Thursday, September 27, 2012

Painting With A Twist

Tonight I celebrated my friend Kate's birthday at Painting With A Twist. For those of you who don't know, it's a short "lesson" in which you basically copy an artist's masterpiece (and I'm using that term loosely). Fortunately, we were not forced to paint some lame margarita glass scene (they had several!) or something even cheesier- a smiling sea nymph (they had those too). If you've gotta paint something, , the Eiffel Tower isn't so bad.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

New 'Do

Wes' hair was getting a little hippie-ish, and I haven't taken him to the kids' salon in the mall because I'm afraid they'll make him look like a dork. They sent out a promotion to our house with a picture of a boy with a haircut, and he looked like he walked out of 1991. It as awful. But I decided to finally bite the bullet and give it the old college try. Now I'm not about to go apply at Fantastic Sam's, but I have to admit hat it turned out...decent! Special shout out to those who make it possible: Sesame Street, NutriGrain Bars (bribe) and my Fiskars sewing scissors.
Later this afternoon, Wes discovered his shadow for the first time. Now how cute is that?

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Day Trip to Aggieland

My friend Sally lives about an hour and fifteen minutes away in College Station, which is home to Texas A&M. You can always spot an Aggie (that's what they call themselves) because graduates wear huge gold rings that look like cage fighting rings. And then you see a 115 lb. woman wearing one and you realize that it must be an Aggie ring because surely she could not win in the octagon.

Side note with relevant past and present info: Sally's mom (Christy) was/is BFF's with my mom (Kathy) from way back when they were growing up in Southern California. Sally and I happened to move to Texas at the same time, but she's only here temporarily until her smartypants husband finishes his PhD from A&M, which is likely to occur soon. Then they are high-tailing it back to Southern California because they're normal humans and who wouldn't want to return to the coast? (me)

Okay, back to the present day. The drive to Sally's is "rural" for my standards and since Wes was asleep in the backseat I had to be quiet (read: no celly conversations) and this gave me time to observe things as I drove. So allow me to present a list of things I learned along the way.

  1. Morrissey's Greatest Hits is only fun to listen to for about half an hour, then it's just sad noise.
  2. When armadillos get hit by a car, they bust open and leak a watery substance. (Don't worry, I didn't hit one. I just observed like, 10 of them dead on the shoulder.)
  3. The gas station on 149 and 105 offers the following: check cashing, tacos, minnows and worms. (see photo) 
  4. If a big truck comes up behind you to tailgate, and in your rear-view mirror you can see that he has a large decal across his windshield that says "COUNTRY BOY" and he is also sporting a rather large CB radio antenna, slow down and let him pass. Because Bubba will ride your butt until you do.
  5. You can buy a big round bail of hay for $48.00.
  6. If you're about to drive for over an hour, and you know your child is going to be sleeping in the car, therefore preventing you from being able to stop and pee, DON'T drink 3 pints of sweet tea before you leave.
  7. If you don't follow lesson #6, and you must pee via bush squat, wear something that blends with nature, because no amount of foliage can camouflage an atomic red blouse.
  8. It's legal to drive a truck with say, 10 day laborers in the bed of the truck. (see photo)
  9. If you want to pretend you're Anne of Green Gables, go to Old Town Montgomery with other kindred spirits. (Look at the houses below. Is that Marilla looking out the window?!?!)
Spending time with Sally, her son Dean (Almost one! Big dude!) and her visiting momma Christy was refreshing, and worth the drive, as usual.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Sporty Influence

I was one of those annoying but typical kids that wanted to take lessons in all sorts of things, but never longer than two weeks or so. It would only take that long for me to realize that it takes hard work to be good at __________ (fill in the blank) and that you can't just show up and be great at a whole lot after just one lesson unless you're _________ (fill in the blank with name of someone you know who's annoyingly awesome at everything instantly).

Because of my quitting habit, my mom stopped buying me outfits and/or equipment for every kind of lesson I took, and instead resorted to borrowing or thrifting. So I was the girl at ballet class in a poo-brown leotard with a pee-yellow tutu and a cornflower blue ribbon in my hair to tie the "look" together. Smart on her part though, because I'm pretty sure I quit ballet after a month or so, and moved on to the slightly less mainstream "sport" of baton twirling.

You heard me. Baton.

Why the baton you ask? My mom had been a twirler back in her 1960's glory days and I think she may have influenced this decision. For some reason the local news came to do a story on our class on Saturday. That night, we excitedly sat down in front of the TV and waited to see if I had any camera time. Not only was I in a shot but it was a close-up of me in the pee-yellow leotard being scolded for chewing gum. The shot followed me off to the left and zoomed in as I tossed the gum in a trashcan.  We used to have this whole thing on tape but later my older brother Jeff taped over it with episodes of Beavis and Butthead.

During late elementary and junior high I took figure skating lessons. I must have done so for several years because my parents did invest in some shiny white Riedell ice skates and one neon costume with a skirt. I liked figure skating, but I never seemed to get very good at it, and you can only skate in circles for so long before you get bored and try to do a triple lutz triple loop (yes, that's a real move) and fall and get hurt and then everyone is laughing at you, especially the younger girls who are better and have cooler costumes with matching skate covers.  Brian Boitano trained at my rink and accidentally slammed into me one time and sent me sliding face first toward the door where they keep the Zamboni. Thanks a lot, Brian Boitano. Figure skating wasn't my thing.

Then came soccer.

In 9th grade I sold my ice skates, bought some cheap plastic cleats, and enrolled for club soccer. This turned out to be a great decision. I could run and be wild, kick stuff, slide tackle (beware the red card!), fall down, get dirty, and hopefully, get GOOD at it. And in some ways, I did. I went on to play a little in college and then recreationally until a few years ago. I married another soccer player, Kent, who had played from early childhood through college as well, and was way better than I ever was.
We kick a ball around every now and then. We watch the World Cup. We still like soccer more than other sports. We're soccer fans (but not like the crazy Europeans).

Poor Wes. If he wants to try baseball and football or something even scarier to dad- dance or gymnastics, he'll have to deal with hand-me-down gear. But I think if he comes to us and in his little voice says "I want to play soccer", dad will drop what he's doing and zip over to Sports Authority for some kangaroo leather Adidas Copa Mundial cleats and a UEFA Euro Official Matchball. And that's not cheap, friends.

Kentie a la 1984
College Glory Days
Wes doesn't quite get the whole kicking part yet.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Walk Through The 'Burbs

Today at Bible study there was a bit of an "open mic" for women to express any praises they had from the week. If I hadn't been totally intimidated by some women's tales of God's amazing answer to prayer, then I would have gotten up and praised Him for sending some cooler weather our way. And y'all, this is Houston, so cooler weather just means under 90° and NOT crazy humid. (And Lord, while you're at it could you destroy every living mosquito? M-kay, thanks!) Seriously, I totally understand why people in the Pacific Northwest get all depressed, because even though we get more than our fair share of sunshine, it's so miserably hot that we can't go outside much, and half of my girlfriends have vitamin D deficiency. (okay, I know of one)

Moving on. I harnessed up the dogs and took my brood of dependents on a long walk in the neighborhood. It was so good for my soul! Even George was happy to pee on every vertical surface over 4 inches high. Hey, he had months of leg-hiking saved up!

But y'all... How great is fall? I'm totally going to enjoy it when it arrives in three more months.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Hürdy Gürdy Down to Ikea

To me, Ikea is sort of the amusement park of stores. It's just a fun place to hang out if you're like us and have kids and it's flaming hot outside and you just can't stomach one more trip to the Germ Tree. I mean there's housewares, food (oh, the Swedish meatballs, how I love you and your price point), play areas for kids, and arrows to keep you on track (unless your husband tries to skip places like the office area by cutting through the bookshelf section). But Ikea is not close, so we can't go to just buy one item. No, we have to wait until we have a whole list of things, and that list usually looks like this:

  • Ürgtorp
  • Liken
  • Schmupple
  • Gröten
  • Flärdengärten
Am I right? The names are hilariously foreign a la Swedish Chef from Sesame Street.  But  once we have a few things we mosey on down there for some family shopping fun. So first we stopped at Rudy's BBQ and then headed down in the rain. Here's a few pictures from our outing.

I guess this does not apply to Wes?

Wes found the one room with a working TV and cartoons.

Remind me never to forget to bring diapers to Ikea. Cha-Ching!

Climbing cubbies in Ektorp. yay!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Here We Go Again, Again.

I'm quickly tiring of Facebook. Yes, it's a great way to share photos of Wes with the fam out on the west coast, but it seems like every time I log on my newsfeed consists of (1) horrible duckface pictures, (2) college football rants, (3) lame motivational quotes, and (4) pictures of food. Not that I'm totally innocent. I'm sure my FB friends in Alaska have no interest in my call to local women to attend bible study (which I'm helping to facilitate- YIKES!)So I'm going to try and update the blog instead, though we both know that my mom (yes, you mom) is the only reader. And I'm okay with that, because I can never decide if blogging is narcissistic or not. Yeesh, who knows.

And so, here we go. Let's start this thing off right, with a picture of the world's cutest 17.5 month old.