Tuesday, August 30, 2005


Dustin and his brothers on the 4 wheelerPosted by Picasa

This is the second year in a row that Dustin has managed to get his brothers together.
Not an easy task.
3 jobs.
3 significant others (sometimes).
Kids (for some).
Miles and miles of distance.
A sweet boyhood bond that makes it all worth it.

Last year was Austin City Limits, where we rocked out to The Pixies, Jack Johnson and Ben Harper and left to dine in Austin's finest vegetarian joints (for Shane--the oldest) and take silly pictures of eachother, while discussing indepth childhood topics like "butt-bustin" and Dustin's alter-ego "LumberJack".

This year, ACL will be a no go for the boys, because of Shane's touring schedule, so we made plans to attend their Uncle Rob's 50th birthday party at the Camp. Dustin's family has a girls camp, "Camp Arrowhead" located in Hunt Texas, just outside of Kerrville. It is a gorgeous place and I've heard countless stories of growing up there. I have seen where forts were built and battles fought. Where they searched for treasure. Where they stalked out female campers. It's just a cool place for little boys to grow up.

Once we stepped foot back on the property, it was like they turned into little boys all over again. We drove all night to arrive at camp at 6 am. My husband, the amazing sleeping machine, was up at 8am, to ride 4 wheelers through the woods with Blair (the youngest). We ate and played and swam in the river and chased fireflies (well, i did anyway :) The boys played music with Rob while the rest of us bobbed along and took pictures. Quoting silly movies and song lyrics.
We talked for hours by the gazebo and more hours on the dock, and even more hours as the sun came up outside the "mess hall". I ate entirely too many baked cheetos and kicked back quite a few diet IBC root beers (the hard stuff) :) and the fun part--the "Screamer". No camp is complete without a ropes course, and luckily, the instructor was there so we suited up and played on this huge rope swing. So so so fun.

And as quickly as we arrived, it was time to go home. We woke quite late, cleaned our cabins, said goodbyes and made the long trek home. It was an expensive trip. Gas was ridiculous (and only worsened upon arriving home). Long driving hours. Little sleeping hours. Horrible Whataburger at 2 am. But worth every second. Now next year...that may be a challenge. Mexico, anyone? :)

"Reunited and it feels so good..." (what a cheesily inappropriate song, yet it still runs through my head as I type!!)

Thursday, August 18, 2005

by the way...we were baby kangaroo's today. i was so sure today would be baby monkey day, but bella informed me that we were kangaroos. we had to bounce all over the apartment, and I realized that the whole reason for being kangaroos was so we could "legally" jump on the bed. smart girl. j Posted by Picasa

work stuff... Posted by Picasa

General observations about people
We are consumers, this I've always known, but I've truly witnessed a new level of consumerism now that it is "Back to School" season.

As you know, I work in a dept. store, in the children's section. It is crazy. I hear parents complain all the time about how TV/friends/movies/etc. influence their kids to "NEED" all this stuff (toys, video games, CD's, cell phones) But the biggest influence that I've witnessed is the parent(s) themselves.

Exhibit A: We have a wall lined with "Crocs" For the uninformed, these are ugly plastic shoes that come in a variety of taffy-like colors. They are covered in holes, like somebody has cut open a whiffle ball and glued it to a shoe frame. They are "THE SHOE" to wear this year. We have sold so many of these. I had a Dad in my store at 8:30 at night, just off of work, from a town 1 hour away, trying to find his kid's size in pink or yellow. She is on the other end of the cell phone yelling at him, because the pink only comes in a 6 and she NEEDS a 7 and why can't he find PINK????? He buys the yellow, and a pink in an 8, for next year. He doesn't realize now that next year, she will detest those old smelly holey shoes and will need the coolest shoes that are covered in genuine cow manure or something cool like that.

A customer today was trying to talk her 4 year old into a pair.
"Come on sweetie, don't you want some of these cool shoes?"
"No. I don't like those. I like these ones." (pointing to a pair of red Keds with a cool rainbow stripe down the side...a COOL shoe)
"Let's just try these on for Mommy. "
"(Mom sighing loudly) You kids are driving me crazy! Why don't you want these shoes? All the kids are wearing these shoes. They're cool!"
"NO NO NO NO (insert tantrum here)"

Why did this poor woman NEED her 4 year old to be cool like all the other kids? He was obviously a genius, he picked out a cool pair of shoes, even if they were for girls...

*sorry to offend if you like Crocs. But you know they are ugly. Even if they are comfy.

Exhibit B: Hole-y jeans.
I am not going to bash them. I wear them. I like them. My holes arrived naturally, from the continual cycle of wear/wash/wear/wash/wear....
A mom came in with her two sons, one around 15 or so, looking for jeans.
She says, "Do you have any pairs that look like these?" (she points to her own jeans, with worn places and randomly placed holes)
I point out the only pair I have and they, unfortunately, don't come in his size. I show him a pair of Levi's that are seriously cool. A different kind of wash. Old looking, a little worn, but no holes. He says no.
She says no.
"They need more holes in them", she says matter-of-factly. A bit snobbishly.

In my head, I tell her, "Lady, for $17.99, buy the Levi's and get the holes the old-fashioned way. Wear them. Wash them. Wear them some more. The holes will come."

Out loud I say, "Sorry, we may be getting more stock in next week, blah blah blah"

The boy is obviously pouting and says "Let's just go."
The Mom pacifies him with "We'll go somewhere cool, like Abercrombie."

In my head? "Uh, you could always wear YOUR MOM'S JEANS dude. Why don't you pick up a pair of Crocs on the way out. They're really COOL this year..."

Exhibit C: Name Brands
We sell Pepe jeans. NOT PEE PEE jeans. Pepe. Like the skunk. Pepe LePew.

A lady comes in and the only things I truly remember about her are..
1. She bought NAME BRANDS ONLY
2. She had purple lipstick on her front 3 teeth
3. She called them PEEPEE jeans

We have a "free gift with purchase". Basically a pencil case, filled with 2 pencils, an eraser, a 6 in. ruler and a pencil sharpener, all covered with the brand name Pepe.

"Where are your pee pee jeans?" she asks, when she notices the pencil cases.
"Our PEPE jeans are located along this back wall."
"What do peepee jeans look like? Kinda like Abercrombie?"
"Um, not sure. I can show you a pair."

Show them to her, she isn't sure about them. No holes. Light wash. Yet she is seriously considering ANOTHER pair of jeans (she's bought like 8 pair) just for the free Pepe pencil case.
She decides no. Leaves. Returns a minute later.

"Are they popular with the kids this year?"
"Um, I guess. They are a nicer brand, akin to Calvin Klein or Nautica...
"Okay. I'll take one pair of those PEEPEE jeans in a 7"

Since she called them peepee's 3 times, I assume that she believes that pencils and jeans that say pee pee on them, must be "cool with the kids" this year.

This will be all for now. Trust me, I have many many more examples of parental silliness. I'm sure I've been a victim of parental silliness myself a time or two. I am just more aware of it now.

Play time with Bella

Play time with Bella... Posted by Picasa

Sorry, I know these pictures are horrible. I forgot to use my flash, but I had to capture my fun playtime with the kids. We pretended that Poppy (Noah) picked Bella (Dora) up in his BIG truck (hot wheel truck) and took her to Poppy and Tata's house. When they arrived, Tata gave her a ride on the lawn mower (trike) with the attached wagon (they really have a wagon attached to their lawn mower to give the kids rides around the yard)
Amy (small asian figure that is blurry in the background) greeted her at the door and said, "Annabelle, YOU are Salomon's girlfriend" and Salomon (small blurry figure in the background holding a cell phone, of course) greeted her with a big hug and said, "Hi Bella! Let's play toys!!"

Uncle (who is not pictured, due to Juju eating him, but WAS a small black figure with curly black hair and the most realistic) showed up and brought food to everybody.

It was all fun and games for awhile until 2 GI Joe's showed up and arrested Annabelle (Dora, remember?) and took her to jail for hitting people. And then we left that game to play baby kangaroos.

Her world is so much fun.

Bella's view of how things are...

This is Annabelle's set-up of the characters. Tata on the "lawnmower", doing the yardwork of course. Amy downstairs, AWAY from Annabelle and Salomon. "All-Knowing Poppy", supervising everything that's going on.Posted by Picasa

Poppy sleeping in his BIG truck.
My Dad drives a truck that Annabelle is fascinated with. She is amazed that a bed actually fits in the truck and asks often if Poppy's sleeping in his truck tonight or in Tata's bed. :) This is Noah from her Noah's Ark set sleeping in Julian's HotWheel's Truck....OR Poppy sleeping in his BIG truck. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

blog meme....i've been tagged!!

me Posted by Picasa

I've never been tagged to do a meme before! :) I'm so excited! This one comes from my ultra talented friend Joy

idiosyncracy: structural or behavioral characteristic peculiar to an individual or group. write down five of your idiosyncracies. then, if you wish, tag five people. so here we go:

a. I type with my fingers all the time (not at a keyboard, just against my legs, on a table, in the air, especially when i'm trying to fall asleep. I also spell in my head non-stop. Sometimes at work, i'm so busy trying to spell each sentence I hear, that I have to ask a person to repeat themselves because I wasn't really listening. Strange.

b. when i clean the house, i always always always have to start by making the bed. I can't ever clean anything if my bed is not made. This drives Dustin crazy. I also can't prepare food (not even a pb and j) if the kitchen is dirty. I have to load the dishwasher and wipe down counters first.

c. I hate hair in my bath tub. I must scrub the tub completely before bathing, and as soon as i see a hair floating towards me I step around it and SPEED through my shower so I can get out. It really grosses me out.

d. I hate the feeling of my fingers and toes touching eachother, I am always wiggling my toes and hate wearing shoes that aren't flip flops. I also wiggle my nose constantly (because it itches) I have been doing this since I was a little girl.

e. My elbows are double jointed. I can curl my tongue (even two curls) I have two cowlicks in the back of my head and when i was little I looked like i had horns sticking up b/c my hair would poke up in two spots. It still does that occasionally in the mornings.

I'm going to tag: shabbychic
:) btw, some people don't care for these meme tag things, so if i tagged you and you don't want to do it...no problem!

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Things I'm excited about

cute boys Posted by Picasa

Here's a rundown of things I am excited about at this very moment (I actually have a few things that I am dreading right now, so this is a "look at the bright side list")

*Ben Folds, Ben Lee, and Rufus Wainwright---this Sunday night. Me and Dustin. There.

*3 days in a row off of work (Saturday-Monday)

*ACL Festival. Coldplay is headlining along with 4 billion other bands I look forward to seeing. We ordered our tickets just in time...one week after ordering, we got word that all the 3 day passes were SOLD OUT. Amazing. That park holds tons of people and it is going to be packed. Not to mention hot and sweaty and have smelly port-o-potties and no shade and expensive bottled water and claustrophobic situations at every turn....and I can't wait. :) Oh yeah...we're hoping the kids will be staying at the grandparents this weekend. (hint hint) We took them last year. It was pretty rough. Especially since Juju was still breastfeeding. Man that was rough.

*Dustin has a fun-filled evening planned tomorrow night, just because. I'm excited. We haven't done anything spontaneous like that in a while.

*I found "Sabrina" in the $5.50 bin at Target. (Not the old one with Audrey Hepburn, I have that on tape. This is the remake with Harrison Ford.) I love this movie and I'll be watching it tomorrow on my day off!

*Taking the kids to the park tomorrow (weather permitting) I'm excited because the park in this new town is gorgeous and my camera is begging to be used.

*hopefully my parents and my sister and her boyfriend are coming to visit this Saturday (when the pick up the kids) If they get to stay, the carnival is in town and I may try to talk them into staying later for a ride on the carousel! :)

That's all for now. See ya soon!


kangaroo Posted by Picasa

Last weekend was a blast! My Mom came to visit us in our new place, along with our good friends Paul and Ashley and their baby boy Tyler. We got to hang out Saturday evening with a huge group of friends, but the FUN part came on Sunday. Paul and Ash came to our apartment and we caught a late breakfast at this little hometown cafe that served tons of yummy food for CHEAP. We will definitely be going back there.

Anyways, we then drove to a town about 15 minutes away that is seriously, middle of NOWHERE, but has this HUGE drive-thru Safari/petting zoo. It was amazing. You drive through a 5 mile path that takes you past lions, tigers, zebras, hippos, rhinos, buffalo, monkeys, antelope, ostriches, bears, etc etc etc. The ostriches come right up to your window and just stare at you, as if inspecting your vehicle or something. They freaked Annabelle out, but otherwise, she LOVED this place. We had llamas, Texas Longhorns, Antelope and emus at our window. We saw baby ostriches and reindeer. So many cool things.

After the drive thru, you stop at the zoo to pet the animals. We got to take the kids into the fenced areas to pet the kangaroos, pygmy goats, 2 baby tigers, snakes (Juju tried to put it in his mouth) rabbits, zebras...it was just too cool for words. Annabelle was in heaven.

Here are a few pictures from our trip.

Oh yeah, on the drive home, we saw 3 sky divers land in an open field about 1 minute from our apartment. Turns out that there is a sky diving school and everything right here by our place. Skydiving. Definitely on my list of things to do before I die (but not die while doing). ;)

zebra Posted by Picasa

Monday, August 08, 2005

ROAR!!!! Posted by Picasa

When we placed Julian next to the baby tiger, they just sized eachother up. After about 5 minutes of this, we said, "Juju, let's go see the camel. Say bye-bye to the tiger". At this point he leaned right into the tigers face, grabbed his ears and growled like a baby lion (how he is always growling around the house when he and Bella play "Lion King") The tiger didn't budge. Then Julian pulled back, got on all fours and just laughed and laughed and growled some more. He is fearless.

baby tigers Posted by Picasa

Lovely day for a camel ride Posted by Picasa

We let Julian on for the picture, but only Bella got to ride the camel (Julian would have fallen off for sure) She was like a little Arabian princess, with her prim and proper little smile and rosy cheeks that were blushing with pride. This was definitely cool.