Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Playdate: Our Babies Are Getting Huge!

It's been a long time since we've gotten our play group together, so today we hung out after the Mary Kay party. Our kiddos are getting so wild. Check out Sawyer's clutch-hold on MacKenzie. And her look of oh-no-you-didn't!
A new dog to play with and a new bone for Sawyer to try and eat.
Our newest addition to the group: Hudson!! Looking so handsome.
Um, the best picture I got of our four. These are hilarious.
I kept having to throw Saw down and jump back to try and take a photo. There was only like a five second window before he'd be up and off the couch.
Sawyer thought playing on the couch was the best part of the day.
I think we're losing half our group here.
MacKenzie's face is priceless here!
The boys have left the building.

Do I Look Like I Should Sell Mary Kay??

Probably not. So I'm wondering how and why I am suddenly a consultant. No, this is not an April Fools joke. I tend to be the kind of person that sees Help Wanted signs while driving and thinks, "I should apply for that!" Even when it's some kind of minimum wage job. I somehow always feel like I need to fill job openings. (Maybe when/if I sell my novel, I won't do this anymore. Or maybe it's a personality thing.) After a Mary Kay party/playdate with my friends (photos to follow), I kept thinking about the idea. There was an incentive that ended today, so it was a sort of spur of the moment decision. I thought about it and after talking with Rob, was still on the fence. So I did what any normal person does: prayed and flipped a coin.

The good thing about Mary Kay is that there is a 90% return policy, so if I change my mind, I can get 90% back on what I buy as inventory. I'm giving myself a 6 week trial period. I think I could either love this or hate it. I'm not a typical salesperson, but if I believe in something, I'm happy to present it. I foresee Mary Kay parties over margaritas, but I don't know if that's allowed. I guess I'll see. In the meantime, anyone need any moisturizer?

American Idol: Final Thoughts

Lol. Rob, watching the final 20 second recaps and then seeing Scott standing behind Ryan, pointed to Scott and said this.

R: I like David Hasslehof.
K: That's Scott. He's blind. (I'm obviously really sensitve most of the time.)
R: I like David Hasslehof because he's blind.

Oh, I love my husband.

The show tonight went like I thought it would, given the free reign. Some were smart and knew themselves. Some did NOT. I'm still blown away by Kris. Wow. As far as the show, I think they are still having production issues, like the mic feedback and other sound things. I still hate the judges going in weird orders. I miss missing my favorite show and now have someone to cheer for--yay!

Contestant #9: Kris

PERFORMANCE OF THE NIGHT. I would say of the season, but I haven't seen much of the season. Best one I've seen. I LOVED it. I might actually buy it on iTunes. The string arrangement was fantastic. His tone: gorgeous. I loved the passion and purity and just everything about it. I would definitely listen to his music. I know I liked him before, but this blew that out of the water. I think I'm just repeating myself now, but really, it was good enough to make me babble.

The judges were a little underwhelmed for my taste. This should have exposed Adam's show of crazy and over-singing and over-performing, not have been overshadowed by it. They obviously love Adam, and this may have blown them out of the water more if they didn't. I think they should have been more excited. Boo on them!

Contestant #8: Adam

I think going in that I'm going to hate this. Especially seeing that little blip of his rehearsal.

Wow! I hated it more than I thought possible!!

He is whiny, shrieky, and shouty. And yucky. I just watch him and think, YUCK. I thought this two weeks ago and the judges loved him. Paula is dancing, so let's see what the judges think. Why is everyone cheering? Am I the only one who thinks he's just AWFUL?

Oh, Kara. Even I know it was Studio 54. And once again, the judges and I are on the outs. I mean, yes--he's creative. And yes, he is a confident performer. But does that make it GOOD?? Or, as Paula thought, a GENIUS??? I just don't get it. I want to turn the channel when he comes on, or at least leave the room. I did, in fact, leave the room, and wrote on the computer while listening half-heartedly. Yuck.

Contestant #7: Lil

We know she's got a great big voice, so it's all about song. Celine? Really?? For me, it was okay. Great last note, but not super throughout. I was more distracted by her hair and the booty in that dress. I'm not gonna lie.

Why am I so with Paula tonight? That's twice. She doesn't want to see an "adult contemporary" Lil, and that's really what it was. It was a wet noodle performance. Now I really SOUND like Paula.

Contestant #6: Matt

Another song choice that could be bad. Love The Fray. But very distinctive sound. Songwriters. My guess is that this sounded better when he was practicing. It was pitchy in places and he seemed very nervous. I actually liked it and though he changed enough so that he didn't ruin the song that I love, but it wasn't just the same.

Paula is right though (what?!?!) in that he's sounding too much like the lead singer. That's the tough part with this whole song choice thing. And the weird difference with tones in someone's voice. Scott did much better, but I PREFER Matt and would listen to his music.

Contestant #5: Scott

I really liked this. Sawyer also liked it. After waving to Seacrest, he sat and stared through the whole performance. (He's getting tired, too...) I liked it stripped down. Very pure and raw. My only issue is that I don't LOVE his tone. It's fine. It's nice. He's nice. But I don't want to listen to an album of him.

And Paula, when you say it's not about his challenge, but the fact that you forget about his challenge, that IS about his challenge.

Contestant #4: Alison

Very worried about this song. Hard to sing Gwen Stefani. She sings songs that she writes for HER. Not an easy voice to emulate. I actually loved everything until the chorus. Great with the beginning, nice tone. Interesting and fun. Believable. Different. Then it got strain-y and difficult and a little off. Also, she looks crazy.

I mostly missed the judges' comments, but I will say that she is the only one Sawyer has reacted to. He watched and actually waved to her for most of the song. I said he liked her; Rob said he was waving goodbye. :)

Contestant #3: Danny

I don't know about this one. Such a familiar song, which can be good. But bad, because I just hear Rascal Flatts singing it. I liked it...but don't like the tone of his voice as much as the original. Good performance, he did his thing. I'm just kind of eh about him.

Of course he got good feedback after the way this night started out! But was it that great if it didn't two not great performances? I liked it. Didn't love it. I'm probably alone on this, though. I'd imagine most people LOVED it.

Contestant #2: Megan

If she weren't, like off, I would really like her voice. It's interesting. It's kind of old in that new way. Makes me think of Duffy, Amy Winehouse, etc. Fun, strange. In a studio, she would probably sound great. But live on this stage, it just doesn't stay in the right place enough. I like her tats, though.

Again, with the judges--can you just go in order? Please? For me?

The judges agreed with me, down to mentioning both the artists that I did. (Yes, I wrote that before.) Poor Megan, don't stand by your song when everyone hates it. A little humility (even if you're pretending) goes a long way.

AI Contestant #1: Anoop!

Oh, Anoop. How I love you. I am a little scared of the beginning of this performance...he did not do so well where it was supposed to be faster and had a lot more words. The singing at the end was really good and I liked it. As for the performance--does he realize that the reason people like his performance is because it's kind of silly? It IS silly. that's what I like. But does HE know that??

I pretty much agree with the judges. Sadly, with Simon, it was a little bit wannabe. Not that he isn't being sincere, but just that he doesn't have anything new. He has a great voice, and is fun, and I think we'd have fun hanging out.

Uh oh--Megan doing Bob Marley??

AI Opening

So...I have missed more AI than I've seen this season, making it hard. I usually have more thoughts about the contestants, or something invested, but right now I don't. Which kind of makes me more objective, but also means I haven't been able to see past great performances that might help me have mercy on someone just having a bad night. Though, at this point, you can't really afford a bad night.

Um, have they really been doing this judge intro every week?? It seems a little...silly. Though I like to see what Paula's wearing. Always reassuring to make sure she put on a bottom in her seemingly-druggy state. I'm digging her look tonight. Way to go, stylist we never see! Speaking of stylists...does Alison have one?? Eek.

Tonight is any song that's a popular download on iTunes (nice ad spot). This is interesting, as some will probably know themselves and choose well. Others--not so much.

Live Blogging AI!!!

I'm actually home tonight and will actually be LIVE BLOGGING!! Check back in to see what I'm saying and drop in your comments!!

Why I Hate Monkeys

I walked into the den to find Sawyer STANDING in a chair. Um, yeah. We're in a scary area now. Walking wasn't so bad--Sawyer is so happy to be mobile that he's really pretty content. But climbing?? That's another story. I don't know how to prepare for this. Help!!!

And yes, I really do hate actual real monkeys.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Bluebonnets!

Yesterday, Denise, Lynn, and I took Sawyer, Braden, and Bryce to a place on the Terry Hershey trail where bluebonnets were in bloom. (Thanks for the tip, Marianne!!) Denise has more photos that I haven't seen yet, but here are a few from Lynn's camera. Everyone looks good in blue (bonnets).


The Evolution of Sleep

Sawyer will be turning 1 year in six or so weeks. Hard to believe! And yet, when I think back on that little squishy baby stage, I feel so far removed. Recently I've been thinking back over things and how many changes have taken place, notably with getting Sawyer to sleep.

In the first days, he slept almost all the time in people's arms, and would sleep through any noise, movement, or change. At night, he still woke up to eat every two hours, which is how we started co-sleeping: I simply got too tired to get up every two hours. Plus, once I was up, I'd be UP and checking emails or blogging. Just when I'd go back to sleep, he'd wake up again.

Once we started co-sleeping, I remember him falling asleep next to me very easily at bedtime (which usually happened to be whenever Rob and I went to bed). Then we moved into a stage where he'd only fall asleep while nursing. Then there was the stage where he would only fall asleep if I was wearing him in the sling, or then in the bjorn. We just left this stage.

Now he'll usually fall asleep in my arms after nursing, or, if someone else is watching him, in their arms while being rocked. I can sometimes put him down in his bed while he's sleepy and he'll fall asleep with singing or while I'm holding him still so he won't wiggle himself awake. When these methods don't work and if he's really fighting us, we'll let him cry. I've tried both letting him cry for a period, going back in and trying again to soothe him to sleep AND letting himself cry his way to sleep.

I know that people say consistency is one of the big helps in getting babies into sleeping, and the other things about our routine have been fairly consistent. What's changed is mostly that distinct transition from awake to asleep. I'm sure there are developmental stages that we don't know about going on with Sawyer internally, and Rob and I have been going through our own stages figuring out this parenting thing. I have a feeling that we'll be going through stages for life...

Sunday, March 29, 2009

I Miss You, MB!

Sawyer and I had a great time this week with his Aunt MaryBeth. We had a lot of laughs and fun outings. (Oh, and a lot of candy.) Here they are with a strange floral arrangement with carrots we found in Randalls.

Museums Are Not for Babies

This picture shows Sawyer's favorite "art" in the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, and also is symbolic of our day. MB and I decided to head to the MFAH on free Thursday, which was overcast and gross. I thought it would be fun to show Sawyer art. I had visions of letting him run around free and watching him look at the neat stuff. What really happened is that we discovered the MFAH is a not fun place for either handicapped people or parents with strollers. Half the time, we were just trying to figure out how to get up or down. Also, they do not plan on children running around, as many of the exhibits are low enough for Sawyer to reach, or have some part touching the floor. Then there are those patronizing museum volunteers who stare with their beady, judgmental little eyes. And there is a lot of "art" that makes me mad. Like the room with a projector directing a green area of light into the corner. ??? Sawyer was not impressed. He did like Cafe Express and their free bar of cheese and chick peas. Right around the time we got to the paintings we really wanted to see, he'd had enough. Then the power flicked off because of a storm, knocking out the escalators and elevators, making it hard to get out to the car. Then there was trying to get to the car in a classic Houston rainstorm. I drove through a foot of water, which was highly exciting. All in all, I learned that museums are not designed with children in mind. Oh, well.

Galveston on a Cloudy Day

MB and I decided to risk a trip to Galveston Friday, even after the dark weather and getting dumped on by rain Thursday at the museum. We had fun, but it was gray and kinda wet. And my favorite candy store was still being renovated after Ike. The other thing that was disturbing/strange/really sad was that right where we parked at the beach, rescue crews had just found the body of a man who drowned earlier in the week. It was surreal and sad to have our happy little day just a hundred yards away from a family that lost someone. Just more reason to treasure every moment!

The beach was "under construction."
Sawyer wondered if he was EVER getting out of the stroller.
But was still happy just to be at the beach!
The ocean!!
I love how MaryBeth seems to be dancing with Sawyer here.

Sawyer's camo shorts really did make him fade into the scenery...



It got wet out on the porch of The Spot. But Sawyer was just happy to eat.
And dance. Dance and eat.

More from Brazos Bend

Here are a few photos I stole from MaryBeth before she left. I love the one of Sawyer trying to eat the stuffed racoon...




Your Will Is Showing

Before I post more photos from the rest of MaryBeth's trip, I have to write about last night's epic battle. At 1 am, the little man decided it was time to get up. It's been a long time since he's done this, and usually I can pop him in bed with me, hold him tightly, and he'll be out very soon. Not last night. He threw a temper tantrum, complete with kicking and screaming. This after being fed and diaper-checked. No problems--just a wakeful, willful boy.

And so...after attempting to hold him tightly through the tantrum, I decided that he was going to need to fight this out on his own. I laid him down in his pack and play (we're still at Buck and Lynn's) and let him have at it. There's no clock, so I'm not sure how long it took him to wear himself down, but I really felt that at this point, he knew I loved him, needed nothing, and simply wanted his way. A real battle of the wills, to be sure! When he finally fell asleep, I tucked him in and helped arrange him (he'd fallen alseep sitting up with his face propped on the side of the pack and play). The funny thing was that somehow in his fit of anger, he had somehow managed to take off his pants. :)

We are definitely at an age where his will is showing. (By will, I don't mean a healthy independence or personality. I mean that selfish sinful nature kind of will--the MY way will.) While I still would put myself in a non-cry-it-out camp for most things, I believe Sawyer needs to know he doesn't get his way by crying. You can even hear a difference (well, I can) between his needy cry and his angry cry. When we have moments like last night where he pitches an angry cry fit about something, I feel that it's important for me to show him he cannot win that way.

It's not fun. I definitely didn't get a lot of sleep. But I felt like this was an important battle. We're not in the terrible twos, but the hope is that dealing with the will issues whenever they appear, we'll have already started nipping them in the bud. Thankfully, so far Sawyer is a pretty content guy. Knock on wood that he'll stay that way...

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Fun with MaryBeth

Here are some fun photos of Sawyer with his Aunt MB. I have a great one of them in matching shirts I still have to download, but this will do for now. Aw, they're cute.

Leech Face

We let Sawyer play with the top of an egg container this morning, and it made for some really fun leech faces.

Alligator Chase

video
MaryBeth and I went to one of my favorite places yesterday: Brazos Bend State Park. This is where the alligators live. To Sawyer, this is old news. He's practically grown up with gators, but for MB, this is a new thing. Alligators are not the most active creatures, contrary to popular belief and movies like Lake Placid. But yesterday, we not only saw a host of them, but we saw an alligator CHASE. Whatever MB tells you, the alligators were not chasing US, but a larger one chased a smaller one out of its area, which brought it running up the path toward us. Well, I should say toward me and Sawyer, because at that point, MaryBeth had already run away. In any case, after the smaller gator crossed the path near us to escape, I realized that I wasn't taking a picture or video, so I got this one of it walking down the other side of the bank. Now I can add this to the list of alligator things I have seen/experienced. It's a pretty good list...

-alligator chasing another alligator
-alligator eating an eel
-alligator roaring at a great blue heron
-alligator crossing a street
-alligator chasing me away from a nest
-alligator biting me

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

A Visit!

So, I may be a little distant this week as my good friend MaryBeth is here from Greensboro! She and I met in the UNCG program the last few months of my MFA. She's getting her PhD, so is pretty smart. And a smart aleck. Either way, we are running around Houston this week, having fun with the little guy and trying to avoid the rain. Boo on the weather this week! Also, as a brief knee update, I visited a sports orthopedic place and the doctor thinks I just have an inflamed (not torn) miniscus and I'm on some drugs to help bring down that swelling. It already feels better and I should be skating later this week. Yay!

Today MaryBeth, Sawyer, and I are going to look for alligators, so hopefully I'll have some good pictures of that later on. For now, just enjoy Sawyer's dancing videos. Here's another for good measure.
video

Monday, March 23, 2009

Jump, Jump

video
This video is per request of my brother, Geoff, who wanted to see Sawyer dancing to Kris Kross' song "Jump."

Sunday, March 22, 2009

I'm Biased, But...

...my kid is cute. Here are some photos taken by Marianne Horton. Check out her site to see more of her work!!





My First Bout...on the Bench

So here are a few shots from last night's season opener for Houston Roller Derby. I was really sad to be sitting on the bench as my knee is acting up. (Hopefully the doctor will give me some news tomorrow.) In any case, it was a lovely event, and I enjoyed watching and cheering on the Bosses, who kicked the cream out of Corpus Christi's Hurricane Alley. I'm not sure of the final score but it was something like 250 or so to 10. Hurricane Alley is just getting started and were great sports about it. Did I mention I was sad not to be skating? Okay, so here are some shots.

Bosses warming up.
Look at that tight pack!
Miss Lead and Goldie Bloxx doing something fancy. Lead may have been calling off the jam here. Or, she may have been skating backwards just because she can.
The Boss bench. And for the record, I think DBC does love pain.
I love my little Babyface Assasin.
Dailey Beatings finally getting to jam. Go, Dailey, go!
Rebel Ann with a great start here--and she had a fantastic jam to boot!
Tammityville Horror looking great. If only I'd gotten a shot of that leg whip...

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