Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

Tonight we went to Paul and Denise's neighborhood where they have a parade and fire truck before the trick or treating starts. First order of business: waking Sawyer up from his sleep after our fun time at the park! It was a beautiful night, and Rob and I dressed as who we are sometimes in real life: a roller derby girl and a ref.






An Afternoon in the Park

Because skating in the morning wasn't good enough, Robbie and I walked to a nearby park to enjoy the 80 degree weather we're having today. Did I mention that I love Houston?? Here are a few photos, but I'll put the bulk of them on the photo blog. I went a little overboard with the photos...







Mommy and Me Skate

Today Kelly, Hannah and I went to Mommy and Me Skate at the good ol' Dairy Ashford Roller Rink (the home of Houston Roller Derby). It was so much fun! We were the only ones there, save one other woman and child who only came for 20 minutes or so. They have a few toys and balls at the rink, but otherwise, you can bring anything with wheels. Moms don't have to skate, though it's great exercise (unless you're pregnant like Kelly!). The cost is $5 per skater, and that includes children who are walking. If you aren't going to be skating, you are free. So, Kelly was free but Noah was $5, Sawyer and Hayley were free but Hannah and I were $5 (even though I had my own skates). Here are some photos of our skating fun! We will definitely be back again and I hope more people will be able to join us next time!






Thursday, October 30, 2008

Vote 2008!

Yes, there is an election coming up, but I'm talking about a different vote. (I don't do politics on here. Sorry people.) This vote deals with the issue of phonetics and my son's name. One of the reasons that Robbie liked the name Sawyer is that he and I pronounce it differently. I say Sawyer as in (Chain)Saw-yer and Rob says Sawyer as in Soy(Bean)-er.

Here's the interesting thing: most people here say Soy-er, like Rob. Most people in VA say Saw-yer. I think. I'm not in VA very much. I'm okay with however people say it, because I, like Rob, find this amusing. Though if pressed, I will say that I like Saw-yer better. In conversations about this with people, I've discovered that people often say Sawyer the same way they say lawyer. And yes, people down here do say Loy-er. How weird is that?

I'm asking for a vote here and there are two parts: which do you say, and which do you think is correct?? Place your votes in the comments below.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Take That Routine and Shove It

As if to punish me for even writing that we have somewhat of a routine, Sawyer took a super late nap and is currently awake at 11pm. Oh, man. That will teach me! Here he is trying to escape his bouncy chair around 10pm.

A "Typical" Day in the Life of Sawyer

There is no real typical, but we are getting more and more into a routine. Here is what a day in our life might look like. He's always happy when he wakes up, as you can see from this picture I took this morning!

BLOCK ONE
-Wake up between 8-9am. Usually he's made the switch from the pack and play to our bed during night nursings, so he wakes me up by cooing and grabbing my face.
-Get up, change his diaper and clothes. Start the diaper wash and make coffee.
-Take a walk with Tex. Sawyer rides in his car and has to wear a hat to block the sun. It's cute.
-Hang out in an exersaucer, playing and chewing on things. I turn on either my hymns or worship mix in the morning to help get me in the right frame of mind for the day. While he's exersaucering (which he loves) I will drink coffee, eat breakfast, check my email, and maybe blog. Sometimes I am a terrible parent and turn on Sesame Street. Usually this means I watch it more than Sawyer. I love Sesame Street!
-If Robbie is home, like this morning, there will be a fun time with Daddy.
-Around 10-10:30 he gets fussy, which means hungry and nap time. I nurse him, then put him in the sling, do the jiggle-rock-bounce, and he's out. Transfer to pack and play.
-During the nap, I usually have my Jesus time over coffee, and if I have time, hang up the diapers on the line and maybe blog or play wordscraper on facebook. Or do boring stuff like dishes.

BLOCK TWO
-The morning nap is usually short and lasts until about 12. Get up, diaper change.
-Often I'll put together the clean diapers I washed the day before in his nursery while he has floor time. Floor time=Sawyer's rolling over and crawling practice. Sometimes we do this in block one.
-Another walk with Tex around the block, often longer than walk one because it's warmer now. (The last few mornings have been chilly!)
-Sometime in here, we have another feeding.
-I may shower here if I haven't already, so sometimes Sawyer sits in the bouncy chair that he tries to escape from, but lately he joins me, sitting in the Bumbo. He gets a shower too and LOVES it!
-Play time: either in the saucer, doorway jumper, or in the floor with Mommy and some toys.
-Add a diaper change and maybe clothes change in here somewhere.
-There could be an outing in here somewhere if I have things to do or am ancy to get out of the house.
-Fussy time happens sometime between 2-3, so it's back to the sling for another jiggle-bounce-induced nap.
-This is usually (hopefully) the long nap where I will eat lunch and write. Or be productive otherwise.

BLOCK THREE
-Get up between 3-5 (depending on when he went to sleep/how long he slept), diaper change.
-Play time in the floor or bouncer or jumpy thing.
-If we have a big outing, usually we'll do it here. Yesterday we went to Target. He loves to go out and look at things in stores from the sling's vantage point. If I want to try on clothes and really shop for me, we bring the stroller, but usually it's the sling.
-A walk with Tex again.
-Somewhere in here, there's a feeding and at least one more diaper change.
-Mommy makes dinner, so Sawyer hangs in the exersaucer or in his high chair with toys where I can talk to him and he can talk back.
-If Robbie comes home, there is a great and fun Daddy playtime in here. Sometimes he'll go to football games or the dog park with Daddy.
-Lately there has been a mini-nap in here to carry us to bedtime.

BEDTIME
-If there is no mini-nap in the late afternoon, he can't make it past 7pm. But if he goes down at 7, he wakes up at 8 and wants to party. If he goes down at 8, however, he's pretty much down for the night, nursings aside. I'm trying to get him to do a mini-nap so we can do the 8pm bedtime.

So, that's pretty much our day. A lot of variables, but three to four blocks, depending on the number of naps. I think the morning is the most consistent part and then for the rest, who knows! I try to vary what we do a little in each block with some floor play time, some stationary (exersaucer, bouncer, etc), and an outing either walking around the block or in the car. I'm liking our routine, but do wish that one nap would ALWAYS be two hours. We'll work on that...

Because It's Been a While...

Here are some cute photos of Saw-saw sleeping with his Daddy. Aw...

Fatty, Fatty Two by Four....

I weighed Sawyer (and myself) this morning. Good news for me, and for Sawyer: a whopping 18 pounds!! Woa, baby!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Texas and the Holidays

Growing up in Richmond, Virginia, I learned a certain etiquette about holiday decor. Tasteful decorations are an indication of money, and hence, class. This means that it's okay to have a pumpkin or two on your front porch around Halloween, but they'd better be gone by the end of Thanksgiving. Christmas lights are fine--as long as that means one candle per front-facing window. White lights only, of course. God forbid you use colored lights on a bush, tree, or on your actual house. (Unless you want to be a part of the tacky lights tour, a sort of freakshow tour de force.) You may, however, use the money that it would cost to purchase such lights and cover the electric bill to instead buy greenery, such as a pine or holly wreath for the front door, a la Williamsburg. The rest of the holidays, forget it. (Unless you buy a themed flag and hang said flag on a pole from your house, not a free-standing pole.)

Here in Texas, there is a whole different mindset and it is this: the more money you have, the more crazy stuff you can buy to put in your yard. For EVERY holiday. I took Tex and Sawyer for a walk the other day and snapped a few photos as a case in point.

A classic example: the blow-up pumpkin snow globe.
Here we have a hand-painted wooden cut-out, also a Christmas favorite.
The little-bit-of-everything approach.
An enormous spider. Complete with fake spiderweb.
And now we move on to the home of our Homeowner's Association President. (Can I just say he does not represent our neighborhood very well?? Check out the color of that house! Literally the ugliest house in our neighborhood.) The worst part are the hands coming up from a "grave" in the foreground of this shot.
And now--the truly creepy.
This is the same house and you can see the yard full of graves and skeletons. If you click the photo, you can see the child's skeleton on the right side. Who makes baby skeletons? Does it get creepier than that??

These photos may give you the idea that we live in some scary neighborhood (ahem, Mr. Homeowner President) but we actually have a nice little neighborhood--this is just what people in Texas DO. In another neighborhood where the houses run up into the millions, I saw something worse than all of these: a tree with realistic looking body parts hanging from ropes. As in, a severed arm, a torso, a head, a leg. They looked real. So, it's not about money or class here, people. It's about Texas. Things are bigger here, y'all. And sometimes tacky.

Rob and I are sticking to pumpkins, though we may consider Christmas lights in our trees this year. We'll see if we can afford the electric bill...

Monday, October 27, 2008

Things to Do with a Rotisserie Chicken, Part 1

Sounds like some kind of sick game, doesn't it? I love rotisserie chickens by themselves. Paired with some nice cous cous, you've got a fantastic, easy meal. But if you want to take the chicken to a whole new level, here's one recipe I love.

Lynn's Chicken Salad

(I call it Lynn's, but she may have gotten some of this from somewhere else. She perfected it, and I added a few little things. Like the cayenne.)

Rotisserie Chicken
Mayonnaise
Salt
Pepper
Red Grapes (Green are okay too, but not as pretty)
Slivered, toasted almonds
Paprika
Coriander
Cayenne Pepper

Pretty easy--chop up the chicken and add everything else to taste. (Sorry if you're an exact person. I hate measuring.) I separate the white and dark meat, as Rob only likes dark and I only like white. I'm not sure that Lynn adds the last three ingredients, but they're yummy. I love the cayenne for the kick--this is Texas, y'all! But the sweet grapes and the crunchy almonds are what make this killer. Great served on sandiches, lettuce, or stuffed into half an avocado. Yum!

I guess after all, this isn't so lazy, since chopping up a whole chicken is kind of annoying, but hey--you don't have to cook the chicken!

Photos from Today

Denise was nice enough to take some family photos with her great camera today and I can't wait to see how they turned out! Until then, here are a few cute ones from today.





Spitting Saw-Saw

Sawyer was having a spitting day. Here's the proof.
video

Half-Way Homemade: Bertolli Meals

So, I've been feeling really lazy lately about dinner. I think it's the whole being a mom and wife and writer thing. Either way, I still want to eat good food, but I don't want to slave in the kitchen right now. Usually I enjoy cooking, but right now it's too stressful. I've discovered a whole new way of being lazy but still eating well--I call it half-way homemade. (And yes, I realize that Sandra Lee on the Food Network has already coined her own show on this, but this is my blog and my phrase.) I'll be sharing some of my favorite yummy and lazy things with you. Some of them, I should say, aren't that lazy, but still easier than doing a whole meal.

Bertolli Meals

I've been really into these lately. They are frozen full meals that you put in a skillet, cover, and heat. Pretty decent as far as frozen bag dinner goes (and more on the pricey side), but they can be better. Tonight we're having a chicken and vodka sauce. Here's what I added to make it more of a meal, and better tasting:

-1 small can tomato paste
-1/4 cup red wine
-a few shakes of crushed red pepper
-a few shakes of garlic
-half a bag of frozen green beans
-1/2 a red bell pepper

Frozen veggies and the tomato paste really stretch the meal out, and the wine and crushed red pepper give it sweetness and a kick. You can basically take any of their meals, add a few things, double the amount and have a healthier, better tasting dinner!

Coming up soon, I'll talk about things to do with a rotisserie chicken...mmmmm....

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Toofers

There may be another reason for Sawyer's ill sleep of late. I discovered a TOOTH today that's just beginning to poke through! I thought I felt something sharp the other day, but it's so hard to see anything when he tries to lick your fingers. Anyway, I was able to get a look today, and there's this tiny little slit in the right bottom side with just the tiniest tip of a tooth--you can't even really see the white yet, just that there's something. That may explain his weird nursing and sleeping the last few days.

I didn't expect this, but I'm so sad! I don't want him to lose his little gummy smile!! Rob says I need to let him grow up, and I will, but that doesn't mean I can't get a little sad over these big changes. I'm sure his teeth will be cute too.

Stuffy and Sicky

Sorry for the brief hiatus. Our internet has been coming on and off for two days. I don't really understand that, but feel re-assured that Comcast knows there is a problem. Yeah, right.

Sawyer has had a stuffy nose since the cooler weather descended. His breathing sounds like a Boston Terrier. He's not nursing or sleeping very well, I'm guessing because whenever he's reclined, the breathing is the worst. It's really tough to clear those little noses! That bulb thing you're supposed to use is not my friend. We always called it the Rocket in my house growin up. :)

Because of Sawyer's bad sleeping, I haven't gotten enough and am slightly sicky today. My throat is swollen and I generally feel gross. Rob brought me sherbet and OJ and I'm eating chicken soup and allowing him to care for the boys. If the internet stays on, I'll post more when not napping. Here's a cute photo to tide you over.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Cute Outfit #2

Since it got cold last night (well, cooler...), Sawyer needs to wear PJ's to bed! He is a sweater, so usually sleeps in his diaper, but our room got pretty cool last night, and I had to choose between letting him move from pack and play into our bed or risk waking him by putting on pajamas. I choose the former, and got kicked the stomach all night. So we started out the evening in our PJ's, which I think he seemed to like. Thanks again, Alicia!

Brothers

Sawyer seems to think it's funny when Tex barks, so here's a video of me making Tex bark and Sawyer getting excited. I am definitely hearing the rumblings from those of you that don't think there is enough Tex here on the blog. We haven't forgotten our firstborn! Also, please do not look at the mess in the background. I don't have time to clean right now. :)

video

The Most Hilarious Outfit

How adorable and hysterical is this?? I love it. We're ready for prom. Now he just has to choose between Campbell, Hayley, MacKenzie, Bethany, Ella, and the newly-born Savannah. :)

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