Monday, December 31, 2007

10 things about me

I've seen this done on a few other blogs, so in honor of my hitting #34 the other day, here are 10 things that you may not have known about me:

1. I was saved at 16 & baptized on Easter Sunday.
2. I played the shrew in The Taming of the Shrew in HS and dreamed of an acting career.
3. I met and fell in love with Stan at McDonald’s management class – and we got engaged 2 weeks later.
4. I took the LSAT the day after I took the GRE thinking that I may want to go to law school.
5. I played softball very competitively from the time I was 7 & my dream was to go to A&M & get a scholarship there.
6. I have never broken a bone in my body.
7. I was a Shy-Anne at Bryan High.
8. My fist car was a Ranchero.
9. My all-time favorite movie is Field of Dreams
10. I’m still bitter Milli Vanilli is not a legitimate band. To this day, if I hear “Blame it on the Rain” I will stop what I’m doing & sing at the top of my lungs…while ‘stage-dancing’.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Friday, December 14, 2007

Everything is Gerrit's

A few weeks ago, we made the mistake of shopping for our nephew while in the company of our son. Caden decided he wanted the lego blocks that we had gotten for Gerrit, so we will now have to give Gerrit what we purchased for Caden.

Now, it's a really cool gift. And I should've known better, but I wrapped it in front of Caden. Caden kept pointing at it and saying, "Caden's!" I had to tell him no, it was in fact, his cousin Gerrit's. He got the lego blocks so we had to give Gerrit this other equally-fantastic toy.

Caden got over it - mostly because I pointed at it & said over and over again, "Gerrit's!"

Now Caden goes around the house pointing at various objects, looking at me, and saying "Gerrit's!"

But when he gets to the wrapped present, he grins and says "Gerrit's. AND CADEN'S!"

At least he's willing to share. Let's hope Gerrit feels the same way.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Fun at the tree farm

We met some great friends last weekend at the Red Kaboose Tree Farm. Their daughter is 2 months older than Caden & they tend to be crazy about each other!

The kids had a great time: running around the Christmas trees, petting the one-eared goat, riding the train, & sitting in the fire truck. Caden didn't even get too upset when a grumpy rabbit snapped at him.

They have BEAUTIFUL Christmas trees - at incredibly reasonable prices - and I got a gynormous wreath for only $20.

This is definitely going to be an annual tradition!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Flu shot hurts

DeAnn asked me to write this since getting the flu shot this year was a father/son experience.

Most people dread getting shots. Me, not so much. Not that big of a deal. So without thinking about it, when I picked Caden up I told him we were going to get his flu shot. His response...."OK."

When we got to Scott & White he walked in telling everyone that he was getting a flu shot. He was very excited. I got several looks of disgust from other parents who were attempting to keep their children calm. I don't think they were very happy with Caden repeatedly saying "flu shot". Their children certainly were not.

The nurse administering the flu shot had me to take him behind a privacy screen and take his britches off since she was giving him the shot in his thigh. I got him ready and held him in my lap. When the nurse arrived she told me I needed to lay him down so I could hold him better and so he wouldn't see what she was doing.

I attempted to humor her. I layed him down, but I simply laid my arm across his chest. She said that wasn't good enough. I needed to hold his hands. So I laid my hand on top of his hands without grabbing them. When she applied the alcohol he sat up. The nurse looked up at me, but I just nodded at her.

She then gave him the shot with Caden watching the whole time. Not one peep. No sound. Not even a whimper. When she finished Caden said "I got flu shot". I looked up to see the nurse sitting there with her jaw dropped. Apparently this is not the normal reaction from a 2 year old.

I put his britches back on, put Caden down and we started to head for the door. I was asked by a couple different people if Caden really just got a flu shot. I didn't have to answer. The nurse said Yes.

As we passed the tables I noticed Caden was limping a little. I asked if he was okay. He said "Flu shot hurts daddy."

A father couldn't be any prouder.

Tis the season

Tis the season for all the cute photo Christmas cards. And I'm happy about that; I really am. But I would like to point out a few rules of grammar that many people have forgotten. In case you missed the rantings post, I'll cover them again.

Do not, I repeat, DO NOT use an apostrophe to form a plural of your last name.

Example - Merry Christmas from the Smiths is correct.
Merry Christmas from the Smith's is not!!!!!!

I realize that it's ridiculous that it gets on my nerves this much, but I think it's ridiculous how many times on a daily basis I run into educated people who don't know this rule.

If your name ends in an -s, as mine does, you have 2 options:
Merry Christmas from the Aalbers family
Merry Christmas from the Aalberses

So as you design your cards from Wal-Mart, Walgreens, or any other place, please keep these rules in mind. And please note, that a grammatically incorrect Christmas card will not find its way onto the Aalbers' (see how I showed possession by ALL of the Aalberses?) fridge.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

So incredibly thankful

For a son that is healthy & happy

For a husband who is sweet, loving, and who provides for me

For a job that is challenging, interesting, and fun

For 4 days off from said challenging & interesting job

For a house that is beautiful & sturdy (now!)

For clothes that are warm and comfy

For parents who take care of us and love up on my son

For in-laws who I enjoy being around

For friends who get me

For Caden's teachers who love him and teach him & do both incredibly well

For 2 vehicles that work and are comfortable and get us from place to place

For the ability to go to the A&M game tomorrow

For my education

For my son's inquisitive and adventurous spirit

For his sweet, sharing heart too

For fun trips to the zoo

For people who write awesome children's books

For a son who loves to read those books

For cold weather - finally!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

From wal-reese to banana-moon...

The latest lesson on living in the moment and enjoying the little things. Caden used to say 'wal-reese' for 'walrus' & I thought it was the cutest thing I'd ever heard. In the car, I would constantly ask him to say it.

He says 'walrus' now. In the span of a few short weeks, we lost wal-reese.


Looking out of the truck window this evening, he said "banana-moon". It was hard to make out at first. Stan & I looked at each other & asked him to say it again. Sure enough, he spat out "banana-moon". I told Stan that's what I thought he was saying & he looked out the window to see if we could see the moon.

He could. And it was only a quarter-moon, a crescent if you will.

A real, honest to goodness banana-moon!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

One tough booger

This is a picture of Daddy holding Caden's big toenail.

Yes, you read correctly.

A week ago, Caden injured his toe at school causing it to bleed a little from around the toenail. Tonight he kicked a regulation-sized football barefooted & caused more damage. He started picking at it and both of us told him at different times to stop, but unbeknownst to us, he had pulled it almost all of the way off.

Stan got the nail scissors out. We sat Caden on his dresser. And I tried very hard to not let my squeamishness show.

Stan started cutting and the bottom lip immediately stuck out while crocodile tears welled up in Caden's eyes. Stan gently told him to be still and let him know that this was indeed going to hurt a bit. At this point, it's all I can do to remain strong for my poor little boy.

Poor little boy my foot. He watched the whole thing and barely whimpered. Then when Stan got the toenail off, he started giggling and playing with the afflicted toe. I cried more than he did!

All is well. Mama is a big girl and she's going to be OK. And, oh yeah - Caden fell asleep a mere fifteen minutes later.

This picture was taken IMMEDIATELY after the impromptu surgery.

Friday, October 5, 2007

This is the last time...

I can't say no. I've always had a problem with it. When the cute little cheerleaders come and ask me to be in the pep rallies because I'm "funny" (and also because no one else will do it) - I can't disappoint my fans.

So today, I was part of AC/DC. I had to lipsync "TNT" for TWO whole minutes. I then went out and backup danced for Vanilla Ice.

My principal asked me if I had ever thought about audtitioning for American Idol.

I PROMISE I really do get quite a bit of teaching done.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Pee pee in the potty...

and on the potty...and on the floor!

But it wasn't his fault. We have a ghetto training potty & the way he was sitting ('he' being the operative word) caused his pee to go up and over, but some went in to!

We sang the pee-pee-in-the-potty song and then went & put a diaper on him b/c he said he didn't need to go poo-poo in the potty...

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

All in a day's work...

I'm the one in the 'toga'.

The four of us were the homecoming nominees at last week's pep rally. I'm still bitter that I lost. I let my juniors know that they are ALL failing because they didn't yell loud enough for me. Seriously, I had on ferarri red lipstick and glitter and everything.

Yes, those are little kids in the background & yes I teach high school. Cameron is small enough to invite every student in the district to the homecoming pep rally.

One more thing - it's hard to be a 'serious' teacher when you have glitter all over your face & your kiddoes have seen you wearing a sheet.

Just FYI...

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Trying to keep the sanity

The last 3 weeks of school have been great. It's been nice being happy in the mornings about where I'm going. The kids are awesome, I'm loving the new principal, & even the administrative nonsense isn't getting me down.

I've even reconnected with an old friend! I started a MySpace account a while back but never really did anything with it, and wouldn't you know it - my high school friend found me! I'm so excited; we haven't been able to talk yet, but just emailing back & forth has been so much fun.

I worked the varsity football gate last night. Every teacher is supposed to work 4 events in a year & I try to get mine done early. Right now I just have 2 to go. Oh my goodness! The bugs were horrible! It's so not worth the pittance we get paid for doing the duty. But...I had a substitute teacher run up and hug me and say she is so glad that I have her son in my class this year. I got to see 2 former students who are now in college & they BOTH said that I prepared them well. And I also got to see another former student who snuck up behind me & gave me a huge bearhug. Oh, it is so sad when they grow up and go away, but I guess that's part of my job - to prepare them for life after high school, but I DO miss my babies.

Caden is talking up a storm. He now says his name & he's even got a little headbob that goes with it. He's so social - the waitress the other night taught him how to work the nifty parmesan cheese shredder. Terrible twos? Poo on you. We're having more fun with him than we ever had.

Fall at our house is busy and awesome. There is just something exciting about living in CS when the Aggies come back & football starts & I get to play with high school juniors all day. They're so funny! They tell me the craziest things, probably more than I want to hear sometimes! But I love it when I hear kids say, "This is my most fun class" AS they are doing their writing assignment, turning it in, & then pulling their library book out to read for the last few minutes of class.

Now if I can just find the time to work in some scrapbooking...

I hope everyone has a great day!


Saturday, September 1, 2007

Farewell faithful friend

For those of you who are pet people, you will get this. Everyone else will shrug & think I'm kooky.

My dear, sweet, first baby passed away last night at the age of 12 1/2.


We woke up on Friday & knew that something was wrong. He was very lethargic & laboring to breathe. We went to work & Stan said that he would check on him at lunch. We came home & he didn't seem to be any worse, but he still didn't look good. We went to a high school football game & when we came home, I realized that I couldn't keep kidding myself - this was bad.

Stan made some calls & eventually ended up at the Small Animal Clinic at A&M. We called my parents to come sit with Caden, who was asleep by now. We drove over there & they immediately took him back while we filled out paperwork. To make a long story short, he had 250 ml of fluid taken out from around his lungs & the doctor (intern?) thought it looked like cancer or heart failure. Just to get the cardiologist there to diagnose him would cost around $1200, so we decided to just put him out of his pain. Around 12:30 am, after being there for 2 hours, we came home.

It was really strange, almost like I was in denial about it. I spoke to my parents about it & I could tell that they were pretty shook up, but then we started talking about other stuff & laughing & joking. Surreal. When they left, I saw a picture of him and started sobbing, and Stan just held me. We then went to bed. I woke up a couple of hours later and was physically sick - I guess from all the crying and stress of it all.

He was with me almost my whole adult life. I drove to Wellborn with my future college roommate to pick him up. I wanted a female but she was already spoken for, so I 'settled' on the boy.

I'm using this blog as a journal, something I can look back on, so here's a list of things that I think show just how special he was.

He would hold his paw underneath the bathtub faucet, wait for the drip, and then lick himself clean. No wasted energy on his part.

He would sneak in the pantry, laundry room, closet - anywhere - constantly getting shut in. After a little while, I would notice he wasn't joined at my hip like usual & then I would go look for him, opening the door to wherever he was to let him out. Sometimes he was ready to come out & other times, not so much.

He loved cheese. We could not eat queso without him whining and trying to sneak around my hand to get some.

He was running to jump on the bed once & he timed it wrong. He jumped up and then started going down...the eyes got real big...and he splatted right against the side of the mattress. I don't think I've ever laughed so hard in my life.

He also ran into a cleaned sliding glass door. (I never said he was the SMARTest cat)

Bailey & Jasper were born on our front porch in Houston. When they were six weeks old, some neighbors took the mama cat to their new house & we kept the babies. They apparently were weaned a little early b/c they would go up to Ashton - a neutered male cat - and knead & suckle on his belly. Ashton would merely roll over and go to sleep while they did this.

When I moved out of my first apartment (where I lived alone for awhile) into my new apartment with my roommate, I left him alone while I took a load over. When I got back to the old place, I saw that he had gotten into the fireplace & was covered with ashes. I'd already packed his cat shampoo but not my own, so I bathed him with Salon Selectives. He loved it.

Speaking of baths, he was the easiest animal to bathe. He would patiently wait for an opening, then stealthily sneak away. He was so slow, I could basically hold him with one hand; sometimes I could take that one hand off of him for a few seconds.

My parents came & spent Christmas with me in my apartment while my roommate was at home. We were asleep when this rumbling, combination growling/purring woke us up. Ashton had caught a mouse & was playing with it - I guess until he decided to eat it.

Ashton is the reason my parents have their cats. He was so much fun & my parents enjoyed him so much that they went and picked out 2 cats shortly after I got him.

**Gross-out alert** We shared yogurt. One bite for Mama, one bite for Ashton. Strawberry was his favorite.

He thought he was a dog for a long time. My roommate had 2 dachshunds & he learned to hide behind the couch and then pounce on them when they went by. They weren't allowed in my room, so he would then run in there & stop just over the threshold. This was fine until a visiting golden retriever chased him into my room. Ashton stopped. The retriever didn't. All we saw for a few seconds was cat and dog rolling on the floor.

He always came to me when I called his name. Always.

He thought everyone came to see him. He was incredibly social & would go up to people - even those who (gasp!) hate cats. I think he fell in love with the DirecTV guy; I've never seen him rub all over somebody like that before.

He knew when I was upset or sick and would come lay by me & not leave.

He never wanted to be away from me. If I took a nap, I had to make sure he was in the room with me before I shut the door.

He never really got used to the litter box idea. He would do his business and then scratch the sides of the box - sometimes for 10 minutes or more. This drove me and Stan crazy & we would tap (bang) on the box to get him to come out.

He played with me when I was in the tub. I would tap my fingers over the side & he would grab them & nibble on them. One time, I was ignoring him & I felt a tap on my shoulder. I looked over just in time to see him dive down to wait for me to play with him.

If I was in the bathroom taking care of business, he would get in the tub on the other side of the shower curtain & play with me that way - pushing on the curtain from one side while I did the same from mine.

I loved him soooo much and I have found myself crying at the most inopportune times. I was just at the Aggie game & I would think about something stupid that Ashton did & giggle & tear up at the same time. He was with me from the time I lived alone in college until I got married and had my son. I distinctly remember looking at him the morning after I got him and thinking it was neat that this animal would be with me for some pretty momentous occasions.

I just remembered that when I woke up that first morning, Ashton was sleeping right next to me, in the EXACT same sleeping position as I was. I always felt that we were that in tune with each other.

Stan has said for years that this was a day he was dreading b/c he knew how attached I was to Ashton. While I 'get' that he was a pet, and NOT a human, I still feel like I lost a true friend. He was the very first pet I ever had in my whole life. He was with me when I was completely alone and single. I have shared almost every important thing that has ever happened to me with that cat.

So anyway...I'm sad & I'll be sad for awhile. I cannot believe he is gone & I will truly miss him.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Just say yes

The new pills are here & so far so good. No meltdowns. No ranting. No raging. Stan's happy. I'm happy. Heck - even the cats are happy.

Just say no

I started back to school this past week for staff development. I was working in my room when there was a knock on the door. One of my absolute favorite people at school, S, was standing there with a red face, red knuckles, and rapidly turning-red arms. She said she had taken zentrex - a diet/energy pill and she thought she was having an allergic reaction. We went back to her room and she took 2 Benadryl and then I walked her down to the nurse, all the while her face & arms are getting redder and redder. The nurse took her blood pressure and it was 130 over 86 - not high, but higher than it normally is. We talked her into letting me drive her to see the doctor and we started walking back towards our rooms.

S then says, "DeAnn, I think I need to go to the emergency room". I said OK & began walking a bit quicker.

She then says, "DeAnn, we need to hurry". I said OK & was almost running down the hall.

She then starts sobbing and begins crying out for help. We're right next to our rooms & I see that our friend's door is open & she's inside. I yelled "K Come quick!" while running into my room to get my purse & keys. K runs out (she told me later that she could tell something was wrong by the sound of my voice), sees S and goes over to help her walk outside. I brief her on what's going on, all the while our friend is barely walking and sobbing uncontrollably.

Thankfully a man teacher showed up and helped K and S walk outside. I run to my car and pull it up under the awning where they are all waiting. S is now on her knees, completely unable to stand. We can't get her into the car so another friend, J, calls 911.

We laid S out on the ground after the dispatcher told us to and we're trying to keep her awake but she's having a hard time keeping her eyes open. The paramedics arrived within 4 minutes, took one look at the bottle of pills, and said they'd been called about these several times before. They took her blood pressure and it was 160 over something, I can't remember, but it had shot up in just a few minutes.

S started coming around, sitting up and talking. Her blood pressure started going down. Apparently the Benadryl was really working at this point. After a few minutes the paramedics left and S started getting her normal color back.

It was the craziest, scariest thing I've ever had to go through. I watched her go from having a red face and arms to not even being able to stand up in the span of 2 or 3 minutes. We were all so filled with adrenaline that at this point - after we knew she was OK - all we could do was laugh. We told her that we called 911 after we realized that we weren't going to be able to put her in the car and she said, "No wonder I was taking diet pills!"

Friday, August 17, 2007

Just give me the ketchup & no one gets hurt

After I ranted and raved at Stan for not bringing home McDonald's ketchup to eat with McDonald's fries (I have to eat the ketchup that goes with the fries, each & every restaurant), he made the executive decision - for the good of the team - that I need to call the doctor to get on a new birth control pill.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Praise God for girlfriends

Ladies Night - in my opinion - was a rousing success tonight! I had a ball & I hope I wasn't too obnoxious & everyone else had fun as well.

I love that we can cut up and have fun together.

I love that we can be silly & giggle.

I love that we can joke & tease each other without feelings getting hurt.

I love that I can depend on these women at the drop of a hat.

I love that I can turn to any one of them with a problem and get good, sound, Christian advice.

I love the way that they are all raising their kids.

I love that - if needed - I can call any one of them to babysit my son & I would feel confident he was in good hands.

I love that they see a need for Christian women to fellowship and bond together.

I love that we're doing it again next month!

What a difference a couple of years makes

Yes, the cradle is still in the living room. I think Stan knows on some subconscious level that I need baby steps. The cradle's been taken apart, the legs are wrapped up and have mysteriously disappeared, and he knows that my psyche can't handle the big part disappearing as well.

We got in the other day from church & Caden immediately went & sat in it. I, ever on the lookout for a blogging moment, grabbed my camera & told him to lay completely flat. He barely fits! It made me laugh after my tearfest the other night.

I LOVE this kid!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Two Sides of a Coin

Happy time - Today we put Caden in his swimsuit & let him play in the sprinklers. As you can see, he absolutely loved it. He went from one sprinkler head to another & giggled and squealed the whole time. Our neighbors across the street were finishing up their garage sale & their 2 oldest daughters came over & asked if they could run through the water too. We said, "Sure - why not?"

Sad time - This is the day we brought Caden home from the hospital. The cradle is handcrafted - by Stan & his dad - and is absolutely phenomenal. Experienced woodworkers have been shocked upon hearing that Stan built it; it's that beautiful.

I went out this evening to get a snack and when I got home, it was in several pieces in the living room. Stan took one look at me & said he had to do it in order to get it up in the attic. We simply don't have room in our office to store it anymore. And my head knows this, it's just that my heart hurt seeing it disassembled.

It's like this. I love the stage where Caden is at: talking, independent, curious. But I deeply miss the little baby. It's like a person who I loved so much and now I'll never get to see him again. Because he's gone. Because he's so much different now. And I know that's how it's supposed to be, and I'm TRULY happy with this stage/season of life. But walking into the living room and seeing a tangible piece of his babyhood in just tore me up. It's tearing me up right now typing this. But then I look at the pictures of him playing in the sprinkler & I laugh and know that change - at least this change - is truly a good and natural thing.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Highlights of the last 2 weeks

1. This is Caden & his friend Bekah at the Children's Museum in The Woodlands. They are super cute together & it is so much fun watching them interact. When one of them would be ugly to the other, they would immediately apologize & hug. So sweet!

2. Walking with my friend Krista last night. We started late, but we got a good hour in & neither one of us 'felt it' because we chatted the whole time! I met her in graduate school at A&M & we've been great friends ever since. Nobody except Stan really 'gets me' like she does.

3. Stan & I went to dinner the other night & the waiter 'properly acknowledged' Caden. He took forever getting our drinks & we had to wait for awhile on the check, but he still got a good tip because he interacted with our son.

4. Getting to visit with our neighbors across the street. Caden basically invited himself in so we all got to go in. They are really nice people & I'm glad that we're getting to know them better.

5. Getting completely caught up on my Christmas planning. ('Redeeming my Season' is great for tips on a stress-free holiday season this year.) Stan & I had the Christmas talk, I got my notebook organized, & I've even completed half of Caden's shopping. I've also got specific gift ideas for about 80% of my list already!

6. I started a running program this week - the Couch to 5K program. In 9 weeks (I'm shooting for 12), I will be running 3 miles a day. Gerald if you're reading this - I would LOVE to go running with you at Christmas!

7. I spent 2 hours talking to one of my girlfriends the other day on the phone. I NEVER do this, but it was fun! AND - she's going to sew a pillowcase & sheet for Caden's toddler bed. Her website - Oh me, oh my Sweet Baby is up and running & she's taking orders. She's incredibly talented & one of the most solid Christian people that I know - definitely somebody that I need in my life.

8. Getting 2 birthday party invitations for Caden. He's a social butterfly so he will LOVE getting to go to parties!

9. Getting to have some special one-on-one conversations with my wonderful honey. He's worked a LOT lately, but we've gotten some great quality time in.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Ranting from a self-described grammar nerd

As an English teacher, I do not expect everyone to be as familiar with the grammar rules as I am, but I do expect some of the more basic rules to be followed...

Like how to use an apostrophe.

It is there to show when a letter or letters have been left out: shouldn't (should not), can't (cannot), should've (should have), etc.

Or it is used to show possession: Caden's shirt, the player's ball, The Smiths' house (all of the Smiths, not just one)

It is NOT, I repeat NOT EVER to be used to make a word plural. You add an -s or an -es to the word. Sometimes you have to change the 'y' to 'i' and add -es, but that's the only tricky part: shirts, Tuesdays, boxes, babies.

This Christmas when you create your cute photo cards that say Merry Christmas from the... don't put an apostrophe there. Just add an -s or an -es. Smiths, Aalberses, Steinbeckers - it's easy.

I realize I probably let this get to me a little bit too much. If I see this on a TV program like I did the other night (Food Network was talking about food phobias except they said phobia's), I will look at Stan and say, "You've got to be kidding me". If I see it in an email or blog, I just shake my head and vow to teach my students not to do this. If I see it written on a board I will stare at it forever, never hearing the point of the lesson or presentation.

Yes - I am a grammar nerd. But please - if you learn nothing else from reading this blog - please, please learn this lesson. It's the one thing I'm freaky about. I realize I need help, but until that day comes, just please do not use another apostrophe to make a word plural.

Stan - and my blood pressure - thank you for your consideration in this matter.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Random act of kindness

I was at Albertson's this morning picking up a few needed things. I only went b/c it was right next to Walmart & I didn't have to drive anywhere else. Goodness - how does that place stay in business? Absolutely sky-high prices.

I saw a young mother with a brand new baby perusing the aisles. She had the new mother uniform on: mismatched, wrinkled sweats, flip flops, and her hair was tossed up in that "the baby's crying; I don't have time to be fancy" ponytail bun style we've all done before.

I smiled because I remember those days. I remember them much more fondly than I thought I would when I was going through them. You know, when you're brand new to motherhood and there doesn't seem to be an end in sight to the waking up at all hours, wondering if he's hungry, dirty, itchy...the list & uncertainty goes on.

I kept shopping and as I turned a corner, I saw her again. Her baby was fussing and she was attempting to get her out and get her covered with the blanket as soon as possible because we were in the frozen section and it was quite chilly. This other lady turned the corner down by the new mother, obviously in a hurry to get what she was searching for when she saw the young mother. She stopped. She grabbed the blanket from the young woman and held it until the mother could get situated with her baby. She then gently laid the blanket on the baby's back and tucked it up under the mother's arms. She then went about her merry way.

I smiled throughout the whole interaction. That is something that I would never do in a million years. I'm too shy; I wouldn't want to intrude - whatever the excuse is, I'm just not comfortable going up to a complete stranger & helping her like that. But I think we're called to do that. time I see the opportunity I am going to pass it forward, this random act of kindness thing. Pardon the cliche, but I will definitely be stepping out of my box to complete this task, but I will remember this blessing I saw today, take a deep breath, and step out.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

At least he didn't poop again...

It has only been a week since we had Poop-gate at our house. So far things have been uneventful in that arena.

Until tonight.

At the end of his bath, Caden stood up and peed right in the tub. He looked down, looked at us, and said, "I potty".

What a kid.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Too busy dancing...

I haven't really had the time to post too much the last few days. Every time I sit down at the computer, Caden asks for one of two things.

He either points to the screen and says, "Football" or "Aggie Ball", meaning that he wants to watch the "We Bleed Maroon" video, or - and this is embarrassing, he points to the speakers and says, "Deet", his version of "Dance".

Now we can't dance to just anything. It has to be "Last Night" by Diddy, as in P. Diddy, as in Puff Daddy the rapper. I know what you're thinking - "What is WRONG with her? Why does she let - no encourage - her son to listen to rap?" In my defense, it's quite catchy, and it's not naughty at all. He absolutely LOVES to listen to it and he dances like he's on Solid Gold. Sometimes I have to hold him and dance, and the song is SIX minutes long!!! Oh my sweet goodness, the boy does love the hip hop. It's especially funny when he convinces Nana to dance with him.

Being a teacher of high school hooligans, I like to keep up with what's hot and happening on the music scene. I earn an exhorbitant amount of street cred when I look at them and pop off hip hop lyrics, albeit the clean ones of course. Sometimes they point and laugh, but most often they say, "Awww miss - you cool!" It's then that I get a golden opportunity to teach them how to conjugate the most complicated of all the verbs - to be. That wouldn't have happened without hip hop. So hip hop actually makes me a better teacher.

And it makes me a better mother because I can dance with my son.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

We Bleed Maroon

I love this video! And I love the fact that I figured out how to post it.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Poop in the tub

I wish to everything that is holy that I was making this up...

Caden played HARD with his Purple Bomber car this afternoon & he smelled like a 100% little boy. I mistakenly said to Stan, "He really needs a bath tonight" and here he comes running.

"BATH!!! BATH!!!" and he's pointing to the bathroom & dancing in circles. This kid seriously loves bathtime.

So I get up & he goes and gets Stan and we make it a family affair. Midway through the bath, we start smelling something rank. The kid's got the toots & we're laughing and gagging at the same time. I decide that it's time to get him outta there before he does something REALLY gross.

As we're picking up the toys, I'm chanting, "Don't poop. Don't poop. Don't poop." Well what does he do? He squats down and starts grunting. Stan's fiddling in the office at this point. I'm screaming. Caden's pooping.

I pick him up & get him wrapped in the towel. He sees how hysterical I am and begins crying. I quickly calm him down & tell him he didn't do anything wrong, Mommy's just...well I don't know what I said at that point, but he calms down.

I get him into his room & on his dresser - thankfully he's still very clean. I have never gotten a diaper on that kid as fast as I did tonight. Stan's trying to leave to go get something to eat & I said, "You're leaving NOW?? While there's poop floating in the tub?" He got the hint & went to clean it up. Here comes part II.

Stan is very strong in so many things, but smells get him every time. As he's cleaning up the tub, he becomes physically ill. I immediately feel super guilty for making him do this & I'm trying to talk to him through the door, while trying to keep Caden out of the bathroom.

Caden is clean and hopefully not emotionally scarred from this trauma. Stan recovered well enough to go to McDonalds for dinner. And I'm kicking myself for letting a potty training golden opportunity slide right by. The potty was RIGHT there! All I had to do was pick him up & put him on it.

I WISH I was making this up...


Can anyone help me?

I've signed on to YouTube to get videos uploaded to my blog, but I can't 'add' my blog! ARRGGH!

I select blogger as my 'type'. I then enter my email & password - the same ones I use for blogger, right?

It then pops up something about this being 'forbidden'

Please help!!!

Friday, July 27, 2007

Day at the Museum

Yesteday we went to the Museum of Fine Art in Houston. It was supposed to be a "Mom & Me" adventure - me & my mom - but when I dropped Caden off at school, he fussed because he just knew we were going to be doing something fun. So I picked him up from his breakfast table, went back home to pack his bag, and then all 3 of us drove to Houston.

I'm glad we took Caden. He had so much fun looking at the pictures - there was even one of a bullfight & he stood in front of it and yelled, "COWS!" for a few minutes. Luckily there were several other groups of kids there who were making kid noises as well.
He also enjoyed running around & then sitting on the padded benches. I wish I had taken my camera; I turned around one time to see him sprawled out on the bench, on his elbows with his feet crossed & a cheshire-cat grin. He was soooo super cute! As soon as I stepped towards him, he jumped down & took off running, giggling the whole way. Like I said, I'm glad there were other kids there disrupting the quietness!

My glorious mother then took me to Pappasito's. I LOVE Pappasito's! While we were waiting for a table, I saw Stan's former supervisor who still works at the Houston office. We said our hellos & I looked at my mother and said, "I bet he calls Stan". Sure enough, 30 minutes later I get a call from Stan & the first words out of his mouth are, "So - how's Pappasito's?" Our waitress was so cute; she told us we were the happiest table she'd had all day. My mom retorted that as long as the redhead's happy, everybody's happy. And he was since I moved his high chair so he could be between his mama & his nana.

A really fun day with 2 of my favorite people.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

It was a love affair...

Some of you may know that our washing machine went kaput last week. We tried to fix it, but it was no use. After 11 years of faithful service, it went to that appliance heaven in the sky.

We bought another one - shiny & new - installed it & it's working perfectly.

Now the problem is...the dryer.

It's been cranky lately, not drying stuff that it was supposed to be drying, not paying any attention to our heating preference, just drying everything on super hot, and now it's putting off a burning smell.

It's obvious to me. The washing machine was the wife. When she died, the dryer could no longer make it without her. He didn't like the new girl, and he is now on his last legs.

Stan made the executive decision that, before the entire house burned down around a fluffy, snuggly load of clothes, we should replace it, which we did tonight.

So now the dryer is once again side by side with his mate of 11 years in the garage, awaiting the funeral that is - Big Stuff Pick-up Day.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

God & Football

Does anyone else get the image of God as a football player in that song "Everlasting God"?

I do.

The lyric, "You're the defender of the WEAK" sounds like "defender of the WEEK".

I can just hear the announcer:

"And now, introducing the defender of the week, with more tackles, interceptions, and pass-breakups than anyone else - GOD the Almighty!!!!!"

I hear the crowd cheering as God runs out with His hands up and then starts jumping in place like the regular football players do to get geared up for the game.

Seriously, does anyone else get that mental picture?

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Only me

I have really enjoyed my summer so far: sleeping in, playing in the park, catching up on my reading. Well, now I am in Huntsville this week for my "Teaching American History" academy. Everything's going great, but it's been an interesting week. After 6 weeks of "playing" a stay-at-home mom, I'm thrust straight back into my real life - that of a teacher mom. The conversations & discourse have been great & I'm learning a lot, but the brain 'gear shift' has taken some getting used to.

On to the thing that could ONLY happen to me.

I stepped out of a presentation this morning - on purpose - because the man was going on and on about something that everybody in the room was already familiar with. I decided to take a break. I go to the bathroom, take care of things, & I am pulling up my britches when I feel a disconcerting wetness on my leg. Oh no. There's water on the floor. And now there's water on my britches. I stand there in horror for a moment before I begin the positive self-talk. "It's gonna be OK. It's just water" I tell myself. Then the other - negative - voice pipes up, "but it's right next to a TOILET!!! Nothing good ever comes out of a toilet!!!"

Right before I hit hyperventilating-nervous-breakdown mode, I straighten up & walk out with my head held high. I go wash my hands & then grab some paper towels to try to slough off the excess. Right then I see a hand dryer. Oh bless the automatic hand dryer!! I go over - and thank goodness I'm wearing gaucho pants - and pull the leg of my pants up & run them under the hand dryer. Nothing was indecent, but I must've looked funny with my leg propped against the wall, holding the bottom of my pants, and waving them side-to-side and up & down in order to keep the motion sensor on. I got dried off and put lotion on & then walked back into my room.

Moral of the story? Don't text your husband or pass notes when you're supposed to be paying attention to a presentation.

God will get you.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Quality time

Our anniversary was AMAZING!! When Grandpa arrived at 4 to pick the boy up, Caden shot out of the house and ran full-throttle to get to him. He ran so fast that he fell in the street right at Grandpa's feet. What's scary is that he got up & reached for Grandpa & never cried. That child's pain threshold is VERY high!

Grandpa took off about 4:30 and then the quality time began. Stan gave me my present & we got ready to go out to dinner. Oxford Street was our choice. It was where we went on our 1st date & also where we ate on our wedding night. The food was delicious & the atmosphere was very romantic.

We returned home for a nice night alone. I did get a little teary when I walked past Caden's room & his automatic nightlight was on. I made sure there were no cats in there & then I shut the door. Later on I heard some very loud caterwalling; apparently Mr. Bailey (my 18 lb. cat) missed him & was standing outside his door crying.

We got up on Saturday morning & went to eat at Madden's in downtown. This is definitely on my top 5 restaurant list. Oh my goodness, the atmosphere is great - rustic & fancy at the same time, the service was phenomenal, & the food was delicious. For a tony restaurant, the breakfast prices are great. I highly recommend.

Stan then took me to Barnes & Noble. He NEVER does this! I can spend hours in a bookstore & that's why he'll never take me. I guess he felt safe b/c we were after one particular book; there was no need to browse.

After that, we went to the paint store, came home, and began moving everything out of our master closet so Stan could repaint it. That took several hours. That evening we went to Blockbuster & rented movies - something else that we never do. Neither of us had seen Facing the Giants & it was nice being able to watch it - kid-free - with no interruptions.

Sunday morning we only had to get ourselves ready for church. It was weird not going into the nursery! We even got to share our 'story' in Sunday school.

It was an absolutely perfect anniversary weekend.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Heebie Jeebies

I understand the need for the word verification service on our blogs, but they still cause my BP to rise. I can't always make them out & I've even got a couple wrong in the past. Not only were the letters wavy, they also had cracked lines running through them - kind of like a faux finish.

It takes me back to 4th grade when I needed glasses & felt dumb because I couldn't see.

Anyway, just a glimpse into my mind at 2 in the morning when I should be asleep.

Friday, July 13, 2007

11 Years

Today is our 11th anniversary!

I am so happy that I am with a man who can still make me weak in the knees after 11 years together.

I've seen this on a few other blogs & thought I would try it.

Here's 10 things I love about Stan the Man:

1. He knows how to calm me down when I let the stress of everything get to me. I can be pretty high strung at times and his level-headedness is the calm port in the storm.

2. He loves me in spite of all of my faults. And they are many.

3. He is a 100% involved Daddy – none of that "I'm the disciplinarian and the mom raises the kids". No - he's all hands-on & he enjoys being a daddy; it's not a burden. I have to fight him to hold Caden when he's sick or hurt.

4. He lets me take naps on Sundays for as long as I want. Enough said.

5. He is in charge. Again, enough said.

6. He thinks I’m funny. All of the quirks that would make other people question my ability to live without assistance make him laugh.

7. He knows softball is a sport and enjoys watching it. When he tells people about watching the Women's College World Series & they scrunch up their noses and say, "Girls? Softball?" That's when I know I've got a keeper. (Know what I'm saying Nora?)

8. He pays the bills & keeps track of all of our finances. It's not my ministry & I'm not good at it. He actually WANTS to do it & I love that!

9. He washes and takes care of my car. He checks the air & tread on my tires. He changes the oil. He does everything.

10. He cooks! The man makes the best lasagna I've ever had. What he can do with a spice rack is phenomenal. I cook more than I used to, but he still can run circles around me in the kitchen.

I can honestly say that today is the best anniversary we've ever had. I'm looking forward to saying that every year.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

2 firsts!!!

This actually happened last Friday but I forgot to post about it at that time.
Dumpster Diving

I was on my way to get something for lunch when I spotted this little diamond just sitting by the curb. I slowed down, gazed longingly at it, and then went on about my business. I made it to the end of the street before I felt conviction hit. Caden must have this car. Now, some of you may know this about me. I haven't been able to get over the fact that I never had a foot-pedal car when I was a child. I asked politely, begged, cried, and pouted - to no avail. My parents held firm and my dream was not to be.

Until Friday July 6, 2007. That is when my dream became a reality.

I turned my little Corrolla around right on my street and sped (30 miles an hour, mind you) back to the toy wonderland. I stopped by the curb. I got out, held my breath, and peeked at the front door. It looked like nobody was home. I inspected the purple bomber. Yes, I had already named it. It looked good.

I looked at the front door again thinking I should probably go up and ask if I could take the beautiful piece of plastic off of their front yard. But I was too nervous. What if they said no? What if they looked at me with pity? This is hard for me to admit, but I'm kind of a snob when it comes to stuff like that. I'm trying - for finances' sake to get over this - but I did feel funny taking something off of the curb.

Nobody was around, it was quiet, so I grabbed it, shoved it into my front seat, scrambled in after it, and sped the rest of the way to my house. I gleefully got it out & put it on my front porch, partially hidden from the street. I danced - literally danced - back to my car, clapping my hands & giggling.

Stan has been after me to cut his hair for awhile now, and we finally bought the kit 2 weeks ago. Today was the day. He sat on a makeshift stool in the bathroom, told me what number cutter to use, and I went to work. I don't think it turned out half-bad. And the best part is, we spent $20 on the kit and Stan has been spending $20 a month getting his hair cut (every 2 weeks at $10 a pop).

Girl Time!

My best girlfriend from high school and I got to spend yesterday together at the San Marcos Outlet Mall! Oh my goodness - it was so much fun! Everybody needs someone in their life who they can reminisce with about the silly things they did in high school. And reminisce we did, over greasy burgers & onion rings, and strolling around the mall in search of truck pajamas (see post below!).

I don't know what I would do if I didn't have Stacey around to tease me about dropping her in a Shy-Anne routine on Kyle Field.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Puppies or Sharks?

I thought when we had a boy, that meant that we wouldn't have the drama over what to wear.

I was wrong.

Caden adores trucks. All things truck. This includes his truck pajamas. He has 2 pairs of pajamas that qualify as 'truck' pajamas. Both of them are in the hamper at this moment.

Enter the meltdown.

I am cleaning the kitchen and I hear Stan reasoning (or trying to reason) with Caden that his truck pajamas were dirty and then he started going through the available options.

Stan - Do you want your skateboard pajamas?

Caden - NO!!!!!

Stan - Do you want your penguin pajamas?

Caden - NO!!!!!

Stan - We're running out of options. All that's left are puppies and sharks.

Caden - Yes!!

Stan - Do you want puppies or sharks?

Caden - Puppy!

What in the world did we talk about before we had kids?

Friday, July 6, 2007

In the still of the night

It is 9:15 and all is quiet at my house. Caden is asleep. And, bless his heart, Stan is too. He's an early owl & he's got an early day planned for tomorrow. Some of you lament the times when your garage is too crowded to park your car in. Well ladies, mine is too crowded to walk in right now. Stan is getting up bright and early tomorrow to work in our garage, lay some more plywood down in the attic, and shove some more stuff up there.

Anyway, I like the quiet nighttime. I seem to hit my 2nd wind about now & I'll do dishes, laundry, plan my menu, all sorts of stuff late at night.

Our garage sale is tentatively set for the first weekend in August (there's a lot of that 'stuff' in the garage right now too). I am excited. I have never been part of a garage sale before. Nope, not even once. Stan & I have either donated stuff or simply set it out on the curb for people to come by & take. We've never put the effort into an honest to goodness garage sale. I'm even thinking about serving refreshments like the fancy-schmancy stores do. Something to encourage browsing, right guys?

So my chores are done. The dishwasher is running. The dryer is humming. And I've got a really good book waiting for me on my couch. Thank goodness Stan is going to let me sleep in. Let's hope he passed the word on to Caden...

Thursday, July 5, 2007

A Quiet 4th

We had the biggest plans for our 4th of July.

There was going to be a party.

There was going to be fireworks.

There was even going to be a pony. That's right. A real, honest-to-goodness, live pony.

But the rains came and wouldn't stop. For 3 weeks now, they just won't stop.

So we had to cancel.

Caden will have to wait to get his first pony ride. That may be good for a child. What else can you look forward to when you already got to ride a pony at age 2? The rains may have come for his own good.

So we made alternate plans. Phone calls were made. Food arrangements were set. Emails were sent out, albeit last minute of course.

Then I got sick & couldn't go.

So my dad came over to play with Stan & Caden. They played in the garage. They played in Lowe's. They even went to play with Nana at Wal-Mart. And Caden got to have his first hitting lesson with Stumpy (my dad - long story about the name).

I wish we could've had our big shindig, but it was good nonetheless. Sometimes less is more.

Playing with Rebekah

A friend of mine came into town a few weeks ago & I watched her daughter for a couple of hours while she met with a client. Rebekah & Caden had SO much fun together!!! They didn't fight at all & they had to be together constantly. I was actually surprised at how much I was able to accomplish while she was here: cleaning out my pantry, dishes, laundry, & I even unpacked 2 boxes! Hurray for 2-year-olds who can play together without Mommy!!!!

When R's mommy came back, we had fun eating lunch & watching the kiddoes play some more.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

All Things Caden

Caden's birth was definitely traumatic. A prolapsed cord was diagnosed and I was rolled into the O/R with my 8-months-pregnant OB riding on top of the bed with her hand holding his head off of the cord so he could get oxygen. From the time she ran into the room till the time he was born was 6 minutes.

But he's here & he's glorious boy. He loves anything with wheels, talks up a storm, and thinks his daddy walks on water. He's a challenge, but I love every day with him & wouldn't trade him for anything in the world.

I'm back

For the pitifully few of you who are probably checking this, I am recommitting to blogging. I'm recommitting to a lot of things. I, unlike many normal people, have made a list of summer resolutions. As a teacher, I find myself blissfully free for several months a year & this is a wonderful time to get refreshed, renewed, and reenergized. So, that being said, I am starting my diet again (thanks to The Biggest Loser reruns). I am in the midst of an awesome bible study (Thanks Central ladies!). I am also organizing & cleaning my home to get ready for a garage sale.

Caden just celebrated his 2nd birthday! He is such a big boy now. He's in the throws of the 'no' passion, although he adds a bit of attitude by saying "No way!" Cute, but needs discipline nonetheless.

I will leave you with the words to my favorite Christian song right now (it constantly changes)

Desperation - Rescue

You are the source of the life
I can't be left behind
No one else will do
I will take hold of you

I need You Jesus
To come to my rescue
Where else can I go
There's no other name by
Which I am saved
Capture me with grace
I will follow you

This world has nothing for me
I will follow You
This world has nothing for me
I will follow You