Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Apologies to the Neighbors

Our neighbors are great out here in Katy - one lends me tools when I attempt to live up to my XY Chromosomes, the other lent us aluminum foil when it came time for a barbecue. Their families are nice and respectful - Maria loves to play with our dogs, and the neighbor boy was correct when he said he could easily clean his paintball paint off of our fence. Whenever we jump on the trampoline (which has not been done in about a year, by the way), they send smiles and waves from their backyards. Schuley loves nothing more than playing with their dog Leah, even though Leah is about the size of ten Schuleys, aka a Dekaschuley, and the other neighbor's dogs are well trained enough to leave our dogs alone, even though they are probably Hectoschuleys.

So, why do I feel the need to torment my neighbors with the loudest dog shriek know to man? One of our dogs' tricks is the ability to wait, although the anticipation associated with "wait" slowly makes Ruffles go crazy. Observe. (It's Video Day here, apparently.)

So whenever I get the urge to test the dogs, which is probably twice a day at least, I will get them all riled up by asking "Outside? Outside?!" as I walk to the door. Then, they will sit and wait. The longer they wait, the louder Ruffles screams. It is awesome. Our neighbors must be disturbed by the unmanly scream of our little buddy, but they never ask us to see if we can keep our banshee from wailing randomly.

Jackson does not make too much noise yet... but I see all night dance parties in his future...

UPDATE - Okay, on watching this online, he barely dances in this clip. This might be one of those "parents see more than is there" things, but I swear he dances whenever he is near that toy.

Jackson Rocks

Jackson at 88 Days

First off, I would like to take the metric approach to milestone appreciation, meaning Jackson's 100th Day will be a momentous occasion (for me). So let the countdown commence. (BTW, everyone around 27 years old should figure out when their 10,000th day is and hold a large party. We will attend.) (Maybe.)

Second off, during Noelle's long day away from the boy, I relieved Grandma from Grandma duties around 2ish to pick up Noelle at 3. After making it there, Noelle let me know she would be getting out late. After circling the area for thirty minutes to keep Jackson blissfully napping in a mobile car seat, we decided to venture inside and wait in the lobby. There, Jackson showed everyone who passed how great he is at this age. He cooed, he smiled, he giggled, and he gazed at everything within eyesight. Noelle's meeting got out about an hour and a half late, but I didn't mind a bit.

Jackson now enjoys trying to eat his monkey's fish, by the way.

Thirdly, I have had pancakes four days in a row now. I might go for the record.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Long Day Away from Jackson

Today started our admin meetings for school. Although I have been away from Jackson many times (thank you grad school), I haven't been away from him for 8 hours before. I missed him, but I did enjoy the way his face lit up when he saw me. And I appreciate Rob for taking a picture of it.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Jackson's Circle of Friends Grows

As Jackson makes it through his twelfth weekend, he was lucky enough to spend some time with some of our favorite people. We were reminded how lucky we are to have these people in our lives, and how much we miss the old days when there were less miles between us.

First off, Rebecca drove down from Austin this Saturday. Rebecca has been friends with Rob since he was three years old or so, and she hasn't tired of his shenanigans yet. This was her first time to meet Jackson, and she got to meet him at his best. Jackson is now up for smiles and talking with guests, and he was very taken with Rebecca, who is the same silly, witty, sweet, sentimental, together, and wise friend she has always been. She got lots of face time with the little man, and he smiled and cooed for his new friend.
Ruffles and Schuley managed to get quite a lot of love from Rebecca as well, which may make her question if goofy dogs are better than the destructive cats she has, who make her protect her newly reupholstered chairs with foil. (Note the cat attacking regardlessly.)

Rebecca wanted to cook us a dinner being as she is quite the kind foodie, but we insisted we eat out so we could all catch up with her without anyone being distracted. Katy has a few restaurants we enjoy, but we figured Red Oak Grill would be our best bet of good food in a relaxed environment. It was the first time I've worried going in that a friend might not enjoy the meal, but Rebecca loved the gyros and tabouleh, and Eric the owner helped his case by giving us free frozen sangrias. (He must be the nicest guy in Katy.) It was nice to get the stamp of approval for one of our favorite restaurants from a friend that makes herself meals like this.

Then, this morning, we introduced her to another quaint restaurant here in Katy. Yeah.

But between those meals, we got the chance to sit around the table, drink some wine, and catch up with each other, and it was one of those nice reminders how blessed we are to have these old friends in our lives.
We look forward to more of these nights in the future, as do the dogs, who love both the attention and getting to lie around and listen to us talk.

After Rebecca left and the aforementioned naps, we headed into town to say goodbye to Jenny, who is heading up to NYC with boyfriend Brian for at least the next four years. Jenny is another old friend of Rob's, and this next chapter of her life seems to be what is best for her, but their move is Houston's loss. Jenny's probably the most creative person I know, and her sense of humor and insight have helped me become the person I am today. She just taught for two years at the middle school down the street from our school, so at least we will get to see all the lives she touched running through our school's halls to remind us of her impact. While Brian is going to grad school at NYU (which is intimidating, because he's already one of the smartest people I've ever met), Jenny will be continuing with her art of puppetry and hopefully also continuing to educate kids about the power of the puppets. Here they are, allowing us to distract them from packing.

Anyhoo, Jackson again put on a great show for them, happily making faces and fists, gazing from one face to another. Jenny's sister Jessie and her fiancee Charlie came by as well, and it was another nice chance to get to catch up on old times and see where life has brought all of us. (Jessie and Charlie are getting married in a few months, with me as the minister, by the way, so I'll save my nice things to say about them for then.)

We gave Jenny and Brian a traveling Smurf to help with the journey, which was actually the first time Jackson had seen a Smurf, believe it or not. Had to document that.
It will be tough not having Jenny and Brian around to see much of Jackson during his first few years, but we are glad they got to see him one last time now that his personality is starting to come out. We look forward to updates on their adventures to tell him at storytime.

Then, we rushed home to see Noelle's college buddy, Jen Bergman, who traveled to Houston with her friend Damon to watch the Astros play. Jen is quite the jet-setter, and her Twitter updates show how she is constantly venturing from one city to another, but we get the idea that Jackson wooed her enough that she'll be stopping by Katy more often. (Thanks for the onesies and blanket, by the way!)

You'd think all of these visitors and visits would tire us out, but no - we're both happily awake. Noelle is working away on her papers and Rob is writing his first post here in like a month. The dogs are helping.

Maybe it's the warm feeling one gets from being around old friends.
Maybe it's the contentment from knowing that Jackson will always have these people in his life, no matter where they live.
Or maybe it's the exhilaration from having it verified that Chuy's is opening a restaurant on the west side of Houston! That means closer jalapeno ranch dip and veggie enchiladas and Chuychangas! It also means closer ceiling decorations to lull the boy into a trance.
With a closer Chuy's, we hope to have even more old friends come by soon. I'm sure it has made my sister already start thinking about her next trip to Texas.

And happy birthday to David Laurie, another of Jackson's little buddies! Sorry we couldn't bring the boy out into the heat for your party, but I'm sure we'll have some air-conditioned good times soon.


I have less than one week left in my masters program. I cannot wait for it to end, but between now and then I have a ton of work to do. In the past 3 days I have written five 2 pg papers and created one PowerPoint. Now, I have seven 1 pg papers and one huge research project left, as well as a 4 hour online test and 30 minute presentation. Currently, I am procrastinating. It's hard to work when everyone in the house is taking a nice, long afternoon nap.

Jackson sleeps
Rob sleeps
Even the puppies sleep

Friday, July 24, 2009

Art for Jackson's room

One morning I was nursing Jackson and was too lazy to get up and change the channel. I watched the Martha Stewart Show for the first and only time and got a wonderful idea! I made the following art for Jackson's room based on the idea...

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

MFF Again

Shane - You're awesome! Congrats.

Click here to read about Shane's pacing experience.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Stuffed Birds

Okay, the bird mobile is getting closer to being finished. The birds are stuffed. Now they just need to be closed at the tail. Then, the mobile has to be put together.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Jackson's Bookcase

Since we are transitioning Jackson over to sleeping in his room, I realized I better finish it. Although it is not finished, it is a step closer. The bookcase is finished!



I am waiting for this to arrive:It will go above the bookcase and tie in with the art I am making.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Jackson's First Trip to the Reynolds' House

On Friday we planned on heading to San Antonio first thing in the morning. Just as we were wrapping up packing we got a call from Shannon that Emily was sick. Since we haven't seen the Reynolds in a while we were very disappointed. Luckily, Emily was better soon and we were able to head up Saturday morning.

Every time we are in San Antonio we visit Picante Grill for some Mexican food. They have the best tortilla soup ever as well as good tea, salsa, chalupas, and whatever crazy soup Rob gets. Unfortunately, Rob had a tiny chicken bone in his soup - which led to a bad experience for Rob. He can tell more about that later. We ended up getting a $10 gift card, but Rob did not feel that adequately made up for his experience. Since 281 was closed at Hildebrand, we arrived a little later than expected, but were greeted by some happy girls! Boy do we love these girls.

We got to spent a lot of time just hanging out -which was nice. We got to catch up and play with the kids. Maddie and Emily love Jackson and were so gentle with him. It was incredibly sweet!

Emily spent a lot of her time kissing, tickling, playing with, and watching over Jackson.

We enjoyed some cherries

Book reading

Some sticker time
and Coloring

Maddie loves Rob

Jackson loved the attention from Emily and Maddie

Emily liked holding Jackson's hand

And was very careful when she held him

How cute is she?

Did she learn this from Mommy or Daddy?

We tried to take a Mommies and kiddos picture, but we couldn't get everyone on sync.

First Maddie was not happy posing.

Joe was able to cheer her up

So we could get this picture

We tried again.

I got a kiss from Emily

And then she was finished with us

Maybe next time...