Thursday, September 29, 2011

Parenting Stories

When Aiden and I get in the car in the mornings to go to daycare/work, I let him bring a cup of water and a snack cup of dry cereal.  He usually has cereal leftover that he eats during the ride home.  That way he's not miserably cranky when we get home and I have a minute to make dinner before a meltdown.  The water, however, is generally too hot to drink in the evening after a day baking in the car.  But the other day, he had Goldfish crackers for some reason and he was asking for a drink of water.  I felt bed for him with his dry, cracker mouth so I tested out his water.  It was cloudy that day, so the water was only warm.  I decided to go ahead and let him have a drink.  I handed him the cup and told him he could have a drink of it, but it was hot.

He took a drink of the water, took the cup out of his mouth and stared quizzically at it for a minute.  Then he looks at me and says, "Coffee?" 

The kid thinks any hot beverage is coffee.  Cracks me up every time.

Continuing with Aiden's tendency to generalize everything, he thinks all skulls are pirates.  He has a book about pirates and we've watched Pirates of the Caribbean a few times.  He's noticed the skull and crossbones on the black pirate flag, so now he associates it with pirates.  With Halloween being right around the corner, there is an abundance of skulls around.  He is constantly screaming, "Pirates!"  I look around for a pirate only to find a skull of some sort.  At least I know what he's talking about now.

He also wants to go to the store every day after daycare.  Sometimes when I need just a few items, I'll run by Target on my way out of town.  Aiden loves it.  I'm not sure why.  I guess we frequently stop in the toy section for a birthday present and he gets to play with everything.  Maybe that has something to do with it. 

To go to the store we have to pass a statue.  So when he gets in the car, he starts screaming, "'Tore! 'Tatoo!"  Most of the time, I have to say, "No, we're going to go past the trains and then go home."  Statue and store, or trains and home.  Funny what my life has reduced to.  ;)

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

My Little Guy

Sunday morning we took Aiden to get his second professional haircut.  I have trimmed his hair tons of times and he generally does okay for me.  But when a stranger touches his head?  WATCH OUT.  We went to the same place we went last time.  He wouldn't even sit in the car chair.  So the hair dresser had the brilliant idea to have Aiden sit in Travis' lap while he got his hair cut.

Both Travis and Aiden wore a cover-up to prevent hair from getting all over their clothes.  I gave Aiden a suckers and the hairdresser put Spiderman on the mini-TV.  Aiden chose Spiderman.  Next time, I'm choosing Toy Story.  Aiden tends to get uninterested during the parts of Spiderman when the main character is not in costume.  That was less than helpful during the hair cut.   But it did help little bit.  When he was distracted, Aiden didn't mind the hair dresser at all.  She cut the majority of his hair with scissors, then cleaned up the edges with clippers.  I had to hold Aiden's arms down during the clippers.

Anyhoo, here's the finished product!



He looks so much older to me with his hair cut this short.  I think I'm going to grow it out again.  At least a little.  This was a lot shorter than I was hoping.  At least he's all cleaned up for the wedding this weekend!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

ABC's

I have some photos I really want to share.  Since I didn't have time to load them last night, I'm going to show you a fun video instead.  Hopefully I'll find the time and energy to get them up tonight.  Bahhhh...

The ABC's are a big part of my life right now.  Aiden sings the alphabet all the time (several sections of letters are mushed together, but he does pretty good).  He has toys that sing the alphabet.  And there are lots of toys and books around the house that teach him the alphabet.  I'm just going to bring you into my world a bit.

Monday, September 26, 2011

My Worst Enemy

Another great weekend under the belt!  Travis worked Saturday morning, so Aiden and I tried to take it easy.  Aiden wanted to play outside, so I figured I would attempt to work in the garden again.  I still had those dead tomato plants that need to be pulled up.  I put on socks, tennis shoes and wore Travis' Home Depot gloves.  I am going to a wedding this weekend and it will just be Aiden and I, so the last thing I need is some fire ant bites slowing me down.

I was in the middle of pulling up the second plant when Aiden starts screaming, "Ouch!  Ouch!" And it was fairly frantic.  He was looking at his foot so I immediately assumed fire ants.  Sure enough.  I am KICKING myself, for putting socks and full shoes on myself, but not on my son.  SO STUPID.  The fire ants were in ever crevice of his sandals.  I was trying to simultaneously smash the ants as I pulled that sandal off his foot.  After they were all mashed, I ran inside with him to wash his foot.  I don't know if that actually gets rid of anything, but I do know the cool water helps soothe the burning. 

Aiden never cried through the whole thing.  I was freaking out more than I think I ever have with anything related to Aiden, but I was mostly silent.  I just kept saying, "Ohnoohnoohno..."  After a thorough rinse, I saturated his right foot in Benadryl spray.  I blew it dry and counted the welts.  TWELVE BITES.  UGH.  I put socks and tennis shoes on Aiden before we went back outside.  While Aiden played in the garage, I went out to murder the culprits.  He had full on stepped in a giant fire ant hill.  I did a walk through of our yard and found dozens of hills.  I killed the hill by the garden and then called Travis to ask him to get something we can sprinkle on the entire yard.

I really wanted to keep Aiden off his feet, to prevent swelling if that was going to happen, so we took a walk to the park with him in the wagon.  When we got to the playground, I realized the majority of the playground was covered in fire ant hills.  The two playgrounds that we frequent near our house belong to schools that have been vacant since Hurricane Ike.  It is very obvious that they are not keeping up with the playgrounds.  Aiden was mad we had to leave, but I explained that there were lots of bugs that might bite him there. 

Travis was home soon after Aiden went down for a nap.  That afternoon we met the Ramby's at Palm Beach.  It was the last weekend we could use our season passes, so we wanted to take our last chance.  We got lucky and got front row seats at the wave pool.  That meant we got to sit under an umbrella with our feet in the sand while Aiden and Blair ran in and out of the wave pool.  PERFECT.  

It was dinner time when we left the park, so we stopped for dinner.  There is a new Chinese buffet that opened on the island that I've been wanting to try out, so we went there.  I wasn't impressed.  I know most people are not impressed by Chinese buffets in general, but I love them.  We used to eat Chinese food ALL THE TIME in Illinois. But we quickly turned to Mexican food as we moved closer to the border.  

Aiden got to bed 30 minutes late that night.  As we were laying him down, he started scratching at his ant-bite-ridden foot.  He has a habit of scratching mosquito bites as he falls asleep, causing them to eventually bleed.  I know how painful it is to scratch fire ant bites, so I went ahead and gave him a dose of Benadryl.  

He slept in until 7:15 the next morning!  That is a HUGE deal seeing as he has been waking up at 5:45 for a month now.  That's what time our alarms start going off on weekdays, so I'm sure that's what has started this horrible habit.  But I DON'T want to wake up at 5:45 am on weekends too.  Too bad we can't take him to the water park every afternoon!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Imbeciles

Yesterday when I was driving home from work with Aiden, I had a moment of road rage.  I was in the middle lane, coming up on a PT Cruiser that was following a big rig in the right lane.  RIGHT as I was about to pass them, the PT pulls in front of me.  No warning.  I slam on my brakes and mutter, "Really??"  I check for cars over my shoulder in the left lane, see no one coming, so I pull over into the left lane.  The PT pulls in front of me AGAIN.  "REALLY?!  UGH!"  I slam on my brakes AGAIN as the PT driver looks at me in his side mirror.  I check over my right shoulder for oncoming cars, I flip on my blinker and as I'm turning back forward the PT SLAMS on his brakes.  Dude.  Are you trying to kill us? 

At this point, I have to swerve into the middle lane to avoid an accident.  As I'm passing the wacko on the right, he throws the car into the left exit lane.  GAH.  So glad we made it out of that alive.

A minute later, I'm in the right lane two miles from our exit.  There's almost no one in that lane, so I decide to pass on the right.  No reason to cross two lanes to pass a guy in the middle lane, just to get back over in that right lane for my exit.  But as I'm getting ready to pass the guy in the middle, he speeds up, so I can't pass him.  At the same time, a truck pulls onto the entrance ramp.  I try to gas it to avoid both vehicles, but there wasn't enough time.  So again, I have to slam on my brakes. 

From the back seat: "Really?"

Aiden decided to put his two cents in about all these dumb drivers.  EXCELLENT.

I swear, I am not usually a brake slammer.  I generally drive about 70 mph.  I know that is above the normal posted speed on the interstate of 65 mph, but in my defense, at least a third of the other vehicles on the road are staying up there with me.  I just had a particularly crazy drive home.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Evolutionary Scientists Have Found...

I find anything related to evolution very interesting.  I'm sure it has something to do with whatever it is that makes me a happy scientist.  I came across this article that speculates that having wrinkly fingers from being in water too long has a purpose: The wrinkles provide increased traction.  So when you're wet and probably slippery from the water, don't fear!  Your wrinkly fingers are here!


See?  Interesting.



Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Fantastic Three

Sunday was just as fantastic.  We had originally made plans to go to the beach with my new co-worker, but it started raining.  RAINING!!  We are months overdue for some rain, so it didn't bother me in the slightest.  Instead, we went over to my co-workers house and let the kids run rampant.  Travis got called out on a job before we left the house, so he wasn't able to go with us.  After a couple hours of play, we headed home.  Aiden and I ate sandwiches on the ride home so all he had to do was climb in bed when we arrived.

Travis pulled up immediately after us.  I was exhausted.  Aiden has been getting up once a night for as long as I can remember.  It's probably only been a couple weeks, but it feels like forever.  So after Aiden fell asleep, I passed out as well.  Travis watched football in the living room all by his lonesome.  But I know he enjoyed a few hours to himself. 

I woke up to my alarm an hour and a half later and hopped in the shower.  I could have slept the rest of the day away.  It was dark in my room because of the rain.  PERFECT napping weather.  Aiden woke up soon after I got out of the shower. 

We decided to go to Marble Slab for ice cream.  We got Aiden a cup of vanilla mixed with M&M's and assorted sprinkles.  He almost ate the whole thing.  Thankfully he was full about the time it turned into a bowl of ice cream soup.  Travis and I had waffle cone bowls.  I tried a combination of mocha ice cream mixed with graham crackers.  It was awesome and I'd like to go back right now and have more.  RIGHT NOW.

It was still raining when we got home.  Still raining?  So weird.  I let Aiden run around the yard and play in the rain.  He loved it.  I folded laundry in the garage and then attempted to do a little gardening.  Yes, in the rain.  We have a bunch of tomato plants that have not survived the drought and I figured it was time to pull them up.  I had pulled up the second plant by the roots and was banging the dirt off when I felt a bunch of stings on my hand.  I looked down to realize what I thought was dirt was actually fire ants.  There was a nest of fire ants in the roots of the plant and I had pissed them off.

I ran inside to wash my hands as quick as I could.  I don't know if the venom sits on the outside of the skin at all, but I figured it couldn't hurt.  Turns out I only got bit three times on my left hand.  Twice on my pinky and once on my ring finger.  Thankfully it hasn't swollen out of control like I've done in the past.  But it's still bad enough that I can't wear my wedding rings.

For dinner we had BBQ stuffed baked potatoes - one of my favorite Texas meals.  It is so much better with real BBQ, not the kind in a tub from the grocery store.  Either way, it hit the spot!

See?  Fantastic Sunday.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Overbooked Saturday

We had an excellent weekend.  We shook things up a bit and went outside of our normal routine.  Travis was on call last week and this past weekend, which meant he had to work Saturday morning.  We had a birthday party to attend for my friend Katie's two-year-old son at 2 pm, so I put Aiden down for his nap an hour early.  He actually fell asleep.  I'm pretty sure it was magic.

When 1 o'clock rolled around, I called Travis to see if he was going to be home soon.  He said he was going to be a little late and since he was going to have to drive separately because he was on call, we should just go on without him.  Aiden woke up a few minutes later, we got dressed and on the road.  The party was really fun.  It was at Moody Gardens in Galveston.  They had a party room that was filled with many toy stations, all provided by Moody Gardens.  There was a Moody rep that stayed in the room and showed the kids how to do the various stations.  Katie supplied pizzas for everyone to eat.  Moody provided a giant cake and a bowl full of punch.  Travis showed up about 30 minutes into the shindig.

We played in that room for two hours and then slathered on the sunscreen.  As we walked outside, the rep handed each child a shovel and bucket and we headed over to Palm Beach.  Palm Beach is a really great outdoor water park for smaller children.  There are lots of sprinkler areas, shallow pools and even a couple water slides.  We've been there once before and loved it for Aiden. 

Overall, the party was awesome.  Katie didn't have to plan anything or clean up afterward and it was WAY cheaper than we've paid for an at-home birthday party.  There are other options aside from going to Palm Beach.  You can also go to the aquarium or the rainforest.  I'll definitely be keeping that place in mind for Aiden's future birthdays!  We stayed for an hour at Palm Beach and then had to leave.  I sort of overbooked us for Saturday!

We hopped in the car and stopped to change and grab a few things from home.  Then we headed over to the Yeager's for a BBQ.  They had a few other friends over as well, including Chris and Blair.  Blair, Luke and Aiden ran around the house like madmen for the majority of the evening.  We ate brisket and deviled eggs.  For dessert Linsey made a layered strawberry shortcake mix.  It was awesome. 

The evening was a hit.  I was shocked to look at my phone and see it was 9:20 pm!  We were walking out to the car and I noticed Aiden was walking really funny.  I though he was goofing around, but when Travis attempted to put him in his car seat he started screaming about being poopy.  Sure enough his butt was stinky.  Linsey let us come back inside to change his diaper on a flat surface, but I'm sure she was regretting it after a minute.  Aiden had diarrhea.  I was a bad parent and didn't check his diaper all night.  So I have no idea how long he was in this horrible diaper, chafing him as he ran.  He cried bloody murder as Travis wiped him clean.  It was BAD.  I felt HORRIBLE. 

Today most of it is gone.  He still has scabs on his leg where the diaper must have been rubbing him as he ran.  I've just gotten so accustomed to him not peeing as frequently that I've grown lazy about checking his diaper.  We were adamant about changing his diaper often over the remainder of the weekend.  I didn't want that dang thing to come back!  Poor kid.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Word of the Week

Aiden has recently begun using a very annoying word.  "Huh?"  And it's not like he uses it just one time.

"Aiden, can you come sit at the table please?  It's dinner time."

"Huh?"

"Can you please come sit at the table?"

"Huh?"

"COME HERE."

"Huh?"

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

The other night, Travis was getting Aiden dressed in his pajamas so I could hear them through the baby monitor.  Aiden said something that I couldn't quite decipher over the radio waves.

Travis' response, "Huh?"

Aiden then replies, "Huh?"

Now I know where he gets it from.

Friday, September 16, 2011

A Cure for Cancer

Doctors are doing an experiemental therapy using modified HIV to attack cancer cells.  Three cancer patients have undergone this therapy.  Two are in complete remission and one is in partial remission. 

Two out of three's not bad.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

I Heart Shopping

I'm trying to weed out the remaining baby stuff from Aiden's room since we're hoping to have a baby soon.  I don't want him to feel like we're taking his things away and giving it to the baby.  The most imperative item at the moment was his bedding.  He only had one set of toddler sheets so we were alternating with his crib sheets.  That way I could have one on his bed while the other is in the wash.  

Yesterday after work Aiden and I went to the store and picked out a new bed set.  Guess who?



Woody and Buzz, of course!!



Aiden was so excited.  I threw the set in the wash as soon as we got home so it could go on by bed time.  I put it on while Travis was giving him a bath.  As soon as he was out of the bathroom that monkey immediately started jumping on the bed.

I also bought him some Toy Story underwear!  I'm going to try letting him wear them at night and/or on the weekends.  Maybe he'll get upset about getting Buzz or Woody wet and that will give him incentive to use the potty.

I don't know what I'm doing, but it's worth a try!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Our Stubborn Little Man

Aiden has been such a stinker face lately.  He is so ridiculously sweet with me.  I mean, look at that smile.


But then as soon as Travis comes around he is a complete a-hole.  He doesn't want to have anything to do with Travis.  When he gets home from work, Aiden tells him to go back to work and refuses to give him a hug and kiss hello.  He does the same thing for goodbye in the morning.  Aiden gets an attitude with everything Travis says to him.  Every once in a while they have a good night when Travis has time to play with him a lot.  But it's not often enough.  I just don't know what to do about it.

The other thing I don't know how to handle is potty training.  Does any body have any recommendations?  I've read a couple books about it, and some stuff online, but nothing is cut and dry.  I know kids are not cut and dry, but I need more than I can find.  Everything recommends letting him sit on the potty frequently, especially during times when he usually pees or poops.  I don't know when he pees?!  How do you figure that out??  How often should I let him sit on the potty?  For how long?  I tried letting him go without a diaper for a night and he freaked out every time he peed on the ground.  I would rush him to the toilet, but that just freaked him out even more.

He also doesn't poop on a set schedule.  Apparently, most kids have a set time they poop. Like Travis.  He goes once in the morning and once in the evening.  I guess Aiden is like me.  You never know when the time will come.  Not to mention Aiden's bowels are all sorts of messed up.  He had horrible constipation for a year that made him bleed and cry, EVERY TIME.  These days he has diarrhea more often than not.  So now instead of bleeding, he's got diaper rash.  At least I can medicate the rash.

I don't know when to put Aiden on the potty.  He will only sit on the potty if I bribe him.  So I started letting him put a sticker on his potty chart every time he sat on the toilet.  I try to do it every night before bed, but he's never peed during that time (I read a book or two to distract him from getting off).  I don't really have time to do the potty in the morning or when we get home from work/daycare.  I guess I need to find the time.  It's just that it's such a fight getting him on that toilet.  If he needs to sit on it for 10 minutes at a time, that is about 20 minutes of our time.  The other ten minutes is spent begging him to sit on the damn potty.

I even tried buying Pull-ups with Buzz Lightyear on them.  We told him he can wear the big boy pants when he goes pee pee on the potty.  He was excited about the Toy Story pants, but apparently not excited enough.

To get him even remotely excited about the potty, we let him decorate it with stickers of Spiderman and Elmo.  We spent a week or two just looking at the stickers on his really awesome potty before he would actually sit on it.

I've come up with a new method of bribery: He gets to watch TV if he sits on the potty.  We rarely let him watch TV during the week, so that's a HUGE deal.  It worked for 30 minutes last night!




Except now I'm worried he's going to get a hemorrhoid.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

I can't wait for our grass to grow back

The wall is coming along!  We started painting the wall this weekend.  We chose a shade that is between the dark grey of the stucco and the light grey of the mortar that holds the "stones" up on the exterior of our house.  If I didn't have the white of the trim to compare it to, I'd say that wall is white.  

We used paint rollers, so we still have to go back through with a paint brush to get the cracks, corners and edges.  I need to do a closer inspection to determine if we need a second coat.  It was really difficult to paint the stucco because of the texture.  



After we're done with the grey, we'll be painting the wood trim black to match the house.  You can sort of see the black shutters and soffit of the house...  



This next photo is the view from the end of the driveway.  I'm hoping the black trim will help give the wall some definition.  We are also planning to put in a walkway from the driveway to the front door and lining the wall with bushes.  That will have to happen next spring since we need to attend to some interior home improvement first.  Now that Callaway is not around to scrape up the trim on the doors and Sagira's not around to scratch off the paint of the doorways, I think it's time to repaint!



This gap in the wall is where that gate is going to go after I bring it home from Illinois.  Man, I hope it looks okay.  Buying a gate in Illinois while I'm in Texas is sort of like planning a wedding in Illinois while I'm in Texas.  Only smaller scale.



We're in the home stretch!

Monday, September 12, 2011

I Remember

10 years ago on September 11th, I had just started my second year at the community college near my home in Illinois.  I was getting ready for work when my mom called and told me to turn on the TV.  A plane had run into one of the World Trade Center towers.  I turned on the TV and watched the footage of the burning building.  I couldn't believe that had happened.  How could that happen?  That's a little low for a plane to be flying around a city.  Maybe something was wrong with the pilot?

I called my dad to see if he had seen the news.  He hadn't.  As I stood there pondering over what could have gone wrong with my dad, the second plane ran into the second tower.  Wah??  Did someone manage to get video of the plane running into the tower and they were just playing it over?  No that can't be it.  I can see the first tower on fire behind the second.  The SECOND tower got hit??  I'm so confused.  What the hell?

My first class that day was calculus and the teacher was this really angry woman that I didn't feel like testing.  I thought about not going into school. I didn't know what was going on.  But then I thought about that teacher and her irrational anger at the world.  I made the choice to go in.  I left the TV on while I got ready and it was so horrible.  People were jumping out of the building.  I could only imagine the fear these people were facing.  

While I was driving into school, I heard that the Pentagon had either been hit by a plane or a bomb.  Not sure which.  Still confused.

When I got to class, only half the students had shown up.  The teacher asked the remaining students if they would be up for a lesson.  We all said no, so she let us go early.  I went to the lobby area of the school where they had set up a bunch of TV's all set to different news channels so I could watch the events unfold. 

I could not believe my eyes when the first tower fell.  All I could think about were all the people in that building.  My second thought was about all the people on the street that they showed staring up at the burning buildings.  The dust in the air was tremendous.  The the second tower fell.  Insantiy.

Then I heard about the fourth crash into the field in Pennsylvania.  By this point, I wasn't sure what was true and was rumor.  I walked around in complete disbelief for the majority of that day.  I wasn't close with anyone living in New York, but I was still numb about the whole situation.  How could something like this happen in the United States?  Don't we have excellent safeguards against stuff like this?  Come to think of it, how could the US prevent other stuff like this from happening?  We can't be everywhere at every time of the day to 100% guard US soil.

Suddenly I was afraid for my family in and around Chicago.  What if there was another big attack?  Oh the stress that surrounded that whole situation and I didn't even know anyone who was there.  It just struck me as so intense that an attack had occured on US soil.  Is this what people in 3rd world countries feel like every day?  At any moment, their village could be attacked and they wouldn't have any police to run to.  Hell, it might be their very own government that's doing the pilaging.

Life is scary.  We've got to make the best of it.

I thought this 9/11 timeline at Wikipedia was really interesting if anyone wants to look it over.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Labor

We had an abnormal Labor Day weekend.  I think normally we would be running around visiting lots of friends, but this year we focused on laboring.  It only makes sense, right?  Travis enjoyed the three-day weekend with us.  I love that he gets holidays off with this new company!  We spent most of our days working on the Great Wall of Ward.  Travis got all the trim up.  I primed the stucco and caulked the wood.  Travis moved the cyclone fence over to connect the back yard to the newly walled in area in the front.  I still need to prime the trim and then we can paint everything!

We also need a gate.  Right now we have plywood up to help deter stray animals from our yard and to help corral Aiden. My dad texted me yesterday to say the gate he found at a store in Illinois is on sale.  I told him to go ahead and buy it.  It's REALLY simple, but you can't beat that price!  I'm planning to bring it back with me on the plane when I visit Illinois for my cousin's wedding at the end of this month.

Besides working on the yard, we had the Yeager's over for a BBQ on Saturday.  Luke was sitting at the end of the table when he says, "Mommy?" and holds out his hand towards Linsey.  She took his hand and he just sat there holding her hand.  He just wanted to be close to her!  It was so sweet!  So Zach scooted Luke around to their side of the table and said, "Now you can be closer to Mommy and as a bonus, you get Daddy!"  LOL!  That man cracks me up.


After dinner we sat outside and enjoyed one of our first days of "cool" weather.  By cool, I'm talking low 90's, high 80's.  It was amazing.  It started to sprinkle a little, so Linsey threw a blanket over baby Kenley's head.  She proceeded to ham it up for photos.


Sunday afternoon Ariel and Michelle came over.  We played it easy and ate leftovers for dinner.  We also spent some time in the kiddie pool with Aiden.  He enjoyed our company, and we enjoyed the cool water.  Actually, it was pretty hot.  We had to empty half the water and fill it back up with water from the hose so it would cool down.  Oh Texas.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Not All There

This past weekend I went shopping for groceries sans Aiden.  I've been able to do that the past two weekends and it's been fantastic.  Aiden is generally not difficult in the grocery store, but I still feel like I'm able to focus on comparing products better when he's not there getting bored with the lack of cart-movement.

Anyway, on this past trip, I was headed to the cash register with a cart load when I hear a baby start crying.  Shortly thereafter a woman starts yelling at the top of her lungs.  I couldn't really tell what she was saying, but she sounded angry.  I was getting closer to the source of the sound when I saw who it was.  They had entered the store at the same time as me.  It was a two-year-old girl and a woman I assumed was her mother, although she looked to be in her 40's.  Since it's not impossible to be a mother in your 40's, I was wondering if it was hers or if it was a grandchild.

The woman was walking around the produce section a little haphazardly while I was in the same area.  The little girl followed her, but the woman barely looked back to make sure the child was with her.  I was thinking about how I am constantly looking back for Aiden, until I start to get dizzy and I just take his hand.  At one point, the little girl grabbed an apple off the shelf and took a tiny bite.  I was waiting for the woman to notice, but since she rarely looked back to check on her, she didn't see the kid eating the apple for a quite a while.  When she finally did, she walked up to her, asked for the apple and took a bite.  Not quite honest behavior, but to each their own.

Back to my trip to the register and the screaming - I parked my cart before the aisle that the woman was in because I finally found the batteries.  (Why does it seem like every store has a different location for those?)  The child was upset, probably bored, and crying.  The woman was YELLING at her, "I know, I know!!  You're bored!  We've been in this store WAY too long!!  I'm trying to hurry but you're not helping me!"  None of those words were things that would aid the situation.  If anything, as the mother of a two-year-old, I know the yelling and screaming will just make the toddler more stressed and less likely to stop crying. 

At this point, I was starting to wonder about the mental capacity of the woman.  She picked up the little girl and was trying to get her into the cart seat.  She was yelling, "I'm going to put you in the cart!  I know!  You barely fit! But you want to sit here!!"  I really think the woman was not all there. 

That got me thinking.  Anyone can procreate.  Who gets to decide if the parents are well enough to care for a child?  Does anyone get to take a baby home from the hospital?  And then they are only reported for negligence when the situation occurs?  How sad.

Speaking of procreating, my fish is attempting to do so.  Forget the fact that she is the only fish of her kind in the tank.  She is moving one rock at a time out of the back corner of the tank and moving it to the front, creating a little divot for her eggs whenever they arrive.  There won't be any fertilizing of the eggs, since there is no male in the tank.  She'd probably eat them before they had a chance to hatch anyway.  She's a little hostile to any other fish I attempt to place in the water.

I actually just found out last weekend that Bubba is actually a Babette.  My friend Michelle has a tank full of red blood parrot cichlids and she noticed they had laid eggs.  She looked it up online to find out how to sex them.  Apparently the females have an appendage that differentiates them from their male counterpart.  I think the appendage only comes out when they are "in season".  At any rate, it should be interesting to see the whole process!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

I whistle while I work

It's been a little difficult getting used to being so busy at work.  When I worked for my last boss, money was low, which meant work was low.  Eventually I was just let go.  Working for the new boss is a totally different game.  He has LOTS of money, which means job security for at least 3 years.  He will most likely continue to bring in grant funding, so there is hope for many years after that if I choose to stick around. 

I'm still helping out the old boss when he needs it and he is training me in a higher level lab.  So I feel like I'm balancing three separate parts of my professional life: Old boss work (when he needs it), new boss work (learning new assays and techniques) and training for UTMB to be able to do work for the new boss.  It's tiring.  I feel like I've been falling behind on my blogging abilities because of it, but work must come first!!

I do really dig that we listen to music all day in the new lab.  There are a lot of young people in this group, so nobody minds the music.  I've worked in labs in the past where I got yelled at for having music playing so softly from my computer that I couldn't understand that words.  CALM DOWN SCIENCE NERDS.  Anyhoo, I'm learning about lots of new artists that I'd like to download their music.  My iPod's been acting up a lot lately, so I think it's time to get a new, bigger iPod.  ; )

Here are some randoms I forgot about on my camera:

We pulled out the Bumbo for when Skylar and Kenley come to visit.  Sometimes Aiden likes to hang out in the "baby seat".


For his birthday this year, Luke got him this horsie.  When we went to Luke's house for his birthday party, I tried to get Aiden to wear a cowboy hat because of the cowboy theme.  He refused.  I figured I would leave the hat out for him to put on whenever he wants and it seems to have worked!  He calls it his Cowboy Woody hat.  You can see the fallen Woody in the bottom left hand side of the following picture...


I have a YouTube channel saved with videos that Aiden really likes.  Every once in a while, I turn on the channel and it automatically flips through the videos.  He loves it.


For Travis' birthday, I made Pepper Steak for dinner and an ice cream pie that was AMAZING.  It was insanely sweet, but it rocked.  After dinner Aiden helped Daddy open his presents.  He honestly seemed interested in what Travis received.  Here he is studying Daddy's new razor.


After Travis opened up a gift bag with a new shirt and swimming trunks, Aiden proceeded to put the bag on his head.  I'm not really sure what his obsession with putting things on his head is, but sometimes I worry about him.


The other day he ran around the house with a bucket on his head.  The impressive part is he can run from his bedroom in the back of the house all the way to the back door in the kitchen without running into a single wall.  I like to think that makes him talented.

Well, I'm off to more training!!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Oral Fixation

Aiden likes to eat things he shouldn't.  I'm just going to preface with that.

I don't know how often I have walked into a room to find Aiden standing there guiltily with his mouth shut, but obviously full of something.  Since I know he hasn't had anything to eat for hours, I question his behavior.

"Aiden, what's in your mouth?"

Mouth stays shut and he gives his head a little shake.

"Aiden!  Open your mouth!  Spit it out!"  I immediately stick my open palm under his chin. 

"Cat food?!  Gross Aiden!!  That is gross!  Do not eat cat food!  What will they eat if you eat all their food?"

He's now got chewed cat food/slobber smeared across his chin.  Seriously.  It's gross.  This cat food routine happens at least once a week.  It must not be half bad if he keeps going back to it.  I should try it.  I might get back to you on that.

The other night I heard Aiden get his 'piggy' bank off the shelf (its actually a monkey head) when he was supposed to be in bed, so I go in to take it away and tell him its night-night time.  He's got the guilty, mouth-is-full-but-shut face on. 

"Aiden, what's in your mouth?"

Denial routine again.

"Aiden! Open your mouth! Spit it out!" I immediately stick my open palm under his chin.

He spits out the plug to his 'piggy' bank.  It's huge.  It's larger than a quarter.  Maybe the size of a silver dollar.

"GROSS.  Seriously kid, you've got to stop putting random items in your mouth.  Now go to bed."

There's this new thing he's been doing.  It'll be a good 30 minutes after we've eaten a meal or snack and I'll realize he has something in his mouth.  I go over, assuming it will be some random item, and tell him to open his mouth. 

It's food.  He has been sucking on his last bite for THIRTY MINUTES.  Sometimes it's a piece of broccoli.  Sometimes it's mushy cracker.  Sometimes it's yogurt.  How he keeps that stuff in his mouth for so long without gagging is beyond me.  I mean, yogurt?  COM'ON.

Now when he says he's ready to get down from the table, we have to wash his hands AND check his mouth for that last bite.  "Swallow your food" is becoming a common phrase in my vocabulary.  And I thought that was a given.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Katie Johnston Photography

A couple weeks ago we went to get our family portraits taken by a friend of mine from work.  She also took photos at Luke's second birthday party and did a really great job.  I've seen her work on Facebook and have been really impressed so I decided to hit her up for her start up deal.  We went to a park on Galveston Island that I've never heard of.  It has a pirate theme, which was really fun for Aiden since he's really digging pirates at the moment.  We have to go back now. 

After looking over these photos, I really feel like we belong in some magazine.  I mean seriously.  I can't wait to get them printed!  I think Katie did such a wonderful job.  Check out her website if you're in the area and interested.