Tuesday, February 26, 2008

There ith thomthing mithing...

FINALLY Jacob's first loothe tooth hath fallen (been pulled) out! He is tho exthited!

I can't believe that my baby is old enough to have a gaping hole in his mouth where his tiny little tooth had been. Oh, my world is spinning - next thing you know he will have a girlfriend, be going off to college, be starting his first job, have a family of his own... Eesh, I am getting ahead of myself.

I so rarely find myself getting sentimental about the growing up of my children. I am usually so grateful for the changes that they show as they move out of one stage of their lives and into another. Even when Jacob went to Kindergarten for his first day I didn't shed a tear. But here we are, first lost tooth, and I am hearing my dad's voice doing his retainer routine slurping and lisping and I am amused by my own version of this now. I am creeping up the thairs laughing at mythelf with a little pain in my chetht as I do my obligatory tooth fairy duties. Big sigh... My baby ith growing up.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Our Visit to Town Lake Park

We decided that in moving to the Austin area we should experience Austin. Since we have been here 7 months and still didn't know exactly what that entailed we enlisted the help of our Austinite friends (who of course came from somewhere else also - nobody's from here, really) from church that we enjoy spending time with. Since one of them works at the Capital Building and the other works on UT's campus we figured we had the right tour guides for our own city. We were right. Saturday's activities led us to Town Lake Park a fantastic representation of what is good about Austin. Loaded with families, dogs, hills to climb, water features, spectacular architecture and plenty of great views of the lake and city this was the place to be on a sunny Saturday afternoon. Our kids ran around so much that by the end of our picnic in the park day they were all pooped out. And we enjoy these friends so much we went out again with them Sunday after church to another Austin favorite - Amy's Ice Cream and Phil's Ice House. We are hitting all the hot spots - sorry no pics of Amy's.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

My clever husband:

This is my husband's latest project to help contain my obsessions. It is built on our kitchen counter in the corner and in no way alters the actual counter or cupboard. Pretty impressive. Plus, if you didn't notice there are a few spaces missing a bottle - guess I need more wine :-)

Saturday, February 16, 2008

The "Little" issue...

So, Brian and I have had a year and some change long argument about a certain member of our household - "Little Dog". I adopted this disaster from a gas station (I know - my first mistake) when some man holding him handed him over all too quickly and I took him. He was so cute-ish as a tiny puppy and I loved carrying him around in the doggy purse. Brian didn't want him then and after a year plus, nothing has changed.

Since his cute-ish days "Little" has become only slightly less little but makes up for his size by the size of Brian's disdain for him. I will give Brian this: the dog occasionally (more often that I'd like to admit) relieves himself in one of the children's bedrooms, steals cat poop out of the litter box, finds ALL of Jacob's erasers and chews them up, paws incessantly at you for attention, and yaps at a pitch we are unaccustomed to. All of this combinded with the fact that he is terribly ugly this dog is high on Brian's list of things to hate. I, on the other hand, given all these things, still have a soft spot in my heart for this stupid mutt. I also have a terrible time letting go of things, especially pets which I believe are part of the family.

To appease my dear husband and perhaps find a solution to our never ending "Little" issue I was surfing on Craigslist for someone looking for a dog. I jokingly said to Brian, "I looked on Craigslist and nobody seems to be looking for a ugly little dog that poops in the house and eats cat poop." And bless her little heart, Reba chimes in with, "Can we get it?"

I thought the whole thing was hysterical. Brian thought it was about the unfunniest thing that ever happened. Anyway, if you know anyone looking for the above described "Little Dog" please let me know. Seriously.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

I got a red pot

Here's my new pot - a gift for my birthday! Isn't this exciting? It's like THE pot - so shiny. Le Creuset - French for expensive really nice pot. I can't wait to use it. Soup maybe... or chili (this is Texas).
(Green sweater people - you know who you are - this blog title was for you)

Her Highness' Birthday

From beginning to end, Reba's 4th birthday. Notice the Princess crown with the jammies (before we even had breakfast), the royal party at school, and the special dinner with friend Benjamin - who cracks me up! Jacob took it like a champ and bowed down for most of the evening. The dolls are a gift from him - note Reba hugging him. He argued that one could never have too many babies. We only had a few tears right before bed when Jacob wished it wasn't so long until his birthday. Hang in there, kid. Reba might allow you to share her throne.

Things we miss (besides people)

A couple of pictures to illustrate what I miss about So Cal (given, of course that these are only things and truly what I really miss are friends and family). The first pic is my choice - the mountains. I took this shot from the Ontario Airport on what must have been the most lovely day So Cal has ever seen (I don't remember it being this smog free). The second picture is Jacob's choice - actually his only request of me last week while I was in CA for two days, "Take a picture of Souplantation for me, Mom." Got it dude, here you go.

Monday, February 11, 2008

The Birthday Post

Another year older... I am actually 29 this year - for real - the real 29. I have had mixed reaction to the "it's my 29th birthday" comment. Either people are floored that I am that old - usually strangers, or I get the nudge nudge wink wink, yeah right response. REALLY I am 29. And you know what? I love it. 29 is a good year.

I was grateful this year to get to spend the days leading up to my birthday with my Mom and Dad (and an evening with Grandma) back in CA. I went back to teach sex ed and health promotion to the elementary children at my mother's new school and had the added benefit of staying with the folks for my quick trip.

Two days there and I was already on a plane back to TX on my birthday where my children had made me a party hat and decorated our entrance with streamers. Gotta love the enthusiasm of kids regarding birthdays. They had made me cards and though the messages were written from right to left the sentiment was lovely (the fact they could both write at all was impressive).

Brian had planned to make me dinner but had forgotten (though reminded several times) that we would be eating with our friends in order to celebrate a combined birthday event. My baby Claire - that I babysat from the time she was just months old - turned 14. Which means we have now known this family for more than half of my lifetime. A blessing I don't take lightly. The dinner was fabulous and the company was even better. I could not have thought of a better way to spend my 29th birthday. (I got the dinner Sunday night instead.)

So, here's to another year passed and many more to share with you down the road. I am embracing 29 for everything it means (whatever that is). And you know what? I am looking forward to 30 with just as much enthusiasm.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

She can rock it!

This is why they call her Rock Star Reba at pre-school.

The Quilt Tutor

I finally took advantage of the sage advice of Grandma Dentist (Donna) the "Quilt Tutor". Donna just lives minutes away from me and I consider her a quilting guru. She has a house full of quilts - literally there is a quilt on every wall and every surface. Her kitchen table has a quilt for a table cloth. She has made several quilts for every family member. She makes small quilts for Linus Project. And she has a trunk full of quilts she has made and doesn't use! She even has historical quilts and taught me the value of labeling your quilt with it's history. She has set me straight on several occasions when I needed expert advice. Donna, like me, is a nurse and I think this helps me understand her instruction just a little bit better. I went over last Thursday and learned SO much.

First I took my machine manual over for her to inspect and educate me on what is what. Apparently I got a good deal for a fairly inexpensive machine that was intended as a back up. GREAT! I can even lower the feed dogs and free quilt - I had no idea. This is the kind of good info Donna gives me. I have some great stitch capability and she showed me on her quilts what I might use them for. FANTASTIC!

I also learned to bind my quilts like a pro (instead of the haphazard way I was doing it) and will post a tutorial on that later. First I have to complete a quilt to bind. I have been on hiatus for a while. Feeling a little uninspired by my fabric collection...

Meanwhile check out what I did with my quilting foot... Cool huh?!? I am making an apron for Brian's birthday out of the orange fabric. I was practicing his name to see if I could personalize it a little more. Seems like since we moved to Austin Brian is all about orange. Just getting into the Longhorns spirit, I guess. Hook 'em horns!
**Disclaimer** Blogger's spell checker is not working. If something is grossly misspelled - well, now you know, I can't spell.


I was fully preparing an "Ode to Q " post in memory of our lost cat Q. He was a part of our family since Jacob's first birthday. At times we questioned our sanity on inviting this wild eyed white kitten into our home as he manically ran around our then rented duplex. Then as he grew into a cat we again wondered what we were thinking as he was LARGE, hard to keep clean, and completely unpredictable.

I am not a cat person. And yet over the last 7 months he has truly grown on me. Our move to Texas was rough on him. You should have heard the noises he was making from his crate. He was not happy. But he made it. After a near poisoning by fire ant bait not long after we got here we were sure he was a gonner - one life down. Then he disappeared for 5 days and we were about to write him off when we heard a meow at our door - Q had made it back (from Kitty camp is what we told the kids). Then Kudjo moved in next door and although I am 89% sure the dog didn't eat my cat - I am pretty sure Q finally felt like enough was enough. He left right before Christmas and never came back.

Brian and I have posted signs, run ads on Craigslist and put out the word with the local shelters that we were missing our cat. No hits. We would hear phantom meows in the middle of the night and Brian would race to the door in his underwear to open it for... nothing. Sad, very sad.

Then last week the kids were getting into bed and Jacob shouts down that he heard something outside - "like a meow!" I raced outside to find... not Q. A calico little kitty had been hanging out around the house a couple of days ago and I figured her to be a neighbor's cat. But here she was outside - it was dark, surely she would have been brought inside by now. I brought out some food (we kept just in case) and she chowed down like she hadn't eaten in days. I brought her inside knowing it was likely to freeze that night.

Well, that was the end of that. We kept putting her back outside during the day and she kept coming back in. We have placed an ad on Craigslist for a found cat and called local shelters. Nobody is looking for her. Guess she's ours now. She is quickly assuming her feline throne in this household. She looks around from her high perch and I am certain she is thinking, "Suckers!" And I have to admit for not being a cat person, I am smitten.