Friday, October 13, 2006

House Inspection

We had our house inspection today. We are currently T minus 2 weeks and counting for the closing on the house....and we're so totally excited!

We've packed some more, and once we started pulling all the pictures and things down off the walls to pack them, I couldn't help but cry. We really do love this house, it's so homey and warm, and we have so many great memories here. Not to mention how much work we've put into it. But, we must move on, and we'll make more memories at our new house! But still, it's hard to leave this one, no matter how excited we are about the new one.

The new house is looking great! It's basically finished, but we had to go around with blue painter's tape to mark all the places that need paint touch up, any nicks in the sheet rock, chips in the tile, places where they need to caulk better. All-in-all, it's pretty minor stuff, and the house is looking great. I thought it was kinda funny that we were so closely scrutinizing the new house, when the house we live in now is 25 years old and so very far from perfect. But, we're paying a lot of money for the new house, and we want it to be as perfect as it can be!

Juan took off work today because we had the walk-through, and we had originally planned to go camping this weekend. It's going to be the perfect weekend for it, but we decided not to, with the upcoming move and all. Thought we might be a little too stressed if we were gone this weekend.

Paul's asleep right now, and Juan went to the police station to get a copy of the police report from my collision with the bicyclist. I'm very interested to see what the report says. I sent in the ticket saying 'not guilty' and now I'm scheduled for an appearance docket with the prosecutor to see if the case can be resolved without going to trial. We'll see. But, we need that police report to make sure that we know everything the state knows. Funny, the violation on the ticket says "Backed not in safely" and now the "official" violation is "Illegal backing." Apparently, when you look, and there's no one there, it's still illegal to back out of your driveway. Also, it's apparently okay to ride a bike and not watch where you're going. So, I guess the moral of the story is to never back out of your driveway, and if you're riding a bike, you really don't have to pay attention to what you're doing.

My appearance docket is scheduled for Tuesday, October 24th at 9:30. Between now and then, we need to get a sworn statement from the bicyclist, get pictures showing the blocked view from our driveway, and prepare our case. Hopefully, the prosecutor will drop the charges, but if not, I'm not sure what we'll do. We may just pay the ticket so that we don't have to deal with it anymore. I'm also not sure if I can take defensive driving or not, but if I can, I may do that to get the ticket dismissed. We'll see.

That's the update around times!

Friday, October 06, 2006

Water feature

We have a new water feature in our master bathroom. It's flowing from the tub spout. And we can't turn it off. The cold water valve is stuck open. Isn't that lovely?

We called our landlord at 7:10 this morning. He lives in California, so I guess that would make it 5:10 AM for him? Anyway, there's a plumber coming, hopefully, soon. He said that as soon as he got himself put together and his cats fed he'd be over here. (his words, not mine) Thankfully, we don't own the house anymore! Sometimes renting is better!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Are you kidding me?!?!

Saturday night, right before our friends came over with their new baby, I went out to get the mail. I walked out the mailbox, grabbed the mail, and saw that there was something from the police department addressed to me. I thought "oh good, he sent me a copy of the police report." Wrong.

It was a citation. That's right. A ticket. Wonder what the violation was? The cop (I prefer the term 'officer,' but in this case, I would rather use the more demeaning term, 'cop') wrote in the "Violation A" box: "Backed not in Safely." What the hell does that mean? It made me so mad, I just dissolved into tears. I couldn't believe that he had the gall to send me a ticket when the bicyclist wasn't paying attention and HIT ME! Not to mention that we did absolutely everything we could to help him, get him to the hospital, keep his bike for him...everything we could do, we did. And I got the ticket. I was so mad. I still am.

Needless to say, we're going to contest it, and I've already sent in the ticket with the "NOT GUILTY" box checked and signed. We'll see what happens now. As if I need one more thing to stress about right now.

And about my knee, I've gone to the dr, he drained it, and took 75 cc's of bloody fluid off of the joint. He said that if he tried to drain his knee, he would be lucky to get 1 cc of fluid off of it. My knee had 75 times the amount of fluid it should have on it. He said that he expected the fluid to be yellowy-clear, and that the fact that it was bloody meant it had been injured, and recently, like within the last week. But it's been swollen like this for about 6 weeks, and a little less swollen for 6 weeks prior to that. So the dr. ordered an MRI and x-rays, and sent the fluid to the lab for testing.

That was Monday. I had my MRI and x-rays today. So far the lab tests are coming back negative for bacteria growth, which is good. The dr. said that he thought my problem was probably due to the surgery I had 6 years ago on the same knee, but he can't be sure until he sees the MRI. I'm going in Monday to find out what that says, and at that visit he said he would probably want to drain it again and then give me a cortizone shot to help with the inflamation. Of course, this would happen right before we move into a two-story house.

We're just three weeks away now from closing! We're very excited, but also stressed, because we have an entire house to pack and a little guy who thinks he's a big help, but really isn't. Somehow we'll get it all least that's what I keep telling myself.

This too shall pass....isn't that what they say?

Friday, September 29, 2006

When bicycles and cars collide...

See this picture? That's what Juan's car looks like after yesterday morning...when a bicyclist and I collided.

Here's the story:

My knee has been swollen for 3's now roughly the size of a softball. I had made an appointment with my old orthopedic surgeon to have it looked at finally. My appointment was at 8:45. Juan stayed home for the morning from work to watch Paul so I could go to my appointment.

So at 8:15 I went out to Juan's car, which was parked behind our camper in the driveway. I put it the car in reverse, look both ways to make sure it's clear, and back out slowly. I get about 1/2 - 3/4 of the way out of the driveway, and look again over my right shoulder and SLAM! - a bicycle and mans body hit the car about 1/2 way down the passenger side.

OH MY GOD! Did that just happen? I put the car in 1st, and pull it back in the driveway, get out and the guy is sitting on the curb across the street holding his jaw with his left hand, bleeding. His bike is in the middle of the street. I grab is bike and put it in our yard, and then run over to see how badly he's hurt. He says his chin is busted, and he's sure he's broken his right wrist. He asked me to get his cell phone to call his wife, so I search through the bags on his bike and find that, call his poor wife and tell her that we've had a collision. The bicyclist kept telling me that he was sorry, that it was his fault because he wasn't paying attention. He said that he was messing with a light on the back of his bike and wasn't looking up, otherwise he would have had time to stop.

In the meantime, Juan has come out because he heard the wreck. He asks if the man (named Lee) wants us to call 911 or take him to the nearby (5 mins away) hospital. Lee says to please take him to the hospital, so Juan brings him a towel and an ice pack, and off they go.

Once Juan got back from the hospital, we decided that we had probably better call to get a police report. So I called 311, and the officer came to take our statement. He was SUCH an asshole. I told him what happened, and his first comment to me was "Well did you look?" with a total "you're such a stupid blonde, woman driver" attitude I wanted to slap him. (I didn't, of course.) I said "Yes I looked!" Anyway, the whole time he was there he acted like we were total criminals and I sped out of the driveway to purposely hit the bicyclist. So then he left to go get Lee's statement at the hospital.

Later that day I was out talking to my neighbor across the street, and Lee and his wife pull up. They told me that Lee had a compound fracture in his wrist and had to go into surgery to have it set and have pins put in. Poor guy. He also had 9 stitches in his chin. His wife took the bike, and they went home.

But wait...there's more to come.....

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Just beachy...

Ahhh....the beach. Beautiful sand, crashing waves, relaxed atmosphere....and quarreling, picking, bickering in-laws.

Not to say that our trip was horrible. It wasn't. We had a really nice time. Paul did surprisingly well on both the plane ride down and the trip in general. He wasn't too keen on the beach, but he did love the pool at the hotel. His sleep wasn't great...but kind of cute.

I think Paul wakes up most nights, plays with some of the toys in his crib, and then goes back to sleep. Well, when he woke up in the hotel, in the pack and play, right next to us in the bed, he thought it was great! He patted us, started saying "Dadeee!" over and over, and threw his pacifiers, and other toys in his crib at us. He ended up staying up about 1 1/2 hrs that night, and woke up the other nights for shorter and shorter periods of time. So, under the circumstances, Paul slept pretty well.

I, on the other hand, did not sleep well the entire trip. I'm not used to sleeping in the same room as Paul, and his noises as he slept and moved around kept me from sleeping well. The bed was actually better than I expected, but still, every morning my back was killing me. And, on top of it all, most mornings, Paul was up before 7 AM.

Paul also started saying "cracker" while we were at the beach. Monday afternoon, I was sitting on the couch, Paul got the Goldfish crackers off the table, brought them to me and said "cwa-kur." I thought at first that I didn't hear him right, but everyone else heard cracker, too. Since then, he's said it on request, and for most food items that he wants. It's awfully cute.

Then there were the the in-laws. Oh, the list of complaints is long...Here's the short list: 1. We ate out almost every meal. 2. They bickered constantly. 3. We were always trying to hurry them up, whether to leave to go eat, or to hurry up and eat because Paul was about to lose it in the highchair. Those were the big complaints...the small ones...Tina couldn't stop squeezing Paul's cheeks, she says the same thing about him over and over ("Ay, que chulo, que chulo. Ay, que chulo! Cositas lindas, cositas lindas!"). That's just annoying.

The worst was the constant quibbling, arguing, about ABSOLUTLY NOTHING! One of them would be telling a story and the other would start disagreeing about some minute detail that didn't matter at all! It made me (and Juan, too) completely crazy!!!

Oh well, we made it, and were sooooo happy to be home. In fact, Paul completely lost it on the way home and had a total melt down. But, once we got home, he just played quietly until bedtime. He seemed to be really happy to be home and in familiar surroundings.

Nice to go, but nicer to come home. We're all glad to be home.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Rabies Update

I called Animal Control Monday morning to see if they had results from the decapitated skunk. The skunk tested NEGATIVE FOR RABIES!!!!! YEA!!!! So, now we're totally in the clear as far as the skunk incident goes, and we're clear to go to the beach!! Yea!

I'm a little nervous about the beach trip. I'm not sure how Paul's going to do on the plane ride, but at least the flight is short, just one hour. Juan's parents have a time-share in South Texas, so we're going to fly down and stay with them on the beach! I know Paul will love the beach...playing in the sand and waves. But, I'm not sure how he's going to do with his naps and sleeping at night. We're going to take his pack 'n play for him to sleep in...I hope it goes well. We'll see. I'm sure I'll have lots to write about after we get back...Juan's parent's always give me lots of material. I love them to death, but they make me crazy!

Monday, September 04, 2006

More house updates

They installed the tile backsplash in the kitchen, and the HVAC, A/C compressor and A/C vents.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Stink....Round Three!

Okay, so the animal control guy came...and asked to see my proof of rabies vaccination for the dogs...which I couldn't find. They are current on their shots, but I couldn't find the paperwork.

So, the animal control officer came to my door, told me that he was going to go get the skunk, and could he have a plastic bag. Are you kidding? The city sends your to collect a dead skunk, and don't give you a plastic bag? What if I hadn't had one? What would he have done with it? Let it rest in his lap all the way to the office? I found that really funny!

So, anyway, he went to collect the skunk, and came back. He said that it was pretty 'ripe.' I really can't imagine a much worse job than having to collect dead skunks. Ugh. Gross. Anyway, I couldn't find the paperwork, but I did find the tags for the dogs, so the officer didn't give me the $200 citation. I do, however, have to call the vet tomorrow morning to get the exact date of vaccination, and call that in to animal control. My instructions from the officer was to quarantine the dogs until the skunk could be tested. If the skunk tests negative, we're all good. If it tests positive, we have to quarantine our dogs for 45-90 days. That really sucks, because we are due to leave for the beach next Friday! My mom was going to keep the dogs, but she won't be able to, because she has dogs, and we won't be able to board them, since they're supposed to be quarantined! We should know by Monday if the skunk was rabid or not.

This is a huge pain in my ass.

Stink....Round two

We thought the dogs getting sprayed by a skunk was bad....

Last night, about 9:45 or so, we were sitting in our living room watching TV, thinking about going to bed soon, when this horrendous smell wafted into the was skunk. One of our cats, Winny, was up on the couch with us, so we thought, it must be him...we sniffed and sniffed...not Winny, then we sniffed the other two wasn't the cats. The smell was getting stronger.

I walked into the sunroom, and the stink was even stronger. So, I walked out on the back porch where our dogs have been ostracized. The smell was eye-watering. Oh My God. It was HORRIBLE!!!!

So we started looking around our stinky backyard, and Juan said he thought he found where the skunk was coming under the back fence. The only thing we can figure is that it was coming in the back yard to drink the dog's water.

So by this time, the stink has permeated through the entire house...and we went to bed smelling skunk. UGH!! So my mission today was to call trappers to get prices to get our little stinky friend away from our house.

Well this morning, there were some men needing in our backyard to work on the utility pole that's in the corner of our yard. I was talking to them, telling them about the skunk, when one of the men walks over near a big bush in the back yard and says "I found him!" "Is he alive?" I ask foolishly...
"Naw, the dogs killed him....UGH! God that stinks!" he yells.

He asked me what I was going to do with it, and I told him that I would probably throw him over the back fence (we have an open lot behind us). He had a big 15-ft pole to work on the utilities, and used the pole to pick up the skunk and throw it over the fence. YEA!! I was really happy that I didn't have to deal with it. I thought the man was going to throw up, though, after he pitched the skunk, he was making such a fuss. It was pretty funny.

So, then I realized that the skunk could have been rabid, and needed to be tested. I called our vet, and she told me to take the skunk to the Health Department. I called the HD, and they told me that you had to get the vet to take the head off and submit it, that I couldn't do it. They advised me to call Animal Control. So, after talking to about 7 different people, I finally got a service request number and animal control is supposedly on their way to collect the stinky and test it.

Now, I just have to bathe the dogs, to get the stink off. But, at least we know our stinky friend won't be coming back. I'm a little shocked that the dogs killed the skunk. I didn't really think they had something like that in them. Not sure how I feel about it, though.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Ugh! Stink!

Last night, after Paul went to bed, Juan asked me to let the dogs in to feed them. When I let them in the back door, this odor followed them... At first it didn't register, but then it hit me. Like a brick wall. SKUNK!! Then Pete, our black lab mix, shook...and something wet hit me...and then I realized that they hadn't just been near where a skunk had sprayed, but had actually been sprayed!!! The dogs were in the house MAYBE a total of 30 seconds, but that smell permeated through the entire house. Mmmm...nothing like ode de skunk...just what I always wanted my house to smell like!

So Juan and I went outside to make sure that the dogs hadn't killed the skunk, and that it had actually left the yard. We did some searching with the flashlight, and didn't see anything, and really, when we found where it happened, we didn't need the light. There's a nice 10-ft radius or so of skunk stink in our backyard....lovely.

Needless to say, the dogs did not sleep inside last night, which made for a long night of barking and dog beatings, since they're not used to sleeping outside. I also just couldn't find the energy to get out of bed this morning and walk, although it would have been nice since it was a little cooler. Anyway, long story short, our dogs stink, and I'm not sure how to get the stink off of them...great!!!

Monday, August 28, 2006

Week 2

I'm proud to say that I've successfully walked 3 out of 4 days this week! It's week two of my walking routine, you know! It was very hard to get up this morning, but I did it!! I'm quite proud of myself!!

We took some friends to see the house this's looking great! Most of the tile is in, and they've installed the stair rails and tile surround in the 2nd bathroom. The mirrors were also up in the bathrooms. Here are some pictures:

There is actually fill dirt in the front yard!!
This is an up-close shot of our tile downstairs.
The stair rake (the black railing) is finally installed!
Here's the tile surround in the 2nd bathroom. It's a little darker than I realized it would be, but that's okay! It will look different once there are lights and decorations up!

Friday, August 25, 2006

Kitty Litter Cake

This is from an email I got from a friend of mine...gross, but funny!

Want to be forever eliminated from the guest list? Just take this to yournext "pot luck" dinner!!!READ THE INGREDIENTS AND STUFF FIRST AND THEN LOOK AT THE PHOTO...TRUSTME...DON'T LOOK AT THE PHOTO FIRST, BUT LAST...This is for all you cooks out there looking for something a littledifferent.........WANT TO HAVE FUN AT A PARTY? PREPARE THIS RECIPE! COMPLETELY EDIBLE, BUTYOUR FRIENDS MAY NOT THINK SO!On a recent visit to our veterinarian to get shots for our cat I foundthis recipe on the waiting room bulletin board. After recovering fromhysterical laughter, I obtained a copy from the office staff so that mywife could make it, which she refused to do. I took it to work and gavethe recipe to a lady at work who loves cats. The pictures below show theresults of her work. It doesn't look very nice, but it's actually quitetasty, so I decided to pass it along.


1 box spice or German chocolate cake mix
1 box of white cake mix1 package white sandwich cookies
1 large package vanilla instant pudding mix
A few drops green food coloring
12 small Tootsie Rolls or equivalent
1 NEW cat-litter box
1 NEW cat-litter box liner
1 NEW pooper scooper

1) Prepare and bake cake mixes, according to directions, in any sizepan. Prepare pudding and chill. Crumble cookies in small batches inblender or food processor. Add a few drops of green food coloring to 1cup of cookie crumbs. Mix with a fork or shake in a jar. Set aside.
2) When cakes are at room temperature, crumble them into a large bowl.Toss with half of the remaining cookie crumbs and enough pudding to makethe mixture moist but not soggy. Place liner in litter box and pour inmixture.
3) Unwrap 3 Tootsie Rolls and heat in a microwave until soft andpliable. Shape the blunt ends into slightly curved points. Repeat with three more rolls. Bury the rolls decoratively in the cake mixture. Sprinkleremaining white cookie crumbs over the mixture, then scatter greencrumbs lightly over top.
4) Heat 5 more Tootsie Rolls until almost melted. Scrape them on top ofthe cake and sprinkle with crumbs from the litter box. Heat theremaining Tootsie Roll until pliable and hang it over the edge of thebox. Place box on a sheet of newspaper and serve with scooper. Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

New Pictures of the House

Our house now has shutters, a driveway and a sidewalk!!

Our kitchen with the countertops installed.
There's a white plastic covering on them, but the countertops are creamy colored, too.
We're actually really happy with the wall color we chose.
This is one of the details in the dining room

Paul was already trying to break his head on the stairs. I think one of our first purchases for the new house will be gates for the top and bottom of the stairs!

I did it again!!

YEA!! I walked again this morning! Juan practically had to push me out of bed, but I got up, got dressed, and headed out the door! I'm proud of just to keep up that momentum!

Looks like we're going to be able to finally lock our interest rate for the new house. We're now within the 90-day lock period. Which is good, because that means we get all of our down payment back at closing. Supposedly, they're tiling today. I can't wait to see how that looks...that was one of the hardest decisions. It's really hard to visualize what it's going to look like when you only have one tile.

We met my sister at the car dealership today at lunch. She was turning in her Honda van because the lease was up on it, and then buying a Chevy Malibu Maxx. Paul LOVED the showroom! He thought the HHR was really neat. He played with the registers in the front seat and crawled all around in the back. Too cute.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

New Morning Routine

As prescribed by the Flylady, I have written out my morning routine. I generally get it all done, maybe not in the exact order that it is on the list, but for the most part, my routine is complete before I leave the house. Well, I've added another step, which I'm feeling really good about.

I was talking to Juan the other day about how I really didn't like how my body was changing. I've noticed that my upper arms seem like they've gotten flabbier, and in general, I'm just a little softer than I used to be. I think that part of this is due to Paul being able to walk around now. I don't carry him as much as I used to, and it's showing in my arms!

My weight hasn't changed much, if at all, despite my attempts at weight watchers. Anyway, I realized that other than walking once a week with friends, and running after Paul, I'm pretty sedatary nowadays.

The problem I was coming up against is when to exercise. It's so DAMN HOT here right now, that if I wait until after breakfast to walk with Paul, I'm disgusting when I get back and need another shower. That would be fine if I could shower with Paul locked in the bathroom with me, but it scares him, I don't have a door to the toilet closet, and I can't see him because of the shower curtain. So, that's out. After dinner is hard, because we usually need to get Paul bathed and then to bed. So, that leaves one other time: early in the morning, before I shower.

SO, Juan gets me up now in the mornings about 6:20 AM, and I'm out the door for at 30-minute walk by 6:30. Then when I get home, I shower, and go about my morning routine.

I've done it two mornings in a row now, and I actually enjoy the walks. It's still a little dark, but I get to see the sunrise, and it's some time to myself. I've also seen bats the past two mornings, flying and catching bugs around the streetlights.

Hopefully, I'll be able to keep this up. I told Juan that I would need him to encourage me (push me!) out of bed before too long. I hear that if you can do something for a month, then it becomes a's hopin'!

On a different note, I heard from the builder today that our closing date is set right now for November 6th. He said that he would keep pushing the house, and that if they finished sooner, that we might be able to close sooner. Hopefully, we can close before November 1st, because our lease here is up October 31st, and it would be nice to not have to pay more for extended months!

Thursday, August 10, 2006


I've had an epiphany. I was watching Oprah Tuesday, and her show was about women who had trouble with self-hatred. She had 3 different women as guests, one was an anorexic who weighed 80 lbs, one an over-eater who had gained over 100 lbs, and a stay-at-home-mom who said that she felt like she didn't deserve all the nice things she had and felt like "trash."

I didn't really identify with any of the guests, but the talk that Oprah and Robin gave about negative self-talk and self-hatred struck home. Between that, and a book by the Flylady called Body Clutter that I've been reading, I've come to realize something.

I am a champion of negative self-talk. I look in the mirror, and instantly see things I don't like about myself. My skin isn't clear, my hair doesn't look like I would like it to, I'm overweight, my thighs are too big, my boobs goes on and on. And just so that I don't run out of things to beat myself up over, I turn to the side to get my profile, and to the back to look over my shoulder, and the list of complaints continues.

I've always said that I didn't like my appearance, but I didn't dislike it enough to do something about it. But I've also wondered, why couldn't I put more stock in the things that really mattered? Why did I hear negative things in my head, instead of things like, "I'm a good mom, I'm a good wife, I'm intelligent, I'm giving, I'm a good friend..." Why do I value those things so little when it comes to my self image?

So I had a little epiphany. And it's helped so far. I realized that this negative self talk was learned from my mom. She's an incredible example of how not to talk to yourself. If she cooks something (which is always delicious), as she puts it on the table, she says "I doubt this will be any good." If you give her a compliment, she often says "Oh, yeah, right, but thanks anyway." So I grew up with that. And learned that's the way to talk to yourself.

The problem with negative self talk is that it kills any love and self-worth that you have. It makes you always put yourself last in any relationship, and makes you believe that you don't deserve the nice things in your life. I have put off getting my hair done. I know that I felt so much better when I had cute hair, but I've told myself that we just can't afford it. Well, we can afford for me to have my hair cut, so that I feel better about myself. That's the truth. Before, I just didn't think I deserved it.

So, after all that, here's my epiphany: I realized that I would never, ever, talk to my son, or my husband, or even some stranger on the street, the way I talk to myself. I would never tell my husband "God, you look awful, you're so fat!" Never in a million years! I would never tell my son, even though he's only 1, "You're so stupid!" No! Not acceptable! In most cases, I wouldn't speak to my dog the way I speak to myself.

So, why is this ok? Well, it isn't! And it must stop! So, I'm training myself to speak kindly to myself. To remember that I am a role model for Paul, and that I don't want him to grow up thinking he's worthless. Because he isn't. No one is.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

We have cabinets!

Last Friday, Juan came home, we ate dinner quickly, threw Paul in the van and set out to go see the new house. We got about half-way there, and heard a juicy sound from the back seat. Looked back, and Paul had thrown up all over himself. The funny thing is, I had made the comment about a week ago that I hadn't had to wash his carseat cover in a while because he hadn't thrown up all over it lately. I spoke too soon. So, we turned the van around and headed home to clean up vomit. Lovely.

The next day, I was sick all day with problems from the other end. I think I ate some elderly Taco Soup we had in the fridge, and it did bad things to me. But, I sucked it up (literally) and we finally made it out to the house Saturday evening. And....WE HAVE CABINETS!!! Yea!! They're so pretty! The house is actually starting to look like a house now! Now that it's getting more complete, we're getting more and more anxious to have it done!

Our kitchen with the cabinets installed.

Monday, July 24, 2006

We're totally stoned!!

The house, that is....

We went to the house Saturday, and it looks soooo great! They've finished the stone-work on the exterior, except for the little bit of stone on the 4 columns on the front porch. It really looks beautiful. They've also hung all the sheetrock and have taped and floated. My dad says that they'll sand that down and then put another coat, and sand it to make sure it's smooth, then they'll be ready to texture. Once we have a texture date, we'll know better when we'll be closing on the house. Hopefully, the end of September to mid October, since our lease here will be up at the end of October.

We also met some of our neighbors Saturday. Super nice people. They are from New Orleans, and have 2 boys, ages 3 and 5. She has met their neighbors next to them, and she said that there will be something like 8 or 9 kids on our circle alone. We haven't met any of the people on the straight part of the street. We're so excited about all the kids. There shouldn't be any shortage of kids for Paul to play with!! So far, this neighborhood has everything we've been hoping for. We're so ready to move!!!!

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Blueberry-Coconut-Macadamia Muffins

I made these muffins this morning for breakfast. They were soooo yummy!! The recipe came out of a magazine called "Eating Well." I'm not sure how I got a subscription to the magazine, but I'm not complaining, because the recipes are delicious!

So, without further ado, here's the recipe for Blueberry-Coconut-Macadamia Muffins!

1/4 cup unsweetend coconut
2 Tbs plus 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, divided
2 Tbs plus 1/2 cup brown sugar, divided
5 Tbs chopped macadamia nuts
2 Tbs canola oil (I used olive), divided
1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour OR whole-wheat flour (this is what I used)
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 large egg
1 large egg white
3/4 cup nonfat buttermilk
2 Tbs butter, melted
1/2 tsp coconut or vanilla extract (I doubled the vanilla extract)
1 1/2 cups fresh OR frozen (not thawed) blueberries


1. Preheat oven to 400 deg. F. Coat a 12-cup muffin pan with cooking spray.

2. Combine coconut, 2 Tbs all purpose flour, 2 Tbs brown sugar, and 2 Tbs macadamia nuts in a small bowl. Drizzle with 1 Tbs oil. Stir to combine, set aside.

3. Whisk the remaining 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in a medium bowl. In another medium bowl, whisk the remaining 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1 Tbs oil, egg, egg white, buttermilk, butter and coconut (or vanilla) extract until well combined. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients; stir until just combined. Add blueberried and the remaining 3 Tbs nuts; stir until just combined. Divide batter among the prepared muffin cups. Sprinkle with the reserved coconut topping and gently press into the batter.

4. Bake the muffins until golden brown and a wooden toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then remove from the pn and let cool on a wire rack at least 5 minutes more before serving.

Makes 1 dozen muffins - it's great with a little honey drizzled on it!

Try them some morning - they're delicious!!!

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Fuzzi Bunz are on their way!!

Yesterday we went to Paul's friend O's house to play. O had his 1st birthday on the 14th, and his mom, C, had me and another friend over for lunch and a playdate. It was lots of fun, and the boys had a great time together. It's funny to watch emerging toddlers play together. It's a constant, "he has that, and I want it." battle between them. And it doesn't matter what the object is. It's obviously better if the other kid has it. But, once you get it, it somehow loses it's coolness, and you want whatever the other kid now has. Sharing is not in the toddler vocabulary.

My friend C uses a type of cloth diapers called Fuzzi Bunz. They basically have an outer diaper that goes on almost exactly like a disposible diaper, but they're washable and have an absorbant insert that soaks up all the pee. The insert is washable too, and it looks kinda like a big cloth maxi-pad. She's been using the FB's since O was born and really likes them.

When Paul was still in my tummy, I had dreams of using cloth diapers, and had even orderd a bunch, complete with diaper covers. But, after Juan changed his first diaper (and newborns aren't the easiest to change - the scream the whole time) he said "HELL NO! We're using disposible!" So, 'poof!' there went the dream.

So then, I met C, and she's using these great Fuzzi Bunz, and the dream returned. In fact, I had already told Juan that with the next one, we're using those. So, when I was over at her house yesterday, she showed me one, and I got to thinking. Why do I need to wait to use them? We already dump the poop out of Paul's diaper, so what's the big deal? Not only that, you can put a liner in the diaper (looks like a dryer sheet), and it catches the poop and you flush the whole thing!

Anyway, last night, I ordered 12 brand-new Fuzzi Bunz in all different colors, and I know it's silly, but I'm really excited for them to get here. I think they're better for us, will save us lots of money, better for Paul, and better for the environment. It's a win-win-win situation. Hopefully, my next post won't be about how much I hate them and how I wish I hadn't spent the money on them!! ;-)

Monday, July 17, 2006

Would you like some cheese with that whine?

Paul found his whine last week. It's really quite painful. He whines if he's hungry. He whines if he wants more food. He whines if he's tired. He whines if he's thirsty. He whines if he wants a toy (or other random object) and can't get it. He actually whined at the dog the other day because she took a ball from him and walked away.

We're hoping that his whining is just a way for him to communicate his wants and needs and that once his language develops some the whining will subside some. We're really hoping! If it doesn't, we may have to put him up one yet! Just kidding, please don't call CPS on us, we're not going to auction our baby!

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Cutie Pie

Took this one when we went to visit my parents while they were camping.

Paul thought the red light on the camera was really funny.

Things that make you say ewwww...

Yesterday, since I was just about to lose it, I took Paul to this place called "Raddijazz." The concept in neat, it's called an indoor playnasium. It's basically a big indoor playground for kids of different ages. There are three different areas, the volcano, complete with a foam pit (similar to a ball pit, but with foam cubes instead), the lake area, with cushy boats to sit in and big geese to climb on, and some other area that I'm not real sure what it's supposed to represent, but it's basically a playground like what's at McDonald's.

The floors are carpeted and kinda spongy so if the kids fall it doesn't hurt. Lots of stuff to do, big time stimulation. And then you add kids. Of all ages, and it becomes, as one of my mommy-friends put it, like a mosh-pit. There are kids running in every direction, jumping rolling, and sometimes flying through the air. Needless to say, I get a little protective of my little guy toddling around. I was constantly telling the older kids to "watch the babies!"

The thing that gets really annoying about Raddijazz is that there are literally kids of all ages there. Crawling babies to 10-year olds. I really wish they would have a baby day or morning, or something like that so that the older kids aren't constantly trampling the babies. Oh, and did I mention the daycares that come and don't supervise the kids? Nice.

So on to the ewwww.... I let Paul go into the foam pit. I went in with him, because I have no idea how deep it is, and I wasn't sure I'd be able to retrieve him if he went under. It did make me wonder how many kids have disappeared under the sea of red foam cubes. Not to mention dirty diapers, peed in pants, snot and other unmentionables.

So, we're in the foam pit, and I keep smelling poop. Like the mom that I am, I sniff Paul's butt to see if he's the one with the stinky. Nope, not Paul. We get out and go to another area. No more poop smell. I follow Paul back to the volcano. I smell poop again. Sniff Paul's butt again. No stinky. Then I realize it: it's the ball pit. That's what smells like poop. All those foam cubes that have God-only knows what on them have started to stink. Paul didn't go near the foam pit again. Ewwww.

Oh, did I mention that you can't wear shoes at Raddijazz? I understand why, but I also know that I will be taking a pair of socks for me if we go there again, which is doubtful. The bottoms of my feet were sticky in a really gross sort of way when we left, and I could only imagine, but didn't really want to imagine, what was on my feet. Ewww.

All in all, I've decided that Raddijazz is just gross. I don't think we'll be going there again anytime soon.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Turn on the Babysitter!

Thank God for TV and Baby Einstein! Paul is currently plugged in...and it's a good thing, because Mommy was about to lose it. It's funny how, after 4 straight days of sick baby, a morning of incessant crying just doesn't sit well with me. We're getting out of the house. We have to. I may go completely crazy. I'm already about 1/2 way there.

So, last night, after busting my butt cleaning the house while Paul was asleep (who, as if a buzzer went off in his head, woke up just as I finished and was going to sit down), dealing with Paul with no break (because Juan was sick), and giving Paul a bath, he took an hour to get to sleep. Most of that hour was him crying uncontrollably. Just what Mommy needed. I finally got him to sleep at 8:30. UGH. What a few days we've had.

Juan said that he's going to keep Paul tonight. Thankfully, Juan's feeling better. I'm not sure where I'm going, but you can bet your ass I won't be staying home!

Monday, July 10, 2006

Of vomit and laundry...

Wow. What a great weekend it's been. I have now dealt with vomit from a baby a total of 10 times since Friday afternoon at 4:00 PM. Eight of those times were between the hours of 4:00 and 10:00 Friday evening. The 9th time was a direct hit. I didn't see it coming, and then I did...all over me. So gross.

It's a really helpless feeling when you're holding your sick baby, and he starts throwing up, and there's literally nothing you can do about it, except damage control, try to catch it, keep it from getting on anything that can't be washed, and just let it come. Then, the baby cries because the heaving scared him, so you have to try to console him, all the while, covered in vomit, trying not to vomit yourself, becase the smell is awful.

So, yesterday, he was feeling much better. Very bright, playing, having fun, eating some. We thought that the worst was over. So, my dumbass gave him a half of a bottle. (He usually gets a bottle right before bed.) He goes to sleep at 7:00, no problems, no pukies, just sleeping, peaceful baby.

I wake up to him crying at 12:30. I lay in bed thinking..."calm yourself down, you can do it, go back to sleep." He doesn't, so I get up, go to the bathroom, and then make my way to his room. I only get half-way down the hall before I smell it: he's thrown up again. And he had milk before he went to bed. Eww.

Sure enough, he's thrown up all over his bed, and somehow, landed face first in it. I holler for Juan's help, and get to cleaning Paul up best I can. I get him at least dry, and rock him to try to calm him down, while Juan stumbles in, says "Oh my God" and gets to chaning the sheets on Paul crib. I love this man. He's wonderful.

Paul still smells atrocious, so I decide it's 1:00AM. Do what you gotta do, sometimes. I get him cleaned up in a record time-bath, he smells better, but still a little foul. By this time, Juan has the sheets changed, and the crib put back together, so I get to rocking Paul back to sleep. We were all in bed and asleep by 1:30.

When I wake up this morning, at 6:30, woken by Paul, I find out that poor Juan had been up 3 or 4 times between the vomit and the alarm with stomach troubles of his own...other end, though. So, he's home from work now, too.

On the brighter side, Juan and I went to the new house and ran the speaker wire for the surround sound in the living room yesterday. Glad to get that done. They've insulated the house, and are ready to start sheetrocking!!! Yea!!!

Okay, now I must go shower. Yes, it's 9:15 Monday, and the last shower I had was 3:00 Saturday. I stink. Bad.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Happy 4th of July!

Hope everyone's having (or had) a fun, safe 4th of July holiday!

Today, Paul and I went to a 'wading pool' that we hadn't ever been to before. It was a pretty neat little pool, perfect for babies and young kids. At the deepest, it's only 2 ft. Paul loved it. As I said before, he's a total fish. Even if he goes completely under the water, he doesn't cry, doesn't get upset. It hardly phases him. He just blows the water out of his mouth and keeps going.

We went to my parents house this evening for dinner and possibly go see the fireworks. My parents live less than a mile from where the city shoots off the fireworks, so we thought we would take Paul to see them. The weather was crappy today, though, rainy and storming, so we opted not to go sit in a soggy field, getting rained on, to see some lights in the sky.

When we got to the house, my mom was in such an awful mood, both Juan and I wanted to turn around and come home! My dad had wanted to smoke a brisket, chicken, ribs and any other meat he could find. Mom actually asked us to come over so that Daddy could smoke the meat. Anyway, she was actually pissed that he was up early getting the fire built and the wood cut. What the hell did she expect? I didn't hear all the rant about her day, but what little I heard was just silly. Daddy decided to make "armadillo eggs," which are stuffed jalapeno peppers. Mom was pissed that he came home with the peppers and started cooking those. Then she was pissed that he was roasting peppers to make salsa. Her list never ended.

When we had just arrived, I was putting something in the fridge. The door was still open. Daddy came up and raised his arm to give me a hug, and accidently hit one of the shelves on the door on the inside of the fridge. The shelf is broken somehow, and doesn't fit very well anymore. Anyway, the entire thing came crashing to the floor, and a big jar of marichino cherries breaks all over the floor. I thought Mom was going to come unglued. She acted like Daddy did it on purpose. Poor guy couldn't do anything right. After dinner, he was cleaning up the kitchen, putting away the extra food, and Mom actually told him "if everyone would just get out of the damn kitchen, I could get this crap cleaned up in about 2 minutes." Um, I'm sorry, but the response to your husband cleaning the kitchen without being asked should be: "Thanks so much for cleaning the kitchen, Honey, but I'll finish this up." Where did she get off bitching at him? Poor man couldn't do anything right. I really felt sorry for him.

Needless to say, it was nice when Paul started to act tired so that we could use the excuse to leave. Great dinner, I ate entirely too much, but Mom's attitude could have been much better!

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Sante Fe Chicken Casserole

From time to time, I'll post a recipe that I've tried and really like. Here's my first:

Sante Fe Chicken Casserole

1-2 Tbs oil
3 Large chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 bunch green onions, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 clove fresh garlic, minced
1 can (10-oz) rotel tomatoes & green chilis
2 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 cups rice
2 cups shredded monterrey jack cheese

1 tsp paprika
1 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 - 1/2 tsp chili powder (I usually leave this out)

1. Combine dry spices in a plastic bag. Add raw chicken and shake until chicken is covered.
2. Heat oil in skillet, add chicken and brown.
3. Add onion, bell pepper, and fresh garlic, saute 2 mins or so, stirring frequently.
4. Add rotel and chicken broth, bring to a boil.
5. Stir in rice, return to a boil.
6. Cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer 20 minutes.
7. Turn heat off, sprinkle cheese over the top, recover, and let stand about 5 mins, or until cheese is melted.


Diet woes

Ok, so Juan and I have been following Weight Watchers for the past month. I still haven't lost the baby weight...ok, so I really can't blame it on Paul any longer...he is a year old now. ANYWAY!

The first week we were counting points, I lost 4 lbs. I did a little dance. It was great. Then the next week, I gained 2 dance, not great. But, Paul's b-day was that weekend, Juan's parents were here, etc, so I kinda expected to gain. Still not pleased, though. So the next week, I stick to my points, and I lose 2 lbs. Back to where I started. No dancing, just happy. So, then last week, I really stuck to the points, no cheating, no fudging, I was really good. The only time I deviated was for one BBQ dinner Saturday night. I get on the scale Monday AM, and guess what?


I hate dieting.

Oh, yeah, Juan? He's lost, like, 10 lbs. He's fitting into clothes he hasn't worn in a year. Not that I'm jealous or anything. Grrrrrr....

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

I ID'd the PERP!

So, the cops came to Ann's house early this evening to talk to Ann. She told him the whole story, and the cop went up to the boy's house to talk to him. He brought him back to the police car and put him in the back seat. Then he rang my doorbell. And asked me if I could tell him if the kid in the back of his car was one of the ones who threw the eggs. I said I would be glad to. And I did. I ID'd the perp. I'm so proud of myself.

In conclusion, the cop gave Ann the choice to either press charges or have the kid wash the cars. She told him he could just wash the cars, and that he was forgiven. I hope he learned his lesson. He probably didn't, but at least he knows that people are watching in this neighborhood.

Oh my God. I've become my mother.

Punk Kids Down the Street...

I saw you, you little punks. I saw you lob those eggs at Ann's car. Ann, the 86-year-old woman who lives across the street. And we called the police, not that they probably care. I'm sure they've got better things to do than go after asshole teenagers throwing eggs, but I hope they will at least come talk to you, maybe scare the shit out of you.

Here's the history on this oh-so-upstanding family that lives down the street:

Grandma came to live with the family (wife's mother). Grandma's name is Jody. She was expected to clean, cook, take care of the kids, and sleep on the couch. She didn't even have a car, so she was stuck in the house all day. About a month ago, Jody's brother, an ex-con, shows up and moves in 2 houses down. This guy asks Ken (Ann's son, who owns a construction business) for a job, and Ken gives him one.

A couple of weeks ago, Jody and her daughter had a screaming, cussing fight out in the middle of the street. Jody's daughter threw her out. So, Jody moved in with her brother 2 houses down.

Apparently (this is 2-hand info), Jody and her brother go to a lovely little establishment called "Boomerz" to drink very often. One night, around 11 PM, they came knocking on Ann's (the 86-year old woman) door to get his daily paycheck. Ken, Ann's son, told him to never come on the property again.

About a week ago, the man Jody and her brother are living with called Jody from a strip club and told her that if he didn't score that night, for her to be 'ready' for him. Nice. So, Jody told her brother, and her brother and the man get in a knock-down, drag-out fight, in the middle of the street again.

It gets worse. So, Jody and her brother go knocking on our next-door neighbor's door at 2 AM. They get her to give them money, and then ask her to take them down town. She tells them no, but that she would take them to the nearest bus stop. So she does.

So, Ken (Ann's son), tell's Jody's brother that if we see them in this neighborhood again, we will be calling the police. So that brings us to the egg throwing incident today. I guess the teenagers heard Ken talked to their great-uncle, and didn't like it.

I'm so glad we're moving. Fucking trashy-ass people living in this neighborhood.

Our new house

Here's our house! Not quite move-in ready yet...

It's my first time...Be gentle

This is my first time to write a blog. I'm not even sure that I have enough to say. I'm certain that very little of it will be interesting to anyone, but what the hell? All my friends are doing it, so I guess I should too.

About us, I'm married to the most wonderful man on the face of the earth, Juan. Granted, he does make me a little crazy here and there, but overall, I'm blessed. We have one son, Paul, who just turned 1. He's a cutie, and a fart, and a total mess, but we're totally in love with him.

We're building a house just south of our current city in a small town. Should be interesting to live in such a small town, maybe that will give me more material for the blog. As of now, our house has walls, plumbing, electrical, and HVAC run, but that's about it. We're very excited about it.

We're members of a mommy's group, for our purposes, I will call it "the playgroup." The playgroup met today at the pool, and by the way, I've apparently given birth to a fish, because Paul LOVES the water. It's unnatural. I think he may grow gills soon. Needless to say, he had a great time, didn't even cry when he slipped and went under the water. Good baby.

Paul's also just started walking. Last Thursday was the momentus day. Now he's walking all over the house, even navigating the step down into our sunroom. He's very proud of himself. Thinks he's total hot shit.

Speaking of Paul, I think he's up from his nap, and anyway, that's probably about enough for my first go. I don't want to blow it all on my first time, now do I? Hope this was even slightly interesting....