Wednesday, February 29, 2012


Even just have too much to deal with?

I think it's just becoming too much right now. Working full time, full time mothering when I get home and on weekends, trying to keep up with the house, yard and garden, painting my house, trying to keep to a healthy diet and cook all my meals, and play the occasional video game or read some books. That sounds like a lot. Throw in a strange and troubling medical problem (actually 3 separate ones, one of which sent me to an emergency clinic this past weekend, only to be told they didn't know what caused the troubling symptom), and finally throw in an almost debilitating fatigue over the past few days.

It all became too much tonight. Oh, nothing drastic happened. I just laid down in Declan's room and refused to open my eyes while I had a little pity party for myself for 5 minutes and tried very hard not to yell at him.

Feeling very sorry for myself that we don't have anyone here to help us take care of our little guy. He's sweet, but he also is a handful and needy and I'm always trying to choose between playing with him and making sure he's not watching too much tv or playing video games, and trying to make myself believe that he needs time to play by himself while I lay on the couch.

Literally last night, it was all I could do to get out of the house and go to dinner. Then trying to give him his bath was very tiring. I almost didn't even have the energy to take a dirty dish to the sink.

Today, I splurged and ate waaaay too many chocolate covered espresso beans (I have no self restraint right now) but I felt great all afternoon. Had plenty of energy, so much so that I came home a little early and made homemade mozarrella cheese since I had enough energy to stand at the stove for 45 minutes tonight. But at Declan's bedtime, it was all gone again.

Wish there was someone I could ask that could really understand what was going on? I mean, am I having allergy problems due to the high pollen count right now? Is it something as esoteric and adrenal fatigue and needs a better medical intervention? Is it related to my weird and troubling medical symptoms from this weekend?

I guess I'm just feeling sorry for myself and want some free time. ACtually found myslf in bed at 9:30 tonight. Maybe I can find time to get 8 hours of sleep tonight and feel much better tomorrow.


Some fun games we've played lately.

Tonight, my office is all torn up. The couch cushions are on the floor in front of the couch, and the coffee table is pushed against the far wall. All so Declan can do flying jumps face down into the cushions from the couch. He talked Daniel into jumping a couple of times. I did it once. That was enough for me.

Then we watched silly cat videos on YouTube.

Don't Go, Mommy!

Just a quick funny. When I went to work this morning, he didn't want to give me a kiss or hug goodbye. So I said okay, kissed the top of his head and headed for the door. He ran down the hallway and plastered himself against the door with his arms outstretched so that I couldn't open it.

Unfortunately for Declan, I remembered I had to take out the trash and went out through the garage.

It was very sweet to see him do that, though. :)

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

My favorite pictures

Getting ready for a trip and wanted to have some pictures posted to show some friends.

Jelly Face!

Visiting with Grandmommy and Grandaddy

Pumpkin Can Hat.

The pumpkin he decorated all by himself in preschool. (Well, I think the teacher helped him glue on the ice cream cone hat.)

Having fun with Daddy.

Feeding ice cream to the cat.

Having dinner at Sesame Street before the pre-school christmas program.

Riding a tractor with Grandad in Illinois at Christmastime

I think he was more interested in the numbers than the tractor ride.

Christmas morning. He has a "little cookie man" sugar cookie.

Opening presents was a lot more fun this year than last. He got it this year.

This year's Christmas sponsored by Thomas the Tank Engine and Hot Wheels.

Playing cars with his cousins, Garrett and Devon. They were sweet and generous and gave Declan their entire collection of Hot Wheels cars to take home.

Sitting in the backhoe with Grandad.

Checking out the combine.

Declan and Devon both wanted Devon's new hat.

Trying to convince Garrett to give him a horsie ride.

Snow is cold!!!! Especially when it gets in your eyes!

He loved playing in the leaf piles I raked up when I got home after Christmas.

Spear fishing in the leaf pile!

Tuesday, September 06, 2011


We've had a lot of milestones in the last week or so.

Sleeping. We decided to pull his mattress out of the crib and try to get him to sleep on the floor at night. He doesn't like going to bed, and I half expected him to spend a couple hours playing with his toys and finally conking out around 11 pm or so. Surprisingly, he did pretty well. He cried for a bit, cried for a little longer, and was actually asleep about an hour after we put him down. He has kept waking up in the middle of the night, some nights several times. One night I just slept next to him, and every so often, he'd reach over and pat my face. To make sure I was still there, I suppose. The next night, Daniel took his turn. He's waking less often, so it's encouraging. I think in the next week or so, we'll get a twin mattress for him and dismantle the crib. Guess we can rearrange his rooms, too.

Potty. Maybe not the most interesting of topics, but we actually had a success with the potty this weekend! Yay! But only once.

Speaking. He's really taking off. He wants me to read a book to him, and he'll repeat my words a couple of seconds after I say them. He did the same thing to a couple of Thomas movies this weekend. He'd repeat about every 5th word. It's amazing how much he's talking now.

Property. He's recently gained an understanding of the concept of "mine." He wants his trucks or his blankets.

I do it. Just the other day, when I was putting on his shoes, he said that he wanted to put his shoes on himself. He couldn't manage it, but I helped him and and had him do as many things as he could. We've also recently started letting him watch us cook and help as much as possible. Like stirring or putting the ingredients in a recipe.

Chores. It's now his job (although he doesn't realize it yet) to fill the cats' food dish. He just thinks it's fun to scoop food out of the bin and put it in their dish.

Social. He's a little social butterfly. He charms everyone, everywhere he goes. The farmers' market, the grocery, the garden store. He's never shy or scared of strangers. If he wants company, he has no problem going up to a stranger, grabbing their hand and pulling them along to show them something he finds fascinating. One of the things we've worked hard with him is saying please and thank you, and it's worked wonders. It's part of his charm. There's something about a tiny tot saying "please" while asking for a balloon or sucker, and then saying "thank you" that makes everyone smile. He'll hug folks too, if you give him some encouragement. He'll even deign to give mommy and daddy a hug and kiss now.

Dressing. He will pick out his own shirt a lot of days. Of course, just as many days, he'd prefer to wear no shirt, and he'll announce it loudly and frequently. "No shirt! No shirt!!!" Sometimes, we have battles over wearing a shirt, and mommy always wins, but it's not easy.

Of course, he's also testing the waters of independence. When he's put into time out on the couch, he'll see if he can put a foot on the floor, or hang an arm over the edge. Testing to see how far he can get away with not staying on the couch before we make him go back to the couch. Sometimes, it's annoying, and sometimes it's so funny and obvious that it's really hard not to laugh when you're disciplining him.

Lots of fun.

Cute pictures

I had my canning pot outdoors to cool off, and we had a brief, rare shower, which filled it up. Declan saw it and insisted on taking his bath in it. I figured..."why not?". Take a look and laugh. At the farmer's market.

Vacation Pictures

Finally got my pictures uploaded. (Of course, now my kitchen is in disarray due to a remodeling project and I've misplaced my camera. Thankfully, I got most of my pictures off of it before now.) Grandmommy's (Meme's) shoes are a little big, still. This is cute. Declan was crawling around and under his cousin, Devon. Chillin' on the front porch. Awww. So sweet of Devon. We encouraged Declan to run up and down the sidewalk, yelling at the top of his lung, as much as possible all week long. Boating. He did not really enjoy his time on the boat. Maybe that will change over time. Declan and Meme Do you think he looks like me? Last day. He still wanted to run around, not go get in the car.

Monday, August 01, 2011

Vacation - Back to my Roots

I took Declan with me and we visited my parents in Illinois last week. I had to visit to do some legal/business stuff anyway, and my parents wanted to see their grandson. So I left hubby at home, where he could stay up late, sleep in, play video games and eat bachelor food.

Declan did really well on the plane flights. I really think that once he's strapped into his car seat, he knows he's traveling and he calms down. It makes carrying that car seat through the air port totally worth it!

It's been miserably hot and dry here in Houston. We're in an exceptional drought, the highest category, and it's routinely in the upper 90s. So what happens when I travel 1,000 miles north? They have their hottest day in 21 years! And they're in the middle of a 3 week drought. Maybe not as serious as the 7 month drought we have in Texas, but it's hurting the corn and keeping it hot.

We all went in to the band concert Friday night and partook of the ice cream social. Devon, my 10 year old nephew wanted to come with us. He, his brother Garrett, and their parents all adore babies and children. So I was asking my parents if he could come, too. It was great! He spent the whole evening watching Declan, helping he go run around the bandstand and play with the other little kids. All I had to do was buy him some cake and ice cream, then I could sit back and relax for the evening. Wonderful!

The Aflak duck:
My mom has a stuffed Aflak duck, and when you push a button in its belly, it squawks "Aflak, Aflak...AFLAK!" My brother's family came over one night and started playing with it with Declan, and Declan would just giggle hysterically on the last AFLAK. And of course people would laugh at his reaction. So he'd laugh harder, to get a bigger reaction. Before long, the entire room was in stitches. After about 10 minutes, I asked Declan what a duck said. His reply: "Ack-ack, ack-ack...ACK-ACK!" Which of course made everyone just collapse in laughter.

I took my nephews to see Captain America, which was a really good movies. Then the next day, Garrett volunteered to watch Declan while everyone else went to see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 2. I thought it was a great ending to the series.

The last day I was there, we took the boat out to the lake. It took a couple tries to get it running. We had a couple problems with the lifting mechanism on the lower unit. But eventually we got it running. There was almost no one on the lake on a Tuesday afternoon. It was hot and sunny; a good day to be on the water. Declan was none too pleased with it at the beginning. Maybe it had to do with the baby life jacket I shoved him into. It probably made him hotter, and the boat was all new and scary. He really cried when I was driving the boat and we wouldn't let him sit on my lap. He refused to sit on Granddad's lap, and settled for standing next to me and holding onto my leg. Finally, he gave up and laid down on the bottom of the boat and just waited. I think he was sort of enjoying it by the end.

It was a nice trip, even if it was super-hot most of the week. There was one night where it cooled off enough to open the windows and listen to the night insects. I miss that so much. I hope my parents appreciate the beauty of where they live.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Engineer by Day, Domestic Goddess by Night

I've been busy lately.

On Saturday, we made a family outing to a local pick-your-own orchard. I got 45 pounds of wonderful tomatoes, 8 pounds of blackberries, a bunch of onions and some other vegetables. Plus some guinea fowl eggs.

So Saturday, I spent the day making seasoned tomato sauce and canning it. I made 9 quarts of sauce, and had enough left over for parmesean chicken the next night.

I also made two kinds of blackberry jam: blackberry, black pepper, and rum; and blackberry, white chocolate and Kahlua. Then we made a blackberry crumble for dessert. Too bad for Declan, we made it after he went to bed and we ate it all.

Next night, I made yogurt, which I used to sneak in some veggies to Declan's morning smoothie. Who knew strawberries, pineapple and spinach worked so well together? Plus I made bread. One was a regular loaf, and for the second, I experimented. I made a cheddar cheese, pepperoni and black pepper loaf, and it tasted awesome! Also managed to make some chocolate sauce from scratch, because I don't want us to eat high fructose corn syrup. It only takes about 10 minutes to do.

Finally, tonight I'm making coconut chocolate ice cream and some no-bake granola bars for Declan's and Daniel's snacks.

Can you tell I've been interested in wholesome cooking and such? I'm trying to avoid processed food, including things like wheat and high fructose corn syrup. My next goal is to learn to make fermented foods, like a sprouted wheat berry bread, and kefir and pickles. I feel like a frustrated pioneer homesteader sometimes.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Movie Night

Yes, it's movie night! We we trying to get the baby sitter to come by, but she never returned my calls. I tried for a week. Did I do something wrong? I have no idea. But I ended up talking to my neighbor, who happens to be Christian's grandma. She offered to watch Declan for us one night so we could go see X-Men.

So we saw X-Men tonight! I really liked it. I thought they put a lot of work and love into the story line. It's compatible with the original trilogy, with only minor modifications. The plot was solid, the characters were real and the dialog with believable. I really liked the relationship between Erik and Charles; you could really feel they wanted the same thing, but ended up on totally different sides in how they wanted it to happen.

We even had time to go to dinner before the movie, so double score! One thing I do like about Texas is the number of excellent Tex-Mex restaurants around. We went to Chuy's and the food was great, although it was so loud it was hard to talk.

We got home around 10:00 and went to our neighbor's house to pick up Declan. I was a bit nervous about him going to sleep, because he's only ever gone to sleep in his crib at night, and we've only recently gotten him to sleep on his crib mattress on the floor for his naps. I thought he'd definitely be asleep by 10, though.

I was wrong. He was still awake. Turns out he was upstairs sitting in Naomi's lap and watching Thomas the Tank Engine. Apparently, he just couldn't fall asleep and stay asleep. He'd nod off, then wake up and whimper. I'm not sure who I felt most sorry for.

We took him home and tucked him into his crib and he went out like a light. Maybe tomorrow I'll try and sneak out of the house quietly and let him sleep himself out. Or maybe he'll be up at 6 am just like usual. Who knows.

Sunday, June 05, 2011

New Words

This morning, we went to the park to play with Christian, the 2 year old who lives down the street from us. When we got there and he spotted Christian, he called him by name, first time he's said Christian's name. And when we left, he said "bye bye Christian."

Today at lunch time, he sat on my lap and wanted some of the cheese souffle I had. I cut a bite off and put it on the fork, and he shook his head and said, "no. Too big." Color me surprised. So I cut it in half and offered it again, and he ate it.

This morning when he got up, he said "Big bug" and when Daniel went to check, yep, there was a huge palmetto bug on its back in the hallway. Daniel said, "Yes, that is a big bug," then he proceeded to threw it outside. Ugh. I glad he found it this morning instead of me.

Anyway, that's a lot of words for one day.

Success in Napping!

This afternoon, I pulled his crib mattress out of his crib so he could romp and play on it. So at naptime, I decided to try and get him to sleep on his mattress on the floor. I put a child-proof lock on the inside door knob in one room, and a baby gate up on the door in the playroom. (He has 2 connecting rooms: a bedroom and playroom, and a door in each)

Then I went shopping! :)

Daniel said it took him about an hour and 15 minutes before he finally settled down and went to sleep, but he did sleep on his mattress for 2 hours! I guess when you've got two whole rooms with toys to play in, it takes longer than normal to settle down. But I'm very happy. He's getting big enough that I'm not sure how much longer his crib will hold him.