Tuesday, June 30, 2009

New Nickname

Sawyer has a new nickname from me. My nicknames just kind of evolve. I love this new one: Saucer. Or, just Sauce. I got a few weird looks today when I was in public and said, "Come here, Sauce!" But I think it's cute.

Storm Watching

Last night, we finally got rain! It didn't just rain, but poured in an amazing thunderstorm. As it began, I ran out to pull the diapers off the line and Saw followed me out (he runs through any open door, esp to outside). There was a sudden LOUD crack of thunder and I screamed, which sent him crying and running for the door. He was okay once I reassured him, and was only scared of my scream, not the thunder.

He'd just had a bath, so we wrapped him up in a towel as the storm really moved in, and all four of us sat on the front porch to watch. Saw sat in my lap and Tex sat in Rob's (he's now scared of thunderstorms and shakes--poor buddy!) and we watched for about an hour. It was such a neat, fun time. The thunder was so loud and at times, was right over us. Sawyer really seemed to enjoy it, and chilled in my lap, watching and pointing to the wind blowing through the trees and the flashes of lightning.

Those are the kinds of nights you can't plan. It did mean a 9 o'clock bedtime for Saw, but hey, he slept in til 9, so I won't complain. What a great memory!

Monday, June 29, 2009

The Aquarium, Part Two

Rob and I decided to go to the Aquarium today on his day off. It's too hot to do fun things outside. We went through the aquarium three times and had the buy-one-get-one-free fun pass, so we got to ride the shark train, the ferris wheel, and the carousel, which was Saw's favorite. He also liked the diving suit and the stingrays. The tiger was Rob's favorite part. I loved watching my boys have a great time! Hopefully I can get our photos uploaded from my trip there with my parents sometime soon...

Learning Language

I think it's crazy how children learn language. Sawyer still isn't really talking much, but just now, when I told him to put a bucket he was holding on his head, he did it. That shows a lot of understanding without really being taught the way we teach foreign languages. I don't know much about how language is acquired in children, but I think it's really amazing to see how much Sawyer picks up!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Fun with the Food Network

This week I had the neat opportunity to be a part of the filming for Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives with Guy Fieri. He came to Houston's Red Lion Pub, which is one of Houston Roller Derby's sponsors. A few of us got to actually go out to the filming, eat some great food, and talk to Guy on-camera about what we liked.

First of all, I have to say that the food was amazing. I had the Chicken Tikki Masala, which is an Indian dish I'd had before at another restaurant. I was basically fighting everyone else off my plate--it was THAT good. Fantastic, really. And then the desserts...oh, the desserts. I'm not a huge bread pudding fan, but that was some GREAT bread pudding. A few of the girls said that it was the best they'd had. My person fave: the chocolate mousse cake. It had a Grand Marnier sauce. Yeah, I know. I've never had better, and I've already told several out-of-town friends that when they come into town, we're going for that cake. Thanks to the Red Lion Pub and to Craig for taking care of us!

One of the best parts was that Guy and a bunch of his crew came out that night to travel team practice. Two of them actually strapped on skates and tried to hold their own with the girls. I wasn't there, but I've included some pictures because they're priceless. All in all, it was a really great day and we appreciate Guy and his crew for being so much fun!

Hanging out in the pub before the shooting. Definitely has the English pub feel, which I love.

I was in a rush to get home, so I missed the photo op with Guy Fieri. Poo on me!

Jeremy is such a sport. Wow....

Jeremy and Neil fully embracing their inner derby girl.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Dead Zone

That's my new name for the time when Rob's gone, my parents aren't here, and Buck and Lynn aren't around. My parents left a few hours ago, and Rob will be home in a few hours, so really my afternoon should be manageable. But I'm suddenly dead tired and falling asleep, while Sawyer is still totally awake after taking a 3-hour morning nap. I will make it, but it's kind of a startling feeling to realize that if I wanted or needed a break of any kind or help with Sawyer, I'd be out of luck.

I know there are a few friends I could call in desperation and who'd be glad to help me out, but I feel badly asking. And I'm not that desperate. It is a lonely feeling though when all of my primary help with Saw is gone, even for an afternoon. This sounds really whiney to me right now. I know so many people who don't have family nearby and whose spouses are rarely home--I've got it made next to them! When money for sitters is scarce and family is not nearby, what do YOU do when you need a break??

The Naptime Dilemma

Sawyer is taking a nap. I have an hour, maybe two, and have a long list of things I want to do. Do I:

-work on my novel
-spend some (much needed) time with God
-do my at-home workout
-clean (an easy one to scratch out)
-work on any of a number of projects I have going on
-lay out by the pool and be lazy (and tan)

Ah! What to do! I'm glad he's taking longer naps, but just wish I didn't have so many things I was trying to fit into that little window...

Parental Departure

It's always a sad day when my parents leave to head back home. We had a great visit the past three weeks! I enjoy having help with Saw and being able to escape a few afternoons a week to write in a coffee shop. But more than that, it's just great to have their company and to have them in Sawyer's life. I know not everyone has this relationship with their own parents or their in-laws, and I'm thankful to feel that I have great relationships with both. The worst thing about their leaving is that it brings back the reality that it was just a visit. They've been wanting to move here for almost two years now, so it's kind of like a little tease getting to see them every day for three weeks and then BAM!! I won't see them at all for a good period of time. This will be a short break, as they're coming back to watch Saw for Tim's wedding. Even so, I look forward to the day when their presence here will be permanent!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Sawyer These Days

Now that Sawyer is a little over a year (chuckle), he is such a little boy. I probably won't do month updates on his development like I did the first year, but I want to make sure I'm keeping track of what he's up to. It changes so fast!

What I'm most amazed by now is his understanding. He's not communicating yet, though he LOVES making different sounds. This week, it's all about gurgley-garbley sounds. He does say "mama" and "dada" or "daddy" and I swear the other day he said "chip" when he was begging for a Sun Chip. But mostly it's just baby babble. It's cute.

But his understanding blows my mind. You can tell him to go somewhere or get something or look somewhere, and he totally gets it or does it. Like, "Sawyer, where's the toad?" and he'll run to the big planter where a toad has been hiding for the last week. Or, "Put your feet in the bucket Saw," and he puts his feet in the bucket. I personally like, "Go take that to Tex," and whatever "it" happens to be, he'll give it to Tex.

He finally likes reading now, though he hardly makes it through a whole book. But he will bring you books and sit down to have you read, which is a big change. He can point to things when you ask him (if he's in the mood) and makes a few animal sounds: dog barks and snake hisses. The snake hiss is particularly cute.

One thing that has NOT changed: he is a dancing fool. Any music, or anything that remotely sounds like music (such as the Slap Chop--hopefully a video soon to follow) makes him start bouncing and grooving and shaking it. He's hysterical.

We are definitely enjoying life! He enjoys everything, and I enjoy watching him enjoy. This is the good side of parenting! :)

Monthly Rant

Now that we're past the year mark, I hate talking about how old Sawyer is in months. I know it's the thing to do until they're like two or something, but it drives me nuts a little bit. I find myself doing crunching numbers in my head. Like, "Oh, your kid is fifteen months...that's a year and...um...three months. See? I can do math!" Because I don't do math well, this is difficult for me. The first year, I get it. Every month matters. And there is still a lot of development going on now each month with the little guy, but enough already with the months! Sawyer is officially a little over a year, okay?? Okay.

Wow, I went off a little on this. This post was totally supposed to be about something else. Now I have to leave it, I guess.

"Do It" Dates

Want to have your baby on a special or particular day? Here's a site that helps you calculate when to...uh, well, you know. Ha!

The Problem with Technology

So, I realize that I haven't been posting much personal stuff. I'll be back--still enjoying the parents and missing the camera. I found this article on Parent Dish that was just beyond disturbing to me. The short story of it is that a couple went in to have IVF and was told that there one remaining embryo had been destroyed. And by destroyed, they meant that the doctors had implanted the embryo in another woman who, upon realizing this, made the decision to take the morning after pill. I don't know why, but this was really upsetting and heartbreaking to me. I cannot imagine what I would feel or do in that situation. There were several other horrors mentioned in the article, and it just shows the responsibility that must come with the use of technology. Sometimes, if I'm honest, I really question a lot of the things we're able to do.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

No Surprise: Law Suits over Gender Predictors

Here is an article from Parentdish that talks about people suing the maker of a gender precition kit. What surprised me was not that the tests were wrong and the company didn't want to pay up, but the fact that a couple split up after their baby didn't turn out to be the gender they thought it would be. Huh? I mean, I can understand the strangeness of having an idea of what your child will be like in your mind the whole pregnancy only to be faced with a different reality. That is hard whether it's about babies or life in general: expectations often meet reality like a car crash. That poor kid, though. Because if having a baby of a different gender causes a divorce, what is life going to be like if you were that "unwanted" kid?

To me, it would be difficult to wrap my brain around it if I thought I was having one gender and really had another. I like time to get used to things. But I can't imagine it causing that kind of rift. Maybe returning dresses to buy little boy pants might be my biggest headache. This is one reason I kind of liked being surprised--there was no set of expectations I had in my mind for what baby would be. Not that I'm against finding out. I just liked our surprise. So, did you find out? Or would you? And would you flip out if you took a gender test only to be greeted with the opposite sex??

Houston Roller Derby Promo Video!

Check out this new promo video for HRD! You can see me going around a corner around the 30 second mark. I've got on white socks with some stripes up by the knees. Viva la derby!

The New Hava Sling!

I'm pretty excited about the new Hava sling from SlingEZee! I've talked in detail about my SlingEZee, which saved my life when Sawyer was a wee one. The Hava has taken the basic design and improved upon it, making a pretty tail (the part used to adjust the sling) with a zippered pocket, and cutting down even more on the padding, so that it's still comfy, but not bulky. I don't consider the SlingEZee to be bulky, but if you're coming from a sling that has no padding, it might feel that way. In any case, if you're in the market for a sling, check out the Hava by clicking here!

Hold Me in the New HAVA Sling - Nurtured Family

Houston's Downtown Aquarium

Mom, Dad, Sawyer and I set out for the Aquarium this morning and had a fantastic time! Sawyer went pretty much bananas, running when we let him out of the stroller and screaming and pointing at the fish, alligators, and snakes. Oh, and the TIGER. So cool! (As soon as I get a camera cord I'll share the great photos...) He loves excitement and loves animals, so this was right up his alley. He really liked the alligators, which were young and active, and the octopus that was pressing itself up against the glass--really cool! He also liked the stingrays and got to touch one in the special tank they have. (I did have to bodily keep him from climbing in that tank, by the way.) The white tiger was all hot and bothered (and actually tried to eat my Dad through the glass--no kidding) so he got to see it up close and personal with only an inch of glass between. When Sawyer saw the tiger, he just stopped, mouth wide open. It was really cute. After we went through the whole exhibit twice, we let Saw run in the fountain area outside, where he got soaked and pretty much had a blast. I'm so glad we all went!

Now, as a review of the Aquarium itself...it was only so-so. The exhibits and building itself and landscaping were fantastic, but it was SO SMALL. I mean, like if you paused briefly at each exhibit, you'd be done in twenty minutes. We drove downtown, saw the whole Aquarium (twice) and got home in under three hours. For almost ten dollars a person, it just was not a lot. There are a few rides, but each of those costs at least $3-5 more, unless you buy the pass for $16 that gets you the Aquarium and all the rides. Plus $6 for parking. They also need to work on the whole ticket-buying thing--you cannot buy online, which means that you have to stand in the hot sun in a line that moves at a snail's pace to get into the Aquarium.

None of that negates the great time we had this morning, but I wanted to give a kind of honest picture of the place in general in case you are planning a trip. It's very fun, but small. It was so much fun getting to watch Sawyer, who was almost frantic with excitement running from exhibit to exhibit, pointing, shouting, and trying to kiss the fish. He's the best. And thanks Mom and Dad for paying for our outing!! :)

A Testament to Cloth Diapers

I was just realizing the other day while washing Saw's cloth diapers that it's been a year now since I've used this set of diapers. And you know what? They still look NEW. None of them are stained. None of them look worn. (I did have to throw one pair out because during our 6-week stay away from home, I had left one poopy diaper in a diaper bag at home to be washed. When we got back, there was just no salvaging it. )

If you've ever thought about using cloth, but just don't know if you could handle it or if it was really cost effective, let me tell you that it's easier than you'd think and TOTALLY saves money! Email me if you have questions and check out Nurtured Family's sales and specials!

Where We're Going, We Don't Need Pants

(If you can tell me what movie quote I adapted--replacing a word with "pants"--for this title, you win the prize of being awesome.)

Last night, Sawyer put up a little fight before bed, which is a kind of unusual these days. While doing his angry protest cries, he also somehow managed to remove his fitted pajama pants. Take that, Mom! You try to put me to bed and I'm going to take off my pants!

Funny, angry little man.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

The Day After a Bout

The day after a derby bout, I kind of always feel like I got hit by a truck. Or in a car accident. Not that either of those things has happened to me, but that's what comes to mind when I'm thinking about how to describe it. My muscles are sore from all the work and then there are the bruises and aches and pains. I got some whiplash last night, which means that my whole neck and shoulder area is barely movable, and I got hit in the face four times, so it hurts to chew.

I hope you don't read any of those as complaints--I LOVE IT! Derby is such an intense and crazy sport. You really have to want to do it, but once you start, it's addictive. I know that every bout I get better, even though I'm still making tons of mistakes and look like a rookie out there. My Bosse$ skated so hard last night, and like such a great team. I'm so proud.

I'm also thankful to have a family that's supportive of what a huge time commitment it is, and was glad that my parents and Rob's parents came out last night, even though Rob had to miss it. It was the first time for all of them to see me skate, and they all had a great time. Thankfully they left with Sawyer before the fire marshall kicked everyone out. If you want to read about that craziness, check my post over at the HRD blog.

I am, as always, thankful to the outlet derby gives me that is so different from being a mommy. It's also fantastic to have a whole new family of derby sisters that I know would have my back in a second, even if they'll blast me on the track. I love the weird juxtaposition of such a rough and tough sport with the rest of my not-so-rough-and-tough life. It somehow works perfectly in my life, and I love it!

Here are a few pics of my antics through the night (photos courtesy of Tony Sodaro). There's also a link to all the photos on the HRD blog.

Starting the jam against Jekyll and Heidi.
Look closely: I'm taking a shoulder to the face.
Yeah. This is how I ended the night. Not my best moment, but at least it wasn't a concussion. Rob gets enough of those for the both of us. A little whiplash never hurt anybody.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Aw, Turkey and Gammy!

Fun Out and About

Here are some photos from La Centerra and Los Cucos. Just so you know, my Dad asked the balloon maker if she went to balloon college.

Best. Face. Ever.

Sawyer really wanted a lime. I caught this expression and I'm so happy I did.

Oh, Yeah--Sawyer Would Eat That

Ever thought about using a cardboard crib? Yeah, me neither.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Time with Gammy and Turkey

We've been having such a great time with the Gam Gum and Turkey! The only reason I haven't posted much is because my camera situation has been dire. Here are a few fun ones of our time so far!

Pointing with Grandpa Turkey. Pointing is his new thing.

Eyeing that food. With Gammy at the Children's Museum.
He really wanted Gammy to eat his finger.
Aw...sweet kisses! A new thing Saw has learned.
Me, Mommy, and the boy.



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