Monday, February 28, 2011

Misfit Monday

As a small business owner (really, as anybody) you have good days and bad days.

Today was a not so good day for Buttin.

No matter what a misfit does - it's always difficult to let them go. As an owner, you must put the best interest of the company ahead of any individual, without much regard to their personal circumstances. However, as a human (especially a kind one, like Buttin) this is nearly impossible to do. An individual has a family, a story and is (for the most part) good. A company (although made up of many individuals with their own families, etc.) is more of a thing. It's easier to walk in the shoes of a person than it is a company. We understand the BIG PICTURE, but it doesn't make it any easier.

Buttin loves me an incredible amount. I know this because (among other things) he tries to shield me from most of the extremely stressful sbo responsibilities - especially letting a misfit go. I've never had to do it.

Buttin always tells me that the day he stops feeling for the misfits we let go, is the day he has lost his humanity and the ability to be a excellent father and husband. I agree. The alternative to feeling empathy for people is feeling nothing for them - AND -that's no way to live.

It's hard on days like today to remind Buttin that he IS good, but I'm going to try.

September 3, 2010

This is just a quick note to thank you so much for your kind letter and your return of my self imposed late fee. It overwhelmed me that there are still wonderful people like you in the world.

I respectfully beg to differ with you, as it was my responsibility for the payment and so the fault for the delay lies squarely upon my shoulders. However I thank you for understanding what I was going through personally that took my focus away from my financial responsibilities.

The above note was from a customer whose husband died right after we put flooring in her home. She paid her invoice about three months late and included a self imposed late fee. Buttin returned her late fee along with a sympathy card.

Perhaps, the BEST business decision (if made by say, Donald Trump) would have been to keep the late fee. However, that's not the way Buttin and I think. The day this business makes us people we no longer want to know is a day I never want to see.

OK, Buttin - if my little sappy note didn't make you smile. Maybe this will.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

I'm Getting Old (and Hungry)

Last night we went out to dinner with our good friends, Mark and Jen, to Uchiko.

It's a swell restaurant with some very yummy, inventive and pretty to look at food. However, each plate (or sushi roll) was only about five bites. FIVE BITES for four people to share and it wasn't like each plate of food was $5 (more like $15 - $30).

Don't get me wrong the, the food (the little of it that I ate) was delicious (I even ate some beef tongue), but I think I could have eaten all seven plates of food that we ordered plus the two plates of dessert by myself (seriously, I'm a breast-feeding and running mama - I'm hungry). Is it too much to ask for a bread basket or cracker? Probably doesn't fit with their menu. When I got home I had to eat a bowl of cereal because I was still so hungry. Buttin actually sold me out and told Mark & Jen as we were walking out of the restaurant that I was still hungry.

I understand that dining out is sometimes more experience (and we had a blast last night) than it is actual eating, but I couldn't help feeling a little like my father when I thought to myself - $150 and I'm still hungry, what a joke! I guess I'm slowly (or not so slowly) turning into an uncool (and hungry) parent.

OK, new topic - humidity. I'm SO happy that the half marathon was last weekend and not this weekend. As humid as it was last Sunday, it was nothing when compared with today. The humidity does some really funny things to Cub's hair. Here he is after waking up from a nap (you can also really see his top two teeth - ouch, they hurt).

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Gigi Weekend

Gigi (Buttin's mother) is in town this weekend. Cash is having a great time getting spoiled.

Here he is in his new chair from Gigi.

He had so much fun playing and talking with Gigi that he needed to rest a little on his bike.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Win Cloth Diapers!

I haven't really done many (read: any) giveaways or contests on my blog. Mostly, it's laziness because I have just TONS of stuff to give away (read: really awesome chihuahua).

Kelly Wels, an awesome mommy-blogger networker (she did a little profile of my blog a while ago) and green living promoter is having a HUGE cloth diaper giveaway on her blog. Kelly is the founder and former owner of, which is where I bought a majority of my cloth diaper stash and did a lot of my research.

Anyway, if you enter the giveaway (by going here or here) this is what you could win:

* 18- bumGenius 4.0 One Size with inserts (I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE THESE DIAPERS)


* 1 – bumGenius Pail Liner (DON'T HAVE, BUT I'M SURE IT'S GREAT)

It's so super easy to enter & if you have a blog (like me) you get 20 extra entries just for posting it on your blog! There are lots of other ways to enter too!

Filanthropy Friday

I highly recommend the movie Waiting For Superman.

Buttin & I enjoyed it so much (even though it's somewhat heart-breaking) that when my parents were in town this past weekend, we watched it with them (our second time, their first).

Education was an extremely important part of my childhood and young adult life. I was very fortunate (of course, as a teenage it felt more like a curse) to have parents who demanded excellence (or at least very, very, very best effort) from me when it came to school.

I remember very vividly riding in the car with my mother (I was maybe eight or nine) and telling her, I think I'm going to college. She quickly told me, No maybe about it - you're going to college. For me it was elementary school, junior high, high school and college - that was my path and my parents viewed (and instilled in me) that college was not an option, it was an absolute. The same will be true for Cub.

I don't think I have what it takes to be a teacher but there has always been a part of me that has wanted to be a teacher. Watching Waiting For Superman made me (kind of) want to be a teacher so that I could help. I'm not sure how much learning about the history of cookie dough or how to run (jog) slow will help the next generation, but I'd almost be willing to try. At the very least, I'm one of Cub's first teachers and I am trying to do my very best (in all subjects, including cookie dough).

Since I don't really think there's a school district that would take me, I can help by donating money to a local classroom project. Donor's Choose is a very cool online charity that allows you to donate to classroom projects based on location, subject and/or need. I selected a projected called, "Making A Game Out of Math". I was always pretty good at math, so I donated $20 to help this local teacher buy algebra games.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Nap Mat Colors

Graby is now the oldest child in his class. I remember when he was the youngest (sniff, sniff - as my baby mama friend Candy would say, stop growing - stop growing). Part of growing up in class means transitioning from a bed to a nap mat. This nap mat will stay with him as long as he takes naps (so if he's anything like me, this means forever) at school.

Last week the head teacher said there were a couple of mats I could pick from or I could wait until the next shipment of nap maps were ordered. I checked out the mats - two pink and purpley ones and one camouflage.

I'm FINE with Cub having a pink and purple nap mat, but I'm not sure how he'd feel about it when he's three or four. Obviously, I have no issues with blurring the gender lines (I put barrettes in my son's hair and make him wear a tutu), but I just don't want to strap him to a pink and purple mat FOREVER. I'm also not really a fan of camo so that one was just automatically eliminated.

I became a little more conscious of my "no girly" nap mat decision when talking to another mom whose son is also transitioning to a nap map.

The following is a brief transcript of our conversation. Her son has two mommies so I instantly felt a little silly when complaining about the lack of variety in nap mat choices.

Other mommy: So, what do the nap mats look like?

Me: Well, two are pink and purple with flowers and one is camo. I'M TOTALLY FINE with Cash having a pink & purple nap mat, but I'm not sure if he'll like it when he's four. I'm going to wait till the new mats come in.

Other mommy: My son is fine with pink & purple.

Me: Gulp (that's me feeling a little silly).

I'm fine with whatever toys Cub wants to play with and whatever he decides to be so long as it makes him happy (and he goes to Stanford - that's for Aunt Liz). But I can't help but think, am I already putting some kind of weird pressure on my son to be boyish (maybe my subconscious is trying to balance out my conscious actions - you know - barrettes, pigtails, etc.)?

Oh well, I didn't think about the nap mats too long - the new ones came in yesterday and I picked one out with lots of zoo animals. I could have picked one with cars or sailboats, but I selected a nice, gender neutral zoo animal nap map.

Here's Cub today, he is begging for my lunch - a grilled cheese.

Here he is not quite eating the grilled cheese, but squishing it in between his mouth and hand.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Austin Half Marathon Race Repot

My BIG lesson from this race is that time doesn't really tell the whole story.

A few things about the race organization before I begin my truly fascinating race report. Austin is touted as the "Greenest Race" in the country. I'm not sure if the lights around the capitol (32 years old & a journalism major and I still have to look up the difference between capitol and capital) building were powered by wind energy or if several runners decided to save on water consumption by not showering two weeks prior (I kid, I kid - I always smell terrible) or what exactly makes this race so green, but I was thankful for the absence of paper-junk in the race goodie bag.

This year we received a cool little messenger bag, a Livestrong bracelet, a granola bar and a Spibelt! Yup, a Spibelt! I was most excited about the Spibelt - my mom and I have been meaning to try one (they're around $20). Thankfully we DID NOT receive all those crappy paper advertisements (other races - take note) in our goodie bags - all that paper trash stuff is like receiving Kleenex as a kid for Halloween - bleh.

So this year, they really got their act together for the packet pick up. There was NO LINE and it was just as speedy as Houston. I didn't stick around to look at the expo because Buttin and Cub were driving around, waiting for me.

Sadly this year, they seemed to have messed up the finish line situation even worse than last year (I didn't run last year, but I watch my mom and there was HUGE bottleneck at the finish line where they were handing out medals and stuff). My mom didn't even pick up her finisher shirt because the lines were so unmanageable. Side note: What does it matter if you get your finisher shirt at the expo? Does it really matter if you finish? You paid your $95 (in some cases more) - who cares?

OK, onto the race report.

The night before was uneventful. My mom and dad arrived at our house around 3:30. After Cub went to bed, we all ate some BBQ and my mom and I prepared for the race. Normally, we would NEVER try a new piece of gear for race day, but the Spibelt was just so cool and convenient that we couldn't NOT wear it. We also tested it out a little by prancing around my bedroom making sure that none of our belongings jiggled (too bad I can't say the same about my butt - do they make a butt Spibelt?).

I was in bed and asleep by 9:15.

I woke up at 5:00 to pump and get ready. My dad stayed at home with Cub (who was supposed to be asleep but instead decided to wake up and play with Dadoo), while Buttin drove my mom and I down to the race.

It was easy getting downtown and we made it to the start line (well, to our pace group - about 11 min/mile) with about 20 minutes to spare. We walked around the capitol a little because the wind made it a little chilly. See, it's pretty windy (look at my hair, look at my hair!)

I couldn't really hear the "opening ceremonies", but I know the mayor was there and I heard a little of the National Anthem and then the horn went off. The start line was kind of a cluster. The race organizers actually came back to our section (the slow poke one) and told us to come around the side of the capitol, because they were going to let us enter the race on the other side. Here's a view from the back (kind of) of the pack.

OK, so I was a little nervous before this race because of the horrible feelings during and after my last race (Houston). I'm sure most runners can understand this feeling and I remember it from my swimming days. I thought - What if I feel that way again? What if I'm never run a good race again?

The weather conditions were pretty much the same (low 70s, humid and cloudy) as Houston, minus the rain. I learned a lot from Houston and I wasn't going to make the same mistakes again. I was determined to have a better race.

My mom and I had a race plan. Start out slow . . .and then slow down. We also planned to stop and drink water and Gatorade at EVERY stop (even the first one), even if we weren't thirsty. We also planned to eat a little something at mile 3, 6, and 10.

Thankfully, my Garmin worked (I had to do a hard reset because the battery wasn't holding a charge) and I was able to see my split times.

12:50 - Mile 1 - Pretty uneventful, but it's just so crowded that it was difficult to run very quickly (yeah, I'll blame it on the crowd). There was a HUGE bottleneck at the start and they actually let us kind of cut in line.

12:16 - Mile 2 - My mom and I just kind of take it all in - no iPods. I'm struck by how pretty downtown Austin has become.

12:01 - Mile 3 - We eat a Gu Chomp. It tastes good, but it kind of gets stuck in my teeth. Oh well, there's something left in case I need a snack at mile 4.

12:52 - Mile 4 - Can you say - uphill?

12:34 - Mile 5 - I think we're still going uphill. Around this point we meet a very nice older man (probably in his 70s) who gives us our race strategy of "start out slow - and slow down". He said that 40 years ago his best time was in the 1:40s.

12:20 - Mile 6 - We're starting downhill, although it doesn't feel as satisfying as the uphills felt horrifying. We eat another Gu Chomp although I still think there's some left in my teeth from mile 3.

12:25 - Mile 7 - Momsy and I take a picture. Sorry I cut off the side of your face Momsy.

11:48 - Mile 8 - I leave (kind of ) Momsy. Although (unbeknownst to me) she uses me as a little pace bunny and keeps up with me (sometimes only a couple feet behind me) for the next couple of miles.

11:44 - Mile 9 - I'm guessing there's a downhill in here.

11:48 - Mile 10 - I'm feeling really good and I'm at the point in the race were I say "only a 5K left" and I know I can push it. Momsy told me she let me go around this point.

12:02 - Mile 11 - I think this is the very, very horrible hill up Enfield. I must have been leaning WAY forward (at least at a 45 degree angle) to make it up this hill.

11:21 - Mile 12 - More hills, but I jog (slowly) up every single one.

10:46 - Mile 13 - Still hills (but at least I think we go down some too), but I'm feeling really good so I just push myself to the finish line.

1:56 - Last .22 (roughly an 8:56 pace) - I actually had something left in the tank for a sprint (by my standards) to the finish.

Total : 2:38:48

I negative split that sucker BIG TIME (I think it was kind of the opposite in Houston). Dear runner friends who are fast - I know you must be thinking - well, of course she negative split that race, she started out slower than non-speed walker - but for me, it's an accomplishment.

I felt GREAT during this race, not speedy, but good. I was, however, a little disappointed with my time (2:38: 47) because it wasn't better than my Houston time (2:36:43) and I felt so crummy during the Houston race (and actually walked a considerable amount).

My BEST time is still from Austin in 2009 - 2:23:44.

Honestly, I think that PR will stand for a while. My next race is Zooma on April 16th and it's in the hills of Bastrop (you know when the race is described as "scenic rolling hills" - it's trouble) When my mom and I finish we will be Half-Fanatics (albeit at the lowest qualifying level).

Monday, February 21, 2011

Misfit Monday

Today -

A misfit spit in my office.

This same misfit also got food all over the floor, his clothes and some carpet samples. He complained when hungry and acted put out when he was told he couldn't have the paper shredder. This misfit also managed to misfile the bills on Buttin's desk and distracted poor Barbie and Patty from their very important jobs.

When we asked the misfit to do some work; he started yawning. Then he went to the bathroom in his pants.

Here's a picture of our misfit, he's making a very important point during a sales meeting.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Quick Report

My fourth half-marathon was pretty freaking good and much better than my third.

Not a best time (I don't even know if I beat my time from Houston), but at least it didn't feel crummy after and I felt good during the entire race.

My mom felt pretty good too.

As a "Congratulations" present, Cub let me take an almost two hour nap. He's a good kid.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Filanthropy Friday

I must sound like a broken (cheesy) record, but everyday in every way I am thankful for my son's health.

My heart aches for any mother whose child is in distress. I'm not unique, I think the feeling is pretty universal for all mothers.

Last Friday, while I was looking at the Austin Apartment Association website (remember, I did a lovely "dance" last week at an event for this association) - something immediately caught my attention - "Infant son of AAA member - needs your help." I clicked on the link. My heart broke. I know it might sound strange, but it's possible that I feel even more for this fellow mother because she has a son.

I do not know this mother, but I felt instantly compelled to help. I started making phone calls and on Monday I reached some of her co-workers who were organizing a benefit and taking donations.

For me, this is what is why community is so important. It's not just about giving money - it's about support (prayer, positive feelings - whatever you believe) and taking a few minutes out of a very hectic week to be thankful for the good things in my life and reaching out to someone in need.

I donated $100 to Baby Brady & his family this week. This amount is over my weekly budget, but it's my blog so I'm allowed to break my rules.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

We're Gonna Be Famous

Well not really famous, but we are working on a commercial for our little business.

The first phase of our HUGE television advertising campaign is news billboards, you can listen to it here. I think we'll probably win an Emmy.

We hope to have a commercial up in about a month (that's phase two & phase three is our own reality program). Our goal is to be a little cheesy/silly BUT memorable. After all, no one wants to buy their flooring from people who take themselves too seriously.

So, right now Cub is LOVING his little tricycle. He still enjoys his stroller walks, but I think he enjoys being more upright while he's getting fresh air.

To me, he looks like a little chariot racer.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Another Muggy One

Cub woke up at 2:00 this morning. It isn't unusual for him to wake up once a night for a little snack and then go back to sleep. However, it's always difficult for me to get back to sleep for some reason.

I laid in bed and tried to go back to sleep. My alarm was set for 4:30 so that I could pump, run, shower and be ready for Graby to wake up for the day (usually around 6:30). It got to be 3:15 and I still wasn't back asleep so I decided to go for a pre-dawn run.

It was actually a really nice 4 miler. I felt really good - even thought it was 65 with about 95% humidity.

Here is my deer picture:

By the time I got home from my run, after a quick shower - it was already 5 AM. It was a little too late to try and go back to sleep, so I turned on the TV and relaxed. The weather caught my attention - guess what the temperature is forecasted to be on Sunday - warm (the low is 60) and muggy with the possibility of light rain. Oh splendid! Let's have another muggy half marathon. I really thought that at least ONE of my winter races would be in cooler temperatures, but alas I live in Texas where one day it's 19 and the next it's 80. I'm sure it'll be colder again next week.

OK, enough complaining about the warmer weather because Cub and I have really been enjoying our outside time the last couple of days. We were having lots of fun today, so I couldn't just pick one picture.

Just making a silly face:

Being a supermodel:

Being a supermodel eating the set design (I can't imagine the stuff that's on those bars . . .I'm such a wonderful mother):

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day

Here's a picture of Cub's new teeth (kind of).

Misfit Monday

Today's Misfit Monday is (again) about me.

Last Thursday was Vegas Night for a trade association where we are active members.

I was scheduled to perform a little dance at Vegas night with two of my fellow committee (Community Outreach) members. The goal of our performance was to promote a talent show that our committee is planning to benefit the American Red Cross.

Thursday morning I was struck with the very horrible affliction, pink eye.

Even with pink eye, I put on my false eyelashes and tutu (yes, a red tutu) and did my little dance.

Buttin recorded our performance.

I think it's pretty deserving of the title misfit.

I expect a call any day now from some Las Vegas talent scout - goodbye small business, hello show business!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

I Could Get Used To This

On Friday night, we went to Gold Class Cinemas to see The Mechanic.

We received a gift card from my aunt & uncle for Christmas, otherwise I don't think we would go to a place this decadent for a movie. Tickets were $29, EACH!

The whole place was a little disorganized and it started even before we arrived. Booking our tickets was kind of strange. The website wouldn't allow us to purchase our tickets with the gift card so Buttin called the theater. The woman who answered the phone just took our name and phone number and said, "OK, you have a reservation." Really? That's it? You'd think they'd want your credit card or something to at least hold the seat.

It's assigned seating - there are only 24 seats in each theater - so we got there about 30 minutes before the movie started. It seemed to REALLY confuse the staff that there were four in our party (me, Buttin, Liz & Jonathan), but that we'd want two separate checks. I'm serious when I say that it took no fewer than five employees plus a manager to sort out this - apparently - strange request.

They had a full bar and Buttin remarked that it was like going to a nightclub to see a movie. It did kind of have a clubish feel. Liz & Jonathan arrived ab
out fifteen minutes later and we were shown to our seats! Yup, that's right - some one walked us to our seats, but not before showing us where the bathrooms were located (maybe they knew about captain tinkle Buttin).

This is where it starts to get really good. The seats are phenomenal. They're like super deluxe recliners and you could order a pillow and blanket (not to eat, but for comfort purposes). I, of course, got a pillow and blanket.

Each coupling of seats had a little table in a middle and the table had a magic button. When you'd push the button, a person would appear and bring you anything on the menu. The menu was sufficient, but nothing over the top. We got a shrimp cocktail, some sliders and onion rings. Liz & Jonathan also shared their dessert, fresh donuts, which was the best part of the meal.

The movie watching experience was very enjoyable; however, Buttin said it was more like going to someone's house to watch a movie than to a movie theater. Buttin really enjoys the crowd's energy in the movie-watching experience (and I agree, there are some movies where a good crowd can make/break a movie) whereas I enjoy the blanket having part of the movie-watching experience.

It was great night out. I'm quite sure we'll return to our regular movie-watching venue, Alamo Drafthouse, but we might go back to Gold Class for a special occasion or for a movie where we don't want to fight a crowd.

Now, here's a picture from today of Cub today riding on a princess car. We went over to Aunt Ann & Uncle Ben's house to play with Connor. Connor was taking a nap, so Cash played with all the toys. The princess car is a hand-me-down, not that there's anything wrong with a little boy having a princess car.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Thirty Second Movie Review - The Mechanic

The Mechanic

Last night, we went to Gold Class Cinemas (more on this place on another post) to see The Mechanic with our friends Liz & Jonathan.

The story was kind of all over the place (but you don't really go to a Jason Statham movie for the plot), but it was very enjoyable - lots of action and some pretty fun chase scenes. You pretty much know exactly how the movie will end within the first five minutes of the film, but it's fun getting there - even if it roams a little.

Health Updates

My pink eye

Is much better. Three of my baby mama friends told me to use boob juice. Honestly, boob juice seems to cure everything. I've used a combination of boob juice and doctor drops and thankfully my eye is on the mend.


Is teething, big time. MorMor was in town the last couple days and Cub had some pretty rough nights. MorMor thought it was her (and I was pretty much blaming her too), but this morning we saw some white poking out from his upper gum. Looks like Cub will get some teeth for Valentine's Day.

Here's a picture of Cub using an old camera as a teething device.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Filanthropy Friday

I live in Austin. Livestrong is pretty much synonymous with our little city. It would be impossible for me to not spend at least one Finlanthorpy Friday giving to this great organization.

It just so happens that one of my Baby Mama friends, Julia, is also running in the Livestrong Austin Half Marathon (she's an actual runner unlike me who is more of a jogger/funny looking walker) and also raising money for Livestrong.

She's already reached her goal (because she's very dedicated), but I donated $10 to the cause. Where money and charity (and cookie dough) are concerned - more is always MORE (and better)!

I've Got Pink Eye

And wrinkles too, apparently.

Yesterday morning my eye was all crusted over and disgusting. My eye is already doing better this morning after some medication.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


I love Tuesdays.

Tuesdays aren't Mondays (I know,I'm a genius).
44 Tuesdays ago, I met Graby. Every subsequent Tuesday, I've thought about what was happened at 1:52 AM on that particular Tuesday.
Tuesdays mean a Law & Order SVU marathon on USA Network.
Tuesdays are only two days away from Thursday, date night (stay at home) with Buttin.

Graby likes Tuesdays too.

Here's a little picture of him from today.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Misfit Monday

I Can't Reach The Candy

It is a well-known fact that I enjoy candy and often have an abundance of it in my office to share (somewhat begrudgingly) with my fellow misfits. Currently, the candy is in a large fishbowl on top of a large file cabinet in my office.

One afternoon (I wasn't there, so this misfit story is second hand with a little embellishment), misfit Patty decided that she need a little candy snack to cleanse her pallet from the only 35% meat taco she had just eaten from Taco Smell.

(Side note, I love Bill Maher and he had some truly hilarious things to say about the whole Taco Bell meat(less) fiasco - two of my favorites are "How could you not know? Your meal cost less than gum." and "It's no accident that taco backwards is O' Cat." OK, back to regular programming).

I think I'll go get a delicious piece of candy from that wonderful woman, Stephanie's office - Patty thought to herself.

She joyfully skipped the two feet to my office all the while humming Christmas carols aloud.

When she got to my office and saw the candy bowl high atop my filing cabinet, she frowned slightly. She then reached her hand up, with all her might and rotated her wrist to grab the piece of candy she had been craving for all of three minutes. However, the candy did not reach the top of the fishbowl and she could not reach down far enough to where the candy she so desperately desired was sitting.

She pouted.

She stomped her feet.

She cried a little.

She then wailed, I can't reach the candy.

Misfit Barbie came into my office and nearly fainted with laughter. After 15 minutes of laughter, snorting and dry heaving, Barbie removed the fishbowl from the top of my filing cabinet and handed it to Misfit Patty. Patty ate her candy and was eternally grateful to Barbie.

Apparently, Patty thought the fishbowl was glued, stapled or nailed down to the filing cabinet. Silly Patty.

Here is a very talented artist's depiction of what happened that fateful afternoon:

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Dear Cash - 10 Months

Dear baby Cash,

Wow! You're now double-digit months old. I remember when I wrote "Fetus Friday", the weeks seemed to go by so quickly. I didn't know it was possible, but the months seem to go by faster than the weeks.

This month you've been crawling all over the place and your new favorite game is "chase". You look at me (or your dad) crawl away (very quickly) and then look back and smile (and also to make sure that we're following you) and then you crawl away again. This game makes you laugh and laugh.

You've also started letting go (for just a couple of seconds) of objects that you use for support while standing. You've also graduated to using the whole bath tub, no more baby bath time for you. We have to be extra vigilant with you in the bathtub because you always want to pull up on the side of the tub (it's a little slippery for you) - you also seem to gravitate to everything dangerous in the tub (like the metal water spout).

Regarding eating, you're still eating everything pureed and your new favorites are salmon and peanut butter and bananas (only the last two are mixed together) . You still haven't quite figured out how to eat more solid items (like puffs or eggs) without coughing and gagging. Your father and I try to teach you how to eat puffs, but all you do is try to feed us the puffs. It's rather cute.

You love music. One of your favorite toys is your keyboard and it has several programed songs. No matter what you are doing (even if you're chewing on my ipod), if the programed song - Ode To Joy - comes on, you stop what you're doing, look around for me or daddy, smile and start to clap. Your joy is impossibly infections.

Thank you little man for helping me keep things in perspective. If I'm ever having a bad day or some kind of problem, one of your laughs quickly pulls me back to the reality of the things that matter most - you, your dad, our family and our friends (and cookie dough).

Please don't grow up too quickly and please continue to be sweet to me and your dad.

Love you so much,

Now here are a couple cute pictures of you today - first, a silly little picture of you licking the table (I'm sure this will go on Aunt Liz's list of grievances).

Here's another picture of you playing outside today, I call it - your super model pose.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

How To Build A Texas Snowsuit

Yesterday, it snowed in Texas! Not a lot of snow, but almost an inch and any snow in Austin is reason enough to shut down the city. Cub's school was closed so the two of us stayed home while Buttin went into work.

I wanted to get Cub outside and let him play in the snow; however, we don't really have appropriate snow gear. I had to improvise.

Here's Cub modeling my creation (I'm sure he'll appreciate this picture when he's 16):

A. PLASTIC BAGS - none of his clothing is really water resistant so (using my trash bag/rain poncho experience from last weekend's run) I covered Cub in grocery sacks. Here's a blurry picture of him in his grocery bag outfit.

B. DIAPER COVER - even with the plastic bags covering his every inch, I wasn't convinced his butt area would stay dry (and I knew he'd probably be sitting in the snow), so I covered up his entire butt area with a diaper cover. The diaper cover has a polyurethane lining, so I knew the clothing around his butt would stay dry.

C. BLANKET SLEEPER - for coziness I put (over his clothes and plastic bag protection suit) his blanket sleeper on him - we call them Winta Pants in our house.

D. HAT - pretty self explanatory.

So, after all my preparation. Our total time spent playing (generous use of the word) in the snow was about 20 seconds and Cub's total time spent crying in the snow was about 15 seconds.

Oh well, as I think I've mentioned a time or two on this blog (or maybe you've seen all the pictures) - I think my baby likes water (as in swimming) not frozen water.

Here's a non-smiling, but not yet crying picture of Cub in the snow.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Filanthropy Friday

Brr. . . it's cold outside.

Cub and I are snowed in (well, it's only about an inch of snow, but for Texas it qualifies as a "natural disaster"). I might have a couple pictures of Cub playing (or crying) in the snow if we can manage to get the front door open (the half of inch of snow is making it difficult to open the door).

The city is pretty much shut down - no schools are open, no government offices are open BUT our little business is OPEN and busy. I think our guys are pretty tired - we had several calls yesterday night and early this morning for water extractions. Buttin was at the office at 6:00 this morning to try and organize the day. Apparently the roads were horrible (like I said, we're not prepared for this in Texas) and it took him about 30 minutes to go 3 miles. We have a few other brave misfits at the office too and I just want them to be safe.

OK, so back on topic.

This week, I donated $15 to HAAM - Health Alliance For Austin Musicians.

Here's my logic:

Monday was Buttin's 35th birthday! Buttin loves music (we named our son Cash). Buttin also enjoys being healthy.

I require that my $15 be used for musician dental care. This request (demand) is also in honor of Buttin because he hasn't been to a dentist in over a decade.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Aramco Houston Half-Marathon Race Report

The Aramco Houston Half-Marathon represented a few firsts for me.

First postpartum race.
First night away from Cub (I know it's not really race related, but it's still a first).
First race in Houston.
First time I purchased something at a race EXPO (an iPhone holder thingy).
First time to use the silver-sparkly thin blanket-like thingy after the race.
First post-race vomit.

OK, that about covers the highlights.

In summary my first postpartum race was not my worst. I've completed three half-marathons, and this was my second best (and also second worst, depending upon how you look at it) time (2:36.43).

My mom and I headed up to Houston on Saturday morning. We arrived at my childhood friend's house, I call her Nana (she's 22 weeks preggo with twin girls), around noon and we headed to the EXPO.

The packet pick up (along with everything else about the race) was super organized. We didn't have to wait in any kind of line. Our longest wait at the EXPO was for Nana who was picking out running clothes in the clearance section.

At the EXPO, we saw Ryan Hall and my mom took this adorable picture with him.

After the EXPO, we (me, my mom, nana and her sister, who I call weenie) went to lunch. I love lunch. After lunch, we went back to Nana's house and after about 45 minutes of hanging out, we went to dinner. I love dinner too. We all enjoy eating and I was with a pregnant lady, so I ate for her sake. My mom took a picture in the parking garage (near the restaurant), she did a pretty good job predicting my race day pace.

After dinner, it was back to Nana's house to pin on our bibs, make awesome rain ponchos (aka trash bags) and get to bed. My mom and I were in bed by 9:00 PM.

The entire week leading up to the race, the Houston Marathon peeps sent out emails forecasting the race day running conditions. I think on Monday, we started out as GREEN (low 50s/clear) and by Saturday night the conditions had changed to YELLOW (low 70s/rainy) with the threat of thunderstorms which meant BLACK and they would delay or cancel the race. I never knew they delayed or cancelled races due to lightening. I guess living somewhere with 300+ days of sun per year, race days don't often include thunderstorms.

We woke up at 4:30 (I had to pump) and got ready for the race (brushed teeth, hair in ponytail, put on deodorant and got dressed - skirt and short-sleeved top). We (me, mom & Nana) headed to Weenie's house and it's a good thing we got there on time because Weenie was STILL ASLEEP. Her husband had set the alarm, but only for M-F. Thankfully, she got ready quick and her husband dropped us off at the race around 6:30.

We made our way to our starting corrals - there were only two; however, Weenie was in a slower corral (the bib wasn't hers) and they wouldn't let her pass to our corral. Nana and Weenie were only planning to do about 6 miles (Weenie lives right at the 6 mile marker) so they stayed in the slower corral, while my mom and I (speed demons that we are) headed towards the faster group.

Here's a picture of my mom in her trash bag.

So after a little "opening ceremony", which consisted of both the sponsors talking (blah, blah, blah), the mayor saying something and Clyde Drexler (he was the starter) saying something too - we were off for an on time 7:00 AM start!

It was drizzling and warm and it was only getting worse.

My mom and I didn't really have a race strategy for this run which was probably a mistake. We started out like we do in most races, trying to go our own pace and trying not to get too caught up with all the people (of which there were many) passing us. (Side note: I do not have split times because my Garmin battery died about half way through the race).

I do remember looking at my watching during the first three miles and we were going pretty speedy (for us) - around 10:30/mile. At about mile three, I go ahead without my mother. I'm feeling pretty good, but I didn't get anything to drink during the first or second water stop (probably another mistake).

At about mile 5, I started to feel my first signs of dehydration - the chills. The rain probably wasn't helping. This is typically something I don't start feeling (if I ever do) until the last couple miles of a race or run. I was less than half way done and not feeling super great.

I put on my headphones and started listening to a podcast about "Limits". There's a story of Julie Moss's famous crawl to the Ironman finish. Maybe not the BEST thing to be listening too, but it kept my mind off feeling kind of sickly. I started drinking tons and tons of Gatorade (I mean like three cups at every water stop), which I never usually drink. It started to feel like an eternity between waters stops and I started to wonder if I was over doing it (the drinking).

Here I am around mile 8. I actually look better than I feel, which isn't saying much. Around this time I started walking all the Gatorade/water stops. This plan didn't last long and around mile 10 I started to jog five minutes, walk two.

The final 5K was uncomfortable. My legs were good, but my stomach was turning. I felt extremely nauseous, but I kept running (slowly). I honestly don't remember a lot about the last couple of miles, but I do remember the women's MARATHON winner passing me - I used all the cheers for her to inspire me (to not throw up). I also remember turning a corner in downtown and it being very windy.

Then (mercifully), it was over. I got my medal (but couldn't care less, my tummy was lurching), went inside the convention center to collect my finisher t-shirt and waited for my mom (we had a meeting place). About 15 minutes later my mom arrived, we got her shirt and then collapsed.

Here's my mom (collapsed).

Here's me - again, I look better than I feel.

My mom and I both started to get kind of chilly. We fished two of those silver, tin foil looking things out of the trash to use. It did make me a little warmer, but sadly, no less nauseous. I have no idea what made me feel so ill, but I never want to feel that way again. It was that kind of sickness where you know you'll feel better after you throw up.

I'll make this last part quick.

Nana and Weenie decided to finish the half marathon. My mom and I waited (me, rather impatiently) about 45 minutes. I felt badly because Nana (22 weeks preggo with twins) was so happy and glowing and I really wanted to celebrate the occasion with her, but all I could do was focus on not throwing up. I was kind of a grump.

Eventually (after what felt like an eternity of walking to the car and a small pit stop at the Hilton Hotel - my mom said I looked green) we made it back to Weenie's house where I promptly threw up every ounce of Gatorade I drank and also something that resembled lettuce (why does throw up always look like lettuce?) that I don't remember eating.

Thankfully after my love affair with the toilet, I started to feel better.

It's a good thing too, I got an email yesterday from the Austin Marathon folks reminding me that the race was only 18 (now 17) days away.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

New Doctor #1

Yesterday, Cub and I visited a new pediatrician (we'll call him, Dr. Santa). I plan to visit a couple of doctors before making a final decision.

This doctor came highly recommended (along with several others) by some parents (the crunchier ones) from Cub's school. He works at a practice that does not accept insurance. They're able to set (fairly low) prices and do not have to argue with insurance companies. In theory, this also allows for more quality time with their patients. I find this approach refreshing and actually don't mind paying a little more per visit and not have to worry about what is/is not going to be covered.

Cub had fun in the waiting room on the rocking horse.

We waited about five minutes before seeing the nurse. Cub got weighed and measured, no major changes since his 9 month appointment. The nurse mentioned that they had another baby with the exact same birthday as Cub's in the practice. I found it interesting that she would remember such a detail.

He had fun playing on the table with the paper.

The doctor came in about 15 minutes later. He's an older man - calm, gentle - like someone's hippie grandpa (hence, why I call him Dr. Santa). He examined Cub. Cub's ears and lungs were clear. He mentioned maybe trying a little allergy medicine (something my mom and my friend, a pediatrician, also said this weekend) just as an experiment to maybe rule in or out allergies.

Next he gave me his honest opinion of all the vaccines. He said some were better than others and some were not so necessary. He mentioned delaying MMR (the biggie that everyone is typically afraid of because all that autism stuff) until 15 months, but nothing very mind-blowing.

I liked him, but didn't LOVE him. Not sure exactly what I expect from a pediatrician - I guess I just will know when I know. I do feel like he is a better option than Dr. Sharpie, so for now, I've got his number programmed into my speed dial.

The search continues.