Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Monday, December 20, 2010
Here's Pink admiring what a midnight frenzy and some washable markers can do:
I think Blue might have been onto me, but once he saw his beloved York peppermint patties, he forgot to delve deeper into the mystery of the footprints:
Saturday, December 11, 2010
"My Mama always said, 'Life was like a box of chocolates; you never know what you're gonna get.'"
The constant search for unique Christmas letter themes ended with this series of famous movie quotes. What can we say, it seemed like a good idea at the time.
"Frankly, my dear, I don't give a %$&*!"
Pink turned 2 in January of this year, and has developed a bit of an attitude. A pint sized cutie with a Texas-sized attitude. She likes to speak in complete sentences, annoy her brother, and dress up with accessories. We love her spunk, we’re not so in love with her ignoring us when we ask her to do something.
"Toto, I've got a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore."
We’re still adjusting to life in Texas – this year we had a run in with the local pests. While planting a garden this spring, Red was bitten on the hand by some fire ants. Normally, this would lead to a couple of uncomfortable, itchy welts that go away in a few days. Unfortunately for Red, these fire ants hadn’t brushed their teeth, so the bites got infected, and he had to go to the emergency room for intravenous antibiotics. We were also fortunate to have Oma and Opa visit for Easter – they were smart enough to get out of town before the 110 degree weather hit in August, although Oma’s visit in September was still mighty toasty. For a change of pace, we took the kids to Utah for Thanksgiving and got snowed on – over and over again. They got their wish to go sledding and build a snowman, but after the excitement of owning snow boots wore off, they were done with the cold weather.
"Go ahead, make my day"
Blue had a friend birthday party this year, and what a day it was! Blue turned 5, and had a marvelous time dressing everyone up as a pirate and eating pirate ship birthday cake. Green had a great time planning the party, and can’t wait to have another birthday. As an added bonus, Blue’s great-grandparents were able to be here for the party, and did their part to make the event a success.
"What we've got here...is failure to communicate."
Green attempted to spiff up our communication by attending the BlogHer Conference in New York City this summer with Vermilion. The conference was a whole lot of fun, but whether this blog is actually better because of it is debatable. Green also keeps busy with her church calling in Primary, and loves working with the kids and watching them learn and grow.
"Houston, we have a problem."
Well, not so much of a problem, but certainly a frequent visitor. Red continues to work with the Department of Justice, and spends a good deal of his time traveling back and forth to Houston. He is grateful for the opportunity to work in a field, and at a job, he enjoys.
"I feel the need—the need for speed!"
For the first time in 10 years, Red bought a new car. His Volvo, dubbed “Meatball” by the kids, is providing much commuting enjoyment. In other speedy news, Green has been experiencing the true suburban mom commute – running Blue to preschool five days a week and Pink to various activities and classes.
"Have fun storming the castle!"
We introduced Pink and Blue to Cinderella’s castle this spring at Disneyworld, and all had the time of our lives. The kids had a great time on the rides and meeting characters, and the parents enjoyed themselves too!
"There's no crying in baseball!"
There is, however, crying in soccer. Blue played summer and fall soccer this year, and after the first game, where about 80% of the time was spent crying, he finished the year really enjoying himself. Pink has started taking ballet and tap class, and although her dancing skills are pretty minimal, she loves having a big girl activity to go to every week. Red continues to improve his golf game every chance he gets. Green has started taking piano lessons, and feels like she is making good progress.
"I'll be back."
Wishing you all the best for a joyous Christmas Season, and wonderful 2011.
Sunday, October 31, 2010
Saturday, October 30, 2010
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Friday, October 22, 2010
Monday, October 18, 2010
Sunday, October 17, 2010
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
Sunday, October 3, 2010
Thursday, September 23, 2010
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Thursday, September 2, 2010
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
Monday, August 30, 2010
At least he let me take a first day of school picture!
Pink can't help but be part of the action. She spent all morning asking if she could go to preschool too. I told her to wait until next year, and then took her grocery shopping (hooray, one kid at the grocery store!) and to story time. I think she enjoyed the one-on-one time with mom, but she clearly missed her big brother.
The first day went well, Blue came out of school smiling and happy, with a backpack full of preschool homework (which roughly translates to mother/son craft projects with a theme), and an assignment to get a bigger backpack (the one he had didn't fit a full-sized folder appropriately). We did some of the homework today, and we have more for tomorrow. We did manage to score a 50% off backpack at Target this afternoon, and it has lots of extra space for a hot glue gun - just in case we need it for all those craft projects...maybe father does know best.
Sunday, August 29, 2010
To Blue, it's a big deal - preschool every day, more responsibilities, new shoes...
Apparently to his parents, not so much. When putting Blue to bed today, I thought we should check on his wardrobe choices for tomorrow. Good thing I did, or he would be making his Pre-K debut in hand-me-down seersucker shorts (which he loves, but probably aren't the nicest thing in his closet). After starting the laundry, it occurred to me to assemble his backpack, which doesn't really need to have much in it - other than a change of clothes, which, as I mentioned, are currently being laundered. Red, ever the helpful one, decides to help pack the backpack - by inserting a hot glue gun.
Me: "What are you doing?"
Red: "This will be the first time a preschool teacher looks in a backpack and says, 'what the $#%^@?"
Me, laughing uncontrollably: "Please don't help anymore"
It's 11:30pm. Our day starts in about 6 hours. Am I sleeping? Nope, blogging. Someone help us all.
Monday, August 16, 2010
Yesterday, Red and I were comparing schedules for the week, and realized that he would be leaving Monday morning at 6am, and not be returning until 10pm. Additionally, I was planning to have 5 extra kids in the house, some for several hours. We decided that Monday should be renamed "Momday". And any good renaming should have a theme song:
MOMday MOMday, so good to me,
MOMday MOMday, it was all I hoped it would be
Oh MOMday morning, MOMday morning couldn't guarantee
That MOMday evening you would still be here with me.
MOMday MOMday, can't trust that day,
MOMday MOMday, sometimes it just turns out that way
Oh MOMday morning, you gave me no warning of what was to be
Oh MOMday MOMday, how could you leave and not take me.
Every other day, every other day,
Every other day of the week is fine, yeah
But whenever MOMday comes, but whenever MOMday comes
You can find me cryin' all of the time
Honestly, now that it's over, MOMday wasn't really that bad. Lots of kids, lots of fun, very few problems...except for the completely trashed kitchen that I will now go remedy.
Saturday, August 14, 2010
Red (looking at a sign for a new restaurant): "Best Thai" - hm, that's a little presumptuous, don't you think?
Green: How do you know? Maybe "Best" is their last name.
Red: Yeah, sure - the famous Best family of Thailand. Maybe later we could try out "Shapiro Thai".
Green: Or "Rogers Vietnamese" - you never know.
Mostly, I just feel sorry for our children. How are they ever going to be useful adults if this is the kind of conversations they hear every day?
She seems to have been sinistral (what a horrible name) from birth, always turning her head to left when she slept, and sucking her left thumb. As she has grown, she uses her left hand to color, use a fork, and punch her brother. She may be a true leftie - using her left hand also to hold a tennis racket and swing a golf club.
We are delving into the world of the left handed, searching for child-safe, left-handed scissors, and realizing that most things, including spiral bound notebooks and wristwatches are made for the right-handed.
Until a few days ago, I didn't realize there was a Left-Handed Holiday; yet, here it is, August 13th. Funny with the whole sinister/13 reference. We celebrated today by coloring left handed and punching our brother.
Happy Lefthanders Day to all those out there trying to use a mouse the opposite way, or just to those that love them.
Thursday, August 12, 2010
Check out the contest, and the rest of Mundane Magic (including awesome posts on kids and technology) right here:
Saturday, August 7, 2010
When Red and I lived here, we always saw the view of the skyline from the top of the world trade center because 1) it was the tallest building and 2) (and probably, most importantly, because we're cheap) we got a discount because Red worked in the building. Last night, I saw the view from the top of Rockefeller Center. Still impressive. As we headed back to the hotel around 11:30pm, we saw two enormous lines of people on the street. Figuring they had to be gathered for something fabulous, we took a closer look. To our amazement, we had managed to run into The Halal Guys, serving fabulous food from a truck for $6. Topped off with a cupcake from The Magnolia Bakery, the perfect midnight dinner.
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
Things I need to finish:
1. Clean out my car - heaven forbid something happen to me and someone else has to deal will all those cracker crumbs.
2. Laundry - it's not enough to decide what to wear; it actually has to be clean, too.
3. Re-evaluate the shoe situation - I can't possibly need this many pairs of shoes for 3 days.
4. Toenails - enough said.
5. Find and pack chargers - why does every electronic device require a different charger? Can't we all just get along here?
6. Clear off my desk space - this stuff is completely out of control and buried in here somewhere are all the bills - who wants to come home to this?
7. Think about what to do in my time off - it's New York City, and I want to make the most of every minute!
8. Stop worrying about leaving so much - before the kids were born, I traveled for work all the time, so I know what to expect when I leave Red on his own (a weird number of Taco Bell meals and him staying up way too late, as well as strange organizational frenzies that might leave my closet bare), but I've never left Red and the kids alone for more than about 3 or 4 hours. Crazy, huh? Never, not a girls' weekend, not a long shopping trip, nothing. I am sure they can handle it, but 4 days with no mom - anything could happen here.
Things I have already managed to do:
1. Fill the house with kid-friendly, low-cooking foods - so what if they live on cereal bars and fruit snacks for a few days...and I included Oreos, not because the kids like them, but because Red loves them, and experience shows that a happy parent leads to happy children (at least, that's how it works with me).
2. Restore some order to the kids' rooms - and do enough laundry that they should at least have something to wear every day until I get back.
3. Resist the urge to make an hour-by-hour comprehensive list of activities for those 4 days - they really will be okay without an exacting timetable of soccer practice/swimming lesson/meal schedules, right? RIGHT????
Saturday, July 31, 2010
Normally, not a whole lot, but today, through an unusual sequence of events, they were all part of our Saturday.
We started the day innocently enough - Red speed mowed the lawn while the kids and I ran to the donut store for breakfast so that we could make it to Blue's soccer game on time and in full sugar high. After soccer, we took advantage of a generous agreement we have with our neighbors - we take care of their fish and collect the mail, and they let us use their pool while they are out of town. Since we were only planning to be in the pool for 30 minutes, and we only walk across our back alley to get there, we didn't put on sunscreen, didn't take an extra swim diaper, and decided to just go out the garage, and thus, not take any keys with us.
While in the pool, we notice that the power has gone out in the neighborhood. We didn't think anything of this, and finished our swim. Back at the garage, we plugged the code into the garage door opener (knowing full well that it is new and had a battery backup for power outages), and nothing happened (so much for the battery). We ran into a neighbor who told us the power was supposed to be back on in about an hour, so we figured we'd just swim a little longer. An hour later, no power, and a chat with the now-onsite crew says that we'll be out for a while. A frantic knocking on some doors to find someone, anyone home, leads us to a person with a cell phone willing to call a locksmith. We wait, and we wait. The kids are hot, tired, and hungry. The adults are too. We wait some more. Finally, 2 locksmiths show up. On the bright side, it turns out that our house is incredibly difficult to break into. On the less than bright side, we've been outside now for about 4 hours when they finally get into the house.
To soothe our fried nerves and fried bodies, we decide that since we can't cook and have no A/C, we'll have dinner at our favorite German deli - because, really, what doesn't say, "wow, we've had a crazy day" like ending it with sauerkraut. To Pink's extreme amusement, there was live music in the restaurant - lucky us, the accordion player knew all the notes to Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.
(sorry this guy is sideways, I didn't realize I wasn't supposed to turn the phone that direction - it's been a long day)
Friday, July 30, 2010
The morning conversation went like this. I started by asking Green for a smaller than usual breakfast.
"I've been travelling and that is never good for my waistline."
Green consoled me with a "don't worry, a few days of reasonable eating and you'll be fine."
Off to work I go. Sitting at my desk - minding my own business - and a paralegal asks "Red, have you had a Tootsie's cinnamon roll?" I indicate that I haven't and she insists it is a must try. We walk a short distance to a nondescript cafe and I order a cinnamon roll and wait.
From the rack the attendant pulls the above "Texas sized" loaf of bread being peddled as a cinnamon roll. After a few minutes of warming in what looks like a pizza oven, she
I snapped the above photo and sent it to Green with the tag line "so much for reasonable." Aside from the hallucinogenic sugar high throughout the day, it was quite good. I saved a portion to share the love with Green, Pink, and Blue when I got home.
Here's hoping I can practice better self-control this weekend. If not, I will be the fat guy in Tootsie's screaming at the attendant to "JUST GIVE ME THE PITCHER AND NOBODY GETS HURT."
Thursday, July 29, 2010
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Guess they're all happy to be together again after a long day.
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
A rainbow does not actually exist at a particular location in the sky. Its apparent position depends on the observer's location and the position of the Sun. All raindrops refract and reflect the sunlight in the same way, but only the light from some raindrops reaches the observer's eye. This light is what constitutes the rainbow for that observer. The position of a rainbow in the sky is always in the opposite direction of the Sun with respect to the observer, and the interior is always slightly brighter than the exterior. The bow is centred on the shadow of the observer's head, or more exactly at the antisolar point (which is below the horizon during the daytime), appearing at an angle of 40–42° to the line between the observer's head and its shadow. As a result, if the Sun is higher than 42°, then the rainbow is below the horizon and usually cannot be seen as there are not usually sufficient raindrops between the horizon (that is: eye height) and the ground, to contribute.
Monday, July 26, 2010
Sunday, July 25, 2010
When I came across "How to Check A Microwave for Leaks" in my WikiHow feed the other day, I just couldn't wait to try it. The experiment is actually pretty simple, but I needed Red's help, so I had to wait all day before I could do it. Essentially, microwave radiation is on a very similar electromagnetic frequency as cell phone radiation, you can check a microwave for radiation leaks by putting your cell phone inside, closing the door, NOT TURNING ON THE MICROWAVE, and calling the phone. If it rings, the microwave is not properly insulated against leaks. Simple enough.
When Red came home from work, and we had the kids in bed, I told him I was going to put my phone in the microwave and that he should call it. Once I told him I wasn't going to turn it on, he wiped the "you have lost your mind" look off his face and replaced it with his "you're just as crazy as always" eyeroll, and we were in business.
Experiment ended when we didn't hear the phone ring, the voicemail picked up, and there was no record of a missed call. Guess we're safe from those electromagnetic waves after all. Of course, there's no real evidence that low levels of microwave radiation are dangerous, but whatever.
As an added bonus, I now know that I can throw my phone in the microwave if I don't want to hear it ring (yes, I know I could just turn the ring tone off, or the phone off completely, but that's way too easy).
Anybody out there just put their phone in the microwave?
Friday, July 23, 2010
Today when we got in the car, the radio was tuned to a station I listen to on the way to work out at 5:45am. Imagine Lady Gaga and Usher and the like - it helps wake me up. I wasn't really paying attention as we were driving until about 5 minutes later, when the request comes from Blue in the back seat, "Mom, can you turn on Figaro?" And Pink chimes in with, "That's my favorite!" Shhhh, nobody tell them it's not cool.
Thursday, July 22, 2010
Is it that Bosch builds an awesome dishwasher? Maybe. It certainly is quiet.
Is it that the dishwasher tabs I use have the extra built in powerball? Probably not.
The massive amounts of jet dry? Nah.
The precise chemical composition of Texas municipal water? I don't think so.
I think the reason I believe that my dishwasher is such a marvel of cleaning technology has nothing to do with the dishwasher itself,
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Oh well, parenting is about happy little moments, not a strictly kept meal and naptime schedule, right?
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Of course, we also had to get used to the unusual orientation of the traffic lights. See that left turn signal with 5 lights? One red, one yellow arrow, one green arrow, one solid yellow, and one solid green. Some signals around here add even one more, with a double red. No wonder I'm always lost, I'm too busy trying to figure out if I can turn left or not. If this weren't enough to keep me inside, we are also very close to the Interstate 35 twins: I-35E and I-35W, which wouldn't be confusing at all, except that they both run north/south.
Some days, I decide it's easier to just walk.
Monday, July 19, 2010
Since it's all over until I can find a more permanent studio for her, here are the pics:
The only two little girls who made it through the whole class:
Sunday, July 18, 2010
PeeWee Ultimate Shin Guards: $10
Telling stories of his first soccer game where he cried through 80% of it: Priceless.
Blue played his first soccer game on Saturday. As might be expected with a 3 and 4 year old league, there were lots of tears, very few rules, and lots of adults encouraging kids to "just try your best, you'll get a turn to kick the ball."
Most of the tears were soothed by the post-game snack with friends, and the report from Blue himself was that he had a great time and even scored a goal (really? I remember multiple requests to go home - and he did score 2 goals - one for us, and one for the other team). Good thing this is so informal. By league rules, no one is allowed to mention a score, the parents are allowed to trot along on the field, and the "official" tries to make sure each kid gets a chance to kick the ball.
With all of the anguish, why is he putting himself through this, you might ask. Well, her nickname is Pretzel, and we happen to think she's pretty cute. As an added bonus, she also plays tennis in his same clinic.
And the best part of all of this? I have to shop for a new whistle this week; Red (who knows nothing of soccer, and didn't watch one minute of the world cup) had been recruited as assistant coach. He sure must love that little boy.