"Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both." ~ Benjamin Franklin

Our House

>> Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Is a very, very, very nekkid house.

Doug walked outside this morning, came back in and announced, "So, we're the only ones on the block without Christmas lights up."


This I know. I heard the Christmas light rental guys at the neighbor's house yesterday. "Next weekend," I told him. With my living room full of laundry last weekend- from our trip- I was in no condition to add to the confusion by attempting to put up any sort of decorations.

When I was a child my mom had a hard and fast rule that the Christmas tree didn't go up until her birthday- December 18. It was probably to keep the two separate and keep her birthday from being overshadowed but it seemed like torture when I was young.

Everyday in December kids at school would talk about their trees and all the presents accumulating under them. Comparitively our Christmas' (Christmases?) were modest. Not a bad thing in retrospect- we definately didn't take things for granted and we were far from spoiled. Not that it was any consulation when I was begging for a Cabbage Patch doll. Remember when they were over $100 and people fought over them? But now I appreciate that I wasn't just handed everything I wanted. It really does make me appreciate my life now so much more.


I live in a house that could easily have three trees and not feel over done. We have a large picture window that overlooks the back yard, perfect for a tree. Our "formal" dining room faces the street and has a large window that requires some sort of decor. And our basement, where we spend the majority of our family time, has a corner that is termed a "dance floor". Right next to the wet bar it is tiled,the walls are mirrored and speakers are positioned overhead. All it is lacking is a disco ball. That area is perfect for the tree; the lights look so nice reflecting in the mirrors.

So, in the next three & a half weeks -or less-I need to:
finish shopping (mostly online, thank goodness!)
do some baking
find out when extended family stuff is and see if we can work it in to our busy schedule
find a dress for the inevitable work party (must look hot so Doug's co-workers can be jealous)

Sure, along with day to day activites that seems do-able. HA!


A Whole New Way to Read the Geek

>> Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Stolen from VW Bug who sote it from Sticks...


Now you can read our blog if you're a redneck!

Or if you reside "down under"

Take a few minutes and do this- it's hilarious!


Early Morning Sounds and Random Thoughts

As I sit here waiting for Caelan to wake for the day... Did you read that? Waiting for Caelan to wake for the day... Yep, she slept through the night again! I think we will mark this as a trend now and put it in her baby book as official. Yippee!

As I was laying in bed waiting for the same thing I decided that I have officially taken over Iowa Geek and now it can really be termed as a "mommy blog". Doug has been so busy that he hasn't posted in ages. Maybe I should change the name to "If Momma Ain't Happy..."

Brenna sems to have developed a family trait. This one must come from my mom's side of the family as I think all of us kids have done this. Through the monitor I can hear her talking in her sleep. It happens every morning about this time. It's kind of cute, her little sing-song voice soft and sleepy.

Rain is beating against the windows. Yes, rain. We are having a wet winter so far. If the precip keeps up we will have snow by Thursday when the temperature drops. Lots of it. It's a good thing Doug bought me a new snowblower.

Huh, lightning. Weird.

Still waiting on Caelan. I can hear her softly breathing through her monitor. It is taking a lot for me to not go up there.

Potty training is taking some definite steps in the right direction. Brenna has been telling us when she is going, which can make for some messy changes of pants if you aren't careful, and heading for the potty at that time. Yesterday, as Caelan was kind-of nursing mostly just hanging out at my boob, Brenna announced "Poopy mommy, poopy!" And we made it to the potty in time for a tiny bit to make it into the toilet. Celebratory dancing ensued.

Ahhh, I hear my little one waking. Gotta go!


There's No Place Like Home

>> Sunday, November 26, 2006

Brenna the traveler.
She pulled her bag of goodies like a pro. Her current favorite bedtime buddy was tied to the top with her snuggly blanket. And, yes, we had her leashed. I think that my favorite thing in the airports this time was to see people smile when they saw her walking down the corridors.

After 8 days and 7 nights in and around Dallas we are home. I know my breathing evened out as we were driving away from the airport. And my stress level dropped significantly. Because, no matter how much you enjoy visiting family, you can get just a wee bit too much togetherness.

I know that having the two little ones didn't help a bit. By the time we returned to the hotel they were both worn down from all the activity and were just heathens. Bedtime was a nightmare. And, although Brenna slept through the night (once we got her to sleep), Caelan had a difficult time adjusting to everything. Especially being held so much. I think she may have been overstimulated. Not that I blame anyone for wanting to hold her- she is adorable.

But now we are home and settling into our normal routines. Caelan is enjoying her swing and bouncy-seat that we couldn't take, Brenna is running around like a loon burning off all the cooped-up-hotel-room-energy, I am doing loads and loads of laundry and Doug is doing something on his computer and keeping the girls occupied so I can get things done. Ahhh, home.


Happy Thanksgiving

>> Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!


Civilization At Last!

>> Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Having left HH this morning we arrived in the Dallas suburbs and checked into a hotel that is ***s (three stars) above the last one.

Now I understand that you need to cater to your clientele. I get that. But the hotel we stayed at while in Canton (name will be withheld as I don't have much good to say about it) was bad.

First, the rooms all had exterior entrances. I hate that. I just don't feel safe. Second, I wanted a room with one king bed so I could have the extra floor space for Brenna. But, no. Regulations in that county say that, with 3 people (even if one person isn't a whole person), we had to have a room with two queen beds. Third, all the rooms on the first floor, which is where they put us because of the girls, were handicap accessible. Low, low, low showerheads. Too low even for me. Oh, and they were the hand-held kind. And the support to hold them up was not so supportive. Fourth, I'm not really sure just how clean things were. And, sadly, this hotel the best option. At least they had wireless internet.

I guess that tells you that the clientele in Canton is A) there for First Monday Trade Days, B) half the people are older, C) and not as picky as I am.

Now we are at the Wingate (I'll use their name, our room is spacious and clean with a tall shower head). A mini-suite with a king bed, couch, desk, closet... So nice. And wireless internet. Gotta be able to geek out.

And now I suppose we should stop with the geeking and get over to Doug's dad's house.


I Should Probably Clarify...

>> Tuesday, November 21, 2006

The title of my last post was a not so obscure quote that the parent of any child under 10 probably recognized right away.

Brenna’s new favorite movie is Cars. I have to say that it is an incredibly entertaining movie with an excellent soundtrack. Anyway, the race car gets stuck in a town that is destined to become extinct. He is sentenced to community service and strapped to a road paving machine named Bessie. Not long into the movie he can be heard to scream, “I’m in hillbilly hell. My IQ’s dropping by the second.” Funny stuff. Everyone should see this movie.

I have an embarrassing admission to make. Our rental car is a Saturn minivan. And I like it. There, I said it. I like it. Lots of room… In car DVD… Third row seating that lies flat… I told Doug that if he ever gets in an accident with the car that he had better make sure he totals it. Then we could get one of these.

I can’t believe I even said that. I always swore I would never have a minivan. Then again I swore I would never get married or have kids. Never say never.

OK, I did mention a big family event in my last post. It was a long day. Doug’s aunt & uncle put out quite a spread and all his Texas relation were there. Brenna played all day with her cousin Lyric and her second cousin Emma. She was awake from 8 am until shortly after 8pm, when she fell asleep on the drive back to the hotel.

And there our luck ended. Getting her into pj’s was, in hindsight, a big mistake. It woke her up and she began to wail. Long and loud. She was so tired. For an hour she cried. For an hour we tried to calm her. For an hour nothing worked. Until she collapsed from exhaustion with little whimpers as she slept.

Caelan didn’t sleep while we were away from the hotel- unless she was being held, and then only in snippets. Needless to say we were all exhausted and slept in Monday morning. Ahhhh…

Yesterday and today are lazy. Just hanging at Doug’s mom’s, utilizing her washer & dryer, letting her feed us, hooking her to the internet.


We went out for dinner with Doug's brother & his family and Doug's mom & step-dad. Getting Doug's mom on the WWW turned into a late night event and I think Doug may have given her techie overload. I kept telling him to show her how to check email and the blog, that other things would come to her as she used it more, but he has all these tricks and shortcuts... Sometimes they are overwhelming to me.

So now it's almost 11:30. Brenna fell asleep about half an hour ago and Doug just put Caelan in the crib. I need to get a few things packed so I don't have to do it tomorrow and then get to sleep. Tomorrow morning is going to come earlier than I like.


I'm in Hillbilly Hell... My IQs Dropping by the Minute

>> Monday, November 20, 2006

Coming to you half comatose from Canton, Texas; east of Dallas and completely another world. We're in Hillbilly Hell to visit Doug's mom for a few days and then we head back to civilization to visit Doug's dad.

Don't let this smiling face fool you...

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We flew down on a small jet. At least it was a jet and not a prop... I hate props. Anyway, to get into the plane you have to cross an open bridge-thingie. The engines were running and Brenna got scared. Very scared. Frozen and not moving scared. I was in front of her carrying the car seat, a carry-on bag and a diaper bag. Doug had Caelan, his carry-on bag and Brenna's carry-on bag.

So, there we were, our hands full and a terrified child screeching at the top of her lungs. I put stuff down on the first row of seats and carried Brenna to the rear of the plane. Doug followed with his cargo and I had to return to the front of the plane for the car seat. No assistance from the flight crew. None.

Did I mention that we were the LAST ONES on the plane? Yep. They had to put us in different seats and it took so long that I had to maneuver that car seat through a full plane. What a nightmare.

And it continued until we were on the runway. Thankfully the terrified screams ended and Brenna napped for a bit. Then she was all smiles.

Caelan, on the opposite end of the spectrum, slept until 10 minutes before we landed.

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When she woke I fed her until we landed and we all departed the plane with no problems.

Retrieving the car took forever. It was over 70 degrees and we were all overdressed. But, finally, we were on our way, fighting the hideous Dallas traffic and heading to Hillbilly Hell.

Later I'll tell you about our big family event yesterday. Or, to be more precise, the events after the family gathering.


All Packed

>> Friday, November 17, 2006

Well, Brenna is. Hahaha...

My day is crazy and is not slowing down. I'm trying to get packed and ready to leave tomorrow. I'm hoping to shower sometime. Laundry is getting done. Last minute notes are being added to my list. Both girls are finally down for naps after a fussy morning.

Ahhhhh... A short breather... Until the craziness begins again.

Next time you hear from me I'll be in Texas. At least it will be warm...


It's About Time

>> Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Since we are heading into urban sprawl central next week I finally got around to getting our wills done. It took all of 20 minutes. Max. I used Legal Zoom.

Why would I do such a thing online, you ask. Well, several reasons.
1) We needed to do it. If something happens to Doug (God forbid) I don't want to have to dick around with the courts over stupid stuff.
2) If something happens to both of us (God forbid) I want to know where my girls are going. And who is handling the substantial life insurance payout to take care of them.
3) We don't have the time right now to sit in a lawyer's office for hours to take care of a simple will.
4) It cost us under $200 for both wills.

I gotta say, for easy of use and cost I give them high marks. Pretty straight-forward stuff. If you have kids and no will I highly recommend checking them out. And get on the stick. You never know what tomorrow will bring.

And that concludes yout PSA for tonight....


A Geek Baby is a Healthy Baby

Caelan had her 2 month well baby visit today. She's growing like crazy. 22 1/2 inches long and 11 lbs 1 oz. Momma's milk is doin' it's job.

Three shots today, though. She wasn't thrilled about that. Although I think what she hates most is being held down. She also got the new rotavirus vaccine. It's given orally, though. She did well taking it. I wish she would take a bottle as well.

Ah, bottles. She just doesn't like them. Fights them all the way. But we keep trying. Saturday should be interesting. I'm gonna try to nurse her at the airport before we take off. Find a quiet corner or something. But she'll need something on take-off and landing. Could be interesting. Aren't you glad you won't be on the plane with us?


Today is Monday

>> Monday, November 13, 2006

Usually the weeks pass by without me giving a thought to the day. Unless it is Thursday - Brenna's play day at the gym - or the weekend - Daddy time! - days just don't matter. Today, however, begins a countdown. I have 5 days to pack, prepare and propose ideas for our odyssey to Texas.

I say odyssey because I just know it will feel like a long wandering journey. As for the changes in fortune, well, according to my MIL there are many gifts awaiting us (baby gifts, birthday gifts and probably Christmas). The change in fortune isn't in the gifts, however, it in in the fact that we are taking the maximum number of bags on the plane and we will have to ship back everything she gives us.

I am a list maker. It helps me feel like I am in control even when life is swirling around me out of control. Things to take (clothes, breast pump, bottles, toys for the plane, toys for the hotel....), things to buy when we get there (diapers, wipes...), things to do before we go (take dog to mom's, make sure cat has enough food & water to survive...).

Today's list includes:
1) Check weather in Dallas so we don't roast in our "northern" clothes or freeze in "southern" clothes.
2) Find out what the airline restrictions are this week. Traveling with a baby and a 2-year-old you know we will be carrying on liquids. I'm not gonna drink breast milk. I don't think Doug will, either.
3) Loads of laundry.
4) Feed the screaming baby. NOW!!!



Wanna Come Over?

>> Friday, November 10, 2006

Creme Puffs and Truffles and Cheesecake!
Oh My!

And all homemade. The cheesecake is a lovely pumpkin swirl with a ginger snap crust. Yummy! And these items are to be served with champagne. Mmmmm...

I should warn you that I am hosting a jewelry party tonight. Hence the bribery. My neighbor from the "old neighborhood" became an independent contractor for a jewelry company. Since I am always happy to help someone start their own business I agreed to host a party. Gotta support people who work hard to make a business.

Although as I look out my window I see snow- and hear thunder. Maybe I should serve warm mulled cider instead. Or cocoa with schnapps.

I'm not above getting people drunk so they will spend money. hehe

Just a bit later:

I think I'm living in a snowglobe. There are flakes as big as my palm floating around out there. No accumulation my ass.

And although the photo looks like I took it in B&W it's actually full color. Yep, my world is shades of grey.


Let's Hope This is a Trend

>> Thursday, November 09, 2006

I woke up this morning and heard nothing. Nothing from Brenna's monitor. Nothing from Caelan's monitor.

I heard cars on the road.

I saw a lightening around the edges of the bedroom windows.

I saw the clock.

6 am.

Yep, Caelan slept all night! Woo Hoo!!!


Happy Birthday to Me!

>> Tuesday, November 07, 2006

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Me age 13 days with my aunt. Look like another baby on this blog?

And what does my day hold? Oh, excitement galore. So far we voted, Brenna got her flu shot (she was very brave and it was over in seconds. No tears. I am sure the M&Ms helped to hold them off) and we went to the grocery store.

Later I plan to list a few things on eBay, clean the basement and make chicken pot pie (see recipe here; it's really easy!)for dinner.

Doug gave me the accessory kit for my camera today. It was sitting right by the coffee pot. I walked by it twice before I saw it. The best hiding places are in plain sight. :)

Happy voting day, everyone!


A Whole Lotta Bull

>> Monday, November 06, 2006

Cow! Hi cow!
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Brenna lets great-grandpa show her the bull.
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That's one ton of beef on the hoof. Great grandpa calls him Baxter.
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What a brave girl.
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>> Saturday, November 04, 2006

Four am.

Wide awake.

Baby sleeping.

Mind racing.



Paper Bags... The New Cardboard Box?

>> Friday, November 03, 2006

As some of you may have heard in 2005 the Cardboard Box was inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame (click on the picture of the box to be taken to it's page). And for good reason. Who hasn't seen their child on Christmas morning, after all the presents are opened, playing in the boxes and completely ignoring all those toys you spent so much time and thought picking out.

As our faithful readers know, Brenna's birthday was last week. Alas, no boxes to play in.

Brenna, however, is innovative. Last night she discovered paper bags.

Here she is with what she was calling her "purse". Of course she has actual purses. A few used to be mine. Maybe she's holding out for Coach?
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So I ask what is in her purse. This is how she "shows" me her blanket in her purse.
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One bag for the blanket, another for the shoes. Doug was so helpful in pointing out how much I like shoes in a bag. I do prefer a DSW bag...
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I got a new toy last night. My birthday is next Tuesday. A day that will include getting Brenna's flu shot and voting. Doug asked me what I wanted and I said a new camera. Our digital camera is just fine; very nice if truth be told. But a bit bulky. I like small and portable. My favorite camera ever was my 35mm Canon Elph. In fact I still travel with it. It takes great photos and is so compact...

So Doug got me the digital version. Sooo tiny. I can take it everywhere. Beware!

One feature it has that I love is the ability to automatically do color accent photos. You know, where one thing is in color and the rest is black & white... LOVE IT!

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I am actually reading the manuals to see what other fun things it does!


Ya Know....

>> Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Big, fat, old men with handicapped tags on their cars shouldn't be allowed to drive new Mustang convertibles.

Just my opinion.

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