Saturday, September 30

Cars & Football

While walking into Wal-Mart the other night, this little remote control car zoomed in front of my feet. I looked up to notice the night security guard was the one controlling it. I guess he had to do something to keep him awake! Anyway, it got me to thinking about something that happened back in college when I was living at home with my parents...

There were a few "punk" boys that lived in our neighborhood. (Well, that's what I thought of them anyway.) One day, they were out driving a remote control car in the middle of the street. I was pulling out of my driveway & heading towards this group of boys & their little car. But, instead of controlling their car out of the street, they decided to push their luck with me. They kept swerving the little car in & out in front of my car. I had slowed way down to give them time to move it, but they continued to "tease" me. And, of course, they were all laughing, thinking it was so funny that they could swerve their car around my tires since I was basically crawling at this point. (I could have walked faster than I was driving!) After a few seconds of this immature behavior, I decided to step on my accelerator & let fate take over. And, yes, I crushed that little remote control car with my tires!! I remember looking in the rearview mirror at their horrified faces & laughing by myself in my car! They looked shocked! It was great! And, I didn't feel bad AT ALL about it... and I still don't!

Last night was Wylie's homecoming, so we decided to attend the Wylie vs. Berkner football game. It was a beautiful night for a game... not too hot, not too cold. However, Wylie got demolished! It was pathetic & embarrassing! At one point, the score was 50 to 14. We left at the beginning of the 4th quarter & as we were walking to our car, Wylie made another touchdown. So, I guess the score changed to 50 to 21. And, I saw in today's paper, that the final score ended up being 50 to 33. So, I guess they stepped it up there at the end... just not enough to make a difference. Those Berkner Rams were really great last night!

But, my very favorite part of last night was watching the homecoming court walk onto the field & listening to the announcer tell about each nominee. I heard phrases like "faithful Christian", "devout Christian", "active in his/her church youth group" and "member of -- church". I thought it was great that these young kids were not afraid to profess their faith in Christ in front of all their peers & thousands of others who attended the game. They just told their entire school & several members of their community what they believe, where their faith lies, who they worship & that they follow certain moral guidelines & standards. Others will now watch them to see what they do & how they handle certain situations. They will be held accountable for their actions because others now know that Jesus is their Savior. That's a big responsibility for these kids & I think they are wonderful for being so bold!

Thursday, September 28

I'm Irritated!

It really irritates me when I think I am done with my shower, I turn off the water & step out into a fresh towel... only to then remember that I have forgotten to wash something on my body! Maybe I forgot to shampoo my hair or wash my face or elsewhere... So, I end up hanging up my now wet & slightly used towel, turning the shower water back on & stepping back into the shower stall. I am wet all over again & frustrated about the whole situation! That happened to me this morning. After shaving my legs, I thought I was done. So, I rinsed off completely, turned off the hot water, stepped out onto our new bath mat & enveloped myself in a clean, comfy towel. It's at that point that I realized I wasn't entirely washed! ARGHHHH!!! Back into the shower I go. Such a pain & highly irritating!

I'm stealing an idea from my friend, Rachel's, post about why people do stupid things. She talks about drivers who swerve over from an exit lane at the last minute, as if they hadn't realized before that point that their lane was going to exit! It got me to thinking about one of my driving pet peeves. It really bothers me when people change lanes & cross a solid line. It's like they just can't wait the few feet that the solid line will end. They HAVE to cross now or else!! It bugs the heck out of me! Especially when I'm obeying the law & I wait to exit or change lanes until the solid line ends. And, of course, by that time, 20 cars behind me have decided to cross over the solid line & exit way ahead of me. I hate that! Do they think this law doesn't apply to them? And, believe me, it is a valid law! I've taken defensive driving enough to know that!!

Wednesday, September 27

Banned Books & Pumpkin Seeds

I just got on the computer a little while ago & saw the following blurb on Yahoo! News:

"Hit List: The 25 Hottest Banned Books"

So, I clicked on the link, expecting to find a list of books that were foul or immoral or bordering on illegal. Instead, what I found was a list of books that are considered "classics". I have read or watched the movie versions of several of these so-called "banned" books and most of them were required reading during my school years! Since when did we start banning classic literature?? It seems so crazy!

The first book listed on this list is the Harry Potter series. I have read the first book in that series & have watched all of the movies. And, I can't wait to read them to my children someday! The fact that they banned this series, however, doesn't surprise me, since there was so much irrational controversy surrounding its release. But, the second book listed is To Kill a Mockingbird. Are you kidding me?!?! According to the article, To Kill a Mockingbird has "been denounced for so-called racial slurs and profanity, and banished from school library shelves". This was quite a shock to me! This book was required reading in my school & I LOVED it! After I read the book, my Dad & I rented the old movie and I loved it, too. (In fact, my Dad always wanted to call me "Scout", but I wasn't crazy about the nickname. He sure did try, though!)

Here is my list of books from the "banned books" list that I have either read or watched in a movie version:

* The Outsiders (watched in my senior English class)
* Lord of the Flies (required reading in school)
* Of Mice and Men (required reading in school)
* The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (required reading in school)
* The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (required reading in school)
* Carrie (watched the TV version at home)
* Flowers for Algernon (required reading at school)
* American Psycho (watched at home & can understand why it's banned... WEIRD!)

If they are banning these classics from our libraries, I wonder what books would be considered "classic literature" nowadays?

Last night, Sammy & I went to Wal-Mart for a late shopping trip. Mom & Dad were at home with the sleeping kiddos, so we had the opportunity to go shopping together... alone! I forgot how fun it was to browse the aisles without kids! And, browse we did! While getting some tortilla chips, I ran across a package of roasted pumpkin seeds. I love pumpkin seeds & was so excited! I'm sure these have always been out on the shelves, but I never had the chance to look so closely at all the varieties of nuts & seeds available. One of my favorite things about carving a pumpkin is digging all the seeds out & roasting them in the oven. I sprinkle a little garlic, a little salt & whatever else looks good at the time & roast 'em up. DELICIOUS!! I can't wait to do it again this year.

Here is a great recipe for roasting pumpkin seeds:

Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

Thursday, September 21

So Long Nursery...

We've been a part of our church's nursery class for 4 1/2 years now. And, sadly, last night was the last time we'll ever have a child in the Richardson East nursery. Nicholas will turn 2 on Saturday, so he will move up to the 2-year-old class on Sunday morning. It's hard to grasp that I will not be having any more babies. And, even harder to grasp that my "baby" is now TWO!! How did that happen so fast?

So... so long nursery. You've been good to us & we'll definitely miss you!

Moving Music

I love to listen to music! Always have. Music can take me back to my junior high days, such as when I hear Vanilla Ice sing "Ice, Ice Baby".
Wow... does that bring back some awkward memories! And, anytime I hear a Selena song, I'm instantly back in Kingsville. I can vividly remember the moment one of my best friends in high school, Ruthie, ran into our homeroom class to tell me that Selena had been shot in Corpus Christi, just an hour away from where we stood. Ruthie was a big Tejano music fan and sang in a mariachi band in South Texas. (In fact, she surprised me by singing a few songs with the mariachi band that Sammy & I had at our wedding reception. She was great!) She had followed Selena's career and was truly saddened by her death. (So was my Dad, by the way.)
Selena had an awesome voice and was on her way to becoming quite a star. Her death was a senseless tragedy.

One of my newly discovered passions is downloading songs from iTunes. Sammy & I splurge on a $15 iTunes card from Target every once in a while & then we get to split that amount between us. We each get to download about 7 songs. It's so much fun!

Another new discovery of mine is The Zoe Group. I had heard of them several times before, but had never listened to any of their music. So, one day last spring, I decided to order an album off of their website. I LOVED it!! The music is awesome, the words are powerful & every song stirs my soul. After I ordered that first album, In Christ Alone, I promptly went online again & ordered 2 more CDs. I love all of them. There is not one dull song on there! However, between all 3 albums, there is one song that especially moves me. It's titled, "You Were There" on the In Christ Alone CD. I love, love, love that song! (Or, as my friend, Karen, would say, "I L-O-V-E, love that song!" When she really likes something, you know it because she spells out the word "love".) The lady who sings the solo part, Sheryl Thomas, has the most beautiful, angelic voice. It sounds so pure and truly pretty. The words are incredibly moving. I can't sing it's praises enough! (Ha... pun intended!) One thing I would recommend is visiting their website & clicking on the song for a sample. You will not be disappointed. Well, you'll be disappointed when the sample is over because it just gets better! Recently, this song has meant so much to me and has been some of my best worship experience lately. (However, that might be because I rarely am able to attend a full worship service, thanks to my very clingy & disruptive son! 2 year old Bible Hour... here we come!) Great, great song!! Get the CD... you'll L-O-V-E, love it, too!

Now, I think I'll go search on iTunes for some good Selena music & take a trip down memory lane...

Monday, September 18

September 11, 2001

After watching the film United 93 the other night, I decided to write my (late) entry about how I experienced 9/11. I've watched both the A&E movie, Flight 93, and now the version that came out in theaters a while back. I haven't seen World Trade Center with Nicolas Cage yet, but plan to someday. Both movies that I did see made me mad all over again about this senseless tragedy! Mad at men that believed they were following God's will by killing thousands of Americans. And, of course, it was terribly sad. As all senseless tragedies are...

On the morning of September 11th, I had been keeping a big secret from my co-workers. We found out we were pregnant sometime near the beginning of August. After our first doctor visit to confirm the pregnancy, we decided to wait to tell anyone until we told our parents first. And, I really wanted to tell my parents in person, which wouldn't be until Labor Day Weekend. So, that's what we did. When we went to Kingsville on that weekend, we told my family. After returning to Dallas, I waited a few days before informing my boss. When I finally did, he was very supportive and understanding. I had been feeling very nauseous those first few weeks, so he was sympathetic to my late arrivals and general slowness in the mornings. He told me he would leave it up to me to let our team know whenever I was ready. So, on the morning of September 11th, after another slow start, I decided I better let them in on the news before they wondered why I'm always dragging myself into work later than usual. I was driving from Richardson to Addison a little before 9 pm when I heard some initial reports on the radio about a plane hitting one of the World Trade Center towers. I immediately called Sammy (who was also still at home) & told him to watch the news. I told him I didn't know what was going on, but that they thought a plane had accidentally crashed into the tower. I didn't hear much more after that, until I got to work that day. I made it my first priority to sit down at my desk & send out a mass e-mail announcement to everyone in my group. And, that's exactly what I did. When I was done, someone told me to come with them to the screening room. Everyone was packed in the tiny theater watching the news unfold on the big screen. Apparently, another plane had hit the second tower on live television and we were starting to realize that this was an intentional attack. So, for a good portion of that morning, we stood in the screening room watching the news coverage of the attacks and quietly sobbing. Publicis had a major office in downtown New York and we knew several employees from there. Obviously, we were worried about their safety. So, after returning to our desks to check on some of our New York co-workers, some of my teammates finally saw the e-mail I had sent that morning. I got a few very monotone & robotic sounding "congratulations", since everyone was in a state of shock. It wasn't until several days later that people would actually be able to show a little more excitement & enthusiasm about my pregnancy. Of course, in hindsight, announcing my big news on that day wasn't a smart decision. It was a terrible, tragic day of mourning. However, I was stubborn & wanted to go ahead with my plan that I had already made.

So, when I remember 9/11/2001, I will always remember that was the day I stubbornly decided to make my big announcement about new life amidst so much death & destruction. I cringe when I realize how selfish that mush have seemed.

Sunday, September 17

The 30s

Last October, Sammy turned the big 3-0! In December, a good friend of ours turned 30. In February, another good friend turned 30 one week before I turned 29. :) Then, again in July & August, two of my closest girlfriends entered their thirties. (August also brought two more milestone birthdays... first, my mom turned 60 & second, my oldest sister turned 40!) I just saw the date today after I posted my previous entry & realized that it's an ex-boyfriend's birthday. And, yep, he is 30 years old today. Exactly two months from today, one of my very best friends will celebrate the beginning of her thirties. And, then, four months after Sammy has rounded the corner into 31, I will be joining this massive group of thirty somethings. (Remember the TV show?)

For some odd reason, I still feel like I'm 21, hip & cool. (Well, actually, I was probably never very hip & cool, but I sure was 21 once!) I feel like I could walk onto a college campus today & fit right in. I know that is absolutely not the case, but I still feel that way. And, even though I'm completely delusional, I really hope that I feel this way for a long, long time!

The Diaper Rash from Hell

My heart is breaking right now as I sit & listen to my sweet little boy screaming at the top of his lungs "Owwwww!" while his Daddy is changing another horrendous diaper. As I mentioned in my previous post, Nicholas has had diarrhea for about a week now. We have no idea what is causing it. Could be a virus, he could be cutting his 2-year molars... it's anybody's guess. But, it is terrible & is doing terrible things to his sensitive little skin! Last night, I picked up some Boudreaux's Butt Paste at the store. (We usually use Dr. Smith's diaper ointment, which is wonderful & works great, but they didn't have any at the Albertson's near us.) So, I've used Boudreaux's once before & have heard from others that it's great. His rash seems to have gotten slightly better, but not near as healed as I would have liked to see. So, in the meantime, with every dirty diaper, we either stick him in a warm bathtub or listen to him yelling at us that his "tee-tee hurts" while we gently try to wipe it clean. It's an awful feeling, knowing that you are hurting your child. I'd rather leave that to the doctors and nurses and other trained professionals. I want to be the one that gets to hold him & tell him that everything is okay & Mommy is here & that I love him. Instead, I have to use all my strength to hold down his legs & pin down his arms while reassuring him that we will be as quick as possible. I tell him over & over how sorry I am that he is hurting. And, I have to turn away when my eyes start filling with tears, because I feel the need to be strong for his sake.

And then I think... all of this over a simple, non life threatening diaper rash. Parents go through this on a daily basis with their children. They administer all sorts of procedures in order to keep their children healthy & strong. Procedures much worse than having to clean & doctor a raw bottom. My heart goes out to these parents. I would do absolutely anything for the sake of my children, but I am so thankful that my toughest battle right now is a severe diaper rash. I know I will win that battle & it will be over soon!

Wednesday, September 13

Potty Talk

WARNING: This post contains potty talk! You've been warned...

Let me preface this story by explaining that Nicholas has had diarrhea for the past 2 days now. Therefore, he's been around a lot of poop lately. And, he's heard me talk a lot about poop lately:
"I wish you would poop in the potty!"
"Did you poop again?!"
"Is that poop leaking out of your diaper?"

So, I guess it shouldn't have come as a surprise when I gave him a glob of brownie after dinner this evening, he looked at it & said, "Ewwww... yucky poop!"

Two Months

After posting the previous entry, I just realized that my last post was exactly 2 months ago... to the day! Weird...


Well, we have managed to make this new house our home. The kids are adjusting well to their rooms and Sammy & I are enjoying our room way far away from the kids! Well, actually, there hasn't been a single night yet that one or more of the kids haven't ended up in our bed. But, I promise, as soon as I muster up the strength to walk upstairs in the middle of the night, that will come to an end! In the meantime, it's fun to snuggle in the morning with whoever happened to climb in our bed while we were sleeping.

The weather today has been so wonderful! I LOVE these cool, sunny days! We walked down to a nearby park this morning (which wasn't as nearby as I had originally thought) and played for quite a while. And, I don't think the kids even broke a sweat, which is quite amazing for September in Texas! I sure wish it would stay this way through the fall.

So far, we've had no luck on potty trainig Nick! I don't know what I was thinking. I can't make any of my kids do what I want them to do... no matter how much I beg, bribe or cry! It seems true what they say: "They'll do it when they're ready." What about when I'm ready?!?! (And, who are "they" anyway?)

My "baby" will be two years old on the 23rd! And, he is my last, so this is a bit sad. He's growing up so fast & is such a big boy. He imitates everything his older brother does, which makes it even harder for me to accept because instead of watching Blue's Clues or Sesame Street, he watches Star Wars & Batman. And, not only does he watch them, but he acts it out. His favorite character is Darth Vader, instead of Elmo. He sword fights with his pretend light saber and makes fighting noises while doing it. He's a typical boy... growing up way too fast for me! I sure do miss those infant years!

Hopefully, I'll be blogging a little more continuously now that we have our Internet back up & running. (What did I do before the Internet?)

Time to go catch up on my blog reading...