Tuesday, December 30, 2008

I lost my cat and an uncle, how were your holidays?



But other than those two events, I had a great Christmas.




So yes, that title is not me being clever, unfortunately. Punky ran away while we were at my parents' house over the weekend. Saturday night Tim and I got in late from seeing some old friends, and I guess when we came in, she ran out. With all the hustle and bustle of the family Christmas on Sunday, her absence wasn't noticed until about 4 on Sunday when my Dad said, "uh, I hate to bring up a bad subject, but has anybody seen Punky lately?" Everyone except my brother and Stella launched their own search of the house for her. I was so sure she was hiding somewhere and would jump out at us just as we started getting worried. But she was nowhere to be found. And I mean nowhere. So we did a little walking around outside, but how the hell do you find a cat? I feel especially awful because she doesn't have her medicine, so she's probably a goner. I also feel bad because the last time we spent together was Saturday afternoon when she kept trying to roost on my laptop and I kept throwing her off. Tim's really pissed she got the last laugh, because now we will always feel guilty about losing her, as opposed to feeling like martyrs because we gave her a pill everyday and spent 100's of dollars at the vet on her even though she hated us.




So the disappearance of Punky really cast a bit of a pall over our Babymoon, which started yesterday at Kerbey Lane, rather late because Tim had to do laundry, then continued to Wimberley, Blanco and Fredericksburg, where we stayed in the same really cozy Bed and Breakfast we'd stayed in 4.5 years ago. This morning, we were preparing to leave Fredericksburg when my mother calls to say that my Dad's brother, my Uncle Steve, had died. It was sudden and pretty shocking. We made plans to come pick up Stella in Evant later in the afternoon, but otherwise tried to continue with our trip. I have to say, if there's anything good to come out of my Uncle's death, it's that I have totally and completely forgotten any guilt/grieving about Punky. Is that weird or what?


So we continued on to Llano and Burnet in search of antiques and especially the elusive "perfect china cabinet" for our dining room. The perfect china cabinet looks something like this and I'm pretty sure that we are going to spend years trying to find it:


When we got to Burnet my Mom called to tell me not to worry about picking up Stella, that the funeral arrangements were going easier than they thought they would and there really was nothing for them to do until Friday, so as long as we met up Thursday, they'd be happy to keep Stella. So we're still temporarily childless, unless you count Baby Bean, and we do miss Stella and Lucy horribly. But we'll see them soon!

Speaking of Baby Bean, we think we have a name finalized for her. Well I would say we DO have a name finalized for her, but I'm starting to second guess. Again. Sigh. But I'm fairly certain this will wind up being her name. I can tell you in March or April:)

I really would like to blog about Christmas, it was really fun. Perhaps later. I'm feeling sort of grinchy right now and if I don't go do laundry, I'm going to start out 2009 as a nudist.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Santa's Elves were here!


Santa's Elves came by a few minutes ago to drop off the presents for tomorrow's Christmas Extravaganza! I was very proud of the fact I actually managed to get all but the two largest presents around the tree. (Those two are on the fireplace). I'm also excited about the fact that there are enough seats and room for everyone to sit and open presents tomorrow. Yet another reason this house is awesome.
I'm a little concerned about the fact that my mother-in-law told me this morning that my present is "the heaviest and largest package under the tree". (The presents from them are still at their house). Considering the fact that I don't remember asking for anything heavy or large, I'm kind of perplexed! Although maybe it's just by comparison. Maybe everyone else got really teeny tiny things, making my gift of something like a book seem large!
Stella this morning was like, "Santa come and eat dinner with us." I had to remind her that Santa would come while she was asleep. Then she said, "Santa come down chimney in attic." She went and pointed at the fireplace, explaining how Santa was going to arrive. So cute!
Well, I should probably go shower, considering the fact that it's after 1pm. In my defense, I had one foot in the tub when the doorbell rang announcing the arrival of Santa's Elves!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

I heart your blog


Kate passed this along to me, and because I'm procrastinating making placecards for Christmas dinner, I decided to go ahead and do it.


The way this works is I answer the following questions with single word responses, and pass the award on to 5 other bloggers:
1. Where is your cell phone? purse
2. Where is your significant other? Norman's
3. Your hair color? Magenta
4. Your mother? Spring
5. Your father? Algeria
6. Your favorite thing? Home
7. Your dream last night? None
8. Your dream/goal? Happiness
9. The room you're in? Dining
10. Your hobby? Theatre
11. Your fear? Feet
12. Where do you want to be in six years? Here
13. Where were you last night? Oscar's
14. What you're not? Ballerina
15. One of your wish list items? Vans
16. Where you grew up? Spring
17. The last thing you did? Cut
18. What are you wearing? Silver
19. Your T.V.? Awesome
20. Your pet? Snuggly
21. Your computer? Noisy
22. Your mood? Tired
23. Missing someone? Tim
24. Your car? Box
25. Something you're not wearing? Hat
26. Favorite store? Waterloo
27. Your Summer? Hot
28. Love someone? Yes
29. Your favorite color? Lime
30. When is the last time you laughed? Today
31. Last time you cried? Yesterday
I'm supposed to tag 5 more people, which I will do, but I know with the holidays most folks can't do it and I won't hold it against you!
This seems like a very girly exercise, so I only tagged chicks. Don't take it personally men!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Our hood is so cool!

We went to a potluck at a neighbor's house tonight, Liz and Kenny, and met tons more neighbors. There are so many cool people around here! We met a nutritionist/chef, a Yoga instructor, a photographer and entrepreneurs. We were introduced as the writer and the actress with their own theatre company. Makes us sound so much hipper than "the Software Developer and the Stay at Home Mom". The cool people came with some pretty crazy kids who obviously enjoyed the very satisfying sound running around a pier and beam house makes. We barely saw hide nor hair of Stella the whole night. Except when she came into mainline some more cookies. Their house is just lovely and on a really high hill so you can see all the twinkling lights of Austin. AND it was built by their neighbor in 1948 (unfortunately he passed away last year). How cool is it to know the person who built your house? It was hilarious, Liz kept saying, "aren't we a cool, beautiful group of people in our 'hood?" as she would introduce new people that had arrived (she was being silly of course. sort of, we are a pretty glamorous lot. HA!). We're planning to have a Progressive Dinner in the New Year, it'd be such a great way to hang out and see each other's houses.

Did I mention I love, love, LOVE our house? Yeah, just a teensy bit! Now, I really must go clean the kitchen so I can go back to wrapping presents, the activity that I interrupted to walk to dinner. Yes, walk! Although I was grumpy on the way there 'cause I was freezing my bootie off, it's so neat to walk to parties!

Hey, don't forget about the houses for sale down the street! You too can be one of the beautiful people. Maybe you can even join us in time for the Progressive Dinner!

Friday, December 19, 2008

A Merry Mid-Century Modern Christmas!



I think this picture looks like an ad for fiberglass chairs. She's so cute!

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Stella had her school Christmas party yesterday and came home with a present for us that her teachers obviously made. But it's still really cute:



(BTW, for some reason Blogger's decided everything I type today should be centered, not left aligned, even though left aligned is what is chosen in the toolbar. Go figure.)
Here's her latest work of art, I've really fallen behind on posting them, although she also hasn't been creating much art lately.


Her church got all "super-Jesusy" for the holidays. Tim's theory is that they started out with the religious aspect of the school all hidden and now they're dialing it up a notch now that we're all complacent. Actually, I suppose Christmas IS a religious holiday, so I will overlook the fact that they randomly added "Jesus is THE Gift" to a handprint wreath, sent Stella home with a Reindeer that had a tag that said "Jesus is 'Deer' to Me" on it, and a Candy cane that had a little poem attached about how the red in candy canes represented Jesus' blood. I'm pretty sure I'm going to need a few days before I can eat a candy cane again after that one.

And, unfortunately, Stella fell while playing yesterday at school and skinned her nose. So we'll have that in the holiday pictures. But thank goodness for the Touch-up tool in Picasa 3, you can't even see the scab in the above pictures. I'll have to keep at least one or two with it in there, though, so we can remember history as it really happened;)

Monday, December 15, 2008

"I'm a tall girl!"



This morning Stella announced that she wanted to paint. So we bought finger paints at the grocery store. I grimaced at the mess they made (and her hands are now dyed blue, but she had a blast!)

This morning Stella announced to me, "I'm a tall girl!" Which was pretty funny. I'm sure she has heard this from other people, probably at school or something. I told her that yes, she was a tall girl and that I used to be a tall girl too and one day she'd be a tall woman just like me. Unless we start giving her coffee when she turns 3 or something. Ha!

Sparked by the fact that she's seemed so tall lately, I decided to measure her today after several months of forgetting. She's 39 inches! She weighs 37 pounds. No wonder she's thinned out so much, I think she's weighed 37 pounds for the last 7 months, but she's grown 3 inches. I think she outgrows something (maybe the car seat?) when she reaches 40 inches. What a big milestone!

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Friday night we checked out the frankly kinda lame light show at Southpark Meadows. Luckily Stella is two. She was entranced!


Yesterday we went to a Holiday Cookie Party at one of Stella's classmates' houses. It happened to be in the Independence neighborhood where we were building a house before we found this one. And it happened to be in the exact same floorplan we were building! It was very cool to see what it would have been like to be there, and I am more sure than ever we made the right choice! Right off the bat, parking was a nightmare. We parked several houses away, which wasn't a big deal, but got one of the last spaces on the street. Tim kept seeing what he thought were spaces and I'd be like, "No, that's a driveway." The driveways are that narrow! I think we would have lost all our friends because no one would put up with trying to find parking to see us!


It was cool that almost everyone there was from the neighborhood. Apparently there are tons of kids and everyone hangs out together. I guess it's probably because their friends can't come over and visit anymore because they can't find a place to park;) We also saw the woman with 4 kids who would have lived across the street had we wound up living there. She seemed a little annoyed with us and said that she had wondered what happened to us. Apparently a single woman bought our house and she was wondering where the family with a kid went! It would have been nice for Stella since their daughter is only a couple of months older. But oh well, Stella has made plenty of friends through other channels! The house itself was so bland. I don't think it helped that the people hadn't decorated at all. But it definitely reconfirmed that we made the right decision!


And last, but not least, Stella must have learned "The Wheels on the Bus" at school because she was spontaneously singing it the other day. My parents somewhere have an old film of me singing this same song, although I'm older. I'd love to try and dig it up when I'm there for Christmas and compare!


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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Austin City Limits

My my I sure am blogging a lot today, aren't I? I think it's the cold weather. It keeps me from wanting to do anything.

Monday night Anna and I went to see Sarah McLachlan at the Austin City Limits taping. It was so cool! She put on a fantastic performance and was really witty and warm while bantering with the crowd. She did utter a few 4 letter words, though. Not sure how they'll edit that. The sound is AMAZING! Anna said it was the best sound she'd ever heard at a show, and I have to agree. The only concert that could even come close was Morrissey at Royal Festival Hall in London, but they better have good sound there as that is a symphony hall! We were really close to Sarah, and it was so neat to watch the cameras do their work. A couple of times as the large crane camera swept over the crowd, I had some fear I might lose my head! But our noggins remained intact. They even had free beer, which I was so sad to not be able to take advantage of.

When we arrived, I swooped into a super-close space at the corner of 26th (Dean Keeton) and Whitis, right in front of my old dorm, Kinsolving. We headed to the Communications Building and asked a man where will-call was. It turned out to just be a guy in a blue shirt with a stack of envelopes standing outside the building. Very high tech. So we got our tickets, our hands stamped and we headed in the elevator up to the 6th floor. They have volunteers to shepherd you every step of the way, even operating the elevator for you. When we reached the 6th floor, we saw a sign informing us that the only restrooms were on the 2nd and 3rd floor (where we came in), so we headed back down and used the facilities. Then it was back upstairs for beer for Anna and water for me. All the seats were already taken so we stood in front of the stage. Eventually they brought tables and chairs and we were able to snag one after the 4th or 5th attempt (people kept stealing them from us. Sometimes being pregnant doesn't mean anything). We had a great time, and I was ecstatic that for her encore she did "Ice Cream", including an audience sing-a-long! I'm not the biggest Sarah McLachlan fan, but she is a great performer and her voice sounded amazing. I hope I can win more tickets to ACL tapings, it is a wonderful way to see live music!

The set is soooo fake in person, though. I can't believe that I used to believe that ACL was really taped outside in front of the Austin skyline. A friend my freshman year of college told me, "no, dummy, my Aunt works for ACL and it's taped in the communications building! That's a fake set!" Actually, I think she told me it was filmed in the basement, and it's really on the top floor, so maybe she isn't that smart either;)

Watch for Anna and I (and Sarah!) on February 14th on your local PBS station!

The Train, the Train!



Stella also rode the train at the mall and loved it.


I was washing Stella's laundry last night and as I was taking her little tiny panties out of the dryer, I had the same thought I'd had when I was washing her baby clothes before she was born: how could anyone be small enough to fit into these! She seems like such a little girl now (as opposed to a baby). Something about wearing panties and using the potty makes it feel like she's grown up overnight. Not that I'm complaining. But I think when she wore diapers I could still pretend she was a baby. Now that she wears panties, there is nothing hiding her long limbs or the fact that she no longer has a little baby pot belly. She's so tall and lean (without being skinny).

She looked so freakin' cute, I couldn't resist snapping a photo.

I love the kid she grows to become every day though, and I wouldn't want her to go back to a baby even for one moment!

Santa!


So Stella's experience with Santa this year went a lot better than last year, as you can see. As soon as we got to the front of the line, she wanted to run over to Santa. She gave him a big hug and sat on his lap while we waited for the picture-taking elf to finish showing pictures to the mom of the kid who was before Stella in line. She says she told him what she wanted and her name, so I think it all went according to plan, although I wish I'd fixed her hair a bit differently. She looks like she has a giant forehead. Although she is my child, so she probably does! Stella still wants a fire truck from Santa, which she has been asking for for a couple of months now. I'm really excited because we found a fantastic Tonka one at Toys R' Us the other day and all I have to do is get it and put it under the tree. It is definitely the top of the line in fire trucks, I think she is going to be over the moon when she wakes up Christmas morning. There are so many more cool toys for her now that she is almost 3 and can play with the 3 and up toys.

Christmas is definitely a lot more fun now that Stella is so into Christmas. Nearly every day at dinner she asks if Santa is eating dinner right now and if he's having the same thing we are. So cute!
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Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Chuck E. Cheese: Harder than Prison

Have you seen this article about Chuck E. Cheese? Apparently violence breaks out regularly there at locations all over the nation and police are often called. Wow. AND they serve alcohol there. WTF? At a kid's game arcade? That is really bizaare. At least I have an excuse not to take my child there.

In other news, it's official: Stella will not nap at school anymore. I'll be back to picking her up at 12:40 instead of 2. Sigh. I was just sitting down to lunch today when I got the call from her teacher to come pick her up because she had not only not napped, but was being really loud and yelling no. When I picked her up she said, "I can try again next time." And I said, no, today was the last time they'd let you try. She was doing pretty well, and then Thanksgiving came and she's never slept again at school. A moment of silence for my free time, please:( Her teacher said last week that she thinks what she wants is me to pick her up. And I think that's true. I have no clue why she doesn't want to nap at school. I am just so frustrated with her right now. And it will make Christmas shopping, which I had planned to do next week while she was at school, extra challenging since I now only have about 2 hours as opposed to 3 and a half. Damn.

Monday, December 08, 2008

A Christmasy weekend


This weekend we indulged in a lot of Christmas activities. Friday night I stage managed a Murder Mystery at Dave and Buster's, which wasn't directly Christmas involved, but will result in a little extra Christmas cash, which is nice. I think I did a pretty good job, although my skin did crawl a bit at being back in the big D&B. I'm just ready for my check to come through!


Saturday night we headed out via bus, with Baba in tow, to the Capitol Christmas Tree Lighting and Sing-a-long. We missed our bus stop and had to walk back 2 blocks because we had forgotten that our facist governor elminated the bus stop in front of the Capitol for "security reasons", aka "I don't like to see poor people when I go to work." We ran into our neighbors Mary and Tim and their kiddos, but had to head down to Starbucks for a potty break for Stella. Actually all of us wound up taking a turn! Unfortunately, we did miss a good deal of the singing, but still got to belt out some tunes and catch some of John Aielli being pompass. The little kid next to us actually said, "wow, he's full of himself!" It was awesome. We had a great time and it was so easy to get to and fro with our new location. This will definitely become an annual event for our family.


Sunday was of course the pageant, and then we went to the Travis Heights Art Walk. We initially planned to take the bus, but just as we reached the bus stop, Tim remembered that our bus doesn't run on Sundays. So we headed back home and hopped in the car. We got a good walk seeing the beautiful Travis Heights houses and some interesting art. This lady, Deborah Lykins, had a homemade photobooth set up in the carport of her amazing 3-story home. She took a really fun picture of the three of us and sent us home with a souvenir. Unfortunately, our scanner isn't re-set up after the great office transition into baby room, so I can't share it with you. But I talked to her a bit and I think I'm going to contact her to get some pregnancy/family photos after Christmas. She does AMAZING belly photos. And she was really cool to talk to. I just hope I can afford her! As an extra bonus, her parents were there and just welcomed all visitors in as if they were guests. They happily let both Stella and I use the restroom, and even had a kid's potty for Stella! We also liked this artist. She had really cool shots of Austin in construction. I think it would be awesome to commission her to do a painting of our house, not even sure if that's financially feasible, but it would be cool!
We did have one interesting thing happen. As we were walking, we saw a guy back out of his driveway and hit the car that was parked on the street behind his driveway. He sat there for a few moments, blocking traffic, then finally pulled out of the way back into his driveway. Then he got out of his car and pulled back out the mirror on the car he hit and rubbed the dent he made in the door. We moved slowly and watched him. I made a mental note of his license plate. Then he looked like he was reaching back into his car to get paper and pen, but instead got back in and drove off. Without leaving a note! Dude, you backed into a car RIGHT BEHIND YOUR DRIVEWAY. WITH WITNESSES! So I started writing a note and the guy pulled back around the block, like he was watching to see if I left a note. He slowed down when he saw us (we pretended to be opening the stroller), but did not come back. I left a note and the owner of the car called us last night to confirm what had happened. Hopefully the hitter will do the right thing, I couldn't believe how bold he was!
We didn't come home with anything, unfortunately, although we kicked ourselves for not picking up some of the handicrafts they had that were created by Akins High School students. I don't know why we have to debate over ever single little purchase!
Anna and I are off tonight to see Sarah McLachlan's Austin City Limits taping. I won free tickets. I'm pretty excited, even though I haven't listened to her since freshman year of college. Should be a fun estrogen fest! Right now I'm debating over whether to wake Stella up from her first nap in two days so we can head over to her friend Sully's house for a playdate! Oh, playdates vs naps, such a touch decision!

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Stella's Preschool Pageant


Stella's pageant was this morning and the kids were utterly adorable. I actually filmed the entirety of them singing "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star", but unfortunately it is a little blurry. But they stuck Stella right out in front so I have a clear shot of her! Apparently the teacher put her in front of other another shorter girl and Tim heard her parents, who were sitting in front of us,

complaining. Sorry, you should have had taller offspring;) I personally think it's just because she was dressed the cutest. I mean, check out that beautiful dress, $10, 70% off at the Carter's Outlet!

Here they are, doing their thing. Not sure if Stella actually sang any, but she certainly hasn't stopped singing "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" for the last week!

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One Year in our Dream Home

Toasting on our first night here

Yesterday marked a year since we've been in our house. I was just looking back at my posts from when we found it to when we actually got it and I would say that over the last year, I've only grown to love our house more. I'm constantly amazed by all the things it has that are perfect for us. Like the front window in which to put our Christmas tree. I'd forgotten about that, or how much I hated not having one in our last house, or how Tim and I discussed actually getting a second Christmas tree for the office in the house we were building, just so we could have one in the front window!
We have a million ideas for things we want to do with the house, but of course, the only major change we've made is repainting the battleship grey exterior blue and white. But it's wonderful to have a house that you can imagine an endless supply of little (and big projects) and improvements, enough to last the lifetime that we plan to stay here!

Taken tonight, all decked out for Christmas! We need a wreath, I can't find mine.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Stella's Potty Training Reward!


So this morning we went to Toys R' Us to pick out Stella's reward for successfully potty training and filling up her "Big Girl" Star sticker chart. Earlier this week, when I told Stella that once she filled up the chart she'd get a big prize, she said she wanted to go to the toy store and pick out a toy. Seems fair to me! So this morning we headed on down to the big store (yes we braved Toys R' Us on a Saturday in December) and set Stella loose. I think she checked out every single possible toy before choosing one. My child likes to make informed decisions. Tim said she definitely takes after me, he would have probably just grabbed something the minute he walked in. Tim steered Stella towards the Lego and I tried to convince her that Barbie was the way to go. She carefully considered those, as well as all the baby dolls, baby doll accessories, kitchen stuff and instruments and finally, after an hour of fun (I think the trip may have been a reward in itself), decided on this keyboard. We were pretty happy with her choice. It's a very cool keyboard that plays like a real one, has all sorts of "special effects" AND it was very economical. We had to tear her away from it for nap (which it sounds like she is not going to indulge us in today).

She has been quite the champ this week on the potty, today she even went at Hyde Park Theatre on the "big girl potty" (as she calls it) while we were there doing FronteraFest publicity photos. Her accidents have been limited to only two on Tuesday, under extenuating circumstances (during a 3 hour nap where she was just exhausted and during the looong car trip to pick up Daddy at work), and the one at school on Thursday.

I still get excited everytime she goes, and I have already packed away the diaper bag and all the accoutrements with glee. I'm enjoying my 4 month break from diapers!
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Thursday, December 04, 2008

And then on the Other Hand...

There are those days that make you go, "why did exactly did I decide to become a parent?" This morning, barely out of bed, Stella was already throwing tantrums. Fine, we got her to school anyway. She's been a bear all week. Then at 1:15 the phone rang. I knew before I even answered it that it was her teacher. Of course it was. Stella had been disrupting the whole class and refusing to nap. She had been saying "no, no, no" over and over again. Nothing would get her to calm down and go to sleep or at least be quiet. Tuesday they went through the same routine, except it ended with time out and then a talk with her teacher rather than me being called to pick her up. So of course I go pick up Stella and then her teacher gives me an extra bonus problem: Stella pooped in her panties. Yay! I was again told to talk to her about the nap thing and her teacher told her that if she pooped in her panties again she'd have to go to pull-ups. Great. I would not say this was my most embarrassing day (trust me, I have embarrassed myself a LOT in my life-it's sort of my super-power), but it's certainly not my proudest. I guess this is just the first in a long line of times my child embarrasses me. I know I embarrassed my parents a lot. When I think of how they must have felt when they got called by my teachers/principal about me, hoo-boy, I guess I have a long way to go before we're even!

I don't think my day of fun is over yet (did I mention I spent all morning getting my oil changed and my inspection?). Stella is chattering away in her room and already told me she won't nap. She says she doesn't want to nap at school anymore either. So the teachers are graciously letting me try again Tuesday, but after that it's back to early pick-ups if we don't succeed. I think all of Stella's turmoil this week is related to the milestone of potty training, but her teacher thinks it's related to me being pregnant. I sure hope it's the potty training thing, I don't want this to be a long-term problem!

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

It's like Christmas!

First my child potty trains, then I walk outside to see this:



For those of you not in Austin, this is the new recycling bin from the City of Austin. We can now recycle paperboard, plastics 1-7 and cardboard, plus the usual stuff like glass and aluminum, paper, etc, by just throwing it all in the bin. Now I can finally get rid of that giant pile of cardboard in my garage!
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Hallelujah!

So I've been afraid to blog about this for fear of inviting the jinx, but I really think that Stella has it down this time. Stella has been wearing panties since yesterday morning, without any accidents, even at school today! Since last week she's been going at least once a day in the potty, some days twice, completely independently. Like she says, "I have to go potty" and then runs in there and takes care of business. We follow shortly afterwards. Sunday night when Daniel was over, she just went in there with him and peed all on her own! We didn't believe it when she told us, we had to verify with Sean, who was on potty supervising duty, that yep, she did it.

I am soooo excited! Yesterday she suddenly was just like, "I have to go potty" and she peed or pooped as appropriate all day long. I guess it all just clicked for her. This reminds me yet again that Stella will do things when Stella is ready to do them, not when we want her to do them. It was entirely her doing. She is independent and proud and will only do things when she has mastered them. Also I think, as T. Berry Brazelton says, kids can't use the potty before their bladder/brain relationship matures and they can control their muscles/realize they have to go early enough to get it all done. I think that Stella has finally got all the pieces in place. I swear, yesterday and today have been two of the happiest days of my life, after my wedding day and Stella's birth!

Ah, if I can just have 3 or 4 months without diapers, I will be a happy woman!

Monday, December 01, 2008

My 'hood in the news!

This is a pretty lame article, but it's still neat that we were profiled in the Statesman's homes section. I just wish they'd interviewed someone who sounded a bit more intelligent or talked about the larger houses that line our street. We have a 2,700 square foot house on our street that's for sale for just a little over $200k.

So now that we're getting hot, you KNOW you want to live here, right? ;)

Saturday, November 29, 2008

The Christmas Season has officially begun!

I put the tree up today and so Christmas has officially begun!

I have to get a new tree skirt because I took ours out today only to discover that apparently the cat had vomited on it last year and I hadn't done anything about it.

Tim has been working super hard all week on getting the baby's room painted. He finished today, except for touch-ups (like where the brown meets the pink). It looks awesome, we both think it's the best color combination we've ever come up with. Now he's working on art.


I took the picture at night, so it's a little hard to see, but that is a pinky cream on top, a bright pink in the middle and a deep chocolate brown on the bottom. Yum!

Family, family, family!

Look, all three of us have our eyes open, are looking at the camera and are smiling!

We're enjoying some down time after a week filled with lots of family that began last Friday. We had a wonderful time with everyone, but are ready to be anti-social for a bit. Last weekend we were in Houston for Tim's Grandmother's 90th birthday. On the way we stopped at Dairy Queen for some ice cream and Stella had her first brain freeze:





She did not like it one bit. But now we know she takes after her father and not me. (I get throat freezes, not brain freezes.) Saturday night was the dinner party and Stella donned the "new" red velvet dress I got for her at the Pumpkin Patch and her new patent leather Mary Janes.


Monday night, after we returned, we tried a Korean restaurant we'd never eaten at before, Shilla and Stella discovered a love for Miso soup. That girl's tastebuds really impress me. I didn't eat anything unless it was covered in ketchup until I was about 10.



Wednesday night we had Tim's family over and got the younger set addicted to Rock Band. It was soooo awesome and definitely a tradition I think we must continue. I see Rock Band being brought out again at Christmas.




Thursday was a delicious Thanksgiving meal, of course, but it was two hours late due to turkey mishaps, so Stella did not get to share in the deliciousness because dinner did not get served until 9pm. But it was worth the wait. Just sad there was no Thanksgiving for Stella:(


Yesterday in the car, Stella treated us to a spontaneous rendition of "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star", which she is learning at school for their Christmas pageant next Sunday. It was the cutest thing ever, even if she only seemed to repeat the same words over and over again and in the wrong order. This was after a trip out for ice cream. Yes, we ate ice cream two Fridays in a row. One time was my idea and the other was Tim's, I swear it wasn't all the pregnant lady's doing!


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22 weeks!

I call this one sunny belly. This is sort of early in the day so it hasn't reached its full potential yet.

Friday, November 28, 2008

My New Addiction

The Teacher and the Student

I dreamt of scrapbooking Wednesday night. Seriously. I had two dreams about scrapbooking and I actually spent time thinking about layout while I was lying there awake. I have my dear sister-in-law Christine to blame thank for my sleep interruptions. Wednesday she took me to a bunch of scrapbooking stores and I collected piles of paper and stickers to make a baby book for the new baby. My attraction to scrapbooking caught me totally unawares. I expected to pretty much just get a pre-made book and she had said she was going to show me some basic pages I might like that had a place to write and then a bunch of places to put pictures. Then I started seeing all the ADORABLE ephemera I could get to make my own baby book and I was hooked. I even drove out to Cedar Park so we could go to the mother of all scrapbooking stores, Archiver's. I am on their mailing list now. Seriously, it's scary. Christine and I scrapbooked Wednesday night and then for like 6 hours straight yesterday. It went by in a snap. I had to be dragged away to go to Thanksgiving dinner!

I'd always been a bit opposed to scrapbooking because a lot of the scrapbook pages I had seen look like people put everything and the kitchen sink on the page. You hardly even noticed the photos or the text, which are of course the reason for the scrapbook. Christine said that's called "sticker sneeze". I tried to mostly refrain from that. Tim said perhaps I could start a modern scrapbooking movement. I have to say, I'm pretty proud of what I've done so far. I don't think I'll ever get to the point of Christine, who generously shared her suitcase full of supplies with me, because, as Tim says "You're too cheap." I did find out that the Archiver's store has a room where you can use their supplies, so perhaps I can go there if I can't wait until Christmas to scrap with Christine again. Please indulge me as I share some of my favorite pages with you. Keep in mind I won't be adding photos until BabyBean makes her grand appearance, of course. I think the pages got better as I went along, which makes sense of course.

The album cover, which I had nothing to do with, of course:


I think this might be my favorite page. I found paper that is the same as the fabric for the baby's room with slight tweaks. I'm using it for the welcome home page:

I would post more, but Blogger is being a bastard and won't orient my pictures correctly. So you are saved from more boring pictures of my scrapbooking skills. But don't be surprised if I corner you and make you look at it IRL!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Agreement!

So Tim was not as enamored of the crib bedding set I found as I was. That's what I get for asking him his opinion while he's trying to program! So we looked some more on Saturday and Sunday trying to find the perfect set with no luck and I've finally decided just to sew a crib skirt and curtains and buy a solid colored sheet that coordinates. Really, it was RIDICULOUS to pay $160 or more for a bedding set when we really just wanted the crib skirt. And we'd still have to buy the curtains on top of that. Plus, Tim came up with the great idea to just velcro the bed skirt panels to the board under the mattress. This is really cool because we can move the velcro as we lower the crib to make the bedskirt the right length. So no ridiculously short crib skirt! I hunted through fabric stores yesterday and found oodles of fabric I loved, and even Tim agreed with me on some of them. We found one we both could love. It has tons of colors we want to use, as well as many motifs we can repeat in the room. This is the fabric we chose:
You'll have to tilt your head to the right. for some reason, even though it's oriented correctly in my file, Blogger keeps turning it to be wrong.


All five yards came in at $22.50.

Oh no! While I was taking the pictures, I realized that in my haste to get my fabric, I hadn't checked the way the fabric ran. It runs vertically, rather than horizontally! So I'm going to have to stitch the fabric together every 43 inches or so. ARGH! This is going to be a lot more complicated than I thought.
Hmm... Perhaps, at least on the curtains, I could just use the fabric as is and only hem up the top and bottom seam. In any case, it's going to involve a lot more sewing, and I just hope I still have enough fabric, since I did the calculations based on the fabric running horizontally! Dang it. This is why I wanted to just buy a set. Oh, well, as I'm working feverishly I'll try to remember that part of the reason I'm doing this is to save money so we can buy the super-cool, super comfy chocolate brown glider and ottoman that we saw at Babies R' Us. I have to have it!
And on an unrelated subject, some great video of Stella getting down. At the very end, she is going to her room to retrieve her "dancing dress" (her purple princess dress-up dress) and her "shaker" (her maraca) so she can boogie down in style:



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Monday, November 17, 2008

Cute Stella moments!

So the birthday party this weekend was a BIG hit. It was definitely the coolest. Stella went on her first through fifth pony rides:
They also had 5 week old goats wearing jackets. I nearly died from the cuteness:

The birds and lamb were adorable as well.
I was talking to birthday girl's mom and she said, "it wasn't really that expensive", so I started to get all excited thinking of doing a petting zoo for one of Stella's birthdays. When I recounted the story, Tim pointed out what I forgot. That the birthday girl's mom said it was about the same as renting out Gymboree or Little Gym. So it probably still was out of my cheap-ass budget. But it was sooo awesome. Maybe for her Sweet 16;) We met more people from Stella's class, who were really nice and we're probably going to try and host a playdate here soon. They did talk about things like "night nurses" which led me to believe that perhaps they might be in a different tax bracket, but hey, I can hang with the rich people! There was one guy there, who we surmise was either a neighbor or a brother-in-law, who had gone hunting for beer in their house (at 11am!) and was talking to one of the grandpas about how he had just bought an AK-47 at a gun show. It was fascinating and frightening all at the same time!
Here's some video of Stella riding the pony. The original audio was the birthday girl's mom telling me how they made a tee-pee in their backyard out of sticks and vines. It was totally cool and I am completely stealing the idea. But I decided to add my own soundtrack.


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Saturday, November 15, 2008

Baby Girl Bedding

So since we've found out that we're having another little girl, I've been obsessed with two things: names and nursery decor. Tim and I currently have two favorites in the name department, although our number ones are not the same. We're also still looking. We want something classic, strong and beautiful, preferably with a bit of spunk. Basically another name that we love like Stella, although since that was our favorite name of all time before we even got pregnant, I don't know if it's going to happen. If you have any suggestions, send them our way, but keep in mind, most of our favorites fell out of popularity around 1928. We like real names, shun unusual spellings, and only want girl names. Not a boy name that was foisted on a girl. And while no one except Tim and I will know what BabyBean's real name will be until she makes her debut in this world, I can share our favorite bedding with you.
Now keep in mind this is every single accessory you can purchase for this set, and concentrate mostly on the cribskirt and sheet. We won't use the crib bumper because, while it is adorable, I am too paranoid about BabyBean pushing her sweet little face into it. So we'll use the breathable bumper we had with Stella. I'll use this bumper somewhere else, perhaps around a changing table or as curtains. We'll probably get a valance if that doesn't work and also the lamp shade because it is darling. You can check it all out here. While it isn't 50 bucks like Stella's set, it's still not astronomical, especially compared to the $450 sets we saw at USA Baby today.

We've become very serious very quickly about nursery decor because we realized that the best time to paint the nursery will be over Thanksgiving when Tim is off from work for an entire week. We almost always schedule a big home improvement project for Thanksgiving, usually painting. I'd love to hear folks' opinions about the nursery stuff because I'll probably be ordering it ASAP so we can get it and pick paint samples, assuming Tim is as in love with it as I am. What I really love about it is the mod shapes, as well as the fact that it uses green in addition to pink and brown. My favorite color for decorating these days is chocolate brown. Chocolate brown and blue, chocolate brown and pink, chocolate brown and green. Lots of baby girl bedding sets have pink and brown, but this one throws a curveball and puts the lime green that is another of my favorites. I didn't really use much pink for Stella's room, it was mint green with light pink and lavender accents, as you can see below. So I think I can use more pink in this Baby Girl's room.






For BabyBean's room, I think we're going to do Brown on the bottom up to chair rail height and another color, probably pink or that awesome green, on the top.
Another couple of sets we liked:


Although I think it's too pricey and too repetitive. Could benefit from a solid color in there somewhere.

And this one, which Tim doesn't like as much as me:

I think I might be more in love with the room and the crib than the bedding. And we all know that a baby's room would never look like this after the baby actually arrived. I do hate the giant safety pin. WTF?
Update from Tim, he is not as crazy about the bedding as I am and would like to, "see it in person" which may be a challenge. So maybe it's not a done deal like I thought!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Ladies and Gentlemen, it's a....

Obviously, my spidey sense is awful.

Yep, another girl! It was really obvious. About two seconds into the ultrasound, the technician flashed on that region and in my head I went, "that's girl bits!" Apparently Tim noticed it too. Later she again showed us a shot from the same angle of the legs and, once again, I saw no evidence of boy parts. She didn't tell us for another half hour, though, that it was a girl. Although Tim (and I also), thought she used "her" and "she" a couple of times.

So Stella's going to have a sister! I was really in shock and I am still adjusting to it being a girl. I was SO sure that it was a boy. Ha, shows what I know! So now we have to come up with a girl name, we had a really awesome boy name, but it will have to be retired, at least for now!

Some great face shots from the 3-D ultrasound, which they didn't have when I was pregnant with Stella:



She kept opening and closing her mouth (it's open in the above pictures), and trying to squirm away from the ultrasound. It was so cute! It's like she was shy, "get away, I'm trying to sleep folks!" She already hates the papparazzi. She didn't cooperate with the tech at all, who kept trying to get a certain angle of her spine, but no matter how much poking and prodding she did, or how much moving I did, Baby Girl wasn't budging off her back. The cup of coffee hadn't helped either. She's 12.5 oz, has a "textbook" heart (in the dr's words), and a heart rate of 158. Everything's there and perfect!

Now we just have to come up with a girl name, nothing appeals to me!

In other news, a kid in Stella's class has the chicken pox. I called my OB and left a message with the nurse because the teacher said I needed to. Hopefully everything will be fine. Stella has been vaccinated and hasn't even been to school in a week and I had it when I was a kid.

I'll leave you with some profile shots. Such a cutie!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Artwork 11/4 and 11/6/08 and cute Stella sayings

She insists that it goes this way. The substitute teacher must have written her name on it upside down.
Now that the real teachers are back, it's back to pieces of art I know my child never could have done, unfortunately.

Last week on the way back from the grocery store, Stella said she was "a little bit 'fraid of clowns. Little bit." I was like, where did you see clowns? And she said, "when I got candy from the neighbor's house. Last time." She was referring to a house down the street that had been having a party when we got there for Trick or Treating. Among the revelers were two little college-age girls dressed up as these bizaare, but really cool clowns and downing Budweiser. Kind of like "rave clowns". Now whenever we pass the house, she says "I'm a little bit 'fraid of clowns. Little bit." and talks about how they put their dogs inside when we got there. She says they put one dog inside and let one stay outside, but I only remember the one that remained outside. It was cute and loved Stella, although she was sort of petrified to go up to the door.
Last Wednesday night Tim was letting Stella ride all over the house on his back and shoulders and they were generally doing what Daddy's and kiddos do. She said, "Just take me something where!" between giggles. I thought that was really cute.
Here she is having a tea party/birthday party today with her dolls. It was A-dorable!

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