Monday, June 30, 2008

Bee Ball

What he is saying the most these days is "bee ball, bee ball." Translation: Big Ball, Big Ball.
Yesterday we went to Target and were in the toy department looking for something for Zoey's birthday. When he discovered a bin of balls and required that his daddy dig through and get a very certain ball - which happened to be at the bottom of the bin.
We tried to leave without it, but ended up having to tell him that Daddy would buy it while he and I went out to the car to change his diaper. Clint didn't buy it, buy when we got home the very first thing he did was point at the target bags and say "bee ball, bee ball."
We may very well have passed the time where we can tell him we're going to buy something and "accidentally" not buy it.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Better late than never

I had a meeting this morning with people in Norway and France. On the phone. It was a little harsh and I’m kind of surprised I’m not bleeding somewhere.

Yesterday was a little rough too, but luckily when I threatened the guy down the hall that if he didn’t lend me fifty cents to buy a diet Dr. Pepper that I would shoot people, he ponied up the money right away. Good thing too, because I didn’t want to have to go through the whole buying a gun, waiting three days, coming back to shoot people – it just wasn’t a really strong plan to begin with.

At this point I kind of just want to go home and play ball with someone even if they don't understand they're supposed to toss the ball back in the general direction of the person they're playing with.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

I Wanna Dance!!!**

**Name that movie.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

He stole my brownie

I went to the kitchen at work yesterday to refill my cup with water, and I spied a brownie. A leftover from a meeting.

I am not supposed to eat those brownies, I tell myself. Because, I'm like actually succeeding in this whole business of trying to be a different shape, and who wants to mess with that?

But I did want the brownie. And I said - "oooh, that's my brownie." Ok, maybe I didn't say it. Maybe I just thought it. I was planning my attack. First, I refill my cup with water, then I'll saunter by and swoop over to pick up the brownie in one smooth motion and then I'll be free and clear to run off to my office and devour the thing.

As I finished filling my cup and I turned around to begin the swoop, the guy who was getting coffee snagged my brownie. Could he not read my mind? Did he not know that was MY brownie? GAH - I needed that brownie. Or maybe I didn't. But I did want it.

I shot him in the back of the head with my laser beams when he walked away. He pretended he didn't feel it, but I know he did.

Monday, June 23, 2008

It won't be the last time they're blamed for something they didn't do

I yelled at Scarlett last Sunday for getting on the guest bed after getting in the pool and leaving a huge wet spot. I didn't want to consider what I thought was the alternative - which is that she had peed in the bed.

We were leaving town this weekend and I figured I needed to get those sheets and the quilt washed Wednesday night. And when I went to retrieve them, the bed was still wet. Very wet. And the dogs had not been in the pool. And they had been kenneled in their crates all day while we were at work. And they hadn't even been upstairs yet.

And that's when I noticed the spot on the ceiling.

And that's when I tore through the house to turn off the air conditioner. And I pulled the ladder down from the attic and I shined a flashlight on a VERY full pan of water beneath our A/C thingy.

So I stayed home from work on Thursday and waited for the A/C guy.

In a strange sequence of coincidences the main line of our A/C unit was plugged with something and slime, AND a piece of insulation had fallen into the secondary pan blocking the drain to outside, so when the main line overflowed into the backup pan, it just collected and collected until it overflowed.

And I have fallen in love with our new A/C guy - who came out the very next morning and cleaned it all up for free.

Now I just have to buy a can of Kilz and a little white ceiling paint.


We (the entire family) spent the weekend working on Clint's grandparents house as a mother's day / father's day / birthday present to them. Clint and I got there Friday and started on some things so that more could be accomplished on Saturday.

Clint's grandmother spent the majority of the day looking after Landon. The two of them had a great day. And she (unbeknownst to me until it was almost gone) gave him about a half a can of diet coke. And we all learned a great lesson. No caffiene. Possibly ever again. In fact, I may physically tackle anyone who tries. Otherwise they had a great day and he behaved really well for her, she even managed to get him to take a nap (pre-diet coke.)

On Saturday, the rest of the family showed up and we painted the house, there were light fixtures added, electricity was run, and limbs were cut. There was little to no drama, and the whole thing went really well.

Also, I took about 100 pictures this weekend. And 85% are grainy and blurry. I may need to spend some time with my camera.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

My Fig Newton Returns

They finished and not 10 seconds later, the sky fell out.

I didn't really understand what the guy said when I asked how long we needed to leave the plastic on. But I think he said until it's pretty much dry - maybe a day. So I guess we probably won't get mail today.

They did a great job - and quick too, and he didn't leave me a phone number or anything, so I can't even recommend him to anyone.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

News people make me cranky

I'm kind of cranky today.

Last night we were watching the news and several stories smacked of "This just in...water is wet!"

And is it just me or could they stop reporting how high oil could go. I mean, if I were looking to buy oil as a commodity and they were all - oh, it's still going to go up another $45 a barrel, I'd be all over buying that crap. Which means it will go up. Which means it won't go down. And if they'd shut the hell up, maybe, just maybe, it would at the very least become stagnant. News bastards.

And also, maybe I'm too cynical to watch the news anyway, because they want me to feel sorry for a woman who let her 2 small children (ages 7 and 3) play outside at the apartment complex, went inside to throw a load of laundry in and came back and the kids were gone. But then didn't report them missing until 9pm. So either, she was letting them play outside in the dark - which means she's crazy to begin with...or she waited a hell of a long time to report them missing...or you know - the truth - which is something happened to those kids and she didn't think of her cover story until 8:45. She didn't seem very upset on the video they shot of her. Which my insides tell me means that she knows where those kids are (whether they are dead or alive.)

Ok, maybe I'm not "kind of" cranky. Maybe I'm very cranky.

"This just in, my kid does actually speak, but not so much in words or anything."

He's talking about the ducks he saw and how you can see the playground from the little pier thingy in the park. What, you didn't get that when you listened? Listen again.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Welcome newbies...

I got featured on a Good Mom/Bad Mom this week for this post.


So now I have all this extra traffic, and like - nothing profound or funny or anything.

We went out to dinner and a movie Saturday night to celebrate my professionalismness. We saw What Happen in Vegas. It was cute. And predictable. But funny.

And otherwise we pretty much stayed home. Which was a nice change of pace from our normal running around craziness.

I put my Home Inspector stuff in a backpack to start carrying around with me, so that when I have down time, I can study. I'm going to make a study plan today. (Why yes I do have a plan to make plans.) So we can move forward on that front.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Piece of cake

This is where the artsy fartsy in me and the engineer do not get along.

Here's my cake:
I was kind of disappointed that they just used the copier thingy of my picture that I had given them. But all the engineers on the project were sooooooo impressed that it looked just like a seal.
I didn't know if you wanted chocolate or vanilla, so I got you a piece of each.

This just in...I'm not 12 anymore.

Dude, I have been going around promising cartwheels to people for making me happy for a long time now and no one has actually followed up on that. Thank god.

So uh...I tried, but really, it's pretty clear I haven't done a cartwheel in like 18 years. It's kind of hard on the wrists. And also, I cannot for the life of me get my legs to cooperate in the staying straight department.

So here's take 1:

And take 2:

And finally the best I did on video:

And shortly after this, I did what Clinton called my very best one, and of course he was not recording.

I did order the cake, I'm picking it up at lunch, so there will be pictures and a virtual piece of cake for you after lunch.

Actual conversations with my husband

“What’s wrong with you?”

“I have a headache. Actually it might be meningitis.”

“Meningitis? Why would it be meningitis?”

“Because my neck is stiff.”

“Oh, well then I’ve had meningitis for years.”

“Well why the hell did you give it to me?”

“Because I can.”


(This is based on a sign giving silver alerts (like amber alerts but for elderly people) that we both see on the way home from work. It generally says something cryptic like “MISSING ELDERY BLUE BUICK TEMPLE, TX.”)

“Good god, another elderly Buick is missing.”

“There have been a lot of those in the past 6 months.”

“You’d think there’d be a better way to find a stolen car.”

“I know, and apparently they’re not classic cars, they’re elderly.”

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Big Helper

I didn't take these pictures. In fact I wasn't even around when this was going on, but I'm pretty sure I can narrate. Let's just say I was busy and leave it at that.

Yeah, busy. Wanna make something of it?


Hey...somebody left a tool bag open.

Good, I was looking for a couple hammers.

Now...what can I hammer?

This looks pretty secure.

This could use a little bit of hammering.

Nothing was damaged in the making of this post. Which is not to say that I would leave him unsupervised with a hammer or two - because good lord think of the possible destruction! Not that I would know if it had been. As I said. I was busy.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

I don't wanna brag

But, yeah, I kind of do.

Remember how I said that like there'd be cake and cartwheels?
Stay tuned.
Hopefully tomorrow - possibly Thursday - I guess it depends on the bakery.

Lake Dogs

One of the perks of my parents’ Lake House is that it’s secluded enough that we can let our dogs run free and we don’t worry about them. Everyone out there has dogs, and everyone out there lets them run around, so they’re on the look out for them when driving.

For a dog that will absolutely not deign to enter the pool, Fiona LOVES the lake. Probably because it’s a gradual entry instead of a step.

They will run and jump and play for hours and hours.

Until they fall over from sheer exhaustion.

Monday, June 09, 2008

It’s the Final Countdown…

So, I have some boring updates to post about various things going on in our lives.

#1 – Mailbox guy appears to have been a Fig Newton of my imagination. Which is sad, but I kind of expected it.

#2 – I got permission to take the inspector test from TREC. So I just need to set aside 50,000 bazillion hours to study for it. My final absolute deadline is 11/18/08 – and I have three chances. My plan is to study for a month or so and then take it. And we’ll go from there. I have to make an 80% and then I have to find some E&O insurance. For this test, I will know my results immediately, so I will know if I need to go back home and study some more.

#3 – My PE results will be in any day now. (Historically it would have been last week, but due to the change in the test format, I’m going to say at least 2 more weeks.) There will be cake and cartwheels if the results are good. There will be tears and fit throwing and cursing if the results are bad. I do not wish to speculate.

#4 – I have lived in Texas for my entire life and never seen a live armadillo until Sunday when we took Landon to the park and this guy was just out wandering around in the park. He even stopped to pose for Clinton to take a picture.

#5 – I started this morning with the prospect of actually maybe getting to work early. And then my coke fell out of my lunch bag and hit the glidey thing that the passenger seat slides on and punctured the can on my way to drop off Landon. And I got showered with coke, so I had to go home and change and wipe the entire cab of my truck down. Nothing makes me later than being just a little bit early. This had better not be a sign of how this week is going to go.

#6 - I printed 223 pictures for Landon's scrapbook this weekend. I sorted them and stuffed them in the pages where they go. One day I'll go back and put them in nicely and maybe add some captions. If he's lucky.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

My yard is full of penises

Did you know that some trees are male and some are female?

It's not true of all trees, because some contain both girly and boy parts. But those are boring. The two I can think of off the top of my head are banana trees and sago palms.

We have sago palms in our yard.

We have a lot of them. When they reach puberty, they grow their sex organs and let them all hang out in the open. We have three females, that look like this:

The seeds are in the "flower" - which is that ball on top.

The boys look like this:

Sometimes the boys get to a certain height and split. We like to refer to them as twins.

And then this happened:

On a tree that last year contained a single male cone. There are 12 cone points (at least). Duodecaplets.

And not just regular duodecaplets.

At least 8 of them are melded together. Siamese duodecaplets.

I don't even want to think about the trimming we will have to do when 12 sets of leaves try to emerge from this poor guy after the cones fall off.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Sewage, mailboxes, and inmates - in 3 hours or less

Monday held the weirdest random events I have ever had in the space of just a few hours.

I got home to a toilet bowl with low water in the bowl. This is not a good sign. I flushed. The water rose. And rose. And rose. And thankfully did not over flow. I plunged and plunged and plunged and absolutely nothing happened.

When Clint got home and he mentioned casually - "Hey maybe that's why the stuff was in the bathtub." "the stuff?" "You know, when the sewer backs up?"

I stupidly decided to check the other toilet downstairs. The water was, of course, low, I flushed. The water rose. And rose. And rose. And did over flow.

I had Clint go out to the cleanout and open it up. Last time, this cleared the pressure and the whole shebang was over. He said we had standing water at the cleanout. Bad news.

So I called the water district. They said they would send someone out. Good news. 2 hours later he showed up. Bad news. It was on their side and they fixed it. We're flushing with the best of them now! Good news.

In the midst of this, the doorbell rang. Two little kids asked me if I wanted a brick mail box. Well, heck yeah - but the last guy quoted me $850. $850!! So I was skeptical. Clinton had gone to pick up Landon, and since we had already bought the material to build the metal mailbox, I didn't want to make this decision on my own. I mean, his price was $200. I hemmed and hawwed, and in the mean time Clinton arrived home. I summoned him out to the front yard and as soon as the words "for two hundred dollars" were out of my mouth. He was all "do it!" DO IT! DO EEET!

We speculated as to why this guy could be so much cheaper, we decided maybe he's a bricklayer and out of work because of the housing market. Whatever, he's probably an illegal alien and I just dashed any 4th grade hopes I had of becoming president. I'm sticking with my first story though.

He said he'd be back Tuesday afternoon to do it...but he wasn't. So I guess we'll see. I didn't give him any money or anything, so if he just disappears into thin air, it's not like I lost anything out of the deal.

Also, while waiting the 2 hours for the water guy, we recieved about 6 bazillion phone calls from strange numbers and pay phones. 4 from a pay phone at the Harris County jail. And 2 from a woman who seemed to believe that Ina or Ezza lived with us, despite the fact that I kept telling her she had the wrong number. The second time, she didn't hang up before saying "Damon, she says I have the wrong number." Poor Damon, asked a girl for her number, can't exactly remember her name, and totally got given a fake number - he just can't catch a break. 1 was from the guy they were sending out - which we were expecting, so I had to keep answering all of them, because who knows what number the sewer guy is going to call from.

Anyway, for the jail house calls (which showed up simply as "PAY PHONE") I did not accept the charges, so I hope no one I know is in jail. If it was you, sorry about that, but honestly, if I'm the only person you can call, you've got bigger issues.

One time a long time ago, I did accept charges from a similar call - mostly because it was during a time period where it was a real possibility that someone we knew may have been in jail. (It was not them.) But the guy gave me some sob story about being in an accident, having a warrant, being arrested and something about a baby, and how he'd dialed the wrong number and they wouldn't let him make another call, so could I please call his mother - her extension was *72, but I had to dial it first. He was pretty convincing, he probably should be an actor or salesman. Nevermind that I have some experience using this new fangled telephone-talky machine, and I'm pretty sure there's no way to dial an extension before you dial the number, so I didn't. Thank goodness I'm suspicious like that - because when I looked it up on the internet I figured out exactly what he was up to - *72 makes it so that he can make calls from his number and charge them to my phone bill. So I was glad to hear they added this to the little recording "you have a collect call from an inmate at the Harris County Jail. If an inmate asks you to make a call pressing *72, this is a scam and may result in excess charges to your phone bill..." I worried about the little old ladies who would get his call and just do exactly as he said.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Monthly Newsletter #20

Dear Landon,

Seriously? It’s been a whole month?

Ok…well, let’s see. You are beginning to say more recognizable words. Still not enunciating or anything, but definitely saying them. You don’t always remember that a “yes” head movement is up and down, and sometimes when you mean yes, you shake your head side to side.

You are all about legos. We went down a size to the duplo ones. Do you have any other toys? You don’t know. Or you don’t care. You are all about the legos. Putting them together, taking them apart. “Whatever, you are saying, I can’t hear you, I am playing with my legos.”

Also. Balls. Or “ball, balls” as you say it.

Never you mind that little ponytail you have. It's not something we do on a regular basis. You saw Zoey get hers and insisted on having one of your own. We obliged thinking you would rip it straight out. But you didn't. You wore it for a few hours, before you decided it worked better as a bracelet.

We took you to the zoo this month and while looking at the elephants you started hissing. “sssst, ssst.” We asked you if you were calling the elephants and you just smiled. Now every time you see a picture of an elephant or a toy elephant and we ask you how do you call an elephant, you make the “ssst, ssst” noise. It’s almost as cute as when we tell you to “hulk up” and you tighten your fists and lift your shoulders.

Your father and I found the secret to your shoe success. We went to the Stride Rite Outlet and bought 2 pair of shoes for the price of your last 1 pair of shoes. You did manage to wear that first pair for a long time, and I appreciate that greatly. We’re going to aim for the same this time around too. So let us have a couple months with your new shoes, that’s all I’m asking.


Monday, June 02, 2008


So, Mom pointed out that there's a state park within reasonable driving distance of their lake house and maybe there was something I could do with the girls there that would qualifiy for a "mystery activity." So I looked up the geocaches in that area and I found 3 in the state park and 3 at the historical site for which the park is named.

And because I know from experience that you don't always find the geocache the first time out, I recruited Clinton to help me "pre-find" the geocaches.

We went to the state park, which was beautiful. We parked, and everyone was ceremoniously sprayed with bug spray.

We set our sites on what I thought would be the easiest to find. And didn't find it. We found the coordinates, but no cache was to be found. It happens, sometimes the whole shebang is missing, and sometimes, it's just really well hidden. I should have looked at the pictures before we went. I now think I know where that thing was and we were pretty much right on top of it.

We kind of half ass looked for the second one, and never even came close to the coordinates. But we did have a nice walk and find a pier thingy to look out over the lake.

We drove to the historical site, and without getting out of the truck, I found that we would easily get at least one of those two and I have a general idea of one other. We didn't even bother with the first one, because it mentions barking dogs, and we had our two with us.

One lesson learned? Geocaching is much harder with a toddler and 2 dogs, even if you have an extra adult person. Geocaching as a family may have to wait another year or so until Landon can better understand that we're not out there just to whine in the woods.