Taking the good with the bad.

As sad as I am about leaving our life and our friends in California, there are a few things that I will absolutely NOT miss. These are on my top 5 most un-missable things right at this moment:

One: the cigarette smoke that blows in my kitchen window every single night. Everyone who lives in our complex is a Caltech student (read:a nerd or from a foreign country). They are great neighbors for the most part. Except the apartment manager and his family. They really aren’t bad neighbors. In fact their youngest (who is 5) is Connor’s absolute favorite person to play with (besides his real best friend and future wife Malia…) Anyway, the manager also have an older daughter who is 18 and likes to smoke. A lot. She is considerate enough to leave the courtyard and sit on the steps outside. But unfortunatelly, our kitchen window is right above the steps. We like to blow the crisp, cool, California night air in through a window fan, so she really might as well be smoking in our apartment. When our living room fills with smoke, we know it’s time to turn the fan so it blows out instead of in.

Two: The (insert explictive) street sweepers, firetrucks, rice burners, and…my personal favorite… souped up motorized scooters. Could there BE anymore traffic noise?! Why do people think that the louder the car, the cooler you are? I just don’t get it. The scooter is really my favorite though. It is so freaking loud!! I don’t know what he did to it, but wow. It will wake me up out of a dead sleep 9 times out of 10. And don’t forget the street sweepers. I guess our street must be really dirty because they must drive by 5 or 6 times at about 4:00 a.m. Tuesday mornings. And, the fire station. Connor’s beloved fire station. It will be so nice when my kids can take an afternoon nap without sirens waking them up.

Three: The helicopters that constantly circle. This comes with living 1 block from a major freeway. If you know anything about California traffic then you understand the need for the helicopters. They must monitor the traffic and the accidents. And it’s bad every single day.

Four The rediculously dry air. It’s not always bad but it sure is right now. My eyes hurt, my lips are super chapped, and the inside of my nose is screaming for some moisture.

Five: The most obvious. The traffic, the price of gas and groceries, and the attitude of an overwhelming majority of people. The “I’m too important to even brother glancing up at you even though we are both out walking and passing within a foot of each other on the sidewalk” attitude. It really bugs me that when I walk with the boys, most people we pass just flat out ignore us. Even if I say hi they don’t respond. What gives?

Dear Connor

As I sat tonight next to your bed holding your hand and rubbing your sweet little belly, I couldn’t help but think how little you are still. Most of the time, I treat you like your big. Our daily conversations always include something about being a big boy. You walk up the stairs by yourself, you buckle yourself in your carseat, you take off your own shoes and socks (which can be a little annoying since I never know where you put them!) I don’t have to cut up your food up anymore, you talk in complete sentences, you play outside by yourself. You wear size 4 clothes and you’re completely potty trained. But, you are just a little boy. Just two years old. I guess really almost three now. But still so little!

I’m glad I got to baby you a little bit tonight. I’m sad that you are sick, but I am thankful for the reminder that you are still my little boy. You still need your mommy. These days, you are all about your daddy. But tonight, feverish and obviously uncomfortable, you wanted daddy to tell you your firetruck stories, but you wanted mommy to hold your hand and rub your tummy until you fell asleep. Thanks for the reminder tonight that you are still little. My precious little boy. My first. I love you!

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I’m quirky

I think it’s been far too long since I did a post only about myself. So, here are just a few random facts about me…

-I contantly touch my face. I catch myself all the time picking at my lips, pulling on my ears, or picking at my zits when I have them (like right now-yuck!)
-For some reason, I always wait until I am literally about to pee my pants before I go to the bathroom. I’m like a little kid. I just hate to stop whatever I’m doing right that second.
-I have a dimple in one of my earlobes. People ask me all the time if it’s another piercing. It makes a little triangle between my two ear piercings.
-I hate the way clutter looks, but I also hate cleaning up clutter. See the problem? I’m hoping when we move to get the clutter problem under control. I think part of the problem is 4 people living in 800 sq. feet.
-I love grocery shopping. Especailly at Trader Joes. And I love shopping with coupons at the regular grocery store.
-I can’t go to bed at night unless I clean up the kitchen. I hate dirty counters.
-I can’t sleep with the closet door wide open. This is mostly because it doesn’t leave much space between it and the bed. And I might walk into it during the night.
-One of my favorite sandwiches is cream cheese and green olives.
-I eat the same thing for breakfast every morning (in spurts-it’s been oatmeal for about the past month) but I can’t stand to eat the same thing for lunch and dinner two days in a row.
-Whenever my nose is stopped up, I like to stick a kleenex up there and leave it there. For some reason that feels really good.

That’s all I can think of right now, although I am sure there are many, many more.

On a totally different note, I did a little bit of scrapping this weekend. I’m pretty happy with how both of them turned out, so I thought they needed a place on my blog.

Our little Logie B.
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And, probably the most disgusting picture I’ve ever seen of Connor. Nice snot rocket, kid!
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Slow down…

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The past several days I’ve had that Jack Johnson song in my head where the chorus says "Slow down everyone, you’re moving to fast…" It always reminds me of going to get Connor at the hospital. He had to stay in the NICU for 4 days after he was born. When we finally got the call that he was ready to come home we were so excited. We rushed out the door and rused to the hospital as fast as we could. But, we must have gotten stopped at every single red light. It was crazy-it seriously took us so long to get to the hospital. And that song was playing on the radio…pretty ironic.

Anyway, I’ve had that song in my head again and it’s all because I slowed down the other day. Connor spends a lot of time playing outside and most days I keep an eye on him from inside while cleaning up or just doing the mundane everyday things that seem to have taken over my life lately. But a few days ago I went outside and played with Connor. I pushed him in the swing, dug in the dirt with him, watched him meticulously line up his trucks, obseved him inspecting a muddy leaf, and just marveled at him enjoying life. What a gift to slow down and watch my boy play. So simple, so happy, and exactly what I needed to do. I have promised myself that I am going to slow down more and play. Who cares if my floors aren’t perfect? Who cares if I haven’t dusted in awhile? Who cares if we eat tacos and spaghetti all the time because they only take 30 minutes to make? That stuff isn’t important. What’s important right now is watching my boys grow and play. Because all too soon they won’t be little anymore.

In my head

I wrote this last night and then had a little computer catastrophe, so I am posting it this morning…

First of all, how good was Lost tonight?!! I love that show and I think I will love this season as much as the first.

Logan is mysteriously sick. He’s been a little fussy the past few days, but nothing too crazy. This morning when he woke up I noticed he was a little hot. Sure enough he had a fever of 101. Nothing too major. A little later he still had the same fever so I gave him some tylenol. It brought the fever down and I didn’t really think much of it. He isn’t acting sick at all-he’s not overly cranky, he isn’t pulling his ear, he’s basically just happy. At 3:00 this afternoon I took his temp again and this time it was 103. So I called the doctor and we went right in. He doens’t have an ear infection, his chest is clear, and the doctors couldn’t find any obvious reason for the fever. So they sent us over to the lab to draw some blood. His doctor called tonight and his white blood count is up so he definately has an infection of some sort. We headed back to the office tomorrow morning, unless his fever gets worse in which case we are headed to the ER. Not good. I have a feeling I won’t be sleeping much tonight…And any prayers would be appreciated. I’m pretty sure that it’s going to end up being nothing, but there is still that little voice inside that worries it’s something serious. That’s a pretty high fever for such a little guy.

Update on Logie B: He slept great last night (although I was up a few times to feel his forehead) He doesn’t have a fever this morning. I’m still going to keep an eye on him, but I think whatever he had is gone.

It rained today

It rained. Very unusal for September in Cali. Not only did it rain, but it thundered. Thunder actually woke me up last night! Do you know how many times I have heard thunder since moving here almost 6 years ago? Two. Two pathetic thunderstorms in 6 years. Today makes three and I loved every single second of it. Well, maybe not every second. Maybe not this afternoon when Connor was going a little crazy. But luckily the rain stopped and the sun peeked out from behind the clouds. I decided that his clothes can be washed and I didn’t care if he got dirty. So outside he went. That kid loves to play outside. He just digs and drives and rides and swings. It’s fabulous for him and for me.

I hope it rains again soon. I love the rain.

Mi Familia

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Nothing quite like a family self portrait on a fun little family outing! On Saturday afternoon we decided to take advantage of city life. We rode the Metro train down to Best Buy. Connor absolutely loves this for two reasons: one, he just loves trains; and two, he loves when we walk and cross over the freeway. So many cars and trucks of all kinds! It’s very exciting, I tell ya!

It was actually a really fun little outing. I love doing little things like this as a family. Here is the pictoral version of the big train ride.


“I like them little”

The past few days Connor and I have been having the same conversation at nap time and it’s really been cracking me up.

Me:”Okay Connor, you remember the rules at rest time, right? Stay on your bed, play quietly with your toys, and when you eyes get heavy…”(Connor interupts)

Connor:”I wike dem widdle.”

Me:”Okay, just remember to play quietly and when your eyes get heavy, close them.”

Connor:”But I wike dem widdle” (Said this time while poking his eyes)

I couldn’t figure out why he kept saying he wanted his eyes little intead of open or even awake. So I told Derek this story today and he had a great insight into Connor’s mind.

Heavy things are big, so he wants his eyes little. I love how that kid’s mind works. So cute.

And along those same lines, I want my boys to stay little. They are just growing up so fast. All of the sudden, Connor can ride a bike with pedals, Logan can sit up and get all over the room by rolling, and he is eating food. Where has the time gone?

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I both love and hate coming home from vacation. Here is a breakdown of my love/hate relationship about coming home:

  • I hate unpacking.
  • I hate that even though I cleaned my house before we left it needs to be cleaned again because of the blanket of cat hair and California smut covering everything.
  • I hate that there is absolutely no food in the house so the first thing I have to do is go to the grocery store.
  • I hate looking at three weeks worth of junk mail.
  • I hate the general busyness that consumes the first few days home.

Now for what I love:

  • I love sleeping in my own bed again.
  • I love that Connor has so much fun playing with all his toys again-he’s really easy the first few days home because he just plays.
  • I love that both boys get back on their routine and naps and bedtime become easy again.
  • I love seeing my friends again.
  • I love seeing if any exciting mail came while I was gone.
  • I love the cool Cali temperatures-we are actually wearing pants!
  • I love catching up on all my shows that I tivoed while gone.
  • As great as it is visiting family, I am always happy to just be with my wonderful husband and kids.

So, all in all, it was a wonderful trip but I am happy to be home.

In a Nutshell

We are flying back to Arlington tomorrow and we have not bought a house. As it turns out, we are just too far in advance and that is complicated by the fact that Derek doesn’t know exactly when he will graduate. But the good news is we have found the area we want to live. We visited three different areas and the Clear Lake part of Houston is definately for us. Another good thing was we agree on what kind of house we want. We looked at 7 houses yesterday. Six of them were what I consider the classic “Texas House”. Brick, two stories, big open floor plan, and looks a lot like the neighbors house. A bit cookie-cutterish. This is the 7th house we looked at.

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Derek has been drawn to it since we first saw it online. I also thought it was cute (except for the coral shutters), but I was pretty sure that I wouldn’t like the inside. I find 70’s houses to be a little bit dark and closed in feeling. But I loved it on the inside. I loved how it was laid out. I loved that the formal living room would make a great playroom. I loved that there were several different areas that would make a great scrap space. I loved the big trees out front and in the back. And I loved the huge walk in closet and huge utility room. The only drawback was the little master bath. But I was willing to give up my jacuzzi tub for the rest of the house. I was just so excited walking through it, painting and decorating and laying out the furniture in my mind. There were a few reonvations we would need to do, but I was even excited about those.

But, since we would need the seller to be willing to wait three months to close, I didn’t really get my hopes up. And it’s a good thing because someone else has made an offer today. So unless that falls through and it’s still on the market when we come back in 6 weeks, it won’t be our home.

However, I learned something on this trip. I like homes with character. I like trees. I like a big utility room. And those are now three very important features that I will look for when it comes time to buy our home for real. This was almost like the practice run in preparation for the real thing. I can’t wait!