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.**

Friday, February 24, 2006

Random Friday thoughts

Today was report card day and B only had two minuses, which is less than last time. She needs to complete her work on time and turn in neater work. Also, she needs to practice some of her letters because she either writes them incorrectly or messy. I'm really proud of her improvements and accomplishments.

Today was the end of the little ones' first week at their new day care. I'm sure it is a really nice center, but it certainly isn't the old corporate day care that they were in when we were in NJ. It doesn't feel like home yet, and A, who never had problems with drop offs in NJ, has become clingy. He doesn't want me to put him down or let him go once we enter the building. I hope this phase passes quickly.

DH is feeling better, FINALLY!!! We sanitized our bedsheets and towels this afternoon. I cannot wait to sleep in our bed, after sleeping on the couch for three weeks. Not only do we have clean sheets, but my God, we've got the world's tallest mattress, and it is SO comfortable. Serta counting sheep, here I come!

I worked more on our HOA's "Modification" application yesterday, and did some research today. I hope to complete the application over the weekend and deliver it to the HOA idiots on Monday.

Oh dear, the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo starts this coming week. Apparently this is the hugest thing in this area for the next three weeks. Sheesh, we just got rid of the NBA All Star game last week, and all the crowds for that. Now town will be crazy with traffic for the rodeo. I'll stay home, thanks; I'll watch John Travolta in Urban Cowboy and drool instead.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Update #1 on the HOA drama

I've been getting pissed every time I think about the letter from the HOA. I started taking some action by getting my ducks in a row. So far I've:

  1. Emailed a HS classmate who is a Harvard Law graduate for any referrals for lawyers in our area. I am also considering contacting two lawyers that I used to work with to see if they know anyone down here (Stacy, I'm talking about CL and JLM). If we have to go into mediation, I feel I need to have someone on my side. I searched fruitlessly on classmates for other classmates who went to law school. (I had sorority sisters and guys from our brother fraternity attend Cornell, Harvard and Georgetown Law schools.)
  2. Called the woman who used to own our house. I spoke to her today and asked her about the landscaping (who installed the front and back landscaping), pool, modification approvals, and her cleaning lady. She was very nice and told me that the builder put in the front landscaping, and the lawn company that we use landscaped the back. She's pretty certain that they got approvals for the pool; the HOA person told me they have the basketball hoop approval on record.

This afternoon I had DH print off the Modification Application. Then he reviewed the letter and called Heidi. DH has been rather blase about this whole thing and keeps telling me not to worry about it. So it was a good thing he called, since he could play "good cop" to my "bad cop" call last Friday. DH explained to Heidi that he couldn't understand why there was a problem with the landscaping since it has been here for SEVEN years. He further added that we had confirmed this with the former owner, since we had only been in this house for about six months. Providing us with a glimmer of hope, Heidi said she'd mention this to her boss. She also asked if we had any pictures of the house from closing. I now must scour the house to find the color printout of the MLS listing, showing the front exterior. I do hope that they get this information and decide to approve the existing landscaping treatment.

On another note, I told DH today that if we ever move to another HOA-controlled community, I am going to demand that the HOA inspect the property before we close. I refuse to have this happen twice. Methinks I'll also google the HOA so I can get familiar with the covenants before moving.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Yet another "Welcome to Texas"

I took B to the local grocery store yesterday afternoon. DH and I still haven't gotten TX plates yet, so we're like freaky foreigners here. When B and I were in the car and ready to leave the store, I noticed something on the windshield. Someone had rather kindly put a half eaten tortilla under my passenger side windshield wiper. Which after the entire HOA thing, just made me explode. I'm rather annoyed by these rather arrogant idiot Texans.

F*** all of you I say.

Home Owner Associations are THE DEVIL!!!!

I had this nagging feeling that I'd live to regret moving into a community where the "Deed Restrictions are Strictly Enforced". When we made an offer on the house we live in, I requested copies of the HOA guidelines. We never got them until after we closed on the house, and then we had to go to the HOA office and get them ourselves. Our realtor was of no help.

Once I read the guidelines I was horrified at the stuff these HOA nazis have power over. There are five, yes FIVE, pages of plants we are allowed to use in our landscaping. The best part -- that's for both the front AND back yards. Who knew that someone else could tell me what I can plant in my own damn backyard, behind a six foot privacy fence?!?!

We received a letter in the regular mail from the HOA idiots complaining that we did not have a net on our basketball hoop. Oh the horror!! I think before the kids and I moved down DH received a letter mentioning the weeds in the front planting beds that needed to be removed. Lucky for DH a crew came by one day and asked if he wanted the front beds weeded and mulched. He gladly paid them to do the work. And he also installed a new net on the basketball hoop. We've been in compliance for some time and I figured we wouldn't hear from these idiots again until we needed to replace the net.

However, my bubble burst on Friday. I was hanging out on the couch, cuddling with the kids when someone came to the door. It was Miss Betty, our mail person. She had two things for me to sign. It was a certified letter from our wonderful HOA. I was confused since we had paid our HOA dues on the third of January, but I hadn't heard that they were penalizing anyone paying on that date. So imagine my surprise when I opened the letter. The nazis are complaning about the bricks that surround our walkway and keep the mulch in place. Now mind you, the only improvements we've made to the exterior were two mulch installations (one in the fall, and one early last week) and the basketball net. This house has been here for SEVEN years. And I suspect that the front landscaping has been here about that long.

With my blood boiling I called the HOA and asked to speak with the author of the letter, Heidi. I inquired about the problem and she mentioned something about the bricks and how they either need to have the holes not show, or be mortared into the ground, buried halfway, etc. And I believe that they are also not approved landscaping material. So whatever we do, we have to submit a Modification Application to the f'ing Modifications Board who will then have to pull their thumbs out of their butts to decide whether the landscaping that has been here for I believe seven years can stay, or whether we need to remove and replace it with something else. No matter what we do, we apparently need to ask their permission first. Can you f'ing believe this crap??!!

Then Heidi told me that the only modification that has been approved for this property is the basketball net. Well, call me relieved about that! Phew! Now I didn't ask about the pool in the backyard, but I suspect that that needs to be approved as well. I am half tempted to call and ask for an inspection while DH and I are both home so that we can find out what other SEVEN YEAR OLD capital improvements have not been board approved. Then again, I think I'd rather just let sleeping dogs lie.

In my research over the weekend I found the former owner's phone number, so I need to call her and inquire about who did the landscaping and pool construction and when these were installed. I may even ask her if she has records proving the age of these things. I don't know if it will help our case, but I'll be damned if the HOA is going to make us change things that have been here for SEVEN LONG YEARS without a fight. I'll email two attorneys I used to work with and see if they can recommend anyone down here if we need representation, and I'm researching the two local counties' Dispute Resolution Centers (we live in one county, the HOA is located in the other).

Meanwhile, all of this leaves me very nonplussed about the entire HOA. When we bought the house I insisted on having a kid-safe pool fence installed around the perimeter of the pool. DH was to do this before the kids and I moved down. He tried a few times to call the HOA and speak to someone regarding getting approval for the pool fence. He left messages and no one, NO ONE, ever called him back. So we said "F*** it" and just went ahead and did it. I need to scour our/his phone records to document his calls to the HOA. There is no clear rule against pool enclosures, nor is there any rule seemingly against semi-permanent structures in the backyard. However, I can just imagine that these idiots will try to pull some crap about the pool, pool decking, and fence as their next move.

I'm so f'ing pissed that I want to move, but I'm too lazy to get the house ready to sell, and it seems that this freaking state is FULL of communities with HOAs. We'd probably have to be millionaires to buy a piece of land to build on before we'll get away from the seeming HELL of HOAs. UGH!

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

The results are in...

DH's chest x-ray on Monday was clear, thank God. The blood test shows a viral infection. He has an appt at 10:30am tomorrow for a recheck. I think I'm going to ask him to bring home a script for Tamiflu for me. I'm beginning to feel a little run down and I don't need this crap for two weeks, with two little ones home all day!

Monday, February 13, 2006

Monday Monday

Today I made DH another appt at the doctor. He went this afternoon and was gone a good long time. He saw a different doctor than last time. The doctor took his time to get DH's history, then gave him a shot in the ass (antibiotic), and two scripts, one a different antibiotic (this is #3 -- Levaquin last wk, and two today), the other a cough suppressant.

DH also had blood drawn and x-rays taken. We should get the results tomorrow, and I hope and pray that they show something that can be treated. This sickness is ridiculous. In the 10+ years I've known DH, this is the longest he's ever been sick (over 10 days), and only the second time he's been flat on his back. We both had the flu over Halloween 8 yrs ago and it was ugly. This is worse.

Tonight DH had a coughing fit so bad that he vomited. He's dehydrated and now I need to get him full of Gatorade. He's sick of chicken soup and hungry for real food. However he's afraid to eat anything of real substance. This morning I made him scrambled eggs and I think he was overjoyed to get some protein. As for cockamamie ideas, DH hypothesized that he's sick from drinking the water from our fridge dispenser. The change filter light went on last week and I haven't gone to the Sears store to get a replacement. Sure buddy, that's the problem...

I'm grateful that his boss is very understanding. He knows how hard DH works, and when he heard just how ill DH is, he sent out an email to DH's team asking them not to bother him. DH was to run two training meetings later this week, one about 2 hours away and then one here in town the next day. The trainer who was to do this with him called our house this afternoon while DH was at the doctor and spoke to me. She apparently wants to postpone the sessions until DH is feeling better. Normally she flies into the cities and doesn't rent a car, so I think she's just nervous about getting around the state by herself. It was a strange conversation. She's a trainer with quite an impressive resume, so I don't know why she thinks she can't handle DH's team. DH talked to her this evening and she is going to work tomorrow to reschedule the two training sessions, including all the team's schedules and work with the hotels so they don't lose the deposits. Have at it babe.

In kid news, I am convinced that A is cutting all four incisors right now. He was pretty miserable, up early crying, up late crying. S has seemingly lost all interest in going on the potty. She's starting to sport a little rash, and I'm hoping that it will help give her an incentive to start going on the potty again. Tonight I had B write out her Valentines for tomorrow. In a surprising twist, she asked to do her homework FIRST before doing the cards. My patience was shot by the evening and I had a splitting headache, no doubt from not drinking enough water today. This prompted DH to ask me what I was planning to do about daycare. I admitted I wanted to put them in full time for a month to give me a kick start with unpacking, and then go down to part time care. DH was all for it, as long as it is indeed a short term arrangement. Yippee!

Shortly after getting the kids in bed tonight I started falling asleep on the couch. I wound up unconscious for about the next 3 hours, waking only when DH had the coughing fit I mentioned earlier. Now I'm awake and I guess I'll catch up on the Olympics I slept through by watching the late night rerun.

Sunday, February 12, 2006


First of all, I accidentally hit the wrong key on the damn laptop last night and went back, erasing the friendly update email I was preparing to send to our friends up north. I was so pissed. And I still haven't been able to get into my gymboree.com shopping cart. Argh. I'll have to call them tomorrow.

DH is still sick; this is day 10 of whatever he has, and day 5 of serious antibiotics. It's driving me CRAZY!! I realize he genuinely feels awful. He's sick of eating chicken soup and drinking water. He wants something with taste. However, he coughs (and he can't tell me why he's coughing) so violently that it sometimes makes him puke. He goes from freezing to hot flashes in the blink of an eye. I realize he's miserable. He is still quarantined, sleeping and pretty much spending the majority of the day in our bedroom. I sleep on the couch in the hopes that I don't get this bug. DH has decided to go back to the doctor tomorrow and ask for a blood test to see if that can determine what this thing is.

I took the kids out to WalMart because I was meeting someone from freecycle.com there. My plan was to then go to the Bed Bath & Beyond and return a Christmas gift, and return a portrait to the photography studio in the mall (they've promised to reprint it for us and haven't yet). However the kids had different ideas, and by the time we were leaving WalMart, the little ones were crying and B was testing my patience. Being the nice mom I am, I stopped at Sonic to get lunch for us (and even called DH to see if he wanted anything). To continue my fabulous run of luck, my liimeade fell out of my cupholder when I came to a stop at a stop sign, spilling half of its precious contents all over the front floormat of my car. Fed the kids, then changed them and got them to nap.

Wondered to my mother what had happened to my life if my days consist of changing diapers and finding wonder in the different colors and textures of my children's shits. So this is what it has come to?! Great.

My mother was socked with 13 inches of snow and my dad is on a trip for a week. He has to deal with the snow where he is too, so we're not as jealous as we usually are. Normally when there is a blizzard, he's someplace fabulous and warm. Friends from NJ and MD sent me pix of the blizzard. It's times like this that I'm happy to be living in the South and in relative warmth. (Did I mention that winter finally hit Houston yesterday? Temps at 6 this morning were below freezing here.)

Called a good friend of mine who is a gymbo addict. It turns out she got a PT job at gymbo, just for the discount. LOL! I would have talked to her longer, but I heard a strange sound out in the family room. (I was on the phone in my bedroom, which is off the FR.) I asked my friend to hold on for a moment, and then I searched for B. I finally found her in tears coming out from a corner of the living room. DH had gone to investigate with me. She told us she had hurt herself and after further pressing, she finally told us what she had done. She climbed up on the built in TV shelf and then tried to jump and grab the fireplace mantel but didn't and fell on the slate. Lectured her on why it is not a good idea to climb and jump on things in the house. By this time I had already apologized to my friend and told her I'd have to call her back. If you wonder why I drink, it is times like this. I feel like a broken record with these kids and it seems my rules and messages just don't seem to get through. Even if I have the kids repeat the rules to me. ARGH!

I read part of the Sunday paper (wasn't that a great song by Joe Jackson?!) and decided I needed to run to Target and pick up the cordless phone that was on sale, since I didn't expect it to be in stock later this week. And again I had to pack up the kids and take them all with me. We killed some time by shopping for spring, summer and Easter shoes. The girls each got a pair of white Easter shoes with rhinestones on the straps, sparkling pink dressy shoes, and colorful flip flops. There wasn't a very good selection of boy shoes, so I'll have to hit the Stride Rite outlet for him. Then B had the bright idea of eating there, so we did. The kids meals are pretty darn reasonable and somewhat nutritious -- hot dog, juice box, apple sauce, and gummy fruit bites for $3.92 or so. So they ate and I had some water and finished off the 1/3 of A's hot dog that he didn't want.

The dipshit in front of me on the Express (10 items or les) lane pissed me off. She got up to the cashier and asked if he'd take her even if she had more than 10, since she apparently didn't see the signs posted ALL OVER THE LANE. And he was nice enough to say yes, so I watched him ring up about 20-30 stupid things she had stuffed into her hand basket. When she was finally out of earshot, I said to him, "So much for 10 items or less, huh?!" Schmuck. Both of them.

DH was feeling worse when we got home, having just puked twice. So he was of absolutely no help. I begged him to help with the bedtime routine, which was when he told me he had just puked. Thanks for that buddy. I know you feel like crap, but I still have to do all of the parenting when I'm sick... I'm so over his illness. Meanwhile he later asked me to get him saltines since Ritz crackers were too buttery for his delicate stomach. So I ran to the store for them, picking up some Smartfood popcorn for me in the process (and surprisingly, not getting the ice cream I've been craving). And I even got him a glass of cranberry juice (since he "doesn't want to contaminate all the cups by getting one"). He even contemplated aloud whether he should go to the ER. Poor guy.

Get better soon before I have an effing stroke dude!! I need some help here, and lemme tell ya, full time daycare for a month or few weeks is sounding REALLY GOOD right about now! I'm over doing the whole single parent thing while actually not being a single parent. That's why you took this job and moved the family. Argh.

At least tomorrow there will be one less body in the house for part of the day. I'm looking forward to that.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Gymboree hell

Yesterday I braved the wilds of Houston to find the closest Gymboree store. They're having a great sale and I've got a ton of stuff in my online shopping cart. I try not to shop there often, but during their sales I sometimes have to pick up a few things. The Gymbo Baby Sale is great because most tops are $10, most bottoms are $20, and blankets are $10. These prices are amazing for Gymbo.

The store was crowded and hot. I was immediately greeted by a sales associate named Pilar who told me all about the sale and helped me quite a bit. I managed to find some things for A and SIL's new baby (a boy, due early June). Since FIL was a helicopter pilot I wanted to get some things with helos on them, and I was able to get some deals. When I complained to Pilar that I hadn't received the 25% off postcard, and gymboree.com had stopped sending me email, she told me that she'd give me the discount without the postcard. WAHOO! I got the girls each a few things, but I'd like to get some bottoms for A and another outfit or two for B.

Unfortunately, I just can't get to complete my transaction online. Thursday night I had 20 items in my cart. Friday morning I was down to 19. Now I'm at 18. Some are duplicates of things I bought at the store. I'd like to edit my cart and checkout, but the stupid thing won't let me in. Argh. This is one of the reasons for my lukewarm feeling for Gymboree. If they can charge ridiculous amounts for clothes, can't they funnel just a little bit of their profits into another server or two in order to deal with the rush they always have during sales and Gymbucks time?? Ugh.

Going to publish this post and see if I can get in to my shopping cart yet.

I survived. Whew!

Today was the shindig at B's school for which I had to bake brownies. More about that later.

DH was been sick all week with something like the flu. He has some serious antibiotics that he's been taking but they don't seem to be working. He's feverish, and suffers from chills and hot flashes, hacking up a ton of phlegm, etc. It's really wonderful. Thus, I've been sleeping on the couch for at least a week. At 2am Friday morning I finally finished reading Memoirs of a Geisha. It was fantastic and I had trouble putting the book down every night while reading it (so I was up until 2-3 every night this week). Yesterday morning B came down around 6:50 and turned on the TV after getting my permission to do so. Then DH got up, got her breakfast and went upstairs to work a little in his office. I went back to sleep. Thank goodness DH looked at the clock at nearly 7:30 and realized it was too quiet and woke me up to get B ready for school. She normally heads out to the bus stop with one of us at 7:35, so I had to hurry to get her clothes and make myself somewhat presentable. She made it to the stop in time. Whew; that was a close one.

Today B got up at her usual time and came down to watch TV. I rolled over and let her watch it while the rest of us slept. Finally I had to get up, get laundry in the dryer, get a shower, get the other kids, change them, feed them, and get to the school to help setup and decorate for the shindig tonight. I got to the school at noon and worked for over an hour setting up the cafeteria and decorating the tables. Since the other parents had apparently been there all morning, they were all working well and knew each others names. I was the outsider just doing what was asked, without benefit of introductions. Oh well.

Got home, took care of some paperwork, and watched as the kids continued their destruction of the first floor, which was their goal while I was out. DH's job while I was gone was apparently only to make sure they stayed downstairs. Thanks for that.

I got the little ones bathed and dressed while B took a shower by herself in our bathroom. Once we were all ready we left Daddy at home and went to the big fundraising party at the school. There were games with candy for prizes, raffles of fantastic themed prizes (girl stuf, boy stuff, family game night, etc), raffles for class outings (mini-golf with the principal, bowling with the Kindy teachers, etc), a silent auction with tons of great stuff (each class had made something from a local "paint your own pottery" store, photographer credit, wine rack, etc), and a live auction, featuring a dog, and an autographed Roger "The Rocket" Clemens baseball. I actually bid quite competitively for the baseball, but bowed out just before the man standing behind me won the ball. However, the lady auctioneer thought I had won it while the spotters thought it was the man right behind me. The fellow and I worked it out since there was no controversy, but the spotters apparently had been concerned. My highlight for the evening was seeing a man in the cafeteria who was wearing a hat from my college alma mater. Right before we left, I asked him if he indeed go there and he did. He and his wife were originally from the Philly area, and lived right near from where DH and I just moved. It was so refreshing to talk to another displaced Yankee. His family has been down here 6 years and they love it. We even have the same summer survival plan, which includes escaping the oppressive heat and humidity by going someplace in the northeast with less oppressive heat and just as much humidity. LOL!

We saw B's teacher in the hall who told me that she's been doing better in school, finishing more of her classwork, which was wonderful to hear. We also had the pleasure of seeing Clay and his family. It was the first time we've seen them since we watched their kids the day they moved. Clay's mom told me she's been very busy with unpacking, and of course, I commisserated. She's preaching to the choir, and that is just what I told her.

I feel like I need a drink after going to this thing. I think the entire school's student population, plus their parents and siblings, and a few stray grandparents, were in attendance. It was CROWDED. Like shopping at the mall right before Christmas. And rather than deal with two or three loose kids, I kept S and A in the double stroller for the better part of the night. So maneuvering that thing around the tight crowded hallways became a recipe for disaster. Add in that this thing went from 5-9pm, when the kids normally go to bed between 7 and 7:30, and it became a disaster. Part of the Clemens auction confusion probably stemmed from my trying to rock A to sleep while waving frantically to have my bids recognized. They probably decided that any move on my part was a bid.

I've already eaten the brownies that remained from my baking fun yesterday. A beer is sounding really good... Hmmm... I think I better end this post.

Friday, February 10, 2006


I had to bake 2 dozen brownies for B's school today, so I did it this morning after she got on the bus. Let's face it, it is much easier to bake without little ones running around the kitchen. I was worried that someone touch a hot pan or trip me up.

Needless to say, the entire house smells delicious. In fact, all I could smell all day was brownies. Brownies in the car, brownies on my clothes, EVERYWHERE! I was very good and packed up all the brownies that would fit in the container, leaving me about 8 small brownies. Being the mean mommy that I am, I cut them up after I put the kids to bed, and I've had two tonight. I hope I'm feeling more generous tomorrow and let the kids have one each.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Especially For Mama Tulip

Mama Tulip recently blogged about her DH's propensity to pass gas (read more here). In honor of that, I thought I'd pass on a website that may be helpful to her or others in the same situation: http://www.flat-d.com/products.html

I cannot speak to the utility of the products offered. If they can't give you a breath of fresh air, perhaps they'll give you a giggle.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Yay Steelers!

So the Steelers won the Super Bowl. Hmm, am I allowed to use the words "Super Bowl" or should I say "Big Game"?? I'm glad the team from the East Coast and my former home state won.

My friend Tim was a big Steeler fan. Thinking of the Steelers makes me think of him and that makes me sad. Why is that? Because just over a year ago I got some disturbing news about Tim. He and his lovely wife Juli were divorcing, and he apparently got himself screwed up good to earn the divorce. Juli did everything she could to help him and so did our friends who knew. However, he just went mental. It sounded to me like he either had some sort of mental crisis, akin to a mid-life crisis, or got messed up with drugs. It's a pity because Tim and Juli and their beautiful daughter Anna made such a wonderful family.

Tim and I dated very briefly in high school, but I liked him more like a friend. We survived some strange times, like after he asked me to our junior prom and I had accepted, I later told him I couldn't go with him to the prom. I had heard that he wanted to go off alone with me after the prom (he was the only one of our friends with a drivers license at that time). Being the good Catholic girl, going to the prestigious Catholic school, his post-prom plans weren't OK with me, so I got out of the date. But we remained friends, and I was very happy about that.

Tim and Juli met in college and I loved her from the moment I met her. They were so cute together, finishing each other's sentences. I'd been to their home for dinners; DH and I went to Tim's surprise 30th birthday party. And I was privileged to be a part of their wedding ceremony.

I think what saddens me most is that they seemed to be one of those couples who are so perfectly suited that you just know they'll never get divorced. When you find out the awful truth, it shocks you to the core, and you wonder, if I was wrong about them...

I hope Juli and Anna are happy and I hope and pray that Tim gets the help he needs.

Friday, February 03, 2006

I think I've found an activity for the girls

Tonight I took the girls to an Irish dance expo. The local Irish dance champion started her own school last year and is starting classes locally. When I mentioned to B yesterday that we'd be going to the expo tonight she was OK with it. However, I knew that she'd change her mind and she indeed proved me right. We talked about the expo on the way to the bus stop, on the way home from the bus stop and over dinner. And every time she told me she didn't want to go.

We arrived at the dance studio and I sat the girls on either side of me. The students were practicing their solo dances and learning new steps from the teacher. I think what caught B's eye was that the girls got to jump and run around the studio. She thought the dancing was cool and began to copy it out in the waiting area. Lucky for me she calmed down because for a while she was panic stricken and nervous, (I think) thinking that she was going to have to dance for the older girls and that they'd laugh at her. Instead the girls thought my girls were cute.

After the class I spoke to the teacher and she will be scheduling classes in our area once she finalizes the studio space. She has a beginners class for 5 yr olds and a toddler class for 3-5 yr olds. As much as I think B would be OK in the beginner class, I think I'll enroll them both in the toddler class. B is very much like DH (can't sit still, very outgoing and personable), but she's exactly like I was at her age: shy in new situations. Even at her classmate's birthday parties down here, she was clingy at the beginning, then got comfortable and went off with her friends. I know to expect that, so I think if she has S with her, they'll both get comfortable quicker.

I can't wait to get the email with all the details. We should get the info by the end of the month.


I just discovered that I missed attending a lecture by local celebrity Frank Bielec, of TLC's Trading Spaces fame, last week. He gave the lecture at some library around Houston sometime in the last week or two. Figures I'd find out about it now. I bet it was a hoot.

Other celebrities who come from or at some point lived in this area include: Janeane Garofalo (another former Jersey Girl), Renee Z, Kimberly Caldwell, Roger Clemens, and Clint Black (funny, he was born near where I used to live...), Yao Ming. Chances of me running into any of these people: zilch. However, I did hear of a Yao Ming sighting at the Houston Galleria about 2 weeks ago. Too bad I can't afford to shop there now...

One hundred days

B celebrated her 100th day of Kindy earlier this week. To be honest, she's only been in Kindy about 80 days since she started Kindy in September, and they start in August down here, plus she got a week off while we drove down here. Her old school would celebrate with the kids having a fancy tea party. Here they celebrated by dressing "old". We were requested to dress the kids "old" and have them wear glasses or use canes. Of course, I had an old pair of glasses, my first pair that I got as a freshman in HS, but God only knows where they are right now. They're probably in one of the 150 or so boxes I still have lying around. Or maybe I tossed them or gave them to the Lions Club. I don't recall. And canes, yup, got a million of those. In New Jersey. My grandmother used to work in NYC and would invariably fall every few years, either breaking or spraining an ankle or a wrist. Her cane collection lives at my parents' house -- the traditional cane (which my kids loved playing with), a real Irish shillelagh, a medical issue four footed cane. Oh well, I made do, or so I hope.

I had her dress in a plaid dress I got for her over a year ago, and she wore white gloves and a cheesy white wig I had used once for a Halloween party. I wonder how she looked compared to her classmates.

Each child had to bring in 100 pieces of something for the class to make trail mix for snack that day. She brought in 100 mini marshmallows, and I also sent her along with 100 M&Ms, just in case someone forgot to bring something in. (Okay, so I really did it to get more chocolate out of this house, but give me credit for being helpful.)