Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The Bean is Back

Today J and I were walking down the frozen food aisle in Whole Foods. J was eyeing the ice cream and asked, "Pick out a flavor?" I told him it's too expensive to buy ice cream at Whole Foods. So he asked, "Buy lima beans?" and pointed right at them. J used to love lima beans, but he went on strike from eating them at least 6 months or so ago. He said "Yes, beans!" and so I picked some out of the case. He got all excited about them. "Lima beans! Lima beans!" I was doubtful he would share the same excitement when we brought them home and I put some on his plate.

I was wrong! He ate every single bean, one by one, pausing after each one to say, "Mmmm."

Now I just hope he continues to love them or they're going to be in the freezer for quite some time.

In other news, it was trash/recycling pick up day today, which means we got to race outside when the trucks came and wave our butts off until the garbage men waved back and beeped the horns at us. And now he's finishing up another 3 hour nap. All of this is really too much fun for one Wednesday. We need to start cutting back.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Sleepless in Austin

What do you do when you wake up at 2:52 in the morning and cannot get back to bed at all? Well at first, you just lay there and try to clear your mind, which of course, floods it with tons of unnecessary stuff. Then, you turn on the tv (even though you know they say not to do that). You learn all about replacing weatherstripping on your doors. Then you start thinking about food because you've been up for over an hour. Cinnamon buns, to be exact. Low fat cinnamon buns that are in a new magazine you recently got. You toss and turn and try to go back to sleep, but you can't shake the idea of making these gooey treats right now.
Which is how I came to be in the kitchen at about 4:00 yesterday morning with a bunch of ingredients laid out before me. A little over two hours later I had them, all warm and iced and ready for J and B when they woke up. At which point I promptly went back to sleep until 9:30.

I have to say that these were pretty yummy considering they only had 4 tablespoons of butter in them. Supposedly they are only 280 calories and 3 grams of fat in each bun, so if you want the recipe, let me know. It's a bit long, but I'll get it out if anyone wants it. The only thing I would change next time is to maybe add some orange extract to the icing instead of vanilla for a different taste.

Yes, I was pathetically awake enough to even take pictures!

We've spent part of the weekend doing housework and part of it playing. This is the first weekend in over a month that B and I have had a "normal" weekend (normal being one where we don't have guests or he is not traveling). We headed down to a farmer's market in hopes of some peaches (I got some great ones last week), but we were too late due to my "sleeping in". The trip wasn't a total wash, though. J got to play in a fountain and had his first random hookup with a girl. A French girl. Don't worry, she was also two, but I wish I had video of this. First she batted her eyes at him and started squealing when she saw him. Then she came over and gave him a hug, which was immediately followed by a kiss. This made J blush and made the girl so excited that she took off her bathing suit! B and I were dying, as was the girl's mother and grandmother. Her grandmother told her she was behaving just like a true French girl. Ahh.... love moves fast when you're two. And then she was gone.

This afternoon we went to something called Parade of Homes. I don't know if anyone has ever done this, but I'd never heard of it before. A new home development (high priced homes that you can only dream of ever living in) opens up for a few weekends after the homes are built to raise money for charity and to allow the public to view these incredible homes. This development overlooked one of the lakes, so the views were terrific. For the most part, I walked into all of these homes and gawked at how ridiculous they were. Children's media rooms with microwave ovens and mini refrigerators, separate washer and dryers in the master bedrooms. There was even one master bathroom that had a hookup so you could work on the internet while you took a bath and sat in front of a large screen tv. If you ask me, some things just shouldn't be done in a bath. I could also think of lots of things I'd rather do with 3-4 million instead of buy one of these places, but it was a different way to spend the afternoon.

Well, I'm off to bed in hopes of a good night's sleep. Hope everyone has a good Memorial Day. Here's a pic of our patriotic kiddo examining the flag that was put up in our yard.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Wake Up Call

We had a bit of a scare on Wednesday night. A large band of thunderstorms came through our area, which is not uncommon for this time of year in Texas. As I was watching tv, though, I realized this time was a little different. There was a funnel cloud sighting approximately 3 miles away from our house and the projected path if it touched down would go through our neighborhood. It was one of those moments where you say, "Oh crap!" and feel like you have little time to think about what to do next.

Of course, as my luck would have it, I was home alone. B was busy downtown at Ruth's Chris Steakhouse having a dental meeting of some sort. Wah, wah. Anyway, I went upstairs and got J and brought him downstairs. He didn't even move until I laid him down on the floor on a pillow beside the closet we would go into if we had to. Hail began to fall, which I later on learned was literally up to the size of a baseball. The satellite signal went out on the tv and I realized that my means of gathering information about the storm was just lost. I realized that we had an old clock radio with a battery backup upstairs, so I raced up to get it to see if I could hear anything on the radio. Little good would it have done me if the power went out though; the battery was dead and all of our replacements were out in our detached garage.

I texted B and told him NOT to come home. I got him just in time because he was just about to leave. He told me that after I called him, everyone else's phones starting ringing telling people the same thing.

Thankfully the storm came and went without a tornado touching down, but it was a pretty scary evening! The scariest thing for me was that I realized how unprepared we are in case of an actual emergency situation. Sure, it was easy to get into a closet, but if anything had happened that required us to be in there for awhile, I had nothing.

Today I spent a little bit of time getting a few important things together like flashlights that would be guaranteed to work when we need them to. Ever go to use your flashlight and the batteries are dead? Well, you may want to go and get a few of these:

a wind up flashlight (these are great because there is no battery- you just wind it up and get up to 40 minutes of light each time).

I also picked up a portable radio (I actually got an all in one flashight, radio, siren sounder) and some first aid stuff (I suppose you could make your own kit from supplies around the house, but the cost would end up being about the same). I found a variety of emergency lists online and you could pack yourself to the gills with supplies, but here is a concise one if you're interested : I didn't realize how much we could possibly actually need if something did happen like a contact lens case and solution for myself (an extra pair of glasses in the bin is not an option) and diapers and wipes and nonperishable food.

So we're just trying to be a little more prepared, but not paranoid. I'm glad everything was okay. The only thing that took a bit of a hit was the garden, as the zucchini and squash lost a lot of flowers, but we're lucky if that's all that happened.

Hope everyone has a good weekend! We're alone again through Sunday. B is off in CA at his cousin's college graduation. I met W when he was about 10, so I really feel up there in age!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Everything's Growing!

Our garden gave us a little present a few nights ago. It looked like this:
And today I picked this:

We also have a bunch of tomatoes growing on each plant, so it looks like we'll be able to make at least one salad!

We've had a bunch of rain and it got really hot in the last few days. As a result, the side of our house smells like gardenias because these bloomed in full force within 24 hours. So pretty!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

What Mother's Day Means to Me

(as told by J)

Mother's Day is letting Mommy sleep until after 8 and bringing her coffee in bed. It means holding a plant for our neighbor for "just a minute" before I tip it all over the floor. That was cool. It means eating my toothpaste that I have figured out how to unscrew while Mommy and Daddy are getting ready to go to the restaurant. Oh yeah, it also means begging daddy for a donut while Mommy is sleeping and eating it so I am even more excited and wired. Mommy says Daddy is a sucker.

Mother's Day means getting to go eat at a restaurant. Mother's Day means eating bagels at the restaurant. It means shouting, "Bagels, bagels, bagels!" at the top of my lungs. It means getting to run over to the waterfalls and squeal at the greatness of them. Why does everybody keep telling me, "No"? I just don't get it.

Let's see... what else about Mother's Day? There's ice cream before lunchtime. Oh, and cake, but mommy.... said.... NO CAAAAAAAAAAAAKKKKKKKKKE!!! So I had more bagels, bagels bagels and that was great! Playing with my best buddy Z at the restaurant was fun too! Don't we look all grown up?

Mother's Day is good for napping for a long time because everyone is in a food coma. For three hours.

Then getting to go to the airport to pick up Nummi!!! Hooray for Nummi! We have to pass a backhoe, a tractor and cars to get to the airport. Then we see Nummi! In the airport! And then we go to another restaurant. I have more ice cream and don't go to bed until 9:00. Mother's Day is lots of fun.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Good Morning!

Hope everyone has a great day!

Friday, May 02, 2008

Straight From the Toddler's Mouth

I feel that our adventures have left the stories of the J man a bit lacking these days. So here are some of the wonderful things he has been saying lately:

Greeting me in the morning:
Hiiiiiiyyyy (it's hard to spell expression)! I told you Mommy would come back!

When seeing Daddy's car in the driveway:
Of course! I told you Daddy would come back. He brought his pocketbook home from the office.

Figuring out how to select a cd, and hit the search button a number of times to get the song he wants: I did it! I did it! Hooray for J! It is much fun!

On finding that the train was not on the tracks again:

Where did the train go? To Poland, not Chinese.

On eating pancakes for breakfast this morning:
It's not bad this time. Thank you, Mommy.

On playing golf in the backyard:
Grandpa told J get one hole in.

On finding a ladybug in the park:
Let me see! I love him.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Things Are Not Always What They Seem

I must thank everyone who sent flea death wishes my way. Your thoughts were so powerful that you were able to change the fleas into a completely different species of pest. That's right, folks. Turns out we didn't have fleas and all of that cleaning was for nothing. Well, I guess it wasn't for nothing, but it was overkill.

How did this happen? When I was still seeing a lot of activity after the third day, I called the pest company to ask if this was normal. They told me that it was normal, but this seemed a bit excessive, so they would send someone out to take a look. A supervisor came to my door and without even looking at what we still had, chuckled and told me I didn't have fleas, but springtails instead.

Have you ever felt relief and anger all at the same time? Well, it paralyzed me so that I didn't even know what to say to the guy. After a few minutes, I asked some questions, like what is a springtail? How do you know I have springtails and not fleas? What do you mean the guy that came last week didn't think I had fleas and sprayed my house anyway? What do you mean he's a trainee? Why didn't he call and ask someone if he wasn't sure before he went ahead with an unnecessary treatment? I expressed my concern about having a child in the house, as well as my displeasure at doing all of the cleanup work I'd been doing for the past 5 days. Basically all the guy did was apologize and tell me about springtails. So in case anyone is interested:

Springtails are tiny insects (about the same size as fleas) that come out in search of water. They live in nests and enter homes through window cracks, drain pipes, foundation cracks, etc. They are completely harmless and jump like fleas due to a mechanism in their tail that acts like a flea. They are more than a nuisance because of the numbers that they often appear when they entera home (this would explain why we found tons of them on our curtains and floors, baseboards and windowsills. Springtails can be found all over the country and are often mistaken for fleas.

So that's pretty much the short version of the story here. I have a few letters to write to the BBB, as I am outraged that this company would allow a trainee, who is obviously incompetent, to go ahead and perform chemical treatments in people's homes. I used the analogy to the supervisor that my husband is a dentist and if someone comes in and says they need a root canal, he does tests to see if that's true. If the tests do not agree that such a treatment is needed, he doesn't go ahead with it just because the patient thinks he needs one. And since I expressed such concern about putting down such chemicals with a child in the house, you would think that the technician would have taken that extra minute to make a phone call and ask someone if he wasn't sure about the job he was supposed to do. People just don't value the work they do. Either way, someone will be paying for my carpets to be cleaned and I will not use this company for services in the future. I'm also going to stock up on some organic goods to deal with a flea problem on my own if I have to (hopefully not, though!) sometime later on.

On the bright side, we're very happy that we don't have to vacuum everyday. And J is so excited that all of his toys did not get put away because they are for babies.