Displaced Yankee Chick in Texas

This blog chronicles my life as a displaced Yankee chick in Texas. I'm from the NY/NJ/PA area and quit my job 1.5 years ago to move to TX with DH and become a SAHM to our 3 kids (2 DDs and 1 DS). **Please note that names have been changed to protect the innocent.**

Monday, January 30, 2006

Random musings

Is it just me, or did Josie and the Pussycats get worse once they introduced that stupid fuzzy space alien pet "Bleep"?

Would you pay money to join the local YMCA? What if it was the Ken Lay YMCA??

Getting back to cartoons, was Penelope Pitstop the best Wacky Racer? I always thought so. But I must admit, I love Muttley's snigger. Methinks I need to spend a day in front of the Boomerang channel...

Watching the InStyle Celebrity Wedding special, I have to wonder will Rebecca Romijn take Jerry O'Connell's last name or will she not bother this time?

Was anyone else disappointed to not get a jury duty notice recently? I so would have loved to be on the Enron jury.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

So tired

Did I mention in yesterday's post that DH told Clay's parents that we would watch their kids today while they supervised the movers? Clay's dad pulled up at 8:30 this morning; I thought he had the kids with him. It turned out the movers had just arrived and he wanted the last and biggest piece of our entertainment unit so he could get it on the truck. I ran to the store to get milk (we were completely out) while DH helped Pete get the piece in Pete's SUV.

When I returned, Clay and his sister were there. DH told me later that Pete didn't think we were serious about watching the kids. Honestly, having lived through unloading a moving truck and a crew unpacking our stuff, I would never again have a child in attendance. B was pretty good while our truck was unloaded, but she was bored and did get underfoot a few times. Moving is no place for kids. Trust me.

So the kids played with my kids, and it went well for the most part. We had a few tears; though surprisingly none by me. B couldn't share and was despondent for a while because her "Sunday cherry pie" that she had made was ruined. If I could recall the lyrics to "Macarthur Park" I would have sung it to her. LOL! Clay lost it a few times too, and usually over something seemingly insignificant.

Clay's sister, Chloe, is a month younger than S and is not potty trained. I had the pleasure of changing her three times today. The first time was right after I discovered that she had blown out her diaper. Uh oh! It, rather, shit ran right up her back and had gotten the back of her shirt. Blech! She lay down for me to change her on the kitchen floor, which was perfectly fine with me. Tile is easy to clean! I must say that I can't remember when I changed a diaper that smelled so bad. Considering I still have two that aren't potty trained, that's quite a compliment! NOT! I needed DH's help with getting her shirt off without covering her with extra shit once I had the clean diaper on. Then I tossed her clothes in my washer on a nice extra long two rinse cycle.

Right before lunchtime DH went to Clay's house to see how things were going. He returned a short while later while I was taking lunch orders from the 5 kids at home. The moving trucks pulled out, and DH arrived home with 2 extra boys. These brothers, Clay's former neighbors, are in 5th and 2nd grade. Their parents were helping out at the new house, so we also entertained them for a while and fed them. So now I had 7 lunch orders. And the kids were emptying the closet in the game room of all the toys and games. I have to say these kids were all quite well behaved and polite during lunch. Before the rain started we had the kids outside playing in the yard and on the driveway. An hour or two later the mother of the two boys arrived to pick them up.

Later in the afternoon, while A was napping, we put a movie on for the kids to watch. B was pissed that we put in the movie that Clay had requested, so she got a time out in her room and I went up to discuss good manners with her. A short while after I came downstairs I noticed that Chloe's shorts were wet. She had wet through the pull up I had changed her into (the 2nd change of the day). At least her clothes were dry by this point, so I grabbed them and started to change her. And just before I pulled open the pull up, I realized that she had almost had another blow out. And again, this was one of the most horrendous smelling shits I've smelled in a LONG while. In fact, it was so foul, that I wrapped it in a plastic grocery bag, put it in the trash and then asked DH to take the garbage out. HURL!

Shortly after 4 Pete arrived to take the kids to their new house. I was never so happy to see him! By 5 I was starving and ready for bed. We decided to go out to eat because I was too exhausted to cook and quite frankly, I didn't feel like having to clean up after yet another person. However, I first had the girls help me to straighten up the game room. I've put aside some toys that drive me crazy or that are too young for the kids and I hope to get them out of here on Monday. I think I'll freecycle some and perhaps try ebay for others. I think as long as the girls don't see them, they won't miss them.

We grabbed pizza at the local cheap pizza buffet. A surprised us by eating nearly 4 slices of pizza. Since they slice them so narrowly, it was really like 2 regular slices, but he usually only eats one. S, who normally inhales her food, ate slowly and only ate one small slice and nibbled on another. And B who barely eats, ate 3 pieces. Impressive.

Once we returned home, we immediately got everyone changed and ready for bed. Now I'm enjoying the quiet, laptop on my lap, TV on something I want to watch, and a beer in hand. God I hope I sleep good tonight!

Friday, January 27, 2006

DH cracks me up

Clay's parents closed on their new house today. Clay's dad was to come over sometime today to pick up an entertainment unit from us to put in their new game room. When I saw Clay's mom at the bus stop this afternoon I found out that his dad had spent the better part of the day working with the wonderful cable people to install their TV and internet connections (dad works out of his home). Late this afternoon Clay's dad called DH to see if he could help him move some stuff to the new house in advance of the movers, who will arrive tomorrow morning at 8:30 to move the real big stuff.

Pete, Clay's dad, arrived and picked up DH. A while later, after I had given up on eating dinner with the kids AND DH, they arrived back here. The guys came in for a beer while they waited for the rain to stop. Once it stopped, they loaded up most of the entertainment unit and headed over to the house. Two hours or so later Pete dropped DH off.

Once inside the house, DH tells me "I love it. Now we've got friends like our best friends we left in PA!" I have to agree; they drink beer and wine, they enjoy cooking out, their kids are our kids' ages (except for poor little A)... Then DH regaled his funny story of the night. Pete, Pete's former neighbors, and DH were in the house and DH heard Pete fart in the kitchen. One of the former neighbors piped up, "What was that?!" to which DH replied, "oh, I think Pete was opening a cabinet in the kitchen and it squeaked." Laughing, the neighbor exclaimed, "I can't believe it; they're covering for each other!" LOL!

Apparently guys know other guys are their friends when they can fart in front of each other.

Thursday, January 26, 2006


DH and I recently talked about someday going on a cruise; some cruises leave from the nearby port of Galveston. I can't imagine going on a cruise with the kids while they're so small. I have this irrational fear that one of them would fall overboard. Adding fuel to my fire is a friend of a friend whose child may have been molested while on a cruise.

I then consider taking a cruise with just DH. It'd be a great break for us. I know we'd enjoy some time away just the two of us.

And then I watch news shows like tonight's Primetime, which features people who have disappeared from cruise ships. One man somehow fell overboard in the Gulf of Mexico and swam for 17 hours before being rescued. The others all disappeared, all with little to no trace. And most of them with different cruise ships, so it seems I can't just rule one or two out. Years ago I had heard that the reason the ships weren't registered in the US was for legal reasons, and the other countries' courts were much more lax. Women could be attacked and raped on board and there would be no recourse because it happened in international waters (at least this is what I recall).

Yeah, I really want to take a cruise now...

I'm going to be sad

In less than 48 hours from now, our friends who live around the corner (you know, B's best bud Clay and his family) will be closing on their new house. They'll start moving their stuff on Saturday and DH has offered to help them. They are taking their ceiling fans with them, and Clay's dad may need some help removing and moving them, which is where DH's help may be needed. Yes, they're only moving a few minutes away, but now B is losing her (current) favorite playmate. I'm not looking forward to her reaction this weekend. Ugh.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

More unusual things about Texas

I never saw commercials for churches until I moved down here. Believe me, it is strange to be watching TV and then have some people come on who discuss "how our lives are busier today than ever. So come to (you name the church) for our four part series on making time."

I come from a religion that doesn't advertise on TV. You're expected to join the church closest to your home; at least that's the way it always seemed to me. The only time I ever changed churches were during Desert Storm when the priest at my regular parish didn't offer support for the troops (one of whom was my father). My mother and I wound up going to a neighboring parish to worship and it was nice. The other time I changed churches was before DH and I married. My old parish was semicircular with orange carpet. It looked horrendous, I didn't care for it or the priest, so I looked for a new church. I went to three other local parishes. One was in an Ivy Leage town and was a beautiful large church. The second looked like it had been a ranch style house that had been converted, and the third was a beautiful traditional church. That was the church for me; it looked much like the one I attended as a child. The church had many groups, and the priests were great.

The other strange thing about commercials are the family ones. There are family owned companies where the entire family is featured on the commercial, kids included. Being from the North, I find this completely odd. However, it seems completely normal for down here, since everyone seems to advertise their children. The kids' names are plastered on the back windshields of cars, along with the logos of the sport or activity the child does. So why shouldn't business owners leverage their kids for a sale?! Odd. Then again, I am a Yankee, so I'm paranoid.

My third commercial oddity is the way some advertisers emphasize the fact that they are a Christian business. It just seems so weird to me, because that is not how I determine to whom I give my business. I use many things to help me determine where my money goes, but I try to get references, use the BBB, etc. The funniest example of this is the Christian trial lawyers whose commercials I've seen. It makes me snicker.

And finally, I had heard that Texans take great pride in their looks, and that has become painfully obvious to me. Why? Because I don't know that I've ever been anywhere where gastric bypass and lap band surgery centers have been so heavily advertised. I swear, you can't watch 30 minutes of TV without catching a plastic surgery commercial. And to be honest, it's probably more like 15 minutes without a commercial. It's THAT bad!

Sunday, January 22, 2006

One of the best reasons for living in TX today...

Today is MIL's 60th bday. Last year at this time, I was still frazzled after hosting nearly 20 people for Christmas, and having 14 for Christmas Eve (which was DH's grandmother's 90th birthday -- we had her party at our house). My Christmas tree might still have been up; I know the other decorations were. DH was traveling all across the eastern part of the country, teaching people how to sell some of the products that his company has in their catalog. He was gone for weeks at a time, sometimes Sunday to Thursday, working at home on Friday, laundry on Saturday, and then leaving again on Sunday for another week. It was crazy.

So last year SIL had the nerve to email us (or was it me) and ask us if we'd host MIL's birthday party. After all, MIL's house is too small. (I should really be hosting someone's 59th bday party; heck SIL hasn't YET hosted any holiday gathering!) The guest list was to include the 5 people in my family, SIL's family (3), MIL and her then boyfriend (now fiance) (2), the couple who introduced them (2), their son and DIL (our best friends) (2), and a family friend (1). That's 15 freaking people. And I'm sure since DH's family all lived nearby, that it would have turned into some major 50 people or more bash. Needless to say, I went apesh!t!! I couldn't believe she had the nerve to try to volunteer us for this, especially since it wasn't even a MONTH since the last two events I had hosted. And my house was still a disaster and still decorated for Christmas.

So we got out of hosting that inane party, and I said that I'd host her 60th at our house in PA. Really, since we all live in PA, and SIL lives in CT, it would have been stupid for SIL to host it at her house and make everyone travel. It turned out that DH had to travel and was flying on MIL's birthday last year. We were at my parents' house since DH was flying out of Newark. And we had a blizzard that day. LOL! DH had wanted to at least drive to her house to wish her a happy birthday, but she insisted that he not drive out of his way in the terrible snow.

As luck would have it, we moved to warmer climes last summer and now I don't have to host a stupid party since I'm at least 24 hours away from these people. LOL! And I even said it to DH a few weeks or months ago -- we will NOT be hosting MIL's party here, since we are NOT unpacked; we've already hosted them and as far as I know, wem did NOT extend them that invitation!!, and it would be stupid, since everyone who would come is also up north.

Later today I'll be at a meeting of my sorority's local alumnae group, so I'll remind DH as I'm leaving that he should call MIL and wish her a happy birthday. I sent the card off a few days ago, so it should have arrived yesterday or will arrive tomorrow. I sent her gift to her office; a tower of treat for all to share. Heck, if I'm packing on the pounds, why shouldn't everybody??!! The FedEx site tells me that it arrived last Monday, so I'll have DH confirm that. (I sent it to arrive on Wed last week in case her DF took MIL away for her birthday weekend.) I just have to hope that DH doesn't wait to call her until I return from my luncheon.

Gosh, do I sound like an evil DIL or what?!

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Call the authorities and have them commit me!

We are having DH's uncle stay the night on Monday since he'll be in town for business. I went into the hall bathroom upstairs, which is on one side of the house near DH's office, the guest/craft room and A's room (we have another bath on the other side of the house upstairs that the girls share). The tub has a sliding door enclosure and although it looks really nice, the track is crap. The outer door is very difficult to close.

The home improvement bug has bitten me again. I googled tub enclosures and sliding doors and found some hints on repairing the darn thing. I hoped that if I just adjusted the wheels (which seem to turn fine), the problem would resolve itself. However, that was not the case.

I think after DH's uncle visits, we'll have to pop out the shower doors and clean the wheels, and pop out the upper track and clean it also. I'm hoping that works. If not, then we'll remove the doors and install a crescent shower rod and I'll put up the pretty shower curtain. My other project in there will be to strip the wallpaper... Good thing we have one of those industrial clothing steamers and a hearty travel steamer; they're going to get a lot of use by me REAL SOON!!

The previous owners loved wallpaper much more than I do. They wallpapered the kitchen and that paper is OK. The powder room is papered in something that reminds me of Greek ruins; the color is sort of a minty blue-green and cream. The girls each have a vanity in their room, and those are papered in hunter green with little white diamonds or something. Their shared bathroom is papered in white paper with burgundy and hunter green stitching. Not my taste, but definitely my SIL's taste. Our master bath is papered in a deep purple floral with dark green leaves on a cream background. Again, not our taste. And the hall bath is separated into two rooms, a vanity with double sinks, and then the toilet and tub in the other room. The tub room is papered with a royal blue that looks marbled. It's not too bad in an of itself, but the room is much too small to carry it off, especially with one small light fixture in the room. And I was thrilled yesterday to discover that the outer room with the vanity also was papered with this same blue paper. Instead of stripping it, they simply painted over the wallpaper. Great. At least I don't think they papered the pool bath...

Needless to say, DH's clothing steamer will be used to help me strip all the awful paper in the upstairs bathrooms. I'm itching to get started on that project, but will then have to get more paint from my friends at Home Depot, provided they can provide me with proper bathroom paint. I'd like to paint them with a milgicide paint.

The schmucks who were to deliver my guest/scrap room furniture yesterday didn't. It was scheduled to be here between 11 and 3 and I waited all day. At 4 I called the shipping company and was finally told that it had arrived too late to be put on a truck. Then they scheduled delivery for Monday. Now I want to paint the guest room too. One of my problems is that I need to get rid of a lot of the crap that is in there so I can paint.

I have a pile of boxes against one wall that nearly reaches the ceiling. It is a pile of the porcelain dolls that FIL and DH's grandmother thought would be wonderful gifts for B and S. Nearly every single birthday and Christmas until last year they sent the girls dolls from the Franklin, Danbury or some other Mint. Apparently all because I had a doll collection. At least my dolls were from around the world, and I played with most of them. These things can't be played with. Meanwhile, I took down my doll collection, which used to live in B's room. I discovered B climbing the bookcase below the doll hutch one day while I was on maternity leave days before S was born (this was also the time when B stopped napping at home). Once I discovered that she could climb the damn thing, I took the dolls down and packed them up. I put a few of her toys on the lower shelf and it was a happy compromise. Last year or so, when DH's grandmother was visiting, she made a comment about how the dolls were not on display. I told her how I had discovered B climbing up the hutch, and now she could really get hurt if a porcelain doll broke on her, and we let the matter drop. We haven't seen a porcelain doll since. *VBEG*

Alas, I'll have to stuff the walk-in closet, and I think I can fit the dolls on the shelf in the closet. Other stuff will temporarily move to either the girls' or A's closet and I'll paint the room. Then I can put together the Table Bed and ooh and aah over it. Looks like my parents may be the ones to give the bed its inaugural sleeping in. (Did I mention that I found them a ridiculously cheap airfare?!)

I'd really like to paint the room the same color as we had in our old master BR. However, I'm 99% positive that we used a paint from Behr called Water Garden and I cannot find it online. And at our serious state of confusion (read: not unpacked YET!), I won't be able to find the chip I had of it. I loved that color, and it went great with our old bedding, which is probably what I'll use on that bed. I've emailed the folks at Behr and hope they have good news for me. Our new mattress is 16 inches deep, so the old sheets won't fit, and the old comforter is too short on the sides. They'll be perfect for guests, though.

God help me! I've got all these projects and grand plans, yet I have no idea how I'm supposed to get any of this done with two little ones around. I nearly killed myself painting DH's office. I was up till 3am each night, and I was completely worthless during the day without a good night's sleep. Guess I should really make my first priority finding quality child care...

Friday, January 20, 2006

Is this a delayed reaction to the full moon?

My kids were crazy earlier this week. I was like someone replaced my normally active but pleasant kids with whiny annoying kids. And then yesterday I ran out and did some errands with the two little ones while the eldest was in school. I pulled into the post office right behind some haggard woman in a burgundy car. We both pulled into the mailbox drop off lane, where the USPS has kindly installed two mail drop boxes. But little miss "I've sat in the sun too long and wrinkled my skin all to hell; I look like I'm 65 but I'm only 39..." couldn't figure out the concept of pulling up to the farthest drop box. And then she also (1) didn't have her mail ready to be dropped, and (2) she had to get out of her car to drop the mail because she didn't pull in close enough to the box. IDIOT!!

Today I waited around all day for a furniture delivery that should have been here by 3. At 4 I called the shipping company and waited for someone there to get a clue and figure out how to help me since I did not have my shipping number. At long last someone was able to help me and told me that the shipment arrived too late to be put on a truck today. I wondered to myself when was someone going to contact me and let me know. Obviously never. Now I get to spend Monday again waiting for the delivery. Right after that I picked up B at the bus stop and she asked if she could play with Clay. His mom was working on packing his room, so I took him to our house to play. Unfortunately for me, B was in rare form, whining about anything and everything. She finally lost her attitude, but not before she was rude to Clay. I'm not optimistic, but I certainly hope this phase passes before puberty...

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Now why didn't I think of that?

Dammit! I'm so annoyed that William Shatner thought of this before I did. He just sold his kidney stone for $25K! Just think of what I could have done with $75K.....

The joys of the Bible Belt

First, I had better start watching my mouth and find a new phrase. B has definitely caught on to my intoning "Jesus!" and actually said it this afternoon while she was having a play date with her dear friend Clay. Maybe I should start saying "tartar sauce" like she does...

Second, I was in DH's car this afternoon running an errand and searched the Houston radio stations for something to listen to. I stopped for a quick second on one station that was talking and wound up staying on it for the ten minute drive home. It was apparently a Christian station and they had some guy on, who is based in California, who has developed a media kit to help educate people about abortions. There was talk about Alito, and his confirmation hearing. Then this fellow mentioned that his media kit is great for educating people because it uses graphic images. He explained that sometimes the graphic images (photos and videos) are not used properly, but his kit provides guidance on proper use. Then the DJ (for lack of a better term) said that everyone should get a kit. Paraphrasing now: "You need it for your kids, your family, your church family..." Which got me to thinking, just how does one use this information with one's friends and neighbors? Should I invite my neighbors over for dinner, enjoy some pleasant conversation, and then say "Hey, let's watch a short movie and discuss your thoughts on abortion..." Suuure!


My live will become a living hell in about ten days. Why? Because that is when B's little friend Clay moves from around the corner. He'll still attend school with her until the end of the year, but that is small consolation for B. Apparently the world will come to an end the minute he moves. Meanwhile he's moving only about a five minute car ride away. It's too far to walk, but the upside is that it is near a Target Greatland (or a Super Target, I can't recall which), a Sonic, and the community's water park. Come to think of it, there might also be a Chick-fil-A in that area too. Hmmm...

And yes, I realize that soon I'll be compared to DH's former boss, Jim. He's legendary for knowing where every single McDonald's is, and that is how he navigates his way around the east coast to visit customers. LOL!

Monday, January 16, 2006

Fun with four

Four Jobs You've Had

  1. One of my favorite jobs was as a "coder" in a market research company. We received completed surveys from owners of Volvos in the US and Quebec, and cirlced the answers with red pencil. Not terribly taxing. I was the only girl working with three really cool guys and one geek; we had a radio and listened to music all day long and since we were in a room all by ourselves, we talked All. Day. Long. Fabulous!
  2. I worked creating and maintaining databases and webpages for a large pharmaceutical company.
  3. I was to become a telemarketer for the summer before I started college, but instead I spent a few weeks practicing and then participating in the closing ceremonies for the Statue of Liberty Centennial Celebration. I had to be retrained on how to talk on the phone; I never went for the retraining.
  4. I worked retail, first in the Deb shop, and later in a now-defunct department store.

Four Movies You Could Watch Over and Over

  1. Dazed and Confused (mmmmmMatthew)
  2. Sixteen Candles
  3. EdTV (again, mmMatthew)
  4. Animal House

Four Places You've Lived

  1. Japan
  2. New York City
  3. Delaware
  4. Texas
Four TV Shows You Love To Watch
  1. Grey's Anatomy
  2. Clean Sweep
  3. ER
  4. Jeopardy!

Four of Your Favorite Books

  1. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
  2. The Harry Potter series
  3. Junie B. Jones series
  4. Judy Blume books

Four Places You've Been On Vacation

  1. Key West
  2. Austin
  3. Cancun
  4. Paris

Four Websites You Visit Daily

  1. Google
  2. Excite
  3. My Mom Board
  4. blogs

Four of Your Favorite Foods

  1. almost all Italian
  2. pizza
  3. Italian pastries (cannoli, napoleons)
  4. lobster

Four Places You Would Rather Be Right Now

  1. in bed
  2. NJ
  3. Paris
  4. Munich

Four Bloggers You Are Tagging
I don't think I know four bloggers who haven't been tagged, so I'll tag...

  1. Geena
  2. Stacy

Update on the quiet

As it turned out, either someone complained or called the cops on the people behind us. They shut the party down between 11:30 and 11:45pm, thus preventing me from having to call the cops myself. Hooray! Yesterday and today it's been really quiet back there.

As far as I know, there are two HS-age girls living there (all thanks to the freaky spirit signs every house here has...). Either they do a lot of entertaining when their parents are away, or they have brothers in college or who are not participating in any extra curricular activities. Hmmm.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Ah sweet quiet. Will it last?

The house behind us is home to either high school or college-aged boys. A few days before Christmas while I was having a wrapping marathon, the boys were out on the 2nd story deck laughing and whooping it up. That's fine in and of itself, but I have a definite problem with it, when they're doing it at 1:30am!! Two of my three kids sleep in the back rooms of the house.

Tonight I was passed out asleep on the couch, making up for all the sleep I missed earlier this week. I must have fallen asleep around 8:30. The two margaritas I had at dinner didn't help. LOL! I was rudely awakened at 11pm by the kids behind us. They had music blaring, all the interior and exterior lights on, and were having a pool party. Best of all was listening to the kids singing along to Abba's "Dancing Queen", Berlin's "Take My Breath Away", and Chicago's "Saturday In The Park".

Forty-five minutes later, and it is competely silent. The exterior lights are off. The bad news is that I can see at least one person in the game room upstairs. The deck is off that room. How long, I wonder, until round 2?

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Adventures in Austin

Saturday DH decided to take us to Austin, a short 2-3 hr drive away. I had mentioned to him shortly after UT won the Rose Bowl that the tower would only be lit up through the weekend.

As I lazed about in my pajamas late Saturday morning, a knock came on the door. It was the boy from the corner and his mom. He wanted to play with B. She quickly got changed and went over to his house for a while. DH and I got the other two kids dressed and we got showered and changed. When B came back we ate lunch and hopped in the car for the long trip.

As we prepared to depart, B and S asked for their headphones so they could watch a movie in the car. DH could only locate one pair, so I headed back in the house to find the other pair, and DH set up a DVD in the car. He had quietly said a few times during the day that it was going to be a long drive and we wouldn't get there until dark. Um, we ARE going to see a tower lit up at night, right??? So getting there at dusk would be a good thing, right?? Are you with me?

Alas, only A had napped at home, and we waited and waited for the other two to fall asleep. Meanwhile A and S were having screaming matches to see who could be loudest in the car. Great fun! At this time I was attempting to write out the last of my Christmas cards. (Side note: I discovered on Sunday that postage went up two cents, so now I have to buy more postage before they can be mailed. UGH!) We were driving northwest, so we had the pleasure of having the setting sun in our eyes for the entire trip, which also annoyed the kids, but most of all A, who screamed in protest. Great fun.

And then B woke up from her car nap and proceeded to ask us the hated question, "Are we there yet?" Every time we said "no, but soon," she'd reply with "this takes a long time" or some such. It got old real quick. Needless to say our nerves were shot when we finally arrived. As we drove near the tower I tried to snap a few quick pics with the digicam. It wasn't terribly easy to do.

Since the natives were getting restless, we decided to eat and then try to get a better shot of the tower. We pulled into one of DH's favorite pizza joints from his UT days, a buffet style place where the younger two eat for free. We found a table and two highchairs and DH went up to the buffet to get food for the kids and himself. Then he went to get drinks. I kept getting to wait until he was back before I could get my food or drink. The girls were a little nuts; B was complaining that her pizza was too hot to eat, and S on the other hand was an eating machine. Of course, A was in rare form, squealing at us and pointing to our pizza. Yet everytime I tried to hand him some, he'd push my hand away. Finally we realized he was thirsty and filled his sippy cup. And then that became a weapon. He'd launch it across the room, or at one of us. The final straw broke when he was sitting in my lap, and had just taken a sip. He wound up, and tossed the bottle in DH's direction while I tried to warn him. The cup flew across the table, clipping my half full cup of lemonade, sending that onto S's plate and drowning her pizza and the girls' part of the table. DH, being the patient man he is, said something to the effect of , "Jeanne, can't you turn him or get him away!..." which is when I yes, and stormed out of the restaurant. Being the idiot I am, DH had the keys, so I had to wait outside for him to get the girls out.

Things improved once we drove to the stadium. We found a parking spot right in front of the store and took the kids inside the packed store to purchase our national champions merchandise. Little Mr. Stretch Armstrong kept grabbing shirts off their hangers and was generally driving me nuts. S was not listening to either of us and kept disappearing, and B wanted one of everything in the store. Ultimately I had to excuse myself from the store and decided to walk the younger two outside. Then we played a game where I had S climb some stairs and come back down while trying to beat A and me. I was desperate to tire them out. Once DH had dropped a ton of money, we got the double stroller, walked past the Longhorn Band statue, stopping for the obligatory photo opp. (The statue is of a LHB trumpet player, which is what DH was.) Then we walked a little further and got some better shots of the tower. A made a lot of friends there, considering he was wearing his "#1 Texas Kid" romper and his hair nearly matches the burnt orange.

Lucky for us the kids finally fell asleep on the drive home and that three hours wasn't nearly as unpleasant.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Hit rockbottom

Friday was a bad day. How did it start? Gosh, I can't really remember now, but I'm pretty certain that B was still upset that she had to go back to school. If memory serves, Friday morning was much like a lot of mornings with the whining and complaining that she "hates school" and doesn't want to go. Guess what, sister! We've ALL been there! She also whined nonstop since Thursday since she had a playdate with her classmate. She wanted him to have a sleepover that night, then she wanted him to have a playdate here. And that was all she wanted to talk about. All. Night. Long. And. Into. The. Morning.

For some unknown reason I seemed pretty emotional and DH hit my last nerve very early in the day. He was walking from our bedroom to the stairs and I was on the couch. I mentioned to him that he should watch the next segment on The Today Show since he might find it humorous. The bit was on how men who are good dancers are more attractive to women. Lemme say that if you haven't seen my DH shake his groove thing, the man can dance. He's been described as having liquid hips. I thought he might just watch the bit for a laugh, but no. He asked me what it would be about, I said "wait and see". He got annoyed and said he had to work and went upstairs. At that point I didn't even want to watch the bit. Oh, so sorry sir! Didn't realize that you were working. You just changed out of trackpants into your lounge pants...didn't realize you were on the clock yet.

Honestly, I know this all sounds so stupid and trivial, but gosh, is it annoying. Sheesh. Every day he's home, I have no idea whether I am allowed to speak to him or whether he's working. He can come down from his office for a drink or to get something and he'll talk to me. I just never seem to know which guy I'm getting. Meanwhile, I'm used to working in an office setting where you could actually TALK to people when you saw them. Okay, I lie. You didn't smile or look at and acknowledge the people you passed in the main corridors if you didn't know them, but in your building, sure, talk away.

Then I started feeling all sorts of sorry for myself. I mean I've really got no one here. I'm friendly with the people on our street. The one lady pretty much serves as a taxi for her many children, the other is also busy unpacking her home, and the other is a Ph.D. who I believe does WOH, at least part time. In addition, the other new neighbor is originally from a foreign country, so I really have to pay attention to understand some of what she's saying; that's not a bad thing, but sometimes I just don't want to think. I miss my family, I miss my friends, I miss working and having more adult interaction.

I decided that I'd work on getting all my store returns ready, and when B arrived home from school, I'd take her and the other two out to the mall to do returns and eat. B was to bring home her first report card that day, so I was going to take them all out to celebrate the occasion at the Rain Forest Cafe and since I'm not too sure where my cell phone is, I was just going to leave DH out of the plans. Alas, the plan was foiled when the school called and said report cards weren't coming home Friday.

So B came home and she asked if her friend Clay could play at our house. I said only if his mom says it's OK. He was going to his aunt's house later that day, but he could play for about an hour. So the kids raced ahead of me and the full double stroller. They had a great time playing -- first they jumped on B's bed. Not a real good idea, considering it is higher than standard beds, and the ceiling fan and light fixture are over the foot of her bed, and Clay has a trampoline, so he can jump HIGH. Then we pulled out B's brand new dance mat and Clay started "dancing" on it. It was much more like he was trying to break dance, complete with attempted handstands...right next to the second story railing! ACK! B tried the dance mat and declared it "Boring!" which drives me completely batty; anything she doesn't like is "boring."

DH called me to see if we needed anything at the sports store; I gave him some one syllable answers, complained about my loneliness, and he solved the problem for me: get friendly with the ladies on the block. DUH!! Thanks for the hint!! Later the kids went outside to play where they met up with the two boys who live next door and on the corner. So we had six kids on our driveway, some playing basketball (after DH hung the net on our hoop), some playing with any of the other three outdoor balls we had just reinflated to proper PSI, some driving S's new motorized Jeep (yeah, thanks MIL!!), and some riding the other ride on toys. It was madness. Meanwhile for part of this DH was talking to the man next door, and then their middle DD, who plays basketball. Aside from the kids trying to run each other over in the jeep, it wasn't too bad. However, I now know for certain that I am not the type to run a day care. I took a census and found that we were missing a kid -- one of mine. The middle one to be exact. As I was holding A at this point, I handed him off to DH and started searching the gated backyard and then the house trying to find her. Finally she answered my calls inside the house; she was upstairs playing and didn't immediately answer me.

Clay's mom arrived and she, her sister, DH and I spoke for a few minutes. They'll be moving to a new house in our community and Clay will finish the school year with B, but will be in a new school come September. Oh well...just when I thought I was making a friend. Did I mention Clay's little sister is only a few months younger than S? Now here's the real momentous event of the day -- I have Clay's mom my phone number. Neither of us are listed in the school's directory, and I wanted her to have our number for future playdates.

Once they left I told DH that I was going to pass out from hunger. Clay's mom had suggested a local Mexican restaurant with good margaritas and a play area. After another whinefest from B about having Clay sleepover, I lost it. I said something snotty to her, and DH said that "you get what you give." I'd lost all my patience, I needed a drink or twenty, I needed a break and I needed a cry. Thus I retreated to my bathroom and proceeded to cry, wail and sob my heart out. Considering I wasn't yet in full breakdown, DH still probably has no idea how hard I cried in there. Once I got it all out of my system, we packed up the kids and went to dinner. We were seated immediately, and just about as we sat down, someone took our drink orders. Once I had time to read the menu and discovered that happy hour was ending in about 10 minutes, I ordered a second frozen margarita. My dinner was good, the kids were behaved and, best of all, I was buzzed. I had been thinking all damn day about when I could have a drink, and believe me, those margaritas were FANTASTIC!! LOL! Yes, I passed out, in bed, before 10pm.

I thought parenthood was going to be fun. I did not anticipate the sometimes near incessant whining and complaining and mountain from molehill making...

Thursday, January 05, 2006


  • Does anyone even find Conan O'Brien remotely funny? Gawd, I just can't stand that guy!
  • Does Jay Leno seem to pander to the much older crowd, making only "safe" jokes?
  • Does every Christian in Texas have nothing better to do than lobby NBC to remove "The Book of Daniel" from its lineup? You mean to tell me that there aren't Christians who are also alcoholics, drug addicts, drug pushers or homosexual?
  • I could probably buy a Lamborghini with the amount of money I've spent on fast food in Texas. I heart Sonic! *blush*
  • Getting back to late night TV, I also really don't like Carson Daly. So why am I almost intrigued to watch tonight to see if he and Jennifer Love Hewitt will explain the reason for their breakup 10 years ago?
  • I should really just go to sleep...

Today's the day!

Today is the day that school started back for B. As much as I love my kids, three straight weeks of all three of them nonstop was a bit too much. I was so relieved to only have to deal with two today. DH took B to the bus stop and told me later that she really didn't put up too much of a fuss getting on the bus. However, she was disappointed seeing me at the bus stop to pick her up. Oh well. At that point she begged to play at her friend Clay's house and his mom said it would be fine. So I didn't have her for another hour. When I picked her up, she was having a great time playing in his backyard. And I got to have a wonderful conversation with someone who actually lives within walking distance. Heaven I tell you.

We had to pick up DH's car tonight from the car dealership. Last week he had the 45K mile service done and the state inspection done. The car sat in the garage all last week, I think. Yesterday DH was heading out of town and was maybe a half mile away when his car started making an awful noise, so he pulled over and turned off the engine; the noice stopped. Then he noticed a belt hanging under the car -- some stray belt in the engine had broken. Lovely!! Don't you think that during a major service, the mechanic would actually INSPECT the engine and the belts and hoses?? At least they did that at my Honda dealerships (he drives a different import). It only cost $18 for the belt and no charge for labor, but it annoyed me anyway.

As a treat, DH picked up Chick-Fil-A for dinner, which was a great change from the hors d'oeuvres we've been eating all week. We've had pigs in blankets, sweet & sour meatballs, mini quiche, veggie and fruit crudites...

Now I just need to convince DH that we need to take a trip to Austin this weekend so we can see the Texas Tower lit up... You'd think the man would be chomping at the bit to go there, but today when I mentioned it, he said, "it's a long drive..."

Next week the cool new furniture for my guestroom / scraproom should arrive. It'll only weigh a few hundred pounds, so I'll have to wait for DH to get it upstairs. Perhaps I won't need too much help assembling it. Yeah right...

Wednesday, January 04, 2006


Oh. My. God. That Rose Bowl game was amazing. Such a nailbiter. My heart was pounding for the last two minutes of the game. I am both amazed and relieved that UT won; I was beginning to wonder if they were ever going to pull it off. Phew. DH is floating now. He told me earlier tonight that he wants to go to Austin to see the Tower all lit up for the National Championship. Now I need to get DH a new tee shirt, seeing as how I got him a Big XII Champions shirt for Christmas. LOL! The silly man just said the same thing to me. On a less personal note, I hope that the people who determine who wins the Heisman feel a little sheepish now, considering the less than stellar performance of Reggie Bush tonight versus that of Vince Young (467 total yards!). Alas, hindsight is 20/20.

On another bright note, B goes back to school tomorrow. Thus, I'll be able to get a little more of my life back by only having two kids at home all day. Perhaps I can finally go through the boxes of things I need to return and get them organized by store. I have a ton to go back to Kohl's and dammit, I think my bill was due today. Crap. Seriously, I think the stuff I have to return will lower my bill by about half. Ugh.

MIL called tonight. No idea why. Perhaps she wanted to talk Rose Bowl with DH. She asked him about the stainless steel paper towel holder she sent me for Christmas. He told her we already had one under the cabinet that matches and that we like. Now I have to check the damn box for a receipt or hope that BB&B won't give me any trouble returning it. I do love the s/s trash can she sent -- it was exactly what I had asked for. However, I had sent her other suggestions, including a s/s utensil holder. Instead she sent me the paper towel holder. Thanks. Thanks a lot. Did you have your eyes open when you were here at Thanksgiving??!!

I did remember to tell DH that I already ordered her bday gift for her 60th later this month. Her bday is on a Sunday so I first chose the Friday before as the delivery day, but then realized that she and the DF might go away and I couldn't send the gift to her office if she wouldn't be there, so I finally chose the Wednesday before. That way everyone can enjoy the treats I ordered. Hey, if I'm eating my weight in hors d'oeuvres tonight, why shouldn't everyone be pigging out in January??!! VBEG

Now...to sleep, perchance to dream...

It's a Christmas miracle! or not

First Penn State finally wins the Orange Bowl, and then, the breaking news on TV is that the 12 missing miners are alive. I had already heard that they had found one miner dead in a mine car. What wonderful news.

Edited: I'm rather upset that this horrible miscommunication occurred. How awful for the families to first hear that their loved one survived this harrowing accident, only to find out hours later that the truth was the exact opposite of that. I cannot even image their sorrow, frustration, anger and hurt. I certainly hope that an investigation determines what went wrong at every level and that steps are put into place so that others don't have to go through such heartwrenching agony.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Not so bad today

DH again let me sleep in, which was really nice, considering I had slept on the couch and only came to bed around 7am. He got the kids up, changed and fed. Yay DH! And then, to add to my wonderful day, he even agreed to eat lunch and get ready to leave while I got to run to the Community Association building by myself to pay our annual fees. Heaven, I tell you.

And I think I only had to adjust B's attitude once today. Not bad.

Tonight we ran out of milk, so I just ran to the store at 11pm. It was great because the place was empty. Sure some of the racks were empty as well, but it was all good. I had to laugh as I went down the baked goods aisle. They actually carry a brand of snack cakes from a company called "Bimbo" and one of their products is "Bimbolete". Hmmm, don't think I'll let the girls eat those for fear of them becoming bimbettes. Perhaps we'll just avoid the entire line of products. LOL!

I have to say, I think I did really well with DH's gifts this Christmas. I found him lounge pants with his college logo on them and matching long sleeve shirt, ornaments, notepad, and all sorts of other wonderful things with the logo on them. The best, perhaps, were the college clog-style slippers I got him from Solutions Catalog. He has them on nearly every single minute he's home unless his feet are hot. I rock! You can bet he'll be wearing all of his burnt orange and white tomorrow night for the Rose Bowl. I'm still annoyed that I tried for an hour on the evil tiketmaster to get tickets for the game, and I was online and logged into my account well before the tix went on sale, and I never even got any seats offered to me. Dammit! That would've been a total Christmas coup! Oh well. We wouldn't have had a babysitter anyway.

Hook 'em Horns!

Monday, January 02, 2006

When will it be Thursday?

This winter break thing is getting to me. B has been out of school since mid-December and I'm going to lose my mind. It's hard somedays just having two at home, but to have three, Oh. My. God. They really weren't that interested in watching the Rose Parade with me. Now I realize that parades aren't everyone's cup of tea, but this one was important to us. We had to watch for UT's band to march by. Once they were on the screen, the girls were elated. But just as quickly, it was over, and the madness resumed.

I don't know how many more days of "is it a school day?" I can take. How many more days can I listen to the girls fight over some dumb ass toy. How much longer I can stand to listen to them run toys around the house. Really, it's not so bad on the carpeting, but when the toys get on the tile floors, I am tempted to skewer my ear drums.

And to think tomorrow I have the pleasure of taking all three to our Homeowner's Association building so I can pay our 2006 dues. I cannot even begin to imagine what trouble they can get in for the very brief time I hope to have them out of their carseats. Ugh.

Can't we just fast forward to Thursday? Please?!

Five Weird Things About Me (Tagged)

  1. I'm a picker. I love to pick at my nails when I'm bored or nervous. I pick at my face when I have a zit, and I enjoy removing my blackheads. I also scour my legs for ingrown hairs to remove. I also twirl my hair, though not so much anymore.
  2. Sometimes blackheads on DH's nose will drive me to the point of begging him to let me get rid of them. The same can be said for any ingrown hair on his face.
  3. I haven't called or spoken to my best friend since I moved. We've emailed each other but we have not spoken. I suck.
  4. When I sleep I need to have my thumbs tucked in to my palm or my hands in a fist. I cannot sleep with my hands open and fingers spread.
  5. My feet are so ticklish that sometimes I can't help but jerk my feet away from the person while getting my feet scrubbed during a pedicure.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

2005: The year in review

Let's see if I can remember and recap what I did in 2005.

Much of the early part of the year was a blur. We were recovering from having about 20 people at our house for Christmas.

Then February we had a trip to the 2nd closest hospital when we thought A would be admitted for his bronchiolitis. Alas, the people there had their heads up their butts because he was not admitted and our pediatrician was PISSED when she found that out. We were the second family she had sent there who were not admitted but should have been.

In March DH whisked me away for a long wonderful weekend in Key West. It was just glorious basking in the sun and enjoying a few hours being childfree. Of course it was a huge PITA to have MIL watch the kids. I mean, she was shacking up with her boyfriend and didn't want us to know about it, so she wanted to have 6mo A sleep in the same room as his nearly 2yo sister. That's a GREAT idea, especially when said infant is BREASTFED... Whatever!

March was also when DH interviewed for the new position in his company. His interview was on my mom's birthday, so we were all figuring that was a good sign. "Pack your bags!" was what DH said when he called me that night. He had hit it off great with his boss, and asked when he could start.

April and May saw us trying to get our house in order to sell it. I worked like crazy trying to get rid of the clutter and get organized. All our hard work paid off when we received two offers, both above asking price, on the day of our open house, which was the first day of active showing. I don't think it hurt that the open house was on DH's birthday. LOL!

In June I was able to go to an offsite meeting with my group at work, and we stayed at the magnificent Marriott Seaview in south Jersey. At that meeting, another coworker announced his planned departure for California. I announced my departure the next week.

June was also the girls' birthdays and we were able to have a combined bday party for the girls, DH and DNephew at MIL's clubhouse. Poor B had wanted to invite her boyfriend, but I felt uncomfortable inviting friends to this strictly family combined party. I didn't want them to feel that they needed to get anyone else gifts.

Late June and July found me traveling twice to Texas. The first time was to househunt with DH. We'd been looking at houses online and he had been on a scouting trip in early May with our realtor. We suggested some listings and Joanne suggested some others. DH weeded them out and then I went down. We did a whirlwind tour, looking at 20 houses the first day and settled on 7, then 5, then 4 to look at the next day. We settled on one that was AMAZING and made an offer. However, we walked away from that one when we found out that our contract was void because the homeowners had sold out to their relo company. Our offer on our second choice house was accepted.

My second trip to Texas was to Austin. DH met me there (while I searched furiously for Matthew McConaughey) and we went to his hometown for his 20th HS reunion. It was really great to meet his old friends, especially since DH got along with everyone. He blended with everyone, instead of staying in one clique, so I got to meet a lot of interesting people. One of his classmates was pretty interesting to talk to because he had joined the military after HS and had been stationed at McMurdo in Antarctica. I wrote a paper on Antarctica in the third grade, so I was fascinated to speak to someone who had actually been there.

In June and July I took two separate trips to Sesame Place. The first time DH came with me and the kids and we all saw Hi-5 in concert. It was great fun. The second time I took the kids by myself and we met one of my online friends, her DH and three adorable kids. We had a great day lazing in the pools there.

In July we packed up and sold our house in PA and said goodbye to our dear friends and neighbors. We were supposed to have a nice dinner with MIL that weekend as a send-off for DH; she had suggested it about a week or two before. However, the intimate farewell dinner turned into a pretty big party as MIL and her boyfriend got engaged just days before. So his son and his family were at the house too. I took the kids to the pool because I didn't want to have to spend any more time than I needed to with MIL and her DF. As for the lovely dinner, well MIL, DF and his family ate together on the deck and we got to eat inside. I could've stayed at my parents house and eaten the same meal and not felt slighted; I felt really bad for DH because I think we both expected this to be an opportunity to spend time together before he'd be 1500 miles away. That Monday DH took off for his drive down to Texas; I was heartbroken to see him leave. A week later DH bought our new house in Texas.

In August B and I flew down to Texas to meet DH and guide the movers and unpackers. We got B half registered for Kindy and missed her first day of school because we couldn't officially register her until we were living there for good. However, we did get to take a tour of the school and meet some of the Kindy teachers. Unpacking was a nightmare unto itself. A few things were broken in transit. I'll know better for next time.

September saw B start Kindy at the day care center at my work. A week later we celebrated A's first birthday at a really fun indoor amusement party place. The kids had a great time, and so did most of the adults. Seriously. We were there for 6+ hours! We also had another ER visit, this one when A fell and split open his right eyebrow the day before his birthday. That was great fun, having him immobilized in a papoose so the doctor could put in the three sutures. The end of the month was my 15th anniversary at my company; we celebrated with a wonderful lunch at a great local steakhouse.

In mid-October I finished up my job, trained my replacement and made the drive down to Texas with DH.

November came quickly and I took the girls back to NJ and NYC. We went to Radio City to see the Christmas Spectacular and were lucky enough to get a backstage tour. I had another neurologist appointment while we were up there. The girls got some quality time with Grandma and Bampa which was nice, and I got to give them a tutorial on how to use the TiVo we got them as a thank you for putting up with us while we were in between homes. And when Thanksgiving arrived, so did MIL and her DF.

December has been a blur of holiday preparations and DH working very hard. I hope he'll be able to relax a bit more this coming year.

Other highlights: my kidney stone attack and subsequent lithotripsy, my birthday lunch with the gals from my office at one of the most amazing steak restaurants in Trenton, my parents trip to California and Hawaii, the arrival of my cousin's DS (can't wait to meet him!), the DW of one of my good friends from HS had a stroke, and it appears that I had one too, which may be the cause of my double vision.

You know you're in Texas when...

  1. You can find in every major shopping center's parking lot a tractor trailer full of fireworks for sale.
  2. Every idiot around you has bought tons of fireworks, and ignoring the statewide burn ban and the Homeowner's Association's covenants against it, said fireworks are going off all around you.
  3. In fact, the idiot teens are shooting off Roman Candles at each other.
  4. You can wear light pants and a short sleeved shirt outside to watch the fireworks.
  5. There are commercials in Spanish on the English language channels.
  6. There are about a bazillion churches; it seems like there is one on every corner. However, I don't know that I've seen more than 2 synagogues in the nearly 3 months I've lived here.
  7. Taylor Pork Roll (from Trenton, NJ) is an imported delicacy!
  8. You can always find a brisket in the supermarket.
  9. You can find a star or the outline of the state of Texas on just about anything down here.
  10. Nearly everyone drives a pick up truck or an SUV. And not a small SUV, but an Excursion or Armada. Not a small pick up, but a dual-ee with crew cab (that's a four-door with six wheels).