Wednesday, October 24, 2012


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


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.