30 March 2010

What You Don't See

I snapped this picture at about 9:30 this morning. Yesterday was officially Noble's last day at daycare. It wasn't what we'd planned, no, but it's what needed to happen. So I'm dealing with work stuff and pushing deadlines around and...dealing. Because as much as it is, this one's not about me.

Today's been a good day. I took this picture, though, because it captured one GREAT moment this morning...a morning that I hope will be representative of things to come. What you can't see is that he's just learned the concepts of "in" and "out," which was fun. You can't see him talking and telling me that he wants "blue playdoh"...practically a miracle, as he normally calls everything "yellow." But there's more that you can't see, which is really my point...

...I cropped the first picture so you couldn't see that he's in his diaper. What else can't you see? You can't see that he's wearing the shirt he wore to daycare yesterday. Yep. That's what he slept in--it was a rough evening and a rough morning, and changing his clothes was at the bottom of the priority list :). You also can't see that right after I took this picture, I asked if he was ready for a shower and he was...so he ran into the bathroom. I had to carry him back out to help me clean up the playdoh, but he'd already switched gears and wasn't having it. So I had to make him clean up (hand-over-hand...I didn't "force" him, that sounded bad). But it does get bad...because you also don't see him getting mad and dumping everything out of the basket. And you don't see me raising my voice and telling him "NO!!!!!!!!" And you don't see him throwing (yep, you read that right) the monkey's head after I told him "no!"

And...you get the point. You don't see exactly what I don't want you to see. That's the beauty of a blog, and facebook--I can show you the side of me I want you to see. But around here, we try to keep it real, because it doesn't do any of us any good for me to pretend I'm perfect or good at this stuff. Some days suck, and aren't so pretty to look at. Some days I get it pretty close to right, and that's a cool feeling. So expect some pictures of a dirty little boy running around in his diaper at 9:30 in the morning...that's real. And expect some posts about my learning curve as I learn--once again--to be a full-time Mommy and part-time Consultant. I haven't a clue how that last part's going to work, but it has to work. :)

So that's day one. Warts and all.

28 March 2010

Skating Lessons

Last night we took the kids skating for the first time. We've lived here almost 4 years now, and I've lost track of how many times we've been invited to skating parties...that coincided with weekends out of town, big life events, etc. So, that's how we made it this far without ever going. It was an eye-opening experience, in lots of ways.

Lesson #1: No matter where you go in life...

...some things never change. Skating rinks? One of those things.

Lesson #2: Sometimes we have to leave behind what's comfortable and try something new.

Lesson #3: New things? Not always as easy as they look.

(Hidden lesson #4 and change: Sometimes, you just have to let go so they can learn. Sometimes, the lesson is in the failing...in the hard things. Sometimes they have to learn that they have more to learn. Sigh.)

Lesson #5: It's hard when you're used to being good at most things,
and then you come up against something you're not so good at.

Lesson #6: That's even harder when it seems like EVERYONE else is good
at the thing that's hard for you. Even, heaven help us, the little kid.

Lesson #7: As we age, we forget to be fearless.

Lesson #8: Sometimes you need a hand up.

Lesson 9: And sometimes, you need a little more than that. (Thanks, Daddy!)

Lesson #10: When you forget to dwell on what's bugging you, you might just have a little fun.

Lesson #11: Sometimes, you just need to have a good cry. And a good talking-to. Because when you face what it is that's bringing you down...

Lesson #12: ...before you know it, you figure out a way to get around it. So you do.

Lesson #13: And before you know it, a good song comes on and you're having a great time, doing the hard thing that isn't so hard anymore.

...and you can't wait to go back and do it again.

26 March 2010

A New Adventure

I found this today on Tip Junkie/Executive Homemaker. It's a daily schedule for toddlers/preschoolers, and she also shares a very honest look at her days (TV time and all--gasp! Usually mommybloggers don't admit to using the shiny box...but I do. Have you MET Noble?). Anyway, why do I need a daily schedule? Isn't that what I do for a living?

Well, yes. But I find myself back at square one...for lots of reasons I'll probably go into later, we've decided to pull Noble out of daycare and keep him home with me. He just BLOSSOMS when he's here, and turns caveman after daycare. It's disheartening. So, there it is. Anyway, I haven't a clue what our days will look like after next Wednesday when he's here with me all day.

Enter Executive Homemaker. Curious yourself? Need a little more organization? Go check it out!

91 Steps

Does anyone else remember that Erasure song? It was the b-side of the "Blue Savannah" cassette single...it's instrumental, a little funky, a little long. But I loved it in High School, and it's been on my mind this week. Why, you ask?

Thanks for asking. That brings me to my post!

So...making changes, big and small. The biggest change, for me, sometimes, is just being AWARE of the choices I make and the reality of what I'm eating, my activity level, etc. These are things that I totally let slide when things get busy or stressful (which, hello, is pretty much every day for whatever reason). It's been an eye-opening couple of months for me as I've really looked at how many calories I'm taking in on a good--or a bad--day, how much time I actually spend moving, etc. Lots of etcs. this morning. Too early!

(last week...me chasing the kids!)

Anyway...last week woot! had pedometers one day. I've wanted one for a while, so James ordered one. I wore it for the first time on Wednesday...my thought was, I'd track myself every day and see how many steps I take on a commuting day (Wednesday), a MOPS day (Thursday), a regular workout day (today), the weekend, and then next week when I have Noble all day as opposed to just a couple hours at the beginning and 4-5 hours at the end. I really think my steps will INCREASE next week--hello, I won't be sitting at the computer so much! (Which will probably lead to some whiny posts about readjusting my work schedule, blah blah, wah wah...sorry in advance.)

Here's what I looked at to get ideas of how many steps are normal, etc...we've all heard "10,000 Steps"--silly me, I thought that would be pretty attainable since I feel like I'm always running. HA! This comes from about.com, but I saw the same article by this researcher in several places.

Based on the best evidence as of the end of 2003, Dr. Catrine Tudor-Locke recommends the following:
Classification of pedometer-determined physical activity in healthy adults:
1) Under 5000 steps/day may be used as a "sedentary lifestyle index"
2) 5,000-7,499 steps/day is typical of daily activity excluding sports/exercise and might be considered "low active."
3) 7,500-9,999 likely includes some exercise or walking (and/or a job that requires more walking) and might be considered "somewhat active."
4) 10,000 steps/day indicates the point that should be used to classify individuals as "active".
5) Individuals who take more than 12,500 steps/day are likely to be classified as "highly active".

Ready for my totals so far? It's pretty sad.

WEDNESDAY: A work day. This one was different because we had a big make & take meeting, so I worked at home at the computer mainly from 8-11:30, then went to Wal-Mart for a few things for the meeting and headed into town. Two hour commute, straight into one meeting that lasted an hour and a half, then on to the second meeting that lasted for two and a half hours, visited with a friend in the parking lot for another half hour, then an hour and a half drive home. Lots of sitting time. A SURPRISING AND UNCOMFORTABLE TOTAL: 2274 steps. (Sedentary, yuck.)

THURSDAY: A "typical" Thursday in town. Took Kayci to school, came home and cleaned house a bit and got dressed. Went to MOPS, went back to Kayci's school, home to work, lunch with my boy, home to work, went to get Kayci, came back home and finished a project (Motor Lab binders, if you're reading!), went to pick up Noble, then came home and had a regular evening of playing with kids and just being at home. Before Noble reset the pedometer at bedtime? Right over 5,000 steps. Whew. I was worried after Wednesday!

TODAY: Today I'll have more sitting time since I've got some big things working today with projects that need to be done on the computer, but I'll also have my 2 hour workout (1 hour yoga, 1 hour of weights, etc.). So I'm curious what today will look like. I'll also get Noble a full hour earlier than yesterday, so that would theoretically add some steps. And we'll probably feed the ducks or go to the park, our usual outside play. So, we'll see.

Has anyone else tried this little experiment? Were you surprised, too? I can't wait to see how many steps a full day with Noble will bring...

25 March 2010

Just Breathe

I know I'm always behind the times...but I heard this song for the first time yesterday as I was sitting (not moving, SITTING) in traffic and it just really resonated. I just downloaded it from itunes...it's THAT good. Of course, it's Pearl Jam, so arguably, of course it's THAT good. :)

Just Breathe
-Pearl Jam

Yes I understand that every life must end, aw huh,..

As we sit alone, I know someday we must go, aw huh,..
I’m a lucky man to count on both hands
The ones I love,..

Some folks just have one,
Others they got none, aw huh,..

Stay with me,..
Let’s just breathe.

Practiced are my sins,
Never gonna let me win, aw huh,..
Under everything, just another human being, aw huh,..
Yeh, I don’t wanna hurt, there’s so much in this world
To make me bleed.

Stay with me,..
You’re all I see.

Did I say that I need you?
Did I say that I want you?
Oh, if I didn’t now I’m a fool you see,..
No one knows this more than me.
As I come clean.

I wonder everyday
as I look upon your face, aw huh,..
Everything you gave
And nothing you would take, aw huh,..
Nothing you would take,..
Everything you gave.

Did I say that I need you?
Oh, Did I say that I want you?
Oh, if I didn’t now I’m a fool you see,..
No one know this more than me.
As I come clean.

Nothing you would take,..
everything you gave.
Hold me till I die,..

Meet you on the other side.

24 March 2010

A little somethin' sweet

We're big fans of Brenham Olde Towne Bakery, if you don't read our family blog. Lately when we've gone in, they've been working on cakes that would rival anything you've seen on "Cake Boss" or "Ace of Cakes"--seriously, they're THAT amazing. Their website is still in progress, but their cake artist has her own site. Check it out! :)

23 March 2010

little man

admit it, you're smiling at that one.
isn't he cute?
he's amazing and funny and messy and sweet
and silly and mischievous...all the things you could hope
for a little boy to be. he's wonderful.
all the pieces fell into place yesterday and today it's final.
as of april 1st, nobley will no longer go to daycare.
when i have to be in houston for work,
our friend heather will let him join her family for the day.
God has been speaking and pushing and pulling
and working on this for months now.
i finally got out of the way.
i don't have the answers as to how it's all going to work out,
but i know he needs more of me than he's getting.
and i know i'm way excited to see what God has planned,
i am absolutely clueless.

22 March 2010

Alrighty, God, You got me...

This morning I felt really guilty because I sat...just sat...and thought for a while after I wrapped up that last blog post. I just had so much on my mind, and I never STOP and just run through it. So I did...and was left feeling vaguely dissatisfied about a few things.

Then James walked in for lunch and made an offhand comment about something that happened this morning, and it just CLICKED. Like God threw open the door so hard it left a mark on the wall.

So I'm thinking we're--I'm--going to walk on through this one. God's been putting the same thought in my path for a while now and I've stepped around it each time, with a little aside to Him about how busy I am, not in my plans right now, maybe later.

Maybe now, He says, a bit more insistently this time. Maybe you step on through the door I've opened, and let Me handle the details. Maybe you quit trying to do My job and just do yours.

You know it takes me a while sometimes, that whole pride thing we keep talking about. (Mine, not yours.) Maybe I'm listening this time, God.

Miscellaneous Monday

So much on my mind today, not sure where to start--on the house, or on this blog. :) No, seriously...the house kind of got trashed yesterday and it's out of control. The laundry hamper is completely full...and then there's the quilt from the couch which soaked up the half cup of coffee I spilled this morning, just waiting to be washed. Then there's the work...most of it still in my head, waiting to be poured into the computer. And then there are my thoughts...my mind is just racing.

I'm breaking my no politics on my blog rule: U.S. Government, I'm pissed at you. There's no other word. You know what you did.


Let's change the subject, shall we? I do, after all, have to get something done here before too long. (BTW--I'm not completely useless. I ran errands/worked for 2 hours after I dropped Kayci off this morning. So there. The lethargy kicked in when I got home...)

New subject: how awesome was your spring break? Ours was great! Had a great mix of time at home, time out having fun, time with friends and family...it was awesome, start to finish. I think James had a fun birthday (I know we had fun celebrating him!), and today he gets to enjoy the first of his presents: 8 weeks of guitar lessons! (To recap, if you don't know, he's always wanted to play acoustic guitar. We got him the guitar and a copy of Guitar for Dummies for Christmas. He's said several times he'd love to take lessons...he just didn't know we'd planned that for his birthday all along. Hee hee.)

At some point, James will post pics of our spring break on our family blog. Hint, freaking hint.
Hmm...ah, yes, spring break. Kayci cried and cried at bedtime last night, saying she didn't want to go back to school. Now THAT's the mark of a good break, right? Noble had no problems, thank goodness, and even helped us out by sleeping past 6:30 this morning. We surprised the kids with french toast (Daddy rocked it!) to help get the day off to a good start, and I think it worked. Of course, Kayci had new clothes to wear today and that always helps, too. Oh, and she got to hug Ms. Allison when she got out of the car...that was a blessing! :) So we're off and running.

Hmm. Did I tell you guys already that I figured out one of our budget issues? Stinkin' kids' school lunches were BREAKING us. So, as of today, they are back to taking their lunches again. It's a good thing, because it means that they'll both be eating MUCH LESS processed food. The bad thing? Hard to find kid-friendly, not-so-processed lunch box fare. Seriously, have you even read the ingredients on lunch meat? I finally found one with just straight up sugar instead of dextrose (hidden corn syrup, friends)...and THAT was the best choice? Really? Yuck. So that's on my to-do list...create a menu of healthy lunch box foods that the kids will actually eat. I'll be honest--I was digging the whole paying for lunch thing because it really did make the mornings go easier (this started last year at this time when things were so up in the air with my Dad). But I'd have to squelch the guilt over WHAT that money was buying...blech. Oh, well, it's done. Onward and upward, right?

In other food news, I have a refrigerator full of boiled shrimp (yum--think we finished the crawfish tails in a great pasta last night!). Shrimp suggestions? Going to try to substitute shrimp for the tilapia in our favorite fish tacos tonight. Wish me luck!

And that brings me to another thing...carbs. Not the good for you, fruit and veggie carbs, but the bread and tortilla and crackers and baked goods processed carbs that I love so much. It's time to make yet another diet adjustment, and say goodbye to these things. Well, not completely--that's a surefire recipe to FAIL. But not every meal, every day. Like now. Sigh. So we'll see.

This whole food thing is hard. God's working so hard on our hearts and in our lives...over the past few years, we have changed our food habits tremendously. First we cut out processed foods and meat...which we let back in because seriously, who can live without a steak now and again? We ate clean for a long time, then when things got hectic we slowly slid back into some bad habits. But now that life is just normal hectic, it's time to get back to basics and eat right. We feel better when we do. It's not cheaper, it's not easier...but good things so rarely are, right? So that's on my mind a lot. Local, sustainable...on my mind.

Taxes are on my mind a lot, too. Would love to say, did 'em...but can't. Not yet, anyway.

What else is on my mind today? Easter's coming up. Round Top is the week before Easter--pretty excited about that. Bluebonnet Festival is right after Easter. Then we have a couple of weekend trips planned...oh, yeah, and in the middle of that I've got a huge work project due. Oh, yeah, work. That thing I'm SUPPOSED to do for money. Hmm. Guess I'd better tackle this house then get to it so I can invoice this week, right?

Still here? After the rambling? Run along now...see you at the park later for some fresh air!

21 March 2010

Adventures in Babysitting

Grandma watched the kids on Friday night so James and I could have a date for his birthday (saw "The Bounty Hunter" at Star Cinema Grill...awesome and awesome!!). We always leave a phone with Kayci so she can contact us if she needs us (we learned a long time ago that it takes away her anxiety when we leave her, because she knows she's still connected to us). I sent her a text when we were waiting for the movie, and this is what followed...

I love you, Bitty!!! :) Mommy

Love you to! how are things doing?

Good! Mommy and I are about to have dinner and see a movie. Loving you! --Daddy

What have u been doing all this time? waiting?

Blowing bubbles in our milk and putting our hands in alligators mouths. (Old family joke.)
What are you watching?


No, I forgot to tell you. I am also watching this mess show called noble. but it's not hard!

We love you bigger than the world, Bitty!

I love you, to!

Our movie is starting but you can text us if you need us. Mommy says don't forget to potty when you put on your pajamas.

At 9:49, we were in the car on the way home when this came through:

Were is the phone charger? You're phone is at four!! noble cuddled with me and fell asleep!

It's in Daddy's green bag, sweetie. On our way home now! You're the best big sister ever!


Love you, Bitty--5 more minutes. :)

Thaaaaaaaaaaaaank you!! I plugged it in!

I love that kid. She's growing up faster than I can fathom, and our relationship seems to be changing every day. This week has been a bit challenging with the kids competing for attention (well, one of them just demands it...the other knows what she's missing when HE gets it...sigh.). I need to do a lot of things differently as a parent, I know, but I hope she never loses sight of the fact that I love her more than anything--James says it well, about how when we first saw her in the operating room and she looked up at us with those dark, wise eyes, and it was like we'd always known her. I can't imagine anyone more like me, or anyone so much better than me.

19 March 2010

Happy Birthday, Boy!

According to the laptop, it's officially James' birthday! Happy birthday, boy! I'm so freakin' excited I can't get to sleep...birthdays around here are pretty close to Christmas. Today we decorated the house (Kayci's choice!) and wrapped a couple of things, tried in vain to get Bubby to talk to the 7 flippin' dollar card. Right? I can't say much more and ruin any surprises, but we had a lot of fun and I can't wait to see his reaction tomorrow morning when he gets to open his presents. :)

Happy birthday, DaddyBoy...you are LOVED!

18 March 2010


Driving home from Houston last night, I saw this on a billboard:

One day your life will flash before your eyes.
Make sure it's worth watching.

Sounds like a recipe for success to me.

16 March 2010

The Best Day

This morning in the car Noble was a little whiny. Kayci's new thing, when he's having a hard time in the car, is to ask, "Do you want Kayci to sing you a song?" To which Noble will answer either, "No!" or "______" (he'll say what he wants her to sing about). This morning he answered, "Mom Mom!" And so my girl proceeded to sing "One little, two little, three little Mom Moms..." and as I listened to her, I thought, that's ME back there. She was doing exactly what I did as a teacher and as her Mommy when she was that age, and it touched me. So often when I think, "she's exactly like me!" it's because she's doing something I'd rather she didn't do, or repeating something questionable that I said. :) This parenting is tough work...I don't know which is harder, honestly, parenting Kayci who's just like me or Noble who is my polar opposite. All I know is that every day is an adventure, with some days I'd rather forget. But for the most part, despite my ineptitude, we muddle through.

Today we agreed that Noble would go to school and we'd have a Mommy & Kayci day. Kayci decided our agenda, so we had pedicures, lunch at Must Be Heaven and then went to her little friend's house for a playdate. Now we're home again for a bit so she can have a little more time to herself before we pick up Noble and start our evening. The days when it's just the two of us are pretty rare, so I look forward to them. I wonder what Kayci will remember when she grows up--all of my missteps, the times I got mad and yelled, the many times I made her pick up her room AGAIN...or the days like today, when it's just an ordinary day that feels a little special. I don't know, we'll have to see.

I started thinking about this earlier when I was working a bit while she watched her Taylor Swift DVD. This song came on, and it made me think about today. I hope today is one of Kayci's Best Days. :)

The Best Day
Songwriters: Swift, Taylor Alison

I'm five years old, it's getting cold, I've got my big coat on
I hear your laugh and look up smiling at you, I run and run
Past the pumpkin patch and the tractor rides, look now, the sky is gold
I hug your legs and fall asleep on the way home

I don't know why all the trees change in the fall
But I know you're not scared of anything at all
Don't know if Snow White's house is near or far away
But I know I had the best day with you today

I'm thirteen now and don't know how my friends could be so mean
I come home crying and you hold me tight and grab the keys
And we drive and drive until we found a town far enough away
And we talk and window shop 'til I've forgotten all their names

I don't know who I'm gonna talk to now at school
But I know I'm laughing on the car ride home with you
Don't know how long it's gonna take to feel okay
But I know I had the best day with you today

I have an excellent father, his strength is making me stronger
God smiles on my little brother, inside and out, he's better than I am
I grew up in a pretty house and I had space to run
And I had the best days with you

There is a video I found from back when I was three
You set up a paint set in the kitchen and you're talking to me
It's the age of princesses and pirate ships and the seven dwarfs
And Daddy's smart and you're the prettiest lady in the whole wide world

And now I know why the all the trees change in the fall
I know you were on my side even when I was wrong
And I love you for giving me your eyes
For staying back and watching me shine
And I didn't know if you knew, so I'm takin' this chance to say
That I had the best day with you today


11 March 2010

Flippin' Sweet!

Spring is truly here...the weather has been gorgeous (with the exception of yesterday's gray cast, but the sunset totally made up for it!). To celebrate, I'm flippin' out...

...and, heaven forbid my day be all play and no work. Noble left me a present this morning.

Around here, we call that floor candy. I may have accidentally thrown some of the unwrapped stuff away, too...oopsie. :)

It's been a fast week around here. I guess having a birthday party on a Sunday (after having a kid home sick the entire week before) will do that. Noble is officially 2 and we have celebrated and then some. Yesterday I commuted to Houston for a big work day, and my sweet girl cleaned up ALL of Noble's toys so I'd come home to a clean house. How awesome is she?! I know you're jealous, try to hold it in. She's just amazing, that kid. Did you see the pic of her on our family blog this week? GORGEOUS!!

File these under "only in a small town:"

...Tuesday I walked Kayci in to school to pick up some papers from the PTO box. One of the secretaries stopped me and reminded me that I'd left a bag there last week when I dropped some things off for the 4th graders. Anyway, she gets the bag and hands me a box, saying "and this came for you." Well, I haven't ordered anything for PTO, so I was like, oh, no, that can't be mine. But then I looked again, because it was a familiar box: Target. Apparently our regular UPS guy was out, because someone accidentally delivered a box addressed to my home (201) to the school (2201). How crazy is that?! And even crazier that I'd walk in and pick it right up...
oh, right. What's in the box, you say? Nick & Nora's Gingerbread Monkeys for next Christmas. Target FINALLY went to 50% off, ending our stalemate. Whew!

...so then today James has scheduled a photo shoot at my friend's house for a brochure he's working on. She called me right as it was time to leave and said her dog was missing, so I went out ahead of James to search for her dog (he's old, like Sami, and I was afraid he'd gotten out to the highway). Anyway, I get there and she's out looking for her dog. Luckily, a few minutes later, her neighbor remembers something...and sure enough, there's the dog--in the armadillo trap. Only out in the country, right?? Glad he's okay, though--that was a rough few minutes, can't imagine how poor Heather was feeling! Scotty, no more free chicken, dude.

Totally random today, I know. It's hard not having time to keep up with things, I feel like I've missed so much. Nothing exciting to report...still trying to figure out what Spring Break is going to look like around here. I'm excited to have 9 days with my Bitty!

08 March 2010

06 March 2010


A year ago, we were buying first shoes and awaiting first steps.
I can't believe Noble will be TWO on Monday...where has the time gone?

03 March 2010


That made you smile, didn't it?
We're on Day 3 of some crazy viral fever,
Day 7 of last week's ear infection, icky cough, yucky throat and antibiotics.
Um, yes, I'm a bit stir-crazy.
Sorry, other Mommys--I was premature in heading out to the library with your kids yesterday.
Everything happens for a reason. I'm trying NOT to stress about the work not getting done, and just go with the flow.
The flow of messy house, laundry piling up, and a boy who needs to be held. Then kicks and fights not to be held...then climbs up me to be held again...it's a vicious, tiring cycle.
But I wouldn't trade it for the world.
Seriously, look at that smile.
Crazy, isn't it?

01 March 2010


I saw a link to this color test on How About Orange...I'm sitting here with a sick kiddo, thought, hey, I've got time to kill.

It is CRAZY, FREAKY how accurate this thing is.

Here are my results...Best Occupational Catoegory: Creator. Second Best? Organizer.

The details of each describe me to a freakin' tee.


Come on, do it, do it!!!!