Wednesday, July 25, 2007

We have a visitor

An uninvited guest. I've named him Gary, and I don't know why. I wanted a "G" name, and it was the first one that came to mind.

Eric says he's harmless, and will, in fact, eat bugs (which I've been watching him do), and so, right now, we're keeping an eye on him and letting him have a meal of our insects before kicking him out. These kinds of creepy-crawlies don't bother me at all - I only wish Guthrie was awake to see it. Isn't he cute? Almost?

Tuesday, July 24, 2007


The rain has stopped, at least for now. The weather report I just read had a warning that the Valley could get some pretty serious rain in the next few days. There is, however, still a lot of standing water in places, and that has caused a huge growth in the local mosquito population. And has caused the mosquitoes to grow to be enormous. I've never before seen skeeters this big, and on one of my legs alone I have more than 30 bites. (Yes, I counted. I'm weird like that.)

And so, if we want to go outside and play, we must coat ourselves in bug repellent, which I'm not going to do. But just walking to and from our van we get bitten, and if you leave the door open for any length of time at all, you have them in the house. We are currently rather miserable.

The boys are going completely bonkers. For a week we couldn't go outside because it was raining, and now we can't because we'll be eaten alive, get West Nile or Dengue fever (there are occasionally cases along the border), and that would suck.

So today I did what any mom under the circumstances would do: I took them to ... Chick Fil A. (You didn't really think I was going to say McDonald's, did you?) It was my first time ever eating at one (they don't have them where I'm from), and I figured if I was going to do fast food so we could let the boys play, well, Chick Fil A was the least of the evils. (Other choices were McD's - NO WAY - Burger King - no thanks - or Peter Piper Pizza, a Chuck E. Cheese kind of place) The food was, eh, okay, the play area small and without a place to eat while you watched the kids, and so overall I was not impressed, but it did salvage a little of my sanity. Just a little.

The good news is our banana tree is thriving in this weather. And our fire ants are gone (although everywhere else we're going I'm seeing mounds everywhere).

Any other suggestions for not going insane with two little ones when the weather sucks? I think all of Texas is dealing with some variation on this right now. I'm about to sign them up for the Little Gym, but by the time I did, the weather would clear right on up. *sigh*

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Our House

... is a very very very messy house
With a toy camel in the potty
A toy diesel who is naughty.

And as I'm no Weird Al, that's as far as I can get.

Turner has finally decided to start sleeping better. He's now sleeping regular 1 1/2- 2 hour stretches at night, and naps are about 1 1/2 hours too. I know, for a 15 month old this seems like not sleeping much at all, but for OUR baby, this is amazing. I don't think Guthrie was doing it at this age.

BUT - Guthrie has decided to start waking up at 4 in the morning, sometimes earlier, on a fairly regular basis, or waking up in the middle of the night and being awake for hours. Thankfully, he has been kind enough several times to crawl on the futon next to Daddy, and keep Eric awake half the night while Turner and I just sleep, but it's still dragging us all down.

And then last night (this should be its own separate post, but I'm too tired, so it's not) we had visitors, a writer and photographer from France, who are doing their own sort of literary Alexis de Tocqueveille tour of America, and one of their first stops was way down here in South Texas to interview and photograph my very own husband for their project. Not too shabby. And we had a great time, but as such were up waaaay too late, and so the the 5:30 wake up call was waaaaay too early.

We were all grumpy, and Guthrie was sleep-deprived crazy. Turner was extra needy. Chaos was the word of the day. We (meaning mainly me and Rosalind, and honestly, mostly Rosalind, as I had a baby attached to me most of the day) picked up toys almost constantly. Cars, trucks and trains flew through the air. I really did discover a few minutes ago a toy camel in the potty chair. We went to our favorite local taqueria for breakfast tacos, in the early afternoon I napped with Turner while Guthrie and Rosalind watched a movie. Once Eric got home it was meltdown after meltdown after meltdown ("I want Goldfish." "You have Goldfish. Eat those and you can have more." "But I want those Goldfish!!!!" Followed by screaming and throwing himself on the floor. And Turner sitting in his high chair watching and laughing, then throwing his Goldfish on the floor, doing his favorite mealtime trick and feeding the invisible chihuahua.)

Bedtime could not, and did not, come soon enough. Another meltdown, over what stories we were, or weren't, going to read. Once he was laying down, though, the eyes couldn't stay open, and halfway through a book about pandas, Guthrie said, "no more," and was snoring in seconds. Finally, the house is quiet.

And it is still raining. I know part of the meltdowns are cabin fever from the inability to go outside, but even when it is not raining, it is too wet to be outside. And can we talk for just a second about bugs? A couple nights ago I was attacked by fire ants. I'd heard about them, been bitten by one or two, but this time I was attacked - my flip-flop wearing feet were covered, and it hurt. Today, in between downpours, Eric and I were in the backyard to check on the banana trees (and look for a pair of shoes that disappeared in our home somewhere) when we discovered a giant fire ant mound. Last night we had left the boys' room window opened (screen intact) a few inches, and when we went in there to turn off the light, it was filled - literally, there were thousands - with some sort of weird white flying ant-like creature. I don't like chemical poisons anymore than anyone else, but let me tell you, these bugs - fire ants and crazy flying things - gotta die. Eric sprayed the bedroom, shut the door so no one would go in, and this morning I vacuumed them up. Yes, I had to use the vacuum. And our front door was covered, too. Gross. The fire ants are going down tomorrow (if it stops raining long enough).

My head still feels like it is spinning, and no, I haven't had enough of my fruity green drink for that to be the cause. Maybe it's because Guthrie's new trick today was to lay down and spin in circles on the kitchen floor while announcing, "I'm a ceiling fan." Or from the circles I had to run today to keep the boys from killing each other (or me - I got pegged in the face with a toy truck today). Whatever the case, fruity green drink is helping, and the bed is looking better by the second.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Why I'm an even bigger dork

Because I was so excited that I felt the need to blog about it.

Why I am a Total Dork

Because this news made me squeal with joy. Seriously.

In case you don't want to click on the link, the news, the wonderful news that made this Total Dork squeal, is that David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson are both on board to do another X-Files movie. Yippee!!!!!!

I guess this means Eric and I have to get back to watching our DVDs of the series. We still haven't made it through the first season, but since Turner is starting to sleep better, maybe we can waste our evenings with Mulder and Scully. Ummm, Mulder, Yummmmmm. I mean, that was a great show, uh, yeah, great show. I actually didn't see much of the last season, so I still don't know how it ended. Gotta find that out soon.


Monday, July 16, 2007

He talks to the clouds

Yesterday morning it was cloudy, and looked and felt as if it were about to rain. We went to the store to get some things, and on our way back Guthrie asked if it was going to rain. I told him I wasn't sure, and he should ask the sky and the clouds. He looked out his window, turned his head up, and had a little conversation.

"Sky and clouds, are you going to rain today?"

"Yes Guthrie we will rain after it is dark time at night."

"Okay sky and clouds. Thank you."

I thought this conversation was adorable. It didn't rain at all during the day. Then, last night, as soon as it started to get dark, we started to see lightning. And drops of rain. And when Guthrie woke up at midnight (and told me thank you for "saving" him when I went into bed with him) I told him he was right, and it was raining, and he got a huge smile on his face.

Maybe the clouds really do talk to him.

Although they could stop raining now. Story hour was canceled today because too many roads were closed, we got 5 inches already, and lots of people are having trouble with flooding. I guess I'll need Guthrie to ask the clouds for their plans again tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Raining on our Parade

I've been preparing Guthrie for a week or so for fireworks. Last year, we didn't even try taking the kids to a show, but some were still shot off close enough that Guthrie couldn't sleep through them and got scared. At New Year's, he refused to look out our hotel window to watch, again scared of the noise and lights.

So I decided I'd spend plenty of time explaining, we watched the videos Karrie posted on her blog. We talked about how they are loud, but won't hurt us. And Guthrie was all excited that he could stay up late and watch fireworks.

And then Mother Nature decided that we needed rain, and to play a joke on me. And so it rained - a lot - and there was lightning, and thunder, and big, dark clouds. At around 7 I looked out, and saw more big clouds (although it wasn't raining) and there was still lightning in the distance, and so Eric and I talked, and figured the shows would all be canceled or postponed, and I should put the boys to bed. And so I did.

And now, it is not raining. I see blue in the sky. I hear people shooting off their own fireworks in the distance. And the boys are sleeping right through it, and I have no plans to wake them up.

Mother Nature is not very nice to me today.

So, our Fourth was completely uneventful. I don't believe I even walked out the door of the house today. The big event was whipping up some Jiffy corn bread mix (one of my big food indulgences, that I don't do often - I generally try to avoid the word "lard" in food labels). Guthrie is having a blast with Roz being here, and I hope he won't be too sad he missed the big pretties in the sky.

And to add my own lame patriotic touch, for those who, like me, love quizzes, have at this one.

Can YOU pass the US citizenship test? I apparently deserve to be here - I got 100%. (Although why it's really important to know some of this stuff to be a citizen is beyond me, but apparently I retained enough of my social studies lessons - thank you to most of my SS teachers)

Hope everyone is having a more eventful Independence Day than us.

Monday, July 02, 2007


My 29th birthday came and went with little fanfare. I got a few phonecalls, some comments on MySpace, a card in the mail from my mom and one from my niece and nephew, and I got to take a (very short) midafternoon nap, but other than that, the birthday itself was pretty uneventful.

I've come to understand that having a birthday which falls at the end of the month, when payday comes only once a month and is at the beginning, is a definite downer. The money is all gone, forget about the party.

Eric made up for this, though, by surprising me with a Very Nice bottle of wine. I've been telling him, for a long time, that I'd like to try a Very Nice, Expensive even, bottle of wine, to see if it's really worth all the hype, and if I would ever, if I could, trade in my Little Penguin or Yellow Tail (why have I come to be so fond of the Australian wine makers?) for the Really Good wine.

We enjoyed the bottle Saturday night, at an Econo Lodge in Corpus Christi, where we stayed on our way to pick up Eric's daughter for her summer visit. We remembered the cork screw (I, like a good wino, keep a cork screw [although I'm not sure now if cork screw is one word or two] in my regular travel bag when on road trips), but not glasses, and so we drank the Very Nice, Really Good, Expensive even, bottle of wine - every last drop - out of the cheap plastic cups provided by the hotel, on the balcony overlooking the pool and while watching the other overnight guests returning from the George Lopez show across the street, and with the hotel room door open so that we could stand just outside the door and be able to look in and make sure the boys were still sleeping. (Turner slept a very long stretch that night, bless his little heart. Kind to us he was.)

And the verdict? Would I, if I were able, trade in my nice cute-named Australian friends for the Very Nice bottle of wine? Nah. It was worth it - definitely worth it - and tasted great with our pre-sliced sandwich cheeses, but I think I'll stick with my kangaroos and penguins. (Why is an Australian wine called the Little Penguin, anyway?)* Not that I have an option, now - that Really Good bottle was definitely a Big Splurge for a birthday - but I'll know, when that long lost uncle who no one has ever heard of decides to shower me with his fortune.

The best part of the bottle? It did cushion the blow of the fact that I now have less than 365 days until I am no longer in my 20s. And last night, while sitting up with my husband across from me and a glass of one of my Aussie friends in my hand, I caught myself saying something that not so long ago seemed an oxymoron. When discussing with Eric whether we would ever have more children, I said there's no need to spend too much time thinking about it now, I have plenty of years of reproduction left. After all, I told him, I'm only 29.

*I looked it up on Wikipedia, of course, and discovered the ignorance of that statement. Penguins live in Australia. What do I know? I'm as bad as the people who asked me, when I lived in Alaska, if we saw lots of polar bears.