Monday, September 29, 2008

Big News!

I don't even know how to say this... so I'll just post a picture.


At the end of August, I took a test, and it was positive... before (sorry!) I even finished, um, taking it.

So I went in for a blood test. Only the lady said she couldn't do one without a doctor's order, so I'd have to get a positive urine test first. So while I was in their bathroom, um, taking that test, she got the doctor's okay to do a blood test. They called later that day and confirmed it was positive, and wanted to see me the next day for an ultrasound. Because of the last time.

So I went in the next morning, and they couldn't see or hear a heartbeat. The tech said it was still very early, and not to worry. The yolk sac was still there, so she thought maybe the heart just hadn't started beating yet. I saw the doctor right after that, and he said he wasn't worried about the lack of a heartbeat, and for me not to worry. Right. Sure. Don't worry. Anyway, they guessed I was around five weeks, but didn't want to date it until they saw the heartbeat.

He scheduled another appointment in two weeks (on September 11th) for another ultrasound. On September 10th, the nurse called me and said we had to reschedule because of Hurricane Ike, and that I should immediately go to the nearest hospital should I start to cramp or bleed.

They rescheduled me for my birthday, the 18th. The ultrasound above is from that day. We saw and heard the heartbeat, and the tech actually started crying. I told her that I thought she'd probably be "over it," having done so many. She said that with the previous one showing just the baby but no heartbeat, she was just so relieved. Especially knowing I lost the baby last time. It's good to have people like that working with me. He moved around a little, which is crazy, since he's so little. Maybe a couple inches.

I say, "he," because he's going to have to live with Cullen, so it really needs to be a he! That little "something" on the picture could really be anything, but I'm hoping it's a pee-pee.

I'm ten weeks, right now. April 23 is the date. One month minus one day after Christian's birthday. Speaking of Christian, we told her on Saturday. She is beside herself, she's so excited!

This morning she came in and woke me up and asked if she could snuggle for a while before getting dressed. While we were laying there, she kept rubbing my abdomen (way high up, though!). She suddenly sat up and said, "I felt the baby kick!" Um. Not yet. She just can't wait. She actually wants two more, but I'm just going to get through this one, first!

Happy Monday, everyone!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Happy Birthday Pat!

Today is my step-mother's birthday... so, I made her a cake.

I must say, it was delicous! It was a sour cream pound cake with buttercream and fondant.


And no, I didn't use the cupcake pan that's out right now. It was really fun to do. Christian "helped." She made all the purple sprinkles!

And then proceeded to beg everyone for their sprinkles once the cake was served!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Remember that ginormous turtle?


This one?


Well, I have an extremely talented and creative friend, who also happens to be an expert on all things turtle.

Here's what she told me:

That guy you saw and photographed was NOT native. He was probably someone’s pet, who decided to get rid of him when they realized how big he was getting and how much energy he had. It is an African Spur-Thighed (official name : Sulcata). He was probably only 3-5 years old. They grow to be the 3rd largest species of tortoise in the world – hundreds of pounds. They are suited to living in really barren conditions where food is scarce. You can tell this was someone’s pet because of the “spiking” of the scutes on his shell. That means he has been getting WAY more food than he needs- primarily too much protein. He might survive in south Texas climate, if he can avoid being hit by a car. They don’t hibernate, and therefore can’t handle cold temps at all (note from Tracye: No problem there! Texas doesn't even know Fall is here yet!). They are extremely popular in pet stores because they are cheap, very outgoing, and as babies – are small and cute. It is sad that so many are sold without the buyer really understanding what they are getting into. As a result, many end up being released and then die in the wild. Like I said, that guy will get big- think galapogos big, he will never hibernate, he will get strong, and is a digger. If you try to keep him indoors, he will knock holes in the walls, wanting to get out and run. As you saw, they are naturally very active and migratory- covering miles. If you try to keep them in your back yard, they will burrow large dens- 3 x 5 foot underground rooms that cave into your yard. I think they are cute as heck, but really don’t make good pets. Many zoos across the country have several Spur-thighed. People find them in the wild after irresponsible buyers can’t deal with them any more.

So. There you have it. I found it fascinating information, and sad. I really would hate to see him dead on the road. I really wish I had been able to (somehow!) trap him and take him to the zoo. But this was when Ike was headed for us, and the town was nearly empty!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Some random thoughts... and some pictures

A few weeks ago, I drove out to my in-laws' house. On the road, I spotted something large, so I turned around and parked on the shoulder to go see what it was.

It was giant... and it was fast. That thing was bookin' it. It literally walked as fast as I did. Okay, it was faster, but gimme a break. I was tired from packing up my life to run from Ike.


When I got to their house, I told Christian about it, and she wanted to go find it. By the time we got to him, he'd walked another mile. My in-laws' neighbor had seen him at the end of their driveway about an hour earlier. The driveway was probably about a mile from where I first stopped to take his picture.

Christian was braver than I was, and got much closer.



He eventually got tired of us, and turned off the highway and into the woods. But I got one last picture before he walked through the brush.


Then here's Christian, playing around on the bales of hay out at my in-laws. She loves doing that, but Grandma won't let her climb to the top of the stack. Otherwise, she would!


Cullen has discovered the joys of nutella. Unfortunately, Christian saw me eating some today, and just had to try it. I tried to convince her it was ground beans, even going so far as to show her the jar. She just wouldn't listen. She, too, loves it.

Dadgummit.

Now I'm only going to be able to eat it while she's at school.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Happy Birthday to me!

No, I didn't have to make my own cake, thanks to mil!

It was delicious!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Have you tried this stuff???

I am addicted.

I bought some when we were stocking up on supplies before Hurricane Ike got here. Because I'm all about buying necessities in times of emergency.
I tried it yesterday on some leftover biscuits from the night before.
I took the cap off, and there it was: a gold seal. A gold seal! My friends, beautiful things were in store for my taste buds. I slathered some on those cold biscuits, and licked the drop that got onto my fingers. I just about couldn't stand up. It's that good.
It's rich and creamy and chocolatey and smooth and hazelnutty all at the same time. It's truly an awakening; almost a religious experience.
I kept thinking it tasted vaguely like Ferrero Rocher. You know, those little chocolate and hazelnut candies that are so popular at Christmas? And then I noticed, on that picture up there, the word, Ferrero, right under Nutella. I am so quick.
So then Cullen sees me eating something, and crawls his little self right up onto my lap for a taste. DANGIT!!! I so did not want to share. But, bless my heart, I did. I'm sure I'll receive an eternal reward for it, too.
Luckily, Christian has not discovered that little jar in the pantry. And even if she does, it's certainly not marketed toward kids, and I don't think she'll ask to try it. Woo hoo!!!
If she does, I'll make up something about it being made with beans.
That always gets her off my back.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

HAPPY BIRTHDAY COURTNEY!!!


With Mini-Me... a.k.a. Caylee.

It's been a while...

Thanks for all your thoughts and prayers. Hurricane Ike turned toward the north, which is great for us; not so great for Houston and Galveston. The wind picked up here, and we got some good thunderstorms Saturday night, but that's it. Not enough rain to get us out of this drought.

We were especially worried about my brother and sister-in-law. They live near Houston, very close to the water. Their fence is damaged, but I believe that's it. (Kelsey, correct me if I'm wrong!) Some homes near theirs suffered damage; hubs said one of their friends (neighbor?) had their roof cave in.

I went to the grocery store last night. It was crazy. I couldn't even find a parking spot, so I drove across town to another store. There, I got the last bag of sugar and the last of the milk. The flour and bread shelves were empty. I wanted ground beef to make tacos this week, but it was wiped out. The bacon was gone. I was shocked that so many "basics" were gone. I can't imagine what the first store was like. Hubs says that a lot of Houstonians are coming here to buy groceries, since they're out. People were at Lowe's buying as many generators as they could, and loading them on to flatbed trailers.

On a lighter note, last week I took my very first cake class. It was to make a purse and sugar shoes. Here's the instructor's project:



Her work was amazing! Those shoes looked like you could step into them and walk away. They almost looked like they were made of porcelain. Just beautiful. As always, my lovely camera doesn't do them justice.

And here's my effort:


I made a shorter, fatter purse, since I had to travel a bit. I didn't want mine to fall over on the way. One poor lady sculpted her purse, covered it in buttercream, then we all watched as it crashed to the floor. Three. Times. She ended up carving and decorating a piece of styrofoam. I can't believe that cake actually stayed in one piece after hitting the floor three times, though. Maybe I should have asked for her recipe? ;)

My shoes took a long time to dry. When this picture was taken, they were still soft. I removed the support to take the pictures, which is why the heels are misshapen. The weight of the shoe pushed them out a little.

It was fun, though. I learned a lot. Like, I will never. ever. EVER. sculpt a dog cake again.

I'll post pictures of the other two projects soon.

They are interesting, to say the least.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Ike Update

Just something quick---

Mil and I will be leaving with the kids either tonight or tomorrow. We're heading north of San Antonio.

We live about 25 miles inland; I can see the water from my dad's house (25 minutes from me), and my brother lives in a tiny little town (40 minutes from me) that's surrounded on three sides by the bay.

I packed up all the photo albums, pictures and home videos. I'm taking the computer, since there are hundreds of pics on here that I never printed. Other than that, just lots of food, water and clothes.

I figure everything else can be replaced.

Praying a hedge of protection around the coast this weekend.

Thanks for all the thoughts and prayers! Keep sending them up.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

I hate Ike!


So. How's the weather where you are?
We'll be leaving soon. The last hurricane we stayed for was Claudette, and when it made landfall it was a CAT1. It was pretty scary, and we were without power for two days. Most people around here lost their fences. A portable building landed on ours. I thought the wind was going to blow the French doors open, even though they were boarded up and we had the couch in front of them.
I just hope my house is still standing (where I left it!) when we come back. And by "we," I mean the kids and me. Hubs has to stay. He was elected (by the Chief, the Fire Chief and the Sheriff, while he WAS OUT OF TOWN!!!) to be the emergency operations commander, so he can't go anywhere. He just got home and said coastal towns will probably begin evacuating tomorrow.
I really hate this.
Please be praying for everyone in this area.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

The heat, it is not my friend.

It destroyed our home's air conditioner today.

I'll wait while you pick your jaw up off the floor.

Ready?

K. So I had just finished feeding Cullen his lunch, and I noticed the house was warm. So, being the energy-conscious person I am (cough!), I turned on the ceiling fan. Only that did almost nothing.

So I laid Cullen down for his nap, turned on his ceiling fan, and bid him good night. Only he didn't want to be bid (-den?) good night. He immediately jumped up, lifted his arms to me (which gets me nearly every time!), and said, "Down?"

I patted his sweet little head, and left him in his crib to settle peacefully to sleep. (BIG COUGH!)

I then went to turn the air conditioner up (down? whatever. I wanted it colder.) and noticed the display read 80 degrees. In my house. Whereas I prefer it below 80 degrees. In my house.

So I checked to make sure it was on. It was. It was set at 78. So I set it at 76. And waited. Nada. I flicked the switch off, heard the thermostat click, then flicked it back on. Nothing. I turned the fan from auto to on. Zip.

I could literally feel the temperature rising degree by horrible degree, so I did what any independent, free-thinking woman would do. I called Hubs. But he was in some fancy-schmancy meeting and didn't have his phone on.

An hour later I was able to share the good news.

He called back almost immediately and said he and the A/C guy were on their way.

It is now almost 6:30 in the evening, and the A/C is still. not. fixed. Bless his heart, the guy has made two part runs already, and can't get the dadgum thing to work. Apparently it keeps blowing a transformer? I believe is what I was told. I really heard, "Wahn-wahn-waaaahn-a/c not working-waaahn-wahn-waaaahn-wahn. Wahn."

At noon, when all this started, it was 95, with a heat index of 100. I haven't been able to bring myself to look again until now. It's 94. Wow. That's almost arctic.

Anyway. My mil came and got the sweaty little kids and took them to her sub-zero home for the evening. Hubs borrowed a window unit from a friend. It is cooling our bathroom delightfully.

Why didn't he put it in our bedroom window, you ask? Why, that is a wonderful question! And I have a very technical answer. Brace yourselves.

I. HAVE. NO. FREAKING. IDEA. !!!

!!!

I just left my bathroom (which is where I will be sleeping tonight unless something changes. and by "something" I mean Hubs moves that unit to within five inches of my comatose body) for ice water. They have added some quite enchanting decor to my dining room. A wire running from the a/c, up and through the chandelier, then down the wall and out the french doors to the outside unit.


It is so refreshing to have not only a handyman in the home, but also an interior decorator.

I fear the heat is getting to me.

My sarcasm knows no bounds.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Another stroller I want to win!

The Trevi Twin stroller has it all: stylish colors, a way to push both kids together, and is lightweight and durable.

Trevi Twin features:

Lightweight, aluminum frame weighs only 23 lbs!
Multi-position, individually adjustable seats & leg supports
All-wheel suspension and front swivel wheels with locks
Individually adjustable canopies, large storage baskets, and parent cupholder
Five-point safety harnesses with thickly padded shoulder straps
Compact, one-hand activated, umbrella style folding
Automatic storage latch and carry handle
For use from Birth up to 40 lbs in each seat

The Chicco Trevi Twin has a light-weight aluminum frame weighing only 23 lbs. The multi-position, individually reclining seats and adjustable leg supports provide comfort and security with 5-point harnesses. All-wheel suspension and front wheel swivel locks provide a smooth ride. The adjustable, removable canopies, with zip-off back flap for ventilation, window & storage pocket protect from rain, wind and cold. The large baskets provide plenty of storage for all the things your children need. Convenient parent’s cupholder included. The compact, one-hand activated, umbrella style folding, automatic storage latch & carry handle makes travel and storage easy.
The mommy bloggers at MomDot are really hooking everyone up in the month of September! Right now, you can win this brand new on the market, Trevi Twin stroller by Chicco ($219) or this Toro stroller by Micralite ($524), both to be pulled on Sept 30th. Head on over and check out the site, get your blog listed, and enter to win one of the 40 contests they are hosting this month!

click here: MomDot

A Labor Day Meme

I am perfectly aware that Labor Day was yesterday... but I was too busy trying to keep the fire inside my oven contained, so I am a little late doing this.

I found a meme over at Rocks In My Dryer. Join in if you're interested.

How long were your labors?
Christian: 13 hours
Cullen: maybe 5 hours

How did you know you were in labor?
Christian: water broke... and was like "Noah, get that boat ready, NOW!"
Cullen: suddenly those fake contractions became REALLY. STRONG. CONTRACTIONS.

Where did you deliver?
Hospital.

Drugs?
Oh sweet mercy, yes. Although, with Christian, they didn't work. I felt everything. And I do mean EVERYTHING.

C-section?
Nope.

Who delivered?
Christian: My doctor just came off a 24 hour shift when I went into labor, so the on-call doctor delivered her.
Cullen: The doctor I had with Christian retired from obstetrics, so I had a new doctor. He delivered Cullen around 7:30 in the morning.