Sunday, September 30, 2007


So we sold Tim's car yesterday to Carmax, which was all in all a very pleasant experience. I would highly recommend it if you have a vehicle you need to get rid of and don't want to mess with trying to sell it yourself. We walked in with a car and an hour later we walked out a few thousand dollars richer. We were very happy with what they gave us for it, in fact it was about $2500 more than we'd expected, so we were pretty much ecstatic. It's a great car, but the seats and mats were stained from coffee and Dr. Peppers flying out of the shoddy excuse for cupholders that VW had designed.

Car dealerships give me hives, but I had resigned myself that I would just be calm, let Tim do all the talking, and either accept the appraisal they gave us or not. I would be cool as a cucumber. Well, I thought I was, but Tim thinks I was still mean to the salesman or something. I swear, I should have sent him by himself. We thought we had an appointment, but we had to wait a few minutes anyway when we got there. A sales guy came up and introduced himself, then launched into how things are different at Carmax, blah, blah, blah, and he was totally heading out to the lot, when I was like, "you know we're just here to have our car appraised, right? We're not buying a car. I mean, I just wanted to let you know so we didn't waste your time." And the guy just stared at me. He was one of those people who appeared to have no facial expression. So I couldn't read him at all. Tim chimed in with, "we're not buying a car at all." And I said, "yeah, we're going from two cars to one." Still, the staring, like we each had two heads or something. But the guy starts the spiel for the appraisal. We go back to the waiting area again and Tim says that I was mean to the salesguy (I don't know why Tim thinks you need to baby salesguys, but that's a different story), but I have no clue what was mean about that. We got into a bit of an argument about it (as much of an argument as we have, anyway), and I was like, "should I have waited until he'd gotten us out on the lot and we were going for a test drive in cars we weren't going to buy before I said something?" I neglected to mention this, but we were on a very tight timetable. And Tim was like, "no, but you just get all defensive in car dealerships, you attacked him." Argh! So I said, "fine I won't do any of the talking from here on out." Of course, the problem with that is that if I don't talk, it will just be silent. Tim's a head-nodder, not a talker. So we go to the guy's office and there are pictures of a baby that I, (correctly), assumed was his grandchild. So I decide to talk to him about that since I want to make it clear to this guy that I don't have it out for him, that I am a nice person. So we had a nice discussion about that and I felt like the air was cleared. Although, based on a couple of other points in our conversation, I think this guy was just a bit odd.

While they carried out the appraisal, we went back to the waiting room, which was actually kind of fun because the UT game was on, and UT was getting their asses handed to them on a platter, and everyone in the waiting room was bonding over what an awful game it was. We were laughing because what else could you do? But Tim said, "I think the sales guy thinks that we're trying to play a game with him and we really are buying a car." I was like, "who cares what the sales guy thinks? I feel like I have been incredibly well behaved today!" Tim said I was being defensive. Anyway, we went back in, the guy revealed the appraisal, it was better than we hoped for, we accepted it, went back and watched UT get tromped a little more, then went home with our money, minus our car.

Oh, funny sidenote to the UT tromping. A guy came in wearing a Notre Dame shirt and he looked at the score (as everyone did as they came through the room) and said, "oh, man!" I was like, you probably wish you didn't come in here, don't you? And he was like, "no, I went to Notre Dame and all my friends have been giving me crap all season" (in case you didn't know, Notre Dame is 0-5, their worst season ever), "and so now I can give them crap!" It was awesome. He was text messaging them and giving us their responses.

So if you need a used car, go to CarMax, they seem pretty cool and you'll bond with people in the waiting room. Although we didn't bond with the woman feeding her 3 year old fruit loops. Seriously, he had the big bag of fruit loops, directly from the box, and was eating them and just vibrating from all the sugar. Tim thought he was "special", that's how sugar-high he was.

Oh, and the title of this post? Selling the Golf put us over the top. We're at our goal of saving 20% down for the house!!!

I've Been Locked Out!

So this actually happened last week, and I can't believe I forgot to blog about it, as I kept trying to keep myself calm with the thought, "this will make a great story". But I really want to reference a song from the Reality Bites soundtrack so that we can pretend like it's 1994 again. Allright, I'm carrying an ammo box as a purse, I'm wearing plaid miniskirts, tights, and my lace-up knee-high doc rip-offs, I'm driving my 1981 Ford Fairmont with about 10 people crammed in, coffee shops rule... Okay, that's out of my system, moment over, on to the story.

So last Saturday night, Tim's parents were both out of town, so we had Anna, Sean, Ian and Erin over for dinner. Anna and Sean left when the very patient Daniel got so tired he couldn't take it anymore, and Ian and Erin left a little before two. Tim went to bed about 1am, so I came in and showed them to the door, then went back to the porch to get the baby monitor and a glass that had been left outside. I went to go back in and the porch door was locked! Tim's parents locks are such that if you lock the bottom lock, you'll lock yourself out. We try to never lock them, of course, so I guess either Ian or Erin had kind of automatically locked the door. Crap, I thought. First thing I did was run out front to see if Ian and Erin were still here, but they were gone. I got a little freaked out, but I knew Tim's parents had left a key in the garage in a secret place and there was alledgedly a clear path through all our belongings to the key. So I opened the garage door with the keypad and looked for the so-called "clear path". Right, negative on that one. No clear path. There was tons of stuff piled in front of the key location. So I said, forget that, I'm not going to try to move all that stuff. I may have had a few drinks. I can neither confirm or deny that. So I decided I'd go back to the backyard and throw rocks at the room where Tim was sleeping. I threw every freakin' rock in that backyard at that window (surprisingly I have really good aim when I am fighting off hysterics at 2 in the morning), but it didn't budge Tim. He's a very heavy sleeper, and he had the box fan on, so who knows if he could hear anything. So I shed a few tears, tried to think clearly, thought about walking to the gas station, but they close at 1, as does HEB. I thought perhaps I could call the house from those places. But then I realized that if Tim couldn't hear the rocks, there was no way he'd hear the phone ring on the other side of the house. I then tried the doorbell. I rang it over and over again, Lucy was barking her head off, but it did no good. So finally, I went back to the garage, took a deep breath, and decided that it was the only way I was not going to spend the night in the backyard on the grass.

I moved the jogging stroller, then tried to move Tim's bike, but it was stuck on the bookshelf, so I climbed over it, getting lots of bike grease all over me in the process. Oh, right, did I mention I was wearing a skirt?
Side note: why is bike grease so hard to get off? I scrubbed and scrubbed at that stuff every day in the shower, but it just finally completely disappeared yesterday.
Then I moved that stupid gray pylon that we bought for Scaping the Goat and keep "just in case" we ever need it again. Then I moved the circular saw. Then I was able to climb up on the yellow kitchen stool, which by this point only had one box left on it, and survey how much further I had to go. Unfortunately, I had a tower of purple rubbermaid bins stacked 3 or 4 high, then ANOTHER tower of boxes behind that, then a no man's land of about 2-3 feet square of open space, then the location of the key. In fact, I could see the key from my perch, I just couldn't see how the heck I was going to get to it.

I freaked out again before I just said, "I've got to go for it. I've got to commit to this and pray I don't fall on my head or break my leg." So I climbed back onto the stool, then lay across the rubbermaid bins and used all my reaching power to get to the key. Now I just had to hold my breath and hope that I didn't drop the key into the no man's land. But I didn't! I managed to bring the key safely back and was able to get back into the house! I was so mad at Tim by the time I got in I could have pummeled him, but he'd been asleep the whole time and the poor guy had no clue why his wife was yelling at him at 2:30 in the morning.

So that's my story. Hopefully it's the last time I'll be locked out. I'm definitely tempted to take my keys whenever I step outside now!

Friday, September 28, 2007

My Child's Doll is Slowly Poisoning Her!

We've been fortunate so far that none of Stella's toys have turned up on the recall list. This doesn't mean that she hasn't been exposed to lead in any of her toys, mind you, just that they haven't been caught yet. Until today. I clicked on the link to Daddy Types and there, next to a sign that said "Contains Lead" was the doll that my grandmother gave Stella for Christmas. Truly frightening sight. I cannot tell you how many times Stella put that damn doll's pacifier in her own mouth. So goodbye Stella's first doll, we have to send you to the landfill now where you will continue to live unbroken down for 1,000's of years.
In happier times: The poisoning begins
R.I.P Creepy Dollar Store doll, aka Stella's first doll

Thursday, September 27, 2007

It's Eating me Alive!

There is a mosquito in here and I cannot catch him but he is having an all-you-can-eat buffet on me. I have gotten at least 3 bites in the last 15 minutes or so. I hate mosquitos.

This morning I decided to go through my closet and purge some of the clothes that don't fit me anymore. Tim and I are currently sharing a smaller than we're used to closet at his parent's house, so there's no reason to waste valuable space with clothes that look more like a tent than something you'd wear. I tried a few things on that fit me pre-pregnancy and they were comically large. Like I could have stuck Stella in there and used it as a cheap baby-carrier. So even though the scale says I have about a pound to go to my pre-pregnancy weight, I'm obviously already past it, especially since I'm in a whole size smaller than I was pre-pg. I think that the scale I was using pre-pregnancy and during my pregnancy was obviously really bad. I just continued to use it because it showed a weight much lower than the digital (and probably actually accurate), scale I bought during pregnancy. I had a complicated formula I would use to figure out my weight by using both scales. Pathetic, I know. But it felt really good to purge some stuff and hopefully I can get a few bucks at Buffalo Exchange for the few pairs of Levis and Gap jeans and pants I'm getting rid of. The rest are going into another rubbermaid bin to be pulled out as I grow and shrink with future babies.

I don't think I ever blogged about this, but right before our vacation I had a weird itchy rash on my forearm just above my wrist. I finally went to the doc because it was driving me crazy and he said it was poison ivy, gave me some steroid cream and it pretty much cleared up. Well it's back. Very odd. I've been using the steroid cream as directed, and I can't believe I would get Poison Ivy again in the same exact place. It's a series of pink little bumps. I noticed it getting bumpy again last night while I was wearing one of my bracelets, one I've worn for about 10 years, so it doesn't make since that I suddenly have a reaction. But I definitely won't be wearing it for a while. Sad, since it's my favorite and I always get lots of compliments on it. Hopefully the rash will go away again. I think I'm only supposed to use the cream through tomorrow, so I might need to call the doc and see if I can continue to use it past then. It is a steroid cream and I don't want to start growing a moustache or see my boobs shrink any further past where they already have due to my weight loss;)

Wow, is this a rambling post or what? I also never blogged about the really cool modern furniture store Tim and I went to Saturday. It's in Kyle, of all places, but it actually has some things I could see myself being able to afford. It's more expensive than Ikea, but also probably much better quality, and it certainly doesn't reach the insane price tag of Design Within Reach (reach of who, oil magnates?), or Copenhagen. We really loved this chair, and it was quite comfy and definitely comparable to an Ikea chair price. They also had the coolest sofa that converted into a sleeper. Great for when your friends have a little too much to drink and need to spend the night or for kids to sleep on. It was only $699 or something like that in the store, though. In fact, a lot of the prices seemed to be lower in the store. But it got me really excited about decorating the new house. I want to go modern. And it feels like this time we already have furniture so we can take our time and get one piece here, one piece there, so that we can make the house look how we want. I can't wait!

We haven't been to the house in a week because of my rehearsals, so hopefully we can go tomorrow and see what they've done. It looks like from the road that they are already putting shingles on! The word from Jamie is that they are going to be putting the mechanicals in the next two weeks. We're still on for a November close date, too. Keep your fingers crossed for a dry fall!

Why I could never live in Manhattan

Greg over at Daddy Types had a link to this article in the New York Times about this crazy guy who renovated his 400 square foot apartment while living in it. He is incredibly inspiring in his diy-ness, but also reminds me of why I would never live in Manhattan. They can get practically the entire space in one shot, and that is truly frightening. And he paid $220k for it, which is a steal in Manhattan. Dude, I can get a very nice house over 5 times the size of his for that price here! It's insane!

Of course, now he's going to have a baby and it sounds like they have not really faced up to the dilemma of where they are going to put him. Good luck with that folks. Sure he can sleep with you, but you have a LOFT BED eight feet in the air! Perhaps they can put bedrails on it to keep their infant from taking a nasty tumble in the middle of the night...

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Toddler Power Struggles

So Stella's newest place to test her power, I guess, is naps. For the past few days, she's been napping for a very short period of time after a half hour or more of me putting her down, her crying and screaming, we going in there, me leaving, etc. And usually I wind up getting her up and then trying again later. Right now I am listening to her screaming on the baby monitor. I'm sure she's standing up and staring at the binky she threw on the ground. Really, the screamed "Mama"'s do make her act much more effective in getting to me, but I'm really going to try the wait a few minutes, go in, wait a few minutes, go in, at least as long as I can stand it today. Then I suppose I'll give up and get her up and she'll wander around the house banging into things until she passes out from exhaustion. Today was weird because we went out for lunch with Tim and afterwards she passed out in the car. Usually I can carry her up to her crib and she'll nap no problem. But today she awoke and now she's started this ridiculous cycle. Dammit, I need you to nap, girl, I need to score my script! I have a schedule and I need to stick to it!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Stella's a Year and a Half!

Doing a chin-up. Maybe she is more athletic than us? Mommy and Daddy certainly can't do chin-ups!
Hard to believe, but Stella turned 18 months old today. We went in for her 18 month check-up and she is 33 inches tall, still in the 75-90th percentile, but her weight jumped up to 28 lbs, or the 90-95th percentile. Her weight had been around 75th percentile. Her head is 47 cm around, still in the 50-75th percentile. So she's growing nicely. We hid the pacifiers, so we didn't have any confrontations about that with the Dr. Yeah, we're wimps. Dr. Patil did say I should have Stella coloring for a few minutes every day to work on her fine motor skills, so I guess we'll have to work that in. She also said that I should be working on making her use her words for stuff. So I guess we'll work on that too, although we already have been. And I should teach her to throw overhand. I didn't tell Dr. P. that Stella is the product of two of the most uncoordinated people on earth and might never be able to throw a ball without looking like a spaz. She also suggested that I get Stella into a Mother's Day Out program so that she can be socializing with other children without me around. She said school may be very difficult for her otherwise. I had been thinking of that anyway, so I may start trying to find one. If anyone knows of good Mother's Day Out programs in South Austin, let me know!

There are many bloggers who write these great monthly letters to their children, full of sweet declarations of love and detailed descriptions of what their child has accomplished in the last month. I never remember all the little things Stella accomplishes over a month, but in honor of her 18th month birthday, I'm going to make a quick list of some of the cool things she can do.

She can say: Mama, Dada, Hi, Bye, Ball, Dog, Boy (taught her today), chair (also today), baby, wow, 'all gone', apple, eye, yeah, no. She is really good about repeating after you, but I don't know whether that qualifies as being able to say the word. She can: throw a ball, catch a ball, kick a ball, point to the following body parts on herself and Mommy and Daddy: eyes, nose, mouth, tummy, ears, head, toes, hand. She gives the world's best hugs and we're working on kisses. She has twelve teeth (4 on the bottom front, 4 on the top front, and two molars each on top and bottom), she loves to slide and swing, and she loves to run. Her giggle is the most beautiful sound on earth and she is also the most beautiful child on earth. I say that without a touch of favoritism:)

Saturday, September 22, 2007


Okay, so that should all be straightened out now. Lemme know if you have any problems following the fantabulous links I put up.
View from the front (obviously):
In other news, we went by and saw the house last night and almost all the siding is done! Most of the windows too. It looks like a real solid house, at least from the outside. And it also looks freakin' huge. Depending on your standards, it is or is not freakin' huge. I am currently living in a house that is over 2400 sq ft and has 5 bedrooms, a game room and 2.5 baths and was purchased to be lived in by only 2 people. Fortunately they did buy such a large house, as we have 5 people and two dogs in it right now, but before we knew that was going to happen it did seem a bit large. So by comparison, my new house, which is 2150 sq ft with 3 bedrooms, an office, a game room, and 2.5 baths which is being purchased to be eventually occupied by 5 people (once our family is done), 2 dogs and a cat doesn't seem insanely huge. BUT, there are plenty of people who have raised families of a larger size than ours in less than 1500 sq ft. Heck, I worked with a woman who was the youngest of 16 siblings who was raised in a house in East Austin that was about 1000 sq ft and had two bedrooms. Mom and Dad had a bedroom, the girls had a bedroom, and the boys slept on the floor in the living room. So size is in the eye of the beholder.
View from the back:

You know, there are some advantages to living with your in-laws. Rather than cleaning or doing house projects on a Saturday afternoon while your daughter naps, you can waste time on the internets. Woot!


Thanks to Kelli for pointing out that I somehow linked to my Google Reader page of blogs, not the actual blog pages. And I thought I'd figured this whole thing out! Damn. I'll work on getting the actual pages in the links.

Friday, September 21, 2007

I added Links!

So Stella is obviously completely pooped from her time at Daniel's this morning and lunch with the boys (Daniel and Henry), because she's been asleep for an hour and 45 minutes! And because it is Friday, I have not been responsibly scoring my script, instead I've been playing on the internets. And in my play on the internets, I mastered this "page element" thing in Blogger and I added links to the left side of my page. Please visit these folks, you won't be disappointed! Some are my real life friends, some are just online friends, and some just move me and crack me up on a daily basis. Enjoy!


So the entire house is framed. We went by Tuesday and took pics:
We drove by last night after dark and it looked like all the siding was on, the roof was on (minus the shingles), and at least some of the windows were in the first floor. I have hope again! They seem to be really trying to make up for lost time. We'll go by tonight and get pics, hopefully, of whatever state the house is in.

Last night we took an LGT photo for the ACOT calendar at the new Town Lake park. It is the coolest! Afterwards, Stella and Daniel played in the fountains and had a blast. They have fountains that shoot up into the sky and do a light show at night. Stella was soaked through and through by the time we left, but she was so happy. It's definitely a must if you have kids. There were so many children frolicking around!

Today Anna was kind enough to watch Stella while I went to Weight Watchers. I didn't realize it, but it was my 16th week, so I got a cute little charm. I don't know where to put the cute little charm, but I got it! I also gained .4 lbs, but I don't really feel bad about it. I fell so far off the wagon on vacation, I think .4 lbs is a small price to pay. It was worth it to just eat like a normal person for a few days and not write down everything I put in my mouth:)

I don't know why this is the world's most boring blog today, I'm sorry! Both of Tim's parents are out of town, so perhaps wild hijinks that I can blog about will ensue this weekend. Ha!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Things I want in my new house

We went to the new house last night and it is completely framed. All of the the siding materials are outside, and all the windows are there waiting to be put in. Tim, ever the optimist, hopes they'll push to get our house caught up with the other houses it started with and put all that stuff on by the end of week. I have my doubts. Our house seems to have set back after set back. I hope it's not cursed or built on an Indian Burial Ground. "Ya only moved the headstones!"

We finally got our copy of the 2008 Ikea catalog and I was scanning it last night and decided on at least one thing I must have in our new house: a desk/table for my sewing machine with all my sewing supplies, gift wrapping, and craft supplies in cabinets right there. I found the perfect table, although I can't find it online. It's black with this really cool white flower design, and really neat ornate metal legs. Tim thinks the legs are "too girly", which of course means they are perfect for a sewing/gift wrapping/craft table which is, by definition, "girly". I can't decide whether to set up my station in the office downstairs or the play room upstairs. I guess I have plenty of time to make up my mind:)

UPDATE: I just drove by and they are putting on the siding, yay!

She's broken

I think Stella may have gotten damaged when she got shipped back from Houston to Austin. She was apparently taking 2 and a half hour naps with my Mom. She's currently screaming in her room while avoiding my 3rd attempt at getting her to nap this afternoon. She's been throwing fits all day. I wonder if there is some sort of medal that children can get for crying for the longest time continuously. Actually, I think the parents should get the medal. I expected her to be "off" transitioning back home, but this is ridiculous!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Greetings from Port A!

My plan was not to touch my computer while we were here, but Tim decided to check and see if we had free wireless late this afternoon and, for better or worse, we discovered that we do indeed have it. So we've been wasting the last hour on our computers while drinking a pre-dinner Lone Star Tall boy. Actually, not a bad way to spend the time before dinner.

We are having a great time doing NOTHING! We swim in the ocean, then the pool, then the hot tub, then sit outside on our balcony watching the waves roll in and then we come in and watch some completely mindless CABLE TV (I am so addicted to "Tori and Dean: Inn Love, btw), and then we sleep late and then we do it all over again. So relaxing and so much fun. Tim has decided he wants to move to Corpus, and we both decided we want to open a Bed and Breakfast and host gay weddings (Tori and Dean had one on their show and it made us get all teary because it was so sweet.) Of course, we want to get our daughter before we start our new life on the mainland. We miss her terribly. It's really bad at night, we both feel like if we just got one hug from her, we'd be fine. I think we would have driven home today if we hadn't already paid for tonight. But I think we need one more dinner out, some drinks in the hot tub and the pool, and another dip in the ocean tomorrow morning before we head back. As much as we miss Stella, it has been WONDERFUL just hanging out the two of us, reconnecting and doing whatever the heck we feel like doing. I recommend it for everyone!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Stella's first haircut!

Stella got her first haircut today, at a salon and everything! We went to Kool Kuts for Kids in Westlake on the recommendation of an Austin mama, and although it only took about 10 minutes, I think they did a good job. Some of you may be surprised I got her haircut, since I have been obsessed with growing out her bangs for oh, about forever, but really, even though her bangs are now long enough to tuck behind her ear, they don't stay there. I was tired of always having to try and find a barrette, starting from the moment she woke up, so that she could function without a bunch of hair in her face. Poor girl has beautiful eyes, I was tired of having them hidden behind a mess of hair! So last week I started talking about this whole "giving Stella bangs" thing. First I mentioned it to Tim, and surprisingly, he said, "okay." I thought there would be more discussion, since he's always been even more anti-haircut than me. Then I mentioned it to Anna, who thought she'd look cute and thought that's probably what she'd do, and Tim's Mom, who was onboard as well. So I had the support of the peanut gallery, and now I just needed to do it. Tim advocated for going to a professional. I didn't even know where you took a toddler to get her haircut, AND I'm cheap and didn't want to pay, since I figured how hard could it be? The answer: HARD. I tried to trim her bangs myself Monday night and they wound up all jagged and uneven.


They didn't look so bad if I swept them to the side. But I knew I'd messed up. I didn't feel the agonizing guilt I thought I should as a mother, although I tried to pretend for Tim's benefit. I mean, it'll grow back. Luckily, I had the good sense to quit while I was ahead, and made an appointment to get her hair professionally cut this morning.

At the haircut place, they let her choose which car she wanted to sit in (I chose the yellow car), and they asked me what cartoon I wanted her to watch. I said since she doesn't watch tv, it doesn't matter. The stylist, Grace, chose Elmo, which I was pretty happy with since it's Sesame Street and I feel like it's at least a little educational. And it wound up having a Singing Bear that wore Leiderhosen, so that was beyond awesome. I just told the stylist that if she winds up begging me for Elmo, I'll know who to blame. She didn't laugh. Anyway, as soon as the stylist put on the video, Stella was mesmerized. This is one of the biggest benefits of not letting your child watch tv. If they see tv, they're like a zombie, they just stare at it and you could have a 3 ring circus going on around them and she probably wouldn't notice. Stella didn't really like the spray bottle, but other than that she was quite patient. They let her have a free hairbow as part of the $1 "First Haircut Package" and she gripped onto it throughout the haircut. We also got a polaroid of her in a little commemorative card with some of her hair in it and the date and time of the first haircut. Beyond worth the $1 it cost.

Pre-professional haircut:

The Spray Bottle:

During (I'm going to try and not be insulted by the fact that Tim's Mom cut off the top of my head):
She looks like such a little girl!

Friday, September 07, 2007

Stella cuteness and her new (future) best friend

Stella discovering the joy of the garden hose

So first off, some Stella cuteness. We went over to Anna's today and had lunch with her and Daniel and afterwards the little ones went swimming in the kiddie pool out front. They had a blast and were out there getting in and out of the pool, running all over the yard, for nearly 2 hours! Finally Stella literally collapsed and kind of rolled over in the front yard and I decided it was time to head home for a nap. She still threw a fit, although once I'd held her for a couple of minutes, she indeed conceded that yes, she was sleepy, and yes she wanted a nap, although she did it with a nod, which is the antithesis of the "no, no, no" she'd responded with when I asked 2 minutes earlier. Tim is correct, she does indeed sound like Amy Winehouse in that ridiculously catchy "Rehab" song that I finally heard about a week ago. It's now stuck in my head like a parasite. In the car on the way home from Anna and Daniel's, she was reading the "Lowly Worm" book from her grandparent's house that has been her constant companion the last couple of days. Then she passed out. In the about 2 minutes from their house to here. So I go to get her out of the backseat and she is still holding the Lowly Worm book open like she fell asleep in mid-sentence. (Although there aren't any sentences in the book, but I digress). It was adorable. I'm so glad I have a waterbaby like myself. I was really worried when she had that bad experience at Little Stacy that she'd be afraid of the water and wouldn't want to live in it like I did as a kid.

Another cute thing is that Stella says "no, no, no" when the dogs bark. She gets all authoritarian. I think it's a side effect of living in Gulag Thomas. Just kidding, although seriously, the dogs are kind of frowned upon for acting like dogs here. Especially poor Roxie. I can't help it, she sometimes has accidents, she's old and has a weak bladder. She peed on the rug this morning and Tim's Mom left a note on the stairs that said "Tim-See Me. Mom" Very ominous, like they got his report card and it was full of D's. Anyway, it turned out Roxie had peed and she was like, "it'd be easier if it was Lucy, because I really like Lucy and she's so sweet." blah, blah, blah. What does that mean? So I said, "but since you don't like Roxie it's not okay when she pees? Should we put her to sleep for peeing?" I mean, I KNOW we should be grateful to Tim's parents for letting us stay here, and believe me, we really are, we really appreciate it, but my dogs and my kid come with me. Anyway, we finally arrived at the conclusion that poor Roxie will have to be outside or in her crate anytime no one is downstairs with her. Hopefully that will help curb the floor peeing. I really do feel bad, but I have said several times that the reason we didn't have a rug in our old house was that our old incontinent dog would pee on it. Also, they have tile here so I thought it wasn't too bad if she peed, but if we ruin their rugs, I will definitely replace them when we move out. Roxie's bladder is the reason we paid extra to have the entire downstairs in our new house (sans office, which has a door), done in very dog-pee friendly tile and hardwoods!

Speaking of the house, we went to see the frame of the first floor last night. It was pretty neat to walk through it and to finally get a sense of what it will be like "reversed" from the plan and the model. We also met more neighbors, the people diagonally across the street who are also getting a Danbury (our model), although with the garage on the other side from us. The wife is pregnant and due with their 4th(!) child under 5 in 2 weeks. But the most exciting thing was discovering that they also have a toddler. Who is 19 months (only two months older than Stella). And who is a GIRL! Isn't that the coolest?! Tim and I were already waxing about how they can be best friends and walk to elementary school together since they'll be in the same grade. Our neighborhood it going to be so awesome, I can't wait! They also already have their entire house framed and they only started the day before us. So I'm REALLY hoping they'll finish our frame today. We also re-measured from the back of the house to the Best Shade Tree On Earth (or at least my property) that will shade our back porch, and we're confident it's more than 10 feet so they can't screw up and cut it down to pour our patio. I mean, we told our builder not to cut it down, even if they had to make the patio smaller, but sometimes those sorts of things don't get conveyed to workers. But it's definitely more like 12 feet, maybe a little more, away and our patio will be 10x10.

The frame of the first floor:

View out the kitchen window (grumpy Daddy and squirmy baby optional):
View from sliding glass doors in breakfast room:

View from the front door:

Oh, and I deposited more money in our savings account today, the refund we got from our house insurance, and I am so happy with the figure I see. It's so encouraging and inspired me to obsessively tally everything we're saving up in my head again. This is a sort of embarassing habit of mine. I really like to tally figures. There's something comforting about it. I also like to save. And the more I save, the more I am inspired to save. Tim teases me A LOT about this, but it just makes me feel secure. I've always done this. When I was a kid, I was the one who still had Halloween candy at Christmas, and whose Valentine's chocolates would last past St. Patrick's day (or go bad first). I'd usually spend my Christmas money by my birthday in June
and my birthday money, well, I would hold onto it for a long time. I still can actually eat just one piece of chocolate, it amazes Tim. It's just that the possibilities of what you can spend your money on are often more exciting than spending it. And you have that anticipation, which just tastes so good. Wow, that was rambling. Anyway, I just wanted to explain why I talk about my savings so much on my blog. I hope it never feels like I'm bragging or something about my savings, it's just something that I have tremendous interest and pride in. Although I can't really take the credit for 95% of what's in there because we just sold our house and that's where it came from. I will probably be very upset after we close on the house and I have to start all over again, but that's what savings is for, right?

OH, and I lost 2.4 pounds this week, yay! Last week, gaining 1.2 pounds was a real wake-up call and I am back on program, counting every little bite!

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Awesome weekend

Wow, it's already Thursday and I'm just now getting around to blogging about last weekend. What can I say? We've had auditions this week and Stella has decided napping is for losers. Anyway, better late than never.

We had a GREAT Labor Day Weekend, which I think we really deserved with all the stress in our lives lately. Saturday we went to the Holmeses for their housewarming/last party in their apartment. It was a great party, with good beer, absolutely delicious food, and great conversation. Jeff made the most heavenly grilled chicken and pork and Erin made spicy grilled pineapples that were so spicy I couldn't even eat it, which says something, since I love the spice! Everyone had a great time, although the babies were starting to melt down by the time we left.

The baby band photo. Stella, of course, is the prima donna singer

We went back to home base and had dinner with Christine and Brian, who were in town to see Brian's family, but were spending the night at the Thomas house. That was fun, but unfortunately way too short because we had another party to get to! We went to a party at Nicole's, which, unfortunately, was populated almost entirely by musical theatre people which meant that a) they made me tired, and b) they talked almost exclusively about musicals, which I know nothing about. Luckily there were a few folks to have some good conversations with, but mostly it was a bust. No pictures from that shindig.

Sunday morning we went to church for the first time in a few weeks and actually, gasp, enjoyed ourselves! Even though church ran over by 22 minutes, (but who's counting?), it was a laid-back fun service without the guilt that I feel like they've been heaping on lately. Also, we've both been kind of soured on religion lately because we're living with the super-Christians. Then Sunday we went to another fantastic party, a pool party at Karen and Jennie's. It was so much fun. Everyone was there and Stella just loved being in the pool. Tim spent the entire time keeping Stella entertained, although he did have some help from Karen. He was like super-dad. And I got totally wasted without meaning to. Some guy poured me a giant glass of wine and after that I was toast. Wow, I sound like a teenager. Anyway we stayed until Stella was wiped out. Swimming in the rain

Monday we didn't really have a plan, other than to go drive and do something. Our initial plan had been to drive to Llano for some delicious Cooper's barbecue, but then, due to my inebriated state, I'd blown all my extra points at Karen and Jennie's. Well really, at all 3 of the parties that weekend. So instead we decided to drive to Salado. Tara and Jeff invited us over for barbecue, but we were just so partied out and really wanted to spent time as a family. Plus I had no points left and I know I would have had a hard time being good if Jeff had grilled more of what he made Saturday.

Salado was "eh". We figured all the shops would be open because it was Labor Day, but they were all closed, either because of the holiday or because it was a Monday. Plus, Stella didn't really want to sit in her stroller, so we either had to carry her or let her walk. And there was absolutely no eating establishments open, so when Stella's snack time came, we had to leave. But we actually still had a really nice time. When we first got there, we stopped at a park so that I could go to the bathroom and Stella could blow off some steam. Stella had a blast on the playground. Then we went over to the water, which was just beautiful. We couldn't believe there was this free park right on the water. Because we didn't have swimsuits, Stella and I waded in a little. Stella loved it, and in fact, threw a huge fit when it was time to go.

So that's pretty much the re-cap. Tonight we're going to go to the new house and walk through the frame! Tim went last night while I was at rehearsals, but of course, I have to go too. Maybe they'll have the second story framed by then. Keep your fingers crossed!

Sunday, September 02, 2007

House, house, aren't you tired of hearing about my house?

I know you are, but I'm going to blog about it anyway. So we drove on the roads Thursday night and it was awesome! We couldn't go in any houses since they've started locking the ones up that are past the framing stage, although that's good to know that they are protected. We heard from Jamie Friday that our framing materials are due to be dropped Tuesday and then they will begin framing our house! Excitement begins anew. We spent some time Thursday evening walking around and looking in the windows of houses. It is going to be such a nice neighborhood. It's so quiet. Even though you can see Manchaca, you can't hear it at all, and there's only a little bit of traffic noise (I assume) from Westgate. The trees in our backyard are just so beautiful. I counted like 10 trees and most of them are quite tall and big. I can't wait to watch our house being built!

So now that our house is going to actually be a reality instead of just a dream, we are, as I mentioned earlier, going into full-on saving mode. I had time this afternoon while everyone else took naps to do a budget, and if we stick to my not-incredibly tight budget, we will be within a $1,000 and change of our downpayment if our house is ready November 1st. That's assuming we get $5k for Tim's car, which I think is doable, but you never know what will happen. If our house is ready later than November 1st (which I'm sure it will be), and if we are just a little bit more frugal with our budget, I think we can get that extra money. I know that we can do a 2nd mortgage for that little amount (we're already approved for one), but I really want to avoid all those fees!

Wow, I'm turning this into some sort of finances blog, how boring, sorry! Perhaps I should spin off and do a separate blog for my budgeting woes like Kelli did with her food blog.

That's all for now. Stella's asleep and I need to get her up and waking Tim up so we can go off to Karen and Jennie's party!