Thursday, December 27, 2007

Still Here...

Things have been busy the past week or so. We thought we lost our digital camera at the school after AJ's Christmas program, but got it back yesterday....yippee! With the camera missing, I was only able to shoot video on Christmas morning. I haven't gotten anything off of either camera yet, so be patient...Christmas tales are coming...

On a side note, I will be a single mom again for a few days at the beginning of January. Hubby and his best friend are headed to New Orleans for the BCS Championship game. (Yes, this is the same friend he went on the August cruise with....and no, I haven't run away for my own trip yet...I'm still open for suggestions.)

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

She's Still Sleeping

(AJ's job since we put up the Christmas tree is to push to button to turn on the lights and start the angel moving on the top. AJ calls it "waking up the angel." )

Overheard yesterday evening...

Daddy: "AJ, you wanna wake up the angel?"
AJ: "She sleeping."
Daddy: "I know. Do you want to wake her up? She's been sleeping all day."
AJ: (pointing to the window) "See the window, Daddy?"
Daddy: "Yes."
AJ: "It dark outside. She sleeping."

Given how early it gets dark these days, our angel is going to be very well rested...

Monday, December 17, 2007

Futbol game

On the way to church yesterday, we passed the fields at Cullen Park. As always, there were teams already playing.

AJ: "Look Mommy, they playing football!"
Me: "Actually sweetie, they're playing soccer."
(Pause)
AJ: "No Mommy. Not playing soccer. They playing football."

Once again, I can't really argue with the kid...(See my last post as to why my explanations are just not working...)

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Joseph Who?

If you are familiar with us, you will remember that AJ has a fascination with God and Jesus. We like to think that he remembers Him being with him in the hospital when we could not be. Since it is Christmas-time, AJ is surrounded by lots of nativity scenes and pictures of baby Jesus. He always makes sure to point them out to me.

The problem seems to be with Joseph. AJ will look at a nativity scene and name everyone except Joseph. I have been trying to lead him into it by pointing to each person.

"Who's that?"
"Baby Jesus."
"And who is that?"
"Jesus mommy. Mary."
"Who is Jesus daddy?"



"God."


Well, I can't argue with him on that.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Updating the baby book

I got to enter another date in AJ's baby book last night. He undressed and put on his pajamas ALL BY HIMSELF. We made a HUGE deal out of it with high fives, hugs and kisses. He was grinning ear to ear and was very proud of himself. Over the weekend he started having me just turn the bathroom light on for him, and he did everything else on his own while I was in another room.

His big thing right now is getting to push the button to turn on the Christmas tree lights all by himself. He likes "waking up the angel" on the top.

My little baby is turning into Mr. Independence....

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

American Soldier Needs Our Help

A friend's nephew, who has been deployed in Iraq with the U.S. Army has recently suffered a tragedy.

On December 4th Alex Shew and his wife Cassie were expecting their first child. Nevertheless, MaKenzie Michelle Shew was born on November 8th. She weighed 6 pounds 6 ounces and everything about her seemed healthy. MaKenzie was released from the hospital earlier than expected. Because MaKenzie was born early Dad (Alex) was unable to get back from Iraq in time for her birth.

This past Sunday Alex and Cassie awoke to discover that McKenzie had passed away. Although the autopsy results are not complete the death is being ruled a case of SIDS.

As an active duty soldier in the Army, money is very tight for Alex and Cassie. They simply do not have the money for MaKenzie's funeral expenses. Alex has received an interest free loan from the government so that he and Cassie can have their daughter's funeral. Alex has not asked anyone for help; nevertheless, his Aunt (our friend) has set up a memorial fund to help pay for the loan.

I know that all of you will keep Alex and Cassie and this entire family in your prayers as they go through this troublesome time. I hope that you may find it in your heart to send a few dollars to help Alex and Cassie pay for their beautiful little girl's burial. I have included the information below if you can help.

Thank you for your love, support and prayers. Remember to give your little ones an extra hug and kiss this evening and thank God for His blessing on their lives.

Donations can be made by mailing a check or money order made out to MaKenzie Shew Memorial Fund to:

MemberSource Credit Union
10100 Richmond Ave
Houston, Texas 77042
Account Number: 659850-4

Alternately, you may drop off your donation at any of MemberSource Credit Union's branch offices or a Shared Service Credit Union location. To find a branch or Shared Service Credit Union location near you go to the following web address: http://membersourcecu.locatorsearch.com/index.aspx

Thank you...

Monday, November 26, 2007

Hi-ho the dairy-o

We went up to East Texas for the long Thanksgiving holiday. Much fun and food was had by all. On Friday, we all went to Jefferson, TX to ride the Santa Train along the river to see the Christmas lights. Of course, AJ had a blast riding another choo choo train. Unfortunately, he wasn't so enamored of the Santa that was there. We had to put people in between AJ and Santa to run interference, because AJ would completely flip out whenever he saw Santa. It's just like he does with the Santa at the mall. Doesn't want to go NEAR him.

Funny side note -- AJ was playing with some toys in the living room on Saturday afternoon. One of the toys was a small stuffed cow. He turned the cow over, pointed to the underside of the cow, and told me "the cow have milk." He then proceeded to lift the cow up to his mouth like he was drinking the milk straight from the cow! Umm...okay....this is new knowledge...

On Sunday, we all went to lunch after church and ate pizza with the Mayor. He and his ladyfriend are very nice people. He has been Mayor there for 28 years...we all felt very important...lunching with the big wigs...

Friday, November 16, 2007

Prematurity Awareness Month

For anyone who didn't already know - November is Prematurity Awareness Month. Here are some startling statistics:
  • Babies born at 23 weeks gestation have a 17% chance of survival.
  • Babies born at 24 weeks gestation have a 39% chance of survival.
  • Babies born at 25 weeks gestation have a 50% chance of survival.
  • 1 in 10 premature babies will develop permanent disabilities, such as lung disease, cerebral palsy, blindness, or deafness.
  • 50% of babies born before the 26th week are disabled; 25% of those severely so.
  • There is a greater risk of severe disability and lower cognitive function results for boys compared to girls. This supports the theory that male sex is an important risk factor in extremely premature infants.
  • In 2004, 12.5% of US babies were premature (less than 37 weeks). That is an 18% increase over the rate in 1990.
  • In Texas, that rate is 13.7%.
  • That accounts for 1 in 7 babies.

Through my blogging this past year, I have discovered many other women who are living with children who were very premature. Reading their experiences has made me feel a lot less guilty and a lot MORE blessed. Although he was born at 26 weeks, AJ was growth restricted, and at only 18 ounces, was measuring the size of a 23-weeker.

My world has been blessed with this tiny baby whose life could have turned out so differently. The following ladies have been a true inspiration to me:

There are numerous more stories out there available through the March of Dimes. So if you see a small child who maybe seems a little "different" or "small for his age", remember what a survivor he/she may be. Give that little miracle a special smile and a special prayer.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

BUSTED

I so TOTALLY got busted by a three-year-old last night.

I was experimenting with some baked spaghetti for dinner. We sat down to eat dinner. AJ took one bite of his food and said, "I want a meatball."

Me: "Sweetie, there's a meatball in there. Mommy just cut it up for you."

AJ: (digs around in the bowl for a bit) "Mommy that's not a meatball -- that's PEPPERONI!"

Hubby smirks in my generally direction and mutters "busted!" under his breath at me.

I had never heard AJ use the word "pepperoni" before...I guess the days of him believing everything I tell him are gone...and he's not even a teenager yet...

And you know...it wasn't even really about him catching me in a lie. It was the snarky tone of his voice when he did it!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

It's like...

New fad for the month seems to be similes. AJ is constantly telling us how something "is like" something else.

A packet of mayonnaise or ketchup at a fast food joint "is squooshy -- like Mommy."

A box truck driving down the road "is like a garbage truck."

A bird sitting on a power line "is like Zazu, from Lion King."

Last night in the bathtub he was playing with his shampoo visor that has a crab on it. "Mommy - a crab...like a lobster....she pinch. No! No! Lobster! No pinching you friends. Not nice."

Monday, November 05, 2007

A Night at the Museum

On Thursday night, the three of us attended a function at the Museum of Natural Science. It was an after-closing affair. That was nice, because there were no crowds. AJ absolutely LOVED the dinosaurs. We were not allowed to leave for the night without going to each one personally to say goodnight. We also found AJ quite interested in a short film about water vapor molecules. He even asked me yesterday where the "paper mall-cools went". While walking through the gem and mineral section, Hubby commented to me about a huge geode on display. AJ walked by us and declared, "that's a geode." Mr. Smarty-Pants Myna bird!

Note to self for our next visit: Do NOT take the three year old into the dark 3-D Imax to watch "Sea Monsters of the Deep" thinking he would enjoy the fish. I apparently wasn't paying attention to the title Sea MONSTERS....a sea monster with a very long neck and very very sharp pointy teeth came at him in 3-D. Not. Fun. At. All. He was still scared even after I took the 3-D glasses off of him. We had to leave after about 5 minutes of the movie.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Where Are Your Parents?

Other people's kids irritate the crap out of me. This was extremely evident at the Fall Festival we took AJ to last night. Turns out it was just an arena filled with about 8-10 giant inflatable moonwalks. The place was overrun with kids (and unfortunately adults) who have no consideration for the fact that they weren't the only ones there to enjoy themselves. Kids were allowed to run completely wild with no parent in sight. More than once, AJ was frightened to even go into a moonwalk because there were older kids in there fighting, wrestling and generally trying the tear the place up. And NO ONE SEEMED TO CARE! Where are these kids parents? What are they being taught other than to push everyone out of their way to get what they want? More often than not, we ended up carrying AJ around to keep him from being trampled by packs of kids on a sugar high.

And did I mention that this was a church-sponsored festival?! So. Not. Going. Back. AARRRGGGHHH!!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Halloween Memories







Halloween, 2004 - still in the NICU.
Costume was a bib that was more of a blanket.


















Halloween, 2005 - Big hit as a cute scarecrow.













Halloween, 2006 - Wouldn't keep the clown nose on.
Of course NOW he wears it all the time.













Halloween, 2007 - A firefighter cute enough for his own calendar!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

AJ's Big Adventure, Part Deux

After a HUGE day out with Thomas on Friday, we headed up to see Granny and PawPaw. They had some work that they needed some help with. Everyone pitched in to help - I was on the small tractor mowing, Hubby was weed-eating the pond-side of the dam, and AJ was helping Granny and PawPaw pick up the sticks and branches that had been knocked down by winds. AJ was often spotted dragging a branch much larger than himself and placing it in the front bucket of the tractor to be hauled away. His next chore was to help PawPaw drive the tractor around to dump the branches. (And yes, Hubby had to go up in the bucket of the tractor again with the chainsaw to trim branches back. He's starting to get the hang of it!)

Monday, October 29, 2007

AJ's Big Adventure, Part One


On Friday we took AJ to the Texas State Railroad to ride Thomas the Tank Engine at the Day Out With Thomas All Aboard Tour. We didn't tell him where we were going; he thought we were just going to spend the weekend with Granny and PawPaw. When we drove into the TSRR park, he saw a Thomas banner and got realy excited. When Thomas pulled into the depot, his little face just lit up! He was actually face to face with Thomas! Very cool. There were tents set up with different activities and entertainment to keep him busy until his time to board the train. The look on that child's face when he got on the train was absolutely PRICELESS!





When he went to bed last night, I turned to blow him a kiss as I closed the door.
He whispered, "Thank you, mommy."
Me: "What, sweetie?"
AJ: "Thank you for taking me on 'venture..."

Monday, October 22, 2007

Lack of Concentration

Daddy and AJ were (trying to) play a game of Memory/Concentration. Daddy explained the rules and the game began.

Daddy: " Okay, AJ, turn a card over...what's that?...oohh, a turtle. Turn over another one....oh, a crab....sorry no match."

(Daddy takes a turn with no match.)

Daddy: "Your turn...pick a card....Oh, look - it's a turtle. Where did you see a turtle before?"


AJ: (proudly) "In the water..."



Umm...yeah...but I don't think that was the answer Daddy was looking for...

Friday, October 12, 2007

HIJACKED - again!

I regret to inform the regular readers of the blog that the rightful blogger has suffered a Kafkaesque metamorphosis into a big ol' slimy germ. As a result she has been banished to the "Sickie room" until which time the germ decides to morph back into my lovely wife. I hope this happens soon, AJ and I are hungry.

Since germs are not allowed to write blogs (this would make them feel welcomed and we don't want to make the germ feel welcomed so it will go away soon) I have hijacked the blog again.


I want to tell everyone what great week AJ has had this week. It started Tuesday when both Mommy and AJ had dental appointments. AJ and I dropped Mommy off at her dentist and then drove over to AJ's dentist. If any of you are in the Katy or far west Houston area and need a Pediatric Dentist I highly reccomend Dr. Randy Hollenberg. Everyone over at his office is just fantastic. So this is AJ's first time in the "big chair." I'm seeing disaster written all over this. AJ, however, surprises me and is very interested in everything and extremely cooperative. He opens his mouth and allows the hygenist to clean his teeth and when the doctor comes he opens as wide as he can so the doctor can examine his teeth. In the end, I told AJ how proud I was of him and his little face just beamed. I know he was proud of himself.
After the dentist, since we were near AJ's pediatrician I decided we should go get AJ's flu shot. So AJ and I went over to pick up Mommy from the dentist and then drove over to Cinco Ranch Pediatrics (another great choice for parents in far west Houston or Katy). Before we go in, I tell AJ that he is going to get a shot and I need him to keep being a brave little boy. He says, "Ok".
Mommy gets a flu shot too (this is not what made caused the previously mentioned metamorphosis!!). Mommy goes first to show AJ that it isn't bad. AJ watches and then when it is his turn he bravely puts his arm out and receives his injection. A little flinch but no crying or whining. I beam proudly at my big boy.
Tuesday evening his Tae Kwon Do class. I tell AJ that he needs to listen to his instructor closely and do what is asked of him. AJ says, "Ok". During his Tae Kwon Do class AJ his marvelous and does everything that his asked of him. The instructor hands out tokens at the end of the class to the kids when they do well. The tokens can be saved to earn little prizes. AJ gets his first token!! He walks out of the class holding his token and just beaming. He knows that he has just accomplished something big and is once again very proud of himself.
On Wednesday AJ tells me that he was brave and he got his teeth cleaned. I never knew the dentist could be such a life changing event.
Thursday morning, Mommy's metamorphosis is complete. I am now a single parent. I have to 1) get myself out of bed (not an easy task), 2) get AJ out of bed (a little easier than me but not much), 3) get us both ready to leave, and 4) throw an antibiotic tablet at the germ in the "Sickie room". On this daunting morning my little boy is an absolute jewel. He wakes up, hops out of bed and is fully cooperative while I get him ready. He does, however, want to play with the germ because he thinks it looks like his Mommy. I try to explain that the germ is not his Mommy but I don't think he believes me.
Thursday night takes us back to Tae Kwon Do. Once again AJ "hits the ball out of the park." He listens to what all the instructors tell him and performs admirably. I beam proudly at my little boy. He is very excited and happy.
I like this little boy. Now how do I keep this one around instead of that stubborn, uncoopertive one that comes around every now and then?

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Continental Dinner

My (barely) three year old child spent dinner last night explaining to me that penguins live in Antarctica. Then he told me the names of the other continents.

This kid scares me sometimes...

Monday, October 08, 2007

Not nice

Conversation in my house on Saturday~~~

(Me snuggling with AJ and watching TV)
AJ reaches over and pokes me in the abdomen,
AJ: "Mommy, you squooshy.."
Me: "Umm...thank you sweetie."
(AJ crawls across my lap).
AJ: "Mommy, you got wrinkles."
Me: "I think I hear Daddy calling you."

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Birthday Party

Thursday the 27th was AJ's birthday. His day started off with a doughnut for breakfast at school. Then in the afternoon, Daddy and I took cupcakes and punch for a little party with his class. The kids all sang "Happy Birthday" to AJ before he blew out the candle.

Dinner was a trip to Chuck E. Cheese's for pizza and games with Mommy and Daddy. We had a great time. It was a VERY full day for him.

Saturday was his big party. We ordered a moonwalk, slushie machine, and catered fajitas. Some of his friends came and had a big Thomas-themed day. All of the kids were given conductor hats, train whistles, and noise-makers. AJ played in the moonwalk until way after dark. It wasn't picked up on time, so AJ and Daddy were even able to play in it on Sunday.





Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Little Ninja

AJ had his second Tae Kwan Do class last night. He is the smallest in the class (everyone else is 5), but he is doing his best to keep up. He alternates between a huge grin and an intense look of concentration. He did much better last night than last week. We still need to work on his listening skills...

But isn't he just the cutest thing!!


I'm still sorting through the pictures from last week's birthday festivities. Be on the lookout for a picture-laden post for that...

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Happy Birthday (The Story of AJ)

I was never good with babies and kids. I was the baby myself, and spent my whole life around people older than I was. Babies made me nervous. I knew even less about little boys.

Imagine my surprise.

I think we were planning to take a vacation somewhere. It occurred to me that I couldn't remember the last time I had a period. I wasn't too concerned since they weren't that regular anyway. But we decided to take a pregnancy test. It immediately came back positive. I had recently started a new job and didn't have insurance yet. Fortunately, we have a friend who is an Ob/Gyn and he agreed to examine me. Hubby and I figured that I was about 4-6 weeks along. Doc started with an internal ultrasound. To his amazement, he found a HUGE head! He quickly removed the wand and got the regular ultrasound set up. As he measured, he asked how far along we though I was. Looks like we had it all wrong -- I was measuring 12 weeks pregnant! Apparently I had missed my entire first trimester...I was due on New Year's Eve.

Since I'm diabetic, we spent the next few weeks going to see Doc twice a week to set my insulin doses. I'm too chicken to give myself a shot, but Hubby was all too willing to tell me to "assume the position" twice a day so he could give me an insulin shot in the butt.

Everything seemed to be going fine. My sugar was fine, but Doc and I discussed the possibility that I would need a C-section because babies of diabetics tend to be on the large side. An ultrasound at 23 weeks confirmed that it was a boy. We decided on the name Anthony James (AJ for short). Daddy didn't like the name "Tony", so this was a nice alternative.

At 6 months my feet started to swell a little. Hubby was monitoring his blood pressure at home, so I started checking mine too. One Wednesday evening, I was checking my blood pressure while Hubby was getting ready for church. My pressure was a little elevated. Hubby mentioned it to Doc at church that night, and was told to have me stop by his office the next day.

On September 24, 2004 we went to his office after work. He did a short examination and left the room. When he came back in, he told us that I wasn't going home that night and asked me which hospital I wanted to go to.

We went home and grabbed a few things before checking in at Memorial Hermann Katy on Thursday night. I was put on a monitor for the night and was not allowed out of bed. By about 5:30am the next morning, the hospital decided I should be transferred. They were too small to handle a potential high risk delivery.

It was a Friday morning during rush hour, and they didn't want me off the monitors long enough to ride to the hospital. A tropical storm was due to hit the Houston area that day, so all of the Life Flight units were hangared. They found a small medical helicopter out of Conroe that was in air. They picked me up and took me on the 8 minute flight to Memorial Southwest.

Friday was a flurry of neonatologists and high risk specialists. I apparently had low anmiotic fluid along with my borderline pre-eclampsia. AJ kept compressing his cord and cutting of his circulation. I was given a bed and informed that I would be there for the rest of my pregnancy. A blood pressure cuff took readings every thirty minutes. Nurses came in to draw 6 vials of blood every 6 hours, then every 12 hours. I was started on steroids and surfactant to help with lung development in case we had to deliver and magnesium sulfate to prevent the risk of seizures from the high blood pressure. (P.S. Mag is some NASTY stuff and would require a post of its own!) I settled in. We brought in pictures and things from home to make the hospital room more cozy.

On Sunday afternoon, Doc visited me with news. He said he couldn't explain it, but all of my bloodwork had gone in completely (good) the opposite direction than they expected. I might be able to go home on bed rest in about three weeks instead of three months. The high risk specialist would be back on Monday to check my progress.

Monday's ultrasound was not good. AJ was now getting reverse flow through the umbilical cord. He had not grown much since the ultrasound three weeks earlier. He was becoming growth-restricted. The doctor said we would need to deliver now. The neonatologists at Memorial Southwest were on call, but could take up to 20 minutes to arrive when needed. The decision was made to move me again.

We were on the road again - this time to the "mother ship" - Memorial Hermann Medical Center. This time I was transported in an ambulance with Hubby and my parents following behind. I was checked in at 2:00pm on Monday, September 27th. Within a few minutes, a nurse informed me that I was next in line. WHAT?!

A parade of social workers, specialists, and neonatologists came in to give us an update. The scenario -- few babies this small survive; the ones that do survive have severe medical and developmental problems. There were risks of deafness, blindness, brain bleeds...the list went on and on. It seemed pretty hopeless. I was terrified. Hubby and I asked for a few minutes alone to consider saying goodbye to our little one.

At 6:00pm I was taken in for an epidural. At 6:34pm, tiny little AJ was delivered. He weighed only 18 ounces and was 10 inches long. Hubby heard a small sound from the next room while they were working on him. He assumed it came from somewhere else, because how could something so small make any noise? Turns out it really was out little guy.


It was late the next evening before I got to see him for the first time. A week later I was able to hold him for the first time.

The next two and a half months were spent driving from Katy to the Medical Center every night. At six weeks old, AJ finally reached 2 pounds. He was fed through a tube until he could be taught to suck, swallow, and breathe at the same time. He had an umbilical hernia and two inguinal hernias. His thyroid was not functioning properly, so he needed medication for that.

On December 8, 2004 the doctors decided that he was basically just taking up space. They were a little nervous because they had never discharged a baby who was still so small, but they couldn't find a medical reason to keep him. At the doctor visit the day after he was discharged, he weighed exactly 4 pounds.

He had surgery at 6 months old to repair the inguinal hernias. The umbilical hernia repaired itself. He takes one small pill each day to assist his thyroid. His eyesight and hearing are completely normal. He is testing developmentally within his age range.


As of a week ago, he finally made it to 28 pounds. He's still a little small for his age, but he makes up for it with a lot of spunk.

He makes me laugh; he makes me cry; and he frequently frustrates and infuriates me. And he melts my heart when he looks at me and says, "I love you, Mommy."

Happy Birthday, my little miracle! God must have something really special in mind for you...


Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Who Lives Here?!

There has been a flurry of cleaning and organizing around our house lately. Most of it in preparation of AJ's birthday party this Saturday. Some of it because I'm tired of looking at all of the clutter. One of my projects this weekend was cleaning out the cabinet next to the refrigerator. This is where we have kept all of our alcohol. Please let me preface this picture with the disclaimer that we never drink. We have maybe 2 drinks a year...but for some reason Hubby keeps bringing home bottles from our vacations.



We look like a bunch of alcoholics!!

Even AJ decided to hide!


Monday, September 24, 2007

Accidents (Weak stomachs beware)

Why is poop so fascinating to kids?

Anyone familiar with AJ knows that he's kinds of scrawny and small for his age. Unfortunately, that makes it hard to find clothes (and underwear) that fit him. His clothes tend to be baggy enough that anything in his underwear has the potential to fall out. More than once he has left a "trail of rabbit pellets" behind him on the way to the potty after an accident.



Last weekend, I left him playing with toys in the living room while Hubby was working on the laptop and I was cleaning another part of the house. I returned to the living room to find AJ smashing something onto the top of his Duplo blocks. He looked up to tell me he was "making dots". It didn't immediately click with me what he was doing until he showed me one of his Little People dolls and informed me "Derek poo poo on hisself". To my horror (and disgust) I realized that he had taken out what he had deposited into his underwear and stuffed it inside the hole on the bottom of his Little People. This apparently was also what he was using to "make dots" on his Duplo table.



As punishment for not paying attention to what he was doing in the same room, Hubby was left to clean up the toys while I cleaned up the toddler.



I am SO hoping there are no surprises left for me to discover at a later date....



Totally nasty~~~~~

More randomness

Saturday was spent on another round of cleaning to prepare for AJ's birthday party. This day brought us outside again to pull all of the dead weeds out of the back flowerbed. AJ got bored after about thirty minutes of "helping* us" and decided "I hot. I wanna go in my house." This is a phrase he would repeat OVER and OVER and OVER until we finished weeding...

(*Helping us consisted of filling up the bed of his Tonka dump truck with the pulled weeds and rolling them to the trash can for disposal.)

Hubby and I were working on something at the side of the house when we heard a loud CRASH and scream come from the garage. AJ was apparently trying to climb the 10' ladder in the garage, fell off and pulled it over on top of himself. I took him in the house and put ice on his head, because that's where he said it hurt. It wasn't until later that day when I was helping him potty that I saw the big red scrape and bruise on the middle of his back.

On Sunday we almost had a wreck on the way to church. While driving down the freeway, a spider fell from the headline of the car and landed on the steering wheel. Anyone who knows us, knows that Hubby is EXTREMELY arachnophobic. He just about had a stroke and ran off the road yelling at me to do something. I finally managed to chase it off the steering wheel, across his lap and onto the floorboard. I imagine we were quite a sight to the other drivers on the road.

(Completely on a side note: AJ is either becoming modest or more independent. I took him to the potty yesterday and he told me to leave the room before he would pee.)

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Randomness

We went out of town for Labor Day weekend. Hubby and AJ picked me up at work on the way out of town. AJ was singing "We Are Family" over and over again until he finally fell asleep.

AJ's new word for this week: "Empire". He was watching "Star Trek" with his Daddy and picked it up from the show. Now he wanders around asking me what the empire is doing.

Plans are coming together for AJ's birthday party on the 29th. Hard to believe he's going to be 3! I think the party may be a little extreme. There's a 5 in 1 moonwalk, catered fajitas, pinata, and a margarita/slushie machine. What do you think? Too much?

Sunday afternoon we decided to get brushes and bleach and scrub the hardiplank on the back of the house. AJ played with his "water table" in another part of the backyard while we scrubbed. When we finished, I started pulling wees from the flowerbed. While bent over in the flowerbed, I got a shot of cold water on my backside. Apparently AJ figured out how to use the sprayer nozzle at the end of the water hose. He sneaked up behind me and shot me in the butt! When I screamed and turned around, he was very proud of himself, standing there laughing. Daddy came up about that time, and I thought I would have to pick him up off the ground because he was laughing so hard...

Monday, I took the day off work. My back was hurting so much I had to have help getting out of the bed to go pee.

We are still trying to book the last cabins for the group cruise out of Galveston in February...all deposits have to be in by October 1st.

Things are getting busier and busier...

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Wardrobe Malfunction

There seemed to be a little confusion when we picked AJ up from school yesterday afternoon. He was wearing someone else's shorts and underwear. The little boy who owned them was wearing AJ's clothes. We were a little concerned about how this could have occurred until we remembered that they had "splash day" yesterday. The teacher must have switched their clothes when they changed out of their swimsuits. We needed to switch them back before we left the school, and AJ decided that I should do it. Then we had a minor meltdown because he liked wearing the Scooby Doo underwear...

He never seemed to stop chatting from the time we got home until he went to bed last night. He barely even ate any of his dinner because he had so much to say. He's getting a bad habit of repeating what he wants about 912 times. I had a headache, and told him "I understood you after the first 47 times"... Daddy fell out laughing at me. I however, just needed the incessant repetition to stop...

I know I have been getting more sporadic with my posting, but work has really picked up and there hasn't been much time.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Nine Words Women Use

I like this, so I thought I would share it.

1) FINE: This is the word women use to end an argument when they are right and you need to shut up.

2) FIVE MINUTES: If she is getting dressed, this means a half an hour. Five minutes is only five minutes if you have just been given five more minutes to watch the game before helping around the house.

3) NOTHING: This is the calm before the storm. This means something, and you should be on your toes. Arguments that begin with nothing usually end in fine.

4) GO AHEAD: This is a dare, not permission. Don't do it!

5) LOUD SIGH: This is actually not a word, but is a non-verbal statement often misunderstood by men. A loud sigh means she thinks you are an idiot and wonders why she is wasting her time standing here and arguing with you about nothing. (Refer back to #3 for the meaning of nothing.)

6) THAT'S OKAY: This is one of the most dangerous statements a woman can make to a man. That's okay means she wants to think long and hard before deciding how and when you will pay for your mistake.

7) THANKS: A woman is thanking you. Do not question or faint. Just say you're welcome.

8) WHATEVER: Is a woman's way of saying &*^$ YOU!

9) DON'T WORRY ABOUT IT, I GOT IT: Another dangerous statement, meaning this is something that a woman has told a man to do several times, but is now doing herself. This will later result in a man asking "What's wrong?" For the woman's response refer to #3.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Test Results

I got a little bit of encouraging news this morning. My latest results are in from my quarterly blood tests. My Hemoglobin A1C level in May was 6.9; it is now down to 6.7. My total cholesterol is down 35 points. And I have lost 6 pounds. I haven't been doing anything really differently since that last tests in May. Maybe I'm getting a side benefit from living with Hubby's dieting ways.

Speaking of hubby....he left yesterday for his cruise to the Bahamas with his best friend. AJ hasn't really been too upset about it yet. I told him Daddy is on vacation. He seems okay with that. I get to be a single mom this week.

Yea?!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Discombobulated

Why does it seem like one glitch in a well-made plan can get you completely off for days after? I had a simple business meeting planned in Dallas last Thursday. I was to fly there on the 8am flight and come back on the 5:30pm flight the same day. I could travel light, as I was not staying for long. Unfortunately Tropical Storm Erin decided to make landfall that very morning. Although it did not hit Houston directly, we were on the "dirty" side. It was raining BUCKETS as we headed to the airport in the dark of the morning. By the time we took off, things had started to clear.
Unfortunately, another band of storms hit Houston during the early afternoon. All flights in and out of Houston were cancelled. HUH?! We had to scramble around to get me a hotel room in Dallas. I had no medications with me, no clothes, and no cash; I barely had a hair brush with me. I was confirmed for an 8:30am flight on Friday morning and had to convince one of my Dallas coworkers to pick me up at 6:45am and drive me to the airport.
Again, Hubby had dropped me off on Thursday and was now gone to work and unable to pick me up Friday morning at IAH. After a few phone calls, one of my Houston coworkers came to pick me up on his way to work.
Now everything seems to be in "catch up" mode. AJ started his new class yesterday. I have to help Hubby pack, as he is leaving on early this Sunday morning for a cruise to the Bahamas. I will be a single mom for the week. I am planning our company picnic for this Saturday. Hubby will be back just in time for us to leave town for Labor Day. The weekend after Labor Day we will go out of town to visit my parents. The following weekend will be major cleanup to prepare for AJ's birthday party on 9/29.

And did I mention that we are still running a travel agency business on the side?...

Monday, August 13, 2007

Promotion

When we went to pick AJ up from school on Friday, a letter was waiting for us. We always figured AJ would change to the next class (300) when he turns 3 at the end of September. I was not prepared for a letter saying that starting next Monday, he will be promoted not to Room 300, but to Room 350! They're not waiting until his birthday. The promotion letter explained some of the changes AJ will have in the next class.

- They will primarily work in groups of 4 children who will rotate together through different "centers", with specific tasks to complete in each center. When they complete the tasks, there are "free centers" they can choose to play in.
- Centers will include phonics, writing, library/ listening, gymnastics, music, computer, and Character Counts. (That sounds like a neat program...)
- They will have a daily 30 minute Spanish lesson.
- They want the kids to be there no later than 8:30am and stay until 5pm to get the most out of all the rotations.

My baby is growing up too fast. His Daddy was trying to get him to say how old he is this morning. (Trying to get him to say 3.) AJ kept answering "I'm five!" Halfway to the school he declared that he was 6, and by the time we got to school he said he was 7.

I wasn't prepared to have to deal with this yet! Geez, I feel old....

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Toddler Idol auditions

Ok, I've been playing with the video camera again...so shoot me...

AJ was standing on his bed, with a sword "microphone", making his very best audition tape for "Toddler Idol". (Just in case they ever want to start one...)

http://www.mydeo.com/videorequest.asp?XID=3406&CID=120248

Monday, July 30, 2007

Fun with Exercise

I know what you're saying to yourself....."fun" and "exercise" are mutually exclusive. As you may have read in a previous post, Hubby has been working out to the Dance Dance Revolution game. AJ really likes to dance, too. I just HAD to post some video of AJ exercising. The video borders on long (about five minutes), but parts of it are just too cute for words!

Now get out there and get your groove on....

(Sorry the video is rather dark. It was 8pm....and pay no attention to the pile of toys AJ put in the corner before he could dance.)


Saturday, July 28, 2007

A message from AJ's Dad

Cindy has always said that she would give me the password and let me post on her blog if I wanted to. I've never felt like I have had anything important enough to say until now. However, it is midnight on Saturday morning and my family is currently sound asleep. I however, am wide awake and I have been forced to hack into Cindy's blog account because I have something important to say.

This weekend is my high school class' 20th anniversary reunion. This really doesn't interest me very much as I have not kept up with very many people from high school. Actually, I have kept up with only one person. My high school class had something like over 500 members in it. And only one of these was ever important enough to me to keep up with. At any rate, my friend asked me to come out to an unofficial reunion event tonight at the Firehouse Saloon. Since I do not get many opportunities to spend with my fried as he lives in the Dallas area now I obliged, despite the fact that I never cared for the "bar scene" even in my younger days.

Now as any of you that I have attended one of these events is aware everyone that you run into (whether they know or knew you or not) feels obliged to ask, "What have you been up to?" Yeah, like I am going to give you the history of my past 20 years. I don't even remember your name. Nevertheless, as some point during the evening and amongst the conversations I was forced to ponder what has happened to me over the past 20 years.

Has my life turned out as I expected it to? Am I where I wanted to be by this time in my life? Have I acheived my goals?

Again, if you have attended any of these events I would be willing to bet you can answer some of these questions in a very similar manner that I can. In case you are interested, my answer to all three of the above questions is a resounding no. However, the answer to the more important question is a resounding YES. What is that question? Am I happy with my life?

Over the past 20 years I have had many experiences. Some good and many not so good. In fact, my life has not turned out at all the way I expected. And I am nowhere near where I thought I would be. I don't know if I have acheived my goals. I must admit that I was never sure what my goals were.

But I am very happy with my life. I am not rich and successful (at least in the way that the world defines these phrases) by any stretch of the imagination. Like most of you I have had to scratch and claw my way to where I am today. But I am here and I have done it (to quote Frank Sinatra) my way. But most of all I have two things that nobody from my high school class, none of you, and in fact nobody else in the entire world will ever have.

This leads me to the reason I have hacked into Cindy's account.

Several years ago I lost a somebody that was the most important thing in my life -- my mother. My mother was my best friend and my greatest cheerleader. Whatever I chose to do or not do my mother was there to support me. No offense to any of your mothers or any of you mothers, but my mother was simply the greatest in the world. You would have to know the entire history to know why and I don't have time to tell you. This is already getting long. Now you are probably wondering about something that I lost. Because as is His way God took something valuable away from me only to replace it with something even better.

My wife has become my one and only cheerleader. She is there to support me in anything that I choose to do or not do. Best of all, no matter what happens my wife is always there to love me, comfort me and be with me. She truly has become my help mate and my confidant. She is my wife and my best friend. And nobody in the entire world will ever have my wife. She is mine and only mine - and I hers.

Cindy and I have been through some great time over the last several years. We have also been through some of the hardest times of our lifes together. Those of you that have been reading Cindy's post for a long time know what those hardest times are. If you don't you are going to dig back into the archives to find out because it is a long story and this is already getting long.

Nevertheless, I have one more thing that nobody in the world will ever have. I have one possesssion that is more valuable than all the gold ever found, lost, and to be found in the world. That one thing is my son, AJ. It has been nearly 3 years since AJ entered our lifes. In those three years I have experienced times that have put my faith in God to the test and I have received blessings beyond my imagination. This evening, before I left AJ brought me a few books to read to him. I read the books to him, albeit begrudingly at the time. In fact, I now feel guilty about this. These moments that I spent with the little guy are so priceless, when he looks at me and says, "I love you too, Daddy" I realize that every experience that I have ever had in my life, every path that I have been down as been to be this little boy's daddy. This is the job I was meant to have and this is the job that I embrace. I am proud to be AJ's Dad! And nobody else can ever say that.

However, I also look at AJ and I grow frightened. Frightened that I can not live up to the expecations that AJ has of me. Frightened by the very job that I embrace and love. But that leads me to the last thing that I have. But this thing is free to everyone. I have a Lord and Saviour that will always stand with me to guide and counsel me with the wisdom to do this job. A God that has promised me all the riches of Heaven and Earth. Afterall, it is the Father God, Jesus Christ and The Holy Spirit that has led me through all these experiences to bring me to here. To this place that I love and that I am happy with.

I am richer than any of you can be because I have Cindy and AJ. Nevertheless, I pray that every Daddy out there can be as rich as I am.

Cindy and AJ: This is meant for both of you to know how much I love both of you -- and I want everyone to know. Thanks for being my family!

Now, this has gotten pretty long already. If you will excuse me I need to email my wife the new password to her account so she can continue to bring you her Adventures in Toddlerhood. Thank you for allowing me to ramble on about my blessings and my family.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

So THAT"s what a navel is for!

After bath and before bedtime last night, AJ was cuddling with me in my chair. He decided he wanted me to read his "Jesus book" again. About halfway through the book, he tells me he wants to go to Jesus' house. "I 'na see Jesus house, mommy."

I pointed to his little chest and told him that Jesus lives in there. In his heart.

AJ lifted up his shirt, pointed to his navel, and asked me if Jesus went in through his belly button!

Now THAT'S classic!

Monday, July 23, 2007

Elmo is Zeus

AJ seems to like his Spanish class every week at school. Yesterday as we were driving down the road, AJ kept repeating, "Hola, amigas" over and over again. We were on our way to church, so this was often interspersed with "I wanna see Jesus. I go to Jesus house."

So we started playing with him on other phrases. You know, to stop the monotony or obsessive repetition....So Daddy tried to get him to say, "Te amo". Things progressed, and eventually we hear "Elmo is Zeus!" from the back seat.

Elmo is Zeus = Te amo, Jesus

Makes perfect sense, doesn't it?

Friday, July 20, 2007

Just Fooling Around


Had to take AJ to the doctor today. He has a bad sinus infection. I'm too lazy to write anything, so I'm unloading the camera....




Thursday, July 19, 2007

Milestones and Jay Coes

This is my 100th post! Start the fireworks!

AJ has been speaking so well lately that I tend to forget that I still have issues with his enunciation. He woke me up by whimpering in the middle of the night on Monday. When I went into his room, he was sitting on the edge of his bed. He looked up at me and said, "Jay Coes. I want Jay Coes." Huh? I patted him on the head, told him everything was okay, and tried to get him to lie back down. "Mommy, I want Jay Coes." Again, I'm getting nothing. Haven't the foggiest idea what the child is talking about. After repeating it a few more times, I got down on my knees to give him a hug, and realized he had pee'd on himself. AHA! Got it! "Dry clothes, baby? You want some dry clothes?" "Uh huh."

I peeled his wet pajama bottoms off and put on fresh underwear. He was perfectly happy, and went back to sleep....

Last night he saw a picture of a rocket in outer space in a book and has now decided he wants to ride a rocket. Not any rocket, mind you. A RED rocket. And he wants to go to the sun, the moon, and Saturn. He wants to take Chicken Little to a spaceship and meet some aliens...

Okay, sweetie, I'll work on that for you.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Fun Friday

Today was AJ's quarterly visit to the endocrinologist for his thyroid testing. Poor baby now recognizes the lobby of the Memorial Hermann Professional Building, and starts pouting and whimpering when you take him in the door. His quarterly visits require a trip to the lab where a parent (Daddy) has to hold him while the nurse draws two vials of blood from the tiny arm of the screaming toddler. He did really well today; was quite the brave soldier.

AJ now weighs 25.2 pounds and is 35 inches tall. This sounds great until you realize he is going to be three years old in another 2 1/2 months. Poor scrawny kid...but considering the size he started out, he's actually pretty big.

Speaking of "scrawny"....Hubby has been on a diet for the past month. He measures portions carefully, counts calories and fiber intake, keeps a detailed online food journal, and has begun exercising. We have the "Dance Dance Revolution" game for PS2. It has a nice workout mode that we think is a lot more fun than "real" exercise. It tracks how many calories you are buring while dancing. Well, he has lost over 12 pounds since he started. This afternoon when we got back from the medical center and obligatory guilt trip to the zoo afterwards, Hubby carried a tired toddler back into the house. When he put AJ down, he stood up and his pants FELL COMPLETELY DOWN AROUND HIS ANKLES! Tee heee....I could barely get out of the car to come in the house because I was laughing so hard... He's doing really well at keeping with his program. He worked off 2,000 calories last night after we got home, and is going at it again right now while I blog.

I took some funny video of one of these nightly workouts that I need to figure out how to post. We have an older dance mat that is not connected to the PS2 that we lay down for AJ while we are working out. AJ loves to dance along next to Daddy...it's very cute.

Monday, July 09, 2007

All dressed up and no place to go

This is not the first time this has happened. It looks really cute, but could be a little disturbing if he keeps it up.

Today when we picked up AJ from school, we walked into his classroom, and he came running toward us wearing a frilly, organza, princess dress! His teachers told us that he picked it out himself, and put it on all by himself.

The child can't seem to get himself dressed in the mornings, but he can put on a pretty dress! Here I thought we were making progress because he has started being able to pull his pants up by himself after he goes to the potty....guess that's not as glamorous as cross-dressing....

Monday, July 02, 2007

Deep Thoughts

A very well-rested 33-month old (after a FOUR HOUR nap) just wanted to cuddle with me yesterday evening. He had many deep and meaningful things to say...

AJ: "God tell me..."

Me: "What did God tell you, sweetie?"

AJ: "God tell me....ummm...Jesus...Jesus love me"

Me: "God told you that Jesus loves you?"

AJ: "Uh-huh."

Me: "That's very nice. What else did God tell you?"

AJ: "uuummmm......God tell me......read my book!"

Me: (astonished at the possibilities of where this conversation was heading) "Really?! What's in the book?"

AJ: "uuhhhh................THOMAS!"

(I'm pretty sure now that he wasn't talking about one of the disciples..)


Oh well....this morning when Daddy and I went to wake him up for school, Daddy asked him "who loves you?"
AJ's answer? "God"
Daddy: "Who else?"
AJ: "Jesus"
Daddy (clearly looking for a different answer) : "Who else loves AJ?"
AJ: ".....my friends"
Daddy (clearly AJ is not taking the hint) : "Anyone else?"
Mommy (helpfully, in a low whisper) : "mommy..."
AJ (whispering back to Daddy) : "Mommy!"

I WIN!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Things that disturbed me today

I read some news stories today that really disturbed me.

- A 19 year old girl with a 4-month old baby...TAPED THE PACIFIER TO THE BABY'S FACE so she wouldn't keep spitting it out. The baby died. The mother told police that she didn't realize that it would hurt the baby to do this. She also told them that she usually swaddled the baby up in a blanket, but the blanket was lost, so she used pajamas to tie the baby's arms down close to his body. See the story..

- A waitress at an Applebee's restaurant accidentally filled a toddler's sippy cup with a margarita instead of apple juice. The baby naturally got very sick.

- A 5-year old boy in New York took some heroin to school and passed it out to his friends thinking it was candy because it was stamped with a smiley face. Six children had to be hospitalized.

We live in a scary, sick world...

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Late on FUN MONDAY

I'm a day late on the Fun Monday assignment. This week we were supposed to post pictures of stuff we have hanging on our walls.



The guest bedroom is completely "Gone With The Wind". These are just a few of the items hanging in that room.


I also collect old advertising. The breakfast room and kitchen are decorated with old ads and the antique tins.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Totally off the subject

I had a blast on Saturday at MamaDramaConQueso, and met some really great people (hi Margaret, Catazon, Heather, Min, and Jenny!) Since Margaret is getting married soon, the conversation moved to wedding dresses. After describing my dress, I was ordered to post some pictures of it. I couldn't find the pictures that were taken inside the Wortham Center foyer, but here are a few others that kind of show just how long and heavy this dress really was.....


(Note: Here is me doing my very best "Princess Di" walk...)

(A view from the side...)

(This shot was mainly about the flowers, but you can sort of see some of the beading detail around the neckline and sleeves...)

P.S. Tee hee...I still managed to pull this assignment off without actually having to post a picture of myself....

Friday, June 15, 2007

Elmo britches

AJ has now gone an entire week without any Pull-ups AT ALL! He doesn't even wear them to bed at night. He has only had one night-time accident (early in the week). He is waking up dry every morning. Huge realization - I DON'T EVER HAVE TO BUY DIAPERS OR PULL-UPS AGAIN! That's like getting a big raise!

We went last weekend and bought AJ some new underwear. He's so small it's hard to find his size. The only ones we could find had Elmo on them. Daddy calls them AJ's "Elmo britches". I asked him this morning to please not call them that in front of AJ. AJ doesn't do very well with compound consonants, so I'm sure AJ would be asking for his "Elmo bitches". NOT GOOD. Let's just stick with "undies" or "underwear".

Daddy has been teaching 1st and 2nd graders at VBS all week. What a great form of birth control!

I have been dealing with uproar at work all week. I was offered a position with a different company. My current employer found out, and FREAKED out. I have to write myself my new dream job description and have it ready on Monday....the most exciting part about it?....I should now be able to afford to have someone come in to clean the house again twice a month. WOO HOO!

Tomorrow I will be meeting (partying) with several local bloggers at what has been christened "MamaDramaConQueso". Should be a blast! Then we're all going to Stephanie's house for Bethany's first birthday party. Saturday night will consist of a surprise bay shower for one of Hubby's coworkers....full day!

I should have lots of new stories next week.

Friday, June 08, 2007

A giant leap for Toddlerkind

AJ has woken up dry every morning this week. He hasn't had any accidents at school all week. So we decided this morning that maybe it's time for the Pull-Ups to go away. Yeah, I know I may be washing sheets pretty often, but I'm ready to give it a shot. Two evenings in a row now, AJ has told me that he needs to poop BEFORE he actually does it. And we've made it to the bathroom in time to actually poop in the toilet. Yippeee! He's getting to be such a big boy. I'm proud of him, Daddy is proud of him, and AJ is proud of himself. When he gets praised, his little face just lights up.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

I'm boring

Hubby told me my blog post yesterday was boring. Duh...My life is boring right now, so I can't find anything to write about.
Last night AJ pooped in the bathtub. He told me he wanted to go, but I couldn't pick up a wet baby out of the tub fast enough to put him on the potty. He has been dry all night for the past 3 nights, and yesterday he actually came home in the same clothes he went to school in. That means NO ACCIDENTS! And no laundry needed. He has only had 2 accidents in the past week. I call this major progress, people!
Gratuitous toddler picture...

Toddler in a box!

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Hug a Child

Today I am battling between sad and angry. I just don't understand all of these horrible news stories over the past few weeks of people injuring or killing little kids. How do you get to the point that you put your tiny baby into a microwave oven and turn it on? How do you get to the point that you hang your FOUR young babies in the closet! I somewhat (but not really) understand the people who leave their sleeping toddler at home alone while they run out for just a few minutes to take care of something, then return home to find their child dead and their house on fire. When did we as "adults" lose control of our common sense and reason? Are we so caught up and stressed out in our own lives that we have lost sense of how helpless a small child is? How they depend on us to care for them? How to keep our tempers in check enough to take a breath and calm down before picking them up and shaking them until they are permanently brain damaged?

Do people honestly think that since Andrea Yates got away with drowning all of her children that they can do the same? I am very happy I waited until later in life to have my son. I cannot imagine being in my early 20's, single, having no idea how to raise a child, but having to do it regardless. Yes I get mad and frustrated at the toddler temperament and stubbornness, but I have learned to separate myself -- give myself a "time out" -- until I calm down and realize that he is still learning, still exploring his boundaries, and learning to express himself.

And then he does express himself. He'll come up to me, put his hands on both sides of my face, lean in and kiss me, and say "I love you, Mommy", and giggle. Then I know that I'm doing okay.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Wanna get away?

We have set up another group cruise leaving Galveston, Texas on February 4, 2008. It's a 5-day run to Progreso and Cozumel, Mexico. We have gotten a great rate of $317 per person for interior cabins and $367 for ocean view. You will also receive a $50 on-board credit (per cabin). This can be used for alcoholic drinks, shopping, photos, spa treatments, etc. The first two passengers in each cabin will also receive a free collapsible tote bag, perfect for carrying home those souvenirs! A $25 per person deposit to hold a space is due by June 15th.

If you're interested in joining us for a big party, leave a comment or check out the link to our flyer....
http://papaaj.com/uploads/PapaAJ_BDay_Cruise.pdf

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Who writes this stuff?

It has occurred to me that very disturbed people must write children's songs and nursery rhymes. Here are some scary themes that I heard on just one of AJ's CD's yesterday:
  1. Chopping the tails off of blind mice.
  2. Dying from eating a rotten peanut.
  3. Cribs (with babies inside) falling out of trees.
  4. Old women eating flies, spiders, birds, cats, dogs, horses, and dying from it.
  5. Crows pecking off some woman's nose.
  6. Bribing the baby to stop crying by offering presents.
  7. Songs encouraging toddlers to hold up their middle finger and "talk" with it.
  8. Sexual harassment on the playground (Georgie Porgie kissed the girls and made them cry).
  9. Six in a bed.
  10. And don't get me started on the 3 grown men together in the bathtub...

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

We're baaaacccckkkk

Whew! I need a vacation to recuperate from my vacation... On Saturday before the ship left, we spent the day at South Shore Harbour Resort relaxing by the pool before meeting an old college friend of mine for dinner at the Kemah Boardwalk. Much fun was had by all, and AJ doesn't seem to be afraid of the water anymore. He had a blast jumping off the side into Daddy's arms.

On a side note -- while we were in Kemah, we ran into the parents of one of AJ's NICU friends. Caitlyn was born a couple of days before AJ and they were in the Level 3 nursery together. We would talk to her parents every night during visiting hours. Poor little Caitlyn was doing great until she developed a staph infection and was put into isolation. We found out later that Caitlyn never recovered and never got to go home with her parents. On a happier note, her parents had another little girl that following Christmas who was full-term (thanks to Mom's weekly injections to fight early labor) and is absolutely adorable! It was heart-warming to see their success...

Anyway...we were to board the ship in Galveston on Sunday in time to have lunch onboard. Unfortunately, their check-in computer system went down, leaving us sitting in line on the hot gangway for over an hour.

Monday was good. Lying by the pool, playing some games...it was formal night and we took some family portraits (to be posted later).

Tuesday the battery in our in-cabin safe went out so we couldn't get anything out until it was repaired.

Wednesday - Montego Bay, Jamaica. Fun in the sun at the Rose Hall Beach Resort. AJ had a blast playing in the water, and we got some really good pictures.

Thursday - Georgetown, Grand Cayman. I went on an excursion on the Atlantis submarine which took us out to the edge of the coral reef that Grand Cayman sits on, then dropped down 115 feet under the water. I shot some really good video of this, including the shipwreck that we passed. AJ and Daddy went to the Butterfly Farm and had another beach break. They were bored with the butterflies after just a few minutes. At the beach, Daddy lost the camera. It apparently floated out of his pocket and is somewhere in the Carribbean. In the process of changing AJ's clothes to get on the bus back to the ship, he also left AJ's swim trunks and new t-shirt in the sink of the restrooms.

Friday - Cozumel, Mexico. One word - HOT! No, make that two words - CROWDED! Note to self, do not book a beach excursion in Mexico in May. After we returned to the ship, I booked a "Ladies Night Out" special at the spa. It included: full body exfoliation, sauna, steam room, mini facial, milk protein hair conditioning treatment, eye toner, and shoulder and neck massage. It lasted 2 hours and only cost $59.

Saturday - Fun Day at sea. Ten of us had a very nice dinner at the reservations-only supper club on the upper deck to celebrate a family birthday.

Now it's back to reality. The next group is leaving on the Carnival Ecstasy on February 4, 2008! Making plans now...

Friday, May 11, 2007

Is it so wrong?

Is it so wrong that I am about to leave on my 3rd cruise in 6 months? I REALLY need this vacation...
Hubby and I have started a new business -- we are now travel agents on top of our full-time jobs and parenting a headstrong 2-year old. I'm exhausted, but it's kinda fun. We've had some successes lately, and look like we may be able to grow this someday to hopefully more than a hobby. Keep us in mind when you need a break~

AJ mas made MAJOR progress on the potty-training front. The Friday before we left for the funeral, he decided to start going pee pee standing up. This is working much better. We have had several days now with only one sometimes 2 accidents a day. YIPPEE! I'm so looking forward to the raise I will get by not having to buy diapers or pull-ups.

It's pretty hysterical to watch, though. He stands in front of his potty chair, pants around his ankles, leaned over with both hands on the wall in front of him. It looks like he is ready to be frisked by the cops. When he finishes doing his business, he pushes down the lid on the potty, stands on the top of it, and does a little victory dance. Then he climbs down and announces "I wanna prize!" VERY glad the whole "potty prize pack" thing is so successful.

So, now that he is trained, AJ will be allowed in the swimming pools on board the ship next week. He'll enjoy that.

Thirteen of us will be leaving Galveston on the Carnival Conquest on Sunday. Monday and Tuesday are sea days. Wednesday we are in Jamaica, Thursday in Grand Cayman, and Friday in Cozumel. Saturday is another sea day. Back in Galveston on Sunday.

Daddy and son have matching t-shirts to wear when we board the ship on Sunday. Since Daddy is an IT (Computer) guy, his says "Version 1.0". AJ's shirt reads "Version 2.0". Cute, huh?

So I will be out of touch again for a while...but hope to have great pictures upon my return.

Have a great week.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Gotta take the bad with the good

AJ had a fantastic day at school yesterday! He went an entire 24 hour day without having an accident. He made it to the potty every time. Unfortunately, we got a phone call from the school late in the afternoon that AJ appears to have pink eye. Yippee...I took him to the doctor this morning. He definitely has conjunctivitis, but his cough has also gotten to the point that he is back on 2 breathing treatments a day for the next 5 days.

Luckily, he doesn't act like he feels bad. He just won't.take.a.nap.today! I'm not getting anything done....

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Getting Ready for Vacation

We are leaving on Mother's Day for another 7-day cruise. It's on the same ship we cruised on in November, going to Jamaica, Grand Cayman, and Cozumel. There are 14 of us going this time, so it should be a blast. Before we can go, however, there are certain things that must be taken care of....if Jenny at MamaDrama can have her 2-year old daughter doing chores inside the house, it is time we put AJ to work with some more productive chores.

Let's start with the yardwork...


Better late than never

Okay okay okay....I KNOW I am late getting the Easter pictures and stories posted. We have been so incredibly busy. Here goes...

It was cold and rainy outside on Easter weekend, so everything had to be done indoors. We decided to let AJ color his own eggs for the first time. He discovered that if you squeeze them, they make a lovely cracking noise. We ended up with only 5 unbroken eggs. Thank goodness for the plastic ones I could fill with candy. The egg coloring kit I bought came with little religious stickers to put on the eggs after they were colored. AJ particularly liked the picture of Jesus. We put that one on an egg. He kept picking up that egg, hugging it, and saying "I love you Jesus". Until he hugged Jesus a little too hard and discovered the aforementioned cracking sound. He also had a bit of a problem waiting for them to dry and kept picking up the wet eggs and dropping them into the colors again.