Monday, April 8, 2013


Dear Cash,

How can I summarize three years (or even just this past year) in a letter?  I can't. 

It's impossible to put in to words how you have changed my life (aside from the sleepless nights and a couple extra pounds), but I wrote you this little poem (set to Twas The Night Before Christmas). 

Twas the night before your birthday, when all through our home,
I was stirring with "gas pains", and boy did I moan.
The bag was not packed - I needed to prepare,
I expected more warning before you'd be there.
The animals were all nestled, all snug in our bed
While I denied labor and ate Chuy's instead.
And me in my bathrobe and daddy in his cap,
Couldn't settle down because it hurt like crap.
When into the shower, I ran with a scream,
I'd just done some pooping and needed to clean.
Away to the dresser I flew with a limp,
Tore open the drawers and packed like a wimp.
The moon was half full, but heck, did I care?
I grabbed a pillow for my head and a brush for my hair. 
When, what would my watering eyes should appear
Buttin in his truck, was shifting into gear.
With a man driver, so dangerous and fast,
Buttin got me to the hospital by slamming on the gas.
At the hospital my nurse made some suggestions,
and then started asking me bazillions of questions.
Now weight? Now height? Now strep b test?
Now pee in this cup and get undressed!
The room started to flurry with busy nurses and such,
I screamed the word "peace", but didn't want to be touched.
And then with a sudden feeling of fear,
I asked for marijuana, some drugs or a beer.
Sweet doula and your daddy suggested a shower,
They knew I could do it - my spirit they could empower.
So across to the shower, I shuffled in pain,
My water broke and it went down the drain.
I spent nary a minute when I exclaimed with no doubt,
"I've got to push - this baby is ready to come out!"
So pushing I started, couldn't wait to meet you.
The pushing felt like I was taking a poo.
We were making progress with nary a glitch,
Then in walked the doctor, she was Dr. Bitch.
You were almost there,  excitement grew in the room.
I was tired and wanted you out of my womb.
One more push and I was filled with great joy,
Dr. Bitch said blandly, "here - it's a boy."
You were immediately perfect, but I was lacking cleanness
To my great surprise - you had a penis.  
You were skinny and long, a right happy young child
And I swear when you farted, I could see that you smiled.
After all the commotion ended and everyone went home
You and I got to spend some time alone.
I will always remember our first night together
as we slept cuddled up in the cool spring weather. 
I whispered in your ear as you slept next to me,
Happy Birthday sweet Cash, I love you baby.

Here are a few things I started two years ago

Favorite Color:  Whatever the color is of the train you are currently holding.
Favorite Word: Trains
Favorite Food: Donuts
Favorite Thing To Do: Play the motorcycle game on your iPad. 
Last time you cried:  You frequently throw toddler fits, but the last time you really cried is probably when you were sick a couple of weeks ago. 
Last time you smiled:  You're always smiling, unless you're throwing a toddler fit.
What I think you'll be when you grow up: Donut maker or politician

Here are a few things I started last year

Nicknames: Turd and Cashman
Favorite Song: Accidents Happen (this is a Thomas the Train song, but could also apply to your (lack of) toilet usage)
Favorite Book :  One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish

Here are a few new things for this year:

Your best friend:  Desmond (or me - boy's best friend is his mother)
One word to describe your personality:  Clever 
What you think of your brother:  He needs to be poked in the eye, frequently and he should also be awake.  

We love you so much Cash.  Please be sweet to me, your dad and your brother and please don't grow up too quickly.


Monday, March 18, 2013

Dear Mac - 3 Months

Dear Chicky,

I always start out my letters by saying "I can't believe how fast time goes . . ."  It's not clever or creative, but it's true.

Unlike your brother's pre-birth name, Lumpy, your name, Chicken (and it's many variations) has stuck.  This weekend, Mormor was with your brother and they had the following conversation:

Mormor:  Cash, what is your brother's name?
Cash:  Chicken
Mormor:  What's his real name?
Cash:  Mac Chicken

Oh well chicky-baby, at least it's better than your brother's predominate nickname, Turd. 

You are a sweet, chunky and smiley 3-month-old.  Did I mention chunky?  I don't really want this to become your defining characteristic, but seriously, you are a healthy, thriving baby.  I actually had to buy you a new foam baby seat because the Bumbo cuts off the circulation in your legs and your feet were turning bluish/purple (although, you really didn't seem to mind). 

You still sleep in our bed and although it's not always comfortable; I enjoy the closeness and I think we both sleep a lot better.

I'm in no hurry for you to grow up, but I'm looking forward to the development of your personality.  Your father and I like to speculate on how you will act when you are two or three years old.  Will you be brave like your brother?  Will you be sensitive like your mother?  Will you be funny like your father? Will you be forever chunky like the Pillsbury Dough Boy?  Only time will tell and time can take it's time.

I love you forever and ever.  Please be sweet to me, your dad and your brother and please don't grow up too quickly. 


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Little Hiatus

My blog is taking a little hiatus, kind of.

Right now, it's just too difficult to write a daily post (but I will still write from time to time).

Now, I have Facebook page dedicated to daily pictures and mini-posts.  You can visit me here.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Misfit Monday

It's Spring Break!

This means that quite a few of our misfits are out of the office.  That means the remaining misfits are very busy and so I won't make fun of them. 

One quick funny story.  The following is a phone conversation between me and one of our cleaning misfits.   A customer who he had done a clean for the day before was calling him.

Misfit:  I think that someone gave out my phone number to one of our customers, could you please not give out my phone number?
Me:  We did not give out your phone number.  Did you happen to call her when you were on the way to her house?
Misfit:  Well, yeah.
Me:  So, she probably has your phone number on her caller id.  
Misfit:  Oh yeah.  That's probably how she got it.

Silly misfit.

Here is a picture Mac trying to steal (or maybe just look at) Buttin's phone.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

The Bug Collector

It was a little chilly this morning, but Cub wanted to go outside.  I dressed him in his Sunday finest (footie pjs, fuzzy crocs and a jacket).

Cub wanted to find and collect rolli pollies. He's quite the scientist. 

This afternoon, I found his baggie of rolli pollies and decided to set them free.  About five minutes later, he wanted his rolli pollies.

Here is Mac smiling at a cute baby (a mirror).

Friday, March 8, 2013

Filanthropy Friday

Two charities in one week!  I'm totally becoming Bill Gates. 

During my past few runs (small jogs), I've been listening to This American Life's two part story on Harper High School in Chicago.  

Stories about kids in difficult situations and the teachers who try to help them really get to me.  This broadcast follows the children (really, teenagers), their parents and teachers as they try to survive (literally) during a five month period last year in one Chicago's most violent neighborhoods.  All the stories are thoroughly engrossing.  

The principal of the school has a greeting that she says in the halls - "I appreciate you in advance!".  I love the sentiment because many of these kids are not appreciated or their appreciation is conditional.  I'm going to try to appreciate  more people in advance - even though the misfits sometimes make it difficult.

In one of the segments the producers discussed Harper as a "turnaround" school.  The past few years, Harper High School has received additional funding that has gradually decreased as the school has made progress.  However, next year they will not receive any turnaround money - essentially, their turnaround period is over and I guess they should be cured.   It's really amazing what $1 million can do at a school.  This week I donated $15 to Harper High School.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

My New Obsession

My new obsession is Amazon - Subscribe and Save.

Amazon offers this nifty service where you can purchase stuff (like household things - paper towels, toilet paper, splenda, etc.) in bulk and get it shipped to your house (no shipping charges) on a schedule (like once every two months).  The best thing is that if you subscribe to five things and they are all delivered in the same month - you get an additional 15% off everything in your order.  I know, I know - I should be their spokesperson (or better yet, spokesmodel). 

Our misfits go through paper towels like they are constantly cleaning stuff or washing their hands (most of them are boys, so I know they're not), but seriously - I have no idea where all the paper towels go - so I've set up a subscription for paper towels - and now I never have to worry about buying them at the grocery store (they take up so much room in the cart).  

Also - who never has to lug around a 28lbs box of cat litter?  THIS GIRL!  I have no idea how it's profitable for Amazon to ship me 28lbs of cat litter - but I'm happy about it! 

I tried describing the joy of my new found obsession to Buttin (I mean, who knew I could get so excited about a huge box of paper towels on my door step?) and he just looked at me strangely.  He said hearing me describe "getting a good deal" was like listening to a junkie talk about their next fix. I'm not sure how he knows this, but I'll take his word for it. 

Here is Mac today - trying to suck his thumb. 

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

Filanthropy Tuesday?

Yesterday was a huge city-wide giving fest!

I Live Here, I Give Here's campaign, Amplify Austin, raised $2.8 Million in 24 hours for local charities. 

I gave $25 to BeHive Austin -  they provide after school learning programs to at-risk and low income children.

Now, a picture of Mac.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Misfit Monday

For the most part, we have patient, reasonable  customers.  This post is not about those customers.

We have some (thankfully very few) customers who take advantage of us.  

Say for example, a customer calls and orders X.  We do X.  Then they call back and say they ordered Y.  We have no way to prove they ordered X (although I'm about 95% sure they did) and OF COURSE,  Y is cheaper than X.  We have to eat the cost.   There's really no way to win this argument except we're now making certain customers email all orders.

Here is Cash today climbing on a pole.

You'll notice his black "leash".  He now loves to be taken for a walk while I hold onto his leash.  We get some strange looks.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Weekend Recap

Here are a few pictures from our weekend.

Cash on the train (he and I spent a little time together on Saturday afternoon - it was nice)

We brought the Bumbo out this weekend.

Cash still fits in it pretty easily.

Mac's chubby legs barely fit in the Bumbo.  When I try to take him out of the Bumbo - I have the push down on the chair at the same time. 

Here are Cash, Mac and Mouser (looking for "squirrels in the food machine" - we checked and we actually have about four "squirrels").  Cash asked if we were going to turn the squirrels into food.  Um.  No. 

Friday, March 1, 2013

Filanthropy Friday

My feelings on images with words purported to be fact posted to Facebook are documented. 

So, this week I saw a new one:

I was shocked.  I'm not the most savvy benefactor (actually, I'm a benefactress), but I LOVE some of these organizations - The Red Cross, The March of Dimes & UNICEF - and I've done my research.  

Was it possible that I was duped?  Does the March of Dimes really only spend $.10 of every dollar on services? 

Um - you guessed it - NO! WRONG-O! What a shocker!  Something posted on Facebook is WRONG.  

Charity Navigator is actually a nonprofit - so I donated $10 to them today as a thank you for being an excellent tool in my becoming the next Andrew Carnegie. 

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Security Blanket

Cash has never used a security blanket (or stuffed animal or lovie).

However, he now has a little security item that Buttin and I find adorable - - a book.  

Every night, he snuggles "One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish" and tells me the story about how one horrible, horrible night his book fell in between the mattress and the railing and was lost for all eternity (or at least until morning when I retrieved it). Apparently, that night was pretty dramatic for him. 

It's sweet how he tucks his book in next to him every night and makes sure his book has covers.  He treats the book better than most of his friends at school. One night I hope to get a picture of him snuggling his book.

Here he is today telling me the story about the "Squirrel in the Food Machine".  

Translation: Squirrel in the Food Machine = Rat in the Grill

P.S. The rat (or mouse) is alive and well and using our grill as a mouse-mansion

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Good Dog

All weekend long I wanted to write a post about Riggs and our adventure on Saturday morning.

On Saturday night I was semi-alone (just me and the boys), so it was difficult to blog with a 2 month old sleeping in my lap (lazy excuse - I know) and by Sunday night Buttin and I had come to a difficult decision and I wasn't really in the mood to write about Riggs.

The good stuff:

Saturday morning was fantastic.  I went for a run and decided to bring Riggs (I'm not really up in the mileage department, so I figured he could handle 3 miles pretty easy).   We ran down to some big open fields and then I just let him off his leash and let him run.  He was in puppy paradise.

When I got home from my run with Riggs, Cash decided HE wanted to take Riggs for a run immediately - which wearing footie pjs.  We had a great time.

The bad stuff: 

On Sunday afternoon while we were all downstairs, Riggs snapped and barked at Miss Hannah and caught her on the mouth (it wasn't a puncture bite - more of a graze).  He scared her (and the rest of us) more than he hurt her. 

The trouble is that this was not the first time Riggs has snapped -  but it was the first time he actually made a person bleed.  Riggs knows Miss Hannah very well and she did not scare him.  

Buttin and I came to the sad decision relatively quickly that we would have to give Riggs back to the Great Dane Rescue - we cannot have this kind of unpredictability around our boys.  I spoke (and cried) to the president of the Great Dane Rescue and she agreed. 

Today, Buttin drove Riggs back to Houston.  Buttin said that it was much worse than he expected.  I felt bad that Buttin had to make the drive by himself. 

I spoke to the rescue people and they're going to keep up us to date on his progress.  They said sometimes behavioral problems (the result of a bad treatment as puppies) don't really show up until the dog gets older.  They're going to send Riggs to doggie therapy.  

For the first time in about 12 years I'm living in a house without a dog. We are now (gulp) cat people. It's sad, but Buttin and I are going to wait until the boys get older before getting another dog.

Here's a happy picture of Cub today  - for some reason he needed to wear his hat (although it wasn't really cold outside).

Monday, February 25, 2013

Misfit Monday

Roaches! Roaches! Roaches!

I hate roaches. 

A large colony seemed to have set up camp in my office and it's horrible.

Let me set the scene. 

Me in a  semi-dark room, feeding PupPup - I spot a roach crawling across my keyboard.  I'm paralyzed.  I  can't scream, I can't jump up and smash it - all I can do is watch and see where it goes in the hopes that I'll be able to put Mac in his bed and quietly scream for Buttin (or anyone, really). 

My office contains about  fifteen roach motels (those things that give them poison - I'm not ashamed - I am not for the ethical destruction of roaches) and I've sprayed (with the all natural spray - that's supposedly safe for people and animals, but kills roaches and smells like pine-lemon butthole), but they're still crawling everywhere.  Two today, so far. 

Brandi (very sweet, wonderful misfit who I will always be indebted to) has helped me clean my office (and she kills the roaches when Buttin isn't available) - TWICE.    Of course, while we (mostly Brandi) were cleaning we spotted ZERO roaches.  

To make matters worse, I now see roaches all the time - even when they're not there.   Stupid eyes playing tricks on me.  I was really hoping all my (Brandi's) cleaning would help get rid of the roaches, but it only seemed to keep them away for a couple of days.  I'm not sure what to do now - maybe call a professional.  I can't work in this hostile environment.  

Here is Cashman in his favorite environment - playing with trains.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Weekend With Gigi

Maybe you got from the title of this post that Gigi spent the weekend with us - it was fantastic.We actually got to see a movie on Friday night (a first since before Chicken).

Looks like we might get another night with Gigi.  A winter storm is on it's way and she should probably stay put in warm, cozy Austin and not venture north. 

Friday, February 22, 2013

Filanthropy Friday

After last week's terribly sad donation, I really wanted to do something happy or uplifting today.  I wasn't having much luck, but then one of my baby mama friends gave me an excellent suggestion.

This week I donated $20 to the Mothers' Milk Bank of Austin (my baby mama friend has donated 450 oz of milk!!!).  The Mothers' Milk Bank collects, pasteurizes and distributes donor breast milk to premature and ill infants.  I don't always like breast feeding, but I know that it's good for my baby.  Not all babies have access to breast milk (or as Cash calls it "baby milk") so Mothers' Milk Bank of Austin is doing very good work.

I don't usually share pictures on Fridays, but this one is fitting - here is Cash trying to make "baby milk".  

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Big Mac - 2 Month Appointment

Today we went to Mac's (who I'm holding right now and typing with one hand, so this will be short) 2 month appointment.

  • Weight - 15lbs, 10 oz - >95th percentile (I'm not sure if the greater than sign means odd the charts or what).
  • Height - 23 inches - 50th percentile
  • Mac has an ear infection (he's had a cold now for a couple of weeks). 
  • Vaccines weren't fun, but were much better than they were with Cash.
  • I really like our new pediatrician, Dr. T. 
 Here is Mr. Chunky-Mac.
Here is sleepy Mac.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Misfit Monday

Our misfits are so dramatic. Buttin has to play dad/referee to many adults who are older than he is.  I like to think of all this as training for one day having teenagers, but  I don't think our children will ever be as bad as our misfits. 

I'm sure Cash will thank me one day for this picture - here he is peeing "like a big boy".

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Happy Two Months Chicken!

No letter tonight - hopefully later in the week. 

Here is Mac giving smiles to Mormor.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Potty Humor

We've experienced some small success with potty training.  Since we talk about the potty quite a bit,  we also have some body awareness conversation. 

This morning Cash decided he wanted to be naked (no diaper, no underpants, no nothing) and peed a few times in the toilet, but mostly peed all over the floor.  He thought it was hilarious to dribble pee everywhere.  A couple of times he managed to go in his toilet.  During one of these times he proudly declared (twice), "I have a big penis.".  

I had no idea how to respond to this statement, so I just praised his going potty in the toilet.  I'm sure my friend, Jen, would find this hilarious.  I remember laughing when her son told me something similar many, many years ago and she kind of snickered - just you wait.  I suppose all little boys like to talk about their penis. 

Here are some pictures of our family today.

I finally got a shirt on Cash.



Friday, February 15, 2013

Filanthropy Friday

This week's Filanthropy Friday is too overwhelming.   You can read about it here and here (warning, extremely sad - I do not recommend reading it, you should just trust me - some things can't be unseen). 

It's bizarre, but if I think about it (ask Buttin, I cried a few times last Saturday), I am overcome with grief (like sobbing in a parking lot) for someone I do not even know.  I donated $20 to the family, but I'd pay a lot more if it would bring the baby back.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

I had a meeting this evening.   Buttin gave Chicken a bottle and got him to go to sleep.  My work here is done.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Misfit Monday

For the next several months foreseeable future, I will be at least a day behind.

We have lots of exciting happenings at work and most of the misfits are contributing in very positive ways that are making US even more excited about work.  It's good to be re-energized about work.

We officially have a 2nd location for our retail division and that makes Buttin super happy.  I always get nervous about growth and risk, but this is a pretty small risk and it has a ton of potential.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

My Heart

In less than two months, we will have a three-year-old.  

Here is a conversation Cub and I had the other night while I was putting him to bed.  As a little background, Warblers is the name of his current classroom and Cardinals is the name of the classroom he will move into in a couple of months. 

Me:  Cash, you're one of the oldest Warblers now so you need to help the younger Warblers.
Cash:  I need to help them? 
Me:  Yes, you need to help all your teachers with the Warbers who are younger than you.  Because one day soon, you'll be bigger and you'll be a Cardinal.
Cash:  Mommy, I don't want to be a Cardinal.  I just want to be small. 
Me:  You just want to be small?
Cash:  Mommy, is it OK if I just be small for a little while? 
Me:  Of course.

Sweet little boy, I don't think he could have said anything better.

Here are Cub and Pup playing together today.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Filanthropy Friday

Facebook can be a silly place.  It can also be a very mean place.

I rarely get political on Facebook because (1) I'm probably not going to change anyone's mind about something during a 100 word Facebook post and (2) People get very passionate about their beliefs and feel like Facebook is a good forum to spew hate and condemnation and I prefer not to be on the receiving end  of it.

I watched during last year's election as many of my friends posted semi-political Facebook musings only to be attacked by the other side. I'll also admit that I found it difficult to not be offended by what some of my Facebook friends (not real friends) were posting.   Now with gun control, immigration and drones - my Facebook feed looks like the bi-polar ramblings of a tea party socialist.  

The WORST thing about Facebook political postings are those stupid pictures with crap written all over them.  You know, like this:

I have no idea why people think sharing items like this is (1) persuasive (2) informative or (3) ACCURATE.  (For the record, I don't know if the above is accurate, but it shows a complete lack of knowledge for the logic behind gun control - you don't hear about a lot of mass school feetings, I digress.)  Whenever I see a Facebook friend share something like the above (both sides are guilty), I wonder if they researched the information on that clever little picture.  By posting these to their own page, they are essentially endorsing the information and the spreading of misinformation isn't smart. Anyone can take a cute (or shocking) picture and write words on it.  Here - I'll do it.

Lately, I've seen a lot of Hitler references on Facebook - especially regarding gun control.  These references aren't in paragraph form - they're written on a picture of Hitler that someone has just reposted and has done so, probably, without doing much research.  Here's the thing - they're inaccurate and offensive.  I guess, if it's your Facebook page you can decide to be inaccurate and offensive, but tying to pass it off as fact makes you look not so smart.

I really wish we could have debates in the country without resorting to using a  Hitler reference. If someone disagrees with you, that doesn't make them Hitler. 

This week, I'm donating $25 to the Anti-Defamation League.  They fight bigotry in all forms and (in this case) promote civility in discussing difficult issues. 

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Happy Valentines Day!

This is how tired/worn out we are:

I went downstairs this morning to get Cub some milk and found two greeting cards waiting for me.  I though - how sweet, Buttin bought me a couple of cards because I'm sick.  The cards were for Valentine's Day - just a week early. 

It made me laugh and pretty much made my day.  

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

Sick Sick Sick

Cub was sick this weekend.

Puppy (who also goes by Chicken, Chicky Baby, PupPup and Poot - but rarely, Mac) and I seemed to have caught a cold.  I hate it when little baby noses are stuffed up.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Nap Time View

This was my view (well, from above anyway) of nap time today.  Cub was feeling under the weather (but is doing much better this afternoon) so Pup, Cub and I stayed home and napped on the couch together.

Pictures like this make me look forward to all the other pictures I'll get of the two of them sleeping closly  - I hope they become the very best of friends. 

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Sleep Sitting Up & No Milk (For Me)

The past couple of weeks, I have slept while sitting up.

I've just found it easier to sleep having PupPup wrapped around my waist (while he's sleeping on the Boppy).  This way, he has easy access to the boobie and I don't really have to move.  

In other baby news, Mac was really, really grump at night time for a couple of weeks - he was the definition of "the witching hour" (except it sometimes lasted hours).  I did some interwebs research and found out that sometimes a baby's tummy are irritated by the cows milk the mom drinks. On Monday, I gave up milk.  It's difficult and I'm pretty hungry right now because (as I've discovered) most of the food I love contains milk - cookies, cookie dough, mac n cheese, cheese and more cookie dough.  However, the past few nights Pup has been much better.  

I'll try milk again in a week or two, but right now I'm too superstitious to try.

Here's Cub today playing at the park.


Thursday, January 31, 2013

Happy Birthday to Buttin!

Today is Buttin's 37th Birthday!

I wish I could say that we did something fabulous, but for us - fabulous is two healthy boys, take out food and maybe a little television before I fall asleep holding Chicken.

Here's Chicken today getting kisses from Aunt Liz's dog, Flynn.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Big Boy Bed

The past few nights Cash has consistently slept in his big boy bed.

The first night I was a little worried because he told me wanted to sleep in his big boy bed right as I was putting him to bed - no prior warning.  I was a little skeptical and thought he might be calling me in his room 30 minutes later.  

Not a peep.  Until . . . .3:30 AM (and of course I was awake at that time because I'm always awake).  I heard this very sudden cry and I could tell that it was different from a usual nighttime sleep cry.  I quickly woke up Buttin (because Mac was eating) and told him to go into Cubbie's room.  

Buttin went into Cub's room and reached down to where he thought Cash should be and couldn't find him.  Buttin could hear Cash crying, but couldn't find him.  As it turns out, Cash moved around so much in his bed that he had managed to push his mattress down and wedged himself in between the mattress and the head board.  

Buttin spent the rest of the night in Cub's bed and in the morning Cub came into our room and immediately pronounced, "I GOT STUCK! "

Now what everyone wants - a picture up Cash and Buttin's noses.