December 16, 2008

Beep! Beep!

I heard it for more than an hour.

A very loud and echo-y beep! beep!

I walked all over the house and stood still in every room to listen.

In the office, it sounded like it came from the living room/kitchen.

In the kitchen, like it was upstairs.

Upstairs, it was clear that it was downstairs.

I called our alarm monitoring company to be sure it wasn't them.

I checked the smoke detectors.

I unplugged and turned off everything I could think of.

Finally, I decided to go for a walk to escape the sound and think about what it could be.

I even considered that it was coming from outside...

While getting ready to go outside, I moved LMIB in her stroller into the kitchen to grab a granola bar.

Yup, I hadn't even eaten yet today.

It beeped again, and sounded like it was right. there. next. to. me.

Um - it was.

I keep my cell phone in the cup holder on the stroller.

Apparently, when its battery is slim to none on charge, it beeps REALLY FREAKIN' LOUDLY!

You're welcome for the laugh!

December 15, 2008


Today I did something that I really never do: bake. I know how to bake, and I am usually successful at it, but I rarely attempt it simply because my husband? He doesn't eat anything that I bake. Unless it is completely healthy for in no butter, sugar, and the like. Never. Ever. It is ridiculous.

The first item I made was a batch of cookies. Here are the ingredients:

Here we have salt, sugar (brown and white), flour, baking soda, vanilla, oatmeal, dried cranberries, chopped almonds and white chocolate chips.

The recipe also calls for some butter and an egg. These two combine with the vanilla and are beaten until fluffy.

Then the dry ingredients are added and mixed all together to make the dough.

Plop the dough on a cookie sheet...

...and 12 minutes in a (my) 350 degree oven later, you have some delicious cookies.

The next item on the agenda was pumpkin bread muffins.

This recipe called for flour, sugar, baking powder and soda, pumpkin, salt, nutmeg, cloves and ginger. It also needed some oil, but I replaced that one with apple sauce.

The pumpkin, sugar and three eggs are combined...

...and mixed up to look like this.

Here are the muffins cooling. It took fifty minutes to cook these. Yes, it did. They are moist and yummy. The only downside is that they stick to the paper...won't be using that next time.

Anyway, that's my baking for the year; I highly doubt I'll be making anything else for fear that I'll have to eat it all!


Little Miss Itty Bitty had carrots for the first time today. Here is a photo of her after the first bite:

She appears to be thinking about the taste...either that or about the fact that her father took a photo so that we can all see up her nose. Thanks for that one, yeah?

Here she is a little later:

Think she enjoys the carrots?

I must say, getting her to eat carrots was much easier than getting her to eat cereal. Yup, even with that face, the carrots went down more easily. Or in more easily.

We have a few days of this vegetable, and then it is on to squash or sweet potatoes. Coming soon: fruits!

December 13, 2008

12 of 12 December

This month's 12 of 12 was a busy day indeed. All of the photos were taken in my house in Houston, Texas. Thanks to Chad for the idea! Go to his site to see what everyone else did today.

7:31 - On the playmat after waking up this morning. She started at the bottom left corner...

9:23 - Swiiiiiiiiiiinnnnnnnnng!

10:02 - Attempting some cereal. She is happy because that would be my finger instead of the spoon.

10:03 - I sneaked the spoon in there once she smiled, and now there's no tricking her. She's D-O-N-E with the cereal this morning.

10:10 - My breakfast. Finally, clementines!!

11:35 - We cooked! Mmm.

12:25 - I've been cleaning the house today. Lookee how shiiiiiiiiiiiny.

13:39 - I ate some lunch and watched a recorded Ellen.

13:40 - My dessert. Yummy!

14:48 - Uploaded my photos so far.

15:00 - Our tree downstairs.

19:46 - The bruise, one week in the making.

The bruise, for those who are wondering, is on the left side of my body. I don't take the photos; Rocket Man does. It is a doozy, but fantastic, don't you think? There were other activities today, like lots more cleaning. I didn't think you'd want to see that. Also, we took a walk, had dinner, and wrapped a couple of presents among other things. Not too interesting, but that isn't a requirement thank goodness!

Hope you all have a great weekend!!

December 11, 2008

You've got to be kidding me...

Yesterday it was almost 80 degrees here.

There were thunderstorms all afternoon.

Needless to say the humidity was high.


It is 33 degrees (feels like 25, according to the experts).

No wonder I had a migraine yesterday.

Oh yeah, and it is snowing.

There's ice on the bridges...

Which are everywhere here in Houston.

I can't wait for the morning commute...

December 8, 2008

An Update


This is what the bruise looks like now.
Three days after the fall.

Let's all remember what it looked like after one day:

And now?

I am dealing with this, people:

December 7, 2008

Cruel, Cruel World Part Two

DISCLAIMER: No Babies Were Involved
in the Creating of This Post


I fell.

Thursday evening.

As I was walking down the stairs to go get ready for bed.

In my hands I held a plate and two dirty diapers.

Boy did I fall.

I slammed onto the stairs full force on one side.

Luckily I was not fully on my back or front as I am fairly certain things would have been broken.

The offended body parts were immediately swollen.

The diapers survived, but that cannot be said of the plate.

I am pretty sore to say the least.

We've been checking the area to see what the bruising will be like since I was immediately certain that it would be pretty fantastic.

Boy is it ever:

The universe, it is laughing at me.

As should be obvious by the shape of that bruise.


December 5, 2008

Hellooooo, Blue Eyes!

A bunch of hooey

Since we've been back in the states, there are quite a few things that surprise us. Not that we didn't know about them before or that we weren't aware of them or anything like is just that we never really paid attention to them enough to see what was going on.

Living in another country exposes you to so much, both wherever you go and wherever you come from. It makes you take a moment to realize what is really happening in terms of your daily life and things that ordinarily you either take for granted or simply don't pay much attention to.

I highly recommend it to everyone who gets the chance.

One thing that we didn't really have in Spain was television. Well, we had about six and a half (don't ask) channels of Spanish television, and the game shows - oh so interesting. Also the commercials - I thought many of them were kinda silly and or dumb.

Then we came back here.

Oh, how our commercials are the same. Silly and or dumb pretty much sums up the lot of them. Either that or they are just a bunch of hooey.

Yup: hooey.

For example: have you seen the Wal-Mart commercial that has a bazillion employees at the check-out lanes flipping the light switches to coincide with a recording of Carol of the Bells?



Excuse me.

It is just that I have never ever in my life (which is only 29 years, but we've had Wal-Marts for about as long as I can remember) seen that many employees at a Wal-Mart ready, willing and smiling even as they wait to help you.

Usually you're lucky to have a couple of people up there when the check-out lanes are slammed, and because of this, the employees are not so smiling. And if they have to turn on a light....jeepers! You might as well get out a sleeping bag and take a nap 'cause you're going to be there a while.

Have any of you ever been to a Wal-Mart like the one in the commercial? Or is that just another tale we tell at Christmastime?

November 30, 2008

County Wicklow: Hill of Tara

A short drive away from the Hill of Slane and the site of Saint Patrick's famous paschal fire is the Hill of Tara. Most of the monuments and ruins at Tara are so worn down that one can only "see" them if at the site themselves or if in the air.

Rocket Man and I have yet to grow wings, so we had to wait until we arrived via tour bus to see anything. While we had been unable to see any of Tara from Slane, we were able to see Saint Patrick's tower, church and monastery from Tara:

There are many ruins, mostly very worn down, at Tara. One of them is a hill fort, which looks like a circular shaped moat around a raised bit of land. Inside of one of these large circles are smaller ones, known as ring forts.

The most popular and widely photographed ring forts are the two which are connected. One is the King's Seat and one is known as Cormac's House. Cormac is perhaps the most well known high king, which is why the ring fort is known as his.

I think that the two ring forts connected like that look very much like the drawings we saw in Fourknocks passage tomb. We were told that they represented the sun and earth and their relationship to one another, but they sure do look a lot like the two forts at Tara.

Granted, the passage tomb is way older than the ring forts, so perhaps they modeled the forts after the carving in the tombs.

Located in the center of the King's Seat fort is the Lia Fáil, also knows as the Stone of Destiny.

Dah dah daaahhh...

The legend goes that when the next high king of all kings touched the stone, it would let out a roar of approval so great that it shook the ground. Thus all would know a new king had been found and so named.

We tested it is obviously showing its age because we got nada.

Also on the premises is a passage tomb known as the Mound of Hostages. This tomb is closed to the public. It is the oldest ruin on the hill. It gets its name from the fact that many of the high kings would take hostages while ruler of the lands. One took a hostage from each of the provinces of Ireland. I suppose this was to aid everyone in their allegiance to the king.

The old church on the Hill serves as a visitor center where those who wish to may watch a short video. The graveyard there has a few stones from long ago that many believe to be statues of important gods. Another legend has it that somewhere on Tara are two stones that stand close together. Those who wished to be the new high king had to drive their chariot towards the stones; he who was accepted as king would find that the stones would part in order for him to pass through. Those who were not "chosen" met with a much less appealing fate.

Thus concludes our time in Ireland. We had a very good experience overall. We would both like to visit the country again in order to see some of the other areas; all we've ever heard is that the country is so beautiful. We agree based on what we have seen and we'd love to explore some more.

Hope you've enjoyed the tour!

November 29, 2008

Six Months

Señorita Clementina,

Today you are six months old. This photo? I put it first to show that you are tired.


In need of a snooze.

I would like to make a suggestion. No need to accept it; I am just throwing it out there.

Sleep. All night long. Just once.

Don't look at me like that. I am not crazy. In fact, there are many babies out there who manage to sleep all night long pretty much every night.

Holy smokes; I know!

Oh, stop it. I know what you are trying to say: "Bull!"

It is not. I am telling the absolute truth, miss thing. Oh, how much happier you and I would be if you slept all night.

Mostly me, but also you, so just get with the program already!

Okay, I'll leave you to contemplate that one.

As should be pretty obvious at this point, you don't sleep through the night and haven't ever since we visited Virginia for your Geat Ganny's birthday. Woe is me.

On the plus side, this has been the month of making faces. My, oh my have they been varied and entertaining. They are due in large part to the fact that your teeth are a movin'. You just shove everything you can into your mouth and even chew on your tongue and lips. Whatever works, I say.

Towards the beginning of the month, your Dad and I fed you some cereal just to see how you would take it.

You were less than impressed.

The cereal itself is so thinned out that you could have been taking it from a bottle, so I am fairly certain that the faces were more about the spoon in your mouth than anything else.

Seriously guys? What is that thing, and why are you shoving it into my mouth? Also, why exactly am I naked? Are we supposed to remove our clothing to eat?

That could be a problem in a year or so. I can see it now...we'll be out at a restaurant and you'll be flinging your clothing all over the place. Excellent.

This month you have been very content on your belly for long periods of time. Recently you've been figuring out how to scoot yourself around a bit. The fact that you insist on having both hands in your mouth while you scoot has impeded your movement, but you don't let it get to you.

You are also changing in the looks department. You began life looking exactly like your Daddy did when he was born. Then you changed and looked very similar to my baby photos. Now, you are changing again. I enjoy these changes because we all get to discuss who we think you resemble most.

You are definitely looking different than the beginning of the month:

In addition to shoving your hands in your mouth and chewing on clothing, cloth diapers, lips, tongue, and whatever you can grab, the feet are still high on the list of things to put in your mouth. You are able to grab them and shove them in there as easily as you breathe, and you are quite adept at getting just the first two toes in so that you can suck on them.

The weather finally cooled off enough this month that we needed to put a hat on you. We both promptly died from the cuteness.

We soon recovered and were able to take you walking and out and about. Oh, how you love to be out and about. You are so very happy if you get a field trip and you absolutely expect your evening walk.

There you go with the faces again. I know, we put your hokie hat on ya and we want to take a picture. You're just starting to figure out the photo thing. I guess I've shoved the camera in your face often enough now that you're starting to understand what is expected of you:

Then again, it lights up and beeps, and we all know you enjoy those things, so perhaps you're just demonstrating your pleasure.

I am thinking it may be the latter.


Well, aside from the fact that you are only six months old, and are therefore technically still zero, there's this:

I am pretty sure you're not just saying who's number one.

How 'bout this. I'll try not to take too many photos and pester you with the camera if you try to sleep through the night.

What's that?


I agree: we're pretty much both gonna fail on that front.

Oh well. This too shall pass...



November 28, 2008

County Wicklow: St. Patrick's Flame

We headed out after our lunch to the Hill of Slane, made famous by Saint Patrick. The hill affords all visitors a fabulous view; one can see the passage tombs at Knowth and Newgrange as well as the nearby Hill of Tara.

Each year, the pagan kings of Tara met to celebrate the Festival of Easter (spring equinox). They lit a large fire as part of their celebration; the law was that no other fire was to be lit within a certain (visible) distance upon penalty of death.

The story goes that Saint Patrick lit a fire in defiance of the pagan celebrations. The high king of Tara could see his fire and sent sentries to take Patrick into custody.

At this point, the stories differ. Some say that Patrick was simply able to talk his way out of being killed or imprisoned. Others state that the high king challenged Patrick to a contest in order to prove that his gods were more powerful than Patrick's Christian God.

In that version there were three challenges between Patrick and his bible and the king's magician and (I assume) his spell book. The first was to place their book in water; whichever survived undamaged won. Patrick was willing; the magician was not.

The second challenge was to place their books into fire; whichever survived won. Again, Patrick was willing and the magician was not.

Patrick's faith impressed the king enough that although he disagreed with Patrick's beliefs, he did allow him free reign, so to speak, within the country. This enabled Patrick to travel all over Ireland, bringing Christianity to those he met.

On the hill, where all of this supposedly occurred, there are now ruins of Saint Patrick's church, complete with bell tower, as well as those of a Franciscan Monastery.

It is said that one can still climb the bell tower to get a good look of the surrounding area, but Rocket Man and I were not so brave as to climb so high in the ruins. Our next stop was the Hill of Tara, which I will show you tomorrow.