Saturday, December 22, 2012

Friday, December 21, 2012

Silly Mayans



JK. We're all still here. Yay!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Seems like that would use a lot of memory

This is pretty intense. Not to mention that it could catch interesting things on camera, perhaps to be used in court at a later date?

Monday, December 17, 2012

Handheld Killing Machines

Many Americans do not like to hear about gun control since it is a violation of our Second Amendment.  What I don't understand is why people think being able to shoot a gun for fun, whenever they please is more important than the lives of our citizens.  Personally, I have never needed a gun and I don't think there is a big chance of tyranny these days (the reason this Amendment was enacted to start with).  Here are a few articles and papers I've come across recently regarding gun use in America:


I hate that we've gotten to the point where this is the norm in our country.  Mass shootings are common.  There have been 16 mass shootings in the US in 2012.  Parents have to fear for their kids' lives every time they leave the house.

The Onion makes fun of gun owners.

Oh and this one made me feel better.  I don't know how many times I've heard many of these arguments against gun control and found them absolutely frustrating.

Ten Arguments Gun Advocates Make and Why They're Wrong



Thursday, December 13, 2012

Cinematography

I added a new link in the side bar.  Whenever I have some time to kill, I visit this website.  Every week they upload new short films.  The majority of them are pretty fantastic.  It amazes me what some people's imaginations can do.  Check it out if you find you have some time to kill as well.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Hard Headed

I don't understand how one child can be so different from one day to the next.  Mornings can be very difficult for us with Aiden.  I decided this week that I wanted to start picking out his clothes the night before to see if that would help. 

Monday morning, Aiden refused to get dressed. Instead, he sat on the couch with his clothes and cried the entire time we were getting ready.  I withheld his Lucky Charms during the car ride since those are for big boys, not babies.  (He gets breakfast at daycare, so don't worry that he missed a meal.)  Monday night, we explained that when he woke up, he would have to get dressed in the morning ALL BY HIMSELF if he wanted cereal.  The kid loves cereal.

Tuesday morning was straight out of a dream.  Aiden woke up, came out of his room and said good morning to both Travis and I.  Then he went to the bathroom and went back to his room.  He came back out 30 seconds later with his clothes in hand, sat on the couch and got dressed.  He asked for help with his shoes.  (Which he can do by himself sometimes, but not others?)  He got ready quickly enough that he had time to eat a bowl of cereal with milk before we left. 

Magical, right?  Praise ensued.

Well, it was too good to last.  Last night, we told him again how proud of him we were.  We told him the same thing we did the night before: if you get dressed all by your self, then you can have cereal.  

This morning was a complete disaster.  I'm sure part of the problem is he didn't wake up on his own.  Whenever we have to wake him up, he is Oscar the Grouch.  He just wouldn't get up!  Finally, Travis was able to get him out of bed, but he suddenly couldn't dress himself.  And instead of asking for help, he just threw fit after fit about it.  Non-stop.  About everything.  He didn't get any cereal on the ride into daycare (they're having cereal for breakfast at daycare - yay!) and he continued to cry right up to when I left him there.  For all I know, he's still sitting over there crying.  

IT IS SO STRESSFUL BEING A PARENT.  Especially when you have one that will only do as he pleases.  I keep hoping that Mila will be easier so we don't have to struggle with two kids everyday.

My mom always says I was exactly like Aiden when I was little.  Stubborn, independent and fought her tooth and nail.  I have some memories of that.  I actually recall a few of those moments.  I remember purposely fighting her because I didn't want her to win.  I always wonder if that's what's going through Aiden's head.  If he's actually like me, then hopefully that means he'll get better as he gets older.  I don't think I gave my mom as hard of a time after I started school.

Crossing my fingers...

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Pop Danthology 2012

Popular music of 2012.  I wonder how long it took him to put this together...


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

No Explanation

There are numerous sounds that have been recorded underwater that have never been explained.  How weird is that?

The List of Unexplained Sounds


Here is one sound that HAS been explained:

Monday, December 3, 2012

From Aiden's Point of View

This morning on the drive into work, I asked Aiden if he had a good weekend.  We did a ton of Christmas related things so I was interested to see what the highlights of the weekend were to him.  From the mouth of babes:

Setting up our Christmas tree and decorations

Trimming the tree

Tree trimming audience
Aiden's favorite: St. Nicholas Square Coffee Shop
Aiden's first Advent calendar


Dickinson Festival of Lights

My co-workers' kids and Aiden thoroughly enjoyed the lights and cookie decorating.


Playing at the beach after taking our Christmas photos

Playing in the cold water.
Texas Snow Angels


Setting up the new Christmas train

Travis got a late-90's Lionel Train from his mom and Rich.


Mommy's favorite: Enjoying evening life in the warm glow of our Christmas tree

Bottle fed and ready for bed.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Ice

If anybody is looking to buy me a gift for Christmas this year, I would love this:




OR this:


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Regression


I have read and heard from others that it is common for the older child to regress some when a new baby is brought into a family.  I was super surprised when Aiden didn't have any extreme reactions to Mila's arrival.  Apparently, his reactions are delayed.  The past month has been horrific.  Suddenly Aiden is incapable of doing things he's been doing for a year: putting on his socks and shoes, taking off his shirt, climbing into his car seat, buckling himself in... this list goes on.  

To top it off, his attitude would put a teenager to shame.  He talks back all the time.  Sometimes he yells back.  He refuses to do anything we ask him too.  Even if it's something he actually wants to do.  It's like the fact that we want him to do it gives him an aversion to said act.  He whines.  He throws fits.  It is SO frustrating.

Oh and then there's meal time.  Aiden has always been a good eater, but it seems he's chosen to go anorexic.  He's boycotting food altogether.  He eats a couple bites and then he's done.  But that's not until he throws a fit about how he hates everything on his plate.  I even tried giving him some foods he used to love - pizza and edamame.  He ate half a slice and six pods before he said he was done. I think the only food he happily eats these days is cereal.  Can I just feed him that for every meal?  I'm hoping he's just in a growth lull.

Travis was complaining the other day about how he's tired of bribing Aiden to do everything.  'You can't  watch TV until you eat your dinner.'  'You can't play outside until you get dressed.'  'You can't have your juice until you put on your shoes.'  Etc, etc.

When I dropped Aiden off at daycare yesterday his teacher stopped me and asked if he has been extra whiny at home lately.  "OH MY GOD YES HE HAS HAVE YOU NOTICED IT TOO???"  She basically repeated everything I've mentioned above.  I kept meaning to ask her about it, but I always forget in the morning rush.  I don't know if it's good to know he acts the same at daycare, or not.  

His teacher said every time he throws a fit, he has to go sit on the carpet until he stops crying.  She tells him, "No babies are allowed in her classroom.  Only big boys and girls."  I tell him the same thing and then he just says he wants to be a baby.  She said he does the same thing for her.  She also said there is another boy in her class who has been acting like that for a long time.  So I don't know if it's learned behavior on Aiden's part, or something he's doing because of Mila.  I don't feel like I give Mila more attention than Aiden, but I know it's different attention.  I have to carry her, feed her, change her diapers and clothes.  But that's only because she's a baby.  When she gets big enough, we'll let her do those things for herself.  It's not because we love her more or something like that.

I don't know what to do about this bad behavior.  I'm thinking about starting a goal chart to reward good behavior.  I would put 4 or 5 columns ('Eat Your Dinner', 'Clean Up Your Mess', 'Listen to Mommy and Daddy'...) and then give him a sticker every time he does really good with one of these things.  Then give him a bigger reward after he gets so many stickers or fills up a column.  I'm not sure what the reward would be.  Go out to the movies?  Ice cream date?  Buy him a new coloring book or stickers?  How big should I go?

Has anyone had any experience with this?  Any other ideas that worked better?  I'm looking for any advice I can find.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

What I'm Thankful For

I am thankful for my job.  If it weren't for my job, we couldn't have handled the Thanksgiving Plumbing Fiasco of 2012.

We have had some plumbing issues at the house for a while now.  The house periodically plugs up and requires serious intervention.  We had our first serious issue in February of this year.  There were a few little clogs here and there.  Then in May, while my dad was here, we had another serious run in.  It was so bad that we had to have a plumber come out and clear the line.  He used a camera and didn't see anything too outrageous.  Just the typical grease build-up that needed to be cleaned.  I figured that since it took at least 4 years for this build up to get to the point that it was causing problems for us, that we would have another 4 years for it to get to that point again.  

So you can imagine my surprise when things started acting up a few weeks ago.  The kitchen sink never completely backed up.  It would just be slow to drain for a day and then it would go away.  This past Thursday morning, Thanksgiving morning, it got worse.  It completely stopped up.  Travis borrowed the neighbors snake and spent hours unclogging it.  We never saw what caused the problem, but at least we would be able to cook Thanksgiving dinner and do the dishes without an issue.  

Then it came back 10-fold Saturday.  The dishes piled up next to the sink all afternoon/evening.  Travis went under the sink to take the pea trap apart and noticed the disposal was leaking.  We wondered if it was not working properly so big chunks of food were making it out and plugging up the line.  Sunday he went to Home Depot (HD) and picked up a new disposal.  Since he was going to be taking the plumbing apart, he figured he'd replace our leaky faucet as well.  I was excited for him to do some work that I could see, so I was all for it.  When he got down there to replace the disposal, one of the pipes fell off when he touched it.  It shouldn't have fallen off.  It should have held on for dear life because it was rusted on.  Well, it was rusted off.  Totally corroded.  

Travis: "Guess I'll replace the remainder of the pipe as well."

Me: "UGH.  Ok.  It HAS to be done."

Travis: "Since I'll have the sink out to put all this together, do you just want me to pick up a new counter top while I'm at HD?"

Blink, blink.

Travis: "And we might as well get a new back splash while we're at it."

Me: "Ummmmm... Yaaaaa.  I don't think that's going to work for me."

Travis: "Just joking!"

UGH.

Travis headed back to HD for more parts and he had to stop at work to pick up some more of his tools.  Total, he spent 12 hours working on that sink.  

In the end, Travis found eight whole pecans caught in a bend in the pipe directly under the sink.


Squirrels have been stuffing their winter store of pecans in the plumbing vent on our roof.  Not sure how they planned on getting them out.  I guess they didn't think that far ahead.

Next step: Put a cover on the roof vent.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Sister Time

Ariel is staying with me this week!  It's so fun having her full attention and I think she's enjoying the mini-vacay.

Monday night: She got to see what it's like in the Ward residence in the evenings.  Ariel colored with Aiden while I fed Mila and Travis made tacos.  We stayed up until midnight watching Bones and talking.

Tuesday night: Sisters-only dinner at the BBQ restaurant down the street, then sundaes back at the house.  In bed by 10:30 (exhausted from the night before).

Today: She rode to the island with us, helped me drop off the kids and we're meeting for lunch.

Tonight?  Thanksgiving prep and doing our nails!  No work for me tomorrow or Friday.  =)

Monday, November 19, 2012

More Training

I had more training all last week.  I learned a lot for my job and I think it has made me more confident. This training was local, though it was still rough to plan out.  The training center is 40 minutes north.  Travis was a trooper and helped me with the kids all week.  He drove them south to Galveston before heading to work north of our house every morning.  Since my class started at 7:30, I was able to get back down there at the end of the day to pick them up right before they closed.  I feel really bad that the kids spent so much time at the daycare last week, but it was only for one week.  Well, I guess there was one day I wasn't able to pick up the kids on time.  Thankfully, my friend Linsey was able to get them for me.  She already has a big kid car seat in her car for her son and we leave Mila's car seat at daycare every day.  I felt bad asking her for that help last minute, but Linsey was totally cool with it.  It worked out that I got home right before Linsey got to the house.  

The training itself was pretty interesting.  It focused on chemical handling and disposal, various safety issues, First Aid and CPR.  I swear, CPR rules change every time I get re-certified.  They're either changing the number of compressions, number of breaths, or taking out giving breaths altogether.  Although it looks like they recommend doing that again. 

It was a big week for Mila.  Her second tooth broke through; right next to the other on the bottom front.  She was a little cranky, nothing extraordinary.  So different than Aiden.  She also has taken to sitting up on her own!  If she has to lean over to reach a toy, she usually topples over, so it's not 100%.  I feel like she is growing up so fast!

At this point in our lives, Travis and I have begun to lean towards not having any more children.  We aren't throwing out the idea entirely.  At any rate, if we do have another it won't be until Mila starts Kindergarten.  We plan to move to a different home before then.  That means we would have to store all this baby stuff  for five years and move it to a new house.  Meh.  Not worth it to me.  So now we are storing all the things Mila has outgrown (except for the clothes I've been giving to a friend) in bags marked "Garage Sale".  This will be the first garage sale we've done as adults.  I recall my parents having a few, but I was just a wee one with no responsibility.  Honestly, I find the idea a little daunting.  But it should be worth it.  It can't hurt to earn a little cash back on all these items!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Fresh and Clean

I finally made an appointment to get Aiden into the dentist.  I wanted to find a pediatric dentist so they would have more patience with a small child.  I checked with several people and found a name that came up frequently, so we went with her.  I downloaded a book about Sponge Bob going to the dentist.  We read that frequently and every night when we brushed teeth I would poke his teeth and say, "This is what the dentist is going to do.  She wants to count your teeth and see how well you brush!"  I also made a point to tell him he would have to "bite on paper" while the took pictures of his teeth.  I did everything I could think of to prepare him for what it would be like.

The office was AWESOME.  When we first got there, I was thrown off that they didn't have more toys in the waiting room.  Turns out that's so kids don't get mad when they are torn away from really cool toys to go see the dentist.  They did, however, have a TV with Happy Feet playing so I was able to easily fill out the paperwork.

While we were sitting there, several bigger kids went in back.  I made sure to point out the "big kids" who were going back to get their teeth cleaned.  When the hygienist came out to get Aiden, she took a moment to introduce herself to all of us and she explained what they would be doing.  Then she got down on Aiden's level and asked him to come in back with her.  Travis had decided he wanted to go in back with him, so they headed back.  Aiden seemed excited.

After the x-rays, the hygienist came out and told me he did great.  He sat on Travis' lap during the x-rays and didn't fuss at all.  After the x-rays, they let him go play with the toys they had in back for a bit.  That way he didn't get antsy sitting in a chair for a long time.  They did his cleaning and Travis said he did just as good during that.  Then they sent Aiden back to the toys while we talked with the dentist.  She was super nice and I feel SO GREAT about the entire experience that I've been dreading for months.

No cavities!
Brand new Mater toothbrush!

Self-portrait

Tonight I'm taking him to the fire department to sit on the truck as a reward for being such a big kid!!

Monday, November 5, 2012

SHOPPING!!!

We had a much needed lazy weekend.  Last week we had Halloween and celebrated my sister's birthday.  The weekend before that was filled with lots of festivals.  The weekend before that I was in Florida for work.  BUSY TIMES.  This past Saturday and Sunday we took turns doing fun things.  Saturday morning Travis took Aiden and went grocery shopping while I stayed home with Mila and cleaned around the house.  Then he took Aiden to play golf in the afternoon.  They had a good time riding around in the golf cart and hitting balls.  I'm glad Aiden enjoyed it.  Maybe that's something they can grow to do together.

Sunday I met my friend Linsey for lunch and went shopping at the outlet mall that just opened last month - WITHOUT KIDS.  It was great to get in some conversation without interruption.  I am so excited to get some clothes for work that are non-maternity.  I started my new job when I got back from maternity leave.  My new job requires casual business attire, which is the complete opposite of my t-shirt and jeans level of dress at the previous position.  I had one pair of slacks and a few tops that fit the bill, so I have been long overdue for these new clothes.  Two and a half outfits are nowhere near enough to complete my wardrobe, but it's a good amount to get me started. 

Sometime Friday night/Saturday morning, Mila's first tooth broke through the gums!!  I can't believe it!  She's only five months old.  I know all kids are different, but Aiden was eight months old when he got his first tooth.  It's crazy.  Mila has been a little fussy lately between this teething and her mild ear infection, so I've been giving her Tylenol every day.  Not every four to six hours, but once or twice per day (usually before bed to help her get through a night of sleep). 

I did some online searches and found that other moms have found a correlation between Tylenol and constipation.  I could not find any reputable sites that said there is a direct cause and effect here, except with Tylenol with codeine.  I know these are just mothers' opinions, but I'm wondering if that might be what's going on with Mila.  She has been having bouts of constipation and it seems to be around the same time as when I give her Tylenol.  Only one way to check - cut out the Tylenol.  There's only two weeks until she's old enough for Ibuprofen, thank goodness.  

If she didn't have a proper bowel movement today at daycare, then I'm going to offer some watered down prune juice.  It's just so sad!  I did see a direct correlation between rice cereal and constipation, so I'm not offering her that anymore.  I'm so bummed that it seems like constipation is a common problem for my kids.  I was hoping they would get their bowels from their father.  HA.  I suppose if we physically worked our butts off all day long and ate as much spicy food as he does, we might be able to keep up.  Instead, the kids and I are stuck relying on yogurt, probiotics and bulk fiber to take care of things.  Sorry if that was too much for some of you, but it's just life.

I hope my baby girl is feeling better tonight!  It breaks my heart when she's not her normal perky self.  Both of the kids are getting over coughs as well.  I am ecstatic to announce that we've gone five days without waking up at night from a coughing fit.  Even if it's not a full eight hours, having a night of consecutive sleep can do wonders for a person's psyche.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Orlando

Okay, so I didn't go to the gym.  I enjoyed sleeping entirely too much to work out.  I didn't make my step goal two days.  It was hard since I was sitting for 8 hours three days in a row.

The travel itself was SUPER easy.  I checked both of my bags, so all I had to tote around was my small carry-on shoulder bag of entertainment.  A few days before we left, one of my co-workers recommended downloading a movie to my iPad to watch on the plane.  The concept of having to entertain myself had never entered my head.  So on the flight to Orlando, I watched Snow White and the Huntsman.  I thought it was pretty good.  I was worried about it since Kristen Stewart only seems capable of grimacing these days.

I flew on the same flight with 3 of my co-workers, so we all carpooled in a taxi to our hotel.  We stayed at a Hilton, so it was really fancy.  I had a room to myself, so I immediately unpacked everything after checking in.  After my first night there, I was ecstatic when I got back to my room to find the bathroom cleaned up and my bed made.  Housekeeping!  I totally forgot about housekeeping!  That's a luxury I miss most.  

There were many times I think they went overboard with the tidiness.  There were no trash cans in the conference.  There were hotel employees walking around constantly taking people's trash or finished plates.  We had a 15 minute coffee break in the morning and afternoon.  Every time I was at the coffee table, I felt like I was waiting for the employees to finish wiping up a drip of coffee, or grabbing someone's discarded sugar packet.  We're only out for 15 minutes!  This can't wait??

Also funny - they folded all paper products.  The toilet paper was folded into a triangle point.  They must have someone walk through the bathroom every hour or so because every time we had a bathroom break, the toilet rolls were folded again.  The tissue paper dispensers had tissues fluffed to look like a flower on top.  The paper towels were folded neatly.  It was nutso.

The hotel and conference center was on Disney property, so I could see Downtown Disney from my room.

In the evenings I hung out with various members of my group.  The first two nights we went to Downtown Disney for dinner. The third night we stayed at the hotel and had sushi.  The last night, I went with some new friends I made at the New Member Meeting and Opening Session (for the rest of the conference) to Universal City Walk for dinner at Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville.

The landscape was beautiful - this golf course was visible from the foyer where we ate lunch.

The pool had a lazy river, a giant slide and beach-like access.  Bummed I never had a chance to take a dip.

One of my friends called this the Torture Conference.  There were all these beautiful views outside each window, but I barely got to go out and touch it.  HA.  Maybe I will find more time when I go back for another conference in February.

The pre-conference itself was great. After this trip, I am confident in saying biosafety is where I belong.  I am honestly interested in what this job entails.  I am so glad I found my niche.  I thought the classes were interesting.  The only one that didn't grab me was Fundamentals of Biosafety, but that's only because it was old news to me.  I already knew everything they talked about in that class.  !!!  How fantastic is that?

The whole thing was great for networking.  I met lots of people at facilities we have to deal with frequently.  It was interesting to talk to people who have a similar job position to me, but have a different role based on what their institution specialized in.  The whole thing was a great experience.

The one thing is I missed my family dearly.  I talked to Travis every day, but there were a couple nights I didn't get to talk to Aiden because I wasn't available until after his bedtime.  I was thrilled we got to talk via FaceTime twice (hooray for free wi-fi).  Travis kept the kids alive and the house intact.  In fact, he even got out of the house with them over the weekend.

The spent Saturday morning at Froberg's Farm, a farmer's market.  You can barely see it, but Aiden has a toothpick hanging from his mouth. 

They picked up pumpkins that we are planning to carve this week.

Travis got a lot done really.  He took Friday off and got new tires put on his truck.  Then in the afternoon he had professional cleaners spruce up our carpets.  They look FANTASTIC.  I came home to a clean car and a full gas tank as well!  Travis was even able to find time to purchase a new pair of sneakers for himself.


I had fun, but it's nice to be home.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Conference

I am getting SUPER anxious.  I leave Thursday for my very first work trip.  It is also my very first time to spend a night away from my kids.  I honestly cannot think of a time I have been away from Aiden over night, or even for 24 hours.  I am going to be gone for FOUR nights and FIVE days.  OMG.  I know what it's like to be alone with the kids for an entire weekend.  Travis works so much, that I do this frequently.  Sure, he comes home at night, but during the kids' waking hours, he's gone a lot.  I'm afraid for Travis and the stress he will have to endure alone.  But then again, maybe this will help him appreciate me a little more?  Maybe?

At the very same time I am soooooo excited.  I am going to be childless for five days!  I might be too ambitious here, but maybe I'll do my hair before work!  Or maybe I'll go to the gym.  Lol!  Well, maybe not.  I'm kind of hoping I can find the time to get in there though.  I'm a part of this research study at work and we are supposed to take 7500 steps a day.  During a normal day, that's not hard for me.  I average around 10,000 steps a day.  But I'm going to a conference that requires lots of sitting.  I'm going to have a hard time making my quota.  It wouldn't be a huge deal, except I have a little competition with another girl at work.  I don't want to get TOO far behind.  

Ha.  I'll probably be so excited about not having to get up with the kids that I won't be able to get out of bed to exercise. 

My trip is for a biological safety conference in Orlando, Florida.  I'm flying without kids.  I get my own hotel room.  There's no work that first day, so I may just enjoy a drink on the plane...  There are five other women going from work.  I'm looking forward to spending some time getting to know these ladies.  We will all be busy separately from 8 to 5 every day, but we will have the evenings together.  Evenings filled with meals where I can sit and eat the entire thing without having to get up seven times.  Evenings with uninterrupted adult conversation!  I love my children dearly, and I know I will miss them my first night away, but I cannot wait to see what it's like.  It's been three years and three months since I have been without kids.  So it's been a while.

Pros and cons, people.  Pros and cons.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Here Comes Halloween

Aiden is LOVING Halloween this year.  He is going to be Captain America for trick or treating and he has his Spiderman bag from last year.  I remember when I was little this was probably my favorite holiday.  The older I got, the more it moved towards Christmas.  Ariel is still obsessed with Halloween.  It's pretty much HER holiday.  She goes all out with the decorations every year.  When I went to her house Tuesday, I decided I need to beef up my decor a little.  Mostly for Aiden.  Last night I made a new wreath while Aiden started working on a Halloween painting.  I think the wreath turned out pretty good.  I'm not sure how well it will hold up over time though (lots of glitter and feathers).


After we were done with our crafts, we set up some decorations around the house.  Aiden is so into it that I let him put a spiderweb up and some other spooky items in his room.  I didn't do much when compared to Ariel, but I took a few photos that I sent to the family:



Every time we go to Target (which is at least once a week), Aiden wants to walk through the Halloween section.  I couldn't believe it when he wanted to push the buttons for the spooky animatronics. 

When I was little, I grew up in an old Victorian home.  Our house was the place to go for Halloween.  My dad put up a giant spiderweb and spider on the side of the house.  Our front porch was decked out in spiderwebs and the candy bowl sat between a papier-mache clown and my dad.   My dad took some of my brother's old baby clothes and stuffed them so it looked real.  Then he stuck his head and hands through styrofoam so his face and hands completed the stuffed clothes.  I hope that makes sense.  It was creepy.  I don't think I'll ever go that far for Halloween.  I absolutely despise scaring people (let alone small children) because I know how much I hate to be scared.

I went to Google maps to get a photo of our old house.  The yard looks totally different and the house has been painted a peachy-pink color, but you get the gist of what we had going for us on Halloween.


I need to buy Nightmare Before Christmas.  That's a good Halloween movie that I could watch with Aiden.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Vino Education

I came across this article about how wine corks are made.  I knew cork was a renewable resource, which is why it's considered a green project.  I wish I like how it looked enough to get the floors done in it...

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Sick Day

Mila's fever came back Monday afternoon. The daycare has a policy that if a child develops fever they're not allowed back within 24 hours. That means I got today off of work! She still had a low-grade fever this morning but it was gone by this afternoon.

This morning I met with the insurance adjuster so we could make a claim for the hail damage we got in April. Looks like we're getting a new roof!

I dropped Aiden off at daycare before lunch and went to meet Ariel. We ate at a restaurant on Galveston Seawall. Mila may have had a fever but she was in good spirits!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Strange Weekend

I felt like such a bum Saturday.  I had plans for a girls night out and didn't feel like doing much during the day.  I didn't sleep very well Friday night because Mila woke up a few times.  Travis came home sick Friday.  He was vomiting, so he had trouble getting much done at work.  He slept all afternoon, woke up for a bit in the evening and was back in bed by 8.  I'm not sure if it was a stomach bug or a migraine.  Usually he gets a headache, then starts throwing up.  But he threw up, then got a headache on Friday.  Meh.  I don't know.  

Needless to say, Travis was well rested by Saturday morning.  He proceeded to clean the entire house - vacuumed, swept, mopped, cleaned the bathroom, took out the trash.  It was awesome.  Except I felt guilty because I only had a few moments to rest during the day when I wasn't taking care of the kids or getting myself ready to go out.  It was super nice to see such a clean home though!

Saturday afternoon was a birthday celebration for my friend Inaia.  My girlfriends picked me up and we went to a nail salon.  We had a Groupon for a mani-pedi.  I don't usually get manicures.  One, I am very particular about my fingernails and I don't like it when other people mess it up.  Two, there is no point painting my nails because they WILL chip within 24 hours.  It's pointless.  If I get them painted at a salon, sometimes it will last two days.  But still, it's just a waste of money.  But this Groupon was for gel color.  One of my friends gets this done fairly regularly and her nails always last two weeks.  Most of the time, she takes off the color because her nails are growing out.  I'm up for the challenge!  I am currently on Day 2 without any sign of wear and tear.  Now if only I could afford to get my nails done every two weeks!  Ha.  Oh, another plus?  The gel helps prevent nail breakage.

After we were all primped, we stopped at Starbucks.  We are all old ladies and were falling asleep after the relaxing afternoon at the nail salon.  We chugged our coffee and headed into Thai Seafood for dinner.  We had so much fun.  15 people made it to dinner, including several of Inaia's friends from Houston.  They were hilarious.  Our server was quite the comedian, a little old Thai man who pulled out a few jokes.  Good times.

Everyone was planning to go to the bars on the island.  Since it was already after the kids' bedtime by this point, Travis had no problem with me going down with them.  We went to a pub I used to go to all the time when I was in college.  We played darts and I even saw an old friend at the bar.  We eventually made our way over to my sister's dance club.  I definitely got a work out there.  My calves are a little sore today from all that dancing.  LOL!  

I didn't want to be a party pooper, so I went with everyone over to another person's house for the "after party".  I'm too old for that.  I didn't get home until 5 IN THE MORNING.  Sweet bejeebs that is insane.  I had horrible sleep until 10, then I got up to help with the kids.  

We recently hired someone to mow the lawn every other week.  On the off week, Travis edges the yard so it stays nice.  It's frivolous, but Travis works so much.  The only time he has to do the lawn is on the weekend.  It takes him 3 hours to mow the lawn.  Let's just say I am excited to have him around for that extra time each weekend.  Next frivolous activity: hire someone to deep clean the house once a month.

Anyhoo, Travis took Aiden outside while he edged the yard. That's when Aiden stepped in a fire ant hill.  Travis didn't hear him crying immediately over the weed eater, so Aiden got eaten up pretty badly.  We smashed all the bugs on him then rushed him into the bath tub to soak his feet in cold water.  I know that's what makes me feel better when I get bit.  Afterward I saturated him in Bactine to numb the pain a little.

I was in the middle of getting some food in the crock pot when Mila started to get really cranky.  I felt her forehead - it was hot.  I checked her temperature and of course she had a fever.  I didn't know how much Tylenol to give her, so I called the Nurse's Line at our pediatrician's office.  It took them about an hour to get call me back.  That's when the nurse recommended not giving her any.  She said, if the fever is under 102.0, it's considered a "beneficial fever".  Soooo, Travis just let her sleep on his chest while I finished getting the food in the crock pot.  

The rest of the day was spent alternating our energy on each of the cranky kids.  HORRIBLE day to have a hangover.  Really, as a parent, there is never a good day to have a hangover.  Just a fact of life, I suppose.  

This morning I had to send Aiden to daycare in the sandals he was wearing when he got bit.  He has 10 bites on one foot.  Then there are several more on his other foot and on his hand.  Those sandals are the only pair of shoes that don't rub his bites, so that's what he wore today.  His daycare has a "no sandals" policy, so that means he doesn't get to play outside with the rest of the class today.  I feel so bad.  Not only is he in pain, but he doesn't get to play with his friends for part of the day.  Poor kid.  

Both kids are going to be so cranky tonight.  Mila didn't have a fever this morning, but her cough got worse again and she is not her normal happy self.  Personally, I'm still exhausted.  Mila woke up twice last night, despite the Tylenol I gave her before bed to help her rest.  I'm thinking I might break my "No TV on a school night" rule tonight.  It was pretty much a sign when I received a free Redbox rental code via text a few minutes ago.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Stranger Anxiety

Mila has it.  I'm so bummed.  She got a little nervous when she saw the doctor last week, but it wasn't horrible.  This week she seems to cry every time someone looks at her.  It's ridiculous and I don't know what I can do about it (or IF there is anything I can do about it).

Yesterday was picture day at the daycare.  Mila's teacher said she's not sure how the photos of her will turn out because she did not like the photographer.  The teacher tried to help distract her, but her face was probably already red by that point.  Aiden said he took some pictures with her.  I REALLY hope some of those turned out okay.  I will probably still buy them even if Mila is crying, just to laugh at in the future.

For the rest of the day, Mila was super sensitive about strangers.  There is another teacher that works in her room periodically when one of the regulars needs to be relieved for lunch or whatever else.  Mila WOULD NOT let the part-time teacher feed her.  Then, at the end of the day, she started freaking out every time a parent would come in to pick up their child.  It's insanity.  I feel bad, but I don't want this to be a regular way of life.

She is also really needy at home.  When we get home from daycare, its usually between 5:45 and 6.  That gives me two hours to put away dishes from the day before, make dinner, clean up dinner, bathe, brush teeth, get PJ's on and read books.  Travis usually gets home between 6:30 and 9.  I don't have time to lay around holding Mila all the time.  Usually I can just set her up in her bouncy seat in the kitchen and she is okay.  Aiden likes to make her laugh, so that helps.  After a while, Mila gets sleepy and therefore cranky.  I TRY to get her to sleep before it gets to this point, but I don't always see the signs because I'm busy running around like a mad woman.  So then I try one of two things.  Or two of two things depending on if the first one works or not: swing or crib.  Sometimes it works, but for the past week they mostly have not worked.  The only way she will happily go to sleep is if one of us is holding her.  I DON'T HAVE TIME TO DO THIS.  Nor do I want to make a habit of that.

Ugh.  I don't know what to do about her.  She used to be so happy all the time.  What is wrong with my baby?  Is her tummy upset from starting new food?  Over the weekend I assumed it was from the vaccinations, but that effects of that should be long gone.  Is it this new stranger anxiety that usually develops around 5 months old?  I DON'T KNOW!!!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Constipated at 4 Months

Turns out the rice cereal was a bad idea for Mila.  I gave it to her once on Saturday and once on Sunday.  The daycare notified me that she spent all day Monday constipated.  It wasn't until that moment that I realized she didn't poop at all on Sunday.  Finally, Tuesday afternoon it flopped over to diarrhea.  Diaper rash ensued.  

I was planning to try giving her oatmeal cereal since that is good for keeping the digestive tract moving, but now I'm afraid to give it to her.  I think I'll take tonight off.  Assuming she's had a good day at daycare today, that will give her a day of normalcy.  I'm still not sure what to give her tomorrow.  Oatmeal cereal or a veggie.  Hm.

I feel really bad because two of my friends watched the kids Saturday night and Ariel watched them last night.  Mila was cranky both times.  I'm REALLY hoping it's due to her bowel discomfort and not because she's That Baby.  You know.  The one that hates all strangers and will only be happy with her own parents.  She loves her teachers, but she's with them as much as she's with us.  I want her to love people and be independent!  Dang it.  Although, the doctor did say she should start developing stranger anxiety at this age.  So maybe it is that.

I'm going to have to start forcing people to hold her so she can experience others, I guess.  I just feel bad forcing my kid on others.  Ugh.

Monday, October 1, 2012

4 Month Well Baby

My baby is growing up!!  I took Mila for her 4-month check up last week.  I thought her appointment was Thursday at 12:45.  Turns out it was at 11:45.  I was an hour late and they couldn't fit us in.  So all that running around, carrying Mila in her car seat and disrupting her day for nothing!  We rescheduled for the following day at 4:30 with a different doctor.  Mila's pediatrician wasn't available for another two weeks and I didn't want to postpone her vaccinations that long.  

So here are the stats:
  • 14 lbs (75th percentile)
  • 27 in (95th percentile)
  • 2 shots and 1 by mouth
Before her vaccinations
The doctor gave us the go-ahead to try rice cereal, veggies and fruits.  We started with rice cereal this weekend.  Mila didn't want to have anything to do with it.  The look of disgust on her face was hilarious.  we aren't supposed to try new food for five days so I'm going to keep offering the cereal to see if she changes her mind (this way, if she has an allergic reaction, I know which food did her in).  I don't know if it's a dislike of the flavor or the texture.  Aiden hated the cereal as well, but he really got into pureed food.  I'm going to try a jar of store bought food before I start making my own again.  So, Wednesday or Thursday I'll offer her something different. Aiden's first food was carrots.  I'm thinking I might do the same for Mila.  Or maybe peas?

Not big on rice cereal.

Force feeding

Mila was super cranky this weekend.  She never had a fever, but it might have been related to the vaccinations.  I'm hoping that's all it was.  A big problem for us is her need to observe her surroundings.  She will get so caught up in watching people around her that she WILL NOT GO TO SLEEP.  I've started putting a burp cloth over her eyes when it's nap time to cut back on environmental overload.  That usually works, but it was a no-go this weekend.  I feel really bad about it too because my friends babysat for us Saturday night and had to deal with Baby From Hell.  It's sad really because she's usually such a happy baby.

Mila likes her mirror.

I am amazed at some of the similarities and differences between Mila and Aiden.  The sleep thing is just like her brother.  One major difference is the closeness.  Mila LOVES to cuddle.  Sometimes she gets so angry when you put her down.  When she's tired, she will rest her head on my shoulder.  It's the sweetest thing!  Except when I need to make dinner and don't have time to hold her.  Usually I can put her in the bouncy seat in the kitchen and she is content just being in close proximity to me.  Aiden is the opposite.  For the most part, that kid has a don't-touch-me policy.  Every once in a while he'll ask to sit on my lap while we read books.  It surprises me every time.  

Mila and Aiden interact more and more every day.  There are always the stressful days when Aiden is cranky and whines the hours away.  Helps me to appreciate the good days more and more.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

I just might get this

A father takes artistic photos with his daughter:

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Disturbed

I used to really like a lot of Stanley Kubrick's movies.  But since becoming a parent, I've found my tolerance level for disturbing footage has shot through the floor.  He does have a way with drama though.


Monday, September 24, 2012

Somniphobia

I am afraid of going to sleep.  Every night, I avoid going to bed, because I know it's going to suck.  I toss and turn all night long.  Then I am guaranteed to wake up between 3:30 and 4:30 when Mila has her congestion cough.  She usually can't breathe through her nose, so she wakes up angry.  I have to use saline spray and a booger bulb to clean her out, but by that point, she's wide awake and takes some coaxing back to sleep.

Even when Travis gets up with her, her crying keeps me awake.  WIDE awake.  When my alarm goes off I feel like I'm in a partial coma.  But in the middle of the night when Mila wakes me, WIDE AWAKE.  Ugh.

So, now I dread going to sleep because I am guaranteed a crappy night of sleep.  Mila has her 4-month check up this week.  I'm hoping the doctor will offer some fabulous, fix-it-all advice.  Preferrably in the form of a prescription.  Mila has also had these random bouts of inconsolable crying for the past week.  I wonder if she has an ear infection, or something more serious.  She doesn't have a fever though.

I've thought about taking Tylenol PM, but then I worry about Travis waking up with the kids if they need him.  He can sleep through a hurricane.  I used to be able to sleep through hurricanes.  That was BC.  Before Children.