Tuesday, February 28, 2012

And So It Begins

I have a feeling that for next few months updates on Cub will be comprised of two things.
  1. Poop - as in, Cub pooped for the first time in the toilet at school today!  I'm not sure when he'll do this again (hopefully before he's 16), but he was very proud of himself today - so proud he didn't want to flush it.
  2. Words - as in, Cub said his first sentence (kind of) today and as parents we couldn't be more proud - "No! Mine!".  
Things haven't really improved much at work, so instead of dwelling on it - I'll just post pictures of Cub.

Our neighbor gave us a few grapefruits. Cash thought they were balls.  I told him, "Cash we eat grapefruit." and so here he is trying to eat it.

He's not really a fan of grapefruit peel (but who is?).

Here's a little picture of me (I brushed my hair today) and Cub.

Happy Birthday to Mormor!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Misfit Monday

We need a do-over.

One misfit was out today because he just got out of the hospital yesterday from going into diabetic shock while in San Antonio on Friday.

Another misfit drove to San Antonio to pick up the first misfit's truck only to find that someone (probably a mean, ugly person) broke into the truck. 

When we arrived at work today we discovered one of our vans (along with a nice big cleaning machine) had been stolen.  A police report has been filed, but I don't think it's a very high priority.

I think that's enough for one day.

It's a good thing Cubbie-Cub is doing well (and cute).

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Wise Baby Mama

Today we had a wonderful baby mama brunch/baby shower (four baby mamas are pregnant and three were in attendance). 

We played a little game where we all wrote down a piece of advice (funny, silly, sweet - it didn't matter what kind of advice) for each of the pregnant mamas and the pregnant mamas had to guess who wrote each piece of advice.

One of the mamas (she already has two kiddos) wrote something like - Spend more time making memories and less time worrying how to document the memories. 

I really liked this advice.  

I have often wondered if I spend too much time taking pictures (and documenting our life) instead of just living in the moment and making the memories.

I love my camera - I always have.  I love taking pictures of Cub. I don't think that's ever going to change (I think there would be a 3-person mutiny on this blog if it did); however, as the mama it's my job to help make the memories with Cub, not to document them. 

Here's Cub today (in a picture taken by Buttin):

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Our Stange Child

Here's one of Cash-man's new favorite things to do:

In case you can't tell - he pouring milk onto a book and then drinking (slurping) the milk off of a book.  The kid can't read, but he found a way to use a book.

Here are a couple pictures from today - it was so beautiful outside. 

Here's Cash tummy-swinging:

Here are Buttin and Cash tummy-swinging:

Here are Buttin and Cash drinking Dr. Pepper:

Here's Cub showing off a dinosaur he found in the park:

Friday, February 24, 2012

Filanthropy Friday

Today's choices aren't particularly glamorous, but they're important to me.

I'm calling it my PUBLIC RADIO Filanthropy Friday.

I listen to our local NPR station - KUT - most mornings and afternoons (except when they're having the fund drive - like now) while I'm driving to and from work. 

As a child, I was forced to listen to NPR by my father.  The theme music (for the shows like Morning Edition and All Things Considered) hasn't changed.  Now, I really enjoy listening to all the news stories on those shows - it's like The John Stewart Show, but without being funny.  

In addition to the regular broadcast programming, there are several NPR podcast that I also enjoy - This American Life, Radio Lab and Filmspotting are my favorites.  Like KUT, these shows are listener supported.

Here's a summary of this week's PUBLIC RADIO donations:

KUT - $15
Radio Lab - $5

Now that I've listened to all this educational stuff - it's time to go read TMZ. 

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Updates Galore!

Update #1: 
THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!  In two days, we have raised $240 for Girls On The Run! My friends and family are awesome.

I spoke to a representative from Girls On The Run Greater Houston today and they're sending me a little care package with a technical t-shirt to wear during the race! 

If you haven't donated yet, but would still like to help girls (grades 3 - 8) train for a 5K and feel empowered to accomplish all their goals, please visit my donation page.  

Update #2: (kind of long):

One of my New Year's goals was to become more educated about the products I buy and where they are made.  A little over a month ago, I wrote about the Lake Austin Spa Resort and the rumors I heard about their (lack of) employee benefits

I finally got around to writing them today.  Here was my (super eloquent) email:

Dear Lake Austin Spa,

I enjoy visiting your spa and resort.  I try to treat myself at least once a year.  Your commitment to customer satisfaction is beyond compare.

However,  I recently heard from a close friend (and frequent visitor to the Lake Austin Spa) that you all do not provide your employees with health insurance nor do you offer PTO. 

I found this difficult to believe and thought it must be some rumor started by a previous employee or jealous competitor.  Certainly, a company with your dedication to wellness would offer generous benefits packages to your employees.  Could you please confirm that you provide your employees with health insurance options and contribute to their healthcare premiums?

I try to be a consumer with a conscience which is why I'm requesting that you respond to my inquiry.  It's important to me that the companies I spend money with are good to their people. 

Warmest Regards,

Well, they responded today!  Their general manager actually tried calling me (but of course I didn't answer my phone). 
Here is the email she sent:

Thank you for your email.  We most certainly provide benefits including health insurance, dental insurance, vision insurance, 401k, vacation, life insurance, etc. for our full time employees.  I am not sure where that rumor started, but all full time employees have the option to join our insurance plans after 90 days of employment.  I would be happy to discuss further if you have any questions.  I tried to call the number on your contact form, but must have called your work number.  We value our employees and the contribution they make to the guest experience. They are a wonderful group that I have the privilege of working for each and every day.  Thanks for your question and don’t hesitate to call if there is anything further I can assist with.

I wrote her back with a couple additional questions - but I'm very satisfied with the substance and speed of her response.  This makes me very happy.

Update #3:

Cub is now talking - a bunch.  Not all of his words are pronounced with the diction of a broadcaster, but he's saying - mama, mommy, dada, daddy, out, tree, keys, cheese, shoes, pop, down and (of course) NO!  His favorite word is NO. 

Here's Cub today seriously watching some kids play basketball.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

PSA: I am 25% toward my goal of raising $200 for Girls On The Run.  You can donate as little as $5 or as much as $5 Million!!

**Update - I'm now 40% toward my goal - Thanks to my mommy, my mother-in-law and Empress Liz!**

Cub is gonna love this picture when he's older.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Beg, Borrow and Steal!

And then give it to ME.

Well not actually to me, but to my Girls On The Run fundraising page.

Here's a quick re-cap:
  1. In honor of the Livestrong Austin Marathon - last week for Filanthropy Friday I donated to Girls On The Run Austin
  2. My marathon was not a success in a conventional way.
  3. I decided (because I'm apparently drunk on barfy endorphins) that I HAD to find another marathon to complete this spring - I've trained so much!  I found the My Fit Woodlands Marathon - so close, so flat (or so it's advertised) and practically in my old backyard (I grew up in Houston) - SOLD OUT! Curses.
  4. I wrote the race organizer and practically begged for a spot.  I think he got a little annoyed with me. Thankfully they had a few (like, 25) charity spots they were planning to release today.  I GOT ONE!
  5. Even though it's NOT MANDATORY to raise money, I felt like I should.  One of the six choices is Girls On The Run Houston.  It must be fate - right? 
My goal is $200 - seems pretty doable.  

I figure I'll be like NPR (our local station, KUT, is coincidentally doing their membership drive right now) and basically bug the crap out of people until I reach my goal.   KUT always says stuff like, Once we reach our fundraising goal, we'll stop the drive., which translates to Hurry up and donate now so you don't have to listen to us anymore.

I'm calling in all donation favors!  

I have about eleven days to raise $200 and then I promise I'll shut up (at least about this topic).

Here's what Cub will do if I raise $200.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Misfit Monday

There was no real misfit misbehavior today.

*** I spoke too soon***

 I just received an email from a misfit with a lovely racial slur.  He meant to send the email to one person (obviously not me), but instead he sent it to me, Buttin, the misfit he meant to send it to and THE ENTIRE ANSWERING SERVICE (many of the people who work for the answering service would take great offense to the slur).  Gee Wiz. 

***Back to the story I was going to tell.***

However, this evening Buttin (with the help of his misfit family, including Gigi) managed to cut down two semi-dead trees in the front of our house.

Here he is pushing one down (see the strain on his face - that's real effort).

Here is Cub with his new truck from Gigi.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Marathon First - DNF

Today's race wasn't a success - unless you count throwing up in a stranger's yard a success.

I didn't finish the Livestrong Austin Marathon - I called it a day after 16.7 miles and 3 barfs. 

I started out well - maybe too well.  I don't know my split times yet, but even after 3 barfs, a 10 minute sit and and about 15 minutes of walking, my average pace (according to my iPhone app thingy) was 11:20 (which is entirely too fast for this turtle).

Trip time: 03:14:46
Trip distance: 16.7 mi
Trip calories: 1993 kcal
Average speed: 11:20 min/mi
Maximum speed: 8:52 min/mi

I got carried away with the beginning of the race and was feeling good.  I was moving too quickly (for me) and not drinking enough water.  Sometimes when it's cold outside, I forget how humid it can still be (91% at start time) and I don't drink enough water.  By the time I started to feel icky (around mile 11), it was too late and the lemon-lime gatorade only made it worse.

I started the race with two throwaway sweatshirts and a pair of throwaway gloves and by mile two I had taken off my layers and was sweating (it was pretty humid to start).  I threw away my sweatshirts, but kept my gloves (I was glad to have them later in the race). 

Things started getting not so great around mile 11 - I started walking up the hill on Exposition (it sucked) and  then barfed on someone's front lawn right before turning onto 35th (around mile 13).  I used one of my throwaway gloves to wash off my face.  I'm sure that homeowner was happy to find a gift in their lawn this morning.  A couple runners and spectators asked me if I was OK.  I just felt embarrassed.  

The sign I saw immediately after leaving that pretty gift was "You look so smart and pretty" - I didn't feel either and I'm sure I didn't look either, but I kept jogging.  

I jogged/walked for the next 3 - 4 miles and was trying to "shake it off".  I texted Buttin and told him to be prepared to pick me up in the event that I did not get any better.  Soon after the 16 mile marker, I stopped at the medical station and sat down for about 10 minutes and threw up twice.  It was time to call it a day.

I walked through a neighborhood to try and find some streets Buttin could access.  I got home, took a long shower and then a 1.5 hour nap.  I felt better when I woke up, but still not 100%.  

I'm a little disappointed, but I run for fun and on any given day when it's no longer fun (i.e. I'm barfing), I stop.  I'll have a better race another day. 

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Marathon Poem

Twas the night before the Austin Marathon, when all through our home.
The tears were a flow'in, because I'm running alone.
The Mormor's got pink eye and a fever to boot,
The only upside is I stole her race loot.

Soon I'll be nestled all snug in my bed,
while visions of winning dance in my head.
And Mormor with barf bucket getting much bigger,
Won't get to wear her Disneyworld pigger.

I'll race to the finish with turtle quickness,
but Mormor won't be there because of her sickness.
I'll cheer for all runners and say without sorrow,
Happy Marathon to all and let's eat five donuts tomorrow!

Here is Cub in the tub.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Filanthropy Friday


I think (hope) I'm prepared.

The Livestrong Austin Marathon has a program called 26 miles for 26 charities - so I thought it might be fun to pick one of those charities today.

I really wanted something fun (read: not sad).  Once again, most of the charities don't meet this qualification (like Superhero Kids - sounds super fun, but it's super sad).

Since my mom and I are running this weekend (and we're girls), I decided on Girls on the Run.

GOTR is a running program for girls (3rd - 8th grade) that addresses their physical, emotional and mental health.  I donated $15 to GOTR and I hope I see some of their volunteers on Sunday!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Love Day!

Happy Valentine's Day!

Here is one of the loves of my lives attacking a tree.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Misfit Monday

We have a new commercial.  It's not as star-packed as our other commercial, but it's pretty fun. 

It's gonna be on cable!

We had our first nice afternoon in a few days so Cub and I spent most of our time outside.  We went for a walk and played by the drainage pipe (aka the sex hole).  

Then we walked around the neighborhood and met one of our neighbors who asked Cash if "he would like to play with some puppies" (no Liz, he was not trying to kidnap us).

I dare you not to smile when you look at this picture. 

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Boerne Visit

Today we went to Boerne to visit Mormor and Dadoo.

There was snow (or at least a little sleet and ice).

Cub decided that Mormor and Dadoo's house was his new playground and quickly started destroying everything in the house (not everything, but he did manage to break a plastic piggy bank that Mormor got for free).

Here's Cub spending a little (very little) time being still in Mormor's lap.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

My Run For Sherry

I wrote about the virtual race for Sherry yesterday for Filanthropy Friday.

This morning I ran a very chilly 11.7 miles for Sherry.  

When I got up, my iPhone said it was 39.  I think it lied.  

I dressed appropriately (for 39) and wore my race bib on my shirt. I wore a jacket, but was very confident that it would come off 3 to 4 miles into my run.  I ended up keeping my jacket on for the entire run, so around mile six I moved the bib to my jacket.  

I didn't know it was possible to stun (with cold wind) your mouth into a certain position, but I managed to do it.  Near the end of my run, I saw a woman walking a dog and I asked her, "Malamute?" but it came out "Mamamu?", she just smiled and quickly went in the opposite direction.  

In addition to being virtual race day for Sherry, today's run was my last Saturday run before the Livestrong Austin Marathon  next weekend.  The Rogue coaches decided to make this last run on the hilliest course.  I guess it's never to late to practice for all those hills next weekend.

Before I started running, I thought about Sherry - first of all, because Beth asked us to take a moment to think of Sherry and second because it was a Saturday morning around 5:45 a.m. and I was running alone (as I very often do).  I imagine that Sherry must have always felt safe (just like I do) while running and it made me just a little more aware of my surroundings and the people I saw (I also wondered if there was such a thing as runners' mace and if I should start to carry some). 

I finished my 11.7 miles in 2:16:59.  It was a nice (if somewhat chilly and hilly) run.  

This afternoon Cub and I went exploring in the trails next to our house.

Here is a little blast from the past.  A few months ago, Gigi sent a Cub picture into Women's World magazine and they published it this week!  I'm so happy that for Cub's big debut he's wearing his boyrette. 

Friday, February 10, 2012

Filanthropy Friday

I could not possibly tell the story of Sherry Arnold better than it is told here; but as with all Filanthropy Fridays I do my best to explain why I feel compelled to give to this cause. 

Sherry Arnold was a 43-year old mother, wife, math teacher and runner.  On January 7th around 6:30 a.m. she went out for a run in the small town of Sidney, Montana and never came home. She is presumed dead and two men have been arrested in her disappearance.   

Sherry's cousin, Beth, is a runner, blogger and mother and she has been chronicling the story on her blog - Shut Up + Run. If you start reading Beth's blog from around January 8th - forward you can read the entire story.  It is both heart-breaking and uplifting.  Beth has received supportive comments and emails from fellow runners and bloggers from all over the World.   

Beth has planned a virtual race (including race bib) for tomorrow, Saturday, February 11th to honor Sherry.  She has asked runners to make a  small donation (if they are able) to help support Sherry's children, Holly and Jason.  I know if anything ever happened to me, I'd want my community (of runners, family, friends, bloggers and misfits) to take care of Cub. 

I decided to give $1 for every mile I've run since January 7th - which I calculate to be around 85.10 (including the 12 miles I plan to run tomorrow during the virtual race).  I think Beth said it best on her blog:

We have so many emotions. As mothers, runners, and teachers,  we fear it could have been us. Our hearts break for her students, her family, her community. We feel things we don’t know how to express and we cry for someone who we have never met. We hope she did not suffer and we hope that she found peace in her final moments. The human connection often feels deepest during tragedy. These past three weeks this connection has been alive, pulsing and powerful. The goodness has poured out of each and every one of you, demonstrating that good overpowers evil.

I have encouraged all my running friends to run (jog, walk, pedal or po-go) tomorrow in Sherry's honor.  I didn't know her and I don't know Beth, but I'm certain she deserves my 12 miles.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Riggs & The Homeless

It's been a while since I've written about the newest member of our household - the puppy.

Riggs isn't much of a barker.  He will occasionally bark when he wants to be let inside or when I'm in the office in the early morning hours (he comes to work with us four days a week) and a misfit approaches.  In these instances it's usually just one or two little short barks and then he is done.

This is not the case when it comes to the homeless (really, it's people begging on the street - to be fair, I'm not sure if they're actually homeless).  On Wednesday I was driving him home from his doggie play date and we approached a very major intersection.  All the way across the intersection there was a person requesting money from cars.  He saw them (I couldn't even tell if it was a man or woman they were so far away) and started barking like a maniac - loud, non-stop, annoying barking.  

Here he is (you can't even see the homeless person):

When I got home and told Buttin the story, Buttin told me that Riggs had done the exact same thing the a few days earlier except in that instance the homeless person was right next to Buttin's truck.  Buttin said Riggs' barking was embarrassing.

I'm not sure if it's a protective bark or if it's a cheering-them-on kind of bark (he is usually very pro-begging), but it's very loud and thankfully very rare. 

You don't really get to see Riggs' cute face in the picture above, so here's is a picture of Riggs and Buttin cuddling.

Here is Cub today playing on his bike.  I love the look on his face.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Is It Really Only Tuesday?

To catch everyone up on my super exciting life.
  1. Cub has strep (but is feeling better);
  2. Buttin has strep (went to the doctor today);
  3. I feel like I'm getting strep (maybe it's just suggestive illness, but my throat feels icky).
Honestly, it feels like it must be at least Thursday. It's just been such a crazy/bizarre/busy week already - I'm not sure what to expect tomorrow.   

Today, Ms. Julie came to stay with Cub for a few hours so that Buttin and I could work.  His fever is gone and he was super happy and playful today.  Here he is playing on the basketball court this morning.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Misfit Monday

Two things:
  1. A misfit got arrested today.
  2. Cub has strep throat.
Yup, it's just one of those kind of days.

Here's a picture of Cub napping on our bed today.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Just Tired

Last night Cub still wasn't feeling well, so we brought him to bed with us.  I didn't sleep.  

He seems to be getting better today, but he was still a little tired (I was more tired).  Here he is playing outside. 

Saturday, February 4, 2012

16.5 Miles & 24 Hour Bug

Yesterday afternoon Cub came home with a fever and wasn't interested in playing.  

We spent almost two hours cuddling on the couch and he fell asleep on me at 5:15 PM (about 30 minutes before his bath time).

Buttin and I woke Cub up for a bath, but he wasn't interested.  He fell asleep on Buttin's chest at 6 PM and slept in bed with us until around midnight. Cub woke up around midnight and felt cooler.  I asked him if he wanted to go to his own bed and he said yes.  

I don't really sleep well when Cub is in bed with us (I love to cuddle him, but he's not a great bed partner) so I was finally able to really sleep when Cub went into his own bed.

I woke up this morning and went for a 16.5 mile (in 3:14:09).  Buttin sent me texts with pictures and videos of Cub and he seemed pretty good.  Today, I was supposed to run the lesser of 3 hours or 20 miles, so I kind of split the difference.  

When I got home Buttin left for a relaxing birthday celebration (massage, lunch, movie and relaxing) with Jonathan.  Cub and I played outside for about an hour.  He and Mouser explored the Sex Hole.

Cub seemed good, but a little tired.  

He went down for a nap, but only slept for 50 minutes (lots of coughing).  He woke up super grumpy.  After a couple hours of grumpy, tired, snotty couch cuddling time - I was finally able to convince him to go outside. 

"Outside" must be Cub's antibiotic because his mood dramatically changed (he was still exceptionally snotty) once we started playing.  Here he is running around the basketball court.

And here he is trying to lock me out of the basketball court.

When it was bedtime tonight, I took Cub's temperature again and it was down to normal.  I guess it was just a nasty 24-hour bug. 

Friday, February 3, 2012

Filanthropy Friday

I've never had any written rules forbidding it, but I've never intended on giving to the same charity twice.

I'm not really in a position to debate the reasons why Komen is no longer supplying those grants to Planned Parenthood, but I'm concerned with rising cost of healthcare.  It's my understanding that that prevention and early detection are key to keeping costs down.  Providing women, especially those with low-incomes (and possibly no insurance), with affordable healthcare screenings (mammograms, pap smears, etc.) seems like a long-term benefit to everyone.  

This week I donated $25 to Planned Parenthood which is about the same as Michael Bloomberg and his $250K donation.

UPDATE:  Komen has reversed their decision and will continue to fund Planned Parenthood.  I'm sure my blog post had a lot to do with it. 

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Parent-Teacher Conference

Today we met with Cub's teacher to discuss how he is doing after a month in his new classroom.

Good news:  He's fully settled in and very bonded to his peer group (I think I've mentioned before he's has a few friends almost exactly his age and they all started school right around the same time - when they were 4 months old - sniff, sniff). 

Bad news:  Since he's so comfortable, he has started biting again.  

His biting is kind of odd - he doesn't do it out of anger or frustration; he's just curious.  His teacher is pretty confident that he'll eventually learn what is socially appropriate (it's either that or he'll become a hermit). 

We also discussed Cub's (lack of) speech. 

Again, his teacher is not concerned.  She gave us some ideas of ways we can try to encourage Cub to speak up (and out) a little more.  

Here is Cub today drinking diet Coke out of a water bottle (I'm a good mom).