Monday, September 21, 2009


Talk about being in the right place at the right time... My father in law came for a visit last weekend, and on Sunday we went for an early evening stroll in the new nature preserve. During our walk, we heard a woosh and then saw a balloon come over the trees near us. It was the first of many. Thanks to Jake's phone, he captured what we saw as well as one can:

As cheesy as it might sound, I can only describe the view on our walk as magical.
Early that morning we went to the annual breakfast for the balloon festival. No hot air balloons took flight that morning, but we had a great time anyway. Plus, we obviously got to see our hot air balloons later.
Below is a video of Tessa and Anna hula hooping. Earlier, we found that Mama Maren still has her hula hooping skills --I can still hula hoop from my neck to hips. Serious skills. Remember Tessa's hula hooping last year? (the video is at the bottom of that post as well)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Dear Restaurant,

Please don't put jalapeno bits in your pico de gallo without warning me.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Run of the mill family update

We have been staying busy. Same as everyone else. Before I ramble on, aren't these cute friends?
We went to the Dallas Arboretum and played the whole day. What a great place to hang out.
Other stuff: I've started recording texts again for the fall semester. There is a very reading intensive class, so I'm sharing the burden with a friend. We both have new babies, so we figure between the two of us, we can get it done. Modern Jewish Literature. I'm looking forward to it, MUCH more so than some topics I've done in the past, namely geology. blech. So far it reminds me of some of my undergrad classes.
Jake is busy. We are trying our best to get a schedule down that works for us all and is best. He is up eeeeearly in the morning to teach seminary (kind of a Mormon Bible school) to the freshmen of the two wards that meet in our building. Besides being tired, he loves it. He then heads off to work where he is still learning the ropes. Our evenings are a nice kind of chaotic until the kids are down and we can prep for the next day. Weekends are nice.
Cole is starting to sleep longer at night (hallelujah!), and he's in his own room now. Tessa still dotes on her brother and is starting to be a little more careful around him. She still has her moments, though, and I've got to watch out for her trying to pick him up....and putting her shoes on his head. Mostly she just wants to snuggle and pet his face.

We had a fun BBQ with friends on Labor Day. I brought a cup of Amdro with me to rid the world of the fire ant that crawled into Cole's car seat and bit him a few days earlier at that park. --Don't mess with my kid, ant.-- I received my own bite that day and decided the next time I was there (Labor Day), they were going down. Well, didn't see any there yesterday! Mwahahahaha! However, there were plenty of mosquitos on Labor Day, and I wish I would have been a little more proactive in that dept. for Tessa. They got her and her friends good.

Silk vanilla soy milk? I think it's really good. I still miss my milk, but the bean juice isn't bad at all. Thanks to all of you that made me realize how common this dairy thing is.

Our photographer friend had visions of a fairy mini shoot she wanted to do, but of course had to try it out first. Tessa was one of the invitees for the shoot. You don't have to ask anyone in our family to dress in costume twice. Tessa was all over getting to dress up like a fairy with her friends and had a total meltdown when she had to take her costume off. We were close by Jake's work for the photos and went to have lunch in his office afterward. She changed her clothes, but I let her put the wings back on. You see very quickly who likes kids and who doesn't when you go through a huge office building with a two year old wearing fairy wings. Elizabeth has the ad up on her blog if you want to see: Tessa is in the bottom two right pictures.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

This is what happens when you have a big sister.

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Looking Back

There are a lot of memories that I don't have written down that I think my kids might be interested in one day. I have almost my entire college experience recorded, but I wrote only a few things in a journal during my teenage years. I believe I'll start putting some of those unrecorded memories here so that I have them somewhere. I love hearing stories about when my parents or grandparents were young and wish I could get them written down somewhere(hint, hint). So, assuming my kids will care one day, here it goes...
With school back in and the nostalgia September brings, the principal's office came to mind and the two times I had to go there:
1. Seventh grade. Kennedy Jr. High. What an awkward age.
Anyway, I was in Ms. Simmons pre-algebra class. (I always thought that Ms. Simmons looked exactly the way she did when she stepped off the Mayflower. Same haircut and everything. She was very serious, but a good math teacher.) My good friend Krista was in the class with me. We had to put up with a boy in the class named Kastor. I'm sure he's a lovely person now, but he was as foul as a 7th grade male could manage. His language was atrocious. I don't know if he just let the profanities stream forth when the teacher left the room or if Ms. Simmons pretended to be deaf so she didn't lose her mind teaching 7th grade.
Krista and I did what we could to thwart Kastor's efforts to get under our skin and frustrate him back. We would write notes that really said rude things to the effect of, "Good job stealing this note, dummy," because he would steal our notes if he saw us passing them or one on our desk. (Notes were abundant in the 7th and 8th grade and were passed all over the place. Ms. Simmons may have pretended to be blind at times as well.) Kastor mostly called us nasty names. I'm sure he thought he was funny, but he could have made a sailor blush. So, Krista and I decided to give him some names of our own. Logical, right? His hair was done in some kind of wads all over his head which looked like those puffy Cheetohs to us, so we called him "Cheetoh head". Some weeks later he had a new hairdo with colored rubber bands throughout, so we switched to calling him "Fruity Pebbles". Creative, I know.
Around this time, I was sitting in my desk on the back row learning some math principle from Ms. Simmons as she demonstrated on the board. My book was open and I was intently writing down what she was teaching. Suddenly, wet drops pelted me and landed on my book. Pink wet. I immediately looked to my left where it had come from.
Kastor's mouth. He had some hard candy he was sucking on.
I couldn't help it. I screamed out in mixed disgust and surprise, "He spit on me!"
It was all a blur as Ms. Simmons yelled, "That's it! To the principal's office -both of you!!!" I stammered and tried to explain, but all I got was, "OUT!!!" I thought I was going to puke. The principal's office? I'd never been there before. I was the good kid. I thought teachers liked me. This was all wrong.
Kastor got called in first, and then it was my turn in the counselor's office (turns out the principal had far more dramatic matters to take care of and let the counselor take this one). Mr. Vaughan, my counselor, was clearly a man of the 70's --those sideburns were amazing. Mr. Vaughan had me explain the entire situation regarding Kastor, not just the spit, but the whole background. When I talked about how he would call me names, Mr. Vaughan stopped me and asked, "What kind of names does he call you?"
No way was I going to repeat that. No way. So I said, "I don't want to say them."
"Well, then, can you describe them, or tell me what they start with?"
So I proceeded to scan the alphabet and let him know what Kastor's preferred words started with. Then Mr. Vaughan continued, "Kastor said that you and your friend have been calling him names too. What names have you been calling him?"
Oh no. I was so embarrassed. Confession time.
"We called him 'Cheetoh Head' and 'Fruity Pebbles'."
I could then see Mr. Vaughan fighting a smile. I didn't see what was so funny, but I sure do now. He then gave me a few options on what I thought we should do. I chose to let the situation slide after a talking to from the counselor. I thought calling his mom would be too severe and I didn't want to make a bigger deal out of it.
Kastor was still rude to me after that, but he mainly left me alone. I remember thinking he was ungrateful because I could have had the counselor call his mom. I'm sure Kastor's mom had enough to worry about.
Those pink water spots on my book grossed me out the entire year.

2. Senior year of highschool. Fall 1996. I was called to Principal Frazier's office. I had no idea what it was about. He looked like he was trying too hard to be serious. He started talking about how there had been thefts in the drill team locker room. I immediately started thinking about whether I had seen anything suspicious or not when Mr. Frazier followed up with, "And your name has come up." Now, I was quite timid with most adults clear up until I was in college, but when I heard this, I immediately put up my guard.
"No it hasn't," I responded. "Who said it?" I don't remember if I had any kind of explanation after, but I KNEW my name wouldn't be connected with something like that. My stealing experiences included a 5 cent whistle that I took from Piece Goods when I was in the first grade, (my sister called me on it later and I never could rid myself of the guilt) and occasionally popping a grape in my mouth at the grocery store in grade school. It ended there.
Mr. Frazier tried for a few more moments to scare me, but he saw it wasn't going anywhere and gave in. He let me know that someone had put him up to it and then asked if I would go to the Homecoming dance with a certain young man. I'm sure I ruined the fun of everyone involved by not buying into the accusation, but I was also glad I had no reason to be afraid.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Woe is me.

Signs are pointing toward Cole having a milk allergy. The pediatrician said I need to go off dairy (not completely, thank heavens, just the obvious). No milk, no cheese, no yogurt, no ice cream.
It's a good thing that kid is so darn cute.
We'll check back in a couple of weeks and see if it does the trick.
One can survive on a diet of fruit snacks and Teddy Grahams, right?