Friday, December 26, 2008
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
(You 'da man, Daddy!)
(Peek a boo!!)
And then this pic was from yesterday. I came around the corner from being gone 30 seconds and found Carter here (he's up on a box that's probably 3 ft high...he's our climber). He wanted to get to the star up on top. And it's where he was heading tonight if I hadn't scooped him up to brush his teeth and head off to bed.
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Monday, December 15, 2008
This is what I walked in on when I went to check on the boys playing in their room this evening. I'd found this tiara in a box I unpacked today, and aparently Carter had asked Trev to help him wear the "hat." He's gonna love me pulling these pics out when he's somewhere around his adolescence or early adulthood LOL!!
Friday, December 12, 2008
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Just had to share two cute pics of Em and Carter from tonight. He's very recently VERY into Dora the Explorer (and Diego too) and we as a family are VERY grateful for the reprieve from Curious George...Curious George...Curious George. Emilee sat down to read him the only Dora book we have. Aparently he needed to climb into the toy box to listen LOL but he was quite the captive audience for about 20 minutes (knowing Carter this is no small feat to focus for that long).
Last pic I have time to share tonight...Joshua's Christmas light masterpiece! He decorated all of the roof lines with white-white-red C7 lights on clips (so they stand up pretty and straight and evenly spaced...he's never done that before and it looks NICE) and he *built* a Christmas tree out of lights on the front lawn. The tree was quite the project. When I've seen them in pictures or in neighbor's yards I never thought they were difficult or complicated...but they are LOL. Mom and Dad and my brother, David, were here for Thanksgiving and the guys all tackled the project and had alot of fun. When it was done, I was pretty impressed and we admittedly have the coolest light display on our block!
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Wanted to share what's coming out of the mouth of our littlest monkey lately. He has taken a good six month off of really worrying about talking to us in English (except for "Daddy") because there are 4 of us constantly around and he's quickly trained us to his needs in baby talk and hand motions and grunting. And don't get me wrong, he's not silent, he constantly babbles and chatters, but we really haven't had much clue as to the context. Josh and I have joked that when he decided he was ready, he words would come out in paragraph form. So the last couple of weeks he's gotten back on the English bandwagon and most of it is in sentence form. Here's a few...
"that way"...this would be him pointing to the left, copying Daddy who has told the dog to get out of the kitchen while we eat and since there's three exits Josh says "that way"...so now Carter points at all sorts of things, including the dog, telling them which way to go
"I did it!"...we've been encouraging him with "you did it!" when he stacked blocks or took a bite with his fork...and now he's praising himself
"wow wow wow!"...this goes for all of the Christmas lights, Christmas trees and most preferably to the Christmas displays that move in some way
Monday, December 1, 2008
So Thanksgiving was yummy and your fridge is now plumb full of all the leftovers...now what??
Not being much of a "from scratch without a recipe" kind of cook, I'm rather proud of myself that I have a pot of soup simmering away on the stove, "getting happy" as Emeril would put it, that will be tonight's dinner.
I sauteed some fresh carrots, celery, onion and garlic that we had extra from Josh's holiday cooking and added 10 cups of water and some chicken base. Then I pulled apart all of the "hard to get" meat (yanno, the meat on the bones...again I'm rather proud of myself as I was VERY tempted to use the nicely sliced white breast meat that is in there...it looked sooo easy to just dice that...but I was a good frugal girl) and added it to the pot of veggies and broth. Then salt, pepper, 1c of rice and 1 can of white beans jumped in to round out my leftover soup. Very basic soup, but for me it's a pretty marvelous feat!! And we have a bunch of salad and Josh's family recipe of cheese braid bread to round out the rest of dinner. Perfect cold winter day dinner if I do say so myself!!
I'm sure hoping it turns out tasting yummy cuz the house is smelling very homey...wonder if the big monkeys will be proud when they walk in the door here in a minute or two?
More on Thanksgiving and Christmas later, just had to share about my soup while I had a free minute!!
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Saturday, November 15, 2008
BTW...39 days til Christmas...how did THAT happen??
Saturday, November 1, 2008
Click here for the pictures...
Monday, October 27, 2008
I got my second call from Trevor's school that sounded something like this on Friday, "Hello, this is the nurse at Trevor's school. There's been a little accident, Trevor fell and cut his chin and it looks like he'll need stitches, can you come and pick him up?" So off I sped and collected my monkey who seems to love finding this kind of playground trouble (two years ago it was a broken arm at school). Josh was actually in town working at the office so he headed our way too and took Trev to the urgent care so I didn't have to do it alone with all three kids. Trev actually lucked out and didn't need stitches, just a good cleaning and an "expensive bandaid" as Josh put it LOL. The drama never stops *shaking my head*!
The kids are getting excited about Trick or Treating on Friday, but I am a bit disappointed about the holiday. About three days before Ike I had sat down with my patterns and costumes and had begun to hatch some ideas about what to make the kids for their Halloween costumes. I love to sew their costumes! But of course Ike changed those plans and we had to do store bought this year. And can you say EXPENSIVE??!! Emilee is being a princess witch, Trevor is being a Star Wars Storm Trooper and Carter is being a pumpkin. We aren't sure if Carter is going to actually GO as a pumpkin because he HATES his costume, but I was able to distract him for a few minutes yesterday into wearing his costume. I snapped a couple of pics as I wasn't sure we'd ever get it on him again...he is soooo headstrong it just floors us lol. And hopefully there will be cute pics of all three to follow later this week.
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
I won't be able to update or share pics for a while yet as I have a very limited internet connection (a wireless card with iffy reception). I am trying to get our home phone/internet/cable hooked up but it's going to be a while. Here's a kicker...are ya ready?... The phone company has a very extended install schedule right now as most of their technicians are down in the Houston, TX area trying to get service back up for the Hurricane Ike victims. Go figure, eh?
Friday, October 3, 2008
It's a miracle...a fully shocking, absolutely amazing, desperately prayed for MIRACLE!!!
What you ask? SEVEN nights now Carter has slept through the night!!! *doing the happy dance*
Should this really be a miracle at 19 months of age? Nope, we should have had this little party oooohhhhh long over a year ago, but not my child. He has NEVER been a good sleeper...getting up several times per night and often ending up in our bed in my exhausted desperation to try to rest a bit. And even when I bring him into our bed it's a disaster as he's a darned tornado, thrashing everywhere, kicking one of us with his feet while he pushes the other with his hands.
Anyway, seven days ago I decided to try putting a pillow in his bed at naptime. *Disclaimer...the American Academy of Pediatrics does not advocate babies using pillows until the age of two...so take my parenting choice with your own grain of salt.* He seemed to relax more lately when sleeping with us when he'd scoot up to the pillows Josh and I were using and fall asleep on them. So I put him down at naptime and he immediately rolled over with a big smile on his face and fell asleep for a nice two hour nap. At bedtime that night I let him use the pillow again and he slept ALL night, not one single peep! And it's now been like that for a full week. The first couple of days we thought it was some teasing fluke...taunting us with a full night's sleep but expecting the bubble to burst at any moment. And up until this week, Carter has probably slept through the night less than 30 days total of his life and never more than maybe twice in a row. But here we are a week later so I'm feeling pretty optimistic to start a small parenting moment party!
Saturday, September 27, 2008
Monday, September 22, 2008
Saturday, September 20, 2008
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Late yesterday my landlord called and said he had gotten his hands on a generator to run one a/c (first step in getting some of the water/moisture out of my house) and he'd taken it over and plugged in the a/c and my freezer (maybe I won't lose all of my meat!). He also said that he was trying to secure a roofer to come and tarp the roof and a drywaller to come and look at the walls and ceilings.
Then I got a text message late last night from a neighbor that the electricity was restored to my culdesac!!
And then my landlord called this morning and told me he went back to our house late last night and got both the a/c's up and running. He also had secured a roofer to come over and tarp our roof and a drywall guy to come over and take a look at what needs to be done...TODAY! Bless my landlord, he's been breaking his neck to help us out and I have NO IDEA how he's been able to get these guys so quickly as you know there are MILLIONS of people just like me who need this work done and somehow he's got them at my house already! He also got his hands on 4 tarps in a city that has NONE left (he had someone bring them in from San Antonio). This is by no means meaning that we can go home and safely live tonight, but I really feel uplifted that SOMETHING is happening in a GOOD direction! And since the a/c's are on, we just might not lose all of our stuff!
My landlord also told us that he'd finally gotten to his home late last night. He lives down on the water and we were all so worried that he had NOTHING left, but amazingly his home is still standing. He has three feet of water in his bottom story but luckily his bottom floor is just a garage and a storage room. His biggest issue is that he has the pieces of someone else's obliterated house pushed up twenty feet deep against his house...12x12 pylons and whole pieces of roof and wall. So it will be a BIG job digginig his house out, but at least it's still standing! AND since I don't need that generator, now he can use it cuz it will be LONG while before he has power.
Today is a better day...
Monday, September 15, 2008
Most disappointedly, Ike disrupted one very special little girl's eleventh birthday. I'd quickly made her a cake Friday night in anticipation of losing power, so Saturday, instead of the ice skating party and sleepover with friends that we had planned, we had a garage party with the neighbors who had stayed to weather the storm. Gotta make the best of things, right?!
And what do you do when you have no power after a hurricane and it's way too hot to be inside your house? Well you fly a kite in the lingering hurricane winds...
(Trevor is down in the bottom left of the pic and his kite is up in the top right.)
Saturday night we tried to get to bed, but it was miserable. It was sooo hot and even MORE humid inside of the house. It was about 90 degrees with 95% humidity inside ughhh. The big monkeys seemed to get to sleep but Josh, Carter and I got NONE. Carter cried from being so hot and miserable, it was so sad. We actually contemplated getting up in the middle of the night and leaving but we were under a curfew until 6am Sunday and tickets were being issued at $2000 per offense. Then we considered sleeping in the car with the a/c on, but gas was such a precious commodity we couldn't risk wasting it and not being able to get out when we needed to.
Rain started again about 4am Sunday and we began that horrid battle of the incoming water again. Buckets and towel damms and more shuffling of our belongings to try to save them from the water. The ceiling was starting to come down in Emilee's room and the living room as the drywall couldn't hold it any more. Josh and I finally had it and we decided to pack what we could in the van and leave. We couldn't do any more to save the house or our belongings and we were exhausted and the house was no longer livable. When day broke and we had light, we started packing...clothes, food, baby things that Carter needs, a couple of toys, the dog's stuff. We got the kids in the car to relax in the a/c and watch some George and Josh and I took one last look around the house.
(Pic of Emilee's ceiling beginning to come down)
And that's when we decided we had just enough room in the van left that we could take our wedding pictures and recent kid pictures... taking our pictures off the walls... THAT is the straw that broke the camel's back for us... that we might not be back to save ANY of the rest of our stuff...
So exhausted and terribly stinky we headed to our friend's house and here we are. We really don't know what will happen yet. Our neighbor says there is still not power. He had to move the car out of the garage today cuz that ceiling is coming down from water damage too. Our landlord is trying to get roofers and contractors to come start repairs, and even trying to get a generator to run the a/c to start to dehumidify the house. Our biggest enemy in this is the water/mold issue.
I want to say thank you, we've had many offers to help...but there's not much we need, at least not yet. So thank you for thinking of us and offering your support. This is just the most surreal thing. Yesterday I said to Josh, "So on Wednesday we were just going about our business like normal and now look where we are..."
Oh and one more story to share. We had chinese takeout last night and Emilee's fortune cookie read something like this "Strong winds will change your life..."
This picture is a bit later as the winds were kicking up and that eerie "bad things are coming" red sky. Notice our normally tall and straight tree leaning...
The storm got pretty serious about 10pm, very loud winds and stuff started banging outside. The kids did well and fell asleep. Carter ended up about midnight tho from the racket and got in bed with us.
The big ones stayed snuggled in pretty well, getting up to ask what time it was or if they could potty, but neither of them seemed upset by the storm and got back to sleep.
I thought the first half of the storm was pretty bad. We had a bit of leaking in Emilee's room but weren't surprised as we've had leaks up there before. Then we got "the eye" and it was a very eerie calm after hours of horridly loud racket of wind and crashing, you could hear a pin drop. Somewhere in there we lost power, bye bye a/c. The second half of the storm was horrid. It was much louder and stronger and it switched directions to come in from the front of the house. That's when we lost the larger portion of our roofing which was to become our disaster. So in the second half of the storm, we had leaks start...from everywhere. They started in the attic, then water began to pour thru the upper story ceilings...into Emilee's room, into our bathroom, and into the loft, and when those upper floors were saturated it began to pour into the lower floors. The loft leak poured down into the living room area and the front door and window and roof started to just pour water like a faucet. Then the water started to seep thru the dining room wall (coming from the attic area) and flow into the dining room and make a river than ran into the kitchen. And all of the a/c vents started to pour water like faucets. We had every bucket, bowl and trash can catching water and every towel trying to damm it. It was just nuts. We spent the whole night moving our furniture and belongings, trying to keep them on high ground.
The sun came up and we got to get the first glimpses of the damage.
You can see the roof damaged down to plywood which is our big issue...water flows in between the sheets into the attic. And where it's not down to plywood, there are intermittent shingles missing.
Here are the limbs and shingles that came down littering the backyard.
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Friday, September 12, 2008
So what do you do while you are waiting for a hurricane?? Well, you go over to the neighbors for a swim of course! It sorta seems funny...all this hype and the weather outside is relatively nice. So the kids took a dip (with their friend Sierra).
As of 4oclock here, the winds are picking up, the clouds are coming thru quickly and it's sprinkled a time or two. The eye will be here about midnight or 1am and the "bad weather" is expected to last until about noon tomorrow. We have all of our supplies ready for a power outage (our biggest expected issue), I've done the laundry and basic chores. So we are just waiting...
As power and internet connection allow, I'll post about our adventure, but we are expecting to be down at some eventual point for a while.
Thursday, September 11, 2008
So we've spent the last couple of days contemplating evacuating or not. Should we......shouldn't we........?? How do ya know? Josh was out of town for the week as usual and I didn't really feel like packing up all the kids and the dog and heading out of town for "nothing" so I've been leaning toward the STAY side of the column. Then late yesterday Josh's bosses kicked him out and said "GO HOME NOW" so Josh flew in late last night. Josh started getting emails from his corporate office this morning about evacuating all of their employees and equipment from the Houston area and it made us think a bit...maybe we should go? I called a neighbor for professional hurricane survivor advice and they are staying and boarding up their downstairs to protect from flying debris. We'd heard the nightmares of 24 hrs on the interstate when people evacuated for Katrina and Rita and that didn't sound like much fun. Ughhh which way to go??!!
So about 11 am we decided we were staying and headed to Home Depot (mom said to have fun as the TV news coverage looked horrendous with lines that spanned hours) to pick up what we could of plywood and screws and get ready to batten down the hatches. On our way to Home Depot we run a side road along the interstate and we saw the traffic of people evacuating from south of us. As soon as we caught a glimpse of that parking lot, Josh said "F*** that, we are staying!!" I was on the phone with my mom and just started cracking up at the sheer horror in Josh's voice. LMBO if you know Josh at all, you know he has a severe case of traffic angst and that sight alone made weathering a hurricane seem like a walk in the park, so right then and there our decision to stay was confirmed. It was pretty crazy at Home Depot, you got in one line to pay for your plywood and then you got in your car in line to get it loaded. All total it took about an hour and a half to get our 7 sheets of plywood and screws.
Texan redneck sidenote...So we are driving home with our plywood secured safely inside of our van and we see a small Jeep in front of us with plywood on the roof (many, many TINY cars were succumbing to the torture of having several sheets of plywood strapped to their roof as their owners tried desperately to get wood home to protect their windows despite not owning large pickup trucks). So this Jeep turns a corner in front of us and we notice that two arms are holding the plywood on the roof. That's right, the people were HOLDING the plywood on the roof of the car. It straightened back out and there were the other two arms on the other side of the car valiantly holding on. Josh and I just stared with mouths open and wished we had a camera.
So home we went. It was funny too as once we were out in our back yard, the air was filled with the sounds of circular saws all over the neighborhood cutting plywood...that at least made us feel like we were on the right track (cuz where is that hurricane handbook??...it seems we didn't get that when we drove over the border). We wanted to at least cover the three large windows at the back end of our living room as that's where we'll weather the brunt of the storm. We got those up, finished the back side of the downstairs and had enough to do the back side second story too. Those windows all face east which is the direction that the winds will come from so protecting them (and us inside of them) was first priority. Then we finished up the day with rearranging the garage so we could get both cars in...a feat that we didn't think possible but it WAS accomplished! As any good natural disaster will do, it brought all of us outside, so we spent alot of the afternoon chatting with neighbors, exchanging hurricane stories and offering help. The kids called out "Happy Hurricane Day" to anyone that would wave! So our neighborhood looks ready...cars in garages and wood on windows and bottled water in the cupboards.
Stay tuned for updates on our adventure. We are expecting to lose cell and internet service for a (hopefully short) period of time so I'm not sure how often I'll be able to update, but check back and see. If we have power, we are stuck inside, so I'll have not much else to do but hang out online and share what's going on.
Here are our BEFORE pictures...
This picture was for fun. We were teasing our landlord that we got "ready for the hurricane" by bracing up the trees so that they wouldn't blow over. Notice the little teeny boards we used. He thought that was pretty good!!