Monday, March 31, 2008

As Seen on TV

Its normal to be skeptical of those "As seen on TV" products, right? I can say that I've never picked up the phone and ordered one (or two because IF YOU CALL NOW BUY 1 GET 1 FREE) of anything for sale on the tv. However, about 1 1/2 years ago we broke down and bought THE MAGIC BULLET, mostly because I thought the infomercial was so stinkin cool and we figured we could save a bundle on baby food. (Which we did! We pureed a lot of stuff for James, including favorites such as roast with potatoes and carrots, yum!) We continue to use the Magic Bullet almost daily for smoothies and such. It truly does occupy 'only the space a coffee cup would take up', which is important when we LITERALLY only have 1 foot x 2 feet of counter space. I do recommend this product! (We bought it at Target.)

Ok, so today I bought my second "as seen on TV" product and I LOVE IT MORE THAN THE MAGIC BULLET!!!! I went to Walgreens (the ultimate source of 'as seen on tv' items) this morning and on an impulse bought the PED EGG. I was a bit skeptical 'cause I've tried a lot of stuff on my oft callused feet. However, after a few minutes with this little gadget my feet are AWESOME! So soft and lovely! I am so exited that I can't stand it. I highly recommend it! One caveat: it is NOT mess free, as advertised. But, who cares? Small price to pay for super sexy summer sandal feet! :)

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Home again!

We just got back from Texas--that's why I've been so lame on the blogging front. We enjoyed ourselves with family and friends and alligators. I don't want to post any pictures yet because I still need to get a bunch from my mom's camera. I know so many of you (um, like 2, maybe) will be breathless waiting to see our pics!

We took James to his first movie. I figured it couldn't be too bad with 4 adults there to keep one toddler in check. And since he's not two yet, he was free! The only animated movie out right now is "Horton hears a Who". My short, critcal, non-supported opinion: it was LAME. James was VERY nervous for the first 20 minutes or so because of a 'scary' preview for Ice Age 3. After he realized that he had a sprite and popcorn in his lap, he felt a lot better :) He paid attention to the whole movie, but in particular he totally fixated on Jojo. WHO KNOWS WHY? Everytime Jojo was in the scene he just kept repeating his name and whenever he wasn't in a scene he kept asking me, "Jojo go?" When the movie was all over he wasn't very happy about leaving and when we put him in the car he started WAILING for Jojo. And I mean sad, mournful wailing. He kept crying Jojo's name over and over and I thought, "That kid has never missed anyone that much." When we got home he was still so upset that I found a bunch of Jojo clips on youtube and played them for him over and over til I couldn't take it anymore. Then we distracted him with bubbles.

Bubbles are another major theme of this trip. My parents have a screened in back patio, and James would sucker each and everyone of us into blowing bubbles with him for hours and hours a day. The only thing that he loved more than bubbles was the garden. Particularly, grabbing handfuls of dirt and dropping them on top of each and every one of papa's plants. And his own head, etc. Which led to the other favorite activity: baths in the giant tub. The kid got a lot of baths.

We went to Brazos Bend state park so we could walk among the alligators. Its no zoo, people. Its walking along the swamp and please-keep-your-pets-on-leashes and children-close-to-you so we don't have an alligator tragedy park. I've been a few times over the course of my life and have seen a good number of gators, but this time we saw a GINORMOUS 15 footer. Right on the side of the path. I'll post a pic later. My mom and I went to get pics while Ben, James and my dad stayed way-the-heck-back. Then we turned around and went another way, thank you very much! There were others, but none of the rest were like this one.

We hid (read:threw all over the grass) eggs for James to collect on Saturday before Easter. He picked up the very first one and realized there was something in it (4 m&ms). He opened it and would not move until he had eaten the 4 m&ms. Then he moved on to the next one and would not move until he had eaten those 4 m&ms. Repeat, repeat, repeat. We had to put a stop to it eventually, but from then on, anytime he saw any kind of egg he would start yelling, "canny canny canny" until we could prove to him there was no candy.

We all had our fair share of seafood, barbeque, mexican food, Easter ham and Diet A&W rootbeer. We played a lot of cards with my parents and blew more and more bubbles. James became reaquainted with his cousins Allie, Chelsea, Aaron, Chyna, and Kasey. Also, his aunt Mel, aunt Candy and Uncle Darryl, whom he also called cousins. A good time was had by all.

But alas, here we are back in reality. Ben's back to school and I'm back to the 'stuff' I do. Actually James and I start swim lessons tomorrow and I'm really excited about that. I'm actually concerned that the lessons only last 30 minutes, though. They told me its because children lose interest after half an hour and I thought "WHATEVER! I am going to have to drag that 45 lb child out of the water every week for 8 weeks. Greeeaaaat!"

I hope all of you are well and happy. I'll post some pics as soon as I get the rest from my mama.

Friday, March 14, 2008

One Semester of Spanish - Love Song

I had to take ONE MINUTE in my crazy, crazy week (ben's phd exams- too much young women's stuff- lady I visit teach in an accident-leaving for tx in the am) to post this HILARIOUS VIDEO that Brett just sent to me. Que lo disfruten.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

You're just going to have to be ok with the fact that there are no pictures. He won't stay still for a picture. Wait, I do have one of him sleeping this week all wrapped up with his lovies. Here you go:

He's cute, huh? Even when he's sick. Again. Sigh. This time (another double ear infection) I asked the Dr. about ear tubes and she said, "ear tubes aren't really popular anymore, but let's send him to an allergist." This is good news, but I dread the thought of having his poor little back or arms being shot up. This is going to be a bowl of cherries. Sigh. In better news, we REALLY REALLY talked to our dr about how he vomits anything we put in his mouth and she called the pharmacist who recommended cefaclor and YEEHAW it hides very well in Mott's Mango Peach Applesauce. We are several days into it and he's taking it twice a day. What a huge relief!

In other news: I'm stupid. I'll be flying alone with James again this Saturday. Ben will join us later next week in Texas. I haven't been home for Easter since I was in High School. It should be lovely and humid.

In ESL news: I helped them through the VERY painful process of writing a paragraph about what they did last weekend. Some students volunteered to read what they had written and one lady reported that she had eaten at "Hopi". I didn't quite understand her so I asked her to repeat and then write it on the whiteboard. I had never heard of that restaurant and after some Q&A about menu offerings and location I realized that she was talking about "IHOP". All of the students wanted to know what that word meant and I had to expain that it was an Acronym. "What's an acronym?" Ok explain what it means. "What does IHOP stand for?" International House of Pancakes. "Why is it international? Do they accept other currencies? What do they serve? Why is a house made of pancakes? What is a pancake? I do not eat bacon. I do not eat sausage. I do not eat pork. I am a muslim. " AAAHH CALGON, seriously TAKE ME AWAY. I bet I could make some kind of money recording myself and posting it online. One of these days my boss is going to come in to observe me and its not going to be pretty.

Ben is going to teach my class for me next week when I am gone and I am seriously going to make him explain something like osmosis or how a bill becomes a law or whatever.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

33 Things that make life liveable

Ok, stealing ideas from karla and danalee. I present for your consideration 33 things that make my life liveable! I'm not talking loved ones, the gospel, or significant things here, I'm just naming things that I could live without, but I certainly wouldn't want to:

1. Washing machine. I've lived without one and I'm not saying "oh poor me I had to go to the laundrymat" I'm saying washing your clothes by hand on a rock or washboard totally stinks.

2. Dryer. Yeah, same as above, except I hate hanging clothes out to dry-I do not enjoy the smell my clothes get from hanging outdoors and I'm not into crunchy clothes either.

3. 75-90% off Sales at Dillards or anywhere for that matter. I almost always buy clothes off season and YES I HAVE A UNDER THE BED BOX FULL OF BABY GIRL CLOTHES.

4. Hand Sanitizer. I mostly use it in the car after I've been to the store, teaching or church. I use it on James, too. Ben humors me occasionally.

5. Clorox wipes. Mostly to clean up after raw meat (I won't use a kitchen sponge for that) and between major bathroom cleanings.

6. Paper towels. I am very wasteful when it comes to these and you can't make me stop. Not even my mom can make me stop.

7. Chick-fil-a. This is the best ff restaurant EVER. Except the quality is not-so-great outside of TEXAS!

8. Diet A&W root beer. The best tasting diet drink ever created.

9. Peanut Butter M&Ms.

10. James' nap time. 2-2 1/2 hours of peace--and a shower.

11. Nursery at Church. The is kind of a love hate relationship. I LOVE it and it keeps me from wanting to be less active. I hate it because I'm convinced that all of James' sickness comes from there. (yeah, he's sick again).

12. Heart Shaped pink frosted Valentine's cookies.

13. Easter Baskets.

14. Christmas Stockings.

15. Trial Sizes. I AM A TOTAL SUCKER for things that come in tiny little packages. They are soooo cute!

16. Dry erase markers. Very important for teachers and I HATE CHALK!

17. Graduations ceremonies. Yes, they may bore the life out of everyone else, but they make me so happy and almost emotional. I think about all the effort that all the people graduating put into all of their degrees and it's awesome!

18. Email. My lifeline to my loved ones far, far away.

19. Blogs. My lifeline to stalking my loved ones far, far away. Actually it's really weird because blogs almost give you a sense of intimacy. You know all these things about people but you never see them in person. It's kind of weird.

20. Cell phones. Reach out and touch someone.

21. Kitchenaid stand mixer. No, it's not named like danalee's but it rocks! I actually make it a point to wander around the kitchen while I'm mixing so I can think "look, I don't even have to be there". It was worth the saving and amassing of gift cards!

22. Pride and Predjudice. A&E version, nothing else will do. Hello Mr. Darcy!

23. Sound of Music. Probably my favorite movie of all time.

24. Walmart. Just not on the weekend.

25. Albertsons. Just the sale items. Actually, I love going there and so does James. Seriously, half of the employees know us (ok, james) by name and they spoil him and heap attention on him. Its soooo much better than going to walmart.

26. Online banking. My debit/occasional checking account is always balanced and I love it!

27. LOST. Yeah, the show. I don't ever remember liking any TV show this much.

28. Indoor plumbing. Important, but not nearly as important as a washer and dryer. I've lived without this too, and it's a pain in the butt. (ha ha ha ha ha) I would like to add toilet paper in here too. I lived with a family in very rural Mexico that wiped with the kids' old homework, school books, church records (I AM SO NOT KIDDING) etc. After a few weeks of that I made it a point to always bring toilet paper to them when I came back from the city.

29. Greeting cards. For any occasion! Someone actually sent me a Barmitzvah card once.

30. Water Cooler. I love having icy cold water and boiling hot water at my finger tips!

31. Naps/sleeping in. I love it when I can get the occasional nap, but I love it even more when I can sleep in. Thanks, Honey!

32. Lean Cuisine/Healthy Choice frozen meals. Lunch for the lazy.

33. Travel/flying. Love to do it--even sometimes with a toddler.

Monday, March 03, 2008

What could be better?

What could be better than having a happy child? At this point in his life, James is sooo easy to please and making him happy (DOES NOT = Spoiling him or buying him everything I see that I think he would like) is so rewarding. Yeah, he has his moments (namely wailing yesterday at church when I had to go get him down from the choir seats right before the meeting started) but overall, I'm loving the toddlerhood. He's just so funny and I love to see the little wheels in his GIANT head turning as he processes and associates things. Oh, I love that boy!

Besides tomatoes, rice, and Blue's Clues, James has two new obsessions:

1) "Steps" This would be anything from real stairs, a curb, a box turned over, ladders at the playground, etc. He chants "steps steps steps" and HAS TO CONQUER the object to be climbed. (thus his little church problem that happens all the time!) He gets very serious and finds some way to help himself up the 'steps'.

2) Slides or what he perceives as a 'slide'. Of course the real, tall slides at the playground are his fav, but sliding off the couch or even our car driving down a ramp will elicit "sliiiiiiiiide" from him. He often will climb up 'mount Ben' and then slide down.

When you combine the new two favorite things, you know that playground=heaven. We've taken him a few times in the last week and man he is ALL SERIOUS BUSINESS when we are there. He will not stop to take a drink or wave or whatever. He is a very serious little climber and slider. He is 100% engrossed in climbing and sliding the whole time we are there. When it is time to leave, it is soooooo sad. He says some very sad, moaning, "nooooooo" and starts to wail and cry big, fat tears. It is so sad as he reaches and says "sliiiiiide sliiiiiide" and cries some more. He doesn't get mean and tantrumy he just gets sooo sad. I hate it, but I can't justify living at the park while we are paying rent elsewhere.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Another Haircut

I think I need to learn how to cut this little boy's hair. (And my big boy too, for that matter.) We cut his hair about a month ago and it was already shaggy city. He did very well for the cut and just laughed everytime the stylist touched him with the clippers. And no, I won't post EVERYTIME he gets a haircut. And yes, his dad IS a geek. And yes, I know the pics are too dark. I am in serious need of some photo help. It doesn't help that I can't take pics of James anymore without him running towards me and yelling, "babies babies babies" because he wants to see the 'babies' (meaning him) in the camera.

This was the before pic: