Friday, October 31, 2008


Ben tries to see what his eight teeth can handle from Max's bucket.

Me and my dragons:

A family picture. We adults didn't dress up. We couldn't distract from the dragons! I like this one because Ben is roaring. Happily of course.

Another one of all of us. Max is checking out his bucket again, making sure it's still full.

Two cuties:

Max really caught on quickly to trick-or-treating. He asked if we could do it again tomorrow. Maybe he'll be like his dad -- when he was young he figured, why not trick-or-treat all year round?

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Is there something that happens to a woman when she has a baby that takes her imagination and turns it into "Where the Wild Things Are?"

Totally innocent moments become disasters as my mind jumps from scenario to scenario. We were outside playing yesterday, and I imagined Max breaking a leg on our playground. I even went so far as to me sobbing by his hospital bed in my mind. Then, JB was trimming our big unruly snowball bush. I saw him cutting the fallen branches up with one snip of his strong trimmers and I blurted out "That's so scary!" You see, I had already imagined those trimmers snipping off a finger. Horrible I know.

Max must think I'm a worry wart. He steps onto the edge of the tub to get out -- "No Max! You'll slip and bonk your head!" He climbs up in his stroller -- "Max sit down, you'll fall out and hit the concrete sidewalk!" Same for Ben. He starts crawling toward the carpeted stairs: "No Benny, you'll tumble down and be really sad." He plays with the bottom drawer of the dresser: "Benji, be careful or you'll smash your fingers."

Remember in Anne of Green Gables when Anne is sobbing as she does the dishes because she imagined nursing her bosom friend Diana as she was dying? Or when Anne freaks herself out as she runs through the "haunted" wood? Well I wasn't like that as a child but now that I've had children I can't stop it.

I never imagine the positive stuff, although when I try it actually is kind of fun. Maybe on our 5th anniversary cruise next month JB and I will be "discovered" and become the new Gap couple for the Carribbean. Blonde, blue-eyed beauties modeling...sweaters (I can't escape the cold in my mind although I know I will soon be on a beach). How about Max and Ben smile at a gruff old man at the bank, his heart his softened, he opens his wallet and sets up a 529 for their education at any university.

Those thoughts make me smile, but the scary scenarios make my heart pound more quickly and make me squeeze my little ones closer for a kiss. Maybe that's why I have this terrible imagination. To make me realize how blessed I am.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Pumpkins, corn, but no BBQ

We went to Cornbelly's this week. We supported this Agri-Business by using 2 for 1 coupons and leaving the David Archuleta corn maze for everyone else to enjoy. Instead, Max climbed in the little houses and jumped on the bouncy-thingy until his little heart was content.
Ben couldn't get enough of the hay bales and a mirror by them.

We also squeezed into some cow cars pulled by a tractor. We were pulled around a pumpkin patch and corn field. The tractor's driver was a teenager wearing an ipod. It just seemed funny to me.

Ben couldn't believe it when we started moving. "Dah! DaaAAHHH!" He kept saying as he kicked and squealed. When he gets excited his voice gets lower and breathy -- like Marlon Brando in the Godfather movies.

When it was time to leave Max was sad and on the verge of tantrum, but we were starving. So we said "C'mon, we'll go get BBQ" and he cheered right up. Yes, our boy loves barbecue. Salsa also works as a bribe. I wanted to try a BBQ place I read about nearby, but despite the web site saying it should be open that late, it wasn't. We fought terrible traffic to get there too. That put a little damper on the evening. But overall we had a very fun time. Max wants to "go bat to Cornbewweys tomowwow."

Friday, October 24, 2008

Baby Mine

The title of my last post reminded my sister of the scene and song from Dumbo, "Baby Mine." It's when Dumbo sees his mom again -- she's jailed, and all he sees is her trunk. She scoops him up in her trunk and rocks him, and the lullaby is:
Baby Mine, don't you cry.

Baby mine, dry your eyes.

Rest your head close to my heart

never to part

baby of mine.

It makes me cry every time! I don't know how to upload video yet but here's the link to it on YouTube.

I sing it to my little boys at night sometimes and I still get choked up.
By the way I loved elephants all growing up. Maybe because of Dumbo. Is it wrong to say I think my sweet baby looks like that adorable baby elephant around the eyes and cheeks?

I also loved pigs growing up. Maybe because piglets really are cute little babies too.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

TV o' mine

More evenings now I forget I have DVR and I get caught up in my TV shows. Next thing I know it's 9 PM and I'm stomping around the house throwing my lunch and outfit together for the next day, brushing, flossing and washing and calculating how much sleep I'll get if I fall asleep RIGHT NOW and wake up at 3:30 AM for work. I can't help it, I love these shows.

The Amazing Race
JB and I watch this together, wondering if we could make it in a race around the world. We'd have to start calling each other "babe" all the time, and argue . I think he should race with his sister Suzanne instead. I'm scared of heights, bikes and tropical fruit.

Desperate Housewives
My guilty pleasure. All the soap and indecency aside, I like the show's revelations about relationships between spouses and friends. It's also gasp-inspiring and addictive. Juicy!

Dancing With the Stars
Those Houghs are so talented. They make me want to dye my hair even blonder, go back in time and work harder in my college ballroom dance classes. Sassy.

I started watching this new CW show because one critic said it was similar to Gilmore Girls, in writing and delivery. Since I loved that snappy show I signed on for this one. Not bad, but too much ending of conversations with someone making a snarky final comment and walking away. That doesn't happen much in real life. People follow you and keep talking.

Eli Stone
I'm giving this another go. I dropped out last season but I like the concept and I laugh out loud sometimes. Anytime a whole cast breaks into a song and dance I approve. It's probably because I grew up watching musicals where song and dance just happened all the time.

America's Next Top Model
Another guilty pleasure. But I use the DVR, and fast-forward through everything but the challenge, photo shoot and reveal of the girl who must "return to the house, pack up her things, and go home." Fierce.

The Office
Love it. Love it love it love it. I'm starting to say "yesh" like Michael Scott when I answer in the affirmative. I have also dreamed twice about Jim and Pam getting married. Maybe I watch to much, yesh?

Honorable mentions
My Name is Earl, news programs, college football, Jazz basketball, Jon and Kate Plus 8, American Idol, SYTYCDance, anything on Food Network (although Giada makes me want to curl my hair, apply more eyeshadow and wear low-cut tops more than cook Italian food).

Shows I read about, always hear others rave about but have no time for
Lost, Prison Break, 24, Doctor Who, House, Pushing Daisies, Grey's Anatomy, How I Met Your Mother, Chuck.

Saturday, October 18, 2008


The boys recently picked out pumpkins for our front porch. They not only love to hold their pumpkins, they like to play with them.

They also try to eat the pumpkins. Here Ben wonders if Max's may taste better than his.

The pumpkins are now out on the porch, with some caution to the boys that biting or dropping the pumpkins won't make them last as long.

The photo shoot really was funny. At the end Max was playing the drums on the pumpkins and Ben was squawking because he couldn't get close to the pumpkins too. That's often how they play. Ben gets really close to whatever Max is doing, Max says "No Benny!" and pushes him away, Ben attacks with a squawk and his teeth.

By the way I think they look more alike in the top picture than they have before. Everybody says Max looks like JB and Ben looks like me. They are looking at me in the top picture as I tried to get them to smile for the camera. That's often how that goes too.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Random Pictures

I'm not sure if I ever posted these pictures of the boys. Eh, they are worth posting again.

This was a few months ago. We are still using this seat. He may be just a leetle too big now. Isn't it great how fat rolls are adorable on a baby?

Here's Max at the playground, before it turned colder. It's back up to 60s now, so in March this would be considered soooo waarrrmm.

Finally, look who still likes to grab his toes, even when he's asleep!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Mi telefono (a good news story)

In the news we often are criticized for telling the bad news and not the good news. So here's a good news story. I would type it in BROADCAST STYLE CAPS like I do at work, but it looks like shouting. Here goes:

A local woman is sending a heart-felt thank you to a good samaritan this morning. Mary joins us live with the story, Mary?

Yes that's right. This woman, we'll call Bary or Shary or Kary, lost her cell phone while on a walk with her two adorable boys and one adorable husband around the park yesterday afternoon. She says she didn't realize it until she got home. She looked in the pocket of her hoodie jacket and all over the stroller and in her husband's pants pockets, but it wasn't there. While holding back the panic she started calling the cell phone from her home phone. A lot. Then a call came in from a young man saying he and his dog found this phone while on a walk around the same park. Breathless and grateful, Shary rushed back to the park and met him halfway. She offered him cookies, cash, a cake in gratitude but he smiled and went along his way with his dog. Since Mary - er, Kary - forgot to get the good samaritan's name, she hopes this story will reach his ears and he will know he's much appreciated. Back to you!

You see? Good news happens.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Self-restraint (or just cheap?)

I stepped into Target during a spare moment yesterday. But I tend to be indecisive and cheap. Here are the things I picked up, looked at and considered, but did not buy.

  • An orange long-sleeved T-shirt with a small broomstick picture on it. For me for Halloween.

  • A sippy cup with "Itsy Bisty Spider" on it. For Max for Halloween.

  • A "I love mummy" onesie for Ben for Halloween.

  • Candy. For me, not for halloween.

  • A small notebook with owls on the cover for my friend Autumn.

  • Lip Gloss

  • Sparkly, bangly earrings, necklaces and bracelets

  • Formula. Ben is really cutting back on nursing and lunged after another baby's bottle at church. I can't decide if I should just keep pumping until he's old enough for whole milk in a few weeks, or let the boy wean like he seems to want to do. Except in the middle of the night. That's when he likes me again.

  • A ________ for JB, for Christmas or our anniversary. I redacted the item in case he reads this post.

  • Cardigans. All of them. I hear they are "it" for fall.

  • Shoes

  • Pillows with fall foilage and pumpkins sewn on them.

The things I am still thinking about after walking away are: The orange shirt, cardigans and the small notebook. I should have bought an owl notebook for myself too. That way I could make little bullet point lists in it of "Things to buy," like Buy ________ for JB, for Christmas or our anniversary.

Monday, October 13, 2008


My helpers were up in my grill on Saturday for a full day of cleaning, baking, shopping and laundry-ing. Notice Max's bubble gun on the counter -- his prize for the poop sticker chart. He has not let it out of his sight since Friday.

Below are the boys after helping me "fold" the laundry in the basket. They basically tossed the laundry out and climbed in.

Below is the candy corn cake I made for my brother Joe's birthday. When I cut out a triangle, it looked like a piece of candy corn. I feel like quite the domestic diva.

Sunday, October 12, 2008


It turned cold this weekend, and what do I love better than a nice hoodie jacket?
A baby in a hoodie!

Max put his hood down, but showed off his new toy he received for filling out his sticker chart on the fridge for ....wait for it .... pooping on the potty all by himself! Way to bury the lead. Ramble on about the cold and hooded sweatshirts before getting to the real news. Finally, a cooperative pooper! Life is VERY good.

Friday, October 10, 2008


Tonight I am going on a date with this guy.

No, we aren't going golfing although he did teach me to golf on some of our first outings together. Tonight he's taking me to dinner at Z Tejas, then a movie. What's that, a movie in the theater? I can't remember the last one we went to...wait, it was Indiana Jones.

To feel all fancy for my main squeeze, I curled my hair.

It may not be a surprise to him though. I'm pretty sure he saw me in my pink curlers last night.
I took these self-portraits at the airport, where I was reporting live this morning. I couldn't decide which one I liked better so here's another one.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Toasting the dress

I bought a new dress from Layers this week.

Mine's sapphire blue, and it doesn't quite look like that on me. For one thing, I'm nursing a baby, that model is obviously not. My dress also goes past my knees. But I feel cute and feminine in it.

In fact I felt so cute I also felt like making a last-hurrah-to-summer salad, and tried making my own croutons. While taking my time picking tomatoes outside, the croutons did this:

Crunchy, burnt and black. I decided the salad would be fine without them!

Candy Corn Cake

I am obsessed with the idea of making a Candy Corn Cake. Why? I love candy corn, I love fall, I love cake. Oh, and two of my brothers have birthdays next week and they live nearby so it would be a nice thing to do for them. But in my head it looks different than what I found with the help of a little thing called Google.

For instance, this one seems to need a special pan or lots of patience to make the cake itself and the frosting different colors.

This one below looks doable, and I think it's just a simple as getting a cake to come out of your rectangular pan and then cut it like a triangle and use different colored frosting.

This one below looks divine, but again, I don't know how to shape it that way and how to pipe all that frosting on without serious carpal tunnel.

I found this recipe too that simply says cut round cakes into triangles and decorate each triangle with orange, yellow and white frosting. Or I could go the cupcake route. Or I could sprinkle a normal cake with tons of actual candy corns.
We shall see what I end up with!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Baby Dragons

JB wandered into Old Navy and saw just a few costumes left, including this darling red baby dragon. Since Max's green dragon costume still fits, that sealed the deal. Two dragons!
Ben actually kept giggling at Max's outfit, trying to grab his hood, wings and tail. We showed him the mirror and he realized he had all those things too.

But now Max wants to be a dragon every day. Since at 3 years old he doesn't quite have a concept of time yet, he's been begging to go trick-or-treating already and can't understand why it's not Halloween yet.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Big Plans

Max at Cornbelly's last year. We want to go again this month soon. Very soon, because Halloween is upon us!

All of a sudden, the weather turns cold and I feel Halloween coming on. Before the weekend I think I was in denial that it was coming. But give me some cold rain and I rush out and buy Halloween decorations. I also have a Halloween to do list:

1) Try Max's dragon costume on him again to see if it fits. Here he is last Halloween:
2)Try JB's old monkey costume on Benny. Max wore it at 15 months, Ben is 10 months now. Or should I get another animal from Costco before they are all gone?
3) Go to a pumpkin patch and hay ride with friends. Here we are last year (I was almost 8 months pregnant)

4) Decide which other place would be fun too. So far I have heard of three or four different places that offer trick-or-treating for kids in costumes, rides, face-painting, animals and other frivolity with different themes -- pioneer village, old shoppes, mini-animals, large inflatables -- which one to pick?!

5)Bake bake bake. Orange orange orange. And black.