Monday, March 24, 2008

My Baby's Two!

Stella turned two years old today. Actually she turns two officially in 7 hours because she wasn't born until 11pm. It's amazing how quickly time passes. But she just gets more and more fun everyday. I love watching her play make-believe with her toys. It's the biggest kick in the world to watch her run around the house full-speed pushing her dolls in a stroller or to play "nap nap" with her, where she insists I lay down and she'll cover me with blankets, give me a teddy bear to cuddle with, etc. I love it when I can understand her and get exactly what she wants, compared to a year ago when I had to guess between pointing and head-nodding. I love the fact that she hugs me and says "I love you" and can say "Mommy, where are you?" or "Here you go, Mommy!" when she hands me something. We get to run around and dance together and be silly together and she even sings, which is the best. I even see her sharing with her friends sometimes, and when she says "Please" and "thank you" unprompted, I'm the proudest Momma on the block. I had no clue what being a Momma would be like a year ago when I was in excruciating pain watching the saline drip anxiously because when it was done I got my epidural. All I was focused on was the birth, not the baby. And when they finally handed me that wet, tiny, beautiful bundle, I wasn't prepared for the emotion that meeting my Stella welled up in me. The intense tears of joy as I instantly fell head over heels in love with my new daughter. She's the greatest gift God has ever given me and I continue to learn from her everyday.

Okay, you guys know I don't do sap well, so enough of that;)
Saturday we had a kick-ass birthday party for her complete with Easter Egg hunt for the kids. Stella would pick up an egg and then immediately have to open it to find out what was inside. We kept her hopped up on sugar all day long. She received an embarassment of riches in the presents department, but what we really feel fortunate about is that she just might be the most loved girl on earth. There were so many family members and friends that were there to sing to her and hug her and share this special milestone with us.
Saturday night we went to see the Bedlam Faction's new show, The Brats of Clarence. It was great fun and it was so awesome to see those crazy cats back on stage again. Afterwards, they had Beer and delicious Bratwurst out in the parking lot. We stayed until way past curfew chatting with great people we hadn't talked to in what seemed like forever and toasting their return to Austin theatre. Welcome back, Bedlam!
Brock and Franklin attend to the all-important Brats

Sunday we went to church earlier than we would have liked and Stella had another Easter Egg Hunt there. It was crazy, there were eggs everywhere and all three of us got totally hopped up on sugar again. Then we had brunch at Katz's, home for a nap, and then back out to Anna and Sean's for a delicious Easter Feast. Back home again we watched a horrible movie called Southland Tales. Seriously, it is awful, avoid it at all costs. It was a steaming pile of crap and was longer (I swear) than the envelope said it was supposed to be, so I got to bed late and was in a bad mood because I wasted my Sunday evening on a horrible movie. This morning we hosted playgroup to celebrate Stella's birthday and everyone had a great time. The new slide from Stella's MeMe and Pappy was a huge hit and surprisingly violence did not erupt in the line to use it. I'm never happier in my backyard than when there is a mess of kids back there running around and I get see the look of pure joy on their faces. I don't think children have ever lived here before and this yard was made for them! Guess I have no choice but to make more;)

Look, she's sharing! (With buddy John David)

Manners Are Dead

I would like to use this blog post to play Emily Post and define the phrase "RSVP" for the 18 people I have invited to Tara's bridal shower this weekend who have not responded: It is the intials of a French phrase that means "Please Respond", as in, let me know if you are going to attend or not. When I say "RSVP by March 24th", that means, please let me know if you are coming or not by March 24th. As in today. Because otherwise I will have to track you down and find out so I will know how much food to get. Perhaps I'm going to get 18 calls or emails in the next 8 hours, but somehow I doubt it. It really is disgusting when you invite 21 people to a party and only 4 of them let you know whether they are coming or not. (I know the guest of honor and my co-thrower, Erin, are coming, so that's why it's 18 people I haven't heard from.) Seriously, I have not even heard from the mothers of the groom and the bride! I had to ask the bride herself if she knew if her relatives and friends are coming. She doesn't need to have to deal with that! But we can't very well plan a shower for 7 people and have more than 3 times that show up, it'd be a disaster. And if I plan for a whole lot of people and there are a lot of no-shows, it's nearly as bad.
Okay, enough bitching, I'm done. I just wish manners were more important in today's world. I'll be teaching my child them, she already says please and thank you, I just hope she's not alone in knowing how to treat her fellow human beings respectfully.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Rash Update

I totally forgot to update after I got back from the dr's office what Stella's rash was due to and yesterday my sister-in-law called me in a panic that she would catch leprosy or something when she came to Stella's birthday party. So to calm all of those coming tomorrow, Stella does not have some dread disease; she in fact has dry skin, which was probably irritated by an unwashed birthday outfit she insisted on wearing last week. And her nose is still snotty, but I checked and colds are contagious for at most the first five days that there are symptoms. So Stella's on day 8, so we're safe. She's totally herself other than the snot, no fever, no other symptoms, so the birthday party is a go-ahead and no one is going to catch some dread disease. Yay!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Just the Updates, Mam

Stella and her second cousin Mercedes at their birthday party
I've been super-busy preparing for Stella's birthday party Saturday and ignoring the cold and rash she has that suddenly has gotten a LOT worse (the rash, not the cold. I actually called the Dr. because the rash was worse this morning). Anyway, if her cold (it's really just a runny nose with yellow snot) isn't gone by Saturday, do I have to cancel her party? Or can I just warn everyone (particularly the parents of wee ones) and they can decide if they still want to come or not? I blame Kirbyville for both the rash and the cold, but especially the cold. My cousin's husband was sick at their birthday party and yet he still came. Grr. The rash just started as a couple of tiny dots (in Kirbyville), progressed to some colorless bumps (I thought it was heat rash), and is now red patches and spreading up her torso. Great. The plan today is to drop her at Baba's while I do a bunch of shopping for her birthday, but it looks like we may be taking a detour to the doc's.

Stella pooped in the potty day before yesterday. It was very exciting, although I think it was completely by accident. Stella prefers the big toilet with her seat on it and we were hanging out there reading books and stuff (we often do this for 45 mins-an hour at a time, she REALLY likes hanging out on the toilet), and lo and behold, she pooped! Tim and I were much more excited than she was, although we played it cool and did not act too enthusiastic so as not to dampen her own pride at her achievement (this is what the pediatricians tell you to do.) Yesterday she wasn't interested in sitting on her potty at all, although she does tell me she's peed as soon as she does it. Now the next step is just getting her to tell me that BEFORE she pees. We cancelled her diaper service starting this Friday (a bit prematurely of course), so I guess we'll be doing the all disposables all the time thing soon. Hopefully not for too long, I'm ready to be done with diapers!

I bought a new camera yesterday. I didn't want to do it, but the repair on my old camera to replace the screen was going to cost about $120 and the new camera was only $180. It's a Canon, but it's a much smaller one without all the bells and whistles. I loved my old Canon, but I think part of the reason I was always dropping it was that it was too large for any camera case I could find, so I was always shoving it in my pocket. This one is the Canon Powershot SD750. I'm excited about the tiny size, I just hope it takes as good of pictures as my old A-series. It was a fantastic camera that I unfortunately am not mature enough to own.

Friday, March 14, 2008

The Automat last Weekend and New Dishes!

So just a reminder that it's the last weekend for the Automat. Get your tickets at!
We went to Auditorium Shores last night and saw Grupo Fantasma, Del the Funky Homosapien, and Spoon for free. A great time was had by all! I was a sort of a bad person and kind of abused Bill and asked him to do box in addition to all his backstage duties so that we could go. But it just sounded so appealing and Stella, Tim and I have had no family time lately. I am totally going to buy Bill a giant beer as thanks. At lunch today we're going to join the Larsons at Dog and Duck for a day party. Hopefully we won't melt in the heat; I'll definitely have to remember to get everyone slathered in sunscreen. I'm currently wearing dark jeans and a black tank top, but I think I'd better find something a little lighter weight before I leave.
Stella just nearly killed us all. I thought I smelled gas and, sure enough, Tim had left the key in for the gas on the fireplace and Stella had turned it on. Luckily the flue was open (and it probably hadn't been on very long). We've got all the windows and the back door open. I've never lived in a house with gas, though and this is kind of scary!
I have new dishes! Very exciting. They are Corelle because I was sick to death of chips and broken plates. My mother offered to buy them for me as a housewarming present, and so I now have 12 place settings, a baking pan, two casseroles, a tray, a pitcher and 2 ramekins (Corelle's pretty cheap and I bought some accessories myself). They're really pretty. I love the square shape and that they are so modern and clean. I think they look kind of vintage 60's modern and are black and white so will therefore match anything. Our old dishes have been discontinued and are sort of a French Country style. My old kitchen was very vintage kitsch/country and I'm now more into modern, so I think I'll be migrating my accessories that way. They also had canisters, which I may get down the road. My current canisters are cherries from Target and while I really like them, I would like something more modern.
Oh my God, my child just went outside barefoot, wearing a t-shirt and diaper with two pairs of panties over them because she insisted on wearing two pairs of panties and I wasn't in an arguing mood. Okay, now she's added boots to the ensemble. I hope one of my neighbors doesn't call CPS...
crap, she just got stuck in the doggie door. Bless her heart. I'd better go.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

The Funk

I'm just going to bellyache here, so you may want to skip this post and come back tomorrow or next week or something.

No one is coming to see the Automat. And I mean No One. Audiences have been so small that audience members have been asking me what's wrong. Like Thursday night one of our five audience members said, "it's time to start? But there isn't anyone here." And I cheerfully said, "well the weather's cold and rainy I'm sure no one wants to come out." Last night one of the 7 audience members said, "Did you guys advertise in the Statesman?" And I said yes, (although I'm not sure we did), we don't know why no one is coming. Here are some postcards, please spread the word! Everyone likes the show, I just don't get it. I know the fact that postcards and posters weren't done until Wednesday didn't help, but that can't be all it is. I know the cast is small (4), but come on! I seriously was embarassed when I saw my friends last night after the show. I felt like crying when I got there and saw that there were only 3 cars in the parking lot other than cast and crew members. Tonight, for a Saturday night, we have 7 reservations and 3 of those are comps! It just makes me sick and I really want to crawl into a hole and not come out until Spring. Or something like that. Although part of me is sickly fascinated to see how much we can lose on one show. Can the Automat be the show that takes Loaded Gun Theory out? I guess that would be pretty impressive for one show.

Then today I took my little IKEA picture ledge to Home Depot to get screws. Last time I went I was so overwhelemed with the options I just left. This time I was determined to be successful. I want pictures on the wall, dammit, and I want them before Stella's birthday party in two weeks or Tara's shower in 3! So Tim told me to just go to the hardware store with the shelf and ask for help. Boy, did I get help. The guy was like, "You need to counter-sink the screws and then sand it and cover it with wood putty so the screws won't show." I told him that I was going to cover it with picture frames so I didn't care that the screws would show. And he was like, "you're going to cover all the holes?" And suddenly I wasn't sure anymore. All confidence in what I had set out to do was sucked out of me. Then he was like, "you're going to have to drill more holes in here, that's not enough support. You'd be better off getting L-brackets and attaching them to the bottom." And I was like, "I don't want L-brackets, they would show and that is the whole point of a picture ledge that they don't have ugly supports!" So then he says, "let me show you what you really should do." and drags me over to these drywall anchors and starts explaining how they work and he says, "are you planning to put more than 30 pounds on it?" and I was like, "I don't think so." because of course at this point my head is spinning so fast I don't know what my name is. And he was talking about how I could put these little screws all along the shelf and blah blah and finally I just said, "I'll come back with my husband, I have no idea what to get. Thank you for your help." And we parted ways. I decided to call Tim because let me tell you, I REALLY wanted to get this done today. But he was no help and said, "sure you could get the drywall anchors." And I told him how the guy had said that I needed to put more screw holes in it and could i just use the screw holes already in the shelf and Tim was like, "yeah you could but it might fall off the wall." He's so helpful sometimes. So I just said forget it, I'll come back when you can come with me and hung up and headed home. What a waste.

Now we're supposed to go to dinner with a bunch of the families from Stella's playgroup, but I didn't RSVP until last night because I thought we couldn't go and now we're not on the reservation list, so I don't know if we should go or not. And I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror and I am having an Ugly Day. I think I'm just going to crawl back into bed and stay there.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Thanks City of Austin!

So because we were already going to be shelling out a ton of money to fix one part of our HVAC system, we decided to go ahead and have the City of Austin do a free energy audit to see what all we could do to improve our energy efficiency and what it would cost. And we've decided to go ahead and have our house brought into the 21st century. I mean, if we're going to blow a lot of money we might as well Blow A Lot Of Money and have our energy bills be way down after we're done, right? Also, the city of Austin has insane rebates that are going to be equal to like 26% of the cost of the improvements! So I'm sad I have to spend so much money on it (bye, bye Mexico, bye bye bailing church out of closing-sorry God, bye bye new car for a while), but I'm sort of excited about the fact that we can bring down our energy bills and do great things for the environment. Our HVAC system is going to be better than one in a brand new house when they're done. They're going to:
-Put in solar screens
-Seal all the ducts and anywhere we could be losing air
-Bring our Attic insulation from a R10 to an R38!
-Have installation put around our ductwork (apparently our 40 year old ductwork is BETTER than what they would put in a new house today! we're lucky in that it's going to last forever.)
-Have a brand new Dee-luxe 3 ton A/C-Heater put in (I think our current is a 2 ton)
-Have the thing that was already broken replaced to boot!

So it's a lot of money, but fortunately they have the rebates and the installer has 12 months no interest so we don't have to use a credit card or anything horrendous like that. Man, I don't think I realized how much money an old house could suck up, but I still have no regrets. I love this house!

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Well we TRIED to Caucus

So we tried to Caucus last night (see the visual evidence over at Metroblogging taken by Tim Trentham, that's us on the right of the picture). Unfortunately we didn't meet Tim in person, we didn't know he was there! We got there at 7:15 and it was a mob scene. Ran into my friend Gary and his wife Jill and we talked to them for a while. After about 20 minutes, someone told us to split off into Clinton and Obama camps, and Tim took Stella over to the Obama line, while Gary, Jill and I moved over to the Clinton line which, unfortunately, was much shorter. Many more "Obama-bots" there than Clinton supporters and it split pretty much the way I expected: older people, women, hispanics, gays and lesbians in the Clinton line and young people and African-Americans in the Obama line. At about 15 to 8, I called Tim and said, "enough, they just said that there are still 5 more people voting, that it's going to take a long time for everyone to get signed in, and we're cancelling each other out with our votes anyway!" So he grudgingly left. If we hadn't had Stella, we might have stayed, but my friend Gary said today that chaos continued to reign and that they left about 45 minutes after we did. So I'm guessing that unfortunately a lot of people were unable to influence the caucus because it was just too disorganized. We were standing in a parking lot in the (semi-)cold for Pete's sake! I hope they do away with the caucus system, but I doubt it.

I was surprised to find this morning that my lady Hillary is still in play. This thing could go all the way to the convention, how exciting! I will vote for Obama if he is the nominee, but I am really excited to think that Hillary could still be President!

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Bad News

So it looks like the trip to Mexico isn't going to happen. We got word back from the Home Warranty people that they weren't going to cover the claim and it just seems like an irresponsible use of money to spend a couple grand on a trip when we need to spend that money to fix the A/C. Sigh. We have a lot of other expenses that keep cropping up too, so this was just the final nail in the coffin. Oh, well, on the bright side, it takes the stress off having to plan a vacation. And the Mexico books are due back to the library tomorrow anyway.

It's put me in a pretty crappy mood for today, though, I have to admit. Maybe we'll go back to Port Aransas again, that was quite nice, or we can do a road trip somewhere else. Although with the cost of gas, I don't know how much money you save on a road trip!*

I had just wanted to go somewhere special because this will probably be our last trip for a while, since it's getting to be "that time" to have Baby #2 (not that I consider that a burden or anything!). But going on trips while pregnant just isn't as much fun and it's damn near impossible for the first year when you have a little nursling. But we're not dead yet, so you never know what could happen in a few years!

Home Warranties are the biggest rip-offs I've ever heard of. I don't even know that you can get them to cover anything. I can only imagine the kick-backs everyone involved gets when you buy one. We bought one for the people who bought our old house and the sellers bought the one we have for this house.

*Actually, quite a lot. I just did the math and we could go about 7500 miles for the cost of plane tickets!