a final (or not) re-arrange

Since I started the month by re-arranging the girls' bedroom, I figured there was no better way to end the month than by re-arranging my re-arrange. This is just a sneak peek at the room because I have another small project in the works, followed by a bigger small project, so I'll make you wait for the big reveal.

Oh, and I hung a picture by Scout's bed, too. She painted the frame herself.


flower power

All the design magazines tell you to have fresh flowers in the house. This week, when I was feeling blah I decided to freshen up our dining room table with a little splash of sunshine. I'm digging it. Maybe fresh flowers in the home will be my New Year's resolution next year (wink!).


saturday in the woods

This weekend, when I was feeling slightly groggy but not totally out of it, I took the gang to the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center for a mid-morning/early afternoon adventure. There was some sort of arbor thing going on that sounded like fun for the kids. I read something about roasting marshmallows and free admission, so that's all I really needed to know. We packed a picnic lunch and headed south on MoPac.

Cries of "I'm hungry! I'm hungry!" reverberated from the back of the car, so upon finding a parking space, which turned out to be almost as long as the drive itself, I made the executive decision that we would have our picnic inside the car. They actually fell for it. The adventure had begun!

Tillie was strapped in the baby bjorn for the rest of our trip, so this is the only evidence that she was actually part of the party. Mmmm...cheese.

After our picnic we had a five minute walk to get to the actual wildflower center and then an additional ten minute walk to get to all the tree happenings. Catcher observed, "Wow. We're really in the woods now." I guess you could call it the woods.

Catcher inhaled his marshmallows so quickly that he practically choked; Scout took a little more time to enjoy the warm, delicious gooey-ness.

[Side note: How to Roast a Marshmallow, by Catcher Wheat. First you find the perfect two-pronged stick because two marshmallows are better than one. Next, put your marshmallows on the stick. Move in close to the fire and "act" like you're roasting the marshmallows. Back away quickly (so the marshmallows don't actually get any hint of toast), take marshmallows off the stick and shove them in your mouth as fast as you can. Perfection.]

After the marshmallow sugar-rush it was time to get down to serious business and climb a tree. It was very serious business. You can tell by looking at Catcher's face.

Scout thought the tree-climbing was just okay. The residual marshmallow goo on her hands made the dirt cling to them that much better, so she spent most of the time telling me her hands were dirty.

I'm pretty sure Tillie enjoyed herself, too. She didn't get a marshmallow--I diverted her attention away with a granola bar--but she's watching these two and taking notes; waiting for her day to run wild and free of the baby bjorn.


sick day

In general I'm not one of those who turns into a baby when one is sick. And I'm also not one who says I don't turn into a baby when I really do.

This afternoon, however, I acted a little baby. I have this cold that started shortly after Tillie vomited down my shirt a week ago. Everyone in the house has had it and somehow managed to get over it. But just when I think I'm turning the corner, I get slapped with another bought of fever and fatigue. Thank goodness Alex is home. He's making dinner right now while I'm on the sofa hiding from the kids.

this is a text

I do most of my showering at night after the kids are in bed. It's pretty impossible for me to shower any other time of day unless Alex is her to keep his eye on the little ones, but even then one of them manages to slip into the bathroom unannounced and scare the crap out of me. There have been times when I'm alone, after I think they're in bed, that Catcher and Scout have both freaked me out upon pulling back the shower curtain.

Blame it on Hitchcock, I suppose. I don't know if this fear existed in people before the movie Psycho. And I don't know if it's a fear unique to women or just me (certainly not just me). But I'm a little scared to shower alone (by alone I mean when I'm the only one in the house--kids don't count--not solo in the shower).

Last night Alex was driving home from College Station, TX and I was expecting him around the time I was getting in the shower. I sent him this text because I would not put it past him to come home and scare me in the shower. He's actually done it before under slightly different circumstances, so I didn't want to take any chances. It turns out that I made it out of the shower before he got home. I made it a quick one because the whole time I was in there all I could think about was how scary the shower can be. Psycho.


small room, big teepee

I love the teepee that Catcher got for Christmas, but I don't love where it ended up in the middle of the let's-clean-up-the-living-room-and-get-this-thing-out-of-here Christmas day haste. I was feeling a little restless and suffocated when I went into Catcher's room this afternoon; thus, a re-arrange was on the horizon.

Before: There was a lot of furniture in a little room. You could only open the closet door by standing on one foot and wedging yourself between the teepee and the bedroom door. You had to move the rocking chair to get to the games, etc. stored in the drawers below the bookshelf, and it was a pain making the bed that was all crunched up against the opposite wall (see below).

My inspiration was to make the teepee the focus of the room. The only way to make it fit where I wanted it was to move the bed off the wall (which I didn't mind).

Here's the teepee in it's new home.

This is just a gratuitous shot of Tillie. She was part of the action and looking cute (more pics below).

Alex came in for the grunt work: hanging pictures. With the new arrangement you can actually see the vintage Michael Jordan/UNC photo that was the first real decorating piece we purchased for Catcher's room.

After: The tiny room--even with a giant teepee--somehow feels bigger. I think Tillie approves.


happy birthday, alice

Today is Alice's birthday. I don't know this because I know Alice, although now I know who she is, but because Catcher and Scout decided to crash her birthday party at our neighborhood park this afternoon. Exhibit A [above] is Scout making herself perfectly comfortable at the picnic table where ice cream cake and pizza are about to be served. I put ice cream cake first in the previous sentence because at Alice's birthday party (she's the one standing by Scout and just turned 10, by the way) you eat cake before pizza.

Catcher eyeballed the cake, but after seeing the oreos on top--the boy doesn't like any form of chocolate--he decided the leave the table and stalk the birthday art projects.

The stalking worked, or maybe the older kids felt sorry for Catcher and Scout, because somehow those two were invited into the art circle. That's Alice's hand right above Catcher's. She was painting a rainbow with clouds in the sky on her piece of pine wood. I know it was pine because I heard her father say so. Catcher painted some blots of color on his piece of wood while Scout stuck her fingers in each paint canister and "washed" her hands in the paintbrush rinse water. She was surprised that the technique didn't clean her hands.

Tillie was at the park, too, but the birthday party was of no interest to her. She was more into tasting pebbles and walking along the fence.

Although that cake did look rather tasty...


it's a kumquat

Alex and I had this conversation last week.

Me: They're having this Citrus Event at Central Market, and they have kumquats.

Alex: Really?

Me: Yeah. I saw them on the poster, but then when I got in the store I was distracted and forgot to look for them. Have you had a kumquat?

Alex: Yeah. They're awesome.

Me: I know. I've only had them once in my life, but they're really cool. I kind of want a kumquat tree.

Alex: Mmmm. Hmmm.

Fast forward one week, and this is the conversation I had with Alex yesterday (Catcher included).

Catcher: [Holding up a kumquat to Alex] Dad. Do you want one of these?

Alex: What is that?

Catcher: Um. I don't remember. Mom, what is this thing again?

Me: What thing?

Alex: I'll try it. How are you supposed to eat this? [Turning the kumquat over in his hand suspiciously].

Me: A kumquat? That's a kumquat. I remembered to get some at the Central Market today.

Alex: [blank stare].

Me: You just eat the whole thing. I thought you loved kumquats. That's what you said last week when we had this conversation.

Alex: Oh. I thought we were talking about apricots.

Me: You thought I've only had an apricot once in my life?

Catcher: I like apricots.

Alex: [Swallowing the kumquat]. These things are weird. It's like eating an orange rind.

Me: Sort of, but way better.

Catcher: Do you want another one, Dad?

Alex: Not right now buddy, thanks.

Me: I'll eat it.


zoo station

Disclaimer: I have not been to the zoos in Houston or San Antonio, so don't hate me for my broad generalization regarding Texas zoos. 

There are some things Texas does well (like margaritas and barbecue) and some things where we're lacking (like pumpkin patches and, I discovered today, zoos). The Austin Zoo & Animal Sanctuary is more animal sanctuary than zoo with its gravel paths and rescue animals, but we did get to watch a pig eat. The pigs were pretty cool.

The zoo didn't have your usual polar bears or elephants or hippos. There were no zebras or giraffes, but I was surprised to see several Bengal tigers (not pictured--I accidentally deleted that photo) among the peacocks and parrots. (I mean, the peacocks and parrots weren't in the same enclosure as the tigers, but you know what I'm saying.) There was also this goat [below] that freaked out Scout.

It was pretty funny. She didn't like the way it was looking at her, so she started to cry. They also had a bearcat, which I honestly didn't know was a real animal until today, and giant turtles and some cool monkeys. Actually, now that I think about it, our little trip to the "zoo" was pretty fun. It just wasn't a zoo in the sense that I think of a zoo...when I think of zoos...


pic of the day

Don't worry...I wasn't driving with Catcher and Scout strapped in the passenger's seat of the car. We were sitting in the cell lot at the airport this morning, waiting for Alex, when I let them loose. It was too cute to resist.


s/he's so cute

When Catcher was a baby, I was told on more than one occasion how adorable she was. With Scout, a man sitting next to me on the plane asked me why I put her in blue socks after mistakenly saying "he" when referring to her. I don't take offense when strangers call him a her--or vice versa--because it's really hard to tell who is what. I've made the mistake myself (with other babies, not my own). But perhaps the best case of mistaken identity I've come across involved Tillie and the checkout lady at the Target a few weeks ago.

Tillie was dressed in jeggings and a herringbone swing coat over a purple tunic. You couldn't really see the top under her coat, but she was also wearing pink sparkly socks. I understand that the jegging/coat combo could be mistaken for boys' wear in a chic European baby way, but the socks were all girl.

Checkout Lady [to me]: He's so cute.

Me [not wanting to correct her]: Thanks.

Checkout Lady [to Tillie]: Yes, you are. You are so cute.

Me: [awkward smile].

Checkout Lady [to Tillie]: Look at you. You look just like a little man. I mean, you are a little man.

Me: [nervous laugh].

Checkout Lady [to me]. He is such a little man. How adorable.

Me: [another awkward smile...thinking it has gone too far to correct her at this point while trying to conceal the pink socks--dead giveaway--so I don't have to correct her and embarrass us both].

Checkout Lady [to herself]: I mean. Just like a little man. So cute.

Receipt printing. We're free...phew!


soccer it is

It's January: time to register for spring sports (nine months pregnant at this time last year, I missed the boat). I'm trying to keep from over-scheduling the little ones before over-scheduling is impossible to avoid, so I told Catcher he could pick one sport this season--soccer or baseball. I was sure the answer would be baseball. Number one, his name is Catcher; and number two, he's recently been throwing the baseball around with Scout. I filled out the baseball form and asked him which sport he wanted to play. Catcher told me he wasn't ready to make a decision. "No problem," I said. "Sleep on it. Let me know in the morning."

He picked soccer. And after watching him play (he wanted to be goalie) with Alex in the backyard this afternoon, I think I understand why--great photo ops while "diving" for the ball.

Halfway through the fun Scout came waltzing into the picture. She wanted her picture taken, too (I mean, she wanted to play, too). And this is what happened:

I guess Catcher chose the right sport after all since there's no crying in baseball.


what i wore

I'm sitting here on the sofa--laptop poised on lap--when something occurs to me. I'm wearing the same clothes I had on 12 hours ago. Normally this wouldn't be a big deal, but I'm in my workout clothes from my trip to the gym this morning. Didn't I just say I wasn't going to do that? What is one to do when one becomes one's worst nightmare? Well...nightmare might be too harsh. Let's go with pet peeve (although I have at least a dozen more of those). I could rattle off a list of excuses and justifications as to why I ended up un-makeup-ed and un-showered today, but they would just be [lame] excuses and [unjustifiable] justifications. So I'm owning it.

Now I'm off to shower. I'll just go ahead and say it: there are no guarantees that I will blow dry my hair tonight (wink!).


pajama dance party

Nice moves. Yesterday was "Pajama Day" for Catcher at school, so we continued the theme at home with a pre-dinner dance party. He's a big fan of Adele, and "Rumor Has It" really gets his booty shaking (see below, as he teaches Scout all the right moves).

p.s. There are no promises that these photos will not be used against him at a later date.


bag, meet gym

Take a look at what I un-earthed last week: the old gym bag. Actually, it looks pretty good for being inactive for the past 18 months. A regular gym-goer throughout my adult years, I was the one rolling my eyes at all the new members joining in January--jamming up the locker room, using my favorite treadmill (with bad form, I might add). And now--do I have to say it?--I am one of those people who joined the gym in January. Blame it on the cold snap we've had in Austin or the old "no initiation fee for joining just after the New Year" scam. (Honestly, it's probably the two hours of free childcare that pushed my pen to sign on the dotted line.) Whatever the reason, I'm happy to be back. However, now I am forced to face another one of my major critiques: strutting around town in gym clothes.

I've been known to have strong opinions on certain subject matters, and this is one of them. Why not just put on a decent pair of jeans and a cute top, I've asked. Well, now I understand (sort of). It's pretty convenient for me to drop Catcher (and Scout when she goes) off at school in the morning and then head to the gym. This means I'm going to school in my workout gear. But I'll give myself a pass because I do get dressed in civilian clothes before pickup...at least for now...