DRL and I took the girls down the street to the park near our house.
He takes them there every day, but I wanted to watch Elena play.

Little did I know
Elena wasn't much in the mood for play.

She took her trail mix

And arranged it neatly at the end of the merry go round.

She was so methodical about it.
So precise.

Then I decided to spin the merry go round.
All the mix went flying.
Into the dirt.

I am a horrible mother.

Elena was sad.
And once she threw her fit,
as two year olds often do,
she was fine.

She was better than fine.

In fact,
She decided to audition for lead singer in a rock band.

"Hello New Yoooooooooork! Are you ready to rooooooooock?!?!"

I think I'll make a great stage mother.

And while all of this was going on
Stella was doing this:
I don't know how she can sleep through all that loud rock music.


P.S. To all of our past and present service members,
thank you.

For Real.

For Everything.



A couple years ago I made Elena a teddy bear out of this book. 
I made it in blue.

I didn't want everything she owned to be pink.

I recently decided
so as to be completely fair
that I should also make one for Stella.

I didn't want hers to be pink either.

Elena's blue bear coordinates well with the quilt I made her.
So I thought I could match Stella's to her quilt, too.

And so I picked green.
Washable cotton.

We are hoping that perhaps she'll attach to it.
It will be her lovey.
Her safety item.

So far the plan is working.
And yes.
Your eyes do not deceive you.
The bear has no arms.
I am working on those as we speak

I am working on the ears, too.

My progress has been slowed
due to Elena's inability to leave anything belonging to mommy alone.

Or out of her mouth.

Exhibit A:

My only pair of size 3 needles have been compromised.

I am off to find a knitting store.
Perhaps one that sells titanium needles.



Us and Them

We went to the pool today.
 One of the five. 
Well, it was three of the five, really.
Elena couldn't make up her mind as to which she liked best.

While Elena and DRL did this:

Stella did this:








Losing It.

Today kind of felt like this. 

Like I had been hit by a truck.

It started great.
I had a great breakfast meeting with a prominent pain specialist group in Georgetown.
I had a successful lunch with a PT group.

I came home with a smile on my face.

And then I was in tears.

I tried to call Space Moving and Storage- the carrier assigned to our move by American Van Lines.
I went online and found an alternate number.
Then I tried the toll free 800 number.

It appears our moving carrier has gone out of business.
Which means we likely have no recourse for all of our damaged furniture.

Then, I saw our cell phone bill.
$100 more than it should be.
I get to sit on the phone with yet another customer service department.

We got a response from the bank in regard to the offer on our house.
They countered the buyer's offer.
By quite a bit.

If the buyers don't accept, we might end up losing the chance at a short sale.

I feel run over.

And my girl Nadia is right: Everything will fall into place.  And soon.
Rebecca is right, too: At least our moving company went out of business after we received all our stuff.
(she always knows how to make me smile.)

But still.

I'm hoping tomorrow's a better day.
I'm hoping tomorrow I can learn to let go a little.
To stop fretting over details I cannot control.
To enjoy the amazing gifts that enter into my life each day.
I'm hoping I can follow my {new} friend Brady's advice
and find solace in a pint of Ben & Jerry's.

And I'm hoping the next time I am sitting on the floor
crying my eyes out
that my darling Elena will come up to me,
just as she did tonight,
and pat my dripping crying eyes
and whisper,
"shhhh, shh, sorry sorry, momma.
don't cry, momma.
it's going to be alright, momma."

And then I hope she tells me,
"you don't need to cry, momma.
I didn't throw a toy.
I wasn't bad! Promise."

And then I'll laugh.
I'll regain perspective.
And though I may still be a little run over,
at least I'll be laughing.

And it is because of this,
along with soooo many countless other reasons,
that I am blessed and grateful and thankful for my children.



The Usual

I suppose it's about time for an update.

Stella had her four month well baby visit.

(I miss our family doctor.)

She's perfectly healthy and normal and average.
13 pounds. 23 1/4 inches.
a large head.
The usual.
She got some shots.
She screamed.

Elena isn't napping.
This is making post 6pm very interesting.
And by "interesting" I mean frustrating.
Full of whining.
Temper tantrums.
The usual.

Stella is putting everything into her mouth.

We think she might be getting her first tooth.
Though, she's not making too big a stink about it.
Which is fine by me.

Keep on comin' little painless tooth.
And tell the rest of your buddies to come on in {painfree} too!

She does have a pretty significant rash at the present moment.
Likely from the night I plopped her in the tub with me
completely forgetting that I used Aveda products for the bubbles.

Silly me.
Everyone knows Johnson & Johnson is for babies.

Just like everyone knows Trix is for kids.

We thought Stella got bit by something...
...and we got worried.
So we spent the better part of an hour in an Urgent Care clinic.
We also spent the better part of fifty dollars there.

Stupid copays.

My new job is going well.
I am getting acclimated nicely.
It is fun.
and hot.

I sit in a car all day.
And when I am not in the car I am walking to or from it across a parking lot.
Without trees.
or shade.

Paved in black asphalt.

The sun is relentless.

This is my only complaint.

That, and my work phone is also my personal phone.
And yes - patients do call at 8:38 on Friday nights.

Oh...and I loathe Verizon wireless.
So I guess I have two complaints.

DRL found a skate park.
He proceeded to break his skateboard in less than an hour.
The usual.
Needless to say, he's adjusting well, too.

That's the news for now.
Sorry for not calling.
Sorry for not updating sooner.
Sorry for my love-handles.



Wednesday Wisdom

I used to be skinny.

Goodbye forever.


Little People

This photo has nothing to do with the content of this post. 
It has a lot to do with why I am so excited to come home every night.
Do you see that smile? She does this ALL the time.
Happy. Baby. 

And do you see this?
This is my girls playing together.
Okay fine.
Alongside one another.

But what Elena really loves?
Her collection of Fisher Price Little People.
And she has quite an array of different people.
A set of townfolk and farmers.
That one she's touching is "Ducktor Hess."
Her family doctor back in MN is Dr. Hess. 
She delivered Elena.
Stella, too.
She is on the long list of people we miss.

She also has animals.
A lot of cows.
Perhaps she knew we were coming to cattle country before we did.
Kids know things.
It's true.
Don't believe me?
Just watch "The Sixth Sense" sometime.

These are her playmates right now.
She talks to them.
She plays games with them.
They get into trouble and she yells at them.
She moves them from the rocking horse.
To the window.
This makes Stella, 
who watches Elena intenly,
veeeeeery tired.
It makes the little people tired, too.
So they go to sleep in the blinds.
But the animals sleep on the floor.
Right in front of the rocking horse.

I promise we are going to join a playgroup.



Sunday Photography

All of these photos were shot today.
Under cloudy skies.
Using my D90 and 18-105 kit zoom.
Aperture 5.6
ISO: 400

Happy Sunday.


Jad Jergens

When DRL and I went to Mexico for our friends Jason and Sierra's wedding, we ran into the great-great-great-great-great grandson of the most famous of lotion makers.  Yes, that's right.  Mr. Jad Jergens himself was a guest at Jason and Sierra's Cancunamania Mexicrazy weekend. 

Since I had my D90 in tow, I shot a few photos of the legend himself.

He was with is new business partner, Lance Throttle, and I overheard them discussing their latest business venture, Throttle Tan.  

Throttle Tan is Lance's dream.
But Lance has no money.
Enter Jad.
Who better to fund a tanning empire than a Jergens?

This is Jad (left) telling Lance (right) that he just gave away 15 thousand shares of Throttle Tan.
Lance thinks this is very funny.
Jad has been known to be a bit of a joker.

Lance needed to make sure that Jad was surely jesting.
Without a doubt.
I think he's serious.
I'm not certain their relationship was fully repaired after that.
Jad showed up to the wedding solo.

He did find an unsuspecting wedding guest...
... the best man, Jacob Thomas Weber
to discuss possible partnership with.

I am almost certain that Jacob told James to go dig his own grave.
And then throw the dirt in on himself.
Or maybe he said "Roll in a ditch and die."

I couldn't make it out.
I was distracted by that gorgeous view in the background.
And Jake's dashing good looks.

A girl loses focus easily in such situations.

But I digress.

Here's the skinny if you want in:
Throttle Tan is an at-home sunless tanning system.
Call 1-800-Throttle and a representative will schedule an appointment.
They will be out to your home sometime between 10 and 5.
And if you are disappointed in any way, don't worry.
Throttle Tan offers and industry leading {no} money back guarantee.
So no matter what, they've got your money.

Call now.
You're looking a little pasty.

Now if you'll excuse me,
I am off to my Sandwich Club meeting.


*Obviously this is a ruse. Please do not call 1-800-Throttle. If you do, I can't be certain what will happen. 


Promises, Promises.

I promised you photos.
Photos of damaged moving goods and breathtaking wildflowers.
I am nothing if not true to my word.

Would you LOOK at these flowers?

There were fields upon fields of them in Southern Oklahoma.
As far as the eye could see.
Which was almost all the way to Colorado.

Now that I've buttered you up with beauty
feast your eyes on this!

All of my dinnerware was in this box.
Notice it IS marked fragile.
"Fraa-gee-lay. Must be Italian."

Another shining example of sturdy box construction.

Our broken chair.

And now that I've saddened you with these horrific images,
allow me to up your spirits once again with this:

And last, but not least.
The piece de resistance.

Jad Jergens, benefactor of the Throttle Tan craze that is sweeping the nation.
*more on this later*

Yes. He is in his underwear.
In Mexico.
While holding an iron.

And no,
I am certain he is not ashamed.
And he shouldn't be.

Just look at that perfectly bronzed skin!



The Book of Lists

I once read a book called The Book of Lists.  
It was just that.
Random, interesting, useless lists of information you never needed to know.

I enjoyed every morsel of that book.

In honor of it, I am going to recreate it for you.
Dear, sweet, patient readers.
Consider it my tribute to you.
And your tireless checking for updates to this here blog.
With no reward.
Until now!

List One: Items the Moving Company Could Not Fit on the Truck.
(also known as "Items Left Behind.")
1) Armoire (that matches and completes our bedroom set)
2) Vacuum and Shark Steam Mop for total home cleaning.
3) Radio Flyer wagon for cessation of toddler tantruming.
4) Gas Grill for Summer enjoyment.
5) Futon for Guest Sleep-age.

List Two: Homtels
(also known as "Places we slept because we had no stuff.")
1) The Hampton Inn Round Rock. This hotel was fabulous. The best hotel breakfast. Comfy beds.  But they were full after Tuesday so we only stayed here for two nights.
2) Wyngate by Windham.  This place had ants. On the second floor. And no AC in the common areas.  It was nearly 100 degrees here last week.  H.O.T.
(On another note: Elena kept asking to go to our new home, which we would visit each day so as to make the cat not hate us. Or pee on our stuff.  And to do laundry, since we had 2 outfits. Each. And then we would go back to the hotel.  After a day or two of this routine Elena just decided to call it the "Homtel."  I thought this was very insightful for a two-year-old.)

List Three: Items Broken and/or Rendered Useless During Transport
(also known as "They wrecked our stuff, and no, we're not getting any money back.")
1) Kitchen Chair.
2) Dish Box. (The dishware escaped unharmed. Act of God, I presume.)
3) Halogen Desk Lamp.
4) Each and every moving box.  Crushed.  Rendering the claim that they would "withstand 4 moves or 10 years of storage!" completely false.  Or, rendering our moving company completely incompetent.

List Four: Items Damaged During Transit
(also known as "If It Wasn't In A Box, It's Not Nice Anymore.")
1) Bed
2) Nightstands. Two each.
3) Crib
4) Toddler Bed
5) Chest of Drawers
6) Mattress and Boxspring
7) Child's Toy Shopping Cart
8) Baby Bouncy Chair
9) Floor Lamp
10) TV Stand
11) Laundry Basket

Needless to say the move was, well, less than seamless.
I can understand it taking 7 days to transport our things 1100 miles.
I just wish that had been communicated up front.
Then we could have
Maybe PACKED for a week-long hotel stay.
And prepared a little more, mentally.
I also wish they had estimated our move better.
So that our Armoire could have made the voyage.
And our vacuum.

Really. I need a vacuum.

But, dear readers.
I have you.
And for that I am thankful.

And I finally have internet service.
For that, you are thankful, I am certain.
(I am sorry for keeping you in the dark for so long!)

Apparently, my upload speed is about as fast as DRL's driving.
So I will be contacting Time Warner Cable and upgrading.
Post Haste.

So that I can show you photos.
Of broken chairs.
And cute babies.
And Southern Oklahoma.

It took my breath away.
The photos don't do it justice.

You'll see.

The point of this way-too-long post?
We are here.
Our stuff is here.
We are settling in nicely.