Saturday, January 30, 2010

Belly Laughs

The video may be dizzying, but the sound is pretty much as good as it gets!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Things to Do in Austin

For those that were interested, here is the link for Kid-Friendly Activities in Austin. The website is through Disney, and it appears they have similar lists for cities around the country.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


Lately, I have had a really hard time going to work. During the past few weeks, Lydia's personality has really begun to emerge, and she's so much more interactive than even one month ago. It has become harder and harder for me to drop her off at daycare and even more difficult for me to leave her at home with Robin on the days he is with her. (Picture to the right is what I have to leave behind on Tuesdays and Thursdays. At least on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, she is dressed and at daycare, so it feels more like dropping her off at school.)

As stress at school starts to build with the upcoming TAKS, it is just so hard to leave my happy little family at home. Robin has started taking Lydia on little outings during the week; I think we are going to get a family membership to the Austin Children's Museum, and he has found a great website of child-friendly activities around Austin. On Tuesday they went to a local park and had a picnic and went for a hike; tomorrow they might go to a museum. I just wish I could be with them.

So why is the title of this gratitude? Because as I've been thinking about this lately, I've realized that I am incredibly fortunate to absolutely love being at home. I crave time with Robin and Lydia, and I love just being together. All of these things--a healthy, happy little girl, an amazingly supportive partner, wonderful friends--all of these things are privileges, and I am very grateful.

Three for Three

Lydia has officially cut THREE teeth since Saturday. Her top two broke through overnight, and the bottom left tooth cut through while we were waiting for the top one. I was letting her chew on my finger and discovered it this weekend.

We're up to five!!!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Yeah Luthers Yeah!!!!

Aaron, cruising along at what I am told is the most challenging part of the course...Contines waiting for Jessica...
Robin's carefully painted sign...And my reminder that her body has already done something amazing. (I thought it might help if she was feeling discouraged!)Jessica's triumphant finish...And congratulations from Aaron at the end.

Impressive, aren't they???

I should have also taken a picture of Elizabeth's biscuits that she brought over for breakfast. They were amazing. I am still thinking about them.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Our very good friends, Jessica and Aaron, will be running the National Marathon to Finish Breast Cancer in Jacksonville, FL, on February 21, 2010. In light of recent conversations on breast cancer awareness and prevention, supporting their team, For Tanya, provides an opportunity for all of us to support breast cancer research.

Check out their website,, for more info and instructions on how to donate, or keep reading.

In Aaron's words:

On May 8, 2009, my sister, Tanya Pumillo, passed away from breast cancer at the age of 33. She had a rare genetic disorder, a mutation in her BRCA2 gene, that for her resulted in an aggressive form of breast cancer called triple-negative. Triple-negative breast cancer means that your body does not have the three main types of receptors that are necessary for the body to respond to the most common treatments. After a courageous two-and-a-half year fight that included several medical trials, courses of chemotherapy, radiation, and medicine, her body had simply given all it had and we lost her.

They don't make them better than Tanya. She was hilarious, joyful, and so easy to be around. She was so very smart and accomplished. She was my role model in life.

This is why we (Jessica, Steve, my running buddy, Travis, and I) are running the National Marathon to Finish Breast Cancer in Jacksonville, FL, on February 21, 2010, on a team named "For Tanya". I have put together this site to raise money for breast cancer research, especially for the organizations that Tanya had chosen due to their dedication to research and helping young people with the disease (The Breast Cancer Research Foundation and The Young Survival Coalition).

Please help me to raise money to support this cause and to promote a sport that Tanya enjoyed very much...running.


Blogger Fail

Here are the things I have thought about blogging on:

1.) My battle with laundry and clothing organization. It never stops and there are clothes scattered throughout our upstairs.

2.) Lydia's great frog that was a gift from El Padrino and Auntie Britty. It is filled with lavender and can be heated or cooled to be the perfect sleep buddy.

3.) Our trips over Christmas break.

4.) The delicious lasagna recipe we tried this week.

5.) No Child Left Behind and the impending TAKS in less than six weeks.

6.) The owl in our front yard that Robin snapped photos of.

7.) The six week stretch between paychecks that all AISD teachers deal with in December/January. Annoying.

But instead, I will settle on a photo of the owl

From January 2010

and a recent favorite of Lydia. (This was right after she pulled up to a stand in her crib. She did this for the first time awhile ago but hasn't done it much since. Doesn't she look crazed?)

From January 2010

Monday, January 18, 2010

It Just Gets Better

I am not a super gushy person, at least not on this blog, but I have to say I have been on a bit of a baby high this past week.

Lydia is such a happy little girl now that she can get around. She is finding new things to explore, and she is able to get to what she wants.

Moreso, mobility has allowed us to see a little more of her personality. She is such a content, mellow, sweet little girl, and if this is foreshadowing, I can't wait to continue to watch her grow and learn and become her own little person.

SIde by Side

What a difference ten months can make? (Almost to the day.)

I wish I had a shot of Lydia's head-to-toe outfit that day. The superman tee was clearly channeling Aunt Elise, and it was paired with a jean skirt and red-and-white striped leggings. It was pretty awesome.

**100% cribbed from And Baby Makes Eight.

Friday, January 15, 2010


Mobility has caused Lydia to discover this new game.

-- Post From My iPhone

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

You have reached...

After a conversation this weekend, Robin and I decided to make an effort to give each other alone time during the week. We both have felt like we have fallen behind on task-y errands, so our solution is to each take a couple of hours each week to spend as we choose. On Monday night, I got home and took Lydia and Robin took off to a nearby coffee shop to get some work done. Lydia and I went up to northern Austin to stop by the Gap and then to Whole Foods to pick up some things for dinner.

Lydia loves the grocery store, so we were both in a pretty good mood as we left Whole Foods to head home. With Lydia still in the cart, I put the groceries into the trunk of our car and brought the cart to the cart return. As I was bringing the cart to the return, I noticed a man near the entrance to the store (about 20 yds. or so away from me) yelling at a car, something along the lines of "Back the f--- up! Give me some space, you m----- f---er!" The car reversed and the man continued, walking around and yelling into the driver's window and then kicking the door. I had assumed that the man had some reason to be angry at that particular driver, but then he continued and did the same thing to the next car in line. He then continued on and threw something at the third car in the line. Yes, we had a beligerent, violent man on our hands, right in the parking lot of Whole Foods. (Too much tofu? Not digging the eggplant selection?)

Standing alone with Lydia in the middle of the parking lot, I was confronted with what to do. I quickly got Lydia out of the cart and rushed to the car. I was worried about standing in the parking lot and taking the time to buckle her carseat with this crazy man having a meltdown, and the thought occurred to me that I could put her in my lap and drive away, but then I realized that I could have a Britney Spears-child neglect situation on my hands. I settled with throwing Lydia in her carseat, running around and jumping in the car and locking the doors, then crawling back into the backseat and buckling Lydia in.

As I was driving away, I realized I should tell someone about this crazy man, but I didn't know the number to Whole Foods, and I couldn't remember the non-emergency number. Plus, this man was screaming obscenities at random drivers and throwing things and kicking cars. I would not put assaulting (either verbally or physically) a passerby on foot, so I called 911. And got a busy message. Yes, folks. I called 911 and was greeted by a friendly woman saying, "You have reached 911 Emergency Services. All of our operators are assisting other callers, so..." True story.

This was ultimately the most disconcerting part of the entire experience. What if Lydia would have been choking? What if the man would have been pounding on my window? So much for safety and security...

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


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Here She Goes!

We just need to work on her motivation...

Sunday, January 10, 2010


Lydia is now a crawler. Finally!!!

Here is what motivated her to get moving. It was on the floor next to me.

-- Post From My iPhone

Travel Tips

**For those of you who come here for a baby fix and could really careless about the tips/baby care stuff, I will post lots of pictures later today. No worries!!**

After coming back from our two-plus week travels, I have some new and improved ideas about what made traveling go very smoothly for us. Some things won't work for everyone, and I realize that, but, without further ado, my top five travel tips!

1.) We ditched the stroller and brought our ergobaby carrier instead. Never once did I think to myself, "I wish we had a stroller!" Lydia is happy in the Ergo, and it left our hands free. She strolled on the beach with Grandma Marie in the Ergo, ran through the airport on Daddy in the Ergo, you name it. We definitely made the right choice.

2.) White Noise. I have a white noise app on my iPhone, and it was really nice to have. It blocked out conversations outside of our room during the day and the roosters during the night. (Yes, kids, our beautiful ocean-view house was located right next to a man who raised roosters for cock fighting. Cock-fighting roosters must have an extra-special gene that causes them to crow 24-7 rather than just when the sun came up.) It also made it easier for Robin and I to sneak in and go to bed or get things, because the white noise blocked out the sounds we made. Thanks, White Noise Lite app!!

3.) Sleep training. Here is the part that I know is not for everyone. Lydia's ability to soothe herself and fall asleep on her own was invaluable. Despite the changes in schedule and environment, the girl pretty much stuck to her two-a-day nap schedule (give or take an hour or so and missing a nap here or there). She was able to fall asleep in her pack-and-play, and all was well. I never spent more time putting her down than I do at home, unlike her trip to Minnesota this summer when we were still rocking her to bed.

4.) Toys. We brought as many toys as we could possibly fit into our suitcase. This was particularly nice on the plane when we had things for her to play with. I read in an article that parents often forget toys on the airplane. That would be a huge oops!

5.) House vs. hotel. This isn't always an option, but I was so grateful that Robin's mom planned our vacation at a rented house. It allowed us to put Lydia down for a nap and sit by the pool, on the veranda, or downstairs in the living room. Great call, Marie!

I wish I would have...

1.) Brought her baby monitor. We don't use it in the house anymore because when Lydia wakes up from her nap, the girl lets us KNOW! It would have been really nice for those occasions when we were outside by the pool, because we would have been able to hear her without having to go inside and check. I know the baby monitor will be making it's comeback when summer comes and L naps while I sit outside on the porch and read a book (aka sun myself).

2.) Brought a hat for Lydia. We forgot. Oops. Poor girl sported a mean sunscreen hairdo for the week.

3.) Continued pumping at least once a day even though I was nursing her through the whole break. Not doing this has caused my body to majorly rebel against pumping, which I will talk about in a later post.

Save the Whaaa?

This week a forward went around facebook asking women to post their bra colors as their status in the name of breast cancer awareness. It has caused quite a ripple on the internets, and many are asking whether or not this sort of thing is effective in raising awareness. Some are even asking whether or not this sort of thing is harmful to women.

One of my fb friends pointed out that this forward has gotten lots of people talking. I was so irritated by it that I wrote, "Self Breast Exams. Mammograms. Know about the Breast Cancer Gene. Life and death in 1 in 8 women. 1 in 8. Seriously. I think this gets a little closer to the heart of breast cancer awareness and prevention than letting you know that my bra is black." She was definitely right. I would have never posted this were it not for this forward. I do wonder whether or not the discussion of breast cancer surrounding the backlash of this forward was a lucky coincidence or if the creator of the forward intended it as such, but regardless, it has gotten people talking.

Anyway, I would like to go on the record regarding my feelings on this forward, as well as some of the breast cancer campaigns that use the catch phrase "Save the Tatas," "Save Second Base," and similar ideas in the bra category. Here is what I posted on in the comment box for their article on the forward:

I was very irritated by the bra color forward on facebook for two reasons. One, I agree that the bra color thing likely did very little to inspire people to educate themselves on breast cancer. While it was successful in getting people talking (e.g. this article and others on whether or not it was an effective idea), I don't think anybody learned something they didn't know before or were reminded of anything specific enough to further breast cancer prevention.

The other thing that bothers me is when breast cancer awareness sexualizes the disease and it's prevention--bras, save the tatas, save second base, etc. At Race for the Cure, I saw a college student wearing a t-shirt that said, "I love them, so I run for them. Save the tatas." While I know that breast cancer survivors' breasts are an important piece of their fight with the disease, I'm guessing it's more about the life and death struggle with a disease that kills too many women. At the end of the day, the tatas are a pretty small part of it. In my opinion, the whole bra color thing falls right into this category.

I have to give credit for my articulation of these thoughts to a friend whose family has more than paid the incredibly unfair price of breast cancer. The more sexual breast cancer awareness slogans have always rubbed me the wrong way, but a conversation with her helped me find words for my thoughts.

Here is the article that I commented on.

Thursday, January 7, 2010


After a beautiful week in Puerto Rico capped off by an unexpected extra night in San Juan that turned out to be perfect, we have come back to a week of blunders.


--drove into our driveway late Sunday evening to discover that one of our large pecan trees had lost two huge branches. One took out a section of our fence and the other landed on our garage. Thank goodness for the other large tree in our yard that broke its fall, hopefully protecting our garage roof. Robin is working on the insurance/tree removal, and it is annoying.

--are freezing. Not only were we totally spoiled in Puerto Rico, this week highs in Texas have hung around the 30s and 40s. Yes, Northern friends, we know this is "nothing," but Texas buildings are not prepared for this weather; they're designed to cool in extreme heat, meaning most do not heat evenly at all, leaving cold drafty rooms next to hot stuffy rooms. The heater at school was broken on Monday and Tuesday--I didn't take off my jacket all day--and the kids are cranky.

--don't want to go to work. And by we here, I mean I. I have had a really hard time finding my enthusiasm this week and really just want to be home with Robin and Lydia. Hopefully we'll get some good time this weekend.

--have some sort of infection going on. And by we here, I mean Lydia. We took her to the doctor in Minnesota, and she was treated for an ear infection, and in the past 24 hours, her runny nose has come back with a vengeance, accompanied by disgusting goup coming from her eyes as well as some puffiness. She will be going to the doctor tomorrow.

--can't figure out what is going on with our fancy pants new camera. It is taking pictures well but when you look through the viewfinder, it's blurry. We have to take it in.

On the upside:

--I turned 28 yesterday. I have had a great birthday week, kicked off in Puerto Rico, and continuing through the week. Last night, we along with some friends presented Hyde Park Grill with their worst nightmare: six adults and three children in highchairs. I had great dinner and wonderful company!

--Things seem to be picking up at Robin's office and he is getting started on a project with his dad. He is thankful to have some work on the horizon, and I am, too.

--Lydia has gotten into "walking" while we hold her fingers. It is so cute! I will post a video soon!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


I am having trouble with blogger and have been unable to upload photos. In an effort to keep up with our blog, I am going to continue blogging current stuff and try to backlog Christmas, our trip to Puerto Rico, etc. Hopefully I will figure it out soon!

Digging My Way Out

I am going to try to catch up on blog posts from our vacation, but in the meantime, I will say this: we had a wonderful, amazing two weeks and getting back late Sunday night and heading to work early Monday morning presented a harsh, sudden reality. Thank goodness for the incredible, entertaining coworkers I have; otherwise, I probably would have jumped in my car and headed right back home to hide in a corner.