Tuesday, February 02, 2016


Five!  How is my firstborn so old?!  Well, you are and you're getting super fun.  You are your own person, for sure.  When I asked you what kind of birthday you wanted this year you said "Wonder Woman.  And I want all my friends to dress like their favorite superhero."  I thought that was a GREAT idea so we went with it.  And let me tell you, it was so fun seeing all your friends in their costumes.  The neighbors said it looked like Halloween all over again.  Y'all are the cutest.  This year, I mostly bought the food but spent more time on favors (capes!) and games (superhero training!).  Everyone seemed to have a good time, and the weather held up again this year. I'm also not gonna lie--it was nice to be back in the house for your party.

This last year was a challenging one what with us moving all the time and living everywhere but home.  But you and your brother handled it like champs.  You were so well-behaved in the hotel and apartment where you had to change your behavior a bit to be more considerate of neighbors.  You usually are pretty well-behaved in general.  You and your brother sometimes bicker but are typically best friends.  You have a few favorite friends at school (including your little boyfriend) and of course still love your cousin.  And babies.  ALL babies.  Sometimes I'm not sure how you're going to do when in a new situation around a bunch of kids who are strangers, but you had a camp at NASA and did great.  I hope you keep that up since later this year you'll be starting kindergarten with all new kids.

Speaking of school, you're still a smartypants.  You're learning to read and are doing some math.  Your writing, coloring, and drawing have gotten much better.  You love crafty things (yea!) and reading stories before bed.  We've started reading chapter books, and they keep your attention.  I have to admit that I like that more than reading the same books a million times.  You remain super chatty and ask a ton of questions all the time.  You also enjoy movies, going to the park, playing with the neighbors.  I think you're ready for a new dog but still talk about Maggie.  You do have that fantastic memory.

You have been taking karate for quite some time now.  It has held your attention better than ballet.  You have the yellow (gold?  I have no idea) belt with one stripe.  You also are better at tumbling and with balance.  You like riding your bike at your grandparents'--still with training wheels but you have much better endurance. 

We don't go to your 5-year-old doctor's visit until Friday so I'll update your stats then.  You're a pretty big girl, though.  So tall.  (Edited to add:  Yep, 70th percentile for height and ~60th for weight.)  And you still have your long blonde hair.  I mention cutting it shorter but you have no interest.  Your self-cut whispies have finally grown out.

You and your brother still sleep in the same room even though you now have your own.  What's funny is that where y'all sleep changes.  You will pick your room (in twin beds), his room (in his tent or in his bed), or will sleep on these pallets that you got for Christmas.  Sometimes we put you to bed in one place and a few minutes later y'all change things up.  Whatever.  You sleep well so that's all that matters.  You have mostly given up napping at home although you sometimes do at school or the grandparents'.  We had a good run so no complaints there.  You do take awhile to get dressed, though (both in the morning and at night).  You are slow, slow, slow.  But you kind of are in general.  This should not surprise me as your labor lasted FOREVER.

You still eat well.  You could probably survive on fruit alone but also love yogurt and sweets.  You have a pretty balanced diet but I think meat is lower on your list.

This year, I'm starting to ask you some questions about yourself.  Here we go...
  • What is your favorite food? Chocolate 
  • Favorite movie? Where the Red Fern Grows 
  • Favorite color? Pinkpurplesilvergoldbluered
  • Favorite thing to do? Color
  • Who is your best friend? Caleb and Olivia
  • Where is your favorite place to go? The Children's Museum in Galveston 
  • What do you want to be when you grow up? Rock star artist 
Love you, girl.  I hope we're always as close as we are now.

Thursday, December 31, 2015

2015 reads

Pretty lame year on the reading front but things have been a bit hectic.  Perhaps 2016!  Here's the list for posterity's sake:
  1. A Lesson Before Dying
  2. The Baker's Daughter
  3. Notorious Nineteen
  4. Takedown Twenty
  5. The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox
  6. The One and Only Ivan
And the usual tons of children's books.  #6 is one, too, but it's a chapter book.  I thought we could read it aloud but it's still a little old for the kids.  I liked all of them. #5 was probably the one I wanted most to not end.  It felt like I needed to know what happened after the final page.  Good sign...

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

update #12: satisfying progress

We are finally (FINALLY) at the portion of the program where the progress is something that I care about.  Not that I didn't care about progress before but things like new plumbing don't exactly make me giddy.  I couldn't fall asleep last night (even though I'm sickly AGAIN) because I really wanted to see the progress from yesterday.  Freakin' time change.  The guys were working late and I don't really want to drop by at night.  Them having a heart attack doesn't get me in the house any sooner.

So we're looking at the end of the month.  I'm disappointed we won't be in by Thanksgiving but we'll work it out and will be thankful regardless.  I've been told by multiple people that they feel like they're going through this with us.  I take that to mean that they crammed their family in an apartment (and various other places) for nearly a year in solidarity.  No? Ok, fine.  What it really means is they want pics.  Here you go.  Obviously a lot of small things to go (and a few big ones).

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

update #11: recovered from the crazy

It seems that right when things are getting really bad and crazy and you want to scream "I can't do this!" that's when they turn around.  Kind of like childbirth.

So things are better.  I feel like we may actually live in our house again...something I was doubting before.  I started treating the contractors like I treat folks at work--I badger until I get a response (in a relatively nice way, of course).  It has actually resulted in--gasp--responses.  And I told them that I was going with the more generous part of the date range they gave me during our last big meeting.  So November 13th it is.  Please ignore that that's a Friday the 13th.  We're basing furniture delivery and leaving the apartment on that date so they have to stick with it.  Or else we'll be camping in the backyard, I guess.

We've had a lot of progress in the last few weeks.  We have all the walls textured and several rooms painted.  All new doors and trim--all painted.  Bathroom vanity bases in.  About half the kitchen cabinets in.  A new back patio (as the fire damaged the concrete--crazy).  We picked out all the flooring and tile.  Ordered odds and ends, which is an ongoing thing around here.  So it's coming along.  Finally. 

Friday, September 25, 2015

update #10: the one with the crazy

I feel like making it 8 months out of the house before losing my mind was a pretty good run.  We're about a month past that and probably have almost two more to go before we're back in.  I'm honestly thinking of starting a GoFundMe campaign for my mental health care costs.  I try to go to sleep at night but just get angry and think of how I'd go on a tirade Julia Sugarbaker-style.  (Instead of, you know, slightly misplaced anger at strangers in a parking lot.)

Also?  I waffle.  I try to calm down and think that none of this is a big deal in the grand scheme of things.  So many people are going through much worse.  At least I live in a safe place.  I don't feel the need to flee my country to bring safety to my children.  We have food and jobs and our general health.  But then I think that if I don't get mad we will literally never move back home.  NEVER.  And I want to scream. 

So here's where we are.  We have walls and ceilings.  Allegedly they'll be textured starting tomorrow.  We met with the contractors a week ago and really tried to pin them down on costs and timelines.  I was feeling better then but I'm clearly already over that.  I get that we're taking this opportunity to make some changes that we would have had to pay for had the fire not happened. We figure now's the time to do it.  In the long run, it makes more sense to do it now than spend more money ripping out new material down the road.  But.  It also feels like I'm the only one concerned about the budget.  I'm not willing to pay an endless amount in upgrades.  I'm not willing to pay jacked up prices for materials.  So that leaves me with basically a part-time job as a sub-contractor who researches materials, bargain hunts, negotiates.  You know, on top of my full-time job.  And the tiny task of raising two small kids. 

But where does that leave me?  I have no problem with the quality of work thus far (which is good since we'll be living in this house a long time).  It's the timelines and budget.  And the fact that we're out of housing money about halfway through next month.  Which, again, we're fortunate enough to be able to pay mortgage for a house we're not living in AND outrageous apartment rent but it's the principle of the thing.  Can I fire these folks?  Um, not if I don't want to avoid a ton of additional delays.  I'm super tempted to just say, "We gave our notice at the apartment for this date based on our meeting with you last Friday.  That means we will be moving in on X.  You better be done by then."  Sigh.  I don't know, people.  I'm probably going to flip out on someone today.  You've been warned.