiden's birthday party and, honestly at this point, groceries. Hindsight is 20/20.
Thursday, June 30, 2011
Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
Monday, June 27, 2011
Travis had to work in the morning, but he was off by the time Aiden woke up from his nap. That afternoon, we met the Ramby's at a park that has a train caboose stationed within. Sadly, it was not open for the boys to explore. They did however, enjoy playing on the brand new playscape and watching the tons of turtles in the koi pond. Next time we need to bring bread so we can feed them!
After the park, we went over to the Ramby's house for dinner. We stopped at the fish market near their house so they could grab some tilapia and shrimp. I've never been in a fish market that big and found it very interesting. They had live crab and shrimp swimming around under the many tubs of seafood on ice. The guy that helped us explained that they keep the live crab in the water like that so they can get soft-shelled crab. They had octopus and GIANT squid. Seriously, I've never seen squid so huge.
The grilled dinner was EXCELLENT. Probably the best we've eaten in weeks, since we've been on the low-income Ramen diet. Hopefully things perk up here soon. I could really go for some more good eating!
Thursday, June 23, 2011
Father's Day was on Sunday, so I let Travis decide what he wanted to do. He chose to mow the back yard in the morning and then spend a few hours playing Playstation. After Aiden got up from his nap, we drove down to Galveston to meet the Yeager's at the Moody Gardens Rainforest. They had to remodel after Hurricane Ike and we haven't been since they reopened. There is now a catwalk in the canopy of the trees so you can get closer to the birds and various trees. It was really nice, but dang it was hot. 116 degrees, according to the readout display!
Of course, I forgot to bring my camera, so I have to rely on Linsey's photos from that day. She got some great shots!
Aiden was afraid when the sloth got close. He moved so slowly and came down to eat a banana. I tried to convince Aiden that the sloth liked bananas as much as he does. Aiden didn't care. He wanted far, far away from that thing.
Luke LOVES lizards. LOVES. We have an abundance of a small lizard called an Anole (pronounced ah-nole-ee) in our area and apparently Luke freaks every time he sees one. So much so, that his parents are contemplating buying him one for his birthday. The joke is why don't you just go grab one from your yard? I can't imagine that would be an easy task though. And perhaps those from the store will be more comfortable with people. Ha! Should be interesting.
I can't wait to get my pottery back! I promise to take a photo to share with you, whether they're crap or excellent.
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
Monday, June 20, 2011
Friday, June 17, 2011
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
Monday, June 13, 2011
Sunday morning was similar to Saturday. Travis went to Home Depot to pick up some tools he needs for the new job. Aiden and I got up and hung out for a bit and ate breakfast. When Travis got back we headed to Ariel's before Aiden nap time.
One of our mutual friends is currently attending Texas A&M and he's in the corps. Part of being in the Maritime Academy is going on a summer cruise in the battleship-like boat. I actually don't know which boat they are going on specifically, but he is going to some pretty amazing places. If I didn't worry about being seasick, I would be more jealous of him. Ariel and Robert threw a bon voyage crawfish boil at their house Sunday afternoon.
We have been to many cookouts at Ariel and Robert's house in the past two years. This was the first one I thoroughly enjoyed because Aiden was able to entertain himself so well. It was always difficult in the past because there is usually only one other kid at their parties for Aiden to play with. He's also easier to play with now, so several of the other adults took time to hang out with him.
We introduced Aiden to crustaceans. He got to hold a crawfish and "pet" a crab! He was a little weary of the crawfish at first, but then we had to hold him back because he kept reaching in to play with them.
Aiden ate a good amount of crawfish from the first batch. The first batch is usually the least spicy because there isn't as much crawfish boil in the water yet. He really seemed to like it. He kept saying, "More? More?" The ladies next to me at the table helped peel some crawfish for him.
It has been a long time since I've eaten blue crab. The last time I did, it was with Travis for an anniversary dinner at home. Travis caught the crabs himself and then we attempted a mini-boil at home on the stove. We turned down the lights and lit some candles for our romantic dinner. I took a few bites of the crab to find it was really mushy. I felt horrible, but I did not want to eat it, so I asked Travis if his was mushy as well. He said yes, so we turned up the lights to see if it was under or over cooked. Turns out we were eating the gills. The meat itself was fine, but I was so grossed out that I didn't want to have anything more to do with the crabs.
Friday, June 10, 2011
Five years ago today, Travis and I were married in the middle of a cornfield in Illinois. It's crazy to realize how much we've done since then. Whenever I get to milestones like this, I look back on that day and think about how I had no idea what life would be like today. Now, when we start something new like when I got pregnant, I wonder what life will be like in one year, two years, 10 years.
Aiden is turning two in less than a month. When I tell people this, they can't believe it's been two years since I was pregnant. Time FLIES when you're having fun. =)
We were hoping to do something extravagant to celebrate our milestone anniversary this year, but we have to postpone our big plans for (hopefully) later this summer. Due to the fact that Travis hasn't had a paycheck in two weeks and we don't expect one for another week. Instead, we're going to drop Aiden off at Auntie Ariel's tomorrow and go out for dinner and a movie. Sometimes simple things can be just as fun. There's a whole lot less planning going into this, which in turn means less stress.
I was a little over a month pregnant in the photo of us above, taken in 2008. We had just found out a few weeks prior and weren't ready to tell anyone yet. We had plans to go to a Halloween party at a friend's house in Houston. I didn't drink any alcohol at the party and blamed it on being the designated driver. People were very concerned about my lack of drinking. "Just one Jello shot," they would say. "No biggie." HA. It all made sense to them when I announced the pregnancy after the New Year.
All in all, it's been a good life thus far.
Thursday, June 9, 2011
Wednesday, June 8, 2011
Supermodel Marina (pictured on the left below) did a great job with all the food. There were hot dogs, hamburgers, chicken breasts, ribs and then pasta salad and veggie salad and corn. I'm not even going to go into the list of appetizers she had out beforehand.
After the Longest Game of Washers in History, we continued to hang out. There were a lot of kids there, which were quickly dubbed the Pack of Children. Aiden followed behind as they ran around the large property with walkie talkies, looking at rocks and plants and the horses and doing whatever else it is that entertains children for hours without a single toy (aside from the walkie talkies, of course).
Eventually a few of the older boys pulled a boat into the little pond. It was so funny because all they could really do was push the boat in and quickly turn around again. Aiden watched from the grass, while I tried not to have an anxiety attack about the possibility of him falling in. We could see everything the kids did from the house on top of the hill, but just because I can see him doesn't mean he's safe.
At one point, a small group of us went with Jacen over to their barn to feed the horses. We took a moment to check out the chickens and the one rooster with the longest spurs I've ever seen. Aiden was absolutely enthralled with all the animals.
When I was in middle school, I was at my friends house when she decided we were going to go play in the woods behind the horse pasture. That meant we had to climb the fence into the pasture with the horses for part of the trek out there. My friend warned me that one of the horses was still a little wild and I should run for the fence if she came over. Well, she tried to come over, so I ran. I had no experience with the large animal, so I just did what she said. My friend quickly realized I was not faster than a horse and yelled for me to stop and stand still. The horse then bit me on the shoulder.
I'm fairly confident that it was mostly lips and just a little nip with the teeth, but it scared the crap out of me. Nothing was broken or torn, but I had some bruising for a week. Ever since then I have been terrified of horses. I have tried to show courage, but I always had that animals-can-sense-your-fear saying in the back of my head. It doesn't matter how calm I am or if I have a smile on my face, I am sure that animal knows I am terrified.
Note to self: Do not mess with horses while they eat. They may get irritable.
Tuesday, June 7, 2011
We had about 5 minutes playing at the playground before one of our neighbors pulled up at the park to notify us that our dog kept getting out of the yard. He said he put Callaway back in twice, but somehow he kept getting out. Our neighbor was worried he'd get hit by a car since we live on a fairly busy street, so he drove over to get us right away.
We quickly started the trek back home. When we got there, Callaway was sitting on our front porch. Travis put him back in the yard and then we tried to figure out how he was getting out. We couldn't find anything strange or out of place. I was worried he was jumping over the fence. The only way to solve that problem is to build a taller fence - a luxury we don't have at the moment. I didn't want to have to go back to kenneling Callaway. He's lost so much weight, just by being allowed to run free outside during the day.
Aiden and I went for a short walk while Travis stayed on the front porch. We were trying to get Callaway to show us his secret escape route. It was time for lunch, so we didn't have enough time to figure it out.
That afternoon, we had plans to go to our friends' house for a birthday BBQ. We threw Callaway's collar on, put him in the yard and started north. We were pulling into the grocery store when a different neighbor called Travis to say Callaway kept getting out despite repeatedly being put back in his yard. We turned the car around.
When we got home, Callaway was still in the yard, but Travis had spotted the escape route. He was digging a shallow spot under the fence near the new patio. I am so thankful that this is a problem we can work with. Assuming he doesn't start digging in another spot, we can just fill this hole with bricks or boards. Also, this is the part of the fence we will be bumping out to encompass the new patio. Which means eventually, we won't have to keep the bricks under the fence.
Hopefully Callaway can avoid getting himself killed until then...
Monday, June 6, 2011
There was another minor Travis-crush in middle school. Fast forward to Freshman year of high school, and a new Travis came into my world. I attended a consolidated high school. The grade school I came from was the largest school to feed into our high school, but it was really interesting to see new faces at school. We had all been together pretty much from Kindergarten through 8th grade. High school was a small change for us. One of the other grade schools contained a Travis. He was so cool, laid back. I really liked him. We were friendly, but it was never more than that. I kind of got the vibe that he wasn't interested in my, so I never pushed things with him.
THEN! The King of all Travis's came into my life my senior year. It seems almost serendipitous that I should end my dating years with someone who has the same name as my first crush. I think it was meant to be.
Friday, June 3, 2011
Thursday, June 2, 2011
The tomato plants are thriving in our garden. We planted them too close together to use those metal cones for them to grow into. Instead, we stuck some dowel rods in the ground and tied the plants to it. Seems to be working well. We have some green tomatoes growing. They're only the size of large marbles, so we've got a ways to go.
The onions and peppers are not doing very well. It seems like all the plants against the garage are doing better. We thought it might be because they get more shade, so Travis built this partial sun cover for the garden. The white trellis sticking up in the front are for the cucumbers. My favorriiittteee...
My dad, Travis and I had a teleconference last night to discuss more options for the wall. We were originally planning on doing a stucco wall. That is definitely still in the running, but we are worried about the grill smoke staining the wall. We are trying to come up with solutions for that. At this point, we are thinking about putting tile in the grill nook. That would be easier to clean than stucco. We are also contemplating a prefab vinyl wall, with some sort of metal surround for the grill nook. The vinyl would melt, so that would not be an option around the heat (hence the pressed metal).
My dad is in the process of finalizing some stuff at work. If that all goes well, then he should have some time off to come help with the wall. He is also working on getting quotes for the different wall types to see what we're working with. The prefab wall would be soooooo much easier, but I think the stucco wall would be more unique and personalized.
Here's a mock up my dad made of the new wall from the patio side.
Looks like a smiley face, right? I have a hard time seeing past that. The eyes are lights, the nose is a window to the front yard and the mouth is the only grill option his computer program has. We'd really like to do the pergola as well, but it will of course depend on cost. I was thinking about building benches to place on either side of the grill nook on which to place potted plants. That's something we can worry about down the line. I'm already trying to accessorize this new yard and we don't even have it yet!