Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Update and Mommy Guilt

Just wanted to let all of you who gave me some great advice and ideas on this earlier post, that I am THAT mom, and I was successful in my attempt to protect Charlie from zoning out on the TV for an hour three times a week. On my next visit to the gym, I told the woman as I handed Charlie to her that I would really prefer that he not watch TV and that I brought some toys and a lovey to keep him entertained and comforted if needed. She looked at me and said "Someone's been letting him watch TV here?" as if she was in charge and that should NOT be happening with the babies. I told her that he had been watching TV several times when I had come to pick him up and that I just felt he was too young. She assured me that he would not be watching TV anymore... and sure enough, the next time I dropped him off, they remembered him and that he would not be watching TV. They asked if I brought his toys again and it was so great feeling like they actually knew him and recognized us both and remembered his name, so ahhhh (sigh of relief) things are better in that department.

Even though its better, and I'm able to work out for an hour, three times a week, I still can't shake it. You know what I'm talking about if you're a mother. I had heard of it before having children and seen the katrillion Oprah shows of Mom makeovers for women who had completely let themselves go out of the Mommy Guilt. They had let their children's needs run their lives and run over their own simple personal needs and were run down, exhausted, and spent. Watching them, I felt that I would never be that way, because unfortunately and admittedly, I am a selfish person. This is a fact that I am not proud to admit but I figured it would save me from the grips of Mommy Guilt.

But was I ever wrong. It creeps up every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday when I drop him off at the gym Kids Klub about 30 minutes before his usual nap, knowing he may fuss and be sleepy and have to wait for me for an hour. I get in my workout class, and towards the end, I always think "maybe I should skip the abs part, or the cool-down, and go get Charlie early." It also creeps up on Sunday mornings, when again, I drop him off in the increasingly-crowded nursery where they often stick him in a swing and pop in the paci (once Sunday School starts, the older babies move to another class and there is a smaller teacher:baby ratio, but this is always the scenario when I first drop him off). And its there on Wednesday nights when I take him to the nursery at church yet again where he will stay up past his usual bedtime and usually have an all out scream-fest with the sweet nursery lady before falling asleep for maybe 30 minutes and then doing it all over again.

I have to remind myself: I need some time away from him. And its true, I know I do. It really does feel good to work out by myself. I have more energy and feel better about myself when I do it. And it feels good to attend Sunday School and church with my husband and sing with the praise team. And I think Charlie needs time away from me too. It's good for him to be cared by someone else every once in a while and for him to be around other kids, right? But then why is it so hard sometimes?

It's only for a grand total of about 6 and a half hours every week! Not even an entire day. Actually totalling it out like that does make me feel better. But anybody have any words of encouragement out there? How do you handle the Mommy Guilt? Does it get easier with the more kids you have? How do you push through it and remind yourself that its okay?

Look What I Found!

Thanks to a comment on my last post, I found this...
Awww, maybe Charlie will get to earn his own personal pan pizza one day. :)
And you can go here if you're a Bookit alumni to share your old school Book It memories.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Book It!

Does anyone else remember the purple "book-it" buttons back in the early 90's? You could earn a free personal pan pizza at Pizza Hut for filling up your button with stickers proving you'd read a certain number of books. I was queen of the book-it button. I loved to read. I could soak up a book for hours at a time. My favorites were the "Ramona" books- by Beverly Cleary. Anybody else out there with me on that? They were the best.

Well, since college textbooks and then graduate textbooks and eventually an 8-4 job thing got in the way of my love for reading, I haven't quite been the same. But guess what. I'm back, people. Bring on the book-it button and the personal pan pizza. I'm reading tons of books, at least one whole book every night, and just today I read two before nap time. And yesterday was a record for me... I read all these books in one day:

Yep, gotta love kids books! Remember yesterday I said I got a great deal on all those kids books at the bookstore? Well the reason is because I took TONS of old CDs and books I had lying around my house and traded them in for store credit at Hastings. I got $75.00! (which I was really surprised at- these were old Shania, Mariah, and Celine CDs- who knew?) So Charlie got himself some new (and some hand-me-down) books and I got myself one too- and only spent half of our money. Just hoping to pass along a little of my own love for reading, so we're starting early! Can you tell which one is his favorite?

Sunday, September 28, 2008

A Good Day

Yesterday was one of those days I just want to bottle up and save for a not so good day. It was one of those crisp, busy, productive, fun, friendship days that makes me thankful for the life that I live. It was pretty ordinary but involved some of our best friends over for the entire day. The guys worked outside and made some pretty great progress on the beautiful deck (which I am so pleased to announce is almost finished!). The girls went for a walk with the babies then came home and subjected them to a long session of picture taking in matching outfits. (Sorry boys, when you can dress yourselves and actually move, you'll be able to get away from us :)

Then we went to the bookstore and strolled around getting GREAT deals on kids books and had coffee. We came home and messed up the house with all of our books, and babies, and stuff. It was the great kind of messy that feels fun, and lived in, and full. I promise Alisha- the mess didn't bother me at all! Then we put the babies to bed and the guys came in and we ate a great dinner of homemade ribs, cornbread (with the BEST butter) and salad. We laughed and ate and talked until it was dark and we were all exhausted and full.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Welcome Back Old Friends

It's good to have you back.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Fall...

Okay so maybe it still around 90 degrees, but whatever!!! It is officially fall! That means its time for my (meager) attempt at fall decorating. When I browse the aisles of Hobby Lobby and Garden Ridge, there's just so much that I want to get- layer upon layer of brownish orangeish stuff!!! But then I look at the price tags, and can't make a decision for just one thing, so I head home to my one little (fake) pumpkin and couple of wreaths and candles. And oh how I'd love to put out some real pumpkins on the front porch- but they'd be melted by Halloween, so we'll have to wait a few more weeks on that. Oh well... that's fall in Texas! At least we've had a nice cool front... it's been nice to get outside and actually enjoy the weather. (Hopefully soon we'll have a deck to enjoy it on too!!!)

Charlie's first time at a park


This is Bethany, back to bloggie land. And happy to say that we are all home, finally. Paul's home from Vegas and Charlie and I drove in from San Antonio yesterday afternoon. It is good to be home and even better to have air conditioning. :)

Stay tuned for more later on Vegas and our upcoming Halloween costumes!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Vegas, Baby. Vegas.

Well, everything started off good here in Vegas...

Here's me in my room before dinner...

At dinner...

All I'm missing is my beautiful baby (to steal a line from Swingers) back home.  I miss you Bethany and I love you!!!  I hope Charlie had a good night sleeping.  I will be home soon.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Deck Progress

Hello, all. This is Paul and I'm at the airport awaiting my flight to Las Vegas. I'm very excited as it will be my first time there. I'm going there to attend a mining expo for work (zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz). Should be fun.

Anyway, I just wanted to give an update on the deck progress, mainly for Bethany, since we are still in two separate cities thanks to Ike.

A picture of K, from behind of course, to keep his anonymity.

I hope you like it Bethany. I love you!!!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

The Latest Happenings

Well, Charlie and I are still here in San Antonio. Paul flew back to Houston for work on Wednesday and was still without power until Friday night. I decided to stay through the weekend with my family and its a good thing I did because this afternoon, two transformers blew up in front of the neighborhood and caught on fire and now the power is out again. Yes, they caught on fire and started a grass fire that was headed toward some houses in the neighborhood until my hero husband and a couple of other guys on our street took some hoses and contained it until the actual firemen could put it out. Craziness.

So, I have no idea how much longer I'll be here. While we're having a great time, I'm starting to miss my husband and my house! Tomorrow it will have been a week that we've been here and I did NOT expect to be here that long so, you know, I'm wearing the same things over and over and had to go buy more diapers and baby food and toys. But Charlie is enjoying the family time, and the family is definitely enjoying him!!! And we are just thankful that our only problem is a power outtage right now.

Playing piano with Papi

Checking out Charlie

Smiles for Grandma

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Monday, September 15, 2008

Ike Evacuees

After a long day and one very long night without air conditioning, we decided to make the trek to San Antonio to stay with my parents instead of enduring life without electricity any longer. Fortunately we had a full tank of gas and took back roads so we hit no traffic. We are so thankful to our friends and their parents for letting us share in the use of their generator for a few days. As crazy as it has been, the news of the true devastation of Ike has been a constant reminder of how thankful we are that we are okay, our house is okay, we are not in a shelter, we have food, and we have water. Now that we are in San Antonio, we are enjoying time with family and time with eachother. Here are a few pictures from our weekend:

Playing a really long game of monopoly in the dark during the storm

Going for a walk to survey the damage after the storm.

This is across the street from our house. It just missed two houses.

Lots of scenes like this one, unfortunately

Gas station off our main road.

Lots of debris

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Ike Update

This is Robin, Paul & Bethany's sister-in-law (more importantly, Charlie's aunt).

They wanted to let you know that they are fine. Other than a little damage to their fence, their house made it through the storm without a problem. They rode out the storm with some friends who have a generator and are now just waiting for the power to come back on. It's starting to get hot and that can make everyone uncomfortable. Please continue to pray for them.

Friday, September 12, 2008

5 pm Update

Still no real signs of Ike for us... the clouds are starting to loom and the wind is picking up slightly, but that's it. Just waiting along with our friends...

The kids are tiring of watching the forecast and are ready for their first real hurricane!

11 AM Ike Update

As you can see, there are a few clouds in the sky, but still no wind or rain...
And there are a few more beams on the deck as the guys decided to put those in to hopefully stabilize our posts!

Hurricane Vacation

Well, so far, this hurricane feels a little bit like a vacation... Paul got off of work at 1 pm yesterday and has all of today off. We tried to "run" out to Lowe's yesterday afternoon to get some bolts for the deck and quickly saw the reason for everyone to have today off- the TRAFFIC. Today's been nice though- we got up, went for a walk, and now we're just hanging out drinking coffee and putting off folding the laundry or doing the dishes from last night. It sort of feels like "hey, we're going to be here all night and all day tomorrow, so why do it now?" It's like a little vacation.
Here's a view of the sky at 8:30 am today from our backyard:
Stay tuned for more updates as long as we have power! ( you know, unless you live around here, then just look out your window) :)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Big Boy

Here are a few pics of Charlie at our playgroup yesterday when we had the birthday party. Look at him sitting up hanging out with his girlfriend, Lily!!! He's still a little unsteady and every once in a while completely lunges backward, so I was always close by!


It looks like we are going to be on the "dirty side" of Ike and have decided to hunker down. We live far enough north that we have been told to stay put, even though we could still face 75+ mph winds. We left the area during hurricane Rita a few years ago (which happened just after Katrina) and returned to find that hardly anything had hit our area. So this time, Paul is determined to stay. I just got back from Target, which was surprisingly uncrowded, and got a few canned goods, some water, and batteries. I just hope the power isn't out too long because I've got about 50 ounces of breastmilk in the freezer!!! Ack! Do you know how many hours of pumping that is for me??? It will be a very sad thing if I have to throw it all away...
And as for an update on the progress of our deck: here are three of the six beautiful posts that will hopefully be holding up the roof portion of our new deck... if they are all still there on Sunday!!! Here is a picture to record the work done by Paul, K, and another friend M. Only time will tell...

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Five Months and FOOD!

Yesterday, Charlie turned 5 months old and we started rice cereal! I've been excited for weeks about this, since his doctor said he could start after his four month check up, but Paul wanted to wait until five months. So the day came, we were all excited... and well, Charlie seemed like he could take it or leave it. He just didn't really seem to care! He never cried for more or for me to stop. Maybe because it was that flavorless old rice cereal mush mixed with water, I don't know.

See what I mean? This morning we tried it again and I made the cereal a little thicker. We got a few smiles, but when I would stop feeding him he didn't really care.

In other news... Charlie is going to his first birthday party today! In our playgroup, one of the babies is turning one today and we are having a Monkey Party, so I offered to make the cake. I have to share it with you because I am so proud of myself!!!! :) It's really not much at all, but if you know us, you know Paul does all of the cooking in this family. I've been know to throw a few pans of brownies in the oven or maybe a casserole or two, but that's pretty much it. So even though the icing is a little (okay a LOT) less than smooth, I'm pretty happy with it!

Monday, September 8, 2008


Saturday, September 6, 2008

Curb Appeal

Since the weather has suddenly become beautifully cool in the mornings (I'm sure it will only last a few days!) I was inspired to get some plants in pots by the front door and pull weeds in the garden. It was so nice to be outside and not feel like you were going to pass out from the heat. Charlie sat outside in his bouncy seat and we talked as he watched bugs fly by and me pulling weeds. One of our neighbors came over and chatted for a bit, and her daughter blew bubbles for Charlie to look at too.

I should have taken a picture of Charlie watching the bubbles outside, but didn't think of it at the time! Here's the little man inside, looking a little sleepy in some of the new clothes I got for him yesterday.
Paul has been working on our deck all day... we decided it would be so nice to put one in a LONG time ago, and we finally committed to it this week when we bought the lumber. His friend K has been helping- his hat can be seen here on the left. He prefers to remain anonymous on the internet. :P They have been working hard out there all day, we owe K big time!!!

While working outside, I also felt a little crafty and so decided to update this little sign by our front door. It says "Sweet Pea" and I had written on it with marker "Please knock softly, baby is sleeping" after about 10 different UPS/soliciting people had woken Charlie from his nap. It was adorable, but had just gotten a little faded from being out there for so long and kind of covered with bug stuff. Ew.

So, about half an hour and a table full of scrapbooking supplies later,

I had this...

Ah, much better! Though it won't be long, and this one will be covered in bug stuff too. Now if I could only hang my fall wreath and put out some pumpkins! Come on Fall!!!