Monday, December 7, 2009

HOUSTON: We have sleep

I am happy to report that things are coming together in Infantland. Little Bro is becoming quite a team player.

We are easily up to four hour stretches of sleep at night and we enjoyed a fluke last Friday. It snowed in Houston and the baby slept through the night for the first time. Just once, but an early Christmas gift all the same. A gift of hope.

I'm starting to feel human again. And I'm rested enough to enjoy delightful moments with a precious baby. Is there anything more sweet in the world than those first few smiles and soft coos or the way they crumble in your arms and fall asleep? Entirely trusting.

Big Brother is so protective and loving. I am getting to know a whole new side of him, as well. This is going to be my best Christmas ever. I'm looking forward to it as if I was the four year old.

As life settles back into place, I'm missing my blogging. My computer got an STD so I haven't been able to log on in weeks. I had to borrow my brother's laptop to get my "fix." It took a day to go through emails. Maybe I'll get to do a real post this week. My hands are shaking, this feels so good.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

The end of Superstar as we know Her

These last six weeks have been busy to say the least.

My beautiful baby is a monster between the hours of 3 am and daylight. His longest stretch of sleep is 2 hours but from 3-7 am he's been waking up hourly. Its enough to break the strongest of wills, which means MMA and I are crumbling like cornbread.

Seriously, sleep fragmentation is our Kryptonite.

I'm ready to give him cereal to "hold him over." But the studies say that it doesn't really help them sleep longer. It has to do with neurological development. What do you parents out there think? Should I spike the milk with a little sumpin-sumpin? I'm desperate. The bags under my eyes are the real thing.

In other news, my beloved Jeep is in the dog house. I loved it, but I'm ready to leave it. A few months ago, it still looked good to me, but with a new baby in the picture, I see it in a whole new light. I don't have time to deal with the kinks and rumbles of an aging car. On Friday I had to pile car seats and babies into a two door sports car because I didn't like the noise the Jeep was making. I'm done with it.

We spent Saturday car shopping. Yuck!

Superstar was not ready to admit that the practicality of a mini van supersedes her self image as a woman with a cooler ride. "BUT, from the inside of a minivan, looking out, they are
sweet!" she keeps telling herself.

I'm probably going to be driving a minivan soon. I can't wrap my mind around that. My mojo just went out the window of Caravan, or an Odyssey. Or a Town and Country.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Halloween Decorating

Little Bro gets his first sponge bath.
(Don't you love the smell of baby wash?)

There's no rest for the weary these days. All I have time for is feeding and pumping...every two hours, like clockwork. (And lactating is not my idea of a good time.)

A friend had planned to bring us a meal yesterday, so I finally got dressed and pulled my hair into a ponytail around 5 pm, (if you can call slipping into a jogging a suit and never changing out of the tank top I wore to bed "getting dressed.")

I've lowered my already loose standards of personal grooming. I'll try to do something about my hair before Wednesday. Wait, what day is it?

Maybe I'll be a witch for Halloween. That wouldn't take too much imagination or effort. My other option is to be a dairy cow.

I thought I'd share some pictures since we managed to get into a seasonal mood. Cute huh?

And the pièce de résistance...

That cute little onesie was a gift from Picky. It looked so big three weeks ago when we brought him home from the hospital. And now it fits. Did I mention he eats non-stop?

If you want to see what Little Bro's nursery looks like, check out Girly Stuff. She was kind enough to help pull it all together and then post pictures, too! (You can't see the detail on the curtains from the pictures, but they are the cutest...cream and khaki houndstooth print fabric.) We still have to hang something great over the crib and maybe bring in a rug, but we have time since he won't be sleeping in there for a few months.

I'll post again before Christmas!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Meet the Fockers

The New and Improved Family


Introducing,


Baby Nicholas!

Born Monday, September 28th
9:31 AM (translation: all-nighter)
20 1/2 inches
7 lbs 12 ozs

I knew he was big compared to my first, who weighed in at 6 1/2 pounds. All ten fingers and toes are right where they should be and he is sweet and charming. So far, Nicholas is not fussy unless he's wet and then its mayhem. Well, we all have our peeves. I think he's going to resemble me (holding my breath.)

You know the best thing about being one week out from having had a baby? You know, besides the cuddling and bonding and drinking in all of that sweet baby smell... I feel like a supermodel compared to where I was just seven days ago! I keep pulling out my regular clothes thinking they're gonna fit...they don't...yet. In fact, I feel good enough to pop out a couple more babies if we can swing a night nanny.

The one formerly know as Only Child is doing great. (Any suggestions for a new moniker?) He's been excited and giggly at all the baby's antics. He's not the huge helper I'd hoped for, mostly because he's too lazy to fetch me a diaper if he's watching TV or otherwise engrossed. But he's definitely sweet on his little brother and he's good at checking up on the baby and reporting back to mommy. We also made him the the hand-washing police when company comes over and he takes that responsibility very seriously. Now if I could just get him to stop talking about my nipples to our visitors...

My husband went back to work today and we were both a little sad about that, but I know we'll manage. If you had asked me what we needed, I would have said nothing. We have every gadget, bouncer and baby holder made. But people keep giving us little things that prove me wrong: a big box of diapers that I won't have to lug home from the store, a plate of home made tamales that meant we didn't have to cook or clean up, new wash cloths and the tiniest socks that fit right now...a saved trip!

We sure have appreciated all the thoughtfulness and love! It makes a sweet and wonderful time that much more special.

God is good! (But time is short.)

Sunday, September 27, 2009

LATE: an update

It's so much fun being in your last month of pregnancy that I thought I'd extend my delicate state for a while. Yes, that's right, my due date came and went, but the enormity of the situation has not really sunk in yet.

I'm still growing and stretching as a person and I thought it would be fun to grow just a little more before I get so tied up. The little guy is apparently very shy. Besides, the purple character lines on my stomach are so becoming. And, they double as a racetrack for my four year old to play hot wheels on while Mommy's passed out from exhaustion during his nap time.

Since I have so much time on my hands to think (because, if you can't clear your schedule for when you think a new baby is coming, then when, right?) So as I was saying, between hormonal breakdowns and cramping, I've been planning my bathroom remodel. I've been doing lots of research during Toilet Tour 2009. That's what I like to call it because each of my bathrooms gets equal love right now. (If I'm walking by, I might as well.)

Who knew I'd get this extra time for myself? I finished another book. A big one, maybe you've heard of "What to Expect When You're Expecting"...its sort of a cult classic.


And since I'm beyond pregnant, I am liberated about what I should and should not be eating. "Yes," to two-fisting sour cream and onion Lays and Milano's. "No," to prenatal vitamins. I am post natal, but for a technicality, so I graduated to Flintstones. They taste better and I don't want to end up on the cover of the Examiner, or whatever, with the next 19lb baby. Can I get an Amen?

Wouldn't it be funny if I pull the "Using the whole fist doc?" and "Mooooon Riiiver?" thing from Fletch the next time I get checked for dilation? Note to all of you that might one day have a baby: forget where they went to school, chose the Ob-Gyn with the smallest hands. You'll thank me someday.

Women really are the stronger sex. If a man takes a little kick or punch to the jewels, he's ruined for days. But women can walk around with a person punching and kicking her and literally pushing her innards, out. (My crotch hurts, but you don't see me pale on the floor.) That is to say nothing of the torment and havoc of birthing the thing... Which women have the capacity to do AND to love the little bugger with all her heart after he's defiled and left stretch marks all over what God made so beautiful. It's a mental strength; we slip into Navy Seal mode or something. I don't even remember much about the labor and delivery of my first child, just that I knew I could endure anything for the sake of a healthy baby. And I chose to do this again? I amaze myself, really.

As I was saying. I have way too much time on my hands with no where to go.

But out.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Nobody puts Baby in a Corner

Don't cry because it's over.

Smile because it happened.


Good-bye to the one an
d only Johnny Castle. AKA Patrick Swayze.

Those hips, that movie... Was there a middle-school girl in 1987 who DIDN'T want to dance with him?
I never got to reprise Baby's "Time of My Life" number with him!

He was my favorite metrosexual...before there was even a word for it!

And then, when he came out strutting on SNL and made fun of himself alongside the late, great Chris Farley...that was just endearing!

Who could forget this memorable skit?


Let's talk about Kanye.

If only his cojones were as big as his head!? Honestly! Stealing a little girl's spotlight? He wouldn't have pulled that on Lil' Kim. I'm just saying...she woulda.cut.him for that! (And don't cry about it after the fact, wussy.)

Did you catch the lovely date he brought to the what-ever awards?


(No baby yet. Trying to keep myself amused so I don't count the seconds...)

Friday, September 4, 2009

Thank Heaven for Little Boys

My sister Blanche just sent me the sweetest email with parenting reflections and advice. When she was a mother of young kids, I was still in high school and didn't notice what an amazing job she was doing until...hmm, about four years ago.

Now my sister's kids are in high school and college and all that love and patience has resulted in what anyone would call an enviable relationship between the parents and the children. They are a very close family.

I want that! So I thought I'd open the floor up for more wisdom.

What do you want to share with me about going from a one-child household to splitting my energy between two (actually three) boys? Or any other parenting advice you'd like to give me; I'd love to hear it!

(I should warn you, I've already mastered the "let the housework go" advice.)

On a silly note, my friend Kitty has a 4 year old named Boston. He's cute enough to be a Ralph Lauren model (both of her kids are) and his sweet nature is just as lovely. He's being pursued by a little girl, Hailey, at day care, but he already has a sweetheart named Bailey, so he told Hailey in a little kid way that he's off the market.

This tidbit is taken directly off an email from Kitty and I think its priceless!

So I told you all about Hailey asking Boston to marry him. Well,
On Tuesday, September 1 (our 8 year anniversary), my little baby boy got his first kiss on the lips from a girl !!!!!! (PS, I asked, he liked it). Of course, it was Hailey, she ambushed him behind a bookshelf. (Little hussy)

Well, on Wednesday I picked him up and asked him if he played with Hailey today and he said "No, she told me she had a headache and didn't want to play with me"

Then Hannah [7 year old sister] adds, "That was nice, she didn't want Boston to get her headache"

'Fast little girl!

And God knows what he's doing giving me two little boys.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Favorite Things

I had a rough few days. I was plagued by all these different aches and pains that made me realize my pregnancy has been pleasant overall, until last Friday.

Then it was a miserable few days where I could hardly walk or move around. MMA was wonderful and did his best to knock out his weekend chores, take care of me and keep Only Child from bouncing off the walls.

As of Wednesday, I am happy to report I am feeling much, much better.

My mind's not into blogging right now on account of the the 30 pound baby I'm carrying around. He's due any day now (actually Sept 24th, but if I keep saying "any day now" I feel more proactive in willing this thing to happen sooner.)

I'm predicting I will go into labor on September 14th.

I made a special exception to participate in
Girly Stuff's OurFavorite Things link-up.

Is it any surprise that when I think of favorites, all that comes to mind is food? Even still, I'm going to cheat a little...

Here we go.

1. MMA! Sorry, he's the only one and he's not for sale! I just found out today that he's been shopping for my push gift. Now I don't even need the gift. The thought alone makes me happy. I think I'll have his baby.

2. Girly Stuff is one of my favorite people in all the world. She showed up at my house on Saturday at 9 am and didn't leave until I practically pushed her out the door at 10 pm. She was helping me get my former guest room all dolled up for the new baby. This involved shopping, putting up hardware, making drapes...and all the brilliant ideas she had been mentally banking for months. Seriously, I could hardly get her to eat or call home all day. The amazing thing is that she would do this for anyone of us that she calls a friend; very beautiful and generous heart, this one!

3. Kitty, my BFF for 25 years and counting. When we were little girls, we talked about being Olympic synchronized swimmers AND college roommates. We realized one of those dreams. Kitty is quirky and silly and so much fun to be around! She will probably be the first one at the hospital (again) when I have this baby. We've hit every major life milestone together...except sex (she was doin' it way before me.) What? That's the hormones talking, I don't know what I'm saying. She has been good to me in a dozen different ways just this week. (I hope our sons end up being BFFs, too.) We heart Kitty!

Favorite things, favorite things, (think Oprah...)
4. HEB...'love that store! Lately I've been doing what I'll call
cold-turkey shopping (with no coupons, and no mapping out the deals.) No question, my grocery bill is always lower at HEB. Plus, Only Child thinks its a great treat to go there. Not sure why. So HEB, we salute you as a favorite thing!

5. There is an HEB brand product that we like so much, it merits its own shout out. HEB's frozen chicken chunks (in the black bag, frozen, in the fresh meat department.) They are so good, they rival Chick fil A's. Need I say more?


6. Blue Bell ice cream. And no, that is not my freezer.

7. Oscar Mayer Bacon Bits. Bacon is a distinct food group in this house and as a family, we eat a bag of these every week. We use them in every variation of eggs you can imagine. We put them on salads, baked potatoes, Butt Burners. Maybe I should add 4 bags of these to my baby registry.

(OK, non perishable favorites; let's see...)

8. Author, Tom Perrotta. I mentioned once before how much I love the movie, Election. I didn't know it was a book or who might have written it until my friend
Red, chose Little Children as her book club pick for the year. I adored this book, only to learn that the genius behind both works is one and the same!?! I have to get my hands on some of his other stuff. Any hack can slap you in the face, ala the Farrelly brothers, but smart and subtle satire is, to me, much more delightful. So yah, Perrotta. New favorite.

9. Half Price Books. Another family favorite.

10. The newly renovated Children's Museum of Houston. Wow!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Baby Mama's Parking Drama (Rant)

I've been delighting in a little evilness lately. What else is new?

I'll admit to being one who looks down my nose at able-bodied people who park in the handicap spots. But lately I've been feeling a little more horsey about it. (Maybe just a little bit entitled to judge as I'm weeble-wobbling along from ten yards back in this blistering, unrelenting heat.)

My family and I were sitting at a restaurant by the window a few weeks ago and we wat
ched this thirty-something guy jump out of his BMW, parking in a handicap spot, when there was a non-handicap spot open that was even closer to the door!!! I guess he's so used to taking advantage of his hang tag he didn't even notice.

One lady I encountered at Target had the nerve to park up front even wearing full work out clothes, jogging shoes, and looking like she just left the gym. I couldn't help myself!

I've started staring people down who don't belong in the handicap spot. Like, really giving them the up, down, once over. Looking over my shoulder at them, silently letting them know "You're wrong for parking there!"

Some people don't have any moral reservations about what they are doing. Most people quickly look away. But, you'd be surprised at how many people make uncomfortable comments, seemingly to thin air, about why they are parked where (they know in their heart) they shouldn't be.

I can't believe my gall. Who am I to make them feel uncomfortable with my Jedi-telepathic silent reproach?

It's so wrong. I know its not my business, but it feels so darn good (even if something inside tells me this behavior is a near cousin to road-raging.)

I hope I don't get shot up for being so snide. I'm not going to stop until I'm not pregnant anymore. (One more month, or so, of being the naughty, self-appointed parking lot police.)

Oh, and if I catch a man in the pregnant lady parking spot during the heat of the day, it won't be a silent disapproval.

We might make the 10 o'clock news! (Can you imagine a crazy pregnant lady going berzerk on some guy for that? Hypothetically speaking, could she then insist on a jury of pregnant peers?)

May I go on?

I threw away the most delightful hour watching two episodes of Kourtney and Khloe take Miami.

Technically its considered reality TV.

Such lovely girls, those Kardashians.

Reality comes to them a little later than most, probably because of the sheltering effect of their trust funds. Now these girls are like 28-30 years old and one's having a flirtation with a bi-chic while professing her heterosexuality, while the other sister is drunk-kissing her coworker and learning how it feels to face up to that the next day at work.

I happened to catch the episode where the foul-mouthed sister finds a vial of cocaine and takes it to the radio station where she works, pops it out of her purse and says on live radio, "Look what I found at my store...drugs are everywhere in Miami..."

Obviously she didn't know any better about normal-people job protocol, but she sure learned her lesson. It was like a modern spin on the Brady Bunch episode where cigarettes fall out of Greg's jacket.

But, you know, with Jan casually calling Marsha (or Carol) a "b!tch-a$$-ho" or some other colorful nickname. And picture Cindy dressed like a prostitute to meet a friend for lunch.

It's just so raw and identifiable what these poor girls face as they claw their way up and hang on for deal life to their media starlet status.

Two thumbs ups.


(And for you really big fans who happen to be little in the middle like the Dash girls, did you know you can buy their gently used clothes on ebay? Seems they are green humanitarians, too!)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Book Club Graduation & a Question about Friendship

If our book club was a child, we'd be headed to Kindergarten this year.

Hard to believe, but the Feisty Nuns and I have logged five years and approximately 25 books! Collectively, we've had 4 (going on 6) new babies. We've bought new houses, changed jobs, gone through a divorce. We've had first days of school, more kids parties than we can count and somehow managed to make "girl" time a priority.

Last Saturday kind of brought us full circle. We went out for Mexican food and (briefly) discussed our latest book. Then we saw The Time Traveler's Wife, which was the first book we read together. The movie was great, the girls are good hang, and I highly recommend that everyone out there find a circle of women like this!

In another five years, we'll all be hitting 40 and we're taking book club to Vegas! (I'm starting that rumor now so we can start saving our SW Airlines points and whatnot.)

Book club is becoming less about the books and all about the relationships, (and I'm OK with that) but I feel some unfinished business in discussing this last book, A Line Between Friends. It was, by no means, great literature. Still, I found the subject matter compelling.

A Line Between Friends discusses whether or not a man and a woman can remain friends after they cross the line. In this case, "the line" is sex and the story follows a man and a woman who meet in high school, attend college together and for years flirt with the possibility of a relationship that never materializes. They hook up once, and then try to maintain a friendship after each has moved on and married other people. Can it really be done?

I say no, absolutely not. I couldn't maintain a friendship if there was any romantic history out of respect for my husband, modesty, precaution and a whole host of other reasons I could probably come up with. I say its a bad idea, and if you read me, this is no great revelation. (That includes Facebook chatting; call me the jealous-type.)

To my surprise at least a couple of the ladies in book club said, "Yes it can be done," and see this kind of friendship as no big deal. Who knew?

What do you say to remaining friends after crossing the line?

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Last Minute Nesting

Nesting instinct kicking in? Check.

Freaking out a little bit? Check.

Buying Frenzy? Little bit

I have been sleeping worse than ever this week thinking about all that I still have to do and what if the baby should come earlier than September 24th, as planned?

I also found out recently that my that my anemia went from bad to worse. So now I'm on strict orders to get it together or face the possibility of a blood transfusion.

Yuck, who wants that!? I can't believe that someone so (shall we say) rubenesque, could be so anemic! I'm indulging famously, I just didn't realize Blue Bell is not considered a good source of iron...So I'm taking the pills faithfully and putting up with the tree bark effect. TMI?

Exhaustion had the better of me for the last month, but I'm over it. There's too much to do. I still pant at the slightest exertion, but I'm thinking its considered a sultry thing here in the south.

Girly Stuff sounded a little exasperated with me on the phone last week because of my slow progress in getting important pre-baby things done. My procrastination is not new to her, but it does tend to vex the type A people in my life. To her credit, that disapproval was just what I needed to give me a jump start in the nesting-thing.

Last week I bought an assortment of "sexy" nursing lingerie and the obligatory grown up pajamas for the hospital (not a snap button duster, but better than my usual tank top/boxer look.) I threw that along with some granny panties into the hospital bag.

Checked one more thing off my list.

I never liked the wood-framed glider we bough for Only Child. I wanted an upholstered rocker in the new baby's room, so I've been trolling craigs list for months. I found this small club chair at a steal because the mom said it doesn't rock well on carpet. So now I have an ugly glider that works great, and a great-looking rocker that may or may not do the trick. I'd say that's balance. (Its in such good condition, I'm considering a slip cover to protect it from spit up. That's crazy, right?)

I been online until the wee hours picking out this and that and trying to wrap up the other projects that have my mind racing in all directions when I should be sleeping.

Painters are scheduled for Friday.


I still have to pick out a crib bedding (this is one of three sets I'm considering) and some fabric for the windows. I have to buy a few cute pieces of art like this or this and this that I saw on Etsy. I'm picturing a vintagey-mod room, with soft, washed colors because this is going to be my laid-back baby.

(Most people don't know, I didn't, but you can custom order the temperament of baby you desire.)

I have asked MMA very nicely to get all the baby stuff down from the attic so I can launder, sort and put things away. He's also in charge of furniture assembly. This may require some beer drinking and having a guy friend over to talk about the sweet life they left behind for fatherhood.

Girly Stuff is coming over the Saturday after next to direct the DIY projects and to help arrange all the pretties in the nursery. We'll probably eat Chick fil A and talk about our kids and our post-baby bodies and how we keep getting better and better with age.

I AM going to sleep better tonight knowing that things are finally coming together.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

I love you, too!

Bonnie at The Campbell Family gave me this award. It's taken me way too long to acknowledge it. Lately, if I have a free moment, I nap instead of blog. I do want to thank her for putting me in such great company!

Bonnie is always doing something fun with her house-full-o-boys...I can see where my life is headed; I see lots of team sports and dirt under our nails and NEVER a dull moment!

There are some things I love about blogging.

First, I can talk (even if its just to myself) without apology about any topic I choose. It's always about me, here. Can you tell I was a middle child? I just wish I was getting paid for all this sharing. I take that back. To date I've racked up a whopping $2.12 in Google ad sense funds...now if I could convert that to an Amazon gift certificate, I'd really be banking!

Second, I get acquainted with people from all over the place. People with real lives who exist many states away that I will never meet; yet I know them...sort of. I follow their blogs like some people follow TV shows. Only, reality is more interesting than fiction. Don't you agree?

And, I learn cool things. Since I haven't been an official student in more than ten years, I like to think I keep my brain active by watching Noggin (its like preschool for kids) and blogging. I am constantly amazed at what those prolific, crafty bloggers are up to!

So I'd like to re-gift this award to these comrades for their contributions to my blogging circle. I love blogging because of bloggers like you!

The Idea Room - Amy's ideas are totally accessible, practical or just too much fun
not to know about. She's the creative kid that's always got her hands into something new. She's only been blogging for a few months and already has amassed quite a following. No surprise why.

The American Homemaker - Besides being talented in the kitchen and crafting arenas, Angie is totally down to earth and honest about "life." She finds beauty in unexpected things and turns trash into treasure with a little spit and spray paint. Did I mention that she also juggles a full-time job and kids?

Live.Love.Eat - Stephanie is always cooking something that I would love to eat. I wish we were neighbors! A self-described foodie, she tries out new recipes (plural) each week, posts pictures and gives her personal feedback on the recipe. We have similar taste in food, so I hang on her every ingredient. Need some dinner inspiration? Check her out!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Big Catch

We took Only Child on his first fishing trip this week. We packed a picnic after work and headed to the lake in our neighborhood...the one we drive by every day and rarely stop to appreciate.


With a new Sponge Bob fishing rod, a gift from Aunt Denise, we headed out on a Tuesday night with some stale bread and hot dogs for bait.

Guess what? They bit.


We were also entertained by a family of ducks and a tenacious little turtle that kept hanging around begging us to throw Fritos into the water and making us all laugh.

These are the moments we live for.

Fishing is serious business

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Mrs. McNair & Love Talk

So now its confirmed, Jon and Kate are over and he's left his family in their big broken home to party on the Riviera with another woman instead of being there to walk his kids through their sadness and confusion.

That's no good.

I know I'm blogging about old news, but was anyone else aghast at the public pain and humiliation that Mrs. Steve McNair must have endured because her husband couldn't keep his...ahem...at home where it belonged?!


This lady is someone I never knew existed until the story of her husband's death broke, and suddenly I'm feeling compassion and even anger for her at the consequences of her husband's choices.

And now the McNair kids don't have a dad because he picked the craziest Hooters waitress in all of Tennessee to mess around with??!! I'm mad for those kids, too.


When the McNair story was unfolding, MMA and I actually discussed this question: "What would hit you first, the pain or the anger, if you were Mrs. McNair?"

That was an interesting conversation.


We've been having lots of conversations like that recently because there have been so many people around us that are caught up in the hell of marital infidelity. People that we know, people like us (married for a few years, kids, seemingly established in their relationship) who are hitting a dangerous stage that comes out of no where.

Or does it?


In talking about this very real danger to any marriage, I hope we're moving in the right direction to protect what we have. But I know that talking is not enough. We are so guilty of not depositing into the marriage account on a regular basis. We might get a REAL date night every six months. Paltry isn't it?

We're in a Bible study group with three couples. When we get child care for Bible study, that's our adult socializing time. And its great, but certainly its not time that we're investing just for us to enjoy each other's company.

And yet we know the right thing to do here. It's like eating fast food. We know it's not healthy or nutritious, but we eat it anyway because it's easy. Sometimes I feel like we're feeding our marriage fast food instead of the good stuff. I tell myself that we're in a season in life that requires less time for ourselves so we can take care of our young family.

But at what cost? I love our family and wouldn't trade it for a second honeymoon (wait, let me think about that for a minute...no, I wouldn't trade it) but I'll be honest, I miss those carefree years; BK everything was easier...not more joyous, but easier for sure.


I love MMA and I'm lucky to have him. And I intend to keep it that way! We are embarking on a new Bible study with our group that is dedicated to improving communication within marriage. I'm looking forward to it. It's about time for a tune-up every couple of years, right?

So if anyone out there has the perfect marriage with the se
cret to spousal communication, go ahead and forward me the Cliff's notes so we can skip the book and just hang out with our CFs. (And still reap the benefits of the preventative maintenance.)

And let me tell you what, our bible stu
dy kicks a$$! I don't know if you're allowed to say that about a bible study, but we laugh, enjoy good food and wine, open up about real issues that we all struggle with and we put each other on the spot about growing in faith and pushing forward. It's not a safe-haven for anyone who wants to just listen and be left alone. (Which was where MMA was five years ago when I dragged him into it. And look at him now, he's the one calling me out on little white lies and the moral gray areas.)

I'm so glad to be Mrs. MMA!


I'll leave you with a couple of questions, and I especially want to hear from anyone who has learned things the hard way, (married or dating) how do you keep balance in your relationship with so much vying for your time? How do you invest in your relationship? What have you learned about communication within a relationship?

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Ike update from My Point of View

Our Galveston weekend was wonderful and we were lucky enough to have some family join us on Sunday. I picked up a cake, a few pizzas, a cooler of drinks and bam! Instaparty!


We stayed at this cute little condo that I picked for the location right on the beach. It turned out nicer than the pictures show, so I was very pleased. The little guy loved sleeping in the top bunk and kept calling the place our condo. I wish!

He was so excited about his birthday that it was at easily midnight before he fell asleep Saturday. Sounds precious now, but I was on the verge of doling out birthday spankings to help him fall asleep. MMA stopped me...he's good like that.


We managed to squeeze in lots of fun Galveston attractions: the beach, the strand, the ferry, dining at Pier 21...we will remember it for a very long time!

Ready for the update? I hesitated to post this part, but I have some things to say and this is my blog. So if you don't want to hear me drone on and on, abort now.

The island of Galveston is looking better than I expected. The sea wall did what it was designed to do. If you didn't know what Galveston looked like before Hurricane Ike, you might not realize they suffered a MAJOR disaster less than a year ago. The beaches along the sea wall (where they've trucked in unfathomable amounts of sand) looked pretty good considering the catastrophic erosion. We didn't venture to the west side of the island but I know that the residential rebuilding is a slower process.


Of course the economy, and so many, are still hurting...right down to the Catholic Diocese and the medical establishment. Thousands of jobs are gone. Sadly, La Kings is no more and all the beautiful old oak trees along Broadway were killed by the storm surge and have to be removed.

But tourism seems to be rebounding. And Galveston's resilience and urgency to rebuild makes me proud to be a Texan. It makes me want to take another trip to the island and spend money to help that effort.

Coastal Texans didn't have the same massive media stage to decry FEMA and the Red Cross and every other agency that did not and could not duplicate the generosity of the Katrina debacle. The celebrities didn't come out in droves to sing concerts or raise money to rebuild after Ike, either. (Or Rita, remember Rita? The easternmost Texas coast got hit twice since Katrina.) Now, less than a year after Ike, I'm afraid Texans have gotten all the help we're going to get and it was a pittance in comparison.

I feel compelled to moan about it here on my own little stage, because my neighbors were abruptly cut off or never given any federal aid for housing or rebuilding when Katrina services were dragged on and on right under our noses in Houston. The system was abused by so many (stuff like this) who milked America's generosity like a cow and it seems the media and the judicial system was in on it.


It was common to hear the term "Katrina housing" in Houston up until Ike hit three years later! Extension after extension was approved in the courts, everyone afraid to say to the leeches "Ok, you lost everything, but now its time to move on and GET A JOB."

Conversely, there was no "Ike housing." Ike hit in September and by November, people who also lost everything were cut off. In any case, FEMA is a joke to those who put in to the system. Like welfare, maybe one dollar out of a thousand ends up in the hands of someone who contributed. And its just a band aid, not a cure. But I digress.


Why am I so bent out of shape when my family has insurance and we didn't miss any meals waiting on Harry Connick Jr to belt one out for us?

Well, if Galveston looks good, Bolivar is another story. Bolivar is to Ike what Bay St. Louis was to Katrina. You know, the place that took the dirty side of the hurricane, yet was all but forgotten by the media.

Bolivar is a low lying peninsula just across the port from Galveston which is mostly rural with no tourism or big industry to speak of. We took the ferry across and were saddened by the conditions just an hour's drive from where we live. From the Galveston/Bolivar ferry you must drive at least ten miles to reach anything that resembles a store or gas station. Bolivar still looks very third world and most neighborhoods are still in shambles. Concrete slabs are the only indication that houses once stood where weeds are taking over. Destroyed buildings have been abandoned all over. If there was anywhere to stop and spend some money, we would have.

Has anyone outside the Houston area ever heard of Bolivar or Crystal Beach?

Houston, (like so much of the country) was exceedingly generous after Katrina. Our mayor stepped up get those poor people the hell out of the Superdome without considering who would reimburse the city. Then they ended up Houston's problem and we ended up eating millions of dollars in that effort, BUT, still, I think we did the right thing in helping our neighbors in their time of need.

But my closer neighbors, were not extended the same generosity. Where were 'ya Dallas? That bothers me.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Words of Wisdom

My almost four-year-old often catches me off-guard. It's easy to forget that I'm talking to someone so young because he is the best company and a marvelous conversationalist. He's becoming a little man right before my awe-struck eyes.

Only Child asked me to play trains with him this morning. I said, "not right now" because I was trying to get my precious computer time in. (He hardly naps any more so I hardly blog anymore.) He said, "C'mon mommy, the computer will wait for you."

Needless to say, we spent the rest of the morning playing Thomas and Duncan, because, how could I argue with that?

Last week I took him to get a haircut and asked the lady to go a little shorter this time because its been so hot and his hair is 'fro-ing two weeks after a cut. She cut it WAY shorter than ever before. When he got home he looked in the bathroom mirror and feigned crying. When I asked him what was the matter, he said, (still acting for my benefit) "all my beautiful curls are gone!"

Interesting, how I disparage my curls and yet I love my curls on him. But more importantly, I'm glad he loves his curls. In fact, he seem to love everything about himself and that is an example we could all learn from.

Time is such an abstract concept to a small child. Five minutes. One hour. Next week...its a slow process to grasp the meaning of these words. And you can only learn these increments by experiencing them for yourself.

Last December, Mrs. Santa Clause came to visit Only Child's preschool and she asked him if he was excited about Christmas. He responded, "Yes, but its taking SO long to get here!"

Can he get an Amen?


He's been asking me all week, "How long until my birthday?" and "How long until we leave for the beach?" I keep saying, "Saturday, we leave Saturday," and then I rattle off the days until we leave.

So today he finally said with a sense of excitement and relief, "Tomorrow, that means after this night...it's going to be my birthday!"

"Well, tomorrow, after this night, we leave for the Galveston, but your birthday is not for two more nights."

Sounding just like his dad, he got all exasperated and threw his hands in the air, "Ahhh! This is taking forever! I'm so frustrated!"
I was beaming inside at his commanding sense of self.

I love his little mind.

And a final nugget of proof that my little boy is wiser than men ten times his age: everyday recently, when I've been needing to hear it most, he remembers to say, "Mommy, you look so beautiful. I love you." And he hugs and kisses my big round belly.


I love that boy!




From a recent and rare dress up night

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Salsa is Sexy!

True story, WI dreamt about salsa last night.

This was not some hormone-imbalance induced fantasy. This was the result of the sweet burn that lingered on my lips as I drifted off to sleep, belly full of everything that is right with the world on the Fourth of July.


Have I mentioned what a fun street I live on? 'Good people that love their families, God, and the old-fashion American block party.


I happen to live next door to the self-declared mayor of our street. Maybe
we declared him the mayor; I can't remember. (My other next-door-neighbor.) His main responsibility is to organize everything fun that happens on our block. (That he stays on top of community business is just an added bonus.) And he serves us so dutifully, there will never be an election.

For the Fourth of July the Mayor organized a Kid's parade, cook out, and Salsa Contest! How fun is that?

I had to come out swinging because some have commented that my winning chili at Halloween was not really a "chili" but more of a soup in the eyes of the men.

This time around the Mayor declared that there would be two categories for our block party Salsa contest: traditional red and "other" for green, mango, pineapple, etc. (No, not the dance kind, sadly.)

If I may have lingered longer than necessary at the salsa table and if I sampled each salsas two or even three times, you know, to catch all the nuances, it was only out of respect for the game. And my fine opponents.

I have to admit, there was not a salsa I didn't enjoy! And in fact, there were a couple that were so incredible, I couldn't help but indulge in more than my fair share.

"Can't stop, won't stop" was my mantra last night.
Might have played the pregnancy card as I was helping myself to obscene amounts of food.

There was the Chueys inspired creamy cilantro one. Wow!

There was a smooth green avacado-y sour creamy one that I could have sipped with a straw. (I never found out who brought that one.)

There was a delightfully fresh micro-hand chopped winner that came out of my neighbor's garden.

There was the smokin' hot chipotle one that taunted me to see how much I could take.

I wanted to take them all home with me. (At least the recipes.) No wonder I had such sweet dreams!
I present to you, humbly, my first place entry in the "other" category. I did a ton of research and found this recipe at a favorite site. It's called Fire & Ice Salsa. Yes, that's watermelon, not tomato...

It's strange and delicious and just like the name implies. Luckily, the watermelon I bought was not the sweetest I've ever had, which made it perfect for this concoction. I also doubled (at least) the other ingredients and left out the garlic. I have one suggestion, salt just before serving, or the watermelon will weep and seep all the juice out.

I think this would be a nice light accompaniment to fish tacos or grilled chicken. Or to eat with a spoon when no one is looking.

Hope you had a fun 'Fourth!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

House Beautiful and a Shining Star

Home Improvements:

OMG!
This woman on HGTV just showed the up lighting in her house. (I don't know what you call it except up lighting where you have a ledge just below the ceiling in which you hide lights that shine up toward the ceiling.)

This brilliant woman took cheap gutters from the hardware store and painted them to match her walls. Then she had them hung just below the ceiling, threw in some lights where no one can see...heck, you could even use $3/strand Christmas lights and it would still look custom and expensive. Isn't that a great idea? (Someone out there with more initiative than I should really tackle this project and post pictures so I can brag and say you heard it here first.)

I want to put somethings out there so I can be held accountable. Ask me about my projects in exactly one month. Nesting instinct will kick in by then and I'll be moving forward on things that have to get done by September:


1. Finish my bedroom (paining, drapes, and pretty accessories.) I would love for it to turn out something like this. I also have to pick out light fixtures for the master bathroom and cabinet hardware, too.

2. Put together a nursery. The room is painted SW Blonde (which Girly Stuff says we will be changing.) All the furniture is white: crib, changing table, bookcase (5 ft tall with the cubes on top to put fabric baskets in and regular shelves on the bottom.) I'm thinking we'll buy a new upholstered club chair/glider. I have a chest in the garage from my parents' house that I wouldn't mind working in somehow. My ideas for this room are scattered and unfocused so GS taking me by the hand. Her first recommendation is that I should find white crib bedding.

More white? That's what I thought, and I wasn't seeing the all-white vision, but after I stumbled on to this pretty bit of inspiration, I'm going to trust her and go with it.

Entertainment:

In other unimportant news, does anyone else think Clint Eastwood makes the best "human suffering" movies on the planet? Hello, Million Dollar Baby? Mystic River. Unforgiven.

(You thought I was going to talk about MJ, didn't you? Hmmph!)

We just rented Gran Torino and I loved it! It had a strangely uplifting
and sad ending; how is that even possible except for a genius like Clint Eastwood? Me thinks he was born to make movies.


I cried laughing every time Clint (playing a quick-tempered old racist) came out packing the heat against the neighborhood gangsters. The slurs were flying. Everyone knows an old bastard like that who has lived long enough that they just don't care anymore and "get off my lawn." Walt Kowalski was hilarious to me...the bigot with the heart of gold.

(I laugh when I'm supposed to be crying at movies...I've been told that's weird.)

I'm starting to feel like the last person on the planet who hasn't seen Hangover. The Micker saw it twice! Maybe I'll sneak out this weekend and see it by myself since MMA already saw it. Call me if you want to catch a movie!

Or not...I don't mind eating a whole bucket of popcorn by myself if necessary.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Birthday Parties and Labor

I've been hiding out from the extreme Texas heat. It's been sizzling (even by Houston standards) and its only June.

No one is showing up to feed me ice-cold grapes in the heat
of the day. Or fan me while I lie on a hammock .

Sigh.

Keeping Only Child entertained inside all day (did I mention naps are dead?) means never a quiet moment. This high maintenance only-child racket is swiftly coming to an end.

My little boy will be four years old in July! We went to my nephew's birthday party this weekend. He also turned four and it was a perfect plan: a small crowd at a shaded, covered park pavilion. Chick-fil-A tray. Simple. Easy.

The heat was so oppressive that the birthday boy was threatening to heave by the time the clown was packing up.

I'm SO not up to throwing a big party right now
! (Or even a little one.)

Our family alone totals more than 20 people. We live on a street full of kids, 15 kids to be exact. My good friends have 13 kids between them. Who to leave out when we love them all?

Decisions had to be made and so they were made.

Only Child thinks staying in a hotel is a great adventure. I figure we'll stay in Galveston and make a weekend out of it...take him to the beach on his birthday, lunch somewhere, order a cake...everyone is happy.

Isn't that a great plan? Who wouldn't like to stay in Galveston for their birthday?

And when did kid birthday parties get so out of control? I must admit, the cost of throwing a party at the usual places has tipped the scales in favor of my Galveston plan. I was trying to think of something different to do because parties at Chuck E Cheese and the bouncy place are so popular that I'm afraid my son doesn't appreciate how special they are.

And, I hate to admit it, but my kid has come to expect a nice goody bag on the way out the door after a hosting family has already dropped a nice chunk on the festivities. (And I am fully part of the circuit, don't get me wrong.)

No more. I'm starting a movement of Mom's breaking the cycle of extravagant kid parties...the MBCEKP, if you will. No more dropping the equivalent of a car payment on kid parties. My organization calls for a retro celebration, or none at all.

Who is with me?

Am I sounding like a scrooge yet? It gets better...

On to labor.

Mistakes were made the first time around. We didn't have a plan. I didn't know I would be cowering in pain and waiting HOURS for that epidural. My husband left the hospital with his mother to buy a hamburger while I was in labor and then he was too...nice to ask his family to leave when I begged it of him in his ear. I had to do it myself.

That is all unacceptable.

This time around, if "you" haven't had dinner before the show starts...there will be granola bars in my suitcase.

Also, we will receive no visitors until after the blood and gore.

I take that back. My SIL Julie, the shining star of birth I, who took care of me during the dinner-run has forever ingratiated herself to me. She was my comrade in the trenches. Julie may enter the room, if she would like. And I will be comfortable in saying, "OK, thanks for coming, bye now."

So friends and family, please don't be offended that I don't want to take center stage in my most vulnerable hour. Please understand why you didn't get an invitation to the big 4 year celebration and why you won't get an invitation to the next birth-day, either.

We'll take lots of pictures and fill in the colorful details here.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

When I start to feel anxious...

I have been thinking about our future as a family of four and how much of a change Little Guy's going to bring. (And of course all the extra joy and love along with him.) I marvel at the thought of doubling my life's responsibility from one day to another.

I admit, I've thought about how hard it will be to start over with a new baby.

Things have gotten so much easier little by little, I hardly remember what it was like to change ten diapers a day, feed every three hours, sleep-when-you-can in short spurts. Then we reach an age where every corner is a bruise waiting to happen and regular household objects are potential choking hazards.

"How am I going to manage to do anything around the house when I can't seem to do it now?" I find myself wondering..."Can I juggle all this -- and be proud of the job I'm doing?"

Then I think about my neighbor who just had triplets on Thursday. That's right, triplets! And that's a whole 'nuther ball game. Another league, on another planet, I might imagine.


I've been thinking about them quite a bit lately.
When a concern comes up in my mind about our family, I find myself praying for her family (including their four year old daughter) to navigate their way through their challenges.

The baby girls, identical twins and a third sibling, were born big (4 lb +) and healthy. Things are off to a good start!

Every time I feel anxious, I remember this precious family. If I'm in a marathon, they are embarking on the Ironman Triathalon. And every concern I have about our family (Is this baby going to be healthy? Do we have enough life insurance? How will we afford X,Y,Z?...) seems manageable in perspective.

Their story keeps getting more exciting: check out this article in the Houston Chronicle.

God is marvelous!

We can do this.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The Suits

Letting go of some old friends today really gives me pause for thought.

My work suits were taking up valuable closet space, but I loved each one of them and I refused to part ways (for years now.) When it was time to make room for maternity clothes a few months ago, I moved the suits to what will be the baby's closet as a temporary solution.

But I knew what I had to do.

I bought most of the suits in the first few years after school. In my young twenties and full of fire and ambition, I decided that if I was going to be taken seriously as a professional, I needed to stop buying clothes from the junior department. I cut off my long curly hair and started wearing it straight and shoulder length. I wore heels and hosiery 4 days a week (you already know that I love to torture myself.) And even though I didn't feel like a grown up, I made an effort to look like one.

In short, (and I am) I tried very hard to look older and take myself more seriously!

'Wish I could talk to that silly girl and tell her a few things about life. But here I am, and those suits were a tangible thing of hers that I held onto as long as I could.

I dropped the best ones off at a Dress for Success drop-off in the hope that someone else can use them before they get any more dated and dusty. I knew I was potentially "losing it" when, returning to my car, I thought for a split-second about going back in to get them.

There was the red Dana Buchman suit that I paid a small fortune for back when I believed the whole power-in-color-thing. (But I always did look good in red.)

There was the camel-colored pant suit from Talbots that still looks as sharp and tailored today as it did when I bought it. I felt about two inches taller in that one...but you won't see me in Talbots these days -- I'm way too young anymore.

There was my favorite navy short-sleeved suit (my first "summer" suit.) I loved it so much I had at least three different pairs of navy shoes to wear with it.

There was a black suit and a chocolate brown suit. So many different accessories. So many working lunches. So many memories of a simpler time that I made more complicated.

I don't know why I didn't get rid of the suits years ago. I have been a SAHM for three years now. And I had not worn suits to work for a couple years even before that. I think I was holding on to the hope that I might need an interview suit one of these days.

But as it turns out, I'm about to start a new job in a couple of months. It requires long, long hours and "dry clean only" is out of the question... And I'm not ashamed to admit that I have mixed emotions about taking on such a massive new project, although, I know how rewarding it will be.

I did keep one, a white summer suit. Because, in my imaginary world, I might be invited to a garden luncheon slash fashion show. I'll just need to throw on some strappy sandals and a big flowered hat and I'll be ready to go.

And I kept my black cocktail suit because... Well, just because.

A girl cannot survive on yoga pants alone.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Where do we go from here?

UPDATE:
UPS recovered our package (a week after it was delivered) from the couple who were guilty of nothing more than not being neighborly enough to walk the damn thing over. To my chagrin, we opened it up and there was no remote control inside!! (Just some other equipment that I don't care about.) So the man says he'll send the long-awaited remote right over...via UPS.

Enough wasted energy! I'm not going to try to wrap my mind around "why?"

Original post:

I'm frustrated and beside myself over the stupidest thing.

I spent 30 minutes tracking a UPS package that was "delivered" last week. The sender thoughtfully left an automated message asking how I was getting along with my new stuff.

I saw the UPS guy deliver the package to my next door neighbor last week. The driver was blocking me in as I was getting in my car to leave one day, so I walked down the driveway to see if it was the new equipment we were eagerly awaiting, namely, a remote control that works...a brand new one (you starting to understand how important this is to me/us???)

To my delight, the box was clearly marked Di$#
Network; but instead of delivering the goods into my outstretched hands, he sliced right and left it on my neighbor's porch.

I fear this was a crossroad in my life, and I choked; chose the wrong path.

I could have said,
"Excuse me, but I was waiting for a package from that same sender. Are you sure that's not meant for this house?"

Or I could have immediately called UPS Worldwide Headquarters and put them on the case.

Or, I could have (and in hindsight, should have) waited until the driver left, snuck up to the door and grabbed what was rightfully mine.

Knowing that my neighbors have the same, shall we say,
master, I gave 'em the benefit of the doubt that just maybe, they too, were waiting for a box exactly the right size to fit my stuff. I let it go. I never doubted that if the box was meant for us, it would find its way to our porch.

That never happened and now UPS is on it and I'm not responsible for the loss. But I wonder...

Are they partying down with my new remote?

Was I
intentionally wronged? (A teeny-tiny, perhaps naive, part of me wants to believe it is an honest mistake.)

And most importantly, where do we go from here as neighbors?

Do they suspect we know they took our sh--, our stuff? (Don't stand between me and the ability to pause and replay live TV. I'm from the barrio; it'll get ugly.)

These are
Next.Door.Neighbors, for the love of all that is right in the world! This is not suppose to happen on my street. (Remember my wonderful street?) But that house, I'm afraid, has a spirit that attracts the weird ones... I'd better leave it at that.

I'm torn.

Our pastor was just preaching on Sunday that Christians give the benefit of the doubt. They don't bring up old trash. Or gossip. Or talk the way I sometimes talk onmyblogandinreallife. I'm suppose to set an example and love my neighbor as myself.

But
myself wants to bang on their door and demand some answers. And get my remote, NOW, not five days from now when the man acknowledges my loss and reUPSes it.

Today, I am not only Woman Interrupted, I am
Woman Scorned.

And when you hear from me next time, I'm going to be so over this petty diversion.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

God Bless the German People

Specifically the ones who settled central Texas, for they introduced my world to beer, brats, and Schlitterbahn.

We've just returned from a relaxing five-nighter in the blue collar Riviera of Texas, New Braunfels, known for rolling hills, river sports and THE water park that started it all.

When I was growing up in that big family, most of our vacations were spent camping in the great outdoors. We had a groovy 70's VW camper (orange) with a pop-top sleeping loft and a built-in fridge and sink. We'd pack that baby to the brim: kids, tent, Coleman stove and hit the road. It must have been chaotic with the country music playing while kids fought in the back seat to pass the time, all the while, the wind whipping through the orange plaid curtains mom made for the camper that dad called "Betsy." But I only remember the good times.

I realize my memories are only just sprinkled with reality because Betsy was, in fact, a lemon and I'm reminded by my siblings how much trouble she often gave us on those romantic road trips. My brother assures me that camping was hot, uncomfortable torture once he hit his teen years but was still too young to stay home alone. I think we have photographic evidence of his misery somewhere.

Yes, hotels and a/c are not to be replaced, but what about roasting dinner on a stick over a campfire and waking up at the first sunlight to the smell of coffee brewing and bacon frying outdoors? What about chasing frogs and lightening bugs and peeing behind trees in the dark? What about learning to pitch a tent, or roll up a sleeping bag, or start a campfire? What about looking out at the night sky to discover all the stars that are washed out by city lights? And what about all that together-time with no movies or computers to entertain ourselves with? When you camp, you hang out and you talk and you eat, and you get dirty and go swimming to wash off the sweat. To me, camping evokes good times, simple times. And I want that again, for my boys.

Once out of college, MMA and I enjoyed many wonderful trips to places I'd only dreamed of going as a child. I thought I had arrived. Why drive somewhere and camp when you can travel like this? Or so I thought.


But as we were leisurely loading up the car last Sunday (no plane to catch, no danger in drinking the local water) for the drive to our rustic cottage with all the comforts of home, just three hours from home --I'm almost six months pregnant remember, let's not get crazy-- I finally got it. I understand now why so many generations have been vacationing in New Braunfels with their kids. Even those who could have gone somewhere more exotic.

Fancy Camping?

Only now do I get it, that when you travel with little ones, it really is all about what they want and need because taking care of them first affords us some R&R, too. Those wonderful Germans must have surely understood that when they fashioned the perfect, affordable family vacation spot smack dab in the middle of all the biggest cities in Texas. An easy vacation in the beautiful Texas Hill Country, what's not to love!

I came to these same caverns as a kid

You should have seen me floating along the lazy river, butt-up, at Schlitterbahn with my big pregnant belly resting so pleasingly in the inner tube. I felt like I had re-arrived, further evolved. Only Child was giggling and bouncing along beside me under the watchful eye of his daddy. I knew he would be worn out and ready for bed extra early.


Forget about expensive drinks at the swim up bar or going back to the room to fix my wet hair for an evening out. I was looking forward to hanging out on our rented couch to watch TV and read in peace and quiet. That last night, a whole pack of deer came to graze right outside our cabin in front of the river.


It was so pretty and peaceful and I thought to myself what I always think on vacation, (no matter where) "This is the life, right here. This is it!" (And of course, "How much is real estate around here?)

So, God Bless you, German settlers of central Texas!

Gettin' his Facebook on